Recruting Update or What I don't yet know that I don't know

  • Ok, so I’ve been gone from the site for a while, but HEM brought up where we are in recruiting the other day and I’ve got the time, so here’s my weigh in:

    Obviously the early signing period came and went with out even so much as a whimper on the recruiting front, and understandably, that’s left some posters both here and on the old site on edge. This year is such a mixed bag and reminds me a lot of the position we found ourselves in between the 2011 and 2012 seasons. We’re in on a very narrow, but elite number of players, but pretty much everyone else has decided where to land. This is a little odd after last couple years where all but a handful of players decided early, and KU was able to clean up pretty well, but these things are cyclical, I suppose.

    The biggest and more apparent threat to KU recruiting this year is Calipari’s platoon system and whether or not it proves to be attractive to the incoming recruits. By his own admission, the platoons are just a gimmick to keep Cal’s freshmen happy after the unexpected return of the Harrison Twins and Dakari Johnson, but if it pays dividends and UK can put the full 7 of 10 players currently projected into the league, there’s a real chance that we get swept in the head-to-heads with UK in the class of 2015 and then are relying on the transfer/carousel/Merv Lindsay wire to come up with more bodies. That said, I don’t think that’s the most likely scenario today, and based on Calipari’s recent behavior, it doesn’t look like he’s counting on that either. With all of that established, I’m going to break down on who we’re still in on, what kind of player they are, where we appear to rank with them, and what odds I’d give to them signing. This list will be based on the offers list from Verbal Commits.

    1. Marcus LoVett, Jr.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Bill Self is recruiting an undersized, underweight, low-ranked/unranked PG after striking out with better options. If that scenario gives you heart burn, there are two good reasons not to panic: 1 Frank Mason; 2 Devonte Graham. With the unfortunate departure of Conner Frankamp last month, our PG situation for the next 3 years has become pretty much solidified. LoVett wouldn’t necessarily be a bad addition to that, but anyone we’re looking at in this class should strictly be considered depth, as I don’t think Self is going to hand over the keys even if we sign a combo like Malik Newman or Tyler Dorsey. LoVett isn’t without his strengths. Although not a great shooter, he is a great passer and has very good control over the ball. But like all undersized players, he’s a real defensive risk, and like many young PGs, he dribbles way too much for his own good. The sick moves he can bust out in highlight tapes will turn into bench minutes really quick against competent D-1 defenders.

    Given that we’ve only offered him very recently and given that we haven’t made any kind of real push for the kid, I don’t think Self sees adding another ball handler as a priority this season, meaning for the time being at least, he trusts the situation of Mason/Graham with Svi and Selden as the emergency relief. Between that and the near guarantee of being a career backup or being recruited over, I’d say the odds of signing LoVett are pretty low, and even if he did sign, it would be to his detriment. He’s carrying an offers from UCLA and SDSU, and given their PG situations and his West Coast lineage, I expect him to choose one of those schools.

    Odds to KU: 25%

    1. Malik Newman

    Is it enough to say Kentucky and be done with him? Actually, things are a little bit more complicated with him than that, but that doesn’t change where my mind is on him much. UK already signed combo Isaiah Briscoe and SG Charles Matthew to compliment an all but guaranteed to be returning Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker, so they have a really good backcourt lined up already, plus it looks like Antonio Blankeney will be spending time in Lexington next season, as well. Given that, you’d think we’d have an in, but that’s where the platoon thing comes back to haunt us. Even if Poythress or Lyles returns, there’d still be room for another 3 as both of those guys are really more face up 4s than anything, so the situation is very fluid for Cal. Self won’t platoon and really only wants to play 4-5 perimeter guys anyway. Given who it looks like we’ll get back right now (I actually believe that Selden will get his rehab sorted out enough to come out this year, so that’s Oubre/Greene/Svi/Mason/Graham), I don’t see any real benefit for Newman in terms of coming here, and really, he’d just be bumping Greene or Graham in all likelihood.

    As for his strengths and weaknesses, all I will say is that Newman is a combo, the best player at his position in this class, and his ranking is fully warranted.

    If you’ve taken a look at the ‘Crystal Ball’ feature on CBS’ 24/7 sports, you’d see that UK is a heavy favorite for Newman, as well. Now, myself, I don’t put a ton of stock into those predictions because most of the contributors to the site are guys like Matt Scott, enthusiasts that have parlayed their hobby into a day job, but not real experts of any kind. If you do take a look at them, though, the two guys really worth paying attention to are Jeff Borzello, CBS’ resident recruiting guru, and Jerry Meyer, a seminal member of the site before it was purchased by CBS. Those guys tend to actually be in the know when it comes to recruiting information, and Meyer is especially reliable. He sees Newman at MSSU, and barring the return of platooning, I think that’s the most reasonable guess at this point.

    Odds to KU: 5%

    1. Tyler Dorsey

    The other combo and West Coast guard Self is looking at this year, Dorsey is a former Arizona commit that makes no bones about his desire to play point, and his frustration at getting cut by the USA Basketball team that Stumpy was assistant coaching. Dorsey is very much the poor man’s Malik Newman, but that could bode well for us as a long term option. He doesn’t have Newman’s length, strength, handles, or touch, but he’s still all-around solid in the areas that matter. He needs to get stronger, work on his handles and passing, but as an upperclassman, he’s likely to be a real force.

    According to what I’ve heard as of right now, Dorsey really likes KU, but the reality of the opportunity to play the point is what’s keeping him thinking. Every indication is that it’s down to us and Cal(ifornia), and that he’ll commit sometime this winter. Honestly, I think this one’s a coin toss. I think he could realistically be a point option as an upperclassman, but the patience and willingness of kids these days to play their way there can’t be relied upon. At Cal, he’d be joining Jabari Bird and Jordan Matthews, with Tyrone Wallace’s senior season being the only thing between him and full control, as all of the Bear’s other guards are crap. One way or another, Dorsey is likely to have to wait for his gratification, at least a little, but if I were placing a bet, I’d have to go with Cal at this point because there are just so many more unknowns if he chooses KU. They may not win a ton of games, but at Cal, he’ll be able to do what he wants and get a lot of minutes without having to look over his shoulder at who might be recruited over him.

    Odds to KU: 45%

    1. Jaylen Brown

    Why is Self putting so much energy into recruiting small forwards right now? Better question: why have so many elite 3s signed with Kansas in the past two seasons when Self’s offense put’s next to no emphasis on that position?

    Jaylen Brown is basically a stronger version of Andrew Wiggins. Great size and length for position? Check. Spin moves and freakishly athletic dunks? Check. Lock down D? Check. Relies entirely on his athleticism to get by? Check. Dribbles too high and away from his body? Check. High potential/low foundation? Check.

    Okay, okay. I’ll lay off Wiggins. I actually really loved having him on the team, and I think, even though it didn’t pay off during his lone season at KU, there are dividends to be had if he wins Rookie of the Year and becomes an NBA All Star. We’re waaaaay overdue for another. Seriously, though, we have Svi, and I don’t know why we’re bothering with this guy. He’s a fantastic prospect, but not the sort of player I’d want to build a team around, especially a OAD. Wiggins was really a lot better than Brown, and love or hate the hype, he brought an injection of interest to KU in what might have been the first real rebuilding season for Self in his tenure here. Brown doesn’t even have that and we have a glut of guys that can do more, if just not as flashy.

    As for signing him, I’ll say we don’t. Between him, Newman, and Blankeney, I don’t think all 3 could co-exist with who UK already has without Booker or Ulis transferring, so their situation looks like a real Mexican standoff. Any two could probably work, and Blankeney will undoubtedly be the first to pull the trigger, but I bet it’s Newman that follows suit, if either do. Brown is looking at UCLA and is taking his last two officials at UNC and Michigan. UK is the front runner in the twitter sphere, but when the dust settles, I’m thinking Brown winds up in yellow, whether bruin or wolverine.

    Odds to KU: 5%

    1. Brandon Ingram

    Stop me if I’ve already used the ‘Stop me if you’ve heard this one before’ joke. Ok. Everything I’ve said about the futility of recruiting Jaylen Brown applies to Brandon Ingram, although Ingram is a much more fundamentally sound player. The only reason I can think of that would make his recruitment make sense for KU is if Self wants to play him at the 4 a la Julian Wright. Ingram has decent handles and court vision for his size, plus can score with his back to the basket, so it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility, but he’s also not going to soar in for dunks over players trying to take a charge. In a lot of ways, he’s like Kelly Oubre with less athleticism and a better J. I don’t know if he’d struggle with the speed of the D-1 game the way Oubre has, but if Oubre grows over the season and comes back, we really have nothing to offer Ingram, and he has very little to offer us.

    Compounding matters with Ingram is that he’s a life long Puke fan, and all indicators point to him not venturing too far from Tobacco Road. I think the only reason he hasn’t committed to Duke already is the enormous logjam Duke has in their back court. K has already signed Luke Kennard and given who is likely to be back next season (Tyus Jones, Matt Jones, Grayson Allen, Semi-should-probably-transfer-Ojeleye, and Rasheed Sulaimon), there really isn’t any immediate use or need for Ingram there either, as K doesn’t platoon (jesus, I sound like Dick Vitale!). That leaves UNC and NC State as the remaining hometown options. I’ll say UNC for now and call it good.

    Odds to KU: 1%

    1. Ivan Rabb

    Finally we get down to some genuinely good news. If you’d asked me in October where we stood with Ivan Rabb, I would have said ‘outside looking in.’ Then seemingly out of nowhere, Self pays the young man a visit and at the moment, I’m thinking top 3. At a long and lanky 6’10", Rabb would bring a lot more size to the 4 position than we’ve been accustomed to under Self. Given what happened against UK this year, and the fact that we have MSU queued up for next year’s champion’s classic, that added length would be very welcomed. At his best, Rabb actually reminds me of Joel Embiid. He’s a little too skinny, but has great hands, timing, patience, and really good footwork. He doesn’t have JoJo’s grace, and I don’t know if he has Jo’s mean streak, either, but if anyone can pull off an impression of an impression of Olajuwon, Rabb’s the guy. On the downside, in addition to being too skinny, Rabb likes to score face up , despite his good feet. He doesn’t have any real goto move with his back to the basket. He’s also a little soft. Still, with some Hudyization and seasoning, he’d be a real force for KU.

    What is perhaps most exceptional about Rabb right now isn’t necessarily his talents, but the tepid reaction he had to Big Blue Madness. Although his HS coach downplayed his lack of enthusiasm as simple exhaustion, he points to Halloween in the list of events more exciting than visiting Lexington. That, his enthusiasm for Cal(ifornia, again), and his mother basically saying Ivan doesn’t necessarily see himself as an OAD (same article) leaves a lot of operating room for KU, and we haven’t even had our official yet. Were I to venture a guess at who the remaining schools are in Rabb’s top 3, I’d say it’s us and UCLA. Zona could be there as well, but with Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarc likely to finish their senior years in Tucson, PT could start to be a real consideration. At any rate, I like where we’re positioned with Rabb right now.

    Odds to KU: 35% with plenty of room to grow

    1. Cheick Diallo

    Diallo is a guy I identified in 2012 as a young up and comer to covet. Time has only strengthened that stance. Diallo is a physical specimen nearly on par with Wigs. Blake Griffin dreams of one day having Diallo’s bounce, quickness, and energy. Diallo is also tough and nasty. He’s got swagger to spare and played through a back injury last summer because his teammate Thomas Bryant (more on him later) just couldn’t carry the load. Diallo blocks shots. Diallo cleans glass. Diallo dunks everything. Diallo is raw, but sick. Sound familiar? Diallo is the cheetah. Cliff Alexander is the lion. Being a little more terrestrial, Alexander has struggled against length so far (mostly UK and MSU), mostly because that baby hook of his is still in utero. Diallo will probably struggle more against the back-down type of bigs (Okafor, Josh Smith, Cameron Ridley) when defending, but should be able to get them foul’d up on the offensive end. Diallo is more desirable.

    The big 3 in Diallo’s recruitment are us, ISU, and UK, and from what I hear we’re the frontrunner, but I think that depends heavily on Alexander or Ellis joining the Association. Alexander will probably get there, but as an undersized 4, there’s a very strong possibility of slippage if he doesn’t get his minutes up. Ellis isn’t on anyone’s radar to go pro this season, but if he can keep up what he did in Orlando and show some ability to score against length (Use a turnaround jumper, dammit!), he can play his way into a mid 1st rounder, but that’s his ceiling. Perry will still project as a SF to most NBA teams, and then only as a career back up, given that he can’t defend elite 3s on the perimeter. That clouds things significantly, but not terminally.

    ISU will make a good push for Diallo, but if we’ve got post minutes, I think he’s ours for the taking.

    Odds to KU: 50%

    8] Carlton Bragg

    Bragg is another big I’ve been pretty high on. In terms of pure skill set, he’s probably the most talented 4 his class. If I could compare him to a Jayhawk player, it’d be Darrell Arthur: great scorer, good defender, above average athlete. He’s mostly a face up, attack off the bounce type right now, but scores at all levels, good BBIQ for his position, and would fit very well in Self’s system. His J is pure, his touch supreme, but he lacks focus sometimes and has no nasty that I’ve seen. He’s better than Perry was at the same point in time, but faces many of the same challenges, right down to the questionable height (almost definitely not 6’9" ) listing and limited length (though he should be a better defender). As such, Bragg is at least a TAD, but could be a 4 year starter too.

    Throughout the summer, KU was where I saw Bragg. That’s changed recently. The aforementioned Jerry Meyer still has Kansas as his prediction, but the grapevine says Cal(ipari this time) has made Bragg a top priority and is making the push. Illinois and UCLA are also involved, but I don’t consider them much of a threat. Bragg is down to two schools in actuality, and I can’t say that we’re the favorite among them. Bragg would probably also be willing to platoon (I hate that that’s a thing now), so the allure of PT isn’t necessarily there for us. If our ties to Adidas are worth anything on the recruiting trail, then we can make up the distance. But big shoe has failed to deliver us on a number of bigs lately (Chris Walker, Tarc, Tony Parker), so I wouldn’t cast my lot with them. The lone glimmer of hope at the moment is Thomas Bryant.

    Bryant was offered, but never really recruited by us. He basically worked his way down to just Syracuse without committing. But just this week UK offered, even after Bryant’s mother opined that she didn’t think it was a good fit for her son. Cal missed on Henry Ellenson during the early signing period, and clearly he’s not satisfied with just Skal Labissiere signed up so far. The move on Bryant could just be hedging bets, but it could also indicate losing ground with another target. Unfortunately, I don’t think UK is falling behind with him, so unless something changes behind the scenes, Carlton Bragg is looking like a Wildcat.

    Odds to KU: 40% (if that seems high, remember, it’s a two man race)

    1. Caleb Swanigan

    Swanigan only barely merits mentioning here in that we’ve offered him and technically, he hasn’t cut us yet, but I think that’s only a matter of time. No one believes he’s seriously considering the Jayhawks right now, and there’s been no activity that contradicts that. Furthermore, as a wide-bodied, but undersized center, I don’t see him as a great fit. Self’s bigs are usually the sort that can get up and down quickly. Swanigan, for all his strength and rebounding prowess, wouldn’t really keep up with our schemes too well. He’s considering MSU and UK, and honestly, he’s the perfect sort of fit for Izzo, so I say let them have each other. If we get desperate, though, there is still time enough to horn in on his recruitment.

    Odds to KU: 0%

    1. Stephen Zimmerman

    Zimmerman is another unexpected bright spot on the recruiting trail. He’s a super athletic 5 with awful hair, but high potential. He’s actually a lot like UT’s Myles Turner, swapping some range for better athleticism. He’s very quick on his feet and gets up incredibly well for his size. He’s got great length too. Like Turner, he’s more of a face up player than a back to the basket guy. He’s also pretty good at putting the ball on the floor, as long as he limits himself to a couple of dribbles. He’s on par with Cole Aldrich or Sasha Kaun in terms of shot blocking ability. He’s a little on the lean side, but has a good frame to build. Still, the biggest knocks against him are that he’s not a back to the basket scorer, and that despite good physical size, he’s awfully soft, shying away from contact, and not rebounding as well as you’d expect. He needs to work on his footwork too, but the whole of his short comings aren’t things you can’t say about most elite prospect bigs at this stage.

    Zimmerman’s looking to OAD and he wants big minutes too. In other words, no platoons (and that should be the last use of the word from me in this post, and hopefully the remaining season). Wherever Zim plays, he’s planning on being on the floor 30 minutes a game. That makes the source on that says UK is NOT in Zim’s top 3 all the more credible, and when UK offered Bryant, Zim was the player I assumed Cal was making up for. The other thing the Zimmerman’s have been pretty vocal about is the strength and conditioning situation wherever he goes. That’s another great point in the KU column. If there’s anything to be worried about with recruiting Zim at this point, it’s that we probably can’t over come Ellis and Alexander both returning, but I’d consider that a pretty good problem to have. Still, I’ve consistently heard that he wants to stay out west, and until our post situation becomes clear, I’m going to have to consider that the default position, so I’d put UNLV up front for the time being. Still, we’re very much in this one.

    Odds to KU: 30%

    Bonus) Thon Maker

    Thon Maker is a 7ft small forward based on his current skill set, and a member of the class of 2016. He’s been in the news, however, on speculation of whether or not he’ll reclass to join the class of '15, with a decision pending in January. For my money, anyone who talks about reclassifying this much is going to do it. It’s just a matter of when. But when that does happen, Self will be in a very good position to capitalize.

    Maker is exceptionally athletic, with incredibly long arms and legs. He’s also got unbelievably good handles for a guy his size. He can score at all levels and is a superb shot blocker, using his agility and length the way God intended. Maker has the potential to make Anthony Davis seem like just an ugly chump. Still, Maker is insanely thin and frail. He can’t back down or prevent being backed down, and his slight build leaves minimal optimism about building bulk. Likewise, he hasn’t learned to assert himself as much as he could on the offensive end, and needs to work harder on the glass. With his natural gifts and some good coaching, he could put up 15/10/5 kind of numbers in short order, but it will take work. Also, even if he looks like a 3 when he plays, he probably shouldn’t play one. His J just isn’t there, and he’s got too much size and grace to waste out on the perimeter.

    As I said, KU is in really good position to capitalize if and when Maker makes his move. Maker has already been on an unofficial, and coach Townsend has visited his school now on a couple of occasions. Nonetheless, Cal smells blood in the water too, and UK has made a big push recently. Also Maker visited Mizzou once, and that just automatically docks a couple points in my book. Provided I’m right about reclassifying, I think it will be a two-horse race between KU and UK, unless something changes soon. There are other schools involved, but none of them have put in as much effort just yet. We’ll see how it shakes out in January.

    Odds to KU: ???

  • @konkeyDong good stuff! Thanks! No more p word👏👏😡💩!!!

  • Wow … nice work. Diallo and Bragg? Right now, that would be pretty sweet.

    So, with your reference to getting “swept” by UK, is the Recruiting Apocalypse creeping ever closer???

  • @konkeyDong I asked this question before. Do you think Cliff declares for the draft in the spring? What about Oubre? If neither of those two bail for the League next spring, then we could pretty much have everyone back. The only other guy I think wouldn’t be back might be Selden if he gets his shot back…consistently. I realize its all speculation at this point but there are peeps on here that know a heck of a lot more about basketball than I do. Im guessing that Cliff is gone and Oubre is back. Which means we will need someone like Bragg and Diallo.

  • Realistically, who is going to the NBA after this season? or perhaps the better question should be who will be ready for the NBA after this season? Based on what I have seen to date, my answer to the second question would be…none.

    If this is the case, and all players return what is the scholarship situation? Currently there 15 players listed.

    Garret is a senior and will be gone, 14 eligible players left.

    Self and Manning not using scholarship, 12 eligible players left and one scholarship available.

    Pollard goes back to walk-on status not using scholarship, 11 eligible players left and two scholarship available.

    If no one leaves (or transfers) there would be at most two scholarships available, is this correct or am I missing something?

    Now, for every player that leaves or transfers there would an additional scholarship available.

    So…who do you all think will leave for the NBA or transfer?

  • @JayHawkFanToo I thought we had one left this season, did pollard get it? If nobody leaves, don’t we still have one? What about Perry? If the draft is weaker, he keeps this pace up, will Self advise him to go?

  • @konkeyDong First of all, great post. Thanks for doing all the legwork on that and for sharing your insights!

    @Crimsonorblue22 You bring up something interesting regarding the possibility of Self advising Ellis to turn pro. Part of me wonders if Self actually wants that. I have no doubt that Self appreciates what Perry brings in terms of scoring and versatility, but because he’s a bit undersized, because he’s more of a finesse player, because he’s a mediocre-at-best defender, because he’s a mediocre-to-above-average-at-best rebounder, I wonder if Self would prefer to usher him off to the league and free up those minutes for one of these incoming recruits. I don’t know anything about the 2016 recruiting class, but I would think that likelihood of him possibly wanting those minutes freed up would increase if the big man prospects are not as enticing next year (when Perry will be a senior) as they are this year.

    And I’m not saying this to bash Perry or anything like that; I’m a huge Ellis supporter. But he just doesn’t seem to be a real Self kinda guy, ya know? Anyway, just a thought.

  • @konkeyDong Great stuff. Good post.

  • @icthawkfan316 if he plays all season like he is now, I can’t imagine him wanting to replace w/a better Perry Ellis. Maybe?

  • Wow KD

    Great post. I learned a ton-thanks for your post and research.

    @ Icthawk

    • IMO a good coach doesn’t usher someone out before he is ready to make some room for someone new. I don’t see Self doing this. On the,other hand is someone needs to be pushed out of the nest because he is ready to fly that is something else. My best guess is Self told BMAC and Embid he would love them to stay. But the circumstances for them as individuals meant they should go for the money. JMO.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    If you see my post, the team is allowed 13 scholarships. I am pretty sure that all players except Self and Manning are on scholarships. I think Garret might have gotten Whites scholarship and I am going to guess that Frankamp scholarship went to Pollard; no sense in leaving one unused. It is possible that technically Frankamp might still have one until the end of the semester since I believe scholarship are assigned before the semester. This is why Conner waited until his tuition and fees were paid before announcing he was leaving the team; I will guess that he is no longer living with the other Athletes? It might be somewhat weird/uncomfortable if he was still there.

  • @icthawkfan316

    It has always been my opinion that Perry will leave after he gets his degree since he is an outstanding student and his family has been supportive. Given his scholastic history, It is very possible that he can graduate in 3 years.

    I am not sure that you can get a freshman OAD that would performs at the level of a senior Perry Ellis.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I have no idea about CF’s. I thought we had an extra for that transfer that ran off in Denver. I don’t know! Somebody will know.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    13 scholarships available,

    We know for sure these 11 players have scholarships:

    • 0 Frank Mason III
    • 1 Wayne Selden Jr.
    • 2 Cliff Alexander
    • 4 Devonte’ Graham
    • 10 Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
    • 12 Kelly Oubre, Jr.
    • 14 Brannen Greene
    • 31 Jamari Traylor
    • 33 Landen Lucas
    • 34 Perry Ellis
    • 42 Hunter Mickelson

    2 out of these 4 players probably have the other 2 scholarships

    • 5 Evan Manning
    • 11 Tyler Self
    • 15 Christian Garrett
    • 22 Josh Pollard

    As I indicated I believe Garret was given White’s and the remaining one (Frankamp) was either given to Pollard or is still available.

  • @JayHawkFanToo looks right to me, hopefully pollard will get the next semester.

  • We have a new Bball dorm set to open in a couple of years. It’s flipping awesome, and it will go a long way to helping us out. I think we wil be fine,

  • @HighEliteMajor Recruiting Apocalypse is a real possibility, but I don’t think a very likely one. The nightmare scenario is Perry, Wayne, and Cliff build their stock high enough to come out, Oubre comes out against any common sense (like Selby did), and we’re left holding the bag when every recruiting battle breaks toward UK or a West Coast school. I think the guards would be fine (although we’d be thin), but Mickelson’s shown no progress since UArk and I’m thinking he’ll ultimately be a bust for us. The even worse nightmare is that the ‘P’ word becomes the standard and it’s basically everyone else picking over UKs leftovers even more so than that’s a reality today.

    @Lulufulu I think Cliff goes and Oubre stays. I think Cliff will project late lotto to late 1st round and be well advised to take his chances while he can 'cause undersized 4s never improve their draft stock by coming back. If that happens, I expect we sign Diallo.

    @JayHawkFanToo Being NBA ready has never stopped anyone from leaving (don’t make me mention Selby twice in one post). The draft is all about boom/bust, and every GM thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. As you mentioned, we have 2 schollies available and Self wants to sign 3 guys. I’m optimistic about Selden righting his ship and getting done this year along with Cliff, so my guess is we’ll have 4 to give and use only 2 or 3. 11 seems like the ideal size for a team anyway, as long as you’ve got it spaced correctly. Hope that’s how it breaks.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Well it depends on how he views next season and what the team will need.

    First off, let me say that whenever Ellis leaves he will be missed. As I stated following the Orlando Classic, the offense ran through him and looked poor otherwise. And obviously he does a lot of things right that an incoming freshman will struggle with out of the box, much like Ellis did in his freshman campaign.

    That being said, I can see a big picture scenario where Self might think the grass will be greener with someone else. How bad does the UK beatdown stick in his craw? They will surely either bring back a couple of their bigs and/or bring in new ones. Might Self think that he might be better off replacing Ellis, who has trouble finishing against height & length (see Stanford, UK games), and as I previously mentioned is not a great defender or rebounder? If Self could bring in someone 6’10" or taller, I could see the trade-off at least intriguing him. And I’ve always thought that the loss to UK’s OADs in the 2012 title game was at least partially the cause of his shift in recruiting philosophy regarding OADs, so there is a precedent here.

    @JayHawkFanToo I agree that overall a freshman will not play to the level of a senior Perry Ellis. But they might defend better than him. Or rebound. Again, it could just be that Self doesn’t think he could win it all with a smallish front court, so he ushers off Perry. Or he could do the same to Cliff. The point is, I could see him trying to shake up the roster if he feels he needs to add height but can’t do so without someone leaving because recruits would be scared off by all of the returning minutes otherwise. It might be a moot point, as Cliff could opt to leave anyway. But in a world where both are set to return, we won’t have a many minutes in the post to entice recruits, and it was just something that crossed my mind.

  • Banned

    @konkeyDong I have a bone to pick with you. --------------- Where the hell have you been???

    😉 Love your comments.

    Don’t stay away so long. Besides we need somebody to keep HEM and Jaybate in Check. b)

  • @icthawkfan316

    I think you are selling Perry well short. By all account in his more recent games Perry has been a lot better on defense and he is also leading the team in rebounds with 7 rpgs, as comparison, Marcus Morris averaged 7.6 rpg in his best year, Withey averaged 6.7 rpg as junior and Embiid averaged 8.0 rpg in his only season, so 7.0 rpg seems like a pretty decent rebounder for his position.

  • @konkeyDong

    Very, very solid post. I’d put your analysis far above anything on the wire out there.

    I think you have the %s realistic and accurate.

    I know we are pushing for Maker, because Maker is the next Wiggins. He’s the guy that is going to attract the cameras. He’s a guy that can help KU’s image.

    The reason why we’ve been pushing on athletic 3s is the benefit of having Wiggins. Wiggins made it easy to sign Kelly. And if Kelly finally starts to perform, he and Wigs will help us land the next athletic 3. We (temporarily) have street cred at the 3.

    Back to Maker. Our offensive sets this year are shifting away from the traditional hi/lo. This is our only chance to land a player like Maker. Maker will not attend a school where he is forced to play in the tiny space of the low post, with his plays coming from “back to the basket.” Maker has ball skills, and even has some accuracy on his perimeter shot. He is frail. He is more than a project for Hudy. Even though Maker may not see the value of it, he should be shown how much Hudy can help him on the next level. It’s more than just putting weight on his frame. It’s about solidifying his body to prepare himself for the rigors of the league. He needs that desperately.

    We better get used to Perry popping 3s. It is not only part of our new offense, it is part of the recruiting effort for Maker. A big reason we wanted Turner was to develop him into a KD kind of player… the same kind of player Maker wants to be. Turner was going to help us land Maker. That didn’t happen because we had no track record of playing outside the hi/lo. This year Self is going to prove that he can break free of the hi/lo. It doesn’t mean we will totally abandon it. We just won’t be forcing that strategy, especially when we are playing the wrong teams. I know I have been hard on Perry since he has been at Kansas, because he didn’t play tough enough. But by the time Perry leaves Kansas, he will have given a lot more to Kansas basketball than most people realize. He’s going to nail a bunch of 3s this year. He’s worked diligently on his long ball all summer. He is going to help us recruit the future big men… the bigs that can handle the ball and don’t want to be stuck playing in the low post. There are a bunch of them coming up the system now. We land Maker, he becomes the next Wigs, and we continue to land the future big men.

    Zim is a good catch, too. He is extremely capable and athletic. But I’m not sure he stands out for the media like Thon does. I’d like to see us land both of these guys. I’m not sure they will be in the same class, though. But imagine having twin towers who can play all over the offensive side of the ball? Yeah… bring on Kentucky! TIme for a pay back!

  • @konkeyDong I hope everyone comes back. I want this group to win a title together. I think they still can even if Alexander declares.

  • @icthawkfan316 But KU did win it all with a smallish front court. Shady and Dblock werent much bigger than what we have now. They were loads tougher though.

  • A great big brawny, broad shouldered, short necked, long armed, cut pecked, washboard bellied, rip-thighed, high twitch-calved, grape fruit hung post. Congrats.

    At the end, I don’t feel any one or two of them can get us to ring land…in one year.

    Next: you pose a good question: Why does Self recruit the super 3s so hard and effectively? i don’t know…yet, but the truth will out.

    The bigger question is: why, if Self has no bigs, aren’t bigs beating a path to the door of Big Man U for PT?

    Does anyone think that domestic recruiting is an unstacked PetroShoeco deck now?

    Next: will Fratello/Hill deliver overseas again?

  • Very good Analysis KonkeyDong.

    Usually we at least have 1 recruit on board so this is unusual we’ve hit December with nobody on board and nobody a clear lock. The biggest issue I’ve seen with a lot of the players we’ve recruited is they are all looking at package deals. Jones & Okafor from Duke have made it the “cool things to do”. You hear more and more about kids wanting to play together now than ever.

    Kids have also realized they have the most leverage in holding out til Spring. With Roster turnover/transfers and Coaching changes unless you know for sure none of those are likely why would a top recruit sign early and risk having to do it all over if something happened. Heck they don’t even need to sign,they can hold out on just signing financial aid papers. As a High Schooler I can see why, as a KU fan it drives us crazy on the waiting game.

    The other issue is that basically everyone is waiting on UK’s Platoon System and how much Roster turnover they will have at the end of the season. I say it’s likely all of their 6 big men could go Pro. It would be a huge help to our recruiting chances with Diallo, Bragg, Zimmerman, Maker (if re-classifies) if at least 3 of them come back. Right now the most likely candidates to come back would be Lee, Lyles, Poythress. Towns is top 10 prospect, Stein and Johnson have played at a high level worthy of Lottery discussion. The hype left Poythress after his Freshman yr, Lyles is good but what position will he play in NBA, and Lee gets the least PT and would stand best to keep developing.

    6 games in I can’t see Kansas having major roster turnover and certainly not a coaching change. Transfers maybe, but I don’t see anyone who would be a serious candidate for that right now. We could get everyone back (unlikely) We could lose just Alexander (likely) We could lose Perry, Cliff, Wayne, Kelly (only if the later 2 improve exponentially).

    Jaylen Brown: I’m thinking the only way we can get him is if Wayne or Kelly go pro. Definitely the best prospect left on the board.

    Dorsey: I think ends up out West and it’s a real possibility that him and Rabb could end up at Cal. If Wayne left its the only way I could see him coming east.

    Rabb: Would be a great get but I’m just not sold on his interest. Maybe if Zimm. committed he could draw Rabb as well as they are HS teammates and AAU buddies.

    Zimmerman: I think we are the leaders but UK and UCLA will fight us to the end.

    Diallo: Basically between us, hometown St. Johns, and UK. His recruitment has been very quiet. Definitely would be the rim protector we need.

    Bragg: As stated Kansas or Kentucky but UCLA has hung around as well. I will be pissed if we lose out on him because he would the perfect fit for Self.

    Maker: Who knows until January what he will do. Ingram won’t be leaving North Carolina. Swanigan: We didn’t make his final list I believe. Lovett: No reason to get a PG in this class not unless he was a certainty to RS.

    I’ve wanted Bragg, Diallo, and Brown as the dream class. It’s likely we will have 3-4 Scholly’s to give. Brown would be the perfect Combo SG/SF. He can do everything. Likely losing Cliff and getting Diallo and Bragg would be the perfect 1-2 punch to infuse with Perry,Lucas and Hunter.

  • @BeddieKU23

    "Kids have also realized they have the most leverage in holding out til Spring. With Roster turnover/transfers and Coaching changes unless you know for sure none of those are likely why would a top recruit sign early and risk having to do it all over if something happened. Heck they don’t even need to sign,they can hold out on just signing financial aid papers. As a High Schooler I can see why, as a KU fan it drives us crazy on the waiting game. "

    That is really it, in a nutshell.

    It really doesn’t benefit these kids if they sign early… or even sign a LOI, period. The smart thing for elite talent is to just wait and sign their financial aid package.

    Things happen too fast in D1. Coaches are suddenly gone. Players are signed that ripple PT with other signed talent. Or sometimes players and coaches just get off on the wrong foot, even before the players come to town.

    The bad thing is that many universities won’t easily let a player out of his LOI, and most players don’t have the capability to challenge it.

  • Definitely agree about its hard for players to fight schools over LOI’s. Our own Devonte Graham probably wouldn’t be at Kansas if it wasn’t for that case.

    Others that come to my mind were Uthoff now at Iowa when he was at Wisconsin. Bo Ryan took a lot of heat over him. Also Saint Joe’s had an incident in not letting a kid play somewhere else. The cases are endless but they have definitely drove up the cases of kids holding out because its the only way for them to hold the keys for themselves in case something goes wrong.

    At KU, recruiting the best is the product of our environment. The top kids get the extended exposure by waiting to decide by getting their 5 minutes of fame on ESPN plus all the talk of them. Hopefully we have good fortune again this year on the recruiting front. We’ve been the kings of late 4th quarter (spring recruiting)

  • @BeddieKU23

    Mickelson wanted out of Arkansas when Anderson came in and they would not let him off and ended up staying 2 years.

  • Not to be a wet blanket at this party, but didn’t I read/hear of a possible league lockout in the 2015/2016 time frame? I could be wrong since I’m not big on the league. Wouldn’t walk across the street for courtside seats.

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