Wednesday, September 4, 2013

KU target Okafor keeps top ranking


Chicago big man Jahlil Okafor, who will be visiting Kansas University the weekend of Oct. 18-20, maintained his No. 1 national high school basketball ranking on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-11, 270-pound senior from Whitney Young High, “has long arms and is one of the most skilled low post players that the high school ranks have produced in the last 10 years,” wrote analyst Eric Bossi, who has updated the rankings following the end of the summer AAU season.

“Even with players hanging all over him and refs allowing opponents to hack him, Okafor is a reliable scorer who has counter moves, soft touch and an ever-expanding faceup game. He rebounds, has learned to hedge and defend in space during screen situations and continues to improve his body,” Bossi added.

Okafor, who visited Baylor last weekend, will visit Kentucky this weekend, Arizona on Oct. 11, KU on Oct. 18 and Duke on Oct. 25. He also has Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State on his list. Point guard Tyus Jones of Apple Valley (Minn.) High, who likely will go to the same school as Okafor, dropped three slots from No. 2 to No. 5. He visited Baylor with Okafor and will also accompany him to KU and Duke. He’ll visit Kentucky on his own at the end of September. He has made an unofficial visit to Minnesota.

Recent SMU commit Emmanuel Mudiay, 6-5 from Dallas’ Prime Prep Academy, formerly ranked No. 3, is the new No. 2. Stanley Johnson, 6-6, from Mater Dei in Santa Ana, Calif., who will visit KU at a yet-to-be-determined date, improved from No. 8 to No. 3. He is considering KU, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA and USC, with Kentucky and ’Zona considered the favorites.

KU targets Cliff Alexander (6-8, Chicago Curie, considering KU, DePaul, Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky Louisville, Memphis, Michigan State), Myles Turner (6-11, Euless, Texas, considering KU, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma State) and Rashad Vaughn (6-5, Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev., considering KU, North Carolina, UCLA, UNLV, Kentucky, Minnesota, Iowa State, others) remained at Nos. 4, 6 and 7 respectively.

Justise Winslow (6-6, Houston St. John) jumped from No. 16 to No. 9. He is considering KU, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Arizona, UCLA and Stanford.

Kelly Oubre, 6-7 from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., who is considering KU, Florida, Kentucky, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, UConn and UNLV jumped from No. 19 to 12. Malik Pope, 6-8, Laguna Creek High, Elk Grove, Calif., fell from No. 14 to 17. Pope is considering KU, San Diego State, Arizona, Washington, USC, Gonzaga, Oregon, UCLA and Cal.

Jordan McLaughlin, 5-11 from Etiwanda (Calif.) High remained No. 43. He is considering KU, S.D. State, USC, Gonzaga, UCLA and others. Payton Dastrup, 6-9 from Mountain View High in Mesa, Ariz., is No. 100, falling from 77. He is considering KU, St. John’s, Duke, N.C. State, Arizona, BYU, Florida and others.

Alexander, Turner, Oubre, McLaughlin and Dastrup will visit KU for the Oct. 4 Late Night in the Phog. Vaughn and Pope have yet to set their visit dates.


Joe Baker 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Anything is possible and there is time. It's going to fun.


William Blake 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"Is hard to imagine an NCAA Tourney game this season w/o 8 Jayhawk players gleaning significant minutes."

I don't see how we could ever dip below 8. Typically, young players don't have the endurance in big games and need some rest. And... if we have some 'freshmanitis' during the season, we will surely have it in post-season, so we have to have experienced options at every position to compensate for any players melting down... including the non-freshmen!

I foresee something unique this year for CS.... I call it a 8-2 rotation. 8 players will be in a solid rotation receiving plenty of minutes. 2 players will receive less minutes but still some vital minutes, not just mop-up minutes.

If he doesn't do something like this, we may lose someone to a transfer who will have already had a year of Selfball and who would play a bigger impact next year. I don't see how we can not give any vital minutes to the top 10 players on this team.

Who knows... he may even bring a 8-4 rotation. There are 12 solid players on this team who deserve some minutes.


REHawk 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Is hard to imagine an NCAA Tourney game this season w/o 8 Jayhawk players gleaning significant minutes. But if freshmanitis strikes late in the season, Bill Self might again rely on only 6 or 7 dependable performers. He is a master at probing and patching. Fortunately, barring injury we have a bevy of unique talent for him to experiment with this year. Gotta hope that the pre-Tournament season is long enough for the pieces to come together.


REHawk 7 months, 2 weeks ago

No hoops posts Sept. 5, 6, 7, 8? Since raggers have pretty well driven Keegs from this site, we are bereft of articles. But for the ramblings of key posters we might as well resign ourselves to sitting back in front of the tv, watching reruns of last year's games. I watched us come back vs. Roy's all-americans in the Tournament last night. Withey was a real game changer.


Jay Dogger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This sucks. Braeden Anderson, who was recruited at the same time as Traylor and also didn't qualify but transfered instead, was involved in a very serious car accident.


Jay Dogger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

As for our OAD issue... I have no statistical proof--maybe someone else does--but it just seems like more guys are jumping to the pros after one year. Am I right?

It's not that Self is going after more OAD-type guys, or even that he's landing them moer often; it's that more seem to go to the NBA as soon as it's possible for them to do so.

Embiid and Selden may make the leap next year but they don't seem like the type of recruit that would have done so five years ago.

If this is indeed happening it will become more obvious in the coming few years. I think it's a bad trend for hoops but there's not much that can be done unless the NBA and NBAPA decide to make a change. Otherwise the economic reality is millions of dollars (or at least mid-six figures) vs. college scholarship.


BucknellJayhawk3 7 months, 2 weeks ago

People seem pretty high on Landen Lucas getting some (not a lot) of playing time. Sure he's been in the system for a year but is there any reason to think he'll get more than mop up minutes with a few of the other players getting more acclaim from Self?


Jack Wilson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm going to follow up on slayr's post and focus on one player -- Andrew White. jb predicts no real PT for AW3. Many posters have predicted a redshirt. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to believe that he may be the odd man out. Now, and perhaps most importantly, in the future. He was plainly recruited over when Self snagged Wiggins.

Now, yesterday, I read an article about Kelly Oubre (link below). Self is apparently selling Oubre on the idea that he can come in and take the 3 spot for 2014 since Wiggins will turn pro. The article suggests it's KU or UK for Oubre, with KU the leader. White can't play the 2 .. he's really a 3 only. Not good for White.

White could not find the floor regularly last season, despite catching praise from Self after some good efforts like vs. Belmont and Ok. St., and despite being probably our best scorer in the four Europe games.

Self commented in an article that it was because he was not a strong ballhandler. Perhaps it was defense related. I mentioned that White seems like kind of a plodder .. meaning, he does not move smoothly and athletically. Kind of flat footed. He doesn't seem to slide and move effortlessly. And he's not quick. But fact is fact, regardless of the reason. He didn't play.

Self has commented on multiple players over the summer. Noticeably absent from the comments was White. Perhaps that doesn't mean anything. And White didn't play in the red/blue scrimmages earlier in the summer (knee). His reputation is that of a shooter, but now we have other shooting options -- Greene and Frankamp. And that's where the rubber meets the road here. What else does White really bring to the table?

If Greene or Frankamp is better at other phases of the game, White won't play much. If White is in disfavor with coach Self, as it appears, he won't play much.

I would have believed that after the Wiggins signing, essentially giving him the spot many assumed White would inherit, and if there was skepticism by Self with White to a great degree, then White would have understood that and transferred. White didn't transfer.

It's weird how things work out. Look at the Tharpe. This time last season there was a lot of skepticism on his role. Many were annointing Adams as the next guy, behind EJ. Heck, Self made it clear in late November that Tharpe had better pick it up or there would be changes. Guess what? Tharpe answered the challenge.

AW3's back seems to be against the wall here -- at least it seems that way.

I think the AW3 storyline, together with the backup PG battle, are the two most interesting developments to watch.


jaybate 7 months, 2 weeks ago

@ slayr

Black VS Embiid? Black for 5, Joel for 5, Landen for 5, Black for 5. Repeat.

How good will Ellis be this year and will he stick around after March? 15 ppg. As a tweeter like Battier he will stay three.

Should we run more full court pressure this year? Yes, with lots of green defenders it is better to play more defense farther from the iron so our mistakes happen farther away.

Who, if any, will redshirt?


How many losses will we have this year? 6-8

March predictions?

Deep run. Ring if no injuries.

How many ppg for.... Wiggins (15), Frankamp, Ellis (15), Greene, Tharpe (8), Embiid, Soldon (joke) (10), Black...(10)?

How will lead us in rebounds this year? Black Assists? Tharpe TOs? Tharpe Blocks? Embiid Points? Ellis and Wiggins toss up

What players fit in your top 8 rotation?

Tharpe, Selden, Wiggins, Ellis, Black, Mason, Embiid, Traylor

What team will beat us first? The first good team we play.

How many losses in B12 this year? 3

Will AW3 win some PT this year? No

Frank Mason... is he really as good as CS claims? Yes

Will Jamari bring offense this year? No

Will Landen Lucas see the court? Yes

How long will Howard remain on our coaching staff? 2 years if we win big, 4 if not

How long will Self remain as our head coach? 6

Any and all comments help pass time until tip is the best way to pass time till tip off


Evan Bilyeu 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I feel like AWlll, Jamari Traylor, and Landen Lucas are going to have a breakout year after this year.


William Blake 7 months, 2 weeks ago

All good posts on what level of players we recruit.

Great job, all!

The educated chats are helping me pass days until it's time.

What should we talk about next?

Black VS Embiid?

How good will Ellis be this year and will he stick around after March?

Should we run more full court pressure this year?

Who, if any, will redshirt?

How many losses will we have this year?

March predictions?

How many ppg for.... Wiggins, Frankamp, Ellis, Greene, Tharpe, Embiid, Soldon (joke), Black...?

How will lead us in rebounds this year? Assists? TOs? Blocks? Points?

What players fit in your top 8 rotation?

What team will beat us first?

How many losses in B12 this year?

Will AW3 win some PT this year?

Frank Mason... is he really as good as CS claims?

Will Jamari bring offense this year?

Will Landen Lucas see the court?

How long will Howard remain on our coaching staff?

How long will Self remain as our head coach?

Any and all comments help pass time until tip off....


joeloveshawks 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I disagree with posts above that you should go after kids ranked in the 15-60 range. KU should go after the best players as every other program does. Sometimes you will get a OAD or 2 but for the most part even high recruits stick around. Also, the rankings are a crap shoot. B Mac was not supposed to be nearly as good as he was. Look at Trey Burke. He was not even in the top 100. Then you have guys like Harrison Barnes and Austin Rivers and Selby who don't really have #1 recruit type impacts on college b ball. Then you have Melo, Durant, Anthony Davis type players who live up to the hype. My point is that you never know so Self should go after the best players and the players he thinks will best fit what he needs. He will make it work with the players he gets no matter where they are ranked.


jaybate 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Recruiting Prediction:

If Andrew Wiggins starts and plays well, Self will get one 5-star.

If Andrew Wiggins also leads the team in scoring, Self will get two 5-stars.

If Andrew Wiggins also leads the team to a ring, Self will get three 5-stars.

If Andrew Wiggins also is the Number One draft choice, Self will get four 5-stars.

If Adidas remains committed to increasing market share, Self will sign the number one ranked recruit.



jaybate 7 months, 2 weeks ago


~Those with low self-esteem love the nickname: Failor.

~Pious law-and-order types like the motto on Waco cop cars: "In God We Bust."

~Those without NBA dreams like the graffiti on the bridge at the center of Waco--"bridge from nowhere, bridge to nowhere."

~like the smarmy way Kenneth Starr "develops Bush's base."

~like the smarmy way Scott Drew recruits Homer's base.

~after Scott introduces himself as Homer and welcomes recruits to Valpo for the tenth straight time, they don't realize they are signing with Baylor in Waco.

~find Waco easier to spell in letters home.

~hope to get a piece of the defense contracting as alums.

~like the school motto: "dullness is next to godliness."

~haven't heard there is less sex at Baylor than BYU.

~want to be part of the whole retro-Branch Davidian thing.

~Can't ever have too many Hamiltons.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)


Tony Bandle 7 months, 2 weeks ago

One week in October of 2011, I spent a year in Waco..or so it seemed!!

There must be a city ordinance that banned trees, shrubs, flowers and vines.

The wind is hot and blows from all directions at once.

Everything you order to eat comes with gravy including pancakes, ice cream and pizza!!

There are two religions that dominate the town..The Baptist and High School Football, not necessarily in that order!!

When I was there, there must have been a convention of beautiful girls......too bad that it was in Dallas!!


Konkis Dongington III 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I think if we get just one top 20 guy and nothing else, it's going to have been a good recruiting year, especially if we get a top 5/10 like Alexander or Turner (provided Selden and Embiid don't OAD). As it is, our roster is crazy deep and we'd still be in top 5 territory with a team featuring seasoned versions of Tharpe, Frankamp, Mason, Selden, AW3, Greene, Ellis, Embiid, Mickleson, Traylor, and Lucas in 2014-15. If Selden and Embiid both OAD, we'd still be pretty good with Tharpe, Frankamp, Mason, AW3, Ellis, Mickleson, Traylor, and Lucas, but our rotations would probably be a lot tighter and our depth would be weaker (a la 2012). I'm betting our next big haul will be in 2015 by which time all of Tharpe, Ellis, Selden, and Embiid will be gone, with Greene and AW3 potentially being done as well.

Holding out no real hope of landing the Jones/Okafor duo, my dream haul for this season would be Alexander, Turner, and Oubre with Wigs, Selden, and Embiid all proving to be OADs (and a NC to boot). Odds are we'll be more favored to win in 2015 than we are today whether we add a bunch of blue chips or just one since we've got so much depth right now.


Chris1955 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Baylor has a nice campus and pretty coeds. Waco and Baylor get along about as well as Duke and Durham.

Ku has a nice campus, pretty coeds, and Lawrence. Lawrence is the trump card. My wife and I plan to retire in Lawrence in about 10 years.


jayhawkintexas 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Like Willie Nelson said--if I had a week to live, I would live in Waco because then it would seem like 6 months.

Waco is okay but it is not the garden spot of Texas.


JayhawkRock78 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I've been on Baylor's campus more than once. It is nice. They also have more women then men enrolled. Also, I think Drew can recruit. Why anyone would choose Baylor over KU is beyond me unless a Texas kid wants to play close to home. That makes sense. I don't believe the money theory.


Hawk8086 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Agreed. Also as Jhox said above, Wiggins going #1 would also help our future recruiting of potential OADs. With the highest ranked recruits (X and Selby) not meeting the "experts" expectations (yes, I believe that X did very well in his one year here) i.e. going top 5 in the draft, many recruits, AAU coaches, and rival coaches will be watching closely to see how Wiggins performs and ultimately how high he is drafted. How this plays out could very much affect future recruiting. Again, I don't want to become a Kentucky (and I don't think that will happen), but a good mix of top recruits, next level recruits, and role players is a mix that Self will always mold into a team with a chance to win a NC.


Tony Bandle 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Regarding Jahill and Tyus, all things being equal, we have one very important plus that our rivals do not Coach Jerrance Howard.

I have a very good friend and reliable source who lives in Chicago and follows the high school basketball scene religiously. He says Terrance is "The Main Man" as far as the coaches in that city are concerned.

He has tremendous credibility, exposure and .strong ties to the kids in a basketball area that is almost limitless in talent. His hiring at KU will be a dramatic turning point in an already elite program.

My friend said simply, "You Jayhawks don't know it yet but I think you just hired Bill's future successor!!!".


Robert Brock 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Alexander and Oubre. Maybe Myles Turner. That would be a good haul.


Kevin Huffman 7 months, 2 weeks ago

In a perfect world we land recruits Nos. 1, 2 & 5 (J. Okafor, S. Johnson & Ty. Jones).

Chances are far greater that we land none of those and instead land something like

Cl. Alexander (even if Embiid were to stay could equally split mins. w/ him & Perry as well) & M. Pope (notice how we're the only real non-West Coast team in on him but all indications from his camp is that it's LEGITIMATE interest - - - others may have backed off w/ injury, but hearing good things about his recovery)....maybe 80th or so ranked Al. Robinson or Juco Jeff Newberry.

More realistic high end that we could hope for would be Cl. Alexander, Oubre & Turner or Cl. Alexander, McLaughlin & Turner.


Kevin Huffman 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Seems weird how much higher ESPN rankings has McLaughlin (like Top 25) compared to Rivals (barely Top 45).


joeloveshawks 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I have always followed recruiting very very closely and I always will but I'm struggling to get as into it this year. I think the circus that was last years recruitment took it out of me. First I really truly thought we would land Julius Randle, then I got so tired of hearing how UK had the best class of all time and how Jabari Parker was the perfect fit for Duke and how Wiggins was either going to join UK or follow in his parents footsteps at FSU. Then the wonderful day came when Andrew Wiggins, the most hyped recruit of the decade decided to come to Lawrence and join what was already a fantastic class. I'm still recovering!


Hawk8086 7 months, 2 weeks ago

It is good that we are in on so many top players. Clearly, Kentucky will get their least they don't have room for all of the guys who have them on their list. A fair number of these top players, as usual, will wait until the spring to see who is going and staying. We have a lot of uncertainty...... Selden, Embiid, and maybe also Ellis (I hope not) as to who stays which will potentially affect who wants to come aboard.


selfhimbill 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Though I’m ignorant of who William Macy is, I still found humorous imaging some actor standing arms crossed, hands grabbing the sides of slightly ill-fitting threads and pouting his perfumed gob in his perpetual state of frustration muttering, “Why must you always pick on me Bill, I’m a coach too”?


Ken Sedgwick 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Plan B, recruit Embiid, and Selden for a second year. Cliff , and Greene at the 3.


jaybate 7 months, 2 weeks ago

• Good! Stanley Johnson is still coming for a visit. Brock had me worried.

• Brock, Converse has announced a Simpson Model shoe line. Meh. Maybe Roger can comp you a pair! :-)

• Too bad Tarik and Okafor can't play together for a season: the Richter scale twins.

• "Fifty Shades of Mauve" will be filmed in Manhattan and star William Macy as a Bruce Weber like coach that falls into a soft core S&M relationship with his dominant weight coach to "work through" his feeling about a coach at a neighboring school that keeps beating him. (Note: this is a joke.)

• Rumor: Adidas teams under .500 will be asked to wear new see-through uniforms "to move the merchandise." (Not really.)

• Self is encouraging Conner Frankamp to shoot on all defensive rebounds, from where he grabs them! (Not really)

• Travis Ford will be given a box to stand on to coach this season. (Just joking, Napoleon)

• Rumor: Tarik Black will play some XTReme point against Okie State's Marcus Smart. (I can dream, can't I?)


Steve Zimmerman 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Okafor is a weak #1. Cliff 'the Great' Alexander should move to #1. He can grow a couple more inches to play C, too.


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