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Archive for Wednesday, December 4, 1996

S WILLIAMS LIKES WINDY CITY

December 4, 1996

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— The Windy City is Roy Williams' kind of town.

"We've been pretty lucky and had some good wins there in the NCAA Tournament (1992-93) and a nice win against DePaul the year before that," Williams, Kansas' basketball coach, said.

"The Midwest is a good recruiting area for us. We've got a lot of students from there in school. A lot of KU people are there. We're looking forward to getting a chance to play in Chicago."

The No. 1-rated Jayhawks will put their 5-0 record on the line against No. 4-rated, Cincinnati (2-1) at approximately 8:45 p.m. tonight at the United Center. The made-for-TV showdown will be shown live on ESPN.

LaFrentz should play: KU forward Raef LaFrentz, who has a strained right foot, practiced some Tuesday and is expected to play tonight.

"I don't think he'll be 100 percent. I do expect he'll play," Williams said Tuesday.

  • Trip notes: The Jayhawks left for Chicago Tuesday morning, worked out at the Bulls' practice facility in the afternoon and dined at Michael Jordan's restaurant Tuesday night. Jacque Vaughn and C.B. McGrath did not fly in with the team because of classroom responsibilities. They were to fly in today.

  • Tonight's game is listed as an 8:45 p.m. start. Don't be surprised if it actually tips off around 9 p.m. It will begin 25 minutes after the UMass-Georgetown game, which tips at 6:30 p.m.

  • Bobbles: KU has committed an average of 20 turnovers per game in its five victories. Point guard Ryan Robertson isn't to blame. He has 13 turnovers and 30 assists.

"If everybody had as good an assist-error ratio as Ryan we'd be all right," Williams said.

"As a team, we're turning it over too much."

Paul Pierce has nine assists, 19 turnovers; Raef LaFrentz no assists, 10 turnovers; Scot Pollard four assists, eight turnovers and Jerod Haase 21 assists, 19 turnovers.

"Ryan is concentrating so much on the defensive end and running the club he's probably neglecting his shot a bit. He is a fantastic shooter," Williams said. "I think he'll make it every time he puts his elbow under it."

Robertson has hit eight of 29 shots for 27.6 percent. He's made six of 16 threes for 37.5 percent.

He faces a big test against a quick Cincy backcourt of Charles Williams and Damon Flint tonight.

D'Juan Baker, a transfer from Midland, Texas JC, is expected to play a lot, also.

"This could be the second big test, the first was against Virginia's Harold Deane and Curtis Staples -- a veteran backcourt," Williams said. "It'll be hard to imagine it getting any tougher until conference play or at Connecticut."

Recruiting update: Minneapolis point guard Khalid El-Amin says he has received his latest standardized test score and has yet to qualify for a college scholarship. The 5-foot-11 El-Amin said he will likely verbally commit to either KU, Minnesota or Cincinnati in January after he retakes the ACT test. Recruiting expert Bob Gibbons insists El-Amin verbally committed to KU several weeks ago, contingent on the player passing his test. El-Amin insists he has no favorites among his three finalists.

Meanwhile, Gibbons says there is the possibility KU will begin recruiting point guards Travis Spivey of Durham, N.C., and Bernard Smith of Conroe, Texas. Baron Davis, 6-1 of Santa Monica, Calif., who visited KU last weekend, is planning a trip to Kentucky, his coach reports. He's also considering UCLA and Michigan.

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