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Friday, October 20, 2006

Center of attention

Teammates reaching out to Giles

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— C.J. Giles hasn't been spotted around Allen Fieldhouse or the dorm since his indefinite suspension from Kansas University's men's basketball team Tuesday.

At least some of his teammates have made contact with the troubled junior center, however.

"I've sent him text messages. I said, 'We are still here to support you. Keep your head up.' I'll support him any way I can," junior Russell Robinson told reporters at Big 12 Media Day on Thursday in Cox Convention Center.

While not wanting to discuss fellow junior Giles' skipping practice Monday morning, academic issues and/or a pending child-support case, team leader Robinson was more than willing to talk about the impact Giles' loss would have on the team if he's given the permanent boot by coach Bill Self.

"There's a lot of pressure on us. It's such a big defensive role to fill," Robinson said. "Careless fouls (by remaining big men Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson, Darrell Arthur and Julian Wright) must be cut to a minimum.

"Losing anybody on our team is a big loss. C.J. brings so much to the locker room - excitement, jokes. He's a great teammate. It's a tough situation. I wish I could do more."

Junior center Kaun, whose minutes figure to increase if Giles is out of the lineup, said he was hoping his buddy returns.

"If he is out, I will not be happy about that," said Kaun, who also hasn't seen Giles since the suspension. "It will hurt us. He is a good player. Hopefully it'll turn out. If the worst is to happen, it's something we'll have to deal with, play through it."

photo

Ty Russell/AP Photo

Kansas University junior Russell Robinson speaks to a reporter at the Big 12 Media Day. Robinson joined teammate Sasha Kaun and coach Bill Self for Thursday's event in Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

Kaun, who is one of KU's five returning starters, hopes to pick up his play, especially on the offensive end. He averaged 8.2 points a game a year ago with 5.3 rebounds.

"It's not a secret. We need more consistent low scoring. A consistent low-post presence offensively may be the biggest weakness we had last year," Self said. "A consistent low-post presence defensively may have been the biggest strength we had. Sasha needs to be the guy who can draw double teams, demand attention and be a double-figure scorer."

Self said he'd like to see the Kaun who scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in last year's opener against Idaho State.

"I'll try to score, bring a little more impact on the game," Kaun said. "I need to get more aggressive, get more rebounds, block shots. Offensively, I maybe need to get a little more patient, play with poise, make fewer mistakes."

Self said Kaun's extended trip home to Russia over the summer - he was gone two months instead of four to six weeks to renew his passport - "hasn't set him back."

Yet Kaun admits when he returned to Lawrence on Aug. 7, "I was not in as good shape. I was out of rhythm. I ran some back home on the treadmill, lifted weights, but not much playing. I did some things with the basketball, but not much. It's hard to find people to play basketball there."

Self, meanwhile, indicated there remained no timetable if and when Giles might rejoin the big-man rotation.

"I'm not going to put a definite deadline on it," Self said. "This isn't something that's hanging over our players' heads at all. It hasn't been a distraction yet. I'm hopeful it can be resolved.

"I don't think I will need to sit down and talk with him that much. I'll wait to see what the proof is, how he handles things, see if he does them. If he does them, then we'll talk. If he doesn't, there's no reason to talk."

As he told the Journal-World on Wednesday night, Self said recent revelations that Giles is headed to court to make sure he pays child support, "adds to the list of things we expect him to take care of. It will not affect the final decision. Now is it embarrassing? Is it wrong? No one is shying away from that."

At any rate, it does not sound as if Giles will be back anytime soon, which means Jackson and newcomer Arthur - who earlier this week was slowed by tonsillitis, but practiced well on Wednesday - will have to step up as well as Wright, who will play inside and out.

"Darnell is a banger, athletic guy. He's a phenomenal player, hard and tough," Kaun said. "Darrell had one of his best practices yesterday. He's coming along well."

¢Here's Self's official assessment of KU's inside game. "Darrell will be one of the better new guys in the league, no question, and he is a talent. He doesn't understand what we are trying to get accomplished consistently but certainly he picks up things fast and hopefully will be a guy by the time league rolls around will be comfortable.

"We have good depth inside. We can throw size at you. We can throw some length at you. Barring injuries or whatever, I do think we have at least four guys that can certainly be an impact player and give us pivotal minutes. A lot of teams don't have four guys they can rely on, I think, like we can."

¢On a lighter note, Giles' roommate is Rodrick Stewart, not Robinson, who in his first two years lost Alex Galindo and Micah Downs to transfer.

"I live with Brandon (Rush). I might lose him at the end of the year (to the NBA)," Robinson quipped.

¢Self on the play of his guards: "To be honest, I'd say Sherron (Collins) is keeping heat on Russell and Mario (Chalmers) from a performance standpoint, not that he will unseat them. They know he's there. He's had a good first week of practice.

"Sherron is a very talented guy and has picked things up remarkably quick, but we return three pretty good perimeter players and I think all four of those guys, if you add Sherron to that mix, will certainly get ample minutes. It will take him time like it takes most freshmen to get acclimated and comfortable."

¢Self on KU being picked to win the league: "I didn't pick us so it is not unanimous. I picked Gillispie (Texas A&M, coached by his buddy Billy Gillispie). I love Billy's team. I think they are tough and have some young players that can shoot and stretch the defense around Joseph (Jones)."

He went on to mention several other teams in the league, including Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech.

Comments

cobweb 7 years, 10 months ago

One more flameout with a lot of talent. So what else is new? Self can recruit a replacement in a heart beat.

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Topside 7 years, 10 months ago

No Doubt. I won't trash the young man (Giles) he needs a gut check and grow up. Take a red shirt if possible get yourself together, be a father, and rejoin the team next year. He's got too much talent to not try and make a good run at the NBA.

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LAHAWK 7 years, 10 months ago

Forget about basketball CJ. Focus your attention on the things that matter most and once you have your priorities straight everything else will fall into place. We'll miss you for you are tremendous talent but you need to get your life in order. Good luck and give a big Jayhawk hug to your child for all of us.

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jbrownjib 7 years, 10 months ago

Amen to the compassion. I am encouraged to read about the brotherhood amongst the players. I would hate to see CJ go down but then these character issues need to be delt with at this stage of the game. CJ should have been focusing on good decision making after the Moon Bar incident. I hope that he chooses well from here on out.

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97jhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

I actually somewhat agree with Whitlock's article. It all starts at home not the locker room. Self isn't his father and the mad irony is that CJ's dad lives in Larryville and doesn't seem to be doing the best job of fathering or grandfathering. Case in point with everything that is going on at the moment.

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tankshot 7 years, 10 months ago

cobweb its people like you who make ku fans look bad. why dont you support the guy

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cobweb 7 years, 10 months ago

Because he needs to quit being coddled and grow up. I'm just saying that there are a ton of kids out there looking for a KU scholarship. Pampering Giles is doing him a disservice as he becomes convinced that the NBA is all that matters. Talk to a kid working two jobs to attend KU. They would never be cut such slack. Read Jason Whitlock's column today.

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cobweb 7 years, 10 months ago

Thank you! Another former player would miss practices because he was a huge pothead. DUH! I guess he just needed a hug. Give me a break!

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CMKUbLu304 7 years, 10 months ago

People kill me. Why is everyone so quick to judge him, when you only know half the story. Hell the paper only knows that much, and that's where you found it out from. For one, he's a student athlete, with no sort of income...so why the court made him pay that much is beyond me. The both of them should have been more careful to begin with but what's done is done and there's no going back. Yes he needs to take responsibility, and should have a long time ago. Maybe he should have quit playing ball and got a job, but you trying throwing away the dream you are living. It's not easy to do. So stop jumping on him as a terrible person. What's clear to us as what should be his priorties, probably isn't so clear to him. You work hard to get this far only to make a mistake and have it all come crashing down. Honestly, there is only one "right" decision to make, but I guarantee you he is having a hard time letting go. I hope that he is able to take care of this like the man I know he can be, and is able to return to the team and continue living the dream.

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StarHawk92 7 years, 10 months ago

Giles is older than 18, so his life is his own. Advice (from Dad, coaches, teammates, professors, whoever) can be given but it also has to be TAKEN. Giles is reaping what he has sown and will have to figure it out himself.

Done preaching -- does anyone know FOR SURE if redshirting is an option for Giles? I thought he had already sat out a year once (maybe even while Roy was still here)?

If it doesn't work here he'd better get those transfer papers in!!!

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deepind 7 years, 10 months ago

I couldn't agree more with Jason Whitlock! A person's character begins at home!!

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JayCeph 7 years, 10 months ago

No, I don't think Giles has had a red-shirt season. He came the year after Roy left.

Roy who?

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CMKUbLu304 7 years, 10 months ago

He hasn't had a redshirt. and he wasnt here when roy was. roy left after the 02-03 season and giles came in 04-05. But seriously, there's no need for anyone to even know about this. It's his life and if he messed up, he needs to fix it. I will still support him as long as that happens. He needs to take care of HIS business, and then worry about basketball. For now, I think everyone should just stop with all of the hating and complaining. No one would know about this if he wasn't a basketball player. Let him live and learn. He already has parents and friends to give him advice. he doesn't need any from complete strangers.

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owenc 7 years, 10 months ago

Red shirting doesn't do any good if he isn't eligible afterwards and from everything I've read that isn't very likely.

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rockbrooklynchalk 7 years, 10 months ago

For the last time, forget about CJ Giles. His attention needs to be elsewhere for now, as does mine as a KU basketball fan. I'm excited for what's going to be a special season, and maybe if CJ gets his head straight he can be a part of that too. Until then, forget about him.

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filmhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

CJ is a footnote in the history of KU hoops. his story may be sordid, dramatic, and a lot like the stories of hundreds of other kids on the KU campus, but his legacy will be that of an underacheiver. lester earl, eric chenowith, baron davis, luke axtel, etc... KU attracts great talent, guys that can score, soar, and beat anybody they had ever played against, but life in the spotlight, life in the big 12, life with an NBA contract in the balance, is not something everyone can handle. thanks for two mediocre years CJ. here's hoping that your inability to deal with the real life strugles of countless young people will open the door and a scholarship for kyle singler.

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97jhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Ya know, it just comes down to the principle of the matter. You would think CJ would've had his day in court when they decided the child support criteria and would've spoke of his monetary issues then, yes? The fact that he has tried to shuffle the situation under the carpet or ignore it is really what bothers most. It speaks of his character and who wants someone representing our University in that fashion? "Not I", said the King. Giles should've realized, like many players before have, you're representing more than yourself when you throw that jersey on. The fact that it came to this does not bode will for his character. End of story!

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beebe1 7 years, 10 months ago

There's a piece of the puzzle missing. Usually, in the first instant, the mother/child go to a State for help. The State starts an action, in the mother's name, to prove paternty and set a need for financial help. The basic negotiation is between the mother/child and the State agency; what they agree on is set by the judge as the payment required against the father. No discussion with the father has much effect. The State normally writes a check every month. the mother/child get along. But as time continues, the State Fund is hit with an ever larger balance due. (The mother/child keep getting funds to age 18 for the child, at which time the child is thrown out the door. No college help to get the child some ability to earn a living.) Meahwhile, the State watcher-of-funds worries about the State Fund coffers. They try to make collections by assigning the case to a lawyer (full time, part time, or case by case legal fees). Maybe the case lawyer gets antsy. The judgement having been long established, they go thru the usual collection process (half what they get could go to the lawyer). But that isn't all. Although it has been illegal (for maybe 200 years), the father can now be imprisoned for debt, in this case. The whole thing can get pretty dicey. And in short, the father is pretty well hung for what reality is. The chance of 'collecting' from a 19-20 yr old father is close to nil. The judgement lasts 40 years. A young man that might stand a chance for some earnings a little later in life can be destroyed by the legal process. And, while the 'collection' is made in the name of the mother/child, the recipient of money is the State coffers. The action of the State at that point in time might cause a wedge to be driven between the father and the mother/child. (One writer mentioned the child in this case appeared at basketball games in a T-shirt dedicated to his father). Apparently the State doesn't care. Hang the B~~~~~. Or, the antsy lawyer wants his shot at collection fees. With no knowlege of the case, if the young man wants a chance to get to the earning a living stage, and if there was generally a good relationship with the mother/child, what the H~~ is the State doing messing with the father's life? There may be some special problems here. That he was suspended without knowledge of the court date, maybe the guy isn't using his head. May be the case. But, before you jump on with both feet, keep in mind that it is probably the State coffers that is getting antsy. The mother/child entity is/was doing fine till they got too pushy too soon.

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