Blog Entry

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

Posted on: January 20, 2012 4:36 pm

By Jeff Borzello

Derek Willis’ recruitment has had several twists and turns over the past six months, and he wasn’t expected to make a new decision just yet. Last week, though, the former Purdue commit said he was ready to make an announcement.

During a press conference at Bullitt East High School (Ky.), Willis made his pledge to Kentucky.

“Kentucky was just the best fit for me and that’s why I chose them,” he said.

Willis chose the Wildcats over Purdue, Indiana and Louisville. It was reported that he narrowed his list to two schools – Purdue was the other – recently, and made up his mind a week ago.

Willis is a top-50 recruit in the class of 2013. The 6-foot-9 forward is extremely skilled and he has good inside-outside ability. He has not reached his full potential just yet, but is one of the more versatile offensive players in the class when he brings it consistently.

He is Kentucky’s first commitment in the class of 2013.


Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 9:49 am

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

Maybe there's some light at the end of the tunnel here.  There is a lot of back room whispering about Coach Cal's 'one and doners'.  Maybe Coach is seeing the need to recruit and develop a few 4 year guys.  Or at least some THREE year guys.   I think Lamb will return, so with Wiltjer and Teague.
There are no banners hanging in Rupp Arena for 'most players to the NBA (in a coaching stint)'.  Coach Cal needs to get the #8 and get it soon.

Since: Jul 12, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 9:22 am

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

Pitino has got to be steaming over this one,makes him look bad. Willis has many skills and will be 3 to 4 year guy, good chance he picks up a ring in that time also. No brainer, smart kid !!!

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 6:45 am

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

It's not killing us bubba, it must be killing you. too bad, an ex champ card player finds out that his best chance to learn and grow as a coach is on the UK bench with coach cal and not with pitino. why, you might ask? because tricky ricky has to have his son richard on the bench who has no resume to speak of, and great players like payne are left behind to ask why must i go to UK to get an opportunity? We at UK welcome anyone into the big blue family regardless of where they are from or their past allegiance lies, and we can admit with pride that kenny payne was a great player and a great recruiter, and a great human being, and we are lucky to have him. Your loss is our gain, believe me, its not killing us at all.

Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:29 am

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

@Oldcat Tell that to Josh Harrellson in that New York Knicks uniform of his

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:24 am

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

wow - guaranteeing that Pitino is let go. Who will be the next coach? You seem to have pretty good inside information. Willis is a nice pick up but I don't see him playing much since the cats will be signing the top 8 recruits in his class - a top 30 recruit, Cal must be slumming. 

It must kill you to have a former Louisville Player as an assistant coach - especially one that was on a championship team.  I wonder how he is worthy of entering Rupp Arena and sitting on the Blue Bench.  Thank God he did not save his dad from suicide in his teens - then he would really suck and would have to stay inside of mile marker 50 on I-64 to avoid his suckiness from drifting inside New Circle Road.

Since: Mar 15, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:40 am

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

I love everything that I am reading in this thread.  UK, picks up a top-50 recruit, that has a diverse skill set, and who is most likely a 3-4 year player, yet, all I hear is he will never get playing time at UK.  All over this board, many posters talk about how all these 1-and-dones will never win a chip, and how this is all Calipari recruits, yet, Willis is definitely not a one-and-done, but, now posters talk about how he will never get playing time.  The thing is, Cal does not care if his team is 6 deep, or 12 deep!  If you can play, then you will play!  Willis, will fill the Darrius Miller role on his future teams.  You know who shares the same feeling?  Derek Willis' father (UL fan)!  Watch his interview after his son's selection, and you can tell he is a straight shooter with him, as he openly discusses what he needs to work on, and who he sees him as being (Darrius Miller).  

This reminds me of the posters that talk about how Calipari's freshmen led teams will never win it all, yet when they start really winning, or when they get far in the tournament, the posters start talking about how if Cal does not win it all with 'this team' or with the 'crazy amount of talent they have' that he is a failure, or 'a horrible coach'.  I love it!  It is as if there is no other 5 or 4 stars in each year's classes, that are as explosive as the ones Cal gets.

Willis, knows what he is getting into, which is why he wants to be a Cat.   He wants the challenge, and the reward that exist if you succeed in the UK environment.   

Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:29 am

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

I think its a great pickup in the fact that its calapari's first hometown kid and the first of probally the best class we ever have , we are in the running strong for (Nerlens Noel,Jabari Parker,Harrison twins, and Julius Randle) all those guys are in the top 8. Its equally as great because this was supposedly one of pitinos last stands, if he couldnt get a kid from Louisville whose family is diehard card fans than he was done, which he is, i guarantee he is let go after the tournament and by tournament i mean NIT for U of L

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:13 pm

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

I guess he didn't talk to Jon Hood before picking UK.

Guess he should have talked to JOSH HARRELSON???? Yea, I'm guessing that's who he talked to. After all, Coach Cal DID develop a WHITE GUY and got him into the NBA.


Since: Feb 22, 2011
Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:02 pm

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

wait till next year! IU and UK could easily both be Top 5 teams!

Now that is the joke of the day.  IU being in the top 5.Surprised

Since: Feb 12, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:54 pm

Derek Willis is Kentucky's first 2013 commit

Haha, from a Hoosier fans standpoint he did! Choosing between PU and UK makes me wanna vomit!

Maybe he just couldn't look past IU's 3 game losing streak. Tongue out

Now Now Paul, be careful or they will put you in the same class as me:  douchebagSealed

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