Over the weekend, Andrew Cassady told you all about Skal Labissiere, the 2015 power forward/center from Haiti who currently lives just south of Memphis. Cal watched Labissiere over the weekend and compared his build to Marcus Camby, Nerlens Noel, and Anthony Davis. He’s ranked the 6th best player in the 2015 class by Rivals and 8th by ESPN. The 6’11” 198 lb. athletic sophomore currently has offers from the Cats, Auburn, Memphis and Kansas, but told reporters that Memphis and Kentucky were pursuing him the hardest.
As you can imagine, that didn’t make the people in Memphis too happy. Cal rarely offers players that young a scholarship so soon, something he even admitted to Labissiere when he extended the offer last November after only seeing him play one game. Add in the fact that Josh Pastner and the Memphis staff have been watching Labissiere play since he moved to the area after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, and well, it’s a bit awkward. Labissiere said that it’s a hot topic around town: “People talk about that a lot in Memphis, because not everybody in Memphis likes Coach Cal.”
While some his fellow Memphians aren’t too fond of their former head coach, Labissiere is pretty smitten. He said that likes Cal’s history of getting players with his similar build (Camby, Davis, Noel) into the draft, and that he’s had an eye on the Cats for a while:
“Memphis and Kentucky are recruiting me the hardest right now, getting in contact with me. Kansas just started last week. Coach Cal is working with me pretty hard right now. They’re a great program. The one-and-done, of course. I watched the [all-access] show on ESPN. He pushes players to the next level.”
Labissiere also praised Pastner, the Memphis staff and their style of play, but spoke glowingly of Cal’s offer, which he called a “real honor.”
It’s okay, Memphis. You still have excellent BBQ.