Wall likely to wait until after signing period ends

recruit unlikely to sign by may 20

jtipton@herald-leader.comMay 13, 2009 

With the end of the spring signing period a week away, the recruiting world is bracing for the pursuit of mega prospect John Wall extending into the summer.

"May 20 means nothing to John Wall," analyst Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com said, referring to the final day of the five-week spring signing period. "That's just another day on the calendar."

Kentucky has a keen interest in Wall, the nation's consensus No. 1 prospect in the high school class of 2009. UK is among several programs being considered by Wall, a 6-foot-4 point guard from Raleigh, N.C. Others include Duke, Miami, Florida, Baylor, North Carolina State, Kansas and Memphis.

Meyer spoke with Wall's AAU coach, Brian Clifton, on Tuesday. The conversation did not suggest an imminent decision.

"He said John never mentioned there being a timetable or he needed to make a decision by the 20th," Meyer said. "Everything is still up in the air, and who knows how long it will be?"

Another analyst, Evan Daniels of Scout.com, said he spoke to Wall last weekend and Clifton on Tuesday. He got the same impression.

"It could drag on a few weeks," Daniels said. "He doesn't seem to be in any hurry."

Several factors have complicated the recruiting of Wall. For instance, his mother's health problems led to a hospitalization and Wall setting aside the decision on a college.

Then his stated favorite, Memphis, lost its coach when John Calipari went to Kentucky.

Wall, who is still trying to secure his academic eligibility as a college freshman, roiled the recruitment when he was cited by Raleigh police for misdemeanor breaking and entering on April 27.

Fortunately for Wall, he is in a favorable position of knowing the schools need him more than he needs the schools.

So while Kentucky signed a point guard, Eric Bledsoe, last week, UK maintains its interest in Wall.

"Without a doubt, John has all the leverage," Meyer said.

The Rivals analyst noted how more top prospects are discovering that the signing of a national letter of intent carries more risk than reward.

"Why sign early?" Meyer said. "All that does is bind them (to a school). What is the advantage of that?"

Wall is one of three so-called five-star prospects, the highest rating given by Rivals.com, who remain unsigned.

The others are:

■ Lance Stephenson, a 6-foot-6 wing from Brooklyn, N.Y.

■ Latavious Williams, a 6-7 player from Humble, Texas.

If a decision does not come until after the spring signing period expires, a mega player retains all the leverage. He can sign a scholarship offer with a school, but that agreement only binds the school to offer a scholarship.

When asked whether Wall might make a decision after May 20, Meyer said, "That could very well happen."

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