Archive for Friday, April 16, 2010

Talk at Jordan Brand practice indicates good news coming for KU, Kentucky

Sources say KU no longer recruiting Lamb

Kansas recruit Josh Selby of Baltimore, right, slaps hands with ESPN analyst Jay Williams before getting on the bus after practice Friday, April 16, 2010, at The Sports Club/LA in New York City. Selby will play for the West team in the Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Kansas recruit Josh Selby of Baltimore, right, slaps hands with ESPN analyst Jay Williams before getting on the bus after practice Friday, April 16, 2010, at The Sports Club/LA in New York City. Selby will play for the West team in the Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

April 16, 2010, 5:10 p.m. Updated April 16, 2010, 8:00 p.m.

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ESPN's Jay Williams talks Josh Selby and Doron Lamb

KUsports.com online editor Jesse Newell talks with ESPN analyst Jay Williams about KU recruits Josh Selby and Doron Lamb. Enlarge video

— 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.”

Selby won.

“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.

Comments

grammaddy 5 years, 3 months ago

Keeping my fingers crossed! ROCK CHALK!!

Don Whiteley 5 years, 3 months ago

Why? So he can help KU lose to Slippery Rock in 2011?

Steve Jacob 5 years, 3 months ago

Most of the top 50 players have already committed, so you get what you get at this point, no matter the position.

Alabamastreet 5 years, 3 months ago

Just like the basketball season, recruiting can end in very unexpected ways. The difference is, there is no enjoying this process for fans along the way. So many things have happed to KU over the years in this process we just have to see what happens.

As to the comment on guards, you take the best players out there, that's the name of the game. KU has some highly-talented inside players coming back next year and our coach will organize a team to fit the talent.

inspire 5 years, 3 months ago

We only had 2 scholarships to give and up until a week ago we were in the running for #1 #3 #4 #17 -- I'd say thats a good recruiting effort. Self and staff know a hair more than all these blowhard armchair coaches.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

What's your win/loss ratio?

How many recruits did you land?

ceebart 5 years, 3 months ago

edjayhawk you said it yourself, you're not an expert. Don't you think if self could have landed another big man for the future he would have? And who's to say he won't still? He always pulls off great recruiting moves late in the game. You take a guy like Selby regardless of who you already have because he is the type of player that can elevate a team to a national title. And he may end up being especially valuable in this recruiting season because if the nba locks out he could be here for two years, which would give this team a great chance to win a title in the near future.

greenworld 5 years, 3 months ago

The top recruit has alot to thinking about before choosing any school. One- Academics and also is this school going to give me adequate playing time. Yes there are only so many top schools out there and when I kid narrows it down he has to weigh all his options. Also what type of teammates will he end up with, ones that are cool to get along with or ones like Tenn has. (thugs, drugs, weapons) And last is the coach a good coach or a Bobby Knight type of coach. (azz) Outside of that they either are coming to a school to be one and done or coming to it to get a degree. But also the kid has to think why come to Ku who has 6-7 guards if I can go to someone else on my list who only has 2-3 and possible work into the starting roll. I think schools like butler and gonzaga, new mexico, maybe even baylor , texas am could be teams to roll the dice with as far as getting on a team that could be heading in a direction vs a team like Kentucky or Ku that always is losing half their team every other year. Look how Memphis and Nc ended up ??? Half their team went to the NBA or were Seniors and it left them only with a pot half full to crap in. On the other side of it D Arther had his mind set on Baylor up until the night before and cam to Ku and look how it benefited him, still got a ring and still got drafted to the NBA.

colreader 5 years, 3 months ago

It's official - Josh Selby is going to be a Jayhawk next year. Fantastic !!

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