Thursday, March 26, 2015

KU’s Self talks with Charlotte center Thorne

Charlotte's Mike Thorne Jr. (12) dunks over Miami's Omar Sherman (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Miami won 77-74. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Charlotte's Mike Thorne Jr. (12) dunks over Miami's Omar Sherman (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Miami won 77-74. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self on Thursday traveled to North Carolina to visit with Charlotte junior center Mike Thorne Jr., who plans to graduate in May and play his final season at a different school.

KU is one of a whopping 41 schools that have expressed interest in the 6-foot-11, 270-pounder since March 13 when Thorne’s high school coach, Heath Vandevender of Fayetteville Trinity Christian, announced the transfer plans.

Graduate students are allowed to transfer and not sit out a season.

“I think so,” Vandevender said, asked by the Journal-World if Thorne had a good visit with Self. “Coach Self is a great coach. Kansas is a top program. Anytime you get a call or visit from somebody like coach Self it’s a big deal. A good system like that, of course Mike would be interested.”

Thorne averaged 10.1 points a game off 53.4 percent shooting while logging 26.1 minutes a game in 32 games last season. He was 54 of 101 from the free-throw line for 53.5 percent. He grabbed a team-leading 7.3 rebounds a game and had 29 blocked shots.

“He’s gotten better every year in college. He’s gotten used to his body,” Vandevender said. “He’s sneaky athletic, has good hands and feet. He needs to improve from the free-throw line and interior defense. He definitely has a skill set in which he can play at the next level. He needs to be with somebody who will continue to develop that.”

Vandevender said Pitt coach Jamie Dixon will visit Vandevender today with upcoming visits from coaches from Marquette, Illinois, Minnesota and Virginia Tech. Tech coach Buzz Williams has a prior relationship with Thorne, having recruited him when he was at Marquette.

In all, seven schools from the ACC have inquired about Thorne, as well as West Virginia, Arizona and Xavier. He graduates with a degree in sociology on May 9. He may not make any visits until after graduation.

“I would give it a couple weeks (for Thorne to have it all sink in), wait until the tournament is over, see what everybody has to say and eliminate those who don’t meet his criteria,” Vandevender said. “It’s a very big decision with only one year left. He has aspirations of playing professionally whether NBA or somewhere else (after final collegiate season).”

KU, by the way, is recruiting one of Vandevender’s current Trinity Christian players. Dennis Smith Jr., a 6-2 junior point guard, is ranked No. 4 in the Class of 2016.

Jackson update: Josh Jackson, a 6-7 junior shooting guard from Prolific Prep in Napa, California, has narrowed his list of schools to KU, Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, UCLA and North Carolina State, reports. The Southfield, Michigan, native is Rivals’ No. 1 player in the Class of 2016.

Howland meeting: New Mississippi State coach Ben Howland was to meet Thursday with prize recruit Malik Newman, 6-3 senior from Callaway High in Jackson, Mississippi, who is the No. 3-rated player in the Class of 2015. Newman’s dad, Horatio Webster, is a former Mississippi State hoops standout. Newman is considering KU, Kentucky, LSU, North Carolina State, Mississippi State, Mississippi and others.

Brown update: Jaylen Brown, a 6-7 senior forward from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia, was arrested and charged Wednesday with two misdemeanor traffic violations, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Brown, who averaged 28 points and 12 rebounds a game this past season, was charged with driving on a suspended license and also received a stop-sign violation.

“All he did was get a ticket for a stop-sign violation,” Wheeler coach Doug Lipscomb told USA Today. “He didn’t know he was driving on a suspended license. He was in an accident, they mailed the citation to his house, but his family had moved and didn’t receive the notice, so his license was suspended. It wasn’t that big a deal.”

Brown, who is ranked No. 2 by, is considering KU, Kentucky, UCLA, Michigan, North Carolina, California, Georgia and Georgia Tech. He recently visited both Michigan and Cal.


Mike Riches 7 years, 6 months ago

Thorne would bring some much-needed size to our middle. Obviously he's got some skills if 41 schools are interested in him. A chance to play for one of the most storied programs in history, and for one of the best coaches in the country, not to mention a free trip to Korea where you can gel with your new team before the season starts...sounds pretty good to me!

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, not buying this. Self is too invested in Landen and needs to showcase his development next year. This guy would take too many of Landen's minutes, especially if Cliff is able to come back or we land a five star center.

I hope Self is just sending a message to the current guys that they need to have a productive offseason. Starting now. To the potential recruits, KU will not wait around forever. Make a decision already.

Credit to coach Self for taking advantage of Duke, Kentucky and Arizona being tied up with the tourney.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

So it's not Bill Self's job to explore all options to put the best possible team on the floor next season including looking at graduate transfers?

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

Yes, that's his job. I'm just skeptical about how interested Self is at this point. It would be much more convincing to me if Self offered him a scholarship.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years, 6 months ago

Self signed a high rated Center (Embiid) and brought in a big body transfer (Tarik Black) 2 years ago. No reason he couldn't do the same thing again, especially if he suspects Hunter will transfer. Adding some senior leadership to the squad can't be a bad thing, especially if he happens to be 6'11 and 270 lbs...

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

That's an easier decision to make two years ago. Embiid was more of a project and we didn't have anyone else to provide minutes at center. With the current roster, we have Hunter and Landen. No, they're not going to score a ton, but they don't have to score to fill a role.

If Self gets a guy like Thorne this year, it'll be hard not to do it next year, too. After that, it's three graduate transfers in four years. Why would guys like Landen, Hunter and Traylor continue to come to KU?

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Shane I am not sure I am as ready to stand pat with last seasons team as you are. To me the message he is sending is we need height, experience and scoring still.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

I think that's true. I'm pretty optimistic about Landen. I'm also assuming Cliff may be able to come back until we hear otherwise. Without Cliff next year, I'm much less optimistic about the group. Cliff would be more of a scorer next year, and he's an underrated rim protector. He actually has a longer wingspan than Zimmerman by 2-3 inches.

I think our scoring will be fine if Perry, Wayne and Cliff carry the load and there's better ball movement. I'd like to see Perry be aggressive like he was before the injury; Wayne like was in the Big 12 tournament; and Cliff like he was early in our home game against Baylor (Texas?). Convincing those guys to regularly look for their shot should be a minor fix. The ball movement would also be better if Svi got more minutes.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I am with Rodney on this. Landen needs to be an offensive threat because he hasn't shown me much, and so far Svi hasn't shown me much yet. I really hope he spends a lot of time with the team this offseason because he looked lost when he was out there. If this is virtually the same team from last year then I expect pretty much the same result as this year. I want another big man and guard because Greene can't dribble or create his own shot and Selden is too streaky of a shooter to rely on at the moment. At this point I am not holding my breath on Cliff either way because his game fell off, which I am hoping it is because he knew his eligibility was in trouble, but if he comes back the same then I don't see much improvement as a whole.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Still not with you. On Cliff coming back, nor Perry handling our scoring. We need help, preferably a miniumum of 3 if not 4 new players. Ones who can score, defend, and protect the paint. A SG would not be a bad thing either. Cliff has less than a 1% chance of returning. The NCAA is not going to let this issue go, and his mom is not going to clear it since she probably can't.

Allin Herring 7 years, 6 months ago

Or is he already figures he is not going to get recruit Zimmerman so he trying to get some big guy.

Benz Junque 7 years, 6 months ago

KU will have probably three scholarships to fill next year. He isn't going to eat them. A move like this is the best way to get older, quicker and being too young is the key problem KU has. Another experienced big man off the bench would be a nice thing. KU will still be pursuing a frosh big as well as another wing/shooter.

Glad to see Self is looking into all his options.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

I've asked this before with not much attention.

Should we have gone after Semi Ojeleye when he left Duke? He would have been eligible in Dec 15

Michael Bennett 7 years, 6 months ago

It's a bold strategy Cotton, let's see if it pays off for them.

John Boyle 7 years, 6 months ago

We cannot go forward sucessfully with Landen Lucas playing lots of minutes. He is fine for a guy to give your starter a rest but if he plays the kind of minutes that he did down the stretch this year, KU will struggle again next year. I like Lucas but he is too slow and doesn't possess very good offensive skills.

Jerry Walker 7 years, 6 months ago

Lucas is our best post defender, rebounder and is the only big that knows how to properly hedge the high ball screen. We're immensely better on defense when he's in the game. Some hard work in the off season and we'll see his offensive skills improve drastically. Yep, you guessed it...I'm expecting a breakout junior season for Big Luc.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Your point Jerry is exactly why we need to improve by adding one or two more big men. Landen is not "the guy" for next year to me.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately he may need to be that guy.. Him or Hunter. Options are getting limited. Hope Cliff can come back. Both for him and KU but not betting the house on it.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

Landen, Jamari, and Hunter should not be starter quality players at a place like KU. They're not bad players to have coming off the bench and to make a spot start here and there. Landen has solid fundamentals, but lacks the strength to hold position on both ends of the floor and lacks touch around the rim. Jamari has made huge strides, but he's a 6th man, not a go to guy that he's had to be in the post at times this year. Hunter can block shots and make free throws and not much else. His hands are made of stone and he has almost no athleticism.

Jeremy Willard 7 years, 6 months ago

I wish we were "tied up with the tourney."

Brian Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

Well actually this may be in prep for losing Hunter Mickelson. Hunter is a very smart guy and rumor has it he graduates this year. So Hunter can either sit a year at KU and then play another year, or like Thorn, he can transfer and play immediately. OR, MAYBE, ......KU AND UNC TRADE PLAYERS....MICKELSON FOR THORN. LOL, AN NCAA FIRST!

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Wrong..if he graduates he can transfer and play immediately. He has already used a year sitting when he transferred here. NCAA gives max of 5 years to use your four years of eligibility.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self is on the verge of experiencing a crisis of turnover in the low post. Kansas could potentially be left with just one returning post player after the conclusion of next season -- Landon Lucas.

This is worst case scenario, of course, as Bragg is most likely not OAD. Even then, KU is looking at the potential of being even thinner in the post than it was this past season, when Self at least had bodies to put on the floor at the position.

I don't follow recruiting as closely as some, so I don't know how things look with the class of 2016. That poses to be an incredibly important class, as rounding out this class will be as well. Personally, I think Self's best move is to find a big from deeper in the class. Someone who will be willing to ride some pine for a year. However, I'm not familiar enough with his targets to even know if this player exists or is possible get at this time. Zimmerman and Maker would be great, and exciting gets for next season, but also are likely OAD. Same thing with this Charlotte kid. It's almost like Bill is putting all of his eggs in next year's basket.

Maybe he is.

Benz Junque 7 years, 6 months ago

Pretty sure that Self will still be allowed to recruit the next two years. And the transfer market is recruiting for experienced players. I like it.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

...experienced players who have to learn Self's system from scratch.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 6 months ago

The problem is that Self is dangerously close to embarking on a path of needing to exclusively recruit OAD or graduate-transfer big men to remain competitive, or suffer one or two seasons of relative mediocrity. Or perhaps both.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

I'd take another Tarik Black like player on next years team Shane.

Joe it would be hard to fault Self's cat like ability to land on his feet the last two seasons. Joel, Andrew, Svi, Graham. Thorne would be a needed and instant help to a area of need for us. I will take my chances that Coach will figure it out. Dangerous, maybe just risky. I would love to have a full class already too, but at this point we are going to need to hit the inside straight on the draw.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

I'd take another Tarik, too. But if he's the bar we measure graduate transfers against, I think we'll be disappointed. It's very rare for a graduate transfer to have his athleticsm and attitude while improving team chemistry.

If we get another ballhandler, a graduate transfer big man and one of the other available OADs, then we're right back in the transfer market for more big men next year. That's not a sustainable way to build at a blue blood program.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Be honest Shane, you have not watched any video of this kid play have you? I will take a player like Thorne on the rise, than a player like Black who was slipping. He is not my first choice, even my 5th but he would be a one year band aid if we miss out on the remaining bigs which is possible.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

No, I haven't watched any video. I disagree with your "Thorne on the rise"/ Black slipping premise. All that matters is how they fit in at KU. Tarik fit in better than most of our multi-year guys and we had a more well defined need for him than we would for Thorne, mainly because we already have Landen and Hunter. Tough to know how Thorne will fit in until he's here.

Say we lose Cliff and Kelly. We get Bragg, and one other five star guy decides to come to Kansas. If the production of those freshmen classes are a wash, then we're stronger as a group next year because everyone else has one more year in the system. We started last year preseason number 5, and it's hard to imagine a clearcut favorite like Kentucky next year. That hypothetical KU roster may not excite you, but it's better than you and Mark would have me believe.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Think about your first sentence. It basically frames all your comments on this thread. You are not commenting from fact but fiction. You are again incorrect, Tarik was a top 5 star recruit before he played for Memphis, he came to us looking for some kind of redemption, which he got after under performing for 3 years there. Throne has steadily improved, but how would you know you dismiss him without ever seeing him. This is not just my 2 cents, it is statics but since you do not consider facts this might be beyond you.

In truth it is hard to take you seriously since you are just shooting from the hip.

This years team hit all time lows on many statistical and subjective levels. Inconsistent play, blown leads, 25 point losses. Status quo is a terrible approach, how can anyone think we do not need an infusion of talent? Someone who is not paying attention and is just making comments to hear themselves talk is how. This roster needs a lot of help. Mercy you are off base here.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

C’mon Rodney. I’m not shooting from the hip any more than you are. I don’t need to watch a ton of film on this guy to comment about how he might fit with out current players. I’m citing a former coach who says he needs to improve his interior defense, and I’m looking at the same numbers you are- 10 and 7 in 26 minutes at Charlotte. I’m being honest about that. If you don’t like my comments, then feel free to skip them. I don’t need to watch film to put those numbers in context with Tarik, who played fewer minutes at Memphis against a tougher schedule and with more talent on his roster. Let’s not pretend you have to watch film to make informed comments about Kansas basketball on a public message board. Our opinions could easily be more misleading given a limited amount of poor film and an untrained eye. That probably describes the situation of most people here. Otherwise you’d be somewhere else getting paid for your analysis.

We clearly differ in terms of how we view the risks of adding Thorne and how we view the potential of the current roster. I have never said we don’t need new players. We always lose people at Kansas, so there’s a need for new talent every year. We know we get Bragg and I’m assuming we’ll land one of the other available five star guys. In my opinion, that would be enough even if we lose Cliff and Kelly. I don’t understand how you can give Self so much credit to “land on his feet” / “figure it out” with recruiting but give him so little credit to develop his players.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Shane you are just blowing hot air. Its ok venting is good, but do not think you are coming off with an informed comment. You might as well just type, that guys sucks.

I completely disagree with your post on every single point.

How could I skip informing someone like you how wrong you are? Never going to happen.

We are on the short of end of the stick right now. There are very few players left. Our current team lacks the skill, height and experience, even if they were here 8 years, to develop into players that we need to compete with. I don't care who the coach is our current players are never going to get there, they do not possess the raw talent to develop. They can become decent role players but that is all. (by the way when you put something in quotes in a reply and say "how you...", I have to assume you think I said those things. I did not say them so not sure who you are talking to or about?). Adding two players to this mess we have is not going to cut it. We need 3-4 players, 1-2 with height, that can play now. Thorne can help next year, has height, and has experience. If that was not enough to consider him, Fred at ISU is pressing to get him. The king of transfers recognizes Thorne has good value and can help their team. To think he can't, well that just seems uninformed. Almost like you have never watched him play. Wait, we covered this already did't we? Sorry.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

This is Kansas, Rodney. Whether or not ISU does something means very little to me in terms of determining what we should do. Iowa State doesn’t have Hunter and Landen. A big part of my reluctance to Thorne is that we only get him for one year. The difference between 1 year and the possibility of 2+ is a big deal to me. Saying he’s not a good fit with KU's roster over multiple years is not the same thing as saying “this guy sucks.”

“it would be hard to fault Self's cat like ability to land on his feet the last two seasons. Joel, Andrew, Svi, Graham. Thorne would be a needed and instant help to a area of need for us. I will take my chances that Coach will figure it out.” You didn’t say that?

“Our current team lacks the skill, height and experience, even if they were here 8 years, to develop into players that we need to compete with.” Who is venting?

“I completely disagree with your post on every single point. How could I skip informing someone like you how wrong you are? Never going to happen.” Classic. Sometimes the feeling is mutual. That's fine. Feel free to criticize. I won’t lash out as long as you are respectful or make a good faith effort not to misconstrue/ mis-frame what I say. Is that the type of status quo/ modified status quo you can support?

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I understand your point, but consider we lose Perry, Hunter and Jamari next year, and if we got a OAD center he is gone anyway. Whether we get this guy or a OAD Center we are in the same boat. We may only have Bragg and Lucas back either way as far as our front line. The 2016 recruiting class pitch will be come to Kansas to play center, we don't have anyone else lol.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

To some extent, I suppose that's true. Even with the remaining recruits considering us, though, some are more likely to be here multiple years. E.g. Diallo vs. Maker/Brown. We'd be in a pretty good spot if, two years out, we could work with Frank, Devonte, Landen, Brannen/Svi, Bragg and Diallo. At this point, we need to hear from Cliff so the pieces can start falling.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Tarik played well in his one year here. He and Traylor developed a nice rhythm together..good enough to earn $850000.00 in the NBA. I don't agree he was slipping in any way. It's difficult to be a one year hitman.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

We have only one less commitment in 2016 than we have in 2015.

Justin Kruse 7 years, 6 months ago

If not KU, go play for D. Manning at Wake. Can't imagine many others being able to help this kid more in one year than Danny. We miss you Danny!

Liz Dothage Martin 7 years, 6 months ago

Definitely. I always entertain thoughts of what our current bigs would be under Danny's watch. Happy for him, but sad for us. Random question - did you play ball at Baker?

Robert Brock 7 years, 6 months ago

No way does Bill Self stand pat with a lineup of bigs that lack size, strength, and skills. Self likes his guards to feed the post; as it stands, the question would be, "why?"

Look for HCBS to work hard to land one or two physical bigs who are ready to step in and contribute from Day One.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 6 months ago

"Sneaky athletic" and a FT% in the 50's, coupled with his stat line, which is weak --> leaves an unimpressive impression. Hack-a-shaq, anyone? With his size & height alone, he should be a walking double-double.

Tarik Black was one of the brightest, eager, motivated "graduate transfer" (category) players we got, and it took him fully half of his LONE season to become a reliable contributor. This kid doesnt even have the athleticism of big Tarik, either.

Our problems in the post require seeing the harsh reality.

And, no, the answer is not thru OAD's. Bragg, at 6'8-9ish, 220lbs, obviously isnt Jabari Parker dominant, or else he'd be a top5 guy. Dont count on him being a OAD. That's good for KU in the long run, as we get to keep a top20 guy for 2 or 3 years. Watch Selden next season. Oubre should return, but likely is gone if lotto. But look at past McD top20 guys like Sherron, Chalmers, Rush, Shady --> they all blossomed IF they returned for another year or two. What happened is college exposed them as simply not-lotto-yet, which is great for KU, as we get a skills guy who comes back hungrier...

Finally, I hope the NCAA allows Cliff to come back (if he chooses), as he could develop into a beast next season. Another perfect example of a McD who could blossom...

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Beggars > Choosers. Is Thorne choice 1-5? Not really. Is he better than nothing, yes. If we end up with no other options and a open scholarship, why not? It is low risk, one year shot if it plays out that way.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 6 months ago

Erich, I trust the 41 schools (including a whole bunch of big names) that are looking at him more than I trust you.

I can understand your points, and that was my reaction at first too. But if that many top programs are looking at him, he must have more than we can see from just looking at the numbers.

(BTW, is anyone else wondering why the caption on the picture refers to him dunking "over" someone when there's no one else in the picture?)

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 6 months ago

Len, I wouldnt trust me either, as Im no advisor to Bill Self, or even the local juco...but it's purely my opinion of what is a pretty anemic statline for a Josh Smith sized guy playing at a small no-name school, wouldnt it be fair to say? Also fair to ask: what's this guy's issue?

I'd like to see that 41-suitor list...tsk, tsk...

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 6 months ago

"The Day After: Wheat-Shocks get turned into Irish Ale..." Must have been something special brewing in the hops...

Well, it might actually be a decent ale, especially if it has 2 different Ks 'wheats' in it...(lol)

Brian Skelly 7 years, 6 months ago

We're in for a similar roller coaster season if Landen Lucas is our best post player. Maybe worse. Anyone who thinks looking for others to pick up minutes in the post is a problem must have ignored this season entirely.

Lucas isnt gawdawful, but on most of Self's past teams hed be buried on the bench. His instincts are okay, but he's not athletic at all, and can only score if set up well. I like him as a player, but I'd like him more as the first big off the bench. He's simply not good enough to be eating up minutes like he did this past year.

Could he improve? Im sure he could. My guess is defensively he's got a shot to be good. But we need low post scoring in the worst way. I cant envision that on a consistent basis from him. We need more bigs who can score.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I am with you on Lucas. I like the kid, but he doesn't score much and I question his motor. He isn't a starter currently as far as taking us to the next level so bringing in another center can only help solidify that spot.

Whether we can bring in Zimmerman, who could be a OAD (everyone's favorite word) or this guy, we bring in scoring, and let's face it. Mickelson has not been worth much because he plays soft.

We need another big if we are going to take the next step, oh and another ball handling 2 guard would be nice.

Thanks Santa.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

I am not holding my breath on Hunter. I have a better chance of turning blue and looking like a smurf than seeing him do a lot that will impress me. If he was a solid presence, that would be smurfy though.

Herb Warren 7 years, 6 months ago

Is the Kansas Legislature really considering mandating that KU-KSU-WSU schedule each other yearly??? Maybe next they will take on the OAD rule.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

I think it was a state rep. in Wichita that proposed it last year.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 6 months ago

The fact is if he were putting up monster stats he'd be playing in the pros right now. But he's putting up 10 and 7 and he's available immediately. It's not like Tarik Black was averaging 15 and 10 when he transferred. The real question: is he an upgrade over Lucas, Mickelson, or a freshman OAD center next year? And that's after assuming Cliff is gone from KU for good, which I hope he isn't.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

Exactly. A 270 pound graduate transfer who needs to improve his interior defense does not scream "clear upgrade" to me. I'm betting Landen could have put up those numbers if given his minutes at Charlotte.

Even if he's a marginal upgrade over Landen and Hunter next year, I'm not sure it's worth it. We're better off looking for guys that have a chance to come back multiple years. If it can be in Cliff and Wayne's best interest to come back, then that could definitely be the case for guys like Diallo and Zimmerman.

Don Burgundy 7 years, 6 months ago

Nobody is bringing up the fact that Calipari could be moving on to the NBA as soon as next season. I think the doubt of whether or not he'll be around may not sit well with some of the recruits. I think Zimmerman comes to KU as well as another top guard. Maybe not Newman but Brown is a big possibility.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

From what I heard, Newman has us 1st on his list, but Oubre leaving will be the key. As long as Oubre declares, Newman should say he's coming here.

Justin Daniel 7 years, 6 months ago

What are your sources? Everything I read has Newman heavily leaning toward Kentucky. Also, on 247 we have a 3% percentage chance of landing Zimmerman.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

It will have to be the right job, with some talent on the roster. He is not going to just jump for the first job in the NBA, he has done that already. He wants to win, that means some "stars" have to align. I would love him in the NBA, but it is going to have to be the right team, management and roster.

Rob Bedford III 7 years, 6 months ago

Calipari is not leaving. He has it too good where he is at. He does not even need to recruit anymore. He has a line of 5 star kids waiting outside his office interviewing for spots.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

Cavs were the job he would've left for, but they've picked it up enough now that David Blatt isn't losing his job this year.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 6 months ago

Don't rule out Texas just yet. With the conditions just laid down by the AD, I'm not sure Barnes survives the off-season.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 6 months ago

He'll probably take the Texas job just so he can realize his dream of getting to play KU every year (and TWICE, no less!).

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 6 months ago

Wonder if there are any effective bigs in Europe (like Sabonis at go zags), JUCO, or elsewhere.

Brian Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

Thorn is either insurance because we aren't getting any bigs, or its a smart move putting the pieces together with a incoming OAD center. If we don't get someone else our line up is:

Lucas, Thorn
Ellis, Traylor
Greene, Svi
Mason, Graham

I believe Mickelson is gone due to graduation. If Oubre goes pro then we have 2 to still give.

But if we do get Zimmerman, Maker, or Rabb, or Swanigan, the it puts us in position for a really good season. Add Malik Newman to go with Selden and wow!

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

We are 3rd on Zimmerman's list behind UNLV and Arizona. If Cliff goes, which many signs point to a yes, then that moves us up. I agree that a quality center, and Malik would put us in a great position next year.

Jaston Archie 7 years, 6 months ago

This may sound very random, but I just thought of who would be an AMAZING hire for Bill Self......(drumroll please)....Rasheed Wallace. yes, i said it, Rasheed Wallace. He would bring instant swag, an edge, and toughness to the team. He could fill the big man coach void left by Danny Manning, and I'm sure he would be an excellent recruiter. KU needs swag, toughness, and an edge and he would def. bring that. I don't know how loyal he is to North Carolina, if he would even consider KU, but that would be awesome.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

I have a better idea. Since KU isn't playing defense anymore or showing any intensity or emotion, let's bring Gregg Marshall up here to replace Bill Self. He doesn't seem to have any trouble motivating his guys to "play angry" or show some inspiration.

Jaston Archie 7 years, 6 months ago

Maybe a little complacency has set in, or it seems that Self's primary goal is to win the Big 12 whereas Izzo and Pitino want to peak at the tournament. My main problem with Self is that he seems to strip his players of individual expression and confidence for the sake of the system, and they seem to play with little to no confidence. For example, last year he kept berating Wiggins for playing soft but that was just his personality, same with Perry. I would love to have aggressive, cocky players but if that's not who they are it's counterproductive to try to force them to be someone else, which is why I think most of his players lack confidence. Alexander, the most cocky player ever, even looked completely torn down this year. Brannen Greene who could make those 3s his sleep, goes ice cold for a long stretch. Can u imagine Greene at Duke? He would be All-American and reminiscent of JJ Redick. Accept the players for who they are and then coach them to maximize effort and defense.

Marcy Harner 7 years, 6 months ago

Yep, they really "played angry" when they allowed Notre Dame to shoot 75% in the 2nd half the other night. Greg Marshall is a really good coach, but that play angry concept is getting old and tired. WSU played 3 really good games this season" Northern Iowa at home, Indiana, and KU. The rest of the time they looked pretty average to me. I'm not sure Marshall looks overly impressive in a major conference.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Jason we do need a known big man coach to regain our swagger. There has been a gap since Danny left on many levels.

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 6 months ago

If we can get two more big guys at least 6'10 or taller, and move Perry to the 3 spot, I think that would be ideal. Could you imagine rotating 4 guys that are 6'10 or taller? We already have Lucas and Mickelson, two more would just give us crazy depth and not have to worry about foul trouble as much, making us more aggressive on the defensive end. I could be wrong about moving Perry to the 3, but he just doesn't pose a threat down low when he goes against size. Have Hudy work on his quickness and perimeter defense and it could possibly happen.

John Randall 7 years, 6 months ago

Perry has always been and still is much better suited to the 3 than struggling to become a "big." At the 3, all his problems would disappear and he could still spend some time underneath when needed. I wonder if HCBS has simply been forcing him to play out of position to keep him at KU for four years ???

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