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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Late Night visitors impressed by dorm

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

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Three of the country’s top high school junior basketball players — No. 3-ranked Michael Porter, No. 26 Trae Young and No. 37 Mitchell Ballock of Eudora High — took a tour of Kansas University’s new living facility, McCarthy Hall, before Friday night’s Late Night in the Phog.

“The dorms are ridiculous. They are top-notch, off the chain, pretty insane,” said Ballock, a 6-4 combo guard who will likely miss his entire junior season following Sept. 28 surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.

The 16 current Jayhawks moved into their new $12 million home with 17 students not affiliated with basketball (along with a resident assistant) last week.

“There’s three floors. The first floor ... there’s a kitchen. If family members come in, they can cook food in there,” Ballock said. “There’s a halfcourt basketball court. They just painted the Jayhawk (on floor) so we couldn’t go in there.

“Another floor there’s a movie theatre, a (room with) a ping-pong and pool table. There’s a barber chair in there so somebody can come in and cut their (players) hair before a game. On the top floor, there’s a grill, an area you can chill, a fireplace, couch ... insane,” Ballock exclaimed.

The first-team all-stater, who averaged 20 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game his sophomore season at Eudora High, has received scholarship offers from KU, Iowa State, Indiana, Kansas State, Creighton, Missouri, Northwestern, UNLV and others. He competes for KC Run GMC and has attended the prestigious invitation-only Steph Curry camp the past two summers.

“I am open to everybody now. I like everybody now,” Ballock said. “I’m not going to focus on a particular school. I don’t know if I’m going to cut the list down to a final 10 or five or three. I’ll commit whenever I feel it’s necessary and whenever I feel comfortable with a school and coaches. Right now I’m just enjoying the process.”

Since Ballock can’t practice or play in games — he hopes to start shooting again at the end of November and start getting back in basketball shape in January — he might make some official campus visits this winter.

“I don’t have any plans set now,” he said. “I want to get out there and see as many programs as I can and go from there.”

As far as the injury ... “I’ve been playing through pain the last two years. I always knew something was wrong. I figured it would go away or I’d keep icing it and make it feel better. I kept re-injuring it and re-aggravating it so I decided to get it checked out,” he said.

“Once I got the MRI back and it said it was tore, it kind of hit me, ‘This sucks.’ Then about 12 hours later, I was, ‘It is what it is; a lot of people have it worse than I do, so I really can’t complain.’

“I’m going to do what the doctor says, rehab and do more work on my own. There’s no timetable. Six months ... it could be 41⁄2, five or seven. If I was able to come back before sub-state, try to make a run at state and win it again, I’d definitely do that. I don’t want to come back and injure myself again. I’ll talk to my doctor and go from there.”

He said the coaches of schools recruiting him have been supportive.

“They see it as a little setback,” he said. “Brannen Greene had it (torn labrum in hip), just not in the shoulder. He came back and is doing well. All the coaches are cool about it. They say, ‘You’ll just come back stronger.’’’

Comments

Joe Ross 2 years ago

Hope Porter and Young were impressed by the dorms as well. The dorms are simply going to make recruiting easier. A great investment in the basketball program and in the University by the donors.

Thanks to the McCarthys and all financial contributors. This gift means a great deal and will go a long way to maintaining the quality of Kansas basketball.

Suzi Marshall 2 years ago

I am also very appreciative of the McCarthy family and others for making these apartments possible. KU Basketball is an international brand and it is very satisfying to be able to provide the premier environment for our program to live, train, study, and play.

What happened to the women's BB team? I thought they were suppose to be in the dorms as well.

Joe Ross 2 years ago

Im in the camp who says that womens basketball should be put on par with the men's team. Basketball does not have gender. There is no reason why we cant parlay the success the men have enjoyed into greater visibility for the women's program. We should have all the history of the men's team with a UConn-caliber women's team alongside it. Developing the women's program here would draw big crowds and also be profitable for the University. Gotta get it done. In fact, Im seriously considering buying season tickets for womens basketball.

Ashwin Rao 2 years ago

I was surprised too! I thought that Women's BBall would share the space. Not sure I understand the logic in just building it for the guys, if the needs are similar.

Kyle Rohde 2 years ago

Pretty sure that, by NCAA rules, there has to be an equal number of non-athletes in the dorm so there wouldn't have been room for the women's team. I agree that it sure would have been nice for them to have that differentiator against all the other schools they're recruiting against.

Benz Junque 2 years ago

Double the size of the building and the cost of construction. That's what happened to it. I am sure if you have another $12 million or whatever it cost laying around they'd be happy to build one for the women's team. Heck, build one for the football team , too and maybe we can get some better football players!

Ben Simonett 2 years ago

Meanwhile, tuition for students continue to increase faster than inflation...

I thought this was a school with a basketball program. Not a basketball program with a school

Benz Junque 2 years ago

You are more than welcome to donate millions of dollars to the general scholarship fund of the university!

Joe Ross 2 years ago

Tuition hikes are happening across the nation. Not a local phenomenon. Besides, the basketball program generates interest in the school from prospective students, and there is surely a payoff in matriculation at Kansas (though the benefit is hard to quantify).

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