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Friday, April 15, 2016

Ellis repeats as Big 12 scholar-athlete

Kansas forward Perry Ellis talks with media members during a news conference following the NCAA Tournament selection show on CBS, Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. The Jayhawks were given the No. 1 seed in the South Regional and will play Austin Peay on Thursday in Des Moines.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis talks with media members during a news conference following the NCAA Tournament selection show on CBS, Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. The Jayhawks were given the No. 1 seed in the South Regional and will play Austin Peay on Thursday in Des Moines.

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Kansas University senior forward Perry Ellis on Thursday was named the 2016 Big 12 men’s basketball scholar-athlete of the year for the second straight season.

The 6-foot-8 Wichita native, who is a three-time academic all-league pick, majored in sports management with a minor in business.

Following his senior season, he was named a second-team consensus All-America selection, a unanimous first-team all-Big 12 pick, one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award and one of five finalists for the Karl Malone power forward award. On Wednesday, he was named the Danny Manning Mr. Jayhawk Award winner which goes to the team MVP for the second straight season.

He finishes his career as KU’s eighth-all-time leading scorer and 12th all-time rebounder. Ellis, who graduates in May, currently is in Houston where he begins working out with John Lucas Enterprises. He’s currently listed as a second-round pick in the NBA Draft by draftexpress.com.

Maker to NBA: One-time KU recruiting target Thon Maker, a 7-foot senior from Orangeville Prep in Mono, Ontario, has been deemed eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft thus will not be going to college for a year, ESPN’s Chad Ford reported Thursday.

Maker declared for the draft a couple weeks ago but had been waiting on a ruling by the NBA on his eligibility. According to NBA rules, one must be 19 and one year removed from high school to be eligible. He argued he did technically graduate from high school last year (with enough credits) and this year was simply to engage in post-graduate studies in prep school.

Maker is currently working out in South Carolina with trainer Drew Hanlen. KU coach Bill Self said KU freshman Cheick Diallo, who is not expected to be back for his soph season, also is working out in South Carolina. Self did not mention Hanlen by name.

College is for Ayton: DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 player in the recruiting Class of 2017, tells Rivals.com he will definitely play a year of college basketball. He denounced rumors he’d skip college to play pro ball overseas prior to the 2017 draft.

Ayton, a 7-foot junior from Phoenix (Ariz.) Hillcrest High who is originally from the Bahamas, has a list of KU, Kentucky, Arizona and UCLA.

“I’m going to college. My mom would tell you that she wants me to go to college and that it’s a must. Overseas, that’s not me. I’m not trying to take risks with my career just to get to the pros fast,” Ayton told analyst Eric Bossi.

Bossi writes that Ayton, “will hit the grassroots circuit this spring where he’ll play in Nike’s EYBL on a California Supreme team that features fellow five-star junior big man Brandon McCoy and potential 2019 star shooting guard Cassius Stanley.”

More recruiting: KU is not recruiting Rodney Pryor, a 6-5 graduate transfer from Robert Morris, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reports. Pryor had listed KU as a possibility in the past. Pryor is “focused on Georgetown, Florida and Gonzaga,” Goodman writes on Twitter. ... Arkansas transfer Jimmy Whitt, a 6-4 freshman from Columbia, Mo., tells Goodman he’s set up visits to Colorado and North Carolina State and has heard from KU, SMU and Kansas State.

What if?: Duke signee Harry Giles, a 6-10 senior from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., who is ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, tells USA Today from the Jordan Brand Classic he’d have attended KU had he not chosen Duke.

“Coach Self really does a good job at developing bigs and I felt really comfortable with the team. I could definitely see myself playing there and I know that I’d fit into that system,” he told the paper.

Why Duke?

“That’s where I felt the most comfortable and that’s the staff I knew had my best interest in mind. Coach K is Coach K. Coach (Jeff) Capel is my man; everybody. I just knew that Duke was where I’d have the most success so that’s why I’m going there,” he said.

Comments

Steve Zimmerman 2 years, 7 months ago

I've got a carpal tunnel, but I don't mind at all typing this: Ellis, thank you for your dedication to KU sports and being an inspiration to other teammates & fans. Best of luck in your new life.

RJ King 2 years, 7 months ago

Not just "a" 2016 Big 12 men’s basketball scholar . . . but THE 2016 Big 12 men’s basketball scholar-athlete of the year. Two years in a row. With a minor in business.

Wow . . . just wow. The epitome of student-athlete . . . sorry, SCHOLAR athlete. Now that Perry is gone, it no longer seems like he's been here "forever." His name among KU greats will affirm his four-year legacy.

Ellis is surely ready to begin the next chapter, and deserves all the success that comes his way. Good character is the foundation for happiness. Wishing him the very best!

Joe Joseph 2 years, 7 months ago

Could be a while before we see a four-year guy impact the program as positively as Ellis has over the duration of his career.

Perry was an outstanding college basketball player.

Congrats!

Steve Macy 2 years, 7 months ago

From Wichita Heights through KU, nothing but class. From a former Falcon.

Suzi Marshall 2 years, 7 months ago

It's going to be difficult adjusting to a lineup without Ellis for both the fans and the team. Ellis is a great ambassador for the team, school and state. I'm sure we have not heard the last of Perry Ellis in association with the KU Basketball Program. The program needs to keep guys like Ellis wired closely into the program, after he gives pro ball a few years.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 7 months ago

The offense often looked lost without him. Perry and Landen had developed some good chemistry as the season wore on, so it will be interesting to see how Carlton grows into the role.

Suzi Marshall 2 years, 7 months ago

Yes they did.

Geez how I wish Ellis could have gotten the team to the Final Four. Ellis is everything any team would want in a player. Things usually work out along the lines of one's character. It that holds true for Ellis, his best days are ahead of him. Since Ellis should be a life-long active Jayhawk, that means his/our best days are ahead of us.

Janet Olin 2 years, 7 months ago

Congratulations, Perry, for another outstanding and well deserved award. You are truly the definition of student athlete in its grandest form. Rock Chalk.

Allin Herring 2 years, 7 months ago

We will really miss Perry. He is the prototype of a college athlete. I wish him the best.

Mike Greer 2 years, 7 months ago

It's really guys (and gals) like Perry that you appreciate what they can do with both athletics and academics. A college scholarship put to excellent use. Congratulations Perry Ellis, and the best to you.

Harlan Hobbs 2 years, 7 months ago

Bravo to Perry, and ditto to everyone else who has posted. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking that basketball fortune is our only concern. However, I am as proud of Perry for this accomplishment as I am of all his achievements on the court. What a remarkable person.

Ryan Zimmerman 2 years, 7 months ago

Not sure why we aren't on Pryor... he's an immediate impact player and it was reported he was going to visit KU. Hopefully we can bring in Barry. Need that wing help and depth and is eligible this season

Joe Ross 2 years, 7 months ago

Yesclass act in the classroom and on the court. All Perry does is to achieve in the face of critics. He's got the dedication and focus to make it at the next level and because of his work ethic his ceiling is much higher than his critics assume. Always bet on a kid like this. When you got your mind right the game follows.

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