Saturday, November 16, 2013

Coaches, scouts chime in on Cliff Alexander


Here’s the reaction of several individuals in the basketball world following Chicago Curie High senior power forward Cliff Alexander’s commitment to Kansas University on Friday:

Curie High coach Mike Oliver to ESPN Chicago: “People just don’t know; this thing came down to the last hour. As far as 2 p.m., he was still deciding between Illinois, DePaul and Kansas. His gut feeling was Kansas.”

Oliver to Chicago Sun Times: “It (decision) went down to the wire. He went with his gut feeling. I’m an Illinois guy. At end of the day, Cliff went with what he felt was right for him. (KU coach Bill) Self already has that reputation for getting guys to the NBA and (Illini coach John) Groce is probably going to get there in two years.”

Oliver to Chicago Tribune: “He’s going to go down there and give it his all. We don’t want to put any number on years. Whatever God’s willing — one year, two years, three years — I think eventually he’s going to reach his dream of being an NBA professional basketball player.”

Nick Irvin of Alexander’s AAU team, Mac Irvin Fire to Journal-World: “He’s a power forward all the way, not a center, very aggressive on both ends. He blocks shots, rebounds, is real tough in the paint, just like you like it.”

Latillia Alexander, Cliff’s mother, to Chicago Tribune: “John Groce is great. I know, most definitely, John Groce would care for him on and off the court, but I think Bill Self will get him to the next level.”

Adam Zagoria of “KU comes out of this (signing period) in good shape with Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre as their dynamic duo. Oubre is really good & slides into (Andrew) Wiggins’ spot.”

Jeff Borzello, “Alexander is as college-ready as anyone in the country, and his strength and build will enable him to be a dominant force next season in the Big 12. Alexander is an extremely strong rebounder, and his 260-lb. frame gives him the edge in most battles on the boards. He’s very tough and has a good motor. Once he develops consistent back-to-the-basket moves, Alexander is going to be an absolute force. ... The Jayhawks will obviously see Andrew Wiggins leave for the NBA, although center Joel Embiid and guard Wayne Selden are also potential lottery picks. Tarik Black is the lone senior and Alexander will slide in perfectly as his replacement.”

Scott Powers, on the fact Alexander has not yet signed a letter-of-intent: “Alexander has also yet to qualify. Oliver said recently he fully expected Alexander to get the necessary test score and grades to qualify, but that’s another part of the equation. In the end, Alexander may decommit from Kansas, commit to Illinois, then decommit from Illinois and finally sign with DePaul. Or, he might just remain Kansas’ recruit.”

Eric 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 rebounds above the rim and often snatches them away from opponents.”


Phil Leister 8 years, 7 months ago

Given that his decision came down to the last minute, I feel a tiny bit uneasy about him not signing a LOI.

Does a player have to be in good academic standing in order to sign?

Joe Ross 8 years, 7 months ago

Thinking and wondering the same thing...

Mike Riches 8 years, 7 months ago

I would think that the way he announced (hat ceremony, reaching for the Illinois hat first, etc.) would make it pretty embarrassing to decommit, but I was also wondering when I read this and the other article, why he hadn't yet signed a LOI. I would also think that every KU game he sees this year will reassure him that he made the right decision, especially watching how well our bigs develop...

Ashwin Rao 8 years, 7 months ago

Agreed... I don't believe Illinois folks look at him in good light right now. They will take him if he decides, but he will have to work hard to rectify what he did during the hat ceremony. I am not a fan of the "hat ceremony", and not because we usually don't usually come out on top, but because it plays around with so many fans' emotions. I am glad to have Cliff though!

Jesse Johnson 8 years, 7 months ago

Even more embarrassing would be if a coach from a team he didn't choose called him up after the hat ceremony and convinced him to change his mind.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

Phil: Kids can sign if they aren't in good academic standing. Alexander appears to be fine with his school, since he's playing this season at least (and that doesn't mean much, I guess, for the NCAA). Our obvious concern is that Alexander could be "McLemored" -- it will be the next thing to watch and stew about.

Greg Lux 8 years, 7 months ago

LOI is just that "Intent" Even if he signs he can request out and I am sure HCBS will allow him to change his mind .. I just hope he and his girl don't break up.

Rock Chalk

Ryan Sullivan 8 years, 7 months ago

<p> is reporting that Cliff signed his LOI at 8am this morning.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

This Powers guy said nothing -- "In the end, Alexander may decommit from Kansas, commit to Illinois, then decommit from Illinois and finally sign with DePaul. Or, he might just remain Kansas’ recruit.”

Didn't he just cover every base -- leaving out Memphis? Sounds like another Chicago guy that's just hoping good things will happen.

RJ King 8 years, 7 months ago

"Alexander has also yet to qualify. Oliver said recently he fully expected Alexander to get the necessary test score and grades to qualify"

When does this happen? Is the testing done in the Spring? Do the grades include second semester of his senior year? In other words, could we not know for sure until next summer?

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 7 months ago

He ya go: LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self announced that power forward Cliff Alexander from Curie High School in Chicago has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Jayhawks. And: KU announces signing of Cliff Alexander to national letter-of-intent No. 4-rated prep 'comes from long line of great ones from Chicago,' Bill Self says

so relax, people!

Robert Brock 8 years, 7 months ago

He said, repeatedly, that he was going to sign on his birthday. He did.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 7 months ago

Rock Chalk JAYHAWK, Mr. Cliff Alexander! Cant wait to see you play!

Todd Jones 8 years, 7 months ago

It will be great to get a OAD that already has a nasty attitude. I mean that in a good way...he is a dunking in your face machine.

Waylon Cook 8 years, 7 months ago

Does Groce's "system" of banging 3's even use a big man?

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