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July 20, 2009

Weekend wrap — Selby on the market

After spending the last 10 months as a Tennessee recruit, Lake Clifton point guard Josh Selby is back on the market.

The five-star prospect, who transferred from DeMatha, withdrew his commitment to the Volunteers on Sunday, according to’s Gary Parrish.

Still, industry sources told two schools that will almost certainly be involved are Kentucky and Oregon -- both of which have obvious connections to William Wesley, a major person of influence in the sport. Wesley (more commonly known as "Worldwide Wes" or simply as "Wes") has a close and very public relationship with Kentucky coach John Calipari, Oregon assistant Kenny Payne, and Nike Basketball. insinuates that Selby’s change of heart could be shoe-related.

Kentucky, a school with a Nike contract and John Calipari as head coach, has already landed the No. 1 and No. 2 rated players in the Class of 2009. Calipari, who enjoyed a strong relationship with Nike at Memphis, is believed to be involved in Selby’s recruitment. Tennessee’s contract is with adidas.

• The Maryland football program picked up a commitment from Milford Mill wide receiver Tyrek Cheeseboro. The three-star prospect picked the Terps over offers from Virginia, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Syracuse and UConn, among others. Check back with Recruiting Report later this week for more on Cheeseboro’s choice. Click here for video of his announcement.

• The NBC affiliate in Columbus, Ohio caught up with Terps power forward target J.D. Weatherspoon over the weekend for an update on his recruitment.

Weatherspoon also is listing Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Florida, Missouri, VCU and Cincinnati along with Xavier and Ohio State. Many analysts still believe his choice eventually will come down to XU and OSU, but he doesn’t know what to think at this point.

• Fayetteville, N.C., power forward and Terps target Damontre Harris favors an SEC school, according to Phil Kornblut.

[South Carolina] is the leader for 6-9 Damontre Harris, according to his coach at Trinity Christian Academy in Fayetteville, N.C. “Coach (Neill) Berry and coach (Darrin) Horn have done a tremendous job,” said Trinity coach Heath Vandevender. “They were the first big time program to offer.”

• Terps women’s combo guard recruit Natasha Cloud had a double-double in a loss in the 16-and-under AAU nationals.

Erin Shields scored 14 points, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Comets to victory against the New Orleans Dominos in Orlando. The Dominos prevailed, 56-50, but Natasha Cloud scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:58 AM | | Comments (6)


Is there anything sleazier that the recruitment of high profile basketball players? Maybe I am just naive. The idea that somebody would chose where to play basketball based on a contract that the school has with a sneaker company is beyond me. Also, for what it is worth, I kind of doubt that Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, or even Chris Wilcox picked their college based on something like this.

Frankly, if this is where we are and what it has come down to, then we should just do away with the whole facade of these kids being "students" and just pay them a decent salary.

Am I the only one who smells something extremely "fishy" with Selby's sudden decommitment to Tennessee and apparent new "lean" toward Kentucky and Calipari??? Don't get me wrong, this is neither a case of sour grapes nor a shot at Maryland and the Terps' alleged "failures" to land the top Baltimore-based talent as Selby never showed Maryland any particular interest. However, if one truly believes the adage that no single coach or program can snare all of the best recruits, then no amount of hard work, et al. by any single program or coach can legitmately yield the overwhelning number of top recruits Calipari has landed over the past 3-4 years. When you add in Calipari's past shadiness to the clear present ties to infuential handlers, shoe companies, school affiliations, etc., there is no way the NCAA, in good conscience, can ignore this ongoing phenomena.

Hope he (and Kentucky--they've done it before with Eddie Sutton) get what's coming to them.

Not suprising for Selby considering he is on his 3rd high school in 4 years. He can't seem to stay anywhere.

Word has it that he wn't be attending Lake Clifton in the fall either which isn't surprising considering that Antonio Barton decided to transfer to a prep school. Selby and the Barton brothers are very good friends.

According to Rivals we are not in the top 6 schools listed for Terrence Jones. Kentucky leads the list, shocker...

Parker is reminding me of Epps, where we were at the top of his list right up till he committed to Pitt. We lack a closer on this crew like we had with Patsos. You need a salesman on the staff. Although I hate Calipari, you have to admitt the guy can sell.

It's real simple. Maryland doesn't pay kids to attend college and play basketball. The other major universities do. It's not a failure to recurit five star, local recruits. They go where the money is. Calipari doles it out (but can never win when it counts.) Maryland is forced to take the second-tier "prospect" types relying on developing them. The multi-billion dollar TV, shoe, university and NCAA driven "college atletics" is nothing more than a charade driven by huge profits and little overhead, unless you count the thousands of people on the NCAA payroll or their private LEAR jets. The enforcement arm if the NCAA is goal is to simply keep the staus quo in tact. After all, a major scandal involving "good" guys like Calipari, Callhoun or Roy Williams for pay to play schemes would expose the hypocracy of "student athletes" and temporarily slow the money supply. That would be unaccceptable. But we the consumers (and the press) already know the real deal. We just perfer to look the other way and keep the game and the dough rolling.

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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