One of the smallest major-college prospects at the 17-and-under Jayhawk Invitational basketball tournament came up with perhaps the biggest play of the day Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
Enrico Tucker, a 5-foot-11 point guard from University High in San Diego, briefly considered driving the lane for a possible game-tying basket, then calmly stepped three steps behind the three-point line to sink a game-winning trey with 10 seconds left in California Double Pump's 55-54 victory over the KC 76ers.
"My first look was to the basket," Tucker said. "But they were clogging the middle, and the guy stepped back off me. I had enough courage and took the shot. I'd been working on it long enough. The shot was falling today, so I took the shot."
Tucker -- who is being recruited by North Carolina State, Indiana, Minnesota, UCLA, San Diego and others -- showed great shooting range in burying three treys the first half and a handful for the game.
He has yet to be contacted by coaches from Kansas University, but has heard from KU freshman forward Moulaye Niang, who sat on the Double Pump bench for much of Saturday's game. Niang, who hails from Senegal, played two years of high school ball in San Diego.
"I like it," Tucker said of Kansas. "This is my first time here. I know Moulaye, and he tells me it's pretty nice here."
Double Pump has at least two other major-college prospects in Lorenzo Keeler, a 6-3 junior guard from Escondido (Calif.) High, and Todd Follmer, a 6-10 forward from Santa Margarita High.
Keeler, who, like Tucker, hit from both inside and out Saturday, is considering Maryland, Minnesota, Texas Tech, Tennessee, San Diego and others. Follmer, who has a good touch for a big man, is being hotly pursued by Washington and several other West-Coast schools.
"Rico and I like to play together," Keeler said. "We come down the court, and they have to guard one of us. We like to get out and run with the ball."
"The good thing about our team," Follmer said, "is once we get down the floor, if we don't have a shot, we move it around until we get one."¢
Jones mans pivot for Houston: Joseph Jones, a 6-9, 240-pound power forward from Normangee High in Normangee, Texas, grabbed double-digit rebounds for Houston Select in an afternoon victory over the Springfield (Mo.) Rockets, but didn't get a lot of touches on offense.
Jones is considering Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, Texas Tech, Houston, Florida and others.
"It's fun coming to tournaments like this because everybody knows you as a 'big' recruit," said Jones, who talked to some of KU's players outside Horejsi Center before his game Friday night.
"I never feel any pressure," he said. "I just go out there and ball and try to have a good game. If I don't, then there's another day, another night (to play again)."
Jones played football tight end, giving up that sport after breaking some bones in junior high.
"I've loved basketball my whole life," Jones said. "I like playing all sports, but basketball is my love."
Where will he wind up?
"I really have no top five. I'm open to everybody," said Jones, who said he'll make five campus visits starting next September.
Houston Select assistant coach Greg Muse said Jones was a can't-miss prospect.
"He's an unbelievable kid," Muse said. "Whoever gets him is absolutely lucky. Every program in America would want to start a program with a kid like that. He has great manners, a great mother who he respects so much.
"He can go inside and pound, go on the break and hit from 21-feet. He is special."
Houston Select has another top junior in 6-4 Derrick Roberts, who figures to be a target of several Big 12 schools.
Semifinal tourney games are slated for 11:30 a.m. today at Allen Fieldhouse, with the finals at 2 p.m. The 16-and-under final is 12:45 at Allen.¢
Knight excels again: Jarryd Knight, a 6-2 guard from Cypress, Texas, had a second-straight 30-point outing Saturday morning in a narrow Houston Hardballers victory over the Kansas Eagles. He has heard from KU, Illinois, Tulsa, Rice, Wichita State and others.¢
Williams plays Alvamar: Former KU basketball coach Roy Williams played golf Saturday morning at Alvamar Country Club with former KU football coach Terry Allen and friend Scot Buxton after playing a round Friday with Buxton, Allen and Alvamar golf pro Randy Towner.
"It was more social than anything," Towner said of the leisurely rounds.
New North Carolina coach Williams and Buxton will compete in the Kansas Senior Fourball championships May 19-20 at Lawrence Country Club.
"It's one of the better tournaments in the state," Towner said of the KGA event.
Williams competed in the Lawrence City championships once early in his KU tenure. It's believed he has yet to compete in a KGA event.¢
Villanueva may visit: The AAU coach of 6-foot-10 Charlie Villanueva tells Mike Sullivan of rivalshoops.com the power forward might make a recruiting trip to Kansas.
Villanueva, who has until May 12 to decide whether or not to enter the NBA Draft, also now is considering Williams' North Carolina program, plus UConn, UCLA and Indiana. He verbally committed to Illinois last November but never signed with Bill Self's former U of I program. Self now is coach at Kansas.