Monday, May 19, 2008

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook


Robinson picks agency

Russell Robinson, who started at point guard for Kansas University's 2008 national championship basketball team, has chosen McClaren Sports of Houston as his sports agency.

The company, owned by former Houston Astros president of baseball operations Bob McClaren, also represents KU coach Bill Self, as well as Utah guard Deron Williams and former Texas A&M; players Joseph Jones and Dominique Kirk.

KU's Sasha Kaun is represented by Justin Zanik of New Jersey-based ASM Sports; Darnell Jackson by Montgomery Sports Group of San Antonio; and Brandon Rush by Priority Sports and Entertainment of Chicago.

Dallas coach to sue?

Dallas South Oak Cliff High basketball coach James Mays said Sunday he will speak with an attorney this week with his intent to pursue legal action against former Oak Cliff math teacher Winford Ashmore.

Ashmore recently accused Mays and former South Oak Cliff principal Donald Moten of changing Darrell Arthur's failing math grades to passing marks. Ashmore spoke of specific grades in an interview with Dallas TV station WFAA, which also might be sued by Mays.

"This is about an illegal release of grades, which is serious, as well as possible slander and defamation of character. It's safe to say we will pursue legal action," Mays said.

Dallas school officials are investigating the matter.

"I am not interested in personal gain," Mays said. "This is for our school as a whole. I'm not in this for riches. Enough is enough. Kids are being hurt by this.

"I can't get into details. There will be legal consultation. We will take a stand. It's a shame, a tragedy some people would choose to take this route," Mays added of Ashmore's allegations of grade-fixing.

KU officials have said they see no reason why the result of the Dallas school investigation would affect KU, because the NCAA approved Arthur's transcript. Arthur was a key cog in the Jayhawks' national championship this season and has made himself available for the upcoming NBA Draft, not yet hiring an agent.

Self supports Vitale

Self was one of 47 current college coaches to attend the third-annual Dick Vitale Gala to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research last Thursday in Sarasota, Fla.

Former KU coach Roy Williams of North Carolina attended as well as former Texas Tech coach Bob Knight, Tennessee's Pat Summitt and Hall of Famer John Havlicek. The $1,000-a-ticket event drew a crowd of more than 700 supporters. More than $1 million was raised for cancer research.

"Dick Vitale has done such a great job for our sport over time. He's used our sport as a vehicle to help so many worthwhile causes, cancer research is at the top of the list. We're raising over a million dollars, and all will go to research. It's an exciting night," Self told a Sarasota TV station.


Gary McCullough 11 years, 6 months ago

Dick Vitale should stick with fundraising and leave the sidelines. He's a distraction from the game. He doesn't give any insight into the game or the players. It's a wall-to-wall Dickie-thon. Who he saw, name-dropping people that come to his home, how much money he's raised for the V Foundation. Let him do the fundraising, let someone else do the commentary.

okjhok 11 years, 6 months ago

I agree...he used to bring a lot more to the game. Now, the teams on the court play second fiddle to Vitale, which is a shame since the games he does are generally excellent matchups. The game is usually cheapened due to his incessant babblings about non-basketball issues. Props to him for the money he's raised, but he needs to realize where to draw the line between his personal life and a basketball game.

Joe Ross 11 years, 6 months ago

I disagree with both of the preceeding comments, not out of malice or ill will, but just on principle. I myself think Dick Vitale's antics are more often over-the-top than rational and level-headed. Even so, he has done a world of good for basketball AND cancer research to the extent that one person is capable on impacting on both of those. In a world where cynicism, rancor, and pessimism often dominate, I think it's entirely appropriate to tolerate some of his less desirable features to highlight the ones of his that really shine through. During games there is the requisite pandering to Dickie V that makes the broadcast as well as some self-inflating rhetoric. But (one), it doesn't dominate the game and (two) as above cooler heads can bide with the wayward meanderings to recognize the good he does for the sport. In essence, the stage can be shared.Disclaimer: I say these things even knowing Dick Vitale's record of picking AGAINST Kansas.

quigley 11 years, 6 months ago

txrockchalk- I remember Dickie V's predictions in '03. He did not pick us to go to the final 4, once in the final 4 he did not pick us to get to the championship, then after blowing out Marquette he picked us to win the championship. After that whole episode I decided to never trust his guesses again. In fact, I take comfort when he picks against us. I do agree with you though about him making games more fun. If you like him or hate him, you always want to see what he said about your team.

11 years, 6 months ago

bmcmich1 - I never said Packer should win a Humanitarian of the Year Award. Clearly, he has some serious character issues.Here's a spoof on Packer most will enjoy...

tis4tim 11 years, 6 months ago

How about when Douglas-Roberts (I think) slammed the ball to the floor and Packer goes something to the effect of, "He was mad at himself", insinuating that because he was mad at himself and not at any particular KU player, it negates the fact that he should have been "T"-ed up.I agree with the posts above. Packer is done. He is the Bud Collins of college basketball. (in your best Billy Packer voice) "I remember that game in 1946 when Frank "The Rhino" Walchensky dribbled the ball off his foot trying to drive past Ernie "The Matador" Renfro blah blah blah..."

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 6 months ago

I would love to have seen the look on Dickie Vs face in the first half of the KU-UNC game when it was 40-12, then again at the end, when essentially KU had beaten UNC twice in the same game...Same goes for the Memphis game. Same for Digger Phelps. To hear the dont-give-any-credit-to-KU commentary from sooo many natl TV sports announcers has been so sickening--especially when they start analyzing the other team's loss before the game was even over. I simply cannot thank Self and these particular KU players enough for unloading EVERY monkey off our back, and crafting an overall season that FORCES everyone nationwide to take notice. It even forces KU fans to realize the proof that this 07-08 squad IS the best KU team of all time: by record, by unselfishness and the way they played team ball, and certainly the amazing versatility of play: any style, any speed, any go to guy--essentially encompassing so much of the breadth of this game into 1 team, that it is only fitting that this coach/team represent the Univ. of KS, where this game began. I am still in awe!

11 years, 6 months ago

I think Dick Vitale picked us to beat Syracuse in the '03 Championship. I personally like the guy. He can be over the top at times, and can rightfully be referred to as Dukie Vitarheel, but overall, he is a great ambassador for the game. Beyond all of his great work on fund raising for cancer research, he gets a lot of people excited about the season, the games, and the players. While he has toned down some of his presentation (no more, "Start the Bus, Baby!" or his all-airport teams), he still makes most games fun to watch.

JayhawkPurist 11 years, 6 months ago

Any word on who will/might replace Nantz and Packer, and when?

lee3022 11 years, 6 months ago

Unless I missed a post, you folks all missed the best part of this article!Read it again and note that Roy is simply a "Former KU coach". Good job Gary. That is putting him in his place . Best job he ever had or ever will have.

JayhawkPurist 11 years, 6 months ago

I agree with the comments made above: Vitale has done a lot of good for college basketball, but in recent years his analytical skills have waned and he's become even more of a caricature of himself (if that's possible).Also more noticeable in the past few years is his inability to hide his significant bias toward the ACC in general, and to Duke and North Carolina in particular. I could provide a lot of examples of this, but think this one will suffice: Anyone else notice that Vitale seemed to be more favorable to KU when Williams and Brown were coaches at KU?

stravinsky 11 years, 6 months ago

But if it weren't for Dickie V, how would I have known that the cookies he had during the KU- KSU at Allen Fieldhouse were amazing?

hail2oldku 11 years, 6 months ago

Posted by soapboxstew (anonymous) on May 19, 2008 at 12:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)"What the hell are you doing PICKING a fight with a mammoth like that? "You answered your own question later when you brought up drinking & drugs. Substances can provide a hell of a confidence boost to some of these losers.

kerbyd 11 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, Dickie V continues a trend, started by the likes of Howard Cossell, of giving us their opinions about the game and not of the game itself. Even more irritating is that he focuses not on the game but on anything and everything but the game. The BS of "diaper dandies" is a great example. Since I am currently in AZ, I cannot turn the sound off and listen to a more unbias and knowledgeable sportscaster on local radio, when he is on.

bmkjayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

JRoss, I agree with you about living in a world of cynicism, etc., and thus the rest of us should tolerate Dickie V's antics.And speaking of picking against KU, I didn't really like Jay Bilas all that much because during the 2007 SIU game, it seemed to me that he was favoring the Salukis. After the faith he showed in KU this year, however, I've since gotten over that.

soapboxstew 11 years, 6 months ago

Just one last word on the Lod bar fight:I live here in Colorado (and finished my degree @ CU), and over the last 2 years, 2 football players have almost been kicked out of school, have considered transferring, and have had to go to court because of bar fights.Both of these cases were shown to be the fault of the 'other' kid, and not the football player's fault, in that the 'other' kid started the fight.Now, those 2 football players were both linebackers @ roughly 6'4 240 apiece. They were D-1 level Athletes. They ran 4.5 40's, benched 340+, squatted 500+, etc. My question is simple, what the hell are you doing PICKING a fight with a mammoth like that? Both times it was a kid in his early 20's, roughly 5'10, somewhere in the 160 pound region. In the Lod case, read between the lines: this was a 23 year old resident/student. I don't know that kid, but I would bet the farm that he is your classic underachiever, barely squeaking by in his classes (not because he's not smart, rather that he doesn't go to class or care about class), he cares more about smoking pot and getting drunk than life/school, your classic 6th year senior. I've been there. Where I haven't been is in a fight with a superb physical college D-1 level athlete. Hence, I haven't been in a hospital with my face caved in like a busted up pie.Bottom line: Guys like Lod have had to avoid fighting their whole lives (even though they would clean most anyone that they took the floor with). They would have too much to lose and they are under too close a microscope. I again would bet the farm that this 'other' kid started the fight. The moral of the story, boys and girls, is that when your drunken 'tuff guy' @ss picks a fight with a guy that had bigger stones @ age 3, you pay the price.

11 years, 6 months ago

quigley - you are right about not trusting his guesses - - look at this year's Championship game! :) I do remember one prediction he got right though, he predicted Larry Brown wouldn't stick around after the '88 Championship season. He made a deal with us Jayhawk fans that if LB did stay at KU, he would come scrub the basketball court in Allen Fieldhouse on his hands and knees. That is something I would LOVED to have seen!

Debbie Mangen 11 years, 6 months ago

Hey, kerbyd. You can listen to the radio broadcast online at Tune in a little earlier, about 1 1/2 hrs before game time and listen to the Crimson and Blue line. Sometimes a little time delay, but occasionally its ahead of my TV.

peter56321 11 years, 6 months ago

Quigley,They still use the device. The problem now is that everything has a slightly different delay. A cable television with a digital box has a longer delay than one without and HD has even more delay. I imagine satellite and air waves have different delays than all the cable formats. Consequently, it is impossible for a radio station to set one delay time that syncs with all possible broadcast methods. If they didn't make any attempt to sync, the radio would be ahead of tv by a minimum of about 2 seconds.

JJHawq 11 years, 6 months ago

When I was in HS (grad in 96) I was always amazed at DV's knowledge of players and his analysis. I was willing to tolerate the antics because I repected his knowledge.He is not even close to that level anymore...and I really don't enjoy listening to his call. He's probably a good guy that means well - but he is most certainly a parody of himself now.My favorite guys covering the game are Bilas and Katz. I think both do a pretty good job - but even Katz was probably better 4-5 years ago than he is now.Once successful - it is very very hard to maintain the standard that got you there - no matter what the profession.

quigley 11 years, 6 months ago

I am a KU fan that has for a long time watched the games on TV and listened to the radio (always during the NCAA tournament) and when Max was on, 105.9 and 1320 had that device that timed up the radio and tv so there wasn't a delay. But since Max retired they quit using it! During the tourney there was often up to a 2-3 second delay, what gives!!!! Every year that this goes on I have a tougher and tougher time convincing others watching with me to tolerate the delays. We need to get that machine back!!!!

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 11 years, 6 months ago

In the overtime one should have noted that Billy Packer kept saying Rose should pick up the ball and not lose so much time. He should know by now that the clock doesn't run until the ball is picked up, usually about mid-court. He also said "he's risking a 5 second call." I believe the rule to get to the mid-court is 10 seconds. They need to put Billy on local TV in the Carolinas and keep him there. He loves ACC basketball and doesn't really think anyone else in the country is quite that good.

jaybate 11 years, 6 months ago

DVi will give good cover to anyone who will pay homage to DVi and work his cancer gigs.Now that Bill Self has begun to pay homage to DVi and promote his cancer gigs, expect DVi coverage of KU to improve.Quid pro quo, babyyyyy!

JayhawkPurist 11 years, 6 months ago

frustrated,totally agree. how many of KU's fanbase remembers watching or listening to that game?i also though nantz, and especially packer's, calls during the last minute or so were weaker than usual. after collins sealed the win with his second free throw, packer was still talking about collins' first free throw -- how its rattling home reminded him of the old jordan/bird commercials. terrible. how about capturing the gravity of the moment instead of talking about 15 year old fast food commercials.

indijayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Guys get a life.. its not even basketball season .. lol .

frustrated 11 years, 6 months ago

Did anyone else catch Packer during the Final Four saying that KU is used to overtime games...then referencing the 1957 Triple OT game? What an idiot.

actorman 11 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, docnchg, I'm glad someone else noticed the mindboggling idiocy of Packer's comments about picking up the ball. He's said many idiotic things over the years, but those two comments have to be the worst ever. How on earth can someone who has covered thousands of games not know that the clock doesn't start when the ball hasn't picked up????? The only thing I can think of is that senility has started to set in.A few quibbles about your comments, though: I believe the "5-second" comment was by Nantz, not Packer. And I don't think he was referring to getting the ball past midcourt; I think he was talking about the 5 seconds a team has to get the ball inbounds. He was obviously wrong that a team could get a 5-second call once the ball is bouncing on the court, but I don't think Nantz was being an idiot. My opinion is that he made that comment to try to cover for the stupidity of Packer and not make Packer look like so much of a doofus (which is obviously an impossible task).Thanks for the link, bmcmich. It's nice to know that Packer is even more of an a-hole than I realized.As for Dickie V, I agree with those who say he is a caricature of himself. His act was entertaining at one point but is now tired and stale and I always dread it when I see that he's going to be doing a KU game.

11 years, 6 months ago

Lebowski - don't sugar coat it, tell us what you REALLY think about Digger Phelps and Billy Packer ;) I could not agree with you more about Digger, though Billy is decent in small doses. He actually had some good analysis at points during the Final Four games this year.

indijayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Lebowski.. take a chill pill.. it was a joke..

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

Oh yeah, if anyone said anything nice about Billy Packer - pound sand. He's a putz and a weirdo and really needs to go. I'll take Dickie V over him anytime, even with his senile rants.

bmcmich1 11 years, 6 months ago

Tx,I can't believe you said that about Billy Packer. He is without a doubt one of the most awful human beings on this earth. Behold:

100 11 years, 6 months ago

RE: the dallas high school coach is suing the teacher. From the report, it appears Darrel is confused about this whole thing too. Not saying the real truth is apparent, but I can tell you one thing: if you are a 16 year old high school star athlete and struggling in an important class and have a grade changed -- Guess who is the last to know? You. Who is the riskiest person to tell? You. The fact that this coach is suing shows me either Darrel never had his grade changed to begin with or he had his grade changed by one or two adults and was never told. Very sad for a minor to be messed with by adults like this no matter what happened. As it stands now the evidence is on his side: last semester he had a 3.0 GPA at a nationally respected University with high academic standards.

34_5_20_nbaTitle 11 years, 6 months ago

I think it was great that dick missed most of the basketball year. I'm not saying that i was glad his vocal cords were all messed up. I wouldn't wish malace or sickness on anybody. I'm just saying it was great not having to hear his voice.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

In some way or another, we all love Dick Vitale. However, he should probably retire or at least limit his involvement. He has clearly jumped the shark. His angry rants about Memphis missing free throws and Calipari blowing it made me cringe, he looked like a bitter old man. I'm sure he was frustrated that KU won three tourney games he expected us to lose, but that doesn't give him the right to be so insensitive to Memphis.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.