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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gary Bedore’s KU Basketball Notebook

Incoming KU freshman Travis Releford has been invited to USA basketball's Under 18 team tryouts.

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Arthur impresses in Florida pre-draft camp

Darrell Arthur not only took a physical, but worked out in front of NBA scouts Friday at the pre-draft camp.

"They had Arthur go through a light workout. He was coming off screens and shooting the ball well," said Rodger Bohn of draftexpress.com. "He was posting up, hitting NBA threes, college threes on the move. He looked really good."

Of Arthur's decision to stay in the draft, Bohn said: "Nobody really has been talking about that because it's what everybody expected him to do. It's what everybody thought would happen."

Releford invited to U.S. camp

KU freshman-to-be Travis Releford said he has been invited to attend USA Basketball's Under 18 team tryout camp July 1-3 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Thirty players will be invited to compete for 12 roster spots. The FIBA Americans Under 18 championships will be held July 14-18 in Formosa, Argentina.

Releford on Monday returned from Shanghai, China, where his Adidas Nations high school all-star team won an international tournament.

Releford said he averaged about 25 points a game for the Adidas squad.

"It felt like 30 (ppg)," he said with a laugh. "It was a long flight, about 12 hours, but a lot of fun once we got there. We got to go downtown on a tour. It's really different from the U.S. A lot of people are on bikes driving them around instead of cars. Driving there was crazy."

Releford said he watched nightly news reports on the devastating May 12 earthquake in Sichuan.

The temblor was felt thousands of miles away in Shanghai.

"Nobody (in Shanghai) was worried about it. We were nowhere near it," Releford said.

Recruiting

Abdul Gaddy, a 6-foot-3 senior-to-be from Bellarmine High in Tacoma, Wash., on Friday backed out of his oral commitment to Arizona. He told Rivals.com he's still considering UA as well as KU, Memphis, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Gonzaga and others..

Avery Bradley, a 6-3 senior, also from Bellarmine High, told Rivals he's considering KU, Arizona, USC, Texas, UCLA and Washington.

Gaddy is ranked No. 14 and Bradley 17 in the Class of 2009.

Stephenson down to three?

Lance Stephenson, a 6-5 senior-to-be from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., has narrowed his list of schools to KU, USC and UCLA, according to the Northwest Arkansas News. The country's No. 7-rated player also has mentioned Indiana, Memphis, North Carolina, Seton Hall and others in the past.

More on KU trio

KU graduates Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun and Russell Robinson played their final games of the 2008 pre-draft camp on Friday in Orlando, Fla.

Jackson scored 10 points off 2-of-8 shooting and 6-of-7 free throwing in his final camp game.

Robinson finished the game with seven points and added two assists.

Kaun chipped in with three points and collected four rebounds.

"Robinson was very aggressive trying to score. He had his best game (at camp) by far. He played much better today," said Bohn of draftexpress.com. "I would say of the three, Kaun has the best chance of getting drafted. Jackson could be a guy who goes on a summer-league team and impresses somebody enough to get invited to training camp."

Comments

34_5_20_nbaTitle 11 years, 6 months ago

RussRob is one of my favorite players to come through KU but Michael Redd is a much better player. Redd shoots lights out almost every night in the league.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

Video of Releford reveals a good prospect who will have to muscle up A LOT to play big minutes in Self-style defensive scheme.Gaddy and Bradley and Stephenson? Collins leaves next year in the backcourt. But who else? Tempting to make room for them because they are both ranked higher coming in than anyone else we will have next year. Will we see the transfer phenomenon hit KU. I hope not. I have always liked that only the head cases were forced from the program.Thank heavens RR showed his stuff.DBlock i can't figure. I really thought this guy could play in he NBA and that the NBA would recognize this. He should go to Europe, average 20 and 10, and he'll get a call from the NBA in a year.Kaun's size and mobility finally are recognized by Bohn-head. He can do what an NBA backup is supposed to do, though he may be too nice to do it. I hope Bill Self does not leave KU ever, but if he does, I'm convinced that he could win at the next level simply by assembling all his KU players that NBA dopes passed on and creating an awesome role playing bench behind the usual collection of NBA players.

Ryan Gerstner 11 years, 6 months ago

I like going up against USC and UCLA for Stephenson. Both of those are good schools, but they're out on the west coast where he'll rarely be seen back East. KU being on TV all the time and in the central time zone is a huge advantage.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

Man, we are on everyone's list! This is awesome...

LAJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Literally everyone has us on his list. Question, will we have like 9 scholarships available next year for all these top 20 guys?Seriously though, I hope KU does not see too many transfers from all this. More than anything else it kills our graduation numbers because of that absolutely asinine transfer rule. Especially considering if we get any of those top 20 guys (Henry is probably the best chance right now); there is a rather small chance most of those guys will stay to graduation. And, Gary, perhaps you can answer this: would the graduation numbers be affected if a player leaves for the NBA but still comes back and gets his degree ala Michael Jordan (and others)? How is that figured in the rules? I'm guessing it still counts as a non-graduate because the NCAA has the common sense of a tree frog: my apologies to all you tree frog enthusiasts out there.And I always thought Kaun had the best chance out of those 3 to get drafted. I have a rather strong feeling that he will. Good size, good strength, very good defender (and a decent shot-blocker). Although, I wonder if it behooves him to pass up the NBA contract and take the seven figures in Russia for a couple years. Then come back to a better contract with the experience. I guess it depends on the NBA offer. I'm sure his agent will have some advice on that....

Nutflush21 11 years, 6 months ago

Why does the NW Arkansas News have the inside info on Stephenson? He is a New York guy. Was there a AAU tourney in Fayetteville?

nameer 11 years, 6 months ago

In order for our graduation numbers to look good, players that leave early just have to leave in good standing - in other words, their grades need to be such that they could remain in school if they wanted to and graduate at the proper time. They don't actually have to finish, but they have to remain in good standing.

yovoy 11 years, 6 months ago

what? collins will be here for his senior season unless he puts up the numbers to get the attention we think he deserves. he's undersized, and there are lots of collins-types out there that can be had. yes, he has the mental toughness to play a little bit at the next level, but i'm guessing the knock on him will be that he's injury-prone. i'd like to see him as a pro, i just have difficulty seeing it, esp after next year.of our 3 departing seniors kaun is the only one with the height, strength, and speed to play/defend at his position. darnell (love him) is going to be able to defend the tall guards at the next level, or small forwards? i don't see it. russrob's skillset is not going to carry him into the pros. guys his size that are in the league have blazing speed, amazing handles, and shoot the ball fairly consistently, but if michael redd can play in the nba, russ should have a shot. i don't know why/how mr gets so much hype, but that's a different rant. russ' defense (which most teams don't really care that much about) is where he might be able to distinguish himself.ourSelf wouldn't be the one making draft decisions at the next level.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

ralster,I love Russ, and I'm absolutely pulling for him. But to answer your question, there are many other players out there who can do what Russ can do AND are a greater offensive threat. NBA teams are always looking for someone who can score. They may not do it much in actual games, but with only 5 guys on the floor, GMs want to know that any one of them can create offense if needed. And as a guard he simply needs to be a bigger threat from beyond the arc. Unfortunately there are several others out there that can do that better than Russ.Again, I truly hope he can make it, but I think it will be a decent uphill climb for him. Good luck, though, RussRob. There are a lot of people pulling for you.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 6 months ago

Obviously I am pulling for the glue-guys (Kaun, Jackson, Robinson) to make it to the NBA if thats what they want, but I dont understand why RussRob cant simply be considered as a prospect simply for what he is: a top10 NCAA run-the-offense type guard: he simply would make the big-money players absolutely shine--Does he himself really have to score 15 or even 10pts/night in the NBA? I would think more like 4 to 8 pts. I think he has enough ability to keep the opposition somewhat honest. Why wouldnt certain NBA teams not necessarily looking for a scoring-type guard look at him. His defense and size are what separates him from Aaron Miles. Maybe I am biased, but I think in the right situation, RussRob can be productive in the NBA if he is allowed to just run the offense like he did at KU. He is not afraid to shoot it--Ive seen him play enough to almost guarantee that...

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