It's a dead period in recruiting, meaning college coaches will be prohibited from scouting this weekend's Jayhawk Invitational youth basketball tournament in Allen Fieldhouse and Robinson Gymnasium.
Too bad, because a who's who in the profession surely would be on hand to check out some blue-chippers competing in Lawrence for the sixth straight spring.
"There's some big-time talent coming in, a host of kids with ability to play in the Big 12 Conference," tournament director Roger Morningstar said Thursday.
One such player is Cole Aldrich, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound junior from Bloomington, Minn.'s Jefferson High who orally committed to KU over Minnesota, North Carolina and others.
"He's a big ol' kid, really a good player. He impressed a lot of people at this tournament last year," Morningstar said of rivals.com's No. 16-rated player in the Class of 2007. Aldrich will lead the Minnesota Magic against Kansas City Pump N Run at 8:50 tonight in Allen Fieldhouse.
Pump N Run is led by Tyrel Reed, a 6-3 junior from Burlington; Travis Releford, a 6-5 sophomore from Roeland Park Miege; and Conner Teahan, a 6-5 junior football/basketball standout from Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst.
"I'd say Tyrel can do everything, but his biggest asset is his ability to shoot," Morningstar said of rivals.com's No. 58-rated player considering KU, North Carolina, Stanford, Kansas State and others.
Releford, considering KU, North Carolina, Duke, Texas, Missouri and others, is coming off an ankle injury and may see limited duty.
"Travis burst on the scene as a freshman. He's a kid that can shoot it, but is even more comfortable inside," Morningstar said.
Teahan, a quarterback, is looking at KU, Missouri, Arizona State, Michigan State and others in football. He may play two sports in college.
"Conner can shoot the lights out," Morningstar said.
The Magic and Pump N Run will also play games at 10:20 a.m. Saturday in Robinson Gym and 1:50 p.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. More than one court is used in each facility. Finals in the 17 age group as well as the 16 group are at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Allen. The 15 age group finals are at 2:15 p.m. Sunday in Allen.
Blake Griffin, a 6-8 junior from Oklahoma Christian High in Edmond, will play for Athletes First at 10 tonight in Allen, 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Allen and 3 p.m. Saturday in Robinson. The 230-pounder is considering KU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Illinois and others.
Anthony Randolph, a 6-10 junior from Dallas' Wilson High, will play at 10:20 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday in Allen. He's considering KU, Texas, Baylor, Kentucky, Memphis and others.
Brandon McGee, a 6-7 junior and Chicago Crane High teammate of KU signee Sherron Collins, will play for the Illinois Warriors at 10:20 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. Saturday in Allen.
Xavier Henry, a 6-4 freshman from Putnam City, Okla., and the son of former KU player Carl Henry, will play for the Athletes First 15-year-old team at 6:30 p.m. today in Allen, 5:20 p.m. Saturday in Robinson and 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Robinson.
Admission is $5 Friday; $7 Saturday and $7 Sunday. A weekend pass is $12. Brackets are at sport2sport.com.
¢ KU hoop tidbits: KU's game against DePaul in December will be held at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., not the United Center. The Demons will return the game the following season. ... KU had discussions with Arizona, but the Wildcats elected to play Louisville in next season's Jimmy V. Classic instead of starting a KU series.