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Archive for Wednesday, May 3, 2006

NBA list lacking surprises

May 3, 2006

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The official 2006 NBA Draft early entry list, which will be released to the media today, was acquired by a couple of draft Web sites Tuesday.

One of the sites' writers - draftexpress.com's Jonathan Givony - says the list of 56 college underclassmen, 29 international players and one fifth-year high school senior provided "no real surprises NCAA-wise or internationally."

"There are a lot of interesting names on there," Givony noted of the list. "George Karl's son (Boise State junior Coby Karl) put up some good numbers - 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists - and had surgery in March to remove a cancerous lump from his throat. I'm not that familiar with him, but I'm sure we'll hear a lot about his story in coming weeks."

Kansas University has no players on the early entry list, which lists Big 12 Conference players LaMarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson and P.J. Tucker, Texas; Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock, Iowa State; Thomas Gardner, Missouri; and Richard Roby, Colorado.

Nebraska's Aleks Maric, who over the weekend confirmed he was entering his name but not hiring an agent, was not on Tuesday's list provided to NBA teams, leaving the experts to wonder if his name would appear on the list provided to media today.

Of the Big 12 players, just Aldridge and Stinson have signed with agents, leaving the possibility the others could withdraw by the June 18 deadline.

CU's Roby, who appears committed to staying in the draft, might be wise to reconsider college, Givony said.

"He's saying they have 10 seniors graduating (from a depleted CU team)," Givony said. "I've watched tapes of him. He's so weak physically. Every time you touch him, he fumbles the ball. By no means is he ready to do anything in the NBA. He's not a freakish athlete. He's a 6-5 spot-up shooter."

Of the ISU duo, Givony said: "Stinson is 23. If you are 30 by the end of your rookie contract, teams don't have a lot of interest so he's probably doing the right thing. Blalock needs another year. He'll benefit coming back next year playing with the athletes they have on that team, which figures to run."

Texas' Aldridge is considered a top-three pick.

As far as Tucker and Gibson are concerned, "I have a feeling Tucker will stick and make it in the NBA. I don't know if it'll be this or next year," Givony said. "Gibson wants to play the 1 (point guard), and Texas wants to go in a different direction. He'll probably be a second-round pick. Does he (turn pro) or stay at Texas and try to force his way to being a point guard?"

Givony is not high on the chances of MU shooting guard Gardner.

"He's a little too one-dimensional. He can't handle the ball at all," Givony said. "He needs to go to Orlando (draft camp), but they are going to be stingy with underclass invitations. He has to hope he gets invited there."

Givony is a big fan of KU freshman Brandon Rush, who decided to not enter his name in the draft.

"He has size, can shoot it, is unselfish. He'll get better learning how to play with teammates and how to better utilize himself," Givony said. "He could do so much more. He can be a 20-point-a-game scorer, like Paul Pierce. Plus, he seems to be having fun (in college). Same with Joaquim Noah. He'd have been the No. 1 pick in the draft and he's staying at Florida. There's something to be said for having fun, too."

Givony said the June 28 draft would be unpredictable.

"It is so wide open. Anybody who says now they know what will happen in June is lying. (The slots) 16 to 60 are wide open right now," he said.

¢ Barnstorming tickets available: About 150 tickets have been sold for Saturday's KU basketball barnstorming game in Eudora, with 400 tickets still available.

KU's Christian Moody and Stephen Vinson and ex-Jayhawk Brett Olson will lead a Jayhawk all-star team against a group of all-stars from the Kansas Christian Athletic Assn. They are: Andrew Bartlow, Mark Randtke, Veritas Christian; Ryan Atherton, Wichita Christian; Rodney Spillman, Eudora High; Chris Stark, Topeka Heritage; Ryan Atherton, Justin Moser, Wichita Christian; Eric Gorenc, Michael Shaldoin, Olathe Christian; Adam Chase, Flint Hills Christian; and Will Palmer, St. Mary's.

Game time is 7 p.m. at the Eudora Community Center, 10th and Main. Tickets can be purchased at Signs of Life Bookstore (722 Mass.), University National Bank (15th and Kasold) and Simple Simon's Pizza (downtown Eudora). The KU players will also sign autographs for fans and auction off memorabilia at the game.

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