In an attempt to make today the unofficial John Wall lovefest, we find this piece from the C-J’s Brett Dawson, which peers into the soul of Wall and the fans that love him. Okay, it really talks about people slamming shots in honor of our unbelievable freshman, so maybe ‘soul-peering’ isn’t totally accurate. On a side note, who would’ve bet that an article featuring Two Keys, the John Wall Dance and Cougartown would be the one that USA Today decided to call up to the big leagues from the Courier? I digress. Dawson touches on some interesting points about the excitement surrounding Wall and, more importantly, the extra little something he might be playing for this Saturday when the gat-dang Tar Heels visit the hallowed halls.
Many questions were asked about why North Carolina would let the virtually unchallenged top recruit in the country be jerked out of their own backyard with barely a whimper. One thing that can’t be questioned is that something Ol’ Roy did really rubbed Wall’s AAU coach, Brian Clifton, the wrong way. From the Charlotte News-Observer in April:
“I have no desire to talk to, to be involved with, to visit, to contemplate in any shape, form or fashion John Wall going to play for Roy Williams. Zero,” said Clifton, who runs the D-One sports program.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Perhaps Clifton could have used a lesson in ‘I’m not saying anything’ from his young point-guard, as Wall seemed disinclined to put up any bulletin board material after Monday’s win in Freedom Hall.
“They have a great team this year. We need a good team who is going to challenge us and North Carolina is going to do a good job of that. They have good post players, guards and a great coach in Roy Williams. I knew when I saw it on the schedule it would be a game we would need to get prepared for and Coach has done a good job of that.”
If we didn’t think we knew better, Wall would have just done a brilliant job of making it seem like there was nothing personal between himself and the filthy Heels. Leave it to Boogie to clarify for us:
“You might see Superman come out there (on Saturday),” Cousins said. “I believe John’s got some bad blood with North Carolina somewhere in there.”
What’s this all mean? Probably nothing. But what could it mean? It could mean that the most talented player in college basketball has even the teeny-tiniest score to settle with a certain deputy-doggish coach of a certain diet blue university. It could mean that Saturday is just a game between the two of the most storied programs in college basketball history. Or maybe it’s the first chance for Wall to show the nation how good he is in his only shot against the team from his own backyard. It could mean Wall will be business as usual. Or it could mean he’ll be unleashed for the very first time. May the good lord help Larry Drew if it does.