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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Woolridge, Barnes on Kansas’ hot list

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Kansas University basketball fans — who will be suffering from hoops withdrawal from now until the Oct. 16 Late Night in the Phog — can satisfy some cravings this summer by following a season that never ends.

That, of course, is recruiting season.

The usual sanctioned events — Main Event, adidas Super 64 and Reebok Summer Championships in Las Vegas, Peach Jam in North Augusta, Ga., and AAU Nationals in Orlando, Fla., and many others — are on the calendars’ of all the blue-chip prospects in the Class of 2010.

KU coach Bill Self will be tracking a batch of those prospects this summer to fill two or more roster vacancies.

KU, which enters the 2009-10 season with a full allotment of 13 scholarship players, will need replacements for seniors Sherron Collins and Mario Little. With junior Cole Aldrich all but certain to leave for the NBA Draft and freshman Xavier Henry planning an exit after one season, KU will likely have a minimum of four scholarship slots available, more if anybody elects to transfer. One of those slots goes to Phoenix shooting guard Royce Woolridge, who has orally committed to KU.

Here, with the help of Rivals.com, are some of the prospects listing KU. The first eight names should come as no big surprise to those who closely follow recruiting. They comprise Rivals.com’s KU “Hot List.”

Royce Woolridge, 6-3, 175, PG/SG, Phoenix (Ariz.) Sunnyslope High: Woolridge, Rivals.com’s No. 65-rated player in the Class of 2010, announced for KU after his sophomore season in high school.

The son of former NBA player Orlando Woolridge averaged 28.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals a game last season for Arizona’s Class 4A state championship team.

“He can get to the cup whenever he wants,” said Rivals.com analyst Shay Wildeboor. “Not many in the class are better at breaking their man down and getting to the hole. One thing he has said he wants to do is be more consistent with his outside shot.”

Harrison Barnes, 6-6, 206, SF, Ames (Iowa) High: Rivals.com’s No. 2 rated player lists KU, Duke, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Stanford, Minnesota, USC, UCLA, Iowa State, Florida, Kentucky and TCU. The former All-Iowa Attack Red AAU team player now plays for Minnesota Howard Pulley.

Barnes, who averaged 19.7 points and 8.8 boards a game last season, is a 3.9 student. He was impressed with the “love” KU fans showed him at the recent Jayhawk Invitational.

“He has all the tools — can score from outside, has a midrange game and can get to the basket,” Wildeboor said. “He has a great feel for the game.”

Ray McCallum, 6-1, 175, PG, Detroit Country Day High: Rivals.com’s No. 36-rated player lists KU, Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA, Duke, Louisville, Memphis, Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Florida, Kentucky, Texas and others.

McCallum, who averaged 16.9 points, 5.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game his junior season, hasn’t ruled out playing for his dad at the University of Detroit.

“He’s a prototypical point guard. He can distribute, score and is smart,” Wildeboor said.

Brandon Knight, 6-3, 185, PG, Pine Crest High, Coral Springs, Fla.: Rivals.com’s No. 1-ranked player is considering KU, Kentucky, UConn, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Syracuse and others. He averaged 39 points a game his junior year of high school.

“He has built his body up to an indestructible level, and is using it to punish defenders,” Rivals.com analyst Jerry Meyer said. “His bull-rush drives with his right hand are nearly unguardable and he is shooting with accuracy from deep range off the dribble.”

Luke Cothron, 6-8, 220, PF, Flora Macdonald Academy, Red Springs, N.C.: Rivals.com’s No. 9-rated player, who is originally from Alabama, has a list of KU, North Carolina State, Memphis, UConn, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Stat and many others. He averaged 30 points and 20 rebounds a game his junior year.

“He loves to block shots, rebound and get after it. He’s a beast in the paint and can take his game out 15 to 17 feet,” Wildeboor said.

Cameron Clark, 6-6, 190, SF, Sherman (Texas) High: Rivals.com’s No. 22-ranked player has a list of KU, Texas, UCLA, USC, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Kentucky and others.

“Clark does all the things a big time wing needs to do. He scores it off the dribble, makes three-pointers, is an adequate ball handler, rebounds strong and can guard a variety of positions,” Meyer said.

Adreian Payne, 6-10, 215, PF, Jefferson High, Dayton, Ohio: Rivals.com’s No. 8-rated player has a list of KU, Michigan State, Kentucky, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Dayton, Xavier, West Virginia, Pitt, Tennessee and others. Payne, who averaged 15.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks his junior year, said his goal is to vault to No. 1 in the class.

“He’s comfortable getting up and down the floor and he’s comfortable running half-court sets,” Jefferson coach Art Winston told the Dayton Daily News.

Will Barton, 6-5, 165, SG, Lake Clifton High, Baltimore: Rivals.com’s No. 7-rated player has a list of KU, Arizona, Georgetown, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Memphis, Pittsburgh and others.

“Despite his thin frame, Barton's length and strength with the ball allow him to make plays against contact,” said Rivals.com’s Meyer. “His funky dribble game is sure to create space for his accurate jumper, and his instinct for coming up with loose balls gets him bonus buckets.”

Here are players not on Rivals.com’s “KU Hot List,” but also listing the Jayhawks.

Josh Smith, 6-10, 270, PF, Kentwood High, Covington, Wash.: Rivals.com’s No. 5-rated player lists KU, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Washington, Washington State and many others.

Roscoe Smith, 6-8, 180, SF, Walbrook High, Baltimore: Rivals.com’s No. 16-rated player lists KU, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Duke, UConn, Florida, Florida State, Memphis, Texas and others.

Doron Lamb, 6-4, 175, SG, Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.: Rivals.com’s No. 24-rated player lists KU, Louisville, Kentucky, UConn, Syracuse, Marquette, Seton Hall, West Virginia, St. John’s and others.

Trevor Releford, 5-10, 170, PG, Roeland Park Bishop Miege: Releford’s AAU coach, L.J. Goolsby of KC Pump N Run recently said the main schools recruiting Releford are Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio State, Arizona, Missouri State, Wichita State and Creighton. KU has shown some interest of late in the brother of Jayhawk soph Travis Releford.

Cory Joseph, 6-3, 170, SG, Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.: Rivals.com’s No. 6-rated player lists KU, UNLV, Marquette, Florida, Louisville, Ohio State, Texas and others.

Trey Zeigler, 6-5, 195, SG, Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) High: Rivals.com’s No. 47-rated player lists KU, Michigan State, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, UCLA and others.

Julian Washburn, 6-7, SF, Duncanville (Texas) High: Rivals.com’s No. 66-rated player lists KU, Texas, Texas A&M;, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Memphis and others.

Shaquille Thomas, 6-6, 165, SF, Mountain State Academy, Beckley, W.Va.: Rivals.com’s No. 94-rated player lists KU, Florida, Syracuse, West Virginia, Clemson, St. John’s and others.

Dominique Ferguson, 6-9, 210, PF, Lawrence North High, Indianapolis: Rivals.com’s No. 10-rated player lists Indiana, UCLA, Arizona, Texas, Florida, KU and others.

Terrence Jones, 6-8, 220, PF, Jefferson High, Portland: Rivals.com’s No. 27-rated player lists KU, Washington, Marquette, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State, Georgetown and others.

Jordin Mayes, 6-1, 170, SG, Westchester High, Los Angeles: Rivals.com’s No. 97-rated player lists KU, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Florida, UConn, Santa Clara and others.

Lavonte Dority, 6-0, 180, PG, Foreman High, Chicago: Rivals.com’s No. 104-rated player lists KU, Marquette, Baylor, DePaul, Illinois, Indiana Kentucky and others.

KU, of course, will be checking out high school sophomores and juniors-to-be at upcoming events. At the top of the list in the Class of 2011 is Bradley Beal, 6-3 junior from Chaminade High in St. Louis. Perry Ellis, 6-7 sophomore from Wichita Heights, is the prize of the Class of 2012. Beal likes KU, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, Indiana, Purdue and others. Ellis, who has attended several KU games on unofficial visits, will be recruited by all the country’s powers.

Comments

Dirk Medema 10 years, 8 months ago

Nice article. Any chance there might be some love, any love for the football team as well?

Rock Chalk

RockChalkX2008 10 years, 8 months ago

Nice info... I didn't see any true centers though. Not that I'm too worried, we'll have Withey, and we all know how Self can use his big men. It'll be exciting to see how things work out! I'm pumped for our team this coming season! Rock Chalk baby! I hope to see another deserved championship!...

Robert Brock 10 years, 8 months ago

Terrible article. The rankings are OLD and some of the elite player listed are not mentioning or considering KU. I wish they were (like Josh Smith).

Andy Hess 10 years, 8 months ago

its too bad Doron Lamb is not on the hot list yet. He recently mentioned that KU was his top school. I hope that hasn't changed so soon.

Dillon Davis 10 years, 8 months ago

Perry Ellis is going to be ours to lose you would think. He has such a close relationship with Danny Manning and coach Self already. He's been to countless games. He lives only a couple hours away. Im looking forward to seeing what this kid can do over the next couple years.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

Brock,

Thanks for the perspective on this story; that it is stale news. One of the best things about this site is when people grade the news, rather than just consume it. Thanks again.

kennethst 10 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate!

Where have you been, friend? You always get it right!!

Hey.....give me a quick run down of next year's starting five and bench players...

If you don't mind, sir?

Hope you're doing well.

100 10 years, 8 months ago

Here we go again: Coach Cal vs. Coach Self & Danny Manning

Jermain 10 years, 8 months ago

Anyone have second thoughts on Born Ready now that UK signed Wall might want to reconsider we need all we can get. It would be a great addition to our team. The guys a beast and playing the 2 next to X and all rest unstoppable

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 8 months ago

Next years starting 5 will look a lot like last years starting five. I wondre more about the rotation. I hope Self can get these kids to see the big picture and play unselfishly.

kerbyd 10 years, 8 months ago

Brock is right about the old news. Scout.com does a better job than rivals of giving the whole story.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

kennethst,

5 Aldrich 30 with Kieff 10, then Withey takes 5 form Kieff .

4 Marcus 20 and Robinson 20, then Withey takes 5 from each.

3 Brady 5, then X 10, then Brady 5 minutes each half until X is dominant.

2 Taylor and CJ alternate every 5 minutes

1 Collins with Tyrel spelling him a few minutes each half

Robert Murphy 10 years, 8 months ago

I've heard there's a third grader in Wisconsin who is being heavily recruited. He has NC, Duke, Kentucky and Kansas on his list. It has been rumored he will commit in early June. The big news however, is a fetus expected to be born next week is committing as soon as he comes out.

Robert Murphy 10 years, 8 months ago

I really shouldn't mention it but their are a couple of sperm chanting Rock Chalk Jay Hawk KU.............

mariofan11 10 years, 8 months ago

Brock,

You are one of the biggest punks I have seen on the internet. You are just as big of a D-Bag over on phog.net. Just keep your negative comments to yourself. People like you belong in Columbia.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

drgnslayr,

Ya got me there. Just flat forgot about EJ. Numbers! Its like we've gone from a string quartet to a freaking orchestra. Similarly, what to do with Little and Releford, too? Someone needs to redshirt and take a year laying the groundwork for a double major. :-)

FWIW, EJ probably stays a 2 during his career at KU. So does Tyshawn. PGs are born, not made. And they come in all kinds of containers. Some penetrate and dish (today's standard exemplified by Sherron and CJ), while others feed 2s and 3s and 4s who rim-inate, and lay back for kick outs to trifectate (a throw back to an older time possibly resuscitated by Reed). But they all have the PG combination of simultaneous broad and narrow focus, can dribble, defend and vary pace based on feel.

Everyone will say: Tyrel at the 1?!

I believe Tyrel will get 5 minutes at the 1 this year because: a) Self started using him there down the stretch last year in prep for this season; and b) when Self has Taylor/CJ at 2 and X at 3, there is no need for a penetrating PG--just one who can initiate sets and pop the triceratop on kick outs.

Non-penetrating PGs have fallen out of vogue in the three point era, because of the intense emphasis on athleticism at PG combined with wanting long ballers on the two wings, so persons will be astounded to hear me sayTyrel will play some minutes at PG on a team loaded with impact guards.

But long ago Wooden demonstrated that there are two ways to use the PG with a dominant center. With Jabbar nee Alcindor, we saw the penetrating PG approach with lightening quick Mike Warren--in essence, the game Sherron played last year, only Sherron was loaded up with a lot more FGAs per game than Warren ever was.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

But persons today forget that Bill Walton played with Warren's similar--Henry Bibby--and with Warren's opposite--a 6'4" non-penetrating, outside shooter named Greg Lee. Lee was hugely effective in the role of non penetrating PG, because his 2, 3 and 4 players (Larry Farmer, Keith Wilkes and Dave Meyers) were exceptional get-to-the-rim guys, with Wilkes and Meyers having good outside strokes, too. Tyrel Reed could play the Greg Lee role to Aldrich's Walton with say, CJ, X, and Marcus/Withey, with CJ, X and even Marcus having good outside strokes.

The beauty of being able to play it both ways is, of course, that teams can't just stop you one way, as happened when Ratso Izzo did the smart thing in the tourney game and just had two players bottle Sherron up at the top of the circle--one of the few times last season when Self had no successful counter strategy in real time. He'll want one this year.

Further, as we learned last year, a down the middle game with Sherron and Cole is fairly sensitive and inflexible to substitutions. If Sherron is going to penetrate and handle the ball a lot, you have to have fine shooters at the 2 and 3 who are willing to be glue most of the time to enable it. Additional slashers on the perimeter look good in this down the middle scheme when they slash, but actually take the offense away from its sweet spot over the long haul.

Adding a player of X Henry's caliber (penetrater and long baller) and just asking him to stand out on the perimeter and pot treys is kind of a waste of his alleged OAD talent. But at the same time, we learned last year that when Brady came out, a penetrator with a midrange game like Little did not fit in if Sherron and Cole continued to play a down the middle game. And the down the middle game seemed to bog down if Brady, or Tyshawn started taking too many treys.

The way to get the most of out of X, and Brady and Mario, at the 3, and Taylor and CJ at the 2, is going to be to have the team be prepared to play both a down the middle game (like last year, which relegates X to doing pretty much what Brady did last year--potting treys and feeding posts, because doing more gums up the down the middle offense) and a wing-to-baseline attack game (where say, CJ, X and Marcus begin to have the court cleared out for them by a non-penetrating style of PG play and an active center who sets up many different places, rather than just on the low blocks.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

In short, there are basically two ways to play with a mobile big man like Cole.

The first way is a two man, down the middle game--a penetrating PG and his big post man--with a garbage man at 4, a slasher/trinitizer at 2 and a long bomber at 3.

The second way is to put big, strong penetraters at 2, 3, and 4, so that the offense can threaten to take the ball to the rim from anywhere but the point, or cut to the rim from the same positions and then dish to the big man, or kick out to the 1 waiting to take the long shot.

The dream of any coach with a big man as mobile as Cole is to be able to attack both ways. Sherron or CJ at the PG allow the first way, because both can penetrate and the second way, because both can shoot the trey, but if Sherron sits and CJ plays PG, one of your wings can't shoot the trey unless its Brady, or Tyrel, and neither of these guys are get to the rim guys from the 3...so far, so you really can't play the perimeter to baseline attack game this way. You could use Mario Little at the 3, but only if Marcus becomes a legitimate long baller; otherwise you'll have only one long baller at the two wings.

But Tyrel gives you the second way in spades, when he's in and this gives Sherron a blow and the opponent a new look to contend with.

Wooden proved a team could play both ways Walton's first season when he switched off between Bibby and Lee occassionally, though Bibby was the main man for sure. We also saw Greg Lee and Tommy Curtis invert the roles a few years later, where Lee was main man.

With a second chance to get it right, let me give the lineup another go. The numbers below are for nights when we are playing good teams. Against the cupcakes, everyone might wind up getting 10 minutes.

5 Aldrich 30 with Kieff 10, then Withey takes 5 form Kieff (same).

4 Marcus 20 and Robinson 20, then Withey takes 5 from each (same).

3 Brady 5, then X 5, then Little 5 each half and the one giving the best match up advantage and playing the best gets the last 5 of each half; until X proves dominant, which he might or might not.

2 Taylor and CJ alternate every 5 minutes, with EJ getting 5 minutes each half starting 10 minutes into each half from whichever of the first two is not playing the best.

1 Collins 25 with CJ and Tyrel splitting 15 minutes.

In this scenario, Travis Releford red shirts.

Another caveat is that this holds until about February 1, then the team shrinks to an 8 man rotation for the push to the ring based on who has played the best.

Finally, CJ and Tyrel are our two PGs in the year 0 A.S., i.e., After Sherron.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

Regarding the above: its just a guess without having seen the new guys play. I reserve the right to change my mind. :-)

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

If I might add my two cents worth...good points made by all, although, mariofan 11, I think your comment on Brock, although every bit your right, is a little closed minded.

I enjoy the full spectrum of opinion on this site even if they range from brilliant [Jaybate, drgnslayr, 100, boobysfissure, etc.] to any Mizzou, Memphis or UK "D-Bag" interloper.

I personally feel that Bill's 14 man rotation is just not going to work, although it is somewhat mitigated by Withey's first semester absence. It would seem that both Reed and Releford need to consider this redshirt route. Also, in retrospect, it's a shame Little didn't redshirt last season. Two seasons of him at full strength would have been awesome.

All this conjecture makes for great enteretainment, but my gut tells me that the rotation next year is going to be a lot tighter than any of us currently believe right now and that if, as a player you are not excellent in practice, your going to spend a lot of time on the bench.

I am pretty sure the transfers aren't over yet!!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

OOPs...sorry about the Freudian slip Bobbysfissure

David Hall 10 years, 8 months ago

reed has redshirt so he can not redshirt again

CasperCorps 10 years, 8 months ago

Morningstar redshirted not Reed, my friend.. Rockem Hawks..

kennethst 10 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate!!

Thanks......you're always spot-on!!

If you are not already.....you should seriously consider a career in sports media orsports analysis.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

drgnslayr

My apologies for not being clearer...I meant after this season and the PT situation handwriting will on the wall for members of the current roster plus the new Hawks.

I do agree though, I think the practices with this squad divided into equally competitive teams will be as or more entertaining than half the games in Div 1 next season.

I'd love to see Condor fighting with a pumped up Withey, CJ and Sherron cracking heads, Brady giiving X all the "D" he can handle, Marcus and Mr.. Robinson trading blows, Tyshawn and Elijah trading trifectas, a 100% Mario exchanging slashes and dashes, and Reed and Markieff whaling on everybody!!!!!!!!

InfiniteJ 10 years, 8 months ago

Marcus Morris has a "good outside stroke"??? I have to respectively disagree with that comment.....I mean, just because he can throw the ball towards the vicinity of basket from the 3-point line (and make a few), doesn't mean he should...his shot is crazy flat, not as flat as Markieff's, but that's not saying much. Maybe if the Morris bros started finishing around the rim more I'd be a little more lenient on my take of them shooting the 3-ball, but until then, I wish they would just defer to the guards on the team for perimeter shooting and start trying to dunk everything in sight like Aldrich.

STLJHawk86 10 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate, I am impressed, or should I be worried. You gave a lot of deserved love to Coach Wooden while filling up three separate posts without once mentioning 'Okieball' or Coach Iba!! I hope you are feeling OK :)

waywardJay 10 years, 8 months ago

STL....

That dude has more basketball knowledge inside his head that alot current and former DI coaches do... ( Frank Martin and Tony Barone come to mind... ) Don't sleep just because he's loving that west coast hippy style......

Perhaps it was an inadvertant bump on the noggin ..... perhaps it's because they only person he could compare favorably to Cole was Walton ( hope Cole's knees hold up ).... Perhaps it's been this crazy spring weather in the midwest... all i know ... is dude's on point......

justanotherfan 10 years, 8 months ago

Just from looking at what Self has done since he has been here, his rotation will be four big guys and four perimeter guys. That's his ideal rotation. He can dip lower into the rotation if fouls or injuries become an issue, but his rotation is eight men.

The bigs.

Aldrich is a definite. I see no reason why he won't be getting between 25 and 30 minutes a game.

Mk. Morris - He's more of a banger, which I think will give him an advantage if he is paired with Withey on the floor.

Mc. Morris - He's the more skilled of the twins. However, since Withey also likes to float on the perimeter, those two can't be play together. If Mc. Morris plays a lot, it will be paired with Cole.

Withey - He's another skilled big. If he has some back to the basket game, he and Cole could form a nice high-low game, similar to what Self ran at Illinois.

Robinson - A ferocious rebounder, he can be paired with any of the bigs, but probably is best suited to pair with either Cole or Withey because of their size.

I think the big rotation ends up being Aldrich and Mc. Morris starting, Withey and Robinson off the bench. Mk. Morris gets minutes if people get into foul trouble.

Perimeter

Collins is a sure thing. He starts at the point.

Taylor will be pushed for minutes, but his ball handling abilities will keep him on the floor, because we will need two capable ball handlers on the floor at all times. He was inconsistent last year, but hopefully his experience brings more consistency to the table.

Johnson is an athletic freak for a guard. In some ways, that puts him ahead of Taylor. For now though, I think he could be a solid backup at either guard spot.

Morningstar was often our best defender last season, but his offensive game lagged as the year wore on. It's doubtful that he starts this season, but there could be minutes to be had off the bench.

Henry is the highest rated recruit KU has brought in since Julian Wright. It's fairly easy to see him starting right away and getting heavy minutes on the wing.

Reed is like Brady-lite. I'm not sure he can take minutes away from Brady, so he may be one of the odd men out.

Little is a capable backup to X, and his rebounding and defensive prowess could put him in the mix at the 3 spot.

Releford seems like he will be hard pressed to break into the rotation over Little, Reed, Morningstar and either Johnson or Taylor for the last spot on the perimeter.

Perimeter rotation will probably be Collins, Taylor and Henry starting, with Johnson as the backup, because he's a stronger ball handler than either Reed or Morningstar.

That makes the starters Aldrich, Mc. Morris, Henry, Taylor and Collins, the bench being Withey, Robinson and Johnson, and Morningstar, Little and Mk. Morris getting whatever is left of the minutes.

Reed and Releford will likely be offered redshirts if this happens, since Henry will probably be gone after this year (as will Collins and Little).

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

Oakville,

Transfers doubted. Two redshirts maybe, but maybe not.

Releford, unless Self goes to full court pressure a la MU, seems an unecessary 2 for this team under conventional circumstances. But as Self has said, this could be a special team (read a ring team). So it maybe that pursuit of a championship requires all hands on deck.

Reed also seems a candidate, if CJ and Xavier are 40% trinitizers in D1, but not if not. Reed is just too versatile in a utility infielder sort of way. He buys you depth insurance against injury and academic problems at the 1 and 2. He buys you a proven 40% trinitarian. He buys you a low TO glue guy. He buys you a feisty son of a gun, who gets feistier when the going gets tough. In a season played for all the marbles, such players are necessary.

While Self tries to reconcile what is best for the program in the long and short term, other things equal, Self is a general that knows decisive moments when he sees them. As he shown time and again (e.g., with Little last season the most recent example), if the decision is a close one, Self favors today over tomorrow and wreak havoc defense over playing short-handed and protecting against fouling.

Today with this team amounts to a chance at a ring with an experienced, increasingly dominant big man. The best insurance for a ring push is to keep everyone eligible, so that injuries and academics have the least chance of derailing this team from a rendezvous with a championship.

Next, wreak havoc defense, or at least its ideal, requires 2 or 3 deep at each position, so that a team never has to let up on pressure, despite fouling and despite certain players being off their games on a given night. So: the way to ensure this team reaching the closest to the ideal of wreak havoc defense is to keep everyone eligible, even Releford.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

Self has tasted the fellowship of the ring. He has seen what it does for the program (you get to start picking among the best recruits instead of just hoping for one or two), for players (the NBA drafts lots of guys off ring teams that might not get drafted otherwise), and for himself ($3.5M/yr makes a big impression on a teacher's kid and Self knows that Calipari just raised the bar another $1M and that another ring would justify another salary bump to at least that).

I believe Self knows that winning a ring this year could turn college basketball into a two program race for dominance between KU and UNC, between Bill and Roy. I believe Self knows that winning a ring this year could be seizing the moment in the biggest way yet and I believe he understands that with Roy having just won his second, and Cal reloading UK, that not to win this year could put KU behind the curve of the new age in college basketball. Ben Howland at UCLA missed this moment. Someone gets to be the new Allen, the new Rupp, the new Wooden, the new Smith, the new Knight, the new Coach K and the time is now for that towering figure to emerge from the pack of Roy, Bill, and Calipari. Roy did what he had to do this past season to stay in the hunt. Calipari is a step behind, but he now has the right program to join the competition. But Bill Self, like General Eisenhower, has the biggest, deepest, best trained, best equipped Army at his finger tips at this moment in time. To attack at all times, to remain in full attack mode no matter what adversity befalls them, to attack the opponents in all venues, to attack in all styles of play, to pursue the decisive blow, and then to seize the ring, all this could, at this moment, turn the course of basketball history decisively in Kansas' favor, and of coaching history decisively in Bill Self's favor. A ring now--the second in three years--with plenty of talent coming back again the following season plus some great recruits in the pipeline--this could put Kansas and Self in position to grab the helm of basketball for a few years--to derail the juggernaut formed in Chapel Hill and the one perhaps forming in Lexington.

I can almost hear Self talking to his assistant coaches.

"This is our decisive moment. No one redshirts. Godspeed and good luck, gentlemen."

Joe Baker 10 years, 8 months ago

jaybate (anonymous) says... 5 Aldrich 30 with Kieff 10, then Withey takes 5 form Kieff .

4 Marcus 20 and Robinson 20, then Withey takes 5 from each.

3 Brady 5, then X 10, then Brady 5 minutes each half until X is dominant.

2 Taylor and CJ alternate every 5 minutes

1 Collins with Tyrel spelling him a few minutes each half


Jaybate: Pretty fair breakdown and EJ is a given!

drgnslayr (anonymous) says... Jermain: I've been hot on Lance all year...


I too was huge on Lance up to the signing of X. I heard of Lance's off court issues. Frankly, Wall is not that freakish and I think he's way overrated. I think he's strong and talented, but not any better than some of the other recruits. You think Wall is better than Collins or EJ?

justanotherfan----You are really overlooking CJ. He is huge and might be a great answer to Jermain's "Wall" fear factor!! I would love to see Wall go against a more mature, veteran and experienced player. I think EJ might give him a run for his money. Taylor is a great guy and will be the most improved player this next season. His ball handling skills and shooting were his two areas needing improvement at the ncaa level. I really think Taylor could become Chalmer like in his play, it's up to him! He will bring more experience than most sophomores, having played a large amount of time his freshman year.

Alex Wishart 10 years, 8 months ago

i dont see why HCBS wouldnt just run the same type of offense that won it all two years ago, the pick and roll NBA style offense. remember all those alleyoops? all those lobs? all those picks? by the end of the season not even the best most athletic teams in the country could guard it. not to mention Cole is way better than Sasha, Darnell, and himself at that stage. lets look at it this way: if we take the '08 championship as a blueprint we have a great chance. plus, we return a bunch of dudes from that system who already know how to play it.

let's compare the starters from '08 to this year's club:

position- '08 championship starters- '09 - '10 starters- result PG- Russ Rob- Sherron- upgrade SG- Mario- Tyshawn- downgrade SF - Rush- X- push PF- D Arthur- Morris- downgrade C- D Block- Cole- upgrade 6th- Sherron- ?- ?

obivously, this team hasnt proven anything yet and this comparison could seem silly at seasons end. i still dont see why we wouldnt just copy what made that team successful. i agree with the statement above that we keep all hands on deck. our backups run deep but those guys have proven themselves winners. Reed and Morningstar know what a championship takes. Sherron and Cole performed on the biggest stage possible already. i think what we lack in age in some areas we make up in experience in others. all in all this is going to be a fun team to watch and be molded by the master. also, dont count out the fact that the Morris twins will be extremely better. one year of experience, a full summer of weights, a full summer of big man training, and you got yourself a couple of Darnell prototypes. this, however brings to mind the question: who will be our heart and soul? Cole doesnt seem to have it and Sherron seems like the Kobe type (scowls on his face when a teammate screws up). who is going to be our emotional leader? thats what this team is missing.

justanotherfan 10 years, 8 months ago

truehawk,

I forgot about CJ. There are just too many players that could be rotation guys. Self has shown in the past that, even with pretty good depth, he prefers to trim his rotation down to 8 or maybe 9 guys. CJ goes into that backcourt gridlock along with Johnson, Taylor, Morningstar, Reed, Releford and Little. There's just so many guys, I don't see any way to really get all of them minutes, unless Self decides to change up his substitution patterns in a drastic manner.

Even if Self were to change his substitution patterns pretty dramatically, We're talking about finding minutes for five guys (Aldrich, Morris, Morris, Withey, Robinson) for two post spots, plus rotating anywhere from 7-9 guys (Collins, X, Taylor, Johnson, CJ, Morningstar, Reed, Releford, Little) in three perimeter spots. I just don't see how he can get all of those guys meaningful minutes without confusing people as to what their role on the team is, or making it difficult to gain continuity among the players since such a large rotation means guys will rarely play with the same group very often.

Joel Hood 10 years, 8 months ago

Typically, the biggest leap players make in talent comes after their freshman year. If that holds true, then the Morris twins and Tyshawn should play a lot in 2009-2010. I know many expect Robinson & Withey to challenge them for minutes, but Robinson will only be a freshman and Withey won’t get in until second semester. That’s a lot of ground for anyone to makeup. I know everyone says Robinson is a stud, but it takes time for most bigs to develop. Tyshawn & the twins picked up a lot of D1 experience last year, they already know the system, and they will have an entire year of Hudy strength training and conditioning.

Don’t discount how much playing time Brady will get next year. All great teams have floor leaders whose most valuable asset is between the ears. Brady is a glue guy and with this much athleticism available, he will likely have a role that may not show up in the stat book.

By late January, I’d bet we consistently go about 10 deep, assuming the chemistry is right: Sherron, Cole, McMorris, Brady, Tyshawn, Xavier, MkMorris, Tyrel, Mario, and Robinson. I think it’s ridiculous to get worked up about who starts. Who knows, Xavier might play much better off the bench, as did Sherron his freshman & sophomore years.

Guys on the outside looking in are: Withey, Elijah, Releford, CJ, et al. Don’t get me wrong, these guys could surprise everyone, but I believe they will see much more action in 2010-2011.

One last thought, why do we always forget to mention injuries? Every year, most teams have someone who is hurt or playing at well under 100%. The only injuries that really hurt us next year would be to Cole or Sherron (potentially Xavier too, but we don't know just yet.) So, with one or two injuries, the rotation may only be 8 deep instead of 10 – what an incredible luxury that will be.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate.....GRADES and the GRIND...excellent points.

If I may interject a thought here that no one has covered......This team is going to be far superior than probably 2/3 of it's schedule. This phenomenum will produce large leads and probably adequate opportunities for lots of playing time for everyone, with the added bonus of keeping your top 8 or 9 guys fresher for the final push.

Also, Bill's players cheer for each other and are thrilled when the other guy has success. This chemistry and cameraderie is a major weapon against teams chock full of talented OAD's who are looking out for themselves.

I will reverse my postition and encourage KU to come with all the guns a'blazi'n!!!!!!

Joe Baker 10 years, 8 months ago

jayhawkerjoel (anonymous) says...

Don’t discount how much playing time Brady will get next year. All great teams have floor leaders whose most valuable asset is between the ears. Brady is a glue guy and with this much athleticism available, he will likely have a role that may not show up in the stat book.


I was hoping Brady would excel behind Sherron as a kind of co-captain. But, he never established himself as such. He flashed in a few games and pooped in the tournaments (B12 and NCAA). I hope he gains consistency in the new year and becomes that much anticipated co-leader. His personality is interesting and not becoming of a vocal "leader" as Sherron. Remember what Sherron said during his time with Chalmers, Rush and Robinson? He became complacent, much like Brady was all last year. Fortunately, Sherron recongized his destiny and stepped up when the stepping was necessary. Brady is a quiet impact player and he needs to find consistency. If you've learned anything about T-Rob and EJ, they are vocal on the court!! They will be leaders and impact players.

Joel Hood 10 years, 8 months ago

truehawk93,

I agree that Brady is not the vocal floor leader, but when you read about practice and off court chemistry, Brady is always in the middle of it all. His D is relentless and he is plain ole tough – just what coach demands of his starters. Remember Clemente at K-State? He wasn’t just frustrated after one bump, he was tired of Brady getting in his face and making him work for every shot he got.

I also agree with you about consistency. It would have been great to see Brady keep his shooting percentage up in the last 3rd of the year. But, with Xavier and a healthy Mario Little, Brady should have better looks from behind the 3-point line.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

Questions at Dusk...

What does it take for Joe Dooley to get a head coaching job offer? A new do? And ear job?

Where is Billy Gillispie? At the Betty Ford Clinic? At the Quinn Snyder Counseling Program for Coaching Burn-Out? Assisting with Buzz Williams at Marquette? Janks at Illinois State? Or is Billy the Kid in Luekenbach Texas, channelling Waylon Jennings and getting a pep talk from Willie Nelson?

Has Lance Stephenson committed anywhere yet? Does he suffer CAS (Commitment Anxiety Syndrome). Would he be interested in being a walk-on at KU?

Has anyone learned what a "stress reaction" is? Is Cole over his? Is it getting stressed over a sore foot? Is it a reaction to getting stressed over a sore foot? Or is it a polite term for a foot fetish?

Is it true that Mother Henry has had a basketball goal installed in the rental car return parking lot at the Lawrence office of Hertz and that she takes business men who fail to write down their mileage out to the lot and dunks on their grilles?

Is it true that CJ Henry bought the Chancellor's mansion and is turning it into Club Jayhawk?

Does anyone know if Danny Manning has decided to join The Hair Club for Men?

Has anyone heard whether Coach Bill Self has finished an intense therapeutic counselling program this summer regarding his occassionally unfortunate choices in eye wear?

Is it true that Roy Williams was recently voted Car Salesman of the Year?

Was the fire that broke out recently in UK Coach John Calipari's hair an act of arson, or attempted self-immolation?

Is it true that John Wall and Demarcus Cousins will write their first themes in freshman English on "See Spot Run?"

Answers?

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

Answers....you want answers...you can't handle answers!!!

Dooley - A smart AD. Gillispie - Bill Self's outer office. Lance - Yes..but would KU take him. Cole - It's the force of a beam transfering dead load to the fulcrum point. Mrs. Henry - Takes them to school every hour on the hour. CJ. - Nope...did buy Marvin Hall...bigger corridors for three on three. Danny - No way...bald is the new bushy. Bill - Has hired Lenscrafter design team. Roy - No, he came in second...Coach Cal won in a landslide. Coach John - No, All World Wes accidently dropped a match burning evidence. John and Demarcus - NO...they will never get to freshman English.

Joel Hood 10 years, 8 months ago

FYI on Stress Reactions - "Stress injuries can be categorized into three types: stress reactions, fatigue fractures, and insufficiency fractures. A stress reaction occurs when microfractures are healing and a complete fracture has not yet developed..."

6' 11" and 250 lbs. I can't imagine that happening to anyone that size.

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

OakvilleJHawk,

LOL!

Better answers than questions!

No wonder you used to live with Bill James!

kvskubball 10 years, 7 months ago

alexwishawk -

You asked why Coach Self doesn't just run the same offense that won the championship...

The short answer is that last year's team was very poor at feeding the post, and not a very good passing team, period. Unless our guards become better passers, the lob aspect will not be a very big part, or at least not an effective part of the offense, unfortunately.

Also, Cole is good passer from the freethrow line, but none of the other bigs has shown much ability to feed him, when it was tried, the timing was just terrible, Cole would get great early position, then when the pass finally came the defense had adjusted. The twins sometimes fed each other adequately. On the championship team, we were very fortunate to have RusRob, Chalmers, and Rush who all fed the post supremely well, not just adequately. Also, three years of working together helped our bigs do a good job of sharing the ball in the high-low offense, and they were pretty much inter-changeable as passers and receivers. Some of that is developing the strength to get position on the part of the receivers (which our FRESHMEN bigs didn't have last year, hey they just weren't the physical presences that DJ and Kaun were as SENIORs), and refining the timing to get the passes in at the split second needed to succeed. Again, most of that team worked together for three years, and the addition of Arthur and his athleticism added an additional dimension that made us very successful, duh... Also, everyone on that team could score, so defenses couldn't just load up on defending the post, which is what many teams did last year, and make our outside game beat them, which it sometimes did, but we usually didn't have enough consistent gunners to keep the lane from becoming a clogged drain. Not big enough oysters to take the shots, and not enough skill to make 'em.

X should give us some of the talents that Rush possessed (Rush was a great recipient of the lob as well as an outside threat), and possibly more, that will give us one piece of the puzzle to be able to run the high-low, but his contributions will be a work in progress - no 3 years of meshing.

I'm hopeful that another year of experience will improve the team's passing. My concern is whether these guys have the confidence in each other to keep working at it, rather than settling for contested jumpshots as was sometimes the case last year. Or, even more worrisome would be that they just aren't 'great' passers.

kvskubball 10 years, 7 months ago

and...

Most importantly, with a year of experience, our replacements for our championship team's 'graduates' (That term is used loosely to indicate they're no longer playing at KU) should allow coach to revert to a more balanced team approach, rather than his statement before last season that Sherron would be the gun, I mean the man.

I think the most important key to success next year, will be how well Sherron becomes a leader instead of primarily a scorer, like he was last year. I'm not dogging Sherron for being selfish, he did what Coach asked of him. I just expect Coach to ask him to adjust his role, and I expect he will do it, because he's played his role, whatever it was, very well for his 3 years at KU.

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