Friday, April 20, 2007

Rush’s draft status still up in the air

Kansas target Legion visiting Kentucky


Bill Self and Brandon Rush chatted briefly Thursday, Kansas University's basketball coach catching up with his sophomore guard prior to this weekend's recruiting trip to Houston and the star-studded Kingwood AAU Classic.

"We agreed to talk mid to late next week," KU coach Self said, indicating there had been no change in Rush's status regarding the NBA Draft. "Not meet to make a final decision, but to talk. He's said all along he will take his time and see which players (decide to enter the draft). He's been doing that and will continue to do that (with deadline to declare midnight April 29)."

Rush has said he would turn pro if it's apparent he'd be taken "somewhere around the top 20." There are 30 picks in the first round. Rush also has said he likely would not sign with an agent if he decided to enter the draft. That way he could pull out by June 18 if he decided to return to college.

¢ Legion off to Kentucky: Alex Legion, a 6-foot-5 senior from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., is off to Kentucky for a recruiting visit this weekend. Legion, who last week was released from his letter of intent at Michigan, told he would visit KU either next week or the week after. He said he also would visit UCLA and Florida, but will not consider Michigan.

"My mom is handling my recruitment right now. She and coach Self have had the opportunity to talk and are building a good relationship. I will be taking an official visit to Kansas in the next week or two. I know I am going to visit Kentucky, Kansas, Florida and UCLA before I make my final decision," Legion said.

¢ Garrett picks OSU: Brad Garrett, a 6-foot-5 freshman basketball guard from College of Southern Idaho, has committed to Oklahoma State.

Garrett, who averaged 15.8 points and 5.3 rebounds a game last year, had considered making a campus visit to Kansas. He chose the Cowboys over BYU and Oregon.

¢ Early birds impress: One of the top prospects at the Kingwood Classic will be Willie Warren, a 6-4 junior guard from North Crowley High in suburban Fort Worth, Texas. Warren says he will pay close attention to which coaches attend his 9:15 a.m. game on Saturday morning.

"It will show me who wants me and how badly they want me if they show for an early game on Saturday," Warren said.

KU, Kentucky and Texas are his leaders.


jaybate 14 years, 7 months ago

"It will show me who wants me and how badly they want me if they show for an early game on Saturday."--Willie Warren on Self, Gillispie and Barnes

Young Mr. Warren betrays a character flaw that almost certainly sews the seeds of his own distruction, unless this quote was said in jest.

Quotes like these are why college coaches should grab the millons at a big program, or from the L, and then come back to D1 and recruit and coach who they want, the way they want, at some school that will let them. Coaches need FU money now more than ever.

I'm sure Bob Knight is ecstatic at TTech. He follows the Jack Hartman model. He gets one coachable blue chip every few years. Everyone else on the team is a role player. He doesn't have to recruit fops like Willie Warren. He gets to coach who he wants the way he wants (a way I dislike, but nonetheless his way), and enjoy his wife and kids.

We need to be good to Bill Self, or once he gets a ring, he's going to go to a second division team in a major conference, a school that won't hound him (like Knight, Eddie Sutton and Tubbie have done) and spend the rest of his life recruiting and coaching exactly who the heck he wants.

Jonathan Andrews 14 years, 7 months ago

Another "the end is nigh" comment on the state of college recruiting. Give Willie Warren (and me) a break.

Warren is a top 15 recruit. He surely is getting around 20 letters per day from universites around the country. Text messages must cost his family a small fortune every month. I'm sure he's looking forward ot this time of year, not just to play AAU ball, but to weed out the people who really want him from the people that are wasting his and their time. Taking mental note of who's sacrificing for you is a great way to determine who's going to be on your final list, so don't moralize him for that.

Robert Brock 14 years, 7 months ago

It is interesting that Legion is visiting Lexington this weekend at a time when Gillespie and his staff would ordinarily be omnipresent at all the hotshots games in Houston.

I will be at the Kingwood and I will attend Warren's Big Game at 9:15 AM Saturday. Turgeon will be there. Self will be there. What about Billy Clyde?


filmhawk 14 years, 7 months ago

young willie, you may be feeling it now, but there are very few ball players that can afford to be that brazen in division one hoops.

Matt Kenton 14 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate, I'm not sure I understand your take.

We put a lot of pressure on Bill Self to recruit the highest talent, which he really doesn't want to do?

And if we don't stop expecting him to do so, he will win the national title at KU, and then leave for a Division 2 school that has lower expectations so he can recruit less talented palyers that don't expect coaches to cater to them?

I would have to say recruiting is probably the easiest and most enjoyable right after you win the title- why would he leave?

And I'm sure Bobby Knight is ecstatic to barely make the tournament and then lose in the first round!

ryblake 14 years, 7 months ago

I'm speaking as a Texas Tech student and someone who is not a Tech basketball fan...Coach Knight is the only one happy with the players he recruits.

Everyone loves the players when they stumble into a win vs. KU but when they lose to Baylor or Nebraska people around here just don't understand. Everyone around here wants to know why Knight doesn't try and recruit the top 50 talent. Mostly, it's because they have an elevated opinion of our basketball program.

I don't get the point about Coach Self moving to a school without as much emphasis on basketball?? Recruiting is one of those things Self is good at and has always been good at. He was good at Tulsa, Illinois and obviously KU. Bill has gone after players that "you know who" at UNC would have never tried to recruit.

justanotherfan 14 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Crooner and ryblake. filmhawk and jaybate, you need to realize something. Top tier recruits have to figure out which schools are interested in them. Today, its not about the name on the jersey because hey, you can win a national championship somewhere other than UCLA, Kentucky, KU, UNC, Duke, etc. These kids want to play somewhere that they are wanted. A great way to eliminate the interested schools from the pretenders is to check the crowd to see who came to watch you play.

I'm sick of checking these boards and seeing people whine about kids comments and label them as selfish and "exactly what we don't need." All this year people complained about the fact that nobody seemed to want to take over games. People that take over games have a certain persona. That persona says "give me the ball, I can't be stopped." The last guy we had that really had that type of attitude was Pierce and Roy nearly crushed that out of him. You are the same people that will whine if we have a bunch of guys that are "honored" by the "privilege" of playing at KU, but can't beat Missouri because they don't have the talent, and trust me, a team of Morningstar's (no knock on him as a person, he's a class guy, but he isn't a D-I basketball star), while nice, won't win you any Big XII titles, let alone NCAA games.

Marcia Parsons 14 years, 7 months ago

I don't see why this kid was jumped on so bad. He was obviously making a joke. Like most of us, I expect he hates to get up early in the morning and was just saying that any coach willing to get up that early to watch a game was proving that he was interested. Maybe we need to lighten up a little.

Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 7 months ago

Admittedly, not every extremely talented player is a headcase, but not knowing particular recruits personally, I can only form an opinion based on what I've read.

That said, I don't find anything wrong with what Willie Warren said above (I think he's justified in expecting schools that really want him would have a representation at these games), but things I've read about Legion and a few other top-tier recruits over the years indicates that some are certainly more focused on their individual progress than winning. Granted, their talent alone will help you win ballgames, but I'd rather go after a guy who at least pretends to consider it a priveledge to be recruited by every program in the nation and doesn't expect any preferential treatment should he choose to attend a particular place. My expectations get dulled each year, as those particular guys are fewer and further between.

Luckily, Kansas rarely winds up with these guys. To name a few in the past that we nearly got were Malik Hairston, DeShawn Stevenson and Charlie Villanueva. Hairston has done little at Oregon, but the other two would have had an impact, but at what expense? They all expected to be catered to during the recruiting process, so I can't help but think that that that attitude may have continued at Kansas. Obviously my comments are a bit hollow, as there is no evidence that things would have gone badly with them, nor did they go particularly well without them. Ultimately, I trust the coaching staff does their homework on these guys and are certainly better judges of talent and/or character than I might be, so I support whoever they go after, but I think we've been fortunate over the years, with just a few exceptions.

Jacobpaul81 14 years, 7 months ago

Good old Kansas fans, making something out of Silliness.

I didn't care for willie's comment, but I've heard Brandon, Julian and Darrel say similar things, so im not suprised. For every Brandon and Darrel, there's a few bad apples with similar thoughts: Padget, Giles, Giddeons and Downs come to mind. Guys who are a little too big in the head for their britches.Simply put: Young kid, big spotlight. Better off keeping his mouth quiet. He, like so many college athletes, has a lot of growing up to do.

Now, dealing with the conept of coaches bailing big programs for lesser ones.... How'd Bobby Knight going to TT or Eddie Sutton going to OSU change their recruiting? I don't get that argument. Neither Bailed. Both we're fired. Eddie for drinking, Bobby for his temper tantrums. I like both Sutton and Knight, and think of active coaches in the last 5 years, they are pretty close to #1 and #2 in the country. Especially at their age, with the players they could lure to TT and OSU.

Now, for the nitty gritty. If you know your basketball history, you very well know, Eddie Sutton is the king of JuCo Transfers. Was at Kentucky. Was at Arkansas. And was at OSU. His recruiting style didn't change.

Bobby Knight similarly, has never been a big time recruiter. He's always fielded lesser quality players, supporting one Blue Chip. Guys like Steve Alford and Isiah Thomas were what Bobby's teams were designed around. That's no different than the Jackson team we've seen the last few years.

In opposition, Bill Self has always been a big time recruiter. He loves to go out and find big time players. I suspect, as long as he's successful at Kansas, Bill Self will be head coach here. The only thing that could lure him away is if the OSU job every comes available. Outside of that, I don't see Bill leaving Kansas, unless Kansas makes him leave.

JayCeph 14 years, 7 months ago

jaybate, I get what you're saying. Most of it makes a lot of sense and I got the same 'urgh' feeling when I read that quote too.

Let's just hope it is a joke or that our impressions are just (merely) conjecture and hold very little in respect to the reality of the situation. I'd really hate to be right about this one...

bmcmich1 14 years, 7 months ago

Oldalum, I don't really see how it is obvious that Warren was making a joke, but I do agree that certain people should lighten up. First of all, it's just one quote, no reason for undies to get in a bunch over that. Second of all, I don't think he was joking, but so what? This isn't 1958 anymore, and you're not going to get Wally Cleaver as a recruit. The face of the upper echelon college game and those that play it is changing, and people have to deal with that. They don't have to be happy about it, but there is nothing that can be done.

I happen to like Bob Knight's coaching style and philosophy, but I am also a realist, and can see that he is becoming a dinosaur and his philosophy is becoming a thing of the past. The only true constant is change; we all had better get used to quotes like this from recruits in the future, and I for one am not going to make any judgments on the young man's character because of one quote.

bristowhawk 14 years, 7 months ago

The other question is... Was that the entire quote or is that all the writer wanted to use? Is it reporting or is it selling copies? I guess that is two questions, but do you see my point?

Kit Duncan 14 years, 7 months ago

The kid is just that, a kid! We all made remarks in our youth that we hopefully wouldn't make later in life. Remember too that he is being put on a pedestal by everyone around...his coach, his parents, teammates, friends, and last but not least, the media.

If, and that's a big IF, he chooses to play at Kansas, he will quickly find he's no longer the big fish, what with all the talent already here. He will either conform to Coach Self's system or end up on the bench.

I think we can safely assume Bill Self recruits more than just on talent alone, but on whether the kid will truly fit into KU's style of play. Coach Self has my support.

justanotherfan 14 years, 7 months ago

Maybe his quote simply means, I'll know you're interested if you show up for my early game rather than a later game, much the same way a coach would be impressed with a kid that volunteered for 6:30am weights rather than 10:30am weights.

Jaydub 14 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Jaybate on the quote, no biggie. I'm tired of blue chip recruits being criticized for everything that comes out of their mouth. Remember these kids are in high school. They all have some growing up to do.

Coach Self knows what he is doing. I think Coach Self is able to influence and mold these young kids into team players. The 06-07 Hawks ended up being a very classy team if you ask me. They made me proud to be a Jayhawk.

Brandon and Julian have both said some things this season that could have came off as self-centered or arrogant, but when they stepped on the floor, they played team ball. "Bill Self-Centered Ball":ah that was terrible, I know.

OwenJarvisIII 14 years, 7 months ago

Big Ups to Justanotherfan - This team needs a kid with some attitude... A little bit of that and who knows, we might have gotten bounced out of the tourney by Florida instead of UCLA this year...

Joe Ross 14 years, 7 months ago


Why do you always close your posts with your name? We see it at the beginning, we KNOW it's from you, so no need to bookend your musings with your nom de plume.


klineisanazi 14 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't say Warren has a character flaw, necessarily. I guess he has a right to evaluate schools however he wants. If they don't like his attitude, they don't have to recruit him. But something tells me they will.

KanKu 14 years, 7 months ago

F these guys....the article started about Brandon Rush. Man I hope he'll make all of this other rubbish disappear.

14 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for the comforting reassurance, filmhawk.

Alan Halvorsen 14 years, 7 months ago

I just hope that Self is there, to impress.

Dan Cook 14 years, 7 months ago

Self was there all day Saturday and Sunday. Dooley and Townsend were also in attendance. The KU staff didn't miss a single game Warren played, as far as I know (I missed one.) Rick Barnes was also there for Warren's early game. I didn't see Gillispie until Sunday. I guess Willie will be eliminating UK very soon...

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