In Part 1 of our 2014 recruiting report, we looked at the top targets for the University of Kansas in Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones. If the package deal of this dynamic duo decides to attend Duke for the 2014-2015 season, KU will have to make a quick turn around and focus their attention on a couple of other recruits that will look to fill the voids of a few key targets that will leave this year to the NBA.
In the latest projections it looks like SG Wayne Selden, SF Andrew Wiggins, and C Joel Embiid will enter the 2014 draft at the end of this season. If this happens KU will have 4 open scholarships for the upcoming season, which includes Tarik Black's scholarship. A 6-7 SF Kelly Oubre from Richmond, Texas who is a top 10 recruit fills one of those scholarships, but KU has 3 more coveted scholarships.
What athletes will accept the challenge of playing basketball for KU? Two possible options besides Okafor and Jones are PF Cliff Alexander and PG JaQuan Lyle. These players have also been rumored to be apart of a package deal and would fit right into Bill Self's system next year. These will be the players under the microscope today.
Curie High School
Power Forward 6'8 225 Pounds
Update- Cliff Alexander is a post with great presence in the post. Cliff is extremely mobile as he enters the lane, and rebounds the ball like a monster. He grabs any ball within his long wingspan and will hold onto it will massive hands. Along with being an animal on offense he is a terror defensively. Cliff blocked shots in the lane, but also challenged outside shots as well. With his long wingspan, he is able to challenge shots all around the court.
Cliff Alexander would be perfect in Self's pick and roll offense. He makes the pick and roll look effortless, as he sets VERY solid picks then rumbles toward the rim awaiting the ball as dunks over his next victim. It's not just pick and roll that he runs well, it's his post up game that stands out. Cliff Alexander has a solid left and right hook shot that he utilizes when necessary. The thing many scouts worry about in big players that play with such ruthless power is their motor. That's one thing that you don't have to worry about with Mr. Alexander.
He has a non-stop motor and this attribute certainly rubs off on his teammates. Cliff Alexander will be in Lawrence, Kansas on November 10, which is another chance for Bill Self to win over this amazing athlete. It seems like Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor wont play together in college. That can be good or bad depending on your point of view. Who would you want more?? Cliff Alexander is officially down to Kansas, Memphis, DePaul, and Illinois.
Point Guard 6'4 185 pounds
Update- The thing about JaQuan Lyle is that he is a great combo guard that is very skilled and smooth. He glides across the court and is very explosive. He gets to the lane with ease and makes the quick decision to either finish for himself or dish it off to a teammate. He has great range for a combo guard and isn't afraid to put it up the shot no matter where he is on the court. His court vision is very unique for a combo guard and will look to help his teammates first.
Very unselfish which is an essential attribute to play in Coach Self's system. With his versatility he can play all three-perimeter positions if needed. Not many people at the 1 or 2 can stay up with him, which makes his presence very noticeable. If he can increase the consistency of his ball handling skills and solidify his outside shot, he can be a guard that can help for years to come. JaQuan Lyle has amazing upside and a very high ceiling. He has all the tools to be molded into the perfect Bill Self point guard.
Will he go his own way or will he join his buddy Cliff Alexander to make one of the deadliest combos in CBB? JaQuan Lyle is officially down to Kansas, Indiana, Memphis, and Connecticut.