John Calipari to hit five states on basketball recruiting trail today

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July 13, 2012;Alexandria, VA USA;University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari (right) watches the game between USA West and USA Midwest during the Nike Global Challenge at Episcopal High School. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

There is no rest for the weary as John Calipari is in full recruiting mode today and will touch down in five states today. And we are not talking about going to one of those places where you can stand in four states at once either. We are talking full fledge, racking up the frequent flyer miles recruiting. The live contact period for college basketball recruiting started yesterday and things did not  go quite as planned.

Calipari was to be in West Virginia yesterday to visit Andrew Wiggins, but those plans changes when Wiggins went home to Canada for the weekend. Undaunted, Calipari went to Texas where he had an in home visit with Aaron and Andrew Harrison. There was a rumor that the Harrison’s had a family meeting on Saturday to discuss the teams on the list, and I would guess that it bodes well that Calipari was able to get in and see the twins on Day One. Baylor also met with the pair yesterday. Calipari did also have an in home visit with Julius Randle last night and apparently started today in Texas. Calipari had said that he would be in five states today, so here is the other states Cal will be in today along with the recruits he may be visiting:

  • California – maybe home visits with Aaron Gordon and Marcus Lee?
  • Michigan – a James Young sighting?
  • Indiana –  Trey Lyles and JaQuan Lyle?
  • Minnesota –  Tyus Jones?

Regardless of the actual destinations and who is visited, Calipari is said to be visiting as many as 10 recruits over a three day period.  That’s a lot of  finger sandwiches and snacks.

This past weekend also saw basketball visitors in Lexington in the form of 2013 center Dominic Woodson and 2015’s Montague Gill – Caeser.  Woodson is the Huntington Prep team mate of one Andrew Wiggins and is currently ranked 36th by Rivals, but is one of Kentucky’s only true center recruits for the class.  Not as much is known about Gill – Caesar, but like Woodson, is Wiggins team mate at Huntington Prep and he is a fellow Canadian like Wiggins.  Rivals has him ranked 18th in the 2015 class.  According to reports, Woodson left Lexington without an offer, but expect him to get plenty of face time with Calipari as Cal will make Huntington a regular destination.

April 24, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; New Orleans Hornets forward Lance Thomas (42) drives in against Golden State Warriors forward Jeremy Tyler (3) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

I realize that this is a Kentucky site, but whenever there is something that the NCAA needs to investigate, Kentucky fans are in an uproar. So we have to touch on the Lance Thomas situation. I know most rival fans say Kentucky fans are paranoid of the NCAA, but it is hard to rationalize the fact that the NCAA seemingly ignores the UNC academic fraud situation, but makes sure to take away John Calipari’s 500th victory commermative ball. So briefly, let’s meet Lance Thomas.

Thomas was a mamber of Duke’s 2010 national championship team who walked into a boutique jeweler in Manhattan and purchased $97,800 of swag.  Thomas paid $30,000 down and walked out with the goods and later defaulted on the rest of the payment.  While it IS possible that Thomas got the money from his family, it seems unlikely that he would have a spare $30K to just throw around.  There is a lot of smoke there and Dan Wetzel wonders if the NCAA will find the fire:

"In this case, did Rafaello & Co. allow a 21-year-old to borrow $67,800 because that 21-year-old was a starter on the eventual national champions and thus considered a potential NBA player who would not only be likely to pay the balance but become a return customer? Is it standard practice to let young people make that substantial of a purchase with just 30 percent down? If not, Duke could be in trouble. That could mean Lance Thomas was ineligible by receiving that “extra benefit.”"

Expect to hear more on this later …. simply because it’s the NCAA.