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Originally published May 2, 2014 at 11:55a.m., updated May 3, 2014 at 12:49a.m.

Kansas lands PG Devonte’ Graham

Brewster Academy point guard says KU has 'chance to do something very special next year'

In this file photo from Jan. 2, 2012, Broughton High junior Devonte' Graham (4) goes up for an acrobatic shot during the first half of a game against Enloe High in Raleigh, N.C.

In this file photo from Jan. 2, 2012, Broughton High junior Devonte' Graham (4) goes up for an acrobatic shot during the first half of a game against Enloe High in Raleigh, N.C.

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Photo courtesy of The News & Observer

In this file photo from Jan. 2, 2012, Broughton High junior Devonte' Graham (4) goes up for an acrobatic shot during the first half of a game against Enloe High in Raleigh, N.C.

Devonte’ Graham can’t wait to lob the basketball to, say, Cliff Alexander for a resounding dunk off the fast break next season at Kansas University.

“I’ve seen him play. It’s going to be great. I’m going to feel like Chris Paul throwing the ball to him,” said Graham, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, who on Friday signed a letter of intent to play for Bill Self’s Jayhawks.

Graham, who is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, chose KU over runner-up N.C. State. A true playmaker who averaged 17.2 points and 5.0 assists last year for national prep champion Brewster, Graham describes his game as, “being a leader, being able to control the team, being able to control the tempo of the game, being able to facilitate and get players shots that they need, also being able to score.”

He was his team’s top three-point shooter at 40 percent beyond the arc.

“We got good today,” KU coach Self said after receiving Graham’s letter of intent. “He’s a late bloomer that will continue to get better. I think we have a true point guard back there (Graham) with two other guys that can play point or off the ball. It gives us more an opportunity to play small because Devonte’ is a big strong kid.

“At the position we have Conner (Frankamp), we have Frank (Mason). Wayne (Selden, off guard) will develop into a guy who can do that from time to time. That may be as deep a position we have on our team if guys continue to get better and improve,” Self added.

Graham just might start from Day One.

“If I’m not mistaken, Tyshawn Taylor started (as a freshman). If I’m not mistaken, Aaron Miles started at point guard as a freshman. We’ve had some inexperienced point guards on some really good teams. I’m not saying who will start. Of course, you’d rather play with juniors and seniors at certain positions. These guys will play beyond their years,” Self said.

Graham would love to be opening-day starter.

“Of course,” he said. “I’m not going to come in and say, ‘Ooh, I’m the starter.’ I’m going to go in and compete for a starting spot. I think we have a chance to do something very special next year with the players coming in (Graham, power forward Alexander, wing Kelly Oubre) and the players already there. I’m looking forward to having a great season,” Graham added.

He joined KU’s program about 23 hours after fellow Brewster grad Naadir Tharpe left, which opens up a lot of playing time for Graham.

“Yes, it was,” he said of playing time being a pivotal factor in his choosing KU over the Wolfpack. He also had Providence, Virginia and Virginia Tech on his list since being released from his letter of intent to Appalachian State on April 10. “With Naadir leaving and that whole situation, it played a part in my decision.”

Graham said he reached his decision a couple days ago, but wanted to wait to sign to “make sure the feeling was right.”

“The deciding factor was talking to my family and my mom and figuring out which school was the best for me. (The main factors were) winning, the opportunity to play right away, the school I felt would develop me as a person and player,” Graham said.

As a then-unranked player, Graham originally signed with Appalachian State in the fall of 2012, his senior year at Broughton High in Raleigh. Eventually he asked out of his letter of intent, but was not granted a release by coach Jason Capel. So he enrolled at Brewster Academy and finally received a release after Capel was fired and Jim Fox hired.

He just recently vaulted to No. 36 in Rivals.com’s final rankings.

“He wasn’t ranked coming out of high school, signed with Appalachian State and blew up. He went from not being ranked to 35. He’s better than 35 in our opinion,” Self said. “We felt good about him ever since he visited. He wanted to take his time and make a very good decision based on the first time when he kind of rushed into it.”

Of the rankings, Graham said: “I didn’t really pay attention. I’ve always been kind of an underrated guy. It didn’t really bother me, but being able to be ranked 36 is a great feeling.”

Like pretty much all top players, Graham is hoping for a career in the NBA.

“If something happens and I’m blessed enough to be able to leave early, then that would happen,” Graham said of leaving college for the pros. “If not, I’ll be there four years and get my degree.”

The Jayhawks have one scholarship remaining in recruiting after losing out on Texas big man Myles Turner earlier this week. Dozens of transfers remain on the market if Self decides to award the final scholarship.

NBA talk: With many NBA jobs open, Self was asked about fans’ concerns he might be headed to the pros after 11 years at KU.

“There’s nothing about me and the NBA. Zero,” Self said. “Anybody that would waste any time on talk radio talking about that ... surely there are some Royals games or something like that going on that people can talk about. The Chiefs are getting ready to start football here pretty soon. (They) can talk about that, maybe how certain golf courses are in great shape. Certainly there’s nothing with me (and NBA) to talk about.”

More on Tharpe: Self was asked about Tharpe a day after the junior guard elected to transfer to be closer to his daughter, Amara Grace, who lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.

“Naadir gave us three good years. He’s a great kid who I totally respect,” Self said. “Hopefully this will be a better situation for him and his family. Stop to think about it, from a common sense standpoint, his chance to play professionally is overseas. If he plays overseas, he will not see his daughter for eight to 10 months at a time. If that’s true, why not be close to her at a time that is so important to her? The (health) issues she’s had ... though she’s better now. I applaud that. I think it’s a good decision on his part, one I think he’ll be really glad he made as he gets older.”

Tharpe could apply for a waiver to play immediately and not sit out a year if he indeed transfers to a school close to home. The NCAA decides on a case-to-case basis.

Correct spelling: Graham told the Journal-World he definitely prefers an accent over the E in Devonte’.

Self’s official statement from KU regarding the signing of Graham: “We’ve had our fair share of guys from Brewster over the years, primarily Naadir and Thomas (Robinson). We’re very familiar with that program. We certainly solidified our situation in the backcourt by bringing in a quality guy and I think Devonte’ is one of the premier point guards in the country. (Brewster’s) Jason Smith is not a good coach, he’s a great coach. He’s been at Brewster for a number of years and has coached many, many great ones. He definitely made me feel Devonte’ is as good as any he has had in the backcourt.”

Brewster coach Smith to Rivals.com: “He’s as good as any point guard we’ve had during my tenure at Brewster. He’s kind of a combination of a few different guys. He’s explosive like Semaj Christon (Xavier). He runs the team and makes decisions well. He guards like Dogus Balbay, who played at Texas, so I knew once Devonte’ received his release, he’d be recruited by the highest level programs. He’s a little bit of both (point guard/shooting guard). Devonte’ can score if you need him to score, but he really shoots the ball well and he can defend. He was our leading scorer this year, but he still shot over 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from behind the arc and nearly 80 percent from the foul line.”

Peters retires: Former KU forward Zach Peters, who played at Arizona this past season, has given up basketball. UA said Peters will remain on scholarship as a medical exemption. He’s had a problem with concussions in the past. Peters said in a statement he will remain a student at Arizona.

Comments

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Best News we could hope for. We have options now with a young rising prospect. We are better than we were yesterday after Tharpe confirmed he was leaving.

It is interesting the way this happened, Wed. Turner to Texas, Thur. Tharpe Transfers, Friday Graham commits to KU. If this just happened or was planned, who cares, I like our options for next year.

Possible starters - Graham, Selden, Ellis, KO, Alexander. rotation - Greene, Hunter, Traylor, CF, Mason? Maybe Lucas in there too? AW? Not bad, not bad at all.

Beau Woolsey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Great to have good size at the point guard spot at 6'2 he can defend taller pg's. I really like that he 6'3 it's so great I mean 6'4 is such a good height at 6'5 he can really help this team.

Jeff Mills 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Haha... yes it will be nice to have the next Magic Johnson at 6'9 running the point.

John Randall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

According to recruiter extraordinaire, Bill Self, "“He’s a late bloomer that will continue to get better. I think we have a true point guard back there." I'm not sure he has his full growth yet, but from 6' to 6'2" in a year is nothing to get all wise@$$ about. Only freaks like LaBron and Kobe are mature physically at 17 or 18 and even they fill out and gain strength after that. Most pros who keep working to stay in shape will reach their peak physically at age 27-30 and some of them maintain it for several years.

Joe Baker 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Welcome Devonte and get ready to Rock Chalk

Kevin Jenkins 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Finally good news a point guard. He can guard, he can shoot and he is a leader. Excellent!

Walter Bridges 5 months, 3 weeks ago

"he can shoot and he is a leader"

No more than the two sophomore point guard we have. Frankamp was actually rated higher by Rivals and he broke the Kansas scoring record. I think his height might be his best attribute if he can play defense, limit mistakes and make plays.

Mike Riches 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Welcome to KU Mr. Graham! Let the battle for a starting spot begin! I predict that Mason will start at the beginning of the season but Graham will be starting by season's end. Whatever happens, it will be great to have more length and depth at the point for the next 2-3 years. IMO this is a bigger "get" than Turner...

Steve Jacob 5 months, 3 weeks ago

"The previous staff, led by former coach Jason Capel, believed that NC State had tampered with Graham while he was signed. Graham played on the same high school team as NC State coach Mark Gottfried's son."

From ESPN.

Robert Brock 5 months, 3 weeks ago

How long before he gets a nickname?

Try this: Doc Graham (after Doctor "Moonlight" Graham in the film, Field of Dreams).

Tony Bandle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Graham Cracker, Divine Devonte, DG, Slam Bam Thank You Graham, Cinnaman Graham, Devonte The Ram Graham, DvG....I think I like that one!!

Jay Beakum 5 months, 3 weeks ago

As long as it’s not because he posts naked pictures. Oh wait, that would make him Strippo-graham.

Tony Bandle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Roster Makeup:

Point Guard: Frank, Devonte.

Shooting Guard; Wayne, Conner.

Power Forward: Cliff, Perry[sort of].

Swing Man: Kelly, Brannen.

Center: Landen, Hunter.

Combo Center/Forward: Jamari.

Combo Swing/Shooting Guard; AWIII.

Final Schollie - ??????????? It sure would have been nice to have gotten Myles but it is what it is and we'll take it.

Walter Bridges 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The only way the extra scholarship will help is if some other top player that we can use decides to transfer, otherwise, it would have been freed up for next year anyways.

I wish this would have transpired earlier so we could have signed Jaquan Lyle who wanted to play on the same team as his buddy Cliff Alexander.

Aaron Paisley 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If no one else signs or transfers in, give it to Christian Garrett as a reward for his hard work and dedication. Since he'll be a senior, it won't impact 2015 recruiting in any significant way.

Brian Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

What is wrong with you people forgetting Mickelson. Mickelson has two years experience starting for Arkansas. He is 6'10" four star recruit that happens to be a stud. In case you didn't know, Hunter Mickelson set the freshman school record for most blocked shots while he played at Arkansas.

My gut says Mickelson and Ellis start. Cliff will be first off the bench.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

There is virtually no chance that Mickelson will start ahead of Alexander. If Mickelson is better than Alexander then KU has a serious problem next year and Alexander is woefully overhyped.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

And Mickelson only started 25 of his 64 games at Arkansas just for clarification, playing around 16 minutes a game both years.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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

Tony Bandle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Answer to your question...1983..the off season before Ted Owens last year with Kansas. Unfortunately, many of our off seasons in basketball have been more interesting than the in-seasons in football!!!!

Bryce Landon 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Since when was Texas supposed to challenge us for the 2015 crown? All reports I heard pointed to Iowa State as the biggest contender.

Aaron Paisley 5 months, 3 weeks ago

UT is being protected as a top 10 team next season. As far as I'm concerned, a team with those expectations is a threat to challenge until proven otherwise.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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

Walter Bridges 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Censorship should not be tolerated! This is basically a site for KU?College fans to express opinions. Censorship is UGLY.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

My assumption is that someone I disagreed with is asking that anything I post be removed.

Jordan Ashleigh Grant 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Naadir - #17th PG, 86th overall player Mason - Not even in ESPN's top 100, 3 star Frankamp - #10 PG, 46th overall player Sherron - #4 PG, 21st overall player Tyshawn - #12 PG, 86th overall player

Beau Woolsey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

100something 76 50 something 29 90 something

Gerry Butler 5 months, 3 weeks ago

well yester was pretty upset naa transferred, fully understood why, nothing but the best for him I happened to like him. did I get mad upset with him hell ya, but still hope he does fine. him and his daughter. now time to move on for the Jayhawk nation, I seen devonte's clip from Jayhawk nation. like what I saw it was on face book. pretty good foot work, pretty good crossover move, pretty good speed, got a little hops, penetrator, dishes nice, and has a nice outside shot. looks like he has a complete game I think he is a 4 year player so that's good I think he will definitely help and help other players now its just a matte of translation to the major college level. I think we will be fine ROCK CHALK

Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

According to Rivals

Sherron - 21 (4, position rank)

Frankamp - 34 (7)

Tyshawn - 77 (11)

Mason - 76 (17)

Naadir - 92 (19)

Graham - 36

Walter Bridges 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm glad you posted those numbers as it seems that the expectations are already over the top. Graham has shown he is an up-and-coming player but like every freshman, there will be a huge adjustment period. I still think that Frankamp will start next year but Graham will get his shot as will Mason.

John Randall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

By "huge adjustment", I hope you mean the amount of development, not the duration.
Rotations will settle in by winter break, with no major changes (barring injuries or terrible goof-ups in behavior).

Walter Bridges 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I should have stated it better you got it. Time IS a factor but the leap from HS to Division 1 is what I meant...thanks John.

Suzi Marshall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

This is great news. However, for me, the biggest news of the day regarding next season was to hear Self say he would give Selden a look at PG. Self went on to say Selden could be the Jayhawk Kane. If Selden approaches anything Kane like, he's our full time PG!

Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The biggest thing about Self developing Selden as a PG will be to have two ball handlers on the court at all times. If Selden can handle point, Oubre can play a natural small forward role, and Self can play anyone he wants (Frankamp, Mason, Graham) alongside of them and still have two ball handlers. I would generally expect that if Mason is in the game that he will be the primary ball handler. If Frankamp is in the game, then Self may put Selden on point and run some plays to get Conner open looks.

I watched the highlight videos of Graham that Tait posted, but I am reluctant to call him a primary ball handler in year 1 until he's faced D1 level defense. He does look to have decent handles and good vision. He has the ability to use the left hand, and he may have a knack for getting the ball to his teammates in a position to score.

But I am not going to appoint him as the starter, especially if Selden develops as a serviceable PG. I would think that would lend itself to Selden and Frank taking turns intiating the offense or Conner coming in at the 2.

Matthew Pyle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

what could you possibly have seen out of Selden that makes you think he can play point for KU? Wow....

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

THIS. Suzi, you and I are on the same page (some may find that a bad thing, who knows) but we are in 100% agreement.

Gone are the days of the traditional PG. Kansas needs a LEAD guard and Selden is the best choice. Teams that make the Final Four have NBA caliber lead guards. Self has had exactly TWO NBA caliber lead guards (Chalmers and Taylor) and those are the only Kansas teams that have gone to the Final Four. NOT A COINCIDENCE.

Some lead guards are better passers, some are better scorers. Their common trait is leadership and poise and the skill to do whatever the team needs at the time. Selden is the best candidate for this at Kansas. Apparently Suzi, myself and Bill Self are the only people that realize this.

Shane Johnston 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If Selden is a strong leader it doesn't matter whether he stands at the top of the key or on the wing

Jack Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

One word .. ballhandling. Or is that two words? Ball handling.

Either way.

Matthew Pyle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

i must have been watching a different Wayne Selden if you saw him have enough handle to run point. I didn't see it....I think it would be a disaster. He couldn't move the ball 8 feet against the good presses we saw.

Jack Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If you were replying to me, no .. I see it exactly like you do. I think you are exactly right. Selden has nowhere near the ballhandling skills to be a point guard.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

So Bill Self must be an idiot for saying that he will be giving Selden time at the point this year. It's a bummer you guys aren't available to coach the team instead of that hack!

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

He said that before Graham committed cause at that time he is thinking worst case and all he has on the bench is Mason and CF. Selden cannot handle the ball well enough to be a PG for us. I see from all your removals today you have not reached out to support. Had to hurry to post this before you get pulled again...

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

So mind reading is a skill of yours now, too? Maybe Self sees that Selden is the most talented guard he has and should be given the green light to do as much as possible...

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Typical reply Benz, how many times have you used this as a reply? See below, I will spell it out for you...

Selden cannot handle the ball well enough, he is not going to be our PG.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

There is a big difference between "cannot" and "did not". To say that an uber talented guard cannot do something is very short sighted. If that is what is asked of him and what he works on, I am fairly certain he could improve it to a level better than what we had before. Selden understands that he needs to improve his ballhandling to improve his draft stock. Odds are that if Self is saying this in the press then he has already spoken to Selden about needing to work on it for next year.

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

You can tell exactly what Self is thinking after getting the commit from Graham, and it does not take a mind reader to see Selden cannot, CanNot handle the ball to run the point.

Here's a Self quote from Friday, after Graham's commit: “I think next year, from that (point-guard) position, you have Devonte’, you have Conner (Frankamp), you have Frank (Mason) and then Wayne (Selden Jr.) will develop into a guy that can do that spot-wise time to time,” Self said. Benz you miss the obvious again, Self was covering his bases Thur. and on Friday he lists where Selden will fit as it relates to the PG position. (thanks for the quote Jack)

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I am not sure you understand the actual usage of the word uber either... Just cause Selden should play like a "superhero", he didn't. Hope he is back to his early quality self after he heals.

Shane Johnston 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Where is the renewed Wayne Selden as point guard talk coming from? The article only says that Wayne will develop into a guy who can play point "from time to time".

Is this it?

Jay Beakum 5 months, 3 weeks ago

That is exciting. I remember being jazzed about his highlights and the thought of him running the point. Can’t wait to see 100% Selden.

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Self said that before Graham committed. I just do not think Selden is our PG next year, much rather have him where he played last year, but healthy when he looked great.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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

Jay Beakum 5 months, 3 weeks ago

From the tape he sure seems to have it all. I’d like to see a tape of what he doesn’t do well so I don’t get too geeked up.

What I did see were some Chalmers-like steals, Tayloresque drives, Vaughnish playmaking and Hinrichy shooting. Not a bad recipe.

I don’t think I could be happier that we landed a PG prospect with this kind of all-around game that’s going to be here at least a few years.

Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

"From the tape he sure seems to have it all"

I try to train myself on watching highlight videos as to what to look for for true insight into the players skill level, because I'm pretty sure that no player has ever missed a three, or dribbled off of his shoe, or gotten blown by for the dunk on his own highlight reel.

Skill-wise Graham doesn't have great form on his jumper. He has a slow release, his shooting elbow's not square, and he doesn't always elevate. He may have shot 40% from trey in prep school but he won't be a sniper next year.

His handles look decent. But 95% of the highlights he was going right. Maybe he didn't need the left hand much in HS, but he'll need it at KU and I hope that he's got it.

They showed him getting some steals and a block, but I ring that up the same as a three ball in the highlight video. Every HS PG is going to get some steals and some fast breaks, and the occasional dramatic block. What I didn't see what him in a defensive stance, sliding side to side and locking his man down. His prep coach said that he plays D like Dogus Balbay, but the highlight videos don't show it.

To me he looks like a good recruit, and shows good potential, but I'm not certain that he's an immediate upgrade yet over Frankamp and Mason.

Tony Bandle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Well...you can't coach an extra 4" to 5 " in height. That may be one upgrade right there.

Also, Devonte is a "high" four star...there only 11 ahead of him and about 70 behind him, for what it's worth.

Brian Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Devonte is listed as 6"2 or 6"1". Connor is listed at 6'1" or 6'0". depending which scouting service you read. Last year, Connor was our tallest PG..Taller than Frank and Naadir

Jay Beakum 5 months, 3 weeks ago

You didn’t see the ankle-breakers, the no look passes, the behind the back passes and the legit ability to dunk the ball?

No really, I’m with you to a degree. That’s why I said I wanted to see the other tape. I know he has some flaws or he’d be a OAD, but I didn’t see them from those highlights like you did. I don’t have a problem with somebody’s shooting mechanics if they are going in. A ton was made of Ben’s unbelievable shooting form, and that didn’t make him an assassin.

Terry Brown had a weird behind-the-head thing going and he was deadly. Phillip Rivers throws a football like a shot-put, and it’s not slowing him down. I just don’t get into all that stuff.

I agree, he will have to go left, and he probably needs to keep the fancy stuff under control but I do think he’s probably an immediate upgrade over combo Frankamp and short Mason.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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

Ethan Berger 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Okay so for those in the recruiting circles more then myself, what made Graham jump from a nobody to a top 40 player? From his tape, he seems to have a tight dribble, ability to make contested shot and a flashy passer. But those are highlights and from highlights, I was convince Selden could play point. Maybe he still can but not this past year. What did he do this year to skyrocket? I'm very happy we got him, just curious on his rise.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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

Bryce Landon 5 months, 3 weeks ago

For the first time since Russ-Rob, we actually have a good point guard!

Mark Lindrud 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Before we all go crazy, which already began the excitement so far is his height, but we have little footage and background on the kid. With Tharpe leaving a point guard becomes a bigger necessity. Let's get him in and see him develop. I'm not predicting anything yet except he will get minutes and hoping he makes good his first year. Now if Selden plays some pg effectively that would be nice because it gives us even more versatility. I'm looking forward to next season.

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

We are much better Mark, Self said it, many here are saying it. He is a rising prospect who is not a OAD with what looks like great upside. He was the highest ranked player left and ended a tough week for us on a high note. Selden is not our PG. We are stronger with him healthy playing where he did last year.

Mark Lindrud 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I definitely agree we are better and the key word is upside. I am just hoping he can adjust quickly. I agree Selden isn't our pg, but there has been talk he might play some there. If Graham is able to contribute next year then that helps Selden focus on being the 2, which all the better. I just want the guy who can consistently set up our scorers inside and out with minimal turnovers and can occasionally make a bucket when called upon. Oh, and isn't a defensive liability. Merry Christmas lol.

Dale Stringer 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I just watched a coupled of his highlight videos. I really like the way he passes the ball. His shooting was good, but most were unguarded shots or layups.

If Wayne can play PG the way people here say he can, then IMO Mason needs to redshirt. When he played, he was just too wild. He definitely has the potential. And we will need him after next year.

1: Wayne(2) / Devonte 2: Conner(1) / Brannen. 3: Kelly / Perry(4) / AWIII(2) 4: Cliff(5) / Jamari 5: Landen / Hunter

This is not my opinion of who starts, just where I think they should play. The parenthesis numbers are their secondary positions.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brian Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Ellis and Mickelson will start. Mickelson has two years experience playing for Arkansas and is a 4 star stud. He brings veteran leadership an In case you didn't know, Hunter Mickelson set the freshman school record for most blocked shots while he played at Arkansas. Alexander has been quoted in the paper he staying two years. So Alexander will start being first off the bench.

John Fitzgerald 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't overlook Mason. He's going to be the starter next year. The guy is a bulldog and by bringing in Graham it will only make him better. Graham will be a good backup, but Mason is going to be our guy.

Mark Lindrud 5 months, 3 weeks ago

At this point I am not overlooking anyone, but saying let the best man win, which I think is what it should be for now. Both Mason and Frankamp have attributes I like, but neither is a complete pg at the moment. I am aware they are freshman so this offseason is highly critical to the success of our team next year because we need to find a leader to run the offense. As long as we have someone consistent, a playmaker, high assist/turnover ratio and not a defensive liability then i I am fine. Let's get it on!

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If Mason is our starter we still have issues at PG. Mason is just a rotation player. If he starts over Graham its because he understands the offense/defense better, not cause of his experience or better performance.

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

So John you loved Mason driving into the lane with no plan, or his inconsistent shooting, maybe you liked his constant inability to cross in front of screens, no no I got it you think he is going to improve by leaps and bounds over the summer on every single weakness??? Mason is a backup next year, he is not a starting point guard. I would rather see what Graham can do, it looks like so would Self.

Actually you disagreeing makes my point, 100% accurate.

Walter Bridges 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Frankamp is going to be the starter next year..he doesn't make nearly the mistakes Mason does. He lets the game come to him instead of driving recklessly into the paint and is a better decision maker.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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Joseph Bullock 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Benz, in 2008, Chalmers was not our PG, although he played it sometimes. Robinson and Collins were our PG's. But Chalmers does play PG for the Heat. Taylor was a true PG for us. I'm very happy we got DG! I have posted before, that this young man has mad skilzzzzz! We will be a much better 'TEAM', next season! Rock Chalk! PS: Do you know how you go from unranked, to #36. A coach like he had this season, who knows how to utilize great players!

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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

Ian Emerson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I dont know about anyone else but when i get drunk, sitting alone in my house, fantasizing about KU basketball, i ask myself the ultimate question. What if Tyshawn Taylor was our starting PG last year? That would have been the best team OF ALL TIME. ALL TIME I SAY.

Suzi Marshall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Ian...I'm trying to exorcise thoughts of last year’s team from my memory banks.

Unfortunately the memory of the UT AFH game won’t purge. Last year’s team follows the story line of a Shakespearean Tragedy like King Lear. Both stories provide visions of immeasurable potential within our grasp only to shatter because of Self-imposed judgment errors.

So close …. yet so far.

Ian Emerson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

  1. Frank , Devonte , Conner
  2. Wayne , Brannen , Andrew , Conner
  3. Kelly , Brannen , Perry (?)
  4. Cliff , Perry , Jamari
  5. Hunter , Landen , Cliff

Frank will start of everyone else in the beginning because of his pure athleticism and a year in the system, Conner is a great back up PG but does not attack the basket with the athleticism that predicates our bigs getting the put-backs and boards that they will be capable of. It is truly unpredictable how Devonte will respond to Bill Self basketball. Will he fold and fight it or embrace it. Will be start back up or not get off the bench? its just too early to tell.

Wayne will undoubtably be one of the best 2 guards in the country next year. The athleticism, experience and hunger for a lottery pick will fuel this man to have a stellar season, this i have no doubt. Brannen moves well enough around the court to back up the 2 guard and has the height, speed and shot to put up great minutes. However, i do believe Andrew White can take his place as the main back up 2 guard in rotation if he just MAKES HIS SHOTS. Everyone can scape goat his loss of minutes last season due to injury but the fact remains that he just missed TONS of shots.

Ian Emerson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

-Cont.-

Obviously Kelly was promised his minutes so if he performs to his ability he will take Wiggins place as the starting small forward the KU. He has elite athleticism and would be a great 1-2 punch with Wayne on the perimeter, you just cant pass that up from a coaching standpoint. Brannen put in great minutes last year at the position so he will build on that put what about Perry. This debate has gone on all year and off season, can Perry guard well enough to play the 3? His numbers are good enough and he would undoubtably have a size advantage when guarded by the 3 but then again the defensive liability would be too great.

I fully expect Cliff to absolutely dominate at the college level. Im talkin scorched earth on the court, he will be dunking on everyone and will be a picture perfect power forward in Selfs system. In this regard how can you truly have Perry starting over someone who offensively is more explosive, a better defender and someone who seems to have more of an all around dominate attitude going into the game. In my opinion you just cant and at some point, sooner probably more than later, Perry will come off the bench behind Cliff. At the same time how can you deny Jamari his minutes and i expect that some games he may even come off the bench quicker then Perry just for the defensive outlook alone.

Cliff is not ideal to start at center because he will continually give up inches to good schools starting center. Not to mention he will be much more useful guarding mobile power forwards then stationary center. I present everyone to the anchor that has been a part of our last couple KU teams, Hunter Mickelson. We got this man for a reason and that is to be a SHOT BLOCKER. Obviously not the caliber of Joel or the great Jeff Withey but with him in the paint with Cliff roaming the paint good look to anyone getting a shot off. Landen in the meantime will be the first big off the bench at center and provide a trained big man and big body to hold his own.

Just remember everyone we may argue, call eachother names or bicker about opinions. We are all family and we have all experienced the same collective heartbreak and joy that is to be a KU fan. Cant wait till next season.

Mark Lindrud 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I will have to respectfully disagree about Cliff starting ahead of Perry and I do believe he will be the starting center for us. That being said, Self also understands match ups and the advantage we have is both Cliff and Perry along with Jamari call pull the center out instead of leaving him underneath. This happened often against us last year with Joel when teams would have their center play away from the basket to take Joel away from the basket. We can rotate any of those 3 and have versatility in that regard. With either Landen or Hunter we will have a true 5 so it will come down to what is best for us I believe, but we have lots of options next year and that is exciting.

Josh Galler 5 months, 3 weeks ago

1-Mason 2-Seldon 3-Kelly 4-Perry 5-Alexander

However this is what I want to see

1-Seldon 2-Kelly 3-Perry 4-Alexander 5-Lucas

Brian Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

To open the season:

Frankamp, Selden, Oubre, Ellis, Mickelson starting

with Mason, White, Greene, Alexander. & Lucas backing up respectively.

Brett McCabe 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Frankamp gets the job because he outworks Mason and runs the system better than Graham. I believe CF may have a breakout type of year.

Mel Clare 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I too believe alot of people are forgetting about Michelson. The kid may in fact be the starting center. Heviscacshot blocker and back to the basket kinda player that Self likes. That's why he left Arkansas. They were a more run and gun with not many set plays. I can see a front line of Mickelson Alexander Ellis......with Lucas Trailor as backups. Kinda nice for size and depth. Oubre Greene Selden And A WIKI as wings.....lots of good athletes and size

Erich Hartmann 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Post-player QUALITY and depth: Mickelson, top50, 6'10, 245lbs, now Huditioned, and learning Selfball. Lucas, low-ranked, but has spent time in system, and is a 6'10 245lb banger. Ellis, top30 MickeyD. Traylor...continues to improve. Man, if his 18&15 vs EKY was any glimpse, then the future is now for him. Finally, add in Cliff Alexander, 6'9 240lbs, Top3, MickeyD, who has a TRob-attitude streak in him.

Make no mistake, our post play will NOT be "soft" this year.

John Williams 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Welcome young Mr. Graham. I personally believe that DG is a better late get for theTEAM than MTurner. (especially with NT transferring). If our frontcourt stays healthy we have more than enough to it a very memorable season. The biggest off season concern for BS and his coaching staff is how do they get this team back to play championship type of defense. In can't tell u how many hawk games K just couldn't finish watching because of the strainer style of 'D they were playing. Now with DGraham on D'fense I can see a better defensive on ball attack beginning at the top of the key instead of the low block. Cudos to BSelf for cleaning up the tail end of this recruiting year by sweeping up another late bloomer like DG. We feel good about it as a fan base, but after missing on MTurner the staff picks up Graham who will fill a need at pg and he's not a prima-donna. I still think that the pg position is CFrankamps to lose. I absolutely loved the stoic locked in mug he had every time he was in the game last year. He has a calming cleverness that will resonate with his teammates next year and K predict by his Jr. year he will b all conference and gaining national recognition as a top 5 pg in the country. Yea yea yea. I know it's a bold prediction, but if Billie Boy gives him the minutes that's what my gut is telling me. At any rate, our beloved ball team got better today with the addition of Graham.

Jack Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Can we please just agree on this? Ellis and Alexander will be starting in the post. As 4 and 4a. No true 5.

I see folks projecting Mickelson to start. How does anyone arrive at that conclusion? No one has seen him play here, right -- other than the snippet in the open scrimmage last fall. And he didn't look that great in that limited view. No reason not to be optimistic, but absolutely no reason to project him other than "depth" as Erich noted.

Two reasons why I think Mickelson is projected by some as a starter -

One, folks mistakenly think that he is a "center." Rivals, ESPN, and the KU Roster lists him as either a "power forward" or a "forward."

Two, folks mistakenly assume that Self will simply start a "center" because of position designation. However, look no further than 2008 and 2011. We started two 4s. Jackson and Arthur in 2008, and the Morris twins in 2011. In 2008, Darnell Jackson was shorter than his listed 6'8" -- he measured 6''7" 3/4 in shoes at the NBA combine. Arthur barely over 6'8" in shoes. In 2011, our first of the bench was TRob -- not a center. The "rim protector" is nice, but you play the two best players. If there is one thing I would love to see folks grasp is that you can play two 4s in the post. Can we please recognize that? Pretty please?

Third, perhaps Ellis' defense. This is the only one that makes any sense, but we would be making the assumption that Mickelson is actually a good defender. Perhaps "poor man's Jeff Withey" is a compliment worthy of starting, but perhaps not. Ellis is an excellent scorer of the basketball. His defense is pretty suspect, and he gets pushed around quite a bit. But that most likely translates to Ellis sitting when match-ups strongly dictate, much like this season.

Mark it down, barring injury/eligibility/etc., Ellis and Alexander start in the post.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

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

Gary McCullough 5 months, 3 weeks ago

All the news about Oubre, Alexander, and Graham seems to cause us to forget the great veterans on the team. White, Greene, Lucas, and Mickelson are not getting any press. Last year they worked out while Embiid and Wiggins got most of the playing time. I have to think a year's experience with the Bill Self system counts for something.

Alan Dickey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

"Two, folks mistakenly assume that Self will simply start a 'center' because of position designation. However, look no further than 2008 and 2011. We started two 4s. Jackson and Arthur in 2008, and the Morris twins in 2011. In 2008, Darnell Jackson was shorter than his listed 6'8" -- he measured 6''7" 3/4 in shoes at the NBA combine. Arthur barely over 6'8" in shoes. In 2011, our first of the bench was TRob -- not a center. The 'rim protector' is nice, but you play the two best players. If there is one thing I would love to see folks grasp is that you can play two 4s in the post. Can we please recognize that? Pretty please?"

Anything's possible, but I would hope that Michelson or Lucas come as ready to play the C position as anyone else. I don't care who starts, but if you divide the PT for the two front-court positions roughly equally between Ellis, Alexander, and either Michelson or Lucas (whoever is better) in important games, they each could play about 27 mpg, and what freshman could complain of that. If so, at least around 25 mpg would have someone on the floor with decent length.

You bring up 2007-08, but in that year, Kaun and Aldrich (both 6-11) played a combined 26.0 mpg, and Jackson only played 24.3 mpg. I think we're similarly going to need some 25 mpg or so out of someone taller than 6-8 this year. In 2008, in the Final-4 against UNC, 6-11 freshman Aldrich played only one minute fewer than shorter 6-8 senior Jackson.

As to 2010-11, ESPN says Kieff and T-Rob both are 6-10. Even if that's wrong, don't forget that we got run out of the tourney in a 10-pt loss to VCU. Both teams had 24 defensive rebounds.

I with we had landed Turner.

Jack Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I would not expect Traylor to simply go away. My expectation is that Ellis and Alexander start, Traylor and either Mickelson or Lucas get significant PT. If both Mickelson and Lucas exceed Traylor, then that will be a nice development.

You point out minutes played, but you leave out Arthur in the comparison. Arthur and Jackson combined for 49.0 minutes per game, and Kaun and Aldrich for 26.0 per game. Nearly a 2-1 ratio. I'm not discounting the true center. Simply pointing out that we have won the ultimate prize with our main guys/starters in the post being 4s, and played an entire season with our top three guys as 4s (Morris twins and TRob).

By the way, both Morris twins measured under 6'8"* without shoes.

On height, here's where I go -- NBA combine info. You can enter by any year you want.

http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?page=&year=2008&source=All&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&sort=

Alan Dickey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

My point was, and I think it's significant, regardless of who starts, is that in 2007-08, we had a 6-11 center on the floor 65% of the time. I haven't checked, but it might have been even more in certain games against bigger front courts. I think we need some taller-than-6-8 guys ready to perform well next year. That was supposed to be Embiid, but he accelerated through the program.

Jay Beakum 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I never understood why anybody gets measured with shoes on. The range of shoe height on that site goes anywhere from 1” to an amazing 2.25”. What was Aldrich wearing, Shapers? He’s listed as 6’9” without and 6’11.25” with.

Jack Wilson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Goodness .. Selden is not a point guard. Self suggesting that Selden might get that chance now has everyone in a tizzy. Of course, Benz suggests above the following: "So Bill Self must be an idiot for saying that he will be giving Selden time at the point this year. It's a bummer you guys aren't available to coach the team instead of that hack!"

Here's a Self quote from yesterday: “I think next year, from that (point-guard) position, you have Devonte’, you have Conner (Frankamp), you have Frank (Mason) and then Wayne (Selden Jr.) will develop into a guy that can do that spot-wise time to time,” Self said.

"... will develop into a guy that can do that spot-wise time to time."

That, my friends, is not an endorsement. It's pretty easy to figure out.

Actually, Benz, you don't need to see or hear any quote from Self to know Selden can't do that now. By his junior season? Maybe. By his senior season? Possibly. We'll just have to see how it goes. But his ballhandling was poor last season and to make that big of a leap in 6 months is not realistic.

Here's what Self said, again yesterday: “We’ve had big success playing with combo guards. Russell (Robinson) was more of a true point, but Mario (Chalmers), Sherron (Collins) were combo guards). But what we’ve been able to do in the past is play with multiple combo guards. This year we didn’t do that,” Self said. “This year we played with a combo guard at point, and really Wayne was more of a 2/3 and Wiggs (Andrew Wiggins) was more of a 3. We really lacked in the ballhandling and making others better-type deal."

Wayne was really more of a 2/3 -- not even a "combo guard." You don't go from a 2/3 to any significant time at the point guard spot. Heck, the only time I can even remember Selden on the ball this past season was one time when he brought it up and then threw a 30 foot lob to Wiggins on a set play.

I've posted this before, but for Benz particularly, it has a hard time sinking in. Self removed Selden from the 2 spot on the press break and replaced him with Wiggins. Selden moved to the 3 spot on the press break. Why? As we all saw, Selden couldn't handle it.

To expand the thought a bit further, if you were an opposing coach, and you knew Selden was going to handle the ball, what would you do? I would think "strong pressure" would be a start.

Look, if Selden miraculously improves his ball handling, I'm all for a perimeter of Selden, Greene, Oubre. Pretty bada** in my book.

But it isn't happening. Not this season anyway.

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank You! Selden is not a PG, period, for KU.

Regarding a center or not to start, I think due to match ups having Hunter, Landon, as taller bigs to throw in there, they might more minutes then the starter at that position in some games. Again due to match ups it is nice we can go big, small, and medium too.

Suzi Marshall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

We'll all discuss this more once we get a good look at Graham.

Benz Junque 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Bill Self does not coach a style of offense where one guy is going to be handling the ball for any significant amount of time. If he is then the ball is "sticking" and he finds a spot on the bench next to Self.

1) Decision-making 2) Leadership 3) Passing 4) Ability to create via drive and finish or drive and dish ... 10) Ball Handling

I am not calling for Selden to be a traditional PG because quite frankly Self's offense doesn't need one. I just think that Selden will become more of the lead guy on the perimeter and be given more responsibility to make sure that everything is running as expected. That's all. We can quarrel over terms and technicalities and percentages forever (or until this post gets deleted tomorrow).

Jay Beakum 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Everybody keeps forgetting he wasn’t 100%. Self has mentioned he is looking forward to seeing the real Selden this year. The explosive Selden.

Ian Emerson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

In actuality the different position wise between a shooting guard and small forward is minuscule. I believe Wayne as the basketball IQ to lead this team but just doesn't have the handles to do it.

John Randall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Just as an apostrophe is not an accent, Devonte′ is not Devonté, our newest recruit's preferred spelling of his given name . . . Read up on "diacritical marks", or just be a doofus.

This particular one is typed in two strokes: - Hold down option while striking e, release option and type e. On a PC kybd, option is called alt.

Suzi Marshall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I will spell Devonté when he earns All-American honors. Until that time, it's Devonte.

Rodney Crain 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I am just going to call him Graham and not worry about it... :)

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