Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kansas University basketball notebook


KU basketball No. 1 in Vitale’s rankings

ESPN’s Dick Vitale has tapped Kansas University’s basketball team preseason No. 1 in the country.

Vitale had this to say about the Jayhawks at “Bill Self’s team is led by Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins, two members of my All-Rolls-Royce first team. The Jayhawks are loaded with the Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff), Tyshawn Taylor and newcomer Xavier Henry.”

Vitale has Kentucky No. 2, Michigan State No. 3, Texas 4 and Duke No. 5.

He has Oklahoma No. 21, Oklahoma State 30, Texas A&M; 32 and Kansas State No. 39. His top 40 list is available at

Ellis to participate in Rucker Park event

Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-7 sophomore from Wichita Heights High School, will compete in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 basketball game at 7 p.m., EDT, on Aug. 21 at New York’s Rucker Park.

Other prospects on KU’s recruiting list who will compete: Harrison Barnes, 6-8, Ames (Iowa) High; Cory Joseph, 6-3, Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.; Doron Lamb, 6-4, Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.; Joe Jackson, 5-11, White Station High, Memphis; Josh Selby, 6-3, Lake Clifton High, Baltimore; Terrence Jones, 6-8, Jefferson High, Portland; Tony Wroten, 6-5, Garfield High, Seattle. The event will be televised at 6 p.m., CDT, Aug. 22 on ESPNU.

Meanwhile, Lamb of Oak Hill Academy tells he will visit KU and Oklahoma “as soon as I can.”

He has made an unofficial visit to Kentucky and also has scholarship offers from from Arizona, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, St. John’s and Xavier. Connecticut, Marquette, Seton Hall, Syracuse are also on his list.


waywardJay 11 years ago

Vitale's on our Bandwagon. Great. Maybe that means i won't have to see or hear him for the next year.....

Fat chance.

jayhawkinATL 11 years ago

Ugh!!!! The dreaded Vitale curse!!!

codybear 11 years ago

When Pigs fly we should listen to Vitale...........KU is #1 without his blessing.

Robert Brock 11 years ago

Duke #5? Isn't that a wee bit high?

waywardJay 11 years ago

Worked out for him last year, He loved North Carolina..... and they won..... Oh wait, he ALWAYS loves North Carolina.... and they don't win MOST years..... Crap, thanks Dick !

jayhawkinATL 11 years ago

I agree, Brock...especially with Henderson gone.

EnviroHawk7 11 years ago

KU has never won a National Championship as number 1 in the preseason poll. Darn!

okjhok 11 years ago

Very impressive for Ellis to get an invite as a sophomore. For some background on the event, I recommend you check out "Gunnin' for that #1 spot". It's a really good documentary on some of the participants a few years back including Beasley, and has an incredible soundtrack to boot. It's interesting to see who made it and who hasn't yet. Lance is on there, the stud from Syracuse is on there, Jennings is on there, the kid from Arizona. If you recall, Cole played in the event that year and did quite well. He shows up a little in the doc. Check it out.

mjlindsm 11 years ago

codybear (anonymous) says... When Pigs fly we should listen to Vitale...........KU is #1 without his blessing.

Haven't you heard? Swine Flew?

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

Yeah, I was commenting on ESPN last night, and Tar Heel and Kentucky fans were blasting me. Here is the poll I sent out.

1)KU 2)Mich State 3) Villanova 4)Texas 5)Purdue 6)Duke 7)Kentucky 8)California 9)West Virginia 10) Washington

I did go a little further in my poll and said that UNC should be ranked 14th. There was a story earlier about recruiting and bias towards KU recruits. I said there was a little bias towards KU recruits and didn't necessarily deserve the ranking they deserved. In this case, however, KU is certainly getting "The Love" from the media, but what I don't understand is the "The Love" towards Kentucky and UNC. All we have to do is go one year back and look at the 2009 KU team as an example. They lose 5 starters and barely make the Top 25 (#23). UNC and UK each have one returning starter with a ton of unproven talent (Sound Familiar National Media?) and we have most journalist annoiting UK and UNC in the damn Top 5. Most people don't think rankings matter in college basketball, but I firmly believe they matter...................

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

If you look at KU's team last year (#23), they had fight and claw even to get in the Top 10. I firmly believe they were a Top 10 from the get go, but with "Timely Losses" and falling out of the Top 25, KU virtually had to run off a 10 game winning streak just to get in the Top 15. Now, we look at UK and UNC, what do they have to work for? As Austin Powers would always say, "Who does #2 work for?" They both have been given a Top 10 ranking??????? If they lose in the beginning of the season, it's no big deal for them because they may fall to #15. They can regroup get their act together and still claim a #1 or #2 seed. I don't know I'm just getting sick and tired of unproven teams like UK and UNC receiving benefit of the doubt because of the name across their chests. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

KANSTUCKY 11 years ago

Do you know what he difference between bird flu and swine flu is? With bird flu you need tweetment and with swine flu you need oinkment. Sorry, I couldn't hold back. Speaking of swine, DOOK will ride the polls and disappear at the end of the season like they are supposed to.

ralphus 11 years ago

"All-Rolls Royce Team"

Sigh. Nice to see Vitale pulling out the same old hackneyed cliches. He's in midseason form already.

nocaljayhawk 11 years ago

Vitale's in midseason form---from the mid-1980, like he's been for the entire time I've suffered through his presence on ESPN, dating back to my middle school years. Can it, old man!

Facebook users, here are a couple of anti-Vitale pages:

jaybate 11 years ago

What I love about this quote is Vitale having to refer to "six" players even to begin to characterize this team to outsiders!

Any other team in the country would talking about being a Top 15 team if they just had Withey, Thomas Robinson and CJ coming in!!

And KU has Brady Morningstar, last year's starter and best perimeter defender and 40% plus trifectationist, and Tyrel Reed, another 40% trifectationist, and Mario Little, a guy everyone said was a Lexus Gold player pre injury!!!

Dick Vitale, face it: if KU's players play up to expectations (and Coach Self usually gets them to play above expectations), Bill Self will have the deepest team in the history of college basketball. And if Coach Self can coach this team to an undefeated season and win the ring (and who better than Bill Self, presently, to go after and eclipse Coach Knight's record), Bill Self has the greatest team in the history of college basketball.

Rock chalk, baby!

Robert Murphy 11 years ago

At the same time Kansas University was being touted as no. 1 preseason basketball Forbes magazine rated the top 100 colleges. KU was rated 425th out of 600 colleges just 54 spots lower than MU which came in at 374th. Just mentioning.

whitechocolate 11 years ago

"(and who better than Bill Self, presently, to go after and eclipse Coach Knight's record)"


I take it you don't think Self is going to head to the NBA after a successful stint with Kansas?

Michael Auchard 11 years ago

Duke will be better than expected due to their earlier-than-anticipated acquisition of a 17 year-old guard, Andre Dawkins, who was expected to come in next year. #5 does seem a bit high to me, though. Of course, Michigan St., Purdue, and Illinois all seem high to me, too. And I promise I'm not hating on the Big 10.

Jonathan Briles 11 years ago

Some people on here are talking about being disrespected and not being as respected as other teams because of the names across the chest. Ummm. We have KANSAS going across ours and that automatically brings just as much respect.

last year we lost ALL our starters and our recruiting class was good but in rankings our best recruit was in the 30's. UK and UNC have a returning starter and yeah they have a lot of unproven talent but UK has one of the best recruiting classes in history and UNC has had great recruiting classes for years and this years is no different. We only got our ranking last year because of our name and coach. Kansas fans knew the potential because we have seen it but to get in the top 25 with a 6th man, a young big man and a ton of ok ranked kids is pretty good. I think their rankings are a little high but Kansas fans can never say they are disrespected in basketball. We are very highly respected and thats one of the big reasons for all our pride.

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

kanfan: When it comes to the Big 5, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, UNC, and Duke, KU is always left out on the outside looking in. Why do you think they always ship KU out to the West Region? Does that really make sense? What about 2007? How many times is a mediocre 27-6 UNC team going to get a #1 seed in the East? Every year that is! A UNC team that was ranked 6th in the AP Poll and 4th in the ESPN poll got the #2 overall seed that year of all places in the East. Come on my man! Florida who was ranked #3 and #4 respectively got the overall #1 seed and then was placed in the Midwest region. I know people don't think regions matter, but they matter a great deal. When a team has to travel across the country, their win percentages go down greatly. Go look at UCLA and find out their win percentage when they don't have to play in California or Arizona. Pretty Huge! Look at UNC's record when they have to go to the West (Well, it's only happened once in the last 25 years) or the Midwest Region. Why do you think gamblers make such a big issue with the travel in the NFL. The same could be said for the West and East Coast schedules in the NBA. It happens.

You are right Kanfan, Kansas is very respected within the mediocre schools and unviversities across the country, but when you talk about the Elite of college basketball, Kansas is often disrespected among that group.

labbadabba 11 years ago

Okay - double posting here is the official start of KU Football. It is the start of the KU 2009-2010 sports calendar. Today should be a day of football celebration.

The only thing I see on LJW is 2 fluff basketball pieces. KU is trying build a football following not just in the student population but in the population overall. As long as basketball is getting stuffed down our throats on the opening day of what could be KU's biggest season in football we will never have a truly legit program or fanbase.

There are some great blogs out there that are featuring numerous discussions of KU football and are celebrating this day for what it is.

Come ON LJW, step up here...

KUPROUD 11 years ago

Ain't it great to be talking BB smack once again? Jaybate, "Bill Self has the greatest team in the history of college basketball" Easy now, it's a long season, don't hit your peak too early. But I'm with you, it sure feels good to look at this team's possibilities.

One more thing. I love the "lack of respect" tag, because it keeps a little chip on our shoulders.

rawkhawk 11 years ago

It will be exciting to see how the team responds to having the #1 target on their backs. There are times I find Vitale entertaining, and even agree with him...

truefan 11 years ago

KU was disrespected for the entire 2007-2008 season when they won the title. At the begining of the year I believe the media talked to Mario Chalmers about UNC and the hype they were getting and he called them out. He said something to the effect of we want to play them to prove who is better. That statement basically shows me how getting disrespected really helps this team more than anything. We don't need someone else's respect, our team proves themselves on the court. We will be good this season, but let the team speak for themselves and everyone just knock on some wood to erase jinxing that Vitale and some of our fans are doing.

On to FOOTBALL! Wait, where is the article?

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

truefan: Great Point! I think that was Russell Robinson who made those comments.

JayhawkPurist 11 years ago

People, people, rankings are fun for discussion and have an effect on recruiting, but they have very little, if any, bearing on seeding come tourney time. The selection committee has been very forthright in saying that they rely upon RPI rankings, not subjective rankings.

And yes, as one poster said earlier, starting high helps keep you high, but in the end it's the team that is capable of winning six straight that takes the cake, and the road one travels in trying to win those six is not affected by rankings.

JayhawkPurist 11 years ago


If anything is more played out in sports today than the "disrespect card," I don't know what it is. Chalmers' comment was that of a player confident in his skills and in those of his teammates and coaching staff. Teams that need a "chip on their shoulder" to be motivated to achieve are more fickle than those who are self-motivated to be the best every time the ball is tipped. I'll take the latter type of team every time.

jaybate 11 years ago


I can see how I may have accidentally mislead you.

Clarification: Coach Knight's record of having the last undefeated ring winner with Kent Benson, Scott May, and the Mighty Quinn.

I suspect Coach Self will jump to the pros at the end of ten seasons at KU, maybe even after he wins a second title. Were he to win a second title this season, he would probably be offered a partial interest in the OKC franchise and a monster salary. For the sake of his family, and for the excitement of trying to prove Okie Ball at the next level, I reckon he would take it. I hope he stays for a career, but he's clearly a restless, energetic man who likes to pursue what is next.

jaybate 11 years ago

jaybate news service: jaybate's Pre-Season All Bugatti Veyron team.

1st Team

Point Guard: Sherron Collins, Kansas Shooting Guard: Tyshawn Taylor Small Forward: Xavier Henry, Kansas Power Forward: Marcus Morris, Kansas Center: Cole Aldrich, Kansas Sixth Man: Brady Morningstar, Kansas

2rd Team

Point Guard: CJ Henry, Kansas Shooting Guard: Brady Morningstar, Kansas Small Forward: Mario Little, Kansas Power Forward: Thomas Robinson, Kansas Center: Jeff Withey/Markieff Morris, Kansas Sixth Man: Tyrel Reed/Elijah Johnson, Kansas

3rd through 5th Teams:

Miscellaneous players from UK, UNC, UCLA, etc.

Hooooooo Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!

keith horinek 11 years ago

jaybate, may I disagree with one statement in your earlier post: I do not want an undefeated team going into the tournement! they could be 30-0 at the end of the regular season going into the NCAA tournement and with that kind of record can you imagine the pressure on these kids? remember back to 1997-98 (not sure that is the right year) with Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz, Jauque Vauhn, Jared Haase and Co.? without a doubt the best team in the country at every position and the pressure got to them. I prefer a few losses to keep these kids level headed and hungry. In the 2007-2008 season everybody played them at their best and that kept that team focused, I want that "eye of the tiger" with these kids this year.

JayhawkPurist 11 years ago

oljhwk, The 1997-98 KU squad was the best in the country at every position? Do you seriously believe that Jarod Haase was the best 2 guard in the country?? I loved his passion and commitment, but let's not go overboard.

Larry Smith 11 years ago


96-97 was the year you are thinking about. I would probably say that we were the best in the country at only 2 positions (Pierce and Lafrentz) and thats debatable.

jaybate 11 years ago


You are the best disagree-er on the board. You are like Gerry Spense. You can make me losing an argument feel better than me winning it. :-)

To get the ring, the safest way seems to be to have a few losses to keep the pressure down.


Dang it, I just cannot bear having Bob Knight be the last guy do achieve the undefeated ring team goal.

I have waited and waited for a team with a gentleman for a coach to come along and prove it can still be done by good guys.

DoubleDD 11 years ago

Lets face it an undefeated season is almost in possible, but it has been done before. This talk of heading into the tournamnent with a loss or two is bull crap. If there was a team that could do it in recent memory it is this KU team. Lets break this down a little if you will. Last year NorthC was a favorite from start to finish. Why??? It was the only team that returned the nucleus of their team, everybody else was rebuilding except the Big East which we all know is overated (Thanks east coast basis). KU can match anybody in talent, experience, and deepness of bench. Now with this = a undefeated season??? It depends on the players!!!! If KU loses a game it will be because they didn't play to their pontential (period)....... Think about it if you want to run, KU can run if you want to slow it down and play half court, KU can pound it inside like nobodies business. Whether slashing, passing it inside, or launching from three land we have the guns to get it done (notice I didn't say gun but guns). This is the key (guns)!!! He----ll we can't even decide what starting 5 we'll have. Bottom line this team is loaded and if they don't win it all, it will be because they didn't play as team. This isn't the Roy Williams teams of yesteryear that played above their pontential only to break our hearts when it counted most. Self knows how to finish the deal. If this team stays hungry there is no telling what could happen. I've been a fan since the 88 season and I've never seen a team as talented and deep as this one. Our starting five might not be the best in the nation, but our second five would be ranked in the top 25 if not playing behind our starting five. The point here is there will be no off days, if someone in the starting 5 struggles somebody on the bench will ringgggg the bellllllll. To much talent (period).................

LAJayhawk 11 years ago

Yes, it was the 96-97 team that went 34 and 2, having lost only to mizzboo in double OT in Columbia (after starting 23-0) and to the eventually champs, Zona, by 3 in the sweet 16.

The 97-98 team was the unfortunate Rhode Island debacle.......

Oh, and while it wasn't jaybate's point, Coach K will, undoubtedly, pass Knight's total win record before too long. I think there is little chance he heads to the Lakers in the post-Jackson era as some seem to think. He has a pretty good gig right now.

And, jaybate, I think having an undefeated season in college basketball has to be one of the hardest things to do in athletics considering the parity that exists in the sport these days. If it was done today, I would certainly think it more impressive than in Knight's time (although that '76 squad was mighty impressive).

However, if it's gonna happen, I can't think of a better time for it!! :-)

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