Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Top basketball recruits tease possible 2-for-1 at KU


College basketball recruiting notebook. ...

It’s starting to look as if Kansas University is the top choice of JaQuan Lyle, a 6-foot-5 senior guard from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, who recently decommitted from Louisville. Lyle, who is ranked No. 22 nationally by, this week shocked the recruiting world by posting a rendering of himself and buddy/KU target Cliff Alexander on Lyle’s “jmamba5” Instagram account.

In the photo mashup, which is labeled “Dynamic Duo,” the two players are superimposed over an interior shot of Allen Fieldhouse with the Jayhawk logo between them.

No. 4-ranked Alexander, 6-8 from Chicago Curie High, has a list of KU, DePaul, Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis and Michigan State. He will visit KU for the Oct. 4 Late Night in the Phog. Lyle, however, will likely visit on another date, reports. Lyle will visit UConn this weekend and Memphis at a yet-to-be-determined date.

KU, which has several guards on its recruiting list, has two scholarships to give (senior Tarik Black and certain one-and-done Andrew Wiggins), with more spots available if anybody else turns pro or leaves the program.

“What y’all think of this? Me & @elceo_spcliff (Alexander’s Instagram name),” Lyle wrote next to the image on Instagram.

“Cliff has been telling me that him and JaQuan Lyle are going to play together,” Alexander’s mother, Latillia, told “That’s the reason JaQuan Lyle decommitted. I’m thinking wherever Cliff goes, JaQuan Lyle is going to go.”

Visiting Blackmon: KU coach Bill Self on Tuesday hustled out of morning Boot Camp in time for an afternoon meeting with James Blackmon Jr., a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Marion (Ind.) High School. reported that Self offered Blackmon a scholarship. Blackmon,’s No. 23-rated player who recently decommitted from Indiana, met with Kentucky coach John Calipari on Monday. He’s also considering Louisville, Michigan and Michigan State.

Big men like KU:’s Evan Daniels had an encouraging Twitter post regarding KU recruiting on Tuesday.

“The word behind the scene is Kansas currently leads for the top 3 big men (Okafor, Turner & Alexander) in the 2014 class. Think about that,” Daniels wrote.

Jahlil Okafor, a 6-11 senior from Chicago Whitney Young, who is ranked No. 1 by, has visited Baylor and Kentucky. He will visit 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.

No. 6-rated Myles Turner, 6-11 senior from Trinity High in Euless (Texas), also is considering Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Ohio State, Texas and Oklahoma State. Turner had planned on attending Late Night in the Phog, but recently accepted an invitation to attend the USA Developmental National Team mini-camp on Oct. 4-7. Thus he may have to reschedule the KU visit.

“I can’t wait to get there. It’s their Midnight Madness that night and I’ve heard a lot of great things about the visits there. I know that the atmosphere will be amazing. I’m just looking forward to seeing all that they have to offer. I’m excited,” Turner told USA Today in his Aug. 22 blog.

Top juniors sought by KU: Self last Thursday stopped by Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High to check in on a pair of top juniors — No. 2-rated Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-foot center. and No. 21 Chase Jeter, a 6-9 forward. Zimmerman is considering KU, Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, Michigan, Arizona, UNLV, Baylor, USC and others. Jeter is looking at KU, UCLA, Michigan, Arizona, Vanderbilt, UNLV, Duke, Minnesota, USC, North Carolina and others.

Lack of class by some coaches: No. 58-rated Alex Robinson, a 6-1 senior from Timberview High in Arlington, Texas, has committed to Texas A&M.’s Gary Parrish writes that some college recruiters used the fact A&M coach Billy Kennedy is battling Parkinson’s disease against him in recruiting.

“They actually did (use Kennedy’s Parkinson’s diagnosis against Texas A&M),” Robinson told Parrish. “But I just kinda brushed it off like, ‘Hey, that’s part of recruiting. (The other coaches are just) trying to get me to their school.’”

Robinson would not name the coaches who used the negative recruiting tactic.


REHawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Ralster, Self's tear-em-down to rebuild-em approach already seems to fall into a state of transition with this talented group of newcomers, 3 frosh of whom might move on to the League come summer. His cutting back on boot camp days sends a message that his approach will be different with this spite of the official earlier starting date. Now and in the near future, if half the playing time minutes vanish after Year 1, Self will have to adjust to the flux, as he already appears to be doing. In retrospect, Perry might be the last McD's player to face the tear-em-down sequence in the remaining BIll Self years. In truth, Perry made the adjustments quickly, all things considered. No time to do the same with Selden and Wiggs. And JoJo hasn't enough hoopsbound neuromuscle memory to warrant tearing down, as he is still learning the game.


Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 1 week ago


Thomas Robinson: Pretty strong chip on his shoulder. The most dominant bigman Bill Self has had at KU, bar none (to this point). His persona has what the Morris Twins lack (not a slam on the Twins). With what he endured in his personal life, I simply pay quiet respect that he was able to summon up a passion and swagger and make himself play. Frankly, the chip on the shoulder that arises from the darkest of gut-checks, is a lifelong force that no one can take away from him.

Marcus: Will have to say did not arrive with swag or chip on shoulder (nor did Kieff). Bill Self and a beating from MichState, and a woman named Andrea Hudy...all awakened their inner beast. They worked relentlessly. They developed swag, because they put in the time to earn the chip on their shoulder they worked hard to develop. I didnt mind Marcus' yapping at foes, as his swag was legit by the time he left KU.

Xavier: Yes, had chip, complete with smirk. Definitely played with swagger in the nonconf., and then held back due to Daddy's advice. Gee, thnx, Carl...

Ben McLemore: If you watch him play, you'd swear he didnt have a chip on his shoulder. But if you knew his background and desperate neighborhood, you'd have to say he had a big chip on his shoulder...

Perry Ellis: Now is the time to play with confidence & swagger. Its on a platter in front of him...


Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Russell Robinson: Tried to bury chip on his shoulder. Barely able to be contained by Self, and almost took a LOT of development to see his seeming calmness as an upperclassman.

Sherron Collins: Always a chip on his shoulder, no question.

Mario Chalmers: Had to have a chip on his shoulder from day 1, as no fear whatsoever. He was & is an absolute assassin. He saved KU's bacon, as he did Miami Heat's (twice: 1 critical game-leading performance each Finals). And to be able to duplicate his Shot in the Legends game...thats just pure, unfiltered swagger. That chip has only gotten bigger, rightly so. What a gamer.

Brandon Rush: I have NO idea if he had a chip on his shoulder. Too smooth to judge. Seemed oblivious to a lot of things. Some evidence of something when he was all over the court vs. UNC and dropped 25 on Tarholes in Final4...Chip or not, definitely a PTP'er who was able to play his best on the biggest stage. Still nobody better at the 3 position for Self in the 5 years since BRush. Lets see what Wiggy does.

Selby: Absolutely had a chip on his shoulder, but in his case, it got in the way of his own critical analysis about career decisions.

Arthur: Saw him play with a chip on his shoulder as a frosh vs. FL. Other times carried a lot of self-doubt, even giving up his frosh starting spot to Darnell Jackson. But in the Final4, he played intensly, and with a chip for sure: Ask Tyler Hansborough about Arthur's nasty intensity level in that game...

Kaun: Dont know about chip. But he was a good soldier.

Tyshawn: Hard to judge between boneheadedness vs. chip on shoulder arrogance. If you heard him talk, he is fast, but you feel his mind is even faster than he can articulate it...he played damn fast also. He reacquanted the KU fans with penetrate-to-hole PG concept, and to a degree Sherron couldnt.

Elijah: What a puzzle. I think he arrived with some swagger. But maybe not a relentless, driven personality (how else would he be unable to unseat BStar?). I also wonder if Bill Self was the right fit for EJ's mentality. The break-em-down, then rebuild-em-approach came up short for Elijah Johnson. He would have been a starter almost anywhere else he went. His best year was his Jr. season, when the focus was not on him. But it was also true he wasnt as ball-skilled as a guy like Sherron, who played from Day 1, and that may have been a shock to him at the Div.1 level--> again, lost confidence & in a funk. I cannot explain the EJ39 game performance, other than to say if he could have "bottled" his EJ39-mindset, and produced several more 30+ pt games, it would have given an unbelievable boost to his basketball career. I wish him the best. He needs to find a way to play "nasty". Maybe away from Self, he can find his identity, and maybe Self's words will all click constructively inside him. RCEJH.


William Blake 7 months, 1 week ago

I'd like to request from the staff of this site to do an article on past Jayhawks with a chip on their shoulders. Players and coaches should be included.

That would spark a complete conversation about chips and the potential around developing one or more this year.


jaybate 7 months, 1 week ago

Here is how I have seen a chip form on person's shoulders: you get in a fight you didn't start and you get the snot beaten out of you. Once this happens, you go one of two ways. You either duck and run every time conflict occurs, or you walk around with a chip on your shoulder looking to make someone pay for what happened. It works for individuals. It works for nations. It works for basketball players and it works for teams. This team will most likely get roughed up very early this season. They are apt to get beaten in a mean spirited way. This would be the best thing that ever happened to this team. It would give it a mean streak through out the roster, not just one guy.


Kyle Sybesma 7 months, 1 week ago

I would love to see a breakdown from Jesse on past recruits who have attended Late Night and how many have committed. It's the best weekend to get recruits to show up and I'd love to see the numbers back up that success.


wrwlumpy 7 months, 1 week ago

Too much talent, oh the problems we face at KU. Other coaches will use this against us. "Don't go to KU, your not good enough, stay here and get to start for us." Oh the humanity.

If you are good enough, you'll get to play, Ask walk on Christian Moody or Conner Teahan. We will not go down a notch because someone who was highly recruited sat on the bench. Coach has said he wants the best 5 on the floor. I'm pretty sure that coach will tell the truth when talking to recruits. Selden and Wiggins think they can cut it at KU. Like Rio said in his tweets, he'd be having crazy minutes at any other school.


jaybate 7 months, 1 week ago

Part 2

Being a basketball genius and being a coach that actually knows how to win a ring; those are different things.

I believe Coach Self is entering the phase of his career, when if he can win a ring now, he is mature enough and experienced enough to systematize the "how-to."

And he appears to be coming into the fat part of his recruiting arc, at last.

If he can win a ring either of the next two seasons, then I think he could be in line for a perfect storm of winning not unlike John Wooden. He will have systematized the how-to and he will have a flood tide of talent.

Go, Bill, go!!!!!!!


JayDocMD 7 months, 1 week ago

Who else thinks Coach Self may be having regrets about giving a scholarship to Mickelson?


jaybate 7 months, 1 week ago

Part 1

When John Wooden had to start one guy that would have a big career in the NBA, and a starting five under 6-5, he won two rings.

When John Wooden started one of the all time super centers and a couple top sophomore recruits, along with role players, he won three straight rings.

When John Wooden started another one of the all time super centers, plus a hall of fame shooting forward, plus a backup center that would have started at every other school in the country, he won three rings.

When John Wooden lacked a super center, but was ten deep at what today would be called 5 stars, he won two more rings.

Too much talent is never a problem.

The problem is always: do you know how to win a ring if your talent level is good enough that particular year to win a ring?

Self did not have enough talent and experience to win a ring until '08. And he didn't.

Self should have won a ring in '08 and did, though he had to be saved from himself by his players. Self did not win the '08 ring. He won the '08 semifinal vs. UNC and his players won the '08 Final.

Self got to the 16 the following season in '09 without enough talent to win it all.

Self had the talent to win it all in '10 and did not.

Self seemed at first not to have the talent to win it all in '11, but the way things broke that year in the tournament, he had all the talent he needed to win the ring, but didn't getter done.

Self had the talent in '12 to get to the semifinal, but not the talent to get to the ring, because of the freakish way UK was stacked. Self got to the semi and won it. The amazing thing is he got to the final and almost won a game they probably shouldn't have.

Self lacked the talent in last season to go all the way and didn't.

Self record shows he knows how to win 30/season and win conference titles better than anyone coaching today.

But the jury is still out on whether Bill Self knows how to win rings.

There seem to be only three guys coaching today that for sure know how to win rings, when they have the talent and experience: Consonants, Donovan, and Pitino.

Some might include Ratso Izzo. I leave him out, because he can only win a ring with sufficient talent if they let him and his teams butcher opponents to death. Ratso Izzo has never won a ring, when XTRem Muscle Ball was not allowed the way Consonants and Pitino have.

Donovan also has only won his rings in the XTReme Muscle Ball era, but Donovan won two in a row without his team playing way rougher than opponents, so I include Donovan on the list.

Bottom line, I respect Coach Self and think he is a basketball genius. BUT...


Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Maybe all the hype of TRob top10 pick + BMac top10 pick + Chalmers 2Rings+1Ring + Xavier getting press for getting signed by LA Lakers + recent Twin-lotto picks+ Tyshawn NBAdraft pick + Withey-development-to-NBAdraft-success + Wiggeffect ===> all adds up to KU recruiting gaining momentum...Those looking for blame should squarely blame Bill Self, as its all his doing. I think we have a cumulative smoking gun here...and its starting to snowball the program... ;)


Steve Gantz 7 months, 1 week ago

When does too much talent affect the overall health of the entire team? We've seen great contributions from kids who are not top 100 talent over the years. Right now I'd say some of these kids are looking at schools other than KU because it doesn't look like enough PT is available. The kids we already have, how many might be considering transferring? I think of someone like Jamari Traylor. Might he be thinking PT is going to be even more scarce than last year?

For all of Kentucky's amazing recruiting (cheating?) they we have more title game appearances than they do since Cal came to Lexington and the same number of titles.


seattlejayhawk68 7 months, 1 week ago

I'd probably toss it between the two of them just to watch the ensued fracas.


Tony Bandle 7 months, 1 week ago


1] If Xavier Henry and Josh Selby were considered OADs, there is no way that Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid are not taken as well. The only way they stay at Kansas is if they choose to do so.

2] KU's recruting is becoming more like the favorite club in town...the harder it is to get into, the more you want to get in!!

3] Since we have been blessed to be Jayhawks, we don't have to worry about it, but, I'll bet, next to Kentucky, Kansas is the most envied and disliked school by the rest of Division 1. The good news is were are a target because of our ability...Kentucky is a target because of their tactics!!

4] Check out Ashley Judd these days..if she packed those bags under her eyes, she would be able to travel for a month without doing any laundry!! [Poor us..all we have is Olivia Wilde!!]

5] Football crazed area + Waco, the Texas,Arm Pit + horrific coach + "X" = Stellar Basketball Recruiting. I'll let you all fill in the "X".

6] If you were in a lifeboat with only one life preserver ring and Scott Drew was flailing away on the right side of the boat and Bruce Weber was flailing away on the left side of the boat,.....where would you throw the life preserver?????


IgnorantYokel 7 months, 1 week ago

Two spots open? I want Alexander and Turner. If getting Alexander also means we're getting Lyle, then so be it.

In the context of the Wiggins media hype and our post-season prospects with such a talented roster, I'm fairly confident at least one of Selden, Embiid, and Ellis will also make the NBA jump at season's end. If only because someone has to finish second in scoring to Wiggins.

That said, I also want Oubre. What a nice feeling to be in on soooo many top-10 kids. Credit to Jerrance!!


William Blake 7 months, 1 week ago

We have to remember that CS is a competitor. He wants to win. All the spots on this team are given an annual contract, nothing more. It can be a harsh reality sometimes. Reality came hard for Rio last year. Did he leave because he wanted to leave? Who knows.

It sounds hard edged. And to some degree, it is. But the focus is on competition, the focus is on winning. CS is popular at Kansas mostly because he wins.

Saying all that... it usually is best for players who are good, but will see little floor time, to transfer.

Let's look at AW3. I really like his game. I like his attitude. I like him as a player and as a person. But would it be good for AW3 to sit for 4 years? And would that be good for KU? Couldn't another school recruiter tell a recruit, "hey, you can go to KU, and maybe you play or maybe you sit for 4 years. Just look at AW3!"

BTW: I'm still on board with AW3 earning a rotation spot this year... behind Andrew.

Within a basketball year, players fight for PT. Within a basketball program, players fight for scholarships. (every year)

Just because a player has one this year, doesn't mean he gets a free ride beyond. It doesn't work that way. Players have to fight to improve, not only for PT but for a scholarship in following years.

That's the way it works at KU. That's the way it works at all D1 schools.

CS has a system that isn't easy to learn. That is an advantage to players who have year(s) under their belt here and their hope of returning.

We can look back over the CS years and look at several transfers. All those players improved from where they were at at KU. Even Rio will be better off playing small ball next year.

The big plus in all of this is the fact that KU transfers typically get great opportunities else where. Rio may be an exception, but that was Rio's fault.

I'm not hoping for anyone leaving... I like all these guys! But I'm realistic to how it works. And scholarships are one-year contracts only!


AJ Vanderhorst 7 months, 1 week ago

With Lyle rated #22 & Blackmon #23, I wonder which guard is Self's priority. I'd assume Lyle because of the Alexander connection...which makes me wonder why Self just offered Blackmon.

Conditional offer?


Martin Rosenblum 7 months, 1 week ago

"...possible 2-for-1 at KU"

It's probably just me. But, usually a "2-for-1" points to paying for one and getting two. With all of the scrutiny in college sports, I would have rather seen a different wording as the headline for this story. Paranoia unfortunately can morph into perception and perception becomes reality in this hyper-sensitive society. Be careful of expressions, someone could make a mountain out of a mole-hill if so inclined.


BucknellJayhawk3 7 months, 1 week ago

I don't know exactly how recruiting works, but I'm assuming it's first come first serve? This must put some strain on both Self and the recruits. If we only have 2 spots, what if our bottom 2 recruits commit right away without even giving a chance for our top recruits to visit/commit? I wish we had 6 spots roster spots open next year :)


milehighhawk 7 months, 1 week ago

This summer a highly ranked non-basketball player was considering coming to KU.

The kid was a huge KU hoops fan, and the KU coach arranged a brief sit-down with Bill. Self of course was as awesome as you might expect. Not only did he check to see if the recruit wanted to meet any of the current players, but after a bit, he gave a nice little recruiting pitch.

"So what other schools are you thinking about?"

The kid responded, "Baylor."

Without missing a beat, Self smiles and says, "That's not a real school."

Needless to say, the kid is now enrolled at KU.

Bill Self: improving the quality of our programs across the campus. Rock Chalk.


clevelandjayhawker 7 months, 1 week ago

"KU, which has several guards on its recruiting list, has two scholarships to give (senior Tarik Black and certain one-and-done Andrew Wiggins), with more spots available if anybody else turns pro or leaves the program."

Why does everyone think Andrew is one and done? I mean what if he pulled a Marcus Smart and stuck around another year? Wouldn't be financially a great idea, but I don’t think his family is hurting for money. And I'm sure the NBA is great, but not much in life beats your time in college. Maybe getting his degree is what he meant by "shock the world."

Or maybe I'm just hopeful.


texashawk10 7 months, 1 week ago

I really hope if all these players want to come to KU (sounds like 4 at this point if I read right) and KU doesn't have the scholarship room to accommodate all of them that Self doesn't force someone out. I don't believe Self has ever forced someone out because he recruited over a kid and forced them out to make room for a new player. A transfer because Self didn't foresee significant playing time for a kid is a different story than asking a kid to transfer because Self needed the scholarship. All I know is that I'm excited to see where this class goes because this is starting to have that feel that the 2004-2006 classes had for Self.


TXBBall55 7 months, 1 week ago

I thought KU had two for sure (three with Wiggins), but I guess Wesley isn't on scholarship (which would give them 14...). I just wonder, who isn't coming back? It would seem KU is in good position for a number of guys: Alexander, Lyle, Turner, Oubre (getting those four guys would mean two would have to leave). Plus, there are others such as Okafor that may be favoring KU (though I don't believe it for a second).

I just don't understand this class. I hope we don't tell a good 3-4 year guy (like Connor or Brannen) that he can't come back because we want a OAD. It would make me puke to see Connor tear it up at WSU for three years because we wanted an OAD to come in and score 12 +/- points for a year.


Michael Pannacciulli 7 months, 1 week ago

These guys who be awesome snags for Bill and co. I believe Jerrance is the lead recruiter for them right? Man I would love to see them in Jayhawk uniforms next year!


NorthStarHawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Why is it, every time I see "Baylor" on these top recruits' lists, it makes me throw up in my mouth a bit. Just thinking of Drew and his program makes me feel dirty and want to head toward the showers with x-strength anti-bacterial soap.


phoggydrive 7 months, 1 week ago

Would anybody be surprised if the negative recruiting coach was anybody other than Scott Drew?


REHawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Amazing, how the acquisition of Wiggins and the other splendid recruits for this season has created a domino effect among interest of future recruits. Mr. Shakespeare would frame a superlative line re such chain reactions.


Janet Scott 7 months, 1 week ago

KU basketball is hugely solid, with the prospect of getting even better; while the KU football circus continues.


MinnesotaJay 7 months, 1 week ago

Would Alexander (#4) and Lyle (#22) be a welcome twosome in Lawrence? YES!!! And HELL, YES!!!


KUFan90 7 months, 1 week ago

Lyle and Alexander...come on down!!!


moonlightschlademan 7 months, 1 week ago

Nice to feel the love from recruits.
It is one thing to schedule a visit.
Adding the instagram photo certainly takes it up a notch.

(I am presuming that he did not make a montage of photos with other mascots).


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