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Friday, January 23, 2009

Little poses new threat

Kansas forward Mario Little swings around Texas A&M guard Derrick Roland for a bucket during the first half Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Mario Little swings around Texas A&M guard Derrick Roland for a bucket during the first half Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Mario Little’s career-high 15-point scoring outburst against Texas A&M; may have given Kansas University’s future basketball opponents something to think about.

“After that game, I probably would be on somebody’s scouting report. I know I haven’t been on anybody’s scouting report (before Monday’s 73-53 victory in Allen Fieldhouse),” Little said Thursday.

The 6-foot-5 transfer from Chipola (Fla.) College hit all six of his floor shots against the Aggies — three mid-range jumpers, two layups and one three-pointer. He also made two free throws in two tries.

Prior to that breakout performance, Little had scored 11 points in his first five games as a Jayhawk combined.

His emergence — all those points came in 14 minutes — might open things up offensively for his teammates.

“It probably relieves some pressure from our entire team that we have another piece we can put in there,” KU coach Bill Self said. “If somebody is struggling, like with last year’s team we can put somebody else in. It increases our depth a lot.”

Little — who still feels soreness from the stress fracture in his lower left leg — has shown off his trademark mid-range game in two of six games. Little had eight points off 4-of-6 shooting against Kansas State.

“I believe he shoots it better than what I thought,” Self said of Little’s mid-range jumper. “He has a nice stroke, and it is soft. The strength of his game is still one, two bounces and get the shot off. He’s a pretty good passer, too.”

Little has been exhibiting a mid-range game since his days at Chicago’s Washington High.

“It’s a shot I know I can make, probably nine times out of 10,” Little said of the high elevated jumper and the turnaround.

Did he copy his turnaround from his idol, Michael Jordan?

“Basically, yes,” Little said. “I always watched Hakeem Olajuwon. He had a nice one, too.”

Little’s mid-range game helped him become the top-ranked juco player in the country last year.

“I call it his ‘deadeye, darteye’ from mid-range," Chipola College coach Greg Heiar said of the turnaround shot. “He elevates so high and fades, there’s nothing you (defender) can do about it. He idolizes Jordan. It looks just like Jordan’s.”

Of course Little will elevate higher when his left leg is 100 percent healed.

“He could have played more minutes the other night,” Self said. “The thing that has kept him from increasing minutes is his conditioning is not great right now. It’s not bad. He can be a 20-minute guy real soon if he continues to play well.”

Self is looking forward to watching Little’s rare mid-range game in action the rest of this season and next.

“A lot of guys want to shoot the three or get all the way to the basket. He kind of has an old-school game,” Self said. “There are a lot more three-point shooters than mid-range players now.”

“It’s just another weapon to use on offense,” Little said.

KU will meet Iowa State at 1 p.m. Saturday at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

lMore on Wall: At Thursday’s weekly news conference, KU coach Self was again asked about his brief conversation with top high school senior point guard prospect John Wall outside the winner’s locker room at last week’s Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo.

A reporter asked Self in general about college coaches engaging in a “bump” with recruits during periods where no contact is allowed.

“When you use the word ‘bump’ in generic terms, you think of doing something that is not right. A cordial greeting to me is not a bump,” Self said.

“If somebody walks up to you, puts their hand out to shake your hand, I don’t know if anybody I know would say, ‘I can’t talk to you,’ and leave it totally at that. You may say, ‘I hope you have a good day,’’’ added Self, who according to the Springfield, Mo., News-Leader told Wall “good game” in what amounted to about a 10-second exchange.

“Is that more than a cordial greeting? I would be guilty of this again — even though I’d have to watch myself — if that was wrong because I’d have a hard time if someone approached me and not at least greet them back, especially someone you have a relationship with. You are not allowed to carry on further.

“When I hear the term ‘bump,’ I think of a coach putting himself in a position to gain an advantage. Things can happen inadvertently that give the appearance something is going on. There’s nothing going on with that. No kids are picking schools based on a ‘bump,’” Self added.

Self said, “No coach should ever stand up here and minimize the NCAA rulebook. I will not do that.”

Of the issue, he said: “This thing has gotten a little more play than a lot of situations have, or maybe more than it’s deserved, because we had success last year and are a little more visible now,” he said.

lRecruiting: Self on Wednesday made a recruiting trip to Hutchinson to scout Hutchinson CC shooting guard Darius Johnson-Odom.

“Kansas is one of the schools recruiting me right now. They just started showing interest in me recently,” the 6-foot-2 Johnson-Odom told Rivals.com.

Johnson-Odom, who also is being recruited by Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Western Kentucky, West Virginia and others, averages 22.5 points and 6.6 boards a game.

Comments

Lance Hobson 10 years, 12 months ago

It will be interesting to see how Little does on Saturday. He's had another five days of rest and hopefully that leg is getting close to 100 percent. He could be the key to us finally winning a tough road game.We have all been sticking up for Self on this silly Wall issue, but let's be honest - that meeting was not an accident. I just hope it worked...

Robert Brock 10 years, 12 months ago

Wall went out of his way to talk to Self. Doesn't matter...Wall is going to go where his AAU coach (Dwon Clifton) is waiting. Wall will be a Baylor Bear.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 12 months ago

It is so nice to have the 3rd experienced scorer on the team. TT and the twins have lots of talent, but it is nice to be able to let them play that much more of a supporting role vs. counting on them to lead.Meeting Wall is not wrong even if it isn't an "accident". It just can't be more than a greeting, which it wasn't. I think he is waiting to see if Sherron leaves early, but am realizing more and more that it could be wonderful to have both of them on the court at the same time. Coach is having TT & even Brdy bring the ball upcourt quite a bit, thereby allowing Sherron to be free and rested for scoring and when he is needed even more. Wall & Collins starting with TT first off the bench, and Elijah being the '07/'08 "Cole" of the backcourt (?Tyrone?). Then there is Mario, Marcus, Tyrel, Brady, and Travis trying to find minutes at the 3? Then there is Cole & Withey, Markiefff, Robinson & Q. Goodness.

Timmay97 10 years, 12 months ago

I agree with dagger.......Wall's decision is going to be completely different if Sherron heads to the NBA. The minutes are GUARANTEED to Wall then. As I have stated in the past.....if Sherron goes, then you still have your three guard rotation that Self loves.....Taylor, Wall and Johnson. It's going ot be interesting to see what Self does with Morningstar and Reed then. Morningstar will continue to play lots of minutes because his defense is too good. I'm not quite sure about Reed. It is frightening how stacked this team is with talent. I find it hard to believe that you won't see SOMEONE transfer. The leading candidates to me would be Relefofd and Thomas. I just don't see where they fit in to the rotation.

KUPROUD 10 years, 12 months ago

dagger, you pointed out the wonderful dilema of the rich getting richer. I guess that's why Coach gets the big bucks, getting so many good pieces and then figuring out how to put them together to make a championship team. Last year showed he can do it, and with a little luck it will happen again very soon. It's good to be a jayhawk.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

Recruiting Hutchinson CC shooting guard Darius Johnson-Odom...Self seems determined to get a date with a second SG (Elijah being the first) no matter how many no's he hears at the dance. It also looks like Self doubts either Wall or Stephenson will be that date.Questing after another SG, means Self wants to go 3 deep at SG: Tyrell, Elijah, and now Darius Johnson-Odom.It also means Brady is likely to stay at the 3 and split with Little, rather than move to the 2.Finally, his lack of interest in landing another PG suggests either Sherron is staying--doubtful--or Self thinks little used Tyrone Appleton can be an effective PG backup to Tyshawn next year.

Chris Teegarden 10 years, 12 months ago

jaybat correct me if I'm wrong but isn't EJ supposed to be a point?

ku98 10 years, 12 months ago

Both Wall and EJ are typically listed as PGs.

Chris Teegarden 10 years, 12 months ago

I was in no way trying to call out Jaybate or even try to argue w/ him. I was just asking a question and deferring to some one w/ superior knowledge on things such as that. (My own little disclaimer)

barackchalkjhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Seems apparent that while Self would love to have these "one and done" kids, he has a good plan on how to live without them. I stopped doubting him once we cut down the nets in San Antonio. Keep it up Mario!!!

Lance Hobson 10 years, 12 months ago

It's ok to call out Jaybat. However, he does have a valid point about Self's quest for a SG. It's hard to believe how many blue-chippers we've gone after now that have turned us down for that position. I hadn't even considered Wall's decision being based on Sherron leaving or staying. I would think that a guy that good would earn his way into the lineup one way or another.

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

Timmay97: I'm not sure Wall is worried about minutes, whether or not Sherron stays. You nearly kill yourself recruiting him, and then have him backing up Taylor or Johnson? He may be worried about lacking 100% of the attention, but he would be on the floor.I think the best thing KU can do to land Wall right now is to take care of these next three games. Get tuned up. Toughened up. Then go into Waco and blast the best team Baylor has put on the court since 1948, with our total rebuild. And maybe remind him that he'd be playing this game in Lawrence next year.It may not be the deciding blow, but it would sure have to make him think.By the way, am I the only one who believes there should be an investigation into the Baylor program? I mean it was only 3 years ago that Baylor shed their non-conference ban, and the horrific scandal that preceded it. I thought it would be the death of the program, and they couldn't land a single recruit even before that. Now all of the sudden they're landing NBA talent? Recruiting top 5 classes? Something stinks in Waco, and it ain't Mount Carmel.Honestly, I give Scott Drew all the credit in the world, but this is a little ridiculous. I mean what is he giving these kids, candy? Jaybate, could you gaze in your chalice and find me a logical reason other than that Drew is just that darn charming?

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

Aside. Has anybody heard from Decade? I kind of miss his angry tirades.His disappearance, strangely, seems perfectly timed with the filming of Gran Torino. Perhaps we'll next see him at the Academy Awards."Get off my lawn"!!

Fred Davis 10 years, 12 months ago

Self's looking for a SG because this team badly needs one - and I've been hollering about this all year - this team is woefully lacking automatic offense outside Sherron and Cole - and with the Big Guy, that has to be fed to him, so he's at the mercy of others - but that's not to say our guards haven't done a pretty solid job of getting him his touches for the most part....Self knows next year that if Sherron and Cole stay - this team is contending for another title - that simple... The frosh will be a year better, but there will still be a void at the two spot... Self loves guards - he's had oodles of them everywhere he's been - and you put a solid SG with what will be a loaded team next year - plus a healthy Mario Little - two titles in three years and a Big 12 North Title in Football? It'll be like 2008 all over again....

justanotherfan 10 years, 12 months ago

I think Scott Drew has handled the situation brilliantly at Baylor. He came into a situation where his cupboard was basically empty, so he had an entire season to go out and recruit tons of guys to offer scholarships. Also, Drew endured three awful years at Baylor (8-21, 9-19, 4-13) before getting to a respectable 15-16 in his fourth year. With all of that time to recruit Texas (which has become a hotbed of sorts in basketball recruiting) he finally pieced together a team that was competitive last year. Check out their roster this year. There are 9 Texas kids, 2 Louisiana kids, a kid from Senegal and a kid from California. Look at their top guys - Jerrells, a Texas kid ranked 101 by Rivals as a high school senior. Went to Baylor because he could play immediately. Now he's one of the best guards in the Big 12. Dunn, a Louisiana kid, highest signee in school history, still rated only 45 by Rivals in his class. Just as a note, we typically sign two or even three guys in the top 50 every year. Baylor has signed one in their history. Dugat, another Texas kid, rated 74 by Rivals coming out of high school. Rogers, a teammate of Darrell Arthur in high school, rated 54 by Rivals out of high school. Carter, the other Louisianan on the team, rated 91 by Rivals. Acy, another Texan, rated 80 by Rivals. That's everybody that plays more than 15 minutes a night for them. No amazing signees, really. Look at where the signees in those ranges this year are going. 45 - Oklahoma State (also offered by Seton Hall, Cincinnati, USC, Virginia, others)54 - Oklahoma State (offered by TCU, Mississippi State, Missouri)74 - Auburn (offered by Cincinnati, LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Xavier)80 - Gonzaga (Rivals shows no other offers)91 - K-State (Miami, Pitt, Wake Forest, George Mason, Clemson)101 - unsigned (considering mostly ACC and Big East schools)Iowa State signed the 102 player. San Diego State signed the 76 player. Oregon State signed the 72 player. Charlotte signed the 78 player. Once you get down into this range, guys often go where they think they can play sooner. At Baylor, Scott Drew had that opportunity because he didn't have ANY players when he arrived. So he went out and recruited guys that were the third or fourth or fifth choice for KU or UCLA or UNC or Texas as his #1 choice. I think that swayed kids. It doesn't hurt that #101 Curtis Jerrells turns into an all-conference guard even though few big time schools wanted him. Basically what I'm saying is I think what Scott Drew has done is within the rules. Even if he lands Wall, he is doing nothing differently than what other schools have done to land elite players, and Wall would be the first truly elite prospect at Baylor in his tenure.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

firket2000,My recollection is that the Prophet Elijah is this super athletic 6'2" Vegas SG that could play some point, but is characterized more as a combo. Some one finish on me, if I am wrong. :-)

rockchalks7 10 years, 12 months ago

ku just received another 4 star safety commit from ohio. Mangino really loading up on DBs. Brad Mcdougal. said to be the second best ball hawking safety and 11th overall in the class. i'd say our team speed definetly will be up to par after this class gets few years in. I know this basketball article but just had to throw that out there. my stomach was flippin last night when i heard he had committed because i thought ku had no chance. Hope it happens again next week with Wingo.

kuballa09 10 years, 12 months ago

Is that 4 star for sure? I saw it yesterday on rivals but haven't seen anything today and Rivals appears to have taken it off their site and he's listed as a "medium" interest in KU, not committed. Whats goin on with this

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 12 months ago

Remember, it was a last minute dream that kept Darrel Arthur from going to Baylor.

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

justanother: Well played. Great info.And if you're right, and it's on the up and up, I'd have to say Drew is hands down COTY. You obviously have to include recruiting prowess into that award. And if they land Wall, they will have four starters next year that average a 45 rivals ranking, including numero uno.Considering it's Baylor, it has to be one of the biggest "legal" prospect heists in NCAA history. But if the timing was the crucial component to providing "playing time", will he be able to continue pilfering this level of talent to Baylor in the future? Or will he take his success and ride it to an elite program? Tom Crean got his dream job. Scott was born in KC and raised in Indiana, maybe he goes in between and resurrects Iowa St. Or better yet, he gets a chance at MU and the old rival becomes a legit threat again. I would love to re-ignite the border war on the court. KU and MU battling for number one in the country in AFH? Stewart was like 33-43 vs. KU over almost 40 years. Those were great games. They're only 5-15 since. Bring in Drew. Heat it up.

100 10 years, 12 months ago

Glad Little is finally getting the respect he deserves... Wait until he can EXPLODE again off his leg -- he is so good I don't think many KU fans have any idea how good he really is...Next year's 2010 national champion starting lineup will be the best in the history of college basketball, better than the '82 Tar Heels or mid '90's UNLV team...April 2008 Starters: Aldrich, Withey, Little, Collins, Taylor (or Wall would take Taylor's spot if Wall chooses a championship ring over Baylor)

RyanHawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Johnson is listed as a PG by rivals.com and a SG by scout.com. From what I have read about him is that he plays point because he is the best player on the team but can really shoot the ball like a shooting guard. Self loves to get quick guards who can defend both positions and that can handle the ball as the point but are also great shooters.Illinois-Dee Brown & Luther Head & Deron WilliamsKansas-Robinson & Chalmers & CollinsNext Year-Johnson & Taylor & Collins? & Wall?

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Okay, I have to provide a little insight on this PG/SG stuff going on. Jaybate, you are exactly right about Elijah Johnson. He is considered a Combo/Slashing guard, that could potentially play the point guard. Many compare Tyshawn Taylor to Mario Chalmers, but I would compare Elijah Johnson more to a Mario Chalmers type, but just a bit "Bigger" and a little more "Chistled". If we all remember out of Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers, and Sherron Collins, Collins was the only true point guard out of the bunch. Yes, Chalmers was listed as a PG coming out of High School, but if were all being completely honest, he really didn't have the handles everyone thought he had (At that time during his Freshman Year when he arrived at KU). That is why Russell started transitioning and playing the point guard postion. I think Tyshawn Taylor is an HGH version of Russell Robinson and could potentially be taking the same path as Russell did, albeit two years quicker. Just something to ponder: Would you rather have Collins or John Wall? I also agree with "Most" that I think Wall is waiting to see what Collins does. If Collins leaves and Wall becomes a Jayhawk, KU Wins! If Collins stays and Wall goes elsewhere, KU wins! If Collins leaves and Wall goes elsewhere, IMHO KU still wins because that forces Elijah Johnson to prove he is one of the top PG/SG's in the nation. If Collins does leave, I could see that Self would want to start Taylor, Johnson, and Wall in the same line-up! One last thing to ponder:Ty Lawson or Sherron Collins: I've seen most draft boards and they still have Ty Lawson as a Mid-First rounder and If I was an NBA GM, I wouldn't touch that kid to save my life. He is a poor man's Raymond Felton and Felton is terrible IMHO. Ty Lawson also has virtually "NO STROKE". Yes, he is as quick as lightening, but he couldn't hit my TV if he stood two feet in front of it. Sherron isn't quite as quick, but his outside stroke is fantastic. I've seen every Carolina game and every KU game and it's no comparison. My two cents.

kubball99 10 years, 12 months ago

I may be wrong, but in order to get Wall, isn't Self banking on the fact that either Sherron or Cole will go pro? My understanding is that we are out of scholarships (unless Brady decides to give up his, which I can certainly see happening). Obviously Self knows something we don't.I agree that this team would be loaded with talent if Self was able to land Wall. Timmay97 has is right; someone is going to transfer. With Wall coming in, I see Releford, Appleton, or Thomas transferring due to playing time. At the beginning of this year I would have included Morningstar but he has proved he can compete on the D-1 level and provide valuable minutes on a very young team. Even without Wall, I think there is a good chance Thomas will transfer with the signing of Whitney and Robinson. Self likes guards and I can certainly see Wall fitting in very well with Self's scheme.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

KUbball: I know back in the day Morningstar's Dad said something to the effect of Brady giving up his scholarship (I do not know how it was exactly put) to help out the betterment of KU Basketball, but I think we're all getting a little too far-fetched with that idea. I mean, to my recollection that statement happened back sometime when Brady was going through Prep School or possibly even before when KU had tabs on him. LONG-TIME AGO! We all agree that Brady has earned that Schollie, but I don't think Self would ask him to give it up going forward. If, to your second point, Releford ( I don't see it happening), Appleton (See it happening), or Thomas (Don't see it happening) transfer then that means you don't have to ask someone to give up a Schollie (Brady's Case). I also don't get why people say "He has proved he can play at the D-I Level". Most of the kids on the "Scout" team and "Walk-Ons" could play at many different schools considered D-I. There are over 340 schools now in Division-I, but those kids wanted to be a part of "KU". I just get irritated at that when people say "Well, he has now proved he can play D-1". I think Brady, and everybody else on last years "Scout" team proved they could play D-1 by playing against the 2008 National Champs every-day.

ku98 10 years, 12 months ago

100, ol' buddy ol' pal, the mid-90s UNLV teams sucked... You must be referring to the 90 and 91 Running Rebels, led by Larry Johnson.

Jeremy LeMaster 10 years, 12 months ago

If we end up with 3 of the four (Taylor and EJ and either Collins or Wall) we will have a three guard rotation similar to last year but trading out a BRush for another combo guard. I cannot believe that Wall is waiting to see what Collins does (maybe you are right though). He is rated number one in his class and many compare him to Derrick Rose. He seems to have that determination to be the best. He studies those he is compared to and figures out what they have done and what he can do better (yes I read the story on him). If that is the case and he is truly a one and done caliber... we will find him on the court. Just because he can be one and done does not mean that he will be. EJ is going to be a special player. Taylor is already showing he will be very good player for several years. You add wall to this and our rotation will be amazing with Little of the bench for one year and Brady then Reed.... geeez. You keep Collins in this mix another year and watch out. Then you look at the bigs... Cole likely should stay around one more year... hopefully he wants to stay around for 2 and enjoy college since you never get to come back to this. The twins and Cole with Thomas Robinson... good gawd.PS on Bradley McDougald... on Rivals he lists KU as his only interest but do not have him giving them an Oral Commitment yet. KU football and Baylor basketball are similar. Mangino and Scott Drew can assess talent... look at Reesing and Briscoe.. Talib.. .Anthony Collins. I cannot remember the last time we had a top 100 player out of High School... surely hasn't been in the last 7 or 8 years. Yet we won an Orange Bowl and are steadily becoming more consistent with a winning tradition.

100 10 years, 12 months ago

Ku98, correction accepted. I don't remember the year, but somehow we played in the championship game against Duke b/c that great UNLV team was upset back when coach K was not an aging pale, uglier version of Michaelangelo's David statue, who, back then, WAS (Coach K) a decent recruiter/ coach.As for all the other posts -- of course we'll lose a player or two. Take your pick -- look at minutes in the box score. If it says zero, you have a 25% chance to guess correctly. Here's the bare bones of it -- Collins and Aldrich are smart enough to see the history (and lottery pick statuus) unfolding before their eyes if they stay to win another ring in 2010.2010 National Champion Starters:Aldrich, Withey, Little, Collins, Taylor (or Wall if he decides to grab a championship before the NBA)

ku98 10 years, 12 months ago

100, that year was 1991... UNLV, (with LJ, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, etc..) was undefeated until losing in the semi finals to Duke... Rematch of the 1990 finals when UNLV killed Duke 103-73.

100 10 years, 12 months ago

Thanks ku98. Next year's KU team would SQUASH that undisiplined UNLV team. Player per player for sure. Coach for Coach undoubtedly.In case any new readers have missed it here are your 2010 starting champions... This is hands down the best starting 5 in history of college basketball:Aldrich, Withey, Little, Collins, Taylor (or Wall)

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

100 you're silly. I'll take the '96-'97 Hawks.Paul PierceRaef LaFrentzJacque VaughnScott PollardJerod HaaseBilly ThomasOf those six, five played in the NBA. Four still do. And it includes the reining Finals MVP.Hell, I'll even take last year's NBA windfall.But I'll agree, that lineup sounds pretty good if you plug in Wall without losing Collins. Bring Morningstar as the six. And go seriously deep down the bench with Taylor, MckTwins, Robinson and Johnson. But you must be playing with the "all time" stuff.

JayhawkPhil64 10 years, 12 months ago

It's been fun watching ku98 and 100 converse on these posts but the last one kind of went over the top. It is pretty unlikely Collins or Wall will be on the team next year and we have little idea how Withey will turn out. Hopefully Aldrich will still be here. It is to early to tell but a more realistic starting line up will beAldrichRobinsonLittleTayloreither Johnson or Morningstar.That also is a pretty good lineup withMorris Twins(if they're still here) or Withey coming off the bench for the postsReleford coming off the bench for LittleReed and probably some other new guy providing depth at the guardthat leaves Thomas and Appleton as the odd men out but unlike many posters, if they want to stay, I hope Self doesn't run them off like Larry Brown used to do.

JayhawkPhil64 10 years, 12 months ago

Good point KGPHOTO, there is something about those teams in years that end in 6. I liked the '96 team also but I liked the '66 and '86 teams even better. I think these three plus the '88, 2002 and 2003 teams would have given last years championship team a run for their money in a 5 or 7 game series.

Dale Kroening 10 years, 12 months ago

A few points on whats been said. Id be VERY surprised to see Withey and Cole starting together. HCBS may have them on the floor the same time but I see Robinson starting next year at the 4. Unless Collins gets REALLY REALLY hot and cuts his turnovers WAY down he is not going anywhere. He is hardly listed in ANY mock drafts and those that he is listed, they have him as a high 2nd round pick. He is not going anywhere.He will be much better served to come back for his senior year. I worry more about Cole leaving than Sherron. As far as transfers Releford wont leave and Id be really surprised if Thomas leaves.Both have admitted to being frustrated about playing time,but both have also admitted not doing enough in practice or games to warrant more playing time. Now Appleton thats a different story. Once we signed Taylor and he showed his ability TA minutes were gone. I think with all the pub, Wall doesnt sign here. No matter we will be fine. Just my 2 cents.

jasonsgill 10 years, 12 months ago

I've said this before during 'recruiting season' before, and the ire rises in me again: THIS year's team is awesome, this year's team has all the talent and potential I could ask for. Maybe you guys just dream of things, polished; but I love to see the tarnish rubbed of game by game, the beauty revealed.

kubball99 10 years, 12 months ago

kushaw:My comment about Morningstar wasn't to discount his ability by any means. I don't think there were many people (mistakenly and including myself) that thought he could be a major contributer at KU. When you look at the level of talent Self has typically been able to produce at KU, you wouldn't have included Morningstar with the likes of Chalmers, Robinson, Collins, Wright, or Arthur. Morningstar's start at KU reminds me somewhat of the way Darnell started at KU. My comment about "D-1" was more in reference to his ability to play at the major college level; schools like KU, UNC, UCLA, etc... My "D-1" reference was misplaced.

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

..."I love to see the tarnish rubbed off game by game, the beauty revealed."Love it jasongill!Thanks for the perspective. I am easily lured by these blogs. Lured into worrying about tomorrow instead of enjoying today. I love this team. I love watching them develop. Seeing Little breakout. Seeing them learn to play together. Writing their own story.Watching Self mold the kids he recruited. Using his basketball tools to carve a niche in KU basketball lore. It's much more enjoyable with jasongil's outlook.You're right jasongil. This team is great, and has a chance to be special. Why ruin that with meaningless speculation about tomorrow? With that, I'm done with next year, until next year.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

KGjpegfile,JAF seems to have it right. Its tough to argue with sound logic, though no lawyer ever let doing so keep him from a fee. :-)When you think about Drew, remember that Self put pretty fair talent on the floor at Tulsa, though perhaps he inherited more of it. Regardless, he won something like 30 games and went deep in the Madness.Good recruiters, ones who also know the game, can find quite a lot of talent in the cracks and fit it into a very competitive team without having to cheat for it, but there are few good recruiters who also know the game.Drew appears to be one.People also forget that Gillispie turned aTm into a respectable basketball school and that was nothing short of a biblical miracle; certainly just as big of one as Drew doing it at Wacko-Waco. Have you been to College Station? It makes Manhattan, KS look like Florence, Italy.On the other hand, there have been so many cases where marginal teams turn into major competitors for brief periods, only to be exposed for massive cheating, that one cannot help but cock an eyebrow at Baylor (or aTm) becoming a good team. Note that even the great (though despicable) Bob Knight could not turn the corner at TTech. Why then could Gillispie and Drew at aTm and Baylor?I think the answer goes something like this: certain coaches can recruit from almost anywhere because of high emotional IQ and charisma. Conversely, certain coaches can recruit and win big only if they are in programs that make it easy for them to recruit to. Such coaches with big winning numbers and long careers do most of their winning at major programs and probably could not do the same out in the ORUs and Tulsas and Baylors and aTms.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

Bob Knight started at Army, where he did not even have to recruit, but jumped quickly to IU, a once great program that had become uneven, but which was easy to recruit to from the basketball hotbeds of Indiana and surrounding states, even for a boorish misanthrope like Knight. Knight was a great coach, but he couldn't have recruited his way out of a paper bag in any out of the way place for most of his career. He really couldn't recruit competitively at TTech, even when he was a legend. Bob Knight lucked out landing at IU. Had he lit at any lesser school and we might not even know who Bob Knight is now. Ted Owens lucked out and started head coaching at KU. He won a lot of games, because he could pull in quite a few guys just because it was KU. But he couldn't sustain it and when he got bounced, he confirmed his inadequate bona fides by failing to turn ORU around.Interestingly, Jim Boeheim and Roy Williams, two widely respected coaches, may fall into this category also. Both got their starts at big time programs. Both never had to rebuild. They just had to reload. I would bet every cent I have that Jim Boeheim would not even be in coaching now, if he had had to work his way up through the ORUs and Tulsas. Syracuse gets him his talent. He coasts on it. As with Ted Owens, it is fair to say that Jimmy B has squandered more talent than most coaches will ever have. Winning one lousy ring in 32 years of a steady stream of some of the best talent on the east coast is simply winning a ring on a random walk. It is not a sign of an accomplished coach. Don Haskins of UTEP probably would have won five rings with the same talent.And what about Roy? Mr. I've got more want to in my little finger than all the fans in the state of Kansas together. How would a little nobody from East Carolina have done had he had to go out and drag'em in at ORU and Tulsa for 5-10 years before making it to KU or UNC?

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

Well, ol Roy, much as I like and admire his offensive game, has systematically shown that he cannot beat people with more talent than he has and that 2 out of 10 times he can lose to persons with the same or less. Think about that.Could a guy who has to have the best horses to win ever survive and advance in the mid majors?Roy never coached a game anywhere but at an elite program. He ought to have an 80 percent winning record. In support of the point, Bill Self is winning at about the same rate that Roy did (and has won a ring) the moment he had KU on his letter head.Now I'm not saying Roy and Bill aren't great coaches, and that KU letterhead means everything. I'm saying that Ted Owens proves a modestly talented coach can win pretty big at KU and that top motivators and X and O guys can win huge at KU. And I'm also saying that Bill Self proved he could win at low majors, mid majors and Roy never did. Finally, I'm saying, you send Roy to Texas Tech and he wouldn't do a lick better than Bob Knight did. But you send Bill Self to Lubbock and he'll turn the program around.Scott Drew seems cut from the Bill Self mold. Some elite program is probably going to gobble him up shortly.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate, KUshaw, 100, Lebowski, KUPROUD, Strikeswo, drrnslayr, BleedCanB, KUStrong,LAJayhawk, ralster..I did a little back-checking and it appears this group contributes over 50% of the posts on this site. My apologies to others but these names kept popping up.It occurred to me that the reason to participate as we do goes beyond love of the sport and passion for our school. Every post is a microscopic slice of immortality. Sure, we all have family and friends and co-workers and maybe even enemies, but on this site our personalities and culture are represented by our thoughts, maybe the purest form of communication.Most likely we will never meet, know each others names or communicate in any other way {Unless Wall comes to KU and I have to buy all of you a beer at the Wheel as promised in a previous post]. However, each poster begins to generate their own personality. Think of each of us as a tree in the forest. Does anyone hear us when we fall?? Is anybody out there?[also a mediocre movie filmed in Lawrence in the mid-eighties...not one of John Lithgow's better efforts]. There is a certain measure of satisfaction when an idea is at least recognized.The uniqueness of this site is the range of topics and the multitude of clever ways they are presented by the posters. Remember the recent self-proclaimed "hack writer" from LA who was blown away by the quality of the postings here. Being relatively new to this site [still learning about this dad-gummed new fangled instrument called the internet], I am impressed with the scope of insights given daily. I hope someone from LJW is scanning these responses, because the bar is set high. Anyway, I'll climb off the soap box, predict a challenging afternioon but KU will eventually prevail over the 'Clones!!

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