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Archive for Monday, May 12, 2008

Jayhawks-to-be get a little good press

May 12, 2008

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All five of Kansas University's incoming freshmen men's basketball players were included in USA Today's final Top 100 list for the recruiting Class of 2008.

Analyst Rob Harrington ranked KU's Markieff Morris No. 33 overall, followed closely by Marcus Morris (38), Travis Releford (40), Tyshawn Taylor (62) and Quintrell Thomas (79).

Oklahoma's Willie Warren earned top billing of all Big 12 players at No. 26, followed by Baylor's Anthony Jones (50), OU's Andre Clark (72), Texas' J'Covan Brown (92) and Missouri's Kim English (95).

Rivals.com's latest rankings, released April 28, placed KU's five freshmen in the top 150.

Marcus Morris led the way at No. 29, followed by Markieff Morris (50), Releford (70), Taylor (77) and Thomas (150).

Juco Junction has ranked incoming KU juniors Mario Little and Tyrone Appleton the Nos. 1 and 3 junior-college prospects in the country.

"People are seeing what we thought all along, that it's a very underrated recruiting class," KU coach Bill Self said. "Mario Little of Chipola (CC, Florida) could be the best junior-college player in the country. He's tough and will give us a physical presence," Self added of the 6-foot-5 shooting guard.

"Travis will surprise people. I think he's already a college defender," he noted of 6-5 off guard Releford from Roeland Park Miege.

"Quintrell (6-8, St. Patrick High, Elizabeth, N.J.) will be the sleeper of the group. Tyrone Appleton (6-3 Midland College) could be a do-everything guard, utility guard, play 1 (point) and off the ball.

"From a true talent standpoint, the twins are the most talented we've signed so far," he said of 6-9 Marcus and 6-10 Markieff Morris. "I think they are big-time players if their mind is right, and they have a great work ethic. I anticipate all being able to contribute."

Self cannot yet comment on Taylor, 6-3 point guard from St. Anthony High in Jersey City, N.J. Taylor signed with Marquette, but recently was released from his letter of intent. A player can sign just one letter in a college career.

No. 1 player in the Class of '08 is University of Arizona signee Brandon Jennings, a 6-1 point guard from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

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Sidney lists KU: Renaldo Sidney, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2009, has KU on his current list of schools.

Sidney, 6-10, 230 pounds from Los Angeles Fairfax High, told Rivals.com on Sunday he likes KU, USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Texas and Memphis. Many believe he ultimately will pick UCLA or USC.

Elijah Johnson, 6-2 from Las Vegas, told Rivals.com on Sunday he has a top five of UCLA, Texas, UNLV, KU and Oklahoma. The Pump N Run Elite player competed at the recent Jayhawk Invitational Tournament.

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