Tip of the hat to typtic67, who has been helping us follow this story in the comments sections.
6'8 PF Jared Guest has signed with the VCU to play his college ball for Shaka Smart and the Rams. If you haven't heard of Guest, don't be surprised. He hasn't been a priority for our basketball program.
The problem is that he should have been. Guest is a Columbia native who is playing prep ball in North Carolina. He's a homegrown talent. He's pretty good--he averaged 15 ppg last season. In addition to VCU, he got attention from several major programs, including Oklahoma St., Minnesota, Georgia, and Maryland. Notice that each of those programs--even once lowly Georgia--has recently enjoyed success that should make Carolina fans drool. Guest plays at a position of need for Carolina. Moreover, he seems to be exactly the kind of player who Darrin Horn has repeatedly said he's in the market for, a guy who's big enough to effectively play the post, but who's versatile enough to play full-court defense and spread the court on offense. He's the kind of player who could have had a place in Horn's system.
It doesn't bother me so much that we didn't sign Guest. After all, one could hardly blame him for choosing VCU over Carolina. (Yes--while that statement is absolutely true, is is shameful that we've now fallen so far behind a mid-major.) What really bothers me is that we apparently weren't really interested in this guy. Horn should have absolutely done everything in his power to get this kid on campus and to show him what we have to offer. There's nothing I can see that suggests it would was rational for him to do otherwise.
Unfortunately, after this recruiting omission, Carolina fans are left wondering if Horn has this program even remotely headed in the right direction. The evidence lately isn't encouraging.