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.


Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 7 months 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.

REHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Put the dagger away. Why rip the most highly rated big man to visit KU in the Bill Self era? The word WEAK is laughable in regard to Okafor. The kid is a stud.

wrwlumpy 7 years, 7 months ago

Cover of Lindy Basketball - Naadir will be the one with the keys to the Lambro.

Alec White 7 years, 7 months ago

I really like the look. I understand the sentiment for the classic uniform, but these are undeniably sharp. They also have a small Jayhawk on the right hip. Can't wait to see what the road and alternates look like.

Benz Junque 7 years, 7 months ago

That's oofy. Okafor is a stud and would be a huge "get". I still think that the package deal of Jones and Okafor is not a done deal. I could see Okafor coming to KU and Jones to Duke. Jones isn't coming to KU because he would be behind senior Tharpe. Even if he can beat him out for the starting job it would cause a problem on the team. Jones is Duke-bound most likely.

I CAN still see Okafor striking out on his own and coming to KU. Self's system is perfect for him and Hudy and staff would have him primed for the NBA in his one season. We'll see...

That said, give us Cliff and I am a happy man. He is a beast.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months 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?)

Robert Brock 7 years, 7 months ago

Nice to have Johnson visit. Doesn't hurt for him to have a look around.

Ken Sedgwick 7 years, 7 months ago

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

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Have you ever been to Waco, Tx ?

aka Paradise.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

Paradise and Texas are mutually exclusive...

Just kidding. San Antonio is one of my favorite places and I spent time at the CG Base in Brownsville. Best of all is spring break at S.Padre 79 and 81 anyways.

Glen Miller 7 years, 7 months ago

It's a little thing called money. They don't have an amazing campus, nice court, top notch training facilities, a good coach or anything else to offer. It has to be money. I just don't see any other reason a top recruit would go there. They will be worse players when they leave.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 7 months ago

Do you seriously believe that the Baylor's and Kentucky's are giving these kids money? Sure it's a convenient gripe for all of us, but seriously, an 18 year old is offered money to come there and no one knows about it? His brother would know about it, his posse would know about it, his girlfriend would know about it. Or a recruit offered money by Baylor doesn't go there and snitches on them because they're dirty.

I'd much rather believe that Drew and Cal are just masterful recruiters. It is possible you know.

jhox 7 years, 7 months ago!/entry/anthony-davis-chicago-suntimes-kentucky-response,508d67f5d7fc7b567036a78d

Above is just one article about a Chicago Sun Times story that got buried after UK and Anthony Davis' threatened to sue if they didn't retract. They didn't retract, but did pull the article. UK didn't sue when the paper refused to retract. Wonder why?

If you look hard you can probably still find copies of the article. I posted a link once and The Journal World staff promptly deleted the post, obviously wanting no part of it.

It's naive to think some of these top guys don't get paid, but likely the money comes via boosters, not directly from coaches.

I think it is much more plausible to suspect Baylor cheats to get the guys they get, than Kentucky. They don't have the tradition, the facilities or the coach to be landing those level of players.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 7 months ago

I remember the AD story in the Suntimes. I think it's human nature for us, even coaches to whisper. My point is still the same. It takes a lot of people being quiet about something under the table, especially the friends and family of an 18 year old who are probably young themselves. Baylor's been getting studs for close to a decade now. If it was happening, someone would have spilled the beans.

Of course maybe it is the uniforms!

TheBoHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I think you're a bit naive bud. I'm not saying UK or Baylor's paying anyone.. but to presume that a recruit is dumb enough to go out and blab to no end and flash the $$ made from accepting the bribe, therefore knowingly disqualifying him from participating in the sport and ruining his reputation...why, I wouldn't presume that at all.

jhox 7 years, 7 months ago

Maybe it's the tennis ball yellow uniforms?

Coaches do whisper the same questions you're posing, and not many of them like or respect Drew, if that tells you anything.

TheBoHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Drew is deff. not well liked. He seems a bit weasley...and not in a J.K Rowling sort of way.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Hypothesis: everyone is paying players, but a few are paying 5-10 times the going rate to build up their reputation, or to rebuild it after a down period triggered by prior sanctions.

This hypothesis would lead to a situation where everyone would know and no one would make direct, attributable allegations. Those that pay several times the going rate would tolerated for awhile as entrepreneurs then expected to return to the normal pay scale, or suffer anonymous tips starting from many programs and the NCAA would take these tips as tacit approval to try to take down the egregious offender for the good of the cartel, er, NCAA D1.

This sort of regime would occasionally result in the egregious offender countering the anonymous leaks of various programs with anonymous counter leaking to non NCAA bodies, like DOJ and IRS. The counter leaks would be targeted at the top programs the NCAA can least afford to sanction.

After a

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 7 months ago

Teddy Bears. Everybody loves Teddy Bears man! I mean who wouldn't want their mascot to be a Teddy Bear?

Hawk8086 7 years, 7 months ago

Evidently, Drew is a good (or slick) salesman. It is surprising that he continues to recruit well even though his teams have underperformed given the talent that they have had. They have occassionally performed at expected levels for very short periods during (a few big wins, some good tournament wins, NIT) the last few seasons. He has been succesfful at getting some of the top Texas players, which then helps him attract talent from other parts of the country.

texashawk10 7 years, 7 months ago

Baylor performs at or near expectations every other year right now so look for Baylor to be a top 15 team most of this year, but unable to overcome Kansas or OK State on the court.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

Baylor performs at or near expectations every other year? Top 15? Wow! They've made the NCAA tourney 3 times since 1988 despite having stellar recruiting years.

Guess the expectations were pretty low.

Dale Stringer 7 years, 7 months ago

Because it is half way between Austin and Dallas. One hour to great party spots without having to live there. And the anonymity of being a Baylor player, it’s easier to give the girls a fake name and not find out who you really are.

TheBoHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah...that campus is better than steak flavored money... Have you guys seen the plans for the new Baylor Stadium?!? will easily be the coolest Stadium in the Country..setting and architecture wise.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

So: our mission is to build basketball housing better than bacon flavored gold? :-)

Benz Junque 7 years, 7 months ago

Baylor is always in the mix because A) their slime ball coach will LIE about anything to tell these kids and their parents what they want to hear and B) he plays the religion card of his Baptist University well to the moms of a lot of southern recruits.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

Good question, why would anyone choose Baylor? It makes no sense. With all the top recruits that have played at Baylor only three times since 1988 have they even made the NCAA tournament.

A good coach can do a lot with marginal talent but great talent will only go so far with a marginal coach.

I would expect this year to be no different. High expectations, dismal results. I can't see how anyone would place them to finish in the top 25. History has proven Baylor to be one of the most underachieving teams in the NCAA.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

I would agree with that .. but with our "roadblocks" for top guys, he could be someone in the next tier of big guys that could end up being a fallback consideration (and he wasn't mentioned in the article). Much like Dastrup.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

Good call. We just need to get rid of our roadkill..err roadblocks to make room for a kid who lists 18 teams that he is interested in.

Even if both Ellis and Embiid were to leave, we shouldn't forget that Greene, Traylor Mickelson and Lucas will already have plenty of experience in HCBS's system.

Worst scenario: Ellis, Embiid, Wiggins, and Selden all leave and we sign nobody.

Tharpe/Mason at PG, White/Connor at SG, Greene/White on the wing, Traylor/Greene PF and Lucas/Mickelson at C. Eight players rotation with 2 reserves on the bench. It's still a pretty good team.

I think the 2015 recruiting class is more crucial than the 2014 although we obviously need to sign at least 2-3 players. Only 2 top 10 players have committed but 55 of the top 100 have committed with UNC's signing three from the top 25. Self always seems to do his best work near the end of the signing period.

Cliff Alexander should be our #1 target. He would do more to fill in for the loss of Wiggins and Selden. I think Ellis and Embiid stay the next two years.

selfhimbill 7 years, 7 months 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”?

Hawk8086 7 years, 7 months 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.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

We'll sign Alexander and Oubre, two versatile players who will contribute early. We have a decent shot at Okafor as UK has already signed a top 10 center but a lot depends on Embiid.

We will be fine. Better than fine.

joeloveshawks 7 years, 7 months 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!

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 7 months ago

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

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 7 months 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.

jhox 7 years, 7 months ago

UK will have a lot of top 20 type recruits not seeing much court time this year. That will not help them recruiting next year's bumper crop. That fact should help KU.

Robert Brock 7 years, 7 months ago

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

Tony Bandle 7 years, 7 months 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!!!".

jhox 7 years, 7 months ago

Wiggins going 1 overall in the draft, as expected, would be a big boost too. Kids will be watching. Also, it would be great to have a new basketball dorm like they built at UK.

Dirtyphog 7 years, 7 months ago

That's my biggest beef with ku.. When we are pouring all this money into our athletics why can't we spring a few bucks to redo jayhawk towers.. It easy to sell ku to recruits but then you take them to check out where they will be living and it's all old nasty furniture in an old 70s building. I've been in them and they are pretty nasty..I'm glad someone else mentioned it because I've been wanting to vent about my frustration.. Ku is the only other school in the big 12 with over a billion endowment, use it!

Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 7 months ago

References from the year 1975 make me feel as if I'm not alone on this board.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 7 months ago

I know Jerrance has a great reputation, but he didn't recruit Chicago very well while he was at Illinois. If he was the Main Man the Illini would have had more success recruiting the city. But they didn't. Of course Webber had something to do with that as well.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 7 months ago

I think you answered your own question and I totally agree...Bruce Weber was more than just an inadequate replacement for Bill Self..he ended up being a detriment to the Illini program. Just watch KSU the next couple of seasons....if he lasts that long.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Despite being a charter member of, I must remind folks that Weber was once considered a very good recruiter of "inner city kids" at Purdue.

That being said, he is still the unofficial interim head coach of the Mauve Melancholics.

Evan Bilyeu 7 years, 7 months ago

Well for one thing he was coaching at a lower D1 school. He is coaching at a blue blood school now.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Weird .. I tried to post this below Oak's post above, thus the "delete post" above when I tried it again. And it didn't work again. So below is following up on the posts of Oak and slayr above:

It seems to me that 2014 will say a lot about KU recruiting. Status quo would be that we don't land any presumed OADs for whatever reasons .. roadblocks on our roster, other preferred destinations, etc. We might get a lower ranked big guy. That it is certainly what I expect. Makes sense given history.

But if we get a commitment from one of the top 10 bigs (Alexander, Okafer, Myles), particularly if he commits before we know what's happening with potential roadblocks (Ellis and Embiid), that would signal to me a significant change in the recruiting landscape.

Heck, if we get any presumed OAD from the 2014 class, things are a changin'

BucknellJayhawk3 7 years, 7 months ago

I think you're right that 2014 will be a big year for recruiting, mostly to see if we can keep the momentum going. I'm sure Self will always get us a top 20 recruiting class, but a top 2 or even top 5 class for the next few years would be nice too :)

BucknellJayhawk3 7 years, 7 months ago

Good point, we probably won't have enough turnover to haul in a big class every year. Even Florida who recruited 2 top ten players this year had only the 10th best recruiting class, according to rivals, despite that being a tremendous accomplishment. I'm counting on Connor and Brennan and those guys that stick around for a few years will be better as upperclassmen than any incoming freshman will be.

Evan Bilyeu 7 years, 7 months ago

I think he should aim for one top 5 recruit each year. Then he should aim for mainly around the 30-60 range.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Right .. I would be more in the 15ish - 60ish range as a preference. Just guys that aren't presumed OADs. Preferably the 3-4 year guys that need to improve their games to make it in the NBA. With an OAD here and there to fill an obvious hole -- Like Randle would have filled in at the post.

But I don't like bringing in OADs that cause the 15-60 ranked player that is already here to sit, or have his career at KU stifled, because a guy wants to use KU as a pit stop to the pros. Players in the 15-60 range are Self's bread and butter.

Hawk8086 7 years, 7 months ago

Self will have to let the young players play through their mistakes....he has no choice because we have so many of them.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely no way can HCBS allow what happened to Selby happen to his top freshman in this year's class. Not saying it was Self's fault..we all know the problems that ensued but to players looking into a program that will get them into the NBA in the shortest time possible, they will look elsewhere.

Self will need to let players make dumb plays without being yanked. He will need to trust this team and allow then to develop without the fear of making mistakes.

Hawk8086 7 years, 7 months 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.

JayhawkRock78 7 years, 7 months 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.

jayhawkintexas 7 years, 7 months 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.

Chris1955 7 years, 7 months 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.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree with just about everything except the last line. This year's team is better than the Kentucky team that won it all in 2012. I think this is our year but if we win it all in 2015 also.. All is good

Tony Bandle 7 years, 7 months 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!!

jaybate 7 years, 7 months 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.)

jaybate 7 years, 7 months 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.


joeloveshawks 7 years, 7 months 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.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

ralster "Just know that Self builds his teams comprehensively...there's always some top30 talent, and always some experienced developmental guys in the pipeline."

Couldn't agree more. People forget that Tyshawn Taylor was ranked #77, Markief was #49, Sasha Kuan and Darnell Jackson became NBA players under Self. Even McLemore was ranked in the low 30s. Who would have thought Morningstar and Reed brought us within one game of the final four?

These players are the backbones for HCBS. He has had consistent success with the way he builds the team. No reason to change.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

Ralster hit the nail on the head, as usual.

Also, and you poked me with a stick on the rankings thing .. the rankings aren't a crapshoot. They are an absolute excellent indicator. For every Trey Burke (or Derrick Williams) that exceeds his ranking, there significantly more that flame out or play to their rankings. This is about probabilities. Self, in 10 seasons here, has never found his Trey Burke. I cite Robin Smith's analysis on this regularly .. he had posted a five year review of rankings and players, and he found about 13% or so exceeded their rankings, for those ranked 100 - 150 (as I recall).

You say .. "I disagree with posts above that you should go after kids ranked in the 15-60 range" -- but look at the core of literally every coach Self team. And then look at where they are ranked. These are the best players for this system -- with a targeted presumed OAD here and there.

joeloveshawks 7 years, 7 months ago

Hey guys. Certainly agree with most of your points. I really do. I just think that the college recruiting landscape has changed and if we end up being a "Kentucky" type team 1 or 2 seasons we just have to deal with it. I totally agree that Bill's bread and butter is getting guys to buy in and wait their turn and most of those guys are ranked in the 15-100 range. I still disagree with HEM on the rankings an "absolute excellent indicator". Look at the All American team last year...McDermott, Burke, Oladipo, Olynyk, Otto Porter. Porter is the only kid even ranked by rivals coming out of high school and he was #37. Russ Smith was arguably the best player in college b ball last year...also not ranked by rivals. I am not saying you are wrong exactly...just saying it is certainly not an exact science. I was wrong to call it a crap shoot, though.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

joe .. I did say it the wrong way .. how about "they are absolutely an excellent indicator."

Rankings clearly aren't the gospel, and they aren't an exact science as you note.

They are simply an excellent indicator.

Good points.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

HEM...maybe you've heard of Tyrell Reed #109 and Brady Morningstar who wasn't even ranked along with #77 Tyshawn Taylor, #49 Markief Morris and #32 Marcus Morris who made it to the Elite 8 in 2011?

Travis Releford i#70 didn't play substantially better than his rankings? He seemed to be a solid starter to me. Certainly higher than his rankings would have had you believe.

Marcus, TRob, Cole, McLemore were all ranked in the 30s and all were lottery picks. Kinda seems to be better than the odds.

You either have a very short term memory, aren't paying attention or just speaking out a different part of your anatomy that most people use. Kind of sad and shortsighted.

I've always agreed with you that the rankings are solid indicators of how a player will do but I think HCBS looks at other aspects not necessarily shown by the rankings when drafting a player outside the top 30. I'll stick with my opinion that nobody gets more from their players then coach Self.

Evan Bilyeu 7 years, 7 months ago

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

jaybate 7 years, 7 months 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

REHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Black for 8, Embiid for 6, Lucas for 4; back to Black. Ellis 14.7; stays for a 3rd yr. Not a fullcourt press, but much fast pressure. AW3 redshirts. 6 losses. Final 4, but no ring. Ppg: Wiggins 17, Frankamp11, Ellis 14+, Selden 13, Embiid and Black 10, Tharpe and Greene 8, Mason, Lucas and Traylor 5. Leaders: rebounds, Black; assists and turnovers, Tharpe; blocks, Embiid; points, Wiggins; cumulative multi-stats, Soldon. Top 8 rotation: Black, Ellis, Wiggins, Selden, Tharpe, Mason, Embiid, Frankamp (or Greene). First team to beat us: ??? Big 12 losses: 3. Okie State, Iowa State, Baylor. AW3 redshirts. Frank Mason is the real deal. Jamari a defensive presence, but not offense. Lucas sees the court, 8 min. per. Howard stays at least 3 years. Self remains at least 5 more. Time passer: Think OLIVIA WILDE.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

Think AW3 will leave some egg on your face jb..if not, I want mine scrambled.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months 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.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

I think he could. But if he was going to transfer, doing it before the school year started would have been the best time, of course. But I hold out hope that he won't transfer, and that he becomes the 4-5 year cog that Self's machine needs.

BucknellJayhawk3 7 years, 7 months 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?

ParisHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the link. Very sorry about Braeden, my best wishes for a full recovery as quickly as possible.

Just a detail: Traylor (and McLemore) were partial qualifiers but could receive aid. Andersen had no choice, he had to leave.

"Anderson was deemed an NCAA partial qualifier at KU in September, but was not approved for aid by the Big 12 Conference, which made him ineligible for participation at KU. The Mountain West Conference, of which Fresno State is a member, accepts partial qualifiers and is allowed to provide aid."

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

JayDogger..didn't Kansas lose a recruit when the player was attempting to jump on a moving train?

This was quite a few years ago so not sure about the facts or if it's even true. Maybe someone else remembers.

REHawk 7 years, 7 months 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.

REHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

...and Releford's hot hand. At one point, Elijah and Ben were a combined 0 for 12. Tharpe provided a nice spark. Ellis got a few minutes, but, basically, Self played a 6 man rotation, with Ben spending lotsa time on the bench.

REHawk 7 years, 7 months 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.

Joe Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

Interesting rotation theory. I posted a 10-11 man rotation which is basically what you're advocating slayr. Who are the 2 players and why do you think those two players? Which means all others will either RS or simply sit the pine.

Tharpe/Mason Selden/Greene Wigs/White Ellis/Traylor Lucas/Black/Embiid

We've hashed this many times over the weeks. You can't RS Lucas or Black. I don't see a Embiid RS. Therefore, you go to 1-3 for your RS. Many believe AW3 should sit tight and RS. Either Greene or CF should RS too. I would even RS Mason too. Either Greene/Mason or CF/White RS. I would definitely RS CF/White. If you watch Greene, he can play a long 1. No way you have an 8 player rotation with this team. Your two players would have to be Greene/Traylor. I don't know why so many think Self will use an 8 man rotation. It's not feasible for this group. To have an eight man, you would have to RS: CF, Mason, and AW3.

Tharpe/Greene Selden/Greene Wigs/Greene Ellis/Traylor/Black Lucas/Embiid

You have to go with a 9 man rotation and Greene/Traylor are your 2 odd players. Heck with the above group, Ellis could play some 3 too. You could bump Black to the 4 and allow Lucas and Embiid to handle your 5. Traylor can't RS, but would get some pine time.

Tharpe/Greene Selden/Greene WIgs/Greene/Ellis Ellis/Black Lucas/Embiid

Greene and Lucas would be your 2 players in this line-up. This would give you the ever sought after 8 man rotation.

Joe Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

Or you don't RS anyone and just let the above mentioned RS players sit. I just don't think that would be a good idea. But, if they want to play and are patient, they should RS.

Either way, RS or sitting, you might lose 1-2 from transferring. At least with RS you give them an extra year to play. The two that might transfer under my feeble ideas would be CF and AW3. I don't envy HCBS with this group, but I remember the 2008 team and how many transferred before the NC.

ParisHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

+1, with special mention for "We all need to respect those players willing to RS and take their chances at Kansas."

Problem is, there's less certainty of getting PT after a redshirt if OAD-type talent shows up more often. Imagine if Andrew Wiggins came last year instead of now: how many minutes would 5-year senior Releford have gotten?

Jack Wilson 7 years, 7 months ago

truehawk .. great comments.

One major problem, though, with two of your projected scenarios is that there is no back up point guard. Greene is not a point guard. He just doesn't have those skills. It's either Mason or Frankamp in the rotation for that specific purpose. And your suggestion that Ellis could bump to the 3 simply isn't going to happen. I hate to be that definitive, but all I can look at his history. Ellis just doesn't have perimeter talent .. did Self play Marcus out there? No. And Marcus had more perimeter skills than Ellis. Self certainly won't move Ellis out of position to get an inferior player into the game (Lucas) vs. the perimeter talent we have.

My opinion .. it is an 8+ rotation. Tharpe/Selden/Wiggins/Ellis/Black start.

Then either Mason or Frankamp as back-up PG/second ballhandler.

Then either White, Greene, or Frankamp as the fifth perimeter player. Betting on White or Greene due to height/match ups.

Then Embiid as the 3rd post rotation player, with Traylor or Lucas as the 9th guy. The bet here is Traylor, and Traylor may get more PT than Embiid early. It would not be a surprise for there to be a solid 9 man rotation, but I could see that tighten to a less than 10 minutes per game situation for Traylor.

I have no doubt Self may play 10-11 early. He won't play that many vs. Duke, I'm sure. He could run some guys out there. But look at last season. Even vs. Tenn-Chattanooga he only played Adams 4 minutes and White 2. The game was close, and Self goes with his best guys.

Self will identify who he sees as his best guys, and he'll go with them. He always does.

And slayr .. always good analysis. Remember, with Lucas, his prime seasons will likely be his junior and senior seasons. He's is a low/unranked guy. Development and patience will allow him to play into the rotation. It would not surprise me at all if he had little or no role come February. Personally, unless he's a world-beater, I expect it. I think his competition is Traylor. Is he a better option than Traylor?

Here's how we have a 7 man rotation .. First, Embiid is very good. He makes Traylor obsolete. Ellis, Black, and Embiid are all we need, with Traylor relegated to 8 minutes per game (much like he was late last season). Second, Frankamp or Mason is very good as the back up PG. So much so, the winner of that competition is a better option than the winner of the White/Greene battle. So Self, much like last season, will play his primary PG with his back up PG on the floor. Four perimeter players, three post guys, with Traylor in his same role as last season, and a back up perimeter guy in the same emergency role as Adams/White were last season.

I don't expect it, though. 8+ sounds right with White or Greene in the mix. Can't wait for the season to start.

REHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I've a strong feeling that you are right, re Lucas. He is entering his first year of eligibility following the Year 1 redshirt. Still at least a year away from being a major contributor. If he is patient, and develops to the max, he will be a main ingredient his last two seasons. Opportunity for highly competitive practice time this season, combined with the training facilities and acumen of Andrea Hudy, should make a real stud of this kid. If Black, Ellis, Embiid or Traylor should lose time to injury, Lucas should be a serviceable back-up; but 2014-15 most likely will mark his ascension as a formidable big man. Even then, his playing time will depend upon Embiid's decision to leave or return (and the decision of Ellis, also).

Joe Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

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

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