Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kansas basketball notebook


Henry picks … Memphis

Citing a desire to play on the same team as his brother, Xavier Henry on Tuesday signed a national letter of intent with the University of Memphis.

Henry, whose brother is a freshman guard at Memphis, announced for the Tigers over Kansas University early Tuesday morning on ESPN and ESPNU.

“The deciding factor was getting my last chance to play with my brother and keeping my family together so everybody can watch all the games,” Xavier Henry said.

“It was really hard (turning KU down) because I loved everything about the school, the coaches, the players.”

Henry reportedly had been favoring Memphis ever since his recent car accident, wanting somebody who would “take care of me.”

That would be his brother.

“We know how to play. We play great. We should take over Memphis,” Xavier said of he and C.J.

KU has signed No. 18-rated Thomas Robinson and No. 27 Elijah Johnson.

“I’m happy with what we got. We helped ourselves athletically. We could use another impact guy,” coach Bill Self said of recruiting on his weekly radio show.

The Jayhawks are recruiting guards Dominic Cheek (Jersey City, N.J.), John Wall (Raleigh, N.C.) and Lance Stephenson (Brooklyn, N.Y).

Reed gets shiner

Tyrel Reed, who scored nine points in 14 minutes, played with a black eye he suffered after a fall at practice on Monday.

“He dove for the ball. Conner (Teahan) hit him and kind of pushed his head into the floor,” Self explained. “He’s got a good shiner.”

Rotation to thin

Self said he planned to pare down the rotation Monday against Washington at Sprint Center. “We’ll get down to eight or nine,” he said. Self said he felt he knew who the eight or nine would be but did not reveal them to the media.

For starters

The starting lineup consisted of Sherron Collins, Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor, Markieff Morris and Cole Aldrich.

“One of those two guys will be starting at least in the short term,” Self said of the duo of Morningstar and Reed. “Tyshawn gives us an element of athletic ability we need.”

Stats, facts

Collins scored a career-high 25 points. His previous best was 23 against Missouri his freshman year. ... The Eagles’ shooting percentage (23.6) was the lowest by an opponent since Oklahoma State shot 23.1 percent on March 7, 1999, in a 53-37 KU victory. ... FGCU’s three baskets in the first half tied for the fewest since Cornell made three in the second half on Jan. 2, 1996. FGCU’s halftime field-goal percentage of 12 percent (3-of-25) was the lowest since Cornell shot 12 percent in the second half of the 1996 game. Kansas won that game, 100-46. ... FGCU recorded no assists in the first half. The last time that happened was 2006 versus Kentucky.


stephku24 11 years, 3 months ago

Where is the "PRINT" icon on this new format?

homer1986 11 years, 3 months ago

I can't take my computer to the bathroom. Where's the print button?

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Self doesn't mess around. Morningstar and Reed are already "short-term" starters sharing one spot until Little returns and Releford develops a bit.1Sherronatron2Tyshawnatron3Morningstar/Reed (both soon to be replaced but by whom?)4Kieff5ColeReed and Morningstar are going to get some minutes though, because they've got the guns and the frosh will have to be pulled for "counseling" frequently.Speaking of counseling, Self is already chewing big time on Markieff. This is a really good sign for Markieff, unpleasant though it may be. It means Self thinks Kieff has the right stuff and is worth turning into a compliment for Cole. I really thought Kieff would back up Cole, but it looks like Self is prepping for playing without much outside shooting this year (Tyshawn at 2 and Little/Releford at 3) and deciding to start big at 4 and 5. Speaking of going big, the line up I WANT to see is:1Sherronatron2Tyshawnatron3'Cus4'Kieff5ColeThis team is the only team we can field that creates way more match-up problems for an opponent than for ourselves against the really good teams...if and when Marcus Morris finds the defensive handle and if he can step out and TRINITIZE, which he supposedly can do. I know, I know, Self would never do this. Self is former guard and former guards have deep seated prejudice about playing potential paint-types on the perimeter. But this team could really cause problems for ANY TEAM in the country this year. Marcus would be impossible for most 3's to defend inside, or outside. Yes, he would have foul trouble with stopping the penetration of a high scoring slasher forward, but Cole and 'Kieff could compensate for some slip-ups and that high scoring slasher would soon get very sick of looking up at Marcus on both ends of the floor. Everybody hates playing against taller guys. 'Cus stepping out would just destroy an opponent's interior help defense against the likes of Collins' and Taylor's penetrating and Cole's and 'Kieff's block management. Downside of 'Cus at 3 is it spreads our bigs too thin, unless, of course, Mario Little can legitimately defend a 4 when fouls trouble Marcus and one of either Cole or 'Kieff? Increasingly, Mario Little seems like the deciding vote cast by the Vice President in the Senate. Why? Well, playing everyone conventionally (i.e., Marcus at the 4)...We're going to have very talented guards in Collins and Taylor.They're going to have adequate backups in Morningstar and Reed.We're going to have solid bigs in Cole and 'Kieff.They're going to have adequate backups there too.BUT NO OUTSIDE SHOOTING FROM BIG MINUTE PLAYERS!!!!So: the three is where a big question mark increasingly looms.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Clearly Self wants to plug and play Little at the 3. I can see why: its tidy. Little and Releford would make us two deep at the 3 and so two deep at all five positions. Coaches like 2-deep, even when they only want to play 8 or 9 guys.But a Mario Little who can only play the perimeter, leaves this team effectively a three guard, 2 big man team with only one big minute guard, Collins, who can TRINITIZE, unless Tyshawn is hiding something from us, which he probably isn't.Two bigs like Cole and 'Kieff can seduce a coach into playing through them, especially if he decides he wants to live and die with Sherronatron, which he has already said he plans to do. The conventional wisdom goes like this: better to play Tyshawn at 2 and Little at 3 and have Sherron do ALL the shooting, and relie on the bigs to board and stick back, than it is to play Reed and Morningstar big minutes and never get stops. It sounds so sensible. Every coach seduces himself with it, even guys who are not defensive fanatics as Self is.BUT...Harsh reality always confronts offenses with one short, shooting guard and no other shooters.Good opponents have two bigs too, and they understand switching defense against one guard who can shoot. They also usually have one guard who can lock-down defend.And, so, coaches always cave when that time comes. They talk about playing through the bigs. They talk about being men about defense. But when they keep getting stops, and missing shots, they can't resist the slow feet down the bench--the ones with the dead eyes. Yep, they swallow hard and bring in the guys who can't defend their shadows, but who can shoot. Bill Self is preparing for caving by choosing to give so many minutes to Reed and Morningstar early, when it can't hurt the W/L percentage, in hopes some eperience will help them not humiliate him, when harsh reality finally pays a call starting mid December.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

So what, you say, about that big line up with Marcus at the three that you were talking about? And what about the importance of Little?Thanks for asking, or at least letting me pretend you ask.Its like this: Self could afford, from a foul counting stand point, to go big, or small, IF AND ONLY IF Little can play both the 3 and the 4.Self is a divided man--many great coaches are. They like to play it straight up AND they like to look for match-up advantages to compensate for short-comings.Last year he used steals and cheap baskets, on defense, and pick and roll on offense, to hide how short his excellent-to-good-shooting guards were.This year Self has to find a way to hide his good-to-weak-shooting starting guards are, and when he subs for them, how defensively limited his subs who can shoot are. A Mario Little flexible enough to defend the 3, or the 4, means Bill Self doesn't always have to sub slow shooting guards. It means Self gets to have it both ways. He can play straight up, or he can afford to create some serious match-up problems for an opponent by bringing Marcus in at the 3. Forcing match-up advantages at the three occassionally seems one feasible way to overcome the shortage of big minute trey shooting at the 2 and 3, and of challenged defenders in Reed and Morningstar.Mario. Can you out-man a 4?If so, this team could go a long way once maturity sets in.Every weakness becomes something Self can compensate for, if Little can defend both the 3 and the 4.If not, every weakness becomes a hole in the dike and Self has to play the Little Dutch Boy, instead of the master chess player going on the attack.

coupar 11 years, 3 months ago

What about Appleton? Anyone know why he is not being mentioned for any PT? Is he still injured or another Rod Stewart- hype then no PT?

Drew Bender 11 years, 3 months ago

I have always wanted to show this pic to everybody... Now that we can add profile pics I thought I would share it with you all... It is a pic of Roy Williams and myself at the Riverwalk in San Antonio the Friday night before the Final Four... If you look closely you will see that the shirt reads "I DON'T GIVE A SH*T ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA EITHER"... He didn't have a clue until after the photo... I kinda feel bad about it now

soapboxstew 11 years, 3 months ago

If what X says is true, then I blame the Yankee's for X not coming here. If they had not have drafted C.J., then he would have ended up playing bball here. He would have had a long career under Self, and he would have been a Jayhawk for life. But, the damn Yankee's took him in round 1, he went and played for their farm squad, and 4 or 5 years later he walks-on @ Memphis because he would never see the court for KU. THAT IS A LOT THAT HAD TO GO EXACTLY AGAINST KU FOR US NOT TO LAND X.X would have been perfect with next year's team. When you watch these guys this year, you can see that we need a 3 that can put the rock in the hole from deep as well as inside. We need a pure scorer. Bill said it himself, "we need a difference maker". X was the difference between very good and great (next year). His services will be sorely missed.I was quite upset about this yesterday, but a realization came to me last night, and I fell into a peaceful sleep (ala Good Will Hunting). You see, I watched the UMass @ Memphis game the night before X's decision (doing my own little scouting of UMass). I saw something that had never occurred to me while watching a Memphis home game: They (Memphis) plays in an NBA arena that is 3/4ths full (for good games), with a WEAK student section. I mean they have no cheers, no ambiance, no scene that would indicate a college crowd. That crowd (@ FedEx Forum) is an NBA crowd. I mean, the sound guys play hip-hop while the game is going on (ala NBA); the crowd never gets too loud, they don't cheer for hustle plays, they don't know (or care) about the rules or small details of the game, basically, they don't care like we do. They don't LOVE like we do.So (back to how I fell asleep), if X doesn't want the college atmosphere in the college town- if he prefers the city life and the NBA crowd- then his heart is not where KU wants it. And that is why we don't want him: because he didn't want us and what we are compared to Memphis.I mean, Memphis hasn't graduated a scholarship player (with a real degree) in decades. We graduated 6 players off last year's NC squad. And for all of you that read DJax's letter- that is what KU basketball is about, not just getting kids into the NBA, but making them into better men while they are here. Memphis is now 1andDone U. They are rapidly becoming a haven for kids that don't care about college. This is a fickle approach in the long run, and let me tell you why: if the NBA goes back to the old age limit Memphis is done, if the Jennings situation works out in Europe, if Cal leaves for the NBA, etc. Memphis is one rule change away from mediocrity and a coaching change from obscurity. Kansas is forever.

soapboxstew 11 years, 3 months ago

Back to this Year:I've seen enough, I want one of these 2 line-ups:PG-CollinsSG-TTaylorSF-RelefordPF-MkMorrisC-Cole-or-PG-CollinsSG-TTaylor/RelefordSF-McMorrisPF-MkMorrisC-ColeWith plenty of off-the-bench tic for Little (when he's back), Reed, Appleton, and Q. Not so much for Brady M, and especially Cool Hand Tehan.LASTLY, last night one of the ESPNU announcers referred to Cole Aldrich as "The Sheriff". I don't know where he got it, but I love it. I dub thee...

Relic 11 years, 3 months ago

See I don't see it that way. I think that Reed needs to be on that floor. He has a smooth shot that will definitely be needed from behind the arc. Also, he needs to keep Teahan off the floor. I don't know where the idea that he was a shooter came around from the article here but not by what i've seen. I think we need Reed, Collins, Releford, Keiff, Aldrich.

speedy 11 years, 3 months ago

soapboxstew-------------- you have it pegged right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.