Kansas City Pump N Run, which had won four consecutive Jayhawk Invitational championships, finally had its streak broken last spring.
“We got second. We lost to Harrison Barnes,” recalled Pump N Run coach L.J. Goolsby.
His Pump N Run squad, led by Alabama-bound Trevor Releford, fell to North Carolina signee Harrison Barnes’ All-Iowa Attack, 76-72, in last year’s 17 and under finals at Haskell’s Coffin Complex.
Pump N Run will again open the 11th Jayhawk Invitational against the Nebraska Bison at 6:10 p.m. today at Haskell. The perennial fan-favorites are led by Corey Hilliard, a 6-1 junior combo guard from Raytown (Mo.) South High School, and Christian Kirk, 6-7 junior from St. Charles (Mo.) West. Goolsby said several Pac-10 and Missouri Valley schools are recruiting the duo. Missouri has also shown interest in Kirk.
“We’re off to a good start this year,” said Goolsby, whose squad won the Double Pump championships in Denver. “This tournament gets better every year. The overall depth this year makes it the best ever.”
Pump N Run will also play at 10:20 a.m. Saturday at Lawrence High and 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Haskell.
The featured game of tonight’s opening round takes place at 7:20 p.m. at Haskell, moved back an hour from an original tip time of 6:10. Wichita Heights sophomore sensation Perry Ellis’ Pray and Play Players will meet Dream Vision, which is led by sophs Shabazz Muhammad (6-5, Bishop Gorman High, Las Vegas) and Winston Shepard (6-6, Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.), plus junior Angelo Chol (6-8, 205, Hoover High, San Diego).
All four players have Kansas on their lists of prospective colleges.
Pray and Play Players will play pool play games at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lawrence High’s gym and 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the LHS west gym. Dream Vision will play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Haskell and 3:20 p.m. Saturday at LHS west.
Here are some of the top players and when and where they’ll be playing this weekend. The complete schedule is available at jayhawkinvitational.com.
• Compton Magic’s Isaiah Austin, 6-11, Soph., Grace Prep High, Arlington, Texas, and Jahii Carlson, 5-10, Jr., Mesa (Ariz.) High: 9:40 p.m., today, LHS west; 10:20 a.m. Saturday, Haskell; 5:40 p.m. Saturday, Haskell.
• St. Louis Eagles’ Ben McLemore, 6-5, Jr., St. Louis’ Eskridge High; Brad Beal, 6-3, Jr., St. Louis Chaminade: 9:40 p.m. today, Haskell; 1 p.m., Saturday, LHS west; 3:20 p.m. Saturday, Haskell.
• SYF Players’ Branden Dawson, 6-6, Jr., Wallace High, Gary, Ind.: 8:30 p.m., today, Haskell; 9:10 a.m., Saturday, Central JH; 2:10 p.m., Saturday, Haskell.
• New England Playaz’s Alex Murphy, 6-8, Soph., St. Mark’s High, Southborough, Mass.: 9:40 p.m., today, Haskell; 1 p.m., Saturday, Central; 4:30 p.m., Saturday, LHS.
• The Dallas Mustangs, Indiana FYI Players, Pump N Run Elite and Derrick Rose All-Stars will not be coming to the tournament as originally planned.
The tournament no longer is being held in Allen Fieldhouse and Horejsi Gym on KU’s campus because the NCAA feels hosting such tourneys is a recruiting advantage for schools.
Royce in star game
KU signee Royce Woolridge will play in the high school Academic All-America Classic on Saturday at Azusa Pacific University in California. The game features players “who have excelled in the classroom and have contributed to their communities.”
Jones decision today
Terrence Jones, a 6-8, 220-pound senior from Jefferson High in Portland, Ore., will announce his college choice at 5:30 p.m., Central time, today. Coverage of the announcement will be available via live streaming at KUSports.com. Jones, who visited KU Sunday through Tuesday, has a final list of KU, Washington, Kentucky, Oklahoma, UCLA and Oregon.
Jimmy V field announced
KU will meet Memphis in the opening game of the one-day Jimmy V. Classic on Dec. 7 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, tourney officials announced Thursday. The matchup was reported several weeks ago in the Journal-World. Michigan State will meet Syracuse in the second game.
Selby No. 1
KU signee Josh Selby, 6-2 from Baltimore, is ranked No. 1 nationally in Rivals.com’s final rankings of prep seniors. He was No. 4 in the previous rankings. KU signee Woolridge is No. 120. Jones is No. 13. Kentucky signee Brandon Knight, the former No. 1, is now No. 6.