Monday, May 18, 2009

John Wall Update

We are still waiting to find out where John Wall is going, but the list of possible schools seems to have shrunk:

For a while we had heard that Wall had narrowed his list to seven schools: Baylor, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Miami, Memphis and NC State. Last Tuesday it was reported that the list had shrunk to two schools: Kentucky and Miami, although Sports Illustrated immediately countered with Brian Clifton, Wall's former coach and current adviser, saying that Duke was still a third school in the picture. That said, if you read through the article it seems pretty clear that Duke is the school that Clifton wants him to go to, which is why he's trying to keep it alive in the media. Other sources are reporting that Wall isn't as excited about Duke as his adviser is.

At this point, there really isn't any new information beyond that. Adam Zagoria continues to be on top of the story and claims that Wall is "inching closer" to a decision, possibly later this week, but you never know with Wall.

Logically it does seem like Kentucky would be the best option. Unless he has a total bust of a season he will be a one-and-done player, so he needs to get the most bang out of his buck in that one year. He wants to be somewhere that will get a ton of media attention, will be on national television a lot, that will win, and that will make an NCAA Tournament run. He'll also want a school that will be prepared to hand him the ball handling responsibilities from day one. Kentucky and Duke are the two best schools for that this coming season. And if I were going to be a one-and-done player, I'd view John Calipari as the better coach for putting a Freshman out on display. Coach K is better at developing players into a system over a longer run, and has had very few players who don't stay at least three seasons. So Kentucky seems logical.

The only potential downside for Kentucky is that they already signed Eric Bledsoe, who is rated by as the 6th best point guard in the nation, and by as the 23rd best overall player. Wall is rated the #1 overall player in the country by most recruiting services (including, and he would unquestionably be the starter from day one at point guard for Kentucky. But he might lose a lot of playing time to Bledsoe. It's expected that Bledsoe will not be a one-and-done player, and Calipari will be grooming him to take over as the starting point guard at Kentucky for the 2010-11 season. I don't think this is a major concern, because it's not like Wall is going to play 35 minutes a game anywhere he goes, but it's something to consider.

Only time will tell when Wall makes his decision. But if he does go to Kentucky, and if they can get Jodie Meeks back, then you can make a really good argument that they'll be the #2 team in the nation behind only Kansas. I currently have them rated 5th overall, but while that ranking does assume that Meeks comes back, it does not take into account the Bledsoe signing or a potential Wall signing.

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