May 14, 2013, 1:43 PM EST
The most disappointed guy in all of college basketball right now?
Leonard Hamilton, the head coach of Florida State’s basketball team.
Well, let’s start with the obvious. He had seemingly hit the lottery. The best basketball prospect since Kevin Durant was the son of two former Florida State athletes, his father a former first round pick in the NBA and his mother a two-time Olympic silver medalist sprinter. The Canadian native watched his best friend, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, commit to the Seminoles. He not only didn’t want to deal with the spotlight of being a superstar athlete in this country, but he also happened to commit after Kentucky stockpiled enough talent to take a shot at an undefeated season even without Wiggins on campus.
It was the perfect storm.
And Florida State still whiffed, as Andrew Wiggins announced that he would be heading to Kansas for his one season of college basketball.
This wasn’t the first time that Hamilton came so close to a once-in-a-decade caliber recruit. As Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports artfully detailed on Monday afternoon, Hamilton was an assistant coach at Kentucky when Ralph Sampson was a senior in high school. He all-but established residency in Sampson’s hometown, and he thought he was going to pull Sampson out of Virginia and to Lexington.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work out, as Sampson ended up playing four seasons as a Cavalier.
That’s tough, but it gets worse.
You see, the guy that won the Wiggins Sweepstakes is Bill Self. Self’s first job as a coach was as an assistant at Oklahoma State. The guy that hired him?
Leonard Hamilton. Here’s the story:
Leonard Hamilton was coaching at Oklahoma State then, and Self interviewed for an assistant’s job. Self was a former Oklahoma State player, so he thought he might have an inside line at the job. But during the interview, he noticed that Hamilton did not seem especially moved by anything he was saying. He actually looked kind of bored. Self has always had a gift for reading people.
“I’ll tell you what, Coach,” Self said. “If you hire me, I’ll get you a point guard for next year and you won’t even have to give up a scholarship.”
“You’ll get me a point guard?” Hamilton asked.
“And I won’t have to give up a scholarship?” Hamilton asked.
Hamilton agreed to the strange deal. And sure enough, a player named Jay Davis just showed up, out of nowhere, as a walk on. He was instantly the best point guard on the team. He had double the assists of anyone else, he led the team in steals, he played 32.4 minutes a game. The team was terrible, but Self was on the bench coaching.
Who was Jay Davis? Yep, he was Bill Self’s best friend. He had been a terrific high school basketball player but he had a lot more interest in living the college life than playing ball. “You’ve got to play on the team,” Self told him. Davis declined.
“You’ve GOT to play on the team,” Self told him. Davis declined again.
“YOU’VE GOT TO PLAY ON THE TEAM,” Self told him. Davis played on the team. He, better than anyone, knew that he wasn’t going to beat Bill Self at this game. Later, Davis was the best man at Self’s wedding, and vice versa.’
Now instead of being an ACC contender, the Seminoles look like they may be headed for the NIT again.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Dec 21, 2013, 12:54 AM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Minnesota 92, Nebraska-Omaha 79 — Friday nights in college hoops tend to be quiet, but Minnesota and Omaha put on a show at The Barn tonight with the Gophers holding on for the win. Deandre Mathieu led all scorers with 27 points for Minnesota. IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 1) SMU went on the…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:27 AM EST
In Ivy League basketball circles, which soon expanded to national basketball circles at the conclusion of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, all of the talk during the summer months revolved around Harvard. Rightfully so, to an extent. The Crimson returned virtually their entire team, along with welcoming back Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry. They were the…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:37 PM EST
On the surface, Minnesota leading Nebraska-Omaha — who is in just their second year of playing a schedule comprised of almost exclusively Division I competition — 83-77 with just minutes remaining in regulation may seem like a lackluster effort by the Golden Gophers. That’s far from the case. Minnesota played well. Their potent offense ran…
Dec 20, 2013, 9:15 PM EST
Syracuse blew out High Point on Friday evening, 75-54. If you can believe it, however, High Point actually led Syracuse early in the second half, 40-39. The Orange would then go on a 28-3 run. Midway through the run, C.J. Fair did this. Follow @KLDoyle11
Dec 20, 2013, 7:30 PM EST
Expectations were high heading into the 2013-14 season for the University of Denver. The Pioneers returned their top player in Chris Udofia, and were coming off a season where they finished 22-10, but 16-2 in the WAC — they have since transitioned to the Summit League after the dust settled from conference realignment. In their…
Dec 20, 2013, 6:30 PM EST
University of Rhode Island sophomore forward Mike Aaman was recently assaulted at an off-campus house in Narragansett, RI, and will be out of the Rams’ lineup indefinitely, the Providence Journal’s Kevin McNamara reported. Aaman, who has been sidelined for the past six games following severe stomach cramps — resulting in an emergency appendectomy — he experienced during…
Dec 20, 2013, 5:15 PM EST
Not only was Jerran Young’s dunk against Eastern Illinois a monstrous throw-down, but it came off of a set out-of-bounds play from the baseline. This was pre-meditated, and head coach Billy Donlon certainly was keeping this in his holster for an opportune time. Unrelated to the dunk, Wright State needed this win against Eastern Illinois…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:49 PM EST
Louisville will be down a player in the front court when they take on FIU Saturday afternoon, as the school announced that freshman forward Akoy Agau has been suspended indefinitely. The school did not specify a reason for the disciplinary measure in the statement released on Friday afternoon. Agau hasn’t seen a large amount of…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Pacific vs. Princeton (10:30 p.m., in Las Vegas) Ron Verlin’s Tigers were picked to finish in the bottom half of the WCC in their first season as a member of the conference, and through nine games Pacific has the look of a team capable of exceeding those expectations. Their lone defeat…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:56 PM EST
Hours after his team took care of UCLA on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski appeared on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Friday morning to discuss his team’s performance to date among multiple topics. One of the topics had nothing to do with the action on the floor, as Bruce…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:09 PM EST
When it was announced prior to North Carolina’s game against Texas on Wednesday night that senior guard Leslie McDonald was eligible to play, many wondered when there would be a decision regarding the status of junior guard P.J. Hairston. However unlike McDonald, North Carolina had yet to apply for reinstatement on Hairston’s behalf, instead continuing…
Dec 20, 2013, 12:17 PM EST
The second annual Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic will be played at the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, with the doubleheader matching four of Virginia’s 14 Division I men’s basketball programs. In the opener Hampton takes on James Madison, with the Dukes looking to round into shape after winning the CAA tournament and making its first…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:30 AM EST
After averaging a respectable 8.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a freshman, Dayton sophomore wing Dyshawn Pierre’s picked up where he left off for the Flyers. Currently averaging 10.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest and shooting 50.0% from the field, Pierre’s one of the reasons why Archie Miller’s team is off to…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:45 AM EST
Vin Parise from CBT caught up with Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello. The Jaspers are 8-2 and one of the hottest mid-majors in the country right now. CBT: Steve, let’s start out with the most recent win in your 5 game winning streak – your road victory at South Carolina. Masiello: It was proud night…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:00 AM EST
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 20 Colorado, 11:30 p.m. Sat. (all times eastern) A pair of former Big 12 rivals square off out in Las Vegas as Marcus Smart will lead his Cowboys into battle with Tad Boyle’s impressive Colorado squad. The Buffaloes have already split with the other two…
Dec 20, 2013, 9:00 AM EST
After losing consecutive games to Army and Monmouth, Glenn Braica’s St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers have now won two straight games to move to 7-5 on the season. With just one player averaging in double figures, junior forward Jalen Cannon (14.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg), the Terriers have received contributions from multiple players this season. On Thursday…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:35 AM EST
NEW YORK — UCLA will be worth the watch every time they take the floor this season. That’s just what happens when you have as much talent as the Bruins do. Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams are both going to find themselves in the conversation for being all-americans and first round draft picks by the…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:44 AM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 8 Duke 80, UCLA 63 Jabari Parker finished with 23 points, 10 boards and five assists to lead the Blue Devils to a win over UCLA at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. As good as Parker was, however, the real star of the game of Rasheed Sulaimon, who shook…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:09 AM EST
After winning its season opener against Hawaii Pacific, Long Beach State lost nine straight games in a variety of ways. There were blowouts, and there were also close defeats like their one-point loss to Loyola Marymount on November 14. Dan Monson’s team has traditionally played a brutal non-conference schedule, with the goal being to enter…
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