Can Alabama really compete with Kentucky for a top recruit? Is it possible?
Well Avery Johnson and the Crimson Tide did make five-star guard John Petty’s top-five on Saturday, along with the Kentucky Wildcats, Connecticut Huskies, Kansas Jayhawks, and Florida State Seminoles.
My Top 5 ‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/uZ6hzSrGEX
— John Petty (@jpetty2324) August 6, 2016
The favorites for Petty’s services are currently rumored to be Kentucky and his home town team, Alabama. Obviously, Kentucky is capable of turning Petty into a one-and-done talent and a potential first round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, while also helping him win at the college level.
Alabama would be a shocking move on the surface, especially after Malik Newman made a similar move (playing for his hometown team and failing to launch them to an NCAA Tournament) last year. Newman struggled mightily in his lone season at Mississippi State, didn’t receive strong feedback when he declared for the NBA Draft, and then opted to transfer to a blue blood program to get his possible NBA career back on track.
Petty is ranked 17th on ESPN’s top 100 for the class of 2017, is the number one player in the state of Alabama, and is the fourth best shooting guard in the class.
The Huntsville, Ala native stands at 6’4″, 185 pounds, and has length, athleticism, high upside, raw ability and a good nose for the ball. He is a force in transition and is a high confidence player who can put the ball in the basket.
Petty, who attends J O Johnson High School and played his AAU ball with Team Penny this summer, is a “tremendous prospect,” according to Scout.
Petty has good size (6-foot-5) and athleticism for the position. He’s a very good leaper and uses his athleticism when he attacks the rim both in transition and in the half court. Petty moves his feet well laterally and has potential as a wing defender. He has a reputation as a shooter, but struggled some shooting the ball from three in the EYBL. He’s good when he attacks and is comfortable from mid-range.
While Petty may have struggled shooting the ball in Peach Jam (21 percent), he shot 39 percent overall from long range during the Nike EYBL Circuit (which is pretty solid). He also shot an efficient 45 percent overall during the EYBL regular season, and averaged 14.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 2.6 assists per game.
Not only are his Nike EYBL AAU stats very impressive, but Petty is a winner. He brought Team Penny to the semifinals (along with 2017 five-star big man P.J. Washington) before losing by two points to the PSA Cardinals.
If Petty can improve his three-point shooting and ball handling, he could honestly be one of the best players in all of college basketball in 2017-18.
Will Alabama really reel in that type of talent?
Rick Barnes Says He Would Have Left Tennessee if UCLA Paid Buyout
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes could have been the next head coach for UCLA, instead of Mick Cronin, if only the Bruins were willing to open up their wallets.
Barnes says that if UCLA would have promised to pay Barnes’ $5 million buyout, he would have left Tennessee to take the job at UCLA.
“I think I would’ve been the coach at UCLA,” Barnes said (h/t ESPN). “I’ve said that to people before. I really felt at that time that’s what would happen.”
Barnes was honest and open with his decision process during the news conference, saying that he struggled with making a final decision due to financial matters.
Barnes has since agreed to a new deal with Tennessee that will pay him $4 million per year before increasing to a $6 million annual sum by the end of the contract and provide more cash for his assistants.
“I’m supposed to be at Tennessee,” Barnes said. “And it’s really above and beyond the basketball program. I’m in love with this community. I’m in love with this state. I just think we got a lot of great things going on in this town.”
“A lot of praying went into it, I can tell you that,” Barnes said. “There was a lot going on. When you get down to a situation like that, it has to make sense from a financial standpoint. Bottom line is we couldn’t work it out with the buyout.”
Barnes also informed UCLA that he would not depart Knoxville without talking to athletic director Phillip Fulmer and others in the community.
I told them point blank, ‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with my team,'” Barnes said. “‘I’m not going to walk out of here and not meet with people here that have been really good to me.’ … I said, ‘You just can’t say send a plane tomorrow and we’re leaving. I’m going to make sure this is done the right way.'”
“There was one time in my mind I truly felt that’s what would happen,” Barnes said about potentially taking the UCLA offer. “It got to that point where I felt like my prayers had been answered.”
The Madness is Underway
As we inch closer to selection Sunday, many conference tournaments are underway finding teams who will automatically make the NCAA Men’s basketball. Here are the teams that currently in the tournament:
Atlantic Sun: Liberty
Big South: Gardner–Webb
Horizon: Northern Kentucky
Missouri Valley: Bradley
MEC: Fairleigh Dickinson
Ohio Valley: Murray State
Summit League: North Dakota State
Summit League: Saint Marry’s
Out of the 32 conferences with automatic bids in the tournament, 12 of them have been clinched. All the until selection Sunday the remaining 20 conferences will have their tickets punched. Who will that be? Stay tuned!
Tennessee Basketball Ranked 4th In (Early) Preseason Top 25
A school built on football lure now has a thriving basketball team to get behind. In a early CBS basketball poll, the Volunteer squad is ranked 4th in the preseason. This should bring relief to a fan base whose struggled with a lackluster football team in recent years.
Under Coach Rick Barnes (SEC Coach of the year 2017) the Vols went 26-9 last year, won a share of the regular season SEC title and reached the final of the SEC tournament. Tennessee should return most of their pivotal pieces for the 2018-19 season.
Admiral Schofield (2017-2018 ALL SEC second teamer) who tested the NBA waters has returned for his senior year to play along side Grant Williams (SEC player of the year) and Kyle Alexander. If they can stay healthy along with the supporting cast, this team has a legitimate chance to reach the final four.
According to Andy Katz, “Tennessee is the team to beat in the SEC this year,” and did I mention Coach Barnes recruiting is nothing to take lightly. Recently committed 5 star combo guard, Josiah James added his name to the class of 2019 and pushed the Vols recruiting into the top 10 nationally.
Although it’s too early to tell how this season will play out its certain the hype is warranted and reaching heights it hasn’t seen since the Bruce Pearl era.
Could it be!? Tennessee – a basketball school?
Follow the journey when the Volunteers tip off against Louisiana Lafayette on November 9th.
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