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Friday, April 17, 2009

Little has surgery on lower left leg, will be back on court June 1

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Kansas University junior basketball player Mario Little had surgery Thursday to repair the stress fracture in his lower left leg, KU coach Bill Self said Friday.

A rod was placed in Little’s leg to facilitate healing of the injury that plagued Little his entire junior season, Self indicated.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder from Chicago should be back on the court by June 1.

“I don’t think it will be a setback at all,” Self said. “The doctors think the surgery went great. He hasn’t been healthy since he’s been here. He was injured when he arrived (from junior college) and never was 100 percent. That’s been frustrating for him. Hopefully he’ll be 100 percent for his senior season.”

Self said the stress fracture was “partially healed,” so doctors decided on the surgery.

KU’s medical team performed the surgery in Lawrence. Per KU policy, the name of the doctor was not revealed.

“The stress fracture is in an awkward place,” Self said. “It’s right in his lower leg that takes the brunt of the blows (in jumping and landing). It was not real painful, but it was not 100 percent.”

And the rod in the leg?

“You’ve heard of having surgery where they put a pin in your foot? This is a rod in his shin. It should work fine,” Self said.

Little played in 23 of KU’s 35 games his first year out of Chipola (Fla.) Community College. He averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds while logging 12.5 minutes a game.

Little — he said he first felt discomfort in his lower-left leg shortly after his sophomore season at the juco ended — nearly took a red shirt this past season, but decided at the end of the nonconference season to play. He also was hampered by a broken bone in his left hand in the nonconference campaign.

Comments

Brennan Keller 10 years, 9 months ago

Great to hear the surgery was a success! Hope you get better soon!

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 9 months ago

He should never, EVER have been allowed to practice/play last summer. That was a tremendous lack of judgement and error on this medical staff's part.

rockchalkAZ 10 years, 9 months ago

I was playing some pickup bball at the rec two nights ago, and was playing with mario. he was running and playing like nothing was wrong. interesting he'd be doing that if his leg was still bothering him to the point where he needed surgery

kcmostwanted 10 years, 9 months ago

probably started hurting again so they had to look into it... just saying.. he could have re injured the fracture

Brian Leiker 10 years, 9 months ago

I think that shows just how elite these players are. To the average joe hoopster he looks fine. Can't imagine the shape these guys are in.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

rockchalkAZ,

Does he look like he can shoot 40% from trey?

rockchalker07 10 years, 9 months ago

...cause he's going to need to if we don't land a wing player and want a shot at the National Championship.

whiskers29 10 years, 9 months ago

You do not reshirt JUCO transfers @ KU, Maybe KeithMile05 should be on the Tigerboad.

rockchalkAZ 10 years, 9 months ago

he looked fine the other night. running fine, shooting fine. but that doesn't mean he wasn't hurting at all

Trey Hohman 10 years, 9 months ago

I love Mario Little as much as the next guy, truly, but when doctors say, "rod in your shin", all I hear is, "bullet in your athletic brain". ...Lester Earl has been reincarnated I fear.(?)....And I obviously hope that I am way-wrong on this, because Mario can shoot a nasty mid-range when given the chance.

Paul Mitten 10 years, 9 months ago

is it bad that when i hear lester earl i think of his missed dunks?

jhawk23 10 years, 9 months ago

Why all of the negative comments?

This was a nagging injury, HCBS signed Mario because we needed help and experience, and Mario is both tough and selfless for having played through the injury.

Mario, thanks for your contribution; it truly was a selfless gift to the rest of Jayhawk nation.

yates33333 10 years, 9 months ago

KEITHMILES05, you are absolutely correct. He should have been a red shirt. The comment about KU policy is ad hoc and post hoc propter hoc.

JHawk74 10 years, 9 months ago

I can't figure out why most people on these message boards think we neeed Henry or Stephenson to win the national championship? I think we can do it with the players we have. It sounds like Mario Little will be healthy and he will be a good wing player next year. It would be nice to have the Henry brothers or Stephenson but not needed to win National Championship. How many freshman did KU or North Carolina or Florida have that played significant minutes in the last five National Championship games? For NCU Marvin Williams played significant minutes as a freshman, but most of the other players were junior or seniors. Florida had mostly upper classman in their starting five, KU was lead by Junior and Seniors, Cole was the only freshman that played. The only recent superstar freshman I can think of that help win a National Championship was Carmelo Anthony. In recent years the superstar freshman haven't won the National Championship. Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Derrik Rose did not win the title. We need good players staying around for 3 or 4 years to win National Championships. The freshman that are 1 and done don't need to come to Kansas for us to win the National Championship.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 9 months ago

Jhawk74... I think we need a great wing player to have a great chance at winning it all. We'll be fine at point, especially with Taylor maturing and Elijah coming. I'm REALLY hoping the Morris twins will be monsters next year at the 4. We need a superstar like Rush at the 3. I'm afraid Brady let us down last year in the tourney, but will likely be an awesome fill-in behind Stephenson??. Like us 2 years ago and UNC last year... I believe you have to be very balanced and loaded at least 4 of 5 positions.

We've never experienced a One-And-Done at KU... I'm willing to give it a try:)

Michael Ales 10 years, 9 months ago

JHawk74, I have been saying the same thing all year and nobdy here seems to listen or at least agree. Been watching these "All Star Games" and they are basically just shoot the damn ball and get back so the other team can shoot the ball. No defense, No KU basketball type play. I really don't think we need to get into the One-And- Done mentality. Kansas ballplayers pay their dues. Let HCBS form them into ball players, mold them into winners. Let's keep our young men wanting to play, and be PROUD, of being a KANSAS UNIVERSITY JAYHAWK. Not become a NBA stop over. I don't think Coach Self will let that happen. He enjoy's teaching as much as winning. Forget about the "Henry Twins" and all others who drag their feet on decisions. Keep bringing in talent like Elijah Johnson, Thomas Robinson, and Royce Woolridge who want to be here and want to win a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

Joe Joseph 10 years, 9 months ago

Does David Padgett count as a one-and-done?

Tim Orel 10 years, 9 months ago

Padgett doesn't, and neither do other players who are here for a year and then transfer elsewhere. I don't recall specifics on how long players were here, but those who were here before transferring during the Self era include Galindo, Downs, Releford, Appleton and the guy who went to Creighton. There's only five players allowed on the court at one time and Self has been fortunate and good enough to keep finding excellent players. His system isn't for everyone, but then again not everyone is good enough to play at Kansas. Padgett had issues, but I was sort-of happy he was able to finally find a home at Louisville.

rockchalk10jk 10 years, 9 months ago

Releford transfered??? i think your mistaking him with thomas. i hope you are cause i would be pissed if he transfers. i believe next to ty he has the most potential at kansas. i hope you wrong. ill do some research to make sure

LAJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

JHawk74,

Derrick Rose was one missed free throw away from a national championship, and Kevin Love got his team to the Final Four the same year (not making the championship because, of course, he lost to the previously mentioned one and done).

I certainly don't want KU turning into "One and Done U," but you simply can't pass up the chance at great talent, even if it is for only 1 year. We don't NEED Henry or Stephenson to win a national championship, but having one of them certainly would increase our chances greatly. And that wouldn't make us a team of OADs; instead we'd be a team full of solid to great experienced talent with one exceptional player. Don't you believe an exceptional player would lift this team to a whole other level? How could you not? It wouldn't be a one and done leading the way; rather it would be a one and done adding something extra to a TEAM. And If Henry or Stephenson turn out to not be exceptional [right away], then they won't be one and done (ala Brandon Rush), and we'd get a couple of years out of them making your argument moot.

It's really a win-win either way. You get a great player who has a major contribution immediately, or you get a great player who has a major contribution over a couple of years. Either way, how can you just pass up that kind of top talent?

BuhrKU5 10 years, 9 months ago

My opinion on these "big dogs" has changed. I first thought we needed one of these guys to potentially go the distance, but now i look at it as if we were to get X or Lance we could at one time just have to many stars on the court at one time. Too many stars on the court at the same time turns into selfish basketball with no defense played, in most cases. I would still take either guy but they need to come in with a level head, work to earn everything they get, and take what is given to them. Don't try to do to much.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Lebowski,

I was going to say the same thing, but decided to let it go. 5 current NBA players and 2 more who will be on the same team seemed to be just fine together. They had some success if I remember correctly...........

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

do you look like you can shoot 5 percent from the trey, Jaybate?

Dirk Medema 10 years, 9 months ago

Self said. “It was not real painful, but it was not 100 percent.”

Did the first few posters even read the article? Any athlete with any sort of competitiveness trains and competes with some level of discomfort. A significant chunk of maximizing your potential comes from learning to disassociate yourself from the discomfort. It is also important to learn to distinguish discomfort from the pain of an injury, but stress fractures unfortunately don't fall into that nice distinct injury/no injury scenario. My guess is he went a while without even saying anything. While hindsight says that the surgery should have happened last summer, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a doctor that prescribes surgery before less intrusive actions are taken.

I wonder what the healing time is for him? Hopefully, he'll be 100% by June 1 so that he can start taking a few hundred 3's per day and improve his long ball to 40+%. No pick games (the fun stuff) until you hit at least 120 3's (40% of 300) and 160 FT's (80% of 200). If Mario, Marcus, & Travis (and maybe a few others) can do that, we won't need anyone else to compete for the NC.

Rock Chalk

Trey Hohman 10 years, 9 months ago

I don't know why, but there is something about Tyrel Reed’s facial expressions that makes me think he is either brilliant or insane…That somehow, he’s probably the type of person who reads science fiction novels and then writes the author, pointing out flaws, just to demonstrate his superior intelligence…..

ChicagoJHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Some of you people crack me up with this "recruiting one and dones is not the KU way" or "we can't win a championship with one & done players". Really?? Do you honestly think Self is trying to avoid these superstar players & go for average players that he can develop over 3 or 4 years? Well, you're wrong. I have read, in a few articles, Self saying that he will gladly take one of those guys if given the opportunity. To turn one of those guys down would be just plain stupid!

We are weak at the 3 spot & do need Henry or Stephenson to win a championship. If we don't get them then I think we'll make a big run in the tournament but winning it all may be tough.

I agree that Brady stopped playing well towards the end of the season. Also, I love Mario Little but all he can do is shoot jumpers & these other teams have caught on to that.

ChicagoJHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

dagger108,

I just read your comment. I agree that if Mario, Travis & Marcus can hit 40% 3s & 80% FTs then we're in good shape & might be able to compete for a national championship, without Henry or Stephenson. Otherwise, if things stay the way they are now then I don't think we'll win b/c that is a big glaring weakness for our team (not having a good 3 guard/small forward). Every coach that does their scouting report on us will realize that, if they haven't already.

rasta_meta 10 years, 9 months ago

I get a kick out of these comments about one and done and how the star players won't play defense, etc. Give Coach Self some credit here...do you really think he would tolerate that on his team and let the guy play if he isn't playing team ball and playing defense?? Coach Self isn't worried about what anyone else things, he can sit these guys until they get with the program and I think he will. Stop worrying about it, if Coach Self thinks it is good for the team, then we should all be on board.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

TexasHawk44,

School's back in session. Repeat after me:

"I am TexasHawk44 and I am a recovering smear teamer.

"I have put my faith in a higher power that helps me keep my smearing personality under control. I live each day, one day at a time, knowing that I will never be cured. I am a serial smearer on the internet. I lack impulse control, hurl epithets at persons I do not know, and get cotton mouth, when I dialogue with persons that think differently than me. But by following the 12 steps of recovering smear teamers, I can live a constructive life and make positive contributions on internet web sites and help others."--from Smear-Anon, 911th Addition ;-)

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Little Questions:

How many players in Division 1 played last season on a leg that needed a rod inserted in it after the season? I haven't heard of any from last year. Has anyone else? How about the from the year before? How about ever?

How many perimeter players started in Division 1 last season with a rod inserted in their legs? I don't recall any. Does anyone else recall any? How about from previous years?

How many perimeter players in Division 1 scored in double figures with a rod inserted in their legs? Again, I don't recall any. Does anyone else recall any? How about from previous years?

My hunch is that Mario Little's basketball future is at considerable risk.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

again: you are simply a donkey, jaybate. an egomaniacal donkey. you have so much to contribute to this site...like your idiotical misinformation and ridiculous posts. what a moron... if you are the product of what graduates from KU these days, God help the educational system...Again, I am guessing you are simply in a state prison with access to a library cart...what I don't get is how you have internet access. Of course, prisoners have a lot of stuff these days... too bad a constructive brain isn't one of them...

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

jaybate: by the by, i won't be posting anything more in reference to your or sage posts from now on. you are not worth the effort to even type. good luck with your imaginary job as Bill Self's personal shopper and at that I will leave you to clipping your imaginary coupons in your very real prison cell...best of luck on the outside whenever your release date is... now please write your little song or Winnie the Pooh poem or whatever it is that you do and call me Adam Sandler or whatever your little pea brain can come up with and tell us how Orton is the next Shaq and how X is your best friend and you and Lance went to summer camp together and what kind of orange juice Bill Self likes...do you see dead people???? peace to you

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Tayhosshawk.22short,

A donkey? That's pretty sophisticated riposte for lil ol me, little pard.

An egomaniacal donkey? Now that's jest too blamed sophisticated fer me, little pard. I have never met one donkey that was what I would call egomaniacal. Strong willed, mebbe, but not egomaniacal. Not one. Why even if I include all three mules I've owned, I've still never seen one of them hoofed critters that I would call egomaniacal. Nary a one!

Now, I love you, Tayhosshawk.22short, but its tough love. You have to go to Smearaholics. You have to get clean! You're on a bender. You're blacked out. Don't wait until you are all the way down to drinking Woolite behind some sheep rancher's barn. Do it now. Get help. Call 1.888.NoSmear.

Ad astra per aspera.

You can do it, little pard.

LPH_hawkfan 10 years, 9 months ago

I was watching the Jordan Classic on ESPN2 and X said that he was looking to be "blown away" when he visits UK. I hate to say it but we probably aren't gonna see him as a Jayhawk. I did see on Jayhawkslant.com that Bill has made the trip to NYC this weekend to make one last push for the Henry's. Hope it's not a wasted trip. If any of you have any info on the story that I'm talking about please pass it on because I was only able to read the first couple lines because I dont have a membership to that site. I have read kusports.com for a while now but this is my first post. I plan to get more involved with the discussions from now on. No matter what, our team will be very good next year and should bring much joy to us all.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Tayhosshawk.22short,

I just knew it. You're already on the Woolite, aren't ewe?

Don't flee therapy with me, Tayhosshawk.22short. I can help ewe.

Smear-a-holics have many chapters in Texas.

1.800.NoSmear.

Call now. You'll be glad you did.

Robert Brock 10 years, 9 months ago

KU will be experienced, deep, and have many intangible parts next year. The biggest question for next year, though, is: can KU win a championship with Brady at the 3?

The answer is "sure it can", but as much trust I have in Brady, that will be the weakest part of this team. He was the most pleasant surprise this past season and he has proven he has a high basketball IQ, can defend, and can hit shots, but KU could benefit from more offensive firepower and a solid reliable third scoring option alongside Aldrich and Collins, which it didn't have this year. KU lacks that big physical athletic wing that is so coveted in college ball, and Henry or Stephenson could bring an element to this team that it doesn't have.

Will Elijah Johnson turn heads next year as the freaky athletic Chalmers-type he is compared to or will there be a steep learning curve? How will Taylor rebound after hitting the proverbial Freshman-wall late last season? How improved will Releford be and will he even see the court? Will Reed extend his game past simply being a three point threat?

KU will be really good and we'll see the a group that is stronger, smarter, and more comfortable in their roles, but I think Henry / Stephenson could be the peice that eventually puts the team over the top.

mjlindsm 10 years, 9 months ago

Actually, I liked that Henry first corrected the reporter and said there is no date set for his Kentucky visit and that if/when he visits, he wanted to be blown away. I would take that to mean that anything less than being blown away would send him to Kansas.

I want John Wall. I realize it's wishful thinking, but holy crap, that guy is good.

LPH_hawkfan 10 years, 9 months ago

mjlindsm Your exactly right about J Wall being really really good and I did notice Henry correct the reporter. That should put some of the rumors and speculation at bay for a few... seconds. As much as I dont want to get all caught up in the soap opera that is college basketball recruiting, it is fun to speculate and say "What If". I guess we'll probably know something at the end of this coming week and many many questions will be answered.......hopefully!!

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

let's hope at the end of the day we end up with Henry or Lance. It looks like the carousel will stop within the next week to ten days. let's just hope we get our wing. if we do, we will be very difficult to beat next season.

that was pretty sickening the way they were up on Cal's jock in the Jordan Brand Classic. Felt like a recruiting message for UK. gag

Andrew Moore 10 years, 9 months ago

It was pretty bad how the announcers were like "Wall to Henry, thats gonna be UK next season. OH wait! that may be UK next season... haha pardon me..." Their love affair with Calipari was sickening, and the absence of Kansas in their conversation was appalling. I'm a bit of a homer, but c'mon now, since when did Calipari become the best coach since Wooden? What about COTY Bill Self and his recruiting ability? I think Kansas was totally disrespected by those announcers. They must have forgotten that both wall and henry have Kentucky AND Kansas on their lists.

And how about that reporter trying to set up an "Xavier to UK" story with the visit question getting shut down.

John Strayer 10 years, 9 months ago

I loved watching Morningstar this year, but I do feel he (and Reed) disappeared at the end of the season when Sherron and Cole needed more help. Plus, KU does need more from that spot that a 3 point shooter....ability to drive the hoop, and more importantly rebounding...think B-Rush...that is what was missing last year. And I am afraid will be missing again next year without another '09 recruit, but I could be wrong.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

When Mario came back initally he was on a terror hitting mid range jump shots, he was hungry and feeling good. I can't wait to see what he will do next year. Lets hope his recovery and therapy goes well so we can see what he's capable of doing. Assuming he's 100%, I don't much of a defensive answer for his jump shot.

rockchalk007 10 years, 9 months ago

"The biggest question for next year, though, is: can KU win a championship with Brady at the 3?" The answer is 'no.' And the reason is that Brady (like Tyrell) are just not gifted enough athletically to compete at the very highest level in the playoffs, They did not "disappear" or "underperform" or "diminish" in any way at the end of the season. The competiion is just that much better, and their physicall ability to elevate their play at crunch time is limited - simple as that. I LOVE these guys and they are probably closer to giving already 100% of their God-given talent to the game. But their ceiling is very low and they cannot go much higher - look at their bodies and look at the MSU bodies. This is not about willpower or smarts or drive or competitiveness. This is about pure size and strength and raw talent which Coach Self molds into players.

We do need a wing (X or Lance) to win another title. Or a Mario or a Travis who explodes unexpectedly into an NBA type talent, but I doubt that will happen. At the end of the season in college bb,the level of play is raised considerably. Remember when Mario was MVP of the Big 12 tourney as a freshman? This was because he was capable of raising his level of play as the stakes increased and the competition got better. Same for Arthur and Rush and Sherron and Cole. This is what is thrilling for a player, and some guys are super regulars,but are not able to compete at the next level in the tourney or in the NBA.

KU has depth and strength now in the front and back court (1 and 2 and 4 and 5). But we do not yet have a 3 (wing) and this cannot be Brady playing 35 minutes. It can (maybe but probably not) be Brady and Mario and Travis splitting the minutes - but that is still a weak 3 which wil become painfully obvious at the end of the season. It must be a stud talent who can become from start of season to end of season somone who will improve dramatically - especially on defense - and elevate in March 2010 and play a major role at cruch time, and that is X or Lance.

Go Hawks! I am super pumped for next season already!

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Can we win a ring with Brady at the 3 is the wrong question?

The right question is: how can we win a ring; i.e., be dominant team, with Brady at the 3?

The second question is a feasibility problem. The original question is a judgement question. It questions whether he can improve enough at the three to handle the X Henry's and Lance Stephensons mano a mano. This latter question seems fruitless, because it is very nearly self evident that he cannot get that good.

So let's focus on what kind of improvement we would need to be a dominant team and whether we could reasonably expect this improvement from last year's players developing and this year's recruits play out of the box.

My assessment is: to be a dominant team with a strong shot at a ring, we need another guy, or group of guys capable of putting 15-20 point night, when one of our players at 1, 2, 4 and 5 get hamstrung on a given night.

My assessment of points neede is basically in line with everyone else who wants to get X, or Lance, as a silver bullet that fills this need.

Let's go over once why Brady isn't this guy, before diving into the rest of our options.

As of this coming season, Brady should conservatively mature into exactly the 10-15 ppg guy capable of popping for 20 when needed were he to play the 2. But KU's problem is: it doesn't have anyone else good enough at the 3 to let Brady move over to his natural position. So: if Brady has to play out of position at the 3 again, what we saw last season is probably what we should expect this season with perhaps 5 more ppg accruing from improvement and experience. What stops him is: there are too many big 3s that require all his attention to defend (thus limiting his scoring), and too many other lock down threes that can shut him down offensively (if their coach decides to take away the trifecta and force KU inside). So: Brady cannot by definition be the silver bullet that makes KU be a dominant team by doing it at the 3.

Then who, or what group, can do it?

LAJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

rockchalk007,

I agree with you in your breakdown. I would say, however, that Brady and Tyrel did actually under-perform at the end of the year. Their main offensive contribution was the 3 ball, and they simply did not shoot well, certainly not up to their own percentages. The last four games Brady shot 2 for 13 and Tyrel was 4 for 13, and many of those shots were wide open thanks to the driving ability of Sherron Collins. Sherron easily could have had 5 to 10 more assists in those four games if those two had knocked down a few more shots (especially the Dayton game; he had 2 assists, and that really should have been 6 or 7 at no fault of his own).

I agree picking up one of those guys for the 3 man would take this team to an entirely different level, but Brady and Tyrel do have some work to do on their own for next year.... especially if we don't pick up anyone.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Sherron does not the sole man needed to make Brady affordable at the 3. Sherronatron's PPG seems about topped out. We'd actually be stronger, if he had to create and shoot less and score a little less, but we cannot afford much fall off in his scoring, or whatever we add elsewhere will generate no net benefit over last year. Sherron's greatest added contributions this coming year will be nudging his trifectation to 40%, cutting his TOs by a third, and getting burned less on defense. Were he to accomplish all of these and say score 2-3 ppg less than last year, while doing it, he would net be an even bigger dynamo in our juggernaut than last year. But again, he would not the whole answer to how we win with Brady at the 3.

What about Cole?

Cole could super nova, if he too does not have to spend a season fighting a "stress reaction" that should have been operated on in the offseason but was not. Cole could become a guy capable of 30 pts and 20 reebs occassionally. He could amp up his averages to 25 and 15, but then that would really only amplify the problem of what does KU do on his off nights--on the nights that Cole fights another great center to a Mexican stand off? Scratch Cole as the whole solution.

The 2 and 4 seem the logical places to look for improvement to make Brady affordable at the 3.

Tyshawn at the 2 went for 25 one night this past season. He has it within his envelope, but it does not yet seem to be within grasp of his on/off switch; that is, he cannot necessarily make himself score 20-25 points on demand. His opponent and his mental status have to be right to make a big game feasible. This means Tyshawn cannot be the whole solution, but he can be part of the committee.

The 4 is where KU needs something big (pun intended) to happen.

And the 4 is where something big could happen. Marcus will ramp up to soph big status, which is usually a pretty good step up. But Marcus continued modest performances at the 4, give one pause about expecting him to be able to break out for 20-25 points when Sherron, or Cole, are off their games. Marcus looks like such a player. His high school career suggests he was once such a player. But is he such a player in D1? Self will surely give him his chance again.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

But this year KU has another potential round in the chamber of the 4: Jeff Withey. The 7' Withey is reputed to be a pretty good scorer. It is a terrible lot to expect of a relatively inexperienced big, but he could be our break out guy on those nights when Cole and Sherron struggle. But not until second semester, at least, which means he will not really be integrated into the team until March. Ugh!

This brings us back to Tyshawn. After quite a bit of deliberation, Tyshawn seems to be the key guy. Tyrel may have some good games. Brady may have some good games. Elijah may even have some good games. But until Withey arrives (an even assuming he arrives show room ready), Tyshawn is going to have to be the guy who can dial up a 20-25 point game from November to March to get us out of those off nights Cole and Sherron are bound to have.

If first Tyshawn for most of the season, and then Tyshawn and Withey can do this down the stretch by committee, then yes we can win a ring with Brady at the 3. And were Marcus to become a dominant player at the 4, why Brady just might be the ideal 3 for this team.

But these are a lot of ifs, and, hence, everyone's sweaty palms over landing X, or Lance.

I sure hope Tyshawn and Marcus are working on their games. :-)

Brett Glover 10 years, 9 months ago

Although collins and aldrich will be the mop's of next season as well as the leader, i see a lot of balance among the players next year meaning it's going to be a lot like the 07-08 season what with our depth. I don't know you guys disagree with me if you want.

rockchalk007 10 years, 9 months ago

LAJayHawk,

The main reason our support players "underperformed" at the end of the year is because the oppenent defenses and the overall competition are so much better at tournament time. The "wide open threes" you mentioned are not really that wide open. Everyone is more tired and all wound up in the big games at year's end, the level of physical energy to play in these games is huge. So if a Brady or a Tyrell is coming off the bench and contributing their 8-12 minutes, then yes they can help a lot and maybe nail those 3s which are in reality very narrow windows of opportunity. And contribute defensively too as a stopper. The level of play is just so very different at the end of the season, playoff time, just like in all sports. KU cannot be the team everyone wants us to be if our role players are being asked to do such heavy lifting.

Think about KU's team last year. Russel and Sasha and Darnell all were GREAT role players, and they put in their time to become capable of playing at the next level. Mario and Brandon and Darrell (and Sherron and for a flash of 20 min Cole too) were the three guys to make it happen when faced with the stiffest competition. It would be unbelieveable to get our current role players to that level of supporting cast next year and the year after...this is the stuff great programs are built upon, but in a support role.

KU will have very good guards next year with Sherron and Tyshawn backed up by EJ and Tyrell (and sometimes Brady). KU will have a strong inside game with Cole and Marcus - yes, he will play at the next level and will be much improved next year and especially in two years - backed up by Jeff and Markieff and Thomas.

So, I hate to repeat myself but here is the issue for this KU BB junkie blog poster:

Who plays the 3? Answer: New Guy (X or Lance) backed up by Brady (sometimes) and Mario. Travis to red shirt or transfer. He has a huge ceiling but he is really lost on the court and is pure energy in a team-oriented system. His denfense would have to improve VERY dramatically to get more minutes on next year's squad who will be a better team than this year's team, barring injury.

Lastly, in my opnion the new recruit will not start or be super impressive immediately - Brady and Mario will carry the early load. But after a few months of Coach's special tutoring - with minutes played as the reward - come March, X or Lance will be the key to another ring. X has a problem (his brother who needs minutes too) and Lance has a problem (his team attitude) but our coaching staff will handle this briallantly and KU will win the Big 12 (co-champs) and make it to the Final Four. Get your tickets early...

Go Hawks!

TexasHawk44 10 years, 9 months ago

listen carefully to the sound of metal shank being sharpened...hard to hear over the bellowing, but if you are very quiet....

LAJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

rockchalk007,

Like I said I [mostly] agree with your overall assessment, but I do think Brady (especially) under-performed in some games at the end of the year. In our last 3 losses, Brady was 1 for 12 from three and scored 3, 2, and 6 points respectively. Now, I understand the "better competition" argument, but two of those losses came against Texas Tech and Baylor, teams in the bottom half of the Big 12, so that excuse doesn't entirely work in those instances. Additionally, you can't speak in generalities when you are talking about "wide open threes," you really need to look at game tape. I specifically remember a number of those shots (at least 4 or 5, probably more) being wide open, and by that I mean no one within 3 to 4 feet, as wide open as one will get in division 1 basketball.

Perhaps it was a conditioning thing; Brady wasn't used to the number of minutes and wore down by the end of the year (his 3 point percentage fell from over 46% to 42 even). But not being conditioned is a form of under-performing and certainly is not an excuse. In the last 3 games Sherron scored 32 on 12-26, 25 on 11-19, and 20 on 9-13 while playing 38, 35, and 38 minutes respectively. He didn't wear down. Conditioning would be an area Brady should work on and certainly something he can improve.

As to the rest of your post, as I said, I pretty much agree. However, if we get Xavier, there is absolutely no doubt he will start right away. That's a guarantee. Don't know if you've seen the guy play, but he is absolutely ready for the next level (and beyond). I haven't seen Lance play (outside of highlight tapes), so I can't personally speak to that, but from what I've read, he is ready as well (although, I will grant you the attitude).

Rock Chalk.

kerbyd 10 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate, Just because you have never heard of someone having a rod inserted into their leg does not mean it doesn't happen. Stress fractures are a very common injury especially among runners and basketball players and if you think about it many of KU's players have had them. They said a "rod" was inserted into Little's leg but it was probably more like a pin and was an outpatient proceedure. The main treatment for stress fractures is to actually "stress" the bone more to increase bone density. Surgery is always something that is done when other things don't work.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

kerbyd,

People get rods and pins, and all kinds of hardware put in them.

Starting D1 basketball players who score 15 points per game are just not among them, as far as I have heard. And given the amount of column inches devoted to players injuries and their operations related to them, the chances are someone here would have been able to produce the name of a starting D1 perimeter player who average 15ppg, while playing with a rod in his leg, if there were one.

The fact that so far neither you, nor anyone else, has been able to produce a name lends credence to my concern.

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