Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Self’s vote for most improved: Jackson


Darnell wows with 'The Play'

The who? Kansas senior forward Darnell Jackson. The what? The beginning of the second half on Saturday night against Yale. There where? Allen Fieldhouse. The why? Simply because he can.

Hawks to work on free throws for new year

When you're undefeated, have won 27 of your last 28 games and have almost concluded your non-conference schedule, there are very few things worth changing when it comes to your New Year's resolution. But if you want to get picky, how about the Jayhawks' free throw shooting?

Two Kansas University basketball players appear to be ahead of the rest in early-season running for the Jayhawks' most-improved-player award.

"I'd say Darnell," KU coach Bill Self said Monday night on his Hawk Talk radio show.

He was referring to senior forward Darnell Jackson, who ranks first on the team in rebounding (6.5 rpg) and third in scoring (11.5 ppg) after putting up marks of 5.5 points and 5.1 boards a year ago.

"But from the start of the season to now, I'd say Cole. I think he has improved the most since school started," Self added of Minnesota big man Cole Aldrich. "He was behind. He's catching up fast."

Aldrich averages 3.6 points and 3.4 boards while coming off the bench to the tune of 9.5 minutes a game.

"Rebounds per minute, Cole is as good as we have," Self said of the 6-foot-11, 240-pounder, who has 44 boards in 123 minutes. "He replaced Darnell from last year in rebounds per minute."

Jackson has 85 rebounds in 297 minutes.

Self did want to mention one additional player in the "most improved" category.

"Also, I think Mario has gotten better every year. His stat line and production has been as efficient as any guard I've had in a long time," Self indicated.

Junior Mario Chalmers is KU's second-leading scorer at 12.3 points a game. He has 61 assists against 26 turnovers and 40 steals in KU's 13 games, all victories.


Joe Ross 12 years, 5 months ago


Joe Ross 12 years, 5 months ago

When he says Cole is the most improved from the start of the season until now, then is he saying Darnell is the most improved OVER HIS ENTIRE CAREER?

rtjayhawk 12 years, 5 months ago

It will be exciting to see what this team can do during tourney time. . .I know, thinking ahead.

nanuq 12 years, 5 months ago

Jackson and Chalmers are leading the way. Isn't it great to have Robinson, Rush, Collins, Arthur, Kaun et al following close behind? Stewart and the Frosh make this the deepest KU team I've ever seen.

Joe Ross 12 years, 5 months ago

On a slow news day, here's an attempt at spreading a little holiday cheer. This is my NBA ALL-UGLY team

  1. Gheorge Muresan
  2. Sam Cassell
  3. Vlade Divac
  4. Keith Closs
  5. Dikembe Mutombo

6th man award- Terry Porter

wichitashox 12 years, 5 months ago

Go to YouTube and type in Ku basketball then press date added and go to the one with Ku vs Yale i got that play on it plus some alley oops and chalmers fall which looked like it hurt

JNgohawks 12 years, 5 months ago

jross, I read it as Darnell is most improved since last season

Chris McIlvain 12 years, 5 months ago

Thank you so much JRoss....I don't know what I would have done not knowing your NBA All-Ugly Team....WHO CARES FOOL???

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago

Aldrich is a fascinating and unusual freshman. I don't have stats (are you there Lebowski?), but memory suggests most freshman big men who look as inept and raw as Cole does are very inefficient statistically. Cole contradicts this, at least in rebounding. He's very efficient in reebs/min.

Clearly Self is picking situations where Aldrich does not hurt KU, or himself, in order to get him some confidence, as they develop his game in practice. Therefore, his RPM stat is biased above what it would otherwise be, were he not played so selectively. But still....

There seems to be some natural born post man inside this very raw package. And natural born post men are even more rare than 6'11" guys who can run the floor. A natural born post man is a guy who likes to quarterback from the anchor position on a 2-2-1 zone press. A natural born post man is a guy with the bigness of personality to match the bigness of his body. Wilt, Jabbar, Olajuwan, Duncan and so on were examples of guys universally gifted and the tallest of the tall with the big man mentality. Ralph Sampson and David Robinson was their physical and skill counterparts who lacked the personality.

But then there's this slightly smaller category of guys with the natural post man personality. Russell was the ultimate at 6'9." But Walton, though 6'11" fit this mold also. And Dave Cowens. And Danny Manning his last year at Kansas. And now Kevin Love. There are of course more, but these demonstrate the point.

I'm not suggesting Cole is the next all time great small big man, but there's something about this guy that makes me think under the right coach and tutelage that he could become something special, even though he looks phenomenally inept right now. And any time you've got a combination of Bill Self and Danny Manning working with a big man, there's a chance for something good to happen.

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago

I've doubted Self on some of their big man development in the past, but I'm a big believer in letting the past be past when hard evidence of big man development begins to happen. It is starting to look like Self is starting to learn how to develop them, maybe with experience, maybe with Manning's help. While Arthur stills seems to under perform given what it looks like his natural tools are, he remains our go to big man on a 13-0 team, so Arthur is progressing adequately. And Darnell has come on like gang busters, though again we need to see him do it against a Top Ten team to see if he's for real (note: I believe he is).

But back to Cole...

Two and three years from now, KU may be phenomenally dominant in the paint, if the twins and Quintrell can play as well as Arthur is playing as a soph, and Cole's game is by then well sanded, polished and enamelled in crimson and blue.

I surely would love to see a true post man be dominant at KU once again. Sasha it seems was too nice and too sensitive to really blossom in the post. Cole may be to goofy from some early reports, to blossom as a dominant little big man, but youthful eccentricity often goes hand in hand with the dominant little big man personality. Ask Bill Walton.

As one of the great bigs said once, in trying to explain why big men are so different psychologically, they've all been small, like us, but we haven't all been tall like them. We can't walk in their shoes and understand what the fraternity of the tall is really like.

Here's to hoping Danny Manning, who surely knows, can get the best from Cole.

Joe Ross 12 years, 5 months ago

And my ALL-UGLY LJW Message board team:

  1. APD
  2. Nicka
  3. APD
  4. Nicka
  5. APD

Kevin Long 12 years, 5 months ago

I sencond that vote for most improved player. It has been amazing watching Jackson get better.

jross- I agree with the poll. Just disagree on your #1. Sam Cassell is not even a human, is he?

Dirk Medema 12 years, 5 months ago

Just watched the FT video link and am amazed. They all shoot FT's the same. They all seem to bend their knees and then standup board stiff to shoot the ball. Two seperate motions. I thought shooting was suppose to be one fluid motion. I will readily admit that I am a lot more fan than BB genius, so I love it if someone could critique this critique.

It is also encouraging to see what is happening with Cole. Not the stats, not the mentoring by Danny (tho I do think that is a phenomonal benefit), but rather the selective use of him. Let him develop in practice where a bunch of ignorant insults won't be thrown at him on message boards and such. Even if he doesn't become the next Nick or Raef, maybe he can become an Alonzo or Scot.

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago


Did you mean All Ugly, or All Ugly Lurker LJW Message board team? :-)

nicka 12 years, 5 months ago


thanks for the inclusion on the list. it keeps us all from having to read your comments about basketball (which you clearly no nothing about.)


are you like a retarded jay bilas, or what? You would think that there would be intelligent thought somewhere in those 10 paragraphs, but not so much.

why don't you both stick to what you know best....sucking walk-on balls.


Joe Ross 12 years, 5 months ago


thanks for the lesson in spelling...which you clearly "NO NOTHING" about.

JayCeph 12 years, 5 months ago

jaybate, I liked the treatise but I'm not sure I see where you are coming from regarding your initial assessment of Cole.

From what I've seen this season (so far), Cole really has exhibited some solid inside post moves, moves confidently to and with the ball, knows how to finish his shots and can eat up a lot of space while anticipating the opponents' shot(s) altering some and blocking others.

I think this kid is a lot more than 'inept and raw.' The rest of your breakdown of small big men was a unique and entertaining thought.

Happy New Year... Ralk Chawk~

Joe Ross 12 years, 5 months ago


Yes, Popeye is ugly. He may deserve a spot on the roster. But there are so many ugly ones how do you decide, you know? I hate to say it but uh (whisper "Greg Ostertag") wasn't gonna win a beauty contest. Neither was Big Country. Jamal Mashburn. Reggie Miller. On and on! So many ugly players, so little time...

Joe Ross 12 years, 5 months ago


You really bring up a good point. The championship 86 Celtics, as a TEAM, was probably the ugliest ever in the NBA.

Dennis Johnson, Larry Bird, Robert Parrish, Kevin McHale, Sam Vincent, Bill Walton...need I say more?

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago

a poem for nickalurker...

"Ballad of the Suffering nickalurker"

nickalurker, nickalurker, Who put the cockleburrer Soaked in acid in yer g-string jock strap, nickalurker?

Chris McIlvain 12 years, 5 months ago

The fact that anyone on here has enough spare time on their hands to read jaybate's posts in their entirety is sad enough...but to read them as if they are anywhere close to interesting and then respond about the different points he attempts to make...that's just depressing. All of these slobbering morons sitting around in their underwear in their mom's basements waiting for their next shift to start at 7-11

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago


Under which identity, would you like to commence therapy? Until you choose, we will stick with APDnickalurker. Choice will indicate a first step toward healing. Failure to choose will indicate a further fragmentation of identity. Insistance on one identity, or the other, will indicate continued denial.

Now, I want to explore some questions with you in this your first session. This first session is free of charge. After that, you will have to pay $100/hour to the Williams Fund.

APDnickalurker, when did you first start lurking?

What is it about KU hoops posts in a public forum that makes you think about men sitting around in their shorts in their mother's basement?

What happened in your mother's basement?

Do you, or did you, view your father as a threatening figure?

Do slobbering morons remind you of your father, or someone else who was in your basement?

What's wrong with being a moron?

What's wrong with slobbering?

Were you ever locked up in an institution with persons with low IQs or hyperactive salivary glands?

What is it about KU hoops posts in a public forum that makes you think about men waiting for their next shift at a 7-11?

What happened to you at 7-11? Were you fired?

Do you ever wonder why there is evidence of surfing in your browser's history that you cannot recall doing yourself? Do you wonder if someone other than you is using your computer?

Do you ever wonder why people associate you with both APDjayhawk and nicka, when you have no recollection of having registered as either?

Do you ever find clothiing in your closet that does not belong to you and you can't figure out how it got there?

Do you find yourself identifying closely with multiple personality characters in film and TV stories?

Please answer these questions as honestly as you can.

I believe you can be healed before March Madness starts, but only if you really commit to the therapeutic process now and post with love of KU basketball in your heart come March.

Each great therapeutic journey starts with a small step. Consider answering these questions honestly as taking that first step.

If this post helps you, please send your first check to the Williams Fund and post the cancelled check on the web so we can all see it.

Note: All of the above is a spoof. I don't know APDjayhawk, or nicka, or an APDnickalurker, nor do I have an actual opinion as to this poster(s)'s identity, or identities, or mental health, or lack there of.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU!!!!!!

jaybate 12 years, 5 months ago


You sound like you have been watching him more closely than I have, so I will defer to your judgement on this one, as you are usually right. Drop inept. But he has to be raw, or Self would not be so selective in playing him. Self plays frosh who can play. We both agree Cole is worth having, and developing, we're just not quite on the same page about how far along he is.

JayCeph 12 years, 5 months ago

jaybate, "raw" it is.

There is still a lot of development the kid needs and his minutes show it. However, his enthusiasm and exuberance on the floor more than make up for any gaps in his game (for a freshman).

I'm not really sure how far along he is regarding his overall skill set at the D1 level for a pretty highly touted big man only in his first semester of his first year playing behind some pretty amazing athletes at THE most storied program in BBall history... but I do know he is pretty raw at times. Other times, he makes me smile when I think about the future of this team.

Keep up the good posts and Happy Rock Chalk New Year~

Joe Ross 12 years, 5 months ago


Heres a theory. APD and Nicka are really the same person. APD creates another sign-on so it looks as if he has another voice to support him here, but he's really just a lonely man with an axe to grind against KU who resorts to pathetic means to voice his disfavor of our program.

Theory number 2. These are two distinct individuals who are both losers and envy a real college basketball program which they wish existed at Mizzou (or KState or some other miserable program).

Either way, I always get a chuckle reading their posts. It's almost as if they stand oblivious to their own ignorance. How can one NOT KNOW when they are spewing ignorance when it is obvious to the multitude of sane individuals? Now to ME, THATS funny!

jaybate 12 years, 4 months ago


hitting nail on head AGAIN!

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