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Saturday, April 4, 2009

KU men’s hoops notebook

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Gathering Information

KU coach Bill Self will begin the process of gathering information from NBA sources next Tuesday and then sit down with both Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich to discuss their plans.

“I talked to both of them them Tuesday and Wednesday and I told them I could not gather information until I got back from the Final Four,” said Self, who will not attend Monday night’s championship game. “I’m going to gather information from Tuesday through Friday and hopefully we can visit soon after that.”

Information from the NBA teams regarding draft position and evaluations are more than trustworthy, Self said.

“Every year, it has been right on,” he said.

Still waiting

Movement on the coaching carousel, especially John Calipari’s move from Memphis to Kentucky, has created quite a bit of uncertainty in the recruiting world. KU is still awaiting decisions from Lance Stephenson, who had planned on announcing his selection on Tuesday, and Xavier Henry, who signed a letter of intent with Memphis in November but is reconsidering. Point guard John Wall is still weighing his options as well.

Under NCAA rules, Self cannot comment on recruits until Kansas receives a signed letter of intent. But he admitted the situation adds to the uncertainty surrounding KU’s roster.

“I wouldn’t say it’s out of whack,” Self said. “It happens every year. Coaching changes create recruiting rumors, too. There are some things that can happen, but who knows if they will.

“We’ve added two good players (Thomas Robinson and Elijah Johnson) to a team that, if we don’t lose anybody, could be pretty good. There’s a lot of unknown with us with Cole, Sherron and recruiting.”

Self likes MSU, UNC

Self is picking Michigan State, the team that defeated KU in the tournament, and North Carolina to win today’s semifinal games at Ford Field. “Last year, I thought the stars were aligned for us to win it all,” Self said. “I think this year, if the stars are aligned for anybody, it will be Michigan State. And I think Carolina will win. They’re the most talented team here, but I think Villanova’s style could give them problems.”

Attaboy, Roy

Self also said Kansas fans should be rooting for former KU coach Roy Williams and North Carolina this weekend.

“He did an awful lot for the university and brought a lot of joy to all of our fans. If they are holding hard feelings still, that means they’re probably still wishing he was here instead of me. Hopefully that’s not the case. What needed to happen, happened last year. Kansas and Carolina squared off in an important game. Regardless of who the winner was, I think that kind of helped it come to an end.”

Kansas jumped to a 40-12 lead on North Carolina on the way to an 84-66 national semifinal victory in San Antonio last year. Williams and the Tar Heels were asked about that performance on several occasions Friday.

“I’ve got some crazy sayings and one of them is that you can’t go out there and tiptoe through the tulips,” Williams said. “You have to be ready to plant your feet and make a stand. Last year we didn’t do that. I’m hopeful they understand. Hopefully they’ll be ready to go (today) before the referee throws the ball up. ... When we went out against Kansas, we looked around and said, ‘My goodness we’re in the Final Four.’ They hit us right in the mouth. It took us 15 minutes before we realized we were playing a game.”

This, that

Self confirmed he will be playing golf in Scotland on May 29 with a group of Kansas boosters. ... After the AP ceremony, Self also received an offer to conduct a clinic in Greece this summer. ... Self joked that the biggest reason he received coach of the year honors was for holding AP Player of the Year Blake Griffin scoreless in KU’s game at Oklahoma. “Of course, he did have a concussion and didn’t play,” Self said.

Comments

mlubyRN 10 years, 9 months ago

Anyone wanna see Self at the UNC game with a Heels logo on his shirt?

Machawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Maybe the infamous "Tarhawk" that the Dukies created, but that's it.

yates33333 10 years, 9 months ago

No. Wear a Jayhawk logo.

I think Collins should go pro. He is as ready as he will ever be and his family no doubt needs the money. I doubt Cole is really ready for players who are stronger, jump higher, and move faster. Another year or two can really make a big difference for a lad his age.

Tribehawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Considering their respective financial situations, I can totally understand both SC and CA bolting this year, but I think that both would really help their long-term chances in the League with one more year--especially Sherron. There's not much of a market in the NBA for sub 6', score-first PGs. If he could work on being more of a distributor and other intangibles, like "leadership," I think he could go as high as mid 1st round next year--maybe sneak into the lottery if he has an outstanding year.

Greg Lux 10 years, 9 months ago

I am a big Roy Williams fan. I am a Bigger Bill Self fan. Bill is correct when he said “He did an awful lot for the university and brought a lot of joy to all of our fans. If they are holding hard feelings still, that means they’re probably still wishing he was here instead of me. I am happy to have Bill Self and not Roy, but that doesn't mean I don't care for Roy Williams and all he did for KU basketball for 15 years, because I do. As HCBS said "What needed to happen, happened last year. Kansas and Carolina squared off in an important game.". and the best team and coach won that game. So I say Game, set, match.... let's move on and wish Roy well, which I do. But, not another national championship ... Runner-up is good enough again..

Rock Chalk

MrPilot 10 years, 9 months ago

The only thing Coach should be telling Sherron or Cole is that we need them to stay. I really don't like the idea of a coach telling his player that he should bolt from the team. They recruit them to stay for four years, they should be trying to ensure that they do.

Lately the NBA has turned the NCAA into nothing but a player farm to be exploited. It's a joke. I absolutely hate the NBA and wouldn't lose a minute of sleep if it vanished from the face of the Earth.

rawkhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I understand MrPilot's sentiments, but I appreciate how Bill Self understands the importance of the NBA to these young players. To get good players, Self knows that he has to respect their desire to eventually make a living with basketball. It seems like there is a good chance that Cole and Sherron return, but it would not surprise me if they test the NBA waters without an agent. As far as Roy, I wish him well. He was a great coach at KU and is stand-up guy. That doesn't necessarily mean I'll be rooting for UNC, but I'm sure they will play better than last year against KU (love that game!) On another note, I just saw on ESPN that Xavier wants to sign with KU as does his brother, CJ. The family is appealing the NCAA to allow CJ to play next year. Rock Chalk!

prairie_rattler 10 years, 9 months ago

If Roy was any place else I would root for him every time he didn't play KU... however, we're in a race for the all-time wins and championships lead... and losing ground.

and_one 10 years, 9 months ago

Good on ya HCBS!! Re: Aldrich, let's not forget that 7' Jeff Withey is enrolled at KU and will be ready to go in January. What a duo, both of them rotating from the paint to the 4 spot... Cole needs to stay one more year, He'll be a top 5 pick next time around. X and Lance are waiting for Collins to decide, either of them will be one-and-done

mlubyRN 10 years, 9 months ago

No doubt! Cole and Jeff will just make each other better next year.

Eric Williams 10 years, 9 months ago

MrPilot,

It's true coaches recruit players but not necessarily for 4 years. Bill knew Brandon Rush was a one-and-done and still recruited him. I think for a team to be dominant over time you need some 4-year players and some 1-2 year players.

Let's face it the 1-2 players are typically much more athletic and talented.

Secondly, as a coach you're job is to protect your players and help them make an educated decision. With Cole's family struggles it would be irresponsible of Bill to not get a good feeling on Cole's NBA potential. I personally think Cole can only improve his status next year. He will have to go up against some really talented big men in the draft this year.

Griffin, Thabeet, Blair, Gibson (USC), Patterson (UK) not to mention the guards in the draft. I see Cole as a late 1st round pick this year, simply not worth leaving early. But if Bill scouts Cole around he can receive feedback on things that Cole needs to improve on that will ultimately help him get drafted higher.

That is what a coach should do!

Mike Crosbie 10 years, 9 months ago

Things were so much simpler "back in the day", When I was at KU, Universities offered a full scholorship to come and get a degree in 4 years (some actually did), and the players signed an intent to come for 4 years. Nobody thought of leaving early and skipping out on their commitment. But today, commitment is a word that nobody knows or understands (look at marraige) I understand commitment is a thing of the past, but oh, the good ole days....

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I think C&C's stocks will both raise next year if they stay. Cole has recently been discovered by those projecting the draft and I am afraid he could be "over projected" at this point at a #9 pick and if he goes he will not go as high as he could next year. Collins will have better numbers (assist to turns) next year with a more experienced teammates. Collins being the great shooter / playmaker he is, up is the only direction he can go.

On a side note, I remember thinking the sky was falling when Roy left. This quote above about the tulips was the first I have read of his in a number of years and it makes me thankful I don't get to read them anymore. Bill Self is much easier to read or listen to.

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