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Tayshaun Prince Talks Of Revenge With Jon Wilner--(Dec. 4, 1998)

In case you missed Jon Wilner's article in the Daily News this past week, you might want to catch it.  The article concerned just how well Tayshaun Prince (6'-8" Fr. SG) is doing for the Kentucky Wildcats, starting as a freshman and averaging something like 8.7 ppg.  But the subtext in the article is that Prince, who was recruited by UCLA, intentionally led the Bruin coaches on last year during the recruiting process and never intended to sign with UCLA.  This is not news, but Wilner begins the article with a very curious statement, in light of the quotes from Prince about why he never intended to sign with UCLA and what he did in the recruiting process. 

With respect to the latter, Wilner quotes Prince as saying:

"I was never going to attend UCLA," he said with a scowl. "I was (angry with) them, the whole family was (angry with) them for what happened to Tommie."

But curiously, Wilner starts off the article with the statement: "Snubbed indirectly by his hometown team, Tayshaun Prince traveled 2,500 miles to feel loved. Now the former Compton Dominguez star is lighting up Lexington, Ky."

Huh? Prince was "Indirectly snubbed" by UCLA?   Sheesh. We don't know where this comes from.  Prince was courted by UCLA right up to the end.  He was not "snubbed" either directly or indirectly.   Lavin would have gladly taken Tayshuan had he elected to come, and he'd be starting for the Bruins right now had he not held a grudge over something that occurred years earlier between his family and coach Herrick.

As Wilner correctly notes, the real history of the Prince family's involvment dates back five years ago:

Five years ago, his brother, Tommie, was set to attend UCLA until his standardized test score was challenged and the Bruins abruptly ended their recruitment.  Tommie is now a senior at Pepperdine, but his younger brother never forgave the Bruins. During his recruitment last year, he kept UCLA on his short list so he could ultimately reject them as they rejected his brother.

But as Tayshaun noted, he was never going to come to UCLA, and his rejection of the Bruins was a classic case of a family getting revenge.  And Tayshaun's performance against the Bruins in the Puerto Rico Shootout was all the more poignant for the Bruins.  Prince's performance against the Bruins -- 11 points, including eight in the second half -- was especially rewarding for his family.  And as Wilner notes, he's keeping a low profile on the court, shooting when open and careful not to exceed his rookie role. But when Kentucky needs a spark, as it did Saturday against UCLA, Prince is happy to oblige. "If the team needs somebody to give us a lift, I can hit a couple shots to get us started," Prince said last week during the Puerto Rico Shootout. "I'm starting to feel more comfortable. Since I'm starting, I'm trying to create something so we don't put it all on the seniors."


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