As you read the following account of Tubby Smith's recruiting prowess, successes and failures, listen to Tubby explain that the misses on such high profile recruits as Brandan Wright and Tyler Hansbrough [Both to UNC, and both playing and leading their team to success as freshmen] were not indicative of UK failure, but UK success.  Tubby explains that UK did not get these great players because UK did not need them and had they come, they would not have been good enough to play as freshmen over our stellar front line of Thomas, Perry, Obrzut, Alleyne, and company.

Tubby also explains in this same clip that the 2007 Senior Class has been one of the winningests groups in the history of this program.  To focus on this issue, CLICK HERE.

As UK's 2006-07 basketball team prepares for the upcoming season, most analysists agree that UK's lack of quality depth on the frontline is this team's greatest area of concern.  It has now been 2 recruiting classes since Chuck Hayes graduated, and Kalena Azibuike left, and Tubby Smith has not signed a legitimate power forward to fill the void.

The word about Tubby's inability to recruit is spreading.  Recently, CBS Sportsline posted a piece about it at their website, LINK TO ARTICLE.  A brief excerpt follows:

10. John Pelphrey (South Alabama) and Travis Ford (UMass): Eventually Tubby Smith is going to grow tired of Kentucky's rabid fan base and semi-retire or take an NBA job. Who knows, it might happen after this season, considering the Wildcat faithful isn't happy with the coach's underwhelming recruiting of late. Exhibit A is this song written by OH Napier titled Final Four or Hit the Door (Please. You have to hear this. Follow the link. Thank me later).

I encourage you to link to the song from the quote above, and listen as you read the remainder of this page.  If you have high speed internet connection, select the "hi-fi" option.

In the recruiting process, Tubby Smith has offered scholarships to 22 forwards and centers, and all have turned him down.

2006 [1 for 13]
Tyler Hansbrough, UNC
Kevin Durant TX
Brandan Wright UNC [Read Why Brandon Wright Picked Roy Williams over Tubby Smith]
Thaddeus Young GT
Damion James KU
Tyler Smith IA
Dan Werner UF
Phil Jones UNCC
Stanley Robinson UCONN
Deon Thompson UNC [Read Why Deon Thompson Picked Roy Williams over Tubby Smith]
Duke Crews UT
Tyrone Nash Prep School

2007 [0 for 14]
Anthony Randolph, Eliminated UK
Gani Lawal WF
Dallas Lauderdale OSU
Gary Johsnon TX
DeAndre Jordan TA&M
Julian Vaughn FSU
Josh Southern BC
Durell Summers MSU
Phil Jones, Charlotte, Center
James Anderson, UK not on list of official visits
Mac Koshwal, UK not on list of official visits
Dele Coker, Eliminated UK, Center
Chris Barnes, Georgia
Tyrone Nash, Notre Dame [See 2006 Whiff in lieu of Prep School]
Darnell Gant, Washington
Tyler Smith, NC State
Jeff Brooks, Arkansas
Eshaunte Jones, Indiana
Marshall Mosas, Okla St.

AJ Stewart Signs LOI with UK on 11/8/06

Don't you wonder why so many of them decided that they did NOT want to play for UK?

Of course, the focus on just the 2006 and 2007 classes is not justified because a basketball program should not wait until a valued player leaves before replacing him?  Every player should be recruited over within two years of that player's scheduled exit.

To be sure, Tubby Smith's recruiting whiffs did not begin with the 2006 incoming freshman class.  Rcruiting since 2003, has been weak, especially when one considers the circumstances that ultimately worked to produce the heralded 2004 class.  Many fans have concluded that Tubby Smith lucked into the 2004 class when Louisville signed another point guard, and Rondo then chose Kentucky. Without Rondo, that class probably would NOT have included Morris or Crawford, the other two members of that 04 trifecta.   In addition, Rondo is now gone, and Morris and Crawford both tried to leave as quickly as they arrived, but failed. In addition, this highly regarded class, now in their Junior Season, can't keep the program ranked in the top 25.

Other than the 2004 class, Tubby Smith has not landed a high profile recruit in 2003, 2005, 2006, or 2007. For the 2007 class, Tubby Smith's options have dwindled to one, Patterson.  Many observers say that Patterson would be a given recruit for UK Basketball but for Tubby Smith, and now it appears that UK is no higher than 3rd on Patterson's list, behind Florida and Duke. 

So, UK continues to have a thin front court.  Tubby Smith's recruiting whiffs are not new just because these failures have not been widely discussed until recently.  Similarly, Tubby Smith's recruiting woes will not mysteriously end with the 2007 recruiting class, or the 2008 class.  Gregg Doyel said recently that in 4 years, Tubby will be left with only one walk-on player.

Now the recruiting whiffs have begun for the 2008 class:

2008  [0 for 2]

Bud Mackey, IU verbal prior to Junior Season, Georgetown, Kentucky PG
Scott Hopson, Mississippi State verbal prior to Junior Season, Hopkinsville, Kentucky player
William Buford, Ohio State verbal prior to Junior Season, Toledo, Ohio player
Morris Twins, Memphis [Double Whiff]
Brandon Jennings, USC

Submitted by Richard Cheeks


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SugarHill Communications of Kentucky
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