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The Turning of the Recruiting Page


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I was on the message boards today and saw this photoshopped picture from a poster named “Cindog28″ (brilliantly done I might add) and it hit me that it has been a full week around these parts with no mention of Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas. Yes the names that were so engrained to this blog for the past 12 months are now simply names on a roster in Gainesville and Lexington, and the day to day saga of their recruitment is nothing but a figment of our fading memories. Word is that in Patterson’s case, he has made a couple of trips to the UK campus and has worked out occasionally at the practice facilities, playing pickup basketball with some of his teammates. Patterson apparently looks impressive and is getting ready for his full-time move to Lextown this summer, where he will inherit the award of most anticipated UK player since a young King named Rex.

So that leads to the question, who is next? Who are the guys whose recruitment will reach the ubiquitous level of scrutiny of our friends Jai and Pat? The short answer to that question is probably no one. The Patterson and Lucas sagas were unique instances when kids each chose between schools going through some degree of change and thus the decision to hold out and make a late decision made sense for each of them individually. Billy Clyde however seems to be operating under a different system and I dont expect to see him involved in such a prolonged affair again. Billy Clyde seems to be casting a wide net over a variety of players, taking the view that if one is interested in playing for the Cats, they may need to get on board early before the cruise sets sail without them.

However it is becoming clear that two players may have “Patterson and Lucas” tendencies when it comes to this class. The first is in-state mega recruit Darius Miller. Kentucky fans have a long history of wanting their “Kentucky boys” to play for the Cats and the legend of the Kentucky schoolboy who makes good is enough for an ESPN documentary (narrated by Ashley Judd). In Miller’s case this is particularly important because of the perceived loss of a legend in Chris Lofton, who is from Miller’s home county and whose shadow still hovers over the program with every three he makes. Getting Miller is priority number one for a lot of Kentuckians, even those who dont follow recruiting, but know that Chris Lofton is really good and not a Wildcat. Miller is being hounded by a who’s who of UK bad guys…..Louisville, Duke, Florida, Indiana and Tennessee look to be the other leading contenders for his services…..try and pick the five schools UK fans hate the most and there you have them….and Miller has all of them interested in him to some degree. Miller’s recruitment is the next big thing in Kentucky and keeping him in state is job #1 for Billy Clyde this year.

The Lucas to Miller’s Patterson this year may be Tyler Zeller. Zeller has already won the author of this blog over due to his play this week, but it is also the case that his game is about to win over a whole group of UK fans over as well. Zeller is from Indiana, close enough that zealous UK fans can go see him play (as they did Patterson) and give Big Blue cheers towards him during his contests. He is considering visiting UK during Midnight Madness providing another opportunity for UK fans to fawn over a new batch of recruits…..in what may be one of the most stoked atmospheres in some time for the program. UNC has just offered the Indiana kid and they join Indiana and Purdue as top suitors for his services. Combine the fact that Duke may jump in soon with an offer and Zeller may become big man target #1 for UK this year…..and the object of desire for most fans as well.

Is Miller-Zeller the next Patterson-Lucas? Not when one considers the importance the latter two’s recruitment had on the program and the grip their decision had on the fans. However, there is no doubt that there is a new interest in UK recruiting, brought about in part by the saga of last year’s focus and the excitement that Billy Clyde has given to the process. There are lots of names on UK’s horizon next year ranging from Willie Warren to DeAndre Liggins to Romero Osby to Chris Singleton and others. But Miller and Zeller will stay on that list for some time….and I have a sneaking suspicion that they may end up being the two players UK fans covet the most.

IF you are interested in seeing some of the UK target’s games, click on this website of the Bob Gibbons TOC and you can watch full games of some of the players. Tyler Zeller’s Indiana Elite team has two games, Romero Osby’s Southeast Elite team has two games and Chris Singleton’s Atlanta Celtics have one game. Check them out and enjoy seeing what they can do.

If you are interested in being our intern/writer for the blog, you have one more day to email me at matt.jones@kentuckysportsradio.com. We have lots of emails so far and I will be getting back to those interested very soon.

Check in throughout the day for more…….

Article written by Matt Jones

72 responses to “The Turning of the Recruiting Page”

  1. Anonymous

    ./

  2. gobigblue73

    Is that at Keeneland? Wow did I live there when I was at UK! Everyone knew not to schedule
    claases in the afternoon for April and October!

  3. Anonymous

    2

  4. gobigblue73

    I want Darius Miller for purely psychological reasons relating to lofton and UK kids in general.
    When I was kid all my relatives(in kentucky, im from Ohio) talked about how great it would be to
    play for UK and lately it didnt seem the same. We need a few kentucky boys to step up big for UK.
    My goal would be for kids that are superstars in high school in Kentucky would never consider leaving
    the state because the best is right in front of them. Ohio State football almost never loses an
    in state recruit to another school, I know Football is different because they take like 100 kids but
    anyway we should NEVER have to battle an out of state school for one of our kids!!

  5. gobigblue73

    Kentucky Sports Radio is the greatest thing to happen to UK since the introduction
    of Midnight Madness!

  6. mashed potata smooth

    Recruiting has slowed down some now that the 07 class is complete. Can’t wait until late June & July when the contact period opens up again.

  7. gobigblue73

    is everyone asleep? I think this picture shows why I am not hurting because we lost Jai Lucas. We have lots of jockeys in Kentucky that are taller than he is!

  8. mashed potata smooth

    5 – I’ll disagree with that statement 100 times.

  9. gobigblue73

    #8 if you dont like it mashed, why the hell are you on it at midnight on a tuesday night?

  10. gobigblue73

    my point is I want to talk about UK basketball 24 hours a day every day all year round and
    this website lets me do it. I cant think of anything else that lets me feed my UK obsession
    except watching old games on tape. By the way I watched a good one from’96 today. We scored
    86 points on Lsu in the first half including 28 by antoine!

  11. mashed potata smooth

    9 didn’t say I didn’t like it – I’m just not lusting over it and calling it the best thing since sliced bread. Geez…

  12. gobigblue73

    Ok best thing since mashed potatas

  13. Macon_Volfan

    I still need your address Matt.

  14. mashed potata smooth

    12 – LOL that was pretty funny…

  15. gobigblue73

    that sucks for brandon good thing he didnt sign an agent

  16. frito bandito
  17. gobigblue73

    #13 does your name say Vol fan?

  18. bcgobsession

    I keep waiting to open up my homepage & see that Billy D has accepted the Magic job!!! Any good rumors going around???

  19. B-rad King
  20. gobigblue73

    no rumors #19 just facts… UK is the greatest!

  21. Oeuh

    I haven’t heard anything on the Magic opening in a while… The calm before the storm, maybe?

    I don’t look for them to hire Donovan, personally. Brian Shaw is a good possibility… A young guy who has the respect of players. I think he would get the most out of that group.

  22. ARW

    if Miller wants to be another Patterson or Lucas I have a feeling by then that UK will be out of rides.

  23. bcgobsession

    2)Yes– in the Keeneland Clubhouse. That’s when Legion visited. Awww the great Keeneland days! I’ve only been moved away from Lexington for 6 short months & I miss it! It was extremely difficult missing the spring meet :(

  24. gobigblue73

    #25 i think he meant Miller would be our most important like Patterson was, I sure hope he
    didnt mean waiting until the final day of the signing period! I dont think my heart can take that again.

  25. gobigblue73

    I got deleted again sorry, I guess that topic is off limits, I definitely understand, but apparently it is not off limits for espn

  26. bcgobsession

    26) Just curious– born in 73 or graduated in 73???

  27. bcgobsession

    oops– 25

  28. bcgobsession

    http://www.myspace.com/ballerbeans

    Even though you can’t see any pictures or read his profile, it all sums up PP’s choice!!! I love it!

  29. mashed potata smooth

    My comment was deleted, sorry about the Duke/ESPN thing – didnt mean anything by it…

  30. unknown

    Not really sure where you’re getting your information, Matt, but Duke’s not recruiting either Zeller or Miller. They were once interested in Miller but have since moved on to Elliot Williams, whom they’ve turned their full attention to.

    Duke has never once expressed an interest in Zeller, to my knowledge.

  31. SoCal Will

    Miller’s situation is sooo different than Lofton’s. Poor Chris couldn’t get a UK offer because the former staff preferred Bradley, Crawford, and Rondo. We should all applaud his individual achievements. He is the small town Kentuckian that is chugging to the top with his big heart on foreign soil. Darius, on the other hand, is sitting on a UK offer and has been for some time. If he isn’t sure he likes the Cats by Midnight Madness then…

  32. B.Rad King

    I don’t think there is an ESPN bias per say… The fact that KSRadio is affiliated with ESPN, it would be hard to make that argument.

    Though,

    Some of the mainstream guys have their own political motives… ie Dick Vitale, Andy Katz… There is the same problem with Fox Sports or any other big outlet- Billy Packer, CBS… .

    They may not always be against UK, or it very well may be that their view sells and they know people will read it or listen… Controversy sells.

    Regardless, Katz is still toothless. :)

  33. Alpha Brumage

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2007/05/a_caron_butler_surprise.html

    Anyone hear about this? You always hear about the bad things that some of these guys do. Like the whole Lebron/Darfur imbroglio, Pacman Jones and his guns, Rasheed or any number of players and their tempers and such. But you rarely hear about the good things that these guys do like Caron Butler showing up at a 16 year olds surprise birthday party.

    Reminds me of our involvement in Iraq. Libs love to yell to the highest mountain top anything concerning the death toll rising or any bad news and GOD forbid a dirty little GI does something wrong. But they never speak to the good that goes on everyday in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

  34. flop

    Maybe Jai picked the wrong sport. It looks like he’s got the optimum jockey stature. I can’t see how anyone could list him at 5’10″ and keep a straight face.

  35. Alpha Brumage

    I heard someone say that he was really 5’6″. Like that Harrison kid at Ole Miss a few years back.

  36. The Kid (formerly) Stuck In Haggin Hall

    33… i dont understand why Lebron James’ choice to not sign the Darfur paper has any significance at all… it shouldnt even be news… all that has happened is the media outlets are draggin his name through the mud.. why is it even public if he didnt want to.. sure we can think the worst of him and say it was because of his indirect links to China and how it will financially affect him… at the end of the day, its none of our business…

  37. Anonymous

    apples and oranges.

  38. Alpha Brumage

    36, I agree

  39. Valupix

    WOW, Jai Lucas is as small as Brian Hernandez.

    Maybe if the Florida thing doesn’t work out, he might have a future as a jockey.

  40. Anonymous
  41. Tom Crean

    I’m also interested in the Magic job, sorry Cat fans!

  42. lexslamman

    Alpha Brumage

    I think that is just the nature of the press these days. The mudslinging and rooting for partisan-spun stories certainly did not begin with liberals and is not a recent invention. Partisan press is one of the reasons we had a revolution in this country and gained our independence. There are plenty of news outlets now with very strong conservative biases which people who object to what they percieve as unfair bias in other mainstream outlets can turn to. The most important thing is that the news media market to its consumers and not ally itself with the government or other non-media corporations (ahem) to obfuscate its true purpose – to challenge the government and others in power with the concerns and questions of their constituency, and to deliver the government’s response back to the public. I am sick and tired of people who believe that news is supposed to just be information – if you want plain, raw information there are plenty of reams of census data, surveys, double-blind studies, intelligence estimates, maps, and receipts you can pour through.

  43. JKW1974

    I hope Miller comes to UK, but I am not willing to let him hold us hostage. We have been through that, and my hope is that the recruiting changes to a selection mode. If you want to be here, you have an offer. There are others who have offers, and I say first come, first served.

    I hope all of the offers are taken up by November signing date……..

  44. David Shuman

    Miller-Zeller in 2008 – that’s a good ticket – Good Luck BCG, you’re the COACH of the year!!!

  45. James

    Can someone explain to me the obsession with Billy Donovan? I don’t want him going anywhere. I want to beat him about 10 times in a row. We shouldn’t be scared of any coach and it makes is look scared when we obsess him over him. Just my opinion but I’m probaly wrong.

  46. 1ukfan
  47. Clostradamus

    Matt,

    I love the post, I also love the fact that someone else is getting credit for my masterpiece.

    I was the creator of the above pic, and I demand a RECOUNT…..

    ha

    CLOSTRADAMUS is the artist of the above work………

    MATT, here’s the link
    http://kentucky.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=1150&tid=94921225&mid=94921225&sid=888&style=2

    I posted it on the 24th….:)

  48. SayWhat

    Alpha, things in Iraq are going grreeaaattt. Hundreds of thousands killed, more maimed, billions spent, more terrorists incountry now, pieces lining up for a theocracy siding with Iran instead of opposed …. I can go on but why bother …. too depressing …

  49. killerthrees

    The entire Chris Lofton thing needs to be dropped! Louisville over-looked him as well and UK takes the blame for not being on the ball with him. Well why not trash the Ville for not being on the ball with him as well?

  50. Alpha Brumage

    Never said things were going swimmingly. I am saying that there are two sides. Actually, several perspectives that America never sees.

    42. The press in America has been bought and paid for since the American Revolution. Freedom of the Press is a farce. Freedom to buy the Press is the actual case at hand. Events in Iraq and elsewhere are spun constantly. I can’t help it if some believe what they are spoon fed. In America, land of the gibberish, we love our news to be peppered liberally (pun intended) with celebrities and our cute little white kidnapping victims and our white on black racism. Most of the older TV news, if one can call it that, is bent towards the DNC. They fake it everyonce in a while to seem unbaised.

    Believe what you will. I’ve seen some of the events that the news has “reported” first hand. I’ve rarely seen them give factual information. Mostly, it’s spun to make the man of the hour look good.

    Now, back to sports.

    I agree with 45. I don’t care if Billy D stays or leaves UF. It was his life and his choices. I don’t begrudge him his freedom and choice to stay at UF. It’s his program. It’s his legacy. He will have an awesome legacy at UF if he stays. If he jumps to the NBA, he will still have an awesome legacy at UF, if he is either succesful or avoids the pitfalls of Pitino. Either way, it’s his choice. But if he stays, I want UK to be the two games on his schedule that he fears. The two games that he circles because he knows that he is gonna lose.

    Let him stay. Let him leave. It matters not.

    I’m just glad that Smith is gone and Billy Gillispie is our coach now.

  51. mikeman

    I love this pic bc it makes the jockey look tall standing next to jai.. hahah

  52. adaircam4

    It amazes me how everyone is dogging Jai since he has signed with Florida..all of a sudden, UK fans find it appropriate to bust on a guy they have been drooling over for the better part of 2 years..95% of UK fans really wanted Jai to come to UK and now all of a sudden everyone acts like they never wanted him and never thought that he would be a very good player..just because he didn’t choose UK, doesn’t make him a terrible person or player..with that being said, he is very short!!

  53. Meekssuperfan

    I beleive everyone thought that no jai no pat.Plus everyone freaks out when they are burger boys when some of the best players are not.

  54. lexslamman

    50.

    Once the media works solely in support of or opposition to the government, corporate America, or any other institution it ceases to be ‘news’ and becomes ‘propaganda’.

    I think the news media clearly tailors its content, messages, editorialism, and image to its customers, the American people. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  55. demoCrAT

    Man, they grow ‘em big in Alabama:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOoXFzRzOtk

  56. Anonymous

    Jai Lucas is Headed to National Champions
    Gators land one of last remaining top recruits
    May 16, 2007
    By Van Coleman
    CSTV & Hoopmasters.com National Recruiting Analyst
    Billy Donovan has added another key element to rebuilding for the future in Gainesville with the signing of Jai Lucas.
    Just over a month ago, Lucas was close to committing to Kentucky along with his close friend Patrick Patterson but the Wildcats had a coaching change,

    (and)

    Patterson Decides To Stay Close To Home
    Top ten recruit signs with Kentucky
    May 16, 2007
    By Van Coleman
    CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com
    Billy Gillispie went a long way to answering the question of how successful he’ll be on the recruiting trail in Lexington with the signing of Patrick Patterson.
    Just over a month ago, Patrick Patterson was ready to commit to Kentucky at the McDonald’s All-American game. But, Tubby Smith left for Minnesota, and Patterson along with his good friend Jai Lucas decided to re-evaluate their recruiting.
    Lucas decided to head another direction as he signed with Florida on Monday afternoon, but Patterson, much to the surprise of many close to his recruiting, decided that he was comfortable enough with the new staff Billy Gillespie had put together; and went with his first instinct and signed with the Wildcats.

  57. UKatCrazy

    Jai should forget basketball and become a jockey! They look to be about the same size.

  58. random goober

    54. News coverage must be separate and free from “customers”. Journalism must be driven by the constant search for truth.

    Alpha Brumage, face up to your party’s blunders (War, response to Katrina, torture, attacking our liberty, big government…) instead of grasping at straws. You lost last time and will lose next year.

  59. lexslamman

    58.

    ‘Truth’ or ‘Fact’?

    Truth is relative, fact is empirical. In my opinion people look to the news for neither. They turn to the media to confirm or reject the opinions which their families, friends, churches, and education have already driven into them.

  60. Micah

    Matt, I emailed one of your people on myspace that pic about a week ago…I asked them to pass it on to everyone at Sports Mob,
    did you not get it?

  61. random goober

    Good point….To me, truth and fact need to be one thing. But that gets clouded by the environment which fact gets filtered. You got that right for sure. It’s a personal responsiblity and not journalism’s responsibility to match truth to fact. That’s why I get frustrated with the “customers” wanting more Lohan and ignoring what really affects the future. Hopefully the media can exorcise it’s leading role.

  62. Micah

    Matt, I emailed this pic to one of your people via myspace about a week ago, asked her to pass it on to all you guys. Did
    you not get it?

  63. lexslamman

    61.

    When we denounce the media’s appeals to the low-brow interests of the general public, there is a tendency by the powers that be to attack the criticism as arrogant. Those who want the media held to a higher standard and more accountability for the quality and appropriateness of content are generally accused of imposing on the rights of individual businesses and curtailing the constitutional freedoms of press and speech.

    That is why there is a free market. Though the modern media super-conglomerates (from NewsCorp (aka Fox) to Vivendi (NBC), Liggett (USA Today) and CNNTimeWarner represent a very narrow band of viewpoints, these also happen to be where the majority of media consumers in this country find their points-of-view. This leads to a chicken-vs-egg problem – is the lack of variation in the mass media due to the fairly homogeneous political philosophy of the general public, or is the lack of diversity in the public’s politics due to the mass-market mainstreaming of the news?

    As if this quandry wasn’t exasperating, we now see the problem projected on the global level as the dominant Western world-view is projected on southeast Asia and the Middle East, causing conflict in resistance to change. In all of this, traditional ways of life and long-held conservative values are put at risk as the world slowly assimilates to a more liberal, progressive, relativistic and egalitarian viewpoint. That we live in a time of great conflict and debate should come as no surprise.

  64. random goober

    What will give us a solution to the catch-22 is diversification of coverage. The grass-root news effort armed with many eyes can give us the scoop from more diverse angles. We will get to the bottom of things free from mass-media rule.

  65. Alpha Brumage

    random goober, I’m an American. I’d rather not be owned and spoon fed garbage by politicians or their spinning machines. Your party went along with and is still going along with the “mistakes” of the current administration. Taht is something that not many DNC members wish to recognize or as you put it; “own up to…”

    The major media outlets are not free. They are bought and paid for blood money propoganda machines. They spout party rhetoric. This is true whether you speak of CNN, MSNBC or FOX.

    I know what freedom is. I know the value of freedom of the press. I just spent a day in a Qatari jail for taking a picture of Al Jazeera in Doha.

    America has it quite well. We did that on the backs of the Third World. In my opinion, what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan and Djibouti is the tip of the Iceberg of our debt to the world.

    You get your Nike or Jordan sneakers because a pregnant Chinese teen spends 12 to 16 hours a day in a sweat shop. You get your oil because a million Pakistani workers sweat in the sun for 2 to 5 dollars a day making those oil rigs pump smoothly.

    But we owe no one anything, and certainly not Iraqis. And we definitely owe no one blood that we helped to spill by selling arms world wide to every side in every conflict since the end of World War II.

    We owe no debt of blood at all. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of our blood debt to the global community.

    And before the obvious cry of the complacent comes to the fore…I have.

  66. random goober

    Brumage, you have already been spun by King Karl. If you want the merry-go-round to stop, then steer clear of media conglomerates and stop spinning a tale of how rosy things are in Iraq. If you want to help the World, consume as little as possible. Myself, I ride a bicycle to get around, am a vegetarian, and conserve resources obsessively. As far as politics, I hold liberty in the highest.

    I mean this in the best of ways from one fan to another. I realize it sucks facing your role in the destruction of something you care for, but the time has come. End of interview on this end.

  67. gatorxterminater

    o shut up……this is a SPORTS BLOG…..SPORTS. i hear enough of this junk everytime i turn on
    the tv.i wanna here sports talk not a bunch of schmucks who think that they actually know something about it. politics are for retards

  68. B.Rad King

    Ernie ‘Pipsqueak’ Fletcher is my idol.

  69. UKHOOPZ

    68….Agreed!

  70. uk alumni

    Matt… there is a gentleman by the name of Thomas Beisner who is applying for the intern/writer position. He carries the same flavor of creative writing that you do. I think he could be a great pick up for the blog. Keep up the good work! Do you think Singleton (over Miller for SF) would better suit our team for next year? Consider that we would have someone of Miller’s size in Legion and Jasper may move to the 3.

  71. Alpha Brumage

    rndom goober, we’ll just have to disagree. I’m not going to become a tree hugging vegan just to prove an invalid point.

    That is all.