Weekend review: Jaylen Brown catches everyone by surprise

Kentucky's John Calipri missed on JB (AP file/Darron Cummings)

Kentucky’s John Calipri missed on JB (AP file/Darron Cummings)

Here are five recruiting stories people are talking about from over the weekend:

1. In case you missed it, the state’s No. 1 basketball prospect finally announced his college decision on late Friday night. You’ve got to give style points to Jaylen Brown, the 6-foot-7 forward from Wheeler High School. He did it without any TV cameras, without a press conference, and without any media interviews. After his high school banquet on Friday, Brown quietly revealed his intentions to go to Cal over Kentucky and Michigan. Yes, Cal. They sort of came out of nowhere in mid-March, with Brown and his family paying their own way for an unofficial visit there after Brown had used up all five of his official visits. Cal was average if not disappointing last season under coach Cuonzo Martin, the former draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks (never played for them). But with the addition of Brown, along with California’s No. 1 player (Ivan Rabb), Cal is an instant contender for the next season’s national championship. But they better contend next season because one or both could be gone after one year. Will Brown sign a letter of intent with Cal? That remains to be seem, although my guess is that he won’t just because … he doesn’t have to. But back to Brown’s announcement: Love him or hate him, you’ve got to respect the low-profile way that the high-profile recruit made his decision.

Jaylen Brown (AJC)

Jaylen Brown (AJC)

2. Meanwhile, the Kentucky basketball nation appears to be having a meltdown over Jaylen Brown’s decision not to go to Kentucky. It has been a brutal recruiting class for the Wildcats, per NBCSports. Kentucky was listed as a finalist by seven of eight uncommitted prospects at the McDonald’s All-America game in March, and all of them ended up going elsewhere. According to Matt Jones of KentuckySportsRadio.com, the “platoon system killed Kentucky on the recruiting trail in the final weeks.” Jones also claimed that Kentucky’s fan/media attention hurt their chances. “Brown’s choice of California as for a variety of reasons, but those close to the recruitment said a big one was the circus that UK basketball was /has been for decades. ‘For most players, UK being on SportsCenter every night and having fans blowing up their Twitter account is a positive … but Jaylen is one of the few that saw it as a negative.’”

3. Will Roquan Smith enroll at UGA next month to play football? He’s committed to the Bulldogs, but because Smith famously did not sign a letter of intent he is still a “free agent” until he attends his first day of college classes. Smith still keeps in contact with coaches from UCLA and Michigan, but it doesn’t sound like UGA has too much to worry about it if you READ THIS.

Nick Saban (AP)

Nick Saban (AP)

4. There haven’t been many receivers produced by the state of Georgia over the years with the size and raw athleticism as Lovejoy High School’s Preston Williams, who was scheduled to enroll at Tennessee on Monday for May classes. But prospects with a colorful and candid personality like Williams are even more rare. Here’s an excerpt from a Q&A with Preston on which college coach was not so nice during the recruiting process: “Nick Saban. Me and him don’t relate. We don’t click. We have two different personalities, so I never saw myself playing at Alabama. I’m more of a family-type person. I’m talkative and I laugh. He’s more like sandpaper. He’s a good coach. He’s just traditional and old school. I’m more new school and stylish.” You can read more by CLICKING HERE.

5. Maybe former UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was having too much fun at the Kentucky Derby? Grantham, now at Louisville, tweeted out a list of the state of Georgia’s top prospects for 2016 and 2017 on Saturday – which could be a minor NCAA secondary violation. Maybe it was an accidental pocket dial? I’ve done that before. But sending out a photo on a pocket dial? That’s pretty hard to do. Maybe a UGA fan hijacked Grantham’s cell at the Derby and tweeted it out … What’s your conspiracy theory?


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