Josh Jackson hype took a slight hit on Tuesday when ESPN.com’s final Class of 2016 rankings listed the future Kansas University shooting guard as No. 2 high school senior prospect in the country.
Jackson — he figures to remain Rivals.com’s top-rated recruit when that Website releases its final ratings — is ESPN’s runner-up to incoming Duke forward Harry Giles, a 6-10, 220-pounder from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.
…“In most classes, Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum could easily be the No. 1 player. Jackson continues to impose his will. The small forward’s versatility and ability to impact the game in so many different categories moves him to the No. 2 spot,” Biancardi wrote. “Offensively, he thrives in transition by finishing and he can score at ease in the half-court set. It’s no secret his jumper is under construction, but he’s a playmaker with a high basketball IQ and his real worth on the defensive end. He’s a committed and tenacious defender who can switch on to almost any offensive player and make a stop.
“Tatum, at No. 3 has a gift for scoring in a variety of ways. He’s a difficult matchup in the half-court set because he scores with a much-improved three-point shot and a middle game that is the best in the class,” Biancardi noted.
Incoming KU power forward Udoka Azubuike, a 6-10, 280 senior from Potter’s House in Jacksonville, Fla., will enter college ranked No. 22 by ESPN. KU’s Mitch Lightfoot, 6-8, 210 senior from Gilbert (Ariz.) Christian, is ESPN’s No. 67-rated player.
…KU’s senior basketball players will participate in the annual “Barnstorming Tour” basketball games. So far, Perry Ellis, who is training in Houston, has signed up for one of the four contests — May 6 at Wichita East. Hunter Mickelson, Jamari Traylor and Evan Manning will participate in all four games. The schedule ... Saturday, April 30: at Leavenworth Patton Junior High. Autographs 4 p.m., game 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 4: at Lebo High School. Autographs 5:30 p.m., game 7:30 p.m. Friday May 6: at Wichita East High School. Autographs 6 p.m., game 8 p.m. Saturday May 7: at Garden City High School. Autographs 3 p.m., game 5 p.m.
ESPN Top 100 for 2016
Kansas recognized some of its top student-athlete performers - past and present, from near and far - and presented another class of soon-to-be graduating seniors their K Rings at the Senior Celebration inside the Kansas Union Monday night. One of the best athletes to ever come out of Kansas, Gale Sayers, was presented with the K Club Lifetime Service Award, while three other native sons and daughters, along with a record-setting golfer from the other side of the world, garnered top honors.
Wichita native Perry Ellis (men's basketball) and Thai golfer Yupaporn "Mook" Kawinpakorn were named Kansas' Dr. Frederick Senior Scholar Athletes while rowing's Tessa Scott from De Soto, Kansas, and cross country's James Hampton, also of Wichita, were presented with the Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship during the ceremony, which followed a reception inside the Union Ballroom.
At the KU basketball banquet last week, KU coach Bill Self reported that Diallo was training in South Carolina, which makes this question valid. How does it work when players leave campus early to pursue professional opportunities?
I talked to Paul Buskirk, KU’s associate athletic director for student-athlete support. The short answer is KU Athletics says it prepares for this type of situation.
Here are the official NCAA guidelines: Student-athletes must take 24 hours of college credit over their first year. At least 18 of those hours have to come in the fall and spring combined, and at least six must be in the spring semester.
From the day Diallo came to campus last summer, Buskirk said the athletic department planned on the possibility Diallo might be a one-and-done. That oftentimes means enrolling players like Diallo in online classes.
“That is a godsend to keeping flexibility to our students in multiple sports when it comes to getting things done at the end of the semester,” Buskirk said.
Oftentimes, an athlete may be enrolled in 12 or 15 hours in the spring semester, but as long as six hours are completed (and 24 for the year), the student is considered to be in good academic standing.
That’s important for KU as well. The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rates were released Wednesday, and if a player such as Diallo leaves school in poor academic standing (meaning he wouldn’t be eligible to play the next season if he came back), that counts against KU’s APR.
Because the KU men’s basketball team finished with a perfect 1,000 one-year APR score in nine of the last 10 seasons, we can assume nearly every player with a situation like Diallo’s has completed the necessary coursework to remain in good academic standing.
KU offers other course options that can benefit athletes in Diallo’s situation. Some “short courses” run only the first eight weeks and are completed by mid-March.
The athletic department also can monitor a player’s academic progress. Each player signs a release that allows KU Athletics officials to contact instructors to ensure coursework is getting completed, and athletes also have access to long-distance tutoring sessions, which are often completed over Skype or Facetime.
In short, new course offerings and improved technology have made it more manageable for KU athletes pursuing professional careers away from campus.
“For a student to leave for a period of time used to be an agony physically,” Buskirk said. “It’s no longer an agony for us, because we can monitor these things long distance and get coursework done from afar.”
Kansas head women's basketball coach Brandon Schneider and his staff added graduate transfer Sydney Umeri to the Jayhawks' roster, the first signee of 2016 for KU. As a graduate transfer, Umeri will be eligible to join Kansas on the hardwood next season and be able to play immediately.
Schneider added height to the roster with his first signee in the late signing period. Umeri, a 6-1 forward, comes to Allen Fieldhouse after a three-year career at Virginia. The Acworth, Georgia product will graduate with her undergraduate degree from Virginia in May.
"We are excited to add a player of Sydney's character, work ethic and versatility to our program," Schneider said. "She is a strong, athletic forward who possess both a back-to-the-basket and face up game. Her skill level and ability to play both inside and out make her a tough match-up."
Umeri prepped at the Lovett School in Atlanta and helped the Lions to the 2012 Georgia Region 6AA championship. During her senior season of high school, Umeri was ranked No. 29 overall and the No. 9 forward in the 2013 recruiting class by ESPN's HoopGurlz.
Umeri was a four time all-region selection, a two-time Atlanta Tipoff Club Jackie Bradford All-Metro Girls Honorable Mention and a 2013 McDonald's All-America nominee. Additionally, Umeri won a gold medal with the 2011 USA Basketball's U16 team at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mérida, Mexico.
BIG 12/COLLEGE NEWS
SI: ACC or Big 12? Which was best conference in 2015-16?
Add Iowa State’s Deonte Burton to the growing list of college basketball players taking advantage of a new NCAA rule that permits underclassmen to test the NBA waters without losing eligibility, provided they don’t hire an agent.
Iowa State officials confirmed Tuesday night that the 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior planned to be evaluated by NBA coaches and scouts. He has not hired an agent.
Des Moines Register
Larry Eustachy plans to finish his coaching career at CSU, he said Tuesday, and he’s glad fans aren’t satisfied with an 18-win season.
He’s not satisfied with it, either, and guaranteed the Rams would win more games next season. That’s why he’s spent the past six weeks on the road recruiting players and assistant coaches.
New Oklahoma State basketball coach Brad Underwood will make a total of $6.3 million the next five years with a salary starting at $1 million for 2016-17.
The contract was approved Friday during a Board of Regents meeting Connors State College in Warner.
Underwood's salary will peak at $1.6 million in 2020-21, not including incentives. The incentives include $25,000 for Big 12 Coach of the Year, $50,000 for a Big 12 regular-season title, $35,000 for a Big 12 Tournament title, $35,000 for an NCAA Tournament appearance and $40,000 for NCAA Tournament wins.
The board also approved a settlement that would pay former coach Travis Ford a lump sum of $3.9 million. The new Saint Louis coach was owed $7.2 million for the three remaining years on his deal.
The Wildcats’ most prominent teams have slipped since then, with the football team winning 23 games the past three seasons and the men’s basketball team missing the postseason in consecutive years. But Currie thinks both teams are poised for more. He hopes his contract extension boosts that belief.
“At a time when we have transition at our university, this is really a statement of stability,” Currie said.
Currie’s salary of $775,000 will remain unchanged under the new agreement, but he will receive retention bonuses if he remains at K-State through the life of his contract. He is set to receive $100,000 on June 30, 2017, and $275,000 on the same date in 2021. In 2022, the bonus increases to $325,000.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, the near-conclusion of the offseason coaching carousel is good news for FGCU, which faced potential concerns about an uncertain coaching staff in the midst of the critical April recruiting period.
Dooley has two years remaining on a five-year contract that paid him just under $240,000 this year.
The buyout amount in his contract dropped on Friday, the anniversary of his April 22 hiring date, from $150,000 to $125,000. On April 22 next year, there is no buyout amount.
FGCU athletic director Ken Kavanagh said he and Dooley continue to work toward a contract extension and that he hopes to have one completed in the coming week.
In the last month, Dooley also was widely reported as a finalist for head coaching positions at St. Louis and Wright State. Both were filled.
But if Dooley, who adamantly professed his affinity for FGCU once reports surfaced linking him to N.C. State, had considered taking the assistant job, a clause in his contract might have stood in the way.
The voluntary termination clause in Dooley's contract that specifies buyout amounts stipulates that the resignation be to "take a position as a head coach at another Division I institution."
No provision exists for Dooley to leave to become an assistant coach.
The only other clause under which it's at Dooley's discretion to leave would be if FGCU discontinued its Division I status. The school has been D-I since the 2007-08 season.
Kavanagh said Dooley's contract lacks a buyout stipulation to become an assistant coach because that option wasn't even considered when he was hired three years ago.
"You don't often see coaches leaving for assistant positions," Kavanagh said. "When we hired Joe we really didn't see that happening. In 5-6 years things have exploded."
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill got a mild updated “notice of allegations” from college athletics’ weak governing body, the NCAA, regarding the disgraceful, long-running academic fraud scandal that touched on its athletics program. It should have come as no surprise that the NCAA is walking softly around Chapel Hill, though it does allege five “Level I” violations – the most serious – which the university will have to answer.
A multi-year scandal unfolded around fraudulent classes in African studies, “paper” classes wherein students did not attend lectures but simply wrote papers for a grade. Athletes, including men’s basketball and football players, were disproportionately enrolled in the classes. The News & Observer’s Dan Kane wrote a series of stories documenting those issues, and his stories led to a $3 million-plus investigation by Washington attorney Kenneth Wainstein, called in by the university. In the end, Wainstein essentially found that Kane’s reports were on target and that the university had a serious scandal on its hands.
Unfortunately, the university responded to the scandal with millions of dollars in outside public relations help to “manage” the story and with expensive legal counsel, and it managed to dismiss Mary Willingham, a courageous former academic counselor who was a whistleblower in the scandal.
The updated notice of allegations has the whiff of being weakened by UNC lawyers pressing the NCAA hard to parse terms and narrow the extent of when and where it would place blame. If so, the lawyers have earned their money, but the university has ignored its obligation to find and accept the truth rather than ways to dodge it.
Editorial News & Observer
Now technically, “18 years” is the same thing as “at least six years,” but that is just semantics. This was an obvious shortening of the time frame, which is significant because it all but eliminates the possibility that the NCAA could vacate North Carolina’s 2005 men’s basketball championship. (Ten players on that team were AFAM majors.) But by far the biggest change is the elimination of the sole reference to the men’s basketball program.
Why the adjustments? Right now, we don’t know. When asked about it during an afternoon conference call with the media, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said it would be up to the NCAA’s investigative staff to provide an answer. The folks who track these matters closely are curious as to what that answer might be. “It appears to be a pretty remarkable pullback,” said Brad Wolverton, who has written extensively about academic fraud cases for The Chronicle of Higher Education. “It’s sort of astounding. This is supposedly one of the biggest academic scandals in the history of college sports, and from all appearances we’ve narrowed this case down to women’s basketball.”
If the pullback amounts to a sharpening of how the NCAA defines its missions as it relates to academic fraud, then it will have far-reaching ramifications. After the Penn State debacle, the NCAA is less inclined to overstep its bounds. No one is disputing that the AFAM Studies courses were illegitimate. The question is whether it is the responsibility of a school’s athletic personnel to determine that, and therefore, whether the NCAA’s enforcement division should punish sports programs for failing to do so. Notice, for example, the NCAA’s use of the word “anomalous” to describe those classes. The authors of the notice could have used more incendiary words like “fraudulent” or “phony,” but they chose the path of least resistance. That is no accident.
SI Seth Davis
No surprise Friday morning when it was announced that the NCAA had granted Amile Jefferson a medical hardship year after the Duke forward was limited to just nine games this past season because of a broken right foot. A senior, Jefferson is eligible for the 2016-17 season, as if the Blue Devils really need another player.
Duke will be loaded next season. Most of the way-too-early 2016-17 rankings, the ones that pop up at the end of the Final Four, had Mike Krzyzewski’s team ranked No. 1 with Kentucky at No. 2. And that was before guard Grayson Allen announce he would return for his junior season or it was known four sure that Jefferson would be back.
All of this is also with the recruitment of Marques Bolden still up in the air. The 6-foot-10 center from DeSoto, Texas, ranked as the 16th best prospect in the Class of 2016, could announce his decision any day now. Bolden has reportedly narrowed his choices to Kentucky and Duke.
Keelon Lawson has accepted a support role on Tubby Smith's staff and effectively ended, at least temporarily, what had been an interesting dilemma for the new Memphis coach.
Lawson confirmed the decision to CBS Sports on Monday.
Smith told the Commercial Appeal earlier in the day that his actual assistants will be Pooh Williamson, Joe Esposito and Saul Smith -- all three of whom were with Smith at Texas Tech. Lawson's title will likely be Director of Player Development, a source told CBS Sports.
This is newsworthy because Keelon Lawson is the father of Dedric Lawson and K.J. Lawson, i.e., the Tigers' top two returning scorers. And sources told CBS Sports last week that Keelon Lawson was considering removing both sons from Memphis if he and Smith couldn't agree on a role similar to the role he held under Josh Pastner, who hired Keelon Lawson as his third assistant two summers ago specifically to land the pair of top-55 national recruits.
Reports in Canada suggest Jonathon Nicola, who is 6ft 9in and wears size 16 shoes, has been arrested for allegedly contravening immigration rules.
From South Sudan, Nicola has been making headlines playing for the Catholic Central High School in Windsor, Ontario, since arriving in Canada six months ago.
He enrolled as a 17-year-old grade 11 student and quickly became the star player on the Catholic Central Comets senior boys' basketball team.
Nicola was reportedly living with Comets head coach Pete Cusumano through a programme which finds homes for foreign students.
In January, Cusumano told the Windsor Star: "I think this kid will have a chance at the NBA."
Nicola said he came to Canada to escape the civil war in his homeland and had to repeatedly travel to Kenya to obtain a Canadian visa.
He is being kept at a detention centre by the Canada Border Services Agency, which told the Guardian: "When he recently applied for a US visitor visa, it was determined by fingerprint match that he was the same individual who had made a previous application to the US using a DOB of November 1, 1986."
Big time college athletics often plays out like "Game of Thrones," with the great noble houses of the Power Five realm relentlessly engaged in battles for geographic footprints and control of an Iron Throne forged from piles of television contract money.
And the Big Ten, one of the richest conferences in the land, will soon hammer out new rights deals to keep the wealth gap between House Delany and three of the other Power Five families rather considerable. Only the Southeastern Conference can match their affluence.
According to the Sports Business Journal, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is close to signing a deal that gives half of their media rights package to FOX. Basic terms of the contract will reportedly add an estimated $250 million per year, over the next six years, to the Big Ten's revenue stream starting in 2017. The new pact should consist of 25 college football games and 50 basketball games to be broadcast on FOX's over-the-air channel and FS1 every season.
…Unfortunately for the Big 12, they occupy the same precarious position as the Big East did over a decade ago. The lure of better economics brought Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville to the ACC. The same could create a scenario where Texas and Oklahoma look to another conference in order to keep up with their peers from the SEC and Big Ten.
There's really nothing the Big 12 can bring in for the next media rights contract that'll generate the kind of revenue to keep up. Expanding with Cincinnati and BYU ain't going to do it, so the logical step is to start coming up with exit strategies. The Sooners and Longhorns will be just fine, but the same can't be said for a school like Iowa State.
Nebraska junior Andrew White III has declared for the NBA draft but will not hire an agent, the university announced.
“I will graduate from the University of Nebraska next month, with one year of NCAA eligibility remaining,” White said. “I continue to be grateful to Nebraska and its basketball program. Participation in the NBA’s draft activities will afford me the opportunity to demonstrate my skills in the most elite setting. I look forward to the challenge.”
White finished last season averaging 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He ranked sixth in scoring, 15th in rebounding and fourth in three-point percentage in the Big Ten.
NBA Draft/Early Entry Guidelines for 2016
Find out the tournament history for specific seeds, teams, coaches or conferences.
NCAA Tournament Brackets and History interactive tool
CBS Interactive Tool: Pick two teams to compare record, RPI and SOS details head to head. By default, the top two teams in RPI are shown.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
The recruitment of former Duke University basketball point guard Derryck Thornton is about to get serious.
Thornton, a 6-2 freshman who recently announced plans to leave the Durham, N.C., school after one season, announced Monday he will visit USC this weekend, then Kansas University a week from today. He also plans to make trips to Washington and Miami before settling on his transfer destination.
Thornton must sit out one season in accordance with NCAA rules. The timing of that would be ideal at KU, considering the Jayhawks need perimeter help in 2017-18 following the departure of Frank Mason III, who will have graduated, and possibly Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, who could turn pro after their junior years. Also, Josh Jackson is expected to be a one-and-done player.
Even if Graham stayed a final season, minutes would not appear to be a problem for Thornton, who would join Graham and Lagerald Vick in the backcourt. KU wants to sign perimeter players Michael Porter (6-8 small forward) and Trae Young (6-1 Norman, Okla., combo guard), who this fall will begin their senior seasons of high school.
Based on the assumption that Thornton wants to get back closer to his California roots, Southern Cal and Washington are considered to be the leaders.
But if the highly rated point guard would opt for Miami, he’d probably get hit with a rare double eligibility whammy by having to sit out the 2016-17 season under NCAA transfer stipulations and then 2017-18 as a result of an ACC rule that tacks on a second season of inactivity.
…Meanwhile, it’s already been a big week for Kansas coach Bill Self, whose team finished regular season ’15-’16 as No. 1 in the polls but then lost to eventual national champ Villanova in the NCAA tournament.
With Wednesday’s announcement by 6-8 wingman Josh Jackson that he’ll join a Jayhawk roster that already includes veterans Devonte Graham (11.3 ppg), Frank Mason (12.9 ppg), Carlton Bragg and Svi Mykhailuk, Kansas locked up a preseason top-10 ranking spot.
Jackson was listed as the nation’s No. 1 prospect by some of the recruit services and was among the top five by all. He’s been called a more physical version of Brandon Ingram and will join an incoming class that includes center Udoka Azubuike (7-0, 260) and wing forward Mitch Lightfoot (6-8, 200).
And while it’s very early in the chase for the top 2017 prospects, Kansas is deemed the possible leader for Atlanta’s Wendell Carter (6-10).
Carter is believed to be strongly interested in Duke, as well. But with the Blue Devils and Mike Krzyzewski likely to get an early commitment from Mohamed Bamba (6-11, Norristown, Pa.), it’s possible Carter could wind up elsewhere.
If Thornton opts for either Southern Cal or Washington, he’d likely to be assured of starting immediately in ’17-’18. But then, that probably would be the situation at Miami, too.
The most intriguing, discussed story line in college basketball recruiting right now: the agreed-upon top-rated prospect in the class of 2017 isn't being courted by a number of blue blood programs.
This isn't normal, not at all.
His name is DeAndre Ayton. He's from the Bahamas, lives in Arizona, stands 6-foot-10 and is one of the more impressive physical players you'll see for his age. Great athleticism, tremendous length, solid shooting ability, go-go motor. But if you check out his 247 profile page, you'll see -- though it is still kind of early -- that the Crystal Ball forecast is already 100 percent for Kansas.
Schools like Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisville and Michigan State aren't in the mix at the moment. It's strange. Even stranger: the Louisville Courier-Journal's Kyle Tucker, among others, recently reported that Kansas is the only big school really pushing for Ayton. This is atypical, to say the least.
“Right now, it's Kansas. That's it,” Ayton said Friday night at the second stop on Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League spring circuit. “I'm only seeing Kansas right now. I don't know (why). The word is I'm not going to college or something, but I say college is a must.”
... Not long ago, Ayton's top suitors included not only the Jayhawks but also fellow basketball bluebloods Kentucky and Duke. Both seem to have backed off lately.
“Kentucky, I think right now they're mediocre with me in their interest,” he said. “It don't matter to me. Whoever comes, comes. Look into it and figure something out. I really don't care who ain't recruiting me, to be honest. I'm just going to stay on top of my game and try to get better.”
This just doesn't happen with top-five prospects. So why is it happening now?
For some colleges, Ayton's reputation is one of some concern in regard to his college eligibility. (He attends Hillcrest Academy, in Phoenix.) But he's been telling the media there's nothing to be concerned with in regard to that, that his grades and coursework line up. He's saying he wants to go to college and that his mother wants the same.
The other element: There could be some paradigm-shifting in play, as a player Ayton's been compared to (in terms of situation, not his game/talents), Thon Maker, recently made the decision to bypass college and immediately declare for the NBA Draft. The NBA accepted his decision, which could be a game-changer. Maker's college eligibility was considered iffier than Ayton's currently is, however.
Is Ayton just playing it close to the vest and ultimatley planning on making a leap to the NBA? He'd possibly be able to qualify because of his age, going, like Maker, when he's 19.
The Nike EYBL and Under Armour Association made stops in the Indianapolis area this weekend during the second (and final) weekend college coaches could be out this spring for the live evaluation period. It meant that the Hoosier state was the epicenter of college basketball recruiting this weekend as most of the elite players and top programs found their way to the area at some point in time. Here’s a look at some storylines from the weekend, including a look at some of the top players in the class.
1. DeAndre Ayton remains No. 1 in the Class of 2017
The Class of 2017 has some solid star power at the top and this group also had the benefit of playing behind a deep and competitive Class of 2016 the last few years. So the top of the 2017 class was already well prepared to take the torch and run with it as a lot of stars had big performances during the last two weekends in front of college coaches.
But the 7-foot Ayton remains the most impressive long-term prospect among a group that will produce plenty of college stars and good pros. Gifted physically in ways that are seldom seen of a seven-footer, Ayton gobbles up apex rebounds over every other player in traffic and has the lateral quickness to defend smaller players on the perimeter. He’s averaging 19.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game on 65 percent shooting the first two weekends. And if you foul Ayton, he’s making 80 percent for his free throws so far, so you can’t go to some kind of hack-a-player strategy that is often effective with centers as big and athletic as he is. With his size, touch and overall skill level, Ayton is a monster when he’s motivated to play his hardest.
…5. Positional flexibility is becoming more of a focus with wings and big men
Changes in basketball the last few years have led to many coaches re-evaluating positional standards and what they’re looking for when it comes to recruiting. The Golden State Warriors have used 6-foot-6 Draymond Green at center and power forward extensively the last two seasons and had some of the greatest seasons in NBA history with a smaller lineup often leading the charge. Villanova started 6-foot-6 Kris Jenkins at power forward on its national championship team and only had one player taller than 6-foot-8 in its regular rotation.
Now we’re starting to see those former “tweeners” become assets as college coaches are figuring out better ways to get the most talented players on the floor. If you can handle the ball, pass and move laterally, it doesn’t matter as much if you are “undersized” anymore as many coaches appear keen on trying to copy the Golden State and Villanova model…In the Class of 2017, players like P.J. Washington, Ira Lee and Galen Alexander will be ones to monitor with this situation because of their size and strength on the wing while also being able to play some forward in smaller lineups.
Ira Lee, a 6-7, 215-pound junior power forward from Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., has been offered a scholarship by KU, Rivals.com reports. Josh Jackson’s former prep teammate is ranked No. 48 in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com. ... Collin Sexton, a 6-1 junior point guard from Pebblebrook High in Mableton, Ga., who is ranked No. 59 in the Class of ’17, has been offered a scholarship by KU, Rivals.com reports.
Zach Harvey grew up wanting to be a Jayhawk.
The dream he had as a boy is a real possibility now after the University of Kansas extended an offer to the 2019 standout on Monday.
“You can’t really put it into words because growing up people used to make jokes and ask, ‘Zach where are you going to college?’ and I would say, ‘I’m going to KU,’” Harvey said. “For it to become a reality as an option it is just kind of breathtaking. It’s a dream really.”
Harvey, a 6-foot-4 guard who averaged 12 points a game as a freshman at Hayden, has been a standout for KC Run GMC’s 15U team averaging a team-high 14.6 points through an 8-0 start in two Under Armour Association sessions in New York and Indiana.
Kansas has been keeping tabs on Harvey, but the offer from assistant coach Norm Roberts came as a surprise.
“I was surprised honestly,” Harvey said. “I didn’t see it coming for sure. … One of things that I’m definitely going to keep [in mind] what he said was to make sure that I progress my game each year and add something new just to make sure I’m moving my game up to the next level as I progress with my age.”
Kansas State and Creighton have also offered Harvey.
Link (Videos at the link)
Harvey, who received verbal offers Monday from both the Jayhawks and Wildcats, was little more than a shy 14-year-old last summer when Hayden coach Ted Schuler put assistant coach Will McNeill on him in a full-court drill.
McNeill was only two years removed from a standout career at Washburn that included a third-team All-America selection and an MIAA player of the year honor. Matched up against Harvey, though, those accolades weren’t enough.
“I couldn’t take his basketball,” McNeill admitted to Schuler.
It proved to be a bit of an aha moment for Schuler, who was amazed by Harvey’s speed.
“I knew then,” Schuler said, “that we had something pretty special.”
Harvey showed flashes of that talent in his first high school season, and he has taken it to another level in summer AAU play. Dressing for KC Run GMC the last two weekends at Under Armour events in New York and Indianapolis, Harvey averaged a team-high 14.6 points in eight games on 58.1-percent shooting from the field.
…For what it’s worth, Schuler doesn’t foresee that pressure getting to his soon-to-be sophomore. He mentioned events such as the Under Armour contests and this weekend’s Jayhawk Invitational in Overland Park as opportunities to prepare for the newfound spotlight.
From an on-court perspective, Schuler said Harvey deals with the same weaknesses as every player his age: basketball IQ, becoming a defensive stopper and knowing when to push, pull away and put his stamp on a game. They’re all things the Hayden coach expects will come with age.
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2016)
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60 Years of AFH Celebration
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2011-12 Final Border War
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