Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rivals boosts KU commit Brannen Greene into top 25


Future Kansas University small forward Brannen Greene’s national recruiting ranking improved nine slots — from No. 31 to 22 overall — announced on Tuesday.

The rise of Greene, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound senior from Tift County High in Forsyth, Ga., means KU and Florida currently are the only two schools in the country with at least two verbal commitments in the top 30 in the Class of 2013.

Conner Frankamp, a 6-0 senior guard from Wichita North, remains at No. 28 overall entering his senior season. Florida has commitments from No. 6 Chris Walker and No. 7 Kasey Hill.

As far as some other KU targets ...

Forwards Julius Randle and Jabari Parker flip-flopped their Nos. 1 and 2 national rankings. Randle, 6-9 from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, who is now ranked No. 1, lists KU, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas.

Parker, 6-8 from Chicago Simeon, who is No. 2, lists KU, BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Stanford and Illinois.

Parker’s dad and high school coach, Sonny Parker, was not pleased to hear the news.

“My son fell because he was injured (and missed some AAU ball),” Sonny told the Chicago Sun Times. “He’s still ranked No. 1 everywhere else. He’s national player of the year with two gold medals, three state championships. What more could he do? The rankings are overrated anyway. In that trophy cabinet at Simeon there are trophies that have nothing to do with rankings.

“This stuff doesn’t mean anything to Jabari,” Sonny added. “He doesn’t get caught up in rankings and all that stuff.”

Meanwhile, Randle told “Sure it’s a goal. But I’ve become more mature in high school so I know that everybody is going to have their own opinion. My goal has become to win first and then try to establish myself as the best player on the court each time I’m out there.”

Aaron Gordon, a 6-8 forward from Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif., who is considering KU, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Kentucky and Cal, remained at No. 5.

Anthony “Cat” Barber, a 6-2 point guard from Hampton (Va) High, remained No. 9. He will visit KU this weekend. He also lists N.C. State, Alabama and Louisville.

Marcus Lee, a 6-9 power forward from Deer Valley High in Antioch, Calif., improved from No. 33 to No. 15. He lists KU, Cal, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville and UCLA.

Jermaine Lawrence, a 6-9 power forward from Pope John XXIII in Sparta, N.J. improved from 19 to 18. He lists KU, Kentucky, UCLA, St. Johns, Cincinnati, Syracuse and UNLV.

Wayne Selden, a 6-5 shooting guard from Tilton (N.H.) School, saw his ranking fall to 23 from No. 21. He lists KU, Florida, Missouri, UCLA, Syracuse and Ohio State.

Demetrius Jackson, a 6-1 point guard from Marian High in Mishawaka, Ind., jumped from No. 70 to No. 27. Emerging as one of the best players in the entire class, Jackson now lists KU, Butler, Florida State, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Xavier.

Tyler Roberson, a 6-8 forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, improved from No. 53 to No. 29. He lists KU, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Carolina, SMU, Syracuse and Villanova. He has said he will visit KU the weekend of Sept. 7, but told on Tuesday he may yet change the date.

Troy Williams, a 6-6 forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., and good buddy of point guard Barber, improved from No. 41 to No. 35. He lists KU, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisville, Georgetown, South Carolina, Ohio State, Arkansas and Memphis.

Karviar Shepherd, a 6-10 center from Prime Prep Academy in Dallas fell from No. 34 to No. 43. He lists KU, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M;, LSU, Oklahoma, TCU and Marquette. His prep teammate, Jordan Mickey, a 6-7 forward who also lists KU, improved from No. 51 to No. 38.

Allerik Freeman, a 6-4 guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., fell from No. 39 to No. 52. He lists KU, Duke, Ohio State, UCLA and Villanova.

As far as a pair of local products who at this time are not considering KU ... Raytown, Mo.’s Ishmail Wainright, 6-5 from Montrose Christian High in Maryland, fell from No. 32 to No. 49. Semi Ojeleye, 6-8 from Ottawa High, improved from No. 36 to 30.

Doyle visits two: Former KU guard Milton Doyle has visited both Loyola University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and figures to choose one of those schools, reports. Doyle, a 6-4 guard from Chicago Marshall High, elected to not return to campus after the Jayhawks’ summertime trip to Europe.


Chris Bruning 9 years, 8 months ago

This whole article is filled with awesomeness!!!! ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!!

VailHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Wow!!! Thx so much for the recruiting love LJW! Think we'll land any of them?

David Hall 9 years, 8 months ago


Chris Bruning 9 years, 8 months ago

He cut his list to 7 and KU was on that list, not saying you're wrong, but i hope and think you are.

Phil Leister 9 years, 8 months ago

Your shtick is overdone and not entertaining anymore blackmild. Seriously, just drop it.

soapisurfriend 9 years, 8 months ago

That's not true. He sure is still considering Kansas, and I'd give KU a strong chance at Lawrence. Jordan Mickey on the other hand is in fact no longer considering the Jayhawks.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago


Phil Leister 9 years, 8 months ago

Rankings are beyond pointless. They simply provide a talking point for fans. So Brannen went from 31 to 22? That means absolutely, positively, nothing at all. He's still the player today that he was yesterday and last week.

jhox 9 years, 8 months ago

I totally agree. Many of the highly ranked kids have NBA bodies and grade school games, and simply overpower weaker kids. Yet many of the people rating these guys don't understand the subtleties of the game enough to know the difference. There are also strong regional biases. I'm shocked Semi is up to number 30. He must be really talented to overcome being fron Ottawa, KS. I've not seen him play, so I have no idea if that is deserved, or not.

In relation to point guards, much to much emphasis is put on what kind of scorer they are. Selfish point guards get rewarded while kids who may be capable of scoring but who instead choose to make teammates better get overlooked.

The very top guys are pretty easy to spot... Maybe the top 20 or so. Once you get below them it is much more difficult. The more I've watched the rating agencies evolve, the less respect I have for the job they're doing.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 8 months ago

"many of the people rating these guys don't understand the subtleties of the game enough to know the difference"

Completely false.

As i pointed out before when LJW posted an interview with Eric Bossi from Rivals. these recruiting experts are very welled versed in college basketball.

Bossi could cite specifc roles in specific sets of our offense Greene would thrive in. It doesn't get more "subtle" than that

jhox 9 years, 8 months ago

Bossi is one of the primary guys I was thinking of when I wrote that. He's a classic look for the biggest, strongest, highest jumping guy on the court philosophy guy.

Those things are very important, I get that, but they also can't be overweighted. Guys that can overpower high school competition with little or no skills will not be able to do that on the college level.

But look, everyone can't agree on everything. Some of those project guys turn into great players.

jhox 9 years, 8 months ago

OK, I'm feeling great remourse for singling out Bossi like I did. Wish I could delete those comments and start over. This is what I do know. There are certain things you can't coach. Height, athleticism, strength. Those are the easy things to spot, and the ratings services are good at spoting those things. Kids with those skills can overpower high school competition, but can't overpower college competition. There are certain things that can sometimes be coached, like ball handling, shooting and, to some extent motor. Some players can be coached up in those areas and some can't. This is where the rating agencies fall short in my opinion. They overrate certain guys' potential, when there is no guarantee those kids will develop those skills. Another skill you can't coach is soft hands. I'm amazed at some of the highly rated guys I've seen without soft hands. Unless you're a defensive specialist, you're not going to be a great player without soft hands. You will never make a guy's hands soft if he wasn't born with them. This doesn't typically apply to top 20 or 30 guys, but sometimes one of those guys sneaks up that high (with hands of stone.)

Then you have a guy like Alec Burks. I had a guy (whose opinion I really respect) tell me when Burks was a junior in high school that Burks was one of the best players in KC history, and that KU and MU would live to regret not recruiting him. I went and caught a game and was in complete agreement. His first step was breathtaking, and he could actually shoot the ball. This was before his growth spurt. I don't care if you're talking 6'2" or 6'5", how does a so called expert miss on a kid like Alec Burks? And there are guys like that every year. Not guys who develop into stars, but guys who enter college under the radar and make an immediate huge impact. Guys who play in national AAU tournaments who would be nearly impossible to miss if you're watching the games.

Anyway, my apologies for singling out Bossi. I've seen some of the KC area guys who rivals seems to like, who I wouldn't give you a dime for, and others who are not on rival's radar who absolutely should be. The beauty of it is that it doesn't matter what I think. Time will tell who is right and who is wrong. The difference is that recruiting ranking is not my profession. I can afford to have wrong opinions about certain guys.

AsadZ 9 years, 8 months ago

I'd love to see HEM's reaction to this post

Ben Simonett 9 years, 8 months ago

It means next to nothing. the difference between the #22 and #31 kids on those lists is slim to none.

The difference between the #20-30 kids and the #120-130 kids is huge. thats the value of the rankings!

RJ King 9 years, 8 months ago

can anyone say CRAPSHOOT?

PS What I noticed about Greene in the game, is that he wasn't spectacular (off the charts athletic, freakish, in-your-face Aaron Gordon). He just did what he was supposed to do and came up with points. I liked his low-key persona.

KUfanInFlorida 9 years, 8 months ago

I like the fact that a lot of talent is considering KU. Hopefully we'll be able to land all of the remaining top targets.

KUfanInFlorida 9 years, 8 months ago

I know we don't have enough room for all of them. I am just saying our top targets for each position. Point and a big plus another best available recruit.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

When I was single, everyday I saw dozens of attractive women that I wanted to sleep with.

Rarely did more than one of them share my interest, though there was this one time...

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years, 8 months ago

Parker may not get caught up in the rankings, but it sure sounds like pops does. There is no shame in falling from 1 to 2 on a list created by several people who never even played college basketball.

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 8 months ago

If Parker has his dad's attitude, I'm not sure I care where he goes to school. Seriously? "Hey, it's crap that my son fell from number you know what? Rankings are stupid!"

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

My thoughts zackly.

I mean, lots of dads (and moms) probably THINK that, but it doesn't really play out that well to say it out loud.

RJ King 9 years, 8 months ago

"Sonny Parker, was not pleased to hear the news." Did he actually say, "I am not pleased with this news." Or did Gary assume that Dad would feel this way? It does not appear that Gary interviewed Sonny. It seems that the comments were repeated from an interview with someone at the Chicago Sun Times.

Sonny said that ratings aren't important. It doesn't say that he adopted this opinion only after his son fell 1 spot. How do we know he hasn't been saying this all along?

We weren't there. We didn't hear the tone of voice. We don't know if there were more comments made to clarify and round out the picture. All we know is that the kid was injured, and that he has a bunch of trophies.

april28 9 years, 8 months ago

Love Randles comments. Parker's dad, no so much.

Lindsey Buscher 9 years, 8 months ago

“My son fell because he was injured (and missed some AAU ball),” Sonny told the Chicago Sun Times. “He’s still ranked No. 1 everywhere else. He’s national player of the year with two gold medals, three state championships. What more could he do? The rankings are overrated anyway."

Don't sound so butt-hurt duder, 1 or 2, everyone knows your son is good, probably good enough to jump straight to the nba.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 8 months ago

Don't get so vulgar about it.

remember media outlets like stories and probably took some of the comments out of context. He was probably specifically asked why his son dropped from first to second and explained why.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 8 months ago

Demetrius Jackson and "Cat" Barber have been used in the same sentence a lot lately, but what's funny is that everybody assumed there was a big discrepency in talent simply because Barber was #9 and Jackson was #70.

It's funny how quickly a fans mindset will change when a recruit jumps 43 spots into the Top 30. That is what I find interesting a little bit humerous.

REHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

I still view Withey's slot as the most important to fill for the near future. However, if Naadir does not progress quickly and dependably, that point guard position is of prime importance. Frankamp might evolve into the guy, although his shooting stats would indicate that he will play more off-point, even though he will be limited by height. With Tharpe and Frankamp on the floor together, the Jayhawks would give up a bundle of inches and length.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Its like you know what you're talking about.

What a breath of fresh air! :-)

Ron Franklin 9 years, 8 months ago

Are Frankamp and Greene rising because Self recruited them?

Or is it because they are actually getting better?

KGphoto 9 years, 8 months ago

Don't know much about Greene but Frankamp impressed during international play this summer. I think a lot of people took notice.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 8 months ago

Frankamp's getting better. Greene is just getting adjusted back to where he was after a slight slump in the spring. his summer was much better

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

I think it is a combination of random variance and a strange tendency or two, but my I Ching has not confirmed this yet. :-)

Seriously, guys that rank recruits are like anyone else. They are highly sensitive to primary stimuli. When they see these guys in the flesh doing things, even if the guys are just having an anomalous outlier of a game, it changes their perceptions significantly. And since most of them are NOT analyzing players with highly skilled quantitative rigor, they often become positively round-heeled by these outlier games.

Now, having exposed these buck naked emperors, let me add in at least some defense of them, these players are sometimes changing quite rapidly at this age. So: I reckon sometimes these players just get better and the gurus notice it.

jhox 9 years, 8 months ago

Very well thought out post, and I agree completely.

Michael Pannacciulli 9 years, 8 months ago

Frankamp is solid. He has a sick 3. Greene has size and goodfundamentals...will probably grow and get better. Bill likes 'em, I like 'em.

joeloveshawks 9 years, 8 months ago

Seeing all of these top recruits with KU on their lists is great. Obviously we will only get 1 or 2 or 3 of these elite players but it is exciting. It reminds me of the Rush, Chalmers, Wright class. That turned out pretty well for the Hawks.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 8 months ago

Picking up any 2-3 of those listed in the article would give KU a killer recruiting class. 4-5 top50 possibly top30 players should be more than enough to satisfy any fan base. I think recent displays from Frankamp and Greene point to Self being a good judge of talent. I'll throw White and Peters into the same category.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 8 months ago

Looks like Ojeleye grew 2 inches in the past week!

KGphoto 9 years, 8 months ago

He'll shrink again, then grow, and shrink, until he finally stabilizes at the NBA combine because somebody pulls out an actual tape measure.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like Self's kind of player. Flexible height.

Vernon Riggs 9 years, 8 months ago

With Frankamp and Greene, we need Point and Big. The fifth scholarship could be used for best available player in any position.

This would be a GREAT class:

  1. Frankamp, 2. Greene, 3. Jackson, 4. Shepherd, 5. Lee or Selden

Vernon Riggs 9 years, 8 months ago

He is at North High in the City League of Wichita. Most of the time in AAU ball, he is playing off the ball as a #2. I don't know if HCBS see him as a #1. HCBS keeps saying that he still looking for a point. However he also likes having multiple ball handlers on the court at one time. See the 2008 team. That may be the weakness of this year's team. Once you get past EJ, you have Travis or Ben as the next best option on the floor.

David Gisi 9 years, 8 months ago

The big news is Jackson's jump in the rankings. All indications seem to be that KU is the leader with him. Already came for an unofficial, after which he was offered. Has an in-home next week, i believe, and has an official scheduled. I get the feeling that if Barber doesn't commit on the spot this weekend that Jackson will when he comes for his official. His visit schedule seems to be pushing a top 3 of Illinois, Louisville and Kansas. Obviously the ranking jump could open up new suitors. He has concentrated in the Midwest and seems to have left behind Mich, MState and ND. I'm ready for local HS season to start to go watch him play. Hadn't heard much about him til spring when KU started to get involved. I think he's become more than a Barber backup plan.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 8 months ago

Food for thought:

  • If rankings are so over-rated, why is Sonny Parker so PO'd about his son falling ONE SLOT??!!

  • Doyle will probably stay in town at Loyola, so his family can see his games and he can ride the EL to school everyday.

  • Does anyone truly believe there is any more actual science to Rivals Rankings than, oh let's say, a typical high school Student Council election??

  • In other news, Hurricane Isaac fell from #5 to #10 behind Hurrican Katrina, crunchy peanut butter gained two spots to #9 while smooth remained at #3 and Hugh Hefner's testosterone level remained unchanged.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 8 months ago

My guesses to your questions:

  1. I don't think it'$ the ranking$ that have hi$ dad $o up$et.
  2. Cool.
  3. Only HEM.
  4. It'd be sweet if Self & Co. could land that smooth PB! We're weak at the paste positions.

RJ King 9 years, 8 months ago

Quite funny. And in a related human non-interest story to #4, Oakville's testosterone level has remained unchanged as well.

Jayhawk3 9 years, 8 months ago

It's hard to change something that's nonexistent. ;-)

Tim Orel 9 years, 8 months ago

We need a stick-to-him-like-glue defender to make Self's defenses work, so I'm all in favor of #4.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 8 months ago

•Does anyone truly believe there is any more actual science to Rivals Rankings than, oh let's say, a typical high school Student Council election??

-Yes, its not mere coincidence that the kids that ultimately end up in the NBA are usually the kids in the top 20-30 spots of the rankings.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 8 months ago

I don't think he/she was talking about the correlation of high rivals rankings translating into NBA careers. He/she seems to be pointing out that the more hyped these players are, the higher they climb in the rankings (despite the fact that their skill level remains the same throughout). That's certainly similar to the popularity contest that is student council elections.

Eric Williams 9 years, 8 months ago

I smell a conspiracy. Rivals normally drops a recruit after they commit to KU...

Perhaps they are trying to boost Greene's rating so another team will try to steal him.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

PHOF if tongue in cheek.

Hall of Shame if serious.

kranny 9 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like some great kids but even if Self only gets the TRobs and Tyshawns, and not MickeyDs, I'm sure we'll see Final Four action in the near future again. Self has the ability to take good and turn it into great.

kufaninmo 9 years, 8 months ago

man, even if we didn't have any top 25 recruits, i'd still be as content with our next squad. this is just icing now.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 8 months ago

I see the comments on the ratings and I feel like I’m being poked with a stick. I try to ignore, but I I can’t. Call it a personal failing.

Ok .. the "rankings are beyond pointless" (Hawkoverseas) and those that agree crowd (like jhox), must have some other agenda. I am pushed to that conclusion because, respectfully, they apparently refuse to attempt to understand the ratings dynamic and what goes into them. And it’s not because they haven’t heard it before. They just refuse to listen to logic. They refuse to consider the evidence. And the they offer no evidence to the contrary.

-- First and foremost, the ratings are, historically, incredibly accurate. And without a doubt, they serve as the best guide to predict college basketball success. Those that mock them seem to expect too much. Many expect perfection. And they criticize based upon nuance. The ratings aren’t perfectly accurate. They are general. They are a guide, not the gospel. They serve that purpose and that purpose only. Not perfect. Sometimes way wrong, or someone gets missed. But they are the best guide. I do hate to bring up the Milton Doyle or Merv Lindsay fiascos, but those are perfect examples where folks got on here, railed against Rivals, etc., saying ratings didn’t matter, predicted big things for those kids here, that Self found gems, mocked and/or called names to those that dare suggest otherwise, etc. We know how that turned out. But another point is .. even if one of them did pan out, that doesn’t disparage the ratings at all. That is what we call an exception to the rule. A concept many don't understand. Who beat us for the NCAA title last season? A bunch of highly rated freshmen and sophomores. Oh, and who did they beat? Robinson, Withey, Releford, Taylor - 4 stars; EJ - 5 stars. And our NCAA title in 2008? The entire 8 man rotation 4 and 5 star guys. Arthur, Rush, Chalmers, Robinson, Collins, Aldrich -- 5 stars; Jackson, Kaun -- 4 stars.


Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 8 months ago

Outstanding analysis, and I wholly agree with your comments. Perfection? No. A very good predictor? Yes.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 8 months ago


-- The easy claim, like jhox does, is to say these guys didn’t play college basketball and, basically, are buffoons. They don’t know anything more than you or I. That’s what jhox would like you to believe. Jhox says “Yet many of the people rating these guys don't understand the subtleties of the game enough to know the difference.” That is just plain garbage. It is jhox that, respectfully, appears to lack the understanding. What subtlety would he be talking about? These folks travel and watch players in person, they talk to assistant coaches, head coaches, to the high school coaches, to pro scouts – they gather so much more information than you can fathom. They have seen these guys play in person, not on youtube. They go to the AAU tourneys. They gather opinions from all sources .. yes, including the coaches that are doing the recruiting. Don’t you think that if coach K is on a guy, explains why he is on a guy, that might carry some weight? And it should. But the rankings are a compilation of information from all sources. BlownJay asked .. are Frankamp and Greene going higher because the are they getting better, or because Self recruited them? Clearly, the services feel both are getting better in comparison to their peers, but solely because Self is recruiting them wouldn’t case this jump. But a coach accepting a commit or recruiting a player certainly can move a kid if it squares with the other info. In this case, though, Self’s recruitment of the kids was old news.

-- If you don't like Rivals or Scout and you say scouting services are a joke, then look at who coach Self is recruiting. This is the trump card. Go and look at the players to whom he has extended offers. It is strangely similar to the rankings. Amazing how our brilliant coach pursues the highly ranked players. There is no denying that. He generally first extends offers guys that are ranked highly by Rivals/Scout, then works his way down. How and why does that happen? This is where those that mock ratings are seriously just ignoring the evidence. Isn’t this the best evidence if you think coach Self is the best informed?

-- And as bennybob pointed out, read the link below. This isn’t some bum off the street.

There, I feel better.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Gott dang it, HEM, ease up on the valid logic and facts. They hurt. :-)

My bones to pick with these guys are two:

1) Self is consistently winning more with lower ranked recruits, so that needs some QA.

2) I think they get a little too wet from witnessing one big anecdotal performance in the flesh, and a little too dry when is not making the rounds of the meat market games, and this could be regressed to refute, or support, my hunch.

Othewise, I don't begrudge them much. They do what they do okay.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 8 months ago

First off, apologies for the cheap shot above. It was all in fun, as you're the resident "rivals rankings" guy.

Here's my thing.'s own Eric Bossi had this to say about the talent in recruiting classes: "...from 25 to 150 — it doesn’t lose much integrity in terms of ability."

So, I must reiterate that while the rankings do serve a purpose, they are not the only thing a KU fan should base his/her opinion on when evaluating a recruit. There's nothing wrong with putting faith in the rankings, so long as you don't get too high when KU gets a higher-ranked recruit or too low when KU gets a lower- ranked recruit. The fact that Greene is now in the top 25 doesn't make me think any more of him (or less or anyone else) than I did before. There are plenty of good recruits outside the top 25. That's why I always wait to reserve judgement until I actually see the guys play. The eye test does matter equally as much, if not more so (in my opinion) than their rankings on the websites.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Ah, thank god he wasn't tapped.

Boosted is okay.

To tap? Perchance to sleep?

texashawk10 9 years, 8 months ago

HEM and Bennybob are correct, the recruiting rankings are a very good indication of who the top players are. If you want to argue that the ratings are meaningless when it comes to whether someone should be ranked 25 or 30, then yes they are basically meaningless because those players are close enough in talent to where it doesn't matter too much. If you want to say the difference between 25 and 75 is meaningless, then you are a fool. As HEM pointed out, there are exceptions to this and Tyshawn Taylor is one of those exceptions because it's a very rare thing to see a player ranked 77th be a 4 year starter at a school the caliber of KU. Travis Releford, ranked 70th in the same class took until his junior season to become an impact player at Kansas which is closer to the norm at a school like Kansas.

Let's go back to 2004 which was Bill Self's first recruiting class at KU that was his own and see where each recruit was ranked and how long it took them to be an impact player at KU. I'm only including the players who finished their careers at KU and going through 2010 since we have definitive results through then. * indicates a player who redshirted at some point at KU. Just to clarify that my definition of an impact player is someone who is a regular in the rotation and playing 15+ minutes a game for the season


Alex Galindo (65) Transferred

CJ Giles (62) Kicked off team

Darnell Jackson (54) Senior

Sasha Kaun (34) Sophomore

Russell Robinson (27) Sophomore


Mario Chalmers (12) Freshman

Micah Downs (28) Transferred

Brandon Rush (13) Freshman

Julian Wright (8) Freshman


Darrell Arthur (16) Freshman

Sherron Collins (21) Freshman

Brady Morningstar* (150+) Sophomore


Cole Aldrich (30) Sophomore

Tyrel Reed (109) Sophomore


Tyrone Appleton (JuCo) (124 in 2006) Left program

Mario Little* (JuCo) (150+)

Marcus Morris (29) Freshman

Markieff Morris (49) Freshman

Travis Releford* (70) Junior

Tyshawn Taylor (77) Freshman

Quintrell Thomas (149) Transferred


Xavier Henry (8) Freshman

Elijah Johnson (24) Junior

Thomas Robinson (31) Sophomore


Josh Selby (1) Freshman

Royce Woolridge (120) Transferred


texashawk10 9 years, 8 months ago


As you can see from this, it's pretty clear that most of these players developed at a pretty consistent rate based on their ratings. There are exceptions both ways (Reed, Morningstar, EJ, Tyshawn). Only 3 players who were top 30 recruits did not have an immediate impact their freshman years (Downs, Cole, and EJ) and one of those players left in the middle of his freshman season. Only 2 players outside the top 100 (Reed and Morningstar) that came in as freshmen even finished their careers at KU and those were the two in-state kids. That's pretty definitive to me and backs up HEM's point about those type of players being insurance policies and having a slim chance of seeing meaningful playing time at KU. Jamari Traylor will be an interesting case to see if he ever gets meaningful minutes at KU because he will likely be the first non-Kansas kid to ranked outside the top 100 to stay at KU for his entire career. His academic issues are the biggest reason why, but he will likely set the benchmark for any other 100+ ranked 4-5 year players for when they break into the rotation, if ever. Landon Lucas is someone to keep an eye on for a potential transfer after this season because that is the trend at KU. Zach Peters is an interesting case because a lot of his rating is due to him not playing AAU ball the summer before his senior year so it would be interesting to see where he would've been ranked had he done that instead of focusing on football. It also sounded like he is going to be the 4th big this year based on what happened in Europe so he could end up being an exception to the trend but I think his skill level compared to his ranking is more of an anomaly because his lack of playing AAU ball but we'll find out in November.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Bang up job, there, texashawk10. Bravo!

The ratings seem to be subject to more variance between 50-150, than between 1 and 50, though I'm just eye balling and not running the numbers.

Phil Leister 9 years, 8 months ago

I'm not arguing that the rankings themselves mean nothing. Of course the guys ranked top 30 are there for a reason. And of course Bill is going to recruit the most talented guys. My argument is that Brannen Greene moving from 31 to 22 means absolutely nothing. You can't objectively assign a number from 1-150 to guys. Yeah, the top 30 guys are clearly better ball players than the guys toward the bottom of the list, but you can't call the guy ranked 25 worse than the guy ranked 20. That's asinine.

Why did Greene get bumped up? Did he have a few good games this summer that caught some of the Rivals guys' eyes? Or, what if 9 guys ahead of him had a very subpar summer, so they dropped and Greene moved up 9 spots? I'm saying, as it relates to the basketball team at KU, and Greene as a player, it means nothing. At this point, we know Greene is a high level recruit. Tomorrow, put a 10 next to his name, or put a 50 next to his name, and it won't make a lick of difference. Brannen Greene will be the same player he is today. THAT'S all I'm arguing. It's ludicrous to argue that the rankings themselves mean nothing, like some have done. Of course I want the higher ranked guys.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 8 months ago

I understand what you're saying. But you can objectively assign numbers, they just might not be correct. Take point guards, and put them in rank order. Barber over Jackson. Once you do that, you can then combine the positions and rank them in order of the best player. The job just gets trickier the lower you go, as some have pointed out.

See the idea in the ratings is not that Greene has improved .. it's that based on more evidence and information, his stock has risen in comparison to his peers. That's all. The closer you get to their graduation, the more info you have. So the ratings, in theory, get better than when they were sophomores.

mikehawk 9 years, 8 months ago

It seems more and more that top recruits and their "schools of interest" are similar, always seemingly listing the usual cast of elite programs, of which we are one. Plus, there are some schools added to the elite list which seem to indicate schools in their area and region are also being considered. There are some variations, but this apprears to be a fairly common pattern with top ranked recruits. What does this tell us about the possibility of our getting any of those players who list us? I would argue it means very little. It would appear the top recruits list the usual suspects from the elite list for their own reasons, ie., status, buzz, publicity, etc. In reality, from the coaches perspective and from the players, also, there are so many factors going into the process, fit, relationships between coaches and recruits, relationship between coaches and their high school/AAU coaches, chance to play immediately, close/far away distance from home to school, history/family ties, family opinions, player character, grades, chance to be seen in prime time, scholarship availability (hopefully not money), etc. To want to play for an elite (or notable) program with an elite (or notable) coach only makes sense. But really, there are quite a few of these programs and a bunch of the factors noted (and more) come into play for both the coach and the players. Thus, the rankings make good blog talk. Of more interest seems to be a trend of more and more coaches moving toward the Butler build a team model (lower rank stay 3 or 4 years) than the Kentucky OAD model. We seem to have moved more toward the longer stay possibility, team need, good character model, with a willingness to grab an elite who may be OAD to be in the mix if it makes "team building sense." Take Kentucky of last year out of the mix, you find Butler in the Final Four two strait years. It's still a team game and good teams with good players who "buy in" have lots of success. The build a team approach really seems to fit our KU basketball psyches well. But, oh well, enough of that. Back to High Rank Speculation and blog blather! Some of us certainly need it to get through the Dog Days.

Alohahawk 9 years, 8 months ago

"A BIRD IN THE HAND...." I think that this go-around, after what transpired with the previous year's receruiting, that Self has learned his lesson. "DON'T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET." If you've got a sure thing, don't wait on something that may, or may not, come about. I'd love it if KU could sign A. Barber, but if KU can definitely get D. Jackson, "DON'T PASS UP A GOOD THING." Afterall, it appears that Jackson is a very good "Plan B". (Maybe the prom queen will go to the dance with you, but you like this other girl, too. Ask your first preference, and if she doesn't respond right away, then quickly move on to the backup, with whom you'd be just about as happy anyway. Why end up having to go stag?) If Self can sign K. Shepherd or J. Lawrence (or another top PF/Ctr), why wait for J. Randle, who seems more likely to head elsewhere? Before accepting the lower ranked recruit, immediately contact the higher ranked recruit and give them an ultamatum, "Sign now, or we're withdrawing our offer." IMHO, it would be better for Self and KU, if he brings in recruits who show they really want to be a Jayhawk.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 8 months ago

I think this would backfire in the short term, but would work wonders in the long term. Make it simple: if you're interested in KU, we're interested in you. If you're interested in 20 schools, you're not interested in KU, not to mention the other 19, which doesn't matter to KU at all.

My coach buddy told me today that Wooden didn't leave campus. I don't know if that approach would work, but that would make KU more of a mystery, and that in itself is more intriguing to the right player.

Jayhawk3 9 years, 8 months ago

I don't mind the rankings. They give people something to talk about and the players a chance to see where they are looked at rated against their classmates and a chance to try and move up. However, like the team rankings, they could still be biased. I'd actually like to see rankings of players 3 or 4 years after high school. Anyone think Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor, and Russell Robinson among others wouldn't be ranked higher? Call it Self's coaching, talent evaluation, or the players' work ethic and desire to improve, all things likely not covered in the current rankings.

I like this year's class combined with what next year's could be. They look similar to the 2004 and 2005 classes. 2004 had the glue guys like Russell Robinson, Darnell Jackson, and Sasha Kaun. They were good players who had huge roles, but it was the 2005 class of Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, and Julian Wright that had the Superstars other teams had to really worry about. Don't get me wrong, I think this year's class is great too, and I'm excited to see them play and even think there could be a few stars there, but I think in a year or 2 we could have a similar team to the 2007-2008 Jayhawks.

Finally, it's nice to see a big recruit considering a school more known for academics than basketball. I know Stanford had a good team a few years ago, but they have slid. It's nice to see Jabari Parker at least considering Stanford even if he won't go there.

David Gisi 9 years, 8 months ago

If anyone's still browsing thru these posts, recent local buzz was that Calipari has been tweeting with Jackson and Kentucky is in the mix. From an IndyStar article 8/24. "We're still looking at which schools want me to come for an official," said Jackson, who is ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the country in 2013 by "I definitely want to get to Kentucky and Notre Dame. Notre Dame is right around the corner so I may not use an official there."

Jackson said he doesn't have a "set" list of schools he's considering, but said Notre Dame, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisville are solidly in the mix at this point. He said Butler is no longer under consideration.

Though he plans to make a decision before his high school season and sign in the fall, Jackson didn't completely close the door on a spring signing. He said he wants to have all of the information possible before making a decision.

I still think Notre Dame is just on there to placate some locals, but who knows for sure.

melrank 9 years, 8 months ago

SB - Elkhart here. Friend of his coach tells me Cal is more than tweeting. He's solidly in mix.

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