Wildcats Thunder Football/Recruiting Analyst
Mitch Barnhart hired Billy Gillispie during the first week of April. At the time of Gillispie's hiring, people were screaming bloody murder because Barnhart had been unable to hire Billy Donovan away from Florida.
In six weeks since Gillispie took the UK job, all of the underclassmen in Florida's starting lineup have declared for the NBA draft. This means Donovan had more open scholarships than Gillispie had.
Now keep in mind that Donovan has never lost a recruiting battle with UK until this month. Not a single one. Donovan signed Mike Miller, Bret Nelson, David Lee, Matt Bonner, Adrian Moss, Mario Boggan, Mohamed Akubar, Al Horford, Dan Werner, and Nick Calathes. Tubby recruited all of those kids, but signed none of them. Moreover, Tubby failed to offer a scholarship to Corey Brewer, who grew up in Tennessee and wanted to be a Cat, but instead ended up as the MVP of Florida's recent NCAA Championship.
So, Tubby finally succumbs to his shortcomings, and moves to Minnesota. Gillispie comes to Lexington. In only six weeks on the job, Gillispie has received an early verbal from star 2009 PG GJ Vilarino, signed a four-star wing player (Legion), and signed a five-star baseline player (Patterson) heavily coveted by Donovan. Prior to Gillispie's hiring, in fact, Patterson was a Florida-lean, and Donovan had been recruiting him for months. Patterson is the first known player to sign with UK after being offered a UF scholarship by Donovan....ever.
Meanwhile, Donovan signed Jai Lucas (a nice prospect, but a UK castoff whom Gillispie had cut loose).
Not a bad month of recruiting work by Gillispie, if you ask me.
Saturday, May 19, 2007