NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Most people have these wild ideas about what happens at AAU events, that coaches sit in gyms from dawn to dusk and meticulously search for their next program-changers.
But that's not always true. More often, the bleachers are filled with guys standing around chatting, just telling stories and reminiscing because the prospects they want have usually long been identified and offered.
|Andrew 'A.J.' Ogilvy's quick transition to the American college game is grabbing some attention. (AP)|
Kevin Stallings and Ray Giacoletti were just talking.
"And we just sorta started talking recruiting," recalled Stallings, the Vanderbilt coach and good friend of Giacoletti, who was at the time coaching Utah. "So I told Ray I was looking for a big guy, and he told me he knew where there was a good one if I didn't mind going to Australia to recruit him."
Needless to say, Stallings didn't mind.
In this business, you do what you've got to do.
But he naturally wondered why Utah wasn't interested.
"I asked Ray, 'What about you guys?' " Stallings said. "He told me they only had one scholarship (available), and he needed a point guard."
And thus it began, Vanderbilt's cross-world recruitment of the 6-foot-11 center that has the Commodores off to an 8-0 start following an 83-80 victory against Wake Forest on Wednesday here at Memorial Gym. It's a magnificent tale, one about how a random conversation between friends led to three separate trips to Australia by the Vandy staff and a subsequent commitment. And it makes me wonder if Giacoletti had a chance to do it over again, would he have kept his mouth shut, made an offer to Andrew Ogilvy and put off worrying about available scholarships -- even run somebody off to create a spot, if that's what it took?
I mean, the kid is from Australia and named Andrew.
Utah was the perfect spot given recent history (see: Bogut, Andrew), right?
"There would've been a lot of obvious similarities if I would've gone there as an Australian named Andrew," Ogilvy said. "I was definitely looking at Utah."