BRYANT AND KU — BIRDS OF A FEATHER OR EMPTY NEST?

Travon Bryant, the 6-7 sr. from Long Beach, CA still lists Kansas, Missouri
and California as his three top schools. He includes Kansas even though he
says that he has not heard from the coaching staff in nearly 6 weeks. If that
is the case, one would have to wonder if Kansas really wanted Bryant to become
a Jayhawk or not. Programs do not recruit players by playing the “silent”
game. Not today and not with a player of the magnitude (Bryant is currently
ranked by Hoops4U.com as the highest rated player who is uncommitted) and hype
of Bryant.

Then again, maybe that’s why Roy Williams and his staff have not made contact
with the young and talented Bryant. Is it possible that Bryant’s antics have
worn on the coaching staff at Kansas? Is it possible that a player is
receiving so much publicity that it actually has scared a school with the
tradition of Kansas off?

Actually, it’s probably not the publicity but the way the youngster has
handled —or should I say solicited — the mass hysteria surrounding his
decision whenever and wherever he possibly could. He can be found almost
anywhere online chat rooms, message boards, websites. He has used the radio
and other media to keep the fires burning as well. Bryant has also been fickle
enough to publicly change his order of preference on how the teams fared that
week. One week Missouri was at the top of his list. The next week, after
Missouri loses to Kansas at Lawrence, the Jayhawks gain the favor of Bryant
at least publicly. Everyone wonders if the kid is really serious or if he is
just enjoying the limelight.

Whatever the case may be, it appears that Kansas and Roy Williams have had
their fill of the Travon Bryant publicity machine. Maybe it was the eerie
resemblance of Bryant to a name familiar to the Jayhawks and the rest of the
country —Jaron Rush. Maybe Coach Williams has made the same decision this
time around as he did two years ago when he decided that he did not want to
continue to recruit the much heralded (and now much maligned) Rush. At that
time Coach Williams publicly stated that Kansas was no longer recruiting
Jaron. He has made no such claim with Bryant.

Maybe his reasoning is to keep Coach Snyder and his staff guessing or maybe he
doesn’t want to take the heat like he did two years ago when announcing that
Kansas was not interested in Jaron after a long courtship. A choice that looks
like gold now that Rush is planning on heading to the NBA after a short-lived
college career that resulted in numerous suspensions, unmet expectations and
an indictment of a former coach and confidant.

Maybe Roy has seen a pattern developing. Would somebody please explain that to
Travon? You can probably catch him online tonight.