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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Big man Dwight Coleby provides bridge to 2016

Mississippi center Dwight Coleby shoots during practice for an NCAA college basketball second round game Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Mississippi center Dwight Coleby shoots during practice for an NCAA college basketball second round game Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Jacksonville, Fla.

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In theory and on paper, Kansas University’s basketball team doesn’t need any more big men for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The following year is a different story altogether.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on transfers the entire spring due to the fact we lose so many big guys next year,” Self said of 2015-16 KU senior forwards Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor and Hunter Mickelson, who will be joined on the floor next season by junior Landen Lucas, plus freshmen McDonald’s All-America bigs Cheick Diallo and Carlton Bragg.

“It would be nice to have a big guy in your program that knew the system and we can rely on to be a foundation,” Self added.

That big guy is 6-foot-9, 240-pound former Ole Miss center Dwight Coleby, who signed grant-in-aid papers with KU on Sunday, his commitment announced by KU on Monday.

“When Dwight became available, we researched it and watched tape. He’s exactly what I think we need,” Self said of the player who averaged 5.4 points off 53.2 percent shooting and 4.8 boards his sophomore season. He’ll practice but not play in games next season then be eligible to play in games in 2016-17.

“He’s a big guy that can play either bigs position. He’s active. He reminds me of a lot of a bigger Jamari- or Thomas Robinson-type body. He’s got a great motor. I feel like he can play on the block. He can play facing. He can do a lot of different things. He’s raw offensively, but he’s a premiere athlete and should be a solid rebounder and defender right off the bat,” Self added.

Coleby, who started three games, averaged 16.5 minutes a game in 34 games last season. He was second on the Ole Miss team with 29 blocked shots. He scored in double figures six times, his first career double-double a 12-point, 10-rebound outing at Arkansas.

“Dwight was obviously a contributor and role player for an NCAA Tournament team,” Self said. “He didn’t play a ton last year, but Ole Miss had good players. He hasn’t been playing ball forever (growing up in Bahamas), but there is definitely a foundation there, physically. Also, a foundation from an intellect standpoint that is going to allow him to become a much better player fast. Without question, we think his best ball is well down the road. I see him being a Darnell Jackson. I see him being a bigger Jamari, a guy that can have a big impact on our program and hopefully mature and develop into a starter for us.”

Coleby went to Ole Miss after attending Piney Woods High School in Piney Woods, Mississippi. He averaged 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in 2012-13. Prior to Piney Woods, Coleby attended St. George’s High School in Freeport, Bahamas.

Paschal Chukwu to visit: KU currently has filled its scholarship allotment at 13 for this season if 6-foot-5 Memphis high schooler LaGerald Vick, as expected, reclassifies to the Class of 2015. Former Providence center Paschal Chukwu, a 7-2, 225-pound freshman from Nigeria, plans to visit KU this week following his visit to Nebraska. He’s also considering Michigan State, Virginia and Iona. Chukwu averaged 2.6 points and 2.4 boards for Providence his freshman season.

Cliff getting controversial?: Former KU big man Cliff Alexander had somewhat of a defensive tone in a recent interview with Draftexpress.com. Asked about what he has shown in pre-draft workouts that people did not see in college, he said: “That’s the Cliff Alexander you all saw in high school, that’s all I have to say.”

Asked about his one year at KU, he said: “I got dealt a bad deck of cards when I was at Kansas. It just didn’t go as I planned it. It was just kind of (an) off situation. I just have to move forward and on with everything.”

He was suspended eight games because of an NCAA issue reportedly involving his mom accepting benefits from a third party.

“Just overall, everything. When I was playing I wasn’t very dominant. I didn’t live up to my expectations I was supposed to,” Alexander said. “When the suspension came it just made me go downward.”

Asked by Draftexpress why he averaged 17, 18 minutes a game (actually 17.6), he said with a laugh: “I’m gonna leave that to coach Self. I’m going to leave that to coach Self.

“I have a lot to prove, how everything went down at Kansas. I feel I have to get my name back out there more and redeem myself,” he stated.

To see Alexander’s interview go to http://ljw.bz/1LYZwQK

Ticket info: Single-game tickets for KU’s exhibition games against Canada June 23 and 26 at Sprint Center go on sale for Williams Fund members today and Wednesday. General public sales begin Thursday. Cost is $27 for the June 23 game and $37 for the Friday contest. Fans can buy tickets at Sprintcenter.com or by calling 1-800-34-HAWKS. General public sale for a two-game ticket package is available for $50.

Comments

Jay Hawk 6 years, 11 months ago

I feel like an over-protective parent when I hear Cliff's comments regarding his one year stop in Lawrence. Perhaps, he didn't mean anything negative toward KU and Coach Self, but some of the answers to those questions could have been worded much better. I have to admit, it's easy to be turned off by that interview.

Wouldn't it be interesting to be a fly-on-the-wall regarding the Chukwu visit? You have to assume some type of offer is still on the table. Where's that scholly coming from?

Tom Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

Sounding more and more like Vick is staying in the 2016 class. Gotta think if Hunter was transferring, we'd know by now.

Danny Hernandez 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't interpet Cliffs comment as negative towards Coach Self & if anything it's more what Cliff didn't do. Cliff could have used a second year but can't cry over spilled milk and Cliff will always be a Jayhawk!

Doug Longstaff 6 years, 11 months ago

Good point. I don't think he's getting very good advice from his representation if he's making these kind of comments.

I don't think he meant anything negative about coach self. He's just drawing attention to the fact that he underachieved in his one year here. That said.....I found myself frustrated with how coach used him this year. I think he needed to be given the chance to play through mistakes. When he was even half-way on, he was our most effective true big by a wide margin. But it didn't matter by the end, since he wasn't eligible anyway.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't think he said anything very controversial. He admitted that he didn't dominate as much as he expected and truthfully 17.6 min. per game as a freshman on a team with several upperclassman isn't something to be ashamed of. Personally, I thought he looked gassed on the court several times last season. I hope Cliff does well and gets drafted. If not, I still think he will get a shot on some team next year ala Tarik Black.

Keith Gellar 6 years, 11 months ago

Biff Alexander needs to think before he talks...this whole act of trying to passively assign blame won't get him far. But, as much this is pegged on Cliff, Bill Self's and his staff share some of the blame too. these things are never one sided.

If i buy a ferrari and try to drive it like a honda civic, guess what- it ain't going to do much good and i can blame the "motor" of the ferrari, but at some point, i need to look at how i'm trying to drive the car

The bigger issue on hand is this is another top rated recruit speaking negatively about his tenure at KU. If this trend continues...well, where there's smoke, there's fire

Jay Scott 6 years, 11 months ago

"Biff Alexander needs to think before he talks..."

Keith Gellar needs to think before he posts...

Keith Gellar 6 years, 11 months ago

great comment...i bet its a big hit at the breakroom at walmart!

Billy Derringer 6 years, 11 months ago

Can't remember other one an done talkin sht on ku's program. What recruit do you speak of Keith?

Jay Scott 6 years, 11 months ago

...and how did it impact recruiting this year?

Keith Gellar 6 years, 11 months ago

it didn't, but if you READ my post, if the trend continues...

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

We did read it. It says "this is another top rated recruit speaking negatively about his tenure at KU". The word "another" implies that this is not the first one, but an additional one. We were all simply wondering who the "other" in "another" is?

Keith Gellar 6 years, 11 months ago

shelby... and i even recall a story on KUsports about how Ben Mac's camp was talking some smack too. all the comments on this post probably commented on that too...

Tom Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

In other words, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Shocker.

Tom Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

Selby (not Shelby, FYI)? No one cared then and certainly no one cares now. Everyone saw what he was on the court, especially after the injury.

Not even worthy of a "nice try", buddy. Sorry. Every coach gets a rotten apple once in a while.

It's a TREND! There's SMOKE, there's FIRE!

But hey, haters gonna hate. Keep on truckin.

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, no. There isn't anything in there about SELBY saying anything negative about his time at Kansas.

Elias Dunlavy 6 years, 11 months ago

If you want to play a lot of minutes but not work hard its going to be hard to play for Coach Self

Michael Bennett 6 years, 11 months ago

On the other hand, a lot of fans were wondering why Self would often play Traylor over Cliff, and why Traylor averaged more minutes when he wasn't provided the same kind of production. I think it speaks more to Self's unrelenting man-crush on Traylor than anything else.

Keith Gellar 6 years, 11 months ago

Watch is Michael...what you are saying is looked as blasphemy and according to Jay, Tom and others, you are committing treason.

Jay Scott 6 years, 11 months ago

Or that Traylor provides greater matchup flexibility, can guard the perimeter and hit free throws late in games and is relentless defensively?

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

It speaks of Self's interest in playing players who know what they are supposed to be doing out there and Cliff didn't look like he had a clue what he was supposed to be doing until late in his season.Cliff didn't take to learning the system quickly. It has to be frustrating when you find you are no longer able to simply physically out man your opponent and you have to have a mental understanding of what to do to play well and you find that this is a weakness.

Tom Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

Cliff was ok. He couldn't stay out of foul trouble and blew a lot of assignments and it got in his head for a while. He (by his own and his coach's opinion) started to "get it" right before they had to sit him.

It's a shame, but he's not talking smack on HCBS. He recognizes that it was his own (and mom's) fault that his year at KU didn't work out like it could have, and that he'd have been back for another year that would have improved his draft stock if all the crap hadn't happened.

Cliff didn't sulk, he stayed supportive of his teammates and does not deserve to be cut down by the Jayhawk "fatihful". It's too bad mom effed everything up for his draft stock/KU career.

Tom Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

Oh, I agree, Brett, his comments are not good for anyone or anything, especially his draft stock. I've just seen a lot (not so much on here) of KU fans dumping on the guy and I don't think he deserves that.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Tom and "Jerry" commenting on each others posts? Oh no! When will the madness stop on this site?

Gosh...

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 11 months ago

DraftExpress does not need to ask Bill Self, per Alexander's suggestion, why he only played 16-17 minutes because most any KU fan will provide the answer. Alexander did not know how to play team basketball and never learned how to run any kind of offense. Every time he stepped on the court he missed up plays. He couldn't set screens. He couldn't play defense, especially playing through screens. He wouldn't jump above the rim for alley-pop passes from any of his teammates. I'm not sure where people got the idea he had a good motor because he rarely gave much of an effort while at Kansas.

Brett is right on with all his comments on this topic.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 11 months ago

I propose a Wrestlemania Texas Death Cage Match with Jay, Keith, Benz, Michael and Tom with me as the worthless ref, Rodney as the crooked, cheating manager [the villian always gets the good parts, Hot Rod :)] and Suzi as the ringside hottie!!!

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 11 months ago

What you gonna do when KUMANIA runs wild on YOU BROTHER!!!!

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