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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

  Kansas: There's No Place Like Home, There's
No Place Like Home, There's . . .--(Oct. 15, 2000)

Best line of the weekend:  Josh Childress to Rob Matera at Bob Gibbons' All Star Report--"I really like the coaching staff and the family feeling at Kansas. There is a lot of support for the team both on campus and in the community. If you play for the Jayhawks you are like a celebrity there. The only downside is the distance from home.

Yes, Kansas isn't Los Angeles, and it's not California, but each year since 1988, when Larry Brown left Kansas and Roy Williams rolled into town, the Jayhawks have managed to get their share (some would say more than their share) of  SoCal recruits.  And this was a Big Weekend in Lawrence, Kansas. Huge.  Monumental.  Four of the top guys in the country among this year's crop of seniors were visiting, and with the defection of DeShawn Stevenson to the pros, Kansas needs some big signings. They've already gotten one from big Wayne Simien prior to Late Night,  but what they needed were a few more this weekend.   Williams has gotten one more, while the other three are looking about as promising as they've ever looked.

The "Commit". . . . :  It's Michael Lee (6'-2" Sr. SG) from Portland Jefferson HS, who is a teammate of Aaron Miles (6'-0" Sr. PG), who also attended "Late Night with Roy Williams,"   the Kansas Jayhawk version of "Midnight Madness."    Lee gave his commitment yesterday while still on his visit.  He's a strong stud of a player, an excellent shooter and quick defender who also happens to be quite a good wide receiver for his high school team, but who will reportedly only concentrate on basketball at Kansas.  And according to everything we've been hearing and reading, Aaron Miles looks to be down to just two schools, and one of them is not UCLA.  Miles had a great trip while in Kansas, and still is scheduled to visit Arizona next weekend, and is down to those two schools.  While the Bruins haven't been ruled out of the running, they do not appear to be close at the moment.

Confusing: . . But Amusing . . . . That would be Jamal Sampson (6'-11" Sr. C) from Mater Dei, and everything we continue to read and hear about his recruitment.  He was also in Kansas this weekend with his friend and SCA teammate Josh Childress (6'-6" Sr. SG) from Mayfair HS.    According to Insiders' Report  Mike Sullivan writes that Sampson "told a Kansas newspaper ("Lawrence World-Journal" [sic], which is actually called the "Journal-World") that his official visit to Kansas went so well that he will probably make up his mind between the Jayhawks, California, and St.Louis. Sampson is not sure when he might make a decision, according to what he told the Kansas newspaper."    We found this interesting, because we could not find any mention of Sampson being quoted in the Journal-World (which is not surprising, since the paper Insiders' refers to doesn't exist, and there were no quotes in the J-W). . . we're not saying it didn't happen, just that the online version of the paper didn't carry such a story.   We're also skeptical of somthing else we read at Insider's in the same story, which states that "Sampson has also visited Connecticut and has mentioned in the past Virginia and UCLA."   Er, um, we know that there was a report last week in one of the local papers in which Sampson, for the first time said he might be interested in UConn, but to our knowledge he hasn't taken a visit there.  And finally, just to make matters even more confusing, Greg Hicks of PacWestHoops writes that he spoke with Jamal following the trip, and according to that story, "he's not planning on making a decision anytime soon."  Jamal did mention that the UCLA coaches want him to take an official visit, and he reportedly said that he might if his Mater Dei teammate, Cedric Bozeman (who committed a few weeks ago) is also taking an official visit.   "They want me to come up there with Cedric Bozeman for an official trip this weekend," Sampson told Hicks, "but I'm not sure if Ced is going. If Ced's not going, then I'm not going."

On Childress: PacWest Hoops' Greg Hicks also spoke with Josh Childress, and the most Greg could coax out of Josh was that he's down to Stanford and Kansas and he might "possibly" commit sometime in the next week.   We don't know what happened to Arizona, but when we last spoke to Josh, the Wildcats were still in the running.   UCLA seems though to be definitely out. The Bob Gibbons' All Star Report website, (Rob Matera actually) had a slightly different spin on Childress' Kansas visit. Matera writes: "Josh Childress, a 6'7 190 lbs. G/F from Mayfair HS in Lakewood, CA. . . said, "I had a great time at Kansas. It was sweet."  He also said that Kansas and Stanford lead for his services, and that there was a "decent chance" that he would make a decision prior to his scheduled October 28th trip to Arizona. We asked Josh to compare Kansas and Stanford and here's what he said:  On Kansas: "I really like the coaching staff and the family feeling at Kansas. There is a lot of support for the team both on campus and in the community. If you play for the Jayhawks you are like a celebrity there. The only downside is the distance from home."  On Stanford: I like the coaches there as well and I really like the players a lot at Stanford. There's more of an independant feel up there. I feel like you are more on your own and have a little more privacy at Stanford. It's definitely a less frenzied atmosphere. It's going to be a very tough choice." Will Childress in some measure decide on a school based on what Sampson does?  Matera also asked Josh about that as well:  "He said, 'I won't base my decision on what my friends do, but I could definitely see myself playing with those guys.' "

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