Back to 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament coverage

2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook



2008 NCAA Tournament

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Full video coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2008 NCAA Tournament

Dunk you very much

Darrell Arthur lobbed the basketball toward the goal, clutched it after one high bounce, passed it from one hand to another between his legs, then rammed a vicious one-handed dunk, thrilling about 2,000 fans Wednesday afternoon at Qwest Center.

The Kansas University sophomore's slam concluded the Jayhawks' 32-minute shootaround, which followed an hour-and-10-minute morning practice at Omaha Central High.

"It's always great to at least shoot where you are going to play," KU coach Bill Self said. "We have a 7 a.m. wake-up call tomorrow. I doubt we are going to come here and shoot (before 11:25 a.m. tipoff against Portland State). It's good to get in here and get the feel of the place."

The Jayhawks shot a batch of jumpers Wednesday before taking part in a quickie dunk drill. Jeremy Case put down a spinning 360, while guard Tyrel Reed and red-shirt Brady Morningstar also may have surprised some with their leaping ability on a pair of acrobatic jams.

Bahe's team brilliant

KU seniors Case and Russell Robinson watched ex-Jayhawk Nick Bahe's Creighton basketball team rally from a 17-point deficit to defeat Rhode Island, 74-73, on Tuesday night at Qwest Center.

"It was fun. It's the first time I got to see a game (from stands) in four years," Robinson said. "Nick did a great job moving the ball. His team had a great comeback. I didn't get to see him (after game). He was busy celebrating."

Robinson added: "It was good to get out, relax and see the court. It reminds me a little bit of watching games back in high school."

Bahe came by KU's team hotel at 6 p.m. on Wednesday night and visited with the Jayhawks.

Lee knows Portland State

KU graduate student manager Michael Lee is a native of Portland. He has worked out many times at Portland State's gym.

"Coach (Ken) Bone has opened the gym for us many times," Lee said. "It's one of the better places in Portland to get some decent runs (pick-up games)."

Lee has worked out with Portland State junior guard Jeremiah Dominguez many times.

"He called me after we won our (postseason) tournament," Dominguez said of Lee.

How did Lee get his cell-phone number?

"Portland connection," Dominguez said with a smile.

Lee said: "I know Jeremiah pretty well. It's Portland ... one big family. I called him after we came back from the Big 12 tournament. I said, 'We'll see you in Omaha.'''

Rush praises guard

Brandon Rush played against Dominguez on the AAU circuit. "He's good," Rush said. "I remember we beat them because I played on the Atlanta Celtics with a lot of NBA guys on my team."

No big KU fan

Portland State senior Brian Curtis grew up a Wichita State fan. His dad, Charlie, was an assistant on coach Scott Thompson's Shocker staff.

He's never been a KU fan, though he did attend Roy Williams' camp three times and Self's once.

"Drew Gooden made me work on my game," Curtis said. "Danny Manning talked, but I don't remember too much about that.

"The thing about Kansas ... they don't recruit players in Kansas. The let the best players in Kansas go elsewhere. I never understood that," Curtis added.

"He was player of the year, and they didn't recruit him. Wichita State did, but KU didn't," he added, pointing to senior Dupree Lucas, a former all-stater out of Wichita Southeast.

NU did KU a favor

Robinson does not think the Jayhawks will have an off day, today.

"Nebraska was definitely our wake-up call," Robinson said of KU's 64-54 first-round Big 12 tournament victory over the Huskers, a game in which KU trailed by nine early.

"That game set the tone for the rest of our postseason."

Collins raring to go

Sherron Collins said he feels close to 100 percent physically and believes he's stronger mentally than last postseason.

"Last year helped me get rid of the butterflies," Collins said of his first NCAA experience. "I think now I'm ready to play."

K-State has big game, too

Rush gave his take on today's Kansas State-USC game.

"It's good to see another Big 12 team here," Rush said. "Definitely K-State has a better freshman (Michael Beasley) than USC (O.J. Mayo). USC is tough. They play good defense and have O.J., who is good. USC has more players than K-State," he added, indicating the Trojans would likely win.

Self said, "It'll be a great game. USC's offense is catching up to their defense. USC is more a complete team now. It doesn't matter how good your defense is. I don't know how you guard Beasley. You can play unbelievable defense on him and he can get 30. We guarded him well and held him to 39. I think it'll be very unique (game)."

Darnell Jackson on Vikings

"Their guards are great on the offensive glass. If you watch them play on defense, it's like they pressure you so hard where you can't get into your offense. Our main focus is to keep the intensity at the same level that they are playing with and just see what we can come out with.

"Their whole starting five stands out. Huff (Deonte, 6-4 senior) and Dominguez are great with the ball. Their post players can shoot from outside the three-point line."

Miami, KU discuss series

KU and the University of Miami have discussed playing a home-and-home series, coach Frank Heath told the Miami Herald. KU senior associate AD Larry Keating says discussions were brief. KU indicated any return game would have to be contested in American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, instead of Miami's 7,000-seat campus building. Miami said no, effectively ending all talks.

Langford update

Former KU guard Keith Langford, who left the Austin Toros of the NBA Developmental League a few weeks ago, has surfaced with Angelico, a pro team in Italy. The information comes courtesy of, an international scouting service which keeps track of all former college players overseas.


Timmay97 11 years ago

Hey Nutflush.....don't forget about Brandon Rush......K.C. product.

Nutflush21 11 years ago

"The thing about Kansas ... they don't recruit players in Kansas. The let the best players in Kansas go elsewhere. I never understood that," Curtis added.

Yeah you are right, KU never goes after the local talent.


Wayne Simien, Tyrel Reed and Travis Releford

FlaHawk 11 years ago

KU only recruits Topp 150 talent. It is widely regards that Kansas does very rarely produce anyone in this strata!

Times change and Kansas basketball is nothing like it was in the 20s->70s!

The top players go year around and unless you are around KC or Wichita forget it!

Keep them down on the farm and let Div II and JUCO's take them!

jayhawkinATL 11 years ago

Um, like Nutflush21 said, KU only goes after QUALITY local talent.

Ryan Gerstner 11 years ago

What a moron! There aren't many KU scholarship players that aren't top 100 players and there usually aren't many toward the bottom of the top 100. Hey, I'd played h.s. basketball in Kansas and wished they'd recruited me too, but had they'd taken me, KU would've sucked. Talking about clueless.

not_important 11 years ago

Don't forget Brady Morningstar, John Crider, CB McGrath, and Greg Gurley. Although Gurley was a great talent before back problems slowed him down, they will bring in role players from Kansas too. They don't have to be top (fill in your number here) talent, but they have to be able to contribute something here and be good teammates. If a player doesn't fit what we're doing here, why would we recruit them?

Sometimes players slip through the cracks too, like Matt Freije going to Vandy.

nicka 11 years ago

I'd rather forget Crider. Unfortunately his suckiness has forever scarred my memory.

chetp 11 years ago

Conner Teahan is from also from KS (Leawood) although his high school was on the MO side.

justanotherfan 11 years ago

KU is hit and miss in Kansas.

Guys that got away Earl Watson - Kansas City Washington '97 (four year starter at UCLA, now in the NBA)

Matt Freije, already mentioned - Shawnee Mission West '00 (Vanderbilt, brief NBA career, now overseas)

Kris Weems - Kansas City Schlagle '95 (Stanford, started in 2 Final Fours

Nate Johnson - Kansas City Wyandotte '98 (Juco player of the year in 2001, played at Nebraska for two years)

Victor Williams - Kansas City Wyandotte '98 (Oklahoma State starter for two years)

Andre Williams - Kansas City Schlagle '98 (Oklahoma State starter for two years)

Keylon Block - Kansas City Sumner '98 (Indiana State four year starter - went to NCAA tournament 3 times)

Kelley Newton - Kansas City Wyandotte '96 (Oklahoma, top reserve one year, starter one year after strong juco career).

Jay Tunnell - Topeka West '05 (starter at Indiana State currently)

Malcolm Campbell - Kansas City Schlagle '00 (three year starter at Alabama State - leading scorer on their NCAA tournament team)

This is just a list of guys I can point to without too much thinking. And because I know some of the people on this list personally, I know KU never contacted them.

Granted, we still would not have gotten some of these guys, but we could have gotten some. Not all of them would have been starters or key players for us. But all of them were D-1 talents that played somewhere. I know some of the people on this list personally. Some never got so much as a phone call from KU, particularly during the Roy Williams era. I'm not complaining because we have fielded great teams during that time, but the kid has a point. KU has taken a pass on a lot of D-I talent in Kansas. You can't tell me that Earl Watson, or Kris Weems, or Matt Freije wouldn't have played for us. You can't tell me that Tunnell, Block, the two Williams', Johnson, Campbell and Newton couldn't have either contributed or at least done what guys like Jeremy Case, Rodrick and others have done. We had TJ Pugh on our team for crying out loud! These guys were legit D-I guys.

Drew Alan 11 years ago

yeah, you are averaging 5.6 points a game for a pretty good low-major team and you wonder why you weren't recruited by KU...

another thing people might want to consider is that some of those people might have wanted to get away from KU. look at what happened to Crider, he was heralded as the next great small town player from Kansas, and his career imploded. a lot of guys want to get away from the scrutiny of being a kansan playing in kansas... and a lot of guys want the playing time and stat sheet that guys like Teahan and Reed gave up to come to KU. there's two sides to every fence

Lance Hobson 10 years, 12 months ago

Crider was always super fit and won those "hustle" awards in practice, he just wasn't quite KU material. He would have done ok if he had stayed, but he saw the writing on the wall. Jeremy Case was a much more heralded recruit and he's had trouble breaking this lineup, as good as he is.

D. Lucas was not recruited by KU because he was not KU material. Didn't he go JuCo for a while anyway? That tells me that WSU didn't want him either.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 12 months ago

Disregard last, DL went to Xavier. Still not KU material.

esque 10 years, 12 months ago

Earl Watson was recruited but Ol Roy hedged on offering a scholarship to him while pursuing Baron Davis. The irony being of course, KU lost both players to UCLA..

Ed Brown 10 years, 12 months ago

Hey, nobody mentioned Mark Turgeon! I also think KU recruited but lost Rolando Blackman. How about Darnell Valentine, Greg Dreiling? I guess I'm too old!

janeyb 10 years, 12 months ago

Did anyone mention Jeff Graves? He was from KC wasn't he?

Jeffery Barrett 10 years, 12 months ago

You just did....and we're all wishing you hadn't!

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