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Archive for Friday, April 29, 2011

KU basketball recruits paired

Jayhawk Invitational begins today

Perry Ellis of Wichita Heights, right, will play against Shabazz Muhammad in the Jayhawk Invitational on Friday night in Lawrence.

Perry Ellis of Wichita Heights, right, will play against Shabazz Muhammad in the Jayhawk Invitational on Friday night in Lawrence.

April 29, 2011

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Two of Kansas University’s top targets in the high school recruiting Class of 2012 will compete against each other tonight at Haskell’s Coffin Complex.

No. 3-rated Shabazz Muhammad’s Dream Vision AAU team will meet No. 19-rated Perry Ellis’ Wichita Pray and Play Players at 7:20 p.m. in the marquee pool play game of the 2011 Jayhawk Invitational.

The tourney will run tonight through Sunday at Haskell and other gyms around town.

“Shabazz is really, really good. He’s got a chance to be the No. 1 player in the class,” Rivals.com analyst Shay Wildeboor said of Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High. He has an early list of KU, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Texas, UCLA, UNLV, Arizona, USC and many others.

“He can shoot, drive, defend … pretty much does everything you’d expect from one of the top players in the class.

“Perry, as everybody knows, is one of the top prospects to play high school basketball in Kansas. He’s extended his game to both inside and out,” Wildeboor added of Ellis, a 6-8 forward from Wichita Heights who has a list of KU, Kentucky, Memphis, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Wichita State.

“On paper, the game might appear to be a mismatch (because of the other players on Dream Vision). But this certainly gives KU fans a chance to see Perry put his skills on display against some other great players.”

Dream Vision also boasts KU targets in Winston Shepard (6-8, Findlay Prep High, Henderson, Nev., ranked No. 36) and Robert Upshaw (6-11, Edison High, Fresno, Calif., ranked No. 111). Dream Vision will also play at 10:20 a.m. Saturday at the LHS main gym and 1:50 p.m. Saturday at the LHS auxiliary gym. Pray and Play Players will play at 9:10 a.m. Saturday at Lawrence High’s main gym and 3 p.m. Saturday at Central Junior High.

“Upshaw was a beast at the Real Deal in the Rock last week in Arkansas,” Wildeboor said of the 265-pounder. “He went toe-to-toe with Andre Drummond, who is the No. 1 player in the class. Shepard is a playmaker, a guy who does a little bit of everything.”

The Compton Magic, who have three players on KU’s wish list, will meet the SYF Players at 9:40 p.m. today at Haskell. Those players are: Nino Jackson, 6-2, from Ardmore (Okla.) High School, who is ranked No. 38; Gabe York, 6-2 from Lutheran High in Orange, Calif., who is ranked No. 41; and Tony Parker, 6-9 from Miller Grove High in Lithonia, Ga., who is ranked No. 64. The Magic will also play at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the LHS main gym and 4:10 p.m. Saturday at the LHS auxiliary gym.

“Nino is a guy many think is the most explosive guard in the class,” Wildeboor said of Jackson, who has KU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina on his list. “Gabe is a pure scorer. In transition he skies above the rim,” Wideboor noted of York, who has received offers from KU, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Connecticut, Marquette, Oklahoma, Oregon State, USC, Washington and Washington State.

“He has a chance to be one of the best big guys in the class,” Wildeboor said of the 250-pound Parker, who has a long list that includes KU, North Carolina Duke, Ohio State, Florida and others.

Parker will be going up against SYF’s Mitch McGary tonight and Glenn Robinson III tonight. McGary, 6-10 from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., is ranked No. 92, and Glenn Robinson III, 6-5 from Lake Central High in St. John, Ind., No. 118. The SYF Players will also play at 12:40 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. Saturday, both at the LHS main gym.

“McGary has been sensational this spring,” Wildeboor said of the frontcourt standout who also has Duke, Florida, Arizona, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Cincinnati and many others on his early list.

No. 22-rated Marcus Smart will be playing for the Texas Assault at 9:40 p.m. today at Southwest Junior High, 10:20 a.m. Saturday at Southwest and 3 p.m. Saturday at Haskell. Smart is 6-4 from Marcus High in Flower Mound, Texas.

Chris Thomas, the No. 4-ranked player in the Class of 2013, will play for the Colorado Hawks at 8:30 p.m. today at Haskell; 9:10 a.m. Saturday at LHS auxiliary; and 4:10 p.m. Saturday at Central Junior High. Thomas is 6-4 out of Westwind Prep International High in Phoenix.

The 17-and-under age-group finals will be contested at 2:15 p.m. Sunday at Haskell. See the full schedule.

Lacey coming to town

Trevor Lacey, a 6-3, 190-pound senior shooting guard from Butler High School in Huntsville, Ala., will visit KU this weekend. Lacey, who made an unexpected trip to Auburn on Thursday, visited Alabama on April 15. He’s expected to also visit Kentucky before announcing his college choice. Lacey, who is ranked No. 24 nationally, averaged 31.4 points a game last season.

New rule

Starting next season, college basketball players will have less time to decide whether to stay in the NBA Draft or return to school. The NCAA's Board of Directors on Thursday ruled that players must decide before the first day of the spring signing period (mid April) to pull out of the draft and retain their college eligibility. This year, players have until May 8 to withdraw from the draft. The rule is designed to help college coaches know how many players they need to replace because of early-entry departures.

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