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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Perry Ellis, now a KU veteran, aims to build on freshman finish

Kansas University forward Perry Ellis waves to a gathering of basketball campers after giving a pep talk about work ethic and maintaining good grades during Bill Self’s basketball camp, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at the Horejsi Center.

Kansas University forward Perry Ellis waves to a gathering of basketball campers after giving a pep talk about work ethic and maintaining good grades during Bill Self’s basketball camp, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at the Horejsi Center.

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Kansas University sophomore forward Perry Ellis reminisced about his years in elementary school, Tuesday at Bill Self’s Basketball Camp in Horejsi Center.

Perry Ellis talks about playing with Conner Frankamp and getting teased about losing his Wichita scoring title

Kansas sophomore forward Perry Ellis talks about playing with Conner Frankamp and getting teased about losing his Wichita scoring title to the freshman during an interview on June 11, 2013.

“I remember growing up trying to figure out what I wanted to do. When I was your age, I was better at track, actually,” the 6-foot-8, 220-pound Wichita native said, speaking to 800 attentive campers. “I ran the 200, the 4 x 1 (relay), the long jump. Then sixth grade came along and I started getting a little taller.

“I started playing a lot of basketball. I remember in middle school getting up in the morning and going with a lot of friends to the YMCA. We’d pack lunches and play basketball all day, until our parents got off work and we got picked up,” Ellis added.

The quick-developing Ellis, who first dunked the basketball in seventh grade, started to receive letters from major-college coaches in eighth grade. He wound up leading Wichita Heights to four state titles, and as the country’s No. 24-rated player, made the McDonald’s All-America game and accepted a scholarship offer to KU.

He didn’t disappoint as a college freshman, averaging 5.8 points (off 47.5 percent shooting) and 3.9 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game. He saved his best for the end of the season, burning Iowa State for 23 points in the Big 12 postseason tournament while being named to the all-tournament team.

“It definitely did push my confidence up at the time,” Ellis said of productive late-season play. “It showed me I can do this if I put my mind to it. I really was not worrying about it like I was before.

“Practice is where I was starting to play and do a lot of things better. In practice I try to focus on playing like I do in a game. The transition wasn’t too bad when I got to go in (the game).”

Ellis said he’s been spending a lot of time in the gym, “working on just continuing to get my shot better, continuing on playing hard like I did last year. I want to continue doing that and getting in great shape, things like that.”

KU coach Self said Ellis should be a stabilizing force his soph season.

“We’re counting on him to be an upperclassman,” Self said. “He will be a stud. He showed what he can do late in the season. He has a natural gift of getting the ball in the basket. He’s repetition and minutes away from being an excellent player.”

Ellis said he’s been impressed with KU’s newcomers during recent pick-up games.

“Wayne (Selden, 2-guard) and Joel (Embiid, center),” he said, asked who has caught his eye. “Right now they all are doing well. They’ve got to keep pushing and get through it. It’s really different your freshman year. You’ve just got to keep working.”

Of senior center Tarik Black, Ellis said: “He’s good. He’s strong. He’s big. He’s doing well out there. He has a big, strong body.”

Fellow Wichita native Conner Frankamp is “shooting it well,” Ellis said of the freshman combo guard out of Wichita North, who last year broke Ellis’ Wichita City League all-time scoring record.

“He doesn’t say anything too much. Coach likes messing with me about it (the record),” Ellis added with a smile. “I never played with him before. We’re getting to talk a lot. It’s great having him here. He’s a good kid.”

Thomas recruiting update: KU has offered a scholarship to Elijah Thomas, a 6-9 junior-to-be from Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, jayhawkslant.com reports. He’s ranked No. 10 in the recruiting class of 2015.

Withey on Wiggins: Former KU center Jeff Withey, who worked out for the New York Knicks on Monday, spoke about KU newcomer Andrew Wiggins to Zagsblog.com.

“I think coach Self was more shocked just because everybody did think he was going to go to (Kentucky or Florida State),” Withey said. “And when he was on his visit to Kansas, he was really quiet so you couldn’t get a good read on it. So everybody there is just really excited to have him and he’s going to have a lot of pressure but hopefully he can develop into a great player and lead that team.”

Withey said Wiggins made a good decision deciding to come to KU for summer school and not play for Canada’s Under 19 team.

“Yeah, definitely,” Withey told Zagsblog. “Coach Self’s system, it’s hard to learn right away, but if you go early and you put in the work, you’ll learn it and get good from it.”

Comments

Randy Maxwell 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I know Self is the master but offering thomas is a joke, just because of his rating. Soft, cant score inside, wow cmon Bill

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Ralster Jayhawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Ya, will be very interesting to see how quickly the guys get on the same page defensively. Embiid could get a fair number of mpg just because of his Withey-like block ability, and a true 7ftr truly changes things for opponents...and did I read correctly that Embiid also hit a 3pt shot during todays scrimmage? Hmm...a face-up game...

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KatnissHawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

There should be plenty of offense this next season. It's going to be DEFENCE that wins.

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KemDooKU 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Was not trying to make Selfs offense out to be child's play but any offense comes down to putting the ball through the hoop - Josh Selby if memory serves me right scored 21pts his first game out as a Jayhawk and then pretty much down hill from there - with I believe conditioning/ injuries being his problem and not the fact of the offense being to difficult to learn - either way you make good points TrueHawk but people saying Coach Cal and others like him run a college offense that is straight out of a "Basketball for Dummy's" book are just plain out of touch - Coach Cal is an excellent coach or he would not be where he is now and although his offense may be simplified for his freshman I doubt its a whole lot different than Self's -

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Hawk8086 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Averaging 20 pts. is very hard to do. As TwoCoach said, if Perry averages 13-15 and 8-10, that would be great. Yes, scoring should be balanced, but freshmen (maybe even AW) will be inconsistent. With Ellis, Tharpe, Selden, AW, we should be able to score. I don't see Frankamp getting 20 in a game unless maybe one of the early games if he gets hot late.

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Woody Cragg 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Any hints on the projected new replacement for the Doctor of BO? Is Wayne's name in the mix? He'd be a role model/mentor to some really impressionable kids that, as we all know, are at a really pivotal stage in life. Only IMO, but I think that would be a can't miss addition.

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tahawk81 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Does anyone else think Perry looks like Joe from one of the seasons of Teen Mom? My wife watches that crap but I cant help but see the similarities.

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dstnku34 10 months, 2 weeks ago

How many different Jayhawks will have 3 or more games of 20+ points? Right now, I feel pretty confident saying 4. Ellis, Wiggins, Seldon, Frankamp.

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Randy Maxwell 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Shocked KU has offered Thomas. He played with my son at Rockwall before transferring to Deion Sanders' school. He's got a lot of work to do

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joeloveshawks 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I remember when I first dunked in 7th grade...ha!

1

Tony Bandle 10 months, 2 weeks ago

RANDOM THOUGHTS.

1] You all know, I am as rabid a fan as anyone, but I think I must temper my expectations for Perry. No doubt, he will definitely be a factor, but the skill set of next season's rotation may result in a more distributed team scoring pattern.

2] Andrew coming this summer is HUGE beyond the obvious basketball advantages. He will be able to absorb the Jayhawk tradition both with his current teammates and the large number of graduated Jayhawks who live in the region.

3] P.S. Andrew...yes, Scot Pollard is crazy but go ahead and listen to him anyway!

4] Every freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior high school player in America knows which team Andrew Wiggins is on.....and they WILL BE WATCHING!!

5] I predict that Perry will emerge as a true superstar in 2014-15. Last season, he learned what Division 1 basketball was all about. This season, he takes those lessons and applies them to his own abilities and, next season, he explodes into a lottery pick!!

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Woody Cragg 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I truly detest the cold hard lashes of Wintertime, but am busy piling up the firewood for the upcoming KU Boo.., oops, BB season that has more promise than most I can recall under Bill. Hopefully all of our expectations are not overstated or unfulfilled. If not for the EJ meltdown, we likely could've had back to backers in the NC tossup. Bring on the snow damnit, I'm ready for the sorbet of the new season!

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bennybob 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Self offering another top-10 ranked player? Between Embiid, Selden, and of course WIggins it seems to me that whole story about Self not liking the OADS because they don't fit his system is complete crap.

Can we finally admit it was a recruiting slump from '10-'12, not some diabalical recruiting strategy by the staff?

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William Blake 10 months, 2 weeks ago

This will be fun. Perry's role switching from being the newbie to being the upperclassman leader.

The role shift will help him become a dominating force this year. He's ready to put up some big numbers!

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KUbsee69 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Perry first dunked in the 7th grade. Does anyone know how tall he was at that time?

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Boouk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought Perry should've played more at the end of last season. It'll be interesting to see how often he shoots this year with our shooters/scorers on the perimeter. He should be a good fit on this team, but will our PG's give him the ball in his spots when Wiggins is on the bench?

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KemDooKU 10 months, 2 weeks ago

System is hard to learn is HogWash - the problem with Freshman is they never had to play defense like they will have to in college so they get so tired from playing defense that they don't have the legs to be efficient scorers on offense - it comes down to conditioning and having the endurance to play both ends of the court at a really high level - KU's offense is come down and run the weave three times - set a pick and drive to basket and score or kick it out for a three - Rocket Science "NO". - so Run freshman Run ....and get in the best shape of your life then maybe you will have something left in the tank to score a basket after playing exhausting defense that Self expects you to play or else

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hawksince51 10 months, 2 weeks ago

While the article is primarily about Ellis, Withey's comment at the end is big: :"Yeah, definitely,” Withey told Zagsblog. “Coach Self’s system, it’s hard to learn right away, but if you go early and you put in the work, you’ll learn it and get good from it.” Considering the history of OADs and other freshmen at KU under Self, it has become hard for me to get overly excited about OADs. In spite of all the hype, Henry and Selby made modest contributions during there time at KU. So this year we have Wiggins, Selden, Embiid, Frankamp and others who will face this challenge. Ben Mac had a great redshirt freshman year but how would he have done without the extra year to learn the system before he ever played in a game? While I'm really looking forward to seeing how next year's team comes together and which players make the big contribution, my expectations at this time are much higher for Perry than any of the freshmen.

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jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Perry will likely become Self's highest scoring 4.

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jhox 10 months, 2 weeks ago

There's a very good chance that Ellis, not Wiggins, leads the team in scoring next season. I look for Perry to average around 20 next year. With the penetration and outside shooting ability of his teammates he won't see a lot of double downs and with that quick first step (Perry has) he will be hard to handle one on one.

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nuleafjhawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

“There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations” ― Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes

I don't know how we can improve the reality of this team too much and I just CAN'T lower my expectations this year. I am so stoked for KU basketball this season......

1

KansasComet 10 months, 2 weeks ago

If this year's team defense can match it's offense, we will be tough to beat. Ellis is going to be a joy to watch this season. Looking at our team, I don't know see how teams will be able to double team anyone? I don't see how teams can play us man-to-man? We should be able to bust open any zone defense. We look hard to guard. Also, if someone is asked to red-shirt this season, they should not take it the wrong way. This time of year, the board normally goes flat, nice to read all of the great comments from everyone. This used to be my favorite time of year to read Jaybate. No matter what happened the season before, I could always count on Jaybate to give me some interesting material to read, during the slow times, so thanks. Whether, I agree with you or not, I really do appreciate reading everyone's input. Go Jayhawks.

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Joseph Kuebel 10 months, 2 weeks ago

KU has offered a scholarship to Elijah Thomas, a 6-9 junior-to-be from Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, jayhawkslant.com reports. He’s ranked No. 10 in the recruiting class of 2015.

E.T. Phone Home... There's no place like home (at Allen Fieldhouse).

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Jonny Swift 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Loving the profiles of each of the players. Let's get one on all of them! Keep them coming please

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always_correct 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for the article! Do JoJo next!

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okiedave 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Ellis will have a monumental year. First year learning the system and pace. Second year being a dominator.

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