Sources close to the University of Memphis basketball program are not expecting a favorable outcome this morning when standout point guard Eric Bledsoe announces his college destination at Parker High School in Birmingham.
Bledsoe has been deciding between Memphis and Kentucky since last weekend, when he took official visits to both schools. The Memphis coaching staff had not gotten word from Bledsoe's camp, but had not received positive indications on which way Bledsoe was leaning.
This is the first head-to-head recruiting battle between new Memphis coach Josh Pastner and former Memphis coach John Calipari, who has apparently convinced Bledsoe to sign with Kentucky despite also recruiting John Wall, the nation's No. 1 prep point guard. Wall is still expected to choose Kentucky regardless of the Bledsoe decision.
Unless Bledsoe changes his mind and signs with Memphis, his choice of Kentucky leaves the Tigers in a difficult situation at the moment.
Larry Vaught: Coach Parker on Bledsoe
"He's really a good kid. He came here this year after his school closed and fit in perfectly," Bledsoe's high school coach, Maurice Parker, said. "We would not have been state runner-up (in Class AAAAA) without him.
"He's a pass-first guy. He needs to work on his perimeter shot. That's his only flaw. But he can finish at the basket. He can take a hit. He can rebound. He's 6-1, but he's physically strong like a football player. He's not a little guy.
"He can play defense, too. He can contain his man because of his footwork and length. He can guard someone other than just a point guard. He also has great instincts that help him."
Parker wouldn't say where his star player will play his college basketball.
"That's up to him to announce. But the school that gets him is going to be getting a very, very good player and a very good kid," Parker said. "I know he's tired and ready to make his choice, but he did the right thing taking his time to make sure he gets this right."
The spring signing period ends May 20.
Larry Vaught on Bledsoe
I can't get a definite feel on Bledsoe. Not sure if my sources are not sure or just are not saying. However, I also get the feeling from them all that they think Bledsoe will be a Cat. So while I can't confirm it, I sure feel good about what the decision will be just as I believed it would be a month ago when I talked to him and he indicated all it would take was some "love from coach Cal" to get him.
Orlando Sentinel on Bledsoe
Five-star recruit Eric Bledsoe once listed Florida as his "favorite" in the recruiting process, but now it's all about Kentucky or Memphis when he declares his allegiance on Wednesday. Or at least that's what Bledsoe is saying these days.
Who knows what's up with Bledsoe, who said in April that Florida was his favorite because they recruited him the hardest. Word is that he's struggled with his ACT and is awaiting new results. Losing guards to academics is nothing new to Donovan, who never coached Doneal Mack and Derwin Kitchen because of their inability to qualify for UF enrollment (getting into school isn't always as easy as you'd think for high-profile athletes).