Posted on: January 15, 2010 11:58 am
Here's Friday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Time for a recruiting update and what your crystal ball is telling you about some of the top recruits. I remember last year when you did your projections on where some of the top recruits would be going. It kills me to say, on most accounts, you were spot on. Xavier Henry, John Wall, etc. Yeah I gave you credit for Henry to Memphis (even though he ended up at Kansas when John Calipari left for Kentucky). Let's get an update, please? Your opinion is always valued, regardless of what the no life trolls on the boards have to say.
For now, let's just focus on the two best prospects still on the board -- Brandon Knight and Josh Selby.
One will go to Kentucky, the other to Kansas.
It could go either way.
But with Tyler Smith's gun to my head, I'd say the most likely scenario is Knight to Kentucky, Selby to Kansas.
Posted on: September 28, 2009 9:07 am
Edited on: September 28, 2009 9:12 am
There were some significant recruiting developments this weekend.
Here are some of them:
Irving visits Duke: Kyrie Irving, ranked fifth in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com, visited Duke, then Tweeted about it. "Duke official was great! I enjoyed every single second," he wrote. "Everything there fits me and is right for me...you never know what will happen ." Duke has long been considered the favorite to land Irving, a 6-foot-1 point guard from New Jersey. Still, Texas A&M is among the schools hanging around, primarily because Aggie assistant Scott Spinelli was college roommates with Irving's father, Drederick Irving.
Selby narrows list: Josh Selby, famous for decommitting from Tennessee in July, has narrowed his list of potential schools to six, and UT is not one of them. The final six are Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Baylor, Miami and Syracuse. All indications are that Selby -- a combo guard ranked 14th in the Class of 2010 by MaxPreps.com -- will make a final decision in the Spring.
Jones narrows list: Class of 2010 standout Terrence Jones trimmed his list of potential schools to seven -- specifically Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon. MaxPreps.com ranks Jones as the No. 12 prospect in the Class of 2010.
USC gains fifth Class of 2010 pledge: Kevin O'Neill accepted a commitment from Maurice Jones, according to Scout.com's Evan Daniels. Jones is a 5-7 point guard who reportedly averaged 28 points and 13 assists last season in high school. He's the fifth Class of 2010 prospect to commit to USC despite an ongoing NCAA investigation.
Posted on: August 13, 2009 7:59 pm
LOS ANGELES -- Josh Selby spent Thursday visiting Connecticut, according to Scout.com's Dave Telep.
Selby is the elite prospect who garnered national attention last month when he decommitted from Tennessee under controversial circumstances . This is his first unofficial visit since re-opening his recruitment. MaxPreps.com ranks Selby as the 14th-best prospect in the Class of 2010. Scout.com has him 10th, Rivals.com has him seventh and the National Hoops Report has him 19th.
Posted on: July 22, 2009 11:53 pm
LAS VEGAS -- Josh Selby came out dunking.
And then he dunked again.
And then again.
And it became pretty clear pretty quickly why his decommitment from Tennessee is considered a big deal in recruiting circles. Simply put, the 6-foot-3 point guard is a special talent -- just a unique combination of size, strength, speed and toughness, all of which made Bill Self (Kansas), John Calipari (Kentucky), Jim Calhoun (Connecticut), Billy Donovan (Florida), Josh Pastner (Memphis) and Rick Stansbury (Mississippi State) drive to a small high school auxiliary gym in the middle of a painfully hot July afternoon.
They were each there Wednesday (as were assistants from Louisville and Tennessee). What they witnessed was Selby's initial game since reopening his recruitment, and it was a dominant performance against an obviously overmatched team on the first day of the Adidas Super 64 -- one of four major summer tournaments being held this week in Las Vegas.
Selby spoke about his decommitment after the win.
He said it wasn't his decision as much as it was a "family decision."
"We just want to make sure that Tennessee is the right fit," Selby said. "It might not be."
Selby said Calipari, Calhoun, Self and Ohio State's Thad Matta have each called his mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, since word of his decommitment surfaced Sunday. Still, the consensus top 10 national recruit described himself as "wide-open" and declined to offer a list of potential destinations, although it should be noted that multiple industry sources have labeled Kentucky the leader.
The main reason, it seems, is because Witherspoon acknowledged to CBSSports.com that she met with Calipari's close friend William Wesley during the LeBron James Skills Academy earlier this month, roughly two weeks before Selby decommitted from Tennessee. In fairness, Witherspoon has downplayed the significance of the meeting and insisted that it had nothing to do with the decommitment. But most coaches familiar with the business of recruiting are skeptical that this is all just a big coincidence. And then there's Tennessee assistant Tony Jones, who supplied a vague but telling quote to the Knoxville News Sentinel .
"I'm not going to comment on any specific player, because I am not allowed to do that," Jones told the paper. "I'll just say something smells right now."
On Wednesday, Selby was asked specifically about Wesley.
"I've never met him," Selby said. "I don't know who he is."
Posted on: July 22, 2009 3:25 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2009 3:28 pm
LAS VEGAS -- Whether I was at the Villa 7 Consortium at the Venetian on Tuesday night or a gym around town this morning, pretty much all any coach wants to talk about is Josh Selby's decommitment from Tennessee and the circumstances surrounding it. As I reported Sunday , Selby ended a 10-month commitment to the Vols this weekend -- less than two weeks after attending the Nike-funded LeBron James Skills Academy and King City Classic, where his mother told me she met with basketball powerbroker William Wesley .
As you probably know, Wesley -- more commonly referred to as "Worldwide Wes" or "Fresh Wes" or simply "Wes" -- has long been unofficially tied to Nike Basketball and certain prospects, most notably Dajuan Wagner, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, all of whom played for John Calipari at Memphis.
Now Calipari is at Kentucky.
And industry sources believe UK is the new leader for Selby.
And, well, you know.
"That kid was committed to Tennessee for almost a year, then he goes to a Nike event, the mom talks with Wes, the kid decommits from an 'Adidas' school, and now he's looking at Kentucky," said one high-major coach, noting the timeline of the developments as well as UT's apparel contract with Adidas. "Come on, man. That's messed up. I mean, that's just messed up."
Bruce Pearl has spent his four years at Tennessee rubbing a good portion of the coaching community the wrong way, and yet across the board people appear sympathetic toward him and the rest of UT 's staff in light of Selby's decommitment. Regardless of what's real and what isn't, seemingly everybody in the coaching profession believes Wesley influenced Selby's decision, and Selby's mother publicly acknowledging she met with Wesley before her son decommitted has only enhanced that perception.
Either way, it's the talk of Vegas, I assure you.
And it'll be interesting to see which coaches are at El Dorado High today at 5:20 p.m. ET when Selby plays his opening game with the Baltimore Assault in the Adidas Super 64. I'm unfamiliar with the Assault's roster and the team they're playing (Team Credo). But one college coach told me Selby will be the only high-major prospect on the court, meaning any high-major coach in the building will be in the building to see Selby.
I'll let you know what I see when I see it.
Posted on: July 19, 2009 4:06 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2009 4:14 pm
So which schools are now in play for former Tennessee recruit Josh Selby?
"We're just going to get together as a family and figure it out," Selby's mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, told CBSSports.com by phone on Sunday. "Right now we don't even know. We haven't compiled a list or anything."
Still, industry sources told CBSSports.com two schools that will almost certainly be involved are Kentucky and Oregon -- both of which have obvious connections to William Wesley, a major person of influence in the sport. Wesley (more commonly known as "Worldwide Wes" or simply as "Wes") has a close and very public relationship with Kentucky coach John Calipari, Oregon assistant Kenny Payne, and Nike Basketball.
Kentucky and Oregon are both Nike schools.
Tennessee is an Adidas school.
When asked, Witherspoon acknowledged meeting Wesley at the LeBron James Skills Academy/King City Classic events in Akron/Cleveland earlier this month. But she discounted the significance of that encounter and emphasized that this is merely a case of her son committing too early.
Selby, a consensus top 10 national recruit in the Class of 2010, committed to UT last September.
"I met Wes, but we really didn't talk; that's not a connection like everybody thinks," Witherspoon said. "It's just that we only looked at one other school before we committed to Tennessee, and it was Louisville. It was a fast decision because we were so overwhelmed with the atmosphere at Tennessee [during a visit for the UT-Florida football game], and we just want to make sure it's right. Tennessee is still an option. It's up to Tennessee if they still want to recruit him. But on our list, Tennessee is still an option."
There is speculation that Memphis might also be involved because Selby's cousins -- Will and Antonio Barton -- have committed to the Tigers, but sources told CBSSports.com that the relationship between the cousins isn't as strong as most believe. In fact, Selby didn't even really know the Bartons until they were around 9 years-old, one source said. Another source added that if it wasn't for basketball there would be little-to-no relationship between the cousins because the connection is on Selby's father's side, and Selby has been primarily raised by his mother.
Posted on: July 19, 2009 12:20 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2009 12:27 pm
Turns out, this really isn't an ideal time for Bruce Pearl to be in Israel.
"I ... just decommitted from Tennessee," Josh Selby, a top 10 national recruit, announced to the world via his Facebook page this weekend. A source close to Selby confirmed to CBSSports.com that the "status update" is legitimate. The source said Selby's mother informed the Tennessee staff of her son's decision early Sunday.
Selby had been committed to UT since last September, but rumors about a possible decommitment began circulating earlier this month at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Asked about the speculation by CBSSports.com on July 7, Selby acknowledged that people were "trying to get him to decommit" but swore "it's not going to happen."
Apparently, that wasn't true.
Selby has now decommitted and changed his cell phone number.
Meantime, Pearl remains in Israel as Team USA's coach in the Maccabiah Games; he isn't scheduled to return to the United States until the middle of this week. CBSSports.com spoke to Pearl by phone late Thursday . When asked about the possibility of rivals using his absence on the recruiting trail against him, Pearl responded, "It happens, and it's just the way it is. It's part of it."
Posted on: September 20, 2008 10:14 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2008 12:04 pm
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A bad football day still resulted in a good basketball day for Tennessee thanks to the Vols, according to sources, picking up commitments from Class of 2010 standouts Josh Selby and Jordan McRae.
Both are considered top 30 prospects.
"Yeah, I have committed," Selby told CBSSports.com by phone late Saturday while he was on his unofficial visit to the school. "It just feels comfortable, like another home."
Selby, a combo guard, is rated as the seventh-best prospect in his class by Rivals.com.
McRae, a shooting guard, is rated as the 28th-best prospect in his class by Rivals.com.