Searching for Sampson, and other news

As I write, Doug and I are passing through Columbus, Ind., on our way to Cincinnati for the adidas “It Takes 5 Classic.” We’re hoping to catch a few games and see what’s happening on the recruiting trail as the live period begins.

And, quite frankly, we’re hoping to see Kelvin Sampson in action. He hasn’t been out at summer events in two years. He spent his final summer at Oklahoma in the office as a self-imposed sanction and then was sanctioned by the NCAA for those impermissible phone calls and could not go out last summer.

Publicly, he has expressed indifference about the importance of attending these camps and tournaments. Being on campus is really what sells a kid, is his thought. He just likes to be able to see the kids play against other top talent and uses these events as a way to scout the younger players.

But I bet he’s excited to be back on the road. It’s a big part of being a college basketball coach. Everything else is so structured and sterile. Heading out to these gyms, weeding through dozens and dozens of prospects and then working the recruiting game is so raw, by comparison. Plus, he’ll catch up with a lot of other coaches. Sampson is a guy who really loves his profession and the people in it. He’d spend hours just shooting the bull with coaches from around the country if he could.
News today has broken that Rod Wilmont and Earl Calloway earned summer invites from the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks, respectively.

Rod texted me that he got an offer from New York a few days ago but I haven’t been able to catch up with him for more details. Last I spoke with Earl, he was getting a hair cut. Had to look good for camp, I suppose. Anyway, I have calls into those guys and will hopefully have a more substantial update eventually.

But check back here throughout the day for updates from Cincy. Right now our plan is to watch Indiana Elite’s top team of seniors — with 7-footer Tyler Zeller — and the sophomore team with DeShaun Thomas.

Indiana really wants both Zeller and Thomas. And both are players that Sampson will have to work a little magic to get. Should be interesting.