Monday, October 21, 2013

Kansas hoops recruiting on a roll

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


Bill Self can’t comment on specific recruits in accordance with NCAA rules.

Kansas University’s 11th-year basketball coach can, however, speak in generalities about the fact that he and his powerhouse sales staff of Kurtis Townsend, Norm Roberts and Jerrance Howard have been on a hot streak in the pursuit of top players.

“We are involved with more high-level guys than what we’ve been involved with before,” Self acknowledged.

This year’s freshman class, for example, is headlined by’s No. 1 player, Andrew Wiggins, and No. 12 Wayne Selden, but also has top 35 players in No. 25 Joel Embiid (rated 6 by ESPN), No. 29 Brannen Greene and No. 34 Conner Frankamp.

“We’ve always gotten guys. Sometimes just because they are rated high doesn’t necessarily mean they are as good a prospects or as good for your program as other guys can be. I think the quality of guys we’ve gotten the last eight to 10 years has been about as good as anybody around when you stop and look at what they did in their careers. We’re proud of that,” Self said.

On a roll, Self and his assistants have garnered a commitment from this year’s No. 12 prospect, Kelly Oubre. The Jayhawks remain in the running for No. 1 Jahlil Okafor, No. 4 Cliff Alexander, No. 5 Tyus Jones, No. 6 Myles Turner and No. 7 Rashad Vaughn.

One might suggest landing the country’s No. 1 player has attracted hordes of top players.

“When you recruit somebody like Andrew (Wiggins), he does draw other guys to want to look at your school. It’s one of the residual effects,” Self said. “He’s brought a lot of good attention and goodwill to our university thus far.

“Getting Andrew is something that made people, maybe even nationally, look at us in a different light,” Self continued. “We’ve recruited a lot of good players, but we haven’t really had a ton of success recruiting the top three or four players in their respective classes in the country. He obviously has that distinction.”

KU has landed one other No. 1 in Josh Selby and top 10s in Embiid (6 by ESPN), Xavier Henry (8) and Julian Wright (8).

“Just because guys are looking at you doesn’t mean you are going to get them by any stretch. Hopefully we can get one or two more and keep this thing at the level it deserves to be at,” Self said.

The Jayhawk recruiting class of 2014 has received gads of publicity, the most recent coming Monday when named Wiggins, Selden and Embiid all-freshman first-team with Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison.

“This year may be a little bit different because people are saying so many good things about a group of kids that have done absolutely nothing, from a collegiate standpoint. In their minds, they think they are ready, but even in the short time they have been here, they realize that this is a little bit different than what they had anticipated,” Self said.

“I don’t think it will be a huge problem, but certainly it’s going to be one that we have to talk about a lot, and if we can focus in on us being good, it will work. If we focus in on the individuals being good, it won’t work, because if we are good, that means the individuals have played very, very well themselves individually. You can have a guy play well and our team stink, but it would be hard for our team to be really good and not look at our team and say, ‘Hey, that kid performed pretty well.’”

Alexander update: Cliff Alexander, a 6-8 forward from Chicago Curie, visited Memphis last weekend and is headed to Illinois this weekend. He also has visited KU, Arizona and DePaul.

“I am still thinking about taking an unofficial visit to Michigan State but still not 100-percent sure yet,” Alexander told on Monday.

He and his parents had a good time in Memphis.

“I got along with coach (Josh) Pastner and the players real well. They were real cool and my mom and dad enjoyed the visit a lot,” Alexander said. “The fans were great. I felt like LeBron James walking down Beale Street. They showed me a lot of love. We also got to spend time with family. My grandmother’s sister lives right outside of Memphis and she came by to visit with us.”

Alexander will announce his college choice on Nov. 16 on ESPN.

“My mom will be the one who will help me most with my decision,” Alexander told ESPN.

Turner update: Turner visited Ohio State last weekend. He’s also considering KU, Texas, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Louisville and Oklahoma State. He told ESPN he hasn’t heard from Louisville in a while.

“I might commit early if I know where I want to go after a few visits, but I am definitely going to sign late,” Turner told

Of Ohio State, he said: “My academic interest is in psychology with an emphasis in counseling, and I met with the head of psychology. It was very impressive.”

Media day today: Today is Big 12 men’s basketball media day in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Self and KU players will join coaches and players from the other nine schools in interview sessions.


Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 1 month ago

wasn't Sir McLemore listed as top 10 recruit back then?

Justin Steele 9 years, 1 month ago


Ron Prichard 9 years, 1 month ago

I think McLemore was 23rd but I could be mistaken.

Jesse Johnson 9 years, 1 month ago

When we were recruiting him he was ranked #17 on rivals. He dropped to #34 in the final rankings update.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm glad Self pointed out that the top players don't alway pan out when they get to college. Selby is a great example of that. When he commenced playing, the team took a noticable down swing in terms of teamwork. He has not caught on as an NBA pro. I've never seen Josh Tyus play but am very dubious that a 6'1" guard can be an OAD and seriously doubt he can come in here and beat out Tharpe at the point. For that matter, seriously doubt he will beat out Curry at Duke. The young KU kids better paye heed to the warning shot fired by Kentucky's OAD from the NIT last year ..... or KU OAD from the NCAAs against the likes of Bradley and Bucknell. 5 playing as a team will almost always beat 5 individuals.

I pray Self stays away from those kids looking only to make their numbers to move on to the league.

Robert Brock 9 years, 1 month ago

If you are referring to Tyus Jones, let me say that Jones, if he chose KU, would start immediately over Tharpe or anyone else. If he chooses Duke he would start over Curry or Cook. He is the top player in the class of 2014 in my opinion (and I have seen most of the top kids play in person). His skill-level is just outstanding; I think that the program would benefit a lot if he selected KU.

I doubt that Jones is a OAD player. The League isn't wild about 6'1" players.

Steven Mathew 9 years, 1 month ago

Curry? As in Seth Curry? I don't think he's there anymore.

Ryan Knuth 9 years, 1 month ago

No Seth Curry graduated. He is the brother of Steph Curry who plays for the Warriors.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Tyus Jones. We agree he is unlikely a OAD making KU a good fit for him. His first year he'll have Tharpe to lean on. Self really wants this kid and sounds like you. I always chalked his comments up to his personal bias since he was also a PG.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 1 month ago

Had to gas up one Christmas eve in Memphis about 15 yrs ago, & took an exit at Beal St. Bad decision for a guy in a white Fleetwood. With winos & druggies at every street corner, bet I ran half dozen stop lights getting back on the interstate in one piece. That Cadillac ran like a Zebra.

Gary McCullough 9 years, 1 month ago

Does Turner know KU's Psychology Dept. is one of the best in the nation? Seems like KU academics should be used for recruiting when we get true scholar-athletes.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 1 month ago

On a very sincere side note, where are all the great & witty board rats that were online daily before the FB change? Aloha, Oakville, jaybate-calling all avid Jayhawk fans; there are a couple of sites set up with well over a hundred former LJW members & counting. One is and another is Many great & familiar Jayhawk fans are joining daily. You always can post wherever you wish-here, there, hither & yon, but scads of guys will no longer be in discussions here. This site has great inside info & stories, but the boards are not exactly what we could call "smokin'" anymore. Also, the alternative sites are improving constantly, and you can still comment with anonymity. There is always room for the PHOFers that have unfortunately been forced into silence here.

Joe Ross 9 years, 1 month ago

Woody, I said this somewhere else. Kusports will once again become as active as it was. Why? Because it's the best product out there. So not a lot of people are on right now. Okay. The reason being presumably because of the loss of anonymity. But other sites like rivals have prohibitive restrictions as well, most of which being payment is required. I was here a long time ago when there weren't many posters, but the site came into prominence because of the features they offered. They have only built upon those. Basketball is around the corner and the posts will grow in number. Once they are in the door they will likely stay. Now if others who have left remain gone at that point, then so be it. Others will take their place, and both sides will have it as they wish. There is no need for either group to be acrimonious with the other.

Bruce Beckum 9 years, 1 month ago

Why the need to comment with anonymity? Are folks afraid of the government? Pretty sure the NSA can figure out who we are despite avatars, screen names... I really don't understand folks' refusal to use their real names. I haven't seen anyone call someone else "stupid" or begin a post with the always-condescending "um..." since the change. Seems like an improvement to me. Also, no offense intended, but I didn't come to this site to read Jaybate, et al.

Lance Cheney 9 years, 1 month ago

Agreed. God forbid we have any civil, intelligent discussions. And I usually skipped over Jaybate's 15-page theses on whatever the topic was that day. I'm not a big reader. (smiley-face)

Chris Bailey 9 years, 1 month ago

Oh man. I'm so glad we no longer have to see that crap clogging up the comments section. His rants grew old and stale. And big reader or not his stuff was just a rant I couldn't care less to read.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 1 month ago

Bruce, it is indeed a very big deal. The right to protect ones privacy, along with the right to own property (i.e. persuite of happiness) strikes to the core of the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison & Monroe, George Mason, John Marshall and many others wrote with anonymity under avatars. The whole debate over the constitution and later regarding the early Supreme Court decisions were signed by people like..."A Freind to the Constitution" or some Greek/Roman name. The reasons to do so are powerful especially when a government has shown the ability to track and punish those for opposing views.

I continue to post here but am amongst those that scorn the actions taken by the LJW.

Bruce Beckum 9 years, 1 month ago

Suzie: your points about the founding fathers are valid. Where that analogy falls apart for me is when I remember we're talking about a discussion board on a college sports site. Privacy issues are serious (which is why I've been considering deleting my fb account), but if the gov't cares about my Jayhawk addiction, they can spy their little hearts out.

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 1 month ago

It's not about a college sports site. It's about the use of a loved item, such as KU Sports, as a vehicle to tap into ones personal information which is truely shameful. This is Google tied into World News (whatever LJW parent company). It is what they can do *and have done) with our personal information that is scary, especially inlite of what I'd call crimes in association with a criminal administration.

Chris Bailey 9 years, 1 month ago

I agree and I don't wanna get into a political discussion but our current POTUS chose to take more action against our citizens. While we're on the topic the ACA that was supposed to save and lower premiums mine went up over $100/month or 14.8%. Yep change I sure believe in.

Gary Bedore 9 years, 1 month ago

For those against the facebook aspect of all this, Jesse wrote today: "Those uncomfortable with Facebook now have the option to verify real names without it. It should be at the bottom of the screen and will require someone from our office calling a phone number to verify your identity."

Woody Cragg 9 years, 1 month ago

Makes no diff to me, Is not the NSA that one is concerned about-you're right they can get what they want anytime. rest assured so can the local sheriff or police. It's the bi-polar basement trolls & wanna be nut cases that you must remain vigilant about. I don't need to digress-just wish to see some wit & humor occasionally from those who were genuinely clever enough to post it. These boards have simply begun to dry up instead of being the vibrant chat they once were. Good stories here from qualified writers, but you can get that anywhere. What you can't find is an avid fanbase as we have experienced here, just anywhere. Many contributors to this site have spent time with Phog, Clyde & Wilt, and unless you recently changed your handle, you just began on this site a few days ago & would appreciate what some of the JB's & Oakville's & HEM's have brought to the table for many years.

Joe Ross 9 years, 1 month ago

You're speaking as if the way it is now is predestined to be the way it is going to be forever. It won't be. Watch "Field of Dreams" again and apply their advice here. And for what it's worth, others of us here know ex-greats at KU as well. I met Wilt in '98. My Mom dated Gayle Sayers in Omaha. Wayne Simien ate food my sister cooked at my table in Horton Kansas in '09. I've spoken with Danny Manning and Bill Self on a number of occasions as a fan. We all have stories of brushes with the history-makers. Not just ones who have gone.

Bruce Beckum 9 years, 1 month ago

I have changed my handle recently but while I've been following this site for years, I wasn't a regular poster. I have at times enjoyed reading posts from those folks you mentioned (esp Oakville), they are not what drive my love of this site. I disagree that you can find solid reporting... anywhere. Few blogs have the resources to send a reporter to Big 12 media day. Jesse, Keegan, et all are why I will continue to come here.

Chandler James 9 years, 1 month ago

isnt this the last time in 4 years KU has got the number one recruit in the country?... selby and wiggins?

Woody Cragg 9 years, 1 month ago

All of you make great analytical assessments. Nice, orderly, civil, constructive conversations for sure. Yet we all visit here for varied reasons, & my gut feeling is that there is missing the element of spontaneity, objective criticism, and the unique cleverness of humor that was brought to the table on virtually every article. In plain English-the conversations are just dry. JMO

Joe Ross 9 years, 1 month ago

Woody, I respect both your candor and your demeanor. You have an opinion and you have been civil. We probably agree that as a result of the changes instituted by the LJW that comments here are down (I think they anticipated it would be, though they probably didn't guage how far-reaching the effect would be). Yet nevertheless I do not assume that there won't be a rebound. And so while you may take a snap-shot and accurately pinpoint the way things are now, I wonder if your prediction is that it will be this way indefinitely. I do not make that assumption. I would also suggest that the quality of debate has not diminished, only the numbers have. If you were to quadriplicate or quintuplicate the amount of comments here, my hunch is that you would get the sense that the IQ left in the room is right where it's always been. There are a few other posters who by nature of their vociferousness have come to be seen as Ozzes, the Great and Powerful. In the wake of their departure--and I made this point some days ago--there seems to be an opinion forming that the Star-Bellied Sneetches are too good for this site. And I'll let you in on a little something else just so you know my intent is not malicious. I'd say a year or two ago now, somehow my full legal name came to be posted alongside my avatar in the wake of a change to the site, presumably unrelated. I wrote Tom Keegan and/or Jesse Newell and voiced my concerns. Specifically, that Jaybate, a few of his minions, and I often had philosophical altercations and I didn't want any repercussions in my personal life from a disagreement that played out online. They did remove my name and in its place reassigned my site screen-name, "jross1972". Why? Perhaps they understood. But perhaps it was just adherence to the user agreement. I don't know for sure. Even now it makes little sense to me why the LJW would make mandatory identification a policy, despite the fact that it may be clearly preferable. And while I don't have to like it, their site is still the best site around. So when I put both things on opposite sides of a balance, site use comes out the heavier. That's my personal decision. You and others are entitled to yours.

Paul Harvey....GOOD DAY!

Chris Bailey 9 years, 1 month ago

Wow. I think I had to reach for Websters a couple times and maybe google to decipher that. Like the sneetches analogy. You are correct. And I admit I'm glad some are not on here bullying and adding fuel to a fire. Well written and thought out. I can see both sides of the argument. Obviously I didn't feel I had anything to hide by posting so here I am. Ultimately I want to discuss the hawks in any way possible. Oh I miss Paul Harvey. He was a cool dude.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 1 month ago

I remember when your name was displayed. Not long prior to that the LJW had implemented a policy of voluntary non-anonymity. They said that if anyone wished to have their names posted along with their screen names that we could call in to the LJW and verify our true identity. I did this, and for awhile I posted as "plasticJHawk (Jonathan Allison)" while others were identified as "screen_name (Anonymous)". Later they changed the commenting platform to add the "reply" option and the avatars and then the "(Jonathan Allison)" part of my identity was gone again. I revealed my real name because I wanted to be identifiable to friends who may have also been readers. I chose to be identified, but I don't think that they should have foreced everyone else to do the same if they didn't want to.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 1 month ago

You can recount all the philosophical altercations with jaybate & other board rats from the past that you like, but I didn't just get off the watermelon truck or begin reading the comments & stories on LJW. I was born & raised here, went to school here & so have all of my children. And since you have focused on an element of a previous spontaneous comment of mine for a historical benchmark, and since you so humbly lauded that you have so many KU connections, may I bear witness that my Father vaulted in the initial KU Relays the year Memorial Stadium was opened, and I've an antique King Edward cigar box full of real gold & silver medals from his participation in the relays from 1924-26, plus dozens of pewter loving cups (trophies) on granite, marble, & wooden bases from the Drake relays as well, and that he held the class A KSHSAA pv record for over 40 years with a Bamboo pole. Not such a big deal, huh? Many of us are aware that you & jaybate have jabbered & jabbed continually for years & continued to do so until the fb change. Why one cannot let things go & just move on or away is always a puzzle to me. Also if you are suggesting that I have, with some metaphysical or clairvoyant ability predicted a forthcoming or future change of participation on this board, allow me to just say this, "no one is promised tomorrow." Joe, why should you assume plain nonsense? Yet another puzzle. So if for some reason you wish to justify & spin others comments into assumptions that are supposed to give you a pass on your past activity on LJW, or suggest that personal threats should force you to go ahead & sneetch to whomever you may, or if intended civility, personal vindication, or the absence of plain Oprah like, touchy feely talking may be the reason for your issues with jaybate, save the rationale for the rats that just showed up here in the past few days, not those of us that are familiar with your history on this site. Apparently, by your own admissions, you have had some security issues with the LJW site already, so you should certainly be familiar with the reasons that one cannot just say anything he likes without repercussions, or have a fb account that becomes an easy target for scammers or outright criminals. But check this, not everyone out there on fb, or even driving down the road in a truck depends on some big brother bs, or the local sheriff for adequate personal protection or vigilance-oft times that is way too late. Personally, I think you just may be grinding an axe a tad over the issues with jaybate. But FYI should you grind an axe just throw it away as you ruin it, the proper tool to use is a file. Also, save a reply, remember we must keep it civil-dry is OK too if it yanks the crank.

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