Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Kansas hoops FAQ


Back to reality and a look ahead to the 2012-2013 Kansas University basketball season with answers to frequently asked questions.

Does KU have a chance at recruiting any uncommitted McDonald’s All-Americans?

Yes, Tony Parker, a 6-foot-9, 250-pound center from Lithonia, Ga., has Kansas on his list of five finalists, along with favorite UCLA, Georgia, Duke and Ohio State.

Are there any other top-100 recruits still unsigned that Kansas can land?

Yes. Anrio Adams, a 6-3, 183-pound combination guard from Rainier Beach High in Seattle, ranked No. 98 by Rivals, has orally committed to KU, but hasn’t signed yet because he hasn’t yet passed his ACT.

Rainier Beach, why does that ring a vague bell?

Former Kansas players C.J. Giles and Rodrick Stewart, the guy who blew out his knee dunking at the NCAA Tournament public practice during his senior year, played at Rainier Beach.

If Kansas lands both Parker and Adams and nobody else transfers, wouldn’t that leave Kansas one over the limit of 13 scholarships?

Yes, but there is always the possibility that Justin Wesley, who came to Kansas as a walk-on and then was awarded a scholarship, could return to walk-on status.

If neither Parker nor Adams joins KU for next season and nobody else signs, who would the 12 scholarship players be, what positions would they play, and can you rank them in order of possible playing time?

Point guards: Senior Elijah Johnson and sophomore Naadir Tharpe.

Wings: Senior Travis Releford, red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore and freshman Andrew White (ranked No. 51).

Posts: Senior Jeff Withey, red-shirt freshman Jamari Traylor, freshman Perry Ellis (No. 24), senior Kevin Young, freshman Zach Peters (No. 137), freshman Landen Lucas (not in top 150), junior Justin Wesley.

Can you name a possible starting five?

Johnson, McLemore, Releford, Traylor or Ellis and Withey.

Who would have a shot at becoming an darkhorse starter?

Adams, if he qualifies academically.

Where will Kansas be picked to finish in the Big 12?

First, ahead of Baylor, which has a lot of talent returning, and Texas, which has yet another touted recruiting class coming in.

Where will the Jayhawks be ranked in the preseason national polls?

In the top five. Look for big, big things from Johnson, a natural point guard who has a steadying hand, plays with a great deal of confidence and will thrive in the role of team leader. Once he fixed his outside shot, there wasn’t anything Johnson didn’t do well. He has first-team all-conference written all over him and has a shot at All-American honors.

Withey also could make a big step forward by extending his scoring range to 15 feet.


FlashyThundercat 2 years ago

My comment about how much of a punk move it was to refer to Rodrick Stewart as "The guy who busted his knee" was removed. Probably because they knew I was right.


Joe Baker 2 years ago

Keeg- I agree totally about EJ. I don't know how Traylor is developing and no one has given any indication about his recent on court development. I am encouraged by his academic progress which is first. If a player has low academics, he doesn't play, unless you're uk.

However, at this point, I think your starting 5 are a tad off:

EJ/Tharpe BMac/Adams Rel/White Ellis/Traylor/Young (I think Traylor will be stoked for playing this year and may have a TRob-like freshman/soph season. Traylor has banged with TRob and the scout team which is a plus too). Withey/Parker/Peters/Lucas (if we get Parker, Lucas redshirts- Peters gives us additional size- He's been working with Mark Aguire in the past)


FlashyThundercat 2 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


Tony Bandle 2 years ago

Shame on me for being so late on that rarest of rarities, a good Tom Keegan column, although I think we all have covered most of it about a month ago.

I can visualize a Traylor/Ellis matchup in practice that could get really competitive for playing time!!

Coach Self must be salivating at the thought of how many more chess pieces he will have next season. This year he had basically a rook and three pawns.

Next season he will busting with bishops and knights and maybe even a king or two!!


Alohahawk 2 years ago

Ouch! has an article just out that Allerik Freeman, who had, about a month ago, narrowed his list to KU and Villanova, has just added Duke, UCLA and the Ohio State U. to his list of schools.


REHawk 2 years ago

Kevin Young's high energy input will again prove to be a blessing when the going gets tough down the pike in 2012-13. Bill Self knows to count on him in certain situations. I look to see him log 12-16 minutes of improved explosive play on both ends of the court. He might not be the top 6th man, but he will be a very dependable essential bench performer.


2 years ago

In other news, it looks like Larry Brown is close to landing a head coaching gig:

An interesting scenario from the article for one of his possible assistant coaches:

"And Brown has indeed started looking at possible staff members, including Illinois State's Tim Jankovich as a head-coach-in-waiting, according to a source…Jankovich could need contractual reassurances that he would become SMU's head coach following Brown to leave a good position, a source said."


phogphan2000 2 years ago

In my mind KYo is at the top of the depth chart at PF, we know Self trusts him, we know he can do it all, guard, rebound, shoot, pass, but I love that he's one of those guys that is capable of coming off the bench and playing well. Hopefully somebody else takes the spot from him in the long run.

I'm starting to think the top4 teams heading into next season are IU, NC St., Baylor and KU I know UofL is up there in people's minds, but I'm just not crazy about their team overall and they lose 2 of their best scorers so it's not as though they aren't losing anybody. Baylor is bringing in a lot, Morgan comes back off a redshirt, bringing back a lot, don't know who should be favored to win the Big12 honestly. NC St looked pretty tough against KU, and with a huge recruiting class if they get CJ Leslie back they look as good as anybody even with Gottfried at coach. IU obviously brings back almost the entire team with a big recruiting class. Still don't know how they or NC St will handle the pressure of high expectations, but they'll have plenty of talent to work with. UK's class is really nice, but when all you bring back from last year is Wiltjer, don't know who is going to be team captains for them, Wiltjer and transfer Harrow? All the freshmen look good, but I doubt they are AD/Wall/MKG/Cousins/Knight type good. Duke I think is going to be better than a lot believe, Michigan and MSU I think are a step behind, UNC is in an actual rebuilding year I believe with even though they have talent, UF could be pretty tough if they land Bennett, Ohio St still has plenty of talent to make a run at the title. I don't know what 2013-14 holds, but next year is a great chance for KU to return to the FF. Great to have a group of seniors that have zero quit in them leading the charge.


Alohahawk 2 years ago

LMAO There's a strory in the headlines section of on their NCAA BB page which tells of a company in Texas which made up t-shirts illustrating the locations of the different members of the SEC. Problem is, Missery was left off, and N. Carolina was included. Welcome to the SEC, Missery.


Michael Mulvihill 2 years ago

Since when is being ruled ineligble considered being a RS freshman?

"Wings: Senior Travis Releford, red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore and freshman Andrew White (ranked No. 51)."


lewstinks 2 years ago

When is Late Night? I need a countdown to season's start!


oldalum 2 years ago

Perry certainly has the skills, but I'm wondering if he's going to have to work on being more aggressive. But to be fair, probably all freshmen have to work on that. It just seems that from the little I've seen, Perry plays a "pretty" game and not a tough one. Maybe that's all that was required from him on his high school team, and he just hasn't shown anything else.


justanotherfan 2 years ago

We all know that Bill Self, in his perfect scenario, plays 9 guys.

We also know that Self, in his perfect scenario, wants those 9 guys to fill the following roles:

2 ball handlers 2 wings (preferably one that can handle the ball) 4 inside players (1 of whom will only play when foul trouble arises) 1 extra perimeter player in case of foul trouble

Elijah Johnson is one of the ball handlers. Travis Releford is one of the wings. Jeff Withey is one of the inside guys. Naadir Tharpe may be the other primary ball handler

Ben McLemore will be a wing. Jamari Traylor will play inside. Perry Ellis will play inside.

That leaves Landen Lucas, Zach Peters, and (if we get him) Tony Parker competing for the other inside spot. If we get Anrio Adams, he could end up in the other ball handler spot, or at least provide competition for Naadir Tharpe. Andrew White is the wild card here.

Self typically doesn't use a lot of wing players, but he has three legitimate wing players in this group, but only one real ball handler type.

I think that's where the continued pursuit of Adams comes in. Self could legitimately rotate White, McLemore and Releford between the 2 and 3 spots, giving each guy 18-25 minutes depending on hot hand and matchups. However, none of those guys plays the point. Tharpe is a PG, but it's unclear how much he's developed. Self went to him very sparingly late in the year, although he had some moments of brilliance in the tournament.

Inside, we know Withey will be there, along with Traylor and Ellis. The question is who between Lucas and Peters plays more. Peters seems to be further along skillwise, but things can change once players start going at each other. The possibility exists that Withey will be inside and three of the remaining four will play interchangeably, possibly in that same 18-25 minute rotation that the perimeter guys get.

I don't really see how Kevin Young and Justin Wesley fit in minutes wise right now. Both of them are undersized, and neither is the offensive threat that any of the freshmen are. In addition, Traylor and Lucas are both top notch rebounders (both graded out as outstanding in that area). Peters and Ellis don't grade out as well rebounding, but are probably more skilled offensively than any of the others, including Withey.

When it comes down to it, I am figuring Self will go with a slightly expanded rotation of:

Starters Johnson (1), McLemore (2), Releford (3), Traylor (4), Withey (5)

Bench Ellis (first inside guy), White (first perimeter guy), Tharpe (relief of Johnson) or Adams if he signs (second perimeter guy), Peters (second inside guy), Lucas (emergency foul trouble/ energy guy). I am guessing we probably won't get Parker because the front court is already pretty crowded. He probably stays home and attends UGA anyway.


GabrielMichael 2 years ago

Texas, UCLA and Arizona (among others) have all offered scholarships to 'Rio'... He is the number 1player in the state...


jhox 2 years ago

I don't believe the most important thing Elijah fixed to be his jump shot. No, it has to be his willingness to penetrate with the ball. I also don't believe his natural position is the point. Once he started getting more comfortable with his left hand, and started driving to the basket (which seemed to occur with much more frequency the last 10 or 12 games) he finally eased my fears about his ability to play the point, but I'd still rather have him at the two with a true point guard.

Unfortunately, losing Tyshawn may hurt this team more than losing T Rob, but if Elijah plays with the kind of confidence he showed throughout the tournament, it will go a long way toward filling that void.


connhawk 2 years ago

This is kind of unrelated, but does anybody know how we stand with 2013 prospect Julius Randle? He seems like a good, intelligent kid and an unbelievable basketball player from what I've seen, and he, Greene, and Freeman (if we land him also) would be a ridiculous recruiting class.


jayhawker_97 2 years ago

thx for the faq. that answers some q's clouding my mind. i'm not sure if KY is suitable for post position. we've seen him this past season. the good thing is he can rebound regardless what position he plays! if Parker joins, will we ever see 4 bigs on the court? ;)


Alohahawk 2 years ago

When it comes to recruiting and next year's roster, I feel like I've just reread everything posted on this board over the last six months. For any newcomers, that's great. I guess now that the season is over, and there isn't anything of much importance to write about, one has to come up with something new, or to rehash. I mean, it beats, "EJ beat Withey in a game of one on one tiddlywinks on Sunday." Or, "Last night, Self sat down with his entire immediate family for the first time in two monthes, and didn't receive one phone call from anyone." I know! I'd like a review of how each of our newest recruits announced their decision to the world to attend KU. It's been a while, but a reminder would be sort of nice. I don't remember that any went overboard. Of course, none were ranked in the top ten, either. But for comparison sake, it might prove interesting. Anyone have any suggestions on what subject they would like Keegan to research and get back to the board on? Why did Hudy leave UConn and come to KU? And which Jayhawk does she feel she was most successful with in her training? What drives her the most to be as successful as she has been? There's got to be a ton of basketball related quetions.


Scott MacWilliams 2 years ago

FWIW, Andy Katz at espn has done a pre-pre-preseason top 25, and has some good comments:

"Kansas lost Thomas Robinson as expected, as well as senior Tyshawn Taylor. But the returnees (led by Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson) and the newcomers (led by Perry Ellis and redshirt freshman Ben McLemore) make the Jayhawks once again the team to beat in the Big 12. No matter what the personnel losses are, haven't we learned our lesson not to dismiss this program as long as Bill Self is in charge? Yes. Yes, we have. KU isn't going anywhere."

And bracket-nerd Joe Lunardi has KU as a #1 seed in the South next March. Frankly, I hope not. Me, I'd rather see us as a 2 or 3 seed. I don't like our history as 1 seeds that much. Except for 2008, of course.

Meantime, Rock Chalk!!!


Alex Berger 2 years ago

I thought it was pretty interesting that Traylor is listed as the most likely to start. I figured Ellis would be a shoo-in over him. I'm also really interested in seeing Adams play. This team is really intriguing and I can't wait to watch them grow as basketball players. Not to mention it will be great senior campaigns for EJ, Withey, Releford, and Young. I'm ready for basketball season!


Joe Satterwhite 2 years ago

Please explain how Adams is a dark horse to be the starter? If anything it would be White over Mclemore...


Jason Keller 2 years ago

Nice update Tom. I've still got my fingers crossed for Parker and Anrio Adams. Anrio isn't actually a top-100 recruit, he's not an ESPNU 100. We still want him though!!!


jayhawkinnc 2 years ago

so right now, we have 6 freshman for next year? and we can possibly end up with 8?

Perry Ellis Zack Peters Landon Lucas Andrew White Ben McClemore (freshman, eligibility wise) Jamari Traylor (freshman, eligibility wise) Anrio Adams (if he passes ACT) Tony Parker (IF we get him)


dansmullet 2 years ago

Could also change the title of this article to questions every knows the answers to.


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