Kingwood Rules on Saturday

Even though there were plenty of games on Friday night, the Kingwood Classic in Houston doesn't really get rolling until the coaches show up. Well, the coaches arrived in full force -- including a full contigent of Kansas staffers in Bill Self, Joe Dooley and Kurtis Townsend -- and there was more than enough action to keep them satisfied.

On the Kansas front, there were more than enough prospects to keep them occupied and their biggest remaining 2006 target made a surprising and impressive appearance.

KANSAS TARGETS ON SATURDAY

Darrell Arthur - There were whispers all week that Arthur was going to show up with Urban DFW Elite and it came to fruition on Saturday when the 6-9 forward from Dallas showed up and put in work. A pessimist would argue that he’s coming off appearances at the McDonald’s All-American game and the Roundball Classic and that he’s got a year of experience on most of the guys he was playing against and that argument certainly holds water. But, nobody can deny that Shady was arguably the best looking prospect in the event on Saturday.

He spun past defenders for dunks, he ran past bigger and smaller guys to finish in transition, brought the ball up on a few occasions and generally did whatever he wanted. It’s always interesting to watch him because his body language almost always suggests that he’d rather be anywhere else, still he dominates when he puts his mind to it. Next weekend that anywhere else he’d rather be is expected to be a visit to LSU. The hot rumor is that Tigers have come from virtually nowhere to leapfrog the pack in the battle for Arthur’s services and that they could score a commitment. Then again, when was the last time that something rumored to happen in his recruitment actually went down as predicted. Stay tuned.

Blake Griffin - The Oklahoma big man is on a rapid climb up the charts thanks to some inspired play this spring and it’s not going to stop based on what he’s done in Houston. He’s a mean mother bleeper on the blocks who combines skill, surprising explosiveness and skill into one attractive package. He drew head coaches like Self, Jeff Capel, Roy Williams and Scott Drew just to name a few and it is more than likely that those coaches and more are going to keep showing up for his games.

Anthony Randolph - People had heard about the 6-10’ish southpaw from Dallas before and he justifiably had big time interest, but the slender big man took his recruitment into another stratosphere on Saturday. Playing in front of a crowd jam packed with high profile head coaches, Randolph went to work and put his dazzling array of skills on full display. He handles the ball far too well for any big man to stay with him for long off of the bounce and he’s a deadly shooter -- as long as he doesn’t jack bad shots -- out to the three point line. If he adds some weight and develops a bit more of a pit bull mentality, look out because the sky’s the limit.

Brandon McGee - Not familiar with McGee? Sherron Collins sure is. Collins’ former teammate at Crane has been tearing it up this spring and the 6-7 combo forward has drawn the attention of the Kansas staff. He’s fairly athletic, gets on the offensive glass and has a pretty good looking stroke and handle. However, he’s not totally comfortable playing with his back to the basket and he’s still trying to figure out his game. He’s clearly established himself as a high major guy and the question is whether or not he’s an elite level guy.

Cameron Tatum - Second verse, same as the first. After a very quiet game on Friday night, the 6-5 wing from Georgia was quiet again on Saturday against Arthur’s DFW team. This time, Self was on hand to watch and the Jayhawks boss couldn’t have been too impressed with Tatum’s output. He does have a nice looking stroke from the three point line and he’s a pretty athletic finisher. But, he didn’t play very aggressively and the only he rarely put the ball on the floor or got into the paint outside of transition opportunities. He’s a guy trying to endear himself to high major programs late in the process and he needs to be a lot more effective than he’s shown in Houston to do that.

Scott Suggs - Because of his afro, slight build and smooth looking jumper it’s almost inevitable that the 6-5 wing is going to draw comparisons to Josh Childress. He doesn’t hunt his shot from the perimeter quite as much as Childress did back in the day instead choosing to put the ball on the floor, but he’s every bit as smooth. He’s comfortable going left or right and is a fabulous passer to boot. Once he adds a little weight, he’s got a chance to be a serious baller. Kansas took a look last winter and both Dooley and Townsend were on hand to watch him Saturday.


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