Posted on: October 22, 2009 7:34 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2009 10:20 pm
Kentucky freshman John Wall is facing eligibility issues because of his relationship with Brian Clifton, ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil and Pat Forde reported Thursday. According to the story, UK officials are "working feverishly" to clarify the situation, which stems from the fact that Clifton was a certified agent while also coaching Wall's summer league team.
CBSSports.com reported Clifton's background as an agent in August 2008.
He was the point man in Wall's recruitment.
CBSSports.com could not immediately reach UK coach John Calipari for comment. But a source familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com that Kentucky officials are confident the most likely scenario has Wall repaying an undetermined amount of money (for expenses Clifton incurred while accompanying Wall on unofficial visits) and possibly missing "a few games, maybe three or four." Kentucky's first four games are against Morehead State, Miami-Ohio, Sam Houston State and Rider. The Wildcats won't play a team ranked in the preseason Top 25 (and one) until they face No. 5 North Carolina on Dec. 5.
CBSSports.com tabbed Wall as its "Preseason National Player of the Year" earlier this month.
He is expected to be the No. 1 pick in next June's NBA Draft.
Posted on: August 29, 2008 11:54 am
It looks like Baylor is gonna have to sweat this out.
Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com is reporting that John Wall, the nation's No. 1 recruit, has set four official visits -- to Memphis (Sept. 12), Kansas (Sept. 19), Oregon (Oct. 3) and Kentucky (likely Oct. 10). Surely, a trip to Baylor will come at some point. But the hope Scott Drew had that his hiring of Dwon Clifton, Wall's AAU coach, would secure a quick commitment from the elite point guard seems to have faded away.
"Baylor's situation in hiring Dwon gives John a comfort level that doesn't exist anywhere else," Brian Clifton, Wall's other AAU coach and Dwon Clifton's brother told Meyer. "But there are some schools that John is interested in because of style of play or the incoming recruiting class. Those factors and others might have as much to do with where John goes to school as anything. ... If he wants to go to Baylor or if he wants to go to Memphis, he is going to do what he thinks is best for himself. Dwon did what was best for himself, and that does have some impact on John because his comfort level is the most important factor. But it doesn't obligate John to go to Baylor."
Posted on: August 9, 2008 8:16 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2008 10:28 pm
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- John Wall finally announced a college decision Saturday afternoon.
No, it wasn't his decision, silly.
It was Jordan Hamilton's.
"I think he's going to Texas," Wall said. "I think that's where he's going."
So that's the (somewhat) big news coming out of the Nike Global Challenge, a three-day event here in the shadows of Nike's headquarters featuring three teams from the United States competing against squads from Senegal, Serbia, Canada, Puerto Rico and Lithuania. After Wall got 11 points, five assists and six steals in 23 minutes to lead his team to an 86-72 win over Puerto Rico, he disclosed Hamilton's future college -- though Hamilton is yet to confirm, it's worth noting -- and then made time to discuss his own roller-coaster ride of a recruitment with great candor.
A 6-foot-3 point guard, Wall has been thrust into the spotlight recently for three reasons:
1. He's the No. 1 prospect in America.
2. Baylor just hired one of his AAU coaches, Dwon Clifton, to be its director of player development.
3. His other AAU coach, Brian Clifton, is a former licensed sports agent, as CBSSports.com reported Friday.
Those developments have put Wall in the position of having multiple fan bases -- and to a lesser degree the entire recruiting world -- hang on his every move. It's strange, he admitted, particularly considering that this time two years ago he was a mostly unknown commodity outside of his home state of North Carolina.
"It's been kinda hard," Wall said. "But when you get on the basketball court you just have to block it out."
As for his recruitment, Wall acknowledged Baylor's hiring of Dwon Clifton matters.
Big surprise, huh?
"It might give them a little edge because (Dwon has) helped me out a lot," Wall said. "He's my AAU coach. He talked me through a lot and worked me out and things like that. I feel like all the schools are the same. But (Dwon) gave (Baylor) a little bit of an edge."
So there you go, Baylor fans.
You have the edge.
But the bad news for the Bears is that Wall said he's not ready to commit and that he will take official visits.
"I think I'll visit Memphis, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kansas and Kentucky," he said. "And I was talking to Jordan Hamilton and he asked me if I'd put (Texas) back into the mix. So I think I'm gonna give them a look, too. ... But I don't have a timetable (on a decision). ... It could be right before basketball season or during basketball season. It could be anytime."
In other words, stay tuned.
Posted on: July 28, 2008 7:44 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2008 7:48 pm
OK, I'm an idiot.
I called Brian Clifton Sunday night to talk to him about a few things, among them the rumor that he is a candidate to join Travis Ford's staff at Oklahoma State provided he can bring his heralded point guard, John Wall, along with him. Clifton denied being interested in any job, and the guy sounded believable. I think he was telling the truth. But the problem is that I had the rumor slightly wrong.
It's apparently not Brian Clifton who might join Ford's staff.
It's Dwon Clifton, Brian's younger brother who assists him with the D-One Sports summer program for which Wall plays.
Anyway, I sent Brian a text earlier to re-ask the same question a little differently, ask whether his brother was as uninterested in joining a college staff as he seems to be. At this moment, I still haven't heard back. But when I do, I'll let you know.
Posted on: July 28, 2008 2:43 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2008 2:46 pm
I spent last week in Las Vegas watching the best high school prospects in the country compete in three summer tournaments, and I I've now seen every elite recruit in the country at least once. Of the group, I think John Wall, a point guard from North Carolina, is my favorite. And though I'm not ready to make the Derrick Rose comparison so many are throwing out, what I can tell you is that Wall is similar to Rose in that, at 6-foot-3, he's physically dominant for his position, which is something most of the greats possess.
According to Brian Clifton, Wall's summer coach, the list includes Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Oregon, North Carolina State, Southern California and Texas. Clifton declined to name a leader. But according to most industry sources, Oklahoma State is considered the favorite to land Wall primarily because there are whispers that Travis Ford is willing to hire Clifton in some capacity, whispers that have grown louder in recent weeks because, as Andre Cohen from The Oklahoman recently pointed out, Ford still has two spots to fill on his coaching staff.
Naturally, I asked Clifton about this Sunday night.
For what it's worth, he categorically denied he's on his way to being a college assistant.
"We've been approached different ways by different schools," Clifton acknowledged. "But we're not really open to that."
Rivals.com ranks Wall as the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2009. His D-One Sports team made it to the title game of the Reebok Summer Championships in Las Vegas this weekend before losing to Team Breakdown (which was led by Kenny Boynton and Brandon Knight).