Posted on: March 9, 2009 11:50 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2009 2:01 am

Wall calls Memphis his leader

John Calipari has claimed he wants to someday produce an undefeated season culminating with a national title.

He might have a realistic opportunity on tap.

"I think Memphis is in the lead right now," John Wall, the nation's top point guard, told Scout.com's Evan Daniels on Monday night. "I think Memphis has been in the lead for a while."

Obviously, this could all change.

Baylor or Kansas or Miami could be Wall's "leader" tomorrow.

But Wall labeling Memphis his "leader" a day after DeMarcus Cousins committed to the Tigers qualifies as a news worthy development, because -- considering Xavier Henry has already signed with the Tigers -- it now appears likely that Calipari will have three top six recruits on his roster next season, specifically the nation's No. 1 point guard (Wall), No. 1 shooting guard (Henry) and No. 2 center (Cousins). In recent history, that sort of trio would compare favorably to Ohio State's 2006 class featuring the No. 4 point guard (Mike Conley), No. 2 shooting guard (Daequan Cook) and No. 1 center (Greg Oden), or North Carolina's 2006 class featuring the No. 1 point guard (Ty Lawson), No. 1 shooting guard (Wayne Ellington) and No. 1 power forward (Brandan Wright).

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 29, 2008 11:54 am

Wall sets visits to four schools

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

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 31, 2008 7:12 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2008 1:09 am

Memphis could be out of Wall/Gaddy sweepstakes

Thursday was a bad day for Memphis.

First, Baylor hired John Wall's AAU coach, Dwon Clifton, meaning the nation's No. 1 point guard will soon commit to the Bears -- and not Memphis -- barring some major surprise. If that wasn't bad enough, the school then had to report an apparent NCAA violation because FedEx Express president and CEO David Bronczek placed a phone call earlier this month to Oseye Gaddy, a FedEx customer service representative who works in Tacoma, Wash., and just so happens to be the mother of Abdul Gaddy, the nation's No. 2 point guard.

According to the NCAA, that's a no-no because Bronczek is considered a Memphis booster and boosters are not allowed to contact recruits or the family of recruits to talk basketball, which Bronczek did. Consequently, it's possible Memphis will be forced to cease its recruitment of Gaddy, per the NCAA rulebook. So that means Memphis might've lost the No. 1 and No. 2 point guards in the country in a matter of hours Thursday, which was bad news for everybody related to the UofM program.

Except veteran point guard Willie Kemp, of course.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 31, 2008 4:26 pm

Baylor hires John Wall's AAU coach

It appears Baylor will land the No. 1 basketball recruit in the country.

D-One Sports coach Brian Clifton told CBSSports.com on Thursday that Baylor has hired his brother and assistant, Dwon Clifton, as its director of player development. On the surface, it's a meaningless transaction. But given that the Cliftons coach elite point guard John Wall, sources have indicated this transaction will lead to Baylor gaining a commitment from the Class of 2009's top prospect, and sooner rather than later.

"After receiving offers from several schools in the Big 12 and many other conferences, Dwon has decided to accept a coaching position at Baylor University," Brian Clifton said via text message. "Dwon will rejoin his former collegiate coach Matt Driscoll as a member of the Bears staff."

Driscoll was an assistant for Larry Shyatt at Clemson when Dwon Clifton played there earlier this decade, but that's barely crucial to the equation. The key to this development is Clifton's relationship with Wall, a quick and fast and dominant point guard who was spectacular in the Reebok Summer Championships last week in Las Vegas while leading D-One Sports to a runners-up finish.

Officially, Wall is still considering Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Oregon, North Carolina State, Southern California and Texas in addition to Baylor. But that list should be dwindled to one in the coming weeks as the Clifton hiring precipitates Wall's imminent commitment to the Bears
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com