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Tag:Recruiting
Posted on: November 3, 2011 5:04 pm
 

No. 2-ranked Mitch McGary announces for Michigan

By Jeff Borzello

Michigan couldn’t get a top-five prospect, right?

That was the popular line of thought for many throughout Mitch McGary’s recruitment. The last five-star recruit the Wolverines received a commitment from was Daniel Horton back in 2002, and John Beilein has never been known to pick up top-50 guys on a consistent basis.

With Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Florida and others in the mix, the Gary, Indiana native still always kept Michigan at or near the top of his list. On Thursday, McGary made it official – he’s going to be a Wolverine.

This is a monster commitment for Beilein and Michigan. He’s the No. 2-ranked prospect in the country, shooting up the charts with a dominant spring and summer for the SYF Players. Beilein runs an offense that allows for the big man to play multiple positions and do different things on the court, which is perfect for McGary.

McGary will fit in with Michigan and could take them to the next level in the Big Ten. He’s a high-energy big man whose attitude and personality are infectious to his teammates. He can score around the basket and also knock down face-up jumpers out to the arc. McGary runs the floor very well, and his shot-blocking ability and athleticism have improved greatly. Moreover, he is strong and makes an impact on the glass.

There are only two seniors on the Wolverines’ roster right now, Stu Douglass and Zack Novak. Tim Hardaway Jr. is poised to become a star on the perimeter, while Jordan Morgan is developing into a consistent option down low. With freshman Trey Burke set to be the point guard and Beilein’s usual assortment of shooters, Michigan is a Sweet 16 threat this season. With McGary and two other top-100 recruits – Glenn Robinson and Nik Stauskas – coming into the fold next year, do the Wolverines have Final Four potential?

That’s how big this commitment is for Michigan; it immediately makes them a major factor in 2012-13, and also potentially opens the door for more high-level recruits to make their way to Ann Arbor.

There’s no longer questioning whether Michigan can get a top-five recruit. The Wolverines just did.

Photo: Nation of Blue

Posted on: October 31, 2011 2:48 pm
 

No. 7 Kaleb Tarczewski picks Arizona over Kansas

By Jeff Goodman

A few years ago Kaleb Tarczewski was an anonymous 7-footer from the sticks of New Hampshire.

Now he's headed to Arizona.

Tarczewski committed to Sean Miller and the Wildcats on Monday afternoon in a recruitment in which many had him pegged for Kansas.

"It was a very long journey," said Tarczewski, a Claremont, New Hampshire native who has spent the past three years at St. Mark's (Mass.). "An unbelievable process. I'm so lucky to be in this position and never would have imagined having these options when I first came to St. Mark's."

Ultimately it came down to Arizona and Kansas. However, North Carolina and Kentucky were also in pursuit for the No. 7-ranked prospect in 2012.

"I had great programs and great coaches recruiting me," Tarczewski said. "It just felt right at Arizona. I fell in love with everything - from the current players to the staff to Brandon Ashley, Grant Jarrett and Gabe York."

"My parents really supported me in my decision to go to Arizona," he added.

Tarczewski was basically discovered and tutored by Jay Murphy. Then he went out on the road with the New England Playaz - where he received the exposure to be recruited at the highest level.

He has terrific size, runs the floor extremely well for someone his size and has a work ethic and attitude to match. He still has his deficiencies, but the best aspect about Tarczewski is that he understands it - and is willing to put in the work.

"I still have a long way to go as a player, but I've had a ton of help along the way," Tarczewski said. "Without people like T.J. Gassnola, Jay Murphy, Dave Lubick and John Carroll, I wouldn't be in this position.

"I hope during my four years at Arizona, I can help win Pac-12 titles and help get to the Final Four."

Tarczewski becomes the fourth Arizona commit in the Class of 2012 - joining Ashley, Jarrett and York. All four are considered Top 50 players in the class - and three (Ashley, Jarrett, Tarczewski) have a legitimate shot at making the McDonald's All-American Game.

Photo: Adidas Nations
Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 7:42 pm
 

New recruiting model garners favorable reaction



By Jeff Borzello

Recruiting needed to change. Everyone knew it – including the NCAA.

On Thursday, the NCAA Board of Directors adopted a new recruiting model for men’s basketball, changing or adjusting six major rules. More importantly, the rules will go into effect within the next several months, meaning we won’t have to wait two or three years for the changes – like most of the NCAA’s changes.

The two biggest changes, according to most people, are the deregulation of contact between coaches and recruits, and the fact official visits can now begin January 1 of a prospect’s junior year. Other major adjustments included opening up April for two weekends to coaches, while trimming July into three four-day periods. On-campus evaluations during official visits and contact at a recruit’s high school during their junior year are also permitted under the new model.

The changes will affect everyone, from college coaches to AAU coaches to high school coaches, as well as high school players and their parents. All of the changes seem geared towards speeding up the recruiting process and making it more involved at an earlier age. With the number of recruits making early decisions nowadays, it makes sense – too many kids were committing without going on official visits or getting enough evaluation time from coaches.

While the feedback has been generally favorable from all the parties involved – although many said nothing touched on agents and runners – not everyone is happy with each of the rule changes. To get a true feel of what each party thought, we reached out to 10 people – college coaches, AAU coaches, high school recruits and parents – to see what they think. Here are the interviewees:

  • Jamie Dixon, head coach, Pittsburgh
  • Josh Pastner, head coach, Memphis
  • Paul Hewitt, head coach, George Mason
  • Chris Walker, No. 5 prospect in 2013
  • Brannen Greene, No. 16 prospect in 2013
  • Dinos Trigonis, AAU coach, Belmont Shore
  • Matt Ramker, AAU director, Florida Rams
  • Marland Lowe, AAU coach, Texas PRO
  • Arisa Johnson, mother of Jaylon Tate, No. 73 prospect in 2013
  • Kelana Rivera, mother of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, No. 38 prospect in 2012 and Georgetown commit

We went rule-by-rule with each person to get a brief response or thought on the rule.

Contact is mostly deregulated starting June 15 after a recruit’s sophomore year. Coaches will be allowed to send unlimited text messages, make unlimited phone calls and send unlimited private messages via social media websites.

Dixon: “We already had unlimited email, so it won’t be that much different. The monitoring of it was the basis for it. The lost time allotted for it was becoming endless. We were having violations where a kid texted you, but you thought it was an email, and you responded with a text.”

Pastner: “95 percent of kids would rather text than talk on the phone. You find out earlier who’s interested in you. I’d rather the kid tell us he’s not interested. It puts some responsibility on the kid. There needs to be honest communication.”

Hewitt: “I think anything you can do to put college personnel in the lives of these kids helps. Not that everyone needs that type of guidance, to explain to them what eligibility means, classes, official visits, rules. Those types of things, if we can have college personnel in the recruiting process, it definitely take some of the mystery out of it.”

Walker: “I think it’s going to be good, plus crazy. I’m going to get blown up everyday – all day now. I don’t care though, I ignore people half the time but it will be alright.”

Greene: “I’m really going to see who wants me, but it might get a little overwhelming.”

Trigonis: “I think it’s a dumb thing. Instead of unlimited contact, should give parents power to decide contact. Form where parent sets up parameters for contact. It’s a recipe for disaster. I don’t mind the more contact, I think they needed to give more. But how can you go from no contact to unlimited contact?”

Lowe: “I think that all the kids and parents better make sure they have an unlimited texting plan. It’s good for the coaches to be able to communicate with the kids, establish an initial relationship. You have to be careful, though, kids have to put their phone down sometimes.”

Johnson: “It’s a bit excessive because it can be overwhelming when you have multiple coaches calling. It’s going to get out of control; it’s going to be too much for the kids to keep up with. It’s going to get to a point where a lot of these coaches are going to be ignored. They’re starting to feel a little annoyed. The attention at the beginning, they welcome it. But after awhile, it gets irritating. The relationship will start to break down.”

Rivera: “I think there has to be some sort of cut-off times or maximum number of calls with the player. Maybe unlimited contact with parents. They would likely tire of the recruiting process quickly, if they are constantly fielding calls. They may become more distracted and consumed with that as opposed to school, practices, family, church, etc.”

Two weekends in April will be opened up to college coaches.

Dixon: “I was a huge proponent of that. Certain coaches prefer to not have April, because they get to see kids during the year that no one else sees.”

Pastner: “I think it’s good, it’s all positives. You can see more prospects at once. Evaluate.”

Hewitt: “I think it’s a very smart move. You look at a guy taking over a job. I think it helps a coach to go out there. It will help on cutting down on transfers. You watch a kid throughout his high school, highest level of competition with their travel team. Now you may have him go against another 3-4-5 division-I players. It’s a more accurate evaluation, and that hopefully leads to fewer transfers, which will help APR.”

Walker: “It’s good because the people without offers and much exposure could get more exposure and offers and opportunities, so that’s a good look.”

Greene: “I really like that addition. I think it’s positive because kids get two extra chances to impress the college coaches.”

Ramker: “I personally like having just July. It was more of the true essence of summer basketball. April will be better for coaches, evaluations heading into July. I don’t think it’s a bad change.”

Lowe: “There won’t be as many transfers as there have been in the past. I think it’s a great opportunity for the schools overall. It’s too easy to make errors when you can watch them in July only.”

Johnson: “When they all have to wait until July, and they all come out at one time, it can be overwhelming. At those tournaments, to see all those coaches lined up against the wall like that, it can be intimidating and uncomfortable. It takes away their concentration and focus. They’re trying to figure out which coaches are there, and who’s there to see me. The kids will be a little more focused and less distracted.”

Rivera: “That way, the players aren’t feeling the need to be in every single event in July. Trying to fit everything into a couple of weeks in July adds stress to families and on the players’ bodies. Not to mention, it would likely be better for coaches and their families as well.”

July will be trimmed to three four-day periods, as opposed to two 10-day periods

Dixon: “I think it’s far better. If people saw how few evaluations we had other than July, people are often times surprised. They’re few and far between, and not to the level of July. A high school game, you’re not always going to see someone playing against someone at his level, and that’s your evaluation. Offers are being made in April, and as head coaches you’re seeing them even more rarely.”

Hewitt: “I think it’s a very positive step for the kids that are playing. When they start playing 10 days in a row, it leads to injuries. Overuse, stress-related injuries.”

Walker: “It causes us to get more rest because last summer I was tired as hell from all the back-to-back tourneys.”

Greene: “I think it’s beneficial to the college coaches and their health and well-being. For us players, I think it’s an OK rule. But I personally like the two-period July better. I just liked continuously playing in front of college coaches.”

Trigonis: “You’re going from 20 to 12 days. How does that help the smaller schools? That’s a big advantage for the bigger schools. Why not just make it four straight days? Ultimately what they’ve done, they’ve killed the smaller, regional events. Why does it have to be, I give so I have to take? It’s childish. It really is.”

Ramker: “A lot of the tournaments we do to keep kids busy. This will give us three tournaments, won’t have to play just for the sake of playing. Teams will be sharper, kids won’t be as tired.”

Johnson: “When you just have those couple of opportunities, it adds more pressure. It creates more pressure. You think, ‘this is my chance, this is my shot.’ You really lose the concept of team ball. It’s not about team anymore; it’s about the individual player, because you’re looking at limited opportunities.”

Official visits can begin January 1 of a recruit’s junior year, with travel expenses for the recruit and his family being paid for by the school

Dixon: “The influence of third-party people was magnified by unofficial visits. From the end of the high school season to visits were a six-month period where it was all the paying for scouting services, paying for exhibition games, paying for campers – all based around trying to get kids to their campus. Now you can bring both parents. We were empowering the middleman. I had hoped the official visits would start in April. We wouldn’t want one of our players to visit NBA teams during our season.”

Pastner: “A lot of that has something to do with strategy. When do you bring him in? Is it too early? You don’t want to bring him in too early, if he’s not ready to commit. And if he does, that’s a long time to keep him committed. Kids change their minds a lot these days.”

Hewitt: “That will benefit the highest-profile programs. I think what will happen is that the highest-level programs will be more able to get a kid to commit early. As for the parents, that’s the best thing they ever could have done. Bringing them into the process, that’s a huge step in the right direction.”

Greene: “I absolutely love that part of the new rule. I was planning on deciding in mid-December, but now I’m going to push it back a month so I can take a few official visits.”

Ramker: “It’s very necessary for parents to go on the visits with their kids. Low socioeconomic backgrounds, parents need to be involved in the decision. Need to sit with the coaches, help their kids make their decisions. That’s the best of all of them. It will cut down on a lot of shadiness. Kids can make decisions earlier; if they know where they want to go, they can get that out of the way.”

Johnson: “I have mixed feelings about that. Kids are being recruited earlier and earlier, and the kids are feeling the pressure that they need to commit early. We’ve had coaches ask us, ‘are you ready to commit today?’ – on an unofficial visit. And we feel it’s still a little early. Kids are committing sooner because they’re afraid another kid is going to commit sooner. It’s part of the whole recruiting process – and we’re kind of getting away from that. Years ago, it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t all this big rush and pressure to commit so early in your high school years and career. You lose out on something, the process where I feel you should be able to be recruited, you should be able to get a chance and visit schools and develop relationships, and get a good sense of what the schools have to offer. You could compare different schools and campuses. You could compare and get a feel, hopefully find a school that’s a good fit. You’re not going off the name or reputation of the coach, that’s all a part of the process. If you have this pressure, you’ll miss out. That will help if you can move it up and do it sooner.”

Rivera: “We had a very short time to get officials in this year before practice and everything started. Had we been given the option, we would have definitely gotten a couple in last winter or spring.”

On-campus evaluations during official visits will be permitted

Dixon: “It takes out another rule that was very hard to monitor. It’s almost ridiculous. My office overlooks the floor, so we had three different types of shades put in. There was a push to have actual tryouts, and I was really against it. I thought that would be bad press.”

Hewitt: “I think it’s good to watch them, and it’s not exactly a tryout. Watching a kid workout against your team, it will help reduce misses and fewer transfers.”

Greene: “Sure, why not? I would love for a college coach to be able to see the hard work I put in.”

Ramker: “I didn’t really see a reason why they couldn’t do that in the first place. They all play pick-up anyway, the coaches just couldn’t watch. The coaches could do everything else with them; I don’t know why they couldn’t watch them play pick-up. The changes cut out a lot of the shadiness.”

Lowe: I think it’s fine if the kid wants to do it. You’ll have kids that want to see how they fit in; other kids don’t want to expose themselves. I think it’s good if they want to do it, but not mandatory.”

Johnson: “I think that helps with being able to assess and evaluate. When coaches come out and see you practice or with the AAU teams, that can pique or develop your interest even more. But to be able to watch them and have them come on campus and play with the team – that adds another perspective on how to evaluate the player. And it gives the player a better feel for it as well. I see benefits and advantages on both ends. You can see where you need to be, ultimately, when you leave high school. This is what you’re preparing for.”

Rivera: “That may help the player with making his decision, by having a good feel for the players they could possible be playing with.”

Some contact at a recruit’s high school will be permitted beginning during a prospect’s junior year

Dixon: “It’s a sign of things, of where they are now. Kids are committing during their junior years often times, and so now you’re going to be starting with contact their junior year. The monitoring of it was a gray area. What one school considered a casual greeting, another considered a 20-minute sit-down.”

Pastner: “It will eliminate some of the gray area.”

Hewitt: “I think that’s very intelligent. That’s a very smart rule. If that rule is in effect, Bruce Pearl is still at Tennessee. What it does is help demystify the recruiting process and what you have to do to get to college. It opens it up for the family to ask questions. The more you can have that conversation, the more you put at the front of a kid’s mind. In the past, you’ve seen a kid gets bad advisement from someone, he comes back and he got the wrong information or took the wrong class.”

Ramker: “I thought that was an awful rule, that college coaches could go to a kid’s high school and pretend like they don’t even know them. It will help build a rapport, coaches get a feel for the players, players get a feel for the coaches and parents get a feel. It will cut down on transfers, lead to better evaluations by the players and the coaches. That’s been needed. I think that’s a great change. Coaches need to talk to the kids; kids need to figure out what they want to do.”

Lowe: “It forms a relationship early on. It helps starting to develop a relationship early, as long as it’s not too much contact.”

Johnson: “I think when you want to start trying to get a good vibe from who this person is, who they are as a coach, as a man. You need to do that through interaction, you need to do that through communication. The sooner you can start that, the better. That way, you are able to start building that relationship. It can only enhance how both parties feel about one another, and it’s not limited to I can call you or I can text you, or tweet you. I can see you and talk to you, face-to-face. I like that. I think that works. I don’t see anything negative unless there are several coaches there and they’re all waiting to talk to specific players. I can see that getting out of control, a little uncomfortable, maybe a little intimidating. If there are seven coaches there and they’re all waiting to talk to this one player, I can see that being a turnoff. They really don’t want to talk to all these people right after playing.”

Rivera: “I don’t see anything wrong with that either. As long as there are limitations, which I’m sure there would be. Maybe how many times they can visit, which is already in place I believe. And how long or private the contact is. For instance, if a coach talked with a recruit 10-15 minutes after a big game in the gym, seems OK to me.”

Photo: Blue Devil Nation, US Presswire, Recruiting Spotlight

Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:58 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 10:41 pm
 

Michael Beasley suing former AAU coach, agent

By Matt Norlander

Michael Beasley is suing the person who, at one point in his life, was probably the second- or third-most vital human being to Beasley's success in basketball. The other is his former agent.

Wednesday night, The Washington Post reported an expansive story on Beasley -- one of the biggest impact players in college basketball in 2008 -- suing Joel Bell, who briefly (officially) represented Beasley through September of 2008, and Curtis Malone, Beasley's AAU coach in high school.

The suit is a counter to Bell's suit that Beasley ended his contract prematurely.

Beasley was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft. This legal fight has been a long time coming, and because it's over broken verbal and written contracts, the seedy side of amateur athletics comes leaking out the side of the foundation.

As for the collegiate angle, there's no telling if this will affect Kansas State in any way, or Dalonte Hill, the former K-State assistant now at Maryland who got Beasley to play for the Wildcats.

You want to know how things get done at the AAU level? This is it. And it's only getting out because former friends, coach and player, have gotten into a tussle over money. An agent was promised a player would be his, and that promise didn't quite work out.

Money gets players and coaches and schools and agents and runners into these situations, and many times, it tosses them out of them, into the light where rolled eyes come just after fingers point with cynicism instead of amazement. Coaches, agents and would-be agents see talent at 13, 14 and 15 years of age, and the plan is concocted. Let's get that kid. Let's get him now. You get him on your team, you push him toward me when he's older, and I'll represent him when he's making NBA money.

Many times, this happens without a kerfuffle. Other times relationships go sour and word never escapes. But Beasley and Bell were separated mere months after the business marriage, and now the dispute is public.
Beasley asserts in his suit that Bell Sports Incorporated President Joel Bell bankrolled Curtis Malone’s nationally recognized DC Assault summer basketball program and that in return Malone felt obliged to steer Beasley ... to Bell for professional representation. Beasley’s suit contends that, along the way, Bell and Malone violated NCAA rules and federal laws governing agent conduct. Beasley’s accusations are part of a countersuit against Bell and a third-party claim against Malone filed Sept. 27 in Montgomery County Circuit Court in response to a Jan. 21 breach-of-contract suit filed by Bell Sports Inc. against Beasley. Bell’s original suit claims Beasley wrongfully terminated his representation agreement with Bell Sports Inc. just prior to signing an endorsement deal with Adidas.
Ah, yes. There's the shoe company, and those are just as responsible for the rule-breaking behavior in amateur sports as any other, organization or outfit. The story depicts Bell and Malone as a duo who frequently helped out Beasley and his family, taking care of everything from food to travel to getting out of serious vehicle violations, like driving with a suspended license, which Beasley's mother was nabbed for.

Malone's lawyer, Bill Heyman, told the Post, “Mr. Malone absolutely denies the allegations of impropriety made against him in the third-party complaint.”

Bell and Malone and Beasley won't be speaking about this publicly. They never intended to, and long after the suing ends, maybe they'll pipe up, but there won't be much new information to gather, I wouldn't imagine. The Post's story depicts Beasley's mother depicting Malone -- Beasley AAU coach, remember -- as a runner. And unfortunately, that's how some are seen. A lot of these AAU coaches are tied into agents and runners, and become de factors themselves. They're incubating potential gold-making chickens; you're expecting them not to flirt with the temptation?

To add another layer to this, it's known that Beasley used to stay with Malone regularly. Beasley attended five high schools, was highly coveted, and without much consistency in his life, Malone was a constant. The two were very close. Now there's this. A fallout because a relationship was built of money and the prospect of getting rich off a prospect.

The Post reports that between 2005 and 2009, DC Assault brought in nearly $600,000 in "contributions and grants." The team, like many AAU programs, is registered as a charity. Since it's a public charity, donors to the program are not mandatory to be listed. The report is dense, so very detailed and really well-done. A lot of it has to do with issues between Beasley and Bell well after he left college, but this issue started in the echoey gyms when Beasley was a naive high school freshman, and two guys conspired to team up with him in hopes of using his ability to make them wealthy.

It happens so often in hoops. Exposing it is nearly impossible, because the interested parties don't benefit from squealing. Something bad needs to happen. Someone needs to get burned. In this case, long after college and AAU is behind them, nobody's afraid to confront the seedy past.

Photo: AP
Posted on: October 25, 2011 2:34 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 2:44 pm
 

Top-10 DaJuan Coleman picks hometown 'Cuse

By Jeff Borzello

The first time a big man named Coleman came out of Syracuse, he was an All-American in college and an NBA All-Star.

Now, head coach Jim Boeheim will get the closest thing to Derrick Coleman, as five-star center DaJuan Coleman committed to the Orange on Tuesday afternoon during a press conference at his high school.

"The school I'll be attending this coming fall will be . . . ," Coleman said, before donning a Syracuse hat. He said that he has known he wanted to pick the Orange for the last month, but took visits to Ohio State and Kentucky just to make sure.

"I wanted to make the right decision," he said. 

While DaJuan Coleman has no blood relation to Derrick Coleman, they have similar build and both are legends in Upstate New York. The elder Coleman did his damage at the college level, but the high school version has dominated at Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) for years.

Make no mistake; this was a recruit Syracuse could not afford to lose.

Coleman was right in the Orange’s backyard, and had been on the Syracuse campus a number of times. His high school teammate, Brandon Triche, is currently a starting guard for Boeheim, and the Orange have been the favorite since the beginning for Coleman’s services.

"It's close to home," Coleman said. "Hanging out with the players, they made me feel like I was home."

Moreover, whenever Kentucky’s involved, the smart money seems to always be on John Calipari and the Wildcats. In head-to-head battles over the past few years, Calipari has rarely lost, racking up the top recruiting class in the country more often than not. For Syracuse to defend its home territory and beat Kentucky – and Ohio State – for a five-star recruit, it’s a big win for the Orange.

As for Coleman, he should make an immediate impact for the Orange. With Fab Melo potentially leaving after this coming year, and Baye Moussa Keita and Rakeem Christmas very raw offensively, Coleman will add a dimension Syracuse will be lacking.

The No. 9-ranked recruit in CBSSports.com’s class of 2012, Coleman is a 6-foot-9 center who is one of the more dominant low-post prospects in the country. He carves out space down low with his mammoth, 280-lb. body. Once he gets position, his good hands and assortment of moves make him difficult to stop with his back to the basket. He rebounds extremely well in his area, and controls the lane defensively. Coleman has improved his passing and face-up game, but he still needs to get in better shape on a consistent basis.

"A double-double guy every game," Coleman said.  

With his talent level and potential, Syracuse could have its next All-America big man – and his last name just happens to be Coleman.

Photo: Syracuse Post-Standard

Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 9:58 am
 

Bob Knight commits secondary recruiting violation



By Matt Norlander


Just because you're long out of the coaching game doesn't mean you can't commit an NCAA violation.

It's looking like Bob Knight talked to a couple of recruits on the phone, and since those recruits have verbally agreed to play at Lamar, where son Pat Knight coaches, then an NCAA violation did indeed take place. Only basketball staff members, with a few exceptions, can speak with recruits about joining any sports program. Even though Bob Knight is Pat's father, he's considered a person of influence; it's why universities do their best to get famous alums around the schools as frequently as possible. Those notable alums can't speak directly to recruits, but their presence can have an influence.

It must be noted Knight had a near-flawless record with the NCAA during his coaching career. His Hall of Fame tenure at Indiana revolved around winning a ton of games (and three national titles), graduating his players and not breaking the rules. The fact this likely secondary violation has occurred drips with irony.

From the Indianapolis Star:
Regarding his conversation with Bob Knight, Minton said, “He told me that he thought I’ d be a good fit for the program and said he hoped he’d see me at Lamar.” The Beaumont Enterprise reported last week that the players “attended the Lamar football game Saturday and talked by phone with Bob Knight.”

NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said he couldn’t comment specifically on the Lamar situation because he didn’t know the details. He added, however, “Generally speaking, telephone calls to prospects can only be made by coaching staff members or those listed in the exceptions.” The exceptions include the university president and academic advisors.
Lamar is reported to be dealing with the situation internally right now, and it's likely they'll self-report and receive a slap on the wrist. Pat Knight, who's about as different from his dad as you could expect, didn't hide from the issue. In fact, in the following  135 words, he sounds a lot like Pop.

“It was a quick hello on the phone and that was it,” he told the Star. “We recruited the heck out of the kids. He had nothing to do with that. I mean, he just was excited we were recruiting Indiana again and wanted to say hello to them and that was it.”

Pat Knight added, “At least I’m not paying them. The NCAA should look into guys that are paying players and not worry about guys that are doing it the right way. ... I don’t care if my dad is a celebrity or not. I think it’s (expletive), honestly. The guy is my dad. If he wants to say hello to a recruit, he can. If we get reprimanded, fine. They need to check into guys that are outright cheating instead of nickel-dime stuff like that.”

And ... scene. Thank you, Pat Knight.

Photo: AP
Posted on: September 21, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Perry Ellis stays in-state, pops for Kansas

By Jeff Borzello

Perry Ellis is one of the most decorated players to come out of Kansas in years, winning three Gatorade Player of the Year awards and three state championships, as well as leading his Wichita Heights (Kan.) team to 44 consecutive victories.

On Wednesday, Ellis announced that he would continue his legacy in the Sunflower State by staying in-state and attending Kansas.

"I've been there so many times, I just felt so comfortable there," Ellis said during a press conference at his school. 

Ellis chose the Jayhawks over Kentucky, Kansas State and Wichita State.

"All these schools were real close to me," he said. "They've been there three or four years now. It was a tough decision."

Ellis is a 6-foot-8 prospect who is one of the best offensive forwards in the country. He can score around the rim or from the perimeter, and he has improved his ability to beat defenders off the dribble or run the floor and get baskets in transition. He is ranked No. 27 by CBSSports.com.

He is happy to get the recruiting process over with.

"It's been on my mind for awhile now," he said. "I wanted to do it today because I was ready." 

Photo: ESPN.com 

Posted on: September 21, 2011 8:52 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 8:59 am
 

Perry Ellis closing in on decision

By Jeff Borzello

The highly-publicized recruitment of Perry Ellis is just hours away from ending.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita Heights (Kan.) will announce his commitment at 2:45 p.m. local time during a press conference at his high school gym. The finalists for his services are Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Wichita State.

Throughout his recruitment, Kansas has been considered by some to be the favorite, but the family has not shown their cards heading into the final day.

“All four coaches have recruited him for at least three years,” Fonda Ellis, Perry’s mother, told CBSSports.com. “They have built a relationship with Perry and our whole family. They are all great programs and we think they all are great choices.”

Fonda Ellis took some time to break down each of the four choices.

Kansas and Kentucky are in the mix because of their tradition.

“They both have it,” she said. “From the history to the winning to the fans to the coaches.”

Ellis likes the desire that Kansas State players have.

“Coach [Frank] Martin has his players playing with heart,” she said.

As for the hometown school, Ellis thinks Gregg Marshall has put Wichita State on par with bigger and more traditional basketball schools.

“Under Gregg Marshall, he has done an awesome job rebuilding the program to the next level,” Fonda Ellis said.

Ellis is ranked No. 27 by CBSSports.com. He is a versatile forward who can score in a variety of ways. Ellis is able to post up defenders and score with his back to the basket, but he is also capable of facing up opponents and knocking down mid-range and perimeter shots. He finishes well at the rim, and is solid on the glass.

Whichever school hears its name this afternoon will be getting an impact performer.

“Perry wants to pick a school that makes him feel totally comfortable,” Fonda Ellis said. “From the coaches to the players to the style of play and the campus. We just want Perry to be happy, and if he is happy, he will be comfortable and successful.”

Photo: Adidas Nations

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com