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Derby Festival Classic -- How the UK recruits/signees fared

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the game, but I do hope to pick it up on replay sometime later.  But there is plenty of reporting around about the game, so let's see if we can make any sense of it all.

Jerry Tipton, as always, takes the negative view.  I swear, sometimes he amazes me -- it looks as though he believes any article he writes that is the least bit complimentary to Kentucky or one of its players is some kind of puff piece.  I respect Jerry's apparent effort to avoid looking like a homer, but sometimes, I think you can take that just a little too far. Anyway, here is the opening to his article, which illustrates perfectly what I am talking about:

Kentucky's signees failed to excite the fans at Saturday night's Derby Festival Basketball Classic. Darius Miller of Mason County almost sounded eager not to take center stage.
This is nothing new for Jerry.  For some reason, couching everything UK related in negative terms is just his style.  But reading the rest of the article, we can pull out these perceptions from Jerry, for what they are worth:

  • DeAndre Liggins is "a pass-first player with the need to improve his jump shot."  No kidding.  And all this time, we thought he was the second coming of Stephen Curry.  What Jerry didn't tell us is that Liggins is an excellent rebounder and team-first player, and once you give up the ball in an all-star game, your odds of getting it back are about like getting back the $5 bill you dropped on the way to the snack bar in Rupp Arena.  Other reports (who I tend to trust more) are much more complimentary of Liggins' play.

  • Ater Majok apparently played well, knocking down a couple of threes and scoring 14 points.  Tipton does likely get one thing right by reporting that Majok is likely to sign with UConn, and explains that one of UConn's assistant coaches has known Majok from his days as a coach in Australia.

  • Darius Miller impressed Brian the Intern at Kentucky Sports Radio with his smooth, polished game.  Miller had a comparatively pedestrian six points, but he was 3-4 from the field.  It also seems that UK fans were there in force.  He also mentioned that he couldn't tell if McCoy had a jump shot because he never put one up, but since McCoy was a finalist in the 3-point shooting contest, I think we can assume he does.

Other news from the street:

  • Jeff Drummond of The Cats Pause says that McCoy is now leaning heavily toward UK.

  • Josh Harrellson was reportedly at the spring game yesterday, and to almost everyone's surprise, appeared to be taller than Perry Stevenson.  That would either put Stevenson closer to 6'8" or Harrellson to 6'10".  Apparently, Harrellson was enjoying himself and got a lot of attention.

  • Many people were impressed by Maurice Sutton's play.  Sutton scored 17 points, and many think that he is not quite the project some have suggested he is.  He apparently runs the floor very well and finishes better than expected.  But he is still very thin and his skills need polish, as you would expect from most high school players.

More later when I have a chance to look at the game.

Update [2008-4-20 23:5:27 by Truzenzuzex]:  Thanks to BigSkyCat for giving us this heads up.  It looks like Juan Patillo is a Sooner.  Jeff Drummond on The Cats Pause is getting the same information.

Update [2008-4-20 23:31:53 by Truzenzuzex]:  The Cats Pause (subscription) is reporting that St. Louis is Josh Harrellson's next and likely last visit.  Keep your fingers crossed, this is the post guy we need the most right now.  He is a large and fairly skilled player.