Friday, May 13, 2011
Potential New Knight: T.J. Wilson F jr. 6-3
Before I share as much info as I could find on T.J. Wilson, let's talk about why I use the word "potential" in headlines for players who are only listed on the PSAC Letters of Intent web page and not formally announced by Gannon.
Several fans have questioned why Gannon hasn't publicized these athletes. "Jeremy" wrote in the comments of the April 30th entry: "Why has the Gannon Athletic Department not put out a press release on Belt and Wilson? It's clearly not an issue of rules forcing teams to keep it under wraps because a) the Blazek signing already happened and was announced b) the names are on the PSAC website. What an incredible waste of good PR for Gannon and a great chance to build positive momentum to a program saddled by negativity over the past half decade or so. If it wasn't for the good detective work of Jim, the fans wouldn't have a clue. Will the last one out of Gannon please turn off the lights?"
Actually, we should be asking for someone to shed light on the situation. Here's what I've been told about National Letters of Intent (NLIs). Those student-athletes listed on the PSAC site have signed National Letters of Intent. To make an NLI official, it must go to the PSAC and then to the NCAA. The PSAC posts all signings online after the league approves the NLI but before moving them onto the NCAA. So, signing an NLI to Gannon doesn't guarantee a student-athlete will end up at GU.
Of course, Gannon has the student-athletes sign NLIs because they want their written commitment to attend the school. There have been cases where players don’t eventually arrive at a school whether it’s because they changed their mind, don’t get accepted to the school, etc. Remember Terrell Eargle? He signed a National Letter of Intent to Gannon, but instead attended Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.) where he became West Virginia Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the 2009-2010 season. (I prefer to remember him as the kid who missed the potential game-winning three-pointer in A-B's 67-65 second round NCAA loss at Gannon.)
So, although every fan wants to know information ASAP, colleges have to perform their due diligence to ensure everything is correct before announcing a signee. There are names on the PSAC NLI list in all sports who don’t show up at that school for one reason or another. The NLI is the first step in locking someone up -- the first of many steps. I've been told that once the entire Gannon hoops recruiting class is signed, accepted at GU, scholarship papers signed and approved, the school will announce them. But Gannon's not going to rush the process and risk NCAA violations or embarrassment by, well, pulling another Terrell Eargle.
So that's today's lesson on National Letters of Intent. Plus it's a lesson on assuming. Onto T.J. Wilson.
* Comes to Gannon from Frederick Community College in Frederick, Md. That's the same school Ramon Smith attended prior to transferring to Gannon ... and rumored to be transferring away now.
* Wilson played in 30 games, averaging 9.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, and 0.9 apg. Only 2 of his 118 field goals were three-pointers. He shot an impressive 58% from the field (118-for-202) but just 62% from the line (49-for-79).
* The Cougars were 24-7 last year. This is a photo of the school's mascot. Just kidding!
* Click here for a game-by-game breakdown of Wilson's season. Looks like his high game of the season was a 22-point, 11-rebound effort in a 121-117 OT win vs. Harcum College.
* Here's a YouTube clip of Wilson at Hayfield HS (Va.). He's the lefty with the crazy hops. Looks like he loves slashing to the rim.
* Here's an article from a Hayfield game where Wilson scored 32 points. Going off for 30+ is nice, but I bet this is what John Reilly likes best about the article: “When you play defense with pride and lock your man down, that’s what’s going to happen,” Wilson said. “So whenever we play together and good team defense, that’s what it’s going to be like.”
* Here's a photo of Wilson from his high school days grabbing a rebound. From that same game, here's Wilson shooting a jumper and battling inside. If you want to sort through a bunch of tiny photos from his playing days at Hayfield, just click here. But have some eye drops nearby.