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Originally published April 26, 2013 at 12:17p.m., updated April 26, 2013 at 02:17p.m.

KU coach Bill Self says Hunter Mickelson ‘more of a perimeter player’ than Jeff Withey

Coach also addresses open assistant coaching spot, says he will hire from outside

Kentucky's Terrence Jones, right, puts up a shot under pressure from Arkansas' Hunter Mickelson (21) and Marvell Waithe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.

Kentucky's Terrence Jones, right, puts up a shot under pressure from Arkansas' Hunter Mickelson (21) and Marvell Waithe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.

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Kansas coach Bill Self announced the addition of Arkansas 6-foot-10 transfer Hunter Mickelson on Friday morning.

Self was asked Friday afternoon if Mickelson had a similar skill-set to former KU center Jeff Withey.

"Not really. Not as tall, and he's more agile than Jeff, and he's probably more of a perimeter player than Jeff," Self said. "But from a shot-blocking standpoint, you can say he's a poor-man's Jeff. He's an excellent shot-blocker."

Mickelson will have two years of eligibility for KU after sitting out the 2013-14 season. He averaged 5.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in his two seasons at Arkansas.

“He's thin, but he's got a good body," Self said. "I think he needs to spend a lot of time with (strength) coach (Andrea) Hudy in the weight room. I think the biggest thing he's got to do is get comfortable with our system and really get his confidence back to where it was out of high school, because he was a very, very, very good player out of high school."

Self said the process moved quickly, as the coach called Mickelson the day after he sent his release.

"Hunter had other options, but I think his first option all along was Kansas," Self said. "I really believe that he thought we were a great fit for him coming out of high school, but he just wanted to stay closer to home."

KU has two scholarships still remaining, and as of now, Self said he would still consider both high school players and transfers.

When asked if he'd feel satisfied heading into next season with the players he has signed now, Self said: "Absolutely, but I think the current roster could add a piece or two to make it great. ... If we were able to steal one or two more, I think our recruiting class would be as good as we've ever had here."

More on filling assistant coaching position

Self said he was still early in the process of looking for a replacement for assistant Joe Dooley, who left to become Florida Gulf Coast's head coach last week.

"I'm not even to first base on what I'm going to do on that yet," Self said.

The coach did say he was going to hire someone from outside the program and that it wouldn't be an in-house promotion. That rules out former Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, who was hired last season as KU's director of basketball operations and is still on the staff in that role.

"Doc and I have visited, and I do know this: that I really, really, really enjoyed having him around," Self said. "I don't know. He's probably got to do more than what he's done for us, to be honest with you. He was a big asset to us in that position, but he wants to coach, so we'll see how that plays out."

With the new assistant coach, Self said he was looking for "somebody that's very well-rounded, that will bring energy and enthusiasm, be a good on-the-floor coach, and then also be a guy with excellent contacts in areas in which we need contacts."

In a tweet sent Friday afternoon, ESPN.com's Jason King listed Texas A&M assistant and former KU staffer Kyle Keller and SMU assistant Jerrance Howard as potential candidates for KU's opening.

Comments

notjustbread 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I believe NCAA considers it a violation now to hire a relative (dad) in DBO position. I think you have to hire a relative as a full on assistant coach.

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Joseph Bullock 11 months, 4 weeks ago

those who think Wiggins dad can't end up at K.U. are mistaken. I think it is going to happen, in some capacity. probably as Director of Basketball Operations! Thus, no more Doc Sadler!

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Alex Wishart 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Ben Howland? He most certainly does not have the west coast after the last couple years he put in at UCLA. That guys reputation is shot in LA.

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Brett McCabe 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Ben Howland would have both east and west coast ties.

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GabrielMichael 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Another great move by HCBS! A talented big man that he has more than a year to train, shape and mold... Hunter will be breathing fire when he gets out there after sitting a watching a whole season!

Welcome Hunter! We've got good hunting and fishing too!

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Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Good this means he is somewhat versatile, can play the 4 or the 5. That is great to hear for someone who will likely be a reserve but we will need to play 20 minutes a game.

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jhox 11 months, 4 weeks ago

KU fans should get out and watch the Jayhawk invitational this weekend. Show these potential recruits how KU fans support basketball.

http://www.jayhawkinvitational.com/Schedule

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WETSUhawk 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Shot blocking is a terrible stat. Too much emphasis on bigs are contributed to blocks. KU was spoiled with blocks from Jeff, because he was probably the best college shot blocker of all time. A very large number of Jeff's blocks should of been counted as steals. When he blocked a shot he would direct the ball to a team mate.

I watched a lot of non-KU games this year, and on average five to six blocks resulted in the the other team still scoring. And half of those were three point shots. So to count a block of a two point shot that results in the opposing team scoring three points, is not a logical stat for efficiency.

I agree that a high percentage shot blocker changes more shots than he blocks therefore contributing to better defensive effectiveness, but altered shots are not counted.

A block should not be considered a stat, if the team finishes the possession with a score, and a negative stat if they score three rather than a two if the block was on a two point attempt. Only when no points are scored should they be rewarded with a blocked shot, or better yet if the blocker or teammate acquires the ball, it is a steal.

Just my way of thinking, luckily we had Jeff.

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WETSUhawk 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I would like to see HCBS bring in an assistant from overseas to open up future recruiting there. International players are rapidly catching up to the US in talent. Two years in a row their best beat our best high school. Being the first in a market is a competitive advantage. If KU picks up International marketing for Jayhawk items will help the university, Lawrence, and Kansas. College sports are a business.

Isn't life great, KU basketball conversation 365 days a year, no dormant period like schools who need football.

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Jack Wilson 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Self said at the Shiver that Mickelson's redshirt year will give him the opportunity to develop where he can "be a serious impact player for us the following year."

That one is not cryptic.

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Joe Baker 11 months, 4 weeks ago

"Absolutely, but I think the current roster could add a piece or two to make it great. ... If we were able to steal one or two more, I think our recruiting class would be as good as we've ever had here."

Self-cryptic

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Ralster Jayhawk 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Doc Sadler not known as a recruiter. Dooley was an East Coaster, with significant pull with East Coast kids. He will be hard to replace. I appreciate Self choosing wisely on this hire.

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William Blake 11 months, 4 weeks ago

"...and then also be a guy with excellent contacts in areas in which we need contacts."

Hint... hint... "a solid recruiter in territories we need help with."


Hunter operates at a different frequency from the other players he will play with at KU. Frequency is different from speed, but relative to speed. What that means... he'll play beside our super-athletic players and will offer stable support. He'll offer constant stats... rebounds, blocks, some points... and will offer those stats on most nights, including the nights our super-athletic players are all in a funk. Super-athletes tend to play at a high frequency... but that means some level of inconsistency.

One thing I've noticed about CS and how he recruits; he always has one or two players like Hunter to help give balance to the team. It's all about the frequency players play on and CS doesn't want an entire team playing on the same frequency. Hunter doesn't play "sped up" and will help keep our entire team playing at the right speed. Hopefully, Hunter will help us prevent the long scoring droughts.

This article is encouraging. CS addresses some of Hunter's obvious statistical shortcomings by describing a lack of confidence. In other words... we'll see a different Hunter in the season after this... after he has a year to work on his strength, confidence, and learning "Self ball."

Hunter reminds me of Cole.

It is hard to be skeptical on a player we know little about and CS is excited about. Especially after looking back at CS's record with bigs!

Rock Chalk, Hunter! Welcome to the Jayhawk Nation!

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Alex Wishart 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I think it sounds like Doc was an asset while at the end of the bench but that he would rather be a head coach of his own program rather than taking he assistant coaching job at KU. I don't think HCBS was calling him out.

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nuleafjhawk 11 months, 4 weeks ago

" I think the biggest thing he's got to do is get comfortable with our system and really get his confidence back to where it was out of high school, because he was a very, very, very good player out of high school."

Translation - he was a great high school player, but two years at Arkansas is enough to jack up anybody.

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Chris Baker 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Is it just me, or does it seem like Bill Self is kind of calling out Doc Sadler for not doing enough this past year to warrant consideration for the Assistant Coach position? Further, the way he worded it, he referred to Sadler only in the past tense. To say, "We really really really enjoyed having him around." makes it sound like he is already or soon will be gone, doesn't it?

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clevelandjayhawker 11 months, 4 weeks ago

espn's dave telep has a good article out there on "the entitlement culture of elite hs hoops"

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hugedell 11 months, 4 weeks ago

replace dooley with andrew wiggins' dad.

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702Hawk 11 months, 4 weeks ago

According to Jason King's (@JasonKingESPN) twitter feed KU has stopped chasing Lacey and will not be replacing Dooley with Doc.

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nuleafjhawk 11 months, 4 weeks ago

“Hunter is a young man that we recruited out of high school, offered a scholarship and he chose to stay close to home,” Self said. “He decided after two years at Arkansas that a change would do him good, and we’re very excited about the change.

Great! Now, let's substitute the name "Hunter" for "Phil" and "Arkansas" for "Oklahoma State" and we'll have TWO great additions that should have come here in the first place instead of staying close to home.

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1983Hawk 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Mike Anderson's program is an abject disgrace, and his players have a fundamental inability to play half court defense. Mickelson will need to spend every waking minute that he's not in the weight room next year while he's sitting learning an entirely different set of skills (lateral movement, toughness) if he hopes to see the court in 2014-15.

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coloradojayhawk 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Hopefully he's also someone in good physical shape so he can run at KU. I know Hudy will help, but if he was in Mike Anderson's speed-up program, I'm sure they worked on speed and stamina.

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Tony Bandle 11 months, 4 weeks ago

In other words, he will fill the role that was destined for Zach Peters...a presence in the lane on defense, an in-close option on offense and a guy who will get his money's worth on every guy he fouls...I love it!!!

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11 months, 4 weeks ago

Hunter will essentially be taking over Rio's scholarship - - this may be a good "trade." Looking forward to see how he develops.

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