Well, those Kentucky fans convinced that Madness was going to lead into a week of exciting commitments can stop hitting refresh on their computers.
One of Kentucky's low post targets -- and a competitor to Patrick Patterson -- has moved on. Chris Barnes, the big Georgian, after some question of whether he might have fallen off the Cats' radar, cast his lot with the Georgia Bulldogs.
Barnes was a typical Kentucky recruit: bruising, late bloomer with lots of upside and little rankings love. Georgia has a great young backcourt, but its lack of beef in the paint has caused some growing pains under coach Dennis Felton. Barnes will help next year, offering a nice compliment to Mike Mercer and Co.
With word now that the Morris twins are going to prep school, what other Wildcats recruits are we waiting on?
The Big Three
Patterson:It's not exactly an update, but Patterson and his family have stuck to their story that Pat is going to take all his visits before making a college choice. This means trips to Charlottesville for Virginia and to Wake Forest. Do either of those schools pose a major threat to UK, Duke or Florida? Doubtful, but stranger things have happened in recruiting. Still, given the show Kentucky put on, and the action behind the scenes with Jai Lucas' recruitment, you'd have to think UK and Florida are the major players here.
Lucas: There was a short-lived hulabaloo when, in the early part of the week, a Florida Rivals article linked Billy Donovan to Lucas. The diminutive Jai shrugged off the story to Matt Jones and KSR, saying Florida is in a little too late unless Jai decides to wait until spring, but it continues a trend of Billy D aiming at Tubby's main targets (some might say aiming at the same targets, but it sure seems like any off-the-radar kid UK is mentioned with early becomes a Florida target, too). Lucas is said to like UK plenty, and could very well be the impetus for the decision of James Anderson (Junction City, Ark.) to visit in late October. More on that in a moment. Lucas and Anderson are both visiting Oklahoma State this weekend, a dicey situation for Tubby, as Lucas and his family have long ties to the Sutton regime in Stillwater. No way to know how serious a player OSU is for Lucas, but no reason -- beyond our typical brand of Big Blue arrogance -- to doubt them, either. Lucas has also said he'll take his remaining visits before making a decision.
Anderson: This one is getting interesting. Anderson and UK were dance partners early in his recruitment, but he had seemingly moved on, focusing more on the hometown Razorbacks, Oklahoma State and, you guessed it, Florida, among others. UK was not among the kid's 4 official visits. Then AAU buddy Jai Lucas got into his ear. Now comes word that Anderson is taking his fifth and final visit to Lexington, that Tubby Smith had an in-home sit down with the Andersons to extend the visit offer (and scholarship, too) and things have perked up. It's impossible to really know where UK stands with Anderson, but if the Lucas-AJ Stewart-Patterson package deal sounded good, a Lucas-Stewart-Patterson-ANDERSON deal sounds too good to be true. Combine that with The Great Briton, Mike Williams, and you're looking at maybe Tubby Smith's deepest and most talented recruiting class. 2004's bunch had more star power, but this one would fill more needs, and with better chemistry. We'll see.
The Best of the Rest
Lavoy Allen: The Pennsylvania big man is a recruiting insider's favorite. He's long and improving, with good hands and a knack for being in the middle of the action. Kentucky originally had him slated for a Madness visit, but requested it be pushed back. There has been little, if any, mention of Allen since the Patterson visit.
Marshall Moses: Kentucky has been repeatedly discussed as being in the driver's seat with Moses, a swingman from Georgia. He's a good kid with athletic ability, though he remains a mystery as to his recruitment. Originally set to visit campus this weekend, he has since moved his visit back to Nov. 4 due to outside matters not pertaining to his interest. The big question with Moses is still whether he will matriculate in 2007 or 2008. He insists the former, while media and recruiting types still seem dubious he'll have the grades. Associate head coach David Hobbs has told Moses they want him either year, but the late charge in the Anderson recruitment sure looks to squeeze Moses a bit, especially given that there is some doubt as to whether Moses truly has an offer for 07. As of now, UK has been the consistent leader for Moses (over Memphis, among others), but UK would take an Anderson commitment in a heartbeat.
Ramon Harris: Still awaiting word on his NCAA status, the Masta of Alaska has reportedly told folks he's coming to UK in January. No one can confirm if this is true or not. Harris is said to be hyper-athletic, and has wowed observers of his pickup play with the current Cats. How this kid got here, if he ever does, will be a great story. Once we know what that story is.
Morris twins: Marcus and Markeiff have decided prep school is the way to go for the next year. Kentucky is high on their list regardless, and they will follow through on their visit to Lexington on the weekend of Nov. 4 (same as Moses). I find the timing interesting, as perhaps UK is trying to plant the seeds for a strong 2008 class with Moses, the Morris boys and Scotty Hopson, the in-state wunderkind who attended Madness.
What does it all add up to, you ask? A lot of waiting, frankly. The best case scenario is that Lucas and Anderson are not moved to commit to OSU after this weekend (and given the way Lucas has talked about his UK visit, it's hard to imagine he'd decide on his visit to Stillwater to pull the trigger) and that Anderson gets the royal treatment when he arrives in Lexington. Then both decide UK is the place, give Tubby the word and both Lucas and future Cat AJ Stewart turn up the screws on Patterson to join them. It sure seems easy from this angle ...