Sunday, September 27, 2015

Self, Ellis tapped fifth-best college duo

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts up a shot in Team USA's 78-68 semifinal victory against Russia on Sunday, July 12, 2015, at the World University Games in South Korea.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts up a shot in Team USA's 78-68 semifinal victory against Russia on Sunday, July 12, 2015, at the World University Games in South Korea.

Advertisement lists Bill Self and Perry Ellis as the fifth-best player/coach duo in college basketball heading into the 2015-16 season.

The website explains the duos are ranked “based on their history, how they’ve fared together in the past and what is expected of them in 2015-16.”

Of the KU duo, the publication’s Brian Pedersen writes: “Kansas has had five players taken in the NBA draft over the past three seasons, though all but one of them only spent one year with the Jayhawks. Then there’s Perry Ellis, a strong talent who is similar to a lot of the great players Self has worked with throughout his career, but because he’s still in college, he’s not considered as valuable a player.

“That’s not how Self sees it, however. Rather, he’s looked at the 6-8 forward as a source of stability and consistency amid a time in college basketball when the lure of the pros makes for near-constant roster turnover. Ellis has averaged 10.9 points per game for his career, including averages of 13.5 and 13.8 the past two seasons when he’s become the veteran of a program surrounded by plenty of freshmen.

“It’s been those first-year players who have drawn most of the attention, like Ben McLemore in 2012-13, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid in 2013-14 and Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander last season. Yet as they’ve come and gone, Ellis has remained as a constant presence that’s enabled Kansas to continue its amazing run of 11 straight Big 12 regular-season titles.”

Scott Drew and Rico Gathers of Baylor were 15th and Lon Kruger and Buddy Hield of Oklahoma seventh. The top player-coach duo, by the way, was Gregg Marshall and Ron Baker/Fred Van Vleet of Wichita State.

Ellis recently was skipped over by Sporting News, which listed one Jayhawk — Wayne Selden Jr. — as one of the top 15 players in America. Selden made second team All-America. Meanwhile, ranks Ellis the 30th best player in the country, with KU’s Cheick Diallo fourth.

“I don’t look at that,” the 6-foot-8 Ellis said Friday, speaking of lists in general. “That stuff comes after you are done and after the season. I just want to worry about the season, worry about winning, worry about getting better.”

He added: “I just want to continue building on last year, what I’ve done, the years before. I want to add some stuff and there’s still things I can get better at. I want to improve on all those things, just go out and give it my all.”

Leap forward: On the subject of lists ... Bleacher Report’s Jason Franchuk includes KU sophomore Svi Mykhailiuk one of 12 players “most likely to take a big leap forward” this season. Rashard Kelly of Wichita State and Jonathan Holton of West Virginia also were on the list.

“It will be interesting to see how his highly hyped, versatile game blends with an experienced cast. Teammate Wayne Selden also has big designs on a more consistent junior year,” Franchuk writes.

Bleacher Report also lists KU’s projected starting lineup of Selden, Ellis, Mykhailiuk, Diallo and Frank Mason III as the fifth-best starting five in college hoops. Kentucky’s was No. 1 followed by Maryland, North Carolina, Cal, KU, Virginia, Indiana, UConn, Notre Dame and Iowa State.


Suzi Marshall 4 years, 8 months ago

The Offense will run through Ellis this season. If Ellis is ready and on his game, like last year before his injury, he'll put up monster numbers (perhaps 20/10/4). With those kinds of numbers, he will land on several All-American list and perhaps be Big 12 player of the year, if Kansas wins the Big 12.

Ellis and Selden have been summer sensations for the past few years, lets hope they can carry there summer game into winter/spring.

Until Mykailiuk starts dropping shots, I'll remain a skeptic about his shooting because he's never shot a decent percentage, although he has the technique down cold.

I can see a coin toss between Kansas, KY, MD, and UNC but noway should California's starting 5 be ranked above us.

Robert Brock 4 years, 8 months ago

Svi, like a lot of young players, needs to learn WHEN to shoot. I'm sure that Coach Self will let him know...

Kent Richardson 4 years, 8 months ago

It would be great to see 20/10/4. This will only happen if Perry can get some space which will be supplied if, first, we can bomb enough outside to avoid sagging. Second, whomever he dishes off to can hit chippies. And, three, the other inside players pose enough of a threat to keep defenses honest.

Selden can help by displaying a better defensive game along with his professed better "finish at the rim," claims.

Skepticism regarding Svi is well said and if he gets in for more than a minute at a time hopefully he will shine.

I can't get amped up about this team until our front court shows it can carry its own weight and our perimeter D gets much more competent.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 8 months ago

​1/3rd of the Bleacher Report's 2014 top 25 preseason predictions were not ranked midway through the 2014 season. 6 of their top 25 preseason did not even make the NCAA tournament. Not sure there is any reason to be excited about their 2015 predictions.

Svi, need to see it on the court nothing so far shows me any reason to think this is his year. Perry, I like the person, but the player not sure we are going to see anything different then what we have seen the past 3 years. OK to good, but rarely great, can disappear against tall talent.

Our team's hopes ride squarely on whether Diallo plays or not. With him any prediction is possible, without him, not so sure. Korea was very nice, but am not sure how much that translates to this year except for the extra practice. It was good for the freshman but it was some wear and tear on some of our key guys. Glad Self told Mason to rest afterwards. ​

Damian Glaze 4 years, 8 months ago

The most overrated team going in to the start of this season is easily Cal. I'm going on record in saying they won't win the Pac 12. I would even put ISU before Cal, UCONN, Indiana and Notre Dame. These publications give very little respect to experienced lineups.

Erich Hartmann 4 years, 8 months ago

Just look at the inconsistencies in the lists: VanVleet/Baker+Marshall are #1, but their team doesn't even make the top10 list, when another preseason poll had WSU in the top 10.

Next, consider KY. Sure he recruits top talent, but the team "chemistry" quotient is a HUGE gamble by Calipari every year he loses returning starters--> and this season he lost his top 7-8 guys. KY has to worry about LSU now also. My point about KY is: just because Calipari 'proved' his recruiting-mill-play-now concept, doesn't mean he has proved it with THIS particular set of players. His 2012 NC winning team was a blended team of new talent and key returnees. He doesn't have that mix this year. Calipari's hope is that his new kids get it all figured out by late-Feb/early-March. Crapshoot til then.

California plays a legit contender, we'll see what they are made of. "Paper" list til then.

UNC is legit this year. And this could be Uncle Roy's best/last chance at a 3rd NC?

KU? Let our players feel like they've been disrespected and overlooked a bit (although a #5 is a fair nod). I'd like the whole team to play with that gritty chip on their shoulder like the point guard already does (Mr. Mason). I'd like the national level pundits to 'forget' that KU is loaded for bear this season.

Regarding Diallo in SelfBall: Why do KU fans hinge their hopes on a frosh, for the umpteenth time? If Wiggins + Embiid couldn't be the savior-of-your-season, why would you bet on any ONE 18yr old again? Having watched this man (Self) coach for 12+ years, why do the realities of "team play" and "team defense" and "toughness" (versus the infamous "softness") escape certain fans? (simply food for thought...some comments above to 'get' the big picture).

Are the Diallo-betting fellow Hawks ready to pencil him in for an automatic 12 & 8? We have so many bigs, that I frankly smell a committee coming. Which means more energy, more fouls to give, and some hungry guys battling. Cannot forget the lessons of Wiggins (no 1 savior), Embiid (fouls, injury), Robinson (not playable as a frosh), Cliff (wasn't ready), Oubre (took half a season to be productive), Shady Arthur (benched himself due to ridic-quick 3 foul outings as a frosh). And we shouldn't forget that Jr yr Rush, Chalmers, RRobinson were way better than their frosh versions.

KU= the System's execution on both ends of the floor is THE determining factor, not any 1 player. Bill Self has taken that concept to the bank, at every school since Tulsa. Its just that the parts he plugs in are better than those Mark Few or Gregg Marshall can get, but notice how the System still must have experienced players executing all of what it requires.

Wiggins dropping 40+ against WVU in a game KU still lost tells you all you need to know, for those that like to boil it all down to Cliff Notes length.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

Great post but something to consider. Would last year's Duke have won the NCAA title without freshman Jahlil Okafor? How about Kentucky in 2012 without Davis?

Sometimes there are freshman whose contribution is great enough that without them, I don't think they would have won the NCAA.

On the other side though, when you look at Louisville and UConn's national championship runs, it is the experienced upperclassman who are the reason why they won.

I guess the question is, is Diallo needed for this year's championship or will it be the seasoned veterans or (worse case scenario) are we headed for another quick exit regardless of personnel?

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