Originally created 07/14/01

Kansas' Williams makes time for Jam despite cut



Kansas University head coach Roy Williams had his summer vacation lengthened by 10 days this year, and he isn't the least bit happy with it.

Williams is one of more than 300 college coaches scouting the nation's top high school basketball talent at Riverview Activity Center this weekend during the sixth annual Nike Peach Jam.

Like Williams, a majority share his disdain for the NCAA's ruling to cut the summer evaluation period from 24 days to 14.

"I don't like it," Williams said. "We try to see as many kids as we can possibly see over the summer. It makes it more difficult to do our job when you don't allow us to do that."

Since the ruling, he and his staff have had to reprioritize their approach to the summer session - the strongest for college coaches, who spend the summer evaluating, the fall concentrating on their own team, and the spring recruiting players they evaluated the previous summer.

Williams traveled to the Nike All American Camp in Indianapolis and the adidas Basketball Camp in New Jersey before arriving in North Augusta.

"It's difficult because you may get to a place and if you don't like a guy from the first look, you have to quickly think about moving on," the Jayhawks coach said. "And you can never get a good idea about a kid from just one look. It definitely spreads you thin."

With coaches such as Williams, North Carolina's Matt Dougherty, Kentucky's Tubby Smith and Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt mingling through the gym, most smaller programs already feel limited.

Canisius College assistant coach Terry Zeh thinks the shorter time period for evaluation might help his Buffalo, N.Y., program.

"It's really hard to tell how it will affect everyone," the third-year assistant said. "But some kids may get overlooked by the bigger schools. That's a lot to evaluate in just 14 days. Then, we may be able to get them if they fall through the cracks."

Canisius competes in the small Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, so some of the top talent in North Augusta won't even be looked at by Zeh.

"It really goes by league," Zeh said. "Kids are classified ACC-caliber, SEC or Big Ten. Those are the ones we don't even look at because we have no chance of getting them. It really just goes by league. Some are mid-major; that's more of our line."

Despite their different approaches to recruiting, most coaches agreed the Peach Jam is the ideal environment for scouting talent.

"Some other tourneys have more talent, but they're not as team-oriented as they are in the Peach Jam," Minnesota coach Dan Monsoon said. "This is the best way to evaluate the competitive nature of a player and his desire to win with other players just as good as him."

Monsoon and his staff have cut visits short to other tournaments he would normally watch in entirety. But the rule change has yet to prevent coaches from spending their allotted time at the Riverview Activity Center.

All four gymnasiums are outlined with coaches squatting courtside, while the players pretend not to see them.

"You have to play your game as if they're not even there," said Boo Williams guard J.J. Reddick, who has committed to Duke. "But you know they're watching by the way other guys try to elevate their game. You can't let your guard down."

There is much speculation as to what the NCAA will rule on for next summer's evaluation period. Some say officials might push the time back to 20 days, while others say summer recruiting will be eliminated.

"Nobody knows what they're going to do," Williams said.

In the meantime, Williams looks forward to enjoying all the perks that come with the Peach Jam.

"It's the most competitive, and it's the easiest to watch," he said. "It's definitely my favorite event. And yeah, it's always going to be packed in here."

REMATCH: In a rematch of last year's championship, the Illinois Warriors met the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the final game of Fridays night's Nike Peach Jam action at Riverview Activity Center.

Different year same results.

Wisconsin prevailed 65-61, giving Illinois its first loss in this year's tournament. Wisconsin, Illinois and Augusta/Carolina are tied for first place.

REBOUND: After dropping its first two games of the tournament, favored Boo Williams bounced back to claim two blowout victories Friday.

John Gilchrist scored 24 points to lead the Virginia squad past Sports Express 94-68 on Friday night. Robert Strickland scored 19 for Boo Williams in a 95-65 rout of Emerald City.

The 2-2 squad will face the 3-1 Augusta/Carolina Hoopsters at 9 a.m. today.

REBIRTH: The Riverside Church Hawks look reminiscent of the 1999 championship squad, rolling to a 4-0 record through the first two days. Led by Rashan McCants, who has committed to North Carolina, the Charlotte Royals are also off to a perfect 4-0 mark heading into this morning's session.

Today's Schedule

Morning Session

POOL A - Gym 1

9 a.m. - Athletes First vs. Coast to Coast

10:20 a.m. - Raleigh Heat vs. Tennessee Travelers

11:40 a.m. - Team Texas vs. Bloomington Red

POOL B - Gym 2

9 a.m. - Boo Williams vs. Augusta/Carolina Hoopsters

10:20 a.m. - Wisconsin Playground Warriors vs. Sports Express

11:40 p.m. - Emerald City vs. Illinois Warriors

POOL C - Gym 3

9 a.m. - BABC vs. Team Select California

10:20 a.m. - Charlotte Royals vs. Houston Hoops

11:40 a.m. - Baltimore Blue vs. Team Memphis

POOL D - Gym 4

9 a.m. - Riverside Church vs. Howard Pulley

10:20 a.m. - DC Blue Devils vs. Kentucky Hoop Stars

11:40 a.m. - The Family vs. Georgia Stars

Playoffs

(Quarterfinals)

3 p.m. - Pool A (1) vs. Pool D (2)

3 p.m. - Pool B (1) vs. Pool C (2)

3 p.m. - Pool C (1) vs. Pool B (2)

3 p.m. - Pool D (1) vs. Pool A (2)

(Semifinals)

7 p.m. - Winner of A1/D2 vs. C1/B2

8;30 p.m. - Winner of D1/A2 vs. B1/C2