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Back for more: Perry Ellis to return for senior season

Kansas men’s basketball junior Perry Ellis, right, illuminated with a projected logo of the Jayhawks' 11 straight conference championships, is shown a photograph by an attendee at the team's postseason awards banquet Monday April 13, 2015. Ellis received the Danny Manning - Mr. Jayhawk award at the banquet.

Kansas University junior Perry Ellis received a loud, long standing ovation during his acceptance speech for his Danny Manning “Mr. Jayhawk” team MVP award at Monday night’s basketball awards banquet in Lawrence’s Holiday Inn convention center.

The 6-foot-8 first-team All-Big 12 forward from Wichita used the platform to announce his plans to stay at KU for his senior year and not enter the 2015 NBA Draft, obviously a popular decision with the fans.

Podcast

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Perry Ellis explains process of deciding to return to KU

Kansas junior forward Perry Ellis announced Monday night at KU's basketball banquet he decided to return for his senior season ...

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Podcast

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self discusses Perry Ellis coming back for senior season

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self speaks with the media following KU's team banquet, where junior forward Perry Ellis announced his ...

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“I’ve been talking to my family and coach about the future. Looking back on the season, there’s still a lot left on the table. I feel it’d be best for me to come back,” he said, causing more than 500 banquet-goers to jump to their feet in joy.

“I’ve known for a while, just thinking how much more I can improve. It’s a big thing getting my degree,” he added. “That’s huge for me. Coming back to get that, to be set for life. I (also) know there’s another step I can take.”

Ellis, who averaged 13.8 points and 6.9 boards a game for 27-9 KU, was armed with information from the NBA undergraduate advisory committee and other sources regarding his NBA Draft stock.

“Some thought first round; a lot were second round. I can still get better. That’s what I want to do,” Ellis said.

He said the NBA wants him to “expand my range, dribbling. That will be key for the summer — guard workouts. It’s a lot of perimeter stuff, shooting and stuff. That’s what they want to see. I’m going to work as hard as I can on that and go from there.”

Asked if he was tempted to start his pro career, Ellis, who said he made his decision about a week ago, stated: “That’s the goal. You can’t rush it. You’ll know when the time comes. It hasn’t come yet. I’m still glad to be here.”

Ellis said he’s fully recovered from the knee injury that slowed him at the end of the season and is even playing pick-up games without a brace.

“Going off what the NBA people said, probably early- to mid-second round with a chance to help himself in the workouts,” KU coach Bill Self said of Ellis’ likely draft stock had he left KU. “Also, a chance not to help yourself. If you are going to those workouts and banking on that getting you in the first round and don’t have great workouts, that’s not going to help you at all. He made the right decision. I really believe, though, if Perry stayed healthy he could have been a first-round pick.

“The whole thing is, he has a chance to be a top-10 scorer (at KU), and I’d assume high in the rebound ranks. He will be at least a two-time first team all-league player. He is going to graduate. Then who knows if he can make an All American team, maybe even get his jersey hung up there (in KU rafters), if that’s the case. There’s still a lot to play for.

“What we were told by other people, people other than me, is, ‘You can’t hurt yourself coming back. You can only help yourself.’ Hopefully he’ll have a Frank Kaminsky-type senior year and shoot up the charts,” Self added.

“It’s not a surprise to me at all, nor probably anybody that he came back. But there was probably more a chance he could go than what a lot of people thought.”

Comments

Joe Ross

Its nearly three a.m. and I cant sleep. I log on to KUsports to find this. Suddenly I feel pleasant dreams await.

hashtag: mancrushingonperryellis

7 years, 7 months ago

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Brian Skelly

+1

Good news all around. It sounds like he put some good thought and research to it.

7 years, 7 months ago

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RJ King

PRESS RELEASE - just thought I'd share:
Ben McLemore Presented with the 2015 Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award
McLemore Exemplifies Excellence on the Court and in the Community

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Today, the Sacramento Kings announced Ben McLemore as the awardee of 2015 Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award. The award, named after the NBA legend, is given each year to a Kings player who exemplifies excellence on the court and in the community. McLemore was presented the honor during halftime of the April 13 game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

In his two seasons in the NBA, McLemore has made giving back a priority throughout the Sacramento community and in his hometown of Wellston, Missouri. This year he donated 360 tickets, as well as t-shirts, cheer cards and food and beverage vouchers to Saint John’s Program for Real Change. In addition, McLemore visited several schools and area shelters, donated books and meals, read to students and played basketball with kids. His community work also included hosting several Sacramento-area children on a shopping spree and donating food to families in St. Louis, Missouri.

For these and other efforts, McLemore was the recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist Award earlier this season.

“When I was growing up, my family didn’t have much, so it’s always been extremely important for me to give back and help wherever and whenever I can,” said McLemore. “I cherish the opportunity to be a role model for young kids and to give back to Sacramento and the community in which I grew up in Missouri. I’m honored to receive this recognition named for an NBA legend and great humanitarian.”

The Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award winner is presented to a deserving Kings player who best exemplifies winning characteristics, both as an athlete and a conscientious citizen active in the community. Deconstructed, the “triple” signifies on-court accomplishments: team leader, embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and plays an outstanding all-around game. The “double” signifies his impact off the court by demonstrating a commitment to community service and family.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Adam Tyler

Thanks for sharing!

Glad Ben is using his platform to help others.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

Nice RJ. Ben McLemore was our best recruit out of a very mediocre 2011 class. Having been forced to sit out a year, he was the perfect player to help get an experienced group of blue collar players to the NCAA championship.

If I recall correctly, EJ was the single 5 Star player on the team. BMac had been ranked 34th (same as Frankamp) but had obviously improved over the period he had been forced to sit. I think it's great that he represents Kansas so well in the NBA. Just being a good guy isn't really that easy, especially for someone so young who has until recently not been well off financially.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Suzi Marshall

Really cool share RJ!

BMac is a class guy. It's incomprehensible that BMac had a reputation coming out of HS as a "problem child" because from the second he hit campus to this day, he's a real tribute to the best of humanity.

7 years, 7 months ago

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RJ King

Last night I had the pleasure of working the Kings vs Lakers game. Never thought I'd see both Tarik Black and BMac on the same court. Very proud of both kids - their demeanor, patience, work ethic. So deserving of their success so far!

7 years, 7 months ago

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Reba Baker

Good deal. So glad to hear this.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rodney Crain

IMO Frank Mason was the POY for KU. He showed up every game for us.

It would be great if Perry was more consistent then he was early in the season last year. Do you remember him disappearing in games? His own coach expecting more? The benching in some games, barely playing in some halves? I am not sure you do.

When our "best" player is unworthy of being drafted it kind of says something too. He tore up the summer leagues and then could not put a couple of games together early in the season. He had starting experience, confidence, considered a team leader by example and had some horrible games.

I agree with Aaron on another thread, we had to have him back or else the front court roster was really going to be in real trouble. To think because he was all B12 he was great, is the same mistake to think the B12 was the best conference in nation however.

I would like to see him play the way we all know he can consistently for a whole year, one full season. If he is our best player he should show up for every game, and not have to take half the season to show it.

If he struggles with consistency again, which is very possible, we have seen it for three years, then I guess it is our fault for expecting too much of him. In that regard you are right, some people never learn.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Brianna Zaleski

Jesus Rodney, you should just change your name to Buzz Killington. Its a good day for Perry, KU Basketball and the fans. Can we enjoy the moment for a second before you cast a black cloud over the whole affair?

To be fair, you make some good points. Perry disappeared during games last season. No doubt. But the fact is, when he is on his game, he is one of the best players in the league. His main goal this year, IMO, will be to just be consistent. If he can accomplish that, he just might make one of the AA teams by years end.

But Christ Almighty, take it easy on the kid. Its the offseason :)

7 years, 7 months ago

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Joe Joseph

Rodney is a well established Perry-hater, who is reluctant to give credit when credit is due. Perry's a first-team all-conference player? Well, it's because the Big 12 was weak. Perry averages 17 ppg in conference (guesstimate) play and averaged 20+ in his last 5 games? Well, he sucked for part of the non-conference season.

The fact that Perry is not a great pro prospect does not disqualify him from being a good, or even great collegiate athlete. He was inconsistent the first half of the season. Fact. He was very good, however, the second half of the season. Fact.

7 years, 7 months ago

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RJ King

I'm not even religious, but I'd prefer to see you make the same point without the expletives please. It's kind of a buzz kill for me.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

The funny part is if you go back to when Ellis missed a relatively easy layup to lose the game in the final seconds you will see all those now talking Ellis up were speaking just a little bit differently back then.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

HCBS did say that Perry had been suffering with a knee issue that was more serious than was led on to the media. Granted that was during conference play but it was also when he seemed to have gotten over a sustained period of playing without confidence. I think we will see Perry Ellis had his best year next year.

Still, even with that said, I don't see where he will make any huge strides. I believe he will be more confident, more aggressive and even probably, a better three point shooter. I still believe he should have entered the draft as I don't see his position moving much in either direction. I'm sure this year's talent compared to next year's talent in the draft and maybe that played a part in his decision.

That's pure speculation. I think this years draft is probably going to be on par with next year's.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rodney Crain

Hi all repliers - I understand your emotion, the truth can be a bitter pill. Thanks for confirming my accuracy with my point. Your support, indirectly, is very much appreciated.

I agree with you Frank was really our POY!

7 years, 7 months ago

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Matt Gauntt

Brett - great comment

I've been a little dismayed this year at some of the comments from our "fans". Lots of comments about how we are a program in decline and some calling for Self to be replaced. Really? Here's the stats for the last 10 years of coaches in NCAA:

Last 10 Years
349-68 John Calipari
328-69 Bill Self
324-70 Mike Krzyzewski
313-90 Roy Williams
305-71 Mark Few
304-96 Rick Pitino
299-94 Thad Matta
298-102 Billy Donovan
290-99 Jim Boeheim
289-97 Bo Ryan

Self is right below Calipari and just above Krzyzewski. Not bad. Not bad at all. Yeah, down year, but the program is just fine.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Brian Skelly

"Fans" or also known as the peanut gallery. The beauty of these boards (and boards/threads in general) is people's emotions and passions come out. But sometimes so does ignorance. It's easy to be critical from behind a keyboard in ones pj's.

That said, I think its fair to be somewhat critical of Self, but as you point out, hard evidence tilts towards him, not away. And unless you get one of those other guys to coach at KU, letting him leave is laughable.

What is fair is we have a lot of 1st weekend outs in the NCAA tournament, most coming when we are high seed. I think when we were bounced the stat they mentioned was as a #2 seed we've been bounced the most (six times if im correct). To me, its fair to be critical of that. Most years, this team being anything but at least a Sweet 16 team isnt really acceptable. And the high seeds justify that. But it certainly doesnt make me want to replace Bill Self, as plenty of the peanut gallery is apparently ready to do.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Brianna Zaleski

Brian,

How many times in the last 10 years have we not been a 1 or 2 seed. If it seems like we've lost a lot when we are a high seed, its because we are always a high seed.

I hate losing early as much as the next guy. But the statistics favor you the higher of a seed you are. If we continue to enter the tourney as a top 1-3 seed, our odds of advancing are greater.

Remember, too, Duke just won the championship. But the last 2 years before, they were bounced in the 1st round! It happens to every school that is consistently a top seed, not just us.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rodney Crain

Great point Brian. I hope that you do not get too much blow back from the "super" fans on here for being spoiled. Any critical comment of our team is considered sacrilege you know? Even if it is fair criticism.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Brianna Zaleski

Rodney,

There you go trolling for conflict again. Stay above the fray. You're a good poster, you don't need to troll for negativity.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rodney Crain

As you can see Brian my point is proven again by Brianna and especially poor Brett. (He proves my point each time I bring this up I am afraid). Any truthful or critical comment hits a little to close to home for the flag carrying off a cliff posters. Even facts, stats and quotes on this very site are not relevant to Brett. He prefers to consider his own incomplete view, no others.

I understand why. I just wish they did. Alas for now all I can do is hope it sinks in one day. Thank you again Brian for a fair post. Do not let those who disagree ever persuade you to not voice your fair opinion.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

As I'm sure you know Matt, statistics can be used in so many ways that basing any opinion on just one statistic can be fallible.

When comparing NCAA tournament records Izzo, Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and Rick Pitino, all have more wins and at a higher percentage.

http://statsheet.com/mcb/coaches/comp...

http://statsheet.com/mcb/coaches/comp...

Better comparisons than just an arbitrary 10 year period looking only at wins v losses.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Matt Gauntt

Holly, I picked 10 years because a) it's kind of a nice round number, b) it reflects "what have you done lately" and c) because it is roughly the time that Coach has been here at KU. Sure, if you want to go all time, then you can include his time at Oral Roberts and Tulsa, neither known as great b-ball powerhouses.

You're right, stats can be cherry picked. In this case, that wasn't my intention. I was merely trying to reflect that we have a pretty good program and that we don't have to cumulatively pull out our hari-kiri knives.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Joseph Bullock

Great point Brett McCabe! Fiat weather fans, and people who don't know very little about basketball! After the game at West Virginia, some of the stupid comments people made, were beyond belief! So the next game, which was at Allen Fieldhouse, I went to both ends of the court, and talked to, probably 200 students, in groups there, before the game started, and said, tell me honestly, do you think we lost the WV game, because of Perry! Every one of them was 'Adament', that it was not Perrys fault we lost that game, and in fact, to a person, said this: We love Perry! They said, Perey had a great game at WV, and we should have never been in that position, at the end of the game! Imagine that-these young kids know more about basketball, and loyalty to someone who has given so much to our program, than so many 'so called' adults! Oh, and then I should them a poster I made, and they went wild, and if you remember the chants of: Perry Perey Perry Perey- that was on my poster! Also, almost everyone who saw the poster, gave me a 'Thumbs Up'! I will try to post the pic, here!

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rob Bedford III

Good to have Perry back. He will be needed as it looks like KU will miss on Thorne and Diallo.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Adam Tyler

Source?

7 years, 7 months ago

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John Fitzgerald

Thorne is visiting Kentucky, so there's a good chance he's out. Diallo will want to start and unfortunately that won't happen at KU with Ellis staying. Even if we don't pick up anyone else I'm happy with our team. If Lucas and Mikelson can improve their games, I think we're a different team next year. They are the key to our success at this point, because we know Mason, Ellis, and Selden will step up regardless.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rob Bedford III

If we are lucky Bragg will be the real deal and Lucas/Mickelson will not see any time on the court.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Adam Tyler

Lucas will play meaningful minutes next year.

He earned it. 4th year in the program and end of last season stepped up big time.

It is undeniable how much his confidence grew once he was given large amounts of minutes. He should take that confidence into the offseason, gain some upper body strength, and be a solid bruiser down low.

Will Lucas ever be a go-to scorer? IMO, no. But that's not what we need from him. We need toughness, rebounding, and somebody who knows the flow of our offense and defense.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

I can't count how many times I've heard that. Lucas/Mickelson will see playing time if they deserve it regardless of who else is on the team.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

How does Ellis staying keep Diallo from potentially starting alongside Ellis?

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rob Bedford III

If you believe the scouts Diallo is headed to St. Johns.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

Where is your source on that? You've been posting this for awhile without any sources backing it up. Chris Mullin is assembling a staff, he's a man with connections like Hoiberg and can put together a good staff.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rob Bedford III

I'm just going off what I see on 247Sports that has St Johns in the lead and they are picking up more momentum.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Adam Tyler

The more he changes the crystal ball predictions, the more clicks he gets.

It's good business.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Benz Junque

If you are a slave to Jerry Meyer's ever changing Crystal Ball then he is going to St Johns. But I do not see that happening, especially with the other bigs they have signed lately.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

You're asked to provide a source and then when you do, you're chastised for it not being good enough.

Ridiculous

7 years, 7 months ago

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John Fitzgerald

It's my assumption since we have two guys that are more experienced and have more size. Thorne and Zimmerman would have a better chance of starting because of their height. But I'm trying to be optimistic that Lucas and Mickelson will shock some people and improve drastically during the South Korea tournament.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rob Bedford III

If KU has to rely on Lucas and Mickelson next year it will be another sub par year.

7 years, 7 months ago

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John Fitzgerald

Ignorance is bliss. You are a blissful fellow.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Rob Bedford III

If you are optimistic that Lucas/Mickelson will be anything more than big bodies with average talent than you my friend are the blissful fellow.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

I can see one or even both have breakout years as Withey and Thomas did in 2012.

Still, wouldn't mind seeing us at another quality big man.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Adam Tyler

Ellis and Diallo complement each other perfectly on the court.

Diallo won't be the focal point of the offense, but will benefit from defenses worrying about Ellis and will get easy buckets.

Ellis will benefit from having a legit big playing next him, which will allow him to roam around more and not be forced to constantly stay inside taking a pounding from big bodies.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Michael Bratisax

Really? I don't recall seeing them play together. It my be your opinion but it certainly isn't a factual statement.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Benz Junque

"Diallo will want to start and unfortunately that won't happen at KU with Ellis staying."

Eh, what? Diallo will take the starting spot currently being occupied by Lucas and will use all of the minutes used by Alexander and some of those used by Traylor/Lucas/Mickelson. Diallo is a perfect fit at that spot in Self's system and Kansas looks to be the best fit for him. St John's has signed a bunch of other bigs. Kentucky is a big question mark with no great players returning. Iowa State lost the best thing they had going for them in their assistant coach from NYC. Kansas has a great shot at Diallo.

7 years, 7 months ago

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John Fitzgerald

Says who? Are you personal friends with Bill Self? Does he tell you all of his plans and strategies? Was there an article I missed out on? I remember an article about Lucas being part of our future though.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Adam Tyler

Lucas will be a big contributor going forward. No denying that.

But his role could be the exact same coming off the bench. And it will allow for an high impact performer to carry a larger load.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

Self doesn't promise ANYTHING to recruits... Where have I heard that before?

7 years, 7 months ago

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Tyson Ailshie

That's not what I've been reading. http://www.rockchalktalk.com/2015/4/9...

7 years, 7 months ago

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Ryan Shelton

I'm already looking forward to next year's Senior Night!

7 years, 7 months ago

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Justin Kruse

Great news! Can't wait to see Perry play his senior season with some purpose, and hopefully a ton of passion. Love seeing guys stick around for all four years!

7 years, 7 months ago

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John Fitzgerald

I think the most important recruit for us right now is Thorne. The fact that he is visiting Kentucky now worries me. But we need as many big men as possible because our guards are loaded. Having multiple solid big men will allow us to play more aggressive on defense so we're not in danger of losing height down low. Of course, I'd be very happy with Zimmerman, Diallo, or Brown as well.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Damian Glaze

If Thorne is the most important recruit for us right now, I would think Ellis staying would work more in our favor. Why would a graduating senior want to play with a bunch of freshman that you don't know how they will perform through the course of the season? Coming to KU he knows he has a guaranteed top 10 team with great potential to be a top 3 team with a couple missing pieces put in place. Obviously, getting exposure for the NBA is important but I would think the other thing you are looking for is your best chance to get that National Championship trophy. That's the way I see it.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Ben Simonett

When Self brought perry in he was promising Ellis would play the 3. Here we are in his senior season and still no efforts to develop him as a perimeter player. If i was perry i would feel betrayed. My best chance at an NBA career is to develop as a 3 because im undersized for the 4.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

Where is the proof Self ever told Perry he would be a 3 at KU?

7 years, 7 months ago

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Benz Junque

A) you have no clue what was promised to Perry in his recruitment
B) Self doesn't promise ANYTHING to recruits
C) If Perry had put the time into developing his outside shot and his ball handling then he would play out there more. You don't develop in games, you develop in practice.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Ben Simonett

Never said the promise was made directly to perry. it was no doubt made to the media however. That whole "Bill Self doesnt make promises" line is crap. Its just nice to believe for most of the kool aid drinkers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvQtp...

1:25 "he is goign to be a 3 man"

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

I listened twice and amazingly both times Self stated "he is going to be a 3-man - he is". Now that might not qualify as a promise but it certainly was used to lure Perry to Kansas.

And how do you know Self doesn't promise ANYTHING to recruits? Are you and Self personal friends who discuss recruiting techniques?

7 years, 7 months ago

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Adam Tyler

He needs to handle to rock much better to be a true 3.

Also, I love that Ellis can stretch the defense with his three point shot, but in no way is he a quick twitch shooter. He spots up, takes what the defense gives him and takes good shots.

I've never once seen him make a move to create space and nail a three. Being able to do that, as well as drive to the hoop are the typical strengths of a 3 man.

7 years, 7 months ago

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Holly Pearle

Way to bring it Ben..well done. Makes me wonder even more why we didn't go after Cauley-Stein since there was so much speculation about both competing for the same spot.

7 years, 7 months ago

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