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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Self praises freshman Thomas’ attitude

Kansas forward Quintrell Thomas spins around Washburn forward Logan Stutz during the second half Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Quintrell Thomas spins around Washburn forward Logan Stutz during the second half Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self singled out an unsung — some might say forgotten — freshman in the winner’s locker room Saturday at Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum.

“Everybody wants to play all the time. I told our guys, ‘This is a great example of a guy keeping a good attitude when obviously it could have gone the other way,’” Self said of power forward Quintrell Thomas.

The 6-foot-7, 240-pound New Jersey native busted a recent streak of inactivity by grabbing four rebounds in seven minutes in the Jayhawks’ 82-67 victory over the Cyclones.

“When his number was called, he responded. Quintrell played very well,” Self said. “Brackins (Craig, 42 points) still scored a couple baskets on him, (but) I thought he defended him well. He rebounded the ball well. He was a good spark for us.”

Thomas — he played seven or more minutes in eight of KU’s first 12 games — had logged nine total minutes in six games since his season-high 15-minute outing versus Albany on Dec. 30.

“Coach had been talking about that a lot recently,” Thomas said of Jayhawk reserves being ready to play at any time. “He brought everybody (together) in the locker room because a lot of people, of course, are not happy with their playing time or whatever. He was like, ‘Everybody keep a good attitude, and your time will come.’’’

Thomas said, “yeah it is” when asked if sometimes it’s tough to keep a positive attitude when sitting.

“Anybody who is used to being a starter and playing all the minutes — everybody that’s here, of course, has been there at some point — is going to have a harder time adjusting to that,” said Thomas. He averaged 14.7 points and 8.5 rebounds his senior year at St. Patrick High in Elizabeth, N.J.

“At first I was really, really frustrated. It’s hard to watch everybody else — real hard. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s coach’s decision. As time went on, I was questioning my role a little more and see(ing) what I had to do. I just stayed kind of patient.”

Thomas and a beloved family member both recently sought out Self’s take on what Quintrell needed to do to earn some minutes.

“He had a conversation with my mother, and I had a conversation with him. He was saying he expects me to be doing a lot more with my body type. I guess he just wants me to come in there and throw people around,” Thomas said with a laugh.

Thomas grinned when asked if he was willing to be KU’s “enforcer.”

“Yeah, whatever it takes,” Thomas said. “Coach had a conversation with us about that earlier. He said we need an enforcer on the team, and nobody has stepped up into that role.

“He was saying Cole (Aldrich) can’t do it because he’s playing a lot of minutes, and then he pointed at his legs, like, ‘he can’t be that enforcer (with thin legs),’’’ Thomas added.

Always-honest Thomas — in his element joking with reporters Monday — admits he hasn’t been all jolly and carefree during his recent period of inactivity.

He said the possibility of transferring to another school at semester, “did cross my mind. I really didn’t talk to anybody about transferring. It was something coming up (in conversation) a lot.

“I love it here. Other than the playing-time situation, everything is good, and that (playing time) could change (for the better) at any time.”

Self said his four-man big-man rotation still can change “week to week.”

He said he sees big things for Thomas down the line.

“So many young players pick a school because they want immediate satisfaction. I think Quintrell did it over time,” Self said on his Monday Hawk Talk radio show. “Over time, this could turn out to be a great situation for him. We did not recruit him to play 20 minutes a game as a freshman. We felt he would impact the team in some way as a freshman. We felt he would have a big impact down the line.”

It might be tough for Thomas to crack the 2008-09 rotation with Mario Little now playing more power forward than small forward. If Thomas becomes depressed the days he doesn’t play the rest of the way ... guys like sophomore Aldrich will be on hand to provide support.

“It’s tough to be happy with your playing time. There are guys on the team who wish they’d play more. There’s probably only two guys on the team who don’t want to play more — me and Sherron,” Aldrich said of KU’s multi-minute men.

“Everybody goes through that their freshman year. They want to do everything they can to help us win. Sometimes you are in the game. Sometimes you are not. I definitely went through that struggle my freshman year. Quintrell had good production the other night. When his name is called, he has to do every little thing to help us,” Aldrich added.

He’ll try.

And try to remain healthy, too. Thomas said his left shoulder, which popped out of place at times earlier this season, has not bothered him of late.

“Nah, my shoulder is not bothering me. It’s just like that in college basketball. You wake up and it’s like, ‘Oh what’s that?’’’ he said of nagging injuries. “Over the trip to Canada, my shoulder was bad. Lately it’s gotten a lot better. As long as it’s not a factor in my playing, I’m all right.”

•The leader: Self related a story at Monday’s weekly news conference on Collins becoming a true team leader.

“I wasn’t having much fun working with our guys six to eight weeks ago because I felt we were coaching ‘effort’ every play, every possession, as opposed to coaching execution. He said, ‘It’s my job to make sure our guys provide the effort. It’s coach’s job to correct it.’ I haven’t had to get on the guys much at all for playing hard here lately,” Self added in praising Collins.

“It is my job,” Collins said. “Before we’d waste 30 minutes because nobody was trying. All the young guys have bought into effort, and now he can coach defensive positioning, trapping the post, things like that.”

Comments

mjlindsm 10 years, 12 months ago

Lets look at it like this. Kansas needs at least one guy to to transfer or go pro this season, two if we get Wall. I've been figuring it would be Appleton and Thomas. But being at the game Saturday and seeing Thomas know his role and play it well, combined with the lack of productivity/athleticism/IQ of the Morris twins, it's looking like Quintrell may be one to keep around while we let go of Morris squared.And don't get started with Roger Morningstar possibly paying Brady's way. It would be a shame if Brady played so hard and so well (almost B-Rush-like on defense) just to lose his scholarship.

mbmerriman 10 years, 12 months ago

so much depth...so many questions still unanswered...im happy we arent peaking now and beating teams by 45 like Duke and Pitt...the guard roles are starting to come into place...Sherron is the leader...Brady is the "Russ Robinson"...Tyrell Reed is the shooter of the bench...Tyshawn is your high energy do-it-all guard much like Mario last year. But up front things are still a little muddy and very inconsistent but im sure Bill will come up with something...he always does it seems.

cklarock 10 years, 12 months ago

Sherron has really impressed. Watching him at the Fieldhouse early on, I could see that he took his leadership role very seriously, and by this time of the year, he's figured out how to make it work. He's definitely our coach on the floor, and has put this team on his shoulders. To go from competing for titles in every competition you're in to being written off in the Big 12, Sherron's attitude has been exemplary.QT and the Morris Twins have big time KU careers ahead of them -- imagine these guys when they're Seniors. Fear us with those 3 at the core of our big rotation as Seniors. Fear. Just like Sasha and Darnell, most guys take seasoning to learn to dominate at their positions. People need to quit writing off the Morris twins just because they don't have it all figured out their Freshmen year.

jhawk23 10 years, 12 months ago

"[A] lot of people, of course, are not happy with their playing time or whatever."This makes me worry. It's not only Coach Self's job to get on top of the "cancers," it's also Collins' and Aldrich's job, too. Team leaders don't just score the most points and play the most minutes. They also should be the big brother, the therapist, the friend, etc. It's been easy to see Collins' leadership's maturation on the court, i.e., transforming himself from a one-on-one attitude to a team-winning attitude (see Syracuse/Johnny Flynn vis-a-vis Iowa State/Brackins). But the behind-the-scenes leadership can't be seen through newspaper articles or televised games. Let's just hope Sherron and Cole embrace those other facets of "leadership."

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

"The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Four-ness."--William Self ShakesepeareAs alluded to yesterday, KU has a crisis at the 4. Marcus Morris is the only player on the team with the physical attributes and scoring ability to play it elegantly, but his freshman progress has been fitful. Self has been a patient man about Marcus. He has accentuated the positive. He has looked for bright spots. He has noted improvements. Finally, versus ISU, Self layed down the ultimate challenge to Marcus, he staged his basketball bar mitzfah, his right of passage to basketball manhood, he gave him his dragon to slay, his chance to become the hero with a thousand faces. He put his trust in Marcus. He assigned Marcus to guard the opponent's best scorer, Craig Brackins.Brackins hung 42 on him. Marcus fouled out.Sometimes the hero does not pass the test...at least at that moment.Self gave a similar test to David Padgett his freshman year at Kansas. He said you're our big man. The position is yours. David Padget failed, too. He wound up in Louisville.Let us say a prayer for Marcus Morris. He is a good person. He has tried and tried to do what the coaches wanted. He has helped KU to a very good record for a reloading year. He actually has good numbers for a freshman big. He has been a slender Jayhawk put in harm's way. And he has kept coming. But 42 points? 42 points can break through a lot of coaching denial.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

"I asked for defense (he gave me gasoline)."--Bill Howlin Wolf SelfIt is hard to put into words what scoring 42 points against a Bill Self defense means to Bill Self. Scoring 42 points against Bill Self is like publicly gelding him and forcing him to become lead soprano in the Vienna Boys Choir. It is like making him coach from the bench in a pink crinoline, while sipping herbal tea from bone china with his pinky finger out in front of hooting Kansas and Oklahoma oil men. It is like lying that his wife and daughter are women of easy virtue in the reception line at church on Sunday morning. It is like making him bend over buck naked at the Hooker's Ball and forcing him to say, "Thank you, Madam Dominique, give me one more." It is like forcing him to play zone at a KU/Okie State game attended by Hank Iba, Doyle Parrott, Paul Hansen, Jack Hartman and Eddie Sutton. It is unmanly. It is disgrace. It is a fall into Dante's inner most flaming ring of the Inferno, while carrying a mineral water bottle full of gasoline. It is immoral and it signals a crisis of scheme of play of biblical proportions. "Crash on the levy, momma,Defense gonna overflow..."--William Robert Dylan SelfThe public Bill Self made all the right moves, as usual. He praised Brackins. He noted Cole handled Brackins okay at the end. But the private Bill Self, the game tape watching Bill Self, the Bill Self who suffers from an acute medical condition called Defensive Compulsive Disorder (DCD); that Bill Self had to have had the basketball coaching equivalent of the bends on the bus ride home from Hilton Hell-iseum. And those bends had to have continued into Sunday as he climbed into his own private hyperbaric chamber, the den at his house with the tape and DVD player that he fastforwards, and rewinds, skips and slow-mos through until his eyes are glazed over at 3AM. He probably went to bed in despair. Good coaches do from time to time.And when he awoke, he did what all coaches suffering from acute DCD would have done. He clenched his jaw and said, "To hell with scoring out of the 4. To hell with playing the 4 elegantly with someone who has all the tools. We're going to guard somebody and we're going to block out and screw the rest of it. If we can't be any good at the 4, well, then by god we'll be mean. We'll guard every second, or people will not play. We'll enforce at the 4, or let no man come back alive!" Good coaches all have a streak of General Patton in them.Persons with DCD also cannot help but think this way, when scored on 42 times by tall, skinny 4s on bad teams.We had a crash on the levy, Bill thought, and now, by god, defense is gonna overflow.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

"The Four? You can't handle the Four!!"--William Jack Nicholson Self Stories like this one above about Quintrel Thomas getting back in the rotation and not getting his dobber down--they never come out unless a tipping point has been reached. Self watched the ISU tapes, or was it DVDs? Marcus graded out even worse than Self thought. It was late January and Marcus still had no clue on defense. The kid was trying his butt off, but tryin' ain't doin', as ol Eddie used to say. He didn't even foul hard, when he fouled.Peg Leg Little at least committed hard fouls, but Little was 6'5" tall and operating on one and a half wheels. Bill called Eddie, who was grillin' some burgers for him and the wife. "Figured you'd be callin' 'bout now, Billy Boy." Bill had called Gillispie and Janks, too, but it was Eddie's wisdom he really wanted. They all said the same thing. Little's good, but you've been kidding yourself that you can score your way out of your defensive problems at the 4 with Marcus and Little. Until Marcus learns to defend, he's got to sit more, even if it means bad blood. "What about Kieff?" Bill asked Eddie. Eddie palmed his craggy face and shook his head. "Billy boy, I thought I taught you betterin' that!" Eddie said. "Ol' Kieff?" Eddie asked incredulously, "he'll be uh good'un in a couple years, but not today, kid. Ol'Kieff's sufferin' what I used to call defensive retardation. Ya follow me,Billy?"And so Bill got off the phone and went to town on the Crispy Cremes for awhile. What in god's name was he going to do?Then it hit him.Quintrel got 4 reebs, and at least didn't foul out immediately. Closer inspection revealed that Thomas actually slid his feet a little and bodied Brackins a time or two.But Quintrel can't hit the backboard with a Howitzer from a foot away! Bill thought killing the last old fashioned and slugging down the rest of the milk in the gallon jug. Then Self had one of the existential coaching moments; the kind where the old coach has to say, well, I got that exactly wrong. He knew he had put Thomas on ice, because Thomas just couldn't provide scoring Self needed to keep opponents off Cole's back. He knew he had also iced Thomas, because Thomas just didn't want to get physical enough to be what he could be for KU--an enforcer type. And, well, Self knew that Self himself had gotten spoiled by last year's team, too idealistic, too hoity toity, too full of himself and all his ideas about the beauty of the game, to look honestly at the 4 position and do what had to be done.Self called Eddie back.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

"I figured you be callin' me again about this time. Outta doughnuts, eh? Man, I don't miss this part of coaching even a little, kid. So whattya want outta Ol'Eddie? You know what you gotta do, kid. Ya gotta go tough and hard at the 4. No more pussy footin. Some 4s have gotta start learnin' just how hard the wood in James Naismith court is." Eddie swigged some Lipton. "God, I wish I could have a beer." He paused and collected his thoughts. "I know what you're thinkin'. We ain't thug ballers. 70-point-take-what-they-give-us ain't about hurtin' people." Eddie cleared his throat and hawked a lugie down in Stillwater. "Well, kiddo, sometimes ya gotta get your hands dirty like the rest of us. I know you lead a charmed life, Billy Boy, and you always find the slickest way through the pa-pa patch, but this time you gotta face facts. It always comes down to defense. You know that much. That's Rosetta Stone, Billy. When you cain't find yer hind end with both hands fallin' down a mine shaft, well, pick out someone and guard'em till you hit the bottom; then get up and guard'em some more. And if you ain't pretty like Brandon Rush, then bite and scratch and push and shove until they've can't stand you no more. And if that don't work, put'em on the floor. I watched that game. I saw Marcus fly swattin' at Brackins. That young man has not figured out that this is competition for who gets to eat. Now young Quintrel Thomas, you got a fire lit under him already, Billy Boy. You yanked his minutes to get his attention. You give that young man half a chance, and he'll put some of them 4s in the cheap seats where they belong. Have you forgot one of my cardinal rules I taught you? Bigs who step out and pop threes need a finger in the eyes and a kick in the knees."Bill Self shrugged. He knew exactly what the old coach was saying. He had gone soft after winning it all. He had thought he could finesse his way around the 4 with scoring. He felt ashamed of himself.Ol Eddie laughed.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

"You're takin' it too hard kid and you're makin' it too hard. Thinkin' too much. Redefine the 4. It ain't gonna be a finesse 4 no more. Its a butcher ball 4 now. This new 4, he's going to be a head hunter. He's going to bump, and shove and head hunt, and put people down so much that the opponents are not going to be able to concentrate on Cole. Dennis Rodman is the model. Give that Quintril tape of Rodman...before he died his derned hair, of course. And some tapes of Buck Williams, too. Opponentas are going to have to watch out for your 4. Screw scoring out of the 4. Its a pain dispensory. Guys enter your paint, they pay. Bigs step out, they get scratched corneas. Simple, Billy, simple. Between Little, Quintrell, and Marcus, if he will man-up and play this way, you've got 15 hard fouls to give, not fifteen fly swats. Give'em. You're going to play a little like Maryland did back when Gary Williams still cared and loved them prison bodies.""But I don't have any prison bodies, Coach," Self said."You've had so much talent the last few years, you've forgotten how tough young guys can be taught to play. You think Ol' Bo Ryan up at Mad-town has prison body cheese heads." Both coaches laughed. "Heck no. And no knock on Danny Manning, but he was a finesse player if there ever was one. He's not the one qualified to coach this stuff. You're going to have to go work with them yourself on this. Don't go having a guilt complex either. Playing rough out of the 4 goes all the way back. Like ol' Chuck Daly used to say. You ain't tryin' to hurt nobody. You're just turnin' it into a contact sport, you know. Now I gotta go. Scott's got some problem over at ORU with the offense and I gotta go wipe his nose for him, too."So Self calls Gary Bedore and asks him to do a little story about Quintrel getting out of the dog house. And he prompts Gary on a quote about Quintrel needing to become KU's enforcer to get the crowd ready for the change.And starting the next game, or whenever the matchups look right for the change, Quintrel's minutes go up, Little's stay the same, and Marcus' go down. And the bodies start flying in the paint.Move over Buck Williams and Dennis Rodman. Here comes Quintrel Thomas. "I love the smell of napalm in the paint."--William Charles Kilgore SelfEnd Note: All of the above is entirely fictional, of course.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

drgnslayr,You are too kind. Thank you.

Chad Sandwell 10 years, 12 months ago

Someone has way too much time on their hands!

DrPepper 10 years, 12 months ago

FANTASTIC stuff, jaybate! I look forward to more.

Don Everett 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate,Too many analogies/quotes to keep reading. The rest was just verbal diaherra.Normally you're an interesting read. Not this time.

Andy Hess 10 years, 12 months ago

" I've been figuring it would be Appleton and Thomas. "why the hell would Appleton transfer? He's a RS Junior JUCO transfer already. he would lose a year transferring and be graduated before he gets to play again.

tomike 10 years, 12 months ago

If we lose QT, it is our loss. QT is a natural rebounder and good at 4. (It is not just he was good in last two games.) To me, he is as good as the twins. While the twins showed their timidness at the season beginning, QT has never shown it. I think the reason Self has not played him very much is because he is shorter and raw (considering he started playing basketball very late). As I know, Ron Artest is short. Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair is not very tall either.For the team to reach the next level, ML has to play 3 and let the twins and QT play 4.

jhwkswn 10 years, 12 months ago

Good stuff, jaybate! Wasn't sure why, but couldn't stop reading it. Definitely will make me pay more attention the next game to Qunitrel's minutes vs. Marcus' minutes. I'm for anybody that has a passion and works hard, and Qunitrel sounds like that kind of a guy. Have not seen a whole lot of passion from the twins as of yet. I do think the twins both have a lot of potential though. They just need to wake up a bit. Two years from now, they could both be outstanding.

Fred Davis 10 years, 12 months ago

I think people are looking way too much into Brackins putting 42 on KU - at Hilton - and they still lose by 15... He's playing against a freshman frontline for what has been a very average defensive team by Bill Self standards - and putting it at average may be a bit of an overstatement at times... KU is the kind of team where stud players go out of their mind once in a while and put up monster games... Lindsay Hunter, Allen Houston, Anthony Peeler (couple times), Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley... They've all put up huge games against KU in the past - and probably against better KU teams than where this squad currently is... So What? Brackins has a story to tell all his boys and kids someday - but the story will end the same everytime - his team still lost.KU's frontline is improving, but its not at the pace most of the KU fans had hoped... Instead of a bunch of Darrell Arthurs who were ready to come in and contribute, we've got some Darnell Jackson/Drew Gooden types - still raw but solid athleticism that makes it frustrating because you know these guys will be better than what they've showed... KU is about where any reasonable fan thought they would be at this point in the season - they've lost some games they should've won - they beat a good team at home - they've taken a couple beatdowns on the road - but they've held their own given they're the 11th YOUNGEST team in Division One basketball... February will be a fun month to watch because that's when things get serious - but that's also the time of year when Billy has his boys playing at a high level and gearing up for the stretch run... Rock Chalk

beebe1 10 years, 12 months ago

yeah, jaybate, you are a fun read. But maybe just a touch too much simile of P 1 of the first part. After that I got really into it!

Jeremy LeMaster 10 years, 12 months ago

You know... it is a good thing we lost almost that whole team last year... Self just might have made them all transfer! Allowing Beasley to score 39, not acceptable. How about Durant which scored abotu 37 or 38 on the same team albeit a year before... they were running out of patience.QUITE CRYIN WOLF! The Morris Twins are fine! Thomas is fine! Brady is fine! KU is fine! They lost a couple of close games, but every team goes through that... we went through that 3 and 4 years ago... they will learn the toughness and the killers edge being able to put teams away late.

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

I thought it was interesting. Misguided. But interesting. You should definitely get a spot with the staff at LJW. You're a better creative writer than anybody they have now. How bout it LJW? He already writes more words than your entire publication's paid help combined. He's practically holding your shiz together right now anyway. Pay him.And thanks Gary. For writing about the most curiously left out player on KU's roster this year. QT is better than Mk, at the very least. Mk has done absolutely nothing this year. Nothing against the kid, but I'm in favor of splitting the twins up. Let Mk transfer, and let these two start living their own lives. Being an individual is so much bigger than being a twin. You don't have to stick together, and do everything together, just because you are a novelty to most people.There are a couple of old ladies in Boulder who are a circus side show at the basketball games because they are twins. They're like 75 years old, and they dress alike and you never ever see one without the other. It's sad really. Their twinhood defines their entire life. Early on people were entertained by the uniqueness of their situation and they allowed that to define them.I've known lots of twins in my life. Fraternal and identical. Actualizing some space in between always produces more satisfying individual lives. So I'm always in favor of twins going in different directions and challenging the tendency to entertain us with their deal.This is a seemingly ideal situation, and time, for it to happen. It's not unlike any individual leaving home for the first time. You eventually have to do it. Again, nothing against Mk. But QT, imho, has way more upside. And Mk still has time to transfer and make his mark with another team.I have a feeling that by the end of four year careers at KU, they would be pining for some individuality anyway. The Lopez twins started prying themselves apart by the end of their Stanford careers. They'll always be brothers. Just like any other siblings, but they are individuals first.

KUFan90 10 years, 12 months ago

I posted this yesterday but think it's worth mentioning again. Anyone else notice how Q Thomas seems to get good early position, but our guards seem reluctant to feed him? They have missed him (or chosen to ignore him) several times that I've seen in the few minutes he is in there. I say give him a chance.I also think Jaybate brings up a great point. We got soft having Arthur at the starting 4 the last couple of years. He was definitely more finesse than enforcer. Sure we brought brute strength off the bench, but our starting 4 was a silky smooth scorer (and yes he could block shots), but definitely not someone you would describe as a "lunch pail" type guy. Instead of expecting one of the Morris' to be the next Arthur, we need to understand our scorers are Sherron, Cole, and now Little, and we need our starting 4 to go out and punch people in the mouth.

jakejayhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

I respect that this is the forum for opinions and that everyone has a right to post. It does disappoint me when I read comments about specific players wherein the writer suggests that the player should transfer. I will remind readers of one such rough freshman in a minute, but let me begin with this season.A number of our posters thought that we couldn't win with Brady and Tyrel playing significant minutes. Time will tell how good we really are, but you cannot discount the contribution of both of these guys. Brady is the most consistent player on our team. Is he undersized for his position? Yes! And that is a liability in some games and certain situations. But his play more than makes up for the limitation. When he holds his man to way below his scoring average we can live with a few missed rebounds. Otherwise, Brady is the ultimate chemistry guy. And Tyrel is finding his role and providing a punch off the bench.As for inconsistent frosh, let me remind readers about a guy named Milt Newton. Inconsistent is a kind adjective. (Milt, if you happen to read this, know you are one of my all-time favorite players. This is meant to be a complement to you, not an insult.) Milt was a disaster as a freshman. No one looked more ill-at-ease with the ball than did he. I did not believe there was a chance that he would ever contribute to our program.Fast forward to 1988. Everyone remembers what Danny Manning did in leading us to the title. But don't ever underestimate what Milt Newton meant to that team. He was all over the court and presented a threat any time he was on the floor. This is the same player that I had no faith in during the '85-'86 season. We don't win the title without Milt Newton.So have faith and patience. Know that our guys are either trying their best or Coach will teach them how to make that effort. If some leave, they leave. But we should always support our players, unless they show lack of character. That is a different matter. Have confidence in the coaching staff. I believe this team will reach their potential this year, and the youngsters will grow into mature leaders who know what it takes to win.

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

Great point KUFan90. By one scout's account of QT."Solid body built to take and absorb contact. Will mix it up and get his nose dirty. One of those kids that coaches love to throw into the mix and let him do his thing. Power forward with strength."Exactly what we've been missing.

Ann Oneill 10 years, 12 months ago

Self could easily give Thomas or Releford some of Morningstar's minutes.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate - that was entertaining. Are you still on the vicadin or whatever it was you were finding an excuse for popping? :-)Freddy - Are you serious? You think Darrell Arthurs contributed more than Drew Gooden as a freshmen? Darnell & Sasha sure, but Drew? About the only way that has any semblance of soundness is to observe that Drew (and all of Royz Boyz) was not asked to play the same level of defense that is now expected of the team. That being said you seem to only be remembering the NC double-double/NBA potential draft, and forgetting all those games languishing on the bench for the majority of each half after picking up reaching fouls.

shockhawk93 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate;I barely had time to read your posts; I can't imagine how much time it took to write them. But maybe this stuff just pours out of your head. Anyway, I appreciate your analysis in your regular posts, but this just goes to a whole 'nother level. I just enjoy watching the guys play, and get better as the season goes, and celebrate when they surpass expectations, and forgive them when they act like 18/19 year olds (who just happen to be very talented). Even last year's team, who everyone acknowledges was one of the best, lost some games. It's life, and that's the way the ball bounces. That's my analysis, anyway.

keith horinek 10 years, 12 months ago

I am extremely disappointed in the play of the Morris twins so far this season. They may both be a project for Coach Self to work on over the next few years providing they stay. Quintrell reminds me so much of Darnell Jackson. He has raw talent that needs to be refined, by the way Darnell is playing in the NBA now. I would rather lose one or both of the twins than Quintrell. There's a lot to be said for that "fire" that Quintrell has that the twins don't. The twins may end up like Padgett, at another school for a time then out altogether.

mikehawk 10 years, 12 months ago

I think Coach is just old school that he learned from Mr. Iba, Coach Hansen, Coach Brown, and Coach Eddie, and he knows that a great team has guys who have great attitudes, give up themselves and their selfish high school ways for the team, give great effort all the time, accept their role, and learn to trust their coach. For some, like Tyshawn, it seems he got it and probably got it fast because he had a really tought high school coach. For some guys, they have to sit over their on the bench and go through all of the psychological rewiring required that gets to the brain via the butt. Remember RussRob's freshmen year? Showed great promise early in year from a talent standpoint and then sank deeper and deeper into the bench and wasn't called on in games he could have clearly helped. Considers transferring, rejects that idea and becomes the total team man who understood all of the above noted issues. If Coach had his way, I am sure he would love to have the twins sitting more, but the fact is they are very talented, but he needs them this year due to depth problems. But...next year may be different if they don't grow up quite a bit.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybae: You bring up a good point about Self and Padgett. You know, that situation and experience early in Self's tenure gave me reason to be concerned about Self and question some of his decison-making. I still don't agree with everything Self does to this day (Like the Box and 1 in the Championship game last year from just under 12 minutes to 6:30 to go in the game), but I do respect him a great deal. However, I still think to this day he made the wrong decision in starting David Padgett that year. Self fell victim to the "Pressures" of KU fans liking him. Jeff Graves should have and will always IMHO gotten the shaft from Self on that team. Jeff Graves was an odd case and it was completely bad timing for a player "Of his kind". I hear all sorts stories about him being late, maybe not having the best attitude, but I think that was because Self basically handed the reigns over to Padgett from Day 1. That team should have made the Final 4 and would have if Self would have had the discipline that he does now. He should have been starting Jeff Graves all along. You have to coddle a kid like "Graves" just because of his background. He wasn't a strong personality and any sign of negativity towards him basically rips out his soul. I didn't mean to get off track here, but anytime Padgett is brought up, I'm always reminded of how poorly that situation was handled with Jeff Graves. You get 16 and 16 in the Championship game and you can't start over David Padgett, which Self was trying to keep that recruiting class in-tact as he came in as coach that first year. Just my thoughts of a team back in 2004.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Does anybody else hate QT's jersey number "11"? Everytime I see him, I think I'm looking at Aaron Miles on steroids especially when he is inbounding the ball after a "Make".

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 12 months ago

The Morris boys are coming along, maybe just not fast enough for a lot of people. Does no one remember freshman Arthur who had his first two fouls in the first five minutes of the game so that he spent the rest of the half on the bench? He finally opted to come off the bench instead of starting in the hope that he would end up being in the game longer. He hardly ever rebounded, some games having none, rarely more than two or three. He avoided any contact under the basket. I think we can all agree that he turned out okay. Give these kids a chance. Seems like big men are always slower coming around.

dahandymn 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate-Normally you have insightful comments, but recently I've been wondering why you've gotten so hung up on the ISU game and Brackins. So what if he scored 42? You say that its an insult to Bill Self's defense, but I see it another way. Year after year I've seen superstars come and play against the jayhawks and one of two things usually happens. We either shut the guy down period, or we let him score and the rest of the team gets shut down. In either case, I've bet we've one in 95% of those games. Self is an incredible defensive coach and I think it was his plan to let Brackins score, otherwise they would not have put him to the line 20 times.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate, you're digging deep going with the Hamlet, this article must have really spoke to you. So are you saying Self is going to kill himself over Brackins' performance? Seems a little extreme.I love the inputs about Jeff Graves. He was just a down and dirty, ugly jerk who could rebound like you read about. Getting him was the best thing Roy Williams ever did. His teams got rolled in March every year in the 90s with soft players like Lafrentz, Pugh, Pollard, and Chenowith among many others, and finally he got a thug who wasn't afraid of anyone. He saved us in the final against Syracuse, if we had won he would have been the hero. It's too bad Self could not have harnessed his strength.

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

kushaw,Agreed on Graves. He coulda been a contenduh. He suffered at the hands of Bill Self, who was out to show who was boss and keep the recruiting class in tact. Graves was ideal for him. History of mischievousness and recalcitrance with Roy. Self knew he didn't have to win his first year. He had to win his second year. Graves wasn't going to be there then. Presto. Graves is the whipping boy. It was pretty calculated by Bill Self. But then he didn't get where he has gotten by not understanding how to play every angle. But on the other hand, Jeff Graves shoulda seen it coming and been on time. He shoulda joined the choir. Smart people read the writing on the wall and live to shape the battlefield for another day. Jeff Graves coulda been a contenduh, but...Strikewso,No, I don't think Self is going to hang himself about the 42.No, I don't think Marcus career is over.But, yes, I do think a tipping point in distribution of minutes may have been reached.Self is one of those fellows who want certain things from certain people and tries coaxing, demanding, punishing, cajoling, stroking, etc.; then at a certain point if it isn't produced, he decides its can't happen in the necessary time frame and moves on. Ask Conner Teahan about this. Self wanted a gun. He gave CT several chances. CT got the full cycle of treatment this season. Now he's a deadman walking for the time being. He'll probably get other chances, but maybe not.Self clearly liked Quintrel's basic tools, because he played him a lot early. But then QT injured his shoulder and just was not predisposed to being the enforcer Self wanted at the 4. QT could not cross that threshold, probably to his credit. Then Cole turned into a scorer and a strong enough rebounder that Self thought, well, Marcus may be ready even though he can't rebound and is a little soft. Marcus can put the ball in the hole and that will keep the enemy bigs honest. And if I ice Quintrel for awhile, he will get ticked off enough to play the enforcer he has refused to be so far. I don't like enforcer-style basketball, so I can't sign on with this. I can only describe what appears to be happening.The team is too soft at the 4.Some one has to turn into steel.Marcus had his chance to be a Wilkinson Sword blade who could score.He didn't pass the tempering test.Now Self is just looking for some rolled steel that doesn't have to score.Quintrel might be that guy, part of the time.

jasonsgill 10 years, 12 months ago

I don't think that Marcus' minutes will change, if you believe that Bill is as fickle as fans then I have a bridge in Brooklyn you can buy. Big XII road games are tough to win and young kids foul like crazy, patience and potential are the words of the day.

AverageCitizen 10 years, 12 months ago

jaybate - There is a reason these boxes only let you type a maximum number of words. You need an editor. Until then, I scroll past your entries. WAY TOO MUCH exageration and fantasy for my taste. This is basketball, not Harry Potter!

arizonahawk 10 years, 12 months ago

I think the talk of splitting up the Morris twins may be a little premature. The Lopez twins still flourished at Stanford. They developed different games and are now rookies in the NBA. My issue with the Morris twins is that they still make goofy mistakes. But as its been said a million times, "the best thing about Freshman is that they become Sophomores." I was disappointed in the loss to Zona and Syracuse but I think this team needed to lose to realize just how hard they have to work to reach the level of last year's team. We've got just about the very best coach in the biz. He knows what he's got and how good they'll be by end of conf. play.

BigGuyDon 10 years, 12 months ago

I'm not sure anything could have kept Brackins from scoring 42 pts on Saturday. Certainly no one on last year's team was any better at defending mobile bigs (as evidenced in performance by Beasley, Durant, Buddinger, and every spot up 3 pt shooting big man in the conference the last three years). Brackins was hitting 17 footers with a hand in his face. He might have gotten a couple easy, but most were of them were just "tip your hat" and move on.The most effective thing Self did was put Little in and force Brackins to play some defense. Either that or Brackins' arm just got tired.The Morrises and Thomas are about where I'd expect a freshman big man not rated in the top 25 to be right now. We've even had top 25 guys that weren't playing as consistent minutes and generally providing value. The Morrises need to toughen up a little and focus on setting good screens and rebounding. Thomas needs to grow an inch or two and work on more upper body strength so he forces fouls when he gets blocked all the time.Remember folks: Cole Aldrich barely played last year and spent a lot of his time on the court looking clueless. They weren't all like the UNC game; in fact, I found his UNC performance a complete surprise. We should be licking our chops at the prospect of a front line that could go Aldrich, Withey, Robinson, Morris, Morris, Thomas next year. If QT doesn't redshirt next year, I'll be STUNNED. Even one of the Morrises will likely need to spend some time at the 3.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 12 months ago

Does redshirting free us up a scholarship?

UncleMiltyN 10 years, 12 months ago

I enjoyed the Jaybate column as well. The only thing I would like to add is that I think Danny can coach more than the "finesse" style he embodied in college. No offense, but, that sounds like a comment made by someone who only watched his college career. Don't get me wrong, Danny didn't turn into Charles Oakley or Xavier McDaniel when he left Kansas. He did have to play against some of those hard cases and it changed his style alot. I'm sure he learned a thing or two after his senior year.I think Kaun, Jackson, Arthur and Aldrich are proof-positive. Kaun and Jackson were better than the others at being the "enforcer" for obvious physical reasons and, especially with Kaun, they had to be.

Larry Smith 10 years, 12 months ago

You Crazy,Crazy people.The reason Jeff Graves didn't set the starting spot was because he was LAZY. He was always late, he did not put in the effort in practice and he only played hard when he wanted to, not always when the team needed him to. Remember, Padgett was a Williams recruit not Self's, and Graves was definitley more of the type of player that coach Self wanted/needed. But Graves would not put forth the consistent effort. That is why Graves did not get the bulk of minutes there. Coach Self's track record speaks for itself. If you do what he asks, practice hard, play hard all the time and produce, you get the minutes. It's that simple. Graves didn't want to buy in, so that was his own fault. Its that simple.

speckleddog 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate,You should have your own column. You are absolutely correct on the need for a strong four man. I think that the Morris brothers will mature into force on the court in a year or two when they mature and gain some body mass. But, they are really hard to watch now. I have had season tickets for the last 20 years. Does anyone remember Greg Ostertag or Greg Drieling? They were terrible as freshmen. Darnell Jackson wasn't a dominating force as freshman, but he matured into a beast inside the paint. Be patient Jayhawks. We will win another National Championship trophy next season if the fans and the players are patient.

JayhawkPhil64 10 years, 12 months ago

This might be the most interesting set of posts to an article since I started reading these. So much to comment on but I will just try to keep it short1. Great job Jabate! You would indeed put Joe Posnanski to shame.2. I know this is wrong because both the Morris Twins have much more talent than Thomas but I hope he continues to take minutes away from them and I really hope he doesn't transfer.3. I will also get criticized for this but I do not want for us to get Wall if it means someone has to give up his scholarship or transfer. I know Thomas is the logical choice to go but I would like to see him stay and be a great player by his senior year.. There is no way either of the Morris twins will be here four years regardless how they turn out.

JayhawkPhil64 10 years, 12 months ago

Having said all the above, it could be that Self already knows Thomas will be transfering after the season is over and is simply acting like he is going to play him more to light a fire under the twins.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

jayhawk86: Self was trying to make a statement his first year. When you have a team that just went to two Final Fours, I think you have to have to "Mend" to the team that is already in place. Self came in with a "Direct" plan to do it "His Way". I understand you have to have a transition period in order to get it to become "Your Program", but Self did none of that. Granted, it's all turned out okay, but I think there could have been an easier transition, especially that first year. Self needed "Roy's Recruits" so they wouldn't all bail "Before" he got their. Yes, they all ended up bailing anyway, but he had already started getting "His" Players in there at time. Yes, Graves was lazy, late to meetings probably, but when you're a senior and only have one year, it's not exactly a thrill to be playing for a new coach. Graves knew from Day 1 that he would be subplanted in the starting rotation by Padgett (A mistake I still can't stand). Yes, Graves had Character and Playing flaws, but Self's job as a coach is to build confidence with players, and I didn't think he did any of that with Jeff Graves. Thank you for pointing out that Padgett was Roy Williams recruit. I don't think any of us knew that. LMAO! Hence, that is why he needed to keep that first recruiting class "In-Tact".

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

UncleMiltyN,I think you've got me on not knowing enough about Danny's pro career. I didn't get to see him as much as I would have like, too. He probably did develop some muscle moves after he lost the knees. I recall he bulked up quite a bit.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate: Actually, After a couple of knee surgeries, Danny had to go to a more "Skilled" game and play "Under" the basket. He also developed that outside "J" (15-20 feet) that were talking about on Sunday. LOL!

kvskubball 10 years, 12 months ago

We need to get it through our collective heads that we're all crazy, crazy people.....

jaybate 10 years, 12 months ago

kushaw,What the hell do I know, anyway?!! :-)

mbmerriman 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate, my hero, we have already been through this but we all admire your fanhood, you are definetly in the KUsports.com hall of fame. along with stupidmichael, kushaw, jayceph, and justanotherfan. i always enjoy your insights gentlemen

Chris Shaw 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate: What the hell do I Know? I can't even use "Were" vs "We Were" properly. lol

Hawkish4bigM 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate, You're a hoot. Love to see you do your own blog on Big12 Sports pilloring of the Tiggers, Mildcats, Swooners, and all.

brooksmd 10 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate, I loved it. Had a smile on my face the whole time. Quite often I have a hard time making it through one of you postings, but this one is deserving of the LJW Hall of Fame.

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