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UK a second choice for several 2014 stars

The 2014 recruiting class was the first in which John Calipari didn’t land most of the elite players he went after. Don’t get me wrong, the players he did sign are excellent, but several of the superstar prospects like Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson, and Jahlil Okafor all decided to take their services elsewhere. During the McDonald’s All-American game a few weeks ago, USA Today’s Jason Jordan went around and asked some of the players what their second choice school was. For once, many of them said Kentucky. Here’s a breakdown:

Rashad Vaughn (UNLV): Iowa State

Devin Booker (Kentucky): Missouri

James Blackmon (Indiana): Kentucky (Think he regrets choosing the Hoosiers now?)

Kelly Oubre (Kansas): Kentucky

Stanley Johnson (Arizona): Kentucky

Emmanuel Mudiay (SMU): Kentucky

Mudiay’s comments were the most interesting to me. He said that during Cal’s in-home visit, he and his family liked what he had to say so much that he was ready to commit on the spot. His brother advised him to wait, and during Larry Brown’s visit, the legendary coach “talked way better than Cal did.”

Well, Cal does consider him a mentor.

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.

31 Comments for UK a second choice for several 2014 stars

  1. J-Dub421
    5:06 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    If he doesn’t already, I suspect James Blackmon will come to greatly regret his decision to go to IU. That program seems to be circling the drain right now.

  2. inlinefor9
    5:10 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Money talks

  3. redandyz
    5:13 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    One bad year doesn’t mean circling the drain. Something negative happened there this year. If no NCAA for Crean and IU next season there may be a lot of pressure to have him fired. I am an IU an, but I know you can’t be cometitive each year, expecially in a conference like the Big Ten. Blackmon knows he’ll be much more able to contribute early on at IU rather than get lost among the other UK recruits next year – especially if Harrison squared comes back.

    • UL Troll
      5:18 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Da fuq ya here 4 bruh?

    • Bledsoe's Biceps
      5:49 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      It’s not possible to be competitive every year? Really? Says who? So one good year every 6 or 7 is enough to justify keeping Clappy the Clown?

    • DH
      5:59 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Relax guys, he’s right. We weren’t very competitive 2 years ago. He made good points without being a DB. That said, I think Clappy was fortunate to have some good players in his back yard for a couple seasons that wanted to play for IU. I think he was hired at IU because of what DWade did for him, though. I think he’s over-rated and I’ll be surprised if he lasts 3 more years.

    • scorpiocard
      6:24 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      For a certain percentage (high percentage) not being a douche bag is not an option for uk fans. It’s in their DNA.

    • JackB
      6:28 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Nothing bad to say about Redandyz. But I think IU is way underperforming. IU was competitive every year until a few years after Knight left. They have only been competitive 2 years since. And they have been awful or nearly awful for many of them. I spent a lot of time in the state of Indiana as a young adult and know lots of good IU fans. Like many abused folks, they took up for the abusive part of the relationship (Knight), but they were good fans. This younger breed, now used to mediocrity and court storming, not so much perhaps. It caused a seemingly nice fan like Redandyz to have such low expectations it saddens me. IU was the main rival for UK (along with UT) as I was growing up until UL series began. It really does suck that they suck now.

    • Mc
      8:23 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Nice comment redandyz. I’ll only disagree on a couple of items. IU has only been good 2 out of the 6 seasons Tom Crean has been there. Granted he took over a bad situation. Since the Finals appearance over a decade ago, IU has been just an average team. Tom Crean is barely .500 as the head coach through 6 seasons. Last year’s team should have been more competitive with Yogi, Sheehan, Vonleh, and a few other’s. I think Crean is just an average coach carried by Wade and Diener. I’ll also disagree somewhat with the hype the Big 10 gets. I do think it has been one of the top conferences over the past few years, but not by as much as the talking heads try to make it seem. There is a reason the Big 12 and Big 10 each have only 1 championship this past quarter century. If the twins did happen to declare, there’s a really good chance Blackmon would have started for UK, in a 3 guard lineup with Booker at the 3. Good luck to him, and I’ll wish IU good luck for you. However, for the douche bag IU fans, I hope you continue to struggle. Once Crean is gone, and you sign a good coach things will turn around eventually and you may become the best team in your state. Butler has been the best team over the past decade.

    • jeffrey
      9:28 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      You’re losing everybody, and only return a few players, plus a small freshmen class incoming (right?), I wouldn’t expect a good year for you all next season.

  4. Duuuuuude
    5:15 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Given what we know now with a loaded front court, Stanly Johnson made a good decision. Emmanuel Mudiay and Blackmon, it remains to be seen.

    • UL Troll
      5:19 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Johnson is a 3 and would have been amazing here.

  5. Issel's two front teeth
    5:16 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Other than he can eat at home every night. What else could be better at SMU?

    • RealityCheck
      10:51 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      The coach.

    • CheckedReality
      12:11 am April 18, 2014 Permalink

      Ever heard of Larry Brown?

    • BigBlue524
      4:15 am April 18, 2014 Permalink

      I’m guessing you don’t know who Larry Brown is…. One of they greatest coaches at any level, ALL TIME…. Granted, that all they have but that’s one hell of a something to have…..

  6. Brad in Portland
    5:17 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Have fun losing in the first or second round of the tournament.

  7. Mack
    5:21 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Is that the same brother that will also attend SMU to play basketball?

    5:29 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    You can tell a few of them were even regretful when asked that question. Only kid I wanted and still think should have came here was Oubre. I saw him play in Dayton and was rather impressed. All those schools will be bounced in the first or second round next year though, again.

  9. Chaz
    5:35 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Talking about Mudiay. Last in gets the win. There’s something to say for timing. That was a good post, MTT, entertaining. We’ve got a good blend coming in, and I’m happy with the guys we got. I feel some for Blackmon though, somehow I don’t think that’s going to end well, and for the son of a UK player I hope it works out.

  10. kybb
    5:48 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Brothers suck

  11. somerset bill
    6:26 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    wow, if we had got oubre, blackmon, and johnson. along with marcus lee and the return of the blond blocker…. best. hair. team. ever.

  12. JackB
    6:31 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Kansas and Arizona are not likely to be bounced from the tourney in the first or second round. They are likely to be competing in the sweet 16 or elite 8. Or further if they can avoid UK and Duke next year.

  13. Lee C
    6:46 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Jalen Brunson, a junior at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL made the First team all state along with Jahlil Okafor (Duke), Tyler Ulis (UK), Cliff Alexander (Kansas) and Sean O’Meara (?). I saw Tom Izzo at two of his games as well as the entire Illinois coaching staff. He can do it all and would be a great catch for UK. You can see him in several videos at His father played and coached in the NBA. Take a look.

    • Miss Cleo
      7:11 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      You can’t make me.

  14. Bleed Blue
    11:28 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    The only reason, and I mean the only reason Mudiay picked SMU over us is cause Brown gave his brother a scholly also. It’s just like with Xavier Henry and KU, that’s the only reason he went there.

  15. Skeptical
    12:53 am April 18, 2014 Permalink

    I got a feeling from Mudiay and Blackmon that they both sounded more interested in playing for Kentucky than their schools. Their tone of voice changed and it seemed like they had to pick other schools for some outside reason.

  16. BigBlue524
    4:19 am April 18, 2014 Permalink

    Mudiay is the only one I cared about… He had prototypical Calipari point guard written all over him… Only time ive ever been depressed about a player not picking Kentucky…

    • Cammmmmmmmmm
      10:01 am April 18, 2014 Permalink

      I agree. I wanted him real bad. Prob wanted him just as bad as I wanted john wall. Would have fit perfectly in cals system and would have excelled to the top of the list as far as nba prospects goes. Still think he’ll be a top 5 pick but would have gotten NCAA tourny experience here at UK. I just don’t know what we are gonna do if the twins don’t come back.

    • backwordsben
      10:11 am April 18, 2014 Permalink

      Not even the slightest bit depressed over Wiggins? Especially after all of the KSR hype

  17. KG
    9:50 am April 18, 2014 Permalink

    I think Tyler Ulis will open a lot of eyes with his play at the point. Size is his only problem but he will overcome that with his smarts.