Friday, June 5, 2009

Heights prep Perry Ellis coming to KU camp

Kansas University men’s basketball coach Bill Self addresses the media in this March 2009 file photo.

Kansas University men’s basketball coach Bill Self addresses the media in this March 2009 file photo.


More than 50 high school basketball players from 15 states will attend Bill Self’s Kansas University Elite Camp today and Saturday on KU’s campus.

One of the most accomplished campers of the bunch happens to be a Kansan.

He’s Wichita Heights sophomore Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward who last spring as a freshman led the Falcons (24-1) to their first state title since 1977.

Ellis — he already has received scholarship offers from KU and Memphis and is being hotly pursued by North Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma and many others — averaged 19.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists and shot 61 percent in becoming the only freshman in the country to earn state Gatorade Player of the Year honors.

The consensus first-team all-stater scored nine points and grabbed 20 rebounds in Heights’ 73-58 Class 6A title-game victory over Wichita Southeast on March 14 in Emporia.

Ellis, who attended several KU games on unofficial visits last year, respects KU’s coaches and players so much, he’ll attend one day of Self’s Elite camp before beginning USA Basketball Developmental National Team tryouts on Saturday in Colorado Springs.

“He has to be at the Olympic Training Center at 10 a.m. To get there, they’ll drive all night from the KU camp,” Ellis’ mom, Fonda, said of Perry and his Kansas Players-Cowboys AAU coach, Steve Young.

“He promised KU’s coaches he’d do the camp. To do both, that’s the only way.”

Ellis attended KU’s Elite camp last year as well.

“They had him playing with the big guys as an eighth grader. They split it (camp) into two groups. It was pretty amazing he got to play with them,” Fonda Ellis said.

Ellis, who recently competed at AAU tournaments in North Carolina, Norman, Okla., and Manhattan, also will attend the Vince Carter camp June 23 in Orlando, Fla.; the LeBron James camp, July 5 in Akron, Ohio; and, if he plays well at the James camp, might garner an invitation to the Nike Global event in August in Oregon.

That’s a lot of basketball for the 15-year-old prospect, who will represent the U.S. in the Under 16 World Championships in July in Argentina, if he survives cuts in Colorado.

“I gave him Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off,” Fonda Ellis said Thursday, speaking from a gym in Wichita. “He’s practicing tonight. We’ve got to give him some fun things to do. He likes Xbox. He went to the mall yesterday. We’ve got to be careful not to overdo it.”

Ellis loves life in the gym.

“He’s constantly working on his game. Since September of last year, he’s gained 32 pounds of muscle,” his mom said.

Ellis — who recorded a 4.0 in the classroom his freshman year at Heights — is in no hurry to pick a college, not with three years of high school left.

“He’s just enjoying it right now and not ready to make a decision,” Fonda said.

Asked specifically about KU, she said: “He likes KU. He went to Late Night in the Phog two years in a row. He was at the (national title) ring ceremony. Not many people get to go to something like that.”

Here are some of the highest-rated players in town today for Self’s Elite camp, which is closed to both the media and public.

Kyle Collinsworth, 6-5, 195, Sr., Provo (Utah) High; Luke Cothron, 6-8, 210, Sr., Flora MacDonald Academy, Red Springs, N.C.; Austin Hollins, 6-3, 1709, Sr., Germantown (Tenn.) High; Lonnie Jackson, 6-3, 165, Jr., Valencia (Calif.) High; Christian Kirk, 6-7, 195, Jr., St. Charles (Mo.) West; Keaton Miles, 6-6, 170, Jr., Dallas Skyline; Shabazz Muhammad, 6-3, 170, Soph., Las Vegas Bishop Gorman; LeBryan Nash, 6-7, 212, Jr., Dallas Lincoln; Marcus Paige, 5-10, 140, Soph., Linn Mar Community, Marion, Iowa; Benny Parker, 5-10, 160, Soph., Kansas City Sumner; Jabari Parker, 6-3, Fr., Chicago Simeon; Zach Peters, 6-7, 203, Soph., Prestonwood Christian, Plano, Texas; Trevor Releford, 5-11, 170, Sr., Roeland Park Bishop Miege; J.P. Tokoto, 6-5, 165, Soph., Menomonee Falls (Wis.) High; Josiah Turner, 6-3, 175, Jr., Sacramento (Calif.) High; Dominique Wilson, 6-8, Soph., Kansas City Washington; Kyle Wiltjer, 6-9, 200, Jr., Portland (Ore.) Jesuit, Devonta Abron, 6-6, 170, Jr., Dallas Seagoville.


Scott MacWilliams 11 years ago

When I first heard that name, I thought - fashion designer?. But it sounds like he'd be a great addition, and I love it when they can land the Kansas-born Hawks. If he's going to that much trouble to make Self's camp, sounds like he really wants to be a Jayhawk. Look around, Perry, but you'll probably find that life on Mount Oread is pretty hard to beat. Just look at how many former Jayhawk players still live in the area, or keep homes there for their off season time from pro ball. There's a TON of former Jayhawks around Lawrence, and these guys could choose to live almost anywhere.

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

Perry hopefully will be another in a long line of exceptional BB players coming to KU.

Any word on Trevor? Is he planning to play BB, FB, both? Probably couldn't do both at KU, but it sounds like he would be fantastic in whichever he chooses.

It is great to get the elite players, but even better when we can keep those close to home. Hopefully, we can do that more and more in FB as well.

kansas22 11 years ago

Kid is legit. Being from Wichita, got to see him play, and for being 6' 8 he can move incredibly well. Most kids that height, especially as only freshman in HS, are pretty clumsy and haven't grown into their body. Well this one moves very well, has a nice shooting touch from the free throw line, and is easily the best high school rebounder in Kansas. It's great to hear that he's also a very hard worker. Keep it up Perry! Look forward to seeing him win 4 straight state titles at Heights.

bradh 11 years ago

He sounds like a great ball player. I was even more impressed with the 4.0 g.p.a. That's hard to do when you're playing high school and AAU ball. Would love to have him come to KU.

Gil Ek 11 years ago

Would be another great addition. And he is another real student athlete for KU.

barchawk 11 years ago

I had to read that again - a Freshman??? A freshman, at 6-8, 215, led his team to a 6A state title with 20 boards...

Any guesses on where he'll be after 3 more years? I'd put him at 6-11, 255, with three more state titles, and a few state records...and a Jayhawks jersey!

Ann Oneill 11 years ago

He put on 32 pounds of muscle this year? He's going to reach a new level of beastdom!

ChicagoJHawk 11 years ago

I really hope we get this guy. Averages double doubles, led his team to a state title, 6'8, mobile & a few years of growing left in him + 4.0 student! It doesn't get much better than this!

Waylon Cook 11 years ago

yes it does Chicago-kid needs to be a Jayhawk!

Jaminrawk 11 years ago

From everything I have read about this kid, he is the best freshman baller in the nation. I really hope KU can land Ellis in a couple of years. It's great to have elite recruits, but it would be awesome to have such an elite recruit from within the state.

KGphoto 11 years ago

He would be a nice grab. But if he does fill out his "potential" checklist, by the time he arrives on campus (any campus) he's a OAD. So that will be 4 years of hype for one year on the court. If we land him. Personally it just feels like a little too much hoopla for 15. Even though he does seem capable of handling it.

God I just hope he doesn't go to Kentucky or North Carolina. We'd never hear the end of it. I don't think he will though. He's too smart for Kentucky. And North will never show him the love he'll get at home.

Rick Arnoldy 11 years ago

I think the NBA’s one-and-done policy will be gone by the time he graduates high school. If he’s that good, I wouldn’t count your Jayhawks before they hatch.

chezlog 11 years ago

dynomitehawk - that was really funny! Short but hilarious. "will terrify children for generations." Genius!

KGphoto 11 years ago

This was on a You Tube clip.

bch9119 "i was on perrys aau team, he is going to go to KU, he told that is his dream school, he is nto a thug at all and he is an extremely nice guy and extremely humble and deserves everything he is going to get out of basketball, and is going to be a jayhawk, everytime we plyed march madness ar 2k8, he played with kansas, and he talked about how good kansas was a lot, he loves KU"

Timmay97 11 years ago

Let's just hope he takes his OWN SAT's. :-)

soapboxstew 11 years ago

timmay97- As a 4.0 student, he can take my SAT's ;-)

jaybate 11 years ago

Burnt Ends (with a Danny Manning Theme):

} Perry Ellis has greatness written on his future resume. This is Danny Manning's kind of greatness and the kind of player Danny Manning is ideally suited to groom for greatness. By his senior year of highschool, barring injury, he will be as close to a must get big man as they come. Were he on either coast, or Chi, he would already be being touted as a likely Number 1 in his class. Alas, because he lives in Wichita, he is underhyped. Alas, too, landing him will be dicey. 'Chita has always been a very tough 'hood for KU to recruit the best from. It still galls me to think KU did not land Xavier McDaniel--the original X Man. On the other hand, KU has not historically been able to recruit with both the best coach of his generation--Bill Self--and with the best big man coach in the country--Danny Manning.

} Someone in Lawrence needs to convince Danny Manning to write a book on coaching big men. Danny is ideally suited to become the Pete Newell of his generation. He should be running Danny Manning Big Man Camps the same way Newell did. The game needs this for there to be a true renaissance of the big man. And whereas Newell mostly coached kids from USA in his camps, Danny's Camp (I coined it here first) could draw from the entire world's population, as the game is now popular around the world.

} I was always willing to give John Calipari--who got his start at KU and is a pal of Larry Brown's--the benefit of the doubt. I thought it fair to make some jokes, but I still was taking a let's see what surfaces attitude. I was until the Rose and Dozier issues arose in quick sequence. Now, I believe--with the help of 100's mentioning of stories from Lexington's paper--that there is probably enough smoke to warrant a serious suspicion of fire.

twhit999 11 years ago

Kid is a stud now, and should only get better. These guys have good stuff on Perry too with cool pics.

He's with the title trophy. That's awesome!

Eliott Reeder 11 years ago

The L will have repealed its age rule by the time Perry is a Senior. He won't be going to college...

81jhawk 11 years ago

I agree with several posters that the NBA rule will be rescinded, if not prior to next year's draft, then within a couple of years. Perry will be a wealthy, young pro right out of high school.

jaybate 11 years ago

Burnt Ends Continued...

} The Rose and Dozier issues also make me begin to wonder about why Demarcus Cousins chose UK over KU, and why Daniel Orton decided not to transfer to KU, when Self seemed to leave the door open for that? I am increasingly suspicious about why a number of top big men are choosing anywhere but KU to play. Danny Manning is IMHO the best big man coach in the country and there is not even a close second. Even though other great head coaches, like Roy Williams, for instance, that have produced a lot of good bigs, there is no other big man coach in the country at any school that comes close to possessing all of Danny's qualifications and abilities...and Manning's advantage over his competition, it seems to me, is not even close. Great college player. Tutored by a father who played in the NBA and by Larry Brown, the only coach to win a ring in the NCAA and the NBA. Won a college ring. Was a Number 1 NBA draft pick. Was a terrific NBA player before his injuries. Wide consensus that he would easily would have been an NBA great without his injuries. Long NBA career reduced by knee injuries that forced him to learn all the tricks in order to play without great mobility--a situation facing many good bigs with much less talent than the great Manning. A person of legendary character and loyalty. A person who has learned to make a virtue of baldness. :-) A person of great dignity and humility, and also one with great charisma and willingness to learn coaching from the bottom up. A wealthy, independent man who can look out for his players and not be cowed by a boss into doing the wrong things. If a big wants to learn the most about how to play in the paint in D1 and the NBA during a stay in college; if a big wants to learn how to handle his career and finances and public image in pros and college; if he wants to learn how to handle dealing with and satisfying demanding head coaches, if he wants to learn how to be a winner on the court and in life, Manning has to be a recruit's number one option for a big man coach. There can always be chemistry differences, and there can always be short sightedness on the part of high schoolers. But KU has lost a goodly number of highly ranked big man recruits the last two years that Danny has been on the scene as an assistant coach. So one could say, well, the recruits had not seen his bigs get drafted and get the checks the year before.

jaybate 11 years ago

Burnt Ends Continued...

But this year, Demarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton both saw bigs of no greater talent (and perhaps less), like Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson, be drafted and get some serious change. Kaun is pulling down a million bones in Russia and Darnell is partying with Lebron. And Cole Aldrich, under Danny's tutelage, emerged this past season as a lottery pick. And if you look at the Morris Twins, Danny tutored the Morris twins, who were actually very ill-prepared for D1, enough that Marcus could start and help KU to a Sweet 16 finish, and Kieff, even without springs, could lay the ground work for becoming one of KU's late bloomers. And Julian Wright, it might be argued, perhaps played quite a few pick up games with Danny, and he grabbed a chunk of change. Oh, and when it comes right down to it, who do you think it was that turned Brandon Rush from a spoiled superstar OAD with no left hand and a me-first shooting attitude, into a guy now known as a player with one of the great worth ethics, a guy who worked through a knee injury to win ring, and someone that no less than Larry Bird now wants to begin building the Indiana Pacers around. Bill Self is a great coach, but great as he is, even he would admit that Danny Manning has actually been there as a player. Danny Manning has actually walked the talk. Danny Manning has been a great player and he had committed himself in the same way to become the best big man coach he can become. And he has a coach in Bill Self, an already great head coach, teaching him everything he can. And well, you get the picture. Danny, with a ton to offer and with the help of Bill Self quickly learning how to offer it, has helped some guys big time in just a very short time. So this recruiting season, Demarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton turned down the chance to be coached by Danny Manning. And for what? For the chance to play in a guard oriented offense taught by a head coach is no where near as successful, or as good as, Bill Self, and for a big man coach who no one has ever heard of and who could not hold even Danny Manning's worn-out jock straps. KU had a lot of big men, it is true. But KU clearly had room for at least one of Cousins and Orton, or Self would not have been recruiting them so hard. Question: why did they both choose a coach that just jumped from a program--Memphis--that looks like a whore house on fire and who has moved to an unstable, and reputedly troubled UK program (one reputedly being sued by its last coach), and brought with him allegations of having been involved in the whore house arson? What gives?

jaybate 11 years ago

Burnt Ends Continued...

} Do not misunderstand me in the above. John Calipari is innocent until proven guilty by the authorities obligated to investigate and reach judgement in such matters. The question IMHO comes down to this: was Coach Calipari a part of a program with occassional rules broken, like Larry Brown and Roy Williams apparently were at KU, or is he a big time, frequent and flagrant rule breaker, like some other coaches? There is a difference in degree, I believe. No one is perfect. If perfect were the criterion, Larry Brown and Roy Williams would perhaps long ago have been forced out of basketball. Athletic programs are bureaucratic organizations within universities that have to be staffed top to bottom with persons that want to operate the right way given a very complex set of rules and have to want to exercise oversight over head coaches, assistants, players, and alumni. John Calipari is like every other employee in one regard. He doesn't get to coach just any where. He has to take the best job that he can get at any given time. Anyone who has worked for any company knows one cannot know all the dirty laundry of an organization until one is on the inside doing ones job, and even then one only gets a window on a part of it. When Calipari took the Memphis job, he was probably not a hot property (having just failed in the NBA and have left UMass with Camby problems he claimed no role in) and Memphis was less than a Cadillac program in a weak conference. It is still possible that John Calipari layed down with dogs and got fleas and not the other way around. But it looks increasingly likely that there will be some investigations and findings that will determine the order of flea acquisition.

kansaspike 11 years ago

Uh....Roy.....why don't you "not" recruit in Kansas k.

You seemed to have a problem going in the entire eastern time zone while you were to not upset Dean.

Back off.

twhit999 11 years ago

The NBA is trying to get the age limit extended, not do away with it.

Joel Hood 11 years ago

twhit999 is correct -

David Stern wants to keep the age limit in place so they can evaluate players beyond HS. Some Congressman want to rescind it - compares it to slavery (LOL). NCAA wants an age limit & so does the NBA - too much $$ there to rescind it anytime soon. Ellis will very likely go to college. See the following recent story -

David Hall 11 years ago

he will have time to pick a college he juast gone to the camp

David Hall 11 years ago

he will have time to pick a college he just gone to the camp

100 11 years ago

Ellis, you're as Jayhawk as they come.

Danny is as Jayhawk as they come & as Jaybate, in Pulitzer Prize format has so duely noted, he is the hands down best big man coach in America.

The Age rule should be dropped but it could go up to two years. Kids can do what they want and go overseas. The NBA is not required to have 18 year olds, and it seems quite apparent they don't want them.

You want a professional basketnall league in America that pays 18 year olds to play? Start it yourself it's the American way.

As for Jaybate's analysis on Calimari Bait, no kidding -- his wherehouse is definitely on fire. Or did you say holehouse? Horrorhouse? Anyway, whatever, it's on fire in two cities while he vacations in China and gets grilled by the NCAA on one of his 10,000 non traceable cell phones he's purchased from Kmart.

If the Lexington Herald (3 writers nonetheless) are ripping their President & AD apart on this hire, then the smoke at least has reached that town, even if Cal is conviently in China.

As for Orton & Cousins, several sources are saying Cousins could be the next Dozier, Rose or Wall, SAT wise (I almost forgot the Wall story hasn't broken yet, nevermind).

As for Orton, great smart kid, very qualified. He chose the Calamari Tigers over us -- I can handle that. But Jaybate is right -- talk about a big man shooting himself in the foot. He chose the dribble drive over Danny Manning? Well he was already planning to go there so that's that. Oh well.

Also, for the record, Cousins & Orton could have never predicted Calamari "why" he was leaving Memphis with such ferocity.

Which brings up another good question for the NCAA -- did Calamari tell his recruits they would deal with NCAA investigations (Cal already knew about) during their "only" year of college?

Jrsmith 11 years ago

Robert Dozier graduated from Memphis University last month.

Doug Merrill 11 years ago

KU has lost big men in the past two or three years for two reasons: Cole and Aldrich

jaybate 11 years ago


Has Cole gotten so good he is now playing the 5 and the 4?

Starting at center, Cole.

Starting at power forward, Aldrich.

Now this would be a first in college basketball! :-)

gojhawx 11 years ago

Jaybate, Xman was from South Carolina not Wichita...he just attended Wichita State.

chriz 11 years ago

Does he really need to finish high school?

gthejayhawk 11 years ago

Orton was told by Self that we were no longer recruiting him AFTER Robinson verbally committed to KU. Orton then committed to UK and Billy Gillespe.

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