Wall focusing on beating Tar Heels, not payback
“He (said) he would call me when it’s over and he never called,” Wall said. “He never offered me. That’s the decision he made.”
One that was difficult for Wall, a native of nearby Raleigh, N.C., who idolized former
Don’t get him wrong. The freshman point guard is glad he signed with
Wall is averaging 18.5 points and 7.8 assists heading into Saturday’s showdown with the 10th-ranked
“I think John in the end is a pleaser,” Calipari said.
Williams never doubted Wall’s ability, calling him the best high school point guard prospect since Jason Kidd. While not getting into specifics on why he didn’t offer Wall a scholarship, Williams stressed it had nothing to do with Wall’s talent.
“I thought he would’ve been a great player for us, but things just didn’t fit,” Williams said. “Some shoes don’t fit.”
Maybe, but that doesn’t mean Wall is completely over it.
Calipari said during the recruiting process some people close to Wall had even hinted he should opt for
The questions surrounding Wall’s relationship with former AAU coach Brian Clifton may have also been an obstacle for some coaches. Wall was suspended for two games at the start of the season by the NCAA for accepting improper benefits from Clifton – who was briefly a licensed agent – during his junior year of high school.
Williams won’t get into the specifics of Wall’s recruitment, simply noting he pursued Wall throughout Wall’s high school career before opting to go in another direction.
“A couple of things happened immediately after (we talked) that helped me make the decision not to go any further,” Williams said.
Wall has tried hard not to take Williams’ decision personally, but he hasn’t succeeded.
“I kind of took it both ways,” Wall said. “I feel like they didn’t think I was good enough to play there or took it in a way that they’re just moving on forward and they’re happy with what they’ve got and the players they have.”
Yet even now Wall isn’t sure why things didn’t work out with the
“I still don’t have a clue,” he said.
Instead of Wall running the point for the defending national champions, it’s sophomore
Drew has grown into the role of replacing superstar
Despite his disappointment in not playing for the
Wall knows it’s his job to keep the rest of the team under control, even if he knows his emotions are going to be running a little high.
“I think I might have a little bit of an edge, but I can’t let it overwhelm me and try to go out of control and do stuff I’m not supposed to do,” he said. “If I get out of control, it’s going to mess us up.”
He’s rarely been out of control so far for
Though he’s never said anything to his teammates about the perceived snub by the
“I believe it’s going to be another side of John,” said