On a normal day, all five of these stories below would be worthy of top billing. But due to all that has transpired this weekend, they all make a huge Monday post. Likely more here than any day so far. And by the way that is Al Groh who, even though he has dramatically underachieved, made this a happy week at the KSR Radio studios thanks to the absurd -4.5 line that UVA had against Duke. But moving on….
(1) We start with one of the visitors from this weekend, Chris Barnes. I spoke with Barnes after the visit and got his impressions. There were some saying that they hoped Chris would commit this weekend, but I dont think that was ever realistic. But here were his thoughts on the trip:
How did you enjoy your visit this weekend?
I really enjoyed it a lot. The coaches showed me all around the school, at the great facilities and to the game. It was a great time.
When you were around town, were you ever recognized?
Yeah that happened a bunch. It was amazing to me that all these fans came up to me and treated me like a celebrity. It was like I was already in the league or something.
Who was your host? Did you like the players on the team?
Bobby Perry was my host and he was a real cool guy. I liked all the guys on the team. They were all down to earth and didnt seem bigheaded at all.
What did you do on the visit?
Well I played some ball with the players. They are going to be good this year. I also went where all the fans were camping out for tickets….it was just crazy how into it they were, just for a practice! Then I went to a wings place at night with some of the players and just hung out. It was cool all around.
Where do you have left to go? And when do you see yourself making a decision?
The next three weeks I go to Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee. I have already been to UK and Wichita St and after that last visit I will make a decision..
After talking with Barnes, I think UK has a solid shot. He said he knows Patterson and would “love to play with him”, which tells me that recruiting Pat will not scare Chris away. All in all, a good visit. Hopefully we will get a report from Darnell Gant tomorrow.
(2) A surprising report this weekend came from recruiting “guru” Greg Swaim who claimed that he was “100%” certain that Jai Lucas was coming to Oklahoma State. I found this statement odd and knowing that Swaim was a Ok St homer, I called Jai today to ask him about it. When I told him the quote, he laughed and said, “that is funny. I guess he can have his opinion.” When I asked him if there was any truth to the statement, he simply said no. He told me he was looking forward to Midnight Madness and seeing those “crazy UK fans in action.”
(3) I also talked to mystery man, Ramon Harris. Harris told me that he is still waiting on the clearinghouse to rule on his case and that he is in “limbo up here in Alaska.” He told me that he loved his recent visit to Kentucky and is “praying that everything will work out.” He said that Tubby has told him that he is welcome to join second semester if possible and that if that didnt work out, he would shoot for 07. He said he “loves Kentucky and cant wait to be in that big-time environment.” He talks to UK every few days and says he hopes to hear something from the Clearinghouse in the next few weeks. It was my first conversation with Ramon and I found the kid very interesting. Will be intriguing to see what happens with him if he isnt eligible until 07 as he may be a wildcard in this class.
(4) I find it very interesting how little chatter there is about the Duke visit by Patrick Patterson. I am sure that there will be more talk in the coming days, but for now there is no news and nothing resembling a potential commitment is even being rumored. It was a perfect weekend for a visit from a Kentucky standpoint…..Duke gets crushed in front of an empty football stadium and the Duke fans have little to show the Pattersons. I still think Kentucky is in the thick of this, and Midnight Madness will tell the tale. I hope to know more about the Duke visit from a friend tomorrow, but for now I do think that the “no news is good news” cliche does truly apply here.
(5) Finally, I had three seperate coversations this weekend from people I trust, all of whom were VERY positive about the Mike Williams commitment. One has seen Williams play a number of times and said, ” he literally gets better every game. You watch, by his sophomore year he will be a very good player for UK.” Another told me that Williams ‘ game has been rising enough lately that he would be moving up the rankings…..something that can be seen by Bob Gibbons, who now has Williams ranked at number 62. Finally, and most interestingly, I was told that in recent weeks, both UNC and UCONN had made some moves to try to get in on Williams and both were considering making him a priority. So for all you doubters (and I may have been a little one), this could have been a case where Tubby and company were ahead of the curve and, like Jodie Meeks, got a fast riser before others had a chance.
Hope everyone had a good weekend. Taping the show on Wednesday and it should be a good week….