Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Cliff Alexander Shuns Illini, Signs With Kansas

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Self has brought in arguably the best recruiting class of his tenure at Kansas and as a Head Coach in general. Landing the top recruit in the nation, Bill Self acquired a class that can compete with the Freshman talent of Kentucky and other power conference teams.

This is, however, not your typical Bill Self basketball team. Coach Self isn’t usually a participant in the one-and-done chaotic carousel of recruiting. He instead prefers to take players he can mold and build through his well-organized and coached three to four year plan.

Andrew Wiggins, the top recruit in the 2013 class, has told Coach Self from the beginning he intends to remove himself from school after his Freshman season to enter the NBA Draft. Along with Wiggins, fellow Freshmen Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden Jr. are expected to declare for the draft as well, barring any kinds of set backs for the young studs.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

While Self has a highly talented team now, much work is yet to be done for next season as well as this.

Cliff Alexander is a 6’8, 225-pound Power Forward prospect out of Curie High School in Chicago, Illinois. Alexander is the 3rd ranked overall prospect in the 2014 recruiting class based on ESPN’s Top 100 list only behind top ranked Duke signee C Jahlil Okafor and undeclared C Myles Turner of Bedford, Texas.

Alexander was given a 97/100 grade from ESPN Top 100 and is a five-star recruit. He is the top recruit of his position and the second in his region, and state.

Alexander received scholarship offers from Michigan State, Depaul, Memphis, home-state Illinois, and the Jayhawks of Kansas. He narrowed his choices down to four of the five schools, excluding Michigan State, before shyly making his announcement on National Signing Day (November 15, 2013) that he would be taking his talents to Lawrence.

ESPN Insider Analysts record Alexander as “a big mobile post that is a terror on the glass.” He is active both in and outside of the paint, blocking shots and defending. He is also scouted as being great in pick and roll situations, a phase of the game Coach Self uses often. Alexander runs the floor well and plays with undoubted urgency at all times.

Alexander will however need to improve on his back to the basket game, as well as develop a 15-foot face up jump shot to elevate his game to the next level.

On an interesting note, Mr. Alexander once broke the backboard on a dunk in a game when he was just sixteen years old. Here’s the link to the video:

Arguably the best high school player in the nation this season, Alexander is athletic and explosive off the floor. Bill Self will be ecstatic to have him and will know exactly how to use him.

Cliff Alexander joins 10th overall prospect Kelly Oubre, a 6’7 Small Forward from Findlay Prep (NV), as Kansas’ only Top 100 signees, for the time being that is.

Tags: Cliff Alexander Kansas Jayhawks

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