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Archive for Tuesday, September 22, 1998

KIRK HINRICH, A 6-3 GUARD FROM SIOUX CITY, IOWA, IS CONSIDERING KANSAS, OKLAHOMA AND IOWA STATE.

September 22, 1998

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Kansas University would like to sign two basketball players from Iowa this fall.

Nick Collison, a 6-foot-9 forward from Iowa Falls, Iowa, is an AAU teammate and good buddy of Kirk Hinrich, a 6-3 point guard from Sioux City, Iowa.

Collison committed to Kansas on Sunday.

Hinrich is considering Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa State.

``I'll do my best,'' Collison said of convincing Hinrich to follow him to KU. ``I hope he comes. I think he's a real good player. I think he'd fit in real well, too. He plays great defense. I guess I'll give it a shot.''

Hinrich, who visited Oklahoma last weekend and will visit Kansas on Oct. 3, tried to convince Collison to choose Iowa State after Hinrich verbally committed to the Cyclones two summers ago.

``I'll get him back now,'' Collison said, laughing.

Hinrich removed the ISU commitment after Cyclone coach Tim Floyd accepted a job with the Chicago Bulls in July.

``It might (make a difference for KU). I think it's a factor,'' Hinrich's dad, Jim, said of Collison committing. ``When Kirk was verbally committed to Iowa State, he spent a lot of time talking to Nick about coming to Iowa State. I guess the shoe is on the other foot now and he gets some payback.''

Oklahoma ``gave him a pretty good pitch,'' last weekend, Jim Hinrich said about his son.

``Kansas' approach is, `You are good enough to play here and we have a legitimate shot every year at making a run at the national championship,''' said Jim Hinrich, who coaches his son at Sioux City West High.

``Oklahoma is talking about Kansas being at a little higher level and with you we might move up to that level. They are pitching he might play more right away. Iowa State is similar to Oklahoma. They think they have some good players coming in. He'd be an Iowa boy playing in Iowa. He'd have a lot of following,'' the elder Hinrich added.

Kirk Hinrich will pick a school during the fall signing period. All three schools have made in-home visits. Kansas will have one in-home remaining after OU's and Iowa State's are completed. Coaches may enter the home of a recruit three times.

Four year guy: Collison is planning on a four-year stay at Kansas. His intention is not to leave early for the NBA.

``Definitely. Right now, anyway,'' Collison said with a laugh.

Versatile player: Collison played the pivot for Iowa Falls High last year. The team went 26-0 and won the Class 2A state title. Iowa Falls went 22-1 his sophomore year, the only loss coming in a first-round playoff game.

``He handles the ball well,'' said his father, David Collison, head coach at Iowa Falls High. ``He was a guard in junior high because he was the team's best ballhandler. Coaches like his versatility. He can play anywhere on the court.

``Not that he's a point guard or two guard. Coach (Roy) Williams says when he's on the court he's a player they'll have to defend. Coaches like his versatility.''

International experience: Last summer, Collison played for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim's Team USA 18-under Junior World Qualifying team, which went 6-0 and won the gold medal in the Dominican Republic.

After that, Collison embarked on a busy AAU schedule. In all, he's played 88 games since his high school season ended.

``He got really tired of the travel. He was gone for a five-week stretch,'' David Collison said. ``It really gave him confidence knowing he could play with kids across the nation.''

Good example: Former KU player Raef LaFrentz of Monona, Iowa, did not try to push Nick Collison to attend Kansas, but the two do know each other. LaFrentz is dating the sister of one of Collison's AAU teammates.

``Raef didn't try to sell Kansas,'' David Collison said. ``Some people in Iowa thought he was pushing Nick hard to go to KU. That wasn't the case. Seeing Raef coming back for his senior year indicates to Nick how Raef felt about KU.''

  • Putting on weight: Collison weighs 230 pounds. He gained 10 pounds since the end of the high school season ``by lifting and eating,'' said David Collison, who played college ball at Iowa's Briar Cliff College.

  • Future teammates: Collison doesn't know Andrew Gooden, a 6-10 forward from El Cerrito, Calif., who committed to KU recently.

``I have never seen him. Coach Williams told me he's a great kid,'' Nick Collison said.

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

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