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It’ll take an upset for Purdue, Louisville, or Indiana to get Willis

A flood of the Big Blue faithful will be piling into Bullitt East High School in about three hours for Derek Willis’s announcement. Barring a complete miracle by Rick Pitino or one of the two Big 10 schools, all of the UK fans in attendance should be leaving the high school with a big smile on their faces.

There isn’t a single person who covers high school basketball, watches basketball, or has even heard of basketball, who thinks Derek Willis will pick any school but Kentucky. Everyone — I mean EVERYONE — is picking the Cats. Willis made up his mind early last week, he’s supposedly deadset on the decision, and it’s quickly becoming Louisville’s worst secret since Tim Sypher’s afternoon drive to Cincinnati.

If he does indeed choose to attend the University of Kentucky, Derek Willis will be the first commitment for John Calipari in what could turn out to be his most talented recruiting class ever. 2013 is absolutely loaded with talent and UK is in good shape with four of the top six players in the country, plus Willis. The 6-foot-8 kid from Mt. Washington is a top 25 player with the tremendous upside and, more importantly, he’ll fill the much-needed “Kentucky boy” role on Cal’s roster for years to come.

Three hours away.

I don’t want you to get your hopes up. But get your hopes up.

Go Cats.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

77 Comments for It’ll take an upset for Purdue, Louisville, or Indiana to get Willis



  1. Billy Clyde's love child
    1:06 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    dang. ifrst



  2. Billy Clyde's love child
    1:07 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    it’s a puzzle



  3. papaw Brooks
    1:07 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll take one of those good old Kentucky boys playing for the name on the front of their jerseys instead of the back…



  4. GummyBear
    1:10 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    3.. yeah, b/c the guys we have now are so selfish (eye roll) (smh).



  5. Truth
    1:15 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    CBB has changed, old guard. Playing for the name on the front of the jersey is gone. So choose… championships, or moral victories because we put together a team that ‘wasn’t supposed to be able to go that deep in the tourney’. Which do you want? The Laettner shot, or #8 hanging? John Wall or Richie Farmer?



  6. over the hills and far away
    1:16 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Outstanding



  7. papaw Brooks
    1:17 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    4… omg. smh. rotflol. :oD



  8. DavenderCatTheSequel
    1:21 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    8) Um, that’s dated 04/26/11



  9. T.J.
    1:22 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    8- You do realize that the article is from April, and he has since decommited, which is the reason why he is choosing another school today…..right?



  10. kyle
    1:24 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #8 what does your link have to do with today he decommitted from you all if you remember that



  11. Ky fan 1
    1:25 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky boy? I thought he was from Alaska and moved to Ky?



  12. old_tool
    1:26 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Truth, what we need is more moral victories, Laettner shots, tequila shots, Richie Farmer’s mustaches and stolen computers, and mostly we need a coach who cares about the school and the kids, instead of using them as a platform to pimp out frozen yogurt and crappy pizza. You whippersnappers and your win at all costs mentality. Your parents should be ashamed. Have you ever pooped yourself while in the buffet line at Shoneys? Ever seen a koala bear and monkey make love? No? Didn’t think so. Dagnabbit I wish football season would get here.



  13. First Hand
    1:28 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    A girl in my class today said that they went to high school and that they were close friends and he was definitely picking the Cats today.



  14. The Truth
    1:30 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Am I the only one out here in cyberspace that doesnt want Willis. I believe his early commitment will hurt the Cats later on when they are trying to close on a TOP RANKED player. Go elsewhere Willis!



  15. Alex
    1:30 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    13-Koalas are not bears. They are marsupials.



  16. Uk caftan
    1:31 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #13 your name says it all…you are an old tool.



  17. Weightloss Jason
    1:31 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve seen Willis play many times, and have not been impressed! I’ve seen Kelan Martin of Ballard (2014) own him. However I am not a pro at judging talent, if the scouts say he is top talent then I hope nothing but the best for him and welcome tO #BBN. Oh yea his dads a card fan sO I don’t have to like him do I?



  18. Drew Franklins Beard
    1:31 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    hey, #3, stfu



  19. Al's IndiCats
    1:32 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    13…..DAMN good writin’ there! I believe we have an answer to Old_School in NJT fashion! (Standing while giving Old_tool a Polo style applause)



  20. NJ
    1:32 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Honestly I’m happy we have the Kentucky Boy Role with this kid.



  21. Ned Chase
    1:32 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I have a feeling this one is not going our way.



  22. Ben
    1:32 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    My duaghter does not know him and has never even heard of him, and she says he is picking KY today! It must be true.



  23. Drew Franklins Beard
    1:33 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #15 i agree as well



  24. Alex
    1:33 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    15-I am afraid you are onto something.
    Willis, like Teague, is a personal pissing match with Pitino.
    I am sure Willis is a good player, but I am sure there are
    better players in the class who are NOT being recruited by UL.
    I love Cal and I love the state of our program, but I think
    he grinds the old axe a bit much at times.

    That being said, if Willis comes to Lexington he has my support.



  25. Brainiac Jr.
    1:34 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I must admit that I do have some precognitive skills when it comes to forecasting future events. As a matter of fact, after eating a rather large lunch, I had a pent up release of gas that had been building slowly and when it finally passed… I could swear it sounded like – Wiiilllliiissss…



  26. Uk caftan
    1:36 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Truth-saying you want Richie over Wall and kids playing for name on front not the back…what makes you think this kid isn’t that? Why not take top talent now…the way he shot up in the rankings he might be even higher next year.



  27. Jrod
    1:38 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #25 thats what I’m worried about too. Did we go after him because UL and IU did or because we saw him as the best fit in our roster



  28. Ned Chase
    1:40 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Derek (whatchutalkinbout) Willis would fit in well with the rest of the WBA.



  29. Cal says...
    1:40 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Listen up UK fans. If I’ve offered a kid a scholarship to UK, all you need to know is that I want him… not that you want or don’t want him, or that your Daddy wants or doesn’t want him, or that the Turtleman wants or doesn’t want him, but that I, “Coach Cal” wants him and that is all that matters.



  30. GoCatsGo
    1:44 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #12. Not sure if you’re serious or not. He grew up in Louisville, moved to Bullitt County a couple of years ago.



  31. The Truth
    1:45 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    To build on my previous statement. In the 2013 class UK is interested in 4 other Power Forwards that are ranked HIGHER than Willis & of those 4, UK has already offered 2 of them (Julius Randle & Aaron Gordon) both 5 stars according to Scout.com & the other two are Jonathan Williams & Chris Walker (both 5 Stars)& THEN there is Willis. If UK does accept Willis’ committment, I believe that down the road it could hurt our potential is landing a more solid PF than Willis. Sorry to say it but again I hope he goes elsewhere. I believe that Willis is a mixture of Vargas & a little bit of Wiltjer, thats not something I am excited about.



  32. Nerdo
    1:45 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Topping this years class is almost unthinkable (3 #1’s at their position? Unprecedented by anybody!), but Cal may actually do it.



  33. sunnycat
    1:46 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I will take “one and done” players and a Final Four. Over 13 years of mediocrity and four year players.

    And Willis moved to KY so get off the “KY boy” B.S.



  34. MJ4UK
    1:47 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    PLEASE PICK PURDUE



  35. Alex
    1:49 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I believe Cal is the very best talent evaluator in the game today
    and maybe the best ever. However, he is NOT infallible.
    Every recruit he brings in is not a #1 draft pick.
    Dodson, Vargas, and Teague are all very good players.
    And yes, they are all better than I, but they are not
    Knight, Gilchrist, Cousins talented. We can’t
    get all the studs, but I don’t want to sign a kid
    just to keep Pitino from signing him.



  36. sunnycat
    1:49 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    32. Kyrie Irving was the #1 pg out of high school BUT Brandon Knight took UK to the Final Four.



  37. sunnycat
    1:50 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    30. PREACH ON BROTHER PREACH ON



  38. UKfansNKY
    1:51 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    OK, so I’m a HUGE KY FAN in ALL UK SPORTS……yes, FOOTBALL too and have been all my life 50 plus yrs. and the more I read this website I just don’t understand why so many KY fans can be so frickin stupid!!!! Let the Coaches coach and players play and BACK THE BLUE and please keep your stupid comments to yourself!! GO CATS!!!!!



  39. he says she
    1:52 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    With the comments Willis’ dad has made in the past… and the fact that he is a Louisville fan… and Derek’s ho-hum attitude about UK’s interest in him… I just hope he and his family do not become a distraction if he doesn’t get a whole lot of playing time in future seasons. He has talent, but is his talent any better than say Jon Hood or Kyle Wiltjer? Definitely not better than Wiltjer. Will he or his dad become a whiner if he sees little playing time? I hope not.

    Is this just a case of Cal sticking it to Rick once again?



  40. sunnycat
    1:52 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    25. If Cal didnt get Teague who would be the PG? And obviously its not Beckham at this point.



  41. sunnycat
    1:55 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    There was a time not so long ago a Top 25 player wouldnt even think about KY. Thanks to CAL that has changed.



  42. Keith Myath
    1:55 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    If he picks another school, please, Matt, yell, “Whatchu Talkin’ Bout, Willis?”



  43. Yup
    1:57 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, some of you are absolutely insane. We have a top 25 white kid from Kentucky who grew up a Louisville fan and he’s about to commit to us and there is ample complaining and wishes for him to go elsewhere.
    You remind me of the guy from the DirecTV commercials with his micro-giraffe. We’ve had success and now nothing but the best is acceptable. I know that sounds good as a logo on T-shirts but those of us who live in reality think Willis is a great get. No wonder people think we’re all crazy.

    “Willis, go to Purdue!!!! LeBron and Kobe might be declared eligible for the NCAA next year and we want to have scholarships available!!!”

    smh…



  44. STEVE!
    1:58 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    39 – REVEREND!!!



  45. T.J.
    1:58 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    The people talking about how they don’t want Willis, are all the same person posting under a different name each time, to make their point seem valid.



  46. what i want to know is
    1:58 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    is there a fan base that back-bites more than UK fans seem to ?

    for goodness sakes, i trust Cal, i don’t care if he is just driving the stake into Rick’s vampire heart, or if he thinks this kid is legit … I DON’T CARE … i am just riding the wave of success that is UK basketball



  47. catfaninrockytop
    1:58 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Lol @#13



  48. sunnycat
    2:00 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    47. Aint it great



  49. BlueMark
    2:03 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I can hear the call-in show now: “Matt, do you think Willis is gonna play tonight?”



  50. old_tool
    2:03 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    why on earth are you all discussing this kid when the real story is that koalas are not bears? Wtf? Not placental? Born immature too, like these kids Cal recruits. Next thing you know we’ll find out wombats are not really bats.



  51. Beatle Bum
    2:05 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I certainly like what I have seen from Willis. Seems to be a jack of all trades, but not sure if he is a master of any. In that regard, he reminds me of Darius. Big guy who can block, pass, dribble and shoot. The upside is great. He would fit well into Cal’s system. Hope he picks the Cats!!



  52. Raazoul
    2:06 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    36, Your dumber than 15…. Cal has had only 2 classes of recruits, both #1, so your point is stupid. You think Cal will bring in bad players just to screw Rick? Why? He is so much better than Rick, on every level.



  53. Alex
    2:06 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    A white kid from the Louisville area who grows up a UL fan
    and comes to UK.

    I seem to remember something similar happening in my youth.

    Mid 80’s, kid with a feather-do…



  54. greg
    2:08 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    every year could be cal’s best recruiting year ever it seems



  55. KSR1080Fan
    2:08 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #46 Thanks T.J. Those darn IP addresses!!!



  56. GoCatsGo
    2:08 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #34. You’re dead wrong. He grew up a few streets over from me in Okolona. Both of my sons played little league baseball with him. Not sure where you’re getting your information from, but it’s dead wrong. He’s as much of a Kentucky boy as you can get.



  57. richard
    2:10 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    As for worring about his recruitment might deter others from signing, what high school 5 star would be worried about a 4 star getting more minutes.



  58. Be student
    2:11 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    D-will is not from KY he moved here from out of state and went to male. Now he is at be. I see him play all the time and I must say he has a long way to before he ever sees the floor for uk against quality opponents. For at least the first two years he will play the last two minutes against teams like Arkansas little rock.



  59. Alex
    2:11 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    53-Calm down.

    At least I understand the difference of a contraction and a possessive.

    If you think there is not a pissing match between Cal and Three Stacks then
    you are deeply deluded.

    If YOU’RE going to call someone “dumb” in public be sure to correct your grammar.
    Ass Clown.



  60. GoCatsGo
    2:14 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #59 You don’t have a clue. He’s from Kentucky, grew up in Kentucky. I’ve got baseball all star pictures when he was 8 years old if you want to see them. He IS a Kentucky kid plain and simple.



  61. Bankshot
    2:14 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    This commitment is essential in Phase 3 of Cal’s plan for total world domination. He must crush the Red Menace!



  62. Alex
    2:17 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I suppose we all need to take our expert
    opinions and go scout talent.

    Obviously Cal needs our help because these paltry
    #1 classes aren’t cutting it.



  63. Me
    2:21 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Not saying Willis going somewhere (especially UK) else than uofl is the final straw… BUT, I’d bet money that pitino will move on after this year.

    When people call their shot (announce retirement date), they are basically announcing to the world that they are done working hard and are watching the calendar and clock. The entire uofl fanbase knows rick has done all he’s gonna do there – and rick knows it too.



  64. Fred
    2:25 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Just out of curiosity, where do we stand with the rest of 2012, besides Shabazz? Any recent talk from Pollard? Bennett?



  65. Buddy
    2:27 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Is there any way to get the TV show if you upgrade to ATT Uverse and drop Insight?



  66. catfaninrockytop
    2:28 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I havent seen Willis play, or even highlights yet. Better than Jon Hood? I sure hope so…



  67. bluristhurr
    2:32 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Reading about people not wanting this kid because they think we can get better makes me sad I’m a UK fan with so many dumb 1’s that don’t 2 things about basketball except if it gos in the hoop it’s points. I would take a 6-8 player in the top 30 HS recruits any day.



  68. UKfansNKY
    2:36 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    45 – Amen brother.



  69. cristoforouk
    3:08 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Some of you are ridiculous, if you aren’t trolls. I have not seen one expert say Willis isn’t good enough for UK. Yet you all think you know better. Give it up. Cal wants him, and that’s good enough for me.



  70. Nancy Pelosi has 4 eyebrows
    3:18 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Come on down Willis! Love the upside on this kid. Cant wait to see him playing for the Cats!

    BTW, let Cal do the recruiting people. He seems to be pretty darn good at it.

    GO CATS!!



  71. BigBlueFan31
    3:27 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    6’8 white kid from Kentucky wearing the Blue & white for 4 years. I will take it. Sure, there are a WHOLE 24 kids better than him in his class and we’ll likely get 4-5 of them. SHUT UP about not wanting the kid. He will be a great guy to have on the team.



  72. RYNO
    3:29 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Are we UofL fans? Why is everyone gettin so worked up about a 4 star committing for the 2013 class? I understand he’s a white boy from KY, but you can wake me up when Jabari, Noel, or Randle commit.



  73. coachfish01
    3:37 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I watched him play last night….let Louisville have him!



  74. RYNO
    3:42 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    65) Willis would be Cal’s first committment of the Class of 2013, not next years.



  75. IKNOW
    4:01 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    He’s going to the Cards. Laugh if u want, just wait and see. U heard it from me 1st.



  76. Bankshot
    5:38 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Nice call IKnow.