Monday, August 31, 2015

’Bama making a run at KU target Bolden

Big man reveals list of eight schools on Monday

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


Alabama has emerged as a major player for Kansas University basketball recruiting target Marques Bolden, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound senior center from DeSoto, Texas, who according to reports made an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa over the weekend.

New ’Bama coach Avery Johnson recently hired Texas Titans AAU coach Scott Pospichal, who worked with Bolden in the past.

Alabama recently received a commitment from 6-6 shooting guard Terrance Ferguson of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who played ball at Prime Prep in Dallas last season.

Bolden, who is ranked No. 14 in the Class of 2016 by, is scheduled to visit Duke on Sept. 18-19 and KU on Sept. 25-26. He also says he will attend Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 9 on an unofficial visit. He recently had to cancel an upcoming Sept. 4 visit to Kentucky because of scheduling conflicts.

On Monday, he issued a final list of eight schools: KU, Alabama, Duke, TCU, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Wake Forest and Baylor.

Player poll: A USA Today panel of more than 30 elite AAU basketball players selected Harry Giles “most likely No. 1 NBA Draft Pick” out of all the youths who competed on the AAU circuit this summer.

Giles, a 6-10 senior from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, who is ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2016, will visit KU for the Oct. 9 Late Night in the Phog.

He’s also considering Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Wake Forest. Giles also won “best face-up game” by those who were polled.

According to the panel, the biggest trash talker on the AAU circuit is No. 1-ranked Josh Jackson, a 6-7 senior shooting guard from Prolific Prep in Napa, California. He has visited Maryland and has said he wants to visit KU, Arizona and Michigan State. UCLA, UNLV and Villanova also are on his list.

Best dunker is … No. 11-ranked Ferguson, who recently committed to Alabama over KU and many others.

Best back-to-the-basket game belongs to … Bahamas native DeAndre Ayton, a 6-11 junior center from Balboa City School in San Diego who is ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2017. He’s considering KU, Kentucky, Arizona, San Diego State, North Carolina, Cal, Michigan, Duke and others.

Most likely to break a rim is … senior Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, a 6-9 forward from High Point (North Carolina) Christian who is ranked No. 7 in the Class of 2016. He’s considering KU, Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, N.C. State and others.

Most likely to live on SportsCenter’s Top 10 is … Michael Porter Jr., a 6-8 junior from Tolton Catholic in Columbia, Missouri. Porter, who plays for MoKan Elite, has a list of KU, Duke, Missouri, Stanford, Washington, UCLA, Indiana, Virginia, Syracuse and Kentucky.

Toughest defensive assignment is … Udoka Azubuike, 6-11 senior center from Potter’s House in Jacksonville, Florida, who is ranked No. 26. Florida State, KU and Duke are said to be leading Florida, Kentucky, Georgetown, Auburn, Cal, Maryland, Texas, North Carolina State and Wake Forest.

Best killer instinct belongs to … Rawle Alkins, a 6-4 senior shooting guard rom Christ the King High in Brooklyn, who is ranked No. 15. He’s considering KU, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, St. John’s, Arizona, Louisville, Texas, N.C. State, Maryland and UNLV.

For a complete list of the USA Today awards go to

Top freshmen: has come out with a top-10 list of “high-impact freshman” for the upcoming season.

LSU’s Ben Simmons is first, followed by Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere, Mississippi State’s Malik Newman, Duke’s Brandon Ingram, Cal’s Jaylen Brown, UK’s Jamal Murray, Maryland’s Diamond Stone, Marquette’s Henry Ellenson, Arizona’s Allonzo Trier and KU’s Cheick Diallo.

Of Diallo, whose academic credentials are still being considered by the NCAA Eligibility Center, wrote: “Diallo could have a huge impact immediately for the Jayhawks — or he could not play at all. In what seems an all-too-familiar scenario that must be all-too frustrating for coach Bill Self, Diallo may not be eligible to play right away this season as the NCAA reviews his high school, Our Savior New American, in Centereach, N.Y. After losing heralded freshman Cliff Alexander to an NCAA probe late last season, this is certainly not what Self wanted for his star first-year big man this summer. After averaging 17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game as a high school senior, Diallo seems ready to do everything for Kansas. He’s praised for his high motor and tenacity in chasing rebounds, but his most important mission for this summer is simply to ensure he’ll see be on the floor when the season starts.”


Suzi Marshall 6 years, 8 months ago

OK, loosing Ferguson is enough already. Self & Co need to put a halt to this Johnson nonsense of taking our top recruits. It's bad enough with KY and Duke but to loose one to ... Alabama should only happen every blue moon...not two in the same year.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe we should hire Avery Johnson? Looks like he can get things done!

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

First year coach w/NBA experience. The novelty will quickly wear off but it is certainly hurting us this year.

These players are also being recruited by Duke, UNC, UK, etc... But I get your frustration RC...we might not do as well in late spring like we did last year.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 8 months ago

Marius look at Bens post below. Troutts team has Averys kid on it, plus pictures of their 2020 recruits even, yikes. Talk about a scary youth basketball program. With that kind of pull in Texas and the ties to Johnson, I am not sure we can even compete for a player any more there. Heck that AAU team, flies to games via a private jet. Plays in a private gym. Avery has first choice on just about any player from Texas.

Matt Gauntt 6 years, 8 months ago

Oh great googalee-moogalees!!! Are you serious? We can't compete there anymore? Alabama has always been, first and foremost been a football school. Avery Johnson has never coached the college game. Sure, he's an experienced coach and has a great personality. He will do well. However, don't look for him to be the HC five years from now in Alabama. That said, there is no school that can compete with KU in terms of tradition. Kentucky is the only one that comes close. I get tired of this delusional belief that HCBS somehow isn't that good. Since 2000 we have four final four seasons, a national championship, completely owned the Big 12, and I think the most wins of any NCAA team during that period. Yeah, we should fire Self......sure.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 8 months ago

Matt you can tone down the raw raw We Are KU Kaw Koolaid speech. The no one can compete with us malarkey gets old fast cause it is just not true. Never was actually. What a load of nonsense. Take a breath please and look at what is happening with Johnson and his ties to Troutt and you won't be surprised when we lose another recruit to him from Texas we have targeted.

Who said anything about firing Self, come back onto the rails? I have and am still a big Self supporter If you looked around you would notice we do not even have close ties to some of our local AAU teams, let alone one with a private jet at their disposable in recruit rich Texas.

Most of those things you list matter little to todays recruits. They really don't.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

No..but it would be nice to sign our 1st recruit in a year we will need 5-6. Personally, I hope we load up on top 60 4 star recruits w/a couple of 5 star recruits to address immediate concerns.

Tom Jones 6 years, 8 months ago

We have already signed our first recruit. And he gets to practice this whole season with the team, too. :)

Anyway, I'm just not worried. We're in the hunt for a lot of talented players. And it's September 2nd.

Mike Barnhart 6 years, 8 months ago

While the Royals were in a rain delay on Saturday, Fox Sports KC ran a long interview with Calipari (gee, thanks!) When asked about his recruiting style, Cal replied is his typical smarmy, condescending way, "I just ask the guy, if you want to be in the NBA next year, why WOULDN'T you come to Kentucky?" Jeez, "NEXT YEAR!"

Now Avery Johnson's mucking up my favorite sport! This OAD rule has got to change!!!

Robert Brock 6 years, 8 months ago

Who is our lead recruiter in Texas? Is it Smokes (formerly Snacks)?

Ron Sterling 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't know if he's on every Texas recruit (Oubre was recruited by Norm), but Snacks is lead on Bolden.

Ben Mantooth 6 years, 8 months ago

Everyone should dig a little deeper to understand the sudden emergence of The University of Alabama in the recruitment of blue chip basketball players from Texas.

It all boils down to Avery Johnson's relationship with Texas billionaire and AAU financier, Kenny Troutt. If this name sounds familiar to you, its because he also had a hand in Julius Randle going to Kentucky. Now he is funneling players to 'Bama.

Whether you choose to believe it or not, this is the way college athletics recruiting works today.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 8 months ago

I wish the NCAA had the resources, will and integrity to investigate this kind of guy. Unfortunately the NCAA set the president with UCLA/Wooden/Sam Gilbert to make exceptions for their favorites.

College Presidents need to get a grip on our higher education institutions to reestablish what exactly their mission is or should be. The only way to obtain the pessary authority to investigate corruption that so obviously exist, they need to rewrite and simplify the rules. My vote would be for 4 super regional conferences with the first and second place teams gaining entry into the Championship playoffs for both Football and basketball. Let those that want to go pro out of HS go and the rest sign a 3 year stay-and-play deal.

Glen Miller 6 years, 8 months ago

Bama and Johnson will land some recruits in his first couple of years due to his NBA experience, connections and pedigree. He's got a deep pocketed and supportive athletic department that really wants the basketball team rise up and will do whatever it takes to get them there. He can offer lots and lots of playing time...... once the new wears off, if he's not succeeded very much then it will be for not. If he does well, then they will continue to be players in the future. Time will tell, but this does not surprise me.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 8 months ago

Exactly..Plus Avery wants back in the NBA and will jump at the first opportunity.

Humpy Helsel 6 years, 8 months ago

Avery Johnson is fun and easy to imitate. Isn't it Cedric the Entertainer who does a great Avery Johnson imitation?

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