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Friday, June 10, 2005

Self visits NBA camp

Ex-Jayhawks 'on the radar screen'

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Keith Langford and Aaron Miles saw a familiar face in the stands Thursday at the NBA Draft camp at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self was on hand to support the two former KU guards, in the Windy City trying to impress NBA scouts enough to land a spot in the second round in the June 28 draft.

"They both seemed to be doing well and impressing people," Self said of the Jayhawks, who, in playing on the same team, won a game Wednesday and then lost Thursday against other prospects.

"Keith had eight or 10 points (Thursday)," Self reported. "Aaron didn't score much but played very well on defense and did a good job as usual leading the team. He was one of the best players in the game -- the majority of it. Keith had a chance to play some point guard. He looked good out there."

Wednesday, Langford hit two of 11 shots and three of four free throws, good for seven points with two rebounds and two assists. Miles hit two of five shots and two of two charities, good for six points, to go with four rebounds, three assists and three turnovers.

"I didn't get a chance to talk to a ton of scouts," Self said. "Both are on the radar screen of a number of teams."

KU's Wayne Simien arrived at the camp Thursday for physical exams. He is one of the many players not participating in games because he reportedly only could hurt his first-round draft stock by playing in the games.

¢ Illini's Brown hurt: Illinois senior-to-be Dee Brown broke his foot Wednesday night at the draft camp and likely now will withdraw from the draft and return to U of I for a final college campaign.

"I feel bad for Dee," Self said of his former Illini player. "Anybody who has put so much emphasis on and was so much looking forward to the camp and not participate, it'd be very frustrating. Also, Roger (Powell, ex-Illini) suffered a severe ankle sprain which has to be frustrating for him, too."

¢ Finals: Self certainly has a vested interest in who wins the NBA Finals between Detroit and San Antonio. The Spurs' general manager is one of Self's best friends -- former KU assistant R.C. Buford. The Pistons are led by Self's former boss at KU, Larry Brown. Also, Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich was a volunteer coach for a year under Brown at KU and was best man in Brown's wedding.

"I think it will be difficult for those guys, to be honest," Self said. "Pop and R.C. are very much indebted to coach Brown. On the flip side, I know how coach Brown feels about those people. It'll be an emotional series. The team that can handle the most distractions is the one that will win."

Asked for a prediction, Self tapped the Spurs to win in a long series.

"I think the Spurs will win because of the home court, but sometimes that does not matter, especially against a team like Detroit," Self said. "I think San Antonio has the best player (Tim Duncan). Detroit as defending champion may have the best collection of players."

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