The 2012-13 basketball schedule continues to take shape and a familiar face just made its way to the exhibition slate. For the second straight year, the Kentucky Wildcats will host the crosstown Transylvania Pioneers. Transylvania was one of a handful of teams to actually get a 7 point lead on the National Champs as they took an 11-4 lead at Rupp last year before falling 97-53. This year’s edition of the game will be on November 5 with a tipoff time of 7:00 PM. Hopefully this will be the beginning stage for number nine.
The Lafayette Leopards also found their way to the 2012-13 schedule and they will face Kentucky at Rupp Arena on November 16. This game is actually part of the Barclay’s Classic in which Kentucky will later face Maryland. Lafayette is a private liberal arts and engineering school that plays in the Patriot League. I’m not sure how much pull John Calipari had in scheduling this game, but it appears to keep in his history of giving back to the Pennsylvania area as Lafayette is located in Easton.
The curious case of Chris Walker continues. I know that Tyler covered the story of how four AAU teams were banned from NCAA certified summer events, due to possible agent concerns. One of those teams were the Florida Rams, of which Florida commit Kasey Hill and Chris Walker are a member of. Now this really has nothing to do with Walker but the fact that the NCAA thinks there is a link between agent Andy Miller and the coaches of these teams. As a result, the teams are basically being disbanded and the players can have no contact with the coaches. These teams may pop up as a new entity with a new name and organization or the players may be forced to join different teams.
It should be noted that this does not really affect the eligibility of the players involved in the teams, but whether it causes the NCAA to give them a little special attention … who knows. The only Kentucky tie in all of this is that Kentucky is recruiting Chris Walker … or are they? Walker was the only UK target affected by this move. It should also be noted that Billy Donovan has a commit from Kasey Hill and is actively recruiting Walker. That does not really mean anything shady at all, but if Calipar was looking at two players on one of these AAU teams, people would be freaking out. With Donovan, not so much.
Funny how that works.
OK, back to Walker. Walker was very busy on twitter last night and sent sent out four pictures of arenas, hinting that he may be playing at the following schools: Kentucky, Florida, Kansas, and Louisville. That does not mean that Walker is down to a final four yet. He actually has a list of seven that includes Ohio State, Baylor, and Syracuse. Walker has hinted that a decision will come “soon”, probably by the end of the summer but in the end, it all seems to dictate on what Kentucky does:
“My plan is to commit either right after this summer or towards the beginning of the school year; I’ve always wanted to decide early in the process, to get comfortable and just enjoy my senior year of high school without all the distractions. … But then again, if I’m not ready to make a decision, I might take my time. I’m still waiting on a scholarship from Kentucky, so that’s a big part of my decision process. If I get the scholarship from Kentucky, which I think will happen soon, then I can sit down and start evaluating everything.”
In the end, it’s all about Kentucky and you get the feeling that Walker will commit on the spot if he gets that offer from UK. But will an offer come? Walker certainly has the skills to be a Calipari recruit, but to be honest, his recruitment is starting to look like Quincy Miller, Duece Bello, and Tony Wroten. You can kind of get a pattern of the players that Calipari talks and while Kentucky fans seem to flock to the players that tease the fans on twitter and engage with them, most of Kentucky’s commits have been relatively quiet on social media and definitely not the self promoting type. That’s my opinion … but if you go back and look you will see a trend.
Finally, there is a bit of interesting news on the DeAndre Liggins front. Seems that he will be playing for the Orlando Magic summer team next week, so that is a promising sign, at least. Stan Van Gundy was actually a fan of Liggins, but he just had a one year contract with Orlando. I was scared he could get lost in the new regime change and not get a proper chance to fight to stay in the league, but it looks like the new Orlando GM is going to give him a second look. Who knows how much playing time he will get next week, but its a good sign that the Magic are still looking at him.