Blue-chip basketball prospect Kaleb Tarczewski, who has had yet another stellar summer playing center for the New England Playaz, will complete his AAU career at this week’s Double Pump Best of Summer Tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
After that, the 7-foot, 220-pounder from St. Mark’s High in Southborough, Mass., returns to the East Coast, where he’s expected to deliberate on finalists Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina and Kentucky and, sometime in August, announce his college choice.
“I’m trying not to think about recruiting too much,” Tarczewski, Rivals.com’s No. 12-rated player, told pointguardu.com from the adidas Super 64 tourney in Las Vegas.
“I want to focus on these AAU games. But when it is time, I want to make my decision as soon as possible. I don't think anything will be final until after July.”
Tarczewski made unofficial visits to KU, North Carolina and Arizona in June with the goal of being able to choose a college prior to his senior year.
Speaking in a rare summertime interview to pointguardu.com, Tarczewski said of KU: “I really like Lawrence. Kansas is great. It feels like home. The coaches made me feel comfortable and if I went there I know I would be in good hands. I trust that the coaches will make me better.”
Tarczewski reportedly has developed a great relationship with KU assistant coach Joe Dooley and is impressed with assistant Danny Manning’s work with past big men, including NBA Draft lottery pick Cole Aldrich of the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Tarczewski also has had glowing things to say about other schools on his list.
There has been no official word on what date Tarczewski will announce.
Smart explodes in final
KU target Marcus Smart scored 29 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in Texas Assault’s 93-78 victory over Shabazz Muhammad’s Dream Vision team in Tuesday’s finals of the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas.
Muhammad, who also has KU on his list, scored 22 points, despite playing on a severely sprained ankle.
Smart, a 6-4 senior combo guard from Marcus High in Flower Mound, Texas, has a list that includes KU, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech and North Carolina. Texas is believed the leader.
The No. 24-rated player in the country is sure to skyrocket in the rankings after that eye-opening performance witnessed by hordes of college coaches, including KU assistant Manning, who sat in the front row of the gym.
Muhammad, a 6-5 combo guard, still has a long list that includes KU, UNLV, Kentucky, Duke, Memphis, UCLA, Texas and Texas A&M.
Wainright on winning team
KU target Ishmail Wainright scored 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished three assists in leading the KC 76ers to a victory over Florida Team Breakdown in Monday’s finals of the Fab 48 tournament in Las Vegas. Wainright, a 6-5, 200-pound junior-to-be from Raytown (Mo.) South, tells Rivals.com he has a list that includes KU, Missouri, UCLA, Baylor, St. John's, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Memphis, Texas Tech and UMKC. At one point, he was committed to Mizzou.
Ellis in Boost game
Wichita Heights sensation/KU recruit Perry Ellis will play in the sixth-annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 all-star game Aug. 27 at California’s Venice Beach. Both the game (6 p.m., Aug. 27) and slam dunk contest (5 p.m., Aug. 26) will be aired live on ESPNU.
Players are chosen based on their performance at AAU tournaments and national championships and are scouted by high school basketball experts from ESPN RISE, ESPN College Basketball Recruiting and other top talent evaluators.
Other players who will be in the game include KU targets Muhammad, Mitch McGary, Marcus Paige and Julius Randle.
Lots of unknowns
KU coach Bill Self spoke to cbssports.com’s Jeff Goodman about the upcoming season while sitting in the stands at the adidas Super 64 tournament in Las Vegas.
“I’m as nervous as I've ever been going into a season,” Self said of the 2011-12 campaign. “It’s fair to say there are more unknowns about this team than any team we've had since I've been here.”
KU, of course, loses the Morris twins and Josh Selby to the NBA, as well as Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar, Mario Little and Royce Woolridge.
He told Goodman that Lamar transfer Justin Wesley, the brother of Keith Langford and a current walk-on, will “definitely be in the rotation.”
“It's a Tulsa-type recruited team. Guys we got late are guys that we recruited to Tulsa and wound up kicking everybody’s butt,” added former Tulsa coach Self.
Late acquisitions Merv Lindsay, Kevin Young, Braeden Anderson and Jamari Traylor join early commits Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe.
Goodman’s story, by the way, was entitled, “End of the Run?” referring to KU’s seven straight Big 12 titles.