Tag Archives: Kentucky

BDN Premium chats with Brian Clifton about John Wall and his recruitment

misc-challenge-065BDN deals in facts, not rumors.  Everybody wants to know the latest on John Wall and what is going on in his camp.  I talked with Brian Clifton last evening and he broke down the process of the hottest recruiting battle in the nation.  If you are not a member of BDN Premium, then you're simply missing the best Duke subscription service available.

Will John Wall trim his list? [private] Maybe not according to Clifton.  At this point all the teams may be in there until the end.

Baylor - That's where Clifton preferred John Wall to go.  The reasoning was that he could be with his brother,  but Clifton admitted that it would raise some eyebrows and that Wall is not seriously considering them.

"I will go where John Wall goes," said Clifton.  No matter where John Wall goes, Clifton will be there with him.  This has already been discussed with Wall's Mom, who gave her blessing.

How will Wall's choice affect his D-One program? Clifton said he had a good staff and could run it from afar, but he also mentioned that it would be nice to stay in the area and that he preferred that.  Still, he would go wherever he needs to go for the benefit of Wall.

"The process is flawed," said Clifton.  He mentioned that coaches could only meet with John one time officially and that all they could do now was send e-mails and such.  He feels a prospect needs more time to evaluate what a coach is really like, meaning he might realize more from extended contacts bettering relationships.

"He's what's important and it is important that he feels that," said Clifton.  This means he wants to support Wall's decision.

Making a wise choice - Clifton wants to make sure that Wall examines all angles of the possibilities at hand.

How important is proximity to home for Wall? It's not at the top of the list.  Wall knows he will have Clifton no matter where he goes.

Kentucky -  Wall loves Calipari and has talked to him the most, but there is a question as to whether it's the best situation for John.

Florida - Glowing reviews for Florida where Clifton knows Donovan personally and his brother played for Larry Shyatt.

Miami - "They have some good players down there," said Clifton.  He admitted there were worse places to spend a year than South Beach.

Duke - "They've got some good players," said Clifton, who then rattled off the names on the roster.  Also mentioned was Ryan Kelly who is a D-One product.  Wall and Kelly were a one-two punch last season.

Will Wall visit Duke again? "Maybe, we'll see," said Clifton, who then went on to say that John feels like he has enough information to make a decision.  They have gathered a lot of information and continue to go over it.

Tough question - Would Wall have already committed had you not been involved as a mentor?  "John is an emotional guy.  He would have probably committed twice already."

Tough question two - Would Wall have already committed to Kentucky if it were not for taking a long look at the process?  "Probably."

Another fact about Wall - He likes to please the people around him.

When will a decision be made - "Who knows," said Clifton.

SAT Scores - "We feel real good about the test he took this past Saturday," said a confident Clifton.

There is more which I will discuss on the message board after this weekend's tournament coverage.  To read too much into these statements would be unwise, but this is the very latest information out there on Wall from a person very, very close to him. [/private]

With rumors flying, BDN Premium gets the facts from John Wall himself

John Wall - BDN Photo
John Wall - BDN Photo

There has been quite a bit of buzz on various message boards about John Wall contacting North Carolina Coach Roy Williams, or was it the other way around?  The news traveled through the Duke, UNC and Kentucky forums at warp speed, each poster giving it more of a spin until the rumor mill was spinning like a tornado.

Wow!  First, it was John Calapari's leaving Memphis for Kentucky, many of their fans claiming Wall was a package deal.  Today, it was UNC's turn, despite the fact they are on the verge of a semi-final game in the Final Four.  I made a few calls and got a different take from each person, almost as if they were making it up as they go.

I finally opened the Blue Devil Nation Premium Message Board and the sky was falling.  I then saw that the News and Observer had talked to Wall's AAU Coach, Brian Clifton, about the situation, but he hadn't talked to Wall.  What was left to do in order to figure this whirlwind out?  Of course, talk to John himself, and that's what I did.  So, here is the latest from the horse's mouth.  And as always,  BDN Premium just deals in the facts.  That said, here they are -[private]

Wall had just finished a day at school where he is trying to close out the academic year in a strong way.  Other than that, he is preparing for the Nike and the Jordan Brand Classic All Star Games.

It sounds like a lot has been going on today.  The message boards at Duke, Kentucky and UNC are buzzing.  I have heard that either you contacted UNC Coach Roy Williams or that he contacted you.

Did I contact him?

Yes ...

No, he contacted me.

When did that call take place?

Last night.

Can you talk of what he had to say?  Was he getting involved in your recruitment or showing interest?

He really didn't say too much.  He just said he wanted to call and keep in contact, but it's nothing major right now.  We were just talking, he hasn't said he was interested yet.  He is just getting ready for the Final Four and all that.

So, is there any truth that you contacted anyone at UNC to have him call you?

No sir.

Okay, just trying to get the facts straight.  Will you likely talk to Roy Williams after the Final Four?.

Uh, that's what I am hop ... (cut short) that's what I think we are looking to do.  But like I said, I don't really put too much into what's going on.  He just called and that's basically it.

Has UNC been a school you had been interested in?  Did you grow up a UNC fan?

I liked them like any other school that's around like Duke and N.C. State.  I liked all those schools.

Do you feel as if UNC is getting in late at this point, or is this good timing?

I don't really know (obviously thinking about the question).  I don't know if they are really in it or not, they just call and that's it.

Duke has made inroads and Kentucky is on the verge of making a push, is it odd to you in any way that Williams calls after these developments?

I don't know.  I think he (Roy) just called to see how I was doing.  If he calls back and we talk, I can let you know more about it, but all we had was a quick conversation.  He asked how I was doing and that was basically it.

Have you had a chance to talk with John Calipari yet?

Naw, he called me the other night but I was asleep, so I will call him back today.

But you have been staying in touch with his assistant coaches that will likely follow him to Lexington?

Yes sir.

When is the last time you talked to Duke?

It was the day of the McDonald Game.  I talked with Coach K.

How did that go?

We were just getting to know each other better?

What are your overall feelings about Duke at this point?

I think it's a great school, you know.

And N.C. State?  Have you talked with them?

Um, they're still in there.

Have you been able to talk with Brian Clifton or anybody else since all these happenings?

No, not really.  I'm just get ready for the Nike Hoops and Jordan game.

Are you still targeting the Jordan Brand game for a decision?

No.  That's not going to be when I announce my decision anymore.

What's on your agenda next in regards to recruiting?

Probably taking a trip to Miami.  I will make my decision shortly after that.

How many official visits have you actually been on?


You have one more visit besides Miami that you can still take.  Is it fair to say that might be used for Kentucky?

I don't know yet, it could be reserved for anybody.  I really don't know, you know.

But UNC would be like Duke in that you wouldn't necessarily have to take an official visit?

Yes sir.

Was it exciting that Roy called you and would you be willing to let them in?

I really don't know yet, we just have to talk about it.  It's really like any other coach calling you.  Carolina is a great school and he's a good coach, but I didn't really get all that excited, they are just like any other school.

I remember talking to your AAU and Word of God coach and they seem perturbed that UNC never really looked at you in a serious way early on.  Is it fair to say that UNC never really came around until now?

They didn't really recruit me really hard , so ..,

Which school has been recruiting you the longest?

N.C. State.

Where to from here?

Just trying to finish school strong before the break and that's about it.

Thanks, for helping me get the facts straight and good luck in the coming all star games.

Yes sir, no problem. [/private]