Wilkes Will Wait on Trip

There has not been a lot of clear information or indications out of Jordan Wilkes for favorites in his hot recruitment, but this latest turn has muddied the waters even more. While today was supposed to be the start of his second official visit, he and his family have made a late change of plans. To learn the "what" and "why" behind this surprise, as well as what might come down the road, read on...

It was just last week that we reported all cylinders firing on the recruiting front for 6'11" Los Angeles center Jordan Wilkes. He was working in earnest on his Stanford admissions application, and his older brother had recently submitted his transfer application to The Farm. The pair had their sights set on the Card, with Jordan ready to start his official visit to Stanford today. But the younger Wilkes is not taking his official trip to Stanford this spring, as The Bootleg learned on Thursday. A change in plans has his visit moved out a few months.

"We have decided to complete the application before Jordan can take his one visit," explains father Jamaal Wilkes, who was an All-American at UCLA in the early 1970s. "He has been working on it and still has a few things to tie up. We would like to get an answer and get him admitted before we take that trip. He has the next couple/few weeks of school to focus on."

"It's still early in the process and we are still gathering info," the former Los Angeles Laker continues cryptically. "There are a lot of moving parts."

That statement might appear to be code for concerns about the recent coaching transition at Stanford - with Wooden Legends of Coaching Award winner Mike Montgomery moving to the NBA. However, the family has been favorably impressed with new head coach Trent Johnson - particularly Jamaal Wilkes.

Still, there is the question when a visit is moved from a firm spring date to the following fall if that school has taken a hit in a recruiting battle like this. The father maintains that a fall decision is ahead with no rush to any decision any time soon, and the Cardinal should stay in that race.

"Jordan is planning to get the application in, and he is still planning a visit in the fall," the recruit's father solemnly states.

The other obvious question surrounds the putative "package" recruitment that many observers believe will play out with Jordan and Omar Wilkes, with the latter looking for a new home on the West Coast after obtaining his release at the end of his freshman year at Kansas. The father confirmed that California and Washington are the two schools that appear to be in a position to take his two sons right now. He does not deny the attraction of seeing them together at a single school.

"That would be a factor," the proud pops admits. "We have known the boys are different heights and play different positions, so playing together could be highly feasible."

With Jordan Wilkes no longer visiting Stanford this weekend, that theoretically clears out space for another suitor to swoop in and land a late visit before the summer hits. Official visits will not be next permitted for the recruit until his fall classes resume for his senior year at Loyola High School. Jamaal Wilkes says that no unofficial visits have been planned at this time in the interim.

That leaves just basketball on the junior center's plate these next few months, and there is much to be achieved for the post project. His father knows a thing or two about the game played with a leather ball and iron hoop, and he has been pleased with the learning curve he has seen for his son this past winter and spring. Moreover, he is pleased that Jordan will not have the magnifying glass following his every drop-step during the intense scrutiny of the July evaluation period.

"He's progressing nicely," the father proclaims. "He's in a position where schools he's interested in are interested in him, so he doesn't have to try to showcase for anyone anymore."

There are now more questions than answers in Stanford's recruitment of Jordan Wilkes, though it appears that the next step will come when the 2005 center completes and submits his application. We will monitor that aspect of this story and keep you updated throughout the summer and fall on all that plays out for this top center target.

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