There has been a lot of media speculation that an influential basketball personality and alleged close friend to Kentucky coach John Calipari, William Wesley, aka "Worldwide Wes," was involved with the Selby decision to re-evaluate where he wanted to play – an allegation that both Josh and his mother vehemently deny.
Selby reiterated yesterday that he didn't know Wesley and that he played no part in his decision, "I don't know him," Selby said, "I made a quick decision and really just looked at two schools, Louisville and Tennessee. After some thought, I decided that the decision was just too important to make that quickly."
Selby's mother has admitted to speaking with Wesley on two occasions, according to ESPN's Dana O'Neil, but denies that he had any influence on her or her son's decision.
Though reporters are certainly never shy about publically making inferences and stirring up controversy, my concern is the potential effect this situation may have on coach Calipari's and Kentucky reputation within the basketball community. Publically, I have seen no comments from coaches, but privately, I have heard many rumblings that lead me to believe that the basketball inner circle may be crying foul; and I believe if Selby commits to Kentucky those cries will possibly get louder and last much longer.
Certainly Josh Selby is one of the finest guards in the country. By all accounts, Kentucky is in a lead position if not THE lead position for his services. There are options, however, and I have wondered if another one may inevitably be in Kentucky's best interest.
If Calipari does have alternatives that are equally good, should he consider exercising them? Kyrie Irving and Joe Jackson are also terrific point guards and that's assuming that some of the people I have spoken to in Las Vegas are right and the Cats miss out on Brandon Knight; I would not make that assumption given Calipari's track record.
Having seen Joe Jackson play several times this week and speaking with him on more than one occasion, if I were a betting man, I'd wager that Jackson would come to Kentucky if asked. He's a Memphis player who likes Calipari a lot – he is also darn good. Kyrie Irving is another great option that is looking at Kentucky.
It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. With Wesley, Selby and Selby's mother all denying that there was any inappropriate influence, it would be hard to prove otherwise, so from that standpoint, it will only be the potential perception of wrongdoing that may remain an issue – but does Kentucky or Calipari really need that?
From where I sit, if Joe Jackson, Kyrie Irving or Brandon Knight became Kentucky's next point guard, the Cats will be in great shape and the issue will simply go away. Would that be so bad?