John Wall: Leaning Away From ACC

January 29, 2009

So John Wall is leaning away from the ACC, according to LJWorld:

The country’s top high school senior prospect, John Wall, spoke to Jason Jordan of ESPN.com about his recruitment.

Wall, 6-foot-4 from Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., said he currently is “leaning toward Kansas and Memphis, not specifically in that order.”

He also has Baylor, North Carolina State, Oregon and Kentucky on his list.

“Those are the two coaches who I’ve had the best connection with so far because they’ve been in for in-home visits,” Wall said of Bill Self and John Calipari.

Wall told ESPN.com that Self told Wall he’d “have to work for everything.” Calipari compared Wall to NBA No. 1 draft pick Derrick Rose to indicate he’d have the ball in his hands a lot, which Wall said was “attractive.”

Wall told ESPN “probably” when asked if he was a likely one-year-and-done college player.


John Wall Watched Kentucky Get Blitzed

December 2, 2008

Now, UNC is not reportedly recruiting John Wall (PG, 6’4″, 2009), the stud point guard from Raleigh, NC, so why was he reportedly at the Dean Dome to watch a game last week?

Maybe John is just a fan of great basketball, and it’s hard to argue that the Tar Heels aren’t playing well right now, and are probably loaded with a lot of NBA talent that he might face in the NBA some day. But it’s not that. It’s that Kentucky still wants to be on Wall’s list alongside Duke and NC State, and he went to sit and watch the Wildcats take on the Heels. I don’t know how much of a factor a team’s performance affects recruiting, but the Wildcats put on an abysmal first half performance and got blown out of the gym. They put forth a stronger effort in the second half but the reality is that the Tar Heels manhandled them at every position with the exception of UK’s Patrick Patterson, who apparently the Wildcat guards don’t know exists.

This game could point to a few things: first, that Kentucky is not on the same level as UNC right now, and for a program as big as Kentucky, that is not good. Secondly, that loss is the kind that adds up, when combined with the blowout loss to Vanderbilt last season, and it starts a case against coach Billy Gillespie.

Kentucky is not a program that misses the NCAA tournament, much less comes down to Chapel Hill and looks like a high school program, and the UK fans, alumni and history won’t take it for long. I know it’s only one game, but I can’t help but think it did nothing to help them get in the mix for Wall, especially considering Wall already has looked at them in the past. It’s just as likely that John just wanted to catch up with the UK players, but of course, who knows?


Duke is Recruiting John Wall

November 18, 2008

So maybe it’s something that nobody thought would happen, but Duke is recruiting top point guard John Wall.

Since NC State has been recruiting Wall for some time, who knows if Duke even has a chance to get involved? But it seems that Wall has shown at least a little interest. Duke going after Wall is either:

1. a sign that they feel they will need a point guard next season (with rumors that Nolan Smith might want to try to turn pro) after losing the recruiting battle for Kenny Boynton to Florida.

2. John Wall’s attitude may have changed, and possible the ‘factors’ that have been, up until now, keeping Duke and UNC away from Wall are losing potency.

I guess time will tell.


Ryan Kelly and John Wall are Superbad; Thornton commits

November 10, 2008

The Raleigh News&Observer is gushing over the fact that high school basketball in Raleigh this winter will have two major superstars, Ryan Kelly (PF, 6’10”, 2009, Duke), and John Wall (PG, 6’4″, 2009, uncommitted) playing their senior seasons in town this season:

There have been players like John Wall before and players like Ryan Kelly before — but never have there been two that good, among the absolute best in the country, at the same time.

Kelly is going to shock some people when they see him play in the ACC, especially if he continues to improve at the rate he has in the past. Wall still is one of the biggest prizes that colleges are still after, so no telling at this point what’s going to happen with him.

Marcus Thornton

There’s no doubt any longer about forward Marcus Thornton (PF,6’7″,2010), who has decided to play for the Clemson Tigers. Thornton had other ACC offers from Wake Forest, Virgina Tech and Maryland, and although he’s listed as a combo forward on several sites,I think he’s a pure post player at this point. He’s a guy who understands how to play in the paint.


John Wall – Not Going to Kentucky?

October 22, 2008

The Raliegh News & Observer has an article about John Wall’s recent visit to NC State, and when asked the question that top recruits hear ad nauseum, ‘what’s your list of schools’, one school was noticeably absent :Kentucky. However, Wall said he enjoyed his visit to the Pack, but also mentioned a new name, Miami, as a possibility:

Wall said Sunday that Miami was pushing for a visit and that he was not sure he’d keep Kansas on his list after it took a commitment from 6-foot-2 Elijah Johnson of Las Vegas.

“I’m not sure where I am with Kansas right now,” he said.

Wall is considering N.C. State, Oregon, Baylor and Memphis, along with possibly either Miami or Kansas.


Basketball Recruiting at Kansas: Wall, Orton & Robinson

September 19, 2008

Two ACC basketball recruiting targets will be visiting Kansas this weekend, including John Wall (PG,6’4″,2009), a player who we’ve written quite a bit about and Thomas Robinson (PF, 6’8″, 2009), a player who still lists Miami as an option, although he seems to be leaning toward Kansas, Memphis or USC since those are the only schools he’s set up visits with at this point.

Daniel Orton (C, 6’9″, 2009) has been out of the ACC mix for some time, with a lot of rumors pointing him towards Kentucky, including a rumor that he and Wall would both up in Wildcat blue. Hard to say if that would actually happen, but both of them visiting Kansas almost makes it seem like they are looking at playing together. If a team – Kansas OR Kentucky – were to have a Wall-to-Orton passing combo, it would be a great pairing, only lacking outside shooting.


John Wall improves his game

September 17, 2008

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.