Seven Footer visits KU

  • Corrected link…

    Hope the link works this time.

  • @JayhawkRock78 it doesnt

  • Yippee … another likely OAD. Of course we’ll likely need that in the post because we have no top tier non-OAD talent in the stable right now. As it stands, we could have Traylor and either Lucas or Mickelson starting as our two post guys in 2015, if Ellis and Cliff turn pro.

    The merry-go-round keeps on turnin’.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Seriously… I’d make this guy a wing at the 3.

    Sticking him in the paint is kind of a waste. He has too many lateral moves to clog him up in the post around too many bodies.

    The best way to think about this guy is to forget he is 7 feet. Think of him as a 6’6" dude with a little longer reach.

  • @drgnslayr Ok … but do you think Self will forget he’s 7 foot tall? Self would stick this dude on the block and fantasize about having B-star back to feed him.

    Sounds like a monster rim protector. Seems like we need an OAD. Hopefully he’ll reclassify to 2015 and we’ll snag him.

  • @HighEliteMajor haha good one HEM…No way in hot hell will Self ever pull a footer out on the perimeter. He may be quick, agile, and shoot lights out. But, Self will force him into the post and get him on a weight program, turning him into an instant light weight lane machine. He’s too old school and too much Eddie Sutton drilled into him.

    Self can’t stand to have a super athletic footer on the perimeter. He would’ve turned KD (if attended KU) and posted him. It’s a Self-ish rule of thumb, if you’re over 6-8 or bigger, and have a good butt, you’re posting. It’s a given. 🙂

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “Ok … but do you think Self will forget he’s 7 foot tall?”

    …and @truehawk93

    You are both right, and because of that reason I’m doubtful we land this uber talent.

    However… this kid has not butt… so maybe, just maybe…

  • @HighEliteMajor Good ol’ B-star. Always good for a chuckle.

    I can’t see Ellis turning pro after this year. I just don’t see him being viewed by the League as a viable post player, and I don’t see Self developing him at the 3. While I don’t see this as likely either, I think there’s a better chance of him graduating early and transferring to another program that would play him at the 3 for a season.

    But I’d say it’s probably more than a 50% chance that Alexander turns pro, and then you’re looking at at least one of the Jamari, Mickelson, Lucas trio needing to start, unless we snag another OAD big.

    I do think Mickelson would qualify (depending on which recruiting ranking you believe) as the kind of top tier non-OAD talent we’d want developing, right? He was ranked #55 by ESPN, #54 by Scout (only #100 by rivals).

    Personally, I’m hoping we land Stephen Zimmerman. 7 footer from Vegas, #6 on ESPN’s recruiting list.

  • @icthawkfan316 The part about Perry Ellis transferring to another program to play the 3 is a joke, right?

    I agree that Cliff is about a 50% chance or higher for leaving although without even seeing a game I think he should stay. He does not have polished post moves, does not have a reliable 15 ft jumper and could use a ton of reps against guys who are as athletic as he is unlike High School.

    I love Mickelson. Can’t even say why. I hope he turns into a stud next year.

  • @joeloveshawks Well, if you read what I wrote, I said it is unlikely. However small the chance of that happening, I think it is actually a greater possibility than Perry morphing into an NBA post player this season and declaring after his junior year.

    So while no, not a joke, it is not likely either.

  • @joeloveshawks “I love Mickelson. Can’t even say why.”

    Well, because joe loves his hawks, right?

    @icthawkfan316 - Actually, it would be kind of intriguing to see what would happen with those three as our top 3 big men. Kind of an “anti-OAD” flavor, I would say.

  • How soon til late night?

  • Maker fascinates because he is a face up scorer that also seems to have the knack of shot blocking.

    He’s an ideal stretch 4 with a bruiser at 5.

    But OMG, will the blue meanies throw this guy on his spine at will!

    Thon better not reclassify. He needs all the time to add weight and muscle he can get.

  • @HighEliteMajor Let’s say Perry doesn’t leave, Alexander does, and we don’t bring in anyone of significance in the post next year. Now, let’s compare that foursome to the '08 post players:

    Jamari Traylor vs. Darnell Jackson - Could senior year Traylor be as productive as Darnell Jackson? I don’t see why not. Jackson averaged 11.2 ppg & 6.7 rpg in '08. Give Traylor about 25 mpg, and couldn’t he get that his senior year? Jackson was the more polished basketball player (having been ranked in the 50s I believe coming out of high school), but Jamari definitely would have the athleticism advantage.

    Perry Ellis vs. Darrell Arthur - Could senior year Ellis be as productive as Arthur? Well, from an offensive standpoint, sophomore Ellis is already there. Arthur’s sophomore year: 24.7 mpg, 12.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg. Ellis’s sophomore year: 27.8 mpg, 13.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg. Pretty similar production, although Ellis averaged 3 more mpg (Arthur’s averages extrapolated out to 20.72 points per 40 minutes and 10.2 rebounds per 40 minutes, whereas Ellis was a tick behind averaging 19.42 points per 40 minutes and 9.64 rebounds per 40 minutes). I think we can all agree Ellis needs to improve his defense to get to where Shady was his sophomore year (which I would describe as…slightly above average?) but if Ellis does in fact stay for 2 more years, it’s not a big leap to think he’ll be more productive than Arthur was in '08.

    Sasha Kaun vs. Hunter Mickelson - no stats thus far on Hunter (at least none as a Jayhawk), but here are Sasha’s senior stats: 17.7 mpg, 7.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg. Very attainable I think for Hunter. The key here will be if Mickelson can develop into the defensive stopper that Kaun was. Kaun was great defending in the low post, although not much of a shot blocker. Mickelson has the rep for being a shot blocker, but in two years can he develop into the kind of guy that we bring in to cool off an opposing post threat?

    Cole Aldrich vs. Landon Lucas - not worth comparing stats here, as freshmen Cole Aldrich and Lucas stats weren’t anything of note. But Cole was an McD’s all-American, and Lucas is an unranked project. The '08 team didn’t need regular production from Cole, and I don’t think next year’s team will need regular production from Lucas. But can Lucas, who will be in his 4th year in the program, provide a spark off the bench if we need him to? I’m not saying he has to be capable of the Aldrich UNC performance. But as the 4th big, can he be a net positive and do the little things when foul trouble crops up, or injury, to one of the more regular rotation players? Maybe. We’ve seen some promise, and he seems to be a hard worker with the right attitude.

    So…maybe next year’s post rotation doesn’t need another OAD thrown into the mix to replace Alexander? Just a thought.

  • @icthawkfan316 Wow, you just compared a group of current players to the 2008 NC team. I don’t know if Self planned what he did with the players above, but he has actually solved any OAD problem. Traylor, Lucas, and Mickelson are solid. I’m not sure what they’ll do over the next few years, but they have a great chance. You would be silly to underestimate what they bring to this team. If they keep their head and ego in check, which they seem to have, they will prove to be major contributors for Self down the stretch.

    I’ve become a bit concerned about Ellis. Is it me? Or is he digressing just a bit? My perception of Ellis is that he isn’t where he should be at this point. Maybe it’s my silly expectations. He’s had some great games, is talented, and is capable, but misses that certain something I like to call aggression. We’ve touched on it before, but it was understandable as a frosh and spooh.

    WIll this be Perry’s year to break out in “style”? He’s got to have a monster year where he dominates and becomes the player that we believe him to be or has he simply reached his ceiling at this level?

    What say you all? Perry fashionably done or still walking the runway with his duds? Maybe he’s not a sprinter…maybe he’s an endurance player or like a fine wine who ages with time?

  • @truehawk93 Well, it was just the post players. The 2008 NC team had probably the greatest collection of 4 perimeter players we’ve seen under Self, especially defensively. It was a perfect group, with Sherron off the bench. When might we see that level of game-ready talent come off the bench again? In any case, the only point was that it could be possible to win with the group of Ellis, Traylor, Mickelson, & Lucas in the post.

    As for Ellis, expectations were definitely high for him coming in. Maybe too high. There are several examples of Self’s post players who didn’t progress to star levels until their junior year. TRob, Markieff, Withey. The difference is all those players weren’t starters until their junior year. Once they got the opportunity to start, they shined. So maybe it is just that Ellis was better suited to come off the bench one more year (last season) while progressing to the level we expect. For a guy like Ellis, who will never be a bruiser inside, that second year to really toughen up might have been what he needed.

    As to whether he “breaks out” this year, I think it depends on what he works on and how Self uses him. I’ve long been saying if he wants to make it in the league it will be at the 3. However, his chances of playing the 3 for Self are almost nonexistent. So, does he spend his off-seasons working on parts of his game he’ll need refined for the next level? Even though they won’t provide a ton of immediate dividends at the college level? Or does he spend time working on parts of his game more advantageous to his time at KU, knowing if he wants to play in the NBA the post part of his game is drastically less important?

    Not sure, guess we’ll see in a few months…

  • @icthawkfan316 It’s really hard to characterize Ellis’ play, which may be a good thing. He’s a little mysterious. Opposing coaches may not quite know how to scout him at times, much like an enigma. Funny, the scouting reports are based more on Self’s game history than a player’s play.

    On the other hand, to your point, this enigamtic play, may cause NBA scouts to pause on him. This may cost him in the draft. He’s a special player and he is a true definition of student-athlete. I want him to succeed so much because he’s a great kid, from Wichita, and chose KU. He’s smart and should figure out what to do in the coming days. Unfortuantely, to your point, Self’s system is quite defining. We’ve all established Self’s bigs as true bigs that he will develop into what he needs. I doubt too that Self will let Ellis play much 3 if at all. I do recall McMorris playing some 3 at times. Their style of play are extremely similar. I just wish Ellis was as strong and aggressive as McMorris. I’d give Perry a knod at the 3 before Morris, because overall Perry is more talented. Also, Ellis comes from Wichita, and I know that league is really open ended when it comes to bigs. They don’t really define their bigs. Ellis was allowed to play freely and if you watch tape, he played outside the 4 box often. Lastly, he plays pickup games and he is used to going 1x1 with smaller players. Perry was the biggest man in the city league. His AAU was the only other opp he had to play bigger players.

    So I say this in hopes that Self will turn Ellis loose in games to see what he can do at times, at least take calculated risks. Self does not encourage them to step outside to take the 3 and they joke, but for Ellis to pull his man out could pay dividends. Especially with Alex inside to cleanup.

  • @icthawkfan316 I like the comparisons. I really do. That actually caused me to view this a little differently. The Kaun-Mickelson comparison is the one that will be the deal breaker, because Mickelson is such an unknown. Kaun was a big dude that was perfect in certain spots, perfect in certain matchups (Davidson, for example). Can Mickelson be an equivalent to Kaun.

    Ellis and Arthur are very similar – Arthur must have defended better because I don’t recall ever worrying about his defense. But very similar.


    I’m taking Thon with me this summer to the Greek islands for an olive-picking tour. We’ll make a fortune! He’ll pick high, I’ll pick low.

  • @drgnslayr Take Coach Self with you - he LOVES the hi-lo.

  • @HighEliteMajor I really liked your “anti-OAD flavor” comment, because, honestly…didnt Bill Self build his reputation on non-Mickey-D level talent, but that was still athletic, and were drilled from Day 1 to be solid in their execution? Its like giving him a bunch of hungry mid-major type guys. And Traylor is 1 hell of an athlete, who keeps adding stuff to his repertoire…Yes, the unknowns are Hunter and Lucas, but man…they are both 6’10 and hungry as wolves. Recall what we all thought of Withey (not even serviceable for 1.5yrs)…but being in Bill Self’s program turned that kid into a draft pick. Immaterial, almost that Withey was a 35-40ish ranked recruit, when he couldnt even play for his first 1.5yrs at KU. He looked like a bust, until…well, he got that stank face bloody nose…along with spending time with Thomas Robinson.

    Let’s hope the arrival of BigCliff lit a fire under Perry Ellis. Lots of talk about Ellis this thread, no doubt he got told to get after it by Bill Self…as my favorite phrase that describes Perry Ellis, and I hate using this analogy, is that Perry Ellis plays like a UNC/McDAA-type of finesse big. The bigger question for Perry Ellis, is what would happen to Ellis if he had to face Mickelson, Lucas, Traylor in a real game? Could he finish against the size of Hunter or Lucas, and does he have the hops and motor (& ‘fire’ ) to hang with Traylor, who is motivated like there is no tomorrow.

    Bill Self makes do with what he’s got, when a kid reaches a ‘serviceable’ level of performance. And it only goes up from there when you throw in a high ceiling guy, if he stays at LEAST 2 yrs, like Shady did. The ‘trick up his sleeve’ that Self keeps a “mix” of high-ceiling guys alongside high-motivation guys. He’s usually getting the max out of a guy. I just dont think we’ve seen yet all that Perry Ellis can give us.

    And for where we all think Traylor is at, I was simply stunned to see him go 18-and-15 in the 1st round NCAA. Then the Stanford loss brought a bit of reality back. Fact is Traylor had the best FG% on the team, for the season, so actually one could say Stanford was the aberration. But not to let Traylor off the hook…if you want to be a PTP’er, you got to produce in crunchtime, which he stunningly did in the game prior…basically saving KU from a Mercer/NorfolkSt type of 1st round loss. He personifies the hungry, athletic, type of kid that Self solely used to stock his roster with in pre-KU days. Well, that part of Self is still at it, creating another versatile post-player, right in front of us, even without Danny Manning. And he didnt have Danny Manning when he built his coaching and development credibility prior to 2004/KU. Ask EJ, it doesnt matter your ranking if you cannot produce, or even unseat the guy in front of you (yes, the dreaded reference to BStar…).

  • @truehawk93 While it may seem stark to compare an unheralded trio to the 08Champ guys, I do agree with icthawkfan316, because I feel the 08 team played greater than the sum of its parts. Think about Darnell, who rarely was the post-feed target for a score, but more often for a 2nd touch pass to Shady for the dunk, or to set those devastating off-ball screens that Self likes his bigs to do to free up a path to the bucket. Also think about Kaun and Darnell in the post at the same time–> not a lot of offensive prowess there. (Hence the plays for perimeter players on those occasions). Cole hardly played. That leaves Shady, who came off the bench much of his frosh season.

    The point to make to our current unheralded trio, is that when called upon, even those role-player bigs delivered in crunch time, creating the 08Champs. A tuff lesson for Ellis (& Traylor) in the Stanford loss. Kaun saves our butt offensively, no less, against Davidson. Cole forces psychoT to come back to UNC for another season, made him look bad on natl TV, as did Shady, Rush, Chalmers. Shady dropped the quietest 20 & 10 in a Natl Champ game that I’ve ever never seen. He didnt quit from start to finish. Dunks to clutch 17.5ft jumper. And Darnell was big in the OT vs. Memphis.

    Definitely need to praise Tarik Black, bright kid, who in his lone season at KU, once he learned the system and what exactly Self wanted, he became devastating. He almost singlehandedly won us the Stanford game, if he’d had 1 less foul, I think we would have won. Had 18pts, and Stanford had NO answer for him. Self needs role players + consistency of execution.

  • @ralster nice posts! Cole will always be remembered for stopping psycho T! Man did we hate that guy!

  • Cliff notes version of my above posts: Back in the day, 11-15yrs ago, Bill Self was the “upcoming” young coach…the ‘Shaka Smart’ of his day, getting attn-getting results out of non-MickeyD’s. See Smart built ALL of his coaching cred with Skeen, a 4star, and his bunch of no-name athletes, but who played his style and system to a W over a blue-blood. A couple of decent Tourney runs…but the jury still out on Shaka, can he duplicate with another set of players (same applies to Gregg Marshall)? Hindsight-jury already spoken on UNI’s Ben Andersen: “lucky win” (hasnt done squat since).

    Only difference with Bill Self, is he kept reproducing his success everywhere he went, and at KU it actually got even better. So his methods are proven, provided he keeps his core of multi-year, athletic players…almost regardless of ranking. They stay = they get better (individually and as a team). See that effect once again shine for KU this coming season…RCJH

  • @ralster I took my father to San Antonio for those games and splurged for some great seats. I remember being worried about Psycho T having a big game against us-especially when young Cole came off the bench. Man did Cole elevate his game. Shut down Psycho T and gave us great minutes and points.

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