Known as one of the top recruiters in the country during his 16 seasons as a college head basketball coach, Bill Self has additional ammunition to use in pursuing prep players in the Class of 2009.
Kansas University's sixth-year coach, who today hits the road for the start of the July evaluation period, can sell ...
¢ KU's 2008 NCAA title victory over Memphis and No. 1 NBA Draft pick Derrick Rose.
¢ The 2008 NBA title in which former KU player Paul Pierce's Boston Celtics disposed of Kobe Bryant's Lakers in six games. It marked the third straight year former Jayhawks claimed the NBA's top prize.
¢ A whopping five players selected in the 2008 NBA Draft, including three non-seniors - mighty important to blue-chippers who want to exit college for the pros as soon as possible.
"We've got to strike while the iron is hot and have a great fall (recruiting)," said Self, who has two available scholarships for the Class of 2009; more if Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich or any of the squad's newcomers decide to turn pro.
"We've always been fairly popular. We've got some guys (prospects) calling us now. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out," Self added.
His most important recruiting tool, of course, will be KU's most recent national championship.
"We will be able to sell, 'Hey if you are able to come here, look what can and will happen if everybody is on the same page,''' Self said. "The university has made great steps as far as helping recruiting from an entire university standpoint. Things will be done with housing (at Jayhawker Towers where the players reside), the new (practice) facility and improvements to the fieldhouse. We're excited about everything going on at our university."
The first part of the summer recruiting period runs from today until July 15. After a break, it resumes from July 22-31. It's a period in which coaches are to be seen, but not heard at various AAU events since the NCAA prohibits coaches from having any contacts with players at the tournaments.
Usual stops are events in Las Vegas, North Augusta, S.C., Indianapolis, Orlando, Fla., Louisville and Tulsa, to name a few.
Self can't comment on specific recruits in accordance with NCAA rules. Here's a list of some Class of '09 players believed to be considering KU, listed in no particular order. Obviously this list could be incomplete, with some prospects yet to be revealed publicly.
Xavier Henry, 6-6, 210, Putnam City (Okla.) High: Rivals.com's No. 2-rated player is expected to choose either KU or Memphis. Both his dad, Carl, and mom, Barb, played for the Jayhawks. He's also mentioned UCLA, Louisville, North Carolina, Ohio State and Texas.
Dominic Cheek, 6-5, 170, St. Anthony High, Jersey City, N.J.: Rivals.com's No. 11 rated player is a former teammate of KU freshman Tyshawn Taylor. Villanova is believed to be the strong leader. He's also considering KU, Wake Forest, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Florida, UConn, Texas and Maryland.
Lance Stephenson, 6-5, 195, Lincoln High, Brooklyn, N.Y.: Rivals.com's No. 7-rated player tells Zagsblog he has a top three of KU, Tennessee and Memphis. SI.com says Stephenson has a Final Five of KU, USC, UCLA, Memphis and St. John's.
Elijah Johnson, 6-2, 183, Cheyenne High, Las Vegas: Rivals.com's No. 34-rated player lists KU, UNLV, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Florida, Ohio State, USC, UCLA and others.
John Wall, 6-4, 184, Word of God Christian Academy, Raleigh, N.C.: Rivals.com's No. 1-rated player has KU, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Indiana, Memphis, North Carolina, Duke and others on his list.
Derrick Favors, 6-9, 220, South Atlanta (Ga.) High: Rivals.com's No. 3-rated player lists KU, Memphis, Kentucky, Georgia, Georgia Tech Arkansas, Clemson and others.
Renardo Sidney, 6-10, 230, Fairfax High, Los Angeles: Rivals.com's No. 4-rated player has a list of KU, USC, UCLA, Texas, Ohio State, Arizona State, Memphis, Louisville, Syracuse and others.
Daniel Orton, 6-10, 260, Bishop McGuinness High, Oklahoma City: Rivals.com's No. 10-rated player has a list of KU, Kentucky, UCLA, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State and UConn. Kentucky is the current leader.
Stephan Van Treese, 6-9, 225, Lawrence North High, Indianapolis: Rivals.com's No. 133-rated player lists KU, Indiana, Louisville, Ohio State, Florida and UCLA.
Jordan Hamilton, 6-7, 210, Dominguez High, Los Angeles: Rivals.com's No. 12-rated player has a list of KU, USC, Texas, Tennessee, UConn and Syracuse.
Michael Dixon, 6-0, 165, Lee's Summit (Mo.) West High: Rivals.com's No. 100-rated player lists KU, Kansas State, Marquette, Missouri, Oklahoma, Purdue, Tennessee, Arkansas, California and others.
Abdul Gaddy, 6-3, 170, Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma, Wash: Rivals.com's No. 14-rated player has a list of KU, Gonzaga, Arizona, USC, Oregon and others. Avery Bradley, his 6-3, 175-pound teammate and Rivals.com's No. 16-rated player, lists KU, Arizona, Washington State, Florida, UCLA, Memphis, Kansas State and others.
Ryan Kelly, 6-9, 205, Ravenscroft School, Raleigh, N.C.: Rivals.com's No. 17-rated player lists KU, Notre Dame, Stanford, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and others. Kelly scored 2,150 on his SAT and has a 4.3 grade point average, according to SI.com.
Dante Taylor, 6-8, 230, National Christian Academy, Fort Washington, Md.: Rivals.com's No. 23-rated player lists KU, Duke, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Pitt, UConn and others.
Rodney Williams, 6-5, 180, Robbinsdale Cooper High, New Hope, Minn.: Rivals.com's No. 28-rated player has a list of KU, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Miami, Illinois, Arizona, Purdue and others. Minnesota is considered his leader.
Anthony Marshall, 6-3, 185, Mojave High, Las Vegas: Rivals.com's No. 67-rated player has a list of KU, UNLV, USC, UCLA, Washington, Baylor, Gonzaga, Kentucky and others.
Sherrod Wright, 6-4, 190, Mount Vernon (N.Y.) High: Rivals.com's No. 113-rated player has a list of KU, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Xavier, UMass, Connecticut, Marquette, Florida, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Temple.
Clarence Trent, 6-7, 230, Findlay Prep High, Henderson, Nev.: Rivals.com's No. 140-rated player has a list of KU, UNLV, Louisville, UConn, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and others.
Players also listing the Jayhawks: No. 47-rated Michael Snaer, 6-4, 185 from Rancho Verde High in Moreno Valley, Calif.; No. 48-rated Terrence Boyd, 6-5, 225, Norman (Okla.) High; No. 60 Jamil Wilson, 6-7, 211, Horlick High, Racine, Wis.; No. 76 Roger Franklin, 6-6, 217, Duncanville (Texas) High; No. 110 Glenn Bryant, 6-7, 190, Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.; No. 122 Ray Turner, 6-8, 220, Jesse Jones High, Houston; No. 148 Isaiah Philmore, 6-7, 210, Carroll High, Bel Air, Md.