Friday, July 17, 2009


Self should have Taylor earn his headband

Danielle McCray, left, smiles as she and Tyshawn Taylor display their gold medals from this year's World Championships. McCray and Taylor spoke about the titles at a news conference on Wednesday at Hadl Auditorium.

Danielle McCray, left, smiles as she and Tyshawn Taylor display their gold medals from this year's World Championships. McCray and Taylor spoke about the titles at a news conference on Wednesday at Hadl Auditorium.


In July, you take your basketball controversies where you can get them, which brings us to the Headband Hulabaloo.

Guard Tyshawn Taylor wants to wear a headband when he slips back into a Kansas uniform. He wore one when helping Team USA to win a gold medal in the World University Games and he wore it at the press conference to discuss his New Zealand experience. His high school coach, Bob Hurley of St. Anthony in Jersey City, N.J., wouldn’t let Taylor wear one. Ditto for his college coach, Bill Self.

Here’s the problem: Once you’ve seen Taylor wearing a headband, he just won’t look right not wearing one. It suits him the way a mole fits Cindy Crawford. Sorry, Cindy baby, even in my single days, had you knocked on my door and showed that you had the mole removed, I would have told you to get lost. (You think it was easy typing that sentence with my fingers crossed? Try it sometime.)

Taylor without a headband is like Kareem without the sky hook, Johnny Carson without Ed McMahon’s laugh, Simon without Garfunkel, Bonnie without Clyde, Gov. Mark Sanford without a passport, a list of all-time great KU athletes that excludes Al Oerter and Glenn Cunningham.

Taylor’s point that Aaron Miles wore a headband while playing for Self lacks relevancy. Miles’ headband was grandfathered in. Self inherited Miles from Roy Williams and didn’t recruit him. Big difference. (By the way, was anybody else impressed that Taylor knew Miles wore a headband at Kansas?)

A little headband history lesson: Ultra-quick Seattle SuperSonics guard Slick Watts made it popular and wore one because he gushed sweat at Dwight Gooden-like proportions. Now, headbands generally serve as fashion statements. So what? They aren’t obnoxious fashion statements along the lines of teenagers wearing baggy pants that crawl halfway down their cans or middle-aged men wearing baseball caps backwards, equally bad looks.

Nobody is suggesting here, however, that Self merely caves and lets Taylor make his fashion statement. No point in the coach bypassing a motivational opportunity this golden. Think about it, Self could tell Taylor he can earn the privilege of wearing the head ornament when and only when he meets a specific challenge from his coach. Naturally, Self is the one and only judge and jury who determines when that challenge has been met.

For example, Self could tell Taylor that as soon as he maximizes the defensive potential of his body to the extent Brady Morningstar did a year ago, he can decorate his head. Morningstar conditions his body so well he’s able to stay in a defensive stance longer than most, but his ability to become a defensive stopper last season involved far more than conditioning. Attitude played a big role. He subtly became a relentless pest, always letting his man know he was there, often by using his hands in a way that bugged the scorer but didn’t draw whistles. If Taylor could get as much out of his body as Morningstar does, no guard would want to be checked by him. It could be just the solution to the Headband Hulabaloo, a raging (by July standards) controversy.


d_prowess 10 years, 6 months ago

Is this really a "hulabaloo?" (great word, by the way!) I mean is Taylor actually upset that he can't wear one? From the original article, I kind of took it as a funny thing that he was going to needle Self about, but probably didn't really think it would happen and actually didn't care a whole lot. I guess it just seems that the media is giving this a little more attention than it needs because it is July and they are hurting for stories (not that I can blame them).

Ryan2845 10 years, 6 months ago

Ok, so Miles' was grandfathered in. But what about players like Dee Brown and JR Giddens? Self let them wear headbands

stravinsky 10 years, 6 months ago

I think the headband thing is just a sort of silly banter going back between Tyshawn and Self. It's hard to tell from a few quote clips, but it sort of seems like a joke between them.

I wouldn't be too surprised for Self to let him wear one at some point.

Ted Toulouse 10 years, 6 months ago

We're 2-3 weeks away from the start of football season and it's been 2 day since we had a football article. But anyway, back to the headband....

Trace Stark 10 years, 6 months ago

Wilt wore headbands before they were mass produced!!! Sponge - like material in the front... held to his head by a big elastic band. Rock Chalk

Christopher Hauser 10 years, 6 months ago

no offense but who cares. FOOOOOOOOOTBall articles please.

ttoulouse- I feel your pain.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 6 months ago

I was going to say the same thing about Dee Brown and Giddens. They both wore them under Self. I didn;t know Self even cared. If it make Tyshawn more comfortable and he is supersticious enough to want one, I say what does it hurt?

gutter 10 years, 6 months ago

Keegs - LJW should make you have to earn your column.

Joel Hood 10 years, 6 months ago

As someone who sweats like the dude in the Axe deodorant commercial, I frequently don the headband and proudly give my best Jackie Moon impersonation (except I’m not as athletic) when I jog or play basketball.

Coach, let ‘em wear the headband. White at home – KU Blue on the road.

K_Easthouse 10 years, 6 months ago

If I were Taylor I wouldn't go comparing my headware to Giddins, either. Look how wonderful things turned out for him at Kansas.

The Miles comment is valid, and I'd compare it more to Brandon Rush's armbands or Sherron's sleeve than anything; it's a legitimate aid to help his game, and can be a confidence-booster, as well. As long as he's consistent with it, I'd say he's fine.

aw52 10 years, 6 months ago

Fine piece of journalism! I can not believe I just took the time to read it. Sorry, my bad.

bg_duck1 10 years, 6 months ago

Jerry Rice said it best "if you look good you will play good" if that's how TT feels then let him wear it. I can already picture him clipping off his piece of the net after the national championship game wearing it :)

Opes 10 years, 6 months ago

I too would like a FOOTBALL article.

I could care less whether he wears a headband or not as long as he plays well.

jayhawkboogeyman 10 years, 6 months ago

This of all things could be the squabble that shatters our dreams of a magical season. Oh, wait, no, this is a really stupid article trying to generate talk about something that Tyshawn said as a joke and that no one else cares about.

kvskubball 10 years, 6 months ago

Hey, guys its not football, or basketball, but guess what? A Kansas City 'youngster' is leading the British Open Golf championship after 36 holes. The youngster is a spry 59 years young, and seemingly golfing like it's 1977 all over again.

I know its not football or basketball, and he probably won't win if it keeps howling and drenching the lads. Older bodies tend to yield to elements...

The locals are calling out his name like he was old Tom Morris....TOOM, TOOM, TOOM! But it is a Kansas Citian, not a local who is leading. It's a 'young' Tom Watson.

Yes Tom Terrific is at it again. I'd like to see him win, but whether he does or not, what a wonderful display for the first two days. Oh, by the way, he was +4 on today's round thru 7 holes, and brought it back to even par for the day, and is tied for the lead at -5 for the tourney! The round isn't over yet, but with wind and rain today, noone seems likely to finish ahead of him, and he will become the oldest man to lead a Major golf tourney!

homer1986 10 years, 6 months ago

Was it Larry Brown or Roy Williams where the team asked if they could grow mustaches? My recollection is that he did relent.
Tom, could you check that out, or mabye Bill Mayer could do a piece on it two months from now when it is an old story?

Mustaches, yes. Designs shaved into the hair, no. Headbands, yes. Arm sleeves and wristbands, yes. Randomly place bandaids, no.

And go Tom Watson! I guess he's a Cardinal, but he's still hometown to me.

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 10 years, 6 months ago

Maybe it's because Giddens wore a head band, so self doesn't want tyshawn wearing one because he's afraid he'll turn out like giddens...

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 6 months ago

I dig on Keegs quite a bit but "a list of all-time great KU athletes that excludes Al Oerter and Glenn Cunningham" was well played.

I smell a marketing opportunity. How about headbands for sale at AFH with the number "15" on them?

Relax, folks. It was just a light-hearted article.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 6 months ago

Oops, number "10". He gave 15 to Elijah.

ChicagoJHawk 10 years, 6 months ago

A headband is not a fashion statement. For people that sweat a lot, like me, it can really help out a lot.

Tyshawn does want to wear the headband and has said so recently. I don't know why Self won't allow it. If that's what motivates him to play better, even it if is superstitious, let him do it!

Correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I know Sherron wearing that sleeve is just a fashion statement. Allen Iverson wore it to cover up some controversial tattoos, then everyone started wearing them because they think it looks cool.

As far as earning his right to wear a headband winning a gold medal not enough??

Theutus 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm going to side with ChicagoJhawk on this one....

Tyshawn went out and represented Kansas by bringing home a GOLD medal, and not in shy fashion, he dominated.

I say he earned a right to wear it... And by giving him some positive reinforcement by allowing him to wear one, he's going to go out even more hungry and confident when the season starts.... I can't wait to see him play this year.

Joe Ross 10 years, 6 months ago

Okay. For the portion of the audience grappling with literacy, Keegan wrote a piece relevant to football just YESTERDAY. Only a couple of days prior to that there was an excellent article with a unique take on a billboard idea in Texas. Dont like the subject content? Present your credentials for editorship to the LJW in person, 609 New Hampshire, Lawrence, Kansas.

For cryin' out loud! I am just as proud as anyone of the football resurgence at KU, and I am well aware that football season is bearing down on us. But there are those among us who are still coming to terms with the fact that Kansas is the greatest program in college basketball and will be a "basketball school" until Jesus comes. And by the way, you'll notice a couple of articles written about the football team when you click on "Football" on the banner above.

There are those of us who, for some strange reason, like basketball. Let them eat cake.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 6 months ago

Remember when we were all posting messages about Sherron's and Tyshawn's "mohawks" last season as well as the star that Sherron had shaved into his head?

On another thread, the topic turned to Bill's hair, all natural or not.

Now, we're debating headbands.

It's a good thing we're not all following the women's team. We'd never talk about anything else but hair and fashion!

We're such bitches!

yovoy 10 years, 6 months ago

maybe i'm crazy, but i thought tyshawn played for/represented the USA first, and then by extension (the university of) kansas.

i think sherron wore the sleeve to help w/ floorburn. his compression shorts looked like they were padded too. there are sleeves that are worn for orthopedic reasons as well. i don't know if it's always about "fashion". i'd say that many fads evolve from something that was functional before it was fashionable.

if he's a super-soaker, and that detracts from his game, i'd say ourSelf would recognize that and allow it. if he's not, and coach says no, then that's the end of it. light-heartedness aside, to suggest that a coach's rules be changed by "earning" the right to change them is a slippery slope. sure the issue has been blown out of proportion, and i believe that it's sort of a tongue-in-cheek joke, but...

i'm waaaay more jacked for football than basketball. i always have been even back when we were terrible. i don't know why, but i've always been excited to watch kufb. we DID have a couple of pretty decent teams when i was in school (mason's teams). even though coach allen almost ruined the program, i did read and still read every article that come down the pike.

kufan1993 10 years, 6 months ago

Aaron Miles and the headband isn't a good argument for Tyshawn. Aaron Miles was basically like Bill Self's stepson. He couldn't really intrude on what the father already said the son could and couldn't do. But, Tyshawn is like Bill Self's son and he can tell Tyshawn to do whatever he wants.

Personally, I think Tyshawn should be allowed to wear the headband. A lot of times it is just a superstitious thing, and obviously Tyshawn feels like he plays better with it.

But of course, whatever Bill Self says goes.

emillasap 10 years, 6 months ago

Unlike some others I found the article funny. Keegan allowed his personal sense of humor to come through in the piece. My goodness people, as Keegan started the aritcle, "In July, you take your basketball controversies where you can get them......." All I request is that one be any active reader before one is an active critic.

wyansas 10 years, 6 months ago

what's the big deal? let him wear one.

Robert Brock 10 years, 6 months ago

If he can lower his turnovers, play some great D, and hit 40 percent of his threes - I don't care if he wears a zoot suit.

Jeff Schartz 10 years, 6 months ago

Let me get this straight....everybody here is arguing about whether or not Tyshawn should be able to wear a headband, or if perhaps the article was poor written or inspired....Am I the only one seeing that Keegan would have told Cindy Crawford to "get lost"? That's just crazy!!!

TheShot122293 10 years, 6 months ago

I think the best thing to write about KU sports in July would be something to do with our preseason top 25 football team's season starting in a little over a month. I love KU basketball more than any sport on earth, but schools with serious football programs, along with their fans and the journalists covering them are talking nonstop about football in July, not writing People magazine-worthy articles about basketball.

Tyshawn is going to be HUGE this year on the court. But, first things first, the Mangino-Reesing ticket is going to take one or two games from the south division this year. Let's talk about football, baby.

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

I was kind of surprised to find an email from Tom Keegan today asking me for some ideas about what Tyshawn could do to earn the right to wear a headband. Here are my ideas:

Tyshawn could:

give Coach Self a pedicure once a week;

give Coach Self a pedicure twice a week;

hold a mirror for Tom Keegan, so that he can see if his shoe laces are tied;

buff Danny Manning's head with chinchilla fur once a day;

hire a hair architect to give Joe Dooley a new, organic look;

remind Bill Mayer that his name is Bill Mayer each time he leaves his office;

sharpen Cole Aldrich's elbows with a Dremel tool;

deny Sherron Collins happy meals at noon, six pm, midnight, 3 am, and 6 am;

wipe up Xavier's tears at having to split time 50/50 with Mario Little;

soak Doc Sadler's tie in liquified thermite and light it while it is around his neck;

put cotton balls on both sides of his mouth and call Frank Martin and say, "Frankie, Dalonte wronged the family, take him for a midnight boat ride out on Tuttle, wouldja?"

find an all consuming hobby for Carl Henry that keeps him from giving interviews;

challenge Andrea Hudy to an arm wrestling contest with his weak arm and deal with defeat constructively;

execute a controlled demolition of Jayhawker Towers and see to it that Matt Kleinmann is hired to design the new athletic housing in the shape of James Naismith's head;

carefully delineate the tears in the universe around Lawrence that intermittently allow Scott Pollard to enter the third dimension and give interviews about his future plans;

nail Dick Vitale's tongue to a railroad tie;

give Digger Phelps a box of suppositories formed out of C-4 explosive;

enroll Clark Kellogg in a Berlitz English class;

render unto Spartacus what is Caesar's;

make 40% of his threes.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 6 months ago


Tall order for TT. He's only a sophmore you know!

How about a one-on-one with Sherron? Best 8 of 10 and TT can wear the headband in games in November and December.

William James 10 years, 6 months ago

JRoss-yeah I think I remember you and I had this very conversation when I explained that the LJW didn't give the football team near enough coverage exactly 2 years ago. Your reply was to explain to me that "our football team is not very good. it pains me to say it, but it's the truth". Then 6 months later that "not very good" football team brought home an Orange Bowl Trophy to Lawrence. A couple of football articles a week dosen't cut it for this KU obsessed fan, and I don't need to apply to let the LJW to know that it is letting this town down and needs to adjust to the times. Bob Frederick is not the AD anymore and a new age has begun at Kansas. Eventually the LJW will see that, and in July we will start to get less articles about basketball players headbands and more about the football teams pursuits of conference and BCS trophies. There are a few places around the country that gave good basketball and crap football. If you guys don't like the direction KU is going, there are alternatives out there.

kufan1993 10 years, 6 months ago

I am a huge Kansas basketball fan, and truthfully, I like the articles. I think we should have more articles about football, but it's fun to hear about KU bball during the summer.

keep em' coming!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

This is the most asinine discussion on any topic I have ever seen on this site. The comments made by numerous posters are shocking in their lack of focus as to what's truly important...we need to get back to the Primary Concerns for this upcoming championship Bill Self's Toupee!!!!

Nancy Borst 10 years, 6 months ago

Headbands - why not? T-shirts under uniforms - yuck. Ban those instead.

Greg Lux 10 years, 6 months ago

The Coach is the Coach ... aka HMFIC .. Rules or policies are to not be taken lightly.. Since it's not allowed then we should respect the Coach and not get involved. Sorry this is not a poll, this is a policy and it should end there. No Headband story over .. Move on to the more important stuff. I am sure Taylor will be ok without it.

Rock Chalk

Joe Ross 10 years, 6 months ago


i give you the credit you deserve. I have to admit to being a band-wagonner with respect to the football team. having said that, ive always had an interest that our pigskin program do well. with regard to my comments that "...our football team isnt very good", i have to say that I didnt give Mangino or his squad enough credit. perhaps it was because i didnt focus hard enough on the program to know they were really getting better. I remember in 2005 (i think) we played Nebraska really close and had a lead in the final minute and a half only to lose to the Cornhuskers. There were probably signs, I just didnt see them. But in my defense, most others didnt either prior to the "orange bowl" season a couple of years ago.

in fairness, there a more than a couple of football articles a week being written about the football team. in my last post i mentioned that a couple of articles had been written by Keegan--but there are, in fact, others. This is just a guess, but I think there are more articles being written about the football team now than at this point two years ago. I hope it pleases you. The diehard football fans should be so rewarded.

Final point and Ill shut up. Extra coverage of the football team should not come at the expense of basketball coverage. Some proponents of more FB coverage think BB coverage should actually be diminished to make way for their sport (this is not an opinionated statement, I can dig up countless examples in the archives). My feeling is that the BB coverage is fine where it is, and that increased FB coverage is fine too. I just wonder, fabio, if you can be honest enough in saying that 3 years ago there was little justification for providing equal coverage to both teams. Why? Because Kansas is traditionally a basketball school and because it's always been an immutable law of the universe that the best-performing programs (in a particular school or across the country) get more publicity.

mjlindsm 10 years, 6 months ago

Great article, Keegan! I enjoyed it, despite what some others have said.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 6 months ago

Please answer these questions honestly and then tell me which sport deserves the majority coverage:

1] Who has a fantastic chance at a National Championship? 2] Who potentially could have two first team All-Americans in the starting lineup? 3] Who Has a coach with a long winning history and a NC under his belt? 4] Who has the inventor of the game? 5] Who has the potential of four first round draft picks in the professional draft?

Before you answer, realize how lucky we are to have two teams with enough merit that there is a controversy over coverage!!!

Any guesses if the Mildcats or the Tiggers would change places with us in a heartbeat?????

Alex Wishart 10 years, 6 months ago

if HCBS can wear head adornments then Ty should be able to as well.

Clif Roark 10 years, 6 months ago

It's obvious that Mr. Keegan does not want valid criticism on the public airways or in this case the internet.....a sad commentary for Mr. Keegan. rockjacque

Clif Roark 10 years, 6 months ago

It's obvious that Mr. Keegan does not want valid criticism on the public airways or in this case the internet.....a sad commentary for Mr. Keegan.......I attempted to post a comment earlier and evidently it was censored!!!!!! rockjacque

LAJayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

It was a pretty entertaining fluff piece. Nice work Tom.

Oh, and Keegs:

"...a list of all-time great KU athletes that excludes Al Oerter and Glenn Cunningham."

Well played. Well played.

Although this one is a little puzzling:

"...Simon without Garfunkel..."

Paul Simon has had a pretty successful career on his own. 1986's Graceland was a pretty big hit with a number of songs being very widely known, and, of course, there are several others. Plus Simon -- as is pretty widely understood -- was the musical mastermind behind the duo's fame (thus, the reason his solo career has continued his success while Art's fizzled). Of course, your entire article seems to be pretty heavily tongue in cheek, so I suppose I should let that one slide.... :)

And just to add to the previous discussion: I am a rabid KU football and basketball fan. I would LOVE more football coverage, but I also greatly enjoy these silly fluff basketball pieces in July. How 'bout this Keegs, GIVE JESSE NEWELL SOME MORE SPACE!! He is hands down the best writer for the LJW sports (although I do think Doogie is widely undervalued and unappreciated), so I suggest you take advantage of his abilities before he moves on to bigger and better things!

Keep these articles coming AND more football please!!

LAJayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

The "give jesse newell some more space!!" was supposed to be in all caps, it didn't post that way for some reason.

I would like to re-emphasize that point.

Keegan, he is your best writer.

yovoy 10 years, 6 months ago

i didn't mention that i tend to like keegan's work most of the time.

jayhawkerman - thaaaaank you!

all calling for more fb coverage, i'm with you, as long as the amount of bb coverage (save for a certain "writer" or two) doesn't decrease.

capnwacky 10 years, 6 months ago

Simon without Garfunkel is still pretty great. I mean, he gave us "Graceland."

kugrad93 10 years, 6 months ago

Glad I'm not the only one that thought the Paul Simon comment was ignorant.

jaybate 10 years, 6 months ago

The big crisis everyone overlooked is: what will Coach Self say when Tyshawn wears his U19 Gold medal as a necklace during games?

And while we're exploring limits of attire, I would like it if Tyshawn became the first KU player ever to play in full blown sunglasses, not just photo greys.

It is time this barrier was broken.

In fact, I would kind of like it if he would begin to wear a whole series of sunglasses worn by Sly of Sly and the Family Stone.

"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" / "Everybody is a Star"

Paul Mitten 10 years, 6 months ago

Football's football but KU basketball is KU basketball and I could read fluff pieces about the bball team every day, and so could you, which is why you opened this article, read it, and commented on it.

mlubyRN 10 years, 6 months ago

Jaybate you crazy sunoffayouknow what! That was hilarious! Sharpen Cole's elbows with a dremel.

Back to the issue. I think that Mario and Russel Robinson were and are the best point guards that have been at KU in recent history. If Tyshawn can bring his game up to their level, then he should be able to wear a head band.

labbadabba 10 years, 6 months ago

honeyiscool - I disagree with you bud. I opened this article because I was looking for something to read. Disappointed that there was no football article (again) I chose to read this fluff piece.

I'm much more of a football fan than a basketball fan and I really don't care to read fluff pieces in July about headbands when there's all sorts of unanswered questions coming into camp.

Over at there have been a series of articles breaking down the underrated weaknesses of the team. I would love to see some of that coverage over here but not so much.

Jaybate - nicely done.

Joe Ross 10 years, 6 months ago


RE: "I'm much more af a football fan than a basketball fand and I really dont care to read fluff pieces in July about headbands...".


John Randall 10 years, 6 months ago

""It's obvious that Mr. Keegan does not want valid criticism on the public airways or in this case the internet.....a sad commentary for Mr. Keegan.......I attempted to post a comment earlier and evidently it was censored!!!!!! rockjacque""

It's not obvious to me, but I don't know him all that well. You two spend a lot of time together, do you? I hope you both feel better in the morning.

Regarding "evidently censored," might you not have just screwed up the submission process? It isn't all that clear which button to press when, what happens if you're not logged in, . . .

John Randall 10 years, 6 months ago

""Glad I'm not the only one that thought the Paul Simon comment was ignorant.""

Among all the facetious comments, how does one define 'ignorant.' ONM, I get it -- you, too, are being facetious.

John Randall 10 years, 6 months ago

(Johann Ross) says... Preach on.

On your knees, sinna boy! Come to hey-soose this minute!

John Randall 10 years, 6 months ago

""I'm much more of a football fan than a basketball fan and I really don't care to read fluff pieces in July about headbands when there's all sorts of unanswered questions coming into camp.""

So change your bookmark to f-ball page. You can still hit HOME to come back to what matters. ;-)

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