Originally published April 25, 2013 at 02:33p.m., updated April 26, 2013 at 12:07a.m.

6-foot-10 Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson picks KU

Big man says he's fan of KU tradition

Kentucky's Terrence Jones, right, puts up a shot under pressure from Arkansas' Hunter Mickelson (21) and Marvell Waithe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.

Kentucky's Terrence Jones, right, puts up a shot under pressure from Arkansas' Hunter Mickelson (21) and Marvell Waithe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.



AP Photo/James Crisp

Kentucky's Terrence Jones, right, puts up a shot under pressure from Arkansas' Hunter Mickelson (21) and Marvell Waithe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.

A native of Jonesboro, Ark., Hunter Mickelson grew up a fan of the outdoors and of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.

“Hunting, fishing, playing basketball and going to school ... that’s about all I’ve been doing since I’ve been here,” said the 6-foot-10, 235-pound sophomore power forward, who on Thursday announced his decision to transfer from Arkansas to Kansas University for the final two years of his college basketball career.

Mickelson, who broke Arkansas’ freshman shot-block record (72) two seasons ago, averaged 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds his sophomore season (16.6 minutes/game), while never really adjusting to coach Mike Anderson’s pressing style of play.

“He is a great coach. It probably is a good style for big men, but it just wasn’t for me,” said Mickelson, who, as’s No. 100-rated player in the high school recruiting Class of 2011, chose John Pelphrey’s program over KU, Florida, Baylor, Arizona, Kentucky and 19 others who offered scholarships. Pelphrey was fired before Mickelson’s freshman year.

“KU was my No. 1 choice out of (Jonesboro Westside) high school, but he is a homestate kid and wanted to play for the Razorbacks. We gave that a try even though we knew the system and style probably wasn’t the best one for him,” said Mickelson’s dad, Darien.

“KU is a good fit with the type of players he (Bill Self) turns out as far as the Cole Aldriches and Jeff Witheys,” Darien added. “The storied tradition of KU basketball … it is like Notre Dame football. It doesn’t get any better than that. The biggest factor is, KU really recruits itself, but just being on the court with three or four other high-quality talented kids makes everybody better. You can’t have the success and history and expectations maintained that many years by not doing it right.”

Mickelson, who will practice but not play in games next season in accordance with NCAA rules, chose KU as a transfer destination over finalist Butler. He and his dad have never been to Lawrence.

“Just because of the tradition they have ... the opportunity to get to play in a national championship or play deep in the tournament ... that’s all I wanted,” said Hunter Mickelson. His career high in points is 16 vs. Robert Morris and rebounds 13 vs. Northwestern State.

“They always play tough. They have great home games, great road trips. They’ve won a bunch of conference titles back to back. I wanted to be part of that.”

“It happened fairly quick,” Hunter added. “We talked about it a little while, me and my family, discussed the options and decided Kansas was the best place.”

Mickelson said his strength right now is defense. He will work on “my post presence, I imagine, being consistent from inside and outside, getting my quickness more than it is.”

He trusts KU coach Bill Self to help him in all areas.

“He is really smart, knows how to play the game, how to handle things. I’m definitely ready to go to work and be a part of it,” Mickelson said of Self.

His previous coach, Anderson, recently said: “Hunter is a fine young man who represents the Razorbacks well both on and off the court. He has improved as a player during his two years at Arkansas, and I wish him the best as he pursues his degree and basketball career elsewhere.”

Mickelson will be on scholarship during his red-shirt season, meaning KU has two scholarships left to give this spring. KU is recruiting former Memphis forward Tarik Black and has reportedly shown interest in former Alabama guard Trevor Lacey. KU also is in the running for No. 1-rated prep Andrew Wiggins.

KU vs. Merv: KU will play the University of New Mexico on Dec. 14 in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. It will be a one-time game with no return game to UNM. Former KU guard Merv Lindsay will be eligible at New Mexico next season. KU will play Duke in Chicago next season, travel to Colorado and Florida, play Georgetown and San Diego State at home and play in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

He tweeted it: “Kansas has landed a key addition in Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson. He’ll fit much better w/ Bill Self’s system,” said Jeff Goodman of CBS’ sources said Mickelson tried to get out of his letter of intent when Pelphrey was fired, but was denied by coach Anderson. Mickelson’s recruiting class included Devonta Abron (now at TCU), B.J. Young (recently declared for NBA Draft) and Kyle Madden, who remains at Arkansas.


Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 2 months ago

He'll get hudified, groomed to be a descent NBA prospect from almost nothing. Made a quick decision before the spots are gone. What a smart move. Welcome to the family, Mikey.

PSM 9 years, 2 months ago

Not eligible this season I assume.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

A little weird they didn't mention his eligibility for next year. I would also have to assume it's normal transfer rules, and he'll get two years starting Fall 2014.

Jesse Newell 9 years, 2 months ago

That is correct. Should be added above.

loyal2thaphog 9 years, 2 months ago

The former Jonesboro Westside High standout averaged 7.0 points a game over the first 22 games with five double-digit scoring outputs last seasoin

-feel free to delete this when the error is corrected

Shelly Harshaw 9 years, 2 months ago

What part of this didn't you understand? "Mickelson, who will have to sit out the 2013-14 season because of transfer rules"

Alex Berger 9 years, 2 months ago

They added it after they posted the article.

bigjay83 9 years, 2 months ago

The part where that statement wasn't in the original posting, which seems abundantly clear from Jesse's response right above you.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Robin Smith 9 years, 2 months ago

I guess Ace Ventura references are not appropriate for these boards...

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

JacquesMerde 9 years, 2 months ago

I can only imagine what he said!!!!

Does the Leopard change his spots? Not if he's ahpersecoachingexperience.

How gratifying. It couldn't happen to a better choice.

Tim Orel 9 years, 2 months ago

He made a comment about the former picture at the top of the column. It wasn't polite and it didn't add to any discussion.

Carter Patterson 9 years, 2 months ago

So he sits a year and then plays for two? Come'on Gary....I expect slips from Keegan not you!

DRsmith 9 years, 2 months ago

Yep...looks like the perfect transfer. He can follow in the footsteps of all the other large and slow KU big men of the past. I smell desperation from HCBS.

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 2 months ago

Definitely. Have you looked at next year's recruiting class? Wreaks of not desperation if you ask me. Sounds to me like another Withey-esque project.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Yep. With him sitting out a year, he will be able to practice with an elite team and workout with literally the finest weight trainer in all of college basketball. If he has the work ethic, Hudy will beef this guy up.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Yeah - that would suck if he turned out to be another Withey....

Steve Kubler 9 years, 2 months ago

I hate snorting coffee out my nose. Thanks Nulea! :)

kufankam 9 years, 2 months ago

I know... that is always what bothered me about Simien, TRob, the Morris twins, DArthur... their lack of speed. #smh

Almost all of the bigs under Self have been more on the quick/agile side... Darnell Jackson, Withey, Aldrich (not slow, just a bit clumsy), Traylor, Wesley, Young. Even Kaun was pretty fast, he was just clunky. Jeff Graves was the best bet you have likening anyone to ALL of the large and slow KU bigs.

Brad Farha 9 years, 2 months ago

Of all those guys, I really miss Kaun. I've gone back and watched a lot of those 2008 games, and it's pretty awesome to see him defend in the post. I don't recall seeing Kaun getting help from another defender. His ability to defend his man by himself was a sight to see.

DRsmith 9 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like a who's who of the NBADL.

Matt Bowers 9 years, 2 months ago

Whats wrong smith, did they run our of meth in missouri?

Rock Chalk

DRsmith 9 years, 2 months ago

Just trying to bring some realistic expectations to the fan base. Everyone that transfers in or signs gets elevated to all american status by everyone on here.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like a who's who of March Madness.

How many Jayhawks are playing in the NBA Playoffs?

We have the entire rest of theleague out numbered in Big12 Championships. Is it true for NBA players as well?

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

That's funny.....NONE of them are in the NBDL. T.Rob w/ the Rockets, the Morrises w/ the Suns, Arhtur w/ the Grizzlies, Kaun overseas and doing well on a Russian league team. I guess D. Jackson was for a while but he's spent almost as much time in the NBA.

DRsmith 9 years, 2 months ago

So was Aldrich, Arthur and TRob has already lost his minutes so he will be there before too long.

Glen Miller 9 years, 2 months ago

Why are you even on here? This is a KU site dude. You know you look like a fool on here talking a bunch of smack and sippin on that hatorade over there. Go back to Missouri where you belong!!!

Bryce Landon 9 years, 2 months ago

Four consecutive NCAA first-round losses for Mizzoodle.

JacquesMerde 9 years, 2 months ago

When Graves had his head in the game, he was an excellent center.

kufankam 9 years, 2 months ago

I didn't mean for it to come across like I was hating on Graves. I was more pointing to what you noted; when his head wasn't in it, he could have been looked at as slow. I was more just alluding that IF he was wanting to make that argument, that'd maybe be his best bet

Tim Orel 9 years, 2 months ago

I smell practice player, who will hopefully present challenges to the front-line big men. Everyone always has talked about how the practice sessions are where they get better and ready to tackle the rest of the teams. Self has the scholarships, so why not?

Alex Berger 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm with coloradojayhawk. He was ranked #100 in the class of 2011 and he didn't really do much at a mediocre Arkansas. He might get some back up minutes his senior year if we have a lot of NBA defections but this is Bill Self trying to even out the scholarship situation and have good players to practice with.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

If he were to play starter minutes (2x), his numbers would have been 11, 7, 2. I'll take that from a big guy surrounded by athletes. What have our other bigs averaged recently?

Woody Cragg 9 years, 2 months ago

What the hell is wrong with your thought process? A sweet sixteen, an elite eight, two final fours, and one Nat Championship since 2008-sounds like you're the one desparate just to have someone listen to hogwash. Try a dog if you are smart enough to know how to give it a good home. If not, get a reptile.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Desperation? He will have one full year of practice under both Coach Self and Coach Andrea Hudy. You cannot ask for a better scenario.. A talented huge body who already understands the system.

If you are grading its performance under Anderson, remember that Anderson refused to release him from his LOI when he became head coach.

jayhawkbenny27 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm going to have to go with the standard 'trust Self' on this one...

chancevandal1 9 years, 2 months ago

If he did I hope Fran Frchellsila? doesn't find out. One more "Withey is great cuz he played volleyball" from him and I was permanently muting espn.

texashawk10 9 years, 2 months ago

Embiid was a volleyball player before taking up basketball. The reason why volleyball players tend to be above average shot blockers is because if you're playing at the net in volleyball, you have to go straight up to block a spike otherwise you'll hit the net and give the other team a point. The ability to go straight up to block a shot in volleyball is a skill that translates very well to basketball if the player has good timing like Withey did.

Robin Smith 9 years, 2 months ago

1.2 blocks in 16 mins of action? 6-10, 245, gonna sit a year, train with Hudy, bang in practice?

sounds like a good pickup towards the future

Michael Sillman 9 years, 2 months ago

Yep, he might be a bust like that Withey transfer.

gchawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Don't know about that. When I think of Arkansas my mind goes to people like the Walton's (Walmart), Jerry Jones (Cowboys), and Tyson's (lots of meat), just to name a few. I believe they all play with a little more than just pigs.

RazorRod 9 years, 2 months ago

Yeah we play basketball in Arkansas! Its Called 40 minutes of Hell! That won us the 1994 National Championship! And was one of the MOST Successful basketball programs in the 90's. We arent Kansas but we are a top 3 program in the SEC in Basketball. Which is the KING of Football! which is far more important than Basketball! Lol which Kansas is the laughingstock of Big 12 or Little 10 Football! I understand why Nobody would want to play football at Podunk KU!

gchawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Easy Razor, you do have a good football team, but we've won a BCS game, which isn't bad for a basketball school.

John Boyle 9 years, 2 months ago

Sorry to get your undies in bunch, dude. This is a basketball story so no need to bring up football. And by the way, its a stretch to say your a top three SEC basketball school. Just sayin'

RazorRod 9 years, 2 months ago

JayhawkJohn... Kentucky is #1 in Basketball in our Conference and rival with yall. But Arkansas averages 2nd most revenue behind Kentucky, 2nd most fan support 20,000 strong in the Basketball palace Bud Walton Arena also has top 3 tradition. Only other two teams that can compete are Mizzoo and Florida the last Decade. True we havent been much since Nolan Richardson has left. But Mike Anderson Nolans right hand man for 17 years. Is getting us back to the Success we had before. Like he did with Mizzoo. So tell that idiot g_rock to quit talkn crap!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Florida (who won back-to-back titles) can't compete w/ Mizzou & Arkansas or for that matter EVEN Kentucky over the last decade?!?!?!?!

RazorRod 9 years, 2 months ago

Florida wasn't NOTHING before Billy Donovan! They won those 2 national championships but have not done anything Kentucky like otherwise.

gchawk 9 years, 2 months ago

"wasn't NOTHING"..........?? So you're saying they were something?

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

The reference was over the past decade!!!!! Florida probably the BEST in the SEC over the last decade!!!

Jeffery Barrett 9 years, 2 months ago

Atlanta, GA Southeast Regional Final Kansas 93 arKansas 81

Jeffery Barrett 9 years, 2 months ago

I remember that tournament like it was yesterday. In fact, I still have the article that the AR players were disappointed that they didn't get to play IN after KU HAMMERED them. 40 minutes of hell turned into 80 minutes of hell, didn't it, Rod?! UNLV was hyped all year long, but I knew KU could beat them. When I saw the brackets come out, I also knew Duke would beat UNLV before KU got a chance at them. That was my best bracket ever. KU almost came back from 11 without about a minute or so to play but it was not to be. So, *uck it, arKansas fan!

RazorRod 9 years, 2 months ago

Why has Arkansas BEAT ur CrowHawks 4 out of the last 6 times since 1977 when Eddie Sutton was our Head Coach! Lol!

bad_dog 9 years, 2 months ago

You may be trying to insult the Hawks by prefacing their name with the word "crow", but crows are very intelligent, albeit sometimes annoying creatures.

BTW, someone with a pig for a mascot shouldn't be throwing stones at other schools' mascots; glass house & all...

Tony Bushard 9 years, 2 months ago

Sorry sgtjb123. Didn't see the reply post.

LRJAYHAWK 9 years, 2 months ago

Tired of hearing about Arkansas football they have not won a BCS game in years. They had a terrible season last year so no difference from KU except they don't have a basketball team. I live in Little Rock and the Razorback fans live in a world of their own. In their minds they are number one in football and close in basketball. A few years ago I spent two weeks laughing because they all were convinced HCBS was leaving Kansas for a better job at Arkansas. Join the real world.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 2 months ago

Wasn't the football team supposed to be winning the national title? John L. Smith didn't exactly light'em up at Arkansas.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 2 months ago

Razor, how are those famed 40 minutes of hell working out for you lately?

Saying that Arkansas is a top 3 basketball program in the SEC is like saying it is a top 3 football program in the Catholic 7 League, isn't it?

For a troll you are pretty bad, right at the level where MU and UK trolls dwell.

ccarp 9 years, 2 months ago

Be careful on your motorcycle, it could wreck the whole program. At least you beat misery, the new low of college football. We can all laugh at them! :-)

bad_dog 9 years, 2 months ago

No kidding. As head football coach of a D1 program in a town infatuated with every facet of the program, you would believe one might be bright enough not to carry on an extra-marital affair and parade the mistress around on your Harley sans helmets.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

You misunderstood, Razor - it was your own fans who said " We have to watch these morons for 40 MINUTES ? OH HELL. "

rtwngr 9 years, 2 months ago

An SEC school trying to impress with their basketball acumen is like a prostitute trying to impress with her chastity. LOL! Coach Anderson is a punk and should have let this player out of his commitment when he was an incoming freshman. He coached thugs at MU and the 40 minutes of pork smells like burned bacon at the end. Hahahahahahaha!

JacquesMerde 9 years, 2 months ago

Why are you so sensitive. Arkansas is a good school with a good athletic program. People who post here would criticize their grandmother for being kind. We have all kinds, so roll with the jab!! You're lucky, you don't have ahpersecoachingexperience on your case, yet!! You want bad news? He's bad news.

We know KU has a sorry football program, but like Arkansas basketball it wasn't always sorry, and like Arkansas we are hoping a new coach will turn it around.

Chill out! Start your own sports blog and if you don't want to read critical comments from a bunch of wise guys stay off ours.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Poor Rod... Having a bad day which would have been avoided if Anderson had granted Mickelson his release. But Anderson has never been known for being classy.

I find it telling that Missouri basketball has made huge strides since Anderson left for Arkansas. Missouri fans should thank Anderson for leaving. The Frank Haith era at Missouri has rejuvenated the program.

Anderson is a poor man's Richardson. Even the scandals under Anderson seem to be at the Junior varsity level. A former assistant coach (17 friggen years?) coming home to bring back 40 min. of hell. Unfortunately, those 40 min. of hell is mostly for the home crowd, unless you like watching NIT basketball...oh wait a second, you didn't get an invitation after that 30 point loss to Missouri. TFF

LittleRockJayhawker 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank you RazorRod for reminding g_rock of the '94 Championship. We've also had some good basketball recruits out of Arkansas.

However, let's not over reach. There's no need to insult school football programs here.

notjustbread 9 years, 2 months ago

good call nuleafjhawk...maybe his family history has volleyball in it.....or do we need a different sport that 'translates' into basketball skillsets...maybe he is a semi-professional juggler...wouldn't the announcers have a hey day with something like that.

Eric Brunner 9 years, 2 months ago

6-10" and an 80% free throw shooter, I'm good with that. Also interesting to note the kid went from 185 to 245 lbs in 2 years, damn!!!

Robin Smith 9 years, 2 months ago

I saw another site that had him at 220 comin out of high school, which makes a lot more sense! HAHA

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Hey - I've put on a lot of weight in the past few years too. It's way over-rated !

JacquesMerde 9 years, 2 months ago

Yeah! And you're a "helluva" basketball critic. You got some real quick moves with your keyboard and monitor!! That extra weight didn't hurt your game, just your wallet.

JacquesMerde 9 years, 2 months ago

He looked good in that clip. Also the SEC mouthpiece bragged on him.

Michael Bennett 9 years, 2 months ago

That clip shows some promising skills and competitive fire. If he keeps getting stronger he could be a valuable role player in a season or two.

702Hawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Great type of guy. He seems classy and big enough to knock guys off the block. Plus big guys who can hit free throws win close games.

Robbk1066 9 years, 2 months ago

Very Very Good news, lets keep the transfers coming. Need 2-3 players for this year now.

Wiggins is not coming here, but we can get the SG from UCLA, maybe the 6-9 guy from Memphis, we need 2-3 players.

Page Butler 9 years, 2 months ago

I think there are 3 spots left in reality because he won't be eligible to play this year because of transfer rules.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

exactly. He's not paying his own tuition here. He's on scholarship and thus counts toward our limit whether he plays or not.

Robbk1066 9 years, 2 months ago

Yup, he is playing in 2014. Need 2-3 for this season!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

We don't need to fill 'em too quickly. Would ratehr use two for next year's class. As far as I know we only have 2 or 3 left.

If 3 - would LOVE to see us get Josh Perkins, Trevor Lacey & Justise Winslow.....none would be able to play next year, but what a monstrous rostser for '14/'15. I think regardless of what we see out of Mason this year, he might want to redshirt that year.

Ted Hume 9 years, 2 months ago

won't we only have ONE scholarship (Wesley's) to give next year if we use them all and everyone stays? I know we typically free one or two up with a transfer or early departure (for example possibly Ellis if he has a monster year), but isn't that a little scary- only being able to sign one or two guys next year?

jayhawkinnc 9 years, 2 months ago

I live here in Fayetteville, AR and I've seen this kid play here at U of A. He's a very skilled big man. His game reminds me a lot of Cole Aldrich. Still has some things to polish up on, but KU is getting a solid big man. Welcome to the Jayhawk Family, Hunter!!!

Joe Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

Nothing on ESPN yet. He's high on their list. Let's see how long it takes them to break this news.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

Haven’t seen much yet but he looks like he could be a mix of two recent transfers, Withey and Young. Withey with the blocking and FT%, Young with the energy. Looks like he may be a natural leader as well, which is something Withey needed to have infused by players and coaches.

2014 is starting to get crowded at the #4 and #5. Ellis, Embiid, Traylor, Lucas, Mickelson. That’s gonna be a talented and experienced group, even if we don’t land a blue chipper next year.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Yep....I just see a PG and a SG/SF type left.

Hoping for Josh Perkins and 1 of either (in order) Justise Winslow, Trevor Lacey or Allerik Freeman.

Although technically speaking, Wesley comes off scholarship after next season so there'd still be 1 more really hoping for Josh Perkins, Justise Winslow AND Trevor Lacey.

texashawk10 9 years, 2 months ago

KU only has 2 scholarships left and that's with Wesley coming off scholarship.

2013 players coming off scholarship:

Elijah Johnson

Ben McLemore

Travis Releford

Kevin Young

Jeff Withey

Zach Peters

Rio Adams

Justin Wesley (if necessary) via Milton Doyle

2014 Incoming scholarship players

Wayne Selden

Joel Embiid

Brannen Greene

Connor Frankamp

Frank Mason

Hunter Mickleson

That's 7, potentially 8 outgoing scholarships with 6 incoming scholarship players. That leaves 1, potentially 2 scholarships left for KU to use this season.

Timothy Rake 9 years, 2 months ago

"Mickelson, who will have to sit out the 2013-14 season because of transfer rules ..."

Did you not see this in paragraph 3?? Or was it added in?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

Immediate impact? No.

But you know what I think it is at the very least? Security. Look at the 2014 class. Very few big guys outside of the top 15ish. Kind of weird. Meaning the class is thin when it comes to PF and C.

It also creates numbers .. what's the chance that either this guy, Traylor or Lucas blossom into a real player? Well, probably better when you add a third body to the mix.

And while it's security, it's not a roadblock for a top player at all. But it seems like a great gamble.

Nice write-up on the second link below if you have the insider at ESPN. Really, just saying he was too light .. 185 at the time. He's listed at 245 now?? Yikes. That's almost one-third more Hunter.

Seems like a great move; Trevor Lacey next?

Robert Brock 9 years, 2 months ago

After a redshirt year working with Hudy, this kid will be a productive big.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 2 months ago

This is an indictment on the staffs feeling about Landen Lucas.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Nope...I don't think so. Why have extra scholarships waiting around.

For all you know could be an indictment of Traylor. Could see Lucas as a more physical and suited to playing PF since not as much of a shot-blocker.

702Hawk 9 years, 2 months ago

They wouldn't have redshirted so fast if they thought he wasn't going to last at KU. Might as well played him freshman year and let him redshirt at the new school. Just like Adams, Lindsay, and Thomas. By HCBS willing to redshirt his freshman year he must think he is worth his weight.

texashawk10 9 years, 2 months ago

It means Lucas wants to be a Jayhawk even if he's never an impact player in the fashion of Jeremy Case.

Michael Pannacciulli 9 years, 2 months ago

Not at all. He is a better than average Joe player who will at the very least give the bigs competition in practice...but I expect more and love that he spurned a former Mizzou coach and turned down an upstart program like Butler.

Jonathan Even 9 years, 2 months ago

Next year's team will be fun to watch. Mickelson will bring another big body big to the practice squad, helping the development of all the post players.

But the team in two years will be where it's at. Five-star studs Ellis, Embiid, and Selden will highlight a very talented and deep team. Think about it... Ellis, Embiid, Lucas, Mickelson in the post. White, Selden, and Greene on the wings. Tharpe, Frankamp, and Mason sharing minutes at the 1 and 2. That will be THE elite title contending team to beat.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

Don’t forget Traylor down low. He took a huge step forward, (similar to Ellis) toward the end of the season. He now has some post moves to go along with his KY-like bouncy energy, blocking and dunking skills.

I see Traylor logging significant minutes the next two years.

DanR 9 years, 2 months ago

Judging by pictures on the google, Mickelson is one of those guys who went from looking like a 14-year-old kid to a mature 30-year-old man in two years.

kucapcity91 9 years, 2 months ago

I think Trevor Lacey would be a nice pick up too...wonder if HCBS is looking into that!

Steve Gantz 9 years, 2 months ago

He's got to be thanking his lucky stars to be coming to KU from that basketball dead end in Fayetteville. Our team in 14-15 is going to be an absolute beast, I won't say Self's best, but wow, what a time to start playing for KU! I can't wait to watch the 'Hawks a year and a half from now!

Hawk8086 9 years, 2 months ago

This represents depth at center and building / insurance for the future. Traylor is not a true center. Lucas probably needs some development and now there is some talk about Embiid possibly being one and done. The kid is a true center with shot blocking skills which HCBS likes. He'll have a year to continue to develop and be ready to contribute in 2014 and 2015, in addition to making practices more competitive. Self clearly likes to use all of his scholarships as opposed to saving them for the following year, which makes even more sense when there is always the possibility of OAD (Selden, Embiid, but hopefully not). Maybe not a home run (who knows), but I like it.

JacquesMerde 9 years, 2 months ago

Also if Embiid turns out to be nearly as good as Withey in a year or so he may not stay the entire time. This is really a good catch.

jgkojak 9 years, 2 months ago

I believe many of the same naysayers were like "Kevin who? Young? Loyola?"

Hudy-ise him, give him tough coaching, and he could be a nice role player/starter depending on need.

He'll be a nice one.

BigBlue4KU 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm surprised the LJW didn't mention that Hunter ended the year (2011) ranked as the number 8 Center and number 55 overall player in the ESPN Top 100. That would have made him the second highest ranked recruit in that KU class and puts him in the same grouping of bigs we were recruiting that year (Angelo Choi, #61 and Norvel Pelle, #72). I think this is a really nice fit for Kansas. Great experienced practice player next year and a good locker room guy. Sounds like he has a good motor, just needs to add that famous Self "toughness!"

texashawk10 9 years, 2 months ago

This is a good solid pick up for KU. Mickleson has a solid skill set and should be a decent contributor once he becomes eligible. I don't think he'll be a great scorer, but he sounds like he should be a load for opposing offensive players to deal with. It sounds like Mickleson also has a much better work ethic than Tarik Black does and will have 2 years to play along with a year of development instead of just one year after 3 year of progressive declining output and a poor work ethic. Now it's time to go get a 2 guard whether it be Freeman or Lacey.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Self fits the puzzle pieces together yet again.

Michelson can be KU's Mitch McGrary season after next.

Signing Mickelson leaves a perfectly tailored slot for Tarik Black.

And it also cushions the blow in practice, if Black opts for Duke.

Lacey or Freeman? This is the question.

Lacey has the gun.

Self likes guns.

Lacey gets the call if his pop is back.

Not if not.

Freeman was a guy Self really liked.

It will be interesting to see how Self tries to juggle to fit Freeman in.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Is Jordan Bachynski modeling himself off Scott Pollard?

Ian Emerson 9 years, 2 months ago

What are you talking about desperate in recruiting? Self has the 3rd top recruiting class in the country.

jhox 9 years, 2 months ago

I guess this means we're not going to a full court pressure style of play like Louisville used to win the N.C.

On the plus side, imagine how Mike Anderson must feel losing a player to his former rival, Kansas. (On the other hand, he's so hated in Missouri now, maybe Kansas is is second favorite team?)

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

I could be completely off base but the last coach I remember at Kansas who utilized the zone on a regular basis was Ted Owens. I felt pretty bad when he was finally let go but when he kept Ron Kellogg on the bench his first two years, I think just about everyone knew it was time for a change.

idahawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Why do some keep saying "3rd top recruiting class"? Rivals has us as a strong #2. Right?

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

There is one site (ESPN?) that had us tied orbehind Memphis, which is kinda crazy. No comparison IMO.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 2 months ago

ESPN still has KU as #3. I believe Rivals has a much better ranking of the individual players.

REHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

If I were 6'10" and 245, I think that after two years of collegiate 40 Minutes of Hell, I, too, might wish to settle into a program where I could develop into NBA-style bigman basketball. This transfer offers Mickelson an extra year of college to work under one of the best training and coaching staffs in the nation; and, definitely, an opportunity to experience deep postseason tournament runs. I like that 80% freethrow stat and the freshman block record at Arkansas. Here's a player who is not wishy-washy about the once in a lifetime chance to become a Jayhawk. Rock Chalk, Hunter!

Kevin Jenkins 9 years, 2 months ago

So much feedback about the negative. So he played at Arkansas, but they do play with the big boys and I saw him play some. I say he will be a good fit. If he doesn't he will give our bigs a good workout. We have some guys that people never expected to play in the NBA and Collison is still helping in OK. Self does know what he is doing. We have some guys that will probably never make it in the NBA, but with their help give us our depth, strength and motivation to win another crown. ROCK CHALK

9 years, 2 months ago

Agreed. Other schools will use that as a tool to recruit against him.

741hawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Actually, an extra year of Hudy and Self will do him a world of good. I hope he writes a book after his senior year detailing the differences in the programs. Would be fascinating.

FearlessJayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm not impressed. He is just another average Joe that will not make an impact. If he was any good, he would have turned pro.

VaJay 9 years, 2 months ago

Whoa! You should contact Coach Self immediately & give him your profound opinion, which is surely based on first-hand knowledge and keen insight into the college game!

Or maybe instead, you read the post of jgkojak above & just go back to bed - must've been a nightmare you had ;)

fan4kufootball 9 years, 2 months ago

my dream is for Arkansas to someday join the Big 12

JBsJAYHAWKS 9 years, 2 months ago

Coach is building some serious depth down low - Lucas will be a stud as well - Rock Chalk

kellerman411 9 years, 2 months ago

The most important part about him coming here is that practice will be more competitive for the bigs. If he develops into a bad@ss, that's great but not necessary. Perry, Lucas and Embiid now feel more pressure this off season. Pressure is good.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

No new relevant stories today? What happened, did all the sports columnists take off yesterday and hit the golf course? Come on guys...

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Kidding of course...and I don't mean to say that this article isn't relevant. But it came out early afternoon yesterday. Nothing new for me to read this morning at break!!!!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago


1] Is Hunter left-handed and plays golf?

2] "Hunter".....what a great name for a shot blocker!!

3] As an All-State football player, I was the third string center on a district champion basketball team that ws 26-3. My job was to pound the two top centers to toughen them up in practice...Hunter just became my favorite player!!

4] Just to clarify..doesn't Bill still have two scholarships left if he asks Keith Langford nicely to pick up the tab for Justin one more time? [ currently 6 holdovers, 5 newbies, 1 transfer = 12]

5] Lacey and Black...sounds like a promo for Victoria Secret!!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

Yep .. two scholarships left.

I'm still amazed that we have 8 total to fill. Self said that in November -- that we could have 8 to fill. And this was before Peters' transfer.

TheRaptor 9 years, 2 months ago

The University of Memphis but yet Kansas University...come on, Dolph, let it go. It's time already.

JayhawkRock78 9 years, 2 months ago

Hunter, Welcome to KU. You will love being a Jayhawk. Drive over this weekend and check out AFH and the campus. Lawrence ROCKS!

JayHok 9 years, 2 months ago

KU has the best record in the NCAA tournament over the last 10 years and more. Also the best record in college basketball the last 10-25 years as well. We all know however we've left four NCAA championships on the table in the last four years. Thats why they call it March madness so no blame, it happens to 67 teams every tear. With that said I believe Self or an assistant needs to challenge the team just before the NCAA tournament like Rick Pitino did. Rick just followed through with a promise of getting a huge tattoo on his back. Have to give him credit. I think Self and staff can use similar motivation in the coming years, kids love that kind of thing especially late in the season when a little more inventive is needed.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

How about Bill going with a blonde toupee??

JayHok 9 years, 2 months ago

That would be motivation for sure. I'm thinking more along the lines of Self shaving his head and tattooing a large JAYHAWK with the year, the record and NCAA champions.

actorman 9 years, 2 months ago

Works for me, but it might scare off some of the parents of new recruits.

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