Recruiting: Options if Joe Goes

If Joe Crawford indeed transfers out, as reported by several media outlets throughout the country, then the University of Kentucky will find itself locked in a pickle for his replacement.

With one huge uncertainty surrounding the Crawford situation, Kentucky might have to get after it in the next few weeks and establish themselves as a player for at least one of these kids in search of a possible replacement for Joe Crawford. Of course, all this will be a mute point if Joe Crawford does indeed return. In the meantime, the hypothetical still has to be addressed, whom will Tubby and the staff pursue if Joe Crawford indeed transfers out?

Jamont Gordon
6-3 215, 28 ppg
Oak Hill Academy
(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)

Perhaps no name became more popular then Gordon's since the news arrived of Crawford's departure. At 6-foot-3 and a half, he's got decent size, but above average ballhandling skills and athleticism. He's a left hander, so immediately the comparisons to great left-handed shooters come to mind, but we liken him to Kansas' Keith Langford.

Shooting 65% from the floor, Gordon has impressed his veteran coach Steve Smith since the season began. Aside from a hiccup at the line – 59% -- Gordon exceeded expectations.

"He's playing as good as he can play the last three weeks," Smith said. "He was the MVP of both [holiday] tournaments. He's probably averaged 20 points a game in those tournaments. He's averaging 18.1 for the season and he's leading the team in points."

The native of Nashville, Tenn., has made it clear in the past that staying close to home is a decent sized priority for him. However, what constitutes close to home is a question that is difficult to answer.

"Recruiting-wise, I know Alabama and Mississippi State are trying," Oak Hill head coach, Smith said. "Tennessee is hanging in there and Illinois is on him. Pittsburgh is trying hard." Texas is on him as well."

Although the Cats have never expressed previous interest in Gordon, the Oak Hill star guard is on record as saying he's always been a UK fan and would listen if they called.

Adding to the love-match is Gordon's attention to defense and his willingness to play "team-ball," an attribute sometimes overlooked in high school basketball. On paper, it seems like a nice fit for Tubby, however his academics have continued to be his downfall and left many on the outside looking in during the fall signing period. If Tubby can get this one eligible, it may be worth the risk.

Billy Humphrey
6-3 180, 17 ppg
Dacula High School
(Dacula, Ga.)

One of my favorite players from this summer that I had the chance to watch was Humphrey. He isn't gonna blow you away with his ability, but he reminds me of a young Gerald Fitch. He has a lot of upside and a sweet stroke. He's not gonna dominate from the floor, but he's got a sweet enough stroke to knock down the open jump shot.

"(Humphrey) burst onto the scene with strong spring 2004 efforts," Scout.com's Dave Telep said in his scouting report. "He really can stroke the basketball from deep. Excellent shooter with good form, etc. Has an athletic build, though he's not a big slasher."

This past Wednesday, Humphrey netted 26 points in a victory over West Forsyth. According to Telep, he is one of the best unsigned shooters in the class of 2005, garnering scholarships from Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee and Tulane.

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