2011 Early Signing Period: First Day Open Thread


There's not a lot going on that's Kentucky-centric for the first day of the 2011 Early Signing Period. Last year, all four of our stud freshmen (catch 'em on the court this year!) signed on the day one. This year, Kentucky has just two commitments--Willie Cauley and Archie Goodwin.

Cauley is expected to sign today at 11:45 ET, with a live press conference being broadcast from his school. If you're curious, check out the link here. Goodwin isn't expected to sign until next week, as his school is planning festivities as well and wasn't able to finalize logistics until next Monday.

Kentucky is recruiting a few prospects that are expected to sign early, but not decide by today. For more, check out this ASoB post from yesterday.

In the meantime, we'll keep you updated with all the NSD happenings after the jump.

[UPDATE: 9:05am ET] First big news of the day actually happened last night, when 4* PF Ricardo Gathers decommitted from St. John's. LSU and Texas were his two other finalists, but other schools may now jump into the mix. It would be interesting to see if Calipari shows interest should he not get favorable news from Alex Poythress, Amile Jefferson, and Jarnell Stokes in the Early Signing Period.

[UPDATE: 9:15am ET] Per his Twitter account, 5* SG Rodney Purvis signed his LOI with NC State. Purvis was a former Kentucky target and had previously committed to Louisville.

[UPDATE: 9:45am ET] Two former Kentucky targets, 5* SG Ricardo Ledo and 4* SF TJ Warren, signed their LOIs. Ledo is going to Providence, Warren to NC State.

[UPDATE: 10:05am ET] Another former Kentucky target, 5* C Mitch McGary, signed his LOI with Michigan. He picked the Wolverines over Duke and Florida, so...score!

[UPDATE: 10:45am ET] An Indiana blog is reporting that 5* SG Gary Harris will pick Michigan St. whenever he chooses to sign his LOI. However, ESPN's Dave Telep reports that no final decision has been made by Harris and his family and all four finalists--Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, and Kentucky--are still in play. He hopes to announce within the next couple of days, but no guarantees. Stay tuned.

[UPDATE: 11:30am ET] Two more players that had Kentucky offers are officially off the board to Big 12 schools. 4* PG LJ Rose signs with Baylor, and 4* PF Perry Ellis with Kansas.

[UPDATE: 11:45am ET] IT'S OFFICIAL! WILLIE CAULEY IS A CAT! Welcome to Big Blue Nation, Willie!

[UPDATE: 12:15pm ET] According to Jeff Borzello at CBS, 3* PF Chris Obekpa will sign in the Late Signing Period. He's a high-upside big that has been tangentially linked with Kentucky and may be an option for Calipari if things don't shake out favorably in the Early Signing Period. Obekpa's list includes Connecticut, Cincinnati, and St. John's, amongst others.

[UPDATE: 1:15pm ET] ESPN has a great (and free!) feature on 5* SF Shabazz Muhammad, Kentucky's main target for the Late Signing Period. Muhammad had this to say about John Calipari: "Coach Cal's personality is great. He pushes his players in practice. That's the thing I'm looking for. I'm trying to get better and get to the next level." Muhammad has already officially visited Kentucky (for Big Blue Madness) and Texas A&M, as well as numerous unofficial visits to UCLA, USC and UNLV. He plans to officially visit Arizona, Duke and Kansas before making a decision in the spring.

[UPDATE: 3:15pm ET] Earlier today, UCLA received LOIs from 5* SF Kyle Anderson along with 4* SF Jordan Adams. Kentucky was very interested in Anderson during his junior season as a point guard, but a huge growth spurt caused Calipari to back off and pursue NC State transfer Ryan Harrow instead. Muhammad and Anderson have expressed interest in playing together, and it's a strong possibility that Shabazz eventually joins Kyle in Westwood.

[UPDATE: 3:20pm ET] Also earlier today, 5* PF Brandon Ashley inked his LOI with Arizona. Ashley had Kentucky on his list of finalists, but decided to stay closer to home. As of now, Arizona has the top class in the nation, with Ashley in tow along with 5* C Kaleb Tarczewski, 5* PF Grant Jerrett, and 4* PG Gabe York.

[UPDATE: 5:45pm ET] My last update of a day is a reminder: Alex Poythress will announce his decision tomorrow at 1:30 pm from his school, Clarksville Northeast. Kentucky is still very much in it, but don't be shocked if he chooses to stay in state and play for Memphis or Vanderbilt. Stokes, Jefferson, and Harris are still TBD.

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