Stop me if you have heard this story before. Kentucky goes out looking for a highly regarded power forward prospect. The kid considers Kentucky and the school mentions that loads of playing time is available. Nevertheless, the kid spurns UK to go to another school where there are already entrenched people at his position. No this story is not about Brandon Wright, Thaddeus Young, Deon Thompson, Tyler Smith or Dan Werner. This story is about 2007 recruit Gary Johnson of Dallas, Texas who decided to stay home and join the Texas Longhorns rather than come to UK.
While Johnson was not necessarily ever considered a UK lean, his commitment to Texas makes Kentucky’s position in 2007 very precarious. For those that dont follow recruiting, Kentucky has been heavily involved with five forward prospects in the class. Due to the graduation of Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas and Woo, Kentucky MUST HAVE at least two of these five commit. Gary Johnson has already said no. Another of the five (and maybe the best prospect) Anthony Randolph may still be considering Kentucky, but when a relative was asked to identify his ten top schools, Kentucky was not listed in the group.
That leaves three. Patrick Patterson, JJ Hickson and Josh Southern. I am not normally driven to hyperbole, but it is imperative that Kentucky sign two of these guys or it could be the Turkey Hunter, Shawn Finney and Bobby Perry’s niece who will compose our front line in two years. Of these three, Patterson is the most likely commitment, but recently the evil Duke Blue Devils have entered the picture, a school that Kentucky virtually never beats on the recruiting battlefield. While Kentucky has a good shot with Hickson and Southern, both have a number of options and Kentucky will be in a battle for either.
What does this mean? Well Kentucky needs two of the above three but could easily end up with none of them. And IF that happens (and it is still a big IF), the talent level of the program will be in disarray.
However all is not lost. After doing some research, it does seem that this Gary Johnson, the President of the Missouri State Chapter of the Audobon Society, is still available. We should move quickly…..