John Clay's notes: Latest recruiting rankings reveal a lack of commitment

21 of top 25 hoops recruits undecided

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistAugust 11, 2011 


Bishop Gorman junior Shabazz Muhammad talks to a reporter during an open workout at Bishop Gorman High School Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. The first day of the fall college basketball recruiting season was Thursday and many college coaches attended to evaluate the talent.


Random notes:

■ ESPNU came out with updated rankings of the top 100 high school basketball players for the class of 2012 on Wednesday.

Shabazz Muhammad moved up to No. 1. Kentucky target Perry Ellis dropped from No. 19 to No. 38.

The biggest surprise?

With the early signing period not that far off, just four of the top 25 players are committed to schools.

No. 4 Isaiah Austin is committed to Baylor, No. 9 Cameron Ridley to Texas, No. 10 Grant Jerrett to Arizona, and No. 13 Rasheed Sulaimon to Duke. That's it.

In fact, there seem to be more de-commitments this year than ever before. Just this week, Bullitt East's Derek Willis withdrew his commitment from Purdue, and Torian Graham backed out on North Carolina State. Why the trend?

"The de-committing stuff is prevalent right now," said Evan Daniels, the Lexington-based national recruiting analyst for "I'm not sure if it's happening more than it used to, but it's certainly more publicized, especially with the way recruiting is covered now."

Daniels predicts that a suggested rule change will alter the process.

"What is really going to be interesting is when the NCAA — which I think they are going to do — opens up unlimited phone calls for juniors," he said. "That will really speed up the process."

■ Joe Reedy, Bengals beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer, was asked via Twitter which undrafted free agent was most likely to make the club? His answer: Former UK defensive end turned linebacker DeQuin Evans.

■ Speaking of ex-Cats, Sports Illustrated's Peter King tweeted Wednesday that Randall Cobb had been the No. 1 standout in the Green Bay Packers' camp. You, of course, are not surprised.

■ A bit of stunning research: Kentucky has not had an offensive lineman taken in the NFL Draft since Todd Perry and Chuck Bradley were both picked in 1993. Perry went on to a long career and is set to be inducted into the North Hardin Hall of Fame.

■ Second bit of stunning research: Louisville approved a contract extension for Rick Pitino this week. As coach at Kentucky, Pitino won 22 NCAA Tournament games in six years. As coach at Louisville, Pitino has won 12 NCAA Tournament games in 10 years.

■ Word is the Dominican Republic national team exhibition against the Kentucky Pros at the KFC Yum Center is not going to be anywhere close to a sellout. Plenty of good seats are still available. I'm sure some Louisville residents bought tickets to the Rupp game on Monday night before finding out that a second game would be held in the 'Ville.

■ Ex-Florida defensive back Janoris Jenkins, who was kicked off the Gators after numerous arrests, says he would still be on the team if Urban Meyer were coach. And he's probably right.

■ Mississippi wants to raise $150 million for its athletics program. Alas, the Rebels announced this just when the stock market dropped by more than 600 points. Good luck.

■ New West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen is holding an open-campus tryout. Not for a kicker. Or a punter. Or a long-snapper. It's for a quarterback. It might not surprise you then to know that Holgorsen coached under Mike Leach at Texas Tech.

■ For every game that Dusty Baker starts Fred Lewis over Dave Sappelt the rest of the season, I would remove one month from his contract extension.

■ Did you see where John Calipari said that Doron Lamb "is our best player?" Why do I think that while he's speaking about Lamb, the message is aimed at Terrence Jones?

Reach John Clay at (859) 231-3226, or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3226, or Read his blog at Check out his Facebook page at Follow him on Twitter at @johnclayiv.

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