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Archive for Friday, May 30, 2008

Camp hasn’t helped Jayhawks

Seniors Jackson, Kaun, Robinson so-so in Orlando

May 30, 2008

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Kansas University seniors Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun and Russell Robinson have not yet distinguished themselves on the court at this week's NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando, Fla.

So says draftexpress.com analyst Rodger Bohn, who watched the Jayhawks and 62 other NBA hopefuls scrimmage Tuesday and play camp games Wednesday and Thursday.

One final set of games is on tap for today.

"The three Kansas players have not hurt themselves, because they were on the outside looking in coming into the camp, but they have not done anything to help themselves, either," Bohn said.

Will any of the KU seniors be selected in the two-round, 60-pick draft?

"If the draft was held tomorrow, no," Bohn said.

Bohn said 6-foot-8 power forward Jackson has, by far, played the best of the Jayhawks in their first two camp games.

"He has played really hard, but has been in foul trouble the entire camp," Bohn said of Jackson, who scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in Thursday's camp game after totaling eight points Wednesday.

"He's really active on the offensive glass. He's shown flashes of being a possible sparkplug for a team. He can take up space as a 4 (power forward) and be a glue guy. He will not make a team based on his skillset."

Kaun, a 6-11 center, scored two points with five rebounds Thursday after a four-point, nine-rebound outing Wednesday.

"Sasha has struggled quite a bit. He will have one good play followed by two bad ones," Bohn said. "Sasha is a guy who could use two more years in school. Unless he wows somebody (at individual workouts), he has no shot of being drafted based on his performance here.

"The word is he has big-money offers in Russia," Bohn added. Kaun recently told the Journal-World he might land a seven-figure deal in his native land if he's not drafted or signed as a free agent.

"It would be impossible for him to play in the D-League for $30,000 a year if he can make that kind of money."

Meanwhile, 6-1 point guard Robinson had five points and three assists Thursday after scoring six points Wednesday.

"If I could give Russell advice it's, 'Be aggressive,'" Bohn said. "What he showed at Kansas made him a valuable role player. What he showed at Kansas is not good enough for him to make it (in NBA).

"Russell has been very hesitant to make a smart move to the basket here. He's not doing anything wrong. He's not doing anything well, either. He's played good defense and has not turned it over. We haven't seen him take it inside of the three-point line in all his time here."

Bohn believes KU guard Mario Chalmers made an incorrect decision not to attend the camp.

"Ty Lawson (North Carolina) is much closer to being a first-round pick than Mario, and (Lawson) is here," Bohn said.

The draftexpress.com scout checked into a rumor that the San Antonio Spurs have told Chalmers they'll take him if he's available at No. 26 pick of Round One.

"The Spurs have absolutely denied that. There's no credence to it," Bohn said.

ESPN's Chad Ford said he's talked to two NBA executives who have deemed the 6-1 Chalmers a possible lottery pick (top 14).

"If Russell Westbrook and D.J. Augustin are off the board by the time teams like the Pacers, Kings or Blazers pick, I wouldn't be shocked to hear Chalmers' name called," an NBA exec told Ford. "I think he's much better than you or anyone else has been giving him credit for.

"He's not a spectacular athlete or passer, but he's fearless, and he knows how to win. I'd love to have a guy like that on my team," another scout said.

Bohn said he's heard Brandon Rush is a lock to go in the first round - No. 15 to Phoenix remains the hot rumor. Also, Darrell Arthur looks like a solid lottery pick.

¢Simien to Cavs: Former Kansas University power forward Wayne Simien, who sat out last season while recovering from offseason knee surgery, reports he will be playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer into next fall's training camp.

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