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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

University of Memphis signee Kendrick ill, may miss McDonald’s game

The Commercial Appeal
By Dan Wolken
Posted March 30, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The University of Memphis is supposed to have two representatives in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game, but one of them might be sidelined by an illness.

Jelan Kendrick, a 6-6 guard from Atlanta, missed today’s practice and media day while being treated at the hotel for a stomach problem. Whether he was suffering from food poisoning or the flu wasn’t initially determined.

Joe Jackson, a former White Station guard who will team with Kendrick next season at Memphis, said he was moved to a different hotel room as a precaution.

“He woke up at 3 (a.m.), 3:30, throwing up and then woke up again at 6,” Jackson said. “He woke me up.”

Despite a disappointing performance in Monday night’s dunk contest -- Jackson went 0-for-5 on his attempts -- he rebounded with a nice showing in today’s practice and played well in his matchup against Josh Selby, who is still considering several schools including Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

After Wednesday’s game, Jackson will play in the Capital Classic All-Star Game on April 15 in Washington, D.C. and then take a few weeks off to recuperate from injuries suffered during his high school season, which ended with a runner-up finish to Melrose in the Class AAA championship game.

Jackson played the last part of the season with two sprained ankles and said he needs two or three weeks to heal. The main focus of his summer preparation will be improving his strength with the Tigers’ director of performance enhancement, Richard Hogans.

“I know I can get anywhere I want on the court,“ Jackson said. “My speed allows that, but at times playing against stronger guards, they kind of bang me up. They aren’t going to call as many fouls as they call in high school so if I’m stronger to take the contact that will help a lot.”

Jackson has been invited to try out for the U.S. team that will play in the FIBA Americas championships this summer, but he said he was unsure of his plans since it will take place during a summer school session in June.

“Coach (Josh) Pastner wants me to start summer school, and I do too, but I don’t just want to give away the opportunity to try out for the USA (team),” Jackson said. “But people have their own picks, so I don’t want to go wasting my time with the political thing and miss two or three weeks.”

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