The Countdown to Madness
NOTE: On my blog I have three posts including this one. The other two preview Jamari Traylor and Rio Adams.
The countdown carries on with day 3. I still cannot believe that Late Night in the Phog is next friday. Time flies right? Yesterday I posted the dream on video that is played at every late night they've had a video board. It's an absolute classic. Today another classic video from Late Night its the Hawks in the NBA video. This video is a really good recruiting tool and oddly enough this event has the most recruits at it. Weird right? That video every year gets longer and longer and this year is no exception. KU didn't have a player retire from the NBA and had two get drafted, Thomas Robinson Sacramento Kings and Tyshawn Taylor Brooklyn Nets, and one get added to a roster for the time being, Sherron Collins San Antonio Spurs. With the pace Bill Self is recruiting and developing players the video will only get longer. Which has to be amazing for incoming recruits. Now if KU could ever get a big time star, not named Paul Pierce, to play at KU and then in the NBA that would help out a lot.
It's time now to profile another Jayhawk. To be honest I wanted to hold this one back for a few days but I couldn't.
The player: Perry Ellis
The Kansas native, Wichita Heights, has been recruited by KU since about 8th grade. At 6'8'' 225 lbs forward dominated Kansas High school basketball. A 4-time state champion at Heights this kid knows how to lead a team to the championship. Honestly I expected this kid to end up at KU and when people speculated that he may end up at Kentucky I kind of laughed at him. I believe KU is his dream school. I can believe that because almost every kid that plays basketball in the state of Kansas dreams about playing for KU. Trust me. My driveway was basically Allen Fieldhouse west and I made more game winners than you could imagine. I bet Perry was the same way and lucky for him he will live the dream while I am content with talking about the people who live the dream. Enough about that back to Perry. Here are some highlights from his AAU days.
Perry Ellis, the myth the man the legend A man among small boys Perry Ellis is a grown man
What he is good at: Perry Ellis is one the most fundamentally and overal complete post prospects I think KU has had in a long, long time. He has post moves, a jumper, strength, and ball handling. Coach Self loves to talk about what separates Perry from other kids. The separation I believe starts off the court and leads to his performance on the court. Perry is a very bright kid. He graduated in the top of his class at Wichita Heights. He plans to major in business at KU. He sounds like a kid who knows that the average NBA career is a mere 6 years. Perry I believe will eventually become a leader for this team. Probably not this year but certainly next year. All of his assets off the court help him on the court. I watched him play a few games this past year. He is a stud. He dominates the game and he also is a great leader on the court. Beyond all of his basketball abilities I believe his strength to be a leader will help this team so much. He has all the skills you could want for in a young post player. He also has all the skills and traits of a great leader of a team.
Where he needs work: In high school he played every position on the court. He brought the ball up. Jumped for the tip. He played down low. Heck if he could he may have sold hot dogs at halftime! All that variety may actually hurt Perry his first few games of the season. He needs to find a role on this team and it may not be to score points. He will need to rebound, pass, and play very good defense at first at KU. No one really knows how Perry will play when he isn't the guy getting the ball and trying to score every possession. All of these concerns are really because no one knows. We can better evaluate him after the exhibition games.
The player he represents: Perry Ellis best represents Wayne Simien. For many reasons. Both have a little finess to their games but they also have power in their game. Both played high school ball in Kansas so they will get all the fan support they could ever want. They are both listed at 6'8'' but I believe Perry actually is while Wayne never was. They both are great leaders. Where they separate is Wayne had the sweetest turn around jumper I have ever seen. The shoulder fake turn around was money. I don't believe Perry has the ability to make jumpers quite like Wayne but Perry is more athletic. If Perry could be like Wayne Simien every KU fan would be happy. In the end I think Perry will be better than Wayne and have a longer NBA career.
The 2012 moment to remember: Legends of the Phog. This was probably the most unique and coolest thing KU has done in a long time. It was the best thing to come from the NBA lockout in my opinion. It was a dream to see all these guys play together on the same court. Yes this game has no impact on the season but it was one of the most memorable parts of the season. It will be forever remembered in KU history as a day where the "what if" became a reality. Where fathers and sons truly got to see the past legends square off. I wish for the day that this game happens again. Deep down inside I hope it doesn't happen for a long time. That game ended absolutely perfect. The two "best" KU players hit two clutch shots. The fans were crazy and it was a great mix of legends. Having this game every 5 years would be nice but to really add value it should be every 10 years. Truly a memorable moment. Truly a classic.
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