New York Though official announcements won’t come until tonight, top basketball recruits Josh Selby and Doron Lamb are believed to be heading to different schools.
Media reports Friday said that Selby will most likely sign with Kansas University today, while Lamb will choose Kentucky.
In fact, sources close to KU’s basketball program indicated Friday night that the Jayhawks no longer were recruiting Lamb, a 6-foot-4 guard from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.
ESPN analyst Jay Williams had this message on his Twitter account Friday: “Just heard from a little bird that chances are really good for Showtime Josh Selby (6-2 guard, Baltimore’s Lake Clifton High) to be in Lawrence, Kansas next year.”
Williams was at Friday’s Jordan Brand Classic practice and will be a part of ESPN2’s broadcast of today’s 7 p.m. game. Williams also spoke briefly with Selby before and after Friday’s practice. Neither Selby nor Lamb were made available for interviews Friday.
Sports Illustrated writer Luke Winn, who also has been at the Jordan Brand practices this week, also believes Selby — the No. 4 overall player according to Rivals.com — will become a Jayhawk.
“I would be stunned if he did not commit to Kansas (today),” Winn said. “I think it’s as close to done as you could (have).”
Several sources at the Jordan Brand practices told the Journal-World that, barring something unforeseen, Selby will choose KU.
On its Web site, Dime Magazine reported Friday afternoon that Lamb — the No. 21 overall player according to Rivals — would choose Kentucky.
Both Selby and Lamb will officially announce their decisions following first-half media timeouts during tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden.
If Selby, as expected, does choose KU, the Jayhawks could fill a vacancy in their backcourt with the loss of senior guard Sherron Collins.
“I’m not going to come in and say right away that kind of fills in the void of Sherron Collins. Sherron Collins was a great leader for that team, but it definitely helps,” Williams said. “I think Josh has potential to be a better player than Sherron because of his size and his scoring ability.
“You talk about their backcourt, between him and (KU guard) Tyshawn Taylor, I automatically have to put that in one of my top five backcourts.”
Williams first met Selby during the McDonald’s All-American weekend last month in Columbus, Ohio. While there, the two played a game of “HORSE.”
“The thing that really kind of stunned me about him is that I have really good range. I can shoot from about half court. ... And Josh’s range was from half court as well,” Williams said. “There wasn’t a push. Usually, when you see kids shoot from that far out, there’s a push on their shot. He was just stroking it like he was used to doing it, very much in his comfort range.”
Williams said the shooting accuracy makes Selby a dangerous player.
“So when a guard has range like that, how do you guard that?” Williams said. “Because he can dribble, and he can drive to the basket. He’s strong, but then if you go under the screen, regardless of where it is on the court, he can shoot from behind the screen.
“It just makes it that much more of a deadly combination.”
After seeing Selby’s athletic ability during the McDonald’s All-American dunk contest, Williams gave him the nickname of “Showtime Selby.”
Selby also impressed Williams during the McDonald’s All-American game.
“The one thing I can say about Josh is every possession, he was trying to lock up defensively. Every time he had the ball, he remained aggressive,” Williams said. “He attacked the rim. He’s a guy who can shoot.
“I just love that style of play, because I think it’s rare when you see somebody that constantly is in attack mode. That’s a gear that he has that can set himself apart from the rest of the crew.”
So how would Selby change KU’s outlook for next year?
Winn, who had KU ranked No. 11 in his 2011 preseason top 25, said Selby would push KU into his top 10.
“He and Tyshawn playing together, from what I’ve seen, they’d make a good combo,” Winn said. “It seems to me like Selby is the kind of player that Bill Self really likes. He’s a tough-minded guard. I think in Self’s mind, this might be an ultimate kind of combo on the perimeter. I think Selby really does fit the mold of a guard that Self can make thrive.”
Williams also believes Selby would have a significant impact at KU.
“It makes them so much more explosive,” Williams said. “Now you have two guys that can handle the ball and that can score. In my opinion, it maybe puts them back preseason top 10 (to) have another chance to win the Big 12 and win a national title.”
Selby’s official final list: KU, Kentucky, Tennessee, UConn, Arizona, Syracuse. Lamb’s official final list: Kentucky, UConn, Arizona and West Virginia.
Twitter talk: KU coach Self, who cannot comment on specific recruits, did say this Friday on his Twitter account: “Excited for the wkend. Big decisions to b made in NYC. Can’t wait to finish up recruiting so my bad golf game can hopefully become average.”
This Twitter message was printed several hours before sources told the J-W that KU was no longer recruiting Lamb. This all is leading to speculation the Jayhawks may be stepping up their recruitment of No. 13-ranked Terrence Jones, 6-8, 220 pounds from Jefferson High in Portland, Ore. He reportedly would be interested in playing at the same school as Selby. However, on Friday, Jones in a text message to the Portland Oregonian newspaper said his final list consisted of Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma and UCLA.