Archive for Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Shady Delay

Arthur’s pick likely to be either LSU or Baylor, source says

May 9, 2006


The prolonged recruitment of talented high school basketball prospect Darrell "Slim Shady" Arthur will end today.

Unless it doesn't.

Barring an unforeseen last-minute kick, Kansas University isn't likely to be Arthur's choice, based on a scenario laid out by a source close to the situation who believed as of Monday night that LSU and Baylor University were the primary schools between which Arthur was waffling.

Arthur's AAU coach, Jazzy Hartwell, a Baton Rouge native, had arranged a news conference that was to take place Monday in the YMCA building in Arthur's neighborhood. However, it was postponed until noon today, according to Hartwell.

Hartwell told the Dallas Morning News: "I'm worried about him. He's trying not to hurt anybody's feelings."

A source said Monday morning Arthur was prepared to announce for one school, either LSU or Baylor, and was convinced by somebody, perhaps doing the bidding of the other of those two schools, not to rush into a decision.

Throughout the recruitment, sources indicated, Arthur's mother had favored the KU coaching staff, and his grandmother the location of Baylor, which is in Waco, roughly 90 minutes from Dallas. lists the drive from Dallas to Baton Rouge as a six-hour, 42-minute trip, or 65 minutes shorter than the trip from Dallas to Lawrence.

James Mays, Arthur's coach at South Oak Cliff High in Dallas, has sent players to schools in Texas, including forward Kevin Rogers, who averaged 6.1 points per game in his freshman season at Baylor. Those in the LSU camp, a source said, believed Mays might favor in-state schools.

Mays, however, told the Baton Rouge Advocate that wasn't the case.

"It doesn't matter to me," Mays said. "I want Darrell to go wherever he's going to be happiest. It's not a big thing to me at all."

The recruitment of Arthur, who led his high school to consecutive state titles, has taken many sharp turns.

Until Mike Davis announced way ahead of time his resignation from Indiana, the Hoosiers were considered the favorites. KU then assumed that role.

Then, at the McDonald's All-America game, Arthur told the Journal-World that KU and Texas were his co-leaders. Shortly after that, he told the Dallas Morning News that newcomers Arizona and Oklahoma, as well Baylor, which he always listed, also were under consideration. SMU also was in play for a time.

One month later, in late April, Arthur narrowed his list to LSU, KU and Baylor, where it has remained since.

LSU became involved late. After Tyrus Thomas helped to lead the Tigers to the Final Four and decided to enter the NBA Draft, LSU began pursuing Arthur as his replacement. The next time LSU head coach John Brady sees Arthur play in person will be the first.

Arthur averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots as a senior, and in the final three games of his high school career, he averaged 28 points and 14 rebounds.

Arthur and close friend Scottie Reynolds, a point guard who was released from his commitment to Oklahoma after Kelvin Sampson bolted for Indiana, visited LSU together. At that point, many other schools in pursuit of the players feared they would commit during their visit. They didn't, and it's believed Reynolds has soured on LSU.

If Arthur goes through with the news conference to announce his decision today, he could call to mind a highly recruited basketball star from another generation.

Ralph Sampson, while announcing his college decision into a microphone, said: "I'm going to Virginia ... I think."


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