All this Andrew Wiggins stuff must be getting to the guys over at ESPN. Eamonn Brennan, normally a fairly neutral observer of college basketball, at least when he’s got his "journalist - blogger" hat on (I have no idea about his free time) had this to say in an article today about Wiggins’ decision to settle for telephone calls from North Carolina, Kansas, and Florida State instead of a personal visit (Forgive the long snip, I just want to make sure full context is included):
Kentucky coach John Calipari did in fact enjoy a home visit with Wiggins, a bonus the rest of the coaches competing for his services will not have. Calipari has already put together one of the best (if not the best) recruiting classes in the modern history of the sport. The most predictable outcome, that Wiggins would choose to play for a national title for the coach that has landed more top prospects than any other in the past five seasons, now appears to be a mere step or two away from completion.
I mean, let's be serious: It's over, right?
Maybe not! From Jeff Borzello:“It means nothing,” Rob Fulford told CBSSports.com Monday morning. “He's just tired. He doesn't want to deal with it.” Wiggins played for the World Team at the Nike Hoop Summit this past weekend, and is still stuck in Portland after his flight home was canceled. “He's just drained. He is shutting it down.”
Of course, a high school coach saying a development in his player’s recruiting decision had no meaning even though it really did would be less surprising than Wiggins ending up playing for Kentucky. (I’m trying to think of the last time a top prospect was well and truly pursued by a Worldwide Wes-backed Calipari and ended up playing somewhere else. The list isn’t long.) [My emphasis]
Really, Eamonn? "Worldwide Wes-backed?" He makes it sound like William Wesley is bankrolling Calipari’s draft choices or something. It's true that Calipari doesn't miss many he really pushes for, but he does miss some -- Shabazz Muhammad immediately comes to mind, and why has Wesley gotta be "backing" Coach Cal?
I totally get that the psycho hate-Calipari crowd on Twitter might go here, but it’s pretty disturbing to see ESPN’s lead basketball blogger make a comment like that. Perhaps it’s just an unfortunate choice of words rather than a Freudian slip, who knows?
Generally, I would willingly embrace the hate, but this is totally out of left field from a source not known to indulge in delusional, anti-Calipari rhetoric. I really don’t object to something like this from Card Chronicle, or some other rival blog. In fact, I’d consider it a badge of honor.
But Brennan is a writer I had come to respect, for the most part, which leaves me wondering where this crap came from. Maybe he tried on somebody’s tinfoil hat today, and got to liking it. Who knows?