Cliff Alexander commits to play for Kansas

Cliff Alexander commits to play for Kansas

November 15, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Scott Phillips

After months of speculation, Curie power forward Cliff Alexander ended his recruitment on Friday as the 6-foot-8 consensus Top 5 national prospect committed to Kansas during a press conference in Curie's auditorium.

Alexander chose the Jayhawks and coach Bill Self over a final list of DePaul, Illinois and Memphis. Alexander told the throng of media after the televised decision that he came to his final decision on Thursday.

[RELATED: Chicago native Jahlil Okafor chooses Duke]

Alexander initially picked up the Illinois hat at the table where he was seated with his family and put it down before putting on the Kansas hat and committing.

"It's something my teammates thought I should do," Alexander said of the decoy.

Alexander gives the Jayhawks a powerful and athletic low-post presence that can rebound and defend his area and looks to dunk everything around the hoop.

"Kansas' style of play fits Cliff well," Curie head coach Mike Oliver told CSN Chicago. "They're getting a hard-working kid who is eager to improve. He's worked for everything he's been given since day one and I think it's a good situation for both."

The Jayhawks got in tight with Alexander after the addition of former Illinois and SMU assistant coach Jerrance Howard, a noted Chicago recruiter. Alexander unofficially visited Lawrence in June and the Jayhawks were a major threat in his recruitment soon after.

"He played a big role," Alexander said of Howard. "Ever since he set foot on campus at Kansas he's been talking to me and building a relationship. He's one of the guys that offered me when he was at Illinois."

[WATCH: Highlights: Curie's Cliff Alexander

Alexander followed up with an official visit and one more unofficial visit this past weekend and it became clear Kansas was the choice for him.

"I want to get to where I want to be fast and I didn't have time to waste," Alexander said of his decision. When asked in the next question if that meant getting to the NBA, Alexander responded with, "yes."

Bill Self has a history of developing big men at Kansas and has recently put guys such as Cole Aldrich, Marcus and Markieff Morris, Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey in the NBA. Alexander was attracted to being a part of that long line of NBA players to play in the Kansas front court under Self.

"It was really tough. Me and my family did a lot of talking and a lot thinking and we just came down to a decision," Alexander said. "Coach Self is a great guy at developing players and he gets them to the league."

Alexander joins Homewood-Flossmoor's Julian Wright, Crane's Sherron Collins and Julian's Jamari Traylor as recent area stars to select Kansas. Cliff is currently joined by Texas small forward Kelly Oubre in the Jayhawks' 2014 class.