I hope someone, someday, years from now, writes a book about the Derrick Rose recruitment. It's one of the most compelling sagas I've ever followed in sports. Unfortunately, it also shows how shady the world of big-time amateur basketball- high school, AAU and college- is, but we already knew that.
This also shows that if you pay close enough attention and have the ability to filter the BS from the legit stuff, that even with a recruitment like Derrick Rose's, you can figure out what's going on no matter how dumb they play with the media. A month ago at an alumni event in Chicago, Steve Bardo (former Illini player, former Illini color commentator, now with ESPN) told everyone to forget about Derrick Rose. I think it's fairly clear that Weber leaked that to him. There's been smoke coming out of Memphis for months and months. We've also heard for a long time that it wasn't Derrick's decision, that Reggie was handling his recruitment. Hell, Derrick himself acknowledged the latter part of that; it isn't like he was going to flat-out say that he wasn't making the decision, but he definitely wasn't. Before the Memphis stuff starting surfacing, his two favorite schools- not the two favorites in the recruitment, not the schools winning Reggie's bidding wars- were Illinois and North Carolina, and not necessarily in that order.
UNC stopped recruiting Rose a long time ago, and it's now obvious why.
Call me nuts, but I don't see them switching brands any time soon. They're North freakin' Carolina and can quit recruiting whoever they want whenever they want, because they can go get someone else just as good. Even when we're talking about Derrick Rose. If that means they hold the schollie so they can go get both Tyreke Evans and Delvon Roe in '08, well, I think they're willing to do so.
Illinois can't do that. Aside from UNC, only Duke, and possibly Kansas, are in a position to do that if they so desire. Just completely walk away from a talent like Rose. Anyone else, especially the home school that badly wants the top in-state guy...we couldn't quit no matter how stacked the deck was. Sure, we could've had Alex Tyus had we walked away from Reggie's games, but as talented as he may be, you can always find guys like Tyus. Our staff apparently thinks Mike Tisdale is a better player than Tyus anyway, and I think for good reason.
I also wonder if the "done deal" everyone was talking about a month ago wasn't specifically with Memphis, but just with adidas, period. If it was with Memphis, why not just commit to Memphis? Then again, nothing about this makes a whole lot of sense, except the money, and anyone who's paid any attention knows to pay any mind to anything out of Reggie Rose's mouth.
If adidas has as much say in this as I think they do, I don't see why they wouldn't want him at UCLA, with Kevin Love. Talk about hype.
Well...let's go get A.J. Stewart- or hell, Dar Tucker. This can still be a blockbuster class (not like it ain't already a damn good one).