Bill Self — who has covered the entire country, signing players from both coasts, the North, South and Midwest in his 11 years at Kansas University — has corralled four scholarship players from the great state of Texas.
They are: Darrell Arthur, instrumental to the Jayhawks’ 2008 NCAA championship run; juco guard Tyrone Appleton who played sparingly in one season; Zach Peters who was in Lawrence one semester before leaving because of concussion problems; and this week’s commit, Kelly Oubre of Richmond.
“I think it can only help them (KU coaches). Getting a guy of Kelly’s caliber and name he brings from the state of Texas I think only will attract other people up there,” said Tim Schumacher, head coach of Oubre’s Houston Hoops AAU team. “Kelly has put himself on the national radar scene, not just the state of Texas,” Schumacher added of Rivals.com’s No. 12-rated player nationally.
Schumacher was thrilled this Tuesday to learn Oubre, an athletic 6-foot-7, 200-pound shooting guard/small forward out of Richmond’s Bush High (now at Nevada’s Findlay Prep) had committed to the Jayhawks over Kentucky and Florida.
“Either coach (Norm) Roberts or coach Self or somebody from their staff were pretty much at every one of our games. They did a great job recruiting him,” Schumacher said.
“It was a place, being from Houston and the Big 12, I think Kelly was really excited about from the start based on the success their program has had and just the impact coach Self is having on all the players.”
Oubre — he averaged 22.7 points a game his junior year at Bush High — played on a star-studded AAU team that also included North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, SMU’s Keith Frazier and LSU’s Brian Bridgewater.
“Kelly played with our Houston Hoops organization the last two years. From where he was as a junior last year in high school coming to us in the spring to where he is now ... Kelly has worked hard, put his nose to the grind and decided he wanted to be a great player,” Schumacher said. “He’s had a tremendous last couple years. He’s grown up. I think his ceiling is off the charts. He’s going to continue to improve when he gets to KU.”
Schumacher said he expects to see Oubre in this year’s McDonald’s All-America game, like last year’s All-American, Frazier.
“He is very difficult to defend because of his size and athleticism,” Schumacher said of Oubre. “The way he shoots the three and his ability to get in the lane and finish at the rim make him difficult to defend. I imagine they’ll play him on the wing just like we did, kind of let him go and expect him to put up some big numbers.”
What about Wesley?: KU’s Justin Wesley is a KU senior forward from Fort Worth, Texas. He arrived as a non-scholarship walk-on, though he was on scholarship at times during his KU career. His brother, Keith Langford, was a KU standout from Fort Worth, signed by Roy Williams. He played two years for Williams and two for Self.
Pope picks SDSU: Malik Pope, a 6-8 senior forward from Laguna Creek High in Elk Grove, Calif., orally committed to San Diego State on Wednesday. He attended Friday’s Late Night in the Phog. Ranked No. 17 nationally, he is believed to be the highest-rated signee in SDSU history. He’s currently out with a broken bone in his leg.
S.I. cover: KU’s Andrew Wiggins is on this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline: “The Freshman.”
The subheadline reads “From Wilt to Manning to Wiggins; A Torch Is Passed at Kansas.”
To see the cover photo, click here.