From all reports, Kentucky has lost it's first big recruiting battle with his forme..."/> From all reports, Kentucky has lost it's first big recruiting battle with his forme..."/>

Barton Brothers to Memphis??? This may not be a bad thing for UK…


From all reports, Kentucky has lost it’s first big recruiting battle with his former school, Memphis for the services of 5 star shooting guard Will Barton. Some sources are reporting that both Will and his brother, 3 star recruit Antonio, both committed to Memphis last night. This despite the fact Will told a Kansas reported on Thursday that his decision would come “late in the summer” and that he was “in no rush” to make a decision.

It’s kind of odd that neither (where this story broke), rivals, or ESPN has officially placed the Bartons in the Memphis camp on their websites as of yet, but a few sources are including quotes from Antonio that they have committed, so I am assuming that is true, unless Antonio is horribly out of the loop.

For the record, the timing of the announcement seems odd since Will was to visit UK next week. This has the feel of a very hard sell recruiting job by Pastner since Calipari is currently out of the country. Until there is a signed LOI or other sites update their boards, this just seems odd. Who knows what Pastner used agaisnt UK and Cal since Cal was out of the country. I’d love to see Will at UK still and don’t think this is over.

But what price do we pay for Barton?

Now first, I am not in any way implying that either of these kids are bad kids or a character issue. From what I have read, Will is an amazing kid. However as UK fans, we have to look at all the appearences of any move now.

Seeing that this was apparently a “package plan” and the fact that UK had not yet offered Antonio a scholarship, I don’t see this as a major loss for Calipari. Sure, Will is a great player and is rated as the number 3 shooting guard for 2010 and a real need for UK …. but is he worth TWO scholarships?

And that is my main question. What recruit is worth TWO scholarships. You can argue that John Wall would have been depending on how bad we need him, but we may need Barton more this season than next. Especially if Meeks does not return.

As we all know that the major decline with UK recently was the fact that we were recruiting three star players who could take up a scholarship for four years. If it is true that Will did not choose UK because his brother was not offered, I see this as a good sign for UK. We want Calipari to go after the top talent every season and what good would it be to have a five star recruit leave after two seasons and then be left with a three star recruit scholarship for two more seasons?

This is different from the Xavier and CJ Henry situation because CJ was a walkon and not a scholarship spot. Nevertheless, Calipari was castigated by the media for his “package deals” but there was nary a whimper when the Henry’s trotted off to Memphis with their 2 for 1 deal to play for Bill Self.

With ESPN obsessing over 5 year old SAT scores and dragging Robert Dozier’s name through the mud and trying to implicate Calipari in yet another SAT fraud conspiracy, now may not have been a good time to announce a “package deal” with a 5 star recruit and his lower rated brother.

In case you missed it, ESPN has become “SAT Central” and have been muck racking Robert Dozier lately. In short, Robert Dozier committed to Memphis, took his SAT, and then for whatever reason Decommitted from Memphis. He then signed with Georgia, where his SAT score was flagged for being too high and then he retook the SAT with a much lower result. Georgia dropped his recruitment, and Dozier went to a prep school for a year, retook the test with a score in between the first two and then recommitted to Memphis. He stayed at Memphis all four years and is now a college graduate.

It’s pretty much a non story as he was never cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse for Memphis and if there was SAT fraud involved, appears to be at the high school level. But since he ended up at Memphis, ESPN tongues are wagging and they are dying to implicate Calipari. The ESPN castigation of Cal makes no sense as ESPN has committed billions to the SEC to televise their games and Cal will be a biweekly featured game on ESPN during basketball season. But the level of implications and unfounded conjecture among the ESPN “journalists” have been horrendous to say the least.

And they are all waiting for Calipari to jaywalk or not to use his turn signal or do anything with the appearance of wrongdoing before they continue to castigate him. Heaven forbid how ESPN would jump on the case if the wife of a equipment manager would extort him for anything. They would SURELY get to the bottom of that. Oh wait…

That would never happen at UK. We had the great Mr Wildcat for years.

So yes, Cat fans. It sucks to lose Will Barton. I was looking forward to watching him play for UK. And I am not saying there is anything wrong with the Barton brothers at all. But in this case, UK dodged another PR bullet by not having a “package deal” for Pat Forde to obsess about.

And according to recruiting lists, UK still has 9 Top 100 players on their radar for next year. All we need to do is land 3 of those to have another top 5 class. So the sky is not falling….

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