The original plan for Thursday was to hang out at the Adidas Super 64 for a while before dropping in on Nike’s, well actually Houston Hoops head honcho Hal Pastner’s, Main Event for a few games. However, the distance between gyms and traffic prevented that form happening so the entire day was spent hanging out on the Northern outskirts of Vegas for Adidas’ event.
KANSAS TARGETS, PAST, PERCEIVED AND POTENTIAL
Brandon Costner- Props to Costner for putting together a nice performance Thursday morning. He showed some newly found quickness and ball handling ability in an inspired 18 point outing. At 6-7, maybe 6-8, he does have very good touch for a big man and he is a nice face up power forward. He is among four guys -- along with Tyler Hansbrough, Kevin Rogers and Jeff Adrien -- that the Jayhawks are focusing on as potential post players.
Trevon Willis (2006)- A solid 6-3 wing who nails deep jumpers and explodes to rim for athletic jams, Willis is a big time scorer. The Fresno native performed under the watchful eye of Kansas asst. Kurtis Townsend and has the potential to be a top 50 player nationally. His EBO club team is absolutely loaded with 2006 talent and it wouldn’t be surprising if Kansas wanted to get involved with 6-10 twins Brook and Robin Lopez who are potential top 10 national prospect and 6-5 combo guard Derrick Jaspers.
Tyree Thompson (2006)- A sturdy 6-2 WG from Compton, Thompson is a long range bomber who is getting better off the dribble as the summer rolls along. He needs to improve lateral quickness but is certainly a high major prospect. We can’t confirm that Kansas is a real player at this point, but he was at least evaluated on Thursday.
MORE KANSAS RELATED NOTES
Head coach Bill Self was on hand to watch Mario Chalmers put together a pretty nice 24 point and 11 rebound effort on Thursday. Chalmers is a talent, but his Alaska Pump N’ Run team just doesn’t have the horses to compete with the top teams out in Vegas.
He isn’t playing in Las Vegas this weekend, but 6-3 WG Lewis Clinch from Cordale (GA) Crisp County has been offered a scholarship by Kansas. An exciting scorer, Clinch has shot up the national rankings this summer and the Jayhawks are doing their best to get in on him even though they might be a little late in joining the party.
A clear sign that a player is truly open is that depending on who you talk to you get a wildly varying story. Such is the case with C.J. Miles. On Thursday alone, different people close to the situation named Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia Tech as the leaders to land his services. Within the last week, Arizona and UNC have been rumored to lead as well and the fact of the matter is that nobody outside of C.J.’s immediate circle really knows where he may be leaning and they aren’t saying. The only them that seemed to be consistent on Thursday was that staying close to home could emerge as a primary concern.
Putnam City standout C.J. Henry was scheduled to be in attendance, and we even showed up to watch him perform. Unfortunately, the 6-2 WG was unable to make the trip to Las Vegas so we’ll have to evaluate him in more detail later. Finally, Seattle (WA) Roosevelt wing Marcus Williams was reportedly effective in his Rotary Select squad’s blowout win while his teammate Terrence Williams struggled. We hope to have more on any interest Kansas may have before the weekend finishes.
A FEW OTHER VEGAS STANDOUTS
Andray Blatche- Everybody knows that the 6-11 Blatche is taking a long and hard look at the NBA and performances like Thursday’s make him look like a potential lottery pick. He handles the ball extremely well, has excellent footwork and uses his quickness and long arms to his advantage. His temperament is certainly explosive, but if he keeps things in order and churns out games like his 31 point gem against Pump N’ Run, he could make case as the top player in the class of 2005.
Marquez Haynes- You won’t find many 6-2 PG’s who are blessed with the blinding speed and overall athletic package that this Texan has. He plays with flair and passion and is making a valid claim for top 100 status. He is a streaky jump shooter who is a slick passer and creative handler. Bottom line, he has stayed a sleeper for far too long and deserves some serious love.
Vernon Goodridge- A talented 6-9 BF who has primarily made his reputation as a dunker and rejector, Goodridge exploded for an impressive 29 point, 15 rebound and eight block performance. The best part was he showed a skill package consisting of soft jump hooks, 12 foot jumpers and quick drives. He has a lean body built for adding some more muscle and there is no doubt that he is worthy of the considerable attention he has been getting from the likes of UConn, Seton Hall, Pitt, Florida State, Mississippi State and others.
Dante Cunningham- A tough, if not undersized, 6-7 BF, Cunningham was the heart and soul of D.C. Assault’s thrilling victory over the Playaz Basketball Club Black squad. In a game replete with on and off court taunting and trash talk, the wiry strong big man let his game do the talking. He finishes on either side of the bucket with either hand and finds ways to get to the free throw line. He earned himself some high major offers on Thursday.
Korie Lucious (2008)- It is borderline mind boggling to think that this 5-8 PG is only going to be a freshman next fall at Milwaukee (WI) King. He is a clever ball handler and is blessed with ridiculous quickness and leaping ability -- he’s already fully capable of throwing down jams in traffic -- but his confidence and ability to hit short floaters set him apart. He is a leader and will eventually shed a tendency to make silly mistakes, but you can forgive mistakes from a 14 year old.