Not “couldn’t get,” more “didn’t want.” Coaches will extend offers to players and then lose interest in them and drift apart. At Ahjany Lee’s commitment ceremony, when he committed to St. Thomas, he had hats on the table from Kansas and Stanford, but there was no way that Kansas was still interested in him or would have accepted his commitment. Did St. Thomas “beat” Kansas for a recruit? No, of course not. Kansas offered awhile ago and lost interest.
Barely any high major coaches offered scholarships to Edey. Pitino apparently showed some light interest, extended an offer, then likely backed off, and didn’t make him a priority, which is being framed here by Edey as “didn’t try very hard.” If he got the feeling that the Minnesota coaching staff didn’t want him that badly, he was probably right, because he was a lowly ranked prospect, and very few programs did want him. Coaches prioritize recruits and will pursue some players harder than others. Ben Johnson wanted Payne over Lee, and he got Payne, and Lee went elsewhere.