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Draft analyst evaluates four UK signees


With all the buzz surrounding the decision by four University of Kentucky signees not to play in the Derby Classic so they can play in two other all-star games that are nationally televised, why not let DraftExpress.com analyst Matt Kamalsky share a few insights on Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer, Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis.

Scout.com has Davis currently ranked as the top overall prospect in the 2011 class. ESPN has him second and Rivals.com sixth. ESPN and Rivals have Gilchrist third and Scout has him fourth. Teague is rated the nation’s second best player by Rivals, sixth by Scout and eighth by ESPN. Wiltjer is 15th in ESPN’s ratings and is ranked 22nd by Scout and 25th by Rivals.

“Marquis Teague is a lot like his brother in terms of his ability to create separation whenever he wants to. It will be important for him to focus on being a point guard first and a scorer second when he gets on campus to help maximize his value around the players coming in with him,” Kamalsky said.

What about Gilchrist, a player many had No. 1 in this recruiting class for a long, long time?

“Michael Gilchrist is one of the most impressive high school players I’ve followed since I started working for DraftExpress. His jump shot is lagging behind his other skills, but he defends, passes and attacks like a pro. He’s a star in the making, no doubt,” Kamalsky said.

Wiltjer is perhaps not quite as well know, so how good is he?

“Kyle Wiltjer isn’t an imposing athlete, but his learned how to use his body better since he appeared on the national recruiting radar.  He’s also become a significantly more consistent perimeter scorer. His midrange game always looked good, but the results have gotten better and better. His ability to space the floor as a freshman could be invaluable to UK next season,” Kamalsky said.

And will Davis inside be the final piece to UK’s championship puzzle next season?

“Anthony Davis has some things in common with Perry Jones III at Baylor. Both are extremely tall, long on potential, and have incredible skill-sets for their height, but lack strength and polish,” the draft analyst said. “Davis has more perimeter tools that Jones, while Jones is a better athlete.

“Davis is a late bloomer who may need some time to adjust to the college game, but he’s considered a top recruit for a reason.  He’s going to tap his offensive potential in time, but his ability to provide something of a shot blocking presence will be key to Kentucky’s success next season.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/draft-analyst-evaluates-four-uk-signees/


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  1. Ben

    Sure takes the sting out of this year! If Cal can line up some bench players, next year should be special. It will certainly help us put this year behind us quickly!

  2. Jim Braun

    It is painfully evident that the entire UK fan base is wagering their Condo’s on next season. IMO a bad bet.

  3. gmoyers

    Next year could be really good if things all fall in place

  4. Jim Boyers

    I’m with Jim Braun. I don’t think that counting on ANOTHER group of freshman, is exactly smart. Sure they are super talented, but so was this year’s class. We see what that has gotten us. Freshmen are freshmen. Last year’s class was one-in-a-million, in that they had the luxury of having extreme talent, size AND veteran leadership.

    The loss of Josh, TJ and possibly Brandon and/or Doron, will throw this team into just as bad a spot as it is in now. They will be young, lack size in the middle, have a short bench and not have a real leader. It could lead to an even worse season than we are suffering through now. And yes, I do consider it suffering, when you have 2 straight number one recruiting classes and you are going to lose double digit games and can’t even stay in the top half of your side of the conference. That is pathetic and unacceptable.

    The ONLY hope for next season, is that ALL of the current players (Josh excluded, of course) return. None of them have ANY business moving to the next level, right now, anyway. TJ is HORRIBLE with the ball in the lane. He can’t drive right, to save his life and gets more of his shots blocked than anyone else on the team. He is inconsistent on defense and rebounds only when he wants to. Brandon is not a floor leader yet and makes mistakes and turnovers EVERY time a close game is in the final minutes. Doron is a one trick pony. Shooting the 3, is all he has, at this point.

    IF all were to return, this team WOULD have a chance to be something really special. But I think that is more of an impossibility, than an IF.

    It is almost impossible to be optimistic at the current time. This team is an absolute MESS. They suffer from shoddy defense, inconsistent offense, late game turnovers, lack of effort and what appears, at times, to be a general lack of interest.

    This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, when I woke up on New Year’s day. Remember how you felt that day? I miss that.

  5. Claude Hoffmeyer

    Larry Conley said that losing Kanter might cost UK 8 games. He was one of the best players around when he played and it sure looks like he still has basketball inside knowledge. UK has lost 7 games now that would be in the victory column if only UK had scored 20 more points. Kanter is probably good for 20 points in one half of a game. Mark Emmert must be feeling good.

  6. LindaS

    Wow, Jim, tell us how you really feel? Does it hurt, do you have a temperature? However, I agree with every word you said. If you keep getting kids for one year you are not going to have leadership and experience in the coming years. Sometimes I feel like we are a breeding farm, wean them, fatten them, ship’em off for sale. Dag gone, I hate that! However, I would not trade Coach Cal, the boys are anything else blue for anything. Born a wildcat fan, still a wildcat fan, always a wildcat fan! We are putting the fear back on the court when we play, that is, if the right team shows up to play. GO CATS!

  7. gmoyers

    Think Claude has it right. Conley knew what he was talking about — we just didn’t want to listen after UK got off to such a good start

  8. SeylerAngelica525

    This team wasn’t picked to win the Eastern Division with Kanter. Yet we expected Josh and Eloy to step in and fill the void. This is killing me imagine what the players feel like. Anyone watching this group of kids knows they hate to lose and that this is tearing at them. As a Kentucky fan I will support them instead of tearing down their will to win.

    Cal was brought in here to recruit the best of the best. Now what I’m hearing from some fans on this site is that we should sign lesser tallent. Good way to lose your job at Kentucky.

  9. gmoyers

    My feeling is keep bringing the talent and the wins will come

  10. bokees

    ky fans are so fickled. Got rid of Tubby because he couldn’t recruit,now we have someone who gets the cream of the crop

  11. JayS

    If you don’t see that the world of college basketball has changed and going 30-4 each year is not even close to a reality, then you are going to be disappointed a bunch. Just look where Terrance Jones is going to go in the draft. Are you kidding, top 10?

    Bring in the best and they leave, bring in those of slightly lesser skill and in tough situations, they cannot get the team over the hump. It’s a crap shoot for every team. If Calipari stays a bit, UK will win a title, but it won’t be consistent 4 or 5 loses with a 1 or 2 seed every year. Just won’t happen, not UK, not UNC, not KU.

  12. Big Bear

    I don’t think we are so much fickle as disappointed. As the season rolled out we were holding our breath waiting for Kanter to solidify this team. Then the Kats started showing some fire and we kind of got amped up thinking, “They’re this good without Kanter, just wait. Then the NCAA ruling, Road Game woes, etc. Maybe our expectation levels are partly to blame.

    I do know this, you play differently when there is no bench. I watch Harrelson play and he has become extremely good playing team defense and not fouling. He often will cut off the person driving the lane, until help arrives and then float back to his man. Does anybody know how many minutes Knight played with 4 fouls at Arkansas? I don’t, but I know it was a lot.

    I guess my point is bench minutes / fouls to give are important. Both to maintaining aggresive play and keeping those legs in the final minutes so jump shots keep falling. I am looking forward to next year but I will keep on rooting for this team. I think this team is just inches (and a bench player or two) away from meeting our expectations.

  13. gmoyers

    Knight played about 16 minutes with four fouls. Incredible. This team is close, no doubt about it, but just not quite there. Maybe it is experience. Maybe it is lack of depth. Maybe it is chemistry. Maybe it is coaching. Maybe it is all of that. But as Bokees and Jay noted, you don’t win 35 games every year even at Kentucky

  14. Jackie

    We need a big body for next year. We can’t play only Miller, Davis, and Wiltjer in the middle (if Jones bolts). There’s not enough strength or height to battle down low. Miller is really a perimeter player anyways. Even if Jones stays, we are still not tough enough.

  15. Karen Sprinkle

    I’m kinda answering a lot of different posts, so here are my somewhat random thoughts. In my opinion, this team is playing exactly like a team starting three freshman, even highly rated freshman, plays. They’re up, they’re down. You may point out that last year’s team also started three freshman, but those guys were unnaturally mature basketball players for the most part. They absolutely knew how to make the winning play and went out calmly and coolly and did it. And they had some older players to steady them in Patrick, Perry, Ramon and even Mark. This year’s team has “veteran” players who have not been counted on at a collegiate level to make the plays to win the games (Miller, Liggins and Harrelson). This year’s team played great before Christmas, but didn’t play very many road games and perhaps made us as fans a little overly optimistic about how we would play this year. The road has not been their friend. Still, I, perhaps naively, think that if they could just get the stop one time, make the basket to win the game one time, it would get them over the hump. And I am (again perhaps naively) cheered by the fact that none of the tournament games will be true road games. Perhaps they could take photographs of Rupp Arena with them so they could pretend they were at Rupp? :-)
    I still have faith in Cal, and I still have faith in my Cats. It’s just a little bit harder to maintain it nowadays, and I have to work harder to cheer them on from my couch. But I’m willing to put in the work. :-) I’m not to the point, as I was in Gillespie’s last year, of just wishing the season was over.

    As I understand it, the DDMO doesn’t necessarily require a big man in the post like many traditional offenses. That being said, I think defense requires that you have at least one or two big strong guys.

    Go Cats! Let’s win these last three regular season games in true Big Blue fashion!

  16. MarkStephens

    You said a mouth full Karen 100% behind you. GO BLUE

  17. SeylerAngelica525

    Great job Karen. As fans we sometimes forget the other missing parts of last years team. I know I forgot we also lost Dodson until reminded by someone on Larry’s site. It’s unbelievable that we could lose 9 players and still have this kind of year. Other than Connecticut who was playing out their minds at the time. This team has been in every game up until the end. They make me proud to be a Kentucky fan win or lose. GO BIG BLUE!!!

  18. gmoyers

    Great post Karen

  19. Ray

    Regardless of which poster one agrees, or disagrees, with, one fact should be obvious to all UK fans. The infamously named “one and dones” have made UK basketball infinitely more fun than was the case during the last few years of Tubby Smith’s time and the two years logged by the Texas escapee. Although, UK fans are known for their ridiculous expectations and abundant pessimism, Calipari’s ability as a recruiter has caused some to be a bit more optimistic. I like the coach and look forward to seeing this group of recruits take the floor with Kentucky across their chests.

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