Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

KU's Oubre Acts, Plays beyond Years ; Oubre: Small Forward Displays All-Around Potential during Late Night

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

KU's Oubre Acts, Plays beyond Years ; Oubre: Small Forward Displays All-Around Potential during Late Night

Article excerpt

LAWRENCE -- Landen Lucas observed something right away about Kelly Oubre the first time he played basketball with him in Lawrence: The freshman wasn't timid.

"Coming in a lot of times, freshmen seem to almost not step aside but let the guys like Wayne (Selden) run things for a little while," said Lucas, a sophomore. "I noticed first open gyms, first pickups, he was going at them, and he wasn't backing down from anybody."

Oubre, a 6-foot-7 small forward, isn't likely to play the typical role of a freshman simply based on his outgoing personality.

During KU's two-day Marines training at the end of boot camp last month, Oubre was chosen as one of the team's three finalists for the program's leadership award.

Teammate Christian Garrett wasn't surprised.

"He never got negative," Garrett said. "He always was positive, encouraging people. That was something that's cool."

Joining a team that sometimes lacked vocal leadership a year ago, Oubre knows that speaking up might be required of him from the beginning of the season.

The Jayhawks also will be happy if he displays his immense talent, which led to him being Rivals.com's sixth-ranked player in the class of 2014.

"He's probably the guy that it's harder for me to make a true evaluation on right now because, I mean, the guy is really good," KU coach Bill Self said. "He's good enough he's not going to be at Kansas for a long time. But we've got to be able to plug him in to take advantage of what he does."

Self labels Oubre as a player who does things many other shooting guards and small forwards can't. He is great at finishing around the rim but can extend his range to the 3-point line. He also can post smaller players up and is a gifted offensive rebounder.

He also is a bit freakish athletically, possessing a 7-foot, 2- inch wingspan. …

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