Everyones favorite KU big man headed to the Blazers!

  • @Statmachine Without reading first, Im gonna try to guess who is the favorite. Darnell Jackson? Withey? Shady? Cole? Surely not Cliff. Collison is locked up by the Thunder. Trob is with the Nets and injured. Kaun is sposed to be heading to the Cavs. OK time to find out who it is.

  • @Statmachine Ah, it is Cliff. Well, good for him. I wouldnt call him my favorite though. In fact, I’ll probly let him slide off my NBA radar in a couple years maybe less if he doesnt stick out, make and impact and stay for more than one season in Portland.

  • @Lulufulu LOL he is no where near my favorite big man. I wish him the best of luck and maybe he can pay back those loan sharks that tricked hims mama!

  • As a former Jayhawk Cliff will always have the support of the fan base; however, the way his stint a KU ended, leaving the team short handed and his subsequent comments about the program left a sour taste in the mouth of most fans and it will be a while before many of us get over that.

    Having said that, best of luck to Cliff.

  • Until The Big Red Dog makes nice with KU and Self, I suspect fans will wonder about the Big Red Dog.

  • In all fairness, I can say that Cliff is my favorite OAD KU big man with a family member who reputedly took out a reputedly improper loan, and who was reputedly held out of a stretch run because of a reputed NCAA investigation, and who averaged less than 20 mpg in his sole season as a Jayhawk, and who was not drafted by the NBA.

    It seems an elite club of one that he is apparently a member of.


  • @JayHawkFanToo “and his subsequent comments about the program left a sour taste in the mouth of most fans”

    He was echoing Self’s words.

  • @wrwlumpy I’m not so sure about that … you are too kind. But kids should be granted some of that from time to time.

  • Cliff made some mistakes. And I forgive him for that. He is a Jayhawk.

    I just don’t like that we have to put an asterisk by his name when talking about him because he didn’t follow the success path established by so many past and current Jayhawks. We will survive his failed legacy. It is to his benefit and ours if he now comes out of the shadows and still makes success for himself.

    Go, Cliff!

  • @wrwlumpy

    I don’t believe we are talking about the same thing. Coach Self never said a negative word about Alexander other than to indicate that he was frustrated by the situation, who wouldn’t be?

    Check this link and listen to the podcast…even Jay Bilas on draft night indicated that Alexander hurt himself with his comments and that probably hurt him on draft night.

  • I can’t find the article, but Cliff seemed genuinely hurt that his words were used against him. He talked to Self afterwards and said (I’m paraphrasing), " Those were your words Coach. You said I was dealt a bad hand." Self agreed and went on to tell all the NBA execs that would listen that Cliff was the best player in practice from that point (suspension) forward (playing with a free mind and nothing to lose).

    Before I read that particular article I was PO’ed at Cliff. Afterward I kinda feel sorry for him as we as compasionate human beings and loyal Jayhawk fans should. I’m mildly ashamed at my previous attitude when it’s put into the light of a 20 year old kids perspective and the media’s penchant to twist and take words out of context is also taken into account.

  • @dylans I read that too!

  • @dylans

    Unfortunately like many thing in life the first impression is the one that counts. In business there is an expression that says…you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression…which is Alexander situation in a nutshell. In politics, when a news organization or rival makes an accusation, most people take that as the truth and do not read the retraction that comes a few days later and the false allegation lives on. Alexander words were all over the news and nobody saw the following clarification. Cliff’s advisers should have prepared him better for the interview, but considering the advise he had all along from “his” people, it is really not that surprising; this is the difference between a professional and an amateur agent/adviser.

    More importantly, Coach Self said those words…about Cliff getting dealt a bad hand by life and more importantly, by his family and not by KU. The clear implication by Alexander in the pre-draft interview was that he was dealt a bad hand by KU, backtracking notwithstanding, which is the part that really turned fans off since it is really not true. Alexander’s problems were not created by KU. KU was officially notified by the NCAA of the investigation and it did the only reasonable and responsible thing it could do which was to sit him down until the issue was resolved…and it never was…and the lack of resolution had nothing to do with KU but with Cliff and family

  • Banned

    Who is this Cliff aka The big Red dog that you speak of ???

  • @DoubleDD

    Here you go…:)


  • @HighEliteMajor Self said that he asked him about being dealt a bad hand and Cliff said, " Coach that’ s what you told me" Self related that story to the press.

  • Cliff favorited a tweet that said the following: “Crazy how the stock of Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander dropped dramatically after a season under Bill Self.”

    Hard to misinterpret that.

    It is in Bill Self’s interest to minimize and conflict he might have with Cliff comments or actions. It does Self no good to do anything but compliment Cliff and publicly give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    It seems an elite club of one that he is apparently a member of.

    Funny stuff 🙂

    He was reputedly a OAD… I remember seeing clips of him going against Okafor in HS and thinking that either the person filming omitted half the highlights, or Cliff was getting pretty much destroyed by Okafor. Ah well. Crazy high expectations for a kid that raw.

    Glad he caught on somewhere, but with Mason Plumlee, Myers Leonard, and Noah Vonleh on the roster, he’s going to have to work his ass off to stick, including developing a jumper, and didn’t he measure 6’9 with shoes at the combine? That’s about the same height as Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell, who was a proven beast, and whose game I’d consider a much more polished version of Cliff’s game. If that guy averaged 15.7 points and 9.2 rebounds for Louisville his Junior year and went 32nd in the draft, I’m not surprised that Cliff fell off the board based on upside, regardless of the negative circumstances.

    He’ll probably need a whole lot of good luck too.

  • @approxinfinity

    Good point. However in all fairness, Montrezl played 3 full years at an elite program where Cliff did not even play a full season. No question that Cliiff should have stayed at least one extra year and he pretty much admitted that. Too bad that he had to leave early and start his pro career at an disadvantage. It is a fact that un-drafted players with low cost contracts are not given the same opportunity to develop as the high priced prospects; heck, even TRob that was top 5 prospect did not get a real opportunity and was shipped from team to team in a cost saving effort…hopefully Philly will give him a real shot.

  • @approxinfinity

    You nailed Cliff’s situation on the head with the comparison to Harrell.

    I occasionally wonder if Cliff walking away and his family reputedly not providing some documentation the NCAA reputedly wanted was done to keep KU from being charged with having unwittingly played an ineligible player for part of the season and so having had to vacate the wins Cliff participated in and the conference title the team won?

    I reckon I am not the only one to have wondered about this.

    Have you, or anyone else, ever heard any scuttle butt beyond speculation about this possibility?

  • @dylans @Crimsonorblue22

    I believe this is the article you both were referring. Like I said, Coach Self told him he had been dealt a bad hand by the NCAA and others, but in the interview it sure sounded like he was referring to KU. A respected analyst like Bilas saw it that way, so it is not a stretch to assume that most people saw it that way too. In all fairness I thought the link to the article should be cited as it provides context.

    There is no question that KU was surprised by the entire incident and as soon as it was informed by the NCAA of the issue, it immediately sat Alexander. According to this article, KU heard from the NCAA on a Saturday February 28th at noon and Cliff was not allowed to suit up against Texas the same day which had 4:00 PM tip-off time and he ended up not playing again. That is some quick and smart action by management to protect the program. There is ZERO evidence that KU had any prior knowledge or participation before that day.

  • @jaybate-1.0 jb, I enjoyed your repetitive use of the term “reputedly.” Could very well be that KU and the governing NCAA body reached a quick agreement to drop Cliff like a hot potato, protect the Jayhawk program from sanctions (and never firmly announce the NCAA stand, once Cliff’s family reputedly hired a litigator). Seemed more than somewhat curious that the only definite comment on Cliff’s ineligibility emanated from Self, after the season. During the time when Cliff was sitting we were all left wondering when or if the issue of NCAA eligibility would be resolved.

  • Though a real bulldozer, Cliff is another of Bill Self’s tweeners who might be just a bit shy of the height and skillset to survive in other than a parsimonious back-up role in the NBA. A bargain basement TRob.

  • I just hated to see the young man go down for the actions of others. We could have used him in the tournament. I think he would have stayed one more year, if he could have. He will earn a living playing ball somewhere. It could be in the NBA. It could be overseas. Either way, he is going to get paid. As far as Alexander and Oubre’s stock falling after only one season at KU? If you are not a top 5 rated freshman, chances are, you will find some time on the pine. Bill Self loves two things and that is Experience and Talent, probably in that order.

  • @REHawk

    Glad you got a chuckle. I try to distinguish between what I know and what is reputed when writing about potentially sensitive issues. It seems the right thing to do in our remotely viewed Internet era. I mean to always, even if I forget sometimes. It seems an important part of accurate writing on the Internet, even though it can yield lugubrious prose. And occasionally it is fun and humbling to use it conspicuously and ironically to emphasize just how much really is not fully and factually known by oneself about a subject. It reminds one just how little we actually factually know about some of these reported subjects viewed remotely.

    I am soooo glad for Cliff and the program that Cliff apparently caught a shot with a pro team and I so hope he makes it. He appears to deserve a break and this whole apparently unfortunate situation can hopefully guide future actions of players, families, Big Shoe, Big Agent, lenders, and the program to avoid such reputed situations in the future. I sure would have liked to have had Cliff on the sacred wood down the stretch last season, especially hearing a pro organization sees pro potential in him. Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate-1.0: I also assumed that the problem was that Cliff’s mom had done something that would have made Cliff ineligible, would have vacated wins, and thus they ran out the clock by not supplying the documents. I believe at the time that the attorney argued that Cliff was being asked to supply documents that had never been in his possession and that were not his. Unless Cliff co-signed his mother’s loan, he would not necessarily known about the loan until after the fact. That alone could have accounted for some of his underperformance at KU. Didn’t the situation come to light only because the would-be agent filed some document that legally made him a creditor in case Cliff’s mom did not repay the loan? I speculated Cliff told the family he thought he would have to come back for a second year, which caused his mom to tell him about the loan.

  • @EdwordL

    Interesting. Thx for commenting.

    Setting Cliff’s situation aside, and speaking hypothetically, I wonder if it would matter in penalties, whether a program were not to know it were playing an ineligible player?

    Cal reputedly claimed not to know he was playing ineligible players at Memphis, the NCAA reputedly found no evidence to the contrary, and Memphis still got penalties. It appears there were documented violations committed by Memphis alums, so the situation seems not very analogous.

    But my hypothetical and question remain: if a university unwittingly were to have played an ineligible player, would it have to vacate the games he played in, were it documented that the player were ineligible?

    Or is this a grey area where the NCAA has lots of room to be flexible?

  • @EdwordL

    I have a hard time believing Cliff didn’t know. What lender would give a parent a loan based on the son’s future income without knowing 100% that the son knew about it and went for it, and, no doubt, signed something? If Cliff never knew about it, what guarantee would the financial institution have that the loan would be paid back?

    My guess is that Cliff tried to protect himself in hopes of maintaining his eligibility.

  • @HighEliteMajor Didn’t know he had done that.

  • @jaybate-1.0 You know as well as I do that the NCAA is very hypocritical when it comes to penalties dealt out to schools.

    Take the Marcus Camby and Corey Maggette cases. Both situations basically the same. Players take money, both players caught by the NCAA. UMass gets a Final Four vacated, Duke got to keep theirs. Both coaches were deemed to not have knowledge of the transactions? So why did UMASS get hammered and Duke didn’t?

    At this point, I don’t know how the NCAA would rule on Cliff if they had been able to get the loan documents. I personally lean towards Cliff not knowing about the loan when it initially happened, but finding out about later on.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I am not trying to be disputatious here, but I have been where you are and I have felt a great sense of unfairness in the NCAA’s treatment.

    But the longer and more deeply I look at these instances the more often I find great complexity and grey areas in which the NCAA is making its decisions.

    I am not saying the NCAA is without some asymmetric agenda, especially on things that effect the bottom line.

    But many of these situations just ARE highly complicated.

    D1 and college athletic departments and their fund raising foundations largely exist in a regulatory grey area in many of aspects. They are 501.c3 not for profits avoiding taxes by maintaining VAST overhead that keeps their technical “surpluses” at 6% or less. In some respects they shouldn’t even be classified 501.c3s. Tax exempt corporations were apparently never intended to enable coaches to be paid vast sums of money in salaries. The tax exempt foundations created to raise money from alums reputedly have tremendous regulatory grey areas in how donations can be structured over time that seems to put these athletic departments in endless jeopardy with IRS, if IRS ever wants to crack down on them. It doesn’t seem appropriate for private oligarchs to be allowed to use donative process reputedly to buy influence within the athletic departments that in turn buys them influence in the university administration that in turn buys them influence with the Board of Regents and state legislature for their political agendas, but it reputedly has been a part of things for quite some time.

    But the thing about all of these issues I have raise, and probably the dozens of other issues that could be raised by someone that really knew the inside of these organizations, is that the regulatory grey areas that are being exploited are reputedly in fact real regulatory grey areas. They are realms where there is a lot of discretion left to the participants about what is okay and what is not.

    It must be very scary to move through this regulatory fuzziness, unless you have not much conscience.

    What I am trying to say here is that I really do NOT know for sure, as you claim to, that the NCAA is hypocritical when it comes to the penalties it dishes out. The regulatory context may be set up so that much discretion is left to them to interpret things on an ad hoc basis precisely because of the complexity involved.

    Clearly,as a layman, I believe we would all feel better, if the regulatory grey areas were cleared up, and there was more transparency, and situations like what happened to Cliff and KU did not happen, or if they did happen, it was more transparent why they happened as they did.

    But college sports is going through a whirlwind of institutional and organizational and political and economic change.

    It seems improbable that changing institutions can keep up with the rapid pace of change in organizations, politics and economics without their being glitches, asymmetries and mistakes, on top of good old fashioned stupidity and corruption that afflicts even stable systems.

  • @jaybate-1.0 “disputatious!” I definitely need to use that tomorrow.

  • @EdwordL

    I speculated Cliff told the family he thought he would have to come back for a second year, which caused his mom to tell him about the loan.

    This is a very interesting take. I guess we can hypothesize further and advance the theory that:

    Cliff told his family that he would be likely coming back top KU for second year and his family then told him about the loan which was then made public so KU would not be penalized…

    Or, Cliff told his family that he would be likely coming back top KU for second year and his family made the loan public to force Cliff to the NBA and not back to KU; obviously a more cynical view but not all that unrealistic.

    Also, like others have pointed out, it is very unlikely that anyone would lend money based on a third party potential income and without the consent of said third party. What seems more feasible is that Cliff’s family was counting on Cliff being a OAD and the family cash cow, and when it looked like it was not going to happen in the time frame they had planned, then the wheel came off the gravy train.

    I guess it is sign of the times and the society in which we live where some parents expect an 18 or 19 year old to become the family’s main source of income. Pretty sad actually.

  • @approxinfinity

    Your right, this situation is no different than the one Thomas Robinson got himself in Portland. If Alexander is good enough he could make the team but when you look at Plumlee (already established), Leonard (already established role) & Vonleh (high draft pick & played well in Summer League) your looking at no better than 4th in the rotation. Won’t be good enough to stick there.

  • I’m not saying Cliff will stick in Portland, but I will say that he has as good a chance as any. He has clear physical talent. The other bonus of signing for training camp is that he will get opportunities. If not Portland, maybe somewhere else once cuts are made, injuries occur, etc.

  • T Rob was a pretty dominant player when he left college and as we all know has really struggled to stick with a team in the NBA. Hard to believe that Alexander will have better luck. They are very similar in size and their games are similar. To my eye T Rob is simply a better more seasoned version of Cliff. I don’t see Alexander making much of an impact in the NBA any time soon. I wish him the best and hope he can make a team.

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