With the first exhibition game for the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team less than 3 weeks away, it is time to start taking a look at the players who will make up the 203-2014 men’s squad. Over the next 3 weeks, KC Kingdom will feature a series of player profiles, taking a look at each player on the team and where they may fit in.
Perry Ellis was a McDonald’s All American in his own right but he stayed in the background last season on a senior laden team. Ellis struggled early on in 2012-2013, but came along late to make a contribution in the post season tournaments. With the influx of top tier talent entering the program this season, namely Andrew Wiggins, and an experienced big man in senior transfer Tarik Black, there is a chance Ellis could be relegated to the background once again.
Perry Ellis is the top returning scorer from last season’s team. Ellis scored 216 points as a freshman, averaging 5.8 points a game. Often times, he looked meek and unsure in the lane. Other times, especially late in the season, he looked like a natural scorer. Once he gained experience and a level of comfort, he scored with ease around the basket. With an increased range and confidence level, Ellis should easily surpass his numbers from last season, even with more talented offensive options around him than was the case in 2012-2013.
Ellis needs to be stronger and more aggressive this season. He averaged only 3.9 rebounds for the Jayhawks last year. He needs to be more of a force around the rim more consistently. While Ellis’ frame probably won’t ever carry much bulk, but he can add strength. If he can improve his strength, it will help him on the boards and on defense.
If Ellis lengthens his range on his jump shot, he could be a big weapon in Self’s high/low offense. Self has shown an ability to reduce this set’s use when the personnel hasn’t been a good fit, but look for it more this season as Ellis could be a viable weapon at the top of the high/low set. This offensive set has proved effective in the past when the big man on top can hit the 15-20 foot jumpers in the key.
Everyone is excited to see all the new, young guys but don’t forget there are some outstanding players left over from last season’s roster. Ellis, as a sophomore, is certainly in this group. We saw flashes of what he has to offer last year but he will look to be a more consistent threat in 2013-2014.
This version of the Jayhawks will probably be more athletic and will probably go up and down the floor at a fast pace. Ellis should fit right in the his new running mates as running the floor was never an issue for him last season.
The development of Perry Ellis is something to look forward to this year, in addition to all the new faces an talent. If Kansas is going to be as good as expected, Ellis will be a huge reason why. Look for him to be an offensive threat, plus an improved rebounder and defender. He could end up being the second option on offense for the Jayhawks on the offensive end.
Don’t be surprised if Perry Ellis earns a share of the spotlight, which will be shining bright on this Kansas team.