Senior Writer

Five for the Weekend: What occurred to UW asst. shouldn't again


LAS VEGAS -- I'm in Sin City for the start of the final 10-day stretch of the July evaluation period for college basketball coaches. I should be in a gym right now. And I will be soon. But I couldn't leave the hotel until I filed this Five for the Weekend.

1. What do you think about Washington assistant Raphael Chillious getting hit with a secondary violation for talking to a friend about a recruit in earshot of a Sports Illustrated reporter who then used the exchange in a story?

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar can't be happy about what led to his assistant being assessed the violation. (Getty Images)  
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar can't be happy about what led to his assistant being assessed the violation. (Getty Images)  
I think it's unfortunate. The reporter seems genuinely upset about the role he played in the matter, and that's good enough for me on his end, but the truth is that reporters need to be smarter across the board when it comes to this stuff. I talk to coaches about recruits every day, and I can't think of a coach who has ever said, "Gary, you know I can't talk to you about that kid because it's against NCAA rules." Nobody has ever said that because there's a certain understanding -- that anything about recruits or recruiting is strictly off the record. That understanding allows me to gain perspective and do my job better, and I would never print a word of it. So when I see a coach get burned for talking openly about a recruit to a reporter or blogger (or in the vicinity of a reporter or blogger), I hate it because it scares other coaches. Missouri's Frank Haith and Kentucky's John Calipari have both been burned by similar exchanges in recent months, too. My hope is that it never happens to another coach again.

2. What's the deal with Renardo Sidney returning to Houston to be with John Lucas rather than going on a preseason exhibition trip in Europe with Mississippi State?

There's no way to spin it into a positive because I just refuse to believe there's a positive reason for a member of a team to not accompany his teammates on a trip designed to build team unity and get a head start on the season to come. John Lucas has had a nice impact on players over the years, and I hope that's the case here. But it should be noted that Lucas doesn't usually spend much time working with players free of issues -- personal issues, substance-abuse issues, whatever -- and it should also be noted that most college coaches, Rick Stansbury included, would never let a seemingly important player skip a preseason trip to "work out" with somebody else two states over unless there were real problems. Again, this is not a good sign.

3. So will Sidney play for Mississippi State this season?

According to Stansbury, that's still the plan. But at this point it's reasonable to be skeptical. The whole Sidney-to-Mississippi State story has been a circus from the start and there's no reason to think it won't end that way, too. Put another way, it won't end well. That's my prediction. It just won't end well and Stansbury will end up regretting ever enrolling the troubled prospect -- that is if he doesn't regret it already.

4. Is Sidney the best of example of "I should've never taken this commitment from this prospect with all these red flags" in recent years?

He's up there, certainly. But Tim Floyd would probably argue that O.J. Mayo deserves consideration considering Mayo's enrollment at Southern California is essentially what ended Floyd's tenure. And Bobby Gonzalez would probably argue that Herb Pope deserves consideration considering Pope popping an opponent in the private parts during an NIT game played a role, at least some role, in Seton Hall firing Gonzalez a year after giving him a contract extension, but Gonzo probably had more to do with his own downfall than Pope or anybody else. Gonzo was and is a mess. He probably needs John Lucas as much as anybody.

5. How is the trip to Las Vegas for the end-of-July tournaments going?

I spoke at the Rising Coaches Elite Conference on Thursday, and that was nice. And (on a more important note), as I type, I've been here a little more than 24 hours and have yet to gamble a penny. That's a nice achievement for me. I can't make any promises about the weekend. But so far, so good. And with that, I'm off to spend the first of three 10-hour days watching college coaches watch high school prospects run and jump and dunk and shoot. I plan to talk to coaches about recruits the entire time. I'll tell you anything I hear that's interesting. And, of course, I'll tell you about it with anonymous quotes.

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for and college basketball insider for the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts an award-winning radio show in Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two sons and two dogs.

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