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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / January 20.
  • Bledsoe Cuts List to 2, Visits Set

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    Eric Bledsoe, the No. 3 point guard in the Class of 2009, will take a step closer to making his college decision this weekend when he visits John Calipari’s old and new programs.

    “He’s going to Memphis Thursday and then going to Kentucky Saturday,” said Maurice Ford, Bledsoe’s high school coach at Birmingham (AL) Parker.

    Are any other schools in the mix?

    “That’s it,” Ford said.

    And when will Bledsoe decide?

    “Probably toward the end of next week,” Ford said.

    The 6-foot, 160-pound Bledsoe averaged 20.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 10.3 assists in leading Parker to the Class 5A state championship game. The Thundering Herd beat Kentucky-bound big man DeMarcus Cousins and Mobile (AL) LeFlore 52-39 in the semifinals.

    “He’ll be a great player,” Ford said. “He’s a true point guard.”

    Both programs are in dire need of such a floor general. Kentucky has a front line of Cousins and Daniel Orton, and could also return shooting guard Jodie Meeks and big man Patrick Patterson. Yet Calipari’s club needs a floor general to propel it into the upper echelon of the college ranks.

    The Wildcats are hoping Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God point guard John Wall picks them, and Bledsoe may be a backup plan in case he ends up at Duke or Baylor or somewhere else. Wall is due to cut his list sometime this week.

    Meantime, despite the losses of Cousins (to Kentucky) and Xavier Henry (to Kansas) Josh Pastner’s Memphis club will feature Shawn Taggart, JUCO star Will Coleman and 6-10 forward Angel Garcia in the frontcourt with Wesley Witherspoon, Roburt Sallie and Doneal Mack on the wings, making them a formidable outfit.

    (Photo courtesy Mark Almond / Birmingham News)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • Who has Bledsoe as the 3rd ranked point guard. Did you mean the 3rd ranked point guard that’s still undecided?

      From what I can tell he’s no better than 5 after Wall (undecided), Johnson (Kansas), Gaddy (Wash), and Maalik Wayns (Nova). He’s also lower than Mason-Griffin (Oklahoma), Udoifa (GT), Cadougan (Marq), Siva (Louisville), and Ray Penn (Oklahoma St) on the lists I’ve seen.

    • Rivals updated and final rankings has Bledsoe as the #3 point guard in the class of 2009 (this includes everybody, decided and undecided)

      Wall is considered the best, and Gaddy 2nd………

      go to UK Bledsoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • So has Kentucky given up on Wall?

    • Interesting, UK, but the consensus rankings still have him in the 40s behind at least those 4 guys. Maybe he’ll be a player, but sub 6-foot point guards that can’t shoot (and aren’t too highly ranked) don’t tend to be difference makers early. Duke also doesn’t think he’ll qualify.

      I’m just saying don’t get too excited. If Cal doesn’t get Wall and either Patterson or Meeks go league, UK is worse this year than they were last.

    • Those rankings are b.s., we won’t know where half those guys in the top ten are in 5 years. Either they wash out in college or wash out in the league. And no, UK hasn’t given up on Wall. Bledsoe is sposed to be a back up plan if they do not get Wall. That’s the plan now, and was the plan @ Memphis. [email protected] “don’t get too excited” puh-lease. Take your own advice.

    • Patterson and Meeks are not ready to go to the next level……..they better return

      if they do return, and with the talent coming in…… it stands right now, they will be much better than they were last year (they return almost the entire team, and lose nobody that mattered)

      still assuming the above…….if they land Wall………Final Four minimum

      yes, Wall is that good…….if high schoolers were still allowed to go right to the NBA Wall would go top 5, Cousins would go top 10…so you’d be talking about 2 NBA top 10 picks going to UK if Wall commits

      assume the above and they don’t get Wall and get Bledsoe……. wayyyyyyyy better than last year…….Elite 8

      Calipari is doing everything he can to get Wall…….anxious to see the cut list at the end of the week

      Bledsoe planned a visit to UK………good sign

      • You think that all these Freshman learning a new system will get to at the minimum a Final Four if Wall signs? That is a freaking joke and you are a very delusional UK fan if you thikn that is going to happen. You will be better but it won’t be a forgone conclusion that you reach the Final Four. Those expectations are exactly why you can’t get and keep a top tier head coach because of those ridiculous expectations.

        • KUnMem……

          apparently you either disregard my statements for what they are and make your own interpretations, or you cannot read

          I stated that if Patterson and Meeks stay…….1st of all…….
          2nd, the whole team returns basically, they lose nobody important
          3rd, how would all those players be freshmen?????????????????
          4th, if they land Wall, they have a recruiting class that has 2 in the top 5 (3 in the top 25)

          with a minimum of 5 NBA players on the squad (meeks, patterson, cousins, wall, and orton…..hood might be the 6th)

          talent talent talent talent talent

          who led memphis to the championship game last year? Derrick Rose – FRESHMAN!!!!!!!!!!
          who was the coach? CALIPARI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



          could I be more obvious?????????

          plus you are failing to realize that all the top teams from this year will be DOWN next year……..except michigan state, which may be equal but i doubt they’ll go to another final four

          and no, I am not delusional, you clearly are, or you live in denial

          if Patterson and Meeks stay, and if Wall signs (or even Bledsoe) UK WILL be a powerhouse next season

          I could care less if you don’t want to believe it

    • Gohard, I swear dude, you are Donnie Downer. You are a funsponge. You absord all the fun with your negativity. You dont know whether UK has quit recruiting Wall or not. Infact, you dont know anything. Unless you talk to Coach Cal everyday, you dont know fella.

      So, the top 10 guys every year….half of them “wash out in college or the nba?” Gees, ya think? So, not all of them are 10 year nba veterans? Wow, you give such insightful information. I thought once Rivals gave a kid a top 10 ranking he was automatically an All American in college and then an All Star in the league. I wish you would start your own blog and give us all the “inside” info.

      You are the best Donnie!

      • Who’s the funsponge now, jayhawkfan11? You shoulda stopped after the first paragraph.

        Bledsoe’s really good regardless. Smaller than Calipari says he likes, but the coach has to cover his bases. UK desperately needs a point guard, and has for years. Whoever signs will own that starting position from day one.

        We’re not talking to Coach Cal every day, but Coach Cal is talking to us. He said he will schedule another hard game next year “if we get who I think we’re going to get.” So he’s optimistic about something.

        We’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out. I’d like to see Wall with Patterson and Meeks and Cousins and Orton. Just to give that stacked KU team a little competition!

    • I hate to break the news to all of you guys but………………..Bledsoe will be wearing a Tiger uniform!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mr. Zagoria,

      I’m hearing that prep school is a strong possibility.