Tuesday, May 19, 2009

John Wall Settles For Kentucky

John Wall is coming to Kentucky. Not only did I see this on ESPN this morning, several of my Kentucky lovin' friends decided to text me that bit of info. My response back has been "congrats, but all you did was beat out Miami-FL for him. So as a UNC fan ... thanks!"

Seriously. While we get to see Kentucky sometime early in the season, at least Wall isn't going to Miami or Duke and could actually affect our season. Now Duke is left without a true point guard and left looking a little bad for going after a guy that a lot of schools weren't sure was controversy-free.

Despite Wall being a diehard Tar Heel fan who lives in nearby Durham, Roy Williams wanted nothing to do with him. See, Wall has "handlers" who you have to talk to before you can get to Wall. He isn't the only prep player to have that, but Wall's are looking long-term. Most of those handlers are expecting to get compensated in a year when Wall bolts Kentucky for the NBA.

He also had that mild breaking and entering thing that happened a month ago. While it wasn't anything major, it really turned off several schools ... including North Carolina. Wall famously called Roy Williams to find out why they weren't recruiting him. The answer was that Williams deals with your high school coach and your parents -- not handlers. The B&E all but slammed the blue door. While I don't know if it's absolute, it does give Tar Heels that high-and-mighty position of "we didn't want him anyways." I'm gonna use it too!

Williams and the returning Heels started to pimp up supposed starting point guard Larry Drew II. Even Ty Lawson says that UNC will be more than fine with Drew running things. I hope they are right because this could be what keeps us from returning to a championship contender.

Please don't read that as me saying that we are better off without Wall. If UNC decided to bend their morals and recruit Wall, he'd be in Chapel Hill right now and the Heels would be a serious contender to repeat as champions.

As for the schools in the Wall Sweepstakes ...

KENTUCKY: Congrats. At least he isn't in the ACC!!! This is what the Wildcats faithful wanted we they hired John Calipari. This will be a program that is about winning over anything else. Unlike Roy Williams, Calipari doesn't have an issue bringing in guys with checkered pasts. He could make Kentucky the ol' Miami Football Canes of the hoops world.

MIAMI: Word was that Wall informally committed to Miami last week. So this is quite a downer. Still, you gotta love what Frank Haith and Miami are trying to do. They took an opportunity (Wall listed Miami but never really considered them until after he made his visit) and made the best of it. It didn't work right now, but it shows the commitment this program has to become elite in the ACC.

DUKE: They are the biggest losers in all of this. Duke really felt they had a chance at Wall. So much so that Coach K went against his usual stance of not going after those checkered players and not going after those one-and-dones. The fact that K swung and missed on this hurts because it bent the program's morals as well as letting another high profile recruit get away (and recently their second to Kentucky). Getting Wall in to Duke would have made the Blue Devils a title contender (especially if Gerald Henderson comes back).

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