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Arnett Moultrie denied a hardship waiver for 2010, is still a possibility to transfer to Kentucky


Ever since the news that former UTEP player Arnett Moultrie’s leaders were Kentucky and Texas, the news on the talented big man have gone silent.  From all indications, Kentucky is still in a good position, but it also appears that Moultrie has been looking at other teams like Mississippi State .

It does appear that part of the reason for Moultrie’s transfer from UTEP was for a desire to be closer to a sick relative in the Memphis area.  Moultrie is restricted from transferring to a fellow CUSA school like Memphis, so that gives schools like Mississippi State and Kentucky an advantage.

We do know however that Moultrie has been denied a hardship transfer to Mississippi State and this was a part of the stipulation of his transfer from UTEP.  Apparently, this is a major setback for the Bulldogs as they wanted him to be eligible next season.  This should not have any effect on UK’s interest in him as they were planning on him being eligible for the 2011-2012 season. 

There have been lots of questions about Moultrie concerning his character and his potential.  I did find some Q/A on Moultrie from a Texas site which should put some minds to ease.  I think that Moultrie can be a very nice grab for Calipari since he would be practicing with the team this year while sitting out and would have a NBA ready big man in 2011 should Enes Kanter and Terrence Jones go pro.  Kentucky could avoid having to recruit a whole new frontcourt if Moultrie is around.

 GhostofBigRoy: With Texas supposedly having an interest in Arnett Moultrie, I was wondering if you could give me some of your thoughts on him. Have you heard anything substantive regarding the rumors that he wasn’t getting along with Tim Floyd?

Adrian Macias: I’ve only heard substantively that Moultrie and Tim Floyd didn’t see eye to eye on Arnett’s decision to test the NBA waters. When Floyd was hired, the first thing he did was conduct one-on-one interviews with every member of the team. I’ve heard that when Arnett told Floyd that he wanted to test the waters, Floyd told him that he wasn’t ready, in his eyes, to declare and promised him that he would work with him to better prepare him after next season. When Arnett declared anyway, I’m told that Floyd wasn’t pleased. Almost immediately after, Floyd signed Rashanti Harris, a 6’9 power forward who could be eligible next season and Michael Haynes, another forward prospect who will be eligible next year. From my point of view, it seemed obvious that Floyd was recruiting knowing that Moultrie wouldn’t rejoin the team.

GoBR: Did he have any reported problems with the previous coach, Barbee?

AM: Not at all. In fact it was probably quite the opposite. Tony Barbee’s strongest recruiting ground is Memphis, where Moultrie is from. When he came to UTEP, he immediately used his strong bonds with the local players there to bring the best Memphis talent to El Paso. Coach Barbee always had a strong bond with the Memphis players.

Overall, would you say that he has a consistently good attitude?

AM: As an observer, I would say absolutely. After his impressive showing in last summer’s FIBA Championships with Team USA, Moultrie was expected to have a breakout season. When Derrick [Caracter] became eligible, it was obvious that his strong inside game would cause Arnett to move back outside to the wing. Arnett was never the focus of the offense and struggled to become a consistent scorer. It wasn’t because he didn’t have the talent to score, he does, the offense just didn’t involve him nearly as much as it probably should have. He never appeared to complain about his diminished role. Rather he worked hard, started every game, and filled the stat sheet in other ways. He was really the “glue guy” for the Miners last year. Without him, there’s no way UTEP makes the NCAA tournament. He’s a hard worker who wants to win. His problem at UTEP was always about him not fitting the dribble drive weave, not about his ability or attitude.

GoBR: One of the major complaints that I have seen against him is that he wasn’t posting up as much with Caracter on the team. Do you think that was a decision by the coaching staff or do you think they wanted him on the block more? \

AM: It was clearly a decision of the coaching staff. Caracter was really, really good. I’m not sure if people who couldn’t see him play understand how good a scorer he can be. He had incredible offensive footwork and was a polished low post player. Arnett likes to shoot from the outside and has good, not great, ball handling skills. Had UTEP not signed Caracter, I’m sure Tony Barbee would have used Arnett in the post more and helped him develop that part of his game. But, with there really being no opportunity to play him there, Barbee used him on the wing. He was too good not to have on the court.

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