Sunday, April 8, 2007

Coaches hit ‘08 recruiting trail

Several high schoolers list Kansas University among favorites


Now that the marathon college basketball season has ended, it's time for Kansas University's coaches to dust off their golf clubs and play 36 holes a day, right?

Not quite.

Recruiting season started Friday, putting Bill Self, Joe Dooley, Danny Manning and Kurtis Townsend at AAU tournaments in Las Vegas, Fayetteville, Ark., and Hampton, Va., in search of commitments from the Class of 2008.

"This month is extremely important, not only to evaluate seniors but guys in the Class of '09 and beyond," said Shay Wildeboor, analyst for

"There are a lot of good kids out there, and there's a lot of good basketball to be played. It starts now," Wildeboor added of recruiting season.

July is the main month to evaluate AAU basketball players. Still ... "This gives coaches time to scout players. KU potentially could have seven scholarships available (losing five seniors and some possible early entry NBA picks) so this gives the staff a chance to see if there are any surprises out there," Wildeboor noted.

"It's important to not only be out there evaluating, but showing these kids KU really wants them."

Here are some of the players KU's coaches are tracking in the Class of '08. They are listed in no particular order. The Jayhawks likely are after others as well. Coaches cannot comment to the media about specific recruits because of NCAA rules.

Willie Warren, 6-foot-4, 195, North Crowley High, suburban Fort Worth, Texas

Warren, who attends the same high school that ex-Jayhawk Keith Langford did and has been a standout on Team Texas AAU for three seasons, has a list of KU, Texas, Texas A&M;, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, UConn, Baylor, Florida and Arizona. The No. 13 player in the Class of '08 is regarded as the top prospect in Texas.

Romero Osby, 6-8, 230, Northeast Lauderdale High, Meridian, Miss.

The country's No. 15 player, who competes for SE Elite AAU, says he is not planning on narrowing his lengthy list of schools until summer's end.

He likes KU, Mississippi State, Mississippi, Memphis, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Tech. Osby is projected to be a small forward in college, though he has played all five positions in high school. KU's coaches have made several trips to Mississippi to watch prime target Osby.

Travis Releford, 6-4, 185, Roeland Park Miege

Releford,'s No. 50 player, plays for Kansas City Pump-N-Run AAU - an organization that has produced KU guard Brady Morningstar, as well as KU signee Tyrel Reed and invited walk-on Conner Teahan.

Releford likes KU, North Carolina, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Louisville and others. He's attended several KU basketball games the past couple of seasons.

J'Mison Morgan, 6-10, 275, South Oak Cliff High, Dallas

Morgan, who attends the alma mater of KU freshman Darrell Arthur and plays for Fort Worth Elite AAU, is's No. 83 player. A true back-to-the-basket pivot, Morgan is considering KU, Baylor, Cincinnati, Georgetown, UNLV and Iowa State.

Greg Monroe, 6-10, 225, Helen Cox High, Harvey, La.

The No. 1 player in the Class of '08 is considering heavyweights KU, Duke, North Carolina, UConn, Florida, Louisville, Texas, Southern Cal and LSU. He plays for New Orleans Panthers AAU.

Rotnei Clark, 6-0, 170, Verdigris High, Claremore, Okla.

The country's No. 107 player, who competes for Team Texas AAU, averaged more than 40 points a game his junior season.

Clark has a list of KU, Arizona State, Arkansas, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Marquette, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, UNLV, Washington State, West Virginia, Gonzaga, Missouri State, Tulsa and Oral Roberts. He's a good friend of fellow KU recruit Warren.

Verdell Jones, 6-4, 160, Central High, Champaign, Ill.

Jones, who is rated No. 81 nationally and plays for Ft. Sooy AAU, has heard from KU, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, DePaul, Kentucky, Louisville, UCLA, Southern Illinois and Texas A&M.; His father has known KU coach Self for many years.

Drew Gordon, 6-8, 235, Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif.

Gordon, the country's No. 16 player, is known as a strong shot blocker and rebounder. Oakland Soldiers AAU power forward Gordon has a list of KU, Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA, Duke, Washington, Arizona and Oregon.

Steve Moore, 6-9, 235, Truman High, Independence, Mo.

Moore, who is rated No. 138 nationally, is a teammate of Releford on KC Pump-N-Run. He attended a KU game on an unofficial visit this past season. Others on the power forward's list include Missouri, Illinois, Virginia, Iowa, Wichita State and Creighton.

Murphy Holloway, 6-7, 210, Dutch Fork High, Irmo, S.C.

The country's No. 68 player, who competes for South Carolina Ravens AAU, is known as a great defensive player. He likes South Carolina, Clemson, Auburn, KU, Tennessee and others.

Phillip McDonald, 6-5, 190, Cypress Springs, Texas

Ranked No. 59 in the country, McDonald is considering KU, Texas, Texas A&M;, UNLV, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and others. He told he'd like to make an unofficial to KU this summer. He plays for T-Mac All-Stars AAU.

Scott Suggs, 6-6, 180, Washington High, Augusta, Mo.

The country's No. 70 player, who competes for St. Louis Eagles AAU, has a list that includes KU, Missouri, Florida, St. Louis, Georgia Tech and Purdue.

John Brandenburg, 6-10, 235, DeSmet High, St. Louis

The country's No. 71 player, a teammate of Suggs on St. Louis Eagles AAU, has received offers from St. Louis, Missouri State and Southern Illinois. Missouri, Illinois, KU, Clemson and others also are on his list.

Jamychal Green, 6-8, 215, St. Jude High, Montgomery, Ala.

The country's No. 18 player, who competes for Alabama Challenge AAU, says he definitely will visit Florida, Virginia and Georgia Tech. KU, Alabama, Mississippi, Marquette and Auburn will be vying for his other two visits.

Clarence Trent, 6-7, 220, Gig Harbor (Wash.) High

Trent, the No. 44 player in the country, will play for the Arkansas Hawks AAU team this spring and summer. He has a list of KU, Arkansas, Florida, UConn, Washington, Arizona, Gonzaga and others.

Tyler Zeller, 6-10, 205, Washington (Ind.) High

Zeller, the 105th-rated player in the class, made unofficial visits to KU, Iowa State, Iowa, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana and North Carolina last fall. He has a brother who plays at Notre Dame.

Jeff Taylor, 6-7, 185, Hobbs (N.M.) High

The No. 150 player in the class has heard from all schools in the Big 12. He also likes New Mexico, New Mexico State, Arizona and Utah.

Sylven Landesberg, 6-6, 195, Holy Cross High, Queens, N.Y.

Georgia Tech, St. John's and Virginia could be the teams to beat with Indiana, KU, Villanova and others on the list of the country's No. 27 player, who plays AAU ball for the Metro Hawks.

Rashanti Harris, 6-8, 240, New Hope High, Columbus, Miss.

The country's No. 86 player, who competes for Columbus Titans AAU, mentions Memphis, Mississippi, Mississippi State and KU.

Andrew Steele, 6-2, 190, John Carroll High, Birmingham, Ala.

The country's No. 85 player, Green's teammate on Alabama Challenge AAU, tells he has a top five of KU, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Missouri. His brother attends Alabama.

Samardo Samuels, 6-9, 230, St. Benedict's, Newark, N.J.

Samuels, the country's No. 7 player, likes North Carolina, Florida, Louisville and UConn. In the past he's mentioned KU, Texas, St. John's and Syracuse as well. Like Landesberg, Samuels plays for Metro Hawks AAU.

Courtney Fortson, 5-10, 175, Jefferson Davis High, Montgomery, Ala.

Fortson, who is ranked 133rd in the country and plays with Osby for SE Elite AAU, has a list of KU, Auburn, Alabama, Cincinnati, Texas A&M; and Arkansas-Little Rock. He will play at prep school this upcoming season.

Delvon Roe, 6-8, 215, St. Edward High, Lakewood, Ohio

The No. 6 player in the country, who plays for Kings James Stars AAU, at one time had KU on his list. He reportedly will in the near future announce for either Michigan State or North Carolina. He also had Ohio State and Michigan as finalists.


Jclarkson 14 years, 8 months ago

No Julian Wright tidbit on him looking into his NBA draft stock?????

am I missing it?

Joe Ross 14 years, 8 months ago

Here's your tidbit:

"The route to getting better is to stay in college," Wright said. "The NBA is more of a skills setting."

mojayhawk 14 years, 8 months ago

Check out the mock draft for 2007 on Next year, Julian, Darrel, and Brandon are projected as high picks, but not this year according to this website. It looks like Julian is using sound judgment. I would hate to see any of our talented guys go to soon and not succeed. One more year, and some of them will be much more likely to succeed.

This group of guys really seems to like playing with each other. They know the money will be there if they don't go too soon, and they know they danger of getting lost in the League or getting cut and having to play in Europe. I hope we see all of them come back. It will be fun for them and for us next year! And, what an exciting 2008 recruiting class we could have.

Rock Chalk!

Colby Hebert 14 years, 8 months ago

thanks jross1972, nice links.

hmm, rush projected 20th pick on 2 mock drafts, 23rd on another, and others dont have him.

i say, stay and make a final four, and be a lottery pick brandon!!

im excited about next year regardless of whether rush stays or goes, but no denying we would be a better team with him.

Jeremy Bolinger 14 years, 8 months ago

something i taureen green on that mock draft.......hmm........or brandon rush........

Jeremy Bolinger 14 years, 8 months ago

I noticed that on the first mock draft. Hey jross, you should find out brandon's email address and send those links to him.......maybe he would change his mind real fast and announce he wont be testing the nba waters and come back to school and help us win the title next season!

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 14 years, 8 months ago

I am so excited for the 08' recruiting!!!!!!! I think we are going to get some really great players! I have watch that Releford kid before and I think he deserves better than a number 50 spot. He is good!!!!!!

Any news on Rush yet?????? Please respond

Joe Ross 14 years, 8 months ago

Believe me, his agent has seen all this information and much, much more. I think Brandon is 50/50 right now on going. He's a projected first rounder but players often slip WAY down based on team needs, player impression and other factors. His best bet is to return and notch a spot in the projected top 15, then his hopes certainly won't be deferred for being a high pick. More than that, you don't really improve skills once you get to the pros (shooting percentage may go up because of the reps) and Brandon still has some work to do.

kufan1975 14 years, 8 months ago

just saw on kcstar's page that juju is having ku coaches explore his draft status. sounds like the agents have gotten to his boys in chicago and they began filling wright's head with crap saying he is ready for the nba. i hate agents!!!! he isn't ready and i hope self tells him that.

Joe Ross 14 years, 8 months ago

This is how it's gonna go.

April 29th is the early-entry deadline to declare for the NBA draft. (I expect Brandon will declare.) Then in May and early June there will be workouts for the draft eligible players. Teams can start to look at the players in early June.

If a player is not doing well based on either the projections or the workouts at that point, a player can withdraw as an early-entry prospect by the June 18th deadline. If Brandon enters he could still pull out before this deadline.

The draft will be held on June 28th this year.

As far as news on Brandon, no one knows exactly where his head is. There were reports that said if he saw himself as a top-20 pick he'd jump. He's right at that point right now, but "team-needs" draft projections have him going lower. So who knows? The next news you're likely to hear will be just days before the early-entry deadline on April 29th (so within 3 weeks).

yovoy 14 years, 8 months ago

self should get a look at a kid named babb that plays w/ team texas. often times when i hearv warren's name his is mentioned.

KURUSH1530 14 years, 8 months ago

I'm going to say this, I think Rush is gone. I really don't see him being able to develop anymore of his game in college, he needs to get to the NBA and start improving his handles by learning from professionals. His shot is smooth, his size is critical, he can rebound. He went to a prep school for a year, then to Kansas for two..basically making him a junior. And I think he can go higher in this draft than he would in next years draft. As for Julian, the only reason I see him leaving is due to his enormous amount of prospective basketball talent. My guess is he'll be back. Ha by the way, didn't K-State hire Martin because they thought he'd be the key to bringing in the recruit class? I think it'd be funny if they did that and then still lost that guy. Another great fix by k-state.

bmkjayhawk 14 years, 8 months ago


The most recent indication by Beasley is that he's uncertain. The link you've posted indicates that his mom is certain what he's doing. Sometimes moms are an issue in these situations. KSU can attest to that after Stefhon Hannah's mom wanted him to go to Missouri, and then he did (even though he wanted to go to KSU, according to reports).

Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 8 months ago

I'm not too concerned that Julian's stock is being investigated. I'm sure Self is looking into prospects for Rush, Wright, Chalmers, Russ Rob, Kaun, Arthur and Jackson as a matter of routine. Rush will likely go, but no one else.

KSU hiring Martin to keep Beasley is a joke. Even if Beasley keeps his commitment, he's only there for a year, and in either case, K-State is stuck with a coach with no real experience at the college level. They would have been better off going with a more seasoned guy and trying to keep Martin and Hill as assistants.

stujayhawk 14 years, 8 months ago

J. Wright had a bad tourney...none the less, we will need him if we wanna win it nxt year

jaybate 14 years, 8 months ago

This list of recruits seems talented, but less than stellar to me. Why aren't we at least in the running for any top ten recruits? If you don't at least try for them, you're not going to get them.

jaybate 14 years, 8 months ago

Oops, I overlooked Roe and Samson. Disregard the above.

Jeremy Bolinger 14 years, 8 months ago

jaybate, we will not get either of those 2. Roe is expected to choose between unc and michigan st. Also, i believe you are referring to samuels, and he we wont get him either. However, we are very much in the running for Greg Monroe, the number 1 ranked player in the class. Willie Warren is 13th, and Romero Osby 15th. There is not much difference between a top 10 and a top 15. I cannot wait to see who Bill brings in next season, and I hope we can get all three of these guys next year, cause that would just add three more mcdonalds all-americans to our roster!

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