Brandan Wright was going to be the marquee player in Kentucky's 2006 recruiting class. Everyone at Kentucky just knew it.
The Nashville prep standout is a 6-9 bundle of talent. If there's anything he
can't do on the basketball court, apparently coaches and analysts have not
been able to find it. Scout.com has him ranked as the nation's fifth best
player -- and No. 1 power forward. And many would argue that he should be
Kentucky coach Tubby Smith seem to be doing everything right to get Wright.
Smith and assistant coach Reggie Hanson paid close attention to Wright's every
move during the summer. Wright's mother appeared to love Smith -- and liked
the fact that Kentucky was closer to Nashville than either Duke or North Carolina.
Sure, hometown Vanderbilt was a possibility, but for a player who likely would
have opted to go straight to the NBA if the league had not invoked an age
limitation, it seemed a longshot at best that he would spend his time in
college playing for a team that probably could not win a national championship.
No, Wright and Kentucky seemed like a perfect fit for what the Cats needed for
the 2006-2007 season. That's what made it seem so surprising Sunday when
Wright decided he would commit to North Carolina following his weekend visit
with coach Roy Williams.
He's now part of a North Carolina recruiting class that looks even better on
paper than the one Smith had when he brought Rajon Rondo, Randolph Morris, Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley to Kentucky.
So what if Wright may not play but one year of college basketball? That one
year could have turned out to be special.
Here's hoping Smith doesn't let this impact his decision to go after the high
school superstar. Smith has made no secret of his desire to coach four-year
players and help those players develop their talent like he did Tayshaun Prince, Keith Bogans, Erik Daniels, Chuck Hayes and others. Nothing wrong with
that, especially when they turn out as good as those players. But there's also
nothing wrong with going after the superstars even if it doesn't always turn
out just Wright.
VAUGHT: Tubby, don't be deterred
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