May 2, 2006

Cats ready to join James sweepstakes?

Kentucky coach Tubby Smith has experienced the full range of highs and lows along the recruiting trail in recent years, from signing the nation's top-rated class two years ago to narrowly missing on a string of high-profile prospects in other classes.

Among the top priorities for the Wildcats has been the power forward position, and it became magnified Tuesday when the school announced Rekalin Sims has been granted a release to seek a transfer.

That move frees a scholarship for UK, and one of the top-rated forwards in the nation is about to become available in the form of Damion James.

A 6-foot-8, 225-pound standout from Nacogdoches, Texas, James signed with Oklahoma but has requested a release from his letter-of-intent after the departure of Sooners coach Kelvin Sampson to Indiana.

"His recruitment has re-opened, and we should know something today or tomorrow (about the LOI with Oklahoma)," Nacogdoches coach Mark Richardson said to "I've talked to the athletic director, and they should be done with the paperwork soon. They've been good about it. It's gone fairly smooth."

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