Sallie picks Memphis, special 'Cal', cancels trip to Kentucky

MEMPHIS — Roburt Sallie said Sunday he wanted to make his college decision quickly. Apparently, he meant it.

Before leaving town this afternoon, Sallie went ahead and gave a commitment to Memphis coach John Calipari and canceled his upcoming visit to Kentucky.

“I saw what I needed to see,” Sallie said Monday. “It’s a done deal. I’m ready to get rolling now and try to do some special things here. Cal is very, very special. He’s one of a kind. He cares about his players. Every guy I spoke to who is a former player just said Cal will look after you after you’re done. That’s something big with me. This is bigger than basketball. It makes you play harder, and Memphis is a great community. I love Memphis. You guys support basketball. It’s unreal up here.”

Sallie, a 6-foot-5 guard from City College of San Francisco, gives the Tigers another talented backcourt player who could compete immediately for a starting position. He was the California junior college player of the year and should fit in nicely with Antonio Anderson and Robert Dozier, both former teammates at Laurinburg Prep in North Carolina.

The Tigers recruited Sallie initially in 2006, but he chose Nebraska. He was set to re-enroll at Nebraska this summer but was not allowed to due to a Big 12 rule technicality.

Sallie was supposed to take a visit to Kentucky next week, but that visit is apparently canceled now. It’s almost an exact reversal of a recruiting situation from last summer, when Kentucky got point guard DeAndre Liggins to commit during a campus visit right before he was scheduled to look at Memphis.

Sallie will have two years of eligibility remaining.

“He was blown away, absolutely blown away (by the visit),” said John Parker, his prep school coach. “Obviously, coach Calipari, his charisma, his track record of putting guys in the NBA, just winning. Rob’s a winner. Of all the kids that I’ve ever coached in prep school, he’s the most competitive and the most complete player I ever coached. He is an absolute winner … he’s going to come in and fit in and he’s just got that swagger, that ‘it.’ The city of Memphis will be blown away by this kid.”

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Comments » 60

jzt writes:

Congratulations, I bet you cant wait play against Rice, SMU, East Carolina, etc. Go Tiger High, you will get to a least play one real team when Bruce and the Vols put their annual whipping on the Tigers.

VOLS85 writes:

My only qualm about this situation is the amount of trash talked by Memphis fans when we picked up Maze...

Comments from the likes of itsme:

"And, another comparative measure: You small orange people are thrilled that Maze is visiting this week? A 2-star to add to your 3-star 6'1", 165 lb. PG? The difference is that Memphis ALREADY has the #3 recruiting class of 5 and 4-stars...and entertains Devon Ebanks Friday. When Ebanks dots the line, Memphis will have another 5-star AND the #1 recruiting class. Elite programs achieve stars on the court and in the classroom....not by smoking pot to get star-high. Go Volgirls!!"

They say they come on this site to add some truth and put things in perspective for us...they should stop counting their chickens before they are hatched, because Ebanks apparently wanted to go to the sticks (WVU) rather than Memphis. Also, they are doing a fantastic job of doing the exact same thing that we did in picking up a juco guard. The only problem is that Maze is a 3 star, and I don't see much of a rating from rivals on's that for perspective?

Go back to your own site, handle your own problems, and hope you finally beat us this year...


murrayvol writes:

Hmmm! Wonder what that "Big 12 rule technicality" is about. Surely not something felonious.

THE_VOL writes:

Let's see now...Mempiss gets the Cal JUCO POY and the Vols get the JUCO ALL-AMERICAN! Hmmmmm....sounds like Cal should call another timeout before he gets his A#$ kicked again by BP!!!!! Can you say N-E-G-E-D-U??????

THE_VOL writes:

One other thing...with Dozier coming back now, isn't MemPISS over the salary cap?????

TopTenn writes:

Saliie had no where to go.

lomas98 writes:

Does this effect the Negedu decision at all? How many scholarships does Memphis have left after this?

Colliervol writes:

And aside from the couple of days before they visit Knoxville next fall for their annual beating, we should care about this for what reason?

I remain uninterested.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

4.3 star doldrum article.

Smallmike4pres writes:

Have fun playing in a league that is one step above the Patriot league. It should be fun playing on CSS every night, great for your exposure.

utchris writes:

Marc_ash..I am guessing that they post all the memphis articles because they are sister papers with the Commercial Appeal. In the CA, you usually see a decent bit of articles translated over from here.

As for the Sallie canceling his trip to kentucky and verbally going with memphis right away,....I heard that it was Kentucky who cancelled the visit when they learned that Sallie was not in fact graduating from Middle School.

MrBamSeydu writes:

He must've missed his high school days, or maybe he liked playing at JC so much he wanted to go to a school like Memphis STATE because they play in the CONF USA. That's as close to Junior College as it gets.

bobbarbilly writes:

They need to get them while they are hot and while they can. They gotta be down to 12-15 remaining scholarships.

justbware#205283 writes:

Man, this board reeks of jealousy. I mean would you rather play for a coach that wins 30+ games, gets his team far into the tournament and players to the NBA, or win 25-30 games, come home and stay home?? Way to go Tigers! Keep 'em coming!

justbware#205283 writes:

Good one Touchdown T!

budrhon writes:

rckydx... he could have chose Kenlucky, but decided on the Tigers instead. See Touchdowns comments above as to why. As much as the trash talk goes on in here Memphis has capitalize on their NCAA Final Four appearance to ensemble and impressive recruiting class an unlike the past they have done it nationally instead of relying on hometown product which appears to continue to allude both Calapari and Pearl. I look forward to a competive match up between the two teams in TBA next season.

mike#208050 writes:

Why are you UT boys so upset over this kid signing with Memphis? Maybe it is the number of studs they have signed this year. Are you still upset over Leslie McDonald telling Bruce Almighty, NO THANKS I would rather play in the ACC? Keep talking the trash, (Colliervol, marc ash, and crissy the sissy), that is all you are good at. Come March you three will all be watching Memphis play in the final four, again. "Un-interesed" or not!

TIGRFAN in knoxville

tigerman writes:

UT fans, you really show such a lack of class when you trash Memphis. And, yes, when Memphis fans trash UT, they show no class either.

You complain about all of the Memphis articles in the KNS, but the CA prints a lot of articles about UT sports as well, especially football.

If you truly think that Memphis is an inferior team in an inferior league, then why do you get so riled up over an article?

Your comments about C-USA are really meaningless. Memphis has proven it can play with "the big boys." If we won our conference championship and then got knocked out of the big tourney in the first or second round, I could see us being bashed for playing in a soft conference. But since Memphis went on to play in the championsip game, beating some really great programs along the way (Texas, UCLA) by a sizeable margin, your comments about C-USA have no relevance.

And how many SEC teams were in the Final Four? Oh, I think that would be ZERO.

msu83 writes:

These messages have a sour smell to them..why on earth would UT fans talk all this trash about 1 signee? Why would you care???? I don't know anything about him yet but he is very welcome to the Tiger family. This will make really good bulletin board material for Sallie.

tigerman..good points!

richvol writes:

There should be no surprise to any of you by now that the KNS has a contentious relationship with the football athletic department of UT. A couple of years ago when UT suspended a KNS staff reporter from access to the football squad, due to him not following procedure, the weak relationship that they had disappeared. Since that time the KNS has delighted in embarrassing the football program, and particularly Coach Fulmer, in any way they can. They also do a disservice to this community by not covering the football program like a normal local paper would.

I am one of the readers that enjoys learning about others in the SEC,and college sports in general. However, the battle that is going on between the UT football athletic department and the KNS keeps the KNS from covering them properly...or perhaps more accurately, in a way that we the readers want them to.

I don't see how this can be good for anyone interested in seeing the University, the community or the KNS succeed.

richvol writes:

Sorry to post this on a basketball article but this is why the KNS doesn't do more articles on UT and why they look to do things for other schools.

CoverOrange writes:

I just took a visit to the CA board, first time ever. On the article on Sallie and Dozier two pro Vols posters (only two) made simple statements, one actually congratulatory to the tigers and they got flamed 7 ways to Sunday. Not much different from what I've seen on GVX toward pro Tiger posters. Intelligence and class, and lack thereof seem to be equally distributed in both groups.

Although one difference is there are more Tigers here than Vols there.

TommyJack writes:

Sallie: First thing. Stop by city hall and get a permit to pack.

joetiller writes:

Sallie enrolled at Nebraska less than 18 months ago and Big 12 rule stipulitates that player cannot enroll twice within 18 month period. Why? Who knows.

TopTenn writes:

Justbware, budrhon, tigerman,msu83......I have read tiger boards and there are no Vol fans ever posting comments. But for some reason tiger fans always bring their trashing talking to the UT boards calling Vols stupid, ignorant, and classless. Only itsme and overhated are honorary vol board nuisance posters.

CoverOrange writes:

have to wonder why he was going to Nebraska in the first place. I mean, of all places for Bball. Nebraska?

Volchaz writes:

Sounds like Coach Cal isn't afraid to go the JUCO route either. Tennessee is fast becoming a basketball state....

GoVol writes:

Come on guys, how do you expect this kid to pass up a fine program like memphis? For every point scored you get a knife. Once you get 10 knives you trade up to a hand gun. 10 hand guns gets you an automatic rifle. And then of course the money and drugs on the side, since coach Cal takes care of them after they are gone (I think this really means will post bail). We all know Bruce cannot compete with that and we'll always get the Memphis leftovers.

ETNTigerFan writes:

I can't wait to see this kid play! Way to go Cal! Keep bringing in the talent. Reloading!

No one cares about Memphis sports here?! Why are there so many comments?

Smallmike: Lowly CUSA had a winning record vs SEC this year. Not bad for one step above Patriot League.

and GoVol: That's an interesting incentive program. Kinda like the UT program when after your 1st drug offense, get out of jail free, 2nd offense, get out of jail free, 3rd, get out of jail free, etc. etc.

jimr07 writes:

someone once asked where all the msu students were. well, one half was at the game and the other half was robbing 7-11's.

msu83 writes:

rckydx..really? Go to CA..article about signing Sallie and Dozier being back. Ck out comments by nashvol and max55. Don't think these are Tiger fans. I have never posted that a vol fan was stupid or ignorant. OK ,maybe classless when they throw out racial comments like thug and go on and on about the city of Memphis which has nothing to do with BB. Hillbilly hi is in response to the old worn out tiger hi. By the way..I think Scotty Hopson is going to be a great player for UT! And I mean that. But truly I was taken back by the visciousness of the comments on your board about Roburt Sallie signing with Memphis.

dvols writes:


Raynoch writes:


"And how many SEC teams were in the Final Four? Oh, I think that would be ZERO."

Lets not start comparing Conference USA's and the Southeastern Conference's achievements.

Memphis finally starts developing a legimate rivalry (basketball only of course) with a major conference university, and their fans can't stay off our boards... interesting.

ETNTigerFan writes:

jimr07 says:
someone once asked where all the msu students were. well, one half was at the game and the other half was robbing 7-11's.

Wow, very intelligent. Must have lots of time on your hands since school is out.

volboy81#211803 writes:

thats funny...Ive never heard the words "Memphis" and "special" in the same sentence unless the number "38" was also included!

QDog writes:

People close to Negedu say he is going to Memphis and Rashanti Harris will be there after prep school, they just keep getting these great recruits. At least Memphis played for the National Championship and what a great game it was, what have we done? NOTHING,keep losing in the 2nd or 3rd rounds, instead of berating Memphis for being great we should aspire to the same and hold our Coach to the same level of expectations as Memphis does. I mean we are UT come on!!

tigerman writes:

brownsvillvol -- We are talking about the most recent season. And, like or not, the SEC did not do well in the tournament. At least C-USA had one team representing them.

Memphis made the Final Four and went to the NC game. Not bad for a non-BCS school playing in C-USA.

And to all the people on this board saying that UT fans don't go to Memphis boards, give me a break! There are several negative comments under the CA article about Sallie's commitment to Memphis. And they didn't come from Memphis fans.

VOLS85 writes:


you can thank your boys "overatedvols" and "itsme" for fueling these flames. They feel compelled to stay on our board and degrade our team, and it's been going on since Memphis lost to Tennessee. What would prompt people to spend months on a Tennessee board unless there was a jealousy issue involved? I never had a problem with Memphis, in fact I didn't really care about them until four months ago, but your boys coming over here and making a mockery of your University is the reason we feel compelled to comment on such. (see my comment from 752 yesterday evening...itsme is the penultimate trash talker from memphis...going as far as to correct our spelling to prove his point).

Just a little insight on the total nonsense that gets tossed at us, when all we did was win the SEC, beat Memphis, and have the toughest schedule in the country....

but I guess that does put a target on our back

Raynoch writes:

So let me get this straight. CUSA is a non-bcs conference with one good team. Good point tigerman.

The SEC has been a very competitive conference for about as long as basketball has been played, and the SEC has won its share of National Championships. CUSA's best team by far does one thing right, and you think you've arrived. Congrats on having one team make it to the finals. I'm sure George Mason fans were really hyping the Colonial Athletic Association after their Final Four appearance.

2kevin#529111 writes:

q dog where is and who is your source of info about negedu are you sure about him going to memphis if so i guess its just hard to offer kids year around job with fed ex .and i am not kidding memphis kids work for fed ex with premium pay somebody needs to look into that we just do not have those kinds of resources until we do we will miss out on top recruits to memphis .we would have had willie kemp . but could not offer him that kind of security . cal has this thing down to a science.

tigerman writes:

2kevin -- if we get Negedu, it will be partly because he already has a good relationship with our new assistant coach, Josh Pastner.

And the recruits we get go to Memphis because we have a great program, a city that supports it 120% and then some, and probably the best arena in the country for college basketball. We also have a great coach who really cares about his players and knows how to prepare them for the NBA.

TopTenn writes:

Report from Jeff Goodman, Negedu to Tennessee.

ETNTigerFan writes:

No, Kentucky has been competitive in the SEC for about as long as basketball has been played. Florida recently. Arkansas in the 90s. Memphis, Houston, and UAB are making strides in the right direction. Let's not forget, just a few years ago, Memphis was competing with Cincy, Louisville, Marquette, and other strong teams. Yes, CUSA took a hit when those teams left but the teams that remain are not bad. 7-5 vs the SEC this year if i'm not mistaken.

tigerman writes:

Reading back over these posts, it is really sad that so many (not all) Vols fans feel the need to knock Memphis. It seems to me that if you really don't see the Tigers as a threat, then it wouldn't matter to you what happens with our program. But when you constantly through out insults and barbs, it makes you appear petty and jealous.

You hang on to your win over Memphis as if it were a Final Four banner. I guess that is because you are embarrassed by the 19-point to L'ville in the Sweet Sixteen, so you have to keep throwing the Memphis game out there to try to blot out that debacle.

TopTenn writes:

Negedu will announce at 3pm. Most likely Vols. Check

TopTenn writes:

Looks like Pearl sold the program better than Cal. This signing will be big for the vols basketball program. The vols are a national program now, bringing in recruits from across the country

tigerman writes:

brownsvillevol, I am not talking trash; I am speaking the truth. And I don't care about what teams did in the past. If we are going to live in the past, then UT men's program was below average for a very long time, and Memphis had some great years and some not-so-great years. And it doesn't really matter what other SEC teams do. Has UT won a NC? No.

That would be like C-USA teams bragging about how great their conference was last year just because Memphis made it to the NC.

All I care about is the state of our program now, and it looked pretty good last season and looks as if we have another good season ahead of us.

Raynoch writes:


Bold move to start a CUSA vs. SEC discussion. You've named the 3 SEC teams with National Titles. Now name the CUSA ones. And if you want to I can look up the all-time CUSA vs. SEC head-to-head records.

tigerman writes:

rckydx -- Where does it say in that article that he is leaning toward Tennessee? All I saw was that he will announce his decision. There was no mention as to where he is expected to go.

UT_LAW_2011 writes:

And if you wanted some proof:

Emmanuel Negedu has verbally committed to Tennessee.

"I'm going to the University of Tennessee," Negedu said by phone Tuesday in an exclusive interview with "Tennessee was one of the schools I considered before I (signed with) Arizona (last November), and when I visited there I liked the campus and I really got along with the players. It just seemed like a family. I love it. And I feel like I've known the coaches forever."

A 6-foot-7 forward, Negedu is the one-time Arizona signee who asked for a release from his national letter of intent last month, unhappy with the uncertainty surrounding Lute Olson and the Arizona program. When the release was granted the African import immediately became the central recruiting target for multiple elite level programs -- specifically Tennessee, Indiana, Memphis and Georgia Tech, all of which were searching for an impact frontcourt player to add to the 2008-09 roster. ranks Negedu as the 40th-best prospect in his class while has him at No. 71. Either way, he's an extremely athletic, explosive post presence who should immediately help the Vols as he competes for minutes with veterans Wayne Chism and Tyler Smith.

For Bruce Pearl, this is a huge development.

It not only solidifies Tennessee as a preseason top 10 team, but it's an example of Pearl -- aided by assistant Steve Forbes -- beating rival John Calipari and Memphis on a "national" recruit as the two programs continue to compete for supremacy in the state.

Negedu's pledge also pushes Tennessee's recruiting class solidly into the top 10 considering he's the fourth top 70 prospect to commit to UT. The best of the group is McDonald's All-American Scotty Hopson, who will start in the backcourt beside junior college standout Bobby Maze for a team that should win the SEC and could advance to the Final Four.

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