My wife was out of town last night so I was able to park myself in front of the TV to watch the entire game. I know you can’t take away much from “All Star” games but I think this game is one of the best as they do play to win since it is the USA vs. The World format.
Cliff Alexander - looks more polished on defense than offense. He blocked a number of shots (a couple called goal-tending that looked clean) and altered a number of shots and was aggressive on the boards. His offense looked very raw. He can certainly dunk with authority but does not appear to have a great deal of post moves (if any). Okafor who he played in the post with had a host of moves that made me think it is a bit further along in his development.
Oubre - very impressed. He chucked up quite a few deep 3’s that did not connect but he also hit a couple that looked really pure. He is long and plays the game in an effortless manor. He can get to the rim with relative ease and apparently his wingspan is over 7 feet. The coaches on the USA team obviously like Oubre as he played most of the game. He may be a streaky shooter his first year.
Turner - I know he got hurt and has an ankle sprain so it is even more difficult to evaluate his play. That said, did anyone else who watched this game think he seemed slow and out of position and that he is not a low post player in any way and really seems to look like Isaish Austin…a 7 foot guy who can shoot? I certainly hope we land this kid but he looks more like a project to me than a guaranteed contributor from day one. If he signs with KU I can’t imagine he would start over Perry or Cliff.
Others - overall Okafor (Duke) looked like the real deal as did Stanley Johnson (Arizona). Jones (Duke) is a good floor leader. It will be interesting to see how he runs Coach K’s system. Duke should be pretty solid with these kids coming in.
Overall - I love the fact that KU also had both our kids in the starting lineup but after watching these guys I think I am most excited by the fact that I don’t see the NBA execs drooling over Alexander, Oubre or Turner (if he comes to KU) in the same way they did over a lot of last years class. We may get really fortunate and have class that helps build the program and best case scenario I think we have these kids for a couple of years before they think about leaving.
I like the way Oubre moves without the ball; and he seems to have knack for positioning himself as a rebounder. An early concern: both Alexander and Oubre appeared to have both knees padded. Myles Turner, who broke an ankle in h.s. left the game with an ankle problem. Ralster declares that end-of-season leg problems not esp. a viable concern for Bill Self’s NCAA Tourney squads. Lankford, Collins, EJ, and Selden have certainly experienced sad wheels at ShowTime.
@joeloveshawks I haven’t seen Oubre or Alexander play the game much beyond a few highlights here and there. But, it seems like they are both dominant guys out there. We need that killer instinct from both of them. IMO, I think if that holds true. Coach starts Alexander at the 4, lets Junior big man Mickelson start at Center, and of course Oubre starts along side Selden at the SF spot. PG is a concern. Havent read that post yet but I honestly think Coach has to give serious serious thought to giving the starting PG spot to Frankamp. Especially if the kid works hard over the summer and gains 15-20 lbs all Hudy-ized muscle mass.
All this speculating, has implications on Perry being needed to come off the bench, at least until he proves he can defend better. Naadir tharpe? WHat else can we say. I feel he has reached his Nadir. Its time for some new blood at PG. Considering both Conner and Mason will be sophs, they will have more experience and should be better at running the offense and better at defending.
@joeloveshawks Thanks(!) for the game observations, I didnt get to see it…Still havent seen Oubre & Alexander play alot, other than highlight Ytube videos, but one thing I really like is that BOTH Kelly and Cliff seem to possess an aggressive streak…Bill Self demands such mentality, so that will benefit the whole lockerroom, as a “counterpoint” to Perry Ellis’ nice, quiet, finesse type of personality and play.
@REHawk I should clarify my “end of season legs” comment–> I was referring to the general idea about “dead” legs possibly from defensively-oriented playstyle costing our guys some juice…No, I dont really think that currently…since we saw AZ, Wisc, KY, UConn, Michigan ALL play better D than KU this year, and they didnt have dead legs. 2008 Self guys did not have dead legs (ask UNC and Memphis).
Now, injury is a whole different deal. You cannot expect an injured player to do 100% of what we’d like him to do, on both ends of the floor. Sherron WAS injured since about February-onwards, right on thru the UNI game with a nagging groin pull. Yep, he was slow, not the 2008 version, but not because of dead legs.
A final factor that can really influence fatigue in any 1 game, though, is matchups and bench. Against KY in 2012, there really wasnt anybody who could sub for TT or EJ, without a major dropoff in some matchup area. Which didnt help a '12KU team that liked to fall behind, and had to battle like mad to tie the game late. Having Josh Selby for a 2nd year (2012) healthy all season could have made a humongous difference, all the way around. That’s where Self’s ‘system’ got burned.
General comment for all: Again, 2008 and 2012 were exceptional years AND tournament runs because multiple guards stayed multiple years.
The mid-major “way”: Guys stay all 4 years, solid on fundamentals and experience.
The KY/OAD “way”: Revolving-door uber-frosh, 3-5 new starters EVERY season, style and results depend on simplicity and over-the-top athleticism to “overcome” mistakes and deficiencies.
The Self system (ideally): Recruit top30 athletes, but also get them to play competently in ALL phases of basketball, with discipline…but also with aggression. We all saw this best served when these “athletes” stayed > 2years. If pipeline stays full, we contend seriously every season as a 1seed…whereas, if we have a down recruiting year or two (at guard positions), we have to get them “past” their frosh year (polite way to put it), and while we’ll always contend for the conf. championship, we may only be a flawed contender for the national championship. I consider KU-Mich Elite8 loss to be an in-betweener season, as short on quality bigs, and 1 combo guard short (EJ needed running mate, sorely missing Tyshawn). And finally, regarding EJ, no I dont think he was dead legs, nor do I think he was hurt. His issue was lack of relentless aggression, ALL season long, and his final game played out the same way (tendencies prevailed).
Pretty decent game and the good guys won. Both KU recruits started for the USA team and played well.
Here is a link to an interview with Oubre; he seems well spoken and smart and looks like he will fit well in Coach Self’s system.
Here is a link to the game recap…
@JayHawkFanToo Thanks for the link to the interview.
I really like how Oubre expressed and presented himself. He looks like a winner. Sure hope he will be like Ben McLemore, one of my recent favorites. Ben looked to me, truly enjoyed his stay at KU and always had a infectious smile.
Kelly Oubre per Draftexpress.com,
Height w/shoes, Weight, Wingspan, Standing Reach
6’6.5", 204, 7’2", 8’8"
That’s a huge wingspan, comparing to McLemore and Rush.
Ben McLemore, as a Sophomore,
Height w/shoes, Weight, Wingspan, Standing Reach
6’4.75", 189, 6’7.75", 8’4.5"
Brandon Rush, as a Junior,
Height w/shoes, Weight, Wingspan, Standing Reach
6’6.5", 211, 6’11.25", 8’8.5"
His wingspan is that of a player 5" or 6" taller, a huge advantage on defense and rebounding.
I think Oubre is going to really shoot up the draft boards, which doesn’t bode well for him being in Lawrence more than one season. He’s just developing so quickly and with his size and length, he could be ready for the NBA this time next year. He’s closing in on 6-7 now, and with another year, could be that tall.
He’s also been moving up the boards very steadily in the high school rankings. He debuted in the rankings in the 60’s in the Scout rankings and has moved all the way up to 6. He’s had a similar climb in the Rivals rankings. I’d tie most of that to his size. A 6-4 guy with his skills could be a very solid college player. A 6-8 guy with those same skills could be an NBA starter. And his frame looks like it could add 15 pounds of muscle with no problem.
As for Alexander, as I’ve said before, I believe he’s in Lawrence two years, because as @joeloveshawks observed, his offensive game just isn’t far enough advanced to go to the NBA at this point. The power game should work nicely in college, but he will need to add something to go to the next level. That probably means 2 years in Lawrence, possibly 3.
@JayHawkFanToo I watched the first half of the Summit game, Kelly was active and had at least 2 steals and 2 rebounds. He actually played some defense. I’m not sure if his shot selection was bad. He appeared to be the designated shooter and shot when he was open.
It’s interesting looking at the measurements. Even though Cliff is 3 inches shorter than Myles, but the wingspan and reach are almost the same.
Cliff Alexander Weight: 251 lbs. Height (w/ shoes): 6’8" Wingspan: 7’3.5" Standing Reach: 9’0”
-Cliff Alexander doesn’t have elite size for a power forward prospect, but he has good length and outstanding strength for a player still months away from playing in his first college game. As a point of reference on just how strong Alexander is, his measurements match up exceptionally with Ike Diogu who stood 6’8” in shoes with a 7’3.5” wingspan weighing 255 when he entered the draft in 2005.
Myles Turner Weight: 242 lbs. Height (w/shoes): 6’11.5" Wingspan: 7’3.75" Standing Reach: 9’1.5”
-Standing just a shade under 7-feet tall with shoes on, Myles Turner measures similarly to LaMarcus Aldridge who stood 6’11.25” with a 7’4.75” wingspan weighing 234 pounds back in 2006. Though Turner doesn’t move as well as Aldridge, he has NBA size and a frame that has come a long way since he emerged on the recruiting radar. It will be interesting to see how much more weight his frame can carry.
Kelly Oubre Weight: 204 lbs. Height (w/shoes): 6’6.5" Wingspan: 7’2" Standing Reach: 8’8”
-Kelly Oubre has length akin to that of Kawhi Leonard, who stood 6’7” in shoes with a 7’3” wingspan coming into the 2011 draft. Leonard had a more mature frame weighing 227 pounds, but Oubre has the same type of unique wingspan.