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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.

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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, Zagsblog.com 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 Rivals.com he’s hearing the most from KU, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Gonzaga, Houston, Minnesota, San Francisco, Stanford and Wake Forest.

Comments

TexasRockChalk 1 year, 2 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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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

Jeff seems ready for a break out against Texas.

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KULA 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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Gil Ek 1 year, 2 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.

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Joe Baker 1 year, 2 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.

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FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 2 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.

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Lifelong_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Looks like I'm going to have to resort to one of those crappy free websites to watch the Kansas-Texas game. My local CBS station in Louisville, WLKY, will be carrying the West Virginia-Purdue game. :(

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Jason Keller 1 year, 2 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.

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HAWKTOPIA 1 year, 2 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!!!

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Dee Shaw 1 year, 2 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.

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jaybate 1 year, 2 months ago

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

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Alex Wishart 1 year, 2 months ago

Also, get well Ben! I need way more of this in my life http://i.minus.com/iynCsXZR3nUrq.gif

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Alex Wishart 1 year, 2 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.

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William Blake 1 year, 2 months ago

Perry's slow start (slow in the over-expectations of Jayhawk fans) may end up being a blessing in disguise. You can see the fire building in his eyes; the guy has something to prove, and it's less about proving it to fans and more about proving it to himself (as it should be).

Everyone is focused on Perry's scoring (or lack there of)... meanwhile, the guy is establishing himself as a legit D1 rebounder. Perry has a knack and hunger for rebounds, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't end up with some big time rebounding numbers before he's gone from Lawrence.

Every game now you see Perry inch forward. He's putting in his reps and gaining confidence. I hope he carries that momentum all the way through March!

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KULA 1 year, 2 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.

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