Mitch Lightfoot, is this a good thing or bad thing

  • well saw from 247 sports, and off an article in Lawrence Journal World looking like Mitch will announce he is committing to KU. question is, is this a good signing or not so good? My question is how will this effect the other recruits we are after? would take 1 of the available openings. my feeling is it shouldn’t effect at all but who knows? I mean NO WAY does he take a spot from Marques If he should commit to us, what about Scheinder H. ya I know didn’t spell the name right but you know who I’m talking about, me personally? I don’t see it, this is the least or the bottom of who I would want to give a opening to, I just can’t see where we are going to benefit from Mitch being here. would definitely be a 4 year player, my question is does the coaching staff know that we are losing out on these other recruits and just taking a body to fill the scholarship or what? I don’t see the upside, someone help could be wrong like I am a lot we shall see ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @jayballer54 If this kid is the “next Sam Dekker” as Jeff Goodman states I think it is a no brainer that we want him. Sure he may not be ranked in the top 100 at the moment but I personally think it is worth the risk. McBuckets was not inside the top 100. Neither was Kaminsky. Just a couple of recent tall white guys that I can think of that have had little to no fan fare coming into college and turned out to be player of the year. I’m certainly not pretending that Lightfoot is going to be the best player in college basketball but the reviews from Goodman and Fran seem pretty legit and I like the idea of 4 year players. Call me old fashioned but they are still an important part of the game see MSU and Wisconsin in the Final 4 last year.

  • @jayballer54

    Mitch Lightfoot would be a good get for KU. Playing in Arizona, he has not had the exposure the East and West cost players have or that of the big cities such Chicago so he has basically been flying under the radar.

    He is described as an elite athlete that can shoot the three and if you see his tapes he has a good jumper in addition to many inside moves; he can also rebound and block. He has been described as the next Sam Dekker…not a bad thing. I would not be surprised to see him play much like Perry but he could also slide to the SF slot since he has a better 3-point shot than Perry had when he started at KU.

    Looks like solid 4 year player that could surprise a lot of people, much like he did at several of the camps where he was finally noticed and started getting interest from the big programs.

  • I’d rather us sign the next Michael Jordan 🙂

  • He’s not someone I would get super excited about, but he’s not someone who’s signing I would gripe about either. He appears to be a bright kid with high athleticism. With the number of bigs leaving after this season, he shouldn’t hurt the recruitment of Bolden or Herard. Colby may be recovering from ACL tear next year as well, so this is good insurance.

  • I’m not sure what to think about Lightfoot.

    In some ways, he looks like Sam Dekker, but honestly, he reminds me more of current K-State freshman Dean Wade. Sam Dekker was a bad dude in high school, could can jumpers all over the floor and just generally shredded double and triple teams. I can’t find highlights of Lightfoot doing that.

    I can see Lightfoot doing a lot of nice things in his highlights, but generally doing them against smaller players, or non-elite talent. It’s not really a good thing that he reminds me of Dean Wade, a kid that will likely be a pretty average D1 player when its all said and done.

    Lightfoot is too skinny currently to play in the post. He’s athletic enough to probably handle a wing, but I want to see him work on the perimeter a little more before I say that for sure. I like that he dunks everything around the rim. That will at least keep him from getting his shot blocked when the competition jumps up.

    I’d keep an eye on Lightfoot to see how he develops, but he’s not a priority player right now. He’s a follow, not a pursue.

  • Before we get too excited about Lightfoot and whatever he might bring, just read the write up on Traylor below from ESPN. The bottom-line comments are borderline correct. But this write up on “strengths” makes him sound like a pretty complete player.

    Strengths: Jamari is a tough and strong power forward that is athletic and competes on both ends of the floor. He rebounds at a high rate in and out of his area and is a tough match ups because of his strength and aggressiveness. He runs the floor well and will attack the rim all on clear paths. He will post and drop step or complete a drop off pass through contact. Taylor scores on the perimeter with a rhythm dribble pull up jumper mostly inside 15 feet.

    Weaknesses: He is a good defender but must work to hone his overall skills.

    Bottom Line: Taylor is physically ready for college right now. He has great upside and will be an excellent glue guy or role player on the high major level.

    Personally, I think it is fine signing IF he’s not the #1 or #2 big in this class. As the 3rd one, certainly reasonable.

    And if he gets a bump in the rankings, that will change my opinion a bit. My opinion, admittedly, is based nearly entirely on his current low ranking (which I might add is a very reliable guide). Hearing that he surprised folks at camps is definitely a good thing.

  • Not many of us on here were over the top excited about Graham or Mason so its another wait and see kind of thing. Coach Self has done well recruiting under ranked players lately.

  • @jayballer54 Lightfoot doesn’t impact KU’s ability to sign Bolden, Herard, or Azubuike individually. It does impact KU’s ability to sign both Herard and Azubuike which probably wouldn’t have happened anyway. Lightfoot is at worst insurance for next year. If he doesn’t show a ceiling worthy of playing time doen the road at KU, Bill Self has never been shy about recruiting over somebody and encouraging them to find other opportunities elsewhere.

  • @Statmachine

    I remember that. Many people were downright rude about us signing Mason. They saw his size and barked out.

    At some point we need to put a little faith in Self!

    This guy might be the perfect grab for one of those spots. Especially if he has basketball IQ. Most of what the guys ahead of him pickup (development) will be executed through another big. One big with good basketball IQ can be a major help to our other bigs and if sold right from recruiters, could even help a tiny bit in recruiting elite bigs.

  • I’m definitely happy to add Lightfoot in the same way I was happy to add Jamari. I think he has potential to be a really useful player. I think Jamari did too. I wasn’t under any apprehensions about Traylor, though. I never saw him as the next TRob or McMorris, but I thought his ceiling would be that of a Quincy Acy: High-energy guy that adds value with trash man buckets. Clearly that hasn’t happened with Mari, but oh well.

    The guy I’d compare Lightfoot to wouldn’t be Sam Dekker, though. Dekker actually finsihed the rankings as a 5-star, top 15 guy coming out of HS, even though he got snubbed on the McD’s AA invite. Lightfoot more closely resembles our own Kevin Young: High energy, high BBIQ. I was thrilled when we signed Young because he was a guy that obviously knew how to play even if he wasn’t a top talent. And that was borne out when he was nearly as productive as Darnell Jackson on a team that didn’t have half the quality of penetraters or shooters.

    Lightfoot has more time to add a face up game and the ability to attack off the dribble, so his ceiling should be higher than Young’s. I’d even venture to guess that he’ll finish HS as a consensus 4 star, probably in the 70-80 range. The question is whether or not he develops. And it’s that question that is really the rub. When Manning was on the staff, you knew our big guys would improve because that’s what Danny does. I love Norm Roberts as a recruiter (and he has been killing it for us when no one else has), but it’s not hard to notice the drop off in how bigs have improved under Norm vs Danny. Self really needs to re-evaluate what we’re getting out of Snacks.

    Although I’m not the only voice in the fire Snacks chorus, I’m thinking of starting a fire Townsend chapter. It’s not that I don’t like him as an assistant, but as a recruiter, he hasn’t been cutting it. Yes, he was lead on Wiggins, but as much as I loved having Wigs with us, we’d have done just about as well without him. Other than that, his west coast connections have dried up big time. Young was the last west coast impact player Townsend brought it. Withey was the last top 50 west coaster to commit, and only by way of transfer having been the 2nd choice. Beyond that, you have to go all the way back to what, Giles? The fact of the matter is, we haven’t recruited Texas well, we haven’t recruited Chicago well, and we haven’t recruited Cali well in too long a time. Norm’s kept us afloat with his east coast and south east pipeline, but if we want guys like Lightfoot to be more icing and less cake, we need to sort out that problem and sort it fast.

  • @drgnslayr Yeah he kind of came out of no where and we already had Frankamp on board. I think it left most of us scratching our heads. I remember that recruiting class and Coach Self talking at media day saying he knew everyone was talking about Wiggins, Frankamp, and Greene (and they should be) But that 2 guys everyone will be talking about after the season started would be Embiid and Mason. He was spot on. Maybe this Lightfoot will be the guy HCBS is raving about next summer?

  • @konkeyDong

    Kevin Young was 6’-7" 185 lbs. soaking wet, Lightfoot is 6’-8" 210 lbs., much stronger, better athletically and a good 3 point shooter. Young was a very opportunistic and smart rebounder and very good for is size but, IMHO, Dekker is the better comparison.

  • Let’s not forget that Self just flat got lucky with Mason. If Self would have signed one of the six or seven PGs he was seeking to sign ahead of Mason, we’d never of had Mason – Hill, Harrison, Jackson, Jones, Jordan, Barber, and Peters (we got in late on him, and not a real PG). Credit Self for having a good back up plan that worked out. Other back up plans haven’t been as positive. And the fact is, Self gets the credit for Mason because he signed him.

    Lightfoot is perhaps a little different in that regard. We aren’t signing him because of big swings and misses.

  • @konkeyDong

    Great post.

    I think it is about time we clean house on assistant coaches. We need to bring in young assistants that are hungry, have lots of energy, and very capable at teaching and recruiting.

    We can spend millions of dollars on shiny-box dorm rooms and have all the history and legacy imaginable… but the buck stops on our coaches’ abilities to bring in recruits. I think they are just getting too old and what recruits see is recruiters and not so much what their lifestyle would be like beyond the old guys recruiting them.

    I hope having Miles around is more than just a temporary thing. I hope it is step one into bring him on board as an assistant coach.

  • “The fact of the matter is, we haven’t recruited Texas well, we haven’t recruited Chicago well, and we haven’t recruited Cali well in too long a time. Norm’s kept us afloat with his east coast and south east pipeline, but if we want guys like Lightfoot to be more icing and less cake, we need to sort out that problem and sort it fast.”

    @konkeyDong Great quote. Great post, as @drgnslayr mentioned.

    Look at our roster – Mason (East), Graham (East), Selden (East), Bragg (East), Diallo (East), Greene (East), Vick (East). From a core talent standpoint, a big chunk comes from parts east of Lawrence, Kansas. That’s seems big. And nothing in Texas, nothing in California, nothing from Chi-town, as mentioned by @konkeyDong.

    The rest – Ellis (in state), Svi (International), Coleby/Mick (Transfers), Traylor/Lucas (seriously, who cares).

    But maybe I wonder why geography is important. Either we get good players, or we don’t, right?

    Seems like Texas would be fertile Kansas country for hoops. That seems the most important area in my book.

  • He will have to get used to playing the game of basketball at Kansas once he gets going he should be fine

  • Lightfoot is no Dekker, remember Dekker was a 5star recruit out of high school. Whoever is comparing him to Dekker just googled a white dude with similar size. Comical.

    The difference between Lightfoot & Mari is all physical attributes. Mari had a college ready body & athletic ability coming in. He’s actually lost a lot of his explosiveness over the years… Lightfoot will need at least 1 year just to be physically ready to play in the Big-12. 1 year might be being kind, he’s going to need to change his body completely.

    What he does offer is hopefully a more skilled offensive player, maybe in year 3-4 or 5 if he red-shirts he will be a glue guy we need. Can we afford as KU to take on a project as opposed to a High 4 or 5 star potential OAD. Remember signing Lightfoot can mean his scholarship is used just on him for the next 5 years… Just a thought

  • @HighEliteMajor

    We’ve always had Chicago players on the roster including Jamari this year and Cliff last year.

  • @wissoxfan83 I don’t know. Seems like things from Chicago have been a little slow. Julian Wright, Sherron Colllins, Jamari Traylor, and Cliff Alexander.

    Traylor was not a recruiting coup, or even near a top player. Not even top 100.

    So since Collins graduated in 2010, we’ve had one player, who played one season, that was at top 100 player.

    Of course, we snagged Milton Doyle for a few months.

    Shouldn’t we have a touch more activity there? Maybe my expectations are unrealistic.

  • No offense to beddieKU23, but I shudder at the thought that we start thinking about scholarships being given to 1 player in such a manner: “…means his scholarship is used just on him for the next 5 yrs…”. Sounds like the OAD circus may be changing our core values?

  • Also, some of the Chicago decline is Self delegating to assistants more than in years past. In the past, Self did a LOT of facetime, and man, he is one charismatic dude. Self went to see Ju Wright in his home, and Julian committed to KU sight-unseen.

    Note to Self: FIRE Jerrance’s sorry, incapable butt, and go put the time in yourself! I think @HighEliteMajor might agree, that when recruiting top30 or top50 guys, would we rather “bet” on our assistants vs Louisville’s or KY’s or UNC’s assistants, or would we rather have Self vs. the other schools’ assistants? They’d have to send SlickSales Calipari himself or UncleRoy or skirtchaser Rick head to head vs Self, if not, then Self would conceivably have the recruiting advantage in a kid’s living room in front of his parents…

  • @BeddieKU23 said:

    Can we afford as KU to take on a project as opposed to a High 4 or 5 star potential OAD. Remember signing Lightfoot can mean his scholarship is used just on him for the next 5 years… Just a thought

    There’s an easy question to answser: YES!

    For one, you only need 7 quality players to have a championship caliber team. More than that and there are diminishing returns on depth. And every top team takes and keeps developmental guys on scholarship. You absolutely need to if you want to have any continuity year in and year out in the OAD era. Remember, the one year that UK failed to make the NCAA tournament, let alone the Final Four, out of the last 5 was the year where there was basically no carry over. They had a lot of 5 star kids, but there was only seldom used reserve Jon Hood (coming off an ACL tear) back from prior seasons. That particular humiliation changed the way Cal recruits. He is no longer laser focused on OAD guys, and has tried to get multi-year guys to put around his stars.

    And it’s not just UK. UNC, Duke, Arizona, Ville, UCLA, MSU, and UConn all have low-ranked (we’ll call this guys who were not consensus top 100, even if they cracked the rankings somewhere)/un-ranked players filling out their rosters. UConn even won 2 NCAA titles with guys like that (exception, not the norm, I know) playing major minutes. Here’s a list of the low/un-ranked players currently on those teams (walk-ons not included)

    Arizona: Elliot Pitts, Kadeem Allen, Ryan Anderson, Mark Tollefsen, Dusan Ristic

    UCLA: Bryce Alford, Noah Allen, Gyorgy Goloman, Alex Olesinski, Ikenna Okwarabizie

    UConn: Sam Cassell, Jr., Shonn Miller, Phillip Nolan, Amida Brimah

    Duke: Sean Obi, Antonio Vrankovic

    UK: Mychal Mulder, Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis

    Louisville: Trey Louis, Damion Lee, Mngok Matiang, Anas Mahmoud, Matz Stockman

    MSU: (It’s actually faster to name who is consensus top 100 on scholly) Matt McQuaid, Deyonta Davis

    UNC: Nate Britt, Stilman White, Luke Maye

  • @ralster

    I’m against the OAD circus. I initially thought that it would have some value but its proven to be the opposite. Make kids stay 2 years or nothing, kids these days aren’t ready to step into the league like in the past.

    I thought I was bringing up an important point about Lightfoot. Can this program, one that wants to keep in the elites with Kentucky & Duke recruit borderline top 100 kids if their are better players out there. Can the future of this program count on him? How many years can KU wait to get the rewards from him.

    Self put KU in the business for 5 star recruits & OAD’s. In the culture of instant gratification players that take 3-4 years to develop now are becoming a thing of the past. We all like to remember the kids that stuck it out & waited their turns, but the fact is that age is gone.

    I have to trust that Self knows what he’s doing, we’ve had a good track record of coaching up players to above their perceived skill level.

  • @konkeyDong

    Valid points, your correct that every team needs those glue guy types. There great security blankets as you could say.

    I just think Lightfoot is a risky recruit for KU. He’s played at a lower level of HS & AAU ball all of his career. Reports of him playing well in the bigger tournaments do help his case but the fact is his film looks great when your playing overmatched competition. I’ve pointed out phyiscally he’s a few years away from being at a level where we can reasonably expect him to hold his own in the post. When you don’t play the best out there on any regularity its going to leave him with a lot to prove. Hopefully Self knows what he’s doing.

  • @BeddieKU23 I agree with your concerns. I do think we fans are truly on the “outside” when it comes to talent judgement…and I mean the kind of “fitting of the pieces” thoughts that are running thru Self’s mind when he sees some prospect play live or on film.

    @HighEliteMajor mentioned Self got lucky with Mason and Graham, and beddie brings up the concern on Lightfoot. But it would be very illustrative to ask Self what exactly he saw in Frank Mason to go and “plead” with him to come to KU. Clearly he was right, I personally think it was more than luck, as Self saw something in him from the outset, and has only been proved right. And Devonte Graham is a home-run find from the heap of sub50 players out there.

    And I must also put this concept out there: the 50-100 ranked players of today are likely a bit better than the 50-100 ranked guys of 10-15yrs ago. We have 2 starting on our KU team, Mason and Graham, and they are our 2 most consistent guys. Another, Tyshawn Taylor (#70), led his team to the NC game. I’ll take Tyshawn’s senior season “developmental payoff” anytime, if we want to call such guys “projects”. Graham, eventhough a sophomore, actually spent a year in prep school after high school, which may explain why he is so smooth. He could have been a junior. But we still have him for 3 years!

  • Banned


    I understand what your saying, but the reality is KU isn’t UK and Duke in recruiting. I’m sorry guys be we aren’t. It doesn’t mean KU can’t have a good or even great recruiting class. It’s just KU has to work a little harder to get some of those top recruits.

    Now before you guys beat me up, hear me out. Ever notice UK and Duke (as of late) always have a few studs already locked up and KU is playing the waiting game.

    Don’t get me wrong KU is still a destination for top talent. It’s just not the top choice.

    My point? If HCBS recruited this kid, then as fans lets be happy to have him. After all having BS as HC is what allows us to hang with those other programs.

  • @DoubleDD said:

    My point? If HCBS recruited this kid, then as fans lets be happy to have him. After all having BS as HC is what allows us to hang with those other programs.

    I would have to disagree with this.

    KU has never gone more than 8 years without a conference title (that happened from 1978 to 1986). Since the NCAA tournament modern era (after 1979) KU hasn’t gone more than five years between Sweet 16 appearances (1981 to 1986).

    KU has almost literally never been bad. Since Phog Allen took over in 1907, KU has reeled off win after win after win.

    I know I am critical of KU, and critical of Bill Self, but KU hangs with the other programs because you can look through the last 110 years of program history and you will struggle to find a “down” period. There are some disappointing seasons here and there, but no true “down” period.

    I don’t want to act as if being good is a KU birthright. It takes work. But KU is good year after year. We can hang. We have hung for more than a century. I see no reason why that would change.

  • @ralster

    Good point about talent evaluation. I’m certainly no guru but I would like to think for all the years I’ve been a fan of this program and watching high school talent more than ever that I can at least have a semi intelligent opinion on kids. Like Lightfoot, my concerns have nothing to do with his ranking, but more to do with the lack of competition he’s played & lack of physical attributes needed for next year. He cannot be the single egg we get in this class in the post. I don’t believe he will be the only guy we possibly get either.

  • well got to say to @ just another, I am afraid have to disagree on a point, and that is to say we have never went through a down period isn’t exactly true, I was around when Ted had some rough times not really very good just mediocre teams didn’t have problem getting a ticket at times for a spell, don’t get me wrong we didn’t stink but Ted was catching some heat use to be a theory he could recruit but couldn’t coach back in the old BIG 8 days I suffered though some of those years we were not even close to the power we are now, so to say we didn’t go through any down spells is not really correct

  • @BeddieKU23

    Then you should also have a problem with Carlton Bragg since he played in one of the lower HS basketball division in Ohio…but he had that East Coast exposure that Lightfoot did not. School Divisions are based on school sizes and not the level of competition; although statistically one could argue that the bigger schools could have the better talent, but then, a lot of the smaller prep schools/basketball factories play in lower divisions as well or in no division at all. As far as AAU, TTBOMK, there is only one top division and different zones and he played decent competition in the Arizona/West Coast regions. The camps he attended are by invitation only and you have to be top 100 to attend; once he got the exposure, a lot of big programs came calling and he started the recruiting process again. After watching quite bit of video from him, I am of the opinion that he will be a pleasant surprise. While he is listed as PF, he really played Center in HS but a lot of the scouts think that he can easily switch to SF since he has decent outside shot. I believe you are underestimating Lightfoot

  • @BeddieKU23 I hear ya, and of course I have been watching kids play ball for a long time…but what I failed to say was that I think Self watches kids, and mentally is able to “plug” their attributes and mentality into his plays that are in his head. He may have an idea of what type of PG can actually feed the type of bigs he has on the team already. The complimentary pieces concept that only a coach’s direct perspective can offer, and I think Self is “better” than most other Div.1 coaches in that aspect.

    You can say he was “wrong” about Selby, and the fact that he was NOT another Sherron, but one that was too headstrong and not even coachable. Ive talked to people who knew Selby in highschool and on the AAU circuit–> cant tell him what to do. He’d run different plays than what the coach called. He did that at KU, too. Maybe Self thought he could reel him in a bit, but that didn’t happen. Once Selby got physically healthy post-KU, he was a force, but alas, his problem was squarely between the ears…Its the reason he is toiling away in China now, or wherever.

    Finding the right “fit” is so important. All these guys can jump out the gym (except Lucas and T.Self, poor chaps…). Man, I’d love to hear Self’s candid comments on a prospect in question.

  • I don’t think adding Lightfoot will impact recruiting elite bigs. He doesn’t have a high ranking or big rep in that world (beyond his local area). He could be a plus if he can actually develop into more than his current rank is.

    I’m sure this has a certain amount of risk. There is always a gamble. I just know we need more than Lightfoot from this recruiting class if we want to put a competitive team on the floor.

    We should be bringing in a couple of top elite bigs. They will be supported by the best and most-experienced guards in the country! That has to count big! With the right bigs, we can compete for a NC next year because of all the experienced talent we have. We should be recruiting on that. Kentucky and most other schools, won’t have that. It is a crap shoot every year at Kentucky because they replace the majority of PT minutes every year. Big gamble. Not a gamble next year at Kansas.

  • Lightfoot is up to #99 as per the ESPN rankings. With the KU bump and a good senior H S season and the additional exposure that he will get now that he is on the radar of the press, it is conceivable that he could finish in the top 50.

    BTW, Thon Maker is still available and apparently much improved and beefier than last season; is KU still interested? Is Maker going to skip college and go directly to the pros?.

  • @justanotherfan I have to agree with jayballer…I lived through some of those down years too.

  • I don’t really know how good Lightfoot is. I trust Self. If he thinks he can play here…good enough for me.

  • @Hawk8086 Blind trust. What a wonderful thing.

    Tharpe, Thomas, Traylor, Lucas, Adams, Appleton, Peters, Anderson, Frankamp, Giles, Alexander, Doyle, White, Wesley, Lindsay, Selby, Mickelson, Case, Galindo, Downs.

    While there have been far more hits than misses, I wouldn’t bet your mortgage payment on it.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I don’t think Bragg is a valid comparison although I get your point. Bragg has played at the top level of AAU for years, although his high school isn’t the top level, he played plenty of top level kids over the years. Just plug his name into youtube & he’s played a lot of good players in HS. His talent as well is also undeniable which really explains everything.

    Lightfoot has spent most of his life as a low level recruit. I don’t doubt he’s improved or he was simply missed on the recruiting front because he was a New Mexico recruit early in the process. After opening up, he became desirable to programs & recruiting services noticed & watched him closer than they may have ever. It’s probably to his talent that he’s now become a sought after recruit by KU AZ Utah & others. He sounds like a high character kid that Self covets.

    If he does pick KU, then I’m hoping he will prove me wrong. The facts seem to point that he’s got a long ways to go to proving that. We really wouldn’t know what we are getting until he was here. Maybe he has a great Sr year and gets more notice.

  • @ralster

    I love your insight, especially since you’ve been able to be near Self and experience him first hand. Your thoughts on Self and what he looks for in recruits are probably close to the truth. He’s not always right, because the fact of the matter is he’s not able to mold everyone into a minnie version of himself.

    He’s missed reaching the top talent and the lower rated players in the past. I think he recruits any top rated players regardless of backround unless he ethically can’t stick with him. Sometimes doing your homework on kids will not be enough to see the flaws some kids have maturing (Selby, Cliff) among others. I think Thon Maker is a situation where they left him alone due to red flags & the uncertainty in his situation. There’s a good reason most schools left his sweepstakes. So that’s definitely a situation Self has probably taken the caution flag out for and gone in another direction.

  • @BeddieKU23 Bragg had a really good hs coach. A d-1 coach told me that most of the kids we recruit have been taught very little and they start so very far behind. I think a good example would be Cliff.

  • @HighEliteMajor Some of the guys you mentioned…Traylor, Lucas come to mind…are good to have on the team. If a player doesn’t play up to expectations…he can become a role player, or transfer. My point was not that he would become a star…but if Self feels that he has a chance to be a good player, or at least is good enough to offer a scholarship to…I trust he is doing the right thing.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Exactly, his coach has been highly thought of & according to Self has helped Bragg adjust well. Korea couldn’t have hurt him either, it was almost like the ice-breaker for him. Bragg got to play against men, not just 18 year old kids in the same boat. Especially with the Diallo situation unlikely to be positive for us, Bragg’s development is probably the biggest thing KU needs.

  • He seems to play hard and looks like a guy I’d love to hate if he was on an opponent’s team.

  • @Hawk8086 Ok … but really, do you ever want Lucas or Traylor playing for a Kansas team?

    They’re both below what our standards should be - to be an elite program.

    Both were signed when our other options signed elsewhere (Lucas after Tarc went to AZ) and Traylor during the spring of 2011 fiasco. Both were forced signings to fill roster spots.

  • Banned


    Yea but how many of those kids where recruited over? It’s not so much Lightfoot is the man as it is we need some players. I believe we will have quite the turnover after this year.

    I’m sure even yourself would be against filling every hole with a OAD? Well the reality is the Lightfoots of the world can be hits, misses or just recruited over.

  • @BeddieKU23

    I am not sure what you mean by top level of AAU. As far as aI know there are U14 and U10 programs but basically anyone older than 15 plays at the same level, just different regions. So Bragg and Lightfoot played at the same AAU level just different regions. Yes. I understand that some of the regions. such Chicago, New York, LA, Washington DC are stronger, but Bragg played in Ohio which is not necessarily at the top of the list.

  • @DanR

    “He seems to play hard and looks like a guy I’d love to hate if he was on an opponent’s team.”

    Good comment. He’s the guy that we usually play against in March and lose.

    Sounds like we better get used to the idea of him being a Jayhawk. We’ll know in a couple of days, but it will not be a surprise to anyone if he picks Kansas.

    Everyone has their first impressions. He’ll be given a chance to prove himself. I hope he has a high basketball IQ. We can build muscle on him and improve a bunch of his skills. But it seems hardest to improve basketball IQ. Jamari is our biggest example of that. Crazy athleticism and largely wasted because he doesn’t know how to apply his athleticism to the game. He’s built right to own the boards, but can hardly snare a rebound… the game just doesn’t “click” for him.

  • @DoubleDD You are exactly right. We need to fill a roster, and we need bodies and insurance. I just suggest that is to fill roster spots 10 or 11- 13, roughly.

    I have no problem with Lightfoot as the third big in this class, if we have two top 50ish guys ahead of him. Guys like Traylor and Lucas are fine on our roster as insurance. As the 5th and 6th big. No quibble there. My emphasis is on playing.

    I don’t want guys like Lucas and Traylor having to play if they prove that they play at a talent level commensurate with their ranking (Lucas unranked, Traylor 132). Haven’t both of them been exactly what their ranking told us they would be?

    Look, neither can score back to the basket. Both are liabilities. We commiserate about losing Cliff and Embiid, or Cliff underachieving, as a reason why we didn’t advance further last season or the one before season. That means, by consequence, that playing other guys in lieu of Cliff and Embiid cost us – and it did. Lucas and Traylor. We know they did.

    How much has playing Lucas and Traylor cost this team? We can see some of it as a partial excuse for our 2nd round losses. We couldn’t do what Self wanted to do (and Self didn’t adjust to what we had).

    I’m usually against filling any hole with an OAD if it can be avoided.

    I hold to my position that we can get guys outside OAD range, but in the high talent area (roughly top 60ish/or proven transfers). And sure, we’ll get some lower than that. If we have an OAD here and there, or guys say outside the top 100 occupying rosters spots 10 and lower, that seems reasonable.

    Lightfoot? Sure, welcome aboard. But if we don’t snag two high talent bigs to fill our needs, then we’ve underachieved in recruiting.

  • Banned


    You made two points that I couldn’t agree with more.

    1. If we don’t snag 2 high talent bigs to fill our needs, then we’ve underachieved in recruiting.

    Yea if Lightfoot is the elk we recruit for bigs in this class, then @jaybate-1.0 will be doing cart wheels of his prediction that bad ball is here to stay at KU.

    1. And Self didn’t adjust to what we had.

    Sadly this maybe the chink in the HCBS armor, and keeps him from becoming legendary. Lucas and Traylor are good kids and play hard but I’m afraid HCBS is trying to use them in ways I’m not sure they can. Especially Traylor. These kids aren’t stars they are good role players. They should never be the focal point of the offense, as they we’re forced to be last year in HCBS determination to pound the ball inside.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I agree.

    But really I think our biggest issue concerns player development. We took a definite hit when we lost Manning.

    Just look at Jamari. He is a 5th-year senior. 4 years of elite D1 behind him and you know he is going to continue to make bad freshman mistakes again, in his 5th year! That is inexcusable! If the kid can graduate from a university, he surely can pick up more of the game of basketball.

    I can’t count the times he has made monstrous mistakes that cost us. Half the time you will see him look down afterwards or towards the bench, and he will hit himself on the side of the head. He knows he made a bonehead mistake and he is trying to beat it into his own head to remember and learn.

    You can count on him doing the same thing this year. What a pity. Not only for Kansas basketball but also for Jamari!

    If he had developed his basketball IQ (and a few more tools) we wouldn’t be having this conversation because we know we can develop 3-star level players to play with the big boys, at least by their junior year! Jamari is a stud on physicality… 5 years of D1 should have rounded out his game and polished him up to be a gem by now. And he certainly has had plenty of PT for experience!

    Like I mentioned in a previous post… it is about time we clean house on assistant coaches. Bring in some youth that has the energy, knowledge, drive and focus to improve our recruiting and also our player development.

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