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The Lifeblood Thickens in the UK Program

Billy Gillispie has been at UK less than a week as head coach of the most storied and tradition-filled program in the country.  Recruits around the country are taking notice, if recent reports are to be believed.

GJ Villarino, a class of 2009 point guard out of McKinney, Texas, has reportedly verballed to Kentucky.  See his Scout and Rivals pages for more information.

Villarino is a rising sophomore, and was selected as one of 15 players to play for the adidas Nation team, an elite spot. Rivals had praised the young point guard in the past as a team-first floor leader and a smooth lefty, with a ton of upside.

In other recruiting news, the Lexington Herald-Leader is reporting that DeAndre Jordan, the #2 center of 2007 and Texas A&M signee, may be considering asking TAMU to release him from his LOI so he can follow Gillispie to UK.

Hat tip:  Aaron's UK Basketball Blog.

Update [2007-4-10 7:13:30 by Truzenzuzex]: Matt Jones is reporting that E-town standout Steffphon Pettigrew will be meeting face-to-face with coach Gillispie about a possible scholarship offer. Matt also reminds us that a certain TAMU top 10 signee will be in Louisville for the Derby Classic game on Saturday.

Update [2007-4-10 10:24:52 by JL Blue]:

Several media outlets now reporting that Jeremy Cox, a former JUCO head coach who spent last season on Clyde's staff at A&M has been recruiting heavily for UK, including Mason's County's Darius Miller, and will be one of BCG's main assistants.

Also, just to illustrate how much Clyde and Barnhardt are changing the system at UK already, longtime basketball secretary Marta McMackin -- who worked for the last four head coaches, and had 31 years in the office -- has been reassigned to scheduling the UK tennis center. Some may see this is sacreligious, but I'm guessing that both the AD and new coach are interested in revamping what was a stale and staid system, and immediately. More as it appears.

Update [2007-4-10 14:11:6 by Truzenzuzex]: The Louisville Courier-Journal has more on the Vilarino story.

Update [2007-4-10 14:30:52 by Truzenzuzex]: Steffphon Pettigrew named Mr. Basketball.

Update [2007-4-10 16:47:24 by Truzenzuzex]: Coach Gillispie has made "a million recruiting calls" since Friday, and had a workout today with the players. The players are required to visit the basketball office for a "chat" with him every day. Read all about it here.