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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Keegan

Tom Keegan: Seven original KU recruits plus seven transfers equals one talented roster

Freshman center Udoka Azubuike delivers a powerful dunk during a KU camp scrimmage on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at the Horejsi Athletic Center.

Freshman center Udoka Azubuike delivers a powerful dunk during a KU camp scrimmage on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at the Horejsi Athletic Center.

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By the time Kansas basketball players start summer school in June, the roster will be down to 13 scholarship players. At the moment, it stands at 14 and exactly half originally signed with Kansas. The rest signed with other Div. I universities and transferred to KU.

That makes it easy to split the rosters into two teams: The Originals vs. the Transfers. What’s not so easy is figuring out which team would win a scrimmage.

The Originals' starting five: Devonté Graham at the point, Lagerald Vick and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk on the wings, Billy Preston at the four and Udoka Azubuike at center. Marcus Garrett subs for the perimeter players, Mitch Lightfoot for the big men.

The Transfers' starting five: Charlie Moore at the point, Malik Newman and Sam Cunliffe on the wings, Dedric Lawson at the four and Jack “Stache” Whitman in the post. K.J. Lawson and Dwight Coleby supply depth.

Matchups:

Point guard: Graham vs. Moore. Graham has three years of experience, two as a full-time starter at a national powerhouse. A career .412 3-point shooter, Graham knows how to maintain the turbo-charged pace at which Kansas likes to play. He also knows how to shut down shooters, but could do a better job at keeping penetrators out of the lane. Moore, a 5-foot-11 Chicago native, averaged 12.2 points as a freshman for a talented California team and would know how to get to the lane against Graham. With time, Moore will make better decisions once he gets to the lane than he did as a freshman, when he averaged 3.5 assists and 2.9 turnovers. He shot just .388 from the field and had a .352 3-point accuracy rate, not horrible numbers for a freshman guard. Edge: Originals.

Shooting guard: Vick vs. Newman. Quick on quick. Two terrific athletes blessed with soft shooting touches. Vick is taller and longer, Newman stronger and more polished. Vick flies higher, Newman feels the game better, has a better handle and can drive to the hoop for buckets more consistently than can Vick. Edge: Transfers.

Small forward: Svi vs. Cunliffe. Svi has played 97 games for Kansas. Cunliffe, who is two-and-half months older, has played 10 college basketball games, all for Arizona State. Cunliffe jumps higher, dunks more loudly and has a long-range shot that rivals that of Svi. But you can’t make up for 87 games of college-basketball experience for an elite program. Edge: Originals.

Power forward: Preston vs. Dedric Lawson. Preston is the nation’s 10th-ranked recruit, per Rivals. Lawson averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds as a sophomore for Memphis. The players probably have more similarities than differences, but Lawson has proven far more and with two years of starting experience already has learned that college basketball is played at a different level of intensity than anything Preston has seen to this point in his career. Edge: Transfers.

Center: Azubuike vs. Whitman. Azubuike’s footwork with the ball in the post isn’t as nifty, but his physical advantages would overpower the William & Mary transfer. This is the biggest mismatch, one the Originals would try to exploit by forcing the ball into the post. Edge: Originals.

Bench: Garrett and Lightfoot vs. K.J. Lawson and Coleby. Lawson played 42 games in two seasons for Memphis and averaged 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. Garrett will need to show he’s ready to shine defensively immediately to earn quick playing time. Edge: Transfers.

Overall: So that’s three edges to the Originals and three to the Transfers. The Originals have a more experienced point guard and a much more powerful center and have spent more time playing together than the Transfers, who would put up a good fight in what surely would make for an entertaining scrimmage. Edge: Originals.

Comments

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Interesting discussion. While obviously make believe, lest anyone get goofy ideas about Whitman - he played the 5 at W&M, and came here to play the 4.

Dee Shaw 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Would love to see this team play together on the court during a real game but that won't happen. Sitting out the 17-18 season are the Lawson boys, Charlie Moore and Cunliffe. Won't even have a chance to see them until 18-19 season. Which stinks. After next season several players will most likely leave for the NBA or graduate. They are Graham (graduating) , Svi (probably gone this year but for sure gone next year, graduating) and then players entering the NBA are Newman, Udoka and Preston. This team will have some great practices and pick up games to watch unfortunately as a fan we won't ever see this team on the court when it counts.

John Strayer 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Uhh...Cunliffe starts play as soon as Fall 2017 semester finishes...so we'll see him sooner than the rest.

Alan Dickey 3 weeks ago

Also, I believe that the Lawsons and Charlie Moore are eligible to play with the team in the games in Italy this summer.

Rae Bricil 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Dee I believe we will be seeing Cunliffe playing the second semester next year. He should be a nice boost going into league play.

Robert Brock 3 weeks, 2 days ago

How about a musical comparison? Slim Whitman versus Gordon Lightfoot...

John Boyle 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I will go with Gordon Lightfoot: Sundown You'd Better Take Care!

Tony Bandle 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Senior Hottie Comparison - Veronica Belluci vs Cindy Crawford.

Fish Lips Comparison [Male Category] - Steven Tyler vs Mick Jagger.

Fish Lips Comparison [Female Category] - Angelina Jolie vs Nikki Minaj.

Condiment Comparison on a hot dog - Mustard vs Ketchup.

Best Holiday Comparison - Christmas vs Your 21st Birthday.

Biggest Villain Comparison - The chubby N.Korean Kid vs the bare-chested Russian Guy.

Best Rock Song at Max Volume Comparison - Pyromania vs Highway To Hell.

Titus Canby 3 weeks ago

Island Hottie Comparison - Ginger vs Mary Ann

Mike Riches 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Forgive me if this has been asked before, but does anyone know if any of the games we play in Italy will be recorded/shared? That was the best part about the WUG, that the games were televised and/or available online. I would love to see all the players above playing together, even if it is a pick up game.

Suzi Marshall 3 weeks, 1 day ago

It would. be interesting if Self played this lineup for Late Night.

Harlan Hobbs 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Tony, you are brilliant! Your mind is about as fertile as any I have had the pleasure of knowing. Keep up the posts.

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