It’s a quiet period in recruiting, which means no college basketball head coaches or full-time assistants can attend tonight’s featured game of the 2009 Jayhawk Invitational.
Representatives from Harrison Barnes’ 12 finalists — Kansas University, Duke, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Stanford, Minnesota, Southern California, UCLA, Iowa State, Florida, Kentucky and Texas Christian — won’t be in Haskell’s 3,000-seat Coffin Complex for a 7:10 p.m. showdown between Barnes’ All-Iowa Attack Red team and future KU player Royce Woolridge’s Arizona Magic squad.
“It would be great if coaches could be there, but from what we’ve heard there will be a big crowd, which will be fun for the kids,” said former Iowa State standout Jake Sullivan, coach of the All-Iowa Attack. “We’re excited about it. It should be a hopping environment.”
Sullivan’s squad, which has reached the Final Four of recent AAU tournaments in Milwaukee and Nashville, is led by Barnes, a versatile 6-foot-6, 205-pound junior guard/forward who led Ames (Iowa) High to a perfect 26-0 record and state title this past season.
“Harrison is an unbelievably talented young man,” Sullivan said of Rivals.com’s No. 4-rated player. “He will not give you a Michael Beasley-performance where he’ll score 45 points and get 25 rebounds. He’ll score 20 with five assists and five rebounds every single time on the court. Consistency is what he brings. He’s ready to step on the court and play significant minutes right away in college.”
Sullivan said Barnes, who averaged 19.7 points and 8.8 rebounds a game last season, is almost too good to be true.
“Part of why he’s so recruitable is he’s a 3.9 student (grade-point average). You know he won’t get arrested or caught at a bar,” Sullivan said. “School comes first for him. He missed practice tonight because he had a church activity. He’s a great person.”
Rivals.com analyst Shay Wildeboor won’t be surprised if Barnes leaps to No. 1 in the final player ratings of the Class of 2010.
“He can shoot the three-pointer, has a mid-range game and is aggressive getting to the basket. He’s the cream of the crop in this class, a guy who has it all. He’s as gifted as anybody in this class,” Wildeboor said.
Barnes also will play at 10:20 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. Saturday at Ambler Center on KU’s campus. Woolridge, a 6-3 guard from Phoenix Sunnyslope High, also will play at 8 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. Saturday at Lawrence High.
Kansas City Pump N Run, which features Trevor Releford, the 5-10 brother of KU’s Travis Releford, will play at 8:20 p.m. today at Haskell, and 11:30 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. Saturday at Lawrence High.
Bradley Beal, 6-3 from Chaminade High in St. Louis, will be playing for the St. Louis Eagles 16 and under team at 8:20 p.m. today at Robinson; 9:10 a.m. Saturday at Robinson and 4:10 p.m. Saturday at Haskell. Beal is considering KU, Missouri, Illinois and others.
Schedules of the 15, 16 and 17 age group divisions are available at Jayhawkinvitational.com. Ticket prices are $5 today, $7 Saturday and Sunday. A tournament pass costs $12.
Some other players to watch this weekend include: Isaiah Jones and Michael Haynes, Illinois Bobcats; Bryce Jones, Richard Solomon and Alan Crabbe, Compton Magic Black; Jahi Carson, Damiene Cain, Gelaun Wheelwright, Gabe York, Compton Magic Elite; Isaiah Austin and Rickey Roberts, Team Texas and Ishmael Washington and Benny Parker, KC Cowboys.