Thank God the circus is over.
Slam magazine is reporting that John Wall will sign a letter of intent to play basketball for John Calipari at the University of Kentucky.
Considered the best point guard prospect in the country, Wall went to three different high schools in five years in the Triangle. He exploded onto the national recruiting scene two summers ago at a camp in Philadelphia.
He was first pursued by the Wolfpack, then Duke joined the fray and even UNC’s Roy Williams made a late call to Wall during the Final Four. Instead of staying home, Wall apparently went with Calipari.
This would be the second time in three years Duke has lost out on a top-flight recruit, late in the signing process, to Kentucky (forward Patrick Patterson in ’07).
This is good for the Cliftons, Wall’s family, John Calipari and most definitely the folks at Nike. I am not sure that this is bad thing for NC State. (Of course, had Lee Fowler and Jim Oblinger not found a way to *#$#-up the hiring of John Calipari three years ago then Calipari would have probably already secured Wall’s commitment to play at NC State. But, nothing is surprising with our ‘leaders’. Oh…what could have been)
In fact, you will get NO complaints from us about missing on Wall. Heck, with all of the shenanigans and ‘smoke’ surrounding Wall’s recruitment it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that Carolina and Duke would have friggin paid Wall to come to State just so that we could end up back on NCAA probation.
Coach Lowe and staff gave it their best shot and appeared to back away from the youngster in recent weeks/months. Don’t misinterpret that statement – we would have surely taken Wall’s commitment, but there was no reason to spend time and resources stroking this kid – and his entourage’s egos. I think Coach Lowe handled it in the best way possible.
And, I hope that John Wall (and any other local college talent who is not tracking to play at NC State) are not allowed on campus or allowed to participate in pick-up games with our players in our facilities. People who are not a part of NC State, should not get the benefits that NC State offers. Go play at the YMCA if you aren’t running with the Pack.
IMHO, NC State’s program is not currently in a place to have effectively managed John Wall. Had Wall and all of his local influences landed in Raleigh then Coach Lowe’s Wolfpack would have run a tremendous risk of dealing with long term chemistry issues for a phenomenally limited short term gain.
In the end, Kentucky was probably the best fit for Wall and his services. Calipari has shown an ability to succeed on the court while generally controlling kids of Wall’s ilk off the court. Calipari, Coach K, Roy Williams have the credibility and the stature to ‘own’ their programs and know how to both control egomaniacs while demanding things of them. Quite frankly, Coach Lowe and NC State are not yet at that point. ‘Hosting’ Wall for a year was a much bigger gamble than many wanted to publically admit.
This is the link to Scout.com’s article.
Well, the name on the jersey has changed and Calipari switched locations but he’s going to get to coach Wall.
“It was a great job he did the last two years with his guards,” Wall told Scout.com. “I think my relationship with Coach Cal pushed them over. The other coaches did a great job but that relationship got them over.”
By the way…if John Wall doesn’t get some academic items in order, he won’t be playing college basketball for anyone.