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Sunday, March 26, 2006

McDonald’s game to have KU flavor

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One Kansas University basketball signee and one Jayhawk recruit arrived Saturday in San Diego for five days worth of McDonald's All-America Basketball Game festivities.

Sherron Collins, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound point guard out of Crane High in Chicago who inked with KU in November, and Darrell Arthur, a 6-9, 220-pound power forward from South Oak Cliff High in Dallas who is considering KU, Baylor, Texas, SMU and Arizona, will be playing for the West team. Tipoff is 9 p.m. Wednesday at San Diego State's Cox Arena (ESPN, Sunflower Broadband Channel 33).

The players will participate in three-point and slam-dunk contests from 9 to 11 p.m. Monday at S.D. State's Aztec Recreation Center. The contests will be shown Wednesday on ESPN immediately after coverage of the 29th annual McDonald's game.

"I could care less about the McDonald's game," KU coach Bill Self said, referring to performance of players in the sometimes-sloppy contest. "It is good (that) people recognize Sherron as being one of the best players in the country. He is one of those.

"All-star games, in my opinion, are exactly what they are - all-star games. I'm not sure Mario's (Chalmers, 20 points, five assists, five steals) playing well in last year's McDonald's game helped advance his college career. It's good for fans to watch, hopefully see one of their own perform well."

Collins, who averaged 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game for sectional finalist Crane High, also will play in the Jordan Classic on April 22 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

"This is the best one," Self said of the McDonald's game. "After this one, there are outside influences that factor in, whether with the shoe companies - guys have got to wear certain shoes. Whether Jordan or Roundball (Classic in Chicago), this is the best one."

¢ Wooden speaks: UCLA coaching legend John Wooden, 95, still attends the McDonald's game every year when health permits, even if he cringes sometimes at showboat play in the game.

Wooden remains a basketball purist.

"I'd move the three-point line back. And, most important of all, I'd eliminate freshman eligibility," Wooden said, asked by the San Diego Union-Tribune what changes he'd make in college basketball if he was named NCAA president.

"There's such a social adjustment going from high school to college. Many players are ready athletically, but not socially."

Wooden told the newspaper he'd like to see the dunk banned from high school basketball.

"It brings about too much showmanship, which I don't like to see, and it hurts the fundamental growth of the players," Wooden said.

Wooden was quick to summarize last year's game.

"The two best players at McDonald's last year were (Greg) Paulus and (Josh) McRoberts," he said. "Where did they go? Duke."

Some other top players in this year's game: Greg Oden, (7-1, Ohio State); Kevin Durant, (6-10, Texas); Spencer Hawes (6-10, Washington); Jon Scheyer (6-6, Duke); Gerald Henderson (6-5, Duke); Brendan Wright (6-9, North Carolina) and Tywon Lawson (6-0, North Carolina).

¢ KU familiar with new MU coach: New Missouri coach Mike Anderson's University of Alabama at Birmingham team was thumped by Bill Self's first KU squad, 100-74, in an NCAA Sweet 16 contest on March 26, 2004, in St. Louis. The Jayhawks shredded the Blazers' press in leading, 56-41, at halftime. Wayne Simien had 30 points. He made 18 of 20 free throws.

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