Monday, March 9, 2015

KU won’t count on Cliff Alexander returning

Kansas players Perry Ellis, left, Cliff Alexander and Wayne Selden celebrate a bucket by Alexander late during the second half on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida.

Kansas players Perry Ellis, left, Cliff Alexander and Wayne Selden celebrate a bucket by Alexander late during the second half on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida.


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self said he’s not counting on freshman big man Cliff Alexander playing the rest of the season.

“It’s not going to happen for Cliff to be eligible to play until the NCAA gets the answers they want (over possible extra benefit situation),” Self said. “The only way that can occur is if all parties get on the same page and meet. That hasn’t happened yet.

“We are basically moving on,” Self continued. “We’re preparing this week to not have Cliff, even though there’s a chance we could if everybody could get on the same page but as of now that has not occurred.”

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Yahoo!Sports said Alexander’s mother made a public filing in August tying her to a financial firm.

“I’ve never heard of a financial advisor. I’ve never heard of an agent. I haven’t heard anything on anything,” Self said. “The thing that’s a little misleading ... there’s not one thing remotely wrong with talking to agents. There’s not one thing remotely wrong with meeting them, or financial advisors, and you’ve got to understand families don’t seek this out, they (agents) seek families out the majority of the time.

”People make a big deal, well, they met with so-and-so. Every good player in the country has had somebody meet with somebody,” the KU coach said. “That’s just the way it goes. There’s not any illegalities at all about meeting or talking or taking a phone call or any of that stuff. Then it would become illegal if there’s things beyond that.”


Michael Lorraine 7 years, 7 months ago

I've already conceded his ever playing for KU again. My only concern is he doesn't harm the program.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

That is my main concern but if Cliff didn't know the source of the loan, then I care about him (even if he did know I care about him) and his future. Mom might have killed his NBA career.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

Cliff is too big and talented for a loan to kill his NBA career. It may have killed his collegiate career, and there is obviously lots more to be developed, but that can happen away from KU as well as at KU. It probably takes a bit more motivation on his part, but it is still possible.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

Dirk..I would love to be proved wrong. Depends where he lands and if the team is willing to be patient. TRob took 3 years to get it all together and even then it hasn't worked out.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

The lawyer Cliff's mom is using is allegedly one familiar with dealing with the NCAA. The NCAA doesn't have the ability to subpoena parties. This lawyer is advising Cliff's mom to never speak to the NCAA because the NCAA will not be able to punish anybody without any evidence on their end and all they have is stories right now. Cliff is done at KU and will enter the NBA draft this year, he's still projected as a late first round pick, and KU will not be punished in any way because Cliff's mom and Cliff will never speak to the NCAA.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

Pure coach speak. Bill Self isn't going to publicly say what I wrote because that would basically be an admission of guilt on KU's end and terrible PR. The transaction may be public knowledge, but if the NCAA never gets to interview Cliff', his mom, the agent, or anyone else in this case, they can never prove if Cliff or KU knew about the loan before KU suspended Cliff and therefore can't punish KU because of that.

Cyndy Moneymaker 7 years, 7 months ago

OK, I'll bite. Exactly what do Coach Self and KU have to be guilty about? They sat Cliff as soon as they found out there was an issue with the NCAA. Do you honestly think Cliff's mom called Coach Self and told him what they'd done with agents/loans when it happened? That is absurd.

Allin Herring 7 years, 6 months ago

If he is drafted late 1st round then some NBA team is really getting screwed. He does not have the talent of a 1st round player. Maybe a player in Europe (and he will need a lot of work for that) at best!

Fred Davis 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm not sure whose one and done tenure was more disastrous - Josh Selby or Alexander... Either way, what a major disappointment. The hype never matched the headache unfortunately, and the sad part is, neither he nor Oubre is ready for the NBA.. yet both will go.

David Kemp 7 years, 7 months ago

He might get drafted in first round but doubt he survives past 2 yrs to option year 3,4. Sure he will get maybe 4 mil which after agent and taxes is about 2 yrs 2 mil. As a 21 yo that won't last long particular divided with his family.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

At this point, I think it's pretty safe to believe Cliff is done at KU. Cliff had pretry much indicated that he was planning on coming back before this investigation started, but it's not happening now.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

Agree w/Adam. I think he was returning and certainly wasn't a disappointment. Look at our other bigs in the past, they usually needed at least two years (some 3-4) to put it all together.

Oubre is a lottery pick. Of course he will go.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

Agree that Cliff wasn't a disappointment. Both he and Oubre had commented they were not planning to be 1-n-done tho plenty of people love to project those decisions on them and other HS players ranked in the top 10 each year.

Kelly may also be projected as a lottery, though that isn't guaranteed, and it shouldn't take much analysis to see that his ceiling is still much, much higher. He could continue to develop on his own, with a trainer, but maybe he stays around for another year in the wonderful situation where he is currently

Allin Herring 7 years, 6 months ago

I totally agree! Neither is ready and Cliff really is not close to NBA talent

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 7 months ago


If your theory is correct, then why wouldn't KU play him? If the only way to avoid punishment is to have Mrs. Alexander not talk to the NCAA, then that can be accomplished and Cliff could still play. He's not been ruled ineligible yet... I think your theory is a little too simplified and there is more to the situation, unfortunately. I, like you, don't care if he plays again. I just don't want KU to get in any trouble.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

NCAA rules have little to do with legality.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

Think of like a cop who's put on paid leave because he shot and killed someone while on duty and his department is investigating to determine if lethal force was justified. This is standard practice everywhere and after investigating, the officer's status is determined. Cliff is still allowed to practice with the team because he's not ineligible, but he's being held out of games because Self and KU don't want to give the NCAA anymore reasons to potentially punish KU.

Cyndy Moneymaker 7 years, 7 months ago

It sounds like are just dying for KU to be punished over something they knew nothing about. The NCAA will punish when a program breaks the rules and/or knows about infractions (in this case his family) and ignore them. That is not the case here. As I said in my other comment, it's absurd to think the coaches knew that Cliff's family had broken the rules and ignored it. Cliff is the one who will be punished by sitting out all these games and his lowered draft position. Sadly, his parents and the agents/loan agency walk away free.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

Where did I say Cliff or KU was guilty of anything? If you read what I posted yesterday, the lawyer is advising Cliff's mom to not speak because the timing of loan means Cliff would be retroactively ruled ineligible for the entire season which means KU would vacate all but the last few games since the suspension. Those vacated games would cost KU the Big 12 title this year and end the streak. This lawyer is advising everyone to not cooperate with the NCAA because the NCAA will never be able to determine when KU and Cliff had knowledge of the loan and therefore, never be able to punish KU.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 7 months ago

I think Cliff's absence has been a blessing in disguise for KU. This team has shown more grit and toughness in the past three games without him than they did all season with him (the OU loss notwithstanding).

Tom Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

They showed plenty of grit and toughness at OU.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 7 months ago

I thought they showed toughness at OU too, even though they lost. That's what I tried to say.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

I'd say KU has made lemonade out of lemons, but not really a blessing in disguise.

Robert Robinson 7 years, 7 months ago

Aaron Paisley, I understand what you're trying to say, and I'm glad they sat him to an extent, but you're theory is a little off. Yes, when a cop shoots someone, he's put on paid leave. In this situation, cliff(the cop) didn't shot, his partner(cliffs mom) did. If a cop shoots and kills someone, is his partner who wasn't even there get put on paid leave? Again, I'm actually glad they sat him. It just sucks they had to sit him because of the actions of others

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

With the NCAA, it is guilt by association. Family is an extension of the player, and I believe they even have that written into the codes.

Larry Jackson 7 years, 7 months ago

You must not remember Cam Newton's family situation.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

We need more Mickelsons and Landon Lucas's instead of these perceived one and dones.

  1. Xavier Henry
  2. Josh Selby
  3. Wiggins
  4. Embeed

These type of players don't stay long enough to build the program. As a matter of fact, I'd say they hurt the program more because we have to bring someone new in to get caught up to NCAA basketball the following year.

We need guys like Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson, Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Russell Robinson, Tyrel Reed, Sheron Collins, and Cole Aldridge.

These guys stuck around long enough to help the program. The other 4 just hurt the program.

Russ McCaig 7 years, 7 months ago

The reality is that the "1&Dones" are here to stay. When asked point blank about what he thought about them, HCBS said "I'd take 2 every year". They are part of the system; some more than others.
I don't think that I can look at the list you have generated and say that they hurt our program. Players like Connor and Cliff do because they took scholarships from others that could have (Forte) contributed to our program success.
The year that each of the above listed had at our program were contributory to that years success. Save Selby, I think they will all have reasonalble NBA careers. Personally, I like the excitement of having someone like Wiggs and Joel here.... To me, it is the unseen forces (parents) that we should be worried about, as in Cliffs case (the alleged loan) and Connor (his dads alleged distaste for his sons lack of playing time here).

Omari Miller 7 years, 7 months ago

Doug, I understand your point, but I disagree that we should forgo recruiting players like Wiggins and Embiid for players like Mickelson and Lucas.

First, I'm not sure that I would categorize Wiggins and Embiid them like Henry and Selby. Both Andrew and Joel really wanted to be at KU and enjoy the experience. And from all indications, they really worked well within the program and on the team. I'm not sure that we ever saw as much from Xavier and Josh.

I don't think either Embiid or Wiggins hurt the program. In fact, despite their departure after one season, I really do think they helped in some regards. KU is an elite program. Like it or not, to remain an elite program in this day and age (at least until the one-and-done rule is changed) we'll need elite players. And elite players don't typically dream of getting to the NBA as soon as they're able or ready (that distinction is a whole different topic). As much as I love college basketball in general and KU basketball in particular, I can't say that I blame them one iota.

This isn't to say that we always need a recruiting class full of soon-to-be lottery picks, but I think there's two ways to go about assembling teams now: 1) Have a team full of future NBA players (and the 2008 team was truly rare in that regard); or 2) have some truly exceptional play makers (high first-rounders) and surround them with really solid players.

Last year, we had terribly inconsistent play at PG and Joel got hurt. I'm not sure we can blame Andrew and Joel for either.

I love the apparent heart and dedication of Lucas and Mickelson, but we get beat by the likes OU, Baylor, ISU and others in the conference with them in lieu of blue chippers.

Tom Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

Henry was a productive player who made no bones about hoping to only play one year of college. He was by all accounts a great teammate and very coachable. He was a "legacy" and he made that team better, period.

How exactly did he "hurt the program"?

Tom Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

I was going to ask how exactly did Henry, Embiid or Wiggins hurt the program, but after reading your butchering of the names of three of KU's players, it looks like you're just a casual fan (a very whine and cheese post you made, there) and I'm really not interested in what your answer to that would be.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

Tom thats B.S. If you can't see how guys like Jackson, Kaun, Chalmers, Colins, and Aldridge didn't play with grit, wanted to be here, and committed to the program over guys like Henry, Selby, Beed, or Wigs, then I can't help you.

Recruiting guys like Beed and Wigs hurts the program because the program doesn't receive the fruits of their development.

I'll take the perceived under-talented guys any day. Because those are the guys that work for their playing time and have no ego coming into the program.

We had a group of guys like that in 2007 and 2008.

Tom Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

I didn't bring up Selby because he's the only one of the guys you mentioned that ended up being a net "loss" (although it was more of a wash than a loss, really...he just didn't help).

The truth is that Henry, Wiggins and Embiid dramatically improved the teams they played for. What evidence do you have to support that any of them "didn't play with grit", "didn't want to be here" or didn't "commit to the program" (whatever that means). They were just good enough that they only had to play one year in college before getting drafted as lottery picks.

Oh, and by the way...Brandon Rush would have been gone after his sophomore season (just like Darrell Arthur was) if he hadn't hurt his knee...and KU likely doesn't win the title if that happens, as he was the title team's best player. Kaun, Robinson and Jackson didn't stay four years because they were "committed to the program". They stayed because they weren't likely to play in the NBA anyway, so why NOT stay four years? Why miss out on the college experience, which is fantastic for regular joes like us and a dream world for elite athletes? If any of these guys had been good enough to get drafted, much less go in the lottery, they would have been gone, and it would have had nothing to do with their "commitment" level. Rush left early. Chalmers left early. Aldrich left early. Robinson left early. In retrospect, Collins SHOULD have left early, because he came back and got fat and ruined his chances to play in the NBA. If you don't recruit players that are likely to be gone after one or two years in this day and age, you're hurting your chances to win national championships, period.

If you want to talk about how this changes our commitment level fan, then finally I agree with you. It's harder to feel the connection with a one year player. But that's a different subject. If you want KU to not recruit the best talent because of this, though...that's just not a sound position to take in the current college basketball climate.

Look at the roster,'ve got Oubre, who's likely going to be gone after one year, and Cliff, who (if his mom hadn't effed up) would likely be back next year and still may be. And then you've got a roster full of 3 and mostly 4 year guys. Self is doing this the right way. He had a couple down recruiting classes in 2010 and 2011 (and Ellis was the only part of the 2012 class that has turned into a starter), and still has managed to keep winning the league, year after year. How? Guys like Henry, McLemore, Wiggins and Embiid. That's how.

If KU doens't have Wiggins or Embiid last year, The Streak is over and KU's Rodney Crain's 8 seed. Guys like you would have lost your mind. Bottom line, if Embiid hadn't gotten hurt and KU had gone on a run last year (which was very likely), this post would not exist.

By the way, it's AdriCH, EmbIId, and SherRon ColLins, superfan. ;)

Courtney McCabe 7 years, 6 months ago

Hi Doug - FYI it's Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins. Common nicknames used by KU Fans & writers - JoJo, Wiggins, and Maple Jordan. Please stop typing Embeed, beed, Wigs. No one, except you, calls them that.

I will partly agree with you, that I wish we'd have more 3-4 year guys like Sasha Kaun, Darnell, Mario (Rio), and Sherron.

PS it's Collins, not Colins. Just helping you out with how our guys actually spell their names. Rock Chalk!

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

I would beg to differ Doug, despite myself not being a fan of the OAD rule. We can expect Oubre to be gone this year, and who knows who we recruit next year that could do the same. The rule itself needs to change because that is how both college and pro basketball will improve because guys are developing. I would be happy with making it a 2 year rule before going pro, and Adam Silver has hinted he wants that rule too. We shall see.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

Only Selby was a problem child. Xavier was a team player, and I can tell you from personal knowledge that CJ and Carl were the issues with that team, not Xavier. Wiggins was not the problem with last year's team and Embiid can only be considered a problem because of him getting injured and missing the tournament. Naadir Tharpe was the biggest problem with last year's team because he was deemed the leader despite having no leadership capabilities.

You also apparently forget that Brandon Rush was only around for 3 years because he tore his ACL at an illegal workout after his freshman season when he had already initially declared for that draft.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 7 months ago

Rush hurt knee after soph season, thus came back for his jr. season.

Joe Ross 7 years, 7 months ago

Foregoing the OADs in favor of also-rans consigns Kansas to a second-tier program and forfeits any chance for national championships.

Harlan Hobbs 7 years, 7 months ago

Appreciate your touching on the positive, Bryce and Tom. While it may not be a blessing, the fact is that circumstances have forced Landon Lucas and Hunter Mickelson to get more minutes, and they clearly have produced. Their contributions have been, and can continue to be, a difference maker. Assuming that Perry Ellis can return full strength and Wayne Selden can heal his ankle problem, KU still will have a chance to make a strong statement in the tournaments.

Brian Skelly 7 years, 7 months ago

In my eyes, is Alexander any or much better than a guy like Darnell Jackson was/is? I dont see it. Similar size and styles. Both have/had good motors. The concept that Alexander is going to be some superstar strikes me as naive. He'll go to the D-League or abroad to cash in. Bully for him too. But I wouldnt be surprised if his NBA time is limited. Undersized for a 4 or 5 in the NBA will make it difficult to do much there.

Kit Duncan 7 years, 7 months ago

You would be better served comparing. Cliff to Thomas Robinson. Both had difficulty adjusting to D-1 basketball as freshmen. Darnell didn't really have the raw talent that T-Rob or Cliff began with. D-Block worked as hard as anyone developing into the outstanding sixth-man he became, but that was as a senior. If Cliff returns we should see marked improvement in his physical strength/build and improved ability and skill to both defend "and" score. Part of any highly recruited player's first year in college is finding that they're often not the best player on the court anymore, and maybe not the most talented on their own team!

Wiggins was special. Embiid was a surprise. Alexander is talented and, if he returns, should be quite a complement to Perry next year.

Mike Riches 7 years, 7 months ago

Obviously I hope that what happened with Cliff doesn't hurt Kansas in any way, and I think all indications are that it won't. But unlike some, I definitely care if Cliff never plays for KU again! I don't know that he would have been a big impact player this year (certainly this is not as major as losing Joel last year...) but I was hoping for a huge season from Cliff next year! Make no mistake, if he leaves, that is a big loss for 2015-16! Jamari as a senior and Landen as a junior can be impact players, no doubt, but they don't have the athleticism and power that Cliff would potentially have next year.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 7 months ago

It would be best IMO for Cliff if he had another year to develop at KU, but the majority of the most elite players this year are still waiting to commit. I would presume most are waiting to see whether the Cliff's and Kelly's (and even coaches) of CBB will leave and create voids to be filled.

We will be fine. Coach is also good at finding some gem late in the game.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

We are bringing in Bragg so we have another PF coming in. I am confident we will bring in a top C and another wing next season, which will be more than enough for our depth purposes. There's a bunch of top guys waiting until April to commit, and I am hoping I hear Zimmerman and Newman are coming to KU. You are right though, we will be good to go.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 7 months ago

Before this incident, Cliff had been hinting pretty strongly that he was going to come back, but it's not happening now. Cliff being gone will help KU because they can now offer Zimmerman or Diallo more playing time than likely coming off the bench time that would've been available.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

I would like to see Cliff come back if that is still a possibility. I think he realizes a 2nd year could be both physically and monetarily beneficial and he seems to a pretty good kid. I also think KU would benefit having a talented player who already knows the system.

They used to say that the best thing about freshman is that next year they're sophomores...

Armen Kurdian 7 years, 7 months ago

It is utterly ridiculous for this kid to sit out like this. So someone gave him a loan for something. Big deal! He's got to miss part or maybe the rest of his college career because their MIGHT be an issue. It's going to hurt us in the tourney, and if he's done as a college player, he's most definitely not ready for the NBA, he'll go in sooner than he should, won't be up to snuff and get cut, and get screwed.

Jerry Walker 7 years, 7 months ago

Cliff is an over-hyped, undersized big man with a low basketball IQ and a skill set designed to overwhelm high school players. His "high motor" was pretty much AWOL evidenced by Self giving him bench time for a lack of effort. Having said all that...Cliff was a very nice freshman recruit, but nowhere near a OAD.

I don't care if he ever steps on the court for KU again. I resent the stink attached to our program by players and their families like in this example. Cliff doesn't deserve the moniker of "once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk"...goodbye and good riddance.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 7 months ago

Classy remarks Jerry. You resent :"the stink attached to our program by players and their families like in this example"?

Exactly what type of player and family are you referring to? If anything, you should resent the those that prey upon families such as Cliff's

Fortunately, last I looked, you don't get to decide who is or isn't a Jayhawk.

Jerry Walker 7 years, 7 months ago

What type of player and family? I was clear enough...Cliff Alexander and his family.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 7 months ago

Jerry, consider the time Alexander started to fade away was in February, and I am certain he knew his time at Kansas was in jeopardy during this time. If you knew that your college time was in doubt I am certain that you might lose your focus, and positivity that you once had. It is an unfortunate situation, and I am aware he is not ready for the pros, but he probably will be forced to go pro because of an err in judgment by a family member. I say good luck to him, and hope he learns from this and incoming recruits learn what can happen to them if they are not careful.

Freedman Moor 7 years, 7 months ago

I may be the minority here, but my concern is Cliff. KU will be alright. This sounds like something that his mom did that's taking him down. I remember guys like Corleone Young, Chi Chi White, Derek Hood, and the Rush Brothers. There were always snakes slithering around those guys. Now where are they? I feel really bad for Cliff

Jack Joiner 7 years, 7 months ago

Regardless of what the NCAA does on Alexander, BS will advise him to declare for the draft. KU does not need anymore surprises from his family. Time to cut the cord.

Matt Peltier 7 years, 7 months ago

His mom took out a loan against his future earnings. Their family is going to have to pay the money back at some point. It isnt like some booster is just giving his family money with no expectation of getting it back. I realize it is currently against the rules but why should it be. If the families are willing to take the risk in getting these loans against future earnings, why does the NCAA not allow it. I dont care if the player drives a brand new BMW during college due to the loan. It is a loan that he is going to have to pay back. Kind of like the loans i took out for my education. I got them based on my potential future earnings.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't care what Cliff did as long as it has nothing to do with KU. The other players shouldn't be punished for stupidity from him nor his family. And I like that Self is moving on without Alexander and had mentioned Lucas is a part of the future for us. I think we see Lucas and Mikelson grow big time these next few weeks and it will only prepare us for a prosperous year next year. We may not make it far this year, but mark my words, with all the players we have coming back next year, we will win the Championship in 2015-16.

Jerry Walker 7 years, 7 months ago

"Their family is going to have to pay the money back at some point."-Matt Peltier

In the real world of corrupt AAU basketball and sleazy agents that may be a bit naive. The family is presented with the loan and the repayment (wink-wink) schedule...with the tacit or even explicit understanding that the loan repayment will be forgiven when structuring the player's official agent deal...making it a gift, not a real loan.

I get your drift but you may be too honest for your own good.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 6 months ago

This is probably too late to the post for anyone to see, but just in case. Remember, some of these kids come from families that can easily be taken advantage of. Often the families are already in difficult financial circumstances. Who do you think pays for all the AAU travel teams? Some schools probably have the staff to "chaperone" players' families to prevent this. The NBA and NCAA might be able to regulate this if they made agents register and imposed penalties on the agents for any infractions. Not sure how you control the loans except again to ban their "inclusion" in any future NBA contract. As to Cliff's abilities, I didn't see him in HS, but my source who is an Illinois HS referee supervisor and refs many of the games, assured me that Cliff can shoot, better than Okafor. Okafor just had the moves under the basket. I think Cliff hasn't yet adjusted to shooting against players his height or taller - that he needs to create some space. And he needs to learn to move his feet and leap. Not unusual for a kid who probably didn't have to do that that much in HS. Seriously, how many big men have been successful going to the NBA early? Even the ones that stayed? What's the difference as to why Big Country flopped, Aldridge hasn't made it yet, and Withey is on a roster?

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