Former Kentucky point guard Derrick Jasper will finally be eligible to play college basketball this coming season. Jasper, who left UK amidst rumors of a rocky relationship with former coach Billy Gillispie, will be suiting up for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and head coach Lon Kruger.
When asked recently how dominate Jasper will be, Kruger responded by saying, “I am so looking forward to seeing Jasper. A 6-foot-6 point guard? Wow. I’m especially looking forward to his leadership. I think it’s going to be a very interesting season.”
A UNLV fan posted on a CBSSports.com message board that UNLV will be the team to beat in the Mountain West Conference. He followed that up with: "Derrick Jasper will likely be the most valuable newcomer in the conference."
Former UNLV players Kevin Kruger and Curtis Terry were interviewed by the Las Vegas Sun. Some comments they had about Jasper:
“He’s doing what I was doing – calling everyone and texting everyone, making sure everybody comes,” Terry said. “Those guys are playing hard and working hard. I’m excited. They have a lot of talent.
“Derrick’s absolutely looking good, no question.”
Lon Kruger agreed:
“I’ve been most impressed with his defense,” Kruger said. “He gets down and slides his feet, and nobody will get around him. He’s strong, a big kid. He has that knack for leading. I think that’s going to help him a lot.”
Terry's thoughts on the injured knee:
“If he’s favoring it, you can’t tell at all,” Terry said. “He comes at you full speed and tries to take off, and he’ll jump through you or over you.”
As a Kentucky fan, I am saddened that Jasper was ran out of town by a stubborn coach, uh, I meant to say...that Jasper chose to leave Lexington. Best wishes to you Derrick - the Big Blue Nation will still be cheering for you.