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Monday, February 25, 2008

KU awaits word on ballyhooed transfer

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Tyrone Appleton

Kansas University's basketball program, which already has signed the country's No. 1-ranked junior-college player in the Class of 2008, today has its sights set on landing No. 3-ranked Tyrone Appleton.

Appleton, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound lockdown defender from Midland (Texas) College, will announce for either KU, Kentucky, Iowa State or Texas at a late-afternoon news conference.

Appleton is averaging 12.5 points and six assists a game for 26-3 Midland College, 94-75 winners over KU signee Mario Little's Chipola (Fla.) CC team in last year's NJCAA title game.

"He is probably a true point guard in every sense," said Dr. James Dye, a physician in the Gary, Ind., area, and father of Appleton.

Dye was coach of his son's Sports Youth Foundation AAU team.

"Ty is best at distributing the ball and getting everyone involved. If I had to describe his game, I would use the term, 'defense,'" Dye added. "He prides himself on defense. Even as a young guy, he learned defense before he focused on offense."

Appleton, 21, who spent his junior year at Roosevelt High in Gary, Ind., spent his senior year (2004-05) on the postgraduate team at Bridgeton Academy in Maine. He was a fifth-year senior at Harmony Community School in Cincinnati, where he averaged 19.5 points a game.

He signed with Virginia Tech, but failed to qualify academically and has spent two seasons at Midland College.

"Tyrone developed his offense to where it is today," Dye said. "He was always a slasher, always able to get to the basket when he wanted to.

"As a junior in high school, people were saying he couldn't shoot. So his 11th-grade year we went into the gym and put up shot after shot after shot. Since then, he's been a very confident shooter."

Dye traveled with his son on official visits to San Jose State, Iowa State and Kansas and on an unofficial visit to Kentucky.

Appleton, who was unable to make it to Lawrence in time for KU's game against Nebraska on his official visit (Jan. 26-27), returned for the 110 Years of KU Basketball Celebration game against Colorado on Feb. 16. The fact he made two visits to KU in such a short period with no other visits to other schools has made many believe the Jayhawks are in great position to land the sophomore guard.

"He could have closed his eyes and chose a program just by the X's and O's and not gone wrong," Dye said. "I told every coach my major concern was with academics, getting a good education. My job was to make sure we looked into the academic end of all programs."

As to how he'll fit in at KU if he indeed picks KU, Dye said: "Every one who has recruited him ... all have given him the point-guard position. All coaches respect his ability in terms of his past performances to run a team. He is a floor general - a hard-nosed defensive player.

"At this point, where we fit in with coach (Bill) Self ... he doesn't put a lot of premium on positions (as they are interchangeable)," Dye added. "If it is Kansas ... it is probably what you see now, averaging 18-20 minutes. By no means would coach Self change his specific style for one player. He will show Ty where he fits in."

As far as Appleton the person ... "he is very quiet," Dye said. "He always looks at you with a poker face. He is not a talker. You know when he's pleased and not pleased by his expression. He's an introverted guy. On the court, it's all business. Basketball has been the center of his whole life. At 21 years of age, he's played basketball 15 years. He's had a phenomenal amount of success."

¢ More on Rod's brother: The Seattle Times has reported some specific information on the tragic death of KU senior Rodrick Stewart's brother, Allen.

Allen Winston, the 24-year-old adopted brother of KU's Rodrick and former USC player Lodrick Stewart, died of gunshot wounds in Tukwila, Wash., early Thursday morning.

Winston, the Times reports, died at Harborview Medical Center after he was shot in his car Wednesday night while driving in Tukwila. Tukwila police are asking that anyone with information about the shooting call 911 in Washington. Winston played basketball at Seattle's Rainier Beach High school before he graduated in 2003.

"He was one of those kids that was never going to be the big superstar like his brothers, but it didn't bother him," Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea told the Times. "He was the best teammate. He'd root everyone on and push them to be better."

Winston stopped by practice last week to show his former coach his newborn son.

"We all knew him really well. ... We're really going to miss him," Bethea told the Times.

¢ Gameday info: KU fans are invited to watch a live broadcast of ESPN College Gameday on Saturday morning at Allen Fieldhouse.

The ESPN College Gameday set will be located on the floor of the Fieldhouse. Fans will have open seating in the east stands for the morning activities. The event is free to the public, and doors will open at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m., ESPN will air a segment from the Fieldhouse for SportsCenter and will follow that with a live, one-hour show from 10 to 11 a.m.

The ESPN College Gameday crew will conduct a live interview with KU coach Self during the 10-11 a.m. hour. Parking is free, but the Fieldhouse and parking lots must be vacated following the morning show.

Gameday will air live from the Fieldhouse from 7-8 p.m. Only ticketed fans for the KU-Kansas State game will be admitted to that portion of Gameday live.

Comments

LAJayhawk 11 years, 12 months ago

I'm not sure Allen Winston information belongs under this article title. Considering the audience, I think any new information regarding Rod Stewart's brother deserves it's own space. Once again, Rod, my heart goes out to you and your family.

That being said, regarding Appleton: "He is probably a true point guard in every sense" and "If I had to describe his game, I would use the term, 'defense..." .......sweet mother of God, we really need a guy like this. No offense to Collins (clearly he's a starter and premier player for us next year), but this is exactly the type of player this team desperately needs.

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 12 months ago

I hope the Appleton and Little are every bit as good in D1 as they are in Juco (especially if Appleton comes to KU), but if Appleton does choose KU we can't even expect him to be a starter. There's been no talk of Chalmers leaving for the NBA, and he seems like the kind of guy who cherishes playing college ball at KU and will finish out his eligibility and get a degree. He and Collins should be starters next year, which opens up competition for the third guard spot, but no one is going to be able to provide 12 points and 7 rebounds a game from the third guard spot like Rush has. The third guard spot will be open for Little, Appleton, Reed, Releford, Morningstar... whoever, but you can't go and sign a Juco player or a freshman and expect him to replace a guy like Rush or Robinson. Hopefully they can come in and prove me wrong, but I'll believe it when I see it.

HawkFanEddie 11 years, 12 months ago

Morningstar starting next year??? I know he is from Lawrence but come on...

okjhok 11 years, 12 months ago

I don't know LA...after watching a defensive minded point guard the last couple of years I'm ready for a scoring point. It drives me crazy that we can't count on any offense from our point guard. A point guard with no outside shot leaves a huge hole on the perimeter. Memphis has Rose, UNC has Lawson, UCLA has Collison/Westbrook, Texas has Augustine, Duke has Paulus, Tennessee has Smith, etc... This would be a good pickup, but need an assassin out there.

Matt Kenton 11 years, 12 months ago

Yeah, especially in our system, it is up to the guards to create their own offense. They'll get a ball screen, but the rest is up to them.

truehawkfan 11 years, 12 months ago

That is the only knock on Bill Self that I have is the on ball screen, or pick and roll offense. What top big man is going to want to set screens and run around that much. I am glad we landed Cole Aldrich, but his mentality is much different than the other top big men in the country. I just think with the athletes we have, I would have thought Bill might open up his offense a bit and let his athletes play with a little more open style offense. Not that my opinion will change anything, I just hope Bill takes a look at his approach to offense at the end of the season. However, I watch other programs running the same style of on ball screens, so maybe that is just the fad now and I need to just get over it.

It will be very interesting to see how the new guys adjust next year to the program. Little seems to have great potential to help fill the void that Rush will leave, but lets hope he is not as soft as Rush. I am tired of watching little floaters being missed, and tired of watching him be afraid of contact. If he would just go strong and try to finish near the rim instead of floating it, he might even get to the foul line more often. Don't get me wrong, as a short kid, I love the floater, but not a 6'6" athlete that can jump out of the gym. I wish coach Self would call him out again, not start him until he starts finishing strong and getting his butt on the free throw line. Just my opinion.

Joe Ross 11 years, 11 months ago

Next years lineup...

Reed, Collins, Chalmers, Appleton, Teahan, Releford, Rush?, Morningstar

Thomas, Aldrich, Arthur?

LAJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

okjhok, I agree. But the player you described, theoretically, is Collins. I was guessing a guy like Appleton could help open his game up more. Honestly, I know very little about the kid, so this is all pure speculation.

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

Actually, I was thinking about Collins while I was typing. Obviously, the problem there is longevity. At full strength, I think he has the potential to be every bit as good as some of those other point guards I mentioned. Collins might not only be the key to the rest of this season, but also for the next two years. Chew on that for a while.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

I have been for quite a bit of this year, and I haven't decided on the taste.... :)

Steve Day 11 years, 11 months ago

Morningstar will not be anything more than a mop up guy the rest of his career. If he were smart and wanted to play minutes, he'd transfer to Valpo, or Creighton etc... Self wouldn't be recruiting this JUCO kid if he had any plans for Brady. Plus isn't he 22 years old now?? Held back a year, went to prep, then redshirted. Just don't see much PT for him. Plus I'm sick of seeing him wink, or blow kisses in those quick TV shots he gets on the bench. Please act like you belong there. You don't see others doing that like Witherspoon, Brechard, or Cool-hand. I know he is a Lawrence guy and he's a legacy because of Roger, but its not gonna matter. Now if he wants to be a KU guy and see 3 minutes a game in mop up, very cool with me. I respect that tremendously, but don't start mentioning him as a starter. Aint Happenin!! Tyrell will definately see time, as will Little and this new JC kid if he comes. Teahan will play if he can get stronger and play defense. That shot and his confidence are very strong. Then there is Releford too. So Brady keeps moving down the bench! Just my opinion, not that it matters. Go Hawks!!

Mr_Sandman 11 years, 11 months ago

I think that Releford should get a look as the 3rd guard in our offense because it seems to me that he is the best scoring option. I see Aldrich, Marcus Morris, Releford, Chalmers, and Collins as the starting 5 next year. Hopefully this years squad paid attention to the UT-Memphis game and saw what passion and toughness look like. If we played with that much fire, if only for 6 games we could beat anyone in the nation.

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 11 months ago

Sorry for getting everyone so riled up about Brady... I was just giving the guy some credit by mentioning him with the rest of our troup of guards. But don't forget that it will be his 3rd year in the system. After all, Moody started in front of guys like Kaun, Jackson, Giles, Galindo, Kleinmann, and Moolaye. He will at least get a chance to compete for the position!

bringheatwavewheat 11 years, 11 months ago

Sandman, Couldn't agree more when it comes to the passion and intensity issue...despite all the great wins this year, the real fulfillment comes from playing "best in biggest."

Kaw72 11 years, 11 months ago

Dr. Dye has a doctorate in physical therapy; thus another misuse of the term physician.

bayareajhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

What is everyone's problem with Brady? We should be very happy to have a player like him: one who could play on scholarship elsewhere but chooses to pay to play at KU. So what do we do? We denigrate him and say if he was smart he would transfer. Give me a break.

What have you seen from these Juco guys that makes you so sure that they're better? Have you even seen them play? I sure haven't, but I've seen Brady play and I know he can shoot and pass and will know the system. If you were Florida fans, you'd probably have complained about little Lee Humphrey getting time while more athletic/flashy players sat on the bench. And look how poorly that turned out...

Personally, I'll take a smart, tough player who wants to play for KU over some McDonalds AA who looks at Lawrence merely as a stepping stone to the NBA. The smart kids should be the meat of our roster, with a couple of future pros thrown in to add a little spice. That is what makes a great college TEAM. I sure enjoy watching Rush glide through the air -- problem is he glides through the whole freaking game.

Greg Lux 11 years, 11 months ago

Not only are we lacking a shooting point guard we are missing a shooting shooting guard .. Come on Mario ... open up the defense with some of your awesome 3 point shooting .. Help us out ... Shoot those open 3's

Brad Miller 11 years, 11 months ago

wow! Thanks to everyone for great comments.

FlaHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Don't know that KU needs another out of place point guard. KU needs a shooting guard that can score. Collins, Chalmers, RussRob, etc, can not hit the back side of a barn wide open.

KU needs a shooting guard that can score 15-16 PPG. In theory, this is Rush, but I will not even entertain this thought!

Don't see Appleton being this player or even seeing him fit the rotatin next year dependng on who is back.

Steve Day 11 years, 11 months ago

Isn't Morningstar a scholly, not a walkon?? If he were that great of a shooter and a passer, he'd be playing now. He wouldn't have had to go to Prep school. Just a possible role player at best. Also, there are some tremendous hoops players in JC's. For us to get #1 and #3 players says something. Last year Pat Summitt at ut got the #1 player in JC Shannon Bobbit and that PG led them to a NC. Believe in Bill!!

Steve Day 11 years, 11 months ago

Also.............Keith Smart won a NC at Indiana from Garden City Ks JUCO and Harvey Grant had a good career in the NBA out of Independence KS JUCO then Oklahoma. Don't forget Spud Webb at San Jacinto JUCO. Be excited about these guys....unless your name rhymes with Lady Morning Car.

bayareajhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

cstevenday, you sir, are an idiot. Nice logic. Out of the hundreds of thousands of Juco transfers in basketball history, you name three or four that did well and somehow that means the two guys we just signed are awesome. And brilliant comment saying that if Brady was good he wouldn't have had to go to prep school. I guess Carmelo Anthony, Michael Beasley, Kevin Durant, Ty Lawson and company are bad players because they had to go to prep school. Somebody should tell them that cstevenday thinks they suck. They will be devastated.

I do believe in Bill, and these Juco guys may turn out to be really good players. But in disparaging Brady like you have you are acting like a classless fool who has never seen a player emerge to take a more prominent role in a team after he has been there a few years. How many people thought Conor Atchley was NBA material last year? He looked like a weak, bumbling twig. One year later and he looks like a great player who may even leave early for the pros. By all means, be excited about the guys we've signed (even though you have no idea what their games are like yet), but there's no need to dismiss a player like Brady just because we signed some guy who would be playing for Virginia Tech right now if only he had qualified academically.

bayareajhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Just for fun, let's see how the #1 and #3 Juco players from last year are doing this year:

1 Dustin Scott now plays for College of Charleston, where he averages 10 pts. and 6 reb. a game.

3 Charlie Coley now plays for Charlotte, where he averages 10 pts. and 6 reb. a game.

Both guys play 28 minutes a game and are prominent players on their respective teams. 10 and 6 is respectable, but these guys are not superstars -- not even in the Southern or Atlantic 10 conferences. Just keep that in mind...

Steve Day 11 years, 11 months ago

BayareaHawk......

Your opinion is just that. Your opinion. I also stated in my posts that it was simply my opinion. The logic in my post was that there are great players in the JC ranks and of course they still have to prove themselves. I'm sorry I didn't list every player that went from JC to D1 to satisfy you. Thought 3 would be good enough. What matters is the heart of these players and what they bring to the 1st practice and onward. Who wants it the most. Self realized that losing or possibly losing 5 to 7 players, that he needed some maturity. Also Ky, KSU, ISU Texas etc were after these guys too. None of them were chasing last years #1 and #3 players so they went mid major. That's OK too!!

And Brady went to a prep school for skill honing, not for academics like the people you mentioned. Fact is and will be that Brady is 22 years old and not ready to start or play serious minutes. And there are 18 and 19 year olds getting the job done day in and day out. If you believe in your gut that Brady is the answer, beautiful. My thoughts are that Self wouldn't be recruiting a slew of guards if he thought Brady was gonna be a stud the next 3 years. Tyrell, Sherron, Releford, Chalmers, and the 2 JC's are above him on the depth chart. So like I said, enjoy the 3 minutes of clean up (which I respect) or go play somewhere that matches his skills.
You are entitled to your opinion, as am I. That's what makes this a great country. Contact me in 2 years and we can discuss who was right. Have a great day.

I will take the Idiot comment with consideration of the source it came from.

Was that classy enough for you??

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