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Friday, August 28, 2009

Woolridge’s coach doesn’t buy recruit’s ranking

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Royce Woolridge isn’t the only person shaking his head over his drop in the national high school basketball recruiting rankings.

The future Kansas University combo guard’s AAU coach — Kenny Mullins — also takes exception to his prize pupil’s fall as chronicled in Monday’s Journal-World.

“I’ve seen 80 of the top 100 more than once. I think Royce should be in the 30s, 40s,” Mullins said, responding to Woolridge’s being ranked No. 117 in the class of 2010 by Rivals.com after being tapped No. 93 overall entering the summer AAU season.

The 6-foot-3 senior from Phoenix’s Sunnyslope High is ranked No. 94 by ESPN and is not included in Scout.com’s top 100.

Arizona Magic coach Mullins said a problem is that talent evaluators simply didn’t see Woolridge play much this summer. Woolridge erupted for 29 points in a Jayhawk Invitational game against Rivals.com’s No. 2-rated player — Harrison Barnes.

He also scored 33 points against Team Odom in a tournament in Las Vegas and had 37 points in another summertime outing

“I read that Harrison is the top player in the class (of 2010) because of how well-rounded his game is. How many scored 29 on him all year? Maybe one? That’s exactly one,” Mullins said, admitting he grows defensive when talking about the well-rounded Woolridge, who’s also a 4.0 student. “And Royce was 1-for-7 (from three vs. Barnes’ All Iowa Attack team). What if he’d been 4-of-7?” he added, referring to a more typical Woolridge outing.

“He had 28 and Isaiah Epps (New Jersey point) guarded him the entire game. He (Woolridge) hit a 30-foot three at the buzzer to send that game into overtime. No scouts were at that game. He had 26 against Bakari Turner, who is going to Baylor.”

Of Woolridge’s game, Mullins said: “He has a lot more than a left to right crossover. He’s got spin moves, back reverse through his legs, hesitation moves. Royce can shoot and he can get by somebody which makes him a lot more effective.”

He also stated that Woolridge, who turned 17 on June 30, can indeed play the point guard position, but he didn’t do so at the two all-star camps (Pangos and Reebok) he attended because those camps had some of the top point guards in the country.

“He can handle the ball well enough to play point and is a good enough passer,” Mullins said of the player who led Sunnyslope High to a state title last season.

Mullins said he’s encouraged Woolridge to not read much of what’s being discussed about him online. He said fans on various Web sites, including KUSports.com, soon will be able to view a highlight video he’s putting together of Woolridge from play at an AAU tourney in Las Vegas.

“It’s frustrating to him because he feels he’s doing the right things, working hard. His team is winning games. He’s getting buckets against great players,” Mullins said. “He’s always humble when he’s interviewed. Royce is done with the rankings now. He doesn’t care anymore. He’s just going to work on his game and try for another state championship.”

Woolridge figures to feel the love from KU fans at the Oct. 16 Late Night in the Phog. He’s making his official recruiting visit here that weekend.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve heard a lot about it,” Woolridge said.

Kanter on list?

Rivals.com reports that several of the country’s top programs are beginning to recruit Enes Kanter, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound high school senior center from Turkey, who will be playing this season for Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.

Rivals says more than 50 schools have inquired about recruiting the MVP of the Under 18 European championships.

KU is included on the list, along with Texas, North Carolina, Memphis, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio State, Connecticut, UCLA, USC and others.

Self to speak

KU coach Bill Self will present “Activity and Exercise, What Improves the Heart of a Champion,” from 8:30-9:20 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, in Yardley Hall of the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College. The event is free and open to the public. Self’s presentation will be made possible by a gift to the JCCC Foundation by the estate of Nell Mitchell, an Overland Park resident and physical education instructor at Paseo High School, to be used for physical education scholarships and promoting wellness in the community.

Comments

RockChalkJayBlog 8 years ago

He's already verballed to Kansas, right?

So what does it matter what he's ranked? If Self is impressed with him, that should be the only thing that matters.

If he does well at Kansas, his draft stock will rise... If that is what he is truly concerned about, then he really has nothing to worry about.

KUFool 8 years ago

Agree with JayBlog. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the companies that compile these lists don't get paid for being accurate, they get paid to drive traffic and interest that lead to advertising dollars. Woolridge is "old news" as far as they're concerned and frankly, I don't care. HCBS says this guy is scholarship-worthy. That's good enough for me. Let's replace these posts about ranking services with posts of YouTube highlights from Royce's senior year!

DCJayhawk0208 8 years ago

Don't know if the commenters venture over to the message board much, but Coach Mullins has posted several videos of Royce over the last several months. Royce is good. Really, really, really good. He has a fantastic pull-up and gets to the free-throw line ALOT. He DEFINITELY should be top 40. Probably top 25.

That being said, under-the-radar with a chip on your shoulder is exactly the mentality that prevents the occasional stupid non-con loss or the early tournament exit. So Royce being underrated sure could be a good thing.

Aligned 8 years ago

Welcome to KU Royce! We're all looking forward to having you here.

Jonathan Allison 8 years ago

It sounds like Royce embodies what it is about to be a student athlete. I know that he's still a year away from stepping foot in a classroom at KU, but he sounds like that kind of student who will love his university, represent it well, and work hard both on the court and in the classroom. That is what college athletics are all about, and if he does that and doesn't even start a game till his senior day he's still gonna have every opportunity to be successful in life, whatever direction it may take him.

Ron_Kellogg 8 years ago

I think this guy could wind up having a Jeremy Case-like impact on the program.

Gil Ek 8 years ago

Coach Calimari probably spread some bad rumors about Royce just so he could have a higher ranked recruiting class at UK. :-O

Jerry Rockhold 8 years ago

I saw Royce play against Barnes in the Jayhawk Invitational & he more than held his own. He was a great penetrator, super quick with an explosive 1st jump & then had very quick "hops" on 2nd & 3rd attempts. He flashed by Barnes & went to the hole for easy baskets or dishes several times in the game. Make no mistake about it, the kid can flat out play & already has a TEAM mentality, something very RARE in many AAU star players. Afterwards, we talked to him & he was a great kid off the court. He spent time talking to my 12 yr. old son & even posed for a pic. I also thought it was very cool that many current Jayhawk players showed up to watch the game as well. None of us, including the VERY SPECULATIVE ranking services know for sure how a high school kid will turn out at the next level. But, I think he's got a very good chance to be a GREAT addition to our Hawks & he seems to be exactly the type of kid that will benefit & flourish under Bill Self's system. Fired up for BOTH football & basketball seasons. It's a GREAT time to be a Jayhawk!

Hawks82 8 years ago

I've watched plenty of great high school talent growing up around basketball my whole life....I live in Phoenix and have since been to see royce play at sunnyslope after learning about his commitment to KU. The reason he is rated the way he is, is simply b/c those ppl rate on what they think the player SHOULD be...not what he is. Just b/c Royce plays his position not like the prototypical 2 guard he gets docked....even if he plays it well....and believe me he plays it damn good. He is short is his biggest problem...if he was 6'4" or 6'5" we'd be reading his headlines on the front page of espn...but b/c he's only 6'1" he gets docked....the biggest thing about royce is he has GREAT mechanics which means he'll spend zero time reconfiguring his game as KU and more time perfecting it.....think a higher flying Hinrich and thats "Rolls" Royce

Hawks82 8 years ago

His height is his biggest problem

sorry its been a long morning, writing like a 5th grader today.

NebraskaJayhawk 8 years ago

A Jeremy Case - like impact....that's funny stuff right there. I don't care who ya are...

Personally, this is why I don't like early commits. I hope this kid pans out.

BigGuyDon 8 years ago

Self is interested in him "for now". I think the coach and the player are just trying to make sure he stays interested. It wouldn't be the first time that a guy early committed to come here and then didn't keep improving and eventually he and coach decided to "mutually part ways". From the sound of it, this probably isn't the case with Woolridge, but you can tell he and his coach are getting a little nervous.

jaybate 8 years ago

C'mon!

Royce is a heckuva player and we are fortunate to land him.

If he had gone to a darling of a major media market, where the oligopoly media were desperate for access to maintain advertising crucial to their bottom lines, Dickie V would already be nicknaming hime "Rolls Royce" Woolridge and he would be Top 5 or 10 at his position, even though he is only 6'2" and lacks a major trey gun, or a prison body.

What the heck! From now on, I'm calling him Rolls Royce, or maybe The Blue Shadow, or maybe the Rolls Royce Crimson Phantom.

Rolls Royce, don't you worry, pal. We are not prejudiced here. Not about skin. Not about quality of high school competition. Not about stupid recruiting rankings. We recruit the three Ts: Talent, Toughness, Tenacity. You've gott'em, or Self wouldn't have made the offer. Look at all our teams in the Self era. Every player has had the three Ts.

We know basketball here, Crimson Phantom. We know basketball players here. We know our coach knows what it takes to make D1 teams NCAA champions and we know he can coach the heck out of you and make you better and better.

You are training for a profession. It is basketball. You are good. Your Daddy knows it. He's been the real deal. Trust him. Coach Self knows it. He's got a ton of players in the pros (doing well). Trust him. He's got a ton of players over seas (doing well), if you happen to have a hole in your game that you can't fill to a degree to please the L.

Right now, Allen Field House is the grand intersection of the KU basketball legacy and the Okie Baller Mafia.

The KU basketball legacy is the greatest one by far in college basketball. You'll hear a lot of hogwash about UNC taking care of KU down in Chapel Hill. Forget it.

jaybate 8 years ago

The facts relevant are: Naismith (invented the game), Allen (invented how to play and coach the game, was the game's biggest winner during his time, had three national championships), Brown (national championship, games greatest in-game tactician ever, only coach to win an NCAA and an NBA championship), Williams (won 80 percent for 15 years), and Self (wins 81% and a ring in first 6 years, plus in the Dance every year). KU basketball will be here when Dean Smith dies and Roy goes fishing and UNC has to hire another one our coaches to keep going again.

One of our players (Dean Smith), one of our assistants (Matt Dougherty), and one of our head coaches (Roy Williams) have head coached UNC all but two years, since 1958. That's the real truth. You heard that right, since 1958; that's 51 years of KU carrying on the KU legacy, while carrying UNC basketball on its back, too. Before that it was the corrupt Frank McGuire. Oh, and the guy who coached those two interim, non KU years at UNC was a state of Kansas kid named Bill Guthridge. Look at their assistants. Almost all KU guys. Without KU, frankly Chapel Hill in basketball is Chapel Hole. UNC would be a basketball backwater, less than zero, just another place Frank McGuire corrupted for awhile, just another burg south of the cotton curtain stinking of Tobacco Road.

What's the Okie Baller Mafia, you ask? It is the biggest coaching network in the college game today. And it descends from one of the other great coaching legacies of the early days of basketball--Hank Iba, the coach who begat Don Haskins, who broke the back of white supremacists in college basketball by starting five African Americans and winning an NCAA ring. The coach who begat Eddie Sutton (another Kansan), the greatest theorist and strategist the contemporary game has known outside of John Wooden. Even coach Bob Knight chose to emulate and update Iba in order to become the winningest coach in the history of college basketball.

jaybate 8 years ago

And KU doesn't have to recruit just the western half of the USA, anymore, as it did for 15 years under Roy Williams, who reputedly promised Dean Smith not to compete for recruits with UNC. Under Self, KU recruits the whole country and routinely attracts among the best players from all over the country, not just west of the Mississippi. Recruiting the whole country, as other schools do, has unleashed the full force of the sleeping giant that was KU basketball and the KU basketball legacy under Roy Williams. Go anywhere in America, now, and KU is a known and respected quantity among high school coaches and among AAU coaches.

We are the daddy of college basketball and with the skill and competence of AD Lew Perkins and Head Coach Bill Self and his staff, and with players like you, Crimson Phantom, KU is ascending to a new level of dominance.

Think about it: KU head coaches, past or present (Bill Self and Roy Williams), have won the last three NCAA rings. And our former chancellor apparently ran Roy Williams off, because Roy wouldn't recruit the whole country. We have the best team in the country on paper this year without any question, after only one rebuilding season following our last ring. We are the new monsters of the midway.

Come to KU, Rolls Royce. Come to play in the Monarch of the Midlands, the greatest venue for college basketball, Allen Field House. There is a basketball renaissance going on here that is over and above our usual level of a century of excellence. It has the potential of reaching unprecedented proportions. Our goal is to eclipse John Wooden's accomplishments. Be apart of it. Forget rankings. Forget that share cropper school south of the cotton curtain and its KU coaches and coaching staff.

We're the real thing.

We're KU.

Rock chalk.

jaybate 8 years ago

And ditto much of the above for Harrison Barnes, too.

Marcia Parsons 8 years ago

I didn't think he sounded nervous. I thought he was indignant on behalf of his player because he feels the ratings groups are overlooking him. Maybe he's just responding to the KUSports.com article about the situation, figuring all of us were interested in why the ratings are the way they are.

ShazzyD 8 years ago

Seriously, someone needs to tell this Mullins guy that the rankings don't mean anything. This guy is acting like the rankings are indicating an NBA draft position or something.

Joe Baker 8 years ago

KUFool (anonymous) says... ... Let's replace these posts about ranking services with posts of YouTube highlights from Royce's senior year!

Yep, he is exciting to watch!

Go Royce

Joe Baker 8 years ago

Hawks82 (anonymous) says... but b/c he's only 6'1" he gets docked....the biggest thing about royce is he has GREAT mechanics which means he'll spend zero time reconfiguring his game as KU and more time perfecting it.....think a higher flying Hinrich and thats "Rolls" Royce

Correct me if I'm wrong but he's 6-2 or 6-3!! He's a pt guard? That's a pretty big pt guard in my book. He plays like he's 6-6 or 6-7. This kid can leap like his dad.

The 6-foot-3 senior from Phoenix’s Sunnyslope High is ranked No. 94 by ESPN and is not included in Scout.com’s top 100.-- Bedore

Tuskin 8 years ago

"(Bill Self and Roy Williams), have won the last three NCAA rings."

You must be counting 2010 in that three. Florida won in '07.

Hawks82 8 years ago

I couldnt remember right off hand his height...but 6'2" or 3" is still considered short for a 2 guard...thats the point im making....he is undersized no matter what he's listed at.

Hawks82 8 years ago

He is NOT a point guard...he is a 2 guard that can play point.

Dirk Medema 8 years ago

truehawk93 says - Correct me if I'm wrong but he's 6-2 or 6-3!! He's a pt guard?

As if sports measurements weren't questionable enough (see Todd Reesing's height, etc.), he is a HS Jr, so he's still growing, and the written word doesn't grow with him. I believe the 6-1 listing is actually from last year (Soph), so it would be reasonable that he would be 6-3 now. I believe I read that his dad wasn't even that tall when he started college, so Rolls could easily be 6-6 (+/-) at KU.

His coach contends that he is capable as a PG, but has been playing the 2 - that he isn't in the same class as the elite PG's nationally. The good news there is that Coach Self loves combo's (See Mario Chalmers, RR, the UofI guy?, ...).

In some ways it sounds like an even bigger example of Thomas Robinson & Elijah Johnson this year. Both worked really hard on their game before and after committing to KU, and were annoyed by being snubbed by the AA folks. It hasn't been so long since I've competed that I can't remember those disappointments. That being said, everyone is better off if they stay hungrily aggitated. Cole is about a year behind in his development because he admittedly got complacent in HS.

Stay hungry "Rolls" Royce, and just keep winning championship. Those are far better in the long run than some rankings/opinions of journo's.

Rock Chalk

Joel Hood 8 years ago

jaybate (anonymous) says... "...And our former chancellor apparently ran Roy Williams off, because Roy wouldn't recruit the whole country."

I can only assume this was written with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek. I’d hate to see you too get “crushed like a dove.”

And jabate, I think Henry Iba should probably be considered a demigod on the Mt. Olympus of Basketball. In college basketball, if Dr. Naismith is the Titan Kronos, and Phog Allen is Zeus, then Henry Iba would have to be Hypnos, because his style of play only had the ability to put people to sleep. “OK boys, pass the ball for 10 minutes and only shoot layups…” Thank God for the shot clock.

wtarush 8 years ago

College recruits listing schools of interest: How long do you think it will be until Memphis joins the "...and others" again?

Glad to have Royce!!! Rock Chalk!

KUTPO 8 years ago

atarush, If Calipari is Hermes, Gillespie is Dionysus, who is Pitino? Talk about 3 losers...

chezlog 8 years ago

JAYBATE - that was good writtin'! Really enjoyed it.

Joel Hood 8 years ago

dynomitehawk - I have to disagree with you on Pitino...

Pitino would be Eros: the primordial god of lust, beauty, love, and intercourse.

Adolph Rupp would be Hades: the god of the underworld; absolute ruler of the dead; son of Kronos & lesser brother to Zeus.

John Wooden would be Poseidon: the god of the sea and, as "Earth-Shaker," of earthquakes and the father of many heroes.

Chris Shaw 8 years ago

At least we know these recruiting services are all over the board. Max Preps still has Woolridge listed at #68. They sure did drop Payne (Ohio Big) a lot in this ranking. Take a look.

http://www.maxpreps.com/news/4CKBe4CBEd6OEwAcxJTdpg/maxpreps-class-of-2010-basketball-top-100.htm

yovoy 8 years ago

"rolls" royce CAN, "finga ro' ". i just finished watching some vid of this kid, and he's good, but if he thinks he's going to get to his "danger spots" on the d1 floor like he does against summer and school kids, he better get to the weightroom with a quickness. he's going to have to add some serious strength to play the game he's used to at the next level. i'll also say that i'd compare him to lots of "great" guards that palm the ball. i'm not sure i've seen anyone stop the ball mid-bounce as much as he does: refs allowing this makes average players into great players. i'm not sure we don't have that in this kid. yeah yeah, ourSelf thinks he's talented enough to join us (and i hope he does), but i don't know if i'm upset with the rating after considering the 'physical' aspect of his game.

i'm most impressed with his knowledge of HIS game. he seems to anticipate where his opening is way before he gets there. he's got a hair-trigger jumper, and knows the drive with the softie off the glass and/or finger roll like he grew up with 'em. he's also extremely skilled at "waiting the defender out". if his defender is the least bit off balance, he's going by him. if the defender doesn't close out particularly well, he's going by him. if the defender falls back to keep him from going by, he strokes that compact jumper. if the defender is late, he will do either. that's what i mean when i say that he knows where his opening is way before it opens. he reads the defender very, very well, and that will serve his team well, even if he doesn't hit the weights. i didn't see much midrange game in the clips, but what little i saw looked good. i just don't think any of the defenders could recover well enough, or get the help-side defender to drop quickly enough to force him into the mid-range game. it was all 3 or layup finishes in the lane. i don't know where he belongs in the ratings, but certain aspects of what i saw make me think he should be rated around 100, and some make me think he should be around 50 or 60. in the system we have, the facilities we have, and with the coach(es) we have, he'll do nothing but get better, so i'm really not worried about the ratings or the videos i saw.

David Lara 8 years ago

Just to clarify, since when is 6'3" short for the 2? I'm pretty sure that is the standard since I've been around b-ball. Any taller and you get into what is also considered wing/SF range. He has all the height he needs for SG. In a lot of systems it doesn't really matter how tall the 2 guard is. "Are you a create-your-own-shot or catch-and-shoot type but not particularly good at handling/protecting the ball, passing or running the O? Then you're a 2." Ex: Texas, UCLA, etc

More precisely, he is too short for the 3. His game is much more like a wing/SF, slashing to the bucket with the occasional outside touch. I think he put it very well when he mentioned his shot is not what you expect from typical 2 guard. Great 3-pt shooting is what scouts expect from that position and if scouts can't put you in a box, label you, and make their inane comparisons, your skills will largely go unheralded.

At KU we always have a spot for a guy who can get to the hole at will because we always have spot shooters who can "trifectorate"(registered trade mark). We certainly need his skill set more than we need another prototypical 2. And Coach Self is known for his formula of a high energy back court. We control the game with our back court and it has to be extremely versatile with different line-ups being able to attack/defend in different ways. He'll find his 3-ball too, i have no doubt.

Whoever compared him to Keith Langford made a good point. We haven't had a real Keith since... Keith himself. Sherron showed he can create his own shot, but it's usually not a good thing when your PG has to constantly weigh the balance between carrying the scoring load and getting the team involved, a major caveat last season. It will be interesting to see what X can do, but from what I can tell penetrating is not what he does best, although he is probably capable and will be called upon to create in that way. But if Rolls Royce can pull a Keith Langford, he could turn out to be the most important recruit we've gotten in quite a while.

Brian Leiker 8 years ago

Who cares about the rankings? Rex Walter's high school coach told him he would never play college hoops. I'll bet he feels like a dumbass knowing he ruled the court at the greatest college hoops program ever and then went on to make millions in the NBA as a journeyman. Rex played with a huge chip on his shoulder and I expect nothing less of Royce. In fact I hope Royce stays right where he's at in the rankings, only to prove to the homers who live and die on Rivals rankings, that they mean squat. I'll take a pissed-off, something to prove player over a pre-madonna any day of the week.

VegasJhawk09 8 years ago

Jaybate speaks the truth! Preach to the crimson and blue pulpit, Amen!!! Rock Chalk!

Chris Shaw 8 years ago

People keep comparing him to Keith Langford. The question is........Do we really want another Keith Langford? Langford IMO was more frustrating than valuable in my book.

yovoy 8 years ago

yeah, he was frustating, what with being able to score from 20 feet and in, scoring all those points (game winners and often the amount we needed to win), contorting his body to score, dunking on people, some memorable blocks, playing pretty decent d (considering who his coach was), rebounding, often bringing "tough" to a team that didn't have tons of it, etc. what a liability. maybe you're remembering the post-surgery langford, but that langford was as good as many players at that level. we'd probably hate to have that.

prima donna, from italian (prob earlier latin); leading lady.

jaybate 8 years ago

Dear jayhawkerjoel,

Now that we have a Democratic president, and a Democratic house and senate, and the chickenhawks like Bush and Cheney are out of power, do you suppose it would now be appropriate to say "crushed like a chickenhawk" instead of "crushed like a dove?" :-)

jaybate 8 years ago

Some Headlines I'd Like to See:

Duke Nuked: Lord Works Mysterious Ways

Calipari Exiled To Kalahari: Bushmen Already Rumored Taking SATs for Recruits

Smith Shifts To Monofilament for Williams Strings

Contucky Convicted

Doc Sadler Bit by Kansas Rattler-- No Antidote

Georgetown Meltdown, Refs Call Fouls

Barnes Out! Pitino to Texas-- Sexus, Nexus, Plexus

Howland Takes Rap For Failure of Hack'n'Slap, UCLA in Disarray

Stanford Loses Train Endowment, Basketball Program Derailed

Antlers Sodomized by Space Aliens, World Cheers

Bzdelik Apoplectic: Team Eats Mascot

How to Retire Gracefully: A Seminar Hosted by Lute Olson

Knight, Vitale to Wed: Pre-Nups Prohibit Physical Abuse of Dick

Boeheim Confesses: Never Had a Clue How to Coach, Slept During Many Games

Tom Izzo, Frank Martin: Two Good Fellas Players Can't Refuse

Verizon Hires Kelvin Sampson TV Spots to Spoof Illegal Calling

Pitino Inks Deal with Viagra, Says It Works for Him

Pit Bulls Attack Vick, Then Pee on Him; Woodhouse Channelled: No Bad Dogs

Mike Anderson Interviewed: Admits Coaching at Mizzou Sucks Fantasizes about Arkansas, Even Rollo School of Mines, Anywhere But Columbia

Eustachy Announces Vassar Staff: Rick Pitino, Magic Johnson, Bill Clinton-- Famous Grads Flocking Back For Homecoming, Streep Wants to Be Groupie Afterall

Texas Tech Offers to Pay Pat's Salary At Any Program that Will Hire Him

Capell Kaput With Griffin Gone

Ford Suicide: Pickens' Prints Found on Gun

Turg Quits A&M Steps Up to Washburn

Baylor Loses Faith, Fires Drew

Greg McDermott Wins at 46% Clip, Achieves Mediocrity at Last

Chris Shaw 8 years ago

20voy: 20 feet in? You must be remembering somone not named Keith Langford. Yeah, you got body "Contorting" thing right, but there was usually a whistle followed by the possession going the other direction. That would be called a charge. Langford, surgery or not, was all about himself and couldn't play "D" on my great grandmother. I'm just glad the darkest years of this decade are gone when Langford was needed most. Hit a free throw would ya?

yovoy 8 years ago

yeah. we'd've been better off without that guy. he could shoot the 3, and did. he hit them when we needed them. that's what "real players" do. yeah, it seems like he charged pretty often. he really did. more often though, he'd slip around people and NOT charge. it took a bs call vs. ga tech for them to beat us in the elite 8, when he was a junior. lots of people kept us in it, he was one of them. it seems that his selfishness kept/saved us in the rematch, like his play kept us in lots of other games. 16 in the second half of the ga tech game, and NO one hit too many freethrows that game. langford didn't miss ONE (0-0, weird) and had one foul (probably a charge).

look at #8, seems like i'm not the only one:

http://m.kansan.com/stories/2007/oct/30/breckunitch_2000s_best_basketball_games/

then this:

he was doing it as a frosh as well:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1310&dat=20020323&id=9HkVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yesDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6823,6076163

this article seems to contradict what you're saying:

http://www.1800-sports.com/2004-ncaa-basketball-elite-8.shtml

there are lots more where those came from.

btw - your great-gran must have some serious handles. i didn't say he was great defender. i said he was decent considering who his coach was (before ourSelf), w/ the previous coach, he wasn't expected to play much d. he couldn't play the type of d that would please ourSelf after the surgery. he could score the ball, so he had to be on the floor. which leads to:

the darkest years of this decade?! oh, you must've loved having one of the most-storied programs having to play with glorified walk-ons (and sometimes plain-old walkons), due to a coach that was under some sort of mandate from his handler about recruiting. langford and simien were leftovers of what would pass for a "decent" recruiting class when ourSelf took over. both were great players in college. that said, who else "deserved" to be "about himself"? who else would YOU want (besides simien) trying to score, a senior that's been through the fire, or someone like giddens? the only thing i've ever held against ourSelf is that he didn't sit moon-bar-man down when he should've. these days our coach could put almost anyone in, and not fall-off much. he didn't really have that luxury when he got here. langford was a more than reasonable and effective player considering what we had.

langford did what he could. period.

you don't like his game? fine, but you make it sound like he was a liability. you are wrong.

jaybate 8 years ago

yovoy,

I liked Keith, too. I always thought that Keith was the first example of a big time player that Self asked to sacrifice the main strength of his game for the good of the team. Add in Keith's nagging injury and I think it is clear why he was not as stellar for Self, as for Roy. Roy needed him to handle a very small roll on a very talented team and he looked wonderful doing it, because Keith was so athletic.

But when Self sized up the left overs when Roy departed in the night, Self made the kind of assessment that has grown familiar each year since. Self is a hard boiled pragmatist, who believes you've got to get stops and then get the ball in the guys hands of one or two guys with the match-up advantages.

Self knew he needed a perimeter stopper and a helper on defense and he knew Keith was going to have to be that man, even though his rep was as an offender. The roster did not include another fellow that could do it. Self knew that job was going to take up most of Keith's juices, because Keith was not a prison body. In some regards, Brady found himself in the same position last year, especially after Little's injury did not heal. Offenders re-directed to be defenders and glue men are always a let down for fans, no matter how well the perform, because fans love scoring and cannot bring themselves to value the glue man and his stops, as highly as a flashy wing scorer that doesn't haven't to do much else. Even as great as Brandon Rush was, people were constantly underrating his contribution, because he was not ringing the bell constantly on offense...because he was doing the unglamous three duty that Self's defense and offense requires.

Keith's offense was necessarily going to suffer. Keith was really a glue guy who could also get 12 for Self pretty much any night. His job was to cover up the defensive weaknesses of a lot of teammates and let Simien make the impact plays on offense. Because Keith was a heck of an athlete, he could also put the ball on the deck and make a difference. But the streakiness of his trey made opponents lay off him to stop his driving. Then is nagging knee injury took away from both his jumps to get up on his j and to make the explosive first step that he started out with.

I think Keith did a darned good job in the role Self placed him in, especially considering he had to change his game quite a bit to be the player Self needed.

Any coach can ask a lesser player to play roles and be glue.

Self is about the only HC I have seen that routinely asks some of his best players to play the glue role at the three...and gets them to do so. It is I believe why Self can continually build good teams with big variations in kinds and amounts of talent available.

yovoy 8 years ago

jb, well put. i still don't think langford's game suffered THAT much, because i don't think his job changed that much. if he'd been on a super-talented team, it might've had to change more, but we still needed his buckets. he was always a good rebounding guard, he was a good help-side defender (most of the time, but i can remember him getting dogged in help situations more than he should've had to), came up with loose balls (but didn't seem to like that kinda contact too much, to be honest), and made shots, so addition by a little subtraction wasn't that big a deal for him physically. it might've hurt his ego a bit, and maybe that's what shaw is talking about. if you look back at his first couple of years his "small role" w/ the previous coach stands out because he made so many memorable plays on a team that was decently loaded by ku standards of that day.

you are correct in your assessment of fans and their lack of depth in seeing that there are often a bunch of glue guys. our nc team had a bunch of really talented glue guys. i don't know how many different game-high scorers we had that season, but i'd guess about 8 or 9. that's glue, that's talent, that's coaching: that's TEAM. nice point on what ourSelf pursuaded rush to do, but having coached against him, i wouldn't say that it was a "hard sell". when he was younger, he was passive and unselfish to a fault. those traits were in him before he got here, and they served us all very well.

as for teams laying off of langfor, i saw it, and he made them regret it most of the time. he wasn't a great shooter of the 3-ball, but he hit them when they count. he'd hit a 2 when we needed it. how many game-winners did he have? k-freeze was called that for a reason. btw, i noticed that teams would do that to russrob, and he made a couple of them pay. i just don't know what more langford could've done to satisfy shaw. i've been shouted down on here for wanting and expecting more consistency from a certain guard, then bashed for stating what an asset langford was to ku. langford did more than his share of helping win games here. he was a proven player, we should remember that when we see banners in afh that he had a hand in hanging there. i believe that had he not been here we'd have 1 or 2 years less hanging up there than we do.

back to the original point: if wooly bully can give us some langford play as a youngster or oldster, he and we should be more than good as a team. we should also be more than good as fans: we should be happy.

sheesh.

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