Monday, July 27, 2009


Jayhawks lacking minutes


Kansas University will rank atop more preseason college basketball polls than any other school. Somebody has to rank first, but it’s not as if KU is as easy a choice as North Carolina was a year ago. The reason: experience. North Carolina had far more of it going into last season than the Jayhawks have heading into the 2009-2010 season.

Roy Williams entered last season coaching a roster that already had a whopping 14,265 minutes of Div. I experience from basketball players on scholarship, led by Tyler Hansbrough’s 3,365 minutes. Seven players had more than 1,000 minutes going into last season.

Bill Self’s roster features three players with more than 1,000 minutes of Div. I basketball floor time: Sherron Collins (2,884), Cole Aldrich (1,367) and Brady Morningstar (1,153).

A more experienced team means a smarter team. College basketball veterans use their superior physical, mental and emotional maturity to their advantage. They also play hungrier because many of the players know their careers are winding to a close.

KU’s 2008 national champions brought 11,871 minutes into that season, compared to the 8,906 this year’s roster has going into the Nov. 13 season opener against Hofstra in Allen Fieldhouse. The 2007-2008 team had five players (Brandon Rush, Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers, Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson) who already had logged at least 1,000 minutes of Div. I time.

Kansas isn’t the most experienced team expected to be in the hunt for a national title, but it’s not the greenest, either. Kentucky’s John Calipari has the least experienced roster among teams getting the most love in conversations about the best handful of 2009-2010 schools. Calipari has a loaded recruiting class led by point guard John Wall and post player DeMarcus Cousins, but returning talent is thin in experience behind Perry Stevenson (2,096) and Patrick Patterson (2,040). Kentucky checks in at 7,086 minutes of experience.

Purdue (11,990 minutes) ranks highest among popular top-five picks, Bob Huggins’ West Virginia team (10,311) led by Da’Sean Butler (3,131) is worth watching, and Michigan State checks in just ahead of KU with 9,082 minutes.

What Self’s roster lacks in experience it compensates for in length, quickness and versatility. Still, the freshmen can’t play like freshmen in March if KU is going to win a second national title in three years.

A possible starting five of Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Xavier Henry, Marcus Morris and Cole Aldrich features a freshman, two sophomores, a junior and a senior, not tremendously experienced, but not green either.

Much of KU’s success will be determined by the answers to questions about newcomers. Such as:

How quickly will freshman Xavier Henry develop into a complete player who can be counted on to shut down the other team’s tallest wing?

Will Elijah Johnson and/or C.J. Henry polish the rough edges well enough to beat out Morningstar and Tyrel Reed for playing time?

Can Thomas Robinson learn enough in a short time to merit major minutes?

Watching answers to those questions develop won’t be boring.


suttonku 10 years, 8 months ago


Yes they lack experience but I dont think you have seen Xavier or CJ play...theyre ready for the NBA right now, I mean right now...And as I have stated before, we have Bill Self, the best coach in the game...Can you name another coach in the nation that could have taken last years team and won the big 12 for a 5th straight time? I cant...I have no doubts that Robinson will take minutes away from Markief Morris because I have seen both play and no one on KU's roster has a motor like Robinson, no one...Robinson goes hard and does not take a possession off...EJ will have to scrap a bit for minutes, but its not that hes not good enough its that KU has such a stacked backcourt...Tom does have the starting lineup correct...and if you look at this team it's almost an NBA team because Marcus has been developing his shooting and perimeter game...and oh yeah Xavier needs to polish his defensive game but he's not bad and he is physically strong enough to shut down NBA players so I think he will be fine...and if he struggles in a game its nbot like KU doesnt have other options at the wing like putting Marcus out there or how about Mario Little? I expect a much better season from Little...KU is the deepest team in college basketball and they can play any style of game...they can stack their defense, play a run and gone, and they can slow it down and play out of the half court...this team has it all and this team has the potential to be the best KU team of all time, easily enough talent...this team is so talented that the second five could make the NCAA tournament and the third team could compete with most big 12 teams...yes Texas will challenge us and that is a potential trap game but in order for this team to win a title they are going to have to struggle in games and they are gonna have to be challenged and pushed.

Eurekahwk 10 years, 8 months ago

We have a point guard who made the biggest steal, the second biggest three, and the biggest assist in Kansas history. We have a center who owned the ACC's greatest scoring center ever in a Final Four game,turn on sarcasm meter. That experience trumps everything that any other team brings to the table.Those two guys alone negate any experience advantage that anyone enjoys over us.

Those two pillars of fortitude are the reason we could get away with losing our entire starting lineup, and still come back to win our fifth straight conference title and be within two minutes of reaching the Elite Eight with a starting lineup that featured two rookies and a RS Sophomore that looks more like a towel boy than he does a D-I basketball player.

Now we bring back a supporting cast one year wiser with added support of the All-World Henry brothers to shore up Sherron and Cole. I think we'll be fine.

rolo2383 10 years, 8 months ago

It's almost football season. Go Jayhawks!!!

5a5quatch 10 years, 8 months ago

suttonku, is CJ really ready for the NBA? Do you know something we don't know?

jeffmaher 10 years, 8 months ago

So much talent, so few minutes...ahh what a problem to have.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

Good article. Good point. Hard to replace experience.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

5a5quatch and suttonku

I'm not sure about CJ but I second suttonku's motion on Mr. Robinson. I too have seen him play and, as I have posted on numerous occasions, this kid is a warrior with no mercy. I think just his attitude will elevate everyone around him!!!!!!

Joe Baker 10 years, 8 months ago

Why don't you interview Mr. Robinson? The banner hangs in the Phog!!

Jory Collins 10 years, 8 months ago

No way CJ is ready for the NBA right now. You don't spend years playing professional baseball, do some work in the summer, and play in the NBA. That's getting a little ahead of ourselves.

Rush, Wright, and Chalmers all struggled as freshman at one point or another during that seasn. We can expect the same from ALL our newcomers. The difference is going to be Taylor, Morris's, and Little have a year under their belts and will take a lot of pressure off Sherron and Cole.

We're deep, uber talented, and coached as will as anybody. Should be a great season.

yates33333 10 years, 8 months ago

I guess you have to write stuff like this to make a living, but I hope it rains on your parade next week! Nothing serious, of course. I hope you stay safe and healthy.

mandomax 10 years, 8 months ago

Suttonku, have you watched the Henry bros compete at any camps against serious talent? Because if you have only watched their high school highlights, I don't think you can say with any certainty they are ready for the NBA right now. Having an NBA body right out of high school is one thing, adapting to the quickness and strength of the true pros, or D1 players for that matter, is another.

Joe Ross 10 years, 8 months ago

Out of curiousity, I wonder how many minutes the Memphis roster had when Kansas defeated them in the championship game. I also wonder about Carmelo Anthony's team that defeated Kansas in...03? I wonder if one-and-done freshman phenoms change the thinking at all about the importance of experience, and how you weigh their talent against the lack of minutes on the floor. Beasely, Durant, Rose, Mayo, and others certainly werent liabilities but all lowered the "minutes number" when they stepped on the court for the first time. There might be something to what Keegan is saying, but Id need more information before I came to a decision.

tstanlick1909 10 years, 8 months ago

Good question jross, would you rather have a freshman Derrick Rose, or a senior Keith Langford.

kufankam 10 years, 8 months ago

From Left Field...

Can we find some less provocative advertising to post on these articles? My wife keeps peeking over my shoulder asking me, "what are you looking at?!". She knows that I am only looking at KU news and doesn't care, but still... I was on vacation the other day and was checking My nephew (8) was in the hotel room with me and I have to guard the screen from him in order to read about KU Basketball? Doesn't make sense.

I know that several of the college aged readers think I am being lame. I trust that those guys can find PLENTY of other site's that provide that type of material.

I am not coming to this site to see some busty number asking me to go on a journey. The only journey I am interested in is a journey to the 2010 National Championship...

Can this somehow be changed?

KUAlum2000 10 years, 8 months ago

kufankam, I agree. It seems to have picked up in the last couple of days.

I often check the site from work and often can't read an article because I have to scroll away from that ad. I understand that they pay for the ad space like anyone else, but I will check the site less frequently, if at all, because of the "face guarding" I would have to do.

97jhawk 10 years, 8 months ago

What about the Morris twins? If we can't get anything more than just fouls out of them, the '09-'10 season could be an uphill battle. Whether fans like to admit it or not, we need those two guys to delevop into their potential and mature in order to avoid those pesky technicals and play aggressively on the boards.

bdku 10 years, 8 months ago

kufankam -

Get yourself a shiny new copy of Mozilla Firefox, and install the add-on "Adblock Plus". You'll be glad you did. At least that will work for your home computer/laptop. Work, or hotel computers might be another story.


I feel we have a very experienced team. The actual minutes are one thing, but we have upper class men (and coaches) who have national championship rings, young players who have played in and seen what it takes to win NCAA tournament games, and only 1 or 2 (maybe 3 out of a 9-10 man rotation) greenhorns that will see significant minutes. All in all, we know what to expect, we have seen the competition, and played in the big games. I don't see a lack of experience, I see an abundance of it.

Joel Hood 10 years, 8 months ago

Obviously UNC had the most court time experience in 2009. But, a few years ago one could argue that Colorado had the most experienced team in the Big 12. As I remember, they lost a lot of games with a boatload of upper classmen. I think Keegan missed a critical point in that the quality of the experience is as important as the quantity of the experience. These guys gained a lot of quality experience last year by winning the Big 12 and then making the Sweet 16.

I think that November and early December might be a little rough as this team clarifies its identify, but by mid to late January, this team will look like a monster. Winning a NC requires more than time on the floor, it requires talent, depth, great coaching, grit, and a little bit of luck. The only thing you can't guarantee about this Bill Self team is the luck.

Joe Ross 10 years, 8 months ago

Which "CJ" is better suited for the NBA? Giles or Henry?

The latest on Giles: "He entered the 2008 NBA Draft but was undrafted. He was signed by the Lakers in September 2008,[3] but was waived later in October.[4] Giles played for the Philippines' developmental (national) basketball team, Smart Gilas, as import with a prospect of being a naturalized player."


Hawkaholic22 10 years, 8 months ago

I think this is nit picking a bit. Plus Aldrich, Collins, Morris, and Taylor were all a part of last years sweet sixteen team and Cole and Sherron were on the championship team. Thats plenty enough experience, not even counting the incredible talent, depth, and size problems this team will give other teams. We can go big with Aldrich Withey Morris Henry and taylor, we can go small and fast with Sherron, Tyshawn, EJ, Xavier and Morris, and go for defense with Cole, Robinson, Henry, morningstar and Sherron. Anyone who thinks we aren't the heavy favorites (sorry kentucky) is kidding them selves. rock chalk

wrwlumpy 10 years, 8 months ago

This is probably not the best indicator of who will be All-American this year, but should remind us of who is gone from the other teams and who has stayed at KU. I think Brady will start the season because of his defense and Xavier will play when HCBS thinks he's ready. Before X and his brother, this team was still picked to be #1.

suttonku 10 years, 8 months ago

Well Ive seen CJ play numerous times...hes very physically strong, much like sherron only CJ is 6'4...hes ready to go, the leg is 100%...and ive heard that both Henrys have cut body fat and kept a lot of me they will be ready.

Michael Auchard 10 years, 8 months ago

One of the more interesting stats I've seen in awhile, good stuff. I would ask how many teams have someone returning who's posted a triple-double stat besides KU, though. You can't underestimate a dominant big man in today's college game. Especially when you can play perimeter defense like we can and can score from any position.

Joe Ross 10 years, 8 months ago

tstanlick...this might anger some people, but Id say a freshman Derrick Rose, but not by much.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 8 months ago

Posters complaining about the advertising. Did you try complaining directly to those who manage the site? As far as getting sympathy from me it is not going to happen. I am an adult out of college and I think you are lame. When you drive down the road do you blindfold your nephew so as to protect him from any unsavory images? What do you do if a bra commercial comes on television , or appears in a magazine. It is just a model with cleavage showing. Something they could see everyday anywhere. What is really harmful to him is your reaction to it. Actually I think you are the problem.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 8 months ago

JRoss - Your questions would require research, so I'd say it won't happen here unless JNewell gets a hold of it. There's a much better chance of seeing the answers if you posted it to the KCStar - Upon Further Review.

kufankam 10 years, 8 months ago


i don't ever recall asking for your sympathy? it seems misplaced to compare this with driving down the road passed "unsavory images". i don't know of anyone that drives down the road for the sole purpose of looking at pictures of women. however, i do know that there are LOTS of people who get on the internet for the sole purpose to look at those types of pictures of women. therefore, it seems more possible for someone looking over my shoulder to mistake what i am looking at on a computer screen. when you go to a page on a computer screen, you seek out that page. when you pass a hooter's billboard, you are simply passing by it to get to your destination. and you're right, my eight yr old nephew doesn't think a think of it. he can differentiate between things that happen to just be around us as oppose to actually seeking out certian content. all i was saying, is that i would hate for him to walk behind me and (without knowing that i was simply reading about KU basketball), wonder what kind of content is uncle is seeking out. it really isn't a huge deal, and if it doesn't change, i am fine with that. i was simply making an observation and i know that sometimes those that do "manage this site" read these comments and they may like to know that.

waywardJay 10 years, 8 months ago

Wow, really Jross. Great penetrator but Rose can't hit the side of a barn from 15 feet. At least, senior Langford was consistant at three, and by consistant i think he made 33 percent out there. The overall image I recall of Derrick Rose's shot was that joke that , bounced about 2 feet above the rim and mysteriously sunk down like a Barry Zito Curveball.

As for Memphis's minutes, through the end of 2007-2008 taggart 1119 kemp 1345 dozier 2586 dorsey 2674 Anderson 3197 CDR 2077 Mack 982 Rose ( Espn Pulled his stats so i estimated 30 minutes per game over 37 games.... ) 1110 McGrady 121 Robinson 255 Bailey 14

for a total of 15480.... subtract the 45 minutes per position and you end up with and estimated 15,255..... that's not counting CDR's Juco minutes either.... so you can prolly figure another 2000 for him there.

As for Syracuse, considering tat team was mostly freshman, i think we can agree that team would have significantly less career minutes.

waywardJay 10 years, 8 months ago


The problem is Craig Bracken types...every once in a blue moon you get a guy from a lower school that puts up lightning in a bottle numbers and decides to build on that hype 1 more year..... your point is taken though NOT MANY...IF AT ALL....

Joe Ross 10 years, 8 months ago

Yes, really wayward. I watched more than few Memphis games and so Im basing that impression on something.

waywardJay 10 years, 8 months ago

97jhawk..... as for the morris's..... Marcus was putting up points in scrimmage against our NBA bigs..... you can expect a pretty huge improvement there...... and im not sure Kieff will have to play... i agree with those who are sleeper picking Robinson.... he's that defensive intensity guy Bill just loves down low.....

and Jross... i'm not sure if i agree with mayo and Rose in that consideration.... Beas and Durant were both outstanding athletes but were liabilities on the defensive end.... as for Rose and Mayo, All mayo ever did was shoot and Rose defense, sub-par and shooting atrocious to mediocre..... liabilities in talent maybe not, but certainly not polished veteran players.....

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 8 months ago

Ned Flanders, worried about Rod and Todd seeing the busty ad lady? Seriously? Are you posting from Pakistan? If my wife nagged over my shoulder, I'd tell her to look at the makeup on that face. She's an android. A busty android.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 8 months ago

Oh yeah, minutes. Yeah, it's an issue, but the main issue for this year's team to me is scoring and scoring in the clutch. That's going to be an issue because in that respect, we're still somewhat young, although this is less of an issue than depth, which we have.

waywardJay 10 years, 8 months ago

Jross... seen him pretty regularly in rotation in the Nba.... still seems like the same kid, maybe a bit more mature and better stroke but kid as expanded his range from inside 8 feet to about 15 sometimes......

There is no arguing he will be a great player, but that shot is PAINFUL.

justanotherfan 10 years, 8 months ago

I think the answer to Rose as a freshman or Langford as a senior has already been answered pretty clearly. After Rose's freshman year he was the #2 pick in the NBA draft (not to mention taking his team to the national title game as a freshman).

After his senior year, Langford was undrafted. That's not a knock on Keith, but Derrick Rose was/is a better basketball player, pure and simple.

As for the minutes played, I think its inconsequential. If your team is good enough, the minutes don't matter nearly as much. For instance, I'd take John Wall at point guard over probably 97% of the D-1 point guards out there. I wouldn't take him over Sherron necessarily, but I'm sure if you asked Doc Sadler up at Nebraska if he would trade any one of his starting guards for John Wall, he would do it in a heart beat.

Experience only really matters if talent is relatively equal. If not, always side with the superior talent. Always. You may point to the fact that a more experienced KU team beat Memphis, or that a more experienced North Carolina team beat Michigan State, but really, in one case (KU-Memphis) the talent was relatively equal (as was the experience in truth, which is why the game was so close), so you side with the experience, while in the other case (UNC-MSU) the talent gap was wide, so you have to side with the talent. Even if MSU had been more experienced, experience doesn't guard Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington - talent does.

The only trouble with the one and done era is that, unless you bring a player like that into a situation where the team is already a contender, one player will be hard pressed to take a team from below average to Final Four.

Beasley made K-State better in his one year than they had been in the last two decades. Mayo made USC as good in one year as they have been in the last ten years. Rose made Memphis as good in his one year as they have ever been. Oden and Conley did the same at Ohio State. All of those guys were one and dones that truly elevated their program. Durant was tremendous in his year at Texas, although Texas is more accomplished recently than some of those other programs, with the exception of Memphis.

labbadabba 10 years, 8 months ago

Also agree with the ad with the busty RPG chick. She's all over the place. I shouldn't be checking the interwebs at work, but now I feel like there are more prying eyes everytime she shows up on my screen. Not cool.

waywardJay 10 years, 8 months ago

Just another.....

John Wall's 6'3 i think.... Sadler could play him at Center with that team

Joe Ross 10 years, 8 months ago


Theres plenty of news on this site for KU football. Believe me, Ive read them all. No need to knock on basketball coverage.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 8 months ago


I knew you had to still be around. Glad to see your postings. I see we share the same home town.

Joe Ross 10 years, 8 months ago


Likewise, bro! I was commenting a lot as you recall but decided to stand in the shadows for a little while so that fresh voices could be heard. The new layout on kusports has hit another gear so Im jumping back in. Look forward to seeing you around.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 8 months ago


This puts a new level of respect I have for your opinions on this board. I hope the expectations are not getting out of hand with this Jayhawk team. BTW, no chance I knew you back in the day as you would have been about 4 years old when I graduated from AHS, but may have know your parents.

Joe Ross 10 years, 8 months ago

My Aunt Catherine was mayor of Atchison for a while in the 70s. The Ross name is very common there. I also graduated from Benedictine so we're birds of the same feather as it turns out. My oldest sister, Dawn Ross, would have been a freshman when you were a senior. Perhaps you know her. My uncle George Ross was quite a gifted athlete for the Redmen. Any of those names familiar?

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 8 months ago

labbadabba , You are right you should not be checking out the "interwebs" at work . Or the internet either for that matter.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 8 months ago

kufancam, The billboard example is an analogy and it is not misplaced. Your interpretation of the analogy says a lot of your issues. Not once did I discuss driving down the road for the sole purpose of looking at pictures of women. The analogy I was referring to, perhaps it needed to be more specific for you, was that you are driving down the road to a destination and you happen to see a billboard with an unsavory image on the side of the road. The destination in this case was the ku sports article and the billboard is the advertisement you were upset by. It sounds like you were upset that you let yourself be distracted by the ad. Perhaps you need to address that with a therapist.

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