A slight note to this article, is that the first two paragraphs are directly related to Wichita State and the effect of not getting Perry. The rest of the article however is going to be about the day of his decision, and some issues I have with how things were handled.
The aftermath of Perry’s decision. Ah, where do the Shockers go from here? That is the big question, and one that isn’t important at all, because we just keep moving forward. It isn’t like Perry Ellis would have made or broke this 2012 recruiting class for The Shockers. Wichita State signed Derail Green out of Houston as a SF/PF hybrid player, yesterday. Some people in The Shocker circle viewed this as a telling sign that WSU wouldn’t get Perry. I didn’t want to read into it very much, but after sleeping on it, and waking up this morning prior to the Ellis decision, I had to agree with them. I had to think that it was too coincidental, that the day before Perry decides, WSU picks up a player that would play his exact position of a SF/PF hybrid player.
Don’t let this recruiting loss depress you, or think that The Shockers missed out on a major piece of our recruiting puzzle. WSU picked up 2012 recruit Cleanthony Early, the JUCO Player of the Year who is a PF. WSU picked up 2013 recruit Earl Watson, who is playing JUCO ball this year, and is a solid 6’7” 240 lbs. post player who has been likened to Charles Barkley in playing style. Wichita State picked up James Anacreon late this year for the 2011 season. Do not forget about our Freshmen Jake White and Ede Egharevba that play PF and SF. WSU is solid at the position. Would Perry be a welcome addition to Coach Marshall’s campaign? Of course, I would never deny that. Losing out on Perry however does not set back the campaign or hinder the overall recruitment of the program, which is moving upwards in skill, size, and athleticism, every single recruiting class.
On to the decision itself, some background info of the day, as well as my issues I have with how some things were handled before, and after the press conference ended. All of this is strictly my opinion, we can debate this stuff in the comments if you’d like, because I had a very good back and forth going on Twitter after the press conference with some local media members, as well as a few fans.
I have an issue with journalism that is all about breaking the story, rather than letting something be. I understand in the journalism profession, the goal, the job of a reporter is to report the news as early as possible, and to get it as quickly to your readers as possible. Twitter has done wonders for reporting news, you can deliver your news in milliseconds to your followers. However, I have a problem with “breaking” a story minutes before a high school recruit is announcing what school he is committing to. Seth Davis of CBS Sports did his job. I understand that it is his job, he does it well. I do however, have a philosophical disagreement with breaking a story around four minutes before a young man is making the biggest decision of his life up to that point. If he broke the story a few hours before, fine. A day before, fine. However, to break the story minutes before is just in bad taste for me. I just felt it was classless, and of poor timing. You can assume what ever you want about how he attained his information, because I don’t know how he was informed before everyone else, but I saw on twitter he’s pretty good chums with Calipari. Who knows? As a regular Joe, I think it was a poor decision, and should have let Perry have his moment to break his own story. From a professional standpoint, from a journalistic standpoint, kudos on having insider information, you do your job well.
After the press conference was over, Twitter was pretty wild. Lots of praise for KU, lots of well-wishes for Perry, and as always there was negativity thrown around by your handful of Tweeps (that’s what I call a twitter user). However, one of the things I saw which I didn’t expect to see was a very candid comment from Jeff Goodman, also of CBS Sports. He tweeted the following:
Candid, very candid indeed. From reading all of Jeff’s tweets, I respect everything he reports. He does a fantastic job as a recruiting analyst, and always has top notch information. I just completely disagree with this, and abhor the idea that recruiting services would drop a player’s rank due to their perception of a parent. I would like to interject at this time, that Goodman himself didn’t downgrade Ellis because of his mother, but did think that others in the industry did. So don’t think less of Goodman for that.
However, I do have a problem that the big time recruiting analysts would downgrade a player due to his mother “promoting” him. I thoroughly dislike the comment that they downgraded him because she would “talk to so many writers” as Goodman puts it. I am one of those writers. I am a guy who runs a website in my spare time. My job isn’t out on the recruiting trail, analyzing, photographing, and writing up articles for every recruit. I deal with recruits only being recruited by the school I follow, and even then, I can’t spend much time on recruits that we might not get. I spent more time on the Ellis story because he is a hometown boy, and is the highest ranked player Wichita State has had a shot at since Mo Evans. Fonda Ellis would interact with me on Twitter and through Emails, and was always kind, courteous, and very quick on getting back with me.
For a national recruiting analyst to be offended that she talks to smaller time markets, is just the bottom line showing in this industry. It is all about the bottom line to these guys. It’s their job. If Fonda talks with small time blogs, it “floods” the market, and the big time analysts lose their market share of information. They aren’t the only show in town with the news, because the smaller sites have info too. So to think that national recruiting analysts are offended that Fonda Ellis helps smaller blogs get information, and then downgrading her son because of that, is completely asinine. It kind of makes you question the rankings, and stars that are issued to players. Do they really represent skill and talent, or do the rankings reflect a more abstract and slightly unfair way of rating a player? I guess that is more of a rhetorical question than anything, something to chew on.
Perry Ellis seems like a great overall young man. He is a top rated basketball player, a 4.0 student, and seems to be a very respectful person. His mother Fonda may have promoted her son, but what is a mother supposed to do? It was a mixture of promoting and protecting, but it got the job done. Perry Ellis was trending on Twitter worldwide earlier, and her son received a scholarship to play basketball in a perennial powerhouse of a university. He has good grades, stays out of trouble, and is on top of the world. I don’t really see anything but positives in the situation, and I think Fonda should get credit for what she did, and not be talked about on the internet negatively. Congratulations to Perry, his family and KU. Perry received a great opportunity today, and KU received a tremendous player and person that any team in the country would die to have.