ESPN’s Dana O’Neil continues what is turning out to be a very cool series of posts of various questions asked of NCAA coaches at the Peach Jam with a look at recruiting hits and misses over the years. There are some cool stories within the blog post, including Providence being forced to turn down Tim Duncan and Western Kentucky deciding JJ Barea was too small. O’Neil also talked with Rick Pitino, who offered up his responses, which both turned out to be very good for Wildcat fans.
Mr. Three Stacks, your response:
Rick Pitino, Louisville
The one that got away: Rajon Rondo. “We took Sebastian Telfair instead. We should have waited. I always loved Rondo. He was at my camp every year, but a point guard had never gone directly to the NBA so I didn’t see that coming with Telfair. And then not only did we lose [Rondo], we lost him to a bitter rival.”
The best discovery: Nazr Mohammed. “He was probably the worst high school player I’ve ever seen. I remember I went to his high school and his coach said, ‘Rick Pitino, what are you doing in my gym? Antoine Walker isn’t walking through that door.'”
O’Neil unfortunately didn’t talk with Billy Gillispie, who could have provided some of the greatest answers ever recorded on ESPN.com, but overall it’s a nice little article. ESPN’s Dave Telep even did a bit of the same thing, though he didn’t ask coaches. He just gave his own thoughts. Together, Telep and O’Neil prove yet again that recruiting is an inexact science. Unless you’re John Calipari.