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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Let’s got some things out there…


Michael AveryThe only known picture of Avery 

OK, we just received a commitment from an eighth-grader…good?…bad?…creepy?…

This much we know, Michael Avery is humongous 14-year old.  No matter what you think about the ethics of gaining a verbal from a middle-schooler, there’s no denying that this kid is a beast. 

However, the rest of the nation will see the headline, “UK locks up an 8th grader,” or something of the sort, and lose their collective mind.  As usual, there’s a lot more to the story.

First of all, this is nowhere near as demented as Bobby Knight’s recruitment of Damon Bailey.  Frequenting a seventh-grader’s basketball game was different when there was no AAU.  Avery has been a force amongst kids much older than he, often playing with high school sophomores and juniors.  If it’s OK to recruit them, why not nab the kid that’s showing them all up?

Secondly, it’s not like Gillispie jumped into a four-square game at recess, called no “popcorns,” dominated, and traded this kid Nutty Bars for a commitment.  We get it, he’s really young.  Apparently, he’s also really good.  Despite what will be discovered about Avery’s game, the only thing people will talk about is his age. 

Third, and more will come out about this in due time I presume, but it remains to be seen how much recruiting Gillispie and his staff did.  While I don’t think that there has been a complete “changing of the guard” in terms of recruiting, but now, more than ever, young kids are recruiting colleges.  I’m not suggesting that Gillispie hadn’t shown interest in Avery, but I don’t think locking-up super-young kids is necessarily his go-to tactic (holy hyphens!).  It seems more like this kid already knew he wanted to play for Kentucky, and that’s never a bad thing.

So, when you troll around the blogs, newspapers, and message boards for the next few days, realize that most of the criticism that you will read/hear about this move is bunk. 

OK, just had to get that off my chest.  Now, we wait for the next commitment, presumably occurring in the next 5-9 seconds.

Article written by Evan Hilbert

63 responses to “Let’s got some things out there…”

  1. KentuckyEXCLAVE

    outstanding

  2. halldawg22

    6’4 power forward in 8th grade? How tall is the Center??

  3. Woo Says "I Take Yo Money!"

    3rd! and wow, I was just reading an article on ASOB about how the USC coach feels forced to recruit younger players because of Kentucky. Tim Floyd better start looking on every set of monkeybars and swingsets if he wants to out recruit BCG!

  4. AZ Blue

    It is a little creepy but no can doubt how hard this staff is working.

  5. CHunter

    It says online he is a combo guard

  6. TheBigBooyah

    Having Eric Gordon as your hero makes feel like a senior citizen.

    http://leagueathletics.com/Page.asp?n=7223&org=kingjamesshootingstarssouth.com

  7. drmarc

    I posted this in the last thread but I will stick it here as well…..

    You’ll probably see more and more of this as parents seek to limit the circus type atmosphere and the inordinate amount of distraction that comes from recruitment of these basketball “Wonderland” by the universities.

    If as a parent you are solely concerned about your child doing well, having a somewhat normal childhood and wish him to do well academically then verbally commit early. It will keep the distractions to a minimum through his high school days and you can still change later since you haven’t “signed” a letter of intent.

  8. Woo Says "I Take Yo Money!"

    I know this is soon, but it is also good to know that Billy Clyde is recruiting athletic and talented 6’5-6’9 guys, rather than just resting on his laurels and taking on various 7 foot projects whose names need not be mentioned. Truth is, the talent pool above 6’8 is pretty shallow and it seems that coach finds talent more important than height.

  9. knmaynard

    Agreed, Mr. Hilbert. It’s normal to react, as even we did, to the age, so no hard feelings to the knee jerk of even diehard UK fans at the initial news.

    No doubt that we have fully vetted the issues under the last post, the horse has been beaten bloody. Now that it’s been beaten to death, I say we let it go and focus on the positive direction of our storied program. I have nothing more to say on the topic but “Welcome aboard, Avery.”

    It is awesome to see kids wanting to wear KENTUCKY across their chest, and it doesn’t get old watching that happen, even though generations before me had the same pride watching young kids dream of, and finally get to, play for the Universtity of Kentucky. It just doesn’t get old. Very cool.

    Avery, you know how hard to work the next 4 years. We’ll be seeing you at hoop events in the state, where you’ll start getting a taste of what fan support really is. We’re looking forward to it, and expect great things from guys like you who are lucky enough to get to wear the jersey.

    Good stuff.

  10. drmarc

    Oh, that’s “Wunderkind” in post 7….. duhh..

  11. Yesterdays

    THIS KID IS A GUARD. HE is not a PF. So it really doesnt matter if he grows or not IMO. Whoops, its already been posted. I will just post again because i am too lazy to delete and all the Tubby backers are pissed that UK is popular again.

  12. 69Z

    BG didn’t recruit him. His father sought out BG’s opinion of his son after BG was seen scouting Indiana Elite at a AAU tourny. Ferguson plays for them along with several other potential targets. Avery is so good he plays up in age groups. After several attempts to contact BG Mr. Avery got him on the phone. It turns out BG could not return his calls or texts because of contact rules. BG and Mr. Avery had a great talk and Mr. Avery asked BG to keep them on his radar at which time BG was impressed enough to offer Michael a scholarship on the spot. When Michael found out he wanted to commit immediately but his father wanted to make some calls. After contacting several insiders including the Indy Elite head coach the Averys decided they wanted to commit to UK and did so. Pretty simple.

  13. funkadelic

    10. He’s currently projected to be 27′ 9″ as a freshman.

  14. Drewdown N ChiTown

    When I was in 8th grade I wanted to play for UK too…

  15. BillyClyde4President

    Matt, any updates on Liggins’ academic situation?

    Also, please post something on Bobby Maze and/or Verdell Jones. I know Jones is holding a press conference Monday but from what I’ve heard, he’s Minnesota bound. Any updates would be greatly appreciated.

  16. Thomas Beisner

    I’m afraid to look at that kid’s picture anymore. I’ve never worried so much that a 14 year-old was about to kick my ass.

  17. TheBigBooyah

    This really puts into perspective how bad I was at basketball in the 8th grade.

  18. UKNation

    Ranked #45 for the class of 2012 HoopScoopOnline

    Ranking middle schoolers is a bit much… I love recruiting as much as anyone but this scares me a bit.

  19. jcb973

    My wife is pregnant with a boy, I’m calling BCG today to see if he’ll take another committment.

  20. mattcat68

    Hey, people always complained that Tubby didn’t go after recruits early enough, no one can ever accuse Gillispie of this. I see nothing wrong with this at all. Coach is really working hard on the future, some coaches continue to live off their past. The truth is, the nature of recruiting is changing. The competition for talent has reached a fever pitch, and coaches must show loyalty to a recruit much earlier these days. I’m glad we have a coach who realizes that.

  21. floorgeneral22

    I don’t know if anyone has seen this on Espn.com yet, but as it turned out Chris Lofton played the entire season after having cancer that required surgery and rounds of chemo….Maybe thats why he didn’t set the world on fire.

  22. AZ Blue

    24 – Chris Lofton and cancer? Wow, that sucks…

  23. kingrex3

    His father stated in the interview that he may be attending Culver Military Academy in Northern Indiana next year and that they are assembling somewhat of a hoops powerhouse squad there.
    That’s only about an hour away from me…. gonna have to check them out if he ends up there!

  24. BillyClyde4President

    This kid is indeed a middle school player but he’s obviously more advanced than most kids at that age. He played in the 2008 US Elite camp (17 and under) and came away as the 3rd rated player overall!!!!!! That simply tells me that a 13 year old boy is out there schooling 17 year olds. I also remember Mayo starring in 7th grade and dunking from near the free throw line so give this kid a chance. He sounds very gifted.

  25. Ryan

    6’4” is not really humongous for a 14 yr old. I remember in 8th grade there were several kids that were 6’2, 6’3”. It’s big for a 14 yr old, but not “humongous.” Derek Character was 6’8” in the 8th grade. Now that is Humongous for a 14 yr old.

  26. BillyClyde4President

    28: You said you remember kids in middle school being “6’2″ or 6’3″ but could they dominate the United States Summer Elite Camp for kids up to 17 years old????
    I don’t care how tall Avery is. The proof is in the pudding. He took those boys to school this summer.

  27. TheBigBooyah
  28. KadizKat

    28)I say Greg Olden as an eight grader and he was 6’10 – 6’11″.
    14)Do you have an inside source on all this? It sounds interesting, how good is your source?

  29. dsolzman

    I’m glad Lofton is alright now

  30. _Blackhawk_

    #29 now THAT is humongous

  31. Ryan

    Shaq was about 6’8” in middle school too I believe.

  32. MuhlenberCountyCAT

    Does anybody remember TONY KEY from Russelville. I was in the 7th grade and he was in the 8th grade. He had to be 6’8″ tall. He came to our gym and broke the backboard in the 8th grade. Of course he never amounted to anything because he was extremely stupid and I think he got on drugs. This dude was awesome as an eigth grader though. He was not only tall he was thick too. Of course I think he was about 16 years old in 8th grade, but he was still about 6’8″ tall as a 14 year old.

  33. MuhlenberCountyCAT

    GREG ODEN=skinny
    TONY KEY=THICK

  34. floorgeneral22

    35 Tony actually moved to Compton to go to Paul Pierces HS and then he declared for the NBA Draft despite the fact no one wanted him. He bounced around europe for a bit. Last I heard he was incarcerated

  35. MuhlenberCountyCAT

    You think Greg Oden looks like he’s 40 now. Tony Key looked like he was 40 in the 8th grade.

  36. MuhlenberCountyCAT

    He was huge though #37 and a very talented player. He just wasn’t raised right or something.

  37. UKfansNKY

    WOW, can you imagine how his parent’s are feeling right now…..Good for him….

  38. I'm Just Sayin

    31) That info was on a Maggard Podcast interviewing the kid’s father.

  39. Red Rooster

    Clay Aiken anyone?

  40. TheBigBooyah

    Speaking of recruiting, this interesting tidbit comes courtesy of Rivals.

    Bat Cats have 4 recruits in the Top 78, including (2) 5-star guys. Lets give some props to Cohen & Co.

    http://rivals100.rivals.com/viewrank.asp?SID=1185&Year=2008&ra_key=2096

  41. cat1

    So i guess this means BCG will be here at least 5 more years. What great news!

  42. Azubuikebicep

    What happens if by the time this guy is a junior in highschool we realize he never developed?
    What if he is averaging 8 pts a game for his highschool team?
    What if he finds cars and girls and decides basketball is not all that special?
    Do we owe him anything or can we pull the scholly?

  43. C-A-T-S

    The kid is going to be a 9th grader in about month, so people like Tipton and ESPN can calm down and not get worked up over this,.

    Although we all know Tipton will have something stupid to say about it

  44. C-A-T-S

    #45

    The kid is already showing up good Junior and Soph basketball players. So at the very least he won’t get worse than that.

    I think it is safe to say he is going to be pretty good.

  45. CatFan4444

    Didn’t JP Blevins committ in the 8th grade or something like that?? That was 10 yrs ago and it’s still happening

  46. Dave C

    My son just turned 14 on Friday and he is 6’3′ 240. Size 14 shoes. Must be something in the water.

  47. BluesMan

    Thanks for adding some sanity to the discussion.

    P.S. The Cubs still suck.

  48. skaggs

    anybody notice in this article “UK lands youngest recruit in school history!” at http://ukmadness.wordpress.com/ that it mentions there was another commitment today that doesn’t want to be announced yet?

    “Jeff Drummond of Catspause.com noted today when he broke the story that there has been another commitment today but the player does not want to reveal who they are. Drummond said news could be made any minute/day”

    wonder if there’s anything to that?

  49. TBoogie

    The last time I checked, Tony Key was playing for one of the teams in the same league as the “pro” team in Pikeville, whatever the hell that league is called.

  50. sortleader2

    He looks like Jane, plays like Tarzan!

  51. Thomas Beisner

    53, hahahaha. Very nice…although UK’s Jane might have played like Tarzan enough this year to get a decent free agent contract. We’ll see.

  52. Splat Jones

    #53 – He looks like Jane because he probably doesn’t even have hair on his balls yet. He’s sporting the California surfer hair, the chicks dig, um k?

    Just wait, in no time he’ll have the jawline of Dave Bliss and the beard of Conan O’Brien!

    BCG FTW!

  53. sortleader2

    Noted….

  54. Ken T. Ucky

    46) Tipton won’t say anything stupid about it until he’s told us the minutia at 5 other SEC schools first though.

  55. Billy Gillispie signs Michael Avery to the Class of 2012 « Silk Roads and Siamese Smiles

    [...] seems that Gillispie wasn’t actively recruiting Michael Avery. Young Michael and his father recruited UK and Coach Gillispie. They sold Gillispie [...]

  56. fraudfighter13

    My three year old has some mad skills…He is 3’1″ and plays circles around the four year olds at day care…Also, we are expecting another boy this month…the doctor says his fibula is very long. Interested BCG?

  57. Hoptown in the House

    Tony Key ended up playing for the Harlem Globetrotters. Not sure if he is still with them, he may be in the new CBA. But he didn’t go to jail? Where do some of these things get started? I’ve got a 5 foot tall 3rd grader, I’m calling BCG in the morning!

  58. gorbe ye abi

    How did my blog get posted up there? Is that an automated response/post from WordPress?

  59. gorbe ye abi

    So basically, those that disagree with this commit think that Gillispie should have told the Avery family;

    “Well Guys, he has great skills and he highly regarded. BUT. We’re gonna pass for now. Give us a call when he’s in the 10th Grade.”

    You guys must be fans of the Tubby Smith Spring Cherry Picker Recruiting Philosophy. Tubby “I’ll wait until they de-commit from some other school so I don’t have to evaluate talent” Smith.

  60. How Young Is Too Young?

    [...] light of the slight hubbub surrounding the University of Kentucky’s signing of Michael Avery, an 8th grader who obviously hasn’t started high school yet, I was reminded of this brilliant [...]