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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / January 17.
  • Wall Still 'Weighing Options'

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    John Wall could be inching closer to a decision later this week.

    “He is still weighing options. End of the week it sounds like,” said a source close to the situation.

    As I previously reported, Wall is believed to be down to Kentucky and Miami and will choose between those two schools. His advisor, Brian Clifton, told SI.com that Duke was also still an option.

    “John wants to make the best decision for him,” Clifton said. “I think John should concentrate on getting all the information he needs and getting as good a read on the situation as he can.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • Clifton does a lot of the thinking for John Wall? Come on John, man up and just make a decision! Everyone is sick of this crap! Weighing his options? That is code speak for Clifton is throwing a temper tantrum! Can’t make everyone happy in life, John… Life is like that. You know where you want to go and I know it, so why not just say it and be done with it? Clifton want more money from some Duke Alums? That is the rumor in North Carolina… If John’s mother reads Zagsblog, which she might, you need to tell your son to follow his own instincts and not Clifton’s. This thing is becoming a joke…

      • Let me see if I have this right. The kid is taking his time to make an important decision, but you have grown impatient. So you berate him. For making you wait. And to top it off, you instruct his mother what to do!

        No, that doesn’t sound self-centered. Maybe you need to find something else to occupy your time this week. The Star Trek movie was surprisingly good. Go see that. Try a new Thai or Vietnamese restaurant. You can bowl from 9pm to midnight at most Bowl Americas for about $11. The NHL and NBA playoffs are well underway, if you want to watch TV. Dave’s all new this week. 24 is about to wrap things up for the season. Will Jack succumb to the biological agent? And there’s always Internet porn. Before you know it, John Wall will have made his decision, and we can all go on with our lives.

        • The kid is not taking his time to choose a school, he already has, UK–his mother likes UK as well according to sources close to the family. The problem is Brian Clifton!!! He is the reason North Carolina didnt even bother to recruit Wall. He is the reason that Duke essentially quit recruiting Wall–they didn’t want Wall with Clifton–Wall without Clifton was ok. Clifton keeps mentioning that Duke is in the running still but they aren’t. Check the Duke sites out and you will see–they are taking polls on if Wall being a thug is reason enough to not take him. They don’t want the taint of his background and recent run in with the law at the their snobbish school… Furthermore, Clifton states that John should get all the information he needs–for godsake, surely he has more than enough information about the schools in question to formulate a decision??? Is he that stupid? Or is this just an excuse of Clifton to get some assurances from Coach Calipari that he will have access to his boy–Wall–his meal ticket so to speak, at all times? He wants to be another WWW with good intentions… smells like crap usually crap 🙂 now p off

    • Why do infantile UK fans feel the need insult Clifton, Wall and even Wall’s mother simply because Wall is taking his time to make the best possible decision for himself?

      Duke is a far better school than UK. Duke is far closer to John Wall’s home than UK. Duke is a far more stable program than UK.

      Duke won a lot more games than UK last season, over the last 5 seasons and over the last 10 seasons. Duke has a gaping hole at PG, while UK has already signed a top 3 PG in Wall’s own class.

      Nobody knows how all the player turnover, the completely new coach and the completely new system will work out for UK. Meanwhile, Duke returns a largely veteran squad that won 30 games last season and is missing only a dominant PG.

      Why is it that when Clifton says these exact same things — things that are undeniable and therefore should be completely obvious to any neutral observer — people feel the need to invent other hidden and nefarious reasons for Wall to even be considering Duke?

      Adam?

      • If Duke is so keen on having Wall, then why are your official fan sites taking polls on if Duke should still accept Wall with his police record, etc? By the way, the majority are saying no he shouldn’t be accepted to Duke, it would taint their image as bluebloods… 🙂 a joke in itself… He can’t go to Duke stupid cause he doesn’t ever plan on graduating and isn’t smart enough to graduate from Duke even if he did… 🙂 You know it, he knows it, his handler or adviser, Clifton knows it. One and done to make Coach K relevant again??? How the mighty have fallen…. He is on the verge of retirement and he knows it. U of Miami?? That was a slap in the face to Roy Williams for not even recruiting his arse… 🙂

        • What “official fan sites” are you talking about?

          Wall can go to Duke just fine if he simply buckles down, goes to class and does the work. What makes you think Wall is stupid?

          Coach K won 30 games last season. It’s “mighty” UK basketball that needs a one and done to regain its relevance. You know it, Wall knows it, and Clifton knows it.

      • UK fans don’t have a monopoly on this kind of behavior. Have you read any Kansas, North Carolina, Florida or Miami posts in recent weeks? Yes, even Duke fans suffer from it. It’s not any one school. It’s people.

        And that’s a far different subject than which school you think is far better (if your premise is correct, the decision would be easy). That’s the problem here. It’s not about what you think, or what you-gotta-be-kidding thinks. The only thing that matters is what John Wall thinks. And we’ll all know that soon enough.

        Here’s an exercise. Try to make the case for Kentucky. If you can’t make a reasonably convincing case, maybe you’re not as rational and open-minded as you think. Sorry, I’m in a preachy mode for some reason.

    • Kelly D.

      How do you know that the person who is unhappy with Clifton is a UK fan? They could be from Miami, Florida or some other school that Wall had on his list of schools. In replying to the person you assumed was a UK fan you used the word fans. It was only one person and they didn’t identify their school. It is never fair to take the words of a single fan or a few fans of any school and apply it to all fans of that school.

      Also, aren’t you able to reply without using name calling. You must think that Miami is out of the picture because you jumped to the conclusion it is between UK and Duke.

    • Raise your hand if you are sick of John Wall. There is no way this kid can live up to all this ridiculous hype. I have no doubt this kid is probably talented, but obviously isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. If his list is really down to miami and uk I don’t care how good he is, he won’t win squat. I love how UK is already penciling themselves in for a final four after returning all their scrubs that crapped the bed in the NIT and added a couple of freshman.
      Here is a great question..how much must calipari hate bill self
      1. stole the morris twins from memphis
      2. took xavier henry–x even admitted he wanted to go to ku over memphis, it was just
      family thing.
      3. and of course beating that ass in the championship.

      is is safe to say that cal is bill self’s bitch?? Just a thought.

      • He’s definitely a UK fan and he’s definitely infantile.

      • Mizouu? You seriously think Calipari is worried about Self and Kansas? He took Xavier Henry away from Kansas when both of his parents graduated from the friggin school… 🙂 I mean, I wouldnt worry about Self if I were him or any other coach–if he could do it at Memphis, he will damn sure do it at UK –funny guy you

    • Actually I am a University of Cincinnati fan who has been following this strange recruitment of Wall…

      • Sure you are.

        • I have the alumni sticker to prove it pea-brain… 🙂

    • Only way Wall gets to make a decision by himself this week is if someone gets a restraining order against Brian “Information” Clifton!!!!

    • got to be kidding me~

      Are you really this big of a moron? Cal didnt take X from KU. The ONLY reason X committed to memphis is because CJ was already there. He even said he wanted to go to KU but he wanted to play with his brother more. You are really looking like a douche bag on here.

      UK and Cincy both need to worry about MAKING the NCAA Tourney before anything else.

      • If Cal hadn’t of put the clause in the LOI that Xavier signed at Memphis, Xavier would still be at Memphis–Cal didnt bank on Xavier having no loyalty obviously–Self could have had CJ as a walk-on at Kansas last year but didnt return CJ’s calls about enrolling at Kansas so CJ sought out Calipari, ex Kansas assistant and friend of his father. CJ in return for Calipari taking him as a walk-on leaves Calipari hanging and shows that the Henry family has no sense of loyalty when it comes to making decisions–its all about them, which should make them fit in with Bill Self, the man who made Billy Gillespie, the failure that he is… 🙂 Only good Jayhawk is one behind bars… 🙂

    • got to be kidding me,

      you’ve got to be kidding me? Cal didn’t take X away–he inked w/ Memphis so he could be with his big brother. He has already gone on record as saying he’s always wanted to be a Jayhawk.

      So to recap, the Morris Twins, Xavier Henry, and Thomas Robinson have all chosen Self over Cal. Oh, and Self is 1-0 in the ring dept vs Cal.

      • Coach Self will be your Tubby Smith boyzzz…. that will be last championship you guys see for a long time and you know it… the recruiting landscape is changing and you know it–I can smell your desperation and I love it 🙂

      • Really Woody?

        When X re-opened his recruitment, why was UK added to the list? Oh, that’s right…Cal moved to Lexington! And, X would be at UK now if it weren’t too far from his Mommy.

        It doesn’t matter. UK went from an NIT school with no leadership to a school with the #1 Recruiting Class in less than 2 months. That really bothers you doesn’t it.

        All I can say is see you in March. I hope you are ready.

        • Unless they get Wall, Kentucky doesn’t even have the best recruiting class in the country. That honor belongs to North Carolina followed by Kansas then maybe Kentucky (or Villanova). Duke would obviously jump Kentucky as well if they get Wall.

          Kentucky fans need to realize they traded up in recruiting and down (big time) in game coaching and character. Wait, maybe they do realize this which is why they’re celebrating so loudly in May about their mythical (and somewhat erroneous) recruiting title.

          • I think you need to check your sources. Scout and Rivals have UK’s 09 Recruiting Class ranked at #1…without Wall.

            You are hearing the roar of UK Fans now and it’s just the begining. There will be more to come over the season.

            It is completely understandable that you Jayhawk Fans have it bad for UK. Billy Clyde was a graduate of the Self System…didn’t work out. He wasted the time of a lot of talent. You will see a turn around in the returning players similar to that of our recruiting game.

            You can hate now all you want. The real test is yet to come. I hope you are ready in March!

          • Not really a Jayhawk fan though I do respect the h*ll out of Bill Self and the teams he puts together (be that at Illinois or Kansas). There are obviously worse things than being a Jayhawk fan right now though…

            Back to your point, according to rsci, a composite index of all the recruiting services,

            Kentucky has the 5th ranked recruit (Cousins), the 14th (Orton, who would have left if he could since he understands how that playground offense will ruin his NBA hopes), and the 79th (Bledsoe).

            It’s pretty hard to imagine how quite a few classes aren’t better than that.

            For instance, Villanova has #8 (Cheek), #20 (Wayans), #31 (Armwood), #34 (Yarou).

            UNC has #3 (Henson), #11 (Strikland), #40 (MacDonald), #41 (TWear), and #46 (DWear).

            Kansas has #2 (Henry), #21 (EJohnson), #23 (ThRobinson) and #27 from 2008 will be a freshman this year (Withey) so he could be considered part of this ‘class’.

            Texas should also be in the discussion with #9 (Bradley), #18 (Hamilton), #53 (ShWilliams),

            These are all ‘recruiting rankings’ and aren’t worth much more than the electricity it takes to display them on screen, but it’s clear that Kentucky isn’t the best class in the country unless they get Wall. Congratulations on being relevant again (at least in May), but I’d take Tennessee talent + Bruce Pearl over Calipari talent + Calipari.

    • Yeah, you’re probably right–it’s all over. Obviously, Bill Self can’t recruit so we’re done. Oh, Well, the Jayhawks had a good run while it lasted.

      I’m not even sure we should play next season since the recruiting landscape is changing…

      • I think Self has figured out the recruiting landscape thing pretty well douche bag.
        And basically it is that a bunch of one and dones will not win you a damn thing.
        Simply rolling the ball out there like Calipari does may win you a bunch of games in conference usa with superior talent, but I think we will learn a lot about cal’s coaching abilities in the sec this year. Not that the sec is a great conference or anything, but it is still a massive leap from the competition that greaser has been dealing with. For the record I am not even a ku fan, but if you think that self is not a superior coach than cal than you are crazy. self is better at every facet of the college game, including recruiting. Self just happens to be a little more selective than calipari, and not take every guy one and done guy he can–that my friend is desperation. Look at all the guys self has put in the league for crying out loud compared to cal. The list is crazy—and cal has derrick rose and marcus camby.
        good night. my work is done here. come back with some better stuff next time boy!!

      • I’m glad to see you are coming to your senses…douchebag

    • Perhaps most importantly, Calipari is the worst game coach in high D1 basketball. Regardless of how well he recruits, it’s going to be rare to see him win anything. Recruiting is a large part of the game, but plenty of guys recruit as well as Calipari- Howland, Matta, Self, Roy, Barnes, Jay Wright, etc. Cal’s not going to take many big games from that group because all the other names can actually draw up a play when they need a score or a stop.

      • You don’t even believe your own drivel Big Ben 🙂 and fizzmou you say douchebag so much you must use one… you guys are obviously sure of one thing: Calipari will get top billing in any meeting between UK and Kansas or anyone else. He will choose the players he wants and leave the rest for you guys to fight over…. 🙂 and you know it–no more easy recruiting classes Roy Williams 🙂 he is going to revert back to Kansas form where he didn’t win crap… adios turds

        • So you disagree that Calipari is a good recruiter and bad coach? That’s the only point I was making. Some 18-year olds without good advisors may be charmed into joining Cal at Kentucky even if guys like Howland, K, Self or Roy were willing to take them.

          A decade later when they grow up they’ll realize they should have chosen a coach that would push them and make them better instead of rolling the ball out so that he can recruit the next class of players who don’t want to be coached.

    • Hey Brian Clifton! Get out of John Wall’s way when he signs the UK LOI will you, you bloodsucker in the guise of a “father figure”–probably a father figure like George Michael in his song… 🙂 Someone should make sure that Wall hasn’t been molested like Michael Jackson… seriously, it can traumatize a kid.

      • Wow. The Memphis program was full of handlers like Clifton. I don’t think he’s going away, especially if Wall signs with Calipari… WWW will buy him a house in Lexington and pay him to be his chauffeur when he’s there just like he did for similar guys at Memphis.

    • kidding = douche bag. only a douche bag would use that many smiley faces.
      and no i don’t use one, but i sure am glad your mom is now.

    • Haha RIGHT. Cause KU isnt the Pre-Season #1 in the nation next year are they? Wait THEY ARE. And, the #1 player in the class of 2010 Harrison Barnes Loves KU. Bill Self is the man! You are just jealous of him.

      If I was a Cincy fan I would be jealous of a lot of things. You guys havent been important since Kenyon Martin and he is about the biggest thug in the NBA.

      Jayhawks dont go behind bars, that is Cincinnati’s thing. Bearcats, Bengals,etc.

      That 2008 National Title sure felt good and the ones to follow in the coming years will feel just as good with THE BEST COACH IN THE NATION, BILL SELF AT THE HELM.

      Of course Bill Self didnt want CJ Henry by himself. Why would he? CJ skipped out on KU to go play baseball and isnt the same player he was. But, then Bill went after X after that slimeball Cal took the job at UK (the NIT team) and Self got his man.

      Now KU has Sherron, Cole, and X. The most dynamic trio in the nation.

      WOO HOO!!!

      Feels good to be a Jayhawk baby!!

      got to be kidding me, you and USC.trojan should hang out. You guys would make great friends! haha

      • The ONLY reason the Henry brothers are at KU is their parents. If it came down to the program or the coach…they’d both be in Lexington. That is completely undeniable.-

        • You’re delusional if you think any one would choose the UK “program” over the Kansas “program”. These kids were in grade school the last time Kentucky was relevant.

          • Even in times of Tubby or Clyde, UK has never been irrelevant. What does KU have to offer as a program? KU History v. UK History or, how about KU Facilities v. UK facilities

            Should I assume from the UT/Pearl reference above that you’re a Vol Fan? That makes you even more biased. UT is just one of the other schools in the SEC and upset to have been in Cal’s shadow in Tenn. for all those years.

            Face it, UK is back.

            I’ll take the attention in May. And, as I keep saying, I hope the rest of the NCAA is ready for March.

          • Ok, here is another perspective from a born and raised UK fan but with perspective on the landscape of college basketball.

            First and foremost, John Wall, once in a lifetime talent that any school would love to have for one season, of course we in the bluegrass hope this is his destination. If not, i wish him all the luck wherever he ends up.

            Debate over Kansas and Coach Cal and Coach Self.–Listen, Kansas is about as good as you can get right now, they are recruiting great, Self is a top notch coach and players want to play there, no debating that. Kansas is a great program.

            Recruit rankings–It is nice to say that we do have a top recruiting class but just as another poster said, these things are all over the place, i really dont care who is #1 or #10, there are so many good recruits that fit differently in each system. As long as your getting your players for your system, who cares about rankings, its all based on wins and losses. I remember our class with Rondo, Randolph, and Bradley, we were supposed to be unstoppable, but that didnt work out.

            Coach Cal
            There is no secret that the love affair with Coach Cal is off the charts in Lexington right now, but you have to understand, and this is important, how terrible the past years have been with Billy Gillispie, if you are not from Lexington,KY, im sure you do not understand what i am talking about, but he was a bad fit for UK, and now Coach Cal comes in as a breathe of fresh air, and to this point he has done everything 100% right. But lets face it, it all comes down to wins and losses. I am looking forward to this season more than any season in recent memory because finally UK can be back in the discussion with Kansas with North Carolina, with Duke, and we can be competitive again.

            But while it is fun to rant in the off season, those of you who know College Basketball, know that next year, Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina are going to be damn good.

    • What does KU have to offer? Haha are you serious. How about history. Dean Smith, Wilt Chamberlain, Phog Allen, James Naismith. How about over 50 conference titles? How about 15 Final Fours. When did UK last win the national title? Cause KU just won it in 2008. Infact, we have made the tournament every year for the past 20 years. When did UK miss it last? Oh yeah, this past year. And, they couldnt even win the NIT. haha.

      Phog Allen Fieldhouse is the #1 college venue in the nation. Everyone knows that.

      UK is a has been. Irrelevant now. You know it and so does the rest of the nation.

      Xavier Henry came to KU cause he wants to play for the #1 program in the nation, under the #1 coach, for the #1 team. Pretty easy.

      Have fun TRYING to make the big dance.

    • Look @ all these KU heffas. puh-lease!

    • Hey, KU fans have every right to be slightly cocky. Championship in 2008, Sweet 16 with a bunch of newbies, preseason #1 ranking with two of the top players in the country with one of the most sought after freshman in the country. Name me a program in better shape than kansas. Keep in mind I said better as I realize the UNC’s of the world will always be top notch. Don’t worry UK you will get there someday.

      • you must not be familiar with college hoops tradition or facts jack

        UK IS MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

        ALWAYS HAS BEEN ALWAYS WILL BE

        xavier henry most sought after freshman…….um……..no i don’t think so

        John Wall is………and if you noticed rivals rankings henry fell farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

        program in better shape than kansas……….

        KENTUCKY!
        best coach
        #1 recruiting class
        2 legitimate all-americans returning

        yep………Kentucky

        • Gotta agree that X was the most sought after freshman. That was clear by the fact that Self dropped Lance Stephenson to get X. Wall might be the best prospect in the class, but he’s hardly the most sought after considering the programs that wanted no part in his recruitment (KU, UNC, Florida?, likely Duke).

          Wall fits in well in Calipari’s system since he can’t shoot and will have to get to the next level on athleticism. I do doubt that he’ll get any better under Cal (because very few players do), but it’s clear that he’s not interested in getting better (or at least Clifton isn’t), just getting paid.

    • simple fact is that Kansas blowzzzzzzzzzzz

      wow, you won a championship…….woopeeeeeeeeeeeee

      how many have you won?????
      oh that’s right, you never mention how many because IT ISN’T MANY IS IT???!!!!!!!!!!

      how many has KENTUCKY WON???

      SEVEN!!!

      7 currently
      and that number will be going up QUICKLY and REGULARLY

      venue……..KU Best?? ya ok…….Rupp always has and always will be the King of College Hoops destinations

      you KU people are in dreamland cuz you actually won

      KU is like a pimple on a rhino’s ass compared to Kentucky

      and that’s a fact gayhawkfan

      UK is back after some down time, yes i can and will admit that
      now the coaching situation is resolved…….and WATCH OUT

    • little ben

      answer me this question please

      who has more national championships

      KU or UK ??

      who has more all-time wins

      KU or UK ??

      who has more wins in the tournament

      KU or UK ??

      Kentucky for all 3 questions

      court adjourned

    • In case you didn’t notice the gap is starting to come to a close with that all time win thing. And yes, X was the most sought after freshman–hell, bill self just flat out stopped recruiting the kid. This is more than likely because of character issues.
      I would be careful UK fans because with this caliapari love fest you have essentially fell in love with a stripper. A dirty, greasy, slimy stripper that doesn’ give a damn about you. Meanwhile KU has the smokin’ hot chick.
      UKcatXXL what makes you think the number is going up regularly and often? Is it all those great NIT appearances you have had recently?
      You remember that game in allen fieldhouse when KU won by like 60 points and roy called a timeout because pitino didn’t have any left? Pitino then proceeded to cuss out roy and then roy left the starters in the game to totally embarrass them? That is what i will always remember about uk–well that and all those recent NIT appearences–oh that and that VMI game to kick off last season!!!
      you are the notre dame of college basketball—a bunch of burnouts that are clinging on to the past. At least KU fans have not only the past, but the present and future as well.

      • You’re an idiot…

    • bill stopped recruiting john wall i meant.

      UK used to be good, but now blow

      good night

    • and boy that demarcus cousins must be a real gem. I mean to be recruited by the likes of NC State, Kansas State, Washington, and Kentucky. Do you see your company UK fans? Joke.