Carousel Prevents Kelly's Visit

Real life intersected with recruiting on Wednesday. About to board a plane, Ryan Kelly learns of a potential change and a visit to Stanford is canned.

The Kelly Family was at the Raleigh-Durham Airport getting ready for a 2:30 p.m. flight cross country to make an unofficial visit to Stanford.

Ryan Kelly, a 6-foot-9 power forward, won't be touching down today on the West Coast. With rumors swirling about Trent Johnson and his candidacy at LSU, the Cardinal isn't in a great position to host a Top 100 junior.

So, instead of flying West, the Kelly Family is heading home. It's recruiting and real life intersecting and believe it or not, there's no hard feelings.

"This is why they call it the coaching carousel; round and round it goes," Doreen Kelly, Ryan's mother told Scout.com.

"I'm sure this has happened before. People head out and have been told other kids have committed. It is what it is, it happens. I think families need to know this sort of thing happens. This is the reality of it."

The reality of this situation is that whether or not Johnson is (will be or was) the head coach at Stanford, he wasn't going to be on campus today and the climate wouldn't have been ripe for a good visit. Regardless, Stanford is on the list because it's a big time school and even a cancelled trip and potential coaching change won't mean the Cardinal gets automatically whacked from the list.

"Stanford is Stanford. That's the point. Now this isn't the appropriate time to visit them but we'll look anyway. The point is (the staff's) personal lives are in turmoil. They have no idea what job they'll have in 48 hours. Why put them through that? We'll back off and see what the scenario is. The only thing that is personally disappointing is trying to figure out if distance will be a factor (in Ryan's decision)."

A collective sigh of relief is likely to be felt on the campuses of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Davidson, Wake Forest and North Carolina. Why? Schools are competitive and no one wants a prospect visiting another school so Stanford's loss this time around is a small win for the other pool of schools.

Ryan Kelly isn't going to get to see Palo Alto. His parents are out the cost of a hotel room since it was purchased in advance and they'll spend the afternoon trying to recoup some of the cost of the airplane tickets.

The Kelly Family isn't the first to be affected by a situation like this but it's an interesting reminder of real life intersecting with the high stakes business of college basketball recruiting.


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