Monday, July 19, 2010

KU hot on trail of Kansas prep Perry Ellis

Kansas basketball coaches fixtures at games of Wichita star Ellis

Kansas recruit Perry Ellis of Wichita watches the Jayhawks take on Colorado Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, at Allen Fieldhouse. Ellis has been watched closely by several schools this summer, Kansas University primary among them.

Kansas recruit Perry Ellis of Wichita watches the Jayhawks take on Colorado Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, at Allen Fieldhouse. Ellis has been watched closely by several schools this summer, Kansas University primary among them.


Wichita Heights High junior forward Perry Ellis — who is well on his way to becoming the first McDonald’s All-American from the state of Kansas since Wayne Simien in 2001 — is drawing a lot of attention on the July recruiting circuit.


Highly sought prep Perry Ellis eyes the basket in this file photo from the April 30 Jayhawk Invitational at Haskell. Ellis has been watched closely by several schools this summer, Kansas University primary among them.

Playing as an individual at the LeBron James Skills Academy and as a member of Wichita’s Pray and Play Players at last week’s Summer Jam AAU Tournament in Milwaukee, Ellis participated in nine games, with coaches from KU, Kentucky, Kansas State and North Carolina showing the most interest.’s No. 26-rated player nationally has received scholarship offers from KU, UK, KSU, Memphis, Oklahoma, Wake Forest and Wichita State.

“Coach (Bill) Self was at seven of Perry’s nine games,” Ellis’ mom, Fonda, said Sunday night. “Coach (Kurtis) Townsend was at least one of those coach Self wasn’t at. They (Jayhawk coaches) made themselves present at about every game.”

Prospects such as the 6-foot-8, 210-pound Ellis notice such things.

“I think it did (make an impression),” Fonda Ellis said, “because it shows him that they (Jayhawks) really want him and are supporting him.”

The unofficial tally had KU attending at least eight of Ellis’ nine July games, K-State coaches attending seven and UNC six.

“He is still trying to get to know all the programs and all the coaches,” Fonda Ellis said. “I don’t think he is in any hurry (to commit) but still is taking note of who is contacting him and watching him play. I don’t think he’s going to rush into anything.”

Ellis averaged about 30 points a game at last week’s Summer Jam in Wisconsin. Self was at one of the games in which Ellis rattled the rim for five dunks.

Ellis is headed to the 17 and Under Showcase later this week in Orlando, Fla., followed by the Metro Sports/K.C. Prep Invitational July 28-31 in Shawnee.

The two-time Gatorade state player of the year — he averaged 22.2 points and 10.4 rebounds a game for last year’s Class 6A state champs — has been invited to play in the Nike Global Challenge Aug. 6-8 in Portland, Ore.

Just 30 of the 80 invitees to the LeBron James Skills Academy received invitations to that international hoops event.

In June, Ellis also attended the invitation-only NBA Players Association Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Va. and the Kevin Durant camp in Chicago.


knightmare34 12 years, 4 months ago

It's not often we get to say this, but we have to keep this guy in-state (and I don't mean KSU). Work your magic, Coach.

KEITHMILES05 12 years, 4 months ago

There are still questions whether he is the fit Self wants.

Marcia Parsons 12 years, 4 months ago

And yet an offer has been made. Do you suppose he wants to give him a scholarship to sit on the bench until he decides whether he "fits"?

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 4 months ago

I am pretty sure Releford was not recruited with the intent sit him on the bench or redshirt. I am also pretty sure he was not told he would definitely start. That has not been HCBS MO. Coaches do not have a crystal ball which tells them which offers will be accepted, what players will get injured or what players will stick around (transfer, get booted, etc). They play scenarios in their head and hope for the best. Kids that are pretty much counted on to ride the bench are called walk ons. Looking at one effect and stating it proves intent is logically flawed.

Jeff Schartz 12 years, 4 months ago

That's strange, because they have been recruiting this guy since he was in the eighth grade. HCBS must think that he fits in somewhere....

Martin Rosenblum 12 years, 4 months ago

At 6-8, 210lb, his role needs to include five meals a day and some intense muscle mass. Yeah, he can put on a dunk show at a summer "show-off-" camp game. But, let him go up against either one of the Morris brothers and he'll wish he had been Hudy-ized!

Still, he must have some impressive natural talent to have received such attention for so long.

It's just a turnpike ride away, Perry. You and Zach Peters will be a great nucleus for KU!

KGphoto 12 years, 4 months ago

Harrison Barnes is 6'8" 210. He's gonna be the number one pick in the NBA draft next year.

Matt Bowers 12 years, 4 months ago

Josh Selby. Selby is going to dominate Barnes, mark my words. The ACC has DUKE and who else? The Big 12 has KU, KSU, TX, and Baylor that are top 25 easy. Think before you write.

Rock Chalk

mi_familia 12 years, 4 months ago

I agree that he and Zach would be a nice duo at the forward spots. The muscle mass will come, but just a note... Perry is working on his perimeter game to play small forward. He's realized that his frame is very suitable for a 6'8" to 6'10" combo forward instead of a post player. Definitely will help his draft position to the NBA if he can work on perimeter defense and quick feet. Sounds like his outside shot and handles are coming around.

Zach's frame is much more suited for the post position. He'll add even more bulk by the time he arrives on campus.

Ben Kane 12 years, 4 months ago

for heaven's sake just don't let him go to kenstinky.

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 4 months ago

I wouldn't like it if he went to NorthCarowhiner either.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 4 months ago

I know it's not nearly as clever as the ones you guys have named above but let's include the Mizzou Douche Bags just on principle!!

canuckhawk 12 years, 4 months ago

Self + Manning + Hudy + Phog = you are crazy if you're a big and don't jump at the chance to play for KU.

John Strayer 12 years, 4 months ago

As a KU fan, if he's not a Jayhawk, thn I have to say I would much rather have him at KSU than either UK or UNC.

jh1808 12 years, 4 months ago

Oh absolutely!! If he's as good as advertised, I would much rather him go to a rival school!! That way we can play him 2, maybe 3 times a year. That sounds much better than MAYBE meeting him in the NCAA Tournament. If he doesn't come to KU, I hope he goes to Europe.

KGphoto 12 years, 4 months ago

If he goes to K-State, we get to beat him twice a year.

Jonathan Briles 12 years, 4 months ago

If he does not want to be a Jayhawk then I would like to see him go to WSU. Still in Kansas and at a school I like.

jayhwkroks 12 years, 4 months ago

If not a Jayhawk, I'd rather see him stay in Wichita!!!! Gregg Marshall is a great coach and could also help him along!!!! He may not get the national attention that he would somewhere else is the only hitch in that decision!!!! Make it easy Perry, become a Jayhawk!!!!!!!!

overseashawk 12 years, 4 months ago

I agree 100% jpstrayer and if it's not either major Kansas school then I hope it's somewhere in the Big 12.

63Jayhawk 12 years, 4 months ago

Interesting comment from D Wade on ESPN website (

"Wade also said despite speculation that he'll play more point guard than shooting guard, the point guard position is 'Mario Chalmers' job to lose,' Wade said, according to the Miami Herald."

"I'm not going to try to take it from him. He can have a great impact on this year," Wade said of Chalmers, according to the report.

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 4 months ago

Yea , but last time I checked Wade wasn't the coach. Of course the coach isn't the coach either. We all know it's Reilly who the pulls the strings.

KU79 12 years, 4 months ago

That's Ryan Robertson holding his daughter sitting directly behind Perry. I was at that game (vs. CU) sitting a couple rows behind Robertson. It was fascinating to watch the coaches interact with him, as well as current and former players. He seemed to be having a great time. It looked like he was there with some of his high school teammates, and maybe his coach. They were definitely enjoying the experience (as was I because I very rarely get seats like that).

I think he's ours to lose, and I don't think that will happen. He'll be a Jayhawk.

Chris Shaw 12 years, 4 months ago

Great info KU79: I hearing stuff like this.

waywardJay 12 years, 4 months ago

I've never been so excited to be going after a 46 year old fashion designer.... but Chances are Bill's got some great inside info.

All Joking aside, while losing out on Barnes was marginally upsetting ( really would he have played the 3 over little or releford this year ? ) losing this Kid could be tragic. While we currently do not have a spot for him, this could be the kid who steps in to stop the gap at the 3 and officially relegates Releford to the bench and all honesty. He should be. IN state kid, great basketball tradition school in his backyard, this kid has a chance to all in Kansas to Witness his ascendance to greatness...... Uh oh.

waywardJay 12 years, 4 months ago

not factored into that previous joke was the fact that Perry Ellis fashion designer died 24 years ago.... which would make Self even that much MORE of a baskeetball genius if this recruit panned out. :)

Tim Bingaman 12 years, 4 months ago

The kid knows his way around a sewing machine, as well as a basketball court... Disagree? Go check out the racks at Burlington Coat Factory... Nice velour warm up suits indeed!

jh1808 12 years, 4 months ago

HAHAHA!!! Barnes ABSOLUTELY would have started over Little and Releford. You might as well ask if Selby will start over Brady Morningstar. Barnes is light-years ahead of where X was coming out of high school and those two couldn't start over him. Barnes will most likely be the #1 pick in the draft next year. He is a program changer, and if you don't believe me, keep your eye on UNC this year.

Jeff Coffman 12 years, 4 months ago

Well I would expect UNC to make the tournament now that 68 teams make it.

; )

AverageCitizen 12 years, 4 months ago

Unless Releford is going to stay 5 years, he should be gone by the time Perry gets to KU. Plus, there is ALWAYS a spot for a 5 star player on a team!

waywardJay 12 years, 4 months ago

indeed..... would his name alone count as an endorsement and thereby making him ineligible for collegiate atheletics ????

InfiniteJ 12 years, 4 months ago

Harrison Barnes and Perry Ellis are about the same size, but Barnes is a 6'8" 210 shooting guard/small foward, Ellis is a 6'8" 210 power forward.....big difference.

I'm not to excited about Ellis, at best, I think he's BJ WIlliams....which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

waywardJay 12 years, 4 months ago

Actually... he looks more like Carlos Boozer's little brother to me. Perhaps if we hybrid boozer and Steve woodberry.....

kranny 12 years, 4 months ago

Yikes, I think we're talking a little more talented than BJ Williams(see Rivals). Remember this young man is a 16 year old in a man's body. Once mental maturity catches up to physical maturity, he'll be a beast. He has two years of high school left and I'd say a good fifteen pounds to put on. He'll be a good one.

KGphoto 12 years, 4 months ago

We're seeing a wave of smaller teams in college ball. Lots of 6'7" guys playing all over the court. Perry is a very trendy size. He'll get 5-6 rpg and be able to score. Tennessee is a great example of how to win without a center. Half their team was between 6'5" and 6'8" last year. Also, their biggest player was 6'10" and could shoot the three. Hello Kief!

Benjamin Piehler 12 years, 4 months ago

id absolutely love for perry to go to ku

BUT when UK and UNC are making offers also, you have to consider that some people grow up wanting to leave the state of kansas. i know i did... so I wouldn't blame anyone with this much potential for wanting to see what else is out there. (not that he does)

Tony Bandle 12 years, 4 months ago

Funny...I grew up wanting to go to Kansas. Of course, I was raised in Missouri, so even the La Brea Tar Pits looked pretty good!!

Larry Smith 12 years, 4 months ago

The kid plays the 4 for his high school because he can. Also, because it is the best thing for his team. He could easily play the 3 if need be.

The same people that think he needs to get bigger and add weight are probably the same people that thought Kevin Durant needed to get bigger to compete in the Big 12/NBA. His size (Kevin Durant) seems to work for him. I believe he was 6'9" 205 coming out of high school.

honk_for_hawks 12 years, 4 months ago

I used to play pick up ball with perry back home at the northside YMCA. I have played with players like julian wright, rush, the morris twins, etc and while he obviously isn't as good as them all right now, playing with both lets me know he is legit. the kid can stroke the ball and handle the ball incredibly well. Everytime I go back home, he is in the gym by himself shooting hundreds of shots, sprinting, working on his ball handling. he's a gym rat. we would be lucky to have him. He seriously might have the small forward skill set by the time he gets here. And I would be surprised if we don't get him, there are two types of gear I always see him wearing, Memphis and KU. And while Memphis probably has a decent shot at him, the bigger reason he wears that gear is because his older sister plays at memphis. But if he doesn't go to KU, I hope he goes to wichita state so he can maybe make them relevant again.

honk_for_hawks 12 years, 4 months ago

oh and on top of the fact that he is an NBA talent, he also is a good student and a really good kid. there won't be any BB gun incidents or broken thumbs with him.

jaybate 12 years, 4 months ago

I hope KU lands Perry Ellis, because he's a good player and a Kansan, but...

6'8" 210 lb (actually 6'7" and 206 according to several services) basketball players that average 22/10 are a dime a dozen in national recruiting. You have to get one of them every two years or so, because they have a D1 shelf life of 3 years.

If Ellis had a great trey gun, he would be a must.

If he averaged 15-20 reebs per game, he would be a must.

If he already weighed 235, he would be a must.

But the fact is: he is next year's Thomas Robinson. He needs a year to put on 20 pounds minimum and a year to learn how to play.

He might be next year's Marcus Morris during Marcus' freshman season.

He's a four star by most services. I don't care much about stars. If he were in one of the big media market cities, he would almost certainly be a 5 star, but that still wouldn't matter. What he has is not yet exceptional. He's big and strong and mobile and can score inside against high school kids that are smaller and weaker than he is.

He's a Kansas kid; that's why he's important to recruit.

But if he doesn't choose KU, who flipping cares?

If he doesn't want KU, he's just one of two dozen players in his size range in his class that needs to add 20 pounds and learn how to play in D1 against guys bigger and stronger than he is.

KGphoto 12 years, 4 months ago

Two dozen? Exaggerate much?

At 16, he's already a better finisher than MckTwins. The alley-oop has been AWOL since they arrived. AWOL!

Thomas Robinson dreams of one day having an offensive game like this 16-year-old. In two years somebody is going to snag a gem.

He is 16 isn't he?

jaybate 12 years, 4 months ago

Marcus and Kieff were great finishers in high school.

Thomas Robinson was a great finisher in high school.

And he apparently lacks the outside touch Marcus showed as a frosh, and that Kieff showed both seasons.

Exaggerate much?


Really, in any year, aren't their two dozen 6'7" and 206 pounders being recruited in the Top 100? I've never counted, but I just assumed so. It seems like every team in D1 has at least 2-3 guys 6'7" and 206 lbs.

If Perry runs 25/15 this season and grows a trey, or adds 20 pounds and 3 inches by his senior year, then we're talking special.

justanotherfan 12 years, 4 months ago

I have to side with Jaybate on this one. Every recruiting service has said that Perry lacks "elite athleticism." He's big and strong, yes. But he's only 6-8, 210. That's every D-1 PF prospect out there. He's a skilled player, no doubt. I hope KU signs him, no doubt. But there is also no doubt that he shouldn't be the #1 player in his incoming class, because he's going to be ranked in the 20s (maybe even 30s) by the time signing day arrives.

So, either he increases his explosiveness and moves to SF, or he's an average sized PF prospect.

Ttownguy29 12 years, 4 months ago

I hope he chooses KU but if he doesn't it wouldn't bother me much. He would be a good addition with Peters, who we already have and Nino Jackson who is almost as good as committed. There are only 3 scholarships available right now though more could open up due to early departures and if I had to chose I would take Shabazz Muhammad over Ellis any day of the week.

dj_godzilla 12 years, 4 months ago

Hey Darnell Jackson just got traded to the Kings. I know its unrelated to this article but post it on the message boards. For some reason it says I'm not registered.

Mike Kendall 12 years, 4 months ago

Hey, Chuck Berry--- Someone told me, who follows KU very closely, that Kentucky is on Perry's short list. I think it is just a big stinkin' rumor. This kid is for real---look at all the big-time programs that are seeking his services. With HCBS making all these appearances at his game, hopefully that says a lot--end of story!!!!! He would do quite well in a Jayhawk uni, that's for sure.

Randy Bombardier 12 years, 4 months ago

If Ellis is already considering Kentucky he must have an agent. You would have to in order to deal with Calzoni.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.