Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

The Jayhawks will square off against Michigan State Friday at 8:35 p.m.


Jayhawks get second chance at Michigan State

The Kansas men proved to be too much for the Dayton Flyers. But for a Sweet 16 victory, they'll have to pull off a win they couldn't accomplish in January.

More on triple-double

Kansas University coach Bill Self remains impressed with Cole Aldrich’s triple-double in Sunday’s 60-43 victory against Dayton. The sophomore big man had a school-record 10 blocked shots to go with 20 rebounds and 13 points.

“The thing about Dayton ... they are unbelievably quick on the perimeter,” Self said. “Their big guys are all perimeter players that like to face it and drive it. We just told him to stay home and really don’t leave the basket area very far, so when guys got beat he was just able to be our last line of defense.

“He did a great job of blocking and altering shots without fouling. He had a fabulous game.”

Aldrich estimated he may have altered about five of the Flyers’ shots.

More on Cole

Aldrich was peppered with a batch of questions about his future plans over the weekend.

He said he’d like to return to KU for a junior year and work on things like footwork and strength in his legs. He, however, said he would not decide whether or not to enter the 2009 NBA Draft until the conclusion of the season.

Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Monday’s editions quoted Flip Saunders, former coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons, as saying Aldrich probably will be a top-10 pick if he declares for June’s draft.

“He’s going to help somebody,” Saunders told Walters. “He’s a more than adequate offensive player right now. Defensively, he can really rebound, as you saw in the (Dome) games, and he blocks shots.”

Saunders was asked how Aldrich would fare in the pros next season.

“It depends where he goes,” he told Walters. “All kids are going to struggle somewhat, because it’s a change. (Sunday against Dayton), he played against guys who are 6-9, 6-10. (In the NBA), you're going to play against guys who are 6-11, 7-feet every night who are skilled, strong and quick. He’ll be able to play, but it will depend on how much adjustment he makes.”

Coach of Year

Self on Monday was named winner of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award.

Finalists were: Self; Mike Anderson, Missouri; John Calipari, Memphis; Jeff Capel, Oklahoma; Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh; Mike Montgomery, California; Stew Morrill, Utah State; Matt Painter, Purdue; Oliver Purnell, Clemson; and Brad Stevens, Butler.

Self will receive the Iba Award at the USBWA’s College Basketball Awards breakfast April 3 at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Self is a 1985 graduate of Oklahoma State. Iba is legendary for leading Oklahoma State (known then as Oklahoma A&M;) to national championships in 1945 and ’46 and the United States to two Olympic gold medals in 1964 and ’68.

KU’s Roy Williams was honored in 1990 by the USBWA.

ESPN’s Andy Katz praised KU and Self in his column Monday at

“What does this mean for the program?” Katz wrote of making the Sweet 16. “Kansas doesn't have to prove anything. The Jayhawks are one of the top five programs in the country. But getting to the Sweet 16 after losing all but two key players from a title team just enhances Self's credibility even more in the recruiting world and in the psyche of all KU fans. They have a true winner in Self, a front-runner for national coach of the year after retooling the Jayhawks so fast.”


eastTXjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Spartans, in 3 days, we die!! (well, we lose miserably)

Jfanallways 10 years, 10 months ago

we got past the first two games from here on out ku gets to play thier favorite role the underdogs msu is exactly the kind of game i expect ku to come out firing on all cylinders remeber what they did when they got thier revenge against misery i expect the same friday. then if by some miracle arizona pulls off the upset i think we have a legitate final four shot and if we get another miracle, a mizzou win over memphis and ucon/purdue then we will be in the nc and you cant ask for more than a 50/50 shot at a repeat . . . . the opinion of an optimists optimist

rockbrooklynchalk 10 years, 10 months ago

Update from NY for you all regarding Lance Stephenson, and it's great news.

Zagsblog reports that it's all but a certainty that Lance will commit to Kansas:

This is awesome news. I've seen this kid play multiple times and we're going to be blown away by him.

Tom Pritchard 10 years, 10 months ago

Sorry John Calipari building a team is the way to winning awards, and championships. Oh kinda like you did at Umass.

keith horinek 10 years, 10 months ago

I think Rockbrooklynchalk is correct in that Lance stephenson has been reported to have chosen KU. I'm not sure why he's waiting to announce if this inside information has leaked out. On another note, I don't see coach Calipari winning a championship untill he decides to "build" a team instead of trying to win it all with a group of "one and done's". That's not how it's done year in and year out. Look at Florida, they did it twice with a core group of talented kids that stayed together for two or three years. If Calipari insists on recruiting only top kids that won't stick around for more than one year he will always be "chasing" the dream year after year.

justanotherfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Calipari doesn't have a "group" of one and dones. He has Tyreke Evans. The rest of his rotation is as follows:

Antonio Anderson (senior, four year player) Robert Dozier (senior, four year player) Shawn Taggart (junior, transfer from Iowa State, two year player) Doneal Mack (junior, three year player) Willie Kemp (junior, three year player) Pierre Henderson-Niles (junior, three year player) Roburt Sallie (sophomore, junior college transfer) Wesley Witherspoon (freshman, though clearly not a one and done prospect)

Anderson and Dozier lead the team in minutes. Prior to Derrick Rose last year, Memphis didn't have any one and dones. They were led by Rodney Carney in their first trip to the Elite Eight. He was a junior at the time. Joey Dorsey was a senior last year, and was along for all three previous elite eight appearances. Chris Douglas-Roberts was a junior last year. Calipari has done a good job of recruiting high profile talent, but his cupboard has also been stocked with "program guys" like Anderson and Dozier and Mack. To say he isn't building a team is not true.

keith horinek 10 years, 10 months ago

Derrick Rose from last year, Tyreke Evans, this year and Xavier Henry for next year, come to mind. Obviously you can't build a team with all one and done's. However there does seem to be a pattern developing here with Memphis. We'll see.

jchief40 10 years, 10 months ago

oljwk - hey dude give it up. Most of the team is not one-and-done. You, again, pointed out one player from each season as a one-and-done. That is not "building a team with one-and-done's" ... and if we get Stephenson you can bet that our core team + one-and-done aka NBA ready badass means we are expected to reach the Final Four and possibly win another NC. Heck, this season isn't over yet either!

blowhard 10 years, 10 months ago

The whole season has been really refreshing so far with with the Michigan State rematch to look forward to on Friday. If we improve vs. Michigan State, literally anything is possible. If we shock the "experts", how super would that be? Sherron and Cole are the leaders and the "Big Opportunity" is to put on a "Big Show" on Friday's "Big Stage". Guys, take 'em one at a time and have the time of your lives!!!

eastTXjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

thanks Dude, you got it...but you're right, if you haven't seen 300, it wouldn't make any sense. Two more days!

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