It looks as if Steve Robinson may be coming home.
Robinson, an assistant under Kansas head basketball coach Roy Williams from 1989-95 and head coach at Florida State the last five years, is believed to be the leading candidate to replace Neil Dougherty, who accepted the head coaching post at Texas Christian on March 25.
Robinson, in fact, was in Lawrence on Tuesday, but could not be reached for comment.
KU's coach has been swamped with applications since the assistant's job opened. Williams said he should have an announcement on Dougherty's replacement "pretty soon."
"We have to wait for equal opportunity to have permission to do things," Williams said, noting he is abiding by university policy to advertise the job for 10 days and open the process to all individuals.
Williams won't discuss specific candidates, but it's obvious why Robinson appears to be the man for the job.
Robinson, 44, was known as a master recruiter at KU, helping corral Paul Pierce out of the Los Angeles area. Robinson was 46-18 in his two years at Tulsa, then went 64-86 in five years at FSU. He was fired in March following the Seminoles' 12-17 season.
Spring signing period: Today begins the monthlong spring signing period for high school prospects. KU, which has two scholarships available, will receive a visit this weekend from Coffeyville Community College guard Devin Smith.
Smith, a 6-foot-6 freshman from New Castle, Del., averaged 20 points and six rebounds a game for 36-2 Coffeyville CC. He will visit KU, Iowa and Virginia.
The Jayhawks are also in the running for Andre Iguodala, a 6-6 senior from Lanphier High in Springfield, Ill. Iguodala, who has been released from his letter of intent at Arkansas, will attend either KU, Boston College or Arizona. He may have to sit out a year and lose a year of eligibility for not fulfilling his original letter of intent.
Boschee drafted: Kansas senior Jeff Boschee on Tuesday was selected by the Kansas Cagerz in the 2002 United States Basketball League Draft. Boschee, in fact, was the Cagerz's first-round pick, the ninth overall pick in the draft. The Cagerz, who play their home games at Salina's Bicentennial Center, drafted Boschee despite the fact he's indicated he does not want to play in the USBL.
"It's going to have to be his decision because the word is out he's not going to play," Cagerz coach Francis Flax said. "We know how much a crowd pleaser he is. I look beyond that. I know how he can shoot the ball. I think if we can turn him loose in the USBL he can score."
Ex-Jayhawk Kenny Gregory on Tuesday signed a contract with the Dodge City Legend of the USBL.
Mum's the word: Drew Gooden has yet to call a press conference to announce his decision to turn pro or stay in school. Williams is at his beach home in South Carolina through Friday, the start of the next month long recruting evaluation period.
It's generally believed 6-10 junior Gooden is a top-five pick in the NBA Draft. Some fans have wondered what Gooden would make if he turned pro now. If picked fifth overall, he'd receive $2,109,100 his first year; $2,267,300 his second and 2,425,500 his third year.
The last pick in the first round is guaranteed $642,700 in Year One, followed by $690,900 and $739,100.
If Gooden, as expected, does turn pro, don't be surprised if he does not hire an agent. Many players are considering going without agents because the first three years of a first-rounder's contract are guaranteed at a set rate. Some players see no need to pay agents until their second contract rolls around. Also a player can pull his name out of the draft a week before the draft if he does not ink with an agent.
Jayhawk Invitational: At least one potential KU recruit will attend this weekend's Jayhawk Invitational tournament Friday through Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse, Horejsi Center and Sport2Sport. Tyler Koenig, a 6-8 junior from Fargo, N.D., will play for the Dakota Schoolers.
Tourney organizers are still accepting team applications and are expected to release names of possible recruits participating later in the week.
Recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons announced Tuesday he will open the tournament to individuals as well as teams.
Any individuals who wish to be evaluated by Gibbons should register at 8 a.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. Cost is $125 for two days of basketball. Gibbons will evaluate each player and send his evaluations to 300 colleges.
"At Furman we had 150 kids compete as individuals," Gibbons said. "We divide them into teams, break them into positions and evaluate their skills. Each kid gets a report card from me and what level we project them to be."