Tuesday, September 11, 2012

KU’s Bill Self on road pursuing point guards


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who is recruiting a trio of point guards in Anthony “Cat” Barber, Demetrius Jackson and Chris Jones, met with Northwest Florida State sophomore Jones on Sunday in Niceville, Fla., and Jackson on Monday in Mishawaka, Ind.

The 5-foot-11 Jones, who is originally from Memphis, Tenn., was ranked No. 47 nationally in the recruiting Class of 2011 by

Jones, who has visited Baylor and Oklahoma State, will visit Louisville and Florida State the next two weekends and Kansas for the Oct. 12 Late Night in the Phog.

“Coach Self likes the way Chris moves his feet defensively,” Northwest Florida State coach Steve Forbes told “Coach (Self) likes his ability to defend the ball, and I think that defense has always been a top priority for Kansas and for coach Self.

Jackson, a 6-1 senior from Mishawaka, Ind., who is ranked No. 27 by, has a list of KU, Illinois, Louisville, Kentucky, Notre Dame and others. indicates he has “long been a top target of Notre Dame, his hometown school.”

Barber, 6-2 senior from Hampton (Va.) High, visited KU two weeks ago and Louisville last weekend. The No. 9-ranked player is also considering Alabama and North Carolina State. Barber visited Louisville with Marcus Lee, a 6-9 forward from Deer Valley High in Antioch, Calif. Lee, who is ranked No. 15 nationally, will visit Kentucky on Oct. 12 and Indiana on Oct. 19. He also has KU, Duke, Cal and UCLA on his list.

Freeman picks UCLA: Al Freeman, a 6-4 senior combo guard from Findlay Prep High in Henderson, Nev., has committed to UCLA. Freeman, who is originally from Charlotte, N.C., had planned also to visit KU, Ohio State, Villanova and Duke. It is believed KU lost interest in the No. 52-ranked Freeman over the summer, with other recruits passing him on the priority list.

“I think they’re just picking up where they left off with this past recruiting class,” Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck told, referring to UCLA. “Al’s another tremendous player who is physically ready from a strength standpoint. You look at his body, he’s got good guard skills. He can handle it. He’s made an effort this spring and summer to try to be somewhat more of a point guard to distribute. On top of that he’s a tremendous scorer. He’s got a great mid-range and great long-range game. Once he works on on finishing at the rim, he’ll be a tremendous triple-threat.”

More on Embiid: Joel Embiid, a 7-foot senior from Montverde (Fla.) Academy, is considering KU, Florida, Louisville, Texas, UCLA, Virginia, Georgia Tech and others, reports. reports that Embiid was discovered at one of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s basketball camps in Cameroon.

“He’s got untapped potential, when he figures it all out,” one Div. I assistant coach told “In two years, he’s going to be really good for somebody.”

Gordon to attend Late Night: No. 5-ranked Aaron Gordon, a 6-8 forward from Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif., will visit KU for the Oct. 12 Late Night in the Phog, reports. He has KU, Arizona, Kentucky, Washington, Oregon, Cal, Stanford and New Mexico on his list.


Jonathan Andrews 8 years, 1 month ago

YES, Aaron Gordon is a SUPER-elite combo forward recruit, I'm glad he's coming to see what Late Night's all about! I still won't be shocked if he ends up staying out West somewhere, but we'll give him an awful lot to ponder! Whether Ellis stays for another year, whether we reel in Randle/Martin or another PF, Gordon can have a big role for us from day one.

Cat and Frankamp together = FILTHY. I would love to see that backcourt together. Embiid already has my interest, since he's going to Sasha Kaun's HS. We could use some legit size next year. This recruiting class has the making of a special one. Go Norm! Go Self! GO KU!

Alohahawk 8 years, 1 month ago

I gave up on Aaron Gordon a long time ago. Suddenly, KU seems to have gained ground with him. Among his top five, and now Late Night, which can't help but impress!! Perhaps with his pal just picking Cal over Washington he's thinking along different lines, now. I think a while back those two were talking package deal as Huskies. I've been hoping we might have a slight chance to get Jabari Parker, and now it seems Gordon might be in that same category. Either one of those two would be the icing on the cake when added to Greene and Francamp. If a "Cat" comes strutting up the back alley, and Self can pick up Embiid for the future? Holy Mackerel, Batman. Watch out Gotham City, or where ever the NCAA Final Four will be held!!!

Ted Hume 8 years, 1 month ago

unless Ellis gets unhappy and transfers, he'll definitely be here next year, and probably one after that. He's just not even close to being a one-and-done NBA talent. Think about it: Gooden, Collison, Arthur, Morris2, Wright, TRob, etc., etc., etc... KU's never had a frontcourt player- and we've had many as good as or better than Elllis, jump after one.

addlime 8 years, 1 month ago

Not every school in Fla. is Sasha Kaun's HS. Kaun went to Florida Air Academy in Melbourne. Monteverde Academy is on the other side of Orlando, over an hour away. But I like your thinking, and enthusiasm, Crooner! I agree, could be a special recruiting class like the one from 05 or whatever (Mario, Rush, etc.)

kerbyd 8 years, 1 month ago

I believe Sasha went to Florida Sports Academy, not sure that is the same place.

KJ Quartermaine 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm going to be really upset if Bill doesn't land Cat Barber. Sorry, but I am

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 1 month ago

Don't get me wrong, Barber sounds great and all, but with the guards already on the roster and other potential recruits I hardly think it's worth getting upset over. If Self lands any decent big to go with Frankamp and Greene I'll be more than satisfied with the class. If he can pick up a top talent like Gordon, Parker, Barber, Randle...any fan should be stoked. Next season in theory shouldn't be a great one with so few upperclassmen, but recruit a few more quality players and expectations will still be very high.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 1 month ago

I'd love to see Cat, Jabari, and Embiid. I still think Mr Heaps needs to call Jabari to let him know about the place.

Ben Simonett 8 years, 1 month ago

Aaron Gordon's coming for late night?

This years recruiting does seem to have a very different fell about than the last 3. A lot of options still available, now its Just on Self to close the deal.

HawkKlaw 8 years, 1 month ago

Oh, you're referring to that ONE year when the Morris twins (and less importantly Josh Selby) declared for the NBA draft so late in the year that Self had to take whatever he could get to help fill those positions, and then to make matters worse the NCAA declared those guys ineligible? You mean that ONE year?

jay381 8 years, 1 month ago

Frankly, I hope KU does not get Chris Jones. Unfortunately I currently live in Memphis. There has been a history of trouble following athletes from Memphis. Currently there is a large scale NCAA cast of characters investigating the total underbelly of high school athletics, coaches selling athletes by influencing them to certain colleges, fraudulent academic records etc. in the Memphis City Schools. There are almost daily updates not of does corruption exist but how wide and how far. Where is the next shoe going to fall?

Jones was originally committed to U of Tenn. He could not made the minimum qualifications. He then went to the FL Juco that is coached by a former assistant of Bruce Pearl. For the shenanigans of the Bruce Pearl recruiting tactics just Google him when he was (although one of the most successful coaches at TN) was terminated for multiple NCAA violations. Jones came out of Melrose HS which is in the Orange Mound area of Memphis, which is more like a combat zone than an American City. Trust me he will arrive with an attitude.

Look even Calipari steadfastly refused to take even the most athletic kids from the area because of the baggage they brought with them to his program. Although he was steadfastly criticized for not taking them. He inherited the baggage his first year and had almost half the team in jail his first year. Even Cal kept away. The last few years he was in Memphis there were for all practical purposes no Memphis players on the team despite their athletic ability.

If someone with the questionable ethics of Calipari wanted no part of recruiting Memphis I pose the question is that what is needed at KU?

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

I for one think this Embiid kid is a "must have." How can we pass him up? He can come in and give us "legit size next year" as a freshman, as Crooner said above. We've had lots of unranked freshmen come in and play, right? He's just the next in line. Geez, he's 7 foot tall. Now, I saw a kid in the local band that was 6'8" and could barely keep from tripping with his French horn, but that's different. This kid must be a true "diamond in rough." Nevermind that he's not ranked -- every scouting service must have just missed him. They've missed on other such diamonds in the rough. Boy, oh, boy. Add him to this class and we've got something special.

John Randall 8 years, 1 month ago

kD, why is NBA draft assumed to be a legitimate way to evaluate college talent? Isn't the real measure of a college player what he can do to elevate the college team he plays for?

The NBA and NCAA play in different worlds, and coach Self understands that ... do you?

Ben Simonett 8 years, 1 month ago

I agree completely, in fact if we get a commit from this guy we can withdraw our offer to Shephard, Lawrence, and Randle.

We've got our impact big man, just focus on the PG and pocket the extra schollie for next year!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

konkey: Here's how I see a guy like Embiid .. I'm generally fine with him being the 5th guy in this class, so long as we get our top point guard and, very importantly, the top big man. Really, I don't care if we get piece #3 and #4.

I am not enamoured with 7 footers. My preference falls with top basketball players. The comment about Embiid was that it may take a couple of years .. ok, then, who goes? And why should we have to wait on a project? Assuming Self snags the top big guy, and Embiid, it also then becomes a numbers game. Again, I'm ok with the guy as the 5th guy in a stacked class (truth be told, I'd be fine with you as 5th guy if we get Barber and a top big guy). But Embiid coming as the second post player in the 2013 class that will almost certainly mean a big guy leaves -- not enough PT to go around.

Really, though, I'd rather hold the scholarship -- if we get say Barber and Shepherd -- give it to Wesley for his senior year or for a late surprise. Otherwise, unless someone leaves, we have no open scholarships for 2014. I know one will open up -- but that's just one. But I'd prefer holding the scholarship for a top player that either might present himself in the late spring/summer (late decider, transfer, etc.), or one in 2014.

Why give away the scholarship if Randle or Parker might shock the world in the spring and choose KU?

The final "but" is .. but, if Self's sees Embiid as truly a top player just needing refinement, as the 5th guy, better than some guys we have, well, that's why he gets the big bucks. It strikes me though that Embiid is really more of a backup plan.

Steve Kubler 8 years, 1 month ago

I see spending recruiting time with him as an investment. You visit and keep in touch and watch him develop and hope he delays signing as appears to be the trend lately. If he shows progress you step it up, if he trips over his own feet trying to walk and chew gum you decide to look elsewhere.

I use the ratings as a guide most of the time and they are reasonably accurate if you realize the top few are special and after that the talent begins to level out. However I've seen a local kid get ignored who went on to be a top player in D2 ball and could have been that hidden diamond for a D1 team. Trouble is diamonds are uncommon and quartz sparkles just as bright in the right light.

To put it plainly, I'm okay with looking at the Doyles and Embiids of the world. I just am not going to get myself all worked up about them one way or another until they can show they got what it takes. I go along with HEM on keeping a schollie on the shelf if you do not feel there is value in handing it out.

No matter what, if Self thinks they can bring value to KU in what ever role he has in mind for a player I bow to the guy that makes the big bucks. At least until he's proven wrong at the end of the year. After all, even with his "horrid" recruiting class last year I thought they did okay.

texashawk10 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't see Cat Barber ending up at KU. Playing time is always a huge factor for players this highly ranked and it's not guaranteed to be there when he arrives on campus. Chris Jones is nothing but the emergency back up plan like Doyle was this past year, and he would likely be nothing but a back up for Tharp unless he redshirted to play one year after Tharp. Demetrius Jackson to me is the best option for KU at this point. He plays limited minutes his freshman season, gets plays significant minutes as the back up point and possibly starts depending on McLemore and then becomes the primary point his junior season. If Cat Barber is willing to follow that path, then I would love to see it happen, but I just don't see Barber being around for 3-4 years like Demetrius Jackson would be.

Joel Embiid is a very intriguing prospect. He sounds like he has good potential as a shot blocker down the road which is a very crucial part of the most successful Bill Self teams. His teams that have made the deep runs have been the ones that have forced teams into being jump shooting teams and Embiid sounds like he could have that impact by his junior year. It doesn't sound like he'll ever be a legitimate threat on the offensive end, but with that defensive upside and being from a foreign country, this is a kid I would love to see as the second big in the class. Being from a foreign country (Cameroon in this case) means he was not raised with American values and that he someone who will be grateful for the opportunity to get a great education and will put in the hard work to become the best player he can be. I'm not saying that all American born players aren't grateful to go to college for free and have the drive to continuously improve themselves, but there are plenty of players who have all the talent in the world and waste it because they've never had to work for anything in their lives and it shows in their work effort.

KUfanInFlorida 8 years, 1 month ago

I disagree with you. I think Cat Barber will be a Jayhawk. I like Jackson too, but Cat is more of a ball handler and distributor. He would be a nice fit with Frankamp and Greene.

texashawk10 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm not comparing Jones and Doyle talent wise, but I am comparing them in regards to where they sit in the importance of landing them. Doyle was backup option in the event Adams didn't qualify and Jones appears to be the backup option in the event KU misses on Barber and Jackson. That's the comparison I'm making between those two players.

As for Barber, I see a couple of flaws with your line of thinking right now about Barber. Rivals and ESPN are both saying that Barber will be visiting NC State this upcoming weekend unless he cancelled as well at some point in the past couple of days. ESPN also has Barber visiting Alabama the weekend after that (Sept. 21-23) so it looks like Alabama is getting the last shot at him. I still keep hearing that the package deal of Barber and Williams to Alabama isn't totally out of the picture yet and because of that, I'm not sold on the him eliminating Louisville being all that significant to KU's chances because I've long thought that Alabama and that package deal have been the biggest competition for KU. I'll say this now on the record, I do think Barber is a better player than Demetrius Jackson, but I think Demetrius Jackson is a better fit for KU than Cat Barber is in the long term.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

texas: Respectfully, I'd disagree on the Jones/Doyle deal. Doyle was really getting a guy as insurance on a backup (Adams). If we get Jones, we're getting him as a potential starter. Doyle was never that. Konkey's point is that Jones is a top 50 player with JUCO experience. Jones is surely the 3rd option of the three .. but the more you read on Jones, the more he seems like a guy who could be ready to play major minutes. Doyle was never that.

And I do understand your point on preferring possibly 3-4 years of Jackson over maybe just two of Barber. Really, I don't care .. let's get one of them.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 1 month ago

If "Cat' doesn't pick Kansas, it's not because of the basketball program or playing time or coaching philosophy. It will be something we can't control.....wanting to be closer to home, AAU connections, a girl, etc.]

From a strictly basketball standpoint, his best option is the University of Kansas.

REHawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Speaking "out of the box" once again, I'm taking a moment to wonder about poor ol' Roy, how he is digesting the news situation regarding UNC emloyee Tami Hansbrough, Tyler's mother. The UNC sports program has certainly entered a state of upheaval this season.

Jason Roberts 8 years, 1 month ago

It's just been reported by Luke Lapinski on ESPN Insider that Cat Barber has narrowed his choices down to North Carolina State, Alabama and Kansas. He visited the Louisville campus last weekend so that's where we stand now.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 1 month ago

AAAWWW...screw the containment...let 'er rip, howl at the moon....the "Cat" is acomin' to town and, oohhh, are his claws sharp!!!!!!!!!! :)

[Posted with no malice but lots of Jayhawk Jolt!!!]

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

If the guy got caught padding his expense account, while making $350k, or even on Mother Hansbrough's $95k, well, then they don't deserve much sympathy.

On the other hand, the gross asymmetry between what is being caught and what is not staggers me.

A true blue UNC guy, Matt Kupec, raises $4-5 Billion bones for UNC over 20 years. He falls in love with Mother Hansbrough, who is long divorced and was previously hired by UNC dental school apparently to make sure Tyler attended. Kupec hires her away from fund raising in the dental school to be employed directly in athletic fund raising where her name could do some serious attracting, and after a legit job search. She's got experience. They pad the expense account to go watch her other son play for ND a few times. Kupec has maybe padded it other times. And the Chancellor has to force both persons out for an investigation he already knows the answers to.

Meanwhile, apparently and/or reputedly:

a) players are being paid vast amounts of money under the table at schools around the country largely without being caught;

b) "wrong way" types are getting "right way" coaches like Norm Roberts run from St. Johns essentially without punishment;

c) private oligarchs are using donations to wag the athletic department in order to wag the university, in order to wag voting of legislators, again without punishment;

d) unsavory types that have turned non high school amateur ball into a huge talent quasi agency operation valving talent to make D1 "wrong way" types winners and D1 "right way" types losers go unpunished;

f) games are reputedly still being fixed using defensive lapses, because the NCAA kept its regulatory staff small enough not to be able to adequately police nearly 350 odd programs, again without fixers being punished;

g) a media duopoly over hypes some teams and under hypes others, apparently so the spreads can be exploited by a massive gaming industry, again without punishment;

h) refs are swallowing their whistles to fit games in windows without punishment; and

i) the ridiculous OAD rule makes it so a player plays in D1 and virtually does not attend classes, sans punishment.

Blowing the whistle on Kupec and Mother Hansbrough seems a little like closing the lid on a Zippo cigarette lighter in the middle of the fire bombing of Dresden.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

Erratum: for an investigation the UNC Chancellor "probably" already knows "some" of the answers to, "or he wouldn't have ordered it."

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

I like your hammer of a closing analogy and agree.

just a couple points of clarification: Hansbrough was hired in Psycho T's senior season, so rather than incentive to attend perhaps incentive to stay, though I don't think so. Kupec did not hire Hansbrough.

Still peanuts. Even compared with the academic scandal that the NCAA deems outside of their purview.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

Robin, thanks for your take. And for your clarification.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

One more thing about the Kupec/Mother Hansbrough investigation: where are they going to find some lawyers and accountants that have not double billed for time to do the investigation? Seriously, the absolute topper on this one will be when the attorneys and accountants double bill UNC for doing the investigation!!!

MartyrMangino 8 years, 1 month ago

Disclaimer: Jaybate has expressed his indignation on multiple occasions about Turner Gill's firing.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago


Always a pleasure to interact with an algorithm. :-)

Tony Bandle 8 years, 1 month ago


I just posted about 8 minutes ago and now I had to relog in again. How do this work?

Is there a certain time each week that is renew your log in time?

Is there a maximum time between posts?

No big deal, just asking.....I'm expecting "crickets' from your end but if some other poster knows the rules, I would be curious . Thanks.

Alohahawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Don't know the true answer but... it's happened to me on numerous occasions. Maybe not over an 8 minute stretch, but it has where I've had to relog at least twice on the same day.

Regarding another ACC team, I'm sorta surprised that no one has brought up the problems Duke has recently encountered over the jewelry heist, (er, I mean loan) by their BB player (forget his name - Thomas was it?) who purchased about a hundred grand in jewelry, paying $37,000 down, before he even graduated. Simple rhetorical question here: Where can a top prospect, single parent, student athlete obtain that kind of money? That is making a few heads turn at NCAA headquarters since it happened subsequent to Duke's NCAA Championship season. The NCAA has never vacated the championship team before (always been the losing teams, such as Cal Lie Pari's teams, which have bit the dust.), but there is always that chance for a first time. And who'd of ever thought Duke might end up in the hot seat?

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

It's a big deal. Lance Thomas definitively received benefits and then was used in their championship season. I expect a vacated season and title. It's going to happen but not quickly. Or it should happen. At the same time I won't be surprised if they find some way to avoid the black eye of it all and further prove they have no integrity and are really running a labor exploitation racket.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

Hey, Og Mandino, nice serial alias. :-)

TexasHawk44 8 years, 1 month ago

Is there no curfew for the prison computer usage, Jaybate? Or did you make parole? Keep on sqeekin' little mouse...

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

Great to see you back from the electroshock therapy, TactlessHawk.22short.

REHawk 8 years, 1 month ago

One wonders just how many of those multiple H.S. All-American hoops players in TarHeel Land are the offspring of parents who might have been left out of the plush entitilements proffered as a lure to the likes of the Hansbrough clan in the Williams/Kupec years. Are we getting a peek inside the machinations of the Dean Smith Legacy?

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