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Posted on: May 21, 2009 3:23 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2009 3:26 pm

Just so we're clear: Wall is a one-year player

The following is a list of players who once told me or somebody like me that they planned to be college sophomores:
  • Kevin Durant
  • Mike Conley
  • Derrick Rose
  • Kevin Love
  • Eric Gordon
  • Michael Beasley
  • Greg Oden
  • Thaddeus Young
  • Brandan Wright
  • Dajuan Wagner
  • Pretty much every one-and-done prospect
I bring this up today so that all Kentucky fans who are excited about the words of John Wall can calm themselves and understand that there's no way in hell he'll ever be a sophomore in college. No. Way. In. Hell. And it doesn't matter that he announced at a news conference that his "plan is to go to the University of Kentucky for the next two or three years."

Trust me, that plan will change next April when people tell Wall he's the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. It'll change faster than he can bring the ball up the court, and I'm sure Wall knows that as well as I know that. But for some reason incoming freshmen -- and this is not unique to Wall -- always think they have to tell people they're really interested in getting a college education and maturing, even when it's not true or necessary. Michael Beasley said it, and it was laughable. Dajuan Wagner said it, and it was insane. But the point is that they almost all say it and then almost all leave anyway. And I suspect John Wall will be exactly the same, as well he should and regardless of what he says.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 20, 2009 9:39 am
Edited on: May 20, 2009 9:39 am

Please don't pay attention to scholarship numbers

I've received a few emails about -- and there are various message boards addressing the topic of -- Kentucky's scholarship situation, which is to say, how John Calipari has over-signed this stellar recruiting class that many are calling one of the best in history. All I can tell you is that somehow, someway, it'll end up being a non-issue, and I know this from past experiences.

I was a beat writer who covered Calipari for four seasons before I moved to CBS.

Every year, it seemed like he over-signed.

Every year, it seemed like I had to ask him about it.

Every year, he explained how he doesn't worry about the numbers.

Every year, it was a complete non-issue by the time August approached.

So yeah, the NCAA's scholarship limit for men's basketball is 13. And yeah, the signing of John Wall means Kentucky has 16 scholarship players set to enroll. And yeah, that number will rise to 17 if Jodie Meeks withdraws from the NBA Draft. Make no mistake, those things are all true. But remember, Calipari has been doing this a long time, and there's no doubt he already knows how this will play out.

Eric Bledsoe might never qualify.

Meeks might remain in the NBA Draft.

Two, three or even four current Wildcats might transfer.

If you want a prediction, it'll probably be a combination of those things, plus something else unexpected. But rest assured, it won't matter in the long-term, and that's why I'd advise all fans to stop worrying about it in the short-term.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 19, 2009 9:59 am
Edited on: May 19, 2009 10:01 am

Wall commits to Kentucky

John Wall has committed to play at Kentucky next season and given John Calipari another one-and-done point guard to help run the dribble-drive motion offense that turned Derrick Rose into the NBA Draft's top pick a year ago.

"It was a great job (Calipari) did the last two years with his guards,” Wall told on Tuesday. "I think my relationship with Coach Cal pushed (UK) over. The other coaches did a great job, but that relationship got (UK) over."

Wall is the consensus top point guard in the Class of 2009. has him projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

He chose Kentucky over Miami, Duke, Florida, Baylor and a host of other programs.

This development will make Kentucky the preseason SEC favorite and should have the Wildcats in position to steal some votes from Kansas for the top spot in many national polls. Assuming Jodie Meeks withdraws from the NBA Draft (he has until June 15 to do so), a possible starting line-up at Kentucky looks like this:

G: John Wall
G: Jodie Meeks
G: Darnell Dodson
F: Patrick Patterson
F: DeMarcus Cousins
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 8, 2009 5:29 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2009 5:31 pm

Patterson returning to UK

Patrick Patterson is withdrawing from the NBA Draft to return to Kentucky for his junior season, sources told on Friday.

School officials have now confirmed the news.

“In the month that I’ve been at Kentucky, I’ve been blown away by Patrick Patterson,” said first-year coach John Calipari. “He is one of the nicest individuals I’ve met and one of the fiercest competitors that I’ve been around. I’m thrilled I get to coach him next year.”

Patterson averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds this past season, and his return to the UK frontcourt will allow Calipari to work with a roster that should be favored to win the SEC even if the Wildcats don't have Jodie Meeks (still undecided on his future) or John Wall (still uncommitted). On the other hand, if Calipari lures Meeks back to school and then enrolls Wall, there will be no ceiling on what can be accomplished, and Kentucky would likely steal some first-place preseason votes from Kansas and be among the favorites to win the national title.

Meeks has until June 15 to withdraw from the NBA Draft.

Wall is still considering many schools -- among them Kentucky, Duke, Miami and Florida.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 6, 2009 3:42 pm

Does Bledsoe really think he'd start over Wall?

It was not a surprise that Eric Bledsoe signed with Kentucky on Wednesday.

What was a surprise was the point guard's rationale.

Asked for the decisive moment in his recruitment, Bledsoe said it was when John Calipari told home he could "come in right off the bat and start." Problem is, the Wildcats are widely considered to be the leader to also land John Wall, and there isn't a point guard on any team in America who would start in front of Wall, Bledsoe included. So if Bledsoe wants to start, he'd better get to rooting for Duke or Miami or Florida to sign Wall, because if Bledsoe finds himself on the same roster as Wall he's going to find himself starting the game on the bench.

Which is fine, if he's OK with it.

And this has nothing to do with the quality of Bledsoe.

The guy is a high-level prospect who could start immediately for most high-major programs, just not any high-major program that also has Wall. It breaks down like this: Bledsoe has the potential to be a great college point guard who someday develops into a pro; Wall is a pro who will spend a year in college. That's the difference between the two, and the only way Bledsoe won't learn this soon is if Wall decides to enroll somewhere other than Kentucky.

Short of that, Bledsoe won't "come in right off the bat and start."

Rather, he'll start on the bench, where he'll watch Wall become the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Which is fine, if he's OK with it.

But if he's not, then he's being delusional.
Posted on: May 6, 2009 12:40 am
Edited on: May 6, 2009 12:56 am

Sources: Bledsoe plans to sign with Kentucky

Eric Bledsoe plans to announce at a Wednesday press conference that he is signing with Kentucky instead of Memphis, sources involved in the recruitment told on Tuesday.

Attempts to reach Bledsoe for confirmation were unsuccessful.

His press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET.

Bledsoe is a five-star prospect from Alabama many believe is the best point guard in the Class of 2009 not named John Wall. There are some questions about whether Bledsoe will become eligible to compete as a freshman because of academics. But under the assumption that he is ultimately cleared, this development ensures John Calipari will open his first season at UK with at least one competent point guard to play beside DeMarcus Cousins, Darnell Dodson and perhaps Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson (both of whom could withdraw from the NBA Draft).

Of course, Bledsoe could also quickly turn into a back-up.

The reason is because Kentucky is considered the leader to land Wall -- the projected No. 1 pick of the 2010 NBA Draft whose presence would allow Calipari to operate with a one-and-done lottery pick at point guard for the third consecutive year. There is still no timetable on an announcement from Wall, and his recruitment could drag well into May. But if Calipari gets him -- and again, almost everybody believes he will -- then UK could have a best-case-scenario line-up that looks like this:

G: John Wall
G: Jodie Meeks
G: Darnell Dodson
F: Patrick Patterson
F: DeMarcus Cousins

Key reserves: Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton, DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller, Jon Hood, Perry Stevenson

Simply put, that roster would be favored to win the SEC.

It would likely have Kentucky in the top five of most preseason polls.
Posted on: May 4, 2009 11:01 am
Edited on: May 4, 2009 12:34 pm

Report: Wall charged with breaking and entering

John Wall, the nation's top-rated point guard who remains uncommitted, was been cited for breaking an entering by the Raleigh Police Department, WRAL out of Raleigh reported Monday morning.

The station reported that Wall was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering in connection with an April 27 break-in at a home at 3924 Laurel Glen Drive in Raleigh. According to WRAL, an officer saw Wall leaving from the rear of the residence and was able to detain him. Two others were also charged -- one while walking along a nearby street, another when he returned to the residence.

How or if this will affect Wall's recruitment is unclear.

He is still publicly considering a number of schools -- among them Kentucky, Duke and Florida.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 29, 2009 10:10 am

Two former UK assistants already hired elsewhere

When the coaching carousel slows people tend to focus on the head coaches who were fired and feel badly for them, failing to realize those guys typically walk with substantial buyouts that provide a cushion. Most assistants aren't so lucky; when their bosses are fired they are almost always fired too, but they rarely have a notable financial cushion -- meaning their termination can be as difficult to endure as when a normal person loses their normal job, which is why it's always interesting to see which assistants land where, or if they land at all.

I say all that to say this: Two of Billy Gillispie's former assistants have already found new homes.

As reported weeks ago, Glynn Cyprien has joined Josh Pastner's staff at Memphis, and now -- as of Tuesday -- Tracy Webster has joined Jerry Wainwright's staff at DePaul, leaving Jeremy Cox as the lone Gillispie assistant still looking for work. Webster's hiring filled one of three openings on Wainwright's staff. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that former DePaul star David Booth (currently a scout with the Memphis Grizzlies) is a candidate to fill one of the remaining openings.
Category: NCAAB
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