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This and that: Here's how much KU fans care about DeAndre Daniels

A few notes for a rainy Friday ...

So just how much do Kansas fans care about recruit DeAndre Daniels' decision?

DeAndre Daniels, the No. 10-ranked player according to Rivals.com in the class of 2011.

DeAndre Daniels, the No. 10-ranked player according to Rivals.com in the class of 2011.

Quite a bit, if you only go by the KUSports.com traffic reports.

Only three times during the 2011 calendar year has KUSports.com had more than 100,000 visits in one day. Those days are:

  1. Mon., Feb. 21 (Tyshawn Taylor suspended; 120,250 visits)
  2. Sun., March 27 (KU loses to VCU; 124,122 visits)
  3. Thurs., May 19 (Daniels, um, doesn't make a decision; 107,409 visits)

That's a lot of refreshing back to KUSports.com, especially on a day when no new story was posted on Daniels.

In case you're wondering, the latest news I've seen on Daniels comes from Inside Texas Magazine's Blake Munroe, who Tweeted, Just spoke to IMG Academy's Andy Borman who told me he has "no clue" when DeAndre Daniels' decision will be made.

I was trying to figure out which KU player will be affected most by Daniels' decision, and the one I keep coming back to is Travis Releford.

Kansas guard Travis Releford soars in for a windmill dunk in front of UMKC defenders Trinity hall, left, and Bakari Lewis during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford soars in for a windmill dunk in front of UMKC defenders Trinity hall, left, and Bakari Lewis during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The junior-to-be was having a solid season last year until a severe sprained ankle kept him out five games. After he returned, he never was able to fully regain his explosiveness, and KU coach Bill Self seemed to lack confidence in him during games late in the season.

Releford's offensive numbers from last year suggest that he was helping the Jayhawks while he was in. His offensive rating (basically, point produced per 100 possessions) was 119.5 according to Statsheet.com, which was fourth-highest in the Jayhawks' rotation behind Brady Morningstar, Marcus Morris and Tyrel Reed.

Releford wasn't a huge go-to guy offensively, putting up 17.9 percent of KU's shots while he was in, but these numbers indicate that he was providing a positive contribution offensively when he was in.

Without Daniels, Releford would appear to be the Jayhawks' starter at the small-forward position, where he would have a huge jump in minutes and also would most likely be the Jayhawks' best on-ball defender, taking that role from the graduated Brady Morningstar.

With Daniels, though, I'm not sure where Releford would squeeze in. Most likely, Daniels would take a majority of the minutes at small forward, leaving Releford as a backup at that position.

Releford did play some at the four position last year, but he's undersized there and would at best be a reserve there competing with Braeden Anderson and Jamari Traylor to be one of the first guys off the bench. Playing at the four also takes away one of Releford's greatest strengths, which is his ability to shut down a perimeter player defensively.

There are other ways this could play out, too. If Daniels came to KU, he could transition to power forward, leaving the three spot open for Releford.

Either way, I'm interested to see what a healthy Releford can do both offensively and defensively in 2011-12. His numbers would suggest that he's ready to handle an increased role.

Even with Daniels stealing the headlines, KU fans shouldn't overlook the importance of signing forward Jamari Traylor.

Jamari Traylor, the No. 141-ranked player in the class of 2011, according to Rivals.com.

Jamari Traylor, the No. 141-ranked player in the class of 2011, according to Rivals.com.

Every time I went back to look at KU's rotation for next year, I kept seeing one glaring weakness: post depth.

Before Traylor signed, here were KU's options in the post:

Thomas Robinson
Jeff Withey
Braeden Anderson
Travis Releford (not his natural position)
Justin Wesley (walk on)

With even one injury next year (and remember, three of the guys on the above list missed some of last season because of injuries), KU would have been down to a scary-thin big-man bench.

During Spodcasters earlier this week, JayhawkSlant.com's Shay Wildeboor compared the 141st-ranked Traylor to Darnell Jackson — a hustle guy and a good rebounder.

And though it's impossible to know how good Traylor will end up being, here's a list of players I found ranked between Nos. 140 and 150 on the Rivals150 in past years who were productive players during college:

2004 — DeMarre Carroll, Missouri (148th)
2005 — Taylor Griffin, Oklahoma (141st)
2006 — Desean Butler, West Virginia (147th)
2006 — Dexter Pittman, Texas (150th)
2007 — Lavoy Allen, Temple (142nd)
2008 — Jio Fontan, USC (147th)
2008 — Marcus Denmon, Missouri (150th)
2009 — Khris Middleton, Texas A&M (140th)

For KU football fans, this link is a couple weeks old, but it's still a good one if you haven't seen it.

Owen Kemp at the blog Rock Chalk Talk once again sat down with someone "close to the program" to get his post-spring thoughts on the Jayhawks. That person "close to the program" has enough insight in the blog that I would assume it's a current player.

The most interesting thing that I saw was that, so far, KU's vocal leaders have been the offensive linemen and not the quarterbacks. Sounds like a good thing, and a bad thing, for KU.

Finally, I had to laugh when I stumbled upon Statsheet.com's new site Statsmack.

Basically, the site is set up to help you prove to your friends that, statistically, your college is better than theirs.

I was curious about the site, so I went ahead and typed in the biggest rivalry around this area: Kansas vs. Missouri.

The Kansas student section waves the wheat as Missouri forward Laurence Bowers walks to the bench after fouling out in the second half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Kansas student section waves the wheat as Missouri forward Laurence Bowers walks to the bench after fouling out in the second half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Statsmack listed 45 reasons KU is better than MU. Here are a few of the basketball ones:

• AP Voters think Kansas is better than Missouri (Latest AP Poll: #2 vs Not Ranked)

• Computers think Kansas is better with an RPI this season that is better than Missouri (RPI: #1 vs #37)

• Kansas is a better shooting team (51.4% vs 46.1%) than Missouri this season

• Kansas has been the favorite 32 out of the 35 times (i.e. everyone expects KU to win)

• Over the past 10 years Kansas has had more players drafted by the NBA than Missouri (13 vs 4)

And also a few of the non-basketball ones ...

• More violent crime happens per capita in Columbia so be careful if you visit (when compared to Lawrence (according to the FBI)

• More property crime happens per capita in Columbia so you better protect your valuables if you visit (when compared to Lawrence -- according to the FBI)

• Lawrence isn't as congested as Columbia (population is significantly lower)

• The Kansas basketball team is smarter with a better graduation rate than Missouri (80% vs 44%)

OK, fair enough. So I went ahead and flipped it around.

The site only came up with 10 reasons MU was better than KU. And those reasons weren't the strongest, either. Here are the first three:

• Missouri has an average margin of victory of 7 over Kansas in 24 wins since 1980

• Missouri has come back to win after being down at half against Kansas 4 times since 1996

• The Missouri blocks leader (Laurence Bowers) has more blocks than the Kansas blocks leader (Markieff Morris)

New MU coach Frank Haith has some work to do if that's some of the best Statsmack his fans can claim against their biggest rival.

;

Comments

Jeffery Barrett 2 years, 11 months ago

............crickets.............

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Chris Bruning 2 years, 11 months ago

maxhawk, if we have good news or a commitment it hits the site almost immediately...have a little respect .

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jayhawkinnebr 2 years, 11 months ago

What are your thoughts Jesse on where he will land?

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Randy Maxwell 2 years, 11 months ago

Terrible job LJW the fans were on pins and needles all day Tursday and then you wake up Friday and there's still no update. Wow

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Janet Olin 2 years, 11 months ago

Bottom line--if he isn't 'all in' , or entirely committed to KU, it's not good for the university, the team, or the player.

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DevilHawk 2 years, 11 months ago

He could be waiting to see what the NBA decides to do.

If the NBA gets rid of the OAD plan for the go-pro or go to school for 2 years, then he would be able to go pro without the hassle of a contract with a school. On the other hand, he wouldn't be able to choose a school while intending to bolt after only one year.

By not signing anywhere, he seems to be exercising his best available option.

Of course, if he decides that he intends to be a two or three year player anyways, then what the NBA does doesn't really matter for him.

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DDDHawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Jesse- Thanks for the update, and interesting article.

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IrishDaddy 2 years, 11 months ago

ever hear the phrase "somebody NEEDS a LIFE"?

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dynamitehawk 2 years, 11 months ago

So, if I hearing this correctly... if Deandre allegedly deflowers a vixen in AFH, then his hit count would be off the charts on kusports.com that day. Deandre, clearly we already love you. Come home.

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks a lot! You showed me, a stat nut, a new website LOADED with every imaginable stat. They even have a section on referees, how many fouls, techs, etc. And they're adding baseball soon, oh my, I wish I had never read this blog!

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Joe Joseph 2 years, 11 months ago

I tried to compare Missouri to Kansas and got rick rolled.

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Kent Wells 2 years, 11 months ago

Jesse:

At some point during last season (I would guess somewhere in the middle) it was reported that there was a lot of cheering (in the locker room) by the team based on some good news that was about to come out. What was that???

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Scott Smetana 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Jesse. If DD is going to be a one-and-done and delay his decision for many, many weeks ala Xavier, why do I keep checking every 2 hours?

Why isn't Traylor under your Bigs list?

If DD comes, I see him playing the 4 or 5, right? We need Releford on the court. I think he will be our scoring leader and potential all Big 12.

Anyone else on board with the Thunder? If you're not, you should give Nick Collison a look... he looks better than ever and is a huge role, even if his points don't show it. He was awesome today on the Jim Rome show. Plus Durant and OKC are class acts. First time in years I've been interested in the NBA.

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TommieSmithElbow 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the update, Jesse, and the Statsmack site provides some excellent humor for a Friday.

As mentioned in another comment, likely Texas fans are doing a comparison against us since they are on the frequent search links. They must be really bummed on the results. Maybe DeAndre is playing around on the site!

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bennybob 2 years, 11 months ago

putting aside the fact that the definition of "productive player" is up to debate

from the 2004 class to the 2009 class there were 55 kids ranked between no.s 140-150.

out of 55 kids only 8 can be considered productive?

thank you for making my point jesse, a school as prestigious as KU should not have to waste scholarships on kid that statistically only has a 14.5% chance of being a productive player.

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brcook99 2 years, 11 months ago

You can go ahead and count me as about 30 of the site visits for yesterday...

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 11 months ago

As for comparing KU-MU I just LOVE this Google search. I am unable to copy/paste here as the functions don't work to allow it. However, picture in your mind Google and putting in the search bar "missouri final four appearances" and then seeing "Do you mean: Kansas final four appearances" LOL. Too funny!

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 11 months ago

If Jesse thinks KUSports.Com website had alot of hits with the current recruiting situation he should look at Phog.Net, The Shiver and Slant. Those websites have been extremely busy.

Interesting that Borman now says he has no idea about a decision for Daniels. He has to be getting tired how this continues to play out. However, at the end of the day this is totally up to Daniels and family and we must respect that.

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JayDocMD 2 years, 11 months ago

Enjoyed the list of comparably ranked players to Traylor. Derrick Williams has also been a popular comparison on these boards with a Rivals ranking not in the top 150. Add to that the fact that Jamari is a relative beginner in basketball (after switching from football during HS) and there is reason for optimism. I'm a realist and understand that a better comparison may in fact be Quintrell Thomas, but we can hope he is that diamond in the rough.

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dynamitehawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Jesse,

There are about 30 of us freaks, by my measure we account for about 75% of the refreshing.... That's really only 2,500 for each of us. I call it... A normal Thursday.

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Hank Cross 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm hoping DD doesn't come for the reason that he will push Travis out of the way even if DD has an up-and-down season like Selby and X.

Besides my personal bias towards Travis, however, looking at DD objectively KU should walk away b/c of this behavior. The longer a coach keeps begging despite being repeatedly being stood up - the more power shifts to the player. It's basic human dynamics, the more someone appears needy - the less respect they get.

As for this being a "big life-changing decision" that DD needs to think about - not really. As long as he chooses a high-profile program that gives him lots of exposure, it's not going to make an appreciable difference in his life where he spent one or two years in college. Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Melo, Love etc. would've been the same players they are now no matter where they went.

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esubrett 2 years, 11 months ago

I will wait all summer if this kid ends up coming to KU and more importantly pushing Withey further down the depth chart.

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Jayhawk444 2 years, 11 months ago

Interesting - one of the top smackdowns computed is Texas vs Kansas. I guess the Longhorn fans are developing an inferiority complex as big as KSU's and MU's.

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