Every now and again, enough reader emails come in on topics worth exploring publicly that I'll put a post together for the site. This is one such time. As always, you can email me any time with questions. I'll never use someone's full name in a post unless they explicitly okay it.
I think it was Phil Anselmo of Pantera (who Colt could use a little jolt of in his iPod IMO) who said "I told you, I told you motherf**ker". But seriously, I will be celebrating with the Makers Mark tonight. I hate to say I told you so, but I love to say I told you so.
Have a good year Peter,
Ah, sweet redemption. The above email is a follow-up to an email from the same reader in December. In that exchange, MC tipped me off that he had information that led him to believe Applewhite to Texas was a very, very real possibility. I wrote him back asking him if he could give me anything more than what he presented in his first email, and he said that though he could not, he was sure of his source.
As I mentioned here I declined to post on the rumor for a number of reasons, but lo and behold, the story had legs. Though coaching search rumors tend to be among the least dependable of any kind, occasionally someone's got a legit tip. Like I promised in December, MC: here's my public hat tip to you, sir.
(Reply from AW) I'm not sure that's a totally fair assessment of Johnson. He has stuggled some to defend perimeter players and to communicate on defense with his teammates. However, he's already shown good energy, solid post defense, and the ability to rebound on both ends. Keep in mind that Gary has played just four games this season. While we all expected him to come in and be a superstar from game one, that was probably an unfair expectation.
To answer your question, he will get there by March or the Horns won't be anything in March. Without Johnson, Texas is only five deep and will have even more trouble defending the paint and rebounding than they do right now. Wingman and Chap are very raw and will be used for short stints but won't be counted on for anything substantial.
I was going to note that Texas remained one of Evans' top four choices at this point, but in looking for a link to his player profile, I noticed this story, which describes a drive-by shooting incident involving Evans' 16-year old cousin. According to police reports, Evans cousin shot someone from the backseat of Evans car. At least according to initial reports, the cousin acted on his own, Evans had no knowledge of what was about to happen, and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If that account is true, Evans is not guilty of anything, but it's certainly a story worth keeping an eye on.
The question is whether it implicates Evans character in any way, and if so, whether Rick Barnes would back away from recruiting him. At least according to the available reports, Evans has been cooperative with police and had nothing to do with the shooting. If this was simply Evans' cousin acting unilaterally, it's probably not going to affect Evans' suitors much. If there's more to this story than is being initially reported, however, expect some coaches to back off and Evans to wind up somewhere like - oh, I dunno... Memphis.
Personally, I'm hopeful that things are as they appear. The kid's an enormous talent and I'd absolutely love to see him come to Austin.
The above email is a paraphrased summary of a more substantive email I received, but it's from someone who has an ear close to the ground with these things.
I only mention it because I'm having a really hard time imagining what could possibly be left. The coaching staff is filled. I've been told this has nothing to do with Darrell Scott.
So play with me a second here: assume that there's one more big surprise to come in the next week. What could it possibly be? I've racked my brain and can't come up with anything. A scheduling announcement? A big recruit who isn't on fans' radar?