Do Perry Ellis and Frank Mason deserve to be on these lists?

  • I know these things are quite subjective at times, and I really don’t know enough about the others on it to argue their inclusion on the list, but essentially this is saying Perry Ellis is not one of the top 12 seniors in college basketball. I imagine he’ll show up on some preseason 2nd-3rd/honorable mention lists, so how could he not be one of the top 12 seniors?

    Frank is excluded from the top 10 juniors, which is hard to believe.

  • Top 12 seniors, Ellis is a question. But Mason for the juniors? Crazy to leave him off.

  • Both have been under-appreciated by the media. Mason is really under the radar as far as PG’s go but that’s fine anything to give Frank a chip on his shoulder is not a bad thing.

    Ellis is just one of those steady guys, quiet & consistent, for some reason just isn’t getting the love maybe he deserves.

  • @wissoxfan83

    Perry is suffering from having been so slow to Learn to play the game in a dominant way.

    Playing for KU gets one big time exposure quickly. There is no off Broadway time here. Look weak early and you get branded weak. And it’s tougher to change an image than acquire one. Perry was finally ready to change the image in that hot run in January early February, but then he got hurt. And when he came back, he got punked by a little guy. More bad branding.

    He will easily be one of the 12 best, if he stays healthy and doesn’t let little guys punk him.

    Frank also suffers from bad early branding. He couldn’t getter done his first season. And he isn’t pretty. And he was going to Towson State.

    Frank is likely the best PG in D1 this season. Period.

    Finally, part of the reputed recruiting embargo involves asymmetric media coverage. If you are not privy to the biggest recruiting pool, you are also probably not going to get the most media strokes from media that probably has an informal deal to promote the players from the biggest talent pool in order to maintain access to them.

    There appears a lot of going along to get along among media.

  • I have looked at all these lists over the past week or so and thought maybe I would see Cheick on the freshman list, or Svi on the sophomore list, Mason or Selden on the Junior list, or maybe Ellis on the senior list? We are just lucky we have guys at every position that could make a case to be on each of these list and who could start every game at KU this year. The perfect mix of talent and experience this year at every position.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “Look weak early and you get branded weak.”

    "Frank also suffers from bad early branding. "

    Spot on.

    Just like players often get branded strong early and then fizzle out. I like Niang and his play, but seriously, he didn’t have a good year last year and it is easy to assume he never returned to being 100% after his injury two years ago. There has been a lot said about him being a 1/2 step off his game.

    So let’s put it this way… would any of us trade Perry Ellis for Georges Niang? I certainly wouldn’t.

  • @drgnslayr

    I am kind of looking forward to Perry beasting on Niang.

    I like Niang okay and wish him well.

    But there he is…standing between Perry and the respect that Perry now, after paying some serious dues, richly deserves.

    Two go into conference play vying for POY, and one comes out.

    Alas, Perry came from the right side of the tracks.

    He had the earring and the face hair, but he didn’t go to bed hungry, or wonder who his father was, or watch his mother work three shifts to feed nine kids, or watch her shoot up while he and his brothers and sisters tried to figure out how to get something to eat.

    Neither did Andrew Wiggins, but Andrew Wiggins was the greatest physical prospect since Lebron James and Perry was just a talented, hard working, intelligent 5-star that was a new level of quiet for Bill Self.

    Perry thought he could spin his way to stardom and stay above the fray.

    Perry found out the hard way that he could not.

    Oh, he’s got the spin moves alright, but using them, and surviving the abuse heaped on him are two different things.

    Larry Bird and Earvin Johnson came from the wrong side of the tracks, even though they came from families with some of admirable character. Larry’s steel ribbons were out in neck country of southern Indiana, where fathers some times despaired, and drank and hung them themselves, as Larry’s did, because they couldn’t feed their kids or keep their women in decent clothes, because small farms didn’t pay, big farms were so mechanized they didn’t need many hands and didn’t pay much for what they needed. And the slaughter houses got moved to the arid west 40 years ago. And the small factories dried up.

    Earvin Johnson came from Lansing, MI, probably within view of the State House spire, where the winter snow was deep from the Lake Effect and the factories ran furiously in his early childhood but began to slow down by his teens, until mothers were raising rabbits in cages made of abandoned fork lift palates lashed together with rope and bailing wire, to get some protein in their kids. Oh, the worst of that sort of thing did not come till the 1980s, after Earvin was in Show Time, but he saw his share of the edge of poverty. The legislators selling out the white and black autoworkers to use the workers own tax money to start to pay for moving their jobs to East Asia were then meeting in Lansing and making deals that were soon to make the fucking heat go off in parts of Lansing, where Earvin was a gawky kid with a sweet smile, great handles, and a hardwood road out of a world just beginning to implode and be chronicled by Michael Moore over in Flint. Here is a synopsis from Earvin’s wiki page of his “early years.” Remember: Magic was lucky. Unlike Larry, who’s pop killed himself, Earvin’s pop and mom were both there for him. But if you read this you get the idea of what it was like and of what his mom and pop were actually protecting him from.

    “Earvin Johnson Jr. was born in Lansing, Michigan to Earvin Sr., a General Motors assembly worker, and Christine, a school custodian.[12] Johnson, who had six siblings,[13][14][15] was influenced by his parents’ strong work ethic. Johnson’s mother spent many hours after work each night cleaning their home and preparing the next day’s meals, while his father did janitorial work at a used car lot and collected garbage, all while never missing a day at General Motors. Earvin Jr. would often help his father on the garbage route, and he was teased by neighborhood children who called him “Garbage Man.”[16]”

    Note that these were the “good times” in Lansing in the auto industry. Flint not so far from Lansing was likely already beginning to feel some chill for shutting down the old Fisher Body Plant. But Lansing, like Flint, likely suspected its days of assembly line jobs were numbered too.

    Both boys–Larry and Earvin–grew up without handlers, without a petro-shoeco conveyor belt. It was Dapper Dan time. The Dapper was started in 1965 in Pittsburg, PA, but was so inconsequential that guys on my Kansas City high school team didn’t even know about it as late as the early 197os. By Earvin’s time in the late 70s, it was a big deal however. Still, back in Earvin’s time, high school coaches were yet important and respected, instead of second fiddles to the AAU coaches, as today. It was cash under the table times, too, if you were lucky, rather than shoes to resell and informal agreements about agent fees and endorsement deals.

    But more importantly, It was get yoe azz whupped on the playground under steel nets, if you weren’t mean enough to keep it from gettin’ whupped, cuz the playground wuz still where you hadda go to play the best, not some kid glove and nylon netted circuit of meat market festivals ending in Las Vegas. If you got lucky, you were a diaper dandy at the Dapper one day. And something called the McDonald’s All American Game had started in 1977 and Earvin was its first MVP in 1979. But that was one day, too. Two if you did both. The rest of getting good at basketball was happening just off the mean streets on asphalt bounded by chain link without referees.

    Both boyz–Earvin and Bird–went lookin’ for the game on asphalt, as a way out of what they wuz caught up in. Larry found the game where ever he could. Earvin found it the legendary way–at the neighborhood playground.

    It wuz, as Mark Twain might have written were he some how still alive and writing about escaping to the play grounds instead of the territories, gwine ta be a hard life, if they didn’t some how get out through the aphalt, onto that sacred wood and through the Blue Meanies to the promised land of BHOFs and big houses and FU money.

    Guys like Harry Edwards with tenured gigs in campus sociology ghettoes warned kids the game was a million to one shot, even as Harry waxing his skin dome in the upscale side of the East Bay and was making his living off the game, too. It was mixed message. And if you were Larry Bird, or Earvin Johnson, you already knew what he was talking about and understood that he wasn’t really offering you an alternative as much as stating how long the odds were of you making it. It made you even more likely to take no prisoners on the way.

    Perry did not live this sort of a life, in this sort of time, as nearly as one can tell. He grew up in the patriotic but increasingly dark shadow of 9-11 and substantial hollowing out of American industry with the come of clean digital being dangled disingenuously in his young face masking draconian upward redistribution of wealth. No wonder Perry is so quiet. He grew up listening to such an incomparable load of crap spewed through talking points media that he probably knew instinctively there was nothing to say. He knew all one could do was work hard, keep ones head down, and weave your way through the lies and bullshit that passed for public discourse in his youth and now teen aged years.

    And we can all thank god for Perry’s relative good fortune. His family sounds as if it found a wrung higher up the socio-economic ladder than the Bird and Johnson families of the 1970s.

    Perry probably didn’t have it easy though.

    Perry probably had it like lots of middle, or lower middle class kids, plus whatever additional baggage dark skin pigmentation still brings with it. His standard of living was eroding almost without his recognition of it. Drugs probably wrecked some even in his good high school.

    By all accounts, Perry was a fastidious, quiet, driven, hard worker with considerable height, lots of bounce, marvelous agility for his size, and little hands that never unloaded a box car, or ran along side and grabbed ahold of one to pull him aboard so as to escape an abusive father, or the police for the gang member he might have had to snuff for raping his sister in the alternate world he did not grow up in.

    Praise god, and the Kochs for keeping Theissen and Boeing and some of civil aviation and the oil bidness engaged in Wichita so that Wichita, or Perry’s portion of it, was not apparently a violent, dangerous legacy Perry brought to KU with him, as he learned to play the D1 way.

    Perry was not old and hard beyond his years. He seemed a true freshman to a fan like me. A true Kansas kid of the kind I once was so long ago now.

    He was studious and quiet and obsessive at mastering basketball technique–the legal parts of it anyway.

    Perry probably didn’t grow up with a lot of Van Vleets on his block, or on his AAU team, though to tell the truth, I didn’t take the time to look up that apparent cheap-shotter’s back ground.

    Doubtless Wichita had those Van Vleet kinds of kids but I am guessing that by Perry’s time you had to live in those kinds of hoods to grow up with them and get punked by them when you weren’t looking.

    Nevertheless, when Perry got to D1, he found that not only other teams, but his own team, was full of these kinds of young men from the mean streets.

    And they didn’t leave him alone, if he left them alone.

    No way.

    When he listened to his coach and just played the game the best he could, they appeared to go out of their ways to put the hurt on him.

    And when he turned the other cheek, they elbowed it and stiff screened him.

    And when he tried to fight back, with his little hands that had never unloaded box cars, or grabbed hold of them on the lamb, or worked a garbage truck route, or gang fought on a regular basis, well, they set out to sucker punch him and eventually a key moment bust his nose out the back of his highly intelligent head.

    He appeared stoic about it.

    He methodically went about learning some tricks of the trade finally, but by then a few retaliatory tricks appeared hardly enough to dull the onslaught of punking laid on him.

    Perry had the earring and the facial hair, as previously noted, but to the Blue Meanies, he was just another suburban kid one might as well punk while one had the chance.

    Hurt the kid. Hurt him bad. Why? Because he had a brain and was going somewhere, even if he didn’t make it in basketball. He came from a good family. He was a good boy. An egg head pretending in petro-treads and petro threads to be a hard wood guy. A guy who might be just good enough to make you look just bad enough to lose you your one long shot chance at a payin’ job on wood somewhere.

    Hurt him. Hurt him bad.

    And laugh about it. Hell, the opposing coaches were probably grateful if you would hurt him, because he was inchoately becoming a stretch 4, the hardest kind to guard in D1. And he played for that righteous, “right way” Bill Self guy with the ten titles, or was it eleven, and the slit eyed smile, and the winning percentage other coaches can’t even dream of.

    Hurt the MoFo. Hurt him bad. He was the quiet type from a low population state the talking heads didn’t care about, and he was playin’ for a coach that discouraged retaliation. Taking the abuse might get your better calls later…FOR THE TEAM…you know that shizz.


    He’s just another momma’s boy suburban kid with a daddy actually working’ and keeping the lights on in the crib.

    Hurt him. Hurt him bad!!!

    So after three long hard years of this shizz, Perry knows the Blue Meanies aren’t ever going to let him spin gently into that good night.

    No, sir, never.

    They are coming for him in his senior season, as I type.

    They are laughing about what Fred Van Vleet apparently did and apparently got away with.

    They think its hilarious you can punk a big stud like Perry Ellis and he does nothing but go to the locker room, get some cotton up his nose, and then comes back out and wobbles around the floor for another half, while the Blue Meanies try to decide whether to put him down again, or let little big man go this time.

    Perry Ellis knows what it feels like now to turn the other cheek against Blue Meanies.

    It feels like two cracked cheeks; that’s what it feels like.

    A basketball court in D1 is not filled with nice persons.

    It is filled with talented players and Blue meanies.

    Sometimes two go in and one comes out.

    Sometimes a gang of 'em come looking for you for 40 minutes.

    And sometimes there is no where to hide in the era of asymmetric refereeing.

    You can do the Gandhi G thing.

    Or you can go all Larry Bird and Earvin Johnson.

    You can look at the Blue Meanies like just another strategic/tactical obstacle standing between yourself and greatness, between yourself and your full belly and house on the hill, between your past and your future, and you can do what Bird did. And Earvin too.




    You can beat them at their own game.

    You can dish it out before, during and after you take what you are going to get no matter what you do.

    You don’t ever stop the Blue Meanies. They are muscle bound half talents that don’t know any other way to play; that wouldn’t even be in D1 if they weren’t willing to play the way they do for the kind of bottom feeding, high foreheaded scum they have for coaches.

    You can say the free punking stops here, and stops now.

    But you don’t say that until you have already punked them unexpectedly first and laughed about it and said under your breath, “and that was just for starters. How do you like the new Perry Ellis, now? How bad do you want it? How much can you take? Because I can take more than you ever dreamed of and dish out more than you ever dreamed of, too.” And get on with backing up the trash talk.

    If it had been up to me, I would have said screw basketball practice this summer, Perry Ellis, you are already a helluva basketball player. I want you to go through Navy SEAL training this off season and come back as “The Designer Assassin.”

    SEALS, at least all but one of the ones I have met, are XTRemely quiet dudes. The only noisy boastful one I met was reputedly broken and under some kind of PTSS and kind of crazy. The others were eerily quiet. Quiet like big cats looking at you from their cage. Not agitated at all, but in motion. Just completely present and centered and able to eat you in the blink of an eye.

    Perry, despite probably being too tall to be admitted, is a natural born SEAL, if he ever went through the training and decided he wanted to become one, he would readily adapt to being one of America’s quiet terminators.

    I would love to see Ensign Perry Ellis take the court against Fred Van Vleet. It is one time I might ok KU wearing black uniforms. Or maybe the digital cameos of blue, dark blue, black and specks of white, that the Navy wears some. Just once.

    But I am an old man, and the world has long since passed me by.

    And I trust and like Bill Self so much that I am glad he and not me holds the reigns on the wonderful young Perry Ellis, for I know Coach Self will guide him through the Blue Meanies the right way and not succumb to my pettiness.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Marathongo! Good job!

  • Not every outlet has the same opinion on those guys. Athlon did their All-Class teams and had Frank Mason as a 1st team Junior, and Perry Ellis and Cheick Diallo as 2nd team Senior and Freshmen respectively. They also have Perry Ellis ranked as the 5th best inside out player in the country.

    Here’s the full list of the All-Class teams


    1st team: Kris Dunn (Providence), Buddy Hield (OU), Marcus Paige (UNC), Georges Niang (ISU), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga)

    2nd team: Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Gary Payton II (Ore. St.), Fred VanVleet (WSU), Perry Ellis (KU), AJ Hammon (Purdue)


    1st team: Frank Mason (KU), Monte Morris (ISU), Nigel Hayes (Wisc.), Damian Jones (Vandy), Kennedy Meeks (UNC)

    2nd team: Bryce Alford (UCLA), Demetrius Jackson (ND), EC Matthews (URI), Jamel Artis (Pitt), Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson)


    1st team: Melo Trimble (Maryland), Tyler Ulis (UK), Daniel Hamilton (UConn), Domantas Sabonis (Gonzaga), Jakob Poeltl (Utah)

    2nd team: Grayson Allan (Duke), James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (FSU), Justin Jackson (UNC), Angel Delgado (Seton Hall)


    1st team: Derryck Thornton (Duke), Malik Newman (Miss St.), Brandon Ingram (Duke), Ben Simmons (LSU), Skal Labissiere (UK)

    2nd team: Jalen Brunson (Villanova), Allonzo Trier (Arizona), Jaylen Brown (Cal), Cheick Diallo (KU), Diamond Stone (Maryland)

  • @jaybate-1.0

    East Lansing is too far inland to receive lake effect. Just educating as you educated on Larry and Magic!

  • Holy cow @jaybate! Have a bit to say? I 'bout broke my thumb scrolling. 🙂

  • @wissoxfan83

    Interesting point. There is lake effect weather in coastal southwest Michigan close to Lake Michigan that is what you refer to. But rightly or wrongly, southeastern Michiganians say lake effect drives their rain and snows across their state surrounded as it is by Great Lakes. And having felt their humidity and rain and seen their snows, I accept two kinds of lake effect.

  • @Statmachine Like '08. None of those guys were super hyped or anything yet put them all together and they blew away nearly every team they played, locked them down, went at them like a hungry wolf pack. This years team has that same exact potential.

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