Archive for Wednesday, May 12, 2004

KU, Oregon finalists for Hairston

May 12, 2004


Malik Hairston will play college basketball at either Kansas University or the University of Oregon.

Hairston, a 6-foot-6 McDonald's All-American from Detroit, said Tuesday night he would choose either KU of the Big 12 Conference or Oregon of the Pac-10 at a 3 p.m. CDT news conference today at Renaissance High.

Hairston eliminated Michigan, UCLA, Ohio State and Oklahoma and informed coaches from those schools of his decision Tuesday night.

Hairston did not call coaches from Kansas or Oregon on Tuesday because he did not want his final decision to leak out before the news conference.

"The final two schools are Kansas and Oregon. Both were schools I could go to and play at right away," Hairston told the Detroit News.

"The opportunity to come in and play right away was what I was looking for and someone who will make a commitment to me."

Of finalist KU, he said: "The tradition is what attracted me initially. Then it was the players. Plus they have a great coach."

Of finalist Oregon, he said: "Oregon plays at a way that's attractive to me. They play a transition style and transition game that is suited to my style of play."

Hairston, who averaged 22 points a game last season, said it was tough to eliminate in-state school Michigan.

"Michigan is a great program. There's a lot to like, but the school I have chosen has more to offer to suit me on and off the court," Hairston said.

Hairston, who actually chose a school on Monday night, waited until Tuesday night to start phoning coaches with news he wouldn't be attending their schools.

Hairston's mom, Elizabeth, confirmed to that the Buckeyes were out.

"Malik spoke with coach (Jim) O'Brien this evening," she said. "He told coach that we've eliminated Ohio State. It was an extremely tough thing for him to do because we've been so high on Ohio State and liked them so much for so long."

She told the Ohio State fan Web site that even though her son had picked a school, his decision could change before the news conference.

"I think he knows where he is going," Elizabeth Hairston said. "But even now, he's still very confused. This has been tough on him."

Mrs. Hairston didn't want to discuss KU's chances on Tuesday night.

"I can't do that," she said in a brief phone interview. "Malik has to sit down and think about a couple of things. He just needs to be sure with his decision."

Hairston's AAU coach, Speedy Walker, said: "It's over. It's done. The final word will come from the Hairstons."

He wouldn't tip his hand on whether KU or Oregon would emerge the winner.

"Everybody did a great job, a patient job. Every school deserves a reward," Walker said. "All the schools were great."


Self in favor of KU-UK set: KU coach Bill Self says he's "very hopeful" the KU-Kentucky series will begin this winter in Lexington.

"I think it's very important that potential powers can play," Self said in a chat on "I think it's a series Kentucky has dominated in the win-loss record (19-3), but we'd like to put ourselves in a position to change that, and I think a game between KU and Kentucky would be great for the fans of both institutions."

A return game would be played at Allen Fieldhouse in 2005-06.

"It really fits better for our schedule and their schedule with what we're trying to do with our home schedule. It's not confirmed yet, but I think it's a better balance if we do go on the road first, because right now we're only playing two true road games in the nonconference: Kentucky and Villanova."

Giles enjoys UW visit: C.J. Giles, a 6-11 center from Seattle's Rainier Beach High, had a good time on his visit to Washington last weekend. He'll visit KU this coming weekend and likely pick one of the two schools next week.

"It was everything I expected and a little more," Giles told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "I had no idea coach (Lorenzo) Romar was so cool. He's real friendly and easy to talk to. I wouldn't have any problems playing for him. If I go to Washington, it'll be a good fit."

Another Rainier Beach player, 6-foot-6 junior Terrence Williams, has a visit scheduled to Gonzaga. Williams also wants to visit KU and Louisville.

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