Derby Festival recap

Kentucky's entries into the Kentucky Derby Festival game had mixed results.

Long, athletic more highly regarded A.J. Stewart had all of four points for the winning team, but did take home the Slam Dunk title for the weekend.

Much maligned other early signee Morakinyo "Mike" Williams scored 9 points with 7 rebounds.

The buzz, still, was about Texas A&M signee and Billy Gillispie acolyte DeAndre Jordan. Jordan has hinted at both sticking to his commitment to the Aggies and potentially opting out, leaving both programs' fans convinced they are getting him, despite clear reason why both are wrong.

For what it's worth, Texas A&M apparently has hired or is going to hire Jordan's AAU coach as an assistant. That could, and probably would, seal the deal.

We'll see.

The game's MVP was Kansas State signee Michael Beasley, who totaled 23 points and 16 rebounds with five assists and three blocked shots. Beasley inked to the KSU Wildcats in a now much publicized situation with departed coach Bob Huggins. Hey, if nothing else, you can't say Huggins left the cupboard bare.

The last note on the game is that Elizabethtown star and Kentucky 2006 Mr. Basketball Stephon Pettigrew, whose recruitment (or non-recruitment) has been the fodder for endless message board debates, had a mild showing in the game, with 7 points. The knock on Pettigrew is his size, coupled with a lack of perimeter speed to play at the high D-I level.

Ask three people in the bluegrass and you're likely to get three answers as to whether the new UK coach should give the kid a ride. Personally, having not seen him play, I'd be jumping the gun to say one way or the other.

My feelings on the matter generally are that Kentucky's level of talent is not comparable overall to Michigan's or Texas' or Florida's. That said, there is also no way to quantify heart or the "Kentucky Jersey" effect.

Tweener guys can succeed with the right coach and the right grooming. But the Cats have been burned in both directions, from offering the Josh Carrier/Brandon Stockton Mr. B's (both 30+ ppg in their senior years) and NOT offering Ross Neltner/Chris Lofton (both Mr. B's as well).

So I guess I'll cop out and say that if Clyde feels he has the extra room, no harm is likely to come of it. But if there's some talent out there that the coach feels is more likely to give him a chance to win, this kid is not likely to emerge as a secret star. He may do so, but the same could be said for almost any Division I scholarship offer.

So, I'm firmly on the maybe camp. How's that for diplomacy?

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