Tuesday, June 2, 2015

KU commit Vick decides to reclassify and play for Jayhawks this season

Self announces signing of Memphis prep, who leaves Class of 2016 for 2015


LaGerald Vick, a 6-foot-5, 175-pound senior shooting guard from Memphis’ Douglass High, who committed to Kansas University on May 17, today announced plans to reclassify to the recruiting Class of 2015 and play for KU this season.

“Just confirmed when I’m leaving this weekend. Kansas it is!” Vick wrote this afternoon on his Facebook account.

An hour or so later, KU coach Bill Self announced the signing of Vick to a grant-in-aid agreement.

“The whole thought with LaGerald was that he would reclassify and become a 2015,” Self said. “We knew he’s talented enough that if he stayed a 2016, we’d wait on him. He completed all of his academic requirements. We were cautious not to say too much, too soon. He’s officially signed and a member of the 2015 recruiting class.”

Vick, who averaged 26.0 points and 11.0 rebounds for Douglass this past season, was one of three finalists for the Class AA Mr. Basketball Award for the state of Tennessee his junior and senior seasons and was named Class AA all-state, by The Tennessean, in 2013-14 and 2014-15. A three-year starter for Red Devils, Vick earned all-district recognition three times and all-metro honors twice while in high school. Vick plays AAU basketball for Team Thad and coach Norton Hurd.

“LaGerald is a terrific athlete that is going to become a terrific basketball player,” Self said. “He’s got great size for a guard and has tremendous quickness and explosiveness for his size. We think he can be a guy that can get his own shot but also force a lot of help by driving the ball and could be an elite defender in time.”

 Since reclassifying, Vick is ranked No. 33 by He was No. 137 prior to reclassifying and chose Kansas over Kentucky and Kansas State. He joins KU power forward signees Carlton Bragg, from Cleveland, and Cheick Diallo, from Centereach, New York in KU’s 2015 signing class.

“LaGerald’s mother, La La, has done a tremendous job of raising her family,” Self added. “Although we’ve only known LaGerald and his mother for a couple of months, we really connected on their visit to Lawrence. I not only think we’ll have a great time coaching LaGerald, but I think we’ll also have a lot of fun with mom being part of our family.”

On May 17, he explained his decision to attend KU over Kentucky, Kansas State, Auburn and others.

“It was the history of it,” Vick said. “It is a good program. I felt it was home for me there.

“I talked to Wayne Selden,” Vick added of the KU junior guard. “He talked highly of the program, told me what coach Self was about and what he wasn’t about, stuff like that.”


Jay Scott 7 years, 1 month ago

Is that the end of the Chukwu recruiting or is there a transfer or similar in the offing?

Ron Sterling 7 years, 1 month ago

Only if Chukwu commits. I bet he still takes his visit.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 1 month ago

Nobody really knows outside of the program. We're out of scholarships but coaches always find a way to free a scholarship if they think the player new player is more valuable to the program than the current player holding the scholarship. Presumably that would be Chukwu vs Mickelson (who's set to graduate and could become a graduate transfer and not have to sit out a year).

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

A graduate transfer is not an option.Hunter Mickelson did not graduate this year and therefore cannot transfer.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 1 month ago

Good question Jay. I think we are done. no scholarships available. I surpose MAYBE could be going on with transfers but really don't think so, wait and see I guess. . Will be interesting to see if he comes for the visit now. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Ashwin Rao 7 years, 1 month ago

I would prefer Mickelson to Chukwu, though Chukwu would add variety to our player names. Mickelson came to KU to be a Jayhawk, so I hope he finishes his college career as a Jayhawk.

Andrew Holmes 7 years, 1 month ago

Mickelson was a transfer from Arkansas, just like Chukwu is a transfer from Providence. At this point I'd rather have Chukwu than Mickelson as we would have him multiple years and Mickelson is buried on the depth chart this year behind Diallo, Ellis, Bragg, Traylor, and Lucas. I hate seeing a guy transfer out of KU, but the writing is on the wall for Mickelson.

Jay Scott 7 years, 1 month ago

Could Mickelson transfer after Korea or would that mess him up for playing elsewhere this fall? All hypothetical...

Andrew Holmes 7 years, 1 month ago

As a coach I'd love for Hunter to play in Korea then transfer because Hunter would get a chance to practice all summer and play in at least 8 meaningful games before coming to school and playing. On the other hand, however, I'd want Hunter to be around my guys all summer getting to know them and gain some chemistry.

Ultimately I think Hunter plays in Korea no matter if he transfers or not. We had to pick up Moore from SMU because we didn't have enough guards for the trip and since Moore was familiar with the program he was a good fit. The same can be said for Mickelson if he decided to transfer. Self would love to keep him on the team since he has been part of the team the last 2 years and knows the offense. That does lead me to the question of why we didn't try and get Andrew White to come play on the team since he was a part of the team a couple years ago and knows the offense.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 1 month ago

As of yet he ( Mickelson) hasn't transferred and no rumors of any impending. It took 3 years for Withey,TRob, Markief and a few others to really hit their stride so maybe he might surprise a lot of us this year. I hope so anyways.

Benz Junque 7 years, 1 month ago

Not everyone that holds a roster spot at Kansas is going to be a major contributor at Kansas. 13 scholarships a year and only 8-9 guys in the rotation. If he makes tremendous improvements to his game and is the bets option to be in the rotation then that's awesome. Otherwise, his contributions will be primarily in the practice gym.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 1 month ago are absolutely correct. 8-9 is all you really want in the rotation. So obviously he would've needed to improve his game quite a bit to make it into that rotation. I would like to see his years here to have a successful conclusion.

I don't think it will happen but as I said, I hope so.

Jesse Johnson 7 years, 1 month ago

Mickelson has only one year left to give us, and it's a year that we don't really need him. Chukwu would give us three years, all in years we need another big.

Dan Burns 7 years, 1 month ago

I hate to say it but Chukwu over Mickelson makes sense for the long run... only problem is I'm a BIG Mickelson fan and was hoping this would somehow be his year to shine. Will be interesting to see, the only other thing is if Bill's rep for future transfers could be damaged by doing such a thing???

Jay Scott 7 years, 1 month ago

I think every kid knows that earning playing time at Kansas isn't easy.

Andrew Holmes 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in a meeting between Coach Self and a player such as Mickelson. I'd like to believe the Coach Self doesn't come out and tell a player that he needs to transfer, but instead tells him his situation and lets the player make the decision. The conversation might be like this:

CS: Hunter, you've fought hard the last couple of years, and I don't believe this year will be any different, but looking at who returned and who committed this year, your role on this team is going to be similar to last years.

HM: Coach I understand, but is there anyway I can fight for more playing time?

CS: Of course there is always a chance, but in all honesty, I don't see it happening.

HM: I see what you're saying Coach and I hate to do this, but it is my senior year and I appreciate everything you have taught me the last couple of years. I'm a better player for attending KU. That being said, I think it might be best for me and my family if I attended another school next fall.

CS: I don't blame you for thinking that way. Let me know if I can do anything for you. I wish you nothing but the best.

Benz Junque 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe Hunter likes KU, enjoys his team and the experience his is earning with the coaching staff and has no interest in transferring?!?

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 1 month ago

I agree. There hasn't been a single rumor that Hunter was even considering transferring. You don't need to be a starter to contribute.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 1 month ago

Why would Mickelson transfer again? He's already been down that road by leaving Arkansas.

Gerry Butler 7 years, 1 month ago

I feel you Dan, I as a big Andrew white fan, he saw limited action but I dunno, was still a fan and had pretty good idea he would end up transferring out. just got caught up in the numbers game, this could be the same case with hunter. have nothing against hunter, but would love to have Paschal if we could get it done some how, give us 3 years let him bulk up on his yr out, let him develop in his off yr go against some strong competition, just have to see how this unfolds. maybe not done yet.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 1 month ago

From looking like a major bust in this years recruiting class to possibly one of the best ever.. What a turnaround. I see only one OAD and several players who can contribute immediately. HCBS might have found that difficult line of experienced talent mixed with freshman blue-chip players.

Going out in the second round this coming season will not be acceptable.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

One of the Best Ever? Really? Seriously?

Mercy we have reached a new vapor high. I am going to add National Monuements for Sale to my Bridge for Sale business. Easiest money I have ever made.

Pump the breaks for crying out loud.


Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 1 month ago

Three top 30 guys (including a top 5) isn't bad, that's for sure. It's not the best ever but it's far from the "the sky is falling, we've got 3 open scholarships we won't be able to fill this late in the year" we were getting from the Debby Downer crowd 6 weeks ago. I'd say it's an above average recruiting class for sure.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

What? He lost two starters, replaced them with 1 starter and a quality player - Bragg (thats a plus for next season with Diallo but slightly a plus). Dwight is nice, would not call him strong though and he is sitting anyways. I hope Vick pushes Selden we need more consistency at the 3, but with Svi and Greene with a season under their belt, Vick might not play much. We landed on our feet again, but there was some luck involved. Self and his scrambling assistants have shown they are adept at pulling rabbits out of hats, but I just do not see a team that finishes 8-6 as a really good returning team. I think those 3 recruits thought this was a team where they could beat out some of the returning players for PT is all.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 1 month ago

Why is it that every time something good happens to this team, you describe it as luck? How do you "luck" your way into the 7th best recruiting class in the nation?... You do know what they say about luck, right? You make your own luck.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

My point was why did we wait so late to sign our last few? The last couple of years now we are still looking for an impact player, hoping he reclassifies, late in May. There were plenty of good SG's to recruit earlier. Look what has happened to KY this year. They are going to be fine, but they are so late in the process they were not able to get who they wanted and have to look for hidden gems that might be left. I would prefer 6 weeks ago we were tying to fill one spot instead of 3. What is wrong with that?

Tom Jones 7 years, 1 month ago

Your "point" shows once again that you do not remotely understand how recruiting works. UK and KU are apples and oranges this year, as they lost 7 guys and had no clue about whether 4-5 were going to go, which made it a lot tougher to sell playing time to incoming recruits. And they still ended up with a top 5 class.

So much FAIL in these posts. Dwight is not strong (LOL)...signing Diallo and Bragg, even though it satisfies the exact needs we had, is only "slightly a plus"...calling the class "pulling rabbits out of hats" instead of just giving the staff credit for recruiting well (and acting like they just started recruiting Diallo in April or...something), ignoring that KU DID recruit other SG's other PF's, other C' are allergic to eating crow, but my, can you crow on about KU's 8-6 finish, ignoring the injuries and the Alexander situation and how that (coupled with the lack of development you've expressed that our current players will show next year) shows they are "not a really good returning team", even though everyone with an educated opinion on college basketball has them top 5 easily.

Look, that's already more words than a troll like you deserves, but let's just avoid the holiday rush and get your prediction out there now. KU's recruiting class is nothing special, their returning roster is not really good. You thinking KU should be about an 8 seed like you saw them mid-last year?

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 1 month ago

  • 1000

Great post Tom. Facts are the enemy of trolls. And you dealt him a whole heaping spoonful of them. Which is probably why you haven't heard back from him/ her.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 1 month ago

I agree with Brianna...great post Tom. To be fair to Rodney, I was definitely one of those who was having severe doubts about this year's incoming class. Self was obviously counting on getting a couple of bigs who waited so late in the recruiting process. I also think Self knew that there would be several students transferring. There might have been some luck as without Diallo, who knows what might have happened.

But as Tom stated "calling the class 'pulling rabbits out of hats'" falls far from the truth. I do wish that Self would use JUCO players as two of this year's top 15 came from Kansas community colleges.

Benz Junque 7 years, 1 month ago

Who cares when we sign them so long as we sign them? I would PREFER if every single guy our staff identifies as the best available choice would sign with Kansas but it is stupid to EXPECT that to happen. I have given up trying to figure out why you are so hung up on the timing of these signings. A bunch of guys we were in on waited until late in the game to decide. It simply shouldn't be this complicated to understand this.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 1 month ago

What class do you think was better? The one with Wiggins, Embiid and Wayne? I guess you could technically say that it was but what did we get out of that class?

I just happen to think that this year's class will contribute far more and that was the criteria I was using. No need for the insults Rodney as they are usually the resort of those unable to make a comprehensive response.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 1 month ago

First of all, it seems to me that we are still thin in the front court, where we got ABUSED by opposing guards driving to the basket.

Second of all, since when was losing the second round (ERRRRRR, third round or whatever the NCAA calls it now) EVER acceptable at Kansas?

Marius Rowlanski 7 years, 1 month ago

Good point Bryce. But it has happened 2 years in a row with much ballyhooed recruiting classes. 3 in a row is getting close to the Rick Barnes season outcomes.

Tom Jones 7 years, 1 month ago

It has happened with the interior portion of each of those much ballyhooed recruiting classes sitting on the bench in the tournament.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 1 month ago

How many true rim protecting 6'11+ guys were in the top 35 of this years class (rankings below that presumably wouldn't make an impact this coming year so I excluded them). The truth is, the tallest guys this year aren't typical centers (Zimmerman, Maker, etc.) so while it's something we could have really used, you can't just pull these guys out of the air. So what we got was the most high energy, athletic, and most impressive big man in the class (Diallo).

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 1 month ago

FYI, what really matters is standing reach, not head height. Diallo's standing reach is 9'1" and Withey's was only 9'2.5" and Diallo has a higher vertical than Withey (26.5" standing, 29" max). Aldrich was actually higher at 9'3.5" but his vertical was lower than Withey's so it offset the reach advantage.

Regarding other bigs in the 2015 class: Zimmerman's, Diamond Stone's, and Henry Ellenson's standing reach is the same as Diallo's. Skal Labissiere's standing reach is shorter than Diallo's (9'0.5"). Chase Jeter is only 6'10" but his is actually higher at 9'2.5" which appears to be the highest in the class along with Maker (who's not a true Center).

In other words, we got the best big for us that was available this year.

Tom Jones 7 years, 1 month ago

Would it really seem that way to you, Bryce?

Because to people who follow college basketball for a living, it would seem KU has one of the best front courts in the country for 2015-16. Interesting.

The second part of your post is just more of your usual whine and cheese and a strawman. No one ever thinks losing in the second game is "acceptable".


Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

Hunter Mickelson IS NOT TRANSFERRING no matter what anybody says. He has not graduated yet, has already used a redshirt when he transferred to KU, therefore he would use up his eligibility should he transfer.

I present exhibit A in support of this statement from the Wichita Eagle 3 months ago.

Specifically this paragraph: "For the moment, Mickelson says he’s still happy with his decision to come to Kansas. A Liberal Arts major, Mickelson said he’s on track to graduate next year, which means he’ll have one more season to earn a larger role." This paragraph implies Hunter will not graduate until 2016.

Exhibit A also explains pretty thoroughly explains why Mickelson didn't play more. Cliffnotes version is Hunter lacked the strength, athleticism, and low post moves to justify a lot of meaningful minutes last year. Same reasons he left Arkansas.

Paschall Chukwu is not coming to Kansas and should not come to KU at this point because nobody in the front court is eligible to transfer and KU doesn't have depth in the backcourt to justify getting rid of perimeter players this season for someone who won't play this year.

Ron Sterling 7 years, 1 month ago

You're neglecting a couple other possibilities, such as a perimeter player transferring (although I hope not), or a player that can afford to pay his own way coming off scholarship. I know Rick Pitino has convinced a couple of kids to do this over the years. I'm pretty sure Perry's folks could afford a year, and I think Landen's parents also have means. Crazier things have happened.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

a transfer is much more likely than a scholarship player walking on. Maybe I underestimate the Lucas family, but unless the kid received a significant (near full-ride) scholarship I wouldn't envision them wanting to pay out-of-state tuition for Landen to play basketball. Ellis' family may have a little lighter load if they were to pay, but I haven't really seen anything to suggest that they have disposable income, and Perry is an All-American candidate. It's very hard to imagine anyone giving up their athletic scholarship unless they get a comparable academic scholarship. I think that Jeff Hawkins was on an academic full-ride early in his KU career.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

I agree Aaron, I do not think Hunter is transferring. I would prefer Chukwu over Dwight, but the difference is slight. We are talking about lower rotation players at this point too, so lets focus on getting ready for the WUG.

Titus Canby 7 years, 1 month ago

Mickelson is a Jayhawk. Let's show him some loyalty, not run him off in favor of the latest shiny object.

Titus Canby 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh yeah, Mr. Vick, welcome to KU. I look forward to seeing you as a big part of some great teams over the next few years.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 1 month ago

Don't you all worry...the next new thing, the next shiny toy, the next potentially great player is just around the corner. The African Pipeline has been established and right now there is some 7'-0' soccer/volleyball player that none of us knows about that will be revealed.

Let's enjoy the team we have and worry about the the future.

Greg Lux 7 years, 1 month ago

I love our team, but hell I bleed crimson and blue.

Glen Miller 7 years, 1 month ago

How quick we are to just disgard players that don't "suit" us.... I do not want to become that school that is transferring out kids year in and year out. Mickelson is in his 3rd year under Self. Typically this is the season that players with less of a ceiling kick in and contribute. Withey wasn't good until his 3rd year and he was a similar type player. I personally would like to see how Mickelson does and don't want to ship a guy out, just to bring in a guy that had statistically a worse freshman season than the guy we're talking about replacing (Mickelson). If we can add him without losing anyone, then great. If not, then let's pass on this one and look to next years class and worry about winning this tournament in China.

Benz Junque 7 years, 1 month ago

The issue is that people don't think anyone is ever OK with not being a starter and they are flat out wrong.

Gee, maybe Hunter is learning a ton from the coaching staff at Kansas, enjoys playing on a team that has a great shot at going deep in the tourney and finds that to be more rewarding than being a starter for some mediocre mid-major that has no shot at anything meaningful in the season.

Maybe Hunter is actually AWARE of his limitations as a basketball player and feels he is better served working hard with our staff and facilities than going somewhere else. Maybe he has a better chance of being ready to be a pro player overseas if he spends as much time as possible working where he is at Kansas.

SO SICK of the constant chatter over possible transfers.

Adam Tyler 7 years, 1 month ago

100% agree

You are on a roll today.

Keep preachin'

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