Originally published October 8, 2009 at 10:11a.m., updated October 9, 2009 at 01:14a.m.

Aldrich, Collins honored together

Top players together in everything, class included

Kansas center Cole Aldrich puts his arm around guard Sherron Collins as the two make their way from the floor late in the second half against  Iowa State Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich puts his arm around guard Sherron Collins as the two make their way from the floor late in the second half against Iowa State Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich were both named preseason Big 12 players of the year. The Jayhawks are preseason favorites to cut down the nets in March.


The Big 12’s Preseason Co-Players of the Year happen to be bosom buddies.

“We’re like two peas in a pod. You can’t have one without the other. I’m the pod. He’s the peas,” Kansas University junior center Cole Aldrich said of senior guard Sherron Collins.

The two, who received Big 12 basketball’s highest preseason hoops honor Thursday, also were named first-team all conference with Craig Brackins (Iowa State), Willie Warren (Oklahoma), James Anderson (Oklahoma State) and Damion James (Texas).

“Last year, I don’t think there was one time where our names weren’t mentioned together,” Collins stated. “We’re pretty used to it now.

“The crazy thing is, we have one class together and always walk on campus together, and it’s a long walk from Smith Hall (site of class) to the (Jayhawker) Towers or the workout facility. Everybody’s like, ‘Whoa, Cole and Sherron are together. They’re together.’

“You see everybody staring like, ‘Whoa.’ Tapping each other saying, ‘The two best players. They’re right there.’ It’s normal for me and Cole. It’s just walking.”

The two present sort of an Odd Couple look to fellow KU students.

“I think the other thing they say is how big Cole is over me. Because, I mean, I’m literally walking on the side of him, and I’ve got to look up to him all the time,” said Collins, who stands 5-foot-11 compared to Aldrich’s 6-11.

“I hope they aren’t talking about how short I am. But, it’s great, though. We hang together all the time. It’s something different.”

The two have become even closer than they were last year ... thanks to the class they take at Smith Hall.

Let Collins explain:

“We’re taking this one Women’s Studies class, and it’s like probably 17 women in there, and me and Cole are the only two boys in the class,” Collins said.

“It’s funny. Miss Ballard ... she’s our teacher. She’s great. Class is so interesting and fun. We discuss all types of issues. The women … they gang up on us. They beat up on us a lot. We find a subject to debate, and me and Cole try to stick up, but we always get overpowered. There’s just two of us. We learn to keep our mouths shut now.”

Not always.

“From being in that class, we’ve learned to stick together at all times — on the court and off the court. We have to have each other’s back,” Collins said with a smile.

The two are pleased to share the preseason award.

“I’m glad we’re both a part of it,” Collins said. “The help Cole gave me last year was tremendous. He had a double-double every night. Cole’s the biggest goofball I know. I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He’s like a brother to me.”

Aldrich returned the compliment: “Oh man, I wouldn’t trade Sherron for anybody. He’s so fun to be around. He’s an unselfish player, always upbeat. He leads a team to great heights like we saw last year.”

Coach Bill Self — who reported that the 205-pound Collins was in the best shape of his career at this stage of a preseason — noted that Collins has a chance to become the winningest player in NCAA basketball history.

The Chicagoan currently has been part of 97 victories. KU would need 40 victories this season for him to catch the Memphis trio of Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier and Chance McGrady, who were part of 137 victories. However, those three stand to see 38 wins erased as part of an NCAA decree forcing the Tigers to forfeit wins from two seasons ago because of violations.

If a Memphis appeal fails, Collins needs 36 victories to tie Shane Battier’s Duke class of players from 1998 to 2001, who claimed 133 wins.

“That’s a pretty remarkable feat,” Self said of what could be ahead for Collins, who needs 26 victories to tie Matt Kleinmann (123) as winningest player (four-year record) in KU history.

“Cole to me has a chance to go down as the best true big man to play here maybe — this sounds farfetched — since Wilt (Chamberlain). You are talking about a true big man, not a tall four man like Danny (Manning), Raef (LaFrentz) — a true big man. I know we’ve had some good ones. He has a chance to be there. Both have a chance to etch their name in the annals of Kansas basketball in a big way.”

They plan to have fun trying to lead KU to its second national title in three years.

“The season is a week away,” Aldrich said of Late Night in the Phog. “I’m excited because we’ve been in the gym for eight months now since our last game. We’re ready to get back at it.”

“I’m excited. My mom is set to move up to Lawrence (for the entire season). She’s soaking it all in. That’s what makes me proud. My mom gets to see it all,” Collins said of Stacey Harris. “The hard work … it hasn’t paid off yet, but it is paying off.”

Notes: Iowa State forward Marquis Gilstrap, a transfer from Gulf Coast CC, was voted newcomer of the year. ... Texas guard Avery Bradley was named freshman of the year ... Collins and Brackins were the only two who were unanimous picks for all league. ... Honorable mention all-league picks were Denis Clemente, Kansas State; Bradley and Dexter Pittman, Texas.

The Journal-World’s Jesse Newell contributed to this story.


Ben Kane 9 years, 5 months ago

booyah! I'm betting Aldrich takes this award by his lonesome at season's end.

d_prowess 9 years, 5 months ago

I hope X notices the freshman of the year snub and uses it as motivation!

Joe Baker 9 years, 5 months ago

d_prowess (anonymous) says... I hope X notices the freshman of the year snub and uses it as motivation!

I second that hope!!

killabees 9 years, 5 months ago

It's fitting that they would share the award. The best PG and the best Center in college basketball today.

100 9 years, 5 months ago

Time to buckle down, fill up the gas tank with liquid nitrous & get serious.


That's what this year is about -- if we go 40-0, not even the '82 Tar Heels have a beef about this team being the best of all time.


It's time to get serious.

2010 NCAA Champion Starting Lineup:

  1. Cole Aldrich
  2. Jeff Withey
  3. Xavier Henry
  4. CJ Henry
  5. Sherron Collins

KUFan90 9 years, 5 months ago

Sorry 100 but no way Withey and Aldrich both start...

suttonku 9 years, 5 months ago

hahahahahahah no way Withey will start especially not at the 4...X was not snubbed from freshman of the year since Bradley was the #1 player in that class...

100 9 years, 5 months ago

Of course they will.

Withey is a natural 4.

Cole is a natural 5.

In the championship game there's no reason to not auto-dunk/alley oop the opposition for the first 5 minutes of the game. Plus any three missed by CJ, X or Sherron is an auto dunk back.

After those first five minutes after it's 25-10, you guys are right.

Take out Withey & insert Marcus or our new 6'8 freshman.

The point is, if you're Coach Self you don't necessarily role with the Cole/ Withey starting lineup all season.

But in the championship game, you absolutely do, these are two fantastic shot blockers who already start 5 inches of wingspan more than the competition & just happen to be 7 feet -- you take that big lead you gained in the first 5 minutes & extend it for the rest of the game, using Withey later on to sub for Cole.

It's simple really -- we've all been over this before.

This is not a foreign concept, it's simple logic if you're at all interested in making sure we bring home the trophy.

It's all about mismatches in the championship game. You absolutely start Withey.

jayhwkr77 9 years, 5 months ago

you don't watch very much college basketball do you 100?

100 9 years, 5 months ago


I know you guys are psyched on Marcus Morris & I am to.

There is a group of KU fans that understands the logic. Apparently you aren't one of them.

Withey is a forward -- I know that is hard for you to swallow because he's 7 feet. Yes, I know he will get lots of time at backup center this year. But his natural position is forward.

And he's real good forward who is meshing with Cole & the rest.

I don't care what you think but I am glad we both root for the same team -- and yes, Marcus is very impressive & coming on strong, I agree.

twowheels 9 years, 5 months ago

Nice - pre-season POY for the men AND women. Fantastic accomplish.

suttonku 9 years, 5 months ago

100 Im sorry but wow Withey is a center, period...He may get a few minutes at the four if he can pass well in the high low but there is no shot in hell that he is going to start there...Robinson would start at the four before Withey would...And Withey wont even play until after Christmas anyways...To start the season it will be:

1 sherron 2 tyshawn 3 X 4 Marcus 5 Aldrich

And potentially CJ could replace tyshawn but I kind of doubt it unless tyshawn is to be suspended which I dont think will happen.

sevenyearhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Let the rest of the conference tremble in fear at the athletic juggernaut that Lew Perkins has assembled with Coaches Mangino, Self, Henrickson and Price!

Jonathan Andrews 9 years, 5 months ago

Everyone, let's leave 100 alone. It's not worth debating the issue when he clearly doesn't want to listen to anyone (really, everyone) else, and we've gotten sidetracked from the topic at hand. Namely...

WOOOOOOO!!! Go Sherron! Go Cole! GO HAWKS!

100 9 years, 5 months ago


Just so you clearly understand the issue.

I'm not saying Withey will start all year.

I'm just saying Coach Self is smart enough to shuffle the lineup a few times with this group & (it's simply a prediction), I firmly believe he will at some point see the magic in occassionally having Cole & Withey in at the same time.

In this vein, I'm only stating that if this goes as it should, there is no reason in hell he wouldn't start both in the national championship game to certify jumping all over the competition, especially when there's no way to double both & the other three starters are equally unstoppable atvtheir positions.

As we saw last year the only way you stop Cole is by double teaming him. Well this leaves Withey wide open above the rack.

I can see people arguing, "but that was the problem with five slamma jamma, two seven footers in the starting lineup" -- which the simple truth was, all the five slamma jamma had was five. And by the way, congrats to NC State, but that was the most uninspired forty minutes of basketball I've ever seen (by Houston).

Five slamma jamma had five...

We have fourteen.

Of course you start Withey:

Here is your 2010 Championship Starting lineup:

  1. Cole Aldrich
  2. Jeff Withey
  3. Xavier Henry
  4. CJ Henry (or TT)
  5. Sherron Collins

FairgroveJayhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Sheronatron and Cole Train! Another bit of positive reinforcement for returning.

100- Auto Dunk!! I'm liking it.

The potential of this team is unreal. So many weapons and combinations.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 5 months ago

100 - Marcus & Little, according to Coach Self, are not 4's tho that is exactly where they played last year - because of the need of the team. The need of the team is for a backup C, which is exactly where Withey will play.

This is especially true in the most important game of the year. When has there ever been a coach that said "We're changing how we play the game because it is the most important game of the year"? That makes even less sense than the notion of of Jeff not backing up Cole.

Will there be a time during the season when they are used together, possibly, because Coach will look to exploit weaknesses. The need of the team tho is for Withey to be a backup C.

b_hux 9 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for correcting the Phi Slamma Jamma, which was driving me crazy (which by the way was a pretty amazing group of guys as well with Clyde the Glide Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwan)!

As for the whole line-up thing, it's going to be really interesting to see how some of these newcomers fit in. Those who have seen X play know what an amazing talent he is. While Avery Bradley is a great player, I think X will be the best freshman in the Big 12, he just won't put up the numbers some other freshmen will because he won't have to. CJ was a great player in high school, and he's obviously going to be more mature than the other freshmen. Don't sleep completely on Mario Little early as motivation for X as well. He's going to get a few minutes now that Brady is out -- assuming Mario is healthy that is. I just think Coach will want X to earn the spot, but maybe he already has -- we'll see!

I do know that Coach Self will pick the best group of guys he believes will give him the best chance to win with. It's WAY more important though, who's in there the last 5 minutes vs. the first 5 minutes.

Starting the first game of the year (that matters) 5 - Cole 4 - Marcus 3 - Mario 2 - Tyshawn 1 - Sherron

Ending the first game of the year 5 - Cole 4 - Marcus 3 - Xavier 2 - Tyshawn or CJ 1 - Sherron

Thomas Robinson is also going to be a hell of a player who I think will increase his time as the year goes on!

I can't wait to see it all unfold!

Dirk Medema 9 years, 5 months ago

From what I saw of Avery in the all-star games, he was amazing. Not sure there is necessarily a huge difference this year between the top half dozen or so. Hamilton, another top 10, could be the guy for UT, tho I think he is stuck in the mix with more vets. Sort of like X.

Ask any of them tho, and the consensus will be that none of the individual stuff is as important as championships. Let's go gt a few and finish the year with a winning streak of 10+.

chalmers2wright 9 years, 5 months ago

Do they always put 6 people on the Big-12 First Team? Cole Collins Brackins Warren James Anderson

I would swear that it has been 5 players every other year. Does this have something to do with a tie in the voting or something?

phillyh3 9 years, 5 months ago

Withey starting at the 4 might work offensivly but the question is is he able to guard other 4s who are able to play on the perimeter

pmohr13 9 years, 5 months ago

If you look at Withey's highlight video he looks to be an extremely athletic guy. I could see him playing the four a lot during the season. But to think that he will start next to cole is insane. I don't think Kaun or Jackson ever started together but they did play a lot at the same time. I could see this happening with Withey and Cole

pmohr13 9 years, 5 months ago

I also find it hard to believe that a seven footer is a four in high school. I would like to see his teammate that was the five.

slowplay 9 years, 5 months ago


You nailed it. Withey will sub for Cole and on occasion they will both be in. It depends on the other teams 4. That said, if Self does go to a zone now and then, Withey may see more PT. I'm pretty sure it will be: 5 - Cole 4 - Marcus 3 - Xavier 2 - Tyshawn 1 - Sherron

Don't know how much CJ will factor in. Mario will see more time at the 2 & 3. That said, the bench will be a huge factor in the teams success. In both the games and pushing the starters in practice.

100 9 years, 5 months ago


Thx for the correction, but I think you if anybody got the point --they had "five" reasonably awesome players, thus the name change to FiveSlammaJamma.

We have 14....

We are "Fourteen Slamma Jamma"

Back to the point at hand -- We absolutely can afford to start Withey in the most critical game of the year.

We must keep in mind, he has always been a forward although Arizona was planning on using him as a Center as is Kansas.

But keep in mind how Coach Self Coaches -- he always (always) has interchangeable parts.

I.e. Just because he might play Withey for 5 minutes at the beginning of the championship game as a "four" doesn't mean he can't sub for Cole throughout as a Center.

Dagger108 -- what part of dominating the paint don't you like?

For any of us who have played or coached against even one 7 footer, I think we can all agree, it can be a nightmare if you don't have even a 6'10" guy to match up with him. Now make that 7'0" kid awesome (as is Cole)....

Now as a defensive coach, you really have troubles...

Now make all three guards nearly unstoppable... You have tremendous issues now...

Now give the 7'0" team the best coach in America, a fantastic passing game, multiple sets, high big man pick & rolls, slip picks & also 9 superior hard nosed players on the bench itching to go in... Now you have a mountain of Katie Couric type problems -- you're small & you suck....

But at least you can double team their seven footer & make him pass out into traffic or to their 6'8" forward (4), who could take one from 12 feet... So you can hang for awhile, perhaps...

Now , take out that 6'8" four man (forward) & insert an equally athletic, long seven footer beside your other unstoppable 7 footer, whose been working extensively all year on passing out of traffic & catching alley oop lobs...

Now try to double team somebody...

Oops, we just got dunked on... Let's call a timeout..

Dangit, they keep dunking on us....

Dang, even when they miss a 3, one of those 7 foot Munsters just slams it home... Time out!

Alright, here we go, trap the guards... Dang, that little 5'10" guy split the trap & threw it over the top to the other 7 foot Neanderthal!

That's like 14 dunks, this sucks! Time out!

Dagger108, with all due respect, you put a seasoned (for a year and a half) Withey in there next to Cole, & you will see a team that is dunking & blocking shots each & every possession until they need a sub.

It's simple logic when you have a 7'0" forward...


Rock Chalk, Dagger108

mr_jhawk4477 9 years, 5 months ago

You start the lineup that you are comfortable with and have played with all year. Which would not include Withey at the four. Considering Withey has yet to play a college game and looks to be very undeveloped (the guy is skinny as a rail) it is an absurd stretch to say that he will start in the championship game. Assuming we can take care of business and get there. I'd be surprised to see CJ Henry get a whole lot of minutes considering what we have coming back from last year (Mario, Tyrel, Tyshawn, Brady after his suspension) and the addition of X. However it plays out its going to be a fun year. ROCK CHALK

stravinsky 9 years, 5 months ago

I think Withey playing some good time at the 4 is definitely a possibility.

Two seven footers worked pretty well for stanford a few years ago. And the Lopez twins were overrated. Plus their guard play wasn't anywhere neaaaaar what KU will have this year.

Two seven footers also worked pretty well for the Lakers last year. Of course, that's NBA, but still.

Whether or not Withey will start is another thing completely. But if he has progressed well, I could see us playing some good minutes with a tall lineup.

100 9 years, 5 months ago

Listen, I'm excited about the Morris twins improvement, too -- don't get me wrong.

One will start for most of the year.

I just don't see any reason to be "mad" that KU has so many options next year -- Withey is a very good 4, being trained to be a 5.

Is it just because he's 7'0" that it's hard to "ever" see him starting this year?

If you're claiming inexperience or you haven't seen him play yet, that's fine, but do keep in mind he will have a year & a half of Jayhawk practice & 30+ games by the time April rolls around.

Let's put it this way, it only makes us better if we can throw him at the four spot every once in awhile & it catches the other team looking like the French military -- nice uniforms & awfully short.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

100 I like your enthusiasm and you certainly are even more die hard than I am (50-60 hour work week, plus coaching, plus 4 kids gives me an excuse), But 40-0? That'd be really cool, but since it's happened once in our lifetimes let's just hope for the NC!

LAJayhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

"That'd be really cool, but since it's happened once in our lifetimes let's just hope for the NC!"

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but I'm pretty sure 40-0 has never happened in your lifetime. Or anyone's. 'Cause it's never happened.


suttonku 9 years, 5 months ago

He was just referring to the undefeated season by IU but you're right it was not 40-0

57JayHawk 9 years, 5 months ago

100 - "Now you have a mountain of Katie Couric type problems -- you're small & you suck....". Dude, that caused me to spit out my coffee LMAO!

100, I appreciate the discussion and the defense of your position. I don't know if I could understand or foresee a complete change of lineup for a major game, but if the bball gods deemed it, I could see your lineup the last few games of the season. Then maybe...

However, I must agree with several posters that Withey is at a disadvantage to start by not getting to the hardwood until mid-December. The same problem will exist for Mr. Morningstar now, although I figured Brady would have an uphill battle from day 1 this year. A lot of quality competition for only a few minutes a game.

Rock Chalk Cole and Sherron! It will be a great season!

mr_jhawk4477 9 years, 5 months ago

Nobody has mentioned anything about Elijah Johnson on here yet; I'm really excited to see if he can make an impact this year, looks to be an explosive type guy that could key some runs with breakaway dunks

DoubleDD 9 years, 5 months ago

100 love the take. Yet I think we'll see lots of different lineups to start out the season. Self loves to tinker with the lineups early in the season. Once he finds the lineup that gives us the best chance to win, its pretty much etched in stone. I do think there is going to be a few surprises in the starting lineup. I mean could you imagine just watching their practice games. It's possible that they won't play a tougher game than the one they play against each other.

This talk of 40 wins an undefeated season is crazy talk, and yet I can't help but feel this is going to be a special year for KU. Afterall they do have all the pieces not just to be champions but to be one of the all time greats. Do you believe in fate?? Even the recent events may have been a blessing. Think about it do you think any these kids are looking in Mags and reading how great they are, puffing up their egos. I doubt it Self has broken out the bad stick.

kvskubball 9 years, 5 months ago


You are right that Self usually finds the line-up he likes best and then sticks with it unless forced to do something different (i.e. if someone gets injured, or is sick, etc.).

This year, though, if he doesn't try to use our multitude of mix and match pieces, then I'll have to say that he is not quite the most excellent coach that I have thought he is. Some coaches get stuck on doing things a certain way, and they aren't ever comfortable going with the best matchup, "because that isn't what I'm used to".

I think that the most 'talented' line-up we can put on the floor by the start of conference play would look something like this:

C - Cole PF - TRob SF - Marcus Morris SG - Xavier PG - Sherron

HOWEVER...I'd be somewhat surprised to see this line-up on the floor too much, if any...It just isn't the kind of line-up that Coach is most comfortable putting on the floor.

The line-up that I expect to see the most of this season is:

C - Cole PF - Marcus SF - Xavier SG - Tyshawn PG - Sherron

This is a much more traditional Bill Self line-up, 2 bigs, a tweener, and two PG/Combo guards. It also is the one that would give each player the best chance to be able to defend his opposite number. (Although he seems to have indicated that this is his idea of his 'big' team.

I like to look at match-ups, and I notice that UNC, UK, Duke, Tenn. and Texas will all probably go with three 'bigs' and two guards.

UNC - C - Thompson 6'8" 245 PF - Davis 6'10" 215 SF - Henson 6'10" 185 SG - Ginyard 6'5" 220 PG - Drew 6'1" 180

Roy could go with a smaller line-up, but he's got a ton of big guys, and not too many guards, so he may be forced to go big. Also, Henson is talented but not much thicker than a piece of paper, so playing him in the paint ~ woid b moider eet woid...

The options are to try to beat a bigger team with speed, or try to match up with it if you can. We can do either. It'll be interesting to see which way Coach prefers.

All five of these teams have lots of big guys, and not so many guards. These five teams just happen to be some of the best teams...

So do we try to match size with size? Or drive by & defend it with speed???

I think Coach would be doing our team a disservice if he doesn't at least try it both ways.

Memphis has lots of guards and few bigs, so we'll probably go smaller (use my second line-up or maybe even go smaller) against them. Tennessee will probably go with something like:

C - Williams 6'10" 278 PF - Chism 6'9" 240 SF - either Woolridge 6'8" 208 or Smith 6'7" 215 SG - Prince 6'7" 205 or Hopson 6'7" 200 PG - Maze 6'3" 195

That's a lot of BIG options...

These teams have Pro Team size, as do we...let's use it when it fits!

kvskubball 9 years, 5 months ago

Looking at that possible Tennessee line-up is eye-opening isn't it!

Last year Tennessee tied for the SEC East title, but lost to UK twice! Last year's UTenn team was young/inexperienced, for instance, Maze had been stuck behind the talented Chris Lofton and JuJuan Smith, and struggled at times running the team.

I expect huge improvement in Tennessee this year. I expect them to give UK all they want in the SEC East. Tenn. will likely start 4 seniors (Chism, Maze, Prince, & Smith) and a junior (Williams) and those guys are not just mature players, they are very talented.

That game will be a war in enemy territory!

Tenn. & Texas are the two games that I see as monumental "road"-blocks to an undefeated regular season. There are certainly others that could give us grief, but those two...Hot doggy those are going to be two most excellent road-trip adventures!!!

MakoHawk 9 years, 5 months ago

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

DoubleDD 9 years, 5 months ago

kvskubball no I totally agree with what your saying. If a coach doesn't use what he's got to his advantage then he won't be coaching very long. We all know Self does some different things as the game progresses. For instance if player that doesn't start is having his way on the floor he'll get more minutes as the game moves along. I just don't buy the switching the starting lineup every game.

(1) if you pick your starters baised on the team your playing, then the opposing team is already setting the type or pace of game that will be played. This is not what champions do. Truly great champions force the other team to play their stlye of game.

(2) I believe with all the practicing and scrimmages that 5 to 7 players always rise to the top. This becomes the core of your team the "go to guys". Now this doesn't mean that the guys coming of bench aren't important and don't play a vital role. Point being if there is no pecking order things can fall apart very fast. Everybody on the team knows that Collins and Cole are the heart and soul of this team not becuase of who they are, but becuase of what they have done on the floor. They have earned the right to start no matter what the matchup may be from the opposing team. As will the other 3 starters.

Under your approach you're matching talent and size, but leaving out the most important parts of being a player. Do they have heart?? Are they a gamer?? How tough are they?? Collins has all these and then some but under your approach he would hardly play becuase he isn't tall enough. I don't know about you but there is no way I'm leaving Collins and Cole out of the mix because of matchup problems.

Kent Wells 9 years, 5 months ago

OK. I have a request. Please don't use that picture of Cole and Sherron. All I can think is Cole running up to Sherron and asking, "Have you seen my chainsaw?"

kvskubball 9 years, 5 months ago


You said... "Under your approach you're matching talent and size, but leaving out the most important parts of being a player. Do they have heart?? Are they a gamer?? How tough are they?? Collins has all these and then some but under your approach he would hardly play becuase he isn't tall enough. I don't know about you but there is no way I'm leaving Collins and Cole out of the mix because of matchup problems."

Your comment makes a couple of specious conclusions: First, I think that ALL of our players have heart, not giving some a chance at different positions doesn't really help Coach find out who has the most heart, just like playing Brady at the 3 last year! I wouldn't have thought that would be good for him to play against guys 3 and 4 inches taller than him, but he did a solid job on D! Second, if you notice my line-ups each have Sherron starting, so no, my argument doesn't say "Just play whoever is taller". My argument is that if all else is fairly equal, be flexible enough to give yourself the best chance of beating your opponent. Don't be stuck in thinking that one size fits all. Sherron and Cole are definitely our best players at their position, so there isn't any need to consider putting someone else in their place. But, I would argue that we don't know how talented each of the other players are, so, with no huge gap in talent at the other positions, and lots of inter-changeable parts, the idea of matching up means that you're trying to find the best parts, which if you don't try different line-ups, you might miss out on a combo that clicks.

Your statements seem to suppose that there is some clear talent gap at each of the other 3 positions, and thus we should stick with 'certain' guys. You assume that by going big, we are letting the other team dictate. Well, that is one perspective. Another perspective is that by mixing it up, it will keep everyone on our team sharp and it will make other teams preparation more difficult because it creates more options they need to be prepared for.

When we play the best teams, like Tennessee and Texas, this year, we will want every advantage we can get. I'm saying, be willing to think outside of the box!

Also, the positions that I stated as my 'big' team are the more likely Pro positions that X, TRob, and Marcus are likely to play. Challenging them to play those positions might keep them around an extra year (X!) because it will show them they have plenty to learn! I can see benefits. Coach has commented about playing a 'big' and a 'small' line-up, but his idea of 'big' was more in line with what would be the 'smaller' of my two line-ups. So, he's thinking about flexibility, I'm just saying, don't rule out going even bigger than that, and Coach has also said that Marcus will play some at the 3!

It is a big stretch to say that because we are changing our line-up, that we are letting the other team dictate....IMO

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 9 years, 5 months ago

mr_jhawk4477- I was thinking the exact thing about Elijah Johnson. Very excited to see him play. It blows my mind thinking about all the talent we have this year. Most I've ever seen, the question is if the experience and talent equal out. We got Cole and Sherron bringing plenty of experience, also roll players like Tyrel Reed. Then you got the twins, tyshawn, mario, and others with a little experience...And lastly we've got the newcomers Henry's, Robinson, Withey, Johnson...and more. Talent>Experience or Talent<Experience

MemphisMachine 9 years, 5 months ago

Catch MEMPHIS hahaaa, kidding right? 40 victories....this is a joke right. That tiger team was the best tandem NCAA basketball had ever seen. Then the MAchINE gets raped by the NCAA Nazis. But, however those 2 are really special players....when is the next fight?

MemphisMachine 9 years, 5 months ago

my life is to know thy enemy....big game coming soon....this is passion, this is memphis basketball this is how we roll. got it?

rockchalkjayhawk4ku11 9 years, 5 months ago

Okay, there's nothing wrong with looking at the site and "knowing your enemy." Is it really necessary to comment on articles?

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 5 months ago

If Withey gets major minutes then that means this team has major problems.

DoubleDD 9 years, 5 months ago

kvsku there most be some missunderstanding between us. I have no problem going big or small as Self has done before. My point is that you should start the five best players. You only exclude Collins from your analogy because you know what he can do and will do. Yet with young players, though they may have heart and talent don't always grasp the brand of basketball we play. Not to mention some younger players grasp the offense and defense better than others. Therefore will have more playing time. Yes I do believe that some players rise to the top, it doesn't mean they are better than the others with less playing time. Wait and see there will be 5 to 6 players that will rise up and separate themselves from the others players. Those 5 to 6 with Cole and Collins will see most of the playing time. It happens every year.

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