Turns out, this really isn't an ideal time for Bruce Pearl to be in Israel.
"I ... just decommitted from Tennessee," Josh Selby, a top 10 national recruit in the Class of 2010, announced to the world via his Facebook page this weekend. A source close to Selby confirmed to CBSSports.com that the "status update" is legitimate. The source said Selby's mother informed the Tennessee staff of her son's decision early Sunday.
A 6-foot-2 point guard, Selby had been committed to UT since last September, but rumors about a possible decommitment began circulating earlier this month at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Asked about the speculation by CBSSports.com on July 7, Selby acknowledged that people were "trying to get him to decommit" but swore "it's not going to happen."
Apparently, that wasn't true.
Selby has now decommitted and changed his cell phone number.
Meantime, Pearl remains in Israel as Team USA's coach in the Maccabiah Games; he isn't scheduled to return to the United States until the middle of this week. CBSSports.com spoke to Pearl by phone late Thursday. When asked about the possibility of rivals using his absence on the recruiting trail against him, Pearl responded, "It happens, and it's just the way it is. It's part of it."
So which schools are now in play for Selby?
"We're just going to get together as a family and figure it out," Selby's mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, told CBSSports.com by phone on Sunday. "Right now we don't even know. We haven't compiled a list or anything."
Still, industry sources told CBSSports.com two schools that will almost certainly be involved are Kentucky and Oregon -- both of which have obvious connections to William Wesley, a major person of influence in the sport. Wesley (more commonly known as "Worldwide Wes" or simply as "Wes") has a close and very public relationship with Kentucky coach John Calipari, Oregon assistant Kenny Payne, and Nike Basketball.
Kentucky and Oregon are both Nike schools.
Tennessee is an Adidas school.
When asked, Witherspoon acknowledged meeting Wesley at the LeBron James Skills Academy/King City Classic events in Akron/Cleveland earlier this month. But she discounted the significance of that encounter and emphasized that this is merely a case of her son committing too early.
"I met Wes, but we really didn't talk; that's not a connection like everybody thinks," Witherspoon said. "It's just that we only looked at one other school before we committed to Tennessee, and it was Louisville. It was a fast decision because we were so overwhelmed with the atmosphere at Tennessee [during a visit for the UT-Florida football game], and we just want to make sure it's right. Tennessee is still an option. It's up to Tennessee if they still want to recruit him. But on our list, Tennessee is still an option."
There is speculation that Memphis might also be involved because Selby's cousins -- Will and Antonio Barton -- have committed to the Tigers, but sources told CBSSports.com that the relationship between the cousins isn't as strong as most believe. In fact, Selby didn't even really know the Bartons until they were around 9 years-old, one source said. Another source added that if it wasn't for basketball there would be little to no relationship between the cousins because the connection is on Selby's father's side, and Selby has been primarily raised by his mother.