Monday, February 16, 2004

Recruiting Update - Hoops

The speculation is rampant about how Kentucky will find a way to offer Randolph Morris a 'ship under the 5/8 rules. Some have said that Tubby Smith is banking on the NCAA dropping the 5/8 rule. Here is an interesting article saying that the likelihood of this happening is very small.

Here is the UK situation:

Under 5/8 rules, since UK signed 4 players last year, so in theory they can only sign 4 this year. This year they have signed letters of intent from 2 guys (Bradley/Williams). They also have commits from 2 other guys (Rondo / Crawford, late commits - will sign during signing period). That should fill the 4. They also have a transfer (Sparks from W.KY), who is a walk-on this year, but was promised a 'ship for the upcoming season. I do not know how transfers fit into the 5/8 rule. But that would be a 5th 'ship for this season.

The one exception to this rule has to do with players leaving. Per RamblinRed at the Hive, if a player goes to the NBA or transfers to another school in good academic standing, you can get an "extra" 'ship, making it a 5/9 rule. However, you still cannot sign more than 13 total to your squad. And there-in lies the other issue for UK. If everyone they have on their roster returns, AND all the guys sign who said they would, AND they give Sparks (the transfer) his 'ship, they will actually have 14 'ships, and that is BEFORE Morris. So to bring Morris aboard, 2 guys would have to either give up their ships or vacate the squad. There is one guy on the team that keeps coming up in transfer rumors, but in a recent article he said he has no interest in transferring.

Bottom line is that for UK to sign Morris, they will have to have some players leave / transfer / NBA / something. They will have to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. This is certainly possible, but will be interesting to see how Tubby makes it happen. For GT, signing Morris will be no problem. They have a plan for making room for Morris that should not require smoke and mirrors.

Hold you horses, have patience and we will know what happens in a couple of months. It may all be a moot point if Morris goes for the NBA, and the more time goes on, the more that possibility grows (in my opinion). Let's hope at a minimum we get to see him play 1-2 years of college ball. I would just hate to see him "developing" his game at the end of some bench in the NBA.