Chat with Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com
With names coming and going from the picture this summer for KU’s 2008 hoops recruiting class, Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com has followed it all. He’ll join KUSports.com Thursday at 2 p.m. to answer your questions about recruiting and give some names to keep an eye on over the coming months.
Hello everyone, and welcome inside from the heat here in Lawrence to another chat on KUSports.com. I’m Ryan Greene, and I’ll be moderating today’s chat session with Shay Wildeboor, the Basketball Recruiting Editor for JayhawkSlant.com. Shay, you’ve generated plenty of questions for this chat. Thanks for taking the time to join us for awhile this afternoon. How’s your summer been?
Ryan, thanks for taking the time to have me on with the Kansas Jayhawk Nation. It’s a real honor.
My summer has been very busy tracking both basketball and football recruits, but things are starting to calm down, and my wife couldn’t be happier.
Well our readers are foaming at the mouths it seems for some recruiting insight, so lets get started with the questions!
With all of the open slots that KU will have in the roster next year, and it being the college basketball mecca, why do you think we’ve had several recent defection of top recruits over the past week or so?
Sounds great. Let’s get the ball rolling here. I can’t wait to begin.
If you look at the top recruits that KU has recruited, only Romero Osby was lost along the way. The coaching staff spent a lot of time recruiting him.
However, if you look at DeAndre Liggins, Luke Zeller, Brandon Jennings and others, the staff got involved very late in the game. Zeller was out KU’s late night last year, but we never a priority until his outstanding performance this summer.
The names of high schoolers Greg Monroe, Terrance Henry, Troy Gillenwater, Clarence Trent, and Quintrell Thomas, and of JUCO forward Domanique Keller have been listed as KU power forward targets. If Darrell Arthur makes the move to the NBA next year, this is the position that will represent the greatest need. Who do you think the staff is targeting hardest, and who do you think is most likely to commit first?
While several recruits have decided to look elsehwere lately, KU got involved very late with all of them.
dbegert, Great question and you are right away. This is a big time need that must be filled. Greg Monroe, the No. 1 ranked player in the class, is the top priority of the big men, along with J’Mison Morgan, who is a center. Of the forwards you mentioned, Monroe is, and will continue to receive, the most attention.
Monroe is going to conduct in-home visits before deciding what schools to visit. He told me that KU will be invited to his home for a visit. Coach Self and other coach, if not more, will travel to his home in September for an entire evening.
After that, I believe Quintrell Thomas is next on the list. He is coming to Lawrence for a visit in late August or early September. However, Monroe is the top dawg on the list.
I don’t see Gillenwater and Trent being much of options right now. Keller is high on KU, but it’s not yet known how interested Self and his staff are. Keller told me he is going to release a top five list in September, as he wants to wait and see what schools are the most interested.
Ah, so nothing like Julian Wright’s in-home visit, I take it, where he committed minutes later? Sounds like Monroe’s recruitment could drag a bit, huh?
Nope, with Duke, LSU, Kansas, Georgetown and others beating down the door, Monroe is going to take all five visits and will take his time.
Of all the players KU is recruiting, Monroe is the toughest to get a feel for. He and his people have been very quiet and don’t spend much time, if any, talking about just one school in particular. According to Monroe, everybody on his list is an option. However, depending on who you listen to, Duke, LSU, KU and Georgetown appear to be in good position.
With the likely loss of Darrell Aurthur to the NBA lotto at the end of the 07-08 season, who do you see as our likely starter at the PF position in the 08-09 season?
If Darrell Arthur decides to leave at the end of the year, the coaching staff is going to have to find a replacement. That’s why Self and his staff are looking at a number of big men in this class. Greg Monroe, Dominique Keller, Quintrell Thomas, J’Mison Morgan (center) and probably a few others that we don’t know about.
The coaching staff will have to sign somebody in 2008 to fill that need. If you look at the current roster, nobody can step in and fill that role should Arthur decide to leave.
Right now, the staff is looking at several players, like a Greg Monroe, to come in and play right away. KU has a lot of minutes to offer.
Shay, talk about J’Mison Morgan. I know Rivals bumped him up to 5 star status, but tell us about his overall game, his conditioning, his relationship with Darrel Arthur, what kind of timeline he’s on with verballing, and how any other school might be able to lure him away from KU.
Being 6-foot-10 and weighing 275-pounds, J’Mison Morgan doesn’t excell at running up and down the court like some previous big men in the class. However, he’s got great hands and his a beast down low. He has the ability to score and rebound, but I just love how he changes the game on defense with his ability to block shots.
A recent Rivals article said that 27 of the top 50 recruits were power forwards or centers. Is there a reason Bill hasn’t signed at least one? Can Danny Manning not close?
I’m of the opinion that KU is the team to beat for Morgan. After making several phone calls this week, I was told that he and Darrell Arthur recently spent some quality time together. Additionally, it sounds like Morgan, his AAU coach and others are going to sit-down and come up with a list of schools to visit.
I believe Morgan will take some visits, but KU might be too tough to beat in the end. His relationship with Arthur, even though he might not be around, is only going to help.
I really couldn’t tell you how involved Coach Danny Manning is right now, when it comes to the recruiting process. However, I do know that this is a very weak class and KU has managed to stay in the game with the nation’s best power forward.
KU was also very much involved with Delvon Roe, another five-star PF and Romero Osby, but both decided to remain close to home. None of this will matter if Self and his staff can sign Greg Monroe, which will be a tall order.
However, you have asked a great question. KU has a ton of time to offer and is one of the top programs in all of college basketball. With that in mind, I can’t really give you an exact answer. I’m just as surprised as anybody at the lack of PF’s that have committed to KU at this time.
As far as the centers go, KU got involved late with Zeller and, after backing out of his commitment to Louisville, I don’t believe KU showed much interest, if any, in Jeff Withey. It looked like he was going to commit to KU last year, but decided on Louisville and is now headed to Arizona.
Adding Morgan and Monroe would do wonders for how people felt about this class.
Who are the top prospects in the state of Kansas?
Denver Holmes, Travis Releford, Willie Reed, Jeff Reed, and Alex English are some players to watch in KS.
Marcus Denmon, Torres Roundtree, Scott Suggs, Johnny Coy, Steve Moore, Dominique Morrison are players to watch in Missouri
Any idea who’s looking at Denver? I covered him a bit in HS, he’s a good kid and a nice two-guard.
I think some mid-major types are interested in Denver Holmes. Schools like the MVC. I try to follow players from the KS area, but unless they’re getting looks from KU, I don’t have as much time to follow as I would like.
However, Holmes is a player that I like.
what are your thoughts on rotnei clarke and willie warren? are they still considering the whole package deal situation? if so, what do you think are our chances if they pick the same school? what are our chances with each one if they choose to part ways?
I have not heard much about Willie Warren and Rotnei Clarke being a package deal lately. Early on, Warren said he was going to follow Clarke, but I don’t see that being the case.
In fact, I would be somewhat surprised if Clarke didn’t end up at Oral Roberts. His father, Conley Clarke, was recently added to the staff, so most believe Rotnei is headed to Oral Roberts.
Rotnei and his father have told me that a visit to KU, UK and Gonzaga will take place. But when all is said and done, it looks like Clarke will follow his father.
As far as Warren goes, KU is very much an option. OU is still the team to beat, but mom and son are very high on Kansas. Mom is going to have a say in this decision, and she really likes KU, which could end up being good news for KU fans. With that being said, OU is still on top.
How big of a part do the assistants play in recruiting??? Do you think the loss of Tim Jankovich will be a factor at all, and although Danny Manning can talk up his NBA days, will that translate into kids actually coming to Kansas???
According to what I’ve been told, both Warren and Clarke will visit KU in the fall, but nothing has been planned. Clarke said a visit during Midnight Madness might happen, but he and his family have been down for three straight years, so they might spend Midnight Madness weekend in Lexington, Kentucky.
Assistant coaches play a major role in the recruiting process. When I talk to most players, they say a lot of their contact is with Joe Dooley or Kurtis Townsend. When Coach Jankovich was here, he was mentioned during a lot of conversations that I had with recruits.
In my opinion, losing Jankovich hurt because he is such a great guy that people respect and love. He, much like Coach Self, has the ability to light up a room and is easy to build a relationship with. It’s kind of hard to explain, but Jankovich is just one of those guys that is very tough to replace.
As far as Coach Mannging goes, not many current recruits know much, if anything, about him. However, having him on the staff, largely due to his knowledge of the game and ability to coach, is priceless.
Also, Rivals.com released it’s latest 2009 rankings today and Xavier Henry maintained his No. 2 ranking. It wouldn’t surprise me if he eventaully took over the top spot before all is said and done.
How much stock do you put in to “rating” and “ranking” the players? I have seen some guys be rated or ranked top 20 by some sources and then not even be in the top 75 in others. What players do you feel KU has the best chance of getting?
gutter, Rankings are nothing more than opinions put together by one person or a group of people. I might like Willie Warren a lot better than somebody else, so I might rank him higher. That is just my opinion. What matters most is how the coaching staff feels about a player or players.
I think KU is in great shape with Willie Warren, Phillip McDonald, J’Mison Morgan and Terrance Henry.
I will have a better feel for Greg Monroe once all of his in-home visits are complete.
What do you think of Phillip McDonald?
Brock, Of the few times I’ve seen Phillip McDonald, he had a nice stroke from the outstide, but I didn’t see much else in his game. He floated around the perimeter and didn’t look to do much of anything expect shoot from the outside.
I would like to see him play in a high school game, which is more structured. However, I have talked to people who tell me he’s had some outstanding performances this summer.
OK guys, we’ve got three more questions…
What are the chances CJ Henry will play basketball for the Jayhawks?
The staff seems to like McDonald, as he’s been up once already and is coming back on September 14 for an official visit.
It doesn’t sound as if C.J. is having the type of success he hoped for on the baseball field, so if he does play college basketball, I expect him to do so in Lawrence.
Now, could he go elsehwere? Sure. But I just don’t see it happening.
At this point, what would you say our chances are with Xavier Henry. Several factors seem to point him toward KU, but are we really a strong favorite to get him?
Being that both parents played at KU, things certainly look good for KU. He’s been to Lawrence for LN a lot of times. He went to Memphis last year and will trip to UNC this year.
With all of that being said, I just have a hard time seeing Xavier playing any place but Kansas. It’s a gut feeling, but it’s telling me he will be a Jayhawk.
All right, two more…
If you were to guess who rounds out KU’s ’08 recruiting class?
Both parents went to KU is what I meant to say. Sorry about the confusion.
I couldn’t even begin to guess, as I wouldn’t want to do any of you wrong and provide false information. However, KU is strong with Willie Warren, Rotnei Clarke (assuming he doesn’t follow his dad to Oral Roberts), J’Mison Morgan, Terrance Henry, Phillip McDonald, Greg Monroe (KU is, without question) in the mix, Quintrell Thomas and Dominique Keller.
Henry, Thomas and McDonald have already scheduled visits to KU.
I look for Warren, Clarke, Morgan and Monroe to officially visit in the fall.
Any KU football recruiting news? Name 3-4 “big name” guys that KU has a real shot at. Is Cyrus Gray really considering us?
HawkFanEddie, Man, we could do another chat on football recruiting alone. Taylor Stockemer, a WR from Arkansas, Duane Zlatnik, DE from Kansas, Greg Brown, a CB from Cedar Hill (TX), Kenji Jackson, a safety from Mansfield, Texas are just some to watch.
The list really goes on and on, as Mangino and his staff continue to recruit some very talented players.
We might have to do just that in the coming weeks/months. Shay, thanks for taking the time to join us today, we all truly appreciate your insight…
Ryan, thanks for having me on today. And to the KU fans, thanks for allowing me to spend some quality time with you. Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Baby.
Thanks also to our readers for submitting some great questions. We’ll see you next time here on KUSports.com.