Monthly Archives: May 2012

Seattle guard Adams appears once step closer to joining KU

Well, this could be some welcome recruiting news for Kansas.

Anrio Adams, a 6-3 shooting guard from Seattle, announced Wednesday on his Twitter account that he had achieved the necessary test scores to qualify for KU. Adams, ranked as the 98th-best player in the nation by Rivals.com, committed to KU last November, but his future was on hold as he waited to boost his composite standardized test scores.

Adams, who hails from the same Rainier Beach High School that produced former Jayhawks C.J. Giles and Rodrick Stewart, says he’s expected to arrive on campus in late June. For now, he would join four other official members of the Jayhawks’ 2012 class: Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita; Zach Peters, a 6-foot-9 forward from Plano, Texas; Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-8 forward from Portland, Ore; and Andrew White, a 6-foot-6 swingman from Chester, Va.

Guard Ben McLemore and forward Jamari Traylor will also be classified as freshmen after sitting out last season as partial qualifiers.

So what kind of impact could Adams have? Well, it’s probably safe to call Ellis, a McDonalds All-American from Wichita Heights, the crown jewel of the class. But Adams may have the opportunity to contribute in a backcourt that’s lacking in experienced ballhandlers. Senior guard Elijah Johnson and sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe are the only returning players that have played point guard at the college level.

 

 

Former KU guard Nooner joins KU women’s basketball staff

The Kansas women’s basketball program is adding a little “Noonball” to the equation.

Former KU guard Terry Nooner, a Kansas City native, is joining head coach Bonnie Henrickson’s staff as an assistant coach. He replaces Chester Nichols, who took a position at Michigan.

Nooner, who spent the last season as an assistant coach at Southern Illinois, played for four seasons under former KU coach Roy Williams from 1997-2000. He began his career as a walk-on and quickly cultivated a devoted following — as well as the “Noonball” nickname.

“He’s a connector and he takes a lot of pride in that,” Henrickson said. “And (he’s) a guy who is a Jayhawk and passionate about the University of Kansas, and that’ll be a big sell for us in the recruiting.”

Henrickson is hopeful that Nooner’s history and connections in the Kansas City basketball scene will pay dividends on the recruiting trail — perhaps on both sides of the state line.

Following his time at Kansas, Nooner spent seven years as an AAU coach in the Kansas City area, coaching both girls and boys. A high school teammate of former Raytown star Tyronn Lue, Nooner has also spent time working with players such as former Jayhawk Billy Thomas and Clippers guard Chauncey Billups.

“I know how much passion fans have for the University of Kansas and basketball in general,” said Nooner, who served as a team captain in his senior season at Kansas. “And I’m excited for the opportunity to be a part of it again.”

The KU women are coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in 2011-12, the program’s first since 1998. But Nooner’s hiring completes a full staff turnover during the last month. Former Central Michigan assistant Mahogany Green replaced Aqua Franklin, who accepted an assistant coaching position at Mississippi State. And Katie O’Connor, who served as an assistant at KU under Henrickson from 2005-11, returned after a season at Virginia. O’Connor replaced Tory Verdi, who became the head coach at Central Michigan.

KU’s Taylor stays busy preparing for NBA Draft

Big weekend for Tyshawn Taylor. He officially graduated from college. He saw some old teammates. He spent the weekend back in Kansas.

Of course, there have been a lot of big weekends for Taylor during the last month. Ask Taylor what he’s been up to since April 2, the day Kansas lost to Kentucky in the NCAA title game, and the smile begins to form.

“I’ve been up to everything,” Taylor says.

Taylor says he spent a few weeks searching for an agent, before settling on Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management (Excel also represents former Jayhawks Nick Collison, Mario Chalmers and Cole Aldrich). He made a stop in Long Island for some workouts. And now he’s settled in Houston, working with former NBA guard John Lucas II, the father of former Oklahoma State star John Lucas III.

“I went out there last summer and I loved it,” Taylor said. “I got better. My game improved a lot, so I went back out there.”

On Friday night, Taylor was at Bishop Miege in Roeland Park to take part in a local KU Barnstorming tour event. Fellow seniors Conner Teahan and Jordan Juenemann were also present, as were former Jayhawks Stephen Vinson, Christian Moody and Sean Pearson.

For now, Taylor says, he’s preparing for individual workouts with NBA teams. The first goal: Get back into shape after taking 20 days off following the championship game.

“I think when you’re in a workout and you’re just doing one-on-one drills,” Taylor said, “I think you just gotta kind of be sharp. You gotta have your ballhandling right. You gotta make shots, because most of them are going to be open — and you gotta be in good shape.”

Other than that, Taylor is simply waiting. According to DraftExpress.com, he’s the 27th best prospect in the draft. He does think his game might translate nicely into the NBA — if he can find the right fit. But he also says he understands the reality of his draft prospects. He’s hopeful he can work himself firmly into the back half of the first round, but…

“I’m hoping to just get drafted, honestly,” Taylor said.

Here’s one thing of which he is certain. No matter how the draft shakes out, he’s pretty sure which rookie will be earning hardware next May.

“I’ll put in my vote for Rookie of the Year right now,” Taylor said. “Thomas Robinson.”

rdodd@kcstar.com

 

Chicago guard Milton Doyle to visit Kansas on Monday

A formerly under-the-radar Chicago shooting guard has popped up as a possible late target for Kansas. Milton Doyle, a 6-foot-4 senior guard from Chicago-Marshall, is taking a visit to KU today, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Doyle appears to slot into the category of late-bloomer; he committed to Florida International (and then-coach Isiah Thomas, a Chicago native) last fall despite missing his entire junior senior with a broken wrist. He responded by averaging 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals while earning third-team All-State honors from the Chicago Tribune.

But when Thomas was fired by FIU in early April, Doyle went back on the market. He has reportedly also visited Bradley.

From a positional standpoint, Kansas seems pretty crowded at the wing position. Travis Releford will return for his senior season while freshmen Ben McLemore and Andrew White are both built in the mold of a traditional wing. In addition, senior Elijah Johnson and sophomore Naadir Tharpe will return to the backcourt rotation.

| rdodd@kcstar.com

KU basketball team headed to Europe in August for exhibition tour

LAWRENCE | For Kansas and Bill Self, the trip may come at the ideal time. The Kansas basketball team will take a nine-day trip to Europe in August, welcome news for a program that will be introducing at least six freshmen to the squad during the 2012-13 season.

Kansas, which unveiled details of the trip Thursday, will play two exhibition games against Switzerland’s national team on Aug. 7 and 8 in Fribourg, Switzerland, before finishing the trip with two games against French professional teams on Aug. 11 and 12 in Paris.

KU will leave August 5 and arrive in Zurich, Switzerland on Aug. 6. The traveling party is scheduled to depart back to the U.S. on Aug. 14.

Schools are allowed one international trip during the summer months every four years, in accordance with NCAA rules. The Jayhawks last made a summer trip before the 2008-09 season, when they played a series of exhibition games in Canada.

With KU eligible to take its allotted trip, Self hinted last month that a trip to Europe would be preferable.

“If we can go in the summer and take freshmen, which is the rule,” Self said, “why wouldn’t we go… do some sightseeing and actually enjoy each other?”

But in addition to bonding, there will also be extra court time.

The Canadian trip in 2008 followed the Jayhawks’ national championship season and featured a roster of young, inexperienced players. Four years later, the Jayhawks will head to Europe under similar circumstances. In addition to the exhibition games, KU will be allowed 10 practices before the trip.

To reach Rustin Dodd, send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/rustindodd.

 

KU waits on Harris, offers scholarship to Memphis forward Nichols

The battle for South Carolina sophomore transfer Damontre Harris is heading to the home stretch. Harris, a 6-foot-9 forward, took a visit to Florida last week before spending the weekend at Kansas, and he’s now expected to choose between the two schools. According to Rivals.com, a decision could come by the end of the week.

Harris, a Fayetteville, N.C., native, was a consensus top-75 recruit when he chose to attend South Carolina out of high school. Last season, Harris averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game as a sophomore. He also recorded 2.3 blocks per game.

Harris will have to sit out the 2012-13 season. But if he chooses Kansas, he’ll enter a frontcourt that will lose seniors Jeff Withey and Kevin Young off next year’s team.

It was previously thought that Harris may consider returning to South Carolina, where former K-State coach Frank Martin took over in late March. But now, it appears that Harris’ likely landing spot will be Florida or Kansas.

** RECRUITING TRAIL: Kansas has also offered a scholarship to Austin Nichols, a 6-foot-8 forward from Briarcliff Christian School in Memphis.

Nichols is the 40th-ranked player in the Class of 2013, according to Rivals.com, and currently holds offers from a list that includes Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Memphis.

Kansas already has two commitments for its 2013 class: Connor Frankamp, a 6-0 guard from Wichita, and Brannen Greene, a 6-7 wing from Forsyth, Ga.

| rdodd@kcstar.com

KU parts ways with men’s golf coach

Kansas is cutting ties with men’s golf coach Kit Grove.

Grove’s contract is up in June, and KU will not renew it. The Jayhawks finished 10th out of 10 teams last month at the Big 12 Men’s Championships at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas.

Grove, a 1998 graduate of Kansas, recently concluded his fifth season as head coach at KU. He took over in 2007 following the retirement of former coach Ross Randall. He also served as an assistant for one season.

rdodd@kcstar.com