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Friday’s UK Recruiting Notebook

With the roster for 2009-2010 finally nearing a set point, we can get a better idea of what exactly UK is going to lose in 2010 and, consequently, what they will need to pick up. Therefore, we are going to suspend the Friday Q&A for a few weeks so that we can begin to build our UK recruiting notebook. On my old site, “State of the Program,” I was taking a tour through the 2010 class and giving player profiles for each UK target. Matt swooped in, like the business-minded shark attorney that he is, and swallowed up the competition, leaving my life’s work unfinished. Now, coming in fitting fashion on my birthday, I am finally given the chance to finish the job and bring you information on each of UK’s 2010 targets that we can expect Cal to be recruiting hard over the rest of the summer and during the next season.  My hope is that, by the end of the summer, you will be able to just copy and paste each profile that I give into whatever program you choose (I use Microsoft One Note) and create your own UK recruiting notebook, complete with scouting and recruiting information for each prospect. So, from this point forward, expect a new UK recruiting notebook profile each Friday with the possibility of a few other entries added in throughout the week along the way.

First, in order to understand the needs of the team, it is important for us to get a feel for Calipari’s dribble drive motion offense. I get a lot of questions about positions of players and I think the problem people are having is based on their understanding of this offense. Repeat after me: throw all traditional basketball positions out the door. You can still use them for ranking purposes, but for recruiting and need-filling purposes, it doesn’t matter. If you water down the DDM, you’ll find that there are essentially 3-4 positions on the floor: (1) primary ball handler, (2) athletic penetrating wings, (3) spot shooters and (4) big men who can run the floor well in transition.  Many times a player will fill more than one of these needs and top prospects, fitting into either category 2 or 3, will usually fit into both 2 & 3. We’ll use this system of positions to show the needs to be filled and who may be recruited to fill those needs.

Now let’s look at what we are losing next year. I’ll include Jodie Meeks in this assessment because it doesn’t matter if he leaves this year or next, the scholarship will be used in 2010 to address the loss of his talent. Here’s what we’re losing:

(1) Ramon Harris

– Skills Lost: Glue guy/Mildly effective penetrator (that’s what she said)
– This scholarship will most likely be filled by an athletic wing but could be used for any position of need. This is a “wildcard” scholarship.

(2) Jodie Meeks

– Skills Lost: Spot shooter/Penetrator
– One of Cal’s target for this scholarship has to be Jodie’s little brother Doron Lamb. Great shooter and probably above the level that Jodie was as a penetrator in high school. This scholarship will be used on a shooter/athletic wing hybrid prospect. Harrison Barnes, who will be hard to lure into Lexington, could also fill this role and looks to be another top target to fill the vacant spot left by Jodie.

(3) Perry Stevenson

– Skills Lost: Big man that can run the floor/Some skills as a face up big man
– This is another “wild card” scholarship that Calipari can look to use on any position he feels like he wants to add depth to.

(4) Patrick Patterson

– Skills Lost: As you all know, this will be a tough position to fill. You’re looking at losing a player that provides heart, toughness, rebounding, post presence, and a pretty good mid-range jump shot.
– I am starting to believe that Adriean Payne is the #1 target to fill this position for Calipari. He would provide the big body and post presence that the Cats will lose when Patterson leaves. There aren”t many big men in the 2010 class that can fill Patterson’s shoes but Payne would be a step in the right direction.

(5) Demarcus Cousins (most likely gone)

– Skills Lost: Yet to be seen how he will do on the collegiate level. He provides a big body, rangy jumper and athleticism for a big guy.
– CJ Leslie and Dominique Ferguson probably top Calipari’s list to replace Demarcus.

(6) John Wall

– Skills Lost: Primary ball handler, athletic slasher and elite prospect.
– John Wall’s do not come along too often and UK is lucky to get a player of his caliber, even if only for a year. Calipari’s top prospect for this scholarship will be Brandon Knight and I believe that we are in a good position to land him. Most internet reports seem to suggest that UK isn’t in the group of leaders for his services but I tend to believe that all of those reports are just pure speculation at this point, with no real basis in fact. Knight, while still a legit top 3 prospect in 2010, is a different type of point guard than John Wall because of his size and ability to body himself into the lane. I find him to be less flashy but just as effective. He also brings good range on his deep shot.

In 2010, Calipari will need to add depth at almost all positions. A scoring point guard, another outside shooter and a face up big man will top the list. After that, the rest of the positions will most likely be filled by big men to play behind Orton and athletic wings to provide depth behind Darius Miller.  You can look back at some of the previous profiles that we’ve done and include them in the notebook. Also, you can expect a profile coming through the weekend.  Each profile will try to help explain which needs the recruit is being used to address. I’ll take your requests below on who to start with.

Other recruiting notes:

– One reader, Robinson Quast, has been very patient with me as I’ve strung along answering his question the past couple weeks. After the move to Friday’s UK Recruiting Notebook he’ll be forced to wait some more. Couple of fun facts about Robinson as we anticipate his question: (1) He wrote the Memorandum of Understanding (2) He is the “secret boyfriend” of Maria Montgomery (3) He’s actually responsible for Beisner’s bathroom t-shirt incident but tells no one the truth and (4) He films Kige Ramsey’s shows but, as a continuous joke between the two, always hits the record button but makes Kige have to get up and hit the stop button himself. All in all, a true blue cat fan and a great member of the KSR family. We’ll get to your question eventually Robinson.

– Class of 2012’s DJ Griggs, a 5-11 Texas point guard, told Scout at the Texas A&M elite camp that he expects to get an offer from Kentucky soon. Oklahoma State (who has offered everyone it seems) and Texas A&M have also offered, with Memphis and Texas possible offering in the near future.

– I attended the Indiana Jr/Sr Allstar game last night and left very impressed by Terone Johnson, a Purdue commit. He scored at will and, if he is able to get rid of the circular rotation on his outside jumper, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in college. Stephan Van Treese, UL’s boy, was also impressive on both ends of the floor. He reaffirmed that he is 100% committed to UL and excited to play for Pitino, despite other players in his class decommitting from the Cards.

Rumors surrounding Dominique Ferguson’s absence were flying everywhere in New Albany last night. The official word was an “undisclosed injury,” but I heard everything from unhappiness with the allstar coach, unhappiness with his high school coach and transferring to Oak Hill, to the possibility of him being injured and afraid of repeating his previous poor performance from earlier in the week. No one really knows what is going on there but I thought I would pass along what I had heard since it has already hit the mainstream media outlets as well.

– I also spoke to Donnie Hale last night, who was being recruited heavily by Billy Gillispie. He said that he has received letters from the new staff but at this point, they don’t strike him as showing a great amount of interest. He expects an offer from Xavier in the coming weeks and says that Xavier and Purdue will be the two schools he is most likely to decide between. Looks like UK is out of the mix on this one.

Jaylen Beckham, as previously reported by Jody Demling, is playing in St. Louis this weekend. I’ll keep you posted throughout the weekend on how he does as the reports start coming in. He’s one of my favorite players on UK’s radar and one of the most polite kids you’ll meet.

I’ll also be attending the NBA top 100 camp starting on June 17th in Charlottesville, VA this year, thanks to a mother helping her poor law student son out for his birthday. This camp includes “everybody who’s anybody” and should provide a wealth of information about UK recruits. Most importantly it will be brought to you for FREE, thanks to Matt running such a great UK site. So I’d just like to thank both my mother and Matt for giving me the chance to bring you guys as much recruiting information as possible while not having to charge a single penny for it.

Article written by Dustin Rumbaugh

I enjoy basketball, Kentucky sports and extremely short walks on the beach, followed by a nap. Sorry ladies, I'm taken.