Monday, September 30, 2013

Three top preps to be at Late Night

A rush of basketball fans enter Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.

A rush of basketball fans enter Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.


Having No. 1-ranked Andrew Wiggins and five other highly regarded freshmen on campus could assist Kansas University’s basketball coaches in their recruiting efforts this school year.

“Yes, I think so,” KU coach Bill Self said, asked if signing so many top propects in the Class of 2013 might attract others in ’14, ’15 and down the line. “The more kids you sign that advance and go on to play the next level is the best for recruiting, but there is no question that kids want to go where other good players are playing. There are many other schools that can stake that claim, but we are certainly one of them.”

KU — which has had six first-round picks in the past four NBA Drafts, including one-and-dones Ben McLemore and Xavier Henry — will have three stellar senior prospects in town for Friday’s Late Night in the Phog (6:30 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse).

They are: No. 4-ranked (by Cliff Alexander, 6-8 power forward from Chicago Curie High; No. 12 Kelly Oubre, 6-7 shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; and No. 17 Malik Pope, 6-8 small forward from Laguna Creek High in Elk Grove, Calif.

Alexander recently tweeted his top six as KU, Michigan State, Illinois, Memphis, DePaul and Arizona.

Last weekend, he competed for Team USA in the 3-on-3 World Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The squad was eliminated by Lithuania in the Round of 16 and finished with a 7-1 record. The team consisted of Alexander, future Tennessee player Larry Austin, Jr. (Springfield, Ill.); future Colorado player Dominique Collier (Denver) and future Cleveland State player DeMonte Flannigan (Cleveland).

“It’s a lot faster, and there’s a 12-second shot clock,” Alexander told USA Basketball in comparing 3-on-3 hoops to 5-on-5. “I enjoy playing it a lot. I played back home with some of my friends at the park, but it’s nothing like this.”

Alexander will visit Illinois on Oct. 25-26.

Oubre, who is originally from Houston, will visit Kentucky for its Big Blue Madness on Oct. 18. He’s also considering Florida, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, UConn and UNLV, but has not set up any visits to other schools, many considering this a KU-UK battle.

“For a lack of a better word, they’re front-runners. I wouldn’t say either one is in front of the other. It’s pretty much neck and neck,” Oubre’s dad, Kelly, Sr., told

Pope, who also has Gonzaga, San Diego State, Arizona, Washington, USC, Oregon, UCLA and California on his list, recently broke his leg, the same leg he fractured last season.

“A long and lean wing with deep jump shooting ability and high end athleticism, Pope is a bit of a mystery man. He showed great promise as a junior before an injury cost him his rising senior summer. Started his senior year with another leg surgery and needs a chance to get healthy,” wrote Eric Bossi of

KU, which has two scholarships to give in recruiting — for senior Tarik Black and certain one-and-done Wiggins — may have more scholarships to award if other players turn pro or transfer. No. 1-ranked Jahlil Okafor, 6-10 from Chicago Whitney Young, and No. 5 Tyus Jones, 6-1 from Apple Valley (Minn.) High, will visit on Oct. 18-19. No. 6 Myles Turner, 6-11 from Euless High in Trinity, Texas, has yet to finalize a visit date. He is attending a USA Basketball event this weekend in Colorado Springs, thus cannot attend Late Night.

Classic tickets available: A limited number for the Champions Classic, which pits Kentucky vs. Michigan State (6:30 p.m.) and KU versus Duke (8:30) on Nov. 12 at Chicago’s United Center, will go on sale today. Tickets can be purchased at, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the United Center box office.


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Someone talk to Self and get him to port some of the video they take of practice to a KU Basketball Practice web page, or to Just show 5 minutes a day. No coaching. No criticism. Just let them play for 5 minutes. It would be great to catch 5 minute feeds each day. The TV contract may prevent it, but if not, let's get on with 21st century sports.


Mark Wooden 6 months, 3 weeks ago

time to pay these kids if your only recruiting them to get to the next level.


Kevin Huffman 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Gary Bedore failed to mention that Rashad Vaughn (as it stands now) would also like to visit during the season.


William Blake 6 months, 3 weeks ago

BBall2012... this is the perfect space to do a match-up of UK vs KU this year. I'll go through each position with Jayhawks, and you can respond with the Wildcat players and we can compare.

Let's compare on several factors (experience, size, rank, athleticism, shooting, ball-handling, rebounding), then give our overall advantage prediction on each position. Once we've gone through each position and a description of bench depth, we'll both come to a conclusion on which team has the overall advantage.

Here goes:

PG - Naadir Tharpe, 5'11", 170 lbs, Jr. His HS rankings were No. 72 overall player by ESPNU 100, No. 91 by and No. 94 by Tharpe has above average speed, and good overall athleticism, fair/good shooter (fair from 3pt), fair/good penetration skills, and good ball-handling skills. Was in a backup role last year and has fair/good game experience (including big game/March Madness). He knows the Self system well and will step in to the position without a hitch and is already showing leadership skills in early practices.

PG (backup) - Frank Mason, 5'11", 185 lbs, Fr. His HS rankings were NR overall player by ESPNU 100, No. 131 by and NR by Mason is considered a steal recruit by HCBS. His compact, muscular frame and good speed along with his scrimmage performance shows his ability to penetrate well. His shooting range is unqualified to this point.


nuleafjhawk 6 months, 3 weeks ago

A question for LJW - what's " cap10d " doing right that the rest of us are not? It seems that nobody has an avatar except for that person. thanks.


Justin Lindsley 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Check out Andy Glockner's CNNSI article. Kansas is best program in country!!!


Dale Kroening 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Alexander looks a lot like DJax to me, although hes ranked much higher and looks to be a much better prospect and athlete coming out of HS atleast.


NotWiller 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope others had better luck on Ticketmaster this morning for Champions' Classic tics. I was pushing the button at 10:00:01am this morning and didn't get a thing.


Steve Gantz 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope Kansas is in Kentucky's head as much as they're in our heads.


texashawk10 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I would be very nervous about signing Malik Pope right about now. That's getting into the Sam Bowie, Greg Oden level of red flags for health issues. Two breaks in the same leg within little over a year is a big deal and I would be very skeptical about his leg ever fully being 100% again.


clevelandjayhawker 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Do the tickets come as a set or are they 2 individual tickets?


Dee Shaw 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Got my plane ticket to Chicago. Reserved my hotel room in Chicago. All I need are some game tickets in Chicago on November 12. Looks like I will be visiting the United Centers web page today. Can't wait for both games. The pure basketball talent on the floor will be unreal. This could very easily be the Final Four this year. Each program has it's history and tradition. The coach's for each program are elite. Just a few match ups that are going to be fun to watch. Michigan St. bigs against Kentucky's bigs. Experience against Freshmen. The toughness of Michigan St. against the talent of Kentucky. The key match up for the KU-Duke game is Wiggins against Parker. What a joy that will be to watch in person. Could be #1 and #2 in the 2014 NBA draft. You could have between all four teams 15-20 players that can be future NBA players. WOW. November 12 can't get here quick enough.


jaybate 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Big Blue Madness--the least imaginative name for a season kick-off ever. Suggested alternatives:

The Wildcat Investigation Tip Off

Destination NIT Party

The Ruppture

The Night of the Living Illiterates

Mondo Basketball

The Unretracted Cash Under the Table Mardi Gras

The Wrong Way Wake

The Kick Whore Classic


Cmill1221 6 months, 3 weeks ago

My sister is getting married on the 12. That's what my dad gets for letting her go to KSU.


JayhawkinNM 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I will be in Chicago wearing that crimson and blue, screaming for all my fellow `Hawks! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!


Scott MacWilliams 6 months, 3 weeks ago

OOOOH! OOOOOH!! I wish I could go to Chicago on Nov. 12!!!! WAAAHHH!!! Whoever goes has to scream real loud for all the rest of us!

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!!


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