Posted on: September 17, 2008 11:12 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2008 11:13 pm
Another consensus Top 25 prospect was taken off the board Wednesday when Avery Bradley committed to Texas.
According to Scout.com, the 6-foot-2 shooting guard chose the Longhorns over UCLA. He was ranked as the 10th-best recruit in the Class of 2009 after dominating the summer circuit, particularly at the Nike Global Challenge where he shared MVP honors with AAU teammate Abdul Gaddy.
Earlier Wednesday, Tyler Honeycutt (ranked 21st in the Class of 2009 by Scout.com) committed to UCLA. That means 16 of the top 30 prospects at Scout.com have now pledged their allegiance to a specific school, though four of the top five in the class -- Derrick Favors, John Wall, Xavier Henry and Renardo Sidney -- remain uncommitted as the November signing period approaches.
Posted on: August 13, 2008 6:43 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2008 6:44 pm
It's been out there for a while but is now finally official: The 14th annual Jimmy V Classic -- scheduled for Dec. 9 at New York's Madison Square Garden -- will be a doubleheader featuring Davidson vs. West Virginia and Villanova vs. Texas.
That's two teams (Villanova and Texas) ranked in the Ridiculously Early But Still Kind of Fun Preseason Top 25 (and one), and another two (Davidson and West Virginia) that were on the verge of making the cut. In other words, it's a solid field that will provide an opportunity to see several All-American caliber guards like Stephen Curry (Davidson), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova) and A.J. Abrams (Texas) plus one of the great incoming freshmen, namely Devin Ebanks (West Virginia).
And would you believe it's less than four months away?
And that the season is only three months away?
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 18, 2008 3:23 pm
The University of Texas announced Friday it will retire Kevin Durant's No. 35 at a ceremony this season.
So that didn't take long, did it?
But the truth is that it shouldn't have taken long, and I've never understood why schools tend to wait years and years to honor a player who will most certainly be honored someday. I mean, regardless of whether it's 2008, 2018 or 2028, Durant's one season at Texas will forever be one of the greatest seasons of any freshman in college basketball history. Thus, his jersey should be treated that way. So credit UT officials for making it happen while Durant's greatness is still fresh in people's memories.
“I’ve never been one to pay attention to individual honors, as I take more pride in team success," Durant said in a statement. "But this is definitely an honor that really is special to me and my family. The University of Texas means so much to me. To be able to return to Austin and see my jersey hanging up in the Erwin Center, a place that I will always call home, is unbelievable. I feel truly blessed.”
Posted on: July 6, 2008 8:38 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2008 8:40 pm
AKRON, Ohio -- The word in recruiting circles was that Xavier Henry planned to announce his college destination this week at the LeBron James Skills Academy, and I'm here to report that the word was indeed true. Henry absolutely planned to announce his decision. But those plans have since changed and Henry has actually expanded his list of possible schools.
"I was going to make an announcement this week about where I'm going to college, but then I found out I'm still not sure," Henry, the best player at this camp, told me Sunday in between games. "I talked it over with my mom and dad and now I'm not really sure where I want to go."
Henry was down to Kansas and Memphis, and he's visited both schools. He said the new plan is to finish the summer circuit and then visit Texas and UCLA before making a decision between those four programs, though sources still insist it'll likely come down to Kansas and Memphis -- just like last season's national title game -- which is why Bill Self and assistant Joe Dooley were in the stands watching Henry on Sunday right beside John Calipari and assistant Josh Pastner. The four coaches actually sat together and talked throughout, all while hoping they can edge their counterparts for a 6-foot-6 guard capable of leading either school to the 2010 Final Four.
Posted on: April 23, 2008 4:42 pm
Had D.J. Augustin returned to Texas the Longhorns would've been a serious candidate for preseason No. 1.
Without him, they are much less serious.
Which is why Wednesday's announcement that Augustin will forgo his final two years of college is crushing news to Rick Barnes, because no other program should take this big of a hit from a single perceived on-the-fence prospect this offseason. If North Carolina just loses one underclassman, it'll still be great. Same would've gone for Memphis or Kansas or UCLA. But Texas is the one program that couldn't afford to lose one specific guy because though Connor Atchley Damion James, Justin Mason, Gary Johnson and A.J. Abrams (yes, I believe he'll be back in school regardless of him 'declaring' for the NBA Draft) provide a nice nucleus, Texas will now be forced to play without its All-America point guard despite having no experienced (or attractive) alternative.
So yeah, this one hurt.
But it's difficult to blame Augustin for making the jump now.
He's been a fabulous two-year player, and as long as he's selected in the first round he'll be guaranteed to earn no less than $1.65 million over the next two years. In real-world terms, it'll take somebody who makes $50,000 per year 33 years to secure that same amount of money. So in that respect, Augustin's decision is a logical one, and now Texas is left to figure out how to get the ball up the court without him.
Posted on: April 18, 2008 2:43 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2008 6:42 pm
None of the North Carolina stars seem ready to make a decision about their future.
Thus, we wait.
But for those keeping count, there are now really just four schools whose national title hopes hinge on a yet-to-be-made decision by an underclassman. They are North Carolina (Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Tyler Hansbrough), Texas (D.J. Augustin), Connecticut (Hasheem Thabeet) and Tennessee (Tyler Smith). If things were to break correctly for those teams -- which is to say, if their players return for another season -- any of them would be a legitimate national title contender. If not -- which is to say, if their players enter the NBA Draft -- any of them would be damaged considerably.
So how will it play out?
Any guess is a reasonable guess on Lawson, Ellington and Hansbrough. They could all go, all stay or some combination of the three could go or stay, meaning there is no simple answer with the Tar Heels. It's likely nobody will know anything until next week. But if they all happen to return, you can go ahead and slot UNC as the preseason No. 1 in every relevant poll.
Moving on, it seems the smart money has Augustin and Thabeet entering with Augustin the most likely of that duo to return (though most believe he's absolutely leaning towards at least testing the waters). And if I had to pick one player from this entire list who I think will return it would be Smith, a 6-foot-7 forward who seems to get pushed down the board every time some other underclassman declares. Smith is aware of this, I'm told. So don't be surprised if he opts for another season at Tennessee, where he could team with McDonald's All-American Scotty Hopson to make the Vols the SEC favorites for the second straight year.
The deadline to enter the draft is April 27.
Posted on: March 16, 2008 3:16 pm
Edited on: March 16, 2008 3:17 pm
North Carolina's win over Clemson in the ACC final means we now know three of our four No. 1 seeds.
UNC, Memphis and UCLA are locks at the top.
The fourth No. 1 seed will go to either Tennessee, Texas or Kansas.
My opinion: If Texas beats Kansas in the Big 12 final the Longhorns should get a No. 1 seed. But if Kansas beats Texas then the final No. 1 seed should go to Tennessee because the Jayhawks' body of work (7-2 record against the Top 50), while impressive, simply doesn't match that of Tennessee (11-3 record against the Top 50) or Texas (11-3 record against the Top 50).