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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dan Wolken - Wednesday Tidbits

- If things proceed as expected, Willis Wilson and Glynn Cyprien could be hired and out on the road helping new coach Josh Pastner recruit by the weekend. The situation with Jack Murphy could drag out longer since the Nuggets are headed into the NBA playoffs, but he’s clearly the guy Pastner wants to fill the other slot on his bench. The Nuggets will make a play to keep Murphy, but he’s very loyal to Pastner, so we’ll see how it works out.

- Will Coleman’s decision on whether to come to Memphis won’t have anything to do with Miami-Dade coach Matt Eisele, I’m told, so don’t expect to see Eisele in the mix for a spot on the Memphis bench. Coleman has just returned from playing overseas, and Pastner has been in contact. Coleman likes and trusts Pastner, but it’s not a sure thing he’ll come to Memphis. I think the parties involved will huddle face-to-face soon, and we’ll know more after that. At this point, Coleman has not asked to be released from his letter.

- The word has been that Darnell Dodson would like to follow John Calipari to Kentucky. It’s also worth noting that because Dodson is still signed, any contact initiated by the Kentucky staff would be illegal.

- It will be interesting to see, if Cyprien is hired, if Daniel Orton asks out of his letter-of-intent at Kentucky and thinks about Memphis. Cyprien was essentially the reason Orton went to Kentucky in the first place. I don’t think this is likely to happen, but you never know. And given the way things have happened this week - let’s just say that Pastner has had to pull a few knives out of his back - I think Pastner would probably relish that opportunity if it was presented to him.

- Cyprien was also deeply involved at Kentucky in the recruitment of Eric Bledsoe, the tremendous point guard from Alabama. Memphis certainly has a need at that position, and I think Pastner will try to make a strong run at him.

- There are some other recruiting dominoes that could fall in Memphis’ favor over the next few weeks, but it’s also possible that Pastner might strike out on the high-level guys that could really help next year. If so, he’ll focus on the 2010 class. He needs to have enough guys to field a roster, of course, but he’s not going to give away scholarships for the heck of it.

- Adam Zagoria mentioned on his blog today that Memphis might try to get involved with Lance Stephenson. I have heard this as well. If there is legitimate interest from Stephenson, I am certain Pastner will pursue him. It’s worth a shot.

- The predominant school of thought at the moment is that Shawn Taggart will be back next year, though obviously there are variables that could change things.

- Despite what Tyreke Evans’ people are saying in the Philadelphia papers, Memphis is operating under the assumption that he won’t be back next year. Obviously, if something happens and Evans decides to come back, there will be a scholarship for him. A second year of Evans would be just as good for Pastner as hitting the Powerball. And maybe the same odds, too.

- A lot of people I’ve spoken with recently have been under the assumption that some of the luxuries demanded by John Calipari like charter flights for road games, staying at The Peabody the night before home games, etc., would be gone. Not true at all. All those things are staying the same.

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