Friday, November 15, 2013

Top KU basketball recruits to announce college choices today

Kansas recruit Jahlil Okafor watches from the stands during an open-practice scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas recruit Jahlil Okafor watches from the stands during an open-practice scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University’s basketball program today hopes to sign the country’s No. 1-rated high school player for the second straight recruiting season.

Top-ranked Jahlil Okafor, a 6-foot-10, 270-pound senior center from Chicago’s Whitney Young High, is expected to announce for Kansas University or Duke shortly after the start of ESPNU’s college basketball recruiting show at 3 p.m., Central time (WOW cable channel 35).

His announcement is to be reported at the same time as his package-deal buddy —’s No. 5-rated Tyus Jones, a 6-1 senior point guard from Apple Valley (Minn.) High, who also is expected to choose KU or Duke. Jones, though, had not officially eliminated Baylor and Minnesota in his pre-decision day blog in USA Today.

Meanwhile, No. 4-rated Cliff Alexander, a 6-8, 240-pound senior power forward from Chicago Curie High, will sign with either KU, Illinois, DePaul or Memphis at about 3:15 p.m., on the same ESPNU TV show.

So by 3:30 p.m., KU will either have signed three, two, one or zero of the top-five rated players in the Class of 2014 after inking Andrew Wiggins, No. 1 in the Class of 2013, last May.

KU has already announced the signing of No. 12 Kelly Oubre Jr., a 6-7 senior shooting guard from Findlay Prep High in Henderson, Nev.

“Okafor and Jones are Sporting News’ No. 1 and No. 2 rated prospects and they cover the two most important positions on the floor,” writes Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News. “I could be persuaded that Dallas-area big man Myles Turner (No. 6-rated player, 6-11 from Euless, Texas, who will sign in April) might have a similar long-term impact in the game, but I’m not as convinced he’s ready to carry a program in the same way as Okafor for a single season at the Division I level,” DeCourcy added.

He says the Okafor-Jones winner will automatically possess the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.

“There are some other excellent recruiting classes out there, and some classes that already are strong could be enriched by landing wing Stanley Johnson (6-6, Santa Ana, Calif.) or power forward Cliff Alexander. But the team that gets Jones and Okafor, who have pledged to attend college together, will be landing the best players in the 2014 class around whom a coach can build a team. Having the best players wins more often in this game than having the most good ones,” DeCourcy wrote on

Here’s a quick look at all three players:

Jahlil Okafor: The first-team all-state selection led Chicago Whitney Young to its first Public League championship since 1998. He averaged 20.9 points (off 69.8 percent shooting), 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. Young lost to Jabari Parker-led Simeon in the sectional finals.

“Jahlil Okafor is one of the most skilled and poised back-to-the-basket centers to come along in some time,” Eric Bossi of wrote of the player who also had Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan State and Ohio State on his original list.

“He establishes and holds positions, finishes with either hand and is a great rebounder. Okafor isn’t a high flyer but fully understands how to use his skill and size advantage.”

Tyus Jones: The two-time AP Minnesota prep player of the year led his high school to the state title and a 30-1 record a year ago, averaging 20.6 points and 7.0 assists per game. Jones had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in Apple Valley’s 74-57 victory over Park Center in the Class 4A boys’ state title game. He was 18-of-18 from the line in that game.

“Jones is a heady floor general and a tough competitor. He runs the show and is in total control of what is happening while he has the ball,” writes Bossi. “He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and shoots with accuracy. Jones isn’t the biggest or most explosive athlete but he has great body control and balance.”

Cliff Alexander: Alexander, who averaged 21.3 points, 13.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks his junior year, was first-team all-state a year ago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Alexander, “played Okafor to a draw for the second time in his career in Curie’s 62-58 loss to Young in a (2013) sectional semifinal.”

“His upside is great,” Curie coach Mike Oliver told and “Cliff’s only been playing five years. He’s gotten better every year. I think his best basketball is still ahead of him. He’s going to be a great player. If he gets an opportunity to play right away, I think it will help him grow.”

Noted Bossi: “Alexander is a physically intimidating power player. He uses his strength, long arms and attacking nature to go right at the rim. He can make jump hooks and is developing touch to eight feet. Perhaps his biggest strength is his rebounding. Alexander grabs rebound above the rim and often snatches them away from opponents.”

KU has two scholarships to award in recruiting. The Jayhawks will lose senior Tarik Black to graduation and Andrew Wiggins to the NBA. However, Wayne Selden, Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis also could turn pro with transfers always a possibility as well.


John Fitzgerald 8 years, 8 months ago


What's your percentage wheel on the odds of us landing all three, two of them, one of them, or none of them?

Joe Ross 8 years, 8 months ago

I think Kansas gets the pair. Fingers crossed anyway.

Adam Miller 8 years, 8 months ago

Am I alone in being happy with what we have at PG right now? I mean, I wouldn't mind getting the pair, but... I'm just not sure if it'd pay out as well. I think Tharpe is doing a fine job as a leader on the floor, and Mason is definitely nipping at his heels (if not already running right beside him). "He runs the show and is in total control of what is happening while he has the ball" just sounds like possible trouble down the line to me. Any way we could just get Okafor and Alexander?

Danny Hernandez 8 years, 8 months ago

I really don't see any transfers from the team happening this time around. I could be wrong but doubt it.

I believe we lose Wayne and possibly Embiid but for sure Wayne because he's going lottery

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 8 months ago

I think that it's just as likely that we get all three as it is we get none.

And I'm fine with that.

Robert Brock 8 years, 8 months ago

Yesterday, Jerry Meyer of 247 switched his Alexander prediction from Illinois to Kansas. There's a chance!

Jason Roberts 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Adam 100%. Tharpe and Mason's performance against Duke may have scared Jones off. There were times in that game when both of them were on the floor at the same time. Unless KU thought about employing a three-guard lineup (Self did this at Illinois his last season before coming to KU), I wouldn't be surprised if Jones and Okafor commit to Duke.

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

That's crazy. If Jones doesn't have enough confidence in his game to think he can beat out Tharpe and Mason (which he would do easily) then we don't want him. Tharpe is decent and Mason is good, but getting Jones and Okafor trumps them easily.

And don't get we wrong, I LOVE what I am seeing from Mason right now. Zero turnovers in 41 minutes for the first two games from a freshman PG? And one of those games was against a Top 5 Duke team? That's awesome. But make no mistake, Jones is much better than Mason and getting Jones means we get Okafor, who is the prize to be had here. You do whatever you have to do to get that kid on your team.

KU really is in a no-lose situation here. We are FINE if we get NONE of the three, knowing that there are more elite recruits looking at those last spots. If we get ANY of the three we are going to be monsters again next year.

I wouldn't be shocked to see KU fall short on all three players today. The rumor mill seems to be Duke and Illinois, but the rumor mill had us getting Randle and not Wiggins last year, so I take it with a grain of salt.

I am going to spend my day daydreaming about a scenario where KU gets ALL THREE and picturing a lineup of Jones-Oubre-Ellis-Alexander-Okafor. KU would shoot 60% on the season and get almost every available rebound. THAT would be a monster lineup. Dream a little dream...

Jim Tebow 8 years, 8 months ago

That's definitely not a dream scenario. A KU lineup starting 4 freshmen!? That would be a rough year

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

That roster would be almost impossible. Get ver the whole "freshman" hangup. How did our freshmen look Tuesday versus Duke?

Jason Roberts 8 years, 8 months ago

What if we luck out and get Cliff Alexander AND Myles Turner? I'd take that as a consolation prize anyday.

Brian Mensch 8 years, 8 months ago

Here's how I see today coming about...Okafor and Jones to Duke. Several reasons: - Parker and Okafor have a strong relationship and Okafor will follow in Parker's footsteps. - Mason and Tharpe are pretty solidified at the PG spot and Jones doesn't want to compete. Much like every other 18 year old, he feels entitled to the spot. - Coach K's offense is a set up for a great big and a great point to excel. Self's offense is set up for all 5 positions to achieve success. Go to Duke each can average 22-25...go to KU, you'll average 15. Does it matter in the whole scheme of things. No...not with these 2 kids...they'll both be drafted top 7 at worst case, but it's a perception I believe to these kids that having better numbers improves draft stock instead of showing all your abilities.

Alexander to Illinois - Has been recruited by the KU assistant coach for the last 5 years, unfortunately that was to sell him Illinois
- His girlfriend is at KU. Not enough to bring the guy. - The success of Trob, Kaun, Darnell, and the Morris twins is unquestionable...yet they still had to share the spotlight. Alexander wants to be the go to guy and the story line of the team. Why else have Depaul and Illinois in your list? He's not looking to develop and win a national championship or even have the opportunity to have 80% of your games on national television...he's looking to put up 30 and 15 a game and win POY. Not going to happen on either accord; however, he may become a rebounding machine considering Illinois system is designed, ever after weber left, to shoot a three whenever possible and put up bad shots in general. They'll shoot 38-40% overall which gives him plenty of opportunity to cash in on boards.

In the long run, KU has Oubre and, I think they will get Rashaad Vaughn, and if the above holds true with Okafor and Jones...Myles Turner will be wearing the crimson and blue.

Luca Rossi 8 years, 8 months ago

I appreciate your analysis but you make a lot of statements that I don't think have any foundation to them.

"Jones doesn't want to compete"?? How do you know this? KU is one of the top, if not THE top, college basketball programs in the country. If you're the best PG in the land for your class, I'm guessing he would feel confident he can come in and earn his minutes here. Great athletes don't typically want things handed to them. Look at Wiggins, he came here because he knew he would be challenged. That's how you get better. Yes Mason has played well to start the season, but that's just two games. Lets not forget this is a guy that was ranked just inside the top 100. Lets wait for a big enough sample size here before we make the leap of crowning the guy the surefire PG of the future.

"Alexander wants to be the go to guy and the storyline of the team"?? To reach that conclusion because he has hometown schools on his list is a bit of a stretch for me. Is there any other reason you would say that? In fact, I've heard that Alexander's camp has specifically come out and made it a point that the rumors are not true the him and Okafor are opposed to attending the same school.

Jim Tebow 8 years, 8 months ago

I understand they are a package deal, but I just don't understand why Tyus Jones would want to come here. He is the top ranked PG, and probably a one-and-done guy if that is possible for him. The backcourt, and particularly the PG spot is going to be extremely crowded next year. There's no way he'd start over senior Tharpe.
But then again, same could be said for Jones and Duke. No way he starts over Cook, who is a senior next year either. Doesn't make sense. Looks like he is getting a bad deal in this package. Okafor would get significant time on either KU or Duke. I really hope we get Alexander though. It seems we are the clear favorite for him.

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

"No way" he starts over senior PG Tharpe? Based on what? ...

Have you not noticed that Tharpe is looking like he will be beat out by MASON, a freshman who has played two games and didn't finish last year ranked anywhere in the ESPN Top 100 of his class? If Mason looks like he could beat out Tharpe after two games, then I am 100% confident that Jones, who is light years better than Mason, would have no problem beating out Tharpe.

Look, again, I admire KU fans sticking up for our guy Tharpe. He is a good kid and is playing competently. But he isn't an elite PG and will not ever develop into one. Jones is now and will be in college.

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

And just a reminder that Quinn Cook, the starting PG at Duke, will be a SENIOR next year with two years as the starter under his belt. Cook is a better player than Tharpe.

Jones has to beat out an established senior PG at either Duke or Kansas. If his choice is "who can I beat out easier" then he is coming to Kansas. Cook will have an extra year of starting experience, is a better shooter, a better rebounder, less turnover prone, etc...

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 8 months ago

Yeah....right now the best fits among the schools they were all considering is Jones to Baylor or Minnesota and Okafor to Kansas.

Luca Rossi 8 years, 8 months ago

I believe Bill has stated that the anticipated number of open scholarships for next year is 3. He also said that he has been pretty accurate with his predictions over the years. The three spots one can assume are Black, Wiggins, and one of Embiid & Selden. I believe Bill's thinking is to go hard on all three of the big recruits announcing today with the assumption that we won't get all three. IF the perfect storm hits and they all commit to KU, and the assumption of 3 open scholarships holds true, I think you see a redshirt by someone (probably Frankamp) to free up the extra spot. There's always the possibility of more players going pro, or someone may decide to transfer, but the bottom line is that if we land all three today we will be stacked and will find a way to accommodate them all.

Also, just thinking ahead to 2015, there could be a huge need for recruits with the departure of Tharpe, possibly Perry, Embiid/Selden if either stays after this year, and most of the recruilts from this year if we land the ones announcing today.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

Luca...;..a redshirt won't help..they keep their scholarship. It would have to be either a OAD [Selden, Embiid], a transfer [White III ?, Lucas?] or someone picking up the tab for as player for one season [Langford for Wesley as an example].

Luca Rossi 8 years, 8 months ago

Yes sir, you are correct. Brain fart there. For some reason I wasn't thinking Mickelson was gobbling up a scholarship this year. Its the "grayshirt" that doesn't take up a scholarship but don't see any reason that would be used for this team.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 8 months ago

yep, even Hunter Mickelson this year uses one of our allotted scholarships even though he is ineligble to play in games.

Even BMac and Traylor were using up allotted scholarships the semester that they weren't even allowed to PRACTICE with the team. If they going to class on a men's basketball athletics scholarship then they count against your total whether they are eligible to play or not.

I remember all of the speculation about whether or not Brady Morningstar would give up his scholarship to allow us to sign X. Henry or Josh Selby. He never had to. These things tend to work themselves out.

Of course I'd rather not see anyone transfer. But you also don't want for these kids to leave for the NBA too soon. Kelly Oubre Sr said that one selling point for Kansas was that the coaching staff doesn't push guys out too soon to make room for the next batch of OAD recruits. We really don't want to oversign our recruiting class and then have to encourage Selden or Embiid to go pro if they don't want to, and we also reallly don't want to have to encourage White, Lucas, or anyone else to transfer out if they want to stay.

We all saw the writing on the wall with Rio Adams. He appeared to be too volatile in the locker room, and it's likely that he wasn't getting it done in the classroom either, but White and Lucas appear to be supremely coachable and the ultimate team players. So you'd hate to see them get Wiltjered if they would prefer to stay.

If we do end up getting Cliff, Tyus, and Jahlil today, then the best case would be for Selden and Embiid to both prove that they are ready for the NBA and both be NBA lottery picks along with Wiggins after KU sweeps through the NCAAs and wins the title.

But we're talking about 18 -19 year olds and they could want to stay in school, grow, learn, and enjoy the luxuries of being a student athlete in the premier college basketball program in the country. You just never know.

I thought that it was sad last year how Kentucky over-recruited just about everyone on their roster. Then had multiple players who had to leave either by going too soon to the NBA or a couple of them ended up transferring. It just doesn't seem right or fair for a kid to know that the next year there are 6 top 10 recruits coming in and you will likely be gone whether you really want to be or not.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 8 months ago

White is too valuable to transfer, Wesley isn't on scholarship, if we get all three selden and embiid are leaving.

Billy Smith 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm thinking just Alexander. Jones would have to beat out Mason and Tharpe. Then again if they are a package deal it would be wide open for Okafor with JoJo probably gone after this year. Never know with these kids.

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

Jones would have NO PROBLEM beating out Tharpe and Mason. I admire everyone's respect for the talents of Tharpe and Mason, but let's be serious. Jones is a much better player RIGHT NOW than either of them. It's not even close.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago


1] Interesting that all three are declaring at the same time and the only school all three have in common is Kansas....just sayin'.

2] If anything taught me about recruiting predictions, Andrew Wiggins announcement indicated " expect the unexpected.....or not!!".

3] Don't devaluate the relationship between Cliff and Coach Howard plus a Program upgrade, ready made spot at Black's postion, offense ideal for his skill set, girl friend on campus,

4] Unfortunately, Duke looked sub-par at the two spots Jahlil and Tyus play and the Duke bench didn't seem like there was any answers there as well. My gut guess would be that if Okafor was on his own, he would pick kansas but tied to his buddy, they are Duke bound.

5] If there is one sliver lining, wherever the pair end up, Kentucky will no longer have the #1 recruiting class next season!!

6] I think that Cliff is in somewhat the same situation and BenMac was in that he really wants to come to Kansas but everyone in his family is pushing for Illinois. Hopefully he'll make the best decision for himself.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 8 months ago

You make good points oakville, but to be honest I wouldn't care if we didn't get any. Either way we are all set because then we don't have to keep rushing guys out like embiid and selden to go nba. If we get them all I would be really happy too, its a win win situation for Kansas...

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

NBA scouts are rushing Selden and Embiid out the door, not Self's recruiting. Those two are GONE for next year. Did you see what Selden did to Duke in his second game EVER? He was fantastic, poised and mature and will only get better. He is the real deal. Embiid is gone based on talent alone. NO WAY is he ready to play in the NBA next year, but NBA scouts don't care about that.

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

They are all declaring at the same time because ESPN scheduled a time slot and coordinated with the kids to announce then.

Bryan Fisher 8 years, 8 months ago

No Okafor and Jones - we've got two point guards that can run the show. I see Cliff Alexander at PF, Myles Turner at C, and Rashad Vaughn at SG to join Kelly Oubre at SF for another stellar class.

Brett Clifton 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm a die-hard Jayhawk fan and work at the University of Illinois. People around here are going nuts with the chance to get Cliff today. News channels having "Cliffsmas Eve" reports and Cliff Watch week, etc. And I keep hearing all this garbage that if they get him, Illinois will finally beat Self (at something). Here's hoping we get him and/or Okafor and Jones. I will say when Alexander was on campus at a football game recently, I went looking for him and if I found him, I was going to tell him he needed to go to KU!

Jeremy Shank 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure why everyone seems to think that Mason, Tharpe, and Jones wouldn't be able to play together. Chalmers, Robinson, and Collins did just fine in a rotation at the point. If Jones doesn't want competition, Self wouldn't want him on his team anyway. Self will play the best player period, he's always done so.

Ryan Sullivan 8 years, 8 months ago

Not such a good point unfortunately, although it does prove that 3 fairly high profile players can coexist. The difference here is that Jones is a OAD guy. With Robinson, Chalmers, and Collins, you're talking about 2 four year guys and a 3 year guy. Jones needs a ton of minutes day 1 to get to OAD status. He could come off the bench and still do that, but what would we do with Mason - redshirt him? I like Mason as a solid 4 year guy who will keep getting better and better than a OAD Jones.

My money is on us not getting the Okafor-Jones package, and I'm fine with that. However, if we miss out on Alexander, we'll need to put the full court press on Myles Turner. We're going to need a starter at the 5 spot if Embiid goes pro.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 8 months ago

I've seen other commenters debating whether or not Jones really is an OAD.

I'm not so certain of it. It's tough being a 6'1" 170lb PG in the NBA. If he isn't an elite level distributor (4+:1 a/TO) and a high caliber scorer as a freshman he'll have a hard time locking a first round selection.

He's proven against Hs talent to be great in transition and running the break, but can he lock down on defense? Can he set up and operator the half court offense? As a small PG, nothing's a given.

I like the comparison with Robinson, Chalmers, Collins. Tharpe is the true PG. Tyus a combo???, and Mason is the spark plug. Is Oubre going to be BRush? and what then for White, Greene and Frankamp? Crowded backcourt is an understatement. In 2007-08 Brady Morningstar redshirted as a sophomore. In 2009-2010 Releford reshirted as a sophomore and Teahan as a Junior.

If we get Jahlil and Tyus, then somebody has got to redshirt, and if Selden isn't an OAD, then at least two need to take the plunge... Self probably doesn't want to put two guards on the shelf, but it's better than helping someone to transfer.

Eliott Reeder 8 years, 8 months ago

I may be the only one who feels this way, but I don't like the idea of getting kids that consider themselves a "package deal" at all. That comes across to me as selfish and thinking they, the two of them alone, are so important. I think it would be detrimental to the incredible TEAM and FOE concept that had been building here over the past few years. Since 07-08 or so this team has really developed an amazing family vibe. A lot of that had to do with residual love and affection from winning a 'Ship together, and the love and respect that team and Self and fans had for Darnell Jackson and the tragedies he faced, and the love and respect and family vibe that The Morii and especially the long-term presence that their mother had on the team. And also the T-Rob family tragedies and sorrows. All of that difficult stuff brought this team together very strongly. The brotherhood is intense. But if you bring in a couple of 1-and-done guys who are a package deal, here for a year, probably want to room together, etc. It just seems like those two have already established a two-man clique that would be unhealthy for the FOE environment...

Luca Rossi 8 years, 8 months ago

Were you against the Morris twins coming to KU too?

Stephen Dempsey 8 years, 8 months ago

Aaron Miles and Micheal Lee worked out pretty good

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

I couldn't disagree with you more. I have zero problem with two elite players wanting to go to the same place. I don't consider it to be selfish that they want to have the best team possible with the best teammates possible and having #1 and #2 linked together accomplishes that.

And bringing in two guys that are already friends might be unhealthry for the family "all together" environment? I doubt it. These kids all know each other. Oubre is friends with these guys, just like that WIggins and Selden were already friends from playing in all star games together.

I think you are putting too much thought into this and trying to brace yourself that KU is better off without them in case they choose Duke. The team that gets these two will be pencilled in as the national title frontrunner. Isn't that what we WANT as KU fans? Bring us the best players possible, period. Yes KU can still be great without Jones and Okafor, but they are a virtual lock to be great WITH them.

Eliott Reeder 8 years, 8 months ago

I could give a f*ck less about being penciled in as the national title frontrunner, being ranked preseason #1 in anything, or having the #1 recruiting class. I would really like, however, to actually win the Big XII (yes, I still believe in conference championships) and then the national title every year. I find it fascinating how crazy recruiting has become. It's like more people get excited about prospective players coming in than the actual players that are here right now. I want to win games. And I know, obviously, the best players give you the best chance to win games. But there is also a great deal to be said for chemistry and longevity and having a good mix of veteran leadership and incoming talent. I think Self has been doing a great job of walking that fine line. But it seems like a lot of younger Kansas fans would like KU to be just like UK, bringing in 5 or 6 one-and-done players every year. Screw that. That would be absolutely awful. I would hate to be a UK fan and watch Cal gloat about how getting 6 guys drafted in one year is the greatest thing to happen to the program. Just disgusting...

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

Is there a game today that I forgot to get excited about? NO. Then chill out. Did I forget to mention that I assume that if we are a national champ contender that I fully expect that would include also winning the conference? My bad, I thought that was a given.

Just settle down. ALL KU fans understand that we do not even HAVE "5 or 6" spots available to fill with OAD players.

And you are aware that Cal has an Elite Eight, a Final Four and a national title in four years, right? Yeah, that would be "absolutely awful".

I want the best fits for Kansas, be them elite athletes or role players. What do you think guys like Conner Frankamp, Jamari Traylor and Hunter Mickelson are? Do you think Greene or White are going to be heading to the NBA early? NO.

Everyone griped and complained about how stuck in his ways Self was. Now is is adjusting and giving KU a better chance to compete for the title and you are whining about it and dropping F bombs?

Take a pill. If you don't like how KU is recruiting then go cheer for Wichita State.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm going with 5% on any of chances at this point looking like the duo.

Quentin Snider reverting to Louisville clears a scholarship for Cliff at Illinois that wasn't there otherwise.

I'm not Mr. Gloom & Doom though.

I DO think that we'll ACTUALLY end up with BOTH Myles Turner AND Rashad Vaughn in the Spring and still have a Top 3-5 or so Recruiting Class. If Duke lands Winslow in addition to the Duo, then they'd probably end up No. 1. UK would probably end up No. 2.

Should all those that were nervous about leaving choose to leave - save for Perry who I think it's a virtual lock won't be leaving - only projected as a late 2nd-rounder right now - then those 3 would almost be the perfect replacements:

1) Oubre for Wiggins. Oubre maybe not as eplosive as Wiggins but thought to be a better shooter. MANY expect his final ranking to be more likely top 4 - 7 than the 10-12 spot he CURRENLTY has in most rankings as well. He's tearing it up at Findlay right now

2) Vaughn for Selden. Even if this one doesn't go down then you probably have a better developed, stronger, more polished & experienced Greene to get more time, but Vaughn is similar to Selden w/ good size for a SG.

3) Turner for Embiid. Couldn't think of a more perfect player to replace Embiid. Better offensively and morphing into a tremendous shot-blocker. MANY think he could be the best long-range NBA player in the Class of '14. You also figured that Jahlil would likely dominate offensively in the post for us which takes away from some of what we've been successful at with Perry. Turner, with the success he's ALREADY had with his perimeter shot (@ 7'!!!! a'la Dirk) is the PERFECT High-Low partner w/ Perry.

Heck, just that threesome alone would put us top 3-5 as I said. And in terms of then losing Black.....well, that's where Mickelson comes in.

Michael Lickteig 8 years, 8 months ago

I am guessing with nothing to go on but Internet gossip, but I am wondering if Jones and Okafor will end up separating. Okafor's "follow my head or my heart" comment makes me feel that way. I think Jones would prefer Duke, while Okafor sees Kansas as a better fit. Does he follow his heart and team up with his buddy, or does he come to Kansas? I guess we will find out in a few hours.

As for Alexander, I would love to get him but it sounds as if Illinois is now favored to get him.

Should be an interesting afternoon.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 8 months ago

I don't know if it was last night or this AM, but they reiterated that they WILL end up at the same school.

Here's a funny one.

Somewhere it had seemingly been officially posted that it was down to Duke or it really? Has Baylor 100% OFFIICALLY be eliminated?!?!?! Can you imagine if they chose them out of the clear blue!!! :) lmao.

Jordan Powell 8 years, 8 months ago

I bet we get none. The pair goes to Duke and Cliff goes to Illinois since they feel he has become an afterthought in KU's eyes.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 8 months ago

"since they feel he has become an afterthought in KU's eyes"

If by 'they' you mean Cliff, then it seems like an odd statement to me seeing as how he was just hanging out with the KU basketball team a week ago. Girlfriend or no, I think there's almost zero way Cliff feels like KU has him on the backburner behind Tyus and Jahlil.

He was once thought to be a strong KU lean, and now you'd think that he must be pre-enrolled already at Illinois.

Jordan Powell 8 years, 8 months ago

I thought he was a lock considering the whole girlfriend thing and all that but i just thought it was interesting his coach made it a point to mention Kansas was the only team in his top 4 not to come visit him last week.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 8 months ago

Self already knew he was coming so it wasn't an after thought more like you're committed now help me get the other two.

Rob Bedford III 8 years, 8 months ago

“@FeelDaPaign: BREAKING: Sources have told @247Sports that Cliff Alexander will choose Kansas this afternoon. (VIP) …”

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 8 months ago

Wouldn't Bill Self just LOVE to be done with the 2014 recruiting class today.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 8 months ago

To me, orchestrating the decisions to be simultaneously announced indicates somebody is coming here. If not, it's a cruel, cruel joke.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 8 months ago

Alexander announcing for Kansas prior to the Duo announcing for Duke would take some of the 'luster' away from the Duo's announcement(then the Duo's pick would be obvious).

Thus, they are announcing for Duke just prior to his announcement for Kansas?!!?

Jack Wilson 8 years, 8 months ago

I hope we all appreciate that if .. big IF .. Alexander does pick KU, how huge this is for our program.

We need that big time post player for next season, particularly with Embiid's likely departure.

Traylor, Lucas, Mickelson competing for time as the 3rd and 4th post players is entirely different than one starting, and the other two in the rotation.

With Oubre, we are stacked at the perimeter positions.

IF we get Alexander as the "sources" allege, we literally could be done with recruiting and Self has hammered another grand slam.

bennybob, wherever you are, are you happy now?

Now let's see if the "sources" are correct on Alexander.

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

We are still going to need one more player if (and when) Selden and Embiid both leave for the NBA. I don't see a chance either returns unless Embiid just flat out fails.

IF we get Alexander then I think we can add either Rashad Vaughn or Myles Turner and have a stud team again next year.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 8 months ago

Why do we "need" another player .. on the perimeter, we don't.

I would agree with you that we could use a highly talented post player. Turner would be great.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

Where's stupidmichael??

He is always wrong with the right answer, and KU is never in better shape than when he is worried???!!!

Ron Franklin 8 years, 8 months ago

oak, don't ya know! many of the posters along with your dear pal jbate were lost to cyberlore when the posting/forum platform changed here. some of the posters are posting elsewhere under the same moniker.

Jordan Powell 8 years, 8 months ago

jbate is secretly still here he just post normal things now so you would never know

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

Thank god. I don't have time to read a book when I sit down to browse the message boards.

Justin Lindsley 8 years, 8 months ago

Picking up Alexander and Okafor would be awesome. I think everyone is forgetting about Mr. Perry Ellis. I think he is going to get better. If I'm not mistaken, he hit a three in the Duke game. It will be hard for any freshman to start or play more minutes than him. However, bring them all in. What a great time to be a Jayhawk!!

Joe Ross 8 years, 8 months ago

Here's what's at stake for Kansas. You get a stellar big man in the tradition of great big men at Kansas, and a sure-fire guard to complete Oubre, Tharpe and Mason. Kansas would have the best front-court and back-court in the nation, and would be the prohibitive favorite to win the National Championship in '15. But it goes beyond that. McLemore-Wiggins-Selden-Embiid-Okafor-Jones-Alexander makes a statement loud and clear that Kansas is nearly on par with Kentucky as a recruiting Goliath, and it changes the perception of the program such that 5-stars are looking at Kansas differently. That would bode well for chances at future championships and elevates Coach Self and Kansas even further, if that is even thinkable.

But that may be a dream out of reach. I've almost been convinced after looking at analysts' predictions that Okafor and Jones are headed to Duke.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 8 months ago

Joe Ross is right, most analysts are predicting Okafor and Jones to Duke. But here's where I think they're wrong in their predictions: Who was predicted to win the Duke KU game? Duke right? Why is that? Because they had more talent and a more experienced team. Wouldn't it concern you if you were Tyus or Okafor that experienced guys in Coach K's system are struggling? Yes, they can obviously help Duke immediately judging by their performance. But the fact that Duke was picked to win and lost because of their lack of post game and guard play goes to show a weakness in the coaching. The team revolved around Parker and neither Jones or Okafor are that type of player. Also, Self went to a two point guard set up and it worked magically. He allowed Mason to open it up and drive to the basket repeated times. Keep in mind Mason wasn't even nearly highly as touted as Tyus and out performed an experienced Duke pg. Yes there will be competition at the position but the best athletes want the best coaches, the best competition, and the ability make decisions on the court. Self allows them to do just that which is why I think the pair should go to KU. Will they choose KU? I don't know, but I'm going to guess yes because I'm going all in on this one. RCJH!!

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

Their lack of post game was a weakness in ROSTER not in coaching. Duke had no good post players.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 8 months ago

Coach K's been coaching for a long time, but you might be the first person to suggest that his coaching is a weakness.

No offense intended, but I don't think that Okafor and Jones are going to choose Kansas because of the weakness of the Duke coaching staff.

Josh Helmer 8 years, 8 months ago

If we land Okafor and Jones, I'm gonna lose it. C'mon down boys!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 8 months ago

Let's not get too enamored with Jones.

First, while he is highly ranked, will he be able to come in and be better for this team as a point guard, as a floor leader, than Tharpe as senior or Mason as sophomore. I have to concede on the talent. The ranking speaks for itself there. But the one spot on the floor where I'd rather have experience and leadership is at PG. It's even more the case for me when dealing with an OAD. I'm not an OAD fan. But I would absolutely skip it when it comes to PGs. Don't want a freshman learning on the job there. We have that position covered, it appears.

Second, don't forget about the chaos that Jones (or Vaughn) might cause. Are you prepared to see Frankamp, Greene, or White transfer? That could be the collateral damage. If Jones commits now, I think it is at least 50-50 that one of them transfers at semester. Numbers don't lie. If you have Tharpe, White, Greene, Mason, Frankamp, and Oubre .. and you add Jones, yikes. Jones ain't comin' to sit. Not near enough PT to go around.

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

Greene and White aren't losing any minutes to Jones.

Every player comes to Kansas with the understanding that you will get the minutes you earn. There is no entitlement. If those players are the best option to play, they will play. If not, they will battle to be. If they don't want to do that then I am perectly fine with them transferring. They were never told that we won't ever recruit a player at their position while they were at KU. Get real.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 8 months ago

Do you have the ability to make a respectful response? Your posts are sickening me.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 8 months ago

Ben (presuming that Ben's Junk isn't your real name):

I agree that there is no "entitlement." But if you start recruiting over top players, that certainly will create a dynamic that might damage the program.

Said differently, as an example, I would much rather have 3 years of Brannen Greene, than one year of Jones and the revolving door of OADs or whatever might following.

Quintrell Thomas, or Royce Woolridge, or Zach Peters transferring has a much different feel than if Brannen Greene, for example, would bolt.

Jones' minutes would threaten perimeter minutes as he might get time at the 2.

Try this .. from what you've seen of Mason .. would you rather have 4 years of Mason, or 1 season of Jones? Isn't there a chance that Mason might be a bit ticked if Jones is brought in?

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 8 months ago

It would definitely reflect poorly on KU to future recruits if Greene were to get Wiltjered.

Just ask Kelly Oubre Sr.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 8 months ago

Bill Self gave big insight into KU's 2014 class a week or so ago when he said he expects to have a 3 man class in 2014. He also said about this time last year (before the Zach Peters and Rio Adams drama was public knowledge) that he expected the 2013 class to be 7-8 players and rverybody thought there was no way it would be that high. KU will not sign all 3 because there isn't room for all 3 along with Oubre. I think Okafor/Jones end up elsewhere, I think KU gets one of Alexander or Turner (there is a low 4 star as a fallback here), and I think KU ends up with Vaughn.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 8 months ago

I would love to have Justise Winlsow in our program too. If Tyus and Okafor don't commit to Kansas I feel like it will open up more recruiting opportunities with Winslow, Vaghn, and Turner.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 8 months ago

If that is in fact true when I don't see us getting the pair. Tyus isn't a necessity but would be nice for publicity. I never heard that story though so who knows. I believe he may have said 3-4 players.

Justin Lindsley 8 years, 8 months ago

Does Alexander go to Illinois because he see's Ellis as a lock to start? I am thinking it would be nearly impossible to sit Perry in favor of almost anyone. Just ask Duke about that.

CNNSI says that Self has been to Chicago lately and he did not meet with Alexander. He met with Okafor. I think that we need center more than a PF. But in Self we trust.....

Jack Wilson 8 years, 8 months ago

Position there isn't an issue .. we started two 4s in 2008, Arthur and Jackson. A true "center" isn't a big deal.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 8 months ago

Why do they want to be a pair in the first place? Every school in their options have different needs, just doesn't make sense to me...

Ron Prichard 8 years, 8 months ago

Ok...Twitter was going nuts a couple hours ago with rumors on Alexander, Jones and Okafor. Now it's grown eerily silent. (Except for Batkid, which is one of the coolest things I have ever heard/seen. Way to go SF! Absolutely amazing!)

Ron Prichard 8 years, 8 months ago

Okafor and Jones to dook. Crap. No surprise, though. We're still in for Alexander.

RJ King 8 years, 8 months ago

Not sour grapes, but we'll be fine without the duo. Still really want Alexander . . .

Josh Helmer 8 years, 8 months ago

Welp, I hate Duke. Hope we get to beat these two in the tourney next year. Would be awesome.

RJ King 8 years, 8 months ago

One town that won't let you down It's my kind of town . . . One kid that won't let you down It's my kind of kid, Alexander is!

Josh Helmer 8 years, 8 months ago

Rock Chalk. Welcome aboard Cliff Alexander!!

Benz Junque 8 years, 8 months ago

Today went from the best day ever to the worst day ever for Illini fans. Not only do they lose out on Cliff Alexander but Quentin Snider flip flops on his commitment to Illinois and heads back to Louisville. BRUTAL.

Good for us. KU will be monsters next year, especially if they add another shooter to replace Selden (come on down, Rashad Vaughn). I really don't know where we would put Myles Turner with Perry Ellis and Cliff Alexander on the roster.

Doc Roach 8 years, 8 months ago

Now we need turner and we are golden!

RJ King 8 years, 8 months ago

Appears Cliff went to the T-Rob School of Interview Response. I have every confidence he will do a lot of talking on the court.

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