Originally published December 9, 2008 at 12:00a.m., updated December 9, 2008 at 10:20a.m.

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook


Taylor rookie of week

Kansas University freshman point guard Tyshawn Taylor was named Big 12 rookie of the week Monday. Iowa State’s Craig Brackins and Texas’ A.J. Abrams shared player-of-the-week honors. Taylor, a 6-foot-3 freshman from St. Anthony High in Jersey City, N.J., averaged 15.0 points and 5.3 assists in victories over Kent State, New Mexico State and Jackson State.

Hate to see you go

KU coach Bill Self was asked on his Hawk Talk radio show about Robert Hemenway’s decision to step down as chancellor.

“I say, ‘Congratulations, chancellor, and we wish you the very best,’’’ Self said. “I’m disappointed from a selfish standpoint. I hate to see him go. But I’m happy for him since this is what he wants to do. He’s been very supportive to me personally and our entire athletic program since we’ve been here. When you look at Kansas athletics, he’s played a major role in the improvements made. I’ll be forever indebted to the chancellor and Drue Jennings (former interim AD) who brought me here.”

Kleinmann’s sleep saga

Self said senior center Matt Kleinmann showed signs of fatigue on Monday after spending the weekend working non-stop on his final project in architecture. It’s a story chronicled in Sunday’s Journal-World.

“He about fell asleep in film session today. I’m dead serious. He was nodding big-time,” Self said on Hawk Talk. “I thought about getting on him. How can you get on him? He probably hadn’t slept in 48 hours.

“If I am running a sports architecture firm, which Kansas City is the hub of that, I’d jump all over Matt Kleinmann. He’d be a huge asset to any firm. He’s in love with this (architecture) stuff.”

More on film session

“Today we watched our 15 defensive possessions against Jackson State and 15 minutes of defensive possessions from last year. Our guys were like, ‘Oh, that’s how you do it,’’’ Self said. “Today we came out of that (session) ... it’s unbelievable how much better we were from an effort standpoint.”

Little update

Self on Mario Little’s return to practice: “He is participating in halfcourt stuff, non-contact.” Self said Little might return for the Dec. 20 Temple game.

Withey looking at KU

Jeff Withey, a 7-foot freshman who has been released from his letter of intent at Arizona, tells he is considering transferring to KU, Texas or Gonzaga. He said he’ll decide in the next couple of weeks and arrive at his new school for second semester. If he does so, he’d be eligible to play at the end of the 2009 fall semester.


John Wall, a 6-4 senior point guard from Raleigh, N.C., plans to make an unofficial trip to KU for a game this winter, his AAU coach told Wall, the country’s top-rated player who visited KU in September, has a list of KU, Baylor, Memphis, Duke, North Carolina State, Oregon and Miami. Self, who has signed two players, may sign up to two more. Dominic Cheek, 6-5 from Jersey City, N.J., is expected to choose this week between KU, Villanova, Pitt, Rutgers and Memphis. ... says KU may be recruiting DeShonte Riley, 6-10 from Birmingham, Mich. He withdrew a commitment from Georgetown and has KU, Kentucky, Memphis, Michigan, Ohio State and others on his list.


jyhwk1187 13 years, 1 month ago

if we get that arizona transfer, the legend of self will continue to grow. rush, wright, taylor. we weren't supposed to land any of them

litlmikeyb 13 years, 1 month ago

I'm glad Wall is coming in for a visit. Him and/or Cheek are absolutely critical for us to get...

John Mueller 13 years, 1 month ago

I think I enjoy reading almost every single interview with Bill Self.You know why?Because besides being a great basketball coach, Bill Self seems to be a great person.The guys is just cool. He is who you want for a big brother, a colleague or even just a buddy.The guy is incredibly humble, incredibly driven, very successful, certainly financially set and yet he is just a genuine person.I agree with jyhwk, he needs to continue to attract the Jimmys and the Joes to win at this level, but he WILL.Because people want to be around him. I mean, what a tremendous pleasure it must be to play for that guy and be around he and his family for 4 years.To use one of his own words to describe himself........"Stud"

Jaydub 13 years, 1 month ago

Gotta love Self giving Kleinmann a plug for a job after basketball.

whitechocolate 13 years, 1 month ago

Withey is a 4-star recruit out of San Diego. Could be a great asset if Cole continues to shine and may consider leaving early.

Benjamin Clay Jones 13 years, 1 month ago

Doesn't anyone at the Journal-World know how to spell the name of Drue Jennings?

Timmay97 13 years, 1 month ago

Call me crazy, but I have a REALLY good feeling about John Wall coming to KU. Can you imagine Wall and Taylor in the backcourt together? Wow! Part of me thinks that if Wall new for sure that Collins was gone after this year, he would have already commited to KU. If not Wall, we can only hope for Cheek. Either way, I don't think KU is hurting for talent. Bill Self is an amazing recruiter. It helps to have the Phog and history on your side, but gotta go and get em'.

KUPROUD 13 years, 1 month ago

litlmikeyb, I agree with your intensity, but I disagree with your statement that Wall and/or Cheek are absolutely critical to get. The more I experience of Bill Self's jayhawk teams, the more I realize no individual player is absolutely critical. There are many very good players who can help form great teams here, and if some decide to go elsewhere, others will find KU is the place for them to grow and excel.

InfiniteJ 13 years, 1 month ago

I don't know about you guys, but I'd rather have Collins for one year (his senior year) than Wall for one year (his freshman year, then off to the NBA).

omng392 13 years, 1 month ago

Anyone know why Hemenway is stepping down? He's really been the cog to the turn around for football and our continued improvement in basketball after Roy left.

CBaller13 13 years, 1 month ago

I'd rather have both Collins and Wall.

Dirk Medema 13 years, 1 month ago

I seem to recall hearing that Wall isn’t going to sign until the spring. My guess all along has been that he knows he is the top PG, knows that he can start from the word go anyplace that doesn’t have a “Sherron Collins”, and knows that many teams will be losing their “Sherron Collins” to the draft at the end of the season.IMO, it is great if Wall comes to KU next year. It will mean that our “Sherron Collins” has had a fabulous year (I don’t think any player will ever have a fabulous year for KU/Self without the team having one), and is joining the rest of the KUBB alums in the NBA.Also gotta love not only Coach Self promoting the professional aspirations of all of his players (especially the week after the first start for his preferred walk-on), but showing the rest of the world a glimpse of the personal sensitivity that makes him a great coach. Matt may be falling asleep, but he’s still putting out more effort (relatively speaking ) that all the other guys.Lastly, what a treat to be able to pull out fresh film of a National Championship TEAM, and show the new guys what exemplary execution & effort look like. It is crazy to think of the development that is going to take place in these guys in the next 4 months. Whitey is just one example of guys starting to recruit themselves to come play for KU. Imagine, Cole getting to practice against a 7 footer. There is room on the frontline, because M^2 would both love to slide to their more natural 3 & 4 (vs. 4 & 5).

JayhawkCasey 13 years, 1 month ago

So Rivals is saying that Cheek isn't going to choose KU? Does anyone know anything about this?

63Jayhawk 13 years, 1 month ago

<p> implies that Cheek is NOT going to choose KU. wonder if the fact that Coach Self has no scholarships left to give is influencing these players. If I were a rival coach, I would certainly point that issue out to recruits.

mbmerriman 13 years, 1 month ago

who cares, were getting robinson and johnson, two great TEAM PIECES. a blue collar rebounder and an athletic guard. we dont need cheek or wall, we have a full boat as it is

bhol 13 years, 1 month ago

@jyhwk1187: Don't forget Arthur! He was hours away from going to Baylor and then he had "the dream"... I don't know if I can get used to us winning the 11th hour recruiting battles, but I'll try.

Dan Cook 13 years, 1 month ago

Cheek isn't coming to KU mostly becasue KU hasn't been recruiting him very hard, if at all, in the last 7 weeks. There's a kid in the next class that is more important to us than Cheek. We need all effort directed towards Wall and Withey. That would make for one hell of a recruiting class.

RyanHawk 13 years, 1 month ago

Let's put it this way:1. We replace Kleinmann with one of the best big men in the country for the class of 2009, Robinson!2. We replace Bechard with one of the best guards in the country for the class of 2009, Johnson!That seems to me to be a step up in talent!!If Cheek comes it would be awesome and I want him to come but someone has to leave or lose a scholarship! (Morningstar,Reed,Thomas,Releford) I don’t believe that Buford or Teahan are on scholarship.If Sherron chooses to leave we replace him with Wall #1 PG. Good either way!*If Cole decides to leave we replace him with Withey a similar talent from the 2008 recruiting class. May get him either way! We will be fine no matter what shakes out.

ku78257277 13 years, 1 month ago

Poor Jayhawks, you guys wont get Wall or Cheek. You have a chance at Whitey but he's no lock either.Wall will go to Memphis or NC State, more than likely Memphis to team with X and form on of the best backcourts in the nation. Cheek is virtually a lock for Nova. How do you win it all and still not be able to get top recruits?

RyanHawk 13 years, 1 month ago

ku78257277---"How do you win it all and still not be able to get top recruits?"Next year we have: 2 seniors (open scholarship) = 2---5star recruits according to signed (Johnson,Robinson)That's getting top talent to me!

chalmers2wright 13 years, 1 month ago

Poor Jayhawks, one of the most storied programs in all of college basketball. National Champions in what was considered the best final four of all time. Holds the record for most conference championships with a staggering 51. 3rd in all-time wins. 5 national championships. Dozens of All-Americans. Your right poor us.I seem to remember no one thinking we'd get Wright, or Rush, or Arthur. Self already has two studs in Robinson and Johnson. I'm willing to bet he gets one more. I doubt Wall goes to Memphis BECAUSE X is at Memphis. Self will get the pieces he needs and we'll be back to the final game in April. Count on it.Are you a tigger or a mildcat?

kvskubball 13 years, 1 month ago

ku7825...You don't have to have a ku in your name to log-in to this site so why weren't you more honest and put a catsputz or missfou in your name and be proud of whatever school you seem to prefer.

Chris Shaw 13 years, 1 month ago

I really wish KU could get Cheek. If Cheek is anything like Taylor (Hidden Gem) then we would be in for something real great with Cheek. The other poster above might be correct about Wall. For some reason something feels funny about Wall, and maybe just maybe he will surprise everybody and come to KU. I hope KU can land this Withey kid! He was the #36 recruit in 2008 class. Self always does a good job with Big Men and maybe this Withey kid is seeing what is being witnessed by everybody in Aldrich. I hope he sees it because having an agile big men in Withey would be awesome. He was ranked right behind Zeller in that class and Zeller looked like a stud from his early games. We will see though.

ku78257277 13 years, 1 month ago

Im a Memphis Tiger fan all day. Just giving you guys a hard time. And yes congrats on winning it all last year it was a great game. Chalmers2wright, Wall will probably choose Memphis because X IS THERE. It's no secret they want to play together as they compliment each other.

Keckadek 13 years, 1 month ago

Why does KU keep missing out on these 5 star recruits? I dont follow all this that closely but it seem like KU has a lot to offer yet we keep getting snubbed. What makes it even stranger is that Bill is a great recruiter (Rush, Wright, Chalmers, Arthur, Collins, Aldrich, shoot even Downs was a 5 star i think.) So why are we having trouble now, expecially given the post championship bump we should be benefitin from?

RyanHawk 13 years, 1 month ago

ku78257277,It's no secret X wants to play with Wall because Memphis has no PG next year. I think Wall could careless if he plays with X he just wants to go somewhere he can start and play with good players so he can get good assist numbers. Yes, Memphis will have that available but so will a lot of other schools when underclassmen decide to leave.I'm not sure why all these Memphis fans think they can sign Wall among some of the other top 10 guys their still in on because from the information I have you have 3 open scholarships next year from seniors and 1 more if Evans leaves. You already have 4 commits for next year Henry, Dennis and 2 Juco transfers. I understand that you try to get an extra guy because you never know what will happen but you are already over a scholarship. I think it’s about 90% Evans leaves but what if he gets hurt like Rush and comes back. Then you have to start pulling scholarships of people that have been committed to the program and make your program look bad to future recruits! This is part of the reason I think we didn’t get X, Snaer and probably Cheek because we have no scholarships and nobody will probably be leaving other then maybe Collins who I put at about 50/50.

kerbyd 13 years, 1 month ago

Still confused about why Morningstar has a scholie. His dad works for the school so he can go here for free.

Nutflush21 13 years, 1 month ago

kushaw- cheek is no "hidden gem" the kid is going to be a Mickey D's All American and be a part of the #1 class in the country at Nova.

rockchalkin54 13 years, 1 month ago

RyanHawk (anonymous) says...*If Cheek comes it would be awesome and I want him to come but someone has to leave or lose a scholarship! (Morningstar,Reed,Thomas,Releford) I don’t believe that Buford or Teahan are on scholarship.-----------------------------You're right that Buford and Teahan are not on scholarship. And you never know, one of the guys on scholarship could decide to give it up for the team.I think that no matter who we get, we'll be ok. The coaching staff and returning players are just too good for us to have any problems next year. I really think we'll make a great run for the title in 2010 or 2011.

jchief40 13 years, 1 month ago

<p> “Kansas really didn’t get involved until after they got Tyshawn Taylor,” said Cheek of Kansas. “When they came to watch him, they jumped in on me.”Despite the late start, Cheek says he’ll continue the Jayhawks seriously and he understands why it took them a bit longer to start recruiting him.“I just don’t think that they really knew that much about me until then,” said Cheek. “That doesn’t hurt them at all because I’m still pretty wide open.”“Probably before the summer is over I’ll start to narrow things down. I’d like to get it down to five schools and then set up my visits,” said Cheek. “I’d like a coach that will really push me as hard as he can. I’d also like to go somewhere that I could have a chance to win a national championship.”Which to me means KU or Memphis

Chris Shaw 13 years, 1 month ago

Jchief: I don't think Cheek goes to Memphis. Actually, that is pretty clear with X signing with Memphis. Cheek the weekend before X committed to Memphis was on campus at Memphis visiting and was ready to explore a committment to Memphis. Go read my blog (Simply Shawesome). It talks about an article from Memphis on this very subject. I think that's why X went ahead and signed early rather than waiting until Spring like he said he was going to do. I would say Villanova has a very good shot at landing Cheek.

Chris Shaw 13 years, 1 month ago

Lebowski: Have you seen Appleton play? He is slower than a turtle. I've never seen anyone with such slow feet. You say he could be one of our best defensive guards in a year and I don't think he finds his way off the bench. He's got concrete blocks on his feet.

Dale Kroening 13 years, 1 month ago

We still have a shot at Cheek.If not dont forget about Lance Stephenson(6'5" G).Terrance Boyd(6'5" G/F) is a possibility also.Would be awesome to get the big 7-footer for sure.Good to see Wall is coming back,but its hard to tell what this kid is going to do,and we may have a logjam at the pg position.Quite a few NBA sites already have Cole as a lottery pick,so the big guy would be nice insurance,if Aldridge gets it in his head to go to the league.Hopefully it dont happen cause he could be POY material next year if he stays.Wooldridge the guard who committed for 2010 went from a 3 star recruit to 4 star and is now 6'3" from 6'1"

JayhawkCasey 13 years, 1 month ago

Has anyone heard when Cheek will announce? I know they say this week, but what day?

jaybate 13 years, 1 month ago

I'm in solidarity with the Dude on this one with one caveat. I am beginning to think there is a significant chance that Quantum T could be an OAD. He's the same height as DRose.He's waaaaaay faster than DRose.He handles the ball as well.He's probably already a better defender that Rose will ever be and he's improving almost from half to half in games.He can certainly create and take it to the rim as well as Rose.His trinity is suspect and that is the only category where he falls short of Rose, but the Rose was a good, but not great trinitizer..Quantum T is maybe a little skinny. But he's filling out fast and by April of 2009, August 2009, at the latest, he's going to have matured into a man's meaty body almost certainly.So: if you're one of the usual 4 or 5 GM's needing to draft a PG each season this year, are there five better PGs than Quantum T will be at season's end? Darren Collison? Not unless you want a runt who will be bodied into the cheap seats by every PG in the L. Also, Collison is a senior. WYSIWYG. No upper floors left on his elevator. He's already at his own penthouse.Ty Lawson? Lawson is a short, stocky road runner (he's fast in a 40 up and down the floor) with less of a J than Quantum T and Ty is a soph. This means he's got less upside that Quantum T, less J, and mark my words, Quantum T is an order of magnitude quicker in every dimension, except a foot race and they're equal there.Willie Warren? Yeah, ya probably take Warren before Quantum ,T because Warren's got a gun.The Syracuse's Jonny Flynn? He is a heckuva player The guy can shoot for sure, but if they put Quantum T on him at the end of the season, Flynn is not going to go off for 25. Again Quantum T's elevator is still on its way up a skyscraper. Lawson is only beautiful on the run. Quantum T can play it anyway you want.Abrams? Good, but not what I want to live with for the next 5 years as my PG.I know there have to be some better ones that I am forgetting, but are there 5? Barring injury, I gotta think a GM is going to take a flyer on Quantum T.

cklarock 13 years, 1 month ago

Here's to hoping you're wrong, Jaybate, although I think your assessment is spot on. It does depend on how soon, how long and how hard his Freshman wall is -- he might not catch the buzz necessary to convince him to go if he has a long-ish down stretch and we don't compete for titles this season.But Coach is already talking about the pace of his development, which lets me know that his high ceiling might be closer than we'd thought! Still with Sherron and Tyshaun slashing and Big Cole finishing inside? We'll be a force in the Big 12, and might even keep Bill's title streak alive.God, it's good to be a Jayhawk.

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