Robinson on Cousy list
Kansas University senior Russell Robinson has been named a candidate for the 2008 Bob Cousy Award, which goes to college basketball's top point guard. Other Big 12 players on the 40-person list: Curtis Jerrells, Baylor; D.J. Augustin, Texas and Stefhon Hannah, Missouri.
One of the best - and definitely one of the biggest - high school basketball players in the country will be on Kansas University's campus this weekend.
J'Mison Morgan, a 6-foot-10, 270-pound shot-blocking and rebounding machine out of Dallas South Oak Cliff High, makes his official recruiting visit to KU this afternoon through Sunday morning.
He'll be easy to spot at Saturday night's KU-Toledo football game, sitting next to his former high school and Urban DFW AAU teammate - 6-foot-9 KU sophomore Darrell Arthur.
"He is a giant among men - well, boys," writes Aggrey Sam of SLAM Magazine. "He has great hands, improving post moves and footwork, nice passing ability. He finishes, blocks shots and rebounds with a lot of power."
Morgan visited LSU last weekend and also has Alabama, Kentucky Cincinnati and UCLA on his list.
He's definitely somebody KU coach Bill Self would like to come in to make up for the departure of senior big men Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson.
"J'Mison Morgan is powerful, definitely one of the best players in his class," Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com said of his company's No. 23-ranked player.
"He has the ability to come in and be a force on the defensive end. He's done a great job re-committing himself to basketball. He's lost a tremendous amount of weight. He started the summer ranked in the 80s. He's now ranked 23. That's the jump he's made and the improvement he's made in people's eyes."
Morgan is more of a true inside threat than Arthur, who can drift inside and out.
"J'Mison is a completely different player than Darrell," South Oak Cliff coach James Mays said. "He's an old-school center that's big and takes up a lot of space in the middle.
Morgan does have something in common with Arthur - a colorful nickname. Whereas Arthur is known as "Slim Shady," Morgan goes by the monicker "Bobo."
"His hair was kind of like Bozo, but his older brother couldn't say 'Bozo.' He said, 'Bobo,' so we carried it over from when he was little to now," Morgan's mom, Bianca, said in an interview this summer with the Journal-World at the Honda Classic AAU event in Shawnee.
'"Bobo' - that's what everybody calls him," she added.
Morgan, who has a near-perfect grade-point average and is ranked No. 4 in his senior class, also answers to a second nickname given him by his AAU teammates.
That's "Coach" for his leadership qualities on the foor.
"He tries to take my spot at times," DFW Elite coach Jazzy Hartwell said. "In practice, we'll be in a debate, and I'll be like, 'OK, 'Coach,' I'm the coach.' But he really understands the game. For a guy to be 6-10 and have a 3.8 GPA : he really understands a lot about the game. He knows not to force it. He's the best passing big guy I've ever had. He's unselfish."
As to where he'll go to college : that's a good question. Morgan will let everybody know on his birthday, which is Nov. 2, a week before the start of the early signing period.
"Darrell Arthur is my friend. He talks a lot about, is pretty heavy about Kansas. They are pretty high on my list," Morgan said recently. "I've got to have a good living environment, good relationship with the coaches and teammates and probably playing time."
Of coach Self, Morgan noted: "He's a good coach. He jokes around a lot. When it's time to get serious, he's serious."