Andrew Wiggins’ parents are now on their way to Huntington, West Virginia, according to ESPN’s Paul Biancardi.
The parents of Andrew Wiggins are on their way to Huntington Prep. It appears he is now ready and want his parents there when he does it.
— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) May 12, 2013
His parents should arrive sometime later tonight. If this is the case, Tuesday sounds like a fairly good guess for an announcement date. With that said, he could also announce on Monday or Wednesday and still sign a National Letter of Intent. Wednesday is the last day to sign a National Letter of Intent, and his coach, Rob Fulford has indicated that he will likely take this option.
Regardless, it sounds as if the Wiggins saga will soon be coming to a close.
Huntington Prep Coach Rob Fulford tells Evan Daniels that “it’s possible that Andrew Wiggins announces on Tuesday, but not a definite.”
The date of the decision is largely contingent on the arrival of Wiggins’ parents, who live in Toronto. Both of his parents are expected to arrive in Huntington this Monday.
Although he is not obligated to do so, Wiggins is expected to sign a National Letter of Intent. The deadline to do so is this coming Wednesday. The fact that his parents will be in town early next week seems to indicate that he will stick to this deadline and announce by Wednesday at the latest.
There is no word yet as to how Wiggins will make his announcement, but with his parents being in town, I would expect an announcement ceremony to be held at Huntington Prep.
Wiggins will decide between Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas and Florida State. Many national analysts have guessed Florida State, but fan bases of each school seem fairly confident in their chances.
Wiggins has played his recruitment closer to the vest than any recruit we have seen in a while. Speculation as to where he will ultimately land is just that. Nevertheless, with the unprecedented roll he’s been on, it’s difficult to imagine John Calipari missing out on his top target for 2013.
Today may end up going down as one of the most important Kentucky football recruiting days in the history of the program, as the prize of the 2014 class in the state of Kentucky, Drew Barker, has decided to stay home and become a Wildcat.
Barker joins the likes of Jared Lorenzen, Tim Couch, Andre Woodson, and Patrick Towles to be highly sought after Quarterbacks from Kentucky to become Wildcats.
Barker is the #6 rated Quarterback on Rivals.com, and the #153 prospect. Still, his impact may go beyond just his own physical ability.
Drew plans on enrolling in January at Kentucky, and will be using the time between now and then to try and guide Conner to a state championship, and to try and get as many top rated recruits as possible to Lexington with him.
It can’t be stated enough, this is a huge get for Mark Stoops and company. It’s been well documented before, but let’s just say that Barker had all but crossed UK off of his list before Mark Stoops came to town. I remember following Barker on Twitter back when Joker was the coach, and I never in my wildest dreams every though UK could ever get him. The job Mark Stoops has done to get back in the race, and then to close it out in this fashion, is absolutely phenomenal.
Welcome aboard, Drew!
Take a look at some highlights, so you’ll know the type of player you’re getting:
This kid is a scoring machine.
Maverick Rowan is a 2016 shooting guard playing for Lincoln Park, the same school that potential 2014 target Ryan Skovranko plays for. He stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 175lbs, making him a pretty big guard.
He is not a guy that you have heard of, but he is one you will start hearing a lot over the next few years. I have heard that he shoots and scores the basketball from deep, a lot like JJ Reddick. That’s some high praise.
Right now Rowan is playing on the AAU circuit with members of the 2015 class, despite not yet being a sophomore. He is playing with the OBC AAU team, alongside talented 2015 PF Carlton Bragg. Rowan said that he is gaining a lot of experience playing with the 16U team, and that he and Bragg are scoring the most just about every game.
I caught up with Rowan to get his thoughts on the early recruitment process he is experiencing. See what he had to say below.
What schools are currently recruiting you?
“UCLA, Pittsburgh, Robert Morris, WVU, Virginia, VA Tech, DePaul, St. Johns, Penn State, and Kentucky have all been in recent contact with me.”
“I don’t have any offers at this point, though.”
Do you have schools that you consider as your dream school?
“UCLA is my favorite.”
“I like UCLA, because I have just always liked them from day one of when I first started watching college basketball and it’s in Los Angeles, plus I like the Lakers.”
What are your thoughts on their new coach at UCLA?
“I think he will be a good for them. He was a good player himself, even thought he jumped around in the NBA.”
What would mean if you were offered by the Kentucky staff?
“It would mean a lot to get an offer from anywhere, because I have worked so hard to get where I am today.”
What do you think about Coach Calipari?
“I think he’s a great coach; he has had a lot of success in the past few years and he should have another great year this upcoming season.”
Rowan is an excellent player and shooter. He is playing ball with the 2015 class and holding his own. He’ll be one to watch as time goes on, in an extremely deep 2016 class.
Player Profile w/ Highlights: Maverick Rowan – SG | 6-5 | 175
Two out of three ain’t bad.
We are now officially just one day away from the ending of one of the most anticipated recruitments in the history of Kentucky football. Drew Barker will be making his decision tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm EST.
So what kind of impact will Drew Barker’s decision have?
From a personnel perspective, UK is not in a position where they absolutely need Drew Barker. UK has a quarterback most likely for the next three years with either Jalen Whitlow, Patrick Towles, or Max Smith. UK could even stretch it out over the next five years by redshirting Reese Phillips, and redshirting one of the three who are competing for the starting position this year to be the starter when the other two guys graduate. Even if UK does not add a quarterback, they’ll be fine for this year.
From a recruiting QB standpoint, UK actually is not hurting in terms of getting a good quarterback. UK has been linked with several top quarterbacks, but have not yet offered as they have made Drew Barker the priority. Still, UK has plenty of time to get involved with quarterbacks such as DJ Gillins, DeShone Kizer, and Chandler Kincade. Now, it is UK’s opinion (and my own), that Barker has a higher potential than those guys and would be better in this system, but having those guys as back up options isn’t exactly a bad thing. If you look at the Chrystal Ball feature on 247, most of the national analysts have already predicted DJ Gillins to UK. You may remember he was originally committed to Neal Brown at Texas Tech before re-opening his recruitment.
With all of that said, Drew Barker is still a must get recruit for a few reasons. For one thing, he’s one of the highest recruited players from the state of Kentucky in some time, and this is Mark Stoops’ first time going toe to toe with some national powers for a previously uncommitted recruit in his own state. Yes he worked wonders to get Jason Hatcher, and yes he did a great job getting Ryan Timmons, but this thing is on a different level. If Stoops can seal the border and keep Barker home in Kentucky, it could have an impact throughout the state for years to come. (Even if he doesn’t get it, he’ll still have a chance to beat Alabama out for Matt Elam.)
From a 2014 recruiting standpoint, getting Drew Barker is absolutely huge. There are highly rated recruits all over southern Ohio, Georgia, Florida, and other places in the South that are strongly considering UK, and having Drew Barker on board to help recruit those guys is key. This is especially true for skill position players like Derek Kief, and Braxton Berrios. These are highly rated guys who are on a different level than the skill position players that UK has been getting over recent years. Getting Barker would be huge, HUGE, in helping lure those guys to Lexington.
Finally, we talked earlier about how from a personnel standpoint, UK may not need him, but that doesn’t mean UK doesn’t WANT him. Barker is the kind of guy who could be a 3+ year starter at UK. It may be tough for him to come in and compete for a starting spot his Freshman year, but if he’s open to a redshirt, he would have the ability to challenge, and lock down, the starting spot by his Sophomore season. No offense to Reese Phillips, but Barker coming to UK likely makes him a career back up. But of course, with the way UK quarterbacks have gone recently, there’s still plenty of playing time even there. Still, there is a different era for UK football.
So make no mistake, UK will be fine without Barker, should he decide to go to South Carolina. Still, UK will be MUCH better off should Barker pick up a Kentucky hat on Friday at 3:30.
Go Big Blue!
Over the course of the summer, Ky Cat Stats will be taking an in-depth, analytical look at the top 25 basketball players in the history of Kentucky basketball. There will be six categories and points awarded for each category, ranging from stats, awards, wins/championships, post-UK success, impact, and influence.
Today, let’s take a look at who the statistics say are the top 25 players in UK history.
Let me preface all of this by saying this is in no way our opinion when it comes to the top 25. There will be some categories on this list subject to some subjectivity, but this is not one of them.
To compile the list, we started with the top 25 in career points, rebounds, assists, rebounds, and steals. The issue with this is two things. One, it rewards players who play all 4 years, and two, there is no way to weight which statistic may be deemed more important than any other. Ultimately, we have to start with the assumption that each stat is created equally.
From there, we assigned points based on each rank. Here are the top 5 for career statistics.
1- Chuck Hayes (7th in rebounds, 17th in assists, 13th in blocks, and 8th in steals)
2-Kenny Walker (2nd in scoring, 6th in rebounds, 15th in blocks, and 25th in steals)
3-Ed Davender (11th in scoring, 8th in assists, 4th in steals)
4-Dan Issel (1st in scoring, 1st in rebounds)
5-Keith Bogans (4th in scoring, 14th in assists, 12th in steals)
So, yeah, obviously a few surprises. Namely, that somehow Dan Issel isn’t #1, and there’s no Jamal Mashburn. So in order to offset the total careers of some players (note: Saul Smith was #25 on this list), we added in a similar scoring system that just took in to account single season records in statistics. This was similarly based, but took more in to account how a player performed each season. In this instance, we see players who were able to jump in to the top 25 in multiple years in statistical categories are rewarded.
Here’s the top 5:
1-Dan Issel (1st in scoring, 4th in scoring, 7th in rebounding, 10th in rebounding, 21st in rebounding)
2-Anthony Epps (4th in assists, 9th in assists, 25th in assists, 7th in steals, 25th in steals)
3-Rajon Rondo (1st in steals, 6th in steals, 11th in assists)
4-Wayne Turner (2nd in steals, 16th in steals, 23rd in steals, 10th in assists)
5-Jamal Mashburn (3rd in scoring, 8th in scoring, 12th in steals)
Now in order to come up with the top 25, we took the two lists, both career and season, and combined the point totals from each to form the final list. So without further adieu, here are the top 25 players in the history of Kentucky basketball, according to the stats:
Let me just say, I’ve always thought Anthony Epps was underrated, but maybe not THAT underrated. Some other surprises include Jamaal Magloire at #11 and Wayne Turner at #3. It may be important to note also though that players who dominated in a single statistic category for multiple seasons were likely to be high on the list. For instance, Jamaal Magloire (blocks) and Frank Ramsey (rebounds) do not make either the career or season ranks in any other statistical category.
So there you have it. Now, again, this is not who we think is the best, or even most talented. This is just a hard look at the stats, both for individual seasons, and for their entire careers.
What do you think?
Go Big Blue!
*All stats courtesy of bigbluehistory.net
Our heroes have begun undertaking a series of podcasts and posts to find who the top 25 players in Kentucky history are. Today’s podcast breaks down the stats, and how players rank from 1-25 based on career and season stats.
This week’s topic list:
- Very Little Andrew Wiggins Talk
- Drew Barker is committing on Friday
- Top 25 UK Players in UK History: Statistical Style
- Much More….
Last year, the thought of going to a bowl game this year would be considered, well, crazy. And honestly, going to a bowl game should not be the expectation of the team even this year. Let’s face it, Stoops came in with the odds stacked against him. Thus far, he’s done better than probably anybody else could do, but it’s hard to imagine that paying off with a bowl trip this year.
Still, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Let’s look at how the Cats could get there.
The season starts in Nashville on August 31 against Western Kentucky, and I’m not sure there could be a better situation to take on Western Kentucky than this year. Kentucky will remember what happened last year and be extremely hungry to take care of business. Combine that with a wild atmosphere down at LP Field and I think the Cats will take care of business in a big way. It helps that WKU will be implementing a new system with players who don’t exactly fit the mold of what Bobby Petrino would try to do.
The Cats follow that up with Miami Ohio at home for the first home game of the Stoops tenure.
Later in the season, the Cats have Alabama State coming to town.
Now the Cats enter conference play. Yes I’ve skipped the Louisville game because I don’t expect us to win that one. Kentucky travels to Mississippi State for their annual Halloween game trip. Mississippi State lost several of their best players to the NFL and will be going through a bit of a rebuilding year. Defensively, Mississippi State will not be at the level they have been in the past. Couple that with the fact that historically, the away team in this rivalry has a lot of success, and UK may be able to pull off the upset here. Not to mention, this game comes off a bye week.
After the Alabama State game, Kentucky gets Missouri at home. Missouri should be better than last year, but not much better. This will be the first time Missouri will play in Commonwealth, and the crowd should be packed following back-to-back wins for Kentucky.
To close out the season, Kentucky welcomes in Tennessee. Let’s be real here, yes I know Kentucky has not had a lot of success against Tennessee, but Tennessee lost a ton of players from last year, and is in major rebuilding mode. Butch Jones is having a lot of success on the recruiting trail so far for 2014, but those guys won’t be here for another year. The fact is, there’s not a lot of separation between the two teams right now, and the game is at Commonwealth this year.
So there you have it. A bowl game is definitely not out of the realm of possibility. Add in a game against a reloading Vanderbilt team down in Nashville, and some sneaky upset possibilities with Louisville and Florida coming to down, and maybe there’s a better chance at making late December reservations somewhere than we originally thought.
Either way, should be a fun season.
Go Big Blue!
There’s one person who certainly doesn’t doubt Coach Stoops.
So far, Mark Stoops has pulled some real magic tricks when it comes to recruiting.
He’s flipped players from nationally prominent schools, and has received warranted attention for doing so.
Yet, when you take a look around, it seems that national recruiting experts still doubt him, more importantly Kentucky, in recruiting high profile guys right in their own backyard.
Drew Barker is a perfect example. If you look at the Crystal Ball feature on 247, you’ll see that all of the national recruiting “experts”, as well as the South Carolina beat writers, are hedging their bets and picking South Carolina as the likely destination. Why, you ask? Because South Carolina has made him a top priority, and Steve Spurrier has been recruiting him the longest.
Never mind that his good friend, Cameron Fogle, is going to UK. Never mind that he grew up a UK fan. Never mind that Neal Brown’s offensive system is more suited to Barker’s ability. Never mind that UK has also made Barker a top priority, and has decided to follow South Carolina in offering another quarterback, even though UK could have already wrapped up an elite prospect had they moved on from Barker. He’s their priority too. Never mind also that Barker turned down an offer to go to USC’s Spring Game, deciding instead to go to UK’s, following a few other unofficial visits to UK.
No, still, it’s Kentucky. Kentucky doesn’t win recruiting battles against South Carolina or schools of that ilk if they send out their big dogs to seal the deal.
Still, Mark Stoops gets no respect.
Yeah, sure, he flipped Jason Hatcher from USC. Of course, USC is a burning ship and Hatcher wanted to stay close to home right? Oh yeah, what about Marcus McWilson? Just chose UK over Nebraska because it’s in the SEC, and because of Vince Marrow, right?
Never mind still what Stoops has done so far this year. All those guys had Vince Marrow as their lead recruiter. Barker’s lead recruiter is Neal Brown and Coach Stoops. G.A. Mangus is South Carolina’s go-to guy. He always gets his man, or at least that’s what the pundits would have you believe.
Drew Barker will be the feather in Mark Stoops cap that finally sways the national perception of Coach Stoops and his ability to recruit to Kentucky. There’ll be no denying any longer that his recruiting hasn’t been a fluke to this point. He would have gone toe to toe with an SEC East power, a team that even got a headstart on Barker, and Stoops would have still come from behind for the win.
It’s been said before but it bears repeating, if Stoops can translate the hard work he’s put in to recruiting on to the field, the sky is the limit for Kentucky football. Does that mean it will all happen overnight? No. But, if he keeps going toe to toe with the South Carolinas, USC’s, Ohio State’s and Nebraska’s of the world for recruits, and keeps winning, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Barker’s announcement will come on Friday afternoon at 3:30 pm EST at Conner High School.
Go Big Blue!
Today, Ashely Lowery’s doctor, as well as Coach Mark Stoops, announced that it is not expected that Ashely will make a 100% recovery.
Yesterday it was reported that he had no broken bones, had sustained no permanent brain damage or damage to his neck and/or spinal chord. Today, he was removed from stable condition to satisfactory condition, and his injuries are no longer considered life-threatening.
Ashely Lowery of course had been the most promising player of the Spring in the defensive secondary.
Here is Mark Stoops’ statement:
“I went to see Ashely today and was glad to see him and spend some time with him. We’re thankful for the progress he’s made and are hopeful he will continue that improvement. He’s heard from a lot of teammates and is grateful for all the good wishes and prayers that so many people are offering on his behalf. We ask the Big Blue Nation to join Ashely’s football family in continuing to pray for a speedy recovery.”
Here is the statement from Ashely Lowery’s family:
“On behalf of the Lowery family, we’d like to thank everyone for their concerns and prayer. From Georgia to Lexington, we can’t thank everyone enough. You are like family to us.
“The only official comment from the hospital is that his condition has been upgraded from stable to satisfactory and his injuries are no longer life threatening. We expect a full recovery. Again, thank you so much for all the prayers and support.”
This is certainly good news and we continue to hope that Ashely will be on the field again this fall,but moreso, that he can make a 100% recovery.
Go Big Blue!
Continue to pray for #5