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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

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Jayhawks have shot at 4th straight tourney title

There isn't a single scholarship player on the Kansas men's basketball team that has lost a game in the Big 12 Tournament.

Tough matchup

Kansas University center Cole Aldrich worked hard for his 12 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s victory over Texas.

“I would say ‘exhausted’ would probably be a better word,” Aldrich said, asked if he grew tired banging with 6-foot-10, 298-pound UT center Dexter Pittman, who had 16 points and three boards.

“He’s so strong. He has soft hands and quick feet for a guy his size. I talked to him a little bit. He’s gone through a lot. He lost 90 pounds or something like that. For a man to lose 90 pounds, that’s great. He has the potential to be really good.”

The 6-11, 245-pound Aldrich continues to wear a boot on his left foot. “I’ve got a little stress reaction. We wear the boot as a precaution. It’s to immobilize my ankle so it won’t get worse.”

No net clipping yet

KU’s players didn’t clip the Allen Fieldhouse nets after Saturday’s Big 12-title-clinching victory over Texas.

“That is the coach’s fault,” coach Bill Self said on his Hawk Talk radio show. “I said we weren’t going to. I am not superstitious. I think our guys have gotten enough attention. I think doing something like that would make them feel like we accomplished more than we have. We said we’d do the video (and trophy presentation) and think about cutting nets at a different time.”

Tough loss for Jank

Former KU assistant Tim Jankovich’s Illinois State basketball team likely will be denied an NCAA Tournament berth following Sunday’s 60-57 overtime loss to Northern Iowa in the finals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis.

“I don’t even know how to describe the pain. You have to live it,” Jankovich told the Bloomington, Ill., Pantagraph newspaper. “All I did was tell them (24-9 Redbirds) how proud I am. I thought we have become a darn good basketball team in a lot of different ways. I really like the team a lot that I brought here (to St. Louis).”

Self cell-phoned Jankovich on Sunday.

“If anybody saw that game, it was a heartbreaker. That really stung,” Self said on his radio show.

“It’s a sad deal. Tim ... what a job he’s done at Illinois State. They’ve won 49 or 50 games (49 against 19 losses) in his two years there. He’s done a remarkable job.”

More honors

ESPN.com’s Dick Vitale wrote on Monday that Kansas’ Self is a leading candidate for national coach of the year.

“When considering names for national Coach of the Year, one William Self should be on the short list,” Vitale wrote. “Self has done an incredible job at Kansas this season ... The biggest reason the Jayhawks are where they are — the positive attitude of Self. He has the ability to make his players understand the pride of wearing that Kansas uniform as part of a great winning tradition. He has done a fantastic job with so many new faces. This is a team that has been hampered at times by injuries, yet it has overcome adversity and blending together into a winner.”

Little needs to drive

Self was asked Monday what junior Mario Little needs to do to continue to contribute to the team the rest of the season.

“I’d say take advantage of his quickness,” Self said.

“The other day (against Texas), he put the ball on the floor and tried to go around people, make a play as opposed to settling for a one-bounce pullup (jumper). He’s a good mid-range shooter. Sometimes he does the hardest thing to gain confidence from, as opposed to doing what he does best. We have to get him where he’s more aggressive driving.”

Little said his lower-left leg (stress fracture) feels fine, but he continues to work hard on his conditioning.

Recruiting

Luke Cothron, a 6-9, 215-pound junior forward from Flora Macdonald Academy in Red Springs, N.C., tells Rivals.com he currently has KU on his long list of prospective schools. Some others include: UConn, Memphis, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech. Cothron averaged 30 points and 20 rebounds per game this past season. He’s the No. 17-rated player in the Class of 2010. ... KU signee Elijah Johnson, a 6-2 guard from Las Vegas’ Cheyenne High, has accepted an invitation to play in the Derby Festival Classic on April 11 in Louisville’s Freedom Hall.

Comments

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

It sounds like Wall is leaning towards Memphis. Apparently, their is a commerical or something featureing Henry, Demarcus Cousins (He just signed with Memphis), and John Wall on Wednesday Night on one of the local Memphis Fox Channels. Obviously they are just rumors, but it sounds like Wall might be leaning towards Memphis. Does anybody subscribe to phog.net or Jayhawkslant.com to get this "Inside" info? If Memphis does get Wall, that would be one stellar recruiting class. 3 of the Top 6 recruits in the 2009 class would just be sick. Maybe Self was wanting Stephenson all along! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

ac115 10 years, 10 months ago

<p>Rivals.com: "Memphis is in the lead right now," said Wall, a 6-foot-4, 184-pound point guard from Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy. "They have always been in the lead with the other schools right behind them. I'm still going to finish my visits, but Memphis is in the lead by a little."

Wall also said the signing of Cousins is a big thing. "To see a big man go there is important because I want to play with a dominant big man. He's going to help out Memphis a lot. And it's exciting that he is going to be there because no guard is good without a good big man inside and dominant shooters on the wing."

stravinsky 10 years, 10 months ago

Memphis's recruiting skills are flat out ridiculous. Calipari must have sold his soul or somethin to be able to get the recruits he does...

quigley 10 years, 10 months ago

Please Help: I have been dying to hear more about our new transfer from Arizona. Have I missed an article or a mention in the Basketball notebook? I know he can't play for a year, but any comments on his battles at practice with Cole, any comments from Coach Self, anything???

Jaminrawk 10 years, 10 months ago

No, Calipari just promises them playing time. He also is a huge fan of the "package deal". He snagged DaJuan Wagner by hiring his day, Tyreke Evans by hiring his personal strength coach, and Xavier henry by recruiting his brother (who will never play at this rate). I also think there are other promises made to these kids. One of Calipari's best friends is a guy that goes by William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley. He has been credited as someone who has helped deliver top recruits to Memphis and he has ties to NBA agents.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 10 months ago

No, Calipari just promises them playing time. He also is a huge fan of the "package deal". He snagged DaJuan Wagner by hiring his dad, Tyreke Evans by hiring his personal strength coach, and Xavier henry by recruiting his brother (who will never play at this rate). I also think there are other promises made to these kids. One of Calipari's best friends is a guy that goes by William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley. He has been credited as someone who has helped deliver top recruits to Memphis and he has ties to NBA agents.

lahawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Im sure we will see the idiot Memphis fan who frequents this website throw in his two cents for this thread, but one does have to wonder that more is going on down at Memphis than meets the eye. It's hard for me to imagine any school can LEGITIMATELY pull in the top 3 recruits (1,2 & 3) in the country in the same class, let alone one of the most healded classes in quite some time. That kind of recruiting just doesn't happen unless your Nick Nolte and able to land Neon, Butch McRae & Ricky Roe w/ the aid of a slimmy booster. IF, and that's a big if in my opinion, Memphis is recruiting legitimatly then I give all the credit in the world to coach Cal but I can't help but raise an eybrow when I see this sort of stuff.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 10 months ago

I think it's possible that once a high-profile player signs, others want to go along and be able to play on the same team with them. I'm not sure how it will work out with so many thinking they're the best, but we'll see. I wonder how long it will take poor CJ to see he was conned into signing up so Cal could get his little brother.

stravinsky 10 years, 10 months ago

Oh I think memphis will win a title. I think both Memphis and KU will win titles in the next decade. Possibly multiple titles. Not sayin' self doesn't get good recruits, but I mean, it would be pretty cool to have a Self-made team with the addition of one of those top 5 freak athletes every once in a while.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't think Memphis is gonna win any titles. They may get elite prospects but see how well that worked for Beasley and Walker or Durant and Augustine. You have to have it all. Great starters, a solid bench and a great coach. Memphis was a great a team last year, but I just don't see them replicating that success again. Simply put, Bill Self is a better coach than Calipari. Calipari has sold his soul to the "dribble-drive" / "And-1 Mix Tape" offense. Eventually Memphis meets a solid defensive team that shuts them down inside (KU in '08, Ohio State in '07, UCLA '06).

Those kids can go wherever they want. They are the ones that will be disappointed when athleticism loses to athleticism AND real basketball. What kind of coach brushes off the importance of free throw shooting?

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Some of the great runs of talent have had figures in the shadows reputedly bringing the talent in by dubious means (some times proven, sometimes not), but there have also been great runs of talent, where no one in the shadows was ever reputed.

In the shadows reputed...

UCLA and John Wooden had Sam Gilbert in the shadows (no official inquiry, not proven).

Michigan and Steve Fisher had Ed Martin in the shadows (inquiry, proven, but Fisher denied knowledge and was never disproven).

UNLV and Jerry Tarkanian had, well, they were themselves in the shadows (not proven repeatedly for over a decade).

In the shadows not reputed...

UNC and Dean...

Indiana and Knight...

Duke and Coach K...

Did these three really play by the rules, or were they just so shrewd in how they bent and broke them that they were never found out?

I believe any NCAA investigator would admit that more get away with cheating than get caught.

I can't say as I blame persons for wondering about Calipari at Memphis, because UMass had infractions, while he was at UMass.

But people whispered about Roy's relationship with a KU alum in LA during Roy's run of California recruits and future NBA draft choices, too. And Roy left infractions in his wake that were sufficient to cost KU scholarships under Bill Self.

My problem with speculating about all these coaches, including Calipari, is that people mostly only speculate when they are getting beaten by them for recruits, or beaten by them on the floor. They don't really care about cheating in principle, just if it adversely impacts their team. I think this is a slippery slope. Every coach who brings in a lot of talented players becomes suspect.

I don't want Bill Self to be hounded, or investigated, about someone in the shadows just because he is good at his job and recruits lots of good players.

Bill Self had 4 NBA draft choices last year. Did someone in the shadows bring them in?

Bill Self has 2 NBA draft choices in a rebuilding year? Did someone in the shadows bring them in?

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

If Bill Self last year landed six players, at a time when he had limited scholies to give, and won a conference championship in a rebuilding year? Did someone in the shadows bring them in?

Bill Self has a deep young conference winner with perhaps no one leaving and lots of bigs and lots of guards, yet he has so far landed two exceptional bigs, one exceptional guard and remains in the hunt for OAD's Lance Stephenson and John Wall, when he really has no more scholies to give. Is someone in the shadows making this happen?

You can ask this question of every successful coach who works his butt off for 20 years and has a run of talent that everyone envies.

No schools are angels. Almost all coaches push rules as far as they will bend, and many, many coaches have been found to have broken them. Larry and Roy both were found to have left violations, just as Calipari did at UMass.

Bill Self mercifully has not yet. We believe him to be one of the good guys doesn't break the rules intentionally, though maybe he bends them as far as they will bend.

We believed the same of Roy. Despite his infractions, that more or less seems to have been the case in retrospect at KU and since in his years at UNC.

I believe until someone comes forward with some evidence that John Calipari is cheating to land the guys he lands, I believe it is only fair to say that John Calipari is one heck of a dynamic and shrewd recruiter, who knows how to explain to 14-18 year olds how important it is to play with other great players that complement them. Then when it gets near time to sign these players, he understands how to make the case that the guys he has already landed are fit with them better than the talent at other schools does. He assures them palatial digs. He assures them a style of play that gets guys drafted. He assures them access to his many NBA contacts. He assures them they will play and he explains to them how the team will be constructed and their role. And then he delivers when they get there. They play a fun game. They win a lot. They play pretty much in the way that he promised. Notice, there aren't a lot of guys leaving Memphis. Certainly no more than leave KU. Calipari is apparently a man of his word and a pretty shrewd judge of how things will play out. He knows the game and his recruits and players believe he knows the game.

And here's the key thing to remember about Calipari's success in recruiting: he loses lots of the guys he goes after hardest. He strongly wanted Thomas Robinson, but Self got him. There have been several others this year that put Memphis on their short list and chose another school.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

If Calipari were cheating heavily, it would seem that he were doing a fairly poor job of it. Calipari to my knowledge has not had 4 NBA draft choices in one class, as Self had. Calipari had Rose, CDR and then Dorsey, who wasn't as good IMHO as Arthur or Darnell Jackson. If Calipari has someone in the shadows cheating for him, they must not be a very big spender.

When Michigan landed the Fab Five way back, Ed Martin reputedly dropped around $250K on Chris Webber, and slightly lesser sums on others, back when a k was worth something.

If John Calipari has someone in the shadows cheating like there is no tomorrow, how come he hasn't been able to hire a good big man?

Derek Rose was a very good player that almost everyone wanted.

So was OJ Mayo.

Xavier Henry was a very good player that almost everyone wanted.

Calipari only got two of them.

Greg Oden was a prime big man. Was he just too expensive for John's budget? How did he miss Kevin Love? Why didn't he get J'Misson Morgan, or Thabeet? Why just buy guards? Buy a guard and a post man, for gosh sakes!

I think sniping at Calipari needs to stop until there is some evidence.

Lin Rahardja 10 years, 10 months ago

The style of Memphis basketball may attract young players who want to show case their individual talents. After all, if it wasn't the one year mandatory out of high school, these young talents would not be playing college basketball anywhere. They use Memphis as a quick "bus stop" toward their NBA careers, and Calipari knows how to take advantage of the situation. But is Memphis building a legacy behind, a tradition that will stand the time, or when their coaches move on? Should they retire a player's jersey after just one year of contribution?

Jaminrawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm not saying he is cheating, but his responses to the Marcus Camby fiasco at UMASS are laughable. Maybe a lesson was learned there. But looking at coaches like Jim Harrick and Jerry Tarkanian, they were great recruiters and the never stopped cheating even at new schools. Maybe Cal is on the up and up. There is still a shadiness involved with being in an NBA city, with one of his best friends (William Wesley) establishing relationships with his recruits. Especially with Wesley's ties to the NBA. Hiring Ed Manning and Ronnie Chalmers is definitely a gray area, but having ties to a guy like William Wesley just seems like probation waiting to happen.

kranny 10 years, 10 months ago

If Cole and Sherron stay around, definitely final 4 next year(maybe this year). If not, Withey, the Morris twins, Quentrel Thomas, Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson, Taylor, Morningstar, Reed and Royce Woolridge and rest will get 'er done in 2011. That's a lineup that any coach in America would sell their soul to have. I still believe Cole will finish his career at Kansas. But I thought that about Julian Wright.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't understand why some of you are so quick to judge Memphis with alleged or improper recruiting tantics. So what if Memphis recruited Henry's brother to get Xavier or they recruited some strength coach in order to get a kid. It's within the rules and it's called "Smart Recruiting". I don't think KU fans complained too much when Danny Manning's Dad (Ed) or Mario Chalmers Dad (Ronnie) was a part of the KU staff.

I actually think there is "Less Risk" for a big time recruit to go to Memphis. Yes, they will play a tough non-conference schedule, but because of their lower than average conference schedule, Memphis is all but guranteed a spot and a high seed in the tournament. Memphis will always be in the conversation (People talking about their record and weak conference schedule) because of this fact. Recruits like that idea because they can "Play Big" in the big games and "Cruise" through the conference until it comes time for the NCAA tournament. It's actually a pretty smart selling tool for Calipari. Got to give that guy credit and respect. I certainly do! Anytime you get 3 of the Top 6 recruits, you must be doing something right and not necessarily doing anything wrong. Kudos to Calipari if he indeed does land Wall to go along with Henry and Cousins. That would be a great match-up with KU and Memphis next year. Now all we need to do is get Stephenson to close out an already "Stellar" recruiting class for KU.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate: They got Cousins as well who is the next best big man after Favors who went to Georgia Tech.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Jaminrawk,

Your comments about William Wesley are completely appropriate. Wesley is a fact. Readers are free to ponder whether that relationship is acceptable or not. I was not criticising you.

I would point out regarding Wesley that the relationship is on the public record and the NCAA cannot possibly not know about it. I infer it must be at least technically legal.

I was referring to a lot of knee jerk reaction to losing Xavier Henry, of which I myself was perhaps guilty of some.

Let me leave it this way: innocent until one is charged and fails to prove not guilty is still the best policy.

100 10 years, 10 months ago

As great as Mremphis' class is turning out next year, with Cole & Sherron staying next year, it could easily be a rematch of the 2008 championship game in 2010.

The only difference (or similarity to 2008 game) is that they will be dwarfs compared to us.

Withey & Aldrich dunkfest for first 10 minutesof that game.

Play zone, clog up the middle on their rec league dribble drive offense. Make them shoot threes.

If this matchup happens in 2010 with all of these players in KU & Memphis State uniforms (and calipari coaching, not in jail on probation)...

What a game it will be...

Should be a lot of smiling Jayhawks at the end of this one...

There's just, plain & simple, not enough big men (not even one) on Memphis to handle both Aldrich & Withey out there at the same time...

SCConway 10 years, 10 months ago

Just an fyi, Calipari was COMPLETELY cleared by the NCAA for what Camby did at UMass. Camby accepted money from an agent while a senior at UMass causing forfeiture of his eligibility. This had nothing to do with Calipari. He didn't leave UMass in "shambles". UMass fell apart because they lost an excellent coach and made some very bad hires.

FYI, here is an article from Forbes Magazine from back in 2007 that mentioned the UMass thing:


After the 1996 season Calipari was offered a five-year, $15-million contract to coach the NBA's New Jersey Nets. That was his last celebration for a while. Less than a week later the NCAA discovered that Camby, UMass' best player, had taken money from an agent while in school. The NCAA fined the school, disqualified four wins and canceled its Final Four appearance. Calipari was eventually exonerated of all personal wrongdoing, but he is still dogged by those events. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/1210/060.html


Here is a quote from the Tom Yeager, Chairman of the NCAA Infractions Committee: "And, in a letter obtained by the [New York] Daily News, dated June 8, 2004, Tom Yeager, the chairman of the committee on infractions, told Calipari: "The committee fully recognizes you had nothing to do with the violations of Marcus Camby during the 1995-96 season. In a sense, you were an innocent victim."

It amazes me how folks prefer the "mob" mentality over the facts.

chalmers2wright 10 years, 10 months ago

Memphis offers playing time and a one way ticket to the NBA. He plays a system that is going to get these one and done players a lot of great stats. Self's system is about the team and balance not individual stats. Memphis also plays in a sh*tty conference. This means that these NBA bound freshman get to play against weak competition for most of the year and look tremendous doing it (ex A Tyreke Evans.) This also pretty much guarantees a 2 seed because Memphis won't lose to any of these scrub schools for months and will slowly climb the rankings regardless of where they started. That equals an easy road to the elite eight at least and good exposure.

SCConway 10 years, 10 months ago

Why do folks act like Memphis hasn't played anyone? Why do folks act like CUSA is rated #31 in the RPI in conference ratings? CUSA is rated #10 in the RPI. For comparison purposes, CUSA was rated #9 in the RPI in 2005 (the last year before the breakup) and Louisville went to the Final 4. CUSA is not as bad as folks think. 5 teams from CUSA are in the top 100 of the RPI. ALL the schools contending for a #1 seed have lost to teams rated LOWER than some of the teams from CUSA not named Memphis.

Just for comparison sakes. We have ZERO "bad" losses. Us and UConn have the same "worst" loss at #47 in the RPI. Us & UConn are also the only two schools WITHOUT A LOSS OUTSIDE THE RPI TOP 50! And this is despite the fact that we've had MORE opportunities to lose to lower RPI teams on the road...a luxury most of those other schools don't have to worry too much about.

And I also want to point out that Oklahoma's loss to the #139 team wasn't when Griffin was out either.

(Note: RPI's are a couple of days old as I originally calculated this then)

Memphis Lost to teams rated #14, #20, & #47

Pittsburgh Lost to teams rated #9, #13, & #71

Duke Lost to teams rated #3, #15, #19, #42, #54

North Carolina Lost to teams rated #65, #54, & #15

Oklahoma Lost to teams rated #8, #11, #36, & #139

UConn Lost to teams rated #1, #1, & #47

Michigan State Lost to teams rated #3, #31, #61, #65, & #70

Kansas Lost to teams rated #6, #11, #20, #52, #129, & #138

Louisville Lost to teams rated #5, #41, #53, #55, & #73

When you look at the FULL picture, we don't compare unfavorably in wins either. Wins in the top 100 of the RPI are all considered "good" wins. Losses outside the Top 100 are considered "bad" losses.

Memphis & UConn have the best resume when it comes to "worst" loss (team currently rated #49, Georgetown). Memphis has the same Top 100 RPI wins as North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville, and more than Wake Forest despite our conference flaws.

1 Pittsburgh is 15-3

2 North Carolina is 13-3

3 Duke is 15-6

4 UConn is 15-3

5 Oklahoma is 17-3 (Also loss to #143 Arkansas)

6 Michigan State is 15-5

7 Memphis is 13-3

8 Kansas is 13-5 (Also loss to #127 Texas Tech)

9 Louisville is 13-5

10 Wake Forest is 12-3 (Also losses to #102 NC State & #156 Georgia Tech)

You folks want to talk about who you beat? You also can't ignore who you lost to. That counts too no matter how much you want to make the loss column disappear.

SCConway 10 years, 10 months ago

Folks also like to say this about us every year.

Memphis losses in the past 4 seasons (and Memphis RPI the past 4 seasons) in order of RPI rank. Also listed are Memphis Top 50 (too many for top 100) wins right under that. It's not like Memphis doesn't play anyone and doesn't win games.

The past 4 seasons, Memphis is 25-10 vs the Top 50 of the RPI. Memphis is also 56-12 (including 13-3 this year) against the Top 100 of the RPI.

The losses:

1 (H)Tennessee (07-08)

1 (N)Ohio State (06-07)

1 (N)Duke (05-06)

4 (N)Kansas (07-08)

8 (N)UCLA (05-06)

9 (H)Texas (05-06)

13 @ Tennessee (06-07)

14 @ Arizona (06-07)

15 (N)Xavier (08-09)

34 @ UAB (05-06)

49 @ Georgetown (08-09)

17 (H)Syracuse (08-09)

52 (N)Georgia Tech (06-07)

The wins:

5 @ Texas (07-08)

6 (N)UCLA (07-08)

8 (N)UCLA (05-06)

8 (H)Georgetown (07-08)

7 (H)Tennessee (05-06)

12 (H)Gonzaga (05-06)

12 (N)Kentucky (06-07)

13 (N)Michigan State (07-08)

18 @ Texas A&M (06-07)

21 (N)UConn (07-08)

23 (N)Nevada (06-07)

29 (N)Oklahoma (07-08)

32 (N)Bradley (05-06)

34 (H)UAB (05-06)

34 (H)UAB (05-06)

34 (H)Gonzaga (07-08)

35 (N)Mississippi State (07-08)

36 (N)Southern Cal (07-08)

40 @ Cincinnati (05-06)

43 (N)Bucknell (05-06)

44 (H)Arizona (07-08)

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

SCConway,

I lived for a lot of years with people dissing the old Big 8 Conference as inferior. The ACC and Pac 8 in those days were all the rage. It really got my back up. They said The Big Eight was Snow White (KU) and the Seven Dwarfs; that the Big 8 played too slow; that we didn't play a tough enough non conference schedule; that we didn't have a good enough league to toughen us up; and that we didn't have a conference tourney to toughen us up.

And you know what? They were right.

But now we are tough. Real tough. Kick ass and take names later tough. Beat UNC with our A-Game and get by Memphis with our B-Game and win a ring tough. Play half a season without our best player and still win a ring tough. Lose 4 guys to the NBA draft, reload, and go 14-2 in a real conference starting 1 junior, 2 sophs, and two frosh tough.

No one can knock Memphis non-conference schedule, or their related W-L statement. No one can knock their record overall either. No one does that I know of.

No one knocks Memphis' talent, except in the front court, where they've struggled to land bigs as good as their perimeter players.

What they do say is: Conference USA is weak, weak, weak, and it is. They say that because Conference USA is weak, weak, weak, that Memphis plays about 16 games down the stretch of each season that don't make Memphis tougher, doesn't make it better, don't really do anything but let it coast into a shot at a high seed in the Madness. They are right.

Memphis lost the national championship to KU playing its B-Game last year, because it had not really played a lot of hotly contested games down the stretch in its conference season. Neither its coach, nor its players knew how to handle the pressure, that KU had dealt with repeatedly down the stretch in the conference.

Memphis gets great athletes. It develops them in nonconference. They coast in the conference. They get a high seed. Their great athletes carry them through the early rounds against lesser teams, often farther that some schools with more tradition that have had to slog through tough conferences and come out with slightly lower seeds as a result.

That's the good news.

The bad news is come crunch time they rupture like a weak hose from too much pressure.

This often used to happen to KU's great teams when they played Snow White to Seven Dwarves back in the old Big Eight days.

It is happening to you now.

Your best hope is that some schools in your conference decide to get serious about the game and attract some good coaches for 5-10 years; then Memphis will be toughened up for ring time.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

Good point Jaybate! I was going to respond, but you beat me to the punch. I was actually listening to Sport Talk Radio today on my home from work here in Charlotte and the show called "PacMan" (He is Billy Packers Son) had the commissoner of the ACC on for an interview.

Obviously the league head is going to be bias, but he directly called out the Big 12. I wanted to call in so bad. The Commish said that besides the top 3 teams in the Big 12 the rest would all have worse records than they have. Hindsight is 20/20 so basically he is saying that K-State, Texas, Okie State, and A&M would be sub .500 if they played in the ACC this year. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!!!!! He also stated that the big 12 should not get more than 4 teams in the dance and will be taking away from the overall strength of the ACC. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I wanted to call in so bad, but I knew I wouldn't get through. I guess the ACC getting 7 teams in the Big Dance in 2007 showed how strong the ACC conference was. The ACC finished 7-7 that year and was completely overrated. I have a feeling the same might happen this year. Enough of my ACC regional radio venting.

bentleytiger 10 years, 10 months ago

Man, lahawkfan, I hope I'm not the idiot MEMPHIS fan you are talking about. I wasn't going to post until I saw your lovely compliment. Just sit back and let this soak in for a minute, hmm #1#2#3 top recruits in CUSA. Guys, you have a great tradition(NCs although 3 b4 any of us were born), a good coach, and obviously some awesome first-class fans, that's all. Memphis has everything you don't have and alot of what you do have, that's why kids come here. If you think every kid on your roster would snub the N.B.A. at the end of the year if they were a lottery pick your insane. Only Blake is that stupid..lol Kushaw and Ralster both make some valid points, thanks. And if you don't like one and dones, why do want Lance? He won't be good for your program, plus he a future under armor guy, Maryland is the Under Armor flag ship school. Done Deal..

bentleytiger 10 years, 10 months ago

And by the way, you can have the Morris twins. They are a better fit in a KU uniform. They decommitted, which means they picked MEMPHIS over KU, because Cal brought in a future pro (Angel Garcia 7'0 small forward) whom you will see next year. They obviously didn't want the competition, that's why they went to KU..So there's your proof of Cal promising playing time to kids or maybe he just doesn't make promises to kids that aren't good enough to play for MEMPHIS.......... The Morris Twins..lol

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

bentleytiger: I've always been somewhat of Memphis Supporter. I feel like they are always in the same boat where Kansas was many years ago and in some respects the last 20 years. I'm not a Memphis fan, but if there are teams outside of the big 12 I don't mind seeing some success it would be Memphis.

As for Stephenson, I don't mind one and dones as long as it makes sense for the overall "Team Concept". You may think as many of us thought at one time that Stephenson is a "Bad Seed", but I think the kid needs just a little polishing. He comes in with a bad perception, but so did Brandon Rush out of high school. I think Bill Self is the perfect coach to change the overall perception of Lance Stephenson. I actually like Stephenson. I think the kid needs a break. It's so hard coming out of the area he is from because he is always having to prove himself "As the Man" or just being a man in general. Sometimes all you need is a change in environment to see your true colors. If you do get Wall to go with the rest of your recruiting class, it will be KU and Memphis at the top of the polls next year. As much as I like that, I've also enjoyed playing the underdog role this year.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

bentleytiger: Thanks for the backhanded compliment about the Morris Twins. I hope you feel a little better now.

bentleytiger 10 years, 10 months ago

Didn't mean to harsh, just stating fact. Ralster brought it up...lol

bentleytiger 10 years, 10 months ago

Didn't mean to be harsh, just stating fact. Ralster brought it up...lol

SCConway 10 years, 10 months ago

"The bad news is come crunch time they rupture like a weak hose from too much pressure"

WHAT? lol Memphis went 10-2 last year in games decided by 10 points our less. And as far as you playing your "B" game last year, I think our defense had a LOT to do with that.

Oh, Memphis is hitting 70% from the FT line this year too, btw.

Belittle our accomplishments all you want. You obviously choose to ignore the FACTS I stated above. That's ok. Neither of us play so it really doesn't matter what either of us think.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 10 months ago

The UofM program is so uplfting under Calipari that he has been forced to spend a ot of time defending his player's actions off the court over the years. Click on this link to see just how his players reward him for being such a positive force in their lives and development for the future.

http://uofmtigers.blogspot.com/2007/09/from-abc-24-in-memphis-tigers-players.html

*the player, Andre Allen, that is mentioned in the story is the same one who tested positive just before the Nat'l Championship Game with us last year.

SCConway 10 years, 10 months ago

memhawk, glad that Jayhawk players never get in trouble or act like kids.

http://www.zimbio.com/Darrell+Arthur/articles/2/EX+Jayhawks+Caught+Drugs+NBA+Transition+Program

EX-Jayhawks Caught With Drugs At NBA Transition Program Email Written by basketballdvds on Sep-3-08 4:07pm From: basketballdvdsblog.muxgo.com

Wow I can’t believe what just came across the news wire. Ex-Kansas Jay Hawks Darrell Arthur and Mario Chalmers was ask to leave the rookie transition program today because they caught with marijuana and women in their hotel room. This not the way you want to start off your NBA career. Both player will to pay fines of $20,000 and their respective might also have to pay a fine. Arthur the 27th pick in this past NBA draft and Chalmers was 2nd round pick 34th overall. Hopefully these guy’s will learn a lesson from this and move on but this not the way you want start your career!

Scott MacWilliams 10 years, 10 months ago

Hey out there,

Off topic, I know.. I've been keeping track of things from out here on the left coast, and was wondering what happened to Texas this year? I thought they were supposed to be contending for the Big 12 title and they end up losing a lot of games that looked like Ws before they started.

Did they have some injuries, or were they overrated?

Just curious, ROCK CHALK!!

brooksmd 10 years, 10 months ago

SCConway...It looks to me like the comparison is the same as apples to oranges. Where your bad boys were current players, ours were members of NBA teams. Some do tend to get stupid when there are huge sums of money involved. Oh wait...maybe that's where the comparison is. lol

brooksmd 10 years, 10 months ago

And the "palatial digs" as Jaybate calls them, or the "Memphis Playboy Mansion" that Calipari scrounged up to lodge his team in far surpasses the dorms our kids live in. Wonder who really pays/paid for that place and all of its electronic marvels. I'm sure that plays a part in the decision making.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 10 months ago

brooksmd- Thanks for brnging that "apples to orange" comparison up. My point was that while under the "control" of a head coach, that coach can be seen as either effective, or not, at being a positive force in instilling values and disciplines regarding his player's actions on the court as well as socially. Witness the most recent senior night speeches. Both Matt and Brennan made a point to thank their coach for his efforts to show them how to be men.Sure, we've had some isolated incidents over the years where the "off the court" actons of a couple of players required serious attention which resulted in a player leaving the team (Giddens for one) However. if you read the article in the link that I had in my earlier post, it's clear that Cal is more apt to forgive thug behavior with the "boys will be boys", "what are you gonna do?" response and allow the "role models" to remain on the team and in some cases, re-join the team in spite of the public's perception. It's all about respect and disrespect. Also if a player has a scholarship to a state funded university, while he is accepting the tuitition, room, board, etc. from the taxpayers, even if he is contributing to a revenue stream through the athletic department's ticket sales of games he participates in, there should be that humility and appreciation displayed by not inciting bar fights, doing drugs during the post-season tournaments, etc. In the case of the former KU players, as SCConway brought up, life changed for them when they shook hands with David Stern. Yes, it is embarrassing to see the poor judgement that was allegedly made by these two NBA rookies. But, it didn't happen under HCBS watch. Had the timing been different,neither one would have been playing in at least the next game or potenntially ever again at KU. The fact is, that's not the case and life goes on at KU with seniors recognizing the leader that they have in Bill Self. Also, life goes on with more than one of our team being recognized for academic acheivement from the conference. Do they even have this honor available in CUSA?

Lance Hobson 10 years, 10 months ago

Calipari is just a great recruiter and has built an enticing package for these kids. Getting to the title game and having Rose be the top pick last year seems to have gotten them over whatever hump they may have had.

They train in an NBA practice facility, play in a beautiful modern arena, and have a slick east coast coach who has learned from the best (like Larry Brown at Kansas).

We often get upset because we are basketball purists and see Kansas a a mecca for the best of college basketball, but these kids look at thinks completely differently, and Cal taps into their skewed priorities very well.

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