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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kansas signee Alexander earns MVP honors at all-star game

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

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Kansas University basketball signee Cliff Alexander earned most valuable player honors for the West team during Friday night’s Jordan Brand Classic at Barclays Center in New York City.

Alexander, a 6-8 forward out of Chicago’s Curie High, scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked five shots in the West’s 158-147 loss to the East.

Alexander’s high school rival, Jahlil Okafor of Chicago Whitney Young High, scored 29 points with nine rebounds in earning MVP honors for the winning East team.

KU signee Kelly Oubre scored 24 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Indiana signee James Blackmon had 23 and Duke’s Tyus Jones 12 assists and 10 points for the East.

Also for the West, Arizona’s Stanley Johnson had 24 points and SMU’s Emmanuel Mudiay 19.

Myles Turner, 6-11 from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, who is considering KU, Texas, SMU and others, missed the game because of an ankle injury.

Zagsblog.com reported Friday that KU’s one-and-done center, Joel Embiid, spoke with Turner about KU at the hotel on Friday as did Alexander and Oubre.

“He (Turner) says he’s just weighing out his options right now,” Alexander told Zagsblog. “Me, Kelly and Joel have been talking to him. Joel talked to him earlier at the hotel trying to get him to commit. Hopefully, he does that.”

Turner will announce for a school on April 30 on ESPNU.

“Myles Turner is a human injury, he’s hurt all the time,” New York recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski told Zagsblog.com. “And that’s a function I think of him having to get stronger and really work on his body. He’s a long way away physically from being able to play in the NBA. I think he has tremendous potential but he’s a long way away physically.”

Junior on KU radar: Justin Simon, a 6-4, 180-pound junior shooting guard from Temecula Valley High School in Calif., tells JayhawkSlant.com that KU coach Bill Self will visit his school on Monday. Simon is ranked No. 23 in the Class of 2015 by Rivals.com. Simon is considering KU, Arizona, Colorado, Creighton, Louisville, Santa Clara, USC, Washington, New Mexico and San Diego State.

Comments

Erich Hartmann 5 years, 6 months ago

There you GO, Bill Self!!! Getting back to the 6'1-6'4 combo guards that your whole reputation (& only 2 Final Four runs) were built on. The exceptional Sherron is included, and Mason has the makings of an impact player also. (So those 2 sub-6ft players are accepted.) If every KU guard could do what Sherron did and tried to do for us. I've seen enough of Mason to know he is a player. Keep working on all the Self details of guardplay...

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 6 months ago

WOW...a real defensive struggle. Didn't see the game but my guess was the team on defense was already headed the other way just as the shooter released the ball!!

305 total points is ridiculous...were they playing with 8'-0" baskets and a 15'-0" three point line?????????

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

Fun game to watch though...KO really impressed me with his speed and range. Alexander is going to be a major contributor right from the start. He has a huge physical presence that Ellis cannot match.

Alexander showed he has more range while Ellis has better post moves. There was NO defense and little to none play calling.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

Ralster and Oak, pretty good 1-2 punch.

Here's a link to the box score:

None by Taylor Ostrick

Erich Hartmann 5 years, 6 months ago

Didnt even get to see Myles Turner on the basketball court last night for the Jordan Brand Classic game. I like the dose of reality by the recruiting analyst above: "Myles Turner is a human injury. He's hurt all the time. He's a long way away physically from being able to play in the NBA..." Weigh that option, Mr. Turner. How can ya be a OneAndDone, when you cant get healthy enough to start the "One"?? Missed the nationally-televised showcase game, also, so nobody saw you play right now.

I say PASS: Not tough enough for Bill Self basketball. The Texas bigs would eat Turner for lunch. And Cliff Alexander would be the frosh hoss that takes Mr. Turner's minutes... How about sit out a year, heal up, get bigger and stronger with a personal trainer, then go straight to the NBA?

Robert Brock 5 years, 6 months ago

If Turner wants to be OAD, he shouldn't choose KU or Texas. He wouldn't start at either school.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

I've seen Turner play several times this season. I'm not sure he will get off Kansas or Texas bench. I seriously do not see Turner taking PT from Mickelson ... or Ellis...or Traylor .... or Lucas. He'd be our 5th big until he got stronger and tougher.

The game assured me that KO and Big Cliff can play the 2 and 4, respectively.

Matt Spitzli 5 years, 6 months ago

I think he'll take plenty of time from Mickleson, personally

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Turner is a long, athletic and nice kid. He also happens to be weak and soft. Those skills can make a kid a HS star but put him on an elite program's bench. Austin was ranked around 4th on Rivals and has never hurt us much.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 6 months ago

Matt - You've seen Hunter play? In the last year? He could turn into our next Withey, though Jeff got his chance in part because of a lack of competition for bigs his last 2.

Matt Spitzli 5 years, 6 months ago

He blocks shots, Turner blocks shots. Turner's offensive game has a lot more interesting wrinkles, though.

Adam Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

You didn't answer Dirk's question... you've seen Hunter play where exactly?

For what it's worth, I've watched him shoot around before each home game (which means jack, in reality); but in what I've seen he's very versatile. Has a great, smooth shot -- even makes 3s pretty regularly. He's older, has a year under Self (and Hudy) and good hands... can't really say much about his work in paint, as you don't really get to see that in shootaround, but he does seem to have a solid reputation. So lets not just dismiss him out of hand, ok?

Scott Yessen 5 years, 6 months ago

KO plays the 2? Does that means Selden plays the 1?

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm guessing Suzi meant the wing (3) where he will excel. High level skills without the Wiggins high level pressure...

And HCBS..please don't listen to the Turner nay sayers. He didn't finish #2 overall on the ESPN Top 100 because he can't play or is a walking injury.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 6 months ago

Agreed on both. Turner has a rolled ankle. Is there an athlete that hasn't rolled an ankle. Hudy & Co. would have him ready to play if it were 3/2015, but a HS all-star game...No.

I'm not certain about the conclusion that Turner would be 5th big (maybe 6th - Ellis, Alexander, Traylor, Lucas, Mickleson, Turner = no order), but there will definitely be plenty of depth and competitive practices. UT has a bunch of bigs already also. Part of why I see him going to SMU.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Walter, I knew he could be a star wing but the ability to be a star 2 opens a lot of possibilities. I'd like to see Selden get a shot at the 1. He's a born leader with the physical skills for the point. When Self revealed his knee injury, that answered the question why it was not tired last year.

Turner will be a player but not next year. He needs a year with Huddy.

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

THIS! 6'5" Selden, 6'7.5" Oubre, 6'7" Greene, 6'8" Ellis and 6'8" Alexander. If this could develop into our primary rotation KU would be monstrous.

Shane Johnston 5 years, 6 months ago

Pass. The guards have length we don't need and the bigs lack length we do need.

A team that pressures (ie Louisville) would shred that lineup

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

I missed where we play Louisville next year...

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Exactly, with Selden and Oubre playing the 1 and 2, respectively, it opens the three up for more firepower. Greene is the obvious immediate answer for the 3 but my thought was Ellis at the 3 to supply backup options.

Last year we ended up with poor perimeter shooting on the floor too often.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

May I interject an important point here -- Selden can't handle the ball.

Believe me, if Selden could handle the ball, a bad a** lineup with Selden at the point would be incredible. But it's not realistic.

Selden's on-ball skills are barely adequate. Remember, Self moved Selden out of the 2 (to the 3), switching with Wiggins, on the press break.

Handling the ball under extreme duress -- D-1 style -- is the first priority for our point guard. If you can't do that, everything else is irrelevant. Selden can't do that.

And Suzi -- perhaps the best point of all -- Turner needs time to lift and mature. Where better to do that than KU? Best of all, he'd be a two year player. Given everything I've read and seen, Turner as a two year guy makes great sense.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

I agree completely but not sure I agree with you about Selden's ability to handle the ball and on-ball ability. Look for this option to develop and we might be talking about this a lot more in October/November.

More than anything, we need leadership and Selden is a born leader. He does have the physical skills to play the point.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

LOL...sometimes known as a form of alliteration in rhetoric.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

Right on spot Jack. Handling the ball, especially not picking up your dribble, is something only Conner really showed last season. Selden is not the choice for PG.

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

Self doesn't want guys handling the ball much. Make a decision and MOVE it. We don't need anyone out there pounding the ball into the ground 8 times.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

This past season a lot of turnovers were caused by our PG, Tharpe or Mason picking up their dribble too early and not keeping the bounce to get a better angle for a pass, especially when playing against a zone or junk defense. The result was a steal or a bad pass/TO. CF would keep his dribble get a better angle and was able to make a cleaner, more open pass that resulted in a shot or more movement of the offense. So Benz their decision to pick up their dribble and try to pass it was wrong more often than not. Pounding the ball was what you would see almost all of the guards doing in the final four this year too. Keeping the play alive instead of killing it.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

Benz: Not sure how your comment relates to the discussion. The point is that ability to handle pressure. And actually, yes, a point guard may pound the ball to the ground 8 times. A stellar point guard can break the press man times on his own and dribble through the pressue

Scott Yessen 5 years, 6 months ago

I thought so too, but wanted to clarify. The more I watch Graham, I really like him. Reminds me of TT a lot.

Joe Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Those of you that are passing on Turner are the same one's bitching about OADs? If this kid comes to KU, he'd be a great 2-3 yr project for Self and Co. What you are forgettng is that he could go to another program, develop, stay, and dominate. KU's lousy luck is we would play against Mr Turner and our bigs will get dominated and school in a few year. You can look at the immidate impact Alex will make. But, you can't overlook the future impact Turner will make with a team.
I would rather get him, develop him, and have him in a KU uni winning with us, than against us. He's never said he's a OAD at all. In fact, he said staying a few year might benefit him in the long run. He's a bit like Ellis when it comes to academics.

Good grief people wake up and appreciate talent when it's looking you in the face.

Shane Johnston 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes. Regardless of whether or not he's OAD, he's OAD talent. That type of athleticism gives you the best chance to win the big games. For me, I think about the block at the clip's 2:00 mark.

Only OAD talent makes that play.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

Sign Graham, sign Turner. We need a PG and Graham has shown he can play the position. You do not have all these schools interested in him unless he has shown he has the talent. Turner looks very talented as well, and gives coach another shooter and shot blocker option to go with the bigs we already have.

I agree with Jack, Selden is not an option for PG, he does not have the ability to be the main ball handler for us. I agree he has leadership abilities but he is not our PG for next season.

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

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Joe Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Jordan Tolbert transferring to SMU

Well, this may be a sign that Turner isn't going to SMU? LB is getting a waiver for Tolbert to play immediately.

I guess it's down to KU and UT. There's a big shift from KU to UT just in the last few weeks. Rick Barnes had to pull out the KD card. He's desperate. Barnes can't recruit big talent on his own now, he has to get his NBA stars to recruit for him. It's a page right out of Calipari's book. Love the strategy. I hope Turner remembers who OWNS the B12, and it's not UT either.

Joe Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

So UT has 14 players on their roster. I don't think they lost anyone by transfer or draft. That means 13 of the 14 must be on scholarship and they have two new recruits signed?

How will Barnes even think about getting Turner? He'll have to screw one of his players over by yanking or forcing a transfer. I hope all recruits understand that if/when Barnes gets Turner.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

Only if he plans on being Emeka Okafor's back-up. Both play the 5 so I don't see the attraction.

Last year, JoJo and Black played the 5 w/very minutes going to anyone else until JoJo's injury. I have to think he would be our best option at the 5 if he comes here.

Rob Bedford III 5 years, 6 months ago

Turner is intelligent and seems to be soft. He has Duke written all over him.

Joe Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Your post is the funniest of the day.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

"How will Barnes even think about getting Turner? He'll have to screw one of his players over by yanking or forcing a transfer. I hope all recruits understand that if/when Barnes gets Turner."

Joe -- replace Barnes with "Self", and then Turner with "Turner and Graham."

Interesting dilemma, isn't it?

Joe Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Jack- It's not that neither coach does any of this wrangling to get recruits. I just find it funny that Barnes sees that he's a potential recipient of the #2 player in the nation and will stop at nothing to get him. He's got two new recruits waiting to attend UT. However, as I said earlier, they have 14 players on the roster and 13 are on scholarships. This will give him 16 possible recruits. What's more his lesser or weaker players are likely in-state boys. Self has one to give regardless.

Now to your point about Turner and Graham, we've all been talking about a transfer well before Graham came into the picture. So, Self wouldn't transfer for the sake of taking on a recruit. He's transferring to the best interest of the player, if that's the situation right now.

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

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Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

I like your word for it Jack, a "nudge". Self has done it, Cal, many coaches do.

Scott Yessen 5 years, 6 months ago

I would love to KNOW what we have in Hunter M.

Joe Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Give him some time. Self saw something. But Self didn't know much about Turner when he offerd to Hunter. You just can't take a chance without bigs, especially Self's high/low. I just hope Hunter learned from Embiid.

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