KANSAS TARGETS ON FRIDAY
Leo Criswell- Bill Self was on hand to watch Leo Criswell and his Rocktown teammates in late morning game at Foothill High School. After arriving only a minute before tipoff due to traffic issues, the 6-9 combo forward got off to a slow start and didn’t get very involved until the late stages of the game. Spending too much time roaming the perimeter, Criswell took away from his effectiveness around the basket. When he did get going in the latter stages of the game, he chipped in some nice passes, a few key boards and threw down two impressive fast break jams during Rocktown’s come from behind win over Team Detroit.
C.J. Miles- Perhaps a bit tired after a very long couple of months of basketball, the 6-5 lefty was hot and cold during Team Texas’ last second win over Georgia Elite. When he wants to turn it on, there are few defenders who can stop him and he is a gifted passer from the wing or pulling up around the free throw line. Probably due to fatigue, he hasn’t looked as explosive as in the past but still made a few nice plays around the basket and he has really improved his defense. Pretty much everybody involved feels they have a good shot with him right now but more and more people are starting to think that distance may ultimately play a role in his decision.
Kevin Rogers- If you paid close attention, you realized that the 6-8 (maybe even only 6-7) was on the court and the big lefty did a few nice things. He scored on a couple of short turnarounds, caught a nice lob on the break and blocked a few shots. Other than that, it was a pretty ho-hum and quiet performance from Rogers. Coaches are going to want to see some more consistency in the near future if he wants his star to remain shining.
OTHER KANSAS RELATED NEWS AND NOTES
After picking up a recent offer from Kansas, Lewis Clinch proved his worth by dropping in 46 points in front of Kansas coaches in Orlando on Friday morning. Word is that he is very interested, however getting involved with a southern kid at this late point and getting him to leave for the Midwest won’t be an easy task.
According to Jeff Adrien’s coach at Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster, Jason Smith, the 6-6 combo forward has been offered by Kansas within the last few days. The rugged Adrien is going to be closing down his recruitment and will eventually make his choice from a final group of schools that will include Kansas, UConn, Florida, Villanova and Pittsburgh.
According to everybody who has seen him so far in Las Vegas, Micah Downs has been more than impressive so far. Hopefully, we’ll get a first hand look at him on Saturday. Kurtis Townsend was working Vegas hard on Friday. He’s been showing up at lot of games featuring West Coast sensations and spent some time watching class of 2007 sensation Jerryd Bayless, a 6-1 PG from Phoenix (AZ) St. Mary’s.
Looking a little bit deeper into the Leo Criswell situation it is clear that Kansas is very interested in getting more involved with his recruitment. Although no scholarship offer has been extended at this point, it isn’t out of the question that one could be on the way. The Jayhawks love the things that he can do at 6-9 but it is just a matter of getting on the same page in terms of where he would be used. Criswell would prefer that schools recruit him as a wing, but most schools -- including Kansas -- want to recruit him as a big man who can frustrate other big men with his quickness and ball handling ability.
OTHER NOTABLES IN VEGAS ON FRIDAY
O.J. Mayo- Wow, it is going to be impossible to give the spectacular 43-point outing from the 6-4 guard proper credit. You name a way to score and Mayo did it all while playing great defense, helping out on the boards and dropping off some nice passes. Get used to hearing about this kid even more than you already have because he has big time star power and the game to match it.
Amir Johnson- While Mayo was doing his thing on one end of the court, the 6-9 Johnson was pouring in 37 points in spectacular fashion himself. He’s a ridiculous athlete who added some short jumpers and baby hooks to his usual array of lob dunks, transition finishes and garbage hoops. He is going to look awfully good in a Louisville uniform next year, but if he keeps playing like this he won’t be there for long.
Kevin Durant- Standing nearly 6-9, Durant is a class of 2006 standout with some wing skills and nice shooting touch. He ripped and ran through the Kansas City Keys to the tune of 41 points. He’s already been mentioned as a possible straight to the league kind of kid and performances like this don’t do anything hurt that kind of talk.
Brandon Rush- With several consecutive standout performances under his belt, it is becoming obvious that Rush understands just how much money is on the line this summer. Nobody in their right mind thinks he is going to spend a minute in college and he showed why during his 26 point outing on Thursday morning. He hit jump shots from all over the place, handled the ball with ease and showed off at least three legitimate, and polished, NBA scoring moves. Oh yeah, he also threw down some impressive booms including a sickening open court windmill with plenty of hang time.
Josh McRoberts- Right about now the raging debate over whether or not Tyler Hansbrough or Richard Hendrix is the top big man in the class needs to stop because McRoberts is making it clear that he has far more long term potential than either of them. It might not be just potential either, the 6-11 future Dukie is probably a better player right now. There really aren’t any holes in his game and he seems to get better each time he takes the court. He could use some additional lower body strength, but he makes up for it with his athleticism and versatility.