Thursday, April 9, 2015

Top prospects to meet at Summit

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


The top uncommitted high school basketball players in the country, who were in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-America game last week, have descended upon Portland, Oregon, for Saturday’s Nike Hoop Summit (2 p.m., ESPN2).

Blue-chippers Jaylen Brown, Cheick Diallo and Thon Maker have been talking about the recruiting process, which is sure to heat up now that seven Kentucky players and two Kansas University players have declared for the NBA Draft.

Those expecting one-and-done college careers more than ever want to make sure there’s plenty of playing time available before orally committing.

The month-long late signing period starts next Wednesday.

“I am trying to make a decision maybe (at the) Jordan Game or after the Jordan Game,” Diallo, a 6-9 senior forward from Our Savior New American High in Centereach, New York, told after a Hoop Summit practice. The Jordan Brand Classic is set for a week from Friday in New York.

“I want to know what players are going NBA and what players are not going. That’s my big thing,” added Diallo, who is considering KU, Kentucky, St. John’s, Pittsburgh and Iowa State and will meet a final time with coaches from those schools next week.

Kentucky signee Skal Labissiere, who stands 7-foot, is Diallo’s Hoops Summit roommate in Portland. Diallo, who is originally from the African country of Mali, played soccer as a youngster, moving to the U.S. to concentrate on a basketball career three years ago. He’s ranked No. 7 nationally by

“I’ve improved my jump shot a lot and my free throw (shooting) now is excellent,” Diallo said.

Brown, a 6-7 senior wing from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia, told he could slice his list of eight (KU, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, California, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UCLA) while in Portland.

“I’m doing a lot of praying, trying to figure what I want, what is best for me,” Brown said. “As the week goes on I’ll probably be knocking schools off my list. I’m looking to make a decision toward the end of this month.

“There’s a lot goes into the decision. It’s not just the basketball team is good or they have a really good school for education or they put these amount of players in the league. It’s a combined effort. Whoever has the best fit and the combined effort, that’s where I’m probably looking at most.”

Brown has not been shy about his loyalty to adidas, which has sponsored his youth teams. KU, UCLA and Michigan use adidas equipment and gear.

No. 5-rated Maker, 7-foot from Orangeville Prep in Mono, Ontario, who is considering KU, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and others, is still in the process of reclassifying from the Class of 2016 to 2015.

Maker told at the Hoop Summit he will not play pro overseas next season, instead will go to college or a fifth-year prep school. Maker’s guardian, Ed Smith, told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi Maker will finish high school on Aug. 1, thus could enroll at a college for first semester or wait until December for second semester. The plan would be to turn pro after one semester in college.

This, that: Former KU freshman forward Cliff Alexander, who has received some positive and negative Tweets — and positive and negative message board postings regarding his decision to turn pro — obviously doesn’t like the negative ones very much. “Disloyal fans,” followed by a red X was a Tweet of Alexander on Thursday. ... KU coach Bill Self is holding his fantasy camp for adults this weekend. Individuals pay for the right to be coached by the likes of Self and KU’s assistants, plus Miles Simon of ESPN and former college coaches Dino Gaudio, Jerry Wainright, Billy Gillispie and Darrin Horn.


Matthew Roesner 7 years, 4 months ago

Note to Cliff Alexander...Jayhawk Nation appreciates you and your dedication to KU. While it did not work out the way either wanted, know that you are always a Jayhawk and have our support. Keep the faith and represent us well at the next level. RCJH.

Dale Rogers 7 years, 4 months ago

And he should try to ignore the negative comments. There will always be people who get off on trying to tear someone down. They're scum and best just ignored.

Severeno Woods 7 years, 4 months ago

RCJH Cliff thank you being a Jayhawk and any fan knows this situation is not your fault.

Allison Steen 7 years, 4 months ago

I really hate that people who call themselves KU fans go out of their way to bash players. What can you possibly gain from that? I believe Cliff gave everything he could to our program, and we should thank him for that. He didn't choose to sit out those last 8 games, he was forced to. You can't fault a player for leaving when he was ultimately given no choice. I wish certain fans could be kicked out of the fanbase, too bad that isn't a thing.

Danny Hernandez 7 years, 4 months ago

Cliff, I appreciate that you committed and were a loyal member of Jayhawk Nation. I'll always support you and I'm sure as it was expressed many times, the year didn't go as planned for you but just remember what Coach Self taught you and you'll be fine. And screw those that can't just be happy for you.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Gary McCullough 7 years, 4 months ago

Thon Maker might only play for one semester? Is that one-half-and-done (OHAD)? A team would have be be really desperate to be willing to tie up a scholarship for three months of play, let alone the disruption it would cause for the team. Sounds just right for Mizzou!

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 4 months ago

The more that comes out about his situation, the more it screams don't touch him with a 10' pole because the NCAA headaches he's bringing with him are just not worth it.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 7 years, 4 months ago

Best of luck Cliff. Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk!

Dee Shaw 7 years, 4 months ago

Just heard on ESPN that 7 of the top 12 recruits are still uncommitted. I bet Kentucky gets 4 out of those 7 players. Here's my prediction. Kentucky gets #4 Malik Newman, #8 Caleb Swanigan, #11 Cheick Diallo and #12 Brandon Ingram. They already have committed #3, #13 and #42. How would you like to be one of the coach's recruiting the players uncommitted and Coach Cal comes in and sweeps them away. Those other coach's have most likely been recruiting these kids for at least 3 years and have invested a lot time and money into recruiting them and within a month Kentucky just reloads. Another reason for me not to like Kentucky and Coach Cal.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry but back-to-back Final Fours (4 in 5 years) is not bad coaching, even if there is a lot of talent on the team. Part of being a good college coach is getting 19 year olds to play well together, and Cal does that about as well as anyone.

Reggie Flenory 7 years, 4 months ago

Wrong sir Caleb just committed to msu. We will sign Diallo Kentucky will clean up the rest with Newman,maker,and,Zimmerman

Mick Allen 7 years, 4 months ago

Michael, I couldn't agree more with your assessment of Calipari. He is not a favorite of mine, but you have to give him credit for convincing all those egos to be unified and play unselfish team basketball and never have I heard, at least outwardly, any griping about playing 18 to 20 minutes a game when you are the best player on the court.That accomplishment is easier said than done.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 4 months ago

But it's getting to be that you recruit in bulk, like UK, or recruit the AAU team, like Duke. Will anyone remember Wisconsin? Or that Izzo molded a 7 seed to the Final Four? Or that Gonzaga is fun to watch because they play like a team? Or that ND had its best season in decades with a team with only one NBA caliber player? It's clear that if we are going the OAD route, we need two impact players - THAT PLAY. Or you better have 4 seasoned players that all can score and hold onto the ball. The days of having a winning team with the just the same 2-3 scorers every night are over. You've got to have 5 guys each capable of double figures on any given night, and you have to have 3 of them produce.

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