First Look: Dominic James

As the Kansas coaching staff continues to scour the countryside for talent to fill their four available scholarships for the class of 2005, new names continue to surface. The latest prospect to emerge is 5-11 PG Dominic James of Richmond (IN) High.

After bursting onto the national scene during the summer of 2003 with several strong performances, including an impressive stint at Nike Camp, James has drawn early interest from the likes of Marquette, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Xavier, Indiana and several other high major programs.

However, a visit from Kansas associate head coach Norm Roberts also caught his attention.

"Kansas actually came out to my practice recently. They had been sending me letters and it surprised me when he (coach Roberts) showed up," said James.

"That's a big time basketball program right there. I know you get letters from lots of schools during recruiting, but they are showing real interest when they actually come out."

A very quick playmaker who uses a deadly crossover to free himself from opponents, James is a dynamic athlete who can elevate above the rim for emphatic slams despite his smallish size. He's a greatly improved perimeter shooter and is canning 46% of his three pointers for the season while averaging 23 points, 6.5 rebounds and five assists per game in leading his team to their current 10 game winning streak.

He's noticed some real changes in his game as well.

"My game is really starting to mature, at Nike and last summer I was pass first and score second," said James. "On my high school team I need to score more and I'm becoming more confident with my shot. That's the main thing I'm focusing on is confidence."

One of the better lead guards in the country, James has a chance to be a top 50-75 prospect nationally. While getting a little run on websites is fun, James leaves worrying about rankings to others.

"I leave that stuff up to my friends and they tell me all the time about what people are saying and the rankings. I try not to take it too seriously though."

According to James, coach Roberts has stayed in touch with his high school coach and the Jayhawks will continue to monitor him during the spring and summer. He's been invited to check out a game and hopes to make it to Lawrence for an unofficial visit before the season ends.

Wherever he ends up, the relationship with his head coach will be a key factor for James.

"Ever since I played when I was little, I've always had that bond with my coaches and am looking for more of that on the next level. It is just really important to see eye to eye with your coach and know he supports you."


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