Friday, December 27, 2013

Jayhawks finalists for prep shooting guards

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


Rashad Vaughn, a 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard from Findlay Prep High in Henderson, Nev., on Friday sliced his list of prospective colleges to five.

“Blessed to say my final 5: Kansas, UNLV, Kentucky, Iowa St, North Carolina #NoOrder,” Vaughn,’s No. 7-ranked player in the Class of 2014, wrote on Twitter.

Vaughn transferred to Findlay this year after attending Robbinsdale Cooper High in Minnesota. One of his Findlay teammates happens to be KU signee Kelly Oubre, a 6-7 senior who is ranked No. 12 in the Class of ‘14.

KU also is recruiting a shooting guard in JaQuan Lyle, a 6-5 senior from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, who is ranked No. 22 nationally. He is slated to visit KU for the KU-Kansas State game on Jan. 11. He’s also visited Memphis and UConn. He’s a good friend of KU signee Cliff Alexander, 6-9 from Chicago Curie, who is ranked No. 4 in the class.

“Lyle was at one time a top-20 talent, as his game is tight and productive. But at times he has been immature, which has led to some poor play and effort as well as some suspensions,” wrote’s Paul Biancardi. “To play in the college game and maximize his potential at the highest level, he will have to change his approach and attitude.”

Biancardi also wrote ... “His game is mature, and he has a feel for how the game should be played while reading and then reacting with usually the correct decision. His savvy on both ends is impressive.”

Early revisions to draft boards: KU freshman forward Joel Embiid has vaulted past teammate Andrew Wiggins and is currently projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by

In rankings updated on Christmas Eve, the 7-foot Embiid is top pick, followed by Duke freshman Jabari Parker. Wiggins, who remains a popular choice for No. 1, dropped to 3. Oklahoma State sophomore Marcus Smart is fourth, followed by Kentucky freshman Julius Randle. KU sophomore Perry Ellis is projected 26th, while senior Tarik Black is 22nd pick of Round Two. KU freshman Wayne Selden is now listed as No. 8 in the 2015 Draft with KU signees Alexander and Oubre Nos. 3 and 4 in next year’s draft and KU’s Hunter Mickelson 22nd pick in the second round. still has Wiggins No. 1, Embiid No. 4 and Selden No. 23 in the 2014 Draft. DraftExpress has Alexander at No. 3 and Oubre No. 12 in the 2015 Draft with Ellis the 14th pick of the second round in 2015.

ESPN’s Chad Ford has Wiggins No. 1, Embiid No. 4 and Selden No. 19 on his current big board.

Cliff hits for 21, 33: KU signee Alexander scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in Curie High’s 69-41 victory over Warren Township on Friday at the Pontiac (Ill.) Tournament. KU coach Bill Self was in attendance. Alexander scored 33 points off 14-of-19 shooting with 15 rebounds and four blocks on Thursday in Curie’s 84-42 first-round win over host Pontiac.

Memorial established: Niles Thomason, son-in-law of Southern Illinois coach and former KU director of basketball operations Barry Hinson, died Wednesday of natural causes, the Jackson County coroner stated as reported by The Southern newspaper in Carbondale, Ill.

Hinson will miss Sunday’s game at Miami of Ohio. Thomason, 31, married Hinson’s daughter, Tiffany, in 2004. The couple had a 2-year-old son, Carter, and lived in Colorado. A memorial service for Thomason will be Monday in Tulsa, Okla.

Memorial donations are the preferred form of remembrance, according to the Southern newspaper, and may be made to the trust account for Carter and/or the Humane Society of Southern Illinois in Murphysboro. Checks for Carter’s trust fund can be made to Fidelity Investments FBO Carter Hinson Thomason, c/o Steve Streeter, 4111 S. Darlington, Suite 120, Tulsa, Okla., 74135. The address of the Humane Society of Southern Illinois is 95 Humane Road, Murphysboro, Ill., 62966.

Hinson was a member of the KU basketball staff from 2008 to 2012.


Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

Condolences to Hinson. Thanks KUSports for the information.

Vaughn news is a surprise. Unless some negative unexpected event happens, Kansas will only have 3 scholarships (Black, Wiggins and Embiid) for ’14. That leaves one spot open and Turner surely must be the top target. If we luck out and get Turner, Self will have some challenges to find a way to sign Vaughn, not to mention Lyle.

Alexander posted a video link about Self’s attendance on his twitter ( I’d love to hear what Self’s thoughts were when Alexander lead the fast break as the middle man…and gave the ball up to a little guy!

Andy Hess 8 years, 6 months ago

i'd be surprised if Turner didn't go to Oklahoma State.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

There's been rumblings that Andrew White could transfer at some point and if that's the case, that's 4 scholarships.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 6 months ago

Guys, stop worrying, if we get too many scholarships we will red-shirt Frankamp

Vernon Riggs 8 years, 6 months ago

Red-shirts still count against scholarship limit.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 6 months ago

That doesn't give you an extra scholarship.

Benz Junque 8 years, 6 months ago

The only rumblings have been from the fan base. I have seen nothing about a transfer from anyone who would actually have knowledge of the situation.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 6 months ago

Suzi - or stepping out and hitting the 3-ball. It'll be a little diff when he's not playing against farm boys, but still seems way strong.

Michael Pannacciulli 8 years, 6 months ago

Don't forget wayne is still on some draft boards...

Lyle...not liking what I am hearing so far on him. We can't be blinded by talent and take a guy who will be a nightmare in the locker room or be in the doghoise until he ultimately transfers.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 6 months ago

top 5's don't transfer. They just jump.

Kye Clark 8 years, 6 months ago

Inevitably, as Self continues over-recruiting, speculation abounds as to why. First let me say that I am not opposed to over-recruiting, or at least not over-pursuing. If you think you're set, chances are down the line you'll find out that you're not, and then you're scrambling. This happened following the '11 season, when Self was apparently surprised at the departures of the Morris Twins & Josh Selby. This led to some uninspired signings, and a situation where we make a title run with Connor Teahan being pretty much our only perimeter sub, and Kevin Young (a year removed from college basketball at the time) being our primary post sub. And does anyone lose sleep over fringe players such as Merv Lindsay or Milton Doyle leaving the program? So by all means, I am in favor of coach Self continuing to cultivate options for next year's roster & beyond.

That being said, it's my hope that any holes in the roster are created this year solely from Black's departure and any early entrants into the NBA draft. I don't want anybody transferring. The reason for this is because everybody else on the roster is pretty solid. Self's teams function at their best with high-level talent that is 1 or 2 years into the program already. I'd take AW3 next year over Vaughn or Lyle. Sure, everybody likes the excitement of new players, especially those who are highly ranked. But in my opinion Self's teams need a couple guys who were ranked 30-70 out of high school. Guys who are willing to work hard, learn, wait their turn, and then step in knowing Self's expectations and can translate that into floor leadership.

The other thing is that Self is getting better & better at drawing interest and signing these highly ranked recruits. I'm talking top 20, top 10. Over Self's tenure, how many top 10 recruits has he had? I had to look a bit. ESPN's lists only go back to 2007. Rival's goes back much further so that is the one I used. Julian Wright - #8 in '05, Xavier Henry - #8 in '09, Josh Selby - #1 in '10, Andrew Wiggins - #1 in '13. I'm also going with ESPN's ranking for Joel Embiid and putting him at #6 for '13 (seems far more accurate than rivals #25 doesn't it?). And with 2014 rankings still subject to change, he's got Cliff Alexander - #4 and possibly Oubre cracking the top 10 as he sits at #12 (he is #10 on ESPN's list). So 6, maybe 7 top 10 players signed during Self's tenure. We'll include Selden, Oubre, and Darrell Arthur as those just outside the top 10 that definitely had/have the potential to be OADs. The trend definitely seems to show that Self has upped his game in recent years. Most likely because he is a fierce competitor.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 6 months ago

I'd question whether it is Self that is "upping his game" or whether we are getting interest because of the extended quality of results.

Kye Clark 8 years, 6 months ago

I would have to know what "extended quality of results" are you referring to? Because if you think a single recruit is signing with us to win Big 12 titles...well then you're just flat out wrong.

Kye Clark 8 years, 6 months ago

So here's my concern: that while Self's teams function best with a core of players in the system for a year or two, recruiting in itself has taken on such national attention that is it almost a sport unto itself, and the perception is that Calipari always wins. Couple that with the '12 title loss to a freshman dominated UK team, and because Self is such a competitor we are seeing a shift in his philosophy that could result in...Kensucky-lite? Basically teams that more closely resemble Cal's than they do Self's. I don't think we're there yet, but it's also a reason why I would loathe for someone like AW3 or Greene to transfer. These are top 50 recruits, the stuff Self's teams are built on.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Excellent post. You really need to consider posting at, as well. Your stuff would generate a lot of discussion there.

I see Wiggins as the only OAD "issue", so to speak ... because he was the only presumed OAD when being recruited and signed.

Losing a guy like Greene would just be sickening. White, as well. You can win titles with top 50 guys. That is and has been our strength. Guys that have to work to earn their draft positions, and aren't using KU as a pit stop to their stated goal of being drafted #1 (as Wiggins said -- in fairness, he also said he wanted to win an NCAA title). Reality is that KU is a pit stop for Wiggins and any other presumed OAD. Wiggins, like Selby and Henry before him, were here only because they had/have to be here (or somewhere other than the NBA).

When Wiggins signed, I was not necessarily in favor of the move because 1) As you note, "Self's teams function best with a core of players in the system for a year or two." It was kind of like a square peg in a round hole. It could cause Self to be a different coach; 2) that it could cause a ripple effect where we would lose a highly rated player -- Greene, Frankamp, or White -- who would make our program better over the long haul, 3) Wiggins would get all the attention and would be a nauseating, possibly disruptive story; and 4) it as it could impede the development of players for 2014-15.

I felt the only redeeming result would be a national title. That's it.

I was very much in favor of Randle, because we had a clear hole in the post. That's where I like an OAD ... Like Henry in 2009-10. My mind remains open, though. It did spur some recruiting momentum and the landing of Alexander, which is a need player (because of Embiid's imminent departure). Probably helped with Oubre (a non-need player).

And part of development for 2014-15 rationale was my assumption that Embiid would be back. That's pretty much gone now.

But getting on the OAD merry go round has its costs. Hard to bond with players from year to year. Hard to have continuity. Hard to be a "program" without a core of program players (and those can be high talent guys -- Aldrich, Arthur, Chalmers, Morrises, TRob, Withey, etc). And there is a greater likelihood, when on the OAD merry go round, that you have so down stretches when holes don't get filled properly, or recruiting wanes. But, personally, if we would have won the title game vs. Kentucky, I would have been more than happy to lose to Robert Morris in the NIT (like Kentucky). The pursuit of NCAA titles is the name of the game.

And that may be Self's thought. That having the most talent is simply the best way to win another title. Developing players is one way, but if the best players are freshmen, then go with that. Maybe he's going that route because he sees his clock at KU ticking, perhaps foretelling a move to the NBA. Who knows.

Again, ict, great post.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 6 months ago

Coach Self most definitely knows and chooses the talent route. That is why he commented in going counter-intuition in choosing the Jr Taylor over the more reliable Sr Tyrel Reed.

Kye Clark 8 years, 6 months ago

Thanks HEM. I've checked out KUbuckets a couple of times. Probably just a lack of comfort with the format that's keeping me from posting. Sucks what happened to this site. I go pretty dormant in basketball's off-season (only so many times I can see people post next year's starting line-up ya know?), I come back and they've linked to google & facebook, most of who I call the "legendary" posters are gone, Jesse Newell is gone. Still the best place to go for articles & news. But between missing Jesse's in-depth analysis and the drop-off in intelligent conversation in the's pretty much a shell of itself IMO.

I'm with you on bringing in OADs to fill needs, or to be the last piece of the puzzle to perhaps catapult a team into serious title contention. And while I was with you on Randle, not getting him has perhaps worked out for the best. It was a need at the time because Embiid was so much of a wild card.

As for your reasons against Wiggins, let me respond numerically: 1. While I stand by the statement, that is more just in regards to OADs in general. Without Wiggins, we weren't going to all of a sudden have a bunch of system/program guys getting minutes. AW3 would be the only one, and he wasn't a rotation guy last year. So I didn't feel Wiggins made us that much younger. 2. Agree 100%. See Greene, AW3, Frankcamp discussions & speculation almost daily. 3. Embiid has been a blessing in terms of taking some of the spotlight off of Wiggins. We're not just the Andrew Wiggins Show, or Wiggins & 4 stiffs, because of Embiid. 4. See Greene, AW3, Frankcamp.Possibly throw in Selden. We'll never know how any of these guys would be performing without the Wiggins effect.

And anything negative about the situation isn't meant as a personal criticism of Wiggins. I'm thrilled he's a Jayhawk, have been very impressed with him so far, etc. It's just the collateral damage/unintended consequences that comes with this situation that concerns me.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Also, I would say that I want no part of Vaughn or Lyle.

My preference is just to keep the guys we have, including Selden.

Tharpe, Mason, White, Selden, Greene, Frankamp, and Oubre.

Could anyone wish for a better seven?

Heck, even if Selden leaves, I'd rather run with the six we have on perimeter. I like our guys. I like our talent.

Those guys, with all but one being in our system for at least a year, will give us a better net than adding Vaughn or Lyle. Just my opinion.

But when I see those numbers, that's why I am concerned about a transfer.

Benz Junque 8 years, 6 months ago

Right now we have two guys going out (Wiggins and Black) and two guys coming in (Oubre and Alexander). The writing is clearly on the wall that we will be losing Embiid as well. He isn't even half way through the season and has improved tremendously. I fully expect him to be the #1 pick in the draft unless the pick holder has an established young center already.

At this point, I would be surprised to see us land Myles Turner. With the quality depth already in bigs I just don't see it. Would we really have Alexander coming off the bench? I don't think that is what he has in mind. I wouldn't mind us signing Vaughn. He isn't a likely OAD player and would compete with the returning guards for the starting SG position. I think Selden will stay; he just isn't looking like a guy that will be ready to play in the NBA next year. He doesn't even really look like a good college player right now.

Lots of practices and games to go; so much can change.

For those fretting about the OAD issue and the possibility of veering towards what Kentucky is doing, two things: 1) They have a national title, a Final Four and an Elite Eight in the last four years (I'd take that) and 2) they are in this unique position because they had about six spots to fill and fill them with guys they are pushing through the door and out the door. Self has made it clear he is about Kansas basketball, not the individual draft projections of any one player.

Plus, look what he did with a year where he had a hugs amount of schollies available; He added a few OAD elite prospects (Wiggins, Embiid and Selden) and mixed them with a few 3-4 year players in Greene, Frankamp and Mason. Cal simply doesn't "get" that yet.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree. I don't understand the recruitment of Lyle or Vaughn. MAYBE I could see Vaughn for Selden as the others other than White are still green & young, but the real hole will be losing two post players in Embiid & Black with Lucas & Mickelson probably still a year away from being reliable starting types.

Still holding out hope that we land Turner for the departing Embiid.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 6 months ago

Turner commits following Joel's announcement to leave. The only way I can see (want) Vaughn committing is if Selden goes ballistic on the way to a NC and commits as well. Agreed that I like our group as it stands as well - as long as Coach is leading.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 5 months ago

I think our coaching staff will likely make it evident to all of our recruits where we stand in our recruitng right now.

Would AT LEAST like to see Turner set up a visit.

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