Starting Friday, the Lawrence area and Kansas campus will once again host the Jayhawk Invitational and this year’s event looks to be even better than ever. In order to make things a little easier on the fans who will be checking out the action at Allen Fieldhouse, the Horjesi Center, Robinson Rec Center, Lawrence High and Haskell College, we’ve put together a list of just a few of the many players to watch out for, and we’ve done it for free!
First we’ll tackle the guys on the KU radar before moving on to some other nationally known prospects from the classes of 2009, 2010 and even 2011! Also, please be sure to check out the official website at www.jayhawkinvitational.com for any other information including schedules.
KU TARGETS AT THE JAYHAWK
Elijah Johnson (Pump ‘N Run Elite) - KU fans are already very familiar with Johnson. An athletic, attacking guard, the 6-2 point guard is a highlight reel waiting to happen thanks to his deep range, nasty handle and even nastier hops.
Derrick Favors (Atlanta Celtics) - Considered by many outlets to be the #1 player in the class of 2009, Favor is is a force around the basket. He’ll shake the rim, clean the glass and intimidate would be scorers with his shot blocking.
Lance Stephenson (Atlanta Celtics) - The current King of New York, Stephenson will be sticking around to take an unofficial visit to Kansas. A strong 6-6 wing with big time skills, he’s got substance and flash and will compete for the #1 spot in 2009 before it’s all said and done.
Stephan Van Treese (Indiana Elite) - This 6-9 forward visited Lawrence to take in a game during the season, now he’s back to show off his game. A good athlete who can score from 15 feet and in.
Michael Dixon and Jeff Reid (KC Pump ‘N Run) - Two of the top players in the greater Kansas City area, they teamed up to help lead KC to a championship at last weekend’s Next Level Invitational. Dixon is a point guard who plays tough d and gets everybody involved while Reid is a smooth shooter who can also get to the rim for dunks.
Rodney Williams (Howard Pulley Black) - Perhaps the single most electric athlete in the class of 2009, Williams is a crowd pleaser thanks to his Sportscenter quality jams. More than a dunker, he’s added pretty deep range on his jumper and a quick first step.
Lavonte Dority (Indiana Elite) - One of the top class of 2010 playmakers in what is turning out to be a loaded class in the state of Illinois. Gets to the rim, hits some jumpers and runs his team like a true floor general.
Anthony Marshall (Las Vegas Prospects) - Smooth lefty two guard was named to last year’s all tournament team and he’s back for more. Gets to the rim, hits jumpers and plays terrific defense.
Sampson Carter (Compton Magic) - Currently a member of the class of 2008, this 6-7 wing is probably going to prep school. Shoots with good range, finishes in transition and is one of the emerging prospects of the spring.
Ryon Riggons (Atlanta Celtics) - Only a freshman, this 2011 standout has already made a name for himself. 6-9 forward can run all day long, finishes with athleticism and has blossoming skills on the offensive end.
Shawn Williams (Texas Select) - Tall wing with rep of having deep range on his jumper and can get inside and mix it up.
Julian Washburn (Texas Select) 6-8 PF prospect, able to play inside and out and is a teammate of Shawn Williams.
MORE GUYS TO WATCH AT THE JAYHAWK
Mason Plumlee (Indiana Elite) - Already committed to Duke, he’s a skilled post man who has had a great spring. In fact, his play has put him into serious contention for a spot on the 2009 McDonald’s All-American team.
Joe Jackson (Compton Magic) - This class of 2010 product out of traditional Memphis area power White Station is a flat out scoring machine. A young Allen Iverson type, he’s quick, gets to the rim and scores in bunches. He was the MVP of last year’s 15 and under division but will make the move to the 17’s for 2008.
Jamaal Branch (Houston Swoosh 15’s)- A native of Kansas City, this 2011 standout is amped to play in front of his family and friends. The 6-2 playmaker has already given a commitment to Texas A&M and is considered by many the top player in Texas for his class.
Trevor Releford (KC Pump ‘N Run 16’s) - The younger brother of KU commitment Travis Releford, this 5-10 PG is fun to watch. Terrific ball handler who gets into the lane at will and sets up teammates for easy scores.
Justin Clark (KC Pump ‘N Run) - After leading the KC Metro area in scoring as a junior, Clark has officially blown up. Marquette, Clemson, Nebraska, Missouri, UCLA, Georgetown and several others have asked about this high scoring wing with unlimited range within the last week.
Dominique Ferguson (Indiana Elite LNO) - One of the top 10 players in the class of 2010, this 6-9 forward just gave a commitment to Kentucky earlier in the week. He’s long and skilled around the basket and makes great use of his 7-5 wingspan.
Joe Burton (Compton Magic) - A true big man, Burton is a space eater who earns his money within 10 feet of the hoop. Thanks to his play this spring he’s had high majors from across the country checking in on his progress.
Richard Anderson (Rameybasketball.com ) - A native of St. Louis who is currently prepping in the Nashville area, he’s one of the better kept secrets in the country. Has great size, runs the floor and likes to rock the rim.
Matt Carlino (Arizona Premiere Black) - Another class of 2011 standout, Carlino is back for his second year at the Jayhawk. Smart combo guard is a no brainer recruit on the high major level.
Harrison Barnes (All Iowa Attack 16’s) - This 6-6 wing is on the verge of breaking out on the national scene. Athletic, tough and he’s a very good shooter to the three point line. Should end up as a top 50 prospect nationally in the class of 2010.
Trent Lockett (Net Gain Sports) - This smooth wing has already given a verbal commitment to Arizona State. Has range to well beyond the three point line and is back for his second year after leading his team to the semifinals of last year’s 16 and under division.
D.J. Bird (Indiana Elite) - Just one of many committed players on the loaded Indiana Elite squad. He’s a tough 6-5 wing who has already told Purdue he’s coming to play for them.
Bobby Capobianco and Derek Elstun (Indiana Elite) - That’s right, more committed players for Indiana Elite! This duo has committed to Indiana. Capobianco brings the muscle while Elstun brings the skill.
Andre Malone (Atlanta Celtics) - Auburn flat out stole one when they got him to commit early. This 6-5 wing can stroke it from deep, finishes above the rim and is pretty well put together.
Christian Watford (Compton Magic) - A smooth 6-8 combo forward, Watford can exploit defenders depending on matchups. He takes big guys to the perimeter while working over smaller guys in the post. He’s a top 30 prospect nationally with a legit shot at the McDonald’s game in 2009.
Royce White (Howard Pulley Black) - This 6-7 combo forward is an excellent shooter with range to the three point line. Around the basket, he’s an explosive leaper who can finish with the best of them. Tubby Smith is certainly glad to have him locked up to play at Minnesota.
Darian Kelly (Midwest Mission) - One of the best prospects in the state of Kansas, this 6-1 point guard is a two sport standout who is being recruited by Kansas for football. Plays good defense, makes great decisions and can make you pay from deep if you leave him open.
Michael Cobbins (New Mexico Force) - A big man from the class of 2010, look for the 6-9 Cobbins to be one of the breakout performers at this year’s Jayhawk Invitational.
Jamison Stearns (Texas Select) - Burly PG, known for his ability to get to the rim. Future Baylor Bear.