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The One That Got Away

Two years ago, Bill Self offered a basketball scholarship to a local kid that was ranked in almost everyone’s Top 50 nationally.

The kid was a big wing, roughly 6'5" tall. He could put the ball on the floor and finish at the rim. He was a great passer, and was liked by his teammates and community. He was an ELITE shooter who called himself a "four-year guy."

In the end, however, the greatest player in Eudora High history – Mitchell Ballock – decided KU wasn't the right fit for him. He chose Creighton over Kansas. 

At the time, it didn't seem like a huge recruiting loss for the Jayhawks. In hindsight, it was. 

So far this year, the Bluejays sophomore is third on the team in scoring at 11 points a game. He’s averaging more than four rebounds a contest while dishing out almost four assists a game. More importantly, the one thing he does great is the one thing Kansas does the worst: shoot the ball. 

On the season, Ballock’s field goal percentage from behind the arc is better than 45 percent. He’s made 61 of 133 attempts from long range. Those numbers are almost identical to Lagerald Vick’s.

Now, imagine those numbers in Bill Self’s current lineup. The lineup that, without Lagerald, is shooting just 31 percent from long range on 272 attempts.

Ballock loved Kansas. I’m sure he still does. I’m also certain Kansas fans would have loved him had he chosen differently two years ago.

Filed Under Basketball | College | High School