Wildcats Ink Four Standouts in Fall Signing Period
LEXINGTON, Ky. The Kentucky mens basketball program signed four of the nations top recruits in the fall signing period, coach Tubby Smith announced Friday. Guards Derrick Jasper, Jodie Meeks, Michael Porter and power forward Perry Stevenson comprise the class, ranked 11th in the country by Rivals.com. These are four outstanding student-athletes that we think satisfy our needs, Smith said. When you look at the guys leaving our program after this year we obviously needed some perimeter help. Were happy to have all four of those young men be a part of the program and I know they are excited to join the Wildcats.
Jasper is a 6-5, 200 point guard out of Paso Robles High School in Paso Robles, Calif. Jasper is ranked as the No. 35 player in the 2006 class and the No. 5 point guard. He was named San Luis Obispo Tribune's County Player of the Year after his junior year, a season highlighted by 21.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He was named the MVP of the adidas Super 64 tournament in Las Vegas last summer. Jasper chose Kentucky over Illlinois, Memphis and Washington. Derrick is a very strong big guard, Smith said. We arent very big in our backcourt right now, but Derrick will be bigger and more physical and thats what we wanted to do.
Meeks, from Norcross, Ga., is beginning his senior season at Norcross High School. The 6-4, 197-pound combo guard has been rated 34th in the Class of 2006 by Rivals.com and the No. 8 shooting guard in the country this year. He averaged 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists for the Blue Devils as a junior. Meeks chose Kentucky over Alabama and Florida. Jodie is another physical player who played football at one time. He has a great body on him. He can shoot with range and is a very good defender. I think he fits the style of play we have.
Porter is a 6-2, 180-pound point guard out of Modesto, Calif. He plays for Modesto Christian High School, the alma mater of former Kentucky standout Chuck Hayes. Porter, a highly-touted football recruit as a defensive back, plays basketball for his father Gary Porter, also Hayes high school coach. He averaged 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.5 assists for the 27-7 Crusaders last year. Michael was the quarterback of his high school football team. He is a hard-nosed kid that comes with a lot of character and a lot of class. Hes a very talented player. Stevenson, a 6-9, 190-pound power forward, rounds out the 2006 recruiting class. Hes ranked as the No. 15 power forward in the 2006 class and No. 59 overall this year by Rivals, No. 57 by Prep Stars. The Lafayette, La., native averaged 13.0 points, 10.0 boards and 10.0 blocks as a junior at Northside High School. He chose Kentucky over Texas, Texas Tech, Georgia Tech and LSU. Perry has excellent shot-blocking ability, which is something we have really lacked. He has got Tayshuan Prince-type shot-blocking ability. He is long and quick off the floor. His athleticism and speed for a guy his size will make him a very integral part of our defense.