It’s hard not to be excited this time of year. This is especially true given the unknowns surrounding this team (read: 9 freshmen). You can put 5 stars next to a recruit’s name and say he is the next big thing, but until you see it, it is wise to temper expectations.
This is why all eyes in Jayhawk nation were squarely planted on the freshmen in the Exhibition opener on Tuesday night. And, for the most part, they did not disappoint. In particular, one player stood out:
16 minutes. 15 points. 5-5 from the field. 5-7 from the line. 7 boards. 2 assists. 0 turnovers.
It should be stated that it is wise not to get super excited about a guy after one exhibition game. Perry Ellis was dominating ESU’s players just like he was back at Wichita Heights playing against far less superior talent. He’s used to that. It’s always been that way.
But come Big 12 play, that’s gonna change.
I think that’s why you could hear Self yelling at him during the game to be aggressive. And why he didn’t completely sing his praises in post game, even after what appeared to be a phenomenal box score. He knows what kind of defender awaits Perry. He wants him to get used to playing his butt off now against boys so it isn’t foreign to him when he plays against men.
Self stated in his post game comments that “if [Perry] can become aggressive as far as mindset, he could be a really good player really early in his career.”
I think this is going to be a common trend throughout Perry’s time here. He doesn’t need the Xs and Os as much as the other guys. He’s as polished a big man (for a freshman) as we have had at KU in a long time. His deficiency will be making sure he plays to his ceiling game in and game out.
And Self’s going to keep yelling at him until he gets there.
This is why you come to Kansas, especially if you’re a big man. Self will push you to your potential, design a game plan to make you successful, use strength and conditioning (Hudy) to make you a man, and eventually build you back up to be supremely confident in your game. You take care of you and he’ll get you where you want to go.
Perry will be an NBA player some day based solely on his talent. Whether he’s truly a special player, though?
That will be up to him.
Can’t wait to watch his progress as a Jayhawk.
#kubball, Basketball, Bill Self, freshmen, Kansas, KU, NBA, Perry Ellis