3 Big Recruits Announcing Friday

  • Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, and Cliff Alexander all to announce Friday.

    This article shows a little insight - and the original online version had a statement by Okafor’s dad saying Okafor & Alexander would NOT be at the same school. Now, it says he can’t confirm. So maybe an editing error? Not sure.


  • Haha whoops. Didn’t see ( look) before posting the same.

  • @Blown No worries-- I’ve added the link you posted here: http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24219791/three-of-nations-topfive-prospects-to-announce-decisions-friday

    And I deleted your post so the conversation can congregate here 😉

  • Here’s my (worthless) prediction: I’m afraid we miss on all three.

    I just can’t see Tyus coming to KU, and unless they surprise everyone and go their separate ways I think Okafor follows him to Duke. The other day Okafor tweeted something to the effect: Do you follow your heart or your head? I really think we are the “heart” part of that - I think he really wants to come to KU but ultimately will follow his buddy to Duke with his “head.” The head may be a reference to more playing time at Duke with Embiid’s OAD status unclear.

    I think Cliff Alexander goes to Illinois. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but it just seems curious to me to come to campus to watch your girlfriend play and not bother to check in with your future coach on an unofficial visit or to come just a little earlier to watch your future teammates play the night before. Perhaps he’s worried about playing behind Ellis and Embiid? Either way, if he does choose Illinois (or even worse Depaul) I wish him luck - he will need some to see the NCAA tourney at either of those destinations.

    So if we do miss on all 3, what does that mean for KU? It means we better turn the heat back up on Myles Turner. We really need a big man in this next class and he will be the next best available. He was ours to lose a few months ago - now he seems to be looking elsewhere. Specifically, several in-state schools are reportedly gaining traction - esp Texas. To me, if we miss on Alexander and Okafor we must get Turner.

  • Just saw this quote: "“Neither Okafor nor Alexander want to announce before the other. If they do, it ruins ALL the hype leading up to each announcement,” — Roy Schmidt of Illinois Prep Bulls-eye

    Again, perhaps me reading too much into it, but this has “hat ceremony” written all over it. And I’ve given my theory before on why KU does so poorly at the hat-on-the-table kids. Long story short: most of the kids who like to milk the attention and feed off the limelight don’t mesh well with Self’s don’t be soft and earn your way onto the floor message.

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  • If either Embiid or Ellis does not return, we have a huge hole in the post. Ellis seems to be a lock to return. Both leaving is a nightmare scenario. Let’s skip that and focus on Embiid.

    I’d rather have Embiid return than land any of the three big men. A year in our system is the best scenario. But is that likely? He’s projected top 10. Not likely in my mind.

    If we don’t get one of the 3 (Alexander, Okafer, Turner), and Embiid leaves, we are left with an incredible talent vacancy in the post.

    When you analyze this, take off the crimson and blue colored glasses. Don’t assume we just win games without talent.

    Traylor is not a high talent guy. He’s going to make incremental gains. Good in his role this season – 4th post man. Lucas is the odd man out this season in the post. He didn’t get one minute against ULM. That says a lot. The anti-monster, or anti-load. Self, when talking about Frankamp’s possible redshirt, oddly referred to Lucas – saying we can’t redshirt him because we did last season. That’s where he is in the pecking order. And Mickelson, line drive shot and all, is an unknown. Did not show much in the Saturday scrimmage a few weeks back. What we do know from his Arkansas time is that he’s not a difference maker. No reason to think he’s better than Traylor right now. But let’s assume that he is. Still not what I would say an adequate starter for Kansas – not Kansas State, or Iowa St. – but for Kansas. Can’t imagine that he’s significantly better than Traylor.

    Traylor, Lucas, and Mickelson are all bodies. Could they develop into something better? Sure. But as of now, based on what we’ve seen and know, they are bodies. To be frank, guys that should never start at KU. Could the best of the three be an adequate rotation player, 15-18 minutes? Sure. And a 4th a 5-8 minute non-rotation guy. Sure. But 30 minute per game starter. No way. Not from what we’ve seen.

    Self has them for an emergency. He has them really only if we absolutely need them. And he’ll continue to recruit over them so that we don’t need them in a major role. Fourth rotation guy, that works.

    I do hold out hope that as they develop, they’ll get better. But we’re talking next season.

    Since we are on the OAD merry go round, assuming Ellis stays, we need only one next season – Embiid or Okafer or Alexander or Turner. Just one.

    If Embiid leaves, and we don’t get any of them, it’s a big issue. We are Kansas, and Self is a great coach, but think about why he’s focused on OADs in the post? Because they are the top talent – and talent wins. And our prior recruiting misses have put us in this pinch. We would be in a double pinch next season. We have Ellis in one spot. That’s secure. But the pinch comes in spot #2 if lose Embiid and miss on the big 3 – no immediate impact guy (OAD), and no high talent guy (a #15 - 60ish) that has been developed into the role, as we have seen before (Marcus, Kieff, TRob, Withey, Aldrich).

    This also creates a scenario where all three (Lucas, Traylor, and Mickelson) would have to play as part of a four man post rotation. Ugh.

    Is all lost if we lose Embiid, and miss on the big 3? No. Of course not. There are senior transfers like Black to fill in (but high talent guys just aren’t there – Black is about the best you could hope for). Could we get a semester transfer? Maybe.

    But most likely, we would be banking on major improvement from all three of our low/unranked post depth guys. I just wouldn’t want to roll my dice on that.

    Welcome to life on the OAD merry go round*.

    *Thanks, ParisHawk, for this very appropriate term.

  • Fully agree with HEM. If Embiid bolts for the draft and we miss out on all of these bigs we are in trouble. I have always liked Traylor for his athleticism and his ability to block shots but he will probably never be an elite player.

    My worthless opinion is that Embiid stays. I know that draft boards have him as high as the top 5 and that smart basketball minds like Pitino say things like “Wiggins and Embiid should go 1 and 2” but from the very very small amount we have seen he looks even more green than I expected. Another year of college ball could turn this kid into a beast and would probably help out his confidence playing a game he just learned a few years ago. My other thought is that we don’t get any of the big recruits. Not sure why I think that but it may be good that I think that. I am almost always wrong. I literally bet money with a friend that we would land Randle and that we had no chance at Wiggins. Who knows. I guess we will find out in 3 days who goes where and we can analyze it to death for the coming year.

    All that said, if we can win the title this year with big contributions from Embiid, Wiggins and Selden I really don’t care if they all bolt. Winning titles is all I care about and unfortunately I feel we have not won nearly enough with the incredible teams with have had under both Roy and Bill. I think most of you out there agree.

  • @bskeet Thanks for cleaning up my mess!

  • @JayDoc That quote surprised me too. In fact, I’m baffled. I’ve never heard of three recruits doing this at the same time. Even more intriguing, how does one announcing before the other one “ruin” all the hype? I’m trying to understand that logic.

  • @JayDocMD I agree it’s quite possible we might miss all three.

    In my opinion, the competition for minutes against the existing top players is not the most important factor for an elite recruit. See Kentucky’s 2012 championship team. But I think it might be difficult for top 5 recruit to come in and play behind a top 70 player even if Tharpe willbe a senior next year. I think the ego won’t allow it. So if it is a package deal, Okafor and Jones won’t come. And in this case, I’d love to eat some crow if they prove me wrong. But on the other hand, I can’t see Okafor and Alexander together either especially if Ellis and Embiid are both here next year. I have a very difficult time projecting Embiid goes OAD no matter how high a ceiling he has. How does he compare to Anthony Davis out of high school? I just don’t see him going to the league after playing basketball for 3 years. So not saying it is impossible, but it will be difficult for Okafor and Alexander to come together knowing they will be sharing the available minutes with Ellis and Embiid. But I’d expect Okafor to start over Embiid while Alexander will have to fight against Ellis to get a share of the minutes. Given the fact Alexander is the same height as Ellis, but Ellis has two years of starting experience on him. Alexander might be the fourth big if he does choose KU.

    So out of the three, I only see Okafor coming to KU. But we won’t know how important Okafor sees the package deal until they announce.

    Does anyone have any analysis on Duke’s situation? Will Jones be able to start at Duke?

  • Great analysis here…

    For those that think we should have more titles given all the great teams from Roy and Bill… It’s hard to deny, especially given the fact that we have the winningest program in Div 1 in the past 10 years.

    Maybe the payday is around the corner. I think Duke was in the same boat in the 80s-- dominant yet short on Championships. Then, in the second decade, they figured out how to win the titles. They also had some early exits and disappointments, but perhaps this is a path we can take… starting this year 😉

  • @wishhawk. I would suggest that Jones sees Naadir and Quinn as equal competition, but knows that Coach Self is less likely to play freshmen over veterans. I think that’s a misconception–Self doesn’t care what class you are in–if you can defend and protect the ball you can play.

  • @bskeet And Myles Turner won’t announce until spring. But I don’t think it’s an issue for Turner to share minutes with Embiid regardless whether Embiid goes or stays.

  • @Blown And I believe Coach Self likes to play two ball handlers at the same time. Question is will Jones be able to come in as 2 guard while on court with Tharpe?

  • @Wishawk --sorry about that. There was an accidental post there where it copied part of another thread I had been reading.

    Just enjoying the quality of analysis. Input by everyone here is top notch!

  • @wish and I wish my reply was juxtaposed with yours…I see a more likely scenario that Naa slides over to the 2 and Tyus runs the point. That would be best for egos (Tyus’) but Naa knows all the plays already so,…back to square one.

    But my gut feeling is that Tyus is headed to the East coast.

  • @Wishawk, I’ve come to believe that “combo guard” means “not a point guard”. Last year is an excellent example. Do you think it’s as important to have two ball handlers when you have an actual point guard running things? We haven’t had a real point guard (distribute first, score second) since Aaron Miles.

  • Self will go real hard after Turner if we whiff here. If that happens, I personally don’t see Turner coming if Embiid and Ellis stay. Top 5 guy and he wouldn’t start? I don’t know about that. But if Embiid goes, that would make Turner a “must have” – maybe as important a recruit as we’ve had in a long time. Because missing on him would leave us flailing in the post.

    As for Jones, I am just not interested. I like our perimeter players. Don’t want to mess that up. Period. Wiggins/Selden leave, we still have the best perimeter in the country next season. Mark that one down.

  • My opinion is that Russ Rob was a pure point.

  • @HighEliteMajor I’d expect Turner to start over Embiid. Embiid was a Rivals 25 ranked player coming in. And his NBA status is a lot based on his high ceiling/potential, not on his skills. He has a lot of raw talent, but it might not be enough to keep Turner from starting over him. So I think Turner might welcome the competition if Coach Self show him enough love.

  • As for Jones, I am just not interested. I like our perimeter players. Don’t want to mess that up. Period.

    –I can’t believe I didn’t think of it this way yet. Tharpe, Mason, Greene, White, Oubre…and maybe even production from Frankamp. That’s a full house. Writings on the wall for me now.

  • I firmly believe that Ellis is coming back to complete his degree and fine tune his skill set. I can see where Ellis could move to the SF position and Alexander take overt the PF position. If Ellis makes it to the NBA, I can see him more as a SF than PF, and playing one year at KU the SF position would increase his versatility and improve his outside game. I have seen videos of Okafor and Alexander and I am more impressed with Alexander; I think he has more of a power game where Okafor is more of a finesse player. While in town, Alexander was at his GF game with several KU players; I believe there are rules regarding how often he can meet with Coach Self and this is likely the reason why he did not see him. I think we get Alexander; Okafor and Jones go to Duke. Kansas seems to be the popular destination where Kentucky appears to have been hurt by the NIT loss; another sub-standard season by Kentucky and the squid mystique disappears, not a bad thing.

  • My pitiful take is that we have a great chance with all three: Alex, Ok, and Turner. I only hope Self learned from Tarc. I hope Self kept all three bigs open and that Turner was kept in the coaching loop. Howard has to be a huge help with Alex and Ok. Turner seems to be a KU lean regardless. Incidentally, funny that Turner hasn’t committed either. I really think he’s playing his recruiting really well with the other two bigs. These bigs know they will be an immediate impact for any program.
    I do think we are reading too much into the Self’s squad right now. Jaydoc and HEM are both conspiracy theorists with a valid point about Ellis and Embiid. Alex has the biggest decision. He wants to play, period. However, he will have to go where the program would likely miss the tourney. He gambles with the other two programs. However, he’s almost guaranteed to be a draft pick at any program. But if he wants to dance, you go where they have a consistent history of dancing. Ok is a great kid. I really respect his decision. BUT, I’ve always been a bit criticial of the ‘buddy thing.’ I really think he makes a good decision either way, but you need to think about your own development at the next level. KU gives him a proven big man coach in Self, and Hudy is going to get your body NBA ready, see Twins and TRob. I think Dook is soft when it comes to bigs. I posted Dooks last good big man and it was Shelden Williams. Carlos Boozer is doing well. But, Dook doesn’t seem to max their bigs or maybe not too consistent. But it is Ok’s decision to make, not ours. Turner is waiting to see where these two go and I think he comes to KU regardless of Ellis or Embiid. Turner needs Hudy the most when compared to Alex and Ok. I’m not worried. It would be nice to get one or both of these recruits, but in the end, it will work well. Self knows how to max his bigs. I think we walk away with one of the three at least. Texas would be the biggest failure for any recruit right now and Barnes’ position isn’t the most stable right now. He’s one more season closer to the unemployment line. I think UT is fed up with him.

  • HEM- I think Embiid goes on potential alone. He’s got the skills and the GM’s love his height. He can hit the FTs too for a footer.

  • I know a few facts, not speculation. Alex likes Howard and KU. Ok and his dad love Self. Howard may even have some pull with Ok. Turner is simply KU’s to lose if one or both of the others choose KU. And this recruiting thing is too much fun.

    Funny how some of you are sure Alex comes to KU and others say Ok is coming to KU.

  • Hey … if we get Alexander, Turner, or Okafer … just one … this is an absolutely huge win for coach Self. Just one of them. He has a perimeter stud in Oubre. If Okafer or Alexander signs, we have zero recruiting worries and can talk about games, etc., and forget recruiting for a while.

    I think it’s an interesting suggestion that Turner would start over Embiid. No way I can refute that. I would simply revert to the tried and true “Selfism” – experience is a trump card. But if Turner’s talent, or better yet, his polish, is better than Embiid, I could see it too.

    I am very excited to see Embiid’s progress this season. With a top 10 draft spot in the offing, he won’t be here next season (@truehawk93 is dead on there). I really believe that his progress will help dictate our assent this season. We need Embiid to be a force.

  • @Blown - konkey had suggested that Frankamp redshirt next season vs. this season, when we discussed this last week. With those perimeter players, I see why.

  • I’ve seen the bumper sticker already:

    “Recruit’em all and let God sort’em out!”

    Maybe I had a flashback. Yesterday was Veteran’s Day.

    It’s still not too late to take a vet out to lunch.

  • HEM- Let’s talk game and slayr is right, it will all sort out in the end. I think KU wins one way or another on the recruiting saga.

    Dook…I love Greene as a nightmare for them. It will be interesting to see who steps up on the stage.

    Winners want the ball, who wants the ball for KU?

  • Greene is the dream and love how he steps up to the shot. His confidence should get better with each game. I love his shooting mentality. I hope he matches it with his defensive intensity.

  • Good point Blown, Robinson became a pure point. But he was a scorer in high school, Remember his freshman year when he pouted on the bench and refused to go in for garbage minutes? That kind of ego doesn’t seem consistent with pure point. I love Robinson, and am very glad he grew out of that.

  • I love Greene too … but if he can only muster 3 minutes vs. ULM, does he even get in the game?

    I think it’s even odds that Greene and Frankamp don’t even play. Much like Adams and White last season vs. MSU. This is a good gauge on playing time. Against MSU, Self played 7 guys (and KY and Wesley got a combined 10 minutes as the 8th and 9th guys).

    There just isn’t a lot of PT to go around, unless the refs create it with the foul calls.

    By the way, this B.S. I heard from Bilas and Decoursey. I watched the replay of the MSU game vs. McNeese on BTN. No way that game was refereed the same way. Not even close. Hands, pushing , etc. No calls on most of it.

    McNeese had 9 total fouls, MSU 12.

  • HEM- I like White too. I think he would give us some balance on both ends of the court. Experience will win this game. White has that experience.

  • @truehawk93 - I have liked White (perhaps to a fault) since he hit campus. Banged that drum a lot last season (and I know it irritated more than a few). But that was mainly related to his shooting/scoring ability.

    His transformation is amazing. I watched video of Greene and quite frankly, I was concerned that White wasn’t that sort of athlete. I think a lot of folks had that concern, too, thus the transfer chatter.

    But White is transformed. The absolute poster child for Andrea Hudy and hard work. I was most surprised that White appears lighter on his feet and more agile. I had referred to him as a plodder. I won’t any more.

    White was the most impressive player in my opinion last Friday. He looks great.

  • I agree with all… Greene is going to be a great one. If there is an issue with Greene it may be that he’s coming around a bit slower on “Self ball” but when he does get it he’ll have to earn some minutes somewhere.

    With the rule thing we are going to need Greene and Conner this year, you can count on that. They may not see many minutes in games we don’t have foul trouble, but I’m fairly certain we’ll have foul troubles in many games this year, maybe half!

    Tonight, I’d have Naa run things TO-free, and inject minutes of Mason with some football pads on and tell him to drive and draw fouls.

    We’ll have to put them in as much foul trouble as we will be in if we expect to win.

  • Coach played Mason and Tharpe together a lot against Duke, with Tharpe playing off-ball. Was that to steer Tyus’s decision that he can come in run the point and we can move Tharpe to 2 and Mason off the bench?

    Don’t know, we should be ok even if we miss out on all three on Friday. Heck of a win against the Dookies though! I’m still pumped!

  • Looks like it is down to Kansas and Duke on two of the three. http://fansided.com/2013/11/13/jahlil-okafor-cuts-kentucky-wildcats-duke-kansas/

  • “They are tough in the post. They’ve had strong low post play since Bill (Self) has been there,” Krzyzewski said. “ Okafor are you listening?

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