Posts Tagged Recruiting


Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by jayhawktalk No Comments

The fellas are back to talk MARCH MADNESS and KU’s draw as the #4 seed in a loaded, but awesome Midwest Bracket. They talk KU’s chances, preview the pod of Northeastern/Auburn/New Mexico State, talk about Big 12 draws, make some predictions for bracket busters, and give their thoughts on the state of mind and potential for this KU team to make a run. Come on in, have a beer, and enjoy a little Jayhawk Talk — MARCH MADNESS edition.

Find the Podcast on iTunes HERE.

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Episode 143 – Now It’s On

Posted on: February 28th, 2019 by jayhawktalk No Comments

The fellas are back to recap an eventful week of basketball and podcast greatness. They already burned the tape of the Texas Tech game, but do spend a little time basking in the KSU win before looking forward. They also spend a healthy amount of time on Mitch because obviously. They also take a look at the roster and decide if it’s finally set — with defined roles and PT established and ready for post-season play. Then they talk KU’s identity, and whether it will be enough to take them on a deep run. Last, they spend some time looking at the rest of the Big 12 and make some predictions on whether 15 straight is gonna happen.

Come on in, grab a beer, and enjoy a little Jayhawk Talk Podcast — Now It’s ON edition.

Find the Podcast on iTunes HERE.

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Note: You can also find the podcast on all other places you find podcasts, such as Stitcher and Spotify.

Rock Chalk!


Episode 142 – Mitch I’m Mitch Lightfoot

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by jayhawktalk No Comments

The fellas are back with a brand new podcast and the WORLD PREMIERE OF A HIT NEW SINGLE, “Mitch I’m Mitch Lightfoot.” When KU-TCU went into overtime, Kevin said he’d write a song about Mitch if we won. So he did. They play the song, discuss the song for a minute, then move on to talk the Big 12 Race, Schedule remaining for other teams, potential scenarios, and much more. They also preview the upcoming Tech and KSU games, and finish with some predictions.

Come on in, have a beer, and enjoy a little Jayhawk Talk Podcast, Episode 142.

Find the Podcast on iTunes HERE.

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Find the Podcast on Spotify and a bunch of other places if you just open that app and search for us!


(Link to the Mitch song if you’re just wanting a sniff of that.)

Episode 141 – Mitch Swag Will Bring Us Back

Posted on: February 10th, 2019 by jayhawktalk No Comments

The guys are back after a little break to talk all things KU hoops, including some hot takes on Vick, Silvio, Ochai, the NCAA, KU’s chances at extending the streak, and much more. They also take a little credit for predicting that Ochai would indeed be the next Michael Jordan. They also get into the schedule remaining, talk a little Big 12, and even look ahead to NCAA tournament seeding.

Come on in, grab a beer, and enjoy a little Jayhawk Talk Podcast — Mitch and Ochai Edition.

Find the Podcast on iTunes HERE (please rate/review/subscribe!)

Find the Podcast on Podbean HERE (non-Apple mobile devices)

Find the Podcast also on most places you can find podcasts, including Spotify and others.


Projecting the 2013 KU football starters

Posted on: June 17th, 2013 by jayhawktalk No Comments

(Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by my fellow KU alum, @thelachmantest. Good buddy from college and huge KU football fan. Give him a follow on twitter and look forward to future posts from him here at JHT. Rock Chalk!)




With a program like KU, you would expect most starters to be in their 3rd to 5th year in school — guys who have developed through the strength and conditioning program and have some playing experience.  For 2013, these would be the recruits from the classes of 2009 up to 2013. The 2009 class were true freshmen during Mangino’s last season.  The 2010 class was a mix of Mangino/Gill guys. 2011 were all Gill guys. 2012 were a mix of Gill/Weis guys.  2013 was all Weis guys.

While putting this lineup together, I was not surprised how Charlie Weis has revamped the roster and has a lot of his guys starting or fighting for a starter’s spot.  I was surprised to see Mark Mangino still having an impact on the roster and on the flip side the lack of impact by Turner Gill.  On second thought, I’m not surprised by the lack of Gill guys in the lineup given the complete lack of discipline, accountability, and an overall lackadaisical attitude under his charge.

To come up with lineup, I used the spring depth chart, various articles and quotes along with some educated guesses to come up with a starting lineup.  I used Jayhawk Slant to gather commitment dates and other recruiting information.

Some dates to keep in mind:

Mark Mangino fired resigned: 12/3/09

Turner Gill hired: 12/15/09 and fired: 11/27/11

Charlie Weis hired: 12/9/11

Let’s take a look the potential starting lineup.  Starters are in BOLD.

Credit: LJ World


QB: Jake Heaps: a BYU transfer brought in by Weis.  This year we will go only as far as “The Mormon Cannon” will carry us. His backup is Michael Cummings, a Gill recruit. I was part of the #freemichaelcummings campaign last year, so it saddens me to say I only see him being used as part of running/option package.

RB: James Sims: committed to Dave Beaty on 7/13/09 under Mangino. Ran for over 1,000 yards in only 9 games, with most defenses knowing that we are running the ball 9 out of 10 plays.  I’m excited for his senior campaign.  Taylor Cox is JUCO transfer brought in by Coach Weis, and will be a great change of pace backup.

RB/WR: Tony Pierson:  He committed to Reggie Mitchell under Gill.  No question, the best player on the field.  We should all expect big time plays from this guy all season long.

WR: Andrew Turzilli: Turzilli has all the physical tools to be a standout at WR, showing some flashes last year.  He committed to Dave Beaty under Mangino.  His backup is most likely Christian Matthews, who is versatile enough to play QB in the “Jayhawk” formation.  During the spring game, he also filled in at CB for a couple of plays.  Matthews committed to Dave Beaty on 6/20/08.

WR: Justin McCay: McCay is a transfer from OU brought in by Weis, and is another guy with good physical tools to play the position.  Tre Parmalee is a Weis recruit who saw decent playing time as a true freshman last year, and he’ll play the slot position.

All other WRs who could see playing time are recent transfers (thus all Weis guys).

TE: Jimmay Mundine: Mundine showed flashes of his full potential and the expectations are even higher this year.  He committed on 7/31/09 under Mangino.  His backups are a JUCO transfer, Charles Brooks, and a redshirt freshman, Jordan Shelley-Smith, both Weis recruits.

LT: Pat Lewandowski: From the sound of it, there is a 3-way battle.  Lewandowski may have the upper hand over Riley Spencer and Zach Fondal.  He is a local kid who committed to KU in January 2010 under Gill.  Weis & Co. converted him from a DE to LT.  Riley Spencer committed in Jan 2009 under Mangino. Fondal is a JUCO transfer brought in by Weis this year.

LG: Ngalu Fusimalohi: Penciled to start is Fusimalohi who is a JUCO transfer under Weis.  Damon Martin is a Gill recruit, most likely the backup.

C: Dylan Admire:  Another battle for the starting spot, Admire is penciled in as the starter for now, over Mike Smithburg and Gavin Howard.  Admire is a local kid who committed to Reggie Mitchell under Gill.  Smithburg is a JUCO transfer under Weis, Howard is a Mangino commitment.

RG: Randall Dent / Mike Smithburg: Tough call between these two.  Smithburg is an incoming JUCO transfer, who has been on campus for winter conditioning and spring ball, while Randall Dent played a lot last year but could end up splitting time with Smithburg.  He originally committed to Dave Beaty under Mangino.

Credit: CJ Online

RT: Aslam Sterling: Sterling is a JUCO transfer brought in by Weis last year.  He has dropped weight and gotten in better shape and is a lock for the starting spot. Brian Beckmann, who committed to Reggie Mitchell under Gill, should be the backup.

With the offensive line we’re looking at 2 Weis guys (Fusimalohi & Sterling). Then there are 2 players connected to Gill — one of whom was recruited by Reggie Mitchell (Admire), the other a converted defensive end.  Randall Dent will be the one starter recruited by Mangino.  If Fondal (left tackle) and/or Smithburg (center) get the starting nod, Gill gets credit for only one starter on the entire offensive side of the ball.

Offense total: Mangino: 4, Weis: 4 (could be up to 6), Gill: 3 (could be 1)


LE/T: Jordan Tavai / Tendarian Johnson: Both are JUCO transfers under Weis. Tavai should be the starter as he was here last year, and held up okay while under a steep learning curve. Johnson arrived in time for spring ball and should get to see the field this fall.

NT: Marquel Combs/ Ty McKinney/ Tyler Holmes:  Combs is the #1 rated JUCO recruit in the country this year, and penciled in as a starter.  Mckinney was supposed to be a JUCO transfer last year, but academic issues pushed it back to this year. Both are Weis recruits.  Holmes is a redshirt freshman, who was being recruited by Buddy Wyatt under Gill and finally committed in Jan 2012 under Weis.

RE/T: Keon Stowers/ Keba Agostinho / Kevin Young: Stowers is a JUCO transfer under Weis, and should be the starter.  Agostinho is a Gill recruit under Buddy Wyatt, while Kevin Young is a holdover from the Mangino days.

BUCK: Chris “Robin Hood” Martin/ Andrew Bolton/ Ben Goodman / Michael Reynolds: Bolton is a JUCO transfer this year under Weis who also had SEC offers.  I would guess his athleticism lends him some playing time.  Goodman was recruited by Buddy Wyatt under Gill, and has continued to improve every year, really coming on late last year.  Reynolds is also a Gill recruit, and should be a situational pass rusher.

The D-Line was a big focus for Weis and Co., and they have definitely built depth at that position.  No matter the starters, I expect a lot of rotation to keep fresh legs in the game.

OLB: Courtney Arnick / Marcus Jenkins-Moore: Arnick is a redshirt freshman who committed under Weis; Jenkins-Moore is a JUCO transfer, who arrived on campus in June 2013.  At this time it is a toss-up who will start.

AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

MLB:  Ben Heeney: Heeney should/will be the starter.  Recruited by Gill, he earned 2nd team All Big 12 as a sophomore starter last year.  His backup will be Darrius Willis who followed Gill from Buffalo, redshirted and then had to prove himself again to Weis to stay on this team.

OLB:  Jake Love / Samson Faifili: Recruited by Gill and Co., Love played a lot as a redshirt freshman last year, and should be the incumbent starter. Faifili is a JUCO transfer who should be on campus as of June 2013.  He’ll compete for playing time at either of the OLB positions, similar to Jenkins-Moore.

CB: Dexter McDonald/ JaCory Shepherd: McDonald is a local kid who committed to Reggie Mitchell under Gill.  After leaving the team for one year, he was brought back by Weis.  Shepherd was recruited as a wide receiver under Gill but was converted to DB by Weis & Co. I would say whichever guy does not start will be the nickel cornerback.

SS: Isaiah Johnson: Johnson is a JUCO transfer and brings considerable hype with him.  He should be on campus at the start of July, and is penciled in as a starter. Tevin Shaw is a redshirt freshman who committed under Weis and will get a chance to prove himself.  Ray Mitchell, while listed on the spring depth chart, is not listed on the official roster on the KU athletics website.

FS:  Dexter Linton / Greg Allen / Kevin Short: Linton committed to Dave Beaty under Mangino, and brings the most experience as a senior.  Allen is a redshirt freshman who committed under Weis, while Kevin Short is a JUCO transfer, who may see time all over the defensive backfield.

CB: Cassius Sendish / Nas Moore / Tyree Williams: Sendish is a JUCO guy who has been here for spring practice and should be a starter.  Backups may include Moore, a JUCO transfer last year or Tyree Williams, a redshirt freshman. All are Weis guys.

It is a little harder to break down the defense since more positions are up for grabs, but there are at least 6 Weis guys (LE, NT, RE, OLB, SS, CB); at least 2 Gill guys (MLB, CB); 1 Mangino guy (FS) and tossups between Weis and Gill guys at the BUCK and other OLB position. Let’s assign one to each.

Defense Total: Weis: 7, Gill: 3, Mangino: 1


Credit: LJ World

K/P: Trevor Pardula: The spring depth chart has Pardula, a JUCO transfer, listed as a starter at both positions.  Eric Kahn, a transfer from Mid America Nazarene may also get a shot at being the kicker. Both of those guys were brought in under Weis.  Either way, Ron Doherty has good competition at both positions.

Snapper: Zachary Young / Reilly Jeffers: Young is a transfer from Indiana. Jeffers played as a freshman last year. Both are Weis Guys.

Not surprisingly, Turner Gill recruits have zero impact on special teams.


Reggie Mitchell and Buddy Wyatt:  There is a reason Weis only kept these two from the prior staff.  Almost all the Gill guys on the list above are linked to those 2 guys.  They may have been the only 2 coaches on staff who knew what to look for in a potential recruit.

Dave Beaty:  His name came up a lot as well.  The dude could and can recruit.  I wish Weis would’ve kept him.  Instead he’s at Texas A&M as an assistant coach & recruiting coordinator.  A&M’s 2012 recruiting class was ranked: #15 in the country.  2013: #11, 2014: #6 and rising.  Sigh.

What does it all mean?

Well, for one thing, Turner robbed us blind.  For his $10 million, we’re getting maybe 4 starters on this year’s team, when it should be close to half.  During his opening statements he said a lot of things, which were essentially just a lot of hot air and B.S (by the way, be careful reading that transcript, it may induce excessive eye rolling and possibly vomiting). Gill pretty much did the opposite of what he promised, running a loose program with no discipline or accountability.  There is a reason Weis had to kick out nearly a third of the team, and that is also the reason he has had to bring in so many JUCO guys, players with experience and physical development, to fill in all the gaps.

Having said all that, I think Weis has us on the right track, with a potential bowl season in 2013.

Season breakdown next?

Photo Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE


To follow or not to follow – a look at recruiting and social media (2013 ed.)

Posted on: February 13th, 2013 by jayhawktalk No Comments

The NCAA has always grappled with technology and how it affects recruitment.  As the world becomes smaller with every technological advance, antiquated NCAA bylaws become a joke to try to enforce as written.

I should explain up front that I personally follow a number of Kansas basketball and football recruits on my twitter account, @JayhawkTalk. I even interact with them from time to time. The substance of this interaction can be anything from a “retweet” of what they say (E.g., if a potential recruit tweets something like “I am going to have my in-home visit with Kansas Coach Bill Self this Monday. Can’t wait,” it would get retweeted by a ton of KU fans) to a simple suggestion or nudge that KU is a great place to be.

There has been quite a bit of discussion of late as to what kind of interaction I am allowed to have with recruits, if any. Is “following” them violative of NCAA bylaws? What about mentioning and interacting with them? What if they reach out to me first asking for feedback?

I wanted to spend some time researching these issues so that I could become more knowledgeable about what is allowed, not allowed, and everything in between. I wanted to share this with you because I don’t think many understand it very well. I certainly did not.

I should also add that while I am an attorney, I am not writing this to provide any sort of legal advice. This is my own opinion and analysis of what I have found, both in the actual bylaws and how those bylaws are enforced. In other words, should you get a cease and desist letter from a compliance official, take it seriously.  Don’t rely solely on this review as the word.

With that out of the way, leggo.

Texting while recruiting

When text messaging became popular around 2005, parents of recruits began to complain to NCAA officials that their mobile phone bills were rising with every text a coach sent. The NCAA made a blanket response by banning texts to recruits completely in 2007.

When asked to comment about the texting ban (which had just gone into force), Anna Chappel, then head of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee said, “If you don’t stop it now, what roads are you going to have to cross later on?”

She could not have expected at that time that the rise of social media networks would force regulators back to the drawing board only a few short years later.

What to do with Facebook, Twitter

Like texting, it took the NCAA a while to figure out what to do with Twitter and Facebook. When the NCAA became convinced that Facebook private messaging and Twitter direct messages were, for all intents and purposes, just like emails, they decided not to regulate them any different than email (email, like regular mail, is unlimited after a recruit’s junior year, subject to certain restrictions).

To the NCAA, it was much easier to try to mold the ever-changing social media world to its existing rulebooks.

Square peg, round hole comes to mind.

After likening direct messages to emails, the NCAA deemed that posting on the Facebook Wall of a recruit or sending a Twitter reply or mention was just like publicizing a player’s recruitment in the media, which isn’t allowed. Regulators again chose to mold new Internet networking into rules already on the books.

But this strategy would only get the NCAA so far.

Not surprisingly, technology continued to advance. It became apparent that recruits were receiving Facebook and Twitter messages from coaches directly to their phones and mobile devices.  Regulators were once again faced with a technological dilemma. Is receiving a Facebook message too much like a text message? Or is it more like an email? Or, worse yet, is it some new blend that would force the NCAA to create new legislation?

Not surprisingly, the NCAA still remained steadfast in adapting technology to its own rules.

It issued bulletins stating that once a coach discovers that a recruit is receiving messages to his or her phone, that coach must cease contact through that medium. Certainly not the easiest rule to police.

As coaches became further disenchanted with texting, phone, and social media rules as written, the NCAA did what the NCAA does best: it threw the issue to a committee. Luckily for coaches, it does finally seem that the NCAA is willing to deregulate some forms of electronic communication, including text messaging.

In January, the NCAA approved a number of wide-ranging changes to the recruiting landscape, including the removal of restrictions on electronic communications, mailings, and even calls. Some coaches haven’t appreciated this new “Wild West” approach to recruiting, most notably those coaches of the Big 10. Regardless, it is a rare step in the direction of common sense for the NCAA. After all, these bylaws are virtually impossible to enforce.

So what does this all mean for fans?

Nearly all decrees and rule changes made by the NCAA regarding electronic communication revolve around the recruitment relationship between coach and player. Very little has been said about what kind of interactions fans and recruits can have through social media. That is probably because to the NCAA, this issue is much more black and white.

Fans and boosters should have no interaction with recruits at all.

Not that it’s stopped anyone. Take Taylor Moseley, for instance. In 2009, Moseley, a North Carolina State freshman, created a Facebook group called “John Wall PLEASE come to NC STATE!!!!”  After more than 700 people joined the group, Moseley received a cease and desist letter from the N.C. State compliance department. It became a national story as First Amendment rights activists went to bat for Moseley by speaking out in the media on his behalf.

Moseley eventually changed the name of the group. (Not sure if the NC State compliance office confiscated this sign featured on ESPN or this painting done for Julius Randle. I digress.)

It’s important to note that multiple other people created Facebook groups encouraging John Wall to come to their respective school, including students at Baylor, Duke, and at least four groups for Kentucky.  There is no indication that the compliance departments at Baylor, Duke, and Kentucky made any such effort to reach out to those students.

What are the schools saying to fans?

We learned two important things from the Moseley fiasco:

First, the NCAA did not ask Moseley to take down the Facebook group or change the name – North Carolina State did. There are very few, if any, reports of the NCAA actually policing individual people from interacting with recruits via social media. That job is tasked to the individual universities, which generally consists of a handful of overworked compliance officers.

Second, compliance departments are not uniform in the way they police interaction among fans and recruits. N.C. State was obviously more proactive in its supervision of students and boosters online. But for every N.C. State department, there are 100 Kentucky departments, which, for one reason or another, do not (or choose not) to police such activity.

Most university compliance departments have a blanket policy on social media on the department website. For instance, North Carolina states the following in one of its bulletins to boosters:

“The use of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace can very easily be used by individuals in an attempt to influence prospective student-athletes to attend a specific institution. The NCAA prohibits any involvement by boosters in the recruitment of prospects, and individuals who might initiate these attempts to contact prospects could jeopardize the institution’s ability to continue the recruitment of such prospects.”

Other departments are trying to get more interactive by starting their own Twitter and Facebook accounts. You might see @JayhawkComply on twitter, which recently authored this tweet: “All faculty, staff, students and boosters of KU cannot promote KU in any way or encourage a prospect to attend KU, Leave this to coaches.” In anticipation of Julius Randle’s visit this weekend, it also wrote: “KU Fans: NCAA rules prohibit you from recruiting prospects and publicizing their visit to campus, including signs* in AFH during a game!”

**Speaking of signs, I have heard of KU taking away a sign at a game, but only after the recruit in attendance saw it. In other words, bring your Julius Randle signs to the game. The worst thing that could happen is they take it away. Then just start some Randle chants. Doesn’t hurt.

If you continue to look around at other departments, you’ll see more and more of these vague, blanket, overarching statements loosely referencing the NCAA and it Bylaws. All will have the same basic message: Don’t do it.

Now for the real world.

The reality is that university compliance departments have a lot on their hands. They’re understaffed, they’re overworked, and they simply do not have the resources to track everything on the Internet. They must track athletes already at the university as well as prospective ones. It’s an incredibly difficult task.

Consider this scenario: I create an account called “MUTigerBooster” and start tweeting to potential Missouri recruits to come to Missouri to achieve all the riches in their wildest dreams. I could tell them I’ll provide cars, women, booze, drugs, pizza, STD tests, whatever. All MU could do is tell me to stop. There is no subpoena power. There is no name associated with the account. And it is incredibly unlikely that Twitter would disclose IP addresses or contact information. It is a nightmare for compliance folks.

But what can they do?

**Sidenote: Some university departments are turning to computer programs and outside firms to help police online content from their athletes. One such company is UDiligence, which uses custom keyword lists to catch problems before they occur. For a good time, check out the UDiligence website page where they show images that they have caught. Pretty funny stuff.

I contend that over 99% of the online interaction between fans and recruits will not receive any response from the university the fan represents. Don’t confuse this as tacit approval of the action from the university. It’s not. But policing online content on social media websites would take 100 employees, not 5. That being said, most of the time if a violation is reported to compliance officials, they will look into it and issue a request to stop the behavior if it is found to be violative.

**Another sidenote: I’m sure by writing this piece I will be getting a message the next time I reply to a tweet from Julius Randle or Tyus Jones.

My take

The most interesting part of this whole thing? The recruits want you to tweet them. They want as many followers as they can possibly get, and the attention from a particular school’s fan base does have an effect on what school that guy chooses. To say otherwise is ignorant.

Obviously that also means that coaches secretly want fans tweeting to prospects too. It hammers home the recruiting pitch that if you come to Kansas, you’ll be beloved by all of KU nation – and you can see that’s already happening on your twitter feed. Coaches may come out and say that they don’t need the extra help, but I would argue that they are not being truthful. It doesn’t hurt to have some extra help, especially when every other school is doing it too.

I think there is a competitive advantage in the recruiting game to have a fan base on social networks that follow and interact with recruits. Even though the NCAA and the university compliance department tells me not to, I will continue to follow, retweet, and interact with recruits.  And I actually encourage you all to do the same.

Obviously you have to be smart and tactful about it. When tweeting, do so in a classy and respectful manner. And if a player doesn’t choose KU, wish him well and call it a day.

But until I see equal policing across the board from other Division I compliance departments that KU competes with, I will maintain my position on this.

Happy tweeting.

Wayne Selden is a Jayhawk

Posted on: October 15th, 2012 by jayhawktalk No Comments

Good news on a Monday morning is sometimes hard to come by. Luckily for KU fans, this Monday is different. Wayne Selden, a talented 2013 shooting guard, just committed to Bill Self and Kansas.

Selden was on campus this last weekend for Late Night in the Phog and wrapped up his visit Sunday morning. There were various reports on twitter and elsewhere that people had seen him out with the team this weekend and he seemed to really be enjoying himself. The commitment this morning apparently confirms those reports.

He is the #23 ranked Rivals player in the class of 2013, #15 in Scout, and #14 in ESPN. You can see some highlights of his game here.

It is great to see the 2013 class starting to come together. With commitments from a true point guard in Frank Mason, two combo guards in Frankamp and Selden, and a wing in Greene, Self will now turn his attention to landing a talented big man (or two) to round out the class.


Chances for a great 2013 class?

Posted on: October 3rd, 2012 by jayhawktalk No Comments

(Editor’s Note: The following piece is a guest entry from KU fan and blogger, Chris Resor. He will be writing for Jayhawk-Talk this season and we’re stoked to have him! Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisResor)

Many Kansas basketball fans enjoy the recruiting season nearly as much as they enjoy the basketball season.  As such, there tends to be a common theme to the questions that I am asked most often.

“What’s the chances we get so-and-so?”

This can be a difficult question to answer, because each recruit seems to have a different set of deciding factors important to them. There’s also the important questions of opportunity to play and the system they will play in. This article will help address many of these questions for each of KU’s 2013 targets. Who’s visiting when?  What positions are open?  What do the players value most?  What other teams are recruiting these players?  And so on.

Based on all of the above factors, I will give you my best guess on the chances that each player signs with KU when all is said and done.

Julius Randle and Zach Peters

Julius Randle:  (6′-9 F Plano, TX)  Former teammate of current Kansas Forward, Zach Peters, Randle is considered the top player in the class by many experts.  He can play any position and can star with any ensemble of players, so roster spots are irrelevant.  UK is making a major push, and is considered his leader at this time.  However, Kansas is trying to secure a visit to Lawrence for “Late Night in the Phog,” and if Bill Self can do it, consider KU to be a major player in the race.  But at this time, I would put KU’s chances of landing this stud low, at 20%.

Aaron Gordon:  (6′-8 F San Jose, CA)  This Blake Griffin clone is considered a long shot to leave the west coast, but the fact that he is attending “Late Night” tells me that he is giving KU a puncher’s chance.  Bill Self is going all in on guys from 6′-8 all the way up to 7′-0. Since the visit hasn’t happened as of this being published, I have to stay low for the time being - 10%.

Jabari Parker:  (6′-8 Chicago, IL)  Jabari Parker’s recruitment has been played as close to the vest as any I can remember in recent years.  There are rumors that Duke and Michigan State lead for his services, but there has never been any good evidence that would suggest that this is the case.  Kansas’ in-home visit recently at the Parker household was “eye opening” and made a great impression on Parker and his family.   Again, with this recruitment being one of the most secretive in recent memory, I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting this above 20%.

Tyler Roberson:  (6′-8 F Roselle, NJ)  The fact that he has moved back his visit from October 12th (Late Night) to the 19th shouldn’t scare off the KU faithful.  It was mostly due to his hectic schedule in the weekends that surround that date.  There is still a chance that he could attend Villanova’s version of Midnight Madness.  Villanova and Kentucky are major players in this recruitment, but KU sits well with him.  KU’s chances, 40%.

Wayne Selden throwing down

Wayne Selden:  (6′-5 G Tilton, NH)  One of the most explosive players in the class, Selden is being sold the idea of coming in and being the typical Bill Self combo guard.  With the ability to play 3 positions, competition on the current roster should not affect his decision.  His decision to attend “Late Night” has put KU right at the top of the list.  With James Young more than likely choosing somewhere other than KU, Selden seems very likely to take that scholarship.  This number is about as good as a sure thing in the recruiting process, 75%.

Conner Frankamp:  (6′-0 G Wichita, KS)  No one has risen in the rankings as much as the sharp-shooting guard from Wichita has this summer.  Frankamp’s explosion at evaluation camps, and his play for the US team this summer has ensured that Kansas will have a bonafied star in the back court next season regardless of who else chooses the Jayhawks.  Since he cannot sign his LOI at this time, he is on the list, but believe me this kid is 100% a Jayhawk!

Brannen Greene:  (6′-7 F Forsyth, GA)  Similar to Conner, having already committed to the Kansas Jayhawks, this smooth shooting SF has to be on the list since his LOI is not signed either.  Having recently stated that other coaches are actually still actively recruiting him, he reaffirmed his commitment to Coach Self personally in recent weeks, so we must put him at 100% also.

Joel Embiid:  (7′-0 C Gainesville, FL)  Having only been playing basketball for about a year, this seven footer has quickly became a household name.  Dave Telep’s man crush will push him to a 4 Star ranking by the time he finishes his senior season.  He is another of the “Late Night” visitors, but I believe this big man will stay home in Gainesville and join his AAU teammates, Chris Walker and Kasey Hill, on Billy Donavon’s squad next season.  Bill Self’s record with big men gives him a foot in the door, however. I think 20% sounds about right.

James Young:  (6′-6 G Rochester Hills, MI)  Although it has been rumored that Young has cut his list to two recently, Kansas and Michigan State are still sitting neck and neck with the two rumored leaders, Kentucky and Syracuse.  Unlike others on the list, where particular players decide to play their college ball will determine where Young decides to go.  Any combination of players committing to any of these 4 schools would sway Young’s decision in my mind.  With this being the case, I would assign each school an equal chance of landing Young. KU: 25%.

Frank Mason

Frank Mason:  (5′-11 G Petersburg, VA)  This fearless PG was the leading scorer in the state last year, and after committing to Towson last season, has spent a year in prep school to get his academics in order.  His game will remind some of Sherron Collins, in that he is completely fearless when it comes to getting to the paint.  His recent visit was put off due to a transcript issue with the school, but should visit Lawrence as early as Thursday, and a commitment is very possible before he leaves.  Whether its this week or later, I would put KU’s chances of landing Mason at 90%.

Karvier Shepherd:  (6′-10 C Dallas, TX)  All 3 Texas schools, Oklahoma, and Kansas are on the top 5 for this gifted big man out of Dallas.  It was recently rumored that Texas A&M and Kansas were close to landing Shepherd, but I still think all 5 are legitimate contenders.  Again, Self’s recent success with big men is a big help in this recruitment.  KU stands a great chance at landing Shepherd, and in the recruiting business, a great chance is around 60%.

Roddy Peters (6′-4 G District Heights, MD)  Bill Self has jumped into this recruitment late because of the recent commitments of his first 3 choices to other schools.  But with the chances of the Harrison twins potentially choosing Maryland later this week, Peters is now open to several different schools.  Self was at Suitland HS on Tuesday to watch Peters, and has set up an official visit so KU is going to be an option, but right now, those chances are low - 20%.  However, if the twins should choose MD on Thursday, Peters to KU jumps to 50%.

To recap, in this business, anything over 60% is about as close to a sure thing as you will find.  With that in mind, I think the 2013 class will eventually include the following:

Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene, 
Wayne Selden, 
Frank Mason, 
Karvier Shepherd

Whether its Selden, Mason, and Shepherd, or any combination of the aforementioned, to go along with the solid commitments of Greene and Frankamp, there is 100% chance that the 2013 class will be one of the best in the Bill Self era.


With Walker committed to UF, where does KU turn now?

Posted on: July 22nd, 2012 by jayhawktalk No Comments

Chris Walker, 2013 power forward, has committed to the University of Florida. Bill Self and Co. will now turn their sights on Julius Randle, the #2 ranked player in the Class of ’13. The competition will be stiff to get him. He is reportedly high on Kentucky, NC State, and Duke, but said he will take all 5 official visits before deciding on a school. Kansas will likely be one of the remaining five schools.

However, even if Self is unable to get Randle on campus, KU is in good position with a number of other bigs from the class of ’13. Kansas has and will continue to recruit Jermaine Lawrence (#19 Rivals), Karviar Shepherd (#34 Rivals), Jarell Martin (#13 Rivals), Marcus Lee (#33 Rivals), Austin Nichols (#43 Rivals), and Jordan Mickey (#51 Rivals).

More updates to follow.


’13 KU Recruiting Spotlight: Chris Walker

Posted on: June 26th, 2012 by jayhawktalk No Comments

Chris Walker ready to smash

UPDATE: July 22, 2012

Chris Walker has committed to the University of Florida. Bill Self and Co. will now turn their sights on Julius Randle, the #2 ranked player in the Class of ’13. The competition will be stiff to get him. He is reportedly high on Kentucky, NC State, and Duke, but said he will take all 5 official visits before deciding on a school. Other bigs that Kansas will continue to recruit include Jermaine Lawrence (#19 Rivals), Karviar Shepherd (#34 Rivals), Jarell Martin (#13 Rivals), Marcus Lee (#33 Rivals), Austin Nichols (#43 Rivals), and Jordan Mickey (#51 Rivals).


Chris Walker, PF – Committed – University of Florida


Review (and my take):

“If I had to commit right now, I would choose Kansas.” – Chris Walker (December 2011)

Chris Walker has been near the top of recruiting lists for a long time. Depending on when you looked at his profile, he might have been listed as a small forward or combo forward. Then he’d grow again. Next thing you know, he’s a power forward. Some even list him as a center.

What is certain is that the Bonifay, FL native has game. A lot of game. And no matter what position you want to put him at, he’s going to be a dynamite player for you. Bill Self recognized this talent early and was among the first high major schools to offer him. Since that time, other schools have entered the fold (schools like Syracuse, Ohio State, Baylor, etc.) but Kansas has remained one of Walker’s top schools.

Fighting for his services is the hometown state school and Billy Donovan, a coach who has already secured a prized 2013 commitment in PG Kasey Hill (#8 Rivals). Hill also happens to be on Walker’s AAU team, the Florida Rams. Donovan has fostered a good relationship with Walker and can point to success producing other big men into NBA talent.

While Bill Self doesn’t get the hometown discount, he too has secured a prized 2013 recruit in guard, Brannen Greene. Greene also plays on the Florida Rams and has routinely tweeted that he is trying to recruit Walker and others to join him at KU.

A school mysteriously missing from Walker’s recruitment thus far is Kentucky. Chris routinely tweets that UK is a school he would like to attend, but Calipari and Co. have not yet offered him a scholarship. Assuming that holds true, I expect the recruitment to come down to the aforementioned Jayhawks and Gators. If Kentucky does offer, it will immediately become a three horse race.

Whoever gets Walker will receive an extremely long and athletic forward with an affinity for dynamic alley-oop dunks and extremely good timing blocking shots on the defensive end. He does his best in transition and uses his speed to face up and get around his defenders. He also may have the biggest upside of anyone in the entire 2013 class.

He will need to get in the weight room and add weight and muscle to his thin frame. This is one reason KU has to be attractive to Walker as our strength and conditioning team has consistently proven itself under Andrea Hudy. He will also need to work on his post moves. When Walker gave the quote at the beginning of this post, Danny Manning was still on board as KU’s big man coach. It probably didn’t help KU’s chances that he moved on to Tulsa, but Self’s system will remain the same. And in Self’s system, the ball will move through the big guys.

Bottom line is that Walker is a fantastic talent that would certainly thrive at Kansas. He would be an immediate contributor and a centerpiece of Self’s 2013 class. As his recruitment currently stands, I think Self has positioned himself as well as he possibly can. Walker knows that he is a top priority.

My best guess on where Walker ends up? In the end, I think Florida has a slight edge on Kansas. Walker gives KU a lot of love on twitter and it is clear he likes the attention that the fan base gives him. That said, I expect that the hometown team will end up with Walker’s services. I hope I’m wrong because Walker would look great in KU blue.

Final Link: Someone really wants Chris Walker to come to KU.