Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little to red-shirt this season, Self says

No final call made yet on Travis Releford

Kansas forward Mario Little pulls up for a jumper during warmups befire tipoff against Oklahoma State Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Mario Little pulls up for a jumper during warmups befire tipoff against Oklahoma State Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas senior Mario Little will red-shirt this season, KU coach Bill Self said Thursday.

Meanwhile, no final decision has been made on the red-shirt status of sophomore Travis Releford.

"We'll get through practice today and maybe into tomorrow to see exactly what Travis is going to do," Self said. "Mario's going to red-shirt. Even though ... not 100 percent, that's what he wants to do, and that will guarantee graduation for him. I think that's good for him. Although he has been one of our better performers in practice, we're going to red-shirt him unless something unforeseen happens.

"Travis will have a decision to make in the next 24 hours or so. I'm not going to pressure him. He's going to let me know tomorrow. Then, we'll go from there."


Tony Bandle 10 years, 3 months ago

The right decision for Mario and probably will be the right decision for Travis. You've got to ask yourself the question...would you rather have a healthy former Juco Player of the Year as a fifth year senior AND a third year talented sophomore or a one and done five star freshman.

I won't presume to answer for the rest of you, but I feel Harrison is a Tarheel and Uncle Roy continues his winning streak in Iowa.

ChicagoJHawk 10 years, 3 months ago


I agree with everything you said. It makes me so mad that Roy wouldn't recruit from the east coast when he was with KU, but now he recruits from the Midwest when he's with UNC. That's the only reason I'm mad at the guy. Recruiting is a pretty big part of your job as a head coach and he did not put 100% effort in that regard, not even close.

That being said, I think that this was a good decision for Mario. He'll see a lot more playing time next year.

Underdog777 10 years, 3 months ago

I believe Travis may not redshirt. X can't play 40 minutes a game at the SF spot. Given his improvement over the summer, he maybe able to get reasonable playing minutes.

IA4jayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago


I was wondering if anyone else was a little upset with Coach Williams' current recruiting policy. Imagine how much better we could have been during those years. Little is one of my favorite players on this team, and I was looking forward to watching him play this year. The guy may not be the most talented, but he is smooth.

jayhawkboogeyman 10 years, 3 months ago

At Late Night, I saw how big and athletic Travis looked and I thought he had a good shot at starting over Xavier. Obviously I don't see the daily practices, but I think Travis could work his way into the rotation and split time at the 3 with X. Marcus is supposed to play a lot at the 3, though, and with the improvement he showed so far, there may not be room for Travis, given the huge lineup Marcus at the 3 would give us.

Sherron Elijah Tyshawn Tyrel Xavier (Marcus) Markieff (Marcus) Cole TRob

It's pretty hard to see where Travis fits into that group. But he could easily bulk up and get better this year and end up much more ready than Barnes next season. So I guess he has a tough choice to make, but the redshirt year would give him 3 years as a star here.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 3 months ago

Let's do a little math...

1] Absolutely guaranteed to leave - Collins-his scholarship goes to Woolridge

2]Very, very likely to leave- Aldrich-his scholarship goes to Knight/Selby Xavier H-his scholarship goes to ?????? 3]Schollies coming back - Little, Releford, Marcus, Markieff, Reed, EJ, TT, TR, Brady, Withey..."OOOOPPSS", that's thirteen scholarship .......we may be done recruiting, unless Brady makes good on his offer to sacrifice which, after this year, may be more accetable to KU Nation. 4] Non- Schollie C.J. Henry

This is getting very interesting!!!

longhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

No need to be upset with Roy. Dean and Bill G. were his mentors. Matt was his disciple. Recruiting is a negative business--I can understand why he chose not to go up against those guys. By the same token, he has no such relationship with Bill Self. And he has recruiting ties in Iowa. I don't see why he shouldn't use those.

Jhawk59 10 years, 3 months ago

Can basketball do partial schollys like baseball and t&f?

jcsmith 10 years, 3 months ago

Coach Self must have recieved a 'thank you but no thank you' call from Barnes this morning. Atleast WE dont have to wait for the suspense. I dont agree that hes UNC bound though. I have a strong suspicion hes a Blue Devil.

Billy Derringer 10 years, 3 months ago

i could give a sht right now abouit north carolina--they can take barnes if they want i like the program guys bill recruites, look at the ONE AND DONE that memphis was getting year after year, how many rings did they get-- none--the last 4 championship teams---- uf --ku-- unc--- was all upperclassmen teams-dont get me wrong ill take the talent any day of the week, but my heart isnt broken if we got to take a 3 yr guy over a 1 yr guy..and self seems to always have something up his sleve when it comes to recruiting --plus didnt royce school barnes anyways.....

jcsmith 10 years, 3 months ago

Haha. Oakville. You said, "Lets do a 'LITTLE' math."

Chris Shaw 10 years, 3 months ago

From my understanding, it seems that H. Barnes is a 3 year guy. Nobody has him pegged in "Mock" drafts. H. Barnes is a perfect fit for the Self system, but unfortuantely and as much as I hate it, is UNC bound. Completely disgusts me! Would rather see him in a Duke uniform.

tstanlick1909 10 years, 3 months ago

I agree, we do not need Barnes. However, I will be streaming the 3:00 decision tomorrow and will excitedly begin drinking if he decides to come to Kansas, and maybe if he goes elsewhere too. But the point is, we will have Little/Releford/McMorris splitting time at the 3 next year, and I am okay with that.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 3 months ago

As much as KU nation was "Completely Shocked" in 2003 when Roy Williams left for Carolina, I want nothing more than that "Shock" factor to be redistributed to the Duke and Carolina fans should he choose Kansas. None of the recruiting services or national media has given much credit to KU in this recruiting battle and I would love to see it happen. Unfortuantely, I don't think it will.

peter56321 10 years, 3 months ago


Div I basketball scholarships must be full rides. No partials.

Underdog777 10 years, 3 months ago

With us not getting a big recruit this year it is highly likely Marcus plays more PF than SF next year. The only bigs on the team next year will be Withey, the Morris boys and Robinson. If X leaves there are a lot of playing minutes available at SF for Travis, Little and possibly Lamb.

Priest Fontaine 10 years, 3 months ago

ok so no barnes seems to be the consensus. Bring in Knight along with Royce and I'll be happy. Save a couple spots for the following year: Johnny O'Bryant and Michael Gilchrist!

Who knows what Self has up his sleeve.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 3 months ago

KU has no "Notta, None, Zilch, Zero" chance of landing Michael Gilchrist. That WWW "World Wide Wes" written all over it and he is Kentucky bound. KU does however, have four "Rush Spots" inside the Top 10 Small Forwards in the country on their radar for 2011.

Adonis Thomas #2 behind Gilchrist LaQuinton Ross #3 behind Thomas and Gilchrist LeBryan Nash #4 behind Gilchrist, Thomas, and Ross
Keaton Miles #8

The numbers above are Scout numbers for the Small Forward position only

Rivals has Thomas as the overall #11 ranked player in the class of 2011 Rivals has Nash as the overall #5 ranked player in the class of 2011 Rivals has Ross as the overall #42 ranked player in the class of 2011 Scout has him as Top 10 overall Rivals has Miles as the overall #43 ranked player in the class of 2011

Obvisouly there are some big discrepincies between Scout and Rivals with these rankings for these players in the Class of 2011, but it looks like Self is trying to provide a replacement for X for the future. Too bad it won't happen for two years. Miles and Nash are both Texas guys and Self has always done well recruiting Texas.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 3 months ago

By the way, I am already counting out Adonis Thomas as well because word on the street here in the Carolinas is that if UNC fails to get Barnes then Williams is going to offer Thomas a schollie shortly thereafter.

Eurekahwk 10 years, 3 months ago

Our backup at the wing is Doug Funny or Zac Efron. I think it'd be best for someone to else to back X. So redshirting Releford doesn't look likely. f it isn't going to be Mario Little, then it will be either Marcus Morris or Travis Releford. I'm sorry, but Morningstar and Teahan are not good options to have in a game any longer than five minutes tops. Putting them in is a major drop off from all the talent that Bill Self has brought in.

Toto_the_great 10 years, 3 months ago

I know we are talking million$, but coaches should point to guys that jumped early and don't receive any PT for a few years. HCBS should point out to the player if he is to stay an extra year (or three), he can develop and become a lottery pick (more money and usually more PT). Of course you run into an injury situation like S. Bradford at OU. If giving the chance, I probably would be a million dollar bench warmer too.

Ian Brown 10 years, 3 months ago

As far as I know, this hasn't really been mentioned on this site, but if Thomas Robinson keeps up his stellar play throughout the season, who is to say he won't be a OAD? I've been much more impressed with TRob than X thus far, and both already have NBA bodies. I'm not saying it's all that likely that Robinson will leave, but I don't think it's out of the question. From what I've seen--granted its been against small D-II teams--TRob has been much more effective than Cole Aldrich at both ends of the court, and has certainly shown the potential to be a kind of ballplayer that Cole will never be. With that being said, Cole is considered to be an automatic lottery pick and has already been selected to the preseason all-american team, so what does that say about TRob's chance at leaving after one season? Just curious. I'd like to hear some other opinions regarding the aforementioned scenario.

Brett Forreal 10 years, 3 months ago

Barnes is a 3-4 year guy easy. He is into the academics part a very smart thing because he knows that his career in b-ball might come to an abrupt halt, especially in the NBA. This is why Duke and UNC are after him so much. Who wouldn't want a guy like this in their program? It is sad to say but I got the same gut feeling as I did with X, that he is going somewhere else. It is too bad bec. he is so close to home and would stay 3-4 years at KU. I would really hate for him to go to UNC just bec. of the old roy deal. What I can't understand is why can Self recruit so good at KU and Roy couldn't get it done no where close to what Self has done? This is why I hate to see him at UNC. Maybe the above post is correct in saying Roy didn't want to step on any toes when recruiting. Rivals has UNC and Duke at high and KU only at Medium on Barnes's list. I know we will be fine without him, but gosh it would be nice to land a guy like this.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Again Mario Little is taking one for the team in securing a seasoned 3 for next year. Fortunatly, this time his sacrifice has greater self benefit. It will be great to see a completly healed Little next year.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 3 months ago

Oakville- Is your hunch on Harrison just a hunch? Why do you think he would choose UNC?

rockchalk80 10 years, 3 months ago

Must have misread the article---I thought this piece was about Mario Little redshirting...

I am glad Little is redshirting---I would like to see him play; I think we have yet to see the REAL Mario.

suttonku 10 years, 3 months ago


I would like to inform you that you are completely wrong...Little decided not to redshirt last season...Self had nothing to do with it...He told Little it was his decision and he said he wanted to play.

I have said all along that there is a good chance that X will be a two year player...Who cares if he isnt? KU will keep bringing in more and more talent and Little will just have to earn playing time like everyone else on the team...Self has never told a player to redshirt.

And lastly, Im not so sure that Little is 100% yet...If hes not 100% then he would be screwing himself by playing this season...Hes wouldnt see the floor anyways...Same with Releford.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Christmas came early for Mario Little and me!

I want Little to get a degree, whether he ever plays or not.

I want Little to play some.

I want every high school and junior college player KU recruits to be told about what Mario Little did for KU his first season at KU, and then what Bill Self did for Mario Little when things broke against Mario Little.

Harrison Barnes, think about what Bill Self did for Mario Little before you make your choice about where to go to school.

Bill Self doesn't make foolish talk about KU players being family.

Bill Self talks about players being part of KU basketball.

He treats players like young men growing into adults.

If young men act like adults at KU, when their numbers are called, when the chips are down, when Self calls on them to be men, and sacrifice for the team, then they are forever apart of KU basketball under Self.

Bill Self stood up and showed he was a man, and a man with heart, and a man with a heart and loyalty and obligation to his players, when he offered Little the chance to red shirt.

At Kansas, an education still matters, if you are man enough to want one.

And we have a coach that is man enough to honor that obligation.

If all goes well, Harrison, you can be successful anywhere.

What distinguishes one coach from another, one program from another, is what happens when things don't go well.

Does the coach have your back, when things don't go well?

Does he do the right thing, when it would be easier and more self-serving to cut you loose?

Roy Williams is a decent man. But he is also a man who will make a secret promise not to recruit half the country to keep the program he eventually intends to go to in the cat bird seat. He is the kind of man who will negotiate secretly to leave for another job at the very moment a team of his is playing for a national championship. He is the kind of man who tells players they are family and then leaves them for another job.

Bill Self has built programs, and left schools and players behind.

But he never told players they were his family.

Bill Self treats his players honestly, sometimes brutally so.

His players know that Division I basketball at KU is a business, a highly competitive one, but that if you are straight with him, he will be straight with you. He will do everything he can for you, if you will be a man for him. He will not shine you on about being family. He will offer you to be part of the greatest basketball program in the history of the game.

Take his offer. You already have a family, Harrison. What you need is a great coach building loyalty to a great program.

Rock chalk!

100 10 years, 3 months ago


You always have well thought out points.


Harrison Barnes without any doubt should know he will start whichever school he attends next year. There's not any question. No matter what happens with 3's redshirting, there's just no question. He will start, whether it's at Duke or KU -- those are the two prime places for him if Business school is such a big deal. If it's about winning a championship, it's KU or UNC. If it's about both business school & winning a ring or four, it's KU. If it's about playing against the best in practice everyday, with the best coaching staff in America, it's KU. If it's about learning to play a good style that is great in college but gets you eaten alive in the NBA, UNC is a a decent fit for him.

It's his choice. Redshirts have nothing to do with his choice. He will start & win wherever he chooses -- UNC, Duke or KU -- Duke is really the only place he can choose that would allow him to not win a championship, but would be good for his long term potential as a business man. However since Duke's program is post graduate, there's no reason to not pick up a 5 year Masters BA at KU first (which can be shortened to 4 years total), before going on to a 4 year post grad program like Duke.

It really depends on if he wants to win championships or not -- from what I've seen from his game, he is a very intelligent player & is much more suited to Bill Self's multidimensional style of play versus Roy's "run & gun" every possession style.

He's very smart -- he'll make the right decision.

Rock Chalk, Oakville

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

I'm with Jaybate. Glad to see Mario will be graduating, as well as looking forward to picking up an elite 1 in recruiting to replace Sherron (Brandon?).

I've had the feeling Barnes was headed to Duke b/c of the academics.

Ryan Shelton 10 years, 3 months ago

So happy to hear Little is redshirting. He has a lot of ability and could be all conference if given the right situation, and this year's team is not the right situation.

Brak 10 years, 3 months ago

I am also stoked to hear Little will be back next year, I don't think he has really had the chance to show his true talents as he was hurt last year and this year his playing time would be very limited. As far as the recruiting goes I really think we need to pick up a couple of good recruits because my guess is that we could have alot of people leaving for the draft after this season. According to a mock 2010 NBA draft Cole is picked to go 6th, then Xavier goes around 18, and actually Tyshawn is picked to go 22, and also I could see TRob going late 1st round/Early 2nd if he contiues to have a great year. I would really doubt most of these guys could care less about getting a degree and if they think they can get a good paycheck they are gone. Not to mention there is a good chance CJ doesn't come back if Xavier leaves.

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