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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How do you like them apples?

Jayhawks land commitment from No.3-ranked juco recruit

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Incoming class

Listed below are the KU basketball recruits who will be on campus next season:

¢ Mario Little

6-5 guard

¢ Quintrell Thomas

6-8 forward

¢ Marcus Morris

6-8 forward

¢ Markieff Morris

6-10 forward

¢ Travis Releford

6-5 guard

¢ Tyrone Appleton

6-3 guard

Tyrone Appleton, whose Midland (Texas) College basketball team already has won one junior college national championship and is a contender to repeat this year, has decided to attend Kansas University with one goal in mind - an NCAA crown.

"It doesn't matter if I am scoring, getting teammates involved or playing defense. I just want to win a national championship," 6-foot-3, 190-pound sophomore point guard Appleton said Monday after orally committing to Bill Self's KU program.

He chose KU over finalists Iowa State and Kentucky, picking a Jayhawk hat off a table with three hats and placing it on his head at an afternoon news conference at his school.

"I am going to one of the winningest programs in history. How could I pass that up? I will do whatever it takes to win, whatever the coaching staff wants me to do," said Appleton, who also considered Texas, Indiana, Texas A&M; and Kansas State.

Appleton, 21, who averages 12.5 points, 5.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals for 26-3 Midland, spent his junior year at Roosevelt High in Gary, Ind., then spent his senior year (2004-05) on the postgraduate team at Bridgeton Academy in Maine.

He was a fifth-year senior at Harmony Community School in Cincinnati, where he averaged 19.5 points a game.

He signed with Virginia Tech, but failed to qualify academically and has spent two seasons at Midland, where he has emerged as Rivals.com's No. 3-ranked juco player. KU signee Mario Little of Chipola (Fla.) CC is No. 1.

"The recruiting process was a very tough thing for me," Appleton said. "I met a lot of good people during my visits (to KU, San Jose State and Iowa State and unofficially to Kentucky). I knew Kansas was the school for me during my last unofficial visit."

He was unable to make it to Lawrence in time for KU's game against Nebraska on his official visit (Jan. 26-27), then returned for the 110 Years of KU Basketball Celebration game against Colorado on Feb. 16.

"I like the players. I hung out with Mario (Chalmers), (Brandon) Rush and (Sherron) Collins," said Appleton, who played point guard, shooting guard and small forward in high school but is solely a point at Midland. "The players, coaches and tradition are some of the things that stood out to me."

He liked the fact that Self - not any assistants - initiated his recruitment last semester.

"Bill Self is actually the one who contacted me. He came to watch me play and I didn't even know he was in the stands until after the game," Appleton said.

Appleton liked Self and KU's players so much he shrugged off some travel problems on his unofficial visit.

"Because of bad weather he was stuck at the airport from 4 in the morning until 3 p.m.," said Appleton's dad, Dr. James Dye, a physician in the Gary, Ind., area. "He's been in Texas two years so there was some climate shock. I told him, 'You're a Midwest kid. You know about winter,''' Dye added with a laugh.

Dye - he adopted Appleton after the player's grandparents died when he was a youth - was founder of Appleton's Sports Youth Foundation AAU team.

"Ty is best at distributing the ball and getting everyone involved. If I had to describe his game, I would use the term, 'defense,'" Dye said of Appleton, who likes to drive to the goal with shooting range out to 15 feet. "Even as a young guy, he learned defense before he focused on offense."

"I am known as a lockdown defender," Appleton said. "I hope to play defense and bring a spark to the team. I do see playing time at KU," he added. "I would not have chosen Kansas if I didn't think there was playing time."

Self cannot comment on Appleton's commitment until the April signing period.

KU received signed letters-of-intent from five players in November. They are: Mario Little, a 6-5 guard from Chipola (Fla.) Community College originally from Chicago; Quintrell Thomas, 6-8 from St. Patrick High in Elizabeth, N.J.; Marcus and Markieff Morris, 6-8 and 6-10 from APEX Academies in Pennsauken, N.J., originally from Philadelphia and Travis Releford, 6-5 from Roeland Park Miege.

KU is losing five seniors to graduation. Since KU has an incoming recruiting class of six, it's safe to say at least one non-senior will leave for the NBA next season. Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur are considered likely to leave with Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins possible early entrants.

Comments

gobeakers 9 years, 4 months ago

I hope he can expand his shooting range a bit!

HammHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Not to jump to assumptions, but I smell trouble with this guy. Two reasons: I've been really happy that the era of gimmicky press conferences had passed. The tease-the-crowd-with-several-hats-and-put-one-on deal is so 80s-90s and smacks of prima donna. The other reason is he refers to "Bill Self," not "Coach Self." You gotta be humble, kid, or you'll end up like Rush the Elder, JR Giddens, and the other cast-offs who thought their sh** didn't stink.

yates33333 9 years, 4 months ago

Don't all recruits come hoping to win a national championship?

If you are going to worry worry about his attitude. He seems to have great skills.

I see that Texas did what KU couldn't do this year. Texas may be the best team in the nation right now. Too bad they aren't playing Tennessee this week.

slantrox 9 years, 4 months ago

First, you can jump to conclusions, but don't try to jump to assumptions, you might pull something.

Second, this kid is about the 20th player that I know of this year to hold this exact same style of press conference.

Third, don't read too much into him saying "Bill Self" because he isn't the kids 'coach' quite yet. Also, don't believe word for word what you read in the paper. Him saying "Bill Self" may have come out audibly way better than it sounds in print.

Michael Pannacciulli 9 years, 4 months ago

will he make it academically? I hope so. that is my concern here. since he is part of the family we should now be as hopefully and trusting in him and the coaches decision to get him. I like defense and so does this kid. he was plenty humble by saying he would do whatever the coaches asked. rock chalk.

Nutflush21 9 years, 4 months ago

So now 2 players out of Appleton, Reed and Morningstar will never see the floor. If Im Reed and cant beat out Appleton, Id say hello to the Mo Valley.

Robert Brock 9 years, 4 months ago

I am not worried about his attitude - it sounds like he has been mentored and coached. I am concerned with mortgaging the future by giving scholarships to guys who may not bring a lot to the table (the court). My sourses say this kid is average. We need to bring in some serious talent - like Xavier Henry - in '09 and give some scollies to other high-level '09 jocks rather than keep beefing up for what looks like a droop next season.

slantrox 9 years, 4 months ago

Mortgaging the future? Double check the article....we are losing a boat-load of players! Maybe more than the 5 or 6. We aren't getting the no. 1 and 3 HS stars next year, so let's get the no. 1 and 3 Juco stars! Either that or watch them go to Kentucky or Iowa State or KSU?

And Brock, thanks for bringing up the no. 1 thing people hate about anonymous blogs like these...."your sourses (sic) say?" Give me a break, who are you and who cares what your sources say! Did you break the John McCain NY Times piece also? Probably used the same sources!

Brad Avery 9 years, 4 months ago

Tyrel Reed should be playing now. He can shoot, guard, distribute and block out, which are skills missing among the current group of mediocre guards.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 4 months ago

Don't know that Texas would smoke the Vols like they did earlier this year. I think the Vols are more improved than the Longhorns at this point.

okjhok 9 years, 4 months ago

Lots of venom after what seems to me to be an article filled with positives. Don't see any signs of a bad attitude. All I see is a talented player that appears to be ready to contribute next year. We had a scholarship to offer, and given what's left, this seems like a damn good pickup to me. I said yesterday that I wasn't crazy about another defensive minded point, but still seems like a good pickup. Definitely looks like a Bill Self type.

bashe24 9 years, 4 months ago

Well the kid talks like he is a team player....so for now i guess we can give him the benefit of the doubt......sounds kinda arrogant....possibly just confident......we will need help handling the ball next year.....but lets be honest mario and brandon aren't ready.......sheron=not even close.....and if arthur does leave what are we really losing??? someone who shoots everytime he touches it???........Rock Chalk 4 LIFE

truehawkfan 9 years, 4 months ago

I really liked the kids comments about doing whatever the coach wants. Good pick up. I just hope we see a more inspired, maybe even pissed off style of play from our boys Wednesday at ISU. I really hope Self takes charge of this team, becomes the vocal leader, then we will see others step up. It starts with the coach. I AM NOT BILL BASHING!! Just stating that he must take on the leadership role, so others will follow. Players reflect the attitude of the coach.

loudog 9 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of Xavier Henry, anyone know whether he's leaning toward any particular school? I don't check the recruiting sites, so I don't know specifics; but the last I heard of him was in relation to a different schoo.

srhoffman 9 years, 4 months ago

Get serious! "Fat and Lame" Collins is not an NBA prospect. He isn't even a difference maker on the collegiate level. He's been hurt for almost a year and half now and it is no longer accurate to say that he is a great penetrator, passer and can make his own shot. He is a huge disappointment and a distraction to this team.

Trent Smith 9 years, 4 months ago

How else is the kid supposed to distinguish between coach self and any of the other coaches on the team he will be calling "coach" next year? His point was that it was Bill Self the head coach (to his amazement) that initiated his recruitment, rather than any of the assistant coaches. No disrespect meant there. I think that was an ASS umption.

truehawkfan 9 years, 4 months ago

Not sure where that came from.

Anyway, Uh.. yep, I got nothin! Oh wait, I do have some anxiety medicine! Or some anti-depressants. Would you like to take of those srhoffman? It just might help your mood a little!!

frompekka2sasha 9 years, 4 months ago

srhoffman- You are a piece of crap for the name calling on Collins. I bet you feel like a stud sitting behind your keyboard making statements like that. Collins has worked very hard to get his weight down and then you say things like this. Ridiculous.

Blogs are a joke because there are too many wimps on here that turn into tough guys. I wish Collins could meet you face to face and whip your butt. Actually my real wish is that you look in the mirror and realize how sad it is to come on a board and insult 20-21 year old kids that are trying their best.

YOU ARE A JERK! YOU ARE PATHETIC!! I hope Collins doesn't read these boards, and even if he does, I hope he realizes that you are a meaningless person in this world. If you had a life you wouldn't be posting negative comments about a person who will definitely exceed anything you decide to do in life. GUARANTEED!!

KUbsee69 9 years, 4 months ago

I just hope that no potential recruit ever learns about KUSports.com. If they saw most of the comments on here, they would run the other way.

Many, if not most of the comments on here are negatives. Everyone seems to be looking for the downside. Many are constantly trying to bad-mouth the individual coaches and players. The inevitable occasional loss brings out the worst in most.

KU must have the most spoiled fans anywhere.

"I'm worried about this and that"

  • Who cares what you're worried about?

"Do you think he can make the grades"

  • How is that anyone's business but KU BB staff?

"So & so is not ready for the NBA, can't do this or that"

  • Let the NBA scouts worry about that.

LET'S JUST SUPPORT THE TEAM.

RckChalkJeff 9 years, 4 months ago

It's srhoffman's first post. He's probably a pissed off purple pussie here to take out his frustrations that walker and sneasly have given him this last week.

truehawkfan 9 years, 4 months ago

Lets just all calm down. srhoffman just had a bi-polar episode or something like that. Once he realizes what he wrote, he will want to take it back, or he will just eat his words later THIS season.

KU 9 years, 4 months ago

You're not required to take Brock and his "sourses" (sic) seriously. He's the one who told me Saturday that Byron Eaton was the "weak link" on OSU's roster on the evidence that Brock had been watching him since Eaton was a 9th grader in Dallas.

Appleton is the #3 JUCO in the nation for crying out loud! Brock, you're saying he's "average"?

I don't really like recruiting rankings in general, especially high school football ratings. Basketball ratings are a little easier to do because kids play AAU competition nationally and it's easier to compare. Plus, by the time a kid is a JUCO sophomore, you have a pretty good bead on his strengths and weaknesses. I would say if he's being rated #3 in the country he's above average.

Welcome to the family, Tyrone!

Mike Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

"First, you can jump to conclusions, but don't try to jump to assumptions, you might pull something."

CLASSIC!!

milehighhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Welcome to KU!

(and don't mind some of these a-holes...they only come out in blogs, not the games)

Bill Kackley 9 years, 4 months ago

Question? We know that 5 scholarships are opening up and 6 coming in, but I thought there was one that was not used this year. If so we are ok but what happens if we sign 6 and don't have but 5 scholarships available? Does Self take a scholarship away from someone else?

midhawktx 9 years, 4 months ago

I actually have seen this kid play several times. He is a good player and has a laid back personality on the court. Personally, I like the idea of taking some experienced guards that are ready to play right out of the gate. That is what Bill did to build his program at Tulsa.

JayCeph 9 years, 4 months ago

In general, I think apples are 'okay' but nothing special.

However, there is a very special apple that tastes like what you'd expect an apple to taste like. It has the best crispy texture and immediately turns to cider in your mouth as you begin to chew the fleshy heaven that lives inside the skin.

The Honey Crisp.

Without it, apples would just be something to ignore in your local grocer's produce aisle.

truehawkfan 9 years, 4 months ago

I know that apple. Mmmmmm (drooling) Apples. I think a steaming hot apple pie fresh from Grandma's oven would be great to throw at some people posting here!!

I assume midhawktx that you are from Texas? Sounds good. I am glad we picked him up. What were some things that stood out to you about his game?

LAJayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, my sources say "He is a good player and has a laid back personality on the court."

kraus42 9 years, 4 months ago

Apples are the Devil's Fruit!! I prefer pears.

Mike Crosbie 9 years, 4 months ago

Juco Transfers? Great! In todays game I hate players coming out of high school and stay a year or two...you never know how long any kid will stay anymore, unlike in the past when we got 4 years from them........at least with a Juco transfer it's easier for me to accept only 1 or 2 years from them. Rock chalk!!

JNgohawks 9 years, 4 months ago

Granny Smith Apples are best for pie making

kc_wildfire 9 years, 4 months ago

"If Arthur does leave what are we really losing??? Someone who shoots everytime he touches it???"

You forgot to add someone who can get into foul trouble quicker than Britney Spears can get into trouble!

Jim Jackson 9 years, 4 months ago

We've never seen him play, so we'll see, on paper looks solid. He lists at 6'3 so i'm sure he's 6'2 and that is nice size for a PG. We don' have to load up on all american HS players every year, like some of the douchebags write on this board. Tennessee doesn't have even 1 HS all american and neither did Maryland when they clowned on us back in '02. We have enough talent on this team to win now!! We gotta do it!! And by the way SR hoffman you might be pissed at Sherron right now like I am, but he is nasty and will be in the league someday, I am not sure why he has been inconsistent but he is sick Ty Lawson style. Why doesn't the pure Kansan Tyrel Reed play more??!! He can shoot the rock and apparently works his ass off!! I guess Self is trying to see whether or not he can really defend another 2 guard.

bigjay83 9 years, 4 months ago

KUbsee69, talking positively and attempting to unify us based on our mutual similarities rather than dividing by irrational, close-minded hate-bating; clearly you have risen above my preconceptions of you. Very well done.

Now if you could just view the rest of the country and the world through the same filter as you do Jayhawk nation.........

lance1jhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

We have a cycle to break... Hear me out. We are losing so many seniors that we need to break it up with some juco talent, so four years from now this does not happen again. Bringing in the #1 juco guard in the country is a welcome addition. We will need that floor experience next year. If we are going to go get juco's then let us get the best, and that is what coach Self has done.

Mr_Sandman 9 years, 4 months ago

I would say that anytime you can get an experienced player who is considered top 5 you take him. People act like they don't want JUCO players sometimes, but not taking #1 and #3 doesn't make any sense. Good point about some people freaking out at the fact we are not getting any HS All-Americans. This class has some real sleeper potential to me and it is still a Top 10 rated class by almost everyone (probably everyone with this addition). Hopefully these guys come in with and play a different brand of basketball. Not that I am trying to say KU needs to overhaul, I would just like to see a little meaner, rugged type team instead of one that seems to have a sense of entitlement.

Dan Harris 9 years, 4 months ago

jayceph-honeycrisps rule but are impossible to find this time of year, DamnIt!

Jim Jackson 9 years, 4 months ago

MILFdestroyer is my name in every fantasy league I have ever joined for the past 2 years. It may sound arrogant, but that's whats up and since you asked no I am not joking. Let's put it this way, I don't look like the big lebowksi. Let's go Jayhawks!!!!!

P.S If I were you, I'd keep your mom away from me Lebowski.

actorman 9 years, 4 months ago

I can't believe he picked us over San Jose State! Why wouldn't he have picked the mighty Spartans?

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