Billy Preston article



  • His game through his coaches eyes. Some high praise for a coach that coached so many D-1 and NBA players… Pretty much what we know already. The rebounding sounds promising and he does have a great shot for a guy his size. We’ll see how he defends…

    *He’s done a little bit of everything. He’s our leading rebounder and one of our leading scorers. He’s had 20-plus rebounds in two games. I can’t think of anybody in the last 15 years that got 20 rebounds,” Smith said. “He’s had been 16 and 22 rebounds probably eight times.

    Then there’s games we blow people out where he only gets 16 or 18 minutes. That hurts his stats a little bit. He’s getting more than 10 rebounds a game, which is more than anyone I’ve had in a long time.

    “He’s a great passer. He can score the ball. You don’t realize he’s 6-10 and has guard skills. We don’t post him much. You can post him, but he’s not a post guy. He’s got a size advantage, but he plays on the perimeter for us, and he’ll play on the perimeter in college. He could play the 4, but he’s more of a 3. He’s got a nice stroke. He can really shoot it.”

    Preston’s athleticism and size helps him excel on the boards, Smith said. “He’s really long. He’s up on top of the box when he rebounds. He’s up a foot-and-a-half above the rim getting rebounds. He’s long and has good timing,” he said. “There’s a technique — you can box out, check off and all that. We want our guys to hit and go, and get to the rim. That’s what he does, because he’s so athletic. He can get to the basket and rebound over the top of people. When he has position, he’s going to get it every time, because he’s so long. His elbows are on the rim when he rebounds, so it’s hard for other people to rebound with him.”

    Preston showed great range in warm-ups, and that carries over to game play according to Smith.
    “He shoots 3s. He has good 3-point range. Sometimes he gets a little lazy with his shot. When he uses his legs, his stroke is as good as any guard we have. Maybe better. He might have the best shot mechanics on the team,” he said. “He shoots pull-ups and can get to the basket. He’s got the whole game on offense. He needs a little more intensity defensively. He has a great body for a guy who hasn’t lifted that much. He’s lifted here, but I don’t think he did until he got here. He just naturally has a great body.”

    There have been questions about Preston’s motor and his intensity during his high school career. Those questions have largely been answered, Smith said.

    “I think he’s more consistent all the way around. The knock on his was that he didn’t play hard and that he didn’t have a high motor. That’s vastly improved. When he has a big challenge, he is that much tougher than he usually is.” Smith said. “If he was out there tonight, he might have coasted a little, because he’s just so much better than everybody else out there on the other team. When we play somebody he knows will be tough, he revs it up a little bit. He’s playing much harder now than his prior reputation.

    “He knows he can get beat and still recover to block a shot. I’m trying to get him to stay solid. I’m trying to get him to sustain and guard for however long he’s in there.*



  • @BeddieKU23 Agree, we will see. - -Like you said we will see defensively, Coach talks about needing a little more intensity defensively, I know this if he doesn’t get it, then he going to be spending time on the bench at KU, that’s one thing for Coach if you can’t or aren’t willing, you wanna slack on the defensive end, he going to pull your butt out. So this article talking about motor and such - -he best bring it.

    The thing is it talks about how he gets up for the Big Challenge, much tougher then he usually is - -he needs to be that through all the games, not just the quote big challenge. - - -So if he is that way when we play our not so good Non Con teams that mean he is going to take time off? – I’m sure Coach will get that fixed quick, overall sounds nice, hope he can continue to board like his Coach says, obviously maybe not as big of numbers , but if he gets 1o-12 rebounds consistently that’s good, hope he shows up and has his academics straightened out. - - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY



  • "He knows he can get beat and still recover…" He won’t be able to get away with that at the next level…will be one of his challenges.



  • Do any of you guys know where Preston stand as far as eligibility?



  • Worrisome quote “You can post him, but he’s not a post guy. …he’ll play on the perimeter in college.” So really, he’ll play the 3 spot for KU, right? Or, Self will continue to play four perimeter players next year of whom Preston will be one. Our man Dok will play the 5 and be backed up by Lightfoot and Coleby? All presupposing Preston becomes eligible. Wow, Coach Self is going to earn his paycheck next year.



  • @joeloveshawks said:

    Do any of you guys know where Preston stand as far as eligibility?

    That has been a dead subject since he landed at Oak Hill. I figure it will come back around when he gets closer to graduation and getting to KU this summer…Get your popcorn ready

    Preston sounds confident he will qualify, his coach does too. Haven’t heard anything from KU’s side on the matter



  • @stoptheflop

    He’ll be used in the same way Josh is being used this year. He can matchup to opposing 4’s but will be a mismatch for other teams because of his skills. Defense is the major question with him. He’ll add spacing to the floor for Doke to operate on the block.



  • @BeddieKU23 Agreed. I think he will be a good fit.



  • @BeddieKU23 cool. Thanks, dude. I really hope we don’t have another Diallo situation where he is in limbo!



  • This Oak Hill team is pretty good, and most of the D1 talent is going to the Big 12. I think Wigginton will be GREAT for ISU and Coleman is just what UT needs, a PG.

    Love hearing about the rebounding. The rest lines up with previous talk, he’s a guard that grew into a post body. Also interesting is that he hasn’t lifted all that much? He could end up being a total beast at KU. Really hope we get him for 2 years.

    @stoptheflop said:

    Worrisome quote “You can post him, but he’s not a post guy. …he’ll play on the perimeter in college.” So really, he’ll play the 3 spot for KU, right? Or, Self will continue to play four perimeter players next year of whom Preston will be one. Our man Dok will play the 5 and be backed up by Lightfoot and Coleby? All presupposing Preston becomes eligible. Wow, Coach Self is going to earn his paycheck next year.

    Two black holes in Preston and Malik. It will be a process for sure.

    I could see Preston playing a similar position in the offense as Perry did by the end. Basically a perimeter post type. He won’t take as many shots as JR/SR Perry I imagine though.

    @BeddieKU23 said:

    @stoptheflop

    He’ll be used in the same way Josh is being used this year. He can matchup to opposing 4’s but will be a mismatch for other teams because of his skills. Defense is the major question with him. He’ll add spacing to the floor for Doke to operate on the block.

    Newman, Vick, Cunliffe, Preston, Doke. That’s deadly on offense if/once Self gets them playing as a team. Hopefully Doke can stay on the floor and erase a LOT of mistakes on defense heh.

    @BeddieKU23 said:

    @joeloveshawks said:

    Do any of you guys know where Preston stand as far as eligibility?

    That has been a dead subject since he landed at Oak Hill. I figure it will come back around when he gets closer to graduation and getting to KU this summer…Get your popcorn ready

    Preston sounds confident he will qualify, his coach does too. Haven’t heard anything from KU’s side on the matter

    Yep the rumours will fly once we get into the spring.



  • @BShark

    Isn’t this the definition of a “Stretch Four” that is o popular in the NBA? Although I am not sure he has the 3 point range quite yet.



  • In the meantime let’s take a look at our current players…they are seriously strong…link here…



  • Preston is going to be a nice player at KU.

    I don’t worry too much about his fit. We can continue to play four out on offense, which will give Doke space to operate in the paint. I don’t think Doke is quite ready to operate in a crowd. I was hoping his passing would improve this year, but the injury took that off the table.

    Without Doke improving his passing, we need to make those double teams come from a long ways away so the reads are easier. Having a guy like Preston out on the perimeter makes life a lot easier for Doke. Doke will have all summer to work with that group on getting the ball from the post back out to the perimeter for shots and drives. He demonstrated a nice comfort level catching lobs. Once he gets strength back in that wrist, that should improve even more as he gains a feel for the game.

    On defense, Preston should be able to do a bit more inside than Josh because he won’t be as undersized as JJ is down there. Josh’s athleticism and strength allow him to cover for the size he’s giving up, but a high quality four could punish him on the block simply because he’s giving up too much height. Preston won’t have that problem because he’s a couple of inches taller and already about 15 pounds heavier than Josh (and that’s before he gets on campus to work with Hudy).

    Preston may also be a big help to Bragg, who’s development has somewhat stagnated. Maybe he can help push Carlton out of his current rut and help him become the type of player that his skill level suggests.



  • I think Billy is the perfect fit with Doke.

    He will develop into a stretch four, which is what we need to prevent defenses from clogging the paint on Doke.

    Since Billy has the tools of a guard and can develop a respectable trey shot, he really gives us a 4-guard offense without losing size at the 4 spot.

    Makes me wonder where Carlton fits in to all of this. The pressure is on for him to develop and bring more to the table. Otherwise, I see Carlton as the first post player off the bench. I don’t think Billy is coming to Kansas to ride the pine as a freshman.



  • @drgnslayr Hopefully Billy is what pushes Carlton to be the guy he is supposed to be. They should really be similar players. Both guys with good size who can stretch the floor.

    I think CB’s biggest problem is just confidence at this point. He was messing up on and off the court at the same time. He has to be a mental midget at this point. I know it isn’t usually Bill’s process with players to build them up, but I think Self needs to help CB get some mojo back if we are going to be legit next season.



  • @Kcmatt7

    Really good point about Bragg. Such a wasted year so far. Just can’t figure him out. I hope Preston doesn’t drive him away- being the other side of Preston being good for Bragg.



  • @Kcmatt7

    The only thing that Bragg has “stretched” so far is our patience… :smiley:



  • @Kcmatt7

    I’m sure low confidence is a big problem with Carlton.

    I think his biggest problem is lack of focus. He hasn’t been able to really execute any part of his game this year. The off-court antics doesn’t help him focus either.

    The deeper root to his problems is maturity. I don’t like to judge him, but that is sticking out like a sore thumb.

    But sometimes players start slow or have hiccups in their development. I just hope he rises to the occasion. His college days are passing him by and he will never have this opportunity again. When everyone around him constantly reminds him of this, it points to his lack of maturity to approach basketball with a higher regard.



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