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.


Scott MacWilliams 7 years, 5 months 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!!

dtdjayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I will have everyone covered! Rock Chalk!

wrwlumpy 7 years, 5 months ago

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM F Doug McDermott, Sr., Creighton F Andrew Wiggins, Fr., Kansas C Mitch McGary, So., Michigan G Russ Smith, Sr., Louisville G Marcus Smart, So., Oklahoma State

ALL-FRESHMAN FIRST TEAM F Andrew Wiggins, Kansas F Julius Randle, Kentucky C Joel Embiid, Kansas G Andrew Harrison, Kentucky G Wayne Selden, Kansas Zags Blog

Lex Valdez 7 years, 5 months ago

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

Cmill1221 7 years, 5 months ago

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

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

Eh, the Classic game is on NOVEMBER 12th, a Tuesday, not October 12th, a Saturday. Doubt anyone is getting married on a Tuesday...

jaybate 7 years, 5 months 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

ParisHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Big Blue is IBM. Anyone else calling themselves "big blue" are pitiful.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

Big Blue is an IBM computer. The New York Giants have been called Big Blue long before IBM was in existence..

Funny though...they are pitiful.

ParisHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

the New York Giants were founded in 1925 and had blue uniforms for the first time in 1957.

IBM was founded in 1911.

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

IBM was founded in 1911, 14 years prior to the New York Giants...

texashawk10 7 years, 5 months ago

Wasn't Michigan football referring to themselves as Big Blue long before IBM as well and probably before the Giants or Kentucky.

ParisHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

IBM never referred to themselves as Big Blue, they are known as Big Blue.

That's the difference.

Among those who refer to themselves as "Big Blue", Michigan could be the first since they had blue unis way back.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

Known by who? The nickname didn't come into existence until the 1980s.

IBM is the worlds #2 most recognized name brand. Pretty sure they want to keep it that way.

Tim Orel 7 years, 5 months ago

Michigan's cheer is "Go Blue". Not "Big Blue". IIRC their three syllable chant is "Let's go Blue". I don't think I've ever heard them referred to by someone attached to Michigan as "Big Blue".

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

Big Blue computer came into existence in May 1997. Pitiful.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 5 months ago

IBM has been called "Big Blue" for at least 50 years. It is the nickname for the company and not a specific computer, although the chess playing computer that defeated Kasparov is sometimes referred as Big Blue, the actual name was Deep Blue.

The new York Giants also call themselves Big Blue.

Also, there are hundreds of schools with the wildcat as their mascot, but there is and always be only one school with a Jayhawk. Embrace the uniqueness.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

Directly from IBM:

The term "Big Blue" as a reference to IBM did not originate within the company. When the term first began appearing in the press during the early 1980s, IBM employees continued to refer to IBM as they always had -- and have since -- most typically, "IBM" or "the business" or "the company."

And Paris..sincerely wish I had left your post alone. Hope you will accept my apology.

ccarp 7 years, 5 months ago

Probably from the same brain trust that brought us the KFC Yum! Center

Steve Gantz 7 years, 5 months ago

I thought it referred to Vida Blue and/or Blue Moon Odom.

Patrick Bryant 7 years, 5 months ago

Big Blue Sadness (since they don't care if you attend classes or get a college experience)

Dee Shaw 7 years, 5 months 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.

Joe Baker 7 years, 5 months ago

Good question... I guess because he's not top 20? These guys are #4, 12, and 17 respectively. He's #39 on ESPN's top 100.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 5 months ago

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

RJ King 7 years, 5 months ago

Was there. Not THAT funny. Glad no one got injured.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

I wonder what the front office thought of that not so practical joke?

texashawk10 7 years, 5 months 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.

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

KU has their eyes on bigger recruits. I doubt they give one of their schollies to Pope. My guess is Alexander and Lyle sign in the early signing period with a possibility of a big signing in the late signing period if another player leaves.

Dale Kroening 7 years, 5 months ago

I know Lyle mentioned possibly playing at KU with Alexander, but according to rivals he hasnt been offered nor is he being recruited by KU, while ESPN says he is and has been offered. What gives ?

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

Most of these websites don't keep what they post up to date. It is obvious that Kansas is recruiting Lyle.

Ted Hume 7 years, 5 months ago

This gets us back to the issue of what exactly does it mean to "have and offer". For example, does Pope have an unconditional offer that he can accept at any time, this taking a precious scholarship away from one of the top 3 recruits that we may be able to land? What about a few others out there lower on the list with offers? I've posited before that it's not conceivable that everyone out there wh'os listed as having an offer on the recruiting websites currently has an immediate option of exercising it, if we've since been leaning in another direction, recruit-wise? Anyone care to expand on whether an "offer" is truly, definitively, a "first-come first served" agreement? I suspect the staff has some wiggle room, and can (and does when necessary) hold a recruit off...

Andrew Horigan 7 years, 5 months ago

Another thing I noticed about Pope, all of his schools other than Kansas are on the west coast. I think geography looks like a factor in his choice and I might be worried about him transferring back home if he didn't get the playing time he wanted.

Dale Kroening 7 years, 5 months ago

Id be more worried about his leg, not worth the risk if we can sign a better recruit.

otaKU 7 years, 5 months ago

I could be mistaken, but didn't Jeff Withey have two breaks in a very short period of time? It wasn't as serious as a broken leg but I thought I remembered something like that. If that's the case, he turned out fine.

TxJyHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

My understanding is that Withey had a "disorder" related to his growing too fast that caused his issues (can't remember the name). Once they realized it and treated him for that, he didn't have the issues.

Robert Brock 7 years, 5 months ago

Pope is going to Gonzaga. No need to bother with his problems.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 5 months ago

Pope is said to be favoring us. I bet he waits to see if we are able to pull the trigger on Okafor / Jones or if we land Oubre.....If either of those happen we won't be getting him and he'll go to SDSU or Gonzaga.

I could see it be likely that neither of those happen & we do, in fact, get him. Most also consider that at his best, with that much time off he's likely looking at being a 2 or 3AD whereas Oubre's definitely an OAD.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

Oden and Bowie made huge contributions in college despite their proclivity for injuries. Most people don't remember that Bowie had several good years in the NBA unlike Odin who is starting to look like his basketball career is over.

I hate to see this kid going through the same issues with injuries and will hopefully prove the skeptics wrong.. Wayne Simien's career at Kansas was marked with injuries but I doubt many feel his scholarship should have went to someone else.

I still think Kelly Oubre should still be in the discussion on possible commitments.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

"I still think Kelly Oubre should still be in the discussion on possible commitments"

Obviously Kelly is in the discussion, I meant Joaquin Lyle plus I don't see him as a one and done player. It's starting to look like many top players are waiting to see if they are in a better position for playing time at either Kansas or Kentucky. I have always enjoyed watching HCBS develop players who stick around 3-4 years. I hope that doesn't change.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 5 months ago

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

Dale Kroening 7 years, 5 months ago

The only thing in my head about UK is two things : Robert Morris & Implode.......

NotWiller 7 years, 5 months 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.

Alex Peekeaton 7 years, 5 months ago

Nobody was able to get tickets online...a few people reported they were able to buy some over the phone. Ticketmaster stated additional tickets will be available at a later date.

Jonny Swift 7 years, 5 months ago

Ya, and so reasonably priced too! Starting at $250...

Hawk8086 7 years, 5 months ago

The same thing happened to me. I called, and after waiting for awhile was told that they were sold out. Very frustrating.

almostesoteric 7 years, 5 months ago

I think you were just late. They were on sale at midnight on the site. (I got mine at 1230 mountain time)

Hawk8086 7 years, 5 months ago

Dang! The site wouldn't let me do anything until 10:00 Central

Dale Kroening 7 years, 5 months 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.

Justin Lindsley 7 years, 5 months ago

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

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Ol Andy is a little late to the party if he's just now figuring that out !!!

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 5 months 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.

Marvin Blackburn 7 years, 5 months ago

I still haven't figured it out, why do only you and cap10d have avatars?

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

Crap, why does only cap10d, nueleaf, and KUOverEverything have avatars?

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

I was actually kidding, but yeah, no avatar.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

i don't know WHY it happened, but the avatars disappeared. all you have to do is go into your profile and upload your avatar again.

wrwlumpy 7 years, 5 months ago

click on your name and change the picture.

Scott Smetana 7 years, 5 months ago

I was on at 10:00:01 and didn't get any. What a cluster.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 5 months ago

Avatar?..avatar? DID SOMEONE SAY AVATAR???...

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 5 months ago

I noticed late last night that my avatar did not display, I reloaded it and it displays correctly again. Looks like someone at the LJW reset al the avatars.; someone in IT needs to have his/her hand slapped.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

Good suggestion.

Helpful edit: Mason #76 by rivals. Not ranked by ESPN because he was a prep school dude. Just getting on this quick before a few of the Mason worshippers drop the indignant hammer.

Alex Peekeaton 7 years, 5 months ago

I will use same format and height/weight measurements are from UK website as of 9-6-13. Although Jarrod Polson will be considered a backup point guard, it will be Aaron Harrison playing the backup point when the rotation is down to 7/8 guys. Also, since Andrew is a twin, some comments will include twin brother Aaron. (Excuse the formatting)

PG – Andrew Harrison, 6-6, 215lbs., Fr. Ranked #1 PG (Overall #5 by both ESPN and Rivals) Has unique height for a point guard and is a natural passer and floor general. Uses his height well to see the floor and orchestrate the offense. Good ball handling and low dribble, despite his height and has an array of moves to get into the paint. Excels on the fast break and in open space. Finishes strong at the rim with either hand and can finish well through contact.

NBA Scouting Report = Excellent size for a point guard/combo guard, Very strong frame, 6-8 wingspan, Great ball-handler, -Uncanny knack for creating offense with the ball in his hands, Extremely advanced instincts for scoring, -Tremendous finisher around the basket, Bounces off opponents and finishes through contact, Arguably the most talented guard in all of high school basketball. Top-shelf NBA prospect and will be a game-changer from day one in college. John Lucas said Andrew Harrison, the nation’s No. 1 HS point guard, is a unique player, but when the coach was asked if he’d compare him to any other players Lucas said, after a pause to ponder, “A bigger, little slower version of Derrick Rose, with that physical strength to get wherever he wants.”

Jay Bilas – “With the weapons he is going to have around him, I think he can be especially effective because he has really good size and can absorb a bump and still finish a play. And he can handle it and penetrate, he’s a good passer.
Seth Greenberg – “The Harrison twins were very different than I expected. Despite their reputation of being aloof, I found them to be engaged and connected to their teammates. They were very much part of the group. I think oftentimes they are prejudged by their body language as opposed to their actions.”

Alex Peekeaton 7 years, 5 months ago

Part 2:

John Lucas (Former NBA player and coach) - Andrew and Aaron Harrison are battle-tested players who have practiced against professionals since even before they began high school, according to former NBA player and coach John Lucas, who has trained the twins in Houston since they were eighth-graders. “They come in, for me, right behind Kobe (Bryant) and LeBron (James) as talents,” Lucas said in a phone interview last week. “… They’ve got a chance to be really good.” Lucas said that when the twins were in the eighth and ninth grade, they were the only players that young allowed to participate in games with the pros he also helps train, particularly at his annual NBA predraft camp. Lucas mentioned J.R. Smith, Blake Griffin, Andray Blatche, Tyshawn Taylor, Chandler Parsons, Hassan Whiteside, John Henson and his son John Lucas III as some NBA players or former prospects with whom the Harrisons have shared a court. “They held their own,” Lucas said.

Backup PG – Jarrod Polson, 6’2, 182, Sr. Walk-on Knows Calipari’s system and very capable of managing a game from the point. When in the game, Jarrod will just need to set up the offense.

Alex Peekeaton 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm not sure rating the various categories will be the best way to compare the teams at this point considering the number of freshmen both teams will be relying on. I think we will have a better idea on the player's shooting, ball-handling, etc. at mid-year.

Ian Emerson 7 years, 5 months ago

BBall2012 you kinda just sounded like a puss right there

Alex Peekeaton 7 years, 5 months ago

Why is that? Look at the stats Perry Ellis had last year as a McD AA? Until you see how these freshmen perform on a major stage, you have no idea what you're getting. All of the freshmen that will be dissected within this thread dominated the high school scene and did pretty much anything they wanted on the court. Doesn't mean they will be doing same in college and until they do, you just don't know. So until I see some Div 1 games with Harrisons and Selden/Wiggins shooting the ball, I have no idea what to expect.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 5 months ago

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

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

Seems like a sound way to choose a college. Especially if it's only for one year.

Mark Wooden 7 years, 5 months ago

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

jaybate 7 years, 5 months 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.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 5 months ago

Exactly what I was thinking. Just some anonymous post to YouTube.

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