Friday, July 06, 2007

Now, to catch up on UK news...

It may be old news to many of you but, because I was out of town for much of the past few weeks, it is certainly new news to me.

Dakotah Euton of Rose Hill has committed to the University of Kentucky.

Guard Derrick Jasper is having knee surgery during the offseason.

DeAndre Liggins, a guard, has also committed to play for the Kentucky Wildcats.
There has been a lot of talk about the ability to recruit the elite players by new University of Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie.

With just over a month to work with, Gillispie landed Patrick Patterson and Alex Legion to complete the Class of 2007 and he's already scored two major recruits for the future – G.J. Vilarino (2009) and Dakotah Euton (2010).

But the Wildcats had no prospects in the fold for the Class of 2008.

Until yesterday when Gillispie made one of the biggest scores of his short tenure, luring the top player from the Chicago Public School League to Lexington.

DeAndre Liggins, a versatile 6-foot-6 player who can play several positions on the floor, gave a verbal commitment to the Wildcats. Liggins had visited the campus last weekend and informed the school of his decision yesterday.[...]

Liggins ranks as the No. 18 player in the top 150 and checks in at No. 28 on the rankings. He plays for the Indiana Elite AAU program.[...]

Liggins, who has attended George Washington High School, averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists a game as a junior. He told the Sun-Times that he was transferring to Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy for his senior season.

A Sea of Blue has a brief read on recruiting about to blow up. Pretty soon, we'll have to start evaluating preschoolers! They also have a compare and contrast between Billy Gillispie and Tubby Smith.

KC Ross-Miller has also committed to the Wildcats basketball program. That's at least three in a four week period!

Now, THIS is a good read and Gary Parrish does indeed have a sense of humor!
Question: Why are the recruiting numbers down for the armed services?

Answer: Because Billy Gillispie doesn't work for the armed services!

Seriously, if we want to win this War on Terror (are we still calling it the War on Terror?) our government would be wise to put $4 million on the table and see if Gillispie would consider serving his country. And if the money is hard to come by, I'm guessing Rick Pitino will contribute if it means having things back to himself, because while the Louisville coach remains the best at getting assistant coaches jobs (See: Menzies, Marvin) I'm not certain he's still the top recruiter in the state.

That title now belongs to the new guy with the Texas drawl.

"It's been fast and furious, and a lot of fun," Gillispie told CBS by phone between gaining commitments, and that's not a joke, by the way. I talked to the man Friday afternoon, and before I could even write this column he had convinced yet another prospect to tell the world he wants to be a Wildcat.

"It's been a lot of hard work, and we still have a lot of hard work to do," Gillispie said. "But I think we have accomplished some things."

More like six things.

Gillispie -- since replacing Tubby Smith on April 6 -- has garnered an unbelievable six commitments from prospects of all sizes and ages. There's Alex Legion (6-foot-4 guard) and Patrick Patterson (6-8 forward) from the Class of 2007, DeAndre Liggins (6-6 wing) from the Class of 2008, G.J. Vilarino (5-9 point guard) from the Class of 2009 and Dakotah Euton (6-8 forward) and K.C. Miller (6-1 point guard) from the Class of 2010.

That's right, the Class of 2010.

I don't know what I'm doing next week. But Gillispie already knows who his point guard will be in 2010-2011 thanks to Miller committing Sunday afternoon.
Todd Forcier has been brought on as the strength coach for the basketball program.

You HAVE to read this in full!
Days after Billy Gillispie accepted the head coaching job at Kentucky, Bill Self warned his close friend and protege.

"Billy," Self said, "this is not going to be a lot of fun."

At first, Gillispie didn't get what Self meant. But now, he fully comprehends. In less than three months on the job, Gillispie has embarked on a recruiting rampage, and Self's Kansas program has been right in the thick of it. Gillispie has gained commitments from two players whom the Jayhawks coveted, incoming freshman guard Alex Legion of Detroit and rising senior point guard DeAndre Liggins of Chicago.
Well, that's sports, politics, and entertainment for now!

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