Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rivals boosts KU commit Brannen Greene into top 25


Future Kansas University small forward Brannen Greene’s national recruiting ranking improved nine slots — from No. 31 to 22 overall — announced on Tuesday.

The rise of Greene, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound senior from Tift County High in Forsyth, Ga., means KU and Florida currently are the only two schools in the country with at least two verbal commitments in the top 30 in the Class of 2013.

Conner Frankamp, a 6-0 senior guard from Wichita North, remains at No. 28 overall entering his senior season. Florida has commitments from No. 6 Chris Walker and No. 7 Kasey Hill.

As far as some other KU targets ...

Forwards Julius Randle and Jabari Parker flip-flopped their Nos. 1 and 2 national rankings. Randle, 6-9 from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, who is now ranked No. 1, lists KU, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas.

Parker, 6-8 from Chicago Simeon, who is No. 2, lists KU, BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Stanford and Illinois.

Parker’s dad and high school coach, Sonny Parker, was not pleased to hear the news.

“My son fell because he was injured (and missed some AAU ball),” Sonny told the Chicago Sun Times. “He’s still ranked No. 1 everywhere else. He’s national player of the year with two gold medals, three state championships. What more could he do? The rankings are overrated anyway. In that trophy cabinet at Simeon there are trophies that have nothing to do with rankings.

“This stuff doesn’t mean anything to Jabari,” Sonny added. “He doesn’t get caught up in rankings and all that stuff.”

Meanwhile, Randle told “Sure it’s a goal. But I’ve become more mature in high school so I know that everybody is going to have their own opinion. My goal has become to win first and then try to establish myself as the best player on the court each time I’m out there.”

Aaron Gordon, a 6-8 forward from Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif., who is considering KU, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Kentucky and Cal, remained at No. 5.

Anthony “Cat” Barber, a 6-2 point guard from Hampton (Va) High, remained No. 9. He will visit KU this weekend. He also lists N.C. State, Alabama and Louisville.

Marcus Lee, a 6-9 power forward from Deer Valley High in Antioch, Calif., improved from No. 33 to No. 15. He lists KU, Cal, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville and UCLA.

Jermaine Lawrence, a 6-9 power forward from Pope John XXIII in Sparta, N.J. improved from 19 to 18. He lists KU, Kentucky, UCLA, St. Johns, Cincinnati, Syracuse and UNLV.

Wayne Selden, a 6-5 shooting guard from Tilton (N.H.) School, saw his ranking fall to 23 from No. 21. He lists KU, Florida, Missouri, UCLA, Syracuse and Ohio State.

Demetrius Jackson, a 6-1 point guard from Marian High in Mishawaka, Ind., jumped from No. 70 to No. 27. Emerging as one of the best players in the entire class, Jackson now lists KU, Butler, Florida State, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Xavier.

Tyler Roberson, a 6-8 forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, improved from No. 53 to No. 29. He lists KU, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Carolina, SMU, Syracuse and Villanova. He has said he will visit KU the weekend of Sept. 7, but told on Tuesday he may yet change the date.

Troy Williams, a 6-6 forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., and good buddy of point guard Barber, improved from No. 41 to No. 35. He lists KU, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisville, Georgetown, South Carolina, Ohio State, Arkansas and Memphis.

Karviar Shepherd, a 6-10 center from Prime Prep Academy in Dallas fell from No. 34 to No. 43. He lists KU, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Oklahoma, TCU and Marquette. His prep teammate, Jordan Mickey, a 6-7 forward who also lists KU, improved from No. 51 to No. 38.

Allerik Freeman, a 6-4 guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., fell from No. 39 to No. 52. He lists KU, Duke, Ohio State, UCLA and Villanova.

As far as a pair of local products who at this time are not considering KU ... Raytown, Mo.’s Ishmail Wainright, 6-5 from Montrose Christian High in Maryland, fell from No. 32 to No. 49. Semi Ojeleye, 6-8 from Ottawa High, improved from No. 36 to 30.

Doyle visits two: Former KU guard Milton Doyle has visited both Loyola University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and figures to choose one of those schools, reports. Doyle, a 6-4 guard from Chicago Marshall High, elected to not return to campus after the Jayhawks’ summertime trip to Europe.


melrank 1 year, 7 months ago

SB - Elkhart here. Friend of his coach tells me Cal is more than tweeting. He's solidly in mix.


David Gisi 1 year, 7 months ago

If anyone's still browsing thru these posts, recent local buzz was that Calipari has been tweeting with Jackson and Kentucky is in the mix. From an IndyStar article 8/24. "We're still looking at which schools want me to come for an official," said Jackson, who is ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the country in 2013 by "I definitely want to get to Kentucky and Notre Dame. Notre Dame is right around the corner so I may not use an official there."

Jackson said he doesn't have a "set" list of schools he's considering, but said Notre Dame, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisville are solidly in the mix at this point. He said Butler is no longer under consideration.

Though he plans to make a decision before his high school season and sign in the fall, Jackson didn't completely close the door on a spring signing. He said he wants to have all of the information possible before making a decision.

I still think Notre Dame is just on there to placate some locals, but who knows for sure.


Jayhawk3 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't mind the rankings. They give people something to talk about and the players a chance to see where they are looked at rated against their classmates and a chance to try and move up. However, like the team rankings, they could still be biased. I'd actually like to see rankings of players 3 or 4 years after high school. Anyone think Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor, and Russell Robinson among others wouldn't be ranked higher? Call it Self's coaching, talent evaluation, or the players' work ethic and desire to improve, all things likely not covered in the current rankings.

I like this year's class combined with what next year's could be. They look similar to the 2004 and 2005 classes. 2004 had the glue guys like Russell Robinson, Darnell Jackson, and Sasha Kaun. They were good players who had huge roles, but it was the 2005 class of Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, and Julian Wright that had the Superstars other teams had to really worry about. Don't get me wrong, I think this year's class is great too, and I'm excited to see them play and even think there could be a few stars there, but I think in a year or 2 we could have a similar team to the 2007-2008 Jayhawks.

Finally, it's nice to see a big recruit considering a school more known for academics than basketball. I know Stanford had a good team a few years ago, but they have slid. It's nice to see Jabari Parker at least considering Stanford even if he won't go there.


Alohahawk 1 year, 7 months ago

"A BIRD IN THE HAND...." I think that this go-around, after what transpired with the previous year's receruiting, that Self has learned his lesson. "DON'T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET." If you've got a sure thing, don't wait on something that may, or may not, come about. I'd love it if KU could sign A. Barber, but if KU can definitely get D. Jackson, "DON'T PASS UP A GOOD THING." Afterall, it appears that Jackson is a very good "Plan B". (Maybe the prom queen will go to the dance with you, but you like this other girl, too. Ask your first preference, and if she doesn't respond right away, then quickly move on to the backup, with whom you'd be just about as happy anyway. Why end up having to go stag?) If Self can sign K. Shepherd or J. Lawrence (or another top PF/Ctr), why wait for J. Randle, who seems more likely to head elsewhere? Before accepting the lower ranked recruit, immediately contact the higher ranked recruit and give them an ultamatum, "Sign now, or we're withdrawing our offer." IMHO, it would be better for Self and KU, if he brings in recruits who show they really want to be a Jayhawk.


mikehawk 1 year, 7 months ago

It seems more and more that top recruits and their "schools of interest" are similar, always seemingly listing the usual cast of elite programs, of which we are one. Plus, there are some schools added to the elite list which seem to indicate schools in their area and region are also being considered. There are some variations, but this apprears to be a fairly common pattern with top ranked recruits. What does this tell us about the possibility of our getting any of those players who list us? I would argue it means very little. It would appear the top recruits list the usual suspects from the elite list for their own reasons, ie., status, buzz, publicity, etc. In reality, from the coaches perspective and from the players, also, there are so many factors going into the process, fit, relationships between coaches and recruits, relationship between coaches and their high school/AAU coaches, chance to play immediately, close/far away distance from home to school, history/family ties, family opinions, player character, grades, chance to be seen in prime time, scholarship availability (hopefully not money), etc. To want to play for an elite (or notable) program with an elite (or notable) coach only makes sense. But really, there are quite a few of these programs and a bunch of the factors noted (and more) come into play for both the coach and the players. Thus, the rankings make good blog talk. Of more interest seems to be a trend of more and more coaches moving toward the Butler build a team model (lower rank stay 3 or 4 years) than the Kentucky OAD model. We seem to have moved more toward the longer stay possibility, team need, good character model, with a willingness to grab an elite who may be OAD to be in the mix if it makes "team building sense." Take Kentucky of last year out of the mix, you find Butler in the Final Four two strait years. It's still a team game and good teams with good players who "buy in" have lots of success. The build a team approach really seems to fit our KU basketball psyches well. But, oh well, enough of that. Back to High Rank Speculation and blog blather! Some of us certainly need it to get through the Dog Days.


Phil Leister 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm not arguing that the rankings themselves mean nothing. Of course the guys ranked top 30 are there for a reason. And of course Bill is going to recruit the most talented guys. My argument is that Brannen Greene moving from 31 to 22 means absolutely nothing. You can't objectively assign a number from 1-150 to guys. Yeah, the top 30 guys are clearly better ball players than the guys toward the bottom of the list, but you can't call the guy ranked 25 worse than the guy ranked 20. That's asinine.

Why did Greene get bumped up? Did he have a few good games this summer that caught some of the Rivals guys' eyes? Or, what if 9 guys ahead of him had a very subpar summer, so they dropped and Greene moved up 9 spots? I'm saying, as it relates to the basketball team at KU, and Greene as a player, it means nothing. At this point, we know Greene is a high level recruit. Tomorrow, put a 10 next to his name, or put a 50 next to his name, and it won't make a lick of difference. Brannen Greene will be the same player he is today. THAT'S all I'm arguing. It's ludicrous to argue that the rankings themselves mean nothing, like some have done. Of course I want the higher ranked guys.


texashawk10 1 year, 7 months ago


As you can see from this, it's pretty clear that most of these players developed at a pretty consistent rate based on their ratings. There are exceptions both ways (Reed, Morningstar, EJ, Tyshawn). Only 3 players who were top 30 recruits did not have an immediate impact their freshman years (Downs, Cole, and EJ) and one of those players left in the middle of his freshman season. Only 2 players outside the top 100 (Reed and Morningstar) that came in as freshmen even finished their careers at KU and those were the two in-state kids. That's pretty definitive to me and backs up HEM's point about those type of players being insurance policies and having a slim chance of seeing meaningful playing time at KU. Jamari Traylor will be an interesting case to see if he ever gets meaningful minutes at KU because he will likely be the first non-Kansas kid to ranked outside the top 100 to stay at KU for his entire career. His academic issues are the biggest reason why, but he will likely set the benchmark for any other 100+ ranked 4-5 year players for when they break into the rotation, if ever. Landon Lucas is someone to keep an eye on for a potential transfer after this season because that is the trend at KU. Zach Peters is an interesting case because a lot of his rating is due to him not playing AAU ball the summer before his senior year so it would be interesting to see where he would've been ranked had he done that instead of focusing on football. It also sounded like he is going to be the 4th big this year based on what happened in Europe so he could end up being an exception to the trend but I think his skill level compared to his ranking is more of an anomaly because his lack of playing AAU ball but we'll find out in November.


texashawk10 1 year, 7 months ago

HEM and Bennybob are correct, the recruiting rankings are a very good indication of who the top players are. If you want to argue that the ratings are meaningless when it comes to whether someone should be ranked 25 or 30, then yes they are basically meaningless because those players are close enough in talent to where it doesn't matter too much. If you want to say the difference between 25 and 75 is meaningless, then you are a fool. As HEM pointed out, there are exceptions to this and Tyshawn Taylor is one of those exceptions because it's a very rare thing to see a player ranked 77th be a 4 year starter at a school the caliber of KU. Travis Releford, ranked 70th in the same class took until his junior season to become an impact player at Kansas which is closer to the norm at a school like Kansas.

Let's go back to 2004 which was Bill Self's first recruiting class at KU that was his own and see where each recruit was ranked and how long it took them to be an impact player at KU. I'm only including the players who finished their careers at KU and going through 2010 since we have definitive results through then. * indicates a player who redshirted at some point at KU. Just to clarify that my definition of an impact player is someone who is a regular in the rotation and playing 15+ minutes a game for the season


Alex Galindo (65) Transferred

CJ Giles (62) Kicked off team

Darnell Jackson (54) Senior

Sasha Kaun (34) Sophomore

Russell Robinson (27) Sophomore


Mario Chalmers (12) Freshman

Micah Downs (28) Transferred

Brandon Rush (13) Freshman

Julian Wright (8) Freshman


Darrell Arthur (16) Freshman

Sherron Collins (21) Freshman

Brady Morningstar* (150+) Sophomore


Cole Aldrich (30) Sophomore

Tyrel Reed (109) Sophomore


Tyrone Appleton (JuCo) (124 in 2006) Left program

Mario Little* (JuCo) (150+)

Marcus Morris (29) Freshman

Markieff Morris (49) Freshman

Travis Releford* (70) Junior

Tyshawn Taylor (77) Freshman

Quintrell Thomas (149) Transferred


Xavier Henry (8) Freshman

Elijah Johnson (24) Junior

Thomas Robinson (31) Sophomore


Josh Selby (1) Freshman

Royce Woolridge (120) Transferred



jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Ah, thank god he wasn't tapped.

Boosted is okay.

To tap? Perchance to sleep?


Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago


-- The easy claim, like jhox does, is to say these guys didn’t play college basketball and, basically, are buffoons. They don’t know anything more than you or I. That’s what jhox would like you to believe. Jhox says “Yet many of the people rating these guys don't understand the subtleties of the game enough to know the difference.” That is just plain garbage. It is jhox that, respectfully, appears to lack the understanding. What subtlety would he be talking about? These folks travel and watch players in person, they talk to assistant coaches, head coaches, to the high school coaches, to pro scouts – they gather so much more information than you can fathom. They have seen these guys play in person, not on youtube. They go to the AAU tourneys. They gather opinions from all sources .. yes, including the coaches that are doing the recruiting. Don’t you think that if coach K is on a guy, explains why he is on a guy, that might carry some weight? And it should. But the rankings are a compilation of information from all sources. BlownJay asked .. are Frankamp and Greene going higher because the are they getting better, or because Self recruited them? Clearly, the services feel both are getting better in comparison to their peers, but solely because Self is recruiting them wouldn’t case this jump. But a coach accepting a commit or recruiting a player certainly can move a kid if it squares with the other info. In this case, though, Self’s recruitment of the kids was old news.

-- If you don't like Rivals or Scout and you say scouting services are a joke, then look at who coach Self is recruiting. This is the trump card. Go and look at the players to whom he has extended offers. It is strangely similar to the rankings. Amazing how our brilliant coach pursues the highly ranked players. There is no denying that. He generally first extends offers guys that are ranked highly by Rivals/Scout, then works his way down. How and why does that happen? This is where those that mock ratings are seriously just ignoring the evidence. Isn’t this the best evidence if you think coach Self is the best informed?

-- And as bennybob pointed out, read the link below. This isn’t some bum off the street.

There, I feel better.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

I see the comments on the ratings and I feel like I’m being poked with a stick. I try to ignore, but I I can’t. Call it a personal failing.

Ok .. the "rankings are beyond pointless" (Hawkoverseas) and those that agree crowd (like jhox), must have some other agenda. I am pushed to that conclusion because, respectfully, they apparently refuse to attempt to understand the ratings dynamic and what goes into them. And it’s not because they haven’t heard it before. They just refuse to listen to logic. They refuse to consider the evidence. And the they offer no evidence to the contrary.

-- First and foremost, the ratings are, historically, incredibly accurate. And without a doubt, they serve as the best guide to predict college basketball success. Those that mock them seem to expect too much. Many expect perfection. And they criticize based upon nuance. The ratings aren’t perfectly accurate. They are general. They are a guide, not the gospel. They serve that purpose and that purpose only. Not perfect. Sometimes way wrong, or someone gets missed. But they are the best guide. I do hate to bring up the Milton Doyle or Merv Lindsay fiascos, but those are perfect examples where folks got on here, railed against Rivals, etc., saying ratings didn’t matter, predicted big things for those kids here, that Self found gems, mocked and/or called names to those that dare suggest otherwise, etc. We know how that turned out. But another point is .. even if one of them did pan out, that doesn’t disparage the ratings at all. That is what we call an exception to the rule. A concept many don't understand. Who beat us for the NCAA title last season? A bunch of highly rated freshmen and sophomores. Oh, and who did they beat? Robinson, Withey, Releford, Taylor - 4 stars; EJ - 5 stars. And our NCAA title in 2008? The entire 8 man rotation 4 and 5 star guys. Arthur, Rush, Chalmers, Robinson, Collins, Aldrich -- 5 stars; Jackson, Kaun -- 4 stars.



kufaninmo 1 year, 7 months ago

man, even if we didn't have any top 25 recruits, i'd still be as content with our next squad. this is just icing now.


kranny 1 year, 7 months ago

Sounds like some great kids but even if Self only gets the TRobs and Tyshawns, and not MickeyDs, I'm sure we'll see Final Four action in the near future again. Self has the ability to take good and turn it into great.


jhawk613 1 year, 7 months ago

I smell a conspiracy. Rivals normally drops a recruit after they commit to KU...

Perhaps they are trying to boost Greene's rating so another team will try to steal him.


OakvilleJaybateNightmare 1 year, 7 months ago

Mcdonald's All-Americans.... Ahh crap, now I'm hungry..


Tony Bandle 1 year, 7 months ago

Food for thought:

  • If rankings are so over-rated, why is Sonny Parker so PO'd about his son falling ONE SLOT??!!

  • Doyle will probably stay in town at Loyola, so his family can see his games and he can ride the EL to school everyday.

  • Does anyone truly believe there is any more actual science to Rivals Rankings than, oh let's say, a typical high school Student Council election??

  • In other news, Hurricane Isaac fell from #5 to #10 behind Hurrican Katrina, crunchy peanut butter gained two spots to #9 while smooth remained at #3 and Hugh Hefner's testosterone level remained unchanged.


David Gisi 1 year, 7 months ago

The big news is Jackson's jump in the rankings. All indications seem to be that KU is the leader with him. Already came for an unofficial, after which he was offered. Has an in-home next week, i believe, and has an official scheduled. I get the feeling that if Barber doesn't commit on the spot this weekend that Jackson will when he comes for his official. His visit schedule seems to be pushing a top 3 of Illinois, Louisville and Kansas. Obviously the ranking jump could open up new suitors. He has concentrated in the Midwest and seems to have left behind Mich, MState and ND. I'm ready for local HS season to start to go watch him play. Hadn't heard much about him til spring when KU started to get involved. I think he's become more than a Barber backup plan.


Vernon Riggs 1 year, 7 months ago

With Frankamp and Greene, we need Point and Big. The fifth scholarship could be used for best available player in any position.

This would be a GREAT class:

  1. Frankamp, 2. Greene, 3. Jackson, 4. Shepherd, 5. Lee or Selden

jayhawkinATL 1 year, 7 months ago

Looks like Ojeleye grew 2 inches in the past week!


joeloveshawks 1 year, 7 months ago

Seeing all of these top recruits with KU on their lists is great. Obviously we will only get 1 or 2 or 3 of these elite players but it is exciting. It reminds me of the Rush, Chalmers, Wright class. That turned out pretty well for the Hawks.


Ron Franklin 1 year, 7 months ago

Are Frankamp and Greene rising because Self recruited them?

Or is it because they are actually getting better?


REHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I still view Withey's slot as the most important to fill for the near future. However, if Naadir does not progress quickly and dependably, that point guard position is of prime importance. Frankamp might evolve into the guy, although his shooting stats would indicate that he will play more off-point, even though he will be limited by height. With Tharpe and Frankamp on the floor together, the Jayhawks would give up a bundle of inches and length.


Chris Shaw 1 year, 7 months ago

Demetrius Jackson and "Cat" Barber have been used in the same sentence a lot lately, but what's funny is that everybody assumed there was a big discrepency in talent simply because Barber was #9 and Jackson was #70.

It's funny how quickly a fans mindset will change when a recruit jumps 43 spots into the Top 30. That is what I find interesting a little bit humerous.


Lindsey Buscher 1 year, 7 months ago

“My son fell because he was injured (and missed some AAU ball),” Sonny told the Chicago Sun Times. “He’s still ranked No. 1 everywhere else. He’s national player of the year with two gold medals, three state championships. What more could he do? The rankings are overrated anyway."

Don't sound so butt-hurt duder, 1 or 2, everyone knows your son is good, probably good enough to jump straight to the nba.


april28 1 year, 7 months ago

Love Randles comments. Parker's dad, no so much.


Jeremy Bolinger 1 year, 7 months ago

Parker may not get caught up in the rankings, but it sure sounds like pops does. There is no shame in falling from 1 to 2 on a list created by several people who never even played college basketball.


KUfanInFlorida 1 year, 7 months ago

I like the fact that a lot of talent is considering KU. Hopefully we'll be able to land all of the remaining top targets.


RJ King 1 year, 7 months ago

can anyone say CRAPSHOOT?

PS What I noticed about Greene in the game, is that he wasn't spectacular (off the charts athletic, freakish, in-your-face Aaron Gordon). He just did what he was supposed to do and came up with points. I liked his low-key persona.


Phil Leister 1 year, 7 months ago

Rankings are beyond pointless. They simply provide a talking point for fans. So Brannen went from 31 to 22? That means absolutely, positively, nothing at all. He's still the player today that he was yesterday and last week.


David Hall 1 year, 7 months ago



VailHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Wow!!! Thx so much for the recruiting love LJW! Think we'll land any of them?


Chris Bruning 1 year, 7 months ago

This whole article is filled with awesomeness!!!! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!!


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