Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Old school

Thomas’ 33 points lead alumni to victory

Kansas guard Sherron Collins tries to block the path of former KU player Russell Robinson. Current and former Jayhawk players scrimmaged Wednesday at Horejsi Center during the Bill Self camp.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins tries to block the path of former KU player Russell Robinson. Current and former Jayhawk players scrimmaged Wednesday at Horejsi Center during the Bill Self camp.


Audio clips

KU basketball alumni game June 10

KU hoops alumni top current players

Several former Jayhawks returned to Lawrence to face off against members of the current KU squad.

Billy Thomas saw no need to talk any trash — or even pump his fist — during a remarkable 33-point explosion that carried Kansas University’s alumni team to a 67-52 victory over the current Jayhawks on Wednesday at Horejsi Center.

The 6-foot-5 off guard let his performance — 12-of-18 shooting, 7-of-11 from three in a scrimmage at the Bill Self camp — speak for itself.

“I don’t do that. I am from the old school. That’s one of the things coach (Roy) Williams taught us, to not allow that (taunting),” 33-year-old former KU guard Thomas said.

“At the same time, you get a little smirk and it’s, ‘You know what I’m thinking,’’’ Thomas added.

You know what KU’s current players were thinking during Thomas’ scoring spree?

Something like: Why isn’t this guy in the NBA?

“He made every shot he took. It’s tough to win when he’s doing that,” KU senior Sherron Collins said. “We (current players) were a little sluggish. We’re not in tip-top shape. I’ve got to get in better shape than I am. We just got back (to town) a few days ago, and we’re still trying to find our game. We’re a little rusty.

“Billy Thomas looks like he’s been in the gym a lot,” added Collins, who plans to shed a few pounds before trying out for USA Basketball’s World University Games team June 16 to 24 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Marcus Morris, Tyshawn Taylor, Conner Teahan and others tried — and failed — to slow Thomas.

“Oh my gosh, he can shoot it from so far. It’s like you can’t even contest that,” said Morris, who hit three of four threes en route to a team-leading 11 points. “Anybody who can shoot that well from deep should be in the NBA. He’s quick, too, real quick,” Morris added of Thomas, who led the Colorado 14ers to the NBA Developmental League title last year.

Russell Robinson, who played for Reno of the D-League last year, scored 17 points off 5-of-9 shooting including four of seven from three. He revealed he’ll be playing summer-league ball for the Orlando Magic.

“I’m shooting a lot better now after a lot of practice over the year getting my stroke together,” former KU point guard Robinson said. “It felt good to compete today.”

The only other alumni to score were Christian Moody (10 points) and Sasha Kaun (seven). Collins and newcomer Thomas Robinson scored eight apiece for the current KU team.

The game was all about one man — Billy Thomas.

“What I try to prove to these guys is it takes hard work to even get there,” he said of the NBA, where he has had short stints with three teams. “I want to pass along you can take no days off, that it’s going to be tough. They are going against me, they could be going against Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant in the league. Those are the guys they’ll have to face when they get there. I want them to understand how tough it is and how much work it’s going to take.”

• Twins bulk up: Markieff Morris, who stands 6-foot-9, says he weighs 242 pounds, up from his playing weight of 215 as a freshman. His brother, 6-8 Marcus, is at 235 pounds. He also checked into KU about 215.

“We’ve been in the weightroom faithfully, trying to get our bodies right,” Markieff said.

• Skin condition bothersome: KU sophomore Travis Releford sat out the scrimmage. He’s taking medication for a skin irritation.

“Travis will be fine. He’s had an allergic reaction to something. We’re trying to be cautious and not let him do too much until he’s back 100 percent,” KU coach Self said.

Releford said blood tests have shown no cause of the skin irritation. “It’s like a tingling, stabbing (sensation) when I rub up against anything. I’m taking some different medication,” he said, indicating he hopes to be back on the court as soon as possible.

• Newcomers: Xavier Henry and Elijah Johnson are two newcomers who should be in town by the end of the week, Self said. Newcomer Thomas Robinson had eight points off 4-of-7 shooting with five rebounds. Arizona transfer Jeff Withey had three points, three rebounds and two steals.

• Fundraiser tonight: Several former KU players, including Thomas, Kaun, Robinson, Darnell Jackson and Wayne Simien, will compete in a scrimmage at 7 tonight at Free State High. It’s a fundraiser for the family of former Lawrence youth minister Brandon White, who recently died after a bout with cancer. Tickets are $5.


kansaspike 12 years, 7 months ago

God I wish he could have done that against Rhode Island in '98

Greg Lux 12 years, 7 months ago

I just want to know who was NOT guarding Thomas? Practice hard guys .. your out of shape for sure .. Congrats you old guys ... well done .. Good thing is the Jayhawks still won the game

Rock Chalk

Tribehawk 12 years, 7 months ago

How did Cole only get 2? Was Sasha that dominant?

suttonku 12 years, 7 months ago

oh this is no indication of the team for next year dont read anything into this at all

chriz 12 years, 7 months ago

Uh, so the alumni squad only played 4?

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

Man you have to let the old players win. It's all for fun and you can't just beat the people who helped lay down the recent building blocks of KU basketball.

I would bet Cole was making the young players, ie Robinson, earn their keep. Every one knows Cole can ball, why prove it to beat the alumni?

What strikes me is the numbers other than cole and collins. I am interested in seeing if this games point total break down from highest to least, (minus Cole and Collins) ; Marcus, Robinson, Reed, Teahan, Taylor, Morris and Withey, will resemble point total tallies as the season progresses.

18 weeks and 2 days until Late Night

Sam Burns 12 years, 7 months ago

Can we get a break down of who played, and how much they played?

Martin Rosenblum 12 years, 7 months ago

7 of 11 3's for Billy? Wow, will somebody please tell me what his career high was as an active Jayhawk?

What a clinic!

I would also like to know if it was 4 on 5 or who the fifth alum was.

Isn't it great to be posting about hoops in June?

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 7 months ago

Give Billy his props. The man deserves to be back in the NBA.

100 12 years, 7 months ago

"And here comes Jacque...

He dishes to Billy,

In the Corner...

He hit it,

He hit it!!!"

"Wooa Nellie! The Hawks have taken the lead!!!"

--- First quote from Bob Davis, Second from Max Faulkenstein at Allen Fieldhouse against UCLA about a decade ago. Long live Billy Thomas!!!!

Eurekahwk 12 years, 7 months ago

Billy is much better than many of the young blood littering NBA rosters who never even get off the bench. It is a travesty that he isn't playing in the league. As far as the gameplan, do you really think the kids are going to play Billy ball (Okie ball) against their brethren? This is just a friendly scrimmage. But for Cole to only have a couple and not a half a dozen dunks is kind of weird. I guess Sasha played for keeps! I do wish the main show would have been in town. That would be our currents vs Jacque, Raef, Paul, Pollard, Hinrich, Collison, Gooden, Julian, BRush, Mario, D-Block, Sasha, RusRob.

Our current team in its whole wouldn't stand a chance of even keeping it close, but I think it'd be great experience for them.

Jared Grillot 12 years, 7 months ago

100 - I was at that game. I'm surprised anyone could hear what those guys were saying. It was absolutely deafening. Overcame a 15 point halftime deficit... it was possibly the greatest game that I ever watched in person at Allen Fieldhouse.

waywardJay 12 years, 7 months ago

Eureka.... you think cole would minded going against any of the bigs...... He may be the best on that list......

Paul we gotta introduce to X..... and have apul say... Look here son..... this is what it takes...... man that would be awesome..... just think for a second....

" X brings it up ... cross over dribble on Stephenson, cuts left breaks back right ... i little herky jerky Jumper from 12 feet.... GOOD.... and the foul ! "

LAJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

"...Collins, who plans to shed a few pounds before trying out for USA Basketball’s World University Games team June 16 to 24 in Colorado Springs, Colo."

He's trying to shed a few pounds by the 16th?!?! What, is he planning on not eating for 6 days??

Maybe he's on that Acai berry diet. I mean it works for those chicks in the banner adds on the sides of these articles. And if it's in a banner ad featuring half naked women on a sports website, it must be good stuff!

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 7 months ago

LAJayhawk, Collins is young and an athlete , his metabolism is a lot higher than average folks. Besides he said a few pounds. That is no big deal.

tstanlick1909 12 years, 7 months ago

Hey guys,

I didnt look at the clip from the story but I did find find this on tube i hope theyre not the same


LAJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago


It's called levity. I make'a da joke.

But your right, it's summer time I must be serious.

Very, very serious.

LAJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago

[insert LAJayhawk's serious face here]

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 7 months ago

LAJayhawk, Maybe your humor does not come across in print .

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 7 months ago

Lost in all this "levity" we failed to mention anything about the fundraiser that was noted at the end of the article. Props to the players for walking the walk.

bigjay83 12 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

bigjay83 12 years, 7 months ago

Nice to see Old Billy playing well. Guy has always had a killer J. Hopefully he can pick up one more contract.

Also nice to hear the Twins are working their butt off in the weight room. That's a decent amount of muscle they've added. I can't wait to see what they look like when the season rolls around. Hopefully that weight will force their hands down onto the rim in what is referred to, I believe, as a "dunking motion."

Kansaspike, I would say great comment.... if I wasn't still pissed off about that game.....

Dirk Medema 12 years, 7 months ago

LA - If so many people wouldn't have ragged on Sherron for his weight in the past, it might have been easier to see your attempt at humor. The reality is that almost anyone that is in good enough condition to be able to workout several hours a day can easily lose a few pounds in a week unless they're already less than 5% body fat. Sherron showed last September and thru the year that he and the 'Hawks will be fine.

Good luck in the tryouts Sherron.

Rock Chalk

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago


Banner ads with half-nakies? Which half? I gotsta know.

I don't get any of those. I want some 1/2-nakies on my plasma porthole. I don't even care which half!

Darn this NoScript and AdBlock. I knew my wife put them on my browser for a reason.

JayhawkCasey 12 years, 7 months ago

No one is talking about Markieff adding almost 30 lbs of muscle and his brother 20 lbs. He is catching up to Cole fast (weight wise).

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

Re: The Team vs. the Legacy Pick-Up Game

} This pick-up game is generating the kind of buzz that could be the small start of something big. It has a nascent Late Night feel at least among board rats here. But it needs a name for it to catch on--something like Summer Dunk, Summer Slam, Burning Court, or whatever some Basketball Rabelais can coin. Its gotta be a party--a summer kegger with barbque and basketball! Play the game at night. Big bonfires. Surround the court with tiki torches, or something. My ultimate fantasy would be to combine water and basketball and 'que. Hold the game on a temporary court laid by Potters Lake, or on a sand bar out on the Kansas River, or at one of the big lakes near Lawrence. Summer Party! Live music! Rock on!

} This game had to deflate the big heads on this coming year's team! All to the good.

} Cole has to be grateful he came back for another season, after getting a heaping, helping of From Russia with Love--Sasha Kaun.

} All the bigs have to look at themselves in the mirrors and say, "Christian Moody got ten on us." I always thought Moody was underrated by fans, but, at the same time, he is no better than most of the bigs they will face this season. Better get serious now, bigs, unless you want to wind up looking like Cole Aldrich after the NU mugging last season. The KU bigs have got to get mean from the start.

} All the guards better start doing slides wherever they go! Slide to the bathroom. Slide in the line at Mickey Ds. Slide on the dance floor. Slide into the weight room. Slide into The Wheel. Billy and Russell both lit them up.

jaybate 12 years, 7 months ago

} I love it that the Morris Twins went all Rocky Balboa over the spring pounding sides of virtual beef for their Mick in a sports bra--Andrea Hudy. Kieff at 245? Allllllllllright!!!!! And props to Mother Morris for fixing triple helpings of Philly soul food every night since March. Commitments like Marcus and Kieff have made to themselves and their team are what make a great team possible. I hope the Morris Twins spend the whole season walking around kicking sand in the faces of all the guys who wailed on their skinny freshman bodies last season. These guys are going to be more forceful than last season. I can feel it my femurs.

} The Henry Boys not showing irks my irk-gland. Quintrel Thomas and Tyrone Appleton would have been there. I love guys who want to play, not guys who want to talk about playing from back home. Hey, Carl, you would have been here for this game in your playing days. You know it. Self knows it. Everybody knows it. How about you come and play for the legacies the next time your youngin's decide to duck rather than be Jayhawks. Hey, Mother Henry, you would have been at one of these games, too, even if only because you respected Marion Washington. Shake'n'Wake your boys up. They make it to these cr@p all-star games all over the freakin' uinverse, but they can't find gas money to drive Carl's SUV up to Lawrence for some fun and mom's cookin'? What kinda meadow muffin souffle is this? Were they both meeting with NCAA investigators, or what? The braces rationalization for X doesn't scrub. I'm sure Lew Perkins could check his donor list and find some KU grad orthodontist in Lawrence that would have been happy to take the hard ware of X's molars for free, if the kid would have come to be with his team. The invisible man gig for CJ doesn't slice it either. In CJ, we are, up until very recently, dealing with the mouth that roared every chance it got. Now, suddenly, CJ has become an invisible mute? Are they team guys, or walking violations? FYI, Sherron Collins has a living, breathing son in Chicago and he drags his butt down to Larryland for this. I think a son is more important than some freaking teeth wire, don't you? Sherron Collins has a ring. I think if a guy has a ring and can get here from Chicago that the ringless wonders--X NOOAD and CNoJayhawk Henry--could put their jocks in a gym bag and come up for some fun. Oh, excuse me, this is an all volunteer, not-a-big-deal, optional game. Just team mates playing grab with the legacy. Where's the want-to, X? Where's the commitment, CJ? Haven't you heard? Things are sensitively dependent on intial conditions. At least Quinrel and Tyrone wanted to be here. Tyrone may still be available.

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 7 months ago

bigjay83, Resorting to grade school insults indicated you have nothing intelligent to add to this conversation.

ObiWan 12 years, 7 months ago

I'm with you, Jaybate. There's plenty of good dentists in Lawrence who would be happy to work on a young Jayhawk. Let's hope X is just clinging to his childhood for one last summer (perhaps a girl?) before committing himself to a National Championship run. Meanwhile, though, Mario Little has to be licking his chops. He already knows what Coach Self expects and wants to see, so he'll be working from day 1 to steal some minutes at the 3. And we know Brady's been giving 100%, hence the stress fracture. Hopefully, X and CJ will realize that minutes are not guaranteed, and that Coach Self doesn't care who you are or what NBA scouts think of you. He cares about what you do in practice, and how you perform when your number is called.

Kent Wells 12 years, 7 months ago

What is the difference between naked and nekked?

Nekked is still naked, but your up to something.

I see no half naked (or nekked) ladies anywhere. Me thinks me is cheated. My luck, the half I would see would be the head and feet.

Of course, its time to get serious.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 7 months ago

None of us should be surprised if, and may I paraphrase an old line from a classic rock band,

" Here comes the new starting five....same as the old starting five...[insert Pete Townsend guitar riff } !!!! :}

wannabe 12 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate wow take a breath... someone piss in your post toasties this AM? That was so over the top and nuts I really can't believe it. Like the crazy butt chewing I get for leaving a plate in the sink PMS week at home. You just spent what, 10 minutes typing to blast a soon to be freshman in college because he was not on campus 2 months before school starts? Someday he might look back and think how he wishes he was there but not because he owes any of us anything but because it might have been fun.

MichaelC 12 years, 7 months ago

anyone know what time the charity game at Free State is? It only listed price and location.


Larry Smith 12 years, 7 months ago

What I can't understand, and maybe I missed it, is why are people flaming on X because he has not arrived yet, but EJ is getting a free pass. Is it because people are more anxious to see X, and therefore feel he owes it to us to get here now? If coach Self is OK with it, then why should anyone else question anything.

Joel Hood 12 years, 7 months ago


The game tonight at Free State HS starts at 7:00 p.m. You can get tickets at the gate or early at 23rd Street Brewery.

My 8 year old daughter is psyched - she loves RussRob.

KGphoto 12 years, 7 months ago

Doh! Jaybate's en fuego today.

Love the big man motivation, and the sliding tips. Love the idea of turning the game into a Potters Lake, tiki torch, rockfest. How about "Burning Hawk"? With lot's of nekked people. Big fun!

But not so much love for the Henry bashing. Gotta go with wannabe on that one. X is 18 dude. He's wearin braces. Give him a minute or two.

Hey. jaybate's wife. Uncensor jb's laptop so he can see the girlies or his blood pressure is gonna scare off the frosh.

tstanlick1909 12 years, 7 months ago


i thought jaybate was spot on

his angle was the "want to" of the henry brothers, if they commited themselves to play for bill self than they obviously want to better their game and prepare for a huge season. thats what thomas robinson is thinking, same goes to EJ after his graduation ceremony

the henry brothers need to get on board, i dont want those two messing up team chemistry when they show up late august while all of our other players have been lifting with their teammates

KGphoto 12 years, 7 months ago

Okay I just watched the YouTube. Thanks for that, tstanlick. Other than it seemed the entire game took place during a 4.2 earthquake, it was interesting to watch.

Some moments that stuck out.

Matt Kleinman. Two months removed. Playing on the alumni team. Received more minutes in this game than he did in his entire 5 year KU career.

Withey is real tall. He may not be too physical, but every time I saw him he was swatting away a pass or a shot. Quick hands. Marcus Camby'ish.

Tyshawn giving the 15-year-old ref some business on an out-of-bounds play against New York, NY. That's just funny. Love the competitiveness though.

Almost didn't recognize #2 without the flop top. But he hit everything I saw him shoot. A prelude? Or is he just best when there is no pressure?

Didn't see any of the Billy Thomas show. Bummer.

Why not step it up and have a showcase game in AFH between current NBA alumni and the latest KU team. Paul Pierce, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison etc. playing against the boys. What a stark contrast you would see. The cool professionalism vs. the semi out-of-control college kids. I bet they'd learn a lot and have a ton of fun.

Finally, and unrelated to the YouTube, I'm curious about all this gaining 30 pounds stuff. Last I remember, the twins checked in at 225 and 230 as freshman. I never, ever saw them listed at 215. The only way to gain 30lbs of muscle in 6 months is put a BALCO counter in the locker room, right next to the Star Bucks.

12 years, 7 months ago

jaybate ~ love the subtle Dirty Harry reference :o)

“I know what you're thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

LAJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago


I can't answer that, I'm too busy being serious.

[growling noise] -- [serious face]

Okay, that kind of hurt. I think I pulled a muscle. Back to enjoying life.

Am I the only one that has seen that banner ad on the side of the "before and after" in which the "after" girl is standing sideways in a bra and thong?

And KUWells, ironically the picture doesn't even show the head or the feet. It's just an underwear clad torso.

100 12 years, 7 months ago

Speaking of Marcus Camby..

Three more stories fresh from the Lexington Herald LEADER... (ok so the last one is made up)

  1. UK's basketball team accused of NCAA minor rules violation for reportedly eating for free at a local establishment for the last two years (one that serves alcohol too). Apparently they'd then tip the waitress! Coach Calipari's staff has asked his team to stop eating/ drinking there.

  2. UK was forced to release some basketball grades -- apparently the athletic department found a brown loophole in their underwear to hide the kids names. It makes good sense in a city like that until we find out why UK went to such an extreme and that's what the fans are mad at the LHH for writing it to begin with -- apparently the lowest GPA's are being rumored to be Patterson & Meeks.

  3. To go along with Wall & Cousins SAT sideshow, not to mention Rose & Dozier still trying to formulate a sentence to the media on this topic, Calipari finds himself in quite a pickle, going to night school at UK, trying to once & for all pass this "very difficult, potentially impossible" test called...

the SAT...

Kent Wells 12 years, 7 months ago

LA: pretty sure I would notice that. I hope I would notice that! A semi naked torso would make reading some of Mayers columns more tolerable...

FairgroveJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago


-And if it's in a banner ad featuring half naked women on a sports website, it must be good stuff!

Not so fast.. that may be what Releford was seeking when he came up with his skin condition. Perhaps he made a rash decision to travel to Manhattan with some friends for an all nighter, maybe he had an itch he had to scratch... he should have stayed on the west side of lawrence.

nothing a little hydrocortisone and tussin can't fix.

Scott Smetana 12 years, 7 months ago

I live in CO Springs and plan to attend as much tryouts as I can next week for team USA. I'll post a report on here.

KUFan90 12 years, 7 months ago

LAJayhawk - just so you know, yes I get those ads too. Am I wrong for liking one of the "before" pictures better than the after? ; )

LAJayhawk 12 years, 7 months ago


Ah, I'm not crazy! Or at least in this circumstance.....

And to answer your question... um, kind of.... :) But, hey, to each his own, right?


"Out of Tussin? Just pour some water in, shake it up, more Tussin!"

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