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Monday, January 19, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

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A&M;’s slate rugged

The Big 12 schedule-makers did Texas A&M; coach Mark Turgeon no favors this season. The Aggies (15-3), who were picked to finish fifth in the preseason league coaches poll, play their first five games against five teams picked to finish in the top half of the Big 12, with three of the games on the road.

A&M;, which beat Arizona, Alabama and LSU in nonconference play, dropped its league opener at Oklahoma State (72-61), then defeated Baylor (84-73) at home, before losing to Oklahoma (69-63) on Saturday in College Station. A&M; plays KU tonight, then travels to Texas on Saturday.

Ouch.

No other team in Big 12 history has had to play every team in the top half of the preseason coaches poll in its first five games.

“As a coach, you’re hoping that you’re going to turn it on and play well,” Turgeon told the Bryan-College Station Eagle before the start of league play. “We are a veteran team (with senior Josh Carter and four juniors including point guard Donald Sloan), but a lot are playing new roles. They have seen (Big 12), witnessed it and been through it, so that will help.”

OU game revisited

Texas A&M; held OU standout Blake Griffin to 16 points and six rebounds in Saturday’s 69-63 loss to the Sooners in College Station. The Sooners’ Austin Johnson scored 19 points with seven assists, four rebounds and two blocks.

“He (Griffin) still dictated the whole game because he knows how to play,” Turgeon told the Eagle. “That one hurts. I thought my kids never stopped trying. We made a few runs at them. Bottom line is, they have a heck of player in Blake Griffin. When you double him, he opens everybody else up.”

A&M; junior pivot Chinemelu Elonu, who entered with three straight double-doubles, had seven points and five boards in 25 minutes.

“Junior's been carrying us, scoring down there for us, rebounding for us,” Turgeon told the Eagle.

Last visitor to win here

The Aggies were the last team to win in Allen Fieldhouse — 69-66 on Feb. 3, 2007. KU entered the game ranked No. 6 in the country, A&M; No. 10. A&M; trailed by 10 with 61⁄2 minutes left.

Acie Law IV (23 points) hit a three with :20 left to give A&M; the lead for good. Carter started as a sophomore in that game and scored 11 points. Sloan (four points, two assists) and Bryan Davis (four points, four rebounds) played key roles in the victory as freshmen. Chinemelu Elonu, also a freshman at the time, made a brief appearance but did not score. The Aggies are the only Big 12 South division team to win in Lawrence since league play began in 1997.

Series history

Kansas leads the series, 13-1, and has won two straight. Kansas has a 5-1 edge in games played in Lawrence.

Sherron Collins on A&M;

“A&M; is really good. They didn’t lose too many guys from last year. It’ll be a real tough game. We’re going to be at home on Big Monday. Our crowd will be there to support us. It won’t be a walk in the park, though.”

Collins played 37 minutes in Saturday’s 73-56 victory at Colorado.

“I’m all right with it, all the minutes. I’m healthy, nothing’s wrong with me. Nothing’s dinged. I’m fine,” Collins said.

Busy day/night

KU coach Bill Self had a busy Saturday. He coached the Jayhawks in Boulder, Colo., then flew to Springfield, Mo., to watch recruit John Wall score 41 points in the title game of the Tournament of Champions Tournament. The 6-foot-4 Wall either scored or assisted on the last 25 points in Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy’s 80-77 victory over Olympia High of Orlando, Fla. Wall is considering KU, Baylor, Memphis, Duke and others.

Comments

litlmikeyb 11 years ago

Scoring/assisting on last 25 points and scoring 41 for the title game... Wow. This guy would be a nice addition for sure. Come to Kansas John Wall! BTW, I don't even understand how Baylor is on the list for this guy...

funkitect 11 years ago

didn't baylor hire Wall's aau coach as an assistant? or something like that? pretty sure that's why baylor is on his list...yes, getting wall would be fantastic. i think all efforts should be on this. what was this i read the other day about self also looking at 2 juco players for 2009? maybe i misread and it was for 2010?

Dyrk Dugan 11 years ago

"what was this i read the other day about self also looking at 2 juco players for 2009? maybe i misread and it was for 2010?"we don't have any more scholarships. if Wall comes, then that means two guys from the current roster would either leave the program or give up the scholly....no way in the world are multiple JUCO guys coming, and not be getting scholarships.Right now, it's either Stephenson or Wall still for next year's class...either would be great. I just want to land a dynamic athlete of some kind...cause right now we really don't have anybody in that mold.

jhawk23 11 years ago

I seem to remember Roger Morningstar saying that he's willing to pay Brady's way if it means that KU can use the scholarship to bring in another player the program needs.Anyone else remember that? Can't remember where I read/heard it.

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

Baylor does a great job of recruiting - they barely missed out on Darell Arthur.

dcmander 11 years ago

^^ That's crazy if it's true. Wow.

Timmay97 11 years ago

I have this funny feeling that we are going to get John Wall.

jayhawkinATL 11 years ago

Yes, I do recall them hiring Wall's AAU coach.

Matt Bowers 11 years ago

Wall's AAU coach was hired at Baylor. Baylor does do a great job of recruiting because they can offer kids serious minutes and a chance to look good on the national stage against teams like KU, Texas, & OU. Plus after the tragedy that took place at Baylor, they have been able to sell the rebuilding thing to recruits. Hopefully Wall will realize that he can drastically improve his NBA stock by coming to Kansas and get serious minutes. The NBA knows that Coach Self and Manning are legit because of the quality players that we are putting out. Most important thing right now is focusing on Texas A&M. Close game against OU. The fieldhouse will be a great 6th man tonight. Rock Chalk

Scott Wood 11 years ago

We are not going to get either Wall or Stephenson. Wall will go to Duke or Baylor (yes they hired his AAU coach) and Stephenson is going to go to St.John's or Europe. We have no shot at Stephenson and a very small chance at getting Wall. Also Roger did say he would pay Brady's tution if need be, which is awsome. Also I have heard that Sherron will likely enter the draft after this year, as might Cole. After doing some research it looks like Cole is a sure fire lottery pick. There are also some whispers that some players might transfer out of the program like Releford (his brother is being recruited by some smaller schools so he moght go play with him) and Thomas is just not good enough to play here and I think he found that out the hard way.

Timmay97 11 years ago

smdub213,It could be that Wall might not come to KU, but he's certainly not going to Duke. I don't believe Duke has been recruiting him as hard as Memphis, KU and Baylor. I could be wrong, but based on what I've read, I don't think Duke even offered him a scholarship yet. By getting Wall, we would end up exactly how we were last year. Two quality starting guards and then a spark plug (Elijah Johnson) off the bench. This is assuming Collins is gone. You would have Wall and Taylor starting and Johnson coming off the bench. If Aldrich leaves, that's a huge loss, but hopefully Withey can help take some of his minutes. The twins are bound to mature. We will need them more next year than ever. It's hard to overlook the future.....we should just be focusing on tonights game. Hopefully, this will be a statement game for KU.

Scott Wood 11 years ago

Timmay, I agree with about next year's team if we got Wall. I might be wrong but I heard Duke is making a late strong push. I would bet that he ends up at Baylor. I don't think he would go to Memphis because he would have to share shots and the publicity with Henry. Tonight is a must win for our young hawks, I just looked and we are favored by 10 points I couldn't believe it. That seems like a lot. Hopefully they know something we don't.

KUFan90 11 years ago

That is amazing we are favored by 10. I would have expected it to be around 3 or 4. This will be a very tough game and a great test. I say 2/3 chance we win.

randysavage 11 years ago

"and Thomas is just not good enough to play here and I think he found that out the hard way."smdub213Quintrell hasn't even had a chance to play this year and you are already passing him off as another Alex Galindo or Micah Downs. The kid is averaging 7 minutes per game and most of his minutes have come against second tier opponents making it hard to truly judge if "he's good enough to play here".I have heard the whispers of Releford leaving...is it lack of playing time? Have his feelings been hurt because he feels that he is head and shoulders above Brady and Tyrel, but those 2 are getting the minutes? The mind boggles....

Dirk Medema 11 years ago

Isn't Baylor close to where Wall's mom lives also?I think the whispers about transfers are on this board for the most part and are centered around some mistaken notion that any recuit will be an immediate contributor versus being develop throughut the collegiate career. Obviously, there are players that make immediate contributions, but many players still need time to develop. Hopefully, having DJ visit will settle some of that notion, and Coach has been trying to work Releford into the game and working with him positively even when he leaves the game. That being said, Self always recruits for the unexpected transfer/early entry and has commented on doing such in the past.

Tony Bandle 11 years ago

Please don't forget about Wall's family situation. His mom is very ill and North Carolina State is an option that family members are pushing because of it's proximity. Also, a possible reason that Duke may be entering as a last minute suitor.Also, Baylor is a private school with a Christian emphasis, something the family cares deeply about plus the added incentive of his AAU coach.I truly believe that strictly from a career standpoint, KU would be John's best choice, however, these are the other factors that will weigh heavily in his decision and hearing rumors, etc. I would venture KU only has a one in four chance of getting him onboard.Too bad because he is a great player, but even more importantly, he is a great young man.

Scott Wood 11 years ago

Oakville, do you know Wall personally?

Greg Lux 11 years ago

We have a 99.9% chance of winning "IF" we do the basics well ... low turnovers... balanced scoring ... Blocking out on the boards... staying out of foolish foul trouble.... taking advantage of what the A&M defense gives us ( meaning not forcing the ball inside when they are packed in on Cole ).. Lastly shooting a good % from 3 and free lines .. Lets play smart tonight guys ... You have the tools .. use them wisely .. Rock Chalk ..

FlaHawk 11 years ago

I am surprised with the buzz about Duke pushing for Wall. Duke has a long history of taking strong academic performers and NO one and done types.I can not think of any Duke player that came our before his Senior season. The can afford to let the one and done's go and focus on 3 and 4 year starters.Coach K runs a great program and he does not have to make exceptions.

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