Kansas Targets in Action at Nike MDC

Day two of the Nike Memorial Day Classic provided another thrilling day of high octane hoops. Among the players in attendance were a handful of players who are either claiming interest in or generating interest from Kansas. Leading the way on Sunday was Seattle native Spencer Hawes who put together another terrific effort.


Spencer Hawes - After a terrific day on Saturday that saw him average 26 points and 12 rebounds, the 6-11 BF/C from Seattle (WA) Prep was at it again on Sunday. Showing off an aggressive low post game that featured plenty of growls, lots of spins and several jams Hawes dominated anybody in his way. He’s a fiery competitor who gets the most out of his still slender – but getting bigger and stronger – frame around the basket and he’s got a multitude of face-up skills to match. His jumper wasn’t as true as usual but he made up for it with his vigor inside the paint. You can’t help but like him when you watch him play and if you are interested in him attending your school you had better learn to like waiting on a decision. He’s still set on eight schools and with a trip to France to play some roundball and the busy month of July still to come, he isn’t any closer to making a decision. Hawes did indicate that he would take some unofficial visits during July in order to help trim his list and get a little vacation time in, but he wouldn’t guarantee that any particular school would get a visit.

Darrell Arthur - What a difference a day makes. After just kind of being there and showing an occasional glimpse on Saturday, the 6-9 BF made sure people knew why some regard him as a top five prospect in the class of 2006 on Sunday. He stuck a few tough turnaround jumpers on the baseline, showed off his tremendous athleticism around the basket on both ends of the court and basically made plays. He does have a tendency to drift in and out of games, but that drifting is also blown out of proportion to some degree because he just makes everything look so darned easy. Unfortunately he didn’t get to compete in tournament play after his Team Texas squad lost a three way tie-breaker during pool play.

Kyle Singler - On Sunday, Singler simply couldn’t have done anything more in leading his talented Portland teammates into the semifinals where they will face Athlete’s First. At 6-8, maybe even 6-9, he’s got the ability to play out on the floor in space and he’s got an uncanny knack for making the right play at the right time. He runs the floor with enthusiasm, sticks clutch jumpers, and has some slashing ability in his game that enables him to get to the rim and cause problems. If the outside game isn’t rolling, he’s just as likely to take you into the post where he embarrasses would be defenders with his footwork and crafty shot making. He’s in the middle of a growth spurt and has unlimited potential. No matter who you root for, you can’t help but be excited about the prospect of watching him progress.

Gary Johnson - According to the class of 2007 stud from Houston (TX) Aldine, Kansas has offered a scholarship and it isn’t tough to see why the Jayhawks may have made an early offer. With his inside outside game, angular frame and knack for gliding jams one can’t help but be reminded of Shawn Marion. The 6-7 combo forward is looking for a place that will allow him to expand his game both inside and outside and he’s a hard worker around the basket.

Isaiah Rusher and Jai Lucas - According to Rusher, the duo from Bellaire (TX) High is a package deal and they will attend college together. Rusher, a 6-9 BF/C, is a monster on the glass and has a penchant for blocking shots. He’s got a terrific body, runs the court well and isn’t sweating the fact that his offense is a little behind other areas of his game. Fact is the kid works out with pros on an almost daily basis and his game reminds you of a young Emeka Okafor. His partner in crime Lucas, a 5-9 PG, may be small but he gets the job done. He’s a terrific shooter, especially on floaters, runs his team and is a true leader on the court. He’s the first guy to pick up a teammate who is down and takes full responsibility for everything that happens on his watch. Few in the class of 2007 have a better work ethic or are more committed to succeeding and if his bloodlines are any indication people would be foolish to bet against him making an impact at the high major level.

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