Brian Clifton, who heads the summer basketball program for which John Wall plays, confirmed that the highly recruited point guard got a call last night from North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, whose team is getting ready to face Villanova on Saturday in the NCAA Final Four.
UNC had not previously been among the universities Wall was seriously considering — Baylor, Memphis, N.C. State, Duke and Kansas — and Clifton has said he's not on talking terms with Carolina coaches.
"I have no desire to talk to, to be involved with, to visit, to contemplate in any shape, form or fashion John Wall going to play for Roy Williams. Zero," said Clifton, who runs the D-One sports program.
He has been advising the Raleigh Word of God senior but has insisted that the decision ultimately is Wall's to make.
Wall was leaning toward Memphis before its head coach, John Calipari, took the Kentucky job Tuesday. The 6-foot-4 guard told The N&O's Tim Stevens that he was still considering Memphis but that he no longer had a "leader" among potential destinations. Kentucky may be a possibility, but Clifton said today that he had not yet discussed UK with Wall, though he regularly stays in touch with Josh Pastner, a Memphis assistant coach who may join Calipari at Kentucky.
Clifton, who has accompanied Wall on campus visits, described Sunday's meeting with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as "very good." When asked whether Wall's list of choices had changed, Clifton replied: "The emergence of Duke as a viable option, that in and of itself has caused a change."
"We all left the meeting with the conclusion that it was worth exploring further," said Clifton, who clearly was feeling better about Duke after his earlier concerns that the Blue Devils would not be a good fit for Wall. "I respect Coach K and the way that he goes about business. ... He was enough of a professional to deal with people based on who they really are, not on what he's heard they might be. I'd be comfortable with any of my guys learning from and being shaped and molded by a guy who's got that in his character."
There's been speculation that Memphis will turn to Baylor's Scott Drew to replace Calipari. Clifton's brother, Dwon, is on Drew's staff, but Brian Clifton said he had not heard anything from Drew indicating that he would leave Baylor.
In a previous interview, Clifton said he received a cool reception from UNC when he brought another potential recruit there. But Williams, who would not discuss specific coaches at the time, said he does deal with some summer coaches.
Regarding Clifton's statement that Williams' call came Thursday, the same day the one-week dead period of recruiting began, the dead period prohibits in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations, not a telephone call or letter from an institutional staff member. It's not a violation to call.