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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Keegan

Tom Keegan: Selden parting means Jackson good fit

Josh Jackson puts up a shot in the Under Armour Elite 24 Game in this photo from Aug. 23, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York. Jackson, ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country, has Kansas University on his short list.

Josh Jackson puts up a shot in the Under Armour Elite 24 Game in this photo from Aug. 23, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York. Jackson, ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country, has Kansas University on his short list.

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Wayne Selden Jr.’s decision to enter his name in the NBA Draft and hire an agent means that Kansas University must replace a starting wing in Selden and a go-to scorer in Perry Ellis.

That paves the way for one player who would fill both roles as a starter from Day 1. Josh Jackson, the No. 1-ranked basketball recruit in the nation, plays on the wing and will be a go-to scorer from Day 1 of his college career, regardless of his college choice.

Jackson told reporters Tuesday in Chicago, site of tonight’s McDonald’s All-American game, that he has made his college choice, but added he does not anticipate announcing it until after the Hoop Summit, which will be played April 9 in Portland.

A high-flying 6-foot-7 perimeter player with a strong handle, Jackson still lists Arizona, Kansas and Michigan State as possibilities.

Jackson, who seems on video to have a friendly manner and enjoys doing interviews, shared with Krysten Peek of Rivals.com his thoughts on his official visit to Kansas.

“When I stepped in the gym, it was the loudest gym I’d ever been in in my entire life,” Jackson told Peek. “The whole time I was thinking, ‘Man, I would hate to be the opposing team, but I would love to be playing for Kansas right now.’ One major thing is their fans. Their fans are amazing, probably the best fans in college basketball.”

In just about all of his interviews, Jackson talks about how he wants a coach who will drive him relentlessly.

“The coach, coach (Bill) Self, he’s a great coach,” Jackson told Peek. “He coaches players really hard, pushes them, makes them better.”

Jackson grew up in Michigan and has gone to school in California the past two years. ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla referred to him on Twitter as a “major talent with a ‘Kevin Garnett motor.’ ”

Peek also interviewed Kansas oral commit Udoka Azubuike, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound Nigerian center living in Jacksonville, Fla. Azubuike told Peek he had spoken with Jackson about Kansas at practice.

“He said it’s between Michigan State and Kansas,” said Azubuike, who did not mention Arizona. “But I told him that we need him and we want him and I’d like to play with him. And he said, pretty much, he’d like to play with me.”

Jackson is on the record saying he wants to play at a fast pace in college, and from watching his video it’s easy to say why. He can fly with or without the ball. In Frank Mason and Devonté Graham, Jackson would join one of the fastest backcourts in the nation, as well as one of the most experienced.

Azubuike said he also talked to Terrance Ferguson, a wing from Dallas ranked No. 12 in the nation, about Kansas as well, and was told by Ferguson that he needed more time to think about his decision.

Jackson shared his feelings about Michigan State with the Detroit Free Press in a video.

“I love Michigan State,” Jackson told the Free Press. “I actually grew up a State fan. Even if I decide not to go to Michigan State, they’ll always be in my heart and I’ll always be a fan of them and coach (Tom) Izzo.”

Power forward Jarrett Allen of Austin also has Kansas on his list, but is thought to be leaning toward hometown Texas.

Depending on how all the departures and arrivals shake out, Kansas, which finished with a 33-5 record and was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, could head into next season with an even more talented, deeper roster. KU never has to rebuild. It always reloads.

Comments

Dirk Medema 5 years, 6 months ago

I've always thought that if Wayne had a great March, that he'd be gone, and Jackson was just waiting for the opening. It's a little surprising that Wayne is so definitive in hiring an agent, but if he developed the focus to apply himself consistently, and dominantly, he could have a great career. Unfortunately, it seems that he's been way too complacent, and I wonder if that's really going to be different playing 2 - 3 times as many games / yr. Maybe. He definitely has the talent.

If Jackson doesn't come, that moves Greene or more likely Svi into the starting 3 and Vick as the likely 2nd option off the bench, and with Coach looking for another hidden summer gem or 2. Has Svi or anyone else declared?

I sure hope Diallo comes back to develop his game. Even without him tho, we could be pretty deep at the 4 & 5, tho it's mostly unknowns.

Joe Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

I would argue the two knowns would be Lucas and Coleby. Lucas was huge this season. Coleby has to be ready after practicing all year. I think Coleby is going to bring some great experience and chemistry to the team.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 6 months ago

If Wayne knows he wants to go then it's classy of him to say so and make it definite so Coach can go after a great replacement. If Selden left it open then it would be questionable whether that scholarship would be available and playing time at Kansas would be more questionable for next year for an incoming freshman. I will miss Selden, I would have liked to see him on the team for another year but I respect his decision. He's the kind of young man we can be proud of.

KJ Quartermaine 5 years, 6 months ago

Nice article. But not surprising at all Wayne hired an agent. He knows that coming back for his senior season is too risky to his current draft stock. There's no other explanation as to why Wayne hired an agent

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

Wayne has actually announced that he does not need the money and his sole reason for turning pro is to "help KJ Quarter brain validate his draft theorem"

He'll be donating 100% of all his earnings to a charity dedicated to getting KJ Quarter Brain nominated for a Nobel Prize based on his NBA Draft research...

"I wanted to play more college ball, and my family has millions, so money isn't a factor. Coach and all the advisors I spoke to said I should keep playing college. " stated Selden, "but when I read KJs statements on the LJW website, all my plans changed....."

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

It must be sad to be so bereft of ideas that you have to copy someone else's name and avatar and then act like an 8 year old.

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

Whoever you are, you need serious mental help. If you'd post your Zip code I'll send you a link with psychiatric providers who could do you a great deal of good. Medicaid? Still on your parents health plan? Include that info too.

Jay Scott 5 years, 6 months ago

Nothing has happened to you. You were always an idiot. You know that people can click on your ID and see that you're a kook, don't you?

Steve Macy 5 years, 6 months ago

I have no idea where this prospect will end up, but they say he is a tenacious rebounder and has a never ending motor, that would be a good fit at KU. Glad that Wayne had a three year plan, I wish Coach and him would have shared it with us, before he used the plan. Might have eliminated some of the arguing among KU fans, but the amount of comments on an article, do show the passion of the fans.

Some good players with lots of stars in the rankings are still available, it will be exciting spring/summer. RCJH

Greg Ledom 5 years, 6 months ago

SM, your comment about letting the fans know of his plans is comical. Dude, I'm a diehard fan and don't expect it nor believe they should share it. It quite literally is none of our business. Reality check.......come on man....

Dale Rogers 5 years, 6 months ago

Not only that but if he shared his plan with the public and later changed his mind, imagine the outcry that would cause. "Wayne lied to us." "Wayne never intended to stay three years, he said that just to keep us off his back." Etc. Future plans that are not required to be published are best kept private.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

Just curious because I wasn't visiting this site then; were people angry at Julian Wright when he went in the draft after his So. year after he had said throughout the year that he was on pace to graduate after year 3 and so he planned to stay for his junior season? I remember not being angry about that because he was a lottery pick and it just didn't make sense to reject that kind of money. It's a pity that he couldn't make it in the NBA. He was fun to watch, for a guy who couldn't shoot it at all, wasn't a good ball-handler, and had hardly any muscle on his lanky frame.

btw, just looked him up and he's making almost $3 million a year playing in Italy.

Steve Macy 5 years, 6 months ago

Subtle sarcasm escapes you, doesn't it? All you have to do is read the banter (?) between Jay and KJ to understand what I was alluding to.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

Mason Graham Jackson(?) Ferguson(?) Vick Mykhailuk Greene Lucas Azubuike Bragg Coleby Lightfoot Diallo/Maker(?)

Wow.

Glen Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

Jackson and Ferguson will not both go the same school. They play the same position and are alpha males...... I am good with us getting either one of them, but I'd prefer Jackson.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

I put the question marks there to indicate possibility. Its quite possible that no one I listed actually comes (which is why guys like Corprew and others are still being pursued by Kansas). But I grouped them all together in an exercise to show the potential potency of a roster that is still theoretically possible at the moment. But yes...I do agree they wont both show up here. The roster would be as crowded as Kentucky's was the season before last, when they had to "platoon" guys.

Glen Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

I gotcha, Deductive reasoning switch is not on just yet lol

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

The year Kentucky went 38-1 and had a legitimate shot at 40-0?

You make it sound like such a bad thing!

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

LOL. I just dont think Self would go 10 deep like Cal did. He likes an 8 man roster seems like.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

I agree with you on that. Even Cal was just waiting and watching for the first opportunity that he could shelve the platoon thing and just play the players that put him best in position to win. Turned out to be when Poythress was injured he made the call to give minutes proportionally to the worthy rather than communally to all.

Also, I struggle with the concept of having three and potentially four star freshman key contributors. If for no other reason than it takes me a while to warm up to the newcomers and if three are OAD, then once I do warm up to them they are gone. This season was so refreshing for me because we had so many returning players and I also got a chance to warm up to Bragg and Vick early thanks to the Korea games. I hope we get Jackson, but I would have rather kept Selden. Diallo, I didn't feel like I even knew him (I hope he comes back so that I can have the opportunity).

Tom Jones 5 years, 6 months ago

Should probably be a (?) by Greene, too. If either of these wings commit and Svi stays, given his already shaky ground with coach, not much of a stretch to think he goes somewhere he can get starter minutes.

John Franken 5 years, 6 months ago

"Motor like Kevin Garnett" and "wants a coach who will drive him relentlessly" might be my favorite parts of that description. Too few of those players with one and done talent have that kind of drive. Wiggins and Henry weren't bad at all, but Selby was horribly lazy and the Simmons kid from LSU seems like he quit on his team halfway through the season.
I can't help but think, however, that its going to be hard to keep Svi on the bench if he continues playing the way he did the second half of conference play and makes another leap this summer. That kid is just too talented to be coming off the bench. Maybe Self will play a little small ball this year and run Mason, Graham, Jackson, Svi, and Bragg a little? They'll get outrebounded against bigger teams, but holy crap that lineup would be explosive.

Doug Cramer 5 years, 6 months ago

SVI needs to fill that roll.

Kansas rarely has a freshman that consistently dominates.

Embiid was one of them.

Joe Joseph 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm happy Selden is pursuing his dream. I'm even more happy that he's doing the team a big favor by announcing his intent to hire an agent. I have a feeling that this decision was made altruistically in an effort to help HCBS land Josh Jackson.

I could be completely wrong, however.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

No. I dont think youre wrong. He's announcing to recruits that he's clearing space for them.

Lance Cheney 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't know if leaving to take millions of dollars could be considered "altruistic." If it is, sign me up!

Tom Jones 5 years, 6 months ago

Jackson's just waiting til the Nike Hoops Summit to announce...that he's going to an Addidas school. ;)

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Signing Jackson would be nice, no doubt, however we all know that the problem with Freshman, no matter how good their skills, they are still freshmen, usually with little to no idea of how to play the game. I see the return of Mykailiuk as a bigger issue. With Mykailiuk, Mason, Graham, and Jackson, Self could play 4 around 1 for a super quick, pressing if needed, lineup.

Bragg needs to live in the weight room this off season since he'll be a key player for next year. We are going to need Vick to step up to be an adequate sub for Mason/Graham, especially when they need time off to get over nagging injuries.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

Bragg needs to eat lots of peanut butter.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Can you imagine the hype that will surround the Champions Classic next year. Kansas v Duke and UK vs MSU...all 4 teams will be loaded. We play Duke with a chance to knock down an early prestigious victory, which could insure us to the Number 1 ranking.

My prediction for the 2016-2017 team, assuming we get Mykailiuk back, is a wire-to-wire Number 1 ranking.

Rob Bedford III 5 years, 6 months ago

Duke and Kentucky will be loaded next year. I predict one of them start at # 1. What happens from there is unknown.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

We play Duke right away in The Champion's Classic. A win there could likely put us in the top spot, if we are not already there.

Rae Bricil 5 years, 6 months ago

love the optimism. 2016-2017 season the year of the undefeated Hawks. Also, it will change our fortune in odd years.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

I would say past results are likely to continue. Kansas should drop out and let a more competitive team take its slot.

Glen Miller 5 years, 6 months ago

You can't compare freshmen guards to freshman bigs really........ Bigs need to add bulk and learn how to play inside in college. It's a much different game and harder to come in and dominate. Guards on the other hand, especially one's that can score, typically make the adjustment sooner. Look at Mason and Graham, both played big minutes their freshman season. Selden and Wigs started from day 1... Embiid had to be brought along. If you look at the history of KU since Self has been there, look at the development and playing time of our bigs, compared to that of the guards coming in. There is quite a gap there for the most part. Jackson would do just fine. He's got two veteran point guards and a plethora of bigs with talent. He won't have to shoulder the load.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Do you think Jackson could play at a level to be considered for POY in the Big 12 or even nationally?

Certainly nobody would expect that from a freshman, as we all did about Wiggins. I'd give it a 10% chance primary due to the supporting cast he will have, unlike Wiggins.

Greg Ledom 5 years, 6 months ago

I didn't think Wiggins would garner POY nationally at all. Freshman POY in the Big12.......sure, Freshman POY nationally........maybe, but overall, no chance. He would have had to kill it to do that. Not out of question, but I certainly didn't think it. I think the same thing with Jackson and quite frankly any hyped freshman.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Apparently Jackson has a much better handle and better passing skills than Wiggins but needs to work on his outside shot, again like Wiggins. If he can do 20/7/7 for the year, he'll have a good chance...but those D. Washington numbers are tall numbers from anyone.

Don Burgundy 5 years, 6 months ago

Also remember, Wiggins had to play with an erratic Tharpe and freshman Mason...Jackson is gonna play with two potential All first team Big 12 guards.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

Ben Simmons did pretty well in the SEC and as I remember, Kevin Durant came pretty close.

Craig Alexander 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't think he can be considered for POY in either. When you look at the potential line-up for next year, KU has so much talent and balance. Too many 10-15 ppg scorers for him to completely stand out. Not a bad problem to have but who knows. If he truly is ultra aggressive then he could reach that level.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes exactly. Jackson will have the veteran support structure in every position to become exceptionally unique. A lot of it will depend on Jackson himself and his attitude. If he can win the support of Mason and others, he might have a shot.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

If KU didn't have Mason, Graham, and Bragg back next year, JJ could absolutely challenge for B12 POY. JJ is a more college ready version of Wiggins.

Rae Bricil 5 years, 6 months ago

Aaron not disagreeing just curious what makes you think Jackson is more college ready than wiggins was? I dont know much about Jackson so would be interested to hear your opinion.

Gerry Butler 5 years, 6 months ago

I sure hope nobody here is holding on to the dream that Diallo is returning cause- - -that's not happening. To many sources saying either way he won't be returning. As far as Josh- - ya he is a freshman that WILL step in and start immediately true Alpha dog just like a Wiggins only more aggressive- - got that attitude mentality all which is a good thing- - really aggressive. there are people who believe and I can see that theory or train of thought, that Wayne and his parents I read somewhere that they and Coach Self had got together after his freshman year and they all agreed pretty much that Wayne was a three year pan and then declare. With that being said with this in mind Coach Self has known for quite some time Wayne was going to declare this year and while they have been recruiting Josh they have made it perfectly clear from the beginning that he would be able to step right in and take that spot makes perfect sense,

Joe Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

If Jackson has made his mind up and knows where he wants to play college ball. And he is down to MSU and KU. And we have this article:

Michigan State commits working on Josh Jackson at McDonald's game

http://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/michigan-state/spartans/2016/03/29/josh-jackson-mcdonalds-michigan-state/82405010/

This is a very good sign and he has all but made his announcement at this point. Unless Izzo and his minion recruits can persuade him, it appears he is pretty much non-verbally KU bound. I've seen articles that have excluded both Zona and MSU. The common denominator was KU. However, it could be the opposite too. It may be either Zona or MSU, and KU out. Talk about your irony. If Zona is working on him and MSU is working on him, and he's made his mind up, what does that tell you? KU seems to be in the driver's seat.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU

Layne Pierce 5 years, 6 months ago

If Jackson does choose ku let's just hope Ncaa does n't muck it up like Diallo and Selby. That crap changed our. Season. And robbed Diallo..

It cannot be overlooked that confidence feel game experience would have given him real shot. And self more chances for evaluating combinations

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

The NCAA didn't screw up the Selby case. That was a black and white case of Selby being a beneficiary of impermissible benefits from Bruce Pearl while he was still committed to Tennessee.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 6 months ago

Wow! I am very impressed with what I'm reading about Josh Jackson's mother. And I have to believe he is a well-grounded individual, including academics, simply based on what I read in this article from the Detroit Free Press. This woman is very impressive. http://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/michigan-state/2015/12/04/josh-jackson-basketball-recruiting/76797766/

Rae Bricil 5 years, 6 months ago

Ryan i saw this a few days ago as well. I wasn't too concerned since i didn't think someone would hold up their announcement to be with their family only to do it on someones else's IG account. I could obviously be wrong but thought it was just kids being kids and F-in around.

Ryan Zimmerman 5 years, 6 months ago

Yeah I was trying to understand what it meant. Not that it was an announcement but just a weird thing to say

Kristen Downing 5 years, 6 months ago

I honestly dislike the antics of the signing of these top recruits. All the needed attention of their decision, the hat pick or trick, the videos just turns me off them. If he is a one and done that seems to bring eligibility issues, posse issues, I better get my playing time and end of the season don't play hard you might get injured issues. My message to this guy, you want exposure, look how much exposure Diallo got during the season. Outside his eleibility issues, not much.

Dale Rogers 5 years, 6 months ago

I like the way Wiggins did his announcement. Nothing flashy. Nice.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 6 months ago

Special kudos to you, Dale. You are always on topic and make a lot of sense. Same goes for Steve Macy. I believe you gentlemen are relative newcomers to these posts, but I hope you will continue to join long time posters, Joe, Suzi, Jay, etc. with whom I almost always agree, not that it matters whether or not we agree. I always learn something relevant from their posts.

My only other comment refers to Cheick. I'm afraid we have seen the last of him, notwithstanding that he says he isn't going to hire an agent yet. My guess is that he and his "mentor" will pursue other options, like Europe perhaps, rather than return to KU.

Assuming Landen comes back for his senior season of eligibility, and Carlton Bragg returns as it appears he will, plus the additions of Azubuike, Lightfoot, and Coleby, the odds of Diallo getting the kind of exposure he wants could be pretty low, especially if Josh Jackson comes to be the offensive "go to" guy. The last thing that Diallo can afford is to sit on the bench for another year and see his draft stock go down even further. At least now he can somewhat live off of the potential he showed coming out of high school, and I'll bet that some NBA team will be willing to take the risk on him at this time given that "potential."

In short, returning to KU is too risky and transferring is out of the question, because he would have to sit out a year before he could compete again in college.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Personally, I think Diallo is much better off at Kansas. He now knows the system, what is required from him to succeed, world class fitness support, coaching and living conditions. He'll have a chance to compete agains top notch players everyday in practice. Even is he does not start next year, he will get a lot of PT, his skills will become more polished and he will make the most progress toward his ceiling.

Having said all that, undoubtedly, he is wise to enter the NBA draft with hopes to get a combine invite. Who on the board faced with a similar decision would forgo that path? If Diallo does not project out to be a first rounder this year, I hope he returns to KU.

William Weissbeck 5 years, 6 months ago

Too much optimism for me here. Remember Duke had Ingram and Allen, so what happened? The team has to fit and play as a team.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 6 months ago

Duke's big man, Jefferson, was hurt so using them as an example seems a little thin to me. Of course, you have to play as a team, and some just don't have the right chemistry. I would put KU of the 2014 and 2015 seasons somewhat in that category. Though they were both "one and done" players, Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre weren't particularly leaders which is understandable as freshmen. However, KU didn't have the upper classmen leadership in those seasons like they did this season.

This year's team really gelled when Landen Lucas became the fixture at center. They won 17 in a row before losing to Villanova. Not bad!

I agree, Suzi, that Diallo would be better off staying at KU, but I just don't think that is going to happen. Reading between the lines, I think he and his mentor are "p.o.'d" at KU for not giving him more playing time. Unfortunately, his performance on the court didn't measure up, and the game is about winning.

I'm betting that KU will land Josh Jackson, plus perhaps another one or two, so the future is bright. The loss of Brannen Greene is essentially a non issue for me. He is not NBA material.

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