Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top recruits constantly consulting


— Not long after Carlton Bragg put on his Kansas cap, mistakenly said he was going to Kentucky, then declared himself a Jayhawk after all, the power forward from Cleveland set his sights on Brandon Ingram.

There was a time Bragg thought he had Ingram convinced, and he may yet help Bill Self land the long, lean small forward out of North Carolina.

Up to 6-foot-9 after starting his senior year at 6-7, Ingram’s stock is making a similar rise with outstanding showings this week at the practices leading up to tonight’s McDonald’s All-American Games at the United Center.

He’s ranked in the teens by both Rivals and Scout but has been better than that, and his uncommitted status has made him popular with his peers this week.

“I talk to Carlton a lot, I talk to Jaylen Brown (uncommitted) a lot,” Ingram said. “I talk to Luke Dennard (Duke) a lot. Me and Chase Jeter (Duke) talk a lot, Stephen Zimmerman (uncommitted). I talk to a lot of the people on the circuit. I’m just trying to make the best decision for me.”

Ingram still has Kansas on his list and said he “loved the visit when I went out there,” but Self is going to need all the help Bragg can give him with Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Kentucky and UCLA also in the mix.

“I’ve been leaning on him a lot,” Bragg said. “He said he doesn’t know. It’s getting harder and harder for him.”

Embiid comparison: The comparison to Joel Embiid is unmistakable — born in a different country (Mali), relatively new to the game, long wing span, big-time shot blocker.

They even look more than a little alike.

Cheick Diallo, who averaged 19 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots at Our Savior New American in Long Island, New York, as a senior, said he has spoken to Embiid, who has said good things about his year in Lawrence.

Kansas is on the 6-9 power forward’s unusual list, which also includes Kentucky, Iowa State, St. John’s and Pitt.

Whether he chooses to follow in Embiid’s footsteps may depend on whether Perry Ellis remains in them.

“I’m looking for (playing) time,” Diallo said. “I don’t want to go to a school and play five minutes.”

Bragg’s roommate: Bragg has not had to go out of his way to recruit 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman.

They’re roommates this week.

“I really like Kansas,” Zimmerman said. “Unfortunately they couldn’t go further in the tournament. They are going to have some good players coming back.”

Zimmerman’s final five include Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona and UNLV. Like most of the uncommitted All-Americans, he’s waiting for the dominoes to start falling.

“A lot of us have similar schools so we want to see who goes where and if we want to play with them or not,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve talked about it with some guys. I can play with anybody and I’m able to play unselfish and win.”

Thorne to visit: Former Charlotte center Mike Thorne Jr., who has announced plans to transfer to a yet-to-be-determined school for his final season, tells he will visit KU on May 1. The 6-foot-11 Thorne will visit Illinois April 17-18. He’s also considering Virginia Tech, Pitt, Arizona and others.


John Fitzgerald 6 years, 10 months ago

"Whether he chooses to follow in Embiid’s footsteps may depend on whether Perry Ellis remains in them."

Is there speculation that Ellis could be leaving?

Reggie Flenory 6 years, 10 months ago

Nope but he wants to start so if Perry stays he might be off the list although we May start him at the 5 he's not a 7 footer and he's limited offensively

Benz Junque 6 years, 10 months ago

"Whether he chooses to follow in Embiid’s footsteps may depend on whether Perry Ellis remains in them."

Eh, are you aware that Ellis isn't following in Embiid's footsteps because they play DIFFERENT POSITIONS? Pretty sure Diallo would start NEXT to Ellis out there, not be stuck BEHIND him.

Seriously, can anyone write for this site?

Freddie Garza 6 years, 9 months ago

One would think that it's actually CARLTON BRAGG who will have to be relegated to reserve status, not Diallo. Perry is going to play around 30 minutes a game as long as he is healthy and not in foul trouble. There is no dispute about that.

The argument becomes "who is going to play the other front court spot alongside of him?" Bragg plays to similar a game, so he'll probably be one of the first 2 reserves off the bench. You're left with Lucas (who HAS made strides), Traylor, Mickleson and Diallo (if he commits). IMMEDIATELY you can scratch Mickleson. I think personally that Traylor is also going to get a lot of minutes, but I don't know if he's a starter. Of the 3, I think Lucas is the odd man out (unless he has some sort of Withey-esque breakthrough). So that would put Traylor and Diallo in the main rotation, whoever starts is your guess as good as mine. But I DO think Diallo would get major minutes if he came to KU regardless.

Reggie Flenory 6 years, 10 months ago

So if Ellis stays diallo might cross Kansas off his list my issue with diallo is he's 6'9 220 he's gonna take 2 or 3 yrs to develop physically any way and he's a pf not a center and from what I've seen thus far he's a skinnier version of cliff as far as skill set.

Glen Miller 6 years, 10 months ago

They said that Embiid wouldn't be great his freshman year as well....... do you remember how quickly he developed? That's the whole reason we were sitting without a true starting Center this year. They didn't expect him to be gone. Diallo is raw and gifted like Embiid was. If he develops at even half the rate Embiid did, then he's better than any other big we've got on our roster at the moment (outside of Bragg). I will take him, if he wants to go to Kansas.

Reggie Flenory 6 years, 10 months ago

Do you remeber embiid was also 7 ft with an offensive frame work even early on. the only good news for Kansas is if they sign this kid he definitely won't be a one and done player if that's what you're looking for but the real question is can he defend and score over length and yes that will definitely take some time

Jeff Foster 6 years, 10 months ago

Not sure I like the "it's more about me than the team" tone though, from any HS kid. KU has a rep of getting players NBA ready, and with the league gambling on iffy players like an Alexander or are comfortable letting players like an Oubre develop on the bench for a year b4 playing regular minutes, what's the big deal if you start right away, later on or are logging 25-30 minutes a game and doing what you should do? Use KY as an example, none of those guys averaged more than 26 MPG nor averaged more than 11 PPG this year, of course they're playing 10 great players regularly. Next year, I think you have Mason-Graham-Ellis starting, with Selden, Svi, Lucas, Bragg and unsigned big-man center (hopefully) vying for spots 4 and 5-no way Selden gets a spot automatically after going backwards. ISU will be the team to beat and maybe the pre-season pick for the Big12, although, I still say how do you bet against HCBS and a 12th title! With what he did this year with that team, you gotta go with KU again until someone else punches them and they can't get back up! Rock12Chalk!

Greg Ledom 6 years, 10 months ago

Don't read to much into the 'me' tone. He's simply saying regardless of where his peers are headed to college and the fact they are trying to convince him to go to their school of choice, it's about his decision. It's his choice ultimately as he has to decide what's best for him, which is absolutely the way he should look at it. Once he's in school, it becomes about the team.

Vernon Riggs 6 years, 10 months ago

If I am a BIG, I would want to play with Ellis. He drives and passes like a guard. Looks for BIG-to-BIG passing opportunities. Made TRob, Withy and JoJo into first round NBA picks. Knows how to bring weak-side defensive help. Is an offensive threat strong enough to ensure no defensive double teaming on other Kansas BIGS.

Bill Lamson 6 years, 10 months ago

After reading those comments by Diallo.."I'm looking for playing time" Self should stop recruiting him right now. To be saying that so openly, that all he cares about is playing time, shows that he's not the type of player that is going to help us, especially if he only wants to be here one year. Self can't keep gambling on these one-and-dones. It doesn't work!!!! Sure they help us get to 30+ wins but how many of them have helped us go deep in the tournamnet??? NONE!! Not a single one. Selby, Henry, McLemore, Wiggins, Embid...sure we get to say we produced some really high NBA draft picks...big freakin deal. Do they hang a banner in Phog for that?

Jocelyn Uzzell 6 years, 9 months ago

In this day and age of college basketball, you can't shy away from OAD's. Any top coach, including Self, would be a fool to turn down top talent such as Wiggins, Embiid, McLemore, etc. I think the key is to have a good mix of upperclassmen players along with the OAD's. We aren't Duke and Kentucky with a team full of Freshman and OAD's, so I don't get all of the complaints and hysteria over these type of players. It's not like they are tying up a scholarship for 3-4 years being marginally productive while being suspended multiple times. I see the problem as Self needs to either always have top notch bigs on his roster for KU to be successful with his system and we didn't have that this past season, nor do we have that yet going into next season. This makes me nervous... However, Self and his staff need to step up the recruiting efforts now and in the future-it's not a good look right now imo.

Michael Bennett 6 years, 10 months ago

It definitely depends on how his game and the big rotation shakes out, but Diallo's not guaranteed more than 5 minutes a game. That could create a toxic attitude problem that hurts chemistry, not sure they should pursue him. Carlton Bragg's statements about playing time were the exact opposite: "freshmen aren't supposed to start".

Ben Simonett 6 years, 10 months ago

Comparing Diallo to Embiid is a joke. Embiid is that once a decade, special big man. Diallo is good and a likely NBA player but Embiid is a potential Hall of Famer

Benz Junque 6 years, 10 months ago

Once a decade, special big man? Look, I get that we all loved Embiid but he was mainly potential. We've had multiple big men have more productive seasons at Kansas. And maybe he can play at least one game in the NBA before he is touted as a potential Hall of Famer.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 10 months ago

Daillo is a power forward, and not a center so I don't quite know why we are going after him when he will be playing out of position, which has been the issue with Cliff when he was eligible. I would go after Zimmerman or one of the other centers hard.

Michael Bennett 6 years, 10 months ago

I think the issue with Cliff is he was mainly an undersized dunker that the staff attempted to use as a rim protector (with the expected results). Diallo's strength is protecting the rim, and that's what the team needs. He seems a bit taller than Cliff. He may still be a hair undersized, but he may also still be growing. There are many different types of "centers" and "power forwards" so you can't know how a player can be used based one of those two labels. And some mock drafts even have Diallo listed as a center.

Ryan Zimmerman 6 years, 10 months ago

We just need to fill the scholarships with some of these remaining guys... At this level and having the history KU does with basketball, it would be embarrassing to not fill any openings

Jay Scott 6 years, 10 months ago

Stop whining and get your cousin/nephew Stephen to sign.

Joseph Bullock 6 years, 9 months ago

Then Maker! If not him, then Zimmerman! Also, Jaylen Brown, is a must!

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