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.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — One of the most fascinating themes of the new “30 for 30” on John Calipari — entitled “One and Not Done,” directed by Jonathan Hock and set to air on April 13 on ESPN — is the relationship between Calipari and William Wesley, aka “Worldwide Wes.”
After Calipari took the Memphis job in 2000 following his firing by the Nets, he needed to recruit players to his new program. Wesley would end up helping Calipari get Dajuan Wagner and Derrick Rose at Memphis, and later Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at Kentucky.
“He gets the Memphis job and whenever you get a new job, regardless of the level, you need players,” ESPN’s Andy Katz says in the film. “And how do you get players? You make contacts. Who are those contacts? Sometimes they are a high school coach, sometimes they’re an AAU coach, sometimes they’re just a middleman, whoever that might be.”
Said Calipari in the film: “Now I go to Memphis, and again how it works. Fate intervened in my life. William Wesley calls a meeting with me, I said OK.”
Freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox is the first Kentucky player this year to announce for the 2017 NBA Draft. He plans to sign with an agent, which would effectively end his career at UK.
The NBA Draft is June 22.
The 6-foot-3 Fox is the projected No. 6 pick via DraftExpress.com to the Knicks, while his teammate, fellow freshman Malik Monk, is at No. 5. Monk has yet to announce.
“First of all, I’m grateful for the unbelievable season we had,” Fox said. “Although the ending didn’t turn out how we wanted it to, this team came together as a family and we achieved things that a lot of people didn’t think we could because we were so young. I want to thank my teammates for being on this ride with me as well as the seniors and specifically Zay (Isaiah Briscoe) for guiding me this season. It wouldn’t have been such a smooth transition from high school to college without their leadership.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Patrick Ewing is the new head coach at Georgetown and will be introduced during a press conference on Wednesday at 11 a.m EST.
Ewing replaces John Thompson III, who was let go on March 23. Ewing, of course, played for Thompson’s father, Big John Thompson, at Georgetown, leading the Hoyas to three NCAA championship games and the 1984 NCAA title.
“My four years at Georgetown were the best of my life,” Ewing said in a statement. “Georgetown is my home and it is a great honor for me to return to my alma mater and serve as the next head coach. I have been preparing to be a head coach for many years and can’t wait to return to the Hilltop.”
Ewing, 54, previously served as an assistant coach with the Wizards, Rockets and Magic before joining the Charlotte Hornets, where he’s currently the associate head coach.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The NCAA championship game on Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium is the final game of the college basketball season and represents a very different set of opportunities for coaches Roy Williams and Mark Few.
For Williams, this chance at being crowned national champion will be his sixth, and a year ago was his fifth. The Hall of Fame coach owns two national titles to his name, and should he win Monday he’ll become the sixth coach in college basketball history to capture three championships. That group includes John Wooden (10), Mike Krzyzewski (5), Adolph Rupp (4), Jim Calhoun (3) and Bob Knight (3).
Few’s opportunity represents essentially the exact opposite of Williams’. The man who built Gonzaga into the NCAA Tournament mainstay that they are recognized as today will patrol the sidelines in Glendale Monday night as a national championship game neophyte. Despite making the Big Dance every season during his 18-year coaching tenure at Gonzaga, Few is entering unchartered waters.