Tim Stevens

Fans should let Wall enjoy season's final weeks

Staff WriterJanuary 11, 2009 

The next time you see Raleigh Word of God basketball standout John Wall, do yourself and him a favor and don't ask him where he is going to go to school next year.

That's the advice of national basketball recruiting expert Dave Telep, the head man of scout.com's basketball recruiting.

Telep is asked almost as much as Wall about where the top-ranked point guard in the country is going to college.

He can imagine what it must be like for Wall, who is asked dozens of times a week about his college decision.

"This is what you need to do," Telep said. "Go to the game and enjoy watching an extraordinary player.

"He has been a treasure to the community -- filling our gymnasiums and bringing a lot of excitement to our area.

"But at this point, we should allow him to enjoy his last few weeks of high school basketball."

Wall's college decision will play out in a matter of weeks, not days or hours, Telep said.

Telep said one of the hardest things to explain to people who follow recruiting is that making a college decision takes a lot of thought for some players.

"I don't envy these guys," Telep said. "I imagine John feels like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is 18 years old and is facing a big decision. He needs some room and some time.

"I don't think you're going to wake up one morning and see that he made a sudden decision."

Wall is a national celebrity.

During the GlaxoSmithKline Invitational, television crews followed him around.

He would stop to speak to a friend and the cameras would roll.

An ESPN crew spent two days with him this week.

"John is in a good situation, the situation most players would love to be in, but I don't envy him," Telep said.

About 90 of Telep's top 100 already have committed, but three of his top six -- No. 1 6-foot-9 Derrick Favors of South Atlanta, Ga.; Wall (No. 2) and No. 6 6-9 1/2 DeMarcus Cousins of Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore -- have not announced decisions.

Some high school players relish the attention they receive during the decision-making process, but Telep said that isn't the case with these three players.

It is a tough decision. An important decision. And each of the player's options have positives and negatives.

N.C. State is involved with the three top-flight players. Favors has narrowed his choices to Georgia Tech, Georgia and State.

Wall's list may not be his finalists, but he has been most interested in State, Duke, Memphis, Baylor, Oregon and Kansas.

Cousins seemed headed to UAB in the fall because Mike Davis is the coach.

"It is a complicated situation, but DeMarcus wants to play for Davis," Telep said.

Cousins was willing to sign with UAB, but only under the condition that Davis would be the coach next fall.

The national letter doesn't work that way. The letter binds players to schools regardless of who is coaching.

That three of the top six players are interested in State is a testament to the staff and its pursuit of excellence.

"N.C. State has a great foundation with Favors and Wall," Telep said, "and State has worked hard to build a relationship with Cousins."

State is still involved with those three players because it has worked at it.

ADAMS GETS RECORD: Garrius Adams showed perfect timing Monday night when he set the Middle Creek High boys basketball scoring record.

Adams' 3-pointer against Millbrook with 10 seconds left sent the game into overtime. Middle Creek eventually won 57-51 in overtime.

The University of Miami recruit finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Adams is a three-year starter at Middle Creek and now has 1,367 points, including 24 in a 79-45 win over Fuquay-Varina on Tuesday.

LACROSSE DINNER: A dinner was held Wednesday night at Athens Drive in honor of its three lacrosse players who have accepted scholarships -- Tom Padden (Wingate); Evan Cumalander (Hampden-Sydney) and Josh Liptak (Catawba).

tim.stevens@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8910

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