April 18, 2010

Selby to KU; Lamb to UK

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NEW YORK - During the Jordan Brand Classic Saturday night, there was more drama on the sidelines than there was on the court.

With elite recruits Josh Selby and Doron Lamb poised to announce their college choices during the game on ESPN2, the buzz surrounding those storylines drowned out the West's 129-125 victory over the East at Madison Square Garden.

"I'm gonna be a Kansas Jayhawk," Selby, a 6-foot-3 senior from Baltimore (Md.) Lake Clifton High, told the crowd during the first half. "I think that's the best place for me to mature and get to the next level."

"I will be a Kentucky Wildcat," Lamb, a 6-4 senior from Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, announced during the second half. "I like the coaching staff. I think next year we're gonna be a team to beat."

Selby, who scored a team-high 21 points for the West, is ranked No. 4 in the Rivals150 for the Class of 2010 and No. 2 among point guards.

Lamb, who tallied 11 points for the West, is the No. 21 prospect and No. 3 shooting guard.

Selby averaged 32 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds at Lake Clifton and won the slam dunk contest at the McDonald's All-American Game.

He chose Kansas over Kentucky, UConn, Arizona and Tennessee.

Selby said Kansas coach Bill Self was a major factor in his decision.

"He kind of reminds me of myself," he said. "His personality. He's very outgoing. He's a great coach and he's gonna get the job done."

Selby will join a team that is losing Sherron Collins, Xavier Henry and Cole Aldrich to the NBA. He will be asked to step in and fill Collins' scoring and play-making ability from the start.

"I built a great relationship with Sherron Collins," Selby said. "We kind of went through the same things growing up. It was very tough growing up in Chicago and Baltimore. We just had a connection. He just kept forcing in my head, 'Coach Self is great for you. He's going to mature you on and off the court. And he's gonna get it done. And he's gonna let you achieve your goals.'"

Selby initially committed to Tennessee and then decommitted and opened it up.

Now he's headed to Kansas. How long he stays there, however, is another question.

"Every kid's goal is to play in the NBA," Selby said. "They want the fame, they want the celebrity status, they want to be on TV and they want to do what they do best. One-and-done, I think all of us hope that we can be one-and-done but we don't know what God's plan is for the future."

A Queens, N.Y. native who averaged 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists, Lamb was intrigued by Kentucky coach John Calipari's ability to quickly get players into the NBA.

In the past two years, Calipari has sent Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans to the lottery. Rose won the NBA Rookie of the Year award two years ago and Evans is in contention this year.

Kentucky freshman John Wall is projected to be the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA Draft.

"Coach Calipari is a great coach. He knows what he's doing with guards," Lamb said.

Calipari on Wednesday secured a verbal commitment from Brandon Knight, the No. 1 2010 prospect out of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest. Lamb said Knight asked him this week where he was going, but Lamb wouldn't tell him.

"I hope he's excited now," Lamb said.

With Wall and fellow Kentucky freshman Eric Bledsoe headed to the NBA, Knight and Lamb could be poised to replace them as the next dynamic Kentucky duo.

"We're trying to do the same thing they're doing," Lamb said. "We're going to do what we do and just try to win next year."

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