Bob Huggins shocked the nation yesterday by leaving Kansas State after just one season, the latest twist in a recruiting saga that is certain to go down in history as one of the wildest ever. But it wasnt just Wildcat fans blindsided by this move.
Elite Kansas State commit Michael Beasley
found out about Huggins decision to skip town from a reporter conducting an interview after yesterday afternoons Nike Hoop Summit practice. Im still a little shocked right now, Beasley said, I understand Coach Huggins is doing what is best for him, but I am a little disappointed I didnt hear from him before hand, and that I still havent.
While long-time class of 2007 star and USC commit OJ Mayos college basketball future isnt affected by Huggins abrupt move, he does have a personal stake in what is going on. Current Kansas State freshman Bill Walker
, like Beasley, went to Manhattan almost solely because of Huggins influence.
Mayo and Walker had played together since childhood, dominating the AAU circuit from their early teens on and winning multiple Ohio state championships. The two were separated on the court this season, when Walker took steps to graduate high school early to join Kansas State at the semester break. Walker, projected as a potential lottery pick headed into the season, played just five games before tearing his ACL. Now he must stick it out at Kansas State without Huggins or face the prospect of sitting a second consecutive year due to transfer requirements.
Bill is my lifelong friend, so I am disappointed with Coach Huggins, Mayo said, Bill went to Manhattan for Coach Huggins, and he found out about this on the news like everybody else. He doesnt know what he is going to do now.
Im not trying to come down hard on Coach Huggins or anything, because I understand this is a business, but we are still just kids.
Mayo remains solid in his commitment to USC, while the visibly shocked Beasley and stoic Patterson remain tight-lipped about their future plans.
Draftexpress.com has since learned from sources close to the situation that the explosive sophomore-to-be is likely to continue his rehab and basketball career at Kansas State rather than spend another season on the sidelines. Given Walkers likely return and rumors that Kansas State is on the verge of naming Huggins assistant Frank Martin as head coach while retaining Beasley confidant Dalonte Hill as an assistant, it now appears there is a fairly good chance the 2007 McDonalds All-American Game MVP could still end up in Manhattan remarkably, sans Huggins.
Im not blaming Coach Huggins, because he had to do what was best for him. I just really dont know what is going to happen right now, Beasley said, This recruiting is getting really crazy.
So while the ironic end to the Huggins-Walker-Beasley-Kansas State firestorm that has been going on for the past year would have Mayo and Beasley switching allegiances to West Virginia, Walker transferring and Patterson joining them all for one crazy season of NBA apprenticeship, it doesn't appear that this was ever a likely scenario.
There are plenty of dominoes still capable of falling in this situation, so check back in throughout the weekend as news on the future of Michael Beasley
, Bill Walker
and both division one programs becomes available.