Monday, March 11, 2013


Opinion: Perry Ellis lone highlight for KU at Baylor

Perry Ellis (34) splits defenders for a layup in KU's 81-58 loss to the Baylor Bears Saturday in Waco.

Perry Ellis (34) splits defenders for a layup in KU's 81-58 loss to the Baylor Bears Saturday in Waco.


Forage through wreckage long enough and you’re bound to stumble upon a hidden treasure, which brings us to Saturday’s 23-point loss to Baylor in the Ferrell Center.

Not everything from the game needs to be filed in the mind’s trash can. Before it disintegrated into a rout, Kansas University’s leading scorer, freshman Ben McLemore, had some serious help from a quietly improving teammate.

Baylor big men Isiah Austin and Cory Jefferson combined for seven of the team’s eight blocked shots, and the figure might have reached double figures if not for the fancy footwork of KU freshman Perry Ellis.

In a second-half span that took just 2:44 off the clock, Ellis totaled six points, a rebound, an assist and a steal, helping KU turn a 17-point deficit into a six-point game. He played 22 minutes and produced 12 points, three rebounds and his first assist in 12 games. He looked more like a player who belonged in a big game than a freshman overwhelmed by the size of the bodies in the paint.

Ellis has had trouble finishing near the rim, but against the Bears he used patient, purposeful footwork to make five of seven field-goal attempts.

“I thought he was the best player for us today,” 10th-year Kansas coach Bill Self said afterward. “If anybody had a great game, it was Perry. He’s aggressive. He attacked them, and the guys he was scoring on or over or around were legitimate shot-blockers that were much bigger. I thought he did a really good job being aggressive.”

He has developed into a key reserve. In the past five games, Ellis has averaged 14.4 minutes, 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds and has shot .522 from the field. In the first 26 games, his averages were 13.1 minutes, 4.3 points and 3.4 rebounds and he shot .392 from the field.

I’ve always thought free-throw shooting and putting are similar in that they both reflect an athlete’s touch and open a window into the state of his mind. Settled minds result in made putts and free throws. Uncomfortable minds lacking confidence lead to puzzling slumps. In his first 26 games, Ellis was a .655 free-throw shooter, a .941 shooter (16-for-17) in the past five.

Ellis’ quick feet and ability to handle the ball led to his hitting two huge buckets that pulled Kansas within 61-55. On the first, he caught the ball at the foul line, blew by his man, 6-foot-8, 260-pound Rico Gathers, and scored.

Later, Ellis caught the ball on the right baseline and faced up against Austin (7-1, 220). Ellis took one hard dribble left in the lane, stopped, planted his pivot foot, spun around to the right and took a short jab, then a longer one. Austin’s and Gathers’ feet became entangled, they both fell to the ground, and Ellis scored, a move that made the players on the KU bench go wild, the game’s final cause for celebration for the visitors.


Hoosierhawkfan 1 year, 1 month ago

In Perry Ellis, I see a young man who is often hesitant because he doesn't want to make a mistake. Many times lack of sucess is due to fear of failing. Perry will be just fine and coach Self won't let him fail. He's gonna be a baller!!!


texashawk10 1 year, 1 month ago

Just something for everyone to consider that think Perry Ellis has struggled so mightily this season while Marcus Morris was so great as a freshman. Marcus Morris played 5 more minutes a game than Perry Ellis has out of necessity because that KU team was very thin in the front court (Mario Little was the second big off the bench when he got healthy). Project out the stats for both players over 40 minutes as freshmen and you come up with 15.5 points and 11.1 rebounds for Marcus Morris and 15.4 and 12.3 rebounds for Perry Ellis. Those two are mirror images of one another and Perry Ellis will be just fine and will turn into an All-American candidate by his junior year. And for those of you who think Perry Ellis not dunking this year means he's a below the rim player, you could also count on one hand the number of times Marcus Morris dunked as a freshmen as well.


JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 1 month ago

I continue to be amazed by posters that write that KU plays down to the level of the competition. I am sure these posters have not taken a look at our current players.

KU as a team has always played greater than the sum of the individual players. KU has one McD All-American, Perry Ellis, the highest ranked player is McLemore who was #17, after that is Johnson who was ranked as high as 24 and came 4 years ago; all the other players were ranked lower. It is not like Kentucky, Duke or UNC with several top 10 players; Kentucky alone has 5, 5-star players coming in next season while KU has 0 (so far).

Considering what HC Self has had to work, he has dramatically improved the players and KU has absolutely overachieved. So they lost to Baylor...Big Deal!!! Let's see who will go further in the tournament.


William Blake 1 year, 1 month ago

Next year we will be calling Perry, "The Steam Roller." Perry has an interesting kind of aggressive offensive style that often has him initiating the contact and trying to roll on top the defender with his upper body and arms. He pulled it several times this year and he always ends up with a pair of free throws out of it. Next year many of those will be a basket +1.

Perry can use another year with Hudy... more for his confidence in strength. He's stronger now than most people see because he has played a bit of timid ball. Hudy will also help his fast-twitch efficiency. He's already improved in that area.

I'm still holding out hope we'll see a Perry break-out game this year. The game where the light bulb goes on and he "gets it." In his case the part he still sometimes needs to get is more confidence in his game. He's already got the tool set to hang 20+ ever friggin' night of the week!


monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 1 month ago

I have not had the opportunity to watch all the Hawks games this season. What I have seen in Perry is a young man that suffers from some sort of confidence issue. While watching Perry has been challenging at times, there is an extremely talented baller inside there. As much as I have been frustrated with a lot of his play, Perry has come down with some rebounds in situations where he surrounded by players much taller. All those shots that were not falling, are now. He has an outside game. What I find truly refreshing about Perry is he is a student athlete. I don't know how good/great he is going to be on the basketball court. I believe and hope he'll end up with NC's, all american etc. What I do know is that when he leaves school he will not have to rely on his basketball ability to earn a living. I would like to see Perry start to have fun, he does appear to have some weight on his shoulders. Most of the really talented and successful people in the world have had to work hard, gone through trials, struggles and grown gradually. Perry is doing fine. RCJH


RockersChalk 1 year, 1 month ago

Spot on article Keegan, nicely done. I think Perry is key for our tourney run, assuming we get standard play out of the seniors (which we didn't on Saturday). Sky's the limit if he keeps it up.


Kevin Jenkins 1 year, 1 month ago

Wow, a guy has a good game and everyone is picking out the negatives. How many minutes per game does he play? Who knows what he will be later. Remember small forward Pierce was like? The writer was just saying he was one thing good about the night. Sure Mac had a good points night. I say he did okay for the minutes he put in. If the other recruits come next year, Coach might move him. Let's see, but this year he has to keep playing hard and with confidence. We need somebody after the seniors let us down....


KuMulvy13 1 year, 1 month ago

Did anyone else notice that on the Bill Self Show Sunday night that the didn't show the highlights or tape of the Baylor Game? The went through Senior night and then went to break saying they would be back with the Baylor highlights and when they came back they showed the West Virginia highlights from last weeks show. I guess Bill couldn't bring himself to watch it again!


Bill Anthony 1 year, 1 month ago

Two and three years ago I was screaming at the television repeatedly because Jeff Withey couldn't handle a pass, couldn't keep hold of the ball when he did get, was a hesitant shooter when he did get the ball down low, and when he did shoot did not finish strong. I thought he was a bust and would likely remain so. Thankfully I was wrong. Ellis started this year with many of the same problems and is just recently starting to overcome them. At this point in his college career he is ahead of where Jeff was at the same point in his (IMO). As the annoying Dick Vital says, "the best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores." Perry won't grow to 7' nor set a record for blocks, but he has the potential, and a chance, to become a great player for Kansas. The gifted posters who can accurately tell us less gifted ones what the future holds are free to enlighten us to impending doom or grandeur, but I would rather you didn't for I am happy rooting for our team with my own high expectations and blissful ignorance of what will actually happen next. That's what makes it so fun watching. So, go Perry and go Hawks. I hope that at the very least you win your last game.


jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Perry is good, but oh so short.

He can be Cobbins at the 4, or even Self's favorite stretch 4, but defense will be real chore for him against true 4s.

At the 3, he could be gold.


KanKu 1 year, 1 month ago

Perry was good, and will be good in the future at KU. I live in 'ta town and hope the best for Perry and Frankamp. However, as someone pointed out above, I absolutely DESPISE IT when he gets the ball poked out of his hands or when he mis-handles a pass/rebound. I've been calling him Puss-hands Perry all year. He will strengthen up those hands/arms after this season. Also his vertical will improve just like The Twins' did after their first year. RCJH


vd 1 year, 1 month ago

KY was "setting" moving screens all night. Non calls were going both ways.


KansasComet 1 year, 1 month ago

Perry Ellis has looked better as a Freshman than the Markieff and Marcus Morris, better than Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey. Of course he came in with high expectations. I think he is coming into his own. He appears to be someone that could earn a degree in 3 years. He may be gone after his Junior Year, however he could stay for four years, it s his decision. He will definitely be drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft. He needs another year in the weight room. His foot work is outstanding, and he can bury the 15 footer. He has San Antonio Spur written all over him. I can't wait to see what he does when he gets 25-30 minutes a game?


gotmylimitofjhawks 1 year, 1 month ago

Two/three more games for KU and done...too bad they won't be the first No. 1 seed to lose. Scott Drew and your early Big 12 exit takes your No. 1 seed away...waaahhhh!!!

Then go wait for "football season"...try typing that without laughing your @$$ off...


ccarp 1 year, 1 month ago

Dude, Perry juking 2 post players out of their jocks was awesome! Just sayn'....


KansasComet 1 year, 1 month ago

Game was not so much about the excellent shooting of Jefferson and Jackson as it was about not closing out each half. It was a two point game (28-30) with 2:23 remaining in the first half. Unfortunately we failed to score the rest of the half.

2nd half, second verse, same as the first. At the 6:27 mark Perry Ellis scores a layup, Baylor calls time out and we score 3 points the rest of the game. That is the reason we lost, by not closing out halves and not closing out games.

5 losses this year.

MSU. Game in hand with less than 5 minutes remaining and we failed to close it out.

OSU: Game in hand with less than 5 minutes remaining and we failed to close it out.

TCU: No fire.

OU: Going through the motions.

BU: Big XII Title Clinched: Close game, failed to close out each half. Game was not a blowout (only in the final score).

When this team gives the oposition it's best shot, they are hard to beat. Hopefully, we will play with fire the rest of the season, because it is win or go home!


Lash 1 year, 1 month ago

Due to my age, I would like to extend my congratulations to all KSU fans and players on there next regular season basketball championship. Of course, there are always conditions and those being that they at a minimum, co-win another basketball championship in 35 years! With that said 2048 can hardly wait!!!


KMathis 1 year, 1 month ago

JayBate and his particular "Neverending Story". All you needed to know is that two Baylor players each shot 11-13 from the field with big man Corey Jefferson making all 3 of his career 3 point makes in this game. Meanwhile, Releford/EJ/KY/Tharpe combined to shoot 5-27. That's not matchups... That's not Drew genius... That's just lousy shooting for KU compared to lights out from Jefferson/Jackson (22-26, 53 points).


Jason Keller 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't usually pick on these articles but my lord. Perry was the lone positive takeaway? That's laughable. How about Mclemore exploding for some 23 points, something he hasn't done on the road in a loooong time. He is becoming more aggressive and confident. I loved that play where he jumped to catch a pass and then loaded up in the air so that he could bounce right back up and stroke a three in his man's face. That is the type of shots he'll need to knock down in the league.

Perry did look better to but he's playing out of position as far as I'm concerned. He's a 3, he plays to small to be a PF.


jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

"Baylor Forensics: Everything Was Sun Tzu, Match-Ups, Scouts, Unfair Advantage and Hot Shooting"

• Drew apparently reread his Sun Tzu. He decided to beat KU by attacking where KU was weak (the 1 with EJ and Dir and the 4 with KY and Perry) and defending where KU was strong (2, 3 and 5). Worked like it has for ages. Of course, Sun's translators over simplified. What he meant was attack where you have greatest superiority and defend where you have least. This leads logically to the matchups.

• BU's biggest matchup advantage at the 1 was easy. BU was way quicker than EJ and Dir. The matchup advantage at the 4 was BU height and weight vs. KY and Perry.

• The scout was how to exploit the MUAs at 1and 4. The scout at the 1 was KU was a step slow compared to Jackson, so make them guard angles off ball screens and blow by. They did. It worked. The scout at The 4 was run them toward Austin moving them, then drive them into Austin, then slide away. They did. It worked. On defense, use height and weight to deny the rim and make KUs weighted, lighter 4 shoot farther than five feet out.

• Other teams have tried to exploit these persistent vulnerabilities at 1 and 4 of KU, but only four before BU had succeeded, and none blew KU out, as BU did. Each had an edge at 1 and a strong, active 4. KU also beat a few teams in close games with the same strengths. Why did BU blow KU out? BU used an unfair advantage: the moving screen. All teams do it some, but Drew gambled on moving screening everytime. It worked. Moving ball screens magnified Jackson's MUA. Moving screens marginalized KY's disruptive defense. And moving screens broke down KU's help defense. KU without its vaunted pressure defense means a blowout, if the opponent shoots well.

• BU shot the lights out.

• Losing to the unfair advantage of BU's full time permanent moving screen offense ideas akin to losing to UCLA's full time Howland Hack'n'Slap defense in the Madness. The better team lost in both cases to an unfair advantage that took KU out of its game on one end of the floor and magnified some MUAs.

• The only solution to unfair advantage is to copy it.


nostradavid 1 year, 1 month ago

It was great fun to see Perry attack as soon as he got on the floor.

That was some of the best footwork I've seen in AFH since ...

Homecoming 1972

Homecoming 1972 by nostradavid


stm62 1 year, 1 month ago

Perry has had difficulty finishing all season long. His ability to hit buckets against Baylor is a very encouraging sign.


Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 1 month ago

I wonder if we ever see plays where we don't depend on freeing up BMac all the time. Ellis is an excellent jumper. He can shoot from inside, outside. He doesn't really have to post to score. Yes, he's got pretty post moves, but when he's left open, why not just hit a jumper.

Withey, KY set up meaningless screen which end up nothing most of the time. They're left unguarded just inside the perimeter. I wonder if Withey ever given a green light to just shoot the ball when he's all open like that.

I wonder what our offense would look like if those guys are let free to shoot those opens. I mean, they can shoot - or in case of KY, he can start practicing those jumpers. Hit it 1000 times in every practice, just like what Kobe said. And I believe him.


Phognatic 1 year, 1 month ago

Ellis is proving to be an intriguing kid. His improving numbers quoted in the article may speak to some sly developement which I have not fully embraced due to the following: 1. In retrospect, too much hype being an in state kid. 2. Still plays below the rim 3. Soft...if I have to see one more ball get poked out of his hand after a rebound I'm going to scream...I mean...I'll continue screaming. 4. Always looks like he's down on himself too much. Stop being so cerebral, keep your head up and have fun.

I think Ellis will be a key component to our success going forward (this and years to come) and I only wish he could have put it together more this year. His ability to knock down the 15' jumper (something KY cannot reliably do) would have stretched the opponent's interior defense. At his current trajectory, it looks like he'll be here through his junior year and I for one am happy to have him. RCJHGKU


bluefirebird 1 year, 1 month ago

McLemore looked pretty good to me


ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 1 month ago

Not sure if EJ or Perry has been the bigger letdown this year.


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