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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Can't say no to Dad ...

Just hours before the NCAA's late signing period for men's basketball opens, and it looks like both of the state's sought-after unsigned guards — Birmingham Detroit Country Day's Ray McCallum Jr. and Mount Pleasant's Trey Zeigler — are going to stay home.


Both of the players are in the unique situation of being the sons of Division I basketball coaches: University of Detroit Mercy employs Ray McCallum Sr. as its head coach, while Zeigler's dad, Ernie, is the head coach at Central Michigan University.

And as of Tuesday night, it looks like both players are going to join their father's program, rather than take offers from bigger (and some would say better) programs.

The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun reported that Zeigler will make his decision official on television Wednesday afternoon, then sign at the high school on Thursday, while McCallum will sign his paperwork — cementing a poorly-kept secret of his intentions — at a law firm in Southfield Wednesday. Both signings will be televised on ESPNU on Wednesday: McCallum at 4:10 p.m. and Zeigler at 4:40.

The two players, who are friends and teammates on the camp circuit, have parallel stories. Both moved to a new state in high school — Zeigler from California and McCallum from Indiana — and both have had the unique experience of being not only a sought-after top recruit, but also being recruited by their own fathers.

McCallum, ranked as the 25th-best recruit by and the 60th best by, was deciding between offers from Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, UCLA, Miami (Fla.), Minnesota and Notre Dame, while Zeigler (No. 35 Scout/No. 26 Rivals) was contemplating Michigan, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Duke, LSU and Miami (Fla).

Skeptics have tied each of the sons to their fathers' career coattails, hinting that the fathers might benefit most from having their sons stay at home. Rumors have linked McCallum Sr. with other coaching jobs — where he could take his son without a transfer penalty — while critics have insinuated that the elder Zeigler's contract extension with CMU, agreed-upon last week but finalized on Tuesday, was linked to his son's commitment. If anything, the extension may have been the deciding factor for Trey, rather than vice-versa.

There might be some disappointment from fans of bigger schools in the state — both U-M and MSU were hoping Zeigler would fall in their laps late — but this seems to be a win-win situation for both families. Both programs get a boost of publicity — as well as a top-notch player — and neither kid has to look his father in the eye and say, "Your program isn't good enough, Dad."

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