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Saturday, July 2, 2005

Notebook

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Soph Jackson to enroll in 2nd summer school

Kansas University sophomore Darnell Jackson, who has been understandably dejected following the death last month of his grandmother, will attend second session of summer school, which starts Tuesday.

"I haven't talked to Darnell's mother in the last 24 hours. I have talked to Darnell. He's doing well," KU coach Bill Self said of Jackson, who considered fellow Oklahoma City native J.R. Giddens, who left the squad Thursday, one of his best friends on the team.

Jackson's mom, Shawn, is in Oklahoma City recovering from broken bones sustained in the wreck that claimed the life of Evon Jackson.

Self said Jeff Hawkins, who already had received his undergraduate degree, wouldn't attend second session of summer school.

"Almost everybody will be taking classes. Maybe one or two will be up here the majority of the time, but will not be taking classes," Self said.

Next stop for Giddens?

Major Div. I conference

Giddens on Friday started the process of looking for a new school. Self said releases would be granted to any school interested in the ex-Jayhawk.

"We'll do everything we can to assist him, if in fact he solicits that," Self said.

Wichita TV station KAKE quotes sources close to Texas Christian's program as saying Neil Dougherty is interested in being reunited with Giddens. Former KU assistant and current Horned Frog head coach Dougherty recruited Giddens to KU.

It is believed Giddens is interested only in major Division One conferences. A transfer within the Big 12 is unlikely because he would lose a year of eligibility as well as have to sit out a year.

Giddens might consider joining a buddy.

Adam Liberty, a teammate of Giddens' at John Marshall High, recently transferred from Wichita State to Oral Roberts.

D'Angelo Alexander, a former AAU teammate of Giddens', transferred to Charlotte last school year. The former University of Oklahoma player reportedly made the Charlotte honor roll and will likely recommend the school to Giddens.

Florida State, coached by former Oklahoma State mentor Leonard Hamilton, also has been mentioned as an early possibility.

It's believed North Carolina would have no interest; the Tar Heels have several players at Giddens' position. Also, former KU coach Roy Williams likely would feel Giddens has two strikes against him. Williams was not pleased Giddens was arrested in high school for conspiracy to commit grand larceny from a retailer, though the player eventually was cleared of charges.

"If he wants to be a superstar to get to the next level, Oral Roberts makes sense," said Greg Swaim, recruiting analyst based in Oklahoma City. "Dennis Rodman played at Southeast Oklahoma and Scottie Pippen at Central Arkansas. If you are good, you'll be seen. I'm sure a lot of schools will want him. He's a good player, although I thought he shot Kansas out of some games last year."

Simien's offering

Ex-Jayhawk Wayne Simien threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Kansas City Royals-Angels game on Friday at Kauffman Stadium. Simien's toss bounced on the plate and caromed past K.C.'s Shane Costa. Simien smiled as he walked off the mound, throwing his hands in the air as if to tease Costa for not catching his offering.

Another "package deal?": Kansas State on Friday announced the hiring of Ben Kelso as the team's new assistant coach. Kelso, 58, spent the past season as the head boys' basketball coach at Central High School in Detroit, where he coached incoming Wildcat freshman Deilvez Yearby.

-- Gary Bedore

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