CBSSports.com is continuing its survey of “nearly 100″ college basketball coaches with a question today that’s sure to draw eyeballs — “Which play is perceived to have the dirtiest recruitment in the last 10 years?”
Dirty doesn’t mean any actual NCAA rules were broken, of course. It just means that the perception of said recruitment was that there were some odd shenanigans taking place. And the perception of the SEC as a cheater’s paradise won’t be aided by the list of most popular responses:
1. Shabazz Muhammad (signed with UCLA)
2. Anthony Davis (signed with Kentucky)
3. John Wall (signed with Kentucky)
4. Kyle Anderson (signed with UCLA)
5. OJ Mayo (signed with Southern Cal)
6. Derrick Rose (signed with Memphis… under current Kentucky coach John Calipari)
7. Renardo Sidney (signed with Mississippi State)
8. Terrence Jones (signed with Kentucky)
9. Tobias Harris (signed with Tennessee)
10. Chris Obekpa (committed to St. John’s and Steve Lavin… who used to coach at UCLA)
So of the 10 recruitments most often cited as “dirty” by anonymous basketball coaches, five signed with SEC schools (not counting Rose who signed with Calipari).
But wait, it gets worse.
In the “also received votes” category were DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky), Enes Kanter (Kentucky), Josh Selby (whose attendance at a barbecue helped lead to the demise of Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl before the player inked with Kansas), and Rodney Hood (Mississippi State).
See a theme here? Kentucky (Calipari), Mississippi State (ex-coach Rich Stansbury) and Tennessee (ex-coach Pearl) were all tied to more than one of these chases. Does that mean those programs/coaches are or were rogue? Or does it mean those coaches’ reputations for being renegades just led other coaches to assume that their key signees and targets were somehow bought? If you’re a UK, MSU or UT fan, I bet I can guess your answer.
The most interesting quote in the piece came from an anonymous coach and it was aimed at Wall, the former star Kentucky point guard:
“Baylor hired John Wall’s AAU coach and that still wasn’t enough to get that deal done. That recruitment was on another level. And remember, Roy Williams basically stopped recruiting him. Best player in the country is from North Carolina, and North Carolina didn’t really want anything to do with it. What does that tell you?”
It tells you whatever you want it to tell you. That’s what.