After 24 hours of conjecture about Jamall Walker’s machinations, a weary, emotional Walker stepped in front of a small group of reporters Sunday afternoon.
Has he been in secret contract negotiations with Cuonzo Martin? Did Josh Whitman lock him up with a long term contract and pay raise? Does he have Smith & Tilmon in his pocket?
These are the things people people have been saying in social media. The truth, according to Walker, is that he took his wife to Scotty’s Brew Pub on Saturday night, having long ago promised her a dinner date. He had the shrimp tacos.
How does Rebekah Walker feel about staying in Champaign? Simply put “it’s home” said Jamall Walker, noting that their boys were born here. It’s where they’ve raised their kids.
Has he talked to Brad Underwood about the future of the Illini coaching staff? He has not. What’s he been doing during the week? Has he been out recruiting, or keeping tabs on the Class of ’17 signees? Walker made no mention of either. He talked only about prepping the team for Monday night’s game against Boise State.
Basically, everything you’ve read about Illini basketball in the past week was untrue. Most of what you’re reading today is untrue. It’s like Coach K looking to buy land near Mahomet all over again.
So the narrative about Walker keeping recruits remains just that. It’s a storyline with no known relationship to the truth.
The good news is that, according to Michael Finke, the current players like the idea of playing for Brad Underwood. They’re excited about his offense, and feeling upbeat about the hire.
But they didn’t have insider info either. Michael Finke says the players learned about Brad Underwood about five minutes before the rest of the world did, when they all got an email from Josh Whitman.