Coaches, scouts chime in on Cliff Alexander

Saturday, November 16, 2013

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.”