2012 Kansas Freshmen: Milton Doyle Resembles Russell Robinson
Despite a trio of Top 100 recruits in Bill Self's 2012 class, there may not be a more intriguing incoming freshman than Chicago native Milton Doyle.
Following the dismissal of Isiah Thomas at Florida International, Panther commit Milton Doyle re-opened his recruitment and immediately drew interest from elite programs, even though he remained unranked by most recruiting services. After only receiving mid-major offers from schools such as Bradley, Western Michigan and FIU during his initial recruitment, he suddenly became an upper tier transfer-like prospect seeking a new program.
Sitting out his entire junior season with a wrist injury and skipping the following summer season led most teams to initially skip over the shooting guard. Having played three different positions throughout his prep career along with good size at 6'4", he presents the Jayhawks with another option at both point guard and shooting guard, but could potentially slide in as a 3 with a smaller lineup.
Because of Doyle's versatility, some Kansas fans might be thinking Mario Chalmers, but a more accurate comparison is that of former guard Russell Robinson. Robinson came to Lawrence in 2004 as a 6'1" McDonald's All-American shooting guard, becoming the staple of an already stellar recruiting class.
Robinson did not blossom into the perimeter shooter Self was hoping for, but he did manage to share the point guard duties extremely well with Chalmers and Sherron Collins, averaging more than four assists per game his last three years.
Robinson's inability to become an elite scorer could have been largely due to a crowded backcourt and an awkward in-between game in which he could not find a distinct role in Self's high-low and pick-and-roll offense. However, this drawback may have allowed him to fill the stat sheet and become an even better all-around player, as opposed to just a lethal shooter.
Isiah Thomas, Doyle's would-have-been coach at FIU, recently commented on his former recruit's ability to stuff the stat sheet and become a truly unique player at the next level. He, just like Robinson, also plays much bigger than his frame suggests, as he regularly battles for rebounds down low.
Doyle will also find himself in a very crowded backcourt, battling the likes of Anrio Adams, Andrew White, Ben McLemore and even Naadir Tharpe for playing time. It seems obvious the Chicago native will be relegated to back-up duty as a role player this year or even receive a redshirt in hopes of further developing his transition play.
Regardless of which role he receives initially, it appears probable he will land in the former shoes of former Jayhawk Russell Robinson.
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