June 14, 2009
Wake Forest head coach Dino Gaudio was an assistant when Jeff Teague committed to the school in 2006, but he played a major role in recruiting the Indianapolis native. Now, it looks like Gaudio is recruiting Teague all over again.
With the deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft less than 24 hours away (Monday at 5 p.m. ET), Teague says that the only thing lying between signing with an agent and coming back to school is a sales pitch from his coach.
"My coach is going to come back and talk to us, and I'll make my decision then. For right now, I'm 100 percent in the draft. This is something I want to do. I want to make it my life. I've been working hard and I don't see why I shouldn't make it my life.
I want to give [Gaudio] the respect and talk to him and things like that. He was my coach and he's a great guy and I want to see to say for me and see if he can convince me to come back."
Why does Teague want to be convinced of something he has no interest in? And why would Gaudio agree to do that? The lines "I'm 100 percent in the draft" and "he was my coach" seem to suggest that the coach is wasting his breath trying to convince his star guard to come back.
That's probably going to be a strange conversation, by the way. On one side is a 20-year old who wants nothing more than to go pro. On the other side is a coach who may actually believe that his player going pro is the wrong decision, but can really only come off as completely self-serving if he tries to sell the idea of staying in school. Gaudio saying "you should stay" is heard by Teague and his father as "I need you to stay."
I don't like criticizing college kids who don't go to Duke, but I think Teague is in the wrong here. (So is Gaudio, but we'll get to that). If Teague wants to go pro, he shouldn't be making his old coach grovel for him. Gaudio has obviously made his opinion known, so nothing he can say this weekend could possibly be new. Why give false hope? (As for Gaudio, he's handled this situation poorly from the outset, when he said publicly that he thinks Teague will return to school.)
As a Wake fan, I'm hardly an impartial observer but I think Teague could use another season of college ball. That seems highly unlikely, no matter what sales pitch Dino Gaudio can make.