At long last, I am delivering to you a look at UK’s post prospect in the 2011 class as promised. This whole process has dragged out for nearly two weeks, but we are finally taking a look at the big men (power forwards and centers) who could fill out another giant recruiting class in 2011.
Some of you more dribble drive savvy readers are probably questioning my decision to lump 4’s and 5’s together in this breakdown. The dribble drive is a system that typically only features one post player with four guys who can take it to the basket surrounding him. For that reason, 4’s and 5’s are very different from one another in the DDM. However, for the sake of simplicity, and since the positions of high school big men are often far from set in stone, we are going to call this entire group “post players”. If you don’t like it, quit reading.
OK, don’t quit reading. Finish reading then take a few moments to flame me in the comments section.
Unlike at point guard and the wing, UK lacks a commitment from post players in 2011. As a result, there are a TON of names to know for big men, so let’s get down to it.
QUINCY MILLER – PF
At the end of last season, most all lists of UK recruits would have begun with Quincy. He was high on UK all year, making a couple visits, and tweeting gleefully about John Wall and the team at every turn. Fast forward to the present day and you hear about UofL and Baylor as the supposed leaders for the smooth shooting and big time rebounding Miller.
Miller is about as good as it gets at his position in the class and, according to some, is even pushing Michael Gilchrist for the #1 spot overall. However, that word “position” is a tricky one with Quincy. You see, Miller’s size and rebounding tell you he’s a college 4. However, he’s got a versatile enough game to play the 3, and that’s how he sees himself long term. For that reason, the 3 is where he wants to play in college. I don’t think that’s happening at UK, which could be a factor in the cooling interest from both sides.
Honestly though, Miller would basically be playing the 3 at UK even though he would guard a power forward. Calipari will likely pitch it as such, but there stands a chance that both parties could close the book before then. We’ll see how this develops.
ANTHONY DAVIS – PF
And this could be the guy that causes UK and Miller to move on from one another. Davis is the #5 player nationally according to Scout, measuring at 6-8 with a developing 190 pound frame. Last year at this time, Davis was six-foot-nuthin’ with his best D-1 offer coming from Cleveland State. Now, he’s one of the best in the class after a growth spurt.
Growing into his newfound size, he has held on to his perimeter game, but gets after it on the boards and swats shots all over the place. In other words, he’s a perfect Calipari 4. There’s a ton of mutual interest here. The Chicago native lists UK in his final three with Syracuse and Ohio State, and the entire UK staff has been checking out his games on the AAU circuit this summer. A visit is in the works, but a decision doesn’t look forthcoming, at least for now.
KYLE WILTJER – PF
Wiltjer is a 6-9 power forward with perimeter range and a developing inside game. He’s from Portland, Oregon, and it’s no coincidence that things have heated up since Kenny Payne became UK’s newest assistant. Wiltjer is a player who has consistently improved and is well worthy of the #17 ranking overall he sports. Look for an official visit to Lexington this fall.
JOHNNY O’BRYANT – PF
O’Bryant is ranked just behind Wiltjer at #18 overall and has quite a frame on him. The Mississippi native easily carves out space for himself both to get buckets and rebound. At times, he makes you wonder why he doesn’t do more with his talent, but that’s true for most kids his age. Literally the entire SEC West is after him, along with Florida and a couple ACC schools. UK has already extended an offer and there is a great deal of interest there.
CHANE BENAHAN – PF
Chane is a Kentucky native (Bowling Green) and has been absolutely tearing up the AAU circuit, including top honors at the NBAPA Top 100 camp. Those two factors would typically tell you that UK would be all over him without hesitation. However, with Cal doing the recruiting, that’s not exactly the case. UK is involved with so many top guys that they have been slow to chase the undersized big man, but with his recent rise, it’s hard to imagine that will continue.
With UK’s lack of involvement, UofL has looked like the easy choice, but with UofL getting a little hot on the trail and with Benahan’s rise, that could change. Keep a close eye on Benahan, particularly if UK schedules a visit and makes on offer.
AMIR WILLIAMS – C
Showing the lack of depth at the center position in this class, Williams is the #2 ranked center according to Scout, but only #32 overall. He’s got a list longer than I care to rattle off, but the Detroit native seems to be very intrigued by recent UNC interest. The process is very early on, so Williams is nothing more than a name to watch now.
MICHAEL CHANDLER – C
Any UofL fans that have made it through the first 900 words of this post (doubtful) will recognize Chandler as a former Ricky P commitment from Indianapolis. Soon after his decommitment, UK was in to visit him, which signaled interest. Some even speculated he was UK’s to lose, which I’m not sure about.
Chandler has plummeted in the recruiting rankings over the past months (top 15 to #48 currently), which is a red flag. Additionally, there are academic issues that will be a factor. Chandler is a near 7-foot talent, so UK is taking a look, but there is a long way to go before things move forward.
There will be other names that arise in the coming months, but as far as top prospects go in the post, those are the names you need to know if you’re a ‘Cats fan.