What to expect from Alexander?

  • In general I don’t get too overly excited about specific guys but having the #1 PF in the class is significant just looking back at the top PF’s in each of the last couple of classes has got me excited (not that that’s a big deal or hard to do). Julius Randal, Anthony Bennett, James McAdoo, and lets throw in Andrew Drummond just because I believe Alexander will spend some time at the 5 for us this year. I have high hopes for Alexander this year… Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  • I think we can expect Alexander to be a highly productive rebounder and shot blocker. I would put him down for 8 boards and 1.5 blocks per game. He’s not going to be an Embiid/Withey/Aldrich type, but he is going to protect the most important three feet very well.

    I also think he will shoot a high percentage, although I don’t think he will be a big time scorer. Probably 9-11 points per game, but on 60% or better shooting. He’s not a jump shooter and I don’t think he will try to be. He’s a Power Forward in every sense of the word.

  • @justanotherfan well he is projected to go high lotto. The last 2 that went high lotto we Julius Randal 15pts 10rb. Then it was Anthony Bennett 16pts and 8rb. His production is going to have to be somewhere close to those numbers if he is going in the top of the lotto.

  • Banned

    I have I hopes for The Thunder Alexander too. However as the voice of reasoning HEM would say he’s a freshman. I look for him to battle with foul trouble until he gets adjusted to the college game. Look for him to foul out of some games early in the season. Also look for Big 12 teams to bate him in to fouls in the early part of the conference season. Yet if he can play with in himself, to harness his madness. Then all bets are off. The kid goes after that rim like TRob. Let me put it this way. If I’m standing between him and the rim I’m getting out of the way. Just saying.

  • Alexander will be very good. He will struggle with fouls, probably struggle with free throw’s some as well. I do think his toughness and physicality will help him punish front-courts though. Other than Ridley, in the big 12 he will not face a big-man that will be able to push him around.

    The high-low offense should really benefit him as he will be able to seal his man for easy hoops. Defensively we can expect him, if he starts to lead the team in rebounding and blocks. He will be a good weak-side shot blocker and will get any rebound in his area. Those 2 attributes can be counted on from day 1. If he can limit his fouls, averaging a double double is not out of the question.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Not a lot of players average a double-double over a season and even less do it as freshmen. Some biog names at KU such as Gooden, Collison, Simien and TRob finally accomplished that in the last year at KU; Aldrich did it as a sophomore but not as junior. Expecting a freshman to “average” a double-double over a season is a tall order.

  • I’m hopeful Cliff will go for at least 12-14 ppg, maybe even more. We better get 30-40 points out of our post as a per-game average.

    Self needs big production out of Cliff, especially since he’ll be going after a big as his main target for 2015, so he has to show that KU is still “Big Man U.”

    What will take the heat off Cliff is (what should be) our perimeter threats and Perry on the other side of the post (and out on the perimeter).

    I’m curious to see Perry again and how well his perimeter shot has come along. I know a big part of his development over this summer is him working on his perimeter game. (He better be tightening up his defense, too!)

  • I think Cliffs a beast, but I think it will take awhile. I watched his 4 ot’s in high school. He did a lot of dumb things, that will drive Self nuts. His defense is, try to block every shot. That said, he’s played a lot this summer, before the ankle sprain, so I expect more improvement! I think we have some great pieces, can’t figure how they will all work, but I think coach will do that! Can’t wait!

  • @JayHawkFanToo said:> @BeddieKU23

    Not a lot of players average a double-double over a season and even less do it as freshmen. Some biog names at KU such as Gooden, Collison, Simien and TRob finally accomplished that in the last year at KU; Aldrich did it as a sophomore but not as junior. Expecting a freshman to “average” a double-double over a season is a tall order.

    I absolutely agree that it’s very hard for any player, much less a freshman to avg a double double. Do I think its going to happen, probably not but I definitely think 10 boards a game is something he could easily average. I think his rebounding translates as good as T-Rob was. Will his offense come with it?

    Given that he will be the 3rd or 4th offensive option will probably limit his scoring average unless he truly is that dominate. I see Selden and Ellis getting the looks before he does, and then you have to account for Oubre or whoever plays the other guard position (I believe it will be Oubre for forecasting sake).

  • @Statmachine A few years ago I did some research on PF and C that went in the lottery. The averages for those players in their last year of college was somewhere around 14 points and 7 rebounds. That happens mostly because you end up with a guy like Aaron Gordon playing on a loaded Arizona team where he just doesn’t score a ton of points, but he gets his boards.

    I think on a KU team like the one we have, Alexander probably won’t score a ton. If I told you right now that Oubre, Ellis and Selden averaged 14, 14 and 12 points, respectively, I don’t think I would get too much argument. If I went further and said that whoever the starting PG is averaged 7 points a game, that’s not outlandish. If I said the backup big men (Traylor and probably Mickelson) would combine to average about 11 a game, that wouldn’t be a shock, either. If the backup PG and Greene combined for about 10 a night that gives you 68 points. Bill Self teams dial in the scoring between 78 and 81, which means that Alexander gets between 10 and 13. I put him on the low end of that because I actually think both Ellis and Oubre will score a bit more than I’ve predicted here, but 11 and 8 is roughly what Embiid did last season (11.2, 8.1). Of course, Embiid blocked more shots (roughly an extra block and a half per game, but if Alexander goes 11, 8 and 1.5, he’s still a lottery pick playing on a stacked team.

  • @BeddieKU23 On Alexander, you said “… I definitely think 10 boards a game is something he could easily average.”

    I would just be shocked and amazed if Cliff averaged double figure rebounds. Since Simien, a KU player has only averaged double figure boards twice … TRob and Aldrich each did it once, as @JayHawkFanToo pointed out.

    You better gets some serious odds if you’re going to make that bet.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Simien averaged double figure rebounds only in his senior year. Like you, I don’t believe Alexander will average double rebounds; sure, he will have games with double- doubles, but averaging double rebounds over the course of an entire season is very difficult. Averaging double points AND rebounds is very rare indeed.

  • I see definite potential for Cliff to become a double-double guy as a freshman. It will depend on his minutes, and from what we have in the post, I think he’ll average 30+ minutes as a freshman. As I recall from memory… players like TRob would have put up bigger stats had they played more minutes as a freshman. Low minutes = low stats.

    Development wise… Cliff is far ahead on a freshman TRob.

    I’m not sure that he won’t become one of our first options on offense by the end of the season. He should develop a decent FG% this year, and Self likes his hi-lo. It is only effective if we try to score on the blocks.

    I think perhaps the biggest issue for Cliff will concern fouls. If he can limit his fouls, he’ll see more floor time and he’ll see a higher stat line.

  • @Statmachine Very interesting posts people. Indeed, thought provoking. How about this one. What are the odds of Alexander taking Perry’s spot at the 4 if he proves he is better on defense? Which he probably is. I agree though, a big key for Cliff is how will he adjust to the bigger game? How will his fouling pan out?
    For the starting Center, I hope that someone is as close to 7 foot as possible; ie Mickelson or Lucas.

  • @Lulufulu85

    Just for giggles… I’d like to see us finally develop a running team under Self. That should involve 5 guys that can run (including at the 5).

    Self has proven himself at set, 2-pt defense. Now how about we set out goals to just being the best overall defense in America?

    How about our perimeter guys learn what defensive spacing is all about? And learn that you never give up a wide open 3 without a hand in the shooter’s face.

    How about our entire team learn how to steal balls? They might all gain by watching magician videos. Sleight of hand. Learn to be illusive. Keep moving your defensive positioning around so only the quickest opposing passers can still get their passes through the passing lanes.

    How about we develop schemes where we send a player up court quicker and the rest of our guys really crash the boards and immediately look for an outlet pass? The rebound and outlet should be so fluid together that it almost looks like one motion.

    How about we start using all that depth we usually waste away on the bench? We rotate in more players because we keep pushing pace.

    How about we learn what a secondary break is?

    How about we learn what real full court pressure is all about? And how about we use that pressure in obvious times, but also when teams don’t expect it because we see an opportunity to knock a team out of the game early, so they can’t later build enough momentum to come back.

    How about we get the ball up the court quickly even after made baskets? And we go right in to an offensive set without lollygagging around so the defense has time to set.

    How about we continually play highly aggressive basketball so our opponents can do little but try to survive our big-time pressure?

    Just for giggles… let’s try this! It works best when we don’t have a slow tree in the post. A 6’9" or 6’10" center is plenty big enough to run this style of play!

    I’m giggling now… just imagining what we could do with the talent we have if we stopped playing stiff setup ball and started working up a sweat in games!

  • @drgnslayr Man, what would have been possible had JOJO stayed around. He is the first footer at KU that I have seen that can handle the ball and run the floor like a guard. Ok maybe not exactly like, but you get what Im saying. I agree with you though, our team this year is going to be more experienced all around and just as deep. Im not saying they need to play Defense like VCU but man, some intermittent and unpredictable pressure would keep teams guessing and back on their heels.

  • @Lulufulu85

    It’s hard to imagine JoJo still around. With JoJo this team would have to be preseason ranked #1.

    And lets not forget JoJo’s potential with outlet passes! He is an example of a footer who can run the court like a guard!

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