It would perhaps be unfair to declare Kelly Oubre as Kansas’ de facto replacement for Andrew Wiggins, who will almost certainly enter the NBA Draft after this season.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
But it is fair to say that KU coach Bill Self has high expectations for Oubre, a 6-foot-7 small forward who officially signed with Kansas on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.
“We think Kelly has a chance to impact our program in a way that very few freshmen have,” Self said Wednesday, announcing the signing in a statement. “He’s very well rounded. He’s an outstanding student and we all believe and know he will be a tremendous addition to our program.”
Self, of course, has become familiar with the unjust hype and expectations that can accompany a top recruit. But Oubre’s pedigree suggests he’ll likely play a role from day one in Lawrence.
A late riser in the class of 2014, Oubre is currently rated as the No. 12 overall recruit in the country, according to Rivals.com. Last season, he averaged 22.7 points per game for Bush High School in Richmond, Texas, before transferring to high school powerhouse Findlay Prep in the Las Vegas area for his senior season. In five games, he’s averaging 23 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Oubre, who moved from New Orleans to the Houston area after Hurricane Katrina, committed to Kansas in October after drawing heavy interest from Kentucky. He becomes the first member of KU’s 2014 class, but the Jayhawks could be on the verge of more. Three of their top targets — including Chicago center Jahlil Okafor and Minnesota point guard Tyus Jones — will make their college decisions on Friday.
“Kelly had an unbelievable spring and summer and really worked hard to elevate his national ranking,” Self said. “He has great length but is a true wing. He can play either guard slot, the two or the three, and maybe some emergency point.
“He’s very skilled, explosive and what we like most about him is his toughness. We think he will be able to compete at this level from a toughness standpoint from day one.”
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