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Friday, April 25, 2014

Kansas basketball signee Oubre jumps to No. 6

Alexander still No. 4 in final ranking

Future Kansas University basketball players Kelly Oubre, left, and Cliff Alexander pose during media availability leading up to the 2014 McDonald's All-American Game.

Future Kansas University basketball players Kelly Oubre, left, and Cliff Alexander pose during media availability leading up to the 2014 McDonald's All-American Game.

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Kansas University basketball signee Cliff Alexander kept his No. 4 national ranking, while Kelly Oubre jumped from 12th to sixth in Rivals.com’s final ratings of the high school recruiting Class of 2014.

Meanwhile, Myles Turner, 6-foot-11 from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, who will announce his college choice at 3 p.m. Wednesday on ESPNU, fell from No. 6 to No. 9 overall. He has a final list of KU, Texas, SMU, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Duke and Texas A&M. Many believe it is a KU-Texas battle for Turner.

KU target Devonte Graham 6-2 from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., who was previously unranked, finishes as the country’s No. 36-rated prospect. Graham, who recently visited KU and North Carolina State, is off to Virginia for a visit today. He may also visit Virginia Tech and Providence.

The top 10 consists of Duke signee Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10 center from Chicago Whitney Young, followed by Emmanuel Mudiay (SMU), Stanley Johnson (Arizona), Alexander, Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky), Oubre, Tyus Jones (Duke), Rashad Vaughn (UNLV), Turner and Kevon Looney (UCLA).

Tourney on tap: The Jayhawk Invitational AAU tournament will run today through Sunday at New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway, New Century, Kansas, 66031.

Malik Newman, a 6-3 junior shooting guard from Callaway High in Jackson, Miss., who is ranked No. 1 in the recruiting Class of 2015 by Rivals.com, will play for Mo Williams Academy at 8:20 p.m. today and 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The No. 10-rated player in the Class of 2015, Terrance Ferguson (6-6, Dallas Prime Prep), also will play for Mo Williams.

No. 3-ranked Diamond Stone, 6-10 junior center from Dominican High in Milwaukee, is slated to play for the Young Legends at 7:10 p.m. today and 12:40 p.m. Saturday.

No. 12-ranked Chance Comanche, 6-10 junior from View Park in Los Angeles, will play for Earl Watson Elite at 8:20 p.m. today and 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Josh Jackson, No. 1-rated player in the Class of 2016, will play for 1-Nation at 7:10 tonight and 9:10 a.m. Saturday.

The tournament is open to the public. Admission will be charged. For information go to jayhawkinvitational.com.

Comments

Eric TheCapn 5 months ago

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

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Ashwin Rao 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Sorry, cost-cutting has it's effects. You will see this same picture 11 yrs from now when we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our 2015 championship!

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Suzi Marshall 5 months ago

I can't help but feel that Big Cliff got the short end of the rankings, if such a thing could be said about being 4th. He was well on his way for the top spot in all the recruiting ranking services until the CPS stepped in to destroy his teams chances in the IHSSA. In addition to beating Young, with Okafor, for the Chicago City Championship, they also beat Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), and Montverde Academy, the National HS Tournament Champion.

KO's jump of six sports from 12 to 6 is incredibly impressive. The way he wears his faith with pride and fighting spirit reminds me of a Knight Templar, who also proudly wore the cross. If KO puts on the show we all hope he does, I'll be calling him Sir KO, Knight of the Round Ball.

If we sigh this Graham kid and he turns out to be a star, it would be a rerun of Embiid. Two year ago, nobody knew anything about either. Self was able to coach Embiid up to a threat for the top NBA pick. Here's hope he can do the same for a PG.

Myles Turner....sign with Kansas. The LJW needs a new photo.

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Glen Miller 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I think we got in too late on Graham..... it doesn't sound like Kansas was more than a fling from the stuff I've read. He came and saw Allen Fieldhouse, got shmoozed by our staff and had a grand ol time...... but it was just him taking one of his visits. I honestly don't expect to land this kid. He's stated he'd like to stay close to home in several reads. Turner is going to SMU.... that's my prediction. I hope I'm wrong, but nowhere and nothing suggests he's leaning towards KU unfortunately. I'm a realist, I don't live in a dream world with fairy's and unicorns.... the writing is on the wall with both these kids. The team we have is the team we'll go into the season with.

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Joe Baker 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Agreed on Graham, but still can't completely give up on Turner. I have no problems with Turner going to SMU and LB. But Tolbert going to SMU is interesting. SMU is way better than they appear. Tolbert will give them some much needed inside presence. So, it's 50/50 either way between KU/SMU.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Would like to get either Graham and or Turner. Must have PG help for next year.

Suzi - Knight Templar??? Rich, powerful, and faith driven to the extent of all other religions? A lot of them were burned at the stake. Not sure about that one. I do like to see KO humble and have no issues with how he holds his faith first.

I never understood though, if two teams are playing, and each counts God on their side what happens if you lose? His will I guess? Wars it is the same thing, especially with the Templars.

4

Ethan Berger 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The losing side thinks they did something wrong, try to fix and go pick another fight.

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Ethan Berger 4 months, 4 weeks ago

No it's not that simple, in fact very complicated. So complicated I didn't want to delve into it so I wrote very brief summary. Wars are very complicated, throw in religion and it gets even more sticky. All I mean is that when two sides fully believe that the fate of the war lies in their God, then even a loss won't detour them.

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Ethan Berger 4 months, 4 weeks ago

In regard to your main point that I have addressed. It is interesting with the"God is on our side" with sports. I guess the mentality of sport and war going in is very similar but coming out of those events, approaches differ greatly. Hopefully our boys go in with the attitude to get revenge and destroy all in our path.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Again, if you believe in god, why would you seek revenge and not forgiveness? This is the base of my question? It always strikes me as unusual when any athlete thanks their god when they win as why they won. Name one religious figure that would embrace this idea if they could be asked.

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Suzi Marshall 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I wouldn’t say a lot were burned. Only Jacques de Molay and Geoffroi de Charney got roasted on March 18, 1314 after France’s Philip IV had them arrested in an attempt to steal their money.

KO wear a cross on his arm plainly visible just as the Templars wore it at all times. KO (and Alexander) both have the warrior spirit exampled by the Templars in the Battle of Montgisard in 1177. Contemporary reports from that battle 375 Templars attached and destroyed Saladin’s army of 26,000. That’s the kind of fighting spirit we could have used attaching the Stanford Zone.

Abraham Lincoln, in his second Inaugural Address, did about as good a job as possible noting how both side in war can pray to the same God. The Christmas truce (Weihnachtsfrieden; Trêve de Noël) on the Western Front in 1914 was a following example of Lincoln’s exasperation of mixing war with religion.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Actually on May 12, 1310 54 Templar’s were burned at the stake, as well as the two you listed in 1314. Also around 1309 in England many Templar’s were executed or sent to prison for life and died there. In Cyprus, their last stronghold many of the 67 accused died in prison. Germany, Spain, Portugal and many other countries seized all property and jailed or forced the Templar’s to dissolve. Just a few years after 1177, they lost to Saladin in 1180 and a large group were massacred. By 1298 they had lost more battles than won, and dissolved from history a short time later, and all three crusades were lost. Their greed, and power brought them down, not their fighting spirit.
KO might have their cross as a tattoo, but I would not consider that a badge of honor or of a fighting spirit. In the end the Templar's although turned into legends after their history had ended, were extremists who killed in the name of faith, and profited greatly from the demise of many. This is why the Pope who had rallied the crusades in the beginning had them dissolved by early in the 1300’s.

Lincoln's second Inaugural, which is considered his second best speech by many, and a portion is chiseled in his memorial in DC, did a great job of talking about war and religion. Like many he too struggled with the topic but on that day his context was of reconciliation with the enemy, not defeating a enemy. A touchy subject of the time. I love these words; "In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God cannot be for, and against the same thing at the same time". This is the essence of my last statement really, if you thank the lord for winning, what is your response when you lose? The true story of the Templar's is not one of honor but one of wealth and power driven behind the flag of the cross. Bloody, long (almost 200 years), and without anything gained.
There have been many instances throughout history of both sides of a conflict recognizing religious holidays with a truce. Dating back to 4000 BC actually.
My point is the subject is murky at best when you bring faith into a discussion of a contest, who is right, or wrong, where is the line drawn if it can be drawn at all.

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Suzi Marshall 4 months, 4 weeks ago

We are in full agreement with regards to Lincoln but in sharp disagreement with regards to the Templars. The knock on them you stated is due to misinformation. They were widely known to be tolerant of all religions, established international banking as well as the most dedicated fighters of the day in defense of their God. Switzerland and the Masons carry on today their legacy.

If KO wishes to show a determined fighting spirit to honor his faith, I'm all for him. However, that is all subjective as to his believes. I'm just pointing out he's a heck of a competitor. I doubt he'll go down in the round of 32 without a heck of a fight.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Will agree to disagree, but I think the Vatican would also disagree with you. The Templar's actual history is quite different than the idealized version many people would like to believe. They used their influence to get wealthy not to promote their faith. Since this idealized version puts a positive spin on their history it was allowed to exist once they were forced into a more secretive society then they already were. History was written by those in power, those that survived at that time, not by historians.

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Suzi Marshall 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Rodney, it's apparent you know nothing about the Templars and carry a strong bias against them.. It's useless to discuss in n detail. If you have interest to learn of the Vatican's historical position, you can begin with the Chinon Parchment. Let's leave it. If we ever run into each other at the Bird Dog Lounge in the Oread, I can enlighten you.

www.amazon.com/The-Knights-Templar-Absolution-Parchment-ebook/dp/B00ENRP5OM

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Oh Suzi, mercy... I am talking about facts not bias, I find what they did fascinating, especially their legacy that exists today. The Templar's actual history is rife with brutal religious persecution, misuse of power, and incredible wealth/property. To dispute any of these three facts shows it is you who does not want to face the truth about them. Chinon, dated in 1308, is merely an absolution of the only Templar's who were too ill to travel to meet the Pope. As you may or may not know this represents an act of penance for sins against God that they themselves confessed, not a record that they lived their lives as members of good standing of the Church during their reign. It means the opposite. So in the view of the Vatican they were absolved of their sins, forgiven. It does not mean they did not commit them. Since many members of the Templar's were imprisoned, burned at the stake, and lost all of their wealth seized by almost every country they were in after this documents date, it does not appear everyone agreed that all of their sins against God, or the many, to be absolved. So this document actually proves my point, it does not refute it. Your enlightenment would be a waste of my time, since you seem misinformed. I will stick with hanging out with my friends and family before games. I got better things to do then argue actual facts with someone who only wants to believe in Knight's in shinning armor.

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Suzi Marshall 4 months, 4 weeks ago

You are shamefully wrong and have twisted facts to conform to a misguided conclusion. What a pity because you could be closer to the truth than you imagine.

Anyway…back to attacking zone defenses.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Not sure I understood your What a pity sentence... I think you meant could't be more farther from the truth... As I said I find what they did fascinating but I hold zero notion that they should be held in high regard. Your picture is the legend, the truth is never so clean, and always seems a bit messy.

Back to basketball I agree. Where can we find PG help at for next season?

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Adam Miller 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Yeah... this is why players should just keep their mouths shut when it comes to their "faith"...

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Walter Bridges 4 months, 3 weeks ago

FURTHER from the truth. Had to throw that in there PLUS the Nights Templar DID use their positions to enrich themselves and I'm not just talking about knowledge.

The state of Israel is still trying to get the Vatican to return religious artifacts taken by the Knights Templar and then seized by the Pope although it is believed Rome recovered only a fraction of the stolen property.

Suzi seems to focus on the early history of the Knights Templar while Rodney focuses on the final years of the Knights 200 plus years of existence.

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Walter Bridges 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Frankamp's final Rivals ranking was #34. The jump in rankings didn't translate into on the court performance. The rankings are a useful tool for coaches but more so for the general and not the specific.

How much better will KO play now that he has moved up to #6? I'm guessing just about the same as when he was ranked #11

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Ethan Berger 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Graham surely did sky rocket up the rankings. Not many players go from unranked to top 40. I'm of the belief that Frank or Conner can get the job done. However, getting Graham would be alright with me. Was worried that he was unranked but well don't have to worry about that now. It would be wonderful if we got both these kids but that would mean losing another one. As of now, to me Myles is a bigger need. We have plenty of guards plus two who will be sophomores next year who played well in the tourney as freshman. Whoever we get, I'll be happy.

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Joe Baker 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Either Tharpe has a breakout senior year, Frank gets his confidence, or CF takes full advantage of an opportunity, or yea, your implication is right...we'll have another mediocre year.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Without improvement with our PG position it won't matter who the bigs are. No one on our bench showed they were capable of handling it consistently.

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Ethan Berger 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Most kids biggest jump is from Freshman to Sophomore year so I'm optimistic they will improve.

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Not so sure that will hold true with our PG's.

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Walter Bridges 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Not sure I agree if it's between the first and second year (Marcus) or the second to third year (Markieff).

It would make for an interesting study.

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Tony Bandle 4 months, 4 weeks ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES:

1] Kelly's skill set may not be as high as Andrew's BUT it's not that far behind...factor in his warrior-like, never-take-a-play-off attitude and, in the long run, he might become even more of a positive factor than Andrew was.

2] Cliff, as a power forward, played Okafor, an elite center to basically a draw...that tells you, in itself, just how good Cliff is. He may be the best PF in America and he can hold his own against any center. If Myles chooses to go elsewhere, that indeed will be the case next year...Cliff and Perry on the front line. [Heaven help us if Perry doesn't improve his "D".]

3] Regarding Myles, realistically, scratch Duke, Ohio State, Okie State and TAM off the list. The true contenders are KU and Texas with SMU as the darkhorse. SMU offers an elite coach, maximum playing time and being the star of the team, Texas offers the hometown dream and the legacy of his childhood hero. All KU offers is the best chance to win, a tradition second to none, his best chance at growth and development and two All-American fellow freshman. Conclusion.......I don't have a clue what he decides!!

4] Regarding Devonte Graham, I fear it's a case of too little, too late on KU's part. For goodness sake, I think he lives in the same town as North Carolina State and if you'll notice, his other four schools are bunched in the North Carolina/Virginia corridor......ain't gonna happen.

5] If nothing else happens recruiting-wise, at least he can reward one of the walk-ons with a one season gift....except for Tyler, of course.

6] Worst case scenario next season, Front line Cliff, Perry, Jamari, Hunter, Landon - Swing spot Kelly, Branden, AWIII - Guard spots Frank, Wayne, Conner, Naadir......not too shabby but definitely some question marks. Probably good enough for #11 and, barring injuries, a little deeper run in the NCAA...Final Four???...I sincerely doubt it.

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Mark Lindrud 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Our starting point guard will be one of the 3 we have on the roster even if Graham comes here. Our success will depend on the improvement in that position and hopefully Frank is working on his shot because it was scary. Tharpe hopefully realizes he's a senior and he needs to play like a leader. Conner is stable and not spectacular so it is as far as I'm concerned it's any guys spot to earn. For once we don't have a clear cut point guard so all 3 better up their games because this offseason will be critical. We have a more experienced team coming back this year so we need a point guard to lead this team to another big 12 title and maybe a final four appearance.

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Shane Johnston 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I'm wary about giving our starting point guard the pressure to "lead this team to another big 12 title". Too much of that pressure fell on Tharpe last year. Our starting point guard needs lower expectations. I would love it if the leadership comes from Wayne and Perry.

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Mark Lindrud 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I would agree, but point guards get teams to the final four and that's what we also want. Our point guards need to step up. At least Conner and Frank are freshman so there's hope, but Nadir may end up being odd man out if he's not careful.

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Mike Riches 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Agreed. You don't come to Kansas to have low expectations. We need the PG who will thrive in high-pressure situations. It didn't get much higher than the NCAA tourney, and Conner seemed to handle that spotlight as well as (if not better than) anyone else. I'd love to see him really improve this summer and come grab the starting spot.

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Shane Johnston 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Our biggest needs at the guard spot are defense and 3-point shooting. Frank's quickness and aggressiveness gives him a leg up on Connor and Naadir. If he can become a credible 3pt shooter, the starting spot is his. I think he could still get it with enough shooting at the 2 and 3. We need Wayne to shoot it more like he did to start the conference season and Brannen to be on the floor a lot. That would make it easier to play Frank at the point. In a matchup with Kentucky, I feel better about Frank and Wayne at guard than any other guard combination. That's a pair of high effort guys that will really get after it. Without a big shot blocker down low, improving the defense needs should be the top priority.

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Walter Bridges 4 months, 4 weeks ago

And whoever our PG turns out to be, he also needs the ability to hit free throws with the game on the line. It's great having a point guard who can drive but if he can't hit free throws, it takes away an important late game asset.

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Shane Johnston 4 months, 4 weeks ago

yes, but that seems a little lower on the list to me for the primary ballhandler. We can always substitute the free throw shooters in at the end of the game if that concern is there.

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Joseph Bullock 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Joe, we will not have a mediocre year, next season. We will be a great team, and will contend for the NCAA Title, when all is said, and done, provided Coach Self goes back to, and sticks with, our best offensive option, the 'Double Post', playing inside out! He also needs to 'not forget about Perry'! Everyone should be better on the defensive end, next season (and my gosh, we need that), and our outside shooting will kill anyone who plays a zone against us (especially with Michelson)! I think we get Graham, because he was dissed by all of the teams in his area (as is evident by his original commitment to App. State), so even though staying home is something he mentions, he also will not forget that no school in his area had any confidence in him, when he needed them to do so! I have always said we need a bigger PG, and I stand by that statement, especially, to see over the top, to pass, and to defend the bigger PG's! Now, pertaining to Myles Turner, SMU is a dark horse, but his statements about following in the footsteps of KD, are very powerful statements. But if he, and his family, are really looking out for his best interest, he will become a Kansas Jayhawk, because he will be developed much better, and much faster, by our Coaching Staff (now I love Coach Self, but a lot of you only seem to give him all of the credit, for everything good, K.U., when in fact, the Assistants do a tremendous job, in not only finding, and recruiting, but also developing, our kids). We have the best group of assistant coaches in America! Period! And one of the top 3 head coaches, who are in my opinion, pretty equal, but who all have different strengths, and short comings, too. Oh, and one other thing. Myles Turner has said publicly, that he lacks the strength he needs, and who better than Andrea Hudy (the #1 strength & conditioning coach, in America), to build his body up to where it needs to be! I think (hoping) we get at least one of them, but I'm banking on getting both of them. But even without either of them, we will be a force to be reckoned with, especially if Landon Lucus takes a big step forward, next season. PS: Kelly Oubre, may not be quite as athletic as Andrew, but he is still up there with his athleticism, and he is better at a lot of things, than Andrew was, especially when it comes to his outside shot. He is also, as was evident in the McDonald's game, not afraid of contact, at all. I mean, to try to dunk over Cliff, with the game on the line-the kid has got the mentality and toughness, of a Senior!, and like Cliff, the Heart of a Lion! Rock Chalk! Sorry my post is so long. I just got carried away. OK, I'm not sorry. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

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Tony Bandle 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Regarding the length of your post...our old pre-facebook poster friend, Jaybate, would say you were just getting warmed up. :)

Regarding our guards..Four Big Ifs...if Naadir improves his defense and game control, if Frank improves his shot and passing choices, if Conner improves his strength and court presence, if Wayne improves his three point shot and defensive positioning, we could be in for a pretty good run....IF!!!!

"IF"...the shortest word in the English language yet with the deepest meaning.

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Rob Bedford III 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Don't forget the team will need improvement on Wayne's 62% free throw %.

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Aaron Paisley 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Isn't a and I in the English dictionary?

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Shane Johnston 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Everyone that returns will be better on the defensive end, but how much better? And are we really better defensively next year as team? It depends on what you saw as the source of our breakdowns this year. How much of our problems could be attributed to weak on ball defense versus a more general failure to make rotations?

Andrew and JoJo were arguably the two most important individuals defensively. Kelly and Cliff are not an upgrade in that area. Getting better defensively means that either (A) Kelly and Cliff aren't that big of a drop off or (B) we'll be better as a team and that will make up for the individual losses.

Next season will be a lot more fun if we were better defensively. But at this point I don't see any reason why we automatically will be.

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Waylon Cook 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Following in footsteps of KD? Playing 2 of the most unbelievable games I have ever witnessed to lose twice to KU? Playing for Rick Barnes to lose to Tim Floyd(well not if Floyd is at Misery by then)

Seriously I hope he doesn't want to follow in those footsteps. I love KD but seriously come to Kansas Turner lol

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Glen Miller 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Mason and CF will improve, but is it enough to make us a title contender...... time will tell. I honestly think that Mason is best suited being our 6th man. I don't think he has the size and outside shot to be our starting point. He reminds me of Collins without the shot and although I know all of you will probably bash on me, I don't think Collins was near as good as he was made out to be. Size matters in college ball and although Mason has the quickness and passing ability, he struggled against bigger guards at times. Plus his decision making when he's driving becomes sporadic at best. He can improve on that aspect. That being said, I think CF if he gets a little more lateral quickness and starts hitting shots is our best PG on the roster right now. He's a lot more steady with the ball in his hands, and has the shot to spread the floor. His biggest deal is defense and with Perry Ellis on the floor, that puts us liable at two spots on the floor. I think the Graham kid is the recruit we need most. Turner will only be there for a year and he'll struggle against the big teams like Embiid did last year. He just will not put on enough mass between now and then in one season. Graham will be there for a couple years and be able to learn the system and gives us size and ability at the point. He will not be the impact this season that we need, but he could turn out to be a Russ Rob type kid that for 3 years allows us to not have to worry about the point. He's got the size and quickness and if his ability matches up with that, I'll take it. I just don't think Naa is going to improve much on his defense, so the PG will be a rotation in my honest opinion. Mason will come in when we need a defensive presence. Naa will play when he's hot and not turning the ball over and CF will be in there when we need someone to run our sets and not turn it over.

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Aaron Paisley 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Do we know that everyone will be better next year than last year? Tharpe took a pretty big step back last year on both ends of the floor. KU was supposed to be a team that could shoot it from deep this past year and yet KU struggled with that. This was supposed to be a team with enough length on defense to make up for having a sub 6-0 pg and yet this was Bill's worst defensive team at KU. On paper, KU is absolutely a top 5 team next year, problem is though that games are not played on paper, they are played on a basketball court and without a significant upgrade in the quality of play at the PG position, KU's going to have the same issues next season they had this past season.

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Shane Johnston 4 months, 4 weeks ago

If individuals aren't better it's probably because they don't get enough minutes to show it. That affects the guards more than than anyone else. Assuming Selden sees Wiggins-like minutes at the 2 spot, there will be a tight squeeze on point guard minutes. Especially if we sign another guard.

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Jeff Kilgore 4 months, 4 weeks ago

New Century, Kansas? Huh? Wikipedia references it as an airport, not a town.

Are they playing on the runway?

1

Jeff Kilgore 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Tourney on tap: The Jayhawk Invitational AAU tournament will run today through Sunday at New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway, New Century, Kansas, 66031.

What///////////////////?

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Jeff Kilgore 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Are they playing the game in the hangar?

IXD diagram.jpg

IXD diagram.jpg

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Chris Nieto 4 months, 4 weeks ago

SMU is more of a hometown team than Texas is. The article in the UT paper that he shouldn't choose Texas is honest and awesome.

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Rob Bedford III 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Shaq Cleare is not eligible until 2015-16. It will not impact Turner's decision.

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Rob Bedford III 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Harrison Twins are returning to Kentucky. UK will be loaded next year.

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Shane Johnston 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Dang. That hurts. They are the frontrunners.

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Walter Bridges 4 months, 4 weeks ago

This could very well be a team with too much talent. Dakari Johnson, Poythress and Cauley-Stein are also returning.

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Rob Bedford III 4 months, 4 weeks ago

All that means is a couple of the 5 star studs will spend more time on the bench than they would like. I have a bad feeling Kentucky will win it all next year and have a record nine first round draft picks in next years draft.

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Shane Johnston 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Agreed (with Walter not Rob). 9 mcdonalds all americans on that roster. Good thing only 5 can play at once.

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Robert Lofthouse 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Enough about the incoming freshmen - I want to know what the returning vets are doing to improve on their shortcomings in the last campaign. This team proved you need defense and ball control, otherwise it doesn't matter how many shooting studs walk onto the court.

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Ryan Zimmerman 4 months, 4 weeks ago

If we don't land either Graham or Turner, I'd be pretty disappointed. A team like Kansas with the tradition and coach and program etc still having a scholarship to give is sad. No way should they have any to give at the end of recruiting. One of the most storied programs in the game and they can't fill an open scholarship would baffle me

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Aaron Paisley 4 months, 4 weeks ago

It was also not a scholarship that KU and Bill Self necessarily expected to have available at they were recruiting and why Self was telling players after Oubre and Alexander committed that any offer was conditional on Embiid leaving or someone transferring. This has also been an unusual year in recruiting in that there are so few top players left at this stage of recruiting when there are normally quite a few very good players still on the board waiting to see who stays and who goes.

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Mike Riches 4 months, 4 weeks ago

When compared to this year's team, which was a 2 seed going into the postseason, next year's team may likely be much better. Reasons KU will win the Big 12 again, get a #1 seed, and legitimately contend for a national title in 2015:

  1. Experience. As of today, we will have only two newcomers in the rotation next year compared to 6 this past year. Even if Hunter finds his way into significant minutes, he's still practiced an entire year in Self's system. I think it's fair to say that this year's team struggled with chemistry and finding it's identity. I expect to see much more flow on both ends of the court next year.

  2. Improvement. While it's true another year doesn't always mean better play, I think most would agree that the freshman to sophomore off-season is when many players show their greatest marked improvement. We have 5 guys that could contribute real minutes making that jump. Not to mention players like Traylor, Ellis and Lucas, who could come back dramatically better. This could be KU's most improved team in years.

  3. Talent. This year's team didn't suffer from lack of talent, neither will next year's. Although Alexander and Oubre may not go 1 & 2 in next year's draft, they may actually contribute more consistently than Wiggs and Jojo. That combined with improved talent all around them...This could be fun!

  4. Schedule. Of course we don't know details, but hopefully next year's non-conference schedule won't be as much of a beast. Playing a few more "easy" games early could go a long way to building confidence and chemistry. And beating another young KY team early in the season will make me smile!

Of course there are unknowns-we don't know how ready to play our freshmen will be, we don't know the schedule, we don't know who may still sign with us, we don't know how Tharpe and Ellis will improve their games,, or even if they will. But with what we DO know, I feel pretty good going into next season!

Now after reading Suzi and Rodney's argument about Templars above, I feel like watching the Davinci Code again...

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Rob Bedford III 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Kentucky will not be that young next year. And I doubt KU wins in the Champions Classic.

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Walter Bridges 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I think our starting 5 will be better than their starting 5. If Self can keep the rotation down to 7 or 8, I like our chances.

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