Monday, March 30, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

Now that the tournament is over for the Jayhawks, the focus has turned to the possibility of Aldrich and Collins announcing their draft eligibility.


VCU opening has listed Kansas University assistant Joe Dooley as one of the candidates for the vacant Virginia Commonwealth head coaching job. Others on the list: VCU assistant Tony Pujol, Texas assistant Russell Springman, Florida assistant Shaka Smart, Wake Forest assistant Jeff Battle, Ohio State assistant Archie Miller as well as head coaches Jeff Lebo of Auburn and Billy Lange of Navy.

Stephenson to announce

Lance Stephenson, a 6-5 guard from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., reiterated to the New York Daily News that he will reveal his college choice on Tuesday morning at the McDonald’s All-America media day session in Miami.

Various recruiting services believe KU will win out over St. John’s and Maryland. The Daily News said some still believe Stephenson may opt to play overseas a year prior to entering the NBA Draft.

Calipari to UK gains steam

ESPN and several other outlets including the Memphis Commercial Appeal are reporting that Memphis coach John Calipari has some interest in the Kentucky opening.

On Friday, Calipari told the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper he has no desire to leave the Conference USA school. On Sunday night, the paper said a meeting between Calipari and UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart may take place today.


bradywaters 12 years ago

All signs point towards Born Ready to KU. Hopefully everything goes as plan.

KEITHMILES05 12 years ago

Calipari lies as much as he breathes. I'm SO glad he didn't get a shot at the KU job. He's the epitomy of a slick car salesperson who would sell his momma.

keith horinek 12 years ago

Does anybody else find this turn of events interesting? Calapari and HCBS were in a recruiting battle over several recruits that eventually went to Memphis and now Calipari may leave Memphis for Kentucky. I wonder what these recruits are thinking now? If Calapari leaves Memphis, will the recruits be allowed to leave also?

nebraska_jayhawk 12 years ago

Hmmmm....this is interesting news about Joe Dooley. Apparantly Billy Gillespie and Joe Dooley were seen in Lawrence together on Saturday. If Joe ends up getting the head coaching job at VCU, will BG become an assistant again under Self? Just something to keep an eye on.

KU 12 years ago

If those Calapari recruits are granted releases from Memphis I'm sure they wouldn't have any problems finding a place to play.....including UK, assuming Cal ends up there.

From what I have heard, if Cole and Sherron come back next season and Stephenson wants to play at KU, we'll have 15 players and 13 scholarships. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next several days.

If Stephenson announces that he wants to play at KU (which I still don't believe 100%), it must mean that Self knows of at least 2 players that intend to move on.

yates33333 12 years ago

I hope Dooley gets the job. He deserves it.

I hope Calipari does what is best for him. I do think he should think long and hard about Kentucky. If you just get two years to produce you are almost doomed from the start. John is slick,but what big time coach isn't? Bobby Knight and Bobby Knight and Bobby Knight.

nebraska_jayhawk 12 years ago

oljhwk- Yes, because only a couple of players who have been recruited to Memphis have actually signed the letter of intent.

guscornhawk 12 years ago

NebJay - That was the first thing I thought of as well.

oljahwk - I found this on (interestingly enough, the article is about the process Tyshawn had to go through to come to KU)

guscornhawk 12 years ago

KU - didn't I read somewhere that Brady's dad offered to pay for school in order to free up a scholarship? Help me out with this one anybody?

wi_jayhawk 12 years ago

guscornhawk - That rumor has circulated campus the last couple years. Haven't heard anything official, but it'd definitely be helpful to KU if true.

63Jayhawk 12 years ago

What is the situation with Jeff Withey? Is he on scholarship this year? If so, does that not put KU one over our limit? I believe our limit for this year is eleven. Jeff would make twelve. Has another player given up a scholarship, or is Jeff Withey not on scholarship?

Gary, do you know the answer?

63Jayhawk 12 years ago

Again, with regards to the scholarship situation, can a school bring a basketball player in on a football (or other sport) scholarship if they never play or practice with the football team?

Jaminrawk 12 years ago

Xavier Henry signed a letter of intent to attend Memphis. DeMarcus Cousins hasn't. If Cal leaves, you can bet Cousins might follow (as well as John Wall). Memphis might grant Henry his release, but he will no doubt NOT be allowed to follow Calipari. If this happens, the Henry's are really going to rue not choosing KU. Still, someone will gladly accept Xavier. Watch out for OU or OSU if he does get granted a release. All speculation at this point.

kupark 12 years ago

Can KU have Lance sign the LOI and then wait for a scholarship to become available or does a scholarship need to become available before LOI is signed? I would imagine Lance first wants to see a scholarship become available before he signs his LOI.

If a player or two transfer, it would seem that the way Bill Self recruits some players are forced to look at other options due lack of PT. If nobody gives up his scholarship, then we need two guys to transfer. That would be a total of five guys (I remember five, may be more) that have transferred from KU during Bill Self era. That seems a bit much.

sdoyel 12 years ago

I think Lance is going to announce he's playing overseas....

Eliott Reeder 12 years ago

Funny. That's what my intuition tells me as well. Just because he has insisted that it will be a "big surprise". I guess coming to Kansas is a big surprise in the mind's of NY peoples. I have been watching all of the Born Ready TV episodes. I'm not sure that kid is mature enough to handle living overseas.

irish2255 12 years ago

Cousins and Wall would probably both follow Cal to UK. They already have 2 real studs coming in next year who I would guess would stay if Cal was named new coach. It would be an instant turn around. With UK's tradition and facilities along with Cal feeling teenagers heads full of lies we would start losing recruits to UK instead of Memphis. I'll hate this guy no matter where he coaches.

Doug LeMoine 12 years ago

The Stephenson situation reminds me a lot of Baron Davis ... Baron kept dropping hints that he was coming to Kansas, all to create a stir when he chose UCLA. Stephenson seems like the same kind of guy. He obviously loves to play the media, to string them along, and to give them something to write about. He also seems like he'd be a perfect candidate for playing overseas, so I'd be shocked if he didn't go that route.

cklarock 12 years ago

I'm not sure I get all the Calipari hate. I agree that he has a used-car-salesman persona, and is as slick as he wants to be, but he is a big-time Men's Div I basketball coach. There's a lot of b.s. in the recruiting process these days, and they're all kind of slick. People dislike his one-and-done factory, but I put the blame a bit more squarely on the NBA with their dumb 'no kids out of H.S. rule.'

If these top-flight recruits are being forced to play college ball, coaches (including Coach Self) are going after them. It is what it is, because winning is the only real value in big-time athletics.

Cal's recruiting abilities at Memphis are at least partly down to World Wide Wes, so I'm really curious to see what he'd be able to do at Kentucky -- big time tradition, but no handy NBA franchise and/or power-broker middleman.

I'm not convinced it's a lock that Cal would take Cousins and Wall with him. I think WWW would have something to say about that, and all the reasons you sell kids on Memphis as a school aren't going to change just because the coach has. In fact, if they're really only looking for a stepping stone, why follow Cal to a program that hasn't been great for several years (an eternity in the eyes of an 18 year old).

justanotherfan 12 years ago

Just my gut feeling, but I think UK is more interested in Calipari than the other way around. Sort of like UK was interested in Billy Donovan last time around. UK throws their name out there, assuming that every coach is just dying for the chance to coach at Kentucky.

Why would Cal leave Memphis. The last four years he has gone Elite Eight, Elite Eight, Championship Game, Sweet Sixteen. He's had a top ten recruiting class the last couple of years. He has signed what could be the #1 class in the country - may sign the #1, #2 and #3 players. He could be elected lifetime mayor of Memphis.

At Kentucky, they would love him for about a month, or until he lost to Louisville. Then they would bash. They bashed Pitino until he left. They held off on Tubby Smith because he won a title his first year, then started in on him. They always hated BCG. Kentucky fans think every coach should be the second coming of Adolph Rupp. Lots of coaches see that and realize that the job they already have is just as good, or even better than, the Kentucky job.

Robert Brock 12 years ago

After Kentucky's fiasco with Eddie Sutton and being so conscious with the coaches they bring in, they are now going to turn to Calipari? This is desperation at a high level.

SoCalAlum 12 years ago

More on Lance in: and see the article in the New Republic about Lance that Zag links to:

With everyone wondering how Coach Self will work out the scholarships, we read that Lance's dad, Stretch Stephenson, was also his AAU coach - in this case, let me be the first to nominate Stretch for whatever job Ronnie Chalmers had.

railer1122 12 years ago

Dooley needs to be a head coach. He is very smart, and his replacement should be Billy Gillespie. Just imagine, 2 head coaches on one staff. And Gillespie has been an assistant to Self for many years, and they still remain good friends.

jhokfan 12 years ago

One would think Kentucky would have little difficulty finding a coach but they have run so many people out of Lexington that a lot of coaches are reluctant to take the job. I think Gillespie is a better X & O coach than Calapari but coach Cal is a great recruiter and that will win you a lot of games. He’s got to be interested in the job but like so many others must be reluctant due to the unrealistic demands of this particular job. I’m curious to see how this whole thing will play out with Kentucky and Arizona and the subsequent coaching changes. Glad we’ve got our man.

LAJayhawk 12 years ago


No. In fact, I think it's less than no. I think there is a negative 120% chance he becomes an assistant under Self.

It is an interesting thing to think about and toss around the comment boards, but there have to be at least 100 small schools that would drop everything to have him as a head coach.

As to Calipari, I would have a hard time seeing him move from a school that he's brought to national prominence where he is treated like the Almighty to a place that would be filled with more pressure and more critical voices than even the Almighty could handle. If he takes it on, I think it's a mistake.

Fortunately, I can't stand the guy, so pack up and shove off to Lexington Cal!

Lance Hobson 12 years ago

This is college bball today - no loyalty amongst coaches. For Cal to recruit these great players only to leave, that is absurd and very unscrupulous.

He's leaving a lot of people high and dry. After this Stephenson saga is over and we don't get him, I wouldn't be surprised to see Wall leaning toward KU or even Henry asking out of his LOI.

jayhawkintexas 12 years ago

Coaches know how to play the scholarship game--many of these kids qualify for financial aid that is outside of the athletic scholarship (and, incidentally are available to many students who are non-athletes) and athletic department budget--take it from someone with first hand knowledge. The 2008-09 KU basketball calendar lists 16 players on the team, only one of whom is a walk-on, so I'm guessing that there is non-athletic financial aid already at work. If Calipari does go to Kentucky, then I wouldn't be surprised to see Xavier Henry ask out of his scholarship and come to KU and have Quintrell Thomas, Tyrel Reed, and Conner Teahan redshirt a year.

David Howell 12 years ago

UK is a step up for Coach Cal. They are a top 5 program over time. Let's face it, Conference USA is NO challenge and doesn't make Memphis any better come tournament time. All they get out of it is a better tourney seed and a better developed bench.

I gotta think that Lance is liking KU over St. Johns and Maryland. You have to be very mature to go overseas and deal with the grind of playing in a foreign country and most likely a different language. He would hate himself half way into the season.

If Lance doesn't come, I look for Xavier to follow his heart to his second choice -- KU. He wanted to play with his brother, but with Coach Cal gone and Memphis not likely to allow him to follow him to UK, then it looks like KU where his daddy played.

Like "JayhawkinTexas" mentioned, redshirting a few is possible. But I have to believe that Quintrell is going to transfer. It's almost like HCBS and Quintrell came to that conclusion during the mid-point of the season. He rarely played the 2nd half of the season, and believe me there were times that neither Mark. Morris, Marc. Morris or Little were viable options. Little came out strong once he got over his injuries and then basically became a non-factor. Self could have looked to Quintrell as an option, but didn't. I gotta believe that he will be transferring ............

MrPilot 12 years ago

Let Henry, Wall, and Stephenson go anywhere they want to but KU. We don't need to start going after one and done players. Calipari can have them. Complete waste of a scholarship.

rtjayhawk 12 years ago

Redshirting isn't going to solve the scholarship issue since they're still under scholarship (even though they are redshirted). I do believe that Roger Morningstar will pick up Brady's scholarship and QT will transfer...pros and cons to both, but that's just my 2 cents.

John Hayes 12 years ago

Why would Appleton stick around either....If SC stays and with the new recruit coming in at PG....His playing time will be even less next season.

jaybate 12 years ago

This is business, guys.

Don't wail on Calipari for going to listen, when Bill Self did the identical thing to KU to leverage his deal out of Perk and Hem.

Calipari will most likely stay at Memphis and get a bump in his salary, too.

He is talking to UK to see if they are ready to up his salary by a few million per year, which they are probably ready to do, if he promises to bring the Henry boys and Demarcus with him. And of course he would bring them and of course they would come. If Calipari at Memphis is better than KU and OU, then Calipari at UK would be even better than KU and OU to these players.

The reason Cal won't got to UK is that he can't bring his entire Memphis team to UK. If he could, he would jump in a second. Since he can't, he's just going to try to squeeze a raise out of Memphis, the way Self squeezed a raise out KU.

The best way to reduce the high risk of the coaching profession is FU money. Larry Brown is the mentor and role model of John Calipari. LB would go listen to get the FU money, so Cal will go and listen.

I would go and listen. These schools can afford to pay vastly more than they do. The alumni base of most major sports programs could easily fork up $10-20 million per year, if they felt compelled to do so. In the age of multi trillion dollar bail out, 10-20M is peanuts.

It costs nothing to listen. It adds luster to Cal's recruiting bonafides to be someone UK considers. And it makes him seem like even more of a loyal guy when he holds the press conference and says, "I listened, and UK was very generous, but I just couldn't leave my kids." It plays well with recruits. And Memphis ups his salary.

AaronHawk19 12 years ago

Sorry Jaybate, but it looks like this is the real deal. Cal's Memphis players think so, ESPN thinks so, the UK officals think so. Cal is finally going to try to compete with the big boys (although be it in a football conference).

LAJayhawk 12 years ago

Except all signs -- including the statements of the Memphis players themselves -- seem to point toward Calipari heading to Lexington. UK offered nearly 5 mil a year (35 mil over 8, supposedly) which is simply astronomical. I don't think he's listening. I think he's going.

And while I still think it's a mistake for him, possibly by tomorrow or at least by the end of the week, John Calipari will more than likely be a Wildcat.

LAJayhawk 12 years ago

My comments were in response to jaybate. Sorry, AaronHawk19, didn't refresh before posting.

mlubyRN 12 years ago

I am very happy that Calipari got beat 2 times in two NCAA tournaments by KU and MU. I also have a strong dislike for Cal, He seems like a very shady guy to me. Big time Jack@$$

Viggo3003 12 years ago

63Jayhawk - Again, with regards to the scholarship situation, can a school bring a basketball player in on a football (or other sport) scholarship if they never play or practice with the football team?

Had to comment on this one as it made me spit my coffee out in laughter. You need to work in our Government big guy, you'd fit right in.

Chicago_JHawk 12 years ago

The overseas thing seems overrated. Brandon Jennings skipped out on Arizona to go to Europe this past year and had this to say "I've gotten paid on time once this year. They treat me like I'm a little kid. They don't see me as a man. If you get on a good team, you might not play a lot. Some nights you'll play a lot; some nights you won't play at all. That's just how it is." Maybe it's worth it for a couple million, but assuming you'll get the the league in a year anyway, I'd have to assume playing a larger role for a top tier college squad would be more fun.

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