• Now THAT was some exciting basketball played last night in AFH! A supercharged explosion out of the blocks for Kansas, that set the tone for the entire night; big time energy for 40 minutes! These teams like to play each other because they create a powerful synergy when they go after it.

    There were many things to consider this time, when picking the winner of the FLOOR BURN AWARD. Wayne Selden had a show-stopping save in the opening minutes that might have made the Sportscenter’s Play of the Day reel had Naadir not fumbled it away trying too hard to advance the ball.

    Andrew Wiggins was spectacular! This is the Wiggins we’ve been expecting all along. His 3-bombs and pull-up Js are smooth as silk, looking effortless and simple. That’s how all great players play. He went for a new personal best, 29 points, and snagged 7 rebounds and a steal. There were few moments in this game when Andrew faded back into the shadows. He’s doing a better job of being where the ball is, either it shoots off his finger tips or he’s finding ways to possess the ball off of rebounds or loose balls. Andrew has always flirted with an attraction to the ball, but now the ball seems to be responding by showing attraction back.

    Joel Embiid put up solid numbers, 14 points, 11 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal and 1 assist. He was often the center cog in the wheel. The ball went through him and he attracted double-teams and effectively passed out of them. It was clear that Joel was hobbled with a sprained knee. Joel is a tough guy. Tough guys play through pains and don’t complain about it. He didn’t show off his pain with facial contortions or complaints. Instead, he went out there and did his job.

    Naadir Tharpe was clearly the ring leader of this fanciful carnival. Congrats to Naadir for nailing his first double-double, 12 points to match 12 assists. He was 4 rebounds shy of a triple-double. I liked how Naadir often advanced the ball quickly up the court, but he still needs to finish his fast break opportunities. On one play he ran out his break into the paint and should have finished, but instead threw the ball out to Joel for a duck 3-point attempt. But still, Naadir was the glue and kept our offense running effectively and at the right pace.

    All those guys produced big time, and it did really take everyone’s production to win this game. However… the guy who takes home the FLOOR BURN AWARD trophy for this game is Perry Ellis. Perry finished with 20 points, second highest only to Andrew’s 29. He also pulled down 6 rebounds, had a steal and two blocked shots. Perry made his presence known in this game and he has the capability to do this every night! Perry needed a performance like he had last night to lift his confidence and hopefully show to himself that he can perform at this level every single game. His point production was high, but he isn’t winning this award for scoring so many points. The points were the product of the energy he put out on the court! Perry needs to bring big energy like he did last night to every game, especially this Saturday when we face what could be our toughest conference game all year, Texas in Austin. Perry also brought aggressiveness with him. When he received passes his first look was to drive the ball, instead of deciding too quickly to pass the ball back out.

    Our guys are playing much better as a group, and as a team. But we will need what experienced players we do have to stay consistent in the next couple of months. We should enjoy this moment, this euphoric high, however lets keep it in our thoughts that we will be reminded how many freshmen are on this team sometime again this season, most-likely at times when we want to be reminded least. The cameras will continue to point at Andrew and Joel… when it will be Perry that must be counted on most when key games are yet to be decided.

    Conference Season Tally:

    Perry Ellis 1

    Joel Embiid 2

    Wayne Selden 2

    Frank Mason 1

    Andrew Wiggins 1

    Naadir Tharpe 1

    Tarik Black 1

  • @drgnslayr: Total agreement on this award. I really think this may have been a turning point game for Perry. For the first time ever in his career, he seemed to be thinking much less and playing much more. Its not just that he shouted and complained a time or two. He has been doing that by rote for the last month. But he has been like an actor playing a role, instead of a method actor becoming the role for the performance. Perry’s body language and facial expression seemed to change last night. He no longer seemed to be trying to be aggressive. He WAS aggressive. It may take him a few more games to dial it in consistently, but he now clearly knows what it feels like to become the role for the game. The Designer thus joins a long line of Self’s Method Players trained at the Player’s Studio located at 1651 Naismith Drive, Lawrence, KS 66045.

  • The announcers commented several times that Coach was really after Perry in practice yesterday. Good constructive coaching and look at the results!

  • @drgnslayr I always agree w/you, but feel the need to argue for Wiggins this time. Not for his points, but how hard he goes to the hole, and taking so many hits each time! I was there, his head hit hard! Would like to see a replay. He takes a beating, but he doesn’t hesitate! I feel like we all hold our breath until he gets up. Just another take…

  • I was very happy to see Perry do so well. That being said, I expected it. Iowa St. is not a physical team that has a lot of big bodies up front. Perry’s struggles seem to come when the game is rugged and he is overmatched from a physicality standpoint. It is against those type of teams that I want to see if he maintains his aggressiveness. His frame and overall game are never going to lend themselves to banging away inside with the big boys. But in games where he is overmatched, I want to see if he can find ways to be productive. If he can use his quickness & handles to create mismatches rather than letting his relative frailty become his opponents’ advantage. If he can outwork his opponents for position on the glass rather than being muscled out of position. That’s the next step in Perry’s development - being productive in a game of extreme muscleball (as jaybate might put it).

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Right on. It was a hard decision this time between Andrew and Perry. Andrew continues to show gains about every game now, sort of like Joel. That is why I thought Perry’s game stuck out more this time… and I’ve been on Perry’s hiney for a month now to toughen up his game. And as soft as his offensive game has been, his defensive side of the ball has also been soft, and still showed some signs of softness last night… but he played harder, even on defense (as a whole).


    I agree. Perry’s game seems to vanish against bigger, stronger post players. On the bright side, we are just about guaranteed he won’t be turning pro early until he can consistently play effective ball against the big boys.

    I am hopeful that by the time Perry is a senior, he will have conquered this hill to climb. He’ll have a couple years more of Hudy and confidence building under his belt. I hope it all more for Perry’s sake because he deserves a solid NBA career. No one has worked harder than Perry to get where he is at. I’d hate to see his career marginalized because of something like that.

    Here is the thing; Perry may not be as big and strong as some other players. But he doesn’t have to be in order to be effective. He just needs to play with confidence that he is the biggest and strongest, and show total commitment on his moves to score. Perry has a huge toolbox he can draw on in the post. He can go to either side with either hand, and he can score at a plethora of angles. I hate to see a player like Julius Randle fly by Perry on the charts only because Randle has strength and he knows how to use it. Julius doesn’t have near the toolbox Perry has. Unfortunately for Perry, strength helps execution at the 4-spot.

  • @drgnslayr Agree on your assessment of Perry. I’m a huge fan of his, not only born & raised in Wichita but also a fellow Heights grad, so I’m eager to see his continued success.

    Eventually, I think Perry can be as effective as Marcus Morris was during his years here, and will also latch onto an NBA team. Perhaps not a star, but a solid contributor. Both similar players; I’d say Marcus had a bit more physicality to him whereas Perry is far more fundamentally sound, and as you say has tools with which to draw upon.

  • @icthawkfan316

    I hope Perry continues to work on his strength in the off-season. And he should put in equal time on ball handling and perimeter shooting. He would be an excellent candidate for a visit to John Lucas over the summer.

    Perry’s issue at the next level is he falls into the category of 'tweener. Is he a 3 or a 4? If he continues to work on his strength, ball handling and perimeter shot he becomes fairly solid at both spots.

    Most people in here are critical of 'tweeners making it in the league. I have more optimism. A bigger, stronger Perry who can bomb the 3 and dribble anywhere on the court is a guy I want to sign.

    Pro ball isn’t about fulfilling rigid size and strength requirements at each position. It is more about match-ups. It is about being able to defuse your opposition player-by-player while trying to maintain superiority at some positions.

    That is why The Mayor has quick success at ISU. Because he finds match-ups where he can win and he exploits those match-ups. He creates the opportunities by using screens to force switch-ups. Did you notice how he exploited Mason’s size to his advantage? ISU performs at a high effective level because they play smart basketball, instead of just recruit super talent. Imagine what a team like Kentucky could do with an assistant coach like Hoiberg?

    Back to Perry… because of his work ethic, Perry will continue to adapt his game to what is needed for success. He will continue to improve at the college level and hopefully he will start receiving some NBA guidance on taking the right developmental path now for success when he is done with college.

    Success is awaiting Perry at this level and the next… he just has to maintain confidence and continue to work hard!

    I hope Perry can get some minutes next year at the 3. He’ll have all summer to prepare. It will be tough for him to hold on to 30+ minutes at the 4 once Alexander arrives. Unless we lose Joel and don’t sign Turner, maybe Alexander plays the 5 and Perry stays at the 4. I’m of the opinion we will have either Joel or Turner next year. If so, Perry could play minutes at the 3 and 4. It would be an opportunity for him to show he can play both positions and match-up well against all kinds of players.

  • @drgnslayr

    I could be wrong but I seem to recall the John Lucas Basketball camps are geared up for pre-college players. Maybe something along the lines Pete Carrol Big Man Camp (minus Pete Carrol, of course) could be a better fit? I believe there are several NBA players (different positions) that have summer camps geared up to specific positions.

  • @drgnslayr Mid read, Id like to say second toughest conference game all year. Okie state will be our toughest.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Effing big time for The Designer on Broadway!

  • @drgnslayr For Perry, at the next level, he is going to be a 3, he is going to be a 3 with the muscle of a 4 man in Div 1. He is going to be a 3 man with the skills and finesse of a 3 man with the muscle of an extra couple years ( we hope ) of Hudy training. Julius may have the muscle right now, but the potential of The Designer is higher IMO. Of course, I am biased toward KU.

  • @drgnslayr Love the Perry selection. During the game, I watched him snatch boards, and then score a basket that was a line drive off the glass which rattled around on the rim. He was running the other direction while anyone else watching probably thought there was a chance it was not going in, and it occurred to me…

    Perry knows exactly what a made shot looks like and feels like. He know exactly what his body has to do to score a shot, below the rim, above the rim… he can do both. He’s efficient. Whatever it takes to go in.

    I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch for that to apply directly to rebounding. He probably knows exactly how a missed shot comes off the rim way better than most, and I think we’re seeing him apply his knack for positioning himself without the ball to his advantage much as he has always done with it.

    I think we might be amazed at how good a rebounder Perry can end up becoming.

  • Julius Randle reminds me of a Zach Randolph type. Randolph is the hardest working muscle4 in the NBA.

    Nice to compare Ellis to Marcus Morris, as both are 6’8 and 220lbs. But their games and strengths are identical. Will be neat to see Ellis’ continued development. Marcus Morris went lotto, so I’d like to see Ellis earn a similar level…

  • I love all the comments, and agree with every single word. We would be remiss in not mentioning that Wayne Selden is playing some great basketball as well. The guy saves us 3 , 4, even 5 possessions a games through hustle, and smart play. Whether it’s a steal, a great assist, diving for a loose ball, a 3 pointer, or a drive to the basket, this guy simply does it all- even if it doesn’t always show up in the box score.

  • @KUSTEVE My favorite was Selden skying in front of the rim out of a full sprint to snatch away a lob pass.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    "I could be wrong but I seem to recall the John Lucas Basketball camps are geared up for pre-college players. "

    I recall TT visiting Lucas in the summer before his senior year to work on his shooting. I think he received the most help on how to finish in the paint. He was a lot more effective with his finishes in his senior year. Lucas had him slow down towards the end of his drives so he could be more precise and tweak a little bit at the end.

    BTW: I’m not trying to slam Julius Randle. I’m not holding on to any sour grapes over him picking Kentucky. I’m a fan of his game, just wish he would have more positive body language.

  • @drgnslayr

    This is what I found for the John Lucas Camps:

    John Lucas Camps

    And even for the individual player development, it seems geared up to pre-draft training for college players.

    Individual Player Development

    I remember this because last year I was helping a friend, whose son is a very skilled basketball player, look for potential summer camps.


    Google is your friend…Tyshawn did go to the John Lucas camp but it was a pre-draft camp after he was done at KU…

    Tyshawn at Lucas pre-draft camp

    Mystery solved.

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