Before we get into Part III, I’d like to include a personal thought from a couple seasons ago. Back when UK fans believed that Gillispie would be the savior of UK basketball, 2010 was eyed as his year to fully turn this team into “his players.” Partly because of an early commitment from then-top-10 prospect Dominique Ferguson and also because of the volume of scholarships that would be available that year, this year seemed to be the perfect time for him to recruit the future of UK basketball. Times have changed and if you haven’t noticed, they’re looking to be a little ahead of schedule. Calipari has performed far beyond even UK fans’ wildest expectations, bringing in what will probably be the best recruiting class of all time with his loaded 2009 haul. However, 2010 will be just as important as the staff keeps the momentum rolling and starts to mold the roster into “their players.”
Keep that in mind as we get our final look at this year’s Big Blue Madness visitors. Although the results don’t always show up on paper, Madness visitors tend to get fans excited because it gives them the opportunity to show recruits what UK’s atmosphere can provide, an opportunity that fans aren’t always afforded. With that said, here’s your final look at this year’s Madness visitors and your complete kit to getting all the info you need to “talk shop” during this coming weekend:
Tobias Harris (2010 forward)
Personally, I like to think of Tobias as the 50 cent of high school basketball. This kid is going to get to the NBA or die tryin’. That alone sold me when I thought through my placement of “Which Prospect Should Be #1 on UK’s List” and I chose this kid. Although he was always viewed as a nice looking prospect, Tobias has seen his stock go on a meteoric rise which eventually landed him in the top 10 overall for his class. His father is a former NBA agent and former basketball player (even playing in the Bluegrass for awhile with Murray State). Their family eats, sleeps and drinks basketball. Combine that drive and love for the game with how well Tobias’ game would fit into Calipari’s dribble drive motion offense and you can see how easy accepting this kid would be for the Big Blue Nation. Tobias says that he is personally looking forward to how the team is shaping up but is also looking to just have a great time while on campus. That wish should be easily granted during what will probably be the biggest party Lexington has hosted in quite awhile. Check out Tobias spot on this year’s ESPN coverage of the Elite 24 and tell me you don’t fall in love:
CJ Leslie (2010 forward)
Despite rumors to the contrary, CJ Leslie is fully expecting to arrive in Lexington late this afternoon. Leslie is also thought to be a Kentucky lean and his close relationship to former AAU and high school running mate John Wall might have a lot to do with that. He fits the mold of lengthy athletic players that Calipari tends to like and having him at Madness probably paints the complete picture that you need in order to figure out that most would be highly surprised if he ends up anywhere but the Bluegrass. Also, with his quick wit, CJ holds the potential to be next year’s “Big Cuz” quote machine. His humorous side off the court quickly turns into a fierce competitor and vocal leader on the court though. If he ends up wearing the Blue and White, he’ll be a fan favorite both on the hardwood and behind the mic. Matt’s gonna love this kid. You want the swagger back in Blue & White? Here’s the man to do it:
Getting to Know Your Madness Visitors:
– Our first tentative list of Madness visitors, which gives more info on the ridiculous amount of sheer basketball talent that will be in attendance tonight.
– Evan Daniels’ Live Blog, where he gives his personal thoughts on UK’s 2010 recruiting efforts and Madness visitors.
Where the rest are:
– Sadly, 2011 top prospect Quincy Miller will not be able to make it Madness tonight. Evan Daniels received this rather bad news from Quincy earlier this morning and, via Twitter, Evan relayed the following quote from Miller on his inability to make it tonight: “I couldn’t go due to some personal problems.” Catch ya next year Quincy.
– Terrence Jones is scheduled to visit Washington for their Midnight Madness
– Josh Selby has already arrived in Lawrence for his visit to Kansas’ Late Nite in the Phog. That visit was first reported by Kansas’ ESPN affiliate TheShiver.com. Selby has not yet taken his placement test, so his visits shall remain unofficial until such time that he has completed that requirement.
– Doron Lamb will also be in Lawrence this weekend
– Adreian Payne is scheduled to be in West Virginia for Huggy Bear’s Midnight Madness festivities
– Jelan Kendrick will be in Memphis with Yo Gotti (please someone tell me who this is) and Allen Iverson
– Brandon Knight reneged on an earlier commitment to be at Kansas’ Madness because of a school function that he would rather attend
– Although Stacey Poole was trying his best to be at Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness this year, he doesn’t plan on being in attendance. Don’t worry though, his commitment to Kentucky is still as strong as ever and he still plans on signing with the Cats in the fall.