– The big story of the day was the sudden commitment of five-star forward Kyle Wiltjer. The commitment appeared to come virtually out of nowhere as the 6’9″ Oregonian just announced he’d be making the choice yesterday. His verbal gives Kentucky four players ranked in the top-20 of the Scout.com rankings and four of the top-25 of Rivals’ list. Amazingly, Wiltjer committed to Kentucky without ever having visited, sighting the great talent he’d be surrounded with and how he would fit into the offense. We’ve seen Coach Cal land the top point guards and we’ve seen him snatch away players who were essentially locks for other schools, but this might be the most prominent sign yet of the weight he carries on the recruiting trail. And, based on the exuberance he exhibited at the Rick Brooks dinner event Saturday night, we can assume he’s quite pleased. Here is ESPN’s story.
– One of Wiltjer’s future teammates, Michael Gilchrist, made some news of his own early Saturday morning and late Friday night when he tweeted out that he was planning on taking his three official visits despite being committed to Kentucky and that he was a bit torn about leaving his mother. The little Twitter session ended with him saying Coach Cal called and made him feel better and that he would be on UK’s campus Thursday. It appears it was much ado about nothing and his commitment remains very strong. If nothing else, it’s just a reminder that all these superstar basketball players are still teenagers with normal teenager emotions and there’s certainly no fault in that.
– On a much different note, UK’s final football scrimmage was apparently a disaster of epic proportions. Joker Phillips said he was depressed and had the Louisville game been played on Saturday, it would have been an embarrassment. Just as you shouldn’t have gotten too fired up by last week’s 60-25 win by the offense, the poor showing Saturday is likely nothing to be too overly concerned about. No team is without a bad practice and, as Joker noted, a number of the veteran leaders have missed some time due to injury. However, with only a week to go, it’s clear that he expects his team to be much more focused and put together much stronger practices. History suggests that there’s no reason why that won’t happen this week.
– On a positive football note, there were a number of positive reports as to the way Mike Hartline has been carrying himself since winning the job. Both Joker and Hartline’s teammates have noted that the senior quarterback now sports a little confident swagger, which is news to any UK football fan’s ears. Like we’ve said a hundred times before, what has hurt Mike Hartline is what is underneath his helmet and it appears that the vote of confidence he got from his coach and his teammates is putting him in the right place as he gets ready to try to win his third game against Louisville.
That’s pretty much it for now. Our dear friend BTI will be around shortly to navigate you through the last Sunday of the football off-season. In the meantime, just enjoy looking at this…