KU signee Collins shines in Jordan Classic
Kansas University basketball signee Sherron Collins didn’t bounce the ball off the backboard, catch it and dunk as he did at the McDonald’s All-America game.
Yet, the 5-foot-11 Chicago Crane High point guard, who had 11 points and three assists in the March 29 hamburger game in San Diego, again put on a show Saturday night at the Michael Jordan Classic in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Collins, who according to Chicago’s Sun-Times “crossed up defenders, made dazzling passes, dribbled through double teams and went from the end of the court to the other in only a few seconds and finished with a layup,” scored 14 points with a game-high six assists and three rebounds in the Jordan White team’s 108-95 victory over the Jordan Black squad.
“I feel confident in these situations,” Collins said. “I don’t get butterflies before the games. I like hearing the oohs and aahs. I want the crowd to get what they came for.”
Georgia Tech signee Thaddeus Young, a 6-9 forward, led the winners with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Duke signee Jon Scheyer of Chicagoland’s Glenbrook North High, scored seven points.
Collins went 2-0 in his NCAA-allotted two-game stint of all-star games. His West team beat the East, 112-94, in the McDonald’s game.
“From what we heard, Sherron played very well in New York City,” KU coach Bill Self said Sunday night after returning from a weekend scouting the Kingwood Classic AAU tournament in Houston. “I know he is a very talented young man that will be an impact player for our program.”
Collins, who had been bothered by a sore wrist of late, last week made his season debut for Crane High’s baseball team. He hit a home run, triple and single and as a pitcher, struck out eight batters in 2 2/3 innings.
“He hadn’t even practiced,” Self said of the impressive performance.
Self was out of town Friday when chancellor Robert Hemenway and athletic director Lew Perkins held a news conference to announce receipt of the NCAA’s notice of allegations.
KU will appear before the infractions committee on Aug. 13. The NCAA reported nine violations, the most serious involving alleged academic fraud in football. The NCAA requested additional information on three violations involving men’s basketball including booster Don Davis’ providing $5,000 worth of benefits to Darnell Jackson and $45 worth of benefits reportedly to ex-Jayhawk J.R. Giddens, as well as former KU coach Roy Williams’ OK’ing of three boosters providing small gifts to graduated seniors.
“This is certainly not new news to any of us,” Self said. “Our athletic department has been very forthright and aggressive in the handling of these situations. The athletic department has cooperated with the NCAA to the fullest.
“The only two situations I have inside knowledge of are the ones concerning the gifts and Darnell’s situation,” Self added. “I’m proud of how we handled that, very aggressively.”
KU self-reported Edmond, Okla., booster Davis’ providing benefits to Jackson. In response, the sophomore received a nine-game NCAA suspension last season. Self said he wasn’t aware Davis allegedly drove Giddens from Oklahoma City to a doctor in Wichita twice last summer after Giddens was stabbed in a bar fight in Lawrence. The cost of the trips was $45.
“This will not affect our basketball program in our ability to continue to move forward,” Self said.
Langford’s big game revisited: Ex-Jayhawk Keith Langford of the Fort Worth (Texas) Flyers erupted for 39 points on 12-of-20 shooting with seven rebounds and six assists in Saturday’s 119-108 NBADL championship game loss to Albuquerque in the Fort Worth Convention Center.
“That was something else,” Self said of Langford erupting for 27 points the final half. “I am disappointed Keith and Aaron (Miles, 16 points) lost the title game, but Keith obviously got better as the season went on and Aaron played very well also. I think they both opened a lot of eyes for the summer and next year in interest level for NBA teams.”
Arthur at tourney: The country’s top unsigned player, 6-9 Darrell Arthur of Dallas’ South Oak Cliff High, competed for DFW Elite at the Kingwood Classic. As an uncommitted player, he’s allowed to play in AAU events.
Arthur, who is considering KU, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma and LSU, said he’ll make an unofficial visit to LSU’s campus next weekend.
KU’s coaches and other major college coaches last weekend also took a look at Blake Griffin, 6-8, 230, Jr., from Oklahoma Christian High in Edmond, Okla. Rivals.com’s No. 55-rated player in the Class of 2007 who plays for Athletes First is considering KU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Illinois and others.
Kyle Singler, 6-8, 210 from Medford, Ore., was scouted by coaches of his finalists – KU, Duke, North Carolina and UCLA.
Other top preps scouted by KU and other schools included: Marcus Simmons, a 6-4 junior from Alexandria, La., considering KU, Texas, Mississippi State, OU, OSU; Samardo Samuels, 6-9, 210, Soph., Newark, N.J.; Anthony Randolph, 6-10, Jr., Dallas; Brandon McGee, 6-7, Jr., Chicago’s Crane High.