#4 JON HOOD
6'7 215JUNIOR - GUARDNORTH HOPKINS HIGH SCHOOLMADISONVILLE, KYLAST SEASONPPG: 0.9RPG: 0.7FG %: 24.3FT% 55.63-PT% 15.8
On every Kentucky squad over the years, there has always been that one homegrown player who strives to have his moment in the spotlight. We are fortunate to have a few Kentucky products on our roster this upcoming season, but one who has not had his moment yet would be Madisonville's own Jon Hood.
As a recruit who was signed by previous head coach Billy Gillispie and was once a self-proclaimed "Duke fan" growing up, Hood has always been the sole forgotten prospect from Calipari's first recruiting class at UK. Considering Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, and Orton all left after their first year and were highly ranked coming out of high school, only adds more credit to Hood. He was ranked 40th overall by Rivals in the 2009 class, but since he did not receive much playing time his first two seasons, he has not gained much attention. Some people began to speculate that he would eventually transfer from UK, but he and his father has reaffirmed over time that he is in Lexington for the long run. I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
After training hard in China last summer with Josh Harrellson, Hood came into this offseason with the same type of work ethic. But unfortunately, Hood tore his ACL in his right knee playing pick-up ball over the summer. Many players from other teams who have gone through injuries, such as Purdue's Robbie Hummel, have given him advice on how to deal with the injury: "He just said, don't worry about it. Rehab it. Keep going hard at it and take your time and you'll be back before you know it. Don't rush it because that's how you get hurt." WHAT TO EXPECT THIS YEAR?
Coach Calipari was expecting for Hood to have a breakout season this year, considering he has a tough work ethic in practice. But since Hood has been sidelined by injury, there is no timetable for his return. Hood himself is not even sure of when exactly he'll return, or if he'll redshirt this upcoming season, although he believes that he will recover and be back on the court within six months. Hood might struggle to see the court towards the end of the year, but he could gain valuable practice time and improve his shooting through the offseason; he could be an extremely vital player next year at the shooting guard position, assuming UK loses Doron Lamb.CALIPARI on HOOD"Jon's knee injury was unfortunate because we were really counting on him to be a key contributor this season and he's such a great kid. We haven't ruled out Jon for the season, but he can use this year to his benefit to gain some experience, become a year older and come back with a different purpose."
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