It’s Final Four Saturday, but that doesn’t stop ‘Cat fans from keeping Kentucky Basketball first in mind. With that said, I think this weekend will be pretty dry when it comes to hard news, but here’s what I’m hearing this morning:
-Big recruiting news on Thursday night was that North Carolina head coach Roy took a break from the festivities in Detroit (or maybe from rolling the dice with Ty Lawson) to give top-ranked point guard John Wall a call. Much speculation followed, as it seemed UNC was back in the race for Wall. Wall says “not so fast”:
“It wasn’t anything major,” Wall said. “He just called to check in, see how I was doing, what was going on. It’s nothing big.
“North Carolina is not recruiting me right now.”
Wall is a North Carolina kid, so I guess it makes some sense that he would get a call from the coach of the UNC coach…it’s still strange though. Now, at least, it seems that UK still only needs to beat out Duke, Kansas, Baylor, NC State, and Miami for his services.
-A quick follow-up on Coach Cal’s first practice with his new team: I’ve read in a couple different places that the players had a blast getting started. The players were loving the style, and it won’t be long before we’re loving it too. There’s no word on how individual player meetings went yesterday, and while personnel changes could still be on the way, the guys have to feel like the program is headed the right way.
-Former UK coach Tubby Smith was at a news conference for the NABC and was asked by a reported to defend the big contract that new UK coach John Calipari had just signed:
“I can tell you they love their basketball in Kentucky,” Smith said. “It’s something special.”
Smith, the outgoing NABC president, said he was happy for Calipari and had no problem with the deal, but he added one qualifier.
“As long as we keep in mind why we’re in the business: to help young people, to educate young people, give them [guidance],” he said. “… Some of the most influential people in my life have been coaches [and] teachers. I think that’s the impact that coaches have. … You can’t put it in terms of monetary value.”
There’s never been any doubt that Coach Smith is as classy as they come. I still hope UK schedules a home and home with Minnesota sometime in the next few years so we can put Tubby’s name up in the rafters alongside Rupp, Hall, and Pitino, because he deserves it.
-The one Billy Gillispie commitment from 2010 and beyond that Calipari really wanted to keep was Dominique Ferguson. However, Ferguson has decided to reopen his recruitment . You can be assured that Calipari is still going to recruit Dominique, but he will now consider schools like Indiana and Louisville. Ferguson’s dad had this to say about the decision:
“Calipari is a great coach and he could fit into that system and excel,” Deon Ferguson told The Courier-Journal. “Now, he has to recruit him. Just because he’s the coach there doesn’t mean he just has to go there. He’s going to look at other options.”
-The last man standing among Gillispie commitments is Vinny Zollo. Zollo’s mother talked with Larry Vaught of KentuckySportsReport.com and said that Vinny is expecting to hear from Calipari on Monday, and will make no decision about reopening his recruitment until then.
Sites That Link to this Post
- » BBL: Calipari debate; spring football revs up John Clay’s Sidelines | April 5, 2009
- BBL: Calipari debate; spring football revs up | MrSEC.com | April 5, 2009