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By LARRY VAUGHT

Junior college power forward/center Eloy Vargas, who played at Florida as a freshman, has committed to Kentucky and will have two years of eligibility with the Wildcats.

Scout.com recruiting analyst Evan Daniels confirmed that Vargas gave John Calipari a verbal commitment during his visit to UK this weekend. Vargas’ former AAU coach, Kenny Gillion, told Daniels that the biggest reason for his decision was Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua.

Vargas was a four-star prospect in the 2008 recruiting class when he decided to stay in Florida and play for the Gator. He transferred to Miami-Dade Community College after his freshman season and averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds per game.

He had been considering North Carolina and Arizona along with Kentucky.

The Wildcats had an edge with Antigua, a Dominican like Eloy. Pittsburgh was the first school to offer Vargas a scholarship and Antigua was on the Pitt staff then.

Vargas had considered transferring to Kentucky last year but could not because of SEC rules. He left Florida when he failed to pass a mandatory class at Florida to stay eligible.

Vargas helps fill a need for the Cats, who lost big men DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton to the NBA draft.

UK has signed center Enes Kanter and also remains involved with Oregon high school forward Terrence Jones.

26 Responses to Vargas commits to Cal’s Cats

  • Mitch Downs says:

    Larry does anyone know how this kid has been doing in the classroom. ????

  • Tim W. says:

    Welcome aboard Eloy. Now lets get Jones and we are all set.

  • Jim Boyers says:

    This is great news, IF he can stay academically eligible. Hopefully he has gotten better as a student, in the same way he seems to have gotten better as a player. Big E is going to need his help.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  • Nashville Cat says:

    What I’ve read on this kid is that he can ball for sure. I do wonder what his grades were in JC. Larry, is he good enough to step in and be the main PF is we dont get Jones? He’s older so thats encouraging. Good day for the Cats!

  • jauk11 says:

    Great news, we really needed help there and he could be the best available at the position. Sounds like great numbers for him.

    According to Meyer thais should move us past Memphis into the #1 recruiting spot—again.

    Should be a great fit for him and UK.

  • Ken says:

    He is going to help,no doubt about that.I read that he still has a few hours to do this summer to be eligible but that it shouldn’t be a problem.Larry might know more about it or one of us might find some info on it and let us all know.He will give us solid rebounding and he can block shots.He’s tough around the basket and he is the type of player Cal likes…long,lanky jumping jacks.

  • larry vaught says:

    From what I hear, he will be fine academically. That’s why UK pushed so hard recently. Huge addition and takes a lot of pressure off having to have Jones now. Don’t think this will stop JOnes from coming, but will let him see Cal just keeps finding ways to reload

  • Tony says:

    Good news, now is Jones’ turn.

  • jauk11 says:

    Another benefit is that if he comes to UK he won’t be gooing to UNC which also lost some big bodies.

  • dan simon says:

    IMO all he has to do is REBOUND and play some defense- we already have other kids who can score the ball- we do need one more inside player.

  • Andy P. says:

    I think getting Vargas is huge because he is a shot blocker and Enes Kanter is not. I suspect Kanter will be a better scorer and rebounder than Vargas, but Vargas will probably be a better defender and shot blocker, so Enes and Eloy should complement each other.

  • UKFMLY says:

    I just read he had straight A’s in JC so academics should not be an issue. The article was in an Arizon paper and it also said he can shoot with range. Welcome to the BBN Mr. Vargas.

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. GO BLUE AND ENJOY THE RIDE! ! !

  • UKFMLY says:

    Rivals.com has moved us to #1 in recruiting for the second straight year.

    GO BLUE AND ENJOY THE BLUE CHIPPERS

  • larryvaught says:

    Should be No. 1.
    Another amazing job.
    Think Vargas is a great addition this late in the recruiting race for Cal

  • Jim Boyers says:

    I’m really starting to worry about Cal’s 2011/12 recruiting classes and beyond.

    Cal has put together #1 classes for 09/10 and 10/11 AFTER the season has ended. He has ALREADY put together the #1 class for 11/12. I’m just worried that he will make the Spring signing period a lot less tense and exciting. It’s just gonna get boring having these EARLY #1 classes. HO-HUM!!!

    UN-BE-FREAKIN’-LIEVABLE!!!

    GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  • Nashville Cat says:

    This is a nice change to go into the season with too many good players as opposed to wondering if we will have enough to compete in the SEC. I especially like being the “it” school. Even though it brings alot hate our way. Hopefully all this will lead to a title, which would be like puttin some gas on the fire.

  • UKFMLY says:

    Somebody Pinch me.

    GO BLUE AND ENJOY THE SUMMER.

  • larryvaught says:

    It is almost too good to be true. Back to back No. 1 recruiting classes and a 90-10 chance 2011 will be the same way

  • BarryRussell says:

    Cal said yesterday he waited 20 years for the UK job and he isn’t going to leave. Why would he with the future looking so great? Terrence Jones would be the icing on the cake!

  • Ken says:

    The 2011 class is off to a great start.If folks haven’t had a chance to see Gilchrist play via Youtube or one of the many high school all-star games,this kid can flat out play and Teague is unstoppable at point.He’s crafty and has Wall type speed.Of course,the class isn’t done with those two either.By the time it’s all said and done,UK will have the top class of 2011 also.

  • rod says:

    Welcome EV! He reminds me of a bigger Tayshaun Prince.
    He, Big E & Jorts should all compliment each other – can any of hte three big men pass the ball?

  • Jan in Indiana says:

    WELCOME ELOY VARGAS!!! Happy to see you will be wearing the BLUE AND WHITE instead of blue and orange. Hope your time at UK will be very happy for you, I guess you have been told by now that you have been adopted by a huge number of people from all over the world, also known as

  • Jan in Indiana says:

    Sorry I hit the wrong button! You have been adopted by a huge number of people all over the world also known as BIG BLUE NATION!!!

    Larry, Congratulations to you on your induction into the 12th Region Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

  • larryvaught says:

    Thanks Jan. It was quite an honor — and there might be another surprise coming soon, too, about me

  • Jan in Indiana says:

    Larry, Worldwide Wes is not trying to get you a job as Cal’s assistant in the NBA is he? I mean talk about getting rumors started!

  • larryvaught says:

    If he is, I will deny it — at least until the paper restructures my contract (ha ha)

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