Goodman: "Cats have other needs to fill"

Jeff Goodman, from Fox Sports, who broke the story on Alex Legion's commitment, said today that the Wildcats landed a big time player, but still feels that the Cats have other needs to fill before they can really being a factor next season.

The acquisition of Alex Legion represents a tremendous recruiting start for Kentucky, but at least one basketball expert warns that other things have to fall into place for Kentucky for them to be a contender next year. That was the warning from Jeff Goodman, of Fox Sports and Scout.com today.

Goodman, who broke the story on Legion's commitment, said today that the Wildcats landed a big time player, but still feels that the Cats have other needs to fill before they can really being a factor next season.

"With Legion, coach Gillispie really reinforced his scoring for next season. With guys like Jodie Meeks. Joe Crawford, Ramel Bradley and now Legion, Kentucky is going to be scoring points," said Goodman.

"Legion is smooth – that's the word, smooth," said Goodman, "and he is a lot more versatile than many people give him credit for being. At the ABCD camp last year, his AAU team's point guard went down, and he really shocked me at how well he stepped into that role when his team needed him. He is not a combo player by any means. Believe me, if you are Bill Gillispie you know he is a pure two-guard and that's the way you want to use him. Still, I found him to be a better ball handler and distributor than I expected. He is not at all one dimensional."

Still, Goodman cautions that while Legion was a great acquisition, the Wildcats have other areas that need to be addressed before he feels the team can really contend. "Even with Legion, I am not sure I would rank them as a shoe in for an NCAA Tournament appearance next year. Legion is a big help, but the Wildcats need serious help on their front line. What they still need would come with the commitment from Patrick Patterson."

Indeed Patterson, who may hold off a decision until May, is a critical component for Kentucky if they are to make a strong showing next season, "Kentucky lost a huge player in Randolph Morris," said Goodman, "Right now they simply don't have any big men that could play up front at the level they need to really contend. Patterson is a guy that could conceivably help them get into the mix right away."

"I think Jai Lucas may be the key," Goodman said, adding that he believes the 5-foot-11 Texan may announce his decision as early as this Friday. "Patrick and Jai are close. Sometimes more is made of that kind of stuff than really exists, but in this case, it could be true. If the Wildcats land Jai, it is certainly not a done deal for Patterson and Kentucky, but it would sure put the Wildcats in a better position."

If the Cats fail to land Patterson, the options quickly become thinner. One remaining option may be Michael Sanchez, a 6-foot-8, 220 lb. Arkansas power forward. Sanchez had been developing a solid reputation for himself before banging up his knee. Goodman thinks Sanchez could help Kentucky.

"Sanchez has a great weekend in Pittsburgh last week and he has certainly shown a great deal of improvement since he has come back from his injury," Goodman said, "but he is not in the same league as a Patrick Patterson. He can play at the SEC level and he can help Kentucky over time, but I have my doubts that he can really fill their needs on the front line next year."


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