Star Recruits Give John Wall the Hard Sell
From North Carolina coach Roy Williams‘ phone call from the Final Four to John Calipari ditching Memphis for Kentucky to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski putting on the full-court press, the recruitment of Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) point guard John Wall has been a true made-for-TV-drama.
But as talented as these head coaches are at selling their schools, often times it’s the recruits and signees that have the biggest impact on a player’s decision. We caught up with recruits from each of the schools that are perceived favorites for Wall’s signature and had them give their best sales pitch to land Wall…
(Editor’s note: The list is in alphabetical order so recruiting junkies will have to get their fix elsewhere.)
Baylor signee A.J. Walton, point guard: “John, what you need to do is come on to Baylor because me and you could be a dominant duo. We’ve already got bigs and we’ve got good shooters that are coming in also. We’re already two of the most unstoppable guards in the nation right now. To have us on the same squad would be real crazy! Now we might not have the beaches like Florida and we might not have the best number of girls, but I mean it’s Texas! You’ve got Houston there and Dallas. At Baylor you’ve got the students and the coaches you’ll just fall in love with. You already know coach (Dwon) Clifton real good. And we’ve got the barbeque here and we’ve got lakes to go sailing and all that. It would be a reeeal good look for you!”
Duke signee Mason Plumlee, forward: “OK, John basically it’s like this: When you come to Duke you get to play for Coach K, the best coach in college basketball. You’re on TV more than any other school and you’ll get the most exposure here for sure. And we may not have as many girls, but they’re close by. We do have the future CEOs of tomorrow so you can get your networking done for all the endorsements you’ll have after your Duke career. See, because all of us nerds at Duke are going on to do bigger and better things than just have girlfriends. On top of all of that we always win. And hey, we roomed together in Portland at the Nike Hoop Summit, so we’ve already lived together and we had chemistry on the court. So there it is! I really want you to come to Duke man!”
Florida signee Kenny Boynton, guard: “I would love for you to come on down there and play with me. I think you would take a lot of pressure off of me, and I know that we could do some real damage together! We talk on AIM and stuff like that and he talks pretty good about Florida.”
Kentucky signee Jon Hood, forward: “Well, first I should tell you that right now I’m 1-for-1 as a recruiter because I was all over Daniel Orton and he ended up coming. Before he left, Coach (Billy) Gillispie told me that I was the recruit that recruited everyone else. OK, John you should come to Kentucky because you’ll play in front of 24,000 people every night no matter who we’re playing and you’re on ESPN every game. You’re pretty much set for life once you go to Kentucky. You know all about Coach Cal. He’s a developer of talent and it’s proven with Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans.
Miami signee Garrius Adams, shooting guard: “John you need to come on down to Miami because the team is so close and unique. It’s really crazy how close they all are. You’ll be able to hang around with the whole team and have all the girls and go to all the parties and all of that. It’s just the school. The education is great and all of that… aaaaand, I mean you’ve got South Beach! No other school is competing with that! All you’re gonna see are the girls and the expensive cars and all of that. You see athletes and entertainers and you’ve got that whole scene. Miami is the place you want to be!”
North Carolina commit Reggie Bullock, shooting guard: “I’m not sure what the situation is with us recruiting John, but I would love to have John as a Tar Heel. OK, John, you should come to Carolina because it’s a winning school. It’s an NBA factory. The education is great and you’re treated like a family even before you ever get there. They go to the NCAA Tournament every year. The greatest player that ever played went there. The girls look good and they know you before you get there. You get numbers the first day you get there. You’re pretty much a celebrity at Carolina. Oh, and by the way, we won the national title this year! Who else was able to say that! Exactly!”