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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dan Wolken - Brace Yourself

Brace yourself
Posted by Dan Wolken

There could be more bad news for Memphis on the recruiting front this week.

While most people have just assumed that hiring Miami-Dade coach Matt Eisele onto the Memphis staff would secure the two junior college players who signed last fall, multiple sources have indicated that’s not necessarily the case. That leaves a lot of things in limbo, including the Memphis staff and just how much of the recruiting class Josh Pastner will be able to salvage.

Though neither Darnell Dodson nor Will Coleman had asked to be released from their letters-of-intent as of last night, I wouldn’t be shocked if Dodson made that move in the near future. Coleman has been harder to get a read on because he’s out of the country right now playing basketball with an all-star team. The tough thing for Pastner is that he didn’t really recruit either player last year, so he’s got more ground to make up in re-recruiting them. Those guys were brought in primarily by Orlando Antigua, who is now on the Kentucky staff. And if Eisele can’t guarantee both players would come to Memphis, it’s unlikely Memphis would hire him.

The question now is whether John Calipari would try to get involved (or if he already is). The answer is most likely yes. What Calipari has been telling people close to him is that he is worried he might win 15 or 16 games at Kentucky next year after seeing the lack of talent in that program. Whether he really believes that or not, he’s clearly laying the groundwork to grab some players because he needs them. Perhaps even if it comes at the expense of his former assistant.

Meanwhile, if Pastner misses on Dodson and Coleman, I think he might hire a different coach or two who can actually guarantee players that would provide some immediate help next year. It’s late in the game, but there are a lot of recruiting dominoes that could fall.

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