UK Men's Basketball

UK recruit Wall charged with misdemeanor

John Calipari's record strongly suggests that John Wall being charged with a misdemeanor breaking and entering should have no impact on the University of Kentucky's recruitment of the highly regarded point guard prospect.

During his time as coach at the University of Memphis, Calipari gave second chances to prospects and veteran players involved in more serious allegations.

Police in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., charged Wall with breaking and entering on April 27. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, a police officer saw Wall leaving from the rear door of an unoccupied two-story house. Wall and two other teenagers were issued a citation of misdemeanor breaking and entering.

There was no indication of a forced entry nor any sign of theft, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

UK and Calipari declined to comment.

Spokesmen for Duke and North Carolina State also declined to comment, the News & Observer said.

Wall has been expected to reduce his list of schools this week. He has said he's considering Kentucky, Florida, Duke, Baylor, Miami, Memphis, N.C. State and Kansas.

While the coach at Memphis, Calipari repeatedly tempered his justice with mercy. He allowed Sean Banks to join the team even though the player had been arrested twice. Banks pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and paid a $100 fine after he and three others were in a car involved in a police chase. Bergen County (N.J.) police said Banks and the others were in a local gang called "The Outlaws."

The Bergen County Record also reported a second incident in which police charged Banks with aggravated assault with a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. The mother of a 15-year-old girl told police Banks burned three circles in the form of a triangle near her daughter's ankle, the newspaper reported. Police called the triangles a "gang insignia."

In allowing Banks to join the Memphis team, Calipari said, "This is a case where we're going to help this kid more than he's going to help us."

The Memphis team that reached the 2008 Final Four included several players who had brushes with law enforcement.

According to the Commercial Appeal, Calipari once seemed to second-guess his record of leniency.

After a victory over UTEP, Calipari praised the Miners' coach Tony Barbee, a former player for Cal at UMass.

"He threw off his best freshman last week," Calipari said. "He has more backbone than I do."

Scout.com national recruiting analyst Dave Telep told the News & Observer that schools aren't likely to stop recruiting Wall on the basis of these charges.

"I think as long as things stay status quo and nothing else comes of this, I don't believe it will have much effect, if any, on his recruitment," Telep said.

The exception, Telep said, would be a coach who believes he isn't going to get Wall anyway. Such a coach might use the charges as a convenient excuse to stop recruiting him, Telep said.

Bledsoe to choose UK or Memphis on Wednesday

Point guard prospect Eric Bledsoe will announce his college choice Wednesday, his high school coach said Monday.

Coach Maurice Ford of Parker High School in Birmingham, Ala., said that Bledsoe will choose either Kentucky or Memphis.

Bledsoe visited Memphis on Thursday and then traveled to Kentucky.

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