No more softball



  • So last season ended with a thud. Did any KU fans really think the outcome would be any different? Sure we put on the KU glasses and tried to see a final four run and so forth. Hey that’s what good fans do. Ok enough looking back, lets look forward.

    KU is bringing back a very seasoned team. Yes they were weak in the paint last year. Yet with the additions of Diallo and Bragg the paint woes should go away. Lets not forget the WUG? All those extra practices. Extra time for the team to Gel, and learn the system.

    I debated on starting this topic as I didn’t want to jinx the upcoming season. I’m just tired of being superstitious. I’m the guy that has a routine before and during the game. I always have a few beers before the game, and sometimes barbeque. During the game I always like my right leg under my left leg. Don’t know why I just do?

    However the superstitions are done. This team is loaded at every position, with potential star power at every position. They have a deep bench. They should be able to dribble and drive, they should be to fast break at will, they should be able to shoot the three, they should be able to pound the ball inside, and they should be able to play lock down defense.

    The days of accuses are done. If I don’t see this team in the Final 4 then I just don’t know. 😞



  • @DoubleDD

    Way to clear the air and hang it all out.

    But I would be prepared for something less than a stellar season.

    Self has tried to soften the schedule, but it has enough big time opponents that it could still blow the confidence of all our newbies.

    I am still very concerned about our lack of scoring out of the five.

    I don’t see a draft choice 3 unless Svi undergoes a metaphosis on the order of a butterfly.

    Selden gives me serious nerves until I see him put together 5 consecutive good games.

    I figure Frank will be better, but I figure his trey percentage cannot be as high as it was last season.

    BG seems like a big fat question mark.

    And I just don’t know if Perry can stand up to all the abuse he is going to get. After that punch out by WSU was allowed by refs, I worry that Perry is going to get a number of those kinds of cheap shots until some ref kicks a guy out of a game for doing it once.

    I agree with you that there is a lot of potential this season for something better.

    But freshman bigs are always a scary gambit unless they are elite OADs.

    Diallo is an OAD, but I don’t know if he is one of those rare ones that can dominate during his OAD season, and we need him to be able to.



  • @jaybate-1.0 I just have a feeling that Svi will metamorphose this season. I dont know why. I hope I’m right!



  • @jaybate-1.0 We return our top 3 scorers. We lose 9 points a game from Oubre, and 7 ppg from Cliff. I’ll go on record now and say that Diallo/Bragg will exceed their numbers. He used Oubre at the 3 last year - why wouldn’t he use Bragg at the same position? Even though he has the height to play the 4, his frame is pretty sleight and I have seen him play with his back to the basket maybe once in all his clips. So, now we have an absolute defensive monster at the 5 with a huge motor, Perry at the 4, a 6’9" mobile big man with driving skills, and the ability to shoot the 3, along with the combination of Frank, Wayne or Devonte. That is light years ahead of last year, imo. I’m sure Svi will get his minutes as well, but I am not convinced that he would start over Bragg by conference play IF Coach decides to go that way. Our team speed with that lineup could potentially be off the charts.

    I believe we will see a quantum leap from Devonte this year. I’m talking potential All conference type break out. I recognize your concern about Frank maintaining his breakout from last year, but I think whatever regression to the mean occurs with Frank will be made up with improvements from Devonte and Wayne ( Wayne has to improve, right?)

    I think Diallo will have the same impact that Embiid did. Although Diallo is shorter, he makes up for it with a fierceness of will, a relentless competitor who will absolutely dominate the paint on both ends. The dude is a warrior - a 100% bonafide badass. Teams will begin to think twice when they enter into the Diallo zone. And then the question of Perry’s toughness, imo, becomes a moot point.

    I think we have a great opportunity to win the national championship this year. We’re due for a great NCAA run. We’ve got the roster to hang another banner.



  • @KUSTEVE I don’t think Bragg can play 3 at D1, yet. Not quick enough.



  • @KUSTEVE

    Good to read your glass all full take. I can now use it to reason with my other half not to cut back the cable channels for another season! Rock Chalk!!!



  • @Crimsonorblue22 You have a point. My question would be is Svi or Greene coming off surgery going to be quicker?



  • @Lulufulu

    There is strong reason to believe he will eventually be a draft choice. I just wonder if he can suddenly be one this year.



  • @jaybate-1.0 I figured you’d be practically giddy over the prospect of a 6’9" Carmelo clone bombing from beyond 3…LOL…



  • I’m expecting great things from SVI. If anything the kid is a competitor. You don’t make and come as far as he has if your not. In reality he was just a kid last year. NO I mean a kid !!! A year under Hudy, and year to really study the US game. Svi who grew up and was coming from all things European basketball. Took his life, his game to the US and to one of the premier intuitions of basketball. Lets not forget he was still like 16 years old. It’s a wander he even got any playing time last year?

    I don’t know maybe I’m just reaching but I just think the kid is only to get better and better. It wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes the reason KU makes a serious run this year.



  • @KUSTEVE said:

    I think Diallo will have the same impact that Embiid did.

    Absolutely no way, I say that and will never back down. Embiid’s season had three acts:

    • Act 1: playing not hurt
    • Act 2: playing hurt
    • Act 3: not playing.

    Act 1: Diallo will be nowhere near as good as Embiid.

    Act 2: Diallo healthy won’t be as good as Embiid hurt.

    Act 3: Diallo will be much better than Embiid, I should hope.

    So Diallo will never have “the same” impact, but much less or much more depending on the date 😉



  • @ParisHawk Then we’ll agree to disagree. I think Diallo is a shoo in for a lottery pick. We will revisit this next March…hehe…



  • @DoubleDD

    Concerning superstitions:

    “During a study by researchers at Clarkson University and the University of Rochester, rhesus monkeys played a fast-paced computer game with built-in rewards: correctly guess the next step in the pattern, get a treat. However, even when the sequence was random, the monkeys gambled like they were on a winning streak, showing a false belief in their run of good luck – even when the reality was anything but lucky. Despite being given multiple opportunities to rehearse a different scenario, the monkeys stuck to the patterns they perceived to be winning ones [source: Blanchard et al.].”

    Are Monkeys Superstitious?

    Turns out, our fury friends are more like us than we may want to believe. Or if you follow science, reverse that statement; we are more like our fury friends than we may want to believe.

    Concerning Cheick:

    I’m not expecting Cheick to make SportsCenter Top 10 often this coming year… but I am expecting him to be an energetic scrappy post player, definitely producing some good stats.

    I look at post players putting in 35 mpg and grade them like this:

    RPG - 0-5 underachieving 6-7 just pulling his weight 8+ performing well

    I believe Cheick will perform well. It may not come until league play, but by March, he will be a big weapon.

    Scoring? Not sure, but he should at least be able to replace Cliff’s numbers.

    Defense? May not get as many blocks as JoJo, but should be able to move his feet a little better so perhaps he changes more shots.



  • @DoubleDD I like playing softball at the park with beer and hot dogs



  • @KUSTEVE Dude, Diallo impressed me during the MickeyDs game and the other one he played in but No Way does he impact like Beed. I mean JoJo is going to be an All Star in the NBA.



  • @Lulufulu

    Wasn’t he the MVP at two All-Star games? I see a lot of good thing in Diallo and overall I belive he will have a bigger impact at KU (barring injury, of course) than Embiid did, mostly because Embiid’s productive period was short since he got injured shortly after he really started producing.



  • @KUSTEVE

    I can see Ellis playing the 3, Bragg the 4 and Diallo the 5 spots; a very mobile, quick and athletic lineup that could give opponents fits. If Ellis can maintain a decent shooting percentage from the 3, I can see him getting substantial minutes at the 3.



  • @KUSTEVE

    I would be.

    Carmelo started and made a high trey percentage his freshman year that he lead his team to a national championship.

    Alas, did I miss someone that did something like that last season that is returning?

    l am not accustomed to being the doubting Thomas here, so I will put on the half full lenses here for a moment.

    I think Svi and Greene on the wings are a killer combination. I would start them as a tandem at 2/3, if either got consistent on both ends of the floor and Svi showed he could make shots; THAT"S HOW JUICED I AM ABOUT THEM IF THEY EVER SHOW THEY CAN GETTER DONE.

    This tandem would then let Selden be brought as a defensive specialist to lock down which ever guy–Svi or Green–was having trouble guarding his man, or just to spell them with an actual gain in overall floor game.

    This tandem with Selden rotating for them would then allow Frank and Devonte to become a true one-two punch at the point guard and free Devonte from the hassle of always preparing for two positions. It is a waste of Devonte that slows his development playing him at 2, when we really should not have to do it.

    Vick should then be the injury insurance guy at 2/3 that his skinny green wood too young physique suggests he should be. And if he turns out to be an early bloomer, well, then stick him at two and just make him learn that position and keep Selden at the three and let him focus on one position for a change.

    This creates an awesome perimeter/back court game that is superior to most opponents, can matchup pretty much anyway they want, and can blow games wide open in three minutes with Frank, Svi, and Greene treyballthing them into oblivion.

    But notice that everything hinges on Greene getting it on both and ends and Svi’s rapid development into a 40 percent trey baller with game on both ends. Svi has to play like a draft choice for this great perimeter/backcourt game to be enabled. Anything less and we are stuck with Frank at 1, Devonte at 2 and Selden at 3 and Svi and Greene and Vick filling situationally and with significant fall off from rotaton. And the starting group of Frank, Devonte, and Selden are just adequate once we get to the Sweeth Sixteen, nothing special, whereas the Frank/Svi/Greene lineup with the superb back up rotation is basically an every game matchup advantage all the way to the national championship game.

    Now the inside is just a problem, because of limited scoring ability and height at the five, among the newcomers and limited talents among the returners. The only possible wild card is Lucas. He showed some serious nonlinear improvents in numbers intermittently down the stretch. Were he to develop just a little over the season with a money shot, we could play through him and then, coupled with a scenario where Svi plays like a draft choice, then this team could win a ring.

    Otherwise it looks like another very bumpy season to me.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Love the comment I too believe we maybe underselling Diallo a little. Will he be the next Embiid? Who knows? I will say as you alluded too. He did indeed went against the best in his class twice and walked away with the MVP twice. The boy can play.



  • @DoubleDD

    As good as Embiid was -when healthy- and as high as his potential was/is, his contribution at KU was limited by his injury and it happened at the worst possible time and left KU bare inside; had he been able top play the entire season, particularly in the NCAA Tournament, the narrative would be quite different. If you look at Withey’s senior year, his contribution was much larger and season long. If Diallo stays healthy, I can see a huge upside…maybe a TRob sophomore but not quite Junior like contribution.



  • The biggest question mark on this team is not on the court directly, it’s who will step up fill the leadership void that had been missing since Taylor and Robinson? There’s signs out there that Mason is embracing this role. I’m also hoping this is the biggest contributions Nic Moore makes to this team because he has been a great leader for SMU. I really hope he helps mentor Mason and Graham and breaks the bad habits instilled by Johnson and Tharpe.

    As far as on the court, this national title caliber team. There is not a Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin, or Virginia pre Justin Anderson injury out there this year that you look at just knew was better than KU. There’s also no reason to believe KU will have an assistant coach suspended in the middle of conference play, or have NCAA issues with the best low post player. Injuries are always a question mark, but hopefully KU doesn’t get bit by the injury bug tournament time again like the past 2 years.

    I don’t see KU getting the same production overall from the freshmen they got last year because there isn’t a freshmen that can score like Oubre did. Vick can get there, it just won’t be this year. Diallo will be better than Alexander, but he’s not as good overall as Embiid because he doesn’t have the offensive game Embiid had. Embiid is a once in a generation offensive talent for a big man. Bragg may end up being the 5th big who does get consistent minutes and therefor not a regular contributor. Vick and Bragg will be good players, but just not major contributors right away because of who’s ahead of them in the rotation.

    Svi will make the jump people are hoping for. He’ll be 18, more physically mature, mentally mature, and already has a year under his belt. He’s also projected by multiple draft projection sites as a mid 1st round pick in 2016. I do believe he will live up to that hype.

    Devonte Graham is the player I’m most excited to see howuch he grows. He’s going to have a chance to go down as the best PG in the Bill Self era by the time he leaves. I’m also very excited to see an on court line up of Mason, Graham, Selden, Ellis, and Lucas/Mickelson during the WUG. That is line up that can flat out shoot the basketball and should be a great high-low team. During the regular season, switch out Svi for Selden, and put Diallo in for the post and I’m just as excited about what that line up could produce.

    Diallo isn’t Embiid on offense, but if he learns how to seal his opponent under the rim and develops a spin move, he will be extremely effective on offense.

    The Final Four is at NRG Stadium in Houston, I live in Houston, I am excited this team has the potential to play 2 games down here and I hope I don’t get screwed out of seeing them in Houston like in 2011.



  • @JayHawkFanToo said:

    If Diallo stays healthy, I can see a huge upside…maybe a TRob sophomore but not quite Junior like contribution.

    You may be right and I hope you are, but in general I think we tend to get too hopeful about these freshmen, especially the bigs.

    TRob had Danny Manning to teach him moves, which he occasionally executed as a freshman. He also drew lots of fouls per minute, but fouled just as much.

    “If Diallo stays healthy, stays out of foul trouble and plays defense consistently enough to earn significant minutes” - that would be a less risky proposal.

    TRob played 15 minutes a game as a sophomore; is that enough for you from Diallo this next season?

    If you think an OAD big can “get” D1 ball and Self’s system in one season, the OAD Merry-Go-Round must not make you dizzy.

    Again, you may be right but I would rather moderate my expectations and be pleasantly surprised.



  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    “Devonte Graham is the player I’m most excited to see howuch he grows. He’s going to have a chance to go down as the best PG in the Bill Self era by the time he leaves”

    Glad to know I’m not the only one focusing big time on Devonte having an explosive year this year!

    Back to the conversation about Cheick… We don’t really need high point production out of him this year. We need a solid rebounder and defender in the post. All his offense is gravy.

    There is all indications he is going to give us this. He’s strong and hungry and full of energy every second on the floor. We couldn’t ask for more.

    I don’t get how people think he won’t produce much but will also be a OAD player? He has to show quite a bit of offense to jump on the draft boards…



  • @drgnslayr Diallo will be a good offensive player in time, he just doesn’t know how to use his body yet or have the refinement in his game yet on offense to be a high impact playear on that end in college unless he stays multiple yeas which isn’t likely.

    I’m not joking about Embiid being once in a generational offensive talent. He is the most offensively gifted big man since Hakeem Olajuwon and I really hope Embiid stays healthy enough to show off that skill in the NBA because he has HoF potential and I don’t say tJat about many players. Anthony Davis is the only really young player (3 years or less) that I see right now that has HoF potential in the NBA today.



  • @Texas-Hawk-10 HCBS said that Embiid would take 2 years to go #1 in the draft. Diallo is more polished as a freshman than Embiid ever could have dreamt of. I think Diallo could be more productive in college than Embiid was. Its possible and even though we can see Embiid as a NBA all star at some point I have a gut feeling Diallo can show him up as a freshman at KU. Until the season is over you will not be able to convince me otherwise so your rebuttal is a mute point!



  • @ParisHawk

    The one thing Diallo has going for him is his incredible motor, something that still is valued in college BBall, particularly in Self-ball. I am also very excited about Davonte and, as far as I saw last season, he is the only player capable to creating his own shot, he is a good shooter and has height to boot…all in all a very promising combination.



  • @Statmachine If it wasn’t for his foot injury, Embiid would be a Cavalier this year, Wiggins a Milwaukee Buck, and Jabari Parker on Philly. So Self may have thought 2 years, but if it wasn’t for his foot injury, it would’ve been 1 year. Cheick Diallo will be a very good player, but he does not have the footwork Embiid does and that’s what limits Diallo’s offensive game. Diallo is also a power player and Embiid is more of a finesse player on offense. I will take skill over power any day of the week.



  • The key to post scoring isn’t having two awe inspiring post players. It’s having one post player be an effective threat, and the other being a “good enough” scorer. Ala Robinson and Whithey.

    Now I am not saying that Dallio is as great as Jeff was defensively, but there’s no reason Perry can’t put up 17 and 8 a game while Dallio rebounds and feeds off Ellis on the offense.

    The real question mark isn’t the post, but the 2 and 3 position. In 2012, Releford was one of the best lockdown defenders and Elijah was a great scoring punch alongside Taylor.

    Can Selden provide the scoring punch? Can Svi become the all around stud we hope him to be?

    I sure hope so. Until then, I’ll hope for the best and expect another final four run like every year! RCJH my friends!



  • All right @Texas-Hawk-10, @ParisHawk, and @Lulufulu? You three are raining on my parade. 😡

    Just kidding love the different point of views. However lets talk about and break this down. Embiid is a stud we can all agree. Comparing Dallio to Embiid at least on the surface is well just crazy. Yet stop and take a deep breath. I don’t remember the blue bloods breaking down the front door to recruit Embiid. In fact Embiid really got no run as a top player until HCBS offered him a scholarship. In fact Embiid wasn’t even the top recruit off his own high school team. So where was this can’t miss talent you speak of? This for sure NBA HOFamer? Was Embiid a diamond or a diamond in the rough? In fact Embiid really got no run until after playing a full semester at KU and claiming a starting spot at KU.

    So did Embiid always have it, or did HCBS unlock the potential of the Embiid? I really don’t have the answer. I just don’t know. Yet to dismiss Diallo and his potential is premature. Sure I agree he will be no Embiid. Just like nobody will be Jordan, or the Bird, or the Magic, or LeBron, or even Wilt. Diallo will be who he decides to be.

    The fact is Embiid was a rare find, and he didn’t live up to the expectations in the college game. Yes I said it. Embiid didn’t live up to the expectations in the college game. As for Dallio all I can say is he played against the best of his class twice and walked away with the MVP twice. That says something. Once you can make the argument it was a fluke but twice you have to acknowledge the kid has something.

    I would agree that Embiid has the potential to be great no doubt, but whose to say Dallio won’t be great too. Just in his own way? You guys are making a big mistake on this one.

    I will also say Mister Bragg is going to shock you too. Mark it, save it, you heard it here first.



  • @DoubleDD You are replying to 3 folks at once, so I’m not sure which parts are addressed to me.

    I don’t see the point of comparing Diallo and Embiid. If you do, then remember Embiid’s footwork, offensive moves and outlet passes among other things - plus what his absence meant to the team at the end of the season.

    Oh, I guess I do see the point: Embiid was one of the very few bigs to impact a Self team in his freshman season, and you say Diallo will have a significant impact this season.

    We’ll see. If he does, you will have been proven right and I will have a pleasant surprise. If he has the usual year of a highly ranked freshman big in Self’s system, I will not be disappointed.



  • Regarding Diallo’s motor, let’s none of us forget the Kevin Young exciting impact. The first time I saw Kevin Young on the court in a Kansas uniform, my enjoyment in KU hoops soared. Diallo already has that aura, and with greater wingspan. My current fear is that his game might be impaired by the quick yank. Can the coaching staff adjust to his potential brilliance and freeflow? The only task tougher for Bill Self this season might be the harnessing of Selden to the pine if his play is still so woefully mercurial.



  • @REHawk I could be wrong, but in my memory the “quick yank” is a bit more prevalent for wing players - although Cliff did get yanked some…

    Maybe the biggest factor in pushing a Big off the court is foul trouble. If Diallo picks up two quick fouls he’s going to the bench no matter how terrific his motor is. TRob had just as big a motor his freshman year but fouled a lot and played very little.

    Kevin Young was a transfer with college experience, so he knew how to channel his energy.

    Whether we like it or not, Self will use the bench as a teaching tool and will not hesitate to play experienced Bigs with limited talent who have bought into his system.



  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Frank seems to have the leadership role iced after last season. He was an absolute man that lead the Marauders through Burma Bad Ball.

    My Q is: Can Perry resume his pre injury peak and get mean enough to keep opponents from treading on him?



  • Wow! take another look at the 08 final 4 game with NC and then tell me which one of these new recruits can play defense like those studs. I forgot how we won in 08 and it was about defense and experienced players on the court.

    BS will play the new kids on the block sparingly and we will win the conference and then he will plug them in like he has tried to do the last two years after a season of experience injury permitting. The bigs will have to learn how to block and position without fouling as Cliff was trying to master. The guards will have to learn how to guard their man to keep them from getting the ball. If you watch the NC game there were times when NC had no one to pass the ball to because they were covered up with blue. We have not had that type of defense for a long time and I’m not sure we will have it this year as our upper class does not seem to understand it and therefore it may not transfer to the new kids on the block.

    The one thing that could break this cycle would be two months of practices and several games that we would not normally get. This is a game changer. This team has the potential to be better than the 08 team barring any maturity, injury, or parental problems. Issues we cannot control. Self has done a tremendous job of recruiting and will have two months of extra practice and games. If he does not kill them in the process the basketball world will see what a real platoon looks like. Roooock Chaaaaalk!



  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    “I’m not joking about Embiid being once in a generational offensive talent.”

    Well, I’m not laughing! 🙂

    I think JoJo has the capacity, and I’m extremely anxious to see him perform at the next level. Just hope his body holds up to the challenge.

    You are right about footwork. JoJo has extremely good footwork for a man his size, and he was quickly picking up Olajuwon-style, “shake and bake” moves. I look at him and see a guy who could even surpass Olajuwon. And that says plenty because I’m a monster Olajuwon fan.

    My entire point about Cheick is that we have to look at what he can help us with this year. Frankly, we shouldn’t need his scoring, and that should all be considered a “cherry on top.” What we need is his defense and rebounding. He appears to be very capable of being a good rebounder this year. And I’m betting the same for his defense. He will first have to figure out how to defend without fouling… something all young players have to learn in D1.

    Beyond that, he is a great combo with Perry. I’m sure he can do well enough with finishing right under the basket (throwing it down) and that is all the threat we need from him offensively, so his man can’t just hawk on over to double-team Perry without paying a price.

    It isn’t fair that we compare Cheick with JoJo… They are built totally different and one is a 4 the other a 5. Two different offerings, but both are quality.

    My biggest optimism with Cheick is his motor. Motor is a huge part of college basketball… and the guys that maintain a fast motor the entire time they are on the court ALWAYS build good stats because college ball LACKS good motor players.

    Cheick will have to work on his skill set, and with every skill he picks up, every new move to the hole to add to his toolbox, it will show up on his stat sheet because high-rev motor players do everything in quantity!



  • A lot of good points about Cheick & Graham coming in. As a fan of Diallo, its hard for me to come into this discussion without some bias towards him because to me I think we landed the best big man in the class. How he impacts the game, and not just the all-star setting games that I watched was what I saw as the potential for a great player.

    Is he the B2B player, No he is not. He may never be that guy because he is so much better at other things. I think if the KU staff does give him 1 post move to work with that it would really help him if he is stuck in a ISO situation. But he will clean up missed shots like no other big we’ve had, and he’s so athletic that its going to make a difference from what we had last year.

    The biggest thing about Diallo especially if he starts from day 1, is that he makes Ellis better.

    Diallo is basically the exact opposite of Ellis offensively and defensively. He gets a lot of his baskets on pure hustle “motor” plays as you may call it. It’s infectious, it could potentially be a cancer that spreads to the rest of the team watching him play with such effort. At least that is what I can hope happens. I don’t think teams will be able to double Ellis because KU can lob to Diallo anytime they want if that is the case. Having a 5 star post player with Ellis changes how teams are going to scout KU. Teams weren’t scared of Traylor, Lucas, Mickelson but they will be by Diallo & Bragg.

    Defensively he becomes one of our top 3 rebounders, easily our best shot-blocker and those are 2 things we lacked all last season in any shape of consistency.

    Now before I go too far, Diallo will have to learn the system and won’t be here until 2nd session of the summer so it looks as if he will be behind Bragg in that regards. How easy he learns the system, and how to place himself on the court will go a long way to determining how much time he gets early. Will he be foul prone as a lot of bigs tend to be until the game slows down? Will he hold up to the rigors of a long season?



  • @DoubleDD

    I feel like I have to chime in on Embiid. Coach Self was extremely lucky to lock in Embiid early (November). By the time he played in the Jordan Classic, many coaches such as Pitino and Fraschilla were calling him the best center in a long time; he finished rated 5-star in all rating services and #6 overall in the ESPN rankings and #1 Center; pretty much the textbook definition of “can’t miss” prospect. Had Coach Self not locked him early, he would have had every elite team knocking on his door. By the time he got to KU he was not an unknown but potential waiting to explode…and he did…until he got injured.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I’m not sure I agree on the can’t miss tag. Though I would agree some started to see Embiid as having great potential. However there wasn’t a plethora of schools knocking down his door. To say other wise is pure speculation. It’s not like nobody had seen Embiid play. After all he wasn’t even the the top recruit off his own High School team. Plenty of scouts had watched Embiid play, yet no interest was really there. I remember the tag on Embiid when he signed with KU was “high pontential, but a project player”. Embiid didn’t make his jump until he signed with KU.

    Back on point here to say that KU wouldn’t be as good with Diallo as it would be with Embiid, would be like me saying “well KU wouldn’t be as good with Embiid as it would be with Wilt”. It just doesn’t make any sense.



  • @JayHawkFanToo Kurtis Townsend discovered Embiid almost by accident. He was down there recruiting Chris Walker (thank you that didn’t work out), saw his back up and was impressed enough with the footwork of the back up that Townsend told Self about this kid, and Self was able to get on this kid who transferred to a HS in Gainsville, Fl before Billy Donovan got involved.



  • I have to agree with @JayHawkFanToo on Embiid here. Remember when we had the discussion after seeing his videos? The footwork, the touch, how he ran the floor, his ball handling, the use of both hands, and the overall skill set? It was amazing. In June of 2013, Rick Pitino commented that Kansas might have the top two picks in the draft, referring to Wiggins and Embiid. That was before Embiid played on game here. He knew. Although some tossed around the project thing, I’m quite confident that everyone inside the game thought otherwise (as Pitino’s comment suggests). @DoubleDD is right. Embiid did not make his ratings jump until he signed with Kansas. But that was when folks got to see him. Embiid was nowhere near raw. In reality, he was the most ready as a freshman of any post player we’ve had at Kansas since Danny Manning.

    But I’ll toss in that Diallo is a much different player. He has nowhere near the skills right now that Embiid had. He scores and makes plays in different ways. It will really be hard to judge Diallo’s impact until we see him in Self’s system. I’m cautiously optimistic – as I always am with freshmen under Self.



  • @HighEliteMajor Hit the nail squarely on the head vis a vis Embiid/Diallo. If Diallo has an impact at KU anything like what Embiid did, it won’t be because he’s the second coming of Hakeem the Dream, it will be because he’s the second coming of Blake Griffin: Athletic and relentless, with a knack for making good things happen.



  • Blake Griffin … that would be nice. 14+ ppg and 9+ rpg as a freshman. If Diallo is active, the only thing stopping him from 9 rpg will be minutes. Griffin averaged over 28 his freshman season. Griffin averaged .32 rebounds per minute – approaching TRob territory (.34+). Dwight Coleby was .29 last season. Cliff was .30. So .32 seems plausible if this guy is what we think he is … AND … he gets the minutes.

    Getting minutes will be the challenge. It is our greatest frustration.

    When we see Cliff be as productive as he was, in the minutes he played, and then sit, I think most are willing to forgive his indiscretions — particularly when others on the court do the same things.

    But if Traylor’s playing more than Diallo, I might make a quick drive to @VailHawk territory and jump off the Royal Gorge bridge.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    It seems I maybe outnumbered on this issue of JoJo.

    JoJo is a special player no doubt and has a very high ceiling. Yet the topic of JoJo seems to have this tone of somehow KU won a championship with him stalking the paint? I wish JoJo would’ve followed his heart and stayed another year at KU. Getting a second year of watching JoJo grow would have been nice to see. Alas the money it seems is to much to pass.

    I’m not sure how we got to this place of Diallo vs Embiid or why it’s even important. All I know is some say Embiid was and is a can’t miss. When the fact is we not only as KU fans, but basketball fans in general have only really seen JoJo play one lone season in College and the NBA. A season that took a semester before Embiid could wrestle the starting job away. There is a lot projecting going on so little evidence.

    As for Embiid sometimes it’s easy to look back and say Oh yea JoJo was a can’t miss just look at those skills sets and moves. However nobody was recruiting Embiid out of high school. It was only after KU and HCBS got his hands on Embiid that the college world took notice of JoJo. Also don’t forget it was after late night that HCBS lit into Embiid, almost causing the kid to leave. Plus I don’t think JoJo ever really blossomed until HCBS had him in the gym and was kicking his butt.

    Diallo is no Embiid, and Embiid is no Diallo. To compare the two isn’t really fair to either one. Now as fans comparing backgrounds, skills sets, and athletic ability it is what we do. Embiid is great and has more upside on paper versus Diallo.

    Yet if KU and Diallo win a National Championship who are we going to remember as the greatest?



  • @DoubleDD Definitely Diallo. No doubt.

    Like you, I"ve been outnumbered a few times here on a some topics. I can assure you, though, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong …



  • Since I started this Embiid/ Diallo diatribe, I went back and watched Embiid highlights from his year with us. And JoJo did things on the offensive end that Diallo will never be able to do. A few of his moves I’m not sure even Hakkem could do. Funny that I remember him being somewhat clumsy with the ball, and somewhat limited. Memories can play tricks on you that way. But, that doesn’t disprove what I said originally, which was Diallo is our Embiid. A fierce rim protector we can throw the ball into, and he can dunk, dunk, dunk. I think he handles himself well when driving to the hoop, which will add a mobility we haven’t seen in the paint since TROB. So, I’m excited about Diallo.

    I am prone to hyperbolations of massive sizes when it comes to KU basketball … so, I am GUILTY AS CHARGED. I haven’t thought we were going to lose a game since Ted Owens was coach ( back then I was surprised when we did win a game). I make no apologies for loving my team, or thinking the very best about them. I will be wrong, but then again, so will you. Predicting the future is such a hit or miss proposition. When I went totally nuts over a guy named Devonte, I was told on here " he would redshirt", or he might get a few “mop up minutes”. Remember??? So, if you think Diallo is just some slug, then we will agree to disagree. But your doubt is not going to dampen my enthusiasm one iota.

    RCJHGKU



  • @DoubleDD

    Again, we are talking abut different times during Embiid’s recruitment. You are talking about before KU “discovered” him and I am talking about the time between when KU signed him (November) and the time when he actually made it to KU. The reason you did not see a lot of school recruiting him, none actually, is because he had already signed with KU and other schools were no longer able to approach him, as per NCAA rules. Had he not signed, he would have had every major program in the country after him. Again he was ranked #6 overall and #1 Center in the final ESPN ranking…before he ever made it to KU, and by that time most everybody and his dog knew he would be a special player.

    As far as contribution, Embiid’s contribution, and as I mentioned before, was limited because by the time he was starting to really dominate he got (re)injured and did not play again. Had he stayed healthy and led KU to a Final Four or better yet, a NC, his contribution would have been remembered for a long time. As it stands now, I believe Withey contributed considerably more on his Senior year than Embiid did in his partial season. Just my opinion.



  • Big time conversation for the second week of June when the only thing typically biting are the mosquitoes…

    Gosh… we’ve been so spoiled with quality bigs over the years. It has come to the point where we put a kid on trial for not bringing enough post offense with him to Lawrence… but he may be THE top hustling post player in college basketball over the past decade! Yep… you heard it here first. THE top hustling post player in college basketball over the past decade!

    For that reason alone, I think the only possibility Self pulls him over to the bench is if he gets into foul trouble. Otherwise, I expect him to be the spark for the rest of the team, similar to Kevin Young.

    I sense this kid will quickly surpass our dear friend TRob in the hustle department pretty much the first time we see him clothed in crimson/blue.

    Cheick needs tons of polishing… but the young man knows how to funnel his energy. Like others have said, he considers every rebound a pass to him. I wouldn’t even say that about a young TRob. He had lots of energy as a freshman, but it took him quite a while before he knew how to use it properly.

    It is way too early to grade Cheick on his freshman year. We all know he must progress substantially in some areas to be capable of making an impact in those areas. So we can’t expect to know how fast he will learn. I believe he will be a fast learner… but it is nothing more than my own hunch.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    And that is my point. Before KU signed JoJo there was no offers. These top kids are recruited way before they hit their senior season in high school. Yet nobody heard of Embiid. It wasn’t until after KU signed him that he became a player everybody acknowledged as having great potential. There was plenty of time for other schools to pursue Embiid long before KU signed him. Yet his can’t miss skills and ability didn’t show up on the radar.

    The real question is did HCBS find a diamond or did he take a piece of coal and put so much pressure on it that it became a diamond? Lets not forget we have indeed only seen one season of Embiid playing. The potential is high but there is still a lot of ??? marks regarding his future.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    JamTray may not be a great shot blocker but at least he’s in great position to take the ball out of the net to inbound it quickly!



  • @DoubleDD

    We are still not on the same page. Other players are recruited earlier because scouts and coaches see them playing for while, many since elementary school. Embiid came to this country when he was 16 and he was playing only in his second year (the first was pretty nondescript) when he was discovered by KU and of course no one had hear of him…yet. He was way too new in the scene to be noticed and as I indicated, KU was lucky to sign him when it did. As someone else posted, he was “discovered” quite by accident and quickly signed…a masterful move. By the time he actually got to KU he was a “bona fide can’t miss” prospect that would have developed anywhere he went.

    I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this issue as we cannot seem to get on the same page.


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