Findlay Prep duo fit Gillispie's mold

KSR's Brian Eldridge checked in on class of 2008 UK signee Deandre Liggins, and 2009 UK target Clarence Trent with Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck. The duo led Findlay Prep a 32-1 season, and to a national prep championship game appearance.

During the 2007-2008 basketball season, Findley was a powerhouse among prep schools. They overwhelmed opponents on a regular basis with depth and athleticism.

"We went 32-1. We lost in the championship game to Hargrave," said Michael Peck, Findley Prep's head coach. "We had 14 or 15 different starting lineups and six or seven guys averaging double figures," he said. Two major reasons for the dominance of this program were UK signee DeAndre Liggins and Clarence Trent.

"(DeAndre) played very well. He was a key part of our success. He's one of those multi-dimensional players," said Peck. "He plays the one, two or three, but he rebounds like a four or five. He gets a rebound and just goes. One of the great things about him is that he doesn't have to find a guard when he rebounds," said Peck.

It's that kind of versatility that makes Liggins among the best players in the 2008 class. He can do so many things, in fact his coach refers to him as a point forward. "He'd be what would be considered a point forward," said Peck. "He's long, 6-foot-6, long arms. It'll make it hard for smaller guards to get separation. He can really play defense," he continued. "With Derrick Jasper and DeAndre, Kentucky has got two guys who can play and have a real feel for the game."

One question about Liggins is his scoring ability. With the Wildcats losing two big scorers from the roster, coach Gillispie is looking to add some punch to his offense. What can DeAndre bring to the table?

"He can score," Peck said. "One thing he really improved on is his perimeter scoring. After a tournament in Dayton, we left saying he wasn't just a scorer, but a shooter. He really improved on his perimeter scoring. He's has also worked on taking one dribble, stepping in and taking the midrange shot," said Peck.

Another question surrounding Liggins is his academic status. "He is doing everything he needs to do right now to (get eligible). He's going to take the test again. He'll take his ACT in April. We feel pretty confident that he'll be on track to qualify."

Liggins isn't the only Findley player that UK has their eyes on. Forward Clarence Trent, originally from Washington, transferred to Findley and reclassified to the 2009 class in hopes to get his academics in order.

"He's got some ground to make up academically," said Peck. His skills, however, are not nearly as questionable.

"If you had one word to describe him, it would be explosive. He's got good athleticism and a good skill set," said Peck. The Wildcats are looking to add strong, athletic bodies to the frontline in the future, Trent seems to fit that mold.

Trent averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds a game for Findley at the four position.

"He's a very good player in the open floor. He has the ability to finish at the rim and he's an outstanding offensive rebounder," said Peck. It's not just about his offense, Trent does it on both sides of the ball. "He can defend anywhere from the two to the five. He really moves his feet and has good strength."

Coach Gillispie and the staff have shown continued interest in Trent. "They send him two to four pieces of mail every day. They've seen him play. He's very open right now, though. A lot of schools have expressed interest in him," said Peck.

DeAndre Liggins is a five star small forward according to Scout.com. Clarence Trent is a four star power forward in the 2009 class according to Scout.com.


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