In the wake of a loss against N.C. State, its easy for Duke fans to wonder what might have been had John Wall committed to Duke. The Kentucky point guard, who is averaging 17.1 points, 6.9 assists and 2.1 steals per contest has been one of the most dominant players in the country so far this season.
His team is No. 2 in the country, and it’s hard not to wonder about how the Blue Devils would have been the favorite to win the NCAA title had Wall stayed in state and played in Durham.
In a piece published today, Ken Tysiac of The News & Observer raised the question of why the guard isn’t playing in the Triangle; the things that both head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Wall had to say about the Duke program in the context the freshman’s recruitment were telling:
Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski didn’t want to discuss why Wall isn’t a Blue Devil.
“I don’t talk about friends that I didn’t have or women that I didn’t marry,” Krzyzewski said this week. “So I don’t talk about players that I don’t coach.”
Wall visited Duke on March 29 and said Krzyzewski told him the Blue Devils would use him in an offense similar to the one Jason Williams ran as a dynamic point guard from 1999 to 2002. Wall said he learned a lot about the Duke program and talked frankly with Krzyzewski.
“He told me the program had not had a point guard in a while that could penetrate and create,” Wall said after returning from the visit. “Duke has lots of great players and players who can really score. I would be surrounded by great players there.”
Despite Duke’s obvious interest in Wall as a prospect, it seems that ultimately Kentucky head coach John Calipari’s history of preparing point guards for the NBA was the determining factor in Wall’s recruitment. Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans have had great success in the league early in their careers, and Wall is likely to follow in both of their footsteps by entering the NBA after his freshman season.
“He’s just a great coach of point guards,” Wall said of Calipari the day he made his commitment in his high school’s gym. “He knows what he’s doing to get me to the next level [NBA].”