Cliff and Frank the Tank

  • Interesting story comparing Cliff to Frank. It doesn’t dog on Cliff much at all which is nice. I hope he turns out well obviously.

  • Just info … nonetheless, for whatever it’s worth, it isn’t a positive for Cliff.

  • "I’m not (a bad) guy," Alexander said. "I’m a great guy to be around. When I was at Kansas, it was just a struggle. I got dealt a bad deck of cards, that’s all it was."

    Pretty hard for a young man desperately trying to keep up with teammates with a much better BBall IQ and then your own mother deals you not an Ace but Joker instead. Hopefully Cliff can get it together long enough to get a spot in a NBA team where he can develop the skills he really should have developed in second (or third) year in college.

    It is not the first time the family (or “friends”) of a talented athlete has tried to milk the potential before it is ready with abysmal results and likely will not be the last. I wonder if school, such as KU, that have been hurt by these so called agents, that make “loans” that end up disqualifying the “third” party, can join together and start a class action suit against them.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I latched onto the part where they looked at Cliff’s PPM, RPM, etc. and how it compared to Towns. We spent a lot of time wondering why he wasn’t playing more.

  • Frank is the man with the story.

    He proves that players can improve all 4 years and lift their draft value considerably if they have patience and work hard.

    This notion that older college players can’t draft well is ridiculous.

  • @wissoxfan83

    The story did not address defense and how often Cliff would lose the player he was covering and how he did not know how to provide weak side help in defense. As you know, if you don’t play defense, you don’t get playing time at KU.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Then how did Naadir Tharpe ever play? How did Ellis play in 2013-14 (he was much better last season)? And don’t get me started on Traylor.

    I don’t dispute the value Self places on defense, but Cliff was no worse than Tharpe (relatively speaking) – and actually better. Ellis was pretty darn bad a season ago.

    I’d say Self’s decision on Cliff was more a compilation of perceived failures outweighing the positive – whether many of us agree or not.

  • @drgnslayr

    Kaminsky is the exception, not the rule. You take 100 guys that played at the level Kaminsky played at as a freshman and sophomore and I bet only 3 or 4 would play at even 80 percent the level that Kaminsky did.

    Guys can improve, certainly. But it is rare for a guy to play like Kaminsky did and even become an all conference level player, let alone all American. It’s probably less likely you end up with a Kaminsky than it is you end up with a McDonald’s AA that ends up like Cliff.

    Frank deserves all the credit for his improvement but he isn’t really the model because I doubt many people can replicate that rise.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    HEM, you are stating your opinion as fact. Tharpe played because there was no one else with experience that could replace him or that would be an improvement. As far as Ellis, It is just YOUR opinion that he was “pretty darn bad.” While not an outstanding defender, he was far from “pretty darn bad” and he never looked lost in the court like Cliff was, I believe most members would agree that Ellis was not “pretty darn bad.” As far as Traylor, you have made it crystal clear that you don’t like him, don’t think much of his skills and believe he should not be playing Division I basketball…but he does…and Coach Self obviously does too, and he start for an Elite program…and many -if not most of us- believe that while not a star, he is a very serviceable player than on several occasions has saved the team behind and been the best player on the court for KU. Again, this is just my personal opinion.

  • @JayHawkFanToo First, I don’t qualify most everything I say with “this is just my personal opinion.” I don’t do that as standard practice.

    Next, you just said of Cliff - “Pretty hard for a young man desperately trying to keep up with teammates with a much better BBall IQ and then your own mother deals you not an Ace but Joker instead.”

    You didn’t qualify the “BBall IQ” thing with you standard “opinion” statement. Seems like you’re stating it as fact.

    You also said that Cliff “did not know how to provide weak side help in defense.” Is that your opinion too? You didn’t qualify that. Seems like you’re stating it as fact.

    Of course, you don’t dispute that Tharpe’s defense was horrible. My comment was to your incorrect statement that “if you don’t play defense, you don’t get playing time at KU.” – another opinion statement you made as if it were fact, right? Tharpe was horrible defensively, yet he played. You didn’t refute that he was horrible defensively.

    Of course it’s my opinion that Ellis was “pretty darn bad” defensively —> defensively. I do doubt that a majority here would think he was anything but pretty darn bad defensively in 2013-14. He was clearly better this season, and reached the level of adequate. I wouldn’t say good.

    And Traylor is a below average high D-1 player. Poor defensively. Horrific rebounder. Gets pushed around. Can barely score. Gets caught out of position regularly. As I’ve said before, has some nice peaks, and some bad valleys, but the average performance leaves much to be desired.

    Fact or opinion. You decide.

  • @justanotherfan

    “Kaminsky is the exception, not the rule.”


    Though, I think it is the exception when players DON’T improve drastically in their 4 (or 5) years of D1. They should make big improvements. We can go down the list at Kansas and put most guys in the category of making major improvements. Withey improved enough to go pro as a “full term” player. And what about Tyshawn Taylor? He became first-team B12 his senior year as well as third-team All-American (and got ripped off because he was undervalued).

    I would argue that several Jayhawks should have stayed all 4 years. Thinking right off about Cole, the Morris twins and TRob. The twins are doing the best now… but what kind of senior year could all of these guys had? Wouldn’t they have exploded every bit as much as Kaminsky? Not sure about Cole because he was hobbling… but the other guys?

    Part of what makes Kaminsky the exception is he stuck it out one more year.

    If you study last year’s NBA draft, it does support the notion that not many seniors improve enough to make it to the next level.

    I just looked back through the NBA draft from last year and only 5 guys picked in the first round were college seniors.

    Here is the breakdown:

    2014 NBA Draft (First Round)

    9 Freshmen

    8 Sophomores

    1 Junior

    5 Seniors

    6 Foreign Players

    1 NBA D-league


    Cliff Alexander favorite
    Duke in the NBA ‏@DukeNBA · May 12
    Crazy how the stock of Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander dropped dramatically after a season under Bill Self

  • That is really pooping on your family! HCBS has not slammed Cliff publically but leave it to some 2AD that thought he was an OAD to bite the hand that feeds him! I guess he figures the NBA will ask his mom about his work ethic? LOL dumb ass!

  • @Statmachine Wow. I don’t know what to say. Not quite climbing the Mock Drafts.. Seriously, what an immature fool Cliff is.

  • @Statmachine Wow. No doubt he would have liked more playing time, and he’d find his share of supporters there (me included). But unless Self forced his mom into crazy as* loan applications…just stop.

    As far as Oubre goes, if he jumps early & fails to make the lottery, I don’t see a case for blaming KU.


  • @Statmachine

    Oubre left KU universally projected between #8 and #12, which is probably pretty darn good considering he was ranked between #6 and #10 out of HS if I recall correctly. A drop in the draft projection will have happened based on what he did after leaving KU and it would be hard to blame HC Self for this.

    Alexander has no one to blame but himself and his family for his current problems. I believe just about everybody in this Forum, after watching him play for a while, thought he needed at least an additional year and maybe even two. The reason he opted for the draft, way before he was ready, cannot be attributed to HC Self. He is still very young and apparent;y immature and he is lashing out in frustration; once he grows up some he probably will change his tune…or at least I hope we will.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Agree on the Cliff’s immaturity angle. Got to blame someone, until he matures and faces the repercussions of his own decisions. Choices, choices…

    But, on the other hand, imagine being that very 19yr old who is immature and wished he’d gotten more playing time --> Heck, right on this site us fans have had lively discussions about “if only Cliff would have been allowed to play thru mistakes” vs the “quick hook”. Let me just say each argument has it’s positives. I seem to remember the 3 quick fouls by freshmen Cliff, Shady, TRob…and the “losing your man” portion. Its things that impact negatively on the scoreboard, and when a player is a net-negative on the court, that most coaches (not just Bill Self) will seek to rectify that situation–he rides pine. Hey, on past Jayhawk squads maybe the team was so good, that they could “carry” a net-negative player. We just weren’t good enough to erase Cliff’s mistakes in most games. The nice part was when Cliff actually showed us a few bigtime positive outings…there was hope for him to become a dominant force in Yr 2…

  • In the Chicago Tribune story, Cliff goes on to say that “Coach Self helped me a lot…(get thru the late season suspension)”. I don’t take Cliff’s comments as dogging on KU or Self, more likely his situation (“dealt a bad hand”). But Cliff also likely knows (but cannot say it in public) he and his mom were the ones ‘dealing’ out those bad cards…

    Nonetheless, I wish him will for his own sake, and for KU’s sake. Good luck to you, Cliff Alexander.

  • @ralster

    Spot on. Cliff really cannot blame anyone for his problem except himself and his family; on the other hand, none of us really know what transpires behind closed doors that we don’t know and we can speculate. I seem to recall being pretty immature at that age myself and I did not have to face the decision he had to face,

    Maybe Coach Self should set up a gallery of players that left too early as a reminder to other players to be patient; of course Selby and Alexander would be the initial members in that gallery.

  • I never was really sure if the NCAA kept Cliff from playing or was it Coach Self because he felt there would be 8 games vacated if Cliff played in them. There was just two much riding on the chances that this would turn bad at the time. Conference wins and NCAA tournament wins could have been vacated. I do feel Cliff was improving and that he would have played much more in those 8 games than he did at the first of the year. We needed him and that is what made it so frustrating. We needed those other 5 fouls and rebounding and he needed those last 8 games to show he belong in the NBA, but we will never know how it would have turned out just like the year before without Embed.

    Coach Self is a master at team development and his teams don’t usually shine until the end of the season because he is always teaching and training and developing his players for improvement. Sometimes people get injured or just ware out. but sometimes they step it (TT) up and decide this is the time, it’s either now or never and sometimes they just don’t understand it is up to them not their momma or anyone else. Some people figure it out early because they have parents that help them along the way and some people don’t figure it out till later in life because they just don’t have the mentors or they think they don’t have to listen to mentors because they did not have the positive parenting that enables success. The world is full of achievers and non-achievers, extroverts and introverts, inherited traits and learned behavior. I’m not sure we can spend our time trying to figure out what actually transpired with Cliff because there may be too many variables in his life that any Coach or mentor can have a positive affect on.

    Frank has a passion, and a toughness that inspires even me at 65 years old. I hope it translates into the league someday.

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