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UK Fans of the Day Want the State of UK Basketball Recruiting


This has been a very good ten days for UK Basketball recruiting. In fact, when all is said and done the last ten days will probably be the most important of the year in creating the 2014 UK Basketball Recruiting Class. A great deal of the credit (no shock) goes to Calipari who made two very important decisions that have made UK’s stock go up immensely for players in the 2014 class:

1. He made the UK Alumni Game a Crucial Recruiting Event

2. He apparently crushed it on his in-home visits.

Through these two steps, UK’s class, which at one time looked to be heading in a good but not necessarily great direction, now looks much more optimistic. The folks I have spoken with feel good about where UK is situated and things are much more rosy in Lexington. Here is where the team stands right now:

Point Guard: Obviously the big news of the week was getting the commitment from Tyler Ulis. This is a somewhat weak Point Guard class and making sure that UK gets one of the four top guys (Mudiay, Jones, Lyle and Ulis) was crucial. When the Cats struck out on Mudiay, they went all in on Ulis and stole him from Michigan State, where most were sure he would land. This occurred primarily at the Alumni Game, where Ulis and the other visitors (more on them later) were apparently “blown away” by the experience. The Alumni Game may be slowly replacing Big Blue Madness as the recruiting weekend and many of the 2015 and 2016 players that Kentucky will be targeting the strongest next year, were in town for the festivities. Kentucky is still focusing hard on Tyus Jones and pursuing him as an other option at the point. Ulis has said he is fine playing with Jones, but most everyone, including the UK coaches consider it somewhat of a long shot.

Shooting Guards/Wings: I combine these positions mainly because in Calipari’s system, the difference between them isn’t that great. Kentucky right now looks good for five players and may have the ability to get three or four of the group. I believe Devin Booker is at this point a strong UK lean. There have been some rumors of a commitment, and I don’t think that has happened, but I do believe UK feels good about their position and that he will make his decision some time in October. I also think that Trey Lyles ends up a Cat as well. Kentucky has been the leader for some time and whenever an announcement is made, I think Kentucky is the likely choice over Louisville. The change in recent weeks has been the improvement of Kentucky’s chances with the duo of Stanley Johnson and Kelly Oubre. The Cats were a solid second with both players, second to Arizona for Johnson and second to Kansas for Oubre, for the past couple of months, but the last two weeks have seen advancements with both players. After Calipari visited both, folks tell KSR that now the decision has flipped, with Johnson 50/50 and Oubre potentially leaning towards the Cats. If Kentucky were to get both of these players, all of a sudden another #1 recruiting class would look likely and Calipari does his magic again. Johnson hinted that both could play together, and they both have star power and seem perfectly suited for Calipari’s style. Finally James Blackmon Jr was visited by Calipari yesterday. I think if the Cats were to push him, they would get a commitment from the son of the former Wildcat. I get the feeling that hasn’t happened yet as they wait to see how the other wings end up spreading out. Blackmon probably ends up at Kentucky if one or two of the players listed above do not.

Big Man: Kentucky obviously has a commitment from Karl Towns and in a perfect world, would like another player. Cliff Alexander is unlikely at this point as Kansas/Michigan State/Illinois still fight for him. Kentucky has gotten involved with Myles Turner but I have heard little to think that as of today he is a strong option (although this could change as Calipari does like him). The best option for Kentucky would be the #1 player in America Jahlil Okafor. He loved his visit to Kentucky and as I have said for a few weeks, I think Kentucky is doing much better with him than people realize. If the leaders for Okafor are Kansas/Duke, then I would put Kentucky just behind them and still in the game. Calipari will continue to press him and while it is still a bit of a long shot for him to end up in Blue, I wouldn’t dismiss it. The key at this position is to either get Okafor or have Johnson/Lee return. Do that and the 2014-2015 team will be fine with the bigs.

So that is where UK currently stands. If I were a betting man (and I am), then I would suggest that as of today, the most likely scenario for a UK class is:

One more (Johnson or Blackmon Jr)

But for the first time in a while in this recruiting cycle, we now see Kentucky as a leader for enough players to make up a very good class. Times are good right now once again in Lexington.

Article written by Matt Jones

42 Comments for UK Fans of the Day Want the State of UK Basketball Recruiting

  1. ukfan
    3:02 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I watched Stanley Johnson’s mixtape today, man that kid is talented. I want him in blue and white badly!

  2. Wedding Planner
    3:04 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    To be honest, this would be a good class but relative to the other classes that Cal has brought in, it would be the least good class. Not one of these guys (except Johnson) is a #1 at their position.. and this is a weak class,

  3. big brother
    3:07 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Sis, you know mom dont want you coming out of the house looking like that. Go put some clothes on.

  4. Chris
    3:08 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I might be wrong, but wouldn’t Lyles be considered a “big man”

  5. UK2K
    3:09 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Cal will have 8-10 scholys available and as hes said before, he wont be shorthanded anymore. I think he will add more than 6.

  6. josh
    3:09 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    its bad that we think this would be a weak recruiting class. I think we are starting to get spoiled by all the #1 recruiting classes that Cal has gotten us. it is in fact weaker than the previous classes but still pretty darn good.

  7. LeitchfieldAlex
    3:17 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Matt, good report on the state (as of now) of the future Cats. I hope you are just 70% right. I don’t think UK will get Okafor or Jones but with what we will have returning we’ll be ok. I’d love to get Lyles and Blackman just because of IU and UL want them. lol Go Kats!!

  8. Doo Doo Brown
    3:17 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t know why but Matt Jones has consistently called Trey Lyles a 3. Fact is, he is the most skilled 4 in high school and most definitely a big man.

  9. UK
    3:20 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    If we somehow pull off Booker, Oubre, Blackmon, and Johnson I’ll be more impressed with Cal than ever and that’s saying something.

    And no it’s not the best recruiting class but with these pieces it fits. You have a distributing PG with multiple knock-down shooters, an MKG like kid in Johnson, a great PF, and a center with 3 point range. Not to mention who stays or what else is added. Oh…and it’s still a pretty phenomenal class.

  10. ukfan
    3:21 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    2. That was the dumbest comment in the history of KSR, congrats my friend. I feel bad for you when the time comes and Cal decides to pack up and move on, you’re gonna need some diapers and bottle with all the whining you’ll be doing about our next coach and his recruiting classes.

  11. Tonydelksarms
    3:22 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    My face would look like a glazed donut. Just saying.

  12. cincicat
    3:23 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Assuming we get Johnson from the list of players, according to ESPN’s rankings
    2 players in the top 6 (Towns and Lyles)
    3 players in the top 12 (Towns, Lyles, and Johnson)
    4 players in the top 16 (Towns, Lyles, Johnson, and Booker)
    5 players in the top 20 (Towns, Lyles, Johnson, Booker, and Oubre).

    Towns, Lyles and Johnson are all probable future lottery picks and Booker and Oubre probable 1st rounders at some point.

    5 Mickee Dee’s should not be considered a weak class historically, no matter how weak the class is. It might be weaker than our last one, but that one was the best of all time. Period.

  13. ukfan
    3:24 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    2. How could that potential recruiting class Matt just listed not be good enough for you? Are you freaking kidding me?? Any other program in the country would throw a parade with those type players coming in. Are you really that spoiled/ignorant? Who cares if a kid isn’t ranked number 1 at his position, any kid ranked in the top 25 can ball!!

  14. Al Becker
    3:32 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    The blonde is fine. The brunette has an outstanding posterior. You were asking what?

  15. Wedding Planner
    3:34 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    It is not a matter of being spoiled. The Coach Cal model REQUIRES the #1 class every year, and we have to hope that the top of the class is strong.

    Last year, we did have the #1 class but the class was weak. That resulted in bad season. B Knight’s class falls in the same column but we were fortunate that they had hearts of champions.

    Ullis, Booker, Oubre, Blackmon will be traditional freshmen – probably not ready to lead a national contender. If this coming season pans out as we want, they need to be for us to be successful as we will hopefully have 7 NBA picks.

  16. Steven
    3:35 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I havent been here to express my thoughts on losing Mudiay, but as an afterwards, I am not at all ruing the loss of him. To me, he is DeAndre Liggins his first year at UK, meaning big drives to nowhere and lots of to’s. Sure, he’ll do well for Larry, but I don’t think we lost a trump card, far from it

  17. sesame street
    3:36 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Ulis will be strong contributor but not a top four pg according to rivals, scout, or espn.

  18. Indycatfan
    3:38 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I think the final class for 2014 will be ullis, booker, Blackmon, oubre, Johnson, lyles and towns with those 7 we will for sure have the number one class.
    Our team next year should be pg- ullis, Hawkins, and Blackmon. Sg- booker, blackmon, oubre. Sf- Johnson, oubre. Pf- lyles, lee, willis. Center- towns, dakari Johnson. We should have really good depth next year at each position.

  19. aldirt
    3:47 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    “outstanding posterior”???? i think you misspelled noassatall….She’s cute though, just needs to get on a steady diet of honeybuns and backshots!

  20. Biglaw Dawgin'
    4:03 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    The good thing about Ulis is that he knows he’s going to stick around for more than one year. This kid is going to be good his Freshman year, but his Junior year he’ll progress into a top-3 PG in the nation.

  21. the examiner
    4:03 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I was thinking the same on the poseterior. Kinda flat. but she still looks good. the tight dress really compliments her well. i like the looooong dark hair and the nice legs!

  22. the examiner
    4:04 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink


  23. Ky_Tom
    4:08 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Well, just seen this , right now, I’m not worried about recruiting, but I wish someone would tell me who the two hot looking gals dressed in blue are on the photo at the top of the page….

  24. Wha?
    4:09 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Indy is right: Look at it like this…WHEN WE WIN 9…..Poythress, WCS, Hood, RAndle, Harrison, Harrison, Young or Dakari will leave freeing up almost 8 scholly’s

    Enough For:

    PG: Ulis
    SG: Booker, Blackmon Jr.
    SF: Oubre, Johnson
    PF: Lyles
    C: Towns Jr.

    combine that with Lee, Hawkins, Dakari or Young and that’s a damn good team that is once again 8-10 deep

  25. Jen
    4:10 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Trey Lyles is a 6’10” 245 lbs power forward, according to Rivals, a 6’8″ 210 power forward according to ESPN, and a 6’9″ 235 lbs power forward according to 247 Sports. Scout has him as a 6’9″ 210 lbs power forward.

    Whatever his height and weight, he’s a power forward.

  26. cracka
    4:12 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    i like that we’re not giving up on tyus jones, but i don’t see him wanting to come here and play against ulis every day in practice … ulis ate him up when they played head to head and practicing against a 5’8″ pg every day doesn’t really prepare you for the nba … it’s practicing against a very good, tough defender, but there are only maybe 1 or 2 guys under 6′ currently capable of starting in the league

    tyus seems like a good pg, but not the most athletic guy in the world, with the group coming out this year, i think he will also be in school for at least 2 years

    whoever is our starter next year, i’m hoping malik newman will lead us in 2015 … then maybe seventh woods in ’16?

  27. Don
    4:13 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t know where you get we are second on Stanley Johnson..He has always spoken very highly of us, and I guess it is the panic stricken UK fans that think every time another school goes after one of our recruits,we are pushed aside..I am convinced this is where you guys get your recruiting info..Arizona would be the Wildcats that are in second place here..

    Lyles is 6’10 235 and a power forward all the way…I suspect we will add 8 players this year..We will lose a lot next spring.

  28. Tooblueforyou
    4:53 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Since trey lyles is 6’10 I doubt he will play very much 2 or 3 spot

  29. cracka
    4:59 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    i think some of you just look for something petty to argue with … matt didn’t say trey lyles wasn’t a pf … he basically grouped guys into 3 categories … point guards, centers and then everybody else

    guys play different positions in high school to college to pros … some sites list cliff alexander as a 6’9″ center … who cares, it’s how the guys play … poythress is 6’8″, 240 and he’ll play some at the 3 for us this year … i’d say lyles is a better ball handler than ap … i’d also say that if lyles is 6’9″ in high school, he’s a center at 90%+ high schools in america … but i think he plays the 3 in the nba

    lyles is a forward … so, he’s in the paragraph with the other forwards … thanks for the write up, matt

  30. cracka
    5:05 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

  31. caliparty
    5:13 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Ulis isn’t a top four PG.

    I see the 2015 class being a poor mans version of the 2012 team which actually isn’t all that bad considering how good 2012 was.
    Pg-Ulis, Hawkins
    Sg-Booker, Blackmon
    Sf-Johnson, Willis
    PF-Lyles, Lee
    We will not get Jones,Aelxander or Okafor and Turner and Oubre are question marks. Also, J.young and Dakari are NBA bound after this yr, so lets just let that discussion die please.

  32. 94Feet
    5:15 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Still scratching my head at how we have slipped with Stanley Johnson ? Wow ! He is a must.

    And No One has even mention Justise Winslow. Any thoughts Matt ?

  33. ThunderCat
    5:17 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Lyles is college 4 not sure why he is being mentioned as a wing. Oubre and Johnson are a step above Booker and Blackmon Jr. I’d guess Cal has those two 1a and 1b for the wing position and will take either one of either Booker and Blackmon. I do think Marcus Lee and Dakari will be back so Town will back up the 5 and Lee/Lyles will battle it out at the 4. With Ulis and DHawk that gives up 9 guys who can play.

  34. Jake from State Farm
    5:20 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Blue dress —— easy access.

  35. Wildcatsteeler
    5:58 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Does every chick in Lexington wear cowboy boots or what?

  36. 94Feet
    5:59 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    34. To make things clear Stanley Johnson is priority #1. Oubre would be a nice addition but the truth be known is a far far second compared to SJ. Lyles is a 4. But today how many Bigs out there take pride in playing with there back to the basket. NOT MANY ! Karl Towns is a 7 footer who greatest attribute is his three point range ? Nice but I want to hear about his low post moves, footwork, rebounding and defense.

  37. Bunny
    6:09 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks for the pic and the recruiting update, Matt! Hope you’re spot on…

  38. snarkster
    10:02 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Oh yeah… Side Boob

  39. LionGeneral
    6:16 am September 19, 2013 Permalink

    Speculating on where teenage boys may spend nine months of their lives. Time well spent, Mr. Jones.

  40. BBN#1
    3:56 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    my opinion line up will be more of
    james young (hopefully)/devin booker/Blackmon
    if we don’t get Johnson lyles will play the 3
    towns starting 4/lee/willis
    dakari (hopefully)towns /lee

    the guy I really want is the myles turner kid looks like a stronger noel

  41. BBN#1
    3:58 pm September 19, 2013 Permalink

    karl towns will not sit and neither will a returning dakari simply to big not to hell towns has the range and the skill for 4 why not play 2 7footers

  42. TT not THE TT
    12:37 pm September 20, 2013 Permalink

    Matt, please make it your mission to get either a UK station or UK radio program for morning and afternoon drivetimes up and running in Louisville. I have to suffer through two UL programs in morning and one in the afternoon. Aside from your 10-12 show, we have nothing. With arguably the largest UK fanbase in the state, we need more UK (and less UL).