The most important four day period in summer recruiting is now over as (what used to be called) the Nike, Adidas and Reebok Camps are over. While there hasnt been a ton of new information flowing from these camps this time around and there is no hot recruit that is being linked with UK that we didnt know about before, these camps (and the AAU season before it) have provided us with some insight into the UK recruit commitments and the guys linked to the schools. So as sort of a mid-summer refresher, here is what we have learned about the guys UK is associated with:
Jon Hood: The last month has done nothing but solidify Jon Hood’s status as a premiere recruit that will be a very solid player for UK during his four year career. Hood has played well at every opportunity and has allowed the national scouts to see what local folks and college coaches have noticed for sometime. Even though he may not look like a player and at times can seem awkward, he can score on anyone and has a very solid, well-rounded game. Hood has entered himself into the conversation for national all-star games and is a solid Top 50 recruit by every service. A great summer for Jon so far.
GJ Vilarino: It has continued to be a tough run for GJ this summer. He has basically blended into the woodwork during most of his action and whispers continue to increase that his status with UK might change in the coming months. He is actively being recruited over by UK, which is never a good sign, and his performance has made him listed somewhere between 200-300 by most services. It has been a tough summer for GJ and it is unclear what is ahead.
Daniel Orton: Orton has continued to convince anyone that watches that he is the real deal. He will be a star on the college level and has the potential to make the NBA leap after one year. He is a top 10 player who looks, by every indicator that we have, to be a Kentucky lean. The first big “must have” of the Gillispie era, Orton is the recruit that will have UK fans’ eyes over the next few months.
John Wall: Still showing himself to be one of the three best players in the class. An all-world point guard that will only see college for one year. He continues to dominate the camps and showcases that he is the best there is in this class at the PG position. Oklahoma State, Memphis and Kentucky are likely the three for him….but the kid is so good that you never know what might happen in the end.
Jacob Jenkins: The Manual player is the true winner out of the camp circuit. Has gone from an afterthought by everyone to a guy who will get major Div I offers, just like that. Louisville has supposedly made it clear they will offer him by the end of the summer and his suitors are lining up. At one time it looked like the kid would be an early commit to Tubby….and then he hit a slump. Now UK must decide whether to begin recruiting him again….tough call….one doesnt want to think about what happens if an in-state kid who grew up a huge UK fan, goes to Louisville and gets good.
Dominique Ferguson: Write it down….the next true star at UK. Supremely talented at every skill on the basketball floor and he will only get better. No one who sees Ferguson play (not named Tipton) comes away with anything but “A” grades. The only question to be determined is whether he is good enough to be a one and doner….the early money is on “yes.”
KC Ross-Miller: Like GJ Vilarino, it has been a tough go for Miller. KC has simply not improved at the rate of his fellow classmates and it is showing on the court. While he likely shows more upside than Vilarino, he still has a lot of work to do. He finds himself outside of the rankings and continues to mystify as to why we havent seen more from him. I think it is safe to say that between GJ and KC, it is likely at least one wont end up at UK. As to who that is, who knows.
Dakotah Euton: Another tough summer. Dakotah simply doesnt look good enough to play at Kentucky when he is on the court. I like Dakotah as a kid and he still has time to develop. But if you ask any talent scout not affiliated with UK if Dakotah is a UK player, they will not say yes. His move to Scott County is a good one….if he gets to play. This is a huge year for Dakotah….not time by far to give up on him, but seeing him at UK becomes harder and harder.
Harrison Barnes: The breakout star of the AAU and Camp season. This kid will find himself as a Top 10 player coming out of Ames, Iowa and Kentucky will find itself as the kid’s co-leader along with hometown Iowa State. He will be in Kentucky this week for an AAU tournament and we will speak to him at that time. Barnes to Kentucky could set up the 2009 class to be epic. Watch out for him.
There are other stories, but these are the ones most closely related to UK. With Pilgrim, Hood and Vilarino currently using up 3 of the 4 rides UK has this year, I expect the Cats to hold off on offers until they (a) see what happens with Liggins (b) decide on GJ (c) find out about Orton/Wall. After those steps, we may see more names.
More throughout the day….another media person and a look at the Eddie Ford Tourney kicking off in Louisville…..and hopefully more Daniel Solzman gold…..