UK Men's Basketball

Gillispie mum on newcomers

During a Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference on Wednesday, Kentucky Coach Billy Gillispie declined to talk about the academic clouds hovering over his program.

Questions exist about the academic eligibility of incoming freshman DeAndre Liggins and junior-college transfer Kevin Galloway.

Gillispie noted that each was on campus and enrolled at UK. But he declined to discuss the specifics of either's academic eligibility for the 2008-09 season.

However, Gillispie did acknowledge that an academic issue exists.

“I don't think it's fair to talk about any student-athlete's academic situation till it's finalized,” he said.

Michael Peck, who coached Liggins at Findlay Prep last season, said last week that the player's eligibility did not rest solely on his score on a college entrance exam. The NCAA would also be looking at Liggins' transcript from Findlay, Peck said.

Peck noted that Liggins would be one of many players who would have transcripts reviewed by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Peck suggested that a definite answer might not come until sometime after the fall semester begins.

“It's tax season for them,” Peck said of the backlog of transcripts at the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Injury update

Gillispie spoke glowingly of the progress Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks are making in their recovery from injuries.

Meeks, who underwent surgery in early April to repair a bilateral sports hernia, has been playing, lifting weights and conditioning with teammates.

“Jodie's getting close to no soreness,” the UK coach said.

When Meeks had the surgery, his father said the player would need about 10 weeks to recover.

At about the same time, Patterson had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle. His recovery time was expected to be about four to six months. Gillispie said Patterson was doing “way better” than expected.