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Breaking down the candidates for Kerry Blackshear Jr.

© Geoff Burke | USATSI

© Geoff Burke | USATSI

At some point this week, Kerry Blackshear Jr. is expected to visit Kentucky. The top grad transfer on the market has already taken an unofficial visit to Florida, an official visit to Arkansas, and is scheduled to officially visit Tennessee on Friday. Texas A&M and Michigan State are also reportedly in the running, as is a return to Virginia Tech.

Because there are only so many times I can search Twitter for updates on Blackshear’s recruitment, I thought I’d spend some time tonight breaking down the other candidates to prove why Kentucky is the superior choice.

Florida

Pros:

  • Close to his hometown of Orlando, Florida
  • The Gators return starting point guard Andrew Nembhard, who withdrew his name from the NBA Draft
  • Impressive recruiting class coming in, including five-star small forward Scottie Lewis, four-star point guard Tre Mann, and four-star center Omar Payne

Cons:

  • Will be very young after losing KeVaughn Allen, Jalen Hudson, Kevarrius Hayes, and Keith Stone
  • Gainesville has one of the highest crime rates in America, with almost 1,000 violent crimes committed every year. Its residents have a 1 in 134 chance of being a victim of a violent crime, and a 1 in 26 chance of being a victim of a property crime; in fact, Gainesville is only safer than 7% of cities in America.
  • From May to November, Gainesville is one of the muggiest cities in America, with “oppressive” and “miserable” conditions at least 27% of the time. On that note…
  • Gainesville is located in central Florida, which means the closest nice beach is an hour and a half away.
  • The food sucks. “The only negative I have to say about UF is concerning the food,” one student wrote on RateMyProfessors.com. “It’s bad. The Dining Halls only serve a small variety of food, all of which has no flavour. The staff aren’t that cooperative apart from the odd few. The worst thing however is the hours that food is served, lunch starts at 10:30?!?!?”

Photo: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas

Pros:

  • Storied history
  • Passionate fanbase
  • Wal-Mart money
  • Blackshear could fill the void left by Daniel Gafford, who is off to the NBA Draft
  • Mike Anderson is finally gone

Cons:

  • Rebuilding year, with a new head coach and five transfers (three eligible immediately) already coming in
  • Eric Musselman looks like he’d rather be the baseball coach than the basketball coach:

  • Arkansas was the worst rebounding team in the SEC last season.
  • Woo Pig Sooie is creepy:

Or is it awesome? I can never tell.


Tennessee

Pros:

  • Coming off one of the best seasons in program history
  • Rick Barnes is one of the best coaches in the country
  • Plenty of minutes in the middle with Grant Williams and Kyle Alexander gone

Cons:

  • Tennessee doesn’t actually have a scholarship open right now. Oregon transfer Victor Bailey committed to Tennessee on June 1, taking the 13th and final scholarship. The Vols also offered 2019 power forward Josaphat Bilau last week, so if he or Blackshear want to join the team, either somebody’s gotta give up a scholarships and be a walk-on or leave the program.
  • Four out of five starters are gone, including Jordan Bone, one of the best point guards in the SEC
  • All that talent and only made it to the Sweet 16
  • Unlike Virginia Tech, there’s no other color to offset that puke inside of a pumpkin orange
  • The fans know so little about basketball the Knoxville newspaper had to make a guide on the rules and how to cheer.

Michigan State

Pros:

  • The Spartans are considered the preseason No. 1 team in the country by most publications, with starting point guard/Big 10 Player of the Year Cassius Winston turning down the NBA Draft to come back for another season and Joshua Langord expected to return at full health
  • Big man Nick Ward is off to the NBA Draft, creating a possibility for minutes in the middle alongside Xavier Tillman
  • Tom Izzo is one of the best coaches in the country

Cons:


Texas A&M

Pros:

  • Former Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams is now the head coach
  • Kansas transfer Quentin Grimes is also considering the Aggies
  • Texas A&M is eligible for a foreign trip this year and will go to Costa Rica in August

Cons:

  • Far from home
  • Hot
  • Even if Blackshear goes there, they won’t be that good (Admon Gilder transferred to Gonzaga)
  • The Yell Leaders are creepy:


Photo: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech

Pros:

  • It’s been home for four years
  • Already taking summer classes to work on graduate degree

Cons:

  • Buzz Williams is now at Texas A&M
  • Rebuilding year, so chances of making a run in the NCAA Tournament aren’t great
  • It’s been home for four years, so why not try something new/try to win a title?

Kentucky

Pros:

  • 28 of them right now, actually (and three more on the way): Bam Adebayo, Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Hamidou Diallo, De’Aaron Fox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Isaac Humphries, Enes Kanter, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Brandon Knight, Kevin Knox, Skal Labissiere, Trey Lyles, Jodie Meeks, Darius Miller, Malik Monk, Jamal Murray, Nerlens Noel, Patrick Patterson, Alex Poythress, Julius Randle, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jarred Vanderbilt and John Wall
  • The winningest program in college basketball history
  • The most passionate and knowledgable fanbase in sports
  • A veteran frontcourt and backcourt, including one of the best returning point guards in the SEC in Ashton Hagans
  • Talented freshmen coming in
  • Hall of Fame coach John Calipari
  • Big man guru Kenny Payne
  • 20,000+ fans at every home game
  • Charter jets to get you back in your Tempur-pedic bed after every road game
  • The wings at KSBar

Cons:

  • The checkerboard uniforms (kidding, kidding)

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Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

13 Comments for Breaking down the candidates for Kerry Blackshear Jr.



  1. mashman 93
    9:15 pm June 11, 2019 Permalink

    We’ve had the checkerboard uniforms for three years(this version anyway) so maybe it’s time for a change.



  2. Fitz
    9:41 pm June 11, 2019 Permalink

    Compelling case for the Cats

  3. I’m no Arkansas fan, but I think the pig call is pretty awesome actually. That 90s rivalry with Nolan and Rick going at it was TOTALLY awesome!



    • GM1978
      10:57 pm June 11, 2019 Permalink

      The game @Ark used to be my favorite each year



  4. Smyrna_Cat
    10:51 pm June 11, 2019 Permalink

    Still can’t see him coming to UK.



  5. Biggie
    11:46 pm June 11, 2019 Permalink

    So, we have a power forward with Power 5 experience (sometimes dominant) and good intelligence who will certainly be successful at whatever he decides to do in life. This young man wants to be in the NBA but feedback so far says not yet. Sound familiar? There is no better place to either move higher or realize those aspirations are just set too high than UK. Some may say Reid did himself an injustice, I say he got himself a little closer to reality sooner while also helping our team get better. I want all of these young men to be successful, I also want #9…Go CATS!!!



    • TheMaxCat
      5:04 am June 12, 2019 Permalink

      Another positive that separates UK from the others is we are the only school on his list where he’ll get to practice against two other inside players that will also be in the NBA (Richards and Montgomery) and that daily competition will better prepare him for his goal of playing in the NBA and only enhance his game. He would get his minutes and become a better player while helping Kentucky move closer to hanging another banner.



    • KYCat4EVER
      6:17 am June 12, 2019 Permalink

      Nice point



    • satcheluk
      9:01 am June 12, 2019 Permalink

      ^this!



  6. ukkatzfan
    9:03 am June 12, 2019 Permalink

    TT must be old. Hot is not a negative for a 22 yo. Hot = bikinis and shorts on girls.



  7. bigblue2284
    11:20 am June 12, 2019 Permalink

    Just can’t get excited about another transfer, most have been underwhelming. Reid Travis was OK but not the impact player he was tabbed to be. Julius Mays was terrible. Most of these guys aren’t UK talent level and are not upgrades from the talent we already have.



  8. Catcasey1
    11:26 am June 12, 2019 Permalink

    If he’s not a NBA player after 4 years in the acc he will not be



  9. michaelb
    4:20 pm June 12, 2019 Permalink

    He’s got a lot of options…. I don’t see him coming here either .