Mon May 04 11:19am EDT
The breaking news of the morning comes from WRAL in Raleigh, N.C. That news? Uber-recruit John Wall, the still-undecided No. 1 player in the class of 2009, was cited with breaking and entering by the Raleigh police this morning:
Authorities said Wall, 18, was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering in connection with an April 27 break-in at a home at 3924 Laurel Glen Drive in Raleigh. An officer saw Wall leaving from the rear of the residence and was able to detain him, police said. Police said there was no forced entry at the residence and no indication that anything was taken from it.
There will likely be much more to come here, but a few quick, unsubstantiated and probably wild theories:
1. This could push John Wall to the draft. For a while, Wall toyed with the idea of using his special fifth-year high school status to enter the NBA draft as a 19-year-old, and technically he could do so. Later, Wall said he would attend school. Now, though, any college that recruits him has to deal with a breaking and entering charge. How do you punish Wall? Would he even want to deal with it? The character-related issues could hurt his draft stock, but it's hard to imagine his kind of world-changing talent slipping too far. Maybe the draft just seems easier now? (Update: I'm an idiot, and thus lost the important bit of information here: the early-entry draft deadline has already passed, so Wall is stuck going to college. Had my dates -- June 15 is the draft withdrawal deadline, not the deadline itself -- confused. Apologies. [Thanks to Tom Ziller for the heads up.])
2. Recruiting strategy just got a lot trickier. Say you're Coach K. You're going hard after Wall. Now, not only do you have to justify to your fans and to your administration why you spent so much time recruiting such a non-committal player, you have to explain why the risk of taking someone with a breaking and entering citation on their record is worth it. John Calipari, same deal. Kentucky doesn't have the same sterling reputation as Duke, but do you really want your first major recruiting coup to come a week after that recruit was charged with something as potentially serious as this? And if you're Wall, don't you suddenly have an interest in making sure that wherever you end up is going to be lenient with you? Do you start including this in your demands? Coaches already had a tough situation recruiting Wall; the rules just keep getting trickier.
Anyway, just a couple of thoughts. Two others were charged with Wall; maybe he'll be exonerated and maybe the whole thing never happened. In any case, the John Wall recruitment insanity meter just shot up about fifteen notches, and it's holding strong for now.