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Jack Palance’s Tuesday Recruiting News and Views….

Do you hear that? What is it…..oh yeah, Silence. Folks, in one of the most surprising occurrences that I have seen in a long time, today ended up being a day where virtually nothing happened on the Kentucky recruiting front. Whereas one could have legitimately believed that Monday could see a decision by the Morris twins, Eshaunte Jones, Jai Lucas or movement with Patrick Patterson, we ended up with virtually nothing except a lame decision by Tracy Smith to commit but likely never play (due to qualification issues) for NC State. While I was at work today, I literally left my phone’s ringer on (as opposed to the usual “vibrate” setting), exposing me to the potential of the song “Big Poppa” reverberating through my office if I received a call, just so that I could get any news as it happened…..and it didnt happen.

Oh well, maybe Tuesday will be more exciting…..or maybe it wont. That may unfortunately, be the case. But we will get to that in a moment. First, lets celebrate the passing of Jack Palance, who apparently died last week, but no one told me as I just found out today. I loved the one-armed pushups as much as the next guy, and thus I salute the fine actor. Second, how about a shout out to Chris Lofton, who opened his junior season by dropping 30 points on Fordham in a performance that I actually found impressive. While Tennessee looked so-so (this isnt last year’s team), Lofton actually looks even more improved, showcasing an ability to drive to the basket in addition to his shooting. Good for the young man as he looked impressive. And oh yeah finally, EPISODE 13 is now on the air and ready for your consumption. Lots of great stuff and if you havent heard it, please do.

Now onto the stories of the day:

First, the lack of any movement (or even a peep) from the Jai Lucas camp may ultimately be the story of this week. As many of you know, I have remained confident for some time that UK was Lucas’s leader and that the Cats were in a strong position for his services. I still think UK is in a strong position, but now I am hearing the possibility that Kentucky may not get his services this week…..and neither will anyone else. There is increased talk from those around the recruiting circles that Jai may be waiting until Spring to make a final decision. This news, if true (and lets be clear that it is not CERTAIN that it is true….Jai may announce tomorrow for all we know), will be difficult for Kentucky to take. While the Cats’ status with Patterson has always been a mystery, I am confident that Kentucky has always remained the leader for Lucas. If he decides to wait, that will be a disappointing decision and will put Kentucky in a VERY difficult position. Do you wait on Patterson and Lucas or attempt to get someone else? What if Florida attempts to make the Lucas-Patterson package in the Spring? These are questions that are difficult…..they may be rendered moot by the next two days, but I for one do not look forward to the possibility of another five months of waiting on these two decisions. And oh yeah, Patrick’s high school has just scheduled a game to be played in Cameron Indoor Stadium, in addition to the two games they are playing in Memorial Coliseum….yeah that doesnt make things any easier, now does it?

Second…..making this more difficult is the likely possibility that Jeff Brooks, who in my view is the best backup possibility for Patterson (and a highly underrated player), may commit to a school in the next two days. Brooks wants to make his decision this fall, and losing him in the next two days leaves the Cats with truly no viable backup option if Patterson goes elsewhere. Losing Patterson is something UK can afford to have happen….but it is a real shame if you lose Patterson and then dont get Brooks (who would have been MORE than receptive to a UK offer).

Third, what about those Morris twins? And for that matter, Eshaunte Jones? All three are 2008 recruits….all three rumored to be deciding in the next two days…..all three with Kentucky at the final table of the decision. Do these guys pull the trigger for a school that in the Twins case, they havent visited, or in Jones’ case no one has followed? Interestingly, in Jones’ case, he postponed his decision today. With most suspecting he was set to announce for Indiana, what does this mean? Some have suspected Jones visited either this weekend or last (I have no confirmation either way), so what does this decision mean? At this point, all we are doing is reading tea leaves as none of the three have spoken in the last few days…..but that may be all we have after such a silent day.

Fourth, what is clear from Episode 13 is that Marshall Moses wants to be a Cat. I thought that my question to Moses about UNC was on the air, but apparently it was not and was in our pre-interview. Either way, he said that he wasnt interested in UNC and that he was focused right now on the Cats. I am telling you folks,……we need to get Moses on campus, NOW and get him wrapped up. Cross your fingers as he finds out about his test scores today. Marshall Moses will be special…..just as I said last year that Jodie Meeks would have an impact far beyond his ranking at UK, Moses is that guy this year…..just you wait and see.

So where do we go from here? Well unfortunately, we just have to wait. I had hoped to be able to announce today a commitment to UK and the shape of the class would be clear to all. But it hasnt happened. I however think that lots has happened on Monday night….things we dont yet know about. I expect that Patterson and Lucas received a great deal of UK contact and the young men have lots to think about tonight. Tomorrow is a big day…..if at this time tomorrow night, silence is the word of the day…..well then, its a long time till Spring…..

Article written by Matt Jones