Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks is another one of those special coaches who seemingly picks and chooses which talent he wants to join his program and just like that, another five-star recruit is playing in Allen Fieldhouse. The most notable recruit in Self’s coaching career was undoubtedly the heralded small forward phenom Andrew Wiggins. Just as many expected, Wiggins took his talents to the NBA as soon as the opportunity presented itself and the small forward position would be in question for the upcoming season. Luckily for Jayhawk fans, another McDonald’s All-American will be filling his shoes with the explosive Kelly Oubre heading to the Midwest.
Oubre comes to Kansas as the No. 11 overall recruit, according to ESPN, along with the No. 3 overall recruit in Cliff Alexander. But there will likely be more weight on the shoulders of Oubre, given the massive shoes of Wiggins he will have to fill during his inaugural season as a Jayhawk. Of course, Oubre isn’t the athletic specimen that Wiggins was, but he’s a special talent nonetheless. During his senior year in high school and Findlay Prep, Oubre averaged 22 points along with seven rebounds per game.
So what can the Jayhawk faithful expect from Kelly once the 2014-15 season kicks off? Barring any injuries or disciplinary issues, Oubre will assume the starting small forward role along side another explosive wing player in Wayne Selden, Jr. Just as Wiggins so commonly did, Oubre will be flying toward the rim from all angles next season as his explosiveness might be his most useful asset. Although his three-point shooting percentage isn’t the most remarkable at only 32 percent, he can still knock down the long-ball with consistency to compliment his incredibly efficient 62 percent shooting from the field. Also, Oubre is a very underrated defender and cashes in on steals on a regular basis.
Again, Oubre won’t live up to the hype and impact Wiggins had on the program as a freshmen, but I believe he will avoid the common path of “one-and-done” and stay in Lawrence for a few years. But as for next season, the Jayhawks’ are landing yet another swingman that will provide an explosive scoring edge to help fill the void of losing Wiggins and Joel Embiid.