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Archive for Saturday, May 25, 2002

t have second chance at forward

May 25, 2002

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University of Minnesota men's basketball fans can only hope history will repeat itself in recruiting.

Two years ago, Rick Rickert, a 6-foot-10 forward from Duluth, Minn., orally committed to the University of Arizona, then changed his mind and ultimately signed with the in-state Golden Gophers.

On Wednesday, Kris Humphries, a 6-8 junior from Minnetonka, Minn., orally committed to Duke over Kansas and Minnesota.

Humphries made the announcement on Minneapolis radio station WCCO and indeed was asked by host Mike Max if he might change his mind in coming months and switch to Minnesota.

After all, signing period isn't until the first week of November.

"I'll be a Blue Devil," Humphries told Max.

It should be noted that in the Rickert situation, the Gophers were granted permission by Rickert's parents to continue recruiting their son. Humphries' parents said they have closed the door to their son's recruitment.

Duke was able to land Humphries despite the fact coach Mike Krzyzewski is also recruiting seniors-to-be Luol Deng, 6-6 from Blairstown, N.J., and Ndudi Ebi, 6-9 from Houston.

Already on board are incoming freshmen Shelden Williams (6-8), Shavlik Randolph (6-11), Michael Thompson (6-11) and Lee Melchionni (6-7).

"I think it's going to be more of a challenge, but it's something I'm looking forward to," Humphries said of competition for playing time.

Humphries averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds per game for 28-2 Hopkins High, last year's Class 4A champs.

He visited KU the weekend Drew Gooden announced his decision to enter the 2002 NBA Draft.

"It's a good fit for him. In the end, he was only seriously interested in two schools  Kansas and Duke," Humphries, dad, William told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

"It was a tough decision for him; he didn't want to tell anybody no. But (KU coach) Roy Williams was really nice. He told Kris that if he ever needs anything, to just give him a call."

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Reno big man sought: Kansas has already filled two of five scholarship slots in next year's class. KU has received oral commitments from Oklahoma seniors-to-be Jeremy Case (6-1 McAlester) and J.R. Giddens (6-5, Oklahoma City). KU's leading big man recruit is David Padgett, 6-11 from Reno, Nev., who made an official visit to KU last month with Omar Wilkes, 6-2, Los Angeles. Padgett has visited KU, Arizona and Stanford and may visit North Carolina in the fall. Wilkes is considering KU, Arizona, Stanford, Cal, USC and UCLA. ... Brian Butch, a 7-footer from Appleton, Wis., who has KU, Arizona, Stanford, Wisconsin, North Carolina and others on his list, this weekend will visit North Carolina's campus while playing in the Bob Gibbons Tournament.

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Canadian recruit: KU, Louisville, Kentucky and others are taking a long look at Mohammed Hachad, a 6-6 guard/forward from Montreal. Hachad is both a prep school and AAU teammate of 6-10 Bernard Cote, who chose Kentucky over KU last year in recruiting. Hachad, a high school senior-to-be, would be eligible to play college basketball this upcoming season if he decides to leave Canadian prep school early. He has not yet visited KU.

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No sleep: Think recruiting is so easy on the players? Humphries' dad, William, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the decision had been heavily weighing on his son's mind.

"He got tired of the process of being recruited," said William, whose daughter Kris swims at Texas. "It started messing with his sleep. . . . He said he wanted to go to Duke and I said, 'Then go to Duke.' Whatever our kids decide, we're behind them 110 percent. We'll become Dukies now just like we're Longhorns, and we're Gophers since my wife and I went there."

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Gooden workouts: Drew Gooden, who worked out Wednesday for Golden State, today will travel to Chicago to work out with the Bulls, who have the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft. The Bulls also will work out Brazilian Maybyner Hilario, Maryland's Lonny Baxter and Notre Dame's Ryan Humphrey.

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Baseball job: The St. Paul Pioneer Press lists Minnesota coach John Anderson as a possible candidate for KU's baseball opening. Anderson's Gophers have won the Big Ten regular season or postseason tourney in four of the past five years.

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