It’s sad, but I am aggravated that Kentucky didn’t get James Wiseman today. Here’s why.

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Today wasn’t a great day to be a Kentucky fan and if I am being honest, I am a little aggravated. As we all know James Wiseman committed to Penny Hardaway and Memphis.  I am aggravated about a few things but they all center around Wiseman’s decision. 

It’s sad that I am aggravated that an 18-year-old didn’t decide to play one year of college basketball at the school I am a fan of.  Don’t get me wrong, I hope he does well, but I am a little bitter that the second-best recruit in the nation will not be suiting up in a Kentucky uniform.

When I saw the news that Wiseman was making his decision today, I knew it was Memphis and there was nothing, absolutely nothing to say otherwise

John Calipari started recruiting James Wiseman in the late part of 2016.  He even made two trips overseas to watch Wiseman play and watched him every chance he could in AAU and high school.

At his pre-Winthrop presser today, Calipari said that “he was overrated as a recruiter.”

“We don’t get every kid, we get the ones we’re supposed toget.  It just kinda plays out that wayand it always has.  It’s not changed my approach to this.” Calipari said.

“I gotta be able to sleep at night, knowing that I’m being honest and not embellishing. I’m not saying that against anybody else.  Everybody recruits the way they recruit. But you’ve got good programs and good coaches and that’s why we don’t get everybody we recruit. We’re not the only ones out there trying to get good players and trying to help kids.”

We’ve all heard Cal take shots at certain schools, mainly Duke.  It has been said by Cal that the Duke recruiting pitch is that “you will be the face of the program” and Cal doesn’t say that.  He tells you that it “it will be tough” and “you have to earn everything here.”

I am good with that. I don’t think we should lie to these guys about what it’s like here or what role they’ll play.  As Cal said, he’s gotta be able to sleep at night.

But, the loss of Wiseman has been a growing trend in the past years, starting with the loss of Jahlil Okafor all the way back in 2014, up until now.

If you’re wondering what other options are out there for UK, TJ Walker of Kentucky Sports Radio wrote a post all about that.  You can read that here.

John Calipari said one of the reasons he came to Kentucky was because he could recruit “the best of the best” and he has, then today he says he’s overrated as a recruiter. I would bet that if Kentucky doesn’t get a solid big man in this class, they make a change with the staff, because it isn’t a coincidence that since Orlando Antigua left, Kentucky hasn’t been getting the best recruits.

If Calipari is going to continue this one-and-done stuff, then he must win these recruiting battles.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Kentucky ends up in Vernon Carey Jr’s top three, but if they aren’t then maybe we start worrying. 

I am aggravated mostly because John Calipari recruited Wiseman very hard and Kentucky was the leader for nearly his whole recruitment, then Memphis hired Penny Hardaway and they get him.  I don’t think that you should be able to do that.  We’ve seen it with Ben Simmons and LSU.  It’s an easy way to get a recruit, and I think you only do it if you know you won’t be able to get a guy going head-to-head with the other schools.

I think it’s safe to say Calipari has lost “his touch” when it comes to recruiting, and nowadays, if you’re running the one-and-done and not getting the best of the best, then you’re in trouble.

Don’t get me wrong though, I am not saying Cal needs to be let go or he can’t coach or anything like that.  I just think Kentucky is starting to slide in recruiting and something needs to be done.

Go Cats.���-


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