Monday, June 11, 2012

Making the grade: Perry Ellis averaged 25.8 PPG, 4.0 GPA

Kansas newcomer Perry Ellis, center, listens while in a team huddle between Justin Wesley, left, and fellow freshman Zach Peters as they prepare for a workout at Bill Self's basketball camp on Monday, June 11, 2012 at the Horejsi Center.

Kansas newcomer Perry Ellis, center, listens while in a team huddle between Justin Wesley, left, and fellow freshman Zach Peters as they prepare for a workout at Bill Self's basketball camp on Monday, June 11, 2012 at the Horejsi Center.



Freshman Perry Ellis puts in a layup as he works out for the campers during Bill Self's basketball camp on Monday, June 11, 2012, at the Horejsi Center.

Perry Ellis talks about transition to KU and also areas in his game he hopes to improve

Kansas freshman Perry Ellis talks about his transition to KU and also areas in his game he hopes to improve. Ellis talked to reporters on June 11, 2012.

McDonald’s All-American Perry Ellis, the all-time leading scorer in Wichita City League history, capped his Wichita Heights basketball career by winning his fourth straight state championship and fourth-straight Gatorade Player of the Year Award.

He had just as impressive an exit on the academic side, serving as one of four valedictorians at Heights’ May 22 graduation ceremony.

“It was great. A lot of people respect me for that,” Ellis, a 4.0 student, said Monday before taking part in drills with his new Kansas University basketball teammates at Bill Self’s hoops camp in Horejsi Center.

“It was real tough. It didn’t come easy to me,” he added of acing all his classes. “I really had to work in the classroom to do that. That’s what I tell a lot of people. Anybody can do it. You just really have to work.”

The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Ellis, who plans to major in business at KU, is taking two summer-school courses.

He hopes to keep his streak of A’s alive.

“I’m going to try,” he said of claiming a college 4.0. “It’s going to be tough again, another challenge for me, dealing with school and workouts and weights and all that. I’m going to definitely try.”

It seems somewhat surreal that Ellis is finally settled on KU’s campus. He has been highly publicized since eighth grade, with folks following his college recruitment on an almost-daily basis until his oral commitment to KU last Sept. 21.

“I enjoyed it. I didn’t feel too much pressure,” Ellis said of time spent in high school. “I tried to not put a lot of pressure on myself. My parents and coaches helped with that, also. I feel it’s time to move on, time to start something new ... this is my next step in life.”

He has already noticed some differences between high school and college.

“You are more on your own now. I don’t have my mom, my dad to help guide me. It’s all on myself. I’ve got to take care of myself now,” said Ellis, who is rooming with fellow freshman Evan Manning. “We are playing a lot of pick-up, too, which is helping give me a feel for the players, and going to class is helping me, also.

“It’s physical,” Ellis continued of pick-up basketball and two hours of practice per week with the coaches in accordance with new NCAA rules. “It’s going to make me a lot better, playing with these guys and competing with them.”

His goals during practices?

“Just playing hard, getting more physical. That’s the main thing I want to focus on,” said Ellis, who averaged 25.8 points and 9.4 boards per game last year for Heights.

Ellis, who hit 67 percent of his shots and 43.4 percent of his threes last season, figures to play both inside and out for KU.

“I’ll try to do everything I can, try to do both,” Ellis said. “I’m not really sure yet. I might play on the wing a little bit if I get somebody smaller on me. Then I might go in the post. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Ellis likes what he has seen of KU’s freshman class.

“First of all, they are all great kids,” he said. “I feel they will all be great teammates.”

KU senior Jeff Withey says he has been impressed with Ellis thus far.

“He’s definitely a raw talent, one of the best high school players (in country),” Withey said of’s No. 24-rated player nationally. “He needs to get more aggressive, I’d say, in pick-up and stuff. He’ll get more involved in the offense. He’ll get more outgoing as time goes on. I’d say Kansas fans have a lot to be excited about.”

They were elated in March when Ellis became the sixth Wichita native to play in the McDonald’s All-America game.

“It was a great experience, learning about the years before me and all the players who went through it (the game) and learning their stories,” he said of the likes of LeBron James and Michael Jordan. “I thought it was a pretty awesome experience.

“A lot of people when I was going up there (Chicago for game) said, ‘Represent us. Represent us.’ I did. I wanted to represent my hometown, Wichita, Kan. There’s only a couple before me who got to do that. It was a real honor.”

Finals begin tonight: KU coach Bill Self’s hometown Oklahoma City Thunder will meet the Miami Heat in Game One of the NBA Finals tonight in OKC.

“Knowing another Jayhawk will get a championship ring is pretty cool,” Self said, well aware Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich play for the Thunder and Mario Chalmers the Heat.

“It’s been really cool because the Thunder team has totally unified the state. When you’ve got OU, OSU, Tulsa and Oral Roberts, you don’t have everybody ever cheering for the same team. This is one case in which you do. It’s really brought the state closer together. It’s done great things for the city. You’ve got a guy like (Kevin) Durant that you can sell as face of the franchise, and it’s great to see Nick play so well. Cole’s not had a chance to play much. Mario has played very well.

“I’ve not missed many games. We’ve been sitting and watching entire games the last three weeks. Even on vacation, we planned our vacation around the Thunder and the Heat. It’s really cool, fun to watch.”

Trials: Future KU guard Conner Frankamp of Wichita North is one of 31 players who will attend tryouts for the FIBA Under 17 world championship team, which start Friday in Colorado Springs. In all, 31 players will attend tryouts. It is anticipated the final 12-member U-17 team will be announced after the morning session on June 17, and those 12 athletes will remain in Colorado Springs to train through June 20. The world championships start June 29 in Lithuania.


Jeeveshawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Congratulations Perry Ellis! A fast, talented big who can step outside is what we need.

Im not expecting him to be Danny Manning, but I would be very pleased if he could be Marcus Morris.


Lance Hobson 1 year, 10 months ago

Collison had 10 boards tonight. He may be quick between the ears but he also has some old fashioned cave man grit to him as well. When it's all said and done and the Thunder have won it all those fans will be talking about his effort for years to come.


jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Top Ten Complaints of jaybate:

10] Lack of sexual intimacy with Playboy playmates throughout lifetime 9] KU perhaps having to play 9-man football this season. 8] Can't tell the coaches' sons apart without a program. 7] Tom Keegan's failure to pose nude with Gary Bedore, while team writing a story about latent eroticism between editors and beat writers 6] Lew not keeping the exercise equipment 5] everything changing after 9/11 for no apparent reason, and then never changing back for no apparent reason. 4] CBernie failing to shimmy after conference wins 3] inadequate length of jaybate's posts 2] the failure of the University of Kansas to change its legal name to Kansas University in order to please the owners of the World Corporation

...and the Number One complaint of jaybate is.......

oakvillejhawk capitalizing the "j" in jaybate!!!

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 10 months ago

How cool was it seing Nick Collison in an NBA finals game?


justinryman 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree with coach Self, that no matter what a KU player is going to get a Championship ring.

Heck the Conference finals, no matter who won there would have been a Jayhawk on the bench of all 4 of those teams.

HOw many of Calapari's minions will there be?


ukanjhox 1 year, 10 months ago

Perry Ellis, Zach Peters, and soon, Conner Frankamp, will go down as top-5 Jayhawks of all time when their respective careers are over. Perry Ellis will be KU's all time leading scorer, and will be a 3 time All-American after earning national freshman of the year. I haven't even included Landen Lucas in this discussion, who's got multiple All-American potential all over him. This is all a guarantee!


Jack Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

Ok. I really do try to relax. I take deep breaths. I look at birds out the window. I play soothing music. I try to realize that everyone here can't have insight -- they can't be drgnslayr, or Oakville, or Ralster, or many of the others that observe, process, and rationally opine.

But good Lord. We are lacking on the processing part.

CrimsonandBlueFor Life makes a Perry Ellis - Danny Manning comparison.

And not to be outdone, one measly minute later, 1stnamemister compares the Ellis/Peters combo to Collison/Gooden? And then he extended the comparison to Haase and Vaughn?

Now, I was searching for a handgun to place slowly against my temple. It would have been much less painful. But I reconsidered.

I need answers. But what can be said? There is not a word in the English language to properly capture the depth of the insanity. There was the Merv Lindsay/Brandon Rush comparison last summer, or the Justin Wesley/Darrell Arthur mention, and the Milton Doyle orgasms recently. Or the post yesterday by kellerman411 about Traylor being underrated -- after watching him on a youtube video dunking on AAU midgets with Anthony Davis by his side. Insanity.

What I am looking for is an answer .. how can someone, even at a distance, watch KU basketball and say what I have mentioned above? My wife wouldn't say that. She doesn't know much .. about KU basketball. My wife would say, innocently, "Have Peters or Ellis even played a game yet?" or "Wasn't Collison an all-American?" or "Wasn't Danny Manning like the best player of our generation?" From the mouths of babes, right? Just plain common sense.

I don't know why this bothers me so much. But it does.

If both of you would just take it back (and I'll include kellerman, too .. all three of you). Please say "I take it back. I was insane when I made this post." I will sleep better. I will be able to breathe. But I have placed my handgun in a much safer place. To rid me of the temptation to take the easy way out.

Plus, putting the handgun away allows me to enjoy Landen Lucas. He is incredible. I, myself, have fought the urge to speculate and engage in crazy talk. But this kid has to be the real deal. I just feel it. I think I saw a video that shows him in action. Have we ever had a center with this much raw talent and skill? It seems that Lucas could be the next Wilt Chamberlain, but who can say? Very exciting ....


1stnamemistermiddlenameperiod 1 year, 10 months ago

In regards to Ellis and Peters, I've really had to fight back the temptation for speculative hyperbole. Has KU ever had a set of bigs this skilled? Nick and Drew come to mind, but Gooden was so raw. The combination of their brains and ability reminds me more of a front court version of Jacque Vaughn and Jerrod Hasse.


Ted Hume 1 year, 10 months ago

Looking at and watching clips of Perry, I have an observation: I hate to make any mention of Duke on this site, but he reminds me of Shane Battier with a little Grant Hill mixed in...


CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 10 months ago

Perry Ellis could be another Danny Manning in the making. Time will tell.


William Blake 1 year, 10 months ago

You might be a Missouri Methneck:

  1. If you name your first born "Ether."

  2. If you expound on the state's motto to be more explicit.... the "Show Me Your ...." State.

  3. If the car you drive is classified by your insurance company as a "parts car."

  4. If your kids lose their baby teeth at 5, and their adult teeth at 9.

  5. If you always thought Santa's beard was supposed to be "powdery white."

  6. If you start drinking ethanol when your moonshine runs low... after all, "corn squeezin's is corn squeezin's."

  7. If you pronounce "foreign" like a trapper... "fur-in."

  8. If all the females in your family still get pregnant even after you moved to the hills to hide from everyone (especially the feds).

  9. If you thought a gas mask was designed to be plumbed to a propane tank.

  10. If your noodling technique was responsible for putting dinner on the table and adding a spark to your love life.


jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Without Manning, and still having to play 4 instead of 3, where he would hold potentially his greatest MUA for his career, should he also turn down the opportunity to matriculate some of the best academic schools in the country for what is best for Coach Self's offensive and defensive preferences?

Tough call IMHO.

KU Basketball is a great, great privilege to be a part of for any Kansan.

But America is nothing if not about making the most of one's opportunities.

Without Manning, and now probably without the 3, is this the best a 4.0 5-star could do?

Perry appears to want to play 3 with his 43% trey and get a good b-school education. It seems he could find that opportunity a number of places, were Coach Self to keep him at the 4.

Unless things go wonderfully, this situation could get dicey.


jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

If Perry Ellis cannot impact immediately, then Self has to rethink how he develops 5 star players.

Cal has proved not only can these 5 stars play out of the box, but they can, when mixed with second year 5 stars, win a ring, when starting.

My point is not that Self needs recruit a team of athletic freaks, but that he has to start getting strong, season long performances out of the ones he does sign, or stop wasting his time, and their times, recruiting them.

5 stars are problematic. Unless forced by injury, most will not be around 4, even 3, seasons. One or two seasons is it.

And if Self has to "develop" them one season just to get one full season, and maybe none, before jumping, the payback is too short.

Ellis needs to start and play unless he has been massively overrated.

And from the tone of his quotes above, he has also been given "the bad news." Perry is playing the 4, regardless of what was promised to sign him.

The news probably goes like this.

During recruiting, "You are as good as talented as I've recruited. You can play 3 and some 4."

This changes after enrollment during the first player-coach meeting to...

"You've got talent, but you need to get stronger and more aggressive. You will play 4 and some 3, when we post up a wing for a mismatch."

The sound of the cell door on the 4 position locking down!

Julian apparently got fed the line.

Marcus apparently got fed the line.

Thomas apparently got fed the line.

They worked and hoped and left without playing the 3.

Perry is a 4.0 student. He is very bright. He appears highly motivated. He comes from a strong, stable family. He probably has more and sharply quicker insight than Julian, Marcus and Thomas had. He knows he lost out on being coached by the best big man coach in the country. Now he also probably knows he was probably sold a bill of goods about the 3.

He is likely a quick study.

Unlike Julian, Marcus, and Thomas, from sharply disadvantaged backgrounds, and not especially gifted students, Perry Ellis does not desperately need Coach Self and KU basketball. Perry Ellis probably has the academics to transfer to Duke, Stanford, or even Harvard, the last of which happens to be on the rise a bit in hoops, without even playing ball. Which of these schools would turn him down as a transfer? None.

Why play 4 and get a KU degree, when you could play 3 and get a Duke, Stanford, or Harvard degree?

The Legacy is important.

But James Naismith graduated from McGill University and University of Denver--two prestigious academic institutions. He went to the best academic programs he could find and played sports. He would have wanted Perry to get the best education he could get and make the most of his athletic talent along the way.


William Blake 1 year, 10 months ago

It is a good thing to keep fan expectations down so our upcoming team (with 8 freshmen) can learn the game without all the chaos brought on by fans.

Perry doesn't lack aggression. You don't bucket 25.8 ppg without any aggression. Perry just plays within his capabilities and he may start a bit slow as a Jayhawk because he is bumping up to D1 ball. He'll master D1 ball and will dial in the right level of aggressiveness.

I envision Perry and Hudy will transform Perry, but it will take a year or two and then Perry will become beastly (like what happened to TRob).

I hope all the new Hawks embrace Hudy and her talents... even Zach! Imagine what she can do with this class?!


Benjamin Piehler 1 year, 10 months ago

So excited for next season. We've got so many potential weapons, I hope we find the best way to utilize them all.


yates33333 1 year, 10 months ago

On the matter of player height, Ellis looks shorter than either Wesley (6'8") or Peters (6'8" sometimes 6'9"). Is he 6' 61/2" with an honest tape measure? He might make an excellent small forward. He can shoot and he can drive.


tom123kufan 1 year, 10 months ago

Does Zack Peters look like a young Sasha Kaun to anyone else? This kid is going to be a beast. He is going to be THE INTIMIDATOR!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

HEM...I totally will be the four seniors plus BMac on opening day!!!


hawksince51 1 year, 10 months ago

It sees to me that the Self system is not easily picked up by a freshman. With Ellis we have the positive and negaitve factors of high intelligence and lack of aggressiveness. So, I will keep my expectations in check especially in the early season. Beyond that I have confidence in Self and his staff molding this kid into an elite player. Certainly, he is one of the best pure shooters we have seen in a long time, especially for a big man. You do not see 67% overall, 43% from the 3 pt. line very often.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

Withey said about Ellis -- “He needs to get more aggressive, I’d say, in pick-up and stuff."

As Strikewso mentionend, the lack of aggressiveness was an observation made during his high school/AAU days.

Don't be surprised if this is a continuing theme. We've seen it before. Think about Releford .. we're still waiting for him to be aggressive. We agonized over Rush being passive. Henry just floated on the wing and rarely initiated anything.

We all have this guy penciled in as an immediate starter. I would just caution to not expect too much, too soon. But we will, of course.

Based on prior posts about Ellis (not those above), it seems that we expect way too much immediately. Maybe it's because he's our highest rated freshman. And some even relate those expectations to his GPA (which is irrelevant).

Remember ... Freshmen. Learning curve. Coach Self. Defense.

Don't be surprised if KY is starting at the 4 for a number of games to start the season.


waywardJay 1 year, 10 months ago

Excellent Photo, Krug.

Also, Is it me or does Zach Peters just look angry.

Catch Phrase -


Alohahawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I guessed about a week ago that Ellis would major in business. Now, let me see. Maybe I can predict an NCAA BB Championship for KU in 2013. And I'm guessing an Oklahoma Thunder NBA championship. :>)


april28 1 year, 10 months ago

Larry Brown said the same thing about Danny Manning when he was a freshman. That worked out okay.....


chicagojayhawk87 1 year, 10 months ago

Gotta say I'm proud to be from Wichita and see KU get pretty much one of the best ballers in the city's history. I did have to laugh at the WSU fans who were salty he didn't stay home. The Shockers are doing a great job, but it's kinda a no-brainer.

Also here's a link that really proves Mizzou belongs in the SEC The story came out early today so I'll assume most of you have seen this, but I had to throw it on the boards, even if it is unrelated to this story.


Lance Hobson 1 year, 10 months ago

Great kid. I hope the aggressiveness will come eventually. That was his only knock in Wichita. Awesome to see him at KU, it would have been a crime if UK took him from the state of Kansas.


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