Because, in these parts, basketball recruiting trumps all news — other than hoops itself — we are now obsessed with ***** Antonio Blakeney’s abdication of his intention to matriculate for his higher education on the Belknap Campus of the University of Louisville.
ISIS. Ferguson. McConnell vs. Grimes. The Who Is The Baddest Boy Ray Rice vs. Adrian Peterson Pay Per View Smackdown. Reappearance of the Polar Vortex.
Fuhgettaboutit. If local reaction is a gauge, Blakeney’s decommitment is bigger than all that. And tomorrow’s vote for Scotland’s independence too.
So, U of L fans are looking for a culprit.
Why else would a kid come for a visit, say yes, he’s wanted to be a Cardinal forever, and then, ten days later, say, uh waitaminute?
If one were playing “Clue,” there would be an obvious guess.
Coach Cal. In the Blue Room. With a fistful of Nike®Bucks.
As much as I accept how truly smarmy Sin City college basketball recruiting is, I am really not sure about all that goes on.1
Some recruiting “experts” are convinced it’s the shoes. The Mars Blackmon Theory. That Phil Knight’s enforcement unit paid a visit to Blakeney, reminded him that he’d already accepted the offer he couldn’t refuse and explained with extreme prejudice what would happen if the hoopster didn’t renege.
Could be. I’m certainly not sure.
The kid says he simply made a decision too soon. He was dazzled by the Yum!, Cardinal Corridor, The Rick’s wardrobe. He just wants to make sure.
That’s plausible. I did the same thing when I was 17 years old. Chose the first college I visited. Which was ill advised. Left after three semesters.
Then again, my Sunday League jumper didn’t fall very often, I had no hops and the only shoe choices I had in those days was whether I’d buy my Bass Weejuns at Rodes or Levy Bros.?
Blakeney says Louisville is still on his list.
Uh, good luck with that. Rick Pitino has proven disinclined to give recruits second chances. He moves on quickly. Quentin Snider is a glaring exception that proves the rule.
And, there’s always somebody else to fill the spot. Whether it’s in the upcoming recruiting class or in the future. The Cards shall survive.
Remember this, Cardinal fans. When, at the last minute, one Fab Melo decided he wanted to wear Syracuse Orange instead of Cardinal red & black, U of L moved to its second choice.
How’d that work out for the Cards?
Sooooo, other than to see if Louisville lands somebody else in the upcoming class, or stands pat with a zesty trio of top notch newcomers, there’s nothing much more to this story.
Unless, of course, young Antonio Blakeney ends up matriculating at that school just east on the interstate.
— Seedy K