Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kansas hoops recruit Kelly Oubre feels ‘love’

Kansas recruits Kelly Oubre, left, and King McClure watch from behind the bench during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas recruits Kelly Oubre, left, and King McClure watch from behind the bench during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.



Kansas recruits Kelly Oubre, left, and King McClure watch from behind the bench during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Blue-chip high school basketball wing Kelly Oubre, a 6-foot-7 Richmond, Texas native who is attending Findlay Prep in Nevada his senior season, told reporters at last weekend’s USA Basketball developmental camp in Colorado that he had an amazing time at Friday’s Late Night in the Phog.

“It was love, man. I loved it a lot,” Oubre, the country’s No. 12th-ranked player according to, told “I love their chemistry and all the things that they displayed on my visit. The personalities and love from the fans and everything. It was a pretty good experience.”

Oubre has a final two of Kansas University and Kentucky.

“Just filling in for Andrew (Wiggins). Of course he’s going to the league this year so they just need another big wing to come in and just fill that spot. He pretty much told me everything’s there for me,” Oubre said, referring to what KU coach Bill Self told him his role would be.

He said he likely would announce his college choice shortly after his visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness on Oct. 18.

“They (UK Wildcats) just need to replace seven guys,” Oubre told zagsblog. “They need some more wings. They pretty much need to fill every spot. They’re recruiting a heavy class again this year and that’s what they’re going to continue to do.”

Of Oubre’s play at the USA camp,’s Eric Bossi said: “Oubre has been absolutely torching the nets out here. Don’t think he’s missed tonight. He and (Rashad) Vaughn are gonna be filthy at Findlay.”

Added Evan Daniels of “My USA Basketball Camp MVP’s? Top 2014 performer? Kelly Oubre. Top 2015 Performer? Diamond Stone. Top 2016 performer? Jayson Tatum.” Earlier, Daniels wrote: “Oubre has been as impressive as any wing early on here at USA Bball. Has shot working. Not missing from three. Competing on both ends.”

Crazy visit for King: King McClure, a 6-3 junior shooting guard from Dallas’ Triple A Academy and the No. 14-rated player in the Class of 2015, told that Late Night in the Phog was “crazy. As soon as we walked in the arena, about 17,000 fans stood up and gave us an ovation. Man, that was just a crazy experience.

“I talked to Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins during my visit,” he added. “Both of those guys are pretty cool, and it was a real honor (talking to them).”

He is considering KU, Baylor, Florida, Indiana, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and others.

Cliff notes: No .4-ranked Cliff Alexander, a 6-8 senior forward from Chicago Curie High, wrapped up his official visit to KU on Sunday. “No interviews or quotes for the night I’m chillin,” Alexander tweeted Sunday.

Alexander is set to visit Memphis on Oct. 18 and Illinois on Oct. 26. He’s already visited Arizona and DePaul and still has Michigan State on his list.

Pope likes KU: No. 17-ranked Malik Pope, 6-8 senior small forward from Laguna Creek High in Elk Grove, Calif., who attended Late Night in the Phog as part of his official visit, tweeted, “Kansas is nice,” on Saturday. Pope, who also has Gonzaga, San Diego State, Arizona, Washington, USC, Oregon, UCLA and California on his list, recently broke his leg, the same leg he fractured last season.

Henry hits for 29: Former KU guard Xavier Henry is off to a great start in his attempt to make the Los Angeles Lakers roster.

The 22-year-old Henry scored 29 points off 9-of-15 shooting in the Lakers’ 104-95 exhibition victory over Golden State on Saturday at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. He hit two of four three-pointers and nine of 11 free throws with seven rebounds. Henry had 15 points, making four of eight shots and seven of nine free throws, on Sunday in a 97-88 preseason loss to Denver.

According to the L.A. Times, “the guard whose addition to the Lakers’ training camp roster didn’t cause much of a stir was a crowd favorite (Saturday) with several amazing plays, including an alley-oop pass on an inbounds play and a shot from beyond half court at the halftime buzzer.”

Henry, a free agent last offseason, averaged 4.5 points a game during his first three seasons in Memphis and New Orleans.

“I just never had that opportunity to really show what I can do,” Henry told the Times.

“His biggest thing is shot selection and getting confidence,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said, “and tonight he did that, and if he can continue to do that, he can play.”


J.T. Even 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Does anyone remember highly talented and highly ranked Withey and Robinson waiting their turns behind the Morris twins? Withey was a 5-star and Robinson was ranked in the 30's right? But they both waited til their junior and senior seasons to have breakout performances. The difference with the Morris twins and Oubre is that the Morris twins developed for two years while Oubre will be good enough to come in and play right away. One of either Greene or White will start at the other wing spot, and the other will still get serious minutes as a backup (maybe enough to average 20 minutes/game). The year later Greene will be a junior and White will be a senior and they will both have their time to shine.

If you are Greene and White you want Oubre to come. You get better playing against the best in practice. Isn't that how we turn out highly developed big men each and every year? Do you think either one of them are going to get better playing against lower ranked freshman? Plus you get more exposure when your team is better, and KU WILL be better with Oubre than with a freshman ranked 20-50.


soapisurfriend 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Kelly Oubre just tweeted "big news tomorrow!!!". You know what that means? It's Kansas.


Ralster Jayhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Watching Self's adaptation to all this new talent that is more floor-capable than most of his past teams is going to be interesting analytically, to say the least. We like what he has built over 10yrs, but the cornerstone of his W/L % has always been the "blended" team with top 30 talent mixed with developed-guys. And when top30 guys stayed for 2-3yrs, they became special players, usually--> as that formula produced top athletes who also became smart, efficient bball players. How quickly Self can harness the young guns to SelfBall ways will determine how consistent & good this team's ceiling will be. Self was quite critical when he joined Gurley in the broadcast booth to comment on the 1st half of the live scrimmage: "that was a poor shot. You wont see him taking that shot...maybe I should go down courtside and get the asst. coaches to burn a timeout. That's the worst defense Ive ever seen...". I dont think Self's deep-rooted coaching tendencies will allow him to deviate much from who he is and what he envisions his players doing. Expect same-ol', same-ol'... When Gurley joked that "I bet that gets a quick yank...", Self said "Yep". Bill will be Bill, which is totally fine with me.


Robert Brock 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I expect Ellis and Embiid to return.


Kent Wells 6 months, 2 weeks ago

If dude was feeling love, I suspect the ladies sporting the OSU sweatshirts were behind it (or in front of it).


William Blake 6 months, 2 weeks ago

We have to realize that CS is adjusting to the reality of college basketball today. OADs are a big part of that reality for blue blood programs. Moving forward, it will all be about maintain a few key players from the previous year to give a leadership role with steady play and surrounding them with potential OADs. I think the PG position is where you want to keep an experienced player (in most cases).

Wiggins bubble.... I'm sure some of the hype is carrying forward, however, the bubble was less about Wiggins and more about CS and the strategy he started a couple of years ago. Wiggins was late to sign... long after we already landed a great recruiting class. And moving forward, watch how many top recruits come here based on Coach Howard. I'm comfortable saying he will impact our program, especially from the Chicago area. We picked up Coach Howard specifically for his ability to recruit.

I'm confident CS adjusted his approach with top prospects over the past couple of years. Read Oubre's comments above. He isn't saying he was promised a starting nod, but he was given the impression he can shoe horn into the starting position left behind by Wiggins. When was the last time you heard a Kansas recruit say that? Uh...

Gone are the days when CS visited top recruits and made it a philosophical sales pitch about how tough it will be to earn minutes as a freshman. He's finally lightened his position on the role of freshmen. Thank you, BMac, for helping educate CS by proving freshmen can play a bigger role in the starting lineup. Thank you, Jayhawk Nation, for giving the love to BMac and a positive send off to the NBA. It all showed CS that we can have a positive outcome with OAD-type players. (I know, I know... BMac practiced for an extra year)

I might go up in flames over this next comment, but here goes... maybe we need to thank John Calipari for giving us the ultimate lesson two years ago by beating us in the NCAA Finals and was led by freshman-sensation, and POY, Anthony Davis. Could it be that this was what moved CS into changing his tune concerning OADs?

I have to admit I wasn't one of the first to embrace OAD players. I've learned a lesson, too.


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I want to make clear I am pro signing OADs as long as the rule lasts. I just want the rule eliminated and the players left free to choose.

I also think UK and KU will be OAD duopolists as long as Cal and Self stay put.


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I am very excited for Xavier. He has massive talent. He should be a huge star do LA if his health holds up.


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Dear online editors,

It was a good idea to separate the pro blogs from the amateur blogs.

But it was a bad idea not to keep a link for the latest amateur blog posts.


milehighhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I'd hate for the "Wiggins Bubble" to burst, 'cause then we'd be reduced to a pre-Wiggins state. A condition so unspeakably wretched and miserable, that the most-hyped recruit took pity upon us!

I prefer not to think of it as a bubble, but more of striking while the iron is red-hot.


ParisHawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks to jaybate and HEM for the kind words and thanks to all for some very interesting reading.

I wonder how most UK fans would react to our "fear" of too many OADs?

Less than a year ago Self couldn't recruit, now he recruits too well! Never heard that complaint about a coach before.

Seriously, your concerns are well founded: how do you reconcile the "program" philosophy with OAD recruiting? How do you keep faith with the 3-5 year players if OADs keep making them sit - especially if there is some guarantee of playing time to privileged recruits?

I think it's too early to say KU is changing philosophies. We are in the midst of a "bust/boom" cycle in recruiting: for a few years we got good but not great recruits, then all of a sudden we broke the bank. Are we going to keep our OAD momentum? Too early to tell.

Here's a limb I will go out on: Coach Self wants another banner and will not let "program" related scruples stand in his way. After 10 years in the same job, your goals get less long term.


Tony Bandle 6 months, 2 weeks ago


1] OADs may be considerd a curse by some of you basketball purists but as long as A} they are out there. B} other colleges grab them, C] they are critical for maintaining our share of college's elite competitive status, I say embrace the future and just win, baby!!

2] I somewhat disagree with the "Wiggins Bubble" concept. I think of it more as the 'Wiggins Reciprical" other words Andrew beget Cliff and Kelly. Cliff and Kelly beget Diamond, Jaysom, etc......maybe just more a matter of semantics.

3] Spoiler: NON BASKETBALL - At the current rate of improvement the Jayhawks Football Team will be bowl eligible by 2017...gosh, I hope I live that long!!

4] Just a suggestion to the KU AD DEPT,. maybe if you have thousands of fans standing outside Allen unable to see Late Night, maybe, just maybe, you could find a projector and at least broadcast the images on the side of the building. Just a thought!!

5] I have the perfect solution for line cutters getting into the game....station Soccer Moms along the attendance line and if anybody tries to cut in, let the ladies take care of them!!! Also, better have medical personnel standing by. :)

6] I vote for Kelly Oubre's Hair as the best style in the recruiting Class of 2014!!

7] Regarding the football game Saturday... I did like the first quarter and the red helmets. That was about it!!


BucknellJayhawk3 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Just for poops and giggles: projected picks are Wiggins #1, Selden #6, Embiid #8, and Ellis #18. So at most we have 5 scholarships to give (+ Tarik). I really hope we don't have to reload at 5 spots! But at the same time we're pretty good at losing our starting 5 and bouncing back strong...


Hawk8086 6 months, 2 weeks ago

These are all great points. I tend to agree that I would rather have the 3 and 4 year guys. But it's hard not to (as a coach and fan) desire to have the best talent. A mix of maybe 1 OAD, top level 2-4 year guys and role players would be ideal, but it's not that simple. It appears that we are in good shape to get at least 2 potential OADs this year. All of the recruits that are considering us are in this category. But.....who knows. If Self does not try to get at least a couple of these guys, we could compete for a NC next year if we only lost Wiggins and Black. The problem is we don't know what is going to happen to Selden and Embiid. I hate the rule that fosters the OAD, but of course I don't see it changing anytime soon since it benefits the NBA.


namohcan_99 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I am guessing we'll be recruiting 3 or 4 players in this next recruiting class. Getting Oubre to commit now to us would be huge. Would be nice to have our class figured out early, too. Might happen that way this year.


BucknellJayhawk3 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Would love to have Oubre at KU but he's got two who have been waiting for playing time in Jr. AW3 and Soph. Greene. If he’s talented enough he’ll come in and take it and things will be hunky dory.

I hope we land another good big for this class, so at least by soph season when Ellis/Embiid leave (if not before) he’ll be groomed for some big minutes.

While we have the Wiggins bubble, I imagine it’s a clusterbeep at Kentucky- how many of those guys will go to the draft? How many scholarships will they have available? How will recruits know where they can find playing time until the draft entry deadline?


REHawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey, jaybate, LJW has stripped the color from my icon. Or perhaps I have done so, unwittingly. How do I restore?


REHawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Cliff, I like your poise. Until I could get a take on the June situation re Embiid and Ellis, I might be just chillin', too. (Or the recruiting situation re Okafor.)


wrwlumpy 6 months, 2 weeks ago

For a superstar like Wiggins, more millions will come from Adidas than his first contract. Until the second contract, the big bucks will come from the shoes and the clothes and the car companies and the Vodka ad and the new spokesman for Haines.


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Post script to Paris: how long this will go will probably depend mostly on how much and how long Adidas needs to spike sales state side to off set the Euro slump and satisfy their most aggressive shareholders. It kind of appears there was some kind of linkage between KU being a good teammate to Adidas and AWigs signing. Not saying anything illegal happened. Just saying that within the rules as currently interpreted by the NCAA, there appears room for ShoeCos to vary unwritten downstream shoe contract expectations and so variably valve where the top 5 or so players go any given year. In certain cases, in order to preserve both members of the SHOECO duopoly, a Nike guy is incentivized through expectations to go Adidas and vice versa. This implies some "co-opetition" (both cooperating and competing) among oligopolists Nike and Adidas, which fits the oligopolistic competition model of contempo economic rationalizations by scholars keeping their grant bread abundantly buttered. The implication is: once Adidas has been helped to bridge through its crisis, the status quo of Nike getting the top guy restores. In this model, KU Competes for all recruits, but SHOECO duopoly dynamics trigger who actually get the top guy.


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Paris, great take. Self has hinted at the possibility of this phenomenon you describe so well. Either way things go, there is going to be some adjusting to do!

Ad Astra per Aspera!


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Now we know recruits, not players.

Now our relationship is longer with recruits than with players.

Now we will have and

Now we will hang jerseys of the best we ever recruited, whether they came to KU, or not.

Now our recruits will never play for us.

We will just cheer them for what they might have done.

There will be reunions of teams that never were.

Jerseys never worn will be retired.

Guys that never played here will retire here.

Thanks for the virtual memories.

It's a Philip K. Dick kind of game now.

The sport is now recruiting.


Sean Doherty 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I noticed a trend. Just a hunch, but here it goes:

According to ESPN recruiting rankings: KU has a great shot at fetching everything at the top:

Jahlil Okafor: #1 C Cliff Alexander: #1 PF Tyus Jones: #1 PG Rashad Vaughn: #2 SG Kelly Oubre: #3 SF

This is possible. So possible in fact that some KU players may redshirt or transfer in 2014


Sean Doherty 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Cliff Alexander is tired of answering questions that aren't relevant to his situation. He already KNOWS where he is going. But if he told the world where he intends to play now, he wouldn't get free trips to visit Memphis, Illinois, Michigan State, and whatever else might pop up before the end of the signing period. Wakey wakey people, eggs and backey! Cliff is in it to win it with KU.


Adam Tyler 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Kelly Oubre and Myles Turner = my dream scenario for the 2014 recruiting class.

Cliff Alexander not thrilled with the visit? Or simply likes to keep things to himself and reveal little?


Scott MacWilliams 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Can somebody please explain how these 'prep schools' work? Are the players parents forking out big $$ to send them there? I guess they are certified for their educational parts to make sure players qualify academically, but are they getting much beyond the basics, with lots of hoops training taking up the rest of their time?

I have friends whose daughter was a pretty good HS player, and they wanted her to get a D1 scholarship if possible. To that end they sent her to a LOT of summer hoops camps, at considerable expense, to boost her skills. She got a small college schollie, so I guess their investment paid off, but they had the $$ to spend to start with. How are these kids from poorer families getting their extra camps and prep schools paid for? Seems like a way for some shady dealings to happen, someone taking advantage of the kids in need.

Anyone with more detailed back story here?


Doug Cramer 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Ol Xavier - makes you wonder how much further along he would be if he hadn't left so early.


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