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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Russia invites Kaun for tryout

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Kansas University center Sasha Kaun has been invited to try out for Russia's national basketball team.

Kaun, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound senior from Tomsk, will travel to Moscow for tryouts in early July in hopes of representing his country at the 2008 Summer Games in China.

"This is a great opportunity for me to continue to play basketball and move toward a professional career, whether that be the U.S. or overseas," Kaun said Tuesday.

NBA player Andrei Kirilenko (Utah) and Viktor Khryapa, who was cut by the Chicago Bulls this season, led the Russian nationals last summer.

Kaun - he averaged 7.1 points and 3.9 boards a game - said he was flooded with phone calls and text messages from friends in Russia the past several days, congratulating him on KU's national title.

¢ Appleton to ink today: Tyrone Appleton, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard from Midland (Texas) College, today will sign a national letter of intent with KU on the first day of the spring signing period, which lasts until May 21.

Gary, Ind., native Appleton averaged 13.2 points (46 percent shooting), 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game last season for 28-4 Midland.

He joins a class that includes Mario Little, 6-5, from Chipola (Fla.) CC, originally from Chicago; Quintrell Thomas, 6-8, from St. Patrick High in Elizabeth, N.J.; Marcus and Markieff Morris, 6-8 and 6-10, from APEX Academies in Pennsauken, N.J., originally from Philadelphia; and Travis Releford, 6-5, from Roeland Park Miege.

Appleton's signing puts KU one over the roster limit of 12 for next season.

His scholarship will be made available by junior Brandon Rush, who before the April 27 deadline will make official his decision to enter the NBA Draft.

KU, which also is expected to lose sophomore Darrell Arthur and possibly junior Mario Chalmers to the NBA, is still in the market for a big man. One possibility is Ater Majok, 6-10, from Sudan, who is considering UConn, KU, Kentucky and Baylor. Another possibility is J'Mison Morgan, 6-10, from Dallas, who signed with LSU, but is considering asking out of his letter of intent.

Another guard possibility is Tyshawn Taylor, 6-3 from Jersey City, N.J., who has asked to be released from his Marquette letter of intent. He considered KU, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech the first time around.

¢ Collins staying put: One player with NBA aspirations who won't be leaving KU is sophomore Sherron Collins, who has told KU coach Bill Self of his desire to run the point his junior year. "He said he's excited about coming back, excited about next year," Self said.

¢ Travel package offered: A travel package for KU's Labor Day trip to Ottawa, Ontario, is available through Travellers Inc., of Lawrence. Details are available at the Web site travellersinc.com.

Comments

Thomas Michaud 12 years, 5 months ago

Really great to hear about Kaun's opportunities and Collins excited about coming back next year. Would hate to lose Mario, but completely understand if he chooses to test the NBA waters.

Dyrk Dugan 12 years, 5 months ago

Mario and Darrell should both come back. Mario, to enjoy his senior year, and bask a bit in the glow of one of the all time clutch shots in NCAA championship history; and Darrrell because if he goes for 18 and 10 next year, he is a sure fire top 10 pick. Plus, if they both come back, we'll have a legitimate chance to defend the title. KU needs a season like that....hasn't ever happened before, with the probation in '88.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 5 months ago

Come on, BoBo...come to the 'hawks. You KNOW you want to.

Kyle Rohde 12 years, 5 months ago

Wow, they're definitively saying Rush is gone - guess Gary Bedore knows something nobody else does.

Ron Prichard 12 years, 5 months ago

Is there really any question Rush is gone? Not that it should have been a surprise even before, but didn't everyone hear HCBS at the rally at Memorial Stadium. Everyonce chanted "One more year" for Arthur and HCBS quipped that he was hoping for two. Then everyone chanted "one more year" for Rush and Self laughed and said something to the effect, aren't you guys going a little overboard or something like that. It is a foregone conclusion that Rush is gone, and I wish him all the luck in the world. I would love to see Arthur stay, but I would put his chances at leaving at around 90%. I think Chalmers will test but not sign an agent and I think there is a good chance he will return. I could be wrong, but those are my thoughts.

Timmay97 12 years, 5 months ago

Here's the deal.....Rush is gone! Arthur will probably be gone, however, I'm thinking if he stayed he would improve his draft position even more next year. There are NO highly touted big man coming in this year to college (I don't consider Greg Monroe highly touted). Therefore, Arthur would be a quality big man available next year. If he stayed, he WOULD go top 10 next year assuming he has that 17 and 10 year. Chalmers is in a win win situation here. He's already a God to KU fans, so you mind as well come back and bask in the glory. People could say his stock is at an all time high, but I disagree. Now people know about him even more than before. Which means another stellar season could only help his chances to hit the lottery even more. If they both come back, we are going to be extremely solid next year. The Morris twins are EXTREMELY underrated. I live in NJ and have read some articles about them. Good heads, and play aggressively. Plus, they already have a defensive game. Releford can score, let's just hope he can play D. The rest will be good role players. We'll be prime to defend our championship next year. The nation can never underestimate KU after that championship game and Bill Self roaming the sidelines. God knows he's earned my respect.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 5 months ago

I just saw where D.A. is on the verge of moving back into the lottery: www.nbadraft.netI think both Rush and D.A. are gone...Chalmers, I agree, will at least throw his name in the hat on the high of being named tourney MVP.Hope Sasha and D.J. get drafted too.

okjhok 12 years, 5 months ago

Rush is leaving because he's 24, or will be 24. It really has little to do with him being ready or not. Of course he could benefit from another year of experience, but so could all other early entrants. It's time for him to start making some money, since, as an athlete, you only have so many years to make that money. As for Arthur, right now he appears to be right on the edge of the lottery, which is huge. Next year's draft is expected to be considerably weaker, and, as mvjayhawk said, he would definitely find himself in the guaranteed big bucks if he waited another year. I'm sure his family situation plays a role, but I have no idea what that situation is. I just hate seeing players go early if their not guaranteed the lottery money. If I'm not mistaken, I think he and Rush would be the first early entrants from KU that didn't go in the lottery.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 5 months ago

Rush HAS TO leave...he did relatively well in the Big 12 and NCAA tourneys and he appears to be a lock for the first round. I really don't see any benefit (except for KU and its fans) for his return.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 5 months ago

Remember, a year ago, Rush said he was as good as gone if he was somewhat assured of going in the first round.

DCJayhawk0208 12 years, 5 months ago

So, putting my optimist hat on, if Mario and Darrell come back, we could make a serious run for the title; however, that means we most likely won't get Morgan.And then, look at the roster for 2009-2010:Aldrich (Junior)Morris (sophomore)Xavier Henry (freshman)Releford (soph)Appleton (senior)Bench:ThomasMorrisLittleThomasC.J. HenryReedThere is no reason my my mind that that 2009-2010 squad couldn't be playing for a third consecutive title. Heck, even if Arthur jumps and we replace him with Morgan, we still stand a good chance of gelling and making a run in March as long as all the new kids buy into the system.I think we'll be a lot better when it counts next year than other posters, I guess.I still think we'll make a run for the title in 2009-2010.

JayhawkVA 12 years, 5 months ago

Congrats to Sasha - that's a great honor for him (and for KU to have a player in the Olympics).

KUbsee69 12 years, 5 months ago

The only down-side to Sasha playing for Russia is that it would be hard to watch a game between the USA & Russia if that would happen. I'd have to cheer against him, and it would pain me to do so.

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 5 months ago

I guess Morgan is waiting to see what D.A. is going to do since we really won't have a scholarship available unless Shady leaves early.

stravinsky 12 years, 5 months ago

As much as I like Arthur, if it meant him leaving would get us Morgan, I'd take that trade in a heartbeat. He disappears too often in important games, although I've heard some people say it's just because of our guard oriented style of play. We're going to be stocked on big men. The Morris twins, Aldrich (who is going to crush people this year), Thomas, hopefully Morgan or Arthur...If we can pick up Henry next year and maybe another quality guard (I haven't really looked into how our JC transfers are going to do, and Releford is supposed to be good but I dunno how good. Not doubting, I just havent seen him play), that team could be more talented than this title team

Brian Skelly 12 years, 5 months ago

It's not the lottery thats assured money, its the 1st round. So Arthur is probably safe there. Unfortunately for us fans. But he's scouted out to be ahead of Rush in this draft NOW. Inexperience or no. Put a 20/10 up in the National Championship game isnt going to hurt either.Whomever mentioned Rush being 23 or 24 has it right. He's 'old' at this stage on the development scale for the NBA folks. He's probably pretty close to where he'll be 'at'. He definitely should go. He's most likely a 1st round pick. Chalmers will comeback and bask in the afterglow of his shot. Which he should. Not to mention rack up a few steals on the all-time KU list... he'll go down as a great defender and improve his stock for the pros.Seeing Collins healthy for a whole season next year could be fun. That guy just makes things happen. As we all know.There's no downside to Kaun making the Russian team. Who knows where he'll end up playing Ball, but he'll end up playing professionally somewhere. Playing for your National Team cant hurt that at all, can it?

justinryman 12 years, 5 months ago

Here is the one reason Mario should head for the pros. Go out with that shot!!! Why have to live up to it for a year, go why you can.Jordan should have stayed retired after hitting the shot against Utha, but he came back and erased his "last shot".Thats just my thought.

ChicagoJHawk 12 years, 5 months ago

Rush and Arthur should go. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have them back but I think they're both clearly ready for the NBA & should go in the 1st round. For Chalmers it's a tougher decision to make. He's projected to go late in the 1st round, which is what makes it risky. If he stays another year he may be the #1 draft pick, or top 10 for sure. I think he'll stay another year.Regardless of what they decide I'll be happy for these guys, they've worked their a$$es off & won us a national championship. ROCK CHALK!!

jayhawkinATL 12 years, 5 months ago

Second that, ChicagoJHawk. I'm so happy about the national championship that I'm willing to suffer through a couple of "down" years should we have to endure some early departures.

Robin Smith 12 years, 5 months ago

I think Marcus Morris will be playing the 3, so there's still room on the inside.my personal predictions are that Rush goes, Arthur and Chalmers stay (although test their stock value), and somebody gives up a schollie for Bobo.Congratulations to Kaun and I hope he makes it. I'd love to watch him in the Olympics.

justanotherfan 12 years, 5 months ago

Even if Arthur leaves, I'm not sure next year will be a "down" year. True, we may not be in the top 7 the entire season and will probably lose more that 3 games, but its doubtful that we will lose more than 8 games and unlikely that we would finish worse than 3rd or 4th in the Big XII (in the worst of circumstances). Next year's team may be reminiscent of the team from 2005-2006. That team fielded three freshman starters (Rush, Chalmers, Wright). Next year we probably won't have three freshman starters, but we will have six (maybe seven) new faces. It will take time for this group to come together as a unit. Our first 10 next year will be PG - CollinsSG - ChalmersSF - Mario LittlePF - Marcus MorrisC - Cole AldrichBenchG - Travis RelefordG - Tyrel ReedG - Tyrone AppletonF - Markieff MorrisF - Quintrell ThomasBasically, we will still have our four big rotation, although not as experienced as this years group. We will also have another bigger guard in Releford to come off the bench. Appleton is some nice insurance in case Mario jumps (which also opens up another scholarship on top of Shady's scholarship if he leaves). If both Shady and Mario jump, I wouldn't be surprised if J'Mison Morgan and Tyshawn Taylor filled their spots on the roster. Another option is to fill only one of those spots this year, give Brady his scholie back, and look to fill out that spot next year in the '09 class if Sherron jumps or someone like Cole has a huge year.

jcsmith 12 years, 5 months ago

Fat chance, but wouldnt it be great to see KU pull a Florida? Have all but seniors return and take the title again next year. I'de litterally piss myself if they said Rush Arthur and Chalmers return. Miracles have happened before. But like I said, fat chance.

Michael Leiker 12 years, 5 months ago

JayhawkVA - I think I'd cheer for Sasha over a team made up of a bunch of leaguers. Assuming no former hawks were on that team.

Rock Klein 12 years, 5 months ago

It's interesting that nobody mentions Morningstar in next year's rotation. Probably the best contribution Morningstar could make is give up his scholarship so Bobo can be a Jayhawk.

Ed Fox 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm with leikness here - if there aren't any Jayhawks on the NBA team, then I'm fine rooting for Sasha.

Robert Brock 12 years, 5 months ago

Self will do what's right, but we need to avoid the leftovers in the 2008 class (Majok, Taylor) and save scholarships for a tremendous 2009 class, i.e. Henry, Johnson, Stephenson, Wall, Hamilton, Siva, Orton, etc. We have plenty of project-type players on the roster. We have got to land a killer point guard, wing, and big.

trueblue9 12 years, 5 months ago

Without Arthur it will be extremely tough to repeat without significant experience down low. Although with Chalmers (who will be back, there is no way he's going 1st round) and Collins we'd have great guard play no doubt. The SF position needs to be filled in its entirety, Rush played almost all of the minutes there after he was full strength. Juju had a monster dunk last night, good to see him getting some minutes again: http://www.nba.com/games/20080415/LACNOH/gameinfo.html?nav=scoreboardhome (hit "play in popup")

okjhok 12 years, 5 months ago

Looks like Ford is going to OSU. You gotta love that...a former Tiger (if only for one season) takes over in Stillwater. Gives us another reason to dislike the 'Pokes.

lance1jhawk 12 years, 5 months ago

Frank Martin aka KSUck head b-ball coach just inked a deal for 5 years. Maybe now he can quit selling used cars. (doubt it though).I bet he only lasts two of those years before he gets canned. They have no recruits coming in and will have no real talent left after the draft.

Mylantahawk 12 years, 5 months ago

No chance that Rush stays. Arthur and Chalmers should stay. Super Mario can excel at shooting guard, and Arthur can develop his total game. He's got a bus load of talent, but is not polished for the NBA yet. They could be very special next year, as a team, if these two stay!

Michael Leiker 12 years, 5 months ago

Lance - At the end of Frank's porch there were four stacks of wheels and tires for sale for a dollar or two...cash.

rockchalk42 12 years, 5 months ago

Đ¡Đ¿Đ°ÑĐ,Đ±Đ¾ Đ¡Đ°Ñ Đ°! Đ¥Đ¾ÑĐ¾Ñ ĐµĐµ Đ'ĐµĐ•ĐµĐ½Đ,е!

sevenyearhawk 12 years, 5 months ago

how did you DO that?!?I wanted to say:Sasha cĐ,Đ¿eĐ½ KaK б&K(Sasha is strong like bull!)

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago

I feel bad for Coach Self (when/if he finally negotiates a binding contract), because of these astronomical expectations stated above.With Arthur and Chalmers, this team can win 20-25 games.Without Arthur, this team will struggle to break 20 and finish second to Texas.Without Arthur and Chalmers, this looks like a 15-18 win team next year that might learn to play big time defense and score an upset or two down the stretch.There just aren't any step-in-and-play-at-a-high-level guys, except maybe for one of the Morris twins.If he lands Morgan, I'll change my tune, but for now, please just look at these guys as a bunch of raw talent that Coach Self will turn into defensive fanatics by season's end.Give Coach Self a chance to reload, wiil you guys?

Lance Hobson 12 years, 5 months ago

Good luck Sasha! I'm thinking he's got a great shot at making their team.Here's a question: who will be the first to transfer next season? We're loaded with guys trying to get PT, something has to give.

BCRavenJHawkfan 12 years, 5 months ago

I guess I found the Collins announcement a minor shock. Assuming I have it right that he has a child back in Chicago, there is a legit reason to go to the NBA.I would like to think Arthur and Chalmers learned something in watching the ultimate outcomes of Rush and Wright from last year. Granted Rush had the injury, but had he crawled in bed with an agent the way Wright did, he would have been SOL.

Sparko 12 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate: real positive as always. Kansas was very deep with guards this year--they'll be fine next year. I think Reed and Teahan can play. Kansas just needs to develop the post a bit. I am stoked at Releford's game too. Kansas will contend no matter what. Collins will see to that.

Lance Hobson 12 years, 5 months ago

No talk about Morningstar in the lineup?

Jonathan Allison 12 years, 5 months ago

Brady will be the MAN next year.Rush and Arthur are gone! I can't wait to see what our strength and conditioning coaches can do with J'Mison Morgan. Chalmers should stay, he may be a 1st rounder right now. He MAY be able to become a late lottery pick with a Sr year. He could realistically be an All-American next year, though so could Collins, but not likely both. Collins should be every bit as good as Ty Lawson and DJ Augustin. The Morris boys will be good, Releford could make an impact, Little and Appleton should be battling for a starting position, Q could develop very well under Coach Manning's guidance.We've got a lot of players... it's gonna be harder than ever to establish a rotation. I didn't mention Tyrel Reed and Conner Teahan. Obviously Cole will be a stud. And finally... my last word...Matt Kleinmann

justsaying 12 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone know what Darnell's plans are?

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