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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Providence transfer center to visit Kansas

Providence center Paschal Chukwu (13) goes up for a shot against Marquette guard Derrick Wilson during the first half of a game, Sunday, March 1, 2015, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Providence center Paschal Chukwu (13) goes up for a shot against Marquette guard Derrick Wilson during the first half of a game, Sunday, March 1, 2015, in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Paschal Chukwu, a 7-foot-2, 225-pound center who has announced plans to leave Providence after his freshman year, will visit Kansas University the first weekend of June, Chukwu told Jayhawkslant.com on Friday.

Chukwu said he is also planning a trip to Nebraska. He has yet to reveal any other schools on his list.

Chukwu, who is from Nigeria, averaged 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds for Providence his freshman season. He played high school ball at Fairfield College Prep School in Connecticut after moving to the U.S. three years ago.

Chukwu averaged 9.9 minutes a game as a freshman and was expected to start his sophomore season. Now he’ll sit a year at his transfer destination, with three years of eligibility remaining.

“Great things are going to happen with him,” Providence coach Ed Cooley told the Fairfield Citizen newspaper just days before Chukwu decided to transfer. “I can’t brag enough about him. I’m as high on him as any kid I’ve ever recruited and I know his best is yet to come. He should have a heck of a run from here on out. I’m excited as I can be about him.

“He’s got really good hands. He’s got a great touch. He can score around the basket. His biggest growth is going to come from strength. Once he gets stronger and is not moved out of the post ... that development in him will help him get to another level,” Cooley added.

Rivals.com’s No. 61-rated player in the Class of 2014 hit 33 of 50 shots for 66 percent as a freshman. He also canned 24 of 40 free throws for a chilly 60 percent. He had 23 blocks in 34 games for a 22-12 Providence team that lost to Dayton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He had nine points against Rhode Island, nine rebounds against Butler and four blocks against Marquette.

Cliff says mom was “tricked”: Former KU forward Cliff Alexander told Michael Kim of Chicago’s 120 Sports that he had to sit out eight games last season because his mom accepted impermissible benefits from a third party.

“My mom got tricked into something she didn’t know what she was doing,” Alexander said, “and we needed money at the time.

“I was thinking about staying (for sophomore season at KU). Then when the incident went down, I felt like I was going to be ineligible for my sophomore season, so I made the choice to leave (for NBA Draft).”

Games schedule, times: KU’s basketball team — plus Nic Moore of SMU — will open World University Games Pool D competition against Turkey at 10 p.m., Central time, July 3, at Dongkang Gymnasium in Gwangju, South Korea, KU announced Friday. There’s a 14-hour time difference, meaning the contest will tip at noon on the Fourth of July, Korea time.

Pool D includes Serbia, Brazil, Chile and Switzerland. The USA will play Brazil on July 5 (6:30 a.m. in Kansas) and Chile on July 7 (12:30 a.m.). USA will face Serbia (July 7, 10 p.m.). Then pool play concludes with a matchup with Switzerland (July 8, 8 p.m.).

Bracket play for the World University Games runs July 10-13. There are four pools of six teams each and, following pool competition, the teams will be seeded for bracket play with the top two teams from each pool in the mix for winning medals. Teams that finish third and fourth in their pool will play in a consolation bracket, while the teams that finish fifth and sixth in their pool will play in a third bracket. Each team is guaranteed at least eight games.

KU will face Team Canada in exhibition games at 7 p.m., June 23 and 26, at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. Fans can purchase tickets at sprintcenter.com or by calling 800-34-HAWKS.

Chalmers tourney: The seventh-annual Mario V. Chalmers Foundation golf tournament and VIP mixer will be held July 27 at Alvamar. Tee time is 1 p.m., with the mixer to start at 6 p.m. A live auction and giveaways will take place, with a portion of proceeds benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of Lawrence’s new Teen Center. For information, go to mariovchalmersfoundation.org.

TV rumors: Former KU forward Scot Pollard will appear on the 32nd season of the TV show “Survivor,” according to insidesurvivor.com and realityblurred.com.

Comments

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

The guys size says it all. He won't be able to help this coming season, but if he does choose Kansas, he's going to be quite the presence at the rim on defense for the Jayhawks for at least a year.

It also turns out to be as several people here suspected with Cliff Alexander. He may have stayed if it had not been the issue with his mother. I'm sorry, but this could have been avoided by keeping agents from contacting college players and their families until after they declare for the draft. I don't see why a rule like this should be unreasonable. It seems to me it would protect the integrity of the game and protect players who might need an extra year or two in college to develop their skillsets for the next level.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

My hunch in that Cliff Alexander would not have stayed, and his remarks about remaining here are a way to ingratiate himself to fans who might otherwise have had a bad taste in their mouths over the Alexander situation. The basis for doubting Cliff's story is the fact that his mother took the loan. Divorcing yourself from all other aspects around the story, very few lending institutions are going to give you a loan--especially a sizable one--and not require that you begin making payments for over a year and a half, unless it's a student loan which this was not. Taking the loan out when she did, one could imagine that a bank may defer payments for about 8 months. That is more thinkable. But it means in this case that Cliff was planning on leaving after his first year.

Allison Steen 5 years, 6 months ago

I 100% disagree with you. There are many players who start the season thinking they'll leave after a year (when she got the loan) and then realize they need more time to develop and I think that's what happened. Cliff isn't trying to trick KU fans to get them on his side. Cut him a break, he's a good kid who was put in a bad position by others.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

6'8 post players are lottery locks all the time... Wait no they aren't. What???

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

I agree with you Rodney.."6'8 post players are lottery locks all the time.". Of course they aren't but one I look at some of the players that Coach Self has put into the lottery, such as the Morris twins, Cole Aldrich, TRob and other big men, I think that given 2-3 years he would have done so with Alexander as well.

Other considerations include Danny Manning no longer coaching the bigs (I personally think this is a huge factor) but also that Self has been able to get other players drafted who at one time I would have bet against that possibility. I include players such as Withey, Stewart, Kuan and others.

Obviously, speculation but I think given the time, Alexander would have either been a lottery pick or at the least, a first rounder.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

In November and December, Cliff was most definitely still leaning towards being OAD. As January and February rolled around and Cliff was regressing, he was dropping pretty strong hints that he was planning on coming back because he knew his draft stock was dropping. So I don't believe Cliff is blowing smoke up our back sides by saying he was planning on coming back now because it's in line with the same tune he was singing even before his suspension.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

I might actually be able to be convinced of this. But at a minimum what we seem to have in common is that at the time the loan was taken, it appeared as if Cliff was thinking of himself as a OAD. Now if this is true, its hard to imagine any scenario under which his mother was "tricked". While I certainly respect the opinions of Allison and Brett above, it seems a bit out of line with events as they unfolded and, more to the point, seem to reflect the point of view of a fans who are wishfully thinking (its going to be hard for them to see that I mean no offense by this; yet Im doing a bit more than suggesting that fans are capable of turning a story until they see what they want to see). Cliff was NOT planning on staying the whole time he was here, as is evident by the fact that the loan was taken out when it was.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

I fully agree that Cliff did not come to KU with intention of being a multi year player. Cliff realizing he needed at least a second year in Lawrence was fully a result of his on court production and sliding draft stock.

The phrasing he used in regards to his mom is purely to keep NCAA heat off of KU and himself. I think everyone knows that tricked has quotes around it in this situation, but Cliff is never to admit that his mom took the loan knowing full well the ramifications it would have on himself and KU.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Joe, do you think Cliff was aware of the loan or was he blindsided by the news when it came out?

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Joe,

I don't think it's very difficult for agents to use money to lure people who need the money into taking it. There is an obvious incentive there. The fact that it was from an agent that represents NBA players is a red flag in my book. The agents shouldn't be allowed to make contact with college players or the players' family members including aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. The agent has a motive, to make money off of the player's NBA contract. Is it possible that she wasn't tricked? Sure. But I have to take Cliff's word for it because that is the only factual statement we've heard on the issue. I suspected this a long time ago and I can see how agents would exploit players whose families are experiencing financial problems. I find that absolutely abhorrent and harmful to the players' abilities to achieve the greatest success that they can. I also believe that it could have been done and most likely was done without Cliff's knowledge. I really think Cliff was going to stay if not for this issue with the loan from an agent. If it had been a loan from a bank or someone not affiliated with the NBA, he'd be practicing with the team right now in preparation for the world games, in my view.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

Lets begin where we agree. You say that "...the fact that it was from an agent that represents NBA players is a red flag in my (your) book." Such thinking is absolutely reflexive to anyone who is being objective about this situation. So the question is, if it occurs to both of us without any thought whatsoever, how could it at least not cross the mind of Cliff's Mom somewhere between being approached by an agent and signing the loan papers. To believe the story that she was tricked therefore makes no sense whatsoever to anyone who is approaching this realistically, fair-mindedly, and reasonably.

Finally, it is inappropriate to endorse as "factual" anything which anyone says just because he says it. To reach that conclusion, one must see statements supported by evidence which make clear that the contrary must be negated. There is no such evidence.

On the contrary, and as Ive stated before, an objective view of the evidence (among which is the timing of the loan) one can reasonably settle upon the following at a minimum: the loan was taken at a time when Cliff must have been considering himself a OAD player. If this isnt intuitive, the explanations are provided above.

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

Um, the loan wasn't from an agent. It was from a private equity firm that typically gives loans to potential draft picks. Agents turn these kids n to the company but the money isn't from an agent.

Just so we're clear about that.

Brian Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

Joe, I think you are pretty close to the story. I can'[t even imagine anyway that the mom did not know what she was doing. Speculating, but like you said loan was from an agent, with no collateral except future earnings of the unknowing Cliff. while not having to make payments for over a year, and the only hedge for repayment was a UCC filing which triggered the alarms.

I can't even imagine being able to take out a loan against my kid's income without their knowledge or signature. How does that even happen legally. And if Cliff was involved, then how is that his mom was tricked. None of it passes the smell test! But at this time "What difference does it make." Let's move on.

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

He started the year assuming he would stroll right through to the NBA after one season at Kansas and that is why his family did this. Once he actually played the season and his stock fell through the floor, they realized that returning for a sophomore season would give him a chance to climb back up the draft boards and make more money. Unfortunately that as not an option after they shot themselves in the foot with this stupid decision.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

It seems that you are insinuating that Cliff knew about the loan and had already decided that he would only play one year at Kansas even before he played his first game. If I am reading too much into your post, I apologize in advance but in all sincerity, I just don't think that's the case.

There is so few facts that are documented and everything else is just speculation. Until the NCAA makes a final ruling, I prefer giving Cliff the benefit of the doubt. If he did know about the loan before hand and had decided one year was all he intended to stay then I would like to know who gave him that advice. That person-persons didn't do anything but put undue pressure on Cliff to do well and basically cut his feet out from underneath him.

If such person exists and is a known agent or someone who works for an agent then I think that the NBA would be in the best position to address the issue. Such person has nothing to fear from the NCAA or from any legal repercussions. You are absolutely correct that lending institutions don't often lend significant loans while delaying payments for eight months or more.

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

It is foolish to think that a player finishing his last year before entering the draft would have enough time to get to know and choose an agent in that short amount of time. Sorry, but that is too important of a decision to cram into a few weeks time.

Jack Rivers 5 years, 6 months ago

You guys who think agents shouldn't be able to contact players is funny. How do you expect to accomplish that? The NCAA has no jurisdiction over agents. Do you suspend a player for receiving a call from an agent? The NCAA can't enforce it's own rules as it is. What happened to Cliff sucks. Should his mother have done what she did? No. But she is probably not financially savvy and didn't understand the issues Joe and Micky point out. And if she was desperate and someone was waving money in her face? Hard to blame anyone other than dumb NCAA rules.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

The NBA can certainly do something about it. I could be wrong but I believe both the players union and the NBA could come up with a plan of either suspending any dealings between the agent and the NBA or permanently banning the agent from conducting any representation of his clients and the NBA.

How many agents would be willing to risk their livelihood if they are complicit in any way of violating any rules set down by the NCAA?

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

7'2 and only 225 lbs...Im not sure what is exactly being said. To be fair, I have watched several YouTube videos and he seems to be fairly athletic and not nearly as rail thin as I expected. I'm guessing with a year at Kansas packing on muscle and conditioning, he could be a very legitimate force under the rim.

I agree Mickey that he is worth a scholarship and hope we will land him. Also, having him able to practice will benefit next year's team. Not many teams have a 7'2" center to help get the offense prepared.

Scott MacWilliams 5 years, 6 months ago

Gee Brett, not sure but I think Tarik might take exception to you categorizing him as "an undeveloped Big Man" coming to KU for his senior season. He was already pretty good, and just polished his game while tutoring Jojo.

As for Mr. Paschal Chukwu, take a good look around, chat with Joel Embiid about his recent stay, and see yourself being adored by 16,500 of your closest (and noisiest) friends on a regular basis. You will have a lot of fun while working your buns off, getting an education and growing into your fullest basketball potential.

And did I mention the Rock Chalk??

BTW, you should all check Embiids Twitter feed for some recent pics of Jojo. He looks like he's put on some serious muscle, and I can hardly wait to see him on the floor again!! Go Jojo!!

Joe Joseph 5 years, 6 months ago

Plenty of playing time will be available by the time Chukwu becomes eligible. He's exactly what Self needs to ease the most likely departure of four (possibly 5) front-court players in 2016.

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

While you can't teach height, fortunately for Jayhawk fans, Hudy can teach strength...

Tony Bandle 5 years, 6 months ago

From Jo Jo to Cheick to Chukwu...the African Pipeline continues to flow. Lawrence could end up being the destination for an entire continent!!!

"..at least eight games.." Damn, throw in the two Canada games and the annual two exhibition games and KU is getting a bonus extra third of a season. And that's not counting all the extra coach-supervised practice time that will be allowed!!

I can hardly wait to come up with nicknames for Mr.Chukwu. Can't do it yet...bad luck prior to committment.

Whatever you do, Bill, keep us off of that friggin' Sports Illustrated Cover!!!

Severeno Woods 5 years, 6 months ago

I wish there was a way to go after agents and their runners legally, but everyone knows that is impossible. Best of luck Cliff. At least come back to Kansas to finish your education.

Eric J. Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

I absolutely believe Alexander that his mother was tricked. I think those agents specifically pray on both the extremely and unnecessarily complicated nature of NCAA eligibility as well as the poverty of the players families. It's despicable. I hope he has a long and fruitful NBA career with a different agent. The guy is a diehard Jayhawk to the end, and everyone knows it.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

Respectfully. Not everyone "knows it", and not everyone agrees. I still hold Cliff morally blameless, because the rule is a bad rule. But Id be nuts to think his family was "tricked".

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Without questioning Cliff's knowledge or lack of knowledge about the loan, I've got to agree with Joe. Nobody was "tricked". They were taken advantage of but Cliff's mom put quick money ahead of her son's interest. I don't want to use the word greedy because I don't know what it is like to be in her shoes economically.

She saw a way out and took it. She certainly did not come up with this deferred payment loan on her own. There might not be a huge difference between "tricked" and "taken advantage of" but I believe her mom knew the rules and was complicit in breaking them. I do think if there is someone to blame it is an agent or a representative of an agent who knew he was taking advantage of a person who was economically distressed and offered his "help".

Humpy Helsel 5 years, 6 months ago

I totally agree. Those that can't believe she was tricked are people who have never been placed in a situation where someone with bad intent begins telling you what you want (and need) to hear, This includes the line, "and no one will ever know." What I would love to know is how it did come to light. Does this type of transaction occur more than we can imagine? I think we would be shocked if we really knew how much money was moving around under the table in all sorts of ways.

PC...gather all 7'2'' of yourself up and come on down. Just what we need! I guy who will be tall and want to be developed into a rim protector. Oh, how we need this guy! Someone please give Joel this guy's mobile number.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

It came to light in February when someone made it public knowledge that there was a loan filing from a Florida based financial firm taken out by Cliff's mom in August.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

Tricked? Bamboozled? Misled?

Weekend Special -- Bridges for Sale Buy one get one Free, good for this weekend only!

Not a fan of agents but unless its your Uncle Mike, or Freddy the Loan Shark loaning you money, terms and conditions are clearly explained, along with a lot of required signatures. Guidelines of permissible benefits allowed by the NCAA are also included in all Freshman backpacks. If nothing else why not ask someone? Does not pass the common sense test.

Ignorantia juris non excusat

I agree with Aaron, Cliff was coming back. He was clearly leaning that way.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 6 months ago

I have no animus toward Cliff Alexander. But Joe, Humpy and Rodney are right on this. There was no trickery.

I don't blame Cliff for anything in this matter. Whether or not he would have returned had it not been for this issue will never be resolved. I'll take his word that he was leaning toward returning.

Now let's move on and sign Mr. Chukwa. If Nebraska is our only competition, it should be a no brainer. Of course, more suitors will arise.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

For anyone who thinks Cliff's mom was tricked, I've got news for you. Cliff saying his mom was desperate for money at the time should send all kinds of alarms and red flags off about the phrasing Cliff used.

For those of you complaining about the choice of words Cliff used, what phrasing would you have liked Cliff to use? Would you have preferred Cliff said that his mom was desperate for money and didn't care about the consequences at the time? Cliff Alexander being honest about this situation ends in him being retroactively ruled ineligible starting in August when the loan was applied for and KU vacating last season until Cliff was sat down. The phrasing Cliff is using by saying his mom was tricked is to protect himself and KU from NCAA punishment.

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

You're arguing about the semantics chosen by unintelligent people. Cliff and his family do not appear to be very intelligent people. Let's be honest. If the guy told them that it was legal to take the money because it wasn't coming FROM an agent and were not given enough time to confer with the KU athletic department because they felt rushed or pressured to make a quick decision or lose access to the money then I can see how they might feel they were tricked.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Cliff qualified academically and chose Kansas over all the other top programs in the country... So he may not become a member of Mensa but give him some credit.

Actually Benz, I agree with your post but I might have used a different word than unintelligent. I'm pretty certain that neither Cliff nor his mom received the best academics found outside of inner-city/ lower economic public education.

Kristen Downing 5 years, 6 months ago

Not that it matters, but I think he was trying to protect his mom, not KU. Seems to happen a lot. Just ask the Morris twins at their court date.

Tyler Capone 5 years, 6 months ago

Nobody actually knows what happened with Cliff and what his intentions were.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Dr. James Naismith would be so extremely proud of Kansas signing guys like Embiid, Diallo are hopefullly Chukwu. I've ready several quotes from him that sighted his greatest joy was to see a hoop in some out of the way place. Can't get more out of the way than Nigeria, Mali and Cameroon!

Jack Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

Saw this discussion on Cliff and thought I'd add some info.

If you look at a tweet from @DukeNBA on May 12 -- it said, "Crazy how the stock of Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander dropped dramatically after a season under Bill Self."

Then look at who favorited the tweet -- none other than Cliff Alexander.

Dale Kroening 5 years, 6 months ago

This isn't directed at you Jack , but obviously @DukeNBA is an idiot . Cliffs stock may have dropped , but that's due to several things and IMHO not one of those is Self. Oubre is a lottery pick in all mock drafts I've seen lately and around the same place he was predicted in the 2015 mocks before last season even started . @DukeNBA must have a beef with Self for some reason . Being coached under Self didn't hurt Ben , Wiggins or JoJo . Not to mention that KU has had the most lottery picks in the last 15 drafts so his comment doesn't hold water none whatsoever .

Benz Junque 5 years, 6 months ago

I wasn't aware that Oubre's stock had dropped dramatically.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

The tweet itself is ridiculous. Obviously a Duke guy. No value in the tweet.

The only reason I posted it was Cliff's apparent slam of coach Self when he favorited it. Just seemed odd to me.

Joseph Bullock 5 years, 6 months ago

I will keep this, short and sweet ( well, maybe not so sweet)! I believe 100% that Cliffs mother was led to believe that her taking out the loan would not jeopardize Cliffs eligibility! Some people trust, when they shouldn't. Some people are not nearly as smart as most of you 'good people' on this site, and don't have nearly the common sense that you have! I also think Benz is right about the loan being from a private equity firm, and my guess is that Cliffs mom may not have realized their relationship with agents! That being said, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Let's stop passing judgement, as if we have never made a mistake, or been fooled!

Brian Wilson 5 years, 6 months ago

I suppose you trust and support Hillary Clinton at this point as well. See Bernard's point below, I think he is spot on. So, I am asking you for a common sense response,

How does the mother take out a loan using her son's future income as colateral without his knowledge, consent, or signature?

This loan happend just a few weeks after school started and scholarships and Fasfa were all done. The timing points to an attemtp to go unnoticed while counting chickens before the OAD was hatched! If something other than Cliff's future income had been used as collateral, let's says, the value of thier home or car, then this would not have been an issue as the loan would then have been not related to Cliff.

Bernard Gregory 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm just curious what guarantee that Cliff would give his mother money to pay back the loan does the loan provider have. That should answer some of the questions of who knew what and who signed what. If Cliff wasn't committed to paying the money back and gives his mother nothing how does the loan get paid. Just wondering.

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