Monday, June 3, 2013

Chicago prep Matthews considers KU


New Kansas University basketball assistant coach Jerrance Howard’s connections in Chicago might be paying off in recruiting already.

Recruiting analyst Scott Phillips of reports that Charles Matthews, a 6-foot-4 junior-to-be from Chicago’s St. Rita High, has recently “been in touch” with coaches from KU, Kentucky and Michigan State. He told he has offers from DePaul, Illinois, Wisconsin, and SMU.

Remember, Howard was an assistant at SMU prior to taking over for Joe Dooley at KU. A native of Peoria, Howard has ties in Chicago after attending the University of Illinois.

“SMU has already offered me. I talk with coach Jerrance Howard and head coach Larry Brown. It’s a good relationship because coach Jerrance coached at Illinois, which I know a lot about. My dad really likes coach Brown a lot,” Matthews, who is ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2015, told on May 15.

KU is also in the hunt for top-ranked senior Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10 center from Chicago’s Whitney Young, who has a final eight of KU, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Arizona, Duke and Baylor.

No. 5-ranked Cliff Alexander, 6-8 senior from Chicago Curie, at one point was considering KU. It should be interesting to see if KU ultimately secures a campus visit from Alexander now that Howard is on board.

Nets, Knicks to look at Withey: Former KU center Jeff Withey, who is from San Diego, might wind up playing NBA basketball on the East Coast. Both the New York Knicks, who pick 24th in the June 27 Draft, and Brooklyn Nets (22) will work out Withey in coming days.

Both teams are in the market for a backup big man.

“Mike Woodson (Knicks coach) is very defensive-oriented, and Jeff is going to protect that rim,” Withey’s agent, Darren Matsubara, told “I think he will show some people a little bit that he can shoot from the perimeter, but that wasn’t what he had to do when he was at Kansas.

“I’ve known Mike for a while now and (Knicks) could be a pretty good fit,” Matsubara added. “He’s someone that could maybe step in there and give Tyson (Chandler) a breather when he needs it.”

Withey averaged 13.7 points and 8.5 rebounds last season. He also became the Big 12’s all-time shot block leader.

“I think as good of a shot-blocker he is, he has to master that at the next level as well,” Matsubara told ESPN New York. “Offensively, what comes is what comes. He’s not going to be a first option. He’s not going to be a second option. He’ll find his niche offensively, but one of the things physically he’s got to do is really get more flexible. He plays a little bit erect, and that will change with specialized training. Also, his dad is a weightlifter and he’s a big, strong man, so Jeff is going to get stronger naturally.”

Another possible first-round draft pick at the center position is Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng. Former KU big man Cole Aldrich is a free agent this offseason.

Gee whiz: Embattled Ohio State president Gordon Gee had some things to say about KU potentially joining the Big Ten during a meeting of Ohio State’s athletic council in December. Some of his comments were printed at

He said: “I think the Big Ten needs to be predatory and positive rather than waiting for other people to take away from them. Very candidly, I think we made a mistake (in adding Rutgers and Maryland and nobody else). Because (there was) thought about adding Missouri and Kansas at the time. There was not a great deal of enthusiasm about that. I think we should have done that at the time. So we would have had Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and then moved into that other area. I think, by the way, that that can still happen.

Also ... “I would see potentially Missouri and Kansas (joining Big Ten). By the way, it goes without saying this all has to be speculation that remains right here. And I could also see a ‘T’ that goes south all according to what happens with the ACC, but we need to be ready to move.”

Gee also blasted the SEC.

“Well, you tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write then they can figure out what we’re doing. I’ve been down there. I was the chairman of the Southeastern Conference for two years. I’ll tell you something. It’s shameful. It really is,” Gee said.


jay_cheese 10 months, 2 weeks ago

You don't want to be the last one without a home in superconference realignment. KU can smile and say they love the Big12 all they want...the facts are we are happy unless a more stable option (B1G) presents itself. I not going to say football isn't a factor, but it's more about tv sets and expanding your demographics than anything. Texas has never been a stable partner in any conference. As a KU alum, I want what is best for my school longterm. Forget Missou as they aren't leaving another conference anytime soon. IF the B1G way in heck we could say no. I like the big 12 but the B1G in basketball won't be horrible either. It's the loss of rivalries and close travel that aren't the fun part in any realignment. Rockchalk


Michael Luby 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree Jaybate, I'll believe the Big 12 is doomed when I see it happen. Till then, lets gear up, albeit slowly, for the next season.


bmg3074 10 months, 2 weeks ago

The way I see it, schools are foresaking loyalty for dollars, and in that regard, mentioned before, the Big 12 schools aren't doing too bad, even Texas. I don't really see anyone wanting out of the Big 12 as long as there are payoffs like the TV revenue deal recently reported on. Sure, the Big 10 would probably love to have KU, football not withstanding, because as the poster said earlier, KU would help generate bucks. Sadly, that's what it's all about.


JHWKDW 10 months, 2 weeks ago

You know what that Gee said really makes him sound like a douche to me! I mean Im no SEC lover, or fan of theirs. But the stereotyping of them and their people is ridiculous. Hey Gee I did not hear the SEC Trashing the B1G after the major incident your fellow B1G team Penn State you know the inexcusable kid thing.Trust me they all could have had a field day on that. Also for you and everyone else the green eyes monster never works.I wonder how they would feel if they all were winning titles, and someone would trash them like that how would they like it? You know all they are trying to do is compete athletically, Hey the past may be what is was. But do not trash Southerners, and Catholics like that.

Gee statements reminds me of that Jackass down in Texas AD Deloss Dodds.


Scott MacWilliams 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Iama, not sure if Gee's comments are all that recent. Seems like he's been blowing wind for a while... I have no idea what his motivation might be, but definitely sounds like he's not concerned with the opinions of others.

As for J Howard, seems like a great add to the staff. Ties to chicago and TX?? Very nice hoops terrain to cover.

Rock Chalk!!!


iamakufan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Sounds like Gee wants to retire but he doesn't want to just quit. If he gets fired, they probably buy out his contract. I don't know that but that's the only reason I can come up with for his suddenly mouthing off like he has in the past week.


KemDooKU 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I wonder if Larry Brown suggested Jerrance to Self or if Bill just raided his coaching staff - I figured Brown was fine with Self taking one of his coaches but it seems a little wrong raiding your friends coaching staff- kind of like dating your best friends Ex - any one heard anything about how it went down?


jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

So Jerrance knows playuhs in Chi.

Imagine how good SMU would have become had he brought these guys down to Gasoline Alley for LB.

Imagine how quick he will be out of KU, if he brings 2-3 blue chips from Chi straight to KU.

The next top ten team that needs a coach will hire him pronto.


jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Gordon Gee is a dead president talking. Noone says those kinds of things if they believe they are going to last.


ku_foaf 10 months, 2 weeks ago

He was talking about Missouri joining the Big 10 in Dec?? He doesn't sound like he was talking about 2-3 years ago, he sounds like he is talking about now. That seems unlikely they would leave the SEC. That was a strange conversation, it sounds like. Saying "we might want Kansas, but a lot of people didn't want them."

The "read and write" comment is just being a jerk.


brooksmd 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Why is anyone even talking about the B1G? I took the story as one individual at one B1G school expressing his opinion at a meeting of his athletic department. It didn't involve any other B1G schools or individuals. And BTW, Mr Gee has even been rebuked by OSU trustees for his comments concerning the SEC and ND. Why would MU even consider moving? Either conference they're simply conference schedule filler. To me the Big12 missed it's golden opportunity when it might've been possible to grab Clemson and FSU when the ACC almost came unraveled. As for the Big12, it's time for a name change.


Tony Bandle 10 months, 2 weeks ago


1] I really miss the photo when there is an "all-text" article only - without fail, you can always come up with something hilarious in the picture. [Nick Krug. where are you?]

2] Coach Howard comes on board at KU and, BOOM, goes recruiting for the Jayhawks in Illinois...this is a better hire than some OAD's dad!!! :)

3] Kansas State has had winning football for years and Kansas has been genarally a bottom feeder, yet the League still talks only of Kansas.....I guess they figure one team with purple [Northwestern] is enough for their color pallette.

4] It remains to be seen, but AW's [Andrew, that is] committment to the University of Kansas followed by Coach Howard,s hiring may, potentially, end up being the most significant recruitng development in the NCAA for the next decade!! Coach Self, with all due respect....DO NOT BLOW IT!!!!

5] Kansas University....posting this is always good for an outraged response or two!!

6] Cole needs to call The Big O and find out how he lasted a decade in the NBA with significantly less talent!!


nuleafjhawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

" It’s a good relationship because coach Jerrance coached at Illinois, which I know a lot about. " Charles Matthews.

Hmmm. It seems like there's another guy associated with KU that knows something about coaching at Illinois............


GortHawker 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Gee, did Gee say he was chairman over SEC for two years, and They can't read and write, or keep their mouth shut either!


Vernon Riggs 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Big12 is good fit. We keep our Tier3 Money and cash a large check each year. We make more money now in the Big12 than we would now in the B1G. Schedule is balanced. Plus, all the good schools that we could've/should've added are gone. Unless you could show where Cincy, South Florida, UConn, BYU or Boise State could bring in an additional $30 million each, why add?


FearlessJayhawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of all the realignment. Let KU and those in the Big 12 stay put. I don't ever want to see KU having to play the scum-bags from Colombia again. I'm sure one of the reasons this guy from Ohio State would like to see KU in the Big 10 is because KU basketball makes a lot of money for everyone connected to us.


Michael Pannacciulli 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Go get 'em Jerrance!

KU is not going anywhere without KSU.

I am curious to know what Gee deems as shameful. I could assume but would love to hear more! Those are some pretty unfiltered comments.


William Blake 10 months, 2 weeks ago

"Also, his dad is a weightlifter and he’s a big, strong man, so Jeff is going to get stronger naturally.”

Nice to hear something besides "volleyball, volleyball, volleyball."

“Well, you tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write then they can figure out what we’re doing. I’ve been down there. I was the chairman of the Southeastern Conference for two years. I’ll tell you something. It’s shameful. It really is,” Gee said.

Wow... how refreshing to hear honest words from administration. Is Gee toast? Usually the shots come when they are headed for the door.


Phil Leister 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Chances Cole Aldrich ever plays a meaningful minute in the NBA? Slim. It's always weird seeing a lottery pick who struggles to find his place anywhere in the league. Hello Julian Wright. And maybe Thomas Robinson.


Cmill1221 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Honestly I thought I would miss playing missouri, but after this season I would be more than happy if we never played them again! I would hate for us to end up in any confrence with them. The season was great and it feels like we are developing some new rivals that I don't genuinely hate and actually look forward to playing. Let mu remain sub par and irrelevant and away from P&L for the big12 tourney. The war is over and we won lets leave it like that.


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