The news that Kentucky basketball fans have been waiting for officially came down today. John Wall is headed to Lexington as part of what will easily be the most heralded freshman class in the country for the 2009-10 season.
In his short time with the Wildcats, John Calipari has put together a team that is easily a top-five preseason team and should challenge for the national title this year, with a mix of talented veterans and ridiculous newcomer ability on the roster.
By adding Wall, the most sought-after uncommitted player in the country, Kentucky now becomes the prohibitive favorite in a down SEC and certainly, ESPN will be adding many a Wildcat game to its schedule for the upcoming season. Plenty of 9:00 EST tips to be sure for UK fans.
With four of the top 50 recruits on the roster for this year, the Wildcats might as well wear jerseys honoring the McDonald’s All-America game this year, of course Wall was not permitted to participate in that event as he is completing his fifth year of high school, which is another story for another time.
Let’s be honest, Wall was either heading to Kentucky or he might have gone to Baylor. It wasn’t going to work out in the other places he was believed to be considering.
This is a one-and-done type of talent. There will not be any John Wall sightings on the Kentucky campus after the 2010 campaign, he has made no bones about that.
Not the type of player that would fit the system at Duke, which is just one of the many reasons the Blue Devils have made quick exits from the NCAA Tournament in recent years. These type of players don’t go to Durham anymore.
Just down the road in Raleigh, Sidney Lowe has enough other problems, like winning some games to just have a player be there for one year and leave immediately. Baylor might have been a fit, there is still just enough seediness to that program that it could have worked out, plus Wall has some family on the staff there to look out for him.
But, in the end he is in the right spot.
If Jodie Meeks returns to Kentucky to join Patrick Patterson and the fabulous freshmen, then I will be penciling the Wildcats into my Final Four no matter how the bracket looks. But even without him, fans from the Bluegrass State will likely be heading to Indianapolis in early April to witness one of the fastest returns to college hoops glory in recent memory.
Like our friends at stormingthefloor suggested, it might be time to look into getting that John Calipari statue started sooner rather than later.