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Jon Hood Speaks and Other Notes…..


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After enjoying a fairly lazy day, Wrestlemania on the computer, a live blog and the Braves Opening Day victory, one would think that we could just be content at the glorious nature of early April. But we still have UK news to hit, so I spoke with Jon Hood this evening about his feelings on the Calipari era. Here is what he had to say:

What were your thoughts when Kentucky made the decision to hire Coach Calipari?

“Well first, I thought it was really unfortunate what happened with Coach Gillipsie and it really surprised me. But I really like Caoch Calipari and what he does with his offense and the Dribble Drive, Five-out motion.

Did you get to talk to the new Coach, and what did he say to you?

I did get to talk to him, but it was a very very brief conversation. Coach was tired and it was the same day he talked to Daniel in Oklahoma. He said he was very excited to have me and looked forward to seeing me play.

What were you thoughts on the decommitments this week of the future recruits and GJ Vilarino?

Honestly, I havent really followed it. With GJ, I really don’t know what happened there. I havnet talked to GJ in a while and I hope to get to talk to him about it a little bit at the Derby Festival.

There was some talk on the internet that you had communicated with John Wall. What did you say?

Yeah, I sent John a message and said hey buddy why don’t you come play with me and D.O. over here at Kentucky and he just kind of said “I see you recruiting.” He is really a great player. I have talked to a lot of guys….I talked to Eric Bledsoe a little bit when Coach G was still here as well.

What is the status of your injury right now?

I got the boot off on Wednesday and started shooting Thursday and am hoping to get a release so I can be ready to go for the Derby Festival.

What are your thoughts about how you will fit in with Coach Calipari?

When he got hired, I did some research on his offense just so I would know what to expect and I saw that he likes guys who can get out in the open court and finish and make shots and just know how to play. I think I have a high enough basketball IQ to come in right away and try to help.

I can tell by your voice that you are excited to get going. When are you headed to Lexington?

I graduate on May 29 and I plan on coming to UK on June 5th and then classes start very soon after it. I cant wait.

As you can obviously tell from those comments, Jon is a great kid and seems genuinely excited about the prospect of playing for Calipari. He has quickly become one of Kentucky Sports Radio’s favorite players, and it will be great to watch him in the Blue and White.

Some other notes….

— The Cats Pause tonight spoke with the mother of Demarcus Cousins who suggested that they hope to have an idea of his future very soon….like potentially early this week. Cousins is playing in a couple of all star games over the next couple of weeks and thus the time frame to make the decision is short. She said that DeMarcus did have loyalty to Calipari but that she wasnt sure what he would decide. Most feel that he is a UK lean, but at this point with all these Memphis guys, it is up in the air.

— As for John Wall, Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com reportedly said today that he was a Duke lean due to the health condition of his mother. Over the past few days, I have spoken with a number of people about Wall, including the player himself, and virtually everyone seems to have a different take on the situation. Here is what I do know…..Calipari and his staff want Wall bad and are committed to trying and make it happen. April 18th is his game in the Jordan Classic and it was his hope to announce there on ESPN. The next two weeks should be interesting.

— I have been getting a lot of questions about the potential Calipari staff. Here is what I know….no UK player has yet been added to the staff. There had been some rumors of Kyle Macy, Scott Padgett and Tony Delk at various times this weekend, but as of now there has been no new addition. I do think at least one UK player will be considered but the working assumption that most are operating on is that Calipari will bring his entire Memphis staff here. Whether there will be another position or some other type of entry on the staff remains to be seen, but I expect you will see the core Memphis group, including recruiting extraordinaire, Josh Pastner.

— Finally, UK will practice 2 hours again this week as Calipari tries to get a feel for his team. No word on what day that will occur but I expect after those practices and as the semester winds down, we will get a notion of what the roster will look like next year. As I have said a few times, I dont expect to see a drastic overhaul. I do expect a couple of transfers, but I think it remains to be seen who that will be.

Finally a word about this past few days. You have to hand it to the UK media relations folks and Coach Calipari for nailing the publicity this week. Calipari has been everywhere selling the UK “brand” (which needed to be done) and it seems that the basketball program now has a coach who is as forward thinking on media issues as the staff that has been in place. Be prepared for a new era of UK basketball in the national consciousness and it has been a great start towards that goal.

More all day…..

Article written by Matt Jones

41 responses to “Jon Hood Speaks and Other Notes…..”

  1. Zizou_10

    nice post, it’ll be interesting with Wall

  2. wldctky

    I predict 4 players that were on scholarship this past season will leave…well, 5 counting Carter

  3. raisingkain8

    I never saw your take on your Wall interview, Matt. Any thoughts on it?

  4. wildcat54

    Matt do you know the link to the Lyes! report with Rob Jones?

  5. dsolzman

    i love how it’s final four weekend and everyone is talking about kentucky

  6. sf10275

    The future is getting brighter every day! Gotta love it!!!

  7. nessa5555

    MILLER EXPECTED TO SPURN ARIZONA; BOYLEN NEXT?
    Apr 05, 2009 | 8:08PM | report this Sean Miller is expected to be the latest to spurn Arizona.

    According to sources close to the situation, the Xavier head coach met with Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood in New Mexico earlier today and has decided that – barring a last-minute change of heart – he will remain with the Musketeers.

    Miller, 40, has spent the last five seasons as the head coach of the Musketeers and has made four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances – including an Elite Eight last season and a Sweet 16 this past year.

    Miller joins USC’s Tim Floyd to meet with Livengood in the past few days and turn down what was once considered an elite program.

    Livengood was also unsuccessful luring big names such as Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon and Gonzaga’s Mark Few.

    Miller makes approximately $800,000 at Xavier and, according to sources, was offered more than $2 million a year in Tucson.

    Now the Wildcats will need to find someone willing to take the job.

    According to sources, Utah’s Jim Boylen might be next in line.

    Boylen, 43, has worked for Michigan State’s Jud Heathcote and Tom Izzo and also spent 13 seasons in the NBA.

    While he may not possess the high-profile name that Livengood was initially searching for to win the news conference, Boylen has done a terrific job rebuilding the program in Utah and is also a proven coach, recruiter and a guy who is known in the industry as someone who develops players.

    Utah lost to Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tournament this season.

  8. soup

    Whew. I just don’t see Miller spurning AZ just yet. But I know what they are saying.

  9. ukjosh25

    that sad that Wall’s mother has health issues and he’s still in high school.

  10. BlandingsbetterthanKirwan

    I think Cal will bring us a lot of exciting one and done type players, but in three years, I expect Miller and Hood to be among the all time Big Blue Favorites….. Go CATS

  11. JF

    Yeah, one and dones are a good thing and exciting to land, but you also need that core of talented kids that come here to develop over several seasons. Multi-year players like I expect Miller and Hood to be (not a knock on their talent) are just as important for a team’s success as those ready to immediately turn pro.

    That said, I think even if UK doesn’t land another player for 2009, keeping Meeks, Patterson and Miller and adding Hood and Orton, in addition to some others that can give quality minutes like Stevenson, Galloway and Harris — it might not be a Final Four team *yet*, but I could see a deep run with a team like that.

  12. WildcatScratchFever

    9. Yes. If Wall ends up at Duke UK fans should keep that in mind and not bash the kid.

  13. yen

    Matt – hook me up with video footage (at least 20 minutes) of the last practice and I’ll have a tart all paid for you in a hotel next time you visit Atlanta. A black girl with a big ass.

  14. RabidUKFan

    Remember, way back in the day, when everyone said that UK would be crucified by the media for firing BCG just 2 years after he started and how we would never find a coach who would want to come here? How the fans were completely ridiculous and the expectations were too high? Remember the comments that UK was no longer relevant in the NCAA? How all of our success was in the past? I was just wondering if anybody can remember that far back?

    Even if we get zero recruits other than Hood, I can’t wait to see this team under good coaching. Hell, just the fact that the offense has a name (“Dribble Drive Motion Offense” – is that different from just “Dribble Drive” or John Hood called it “Dribble Drive Five Out motion”) gives me hope. It sure beats Tubby’s “4 guys stand around and watch somebody dribble until somebody thinks of something offense” or BCG’s patented “3 guys almost/nearly/actually do turn the ball over while Stephenson travels, Jodie gets faced-up while no screens are set and Patterson gets triple teamed (while I randomly select players to come in off of the bench using Tarot cards [otherwise known as the ‘look at the bench constantly to see if you are coming out of the game’]offense)”.

    One of my biggest concerns this past year was how the team got worse as time went by. After learning of the off court drama and impending mutiny, I can see why. Something tells me that the team next year will improve throughout the year and I am excited about that. While we all want Final Fours and National Championships immediately if not sooner, I think most of us would be pleased to simply see a team that improves over time and has fun. I think it is realistic to visualize an SEC championship, SEC tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance next year with the players we already have (assuming PPat and Jodie return). If we get all of the recruits that are being discussed, we could get to the Final Four. Reality probably lies somewhere in between though. Go Cats!

  15. nessa5555

    That Article said UTAH Coach is the next opition.

  16. nessa5555

    if Cousion come wont orton go to Kanas.

    So we dont know for sure about wall.

  17. goodchange

    http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1472755.html

    Wall’s got a lot money riding on his decision, you got to believe rose and evans success will lead to him coach cal. let’s hope.

  18. JF

    Rabid – Way back in the day, like 2 or 3 weeks ago?

    But I agree, I just want to see a team that isn’t afraid to make mistakes and grow, or when an obvious star is warned ‘not to shoot’ until you’re already in such a hole that even an All-American performance won’t help. (Ugh, still a bit bitter..it will fade with time.) I want to see UK players have fun again, and I think everyone is in agreement with that.

  19. coachclyde

    Here’s a thought: If you’re going to refer to players on the team–especially to knock them–how about learning how to spell their names? Perry Stevenson, not Perry Stephenson.

  20. coachclyde

    #17: Did you (or anyone else) notice the other tidbit in that article about the guard who had an offer from Kentucky, but recently chose Marquette? Who was that guy?

  21. mattcat68

    I’m really not interested in Cousins until he qualifies academically. Why risk possibly losing Orton and then not having Cousins qualify. I really like Orton, I think he has an unbelievable basketball IQ that would help Patterson if he stays.

    Having said that, Orton would be in a very similar situation at KU should he reconsider and go to kansas. If Aldridge stays, along with Morris and the other stud they signed over Orton, he would have a tough time getting minutes. Personally, given Cal’s system, I think Orton would be used more here than at KU. There is also the chance that Cousins doesn’t qualify.

  22. nessa5555

    UK would be a good School for WALL.

  23. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS

    Don’t be surpised if Orton leaves. I am sure BCG is in his ear 3 times a day trying to get him to back out.

    BCG wants to take the Memphis job and….

    the Arizona fans have BCG on their “wish list” now that Miller has backed out.

  24. JF

    Have they learned nothing from our mistakes? Oh, right, those crazy Kentucky fans’ expectations were just too high! Any major program that hires Gillispie after UK’s run-in deserves what happens after.

  25. BigBlue1976

    18) I believe Rabid meant two years ago when BCG was hired. I remember those things being said just after he was hired.

    Well, we fired BCG after two years and we weren’t crucified and we got a top tier coach! I am so excited, I feel like I’ve been in some sort of hibernation for 12 years. Go Cats!!!

  26. RuppsRingFinger

    If Zona hires Gillispie it will be the biggest mistake ever made
    in the desert.

    He would be a terrible fit there.
    I cannot imagine him having any level of success in Tucson.

  27. A-to-the-Z

    I wonder how many people realize the major bullet we just dodged by convincing Calipari to come here. If he would had said no, it could have been a slippery slope for UK too.

    I really hope we are done with coach hunting for the next 10-15 years

  28. ukwildcatwildfan

    Per Jared Carter’s facebook: “who else is on Twitter??”

    Words getting around!

  29. Getcha Popcorn Ready

    Orlando Antigua will be one member of the staff as well.

  30. JoeBHall

    You Tube highlights of Wall–check out who is the last person in the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4psLTfvZEs

  31. kcky

    Let Arizona have Clyde and more power them. JC is our coach now who cares about zona?

  32. Beatle Bum

    I have never seen Hood play. What are the chances he will be cleared to play in the Derby Festival game? Now that Vilarino is not coming to UK, I think if Hood was out for that game, I will take a pass. I want to see Orton, but after years of going to the game and cheering like a fool for kids who were considering the Cats, I just don’t feel like going and finding out later that Orton is going to KU. If he opts out of his commitment, I suspect he will wait until after that game. If Hood does not play, I think I will avoid that disappointment, as it has been commonplace the last few years.

  33. tzuzaki4

    Nolan Dennis can play the point. Why aren’t more people talking about him? This is the guy we need, and he is playing in the Derby Classic too. Everybody needs to show up and give the kid some love so he will come to Kentucky!

  34. EyewearMan

    The Mop can ball! Can’t wait to see him playing in RUPP with the CATS!

  35. 49 Chevy

    If I were Wall, I would tell Dook and Unc to piss off. They both are
    trying to swoop in at the last minute. I could understand if he lived
    in another state, but he is in their hometown and was shunned for over
    two years. That has to be a slap in the face.

  36. DevilDawg

    35: “If I were Wall…” What a ridiculous statement, you don’t know his situation.

  37. DevilDawg

    Where is everyone? Gone back to work?

  38. crazydave

    One of my douchebag friends said that Wall is heading to Davidson to play with Curry.

  39. DevilDawg

    Some John Wall news from yesterday…
    http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1472755.html

  40. syrin23

    Josh Pastner is rumored to be a favorite for the Arizona coaching position.

  41. 49 Chevy

    36: You are correct. Wall should tell Dook and UNC to piss off for running
    to him at the last minute. Besides, John is not “light” enough to play for
    crybaby K.