Posts from Wednesday, May 20
Posted at 3:27 p.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
I posed this question when Eric Bledose signed two weeks ago, but I want to bring it up again. With the signing of John Wall, is this the best recruiting class of all-time?
I argued a couple of weeks ago that it is too early to proclaim that, but when you sign four five-star prospects and two four-star prospects, it’s hard to argue against it. I’m still right in the middle, but I want to hear what you all think. Is this class the best ever?
Answer the poll question on the Cat Scratches homepage and then send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we get some good feedback, I’ll post a few of your responses on the blog. Let me hear it, Cat fans.
O’Neil: Wall’s decision put the cherry on top
Posted at 3:15 p.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
As you’re taking in the last 36 hours or so of news, I figured I would throw a couple of other things your way.
This one comes from Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com. Just a couple of months after writing about the struggles UK basketball was facing, O’Neil has turned around and written a great piece on what head coach John Calipari has already done in his short time in Lexington. O’Neil writes that John Wall’s decision to come to Kentucky has “put the cherry on top of Calipari’s top-rated recruiting class and continued Kentucky’s month-long run as the talk of college basketball.”
Speaking of top-rated recruiting classes, ESPN also unveiled its latest recruiting rankings, and well, I’m sure you can guess who is on top.
Highlights from the Wall news conference
Posted at 2:47 p.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
Cal on Wall
Posted at 2:14 p.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
Here’s what head coach John Calipari had to say about the highly touted John Wall:
“I’ve recruited John for nearly two years and I’ve gotten to know him to be not only a fine player but a fine person,” head coach John Calipari said. “He’s a terrific teammate who wants to win, yet driven to personally improve. I’m very excited for the opportunity to add him to our family.”
It’s official: John Wall signs
Posted at 2:12 p.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
Believe it: John Wall is officially a Kentucky Wildcat.
After weeks of speculation, rumors and Tuesday’s oral commitment, Wall, widely regarded as the nation’s best prospect, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Kentucky.
Let that sink in for a second. I know, given the oral commitment he made a day ago makes this seem like old news, but now it’s official. If there were ever any doubts about this being the nation’s best recruiting class, you can forget about it
I know I questioned a week ago as to whether we can realistically label this recruiting class as the best of all-time, and I’m sticking to that to a point – remember, these kids have yet to play a minute of college basketball. But on paper, this class rivals that of the “Fab Five” and “Thad Five.”
Only time will tell how good this class can be, but with the return of Patrick Patterson (maybe Jodie Meeks), John Calipari at the helm, and the signing of Wall and the rest of the six-man recruiting class, Kentucky has firmly returned to national prominence. Mark my words: Kentucky will be in the hunt for a national championship next season.
I’m not saying the Cats will win it, but next March, I can guarantee you they will be one of the seven or eight teams capable of cutting down the nets.
Just think about the talent that will roam the sidelines in Rupp next season. Patterson and Meeks aside, Calipari has managed to raked in four five-star prospects (Wall, Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton) and two four-star prospects (Darnell Dodson and Jon Hood).
Calipari has managed to park a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Porsche and a Maserati in his garage in just a month. No matter who is driving the offense, the Cats will run over and speed past most of the competition.
But don’t take it from me. I’m just a lowly blogger. If you think I’m setting the bar too high, look at what the national and local media is saying. The message is clear: believe the expectations; this class is worth the hype.
ESPN’s Andy Katz talked to John Wall who told him "I would like to help get Kentucky back on top."
Announcer Dick Vitale writes that now that Wall is signed, it is all about expectations, expectations and expectations for Kentucky fans.
CBS writer Gary Parrish said that Coach Calipari had six things on his list that would make the transition from Memphis to Lexington better. He also projects Kentucky’s starting lineup for next year and for Kentucky fans not to worry about the number the scholarships.
Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated wrote that Coach Calipari was the deciding factor in the Wall commitment.
Scout.com analyst Dave Telep talked to John Wall’s High School coach who said Kentucky is where John Wall wanted to go.
Paul Biancardi of Scouts Inc. said that many people compare Wall to Derrick Rose "But to me he might be more like Allen Iverson in terms of end-to-end speed."
Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com talked to Wall who said, "In the end, I just felt I wanted to play for Coach Cal."
Jason King of Yahoo! Sports reports on the potential impact the commitment of Wall has on Jodie Meeks.
John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader writes that now that Wall has committed to the Wildcats, the expectations are realistically high.
Also of the Lexington Herald-Leader, Jerry Tipton talked to Telep of Scout.com who said Coach Calipari’s first recruiting class at Kentucky is like “... Noah’s Ark. They got two of everything. Two point guards. Two centers. Two wings.”
Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier-Journal writes that Coach Cal is leaving Wildcats fans star-struck
Two USA Today writers, Jim Halley and Jeff Zillgitt, write that Coach Calipari has a remarkable recruiting class.
Patrick Patterson is at your fingertips
Posted at 12:01 p.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
Patrick Patterson is back for another year and now he’s ready to talk to you, the fans.
Patterson, a 6-foot-9 forward from Huntington, W. Va., will join Cat Scratches Thursday afternoon for a live chat. Starting at 1 p.m., Patterson will chat with fans about his return to Kentucky, the Cats’ latest recruiting class, head coach John Calipari and more.
Fans can participate in the blog by sending in their questions and comments while the live chat is going on. The live chat will last about 30-45 minutes. Cat Scratches will launch the blog 15 minutes before the Patterson chat is set to start to allow fans to send in their questions and comments ahead of time.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for 1 p.m. Thursday.
Wildcats begin NCAA Championships
Posted at 10:36 a.m. EDT – Eric Lindsey, UK Media Relations
Trying to rebound from a disappointing second-round bounce in the NCAA Tournament, Bruno Agostinelli will take the court at Texas A&M for the final tournament of his NCAA Tournament career.
Agostinelli, his doubles partner, Brad Cox, and women’s doubles partners Carolina Escamilla and Caroline Lilley will be competing in this weekend’s NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.
Agostinelli, a senior, will face sophomore Will Spencer of host Texas A&M at 3 p,.m. Should he win, he would face either either Robert McKenzie of Middle Tennessee or Johnny Parkes of New Mexico. In a rematch of the team NCAA Championships, Agostinelli and Cox will meet Wake Forest’s Cory Parr and Steve Forman in the first round on Thursday at a time still to be determined.
On the women’s side, Escamilla and Lilley will play the No. 3 overall seed of Andrea Remynse and Yasmin Schnack of UCA on Thursday at 11 a.m.
Stay tuned to UKAthletics.com and UK's Twitter account for updates.