It has become a routine for Bill Self to land premier talent at Kansas and his most recent recruitment was no exception. Of course this class didn’t have the talent of his most recent freshman stars, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, but Self did reel in a talent that just might be the most dominant player in the Big 12 during the 2014-15 season: Cliff Alexander.
I can’t help but compare Alexander to former Jayhawk star Thomas Robinson, who had a similar body style and dominating presence around the rim. But Alexander has a much higher ceiling and will likely have much more freedom to become the team’s go-to-guy.
I know all we have to base his skill level off of right now are his high school days and the competition will undoubtedly become much more stiff at the next level, but with the sheer athleticism Alexander possesses, it shouldn’t be too bumpy of a transition.
After being ranked as the No. 3 overall high school recruit behind Myles Turner of Texas and Jahlil Okafor of Duke, Alexander has a stout 6-foot-9, 240-pound frame to complement his Julius Randle-like post-presence. Words can never give the full justice to his physicality and strength around the rim, but it’s unparalleled in the Big 12.
From a complete dominance standpoint, the only three names in the Big 12 who look like they could give Alexander a run for his money would be a duo of Longhorn big men in the aforementioned Turner and junior center Cameron Ridley as well as Oklahoma State senior Le’Bryan Nash. His overall natural talent at only 18 years old will show to be more than what Nash and Ridley will be used to going up against while the depth of Texas will prevent both Ridley and Turner from having the opportunity to dominate the league in the same fashion as Alexander.
It’s a conference that has much less talent than it did only a season ago, and the makeup and physique of Alexander along with the system he is in will allow him to be the most dominant player in the Big 12 next season.