Saturday, June 22, 2013

Perry Ellis studying game of ex-Jayhawk Marcus Morris

Kansas University sophomore Perry Ellis (34) says he's been watching tape of former KU star Marcus Morris in an effort to expand his game.

Kansas University sophomore Perry Ellis (34) says he's been watching tape of former KU star Marcus Morris in an effort to expand his game.


Kansas University sophomore forward Perry Ellis has hit the film room this offseason to improve his game.

One of his main studies? Former Jayhawk Marcus Morris, whom Ellis watched quite a bit growing up.

“I just really try to look what he does and see how he does it in the system,” Ellis said, “and try to copy what he does.”

The two have quite a bit in common — the most obvious of which is body type.

In their freshman seasons, both Morris and Ellis shared the same measurables: a height of 6 feet, 8 inches and weight of 225 pounds.

Ellis is hoping the similarities don’t end there.

After an inconsistent freshman season, Morris significantly increased his scoring (12.8 points per game from 7.4) during his sophomore year after fully committing himself to the weight room.

At first glance, Ellis (5.8 ppg last season) might be going through a similar transition.

In two camp games this summer, the Wichita native appears to be elevating higher, especially around the rim.

“That makes a big difference on the court,” Ellis said. “Now, you’re not worrying about, ‘Oh, I can’t do something.’ Now you think that you can do it, and you just play better.”

Morris also improved his offensive skill-set each year, developing his midrange jumpshot and face-up game later in his career.

The face-up game is what Ellis has worked on most this summer. While on his own in the practice gym, Ellis will spin the ball up in the air to simulate a pass, then catch it and work like he’s going against a defender.

“The more you can incorporate it in your game, the better,” Ellis said of his face-up game. “The more variety of ways you can score, the better it is. It just helps you and the team out.”

Ellis also has extended his shooting range. After going 2-for-3 on three-pointers all of last season, the sophomore already has made four three-pointers in the two camp scrimmages this summer.

“I’ve been getting a lot of shots up,” Ellis said. “That’s the key. … That’s what I’ve been doing, and I feel comfortable right now.”

Ellis also says he’s quicker this year and — in a strange way — says improving physically has helped free him up mentally. There were times a season ago when he believed his body kept him from reaching his potential.

“I was kind of like, ‘Man, I feel like I can’t do this.’ There was something holding me back in my mind,” Ellis said. “That’s the mental part of it.”

In terms of basketball, his knowledge is growing as well.

Ellis — a 4.0 grade-point student in high school — admits his freshman season was “overwhelming” at times.

“Just learning stuff at a fast pace. I wasn’t really used to that in high school,” Ellis said. “Then, I just started getting acquainted.”

Though he had an impressive finish to last season — making 30 of 46 two-pointers in his final seven games (65 percent) — Ellis believes he’s in an even better place now when it comes to knowing his role on the floor.

“My mind-set is really just to keep working hard,” Ellis said. “I’m not worrying about anything. I’m just playing basketball, and I’m really having fun playing now.”


KUFan90 9 years ago

Ellis primed for a monster year!

Go get em Perry!

Scott MacWilliams 9 years ago

I'm also very excited to see how Perry steps it up this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see him with a handful of double-doubles and be in the 12 ppg/6rbg range easily. Can't wait for Late Night!!! Rock Chalk !!!!!!

Dirk Medema 9 years ago

RPG will be the key to the success of the team, as in we need 8-10 apiece from the 4 & 5.

jhox 9 years ago

If I had to bet on our leading scorer next year, my money is on Perry. I'll be surprised if he averages less than 16 a game. I don't care how talented a freshman is, it takes time to acclimate to the college game. With the outside shooters we've added that should equate to less defensive attention on Perry, and Perry is a guy who scoring comes natural to. His defense kept him off the floor last year, not his offense. Yeah, he missed some bunnies rushing shots, but that's all part of that freshman acclimation thing.

He may have the same body type as Marcus, but he looks quicker to me. He doesn't have Marcus' outside game, yet, but when he develops it, look out.

David Leathers 9 years ago

It takes time to adjust to college for most kids. Then you have kids like Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, and Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins will lead the team and quite possibly the Big 12 in scoring. Mark it now, buddy.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years ago

Ellis is a smart kid and is doing all the right things to become a better player. He is the type of player coaches love.

hawk316 9 years ago

One of the most enjoyable things to watch as a fan is the steady development of individual players over the course of their college career. That's one of the reasons I dislike so much the current "one and done" setup. With just a few exceptions, the decision to go pro inhibits or curtails the growth process (what kind of player would Josh Selby or Julian Wright have been if they had stayed in school longer instead of turning pro?). It will be fun to see Perry strive to maximize his potential in the next couple of seasons (hopefully).

KansasComet 9 years ago

Ellis could lead the team in scoring next season. Teams won't be able to double team both Ellis and Wiggins. We also have several zone busters this season, so teams can't hide behind a zone. I am glad we have the Duke game early. That should be an excellent game. We are due for a win over them. We have a tough non-conference schedule that will get us ready for conference play. The trip back to Aames will be an intense game as always. These are the types of pressures and experiences that we need to get us ready for the big dance. The leaders of this team are yet to be determined. That will happen when the games are for real and the games get tight. Tharpe is entering his junior year, that's usually when most players excel in Coach Self's system.

okiedave 9 years ago

Saw where KU signed an enhanced TV deal for more exposure. I simply am pumped in anticipation for the season to start. Having lost the Freshman jitters and having learned the system --- Ellis is going to be like a Kansas tornado on the court this year. I think we have a good realisic shot at a national championship.

Robert Brock 9 years ago

I just want Perry to relax, rebound, and pass the ball to the shooters. Oh, and rebound.

KEITHMILES05 9 years ago

Why do you want him to pass to shooters? That is dumb.

Jeff Coffman 9 years ago

I think this year could be a struggle for Perry, not because he regresses. I think last year in the paint, withey got the double teams and freed Ellis up. This year he is the offensive person in the paint, unless if some one else steps up. Granted Perry is able to drive from outside better than most 4s, but that will be harder with an aggressive 3 & 2, which we have this year. One of the other big men must come out strong in order for Perry to have a better season. Personally I think our guards have improved compared to last year.

David Leathers 9 years ago

From what I've seen, Black is going to warrant some doubles too. He is a smart and powerful big who knows how to get buckets. If Perry gets doubled Black or Embiid will be there for the pass.

BainDread 9 years ago

A 4.0 GPA guy feels overwhelmed learning the system as a freshman....and we have how many freshmen/transfers next year? Granted, some individuals may learn faster on the basketball court than in the classroom, but with the non-conference schedule we have this year, there are going to be some rough patches, regardless of the high talent level.

John Randall 9 years ago

Rough patches, lots of them, rougher the better, are exactly what will help take the youngsters where they need to go. Winning too much too easy just slows down the process.

karken1992 9 years ago

Not sure Self will give a 4 the green light to shoot the 3 but we know he will give him the green to shoot the 10-15 footer. If Perry hits that consistently it changes the whole game. Last year teams played off Young and doubled in. Perry can blow by most 4's when they come out to guard and Black can outmuscle most 5's when one on one. That is exciting enough without adding in the very exciting perimeter possibilities (Wiggins/Selden/Frankamp/White/Greene). This year is going to be fun.

hawksince51 9 years ago

I'm not big on the bigs taking the 3 especially with the shooters we will have on the perimeter next year. But I agree Perry needs to develop the turnaround jumper both off the dribble and catch and shoot. It would be sweet to see him hit 65% of those.

REHawk 9 years ago

I am making no predictions about this year's topscoring Jayhawk. Hell, Selden could be the guy. Or if a perimeter player gets hurt, replacement Greene, Frankamp or AW3 could be the high scorer. By midFebruary, JoJo could be the guy. Should be a delight, watching this squad sort itself out. From week to week, the various facets of this group should glitter and spin like a mirrorball. I don't envision any one player being locked in as the lead gunner. But one thing is for certain, the players with the best defense will earn most playing minutes, unless injury or mayhem deters the development and flow.

Doug Cramer 9 years ago

Prediction on who the highest scorer is....thats easy. Perry Ellis...barring injury or illness that causes him to miss a bunch of games.

Benz Junque 9 years ago

It's easy to pick Ellis to score more than Wiggins? Eh, easy for you maybe. I love Ellis as much as the next KU fan but it's crazy to see Ellis scoring more than Wiggins at this point. Wiggins is a better scorer at all aspects than McLemore, last year's leading scorer.

Jerry Collins 9 years ago

Have never been more excited about an upcoming season. This is one fast and deep team. Perry will be one of the top 3 leaders. His work ethics remind me of Raef LaFrench.

Jack Wilson 9 years ago

Heading into last season, there were many projections that Ellis would score double-digits, etc. But then we reflected on Marcus Morris' freshman season, and his numbers. Both guys similarly situated rankings-wise. Ellis ended up putting up numbers that weren't on par with Marcus.

Personally, until near the end of the season, I was worried about Ellis and his inability to finish. I think Ellis will benefit from being more than a luxury on the court; I think being a necessity will make him better.

And that goes for all of the freshmen. I believe firmly that opportunity, playing time, learning under fire .. that provides the better product. This crap about learning on the bench and waiting your turn, sure, it can work. But if a player has to play, has to learn, has to experience all of the experiences that a player must adapt to in order to be successful .. it is that player who will be quicker to develop and more productive.

If Tyshawn Taylor had sat two seasons, do we ever get to enjoy the last half of his senior season? It never happens.

I posed it like this near the end of the season: Do you think if Ellis was just handed the 4 spot from day one, no KY to fall back on, where would Ellis have been at the end of the season? Unequivocally with Ellis(in my mind), he would have been farther along than was in the final game. Perhaps we would have had a few more losses. But as far as player development, there is no question to me with what I saw from Ellis. Same goes for TRob .. what if Marcus had been hurt in 2010-11. Where would TRob have been at the end of the season?

If the freshmen are forced to play, it may not be pretty. We may yack some games that we shouldn't. But the finished product, and the development, will have been much greater. I suggest this as a general rule, knowing that there are exceptions either way.

Two guys we had on the bench last season .. White and Adams. If both started and played from day one, they would not have been the unsure guys we saw many times when they got in. It was not realistic, of course, for either to start last season. But the developmental point is what I'm referring to.

And I think our freshman having to play gives us the better opportunity to win that NC in 2014-15, or 2015-16. Guys who have real experience by the time they are juniors, not bench "experience." It is why having Wiggins for one season concerns me for future seasons re: White and Greene. But Wiggins clearly .. according to the experts .. puts us in the NC discussion this season.

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but without Wiggins, by the end of the season, I think this group would be ready to force itself into that discussion.

KansasComet 9 years ago

Probably the first time in a long time that Perry Ellis was not the first option on any team that he played for. I am sure that fact, along with the speed of the game, took him some time to get used to. Fortunately for us he did, and he was an excellent player for us at the end of the season.

I believe that Andrew White III and Anrio Adams are two very talented players that did not get a chance to truly show their abilities. Reminds me of Tharpe's Freshman Year as far as the quick hook goes. I believe if you bring in players to improve your team as well as replacing departed players, then you should give them the opportunity to face live fire. Sooner or later, they will figure it out.

The confidence that Michigan's head coach showed in that young Freshman that knocked down something like five 3 pointer's in the first half of the National Championship game was great. He believed in his player, gave him a chance on the biggest stage, and the young man came through.

Cannot find any negative in having Andrew Wiggins on this team. I would be more interested to know if you think the use of Brady Morningstar set back recruiting?

Jack Wilson 9 years ago

Comet .. I think it did harm recruiting based on perception, and the players that sat behind Brady. But I think the bigger issue in recruiting is Self's obvious disfavor for freshmen (or lack of experience). Meaning, he'll only play freshmen over experience when there is a huge talent (X, McLemore), or he is forced to by need. He seems very unwilling to risk any sacrifice to allow younger players to learn a bit under fire -- meaning, hey, you're a top player and you won't get to play through mistakes as a freshman. I think this is the main negative recruiting tool.

KansasComet 9 years ago

HEM, thanks! I think it did set back recruiting. I believe that highly recruited players don't want to lose minutes to lesser players. I enjoyed reading your post and I am in full agreement with you on this issue. Hopefully, we have moved past this and recruiting is back to the level it needs to be.

Benz Junque 9 years ago

I don't agree with you. Ellis progressed because of the efforts in the weight room and in practice. He is an intelligent, hard-working kid, so I do not believe that not being "handed" the role right off the bat made him work any harder. He likely would have worked just as hard regardless of his role.

White and Greene will either put in the work in practice to improve their games or they won't. If they do not, then they (and KU) will suffer. It has nothing to do with Wiggins. 40 games a year gives you confidence and experience that help round out your skill set. The physical attributes, skills and knowledge needed to develop into a great player are learned in practice, in the weight room and in the film room.

Jack Wilson 9 years ago

I'm sorry, but tell me where in practice you can really replicate game situations? On the road in Ames in the last five minutes? You can practice until you're blue in the face, but until you experience college basketball .. the pressure, the crowd, the fatigue .. everything that goes into a game, it's not the same. There are so many differences, it's literally impossible to list them all. But shoot a free throw in the last minute in a tie game, and try to replicate that in practice. You hear it from athletes all the time at all levels of play.

Part of getting better is being situationally sure of yourself. You get that by being in that situation. The more you're in the situation, the more it becomes routine, the more you can relax. Your first ACL repair as a surgeon is much different than your 200th.

You see freshmen all over the country who get to play, and are much better by the end of the season. Seriously, if you can really tell yourself that Andrew White would not be better player right now if he had started and played 30 minutes a game this past season, than he is now, I'd like to hear that argument. But we know you can't make that argument.

A great quote from General George Patton -- "Pressure makes diamonds."

wrwlumpy 9 years ago

I finally decided to re-watch the Michigan game. Kowing that EJ was going to embarras himself and the team with the flagrant, It is much worse watching it again and knowing what is coming, and then having 3 fouls in in 2 minutes, His third was picked up wihin 3 secs of coming back in and then walking to the bench. Then the end was more painful as Withey was pulled away from the paint when his man screened for Burke.

What I did see was Perry Ellis having his 7th straight game where he was fantastic. The same goes for Naadir, even the minutes from Traylor were great. Perry will benefit more from having a big, fast team around him of ball handlers and shooters. Naadir will have a smorgasboard of options on each half court set. I think we'll see more fast break transitions than ever before.

Lonnie Snow 9 years ago

Pick and roll with Wiggins/Perry hitting jump shots and with all of our shooters spotted up will be difficult for any team to stop. If we can gel (come together) a national would definitely be within reach. Talent without chemistry will make us another Kentucky sucky!

Michael Bennett 9 years ago

Perry Ellis to me seems like a smarter version of Marcus Morris. Similar build, skill set, ceiling, etc., but I think he'll be a better team player in the end. His per-minute stats were even closer to Marcus's than the article indicates, I think we can expect similar improvement. I'd say 11-12 ppg and 7 rpg this year would be reasonable to expect. Maybe 17 and 8 the following year. Saying he's getting 16+ ppg this year is incredibly optimistic, imo

Vernon Riggs 9 years ago

Next year will be a break-out year for Ellis. Teams will have to guard our Wings anywhere pass the penetration line, a point guard that looks inside to the Bigs and another experienced Big on the other side that can finish at the rim. Whom ever guards Perry will do it heads-up and one-on-one. One-on-One, Perry will win most of those battles. There won't be many double-teaming a Jayhawk player next season; who would you leave open?

William James 9 years ago

I couldn't help but notice that today is June 23d and your lead article is basketball related. After the NBA Finals are over in America, unless we are doing a quick wrap of the past basketball season, there is only one sport Americans care about now (outside of Boston and New York), and that sport is not basketball. Most of the people that read the LJW are Americans and FOOTBALL is their preferred sport and are ready for coverage of the FOOTBALL team. ESPN airs College FOOTBALL Live everyday because that is what the people want. They don't air College Basketball Live everyday because that is what the people don't want. Just an observation by a citizen looking out for the people.

Allen Shepard 9 years ago

lol kthnxbye

So, roundball, yeah?

jaybate 9 years ago

The Designer struggled last season and will likely improve quite a bit this season, as is typical for big men.

Further, many posters above have indicated many reasons that Ellis struggled last season. No doubt many are relevant.

But one that has been overlooked is suggested by the picture at the top of the story.

Perry Ellis looks much weaker than Marcus Morris in the picture.

The Designer probably doubted his body could do some of the things it was being asked to do, because it couldn't do them.

The Designer only looked 6-8 in KU inches last season.

The Designer's arms aren't even remotely as cut as Marcus in the picture above.

Without putting too fine a point on it, The Designer was not a very imposing physical specimen for the role of power forward in D1.

I for one minimized that fact last season, because I felt he must be stronger and bigger than he looked and that his appearances of being short and light were probably attributable to my eyes being used to looking at Thomas Robinson.

But no.

He really was short and light.

So: it is a good sign that he has apparently gotten stronger,even if he did not get taller.

But there is a great offensive player lurking inside Perry Ellis; that was manifest last season, despite his other woes.

I find it interesting that he says he worked heavily on his face up game. While it is good that he did, for him to be truly effective this season at the 4, let's hope he worked on his defense and rebounding, too.

hawkmoon2020 9 years ago

Just for fun. Starter's Stats: Wiggens 18 pts - 4 assists - 6 rbs, Ellis 13 pts - 3 assists - 8 rbs, Selden 8 pts - 6 assists - 4 rbs, Tharpe 8 pts - 8 assists - 2 rbs, Black 6 pts - 2 assists - 6 rbs.

Ben Simonett 9 years ago

Lot of talk about Perry potentially leading the team in scoring next year. Makes me think alot of people dont really understand what kind of amazing talent Andrew Wiggins is.

If Wiggins is not a NPOTY, first team All-American next year the coaching staff did something wrong. He should be the leading score by a large margin next year

notjustbread 9 years ago

wiggins will break 20 points in over a dozen games next year...Perry Ellis will break 20 in maybe 5-6 games.

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