Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bill Self: Landen Lucas will ‘be a load’

KU coach counting on freshman to help inside next year

Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Portland, Oregon, is one of seven scholarship freshmen on this year's KU team.

Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Portland, Oregon, is one of seven scholarship freshmen on this year's KU team.



Lawrence Journal-World

Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward from Portland, Ore., is one of seven scholarship freshmen on this year's Kansas team.

So far, Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has signed five high school basketball players in the recruiting Class of 2013 — guards Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason and Wayne Selden, forward Brannen Greene and center Joel Embiid.

Scholarship offers also have been extended to forwards Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins.

In Self’s perfect world, those seven players would be making their KU debuts in 2013-14 with another newcomer — red-shirt freshman power forward Landen Lucas — who has practiced but not played in games this season.

“He’s doing great. He’s becoming more explosive,” Self said of Lucas on Tuesday’s “Hawk Talk” radio show. “He’s probably the toughest kid we have inside without question. He is a presence. He needs to get a little more athletic, quicker twitch in some areas, but he’s really gained on that. I think he’ll be a load. I think he’s going to be a really nice player.”

The 6-10, 240-pound Lucas averaged 21.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks a game his senior year at Westview High in Portland, Ore.

Routine works: Self on his radio show was asked about his habit of blowing air into his hands as he walks through the northwest tunnel to the home team’s bench before games in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Before it (fieldhouse) was renovated, your hands would get cold. The doors had to be open,” Self said. “It’s worked pretty well over the years, so I kept doing it. I’m not superstitious, (but) certain routines work better than others.”

Long hair: Self joked about Kevin Young’s ever-expanding afro hairdo.

“I think he worries about his hair a little too much. Did you see his brother’s hair?” Self said of Free State High freshman Donovan Young, who also has an afro. “I told Kevin, ‘Your brother is kicking your butt (in hair-growing contest).’

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have no headbands. I haven’t had to say anything about it, since nobody’s asked me (permission to wear them), but Kevin ... oh my gosh, he’s tested my patience with growing his hair out. You see it when it’s combed. I see it every day when it’s not (at practice).

“He is absolutely great,” Self added. “He loosens things up around the locker room.”

Randle in burger game: Randle, a 6-9 forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, on Wednesday was added to the East roster of the McDonald’s All-America Game (April 3, Chicago’s United Center).’s No. 2 rated player will announce his college choice on March 20 on ESPNU. He is considering KU, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, N.C. State and Oklahoma.

“I’m not sure where I want to go,” Randle told USA Today. “But this can be a stressful thing, and I set the date to give myself a cutoff for a decision. I don’t want it to linger on. I feel like I’m confident enough in myself that by that time I’ll feel 100 percent about where I’ll go. For now, I’m just enjoying being a McDonald’s All American. I’m so happy right now, it’s a great feeling because this is something that I’ve always dreamed of. I wasn’t sure if it was gonna happen or not, but now that it has I’m just so blessed. It’s an honor.”

Player of year: ESPN’s Jay Bilas on Monday selected KU’s Ben McLemore as his Big 12 player of the year. Jason King of ESPN chose KU’s Jeff Withey. Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy lists Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart as one of four finalists for national player of the year, with Trey Burke of Michigan, Victor Oladipo of Indiana and Otto Porter of Georgetown.

This, that: Former KU coach Larry Brown’s SMU team defeated former Jayhawk player Danny Manning’s Tulsa team, 71-65, Wednesday in Tulsa. Earlier this season Tulsa defeated SMU in Dallas. Tulsa is 15-14 (7-8); SMU is 15-15 (5-10) ... Frankamp’s Wichita North team fell to Blue Valley West, 41-35, in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament. The Wichita Eagle reports that Frankamp had 11 points off 4-of-13 shooting. He was 3-of-11 from three.


Wis Hawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I watched the KU at Texas game in 2010 on my DVD again last night. We had Sherron, Brady, Xavier, Twins, Cole, and TT and Tyrel came off the bench. I don't even remember TRob, Jeff, EJ ever got off the bench. And I'm amazed how I forgot how good Cole was. He might not be as good a shot blocker or FT shooter as Jeff, but his foot work and shoulder fakes were very good. And he took up the middle of lane really well. Cole and one of the twins quickly double teamed the Texas big men the whole game. And Xavier was not as smooth as Ben. Sherron drove into the trees and got rejected almost every time, but he was not shy.

I hope Lucas become a solid contributor and be as successful as Moody or Pew.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

My usual msg to KU fans: give our kids a chance to develop to show us what they can really do (bball or ftball). Withey proving a lot of national-level analysts wrong, isnt he? I love how Bill Self keeps proving the doubters wrong, year after year after year. Enjoy this level of coaching and player-development while Self is still here...right now, we are very lucky.


bennybob 1 year, 1 month ago

If anyone truly believe Landen Lucas will make a significant impact on the team next season your delusional. 3 years from now MAYBE. but he's no where close to ready to compete at a high level next season. If he was, there would be no need to recruit Randle/Wiggins.


CHEEZIT 1 year, 1 month ago

Kentucky, National Champion, NIT, now that's funny right there I don't care who you are!!!


JakeHawk76 1 year, 1 month ago

I know this is somthing of an off-topic comment, but has anyone else noticed that Andrew Wiggins is the title character's name from the classic SF adventure novel Ender's Game?


didjabuti 1 year, 1 month ago

It's funny that HCBS would mention the headbands. I was wondering during Senior night if he had relaxed on that, since he didn't seem to have a problem with Young's hair.


HawksWin 1 year, 1 month ago

JB, Will you change your mind on Randle & Wiggins?

from KU Message Boards, posted by TraditionKU "saw this posted on theshiver, fwiw

(plus, we needed a bump, because WE NEED THIS GUY!!!!)

This was someone who posted on the nc state scout message board. I wanted to verify how accurate this was. There is a radio talk show on Syrius radio xm and the host is Bill King. His website is Every Tuesday, Drew Maddux comes onto his radio show and talks about college hoops. He is a college basketball analyst. He is head coach of CPA in Nashville and he is an Nike Elite Skills instructor. He was a former player at Vandy.

On Tuesday's radio show hosted by Bill King..33rd-36th minute, NC state fan indeed asks about NC State and where Julius Randle stands. So Maddux and King acknowledge that Randle is announcing March 20th. Maddux says he talked to other coaches and said he also knows Randle's high school coach. He said he is not going to quote anyone and states "Randle is Kansas' to lose."

Maddux states Wiggins and Randle could both play for Self and that'd be a powerful 1-2 punch. They then talk about Wiggins and believe that Wiggins isn't trending with UK. Maddux feels that it's between Florida St., UNC, and KU but ultimately it'll come down to KU and UNC bc of Wiggins maintaining his brand of possibly becoming a future number one pick.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago

Just a little food for thought but since UK has the #1 class for 2013 and KU has the #2 class for 2013, assuming Wiggins goes to FSU, between KU and UK, whomever gets Julius ends up being named the Number One Class??

Selden, Lucas, Embiid, Greene, Frankamp and Mason isn't exactly chopped liver!! Pair up with Ellis, Traylor, Tharpe, White and Adams...not too shabby!!!


Robert Murphy 1 year, 1 month ago

Yes, but the good news is he'll probably be here for three years and he will grow into an NBA talent. I've already seen enough to know this isn't just spin.


jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Here is how I read this story about Landen and its timing.

This is a spin bone thrown to ready fans for Randle and Wiggins going elsewhere.



hammerhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I enjoyed reading the posts. Gonna be a great game on Saturday. Come on, Hawks. Let's show the conference how tough we can be. Play smart. Play strong. Let's get this game taken care of and then move on to Kansas City. Take care of business. Forget the lesser school down the river.


Redlandsjhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

In Praise of Kevin Young:

Kevin Young is not: 7 feet tall like Jeff Built like an action figure like TRob Deadly from the perimeter like BMac Doesn't dribble behind the back like EJ

Kevin just simply does everything else. He has a knack for knowing where the ball is going to bounce. Not only has he become the "garbage collector" but how many times has he gotten the rebound from his own miss for a put back? I recall him getting the rebound from his own missed free throw. After he makes a basket and turns to run up the court with everyone else have you ever noticed how sometimes he'll take two steps do a quick reversal and try and steal the inbounds pass? Sometimes with success? That is thinking a few steps ahead of everyone and that is his strength. He's not the most gifted but maybe the smartest player on the court it seems. Then again maybe that is his gift. He has kept us in games at times when shots weren't falling. His smile lifts up his teammates as well as this fan 2,000 miles away. I am going to miss him dearly next year.

Don't be suprised if in thirty years from now future posters are congratulating Coach Young on his 500th win. Perhaps at KU. Rock Chalk Kevin Young. Your hustle determination and attitude will get you wherever you want to go.


April13 1 year, 1 month ago

The alleged Frankamp "tude" might have something to do with him being constantly underrated and minimalized by people - including some people on his board.

My prediction: Nadir should be afraid.....very afraid.


Steve Gantz 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't often comment about next years players because it's always hard to predict how potential relates to success on the court, see Perry Ellis as exhibit 1A. However, I did let myself daydream about Lucas after reading the article, and especially because it said Self is excited for him. That sealed it. Already looking forward to next season!


Robert Murphy 1 year, 1 month ago

When I saw Frankamp on TV he looked like a little kid even playing against High school talent. My starting five next year is Lucas/Embiid, Randal, Bmac, Sheldon and Tharpe. Let's see if Kentucky can beat that.


KUsmoothies 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't want to dog frankamp bc I don't know him personally and if I was a stud like him I'm sure I'd be the same way but I have watched him play a few times over the yrs and he has come across with somewhat of a bad attitude. He doesn't ever stand with his teammates during the national athem and I've always thought he came across as having a bad attitude towards the refs. Buuuut the kid is only 17-18 so maybe I shouldn't expect so much out of him.


bradynsdad 1 year, 1 month ago

If you are on Twitter please ask the Analyst why Withey isn't more of a front runner for POY? I am trying not to be a homer about this but he is the most dominate on both ends of the floor of all the big men. Olynek and Plumlee both have good offensive game but they average the same number of points and rebounds as Jeff, but neither impacts the defensive end the way he does. What is POY? The most impactful player in college. Where would this team be without Jeff? Think about all the big men he has neutralized, yes he held Davis to six points in last years title game, he destroyed sullingers draft status and I know they are multiple more I can't think of right now but I know he has. I would put him up against any big in the country in a heartbeat. So can anybody answer me this without KU goggles on?


Ron Franklin 1 year, 1 month ago

Squires was our HS coach and he was ran out of town at this small 4A school. Could never understand how he got the North job.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 1 month ago

I think it's natural to have some concerns about our bigs next year, but I have high hopes for Lucas. The guy has the potential to be a monster.

The biggest hope for next year is the development, and sophomore leap, of Perry Ellis. I still have faith that he will be every bit as good as advertised.

Incoming bigs are usually unsteady as freshmen, so I think the key next season will be getting Lucas, Ellis, and Traylor playing to their potential.

I like that combination on the floor (obviously in a 3 big set), with Tharpe at point, perhaps White III or Francamp at 2 guard.

That's not including the other bigs and potential 3 stars we have coming in. Good stuff on the horizon.


Waylon Cook 1 year, 1 month ago

Conner is the man. He is going to do great things as a Jayhawk. People label people "arrogant, cocky, overrated" when they couldn't do half of what the person can. Anyone how Tyrel was talked about on message boards? It was disgusting. Likely coming from an overweight middleage man who had never won a damn thing in his life!

Conner is a competitor and it shows. I agree his coach was a jack ass and look at what they still accomplished! CONGRATS CONNER AND WELCOME TO KU!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago

No mention of OSU's loss to ISU last night and what it might imply for Kansas?

Let's hope Oklahoma State will hate losing on Senior's Night so much that they still give K-State a good battle even though they blew their own chance to share. I don't want to share "The Ninth" with anyone, especially Kansas State!!


Steve Corder 1 year, 1 month ago

Great photo of Lucas.

As the TTech coach said, "Kansas is Kansas" as regards to recruiting and success. Next year will be totally different but tough to beat, as always.


guithawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I watched the North vs. Blue Valley West game and it was horrible. BVW played a box and one on Conner the whole night and his coach did nothing to set a screen for him or take the pressure off of him. They dribbled 4 minutes off the clock in the 3rd quarter and probably 2 minutes off the 2nd. They played with a 6 point lead and just dribbled around and didn't even try to score. It wasn't Conner's fault that he had a bad shooting night. There was absolutely no flow to the game and the coach had another kid handling the ball with a minute to go and tied. Why didn't he have Conner with the ball? Anyway it will be fun to watch him next year for sure. I'm glad I got to see him play 8 games this year.


KansasComet 1 year, 1 month ago

I believe we will have 1 to 2 redshirts next season. Frankamp could be one to redshirt, based on his size. He may need a year in the weight room and a year to adjust to not having the ball in his hands constantly. I think Rio Adams could have used a redshirt year to adjust to the speed of the game and to get used to not having the ball in hands all the time. In the Kansas offense the ball moves constantly, and anyone can bring the ball up the court. Also, players must prove they can play defense as well. I am not saying that this will happen, but I would not be shocked.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 1 month ago


With all the hype about our #2 ranked recruiting class and the Wiggins/Randle happenings, I have kind of forgot we may have the most important long term impact guy sitting in the wings.

Landen at 6'-10" and 240 as a red shirt freshman next season will indeed be a load. He may gain another 10-20 pounds in muscle and grow another inch or so!!

At the very least this next season, he will give Jo Jo a battle in practice and he will be able to give five really, really hard fouls per game!!

Next season is going to be amazing to will be a Jayhawk team make-up that I am not sure we have ever seen. YOUNG...YOUNGER....YOUNGEST!!


Ron Franklin 1 year, 1 month ago

A couple things I was told by a former Michigan player this weekend who claims to be very familiar with Wichita ball. I could also tell by the way he interacted with Perry and several other Jayhawks that he is around the program some. The players knew him by name.

The first thing he told me I didn't want to beleive; Connor Frankamp has a very poor attitude and is considered arrogant. I hope that is not the case--does anybody else hear this from his coaches? He is also certain that Frankamp won't impact the rotation next year.

The other thing he told me which was that Wichita basketball has been really down lately.

I don't know if this is true or not--just sharing word that I heard from a bird. .


Woody Cragg 1 year, 1 month ago

By the time Lucas is an upperclassman he should be ready for all comers. Glad he took the shirt. Wouldn't have seen many min this year.


Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 1 month ago

I know we were one of Otto Porter's final picks (us and Gtown), and it looks like he made a good decision for himself, but can u imagine him as our starting 4 with KY coming off the bench? What an addition he would have been. He's a phenomenal player that kid.


kerbyd 1 year, 1 month ago

Did ya see where Indiana cut down their nets even after they lost to Ohio State? Kinda weird.


Born_And_Raised_A_KU_Fan 1 year, 1 month ago

But as regards Kevin Young, he will be sorely missed around here. Hopefully Donovan will also come to KU and bring the Young family energy to the team a second time.


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm glad to hear that Coach is not superstitious - just has a routine that works.

I also have a routine that works (most of the time). I must sit on the couch on top of a black fuzzy blanket with my feet covered by my lucky KU blanket, wearing my lucky KU socks and drinking out of my lucky KU cup. I then will alternate crossing my right foot over the left, or left foot over the right, depending on who has the ball.

But - it's not a superstition, just a routine that I follow.....


Born_And_Raised_A_KU_Fan 1 year, 1 month ago

Uh, SMU is in Dallas, TCU is in Fort Worth.


yates33333 1 year, 1 month ago

SMU and Tulsa must have played three games this year because earlier I saw them playing at SMU in Dallas.


Jim Erickson 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't know about Lucas... KU has a terrible record of producing dominant post players lately. :)


phogphan2000 1 year, 1 month ago

Glad to hear Lucas is progressing.

Glad to hear Randle was allowed to be a McDonald's AA.

Glad to see former 'Hawk Royce Woolridge light up UCLA for 19 pts tonight on 8 of 14 shooting.

KYo might look good in a headband, maybe opposing teams would think Ben Wallace was coming at them.


nostradavid 1 year, 1 month ago

Blue Valley West had to use a junk zone to mess up Conner's game. ( Why is Overland Park now BV ? Were they sued for trademark infringement by Ocean Pacific ?) They did come to Wichita and beat them out at Hillside High (WSU). Wichita North has never had the money to compete with the richer schools in the state. Conner took the city league scoring title away from Perry before the last game of the season. The state record is on out there aways.,0,20033.story

Landen should be ready to go after working out with Jeff and Kevin this year. I'm looking forward to seeing him play. That's a good photo by Mike.

Here's what a great post-season run can do for all of you guys entering the draft this year:

Happy Moon

Happy Moon by nostradavid


Jay Dogger 1 year, 1 month ago

Bummer about Frankamp. I guess his high school career is over. Did he ever break the state record for points? Can't wait to see him in crimson and blue!


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