Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Self: Memphis could be like KU last year

Kansas men's basketball head coach Bill Self

Kansas men's basketball head coach Bill Self


It’s not often Bill Self receives a hearty ovation in the state of Missouri.

But that was the case Tuesday when Kansas University’s basketball coach heard applause, not jeers, at the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase news conference at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

“Although that wasn’t the warmest reception I’ve ever received, it’s the nicest one I’ve ever gotten in the state of Missouri, that’s for sure,” guest speaker Self joked at a session called to promote the Nov. 17 doubleheader in the downtown St. Louis arena.

KU will meet Memphis at 9 p.m., following a 6:30 p.m. Louisville-Arkansas opener. The KU-Memphis game is a rematch of the 2008 national title game, won by KU, 75-68, in overtime.

“Although the dynamics of the coaching has changed obviously with John going to Kentucky, he was replaced by a go-getter in Josh Pastner,” Self said. He was referring to former Tiger coach John Calipari heading to UK to replace Billy Gillispie; Pastner filled the vacancy at the Conference USA school.

“Josh will definitely ripple waters. He already has in the recruiting world and will do a fabulous job. On paper they lost a lot, but they return some good players, and they recruited very well. Last year, we lost a lot on paper, but we still had some guys kind of waiting in the wings, and they performed at a pretty high level. Memphis is very capable of doing that this year,” Self added.

Former Memphis player C.J. Henry has transferred to KU, while C.J.’s brother, Xavier, is also a Jayhawk after originally committing to Memphis.

“I'm sure there will be some incentive there (for Henrys), but I can't imagine there being any hostility or anything like that,” Self said. “There will probably be some incentive for the Memphis players, saying, ‘You could have been here, but you chose to go somewhere else.’ That will be a big game for those two players, but that’s not something that will affect how we approach things.”


suttonku 10 years, 4 months ago

KU will wipe the floor with Memphis...I dont see this game being close at all...KUs second team could beat Memphis...I dont have anything against Pastner, hes a good recruiter, we will see about his coaching...Memphis will make the tournament but I dont see them doing much...KU just has too much talent across the board.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 4 months ago

Pastner was an asst. at Arizona in '07 when we played them in Las Vegas. The game went to OT where we won. Chase Budinger was the game's leading scorer with only he and another Wildcat in double figures while KU had four guys in double figures. The score at the half was only 20-20, I think. Hard fought November neutral site game where the winner went on to win the NC ( wasn't that us?). I doubt that Pastner will be able to pull this same type game out of his Memphis team at a November, neutral site game. But, I'm sure he would kill for the chance to have revenge for the Ariz. loss as well as for a healing in Memphis following the Calipari loss to KU, etc. Shame he won't get that chance to avernge either loss!

I'll bt they won't ever have KU on their schedule again after Nov. 17 !

barchawk 10 years, 4 months ago

At this point in Memphis' story, I really hope Pastner can make some lemonade out of lemons. Just not against KU.

justanotherfan 10 years, 4 months ago

I think KU will beat Memphis, but I'm not sure we will "wipe the floor" with them.

Memphis doesn't have a bad basketball team, folks.

They return three guys off a Sweet Sixteen team that played heavy minutes (Doneal Mack, Willie Kemp, Roburt Sallie), plus Pierre Henderson-Niles, who has played in a Final Four, an Elite Eight and a Sweet Sixteen. Elliott Williams (transfer from Duke) will be eligible immediately, so they have four guards right there that are high quality.

Where they are hurting is in the size department. They can definitely be exposed there, but Memphis will probably not be an awful team like some believe. Calipari may have taken most of this year's recruiting class to UK, but he left some experienced players, and Pastner has brought in some solid talent.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 4 months ago

This team will have a serious "chip" on their shoulders coming into this game. They have been left to rot in Cal's pile while he ran off to bluer/greener pastures. I expect this to be a pretty good game. Memphis isn't just going to roll over like half of the teams in the Big XII will.

bricks1964 10 years, 4 months ago

kentucky wishes they were ku that is know lie rock chalk jayhawks 22.23 52,1988.2008 champs .

Joe Baker 10 years, 4 months ago

Kemp and Mack are gone! They were Seniors.

Joe Baker 10 years, 4 months ago

Memphis lacks a true big man. They are full of guards which is a layover from the previous coaching philosophy! "You can never have too many guards." Well now that recruiting strategy is going to be their detriment this year.

They will hang but KU will pull this out comfortably. It should be something like 12-15 point win. We have too much experience and talent v. their talent!

lv_jhwk 10 years, 4 months ago

memhawk - AZ played KU in Lawrence in '07, and lost a close one in regulation (76-72). The 'Hawks did play in Vegas the previous year though, beating Ball State and then Florida in overtime. Besides, I'm sure if Pastner felt he needed some revenge, he got it this past season when the Wildcats spanked our guys in Tucson.

Bricks...very appropriate handle!

ShawHawk 10 years, 4 months ago

lv_jhwk - that Arizona game actually did go into OT. Brandon Rush barely missed a 3 quarters court shot as time expired that would have won the game for KU in regulation.

lv_jhwk 10 years, 4 months ago

Shaw: Thanks...I now stand corrected myself. Guess I should have actually looked at the box score and not just the results!

Martin Shupert 10 years, 4 months ago

As far as KU's second string being able to beat Memphis, uhhhh... how are you going to know who is on the second string? lol Seriously, KU's second string may occasionally beat KU's first string in practice. THIS is going to be a FUN FUN year!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 4 months ago


Bill's hair piece looks so good it almost makes me wish I was bald so I could have one. Alas, I'm stuck with a head of hair that grows like Kudzu along an Atlanta highway. :}

I have tickets for this game which I am declaring as a warm up for the Midwest Regional Finals in St.Louis four months hence from this, I mean contest.. This Memphis team will be somewhat undersized, although having some good speed and quickness. Still, if we lose this game I will be shocked.

Of course, I said the same thing back in the late 90's when Roy's team with Ryan Robertson got beat by the St.Louis Billikens. [Extra credit if you know who or what is a "Billiken"]

Michael Auchard 10 years, 4 months ago

I can almost find it in my heart to root for Memphis now with the Squid in Lexington, especially after what he put them through. Almost.

10 years, 4 months ago

OakvilleJHawk ~

Wasn't Ryan's brother on that SLU team? I'm sure he enjoyed some bragging rights over the summers and family holidays for several years following that game :^)

Is extra credit awarded for a link containing the info for your quiz question??

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 4 months ago

lv_jhk -

Thanks for the correction. It was Florida that I remembered Ku playing in LV and going to OT. It was a great game considering that Florida had just won the NC the previous year.

Also, KU played Arizona in AFH, and lost to them, in 2003. I was at that game which was very depressing since I rarely have been able to get there to see games in the last 5-6 years as often as I would have liked to. That's the only loss that I've ever seen in person either in Lawrence or a road game. I'll be at the game in St. Louis in November and am confident that I won't be witness to a KU loss there!

Lin Rahardja 10 years, 4 months ago

I hope we win by a mile, we really don't want Memphis players and fans to tease the Henrys that they should have stayed with Memphis.

bgthemanofsteel 10 years, 4 months ago

memhawk, if i remember right, we played Zona in the tourney that year after the loss in AFH. i think it was the elite 8. and we won that one, sending us to the final 4.

both were great games.

bgthemanofsteel 10 years, 4 months ago

and didn't keith langford have like 25 points at half time in the first game?

ally623 10 years, 4 months ago

TrueHawk 93 Kemp and Mack are seniors this year.

Although Kansas will beat Memphis, they do have a very talented big man in Will Coleman. He was rated the #3 JUCO player last year. He stands around 6'9" and about 265. They say he is a Joey Dorsey with some offensive skills.

ally623 10 years, 4 months ago

Also, people forget that there are 2 other players that were top 50 players that came in last year. Wesley Witherspoon was hurt part of the year so he never really flourished. He is a 6'9" guard/forward. Also, Angel Garcia was also a top 50 player but was never cleared academically last year, he is 6'10" around 225. Again, not up to the task of beating Kansas, but I think they will surprise some people this year.

jaybate 10 years, 4 months ago

Memphis could be like KU last year, only without the great coach, great down the middle game, great defense, and hot cheerleaders.

LAHawk11 10 years, 4 months ago

We are going to kill these guys. We might be up by 20 at the half. The only it might be close is if we are up big and Self brings the bench guys with 10 min. To go in the game. I really don't think anybody will give us a game this year. Maybe the Texas game. But all in all we have too much for anybody to hang with us this year. RocChalkJayHawk!!!!!

John Randall 10 years, 4 months ago

""Thanks for the correction. It was Florida that I remembered Ku playing in LV and going to OT. It was a great game considering that Florida had just won the NC the previous year.""

Actually, memhawk, the game was early in the season when UF repeated as NC, so it was between their two championships. They lost only one other game that season. Coach Donovan later said the loss was a wake up call the team needed and made his job much easier the rest of the year.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 4 months ago

KU62- And thanks to you also for adding more detail to my earlier comment. I doubt if Billy D expressed his appreciation to the KU coaching staff and players for the wake up call that he got as result of our victory!

BTW, I've meant to tell you that the wide screen distortion/resolution of whoever that is in your photo makes him look a lot like Mangino! I hate when that happens.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 4 months ago


A 22 word post?

Are you feeling ok?

Should we call somebody?

Maybe a little chicken soup, it couldn't hurt!

Joe Baker 10 years, 4 months ago

ally623 (anonymous) says... TrueHawk 93 Kemp and Mack are seniors this year

My information came from a faulty roster for 2008-09 where they are listed as seniors. If you go to the 09-10, they are still listed as seniors. The only two significant changes were Evans and Taggert. The players in question were listed as seniors the entire 08-09 and are listed again as seniors the 09-10 season- LOL

At any rate, if you think they hang with our big men, you're joking! Also, never see you here on the KU site. You seem to know quite a bit about Memphis! hmmm...great to have you, I guess! Also, I never said we would "mop" Memphis, I said we would win comfortably between 12-15 points. I don't take anything away from Memphis, nor do I sympathize with their loss of Calasleazy. They knew his rep before hiring him. Some schools will sell their mommas to win a NC!!


Joe Baker 10 years, 4 months ago

ally623- Who transferred, other than the Henrys?

ally623 10 years, 4 months ago

I'm originally from Memphis so I keep up with the hometown team. I'm also a big fan of Kansas. I'm not presuming that Memphis will be able to beat Kansas this year, but I do think they will surprise some other folks on the schedule. With the talent and experience Kansas has coming back, I think anything less than a final four would almost be a disappointment. I think the Morris brothers (who originally signed with Memphis before prep school) will be much improved this year. I would love to see Kansas and Kentucky meet and Kansas do another number on Calipari.

Joe Baker 10 years, 4 months ago

Yeah...this will be an exciting year! I don't see UK getting to the NC game. I think they do well, but without the experience, they fall short. I agree, I would love to see it too, but fraid it won't happen!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 4 months ago

Ironic that probably every living Memphis fan will be rooting for KU if/or when KU and UK meet. Let me be the first to state that Kentucky will fall short of the preseason hype and this match-up will never take place.

Every team that has had fantastic success with a number of freshman, always had a core of grizzled vets to settle the ship. The only thing grizzled about Kentucky is Coach Cal!!!!

jaybate 10 years, 4 months ago

Sometimes you gotta go five and button hook, to set up the button and go. :-)

Tony Bandle 10 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate, agreed!! A splinter in the eye vs a nail in the thigh...quantity is relative!!

farnamjayhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

I hope Memphis has a better year than Kentucky does. Pastner walked into a terrible situation and is still cleaning up Calipari's mess and he will be for quite a while. If he can coach like he recruits they will eventually be a good team but still a mid-major. This will be a a five year stop for him before he moves on to a better program.

Eric Bernauer 10 years, 4 months ago

The Henry brothers aren't the only brothers on the Kansas team to commit to Memphis then switch. The Morris twins also initially committed to Calipari then upgraded there destination.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 4 months ago

Cal made sure he could take his recruits with him so he had them set up their LOI to include an opt out if the head coach left. It's part of the SAT friend swap info packet.

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 4 months ago

It comes with a free bottle of snake oil.

Joe Baker 10 years, 4 months ago

If Pastner happens to fall short at Memphis, the real clincher would be Gillespie going to Memphis and turning the program around!!! Talk about your classic definition of irony!! LOL

And UK declines with Calasleazy at the helm!! WOW

kvskubball 10 years, 4 months ago


Good comments, LOL...Where do I get my 'free' bottle of snake oil, in Memphis, now that Slick has slid out of town and is now hurling loogeys out of his rear, down in LexLutherville????

Do I get to have Jessica Simpson be my SAT friend swap??? She may not improve my test score, but she looks really good!

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