Ask and ye shall receive. For months now, Kentucky fans have wondered who the next Kentucky Wildcat commitment would be and now we know 6’7″ 200 pound, PG/SF Kevin Galloway from a Junior College in Idaho. Galloway is a playmaker, but more in the mold of a pass-first type, a la Derrick Jasper and with the possibility that DeAndre Liggins might not qualify (still an under-the-radar concern), his importance next year may grow. He played for a team in Idaho that put up huge numbers of points, but was more of a set-up man, averaging only 8 himself. But he is long and super athletic, with one person who has seen him telling me “he will dazzle you with the space he can cover.” His defense and rebounding are a strength and he is a hard worker according to his JUCO coaches. He told Jeff Drummond at TCP that he actually committed to UK a month ago after interest from Tennessee, Memphis and Oklahoma State. Out of high school he committed to USC before heading off to Junior College. I havent seen him play (and for the record, I dont think anyone around here has), so all we can do is take the coaches’ word on this one….easier because Gillispie has a pretty good track record worth of trust. I do still worry that UK doesnt have a scorer yet, but Gillispie has been holding onto this commitment for a month and said tonight he is still actively seeking a scoring guard….so one may still be coming. As for big men….well Mark “Every Night is Senior Night” Coury may be running the recruits off. In all seriousness however, this is a good get for the Cats and follows a pattern….Gillispie obviously likes long, athletic guys who can guard people….a recipe for success in his system. Galloway is the latest to fit in that mold.
In other news….
UK MEDIA DAY — Just in time for the postseason, Billy Gillispie hit the national media scene today with appearances on Mike and Mike and PTI. You can catch the latter appearance a few posts below, as both turned out fairly well. On PTI, Gillispie looked comfortable, played up the effort of his players and generally did a good job (although he could smile a BIT less if possible). But what was important (and what UK Media Relations does a good job with) is getting Gillispie out in public just as the interest level in college basketball rises….aka during March. Billy Clyde was out promoting the fact that Kentucky basketball is still relevant. While it isnt likely the case that either of these appearances was watched by tons of young people, the perception that they bring is one that Kentucky has “buzz” and that perception IS VERY MUCH watched by recruits. You have to like what you saw today from Billy Clyde as he continues to fit more and more comfortably into the UK head coach chair.
SAN DIEGO WINS — The only group of people that may have had a worse day than Elliott Spitzer today are the bubble teams as San Diego won the WCC Tournament while South Alabama fell in the Sun Belt. The former result is a mixed bag for the Cats, as now the San Diego loss at home isnt QUITE so bad, but another bubble spot has been taken away as Gonzaga is surely in the tournament. The South Alabama loss opens up the tournament for Western Kentucky to get in, but the fact that South Alabama is likely in means yet another bubble spot is taken. A couple of upsets taking away bubble spots is ok….but the trend needs to stop….another four or five in the major tournaments and Kentucky could be in jeopardy again if they fall to Ole Miss. Certainly that is a pessimist view, but you want to make sure and cover your bases. But what has happened tonight is that the San Diego loss may no longer be looked upon as one of epic proportions and the Cats RPI will likely improve….if only slightly.
SEC TOURNAMENT — As a long-time attendee of the SEC Tournament (my Top 20 moments of the last 20 years comes tomorrow), I am always excited for the big event. Due to the last couple of weeks however, I am noticing a huge buzz around the weekend in Atlanta forming for Cats fans. People who never head to Cat-lanta are now planning on going and I get the feeling the “Sea of Blue” will be back around the Georgia Dome. The Cats have a draw that puts them last on the court….one I kind of like due to the fact that it gives my friends and I a chance to have some non-pressure absurdity before it begins. We have A LOT of stuff planned for the SEC Tournament blog, including a lot of new features and interviews that we have never had before. Plus we will be doing multiple podcasts from the event, so make sure and check it out. We shift tomorrow to SEC Tournament mode with lots coming….the Top 20 list, the Intern’s SEC Tourney preview and our blog moving its way in on Thursday…be ready as it is the best time of the year around these parts.
More throughout the day as Cats fans welcome Kevin Galloway to the fold….