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Kerry Blackshear on why he chose Florida over Kentucky

Kerry Blackshear committing to Florida was one of the biggest stories of the summer, in part because we heard basically nothing from the Virginia Tech grad transfer’s camp during the process. Today at SEC Basketball Media Day, Blackshear — who was just voted SEC Preseason Player of the Year — opened up about the decision.

“I think the culture, the group of people that were there,” Blackshear said of why he picked the Gators. “The opportunity to play with a really good team was really enticing to me and I just built a relationship with my teammates now. During the recruiting process, I felt like they really brought me along and made me a part of their team.”

“Heavily,” Blackshear said of how much he considered going to Kentucky. “Heavily, heavily. They’re an elite program. Good coaching staff. Really great team. Great culture. Something that I really thought about.”

What was John Calipari’s pitch to the top grad transfer in the country?

“[They were] just were encouraging me, telling me that this opportunity would be life-changing and that was something I heavily considered.”

Blackshear, an Orlando native, considered five schools — Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Virginia Tech — but ultimately went with the Gators because they pursued him the hardest.

“Just my teammates, really. I talked to each one of them. They really wanted me to come. I really wanted to play with these guys because just the energy they gave me, just from a conversation on the phone, on Twitter, on Instagram, they all hit me up so I was excited.”

“I thought that I added to what they already had and I thought it was really a hand-in-glove fit,” he added.

Kentucky will face Blackshear and Florida on February 22 in Lexington and on March 7 in Gainesville.

 

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.

32 Comments for Kerry Blackshear on why he chose Florida over Kentucky



  1. Trueblue44
    1:38 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    Sounds like it was who begged the most won, Good luck young man



  2. VirginiaCat
    2:11 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    I truly believe that Blackshear would have taken us from an Elite Eight team to a national championship caliber team. His recruitment was that important. His visit to Lexington was extremely brief, with Cal leaving town early for the NBA draft. I don’t know if that influenced his decision, but it couldn’t have helped. Florida clearly recruited him harder and better than us and that should never happen for such a pivotal recruit.



    • ClutchCargo
      2:19 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Please. None of us have any idea what was said or done by the UF or UK staffs. And Cal always goes to the draft to support his guys. Do you want players who don’t really want to be here?



    • Bluehender
      2:20 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Well we’ll just have to do it without him.



    • Newtype
      2:26 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      He also said he wanted to play closer to his hometown so there goes that theory of yours.



    • BobbyBlue
      2:34 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Negative much VC ?
      No doubt the proximity ( one hour) from his home was a big factor had nothing to do with the Gayturds recruiting him hardener



    • RealCatsFan
      2:40 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      How do you know it was UK’s decision for him to visit on draft day? Maybe it was his. In which case, I would not expect Cal to abandon his players on the biggest night of their lives for a recruit who might play for us.



    • mashburnfan1
      3:47 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Bobbyblue Orlando to G’ville is a 2 hour drive with light traffic but still a heck of a lot closer than Lex to G’ville.



    • Skooms
      6:25 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      WTF Mash?!? There was nothing negative in that comment whatsoever! Lol just messing with ya buddy.



  3. 4evrUKBlue
    2:23 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    I call BS. I think he chose Florida because of playing time. I never question Cal’s recruiting process and I guarantee you if Blackshear was invited to the draft he would’ve liked for Cal to be there. Cal wants the ones who really want to be here and I guess Blackshear didn’t really want to be here.



  4. Newtype
    2:25 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    This dude again? Yawn



  5. Headhurts
    2:37 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    Life’s about the decisions we make along the way, when we’re playing for a title and Kerry’s watching on tv he will have a chance to reflect on that decision.



  6. Tits_Magee
    2:37 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    This kid would have been a great addition to bolster the front court. Kid pokes on em with authority on dunks and is a bull in the paint. At least gives UK some good SEC East Competition. Good luck to the young man



  7. cmgormanjr1
    2:51 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    I’ll say it again. Why does KSR spend so much time or better yet, why do they spend ANY time on players that choose to go to another program? KSR especially focuses on the players that say it came down to only Kentucky and the school of their choice. Please KSR, quit wasting ink on these articles. Who cares!!!!!



    • nocode96
      3:04 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      You, apparently.



  8. cmgormanjr1
    3:00 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    I wish KSR would quit writing articles on players that don’t choose Kentucky for football or especially basketball. For too long they write about the ones that UK almost got and how close UK came.
    Please KSR- STOP.
    Who cares??!!!!’



    • 4evrUKBlue
      3:12 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Give me your address and I will rescue you from the person holding the gun to your head forcing you to click on articles that piss you off so much.



    • mashman 93
      6:57 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      This ^^^^^^



    • cmgormanjr1
      8:23 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Hey 4everblueballs, quit your rambling



    • JASUN74
      7:51 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Really?? Get the hell over it kid!! If you see something you don’t want to read, DONT FRICKIN READ IT!! Also, Quit your Crying!! This goes for all the little Cry babies on here!! It’s your choice to read or not!!



    • 4evrUKBlue
      9:31 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Is the boogie man still there and holding a .45 to your head? Call 911 you poor little boy Hahahahahaha!



  9. bpisforuk
    3:38 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    Makes sense that if the players he talked to during visits or after effected his decision since Kentucky’s were at the draft or home w their families. The incoming recruits probably reached out but no high schooler is going to beg a grad transfer to join them.



  10. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    3:59 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    I could go to the school that I know would advance my career or I could go to a school where a bunch of half grown men made me feel special…uhm Blackshear is there something you need to get out to live your best life?



  11. kentuckybackupplayer
    4:47 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    Heck I do not miss having him, I like the grad transfer we got better. It’s not like Blackshear was a juggernaut that dominated college basketball. We will be in much better shape with the stretch four we got now.



    • RVaCat
      6:49 am October 17, 2019 Permalink

      A juggernaut like EJ or Nick will be? I saw this guy play several times (live in ACC country). He would have killed it at UK. I can see the current guys being cool to bringing him in. But he obviously doesn’t have the confidence to jump into the Big Blue pool. We will have at least 2 chances to see how they match up.



    • 4evrUKBlue
      9:02 am October 17, 2019 Permalink

      If he’d wanted to be here bad enough, he would be here. Cal only wants the players who really want to be here and I’m good with that, in Cal I trust.



  12. JPhelps
    4:52 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t believe him. That’s his PC answer. He wanted to go to a fringe championship contender and be the star. With what Florida returns, they’ll be there in the tournament. I don’t think they win it still, but he gives them a chance with the right kind of draw. Basically, they never get close without him, this will get them in the 20 or so teams who could.

    But he wanted to be a star. Or THE star close to home. And he will be.



  13. Skooms
    6:21 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    Just how “well” do you guys think he was received when he visited? I don’t mean by the staff, but the players. Especially Nick and EJ. Florida REALLY needed some front court talent. Blackshear may have been great here, but at the same time, he could have inadvertently caused some locker room issues due to animosity. Add that to Florida truly needing him and giving him a campus only a few hours away from home, and it’s probably a no brainer. I could also be completely wrong though.



    • 4evrUKBlue
      6:38 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

      Sounds plausible to me.



  14. JASUN74
    8:01 pm October 16, 2019 Permalink

    He would’ve 100% helped us be a better team this year, but I like our team and believe we still have a great chance to win a championship. He’s a good fit for Florida’s team also and they’ll be tough on both sides of the floor this year. He’s a good player no doubt, but Kentucky has a roster full of great players and I wouldn’t trade anyone of our guys for him or anyone else. Let’s go Big Blue!!

    It’s going to be a fun year and I feel like we’re being overlooked a little bit from years past. We’ll see if that’s a good thing or not, I do like the guys to play with a little chip on their shoulders though.