Three future Jayhawks should put pen to paper today and join the Jayhawks...officially.
"I am glad it's here," Downs said of the day he and fellow blue-chippers Mario Chalmers and Julian Wright will become official members of KU's recruiting class of 2005.
"I'm glad I committed early. It took all the pressure off," Downs added. "If I hadn't, I'd probably still be dealing with the other schools."
Julian Wright likes teh class as well:
"I think it's a real good class. It has the potential to be a great group coming in," Wright said. "I know we'll all be working hard this season because next year will be a difficult year adjusting to the way college players play.
"I don't see it as pressure, but responsibility. It'll be a good situation for all of us our first year at Kansas. It'll be a learning process to go through, but at the same time we have to do what we can to help keep the team on top."
These guys seem to be pretty comfortable together. And for a pack of top-flight recruits, all of whom will likely be McDonalds All-Americans, they really seem to get it. Take Chalmers for example
"I like them both. They are very good kids," Chalmers said. "Micah is a shooter and slasher; Julian is a rebounder. I'm excited to be with both of them at Kansas."
He's excited about something else, too.
"I am very excited the day has finally arrived," Chalmers said. "I like coach Self's style. He's very emotional and a good motivator. I liked all the players I've met and enjoyed hanging out with them."
Frank Burlison's Best in the West is out, and you might recognize a few of the soon-to-be-Jayhawks.
Says Burlison of Chalmers, ranked #2 in the West:
High school/summer resume: After becoming a national name to recruiters the previous spring and summer, he was Alaska's 4-A Player of the Year as a junior while playing for his father. He more than lived up to his hype as one of the two or three best point guard prospects in the class over the summer during the USA Basketball Youth Festival in Colorado Springs and on the adidas circuit (The Superstar Camp in Suwanee, Ga., and the Super 64 Tournament in Las Vegas). National rating: No. 18 (Bob Gibbons' All-Star Sports Top 100). Why he's rated this highly: There isn't a better scorer among point-guard prospects in the country, courtesy his ability to penetrate and get to the rim at will or launch mid- or long-range jumpers with equal aplomb. He gets the ball to open teammates minus too much fuss or flash. And he has the potential to be an exceptional on-the-ball and team defender. College: Committed to Kansas. Frank says: He's the best scoring point guard to come out of the West since Baron Davis was a senior at Crossroads in Santa Monica in 1996-97. And he's got more long-term potential than any player at his position in the national class of 2005.
And of Downs, who also made the first team as the 4th best player in the West:
High school/summer resume: He attended Bothell High in Washington as a junior, when he averaged 20.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He played on the West team (with five other BIW first-team selections) at the USA Basketball Youth Festival in Colorado Springs before being one of the top five performers at the Nike All-America Camp (Indianapolis) and helping the Friends of Hoop team capture the Las Vegas Main Event in July. National rating: No. 14 (Bob Gibbons' All-Star Sports Top 100). Why he's rated this highly: As an offensive player, there may not be more than two or three players his size in the national senior class with his variety of passing, driving and shooting skills. It wouldn't be surprising if he eventually spent considerable time at every perimeter position in college. And his overall effectiveness, on both ends of the floor, will be greatly enhanced once he begins to mature physically. College: Committed to Kansas. Frank says: He's been compared to Michael Dunleavy of the Golden State Warriors and it's a valid discussion point. If he works as hard as Dunleavy did at Duke, both on the court and in the weight room, then Downs has a chance to approach his college achievements.
That's the thing about Micah - he seems really small and young looking for a guy of his height. He has the potential to get a lot better as he growns much bigger and stronger, and that I hope he'll do at KU. You can see the whole BIW team here.