Tuesday, October 20, 2009


OK first of all anyone who does not like hints or the fact I do not come straight out with my information needs to exit right at this time. But please come back later when I have more substance.

Here goes what I know. A few area kids went to Kentucky for Midnight Madness activities. From what I understand John Calipari did not beg any of them but made sure they understood what playing for Kentucky means and the benefits of being part of the program. He told them they would be foolish not to attend but he knows they have other options. Trust me, he wants all those kids because he knows he will lose at a minimum Patrick Paterson and John Wall after this season.

I will say one kid was more impressed than many thought. In fact Kentucky now has more than a token chance to get him if you know what I mean.

Another Kid also loved the festivities. It is a great thing to enjoy a night like this. Wonder if it means he wants to go to Kentucky or did he just enjoy the time there? Ummmmmmmmm

When certain schools recruit certain types of kids alot goes into recruiting other than basketball. Academics and more important diversity issues. Who outside of basketball can kids relate to? Playing time is important but so is feeling you are liked for more than just basketball. Also a kid from a very nice home and pleasent surroundings are not going to be as ompressed with the facilities including dorms and dining room, as a kid who has not experienced his own room in a nice home.

Kids at Kansas seemed to really enjoy themselves also. Kansas offers great tradition and lots of supportive fans. Diversity? Academics are very good with many Alumni working in NY area who could help career wise later in life.

I would not be surprised if one of the kids visiting Kansas winds up at Kentucky when the smoke clears.

When recruiting kids sometimes the people advising are also blinded by facilities and level of program. It is almost like they are being recruited and lose sight it is about the HS player. Parents also can fall into this trap. It becomes "We Will Be" lol. Parents also always feel there kid will beat out a kid who is a current freshmen. Funny! Most coaches when doing a home visit always do position comparisons. They will never say in a home visit "We really want your son and he will be our 3rd string guard until he is a senior because the freshmen and sophomores ahead of him are fantastic." And when their 4 Star son is a freshmen that same coach will tell a HS senior what he needs to do to beat their son out for minutes. That's why you go to games and take your time. Lance Thomas thought he would be NBA bound by now. Lets not even discuss Derrick Caractor!

Lets look at Devon Collier. He had 2 great visits so far. Honestly it is odd when a kid does not come back impressed. It is the follow up that really makes a difference. I honestly feel this kid will choose the program he is most comfortable in. I also think an opportunity to excel early is very important. I do feel 1 school is slightly ahead of others based on how his Dad talked about them to me. But I do know his dad loves the Bob Hurley style. Bob Hurley could probably make it work for a school really wanting him as will his AAU connections.

I was reminded of the passing of a true hero to kids in NYC. Mr. Cecil Watkins passed a few weeks ago and will be a tremendous loss to everyone in the Basketball Community. Thanks to Mr. Conrad Martin,a guy who respectfully challenges much of what I write without ever being vicious, for the information. I am so glad he reads my blog and comments.

I remember meeting this legend when he was running the Ray Felix Tournament in Corona Queens. One of the first super tournaments not called Rucker. I played in the tournament as a 12 year old with Leroy Otis Young Life/Church of the Master Squad. A great experience as we played in Queens which most of considered the suburbs. Over the years Cecil started Elmcore Youth and Adult Center which has a great gym, and many programs assisting both youth and adults.

Later Cecil went on to run the NBA Pro AM Tournament that was taking place in many cities across the country. A Rec worker, Mr. Watkins went on to earn his Masters degree and serve as a true role model for many people. Rest in peace Cecil. We know there is now an NBA Pro AM league in Heaven.

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