Tuesday, September 15, 2015

TSN ranks Jayhawks preseason No. 1

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


The Sporting News 2015-16 college basketball preview yearbook, which hits newsstands next Tuesday, has ranked Kansas University No. 1 in its preseason Top 10.

The magazine Tweeted a picture of the yearbook cover on Tuesday, the Top 10 emblazoned on the front for everyone to see.

KU is followed in the 2015-16 rankings by Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Iowa State, Arizona, Wichita State and Gonzaga.

KU’s Wayne Selden Jr., was named to the magazine’s second-team All-America squad on Monday. He was the only Jayhawk on the top three teams. Wichita State’s Fred Van Vleet was named second team and Ron Baker a first-team All-America. Other first-teamers: Malcolm Brogdon, Nigel Hayes, Georges Niang and Marcus Paige. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield made third team.

None by Sporting News NCAAB

He’s No. 10: Bol Bol, a 6-foot-11, 180-pound sophomore forward from Roeland Park’s Bishop Miege High, is officially a Top Ten player in the recruiting Class of 2018, announced Tuesday.

Bol, the son of 7-foot-7 former NBA player Manute Bol (who died in 2010 at the age of 47), checks in at No. 10 in the first ranking of the ’18 class. Bol Bol plays for KC Run GMC’s spring and summer youth program.

“I just really want to become a better player, I’m not focused on college right now. I want to get better,” Bol told Sporting News. “College can wait. The expectations don’t mean much. Getting bigger and stronger and improving my offense and defense is what I’m working on,” added Bol, who has been told to expect a growth spurt.

No other players from the state of Kansas are in the Class of 2018 Top 25 released on Tuesday. The No. 1 player in the class is Marvin Bagley, a 6-10, 210-pound soph forward from Hillcrest Academy in Glendale, Arizona. Bagley averaged 19.6 points and 10.3 rebounds, helping his high school team win its fourth straight Div. I state title last spring.

His grandfather, according to, is Jumpin’ Joe Caldwell, a two-time NBA all-star out of Arizona State. Bagley’s dad, Marvin Bagley Jr., is a former Arena Football player out of North Carolina A&T.;

“Bagley has unbelievable instincts, length and fast-twitch muscles,” one college assistant coach told “Surefire pro prospect in a few years.”

Shareef O’Neal, a 6-7, 190-pound soph forward from Windward High in Los Angeles, and son of Shaquille O’Neal, is not listed in the inaugural Top 25. Another yet-to-be-ranked son of a former NBA player in the class is Darius Garland, 5-10 soph point guard from Brentwood Academy in Nashville. His dad is Winston Garland.

Ballock No. 37: Eudora High junior guard Mitchell Ballock is ranked No. 37 in the Class of 2017’s updated rankings,’s reported last week.

The 6-foot-4, 175-pounder has received scholarship offers from KU, Indiana, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, UNLV and others.

Wendell Carter, a 6-10 junior forward from Pace Academy in Atlanta, is the No. 1 player in the class. His current list includes KU, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Stanford, Florida State and Auburn.

“It will probably be sometime next year when I decide,” Carter tells “I’m going to cut my list down soon, so I won’t be wasting the coaches’ time.”

Self on road: KU coach Bill Self on Tuesday night visited the home of Malik Monk, a 6-4 senior guard from Bentonville (Arkansas) High, who is ranked No. 6 nationally. Monk will visit KU for Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 9. He’s also considering Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, Florida State and Oregon.

Giles update: Kentucky coach John Calipari on Tuesday visited No. 2-rated senior Harry Giles (6-10, 220, Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Virginia), reports. Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said UNC’s Roy Williams and KU’s Self may visit today. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Wake Forest’s Danny Manning visited last week.

Giles, who is down to those five schools, has scheduled a visit to KU for the Oct. 9 Late Night in the Phog.

Nooner hired by Terps: Former KU guard Terry Nooner has been hired as assistant women’s basketball coach at Maryland, the Terps’ athletic department has announced. He coached the last two seasons at Alabama.


Len Shaffer 6 years, 11 months ago

That's great that KU is preseason number 1 … and I hate it. (But I have to admit that I still love it it just a little bit more than I hate it, despite the history of how KU has played as a favorite.)

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, this just doesn't make any sense. Maybe TSN is using the World Games as a barometer.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Agree Armen. There is no way we are the preseason #1 ranked team.

Greg Ledom 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't know........why not Kansas. I don't see enough separation between the others and us to suggest it shouldn't be. It's crystal ball sh!$ anyway. Embrace it and set the bar high. Let's go!! RCJH

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

With Diallo, KU is absolutely worthy of that ranking along with Maryland and UNC. Right now without Diallo, KU is just top 5 good on paper which is all these rankings are anyway. Who's back, who's new, and how did they do last year.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Come back to earth Aaron and Greg, we went what 7-5 down the strech, did not make the sweet 16. We replace KO/Cliff with Diallo and Bragg and now we are worthy of a #1 ranking? My heavens this is just preseason hype that is not even close to being on target.

Diallo is a big improvement but he is one player.

Where is all the scoring going to come from, who all the sudden is going to be able to defend off the ball on the perimeter, how in the world are we suddenly going to get quicker? Let's see how we do against MSU and in Hawaii before we get juiced up over some silly preseason #1 ranking from TSN.

Our history of beating our chest thinking we are all that, is terrible. Lets beat somebody first and leave all this noise for somebody else.

If we want to make some preseason news how about we sign a top recruit in this early signing period? Now that is something we all can get behind.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

I think most depends upon Diallo. Without him, I think making it past the Sweet 16 would be a huge achievement but with him, we have a team capable of winning it all. The one thing you leave out Rodney is that we are returning three starters +2 others who played major minutes.

Selden, Mason and Ellis will be the backbone of this team with Graham and Traylor also returning. Big questions on how well Svi and Greene perform and with Vick, Bragg and hopefully Diallo, we have a deep AND experienced team.

Hopefully Svi and Greene can effectively replace KO but Alexander didn't play in the second half of the season anyways.

You ask good questions, let's hope we can answer them. I agree with being tired of preseason chest beating and late-season excuses but I'm giving this team more than the benefit of doubt.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Marius I agree with most of your post. Keep in mind all those players played a lot during that dreadful finish.

I think we have a decent shot at another B12 title without Diallo but we have to beat somebody first before I start thinking we are a #1 preseason pick.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 11 months ago

Marius makes good points, but also appears to have forgotten that Greene was hitting something like 50% from 3 before he hurt his hip. If he returns healthy, that is a huge offensive boost that you seem to be looking for.

Diallo also appears to have the potential to be more than just one player in some ways like Embiid & Withey. All that's irrelevant if he isn't cleared.

To say that we were 7-5 down the stretch and replacing KO & Cliff seems incongruent. Cliff had nothing to do with the stretch, so we're replacing KO and injured Ellis and Greene with hopefully healthy Ellis and Greene, Diallo, Bragg, and Vick. Now that reality check sounds like a much greater improvement IMO.

In the end, injuries and eligibilities likely play a huge role in the success of the team at season's end just as they have the past 2 years. I think that's why you Rodney are the only person beating anything around here (dead horse). It's not enough that Coach Self et al have had elite classes year after year. Now they have to be committed and signed in advance so you don't have to worry. The others all seem to be giving more of a shoulder shrug and "Eh. Why not?"

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

All good points from both of you... I will say Greene went into a shooting slump during that final 12 game stretch but could that have been due to his injury? And I also agree RC that this team needs to prove it can finish the season strong. IMO, the extra year of experience plus this team's depth should/hopefully have us peaking at the right time. Another conference title, while great, isn't enough.

Svi has to be the second biggest question after Diallo. He could prove/live up to hype and replace Kelly or he could still need another year of development. I don't have any idea which way that will go. Dirk, you seem to like Vick and I am in full agreement. Depending on how many minutes he gets, he could be a valuable contributor by the time conference play starts. I really like his energy.

Really, KO is the only player that we've lost. Bragg and Ellis plus Mickelson, Traylor and Lucas is a decent frontcourt which was shown in some degree in Korea. Alexander's loss hurt the team but they had already moved on and didn't expect him to come back.

Without Diallo I'm going to say Sweet 16 with a chance at the Elite 8. With Diallo, Elite 8 - NCAA champs.

Anything less than the Sweet 16 IMO would be a huge disappointment.

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

So who WOULD you put as Preseason #1 instead?

Kentucky? They return just two players (neither were starters) that played for them in the tourney last year plus a third player returning from an ACL tear.

Maryland? They made it no further in the tourney than Kansas last year and lost by 10 to a team that Kansas beat once and should have beat a second time had it not been for a ridiculous no call by a ref on a blatantly obvious travel on the game winning shot.

Carolina? They finished the regular season 4-6.

Your criteria for selection is fine so long as you apply it to EVERYONE.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Dirk, its only a dead horse if it is not viable, this happens every year so it aint dead. There is nothing resolved it is not futile about being unhappy that we have a signed recruit before this period is over. I think as an elite program, its what we are right, we should be able to sign a player in this timeframe? Why can just about every other school we think we compete with at an high level, "elite" do it? How can we compare ourselves as equals when we are always playing behind signing players year after year.

Self always finds a way to patch, and it is a patch since we miss on so many players early, a good to great class. No doubt he is a great finisher. My ask is Why can't we play from ahead for a change? Why is this so hard for anyone to understand.

Shannon Gustafson 6 years, 11 months ago

What matters is WHO we sign, not when we sign them. Whether we sign a kid early or late makes no difference. You can speculate that me "miss out" on a kid by not signing him early but there is nothing to prove that is true. If he's willing to sign early then that's great, if he doesn't want to sign until late then that's still great. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

Simple. If you receive some early commitments on players you are targeting, you can then concentrate solely on the the players you still need.

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

What is so hard to understand is why you are still griping about this? It is a completely irrelevant conversation. Why you are so bothered by the fact that Self has signed great recruits at the end of the recruiting year versus the beginning of the year is beyond me. Every recruiting cycle is different. You're trying to make this into an issue to call Bill Self out on when it simply isn't one.

One goal in recruiting --> get the best players you can that work in what your roster needs. Self has succeeded at this the last few years. WHEN they signed is irrelevant to anything meaningful in the sport.

Tom Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

Rodney simply doesn't understand how recruiting works and probably never will.

Engaging him in any "conversations" about the whole subject is pointless.

Cameron Schienebeck 6 years, 11 months ago

I have to agree. That doesn't make sense to me and the fact that Ellis is not on 1 of the top 3 All-American teams makes TSN lose credibility in my opinion.

John Boyle 6 years, 11 months ago

I love Perry Ellis and he is a great player but I'm okay with him not being on the 3 All-American teams. There are a lot of players better than him out there but he fits our system just fine and will have a good year this year.

Greg Ledom 6 years, 11 months ago

Actually, as a college player, he absolutely deserves to be on one of the top three AM teams. I don't think he will transition well to the NBA (could and hope I'm wrong), but his college game is on par with others on those teams. If Wayne plays like he did in the Games he's a first team AM.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

I think he deserves it. Just looking at the numbers he has put up and his consistent play should have been enough. If Buddy Hield made third team then so should have Ellis but it's tough to compare a 2 to a 4 and Hield did have a solid third year.

It's not the preseason All-American team that matters... Let's see where he is at the end of the season.

Dee Shaw 6 years, 11 months ago

To bad that Cheick Diallo, the McDonalds All American MVP will not be apart of this team this year. It's sad that we continue to recruit kids that have issues being eligible. This has to be the fourth player in the past few years that will have some issue being eligible. Josh Selby, Ben McLemore, Cliff Alexander and now Cheick Diallo. Get's old going through this all the time. You think before you start recruiting a kid and that they give you a verbal that you would at least know if the kid is eligible. It's a shame.

Allison Steen 6 years, 11 months ago

Bill Self doesn't knowingly recruit players that will be ineligible, that is ludicrous. You find out after the fact. Even so, Diallo hasn't been ruled ineligible yet so get off your soap box until its actually an issue.

Allison Steen 6 years, 11 months ago

And I am going to follow that up with - Cliff Alexander's family didn't reach out or receive impermissible benefits until he was already at KU. How was Bill Self supposed to see into the future and know this was going to happen and decide not to recruit him?

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

What makes you Diallo won't be cleared? Two of his teammates have already been cleared this year so why would those players get cleared and Diallo won't?

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

Getting to of his roommates cleared should really help with his eligibility. The fourth player from Our Savior New American who did not get cleared was because of his school (grade manipulation) in Plantation Florida and not an issue with Our Savior New American.

We should have a decision by the end of September.

There is also a really good article about the profitability of Kansas football. Over the last decade, we have made between 5.2 million - 9.3 million. Kansas State made 86 million in the last two years alone.

Robert Brown 6 years, 11 months ago

Your facts are a little off on the football revenue article. The $5.2-9.3 million is ticket sales in a given year. Back at the end of the Mangino days, KU generated $9M+ in tickets sales and now it is closer to $5M. K-State's TICKET sales were steady each year at about $10M.

The other category was football revenue and in the last two years, K-State has generated $86M. KU has generated about $41M. I think you can conclude from the article that a decent football programs could generate another $20M/year.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Dee when you wait till April to sign a recruit you can not really get that upset at what you get. We have to roll the dice when its that late in the process.

I don't know what you know, it looks like his teammates are being cleared, I would say it looks likely he will be cleared too.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 11 months ago

Josh came here beyond what most consider a few years (2009, 6 years). If you really want to stretch things Darnell also received impermissable benefits that caused him to also be ineligible for 9 or 10 games back in 2006?

That being said, Landon and another big were also ineligible back in Ben's class weren't they? Those were academic issues whereas Josh, Cliff, Darnell were benefits issues so kind of making a fruit salad there.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

I know Traylor wasn't eligible his first year. Lucas is news to me.

Mick Allen 6 years, 11 months ago

What do you know Dee that the rest of us don't?

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 11 months ago

Dee seems like a "one hit wonder". One of Cheick's teammates has recently been cleared so hopefully he will be as well. It is my understanding that Cheick attended that high school for 4 years so I would think that things will be in order. However, like Yogi said, "it ain't over till it's over."

Mike Riches 6 years, 11 months ago

Does anyone know if Bol Bol has any interest in KU? There's a lot to like about 6-11 and expecting a growth spurt...

Dirk Medema 6 years, 11 months ago

Except when remembering his dad's (lack of) coordination & strength.

Shannon Gustafson 6 years, 11 months ago

You clearly haven't watched any of Bol Bol's recent videos...he's not anything like his father. For his age and size, he's got great agility, has the ability to dribble and even leads the break in a few videos. I'm not saying he's going to be the greatest of all time or anything but his game and abilities aren't like his fathers. He's clearly grown up playing ball, unlike his father who fell into it because of his height.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

Tend to agree with Shannon on this one. No doubt that he needs to put some muscle on his thin frame but he still has several years ago before graduating. When you realize he is in the class of 2018, can hit the long ball, get out in transition (he needs a little work here) and can dominate the boards, I think Self should get to know this kid. are right about his father but this has been around basketball all of his life.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

Nooner was one of those unsung heroes who worked his butt off while playing at Kansas. Hate seeing him go but congrats on the new job.

Tom Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

If Diallo's eligible, we have as good of a claim as anyone else to be preseason #1.

That and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbuck's.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.