December 30 Starters vs. Kent State

  • If Perry is not back to full energy during practice sessions this weekend, my starting five for the next game: Mason, Selden, Oubre, Traylor, Mickelson. Unless fouls dictate otherwise, Perry the first sub, then Alexander, then Svi. Keep Mason and Oubre on the floor as much as possible.

  • @REHawk

    Unless Ellis is completely sapped, he will start. I know some members don’t care much for him and he seems to receive an inordinate amount of criticism; however, he is KU’s best player and all the opponents know this as well, and more often than no,t he is doubled or even tripled teamed by the other teams. Yes, he had a couple of not so good games, but if you chart his performance based on all the games to date, you will see that he has been the most consistent and best performer for KU.

    The Kent State game will be blacked out so many of us will be unable to see it. I still hate Zenger!!!

    Barring any unforeseen result on the next game, I will guess that most member will take a “vacation” until the UNLV game; I know I will not be posting much until then.

  • @JayHawkFanToo come to my house, 3 hrs, think nuleaf is about 2. My son and I are going to the game. Not a Zenger fan either. Here in southern ks, where they have direct tv- hate SZ too!

  • @REHawk We’ve got how many games left til conference play? 3? I wonder who will come into the conference playing better and who will come into The Dog house. Greene is a great shooter, we need him on the offensive side. Oubre can be a great shooter but his quick hands to create steals and his D are his strong points so far I think. Perry doesnt deserve to start until he proves he can play ball again. HIs last two games have been horrible… I think Cliff starts up front with Traylor. Then your first three.

  • there’s no need to jump to conclusions on starters. Ellis will start until the day he leaves here. Mason has taken the PG position on lock. Selden is default SG because nobody else can play the position. Oubre should stay starting, and I couldn’t tell you who deserves to start at C after last game. I can tell you Lucas doesn’t deserve to start but our options are really limited when Cliff and Hunter are just not ready to give us 30 solid minutes.

  • @Lulufulu 2 bad games does not mean Perry does not deserve to start. He is our most effective scorer. He and Selden will continue to start even if they have several bad games. Over the course of the last 2 years they have had many good games and are more experienced than the others. You can’t go jerking proven players out of the starting lineup over a few bad games.

  • Perry has been “sapped.” But if he could play at all, he is better than the others. He has had some time to get well. The microscope will be focused on these next two games. I am one of those who sincerely hope that Devonte doesn’t have to Red Shirt.

  • @wrwlumpy I’m with you re Devonte. He adds lots to the dynamic of this squad, moving into league play. And my post to kick off this thread certainly intended no disrespect to Perry. He has been my favorite Jayhawk the past two seasons. Obviously, he has not been at full energy recently. I hope he has regained his hops next week.

  • Perry should start. I have criticized Perry a fair amount on these boards, but not because I don’t think he’s a good player. Perry is obviously a very talented basketball player. He’s just not the type of player you can lean on if your goal is to win a national title.

    Put it to you in this light. Steve Woodberry was probably my favorite Jayhawk growing up. He could do a little bit of everything, just a solid all around player. He came off the bench for a couple Final Four teams as a sixth man. However, as a senior with no Adonis Jordan or Rex Walters, Woodberry became a starter. Steve Woodberry was a great guy to have on your team and he could be an important member of a great team. But if Steve Woodberry was your best player… well, the 1994 Hawks finished 3rd in the Big 8 and got a #4 seed. The teams from 1991 to 1993 were all 3 seeds or higher. Woodberry was good, but not good enough to be the best player.

    In a lot of ways, Ellis is similar (and not just because they are both from Wichita). He’s a good player. He’s definitely good enough to start. Fundamentals are spot on. But if Perry is our best player, the Sweet 16 is our ceiling.

    I don’t look at KU basketball and wonder if we can win 20 games. This is Kansas. Of course we can win 20 games.

    I don’t look at KU basketball and wonder if we can win a conference title. This is Kansas. We’ve won 50 something conference titles in 100 some odd years of basketball.

    I look at KU basketball and wonder what it takes to win it all. This is Kansas. That’s the challenge. Not winning 20 some games. Not winning a conference title. Those are things we do just about every year. The national title is the goal that we chase.

    Perry will be a great 4 year player at KU. His name should very well end up in the history books as one of the all time KU career leaders. But if this is about a national title (and it should be) then Perry should be a steady 3rd option the next two years while Kelly and Wayne and recruit X and recruit Y next year lead us as far as they can take us.

    @wrwlumpy I don’t think Devonte can use the redshirt. I would have to check the rules, but he may have already played too much to use the medical redshirt.

  • @justanotherfan : Let me correct this. Differing rules. I think it’s up to each conference… Makes sense. Another reason to hate on the NCAA.

    This is the general NCAA requirement.

    Basic Qualifications

    To qualify for a medical redshirt, a basketball player must sustain an “incapacitating injury or illness.” The injury or illness does not have to be related to basketball, but must take place after the first day of classes in the athlete’s senior year of high school. To gain a medical redshirt for a specific season, the athlete’s illness or injury must occur before the first game of the second half of the team’s schedule. If the team plays an odd number of games, the exact midseason contest is considered part of the second half. For example, if a basketball team plays 25 games, the injury or illness must occur before the start of the team’s 13th game. Games played in postseason tournaments, such as a conference tournament or the NCAA or NIT tournaments, count among the team’s total games played.

    Games Played

    To gain a medical redshirt, the athlete cannot compete in more than 30 percent of her team’s games within a season, not counting contests officially designated as scrimmages or exhibition games. When such computations are made, fractions are rounded up. For example, if a team plays 27 games, the exact 30 percent mark is 8.1. For the purposes of medical redshirt eligibility, therefore, the player may compete in nine games and still be eligible for a medical redshirt.


    The administration of a medical redshirt request is handled by a school’s conference. If the school is not a member of an athletic conference, the NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement administers the hardship request. The committee also reviews appeals of medical redshirt requests that are denied at the conference level. Medical documentation is required with every medical redshirt request.

  • @Kip_McSmithers

    Thanks Kip. That means Devonte can’t play any more than 13 games if KU plays the max of 40. He’s played 7 so far. Dicey situation there. I’m not sure what the right call is.

  • If Devonte is okay in a few weeks then he should play. If he’s not able to play then its almost like last year losing Embiid. Devonte takes pressure off Mason, you can play both of them at the same time, slide Selden over and its a great dynamic to have. Without him we really are limited in rotations.

  • @justanotherfan You are becoming my favorite read. The Woodbury analogy is true. He is # 2 on my list behind JoJo White.

  • @justanotherfan I agree with @wrwlumpy – I think you nailed it with the Woodbury analogy.

    On the rotation/starters, he’s what I would do:

    Starters: Mason, Selden, Oubre, Ellis, Cliff.

    I would not waver on the starters. Leave them alone. This is the group that provides the most scoring options. If Oubre wasn’t shooting the three ball well, I’d think differently here. Scoring is the priority. Defense does not suffer with this group.

    Bench - Perimeter Players: This is easy, Svi should be the first perimeter guy off the bench. He plays good defense, and he’s earned it. He might be the player with the highest ultimate upside. Greene is obviously next. But Greene should be used literally every minute that he’s shooting the ball well. Ahead of Selden, Oubre, or Svi. And I guess that should be the theme with this team. Hot shooters prevail. Don’t yank guys, but if someone is feeling it, don’t play Selden just because he’s Selden.

    Bench - Post Players: This is harder, but I’d bench Lucas. Meaning have him assume Mickelson’s prior role. But the most important part is to play Cliff, for better or worse. This is kind of by default. Neither Traylor, Mickelson, nor Lucas are high minutes answers. It’s the hand we are dealt. So we have to go with Cliff. Cliff’s emergence is our only hope for big things this season, and that the case even if we’re raining threes. If Ellis is in a funk, we have to improvise. We’ve learned that continuing to pound it into Ellis hoping for a change in fortune is unwise.

    Playing Small - I know, total pie in the sky. But if Ellis is floundering inside, I’d rather have Greene or Svi on the floor as opposed to Traylor or Mickelson in his place – at least for stretches. Greene or Oubre could slide into the 4 spot, and play a little pick and pop from the top. I have no idea why Self thinks this is so risky, or completely outside of the box. But when you’ve recruited so that your best players are on the perimeter, it seems reasonable. Remember, Self said that the reason he considered playing perimeter guys at the 4 spot was because of the overload on the perimeter before CF left. It stands to reason that simply playing your best players might be as good of a reason.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I think you nailed it here, especially with the playing small part. If either Ellis or Alexander isn’t playing well, playing small at least puts our best players on the floor rather than going to some of our other bigs. We need to go small more often.


    I appreciate the compliments. Woodberry was my hero growing up. I thought he was awesome. The 1994 season really helped me understand basketball much better because until then I didn’t understand the concept of a guy having a ceiling. Then I watched Woodberry (by far my favorite player) and saw that he just wasn’t as good as Rex Walters had been the two years before, and it started making sense to me.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I like your idea of playing a perimeter player at the 4 if Perry doesn’t bring game because when Perry is off, he’s way off. In games where Perry is off he isn’t hitting the boards our making any kind of defensive impact (or offense).

    On games where Perry decides to sleep through, then put Green or Svi out there because we absolutely have to have guys who can score getting more minutes.

  • @justanotherfan

    In some ways Woodberry and Ellis are similar starting with the fact they are both from Wichita and they are both jack-of-all-trade type of players that played where they were needed and did whats was asked of them; however, it is not easy to compare two players that played different positions for two different coaches and in two different eras, and more importantly, had different roles within the team.

    Wodberry was the ultimate role player but he was not the team’s “go to” guy and hence had more freedom to do his thing against single coverage while playing at his natural position of SG/SF. Perry, on the other hand, is unquestionably the “go to” guy at KU and as such constantly drawing double or even triple teams while playing off his natural position due to a lack of talent at the PF position and not having anyone else that can do that.

    I am not sure why Ellis gets so little love from some KU fans. It reminds me when I was young and stayed for dinner at friends’ homes and the food always seemed to taste better, and when they stayed at my home, they thought the food at my home tasted so much better than at theirs…go figure; I guess it is human nature to covet the things we don’t have and under-appreciate the ones we do.

    Perry is the only KU player selected to the pre-season conference first team, and one of only two unanimous selections, he is the only KU player to be named conference player of the week, he is on the Naismith player of the year watch list and he is the player that.Myron Medtcalf of ESPN recently called perhaps the best player in the conference, and yet I see posts suggesting that he be benched…I just don’t get it; I just don’t understand how benching the team’s leading scorer and rebounder would help the team. Just my personal opinion.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I think KU fans love Perry when he brings hustle to the game. And the other times, when he manages to somehow stay invisible for an entire game, KU fans are disappointed. I think the fans are well-educated in the game, and they see when he isn’t putting energy in a game.

    Showing dissatisfaction in a player should also help motivate the player. Take John Wall as a perfect example. Here is a guy who was lacking love in the league. He sure has stepped up now and is shutting a lot of critics down.

    Perry is one of us. He’s a total Jayhawk. So we treat him like our own boy, who sometimes doesn’t bring focus or energy to his game, so we all act like strict parents. We all want to see him make it at the next level, but he isn’t on track to do that. Not even close. He has developed a reputation for being soft at the 4 and can’t score on big guys, but he doesn’t have the game of a 3, which not only involves outside scoring, it’s a real hustle position. If he played with more energy and a set of testicles, he could have potential at either spot. It’s tough on all of us to see a guy with his skill set blowing it for the next level.

  • @JayHawkFanToo All I do is speak for myself here, but I appreciate Ellis for exactly what he is. He has certain skills and abilities. Those skills and abilities do not translate to consistent performances in the role that he has been cast. He is not a “go to” guy. That is because he cannot reliability score against certain types of opponents. His limitations have been exposed even further this season.

    Remember Stanford? He went a miserable 3-10 from the field. None of those were three pointers. Folks have mentioned Wiggins’ poor stats that game (when Stanford plainly game planned to stop him). But very few mentioned Ellis’ no show. That 3-10 showing is what we get from Ellis many times.

    The reason he gets so little love is that we have expectations for that position – reasonable expectations of a junior groomed for this spot. We have seen what we need from that position with players in the past, and Ellis thus far this season has not shown that he can provide that. This is heightened because of our inside out approach. We get Ellis the ball on the block, the entire Jayhawk universe is watching.

    As the “go-to” guy, Perry’s numbers are pretty much equal to Darrell Arthur’s sophomore season – when he we was the third or fourth option. Pretty much equal to Julian Wright’s sophomore season. But Perry is a junior. Marcus and TRob in their junior seasons averaged 17.2 and 17.7 ppg, and both rebounded the ball better. Perry is averaging just 12.5 ppg.

    Perry can be the “go to” guy against certain opponents. But he is what he is. We just can’t put too much reliance on him. He’s best served as the third option, which is by no means an insult. The dude can play. We just need to play to his strengths and put him in positions to succeed, best we can do.

    And a fully operational Cliff Alexander might help, too.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Absolutely on the money here. Perry is a very good player, but not a go to guy. That is exactly right.


    When Woodberry was cast as a role player, he shined. He never shot worse than 47% from the field in his first three years. Never had more than 1.5 turnovers per game.

    As a senior, his scoring went up to 15.5 a game. He was clearly the go to guy. But his efficiency suffered. Turnovers were up (over 2 per game, even with Jacque Vaughn at the point). shooting percentages were down (45% FG). He was still a good player, but not a go to player.

    Perry is the same. He kills it against one on one defense. He’s a heady passer and good ball handler. He is as fundamentally sound as they come. But he is not a go to scorer. Do you ever remember a time where you felt like Perry just took over for even six or seven minutes and dominated a game? Even when he has played really well, I can’t remember a moment like that, and he’s had some great games at KU.

    As a go to player, Perry will always be underappreciated because we are expecting him to be something he is not. As a third option, Perry would be one of the best in the country, period.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Again, you are comparing Perry to the twins, Artur and TRob who were bigger and played their more natural positions where Perry is not. Also, the other players that you mentioned had a better complement of bigs to ease the load where Perry, other than at times Alexander and Traylor, does not have much help. Why concentrate on the poor games that he had, such as Stanford? Why not bring up other games, such as the conference game against ISU in his freshman year, if you want to name games from previous years or the 3 double-double games this season?

    Finally, if the other teams have figured out he cannot score against certain opponents, why is he is the only player that consistently draws double teams? Obviously he gets more respect from opposing coaches that he gets from some fans.

    I indicated before the season that Ellis, IMHO, should be playing SF since that is his natural position, can shoot from outside when needed and will likely play that position if he makes it to the NBA; however, the SF position at KU is crowded where the PF is bare bones, to say the least, and Coach Self has really no choice but to play him there for lack of a better option…again, IMHO it would seem to be better for the team to have him at the PF instead of making him a rotation player at the already crowded SF and making the very thin PF position even thinner…kind of picking the lesser of two evils, wouldn’t you agree.

  • Coming into the season I thought Ellis would be the guy no matter the game would get 14-15. I thought his improved shooting and knowing he was the guy was going to make him come out of his shell and lead this team by his play. I thought the same thing from Selden, that we’d see a more athletic, improved shooter, and all around game that would give us a 1-2 punch that would be hard to stop. That pipe dream has come and gone.

    Ellis has been more aggressive, although much of it has come at the expense of shots blocked, empty possessions. We know he has a shot fake, it has to be drilled into him at all costs when he’s attacking the hoop. The season is still young and this is the perfect time of year for these kids to learn from what’s already happened. Ellis can take over games and we need him to be at least consistent in all of them going forward.

    The other thing with Ellis is he doesn’t make others on our team better. And from our most experienced player and go to on offense, when he’s not making shots we need him to help out with everything else. That is a part of his game that has to improve, just become an all around better player.

  • @justanotherfan

    I think we are saying the same thing. Perry is not by nature a “go to” guy but has been thrust into that position by default, and on top of that, he is playing off position and in spite of opponents zeroing on him (Woodberry did not draw double team coverage), he is leading the team in points and rebounds, so obviously he is not doing too bad of job, wouldn’t you agree?

    I would like to see him play SF, hitting from outside, rebounding and using his speed and skill to drive to the hoop against single coverage…but then, who plays inside? Alexander is developing a lot slower that we has expected and Lucas and Mickelson, except for very isolated opportunities have been n0n-factors.

  • @HighEliteMajor Some games Perry will carry this team to victory and some nights he might not have it. It is what it is. We have so much fire power on this team, anyone can be be the catalyst for victory. Lets see: Traylor, Selden, Graham, Svi, Mason, Greene, Alexander, and Oubre have all proved capable in recent KU history. Remember how Traylor took over in the first round game of the tourney last year. The potential is there we just have to bring it to the forefront.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Perry’s natural position is not the three. This is a complete fiction. He’s never, ever been a three. He doesn’t have the skill set or the game of a three. He has a skill set of a four. This is college, not where someone thinks he might fit in the NBA.

    I compare him to fours at Kansas for a good reason … that is the position he plays. Further, 1) He’s always played that spot, 2) He is listed on Rivals/ESPN as a four, 3) He was recruited as a four, 4) Self has never, ever even implied that he would consider playing Ellis at the three (like he has implied smaller guys playing the four, for example), 5) He is 6’8" just like the fours, and 5) he has the quickness (or lack thereof) like fours do.

    Have you ever seen Ellis get up and down the court like, for example, Marcus Morris? Run the break? Marcus was more of a three than Ellis has ever sniffed. And he was a better four (this season being only 1/4 over).

    To suggest that Ellis is a more natural three is without any support on or off the court. It is puzzling. What it really is, is a futile attempt to explain away Ellis’ deficiencies. Really, he’s just not as good so far as TRob and Marcus were; and Arthur and Wright were arguably better as sophomores. There’s no shame in that. It’s just reality. That reality doesn’t make him a three.

    Look at the college game. There are no comparable threes to Ellis. Ellis is 6’8". He does not have a quick first step (example, Traylor is quicker). He’s not a jump shooter. He shoots a set shots. You’ll rarely see him shoot from the outside if someone is in his face. Why? He shoots a low shot, from his chin. He get that low shot blocked. That’s is not what a three’s jumper looks like. His ability to drive doesn’t come close to comparing to Oubre, Greene, Svi, Selden, Rush, Releford, or even Morningstar – any three you can think of. Or some fours, like Morris, Traylor, or even KY. When Ellis drives, it is usually to get close to make a post move. Further, can Ellis even come close to being a decent ball handler like many threes? No. Do you think Ellis could guard a three with any proficiency? Chasing an Oubre, Svi, or Selden around?

    There is no evidence, on or off the court, that Ellis is anything but a four. Ellis is a pure four. The only thing that makes one consider him a possible three is the fact that he has deficiencies as a four. We also speculate that he’s won’t make it in the NBA as a four.

    Ellis being more of a three than a four is simply a myth.

    Ellis has got a lot of season left, plus another season. Development comes in different stages. I doubt he’s done getting better.

  • I’ve been critical of Perry Ellis only because he isnt filling the shoes of Thomas Robinson. That is a tough pair of shoes to fill, as TRob was in the running for NPOY his Jr season. And prior to TRob, KU’s starting 4ward was Marcus Morris…who really, truly looked like an NBAer his whole Jr season, with his face-up jab-step deadly 15footer–so smooth, without hesitation. And even in our loss to VCU, Marcus came to play and put up 20pts, to go with never-say-die-Tyshawn’s 14pts. (The story of VCU was Markieff’s 6 t.o.'s, Reed leaving his rifle-scope in Lawrence, and transition-defense).

    It’s not like Ellis doesnt have skills…he may be our most finesse 4 since Collison…but not having the 20+ lbs that TRob (at 245lbs) had, simply doesnt allow Ellis to bang. And, let’s face it: certain guys like Ellis and Elijah simply do not have the aggressive personality that guys like TRob or Tyshawn or Sherron had (on-court).

    I like to use the EJ example, as it fits Perry Ellis: EJ had NBA-guard size, athleticism, hops, and an NBA 3gun, especially high-pressure 3s…and if he’d put up about 8-10 more 25point outings like his 39pt outing vs. IowaState, EJ would have went lotto. But you cannot make someone into something they are not, unless they themselves turn that leaf. Withey perhaps turned that leaf…I didnt think he could contribute at KU, much less make the NBA…but then he came out of his initial laid-back-Cali-dude personality and became stank-face-Withey.

    I just dont know what it will take for Perry Ellis. They say he even disappeared in some high school games, which is kinda hard to do when you are 6’8 MickeyD playing in Wichita h.s. basketball

  • I know some of my fellow Hawks here may take exception to that statement “Perry Ellis not filling TRob’s shoes” as an unfair comparison…But I would counter with the idea that I am speaking on a system-level. What Self wants to do with his bigs, and as he pretty much has proved, is that his system works. If we think we have found a Bill-Walsh-level System (where you plug in appropriate replacement players, and the machine keeps churning…), then its a matter of appropriate recruiting. I think Cliff is a better fit for BillyBall than Ellis. Cliff, like TRob, will soon be able to go get his buckets, and has the mindset, just not the polished tools yet. So, yes, in a way you could blame Self for putting the Ellis-peg into the TRob/Marcus-hole…but then, h.s. kids mature, get Huditioning, learn the offense, and then plug-&-perform–> at least that has been Self’s reproducible track record with several sets of players.

    I do believe the NBA defections hurt Self’s offense more than some other systems, and certainly more than they hurt Kentucky’s system. Markieff leaving early was a surprise, as was Selby. Embiid leaving early was a surprise–omg, imagine what we’d look like if Embiid was playing our 5spot right now? I cannot wait for the NBA rule to change to 2AD…

    But I’m not letting Self off the hook because of recruiting misses or defections. He still has 4 MickeyD’s on this roster, along with several other top 50 guys and 4star+5star players (Greene, Graham, Svi, Mason, Mickelson). And, we do have the unranked, unrated, unsoft jamaritraylorfactor…which no one else has…

    Big bucks Bill has some figuring to do, as the BigXII will be a gauntlet. At this moments, I have serious doubts about winning the BigXII, but…then, Self’s KU teams usually hit the BigXII very focused, so we shall see.

    I do know I saw a most unusual, stressed and exasperated look on Perry Ellis’ face when he was finally yanked out of the Temple game late, and was in the process of sitting down on the bench–did anyone else notice that? I hope that feeling translates into something positive for him and for KU’s team…all we can have is hope. I’ll never quit rooting for Ellis to meet Self’s expectations–as Self knows more than anybody else what is needed out of the 4spot, and what is needed out of a Jr in this system.

  • Good points by @HighEliteMajor and @ralster. Ellis is not a 3. I would say he is smaller than any of the 4s we’re comparing him too. Remember, it’s not simply a matter of height. As someone once said on here, you don’t guard with your forehead. Perry certainly has a smaller wingspan and standing reach than his predecessors at the 4. And he’s thinner. Any “Hudyization” has not transformed him into a bruiser. I think the fact that despite his listed 6’8" he is not prototypically built like a Self 4 may contribute to the reasoning some fans want to cast him as a 3. But as HEM says, he simply is not a 3.

    While I agree with a great deal of the analysis and criticism, I still think it’s an overreaction. 2 bad games? I’d argue it was simply 1 bad game anyway. The Lafayette game he was reportedly ill, and we didn’t need him. Other players carried the torch, which was good as players like Oubre and Mickelson needed the touches more than Ellis did. Sometimes there’s only so much to go around, even in a 96 point showing. So really we’re just piling on him for the Temple game, and the Kentucky game, and last year’s Stanford game. And has been pointed out, for the system that is trying to force Perry into a go-to role as a TRob/Marcus 4.

  • @icthawkfan316 I would say that what all of us need to do with Ellis is simply accept him for who he is. He has many excellent aspects of this game that can be exploited. Ellis is one of those guys that may not fit Self’s system exactly. For my money, TRob was the absolute perfect four in Self’s system, with Marcus a close second. Marcus had more range, and was a more complete player, but TRob was a freak – perfectly matched with Withey.

    I agree completely with your suggestion of “overreaction.” The overreaction, I believe, is based on expectation. @JayHawkFanToo mentioned preseason honors and discussion. That creates the expectation, as well as our expectations for the spot.

    But Self creates that expectation – he mentioned Ellis as our go to guy. Self said, “I’d turn to Perry. I’d put the ball in Perry’s hands in some way, shape or form and say, ‘Hey go do it,’’’ But I’d agree with @JayHawkFanToo – “Perry is not by nature at ‘go-to’ guy but has been thrust into that position by default.”

    It seems that we have all recognized to one degree or another that this team is not an inside-out team, and can’t be predominantly inside-out against a number of opponents (most recently the vaunted Temple Owls). @ralster mentioned the look on Ellis’ face during our last game. I agree with that. I saw the same thing. But that, to me, is a result of being cast into a difficult situation. I really didn’t like seeing that at all. My biggest frustration from the Temple games, as the days have past since that game, is Ellis being put in that difficult spot down low.

    All this means is that Self has to adapt to his team’s strengths and weaknesses. Adapting to Ellis’ is a large part of that. Ellis needs a solid running mate down low – and there’s only one guy that can fill that bill. Cliff. Or, we need a different type of post player at the top of the high-low, like and Oubre or Selden.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Again, the players to whom you are comparing Perry were taller and bigger and more suited to the PF position than Perry. You mentioned Ellis playing PF in Highs School and that is what Rivals/ESPN list him playing; however this really means very little. There are roughly 20,000 public and over 2,300 private HS in the US and how many do you think have a player taller than 6’7" at Center? I would say maybe 1%? I would guess the average height for a HS center is at best 6’-7", and typically the tallest player in the team plays center or PF; only the elite basketball schools and some big city programs will have players taller than that, so it is not surprising that Perry played PF in HS since he was the tallest player in his team. At KU he is playing PF because of the team’s need and not necessarily because it is the position better suited to his size and style.

    As we have agreed before, the Center and PF in the NBA has largely merged and many teams play without the traditional center and use 2 PF instead much like the line between the SF and SG is now blurry with many players alternating between them. Even the traditional PG and SG are now merging into combo guard positions.

    Look at some of the current PF in the NBA…Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Greg Monroe, Chris Bosch, Kenneth Faried, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Pau Gasol, Amar’e Stoudemire, Zack Randolph, Serge Ibaka…all of them much taller and much bigger than Perry. If you think Perry is having problems with bigger players in college, how do you think he is going to fare in the NBA against the players I mentioned? Do you really think any coach in his right mind would match him against one of these PFs? Marcus Morris, a player much bigger than Perry, plays SF for Phoenix while Markieff plays PF; you will recall that Markieff and Marcus played PF/C and PF at KU. Perry’s only chance to play in the NBA is at the SF and not the PF.

    f you look at the NBA draft prospects, he is listed either as 6’-8’ or 6’-9" but he really is close to 6’-7’ and now many of the draft services such Draft Express list him as a SF and all of them mention his lack of size for the PF position.

    Again, like most of the members in this forum, we have different opinions on the subject but in the next year or so, we will find out one way or another where Perry ends up; until then, we will just have to agree to disagree.

  • @JayHawkFanToo You’re not disagreeing, you’re talking about something else. HEM specifically limited his remarks to college ball; you are thinking NBA.

    Most of your arguments are not that Perry is a 3, but rather that he isn’t a 4. What does Perry bring to the table that makes you think he could be a 3, even in college?

  • @ParisHawk – exactly. Mine is a college game discussion, as I had noted. That is all that is relevant for this season. @JayHawkFanToo is of course right about the NBA. Perry’s not an NBA four for sure, and to make any roster, he’d have to be a three. Different game.

    Fyi, Marcus’ and Ellis’ measurements are virtually the same.

    Morris measured 6’7" w/o shoes, 6.8.75 with shoes at the NBA camp; 230 pounds. Wingspan 6’10".

    Ellis measure 6’7" w/0 shoes at one camp, and 6’8" with shoes at the Lebron camp (the w/o shoes measurement is obviously more reliable as it does not depend on which brand shoes you are wearing); 222 pounds. Wingspan 6’10".

    TRob was about an inch taller, but had 5 inches more in wingspan. That’s a big deal. Arthur was 1/2 inch taller, with .75 of an inch more in wingspan. Simien was .25 of an inch taller. 2 inches more of wingspan. There were some differences in camp measurements and NBA measurements for the prior Jayhawks.

  • What IF lineup: What if we tried to emulate 2012’s RunnerUp lineup with Mickelson (most Withey-like) at the center, and Cliff in the TRob/muscle/enforcer role? Then would Self’s hi-lo be more functional? (Provided they have some sort of moderate level of chemistry that Withey+TRob had?

    The corollary to that is now you have Jamm-Tray (energy) off the bench instead of 180lb KYo, and Ellis also off the bench with a skill set well beyond that of Justin Wesley.

    We got to the NC game with Withey/TRob/KYoung/tiny bit Wesley, and a whole lotta heart.

  • @ralster I think it is premature to project many of the players on this year’s roster into the roles of those on the 2012 roster. Mickelson into a 2012 Withey role? Again, one decent game. Against Lafayette. Oh, and a promising freshman season 3 years ago at Arkansas. Withey was conference defensive POY and set a Big 12 record for blocks in a season. Cliff into the TRob role? TRob was national POY runner-up that year. Not sure Cliff would ever achieve that even if he stayed 3-4 years, let alone this year.

    The point I’m making is that if we tried to emulate the 2012 runner-up team we would be doing so with inferior talent, and I’m guessing it would be met with inferior results. I do agree we would have a better bench, but if they aren’t good enough to start, then now you are replacing the inferior pieces you have emulating the 2012 with players not good enough to dispace those inferior pieces. Basically, I’d take 36 minutes of TRob and 4 minutes of Kevin Young over 26 minutes of Alexander and 14 minutes of Perry.

    Again, if trying to emulate the 2012 team.

    And really, that harkens back to the argument that HEM and many others have made, and that is to maximize this squad’s potential we would be better served to change our approach to highlight the talents on the perimeter (i.e. playing outside-in) rather than trying to force the talent on this year’s team to be more like the traditional inside-out 2012 team.

  • After reading the fine series of posts on this thread and cogitating about my intentions in the Mickelson/Traylor suggestion, I think my subconscious intent was to delve more into Bill Self’s capacity to adjust than into any insinuation that Ellis and Cliff might not eventually be up to the task of stepping forth as Best Options at the 4 and 5 positions. The chemistry of this squad is undergoing a slow, seemingly stalled, progression. I suspect that the cause speaks more to the need for coaching adjustment than to the playing potential of the sundry pawns on the chessboard. Without the prowess of a 6’11" rim protector, this is a very different squad than in the past few seasons. Self and Associates must install major adjustments…and soon.

  • @icthawkfan316

    You make some really good points. I believe that by and large we still don’t appreciate how much Withey really contributed to the team.

  • @JayHawkFanToo said:

    …I believe that by and large we still don’t appreciate how much Withey really contributed to the team.

    I think some people appreciated Withey a lot. Before Embiid, I never saw a player who changed the dynamic of a Self team so much. When he was on the floor and when he was on the bench were two completely different games. I’m speaking of his junior and senior seasons of course.

  • @ParisHawk

    I am huge Withey fan; however, when I visit with other KU fans about great KU players, his name does not usually come up…and it really should. It is not just the shots he blocked and kept in play to a KU player, which are a lot, but also the ones he altered, which are even more; perhaps the best defensive center since…well, you know who…

  • The things that Withey did that was most impressive to me was going straight up when blocking a shot, and being patient before leaving his feet. He’d let guys pump fake, pivot, etc., knowing that he could still alter the shot w/o leaving his feet. I think without doubt he was the best defensive center in KU history since Wilt. Embiid, if he’d stayed through his junior season, had the chance to be one of the best players in school history. But “ifs” don’t make for squat. I’d take Withey. The magic of the 2012 run was, in large part, the perfect compliment that TRob was to Withey, and that Withey was to TRob.

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