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Friday, October 30, 2009

No. 1 recruit visiting Kansas

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Brandon Knight, the No. 1-ranked high school basketball player in the recruiting Class of 2010, will be making his official campus visit to Kansas University today through Sunday morning.

Knight, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior point guard from Pine Crest High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., already has visited Kentucky and Connecticut and also has Florida, Miami and Syracuse on his list.

“Brandon is not only an elite player, but above all else a complete player,” analyst Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com said of Knight, who averaged 31.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists a game in leading Pine Crest to its second straight Florida Class 3A state title last March.

“It doesn’t matter if he is scoring 30 points or three points, he gets it done. He has the ability to shoot the basketball, has great vision and awareness and gets to the basket. He is just as impressive on the defensive end of the court,” Wildeboor added. “He’s considered, without question, an elite defender and plays with a lot of energy and passion. Not many players, if any, are as competitive as Knight.”

Knight last spring became just the third junior in history to be named Gatorade’s national boys basketball player of the year. The other two: LeBron James and Greg Oden.

“Brandon Knight might not be a freak athlete like the top point guards before him, but he possesses a complete game of an elite nature,” writes Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com. “His physical strength and tight ball-handling get him wherever he needs to be on the court. And his shooting skill and court vision allow him to consistently finish plays. On the other side of the ball, he is an elite defender who more than adequately rebounds his position. Top off all of this with high level of competitiveness, and you have the top prospect in the country.”

Knight had one of the best games in Florida state tournament history last March. He scored 52 points — 27 in the fourth quarter — in a 78-71 victory over Miami LaSalle in the regional finals. He had 27 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a 60-44 state title victory over Orlando’s Jones High.

“Brandon Knight doesn’t just play basketball. Brandon Knight competes in basketball and everything else he does,” Pine Crest High coach David Beckerman told the Miami Herald.

The Herald reports that Knight “has also made time to mentor youth at the New Ark Covenant Church in Hialeah and serve as a peer tutor at Pine Crest.”

Knight has already set some goals for his college career.

“Just be a leader, a guy who can run the team and try to be the coach on the floor,” he told Zagsblog.net.

As to when he’ll pick a school ... it could be in November or could be in April.

“If I find the right fit, then I'm going to go ahead and get it over with. I don’t want to hold up any of the schools. I want to be respectful to them if I’m not going to go there. Sometimes a no is as good as a yes, so they can do the recruiting they need to do,” Knight told Rivals.com.

Of the decision-making process, he said: “I want to go where the coaches respect the players and treat them right but also push them to get better.”

He knows a lot about KU’s program. “I enjoyed my in-home visit with coach (Bill) Self and I’m looking forward to taking a visit to Kansas,” he said.

Comments

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

There will be an ample supporting cast next year, pretty much regardless of who leaves early in April, but the 1 is all yours Brandon. As Jaybate has astutely pointed out recently, all the other perimeter players are at best 2's that can handle the ball - much like RR and Mario. Brandon is a 1 that can shoot - just like Sherron, and Sherron was and is the difference maker. We can survive without Brandon, but to thrive we need him (or another elite PG).

LA_hawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like a good kid with a good head on his shoulders. Would love to have that type wearing Kansas across his chest. However I completely disagree with dagger, RR was not a 2 playing the 1, a 2 is a shooting guard. RR was NOT a shooter, but he was a great floor general who ran the team exceptionally well.

KULA 10 years, 3 months ago

I'm with you, LA hawk. The only time RR would be considered a 2 is if Sherron's on the court at the same time. Love what RR brought to the Hawks, though. Wish he coulda caught on with an NBA team. Knight sounds like an all around good kid. Just can't picture someone like that playing for Cal. We'd all love to see him at KU, but it's hard to think about the future when I think about this year's team. Seriously, the best point guard at Kansas, EVER. The best true center since Wilt, a 3-man who'd be playing in the NBA right now if he could, and hardly any drop off at the 2 & 4. God D---! The 'Hawks are gonna be able to hang 20 pts on you from any position! The future will take care of itself. Savor this, fellas. This could be the best Kansas team ever.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

Not sure where else to post this.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4587371

It's a nice blurb on Sherron, and well worth the time.

LA - I'd agree that RR was not much of a shooter by the time he left KU, but only because he had completely neglected his shot in trying to become the PG that we needed. He most certainly was a 2 in HS and when he came to KU. He tried to be a 1, to the detriment of his O, but he was still no different than TT or EJ when he got to KU.

Firebirdguy31 10 years, 3 months ago

Brandon Knight is KU material. A complete all around person. Go watch some of his interviews on YouTube, a true class act! We need him, we want him. Self is awesome at turning out good NBA guards. ie. Dee Brown, Luther Head, Deron Williams, Mario Chalmers, and future Sherron Collins. Hopefully Brandon will see that KU is the place for him this weekend. One thing is for sure, no school will treat him better than KU. Join the team Brandon!

chalmers2wright 10 years, 3 months ago

Yea RussRob was actually known as a high level scorer coming out of high school, but he saw that we needed a point guard and put his own interests aside to be whatever the team needed. That's one of the reasons he is one of my favorite jayhawks. Russ is the man...too bad no NBA team will see that in him.

On the subject of Brandon Knight: Couldn't want this kid more than I already do. He is a Kansas type player hands down. How could the top defensive player in the country not want to play basketball for not only one of the best Coaches in the country but also one who stresses defense over all else. When he described the type of school he wanted to go to it practically spelled out Kansas to me. Respectful to the players and treats them right. Check (Djax pretty much considers Self to be his surrogate father). Pushes players to be their best. Check (Jackson, Kaun, Rush, Cole, and even Mario and Arthur were pushed pretty hard while they were here and now 4 of the 6 are in the NBA the other is on his way and Kaun is making millions in Russia.)

P.S. Love that he realizes that there are two sides to recruiting and that stringing along schools he knows he won't be attending is doing nothing for him and hurting that school by keeping them from getting on with their recruiting.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

LA - I'd also have to say that your (appropriate) appreciation for RR clouds your evaluation of him as a PG/1. If "exceptional" & "great" were accurate for his PG abilities (running the O/his D was great), he would not have been sitting late in games while a soph ran the team. RR was a very good floor general, ran the team well, and represented it exceptionally well, but he was not an elite 1. He was a 2 trying to fulfill the role of a 1.

TT & EJ could do the same thing next year, or they could be another Mario if we get another Sherron; a true, elite 1 like Brandon.

Robert Brock 10 years, 3 months ago

Knight is good-quality combo but he is not the top player in the 2010 class. The top player attended Late Night in the Phog.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Brock - Collins was ranked no. 21 in his class in 2006 if I remember correctly. Now he's argued by many to be the best guard in KU history. Quite a feat. I believe it has quite a bit to do with the coaching staff.

Knight - call Kansas home.

Ignorant_Yokel 10 years, 3 months ago

Knight also has a 4.0 gpa. Yale even recruited Knight because he (surprisingly) met their admissions standards.

okjhok 10 years, 3 months ago

Why is that surprising? Thousands of kids meet their admissions standards.

Joel Hood 10 years, 3 months ago

okjhok - I took I_Y's comment to mean that it is tough for most people to meet Ivy League academic standards. It is remarkable that a kid who devotes that much time to hoops would have the exceptional grades, credentials, and time to be Ivy League material. That's just how I read his comment - I could be wrong.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 3 months ago

Brandon stated: “If I find the right fit, then I'm going to go ahead and get it over with. I don’t want to hold up any of the schools. I want to be respectful to them if I’m not going to go there. Sometimes a no is as good as a yes, so they can do the recruiting they need to do,” Knight told Rivals.com. He has already visited Kentucky and UConn. It sounds like they are not the right fit or he would had committed. Maybe I'm reading in to it too much. I do know that he won't find better facilities, better fans, or a better opportunity to win a National Championship than here at KU. Welcome to Lawrence, Brandon. We'd love to have you here.

100 10 years, 3 months ago

We look forward to meeting you, Brandon.

All you need to see is in that fieldhouse -- that's where you'll be presented your ring someday & that's also where the best player in the history of the NBA learned to play basketball.

"The House that Wilt Built"

Rock Chalk, Brandon

Jaminrawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Well, if he is an elite defender, then he needs to look no firther than KU. All Bill needs to do is tell him how players that play defense get on the floor and he'd have to understand he'll start next season at the point. Collins is gone, and Taylor (who could leave too) and EJ are really 2-guards. He'd pretty much have the starting PG spot from day one surrounded by a still super talented team. Heck, imagine if he and Harrison Barnes commit ...

Joe Baker 10 years, 3 months ago

Follow the Phog Brandon. It leads to greatness!

RCJHKU

5a5quatch 10 years, 3 months ago

Knight is a natural fit for KU. I watched him play once on TV, and he seemed to really enjoy playing defense. Sounds like a smart kid, too. Hope he has a great visit, and sees that crimson and blue is the right fit for him.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 3 months ago

CWGOKU

Actually, I have always thought that a football game was more of a distraction than an advantage but of all the recruits who have or will come to KU, Brandon appears to be the least effected by a "quiet weekend'.

It's like going to a movie on a first date...you spend 2 i/2 hours sitting next to each other and not saying a word. This way, he will have the full attention of the coaching staff, the trainers, the academic advisers but, most importantly, his future teammates.

Also, I do not believe that it is total coincidence that he is in town as the lone recruit. I know there were legitimate reasons for his timing but this kid is very, very sharp and what better way to evaluate a school then to be able to focus. He is true Jayhhawk material and could step in a run the offense next year.

Point guard and center.....those should be the top priorities.

Brandon, if you read this site just know that once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk and it's a very, very good thing to be.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 3 months ago

Oh, by the way, nice timing having the young man come into Lawrence the days that KU is tabbed as the overwhelming Preseason #1 pick. Yucktucky and UCan't cannot match that!!!

Just asking for input but if Brandon does pass on KU, will that open the door for Selby??

If Brandon does come does Harrison follow?

With Payne going green...is there any chance Condor stays for a fourth season???

Steve Brown 10 years, 3 months ago

Brandon, why do you suppose a number of ex NBA players make Lawrence their home? Certainly they can afford to live anywhere. Perhaps it affords them great memories of their amature playing days and something else, it is real.

Seems more like a dream or a movie, yet it is real. Regular place with unpretentious folks that are in the cradle of basketball.

KANSAS has a record and HCBS has a record and that combination offers recruits extraordinary confidence that this is a place where dreams may come true.

Few are called to wear the Crimson & Blue. If you are offered an invitation then thank you for your consideration.

Ryan Mullen 10 years, 3 months ago

lighthawk,

"Few are called to wear the Crimson & Blue. If you are offered an invitation then thank you for your consideration".

I thought you were going to make that a Marine pun. Like the few the proud the Crimson and blue. Or the few the proud the Jayhawk champion. Or the few the proud the Rock Chalk Nation.

LA_hawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Dagger- I agree RR was not an elite 1, but I do think he was as good of a non-scoring point guard as you can get. The reason he sat late in some games in favor of Sherron wasn't because of his lack of point guard abilities, it was because we needed more of a scoring threat late in those paticular games, and obviously Sherron provided that. I still see the 1 as his more natural position though because the 2 has to be more of a scorer, and he was definitely better at defense and running the O than scoring. But Brandon absolutely would be an elite 1, hope we get him!

RCJH!

MNHawk23 10 years, 3 months ago

if Knight commits we might have one of the best defensive team in history next year. Knight to shut down the other teams top gaurd. Tyshawn also has some great defensive potential and down low Withey and TRob both averaged over 5 blocks a game their senior year. In fact withey was at like 8 bpg, he had like 11 or 12 triple doubles with blocks. plus with those 2 rebounding teams would almost never get 2nd chance points. I hope knight comes to KU, he seems like an absolute perfect fit

Steve Brown 10 years, 3 months ago

the few the proud the crimson and the blue.

thanks inmullen

esteshawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Collins is a great player, but not the best guard in KU history. Look back over history, and there are many All-America guards: Dutch Longberg, Fred Pralle, Charlie Black, Paul Endacott, Ray Evans, Jo Jo White, Darnell Valentine, J. Vaughn, and Brandon Rush (not to mention Chalmers - oh wait, just did). Collins is an amazing ball-handler and tough as nails, but his shot is not strong enough to be considered "greatest guard of all time." Not to disrepect his skills, it's just tough to be the best when there is a 110 years of greatness to compare to.

Cole is probably the best center since Wilt, with apologies to Dreiling :-o

100 10 years, 3 months ago

If we go 40-0 & he gets his second ring he'll be the best guard in the history of college basketball.

Priest Fontaine 10 years, 3 months ago

esteshawk -

you may be right about collins for now, but if he wins his 2nd championship and has a season like last year or better? you would have to give him that title!

Knight, you belong at KU. You sound like a true champion all around! Barnes and Knight - come to Kansas and make some history together!!

next year's starting lineup:

1-Knight 2-T Taylor 3-Barnes 4-T-Rob 5-Withey

with a loaded bench!

=championship (repeat)

Lance Hobson 10 years, 3 months ago

Man, this guy looks great in every way. We may even be able to understand his Facebook posts.

kansasbasketball 10 years, 3 months ago

the only thing i am worried about (next year) is are back ups for are post after whitey and trob? morris twins are the only other ones this year unless cole returns which i don't see that happening if he has a good year this year!

thoughts??

Priest Fontaine 10 years, 3 months ago

Morris twins as Juniors and even bigger and jumping higher - it could be worse. would have been nice to land payne but you can't have em' all. Sounds like Knight is pretty good on the boards as well as 6'8 barnes. we should be pretty good regardless. and also, if mario little redshirts this year (and he should), we will have his strength and experience in there to bang around as well.

Sherronimo 10 years, 3 months ago

Knight or Selby??? We're getting one. Either way we have a freshman at the 1 next year. Selby probably a two year guy. Unless of course Elijah develops under Sherron more than we'll know. At the minimum, we are set for great competition for next year, but until then...... 09/10 is here!!!

lee3022 10 years, 3 months ago

I want to add a comment about coaching style. The two coaches on Brandon's list who emphasize defense are Coach Self and Coach Boeheim. Coach Self teaches man-to-man principles and demands full defensive focus to play. Coach Boeheim teaches zone defense and is an ancknowldeged master at this style. In the NBA man-to-man defense is the standard with some zone thrown in as a changeup.

Coach Self's players have found great success in the NBA with noted defense as well as being complete players. Mario would never be starting alongside of Dwyane Wade in Miami as a rookie and now a sophomore without that defense. He led all rookies in steals last year and was was tied for third in the entire NBA behind Wade and CP3. But Mario was not the only one. Brandon Rush is starting this year for Indiana as a noted wing defender, Julian right is starting this year for New Orleans as a gifted defender. Deron Williams (recruited by and coached by Bill Self for his first two years) was second in assists in the NBA last year in Utah and is known around the league for his tenacious defense.

There are many fine schools available to Brandon and he is right to look for the perfect fit. My hope is that he sees his education equally as important as his game and gets his degree from the school of his choice. Naturally, as a graduate of KU, I can recommend Kansas for that reason alone. My education has served me well for the past 42 years and I have never regretting traveling from Oregon to study and grow as a person at KU. One big factor shaping who I am is the character of Kansas people I encountered in school here. I could not have asked for a better all-around environment.

Billy Derringer 10 years, 3 months ago

i know this may sound dumb or even out of this world,--but what if HCBS is not really going full board for a big man cause cole has told him that he is 80 percent sure that he is coming back next year and collage is his place to be, maybe cole wants to be the number 1 pick after leaving his senior season--if he grows like he did last year the next 2 years without doubt he would be.....sounds crazy to say but cole still has things to learn--and maybe he is just smart enough to know this as well to know that the nba money will always be there but, a chance to be a collage stud on and off the court only has a window of 4 years.......well just a thought

okiedave 10 years, 3 months ago

derringer29: Nice thought, but if you are a 1st round draft pick you have to go and not take the chance of an injury the following year that deflates your stock. It is hard to improve on a 1st round pick, by sticking it out another year. What is the difference between an NBA stud and a college stud? Answer: About $2,000,000.00 every year.

kansasbasketball 10 years, 3 months ago

but if he did get injured he could get a medical redshirt and come back for his 5th year!

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Saturday Incendiaries:

} derringer29: your hunch about it sounding dumb is spot on. Coach Self was quoted in the LJW, when Cole announced his return, that, barring injury, this will be Cole's last season.

} Regarding Knight: If he has a 4.0, is a great defender, and a pro-bound PG, where else can he trust his game and intelligence to develop than at KU, or Dook? Lots of places offer game, or brain, but not both. And Dook is such a newcomer to basketball.

} Baja KU aka UNC doesn't play D, so Sacrificial Mound, No'th Carlina, don't seem tuh fit fer Knight. Besides, growin' up in Flo'ida, Brandon has probably had about enough of his last name being drawled out as Brandon Knat.

} Brandon Knight, please compare playing guard for Self and for Roy. Note: Self's top guards do very well in the NBA. Roy's don't, except for Hinrich, who was never really the kind of guard Roy typically recruited (see Vaughn and Boshee et al at KU, then watch his UNC guards fall of the radar screen in the L). Welcome to the Father of All Basketball Programs. You will wear the number 7. You will have good luck, great coaching, superb teammates, and the love and respect of jayhawk nation. 100 will ensure that you and Barnes will bring a second undefeated championship season to KU, after this year's.

} Anyone heard how Lance "Born 'Natti" Stephenson is doing? His deflation in desirability remains one of the strangest recruiting cases I can recall.

} Word out of Columbia is that Mike Anderson, a fairly fastidious and snappy dresser himself, has asked Missouri's chancellor to have the The Antlers sprayed with a delousing agent before entering MU's field house.

Firebirdguy31 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm not exactly sure how to comment after that one...?

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