Originally published March 21, 2009 at 12:00a.m., updated March 21, 2009 at 04:57p.m.

Kansas notebook

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed tires to disrupt a three-point attempt by North Dakota State guard Josh Vaughan in front of a cheering section dominated by Bison fans during the first half Friday, March 20, 2009 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed tires to disrupt a three-point attempt by North Dakota State guard Josh Vaughan in front of a cheering section dominated by Bison fans during the first half Friday, March 20, 2009 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.


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2009 KU-NDSU


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He’s good, real good

Kansas University junior guard Tyrone Appleton, who guarded Ben Woodside two minutes the first half and four the second, was mighty impressed with the Bison guard, who scored 37 points.

“I didn’t realize how good he was until today,” Appleton said. “Luckily I guard Sherron every day at practice. I felt it prepared me for guarding their guy today. Coach (Bill Self) told me I did a great job of guarding him. That made me feel good,” added Appleton, who admits he was surprised Self turned to him in the first half.

“I didn’t know if I’d be called on especially since I haven’t played (much) all year,” Appleton said. “I was surprised, but I was ready. Coach said to stick to him, guard him and bring energy.”

Appleton grinned when asked if his hometown of Gary, Ind., was shocked he hasn’t played meaningful minutes in his first year out of Midland College.

“Everybody wonders what is going on because I was highly recruited out of juco,” Appleton said. “I tell everybody I’m new to it too, just like a freshman. Everything I do is new.”

He reiterated he has no plans to transfer.

“I’m a KU guy. I’m committed to this,” he said.

Tyrone’s D

Self was asked why he turned to Appleton on Friday.

“Because of Woodside,” he said. “I almost put Travis (Releford) in. I thought, ‘Tyrone is our best defender in that situation, why not give him a shot?’ He did a good job.”

Better than seed

N.D. State might be the best No. 14 seed in some time.

“They are so good. It’s crazy how good they are,” Appleton said. “They are a hard-to-guard team. They shoot so many threes (10 of 24). That’s the best team we played this year, I think.”

“I’d put them up against any 14 seed,” KU sophomore Brady Morningstar said after his eight-point, 29-minute effort.

Morningstar on Woodside

“That dude can play. He can shoot the ball with a hand in his face. He has different speeds, a great change of pace. It was his night.”

Cole coming back?

KU coach Self was asked if he thought Cole Aldrich would return to KU for a third season.

“I think I have a feel (which way Aldrich will go). There’s no pressure now (to make a decision). If he keeps improving at this rate, why settle for being a first (round) pick when you can be a top five (after junior or senior year)?’’’ Self asked.

Bison faithful impressive

Self was impressed the N.D. State fans (maybe 12,000 out of crowd of 15,794) stuck around to cheer the Bison as they exited the court after the game.

“It’s the way it should be,” Self said of college athletics. “That team making the tournament ... it’s a big deal. It was cool. Everybody respected them so much.

“If you really are objective, looking at their situation, the first time they are eligible (for NCAAs) and first time in (school history), that was a cool setting. Unfortunately we were the team that had to play them in that setting. It was good for us. Today we had to be tough.”

Stats, facts

KU is 6-1 in domes in the Self era. ... KU has won 10 of its last 11 NCAA Tourney games. ... KU has won 24 first-round games in its last 26 tries. ... KU is 7-3 all-time as a No. 3 seed. ... KU is 13-4 in the NCAA Tournament in the Self era. ... KU had a season-low five turnovers. The Jayhawks had 10 four different times. ... KU hit 16 of 20 free throws. ... The Jayhawks had a pair of 7-0 runs in the first half, one giving KU a 21-17 lead, the other giving KU a 34-27 lead. KU closed the first half on a 16-7 run. ... KU’s bench scored just five points in the game (Markieff Morris two, Tyrel Reed three) for the fewest by the reserves this season. ... Sherron Collins had a career-high 32 points. His previous high was 26 three times. ... Collins was the first Jayhawk to score 30 since Mario Chalmers hit for 30 against Texas on March 16, 2008. ... Aldrich moved into a tie for seventh place on the KU season rebounding list with Bill Bridges (353 in 1961). He entered the game with 340 and grabbed 13 on Friday for 353 on the season. .. Marcus Morris dished four assists to match his second most this season (had six vs. Syracuse and four at Kansas State). Morris also had eight points and seven rebounds.


Chris Corley 11 years, 7 months ago

Hats off to Mr. Woodside. What a talent and class player.

rtjayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Dear Mr. Woodside,

You can sure ball. It was very fun watching you play, even though you made many sweat this game the whole time. You're a class player and I hope you do well doing whatever the future has in store for you.


Jayhawk Nation

cwag 11 years, 7 months ago

"Self was impressed the N.D. State fans (maybe 12,000 out of crowd of 15,794) stuck around to cheer the Bison as they excited the court after the game."

I'm not sure how you 'excite' a court, and I'm really not sure how you can tell.....

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self just said that Ben Woodside was the best guard they played against all year.

Think about that for a moment.

KU played against Jonny Flynn on Syracuse. They played against Abrams of Texas. They played against Willie Warren, probably the best freshman guard this year and a likely OAD and lottery pick. They played against guards on Michigan State--a two seed in the Madness. They played against Tennessee's guards--another highly seeded team.

And Self, a former guard himself, a man with job security and reproduce you money, walks down the sideline and says, "You were the best guard we played against this year." And then he tells the media the same thing.

It is spooky how many really good players there are out there scattered around the hinterlands.

Its always been this way to a certain extent. Except in the old days, when there were many fewer D1 teams, a lot of these guys turned up at NAIA or DII schools--guys like Travis Grant, say, at Kentucky State, or Dennis Rodman, at Northeastern Oklahoma State. Now, it seems most of them find their way into D1 low majors, or mid majors.

The college recruiting system is inefficient at identifying exceptional talent to say the least. The great programs, and even the not so great ones, like Missouri, would benefit enormously from having Ben Woodsides, but they just can't find them.

Can you imagine how much better KU, Pitt, UNC, Louisville, UConn, or Memphis would be this year with Ben Woodside on their team? If anyone of these majors had him this year, to add to their existing team, that team would win it all for sure. Period. He would be the unfair advantage.

It is almost impossible to tell how much certain persons can develop in basketball, when given a chance. So many cannot develop very much at all even when a world of opportunity is laid at their feet. Certainly most of the guys on NDSU did not develop into Ben Woodsides. But every year now there are several of these Ben Woodsides in D1. Heck, Stephen Curry was basically last year's Ben Woodside, or vice versa. Stephen, or Ben, could be the next John Stockton, or Steve Nash, at guard in the NBA. They could be the next guy from the hinterlands to show that a lot of persons in college and the pros, who think they get it about what it takes to be a great player, don't get it at all.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

And the phenomenon is not isolated to guard. Remember Dennis Rodman? Heck, remember Larry Bird (Larry may not count, because he was once briefly at Indiana, before the idiot Bob Knight drove him away--think about that one for a moment--Knight drove one of the 50 greatest players of all time away just by being the usual a-hole that he was)? But these are extreme examples at guard and forward. The NBA is always has quite a few hinterland guys as a glance at most NBA rosters reveals, whether or not they are dominant players.

Not so many postmen appear out of nowhere in the hinterlands any more, because height is so easy to spot and spec on. As D1 expanded, the number of long, tall drinks of water did not expand, gene pools being somewhat inelastic in supply. Even a lousy 6'11" guys is worth having in D1, as a back up for your starting post man to work out against.

Some researcher at KU really needs to do some physiological and psychometric testing to develop a profile of these Ben Woodside kinds of players. There has to be some measurable, forecast-able pattern of rate of physical maturation combined with ferocity of committment and dynamic of mental focus that could be combined to help ID these guys and get KU the unfair advantage of attracting more of them than other Top Programs. Add just one of these guys to KU every second year or so to what KU already gets and KU would be unbeatable every year until the other programs figured it out, too.

And this is not about picking out a few Caucasian Americans dead-eyes. These wonderful mid major and low major teams that come a long just as often have some wonderful African American player. Who knows? If you are predisposed to UFOs, maybe you believe these guys are aliens. Regardless, it is not a race problem. It is talent recognition problem. Who will become good enough, outside the apparently inadequate current criteria of Top 100, or Top 200, ranked high school players, to become the next Ben Woodside?

It is insane for all these Ben Woodsides to get stuck at NDSUs, when they could be advancing The KU Legacy.

We have to learn how to recruit not just the best highschool basketball players, we have to learn how to recruit the guys who will become the best college basketball players. Increasingly, there appears to be a distinction.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 7 months ago

Yes,Self doesn't have a clue how to recruit. He is dumb. He is inept. He is...he is.....he is.

GARY BEDORE: I know you are excited that the Bison "excited" the court but really now, when they are leaving the court that is called "exiting."

lawrencefan 11 years, 7 months ago

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

kennethst 11 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Lawrencefan......I don't care about grammar and spelling.

KU_Chronic 11 years, 7 months ago

if Cole comes back, and I have a feeling he is, book your tickets for the final four next year. and if Sherron comes back too... go ahead and engrave"'Kansas" on the trophy already...

cwag 11 years, 7 months ago

lawrencefan - It was a joke! Get over yourself.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 7 months ago

Woodside is good but he's also had five years to develop as the main man for that program. Imagine if Sherron had them much time to develop. Or even the other players we have - like Ralster.

Dayton plays incredibly intense defense. WVU had no answer for it. We'll certainly have more turnovers tomorrow, we're going to have to be very poised.

chezlog 11 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate - small point but Rodman played college ball at Southeastern Oklahoma State. Your point was that these players were off the radar screen and went to obscure colleges. That is so true in Rodman's case that only people in Durant, OK remember that he was there.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago


The point I was trying to make was that the recruiting and scouting combines and the coaches themselves have a list of the great ones that most everyone recognize as high probability greats and very goods. Sherron was precisely this kind of player coming out of highschool. Everyone wanted Sherron Collins who knew diddly squat about basketball Everyone knew this guy was one of the very special point guards to come along in quite awhile. He was truly a different package, an impact PG through out high school career, in a running back's body. He brought a different dimension to the PG spot--maybe the first real wide-body PG. There had been other short pudgy guys like the Omaha kid who went to UConn, but most of these types just happened to be short and squat ball handlers and distributors, maybe even a few who could shoot. They weren't six lane wide Adonises.

Sherron was destined in some ways to become the definitive PG of the current violent era of college basketball. He had all the skills, plus an absolutely magnificent body for the thug ball era. Sherron is the first guy who can really mug an an opponent with offense. There is no thug baller guard who can intimidate him. Sherron can put any thug-baller down, if he has to. And he can put the man down on either offense, or defense. This is so huge. All thug ballers can put men down while playing defense, but Sherron can body and manhandle an opponent while on offense. Sherron strikes fear into opposing point guards. You can see it in all of them. They don't like to have to play against him. He's too strong and too quick. Jonny Flynn was the only guy with enough moxie to deal with him and he did it by out-quicking and running away from Sherron. He did not do it by out-manning him. There have been a lot of guys close to Sherron, but they were all missing something. They weren't quite muscular enough. They weren't quite quick enough. They were better on D, but couldn't drive the way Sherron can. Or they were great on D and could drive, but they couldn't drain the trey the way he can. Deron and Frank at the Illini under Self were really fearsome point guards in their own right. Deron may be the better pro. But as Self said, none of them could impact a college game the way Sherron can. So in no way am I suggesting Woodside is better than Sherron. I would rather have Sherron than Woodside any day.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

What I'm saying is: KU would be absolutely awesome with Sherron and Ben Woodside, with the guy everyone knew was going to be an exceptional PG, and the guy no one knew of.

My point about Ben Woodside is that he represents the antithesis of Sherron. Woodside represents the guy no one knew was going to be a great college player, because he was not a great high school player. No one knew Dennis Rodman was going to be a great college, or pro, player, because he was not a great high school player. Frankly it was the same with John Stockton and Steve Nash. Guys like Stockton and Nash should never have wound up at Gonzaga (which not that good when Stockton went there), or Santa Clara. These guys were too, too, too good. But most coaches had the blinders on. The recruiting combines had the blinders on. All they could see were a certain kind of player. What the hell were college coaches and recruiting combines thinking about with Dennis Rodman? What did they not get about how important it was to have a 6'7" lock down defender who could board with persons five inches taller than himself, even if he couldn't shoot a lick? What kind of blinders were these guys wearing? True lock down defenders are rarer than three point shooters and perhaps more valuable. They get you stops. They get you so you don't even have to have good shooting nights to win, because they make the other team always have bad shooting nights.

And there are as many African American players getting screwed by these blinders as Caucasian American ones. Contrary to popular racism, all African Americans cannot jump. I used to play in the city leagues with incredibly talented African American players who could not jump, but they could drive me across the court with their butts and park me anywhere they wanted me. They had horizontal game like you would not believe, or maybe you would, since you sound like you played a lot of ball. But they got screened out the system, because they could not jump. The same with a lot of good Caucasian Americans. Frankly, it doesn't matter how high you can jump, if the guy guarding you can step on your feet, or push you so you are jumping away from where your hops would be an advantage. And in today's game, this is increasingly allowed.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago

All these horizontal players are to me a lost generation of basketball players, as surely as the great African Americans of several generations who did not get to play the game because of their skin pigment. These horizontal players got left behind by coaches and recruiting combines wearing jumping blinders, or shooting blinders, or muscle blinders, or what have you. There is horizontal game in basketball. There are so many aspects to this game it is like looking into a cut diamond. There always has been and there always will be a million ways to play the game, so long as the game is played in three dimensions.

But this is not just about horizontal players not making it. It is about guys like Rodman, Nash, Stockton, Stephen Curry, and Ben Woodside who can play the game in all three dimensions and who wind up in the boon docks, too. I just think there are too many of these guys being missed by the current system. Something is wrong.

I just want more of these diamonds in the rough to get put in their proper settings. Well, they are not really diamonds in the rough so much, as they are diamonds that are not the right shape to fit the fashion of those in the market for setting diamonds.

Maybe wishful thinking, but then once upon a time it was said to be wishful thinking that African Americans could be put in their proper settings, too.

Enlightened thinkers and stewards of the game, plus some tremendously gifted African American athletes proved the guys with blinders wrong.

I am hopeful this can happen again for the Ben Woodsides and Dennis Rodmans.

jaybate 11 years, 7 months ago


You are absolutely right. Thanks for the correction. I wish I didn't make so many mistakes of memory, but I do. :-( Fortunately, there are a lot of good and knowledgeable persons who can correct me when I err. The blog record is collaborative. Getting it right matters to The Legacy.

JRob 11 years, 7 months ago

This team could really benefit with an Aaron Miles type point guard. He distribured to everybody and put people in position to score. Sherron Collins is great too, but he doesn't seem to make others around him better on a consistant basis.

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