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Baltimore Lake County point guard Josh Selby and Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill combo guard Doron Lamb have let it be known that they will announce their college choice April 17 at the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The finalists for Selby: Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas and Kentucky. (Tennessee is also making a late push to reacquire Selby, who originally verbally committed to the Vols).
The finalists for Lamb: Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Connecticut and West Virginia.
Lamb and Selby will be teammates at the Jordan Brand Classic. The possibility — nobody is quite sure how slim it is — remains that the duo will use the opportunity to announce their intentions to join the same college program. Arizona’s Sean Miller, Kansas’ Bill Self, Kentucky’s John Calipari or Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun would welcome each with plenty of playing time and a likely starting role.
Lamb’s father, Calvin Lamb, told TheShiver.com, that his son and Selby together “would be scary.”
“I’ve heard it,” Lamb told TheShiver.com about Doron and Selby playing together. “Oh man – that would be scary,” he added.
The spring signing period — April 14 to May 19 — will start by the time Lamb and Selby make their commitments.
How do Lamb and Selby stack up with Kansas, Kentucky and UConn in terms of the rosters involved?
Already in the fold: Daniel Bejarano, SG, 6-4, 195, Phoenix North. Jordin Mayes, PG, 6-1, 170, Los Angeles Westchester, has verbally committed. Detroit Country Day school point guard Ray McCallum and Mount Pleasant (Mich.) shooting guard Trey Zeigler are still listed as possibilities but they will likely choose to go elsewhere.
In Selby’s way: Nobody really. Nic Wise is gone as the starting point guard. The possibility exists that Lamont “MoMo” Jones will get more playing time at the position, especially if Selby and Lamb decide to go elsewhere. However, if Miller signs Selby, Jones will likely spell the high-profile point guard and get additional time at the shooting guard spot. Mayes is also very capable, especially as a reserve in his first collegiate season. UCLA recruited him hard until JC guard Lazeric Jones of Chicago committed to the Bruins in early December. When Mayes’ team beat Oak Hill and Lamb on Dec. 30, Mayes scored as many points (16) as Lamb and had two assists and only one turnover while Lamb had four turnovers and only one assist.
In Lamb’s way: Much more competitive at the shooting guard spot with Kyle Fogg returning for his junior season, Jones back as a sophomore leader, and the signing of Bejarano. However, Lamb and Bejarano can extend to the wing, if necessary, in similar fashion to the way Miller used the three-guard lineup of Wise, Fogg and Brendon Lavender. Fogg had his share of blunders this season, but he also had his shining moments (against UCLA and USC, for example). But a starting spot is not guaranteed for Fogg if a player of Lamb’s caliber signs. This is, after all, Miller’s team and he made the comment that his goal is to get Arizona back to the NCAA tournament as soon as possible.
Already in the fold: Royce Woolridge, SG, 6-1, 175, Phoenix Sunnyslope. The Jayhawks are also hot on the trail for high-profile undecided recruits who play similar positions as Lamb and Selby: Brandon Knight, a 6-3, 175 pound, point guard from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest, and Terrence Ross, a 6-5, 185 pound, shooting guard from Portland (Ore.) Jefferson. Knight will announce his choice March 31 at the McDonald’s All-Star Game, more than two weeks before Selby and Lamb announce theirs. If Knight chooses Kentucky or Kansas (he lists Florida and Syracuse as other possibilities) that will immensely help Arizona’s chances for Selby and Lamb.
In Selby’s way: More competitive than Arizona at this spot. Sherron Collins will be gone. Tyshawn Taylor was on the Big 12′s all-freshman team last season and he started 23 games this year, mostly at off-guard or wing as part of Kansas’ three-guard lineup. He has an almost 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio with 114 assists and only 60 turnovers this season. Elijah Johnson will be a sophomore but he hardly played behind Collins this season. After starting two games and averaging 11.5 minutes during Kansas’ non-conference slate, Johnson played in only nine Big 12 games, averaging only 2.7 minutes. Tyrel Reed will be a senior but he is a career sub, only starting twice in three years despite averaging 15.1 minutes per game.
In Lamb’s way: Plenty of playing time available. As noted, Taylor will demand minutes at either guard spot but can play at the wing. Freshman sensation Xavier Henry, who already has an NBA body at 6-6 and 220, is a projected top 10 draft pick and will likely abandon his starting shooting guard role for the NBA. Reed is also a reliable sub at this spot. Don’t be surprised if Self asks Woolridge to redshirt, or at the very least Woolridge will play limited minutes (especially if Lamb signs). Travis Releford, 6-5, redshirted this season and will factor into the competition at shooting guard next season. As is the case at Arizona, if Lamb signs with the Jayhawks, he will get penciled in the starting lineup because of the value he brings to the lineup. Check out video of Lamb shooting from the perimeter and you will be convinced. Arizona lacked that consistent scoring threat this season.
Already in the fold: Stacey Poole, SF, 6-5, 180, Jacksonville (Fla.) Andrew Jackson. Poole is listed as a wing player but he can also play as a shooting guard. Kentucky is also recruiting Knight and Ross.
In Selby’s way: John Wall will be a one-and-done player because he is forecast as the No. 1 pick overall in the NBA draft. That opens the door for Knight to verbally commit to Kentucky, which is included in the rumor mill these days. Also, sophomore-to-be Eric Bledsoe might return and compete for playing time at the point. Bledsoe is rated as a possible first-round choice but not a lottery pick. Because of this, Selby’s interest in Kentucky has turned lukewarm. He canceled his scheduled official visit to Lexington last month.
In Lamb’s way: Darius Miller, Darnell Dodson and DeAndre Liggins are all listed as guards at 6-6 or 6-7 and they will be juniors next season. With that size, the trio can also be slotted at the wing position, leaving an opening at shooting guard. However, if Knight commits to Kentucky, he will likely start at the point, which places Bledsoe — if he does not enter the NBA draft — at the No. 2 spot, in the same role he has alongside Wall now.
Already in the fold: Roscoe Smith, SF, 6-7, 185, Oak Hill Academy; Jeremy Lamb, SG, 6-4, 165, Norcross (Ga.); and Michael Bradley, C, 6-10, 210, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Tyner. The Huskies are also vying for Knight and point guard Cory Joseph of Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep.
In Selby’s way: First is the weather. His mother Maeshon Witherspoon indicated to me through a message last month that they do not like snowy conditions. They canceled a trip to Storrs, Conn., last month, when by chance snow was in the forecast. In terms of the roster, Jerome Dyson will be gone. Kemba Walker will be a 6-1 junior. He leads the Huskies with 5.1 assists per game. He is projected to be more of an NBA first-round pick in 2011 than this year. Donnell Beverly (10 minutes per game) and Darius Smith (four) will also return but they were not used extensively. The possible addition of Joseph is something else Selby must consider in addition to health concerns regarding Calhoun.
In Lamb’s way: Jeremy Lamb (no relation) has already committed, but the Huskies will probably need more reinforcements for their woeful perimeter shooting. UConn feels the void in that category this season as Dyson, their most experienced player, shoots only 29 percent from three-point range. Walker is shooting at a 34.3 percent clip. UConn overall is shooting only 31.3 percent from behind the three-point line. Both Lambs would be welcome with open arms.
Summary: The battle for Selby might be down to Kansas and Arizona, as Zagsblog.com has reported. In this case, Arizona has less talent than Kansas to challenge Selby for playing time at that position. Selby, the No. 4 prospect in the Class of 2010 according to Rivals.com, would undoubtedly start and play extended minutes at Kansas. If he plays at Arizona, he would instantly be the best point guard prospect in the talent-starved Pac-10. … Lamb will play 30 minutes or more a game wherever he signs. If Selby decides to attend Kansas, Lamb could come to Arizona and play both the point guard and shooting guard positions. He could co-exist with Jones the way they did with Oak Hill when that storied prep school won 40 consecutive games with them leading the way. If Knight goes to Kentucky and Bledsoe stays another year with Calipari, it’s difficult to see Lamb in that situation. In terms of Kansas, Lamb, the No. 21 prospect according to Rivals.com, can essentially replace Henry in the Jayhawks’ lineup. UConn? Questions surround the program with Calhoun’s health and the way the Huskies dropped off this season. Also, Jeremy Lamb has already committed to the Huskies. The same can be argued with Bejarano already signing with Arizona, but it’s a safe bet that Miller will often use Bejarano as part of a three-guard lineup next season because Bejarano has some height (6-5) and aggressiveness to go after rebounds.
NEXT: A look at how Arizona stacks up with West Virginia for Doron Lamb.