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Viva Las Vegas

After a long Tuesday night on the town in scorching Las Vegas, it was an even longer day of hoops in the desert on Wednesday. Although there are not many current KU targets in attendance, I'll run down the names and offer some insights on some other former targets that KU fans should be familiar with. <img src="http://media.theinsiders.com/media/site_logo/premium.gif">

J.R. Smith - A relative newcomer to the J.R. Smith sweepstakes, the Jayhawks were out watching the athletic 6-5 wing on Wednesday. There are few in the class of 2004 who can match Smith athletically and talent wise, but he still needs to improve his decision making and expand his game some. As usual, Smith either hung out behind the three point line to launch long bombs or dunked on unsuspecting players. If he ever decides to focus on using the dribble more and scoring from mid range - which he can do - he could become unstoppable on the high school level. It remains to be seen how serious a look he will give Kansas.

Marcus Monk - The 6-5 Monk had a very productive day on Wednesday. He keyed the Arkansas Hawks defensive efforts, handled some point guard duties, and did a little scoring here and there. He's playing with a very sore groin but didn't let that get in the way of giving huge effort. He'll score in transition and is a surprisingly good offensive rebounder, but his jump shot needs some work. After some poor outings this summer, it was good to see Monk getting back on track.

CJ Giles - The 6-10 Giles is in town playing with a loaded Rotary Select team and he has shown a few flashes. He's a fluid athlete who can block shots, runs the court and rebounds but he seems to lack a killer instinct on the court. He's clearly talented but he needs to start producing on a more consistent basis if he wants to keep the attention of elite level programs.

Josh McRoberts (2005) - Virtually every elite program in the country is lining up to see the 6-9 McRoberts play and for good reason. He can go inside and outside, isn't afraid to mix it up in the paint, and is a surprising athlete. He's at his best in the high post where he is an accurate jump shooter. Still, McRoberts isn't afraid to put the ball on the deck and attack the rim with some authority. The recuiting battle for McRoberts should develop into one of the more intense fights in 2005.

Shane Foster - This was my first look at the slender 6-6 wing from Louisiana and I like what I saw. He can handle the ball some around the perimeter, is a good (albeit streaky) shooter from downtown, and he has some mid range game. More surprising is his passing ability and his overall grasp of the game. He plays fundamentally sound on both ends. Although he hasn't quite put it all together yet, he is a definite high major talent.

Joseph Jones - The 6-9 big man from Normangee, TX certainly passes the look test. He's big, muscular and can run the court. But he is non existent for long stretches. Despite his big body, he doesn't seem to like banging in the paint and watching him can be frustrating. He'll end up high major because of his size, but he needs to step up his effort.

Marvin Williams - Big Marv wasn't overly impressive during his first game of the day but he put on an absolute show in his night game against the So-Cal All-Stars. He rebounded, scored with finesse, scored with power and even led a few fast breaks - all with his britches hiked up almost into his armpits. KU fans will be thinking of what could have been every time they see him play over the next few years.

Jordan Farmar - I wasn't there to witness it, but the UCLA bound Farmar apparently put on one heck of a show while knocking down 10 (!) three pointers. More impressively it only took him 12 attempts to make those shots and he added nine assists to go with his 35 points.


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