Marcus Lee is officially a Wildcat.
For many of us, Tuesday was Drive-Home-Exhausted-From-Atlanta Day, but to the rest of America, it was the fall edition of National Signing Day 2012. November 14th marked the day where the top college-bound high school seniors across the country could scribble their names at the bottom of their national letters of intent to play for the university of their choosing. Most had already announced their intentions to play at a school, but it isn’t official until the pen meets the LOI on National Signing Day.
On Wednesday, Kentucky basketball received signed LOIs from Derek Willis, the first verbal commitment of the 2013 class, and Marcus Lee, the most recent UK commitment. Andrew and Aaron Harrison, the headliners of the group, will fill out the paperwork over the next few days, according to their father. James Young, another top 10 talent in the class, is also expected to sign by the end of the week. The three UK commits have until November 21st to sign in the early period.
After officially signing with Kentucky early Wednesday morning, Marcus Lee told the San Jose Mercury News, “It’s a great feeling being official. It’s just really great and relieving.”
National Signing Day is a day for signatures and letters, but it has also been known for breaking recruiting news in years past. Fall 2012 was no different and the big news of the day came from the class of 2015 when Karl Towns announced that he’ll make his decision on December 4th. As I’m sure you’re aware, the 6-foot-11 big man spent his summer in Lexington with John Calipari while playing for the Dominican Republic National Team. He also paid a visit to Big Blue Madness last month with his father. After the unofficial visit, Karl Towns Sr. called Lexington “awesome” and said it was “just a great experience.”
Towns, ranked No. 1 in his class by all services, is also considering Duke, Michigan State, Florida and North Carolina, although most experts believe Kentucky is the odds-on favorite. When Nerlens Noel committed to the Cats last spring, Towns tweeted him saying, “I can see why you picked this place.”
Come on down?
Class of 2013 stud power forward Julius Randle talked to one NCAA head coach on signing day, according to Jason Jordan. The coach? John Calipari, of course. And in his blog for USA Today, Randle showed a little love to Kenny Payne. “He’s my man,” he said of the UK assistant. “Him and Coach O.”
In case you missed it, the Harrison twins scored 53 of their team’s 87 points in the season opener.
Enough recruiting, let’s switch over to what really has Big Blue Nation talking: the football coaching search. On Wednesday morning’s radio show, Matt introduced yet another name that Kentucky could be considering in that second tier of candidates below Sonny Dykes and Kirby Smart. It’s University of San Diego head coach Ron Caragher, a former UK running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Kentucky from 2003 to 2006. He’s the guy who brought Stevie Johnson to Kentucky from way out there in California, and we all know how that turned out. Caragher isn’t high on the wish list, but he’s making his way into the conversation.
Also from the world of football, Patrick Towles made it clear that he’s here to stay. He told our own Rashawn Franklin that his goal is to win a National Championship at Kentucky.
Just when you thought he was off the grid for good, Billy Gillispie has surfaced as an analyst with Campus Insiders. Watch as he gives his opinion on Shabazz Muhammad, Mike Leach and Tommy Tuberville…
Gillispie was introduced by the “No Holds Barred” show host as “good company riding shotgun.”
Even his new gig doesn’t want him driving.
We’ll wrap things up with our man Boogie, who is sorry for the incident with Sean Elliott:
“I appreciate the support of the NBA Player’s Association in appeal of my suspension by the NBA. I believe it best to allow the union and my agent, John Greig, to present my position about the situation. Despite believing the penalty unwarranted, I want to apologize to the Sacramento Kings, our fans and especially to my coaches and teammates for this distraction of our goals. As a leader of the team, I have to make the best decisions so my teammates can count on me. I am committed to continued growth and being the best player I can be.”
DeMarcus has an opportunity to be an All-Star this season, so it’s crucial that he avoid off-the-court issues like this one. It’s a big year for him and we don’t want him throwing it away.
That’ll do it for now. Join us again on Thursday as we start looking ahead to Kentucky’s home opener against Lafayette.
Go Cats and good night.