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Archive for Wednesday, April 22, 1998

ASHANTE JOHNSON AVERAGED 23 POINTS AND 14 REBOUNDS LAST SEASON AT CANADA COLLEGE IN CALIFORNIA.

April 22, 1998

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Kansas isn't finished with its men's basketball recruiting just yet.

Ashante Johnson, a 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward from Canada Junior College in Redwood City, Calif., says he'll make an official recruiting visit to KU's campus on Friday.

Johnson, who averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds last season, visited Florida State last weekend. He has also visited Xavier and Pepperdine.

``It's a matter if I can come in and get some playing time. Getting my degree is important, too,'' Johnson told recruiting analyst Mike Sullivan of Insider's Report. ``Coach (Roy) Williams came here and talked to me during our spring break. I had a nice time speaking with him.''

Johnson has been to Lawrence before. He played in a high school all-star game in Allen Fieldhouse following his senior year at Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego, Calif.

``I didn't see much of the campus, but I was in the fieldhouse,'' he said.

Johnson said he'll return to California after his KU visit and make a decision by May 15, the last day of the late signing period.

``Pepperdine is an hour from where I am. Also, I have relatives in Ohio,'' Johnson said. ``It will be hard to choose which will be best for me.''

Johnson signed with Utah out of high school. He red-shirted his freshman year then played behind All-American Keith Van Horn his red-shirt freshman season.

After transferring, he blossomed at Canada Juco this past season.

``I think I can bring some defensive skills,'' Johnson said. ``I like to get up and down the court.''

The Jayhawks have signed guards Jeff Boschee, John Crider and Marlon London and have awarded a scholarship to University of Texas freshman forward Luke Axtell. KU has one scholarship available.

Agent update: KU's Raef LaFrentz and Arizona's Mike Bibby have signed with Michael Jordan's agent, David Falk, who is based in Washington, D.C. KU's Paul Pierce has chosen Oakland agent Aaron Goodwin. Newport Beach-based agent Leigh Steinberg, meanwhile, has landed UCLA's Toby Bailey and J.R. Henderson.

Santa Monica agent Arn Tellum, who represents Reggie Miller, has landed UCLA's Jelani McCoy and Oregon State's Corey Benjamin.

  • Projections: ESPN's Chris Monter says Bibby will be the No. 1 pick in the draft. He says Pierce will be tabbed second and LaFrentz third. Billy Thomas is regarded as the 61st-best prospect, which means he's a possible second-round pick.

  • Barnstorming: Kansas' seniors beat a a team of former KU players, 161-157, on Tuesday night at Washburn's Lee Arena. A crowd of 3,000 saw Paul Mokeski hit three half-court shots and Raef LaFrentz two.

  • Coaching carousel: Former Texas A&M coach Tony Barone may be up for the vacant University of Wyoming job. The Cowboys also are reportedly considering Eastern Washington assistant Steve Aggers. ... So far the annual Roy Williams/NBA rumors haven't started. The only college coach thus far rumored to be a possibility of the Denver Nuggets is Kentucky's Tubby Smith. The Clippers are believed to be after Rhode Island coach Jim Harrick. Williams has declined more than 10 NBA offers in the past.

-- Gary Bedore's phone number is 832-7186. His e-mail address is gbedore@ljworld.com.

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