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Wednesday evening recruiting thoughts

Photo by FIBA

Photo by FIBA

As you likely have seen, Kentucky missed the cut for five-star center Vernon Carey Jr. It’s been a pretty crappy recruiting week for the Cats. Here are a few notes on today’s news.

Carey cuts the Cats:

No one should be shocked UK missed Carey’s final three. A month ago it would have been surprising news and two months ago UK was in a great spot (so folks close to Kentucky though), but the Cats lost all momentum after Carey visited Duke. There’s good news and bad news with Kentucky not making Carey’s final three.

Good news:

Given the recent trend of this recruitment it was unlikely that UK was going to land Carey. A year ago nearly every analyst was predicting Carey was going to end up at Duke but over the summer the Duke buzz staled. Some started predicting MSU. UK had momentum and the hometown Miami Hurricanes were also supposedly in the hunt.

But things changed after the Duke visit. Duke and Michigan State were the leaders with many going back to the original Duke pick.

The good news about UK missing Carey’s final three is the Cats know it’s over in November. They won’t waste anymore time on a player that was likely going elsewhere and now Calipari can start to construct a new frontcourt plan. The Cats are still recruiting Matthew Hurt and Isaiah Stewart is a possibility although a longshot.

Bad news:

Two of the best players in high school basketball eliminated UK this week. A good chunk of the Big Blue Nation panicked after Wiseman picked Memphis yesterday, but Carey cutting UK is more concerning in my opinion.

Kentucky did everything they could to land Wiseman, but ultimately the kid decided to play for his former AAU/HS coach that he had known for year. He didn’t even wait to see how Penny would do as a college coach. There was a blind trust and that tells us all we need to know.

The Carey news is more concerning because UK couldn’t make the top three for a player they really, really needed. They didn’t finish second, they didn’t finish third and they maybe didn’t even finish fourth. That’s not OK for such an important recruit. Obviously some recruits just don’t love what UK is selling, but this elimination is concerning.

LaMelo Ball:

Unless UK is trying to play this incredibly close to the vest (and that’s a possibility) I’m told that folks close to Kentucky are unsure what the youngest Ball is doing in Lexington.

I hope to learn more, but everyone in the college basketball world doesn’t believe that Ball will be eligible. Even if there’s a case for his eligibility it could be such a long and lengthy process that best case scenario would have him sitting out dozens of games.

So, I don’t think that Ball is a serious UK target. But could you imagine if he ends up being recruited by the Cats? The takes. The fan comments. The madness.

Part of me hopes it happens, but I doubt it does.

Hope y’all can put recruiting frustration aside for the weekend and enjoy Thanksgiving and a Cats beatdown of Louisville.


Article written by TJ Walker

32 Comments for Wednesday evening recruiting thoughts

  1. N-UR-i
    7:50 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    Hell no. If we recruit Ball that means Cal is truly desperate and and has all his mojo.

    • N-UR-i
      7:50 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

      “And has lost all his mojo”

    • Nickerbocker05
      9:08 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

      Why wouldn’t anyone want a melo ball? Dude is instant offense and has size!!! Who give a rooten tooten who his dad is!?

    • katfan33
      7:09 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

      No, absolutely not!!!

  2. BoroBankCat
    8:04 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t seriously mean this, but the whole Ball saga annoyed me so much that I may have to take a break from being a UK fan until that family left.

  3. KYcats11
    8:05 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    What about Jaden McDaniels? Don’t we have a decent chance of landing him?

  4. kybirdieman
    8:12 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    NBA over team and championships mojo is gone. To all that drank the koolaid sorry.

    • shelby
      8:17 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

      2012 title and a handful of final 4s … more koolaid please.

    • Nickerbocker05
      9:06 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

      I’ll drink plenty more of that kool-aid!!! All day long… you must not be a fan of success.

    • kybirdieman
      8:09 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

      Been a basketball and football fan for 50 years. Talk to me when we quit playing the cupcakes, and probably finish a 7th or eight seed again, and get knocked out of sweet 16. If you are going the one and done route with emphasis on putting players in the NBA, which by the way we probably have more in the g league and overseas,you have to get the cream of the crop. I hate to say it but the Dukies are and evidently others are beating him at his own game. Never thought he was the recruiter anyway, thought it was Orlando and with his work at South Florida he was probably paying them. Koolaid Koolaid Koolaid
      Nothing against the program, never been a Cal fan since he made the NBA first comment. Guess I am old team and school loyalty and championships,over how many guys you put in NBA.

    • bigbluebanana
      11:00 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

      So, other than Rupp, who’s been your favorite coach in your 50 years? I’m curious because no other coach we’ve had during your fandom win more than Cal. No one has more championships, none of our coaches. You want to hate Cal because he recruits the best guys who have no sentimental ties to UK, that’s one thing, but don’t use the championship/post season success as a crutch when literally no one has done it better than Cal.

    • bigblue2284
      11:14 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

      Or you could flip that and say who has had more talent and done less than Cal? Right ? The guy has had more talent hands down than any coach in UK history and it’s not really close.

  5. mikeintn
    8:12 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    I’m not stressing over what some 17-18 year old is thinking, Cal gets paid millions to do that, just give him time he’ll fix it. KY has been good and will always be. Happy Thanksgiving:

  6. shelby
    8:17 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    Ball to uk would make me ?. We do not need that drama, he’s not that good, he’s just weird looking, and we will have plenty of guards and wings next year.

    • katfan33
      7:11 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t want him either but you don’t want him because he looks “weird”? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you 11 years old?

  7. Just saying
    8:27 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    There is an ole song from way back that has a chorus that goes something like this- “all the good times have come and gone!” Cal has done wonders in Lexington and deserves his do. But one cannot deny that the very elite recruits are not choosing the CATS as they did early on. Why? Who knows! Duke is ruling the recruiting world now. Will fans be satisfied missing final fours and be ok with seeing Cal in the Green Room in late June? I say if the Cats miss the FF this year (4 years in a row) then fans will go restless and tired of what may are now calling the Lexington D League. Stay tuned!

    • henderblue
      11:42 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

      What a crock of crap. You say Cal won’t get the elites, but he’ll be in the green room in June? You might want to rethink that whole crock pot there buddy. It makes no sense. And Cal and UK will be fine.

  8. zoupman
    8:47 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    Relax. Cal knows what he is doing. Can’t get every recruit. TJ quit spreading negativity.

    • TJ Walker
      9:21 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

      ….. huh?

    • bigbluebanana
      11:10 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

      In all fairness TJ, you have pretty obviously been pushing the @sky is falling” narrative. Out of all the writers here, you are the one that sounds the most negative. You’re doing it passive aggressively too. Maybe you’re not realizing it, but go look back at your past few articles and read the comments (that you didn’t censor out anyway) and you’ll find this sentiment about you peppered throughout the comments. I realize your job depends on the amount of clicks you produce, so I get why you do it, but don’t pretend like that’s not part of your agenda.

    • bigblue2284
      11:18 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

      How dare you TJ point out recruiting misses, uncalled for it’s got to be blue tinted glasses all day everyday. If it’s true it’s ok to say, sometimes things don’t go well.

    • bigblue2284
      11:21 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

      Bluebanana or whatever he calls himself will show up at the slightest hint of criticism towards UK, true or not. You literally can’t say a word without getting hit with barage of childish insults.

  9. Jiminy Crickets
    10:40 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    I’ve been saying it for months Stewart, Anthony, and Carey all go to duke. 3 of top 5 again. Duke is putting UK in its rear view mirror

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:38 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

      Well sh!t. Step back everbody. Why pay attention to all those people closer to the actual situations when we have good ‘ol Jiminy telling us months ago how it would all go down.

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:38 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink


    10:41 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    I’m sorry, but the strikeout on Wismen, Carey and others before them after the 2016 class is concerning to me. Cal during the off-season spending more time promoting HIS brand and doing extra bs besides coaching the team is concerning. Him minimizing adversity and downplaying the importance of certain games and losing top priority recruits is concerning. Ive always been pro Cal and still am, I just think his method of coaching and recruiting doesn’t work as well anymore, especially top recruits. Some things gotta change asap or this cant work any longer

  11. njCat
    11:53 pm November 21, 2018 Permalink

    No more expectations. Cal will never win another title.

  12. Patrick_David
    5:55 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

    This is some funny Adam Schitt stuff written in the comment section… Thank God we have all these “Chicken Littles” that can tell us what our reality truly is…. I think I’ll pass and enjoy my Thanksgiving. I’ve always believed there was a cloud of eternal negativity hovering over Kentucky…seems truer than ever with Mr. T.J. Walkers take.

  13. Scottscats
    7:34 am November 22, 2018 Permalink

    Hell no on Ball!

  14. KYjellyRoll
    8:35 pm November 22, 2018 Permalink

    Well the way I see it, the G league is going to be paying these top recruits soon. So from now on if cal gets the recruits that are ranked 25 + we will be just fine. If these guys wanna go somewhere else, so be it. They aren’t cut out for the spotlight at u.k. If they don’t choose uk then let them go.

  15. Racerr11
    9:57 pm November 22, 2018 Permalink

    Hell no on Ball no way no how. More in the g league or oversees lol really. Birdieman study up or pick another sport.