Louisville basketball commits come and go

The meaning of commitment apparently depends on what day it is for some, suggesting that a major generational gap exists between college athletes of today and yesterday.

Negus Webster-Chan, the player many fans keep forgetting is in the University of Louisville’s 2012 basketball recruiting class, has backed off his verbal. He apparently wants to visit five other schools.

Maybe not getting enough buzz on the fan message boards or the fawning that many highly-touted recruits receive. Possibly, there’s a shoe company connection he wants to cement, or a talent agency contact to cultivate. Conceivably a combination of all the above. Or maybe he’s genuinely wanting to look around. All we know for sure is that he has backed out of his commitment.

One is reminded of the Marquis Teague courtship, a player all but committed to U of L until a couple of weeks before the signing date. Wound up going to Kentucky which has made a fine art out of embellishing the recruiting process.

Meanwhile, Rodney Purvis, often mentioned in the same breath as all-time greats Rodney McCray and Pervis Ellison, is remaining firm on his verbal, declaring on his Twitter account, “My word is my bond.”

If he remains committed, with his talent level, with his contact Tim Fuller having left for Missouri,  and with all the inducements in college basketball recruiting today, Purvis is an extraordinary individual.

What Marquis Teague Really Meant

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Somewhat dated but too good to pass up …

Following Marquis Teague’s decision a couple of months ago to play college basketball at Kentucky, a school he had never visited, Louisville blogger Doug Bennett, Jr. posted the following on The Last Blog In America:

Marquis said: “It’s been real tough. It’s tough to tell coach Pitino no.”

— Marquis meant: “It’s even harder to tell Ben Franklin no.”

Marquis said: “I had people from Louisville and Kentucky saying things about each other’s school. It was pretty crazy, I really didn’t think it would get like that.”

— Marquis meant: “I was surprised UK fans could operate computers.”

Marquis said: “I’ll tell him (Pitino) thank you for recruiting me and I love you and your family. I would have loved to have played for you, but I had to do what was best for me.”

— Marquis meant: “Have you seen my blue Porsche?”

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Justice Was Served

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Interesting that Elisha Justice’s reaffirmation of his commitment to the University of Louisville basketball program sparked as many, if not more, visitors and comments, than the fight with Kentucky over five-star recruit Marquis Teague.

Makes one appreciate Elisha Justice all the more, especially with all the theatrics and drama going down in the most recent recruiting skirmish.

The observer didn’t need a crystal ball last August to predict there would be some no-longer-unique factors affecting Teague’s decision.
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Teague Taking Advantage Of Silly Rule

By Paul Sykes

Whether  Marquis Teague attends Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine or Ivy Tech is a decision that is mandated by the absurd rule that basketball players must be removed one year from high school before going professional. Baseball players go professional right out of high school, golfers on the pro circuits. tennis phenoms, pro bowlers and gymnasts. The NBA rule is wrong,and should be revoked.

No rational fan is going to be upset if their coach lands great basketball players, even if just for a year.

What difference does it make if potential NBA players attend a year of college? We may ridicule the posturing and tactics of John Calipari and his NBA-bound players but in the end it is a coach taking advantage of the system. The rule is at fault here, not the coaches or players taking advantage. If improprieties are taking place on campus with these “one and done” kids, show me the smoking gun and charge the suspect. Proof. Documentation, not wild conspiracy theorists and doomsayers.

No rational fan is going to be upset if their coach lands great basketball players, even if just for  a year. Would U of L taken Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe? You know Rick Pitino would have taken him. So would Tom Crean, Darron Horn, Mick Cronin and Bobby Huggins. Cardinal fans, we are not “holier that them.”

I wish Mr. Teague the best of luck wherever he attends college. It’s a shame he has to spend a year on someone’s campus, however, when he thinks that his game is NBA ready. The rule needs to be changed. After all, these 18-year- old kids have the right to vote, drive and go defend their country. Do we need to force them into a year of college before they can go and attempt to make a living at something in which they excel?

Marquis Teague Winds Of Change

The Marquis Teague winds appeared to suddenly switch direction late Wednesday, taking an easterly course from Louisville to Lexington. Teague is expected to finally announce his decision Thursday.

Most reports indicate that the young man has never set foot on the University of Kentucky campus, yet he’s said to be leaning in that direction. Teague has visited Louisville, indicating that he liked what he saw and, from all indications, wanted to be a Cardinal until a few weeks ago.

The one-and-doners are motivated by dollar signs, and couldn't care less about tradition.

The change in direction is more than a little curious after two years of positive interaction between U of L and Teague, whose father once played for Rick Pitino. None of which may have mattered much after John Calipari and his associates got involved with the player and his family.

Greasing The Skids To The NBA

The theory goes that Calipari has some special abilities that will get kids to the National Basketball Association quickly. The rash of one-and-dones at UK would appear to lend some validity to that proposition. Unless you consider the caliber of athletes who are making those decisions.

Another championship would be nice but their individual goals are the highest priority.

Calipari appeals to the pecuniary instincts in high school kids, promising to get them to the “League” faster than anyone. As a result, he is getting talented players. He is not selling loyalty to a school or fan base, making a mockery of the college game.

That will be okay for a while, especially in Lexington, as long they’re winning games and pulling top recruits away from the University of Louisville. That’s as good, if not better, than beating Louisville in an actual game as far as the UK bleeders are concerned.

But UK fans base the “greatness” of the program on seven national championships. The one-and-doners are motivated by dollar signs, and couldn’t care less about tradition. Another championship would be nice but their individual goals are the highest priority.

Adolph who?