football

McCallum wont surprise Kansas

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[rl]HaditnotbeenforRayMcCallum'sdecisiontojoinhisfather,RayMcCallum,Sr.,atDetroit,the6-foot-2,188-poundsophomoreguardfromBeverlyHills,Mich.,couldhaveverywellendedupplayingforBillSelfandtheJayhawks.
"Rayisgoodenoughtoplayforanybody,anywhere,"saidSelf."Certainly,whoeverguardshim,ElijahJohnsonorTyshawnTaylor,willhaveabigchallengeaheadofhim."
ComingoutofDetroit(Mich.)CountryDay,McCallumfinishedhissenioryearastheNo.43playerintheClassof2010,andthe12th-bestpointguard.Earlyoninhisrecruitment,theformerfour-starfloorgeneralreceivedscholarshipoffersfromKansas,Texas,Oklahoma,NotreDame,Detroit,Duke,Michigan,Arizona,Floridaandotherelitecollegebasketballprograms.
DuringaninterviewwithMcCallumbackonJuly10,2008,thecurrentDetroitguardtoldJayhawkSlantthatKansaswastheteamtobeatinhisrecruitment.Despitethenumerousscholarshipoffers,theJayhawks,withSelfandKurtisTownsendleadingtheway,hadmovedtothetopofMcCallum'slist.
"Kansasismyleaderrightnow,"McCallumsaidthen."KansasisaschoolthatIlikealot.IlikethewaytheyplayandIreallylikeCoachSelf.Heisarealcooldude.Kansasisagreatprogram,hasgreatfansandit'sagreatplacetoplaybasketball.Plus,CoachSelfissuchagreatguy.
"IreceivedaphonecallfromCoachSelfthefirstdayhewasallowedtocontactprospectsinmyclass,"headded."Thatwasarealcoolexperienceforme.KansasjustwonanationalchampionshipandCoachSelfiscallingmetotalk.Thatwasjustrealcool."
AsmuchasMcCallumlovedtheUniversityofKansasanditscoachingstaff,turningdowntheopportunitytoplayforhisfatheratDetroitwastoomuchtoask.Amemberofthe2010McDonald'sAll-Americanteam,McCallumultimatelydecidedplayalongsidehisfather.
"Ray'sbeenaroundalongtimeandofcoursehewastheheadcoachatHouston,"Selfsaid."Hewasaheckofaplayerhimself.(Assistantcoach)Kurtis(Townsend)knowsRaybetterthanme,buthe'sareallynicemanandagoodcoach.Hewasabletoconvincethemotherofhisbestplayer(McCallum,Jr.)thatDetroitwouldbethebestplaceforhimtogo.
"IgottoknowRay(McCallum,Jr.)andhismotherbecausewerecruitedJunior,"headded."He'saterrificplayerandaterrificguard.I'mhappyforthesuccesshe'shadthere.ThisisaleaguethatjustwenttotheNationalChampionshipthelasttwoyears,soit'saverycompetitiveleague."
[RivalsonYahoo!SportsRadio:DetroitcoachRayMcCallumjoinsDavidNuno]
Notsurprisingly,McCallum,Sr.,couldn'thavebeenanyhappierwithRay'sdecisiontosignonwithDetroit.Followinga17-16season,McCallum,asasophomore,guidedtheTitanstoarecordof22-13andaHorizonConferenceTournamentChampionship.
AfterfallingtoValparaisotwiceintheregularseason,Detroit,intheHorizonTournamentChampionshipgame,toppedtheCrusaders,68-50.McCallumledthewaywith21pointson10-of-16shootingfromthefield,pulleddownsixrebounds,dishedoutthreeassistsandfinishedwithfoursteals.
McCallum,formuchofthisseason,hasbeenastarforDetroit.HeentersFriday'sfirst-roundmatchupagainstKansasaveraging15.6points,4.5rebounds,3.9assistsand1.5stealspergame.In35games,he'sscoredindouble-figures31times.
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ClickHeretoviewthisLink.Attimesthisseason,McCallumhasbeenabsolutelydynamicforDetroit.Hewentfor20againstNotreDame(six-pointloss),21againstYoungstownState,21againstSt.John's(six-pointvictory),22againstValparaiso,23againstWisconsin-Milwaukee,26againstIllinoisChicago,20againstButler(four-pointvictoryontheroad),22againstYoungstownState(HorizonConferenceTourney),26againstClevelandState(HorizonConferenceTourney)and21againstValparaiso(HorizonConferenceTourneyChampionshipgame).
"Heisagoodguard,Ihavebeenhearingalotabouthimtheselastfewyears,"saidTaylorwhenaskedaboutMcCallum."Heistough,andI'msureheisgoingtobeaggressivesincetheteamrunsthroughhim.Theyhavefiveguysthataveragedoublefiguresandtheyhaveguyswhocanscorefromeveryposition.
"Throughouttheweekwewilllearnmoreabouttheiroffenseandwhattheyrun,"headded."Wedon'tknowtoomuchaboutthem(now),butI'msurewe'llbewellpreparedbyFriday."
Bynow,No.2seedKansasiswellawarethatDetroitisfarfromaone-manband.WhileMcCallumreceivesamajorityoftheattention,fourotherplayers,ChaseSimon(13.5),NickMinnerath(12.0),EliHolman(10.9)andJasonCalliste(10.4)averagedouble-figuresinscoring.
Offthebench,DougAndersonaverages9.1pointsand4.7reboundspergame.WithMcCallumleadingtheway,DetroithastheallthenecessarytoolstobecomejustthefifthNo.15seedtoknockoffaNo.2seedintheNCAATournament.
Notwantinganotherearlyroundexit,TaylorandtheJayhawksknowwhat'satstakeonFridaynight.AvictoryagainstDetroitwillmoveKansasonestepclosertowinningthefirstofthreetwo-gametournaments.
Yes,RayMcCallum,Jr.,isafabulousplayer,butitwon'tbethefirsttimethisseasonthatSelf'ssquadisfacedwithadifficultchallenge.Already,theJayhawkshavegonehead-to-headagainstTerrenceJones,MichaelKidd-Gilchrist,DoronLamb,AnthonyDavis,HollisThompson,JasonClark,SethCurry,AndreDawkins,AustinRivers,RyanKelly,WilliamBuford,DeshaunThomas,RoyceWhite,PerryJonesIII,PierreJackson,BradyHeslip,MarcusDenmon,MichaelDixonJr.andothers.
Clearly,Kansashasbeentestedthisseason,andwillbefullypreparedforwhateverDetroitthrowsitswayonFridaynight.
"Heistheirmainfocusrightnowsinceheistheguyeverybodyknowsabout,"Taylorsaid."I'msuretheyhaveguysthatcandosomethingsifRaydoesn'tplayaswell.I'msurehehasn'tplayedterrificineverygamethattheyhavewonthisseason.
"Theyarewellcoached,andtheywillbereadyandexcitedtoplay,"headded.
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