Chat about college hoops recruiting

July 14, 2006

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KU pulled off a big surprise with the signing of Darrell Arthur to all but wrap up its 2006 recruiting class, but if you have any questions about what some of the other Big 12 schools are up to then recruiting analyst Shay Wildeboor is your man. The scribe from JayhawkSlant.com will be fielding your questions this Friday at 1:30 p.m. So go ahead and ask him everything from whether or not the Jayhawks will be cutting down the nets in Atlanta, to where on earth O.J. Mayo will end up.

Moderator:

Hi and welcome to our chat today. I'm Andy Samuelson the online sports editor for KUsports.com and I will be today's chat moderator. Today we our joined by Shay Wildeboor, a recruiting analyst and writer for JayhawkSlant.com. Thanks Shay for taking time out of your day to join with our KUsports.com readers this afternoon.

Shay Wildeboor:

Thanks for having me, it's an honor to be amongst Kansas fans.

Moderator:

Even though the basketball scene is a little quieter around here than usual, the summer doesn't really offer much of a break for you with all the recruiting news. Shay, what have you been up to lately?

Shay Wildeboor:

I've been hanging out at a couple of tournaments. Other than recruiting me and my wife are expecting our first child in September. That pretty much fills up my schedule. Other than that, I'm just trying to get ready for the upcoming basketball season.

Moderator:

Congrats on the baby. Well lets get to some questions.

Teapot9:

Shay, is anyone else concerned that Self might be getting too much talent and therefore too many big egos on one team? Also I am concerned that Self is getting players that will rarely stay for three or even four years. Thoughts?

Shay Wildeboor:

No, noone is concerned about too much talent. All the players Self is brining in, aspire to win a national championship. All of them are good kids, and are team-oriented young men. As far as staying around, that is just the landscape of college basketball right now. Anyone who is in the top 10, it's going to be tough to get them to stay. The age rule kept a handful of players around, who would probably tested the NBA waters this year.

bwjhawk:

With the chances of Julian Wright and Brandon Rush turning pro after the season, is the coaching staff making the small forward position a priority in the 2007 recruiting class? What are KU's chances of landing an elite player like Kyle Singler?

Shay Wildeboor:

I think Rush will probably go, but I can see Julian sticking around. As far as the small forward position, it will definitely be a priority in this next class. As far as Singler, it will be tough to get him. Right now he's very enamored with Duke. However, KU is still very much in the mix. It's clear that they have a chance due to the fact that Kyle is not playing football this year and will probably take a visit to KU in September.

Kahno1:

What are Self's chances on landing Derrick Rose for 2007?

Shay Wildeboor:

Obviously another tough get. Derrick's brother, Reggie Rose, is doing all of the talking and noone knows for sure where KU stands on his list. While the guard position isn't the top priority, the staff is extremely interested in getting Derrick on campus for an official visit. Memphis looks like the school that is going to be extremely tough to beat.

rgreene:

Who have you heard are the early favorites for Travis Releford from Bishop Miege?

Shay Wildeboor:

Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Texas are the schools I have heard. A few months ago when the contact period first started, Self was the first coach that traveled to Miege to check in on Travis. It's clear that this is a player that they wanted really bad. He's very talented. A 6-4 player that can shoot, score off the bounce, he's long and athletic. He's definitely worth the praise of being one of the top players in the class.

Moderator:

Shay, How much does attending Miege offer an advantage to KU, or does it?

Shay Wildeboor:

Oh gosh, a lot. This is a young man who has been to KU many times. I would kind of compare this to a Cole Aldrich situation where Kansas is almost a home away from home considering the number of times he's been on campus. I've heard the coaching staff has a good relationship with Rick Zeke, Miege's head coach, so that can only help. Having a player as talented as Travis in your backyard can't hurt.

djmac:

Shay, i was just wondering about Bill Walker and O.J. Mayo's situations right now. With Mayo's interest in USC, and Walker being announced ineligible for the 06-07 high school season, do you see either ending up in Manhattan?

Thanks,
Drew

Shay Wildeboor:

I think O.J. Mayo will probably go to USC. He's liked that school for a while. Playing under the big lights in an atmosphere like Los Angeles is appealing to him. Walker's is an interesting situation, he's going to stay at his high school next season and work on academics. I don't know if he's going to be heading to K-State, but they certainly have a great chance. I haven't talked to anyone in Walker's camp so I don't have a great feel for how the situation is right now.

Moderator:

Along the same lines a reader named NaptownHawk asks: What are your thoughts on players going overseas for a year out of highschool instead of experiencing the great college basketball atmosphere?

Shay Wildeboor:

If you're an elite level player, you could make the money here without going overseas. A lucrative shoe contract, or other endorsement deals. Until someone actually opens up that door and does it, it makes me wonder if that's really a viable option. There's so many ways of making money, I don't know if you have to go overseas.

Moderator:

Shay, you ready to tackle a football question?

kjhawks33:

How would you compare KU's recruting efforts in FB here so far through July based on the last 3 years at this time?

Shay Wildeboor:

I would start out by saying that KU is seriously involved in more heavily recruited players than in years past. For instance, Christian Ballard, is a four star prospect and the 96th best player in the Class of 2007. He's already given a commitment to KU. Blake Lawrence another four star prospect is leaning heavily toward KU, despite offers from such schools as K-State, Michigan State and Nebraska. The number of three and four star prospects seriously interested in KU is at an all-time high.

jpreynolds23:

hi shay, love your work - you are so knowledgeable about ku hoops! anyways, i am in high school and wondered if you could give any advice to an aspiring young "recruiting guru". what path did you take? thanks!

Shay Wildeboor:

Just follow your dreams and stick with it. It's not always about who you know, but what you know and your willingness to always work hard. If you want to shoot me an e-mail you can reach me at the JayhawkSlant.com.

bwjhawk:

What are your thoughts on KU's current commitment Cole Aldrich? Is he living up to his 5 star status?

Shay Wildeboor:

It's been a disappoining spring and summer so far for Cole. He's suffered a number of injuries and it's been a frustrating time for the Minnesota big man. He's lost some weight and is running with a new AAU team, which should be extremely beneficial.

travist:

Shay,
What's the buzz on Darrell Arthur and Sherron Collins? How will they make an impact?
Thanks

Shay Wildeboor:

I expect both Darrell and Sherron to fight for starter-like minutes. It wouldn't surprise me if Darrell started at some point in the season. Darrell is an ultra-athletic big man that has the ability to play inside or out. Collins is a mult-deminsional point guard that can impact a team on both ends of the court.

Moderator:

Looks like Shay has time for one last question.

missKU:

Do you think we will cut down the nets in Atlanta?

Shay Wildeboor:

Yes I do, but a number of things must take place. Obviously the team would have to stay healthy. Russell Robinson will need to continue to improve his point guard skills, and must remain the top on-the-ball defender in college basketball. Rush and Chalmers, Julian Wright will need to put points on the board in a variety of ways whether it be from the outside, in transition, or even in traffic. The big men will also have to be extremely productive. I think last year was a disappointment in terms of performance by the bigs on both ends of the court. But I think with what KU has coming back and coming in, the Jayhawks are a serious threat to be cutting down the nets in Atlanta.

Moderator:

Well that's going to do it for our chat today with recruiting expert Shay Wildeboor, from rivals.com. Thanks a lot Shay for your time today. I'll see you at Allen Fieldhouse next season, and if anyone wants to see your work, then check out JayhawkSlant.com.

Shay Wildeboor:

Thanks AndySam for having me in today, it's always nice to spend time with the Jayhawk faithful and I look to seeing all of you real soon in Lawrence.

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