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Monday, May 18, 2015

High-scoring Memphis guard LaGerald Vick picks Kansas

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

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High-scoring Memphis Douglass High senior combo guard LaGerald Vick on Sunday committed to play basketball at Kansas University.

Vick, a 6-foot-5, 175-pounder who recently backed off a commitment to SMU, averaged 26.0 points and 11.0 rebounds a game for Douglass this past season. He averaged 24.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.0 steals in 2013-14 and currently is leading scorer for his Team Thad AAU team in the Under Armour Association.

Vick chose KU over Kentucky, which recently offered Vick a scholarship, Kansas State, Auburn and others.

“I love the decision,” Team Thad coach Norton Hurd told the Journal-World on Sunday night. “I think under Bill Self and the Kansas system, by Year Two (at KU) he’ll be a Ben McLemore-type player. He is 6-5, has a silky-smooth jump shot (and) can score from all spots on the court. He can create for himself and others.”

Vick is currently ranked No. 137 in the recruiting Class of 2016 by Rivals.com. However, it is likely he will soon declare his intention to be in the Class of 2015 and be on the Jayhawks’ active 2015-16 roster with fellow incoming freshmen Carlton Bragg (6-9, Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph) and Cheick Diallo (6-9, Our Savior New American, Centereach, New York).

“No official decision has been made (on reclassifying from ’16 to ’15). There’s a really good chance he comes this year,” Hurd said. “I don’t care if he comes to school in 2025, he’s Rock Chalk Jayhawk-solid.”

Vick will join a perimeter that includes point guards Frank Mason and Devonté Graham, combo guard Wayne Selden Jr. and shooting guards Svi Mykhailiuk and Brannen Greene. Greene is coming off hip surgery and is expected to be fully healthy in September or October.

“He’s a natural 2-guard, very athletic. Coach Self said he’s going to have him play the 1, 2 and 3,” Hurd said. “He’s tall enough to play the 3. Two is his natural position, and he can handle the ball well enough to play 1. He’s going to have to get there, work hard and learn coach Self’s stuff. Talent-wise, he’s one of the most talented guys on the team as of right now, but he’s got to get there and work his butt off,” Hurd added.

Vick visited KU Wednesday through Friday following his visit to Kansas State. He had scheduled a visit to Kentucky but decided not to make that trip this week.

“He liked the facilities and the people at Kansas. He’s really happy with his decision,” Hurd said. “It was a toss-and-turn (decision). Kentucky and Kansas had the winning tradition. I feel in the last 48 hours he really took favor to coach Self. Everybody was making him a priority but in these past 48 hours he felt like Kansas made him a priority.”

Last October, Vick chose SMU over offers from Georgia Tech, Western Kentucky, Alabama, Memphis, Mississippi, Providence, Tennessee, Auburn, California, Baylor, Indiana, Florida State and others.

“I’m an all-around player. I’m not selfish,” Vick told the Memphis Commercial Appeal in describing his game. “I think I’m a 1 or a 2 (in college). Coach (Douglass’ Ted) Anderson helped me out a lot. At first I was just a person who shot the ball. I didn’t like attacking. He helped me out with my slashing ability.”

Self cannot comment on recruits until receipt of a letter-of-intent or signed scholarship papers. He now has 12 players on scholarship for next year, meaning there is one left to award.

“I can say we are still actively recruiting,” Self told the Journal-World on Sunday. “We hope we can get a big guy. It’s not something that has to be done or must be done, (but) it would help us moving forward having another big guy.”

Several big men who have announced plans to leave their current colleges are still on the market as transfers.

Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi on Vick: “He’s a long and rangy guard. He can create his own shot off the dribble, which is his biggest strength. He’s a good athlete and a streaky shooter from deep. He’s one of those guys that can get hot in a hurry, and our guys that have seen him so far this spring, have told me he’s improved significantly and we’ve got him ranked too low. Based off those people who I’ve received information from, he was going to be moved up to a four-star prospect, so I’m expecting to see a pretty good player this weekend (on AAU circuit).”

ESPN.com on Vick: “Vick is a long, athletic and quick wing that has a great knack to score and he can do it in a variety of ways. He can hit the open three, slash, get his own shot and is an above the rim finisher as well. Vick is productive and loaded with potential.

More recruiting: Recruiting experts now believe Alabama is the leader for Kobie Eubanks, a 6-5 former Baylor signee who had KU on his list prior to the Vick commitment. “Everything happens for reason...I will end up at the college God wants me to attend!!! It’s already written. #Driven#Movement continues,” Eubanks wrote Sunday on Twitter. ... Texas is believed the leader for former VCU commit Tevin Mack, 6-6 from Columbia, South Carolina, who will announce for a school Tuesday. He also had KU on his list.

Comments

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 8 months ago

Welcome to KU, Vick! This guy is ridiculously GOOD. I've never heard of him before, but looks like Vick indeed a gifted scorer, with a very high-IQ bball. Cant' teach those moves, he's got so many weapons. But, wait.. 137th? Are you kidding me? He's waaaay better than Maye. Nevermind the ranking, we surely look really good next season. I can't wait..

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 8 months ago

Any words on Johnathan Williams III? I don't mind this kid at all. A lefty, and looks confident under the rim. I like that fire in him.

Len Shaffer 4 years, 8 months ago

"Vick chose KU over Kentucky, …"

Do we really need to hear anything else? I'm going to need plastic surgery because I can't stop smiling when I think about Kentucky missing out on YET ANOTHER recruit. Has Coach Cal lost his touch?

Keith Gellar 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow..we're going to be loaded. Great class, great depth, great experience....No more excuses. Coach K got his dream class and won a NC. Bill self is getting is dream class...and unlike last year (Duke, UK, Wiscy), there aren't strong favorites outside of KU. The NC is ours to take. Bill needs to set the expectations with the team from he beginning. NC OR BUST!!!

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

Gotta handle our business first against a Missouri Valley program in the Round of 32. If you think I've been loudly calling for Self's dismissal after two sub-par seasons, let's see how loud I'll be if the Jayhawks don't make the 2016 Final Four.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

Doesn't matter who we recruit if we keep losing to FCS programs in the Tournament's first weekend. Remember how Andrew Wiggins was supposed to KU's version of Carmelo Anthony and lead us to the Promised Land as a freshman? And how did that turn out? So no, don't expect anything positive from me until the Jayhawks start living up to their talent and expectations and stop underachieving when it matters most.

RJ King 4 years, 8 months ago

It turned out that Embiid did not play at the end of the season.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't want excuses. I want Final Four appearances and national titles.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

Apparently you do care if you're taking time to comment.

Tom Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

That's always been one of my favorite "comebacks" on message boards. Solid post.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

I f we go out in the 2nd round again, then maybe I'm on board. We have had Barnes like performances the last two years but this team has a whole different feel to it.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 8 months ago

We may have up to six schollies available next year so I say, if you can find a good four year developement guy, go ahead and use that last schollie.

By the way, that shooting star from Eudora is a huge KU lean, is he not????

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 8 months ago

He's c/o 2017 though, not 2016. But KU's going to have at least 4 scholarships in that class with Mason, Selden, Greene, and Lucas graduating and Ballock should be good enough to compete for a starting spot from day 1.

Brian Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

Great article Gary. I am wondering why write HCBS is going after a transfer. There are still quite a few high 3 to 4 star plus big men available. Dickerson, Papagiannis, Maker, Davis, Baldwin, Cobb, Adams, etc...

Matt Woolley 4 years, 8 months ago

Getting a solid post transfer would be nice because they already have proven they can play the game at a high level. Where getting a potential project like Papagiannis, Davis, Baldiwn, etc. would be a lot more effort for potentially less payoff.

I wish we could go after Dickerson, but he is probably going somewhere else where he will get actual playing time. At this point, getting a big that isn't a transfer would be a complete shock to me.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 8 months ago

The Missouri kid is proven at the college level. Why would you take an unknown, unproven player over a guy who is proven as a tough player (played on a torn meniscus all season), and is a proven quality defender, rebounder and shot blocker.

Alex Resnik 4 years, 8 months ago

sorry... but I stopped reading after "Missouri kid" they still have a program?

Brian Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

I totally agree about Williams from MU. That would be a nice slap in MU's face. Williams led the team in scoring and is an underclassman. Williams I assume could play this summer in WUG .

I know the list of unclassmen announced transfers. Pretty much other than Williams very few are worth having. Maybe we get one but IMO, other than Williams, someone new for us to go after would have to announce their wish to transfer.

Regarding a Senior transfer: I would rather have a developing player or underclassman that will have to sit a year. Next year we will have 4 to 6 "Big" men spots to fill. We don't need another senior to graduate with Traylor, Mickelson, and Lucas as well as Ellis, Diallo, and possibly Bragg. It is already leaving us to recruit 4-6 bigs. We need someone who can learn the system and will be here a couple of years.

Alex Resnik 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm with you Brian. Get a young big in here and get him in practice. I was looking at the class for 2016 and it is a guard heavy class. All of the big programs are going after Giles, Adebayo and Azubuiki. If I remember right, those are the only 3 bigs in the top 10-15.

Gerry Butler 4 years, 8 months ago

we don't need maker, not at least the way its sounding, come in for the 2nd semester? why waste a scholarship for a semester the way I'm understanding. not very much talk about Papagiannis don't think he is much of a possibility, I know some won't like it because he is a transfer from Missouri but don't wet your britches if Williams doesn't end up coming to KU. pretty good rebounder decent scorer and rim protector, some just don't want him cause he is from Missouri, and that's just crazy, he is a very solid player that can help us for sure its time to swallow some crimson and blue pride, just because this kid played at Missouri doesn't mean to not take him, people are confused. HUGE DIFFERENCE between Missouri fan base and a VERY SOLID PLAYER that could definitely help us. just sayin

Gary McCullough 4 years, 8 months ago

Stealing a player from Misery is a plus to me. Stick a shiv in those traitors.

Robert Brock 4 years, 8 months ago

Jonathan Williams will be the next commitment, IMO. He can sit out a year and will have two years remaining. We will need to replace Ellis, Traylor, Mickleson, and, probably, Diallo. Nice way to start the process.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

I'd be surprised if Bragg left after one season and he'll probably be better than Ellis by season's end.

Still, you are right on in our most urgent needs.

Matt Woolley 4 years, 8 months ago

I hope we can get Williams. But I just saw that Mizzou put no SEC and no Big XII on his transfer restrictions...

Michael Lorraine 4 years, 8 months ago

Why would they place a Big 12 restriction on his transfer?

Jay Scott 4 years, 8 months ago

From what I've read he's free to go to a Big12 school.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 8 months ago

Missouri waived the Big 12 restriction once they got left out of the SEC-Big 12 challenge.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm curious when a kid that barely broke the 2016 Rivals 150 and committed to SMU suddenly jumped high on the 2015 radar for Kansas and Kentucky.

We all know Brown is close to Self and Cal. My suspicions are after Vic de-committed from SMU Brown told Self and Cal this kid was a player. Only a Brown recomendation could get that kind of response from these programs. I don't know why Vic left the SMU camp but if my theory has any validity, Brown much really like the guy. If that is anywhere near an accurate guess, this is a great signing.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

Sound logic but still speculation. Wouldn't be surprised if you got it right.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 8 months ago

Suzi, you realize not recruiting years are equal right? Some years are stronger than others. The 2015 class overall us considered to be pretty weak compared to the 2016 class. Most recruiting experts have also already said that if Vick stays in 2016 class, he would be moving up to a mid level 4 star player (50-75ish) and would likely be ranked 40-50 among in the 2015 class.

Mike Barnhart 4 years, 8 months ago

The impression I get is that Vick has a high ceiling but needs work. Kentucky needs bodies and KU has plenty of room on the bench for a project.

Ryan Mullen 4 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone know why he decommitted from SMU? Please someone from the LJW do some investigating. Why would we go after a Larry Brown decommit?

Micky Baker 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm only speculating, but SMU is going to hear from the NCAA soon about violations and because this will be a second offense in recent years it could result in a 5 year probation period from the post-season.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

You would think that Southern Methodist of all schools would want to avoid running afoul of the NCAA's wrath.

Micky Baker 4 years, 8 months ago

You would think, but I think some of these violations root from outside of SMU and had to do with players recruited not even being eligible to graduate from high school. Some of these kids that play at SMU are from DISD and there was a sweep the last couple of years that resulted in a dozen or so high school coaches in basketball and football getting canned over academic fraud issues. This doesn't include Deion Sanders' school that was closed due to academic issues.

Michael Lorraine 4 years, 8 months ago

If this plays out badly for SMU that will be two programs Larry Brown has put on probation.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 8 months ago

Actually three. UCLA got in trouble with the NCAA and had to vacate a Final Four appearance that Brown took them to.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

I hope you;re wrong Mickey. Hard enough to build a program at SMU.

Michael Sillman 4 years, 8 months ago

When the article describes Vick as a senior, does that mean for the completed year or the coming year? Or is it both?

Ashwin Rao 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't know the reason for his decommitting from SMU, but it may be because of the NCAA investigation that was mentioned earlier: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/aac/2015/01/16/smu-southern-methodist-ncaa-investigation-larry-brown/21884551/

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Mr. Brock regarding Jonathan Williams. He would be a great addition. While he has to sit out next year under the transfer rules, he would be practicing with the likes of Perry, Cheick, Carlton, Jamari, Landon, and Hunter. Under that scenario, he would undoubtedly get better, and he would also help to make the above players better. This scenario should be very attractive to Mr. Williams. Also, who better to stick it to than good old Mizzou!

Tyler Capone 4 years, 8 months ago

looking a little ahead to next year Josh Jackson is probably my favorite KU target besides Wiggins...kid can ball

Alex Resnik 4 years, 8 months ago

Josh Jackson is REALLY good. But for KU I like Isaac Humphries out of Australia. He's a true center and can SCORE on the low block. I don't even know if KU has offered, but he would be a really good player in Self's system.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 8 months ago

I really have great respect for the opinions of you guys and gals on this site [as long as we are keeping it civil].

My Question; which scenario would be best for Mr.Vick and KU?

1] LGV stays a 2016 commit and gets another year of full time ball in high school. [He won't have to sit on the bench at Kansas]

2] LGV goes 2015 and redshirts his 2016 frosh year. [Learns the system and the game at this level and can alwys be activated in an emergency].

3] LGV goes 2015 plays his 2016 frosh year and redshirts his 2017 soph year.[Sees what he needs to work on and come in as a team leader his redshirt soph year].

4] LGV goes 2015 and is a full time player for 2016.[ Jump right in and contribute.].

Thanks for your comments. [Personally, I favor #2].

Mark Lindrud 4 years, 8 months ago

I would expect it to be 4. The thought I have been having about bringing in a wing player this year is for insurance that Greene has a slow recovery or can't play for any reason this next year.

Don Burgundy 4 years, 8 months ago

coming here and learning, look what it did for bmac.

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 8 months ago

He should do number 2 after practicing and playing (or sitting on the bench) for the WUG. This way he'll see his playing time will be limited (unless there is an injury at one of the guard positions) and he'll get an extra month of practice/game experience. Clearly he'll learn more and get in better shape as a Redshirt at KU and Hudy than he would as a HS Senior going against lesser talent in practice and games.

This option also allows him to be 3 years behind mason and 2 years behind Graham, giving him 2 years for it to be his team and get starter minutes, if he ends up being a point guard.

Alex Resnik 4 years, 8 months ago

I am in favor of #2, but I think #4 will happen. If he is as aggressive as everyone says he is, then he gives us a dimension that we need on the wing, a slashing threat. Right now the only one we have is Frank. But is that dimension enough to earn him quality PT? Don't know. But it would also be nice to have him ready to go because his ball handling is going to be an asset against teams like WVU and TX.

Michael Bennett 4 years, 8 months ago

I was under the impression that Self and co. were trying to bring in a wing scorer to contribute immediately, so I bet # 4 is the most likely scenario. It might be best for Vick too because next year he would get seniority and experience over 2016 recruits.

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