I don't have a whole lot of time here, but I wanted post something on this Derek Willis situation. And I must warn you that my opinions on the matter are not at rosy as the standard TMills outlook. Keep in mind that I am privy to the same information as all of you so take this all for what it's worth. I would probably be best served sleeping on this post, but you are going to get my unfiltered initial thoughts.
Any questions? No? Moving on.
After laying everything out, it just doesn't look good. Although he's still technically committed to Purdue at the moment, this has that ominous feeling when you know a breakup is coming. At least Branden Dawson's sudden commitment to MSU rippled it off like a band-aid.
According to Derek's dad, Del, we should have closure by Sunday.
He's still committed...But it looks like already given back your black T-Shirt and is looking in the Red and Blue aisle. (Ben Folds reference? anyone?)
Trust me, this pains me more than anyone - I was the one advising worried commenters that we have nothing to worry about on this one.
The reason for my confidence was the insistence of Del regarding how firm his son's commitment was less than a couple months ago. He went out of his way to communicate to several media outlets that we had nothing to worry about and his commitment is firm. He even went as far as to create an account on the GBI forums to drive this point home.
But what I completely overlooked is that teenagers don't always follow their parents advice. And trust me, I should know that better than everyone.
Here is all you need to know:
- Derek Willis posts on Facebook that he's de-committing. (Personally, this was enough for me. But it gets convoluted when the story blows up.)
- Jody Demling, contacts East Bullitt East couch Troy Burr, who says he's known all along and basically sings like a canary. (Again, another indication that this isn't some sort of knee jerk reaction.) He says that Derek is interested in Kentucky and Louisville. He goes on to say a lot, without speaking with Derek's father. He was clearly enjoying the attention it was bringing.
- After Demlings sends out his tweet, the story officially breaks.
- At this point Del Willis's phone likely blows up and he realizes his son went public. That's when he says 'whoooa, Derek, there's a better way to do this than Facebook...use Tumblr!' (I kid).
I am guessing that the de-commitment (attempt) wasn't a surprise to Del Willis, but the way in which Derek did it was. I think the Sunday deadline is simply to go through the processes of de-committing in a more respectful manner. After all the guarantees he offered, he probably feels like he needs to save some face to the Purdue coaches. (Not to mention the fact that this all went down while Painter was coaching the USA team. Not cool.)
And to be honest, Del is put in a bad situation. He is likely being 100% genuine when he said the commitment was firm. Unfortunately making guarantees on a 16 year old is risky business.
In my opinion, the damage has been done. Considering that he has interest in pursuing Kentucky and Louisville (assuming he opens up his commitment) he'll get the opportunity to go through that Kentucky recruiting proce$$ that every kid that grows up in the Bluegrass state dreams of. But if he does open his recruitment up, I wouldn't expect Matt Painter to continue to pursue him. He knows when to cut his losses (we've seen it a lot) and he's not going to play tug-a-war with Kentucky and Louisville.
I just don't understand why he wanted to commit so early. There was no question there was talent and he was an AAU season away from blowing up. It makes no sense to me why he'd pull the trigger before he was sure.
And I could be wrong, he could decide that he wants to stay a Boilermaker, which he would obviously be more than welcome. But if he's having difficulty with the draw that Louisville and Kentucky has right now, it's not going to get any better once school's in session...
Anyways, sorry for my negative insights. Usually I drink the kool-aid more than anyone, but I am struggling to see a scenario that works out for Purdue besides additional scholarship availability. :)