Archive for Friday, April 7, 2006

Self expected high rankings

April 7, 2006

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On the road recruiting the past couple of days, Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self hasn't had time to read the many newspaper and Web-site articles proclaiming his Jayhawks a top-six-ranked team for next season.

Two pundits - from Rivals.com and Foxsports.com tapped the Jayhawks preseason No. 1 in the land; a handful of other prognosticators predicted a spot between Nos. 2 and 6 nationally.

"I don't know about that," Self said Thursday night, commenting on No. 1 ratings. "Based on what we did at the end of the season (15 wins in 17 games), I can see why we'd be picked high.

"I would say, based on all the young players returning from the Floridas, LSUs, Carolinas, UCLAs, Memphis, Texas, certainly Ohio State and some others, I think there are going to be a lot of great teams next year. This year there were a lot of good teams. I think next year there will be more great teams."

The outlook of teams will change greatly depending on which underclassmen turn pro.

Self said the only KU player not certain of returning is Brandon Rush, who indicated publicly after KU's season-ending loss to Bradley he definitely would be back, but has agreed to let Self compile information from NBA teams on where he might be drafted.

NBAdraft.net's Aran Smith on Thursday caused a stir with KU fans by writing that Rush "is thinking about testing the draft process again : Rush considers himself a lottery pick now. But NBA scouts NBADraft.net spoke to say he's a bubble first-rounder at best."

Self said Rush "has never once indicated he'd be a lottery pick, never once said he'd be chosen in the first round. He's never once said anything about leaving. There really is no change (in Rush's status).

"We've talked to some NBA people and presented him (Rush) some information, but from what I've been told, there is not a clear indication of where certain players might be drafted. They (NBA officials) need to know more about who will be in the draft. It's still pretty early."

Self said it probably "still would be a couple of weeks" before a final decision.

"We're compiling information. We made a commitment to Brandon and his family to do that, and that's what we'll do," Self said.

Players have until April 29 to declare for the draft.

Recruiting: Self made a recruiting trip to Council Bluffs, Iowa, Wednesday to check on Avery Patterson, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound sophomore from Iowa Western Community College who is considering Wyoming, St. John's, Miami, Michigan State and Cincinnati.

Patterson, originally from Kannaopilis, N.C., averaged 20.4 points a game last season.

"Coach Self and Avery are going to talk after a couple of his visits are complete," Iowa Western coach Jim Morris told Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com. "They want to see where things stand after Avery has taken a couple of visits.

"I do believe that KU would still be very interested in Avery even if Brandon Rush decided to stay at Kansas. That might be a concern for Avery if he stayed, but I do believe that Kansas would still be an option."

KU has two scholarships to award in recruiting. The Jayhawks are awaiting word from Darrell Arthur, 6-9 from Dallas South Oak Cliff High who is considering KU, Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma. The late signing period runs April 12 to May 17.

"We're still recruiting for this year, next year and after that," Self said, not able to discuss specific players in accordance with NCAA rules.

Wilmington update: Texas assistant coach Rodney Terry interviewed for the head-coaching job at UNC-Wilmington on Thursday, a day after KU assistant Joe Dooley was on campus. North Dakota State coach Tim Miles is scheduled to interview next week, possibly Thursday. "I can confirm that Joe interviewed and is one of the finalists, but I have no information besides that," Self said.

Once enough: Self in theory is not in favor of adding conference foe Texas to the nonconference schedule. UT coach Rick Barnes recently said he'd be in favor of playing North power KU once in conference play and once in another marquee matchup.

"Let's start that series when we go there (in two years)," Self said with a laugh. "I can see why people would talk about doing that, it would help the schedule, but I don't see it in our best interests doing that. We have played Texas five times since I've been here; once in Kansas. We'd like to play them in Kansas a few times."

KU is 1-1 versus Texas at the Big 12 tournament in Dallas, 0-2 in Austin and 1-0 in Lawrence.

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