Recruiting classes are the toughest variable in the recruiting game to quantify. Schools recruit for the needs of the program and not to placate the fans; at least the successful ones do. From our perspective, we give high points for collecting talent in the recruiting game and for good reason. Look at your Final Four rosters the last 10 years. The best talent usually winds up playing the final weekend of the season.
The 2003 class on its way to Lawrence next fall isn't merely a collection of talent. David Padgett, Omar Wilkes, JR Giddens and Jeremy Case already seem to have symmetry and in some cases, have common backgrounds.
Padgett, the son of high school and former college coach, is the marquee guy. He's a team player by every definition of the word. Skilled, strong and smart, Padgett is college ready because he can score, runs the floor and already has a good idea of the team concept that can be difficult for freshman to grasp. In short, he's a star in the making for the Jayhawks.
Keeping with the theme of savvy and smarts, Wilkes fits in well into the picture. Like Padgett, he's got terrific basketball genes as his father was a star at UCLA. Wilkes will be important to the Jayhawks early in his career because like Padgett, he's got a tremendous basketball IQ. He's versatile and that's a popular trait in college buckets. Plus, he and Padgett have played AAU ball together, enjoy each other on and off the court and seem to already have great chemistry.
We think chemistry is an invaluable trait, especially when bringing in a large recruiting class. If you can't have chemistry, give us athleticism and that's where Giddens comes in.
The high-soaring small forward is a ridiculous athlete; one of the best we saw all summer long. He has that bounce to his game and is the kind of player who's going to sky for those offensive tip dunks in traffic. A high-energy kid, Giddens gives this class speed and quickness.
Case is the least heralded of the four newcomers but he has that trait Roy Williams has proved to be quite fond of: he's a coach's son. We've seen Case play a good deal and while he's often listed as a combo guard, he's really an undersized two guard whose forte is shooting from deep.
In conclusion, we think this class has continuity, high hoops IQ guys and a star to help reload the frontcourt with. This is a group of young guys who probably will get out of the gate a little faster than most freshmen because of their pedigrees and that's always a nice advantage to have when bringing youth into the program.