March 31- April 6: News Headlines

  • ####Please add stories here####

    ###KU’s Townsend ranked No. 1 assistant###

    Kansas University’s Kurtis Townsend has been ranked the No. 1 assistant college basketball coach in the country, according to Basketball Times.

    KU’s Norm Roberts checks in at No. 6 and Jerrance Howard No. 36 of the 60 coaches mentioned in the April 2014 edition of the magazine.

    ###2014 McDonald’s All-American game superlatives###

    Best finishers: Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre

    Alexander attacks the rim like no other player in the class. With dunks, rebounds, and blocks he’s a beast in every sense of the word, and will develop nicely under Bill Self at Kansas.

    Alexander’s future teammate in Lawrence plays above the rim on the break and when attacking the rim along the baseline. Oubre dunks with power and authority when he is not hitting a deep jump shot.

    ###Tait: With Manning moving on, Tulsa next coach could be easy to find###

    While the news about Danny Manning being hired by Wake Forest obviously is a big deal for the former Kansas University star and assistant coach, it’s also potentially huge news for another former Jayhawk.

    Brett Ballard, a former KU player and assistant in his own right, now sits in the win-win position of either moving on with Manning to Wake Forest or gunning to become the next Tulsa head coach himself.

    ###Dodd: Former KU star Danny Manning takes job at Wake Forrest###

    Danny Manning, the former Kansas star and assistant coach under Bill Self, is headed to Wake Forest.

    Manning, who spent the past two years overseeing a quick program resurgence at Tulsa, has been hired to replace the departed Jeff Bzdelik, according to multiple reports.

    The hiring was first reported by before being confirmed by the USA Today, Associated Press and Tulsa World. The hiring comes 26 years to the day after Manning led Kansas to the 1988 NCAA title — and two years after he was formally announced as the next coach at Tulsa.

    Manning, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft, spent 15 years in the NBA before returning to Kansas to join Bill Self’s staff in 2003. He first joined the staff as a quasi-team manager and then the director of student-athlete development before being elevated to a full-time assistant role in 2007. He served on the staff that guided the Jayhawks to the 2008 NCAA title, and developed a sterling reputation for nurturing and developing big men.

    ###Analysts: KU bound duo deserving all-stars###

    Leftover notes regarding the McDonald’s All-American Game Wednesday in Chicago. …

    ESPN’s Reggie Rankin proclaimed future KU players Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre as “best finishers” of the 24 high schoolers who competed.

    “Alexander attacks the rim like no other player in the class,” Rankin wrote of the 6-foot-8 power forward from Chicago Curie High, who had nine points and 11 rebounds in the East’s 105-102 loss to the West. “With dunks, rebounds, and blocks he’s a beast in every sense of the word, and will develop nicely under Bill Self at Kansas.

    ###Future Jayhawk Cliff Alexander tries to lure Myles Turner to KU###

    CHICAGO — Early on Monday morning, Cliff Alexander and Myles Turner stepped onto the same floor here inside the Quest Multiplex gym on the west side of the city.

    It was nearly an hour into a morning practice. NBA talent-evaluators sat in a row along the far wall. Twenty-four of the best high school basketball players in the country were spread across two floors, preparing for Wednesday night’s McDonald’s All-American Game at the United Center, a few miles away.

    Now it was time to scrimmage, and Alexander, a 6-foot-9 power forward, and Turner, a 6-foot-11 center, found themselves anchoring the same frontcourt while members of the 12-man East squad began to fly up and down the court.

    ###Smith: McDonald’s All American game roundup###

    All-star basketball games have the reputation of turning into open-court affairs in which defense is an afterthought and nonchalantness rules the day.

    So the best you can hope for is a tight game in the final minutes. That assures some true competitiveness will be on display.

    ###Dodd: KU recruit Kelly Oubre is talented brash###

    Kelly Oubre had grown out his hair for months, and now he needed something new, something that would make him stand out. He needed something, Oubre said, that could capture his “brand.”

    “I’ve never been a person to follow a crowd,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be different in anything I do.”

    ###Waiting in the wings: Kansas signee Kelly Oubre says move to Vegas beneficial###

    Chicago — Kelly Oubre Jr. had no say in the matter the first time his life was uprooted.

    The second time was not accompanied by such dramatic circumstances, and he did not question his father’s advice.

    ###Dodd: Top uncommitted prep player coolly bides his time###

    CHICAGO — The college coaches with the seven-figure salaries still check in almost daily. They send text messages, and they call, and they write long, gushing letters, utilizing all the weapons of courtship available in the high-stakes world of basketball recruiting.

    ###KU recruit Myles Turner keeping options open###

    Chicago — Myles Turner has heard the talk that his college choices are down to Kansas University or Texas.

    It did not originate from Myles Turner, nor, the highly ranked basketball recruit said, any representatives of Myles Turner.

    ###KU signee Cliff Alexander in no rust to go pro###

    Chicago — Even before he ceremoniously grabbed an Illinois hat off a table, then dropped it and declared himself a Jayhawk, Cliff Alexander spoke openly about his one-and-done intention to help his family financially.

    On the same day Kansas University freshman Andrew Wiggins declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft, the next big thing changed his tune following McDonald’s All-American Games practice Monday morning.

    ###Manning mulling options###

    Tulsa, Okla. — Former Kansas University basketball All-American Danny Manning, currently the head coach at Tulsa, met with Tulsa’s president and athletic director Tuesday afternoon amid reports he is a leading candidate to fill the Wake Forest head coaching vacancy.

    “They are very much interested,” Manning told the Tulsa World, referring to Wake officials. He said he had a productive meeting with UT officials.

    ###Dodd: KU’s Wiggins will enter NBA Draft###

    When Andrew Wiggins arrived at Kansas last summer, he was open about his list of goals for the coming year: He wanted to win a Big 12 championship, win the NCAA title; and become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft

    ###Tait: Wiggins’ Monday announcement won’t surprise but will be meaningful###

    So 2 p.m. central time Monday (or today, depending upon when you’re reading this) is the official time for the announcement we’ve all known was coming since last May.

    All signs point to Kansas University freshman Andrew Wiggins being headed to the NBA.

    Almost everyone I know, along with many of you I don’t, accepted this fact a long time ago and most people did not have much issue with the fact that Wiggins’ time in Lawrence was going to last one season, win, lose or draw.

    ###Done deal: Wiggins expeted to declare for NBA today###

    Kansas University freshman basketball guard Andrew Wiggins will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. today, at which he will announce his intentions to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

    KU freshman Joel Embiid, who like Wiggins is expected to be taken in the top three of the draft, will not be part of this news conference.

    ###KU Sports: KU signee Cliff Alexander in no rush to go pro###

    “I wouldn’t mind staying two years,” Alexander said. “Stay and get better. I’ve been talking to my parents about it. Some guys leave, and they aren’t ready. They rush in, and they’re rushed out. I just want to take my time.”

  • Not an April’s fool day joke from Wiggins I suppose. I heard a funny one about UK making the final four…

  • Saw a tweet from Jeff Goodman that Wake Forrest is interested in Danny Manning.

  • Myles trying not to look like he cares if Embiid comes back. Nicest way I can put it.

  • I’m not sure why Self has basically told Myles to go elsewhere if Embiid stays.

    Why wouldn’t he want 3 stud post players in a constant rotation for 2 spots on the floor. With his hi/lo the 4 and 5 can be interchangeable… more like left post and right post.

    Ellis should start working his game out to the 3 because he isn’t aggressive enough to play 4 at the next level.

    The best development for Myles would be to spend a year playing scrimmage ball against Embiid. That should help him more than game time anyways.

    Sure seemed to work for Marcus Lee…

  • @drgnslayr maybe he is saying that so he isn’t pressuring anyone to leave or give up a scholarship?

    Maybe it has to to with chemistry, you know when you have two friends they get along well, add a third and someone always feels left out and it can ruin everything?

    But I agree why not stack the odds in your favor, have an extra stud right there at your grasp, instead of grasping to find someone when there is an injury or foul trouble??

    Ellis isn’t quick enough to play the three I don’t think at this level. If he is he hasn’t showed it in two years. I think he is a great talent and player, but sometimes he seems just so ho hum about it all.

  • @JRyman

    You are right…

    I just took the Calipari mentality… “you can never sign enough talent!”

    Maybe Self will remain different from Cal.

  • @drgnslayr

    From the KC Star article.

    “It wouldn’t rule (KU) out initially,” Turner said. “But I’ve had talks with coach Self; he feels that if Jo comes back — he didn’t say (I would) ‘waste my time’, but he said I should really look other places.”

    In the hazy world of recruiting, Turner appreciated Self’s honestly.

    “He still feels like if I come in, the more the merrier,” Turner said. “The fact he was upfront with me shows a lot about his character.”

    And that’s why I love Bill. In the sleazy world of recruiting he still comes across as a class act.

  • @dylans

    Thanks for your post… makes sense!

  • I’m not sure why Self has basically told Myles to go elsewhere if Embiid stays.

    @drgnslayr I think the logical answer is that Myles is looking to start. You aren’t the #2 player in the country looking to come off the bench. So if he told that to Self, that would be my assumption as to why Self told him to look elsewhere.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Everything I’ve read on Myles is he definitely won’t be an OAD… TAD at best. Myles appears to be a smart kid who isn’t making immature ego decisions like most of these top shelf players. He doesn’t seem to overvalue his current level of play.

    If he knows (or thinks) he will be in college for at least 2 years, wouldn’t it be best if he played his first year with Embiid? I’m starting to think he may WANT Embiid to stay and play a year with him.

    It feels like Self assumes all these top shelf players want to be OAD… or if they don’t think that way, they should.

    BMac wasn’t given a choice on coming back. Self insisted he turn pro. I know BMac’s situation of poverty, but would his family have starved to death if he waited one more year?

    I think Self is building his OAD reputation. Trying to be viewed as fair, but also trying hard to get top shelf players to the league ASAP. I think Bill fears a situation like Marcus Smart… a player coming back and losing draft stock.

  • @drgnslayr Even if it’s a case where he isn’t going to be a OAD, it doesn’t mean he isn’t looking to start. Or just from a minutes perspective, having JoJo, Alexander, & Ellis around might be enough to make him consider other alternatives. I know you think Ellis needs to transition to the 3, I just don’t see it happening. History suggests Self won’t do it (Julian Wright, Marcus Morris, etc.), and I’m not sure Ellis is cut out for it anyway.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Good points. And you are right… history doesn’t look good for Ellis moving to the 3. But if he doesn’t make major changes in his game, he’ll be the kind of tweener that doesn’t stand a chance at the next level.

    I don’t think it bodes well for Self to have Perry flop at the next level. I know Self’s history doesn’t point to Perry moving to the 3… but if he doesn’t and he flops, won’t that reflect bad on Self’s reputation with top shelf talent? Perry was a big recruit coming out of HS.

    We definitely caught a taste of Perry bombing 3s. I’m 100% certain that a big part of Perry’s workout this summer will be structured around perimeter shooting. That doesn’t help him most if he is trapped as a 4 in Self’s hi/lo.

    BTW: we all know Alexander is expecting big time minutes. Won’t he, most likely, be stealing most of his minutes from Perry at the 4?

  • I think Perry may win the “war of wills” with Self.

    Self has wanted Perry to be more “Julius Randle-esque” since day 1 at Kansas. Self seemed to make headway with Perry at the end of his freshman year. But this year, Perry clearly showed himself as a finesse 4. There is no more doubt about that. Well… finesse 4s are not the best fit in Self’s hi/lo. If Perry had done nothing but pump iron last summer and ate tons of hormone red meat, he might have come closer to becoming a real power forward. He did get stronger… but it didn’t seem to get him to the next level.

    Hudy discussed player development. The big gains typically come between freshman and sophomore years through the summer.

    Perry may be the most-disciplined workhorse in the off-season. They guy lives to train. If his mind was only fixed on being “Randle-esque” he would develop the body to fit. But he hasn’t. And his personality and focus appears to have stayed around finesse.

    Maybe it is too much to turn and square peg into a round peg.

    And now we have Alexander coming in. I just don’t see Perry spending his summer slamming down beef steak and smacking major bench presses so he can, at best, try to compete for power minutes against Alexander. Maybe I am wrong.

    I see Perry going to the video room and watching tape on the twins. Marcus, the definitive new cut 3 at the next level… or Kieff… the definitive pro tweener at the 4, that creates match-up problems by accentuating the positives of being a tweener. Perry could work hard and find himself going for either one of these roles. Neither is a power 4.

  • @drgnslayr I agree 100% that Ellis is ill-suited to be an NBA post player. If he wants to succeed at that level, it will have to be at the 3.

    I think from an offensive standpoint Perry could do well at the 3. I think ball handling and passing would be two areas he would need to work on more than perimeter shooting. I think right now his ball handling is very good for a post player, but likely average for a 3. He would definitely be a different look at the 3 than guys like Rush, Releford, or Wiggins.

    It’s the defensive end that I wonder more if he can succeed at the 3. Granted, he’s a below average defender in the post, so the trade-off is having bad defense at one position or the other. When you think about it, Perry isn’t in danger of becoming a tweener that struggles in the NBA, he is a tweener right now in college. His skill set lends itself to being exposed to mismatches on the perimeter & the post. I honestly don’t know how you reconcile that, at least not in Self’s system.

    As for hurting Self’s reputation with top shelf talent…again, see Julian Wright. I would guess it wouldn’t hurt him too much if Perry isn’t successful, given that it will be around the time guys like JoJo, Wiggins, Alexander, etc. will be coming into the league to at least deflect a majority of that criticism.

    As for Alexander coming in and stealing most of Perry’s minutes, I see a situation where Self starts both. Self isn’t hung up on always having a true center at the 5. In fact, I would argue that his two best teams did not feature a true center in the starting line-up: the '08 championship team with Arthur & Jackson, and the '11 team with the Morris Twins. Self will start the two best post players, sometimes it includes a true rim protecting center, sometimes it’s two athletic 4s.

  • Making big changes… like going from a back-to-the-basket 4 to a swing 3 is almost impossible without having the natural talent. Perry isn’t huge on natural talent. But… seriously… I doubt Kansas has ever had a player who is willing to work harder on his game.

    Maybe that will be the difference and maybe Perry can make the change. His hard work has brought him to this level in his life, and he really wouldn’t be playing any college basketball if he had only counted on his natural talent. Everything we see in Perry has come through major practice reps.

    If he wants to stay at the 4, he should spend his entire summer playing competitive ball somewhere. Get away from all those lone reps of theoretical basketball. He needs more physical play against someone. Maybe on some inner-city street courts in what is considered “unorganized basketball.” That could toughen him up. In those games, players have to earn everything, and weakness is like throwing raw meat to lions.

  • @icthawkfan316 “Self will start the two best post players, sometimes it includes a true rim protecting center, sometimes it’s two athletic 4s.”

    True, but when you don’t have the rim protector you need better perimeter D. Arthur and Jackson played with 3 terrific perimeter defenders, and the Twins had Brady of course 😉

  • And let’s not forget… we did have a true 5 off the bench… Sasha Kaun! And down the stretch… we had Cole, too!

    Didn’t Sasha start sometimes, too?

  • @ParisHawk It’s definitely better to have good perimeter defenders, you’re right. But It didn’t matter. Self could have had horrible perimeter defenders on those teams, but what was he going to do, play freshman Cole Aldrich over Jackson & Kaun? Or play sophomore Withey over Mk. Morris & TRob? The players in front of the rim protectors were so much better all around at that stage of their careers that perimeter defense was a moot point; the switch would have been a net negative.

    Don’t even get me started on Brady…

  • @ParisHawk

    Excellent point. We had 3 solid perimeter defenders.

    And let’s not forget this year’s rule changes. Maybe we never get a good perimeter lock down team again (against the drive).

    With the game being called tighter… It is imperative that we have a shot blocker!

    I will be shocked if we lose Embiid this year and we don’t sign Myles. It already seems we are shopping around to make sure if this scenario does happen, we will have a backup.

  • @drgnslayr Correct me if I’m wrong, but Cole had about 8 really significant minutes his entire freshman year: against UNC and Tyler Hansbr*gh.

    I don’t know if Sasha started, but the 3 bigs had pretty comparable minutes.

  • @ParisHawk

    That’s right. Cole did have a few minutes in the season, but that was his coming out party on the national stage.

    Cole already had a rep as a shot blocker in practice. Within our team, no one was shocked by his performance against UNC.

    Gosh… what a pleasant thought to have now. A flashback to that game and how jacked up we were to get after it with UNC. I’d give my right leg to see us get after basketball like that again!

  • @drgnslayr “how jacked up we were to get after it with UNC”

    Right. Chalmers was gasping for breath in the middle of the first half. KU started that game with incredible energy.

  • @drgnslayr We did have 5s off the bench, but your point was about Alexander coming in and taking Ellis’ minutes at the 4. As if to say they both play the same position so those minutes must be divvied up between them. If JoJo leaves and Turner doesn’t come in, do we honestly think Self is going to start Lucas or Hunter Mickelson over Ellis or Alexander? Or anyone else we might bring in at this point (should we miss on Turner)? No way.

    Kaun did not start to my recollection, other than senior night against Texas Tech. In '08 Sasha averaged 17.7 minutes, Jackson 24.3 , Arthur 24.7. And while Sasha was more a 5, he wasn’t a rim protector. Shady had more blocks on the year than did Kaun.

  • You mentioned Tyler Hansbrough… I sort of lost track of him. Just did a look up on how Tyler was doing in the pros. Looks like he is a free agent.

    He needs to study Kelly Tripucka’s game. That guy was amazing. Hansbrough should be the next Tripucka.

    I miss players like Tripucka. Guys that know how to score off the base line. Jamaal Wilkes was another one.

  • @icthawkfan316

    I’m saying I can’t see a situation where we don’t have Embiid, Turner or someone else we quickly find as a backup. It appears we are staying in the mix for other bigs if we don’t have Embiid or Turner.

    You are right… if we don’t have anyone else… Ellis and Alexander will be left and right in the post.

  • Maybe Ellis should study Tripucka and Wilkes game. Especially Wilkes.

    Wilkes was only 6’6" and was a prolific scorer in the league, and he did it with finesse, not force.

    Ellis has height over both of these players.

  • Totally off subject: Odds that players transfer -

    1. White: 2-5
    2. Tharpe: 3-1
    3. Greene: 5-1
    4. Lucas: 5-1
    5. Mason: 7-1
    6. Traylor: 10-1
    7. Frankamp: 15-1
    8. Ellis: 200-1
    9. Selden: 1000-1

  • @drgnslayr Who are we in on that could come in and play right away? The only person I’ve heard is that Thompson kid out of VTech, but he’d have to sit a year.

    My point is, assuming we lose JoJo, anyone we bring in likely isn’t going to be good enough to displace Ellis (Tarik Black wasn’t) or to keep Alexander off the floor. The only exception would be Turner, but even in that situation I don’t see Alexander “stealing most of his minutes from Perry at the 4”. I see a situation where the 80 minutes between the two post positions are fairly evenly split. Sometimes that means Perry & Alexander (likely starters in this situation, IMO), sometimes it’s Perry & Turner, sometimes it’s Alexander & Turner. I think Alexander is long enough and enough of a presence to cover some of the rim protecting responsibilities when Turner is out.

    The one exception that I do think Alexander could come in and steal Perry’s minutes at the 4 is if JoJo comes back. If that were to happen, I think that is the one situation I could see Bill getting creative and maybe playing Perry at the 3 some.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Interesting… I only see Tharpe as a possible transfer if Self basically levels the boom on him. Otherwise… he’d be taking his negative baggage with him to another school that can only accept him with a defensive attitude.

    AW3… he should transfer. He’s a player, and for whatever reason, he won’t be getting real minutes next year. I felt he should have shared minutes with Wayne this year. He would have been another nice option in March… especially since we know freshmen have a tendency to disappear in March (which happened with Wayne).

  • @icthawkfan316

    I think if Self has a real option at the 4 (and 5) he’ll use minutes to leverage motivation out of Ellis. Self can’t be happy with Perry’s inconsistency at the 4. Against big post players, he actually shows consistency by consistently not showing up for those games.

    I’m pretty sure, no matter who stays and who we get… since signing Alexander, Perry will be pushed into lifting his game. It all helps Perry in the end because this year was not a positive development year for Perry.

    I heavily consider the words from Hudy when making that statement. This should have been Perry’s year to make a huge impact.

    I need to look back but I thought we were in on another forward who had finished his degree and wanted to play his final year somewhere else… like Tarik did. He is eligible this coming year.

    Oh… I was thinking about Anthony Lee (from Temple). Guess he is on his way to Ohio State. But you never know with Self. That could change. He isn’t signing an LOI, so he is fair game until receiving aid from OSU.

  • @drgnslayr an example of why Perry can’t play the 3- I have nightmares remembering the Stanford game when Perry had the ball in transition, all by himself and in 4-5 dribbles could not get the ball under control and a Stanford player came up from behind and simply took the ball from him. Maybe he gets tougher over the summer?? Hate to call him out, but he killed us that last game! I don’t really think he could beat out our 3’s anyway. Perry can shoot anywhere, but that’s not his problem.

  • Question, saw the list of transfers, is there always this many? Crazy, can’t actually believe the ncaa is allowing this.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Agreed. I don’t think Perry will move to the 3 at all. It sounds good in theory but he is going to play the 4. A “stretch” 4 maybe but a 4 all the same.

    I think Perry will start no matter what. Even if Jo Jo is back I think Cliff comes off the bench. Perry is a proven scorer at the D-1 level and will be in his 3rd year of the Self system. He will be a better defensive player next year (that should not be hard) and will be one of the focal points for our offense.

    I personally would love to see Tharpe take over as a 6 or 7 man off the bench to shoot and play the 2 guard with CF and Mason owning the PG spot. Selden will obviously start at the 2 and either Oubre or Greene at the 3. The 4-5 rotation of either Jo Jo (possibly Turner), Perry, Jamari, Cliff, Mickleson and Lucas is a pretty crowded group for minutes down low.

  • @joeloveshawks do you think we might be better off with Turner than Embiid? I’m wondering if this back injury will be reoccurring? Haven’t heard any reports how his back is doing?

  • Nice discussion. Ellis at the 3? He has the shooting touch, but very inconsistent at passing and defending. We are using him in his high school role of post-player, simply because that’s where all his reps, ppg, stats (that made him a McDAA) originated from. His “miss” of a putback dunk (that Wiggins or Black ‘finished’…) against EKY was absolutely maddening–> Is Perry Ellis an above the rim type of player? And all the bonehead turnovers. Turns it over as much as Tharpe. How ATYPICAL was it this year to have the 2 starter RETURNEES be the most inconsistent regarding defense and turnovers? So far Ellis “soft”–a typical Roy Williams-type of McDAA, may have blended better into UNC? Feed him in the post against a team shorter than 6’8 (like IowaSt), and he can do what he does. I’d like to gently remind Perry Ellis that he is manning the “Thomas Robinson” position, and all that means…

    And regarding PG, and its history under Self at KU…(may help to guide where we are going, if we consider what kind of guys have tried the position under Self):

    Tharpe (91rank) --> see this season…It seems matchups dictate his play partly, and partly its his own motivation. The 2 games against TX prove that. One day he can defend, the next day he cannot (against same opponent). Has developed legit 3gun, including penchant for big-moment shots. Took penetration notes from Tyshawn, had swagger last year subbing for EJ…but lost his mojo this season, and his “notes” on penetrating the paint. Can he recover? Amazingly inconsistent in a:t ratio for a Bill Self junior. He is THE current scapegoat for jayhawk nation, fairly or unfairly…BUT, it MUST be remembered…those 3-4 game stretches last year where he had 20assists:1 turnover was with a VERY experienced team (Withey, Young, Releford, BMac, EJ…). This year was a whole new team, whole new chemistry. This team easily exposed when pressured with zone Ds.

    EJ (5star top20) --> played better as 2combo jr season, instead of PGcombo his sr season. Part of his issue, of course, was NOT having a running mate, which was a violation of Self’s own rule in keeping multiple combos on the floor at all times as ball handlers (see '12 when EJ had TT beside him). Other main issue is EJ’s nonaggressive mentality, its just who he is. Also, EJ couldnt unseat Brady his first 2 seasons, especially on the D-end, as Brady had an uncanny defensive instinct. I still believe EJ starts as a frosh from Day 1 at 95% of other Div.1 programs. Unfortunately, his confidence at KU sufferred. A curious interplay between his personality and Self’s.

    Tyshawn (70rank, 3star) --> took 3yrs to become near-elite PG (a:t ratio never elite, though). Started from Day 1 on pure size and crazy, crazy athleticism. “At times plays like he’s never been coached, at times makes plays you can’t coach.”

    Sherron (McDAA top20) --> Major contributor from Day 1! Played hurt, played tough, played clutch. Literally gave us 100% when he should have gone pro after junior season. How do we thank him for staying? He did not know he would pull his groin in Feb of his Sr season, and wasnt the same the rest of the season. Fate was cruel.

    Selby (McDAA No.1 PG) --> Impossibly snake-bit cruelty by fate. NCAA suspension, hand injury, then nagging foot injury Jan-thru-April (same as Reed). We never saw much of the 100% Selby, other than his 1st eligible game vs USC, where he hit multiple 3s, saving KU’s 60+game AFH win streak (at that time). I was there. He was healthy for 5-7 games, and was avg’ing 14+ppg in that span, then hurt the foot. Major mistake to not “use” KU’s free publicity for a second year in college, 100% healthy. Woulda been a SelbyHighlight show.

    Russell Robinson (20s ranked 4star combo) --> THE standard for Bill Self lead-combo guard with emphasis on distributive instead of scoring, although came through with some 20+pt games when needed. Steadiest, toughest guard we’ve seen at KU under Self. Over 2:1 assist ratio, so far hasnt been touched by ANY subsequent starting KU PG! Against UNC in Final4, hit KUs opening shot (a corner3), and closed KU’s scoring with a baseline penetration layup. PTPer under the biggest lights. Unfazed describes him to a tee.

    Chalmers (top20 McDAA) -->A 6’1 “alpha”, Major contributor from Day 1, moved to 2combo after failing as 1comboPG. Uncanny defensive anticipation. Above-the-rim hops. Fearless shooter. And it served him + jayhawk nation well…Also, has saved the Heat’s bacon in 2 separate Finals series, thus helping earn his NBA champ ring, clearly not a LBJcoattail guy.

    Anrio Adams (100rank?) --> Wonderful size & athleticism, but clearly something missing upstairs…ego without credibility goes no where. Why was he not in the top50? Exactly…(because he had issues). Maybe not even a Div1 playable player?

    Brady (ranking?) --> Project guard, with Self-combo size 6’4. Had developmental inside-track. And perhaps benefitted from “inside track” on mpg, only helped by the fact he actually could defend 95% of opposing guards. Also could feed the post better than anyone else on the team. That means he starts for Bill Self. A plateaued player beyond those 3 attributes, HOTLY debated by fanbase as players with higher ceilings rode pine. But imagine Brady as PG this year, distributing the ball, and playing D with his 6’4 length? I’d take that. And his 40% 3gun.

    Reed (50s ranked) --> Heart of a lion. But also sufferred confidence as he initially clashed with Bill Self’s personality. In his own book, Reed states he wasnt sure how to take Self initially. Defensively borderline performer initially, improving to adequate levels. Had athleticism we rarely saw, and ended KU career with terminal foot injury (like Selby). Decent, but inconsistent 3gun. Could have developed into an Aaron Craft type of combo guard if given the chance (at 95% of other schools). Also recruited by Roy at UNC.

    Mason (70->50 ranking, rapidly rising) --> Make no mistake, he is a combo guard, adept at scoring (see how Self is drawn to that quality?), but now surrounded with talent…so he is definitely in a learning situation. Has 190lb muscular physique, and most importantly, an aggressive mindset. Also has speed and hops. If learning to play under control is the worst thing we can say about him so far, he is off to a good start. He can play D. And, frankly, calling him Sherron-lite or a “young” Sherron is truly meant as a compliment. He has work to do, but VERY likely will battle Tharpe for starting guard.

    Frankamp (top30) --> Unbelievable scorer, never got in rhythm until that Stanford game. You wonder how many set plays could have been for him all season (come open off a screen for that quick-trigger J), if he only had found the range sooner. But, no worries, keep him coming along under Hudy and Self, and I have high hopes. In his minutes played, his A:T ratio is absolutely stellar…impeccable almost…which doesnt do any favors to Tharpe. Also has shown some defensive instincts, and deceptively quick feet. Concerns are the sub-Div1 size. Lets see how his development in all areas goes. Certainly has the opportunity to battle Tharpe and Mason for lead-combo guard next season. Again, notice Frankamp is a scoring type of guard. Now asked to lead the team…hence he is “yet another Bill Self combo guard”.

    NOTICE the trend on the higher the ranking, the better the guards do.

    Do-it-all guards + high-skill, high-hustle bigmen. Everybody plays D. This is Bill Self Ball. Looking to get back to the standards all past Bill Self teams have set. We have some improving to do. And continued recruiting some better-than-50 ranked guards, preferrably top30 combo guards.

  • @icthawkfan316

    I agree, the only position Ellis can play in the NBA is the 3. He is just not big or strong enough to bang inside. A lot of college players change position once the ye get to the League. Mario played SG at KU but now plays PG for the Heat. Rush went from SF to SG, Markieff and Marcus went from PF/C and PF to PF and SFin the league. Ellis has shown a decent shot from the outside and can hit the thee when set. Once he learn to shoot the three from behind the screen or on the move he will have a decent shot since he is speedy enough to penetrate and take the short jumper or the layup/dunk. With Alexander taking minutes at the PF I can see Ellis playing a hybrid PF/SF to start and gradually moving to the SF.

  • @drgnslayr

    Wow,. Kelly Tripuka, I had not heard that name in a while. While Tripuka and Hansbrough were prolific college scorers, their games are quite different, as I recall. Tripuka was a finesse type of player with a great outside shot that played the SF but, more often than not, the SG, while Hansbrough is an Inside banger that plays PF.

    Tripuka was overlooked and undervalued in the NBA and his trade to Utah was the beginning of the end of his career, not because he could not play but because he and coach Layden did not see eye to eye; he should have stayed in Detroit where he was an important part of that team, but I guess it was not his decision. He was a good scorer both on college and the NBA. Landing on the right team can make or break you career; Mario Chalmers knows this all too well; he landed on the right team and has never looked back.

    Tyler Hansbrough has had a hard time finding a niche in the NBA. He is one of the more accomplished players ever in college, but somehow he does not seem to land on a team that needs his style of play.

  • @ParisHawk yep, I had great seats to that game and was concerned pysco T would take off when Cole went in but Cole took it to another level and outplayed him.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 No, I don’t think so but that is just a gut reaction. I think Embiid has the potential to be one of the most dynamic players in the country if healthy and I think this back issue is not as bad as it seems. He has only played the game for a few years and needs to get bigger, stronger and more accustomed to the wear and tear.

    If Jo Jo leaves (and I think he will) I would like to see Turner but I think we will be pretty stacked with either or neither of them.

  • @joeloveshawks I think Embiid is already one of the most dynamic players. I don’t believe he was going to play in the ncaa’s. Just based on rumors. I’m thinking 2 years of Turner might benefit us more than 1 of Embiid. My dream(ha ha) would be to have them both!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Do you really think Embiid pretended to still be hurt to avoid playing in NCAA games? I don’t believe that at all. If you watched his face during the game, he looked miserable that he wasn’t playing against Stanford. I don’t think he’s that two-faced and selfish. That doesn’t seem to me to be in his character.

  • @oldalum just what I heard. Don’t think he was pretending, think they didn’t want to jeopardize his health.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Are you employed by KU Athletics? I’m just curious.

  • Just my humble opinion that if we do retain or recruit a rim protector to play with Cliff and Perry, we are bound to see Perry at the 3 position occasionally this season, esp. in situations where we compete against taller, slower teams. I look to see Perry work on foot speed and shooting from deep during the offseason. If we retain JoJo, and if Myles should decide to join him, someone is heading out the door. Probably White or Tharpe. Because of prior red shirts, Lucas, Traylor and Mickelson appear to be a lock to stay; and I envision lots of playing time for Greene. I’d like to see Selden spend 25% of his minutes at pt. guard. I hope not to see Tharpe back in the role of running the show. His minutes, only as a backup at the 2. Might really be best for him and the program if he pursues a different venue for a year of readjustment, then a potential experienced starter during his final season of eligibility. He has pretty much worn thin his credibility at this juncture. At the very least, perhaps red shirt him to offer him time to gain focus and dependability.

  • @REHawk We need Traylor to come off the bench and spark the team. Plus I think he learned a lot from his brother Mr. Black about leadership, caring, and getting after it.

    Traylor will be a very big contributor next year off the bench. He might even start a few games early in the season if the Freshman aren’t playing withing the team.

  • @DanR no.

  • I felt if Embiid was over emphasizing his injury to skip March games it was because he was afraid to turn pro soon. By sitting out it helped pull the light off of him for a bit and perhaps eased pressure to go pro. I still highly doubt that happened. But that was what my gut felt concerning even the possibility of such a thing.

    Tripucka was very capable of playing physical when need be. He definitely wasn’t a wimp, and both him and Wilkes were great on the baseline. I studied those guys because much of my own game came off the baseline. I loved playing the line, and no one knows how to do it today. It is a pity, because it was such a dynamic part of basketball that gave way to poor officiating that allowed defenders to heavy arm players right out of bounds without a foul call. I never understood why refs did that except under instructions. I guess the league office didn’t want the game played near under the basket. Probably because at that time, the camera angles were limited. Tripucka and Hansbrough have similarities in their game and personalities. Both liked to play rough, but also liked to finesse flop calls. I bet Tyler has given up on most of that in the league now.

    The best match for Perry is Wilke’s game. He was only 6’6" but developed a plethora of moves in the low post, including some back-to-the-basket moves, like a baby hook and full blown Kareem-style hook. That guy was one of the best low post players who could finesse off a pivot. He could come in hard to the middle, like he was a 7-footer, or he could spin away on the baseline with a dead-eye fade away jumper. No one ever learned to shut down Wilkes. And he could dribble and was lethal in the open court. I adored his game going back to UCLA, when he played for Wooden.

    If Perry could study and become the next Wilkes, he would leave Kansas with a NC trophy under his belt because college coaches today don’t have an ounce of experience dealing with baseline scorers. He would go undefended and would rack up some outrageous stats.

    Our alley-oop plays often come off the line, giving us just a taste of what is possible from that area of the court.

  • @drgnslayr With the rule change more zone defenses will be played to mitigate foul trouble and defensive shortcomings. I think the top of the key and the baselines will be open all season. Will someone be able to capitalize? I don’t know, but Perry has the perfect zone busting game. He could present Niang-like matchup problems if the system would allow it. His D would have get significantly better too.

  • @drgnslayr “Our alley-oop plays often come off the line, giving us just a taste of what is possible from that area of the court.”

    Yeah, but they work because Ellis is screening post defenders and pushing them up court. Is Ellis going to screen for himself?

    Who mentions how effective a screener Ellis is on set plays?

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