When Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri take the floor in the NCAA Tournament, each school will have a Kansas City-area product in the starting lineup.
Marcus Denmon (Hogan Prep) has been a senior leader for MU, junior Travis Releford (Bishop Miege) has done a little bit of everything for KU and sophomore Will Spradling (Shawnee Mission South) has started every game for K-State.
But Denmon, Releford and Spradling are just the beginning of a long list of players that will be representing the Kansas City area this weekend. In all, The Star counted 18 different players (from 17 different high schools) representing 10 different schools, from North Carolina to California:Alabama
•Trevor Releford, Bishop Miege, sophomore guard:
The younger brother of Kansas’ Travis, Trevor has emerged as a scorer (11.9 points per game) and playmaker for the No. 9 seed Crimson Tide, which plays No. 8 Creighton in its opener.Colorado State • Dorian Green, Lawrence, junior guard:
The former scoring dynamo for the Chesty Lions has helped the Rams back to the tournament for the first time since 2003. Colorado State, a No. 11 seed, will match up with No. 6 seed Murray State.Davidson • Clinton Mann, St. Thomas Aquinas, junior forward:
Mann, who comes off the bench, had the game-winning dunk in the Southland Conference title game against Western Carolina.
•Tyler Kalinoski, Olathe East, freshman guard:
The reigning DiRenna Award winner is averaging 4.8 points in just over 17 minutes per game.California • David Kravish, Lee’s Summit North, freshman, center:
The Cal big man is averaging seven points per game and came on strong late for the 12th-seeded Bears, who played South Florida on Wednesday.Kansas • Travis Releford, Bishop Miege, junior guard:
Averages 8.5 points per game and provides a defensive presence as well.
•Conner Teahan, Rockhurst, senior guard:
Redshirt senior is averaging 5.9 points in 21 minutes per game for the second-seeded Jayhawks.Kansas State • Shawn Meyer, Blue Springs South, freshman guard:
Walk-on claimed a spot on the Wildcats’ roster.
•Will Spradling, Shawnee Mission South, sophomore guard:
Has scored 9.5 points per outing while starting every game for K-State this season.
•Nino Williams, Leavenworth, freshman forward:
Second-team All-Metro player appeared in 12 games for K-State this season.Ohio • Ivo Baltic, Park Hill South, junior forward:
Versatile forward is averaging 9.0 points and 5.1 rebounds for the No. 13-seeded Bobcats, who scored a first-round upset over Georgetown in 2010.Missouri • Marcus Denmon, Hogan Prep, senior guard:
First-team all-Big 12 pick led Mizzou with 17.6 points per game.
•Michael Dixon, Lee’s Summit West, junior guard:
One of the nation’s best sixth men, Dixon is averaging 13.3 points on 48 percent shooting.
•Steve Moore, Truman, senior forward:
Has developed into one of Mizzou’s most reliable post defenders.
•Andrew Jones, Smithville, senior forward:
Tigers’ 6-foot-6 tight end walked on to basketball team this winter and has played in 11 games.
•Jarrett Sutton, Oak Park, senior guard:
Former Oak Park standout will finish up four-year career at Missouri this month.Southern Miss • Neil Watson, Sumner, sophomore guard:
Southern Miss’ leading scorer at 12.2 points per game, Watson will go against fellow local product Spradling today.Wichita State • Garrett Stutz, North Kansas City, senior center: The 7-foot center is scoring 13.5 points per game for the fifth-seeded Shockers, who’ll take on VCU on Thursday in Portland.