Thursday, April 19, 2007

The never-ending recruiting trail

If Wildcat fans had any expectations to sign Anthony McLain, forget about it. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that he has signed with the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The University of Cincinnati has completed its six-man 2007 recruiting class with a commitment from Anthony McClain, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound center from National Christian Academy in Ft. Washington, Md.

McClain is ranked No. 41 in his class by the recruiting Web site and No. 51 by Both Web sites rank him as the sixth best center nationally in his class.
Steffphon Pettigrew is not destined to play for the Kentucky Wildcats. Based on recent reports, it appears that he wants to make a decision sooner and doesn't want to wait on Kentucky to make an offer.
"They said they needed another two weeks to evaluate some things," Elizabethtown High Coach James Haire said of a conversation UK basketball had with Pettigrew. "Quite honestly, Steffphon doesn't want to wait."

Pettigrew, who could not be reached for comment, said on Tuesday that he was considering Xavier and Western Kentucky. He's scheduled to make a recruiting visit to Xavier today.[...]

Kentucky is looking for inside players, presumably taller prospects, Haire said.

"I do think they like him," the E-town coach said. "I understand they're under tremendous pressure to make the right choices with limited scholarships.

"Steffphon is not conventional. All I can tell people is he gets the job done."
I'm assumimg that, with the firing of St. Louis University Billikens head coach Brad Soderberg, SLU has been ruled out as an option although I am hearing unconfirmed reports that Rick Majerus will listen if he's approached about a job offer.

How soon before we start scouting the seventh graders? K.C. Miller, from the Class of 2010, has recieved interest in having him play for Kentucky. It does help that Billy Gillispie is one of his favorite coaches. Miller is a top-five player from, of all places, the state of Texas.
Who is your favorite college basketball coach?
“Billy Gillespie and Lute Olsen.”[...]

When it comes time for you to choose a college to play ball at what will be some of the things that will factor in to your decision?
"How the coaching is, the team chemistry, the history of the school, and stuff like that.”[...]

What player or players would you compare your game to?
“People say I play like Dwayne Wade the way I can get to the basket and finish.”
Alex Legion is expected to visit Kentucky this week and UK has offered a scholarship to Michael Sanchez.
Former Michigan signee Alex Legion — who played this past season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va. — will visit UK today, and Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber star Michael Sanchez is also considering the Wildcats.

The 6-foot-4 Legion was a Parade Magazine All-American who will also make a visit to Connecticut, said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith, who added that Kansas has also been calling and Michigan isn't out of the picture.

"He's the best player available (in the nation)," Smith said. "Most people didn't figure he would be available, but the coaching change (at Michigan) changed his train of thought, and he wanted to make some visits."

Legion, who played three years at Birmingham Detroit (Mich.) Country Day, averaged 19.4 points a game at Oak Hill. He signed with Michigan under coach Tommy Amaker but was given his release by new coach John Beilein on Monday.[...]

The 6-8 Sanchez was headed to Las Vegas Findlay Prep School next fall but has been contacted by the UK staff and offered a scholarship. He had been looking at Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

UK is still hot after Huntington (W.Va.) forward Patrick Patterson and Bellaire (Texas) point guard Jai Lucas. Both players are in New York preparing for Saturday's Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game.
Matt Jones has more on Sanchez.

Dave Hobbs wants to be a head coach again.

Former Kentucky assistant coach Scott Rigot is being considered for the vacancy at Robert Morris.

Text messaging is getting closer to being banned by the NCAA with regards to coaches and recruits. This is important because Coach Gillispie has been known to send 8,000 text messages a month!
The Division I Management Council approved a ban on coaches' text-messaging prospects. The proposed ban still must get final approval from the Division I Board of Directors at its meeting on April 26. If approved, the ban would go into effect on Aug. 1.

"I would hate to see that happen," Gillispie said. "I think text messaging has really been fantastic. Not only for the coach, but great for the players and the players' parents to increase the amount of communication to where you can develop a trust level much more quickly."

Several times in this honeymoon period as the new UK coach, Gillispie has spoken of how relationships form the foundation for successful recruiting.

However, Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Council Chairwoman Anna Chappell, who played basketball at Arizona and now attends Oregon as a graduate student, said many athletes support the ban on text messaging.

"It's intruding on their lives and creating inappropriate relationships with coaches," Chappell said. "If you don't stop it now, what roads are you going to have to cross later on?"

John Lucas, the father of prospect Jai Lucas, said the volume of text messaging he's seen is "off the chart." Not that the elder Lucas was complaining.

"Basketball is our family business," he said. "We never get tired of that."

Gillispie conceded that there can be problems with unlimited text messaging. He mentioned how messages can burden the prospect's family financially and in terms of the time athletes spend responding to coaches.

"Hopefully, maybe they can modify (the legislation) a little bit before they just totally throw it out ..." Gillispie said. "I would think the coaches would be in favor of keeping it in some form. I know that I would...

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