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Monday, May 16, 2011

Upcoming week big for Kansas basketball

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— 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.

Comments

jc1306 2 years, 11 months 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?

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IrishDaddy 2 years, 11 months ago

I suspect that father and son deal is in the works. Completely legal of course !

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 11 months 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.

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 11 months 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.

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00000 2 years, 11 months ago

May 16, 2011: http://kansascity.sbnation.com/kansas-jayhawks/2011/5/16/2174112/kansas-hopes-to-hit-with-recruits-trevor-lacey-deandre-daniels

"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."

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cragarhawk 2 years, 11 months 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!!

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REHawk 2 years, 11 months ago

At this stage we might not own a ton of talent, but we have 6 or 7 very formidable players...plus 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.

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Jayhawklegacy 2 years, 11 months 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!!!

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

I think the biggest point in Self's quotes was the part where he says: "we have playing time available, but they are going to have to come in here and "work" to get playing time" (paraphrasing). So, Self sticking to his guns. Not going to turn us into Calipari#2 style of recruiting. I like it. If a kid doesnt want to work hard, why bother with him? Remember my fave RussRob got very frustrated here his frosh year (was supposed to go to GaTech), and almost transferred...if he left KU or never came here, what list would we be putting him on? But he stayed and worked his tail off, and forever hustled. We want who wants us. Takes 2 to tango.

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JayDocMD 2 years, 11 months ago

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

based on absolutely nothing.

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RockChalk26 2 years, 11 months 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.

RCJH!

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TRUEBLUEKU 2 years, 11 months ago

We got this wrapped up. DD and Lacey to KU. Looking forward. Stud PG in 2012 J-Mychal Reese http://isportsweb.com/2011/05/16/whos-next-pg-jmychal-reese/

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Ron Franklin 2 years, 11 months 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.

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William Blake 2 years, 11 months ago

Good post, Oakville...

You opened up the poll for Jayhawk fans today.

I hope everyone comes on and gives their idea of % chance on each recruit.

I'm feeling optimistic and whipping up a batch of black-eyed pea soup (chawalie)!

Daniels- 90% Lacey - 65% Traylor - 55%

Yesterday my fortune cookie said, "Good things will come this week!"

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kushaw 2 years, 11 months 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.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 11 months 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!!!

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REHawk 2 years, 11 months 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!

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bennybob 2 years, 11 months 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.

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 11 months 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.

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keith horinek 2 years, 11 months 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.

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Robert Brock 2 years, 11 months 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.

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bradynsdad 2 years, 11 months 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?

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lee3022 2 years, 11 months 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.

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DSommersby 2 years, 11 months 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!!!

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William Blake 2 years, 11 months ago

"...one game and you are out is not always conducive to having the best team win. I’ve been there before myself.”"

We know... we know!

I've got my rabbit's foot, salt shaker, and two-dollar bill... held together with a rubber band.

We'll come out well this week!

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Jayhawklegacy 2 years, 11 months ago

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

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