Like a guy who goes to a bar and sees a smoking hot girl who he tried to ask out one night but was turned down and thinks “Gosh, if that had only worked out, things would be so great right now”, Kentucky fans have been looking at Brandon Wright at North Carolina and are expressing how distraught they are that “Wright should have been a Cat.” While most Cats’ fans are rightfully happy with what they have seen from Perry Stevenson so far, watching Wright has been difficult….he is so good…..so nice….and so taunting in his greatness. And now, on Saturday, the Cats will be face to face with their supposed loss, likely watching him play well over the hodgepodge of power forwards currently on the UK roster.
Well folks it is time for a reality check….contrary to what you may have read on the internet last year, Brandon Wright was never coming to UK. The very first recruit interview that I ever did was with Wright last September and I remember looking at Rob Gidel and saying “well there is no way that kid comes to UK.” Wright has often been considered to have been a UK lean that simply changed his mind due to UK mishaps on the recruiting trail. But that is simply incorrect.
Wright grew up a UK fan, but was always torn between two different destinations…..that of Tobacco Road or staying home with Vandy. While enjoying UK and being a fan of Tubby Smith, those closest to Wright always whispered that from the day he went to the first Duke-UNC game, he knew that is where he wanted to play. HE spoke lovingly of the rivalry and the way that those two teams had such a special dual that got the fans into such a frenzy. In fact, the only upset in the recruitment was that Wright picked UNC over his early favorite, Duke. UK was always a place he liked, but never the likely destination.
Now some people may look at that and say “well that means UK really screwed up because he never was seriously considering coming here.” Others may say something different. I am not making judgments on what Wright’s decision to go elsewhere meant, that is up to you. But Brandan has now done two interviews in the last few months that have confirmed that his “final 3” were Vandy, UNC and Duke. Kentucky was not one of those. So even though our coaching staff (wrongly) believed he was headed here and some folks on the internet insisted he was coming here….it simply was not in the cards.
So when you watch on Saturday, admire Wright’s talent and what kind of player he is. Or enjoy the amazing NBA assembly of players that have been put together in Chapel Hill. But dont talk about the “lost” Brandon Wright. As a poet once said, “you cant lose what you didnt have….” and UK certainly NEVER had Brandon Wright.