As most rabid Kansas Basketball fans know by now, there will be a special visitor at this evening's battle with Michigan State. Joe Krabbenhoft, a highly touted 6-7 junior WF from Sioux Falls (SD) Roosevelt will be making an unofficial visit with his family as part of his ongoing tour of schools that he is considering including Minnesota, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, North Carolina State and Creighton.
Although he has actually played in Lawrence before (2002 Jayhawk Invitational) most fans are a bit in the dark about exactly what type of player Krabbenhoft is and how he would contribute on the next level. Over the past few years I have been able to see him play several times in various venues and think he is one of the top players in the class of 2005.
The first thing that jumps out about his game is his intensity and willingness to mix it up. Even though he is a natural wing who shoots and handles very well, he also has the ability to post up and use his wiry strong body to score in the box and rebound. He is a good defender who is more athletic than you might think, but he will struggle with creative ball handlers who change directions quickly.
Just for Evaluation sake, here are a couple of evaluations I have written on Joe in the past, one from last summer and another from 2002. To provide some balance, I have also gotten some thoughts on Krabbenhoft's game from TheInsiders.com's Dave Telep, PrepStars.com's Rob Harrington and an assistant coach from the Big East.
From the 2003 St. Louis Eagles Invitational- First saw this Sioux Falls (SD) Roosevelt standout from the Class of 2005 at last year's Jayhawk Invitational. As good as he was then, he has improved and is a complete player now. He handles well, makes open jumpers and has as much heart as anybody else on the court. He is being touted as the finest prospect that the state has produced since Mike Miller and he is certainly a high-major prospect, but comparisons to the McDonald's All-American Miller are a bit premature.
From the 2002 Jayhawk Invitational- This freshman (!) is one to remember. At 6-5 he is already a good athlete and can play the WG/WF slot. Most impressive is his beautiful jump shot, which has a high arch and quick release. Can shoot off the dribble or coming off a pick and isn't afraid to attack the bucket. We will be very interested to see how he develops. The only problem is we weren't able to get his high school information. Odds are he will be heard from again so that shouldn't be a problem.
Dave Telep- "I think he's a very skilled small forward. Particularly interesting about his game is that he can play both inside and outside and likes to do it. He's good on the boards. His range is legit behind the arc and he's plays full speed ahead. He's got a chance to be very good and reportedly, he's a hard worker to boot. Great basketball IQ."
Rob Harrington- "I haven't seen as much of him as I have some of the other 2005 wings, but I like Joe. He's a sturdy wing who knocks down open shots, has a nice pull up off of the dribble and he rebounds well. He is scrappy in the post and I want to evaluate him more, but right now I wouldn't argue with anybody who considered him a top 50 type of player."
Big East asst.- "We chose not to recruit him because he doesn't fit our needs, but if we needed a strong wing he'd be a kid we would take a long look at. I like the way he moves without the ball and the way he sets defenders up off of picks to free up space for his jumper. He could be a bit more creative off of the dribble and needs to quicken up his recovery speed on defense, but his ability to score on bigger guys down low is a plus. He could definitely play in our league."