Monday, May 16, 2011

Upcoming week big for Kansas basketball


— The last week of the spring signing period figures to be a huge one for Kansas University’s men’s basketball team.

“How we do could very well determine whether or not we have a chance to win the league next year or have a chance to just keep our head above water,” KU coach Bill Self said Sunday, speaking in generalities of today through Wednesday, the last three days of the signing period.

“If we are able to finish strong, we’ll be good. ... There’s not many guys left out there that can really play because everybody signed (early). We just happen to be recruiting three or four of them. We still have three kids we’ve got to sign, or two kids at least.”

Self can’t talk about specific prospects in accordance with NCAA rules.

It’s common knowledge, however, that the Jayhawks are pursuing: No. 10-ranked DeAndre Daniels, a 6-foot-8 forward from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., who is considering KU, Texas and Duke; No. 24 Trevor Lacey, a 6-3 combo guard from Butler High in Huntsville, Ala., considering KU, Kentucky, Alabama and Auburn; and No. 141 Jamari Traylor, a 6-7 forward from IMG considering KU, Oklahoma State, Indiana and Texas Tech.

Self said he’d never gone this late in the process with so many players still undecided.

“It’s been weird,” he said. “We’ve had kids sign late before, (but) I haven’t had an experience where the kids we are recruiting have no intention of doing anything early. That’s OK. Everybody has different game plans in recruiting. Some like to sign early. Some like to wait to see how everything plays out, which I think can be smart at times.

“I don’t think I’ve been in a situation where three or four kids you really want all decide, ‘Hey we’re going to wait until the end of the signing period.’ We need to hit a home run late, but I think we are in a position to do so, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

Self said he thought the Jayhawks, “were in pretty good shape with the junior recruiting class.”

So it’s a matter of finalizing this year’s roster — he has four scholarships available —then moving on to the Class of 2012.

“Nobody is pulling our chain. Nobody is pulling the other schools’ chain. It’s a situation ... we have the Charlie Villanueva kid we had at Illinois. He never signed. It’s why he ended up going to Connecticut because there were some things that happened late.

“It’s really not frustrating, but it is a little nerve-wracking because we know how important it is to lock these last couple up.”

Players actually do not have to sign letters-of-intent. They can sign financial-aid documents upon reporting to campus.

Lacey says he’ll announce his college choice at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Daniels and Traylor have not yet announced their plans.

“Certainly there’s a variety of reasons why maybe they haven’t signed yet,” Self said, again not mentioning anybody by name. “In their world, they are valid reasons. I’m not going to try to convince them to hurry up and sign. Hopefully, as it plays out we’ll have a chance to wear on them a little bit in a very positive way. Other people are trying very hard, too. The schools that have one or two scholarships left would love to have these kids.”

KU already has landed guards Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe and forward Braeden Anderson.

“We have playing time to offer, but it’s not going to be easy for anybody to come in and beat out guys who are returning. They will have to come in and work and perform to have a chance to play a lot,” Self said.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who has completed his recruiting for the upcoming season, said at Sunday’s Celebrity Skins Game: “With four scholarships this time of year, it can’t be comfortable (for Self), but I have a feeling he and his staff will figure it out.

“They will be a fun team to watch. Like I said, I think they were the best team in the country this year, but college basketball, the one game and you are out is not always conducive to having the best team win. I’ve been there before myself.”

Eric Sorrentino takes a look at KU's quest for its eighth conference championship in a row in the latest Conference Chatter.


Jayhawklegacy 7 years, 1 month ago

nerve-wracking to say the least!! To all of Jayhawk nation, that wednesday will be a very good day!!!

baldwinjhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

This year might be mediocre. BUT next year we score big with Zach Peters ( he is a beast!) Perry Ellis ( the best player produced by the state of kansas ever..) and Mitch McGary ( he plays with Naadir Tharpe at brewster academy He's another big that i watched play at the jayhawk classic.. He shoots well with both hands and moves really well.)

92Jhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Ellis is good, very good but he is no Danny Manning (ganted, he only played one year in Lawrence and isnt a native), Cliff Livingston or Antoine name three...but looking forward to seeing him wear the crimson and blue.

Mike Kendall 7 years, 1 month ago

Slayr----You took the words right out of my mouth. I was thinking the same thing!

DSommersby 7 years, 1 month ago

Lets go Hawks! Bring it home KU. I hope these guys we are recruiting look at all the positives KU has to offer. I try to be objective and weigh all the pros and cons and it really seems if you add it all up KU would be the best fit for Daniels and Lacey as well as Traylor. The Hawks offer a very serious opportunity for early playing time and wonderful intangibles and of course tradition. Come on guys make it KU!!!

lee3022 7 years, 1 month ago

The reality is these young men may not know themselves which school to choose. Kansas represents a good choice or there would not be three or four really good players considering signing here. Is it the best choice for each one? Only they can decide. As difficult as it must be for coaches it might be even harder for the players.

I will simply say I have seen many great players who were both trained and educated when they came to KU. Nearly all of them come back again and again in later years and support their school.

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 1 month ago

The odds are not in our favor here, Self knows it. Even with the predicted guys going pro I am not sure why we are in this position. We should not be waiting this late to lock up this many schollies. After these guys there are juco players, and transfers who won't impact us this season. I'm very confused because the KU product is a good one they are selling?

Chris Shaw 7 years, 1 month ago

How are you going to get recruits to come to KU when you have potentially the #1 recruit in the nation and 2 NBA All-Americans on your roster?

Did you know for sure that they were going to leave in Feb or even early March? By that time, as I said below, only 3 Top 50 recruits remained at that time as all the rest had already committed.

That's also the pros and cons of having a deep bench hypothetically. Everyone wanted to talk about KU's "Depth" over the last two years, but it wasn't really as deep as everybody thought. In hindsight, having that supposed "Depth" kept away some recruits because nobody knew for sure what KU's underclassmen were going to do. That's why I say embrace the players KU has and role with it.

Look at it this way, if KU is only going to have 9 or 10 scholarship players next year than that pretty all but guarantees good recruiting for 2012 and 2013.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 1 month ago

kushaw: Other top schools do it .. see Syracuse and UNC this season. It may be a reason why we didn't get some kids, but other schools still got top kids even with potential roadblocks on the roster.

Sam Constance 7 years, 1 month ago

Who was the roadblock on Syracuse's roster, exactly?

Because I honestly couldn't name anyone on their team except for Brandon Triche. And I only remember his name because Soren Petro on 810am often comments about how he doesn't think he's a solid PG for his alma mater.

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 1 month ago

2 NBA All Americans?

And yes, all schools have to speculate on potential losses to the draft - but you still need to land the studs anyway if you are Kansas. Period. We are not KSU my friend. Kentucky does this well, UNC and Duke also do this well, and usually we do this well.

Sam Constance 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure where your odds are coming from. The last rumors I had heard on Daniels was that he had become frustrated with Duke's academic vetting process and that Kansas was now the unofficial front-runner. Of course, Daniels has seemed a bit fickle at times, but at the very least, I don't think you can declare the odds against us.

I've also heard that Lacey is leaning towards KU.

I really just don't understand all the doom and gloom that has seemed to permeate the threads on the matters of recruiting.

The fact that we are in a strong position to land the two best-available remaining recruits, both of whom are top-25 players (one of them is top-10), is a good sign, in my opinion. Kansas/Self couldn't have done anything to lock these two up any earlier than they WANT to be locked up.

bradynsdad 7 years, 1 month ago

I think Daniels is the main focal point. Lacey would be icing on the cake. Our frontcourt sure could use one more big man just to provide some relief in case Thomas and withey get in foul trouble. I hope tyshaun is working diligently on his offensive game. Does anyone know if the enrollment problems that Daniels allegedly had at duke were the same ones he was having here? And if so is it an eligibility issue?

selfishhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

It has been said a couple hundred times on here, so once more won't hurt. Daniels plays the wing! He wants to be a 3, not a 4. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if part of the negative at KU is that Self will ultimately want him to play the 4 part of the season, since we essentially have TRob, Withey and ...? OAD players don't like to hurt their stock by playing out of position.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

It would be great to land Daniels because he has some of what this team needs. Unfortunately, nobody knows whether he is willing to commit anytime soon; his recruitment may continue into August or September.

keith horinek 7 years, 1 month ago

I agree with mpann1818, we shouldn't be recruiting this late. we should be wrapping up our recruits earlier. but with a successful season with younger players like we just had, that have the potential to return (morris twins), recruits think they won't play much and look elswhere. It's a difficult situation to be in. I'm thankful there are a few good recruits left to go after.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 1 month ago

Self's quotes from above:

“How we do could very well determine whether or not we have a chance to win the league next year or have a chance to just keep our head above water,” KU coach Bill Self said Sunday, speaking in generalities of today through Wednesday, the last three days of the signing period."

“If we are able to finish strong, we’ll be good. ... There’s not many guys left out there that can really play because everybody signed (early). We just happen to be recruiting three or four of them. We still have three kids we’ve got to sign, or two kids at least.”

This is from coach Self. Many have suggested, including myself, that our lack of success thusfar recruiting in the 2011 class has been basically a single, maybe stretching it to double (working within Self's "grand slam" analogy).

Those are pretty strong comments by coach Self on what he thinks of his 2011-12 team, and its prospects for success.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

I actually took those statements more as a recruiting tool. Not that I don't think Coach Self feels like we really need to land these guys -- as the rest of us do -- but I saw that as him saying, "guys, you can have a big impact on this team next year. We need you." That's a pretty big ego boost to these recruits, if you ask me.

Certainly you could be absolutely correct in the more literal reading, but I think Self had a purpose for making those statements, and it could be a really smart move. I see it backed up with this statement:

"Other people are trying very hard, too. The schools that have one or two scholarships left would love to have these kids.”

Read: those other schools are just looking to fill out their roster, we NEED you in order to compete. Come here and have a big impact.

The way I would hear it if I were one of those recruits anyway....

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

Coach Self pretty much does the same thing every year. I'm pretty sure that after the signing period ends whether we sign anyone or not, he's gonna say something along the lines of:

"I think this team next year has the opportunity to be a very good team. We've got some key players returning in key positions. Maybe not as good as last year's team, but very good none-the-less." - Bill Self (in the near future)

Ben Simonett 7 years, 1 month ago

“It’s been weird,” he said. “We’ve had kids sign late before, (but) I haven’t had an experience where the kids we are recruiting have no intention of doing anything early."

"I don’t think I’ve been in a situation where three or four kids you really want all decide, ‘Hey we’re going to wait until the end of the signing period.’"

O come on! these are not the 3-4 kids self wanted really bad, those kids did sign early, just not with KU.

why does he have to pretend these have been his targets all along? Daniels was a decommit and wasn't even on the radar before that, Lacey was plan b after we missed on Josiah Turner, Jabari Brown and Quinn Cook.

He's trying to spin it like its not his fault his year long targets took this long to decide, What really happened is these are his last minute targets holding out to see all there options because they know they have self by the balls hes so desperate.

i love self, but sometimes there's a reason his initials are B.S.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 1 month ago

I disagree about Lacey. Lacey has been on KU's radar since last summer's AAU circuit. KU has always been in his Top 5, but it's been assumed for the last year that he would stay home in his home state of Alabama. It's also a known fact that he would have liked to play for Calipari, but roster spots may not allow that to happen. KU has always been in thick of Lacey, but Self was pretty honest with the Selby situation to Lacey. If Selby stays, there is no reason for Lacey to come to KU. Now that that has changed.............KU is now in the hunt. Playing time is everything! I'm still baffled at the number of recruits that committed early this year.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Yep, and, if I remember correctly, Lacey was quoted as saying that he respected Self for telling him earlier in the year that he may find more playing time elsewhere because he thought Selby would stick around. That honesty may be the biggest reason why Lacey comes to KU, if he does sign.

Dan Harris 7 years, 1 month ago


addlime 7 years, 1 month ago

Sure, and he wanted Knight and Barnes ahead of Selby last year, too. All true, but as for the B.S., what do you want him to say? If he said, "These kids are ok, not our top choices, but its all we have left", do you think he'd have a chance at signing them? I think Daniels is a great player, probably just not the type of kid you can recruit until you know the twins are gone. He wouldn't play much behind them, too similar a game to Marcus. So, the late signing could be a win/win if he picks KU.

REHawk 7 years, 1 month ago

If we don't bring in another key element or two, this could be the weakest bench in the Bill Self tenure in Lawrence. We've the ingredients for a very competitive starting lineup in place, with a couple of bench players who, though green, could develop into serious help, perhaps even challenge for starting roles. Anderson, Wesley and Garrett are more than somewhat unknown talents in the scheme of things for 2011-12. Would be exciting to see Conner re-establish his 3 pt. shooting success from early in his Jayhawk career. Ben McLemore could become a serious challenge to Releford or EJ, and Tharpe should provide breathing room for Taylor. I envision this group winning or sharing the league title. However, if we are to advance deep into the NCAA Tournament, another competitive big player is essential. From what I have seen by way of Big 12 coaching, Self and staff are worth at least 3-4 points to the scoresheet in league contests. Gillispie and Kruger are not likely to recruit and develop players who will present huge challenges for the upcoming season. Baylor possesses the ingredients, all but the coaching. And if those Longhorn departures all have hired agents, Barnes will have to depend on an array of Josh Selbys to pump his squad back into contention. This should be the year for huge games with our age-old border rival Mizzou. If, could, if.... If your aunt had balls she could be your uncle. No doubt, big surprises lie in store for all of us before league play starts in January. Another postseason crapshoot, but solid chances for Bill Self's 8th consecutive Big 12 banner. RCJH!

Tony Bandle 7 years, 1 month ago

Current Odds being posted in the Casinos in Nevada, Missouri:

Daniels - 66% chance he goes Jayhawk Lacey-----33% chance he goes Jayhawk Traylor----10% chance he goes Jayhawk

Source of information....the french fry cook at McDonalds. :)

We'll know when we know!!!

Chris Shaw 7 years, 1 month ago

Wow! I would give the higher odds to Lacey at the moment. Daniels would be 50/50 since it's down to Texas and KU. At least we all think it's down Texas and KU.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey, remember...this is a french fry cook!!

Chris Shaw 7 years, 1 month ago

I didn't see the french fry cook at McDonald's part. I would say that he's just not any french fry cook, but a french cook that has managerial possibilities.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

I believe that Oakville's french fry cook has always been a female. Or maybe she was born male, I can't say for certain.

Scott Oswalt 7 years, 1 month ago

I gave Daniels a 75% chance because Texas has signed a bunch of SF/PF for next year. We don't have many. I gave Lacey a 50% because it is between KU and Kensucky.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 1 month ago

Some things to consider:

1) Recruiting late isn't necessarily a negative. This year was a complete anomaly in terms of the number of Top 50 recruits that committed early to schools. I know Self said that the kids that KU is recruiting doesn't have any plans to do anything early, but almost every other Top 50 recruit committed early (By Feb) outside of Daniels, Lacey, and McLemore. Since the OAD rule has been established there has never been this many of early commits and it's been the complete opposite over the last 4 or 5 years. Is that Self's fault? I don't know, but it is on him to keep up and stay in tune with these recruiting shifts.

2) Should KU "Wiff",I actually don't mind having a thin bench for once. Similar to the Jeff Withey talk last week, KU has had an extreme amount of depth only to not utilize it come tournny time. Having a thin frontline and thin bench may be an uneasy feeling next year, but I say embrace it. Players do funny things when they know "Its their turn" and it's their responsibility to step up for the program.

3) IMO, I think Lacey signs with KU, Daniels waits until mid-summer to make a decision (I hope I'm wrong), and Traylor I have no idea. It's a shame Perry Ellis isn't in the 2011 class.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 1 month ago

It's my opinion that recruiting has very little to do with the coaching & school tradition (or lack-there-of) anymore. "Oh, the times they are a changin'" and have been since MJ & LeBron & the NBA then changed their rules, wrongfully enforcing kids to sit out a year before being able to enter the draft and play in the 'L'. So the recruitment is less about who is my coach and what school has the best program, and more about "where will I get instant playing time w/ national publicity"

Kansas has a top five coach & program with the richest History in ALL of college basketball. It sells out every home game & has not missed the tournament in over 25 years. So logically, BIll should not have any problem recruiting on this merit alone. These young, entitled kids don't care about that though. They wan't PT on Prime Time. They want attention like they've been getting since they were 12 years old. They want a post on twitter and a hat-grab. They want their own espn media day. They wan't instantaneous gratification.....they wan't illegal pay days and shoe deals before they are 19.

Education, tradition, and preparation for their future means nothing to most of them.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 1 month ago

You forgot one thing, BlownJay..... .if you come to Kansas under Bill Self you better want to and be able to play defense.

Defense is a lot harder than offense [just look at the NBA for proof positive]

PT these days translates into jammin' and slammin' and tossin' the trifecta!!

TRUEBLUEKU 7 years, 1 month ago

We got this wrapped up. DD and Lacey to KU. Looking forward. Stud PG in 2012 J-Mychal Reese

Chris Shaw 7 years, 1 month ago

Good stuff Resor! Good to see you again.

RockChalk26 7 years, 1 month ago

Here are my odds for landing the last available recruits;

Daniels - 25% (He would have been here along time ago if he were seriously considering KU)

Lacey - 75% ( From what I have read about his trip to Lawrence, he really likes the group of guys already on the team and he feels he would fit in well.)

Traylor - 3.7% ( I just don't see him suiting up in crimson and blue) I hope I'm wrong.


Sam Constance 7 years, 1 month ago

Couldn't your rationale for why Daniels isn't coming to KU apply to any of the three schools he's still considering? Since we're talking about a kid who has waffled and de-committed at least once, I think we can forego the "if he wanted X, he would have done it a long time ago" talk.

It seems that he might not know exactly what he wants, which is probably part of the problem.

JayDocMD 7 years, 1 month ago

Daniels - 50% Lacey - 66% Traylor - 33%

based on absolutely nothing.

Jayhawklegacy 7 years, 1 month ago

I think we have been spoiled on our recruiting classes!!! Butler and VCU made it happen with what they had, I believe we can do the same next season. We should not be complaing that much, when we get to Ncaa's is when it's time to focus!!!

REHawk 7 years, 1 month ago

At this stage we might not own a ton of talent, but we have 6 or 7 very formidable a 5th year senior who might show us a revitalized 3 pt. shot from his very limited freshman minutes. All in all, there are many experienced players on our current roster, kids who have bided their time while practicing and playing occasionally with league champion starters these past 3 or 4 years. I liked the post somewhere today, mentioning that Bill Self won National Coach of the Year in "08-'09 when we were rebuilding with newcomers Marcus and Tyshawn in starting positions. I fully expect this crew to compete favorably for a league title and be prepared for another deep run into postseason play. Glad to hear that Jeff Withey will get some serious summer playing time overseas. Kudos to Jordan J. for promoting that opportunity.

Craig Colgin 7 years, 1 month ago

I would absolutely love it if Conner could be like Reed was this year, as usual though, I'm highly skeptical that this will be the case. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that Conner will give his best and play hard every second. Rock Chalk!!

David Howell 7 years, 1 month ago

Unless we need some 3 pt. catch up baskets, Conner will be lucky to see too many minutes once the true season kicks in. The last I checked his quickness wasn't even close to Tyrel's and his defense wasn't too good. Maybe he will prove me wrong !

As for recruiting, in 2010-11 HCBS was simply out-recruited. What bothered me is in past years he didn't know who was leaving, but recruited extra bodies anyway knowing one or two would see the light and leave for greener pastures. That didn't seem to be the case this year.

Is it possible that recruits are seeing our recurring pattern of early exits in the tourney and shying away ? Or is it our style of play ? Short of the championship in 2008, our record in the past 8-9 years hasn't been the best in the big dance. To me recruits like to win their conference, but probably not as much as the fans do. They probably care more about making more final 4's ..................

00000 7 years, 1 month ago

May 16, 2011:

"Lacey is less of a question mark than Daniels, given that he's rumored to choose KU over Kentucky and his home state of Alabama."

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 1 month ago

Rivals is now saying and is quoted by Lacey's dad that he is "torn" in his decision in fact may not announce it Wednesday.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 1 month ago

My gut feeling is by this time next week we'll be exactly where we are now....waiting for decisions.

Trevor being "torn" translates, down deep he really wants to go to Kansas but:

A] It's tough to turn your back on your homestate of Alabama. B] It's tough to turn your back on the bright lights of Lexington.

Trevor, if you read this column, follow your heart...we'd love to see you in Crimson and Blue but you've got to decide what's best for you.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

I think that being torn indicates that. Lacey really likes KU, but Coach Calipers has a tight hold and he really playing to the kids emotions about how he'll feel let down if the kid goes anywhere but sUcK.

Jory Collins 7 years, 1 month ago

To everyone who thinks we should have locked up recruiting earlier. What do we do if we sign 4-5 guys early, then Selby and the twins stayed for next year. How do you handle over-signing?

Jack Wilson 7 years, 1 month ago

Self saying that he had no idea that the Morris twins and/or Selby would leave is a bit of stretch, don't you think? I mean that was a point of discussion back in the fall on these message boards.

Selby was a clear one and done given the expectation of a decent performance, and he did so even with a poor season. Self knew he was a one and done. That was easy. It should have been a given in his recruiting. His poor performance made him staying a possibility, but he could have redeemed himself with a strong last month.

On the Morris twins, that is a bit more difficult. It was pretty clear Marcus was on draft boards. But Kieff wasn't there yet. And probably figured they either go together, or not (together). I think the difficulty was he had two guys who were either staying or going as a pair.

But then again, how were we in on all these guys, such as Chol and Turner? What happens is that you nail down guys early, and then the late guys fit in if they can. If we need to make space, space gets made. It's how it works. If we get early commits, then McLemore might not even be here. Self took Tharpe because that was the best point guard after others went elsewhere, namely Turner. We didn't even offer Tharpe until Turner committed to AZ in September.

It is obvious, though, that this situation was a bit unique because of the twins. Self surely saw it coming as a possibility, but perhaps there was a bit of bad luck involved. Really the first time it has happened to him. And I say that, but if he nails Lacey and Daniels, who the heck cares? A grand slam is a grand slam in the first inning or the ninth inning .. just a bit more drama late.

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