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Archive for Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Williams hits road for busy month

September 10, 2002

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Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams spent Monday the first day of the month-long recruiting contact period in Reno, Nev., home of blue-chip high school prospect David Padgett.

The 6-foot-11, 240-pound Padgett and his parents tonight will play host to North Carolina coach Matt Doherty. Arizona's Lute Olson visits the gambling mecca of Reno on Thursday, with Stanford coach Mike Montgomery awarded the final in-home presentation a week from Thursday.

Padgett, who has made campus visits to each of his finalists, is expected to announce his college choice in early October. The early signing period is Nov. 6-13.

"It's going to be feelings, instincts ... wherever I feel most comfortable with how I get along with the players and coaching staff," Padgett told the Reno Gazette-Journal after his Aug. 30-31 visit to North Carolina.

Padgett visited KU last April with his AAU teammate Omar Wilkes, a 6-4 guard from Los Angeles. Wilkes, who has said KU is his leader, visited Cal last weekend and will travel to UCLA Sept. 20-21 and Stanford Sept. 27-28. He's the son of former UCLA great Jamaal Wilkes.

According to various reports, KU also has in-home visits set up with Ronnie Brewer (6-5, Fayetteville, Ark.) on Sept. 15; Stephen Verwers (6-10, Weatherford, Texas) on Sept. 19; Thomas Gardner (6-5, Portland, Ore.) on Sept. 23 and Brian Butch (7-0, Appleton, Wis.) on Sept. 26.

Gardner, who visited Missouri last weekend, will be in Lawrence on Sept. 27-28.

"I plan to visit Kansas. Right now Missouri is in the lead," Gardner told Jon Kirby of rivals.com. Gardner, who already visited his other finalist, Connecticut, is a former high school teammate of KU's Aaron Miles and Michael Lee.

Brewer, the son of former Arkansas great Ron Brewer, has in-home visits set up with coaches from KU, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Mississippi, Florida, Texas and UConn. He may visit Kansas for Late Night With Roy Williams.

He told analyst Greg Swaim on Sunday night distance from home will be a factor.

Butch, who will travel to North Carolina this weekend, has an in-home with Arizona coach Olson tonight, UNC's Doherty on Sept. 18 and KU's Williams the 26th. Butch he's also considering Wisconsin and Marquette will visit KU on Sept. 20-21.

Ekene Ibekwe, 6-9 of Carson, Calif., told Swaim he will be a Late Night With Roy Williams visitor. He's off to Maryland this weekend and also is considering Arizona and USC.

Marcus Dove, 6-7 from Long Beach, Calif., has told West coast analysts he'd love to attend KU. He's being pursued by USC, Boston College, Marquette, Long Beach State and Washington.

Another player who has made two unofficial trips to KU is Nick Bahe, 6-3 of Lincoln, Neb., who also reportedly would love to be a Jayhawk. Bahe is a standout football quarterback who wants to play basketball in college. He's considering Iowa State, Creighton, UConn, Texas Tech and Kansas State for basketball.

Darryl Strawberry Jr., 6-4, Santa Ana, Calif., also has expressed interest in KU. He has told recruiting analysts he'd like to visit KU for Late Night. He is considering Cal, USC, Maryland, Pepperdine and others. Strawberry is the son of former baseball All-Star Darryl Strawberry.

Another possibility is Longar Longar, 6-9, Rochester, Minn., who is considering Minnesota and others.

The Jayhawks, who have five scholarships available in recruiting, last spring receiving commitments from Jeremy Case, 6-0, McAlester, Okla., and J.R. Giddens, 6-5, Oklahoma City.

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Tickets will soon be on sale for KU's first two games NIT contests against Holy Cross on Nov. 19 and UNC Greensboro (if KU beats Holy Cross) on Nov. 22.

The NIT games were included on KU's season-ticket package, meaning about 10,000 tickets have been sold for the games. The students' 6,300 tickets are on a single-game NIT sales plan. Tickets will be sold to students with some others likely to be sold general admission starting Oct. 11.

Proceeds from ticket sales go to the NIT, which pays KU for use of Allen Fieldhouse and concessions. KU also receives a share of tourney profits, depending how many games the Jayhawks win in the NIT.

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