Friday, June 24, 2016

Second best: Kansas players shut out of first round

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) looks for an outlet as he is defended by UC Irvine forward Brandon Smith (13) and center Mamadou Ndiaye (34) during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) looks for an outlet as he is defended by UC Irvine forward Brandon Smith (13) and center Mamadou Ndiaye (34) during the second half, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Former Kansas University forward Cheick Diallo, who had been projected as a likely first-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, went in the second round, while possible draft picks Wayne Selden Jr., Perry Ellis and Brannen Greene were not selected during Thursday’s proceedings in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The 6-foot-9 Diallo wound up as the third pick in Round Two by the Los Angeles Cllppers, who traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans for a pair of second-round picks that turned out to be David Michineau and Diamond Stone.

It was the first time since 2009 KU had no first-round picks.

“I was surprised Cheick didn’t go in the first round based on preliminary reports I got,” KU coach Bill Self said. “The big thing is he was able to go 33. That will hopefully put him in a situation to get a guaranteed contract and play for another Kansas guy in Alvin (Gentry, coach, former KU assistant). I talked to Alvin and his staff before they drafted Cheick. They are excited about him.

“I know it’s disappointing to the guys when they don’t go as high. In Cheick’s case, he is in a good situation.”

Diallo, who was in Brooklyn for the draft, sitting in the stands rather than the Green Room for projected lottery picks, wore a white suit coat, red bow tie and red pants. He had a depiction of Africa imprinted on the inside of the jacket.

He averaged 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 7.5 minutes a game during his one-and-done season at KU.

“Based on what I was told, it’s potential (in terms of what NBA likes about him) plus he has a motor that runs constantly. He really wants to be good. His effort level is very very high,” Self said of Diallo.

As far as Ellis and Selden, who had been mentioned as possible late-second-round picks, and Greene who was not listed in any mock drafts, Self said they shouldn’t be discouraged. He texted them right after the draft at that late hour.

“I’m disappointed but not discouraged at all,” Self said, “because I really feel a lot of times if you are not picked early in the second round you are better off to go undrafted. It sounds weird, but they can pick and choose to play summer league and work out and be put in position to sign with a team where there’s a great opportunity to make the team. A lot of times guys picked 50th may get picked by a team that has 13 guaranteed contracts with no chance to make the team. These guys as free agents may be put in situations where their chances increase. It doesn’t always work that way. it could be the case here. I hope it is.”

It didn’t help the Jayhawks that 26 international players went in the draft.

“The draft had a huge international flavor,” Self said. “And a lot of things happened early in the draft that totally threw things off and didn’t allow the draft to go as scripted.”

Self thinks Diallo, Ellis, Selden and Greene will all make a good living playing basketball.

“I am confident I’ll see them on a roster. I am. I thought that all along,” Self said. “Perry had an exceptional career, as did Wayne. Both were three-year starters. If Brannen can get in the right situation, a lot of teams liked him. I do believe they are not in a bad position. Going undrafted or going 50 it’s a coin flip, which is the best way to go. More times than not, not getting picked is a blessing. Now they can pick and choose.”

Selden, at least, seemed unfazed.

After the draft, he tweeted, “If it don’t kill you...”


Matt Tait 6 years, 1 month ago

It's fixed. GB knows better. It was late and he was scrambling, trying to get information on four different Jayhawks from all over the map. Cut him a break.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 1 month ago

I thought it was funny. We all have done something like that before, especially when it's late and you are tired.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

Matt - Remember when the switch to names was supposed to make the interactions on the site? Unfortunately, it really just seems to bring out the true character of the folks behind the keyboard. Sort of like the inverse of "The Mask" (Jim Carey).

Hopefully, you're not offended by the checking. I personally appreciate that you and the other writers interject comments here at times. Especially when you clarify oops were corrected. Thanks.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 1 month ago

There's a lot to learn from the facts that the Hawks could end up being the overall Number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament without any of it's key players considered draft-able NBA talents.

Twelve of the first round picks were off-shore talents with only a few, I think 3, that played US College Bass. With the increasing influence of off-shore basketball talent perhaps Self's efforts to recruit globally seems to be very well founded. If Mykailiuk can work himself into the lottery next year and Udunka in '18, that should help European recruiting.

Another observation, five guys taken in the first round were seniors. I don't think any of those five would have been drafted last year. Maybe guys like Selden, who looked like a sure first rounder in Korea, should think about playing all four years. Who would you rather have on our team...a freshman Josh Jackson or a senior Selden? The NCAA teams that had multiple picks in the draft (UK, Vandy, Cal, UW..) who were mostly freshmen did not have the great year Kansas fans hope for annually.

What do you prefer, a team that puts players in the NBA draft or the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament? Even getting the top elite NBA players does not guarantee NCAA success...a couple of years ago Kansas had the number 1 and 3 draft picks but suffered the worst season in the Self era. Actually from several statistical metrics, it was perhaps the worst team Self every had, except when he went into new jobs with struggling programs (Oral Roberts, Tulsa)

Brett McCabe 6 years, 1 month ago

Some good analysis. The answer to your question, for me, is this: I'm a Jayhawk fan, not an NBA draft fan. Of course I wish our players the very best but the team comes first.

A few other things that struck me...

...Zimmerman and Stone, both big-time recruits, both OAD, both now will be lucky to get in the league.

...Mock drafts are funny.

..Kids and their "mentors" who don't learn from the past will be destined to repeat it. Over and over and over again.

Here's hoping that all four kids have long, happy and lucrative professional careers. RCJHK!

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

Why will Zimmerman and Stone "both now will be lucky to get in the league"? The NBA actually allows second rounders to play. Draymond Green was a second rounder as were dozens of other NBA stars...

Brett McCabe 6 years, 1 month ago

From Bleacher Report: In 2009,'s Justin Kubatko calculated the estimated win shares for every pick, 1-60, and found that no second-round pick was expected to accrue more than 12.3 win shares over the course of his career.

And that's the guys who actually made it onto a team.

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

Justin who? Bleacher report in 2009 was an open blog site. What's a win share?

That's your problem Brett. You swallow so much garbage info that you think you actually know things. Then you blurt them out and look, less than wise.

Hint. Check the media sources you use. You'll find out than much of what you believe or think you know is crap.

You might even catch on to the reality that Hillary is a compulsive liar and a criminal. The FBI does criminal investigations, not security checks. ;) You'd be a better person, or at least more informed.

Will Chip Chipperson or one of your other user ID's suddenly show up to make Trump insults? Please don't. You'll look even more idiotic.

Tracey Graham 6 years, 1 month ago

The percentage of 2nd round picks who stick in the NBA is not very high. Out of those 30 guys drafted in the 2nd round last night, maybe 10 will make a NBA team this year. Most of the int'l guys taken in the 2nd round were "draft & stash" guys, meaning they will play overseas the next year or so. They may never end up coming to the NBA.

So while Zimmerman & Stone may make their team, the odds are against them. 1st round draft picks are all locks to make their team, even if they get glued to the bench. With no guaranteed contracts to protect them, it is way easier for teams to cut 2nd rounders.

Edited to add: Last season, 98 players who were drafted in the 2nd round played at least one NBA game. Of those guys, 50 of them played 1000+ minutes, while 26 of them started at least 50 games; 45 of them (including Jeff Withey) started 10+ games.

Overall, 476 guys played in the NBA last season. So 98 of 476 equals 20.6% of the NBA players last season were guys who were 2nd round picks. In contrast, 60.3% (287 of 476) were 1st round picks

There were nearly as many undrafted players (91) as former 2nd round picks (98) who played in the NBA in 2015-16

Tracey Graham 6 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, my numbers were off a bit. There were 113 former 2nd round picks who played at least 1 game in the NBA last season,, with 51 of them playing 1000+ minutes. In comparison, 76 undrafted guys played in the NBA last season, with 23 of those playing 1000+ minutes

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

Just for clarification, there are only 30 2nd round picks per season. How many of those made it to an NBA roster? I think that is the question being asked here or the percentage of 2nd round picks who get on a roster since the NBA went to two rounds only.

Same question but which ever way is easier.

Nobody was asking about undrafted players and the source of your info..


Suzi Marshall 6 years, 1 month ago

The comparative data for underrated players is fascinating. It probably supports Bill Self position if a player is drafted in at the late second round, he's better off not being drafted. It would be interesting to see how these numbers break when you cut the second round into thirds. Self's position is if your 50 or agency is better.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 1 month ago

That whole 'mentoring' thing, especially with off-shore kids from third world countries bothers the hell out of me. There have been storie about this problem ( I forgot where I read the story recently, otherwise I would have put that link here.

The whole Thong Maker thing is way out there as well. He went 10th and raises the question if it might be better for a OAD hopeful to go to prep school rather than risking exposure in college. I suppose the NBA needs to get burned a lot before they address this.

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

Cultural and language differences make it impossible for these kids to get the always perfect advice (sarcasm) that US kids get from their parents.

Who would you have help them? John Calipari? Jim Boeheim? Rick Pitino?

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 1 month ago

Cal is one of the good guys. Read this article from Bleacher Report a few days ago.

This is a bad situation that will only get worse when you see so many from off-shore going to the NBA. Hopefully guys like Self, Cal and other reputable NCAA coaches can be more assessable to counsel some of these kids...perhaps doing a summer clinic overseas not only to teach and recruit but to give advice.

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

Having Cal advise them is scary. It's like a coyote advising rabbits...

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 1 month ago

Jay, I don't know a single person that knows Cal that would say something bad about him. That includes our Ted Owens, Larry Brown and countless other Kansas people. Sure he can come off wrong on some people but he's got his priorities right.

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

Paying players, having them cheat on SAT's, sleeping with other coach's wives....

Cal's priority is Cal.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't know about any of that. Cal's wife Ellen, formerly Ellen Cromwell and employee of KU Athletics, is a jewell.

Mick Allen 6 years, 1 month ago

Good comment Suzie and generally consistent with my post under the Keegan article about Perry, wherein I give credit to HCBS for an outstanding coaching job which he accomplished without the "uber talent"anticipated by the NBA as reflected by last night's draft.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree w/Brett...good analysis Suzi. When I look at last season's NBA potential - Ellis, Diallo, Selden and Greene - I believe our upcoming season will have more potential NBA players than last although there is obviously some overlap.

Svi, Mason, Graham and Vick, I believe will all have a shot. Svi will get drafted, Vick and Graham have the potential but I think Mason might need to play overseas before making the NBA. I added Vick purely based on how well he performed when given the opportunity. I think he will be the break-out player in the upcoming season.

Then add Josh Jackson (lottery pick) in next years draft and Udoka in 2-3 yrs could also be a lottery pick.

A LOT of (ifs and pure speculation) so I'm sure there will be criticism but time will get the ultimate last word.

Phil Leister 6 years, 1 month ago

Gary, please tell me you didn't just write "country of Africa".

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

You didn't even watch the video yourself, did you Ben?

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

Ben..please keep your unwanted politics to yourself OR go somewhere else where people want to know your politics - if there is such a place.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 1 month ago

As a purely financial decision, Diallo seems to have made a mistake. However, I know his decision was not purely financial. Nor was it for Selden or Greene.

These guys are now free to pursue their dreams of playing professional basketball, whether that be domestically or internationally.

And a college degree isn't something that's going to enhance their chances. School will always be available later. Athleticism and ability, however, fade over time.

Best of luck to these guys.

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

The NBA draft is increasingly about taking the couple dozen players who really have special ability and then filling in with Euro players who can develop at another teams expense.

One wonders if American kids aren't better off to go straight to Europe and play ball there out of High School so that they could have the same advantage come draft day, and a paycheck. The season is short enough in Euro leagues that they could take college courses too... If it was your son would you rather have them spend four years at KU or four years making 500K and getting a degree at Aristotle U in Thessaloniki?

That's easy.

Mick Allen 6 years, 1 month ago

You raise an interesting question Jay about the possible benefit to a high school star of going directly to Europe after graduation from high school. The draft and "stash" philosophy of some NBA teams demonstrates that direction might give some kids the best chance of being drafted by the NBA.

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago say nothing of the effect on their financial future if they could dump $1M in their retirement account at 23....They would be assured of a comfortable retirement regardless of how their basketball career played out.

I don't know what the rules would be if a player, say Lucas or Lightfoot, were to play a couple seasons at KU, NOT declare for the draft, and sign with a Euro team, perhaps even after the draft.

If they played that season in Greece/whatever would they then be a Euro player with "stashability" for the next draft? It would seem so.

What would Coach Allen think of this new paradigm?

Mick Allen 6 years, 1 month ago

First of all it would take him quite awhile to adjust to what the college game has become. Secondly, once adjusted he would loathe it, I can guarantee.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

Thank you. I've read a lot about your grandfather. You have every right to be proud. He never took the low road that his former player did at UK. Integrity first, second and 3rd.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 1 month ago

I suspect Naismith and Allen would love the direction the game is going, in terms of global growth. Both were dedicated to the growth and welfare of the game.

Mick Allen 6 years, 1 month ago

That is the one thing that would please him. As you are aware he was the driving force in basketball becoming an Olympic sport. However the continued dilution of the amateur character of college hoops would more than offset the benefit derived from the global embrace of the game.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

I just can't imagine either being happy. Naismith and what I've read about Allen ALWAYS put academics first. I've read the letters from Coach Allen that are held in the Dole Institute and he talks about how sports can contribute to making the next generation of leaders - not one and done insta-millionaires..

No, I don't believe either would be happy..

Bryce Landon 6 years, 1 month ago

Diallo, Selden and Greene should have come back for another year. Okay, maybe not Greene, maybe he should have left for another school and not caused us any more trouble.

Chuck Holder 6 years, 1 month ago

Sometimes they start dreaming of the "millions" too early. As for Greene I wonder if he is thinking about all the crap he put out at KU right now. Any team that drafts him (if they do) will have to step on him early and try to straighten out his bad attitude.

Mike Riches 6 years, 1 month ago

I wish these guys the best, whether they end up in the NBA, or countries like Asia or Europe. :)

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

Certainly speculation, but if Selden had returned, we likely would not have gotten Jackson. I wish Wayne well because he may have "taken one for the team."

Perry will land somewhere and be a total success. Then, when he retires from basketball, he will continue to make a huge mark in this world. He is a total class act.

I also agree that our #1 seeding in the NCAA without a single draftee (I discount Cheick as he didn't play a significant role in the season, especially after Landen won the starting role outright) is a testament to Bill Self's coaching. Just remember where we were after the loss at Ames. We went from "being out of the race for the conference championship" to being a #1 seed.

I also agree with much more of the analysis provided in prior posts, but I've bloviated enough.

Mick Allen 6 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Harlan, that is the point I was trying to make about HCBS's coaching job in '15/'16.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

What do you think would be better Harlan, a 4th year Selden or a one and done Josh Jackson?

I lean towards Selden but only slightly.

Steve Macy 6 years, 1 month ago

I used to watch the NBA draft, intently. Although never hyped as much as the NFL draft, it was interesting to watch where your college stars, both on the your favorite college's team, but the other players that had become household names. Not so much anymore.
I wish the best of luck to all who were out of eligibility or declared, there are jobs to have in the basketball world, just might not be in the NBA. Perry? Damn, I followed you for years, sorry your talent took you all the way, until the last step. Who knows, you might make it some year, or you can use your degree, your parents guided you so well, your priorities are in place.

Mallory Briggans 6 years, 1 month ago

with all due respect Harlan and Mick give coach self a pat on the back because he got us a number 1 seed with a team of undraftables ....if that is what the program has become what does that say about great recruits wanting to come we need a team of 1 and dones but these kids look at kansas as a good team .....but dont get them nba ready.........its no coincidence that Duke and Kentucky seem to be on most of these kids lists......Look at our 3 starters Mason...Graham...Lucas....none of them highly recruited by turning out to be good players.....what im saying is the kids arent into ncaa championships ....their goal is the nba......and if they dont think KU can get them there they wont go there....

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

I'd respond with something insightful but my translation app can't decide what language that was...

Barry Weiss 6 years, 1 month ago

well, I certainly hope Perry catches on somewhere. For all he did for Kansas, he deserves it. Jay or someone above was right, the NBA is pretty much all about big size or talent. Wayne, maybe should have come back. Diallo probably could have honed his skills next year as well and maybe gotten into the low 20's.

Yolanda Gay 6 years, 1 month ago

Perry was a good college player but I did not see his games translating over to the NBA (size for position, ball handling, creating shots, defense).

Diallo impressed several people at the NBA Combine. Maybe KU wasn't the right fit for his style of game.

If Greene shot a high percentage of 3s for the teams he worked out for, I can see him catching on with a team.

Selden, I believe, hurt his chances by being inconsistent and not using his body to be aggressive. If the Korea Selden showed up every game, he would have been a lottery pick.

Also, I know KU plays kids in positions that best helps KU win. Which is should be. But I wonder if playing kids out of position hurts their chances going to the next level.

Mallory Briggans 6 years, 1 month ago

jay it was scottish......that should help

Commenting has been disabled for this item.