Commentary

Jayhawks have options for 2010 class

Originally Published: October 20, 2009
By Matt Scott | TheShiver.com

With in-home visits and 'Late Night in the Phog' now behind them, the Kansas basketball coaches will now change much of their focus to the upcoming season. However, in the wild world of college athletics the staff always has their eye on recruiting. For a basketball program like Kansas, recruiting the nation's best prospects is the norm and with so many prospects still out there in the 2010 class, the Jayhawks will likely be waiting until spring to know what freshmen will arrive next summer.

The Jayhawks find themselves in the mix for six players in the ESPNU 100, with a seventh top 100 player, No. 94 Royce Woolridge, already committed to the Jayhawks for the 2010 class. Kansas could be looking for up to four players in the 2010 recruiting class due to the known departures at the end of this season, but it's the unknown departures that could be a reason some prospects have yet to proclaim Kansas as their college of choice.

Kansas will lose guard Sherron Collins and forward Mario Little to graduation after this season which leaves two open scholarships for the Jayhawks, with one already claimed by Woolridge. The Jayhawks could see as many as two more open up after this coming season. Big man Cole Aldrich, could declare for the NBA draft, where he is projected to be a top 10 pick. Aldrich was thought to be considering the leap to the league last season, but quickly ended that speculation by informing coach Bill Self of his intentions to stay for his junior season. Freshman SF Xavier Henry, who ended his senior season as the No.3 ranked player in the ESPNU 100, is also thought to be a player that could leave early for the NBA draft.

While Aldrich is thought to be as close to declaring early as one can get, Henry is another story. Like all freshmen who could have the opportunity to leave college basketball after just one year, a lot is yet to be determined by his game throughout his freshman season.

Collins' departure will be cause for a lot of questions heading into the 2010-11 season, which could be answered by the No.8 ranked player in the 2010 class, Josh Selby. While not the point guard prospect that Collins was coming into college, Selby is a player who could immediately fit into the Kansas system. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Selby is a tough minded guard that uses his reach (76 inches) to disrupt on the defensive end, and like Collins, can score in bunches over a 3-4 minute stretch. Selby attacks the rim and can finish with contact. A player like Selby would certainly be great addition to the Kansas backcourt in 2010. Selby's recruitment is one that is thought to last until the spring of 2010. With visits being planned for Kentucky, Syracuse, Baylor, Miami and possibly more, Selby has a lot to consider when it comes to his college decision. Selby's visit to Kansas last weekend was unofficial, which opens him up to make another trip to Lawrence for an official visit during the basketball season. That's something that could benefit the Jayhawks in the long run.

Another guard who can play multiple positions is the No. 33 player in the ESPNU 100, Doron Lamb. Lamb, like Selby, is a terrific scorer in basketball. He also possess tremendous length for a 6-4, 183-pound frame. Lamb's wingspan is 87 inches, which allows him to recover quickly on the defensive end and it also allows for his quick trigger mid-range game to go off without a hitch. Lamb is listed as a shooting guard, but it's thought that with his size and length he would be able to play both the SG and SF position in college. With visits to Oklahoma and Kansas behind him, Lamb will visit Kentucky this weekend and look to visit Arizona after that. Lamb is a low key individual who doesn't let on what he's thinking too often.

The nations No.1 ranked player, Harrison Barnes, will be making his decision in the fall. The 6-8 SF from Ames, Iowa, has already announced that he plans on making his decision in November, shortly after his official visits are complete. Barnes is also unofficially visiting Iowa State. Most people that see Barnes play walk away thinking he may have scored 15 or 16 points, a few rebounds and a few assists. Once they see the box score, it seems surprising that Barnes actually scored 25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Barnes' fundamentals are terrific, his basketball IQ is off the charts and his ability to play inside or out is second to none in the 2010 class. Barnes might not be the most flashy player on the court, but he is often the most efficient player on the court. Something that will make him a terrific player at the next level. Kansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma have all hosted Barnes for an official visit, with UCLA and Duke remaining before visiting hometown Iowa State, unofficially, in early November.

Another SF that the Jayhawks are recruiting is the the No.15 ranked player in the 2010 class, Terrence Jones. At 6-8, 220 pounds, Jones is one of the more versatile players in the country. Jones is able to create matchup problems on the court with his ability to score in the post and on the perimeter. He can also put the ball on the court and finish at the rim with contact. Jones will also be a valued player for any college program with his ability to go after rebounds on the offensive and defensive glass. Jones has kept his recruitment somewhat close to the vest, but it is known that he is trying to determine whether he'll officially visit Kansas or Arizona this weekend. Visits to Oklahoma and Washington have already taken place and Jones still plans to officially visit UCLA, Kentucky and either Kansas or Arizona. He will also unofficially visit home state Oregon on October 31st.

Another guard in the 2010 class that the Jayhawks are actively recruiting is the No.4 player in the ESPNU 100, Brandon Knight. Knight, like Selby, has the ability to immediately help the Jayhawks after losing Collins. Knight is, simply put, a winner. Losing isn't something that happens often to Knight and his will to win is something that attracts programs all over the country. He possess speed and vision on the court, with the ability to score in bunches or create for his teammates. With his leadership and basketball IQ, Knight will be a great addition to any college program. He was originally scheduled to visit Kansas during 'Late Night,' but with his schools homecoming that same weekend, it appears that Knight will make the trip to Lawrence the last weekend in October. He's already made trips to Connecticut and Kentucky and plans to visit Kansas, Miami, Syracuse and Florida.

Upside is the best way to describe the No. 23 ranked player in the ESPNU 100, Adreian Payne. At 6-9, 215 pounds, Payne has the ability to immediately be a game changer on the defensive end. If the Jayhawks are to lose Aldrich to the NBA after this season, Payne would be a great addition to the roster. Like Aldrich did as a freshman, Payne has work to do on the offensive side of the ball, but with time in the weight room and the benefit of a coach like Danny Manning, it would only be a matter of time before Payne's offensive game caught up to his defensive game. Payne will be making the trip to Kansas for his official visit on October 30th. He has already made trips to Michigan State (unofficial), West Virginia and Kentucky.