Thursday, May 2, 2013

Signee Brannen Greene to visit officially

Brannen Greene, a 6-7 junior small forward from Mary Persons High in Forsyth, Ga., on Tuesday orally committed to play basketball at Kansas.

Brannen Greene, a 6-7 junior small forward from Mary Persons High in Forsyth, Ga., on Tuesday orally committed to play basketball at Kansas.


High-scoring Georgia small forward Brannen Greene — who orally committed to play basketball at Kansas University way back on Dec. 20, 2011, and signed his national letter of intent in November of 2012 — never got around to making an official recruiting visit to KU.

Not wanting to miss out on the experience of a lifetime, the 6-foot-7 senior from Tifton’s Tift County High will join mom, Lori, and dad, Jeffrey, on an official excursion to KU this weekend.

“We just want to revisit the campus,” Jeffrey Greene, a former basketball standout at Pittsburg State, said of KU, where the family has made three unofficial visits. “For the most part, (we want to) let mom and coach (Bill Self) and Brannen re-bond and kind of talk shop, get reacquainted. She hasn’t been out to KU, yet. It’s about time she gets to come and see what’s going on.”

Brannen scored more than 2,000 points in his prep career while averaging 27 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals this past season while shooting 91 percent from the free-throw line.

He recently competed in the three-point shooting contest at the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta and also competed in all-star game in his home state. Last summer, Greene participated in Under Armour Elite 24 game in California.

“This kid is focused academically,” Jeffrey said of his son, who is an A student. “There’s one game we wanted, or I wanted, him to play in. Outside of the McDonald’s game (to which he wasn’t invited), we declined all other invitations. He’s had a lot of things going on.”

By coincidence, the Greenes will be in town the weekend of Self’s fantasy basketball camp for adults. Jeff Greene, who has not signed up for the camp, is Pitt State’s single-season scoring leader (716 points in 29 games in 1988 for 24.7 ppg average) and eighth on the all-time school scoring list (1,292).

“I’ll play if they ask me,” said Greene, who actually plays 1-on-1 against his son regularly.

“He dominates, but I beat him up and foul him, make sure it’s physical,” Jeffrey explained.

Brannen, by the way, will wear jersey No. 14 at KU. It’s a tribute to his dad, who wore 41 at Pitt State.

“It’s a reversal (of the number 41). It has something to do with my number,” Jeffrey said, honored that his son chose to honor him that way.

Rankings: ESPN this week announced its final rankings of the top 100 high school players in the recruiting Class of 2013.

Four of KU’s five signees were ranked, led by No. 6 Joel Embiid, 7-foot center, Rock School, Gainesville, Fla. Wayne Selden, 6-5 shooting guard, Tilton (N.H.) School, checked in at No. 14, followed by Conner Frankamp (6-foot combo guard, Wichita North) at No. 46 and Greene at No. 47. Frank Mason, 5-11 point guard, Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock Va., was unranked.

KU’s overall class, which now includes transfer Hunter Mickelson from the University of Arkansas, ranks second nationally behind Kentucky.’s final rankings have Selden No. 12, Embiid No. 25, Greene No. 29, Frankamp No. 34 and Mason No. 76.

Chol to leave Zona: Angelo Chol, a 6-9 sophomore at the University of Arizona, has decided to transfer, the Arizona Daily Star and other outlets reported Wednesday. Chol, who chose Arizona over KU and others out of high school, reportedly is interested in San Diego State as a possible destination.


trustyourSelf 9 years, 7 months ago

Dang- 91% from the line sounds pretty good. That's something that theoretically translates no matter what the level of competition.

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 7 months ago

Wow! Embiid at number 6 for ESPN. That is pretty impressive. I know it does not make him any better, but its encouraging to see. I wonder what Selden shoots from the free throw line. Greene and Frankcamp are both above 90 and Tharp spent most of the season there. We will be in good hands in games that come down to the wire.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 7 months ago

Embiid at 6 is huge indeed! Rankings are not "gospel" but they give us a pretty good measure. We consistently recruit well and we consistently win.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 6 months ago

No doubt! I think when all is said and done with his career at Kansas, he might break into the top 25 Jayhawks of all time.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 7 months ago

Damm! I've been trying to keep a lid on my enthusiam for Embiid due to his inexperience and watching Ellis take all year to adapt. But damm...from nothing to 6 in one year. That is one heck of an impressive jump!

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 7 months ago

I want to say I was one of the first on the Embiid bandwagon, and after watching him three times on TV, I'm driving it!

Michael Sillman 9 years, 7 months ago

I really think that next year's team has the potential to be our best outside shooting team in recent memory.

Tharpe and White have pretty shots and the freshman seem to have impressive stats coming out of high school.

Lighting it up from the three point line could make up for what will probably be a bit of a drop in defensive prowess.

David Leathers 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree. I love the potential of our backcourt. Hopefully the hype translates to some nice shooters and some nice athleticism so that we see a Jayhawk squad that resembles Iowa State on steroids (or Hudy), with better bigs.

I also feel that once these young players learn to play some defense, you'll see some low scoring games for the opposition. Something about these two guards we got coming in, Frankamp and Mason, just speaks loudly to me. They may not contribute as much I'd wish in the beginning, but with Connor's accuracy he's going to be making headlines as soon as he's experienced enough to start. We're talking a potential Fredette. Mason's tough. He'll most likely be the first to spell Naa next year.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaylark .. exactly, the outside shooting should be the strength of this team. My only question is if Self will adjust a bit offensively to the skill set of his team, as opposed to focusing on going inside and "feeding the post" all the time.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

"Kiss My Ass, Hype"

I distrust hype. Hype poisons expectation. Hype kills reality and truth. Hype makes liars of us all.

Cole was a lottery pick that left a year early. He got the full hype. He didn't play much. Now they go from he can't miss to he can't play. He is developing. Development is real. Development takes time.

Julian Wright. Hype. Xavier. Hype. Josh. Hype.

They all need development time. Some get it. Some don't.

Hype doesn't just kill draft picks. It kills freshmen. Hype is an equal opportunity killer.

Kenny Gregory, Jeff Boeshee and Elijah johnson--all suffered from the hype machine.

Last season hype almost killed Perry Ellis.

The luckiest thing ever to happen to Ben Mac, outside of his genes, was being forced to sit out a year. It diluted some of the hype. The "most talented guy" Self ever worked with needed to develop.

Now KU has its most hyped recruiting class. In the interest of saving it from the hype, here are some reality checks based on viewing hype feeds of them.

Selden is a horizontal jumper. He doesn't yet have the pop to get to the top of the shooters box.

Embiid is another horizontal jumper that needs to stop jumping into shooters. He lacks vertical pop. His shot blocking is all height driven. He will be foul prone till he learns to go straight up.

Greene has to add vertical to his J and aggressiveness to everything.

Frankamp maybe sneaky quick, but he is not sneaky strong. Marcus Smart would eat his breakfast, lunch and dinner at point. At the 2, Markell Brown would muscle him into shooting trey's from Tonganoxie.

Mason? What's he gonna do, when he is faster than exactly no one?

Unless Perry Ellis can man up for 25/10 average, and Jamari learns to shoot 70% from the FT stripe, a team with these hyped newbies will be lucky to win 20 games.

Without Andrew Wiggins, there isn't a guy in the bunch with the talent of Ben Mac.

Kiss my ass, hype. You ain't shizz. Development is all.

Dee Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Just love your positive attitude. Be thankful each day. It's a present. As much information as you know about each player you should consider sending your résumé into Coach Self about the open position as an Assistant Coach. I am sure he would love someone like you teaching our kids all your positive attitudes and outlook on life.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

That's right, expressing opinions is tantamount to assuming an assistant coach position. Some might not want the pay cut, quite frankly. And expressing opinions must be laced with rose petals and cream puffs. Whatever you do, do not challenge conventional wisdom (or lack thereof). This is not the place for it.

Chris Bruning 9 years, 7 months ago

some good points there jaybate, i disagree about conner frankamp though, Marcus smart wouldn't get through breakfast, Conner is a true baller and his confidence in his game is out of this world (doesn't get rattled).

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

All these guys are fine prospects, it's the hype I'm worried about.

Kevin Studer 9 years, 7 months ago

It seems unfair to criticize Frankamp because Marcus Smart would dominate him. Marcus Smart is an All-American and POY candidate. He would dominate anybody. Might as well call Josh Smith a terrible basketball player because he can't shut down Lebron James.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Regarding Smart dining on Frankamp - at least he's not eating his in between meal snacks !!

Hawk8086 9 years, 7 months ago

JB, While there will be some growing pains, I think "lucky to win 20" is a bit harsh. This team reminds me of the 05-06 team only with 2 experienced guys......Ellis and Tharpe. I see this team as a top 15 team by the end of the season, maybe higher depending on how impactful some of the young guys become. I don't subscribe to the thought that we are already "National Championship Contenders" as some posters have stated (while recognizing that "NCT" is a subjective term).

jhox 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate, I don't necessarily agree with your player breakdowns but I don't have high expectations for next years team unless Wiggins shocks the world and comes to KU. We'll probably make the tournament but the early season, especially, will be a struggle.

As for Frankamp, I doubt he plays all that much this year. How much he plays will probably depend on what kind of magic Hudy can work in 3 months. I'm not worried about his offense, but he needs to get physically stronger to be a decent defender in the Big 12.

If Seldon stays for 2 years, along with Embiid, the real fun starts 2 seasons from now.

Christopher Sack 9 years, 7 months ago

I think JB is just trying to de-inflate the hype balloon that is, in his opinion, way over the top. I know everyone thinks the Hawks will win the conference, march through the madness... Jaybate is just trying to inject some reality in with the hype. No malice.

702Hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate, I think you are talking a little soon about Ben. Give him a year in the NBA before saying the Hype didn't get him too. I am not saying he doesn't deserve to be in the pros or that he should have stayed. But he could end up one of the many not to be a franchise player like many are hyping him to be.

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

All I hear are Ray Allen comparisons; Ray's no franchise player. This draft is weak that's why Ben needed to go.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 7 months ago

That's why this team will be hyped and next years team will be national championship caliber. 2014-15 is the year to look forward to jayhawk fans. I've been saying this all month. I think I'm going to be right.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

I have to agree with jb here, generally, on the hype and expectations deal. We tend to believe a player is generally better than he is, relatively speaking, because he decided to come to KU, right? It is a somewhat collective thought process. We like our guys.

But a couple points I would make on this topic. First, as mentioned by others, Self will win 20. No doubt in my mind. Bet the farm. If history tells us something, it's that. But are we exempt from the down year? I know we believe that we are.

And that goes to the second point. Self is our coach. So although 20 wins, when just looking at the talent, may be at least in question, Self seals that deal in my mind. That applies to the players, too. Self will maneuver the pieces, and get the most he can out of what he has.

My biggest question going into next season is whether Self will adapt to his talent, or whether Self will try to make his talent adapt to him. It's a different player/skill dynamic than we've ever seen under Self. The balance of skill, so to speak, is clearly with the perimeter players.

Personally, I really hope we sign Tariq Black. We need a bruiser, enforcer. We don't have that. Matching him with Ellis, Embiid, and perhaps the better of Traylor and Lucus, will give us better front court based on what he brings. It's insurance. It's a one year player, so the scholarship is open for 2014 (as opposed to signing a unranked guy that may stick around and clog the scholarship). Plus it keeps Wesley further away from having to actually play.

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

Actually, HEM, I generally see fans downgrading the talent KU lands and coveting other players. However, this season the hype machine in in full swing because Kansas has no proven commodity. OSU and Baylor will have the most talented non-freshmen. KSU is worse than last season, OU will be no better, ISU will be tough as long as H. is there, TCU won't be overlooked, Texas is down, Texas Tech sux, and WVU is not very good. I see at least 11 wins in conference and I expect more. The non conference is tough, but there are many winnable games. I don't look for KU to miss the postseason and I do look for the 'Hawks to challenge OSU for the Big 12 title.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Well you hit that one out of the park. Awesome.

Joe Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

Greene is scary smart on the court. He is the epitomy of aggressive. I want the ball in his hands. He will be the second coming of BMac, only not afraid to shoot. He's big and strong. He's Self's dream at the 3-4. The guy can post, go outside or break down the defense. He is capable of playing 1-4. I am sold on Greene.

Embiid is a fast learner. These games have created some bad habits. Self will polish him with some Withey wax.

Ellis will pick-up where he left off. Ellis and Tharpe will have to be the vocal leaders. They need to establish themselves now. Tharpe has no choice. It's do or die for him at the pg.

Traylor will be a sleeper and up to him whether he wants to prove himself or remain a work in progress.

Selden will hold his own and after a little of Self and Co in the first half of the season, this kid will dominate.

I do agree with Mason. The best thing for him is to redshirt.

Frankamp to me is the big ?. He's proven, but not with D1 talent. I think he'll get a little lost in the trees of D1. I think he has a great talent and his work ethic is admirable, but can he play with the real big boys. I do believe that if he needs to shoot from Tonganoxie, he'll sink it though.

Your dose of reality is appreciated, but a bit premature.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't know that I agree with regards to Mason.

He needs to prove himself capable of AT LEAST backing up at PG this season as next season it's in KU's hopes to land a highly-rated Class of 2014 PG whether that be Tyus Jones (unlikely - probably Duke or Michigan State), Emmanuel Mudiay (unlikely - probably Kentucky), Jordan McLaughlin or Josh Perkins (who I've been clamoring for all along).

Redshirt and you're BARELY ahead of the curve relative to the newcomer. Be eligible this season and you might have a shot to AT LEAST battle them for minutes.

kckuguy 9 years, 7 months ago

If anyone is an expert on "hype" it would be you JB, because you are full of it all the way up to your eye balls.

DCLawHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Fortunately, Frankamp has no problem hitting those shots from Tonganoxie. And that's not hype. It's hyperbole.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 7 months ago

Self always produces. Everywhere he's been, every year. I have complete faith in our Wizzard of Oz.

Michael Luby 9 years, 7 months ago

Truth hurts but it is what it is, even if it is perceived.
Chalmers, Rush, Shady. All 3 hyped, they got a ring. All 3 are doing pretty well in the League, When they aren't "nicked up." Side note : Lets hope Lucas learned from Withey, a lot.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 7 months ago

I want Wiggens... Were a top 5 team with him. Were might be a year away without him. No matter what, this looks like it is shaping up to be the next "era" in Jayhawk basketball.

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

Check this out. Some love for KU's recruits. And I hope the prediction of a smooth transition from HS stars to college team for KU is accurate.

Sorry you have to be an insider to read.

synopsis KU and BYU's classes will have more of an impact at there schools than UK's due to length of stay.

Ken Sedgwick 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate is ooozing geezernes. How do I know? I feel it in my bones. You can attack him all you want, but good luck arguing his point. These incoming fresh are walking into a buzz saw called beat KU at all cost. I see 20 plus wins. I also see quick development by tourny time. And welcome Brannen and company. You should have been here yesterday and today you could have experienced all four seasons in two days.

GabrielMichael 9 years, 7 months ago

I love Brannens family! His Dad fouls him... This kid will be successful no matter what he does.

Have you heard him speak? All I can say is Scottie Pippen...

Welcome to Lawrence Greene family!

AsadZ 9 years, 7 months ago

I say we go after Chol. Self and Huddy will get him straightened out. I feel he can contribute to the team.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Agreed....I could see it for 1-year for a big guy (i.e., maybe Tarik Black before Mickelson joins us in '14/'15, but then it starts to get crowded down low already).

I think relative to next year we stand at 12 scholarships? Is that right?:

Tharpe, Mason, Selden, Frankamp, Br. Greene, White III, P. Ellis, Traylor, Wesley, Embiid, Lucas & I think technically Miceklson counts too.

That leaves them with ONE MORE for next year. Probably in large part why they haven't just gone and automatically scooped up Black.....NOT going to commit to Black unless DEFINITIVELY are not getting Wiggins.

Looking ahead to '14/'15, then would have two to play with - unless they get someone like A. Freeman with the current open scholarship.

Let's say they get ONLY someone who would be gone after next season OR noone.

That woudl leave one available from that player leaving or it being left open PLUS the one that woudl be becoming available upon Wesley using up his eligibility.

Priorites and rumors:

Seems to me from what I read over and over again that for '14/'15 they want a PG - FINALLY!!!! Josh Perkins is seeming the most likely. I think he'd already commit to us but would prefer Duke and we might lose him if Tyus Jones, J. Okafor, etc. choose Michigan State - as I bet Duke would then swoop in for him on a "late play".

Let's go ahead and say we get him as seemingly EVERYONE thinks Jones & Okafor go to Duke.

That leaves one more for which it would seem that we'd go "2", "3" or "4" - or heck, is there someone that could do all 3?! :) Our ideal fit would be Justise Winslow - but unfortunately, he's too high ranked and buying into the Duke hype - if there's not UK hype w/ these top guys then it seems like there's Duke hype! :( Even though he visited us & Self's been all over him it sounds like we're no better than 3rd in his pecking order even (Arizona's the one mose closely battling Duke for him it's sounded like). Sorry, but despite the interest expressed in Myles Turner - um, unless Embiid ACTUALLY goes OAD I EXTREMELY doubt that we go that route. More recently heard of our interest in Ahmed Hill, 6'-5, 190 lb SG / SF out of Georgia. He's 25th ranked by ESPN right now......Height, Weight, ranking, etc. - sounds a lot like McLemore. Other ones I could see that I've heard of us being linked to prominently that would fit the bill of the "2", "3", "4" guy would be Malik Pope, 6'-8, 180 out of CA or Kelly Oubre, 6'-5, 190 out of Houston (on Winslow's AAU team). Oubre's expressed that UConn seems to be really after him pretty hard.....I think E. Okafor they got from Houston years back.

otaKU 9 years, 7 months ago

I believe we have two scholarships left. We could still land Wiggins and Black

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

That's only if Wesley gets taken off scholly.

702Hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Double pass. He had is chance two years ago and again last year. Now we are pretty full in the front court with guys who want to be Jayhawks.

Ted Hume 9 years, 7 months ago

averaged 2 points a game after a full year in the AU system? Paaasssssss.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

This helps us get Wiggins. Honestly, with Wiggins, we would actually be close to taking the #1 spot. UK would still have it but the disparity wouldn't be there with us getting the best C and SF available.

KU gets Andrew Wiggins. You heard it here first.

Robert Brock 9 years, 7 months ago

Wiggins may have chosen Kentucky last Thanksgiving, but, in the spirit of Julius Randle, has delayed going public until Coach Cal gives him his cue - lights, camera...choose the hat!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Has already said that either he or his coach or a family member will tweet his big production type of show or what-not.

otaKU 9 years, 7 months ago

There is no way we have a better class then Kentucky with Wiggins. Kentucky has quite possibly the best class assembled. If we land Wiggins and, as you claim, have a better class than they do then we would have the best class of all-time. Not seeing it although it would be probably the best KU class.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

It's true. Wigs is on another level. He has a gear that no one else has. A good team + Wiggins = Final Four

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Two things - (first one is an actual question)

What is the difference between an official and an un-official recruiting visit? I really do not know.

Secondly, Please tell me Connor Frankamp doesn't have any more all-star / exhibitions / 3 pt shooting contests before he gets to Lawrence. Every time he does well in one of these competitions, his Rivals rankings drops more. I believe in a short amount of time he's gone from about #30 to #34 to #46.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 7 months ago

the school pays for travel and accomodations for an official visit, each player has a limited number of official visits (4 or 5 I think) that he can take. I'm not sure if the school is limited in official visits that they can host...

the family pays for travel/accomodations on an unofficial visit, and you can visit whatever schools you want to however many times you want unofficially.

That's the way that I understand it.

soapisurfriend 9 years, 7 months ago

Basically on officials, schools can get fit with the bill for the recruit and their immediate family members. Everything from flights to board to meals is covered. Recruits are allowed only 5 of these formal visits, and unlimited unofficials because they pay their own way.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

soap & plastic (that would make a good name for a band....) - thank you for your input, I appreciate it.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Brannen is still a verbal?

Are they coming to talk about Wiggins?

Ben Simonett 9 years, 7 months ago

i believe he's signed an LOI.

if you could get an all expenses paid vacation, why wouldnt you take it?

FarSideHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

That was my first reaction. But it seems like he has actually signed the LOI. I think Wiggins decision would have a major impact on his playing time, so that may be on their mind.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Yes and no. Yes, it would have an impact on his time, but I think they see him as a hybrid 2 / 3 and that he would be able to fill in for EITHER Selden or Wiggins anyway.

Speaking of which.

I would argue that if we DO get Wiggins that MAYBE there could be a redshirt involved BUT I don't think it would be Mason like others have suggested but instead maybe White III. I could see it help him to redshirt his sophomore year and I could see it having the same positive effect it had for Releford maybe even moreso.

otaKU 9 years, 7 months ago

This would be a pretty thick line-up: Selden (1); Greene (2); Wiggins (3); Ellis (4); and Embiid (5).

Dirk Medema 9 years, 7 months ago

Tharpe starts along side Selden (Self covets reliability = non-freshmen), and Greene subs for either Selden or Wiggins.

Joe Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

Brannen, by the way, will wear jersey No. 14 at KU. It’s a tribute to his dad, who wore 41 at Pitt State.

jaybate- Don't doubt this kid's commitment. He's solid and extremely mature beyond his years. He's a smart kid and don't see him making irrational decisions. He's committed for the long haul.

Welcome Brannen and enjoy your visit Jayhawk style.

BainDread 9 years, 7 months ago

First paragraph of the article says he signed his LOI in November 2012. I just logged on so maybe this info was initially missing then added after you commented.

KemDooKU 9 years, 7 months ago

Nice post Jaybate - not this last one but the one before it about Hype - Surprised how much Joel has moved up the boards but he has played in every big tournament lately which will help move you up and Brannen parents did say that he has declined quite a few lately so that may be why he has dropped in the rankings - sounds like this will be similar to when Chalmers and Rush were freshman but I think that class had a little more star power - Good time to be a KU fan in KC. - Royals in first place and its May, Chiefs actually have a Coach & GM, KU football should be improved, and KU basketball has the second best recruiting class 2nd only to the greatest recruiting class of all time, now the only thing missing is World Peace!

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

Totally out of eligibility, but his penchant for rioting with fans would’ve been a perfect fit at Iowa St. if wasn’t.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

jhwksrock - your sentence should end in a period, not a question mark.

(not sure I 100% believe that, just thought it sounded funny)

Boouk 9 years, 7 months ago

If Joel Embiid's a one-and-done, we must replace him in the class of 2014 with Jahlil Okafor or Miles Turner, or both.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

The question is, with the uncertainty, do we have to "over-recruit" .. can't be left with our pants down as we were after the 2010-11 season ended. That can have lasting effects. Over-recruiting is just plain unsavory, but is there a better answer?

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Chad Ford has him high on his NBA Draft Board, but the ESPN College Basketball experts also seem to expect him to stay 2 years so.....

I don't see him being OAD. I suspect that Selden would be more likely to be able to be.

DCLawHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Looks like we could have Black, White, and Greene on the floor at the same time next year. Any other colors we could still add from our recruiting list?

Joe Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

I love the color Greene. This kid is special. His dad has prepped him well. I loved the quote, "He dominates, but I beat him up and foul him, make sure it’s physical,” Jeffrey explained.

Brannen, by the way, will wear jersey No. 14 at KU. It’s a tribute to his dad, who wore 41 at Pitt State.

Joe Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

Chol leaving zona? Why am I not surprised?

joshuamc914 9 years, 7 months ago

This Kansas team will be able to hang its hat on the offensive side if the ball. Next year this team will play fast once again. Last years team played so slow and with Elijah running the point it made the team so bad offensively. Last tears team was so awful when it and to scoring the ball that it became a joke. Next tears team will go up and down and be able to score from so many spots on the floor. The only problem is this team next year won't be very good on the defensive end at all. The key to me is Wmbiid because he will have to protect the rim because there will be a lot of blow byes off the dribble. Last year the perimeter defense other than Releford was bad but Withey changed the game defensively he made the Kansas defense. Not having him next year will be a huge blow to the defense but I can say this next year will be up and down scoring the way it use to be prior to the previous two years. Get ya scoreboards ready this team is going to score alot of points this year!!!

Ryan Zimmerman 9 years, 7 months ago

Just something i slapped together based on ESPN rankings these last 5-6 years


Rankings by Ryan Zimmerman

Ben Simonett 9 years, 7 months ago

ESPN rankings are terrible, go with rivals, much more accurate

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Posted on the pic - I think Withey was like 60 - 70th back when he was a Sr. at high school.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

With all the "hype", as Jaybate has called it, over Jo Jo's meteoric rise, Wayne's increasing noteriety, the Frankamp debate [ impact guy vs inert guy], what's up with Frank, is Andrew coming or going, Perry better be ready, is Tharpe the MAN, can Jamari hit a free throw, will AW3 actually make some 3's, etc......Brannen has kind of flown under the radar.

Something abouit this kid just strikes me in a very good "Bud Stallworth" way. He's almost invisible and BOOM, he has 20 points. I predict that for all the "hype" going everywhere else, this kid may be the hidden diamond in this draft class.

Also, JB, if the Hawks don't win 20 games this coming season, I will pick you up at a prearranged time, drive you to THE WHEEL and buy all the alchohol you can handle and then drive you home!! :)

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

Bud Stallworth hitting an invisible 20 reminds me of Mac, (You hardly noticed Mac until he got well into the 20’s.) who in turn reminds me of B Greene. Greene has that super smooth jumper, and has been (like you said) under the radar, like Mac was coming into last season.

It is quite possible Greene will battle Ellis for leading scorer next year.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

No. I'd say that the one who flew under the radar is Lucas.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 7 months ago

"When you say BUD ...Stallworth, you've said it all." Love the guy and his dropping 50 on Mizzou in his final game in AFH. Can't forget his fressbi through when he was introduced. The guy has a flair to match his game.

Robert Brock 9 years, 7 months ago

By the way, it is May 2nd...where the heck is Dooley's replacement?

milehighhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

It's a dead period for recruiting, so I don't see a huge rush.

I'm fine with taking a few extra days/weeks/months(?) as long as we get the right guy.

Robert Brock 9 years, 7 months ago

It is prime evaluation time. Self can't do it all by himself.

catfiche 9 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like a great kid, but #14 was Darnell Valentine's old number, which I thought was now retired. I sure think it would be great if Brannen wears it, but don't they have to unretire it or something?

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 7 months ago

They retire the jersey not the number, so i think he is good as long as his last name isnt Valentine

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Even Wilt's "13" has been used, although I thought I had read somewhere that that particular number possibly may not be used again...please don't hold me to that, I just can't remember!!

Ron Prichard 9 years, 7 months ago

KU doesn't retire numbers. They retire "jerseys" which is really just the name of the player. Oakville may be right about Wilt's number, but I'm not sure. I was trying to remember if anyone has worn 13 lately.

DCLawHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

That's almost blasphemous. KU shouldn't retire numbers, except #13. That one should not be worn again at KU.

otaKU 9 years, 7 months ago

No offense dude, but have you not watched KU basketball in the last 20 years? Tyrel Reed wore #14 and didn't TJ Whatley wear #14?

Steve Gantz 9 years, 7 months ago

27 points, 9 boards, 6 assists per game sounds like an over eager stat keeper at Forsyth high to me. I'm not saying this kid isn't worth our time, he must be very good, but other than the 27 points per, the others sound fishy. Those stats mean he accounted for at least 41 points per game last season? That's amazing if true.

joeloveshawks 9 years, 7 months ago

Love that this kid is 6'6. We should be a great shooting team for the next 4 years with him, White and Frankamp. I also think Tharpe will be a more consistent shooter this year.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Here is the case for 22 wins.

-Ellis advances and averages 16 per game.

-Embiid is simply the #28 player, not the #6. He starts, has flashes and gets progressively better.

-Tharpe makes half of the improvement from last year to this coming season, that he made from his freshman to sophomore year. I see this as the real key to next season.

-Selden is simply as advertised and plays to his high ranking.

-AW3 is what I think he is .. a lethal three point shooter, a guy who can score in bunches and change momentum. Not flashy. Solid.

-Either Lucas or Traylor is better by 25% than Traylor was last season.

-Either Frankamp or Greene .. one of them .. lives up to the hype and is a near double-digit scorer and sixth man contributor.

-Frankamp is the solid second ball handler behind Tharpe.

Personally, I think three big keys - 1) Ellis is the man, 2) Tharpe makes more solid improvement, and 3) Either Frankamp or Greene is a prime-time player that is a big freshman contributor.

Why is that not 22 wins? All starters (Tharpe, Selden, White, Ellis, Embiid) are top 100, and all but one is top 50ish.

This is a team build for 2014 as some have said .. but with that, nothing says we can't peak in March of 2013.

kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

We all need to temper expectations for these freshman. Perry and AWIII were supposed to be turn-key when they got here too but we all saw the deer in the headlights look. Embiid will play because he has too, as will Selden. The others will have to grab a seat on the pine.

In the physical universe that we occupy, it is not possible for Connor to beat out Naadir for the starting PG position. If Naadir even improves marginally, he will be a very good division I point guard. Connor will play but it won't be during opening tip. Let's just be patient and watch him develop. His sophomore, junior and senior years I think KU is in serious contention for another title.

Oh and one more thing, I think everyone is sleeping on Traylor. I don't think he is as raw as people think. He is an elite athlete at 6'8". I bet he plays 15 a game at least.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

I'd be in utter shock if Conner EVER started at PG for us.

Actually, I think I'd be MAD if he did.

Undersized SG, ok, though not preferrable, but I'm hoping we get a better PG in this next recruiting class.

MOST already think that MASON would make a HECK OF A LOT more sense as trying to groom as the backup PG w/ Frankamp as the backup SG to Selden right now. True, Greene can rotate down w/ White III filling the "3" spot (starting or off the bench).

I think Conner ends up somewhere > Boschee, but < Hinrich which still isn't too bad of a place to be. Nice combo. G - ideally our recruiting continues as such that he's our "6th man", but in a drought at either postion COULD start if need be at the "1" OR "2".

Dirk Medema 9 years, 7 months ago

Were you shocked when Conner was the starting PG for the national team?

It amazes me that people are so dismissive of Conner's ability to play the 1 just because his HS team needed him to score lots of pts and he has an incredible shooting accuracy.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

kellerman .. on tempering expectations, I agree completely. But here's my view - Perry and AW3 would have been much better by say January 1 if they were just thrown in the fire at 25 per game. Some disagree. But I feel strongly that steel is best forged by fire (someone else said that), and development increases most with real game playing time. Just my view. So that may be a different dynamic. On Traylor, I've expressed my opinion probably too much there. But other than free throw shooting, tell me what you saw in him? Any real improvement from first game to last?

khuff: I'm with you on Frankamp ever starting at PG. I don't see it either. I had mentioned a while back that we could see significant minutes for Mason if he was the next best ball handler. Your analysis that CF fits between Boschee and Hinrich is a good way to look at it. We can only hope. Regardless, we have to have another good ball handler, who can handle D-I pressure next season. I personally hope Frankamp is that guy, and that we get the top PG you mention in 2014. Frankamp really could play all over in a perimeter rotation.

Hawk8086 9 years, 7 months ago

Agreed that Ellis and AW3 would have progressed faster if allowed to play through mistakes more. I think that Selden will be the 2nd ball handler that Self wants in his system.........not as a 1, but as a wing.

BainDread 9 years, 7 months ago

I would like to see Chol sign on with KU just to see Steve Fisher blow a gasket again as he did when Kevin Young eventually chose KU over SDSU. Our last acquisition of a questionable San Diego high school player via Arizona (Jeff Withey) worked out well.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

I know that EVERY projection I see still have him no worse than Top 3. Most have him going 2nd.

A lot depends on who wins the Lottery.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Message to UA players: everyone should bail until Stumpy is gone. Stumpy is Josh Pastner with cactus.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Hey, now, that's his boyfriend you're talking about. His chosen avatar.

And in this day and age, that is not a joke. We truly should not be insulting his boyfriend.

runwild, would you agree that we should not be insulting your boyfriend?

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

How about the hype of Kentucky's class last year...

Steve Gantz 9 years, 7 months ago

no malice jaybate, it just sounded like a funny line!

eric poncharello 9 years, 7 months ago

sound's like runwild is from the brokeback mountain's of kentucky and I know jayb and dickv like to go there as well!

joeloveshawks 9 years, 7 months ago

This Runwild guy has made stupid comments on here before and is obviously not a fan of KU and not terribly knowledgeable about college basketball in general. The one thing that is true though is that teams fall short of the "hype" often and I don't mean just KU. Kentucky from last year is a prime example of falling short of the preseason expectations. UNC, Duke, Cuse, UCLA...the list goes on of teams that have huge preseason talk and don't deliver on what fans expect. I would not really call KU's 31-6 season not living up to the hype. We were not supposed to be nearly that good and ended up coming a bucket away from another Elite 8 and had 2 guys make 2nd Team All American. Honestly, that is probably surpassing the hype in a lot of ways. I for one was really proud of what our guys accomplished last year. I am still not sure I am over the Michigan game and perhaps that will always be the case but honestly KU lives up to the hype more than most teams. 300 wins in 10 seasons is living up to the hype in my book.

joeloveshawks 9 years, 7 months ago

Well, he only has 13 more days no matter what. Where did you hear he is going to do it that soon?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

Actually, he can wait as long as he wants. He has a limit on when he can sign an LOI. Similar to Adams last summer. He'd sign a grant in aid agreement. Heck, he could wait till August. Isn't that about when we got Brandon Rush?

702Hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

We were a couple of weeks into school when he signed. I think is was September. He was defiantly pushing it on time.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

We need to modernize that should probably be... " word on the tweet!!"

Rumors persist it's either KU or FSU and no "hat dance" is a good sign for us!!

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

Brannen, Joel and anyone else who can nows the time to make your case for Wiggins to be your teammate!

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 7 months ago

Wow...I was surprised to see people were talking 20 wins would be tough. I was thinking 25 worst case scenario and probably close to 35, the way CS has done 5 of the last 6 seasons. People really don't like our chances, but I love them. I actually think next year, will be an extremely great year. I'd be surprised if we don't win 30 next year, with or without Wiggins, but all of a sudden I'm thinking it will be with Wiggins.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

I believe KU will be closer to 30 wins than the 22 wins HEM is suggesting. I believe HEM is going with 22 wins entering the NCAA tournament and if it's 22 total wins, then that's NIT territory and I believe HEM is majorly underselling next year's team. I don't see any situation where KU wins 35 games next year, but I could see them realistically ending up with 30 wins and I think 27-28 wins total next year with 24-25 entering the NCAA tournament.

KansasComet 9 years, 7 months ago

Does not matter how good these kids are at what they do. Coach Self calls the shots. Do it his way or find some time on the pine.

Mel Clare 9 years, 7 months ago

I look at it this way..............Self always has to reload anyway. He has Tharpe, Ellis, Traylor and White who played minutes last season, 3 of the 4 played good minutes. Ellis and Tharpe paticularly. So you have your PF and PG as your major returnees.........good place to start. And lets not forget about Lucas, redshirt and been in the system and practicing for the last year. Learned, got stronger added a little more weight. And as Self has stated will be a "load" for other teams this coming year. So you will have a 7 footer(Embid) 6'10 guy(Lucas) and Ellis and Traylor (6'8 and 6'7) guys. Greene is 6'7 and White is 6'6 and Selden is 6'5 as wing shooters. This team already is taller and deeper than last years team, just not as much experience. Then you add in the kid from Arkansas the following year and have another 6'10 guy and probably will not LOSE anybody to the NBA. Ellis stays 4 years IMO. We will have Tharpe, Frankamp, Mason and Selden at times as PG and SG..........there again not much experience but alot of talent and better overall shooters than last years team. Just need Selden, White and Greene to develop into slashers!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 7 months ago

I see Selden as actually MORE OF a slasher than a shooter. I think Greene has that and ball-handling more in his game than McLemroe - of course, we won't know 'til we see him a while. However, I think White is EITHER a 3-point guy or a rebound and put it in guy - I'd be surprised to ever see him have a "slashing" game.

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