University of Kansas

KU’s Self has high hopes for 6-7 forward Kelly Oubre

Updated: 2013-11-14T15:32:50Z

By RUSTIN DODD

The Kansas City Star

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.

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.”

To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/rustindodd.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here