John Clay: UK, Calipari have room for one more recruit

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistMay 12, 2012 

CAPTION: Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari yells at his players in the second half. No. 2 Kentucky hosted Arkansas at Rupp Arena, in Lexington, Jan. 17, 2012. Photo by Jonathan Palmer


Last month, John Calipari was in Cincinnati for a Reds game. He was being interviewed on the Reds' television network when the topic turned to next season.

The Kentucky basketball coach said he would like to sign one more player.

Sort of like George Clooney as Danny Ocean in Ocean's Eleven.

Danny: "You think we need one more."

Rusty: (Silence)

Danny: "OK, we'll get one more."

With Calipari still looking to get that "one more" three weeks after he made that statement, let's take a look at where the search stands.

Julius Mays: A 6-foot-2 guard from Marion, Ind., Mays is transferring after averaging 14 points last year at Wright State. He played two years previously at North Carolina State. He is graduating, so is eligible to play immediately.

He made a quick trip to UK last week and is visiting Purdue this weekend. His high school coach, John Hart, told the Journal-Courier in West Lafayette that Mays grew up a Boilermakers fan, and could commit this weekend.

Others believe Kentucky still has a shot. Ryan Harrow is expected to start at point guard with Archie Goodwin the probable starter at shooting guard. There's not much depth after that.

Harrow and Mays were together at North Carolina State. That could help UK's cause.

Montrezl Harrell: The 6-foot-7 forward from Hargrave Military Academy was a top-100 recruit when he signed with Virginia Tech and Harrell has asked for his release.

Kentucky is reported to be under consideration. Louisville has a connection with assistant Kevin Keatts, former head coach at Hargrave.

Tony Trocha: The 6-10 forward from Colombia, who played at a Houston prep school, is reportedly attempting to reclassify and join the Class of 2012.

Considered raw, Trocha has lots of potential and suitors. Rivals' Eric Bossi reports his list includes LSU, Texas A&M, UCLA, Oregon, Ohio State and Providence.

Torian Graham: The 6-4 guard from Raleigh, N.C., bounced around at four different high schools before landing at Christian Faith. He may attend prep school, pushing him back to a Class of 2013 recruit.

Graham twice committed to North Carolina State, but Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua reportedly attended a Graham workout last month.

Last week, Christian Faith head coach Kendrick Williams told the Fayetteville Observer that Graham "is completely undecided and processing his situation to understand exactly where he is and what his options potentially are."

Mislav Brzoja: The 6-5 guard from Croatia has disappeared from the radar as quickly as he appeared.

Calipari was impressed with Brzoja at a Nike Showcase in Indiana and invited the Traders Point (Ind.) star to visit UK. Reports say no scholarship was offered.

Bossi wrote that Brzoja may not wait and "could be making a decision soon" among Marquette, Utah, Providence and Dayton.

Amile Jefferson: For a while, there was a report each week the 6-foot-7 forward from Philadelphia was ready to announce his decision. It still hasn't come.

North Carolina State is thought to be the leader, with Villanova, Ohio State and Duke contenders. Kentucky's interest no doubt intensified recently (see Anthony Bennett), but no one seems to know where Jefferson is headed. Including Jefferson.

Anthony Bennett: The 6-7 forward from Las Vegas was thought to be just shy of a UK-lock when he eliminated Florida from his list a couple of weeks back.

Then last week, Bennett dropped a bomb, eliminating the Cats. Saturday, he committed to UNLV.

Mark Lyons: Many Kentucky fans were disappointed the former Xavier guard rejected UK in favor of a reunion with former Xavier coach Sean Miller at Arizona.

Actually, Lyons may be the gift you are glad you didn't receive. He clashed enough with Xavier Coach Chris Mack that the two mutually (maybe) decided at season's end that Lyons should spend his senior year elsewhere. Talented? Yes. Trouble? Could well be.

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog:

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