Wednesday Morning News and Links

Posted on May 18 2011 - 2:27pm by Brent Lepping

Couple of quick items to get to…..

Andy Katz just published a column stating that former Wake Forest players Jeff Teague and Gary Clark, who were both charged with sexually assaulting a female student in 2009, were cleared in a campus hearing and a Miami police investigation around that same time. The female student is set to appear on NBC’s “Today Show” Thursday morning to tell her side of the story. Needless to say, this thing is far from over. Both players were represented by Winston-Salem attorney, Mike Grace, who also represented Tony Woods during his sexual assault case. Grace, for whatever bizarre reason, stated yesterday that Woods told him he was going to attend the University of Kentucky this fall. Ya know, some people rely on their parents for decision-making purposes, some people rely on other family relatives, some people utilize their AAU coaches. Seems like Woods wanted to buck the trend and use his attorney as his mouthpiece in more than one avenue of life.

Now, I wrote a piece last week and got skewered by some UK fans that thought I was being innacurate when I said their fan base wanted Woods. And I believe a lot of them don’t want him. But I also know a sizable number DO want him and would love the services of a powerful 6-10 center, something they clearly lacked on last year’s team. In the end, you say you may not want him now – but will you boo him when he takes the court next November? Will you not chant his name when he dominates the other paltry centers in the SEC? What if he averages a double-double??? Will you still not want him on your team?

I plead the fifth, your honor…..

Last night reports broke that talented 2011 wing prospect, Nick Faust, had re-committed to Maryland after asking out of his letter of intent when Gary Williams abruptly stepped down as the Terps coach. I’ve heard some people this morning saying that this will bode well for Louisville’s chances of retaining Rodney Purvis, as it shows that a player can de-commit and still end up at their original school of choice.

Not even close – and here’s why:

First, Faust had signed a letter to attend Maryland this fall. He was signed, sealed, and delivered. Purvis will be a senior in high school this year, and nothing he’s said or done has been binding. The earliest he could make anything official would be November, but I have a feeling this thing will drag out until next spring. Second, the main reason Purvis committed to Louisville was Tim Fuller, no secret there. One of Faust’s main contacts throughout his recruitment to Maryland was Bino Ranson, an assistant under Williams. New head coach Mark Turgeon decided to keep Ranson, and so the relationship was stabilized and Faust still had his primary contact as part of the staff. Third, Faust is from Baltimore, so the easy car ride to College Park will make it easy for his family and friends to watch him play in person. Purvis, as we all know, lives a solid 8-9 hours from Louisville. There’s probably a reason why schools like NC State and Duke have reportedly crept to the top of his new list – they’re right in his own back yard.

I’m not trying to say Louisville won’t get Purvis in the end……but there’s probably a good reason why they’ve turned up the heat on guys like Ryan Harrow and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

A Las Vegas report leaked out last night and it listed the 2011-2012 Cardinals as the 5th most likely team to win the National Championship. Louisville is listed only behind North Carolina, UK, Texas, and Ohio State. It’s no secret that Louisville should have the right mixture of young talent and veteran leadership in order to compete at the very highest levels and potentially make it’s first trip back to a Final Four since 2005.

– We mentioned the name Mitch McGary on Monday as a new target to watch for in 2012. He’s perhaps made the biggest jump of any player, going from a fringe top 100 payer to #15 overall in the new rankings. McGary had a strong relationship with Richard Pitino while he was an assistant at Florida, and now the entire staff is getting involved and making it known that he is a top priority. Good article here from the National Hoops Report.

– Stay tuned to the site tonight, as we will be recording a huge podcast (#24) with Louisville senior-to-be Kyle Kuric and insidetheville’s Raashaan Meyers. We’ll talk all things Louisville basketball recruiting with Raashaan and get an in-depth look at the 2011-2012 season with King Kyle.

 

– Brent Lepping

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