Archive for Monday, October 16, 2000

Lee commits to Jayhawks

October 16, 2000


It's two down, three scholarships to be filled in Kansas University men's basketball recruiting.

Michael Lee, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound shooting guard from Portland, Ore., has given coach Roy Williams a verbal commitment to play basketball at KU next year.

"Yes, he committed," said Aaron Miles, Lee's Jefferson High teammate who visited KU last weekend with Lee and California preps Jamal Sampson and Josh Childress. Also on hand for Late Night With Roy Williams was Leavenworth prep Wayne Simien, who has already verbally committed to KU.

"He (Lee) looked at Mr. Williams' character, the players who are all cool to be around. He appreciated all the hospitality shown him. It's a great place to go to school," Miles said.

Lee, who averaged 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals his junior year, chose KU over runner-up Oregon. He also considered Nevada, Santa Clara and Cal-Santa Barbara early in the recruiting process.

Miles said he and Lee were overwhelmed at the "hospitality" they received during their KU visits.

"Lovely," the 6-foot Miles said of the trip. "I'd like to thank everybody. The spirit the people show at Kansas is really unbelievable. They love us. They love Kansas basketball."

The five prospects received thunderous ovations at Friday's Late Night With Roy Williams. Fans paraded around the court with oversized jerseys bearing their names and high school jersey numbers.

Miles says he wants to visit Arizona on Oct. 28 before finalizing his college choice. He's also considering Oregon. However it's no secret KU is his leader now.

"That's my partner. It does matter ... a lot," Miles said of his football/basketball teammate picking KU. "I'd say the chances of me going there are higher now. He's my best friend. I will announce a decision after my Arizona visit."

Lee was unavailable for comment Sunday.

Lee's dad, who also made the trip from Oregon to Lawrence, was the first to tell Leavenworth's Simien his son would join him on the Jayhawk roster.

"Mike's dad told me he liked everything he saw," Simien said of Lee. "They all had a great time."

That includes the Californians who visited.

"Kansas was the best visit I had," said Sampson, a 6-10 center from Santa Ana, who is down to KU, Saint Louis and Cal-Berkeley. "When the fans were cheering for us ... we were like, 'Dang.' I'm going to have to sit down and look at everything and try to decide in the next week or week and a half. It's a hard decision."

Sampson said Lee was overwhelmed. "He told me he was committing. I'm pretty sure Miles will, too," Sampson said.

Meanwhile, Childress, 6-5 from Lakewood, Calif., told recruiting analyst Rob Matera he had a "great time at Kansas. It was sweet."

Childress is also scheduled to visit Arizona on Oct. 28. But it's likely he'll choose either KU or Stanford.

"I really like the coaching staff and the family feeling at Kansas," Childress told "There is a lot of support for the team both on campus and in the community. If you play for the Jayhawks you are like a celebrity there. The only downside is the distance from home."

"Both Kansas and Stanford offer me a chance to play right away," Childress told Mike Sullivan of Insider's Report. Both need a three man."

Chuck Hayes, a 6-6 forward from Modesto, Calif., visited Kentucky last weekend.

"We're going to sit down, pull out the rosters of the four schools, see who signed where and who committed where and try to come up with a decision," Chuck Hayes' dad, Chuck Sr., said Sunday night.

"He enjoyed it," Chuck Sr., said of his son's UK visit. "It was Midnight Madness so it was fun. He liked the players, sort of the same as the other schools."

Hayes has visited KU, Kentucky, UTEP and Saint Louis.

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