Thursday, January 17, 2013

KU freshman Ellis settling in; McLemore to practice today

Kansas forward Perry Ellis gets up to block a shot by Baylor center Isaiah Austin during the first half on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis gets up to block a shot by Baylor center Isaiah Austin during the first half on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Wichita Heights valedictorian Perry Ellis didn’t disappoint in the classroom his first semester at Kansas University.

“I did pretty well. I got three A’s and two B’s. I tried my best. That’s all you can do,” said Ellis, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound freshman forward.

He admits it’s been nice only having to think about basketball since last day of finals on Dec. 14.

“It’s going to be pretty tough getting back adjusted to class and stuff. I feel after the first couple weeks we’ll get used to it again,” Ellis said of next Tuesday’s start of spring semester of the 2012-13 school year.

Ellis — he has averaged 5.3 points and 3.8 rebounds while logging 14.5 minutes a game in 16 games (two starts, 14 reserve roles) — has big plans for his on-court performance second semester.

One of the quietest members of the team — “Perry doesn’t talk,” coach Bill Self joked a few weeks ago — Ellis suddenly opened up in KU’s last game, Monday’s 61-44 home victory over Baylor.

“I like it. I like it. I like it. He is begging for the ball now,” KU point guard Elijah Johnson said after Ellis scored six points off 3-of-9 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds while playing 21 minutes. “I wanted to get him the ball because I feel right now he’s trying to take a step as far as what he’s going to do at Kansas,” Johnson added.

Ellis explained his requests for the ball on the block.

“This was my first time really calling for it,” Ellis said. “It’s something I was feeling a lot more comfortable out there. That’s why I did that.”

Self, who has wanted Ellis to become more of a presence, saw progress against Baylor.

“I thought he was aggressive,” Self said. “The guy is a great shooter and just shot it miserably for his skills. As far as shooting the ball ... he shot a couple airballs, bricked free throws (0-for-2) but that’s OK. He was at least aggressive and put himself in position to score which I thought was very positive.”

Ellis had two of KU’s 13 blocked shots versus Baylor.

“We tried to keep our hands up, play with our head and feet, not your body. That’s what we tried to emphasize. That’s what we did,” Ellis said. “I mean, we learn from Jeff (Withey) in practice,” Ellis added of how to block shots. “We are following him, trying to do what he does.”

McLemore back at practice: KU freshman Ben McLemore, who sprained his right ankle late in Monday’s game against Baylor, will return to practice today, Self reported Wednesday. McLemore shot on the side at practice on Wednesday. Barring any setbacks, he’s expected to play in Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at Texas.

Honoree: McLemore was named to the Sporting News Mid-Season All-America first team on Wednesday. He was joined by Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart, Michigan sophomore Trey Burke, Creighton junior Doug McDermott and Duke senior Mason Plumlee.

Recruiting: Rashad Vaughn, a 6-4 junior shooting guard from Cooper High in Robbinsdale, Minn., will visit KU second semester, reports. Vaughn, who is ranked No. 12 in the Class of 2014, also is considering Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Texas, Maryland, Baylor, Tennessee and Georgetown. ... KU coach Self on Tuesday reportedly attended a game of Joshua Perkins, a 6-2 junior guard from Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo. The No. 42-rated player in the Class of 2014 told he’s hearing the most from KU, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Gonzaga, Houston, Minnesota, San Francisco, Stanford and Wake Forest.


KULA 6 years, 4 months ago

" as far as what he’s going to do at Kansas,”

I like the sound of that. It's all about the program, and the program is bigger than any one player or coach, and what can you do to be a part of that program? It sounded even better hearing Elijah saying it on the audio. Sounds like they know it's an honor to be part of Kansas Basketball. Good kind of kids to have representing.

And too bad Rashad couldn't have been at Monday's game--he could've crossed Baylor off his list, lol. He should be able to cross Texas, North Carolina and Kentucky off his list by the end of this season too.

Allen Shepard 6 years, 4 months ago

Not if Barnes still makes the dance. They are supposed to consider the resume differently if players were missing...

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

drgnslayr - Good post! The only thing I might change is that Perry will have big time numbers of all kinds - not just rebounding - before he's gone from Lawrence. Barring injury, the dude is going to be a monster. I promise.

Robert Murphy 6 years, 4 months ago

A couple of weeks back Frankamp was was on local TV when his high school team won a close game. He scored 36, one more than his season average. However, he looked like a little kid to me. Next year is going to be very interesting.

Ted Hume 6 years, 4 months ago

i posted with jaybate about this the other day, but watching Perry it's surprising how his game is totally below the rim. this concerns me- his apparent lack of elite athleticism and vertical ability to go along with his knack for scoring and quick moves. I'm sure his strength focus in the off season will be increasing his leaping ability, but it seems to stand out to me at this point...

tomkeegslovechild 6 years, 4 months ago

On an episode of Hawk Talk a month or so ago, HCBS said that Ellis and McLemore were the two guys on the team with the best verticles. I was very surprised by this considering Ellis play to that point. I think he's got more athletic ability than we give him credit for, I just don't think he's 100% on when and where to use it.

Beate Williams 6 years, 4 months ago

Remember the Morri played below the rim their first year also. Since I can't get close to being over the rim I can only speculate that it must be a fear of missing a dunk and being yanked if they do so, therefore, until they are comfortable in their status they do those things they believe to be less risky. Again, it depends ont he personality of the player; BMc plays above the rim but you also must remember this is his second year being in the mix. I would agree with those who believe that once Perry is comfortable you will see all kinds of remarkable skills from him, above the rim, below the rim, on defense, etc.

Doug Fogleman 6 years, 4 months ago

Athleticism is great and only adds to a players game. But fundmentals are even more important. Larry Birds game was below the rim and so is Kevin Loves. Pretty good players. I am not comparing Perry's future to theirs, but a player can be very successful below the rim if the fundmentals are in place.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

drgnslayr .. good post, and was not able to reply on your z-axis post. That was excellent. Always good reads.

Alex Wishart 6 years, 4 months ago

Who would be our "Manti Te'o"??? Who would hurt KU fans the most if something crazy came out about them their last year at school? Nominees include Wayne, Darnell, TRob. Something tragic has to happen (injury or loss of family member), they have to be the heart and soul of the team, and they have to have received national attention for skills and said tragedy. Discuss...

I would also like to he's HCCW's take on the matter.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

I would like to clarify most posters feelings by respectfully questionning why you would even bring this subject up. It's not much different than asking who could potentially be a drug dealer, murderer or terrorist. I know we pride ourselves on free speech on this site, but that sometimes needs to be tempered with class, appropriateness and common sense.

wrwlumpy 6 years, 4 months ago

No big whoop. Talk amongst yourselves.

TexasRockChalk 6 years, 4 months ago

Dude, really? With all due respect, I tastefully would like to say, "Please refrain from muddying the waters with these types of comments on anotherwise positive sports forum."

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

• Based on KU's scouts of Baylor the last five years, Baylor ought to hire Kurtis head coach.

• Surprise. Ben's practicing.

• Perry is adapting. He is even starting to pick up Self's Eisenhower syntax. Won't be long before he is talking about plugging into the energy-defense complex.

• Jeff is now not only the "Secretary of Swat, he is becoming the "Mentor of Alteration."

• Jeff seems the skinniest, quietest great big man since B. H. Born. Born was an All American that lead KU to the national finals.

• Of all of KU's great big men, Jeff creates a defensive distortion field second only to Chamberlain.

• This amazing KU defense is cornerstoned on Jeff's defense distortion field, but what makes it so effective is how this perhaps equally exceptional defensive perimeter complements what Jeff can do, and how KU's perpetual motion machine aka Kevin Young complements Jeff. I am not saying this defense doesn't have some weaknesses, but it seems to "fit" together better than any but perhaps the '08 defense.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

Jeff is like the Earth with Kevin the Moon orbitting around at phenomenal speeds!!

wrwlumpy 6 years, 4 months ago

Tis the east and Juliet is the sun...

ParisHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Which is why Withey is more valuable to this team than McLemore.

When Ben sits, it's the same game. When Jeff sits, it's another game. What other player since Manning could we say that about?

And the man does not foul! Incredible.

Dee Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

I am always intrigued to read about recruits and who we are recruiting and what schools they have on there list. I found it interesting that the young man from Colorado, Joshua Perkins had down the usual teams that we recruit against. Arizona, Colorado, Arizona State, Gonzaga, etc.........I don't think I have ever seen KU competing against San Francisco for a recruit. I just found that funny. If I am not mistaken, I think Rex Walters is the head coach of San Francisco. OUT.

HAWKTOPIA 6 years, 4 months ago

Defensive salute to Naadir for coming in early and isolating JAckson by denying him first touches. He continuously cut off passing lanes and consistantly forced Baylor to 2nd and 3rd options. Jackson only scored off switched D in those early stages. Great D Naadir!

You are not always going to have your A game, so take away someone else's!!!

kellerman411 6 years, 4 months ago

The average fan would think the right thing to do would be to sit Ben for Texas just to make sure he's good to go but that doesn't work. He's 19 years old for crying out loud. If the tenderness is gone, he needs to get back out on it. They might tape him but he's going to play 30 minutes at least and it will be good for him.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

kellerman: I disagree completely there. It is the risk of further injury and the impact on the healing process that is important. The fact that he is 19 is pretty irrelevant. If we're comparing him to a 40 year old, ok. But we're talking an ankle. With an ankle, we all know that when the ligaments are weakened, the ankle can roll easier and it lacks the normal stability. That creates the risk of reinjury.

I will say this too .. many times, you'll catch a hamstring pull, or something else, compensating for an injury like this. Being careful on the ankle.

If Dr. Randle, KU's team doctor, says he's fine and the risk is minimal, fine. But I don't think we'll ever know that.

Regardless, my opinion is to sit him Saturday. Make sure that he is healed. In the scheme of the season, the worst we have is a "loss to Texas, but All-American Ben McLemore did not play."

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

Once again, I completly agree with HEM....look at BenMac's's vertically stratospheric which puts the maximum compression and torque on an ankle. If it was Jeff, who maintains land-based footwork...fine, but a skywalker like BenMac???...NO WAY!!!

texashawk10 6 years, 4 months ago

Based on your post, I would say you've never had a sprained ankle before because you would immediately know the flaw of your post. Spained ankles never fully heal and they limit lateral mobility and explosiveness. The more rest a person gets, the mobility and explosiveness they get back. Since UT sucks this season, there's little point in playing McLemore and risk reinury when KSU is on Tuesday.

HawkKlaw 6 years, 4 months ago

BMac should sit this game out even if it means an "L" for KU, but I have a feeling he won't. Any competitor as fierce as he always wants to play through it. If he feels okay and the doctors clear him, he'll play with a heavily taped ankle. However, if the game is a blowout by the end of the first half, no way he plays 30 minutes.

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 4 months ago

I hope WVU gets a W, Big12 could use the OOC boost.

FearlessJayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I believe Ellis' biggest problem has been being "gun shy". He is more afraid of making a mistake rather than just letting the game come to him and going with the flow. He needs to stop thinking so much and go with his natural instincts. Relax and have fun.

HawkKlaw 6 years, 4 months ago

Yep, that's what Bill Self has been trying to get him to do all season!

texashawk10 6 years, 4 months ago

My gut tells me that the Big 12 and FSU are just waiting for the Maryland lawsuit to finish so each side will know how much of the $50 million actually gets enforced.

Joe Baker 6 years, 4 months ago

KU coach Self on Tuesday reportedly attended a game of Joshua Perkins, a 6-2 junior guard from Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo. The No. 42-rated player in the Class of 2014

Solved my recruiting question from Tuesday. I posted that he may have visited Randle, oh well, it's all good.

Gil Ek 6 years, 4 months ago

Anyone have info on were KU Alumni hang out in Austin before games? And anyone know where the team stays in Austin? Meeting my daughter to go to game this Saturday.

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm guessing you won't want to hang out at Hippie Hollow this time of year.

KULA 6 years, 4 months ago

Hey LJW--why no mention of Jeff being second team Sporting News Mid-Season All-America?

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Jeff seems ready for a break out against Texas.

TexasRockChalk 6 years, 4 months ago

Agreed Jaybate. We'll be there cheering him on!

TexasRockChalk 6 years, 4 months ago

All TEXAS Jayhawks: Where are WE meeting on Saturday prior to game time to engage in tomfoolery, merriment & Rock Chalk revelry? :)

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