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Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: 2011 Recruiting Big Board (Version 2)

A lot has changed in the 10 short days since my initial 2011 Recruiting Big Board came up, enough that I figured an update was in order.

Two deadlines came and went. The first was April 17, when DeAndre Daniels completed his Duke official visit without committing, a surprise to many. Daniels may now be looking closely again at Kansas, but Kentucky is still not in the mix. The second was April 22, when Trevor Lacey was expected to commit. Instead, Lacey participated in the Derby Classic without committing. This one is a little more UK-centric, as Lacey was definitely looking closely at whether or not Brandon Knight declared for the draft.

There are two names off the Kentucky radar. The first is Kevin Ware, who committed to UCF amidst a swirl of drama. Meanwhile, God's Gift Achiuwa will decide this week, and Kentucky is not one of his finalists. Two previous commits, Braeden Anderson and Stan Simpson, are off the board after signing their LOIs with Kansas and Memphis, respectively.

Finally, we add a new name to the mix: Joseph Uchebo. Uchebo was released from his LOI by NC State after the hiring of new coach Mark Gottfried. He is a solid, 4* recruit that has garnered a lot of interest from the Kentucky coaching staff.

Name Pos School Ranking (Rivals/ESPNU)
Offer (Odds)
Commitment (Odds) Favorite School(s) News & Notes
Anthony Davis PF Perspectives Charter (Chicago) Rivals: 5*, 8th
ESPNU: 5*, 1st
Offered LOI Signed / Committed (8/13/10)
Kentucky 4/16/11 - 29 pts, 11 reb, 4 blk at Jordan Brand Classic, CO-MVP
4/9/11 - 16 pts, 10 reb at Nike Hoop Summit
3/30/11 - 14 pts, 6 reb, 4 blk at McDonald's A-A
Michael Gilchrist SF/PF St. Patrick (Elizabeth, NJ) Rivals: 5*, 3rd
ESPNU: 5*, 3rd
Offered LOI Signed / Committed(4/14/10)
Kentucky 4/16/11 - 12 pts, 7 reb at Jordan Brand Classic
4/9/11 - 16 pts, 5 reb, 5 blk at Nike Hoop Summit
3/30/11 - 16 pts, 12 reb, 5 ast at McDonald's A-A, CO-MVP
Marquis Teague PG Pike (Indianapolis) Rivals: 5*, 2nd
ESPNU: 5*, 7th
Offered LOI Signed / Committed (4/22/10)
Kentucky 4/16/11 - 14 pts, 7 ast at Jordan Brand Classic
4/9/11 - 6 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast at Nike Hoop Summit
3/30/11 - 9 pts, 3 ast at McDonald's A-A
Kyle Wiltjer PF/SF Jesuit (Portland) Rivals: 5*, 25th
ESPNU: 5*, 18th
Offered LOI Signed / Committed (8/28/10)
Kentucky 4/16/11 - 8 pts, 5 reb at Jordan Brand Classic
4/9/11 - 12 points at the Nike Hoop Summit
3/30/11 - 11 points at McDonald's A-A, 3 pt contest winner
Trevor Lacey SG Butler (Huntsville, AL) Rivals: 4*, 34th
ESPNU: 4*, 40th
Offered 33% Alabama
4/25/11 - Lacey participated in the Derby Classic without committing. He's said to be very interested in how the NBA Draft early entries shake out.
4/15/11 - Despite the below report, Lacey is still planning to take visits to Alabama and Kansas prior to Apr 22.
4/7/11 - The Birmingham News reported Apr 7 that Lacey has made his decision and will announce at a school celebration on Apr 22.
Joseph Uchebo PF Word of God (Raleigh, NC) Rivals: 4*, 92nd
ESPNU: 4*, 81st
Not Yet Offered (75%) 45% Kentucky
Florida St
Wake Forest
4/21/11 - In an interview with Neal Nieves (C2C Recruiting), Uchebo named UK, FSU, and UF.
4/21/11 - John Calipari visited Uchebo at his HS to workout, forgoing a trip to watch 2012 5* Perry Ellis.
4/17/11 - Uchebo was released from his LOI by NC State after the hiring of HC Mark Gottfried.
God's Gift Achiuwa PF Eric CC (Erie, NY) Rivals: UR
Not Offered 0% Cincinnati
St. John's
4/25/11 - Per his coach Alex Nwora, Achiuwa will pick between three schools this week.
4/15/11 - Achiuwa took an official visit to Cincinnati last weekend and will visit Washington this weekend. Kentucky has yet to offer.
DeAndre Daniels PF/SF IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) Rivals: 5*, 9th
ESPN: 4*, Post-Grad
Offered (reportedly rescinded) 0%
4/17/11 - Daniels visited Duke without committing and may now be considering UCLA and NC State.
4/15/11 - Once thought to have Texas, then Kentucky, then Kansas as the favorite. Duke is current leader. Daniels will take an official to Duke this weekend; don't be surprised if a commitment soon follows.
Kevin Ware SG Rockdale (Conyers, GA) Rivals: 4*, 56th
ESPNU: 4*, 93rd
Not Offered 0% UCF 4/25/11 - Kevin Ware committed to UCF on Apr 18 without signing an LOI. Rumor was his decision was not final, but Ware reaffirmed his committment at the Derby Classic.
4/13/11 - Tennessee officially released Ware from his LOI after the Bruce Pearl firing. Kentucky is not currently on Ware's radar.


Scholarship Situation

There are four signees for the class of 2011 (Gilchrist, Teague, Davis and Wiltjer). There are five definitive returnees (Eloy Vargas, Darius Miller, Jon Hood, Stacey Poole, Doron Lamb). There are three potential returnees that have declared for the draft (Brandon Knight, Terrence JonesDeAndre Liggins). Jarrod Polson has a scholarship this year, but would return to walk-on status next year if needed and is not counted as a scholarship. If everyone stays, that leaves only one available scholarship remaining. It is more likely that there are three open scholarships once Knight and Jones stay in the draft and Liggins returns.

Remaining Targets (Needs: 0-2)

There's just two names left on Kentucky's board. At this point, it looks like these will be the last two players the Wildcats will pursue in 2011.

The first name to know is SG Trevor Lacey. Lacey currently has the only outstanding scholarship offer from Kentucky. Lacey was expected to commit by April 22, but has yet to do so. Speculation is that Lacey was very interested in who stays and who returns in the NBA Draft. Reading the tea leaves, Lacey is watching to see if Brandon Knight is a Wildcat next year. If not, Lacey looks good for Big Blue. If Knight returns, Lacey will favor Alabama. Kansas is also a player following the unexpected departure of Josh Selby.

Kentucky's secondary target area is a big man for depth purposes. With Josh Harrellson graduating and Jones likely to bolt, Kentucky will have only one big remaining on the roster in Eloy Vargas. Davis and Gilchrist will likely snag the starting 4/5 spots, but an additional big for depth both this year and beyond would be welcome. Kentucky appears very interested in recent free agent Joseph Uchebo, who was recently released from his LOI by NC State. Last week, Calipari chose to visit Uchebo at his high school instead of taking a trip to check out 2012 prospect Perry Ellis. There's no reported outstanding offer to Uchebo at this time, but the Wildcats look to be in a strong position to land Uchebo, if they so choose.


Instead of committing, Lacey could be in "wait and see" mode, all the way up until May 8 when underclassmen are required to declare their intentions to return. As of now, call it 33%, with equal weight between UK, Bama, and KU.

As for Uchebo, I think an offer is forthcoming, if not just unreported. There hasn't been much news since Calipari visited Uchebo last week, but the fact that Calipari chose to see Uchebo instead of Ellis is telling. If Cal truly wants a 2011 big man, he'll put on the full court press to reel in one the last good bigs available. We'll say it's a hair under an outright favorite at 45%, only because there's been no reports of an offer.

Previous Versions of the 2011 Recruiting Big Board

Version 1