Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Keegan: Arthur finally climbing


Finally, the draft projections for national-title-game superstar Darrell Arthur appear reasonable. Why it took so long for him to get ranked in the top 10 remains a mystery.

Did all of those draft prognosticators who had him going in the 20 range as recently as a week ago not see him outrun, outjump and generally out-talent the formidable Memphis front line on his way to a 20-point, 10-rebound night in the Alamodome? Did they forget how, as a freshman, he looked so ready to take on a Florida front line that played a huge part in the Gators winning back-to-back national titles?

Analyst Jay Bilas, working Tuesday night's NBA Draft lottery show for ESPN, ranked Arthur as his eighth-best prospect in the draft and predicted he will "surprise a lot of people with how high he goes."

Bilas, a big believer all year in KU's chances for winning the national title, also put Texas guard D.J. Augustin 12th and KU's Brandon Rush 14th. He ranked only 15 players. Mario Chalmers, expected by most to be on the fringe of the first and second rounds, was not among them.

Bilas' projection must have put a smile on the face of Arthur, considering that the authenticity of his high school algebra grade became a source of national discussion when a former teacher of his at South Oak Cliff High said Arthur was flunking his class and was given another teacher who would pass him. Arthur can make the whistle-blower go away by hiring a lawyer who reminds the teacher it's against the law to make a student's grades public. He'll be able to afford F. Lee Bailey.

By then, Kansas will know whether Chalmers will be back teaming with Sherron Collins in the backcourt or will have been drafted himself. The guess here is the latter. The national champions didn't have a more confident player than Chalmers, a quality that made him the ideal candidate to have the ball in his hands at make-or-break time. Once it comes time for Chalmers to ponder what he hears from talent evaluators, his considerable self-confidence will make him listen to the more optimistic projections.

Arthur technically could return because he hasn't hired an agent. Forget about that one. He's gone. If Arthur felt like he got punched in the gut last week, Steve Schanwald, executive vice president of business operations for the Chicago Bulls, can relate. The night represented Schanwald's 15 minutes of fame as the Bulls' lottery representative. And then ESPN's Doris Burke introduced him as "Stan" Schanwald and misidentified his title as executive vice president of "basketball" operations. Schanwald froze for a fraction of a second and blinked, as if the wind had been knocked right out of him. Then he smiled and was going to correct Burke, a strong game color analyst, but knew it was too late because she had moved on.

Schanwald got the last laugh when the Bulls' 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery hit. They now have the luxury of deciding whether to select Kansas State's Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose of Memphis. As badly as the Bulls need a pure point guard to lead the team, and as much of a can't-miss prospect as Chicago native Rose is, Beasley's the right call.


Michael Auchard 11 years, 8 months ago

There should be some boycott organized where no one mocks Keegan's articles for a week. I have the disturbing feeling that he feeds on this negative attention like Jabba the Hutt fed on those pickled frogs. He's laughing some where whenever you give him any attention at all.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 8 months ago

i agree. not a valid comparison with a nobody getting his name and title announced wrong, and a national news story concerning a very good college player's grades in high school. Just goofy.Bilas disagrees with Keegan. Jay thinks the Bulls will pick Rose. I still hope Mario will be back. I hope Keegan is 0 for 2 in that regard.

Benjamin Clay Jones 11 years, 8 months ago

Typical column from Keegan, in that it meanders and rambles all over the place. With a shallow comparison, he switches in mid-sentence from Arthur to some guy named Schanwald.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 8 months ago

For a double-double to go virtually unnoticed in the NC game is amazing, but probably more a commentary on the (lack of) announcing and hype of the game. What was really quiet though were DA's stats for the majority of the last month (7 of 12 games). His ability to light things up is great, but so is his ability to disappear. He's not a slam dunk pick. This isn't meant as a slam on DA. Just a bit of reality. Hopefully, he does slam the former teacher that released his grades, and fortunately he can name the teacher and station in the lawsuit. Both are guilty, and at least one has $. As for the coach, TX has already shown there are integrity issues with the school/program. You don't get stripped of a state title for nothing.

walkdog262 11 years, 8 months ago

Has there ever been a quieter 20 and 10 in a title game than Arthur's? Maybe draftniks have him too low, but you can bet NBA teams won't be so dumb. Well, the Timberwolves may be that dumb, but most other NBA teams picking in the top 10 won't be.

11 years, 8 months ago

hawkitup - I agree with you. It will be a good PR move for the Bulls, which can use some after the way this season transpired. It will be interesting to see what plans they have for our guy Kirk Hinrich when it all shakes out. It would be nice to see Kirk and Drew Gooden build something with Derrick Rose in Chicago.

hawkitup 11 years, 8 months ago

I'm sorry but I think Chicago will go with Derrick Rose. The NBA favors point guards like him. He's going to have a successful career. Not to mention he is from Chicago. It's as good as my opinion (which isn't sayin' much).

KUbsee69 11 years, 8 months ago

I agree that Darrell's performance was not highly touted, but let's face it ... everything in that game was over-shadowed by "THE SHOT".

11 years, 8 months ago

"Arthur can make the whistle-blower go away by hiring a lawyer who reminds the teacher it's against the law to make a student's grades public."-----------------------This "teacher" needs to be made an example of and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A civil lawsuit will do no good because this guy probably doesn't have a pot to pi$$ in or a window to throw it out of. Save that form of justice for the ratings-whore of a TV station, WFAA.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.