Jayhawk Invitational loaded with talent

The annual Jayhawk Invitational in Lawrence, Kan. has blossomed in to one of the top AAU tournaments of the spring, and the 2011 addition once again features a loaded field. As action tips off this evening, several prospects targeted by Head Coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks will take to the hardwood at gyms throughout the city.

In recent years, the Jayhawk Invitational tournament has blossomed into one of the most talent-rich AAU tournaments of the spring - and a loaded field taking to courts all over Lawrence, Kan this weekend will assure the trend continues in 2010

As always, the University of Kansas will have several potential prospects in the recruiting classes of 2012 and 2013 in attendance Phog net is here to provide a brief overview of some of the athletes interested Jayhawks fans might want to keep an eye on as play tips off Friday afternoon

16 & Under Division

Conner Frankamp and Travis Jorgenson - KC Pump N Run

A pair of semi-local prospects in the Class of 2013 - Frankamp hails from Wichita (KS) North and Jorgenson from Columbia (MO) Rock Bridge - these guards have drawn early interest from the Jayhawks In playing for local powerhouse KC Pump N Run, the two are part of an extremely well-coached team and a quality organization


4/29 - 9:40 p m - Free State High School

4/30 - 12:40 p m - Free State High School

4/30 - 4:10 p m - Free State High School

17 & Under Division

Shabazz Muhammad and Winston Shepard - Dream Vision

This won't be the first visit to Lawrence for the talented 2012 duo, as Dream Vision took part in the 2010 Jayhawk Invitational

Fans are well familiar with Muhammad, a five-star prospect and one of the tops in the Class of 2012 A 6-foot-5, ultra-athletic perimeter player, Head Coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks have been involved with his recruitment from the start, and his list of offers now includes most of the elite programs in the game

Shepard is less-heralded than Muhammad, but intriguing in his own right A 6-foot-6 small forward, the native Texan is cut from a similar mold to that of former Jayhawks star Julian Wright Long and athletic, he has excellent passing instincts and plays with maximum effort, but isn't a natural scorer His list includes many heavy-hitters as well, including the likes of Kansas, Louisville, Memphis, Oklahoma and Texas


4/29 - 7:20 p m - Haskell University

4/30 - 10:20 a m - Lawrence High School

4/30 - 1:50 p m - Lawrence High School

Nino Jackson and Gabe York - Compton Magic

The combination of Oklahoma-native Jackson and California-native York give the Compton Magic one of the most dynamic backcourts on the AAU circuit

With the possible exception of Wichita (KS) Heights prospect Perry Ellis, perhaps no prospect in the Class of 2012 has generated as much interest from Kansas fans as the 6-foot-1 Jackson A high-flying athlete, he's long maintained the Jayhawks as his leader and has visited campus on more than one occasion - including for "Late Night in the Phog" festivities in mid-October

York has maintained a spot on the Kansas recruiting radar for months, but recently the staff decided to make things more official by extending him a scholarship offer early this month Similar in size to Jackson, York is extremely athletic - if perhaps a touch less explosive than his backcourt mate - and an outstanding outside shooter


4/29 - 9:40 p m - Haskell University

4/30 - 11:30 a m - Lawrence High School

4/30 - 4:10 p m - Lawrence High School

Perry Ellis - Pray and Play Players

There won't be a Kansas fan in attendance at the Jayhawk Invitational who doesn't already know the book on Perry Ellis Heralded since his freshman year as one of the top prospects in the country, he's made good on that early promise and become an elite prospect in the Class of 2012

A combo-forward capable of scoring on the block or stepping outside and knocking down threes, Ellis is a high-level athlete and an excellent overall player At last year's Jayhawk Invitational, he treated a full-house at Haskell University to a 20-plus point performance in a losing effort versus Shabazz Muhammad and Dream Vision

Ellis is unquestionably one of the priority targets for the Kansas coaching staff in the junior class


4/29 - 7:20 p m - Haskell University

4/30 - 9:10 a m - Lawrence High School

4/30 - 3:00 p m - Central Junior High

Marcus Smart - Texas Assault

Smart is a versatile guard hailing from Flower Mound, Texas Capable of playing all three guard positions, he's an excellent athlete and an outstanding defender While his jump shot was previously a glaring weakness in his game, diligent work throughout the year has him much improved

Kansas has offered Smart, along with the likes of Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M


4/29 - 9:40 p.m. - Southwest Junior High

4/30 - 10:20 p.m. - Southwest Junior High

4/30 - 3:00 p.m. - Haskell University

Mitch McGary - SYF Players

Already a highly-touted big man from Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy - the same prep school that has yielded current Jayhawks Thomas Robinson and Naadir Tharpe - heading into his junior season, McGary has seen his stock soar this year A 6-foot-9, 230 pound bruiser, he's a strong rebounder and low-block scorer with a mid-range game to boot


4/29 - 9:40 p.m. - Haskell University

4/30 - 12:40 p.m. - Lawrence High School

4/30 - 4:10 p.m. - Lawrence High School

For more information on the Jayhawk Invitational and a full schedule of events, visit the tournament's Web site

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