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Thursday, April 19, 2007

KU’s Self visiting shooting guard

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Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self was out on the recruiting trail Wednesday. He visited Alex Legion, a 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

Legion, the 45th-ranked prospect in the class of 2007 by Rivals.com, was recently released from his national letter of intent by the University of Michigan, following the firing of former coach Tommy Amaker.

No campus visit to KU has yet been scheduled.

Legion is slated to visit Kentucky this weekend and also is considering Connecticut and UCLA, as well as Michigan.

Legion's mom, Annette Williams, told the Detroit News the recruiting process could take some time.

"We have two months," she said, aware her son cannot sign a second letter-of-intent. He merely can arrive on campus for summer school and receive a full grant-in-aid after enrolling. "We're going to take some visits."

Connecticut is expected to receive a visit in two weeks, unless mom convinces her son to cancel. Williams called out Tim Green, the principal of Allen Academy in Detroit and a man Alex has referred to as his mentor, in a Wednesday article in the Detroit Free Press.

"I want to make it clear, Tim Green is not part of this process," Williams told the Free Press. "I'm tired of him trying to persuade my son against the University of Michigan and his family."

Green refused comment Tuesday.

"I've been quiet for four years, but Tim Green does not speak for my son, and I'm tired of him trying to make decisions for my son," Williams said. "Mr. Green wants my son to go to Connecticut or UCLA, but my son will go to neither institution."

Williams' mom told both papers her son has not ruled out Michigan and new coach John Beilein. Legion is expected to meet with Beilein in a week and a half when Legion returns to Detroit from Oak Hill.

"I really like what I'm hearing about Beilein," she told the Free Press. "I really want to thank coach (Kurt) Keener, who has talked very positively about my son to coach Beilein. We just needed to get rid of Tim Green."

Keener is Legion's former coach at Detroit Country Day High.

KU currently has a full allotment of 12 scholarships for next season, but could elect to delay an NCAA penalty one year. Brandon Rush's status is uncertain and likely will remain that way until late next week.

Comments

Joe Ross 7 years, 4 months ago

As a player, Micah Downs sucks.

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Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Man, everything I've read about Legion indicates he's exactly the type of guy Self needs to stay far, far away from. One of the biggest things next years team has going for them will be chemistry - we don't need a me-first attitude in the locker room.

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jayhawkinATL 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree Chicago_JHawk. The attitude of his mother doesn't do much to dissuade that impression of Legion.

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TrueBlue92 7 years, 5 months ago

The fact that whoever is Tim Green is not a relative of the kid and has been some sort of major influence on the kid's choices is suspect enough. If the mom is just looking out for her kid and has managed to wedge this guy away from her son then more power to her.

Coach Self has met them in person and I'm sure the assistant coaches know everything about him. I trust this coaching staff. They know they have to be perfect right now in every respect. If Coach Self selects him, I think he'll be clean.

I just hope he's got the kind of motor and attitude to replace Russell Robinson after next year.

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FlaHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Intersting decision to give our a scholarship this year or delay the penalty start one year. I believe the penalty is for two years? Seems Rush's decision will make this a moot point one way or another!

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tis4tim 7 years, 5 months ago

We got rid of Giddens and we got rid of Giles when they became major headcases, so I doubt Self would have any problem dismissing someone if their antics were beyond what is acceptable.

That said, I trust that Self does his homework on these kids and knows what's going on as we do have certain standards we adhere to at KU. Even if a kid has some baggage, it never hurts to go and talk to said kid and the families to get a first-hand impression. Talking doesn't mean a scholarship is necessarily forthcoming.

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justanotherfan 7 years, 5 months ago

From what I understand about Legion, his mother wanted to rid him of a hanger on (Green). I see nothing wrong with this. If anything, I think it shows where his (and his family's) priorities are that he will make the decision that is best for them (and not for some outside person). To me its just a mother protecting her son.

And fact is, whether Rush stays or leaves, at some point we will have a need for a 6-4 to 6-6 athletic wing. This kid is available right now and could help out immediately.

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rhagg 7 years, 5 months ago

ChicagoJhawk: Self and the program show that they can help mold these kids into team players. Look at when we brought in Rush. He was a "me first" prospect and look at the student athlete he has turned into. I agree...sometimes you can't always change kids, but this program and staff has shown that they can make Mickey D all americans and other top recruits into a bunch of well rounded team players...

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Tad Shurtz 7 years, 5 months ago

Chicago: I fail to see how this situation makes Alex Legion a "me-first" type of player. The coach he orginally committed to got canned, so now he wants to reassess his options. What's the big deal? He isn't the first kid to do this. Also, how is anything his mom says his fault?

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Tad Shurtz 7 years, 5 months ago

Oh, please, rhagg. If anything, Brandon Rush showed the college basketball world that he wasn't the Jaron they made him out to be. I like Bill Self and his staff, but all they did was bring in a kid who had a reputation he never deserved in the first place. If you do enough reading of KU message boards, etc., you'll find that Brandon Rush has always had the reputation of being a good teammate.

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rhagg 7 years, 5 months ago

Honk4tad: so the quote when recruited to KU of what he will bring to the team..."Espn Highlights" was a team player statement? Come on. He has had a good reputation of a team player since he started with KU....not before.

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justanotherfan 7 years, 5 months ago

Actually, if you talk to some of B Rush's AAU mates and such, they will tell you he was a good teammate. Check his high school numbers. Not eyepopping numbers because he wasn't a ball hog.

Back to Legion...I did some more checking. I think the main reason that his mother has taken such a large stance on this is because in his early recruitment almost all of the quotes and opinions in the article are from Green. Its almost like she had very little say in where HER son went to college. Also, Legion was very close to Amaker, even citing that as the reason he signed on with Michigan when he committed. He (and his mother) both want a coach that will be a role model for him. The recent uphevel at Kentucky bodes well for the other three schools in the hunt (UConn, UCLA and KU). UCLA can assure him minutes with Afflalo gone. UConn can also promise lots of minutes immediately, as can Kentucky. KU can't assure him minutes next year, but after that, he would be the front runner to start in the backcourt with Sherron.

To quote the scouting report "excellent midrange game." "Very athletic, but more than just an athlete." Right now he, like most high school standouts, is not very good defensively, but he has the physical skills to change that (much like Rush did and subsequently has).

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rhagg 7 years, 5 months ago

Lebowski- I have never said did not like Brandon. In fact I agree with much of your last paragraph. I think that he is a great KU player.

But I do think that the staff has really helped him develop.

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milehighhawker 7 years, 5 months ago

You guys do this every year with a recruit. Your memory is too short. Did you so quickly forget that you all were on here last spring talking about how you didn't want Arthur because he was selfish and he couldn't make up his mind, and if KU wasn't first on his list then you didn't want him anyways. Do you all remember that? I think we should leave the character judgement to the coaches who have actually met the young man before we start throwing in our two cents where it is not needed. I am sure that if I wanted to find dirt on any of you I could if I dug deep enough, just look at some of the most upright citizens when they run for the presidency. Everyone will have critics, the larger problem with society is that with us, perception is reality. I for one, will stand behind Self and his assessment of the kid, not anyone on here.

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97jhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I heard that Legion's mama slept with this Tim Green guy and he never called her back so she's pissed at him for that. Seems reasonable. Can't shoplift the pooty from a single mother. Not exactly a happy ending.

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KURUSH1530 7 years, 5 months ago

exciting..let's get him..I'm pretty sure he can play his way into the regular rotation next year. If he even decides to come here and he also accepts the fact he'll have to improve his defense. Other than the defensive issue, he is VERY skilled on the offensive end. Good shooter. And you know he's played against Div-1 competition by attending Oak Hill.

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KURUSH1530 7 years, 5 months ago

Unlike my man Teahen, who says he's going to prove us posters on here wrong. I applaud that.

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jayhawkinATL 7 years, 5 months ago

Seems to me that Legion is going to go where mommy wants him to go.

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BigTamale 7 years, 5 months ago

For the past few seasons, Self has been able to sign an impact player in the LATE Spring Season (Rush, Arthur, Giles, Galindo). This year he hasn't done so, but maybe with this Legion kid, he (Self) maybe be able to continue his streak.

Granted, 2 of the 4 were not on our roster last season, but Self was able to sign Giles and Galindo after there was a coaching change.

We'll see how this kid will turn out, but with the anticipated departures next season, I would definately welcome a player of Legions caliber this season.

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Robin Smith 7 years, 5 months ago

he can't be a bad kid because he's considering KU

c'mon all recruits are kids and deserve to be given slack for not being adults.

I think he'd be a great addition to the team because supposedly he's a good basketball player. (note humor)

as a side note I do believe that the various stereotyping of athletes speaks to the prejudices of the fans, so when you say you think he is a "me-first" guy and you definitely don't know much about him, then you are showing something about yourself in the way that you judge people. food for thought.

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tis4tim 7 years, 5 months ago

Shoplift the pooty? Someone's been watching too much Jerry Maguire...

I guess it's me if I know that reference.

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emeryhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Legion would be a great pick-up in what is otherwise a thin class. Let's leave his mom out of this. We don't know enough about him to make statements about his character or his family. Even if Rush comes back we could use more depth at the wing position. I, for one, am hoping to see Stewart develop his game. A lot of people forget that the guy was a top-20 prospect. He has the tools to make a difference on this team. A lot of his time this year was garbage time against poor teams. I liked what I saw from him when he played meaningful minutes though. I don't know if he's going to develop into a a guy who can give us quality minutes, but it seems like a lot of people on this board have completely written him off.

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Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

honk4tad - My questions about Legion don't come from this article, but rather a couple quotes I've seen elsewhere that indicate the usual "I need to play in a system where I can showcase myself enough in only one season to make it at the next level". Not that that is unusual these days. You're right - de-committing based on a coaching change is not unusual. I'd just prefer to sign a level-headed guy who can integrate into a team game and have his priorities 100% focused on wins/losses.

Also, I don't think we'll have a problem if we defer the scholarship reduction for another year to sign a guy now. I count 8 guys on the roster right now (not counting Wright and Rush) who are likely gone after next season, so there will be plenty of scholarships to go around, even with only 12 total.

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BigTamale 7 years, 5 months ago

Chicago...

Good point on the scholarship situation. Defer it one year and then you will have one less for 2008.

I doubt if Self will sign more than 4-5 players for 2008 anyways. Self could really use that as a selling point for his recruits for next few seasons...instant competition for playing time. Seeing how most recruits wanna compete for PT, he should be in the running for many top prospects.

If Self signs 4-5 players for 2008 then the next question is, what to do with the remaining 3-4 scholarships?

Save them for 2009! Take your penalty from the NCAA and use them to sign other players in 2009 so that we can balance out our departures from year to year and not like the expected 8 next season.

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Chicago_JHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Tamale-

I didn't include the recruits for next season in the total of 8 available - I believe 2 are spoken for (Aldrich and Reed), so in theory we'd only have 1 or 2 after a 4 or 5 man recruiting class. Still, you make a good point - save them to balance out the classes.

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JayhawkPhil 7 years, 5 months ago

Boy, talk about a dilemma. On the one hand, if Rush goes pro, we could really use a 6-5 guy to play the big guard or small forward postion. On the other hand, everything about this guy screams "DANGER WILL ROBINSON". This guy and his mom could be fine upstanding citizens but there is an strong hint of risk here.

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ralsterKUMed95 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you emeryhawk! I have alluded to Stewart in previous posts, but right there is a 6'4" 210lb athletic swingman ALREADY known for defense and rebounding and some all around ability offensively, just VERY limited playing time because of Brandon, Ju, and Mario. He also knows the offense intimately and certainly will not tie for the team-lead in turnovers like Julian did. We will be a lot more consistent with Ju gone (hate to say it, but true), and even if Rush leaves, we will be fine. I am certain Stewart will get his chance next year--either as a sub for Rush, OR as a starter in his spot if Rush leaves now. None of us will be disappointed. Recall that Rush at times was extremely unselfish offensively, and if he leaves, then you are talking about replacing 12-14ppg avg, which just might be divided up by bigmen (Arthur) and Stewart in the 3 position--very doable, with again domination on defense and rebounds, which has been fun to watch out of an athletic 3 position...

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Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

"I, for one, am hoping to see Stewart develop his game. A lot of people forget that the guy was a top-20 prospect."

I don't know who's top 20 that was, but the fact of the matter is his stock has fallen to the point where he isn't in the top 30...AT HIS POSITION! I think Stewart is a great kid. He keeps his nose clean, he stays out of trouble. He's a defensive role-player and we can use that. But Stewart can only be used situationally this way. If you are looking for more than that, you are hoping against hope.

It isn't bad-mouthing a kid to point out that he just doesn't have the talent that others on this team have. Great kid, role player. Will be that next year also.

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Lance Hobson 7 years, 5 months ago

About the Legion fiasco: Typical Detroit morons. Forget this clown and his circus and let's get Rush and finish this thing.

That said, Bill Self can sell snow to the eskimos and will smoothly drop in and convince Ms. Williams that her son of a different name should play at KU. Maybe he can find a job for this Tim Green idiot, too.

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emeryhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

It was Rivals.com. I think he was 18th for his year. Definitely five stars. On one hand it goes to show how hard it is to evaluate who is going to be a blue-chipper out of high school, but on the other it shows that this guy has the physical gifts and talent to be a contributer, even on a team as deep as Kansas. Again, I haven't seen enough of him to know what he can do, but given how well his brother (considered the less talented of the two) did at USC this year I don't think it's out of the question that he could give us a lot more than a lot of people are expecting he will.

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hawkitup 7 years, 5 months ago

I honestly think Stewart has a lot he hasn't shown yet. I mean didn't the guy start his freshmen year at USC? I think Henry Bibby knew what he had in the kid at the time. If given the chance, I think Rodrick would really surprise some people with what he is capable of doing.

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BigTamale 7 years, 5 months ago

If Rodrick Stewart could shoot like his brother, watch out! His ranking may have been a bit inflated, but like Emeryhawk said, he definately has the physical tools.

Rod really came on at the end last year and he earned more than his average clean up minutes. He's no Rush, but wouldn't you like to have him on your bench?

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Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

"It was Rivals.com. I think he was 18th for his year. Definitely five stars."

Definitely has not shown five stars.

"I haven't seen enough of him to know what he can do."

Okay. So think about WHY you haven't seen more of him. I see the answer coming to you, right...about...NOW.

"...his brother (considered the less talented of the two)..."

Obviously he is the MORE talented of the two, despite what peoples' considerations were before either matriculated into college. They may have had good reasons for scouting Rod ahead of Lod. It just hasn't panned out for Rod in the real world while it has for Lod. This is the reality. I root for Roderick whenever he goes in, obviously. But the comparisons to his brother only weaken your position because he is clearly not as talented as Loderick. (While he may be more gifted athletically, there is more that goes into a game than athleticism.)

"I honestly think Stewart has a lot he hasn't shown yet."

One: I hope you're right. Two: I hope he SHOWS IT!

"If given the chance, I think Rodrick would really surprise some people with what he is capable of doing."

At this point, his perspective should be (and I'm sure he knows this) that he can't wait for people to GIVE him anything. He has to TAKE it! How does he do that? Show more in practice. Better decision-making in game situations on the offensive end of the floor. Continue with the solid defense. Start knocking down shots from the perimeter. If he improves, he will command a higher place in the rotation.

"He's no Rush, but wouldn't you like to have him on your bench?"

I LOVE having Roderick on the bench. He's a great kid with a lot of upside potential. He needs to turn some of that potential into visible improvement though, and that's the only point I'm making. Trust me, he feels this way too. And probably Coach Self as well. We all, myself included, want Roderick to narrow the gap between what he's capable of and how he's performed.

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7 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the article, JayCeph.

It speaks a lot to Huggins' character. To say K-State didn't know what they were getting into however, would at a minimum be intellectually dishonest.

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Leprechaunking13 7 years, 5 months ago

Jross, you're ignorance shines through once again with KU basketball. Think about why Roderick didn't have the opportunity to showcase his talents here, he has Brandon Mario Russ Rob and Mr. Collins in front of him those are some pretty big names to come in as a transfer and displace especially starting in the middle of a season. Also do you remember when we played USC early in the season, Lodrick exploded for 23 or so but he didn't do anything with Rod was defending him. Had Self kept him in on Lodrick his points total for that game probably would have gone way down, and he was guarded by Rush(our best on ball defensive player by the way). Self said himself after that game he wished that he'd played Rodrick more that game. Had he stayed at USC he would have been a 4 year starter. You never realized any of this though right Jross, because ignorance is bliss.

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Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Your name "Leprechaun" is aptly chosen because you are a wee little man, both in stature and intellect.

Your argument that Roderick "didn't have the opportunity to showcase his talents here" doesn't hold water in CONTEXT of the conversation, which was that he was a top-20 talent. According to YOU, he continued that prowess at USC (because he was have been a four-year starter). Well, munchkin, true Top-20 talents find their way into the lineup if they are really that! The fact that he has struggled for PT therefore serves to underscore and validate my points.

Secondly, I already gave props to Rod in the area that you are berating me over, his defense. But I made comments to the effect that he needed to improve his game in OTHER areas (largely offensively). And guess what, true to form you come back at me uplifting his defensive prowess. Idiot.

Third, he showed his defensive ability in that game for the short time he was in, but why didn't you see any offense? Hmm... Maybe his defense is better than his offense. I refer you now to the point I made some moments ago.

Fourth, Loderick is clearly better than Roderick and nobody argues that.

Finally, had he stayed at USC he'd have been a four-year starter? First of all you don't know this, so thanks for trying to pawn off your opinion as fortune-telling...but NO THANKS. Are you selling snake oil too? Love tonic? Special healing ointment? More to the point, USC is NOT Kansas and so what he'd have done at USC is irrelevant. But to humor you, he'd "have been a four-year starter" at USC, but he sits the bench at Kansas. Hey don't look at ME, you started this comparison.

Next time get your ducks in a row and have something intelligible to say before you pop off early.

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ralsterKUMed95 7 years, 5 months ago

Just some stats from the 06-07 Season statistics: Guess who the leading 3pt % for the season belongs to??? Rodrick Stewart @ 45.5% (5 for 11). It simply makes one wonder what if... I just like the idea of plugging him in at the Rush position so we maintain the solid defense and rebounding, and then see what develops offensively out of Rod, because we have a slew of bigmen and combo guards to continue the lions share of scoring...Rod could be an excellent role player.

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Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Ralster

When you don't have the pressure of being a major player and are used situationally, it clears you up to become a specialist. Roderick, for example, doesn't deal with the fatigue that other players have, and fatigue affects your shot. He's got ONLY 11 attempts and yet you tout that percentage as if he were a regular.

WOW!

I'm not saying the kid isn't talented, but if he were on the level of Rush, Wright, and others Self would certainly have employed him more. The fact is he isn't.

You can torture numbers into saying whatever you want them to. Keep that in mind. I could do the same.

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Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

People also don't key in on Rod Stewart which makes getting looks a whole lot easier. To throw Stewart's stats in and attempt a straight across the board comparison doesn't tell the story straight.

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ralsterKUMed95 7 years, 5 months ago

jross: Always a good point about statistics, but I only brought up the stat to show that here is someone who we actually do NOT know what he could do if he had 40 or 60 3attempts in a season--Just a tantalizing way to keep his name in the mix as a "possible" bigger contributor--what I meant with the "wonder what if.." the next sentence. Seeing only 11attempts just BEGS the question-what if he got more attempts? That's all, but posed in a tongue-in-cheek manner, eh? He would then have to show us what he is or isnt capable of. The only real legitimate argument to play him is the reasonably well-proven defensively ability, length (could maybe defend same types of players Rush did), and athleticism, as well as knowing the offense(we hope). Obviously one could look at other stats like his FT% which is dismal, yet not draw any valid conclusion from that either because sample size is too small, like the 3s. Only a tantalizing 'what if' at this point, as no one really knows what he could/would do offensively if he ever got the chance.

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ralsterKUMed95 7 years, 5 months ago

A little more elaboration on the "tantalizing" descriptor used about Rodrick. We like to make the inference that he "cant be as good" as the starters because of the playing time, and that may well be, just as others may argue about the validity of the "talent" in front of him (not I). My observations of Rodrick, compared to for example the departed 6'4" M.Downs, should be plainly evident. What do we suppose (since we like to) happenned when Micah would go against Rodrick in practice? And Rodrick is NOT even a starter. Point made, and whatever happenned, Self saw it, we know the rest: Downs is gone. Stewart is the 9th guy. It is that size and quickness and athleticism that I am just wondering about. We got alot of 6ft guards and a fair number of bigmen, but the 6-4 to 6-6 swingman or 3 position that is a well-rounded package has been a rarer commodity for us. Im just curious about what is sitting on our bench (& also what Self is recruiting to that position for years to come).

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