Monday, August 12, 2013

Analysts project KU freshmen near top of 2014 NBA Draft

Blue Team forward Andrew Wiggins gets airborne for a dunk against Red Team center Cole Aldrich during a scrimmage before the basketball campers on Wednesday, June, 19, 2013 at the Horejsi Center.

Blue Team forward Andrew Wiggins gets airborne for a dunk against Red Team center Cole Aldrich during a scrimmage before the basketball campers on Wednesday, June, 19, 2013 at the Horejsi Center.


Kentucky has a whopping seven players, while Kansas University and Michigan check in with two apiece on ESPN analyst Chad Ford’s updated, 30-player, 2014 NBA Draft “Big Board,” which was released Monday.

Ford currently projects KU freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid to be taken Nos. 1 and 8 respectively. He has Kentucky’s Julius Randle No. 2, followed by Andrew Harrison (7), Willie Cauley-Stein (14), James Young (20), Alex Poythress (21), Dakari Johnson (25) and Aaron Harrison (26).

Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary currently rank Nos. 13 and 16 respectively, with no other college having more than one player on the Big Board.

In expanding the ESPN rankings to the Top 100 ... KU freshman Wayne Selden is listed at No. 46 and sophomore Perry Ellis No. 67. There are 60 total selections in the two-round draft, which Ford says will “be epic ... a number of teams deliberately gutted their rosters this summer to get as high as possible in the 2014 lottery. It’s going to be big.”

While acknowledging that “fans may have to be patient as he figures out how to fit into a pretty loaded Jayhawk squad,” Ford continues to heap praise on the 6-foot-8 Wiggins.

“Many scouts believe he’s the best young prospect to come into the draft since Kevin Durant. Wiggins is blessed with extreme athleticism. You hear names such as Vince Carter and Dominique Wilkins when people talk about his explosive leaping abilities,” Ford wrote. “Wiggins is also a polished scorer who can shoot the three and get to the basket.”

Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who has coached in the NBA, recently shocked many by saying 7-foot Cameroon native Embiid could go No. 2 overall in the 2014 Draft. He’s only played basketball for two full seasons.

“The scouts I talked to aren’t quite ready to go there yet, but they are very, very intrigued,” Ford wrote. “Embiid is the riskiest player in the Top 10, but next to Wiggins, he might have the most long-term potential. ... His feel for the game is still a work in progress, but the physical tools are convincing. He has a 7-foot-5 wingspan, is a fluid athlete and is more skilled than one would think.”’s early mock draft for 2014 has Wiggins No. 1 overall and Embiid No. 12. Senior Tarik Black is projected as final pick of the second round. has KU with four first-round picks: Wiggins No. 1, Selden No. 5, Embiid No. 7 and Ellis No. 17.

For Chad Ford’s projections, click here.


Steve Brown 8 months, 1 week ago

For a thousand years the buffalo prepared this ground and in a generation the Russians, Swedes, Germans with backing from the railroads created the world's breadbasket. You can't see Kansas from 30,000 or I-70 you see it in the eyes of those whose grandparents broke the ground and built a community. Huddle around the fire, turn on the short wave, Ike is in the White House and Max is about to describe how Doc's boys will handle Missurah. . .


scootja32 8 months, 1 week ago

Selden at 46? wow!

The guy has iguodala, westbrook written all over him


jaybate 8 months, 1 week ago

Part 3

Adidas can even use the Crown's own BP and Royal Dutch Shell oil from the waters around Indonesia and East Timor (a moment of silence for those genocided in East Timor), then get it refined into the miscellaneous oil based synthetic rubbers and plastics used to make basketball shoes and make the Andrew Model Adidas in some factory in Industrial City, Indonesia that hopefully has decided to pay folks a fair wage and leave the kids out of the factories. But I digress.

Note: there is knighthood in Andrew's future if he can soar to superstardom as a player.

But does this all translate to KU becoming the next D1 rest area for OADs?

I kind of doubt it. Wilt has helped attract a lot of good players to KU. But KU never cornered all the great bigs because of Wilt. Andrew's legacy at KU, if particularly memorable, could help attract a lot of players, but cornering the market as Cal has done seems quite unlikely.

At most, KU will bite into and dilute UK's corner on the OADs.



jaybate 8 months, 1 week ago

Part 2

The best scenario for Adidas is A Wigs signs with Toronto. Toronto is in Ontario, which has 13 million very prosperous persons, which is a bigger market than all but LA, or NY. Further, Canada has 34 million persons. Who do you think can sell tennis shoes to 34M Canadians better than A Wigs?

Next, A Wigs is a citizen of Canada, which is a member of the British Common Wealth of Nations. The British Common Wealth of Nations (BCWN) is the second, or third largest economic unit on the planet. There are 2.5 Billion persons living in states comprising the BCWN and they be needing tennis shoes, too. The BCWN offers preferred trading status to all of its member nations. There are 250 million English speaking Indians alone. A Wigs could add just a tinge of the King's English to his accent and haul in India all at once!

If you are adidas, and you land A Wigs as a pro, and the BCWN gets behind using A Wigs to market to the Common Wealth, as it reputedly sometimes gets behind certain economic players it builds alliances with, then A Wigs is a frigging tennis shoe and sports apparel gold mine, if he just becomes a star of the Toronto team. And if A Wigs were to hang around and eclipse Lebron, when Lebron gets a little too old for this shizz, then A Wigs is a potential global bonanza that could make MJ and even Lebron look like small change. Someone is going to be the super endorser of the globalized economy. It might as well be A Wigs, if he's as good as his hype.

So: IMHO A Wigs is a bit of an anomalous case. KU is a great marketing tie in for AWigs because hence forth he and adidas get to say, "First Canada gave the world James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. Now Canada gives the world Andrew Wiggins, and he is showing the world how Mr. Naismith always meant the game to be played.

Insert a montage of awesome moves and vicious dunks, then cut to a goal unexpectedly on the side of Windsor Palace. God Save the Queen plays. Then cut to Andrew in Toronto Arena. The Canadian National Anthem plays. Andrew makes a few faints then drives and launches from the paint, flying out through the Toronto arena roof, arcing across the firmament and coming down in London approaching the basket seen previously mounted on Windsor Castle and windmilling for all he is worth. When he lands on the ground, he turns and bows. Cut to the Queen standing on a balcony looking down, who says, "Jolly good show, Sir Andrew, jolly good."


jaybate 8 months, 1 week ago

"KU, OADs, and Sir Andrew"

Without Wiggins, Self's recruiting this season is virtually indistinguishable from the past. He had a lot of slots. He got a bunch of guys. They ranged in rank from Selden who is good enough to play as a freshman, same as Marcus Morris, when a slot was open, all the way down to a Towson State renege--Frank Mason. In between, Embiid, Greene and Conner may be able to play some, or one may take a rouge smoking jacket.

Wiggins is the only thing different about this class.

And Self fished for him the same as he has fished for many, many top OADs. He was down to the final two on Derek Rose. He was down to the final cut on John Wall.

Self is going to keep fitting guys into the slots he needs.

Self could have gone with AWIII, or Brannen Greene at three had A Wigs not signed.

A Wigs is probably just Self's lucky break, unless, unless...

adidas has decided to massively increase their bidding for shoe contract endorsers once players get to the NBA. Derek Rose wearing adidas, after Nikes in college, makes me think that adidas had already laid out its counter strategy to Lebron before the Wiggins signing, and that Wiggins fits into the Rose strategy.

Lebron is king for the rest of the decade barring some horrendous injury. adidas cannot hope to top him with any one player. So: adidas is doing the only thing it can. It is opening up its wallet to line up top stars in as many media markets as it can that DON'T HAVE LEBRON.

Lebron and Nike have one achilles heel. Lebron is in Miami, which is not New York or Los Angeles, or Chicago.

If adidas plays its cards right, and opens up its wallet quite a bit more than it once did, it could wind up with the top stars in a whole bunch of the media markets, while Lebron is king of the league as a whole. Right now, Adidas has the top player in Chicago, will soon have the top player in Sacramento, and when A Wigs comes out, may well have the top player whereever A Wigs goes.


Scott Smetana 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I would have an easier time agreeing with the OAD concept if many of those players actually made an immediate impact on the NBA. I understand every few years there's a Kobe, Lebron, Durant, etc... HOWEVER, I feel that 95% of draft picks play only a few minutes at first, if at all. I'm also betting most of those superstars wish they had a 2 year college experience.


Kevin Huffman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I would say that the first 10 are obvious OAD's (at least in the Class of '14...not quite as good as the Class of '13)....10-15 are maybe likely...15-20 possible. After 20 unlikely.

That would mean that J. Okafor, Jones, Mudiay, M. Turner, Cl. Alexander, Looney, R. Vaughn, Winslow, S. Johnson, Lyles, Towns Jr.& McCullough are all probably good as gone.

Next tier includes a number of those early UNC commits - i.e., Justin Jackson, Joel Berry & Pinson are all borderline along with JaQuan Lyle, Devin Booker, Jordan McLaughlin, Goodluck Okonoboh, Josh Perkins, Kelly Oubre & D. Hamilton are possibilities.....after that grouping.....just not likely to be OAD's for the likes of:

Abdul Malik-Abu, Jalen Lindsay, Keita Bates-Diop, Leron Black, Shelton Mitchell, Dion Wiley, D'Angelo Russell, Victor Law, Dwayne Morgan, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Quentin Snider, Caleb Martin, Isaiah Whitehead, Phil Booth, L.J. Peak,, etc.

Now some of those well could be 2AD like Dion Wiley & Whitehead for example, but I'd have a hard time seeing them be OADs.

The onlys ones of these "next tier" unlikely to be an OAD but likely to be a 2AD or 3AD guys that I've heard us linked to are Malik-Abu, Black & Whitehead.

I've been hearing all kind of schools for Malik-Abu (and he's pretty much an undersized PF)....primarily Memphis or Baylor for Black (not sure we need a PF anyway) & Syracuse for Whitehead.


Greg Lux 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Perry Ellis not drafted???? That is great news for KU fans who want Perry to stay another year, but totally absurd for anyone with any sense of basketball talent. By placing Perry out of the draft those idiots at ESPN have blown their credit-ability totally.... Also Selden in the middle of the second round is also good news for KU fans as you would assume Selden would stay another year or two. The season has not even started yet and they are rating draft picks... INSANE... KU's freshman will be much better then ESPN thinks and I will smile as I watch their stupid predictions go south as the season progresses. Perry make them eat their words...

Rock Chalk


topekat70 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Off the subject, but I thought some would be interested that the Minneapolis StarTribune has just posted a Tyus Jones tweet about his "official" college visits:

These are the final visits I'm taking. Unofficial to MN today Officials to: Baylor Aug 30-Sept 1 UK Sept 27-29 KU Oct 18-20 Duke Oct 25-27 11:40 AM - 13 Aug 2013

The Strib also reports that Duke is presumed by many to be the favorite. Funny that Mich St isn't on the list.


Jack Wilson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

justanotherfan's take above may not be incorrect. But I think it is. I disagree with the conclusion and some of the assumptions.

The biggest assumption I disagree with is that a non OAD will only give you 75-80% of the production in their best season. We can recruit guys outside of the immediately elite level (OADs), that develop into elite players. Marcus Morris in his third season was clearly elite. TRob, too. Kieff, Collins, Withey, etc. And that's the key. Getting guys with high talent that will be elite. That develop into an elite level player.

True, the OAD is better out of the gate. But he's gone. That is the difference. Instant gratification vs. development. A pit-stop vs. a program.

I do believe firmly that we can stay consistently elite and still avoid presumed OADs (assumed to be the "elite" players referred to). You can have elite players, while grooming those to assume the role. That's a program (my opinion).

What will happen at times is McLemore .. a non-presumed OAD who plays his way into that position. But you can't recruit based on that. You can recruit and avoid presumed OADs. We talk about OADs, but we only have one presumed OAD .. Wiggins. Selden and Embiid were not presumed OADs when recruited.

Clearly, a team with guys outside of presumed OAD status can play at an elite level. It's happened here. And it's happened at many places. As an elite school, we can continue to the fill the cupboard with quality recruits that develop, and avoid the big ups and downs.

And that is exactly why Self has kept us consistently elite. Not because he gets the OADs every year.

If we shift to a rotating door of OADs, we have become what we despise .. UK. No thanks.


Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Just talked to a very reiable source from The Williams Fund. It was overheard in a conversation at a Williams Fund event with Bill Self that he was asked about Andrew Wiggins.

The quote that I was given was, "Andrew Wiggins makes Ben McLemore look like a walk-on."

Take it for what it's worth but, oh man, basketball can't get here too soon.


justanotherfan 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Potential OADs are the best players, and often they are the best players by a significant amount.

For example, take a guy like Kevin Durant. Elite talent, obviously. Averaged basically 26 points and 11 rebounds in his one season at Texas. Adding a player like that to an already deep KU team would be huge. Now, let's say instead of Durant, you want a guy that's going to be a 3 or 4 year player. Well, you have to drop down and get a player like Wayne Chism (#34 in Durant's class) (went to Tennessee) or Deshawn Sims (#31 in Durant's class) (Michigan). For his career (which was very solid) Chism averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds. In his last two seasons he averaged roughly 13 and 8. Sims averaged 17 and 8 as a senior, 15 and 7 as a junior.

So you can either have one season of a guy that might be able to take a solid team and turn them elite, or you can get 3-4 seasons of very solid (if not spectacular) production.

That's the choice that a coach has to make. They can't have both because guys that can provide that elite production are going to be OADs (potentially), and the guys that aren't OADs will only give you 75-80% of that production in their best season.

This is the recruiting situation now. Either recruit the elite players (top 25 or so players) or drop down into the low 20s and 30s to avoid any potential OADs. If you want to stay consistently elite (not just solid) you have to go after the elite players.


Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Prevous meaning for OAD at Kansas - One And Done./ Present and future meaning for OAD at Kansas - Open All Doors.

The trend is obvious and lest there is some major change in the rules, the rarity of the OAD among the top 50 will be replaced by the rarity of the four year player in the top 50.

We are witnessing the evolution of college basketball right before our very eyes, with ever increasing speed and matching deterioration of the purity of the game.

The day is coming that unless you have a minimum of three OADs, your chances of an NCAA Championship will be greatly diminished.

The OAD is fast becoming the "coin of the realm" for college basketball success. It will be a new era but I doubt seriously it will be a better one!!!

I turned 65 yesterday.....I guess I just became a crabby old man!!! :)


William Blake 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Since it appears our recruiting will harvest more OADs... the revolving door has to revolve.

I know it sounds great to keep some of our current players and add more OADs next year... but we have to make room for the new players, not only on the roster but inclusion into PT.

This is the way it goes... you just get to loving a new player and he's gone! I'm sure many of us will miss the day when our top players stayed 3 or 4 years. This is the direction competitive college basketball has taken these days.

Personally, I'm torn between the love of watching players develop over several years, and the love of these extremely-gifted OADs.


Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Now I feel the need to chime in on what I think will be the draft order:

  1. Andrew Wiggins

  2. Jabari Parker

  3. Marcus Smart

  4. Julius Randle

  5. Wayne Selden

  6. Tyler Ennis

  7. Gary Harris

  8. Willy Cauley-Stein

  9. Glenn Robinson III

  10. Andrew Harrison

I didn't feel like doing any more than my top-10 but I would like to say that I think Ellis and Embiid will stay.


joeloveshawks 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I hate seeing that so many guys might leave but if this squad brings home a National Championship it is well worth it. I'm happy to lose multiple players per year if it means titles.


bbhoops 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Has Perry #20

Perry had a very good showing at Adidas Nations his stock went up. We could lose 4 players after this year.


Jonathan Allison 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It speaks volumes that each of the mock drafts are so vastly different in how they rate the KU players. The fact is they're guessing at multiple variables, including 1) how the first year players will perform against college talent, and 2) which players intend to make themselves eligible for the draft.

I like the way that ESPN is looking at it, and just ranking every player as a pro-prospect in the upcoming draft. Even though most of the players will opt to stay in college, it really is the best way to show these players where they sit in the pecking order.

I continue to be blown away by how highly regarded Joel Embiid is. Apparently, the NBA GMs look at him as an instant shot-blocker worthy of a multi-million dollar contract based on shot-blocking and rebounding alone. Granted, I've only seen a few minutes of him playing in all-star games, but it sounds obvious that the draft talk surrounding him is mostly about his unrealized potential, and I suspect that people will accept that he's got a long way to go before he is ready to post up against Dwight Howard. Perhaps if he proves himself as a rebounder/shot blocker then he's a lock to go next year in the draft lottery.


texashawk10 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The fact that Selden is not currently a consensus lottery pick now should be enough for people to pause for a second a realize that Selden is a potential OAD, not a guaranteed OAD like Wiggins. Selden is ranked in the same range that Chalmers, Rush, Arthur, and Wright were in and those were all 2-3 year players. It is entirely possible that Selden is a OAD player and that he does end up being a top 10 pick because he has the physical attributes that NBA scouts drool over as a 2 guard. It's also entirely possible that Selden follows suit with Marcus Smart and hangs around a second year if his shooting isn't great because he be at best the third scoring option for KU this season behind Wiggins and Ellis. At this point, it's no better than 50/50 on Selden being OAD until we hear something different to tip the scales one way or the other.


nuleafjhawk 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I long for the day when the NBA will take the next harvest of Michael Jordan / Kobe Bryant / Wilt Chamberlain-esque superstars right out of middle school. Forget High School - vastly overrated.

Then every one of them can proclaim - I WAS going to go to KU......


Michael Pannacciulli 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Cracks me up how drastically different all of the "experts" mock drafts are. They get paid to do what we do evryday for free here on kusports. Guessing, pontificating, debating about college kids and their talents. Oh well.

I am just ready for the season to start and can't wait to see which new big recruit will announce he's coming to KU next.


Jim Erickson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Wiggens isn't going to stay for 4 years?


J.T. Even 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Isn't it just short of a miracle to get to the NBA in the first place? You HAVE to take that jump when it's presented to you, especially for some of these players that have been raised in poverty. It isn't Self's job to make his players NBA All Stars. It's his job to win conference championships and put us in Final Four contention every year. Self has done an amazing job at developing players to get them into the NBA; from there it's the player's responsibility.

I also don't think it's a bad thing to get the best players available or that Self's system isn't conducive for the one and done players. I think that's what we've been telling ourselves when we miss on highly recruited players. But this is KANSAS. Our players learn how to work extremely hard and delevop the mental toughness to not just let some highly ranked high school kid come and take their spot. And that's not a bad thing.


Steve Corder 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Give this "analysts" 2014 NBA draft a rest! These kids haven't played one minute of their college career and we get this ridiculous article. I remember all the salivating over how Ben McLemore was projected to be a #1 before he even played his first KU game.

Frankly, put these "rankings" where the sun don't shine and lace up the shoes and just play the games! That's where the fun is.


Preston Dwiggins 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree Pikes. For one, I really think P. Ellis will stay at least 3, if not, 4 years. He values an education unlike most player's across the nation. Embiid just touched the leather roundball 2-3 years ago, so let's hold off on slamming him into the NBA. TRob is on his third team and after 3 years at KU (I didn't think he was ready, but understood his circumstances), he will be more polished than Embiid most likely after 1 year. I know...I know...they draft on potential, but potential gets you Selby or Wright or Henry. I still think had Wright stayed and had a better work ethic in the NBA, he would be starting. He had mad skills. Wright is one of my favorites.


Scott Smetana 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This is so stupid. Let them play in college 2-3 years. The NBA and NCAA would benefit. The players would benefit by developing under coaches and friends who care about them, not the greedy claws of everyone associated with the NBA. Let those who disagree go to Europe.


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