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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Welcome to the family.

John Calipari has his first commitment from the 2013 class.

Derek Willis, the 6-foot-8 power forward from Bullitt East High School, just chose Kentucky over Purdue, Indiana and Louisville. Willis said he liked all four schools, but in the end it came down to the Cats and the Boilermakers, and UK won out.

Despite growing up in a family of Louisville Cardinals fans, Willis said Kentucky is the right fit and the best option for his game.

Welcome to #BBN, Derek.

You’re going to love it here.

———————–

And he’s trending…

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

81 Comments for Welcome to the family.



  1. Andrew
    4:07 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Good pickup. In-state kid, solid all around game, young, still has time to mature and get stronger/thicker. Go Cats.



  2. Andrew
    4:08 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone know how he compares to Wiltjer?



  3. Jax Teller
    4:08 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Damn it feels good to be a gangsta



  4. My other brother Darrel
    4:08 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I will support this kid with all my heart let’s do it!!! Go big blue!



  5. Joe Big Blue
    4:08 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    He didn’t seem very happy or excited about it…



  6. Dougie
    4:10 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Atta boy Derek! Welcome to BBN.



  7. TomahawkTalkin
    4:10 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    He looked really nervous, like he was about to throw up.



  8. Another Perspective
    4:10 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    While it is great to triumph over evil (UL) again, I worry that he’s Jon Hood V.2. Can’t wait to hear Loserville fans bitch!



  9. TeamHung
    4:10 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I hope he undergoes a transformation in the next year because I’ve seen him play multiple times and have yet to be impressed. He should dominate the games he plays in but he just doesnt seem to have the desire you would like to see in a big man. He doesn’t seem to want to take over the game and dominate his opponents. Maybe he will develop that Demarcus Cousins like killer instinct. At this point the only positive is that it helps to finish off Pitino.



  10. catcrawler
    4:10 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Super!! Welcome to BBN



  11. bigcat#12
    4:10 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome Derek. Doesn’t he look a little like Josh Carrier.



  12. Tomcat'n around
    4:11 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Rick, that didn’t take long!!



  13. DA
    4:11 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    He may not be a superstar, but if he could turn out similar to Scott Padgett that would be a great pickup.



  14. jon
    4:11 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    2… He is tall and white



  15. Nancy Pelosi has 4 eyebrows
    4:11 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to BBN Derek Willis! Great choice!



  16. uktrackgeezer
    4:11 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    5. That’s just his personality, one assumes.
    You know, he has the look and feel of a BCG recruit to me.
    BUT, he does have a lot of upside, he’s a native son and, most importantly, if Cal wants him, we all want him.
    Welcome young man,see you at the Craft Center very soon.
    GO DEREK, GO CATS!



  17. TeamHung
    4:12 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #8 UL fans have been dogging him all week that hes “not that good” or “Not good enough to play at UL” I fear he’s going to be Lukasz Orbzut 2.0 or Eloy 2.0



  18. Calipari'sInYourEar
    4:12 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Rick Pitino is getting it done folks!

    Don’t hate of him anymore… he’s simply giving Kentucky exactly what it wanted. A UL program that is overrated and underperforms, yet can’t seem to fire him since he’s Rick friggin Pitino. He’s realized the Big Blue is what his heart is so he’s ensuring we dominate the little brother in all aspects of the game. Internal sabotage while getting contract extensions and raises.

    He could go out and start banging random diry legs on restaurant tables and not get fired.

    Oh wait…



  19. theoledog
    4:13 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Boy… that CL Brown guy really did screw RP… Oh wait…Rick knew it two weeks ago he wasn’t picking UofL.



  20. ??
    4:13 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    what is a boilersmakers ?



  21. Al's IndiCats
    4:13 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    13, I was thinking the same exact thing!!!! Welcome to the BBN family Derek!!!!!!



  22. The Macarena
    4:14 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Rick, 1996 called, they found your recruiting ability, and they’ll trade you straight up for one of those sweet white suits.



  23. Sheray thomas's vertical
    4:16 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Solid 3 or 4 yr player. Gonna rise the pine behind randle and noel.



  24. ngoins30
    4:17 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Anybody know his rankings? (Espn and Rival)



  25. BobTinKY
    4:17 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Top 30 prospect from the Commonwealth. Chooses us over two of our biggest rivals… and some are dogging the kid. Geez. Welcome aboard DEREK!!!! Can’t wait to see you in the Blue and White!!!!



  26. jaws2
    4:18 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    If Cal says yes, I’m good with it. Welcome to BBN son !!



  27. Doubting Thomas
    4:18 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Another Ky kid with a lot of potential. Strong and is only 16 and a junior, wait until he graduates and joins the Cats. I appreciate Coach Call pulling the trigger on one of our own. He will be a contributor and has potential to become a star. GO CATS!!!!



  28. Cat's Balls
    4:19 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink


  29. Nerdo
    4:20 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    He’s trending ahead of Etta James. Even DYING can’t get you above the Cats! Yeah!



  30. Raazoul
    4:20 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    WTF is wrong with some of you rejects? How can you be down on the kid already? He’s a junior in High School, who is big, can shoot and has post moves. Every player can’t be John Wall but who cares! Before you say something about a Calipari recruit, tell yourself “I’m an idiot on a computer, I know nothing about basketball talent, and the BEST RECRUITER in America recruited him and offered him a scholarship”



  31. Billy Clyde Mecke
    4:20 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    For those coming to Rupp tomorrow, ice is expected around here. Plan accordingly.



  32. cracka
    4:21 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    he just started his junior year!!! looks pretty good to me! he has a ton of time to get stronger and better … he may end up being a 5* before hs is over, but who cares, we need some 4* guys in the mix to stay here and play multiple years. it’s good to have these guys like liggins, miller, jorts, etc. to play with the top guys cal brings in, better to have those guys than polson, malone, long, etc.



  33. DavenderCatTheSequel
    4:21 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    So Calipari gets the one & dones (whine). He also gets the best player in the state (more whining). That kid also happens to be the proverbial 4-year player (extreme whining).



  34. Nerdo
    4:21 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    You gotta have some 3 and 4 year guys who can contribute in a significant way, and Willis is exactly in that mold.



  35. BBNUKBLUE
    4:21 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    @ 8 and 17, Willis, in case you didn’t hear, is a POWER forward, not a 2/3 like Hood and not a post player like Wu and Eloy. I would imagine he’ll be a lot like Scott Padgett or maybe he’ll define his own game. He’ll only improve and be a top 20 guy as a senior.



  36. UKBlue
    4:23 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t get some of you people. Hasn’t the one critisism been that we need to mix in a few good long-term players with the 5*s?? We don’t want to lose our whole team every year. Trust Cal!



  37. Me
    4:25 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

    louisville, first. Is that what they say?



  38. EyewearMan
    4:25 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Saw him during the King of the Bluegrass & he reminds a lot of Padgett. He can shoot it with Range, has good hands, and can handle the ball also. He will not be a star as a freshman, but will contribute a lot before he leaves UK. Good pickup for the CATS! Go Big Blue!



  39. Eric K
    4:26 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    IN CAL we TRUST!! GO CATS!!



  40. bung
    4:27 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    this is great!!!



  41. kyrobman
    4:28 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Some funny crap from card fans.

    If you wanna laugh go read.
    http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=17&f=2755&t=8598500



  42. Genoscats
    4:28 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Glad too have the young man!! GO BIG BLUE!!!



  43. Rixter
    4:28 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    BKG wasn’t (and isn’t) signing too many Top 25 recruits.



  44. Rixter
    4:31 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Even if the kid was the next Jon Hood, as long as Louisville wanted him and we got him, all is well……



  45. MIKE
    4:32 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    what makes him any different from the previous 4 star recruits UK has had? i don’t understand why he would contribute any more than twanny hood or stacey poole ever did? when u have a team full of one and dones these four year players never develop to be true four year players



  46. Another Perspective
    4:35 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah. What Mike (#45) said.



  47. workingman
    4:35 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    His game looks more like Miller, a highly ranked Kentucky boy.



  48. Another Perspective
    4:37 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    We’ll see. Hell, I hope he’s a phenom. And I’m glad Rick took another direct hit.



  49. jc
    4:38 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #46 – Hood was recruited by Billy G. and allowed to stay by Cal



  50. Me
    4:39 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I caught all kinds of hell on here for saying I wasn’t “satisfied” with #1 recruiting classes and sending multipal guys to the draft each year – I want a Championship.

    BUT, damn, some of you guys are giving this KID hell for being a 4* Junior. Cal wanted him, that should be enough for us.

    ps. I’m sure 95% of you would give your left nut if you or your kid could be a 4* basketball player! Hell, you’d probably give up the right one too if Cal wanted you / your kid…



  51. the anti-cat
    4:40 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I hear he makes jon hood look like lebron.



  52. Yet Another Perspective
    4:42 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    How about we wait to criticize Cal’s four year players at UK until he’s actually, I don’t know, been here four years? Jon Hood was a Clyde recruit, btw.

    30 – your post should be a sticky that appears in the #1 slot of every single comment section. Seriously, how can people criticize Cal’s judgement of talent at this point?



  53. salyersville man
    4:44 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    #46 Hood was NOT a Cal recruit. Hood was recruited by BCG and arrived when CAl go there along with Orton. Shows you have no clue.



  54. Ryan
    4:44 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Look at what Cal did for Jorts. If he can take Jorts’ game to the next level, anything is possible with this kid.



  55. gottodoit
    4:45 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome Mr. Willis. That’s all there is to it.



  56. jred
    4:48 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    would rather have Chris Walker!!!



  57. WILD
    4:48 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Dang the way you all are acting your going to run the kid off. YOu would be stupid not to pick this kid up! I promise cal isnt going to get him just to ride the bench. As far as comparing him to Hood and Poole isnt fair because Poole left and Hood got hurt so we dont Know there outcomes. Cant wait to see him play in the blue and white!



  58. Evan
    4:49 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Jon Hood has only played 2 years and didn’t even get a chance..he will be playing a lot more the next 2 years



  59. ChargerCat
    4:50 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    As an alum of both Bullitt East and UK, I couldn’t be happier. Thank god he didn’t go Red.



  60. Another Perspective
    4:50 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Cal cleaned house when he came to town and Hood said he was “waiting to see” how things shook out. Cal very easily could have revoked his scholly. But he didn’t.



  61. John S!
    4:50 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Hey all you haters out there! Kentucky is a dynasty! UL you have nothing. You beat Ky once every 5 years….we own you.. We own the state…im sure we own the YUMCENTER as well if you read the paperwork. We have all americans from all over begging to come here! Get over it! YOur negative and your players xrays are postive! So cats all the way! and everyone knows how good we are and how good we are going to be! WILLIS! glad you signed..youll be another padgett! you made a smart move!

    Cards fans..go back to bingo!



  62. Scootrsm
    4:50 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Derek doesn’t have to dominate and take over games because the team doesnt need him too. He has a good team around him and anyone can go for 20+ every night.



  63. Yet Another Perspective
    4:52 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    55 – exactly. You made a Josh Harrellson reference with post #55. You get a free pair of jean shorts. I think.

    Welcome to BBN, Derek.



  64. John S!
    4:52 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    as a Spencer Co BEars Alum…very proud of this kid! Couldnt be more happier.



  65. Jeff Shephard
    4:56 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    It was as important to steal him from the schools in our TV market as it was to get him. Game Changer Willis.



  66. Eric McKendrick
    4:59 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    The kid is a kid. Why can’t we all just wait and see. Everyone is an expert in this comments section. When truly no one knows how this kid is going to turn out.



  67. ukupay1
    5:11 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    DW has so much time now to work on his game, he is 6 8″ and athletic. He will be able to workout with some of the best during summer and get advice on what he needs to accomplish over the next 20months…20 months is a very long time and I believe he will be a very good player amongst the best..I like what he has already and can’t wait to see how he develops. Congrats on choosing the Cats and welcome aboard.



  68. George
    5:19 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I recall these same negative comments about Scott Padgett. I would say he did OK!
    Same type of player. It will take time to be a contributor but he will be a major contributor by the time he is a jr. There is no pressure on him to come in and play as a fr. Cal will give him time to develope.



  69. Jimtown Catfan
    5:20 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I have to admit, I wasnt on board with Willis. I really have only seen him on the internet, clips at that. So it really wasnt fair to make a snap judgement on the talent of young Mr. Willis. After some hindsight, I feel foolish for doubting Coach Cal. He knows what he is doing recruiting wise. Coach Cal knows talent when he sees it, so who am I to doubt him? I have to realize he is the best evaluator of talent in college basketball.
    So welcome to BBN Derek!!! I am sorry for doubting you. Work hard the next year. Get yourself physically and mentally prepared to play for the most tradition rich program in all of college basketball. I look forward to seeing wearing the blue in 2013.

    Cards……. Eat it!!!



  70. sunnycat
    5:25 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    22. LMMFAO good one



  71. Enes Kanter
    5:28 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone think he looks like my little brother???



  72. Dennis Weaver
    5:32 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Any latest info on Nerlens Noel? Would love to land this kid in Lexington.



  73. Blueburg
    5:46 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Cal gets it but some of you never will. Welcome Derrick, glad to have you on board!



  74. zdad
    6:14 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    FYI The newest ‘Cat commit and his Bullitt East squad will be playing against Rowan Co and Adam Wing on Saturday at the Montgomery Co. tourney in Mt. Sterling at 5:30 if you would like to check him out in person.



  75. flipisatrip
    6:25 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    doesnt appear that talented to me… transfers after his sophomore year.



  76. Kyle
    6:45 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    HUGE!!!! I did not see him coming to UK after the comments in teh summer. Great player with huge upside in the DD. He will pull the bigs out to cover threes and has a Padget type game that we love in KY. Congrats to Derek and we look forward to you killing it Rupp and the NBA.



  77. Kyle
    6:45 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I wish teh trolls would go back the the L boards and quit fake posting on here!



  78. coco
    7:20 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    class 2013
    1-harrison
    2-harrison
    3-parker or troywilliams
    4-radle
    5-noel

    6-derek willis



  79. ShelbyCatFan
    7:45 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to the greatest program in the country!!! Can’t wait to see the kid develope!!



  80. Troy Barr
    8:39 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    My student went to UK, and all I got was this stupid Tshirt. And season tickets. And a new razor for my shiny head.



  81. Jenny Craig Pitino
    9:35 pm January 20, 2012 Permalink

    I trust Coach Cal and rivals for their talent evaluation over some of the wannabe talent evaluaters that want to act like they know more then Cal about basketball players. Some people said that MKG was not that good, the next Eric Daniels (don’t threating to quit KSR Matt because I brought this up), now they say he is great. Please give it a rest and trust Coach Cal to pick his players.