KJ'S BASKETBALL NEWSLETTER                    November 9, 2000


Roy Williams got a blue chipper when Aaron Miles, a 6’0 guard from Portland, Oregon committed to the Jayhawks Monday. Many recruiting experts rank Miles as the best point guard in the country.  Several weeks ago, his buddy 6’2 shooting guard Michael Lee also committed to Kansas.  They have been close friends since grade school, and during their high school years they have been athletic partners on both the football field and basketball court.  In football, Lee is a tight end, catching QB Miles passes. In basketball last season, they led Jefferson High to the state championship, with Lee averaging 12 points and 5 rebounds while Miles averaged 13 points, seven assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals

Miles was recruited heavily by Arizona, but finally chose KU over the Wildcats.  Miles and Lee join two other highly rated recruits, 6’8 power forward Wayne Simien of Leavenworth, KS, and Keith Langford, a 6’4 shooting guard from Crowley,Texas, who liked KU over Cincinnati and Oklahoma.  Simien averaged 16.5 points and 9.7 boards last year for the 6A state champion Pioneers.  Langford averaged 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds last year.

Although KU lost out in their efforts to recruit some of the top high school seniors, Bob Gibbons, long term publisher of AllStar Report, contends that KU landed the third best recruiting class in the nation.  “In getting Aaron Miles, I think they really struck gold, because to me he is the No. 1 point guard in his class. I think he can do what Jacque Vaughn did, but he’s got a much more fluid outside shot.” Recruiting analyst Mike Sullivan of insidersreport.com on KU's four signees: "They got a great point guard, a great forward, a swing man in Langford ... it's a pretty solid class. It's right up there with most of the classes they've had at Kansas.  "Sure," he said, asked if it was a top-10 class.

KU has one more slot open, and reports are varied as to whether Williams will fill it during the November signing period or wait until April.  In a rather strange announcement Wednesday, it was reported that Jeff Hawkins, a 5’11 guard from KC Sumner will come to KU and redshirt his first season, then receive a scholarship for the next four years.  Hawkins averaged 17.7 points and 3.7 steals last season for the 4A state champion Sumner. Late reports say that Williams is now recruiting Uche Okafor, a 7’0 juco center from Lagos, Africa.

On the other side, reports have guard John Crider transferring from KU, probably to Washburn (hey, that’s my undergraduate alma mater, and they are ranked in the top five among Div. II schools).  He didn’t play in the second exhibition game, and didn’t make the trip to New York, ostensibly to preserve his eligibility. Although Crider’s transfer would give KU another slot to fill, the NCAA limits schools to five recruits per year, so Williams will have to wait until next year.