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Archive for Friday, May 21, 2004

Point guard expected to pick Kansas today

Chalmers nation’s top-ranked floor general among juniors, eighth-ranked player overall

May 21, 2004

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Sometime this afternoon, Bill Self's recruiting for next year could be half over.

Mario Chalmers, a 6-foot-1 junior point guard who is Alaska's reigning high school player of the year, is expected to make an oral commitment to Kansas University's men's basketball program at a news conference today at Anchorage Bartlett High.

Rumors surfaced Thursday, however, that Chalmers might postpone his news conference.

Chalmers' father and coach, Ronnie Chalmers, did not return calls to the Journal-World, but he told local media in Anchorage that his son -- who had narrowed his college choices to Kansas or Arizona -- would make an announcement today.

Bartlett High office staff declined to confirm -- or deny -- that the news conference would take place, and declined to take a message to Mario Chalmers.

Bartlett athletic director John Jessen declined an interview request from the Journal-World saying that Ronnie Chalmers had asked him not to speak to the media.

Mario Chalmers projects as the replacement for KU point guard Aaron Miles in 2005-2006. He averaged 23 points a game to lead the Bears to a 23-4 record and second place in the state tournament.

Chalmers made his official recruiting visit to Kansas two weeks ago. Touring the KU campus at the same time was Micah Downs, a junior small forward from Bothell, Wash., High who committed to Kansas earlier this week.

Self plans to award four scholarships next year, meaning he would have two grants remaining following commitments by Downs and Chalmers.

Chalmers, the top-rated junior point guard in the country and No. 8 overall, originally had planned to announce Wednesday, his birthday, but decided to wait until today instead.

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