Originally published April 27, 2011 at 12:00a.m., updated April 27, 2011 at 01:09p.m.

Pair of KU basketball targets to display talents in Lawrence



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Two of the top high school basketball players in the recruiting Class of 2012, who both have Kansas University on their list of prospective colleges, will meet in the marquee pool play game of the 2011 Jayhawk Invitational at 7:20 p.m., Friday, at Haskell’s Coffin Complex.

Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High, will lead Dream Vision against Perry Ellis’ Pray and Play Players.

Ellis, a 6-8 forward from Wichita Heights, is’s No. 19-rated player nationally who has a list of KU, Kentucky, Memphis, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Wichita State.

Muhammad, the No. 3-rated player in the class, has a list of KU, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Texas, UCLA, UNLV, Arizona, USC and many others.

Ellis will also play pool play invitational games at 9:10 a.m., Saturday, at Lawrence High’s main gym and 3 p.m., Saturday, at Central Junior High.

Dream Vision, which also features KU targets Winston Shepard (6-8, Findlay Prep High, Henderon, Nev.) and Robert Upshaw (6-11, Edison High, Fresno, Calif.), will also play at 10:20 a.m., Saturday at LHS main gym and 1:50 p.m., Saturday at LHS auxiliary gym. Shepard is ranked No. 36 and Upshaw No. 111 by

The Compton Magic, who have three players on KU’s wish list, will meet the SYF Players at 9:40 p.m., Friday at Haskell. Those players are: Nino Jackson, 6-2, from Ardmore (Okla.) High School, who is ranked No. 38; Gabe York, 6-2 from Lutheran High in Orange, Calif., who is ranked No. 41 and Tony Parker, 6-9 from Miller Grove High in Lithonia, Ga., who is ranked No. 64. The Magic will also play at 11:30 a.m., Saturday at LHS main gym and 4:10 p.m., Saturday at LHS auxiliary gym.

The SYF Players have KU targets in Mitch McGary, 6-10 from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., who is ranked No. 92, and Glenn Robinson III, 6-5 from Lake Central High in St. John, Ind., who is ranked No. 118. The SYF Players will also play at 12:40 p.m., and 4:10 p.m., Saturday both at LHS main gym.

KU target Marcus Smart, the No. 22-rated player in the Class of 2012, will be playing for the Texas Assault at 9:40 p.m., Friday at Southwest Junior High, 10:20 a.m., Saturday at Southwest and 3 p.m., Saturday, at Haskell. Smart is 6-4 from Marcus High in Flower Mound, Texas.

Chris Thomas, the No. 4-ranked player in the Class of 2013, who has KU on his list, will play for the Colorado Hawks at 8:30 p.m., Friday at Haskell; 9:10 a.m., Saturday at LHS auxiliary; and 4:10 p.m., Saturday at Central Junior High. Thomas is 6-4 out of Westwind Prep International High in Phoenix.

More information on the tournament will be available this week. The official website is

• A previous version of this story was updated.


Marc Frey 10 years, 9 months ago

Yes, made news here in Milwaukee last month

Jesse Newell 10 years, 9 months ago

Yep, you're right. The story has been fixed above.

Jayhawklegacy 10 years, 9 months ago

Were not messing around on recruiting in the class of 2012. Really hope Ellis decides on Ku I think he will. If Ellis picks Kentucky, my Calapari hate meter will probably bust. Long time from now to 2012 season, some of these kids will change their minds 30 times from now to then. It looks like a really good class though!!!!

Michael Auchard 10 years, 9 months ago

We weren't messing around this year either. Yet they all said no. This should have been an amazing recruiting year for us, but we got unlucky... I guess. The lesson I learned is, "Don't count your Jayhawks before they're hatched."

REHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Article reads like much more than just a PAIR of targets. If I were one of several recruits mentioned here I might look with disfavor at the heading. What a group of young stars coming to Lawrence for this tournament!

Kevin Huffman 10 years, 9 months ago

Something tells me that Muhammad goes to 'Zona. They've been getting those highly-touted Western recruits lately.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 9 months ago

really? the kid comes across as a UNC guard to me.

Irregardless i don't thing comes to KU

benshawks08 10 years, 9 months ago

Irregardless is not a word. Just say regardless because it means what you are trying to say. Sorry, English Teacher pet peeve!

Joe Templeton 10 years, 9 months ago

Perry Ellis is a must get IMO. Just think of all the smack that coach Cal will be talking on the recruiting trail to all the top recruits if he pulls Ellis out of our backyard. To be completely honest I see us as an underdog in the Race for Ellis. Home state or not kids these days get to see all of the top programs every week so there are not the surprises there used to be.

Robert Brock 10 years, 9 months ago

Tokoto is not a KU target. He committed long ago to North Carolina.

Tim Orel 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm thinking there's less chance of a one-and-done player in this class, simply because many stars are putting off their entry into the draft until next year, after the NBA situation is worked out. Therefore, even if they're at the top of the class, like Muhammed, a get like him might still be able to be around for a couple of years of Self-ball and Hudy-izing. I admit I don't know anything about the young man, his interest in school, or anything else pertinent. Still, there may even be an agreement for changing the length of time required for being in college, so we might have them for awhile.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

Self really can't recruit. Why hasn't he already signed all of these players?

kwahyajjj 10 years, 9 months ago

Apparently none of the other coaches can recruit either if they are still available.

kwahyajjj 10 years, 9 months ago

Exactly, and they're still available so there are no successful recruiters. You are flawed.

10 years, 9 months ago

Something tells me selfishhawk, KULA, and theend have some unique and valuable insight regarding this glaring deficiency.

10 years, 9 months ago

Duly noted ralster, however I was attempting to exclude obvious trolls in an effort to avoid feeding them. Still, I may have been remiss to not include some who post brilliant auguries such as:

“Irregardless i don't thing comes to KU”

KULA 10 years, 9 months ago

txrock, since you asked, I'll just say that recruiting is the least of Bill Self's "deficiencies" that I'm worried about.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 9 months ago

I've been up all night finishing a design for the next generation of naval long range radar.

forgive me if my typing isn't top notch at the moment.

does putting people down on message boards make you feel better about yourself?

10 years, 9 months ago

Apologies, bennybob. Just having a little fun with the posters on here on an otherwise slow news day :^)

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

HawkKlaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Xavier, Arthur, Rush, Chalmers, Robinson, Collins, Julian, Marcus, Markieff, TRob, Tyshawn...

The guy clearly has problems getting decent players to come to KU.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

I'll recognize your sarcasm if you recognize mine!

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

He started out on fire but I think must would agree he has cooled off somewhat.

HawkKlaw 10 years, 9 months ago

I would strongly disagree. Of the 11 I named above (just off the top of my head), 5 came after the National Championship. Self is doing just fine. Not to mention Selby who, at the time we signed him, appeared to be the best recruit Self ever signed. It didn't work out, but not because of Self's recruiting ability.

John Randall 10 years, 9 months ago

These are kids in class of 2012,'13 – and most of them have found that the recruiting scene is lots more fun than the committed scene.

At least half of the top 100 for any year will be outranked by later developers at this time next year, and many of the other half will be overtaken during their first year in Div I.

The most important thing about recruiting is the ability to judge attitudes, with talent being a distant second. The orientation of the head is what can tell you which players want to keep improving as opposed to those who just want glory and recognition for what they think they already are.

John Randall 10 years, 9 months ago

These are the two facing each other in this particular game. Each game could give a pretty good pair (or more) for its own headline.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 9 months ago

Some bad news on the Daniels front.

It appears that Alex Murphy is going to redshirt his first year at Duke, thus the Blue Devils have jumped into a big lead to land DD who would be able to play right away.

It ain't over till it's over but it's looking more and more like Lacey to UK, Daniels to Duke, Aaric Murray to West Virginia and Traylor to OSU or Texas Tech.

Of course, when it comes to 18 year olds deciding where they are going, anything is possible, but right now it's looking a bit grim from the Jayhawk standpoint.

Looking at the glass half full, we'll have a boatload of schollies for the outstanding class of 2012!!

[For what it's worth the sources include, cbssports and the checkout girl at Station 12 at the Walmart in Lemay, Missouri!!]

bradynsdad 10 years, 9 months ago

The check out girl comment had me cracking up. That seems to be where everyone gets there information. Even if a kid does commit that doesn't mean it's always over, see Terrence jones. I guess I am looking at the three position on our team. I know we have releford who will probably start, but I look at Ty, Elijah, mclmore, and tharpe to play the one and two. Anderson may play some three but I would think with lack of depth they will be wanting him to backup the four spot. It just seems to me Daniels would get just as much time here as he would duke. What do you think?

hawksfan08 10 years, 9 months ago

McLemore is more likely to play the 3 than the 2. With a rotation of ej tyshawn and tharpe at the 1/2. Unfortunately I see Releford getting relegated to out of position inside duty this year due to being absurdly thin up front.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 9 months ago

I totally agree with you, bradynsdad...I think by game one, Daniels is starting for Kansas and, as hawksfan08 has so succinctly pointed out, I do think because of his reach and quickness, Travis may be sent in to fight the tall trees.

It appears, with the current roster, we are putting alot on the shoulders of Jeff and Braeden to help bang with TRob. I wish we could get one more wide body!!!

Jack Wilson 10 years, 9 months ago

Oakville: Thank you for the wonderful news today. Always appreciate such info. Curious if the checkout girl was a hottie, or the typical Missouri alternative (no offense, Oakville). You know, 30 pounds extra pounds on the hips and backside, smoker's cough, a nice heaping of makeup, lots of curse words, fake blonde hair with lots of black in the roots, odd smell that you can't, or don't want to, pinpoint the source .. you know what I mean.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 9 months ago

She had all her teeth...that's more than I can say for the vast majority of the customers!! :)

AverageCitizen 10 years, 9 months ago


Too much baggage on Murray. Didn't want, no loss.

Murphy may redshirt at Duke but Daniels won't know until October..too late for Daniels to change his mind so Alex could still be competition for DD.

Lacey hasn't even seen us yet. You might lean toward a date with a pretty girl until you take a look at the other gorgeous girl behind door #3!

Oh, you naysayers!!!!!!!

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

For those interested in reading the link about Daniels and Murphy here it is. I wouldn't say it's the big gap that oakville is leading it to believe, but then again it doesn't help with all the ties between IMG and Duke.

hawksforlife 10 years, 9 months ago

dang. hope this is just speculation about Daniels & Duke. He could help us a lot next yer.

drwho127 10 years, 9 months ago

I like when Traylor states that what he wants from the coach "is a homesetting, someone who cares about him on and off that court and can relate to." Coach Self truly cares about all his players and provides a home environment at KU. FOE! You could see how Self handled that Robinson situation. Another notable thing is that TRob hosted him. Traylor is TRob's prototype. Traylor is couple inches shorter and lighter but they have similar styles of play. Overall, the potential upside is sky high! Come on down J.Tray!!

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Not to contradict Oakville's assumption of Lacey to UK, but it sounds like Lacey will be visiting KU this weekend, according to Mascott at theshiver.

drwho127 10 years, 9 months ago

Yeah..rivals also stated that Lacey will be in Lawrence this weekend visiting. Wonder which player will host him? Tyshawn?

For 2012 recruits, Gabe York is playing this weekend in the Jayhawk Invititational..I dont know how much energy you could have to take an "unofficial visit to KU" while you are playing in a tournament. But when you get a chance to visit KU as a recruit, how could you possibly turn that opportunity down..I wouldnt!! Shabazz seems like he will stay in the west coast. However, I hope we can get this kid and Ellis. We better not lose Ellis to UK. I will be fine if he stays home at WSU, but it will be a "SHOCKER" :)

NWjayhawk20 10 years, 9 months ago

I don't see any scenario where we lose out on ALL of those recruits. We have the most important thing to new recruits, PT, especially for the bigs. Also, with Lamb staying at Kentucky, I would think that would push Lacey to between us and 'Bama. Daniels is a tough one, anyone that says they know anything about him at this point is probably going off speculation because he has been a done deal to like three different schools and still hasn't committed anywhere so we will see with him. Murray doesn't help us now and with the loaded 2012 class, I don't see him as a major priority. Traylor would be a nice addition of athleticism and quickness to compliment our front line, but he is still a second tier addition IMO. Only time will tell, Bill Self will work his late-period magic like always! RCJHGKU!

HawkKlaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Its amazing that he's had all those grand slams and never won the world series. Maybe he's avoiding winning it all so he doesn't have to vacate it the following year.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

I bet you Calipari pulls out the silver sequence jacket when he rolls into his recruits home. I think this 7 minute video pretty much sums up Calipari as a whole.

Have to love Steve Martin and Leap of Faith

HawkBBall 10 years, 9 months ago

Martin has too much hair and not enough grease.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

Cal = best recruiter hands down, best coach..not even close.

HawkKlaw 10 years, 9 months ago

What's with the headline of this article??? "Pair" implies two...there will clearly be more than two KU targets there. I realize other people have commented on this, and I'm no expert journalist, but c'mon now!

Jack Wilson 10 years, 9 months ago

Kushaw .. thanks for the info. NWjayhawk .. the only "big" recruits left are Daniels and Lacey .. that we're pursuing. Like your optimism, though. Hope you're right.

Looking at our class: McLemore #34 rivals/#54 scout, Tharpe #92 rivals/#81 scout; Anderson .. not ranked in either.

Noted that Traylor was #141 in rivals, but not ranked in scout (they only go to 100). Clearly not a top guy, but a "best available" body.

I've heard some here say "rankings don't matter." As most of you know when looking at performance, a great, great majority of the time, rankings do matter. The rankings are incredibly good as a whole. And our class is subpar right now. Our top guy is #34 at best, #54 at worst? Our next guy is #81 at best, # 92 at worst? Yikes.

If you read the Bilas article at ESPN (insider) today, it references teams keeping guys and having excellent classes coming in .. Syracuse, UNC, etc. I have made the excuse that the twins and Selby clogged up our recruiting for top guys, but an astute poster here noted on another thread that other top schools didn't have that problem. Looks like a tough recruiting year.

Let's hope for the rabbit to be pulled out of the hat.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

I've noticed that the rankings are held in higher regard when we land a top 5 class..

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

jaybate's Italian Recruiting Diary:

Fuicimo Airport--no basketball prospects here, but jet lag maybe impairing judgement

Car Rental kiosk--the sultry Cinzia a definite candidate for cheerleader in Felliniesque jaybate's "City of Basketball Women." Rent Felliniesque Citroen Picasso C4 Diesel instead of desired Alfa Romeo. More headroom for tall recruits.

Lost in Roma suburb looking for bank to get Euros. Three banks tried had no 6'8" 245 lb tellers wanting to work with Manning.

Take pee break on A1 at Autogrill. Reminds me of same on Chicagoland tollway. Accidentally get stuck in truckers parking lot. Drive wrong way to get into car parking lot. On-coming Semi nearly rams me. No plug'n'play PGs in Autogrill. Very bad slice of cheese pizza.

Lost in Napoli waterfront when A1 suddenly branches unexpectedly into A2 and A3 and I take centro exit looking for A1. Feels like accidentally exiting into East St. Louis. Many XTReme Neapolitan longshoreman types willing to come to Lawrence and play grind it out with stilletos. U-turn over cobblestones perhaps laid by Ancient Greeks.

Lost in Sorrento and not caring about being lost. It is a magnificent coastal town with hundreds of PG prospects in Smart4Twos and Fiat Pandas. Saw Mugsy Bogues on a Vespa carrying a lemon the size of a shot put. Offered him a scholie to come back and play under the name of Sonny Corleone, but he declined, saying he had married a Siren and was set for life as a Sorrentine.

Swam on roof top pool at midnight looking at outline of Vesuvius and thought of recruiting it to play hi-lo with Mt. Oread. Got lost in Felliniesque stairway coming down from pool.

Decided to download map of Italy for GPS.

Fell asleep on balcony. Dreamed of finding next great post man at Paestrum ruins tomorrow. Not a bad first day of recruiting considering jet lag and being lost most of time.

dynamitehawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Not bad Batimus Maximus..

I've actually driven an Alpha Romeo up the A1 stopping frequently until Genoa then Returning to Rome... in '07.

I would recommend staying in Grosseto on your way out of Rome (if that's where you are returning to America... wait... you live in another dimension and type through John Malkovich's brain in "our world".... dang. Regardless, if you are flying out of Rome and need a place to stay on your way back to the Naismith dimension of brilliance and boardrat leadership, this place is in a quiet suburb, and quick drive in to FCO:

Otherwise have a great Holiday.


Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

Not much happening here. They've run Self out of town because he can't recruit anymore. Manning took over, but has signed no one after one day, so the alumni base is getting restless. They've scheduled a fight between the football and basketball teams as the warmup to graduation, sans Taylor, he's suspended from fighting for fighting. They brought back Lew Perkins for one last Kansas Relays. They let him participate in the javelin competition, he elected to receive. They invited Bob Dole to throw out the 1st pitch at the KU-Texas game, were later to embarrassed to learn his arm doesn't work because of his old war injury. Turner Gill has gained 50 pounds realizing he needs to look more like Mangino if he wants to coach like him. And I've got way too much time on my hands! Have fun in Italy.

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 9 months ago

Iowa and Wake?!?!?! Laughable!!! Those two options sum it up as far as their potential.

Brian Powell 10 years, 9 months ago

hey, offtopic a bit.. but I'd REALLY love to watch some Jayhawks in the NBA playoffs, but my only option is to stream the new ESPN app... and I don't have a TimeWarner, Brighthouse, or Verizon login.

Would anyone help a brother out!?

I'm on Comcast for internet and I don't know if they will ever get added :(

powell365 (at)

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

I have Comcast and every game (I think) has been televised. I'm in NY just above NYC. ESPN 573 and CBS 571 have covered some games. Guess that didn't help much

Brian Powell 10 years, 9 months ago

thanks for the reply.. I just have Comcast for internet and phone. Not cable :\

AZHawk72 10 years, 9 months ago

As far as Lacey and Alabama go...

...they've already signed a shooting guard ranked higher than him and from Alabama, no less. I guess he could go there and defend his player-of-the-year honor, but I don't think so. It is ironic that there's a Releford at both ends of his decision. It looks to me like Calipari has played him as a fall back if his "master plan" didn't work out, and I think the young man is wise enough (or at least his father is) to recogize when he's being "played." As far as Daniels goes, forget him. Unless he has some freaky overnight dream like a former Jayhawk from Texas, he should be headed back to his original destination now that Hamilton has signed with an agent.

To all who feel "yo, hold back because 2012's crop looks better," I dig your long-range plan. So what if Withey bounces the ball off his feet and steps out-of-bounds a bit too much--'Kief did it the whole game and had 8 turnovers to boot--has anyone checked the record book for turnovers by a power forward? Probably not.

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