FOX Sports' Jeff Goodman believes that, unless coach Gillispie can find a true gem among the remaining big men, the Cats would be better off saving the scholarship for a big man that can really contribute right away.
"If I were coach Gillispie, I'd consider sending an Assistant Coach overseas to check out the scene," said Goodman, "there may be some real talent over there waiting to play. Another option is to play the hand he has is to develop the guys he has and work on getting the best big man from the next class."
"There just aren't many big men out there left that can come into a program like Kentucky and contribute at the level Kentucky needs," said Goodman, "they have talent now that can be developed like Perry Stevenson and A.J. Stewart and those guys are better options for Kentucky than most of the big men left in this class. They do not need to panic and bring in a big kid that can't play at their level."
Dave Telep, National Recruiting Analyst for Scout.com, agrees with Goodman that the remaining talent pool for big men in this year's class is shallow, but thinks there may be possibilities for coach Gillispie if he is patient, "There are several scenarios that might play out," Telep said, "You can never discount a late bloomer. Gillispie could just watch how some of the remaining players develop and see if any of them really blossom."
"There is also the scenario of the mid-semester transfer," Telep said. Or there is the option of waiting until the end of the season to see if coaching changes create an opportunity. "From my point of view the NCAA has been pretty lenient about allowing players to transfer if a coach gets fired or if he moves to a different program."
Certainly, that scenario helped the Cats this season when Tommy Amaker left Michigan, leaving the door open for Kentucky to land Alex Legion. Beyond some of those scenarios, none of which are ideal, Telep said that holding the scholarship may be Kentucky's best bet. With DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller, Kentucky brought in two incredibly talented players that will join a core of solid talent that Kentucky will be returning next season, including guys like Patrick Patterson, Alex Legion and Jodie Meeks, but there is still an obvious hole that needs filled, "There just aren't many big guys left in this class that can give Kentucky 12 points and 7 rebounds out of the gate," Telep concluded. Telep and Goodman both mentioned one outside possibility for Kentucky, Ater Majok, a 6-foot-9, 215 lb. international prospect from the American International School in Carlingford, Australia.
Majok committed to Baylor a few months ago but backed away from that commitment shortly thereafter. "He's rescinded that commitment and he's taking his official visit to Maryland," John Coleman, Majok's U.S. strength coach told Dave Telep. Telep mentioned at the time that Kentucky might join the list of suitors currently speaking to Mator, including Maryland. Telep will be seeing Mator play in the upcoming weeks, "I'll get a chance to see him play and will let the fans know what I think," Telep concluded.