Archive for Thursday, April 8, 1999

CAGERZ MAKE ROBERTSON TOP PICK

April 8, 1999

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Kansas University senior Ryan Robertson was selected by Salina with the sixth overall pick in Wednesday's USBL draft.

Ryan Robertson is a No. 1 draft pick.

Not of an NBA team -- that draft won't be held until late June -- but of Salina's United States Basketball League franchise.

As he promised on Tuesday, Kansas Cagerz coach Tom Hughes selected KU senior Robertson sixth overall in Wednesday's eight-round, 12-team USBL Draft.

The Cagerz's picks in rounds two through eight were: Tyrone Washington, 6-10, Mississippi State; Sedric Webber, 6-6, College of Charleston; Ryan Moss, 6-7, Arkansas Little-Rock; Derrick Hood, 6-8, Arkansas; Kenyatta Clyde, 6-8, Southern Utah; Venson Hamilton, 6-10, Nebraska and Mark Ediger, 6-8, Bethel College.

"I am flattered and excited about the opportunity," Robertson said. "Hopefully the situation will work out where this will be a benefit to me and the Cagerz. You can look at it a lot of different ways, but being a No. 1 pick in any league ... if somebody says, 'We want you as our No. 1 pick,' that's flattering," Robertson added.

Robertson isn't sure he'll accept an offer to play for the Cagerz, who signed former KU player Billy Thomas last week.

Robertson would earn $300 per week during league play, which runs from late April until mid June. He will talk to KU coach Roy Williams and his parents about the pros and cons of playing in the league before rendering a decision.

"It's a great opportunity for me to play and get seen by more scouts and at the same time stay sharp for other (NBA) camps," Robertson said. "They said they would be flexible. I would not be done with school until two weeks into the season. The season is only eight weeks. That's a good chunk of it right there."

The players selected ahead of Robertson in Round One were: Brett Eppehimer, G, Lehigh University (by Pennsylvania); Tyrone Grant, F, St. John's (Brooklyn); Ricky Moore, G, UConn (New Hampshire); Greg Stolt, F, Florida (Tampa Bay) and Calvin Price, F, UNC Charlotte (Atlanta).

As far as being picked in the June NBA Draft, that could be a longshot possibility for Robertson.

"The initial feeling is I'm on the borderline," Robertson said. "Coach Williams thinks it's 50-50 right now. He said he'd never seen a player go to Portsmouth, play poorly and get drafted. I didn't play poorly at Portsmouth. I didn't play great, but I played well."

Robertson played on the winning team at last week's Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational for NBA prospects. He had a game-high 23 points in the semifinals.

No scholarships available until next year: Wednesday marked the beginning of the month long late signing period for high school basketball players. KU, however, has no scholarships to give. The Jayhawks will have three scholarships to offer next school year.

Glen Worley, 6-8, Iowa City, who has made an unofficial visit to KU, will be the top recruiting priority of new Iowa coach Steve Alford. Other Big 10 schools, such as Michigan State, will be in the hunt.

As usual, there are several recruiting targets on the West coast. DeShawn Stevenson, 6-6, Fresno Washingon High, is UCLA's No. 1 priority in recruiting. Travon Bryant, 6-9, Long Beach, Calif., likes KU, UCLA, Arizona and Duke. Bryant on Wednesday said he'd "probably take a visit to Kansas next year." Also, Luke Whitehead, 6-6, San Francisco, Lou Wright, 6-6, Los Angeles, and Teyo Johnson, 6-7, Lynwood, Wash., all have KU on their early lists.

Others listing an interest in KU: Eddie Griffin, 6-8, Philadelphia; Andre Brown, 6-9, Chicago; Imari Sawyer, 6-1, Chicago; Darius Miles, 6-10, East St. Louis, Ill.; Terrence Crawford, 6-6, Oklahoma City; Brandon Mouton, 6-5, Lafayette, La.; Brian Boddicker, 6-10, Duncanville, Texas.

Carolina banquet: Former Lawrence High basketball players Brad Frederick and Scott Williams received awards at North Carolina's basketball banquet on Tuesday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Frederick received the scholar-athlete award and Williams the Sharp Award for most behind the scenes contributions. Their dads, Bob Frederick (KU athletics director) and Roy Williams (basketball coach) attended.

"It was a nice deal. Scott and Brad did a nice job in their presentations," Frederick said of senior speeches.

Snyder remembered: New Missouri coach Quin Snyder was recruited by Kansas during the Larry Brown era. He played at Duke from 1986 to '89.

"Kansas recruited him very hard," KU athletics director Bob Frederick said. "He came here one or two summers and worked coach Brown's camp. That's how I met him. I always thought he was a great guy. I think he'll do well over there.

"He's a bright guy. If you are smart, organized and work hard, you've got a good chance to be successful."

Final stats: The NCAA released its final men's basketball statistics Wednesday.

KU's Robertson finished 18th in free throw percentage (.871). KU placed 20th in field goal percentage defense (.391). Eric Chenowith was 27th in blocked shots (2.4).

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

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