Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mike Mercer Legal Update

Looks like Mercer has a good shot at putting his past behind him.

According to the attached, Mercer has agreed to a plea that will allow him to be on probation, submit to periodic drug screens, and perform community service. If he does well, the marijuana charge and the earlier charge for public consumption of alcohol will be dropped.

Mercer should graduate from USF later this summer. I have no idea how his knees are doing. Maybe he has recovered well enough to give international ball a try.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The Wall commitment brings up a lot of questions.

1) How long does Dwon Clifton stay at Baylor?

I understand that Baylor created a coaching position for Dwon Clifton, who was John Wall's AAU coach. Clifton is currently Baylor's Director of Player Development. I read the school's press release, and unless I'm missing something, Clifton had zero college coaching experience prior to gaining the high-level position.

Not that Baylor was the only institution, mind you, that tried to get Clifton. Other schools joined the Clifton sweepstakes.

Now, I'm sure that Baylor will say that they hired Clifton on merit alone, and they never contemplated any kind of package deal.

Well, we'll find out. If Clifton resigns in the next two years, it will be apparent that since he failed to deliver on Wall, Baylor has no real use for his services, and never really had any. If Clifton stays on indefinitely to develop players, then Baylor either really wanted him for his coaching talent, or they are too embarassed to let him go.

2. How will UK handle its scholarship issues?

Seems to me like Jodie Meeks will return. I personally think that he still has some leg injury issues. If so, the talent evaluators at the NBA level will spot it and not waste a high-level draft pick on him.

Assuming Meeks returns, then, UK will have 17 scholarships. Now, Calipari has mentioned that he expects things "to work out over the summer." What that really means is that he is going to jettison existing Kentucky players from the squad, and do so with almost no notice and little opportunity for them to find a slot at another school.

I don't like the scholarship mill. Makes college basketball look bad, but that's what coaches do at big-level programs.

3) Will Calipari and other SEC Coaches Take Chances on Border-Line Recruits?

From what I could tell, Wall was arrested for breaking and entering recently. His recruiting never missed a beat. I'm not requiring SEC schools to recruit from the local monastery, but where is the line? What's right for the SEC? Right for UGA?

Wall to Kentucky

John Wall,'s #1 ranked player for 2009, has announced that he will sign with John Calipari and Kentucky.

UK has really gone on a recruiting tear since jettisoning former Coach Gillespie and bringing in Calipari. I never did particularly like Calipari, since he seemed to thrive off of recruiting players from prep schools, in some cases taking guys that other schools rejected.

However one feels about Calipari, it's hard to argue with success. UK now no doubt has the #1 class in the country. If you combine Calipari's offense with the history and tradition of UK, Calipari will not need to take as many chances. He'll win a ton of games, send guys to the NBA, and the best recruits will follow.

Now that Kentucky is back, it will be hard sledding in the SEC East. Georgia could improve a good bit, and still be behind Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida. Vanderbilt and South Carolina will not be slouches either.

Rivals has an article on the Wall commitment.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mark Fox hears it from Savannah Crowd

Savannah basketball supporters want to win.

It's going to be tough for a while. Coach Fox will have to adjust to his team, and the team will have to adjust to him. I think Coach Fox is smart in managing expectations.

I want to see the team win, as well, but I am willing to show patience. I look forward to seeing what Ebuka Anyaorah, Demario Mayfield, and Vincent Williams bring to the table. If there is a decent shooter in the mix, Georgia could win its fair share next year.

It's good to know that fans around the Bulldog Nation care about basketball.