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Jayhawk Central

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  • I have as much passion for KU basketball as any of you kids do, but a lot of the technical aspects of the game have passed by my 1950's, no three point line, if you touch an opposing player it's a foul perspective.

    So, I would enjoy reading what you guys have to say about Ellis (who seems a little disappointing to me) and Traylor (who has impressed me) as well as Andrew White, and Rio Adams.

  • Ellis is going to be a fantastic player. He just needs some time to develop. He's already ahead of where both of the twins were as freshmen and shows much more emotional maturity. I am rarely disappointed in freshmen in Self's system.

    Traylor is a high energy guy... when the game slows down for him he's going to be much more effective. He puts himself into position to score but doesn't have the patience.

    Andew White will need to improve his lateral quickness to play better defense, again he is a freshman but he will develop into a nice player. He would start for 90% of the teams in the country right now because of his shooting.

    I like Anrio, he has a lot of raw physical attributes... and just like Ellis he will be a contributer, but not a lot this season. he may never reach the level of guys like Robinson, Taylor and Johnson, but he's not goign to be a bench guy his whole career either. If he works hard on his defensive game and stays patient he could someday be a Releford type guy who plays a major role as an upper classman

    Live to love, love to live

  • Ellis is honestly about what I expected. I honestly think the local media and the non message board KU fans expected more of him this year than did the people who frequent message boards. Two things have happened to Ellis in my view. First Kevin Young has played way better than most expected meaning if someone wants to take his minutes they are going to have to play at a high level. Young has rebounded the ball pretty well for the most part on both ends of the floor which is what I worried about and seems to mesh well with Withey. I think the pressure to perform and beat out Kevin Young has caused Ellis to look for his points too much when he is in the game.

    Secondly Ellis badly needs to get stronger in his base to hold his position. That will come with time and in time he will be an effective post player for KU.

    Traylor is an energy guy who will be a bench player the majority of the time he is at KU in my view. There is nothing wrong with him but I see his role as something like a much bigger Bryant Nash. He just does not have the length to play huge post players but that is not nearly as big of a problem as it might have been 10 years ago.

    Andrew White will be a very useful piece on the team in years going forward. If he wants to make an impact at the 3 he has to get quicker on defense, which again will come for him. A good deal of potential there and I personally would say he has the biggest offensive upside of the three guys I have talked about here.

    Rio Adams is project. Has all the athletic ability in the world but will have to harness it into something useful. We won't see him much (barring injury) for the rest of the year I don't think.

  • I think I disagree with you on this one. Anrio, if he plays his career out at KU, IMO will be a bench player the entire time. Ellis however will be a first team all conference at some point in his career IMO. I just don't see what some see in Anrio. He's a good athlete not great, he has decent basketball skill not tremendous, and honestly has been completely recruited over already. So unless those guys all leave after 1-2 years who is he going to start over?

  • I guess i should not have said "and just like Ellis", because he won't have the career at KU Ellis will, but he could work hiw way into a significant, if not starting role as an upper classman. The kid is not bereft of talent... but if he is going to make a contribution he's going to have to start by making himself into a lock down defender, much like Releford.
    Yes he's been recruited over, and if we can continue to pull in guys like Mason, Frankcamp, Greene and Selden he will continue to be recruited over. Next year he will have Tharpe, Frankcamp, Greene, Selden, White and maybe Mason all ahead of him. None of those players look to be one and done, so the following season may be the same + any other recruits Self picks up. We may lose Selden and maybe Greene after that, so if Anrio is going to make any contribution it will most likely have to happen in his senior year.

    Of course all of us have been wrong about players before... Who really expected much out of Withey, Releford and Young before this season? Now they're basically the heart and soul of one of the best squads in the country.

    Live to love, love to live

  • I'll give you my rundowns of them as preps, as I went to quite a few events over the past 3-4 years for the former site.

    Perry Ellis -- Undersized, short arms. He's a 4 with good face-up ability and reasonably good post moves. Struggled with lengthy defenders because he lacks secondary moves. Good shooter to 15-17ft, average from the 3pt line. Very long and low release on his jumper, which could really hurt his shooting if he doesn't improve on it at KU. Decent run\jump athlete with good elevation off 1 foot, but not an elite athlete at the college level. Never saw much of a motor from him, so I don't expect him to be a great rebounder in college when you take into account his height and length too. Could end up being a very, very good college 4 in the mold of a Lawrence Roberts. I think the comparisons to the Morris twins are pretty far off, actually, as both Morris twins had NBA skills when they got to Kansas.

    Jamari Traylor -- I saw less of him than Perry, but he's somewhat the anti-Perry. All motor, all athleticism. Short, but with good length. No jumper, little-to-no skill. If he learns the game a bit and develops some rudimentary post skills, could be a good bench contributor for Kansas.

    Andrew White -- Great spot-up 3pt shooter, average overall shooting everywhere else. He's streaky - saw one game where he went 5-6 from 3, the next he missed 5 or 6 wide open looks. Above-average athlete at best, really struggles to move laterally against guards. Rebounds hard for a wing, could be a skill that really garners him minutes as a stretch-4 against college 4s. Ballhandling is decent, but definitely needs improvement to be at a level where Bill Self will trust him for long stretches.

    Anrio Adams -- All-around above-average guard, with nothing elite in his game. Good, not great, athlete with great length. Weak jumpshot (needs to be re-worked), good passer. Could be a very good defender at Kansas because of his lane-jumping instincts and good hands, but would have to show some real focus on being a defender.

    Landen Lucas -- Big body, not Kansas level player. Very slow and lacks high-major athleticism. Would be surprised if he's more than a reserve in his time at Kansas.

    Ellis is the only one that is a potential starter of the group.

  • I know you didn't ask specifically, but I'll give you a rundown of the incoming class:

    Wayne Selden -- Bull of a guard that is built like a freshman fullback. He's strong, quick, and very athletic. In all honesty, I think he compares favorably to Josh Selby, but is bigger and a better passer. I know everyone wants to talk about his dunks and his shooting, but his elite ability is his vision and passing. It wouldn't shock me at all if the Kansas staff decides to turn him into a full-time PG, because I know at least one of the other staffs recruiting him were going to. He's a very good shooter, but he's prone to streakiness too. Regardless, Kansas got a star in the making in Selden.

    Brannen Greene -- Tall, long wing with an excellent stroke and feel for the game. He's a very good shooter in all aspects - midrange, 3pt, spot-up, and off-the-dribble. He's a willing passer - a pretty good one, even - and a kid that makes teams better. He rebounds well and, at 6'7, could definitely see time as a 4 against small teams. Unlike most guys in this height range that Self has had previously, Greene is a legitimate wing and not just an undersized big guy. Greene could struggle a bit to guard smaller guards, but he's long enough to make up for it. I don't think he projects as an elite defender like Rush and Releford before him, but he's got the size and length to be up to Self's typical standards.

    Conner Frankamp -- Probably the guy Kansas fans will end up looking forward to the most, as his hype is getting pretty high. To be honest - he's outstanding and fun to watch. His shot is as pure as glacial water, and he's absolute money from anywhere on the floor and from any type of play. Even better, he's got an incredibly quick release to help him make up for his lack of size (6'0 at best). I think the whole "Conner will be our future PG" stuff is blown out of proportion - he's an excellent creator, but his biggest asset at the college level is going to be his lethal shooting. I think Self & Co will be using him off the ball as much as possible to utilize that skill (which could very well be the best in the country the minute he gets to Kansas). Most importantly, he's the epitome of a coach's dream - fantastic kid, hard worker, and understands the game as well as anyone. Plus, he has some And1 Street Ball to his game when he needs it.

    Joel Embiid -- I've seen only a little of him, but it's hard not to like his potential. I know the staffs recruiting him all expected him to be in the NBA within 3yrs. He's a legit 7' with fantastic athletic ability for that size. For how little he's played the game, he already has a good feel around the rim for both offense and defense. He also has no delusions of being a wing (see Cauley, Willie), so there are no bad habits to break. If I tell you one thing, it's this: Self thinks he could be the best big he's ever recruited.

    Frank Mason -- I've now heard from multiple sources that if Mason were with the team from the start of this season, he'd be starting at PG. It seems crazy, given his ranking and our stout backcourt, but it's something I've heard from guys I trust. That being said, it tells you that KU is getting someone Self thinks pretty highly of. I have only seen Mason once, though, and honestly remember very little about him. I've been told by a few scouts (and Jerry Meyer has said similar things on this board) that Mason is a pure winner, a hellacious defender, and just an overall great PG. He's not a very good shooter, though, and is only about 5'10.

    Quite honestly, I wouldn't be shocked at all if all 5 guys start. It seems nuts, given how much our fans think the current freshman are set for amazing careers. But, all of the incoming freshman are better players than the current group. Perry Ellis is the obvious choice of the sophs-to-be, but he's certainly not looked all that great thus far (and if he were anywhere else, our fans would be screaming at how overrated he was).

    If this class adds Julius Randle, it makes things even tougher on the current guys because Randle will start instantly, without question.

  • Nice breakdown guys..I also was intrigued by the possibility of Selden playing some point. I remember Bossi saying that after he watched Selden at Pangos it wouldn't surprise him to see him play some point guard in college.

  • Great write up bham. The short time I've been on this board it's way exceeded anything I got the multiple years I paid premium on the phog... it's contributions like these that are going to make this a great site.

    Live to love, love to live

  • Keep checking back, or register and sign up for updates. A similar Julius Randle writeup is coming soon.

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  • I've seen Julius quite a few times:

    Julius Randle -- At least 6'8, probably 6'9, with long arms and fantastic athletic ability. He's got a college-ready body with a frame that could definitely hold more good weight. Dominant left-hand player that is deadly in the post with his power and left hook. He's a good shooter out past the line, but he's only a spot-up shooter at this point (though he does love to try to prove otherwise). As he continues his development and shortens up his stroke\release, he'll be able to shoot better off the dribble, but he needs a bit of time and space right now to be most effective from range. He plays with attitude, which is something that Kansas needs a bit of this year (and likely next as well), but can often tend toward being impetuous on the court. The easy comparison is Terrence Jones (formerly of Kentucky), given their size and left-handedness. Randle is more talented and a much better "wing" player than Jones could have been. Randle is most effective in the post right now, but he's equally dangerous at taking defenders out of the lane and beating them with his ballhandling and powerful athleticism. Regardless of where he goes, he's an elite, instant-impact player on the college level.

    How does he fit into Kansas' current class? He immediately gives Bill Self a player that can consistently create offense with less than 10 on the shot clock. He can create in a multitude of 1v1 situations, which no player on the Kansas roster is capable of right now (though Selden, Mason, and Frankamp certainly can create). He also gives Self an ideal hi-lo player as Randle is equally capable of passing\shooting from the top and scoring on the block.

  • We are really missing that trailing big this year who can knock down that shot. That is what made us so tough on offense with the twins. You could never sag back into the post against them as the other one might drain a 3 on you. Young has been fantastic this year but just does not have the range to force them to play him honestly. It would be huge for our offense if either he or Withey started to consistently knock it down from just beyond the FT line.

  • Telep has Randle going to KU, is there any indication otherwise? Some say despite what's been said Kentucky has the edge, is that just a safe bet scenerio???... and We've all heard Texas, but with how poorly they've played I can't imagine... but they are the local school, so who knows???

    Live to love, love to live

  • I've heard that it's more or less Kansas v Texas.

    I can't see him at Kentucky, honestly. I'm just not sure he's a "share the spotlight" kinda guy, and UK already has 2 guys that need the attention in the Harrisons.

    With Texas, don't underestimate the need of mama to have her boy close to home.

  • That and with the job Rick Barnes is doing the past couple of years how could you really not look at UT?

  • I've heard it's a Kansas-Texas battle for more than two years now, even when many national guys were claiming it was Carolina or Duke. I don't think there's any way Julius winds up at Kentucky (BHam eluded to the reason - the Harrison twins). Florida made a really, really strong move when Randle played for Donovan this past summer, but all indications I have are that he winds up in the Big 12, and until I hear solid reasons why that's not the case, I'll stick with my Kansas prediction. Contrary to how he feels about the Harrison twins, I don't know anyone who doesn't like Frankamp, Selden, or Greene, and we have all three AND Rick Barnes's incompetence helping us here. If Texas were moderately competent, they'd lock him down, but I don't see it with the state they currently find themselves in.

  • I have to wonder if there is a chance that Barnes gets fired after this year. They just squeaked into the NCAA's this past year and KenPom has them with a losing record overall to finish the year. They have not been really relevant since 2008 (a 2 seed) and have only had a 7 seed once in the past 4 years.

    I would think Texas might consider making a move on Barnes.

  • As long as their football team struggles, Barnes is safe in my opinion. They have significantly bigger problems programmatically with Brown's program than they will tolerate for long, plus A&M left and didn't get demolished in the SEC as they so loudly predicted. Dodds will focus all his attention on the cash cow until that ship is righted before he loses a wink of sleep over Barnes missing the NCAA Tournament.

  • That is actually why I wonder if Barnes will get whacked. The Texas fanbase is losing their cool with everything. They are up in arms about Brown but I don't think the AD wants to move on him. Moving on Barnes would send a message that the teams at UT have to win and might buy the AD some time.

    More than that Barnes is in a position that makes firing him make sense right now. He has a bonus due if he is still coaching at the end of this season. There was already complaining about paying the guy more back in 2011. Paying him a $1 million retention bonus when his team is not going to the NCAA's is going to be a really hard sell I would think. You are also reaching the time period where for recruiting purposes if you are not going to fire the guy you have to extend him. You can't let him sit on a contract that runs out in 2017 going into the 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes.

    Texas lawmakers criticize raise for Rick Barn

    Several Texas senators on Thursday criticized the recent $200,000 raise for Texas basketball coach Rick Barnes, calling it nuts and tone deaf during a state budget crisis that threatens deep cuts to higher education.

    UT's coaches: Facts and figures on their cont

    The University of Texas fields 16 team sports seven men's, nine women's. Combined, those sports' head coaches have nearly 220 years of experience leading Longhorns teams and are drawing more than $12.
  • I think who the coach is at UT is pretty irrelevant for Randle. His mom likes the school, he would be close to home, and he'll only be there a year. Coaching and team success is irrelevant in this equation.

    On the other hand, Self has a pretty good relationship with the Randle family, and Kansas wouldn't be near as far as UK or Florida from them.

  • Ive heard the same. Don't forget Embiid. His presence helps make the case Randle won't be stuck at center.

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