Folks already itchy for recruiting updates are probably going to be disappointed to find that real time udpates are hard when the visits of Jai Lucas, Pat Patterson and AJ Stewart have not ended yet.
The best source on the web for quick updates -- Matt Jones & Friends' KSR blog -- has a nugget on Stewart, but without trying in any way to belittle the "update," it's little more than conjecture at this point. That's noone's fault but the Fates.
Fans across the country tuning in to Madness on the web and in-person did their best "body language" expert impressions in trying to gauge the recruits' reactions to the festivities. Apparently, all agree that Stewart's reactions were hard to mistake for anything but genuine excitement. KSR's position that Stewart is UK-bound soon is buffeted by word last week that his high school team had already scheduled two tournament visits to the Bluegrass State for this season. Sleuth-wise, we're hardly in Kojak territory here.
But count me as one who is less than sure that Lucas and Patterson are any more leaning to UK than anywhere else. I don't say this to be pessimistic or with any real inside knowledge, just that UK fans are notorious for assuming that a recruit is more interested than he usually is simply because the fans are convinced it's a good fit.
It was good to see John Lucas, Jai's dad, enjoying himself so much. Everyone who has followed Jai's recruitment is aware of Lucas' (the elder) long relationship with Tubby Smith. But his enthusiasm for the trip can't hurt. And I'll echo those who said that positioning Patterson's dad next to John Lucas and Donna Smith next to Mrs. Patterson were both smart moves.
As for the kids themselves, I will wager that however exciting Clog-a-thon 2006, er, I mean Big Blue Madness was, the rest of this weekend's trip -- especially those parts where the kids are away from their parents -- will be more important.
Apparently, Tubby has put senior do-gooder Bobby Perry as the point man, which is a nice thing. I don't know that I'd feel comfortable with Randy "goofball" Morris taking charge with such an important weekend. Perry is supremely articulate and exudes confidence. But I wonder if the piano-playing uber-Christian fits in with "Beans" Patterson as well. Does that even matter?
We'll see. Folks expecting a triple-commit on Sunday are, in my opinion, over-reaching. Stewart looks set to me, and with Marshall Moses coming in next weekend, the next few weeks could be great for preparing for 2007.
It would be nice, though, to add Patterson and/or Lucas soon, and then basically be able to shelve recruiting for the year for a change.
Update [2006-10-15 15:49:13 by JL Blue]:
KSR has the first post-visit update, this on Jai Lucas, and it's very positive but not what some over-eager fans might want. Basically, without stealing Matt and Co.'s fine work, Lucas is going to let it sink in. But one thing you cannot argue with is that Tubby and his staff pulled out all the stops for the kids. And from Lucas' brief comments to KSR radio, the strategy of having the kids visit at the same time was a masterstroke.
I did not expect Lucas to commit on the spot, as he and his family have not only ties to OK. St. and Maryland that warrant following through on official visits but genuine interest in seeing the scenario play itself out. That said, I do think that Lucas is a good bet to eventually sign with UK. I base this on hunch only.
Update [2006-10-15 18:33:24 by JL Blue]:
Cats' Pause Rivals network has premium updates with Lucas and AJ Stewart. It's premium, so I won't divulge the juicy parts, but let's say UK didn't hurt itself in any way with Stewart, and that he won't be buying any orange and cream outfits anytime soon (Sorry, Illini).
As for Lucas, it's similar to what kSR had, in the sense that UK made its case as best it could, even tossing in some Joe Torre action!
Patterson updates should be forthcoming ... and we're all awaiting the word from the main man.
Expect Stewart to pull the trigger soon. I expect Lucas to visit Oklahoma State for comparison's sake, and because they have such a strong family connection to the Suttons.