Open Up and Say AAU - It's Time for Boo

Now that the NCAA Tournament has come and gone, high school basketball has ended and the granddaddy of all high school All-Star games -- the McDonald's All-American game -- has taken place it is time for the recruiting season to begin. A preview of this weekend's action (and more) inside.<br>

During the winter, Phog.net brought you the eBoss Road Show and this time, it’s time to open up and say AAU as Phog spends the next four months bringing you wall to wall coverage of the club basketball circuit.

Included in the itinerary are places like Las Vegas, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and several points between but it all starts off with this weekend’s Boo Williams Invitational from Hampton, VA.  While a few tournaments have already taken place, the Nike backed Boo is pretty well known as the unofficial kickoff to the club circuit.

A dead event that college coaches can’t attend, that doesn’t mean the staff at Kansas and every other division one program in the country won’t be paying close attention to what goes down in Hampton. Be on the lookout for plenty of in the gym coverage, interviews and other assorted news and notes throughout the weekend and beyond.

There are plenty of kids with Kansas interest scheduled to be on hand and here’s a preview of a few of the guys to be on the lookout for. The official site for the tournament featuring brackets and schedules can be found at http://www.hoopsfuture.com.

Pool A- Team Texas, Albany City Rocks, Team Florida, All-Ohio- Headlining Wes Grandstaff’s loaded Team Texas squad is one of the nation’s premier big men, Darrel Arthur. Slimm Shady is a 6-9 BF who is already the center of a pretty intense recruiting battle between Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and others. Arthur usually runs with another Kansas target, 6-9 BF/C Bryan Davis, but it is still unclear whether or not Davis will be in town. The player to watch from Team Florida is 6-4 PG/WG Jeremiah Rivers who has indicated a desire to visit Kansas. Other players who may not be Kansas targets but are worth tracking in this pool include Team Texas Donald Sloan and Jermaine Beal, Albany City Rocks' 2007 standout 6-0 PG Taylor Battle and All-Ohio’s dual sport star Josh Chichester a 6-7 combo forward.

Pool B- Howard Pulley Panthers, BABC, SYF Players, Houston Hoops- The Howard Pulley Panthers produced Jeff Boschee during the 90?s and Kansas is once again involved with some players from the Minneapolis based program. Watch out for Bryce Webster a skilled 6-10 big man with soft hands. Kansas was also involved with high scoring 6-7 wing Isaiah Dahlman at one point but their interest at this point is questionable. The Houston Hoops 6-8 WF Damion James was a target but is pretty much a done deal for Kelvin Sampson’s Oklahoma Sooners. The Hoops also feature a trio of 2007 prospects in Gary Johnson, Jai Lucas and Isaiah Rusher that fans of most major programs including Kansas will be hearing from in the future. Other players to watch in this pool include BABC’s Farnold Degand and Iowa State commitment who is going to do a year of prep school and underrated guard Anthony Gurley. The SYF Players are a northwestern Indiana based squad that is new to the Nike party, look out for guard E’Twaun Moore from 2007 and lumbering but effective big man Luke Harangody.

Pool C- Memphis, Metro Hawks, Charlotte Royals, Northern California Elite- This pool doesn’t feature many known Kansas targets. The Memphis team figured to be one of the more loaded teams on the circuit but Thaddeus Young left for Memphis Pump ?N Run and it is unknown whether or not they were able to hold on to other studs like Pierre Niles and Wayne Chism. The Metro Hawks figure to be lead by 6-4 wing Larry Davis who has gotten some attention from Kansas in the past.

Pool D- Boo Williams, New Jersey All-Stars, Alabama Lasers, Murfreesboro Stars- Probably the single best individual showdown of pool play figures to go down on Friday evening when Boo Williams? 6-9 BF Vernon ?the Big Ticket? Macklin squares off with the Murfreesboro Stars? main man 6-9 BF Brandan Wright. KU fans are familiar with Wright, a Chris Bosh clone, and Macklin is another guy getting considerable attention from the NBA. Boo also features Maryland commitment Eric Hayes, high scoring guard Stefan Welsh and a deep and talented supporting cast. Watch for seven footer Brian Zoubeck and high flying 2007 wing Jeff Robinson on the Jersey All-Stars and Xavier Keeling a 6-5 WG for the Alabama Lasers has mentioned some interest in Kansas.

Pool E- The Family, Georgia Stars, Friends of Hoop, St. Louis Eagles- The main man for Kansas fans to watch in this pool is Friends of Hoop star Spencer Hawes. He’s arguably the top target of the Kansas staff and they figure to battle with the likes of Duke, North Carolina and Washington for his services.

Other players to watch in the bracket are DeShawn Sims and Ramar Smith of The Family, Maryland commitment Landon Milbourne of the Georgia Stars and Tyler Hansbrough’s younger brother Ben who will hit the court with the St. Louis Eagles.

Pool F- New York Gauchos, California Elite, South Carolina Ravens, Ferrari Youth Players- If 2007 stud Derrick ?Pooh? Rose shows up with Ferrari as expected he is the main guy to watch in this pool. Already hailed as the best guard Chicago has produced since Isaiah Thomas, it will be interesting to see if Rose can live up to the hype. The Gauchos feature energetic 6-9 BF Curtis Kelly who was mentioned with Kansas at one time but it is doubtful he leaves the East Coast. 

California Elite should be headlined by future UCLA Bruin James Keefe and lookout for the SC Ravens 6-7 forward Mike Jones. Don?t be surprised if Brian Carlwell a 6-9 BF for Ferrari puts himself on the national map this weekend.

Pool G- Illinois Warriors, Athlete’s First, Louisiana Select, Tennessee Travelers- The premier talent in this group figures to be the Illinois Warriors Jon Scheyer, that is if he shows up. The 6-5 WG may skip the event in order to catch some rest. Even if he isn’t there look for the Warriors to be loaded and they’ll expect a lot from former St. Louis Eagle Alex Tyus. Athlete’s First features two guys that have been mentioned with Kansas ? although it is unlikely that either is a first tier target ? in Keith Clark and Obi Muonelo. Look for Louisiana Select’s Kevin Branch a talented 6-5 WG from the class of 2007 to make some noise.

Pool H- Portland Legends, Cecil Kirk, Wisconsin Playground Warriors, DC Blue Devils- The Playground Warriors Jerry Smith is a 6-2 combo guard who has seen his fair share of attention from Kansas and he’ll be expected to put up big numbers for his squad.

The Legends have produced Aaron Miles and Mike Lee in the past and 2007 studs Kevin Love and Kyle Singler are most definitely on the Kansas watch list. The DC Blue Devils Kevin Durant may be the best NBA prospect in attendance.


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