The Kansas 2003 recruiting class is off to a solid start with the verbal commitments of WG J.R. Giddens and SG Jeremy Case. With up to three scholarships left to give, at least one seems destined for another wing or guard.
Most of the recent media attention has been on 6'2 WG Omar Wilkes out of Los Angeles. Wilkes eliminated Stanford earlier this week and will choose between Kansas, UCLA, and Cal. A press conference is scheduled at Loyola High School for Wednesday, Oct. 2nd. Kansas recruit David Padgett is set to announce by that date as well, though both are remaining tight lipped about their decisions.
Wilkes took official with Padgett last April. His parents, including former Bruin star and NBA player Jamaal Wilkes, returned in August along with the Padgetts. Wilkes and Padgett have expressed interest in playing for the same team, but neither will base their decision on the other.
"No particular trait in Wilkes game jumps out and commands your attention, but he is a rock solid all around player who will help you win. His father learned from the all time best while playing for John Wooden and he has passed on his knowledge and respect for the game to Omar," said Eric Bossi, Prepstars.
Recent interviews indicate that Bruin connection may have become a big factor. In a Rivals interview Wilkes admitted to nearly committing to Kansas during Roy Williams' in home visit earlier this month. Howevr, his post UCLA visit comments to Rivals included the remark that UCLA sold him on the idea of staying home.
Whichever school he chooses, Wilkes is certain to bring strong leadership qualities with him.
"Despite his almost child-like lack of bulk, Wilkes is very smooth and capable of scoring in a lot of different ways," said Rob Harrington, Prepstars.
"His comfort and candor with the media will make him a sports information department's dream," added Bossi.
And so the fans continue to dream as well.
6'5 Ronnie Brewer from Fayetteville is on the wish list for many Jayhawk fans. Brewer attended Late Night last year and plans to return to Kansas on an official visit with his parents, possibly during Late Night. Brewer ranks in the top 40-75.
"Ronnie is a slender athlete who doesn't look to have fully matured yet," said Bossi
"He is skilled enough to play either guard slot or the small forward and is a crafty scorer who poses serious matchup problems. Perhaps more impressive are his impeccable passing skills and willingness to play in your face defense," said Bossi.
SF Marcus Dove is another multi-positional player that Kansas is looking at.
"Roy Williams and his staff have always been great evaluators. They may tend to pursue some guys a lot harder than a higher ranked player. A classic example is Marcus Dove. I think he is so good. I think he is a top fifty like player," said Frank Burlison, Fox Sports
"Dove really has guard skills, can handle it, pass it. He's not a great shooter but a pretty good shooter. I think he is a more versatile player than Trevor Ariza. He would end up being a very good player for Kansas by his sophomore year," said Burlison.
Eric Bossi of Prepstars agrees most analysts, including himself may have underevaluated Dove.
"He is a streaky shooter who has a good feel for the game and is an excellent passer from the high post and wing. He will need to improve his strength and learn to be more demonstrative on the offensive end before he gets to the college level," said Bossi.
Dove is from Long Beach, CA and attends Millikan. He completed an in home in September and is also slated to visit during Late Night. His final three schools are Kansas, Arizona State, and OSU.
"I have an idea of what Roy Williams looks for in players and I would be surprised if they don't end up offering him," said Burlison.
6'0 PG Quinton "Pooh" Day (Paseo) recently verbaled to Nebraska before deciding he needed more time to make a decision. 6'3 G Nick Bahe, known for his three point shooting, has taken two unofficials to Kansas. Bahe (Lincoln Southeast) is also a highly regarded quarterback.