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The Chris Lofton Saga

Well it was another impressive performance last night by the man they call Chris Lofton, as he went for 20 points in the huge victory by Tennessee over the Florida Gators. This once again raises the question that is message board fodder for many about whether and to what extent Chris Lofton should have been recruited by Kentucky. Many make the mistake of looking at some players on the roster (Adam Williams, Thomas, Perry, Woo, Shagari…etc) and making the argument, “well if they are on the team, why not Lofton?” But this is the wrong comparison. Lofton was in the 04 recruiting class, a class that was truly loaded for Tubby and company.

Ramel Bradley committed first in the fall, guaranteeing at least one top notch guard. Lofton truly blossomed during his senior season, but Kentucky was left with a choice of taking Rajon Rondo and Joe Crawford….both McDonalds All Americans or Chris Lofton. Considering how much criticism Tubby has taken for believing in Kentucky guards (Blevins, Tackett, Carrier, Stockton, etc), he would have been killed for going after Lofton. And then there is the question of whether he would have even wanted Kentucky. This was recently sent to me about the recruiting of Lofton by an assistant at a prominent school:

Lofton – We were his #1. We turned him down 5 times. Big miss on our part. He was undersized, not physical, etc-etc-etc. One of our former employees thought he couldn’t get it done at the major D1 level. We weren’t the only ones – going to Tenn was a huge stretch for him and Buzz was killed for taking him. U of L and and Kentucky wouldn’t even recruit the kid. Sometimes you miss…

The criticism of the Cats for not taking Lofton is off in my view and the decision was understandable at the time….and likely best for Lofton. He is excelling at Tennessee and is getting a chance he likely would not have had at UK. While hindsight is 20/20 and having Chris would have been great, ultimately I dont think UK is at fault for choosing Rondo and Crawford over him.

Article written by Matt Jones