By LARRY VAUGHT
Amazing how quick California five-star point guard Devin Askew was Tuesday night to say his coach was wrong about him making his college commitment on Thursday night — and then turning around on Wednesday and announcing that is exactly what he was going to do.
Mater Dei (Calif.) High School coach Gary McKnight told me that Askew would announce his decision Thursday night when I called to ask him about Askew possibly become a Wildcat. Askew had just returned from a USA Basketball minicamp in Colorado and McKnight, who has won over 1,100 games in his high school coaching career, said he felt his point guard just wanted to make his college decision and have recruiting over with.
“He wants to be able to play this spring and summer without worrying about it,” McKnight said. “If he makes 10 3-pointers or not, he just wants to play basketball. Plus, he’s not involved with any bad schools. They are all top notch schools.”
Seemed simple enough what the coach said. Yet less than an hour after I posted the story, Askew called me and loudly denied that he was ready to make a decision. He told several national recruiting analysts the story was a “fake” demanding that I delete the tweet and story because McKnight’s information was not right.
“Basically this is my life and I do not want things out there if I did not say them. I respect him as a coach and love him to death but this was not right. All I told him was that I was committing soon,” Askew said.
Then guess what? ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi tweeted at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday that Askew would be MAKING HIS COLLEGE COMMITMENT THURSDAY JUST LIKE McKNIGHT SAID.
“Devin Askew, the No. 1 PG in the class of 2021, will be announcing his college commitment exclusively with ESPN via @SportsCenter this Thursday, Oct. 17. His final schools are Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville and Memphis,” Biancardi tweeted.
247Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels reported that the commitment ceremony would be at 8 p.m. PST at Stance Headquarters — remember that McKnight gave that exact time in his comments to me Tuesday.
It seems obvious to me that perhaps Askew had promised Biancardi he would be the first to know when he was making his announcement as a way of promoting the decision on SportsCenter. I understand that. However, I don’t understand making it seem like his high school coach didn’t know what he was talking about.
I also didn’t appreciate him demanding that I delete what I wrote. Like McKnight, I’ve been doing this a few years and take pride in accurate information with accurate quotes. Obviously the story about his Thursday commitment had both.
I know high profile recruits must feel a lot of pressure at times. That’s why I let Askew deny the story and rewrote my original story with his denial.
But it was NOT BREAKING NEWS when it was announced Wednesday afternoon that he would make his college choice Thursday on ESPN.
My guess is the pick is going to be UK.
McKnight says Askew has also told him he will not reclassify to the 2020 recruiting class as many are expecting. Askew offered no insights on that to me but Daniels reported today that Askew’s father said he will commit as a 2021 recruit and re-evaluate that in the spring. Makes sense because Askew will have a lot of academic work to get completed if he does want to reclassify and whatever school he picks will take him either this year or next year.
But I know this — no matter what Askew might say one day, it certainly is subject to change the next day as I found out this week.