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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rush, Arthur make first team

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Jayhawks rake in Big 12 awards

Shocking news from the Big 12 offices today: Kansas State's Michael Beasley is the conference's player and freshman of the year. Two Jayhawks join Beasley on the All Big 12 1st Team.

Collins enters tournament feeling fine

A healthy Kansas men's basketball team is preparing to defend its back-to-back Big 12 Tournament titles this week.

All-time Kansas great is gone

This morning, Otto Schnellbacher lost his battle with cancer. Known as the "Double Threat from Sublette," Otto was a two-sport standout at the University of Kansas.

Keegan's ballot

Here's how Journal World sports editor Tom Keegan filled out his Associated Press ballot for Big 12 honors:

FIRST TEAM: Michael Beasley, K-State; D.J. Augustin, Texas; Blake Griffin, Oklahoma; Curtis Jerrells, Baylor; Mario Chalmers, Kansas

SECOND TEAM: Bill Walker, K-State; A.J. Abrams, Texas; Darnell Jackson, Kansas; Brandon Rush, Kansas; Byron Eaton, Okla. State

THIRD TEAM: Damion James, Texas, Richard Roby, Colorado, Aleks Maric, Nebraska; Martin Zeno, Texas Tech; Darrell Arthur, Kansas

Coach of the year: Rick Barnes, Texas

Player of the year: Michael Beasley, K-State

Newcomer of the year: DeMarre Carroll, Mizzou

Freshman of the year: Michael Beasley, K-State

Kansas University's Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur, who were named first-team all-conference by the Big 12 coaches on Monday, hold no grudges against media members who failed to place any Jayhawks on the Associated Press all-league first team.

"I'm not mad at the media at all," Rush, KU's junior guard, said after learning he'd been named first-team by the coaches for the third straight year, yet joined sophomore forward Arthur on the AP's second team.

"We're a balanced team. Things happen like that sometimes," Rush added.

"We're so balanced," Arthur said. "Anybody on our team could have made it. We have eight starters on our team. Anybody can show up any day. A different guy can do it every day."

Six Jayhawks received some sort of honor on a day both the AP and coaches came out with their postseason awards.

Arthur and Rush were joined on the AP second team by junior Mario Chalmers, who also was named second-team by the coaches.

Senior Darnell Jackson was named third team by both the coaches and AP.

Sophomore Sherron Collins, who won the coaches' sixth man award, was named honorable mention AP. Chalmers and senior Russell Robinson made the coaches' all defensive team.

KU coach Bill Self said he was "disappointed, not crushed," no Jayhawks were named first-team AP for the first time since 2000.

"The thing I'd say, you could take a Darrell Arthur and put him on another team and he'd not average 14 points a game, and take some others and put them on our team and maybe they would not average as many points (as they do)," Self said. "We have a lot of depth and balance. We had guys deserving to be mentioned. I was told they were mentioned. They just split the vote."

Indeed, AP sports editor Doug Tucker indicated 17 of 19 AP media voters had one player from KU on the first-team ballot. Four Jayhawks (Rush, Arthur, Chalmers, Jackson) received votes for first team.

"They siphoned votes from each other," Tucker said, indicating KU and K-State were the only teams to have more than one player receive votes for first team.

Members of the AP first-team were: Michael Beasley, Kansas State; Curtis Jerrells, Baylor; D.J. Augustin, Texas; Blake Griffin, Oklahoma and Aleks Maric, Nebraska.

Joining Rush and Arthur on the coaches' team were Beasley, Augustin, Jerrells and Griffin. The coaches' team had six players because two unnamed players tied. Rush joins Texas Tech's Andre Emmett as the only players to be named first team three times.

"You want guys to win postseason honors, (but) you can see how it'd happen," Self said of the AP snub. "You can ask who is the best player on our team. It depends on what game you watched. Right now Sherron would be our best player based on how he played last week (in winning Big 12 co-player of the week with Beasley). If I'm a voter and somebody asked me who the best player on our team was, I'd probably change my vote week to week, too."

Collins was enthused upon hearing he won the sixth man award.

"I'm pretty happy for myself to get something like that when having the up and down season that I've had," Collins said. "There's a lot of good athletes and a lot of good players in this conference, so to be chosen sixth man is pretty good."

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Big 12 looking good: Self said he thought five Big 12 teams were locks for the NCAA tournament: KU, Texas, K-State, Baylor and Oklahoma.

"I believe Texas A&M; will get in. They could solidify their position by playing well this weekend," Self said of ex-Jayhawk Mark Turgeon's Aggies.

He said former KU assistant Tim Jankovich's Illinois State team is looking good for a bid as well.

"I think 'Jank's' a lock too. We talked last night. He said, 'What about this and that?' I said, 'I guess you bring up a point.' But I can't see how a team that has won 24 games and is 34 in the RPI will not get in. It's a great accomplishment in his first year they finish second (in Missouri Valley) by two full games, sweep Southern Illinois and Creighton and get in the finals (of tournament, losing to Drake).

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Big man on radar: Self was asked on his weekly radio show if he was still hoping to land another big man in recruiting.

"We are recruiting some guys presently and I will not go into detail (who they are)," Self said. "We are always after somebody that can help our program. If I look at our team, we expect certain things to happen if they play to be true we could be one big guy short as we look to our depth. That's what we're searching for now."

Though nothing is yet set in stone, KU is expected to lose sophomore Arthur and junior Rush to the NBA Draft. Chalmers and Collins also are considered early entry possibilities.

KU has signed five players and will sign guard Tyrone Appleton in April. Another big man would mean a recruiting class of seven with five scholarships to give.

"The percentage play is we'll have more than one leave (for NBA). I feel good where we are in that regard. The reality in college basketball kids do make decisions to leave," Self said. "You must be prepared. If we were just now thinking about those things it'd be too late because most (top-notch) players are committed by now."

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No. 1 seeds: Self said he felt North Carolina was a lock for a No. 1 seed with UCLA, Memphis and Tennessee likely candidates unless they stumble in their conference tourneys.

He did say KU had a shot at a No. 1. "We'd have to win the Big 12 Tournament and somebody else would have to not perform as well (nationally)," he said. KU will open tourney play at 6 p.m., Friday at Sprint Center against either Missouri or Nebraska.

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Wooden list: Rush is one of 24 candidates for the Wooden Award, which goes to college basketball's top player. Big 12 players Augustin and Beasley are also on the list.

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Otto will be missed: Self on KU great Otto Schnellbacher, who died Monday at the age of 84.

"The last time we saw him was at the 110th reunion (Feb. 16 reception at Crown Automotive). He was there with his wife. He was having a great time. He's a KU legend, a great person. He will be missed. He did so much for KU in so many ways that didn't garner recognition, such as the Topeka Jayhawk Club. He was a Jayhawk through and through."

Comments

Chris Shaw 11 years, 11 months ago

I am glad that no Jayhawk was on the "Media" first team. I really think the only person on this Jayhawk team that maybe deserved the first team would be Darnell Jackson. I think he has shown the most consistency on this Jayhawk squad, but it's hard to leave every Jayhawk off, which I found surprising. Maybe this is a sign for good things to come! Jayhawk fans, hope we get the #2 in the South Region or the #1 in the Midwest region. I think that is going to be the best draw for success.

I don't know if anyone has looked at the latest Bracketology on ESPN, but this is the first one in a while that I kind of liked. It had us matched with Memphis in the South region as a #2 seed. Louisville was the #3 seed. It also had the South Region matched up with the West Region, which I'm also okay with because either way you most likely get UCLA or Texas in Final Four. I actually like the idea of the South Region because you would play in Houston for the Regional Final games and then you would be in San Antonio for the Final Four. Hopefully, the committee doesn't make the same mistake as last year and send a #1 seed all the way across the country. The only matchup I didn't like would be the second round matchup between Davidson and Miami. Living here in the South and only 10 minutes away from Davidson, I've watched them numerous times this year and their squad is legit. Davidson is a much better team than Bradley or Bucknell and Davidson would cause a big knot in my stomach if we had to play them. Miami, is big and physical team that causes me to be concerned as well for that potential second round matchup. The could be the year of the "D's" because I want nothing to do with Drake, Davidson, Duke, and Dayton (Dayton has some work to do in the A-10 tourney, but I still don't want anything to do with because of their first letter "D").

ku98 11 years, 11 months ago

I don't really care where we end up in the bracket. I remember all too well the '98 team that was a #1 seed and lost to Rhode Island in the 2nd round. The only thing that matters is that we play well. If we play well, we can't lose.

tashe2 11 years, 11 months ago

I hope Arthur goes pro. He will be a big time bust. He wont ever play, and when he does play he wont be a factor. I wish Rush would stick around another year. Chalmers and Collins are definately back, no doubt about it. That makes me really HAPPY. We will be fine next year. I just wish we could pick up a blue chip big man. I think Aldrich will improve alot in the off season though. Atleast lets hope so.

As far as the NCAA tourney goes. It doesn't matter where we end up or what we are ranked. I hope we play a tough team in the first round, the second round etc. I don't want to play pud teams just to get to the final four, then get blown out by Memphis or someone! If we play as well as we have the past 3 games. Everyone better be in Lawrence come April, because we're going to bring home a National Championship!!

Mass street will be going crazy!!!

National Champions 2008

Rock Chalk Jayhawks

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

Darnell Jackson is not a first team all-conference player. I have yet to see anyone back that up with any substantial reasoning. Darnell had a great year, and played a huge part in KU's success. But to think he would have put up the numbers he did if DA was not consistently double-teamed is ridiculous. These last two games have clearly demonstrated what happens when DA is guarded one-on-one. He dominates his man, thereby getting virtually any shot he wants and puts up huge numbers. Jackson's production drops, but the team is still highly productive, to the tune of a 17-point win at aTm. Rush making first team is debatable, but how Maric ever makes it over DA is beyond me.

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

"I hope Arthur goes pro. He will be a big time bust." Yeah, that would be great for KU basketball. ???

63Jayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

tashe2 You will eat those words about Darrell Arthur in the future. He is going to have a long productive career in the pros. He is a very talented young man who is still learning.

Nutflush21 11 years, 11 months ago

jhwkfan1625- Im pretty sure the only media that gets votes for the All Big 12 squads are the media members from Big 12 country, therefore you dont have east coast and west coast biases.

However, I do agree that PPG is the first thing they look at. Anyone who thinks Maric is better than Darrell Arthur is only kidding themselves.

Nutflush21 11 years, 11 months ago

Why are people so quick to knock Rush? I just dont get it. In conference play Rush averaged 13.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 43% from three and 81% FT's. That sounds like a damn good line to me. Not to mention that he is a great defender.

Robert Brock 11 years, 11 months ago

Arthur will go pro. He won't be a bust but he won't be playing a lot in his first couple of years. He has a lot to learn and he will be gaining his knowledge while earning a big paycheck. OJT.

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

You're absolutely right, Nutflush21. There is a segment of posters on this site that loves to bag on Rush because they feel he underachieves and he owes it to them to be the next Kobe Bryant, as he was hyped coming out of HS. One can't underachieve if it was all hype to begin with. I've learned to accept BR for what he is, and that's a pretty good player.

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

Frankly, I don't think any of "our" guys merit first-team consideration this year, and the reasons have been documented (too much balance). If they played on different teams, there's no question KU has an abundance of first-teamers. I agree with you, Lebowski, that Chalmers had a better year than Rush. You may be able to back up DJax with some stats, but I'll sill contend that without those double-teams on DA all year, Jackson's numbers would be lower. Of course, this is all debatable.

tylerwoods 11 years, 11 months ago

I don't get all the negativity towards Arthur. He is a dominant low post player when he is fed the ball. He has all the makings of a good NBA player. He obviously has some growing to do, but so do all prospects. He has the post moves and the athletic ability to be really good. His jump shot is pretty solid too. Rush is the one who frustrates me. He is such a good catch and shoot guy, but he may be the worst finisher in college basketball. He airballs more floaters than he hits. A guy as athletic as he is should be a much better finisher. It was nice to see him finally dunk over somebody against A&M the other night. Although, that just makes my point. It seems like he should be finishing like that a lot more instead of missing running layups and floaters. All this being said, I still think they are both really good college players. I am looking forward to the tournaments ahead and rooting them to a National Championship.

jahawkdave 11 years, 11 months ago

You really can't fully judge KU players in this college system with such a deep team. They don't have to rely on any 1 or 2 players to be the predominent producer on this team they all average faily low minutes and in turn low shots and points....

Playing on a great team with several great players can dilute a great players numbers and it can also balloon just a good players numbers...some may be able to excel in the NBA free for all style.

Bill Kackley 11 years, 11 months ago

I don't care about the individual honors. I think you could make a case for several of our players being named first team all big 12 and you could make a case against each of them also. The big think is they pasted up individual honors for the good of the team. As far as turning pro is concerned, I think it would be very foolish for Rush as he has to mentally get back to attacking the basket. Easier to do that in college than in the NBA. I also feel the others should stick around for their own good. None of the underclassmen is ready to play in the NBA now but there is a good chance that Arthur, Chalmers and Collins will be excellent pros and Rush a good pro. They all need more seasoning and I fell game play is a lot better than practice. If Arthur needs the money, he should go.

johnsont1 11 years, 11 months ago

Arthur: "We're so balanced . . . anybody on our team could have made it. We have eight starters on our team. Anybody can show up any day. A different guy can do it every day."

This attitude is what loses games. We need every guy to do it every day. There is no point in one guy showing up and playing well one day and another guy outshining everyone else another day. That leads to the inconsistency that has been plaguing us this year. We need a lot more than one person to play well in any given game, especially in the big dance, and that will not be accomplished by the attitude that Arthur, and seemingly the whole KU basketball team including the coaches, display.

justanotherfan 11 years, 11 months ago

Here is a reason why I think perhaps 7 of the guys on this team have NBA futures - they are all unselfish.

Nobody on this team is obsessed with being a star. 85% of the players in the NBA are not stars. Simply put, most players don't have the ability to be stars at that level. The NBA is elite. When you look at the NBA and notice how many great college players are riding the bench or getting spot duty, you realize how hard it is to be a starter, let alone a star in the NBA.

The thing with this KU team is that they understand how to play their roles, which will go a long way in helping keep you on an NBA roster. Guys with "star" attitudes but not "star" game can't stick in the NBA because they don't know how to adapt to not being the show. They take "star" shots and expect "star" treatment. They don't understand the team concept.

I sense no such problem with Brandon understanding that he is a lockdown defender and spot up shooter in the NBA. I don't think he will get outside of his game when he gets there. I think Darnell and Sasha will be able to understand that they are bangers, first and foremost. I don't think that they will complain about not getting a touch every trip. I think Mario and Sherron could both be table setters, bringing energy, defense and valuable shooting off an NBA bench. Darrell can be a viable second option. And I am more and more intrigued by Aldrich the more I see him play. He's another guy that could be an NBA player as another post defender at the very least, maybe with some offensive potential if he continues to develop.

No NBA stars necessarily, but 7 guys that go on to have solid careers. That's not bad, I must say.

actorman 11 years, 11 months ago

"Arthur will go pro. He won't be a bust but he won't be playing a lot in his first couple of years. He has a lot to learn and he will be gaining his knowledge while earning a big paycheck. OJT."

Just curious, what does "OJT" mean? (And before some smart-aleck tells me to look it up on the net, I did.)

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

Lebowski, Those are solid numbers for Mario. I do think he had the best year of all the guys this season. Based on those numbers, he probably did earn first-team honors, and I was wrong to say that nobody on the team deserved it. Just curious, but where did you get those numbers stratified in the B12?

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

I presume it means "On the job training", actorman.

I really like our "path" in the Big 12 tourney. We should be able to handle MU or NU easily. Then we get to show KSU that we're still the superpower in the state.

I think Texas will be completely gassed if they make it to Sunday to play us. Augustin plays soooo many minutes it's crazy. He should be worn out by Sunday.

If we win the tourney and Tennessee or UCLA trip up, we'll get a #1 seed. UNC and Memphis are locks for #1 seeds no matter what happens in their tournaments if you ask me.

Nutflush21 11 years, 11 months ago

UCLA has locked up a #1 seed as well compliments of their weekend sweep via the referees.

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

Nut.......Could you believe that? I thought I was mad after the Stanford game but I was really ticked after the UCLA trappers knocked the ball out of bounds with a ref standing right there to see and they gave the ball to UCLA. Then the shot over the backboard was just as plain as day and if you watched the replays there was a ref standing out of bounds in direct line behind Shipp who should have been able to call that.

UCLA's showed some weaknesses over the past week or so. I'm not so sure I agree that UCLA has a lock on a #1 yet.

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

I seriously doubt Memphis is a lock if they lose again. Their toughest road opponent this year was Cincinnati. So while their SOS looks good, they played everyone at home or at a neutral site. To me, their resume is not any stronger than a few other teams. That said, if they win out, which they will since their conference tourney is also on their home court, they will get a 1-seed.

I said it last week and I'll say it again. We want UCLA to win the rest of their games and lock up the 1-seed out west. KU does not want any more "gifts" from the selection committee, such as the west 1-seed with UCLA as the 2-seed. UCLA is not leaving the west, so let's let UT have the other top seed out their. KU can still claim the midwest #1, but I think the south #2 would be better. The KU fan base is strong in TX.

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

okjhok......I won't root for UCLA to win if it gives us a chance to be a #1 seed.

Last year was just a perfect(ly bad) storm for us. The way the S-curve worked out, we just happened to be the #1 in UCLA's backyard.

If we're a #1 and they are a #2 this year, it's not likely to work that way again. The #2 seeds aren't placed in the closest geographical bracket; they are placed by their relative strength to the other teams on the 2 line AFTER the #1 seeds have been placed geographically.

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

That's right, and I can't see UCLA dropping lower than the overall #5. I also can't see KU getting much higher than the overall #4. So there you have it.

tim deegan 11 years, 11 months ago

love the hawks, but until they beat a ranked team on the road, (not counting usc in early december) i will remain nervous of an early exit at the dance.

i hate the east coast media bias as much as any of us, but...how many other top tier teams lose in the first round of the dance like we did in '06 and '05 to the bradleys and bucknells of the world? not too d*mn many. (and how about 5 straight 'do not pass go' punches from ucla?) the media are nervous about our tourney record too.

and i can buy the whole 'so balanced' thing, but we've lacked a consistent go-to guy all season and that makes me nervous too.

and lastly, i'm nervous about our ability to douse the flames of a hot 3pt shooting team. (but at least our FT's are not an achilles heel anymore - man that used to bug me)

one or two solid wins against top tier teams and my nervousness will dissipate like a shady fadeaway jumper.

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

There's really no sense arguing about seeds or saying you'd rather be #2 in the South at this point because Lunardi and the bracketologists usually aren't spot on with their predictions of the committee's ultimate bracket and there are a lot of games to be played this week.

Having said that, if you assume UNC is #1 in the East and Memphis is a lock for #1 in the South, KU would need either UCLA to lose their #1 seed in the West or Tennessee to lose their #1 seed in the Midwest.

If Tennessee loses (to Vandy, for example) then KU could be #1 in the Midwest and UCLA would be #1 in the West.

If UCLA loses, then KU would be #1 in the West and if Duke makes a strong finish in the ACC tournament, they could be the top #2 seed, which would pit them against KU in the West and move UCLA to the Midwest as a #2. Or if UCLA wins the Pac10 and KU wins the Big12 and Duke wins the ACC, Duke could be the top #2 seed and be shipped to the West with UCLA and KU would probably be #2 in the Midwest.

There are just too many variables at this point. Regardless, I will not pull for UCLA or Tennessee to win out because I want the #1 seed.

okjhok 11 years, 11 months ago

That was for the nervous guy, not you, KU. We'll see how it plays out. I just don't want UCLA until the final four, that's all.

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

Tigertown,

In 06 we were playing with a bunch of wide-eyed freshmen that had no stones and they were playing with the ghost of the 05 loss hanging over them.

The 05 team was the only real disgrace. You've got Wayne Simeon and you lose the first round? Langford was hurt, Miles and Giddens didn't show up.

Besides that, I'm way over the 05 and 06 losses. Last year's team took that bad taste away for me and this year's team has made those tourney losses a distant memory.

Maybe living in Mizery has made you pessimistic?

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

okjhok......I am in complete agreement with you about not wanting a piece of UCLA. Collison is scary-quick right now and with KLove, they are better than last year.

smitty33 11 years, 11 months ago

KU, Nice to see you optomistic.

I'm hoping the rankings all hold and we get a 2 Seed in the worst 1 seed's bracket - Tennessee. Detroit would be nice and neutral. I doubt Tennessee would make it to the final 8. They're too inconsistent. Being in the Memphis Bracket would be my next best scenario. Losing before Sunday could be bad as we may get shipped out East or West. Let Puke go out West to beat UCLA.

Too bad most of the Big 12 is playing so inconsistent this time of year... I don't see any Big 12 team besides Texas or KU making it past the 2nd round this year.

My dream Scenario is for Tennessee to lose and give us the one seed. Then having Wisconsin win the Big 10 tourney and being our 2 seed in the Midwest or South.

tim deegan 11 years, 11 months ago

yea, maybe living in methzou territory for so long has made me more susceptible to whining (prefer jim beam to xanax though). good point lebowski, just the nature of the fandom and the tourney.

it just seems that every year we have these killer players that make us one of the top 5 college programs for number of alum in the nba, but haven't won it all since '88...just makes impatient i guess.

and i agree with smittys comments, the big 12 isn't nearly as consistent as the other big conferences. i'd love to see us play more good teams from pac 10 and big east earlier in the year to see how we stack up.

ready for the hawks to go into beast mode, and get er done.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 11 months ago

KU: I disagree a little with your seed assessment. UCLA is in the same position as last year and even if they should lose in the first round of the Pac 10 (That would be the second year in a row) they will end up in West as #1 or #2 seed guranteed. I think UCLA is the only lock to be in the West.

actorman 11 years, 11 months ago

"how many other top tier teams lose in the first round of the dance like we did in '06 and '05 ..."

I would say a LOT of top teams lose in the first round--maybe not two years in a row, but it happens all the time. That's why they call it March Madness. The fact is that KU had won 21 consecutive first-round games, so the percentages caught up with us a little. But as KU says (the other KU, that is - can you say "generic?"), it's time to put the "B" games "B"-hind us and focus on how great this team is. I'm not too concerned about the first round. After that it gets tough, and especially once things get into the second week.

Smitty, I understand what you're saying about the inconsistency of the Big XII, but one of the main reasons for that inconsistency is how good the conference as a whole is. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Big XII have the best record this year against ranked teams? That says that they all played well against other conferences, then beat up on each other. As for who will advance (besides KU and Texas), I wouldn't be at all surprised if KSU got hot and made it into the Sweet 16 or maybe even the Elite 8. And you never know what a team like Baylor can do in the tournament. If they're hitting their shots, they're awfully tough to beat. So given how the conference has done this year, I have faith that the Big XII can put up a good showing in the tourney.

melrank 11 years, 11 months ago

Lebowski - nice work on the stats. I was skeptical on the "Mario for first team" argument and I really love the guy. However, your stats make an incredibly convincing case. The excel spreadsheet-thing sounds a little out of my league, though.

OKJ - I totally agree with your analysis of how the seeds "should" play out with UCLA out west, etc. There's a lot of games to be played, but if we are going to get into the prediction game, your logic is dead on.

"All we have to do is play our best and we'll win"? It's not reasonable to think you can play your best for 6 straight games. Hardly ever happens!!! Anyone who thinks that the seeds, locations, and who we play doesn't matter, doesn't watch much tournament basketball. Generally, the best team does NOT win it all. It takes a great team, playing well, with a lucky break (or several) to win. We are definitely capable, but give me a high seed, in a close region, with some overrated smuck teams and I'll like our chances better.

Rock Chalk.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 11 months ago

Great discussion. Just ONE thought on Darrell Arthur: he is a sophomore (!) who spent much of last year on the bench--can you imagine his playing in another 1-2 yrs (if he stays in college). I would bet he exceeds all expectations. VERY FEW man-childs like Oden, Durant, and Beasley. They are NOT the norm, even for McD AA-caliber talent. I disagree with calling Arthur any type of bust. And to all those concerned about UCLA if they are better this year or not (debatable), I would counter with the idea that KU most definitely IS better this year (not debatable: its plainly obvious). More size, more depth, more skill in each player, better FT%, and hopefully better nerves to be able to withstand a top teams A-game, and still be able to play our game, or whatever type of 'game' the situation calls for. Imagine if you were a UCLA fan--you just might be afraid to face KU in the big dance this year, all things being considered...

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