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Blue Chips Full Court Press [Week of 05.02.22]

A weekly update on digital sports news and trends for the Blue Chips community.

Blue Chips Weekly Recap

Antonio Reeves is Officially a Cat! Unfortunately the last time we sent our newsletter out we missed the big news by just a few hours. The Illinois State G averaged over 20 points per game last season and will most certainly give us that playmaking and shot-creating ability we desperately need on the roster.

Assistant Jai Lucas has taken a job on Jon Scheyer’s new staff at Duke. The move came unexpected to the majority of the BBN, after reports that the initial attempt to poach our assistant had been unsuccessful. Although we are losing him to an arch-rival, we wish Jai the best in his future endeavors. Jai is responsible for recruiting 2022 incoming Guard Cason Wallace, and 2021 F Daimion Collins, who is set to return next season. Both players have said that Jai’s departure do not change their plans to be at Kentucky next season.

Kentucky appeared to be one of the leaders for South Dakota State Transfer Baylor Scheierman, one of the most sought after players in the portal. However, it appears Kentucky has backed off, as his NIL compensation demands were too steep. Initial reports suggested that Baylor was asking for $600k — now it appears he may have raised to as much as $1M. Coach John Calipari said on Mike Pratt’s radio show today that they will not recruit a kid based off of their NIL demands.

Two Wildcats have entered the transfer portal. Keion Brooks Jr — who recently declared for the NBA Draft — announced that if he is to return to college he will be seeking to finish his Senior season elsewhere. However, sources indicate that he plans to stick with the pro route. Walk-on Zan Payne entered the portal as well. No surprise there, as Payne is the son of former UK Assistant, and newly hired Louisville Men’s Basketball Coach, Kenny Payne.

John Calipari also stated today that the Cats have another silent commitment locked up and expect the player to announce soon. All signs are pointing towards Adou Thiero, a 6’5 PG from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — who announced he’ll make his collegiate choice this coming Sunday, May 8th, on his birthday and Mother’s Day. Thiero just took his official visit to Lexington this past weekend. This is not your typical Calipari recruit. Thiero is unranked by most recruiting services, as he was a late-bloomer in his development. However, the ceiling is very high with him. Averaging 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists this past year and being named the Pennsylvania Boys Player of the Year. If Adou is the silent commit Cal has hinted at, the BBN should welcome him with open arms and watch him grow as a player in front of our eyes.

Four Wildcats were drafted in the NFL Draft this past Thursday. WR Stand Out Wan’Dale Robinson was selected 43rd by the New York Giants, Defensive stud Josh Pashcal was taken 46th by the Detroit Lions, OL Luke Fortner was taken 65th by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and OL Darian Kinnard was selected 145th by the Kansas City Chiefs. Kentucky ranked in the Top 15 for most players selected out of all schools in the country, and was 6th in the SEC. Huge testament to Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow, and the entire staff’s ability to recruit and develop. Also worth noting that in 2023 NFL Mock Drafts, UK QB Will Levis is projected as a consensus Top 10 pick by all the major outlets. Huge expectations for this upcoming season.

Hope everyone enjoys their week and has a Happy Derby 2022! Drink some Mint Juleps this Saturday and hit some bets!

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