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Count me as one who never saw Kerry Blackshear picking Kentucky

John Calipari might still pull off a surprise and get Kerry Blackshear but don’t count on it.  (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

What will Kerry Blackshear Jr. do and when is he going to do it? Those were the questions that Kentucky fans kept asking the last few weeks.

The nation’s best graduate transfer really gave no one any clear indication where he might go next year after pulling his name out of the NBA draft — or if he might even return to Virginia Tech.

At one point Kentucky seemed to be in great position to land Blackshear who would give UK a needed inside presence. However, when both Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery decided to return to Kentucky, I began to wonder.

Wednesday it became official when Blackshear gave his commitment to Florida. Not Tennessee as many had seemed to expect in recent days. Or not Virginia Tech as some had started to speculate also that he might do.

While I am surprised he picked Florida, you can’t be surprised that he didn’t pick the Cats after he failed to do so during his recent official visit.

With Kentucky coach John Calipari you never say never, but it sure seemed like Kentucky just lost momentum the last few weeks. Now Kentucky will just have to make do with the roster it has but that’s not all bad and just about any college coach in the country would like the roster Calipari has.
Plus, we’ve all learned that Calipari sometimes can pull off a summer surprise — remember Jamal Murray.

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  1. I totally agree with your article! I was wondering if getting Blackshear would hurt our team in the long run. Nick and E.J. are both due breakout seasons and that is hard to accomplish with limited minutes. I think now Cal will be forced to let them play through their mistakes, which will really help come tournament time.

    Getting Blackshear would have helped us early in the season in wins and losses, but we have solid two deep quality players at all positions. This should add some extra spice to the Florida games next season. His only real two choices were Kentucky and Florida. I understand his reasoning to play at Florida in a more dominate roll. I like my team and can’t wait for the season to begin

  2. UK has lost momentum with quality bigs for more than 2 wks. Cal does a lot of great things for UK but continues to miss with “big nasties” and begs the question once again……has anyone done less with more than the Calmeister during his tenure? Rah Rah!

  3. Great article. I never felt he would be here either. Mine was based on nothing but gut feeling. I wish him well – except when he plays us.

  4. Mike, I don’t think Cal has miss a beat comes to recruiting. I think you put too much realistic in terms of your own standards.

  5. Frankly, I’m just glad the Blackshear recruiting saga is over and done with.
    I wish him all the best.
    I’m just tired of the way so many recruits drag the process along for months on end.
    Make a choice and Get ‘er Done !!!

  6. What a different tune! All of you Rah Rah’s, except Mike, were crowing about how we were going to win NO. 9 with the addition of Blackshear. Now that he has Dissed us on the national recruiting stage, the tune is we didn’t need him anyway. What a joke! There was no way Blackshear was coming here and now that he is at Florida, we will do well to win the SEC season and tournament titles this year. Mike is right…the elite big men are going to other schools. You can’t win a national title without a dominant big man. That is why we will not win another national title until Cal is shown the door just like we did to Tubby.

    1. Duke had the best big man in the country and could not make the final four. There are so many variables in winning a national title and guard play is critical in winning. I get so tired of all you complaining about Cal. Who would you want in his place?

      1. Billy Donovan, Steve Prohm, Jay Wright, Bob Huggins, Bruce Pearl, Ben Howland, even Mike White. The SEC is getting better coaches and it showed this past year…no regular season title, no SEC tournament title (not even a final), and no Final 4 courtesy of the asswhooping from Bruce Pearl and Auburn. It will only get worse.

        As for big men, a dominant big man is not a guarantee of winning a national title i.e. Arizona, Duke, but not having a dominant big man is a guarantee of not winning one i.e. us, Michigan, Michigan State. You are right, guard play is important, but it has to be balanced with inside play and Calipari’s offense is almost 80% geared to wing/guard play, hence the lack of national titles.

  7. No doubt in my mind that Blackshear is a good big, however if you watch his style of play, it’s time consuming, gather yourself, drop step, spin moves, up and over stuff that doesn’t fit Kentucky’s get out fast, spread the floor, dribble drive and hit the boards. Blackshear is certainly not a rim protector, now is he a great leaper. Our team make up appears to be more guard oriented with very athletic and long wings who play above the rim. I’d much rather have a reclassified freshman, like Danta as a Higgins’ proofer, and rim protector, who wouldn’t take minutes away from the needed development of our other 3 bigs. With Blackshear, you also might have risked upsetting team chemistry, which presently appears to be outstanding. We’ll be losing all 3 bigs next year, and to have a reclassified big in the wing, would really help jump start us next year too. One last thing, to make things work in Cal’s method, a player really has to want to be here at Kentucky…Blackshear didn’t appear to show me that quality.

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