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The Curious Case of Future Cats

Amile Jefferson (left) and Torian Graham

We woke up yesterday morning with Xavier transfer Mark Lyons and top-remaining recruit Anthony Bennett still on the board, although (thinking in Derby terms) they were longshots, the possibility of them being a Wildcat were still in the realm of possibility. We went to bed with both names out of the running for good. So that puts Calipari in plan-B mode. Who will his next target be?

There was no doubt Calipari, and even some of the players like Nerlens Noel were recruiting Anthony Bennett hard. But as Matt pointed out yesterday, eligibility concerns and even character issues may have been reason enough for Cal to call off the dogs. While we cannot be happy to hear the news of Bennett dropping the Cats, it may be a blessing in disguise. There are still some names out there that can make an immediate impact on this roster for next season.

— Amile Jefferson is one of the few uncommitted high-profile players remaining in the 2012 class. He is the 36th-ranked player overall, and seventh-best power forward according to Rivals. Jefferson has long been believed to be a Duke lean, but his decision process has been dragging on, and it is very likely Calipari has shifted his focus to Jefferson. It would make sense that Calipari loses a power forward target, he goes after another. With Mason Plumlee returning at Duke and C.J. Leslie returning at NC State — another school high on Jefferson’s list — Kentucky’s late push could be enough.

Torian Graham is another player out there looking for a school. The four-star, No. 12 shooting guard from North Carolina has interest from plenty of big names — except the two biggest home state schools. He was committed to NC State, but has since reopened his recruitment, suggesting he originally committed too early and didn’t allow other schools to contact him. You can bet Kentucky is a major player in swaying his decision. Not to draw comparisons between Graham and another UK legend, but remember the last time Kentucky landed a player that the two North Carolina schools weren’t interested in? *cough John Wall cough*

— Julius Mays is a dynamic shooter looking to transfer out of Wright State. The only thing you need to know about Mays is he made 42% of his three-point shots last season! Mays may seem like a longshot, seeing as he’s coming from a mid-major and considering a handful of Big Ten schools. But Mays wasn’t originally at Wright State; he played at NC State (weird that the Wolfpack are a continuing trend in all of these players) in 2010 — the same school our own Ryan Harrow came from. Who knows if that offers any real connection, but it certainly cannot hurt.

— A couple of other names are still out there that are distant targets, but still on the radar. First is Mislav Brozja, the Croatian Sharp-Shooting Sensation we hardly know. He still seems pretty unlikely to commit to the Cats, as Calipari is surely holding out hope he lands one of these other guys, but he’s always out there just in case. In fact, he seems to be eagerly waiting for Kentucky to offer him a scholarship before he commits. Surely someone in his circle has told him he’s plan-E for the Wildcats, right? Also, the Virginia Tech decommit Montrezl Harrell is still looking for a new school. He is a four-star power forward, ranked 82nd in the 2012 class.

No matter what happens, this team is going to be fun to watch, if for no other reason than Nerlens Noel’s hair. Calipari wants more — and he’ll get more — it’s just a matter of the talent level he lands. Amile Jefferson has to be considered priority No. 1 at this point, with a close second for Torian Graham or Julius Mays.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

25 Comments for The Curious Case of Future Cats

  1. Herb Brooks
    9:35 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Any word on Jai Lucus? I’ll hang up and listen.

  2. reedwizard
    9:35 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Bomani Jones has it right on recruiting…trailing 17-19 year old boys is just weird. I eat up all of the recruiting bits as much as anyone, but I’m so glad Cal is here. I’m going to let him figure this all out and not suck next year. Go Cats!!

  3. Blue Jesus
    9:35 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Better than Corey.

  4. Fat Ryan Lemond
    9:40 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    just booked a room at the hilton garden inn airport near churchill for next year’s derby weekend.
    crazy the contract they make you sign and all that, guess it’s expected…..

  5. truth
    9:40 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    We will not land a single player on this list.

  6. WKY Cat Fan
    9:50 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Cal will get the players. I too follow recruiting like crazy but it’s so nice to relax and enjoy it knowing we have Cal doing the recruiting.

  7. Paducah UK fan
    9:52 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    I bet Coach Cal reads KSR every night prior to bed so he can finish a long day with a laugh. Why even spend brain time trying to figure his or the recruits next move. Trust Coach, he has done us good so far.

  8. WINNIN9
    10:02 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Man there are some real jackasses tweeting Anthony Bennett representing BBN. We need to get on there and wish him luck instead of cursing him. Just because he doesn’t want to come to UK doesn’t mean anyone should speak like that to an 18 year old kid. C’mon BBN let’s show some class and not let a few bad fans give us a bad name.

  9. Indiana Tom
    10:08 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    So much for Calapari getting anybody he wants. Also playing anybody, anywhere and anytime. BS.

  10. Hicks
    10:11 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Graham and Mays are completely different players. I don’t know that they would be going after both. My guess is Mays. As for the jackasses on Twitter, I put BBN above about anything. But the one thing I won’t defend is a blatant prick. Matt, you reach a lot of people with this site, not that it’s your obligation but something needs to be said and hopefully someone other than Cal needs to say it.

  11. boom.
    10:11 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Calapari is still much better than Creen.


  12. Indiana Tom
    10:15 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, Cal didnt call off the dogs, the rabbit gave him the ole heeveho!

  13. Burger
    10:15 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Did Stuart Hammer just compare Torian Graham to John Wall? When Matt Jones was on it and the Beisner were swinging for the fences you would have never heard a line like that out of their mouths.

    Oh how times have changed.

  14. UKMike
    10:22 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    so when exactly did Montrezl DECOMMIT from Va Tech?

    would love to have both Montrezl and Torian in Lexington. insanely great athletes!

  15. Kim
    10:32 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Devonta Pollard is still available. Is he a better forward than Jefferson? I don’t know. But we need one of them.

  16. waitaminute
    10:35 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    wasn’t this exact post on here earlier? it was just moved and comments were deleted…

  17. Eric
    10:42 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    This is a joke of a post. Do some research. Please show me where Harrell has decommitted from VT. He’s considering getting out of his LOI, but nothing official.

    Putting Graham in the same sentence as Wall is dumb.

    This site has gone downhill.

  18. Poole's Daddy Says NO
    11:16 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Why no mention of Devonta Pollard? I would rather have him over anyone else

  19. Rex's Mullet
    11:19 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    Cursing an 18 yr old kid is definitely pure stupidity, BUT there is nothing wrong with cursing Stuart Hammer. Son u are an idiot, does anyone check ur facts for u? Harrell has not decommitted, Wall chose UK over Miami and Duke (which is in NC), and Graham should not be mentioned in the same sentence as John Wall. Matt, get this clown off ur site so he doesn’t defame the good name of KSR with his presence on the site.

  20. Whatabout Devonta
    11:32 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink

    I have been wondering about Devonta Pollard as well. Matt do you have any new info on him? Looked like he had a lot of talent.

  21. Dennis Quire
    11:40 pm May 7, 2012 Permalink


    Love your show, watch and record it every night and check out your websight every day and man I gotta tell you, I have heard stories about how Tony Vanetti trash talks KY on other radio shows. I have never heard them but tonight on Chip Cosby’s CN2 show, Tony and Chip both trash talked Calapari on the Indiana vs Ky series and also on how with Bennett, how did they put it, something like snubbed KY was another chink in Calapar’s armor. Another top recruit Caliari lost including Shabazz and some other…. they still have the number one rating!! Man, I’m sure you wathced it but they had a good time with it. I personally liked Vanetti until I heard it for myself and now I have to agree with my friend that you are selling out if you keep that jerkweed on your show. He does not represent the Big Blue Nation in any way and you keeping him on your show must have to do with sponsorship or something but definately not in the best interest in the BBN. Love your show but Vanetti’s stocked has dropped big time. You need to get rid of his stock and sell it before yours starts to drop too!!!!!!!!!! I salute you in what you have meant to the BBN and hope you don’t get offended with an honest opinion from a true blue fan!

  22. Cking9698
    12:04 am May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Those bringing up Pollard bring up a great point. I guess cal intends to use poythress as only a small forward. As far as guard depth for next year, we only had two guards play all year. Goodwin won’t be great from three, but he’s the best attacking guard we have seen in a while.

    Why is no one mentioning Cauley??? He could play the Power forward position, this kid moves like a gazelle, and could be devasting if he develops a jumper. Just sayin. A three man rotation of kwilt, Noel and Cauley will rock if each player works on their respective areas of weakness and foot speed.

    Poythress will be one of most explosive small forwards we have seen outside of MKG in years. He will be our leading scorer.

    Harrow has to be able to shoot the three with consistency for spacing.

    Goodwin will get to the freethrow line a ton.

    Pg- harrow 6-0
    Sg Goodwin 6-5
    SF Poythress 6-8
    C- Noel 6-10
    PF Wiltjer 6-9 Cauley at 6-11 could spell the PF and center spots. Cauley is no eloy but he played wide receiver and has softer hands than Noel. He is being way undersold as a project.

    What will Hood bring? Can he give us two threes a game? We need more three options than just Wiltjer and harrow.

    What will Beckham bring?

    Polson? Can he spell the guards for short bursts?

    Jefferson looks ok.
    Graham looks ok.
    Hays might be good for a year.

    This season rests on Wiltjers improvement on defense and foot speed and Noel’s offensive improvement. both are capable of 15-20 points a night. Same with Poythress.

    This is your team. I like it.

  23. Wolfcat
    7:04 am May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Graham wasn’t overlooked by NCSU. He verbaled there twice. The first time he had second thoughts. The second time the school told him to hold off due to his academic situation. He might still want to go there for that matter but seems to be being held at bay by both UK and NCSU at this point until he qualifies.

  24. Appalachianassassin
    9:06 am May 8, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah what about Devonta Pollard? Or even a guy like Anthony January? There are still some PFs out there…..

  25. MemphisCat
    11:29 am May 8, 2012 Permalink

    I trust Cal will complete our roster, if he doesn’t bring anyone else in, it tells me that he is saving them for 2013 and doesn’t want to recruit players to fill the roster that might take away a scholarship from a prime-time player that might be a one and done that Cal likes to recruit. I really don’t know who is going to be a lock to leave next year, maybe Poythress, Goodwin, Noel?