When John Calipari isn't busy exposing fake Twitter accounts on behalf of his players, he's doing what he's best at: recruiting. To that end, Calipari told the media Thursday that he might have one more addition in 2010. Calipari didn't name names, naturally, but Minneapolis Star Tribune hoops writer Myron P. Medcalf helped fill in the blanks: The player Calipari referred to could very well be former Minnesota Gopher Royce White.
As a quick reminder, White was the No. 8-ranked power forward in the class of 2009. White committed to Tubby Smith as part of the coach's best recruiting class in his Minnesota tenure and was slated for future stardom almost as soon as he arrived.
Things quickly went downhill. White was charged with shoplifting and assault in an incident at the Mall of America; soon thereafter, he was implicated in the theft of a laptop from a dorm room. That led to a suspension and White's eventual YouTube "retirement," which was both thoroughly entertaining and thoroughly bizarre. White came back to the Gophers shortly after that retirement, but eventually left, saying he couldn't trust Minnesota university police and didn't feel safe on campus.
In other words, if Tubby Smith didn't have heartburn before he signed Royce White, he certainly does now.
Whether Calipari would be willing to take on White has a lot to do with whether he thinks White's talent outweighs his baggage. An athletic 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, White could be a force on the court. But he'd also face eligibility issues. White's academic failures would force him to enroll in fall classes and hope to get eligible in time for the spring semester, as players cannot use summer school toward eligibility for the fall semester.
It's risky. White is a good player, and maybe he can get figure things out and make the most of a second chance at another high-profile hoops program. But if his time at Minnesota is any indication, White could be more trouble than he's worth.