Archive for Monday, April 19, 2010

Texas high school soph has Kansas on radar

6-foot-9 forward to choose from among Kansas, Kentucky, UNC and Texas

April 19, 2010, 11:34 a.m. Updated April 20, 2010, 12:00 a.m.


Zach Peters, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound sophomore basketball forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, will announce his college choice at 2:40 p.m., Wednesday, in the high school’s gymnasium.

Peters, who made an unofficial visit to Kansas University last February for the KU-Nebraska game, has a final four of KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Texas.

“I know he’s had colleges looking at him since seventh, eighth grade,” Prestonwood Christian coach Brad Freeman said of Peters, who averaged 15.3 points and 9.0 rebounds a game his soph season for the Texas Class 5A state champs. “I’ve had some top D-One (coaches) tell me he could play for them now,” Freeman added.

That’s because Peters has already developed a body that appears ready for the rigors of college basketball.

“He’s a great athlete — good strength, good size,” said Freeman, who played Peters at center this past season with the freedom to drift outside. The coach said Peters projects to be a “natural three (small forward)” in college.

“My opinion is he has a college body. He’s a great high school player. I think when he gets to college, the way he plays, with his size and ‘physicalness,’ I think he’ll be an even better college player than high school player.”

Peters hit 56 percent of his shots (three of nine threes) and 63.7 percent of his free throws this past season.

He also plays for former Oklahoma standout Jeff Webster’s Pro Skills basketball program and Team Texas AAU.

“A lot of kids his age are awkward. He has the speed, agility and quickness of somebody a lot older than he is,” Freeman said of Peters, who in eighth grade could hit a golf ball 300 yards.

“God blessed him with an athletic body. It’s a little bit of natural talent and hard work. He works extremely hard. He’s developed his game through skills training a number of years.”

Peters played wide receiver in football his freshman year at Prestonwood Academy after playing quarterback several years before that.

He also, according to Dime Magazine, is a brilliant math student, baby-sits handicapped children on Friday nights ,and when the magazine last caught up with him, was “learning to play ‘Purple Haze’ on guitar.”

As far as that wide receiver stint ...

“Our team runs the spread. He ran routes down the sidelines and out-ran people,” Freeman said. “One game he ran one over the middle and I said to the football coach, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘He’s a decoy.’ I said, ‘No more routes up the middle,’’’ Freeman added, laughing.

Peters isn’t the only Prestonwood player who will be playing major college basketball.

Julius Randle, a 6-8 freshman forward, also has made an unofficial visit to KU. Like Peters, he’s considered a possible McDonald’s All-America type player.

“He is wide open. Every school is on his list now,” Freeman said of Randle. “We want to make sure people understand no matter what decision Zach makes ... Julius is his own individual and will make the decision best for him.”

As far as Peters, who also at one time also had Baylor, Missouri and Oklahoma on his primary list of schools, he’ll be finished with the recruiting process on Wednesday with two years remaining in high school.

“I don’t think he’s rushing into anything,” Freeman said. “He has a strong family and has a good head on his shoulders. He’s already visited several schools and is ready to make a decision. This will let him relax and just play the next two years. He understands a verbal commitment ... people will still come after him, but he’ll also know, ‘I made a decision and know where I’m going to school.’ That’s important to him.”

Ellis attracts crowd

Perry Ellis, a 6-8, 210-pound sophomore forward from Wichita Heights High School, held an open workout on Monday that was attended by KU’s Bill Self as well as Kansas State’s Frank Martin, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and Stanford’s Johnny Dawkins. Assistant coaches from Missouri, Texas A&M; and Memphis were also present.


timetospeakup 7 years, 11 months ago

Announcing his sophomore year really worked well for Adam Haluska .... his career in the NBA has been huge. Oh wait, he transferred once in college and 3 years later isn't even playing in the israeli league anymore.

puddleglum 7 years, 11 months ago

i see an interesting possibility here...maybe sophomores can skip their junior/senior seasons and go straight to the colleges, where they must play for two years, then go pro... trickle down at work!

Graczyk 7 years, 11 months ago

This is just getting silly. But then again, scouts are targeting these kids as early as 9 or 10.

woodscolt 7 years, 11 months ago

An interesting trend might be these guys hurrying up and signing with kentucky before someone beats them to the opening. How about Kentucky lining up their next one and done season a year early instead of waiting till after the seasons over to reload like this offseason.

Not saying this will happen, but if this guy signs with kentucky, its a good start down this path. There is a risk to the college because some other player may emerge as a better fit and all your scholarships are used. You can bet a lot of coaches(no names) routinely think "if only so and so would just quit or transfer I could use their scholarship for a preferred recruit a year later."???????

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't think they can sign a letter of intent (ie, a binding contract) until after their junior years, so this really won't mean that much.

BTW, Royce Woolridge, one of KU's incoming recruits, committed after his soph. year, too, so Self is clearly OK with taking this guy's commitment if he offers it-- not that it'll mean anything for at least another year.

RockChalk1225 7 years, 11 months ago

Didnt Cole commit really early? That seemed to work out for all involved.

I do agree that the whole making the announcement a big deal is getting a little out of hand. When do we get to see a kid taken out of home room in junior high to make his announcement?

Richard Payton 7 years, 11 months ago

Maybe they announce early just to get people off their backs?

Martin Shupert 7 years, 11 months ago

I think, when you're a good athlete and 6'9" as a sophmore in HS, you can do something like this. Ironically, for this kid and his family, they might be making an early announcement because they think this recruiting thing is out of hand. They might just want to escape the craziness that recruiting causes. The best way to do that is to commit now and send the others away.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 11 months ago

I am waiting for guys to start getting a GED or diploma a year early, and playing college for two years, then NBA. Why not, football players are now graduating a semester early, so then can go to spring practice in college.

More and more will go to Europe for a year. Look at Brannon Jennings. Went to Europe, had a bad year, still drafted tenth overall, scored 15.5 PPG (playing all 82 games) and throw in 34 points in his first playoff game.

Joe Hyde 7 years, 11 months ago

An untrasound exam performed on a male fetus eight months into the pregnancy of a 6'2" woman whose husband is 6'11" has found that the late-term fetus is torn between committing to K-State or KU. The fetus explained to media representatives present during the procedure that following his birth he will announce his decision after spending between 6 and 24 months on the nipple.

jonas_opines 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm announcing right now that my next son will attend KU to play basketball.

Now that that's out of the way you'll have to pardon me. I have a son to conceive.

Rickyonealku 7 years, 11 months ago

This story sound just like Sheldon Williams from Midwest City, Oklahoma and a former DUKE 4 year starter....but in this day and age...also sounds like a ONE AND DONE.

Robert Rauktis 7 years, 11 months ago

The wrong direction. What's wrong with sports in America.

Jim Williamson 7 years, 11 months ago

A lot can happen in a kid's development between his soph and senior year. I played high school football with a kid who was an absolute stud, an unstoppable runningback. Had a full beard his freshman year in high school.

By the time he was a senior, he was on the fast-track to one of the Plan B Kansas football jucos, where he played a little bit. Then he walked on at Kansas State and had a nice two years getting cups of water for Stan Parrish.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago


David Hall 7 years, 11 months ago


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