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Losing all faith in Stephen Zimmerman

H/T @VegasBBallMom
H/T @VegasBBallMom

As we approach the late signing period for college basketball, hope continues to fade away that Stephen Zimmerman will become a Wildcat. Reports surfaced over the weekend saying Zimmerman will stick around to play for the hometown UNLV Rebels, and that rumor continues to pick up steam as the process winds down. Chances are now very slim he ends up in Lexington, barring a last-minute realization that it’s the best opportunity for him. (Seriously, Stephen. Think about this.)

If Zimmerman signs with UNLV in the coming days, look for Kentucky to add Mike Thorne Jr., the graduate transfer out of Charlotte, who picked up an offer yesterday. John Calipari needs bodies in the paint with Skal Labissiere, Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress and Derek Willis, and, at 6-foot-11, 270-pounds, Thorne Jr. has plenty of body.

As for filling out the rest of the class, the hope is Kentucky can land one or two from the Malik Newman, Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram bunch, although Cal could easily strike out with all three of them. UK is high on each of their final lists, but the Cats are believed to be in second place at best for all three.

It’s crunch time for Calipari in recruiting. Time to do what he does best.

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

38 Comments for Losing all faith in Stephen Zimmerman

  1. Laker Cat 18
    1:44 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Heck, I’d rather see him succeed at Arizona or UCLA than UNLV. NBA-wise, what have they produced in the last couple of decades?

    • jeffj
      2:35 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      lots of casino $ ?

    • J-Dub421
      2:49 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Anthony Bennett got drafted #1 overall in 2013. You remember him, the one that got taken first by the Cavs instead of Nerlens? He only averages about 5 points and 3 rebounds per game though and has already been traded once, so it’s not like he’s lighting it up in the NBA.

  2. Mc12
    2:02 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Have we heard anything on Poythress definitely returning?

    On a side note, I didn’t think I’d say this a few years ago, but had Wiltjer redshirted, next year seems like it could have been a great team for him to be on. It seems like we’ll need someone that takes some shots.

    Newman would be a great fit, but is he willing to play a lot of 2? They would play a lot of 3 guard sets I would imagine with AP at the 4.

    Always interesting.

  3. plumloopy
    2:06 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Not sure how I feel pinning hopes on a guy who averaged 10/8 for a mid-major after four years.

    • J-Dub421
      2:50 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Julius Mays turned out to be pretty good for us…

    • BigBlueBoom
      3:07 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Julius Mays was decent for us in a year where we had no other options, but come on…Julius wasn’t leading a championship team.

    • J-Dub421
      3:34 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      I didn’t say he was the best player we ever had, but he ended up being a quiet team leader and we’d have lost more games that season without him. He was a definite contributor, so I’m not going to knock a guy just because he’s been playing at a mid-major.

  4. cracka
    2:10 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    we still have 50% of newman’s crystal ball, so why are we considered second?

    • American Errorist
      2:19 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Ask Matt Jones’s twitter

  5. jman3715
    2:15 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Next year may be a lot like 2013-2014. Struggle a bit during the regular season and hopefully make a run at the end of the year when things start to gel. It then pays off in the 2016-2017 season. Starting to see a pattern with Cal’s teams.

  6. Saul T. Nuts
    2:20 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Willis will be a monster next year – book it.

  7. Katya
    2:22 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    UNLV isn’t really a school that’s relevant anymore. I’m not sure why a kid would pick them over Zona or UCLA.

    • ukbradstith
      3:35 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      It’s his hometown.

  8. SanDiegoCats
    2:27 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    How are we not in the lead for any of these undeclared incoming guys? And why did Zimmerman make it clear a couple weeks ago that he was going to wait to announce until players declared for NBA? It’s not like UNLV had anyone going.

  9. AFeltrop13
    2:28 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Can’t say I’m too upset on this one. I’d rather have Thorne honestly.

  10. PatrickSparksDoubleChin
    2:35 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Part of the deal with WWW is that he delivers the top players to his chosen coaches who must in return ensure that they sign with WWW’s agency after they leave school. Cal has underperformed on his end of the bargain (Wes did get a couple of UK’s lesser players this year). William Wesley is turning toward coaches who can do a better job of keeping his nephews in Nikes and steering them toward Wes’s agency.

    This is all on Cal He has failed to put enough money back in Wes’s pockets

    • jeffj
      2:39 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      only reason i clicked reply is to say i don’t like you. go dig a hole in your yard & act like the mole you are.

    • J-Dub421
      2:53 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Don’t you U of L trolls have anything better to do with your lives than be annoying on KSR? Go back to playing GTA 5 in your mommy’s basement.

    • RealCatsFan
      3:00 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      So what’s Pitino’s excuse, nutsack?

    • BigBlueBoom
      3:16 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Every year Pitino hopes to have money left in his abortion expense account to pay Wes, but every year his account is emptied out. Too many skanks in Louisville.

  11. binarysolo
    2:37 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Last year we thought we were a lock for Mudiay but lost out, and Cal went out and brought in an known kid named Ulis. I like how that turned out.

    Don’t underestimate how well Cal develops young kids. If these elite brand-name kids don’t want to come to UK we’ll still be fine.

    • jeffj
      2:45 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      good post there . and how did Mudiay turn out vs. Ulis……………

    • SanDiegoCats
      2:55 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      I thought Ulis was a UK commit for awhile. I don’t remember him being a last minute.

    • Mc12
      3:05 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Ulis committed after Mudiay committed to SMU.

      Mudiay will be a top 3-4 pick and earned a million dollars this past year. For him it worked out well.

    • WillySpankit
      3:11 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      It’s not that Ulis turned out better than Mudiay, but Ulis’ commitment turned out better than Mudiay’s. I think we fared better than we would have if he’d committed to UK because he would’ve left us searching for someone at the last minute.

    • Mc12
      3:36 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      I agree. It worked out well for Kentucky, Mudiay, and Ulis.

    • catdaddyd
      4:37 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Mudiday didn’t have the academics to qualify for college.

  12. RealCatsFan
    3:02 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Last Friday when we had 7 players declare for the draft, I figured some of these big name recruits that were waiting in the wings would fall like dominoes into UK’s camp. I’m very surprised that now it appears that we are on the outside looking in for most of them. This just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    • PhilUK18
      3:16 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      I don’t get it either. I wasn’t quite expecting that we would see a slew of commitments RIGHT after everyone left, but I certainly didn’t think we would be on the outs with all of them either. Maybe losing Slice hurt us with some of these kids? I trust in Cal, so I’m not worried, just a shame to see us missing out on kids when there are so many spots and minutes available on our roster.

    • plumloopy
      3:39 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      I wonder if some recruits, despite the draw of UK/Cal, don’t want to feel like their just another pair of size 18s in a long line of UK players passing through. They want to forge their own road. It might be a natural pulsation from year to year – we always get great classes, but the mega-class is every 2-3 years… 2010, 2012, 2015… 2017?

    • ukbradstith
      3:40 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      If you look at the kids one by one it does make sense. Some guys want to play for adidas, some won’t leave the west coast, heck some don’t even know what class they are in yet. I don’t think we could be on some guys as hard as usual simply because we didn’t know if lyles, booker, and dakari were gone either, so we kind of had to keep them on the backburner. I hope we get some more guys, but I wouldn’t hate to see what Hawkins and Willis did with some minutes.

    • J-Dub421
      3:54 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Some of the one-and-done type of players feel that they will be drafted no matter where they go to school. Jaylen Brown has said pretty much those exact words.

      While I think they’re right to a certain extent, where and how they play in college can affect where they get drafted. Just ask Shabazz Muhammad.

      Mrs. TT crunched the numbers a while back, and every other coach who’s had 10 or more 5-stars has had at least one guy go undrafted, except Coach Cal. While at UK, Cal is averaging the highest draft picks too, and it’s not close. Cal is averaging lottery picks for his 5-stars and he’s the only coach who is doing it. Roy Williams was the only other coach who’s even averaging first round picks. Coach/school matters more than a lot of people want to think it does.

  13. PhilUK18
    3:27 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Would Zimmerman put up much more than 10 and 7 a game? Maybe, but we’re not sure. Thorne has already put up 10 points and 7 boards a game, albeit at a lower level of the college game than he would be playing at UK. I’m not too concerned about missing out on Zimmerman and getting Thorne instead. We do, however, NEED Newman, Brown and/or Ingram.

    • WeareBBN
      4:15 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      We need Diallo more than Brown although we actually need all 3. Top 3 need in order
      1.Newman 1A Diallo it is close 3.Brown.

    • PhilUK18
      7:35 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Agreed, forgot that we need another big on top of Thorne (assuming we get him). I’d love to see Diallo and Skal together next season as our starting bigs

    5:06 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    NO way Cal strikes out on all if 3 (Brown, Ingram and Newman). NewMan is going to come, him canceling all his official visits says a lot. So now only the schools that he’s been to are the ones he’s been to unofficially. He went to the local Mississippi schools, but anyone who thinks he wants to average 25 and lose by 15 each night is just crazy, no way he goes there. Now it is out of LSU and UK. He’s been to UK on like 2 or 3 unofficials and LSU once to WATCH them play GUESS what team?….. UK. UK cleared the deck for him and UK has a better team than LSU. He is a LOCK he and Cal are friends. He is just making this suspenseful.

      5:16 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      One last thing and this maybe selfish of me as a fan, but I think TREY should have stayed. We all know he is better than his NO.19 projection, he is definitely a lottery worthy talent. If he get stays then gets FEATURED at the 4 next year with Skal, I would bet a lot of money that he can go in the top 5-8 range in next years draft. But that is just me being a fan …. However the benefit for him would have been worth about 3 million additional dollars a year ….. over 4 years = 12 million BUCKS….. Lets see where they take him in the draft though.