John Wall fits the profile of a player who could easily develop an attitude problem. As a basketball point guard, he went from being a local high school star to a national high school star very quickly last summer, and went from being a ‘highly rated’ college prospect to possibly – ahem – possibly being a number one NBA pick in the 2010 draft.
Hype is a silly thing, and it would be normal for a teenager, which is exactly what Wall is, by the way, to develop a serious me-first attitude when being showered with attention and praise by national press. To be sure, John Wall isn’t exactly a household name like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant. He’s only famous to those fans who follow high school basketball recruiting and scouts. But it’s enough.
Wall developed a reputation for taking plays off and tirades. Message boards teemed with stories of prominent college coaches leaving games in disgust and there still continue to be tales of back-door dealings in Wall’s recruitment. But these stories have settled a bit, and for now another player, Lance Stephenson, is considered to be the ‘head case’ of the class.
Dave Telep has penned an article about John Wall’s attitude, how it’s improved, what initiated the change and where he thinks he needs to go from here:
“Then coach (Levi) Beckwith helped me out a lot. Attitude-wise, I had a bad one when I got (to Word of God). He changed all that around and didn’t let me play with that. (They) set me down and made me realize I had to trust my players and have a better attitude.”
These days, Wall’s attitude is in check. He’s grown up, learned some tough lessons and continues to check himself. “I got frustrated last year when I made passes and they were dropped,” he explains. “Now, I just pat (those guys) on the back and tell them to get it next time, so it doesn’t stop me from playing.”
Wall also talks about what he’s been told, by everyone, what he needs to work on in his game. He needs to develop an outside shot. He needs to play defense more consistently. These are the types of things that will make or break Wall during his likely one-year tour in the NCAA. It’s unclear if Wall will end up as the #1 pick in 2010. Ricky Rubio is no slouch as a point guard either, and he’s already playing pro ball against pro players. But Wall has the quickness and athleticism to be great.
Dominic Cheek eliminates Indiana?
A few days after saying he would visit Indiana, Dominic Cheek(SG, 6’5″, 2009) is no longer considering going to make an official visit to the Hoosiers. He will, however, have an in home visit with Tom Crean.