Marques Bolden: Duke vs. Kansas

  • Now we see the competition. Duke is making a hard run at Marques Bolden. Right now, this is Self’s biggest recruiting challenge. Bolden visited Duke and of course, Duke is perceived to have the recruiting momentum. It seems like a two team race. Quite frankly, I was a little concerned with the lack of news on the Kansas front regarding Bolden.

    But today we woke up to the news that Bolden just announced that he will officially visit Kansas in September, then visit unofficially in for Late Night. That feels better.

    Here’s what Bolden said today at

    Bolden told he wants “to get a closer look at Kansas. I talked to coach (Jerrance) Howard and he suggested that I come at a time when there weren’t any other recruits and then I’ll visit for Late Night unofficially when all the other recruits are on hand as well. I’m just looking forward to talking to coach (Bill) Self and really just getting a feel for Kansas and everything like that,” Bolden added. “Kansas is a very serious option for me.”

    This seems to demonstrate how serious KU is in its pursuit of Bolden – having him in by himself. This seems like a terrific move. Has to make the kid feel like a major priority. But it’s also a bit concerning, really, that Howard is the lead recruiter (if that’s the case). Howard appears to be our weak link.

    Bolden is the “must get” anchor of our recruiting class. The guy we need to land early. It would be a very difficult defeat to lose him to Duke. Self has to use every bit of recruiting magic to make sure this happens. This is kid that has been perceived as a KU lean for quite some time now. The type of kid that we have to get.

    Our roster for 2016-17 has Lucas, Coleby, and Bragg as the only likely post players – Diallo either being a OAD or a NAD (none and done) – though we remain optimistic. Bolden continues to be our most important recruiting piece. If we land Bolden, we are assured to have a competent front line. We are also assured that we will not be put in a position of extreme need as we head into the late signing period. But Kansas certainly needs two post players in this class, no doubt.

    Any chance we can get Adidas to simply make the kid his own shoe right now?

    I am also interested in Schnider Herard and how Bolden impacts the pursuit of Herard. Clearly, Bolden would be the preference … but could we get both? Or is Herard really a back up plan and not a real target given their position overlap? A possible scenario is that if Bolden won’t commit, we would take Herard. It seems unlikely that we would get both – neither seems like the “high” in the Self “high-low.” The both seem like the “low.” And with Bragg on the roster, a likely 2-3 year player, the 4 spot might be out of play for a couple of years after this season anyway.

    But why not? There’s enough PT to go around, and Herard is a guy that will surely need at least three years to get develop to get to the next level, if not a full four. If we could land Bolden and Herard, that could give us four solid post guys (with Bragg and Coleby), for the following two seasons, all without the need for a presumed OAD. That’s a good thing. And Bolden, being a guy that is a likely two and done, would leave the spot for Herard. I’m sold.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Good post.

    I’ve been seeing this as a Duke vs KU competition for a while. Bolden seems to be a pretty bright guy, so I’m not thinking he could be stolen away by someone like Cal and his fancy Presidential Rolex collection.

    Here is the way I currently look at it:

    Duke - Main selling point is that Bolden is the next Okafor. Kid is still growing and has some of the same type of moves Okafor had in HS. Kid has big hands… similar to Okafor.

    This is what Duke will be selling:

    The Kansas counter to that is here:

    Kansas has several good things going on for enticing Bolden -

    1. “Big Man U” has developed lots of post players. We have a long list of bigs in the NBA.

    2. Hudy will help build him.

    3. We play a lot of offense that will develop his back to the basket game with our hi/lo and if he can develop range with his shot, he will have those opportunities, too. Look at Perry.

    4. He will play in the B12… much closer to home. Easier for friends and family to go to games and for Marques and family to connect at any time.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I would love to believe we have a serious chance of getting Bolden but at this moment I don’t feel confident after watching us lose a top 10 talent to the SEC’s bottom feeder. Seriously Alabama, they had to bring out their football coach to wow him, that’s how bad their BBall program has fallen. And now there is word that the AAU coach of Bolden is on Alabama’s staff? Wow this is like St Johns signing every coach but KU’s who recruited Diallo.

    Where’s our questionable recruiting tactics lately playing in our favor?? I know Chalmers is an example but that was what 10 years ago…

    You are right it seems like KU has become on the outside for a lot of players. Where did our momentum go, we are supposed to be one of the elite programs in the country but yet all anyone can talk about is Duke & Kentucky getting recruits. The latest is Fox to UK, or Jackson to Maryland? Jackson says he will visit but didn’t say when yet, but yet he had no problem just showing up on Maryland’s campus.

    Okay back on topic, I do like that Bolden has been placed as the top priority with the 2 visits. And that he is serious enough about coming here that he’s going to do both visits. He is the kid we need from the class more than anyone. We likely will have enough back-court players to absorb not getting an elite wing or PG. But we can’t survive without an elite big so that definitely puts him as the must have prospect.

    As far as Herard & Bolden. During the summer Bolden viewed himself as more of a 4 so I would think he’s looking to come in and be told he’s got the PF spot. When Duke signs Giles & Gabriel I find it hard to believe Duke will still land him especially with the amount of bigs they have projected to be there. Jeter isn’t projected as a OAD so he’s likely to be at Duke a few years.

    Herard is a true 5 and they have great chemistry together while playing together on the summer circuit. I think that bodes well for us landing both but we will have to beat out Mississippi St who with Howland is now a destination for recruits. Newman going there changes things a lot. I bet Howland is selling Herard on being the cornerstone recruit in the post for them. But at the same time Herard has always mentioned KU as his top school since last year. Bolden & Herard would be the ideal combination of elite play right away vs developmental talent. Sign these guys ASAP Self!!

  • @BeddieKU23

    I’m not one to say woe is me, we can’t keep up recruiting anymore. We obviously haven’t seen spectacular results with ours, but we’ve continued to recruit at a high level. I’d say we’ve been unlucky with Embiid’s health issue and Alexanders eligibility issue more than anything. Self always seems to get his guys, but he sure makes us worry and fret while doing so.

    But of course, let’s get Bolden and some more. Let’s get some guys who will stick around for a few years. Let’s get another Wayne Selden who seems poised to break out and be the star we thought he’d be. Let’s find more transfers to develop like Withey was or hopefully Mickelson (sp?) becomes.

  • @HighEliteMajor KU needs multiple bigs that can play right away so I wouldn’t think Bolden would impact Herard very much. Bolden just doesn’t impress as a player and Lucas just isn’t strong enough to be a consistent force so there’s going to be a starting spot and a rotation spot open right away.

    @wissoxfan83 Do we really want another Wayne Selden? A top 10 recruit that was a consensus OAD player coming out of HS that is still around as a junior doesn’t exactly speak well for KU’s ability to develop guards.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Well, would you rather have a competent guard for the next two seasons or have one who gave us one solid year as a freshman then left? I hear what you’re saying, but I think we really may benefit from Wayne probably for another 2 seasons now.

  • @HighEliteMajor




    Who sponsors his AAU team? Nike, or adidas?

    It codes like this…

    10 IF Nike sponsors Bolden’s AAU team, THEN <1% probability Bolden to KU and go to 50, ELSE GO TO 20

    20 IF adidas sponsors Bolden’s AAU team, THEN IF adidas statement player, go to 30, ELSE GO TO 40

    30 Bolden to KU, because of whopping informal downstream endorsement deal expectations. THEN GO TO 50.

    40 Bolden to Duke, because of pre-emptive informal downstream endorsement deal expectations. THEN GO TO 50.

    50 END

    (End Note to @HighEliteMajor: this routine is classified “above top secret” by the BIA and is for HEM’s eyes only. Any dissemination of this routine is expressly forbidden by the Director/Janitor of BIA.)

  • @wissoxfan83 Honestly, if a player puts up good enough numbers to justify leaving after their freshman season, I would probably lean towards that. I don’t have a major issue with the actual production that has come from the 2 the past 2 seasons, more consistent performances would probably be my biggest issue.

    Agree or disagree with recruiting rankings they do have a impact on our expectations for players. Selden and Tyshawn had similar numbers through their first two seasons, yet only one of them is generally thought of as an underachiever through two seasons and that’s because one was a top 10 recruit and the other was ranked in the 70’s.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I see your Houston or bust mantra for the 2015-16 season. If all these guys pull it together and you get to see a Final Four in person like I did here in Louisiana, then it’s awesome for you! I’m close enough to Houston I could be tempted to drive over too!

  • Agree or disagree with recruiting rankings they do have a impact on our expectations for players. Selden and Tyshawn had similar numbers through their first two seasons, yet only one of them is generally thought of as an underachiever through two seasons and that’s because one was a top 10 recruit and the other was ranked in the 70’s.

    That’s true of expectations on his raw talent, and ability to leave for the NBA, OAD, However, I think as many or more people doubted Tyshawn’s ability to be the guy we needed, because expectations for Tyshawn’s teams’ success were probably higher than the expectations for Selden’s last two teams.

    I think there were more voices that we needed to replace Tyshawn his first two years. This year the expectations on Wayne and team will be fairly comparable to Tyshawn 2011-2012…

  • @HighEliteMajor Thanks for the updates.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Did you actually just say, "Bolden just doesn’t impress as a player … "?

    I just don’t have a clue as to what you are saying. He “doesn’t impress as a player”?

    Can you enlighten all of us common folk as to what is so unimpressive, I mean from a guy that can score with both left and right hands in the post?

    And regarding Selden, I’m sorry, but that is really an outrageous statement. I’m not trying to be insulting, but I can’t even comprehend your comment.

    Did you see Selden’s outside shot when he arrived at campus? It was horrible. He pulled the ball back over his head, and he had a painfully slow release. Now, after a complete remake, he has the kind of jumpshot that Jeff Van Gundy commented last season looked NBA ready. We know Selden was over ranked. That seemed apparent relatively quickly. As you may recall, he made quick assent in the rankings. He was probably more like at 25-30 guy. I think we had a discussion on that during his freshman season. His development, if he makes a leap this season, is perhaps what you would expect from such a player.

    Now I’ve never been a big Selden defender. I thought he should have been removed from the starting lineup last season to change things up a bit. I think Self did miscast Selden as a 2 guard. It was painfully apparent that the guy couldn’t dribble a lick. And Self furthered the myth by using Selden and “point guard” in the same sentence a few times.

    But that has nothing to do with Selden. Your judgment on Selden is based really on being 12 instead of 30.

    But you don’t want another Selden? I cannot even fathom that based on just two seasons.

    The WUG has foretold further assent by Selden. Anyone disagree? Anyone wish Selden weren’t on our roster right now? My goodness … Selden is now the exact type of player we want on the floor for Kansas.

  • @HighEliteMajor That was not supposed to say Bolden, it was supposed to say Coleby doesn’t impress me. Bolden looks like someone that could come in and start right away for KU as long as Diallo isn’t here next year.

    Your Selden commentary is also taking my comments out of context. Late bloomer or not, Selden was still a top 10 recruit and most draft sites had Selden as projected lottery pick that year so he was a presumed OAD by most metrics. Fair or not, Selden will get lumped together with Selby and Henry as players that outsiders view as tip 10 recruits who underachieved at KU. As I said to wissox, my biggest complaint about Selden to this point has been his lack of consistency.

  • I’m starting to think Wayne is one smart cookie.

    He was over-rated when he came to Kansas. As HEM noted… his shot form was atrocious. His ball-handling skills… equally atrocious.

    He could have thrown his hat into a blind draft the last couple of years… a definite sign of desperation. But he didn’t. I know, I know… he didn’t project high. That hasn’t stopped players before.

    But he showed some patience and he showed some mental/spiritual control by not freaking out. He has worked on his shot and he does have it in NBA form now. His long range shooting % has and will continue to show his hard work paid off.

    We have seen what he can do in the weight room. I think we can classify him as a weight room freak by now! What a stud. The addition of strength not only helps him down the road, but also helps him strengthen over some of his nagging injuries and helps prevent others.

    His freshman year couldn’t give him more spotlight. Wigs and JoJo owned the batteries to that flashlight. Last year, he started coming into his own.

    This year… we’ll just have to wait and see. I hope he decides this is the year to blast off on the stat sheet, but a part of me wants to see him graduate a Jayhawk… especially if Diallo doesn’t qualify and comes back next year.

    I don’t think I can throw him into the Selby pile. Not now, not ever. Josh really blew it by making a childish decision. Wayne is methodical, calculating his future. Like I said, he is one smart cookie!

  • Selden came in as a freshman ranked with the stud multiplier. A Man among boys in high school–he had an NBA body, but not the skills. Kind of like Cliff Alexander (only better and smarter).

    I’m elated that Selden had the self-awareness to stay in college and work on his game. This is a bonus year, sort of like Paul Pierce’s junior year.

  • @DanR

    That sounds about right. At this point it doesn’t matter what Selden’s ranking was but he’s still here and poised to have a great year. His reputation will change if he has the year we are all expecting.

  • What chance do we have for a presumed OAD with American citizenship who goes to a real high school?

    (Unless we get lucky and his Mom takes out a nice loan…)

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Coleby instead of Bolden. Makes more sense.

    I really don’t see how I took your comments out of context – you said, "“Do we really want another Wayne Selden? A top 10 recruit that was a consensus OAD player coming out of HS that is still around as a junior doesn’t exactly speak well for KU’s ability to develop guards.”

    You questioned whether we would want another Selden based on the fact that (you claim) he was a consensus OAD player that is still around as a junior. My response was based specifically on your comment.

    Not to be too detailed here, but although you’ve said it a couple of times, Selden was not a top 10 player – he was #12 by Rivals, and #14 by ESPN. Not near the status of Selby and X. Those are bad comparisons. Selby and X would better compare to Wiggins (top 5 guys). You might be the only one lumping Selden together with Selby and X. I don’t know. Others might agree with you.

    Selden would actually compare, rankings wise, better with Mario Chalmers, who left after his junior season – Selden and Chalmers were both ranked #12 by Rivals.

    Has Selden been the player we hoped? No. And that may be your ultimate point. But I think that a slightly inflated ranking, and some late OAD discussion, adjusted our expectations a bit. If he has a strong junior season … say 90% of what we saw at the WUG … his track would be nearly perfect for a player ranked outside OAD range. And really, #12/14 is outside OAD most of the time.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “Has Selden been the player we hoped? No.”

    When was the last time we had a player meet our expectations? Wigs certainly didn’t do it. Maybe JoJo?

    Okay… I think I know the last guy that met our expectations. Kevin Young!

    Good comparison… Wayne with Mario. And until '08, both Mario and RRob had disappointed Jayhawk fans. Even in '08, until we captured the gold, we were starting to make rumblings on why Sherron wasn’t getting more minutes.

  • @DanR The exception being that Selden wont translate to “The Truth” in the league. 😉

  • Do we really want another Wayne Selden? A top 10 recruit that was a consensus OAD player coming out of HS that is still around as a junior doesn’t exactly speak well for KU’s ability to develop guards.

    I seriously dont think you have to look very hard to find evidence of KU’s ability to develop guards.
    Off the top my head here’s Chalmers, Collins, RussRob, Rush, Brady, Tyrel, Releford, Tyshawn, Wigs, Selden, Frank, Devonte, Svi.

    My list included guys that made the NBA, guys that didnt but are playing elsewhere, and guys that are still “Developing” at KU right now. That word, develop, indicates time spent yah? Not just one semester or two.
    Ok, so Wigs doesnt really qualify as develop but we got him and he was the first pick in the draft last year. Thats pretty significant to me.

  • @drgnslayr @Lulufulu Good posts. Another player that has met our expectations (easily) is Frank Mason. Maybe Frank should have been rated #12?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Yes… Frank! And if Devonte has a good year he should be on this short list, too!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Mason is the ideal player. One that plays way above his ranking and stay in school long enough to make a meaningful and substantial contribution…and stays out of trouble.

  • @JayHawkFanToo knock on wood!

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “…and stays out of trouble.”

    I hope our boys stay away from the brew this year. It tends to have a “Jekyll & Hyde” impact on some guys…

    Hammer thrower wins gold medal, gets drunk, uses it to pay for taxi home

    Illinois forward Darius Paul dismissed after arrest in France

  • @drgnslayr I think Homer Simpson put it best:

  • @konkeyDong

    Ha! Good one!

    I think it says enough when the highest wisdom on the subject is Homer Simpson!

    I can preach from the pulpit since I became a teatotaler years ago… this is my brand of hypocrisy!

  • I like this…


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