Lingering thoughts from last Saturday's Converse All-America basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse. ...
Memo to game organizer, Tim Knight: "If you lower prices, they might come." Some Jayhawk fans who skipped the game -- just 2,200 attended -- told me the $12 ticket kept them home. I'd suggest a $5 ticket for both children and adults and better marketing plan. ...
I was impressed with the two players from Kansas -- Manny Dies and L. Dee Murdock -- who more than held their own at the high school/juco all-star game.
Dies, a 6-7, 220-pounder from Wichita South, who is headed to Kansas State, already has a major-college body. He used it well, grabbing seven rebounds and ramming several dunks.
The knock on Dies is his shooting, but he did hit six of 12 shots, including one of two threes. A caller to a radio talk show bad-mouthed Dies this week, saying he hot-dogged it and showed a "bad attitude."
Funny, I didn't notice that a bit.
In fact, after the game, I told him I was impressed with his hustle and asked him if he was tired because it appeared he left it all on the court.
"I just wanted to show what I could do," Dies said. "It was hard, because I'm a little out of shape. I tried to play hard the whole game."
He was gracious, saying he made some good friends over the weekend, including KU signees T.J. Pugh and Ryan Robertson.
"I probably won't be matched up against them in college. We don't play the same position," Dies said. "But if I am ... I played against a lot of friends in high school, too."
Murdock, a 6-8, 220-pounder from Columbus, who is headed to Missouri, showed a nice touch, hitting eight of 11 shots. He scored 19 points and had seven boards. Murdock had only three points the second half, which cost him the MVP award. ...
Future KU point guard Ryan Robertson has to be one of the classiest players to ever compete in a high school all-star game. Following the game, as he was about to leave for hometown St. Charles, Mo., with his parents, Robertson sought game organizer Knight, his assistant Jeff Stuckey and public relations man Craig Pinkerton.
He wanted to shake their hands and thank them for inviting him to play in the game.
Needless to say, all three individuals were impressed. During the past basketball season, Robertson shocked a local reporter by offering him the guest room in his house as an alternative to a hotel room. ...
Talent assessment: I was impressed with the play of Robertson, who had 18 points and six assists, and Pugh, KU's 6-9 signee from Omaha, who had 20 points and earned MVP honors.
Robertson, 6-5, 175, can run, handle the ball and pass. He also can drive and showed a soft touch, especially from the line, where he hit five of six free throws. He probably needs to gain 10 to 15 pounds lest he get broken in two next season.
Like KU frosh Raef LaFrentz, Pugh appears to be a scorer. He hit seven of 17 shots, canning all six free throw tries. Now I know why recruiting gurus like Bob Gibbons like him so much. A big guy with a soft touch, not afraid to bang inside, what more can you ask for?