Archive for Thursday, April 11, 2002

City will play host to second-annual Jayhawk Invitational this weekend

April 11, 2002

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The second-annual Jayhawk Invitational youth basketball tournament won't be as star-studded as the first.

Some future major college players will be competing Friday through Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse and Horejsi Center, but not as many as a year ago, organizers said.

"One thing that has impacted it is we're not getting the Texas teams we had last year," said recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons, who along with Hoop Group and Lawrence Sport 2 Sport organizes the event designed to bring future major college prospects to Kansas University's campus.

"The state of Kansas will not sanction this event or any of its kind, so college coaches will not be allowed to attend," Gibbons added. "The NCAA has left it up to individual states and Kansas, like most states, will not approve it. The only two states that will allow open events are Texas and Nevada. There's an event in Houston this weekend which is where the Texas teams are going.

"This still will be a very good event."

In all, there will be 16 teams in the 17-under division and 13 teams in the 16-under group.

Games will be played from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday at Allen Fieldhouse and Horejsi Center. Games will run at both sites from 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The 17-under championship is 12:45 p.m. Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Here's a look at some top players and times they will play.

 Tyler Koenig, a 6-foot-8 junior from Fargo, N.D., who reportedly has KU on his list of prospective colleges, is joined by 6-10 Steven Smith on the roster of the Dakota Schoolers. The Schoolers will meet the Keith Wooden-led Kansas City Nets at 8:45 p.m. Friday at Allen Fieldhouse. The Schoolers also will play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Allen and 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Horejsi Center.

The Nets, who are led by 6-9 Free State forward Wooden and 6-9 Jeff Pruitt of Beloit, will also play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Allen and 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Horejsi.

 Antoinio Porch, a 6-6 junior from Denver East High, will be playing for Colorado's MLK Hawks. The team will debut at 10 p.m. Friday at Allen and also play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Horejsi and 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Allen.

 Brandon Rush, a 6-6 freshman from KC Westport High and the brother of Kareem and JaRon Rush, will play for KC Rocktown with Tim Blackwell, 6-4 from Cameron, Mo., and Darius Hill, 6-7 from Blue Springs, Mo.

Rocktown will play at 10 p.m. Friday at Allen, 12:30 p.m. Saturday against vs. MLK at Horejsi and 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Allen.

Utah Champion Sports, which is led by 6-10 Utah signee Stefan Zimmerman, will play the MLK Hawks at 10 p.m. Friday at Allen, 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Horejsi and 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Allen versus KC Rocktown.

Brandon Williams a 6-6 junior from Anderson, S.C., who is being recruited by ACC schools will play for South Carolina Topps. That team will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Allen; 11:15 a.m. Saturday at Horejsi and 3 p.m. Saturday at Horejsi.

"I think it's going to be a good tournament, but we've got to wait and see on some of these kids," said Steve Keller of the Eastern Recruiting Report. "I'd like for this event to be held in May at the earliest or early June. You have a little more time to know who's who. This is a good event and can get even better in the future."

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No announcement yet: Drew Gooden and his mother, Ulla Lear, talked on the phone Wednesday, but not about the NBA.

"We talked about all other things. He didn't even mention that," Gooden's mom said from her home in Arkansas. "You know as much as I do," she joked of her son's intentions to either stay in school or head to the NBA.

Lear and other members of Gooden's immediate family gathered Monday before KU's season-ending banquet and awards ceremony and discussed the pros and cons of Gooden staying at KU versus turning pro.

"My feeling is we will know before the week is over, but who knows, it could be next week," Lear said.

Gooden has said he'll have a press conference this week to announce his decision.

"He is having the best time of his life. He told me Lawrence is a second home now," Lear said. "You get attached. It's hard to leave."

Yet it is expected Gooden will announce soon he's leaving KU for the pros.

"It's hard to tell what's in the boy's mind," Lear said with a laugh. "Like coach (Roy) Williams said at the banquet the other night, 'Nobody (in audience) would stay at KU if offered that kind of money.'''

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Visits planned: It appears KU will have more than one visitor on campus this weekend.

Devin Smith, a 6-6 guard from Coffeyville Community College will be making an official recruiting visit.

Oklahoma media reports indicate a top high school junior prospect also will be making a recruiting visit. He's Jeremy Case, a 6-2 guard from McAlester, Okla. Case averaged 25.7 points a game last season for McAlester High, which reached the state semifinals.

Two other juniors  6-8 Kris Humphries of Minnetonka, Minn., and Dave Padgett, 6-10 from Reno, Nev.  have told reporters in their home states they also will visit KU this month.

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Barnstorming: KU's senior basketball players again will play games throughout the state this spring. Here's the 2001-02 team's Barnstorming Tour schedule:

April 13: Andover, 12:30 p.m.; Eureka, 6 p.m. April 19: Hutchinson, 6:30 p.m. April 21: Hillsboro, 1:30 p.m. April 26: Atchison, 6:30 p.m. April 27: Great Bend, 12:30 p.m.; Grinnell 6:30 p.m. April 28: Norton, 12:30 p.m. May 4: Valley City, N.D., 1:30 p.m.

Yes, the Jayhawks will be visiting Valley City, N.D., the home of senior Jeff Boschee, for a game at Boschee's old high school.

Boschee, by the way, has informed the Kansas Cagerz of the USBL he has no interest in playing this season. He was a No. 1 draft pick of the team on Tuesday.

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