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2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Monday, April 7, 2008

Gary Bedore’s Kansas notebook



2008 NCAA Tournament

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2008 NCAA Tournament

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Kansas University's basketball players credit former Jayhawk guard Jacque Vaughn for some of their inspired play against North Carolina on Saturday night.

Vaughn, a reserve who won a world championship last year for the hometown San Antonio Spurs, recited an inspirational poem for the Jayhawks during one of the squad's practices at the Spurs' training facility earlier this week.

"The message was basically, 'Seize the moment,''' said KU freshman walk-on Chase Buford, whose dad, R.C., is the Spurs' general manager and was an assistant coach on KU's 1988 title team.

"It was a good poem. He had it down," noted junior Brad Witherspoon, who said Vaughn had the poem memorized. "He said, 'You guys are on the mountaintop right now. Seize it.'''

Noted junior Mario Chalmers: "Jacque Vaughn spoke to us. He said we're close to the highest point of the mountain. Keep moving up.'''

KU coach Bill Self said, "It was really cool when Jacque talked to our team. Jacque is as good a guy as there is. What a great ambassador he has been for our university."


Sound familiar: When Memphis John Calipari talked about how Chris Douglas-Roberts needed to improve when he arrived at Memphis, he used words similar to those KU coach Self has spoken about Brandon Rush in the past.

"My challenge was to get him to defend better," Calipari said. "The challenge for us and for himself is to improve his perimeter shooting, which he has. The last challenge is the motor, that I'm sprinting that floor, I'm never jogging, to play at that level. When he hits that, you're going to see, you know, that he is as good as anybody in the country."

Douglas-Roberts and Rush, both projected first-round NBA Draft choices, will be matched up against each other for much of the night.

"I would imagine Brandon probably shoots it a little bit better, and maybe Chris drives it a little bit better," Calipari said.


Manning to be inducted: KU assistant coach Danny Manning is one of seven to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Nov. 23. He will be joined by Nolan Richardson, Jim Phelan, Billy Packer, Arnie Ferrin, Charles Barkley and Dick Vitale.

"We're very proud of him. And of course he's very deserving," Self said of Manning, who, as coach in charge of the scouting report on Memphis, declined to be interviewed Sunday.


Best wishes from buddies: Self was able to visit with some close friends who made the trip to San Antonio after KU's victory over Carolina on Saturday.

"My wife had a little get-together in our (hotel) suite for all the people that came to San Antonio that I wouldn't get to see," Self said. "Basically I get back (from game), walk into the suite, there's 40 people there. I can say hello to everybody, give them a hug, then I can be out in 20 minutes. That was probably the highlight of the night. I was able to touch everybody in one setting as opposed to everybody coming around at different times and really not wanting to focus on that. There wasn't much celebrating last night."


Recruiting rivals to meet: Memphis and Kansas are rivals on the court tonight and recruiting every night. "We go against Kansas more than anybody else in recruiting," Calipari said.

The two are after Oklahoma City sensation Xavier Henry, son of former KU player Carl Henry. The coaches can't discuss specific recruits in accordance with NCAA rules.

KU recruited Memphis' Derrick Rose and Douglas-Roberts, but neither made official campus visits.


This is the year: Self long has believed in his team.

"Not very often do you combine talent, experience, depth, toughness, so many things," he said. "You know teams like this, I think Cal (Calipari) alluded to this also, teams like this don't happen every year. I've known that since the first day of practice."


JJHAWK 12 years, 11 months ago

Coach Self - regardless of the outcome of tonights game, thank you for our team and for the ride. It has been sensational!GO HAWKS!

yates33333 12 years, 11 months ago

I have long wondered why Bedore isn't the sports editor at LJW. He is obviously the most knowledgeable sports writer on the paper's staff.I think mentioning Vitale along with Billy Packer is an insult to Packer. At least Packer is calm and collected when he makes the few dumb remarks every color commentator makes. Vitale is off the wall even when he makes a rare intelligent comment.Even if Self leaves, and I sure hope he doesn't, he was still a great coach and gentleman for KU. Right on JJHAWK.Rock Chalk, JayhawK, KU............................

JNgohawks 12 years, 11 months ago

Jacque is one of my all-time favorites!!

Roger Tobias 12 years, 11 months ago

Danny has to be inducted into the HOF the same year as Vitale and Packer? What an insult!

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 11 months ago

I second that, JJHAWK. I was just glad to see the 1200# gorilla taken off your back, Coach. Everything after making the Final Four was icing on the cake for me.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 11 months ago

On the previous note, play loose again tonight, fellas.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 11 months ago

Sure hope Self remembers his words when he took the KU job ("This is my dream job.") when he ponders the OSU job (and T. Boone's $$$).

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 11 months ago

Honestly, I think Self stays...the OSU job will ALWAYS be there to take. Of course Pat Forde had to bring it up again:

jaybate 12 years, 11 months ago

Forget Jacque. He didn't win a ring.Listen to Danny. He did.WHAT KU MIGHT DO TO MEMPHIS:Self exploited Roy's predictability and resistance to adjust and long passing game by simply having KU's quick defenders jump into the long passing lanes and forget defending their man for the first 10 minutes. It was brilliant. Memphis' Princeton on Steroids is also a very predictable offense, BUT it has short passing lanes--too short to get in and disrupt that much. Also, Memphis will be looking for that. The Princeton on Steroids offense is designed to make leaping defenders play a horizontal game until the Memphis leapers have a clear advantage to take the game vertical. The disruptive defense for Princeton on Steroids is to literally body Memphis out of their sets. They can't run the offense if they can't make the cuts on the floor predicatably. Not sure KU has the muscle, or temperament for this, but it works every time against any shuffling offense. I'm betting we see a lot of push and shove early to set a precedent for the refs to allow it. If the refs allow it, look for Memphis players to be being pushed out of their cuts, out of bounds and on the floor.It also makes sense to play zone part of the time, again to take Memphis out of the Princeton-on-steroid offense. You just play enough zone to break up their rhythm, not enough to get them comfortable outside.I would still love to see KU come out occassionally in a 2-2-1 zone press to give Memphis the same kind of unexpected look KU gave UNC by playing the high risk passing lane defense the first 15 minutes. I think the 2-2-1 would slow down Memphis transition and force them to anticipate more. Next, Vitale is right for once. They are going to play a little half court zone to keep Memphis' from getting comfortable in their Princeton on Steroids offense; that offense is a real pain. Playing zone also prevents Memphis from spreading the court and letting their big guards work against our short guards. We will miss Rod today.If Rose is sick at all, then the recipe boils to this: Rush locks down CD-R, and the ball stays infront of Rose every play, forcing him to play defense EVERY minute. He will tire and not be able to shoot a high percentage. With CD-R held under his average, then it comes down to a war of big men. Can our 4 beat their three.It will be a close game that could easily turn into a half court, low scoring game after an intial early burst at running.

Joshua Hann 12 years, 11 months ago

Why is it an insult to mention them together? They are not competing in any manner. They all have received an amazing honor. It has nothing to do with the other ones receiving it. Instead of being punks and always finding something to complain about, be proud of them.

d_prowess 12 years, 11 months ago

I will never "forget Jacque" as jaybate said. He was a great KU player and leader. He may not have won a championship, but we would be in trouble if we only listened to people that did.

KUglow 12 years, 11 months ago

I agree, D. Jacque Vaughn is one of the greatest players, and most importantly, one of the greatest invididuals to ever wear the Kansas jersey. He represented our school with class. With our without a ring, I am so proud he is associated with my school and Self has it right - he is the ultimate ambassador for the University. And correct me if I am wrong but didn't Jacque win a ring with the Spurs?

Chicago_JHawk 12 years, 11 months ago

CNNSI is reporting that regardless of tonight's outcome, OSU is going to offer Self a $6M signing bonus and $4M per year. It might be hard for him to turn down money like that...unlessa big booster appeared for KU, there's no way we could match that money.

ChicagoJHawk 12 years, 11 months ago

I agree JJHawk! I really, really, really hope we win tonight but I'll be proud of this team and all the coaches regardless of the outcome of tonights game.ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK GO KU!!!!!!!

KU 12 years, 11 months ago

jaybate, I usually agree with most of your analysis. I heartily disagree with trying a full court 2-2-1 zone press. If you're playing full court defense, you can't play sound fundamental position defense, period. We can take these guys playing straight up. They aren't Kobe and Michael. Maybe Mr. Rose's tummy hurts because he realizes he's a freshman on the biggest stage?I think we should mix in some zone, but not a straight zone. i would play a two man zone with our bigs in the lane because Memphis' bigs--Dozier, Dorsey and Taggert--aren't skilled perimeter shooters that can hurt us like Beasley and Atchley did when they pulled our bigs out of the lane. Let Memphis' bigs stand on the perimeter, but leave our bigs in the lane to mop up the dribble penetration of their guards. We won't be able to keep them in front of us and the best way to keep your bigs out of foul trouble is to put them in good position to help without having to crash down into the lane. If their bigs beat us shooting from 15 feet, it was just their night to win.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 11 months ago

I think we need to offer Warren Buffett an honorary degree!!!!

classfan 12 years, 11 months ago

Anybody getting nervous yet....How about butterflies....All I can say, is after tonight I hope all the KU fans have new excuses. Its been 20 years since two Carolina guys brought a NC to Lawrence ( Brown and Manning) and all the excuses since are getting old. A curse has been laid upon the KU doorstep. You can watch for it tonight. You will be able to tell when it enters into the game. Its a magical thing to see. The only way for KU to get rid of the curse is to find a little class. Wouldn't it be cool tonight if in the final seconds of the game, with the Chokehawks down, all the fans of the other schools starting chanting Rock Caulk Chokehawk. I can't wait. See you all at the game. I'll be the one in crimson and blue....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk....Rock Caulk Chokehawk.

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 11 months ago

Hey lack of class fan,Kansas made NC and their first championship.(Dean Smith a Kansan who played under Phog Allen)So NC wouldn't even have a Basketball legacy if it was notfor Kansas. So go crawl back in your hole for another year.

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