How About An Update? Thon "the Tron" Maker

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    I’m pretty sure most everyone in here is sick about Thon talk. Thon’s guardian (illegal agent) Ed Smith, did such a great job of frustrating all of college basketball.

    But that was “then.”

    What about “now?”

    Thon is playing in Canada and, I guess, remains a 2016 prospect.

    But to who? Kansas?

    Rumors mostly tilt towards Arizona State. Arizona State? And then there is Indiana and Kansas… Now add Notre Dame to the mix.

    Evidently, Thon has added 20+ lbs of muscle and went from playing like Manute Bol to more like a Kevin Garnett (rumor has it).

    It just so happens that Kansas has a post hole opening up next year that you could drive a Mack truck through… or… make it a 7’, 227 lb warrior.

    Is Thon still being sought after by Self? I don’t think any of us knows or will know unless he commits somewhere. Thon is an “ace in the hole” and “Riverboat Gamblers” don’t like to tip their hand except on a bluff.

    What if Kansas lands a very solid 5-star (or 4-star moving up) big soon? Doesn’t that take the pressure off and allow Self to be more flexible in his recruiting? Might he turn back to Thon and say, “Udoka is our power post player, and you can be our finesse post player.”

    Discount the earlier comments made by Ed Smith. That is the past. We now must plan for the future.

  • @drgnslayr

    The ship sailed… There’s a reason Arizona St, Indiana & Notre Dame are the only serious inquirers for him these days. I’d be shocked if he ends up anywhere but Indiana & Arizona St. ND he would have clearance issues especially grades, not sure that’s ever been his probelm but he’s bounced around schools. Az St signed a 7’ft rim protector already and is in very good shape with Kegler so I’m not sure they have him in the bag. Indiana would offer him all the time in the world + tv exposure, and they are really the only school that’s stuck with him all this time.

    It’s very possible that KU’s only giant they can sign will be Mitch Lightfoot, another undersized forward…

  • Maker will be a very good player. You just don’t find guys with his combination of height, speed, agility and coordination. Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett come to mind, not as far as basketball skills (both Durant and Garnett were further along), but in terms of athletic ability and fluidity.

    The athletic fluidity uncaps Maker’s potential in the same way that Andrew Wiggins’ amazing athleticism uncapped his potential. Maker could be anything. Durant, Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, a college Christian Laettner, Manute Bol, Isaiah Austin, Dirk Nowitzki, Anthony Davis - Maker could legitimately morph into a doppelganger of any one of those very different players.

    As a basketball fan, I find that fascinating. I don’t know that he will be an all time great. His actual ball skills are still behind his potential, but he has the tools to become something incredible. He’s added bulk, so instead of being laughably skinny, he’s now just skinny.

    I don’t know how he fits in with college basketball because it’s not clear what type of player he is. Truthfully, nobody knows what type of player he is (or could be) at this point. I think that makes him a difficult fit in an established system because he’s not really a post or wing. He’s a hybrid that we haven’t really seen before, and his development will probably be advanced if he’s not forced to be either just yet.

    Could he help KU? Certainly. He’s talented and talent is always helpful.

    Could KU help him - much thornier question.

  • 227 lbs for a 7’ player is very, very light…

  • Let’s not forget “2 for 1” possibilities.

    Matur Maker is 2017… looks like a clone of Thon.

  • I look at defensive potential first.

    Self and company should be able to turn both of these guys into monster defenders within the year.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    If it is true that he put on 27 lbs of muscle over the last year, chances are he wouldn’t be 227 when he suits up for D1. I would expect him to continue and add on another 20 lbs this year.

    Even at his current size… he should be extremely dominant on defense.

  • Assuming he would be eligible for College (handler issues, bouncing between schools etc) he’s only on campus for less than a year. Would that help KU? I’m going to go with no

    Let someone else deal with that issue & with Self and staff passing on him months ago we have done just that.

    He’ a talent & has immense upside but its likely to be realized on a NBA team. He’s going to need even more strength & weight just to make it on any NBA roster. Will his body be okay with that kind of additional jump up.

    I guess I gave up on Maker when we moved on. So my bias towards that, trusting that we got out of his sweepstakes for good reason (regardless of talent).

  • @BeddieKU23

    “Will his body be okay with that kind of additional jump up.”

    Yeah… to me, I think this is where his risk is. So he bulks up to 250 lbs… how does his joints handle the load?

    Personally, I think it would be a mistake for him to add too much weight. Better stay a gazelle and try to focus on where his strengths would be. Clearly, that wouldn’t be having him fill the role of a traditional 5. But this is where people screw up in how they think about him. He has good speed and agility. Maybe his shot is coming around. Why not have him somewhere else on the floor? If he can move well enough and handle the rock equally… why couldn’t he play on the perimeter? He would be able to shut down the competition on defense, snag pretty much all of the long ball rebounds, and he could pass over the top on anyone, including other bigs on switches.

    I wonder what the thoughts are from coaches on his “little” brother, Matur?

    The problem with fitting his game to D1 or the NBA may be more a problem for coaches that can’t think outside the box.

    In the very least, he is a curiosity to everyone. He could be a big hit or a big bust in D1. It really matters on his development and how he is used.

  • @drgnslayr

    Not even a blink.

    History with Diallo now suggests that Self would take Thon Maker, or any footer, or near footer, instantaneously, if eligible, and take any risk of clearance. Period.

    Not even any debate on this one in my opinion.

    Until the apparent embargo lifts, Self has to take what bigs he can get, where and when he can get them.

  • @drgnslayr

    At his current weight & height, he’s no less than a PF at the NBA level. Maybe he doesn’t need weight but developing strength will be the best asset he can acquire for his body. If he can’t defend post players, there won’t really be a need for his tantalizing offensive talent. Willy Stein’s don’t come around often (in regards to guarding multiple positions).

    I think Matur is a lot farther off in terms of development than Thon was at his age. Thon has that drive to be good, you can see it. I think Matur is a good prospect but not a dominant one that Thon has shown he can be when he’s engaged & committed to the game.

    At the College level, Thon can be very good. I think the NBA is intrigued by him, but they haven’t exactly been proclaiming him to be the next #1 pick either. What’s keeping scouts & the media from that??

  • @BeddieKU23

    I’m taking a stab here, but I think Thon is attempting to develop himself into a version of Kevin Garnett. At least, that is what they seem to be selling the press (and scouts).

    You hit it on the nose when you said he has to develop for strength more than weight. As far as defense goes… he is all about reach, quickness and timing. If he has those 3 things than he can be a legitimate post defender at the next level. There aren’t many thick post players left in the league. The game has moved to the perimeter and teams want more athletic bigs that can run the court, and maybe even hit the long ball.

    But as I said… imagine him playing a position outside the low post? Let’s put him at the 4. Defense wise, he needs to move his feet well, be quick and have timing… use his reach… and he can defend. I still see him having monster potential, especially on defense. I salivate to have him wear a Jayhawk uniform because of the defense he should bring (notice I said “should” instead of “would”).

    Anyways… I felt like posting a new thread and the only other things on my mind right now are the Royals and Chiefs… two horses I’ve already beat down too much!

  • As far as I know, KU hasn’t had any significant contact with Thon since they initially backed off when he tried to reclass for half a year.

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