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Now We’re Talkin: An Interview with UK’s Newest Commit Jon Hood


I had planned on getting to the Tipton controversy tonight….but Hood’s commitment postpones it to the afternoon. But I will go over the absurdity soon enough….

Now here is a recruit to get excited about folks. In the same manner that Dominique Ferguson is an top-tier guy that will change the UK program, the commitment of Jon Hood today is of huge importance as well. Hood is from the streets of Madisonville and could be the best “big man” (although I use that phrase loosely since he plays a great deal on the perimeter) in Kentucky in quite some time. He is part of the 2009 class and over the times I have seen him this year, he has shown me the ability to be a top-notch player in the SEC. Tennessee wanted him badly, he was on Duke’s radar and if anyone believed he would actually leave Kentucky, more schools would have been chasing him. But as it is, Kentucky got the commitment today and Hood will be a Cat. I spoke with him tonight and here was our conversation:

Congrats on your commitment today. What made you choose Kentucky in the end?

It was the best fit overall for me. I had been talking to my parents about the schools and what I liked about Kentucky and they said that it sounded like I wanted to go to Kentucky. I thought about it and decided they were right, so I did.

Were there any particular qualities about Kentucky that impressed you most?

I loved the coaches, facilities, the other players they were recruiting, really the whole thing. Lots of people from my high school will be going there so I will know a lot of people on campus. And then of course it is Kentucky, with all that tradition.

You mention the players they are recruiting? Do you know those guys?

Well I know all the guys they have coming in except Galloway. I like the way they all play and I know they are really good. That was important for me to see.

What other schools were you seriously considering?

Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Georgia and Duke primarily. In the end I didnt dislike those schools, but just knew how much I liked Kentucky.

When did you decide to pull the trigger and how did you tell the UK coaches?

Well I was up there right before our trip to Akron a while ago and was in Coach’s office. I woke up one morning and realized that Kentucky was where I wanted to go and so I told Coach. He was really happy and was just excited. We shook on it….actually we hugged on it and went from there. Everyone was really happy.

Do you know any of the players currently on the team well?

I have talked to Patterson and Jasper a few times. I talk a lot to Matt Schnerbenske and he tells me what it is like and how much I will enjoy it.

Was the fact that you were from Kentucky important in your decision?

Not really. My dad always said that I had to make the most selfish decision I had ever made and I did. So the people around didnt really play a factor.

Congrats on your commitment and good luck next year.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Nice kid and a player that I think can be a perfect four-year guy. I said about Jodie Meeks a few years back that he was the perfect college basketball player and the kind of commitment that can solidify any program. I believe Hood can be that kind of a guy….not a blow you away talent….but someone you can count on every game to make others better. Nice way for the Cats to continue their recruiting prowess.

If you missed anything yesterday, scroll down and see the beginning of our county overviews (another this afternoon) and Tomlin’s great NTK post. We also will be debuting the Barnstorming Tour Online Store this afternoon, where you can order signed merchandise from Joe and Ramel, plus the infamous “Fear the Woo” shirt. Watch for that, the story on the Tipton controversy and more throughout the day…..

Article written by Matt Jones

64 responses to “Now We’re Talkin: An Interview with UK’s Newest Commit Jon Hood”

  1. GoCats

    Skip the Tipton controversy, there is enough good news out there that we dont even need to mention his name anymore.
    GO CATS!

  2. GoCats

    Hey matt, it sounds like Gillispie didnt cry! I’m glad to see you are feeling better Matt!

  3. truBLU

    We’re on the gravy train now, boyce.

  4. jlee62279

    He says he has nothing against duke, do we need to show him a tape of the 92 duke kentucky game?

  5. Todd_Svobodas_Lunchbox

    Jerry who?

    We are going to be so good again! God, it’s been too long since we’ve been rolling like this. I can’t wait to tell all teh bandwagon PUKE and UNC fans I know to suck it….the big boys are back where we belong.

  6. joneagin

    Dave Kersey, well respected guy who posts on Catspause, says this on the Hood thread over there:

    “Zollo and Hood were not surprises, really. Great to have them both. But there is another one coming probably within the next two weeks, which will mark the end of this signing period. But if not, a verbal after that will come, but not for 08. The thing of it is, there are so many Coach is getting very close to it’s a crap shoot as to which one will come aboard first.”

    Lets hope hes right.

  7. BillyClyde4President

    All these recent committments and signings really puts in perspective how bad Tubby was. It’s like he (Tubby) never even tried to recruit beyond the current season. UK basketball is back baby and I think Gillispie will wind up shattering a lot of records while at UK. At least I hope so. Welcome aboard Hood. I hope you wear #3 just like my boy Rex did.

  8. adaircam4

    Matt Schnerbenske=UK recruitor…Nice.

  9. jlee62279

    I think the big difference between tubby and billy is the fact that tubby would get guys like josh carrier by way of a scholarship….billy gets guys like that to walk on (Landon Sloan, Adam Delph)…

  10. crazyblueman

    Matt Scherbenskie bleeds blue more than a lot of our fanbase. Good kid to talk to, especially if you’re a recruit and also Kentucky-born.

  11. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS

    Hey GoCats– I saw where you called some people out on the last post. I did the same thing when Avery committed. CAnTuckeeBoi and K-NOTH were the only two that admitted the mistake an apologized for doubting BCG. As for the rest, not sure (maybe dwayne). We both called many of the same people. Nay-sayers!

    The best one I posted that had me laughing was this (statement made after Flemmings committed to Hawaii):

    1. Chris Robbins Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 11:38 pm
    *head asplodes*

  12. Brink

    http://herald-leader.typepad.com/behind_the_headlines/
    In case any of you missed this from the last thread. Apparently the editor of the LHL Linda Austin thinks Jerry is the best this since sliced bread. Here is her email if you want to tell her to get her head out of her ass. [email protected]

  13. Woo Says "I Take Yo Money!"

    I have already posted on this, but how many small forwards do we need? I love all of the commitments, don’t get me wrong, but i feel like the only guys signing up are 6’6, 180. Anybody else notice the trend? I realize we got Harrellson, but other than that, 2009 & 10 promises us to have about 7 small forward size players.

  14. adaircam4

    13) I see your concern, but just imagine the matchup nightmare opposing teams will face. Each of these guys will be able to handle the ball (Liggins, Miller, Hood, Galloway, hopefully Jasper) and the length on the perimeter defense will get a lot of deflections and make it dificult for teams to enter the ball into the post…offensively, UK will be able to post up shorter players at the 1 and 2 spots on the floor and our interior and entry passing should flourish. I like the pieces being put into place and these players will enable BCG to play many different lineups.Also the 2010 class has 2 players 6’8″ or taller with Euton and Ferguson..throw in Patterson and I like what I see.

  15. SeoulCat

    This is great,,scratch that,,FANTASTIC to see.

    When it rains, it pours…and it appears that all of the top-notch prospects are beginning to see how special this program is going to be in the very near future…they all want on the gravy train before the last seat is taken…and at this pace, that seat will be gone, like, next week???

    Awesome.
    I luvs me some Coach Gillispie.

  16. Jon Hood commits to the Big Blue « Silk Roads, Siamese Smiles and the Bluegreen Grass of Home

    […] 6′6″ 180lb prospect commits to play for Billy Gillispie and the University of Kentucky. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about. I can’t remember the last time that a Kentucky Kid committed to the Home State University […]

  17. TimPRP

    4- Dude was like 1 in 92′.

  18. Number 8

    TIPTON. Somebody seriously has to do something about this cancer praying on our program.

  19. bigbwana

    Tipton has been a brilliant PROFESSIONAL sportswriter since before you were born Matthew. You really need to grow up and lose this giant chip on your shoulder you’ve got for him. The more you criticize him for no good reason, the more you look like an idiot.

  20. DooDooBrown

    19, haha…..I think its funny that you’re accusing matt of being unfair to Jerry Tipton and there are posters on the previous thread accusing them of being two peas in a pod. A sure sign of UK fan’s inherent need to find something to whine about! Or at least on this blog…

    And you’re criticizing Matt for saying “I had planned on getting to the Tipton controversy tonight….but Hood’s commitment postpones it to the afternoon. But I will go over the absurdity soon enough”? I didn’t realize that postponing an entry on a blog showed one with a chip on his shoulder. I guess I’m just dumb.

    Listen, save it for the Tipton post later today. We’re trying to enjoy getting a quality young man (in-state too) so you’re whining and negativity will have to wait until the afternoon. Welcome to the Big Blue Nation Jon!

  21. wildcatfandave

    Can someone please explain what the Tipton controversy is for those of us that aren’t fully awake yet this morning?

  22. truBLU

    21)Click on the link on #12

  23. wildcatfandave

    22)Sorry I’m awake now. I was reading the article when you posted. I’ve also heard (maybe rumor of course) that Tipton brought up the fact that Gillispie has a drinking problem with Zollo’s mother.

  24. KyFanaticus

    First – Gratz to Jon Hood for making his selection on schools, and Gratz to the Cats for hauling him into the program – I’m thrilled

    The “Tipton” problem has been going on since BCG was selected coach. As a True Blue Fan I can say prior to that he had his moments but nothing like what he has been doing since T4 left. I for one feel that something should be done about him, he has it in for our Coach.
    As a parent you don’t understand how a hometown newpaper reporter can suggest that the coach is breaking his players, and to pull up his history of other schools and suggest a pattern of career ending injuries, moral sub standards, boaderline ethics, lack of honor and unreliablitlity that he would be here. As well as suggest the player isn’t quality enough to make it at UK.
    Need a “FIRE TIPTON” website

  25. MattO

    “We shook on it….actually we hugged on it and went from there.”

    Man, if only my Friday nights went as well as Coach’s.

  26. GoCats

    Ok Jon Hood, if you want to play for the Cats we need some dedication! Jody Demlings blog says he is skipping games this weekend to go to Prom!!

  27. Clandestine

    Who cares how long Tipton has been writing, his writing is suspect at best and harmful to Kentucky basketball at worst. The guy need to be set out to pasture.

  28. uky01

    For those who haven’t heard the two parents of the recruits speak about their interview with Tipton, go to kentuckyink.com to listen to the podcast.

  29. I'm Just Sayin

    19 What?

  30. GoCats

    Usatoday story about recruiting young(guess who they have a picture of).
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2008-05-07-early-commitments_N.htm
    If the school and the player still have 5 years to change their mind, exactly who does this hurt? Everyone can change their mind, there are no negatives to this in my opinion.

  31. Chuck Norris

    Tipton is the absolute worst, click on my name to sign a petition to have him fired.

  32. CAnTuckeeBoi

    30.) Before I answer your question let me first say that I am thrilled we have a ton of young recruits coming in, and I was and am a little skeptical about the 8th and 9th graders, but I think that if it pans out it will be great. Just hear me out. The kid is 12 or 13 God forbid he seriously injured and never becomes the same player. How well would a 13 year old be able to accept the fact that UK pulled his scholarship. Or say he pans out to be the #1 recruit in the nation, and UK has a 10 loss season or he gets a serious girlfriend and decides to stay at home, then we have banked on him for 5 years, and it will be hard to fill his shoes. So to answer your question I would say the situation has the POTENTIAL to hurt both parties, but so does every other recruiting situation. I hope it works out for the best…

  33. Dave C

    He will be a beast. Also I saw some clips of Josh H. on the tube yesterday. A Factor!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Irwin R. Fletcher

    32) He’s 15. FYI.

  35. BravoBigBlue

    #26 – Are you seriously criticizing him for this? If so, then you’re way off base. He’s still in high school and he needs to enjoy this experience. If you’re kidding, I stand correctted.

  36. 69Z

    Nice write up and interview Matt. Welcome on board Mr. Hood!

  37. K-NOTH

    the skinny Dan Issel, the white Tayshaun, the menace from madisonville. Notice he says (i really like the other recruits coming in?) its like a landslide. Happy days are here again!

  38. I'm Just Sayin

    32 Unless the Tub recruited an 8th grader and then he would be “ahead of the curve”, right?

  39. bigbwana

    Jerry Tipton is not a problem…amateurs wannabes like Matthew who think they can compete on the same level with Hall of Fame journalists are the problem. Matt trying to sound authoritative and going after Jerry is the equivalent of Brandon Stockton trying to play Steve Nash. Simply ridiculous.

  40. Thomas Beisner

    39, did i miss something? what exactly are you talking about? you lost me….

  41. I'm Just Sayin

    39 Tipton is a world-class hack. Geez…..

  42. Wednesday

    I’m not discounting anyone’s opinion of Jerry Tipton but within the sportwriting world he is incredibly well respected.

    With that being said I think it is wrong to attempt to create news rather than report it…..

  43. cat1

    Boys is #32 David Shelton

  44. uky01

    Bigbwana is Tabloid Tipton himself

  45. maxim99

    “Tipton is SCARED OF DA HOOD”

  46. maxim99

    42 – evidence of your statement?

  47. cat1

    Um get laid on Prom night or play basketball? Enjoy your young life because once you know it, it is gone.

  48. GoCats

    47) Im just bitter, A Limo, a dozen roses for her and her mom and a hotel room, didnt work for me!

  49. KadizKat

    19)39)Jerry Tipton is not brilliant and doesn’t appear to me to be very professional. We all know Matt is not a professional writer. He is not a trained journalist, Mr Tipton is supposed to be. I will admit to being a UK fan but I still try to keep things objective. I do not believe Mr Tipton writes in a professional manner. It appears to me he has some other motive besides reporting the news when he writes most of his articles on UK. Perhaps you have some training in this area, I do not. However, I would love to have some unknowing professor of journalism review his work. I do not think Mr Tipton would pass. Just my opinion.

  50. maxim99

    48 – thats what you get for taking your cousin!

    j/k

  51. GoCats

    32) first of all he is 15
    Second, if you think Gillispie is banking on Avery for the 2012 class you havent been paying attention for the last few weeks. He is back-up plans for his back-up plans.

  52. KadizKat

    42) I would second 46’s request.

  53. GoCats

    I know Matt has a thread coming soon about Tipton but everyone needs to read the version on A Sea of Blue. It includes podcast of the Interviews with the parents of Zollo and Avery.

  54. bconover

    I do not mind Tipton reporting on the “tough” issues regarding UK basketball. But if he is AT ALL using the guise of the local paper of UK as his way to get the information and negativity that he so desperately wants, then it is unethical. It would be different if ESPN did the interviews and reported it because the context for the interview would be much different. When Tipton calls, and says “Hi, I am the UK Basketball beat writer for the local paper”, he is stretching professional ethical boundaries, in my opinion.

  55. kybasser

    I have to weigh in on Tipton. Not long ago, he was on a campaign about racism in sports, and of course he tied it into Coach Smith. He was making points that African Americans were not getting chances as coaches and upper level positions in sports.

    I pointed out that I did not see him inviting a young writer of color on board to work with him, and that he seemed like an old white dude writing about a sport he seemed to have no experience playing.

    I can’t, because I am a gentleman, repeat his response.

  56. Shat Jones

    Jerry Tipton has brought this on himself. Anyone can have years and years of decent stuff and then start tossing bombs. They need to be held accountable.

    Regardless, Tipton will be remembered for this and his digging his own grave in the community. Kentucky basketball fans are ready and prime for 5 straight years of good news. In this time of transition, and now time of off season success, Tipton is still searching for dirt. Negatives can be manufactured into any situation. Report the damn news, not manufacturered negative spin jackass.

    bigbwana is Merelene Davis.

  57. Wednesday

    46. Aside from knowing from first hand anecdotal evidence I would say that thhe fact he is in the sportwriters hall of fame and has a pulitzer shows what his peers think of him. I’m not saying I agree b/c frankly I think his has climbed on the crazy train a bit.

  58. maxim99

    57 – He is in the National BASKETBALL Writers Hall of Fame, but he is not in the National Association of Sportcasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. I could not find the pulitzer prize thing, but I will take your word for it.

  59. Wednesday

    58. I misrembered. I thought he was involved with the whole “Above the Rules” thing in ’86 but he wasn’t. At any rate in my opinion the standards for what qualifies as a sports writer as “good” is much, much lower than any other writer at a paper. I’ve met some sports writers who don’t have the smarts to get out of the rain so the bar is set pretty low….

  60. KadizKat

    I think he got his pulitzer for investigating UK during the Chris Mills scandal.

  61. CAnTuckeeBoi

    38.) No def. not, please do not respond to my posts if you cannot read them all. Everytime a post something you try to sway it in a way that makes you feel better about yourself arguing with me. I simply said that IMO there are pros and cons to the issue, and IMO the cons outweigh the pros. I have actually said numerous times that I hope the kid turns out to be a stud.

    51.) It is even more messed up to recruit a kid in eighth grade that is a back up plan for you back up plans, so I def. dont agree witht that statement. You don’t offer back up plans before you offer your first plan. That makes no sense.

  62. I'm Just Sayin

    61 Anyone that reads your posts can tell that you have an agenda, that’s all I am saying. You try to hide behind high-minded babble that frankly isn’t working.

  63. CAnTuckeeBoi

    62.) You’re loony if anyone has the agenda it is you. The only things I have seen you contribute to the entire site are negative comments towards an old coach, and cosigning everything GoCats says. I voice my opinion, and b/c I do not agree with you, you feel the need to bash everyhing I say. Grow up, move on.

  64. jlee62279

    17/ timprp

    seriously, do you think i care whether jon hood was 1 or 20 when that game happened?? my brother is younger than he is and he hates duke just as much as any other normal kentucky fan out there does…kids growing up in kentucky need to know about our past…that involves hating duke and knowing about laettners foot to the chest of aminu timberlake…