Making noise

  • Banned

    Landen Lucas is making some noise for Athletes in Action. Is this his break out year? Does he join Traylor as the first big men off the bench? or does Hunter beat him out? He showed some flashes last year, yet seemed to be still grasping the college game. Is this his year? I’m starting to think it just might be. Yet I’m just a KU homer, and I would love and need more level headed KU fans to confirm or deny my enthusiasm. 😉

  • Landen has always had three things that made him worth developing: height, lateral movement, and a sense of where play was going. You can’t teach any of them. What he lacked was a matured body, basic big man skills and a big man’s territoriality. The body has matured, though still another year of Hudy will likely turn him from matured to seriously meaty. He now has two years to add offensive moves one at a time. He will probably be a solid backup this season. But when he adds the meat and the moves, He is going to be a DOMINANT big man! Regardless, Landen already evidences the thing I most prize in a big man–territoriality. He plays like he owns the paint. It is a temperament. I don’t think he is big enough and strong enough not to get his ears pinned back on him by some more talented bigs this season. But he shows that youthful sense of paint ownership that all bigs have to feel before they can grow into actually owning it. He lacked this last season. He is playing with dweebs here. But you have to start dominating somewhere. Jeff Withey proved the same thing when he travelled with AIA. The season after this upcoming one he should be ready to take out a mortgage on the lane.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Good call!

    I’d just add that Landen plays fundamentally-sound basketball. That seems to usually be one of the biggest hurdles with bigs. Before reaching college, bigs usually get away with some bad fundamentals because their size could make up for it. But on the college level, fundamentals come into play, and this will be an aspect of his development that will continue to go smooth.

    Where Landen goes is all about him. How hard is he willing to work and dedicate himself to basketball? He will have options to make a living in this game, and the work he puts in now will determine the level he will play at later.

  • Landen’s numbers are better than Michelson’s in Summer play. I am not sure what is the level of competition for either one.

  • We can’t really tell, but my guess is Mickelson plays over Lucas. I think his experience at Arkansas and his ability to shoot the ball will earn him PT.

  • I think he could be ready to contribute under different circumstances, but because of the roster composition I just don’t think this will be the year for him. I say this because I think we will need Mickelson more than Lucas because of Mick’s rim protecting ability (assuming that translates from his freshman year at Arkansas). We know Ellis & Alexander are going to play and likely are the two starters. Traylor should continue to get minutes as he has progressed nicely during his time here and could actually be somewhat of a force this year (i.e. someone we could actually run offense for coming off the bench). But all three of those guys are power forwards, and we know Ellis & Traylor aren’t rim protectors. Alexander figures to play a bit taller than those two, but it’s doubtful he’ll be a defensive stopper as a freshman. So Self will likely need to turn to Mickelson if we need a boost to the interior defense. If there was an Aldrich/Withey/Embiid on the roster then Landen might be in a better position, but with three non-shot blockers ahead of him the final post spot/remainder of any significant minutes likely goes to Mickelson.

  • My hope is that they push each other in practice and make each other better players. Not going to try to predict what’s going to happen. I have a feeling we could see plenty of both of them depending on the fouls and injuries this season. Looking forward to another interesting season.

  • Another guy making noise is Svee! The Philippine national team Gilas Pilipinas was crushed by towering, sweet-shooting Ukraine 114-64. Shooting guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk contributed 12 points.

  • @icthawkfan316

    As I indicated before, Lucas numbers over the summer have been a lot better than Mickelson, although I am not sure if they both played with/against the same level of competition. Lucas could well be the surprise this coming season; ha has flown under the radar so far and the assumption has been that Traylor will have a breakout year. Lucas is a smart kid that could surprise us all.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Better numbers during summer play are good and all, but to me it’s more about the roles they can fill. Lucas isn’t going to supplant Ellis, Alexander, or Traylor, so his competition is with Mickelson. Unless Lucas has developed some rim protecting abilities, I don’t think much else matters.

  • Just hoping they both surprise me! Lucas started last year on a good note, was on his band wagon, but then he seemed super slow.

  • Banned

    @icthawkfan316 I was thinking the same thing on protecting the rim. I just feel he’s adjusting to the college game and this year might be that year. (hoping) Even HCBS has said the kid is going to be a load. Either way KU is going to be loaded down under.

  • We have to hope Hudy has worked on Lucas’ hops the way she did with the Morri. Landen with leaps becomes KU’s starting big man, because he has the horizontal game down. Alas, the AIA feed shows him blocking short, low ground clearance types. His dunks are on the way up, not on the way down; that is the dead give away in a 6-10 guy that the springs are still not explosive.

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