It was quite an exciting day around the UK world as news came from all angles…Jeremy Cox interviewed at South Florida, Pitino hired Ralph Willard and rumors of Billy Clyde to USC danced in everyone’s head. Well actually that doesnt sound very exciting, but its the best we can do. At the end of the day however, the Frosted One and Matt May of TCP both reported that their sources say that Matt Pilgrim and Kevin Galloway will both not be returning to UK next season. The news is not necessarily a surprise but represents the end of the line for two kids whose careers at UK both had a great deal of promise.
In Galloway’s case, he came in with a great deal of hype from Junior College and at times looked like a potential answer at point guard. He had a great game against Florida in Rupp Arena that was considered his breakout performance and in his limited action, often showed promise. However he never seemed to be on the same page as his head coach and was never able to get consistent minutes to help the team. Then when John Calipari joined the team, there looked to be some potential for Kevin, but the signings of both John Wall and Eric Bledsoe meant that there really would only be playing time for one other “point guard” on the roster. For Galloway, his college journey continues and if he decides to use his eligibility to play one year somewhere else, it will be his fourth school. He does have a great deal of talent and my guess is that he will find some place to showcase it if he is interested in playing for another year.
Matt Pilgrim may have been one of the more intriguing UK roster additions in a number of years. Hyped on the basis of internet reports and pickup game performances, Pilgrim had a cult following like almost no other player in recent years. If I had a dollar for every time I heard him referred to as a “beast”, I could bailout the local newspapers in a few years. However other issues plagued Pilgrim as well and in the end, he was not able to have a chance to play for UK. I liked Matt personally and found him to be a very engaging personality on the team. Patrick Patterson often credited him for toughing Pat up in practice and I am sure he will find a home for his skills soon. My hope is that the NCAA grants the guy a waiver so he doesnt have to sit out a year and allows him the chance to get back on the court next season somewhere.
While it is disappointing to see both guys no longer with the team, it does set the 2009-2010 Roster for next season. Calipari met with the remaining guys (Stevenson, Harris, etc) upon his return from China to let them know they were part of the plans for next season and at this point, the grouping is essentially set:
Add to that the presumed walk-ons (at this point Mark Krebs and Dwight Perry) and you have your 2010 team. Of course there is still the little matter of Jodie Meeks deciding finally on whether to return. Some have speculated the decision could come as early as today, but the individual I spoke with on Tuesday didnt expect a decision until the weekend. Either way, it has to come by Monday and then the final group to go for the title will be complete. If Jodie does not return, there will be one scholarship open, but I have heard no plans to fill it this year and from every indication, the UK staff is still hoping that Meeks joins the roster again.
I look at that roster and see an unbelievable amount of talent. Every player besides one (our favorite the Razor) is a Top 100 kid coming out of high school. All except three are Top 50 kids. Depending on the rankings you use, you could have six that are considered Top 25, one of which is not Jodie Meeks. It really blows your mind and makes you realize how special the assemblage of players can be next year. One hates to get too excited too early…but this will be either the first or second most talented team in America…if that doesnt get you excited, nothing will.
More all day as we build toward the BTI live blog tonight at 7:30PM….can you feel it?