Cousins sends in NLI, who will follow?

New Kentucky coach John Calipari secured a big recruit yesterday, as Scout's #6 player sent Calipari and the Wildcats his signed National Letter of Intent. The focus of Calipari's 2009 efforts is clearly on #1 point guard John Wall and #1 shooting guard Xavier Henry. What is the latest on these recruits, and what has become of Nolan Dennis, who was a hot topic last week?

Kentucky coach John Calipari has received his first National Letter of Intent as leader of the Wildcats on Wednesday. The NLI comes from Scout's #6 player overall, and #2 ranked center, DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins gives Kentucky its first top ten signee since 2004, and its first McDonald's All American since Patrick Patterson was named to the team in 2007.

Kentucky commitments Daniel Orton and Jon Hood, who signed NLIs in the fall when Billy Gillispie was at the Wildcat helm, remain solidly in the Kentucky fold. Their future as Wildcats appears to have been cemented further last weekend during the Derby Festival Classic in Louisville. The two roomed together during the Classic; and teamed to play in the two on two tournament, going 2-1 in the contest.

Hood is ranked #35 overall by Scout, and is made for the DDM offense. He has a high basketball IQ, can put the ball on the floor, has a nice midrange game, as well as good range on the outside jumper.

Orton is Scout's #3 center and #12 player overall in the class of 2009.

While many rumors have circulated that Orton could open up the process should Xavier Henry sign with Kentucky this spring, Larry Orton, Daniel's father, seems to have put that issue to rest. The elder Orton has told media outlets that UK's spring signing class would have no impact on Daniel, and went so far as to tell the Herald-Leader's Jerry Tipton that it would take something drastic to change Orton's status.

Larry Orton recently conveyed to Larry Vaught that he was contemplating a move to Lexington; which indicates how deeply the Orton's are committed to Kentucky.

While signing the #2 and #3 centers in the class may seem to leave the frontcourt filled to the rim, which may not be the case. All-SEC player Patrick Patterson has tossed his name into the hat that is the NBA draft. Patterson is testing the waters and will not hire an agent, just as Jodie Meeks is doing, in order to retain his eligibility. Draft Express currently has Patterson at the #23 slot in the first round. The same mock draft has Meeks positioned in the middle of the second round. Many expect Patterson and Meeks to return for the 2009-2010 season.

What other recruits are on the UK radar, and who is dropping off that radar?

Xavier Henry and his brother C.J. Henry are planning a visit to Kentucky in the near future, possibly next weekend. The father of the Henry brothers, Carl, indicated to Jerry Tipton that Kentucky may lead for the two.

College Carousel is also reporting that the Wildcats lead, and has concluded that Kentucky is the likely destination for the Henry brothers.

Jodie Demling has reported that Xavier Henry is down to Kentucky and Kansas.

The most coveted player on the board, John Wall, has been the subject of a lot of discussion among Kentucky and North Carolina fans since Wall received a phone call from Roy Williams on the eve of the Final Four. This race has not yet heated up between the two schools, as today Wall told affiliate Inside Carolina "Nothing has happened since then [with UNC]," Wall said. "I haven't talked to him yet. He said he was going to call me but I haven't had a chance to talk to him."

Is the righting on the Wall, so to speak?

Demling reports that Wall has spoken to only two coaches since the Final Four dead period ended last week, Kentucky's Calipari and Florida's Billy Donovan. Florida is a late entry in the Wall sweepstakes, and point guard Eric Bledsoe, also being recruited by Kentucky, has named the Gators his leader.

Nolan Dennis is apparently no longer considering Kentucky. Scout's Evan Daniels opined on KSR's premium forum that the Wildcats would not have room for Dennis.

If Calipari is able to secure the signatures of Wall, Scout's #2 ranked player, Xavier Henry, Scout's #4 ranked player, and C.J. Henry the Wildcats are likely to move to Scout's #1 ranking among the 2009 recruiting classes. Kentucky's three-man class currently ranks fourth in the nation.

Kentucky held it final practice of the spring yesterday, and Larry Vaught came away with some great information. Read about it on WildcatChat, KSR's forum for premium subscribers.

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