Archive for Friday, October 9, 1998


October 9, 1998


Kirk Hinrich, a 6-foot-3 senior basketball guard from West High School in Sioux City, Iowa, made his mind up Thursday night.

He's coming to Kansas University.

Hinrich, who orally committed to Iowa State during his junior year but reneged in June after ISU coach Tim Floyd accepted a job with the NBA's Chicago Bulls, selected the Jayhawks over runnerup Oklahoma on Thursday night.

``At Kansas, I'll be surrounded by great players. That will only make me a better player. They have a legitimate shot at winning the national title every year,'' Hinrich said in explaining his choice.

``It's easy for my family to see me play. That was huge.''

So was the fact he'll be a teammate of fellow Iowan Nick Collison. The 6-foot-9 Collison, a native of Iowa Falls and an AAU teammate of Hinrich, verbally committed to KU over Duke recently.

``I'd like to room with Nick. We're pretty good friends,'' Hinrich said. ``That played a role in my decision, but in the end it came down to Kansas is the best school for me.''

Hinrich informed KU coach Roy Williams and Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson of his decision late Thursday night.

``I just told coach Sampson. Informing him was the toughest thing I needed to do,'' he said. ``If possible I'd like to play for both of them. I will be meeting him down the road I'm sure.''

Hinrich, whose sister Jill is a junior at KU, averaged 18.3 points a game last year on 61-percent shooting. He hit 47 percent of his three-pointers and 87 percent of his free throws. He played for USA Basketball's Junior Select team this summer.

``I just want to give a crack at the best school I can,'' Hinrich said. ``I'm sure some have their doubts I can play there. I am determined to go down there and give it all I can. It's an awesome basketball school.''

Hinrich received no promises of playing time.

``They have a policy. They don't promise you anything, any amount of minutes, but I hope to play there,'' he said. ``They think I'm very versatile. They think I can guard both positions defensively. That could mean more playing time for me.''

Hinrich plays for his dad, Jim, who's in his 20th year as coach at West High.

``Kansas has great facilities, the whole package as far as dorms, training table, weight room, study hall, the whole works,'' Jim Hinrich said. ``Coach Williams, Neil (Dougherty) and Matt (Doherty) have done a great job and made Kirk feel wanted.''

Earlier this week, Hinrich had eliminated Iowa State from his list of finalists.

``The world got a lot bigger is basically what it is,'' Jim Hinrich said. ``Basically the only person who knew about him when he originally committed was coach Floyd and a handful of others.

``It might have been a lot simpler situation if nothing changed. He would have been going to Iowa State and we would have been off to the races. He just liked the other two better. I know Kirk really hopes there's no hard feelings amongst coach Eustachy (Larry, new ISU coach) and the rest of the staff because it had very little to do with them.''

With commitments from Hinrich, Collison and 6-10 Drew Gooden of El Cerrito, Calif., KU is finished in recruiting. The Jayhawks had three scholarships to give this school year. Now none remain. One could open if forward Lester Earl does not receive an extra year of eligibility.

-- Gary Bedore's phone number is 832-7186. His e-mail address is

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