Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook


Arthur's case in Dallas

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self is awaiting the results of a Dallas school district investigation into a former South Oak Cliff High teacher's allegation that KU's Darrell Arthur had grades changed to remain eligible during his high school days.

"You are concerned anytime there are allegations against your players," Self said Tuesday. "Talking to respective people : I'm not saying I know positively what transpired, but from what I can gather, if there are issues, they are South Oak Cliff issues or (school district) issues, not college issues."

It's believed Arthur, like his former high school coach, will file a lawsuit against the teacher alleging impropriety.

"I was told 'Shady' will not make a public announcement or say what is going on until down the road," Self said.

Twins not qualified yet

Self said incoming freshmen Marcus and Markieff Morris will not be in town for the start of the first of two sessions of summer school Tuesday.

"They may miss the first session," Self said. "All the others (incoming and returning players) will be here. Mario Little will be here a week later. He has to finish a couple of things (at Chipola CC in Florida)."

Though the Morris twins have not yet qualified for scholarship, Self believes they will be eligible in coming weeks.

Asked if he was worried about their impending eligibility, Self said: "I would not say worried. I know they still have to finish up some stuff."

Rush faring well

Brandon Rush's agent says his client doesn't need to showcase his skills in front of scouts at the Orlando pre-draft camp this week.

"Based on the success he's had and what he has accomplished, there's not the need (to play)," said Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports. "He played in the national championship game in front of all the NBA decision-makers. His body of work speaks for itself."

Bartelstein said Rush is "doing great work," in Chicago. "He's working unbelievably hard, doing everything he's asked. He's been sensational in every way."

Aldrich nickname

Tim Nelson of Watson's, a barber shop on the south side of Ninth Street, just east of Mississippi, while cutting Cole Aldrich's hair Tuesday, urged the KU center to reveal his new nickname.

"Fly Swatter," Aldrich said. "These guys right here came up with it."

Nelson said that next year in the shop the mascot of KU's next opponent would be taped to a fly swatter. Aldrich had 34 blocked shots in 330 minutes as a freshman. In 17 minutes against North Carolina, Aldrich totaled eight points, seven rebounds, and four blocked shots.


Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

Fly Swatter - maybe a little domestic, but I like it.

TheTruth08 11 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the Philadelphia school system needs to change Marcus and Markieff's grades.

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 6 months ago

Can't wait to watch Aldrich's development in the next two years.

Timmay97 11 years, 6 months ago

Personally, I think Calipari put that teacher at South Oak Cliff High School up to the grade changing saga. The poor bastard can't get over the loss. :-) Though KU poses no risk of losing the championship, he just didn't want certain players that DOMINATED his team to bask in the glory. I do like the Fly Swatter nickname. I think it's perfect for Aldrich. This kid is going to have a coming out party this year. He's a great defender/shot blocker and a superb rebounder, which we will need desparately this year. His offensive skills are there, but will need a little polishing. As for the Morris twins.....they'll qualify and be fine. This happens it seems every year with KU. I think that Marcus Morris is going to surprise a lot of the KU faithful. This kid is a lot like Brandon Rush, but without the 3-point range (consistency). He's going to fit in extremely well. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You don't always need the 5 star recruits. Self is doing a great job of recruiting guys that you know are good, but will stay in school and contribute. Nobody (except maybe Collins) is leaving for the pros next year, so they will truly be tested in 09-10. KU is going to be just fine.

hometownhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

I love it. Cole's shot-blocking form is exactly like a fly-swatter, but I'd never pinpointed that one. Good nickname.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 6 months ago

I've read many posts on here excited about Aldrich! I am also excited about Aldrich, but I am a little more reserved in trying to picture him as this dominant player. He has shown signs of promise and elevating his play and he has also shown signs of being very very raw. It's one thing to come off the bench and not have any responsibility and lean on the 7 players that are in front of you that have NBA potential. I don't know, I think we are a little quick to judge that Aldrich is going to be this amazing player. It is a totally different ballgame when you then become the starting center or forward for the Defending National Champions. I think Aldirch could potentially have a mediocre sophomore year because of all the expectations and him not being quite skillful as we all think he is. The one thing I like about Aldrich vs some of other big man in KU's history is that Aldrich does have a mean streak and does play with a chip on his shoulder. I hope that type of attitude pulls him through and proves me wrong, but I have this feeling he's not going to be as good as everyone thinks he is. Just a thought, but curious what other people think.

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

maybe it should just be shortened to swat ... as in SWAT team

FlaHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Actually, Marcus and Markieff's grades ar not a Philly school system problem. They went to a Christian prep school in NJ last year.THis school is NOT a high academic institution, but KU is not looking for Rhodes Scholars.Mracus and Markieff are BB studs and not academenians!

justanotherfan 11 years, 6 months ago

Finishing up a couple of things could be as simple as graduating and getting their final grades certified. I don't think its much of a worry at this point. I think we will be in great shape to compete next year once everyone gets in and can start working together. It will take some time for the new guys to trust each other on the defensive end the way that this years squad did, but I think eventually they will come around. I'm excited to see Cole develop next year. He needs to be in tip top shape as our only experienced big man. He will get a lot of minutes, so he has to be in good condition and avoid foul trouble. Although I feel like the Morris twins and Thomas will be great assets for us inside, we are really going to lean on Cole to be an enforcer in the paint. We also need a couple of our new perimeter guys to step up defensively. We have been spoiled the last couple of years with Mario, Brandon and Russell on the perimeter harassing opponents. We have to plug new guys in to that equation now. The Labor Day trip should really help this squad get to know each other and get familiar with the strengths, weaknesses and tendencies of their teammates. The first few weeks of the season may be rough, there may be some ups and downs, but eventually this team could pay off surprisingly well.

brooksmd 11 years, 6 months ago

Hmmmm, me thinks Tyler Hansbrough might be a better judge of Cole's skill. Maybe we should ask him. Just a thought.

lee3022 11 years, 6 months ago

Cole will be ok. Remember he practiced all year against three very good big men. I doubt that he sees many that good in next year's opponents.More important then Cole's development is the concern about peripheral defense. As I have watched over the years the freshmen are mostly good on defense before the offense catches up. Coach Self looks for defenders so these guys are not likely to win 37 games but can win over 30, getting better each game. Collins will be unleashed and could be a regular 20+ point per game guy. He will be taking up the slack on steals with a couple of those per game. I also believe Ty Reed will play a huge role next year on both offense and defense. His early injury this year held him back because there wasn't much practice time once he healed. Ty shot the three (45.8%) best on the team except for Mario last year and had the best assist to turnover ratio on the team at 5.25! Now obviously he did not play against the same level of players that the starters played but still both stats are highly encouraging for next year.

OutlawJHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Cole WILL rock this year. He seems more athletic than Ostertag...and look how far Ostertag went (NBA). Cole should start at center and be backed-up by one of the twins. When Cole is not in the game, Self will be forced to mix it up with a smaller line-up by going with the afterburner delight of three guards and two forwards. It think we will have the athleticism and speed to pull this off...and Self may be forced to do it anyway without the depth, size and experience we had at center this year with Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson, and Cole.Next year, I look for a team that will do more running and gunning.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 6 months ago

Mark Mangino is more athletic than Ostertag.

truehawkfan 11 years, 6 months ago

Is it true that Mangino had the lapband surgery? I have heard stories that he has lost like 75 pounds already. Anyone else hear the same thing?

Joe Ross 11 years, 6 months ago

I dont know, but Mangino looks thinner to me.

actorman 11 years, 6 months ago

That's funny, strikewso.Lebowski could be right about Fly Swatter ("Swat Man," anyone?) facing criticism, but I think he might get more slack than a lot of players because of how aggressively he plays. In fact, although I would tend to agree about the 8-point average, I think he will do better in rebounding. If he can play 25-30 minutes a game, I wouldn't be surprised to see him average nearly double figures in rebounding. He's one of the best I've seen at KU. So I think if he averages 8 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks a game, he wouldn't get too much criticism.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.