Tyler Smith's Neverending Recruitment

by:Matt Jones04/20/06

Like a the movie “Alamo” on the various Encore channels, the recruitment of Tyler Smith will simply not go away. Even though Smith is relatively new on the UK radar, his recruitment seems to have lasted for milleniums, in large part because it has mostly occurred during a downtime in Kentucky basketball…..after the regular season but before the 07 recruiting season heats up. Thus we are left with daily news tidbits, none of which change anything, but all of which drive us all crazy.

The newest news…..well according to one site, Tyler Smith is down to two schools….Pitt and Iowa. And according to another reliable source in the media, Smith’s coach has all but said he is going to Kentucky. Which is right? Who knows? I was of the opinion that when Tyler did not commit to Kentucky after his visit in early March, things didnt look good for the Big Blue. The Cats (and all teams for that matter) are best served when they can get a recruit to commit while on campus, before other visits cloud the mind. Like the first singer on American Idol, those who go first are likely to be forgotten and voted off and Kentucky has been in that situation a number of times.

My sources on this recruitment continue to say the same thing. Tyler has not made up his mind and that Kentucky, Iowa and Pitt are the major players, with the possibility of a late move by Cincinnati. There has been little talk of Memphis, but I never count anything out when it comes to Calipari. I do think that when this commitment is to be announced, we will know here close to first, as the major source on this one is reliable and very close to Tyler.

But most importantly, Kentucky fans should take a breath. While Smith would be a helpful player, he is a guy who wont start next year and will only play limited minutes. HE is a recruit for the future, and while he has tremendous upside, he is not a worldbeater. I compare his future to that of Derrick Jasper….very solid, but not once in a lifetime. Having said that, I hope Kentucky lands him as he will be a good late signee…..I wish I could say the same thing for Phil Jones, who I ultimately believe we will (unfortunately) sign.

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