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Rumors that Derek Willis weighing transfer options

(CoachCal.com)

According to a statement made on Twitter by Pat Forde, Kentucky freshman Derek Willis is weighing transfer options, “per multiple sources.” KSR has not confirmed these sources, so the accuracy of this report has not yet been determined. Willis didn’t see much action this year behind the likes of Julius Randle and Alex Poythress. With the bulk of Kentucky’s front court returning, and the addition of a few McDonald’s All-American’s in next year’s recruiting class, playing time could be hard to come by again. We’ll keep an eye on this one. Stay tuned…

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

91 Comments for Rumors that Derek Willis weighing transfer options



  1. J.A.
    9:26 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    going to go head and say we will not get another 6’10 white guy who can stroke it. We only saw willis a limited amount but its all i needed to see he’s 10x the player wiltjer was



    • Some people...
      10:32 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Haha! 6’10? Uh, no.



    • Carol
      2:49 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      I think he would be smart to transfer. I do not believe that Cal will use him much, and he needs to think about his career. I am a UK fan, but it does seem that white boys take a back seat. LOL…



    • Dee W.
      5:15 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Carol, that’s a nice try. You don’t wish for players we need to transfer away and make racial comments like that. The fact you need to qualify your comment by inserting the statement “I’m a UK fan, but” raises another red flag.

      Stay, Derek.



  2. Alldaycrisis
    9:27 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Why did this kid even come here? He knows Cal will ALWAYS over recruit positions. He will never see the floor while at UK. This is tnge same thing that would have happened to Miller if he can run under Cal as a freshman.



    • Cats Fan
      11:06 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Over-recruits???????????



    • Carol
      2:50 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      I think he came here with high hopes, but he didn’t get a fair shake, imo.



    • Dee W.
      5:52 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      I can’t really respond to this because I can’t figure out what it even means.



  3. Coal Miner
    9:27 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    So?????



  4. DT in DC
    9:27 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    I’d hate to see him go. I hope he considers redshirting and practicing every day against these guys then coming back the following year and being a great contributor.



    • Rixter
      9:35 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      That’s a great idea. It’s what Wiltjer should have done.



    • Sheeeeiiit
      9:45 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      This is true.



    • Carol
      2:55 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Gonzaga might need another good white player. 🙂



    • Deacon
      3:28 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Rixter, Wiltjer could have red shirted last year, but he would have no better chance sniffing the floor the coming year. Willis is a more athletic Wiltjer. Probably not as good a shot, but who knows because of small sample size.



  5. STOOPS TROOPS
    9:28 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Wish him good tho this is the eazy way out. Stay and compeet boy!



    • Haha
      9:42 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      How many spelling “compeetitions” have you won?



    • Oh
      9:56 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      My Lord…..



    • schwing
      12:36 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      this, friends, is a supporter of the football team.



  6. Barry
    9:30 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Can’t blame Willis and proud of him. He will never get on the court at uk. Hood should have done the same thing. In all honesty I’m surprised lee hasn’t considered transferring. He won’t get on the court next year at all.



    • Mark
      9:53 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Don’t agree with you on Lee. He will play!



    • Barry
      9:58 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Have you seen our front court? He will always be recruited over



    • Lest We Forget
      10:03 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      He chose to come here. Cal does NOT promise playing time/minutes. If Willis wants to live up to HIS end of the bargain, I’d say the logical thing to do would be to redshirt. Practice with the best, get coached by the best, and use that to your advantage going forward.

      Unless, of course, he thought he was on the fast track to the NBA………………….



    • Carol
      2:53 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Barry, I think you are correct in saying that Hood should have done the same thing. Why didn’t he? I do believe he could have had a good career in basketball. But yes, I think Willis needs to move now, before it goes any farther. I would have liked to watch him play at UK, but I don’t think it is happening. I don’t think he will be given much of a chance here.



    • Dee W.
      5:04 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Heck, why don’t all the players just transfer?

      You people commenting here are ridiculous.



    • Dee W.
      6:07 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      “Barry, I think you are correct in saying that Hood should have done the same thing. Why didn’t he? I do believe he could have had a good career in basketball.”

      Yeah, Carol. What a shame – must have been awful form him being on a team for 5 years that it was his dream to be on and going to the Final Four 3 times and a National Championship during his tenure. Must have really been awful for him…I’m sure he looks back with a lot of regrets…hard to imagine why he would make such a decision.



  7. CadizCat
    9:31 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t want him to leave. If he stays and gains some strength he WILL get playing time at the 3 position next year. Plus if he transfers, he loses a year anyway. I think he will regret it if he leaves, but I wish him the best either way.



    • DCS195
      9:57 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Agreed.



  8. Barry
    9:33 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Same with wiltjer. He would have never got in the game last year and wouldn’t this year and would be graduating.



    • Barry
      9:59 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      They oughtta start Richie next year!



    • Rex's Mullet
      11:03 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Wiltjer would’ve played this year, but maybe not next year. Willis should redshirt.



    • Old Codger
      12:32 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Wiltjer wouldn’t have played next year because he would be a senior on this year’s team. Well, unless he red-shirted like we all wanted.



    • Dee W.
      5:54 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Uh, no folks, Wiltjer was not a senior this past year.

      Good grief how absurd. So-called “UK fans” wishing all of our players would transfer away.



  9. Confidence
    9:34 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    If you don’t believe in your own ability you will never succeed in life. Fight for your dream Kid…. You got some game…



  10. jmfatz47
    9:37 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Redshirting seems to be his best option. Gain strength and experience in practice for a year and come back ready to contribute with 3 years of eligibility remaining. Since transferring requires you to sit a year, I would love to see Derek stick around. A solid 4 year guy from the state of KY would be a great thing!



  11. Justin
    9:40 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    I would like to see him red shirt. He would have to set out either way. He could bulk up and continue to improve. The wait would be worth it. He needs a call from Jeff Sheppard.



  12. dubowski
    9:41 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    How is his defense? If he can guard small forwards, I think theres no question he will get playing time at the 3. Hes got the ball handling and the stroke. We need a legit SF. Poy boy is a beast but his game is not of a small forward yet (it could be though).



    • Rupp
      12:49 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      No defense, he was worse than James Young



  13. arlo
    9:47 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    bummer. i hope he reconsiders. i’d love to see him get a chance.



  14. aukfaninva
    9:48 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Don’t forget about Marcus Lee as well…



  15. UKgrad'13
    9:49 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Nah c’mon Derek don’t go, we’re gonna need you man. Stay patient!



  16. Bluecat
    9:52 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Pat Forde huh?. Hater’s gonna Hate. They NEVER stop. UK makes their life miserable.

    At UK players ARE LOVED. Pitino runs players off that he does not want and recruits over them.



    • DCS195
      10:01 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Who in the world from Kentucky goes to Pat Forde with a scoop?



  17. MadScientist
    9:56 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    He is probably not going to get much playing time next season. But if he transfers, he is not going to get any playing time next season. He had to know this is what he was getting into when he signed here.



    • Chris
      10:00 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      I agree .. Did he really think he was going to play alot last year? Plus after this coming season we will need him , We could have 4 , 5 or 6 players going pro!!



    • Luther
      4:32 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Derek was the 1st recruit in his class to sign and rated a top 30 player at the time. He clearly had an over-inflated picture of his skill and ability. He subsequently dropped out of the top 100. He had no way of knowing that Cal would then sign 6 McDonald’s All Americans in his class. If he stays, he’ll get the about the same amount of playing time as he got last year (little to none). He’ll, maybe, have a chance in his Jr or Sr years but with the way Cal recruits, that’s also doubtful. He’s in the same boat as Jon Hood was. Stick it out and be happy sitting on the bench – or transfer and play…

      Wishing you the best, Derek Willis…



  18. Doc Blue
    9:57 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Can’t blame him. He should have been given more minutes last year, especially when they were in their slump.



    • Adorable
      10:05 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      You’ve obviously never coached.



    • Yah
      10:43 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      ^^^^^Agreed! But I think that some people that doing it from the couch is consider a coach.



  19. DCS195
    9:58 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Where did this come from?



  20. Chris
    9:58 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Right now Willis is too thin!! Stay next year get bigger and practice against top talent!! If he is going to look at leaving do it after this coming year , He will have 2 years left!



  21. Barry
    9:59 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    I wish we had more white boys.



    • Carol
      2:58 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      It should be an equal playing field. We really should not choose on basis of color, but on how good a player is.



  22. Badgercat
    10:00 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    University of South Florida ??
    Gonzaga ??



    • ProspectMike
      12:42 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Unfortunately, UL was his second choice and his family are UL fans.



  23. Jaaaaayyy
    10:00 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Should redshirt and get bigger and stronger and more skilled and more experience and now: all the food he wants to eat to bulk up that frame. Clear that it’s his defense and light frame keeping him from the court. If he can build leg strength and add 10 to 15 pounds this year as a redshirt he won’t be kept off court next year and would have a likely national title and lots of practice with nba talent.

    Hope he stays and after the summer if he can’t bulk up some and show he has an advantage over some of the other guys will redshirt and enjoy this ride and be a factor for three more seasons.

    I put on 20 pounds in about 3-4 months when I turned 18. Eat eat eat, you got the unlimited meal pass son, start putting it away and squatting with the football team.



  24. GP
    10:02 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Willis will never see time at UK, behind 9 McD’s. Why wouldn’t you go to a WKU or EKU and be a stud?



    • Chris
      10:21 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Because we are likely to have at least 5 guys go to the NBA next year!! He could start as a junior!!



    • Dee W.
      5:09 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      “Why wouldn’t you go to a WKU or EKU and be a stud?”

      Thankfully, a lot of players who have been key to our success as upperclassmen in our history did not follow this advice. More people remember walk-ons who never get on a court a single time at UK than the best players ever to play for either of those teams…no offense to them, but that’s reality.

      Willis should read the account of Oliver Simmons – who said he made a bad decision to transfer. He said he walks on UK’s campus and get people coming up for autographs – where he transferred, no one even recognizes him.



  25. Bluecat
    10:04 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Allright UL troll, stop the racial remarks. “white” boys Napier & Boatwright would “eat alive”
    Go support your own team loserville and stop trolling us.



  26. bookend
    10:18 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    A redshirt year would be perfect. He won’t play much, if anym this coming year. Hit the weights, get stronger, get in shape. Come back the following year, as UK will lose a lot of people after the coming year. He was recruited as a 4 year player who would be a strong contributor his last 2 years. I believe that is the case for him. Long term development, not being a stud on a weak team in a weak conference. Practice every day against future NBA players. No better training than that.



  27. Pat Forde
    10:22 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    LOL. I will say anything to get some hits. Thank you BBN. Next article is on Cal leaving UK for Duke so his offseason begins the 3rd week of March.



  28. Chris
    10:24 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    The odd thing about this is i thought Willis had said he was returning before the Harrisons decision!! Now we hear he is looking at maybe leaving.. Why did the Harrisons decision change this?



    • Mc
      11:19 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      If the Harrison twins left, Ulis would have started at the PG, Booker at the SG, and AP at the SF. There was no depth.

      When the twins returned, now you have to get creative with minutes. So, you’re now going to see 3 guard sets where Aaron gets minutes at the 3, and same for Booker. I think we were also going to see sets where Lee or Lyles steal a few mpg from the 3 since Towns can also play outside.

      See what’s happening there?



  29. Morehead Cat
    10:24 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Fingers crossed that if he does transfer, he comes down 64 East to MSU… Not holding my breath though lol. Derek has a great skill set and should get to play a lot of minutes somewhere



  30. Chris
    10:26 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Pat Forde or not , when we have this many good players ,Willis leaving is not out of the realm of possibility !



  31. It's Football Time In Kentucky
    10:26 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Are you ready for the Spring Game?

    It Is Football Time In Kentucky http://wp.me/p4pLOr-gH



  32. davefromdsgap
    10:32 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Classic Forde. Dont remember reading his post(s) on any of the others returning..go figure. Fact is, I’ll trust Cal’s judgement on who plays. There’s more to the game than standing outside and shooting. If he has the game to compete at U K. he’ll redshirt. Next year there will be Mass Exodous..he’ll get his chance. In the mean time..Forde..Suck It.



  33. jeffrey
    10:37 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Pat is at it again, I love it. Willis knew what he was getting himself into, get off our nuts.



  34. Basketball Bennie
    10:40 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Derek can play at UK, he knows it, and Coach Cal knows it, and he will not run.



  35. jus sayin
    10:49 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Why doesn’t he just play small forward? He has that skill set and we need it this year.

  36. First, I am not going to accept this as true especially coming from a UK hater. However, despite all the fans that were saying “hater” to those who brought up the playing time issue for next year, deep down we all knew this could in fact be a real issue. Cal himself keeps talking about “clutter”.

    Again, I’m not assuming this is true, but if it is, best of luck to Derek.



  37. MD
    10:59 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    I hope he redshirts. He could be valuable to the team as a Junior and 5th year senior.



  38. 8theist
    11:04 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Barry, are you the same guy who is feeding his cattle free on government land?



    • el hombre juan
      2:19 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      The dude payed the state fee to use that land. The issue is with the federal government thinking they can own land which is a big mess in itself. The guy all the smartass john Stewart groupies trash is standing up for something he believes in, unlike the rest of smug’Murica who get their news from a comedy show. But hey, whatever. Believe what the idiot box tells you, right? Whole damned country gone mad…



    • el hombre juan
      2:22 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Also, I see your handle suggests you’re an atheist. Well, GOOD FOR YOU! I can see you’re very proud of yourself. And how clever spelling the A with an 8. Cute!



  39. KY83
    11:05 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Lol Pat Forde? We need to take this info with a grain of salt until we hear it from a reliable source.



  40. Ace
    11:18 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    He needs to think about this long term. Look at all the UK players that come back to Lexington to get jobs after their basketball career has ended. Just by playing at Kentucky he will always have a job somewhere after ball has ended. He may not play in the NBA but the connections he gains by playing for his home state school will definitely help him later in life.

    Players that play for Eastern and Western don’t have the same luxury. I sure hope he thinks about this long and hard.



  41. bobolopolis
    11:19 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Wouldn’t he be the backup to Poythress at the three next year?



    • Mc
      11:24 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Nope. With the twins returning Booker and Ulis (although not SF’s) are still going to be ahead of Willis for minutes. Meaning you’ll now see 3 guard sets where Booker and Aaron Harrison get run at the 3. You’ll also see sets (rarely but it will happen) where Lyles and Lee will play the 3 (on defense) because a player like Towns can play on the outside on offense. Lyles guarded Stanley Johnson some in the Nike game. He got beat a few times, but he won’t see much better than Stanley next year and he did ok. Lee is athletic enough to get a few minutes there (or they’ll go zone in spurts).



  42. Forde's wife
    11:30 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Pat needs to quit worrying about UK and stick to covering the UL volleyball team. Thats where his expertise is.



  43. arlo
    11:39 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    rex chapman leaked it to forde.



  44. jpg
    11:54 am April 26, 2014 Permalink

    If he transfers, good luck to him. He knew what he was getting into here. The thing is, the 3 spot (which he would most likely play) has plenty of potential time at it. Poythress will start, but Willis could easily be the backup, especially with his shooting ability.



    • Mc
      12:55 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      He wouldn’t be the back up (maybe on the depth chart from a SF perspective only). If these rumors are true, he knows it.



    • TD
      4:03 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      jpg, I agree. Willis looks like he has plenty of talent to contribute to the program, and I think he would get some playing time next season. Redshirting is a option, and not just for him, but probably at least one other player too. I do not think he’s just another Kentucky kid good enough to be on the team, but not good enough to play. It may be his junior or senior year before he plays regularly. That said, I would hate to see Willis waste his talent riding the bench for four years. He could play for a lot of major college programs.



    • Dee W.
      6:01 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Agree – it is Derek Willis’ life, not ours. However, I want him to stay, and he should not be “pushed out” by noisy people commenting about how all of our players should or should have transferred away. People up there wondering why Hood didn’t leave the team and talking like it was a mistake – beyond absurd comments from so-called “UK fans” upset that there are players on our team and don’t seem to understand the whole concept of what it means to be on UK’s team.



  45. ransmith
    12:04 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Willis is a critical part to the longer-term strength of the team. His development will be more typical, meaning he needs time to grow and develop to the college game and beyond. If his goal is to develop himself to the max he can as a basketball player, optimize his educational opportunity and enjoy the college lifestyle, then he in the perfect situation.

    He is very young, with a physical frame and skill set that gives him the foundation to be a significant contributor and possible starter before he graduates. He has at his disposal a world class strength & conditioning program, the ability to practice with and develop against elite talent. In a program that offers maximum exposure to NBA scouts and ex-NBA players.

    He is also with an elite college program that typically does not have upper class leadership on the court. In his junior and senior years, if he is smart and puts in the work, he can be that man (veteran leader) on the court.

    If he were my kid, I would hope that he would be wise, redshirt, take the year with his top priority to work on his body & conditioning. Practice with the elite talent, grow from that experience. Take care of business in the classroom.

    A 6’9″ kid who can shoot the ball like he can, with a fragile frame, is blessed to be in the position Willis is in.

    I’ve never understood why most kids do not redshirt and spend 5 years in college? If you are not an obvious quick NBA ready player, which most are not, why not take the extra year?

    What ever he does I hope it works out well for him.



    • DCS195
      3:59 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

      Polson is the example Willis should follow. Work hard in practice, develop your game, provide stability and leadership on the court, and earn significant quality playing minutes.



  46. Fan
    12:16 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

    I wish Forde would transfer.



  47. Remember Jorts
    1:09 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

    He didn’t get significant time until his senior year. Now plays in the NBA.

    Patience and your time will come. He’s a mobile long limbed and athletic big that can shoot. There will be a place for him on one of these teams. I’m going to say that next years team will have a MASS exodus of talent and an upperclassman with any experience at all will be valuable to the 15-16 squad.



  48. dimeforepps
    1:39 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

    guys, its Forde, so this might be true but he could also be trying to rain on our parade. Dude is a total d-bag.



  49. Rick
    2:33 pm April 26, 2014 Permalink

    Did this come from Forde or Rex. Both are known for 1 thing. Derek is supposed to be a 4 year player. I do believe he can get good minutes next year. Randle said his offense is as good as anyone. He reminds me of KD. I think he’s great but this past year was spent on getting the 1st 8 playing good. No blowouts, next year there will be plenty so playing time will be available. Last years players know how to suceed now. I hope Forde is just making sh– up again.