Let’s start off today’s 4 pm headlines with a little bit of football recruiting news. Now, if you have been following UK football recruiting for the past couple weeks, you know that former USC commit Jason Hatcher has been high on Kentucky’s list since he became available. Hatcher is a 4-star defensive end from Trinity High School in Louisville, KY. Hatcher re-opened his recruiting a couple weeks ago and it was believed that UK was in great shape to sign him, alongside USC and Lousiville. As of last night, it appears that Hatcher’s mother told USC’s Rivals page that Hatcher will be re-committing to the Trojans. However, no quotes are out from Hatcher himself, so the recruitment remains open. Upon hearing the news, UK head coach Mark Stoops, defensive coordinator D.J. Elliott and three other UK coaches headed down to Louisville to meet with Hatcher sometime today. Stay tuned for more information regarding the recruitment of Jason Hatcher.
In basketball news, it was a career night for both Kyle Wiltjer and Nerlens Noel last night in the win over Ole Miss. Wiltjer finished with a career high 26 points, along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Noel only had 2 points, but also had 7 rebounds and a career high 12 blocks. Noel broke the UK single game record of blocks in a single game with that performance. Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway even went as far as saying that Nerlens Noel was a better shot blocker than Anthony Davis, something no one would’ve ever said after the first month of the season.
Holloway wasn’t the only one raving about Nerlens Noel’s shot blocking last night, Myron Medcalf of ESPN listed Noel’s performance as the top observation from last night’s college basketball action. Medcalf states that all of the Ole Miss offensive struggles throughout the game stemmed from Noel’s ability to alter any shot an Ole Miss player attempted.
Last night’s win over Ole Miss was a season defining win for the Wildcats as they got their first quality win of the season. Jeff Goodman of CBS thinks that this win, with the way the Cats silenced Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson and stopped a big run late in the second half, has put Kentucky on the right side of the bubble in regards to an NCAA tournament berth.
Coach Cal was about the only guy who mentioned that last night’s win over Ole Miss doesn’t mean Kentucky is all the way over the hump yet. In Cal’s post game comments, he mentioned how the Cats beat up on Auburn a couple weeks ago and then came out flat against Alabama in the next game. Coach Cal wants the players to use this game to propel the team forward.
Stay tuned to Wildcat Blue Nation for all of your Kentucky Wildcats sports news.