Tag:Oklahoma State
Posted on: August 9, 2008 8:16 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2008 10:28 pm

Wall breaks (somebody else's) recruiting news

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

It's the other Clifton, stupid

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

John Wall's coach denies interest in college jobs

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.

Anyway, Wall's list of potential schools remains long.

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.

"I haven't had a discussion with anyone at any point about being on anybody's staff," Clifton said. "I enjoy what I do and we've got a program that really turned the corner this year, and we've got some great young players lined up. I'm spearheading that program and doing everything necessary to help our guys as a team and as individuals get to where they need to be, and I'm very, very comfortable doing that."

"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).

Posted on: July 15, 2008 11:29 pm

Sutton's name is gonna be smaller

First Oklahoma State pushed Sean Sutton out after just two years on the job.

Now they've downsized his Daddy's name on the court.

And my guess is the next move is to have the entire family move out of the state, Scott included. I'm kidding, of course, but it's no secret power broker T. Boone Pickens (and by extension athletic director Mike Holder) do not have a great relationship with the Sutton family, which is why I'm sure they're not too bothered by the fact that the winning bid for the new court -- selected by fans using an online poll -- has a reduced replica of Eddie Sutton's signature that stretched across the old court ... although it seems they still might not have gotten what they wanted, i.e., a court without Sutton's signature.

To back this point I'll tell you that only three of the eight designs under consideration featured Sutton's signature.

How is that possible considering the freaking thing is officially named Eddie Sutton Court?

Anyway, here are links to the old court and new court.

So you can see the difference for yourself.

Posted on: April 15, 2008 1:42 pm

And then there were two ...

Providence's hiring of Keno Davis means there are now just two BCS-affiliated jobs open.

1. Oklahoma State

2. Stanford

Put another way, the coaching carousel is nearing a stop, and the two schools' athletic directors -- OSU's Mike Holder and Stanford's Bob Bowlsby -- are under a tremendous amount of pressure to make a great hire, though for completely different reasons.

Holder has to make a nice hire because he opted to remove Sean Sutton, a controversial move given how it came after just two seasons and alienated the school from the Sutton family. It's one thing to do that to get Bill Self, quite another to do it just to do it. Meantime, Bowlsby is in a tougher spot. By any measuring stick he completely misjudged his situation with Trent Johnson, let the coach's contract dwindle to one year  and -- for lack of a better phrase -- pissed off Johnson to the point where he felt obligated to accept an offer from LSU. How that happens to a man who just made three NCAA tournaments in four years, I'll never know. But it happened to Johnson, and if Bowlsby can't find a suitable replacement he'll be forever ridiculed for running off a good coach and failing to find another.

Either way, college basketball is getting close to calming down.

That's my favorite part.

With any luck, everything will be done by the  end of the week, if not sooner.
Posted on: April 11, 2008 12:16 am

Tony Bennett must hate money or something

Everybody knew Oklahoma State officials would put big money on the table for Bill Self. And they did. But it appears the school is also willing to pay top-dollar for a high-profile coach even if said high-profile coach is not named Self, and one direction OSU has already looked is towards Washington State's Tony Bennett.

Three different sources told CBSSports.com late Thursday that either an Oklahoma State official or someone speaking on behalf of an Oklahoma State official reached out to Bennett before Self formally rejected OSU's offer and promised the school could make Bennett among the highest-paid coaches in the nation if he was interested in talking if/once Self opted to remain at Kansas. According to the sources, Bennett rejected the overtures almost immediately and reiterated that he plans to continue coaching at Washington State.

So it's official, isn't it?

Tony Bennett is one content SOB.

And now the attention is back on Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder, who seems set on making a splash with this hire thanks to the money booster T. Boone Pickens can provide. Some notable possibilities bouncing around basketball circles are Southern California's Tim Floyd, Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings and Memphis' John Calipari -- though it's unclear whether any of those coaches would actually jump from the good positions they currently hold. Among the more realistic possibilities being mentioned are Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery and VCU's Anthony Grant, the latter of whom one source believes will ultimately make the most sense.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com