Cliff staying or going?

  • Ok KU fans old and new, so far these are Cliff’s numbers through the season.

    25 games- 18.6 min 7.9 5.6 0.5 0.2 1.4 1.1 .581 .671 Are these the numbers of a lottery pick? Will these average numbers convince Cliff he is ready to declare for the draft? Will these numbers persuade Coach Self to try and persuade Cliff to come back next season?
    If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Cliff coming back for his soph year.

  • @Lulufulu

    I believe you are right. Much like Markiff, Alexander’s decision will be made just before the draft based on the position where he would be drafted. Last time I checked, most boards had him as a middle to late first round and few as borderline lottery pick with a couple of lottery picks as well. Like most elite program coaches, Coach Self has access to many NBA scouts and execs and can fairly closely project where he would be drafted. With a good showing at that showcase we call the NCAA tournament, he has a chance to move up. If he is projected to be a lottery pick he will leave, middle of first round 50-50, late first round or second round he stays…I think…

  • @JayHawkFanToo Yah, I just think he needs to come back and develop more. Id like to see him have a better career in the league when he does go.

  • I think that story has not come close to playing out. No question that coming back will make him better. But, the NBA drafts on potential. A good 3 game span can vault somebody into the mid first round or the lottery.

  • I think if hes not a projected lottery pick by seasons end. He stays

  • @cragarhawk

    We have seen players leave before they are ready because of their family situations. I don’t know what Cliff’s family situation is but is conceivable that he could leave early even if he is not a lotto pick. Oubre’s dad, on the other hand, while not wealthy has indicate that Kelly will stay in college for as long as needed and he does not have to be a OAD.

  • @JayHawkFanToo true story there. How about this. Lets ask the real question here. Does anyone really think Cliff has a successful NBA career if he leaves this year? Lottery or not?? I personally think he will end up d league or europe if he leaves this year. Jmo

  • Ok, I don’t want to discuss or speculate on this topic after my near epic collapse on Embiid last year. No matter what they say, or whether Cliff is ready or not, I will never allow myself to speculate because there is simply no way to know. I bet the farm on Embiid, and lost.

  • Wiggins is in the position of justifying his leaving early, although playing for a 11-40 team can’t be that exciting I’d guess. I know they draft on potential, and we can see it, but we can also see he’s not quite ready for the NBA.

  • @wissoxfan83

    Four players from the Wolves were in the NBA Rising Start Game; they have great potential to be really good in the near future. Wiggins was the MVP of the game and Zach LaVine won the dunk contest.

  • @cragarhawk If he IS a projected lottery pick, there’s something bad wrong with the lottery. He is no where near NBA ready. Unless he just likes riding professional pine.

  • I don’t see Cliff going pro I actually think he is a good size for his position at the college level but not at the pro level. He needs to develop a lot more before he is ready to take his game to the NBA. Name one NBA starting 4 that Cliff would hold his own against?

  • Truth is, I don’t know if Cliff Alexander is ready for the NBA or not. Have not really seen him play enough. If he were playing 25-30 minutes a game, then I might have an opinion. If he comes back next year, he will probably be a top 5 pick after next season. I am sure he will play more next year. However, this season is far from over.

  • @KansasComet just for sake of wondering… Does anybody think this-Cliff, is the best he’s got? Would we be better off w/a new guy? Not saying I think that, but he was a pretty high-ranked player. I thought he’d progress faster.

  • Everyone and their mother knows Cliff isn’t ready for the NBA. He’s got the potential to be a great player but the consistency is just not there Yet. If he had the consistency he would have been where he was from the beginning.

    I do think that he has people in his ear swaying him to the pros and so with that thinking I will believe he’s gone til he announces otherwise. I think it’s wise for everyone to assume he’s gone so you don’t have to worry about it being disappointing

  • @Crimsonorblue22 That is exactly why I said I don’t know. Maybe he is saving it for this point in the season, and deferring to his teammates at this point. I know he is capable of taking over games and dominating. We all saw the monster dunk awhile back, so the ability is there. I don’t have any idea why it doesn’t come to the forefront. I would definitely take Cliff back next year. As far as a new guy, I think we need a little more height in the paint.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 The one thing I’d say about Cliff and being highly ranked is that we have NEVER seen a post player come in and play at a really high level as a freshman under Self. Granted, Cliff was higher ranked coming out of high school than any other post player Self has recruited, but that only means he was higher ranked in comparison to other players in his class. He might have been ranked lower in a different class. So it’s all relative. I think prior to Cliff, Darrell Arthur was the highest ranked post player Self had brought in. #16 by Rivals in 2006, and if memory serves he was #9 by ESPN (they only go back so many years, and 2007 is the cut-off right now). Cole was #30 by Rivals in 2007 and #13 by ESPN.

    Anyway, enough about the rankings and back to freshman post players under Self. A great deal of the time, freshman have had to sit and wait their turn. Cole was buried on the bench as the 4th big. TRob was in the same boat, behind Cole & the Morris Twins. Perry’s play was so uninspiring that he couldn’t overtake Kevin Young. Jeff Withey, despite transferring and having a year in the system before he was eligible to see the court, still was invisible for a year and half before he developed enough and playing time opened up.

    So with a great many post players from years past, we don’t have a baseline for how they perform as freshman because they didn’t see significant minutes. It is likely they were no better than Cliff.

    Perry’s situation is an interesting parallel to Cliff’s. In the '12-'13 season, most fans were debating how we had to have Perry emerge as a scoring presence at the 4 to maximize that team’s potential. Perry was clearly more talented than Young. Sound familiar? We’re having the same discussion this year about Cliff needing to emerge and overtake Jamari & Landon. But Young was doing more things right as a senior than Perry was as a freshman, so Perry averaged only 13.6 mpg, 5.8 ppg, and 3.9 rpg.

    Another comparison in terms of playing time as a freshman would be Marcus Morris. Following the exodus of players from the '08 title team there was an opening for a post player to garner significant minutes. Again if memory serves, Self flipped back-and-forth between both Morris twins starting, but Marcus ended up playing a bit more that year. His stats for a contributing freshman were 18.5 mpg, 7.4 ppg, and 4.7 rpg.

    Arthur is another who saw similar playing time his freshman year. I think he was at one time a starter, then deferred himself to a role off the bench. He averaged 19.0 mpg, 9.8 ppg, and 4.7 rpg.

    Compare Perry, Marcus, & Shady to Cliff who is averaging 18.6 mpg, 7.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg.

    So to answer to your questions: no I don’t think this is the best Cliff’s got nor do I think we’d be better off with another freshman taking his minutes next year. Cliff is playing about at the level I’d expect for a freshman post player under Self. We’ve seen how other players have had similar struggles as freshman and turned out pretty good. Replacing him with another freshman (Bragg or someone else) would most likely not yield better results than Alexander as a sophomore.

    That being said, I think it’s 50-50 right now that we lose him to the NBA after this year, so the discussion might be purely academic.

  • @cragarhawk agreed

  • Well, the season still stretches into 2 more months, so it is a bit early to project. Based on numbers Cliff has posted to date, I can’t see him as a June lottery pick. Perhaps injury has limited his playing time more than we know. But ict3 is probably right on in declaring that Cliff is advancing about as well as could be expected for any frosh big man in Bill Self’s system. Unless his game really shines in the next 7 weeks, I think it would behoove Cliff to return for another year with Hudy and the coaching staff. Given time, he should probably reach lottery level, probably a year sooner than TRob, Cole or Marcus. The only reason for him to jump would be for a fairly safe guarantee of top 10 lottery. Marcus was really sweating it during the draft!

  • @JayHawkFanToo But, that does not mean that Oubre will stay at KU for certain either. I think he is right at Ben’s level of readiness and he bailed out early to help his fam. Maybe Oubre does the same? I’d rather not see him go early either though.

  • @icthawkfan316 My intentions regarding my questions were exactly that…academic. And speculative.

  • @Lulufulu

    Not at all. What I was trying to say was that family-wise there seems to be no pressure for Oubre to go after one year, although the way he is playing It wold not surprise me to see him gone after this season. I don’t know how much pressure there is or isn’t on Cliff to bolt o the NBA so that part of the equation is an unknown; however, going by what he has shown to date, I would honestly say that he needs an extra year, but you know…the NBA drafts on potential, yada, yada, yada…so whether he is ready or not might not be nearly the factor we think it should be. Also, and as I mentioned before, a good showing at the Dance can change perspective in a hurry.

    Add: I believe McLemore was much farther along than Ouubre is right now. McLemore had been in the system for 2 years and was starter (and star of the team) his entire second year or the first year he was eligible.

  • @icthawkfan316 I hate to disagree w you, but I think that Embiid played at a very high level as a frosh. I also believe that he was as high ranked as #9 by ESPN when it was all said and done.

  • @ZIG Ah yes…Embiid. He did play at a high level last season. All I could say to that is he is the exception to the rule. He was a prodigy. A once in a generation talent. Self said JoJo was like Danny.

    And I checked, he finished at #6.

  • If I had to bet now, I’d say that Cliff stays and Oubre goes.

    Embiid was the exception to the post player rule. As @icthawkfan316 noted, guys take a touch of time to develop, but generally, it’s worth the wait. Cliff’s size concerns me at the next level. Looks like a possible three year player to me.

    The reason why Cliff should stay, in my mind, is skill development. It’s clear that he has the tools, but his skill level has not matured. He’s way behind where Embiid was in literally all categories. The guys aren’t comparable skill-wise. I say this without reservation – Embiid was the greatest talent to play here under Self. I don’t know if his health will hold up, but he is crazy special.

    Back to Cliff – Two areas that Cliff is significantly lacking 1) a go to move, and 2) footwork.

    And I think the footwork needs to come first. Cliff was hurt for quite a while this summer. That could have set him back. Really, I think his footwork is atrocious. With an improvement there, we could see a guy that could really take off.

    Once the footwork stabilizes, the go to move might appear. This is all normal, as the comments above have alluded to. He’s a freshman. Just needs time. It it weren’t the OAD era, we’d be pretty satisfied. It’s only when we think he might be here just one season, that we become a little hyper-sensitive to this stuff.

    Cliff presents an interesting OAD case – for a top ranked guy, if we had him just one season, it clearly wouldn’t be the return most expected. Perhaps a strong anti-OAD argument. On the other hand, I think we might be looking at a three year player here – which is a strong argument for recruiting OADs.

  • The mock draft projections always remind me of why I don’t, and never will, watch the nba.

  • My take is, Cliff may be paying attention to what happened to Seldon. If Cliff is healthy and have a chance to be 1st round pick (not necessarily lottery), he will go.

    Assuming there is a ceiling in him that he now knows, for the sake of his NBA stock, it is better for him to declare than stay. Or, he could chose not to put in those effort required of him in college and try to do it where he is being paid for in the NBA.

    Of course, I wish he could stay as I think he needs to and it would be good for him. But, the money may not be there if he stays.

Log in to reply