Mitch Lightfoot is officially a Jayhawk

  • He committed to KU a few minutes ago. This isn’t the high profile signing that’s going to vault KU to a top ranked class. He’s a kid who’s ideally the 3rd big in the class who could develop into a solid role player by his 3rd or 4th year. He’s someone a redshirt would likely greatly benefit. He’s also someone that if he doesn’t show signs of developing into a contributor at KU, can be recruited over and encouraged to find better opportunities elsewhere.

    This isn’t a signing to jump for joy over, but it’s not one to dismiss either. My personal opinion of Lightfoot is that I can see him ending up in the 75ish range by the time the final rankings come out. He did go to invitation only camps this past summer which is an indicator that he could jump up the rankings.


  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Your summary is right on point.

    This is a wait and see signing.

    We need Bolden.

  • Nice to see a kid WANT to come here because our our history!

  • Seems like a great kid that loves Kansas -

    From the article:

    “My sights have always been on Kansas. It’s where I started and that’s where I’m going to finish,” said Lightfoot, who decommitted from New Mexico last April once it became apparent he had emerged as a big-time prospect following the state-title season.

    “I met with my coach,” he said of AAU coach John Ortega and "he said, ‘What do you want out of this (re-opening recruitment)?’ I said, ‘I want to play at Kansas,’’’ Lightfoot said. “It’s been my goal since I knew what basketball was, ever since then. I’ve been working my butt off to try to get there. To all the kids sitting in the stands watching the Jayhawks, wanting to be a Jayhawk, you can definitely do it,” Lightfoot added.

    Lightfoot — he said he has “aunts, uncles, cousins, a ton of family back there (in KC area),” — said his official visit solidified his decision to accept Bill Self’s scholarship offer. He said he made his decision official a couple days ago.

    “My thing was I took all these visits. I was going to go where I felt comfortable. That was by far, Kansas. I felt like I was home there and it is home,” said Lightfoot, who also is a Chiefs fan (“we had season tickets for 20 years”) and Royals fan (“I watched the game last night).”

  • Sounds good but I tell you what if he was so all in on Kansas from the start after his DE-commitment to New Mexico as you say why the visits? why was Arizona the leader? no biggie just sayin, my thoughts- - - - -my thoughts is if Arizona hadn’t got the commitment from Pekka’s son- - he would of committed to Arizona. like was said he isn’t by far the big one we are after in this period, and yes will be a good 4 year player I’m not disappointed we signed him, just not doing cartwheels either. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @jayballer54 I assume the reason he didn’t commit immediately is because he appears to be a pretty grounded kid who wanted to explore all of options and see if KU was still the best fit for him. There’s nothing wrong with making sure your dream school is actually your dream school.

    My entire family is all KSU alums and I was a KSU fan growing up until HS. While visiting my family for Christmas, I toured both schools and KU was the better fit because it checked all the boxes of what I was looking for in college.

  • At Least we finally got someone who wants to play for KU. The struggle was really getting real, waiting and waiting for anyone…

    Whether he’s an ideal fit is another story. He’s definitely a risky player, for KU’s standards. Maybe he turns out to be pretty good, play above his level because he’s wanted to be a hawk. He’s insurance to fill the gaps we will have after the year.

    Now Self must knock it out the park with an elite big that’s left. We may have to wait and wait for that reality.

  • Sometimes you just gotta break the recruiting ice to get the big fish.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Considering what we have departing from KU next year, we’re gonna need him. He might be a project but hey, its one more commit than we had a few hours ago.

  • Banned

    You know Mitch Lightfoot. and his signing is something that warms my heart. Oh yea so many have bashed Mister Lightfoot because of his interest In KU and KU’s interest in him. They have said things like if KU doesn’t recruit two big men over him then it’s a fail. Sadly even I agreed. Yet I sit here with my heart in my hand, and realize the truth. Lightfoot wants to be a Jayhawk. Sure maybe he’s not the best and maybe in a year or two HCBS recruits over him. Yet I’m rooting for the kid. Afterall what is he guilty of? What chasing his dream? To wear the Jayhawk uniform. and play in the Phog. Yes the damn odds are against him, but do you not understand he wants to be a Jayhawk so much he willing to lay every thing on the line for it.

    We KU fans sit here and bitch and complain about the OAD’s concept. Yet here we sit with a kid that wants to play for KU and all we can say is he isn’t ranked high enough?

    Reality check boys and girls.

  • I’m excited. Four year kid who can shoot and has high energy. Good to get the first player in the class signed. More good news to follow. I trust Bill has another big man or two of note coming our way.

    Now clear Cheick!!!

  • I have not been “wowed” by his tape either…but got to admit that this has me wondering what I have missed.

    Norm and HCBS know a lot more about what to look for and about what they want/need for their program than I do.

    And I trust them.

    Ortega said that, after speaking with Lightfoot, he phoned recruiting analyst Jerry Mullen, who contacted KU about Lightfoot’s interest.

    “Forty minutes later, I get a call, and coach Roberts (Norm, KU) is asking about our practice times. They were going to take a private jet to see a workout. That was a Monday. On Wednesday, coach Roberts saw Mitch work out and was blown away by the workout. Two days later, coach (Bill) Self called to offer him. Mitch came over and said, ‘Kansas just offered.’ It was a dream-come-true-type moment,’” Ortega said.

    If they saw something that piqued their interest that quickly then I am glad they got their man.

    Welcome to the Jayhawk Family, Mitch.

  • Everything I saw made me think this was a kid that would get one of those phantom scholarships that play out like- “yes you can have a scholarship if three of the five people we want ahead you tell us no,…so we’ll call again this spring.”

    So I was surprised he got a deal that quickly.

    So, whether Coach saw something in this kid that makes him think he can develop him quickly…whether he is a high character kid with size and a great work ethic who is perfect to serve as a 4 year sparring partner to make our five star recruit better on and off the court…or somewhere in between - if Coach decided we need him, then I’m glad we got him.

  • @Lulufulu that’s the what we want, that statement of hey its ! more recruit then we had is NOT GOOD, that’s like taking the approach that hey lets get somebody- - -anybody, that approach is just like taking a body no matter to use the schlorships up dam I hope that’s not Coach self theory, If we indeed have to wait to spring to get that one to sign then so be it, but to say its one more commitment then we did have THATS NOT GOOD. Again I don’t for sure hate the kid, I think he will be a good role 4 year player for us, its just he is at the bottom of the scale of bigs that we are after he didn’t even enter the picture until late. Now who knows its quite possible that Coach self knows we are not going to get the one that we wanted, or felt we have lost substantial ground on these other kids, so enter Mitch Lightfoot, I will tell you this Mitch was Coach Self’s nu 1 go get. I still feel we will end up with some kind of combo like either Herarld- - Bolden or Azubilke- - -Herarld or Herarld- - -Allen but its ok, good things come to those who wait, seems we hit the panic button, no need to just start wanting to take a body, this guy is not a Sam Dekker, never was, never will be, what he is , is Mitch Lightfoot and I think he will be just fine- - -in time. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @jayballer54 Damn. That was a hard read to follow.

  • I am a bit surprised that there are so many people on the site questioning that we sign this kid. It seems like a no brainer to me. We are losing a few players for sure and will probably lose at least 1 to the draft (Selden or Svi?). He is not taking a scholarship away from anyone. We have room as we are not going to land all of the top shelf recruits we are still after and it doesn’t seem like he is the kind of player who is going to scare a top 15 recruit away from coming to KU.

    This is not a Jamari Traylor / Landen Lucas outside the top 100 type of sign in my opinion as it appears that Mitch has a skill set which neither Bam Bam or Lucas ever had or ever will. Traylor is a freak athlete and Lucas is tall. That is about all there is to their game. It appears that Lightfoot can shoot 3’s, can dribble, can shoot free throws and will more than likely learn how to pass and rebound after a couple of years of playing under Bill Self. The praise from Fran and Jeff Goodman and others seems like this could be a diamond in the rough situation. “No rank Frank” and Devonte have certainly surpassed expectations in a very small amount of time. I trust in Self and the coaching staff that they know that Lightfoot is not just taking up a scholarship and will be a contributor in a year or two. It could be worth the wait. I remember when we used to have to wait for a year or two for guys to contribute and it wasn’t that long ago…Thomas Robinson, Travis Releford, E.J., Cole, etc. Maybe he will actually be college ready by the time he gets big minutes and won’t have to “get used to the speed of the game” like Cliff and others.

    I guess I would like to hear a serious argument for not signing him.

  • @joeloveshawks A little off topic, but do people forget that Graham ended up being ranked # 36 by Rivals? Also, I don’t understand why Lightfoot’s signing is a surprise when Self signed Peters # 137, Traylor # 141, Lucas unranked, Lindsey unranked, Anderson unranked, etc. Not that I’m complaining, we needed to sign someone and he seems like a good kid that we could get some use out of in time.

  • @rocketdog not to me it wasn’t but i’ll forgive you. let me slow it down. the impression i’m getting and from MORE THEN 1, is like this WHEW we have a recruit committed, to which I say really? If we have gotten to the point, where our whole motive is, lets get a body so we can say we have a commit? then again- - - THATS NOT GOOD. When I come on here and see a statement saying- - - its one more commit then we had a few hours ago. if that’s the train of thought, if that’s the way we are looking at it, then THATS NOT GOOD. That’s like saying lets take whoever, no matter, lets get whoever we can get, just more or less to say hey we have a commit, that’s like saying we have 5 openings lets grab 5 bodies, I would sincerely hope we haven’t fallen to that level, which I know we haven’t, seems like some people feel like there has to be a certain time table an exact time for players to commit- - -they commit when they commit. Bothers me a little when I see a statement like that, don’t panic people KU will be just fine no matter when they commit. But lets hope to God Coach Self isn’t taking the approach of WHEW well now we have one more commit then we did a few hours ago. I know, still can’t follow? I am sooo sorry buddy can’t make it anymore plain

  • @jayballer54 Lighten up Francis.

  • Welcome aboard, Mitch!

    "“In my 16 years as coach, he’s the toughest competitor I’ve had,” Ortega said, noting Lightfoot has been compared to Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker. “He works endlessly. He is in the gym all the time, has the (shooting) machine up. He has the biggest motor. He plays with a fire. He wants it.”

    Of his style of play, Lightfoot said: “I want to play the game like it’s supposed to be played, full speed, not taking any plays off. Be the best I can be on the court by working the hardest. It’s an intangible that works to my benefit.”"


    I’m impressed to hear a high school basketball player use the word “intangible.” If he really does have a big motor, works hard, and has a great intellect (especially when it comes to basketball), this young man will pay off for us, either by stepping up his game to earn key PT, or helping other elite players. Either way, he sounds like a good recruit. And he has ALWAYS been a Jayhawk! Very important!

    "“I said, ‘I want to play at Kansas.’ It’s been my goal since I knew what basketball was, ever since then. I’ve been working my butt off to try to get there. To all the kids sitting in the stands watching the Jayhawks, wanting to be a Jayhawk, you can definitely do it,” Lightfoot, the No. 117-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2016 (by, added.

    Ortega said that, after speaking with Lightfoot, he phoned recruiting analyst Jerry Mullen, who contacted KU about Lightfoot’s interest."


    2016 Kansas Current Recruiting Stat -

    Kansas Historic Legacy - 1

    Kansas Assistant Coaches Recruiting - 0

    I know we say this most years… but our assistant coaches better come through by the end of this recruiting season (next summer).

    I’m not going to defer blame to ShoeCos or anything else… Other universities NOT named Kentucky or Duke are still signing elite recruits…

  • @drgnslayr said:

    Lightfoot said: “I want to play the game like it’s supposed to be played, full speed, not taking any plays off. Be the best I can be on the court by working the hardest. It’s an intangible that works to my benefit.”"

    That is all ye know and all ye need to know about Mitch Lightfoot.

    Can you imagine how much Norm and Bill would like to work with a guy that even just talks that way?

    It would be like being a basketball coach again, instead of a wet nurse.

    I haven’t seen his tapes. I have no idea what his strong skills are. I have no idea if he can bulk up.

    But if the guy just goes hard and can make B’s in the classroom for four years, he is at bare minimum the designated third or fourth rotation big starting his sophomore season that makes wet nursing 5-stars through their freshman seasons of underachievement feasible and tolerable.

    Oh, and then there is the on-going reality that during the Embargo, Self has to sign feasible bigs whenever and wherever he can find them.

    Frankly, I’m getting juiced about having Bragg, Diallo, Colby and Lightfoot with all their motors revving simultaneously season after this one, even if we don’t sign another. I really don’t see Diallo, or Bragg, going pro, so I really don’t see us signing another big, unless Diallo just can’t get cleared at all, and has to move on to D-League, or overseas.

    And I 🙏 that Diallo can stay.

  • @joeloveshawks I guess I’m not hearing anyone saying that we should NOT sign him. It is questioning the value of the signing and whether it was just to get a body in the fold.

    The numbers (usually) don’t lie. A few seasons ago, a poster (I forget who now) did a nice analysis over five years of low and unranked players that exceeded their ranking. It came in just below 15%. There were a few borderline guys, but roughly correct.

    Mitch Lightfoot is ranked, at present, as follows: Lightfoot is #117 at Rivals, #99 at ESPN, and #132 at 24/7.

    And this goes to @DoubleDD’s post – his post was made with his heart. Respectfully, it did not appear that it was done with his head – meaning it was passionate, it was about feelings – about a kid chasing his dreams. That’s cool. I get that. It is a nice story.

    However, like @DoubleDD, I want KU to win national championships. That’s the bottom line. That is how I evaluate every signing … will this guy help us get to that goal?

    When I look at Lightfoot, I see a relatively slow, skinny kid who isn’t a ball handler type. A guy that if he plays in the post, will be annihilated in the Big 12. A guy that doesn’t appear to have much as far as post moves. And a guy whose shot from three point range is a slow trigger.

    What I see is a project. He is not a guy that will likely help us win a national championship any time soon. And a marginal chance to do so later.

    Right now, I don’t see that he helps us get to that goal. A guy like Bragg or Bolden, you can see that immediately.

    As Eric Bossi said Lightfoot is a kid whose “real value” will be as a “junior and senior.”

    Guys like Lightfoot, like Traylor and Lucas, can become roster cloggers. They may not deter another signee now, but possibly later when they have experience, and when they have coach that favors experience. That #40 ranked player that wants to play now may be deterred by Lightfoot, who as junior, is getting better.

    @DoubleDD mentioned Lightfoot in comparison to OADs – meaning, isn’t this what we want?

    I would say “kind of.”

    I want highly talented guys that aren’t OADs. Highly talented non-OADs usually means #15 - #60. It rarely means #100 or above. Historically, #15 - #60ish are the core type of guys that will put us in the position to win a national title. But it isn’t of course possible to fill your roster solely with these guys.

    That’s where a guy like Lightfoot comes in.

    The one thing I like about the Lightfoot signing that is in contrast to some other low/non-ranked signings is that Self is signing him early, and not as a late, roster filling signing. I doubt Self takes him at this stage of the game if he thinks he’s a long-shot to be a quality rotation level player.

    Let’s see where he sits after his senior season. Kids mature, get bigger, grow, etc. @Crimsonorblue22 mentioned a Kevin Young comparison – that would be quite nice. I’ll take that right now.

    The reality is that this signing will be judged in 2018-19 most likely, and by the ultimate composition of our current class.

  • @SoftballDad2011 said:

    Ortega said that, after speaking with Lightfoot, he phoned recruiting analyst Jerry Mullen, who contacted KU about Lightfoot’s interest.

    This maybe the most interesting aspect of this story beyond KU signing a No. 113 big during the apparent Embargo.

    Notice that AAU Coach John Ortega did NOT phone KU directly. Ortega used an intermediary reported to be a “recruiting analyst” named Jerry Mullen.

    Does anyone know if this is a current convention for the AAU coach not to contact the head coach directly about a player’s interest in that head coach and his program?

    I would have thought an AAU coach would like to call a head coach himself with that kind of information.

    And what is this group of professionals called “recruiting analysts”? Are they an informal group, or do they have a professional association of some kind?

    Here is some Wiki-skinny on Jerry Mullen.

    And here is a link to his bio on Mullen Sports Enterprises.

    A USF All American probably a year or so before Big Russ and Casey Jones became Dons, he was drafted by the NBA, but opted to play AAU semi-pro 6 years for the Wichita Vickers; that was not unprecedented in those days. Head coached Cowley County Juco 1973-1979 and Barton Juco till 1985 compiling a .615 W&L statement. Since '85 he has run a juco scouting service, a Top 1o0 juco camp, and joined with Mike Mitchell, of Midwest Scouting, to host the 60 team Mullen/Mitchell juco jamboree.

    Mike Mitchell’s Midwest Scouting is located in, drum roll please, Edmond, Oklahoma, the birth place of Bill Self. Here is a link to Midwest Scouting Service, which claims to be “the best in the business…since 1986.”

    I am getting to the point of needing to flow chart recruiting.:-)

    FWIW, its kind of nice to know that juco ball is still out there.

  • @rocketdog no its jay, but that’s a good try Francis Jay- - -Francis- - -Francis- - -Jay ya that’s it sounds pretty similar, little to old for lighten up phrases but thanks for the try

  • @jayballer54

    If you are too old for lighten up phrases, I would have expected you to be old enough to pick up on a classic movie reference!..and a reference to a classic at that!


    I was curious about that as well. I suspect a third party was helpful after Mitch re-opened his recruitment (after decommitting from NM to insulate from tampering charges), but I was surprised it went from the athlete to his AAU coach to an industry analyst to the prospective school. I’d be interested in hearing more about this process as well.

  • The comments from Lightfoot himself are very encouraging to me about his future ability to contribute to KU. It sounds like he realizes he’s not the most physically gifted player and knows his ticket is to be a smarter player than others. If he can do that, he can absolutely be a player like a Kevin Young or Brady Morningstar who earned the PT through being smarter players and knowing hiw to play angles and exploit opponents weaknesses.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “Can you imagine how much Norm and Bill would like to work with a guy that even just talks that way?”

    I hear you! Heck… just having a player capable of clear articulation should be helpful and set some kind of bar (as an example) for our entire team to clear. And then there is his attitude… which is off-the-charts positive!

    He is a real Jayhawk PRIOR to signing! We should always have one or two of those. Guys who can help the other guys understand what that Jayhawk is and means to fans.

    Mitch gives me the feeling of what college basketball used to be, before it became just a NBA tryout league.

  • @SoftballDad2011 said:

    after decommitting from NM to insulate from tampering charges),

    Makes sense.

  • I read that other KU site this morning, even the comments which I do at time for the comic content. This signing has created the typical level of hate and discontent that drove me away from there in the first place. What I see here is a kid with a reputation of being hard working, has decent footwork, some skill, and a lot of hustle. The type of player that can be used to push that one and done to practice and play with effort. Sometimes it is the type of player that as his body matures turns into a valuable rotation player. The kind of player that Self has turned into serious players in the past.

    As far as his current ranking I’ve noticed that kids that commit early in HS are sometimes ignored a bit by the ranking services. I am curious to see what will happen now that he has been brought back into notice. I would not be surprised to see him bounce up into the mid 70’s, which for what I see as a redshirt four year player would be about right. I believe KU needs a couple of 3-4 year players. It brings some year to year continuity and leadership potential down the road.

    Basically Self see’s a lot of holes opening up for big guys and he just filled his “four year guy” spot.

  • Banned


    In the grand scheme of things our boy Lightfoot doesn’t really move the needle that much. Yet it is nice to know that in this day in age of power conferences, big media deals, and the craze for the OAD’s. That a kid can still get his chance to chase his dreams. In the end I believe that is what college sports should be about.

    Sadly this is not the case anymore with these star studded and over hyped kids. To many people whispering in their ears, and in some cases forcing them to this school or that school. I’m always amazed at how many schools these want to be mega stars have on their wish lists. It’s just mind boggling.

    It’s easy to look at things with your head. Logic would say Lightfoot will be in way over his head and mostly likely will become nothing more than a footnote of the lore of KU basketball. Yet never under estimate a persons heart. It’s not just a nice story. Wars have been won and lost because of heart. Societies have changed because someone had the heart to stand up for what is right. And athletes have won games they had no business playing in with heart.

    I’m not discounting talent by no means. Yet I’ve seen to many kids with no heart and all talent way under achieve. Think about it? All the greats had heart, Using your head and playing a system can only carry you so far. It’s been proving on the field and the court.

    The key is to find a kid with talent and a heart of a Jayhawk.

  • @DoubleDD

    Very good post!

    And let’s not forget the possible positive impact Mitch can have on the rest of the team, both with his positive, scrappy attitude and his love for Kansas!

    I think he is receiving a bit too much ridicule because he isn’t a top-ranked player, and we have not landed anyone else. Imagine if we already had signed many top elites and filled what we needed, and then he came along to fill out the use of our scholarships?

    Fans are stressed-out, seeing other top preps consider Kansas then go somewhere else. And… we hadn’t signed anyone. And… we have a big time hole opening in our post.

    I will not go out on a limb here and proclaim that Mitch will shatter Kansas scoring and rebounding records. But I will say this… from what I have picked up on Mitch, I seriously believe he will make a very sizable positive impact on the Kansas program. It may come partially from his play… and/or he will find other ways to contribute to Kansas. He is 100% Jayhawk! Maybe he stays up until 3am working out with an elite big. Maybe coaching is in his future, and 8 years from now he joins on with the coaching staff or in the AD. Maybe someday he will coach Kansas and give us 30 years of winning basketball!

    It is hard to say what young Mitch will sprout into. But there is no denying his love for Kansas, and it all starts there! Let’s face it… we’ve had a lot of guys on the court that didn’t have the love that Mitch does!

  • Let’s leave the kid to his dream without making him into our dream.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    Guys like Lightfoot, like Traylor and Lucas, can become roster cloggers. They may not deter another signee now, but possibly later when they have experience, and when they have coach that favors experience.

    A “roster clogger” may or may not take minutes away from younger, more highly ranked players; he will certainly consume a scholarship.

    Why do we have such a looming lack of large bodies? Because Traylor, Lucas and Mickelson had scholarships and we didn’t send one packing to make room for another recruit this year.

    So why didn’t we jettison a “clogger”? Because all 3 had already used up their redshirt year.

    Self has let lots of players go, but never a guy who had already redshirted. Accept a redshirt and Self feels morally obligated to keep you 5 years.

    Lightfoot will become a fullblown roster-clog risk the day he redshirts. Until then, he’s just a project who risks getting recruited over and sent to Plan B.

  • Let’s look at recent history…

    Unranked 5’-11" Devonte Graham signs with Appalachian State over Murray State.

    Graham now 6’-2" begins to be notice and has great senior year.

    He attends Brewster prep and asks to be released from his LOI, becomes a top 50 ranked player,command attention from elite programs and eventually signs with KU.

    Could we have ever imagined that Graham would turn out the way he did from the time he committed to Appalachian State? I think not.

    Let’s keep in mind that partly because of his early signing, junior Ligthfoot was largely unnoticed. I am confident that much like Graham senior Lightfoot will climb up the rankings now the he is known and hopefully will be a top 50 player but the end of the upcoming season.

    THE END.

  • Here’s another KUSports article talking about Mitch Lightfoot and getting his HS coach’s opinion of him.

    Mitch Lightfoot’s head coach at Gilbert Christian is Kurt Keener. If that name’s familiar to anybody, it’s because he was the head coach at Detroit Country Day for 35 years. Detroit Country Day for those that are unaware is the same HS that produced Chris Webber, Shane Battier, and Ray McCallum who are play(ed) in the NBA and were all McDonald’s All Americans along with former Ohio St. player Amir Williams.

    Keener says Lightfoot isn’t as physically gifted as Webber or quite as smart as Battier, but he has the same competitive fire that both have. He also says that Lightfoot is someone that has stepped his game up to his level of competition and has the “Christian Laettner swag” that he’s the best player on the court and can do anything. The player Keener actually compares Lightfoot is former KU great Raef LaFrentz.

    Overall, it’s a good read and Keener talks about his plans for developing Lightfoot’s game on and off the court.

  • I just like the kids name. Sounds like a movie character from a City Slickers type movie.

  • If it was me, trying to make a comparison of Mitch to another player, and what he could develop into being, it would be Manu Ginóbili. I’m not saying he is the next Ginóbili.

    But if you watch Ginóbili play, he often doesn’t look athletic, often even looking slow… but dominates in the league because he is scrappy and smart. He has found areas of the game where he can get his numbers, and he does.

    I don’t think Mitch will play like most of the post players we have brought in, but I’m okay with that. What matters is production. Can he produce at Kansas?

    There is another good read on him over at the other site. This article talks a lot about his competitiveness.

    Perhaps he develops a bit like Svi is developing. Has potential but needs to strengthen up. I’m willing to wait a season to see a stronger Mitch Lightfoot.

    According to Self… it sounds like Mitch is more the future than bringing in a big, bruising post player because the NCAA is going to be whistling pretty much all contact this year. I’m glad we will be putting energy into a finesse player.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    If Graham were still 5-11, he would not be a Jayhawk. That’s the harsh reality. He grew, which changed his outlook. Graham at 5-11, with a slight build, is not a going to be big enough or strong enough to play at a high major.

    But he grew 3 inches, and that, coupled with his skills and shooting ability, made him a high major player.

    Mitch Lightfoot is 6-8. He’s a PF. He’s kind of like a Perry Ellis lite. I don’t think his overall basketball skill is as high as Perry was a HS junior, but his footwork is good, his athleticism is solid. He’s a bit smaller than Perry was as a HS junior, but he could certainly fill out in time.

    My concern for him is that he isn’t athletic enough to consistently step outside, but is also too small to have an advantage inside, while not being quick enough to exploit bigger players. I haven’t seen him work off the bounce enough to believe that he can take bigger guys to the perimeter and beat them off the dribble, as Perry often does from the top of the key. His shot is very much a set shot from three, although it appears he does have the range. However, if no one fears his dribble drive, guys will crowd and disrupt that shot.

    So, back to @JayHawkFanToo the question is if he will grow. I will feel much differently about a 6-10 Mitch Lightfoot than I feel about a 6-8 Mitch Lightfoot, just like I would feel much differently if Devonte Graham was still 5-11 (basically making him Jeremy Case).

    As to @drgnslayr and the point about Ginobili, let’s recall that when he first entered the league, Ginobili was a very athletic player. Check out his

    . Yes, Ginobili is a very savvy player, but let’s not dismiss his athleticism. It has dropped significantly as he has aged, but he still has bursts, as demonstrated by dunk #9 there.

  • @justanotherfan

    Thanks for that. Yes… Manu was more athletic when he was younger. Think I’m more referring to his play today. He can still score almost at will on a single defender.

    He is great at knowing (and creating) just the right amount of distance to get his shot off. Almost unstoppable on his drives. He is still a better inside scorer than Wigs… but give Wigs time to develop more tools.

  • @DoubleDD Good point , I remember quite some time back, when a little point guard out of Topeka, Kansas so I’ve been told anyways as the story goes walked into Coach Brown’s and point blank said I’m the best point guard you’ve got. That kid played with a lot of heart, guts, and determination and if my memory doesn’t fail me played quite well during his time at KU, so like you say NEVER under estimate a kids heart. Especially as light foot says KU being a school of his dreams, you get someone in a place like that then who knows. The kid I was talking about from Topeka, Kansas? his name? a young kid by the name of Mark Turgeon, Turgeon the surgeon as they called him seems he did quite nicely , and now is doing pretty well as the Coach of Maryland if my memory doesn’t fail me, so who knows what can happen with Mitch , time will tell.

  • got a question, may and can be relevant to us at times and then sometimes not. ya, ya call it dum if you like, i’m a grown man and if you feel like taking shots for me asking go ahead. The question is, and its not just us KU fans but fans in general at times, why do we feel the need to compare incoming players to ANYBODY ELSE? Why can’t we just let them be their selves? How about letting Mitch develop into Mitch, all we hear is he looks so much like this guy or that guy and then a lot NOT ALL but a lot of crazies if they fell to turn into that player that they were compared to, surpose to be like, when they came into college then they automatically become a huge failure, OH they didn’t live up to their billing, they are a big bust. Why do we have to compare them to anybody? Why can’t we just sit back and enjoy Mitch Light foot for Mitch Light Foot? let Mitch form his own identity? I mean really, seriously, is that fair to the player? All we do, All he hears, - - - all he reads is who he is surpose to be like, play like. All we do by doing that is put added pressure on a kid that ha already enough trying to live up to potential at a elite program, just saying that’s all guys. Ok I’m done, now go ahead blast me if you want it ok just my thoughts that’s all ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @drgnslayr Absolutely agree about Manu now. He is one of the most savvy and creative players in the NBA today. I am a HUGE fan of his play, which is why my eyes lit up when you mentioned him above.

    However, I think asking Lightfoot to get anywhere near that as a collegiate player is probably not going to happen. Manu turned into that type of player after over 10 years in the pros (NBA and Europe). That’s a lot of coaching and experience that Lightfoot just isn’t going to have an opportunity to get. Ginobili made his pro debut at 18 in Argentina. By the time he was 25, he was 2 time Italian League MVP and had also been the Euroleague MVP. That was in 2002. Then he came over to the NBA and from 2003 to 2009 was a very athletic player on some very good (and some great) Spurs teams. Once he started getting banged up, his game changed, but by then he had been a pro for 15 years.

    I think Ginobili is a great player to watch, but it would be very difficult for a high school or college player to possess the type of basketball IQ and court awareness that Ginobili possesses at this stage in his career. Ginobili probably played more basketball from 2002-2009 than Lightfoot has played in his entire life between international tournaments representing Argentina and NBA seasons. That’s an experience gap that even four or five years in college won’t cover.

  • @justanotherfan

    I’m not insinuating Mitch can become a Manu while in college. The only player I see in college with the possible level of court awareness would be Simmons at LSU. The guy is a freak! I hope LSU takes it to Kentucky this year.

    Young developing players do well to see a player to emulate (as much as possible). Mitch should be developing his ability to know what he needs for scoring space and how to get it. That is what makes Niang so dangerous. He knows what to do in the post and he has several moves to create his scoring space. He likes a baby hook or step back and likes to bank it in from about 8 ft away. Manu likes to finish at the rim, either beating his man by a nanosecond, or use his body between the defender and the ball.

    This is the part of basketball I really enjoy. When guys can be that precise and be effective without having 7’6" reaches or insane athleticism. I hope Mitch can develop into that kind of player and contribute a lot at Kansas (as a player). I think it would do our fan base some good to see a guy be effective without the reach and uber athleticism. Seems we sometimes focus too much on that part of the game, and we don’t respect the guys who are actually effective. We just think that the long reach and athleticism should fix everything.

    Right on… I’m a huge Manu fan, too!

  • @jayballer54 Because it gives people a frame of reference on what a kid’s game looks like and what their style of play is like. It’s not insulting or disrespcting to the kid to compare his game to someone who came before him because there’s a lot of people who haven’t seen the kid play and want to know what his game looks like. All does it is provide a frame of reference for people.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 patience is a virtue, good job!

  • @justanotherfan

    By the time he signed with Appalachian State Graham was already 6’-1" and at the PG position the difference is not that big as it would be for a big. In any case, my point was that as an unknown, under the radar Graham commanded little interest but once he was noticed he asked to be released form LOI and was sought by much bigger programs than Appalachian State and Murray State. Likewise, Lightfoot has been flying under the scouts radars and once he was “discovered” and he played well in the summer camps he asked to be released form his LOI and was courted by big programs.

    When the next round of HS rankings comes out around the beginning of the season, I believe that Light foot will be unanimous top 100, not only form his improved play but he will also get a “KU bump;” hopefully like Graham he will improve in his senior year and with additional exposure, he might end up top 50. Just my opinion…and hope?

Log in to reply