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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First impressions

Pick-up games provide glimpses of Xavier Henry

Kansas freshman Xavier Henry talks with media members on Aug. 18 outside Hadl Auditorium. Since arriving on campus, Henry has been playing pick-up games with his new teammates as well as participating in individual drills and weightlifting. He also is enrolled in five classes.

Kansas freshman Xavier Henry talks with media members on Aug. 18 outside Hadl Auditorium. Since arriving on campus, Henry has been playing pick-up games with his new teammates as well as participating in individual drills and weightlifting. He also is enrolled in five classes.

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There are days Kansas University freshman Xavier Henry dominates pick-up games contested in the Jayhawks’ new basketball practice facility.

“He’s a tough guy to guard. When he gets hot, no one can stop him. We play first to seven or nine (baskets). One game he scored all of his team’s seven points,” junior guard Conner Teahan said.

Of course, no newcomer — not even Rivals.com’s No. 8-rated player in the Class of 2009 — rules the two-hour sessions each and every afternoon. KU, which is expected to open the season ranked No. 1 in the land, is way too talented for that.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound guard/small forward from Oklahoma City has his off days, too.

“Pick-up ... there are a lot of guys out there trying to get up shots. It’s hit and miss on who is playing well,” junior guard Brady Morningstar said. “But he (Henry) has definitely played well in pick-up so far. We’re excited to have him around.”

The former Putnam City High standout arrived on campus in August with a reputation as versatile player who could hit the outside jumper as well as attack the basket. He hasn’t disappointed.

“He can dribble and drive, shoot the ball and handle it,” Morningstar said of the McDonald’s All-American. “Once he gets by the defender, it’s tougher to stop him because he’s a big body. He has broad shoulders and is strong.”

Noted Teahan: “He has a good crossover. It’s quick. He elevates. He’s good at creating separation.

“I mean, he’s naturally an athlete. He has some things to work on. That’s how every freshman is. Nobody comes in here with all their skills to the max. He uses his body. He’s a tough guard.”

Henry — he averaged 28.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game his senior season — is expected to battle Texas’ Avery Bradley for Big 12 freshman-of-the-year honors.

“One thing that makes him fit with our team is his athleticism,” KU junior center Cole Aldrich said. “He will be able to shoot the ball and take people off the dribble, which will help us.”

Henry is definitely having fun running the court with his new teammates.

“It’s competitive. Everybody wants to win. We all try hard. We’ve had some pretty good games,” Henry said of the unsupervised pick-up basketball.

“It’s probably around what I expected,” he added of the competition. “They talk about the change of speed and all that. It’s a little faster than high school, but not that big a transition yet just because we’re in the early stages of pick-up.”

Henry says he has found KU’s individual workouts with the perimeter players and coaches to be most valuable.

“We do a whole bunch of shooting and conditioning. We always have something with the shot. We’ll be cutting off screens or setting up for shots,” Henry said.

“I’ve been working on my footwork off the screens and how to use screens. Repetition of the footwork stuff ... if you keep doing those things your shot will improve and your body will get better and balanced.”

Morningstar and Teahan remember having problems with footwork early in their careers.

“One of the main things when you get to college is trying to figure out how to come off a screen, the quickest way to step into a shot and get your shot off, which we work on a lot,” Morningstar said.

“You can never be too good with footwork,” Teahan noted. “It keeps you in balance and helps you create separation.”

Henry has impressed teammates with his willingness to listen to coaches during the individual drills and immediately put to use what he’s been told.

“It’s the only way to get better. There’s no need to put something off,” Henry said.

As far as his first general impressions of KU’s team ... Henry likes what he’s seen of senior Sherron Collins and junior Aldrich.

“You can tell they are the top people on the team. They know how to control the court,” Henry said.

He was asked which Jayhawk has pleasantly “surprised” him.

“Jeff Withey,” Henry said of the 7-foot University of Arizona transfer, who will be eligible to play at the end of first semester. “He’s always active and he’s 7-foot. That’s a good combination.”

Withey is part of a strong recruiting class that includes power forward Thomas Robinson and combo guard Elijah Johnson as well as Xavier’s brother, Memphis transfer C.J. Henry. Xavier and combo guard C.J. will both be part of a crowded backcourt this season.

“We’ve got so many guys on the team it’ll be hard for everybody to get a whole bunch of playing time, but I think coach (Bill) Self will set it out real well. Everybody will get just the right amounts they work for,” Xavier Henry said.

He’s been too busy making the adjustment to college to be stressing about minutes. Henry is enrolled in five classes.

“School is not really hard as long as you do your stuff on time,” Henry said. “I’m doing everything when I’m supposed to and managing my time well, so it’s been a good time so far.”

As far as his least favorite part of college ...

“The thing I don’t like is getting up in the morning for 8 o’clock classes,” Henry said with a smile. “The thing I do like is how everything is spread out. You can take a class and come back three hours later for another class, then you’ve got basketball.”

Xavier bonded well with his roommate, Chase Buford, and the rest of his teammates. C.J. is a popular player, also.

“X and C.J. are cool,” sophomore Marcus Morris said. “They are level-headed, not cocky guys. They are good teammates. I play X in a video game almost every day. I always beat him. He’s good, though.”

“Yeah right ... right,” Xavier Henry said, disputing the fact he is an easy mark in sports video game action.

He’d prefer the real thing.

“I’m taking it day by day, but I’m ready for it to start,” Xavier said of his freshman season. “I want to get in the fieldhouse (the week of the Oct. 16 Late Night when renovations are complete). I’ve not seen it in a long time. That’s a special place. I want to play in there.”

Comments

Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

Why in the heck did you have to bring that up?

Hey, its not my fault that I didn't "immediately" notice the Adam's Apple... And I thought it was clear that I implied that is who he associated with...

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey, it's a school that starts with "B". Never underestimate the curse!

Transgender hookers? Is that what you associate with Vegas? Hmm.

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

memhawk: Belmont? What the hell is a Belmont? (http://www.belmont.edu/) This reminds me of some of the directional schools that would roll through when Coach Brown was on the hill.

"Low and slow" is a good rule of thumb for other things too. :)

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

That is pretty clever there wayward... Shouldn't you be working on the football vs. basketball beatdown blog? :)

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 7 months ago

The last thing needed on this board is to have two guys from Memphis debating the best local BBQ.

Our loyalties to our respective college sports teams will not unite us as our allegience to Memphis BBQ will, I'm sure. I'm not particualrly in agreement with the brown sugar coating on any version of BBq. I do agree that smoke is key. Low and slow is the method best used. (low temp. and slow cooking)

kuwells - There is another Tennessee school on our schedule this year - Belmont. Tennessee teams will be our bitches again this year. Two years ago, Memphis. Last year, Univ. of TN, This year......Memphis, Univ. of TN, Belmont and TN Tech! A Quad-fecta!

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waywardJay 4 years, 7 months ago

no kidding wells... You might as well jsut called the dude an Idiot :)

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

memhawk: Just screwing with a troll, you know... Calm down! Just organize your local Jayhawk booster club and administer a code red...

Dude, he's in Vegas. He has BBQ served by transgender hookers. I doubt he's in any position to render an opinion.

You should check out the link for Tyshawn... Refresh the kusports.com home page. Prepare yourself...

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 7 months ago

kuwells -

Hey, what is that "piece of crap state" comment all about?

I thought we had a thing here! You know, your open mind to trying more BBQ than you had at the Rendevous.

This MemphisMachine "dude" is a UofM fan and does not represent al of us who live in this city. There is actually a surprisingly substantial number of Jayhawks in the area.

I'll be curious as to what the "dude" has to say about our BBQ. I'll bet we'll be united in our passion about Memphis BBQ and the unfortunate comparisons that others try to make from areas outside our town. That is, if he has indeed been outside of our town and sampled "foreign" BBQ!

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MemphisMachine 4 years, 7 months ago

Nice, totally see the resemblance, I remember sweaty Quinn and those damn human deers in the crowd. Wasn't he shell-shocked when they faced the Jayhawks in 1988, speaking of deer in the headlights...that dude was awful that game.

Memphis BBQ, haven't had it in awhile, I'm a California/Vegas guy, but boy do I miss it. Done so well you can eat it every week at least once and never get tired of it. I'm no culinary star but as far as I know the process begins a day or (2) in advance and it's an art of THE RUB. Proper ratio of heat to sweet..heat (paprika/chili powder) the best paprika is actually from Spain......sweet (good brown sugar) should coat the outside...brown sugar is the key for stickyness. Other ingredients too needless to say but the sweet/heat hits the taste buds and creates fireworks in the mouth. Smoke only, learn to look for smoke rings in the meat, that way you can gauge how you're doing. Remember...brown sugar, brown sugar, brown sugar. This BBQ joint I think is one of the best in Memphis. www.cbqmemphis.com/

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Tony Bandle 4 years, 7 months ago

MemphisMachine

One factor that hasn't been discussed is that rivals.com shows a picture of your new young coach and, if it is truly the correct picture, he could be the twin brother of ex-Mizzou coach, Quinn Snyder. All you Memphis fans better hope that the resemblence stops there!!!!

Hey, while I got you, we had about a weeklong discussion of BBQ on this site. Can you elaborate on the virtues of Memphis's "Q"!!!

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MemphisMachine 4 years, 7 months ago

Super Mario, who's that....you mean Little, wheww giving me flashbacks. Anyhoo, our starting lineup will hold their own, I expect a Tiger victory. Rock and Roll Memphis!

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure that Memphis will be playing for payback and I am sure the focus will be on the Henrys leaving. Revenge is usually a fairly poor motivation to win. It wont be the Henrys that rock Tigger. Look for Cole, Sherron, Tyshawn, Morris Squared, and Super Mario to get the game on ice so that you can boo H2 in the second half.

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MemphisMachine 4 years, 7 months ago

Don't bet against Memphis dude, just saying. Their going to do some special things this year including a very tight game with Kansas in St. Louis, feel free to place bet on Tennessee and Tennessee Tech though.

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey, could you put $100 on the game for me, Hawks to cover the spread. Personally, I think our game against Tennessee Tech will be more interesting.

Hey, I just noticed. Memphis State, Tennesse Tech, and Tennessee and the same year. If we go 3-0, will we get the title to that piece of crap state?

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Ralster Jayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

All of a sudden, the 'stars' (literally/figuratively) align, and we have major depth at the 3. Xavier, Mario, Travis. Who has the most complete game? Who can defend the best? Who has the knack for rebounding? Who has the "jerrod haase" factor (diving for loose balls, etc...), ie; hustle? Who has the most ups? Last year-to-this-year will be a exponential leap in production (from whomever, or by committee as Self may go 'situational' with his subs at the 3). Brady did better than expected last year. He was serviceable. Even he will improve, but is more a 2 than a 3. The 3 position should explode with productivity. And McM showed hustle stuff late last year. He may be an occasional situational sub at the 3. Man! Do I like this. And yes, I will be comparing the production out of the 3 to what Mr. Rush did. That is a fairly good benchmark for this offense & defense under this coach, and a lot is required out of the 3 for overall balance on both ends of the court, and in transition. Not comparing individual players, but rather the statistical production and the hustle plays. Rush had a knack for rebounding. He did everything except take a game over like MJ...but then he didnt have to. Rush flying in back-door for an alleyoop jam was an option we just did not have last year. We'll see what these healthy(Little), talented(Xavier), and eager(Travis) wing guys can do. Cant wait!!!! RCJH!

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MemphisMachine 4 years, 7 months ago

Meaning he would have gotten substantial minutes with the lack of players this year at Memphis, had he obcourse prepared himself in terms of health & conditioning. The depth just isn't there this year at Memphis and he could have capitalized on that....got it? Has absolutely nothing to do superiority...you're not, sometimes you're loaded and sometimes not....seems the Jayhawks are loaded. Thats OK, no worries, #3 ranked recruiting class 2010, tigers are coming and hell is coming with us.

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BCRavenJHawkfan 4 years, 7 months ago

Memphis, I want to make sure I have this right. CJ would have had the world at his feet at Memphis, but on this KU team his back side will be full of splinters. Do I have that right? So what you are really saying is that Kansas is as dominant in your eyes as they are in the Jayhawk faithful eyes. Glad you see the obvious. Or is it that you don't think very much of CJ's game. What a shame you would go south on your dude. Or is it that Memphis is so freakin bad that your best hope is a walk on baseball prodigy. Take your pick of the three, it doesn't paint you in a very favorable light, even in Tiger land.

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MemphisMachine 4 years, 7 months ago

Not in TN, bro....actually in Las Vegas. Just so you know Memphis has fans across the country outside of the state of Tennessee ya' know. They'd have been with the tigers if it weren't for the departure, however moot point. Can't wait to see you in St. Louis in November.

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

Cool, another Memphis Loser, I mean Tiger posting on our board. Guess the internet is getting more established in TN. Nice to see they are following our Hawks! I am surprised that he didn't bring up the Shady issue. Of course Momma knows best, she was a Jayhawk!

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MemphisMachine 4 years, 7 months ago

Bad move C.J. bad move, the world and the backcourt was all yours dude at Memphis. Now look at that roster and how tough it will be just to get a minute in a blowout game. Guess Momma knows best ay. Good Luck!

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actorman 4 years, 7 months ago

KUShaw, I like the new one better. It's all about intimidation now. Everyone must fear the mighty Jayhawk! It also reminds me of the classic "Fear Raef" signs. (Of course there's also the sour image of the "Fear the Turtle" signs for Maryland, but hey, nothing's perfect.)

Plastic, to put in my two cents' worth, my theory is that dagger was referring to the idea of someone who's "plastic" being only into superficial things (like commenting on someone's teeth).

"Henry has impressed teammates with his willingness to listen to coaches during the individual drills and immediately put to use what he’s been told."

I copied that quote because I think it's a great sign of how much of a team player X will be. As someone mentioned above, all the negative stuff came from Carl (which is really a shame, given how great a player he was at KU), yet there were countless comments made about how we should stop recruiting X because he was clearly a troublemaker and malcontent. Sheer idiocy. People should have already learned not to prejudge by looking at what happened with Brandon.

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osborn_2009 4 years, 7 months ago

hes going to be a stud. end of story

Courtney Osborn Alt8™ Studios Web Designer http://alt8studios.webs.com

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kushaw 4 years, 7 months ago

How you all like the new Avatar? I went from, "Oh Danny Boy" to this! Which one you like better?

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Tony Bandle 4 years, 7 months ago

Bulletin from Oakville News Service [ a subsidiary of Jaybate Galactic, LTD]:

1] The State of Missouri has passed a bill outlawing all Professional NFL Football teams. Luckily, the current organizations in this state comply with that restriction.

2] The St.Louis Cardinals will win an 11th World Championship this year. The Kansas City Royals will once again be eliminated in the first round of the Little League World Series.

3] Coaches Rick Pitino and John Calipari are co-hosting a seminar on Ethics in Collegiate Sports. This will be held at the Hooters in Las Vegas, Nevada on Mardi Gras, 2010.

4] Kansas University's innovative "Court and A-Half " Practice Facility has been nominated by the American Institute of Architects for design excellence. Of course, you must be blindfolded first so as not to see the exterior.

5] Coach Mark Mangino has pledged that he will do a push up for every point scored if KU can beat Oklahoma. [insert your joke in this spot}

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank goodness, because three more articles just posted. I'm listening to Manginos conference now. I love how folks still ask him game plan questions. Amsuing.

I think I saw Boston Red Sock guy in a Star Trek episode. Or, he may be some Big XII secret agent scanning X for weaknesses. Perhaps in some effort to develop an antidote for his superhuman basketball powers. Or, he is casting some curse on the warrior necklace and he trips on a paperclip in his dorm room this evening.

Say, dynomitehawk... You ever had ink blot testing? I bet you made them cry!

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Topcitykid10 4 years, 7 months ago

KUWells calm down I was just messing around.

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rel76 4 years, 7 months ago

Don't sleep on Elijah Johnson....he just might end up being the best

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kvskubball 4 years, 7 months ago

dynomite,

Your humor is outstanding comic entertainment!!!!

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kvskubball 4 years, 7 months ago

100,

You don't remember the score??? I thought it was engraved ;) ...150-95.

And, although I don't want to admit it, everything probably does happen for a reason, but two things make me wonder "what if"....

The Dookies beat us in 1991, and I've always believed that if we had won that game, that Championship might have launched us to the same success that Duke enjoyed over the next 10 years (3 NC's), instead we seemed to finish in second place, sort of like their shadow, until we broke out in '08.

Then, you mentioned Paul Pierce, who started putting it all together in the NCAA tourney his junior year, and I could see how really good he was going to be as a pro. I thought, yeah, he's ready to go pro, but I was like, 'dang wish he would've played his senior year'. I really believe that if he had, we would have won the championship the following year! Then karma hit Paul and the NBA locked the players out in his rookie season for 50 games I think....ouch!

But what we have had, with Roy coaching us so well, and then getting Self to come and coach, boy winning has been a lot of fun, even with the heart-breaks! I think the next 10 years looks really bright. We haven't gotten a consensus top 5 rated player, and look how well we have done! If we win the NC this year and if Paper Clip gets in hot water, we could hit the jackpot, over and over, like Roy has in Chapel Hill!

Roy and Clip are getting the very best and most recruits. Clip gets a lot of credit for this year's class, but Roy has pounded everyone over the last 5 years (Better players win more games, and add great coaching and you get championships!). Self is just behind those two, but he's getting plenty of really good recruits, and with his coaching ability, we'll have more opportunities - starting Nov 3!

If Coach can somehow get this young team to come ready to play each game, we might have a once in a life-time (or closer to a once in a program's history) team, like IU's team that was the last team to finish with a perfect record, more than 30 years ago.

We've got a tough schedule, but it's built to prepare us for the tourney. We play some teams that have really good guards, and some that are tough up front, and then we have Texas looming large. It would be really tough, and we'd be really fortunate to go undefeated, but that is a 'special legacy' builder for a coach. Wooden did it several times at UCLA, and then Knight did it in 1987 at IU, and noone since! I'd gladly take a NC, no matter how many losses we had (Like in 1988), but an undefeated season would be a big wow!

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dynomitehawk 4 years, 7 months ago

That's it... The dude in the Red Sox hat is a holdover from the Coach Cal days at UMass. He carries around a gamma ray snickers bar that can turn preps shadows into presidential lookalikes in an attempt to avert attention away from teams ranked ahead of Cal's teams.

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Christopher Hauser 4 years, 7 months ago

dynomitehawk-

I was thinking Lyndon Johnson.

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100 4 years, 7 months ago

jayhawkerjoel,

Excellent points -- yes, I do remember that article. S.I. called us the #1 program of all time -- the article hit our history spot on &, of course, like this year's fantastic team, it helped of course that we had just finished in 1997 with one of the greatest teams ever, a team which by the split of a Tiger's hair & Wilcat's armpit, almost went 41-0:

For those that have forgotten, here was our team, which was beginning to go NBA bound:

Paul Pierce (1 NBA championship ring and counting) Scot Pollard (1 NBA championship ring), Jacque Vaughn (2 NBA championship rings), Raef Lafrentz (unfortunately just missed an NBA ring with the Celtics by getting traded to Blazers), Jerad Haase & Billy Thomas (who just went 12 for 12 the other night for team USA & has certainly played as a hot shooter in the NBA a bit).

A couple years later another article was run about "the best team in the 90's". Certainly UK had a mention, winning in '96 & '98 (and just missing in '97 to Arizona just like us), but it was what happened before '96 that wouldn't allow the TigerCats to be ranked ahead of us... the blowout in Allen Fieldhouse -- I don't remember the score but I know it was bad & I know we almost had a hundred at halftime....

To Pitino's credit, he built his team up well, season by season, paying hard working recruits and the like much less than the UK previous coach had, at least publically -- but truth be told, for half of that decade before '95 UK was pretty mediocre.

So they called us the team of the 90's -- which, truth be told, we were. We had the most wins and we were pretty much expected to at least make the Final Four every year. Yes we had some tough losses (UTEP, Arizona, Rhode Island), but as a fan, an ex-coach and an ex-player, the only thing I saw that do to our future teams was make us all the more rescilient during NCAA play.

Without 1997 happening, who knows if we do so well in 2002 & 2003 (although both were heartbreaking too). Without 2003 MIchael Lee heartbreak, who knows if Mario hits his shot?

The point is, it all happens for a reason & its about longevity -- and for very sound reasons, from James Naismith, to Phog Allen, to Wilt Chamberlain, to Jo Jo White to Danny Manning, to Paul Pierce to Mario Chalmers, Darnell Jackson, Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins, to, yes, now Xavier Henry....

The magazines, for all of these reasons, year after year, see us where we see ourselves. A program on a very strong foundation, which was built as high as it ever needed to be built the day James Naismith came to town...

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Joel Hood 4 years, 7 months ago

100, that was great. Thanks for all the info and analysis.

I believe it was around 1997-98 that SI listed KU the #1 college basketball program in the country. The criteria went beyond wins and national titles, it also include history and the overall basketball experience the university and greater community offered (it even had shots of the barber shop I go to downtown.) When you look at KU basketball in total and especially over the past 25 years, KU fans have been blessed like no others. It is no wonder we are hated so much around the league.

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patrick_raftery 4 years, 7 months ago

NebraskaJayhawk ... that is absolutely a WHATCHAMACALLIT ... damn, I love those candy bars!

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100 4 years, 7 months ago

Chicago_Jhawk,

Your point about Duke is well taken -- KU's total number of wins in the last decade is 280, second only to Duke who has 289 (I looked over them because for one thing they are the Duke Jamies, and for another thing KU was so far ahead of the other teams I figured the Jamies were right there with 250 too).

At any rate, the Jamies are listed as #4 on the all decade list, where KU is #1.

The reason is quite simple -- The Duke Jamies have completely fallen apart in the last five years. The Jamies do have one national championship (in 2001) & one other final four in 2004.

Essentially, as of the last five years, the Jamies are really having a time getting the top recruits, even in their own conference.

An example -- where KU has won 7 of their last 10 conference titles...

The Jamies have won 4...

Since 2005... The Jamies have won zero conference titles...

And the Jayhawks have won 5 (a 100% clip, not bad considering we had to beat top draft picks Beasley, Durant, Lamarcus Aldrich & Blake Griffin to do it).

Throw in Mario's miracle (where we didn't even play our best game & ended up with the most wins in the history of college hoops), and also throw in a loaded 2009-2010 team with the best coaching staff in America, and that, my friend, is why KU is #1 college program in the last decade.

And as for the Duke Jamies -- they are ranked at #4, a very high ranking, but just as easily could be ranked at #44, if we're including the current state of things (losing key signed recruit to Memphis etc).

Let's face the facts -- yes they had 289 wins in the last 10 years -- but, much like quantum mechanics, the Jamies are free falling faster than Coach K the day he crashed to the floor like an electron in a partical accelerator, his blue sneakers, lunging sporadically upward, gasping for one last breath of odiforous air that frolicks about a hole in the universe called Cameron Indoor stadium....

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

Dude would have lost the snickers if he were talking to Sherron...

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waywardJay 4 years, 7 months ago

The snickers shaped recorder would have been even funnier on sherron...

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John Liddell 4 years, 7 months ago

I believe that reporter has a snickers-shaped tape recorder. Good to gnaw on while waiting to interview the ballers.

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Fred Davis 4 years, 7 months ago

These boys are going to be nasty. I don't see KU losing a conference game and I don't see any way this team loses more than one game all season. I smell 2008 all over again.

Rock Chalk

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waywardJay 4 years, 7 months ago

still would rather see SOME mention of his defensive prowess.... even the kids around him aren't talking about his defense.....

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waywardJay 4 years, 7 months ago

PLastic - I think he might have been playing off plastic surgery..... Of course, that's just what Im guessing.... He may need to get some work done before the season, any time your shadow reminds of Richard NIxon there is trouble in the air.....

Only things i can think of worse for a basketball player as far as shadows go is....

No shadow at all. Fat Albert. Jon Stewart. Yao Ming. ( If you see his shadow he will end up with a stress fracture. )

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Tony Bandle 4 years, 7 months ago

"Benjamin, Plastics......it's the future!!!"

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TtownHawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Say what you want, I'm just excited for the season to get under way!

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Jonathan Allison 4 years, 7 months ago

Dagger, I'm failing to make a connection on the plastic/teeth comment, care to explain? I really only use plastic in my screen name because I work at a plastics manufacturing plant. So it actually has nothing to do with chew toys or false teeth or anything like that.

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kushaw 4 years, 7 months ago

truehawk: Yeah, I don't get how KU made that article. Maybe because the spotlight is fully focused on KU because we're preseason #1? How is Sherron not attending USA Basketball because of a family issue a negative? It was all known that Sherron really wanted to be there competing. Oh well!

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Joe Baker 4 years, 7 months ago

kushaw (anonymous) says... Wow! Luke Winn talks about Memphis and Kentucky and somehow KU ends up in a story? Wow! Take a read!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009...

Shaw- I read through KU's timeline and had to laugh at a writer that sits down and restates the obvious. I don't get the point of his piece! Oh well nice recap?

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

Cool, another football fan with an inferiority complex. In case you missed it, and judging by your post, you did - in the past 2 days there are a lot of football articles to read and comment on:

Enjoy!

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kushaw 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow! Luke Winn talks about Memphis and Kentucky and somehow KU ends up in a story? Wow! Take a read!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/luke_winn/09/18/memphis.offseason/index.html?eref=T1

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Topcitykid10 4 years, 7 months ago

This is great and all BUT KU is going for one of their best season in history with football, it's football season this story could have waited until october.

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Steve Gantz 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm excited as anyone about this season, but telling us a guy played well in a pickup game? Whoopdedoo.

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Joel Hood 4 years, 7 months ago

kuwells - he will be mad if he finds out they stole them from Vincent Price!

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dynomitehawk 4 years, 7 months ago

I think that X's shadow looks like Richard Nixon.

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Dirk Medema 4 years, 7 months ago

Plastic - With a comment like that (teeth), your name seems appropriate - lol

I'm with KUfan90 tho. I'm comfortable with X's ability to impact the team positively, and more interested in how CJ is doing.

It is nice to hear that X is impressed with Jeff's game. I think he is flying under the radar - if that's possible for a 7 footer, since he is a transfer. He is left out of many discussions of the last recruiting class. What an amzing luxzury - to have an athletic, skilled 7 footer coming off the bench to fill in for the potential POY. Jeff is almost as much of a sleeper in the class as CJ.

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chicagoeddie 4 years, 7 months ago

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! IS IT NOVEMBER YET???? I WANNA SEE THESE GUYS ROLL!!!

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William Blake 4 years, 7 months ago

Good read. I'd like to know how CJ is doing in these pickup games?

Withey is going to show well in pickup games. We won't know if he's ready for the real game until January... and if he's had enough strength condition to help him play the physical game of college basketball. He will continue to make big gains this fall and I think we are all in for a pleasant surprise once his playing eligibility begins. I heard he has a quick first step, and he can pop the J... skills very rare in a 7-footer!

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

Oh, a stupid Roy Rule. I remember now. Thanks guys. I guess 5 AM is too early to post. I was just trying to get the count up to where I will win the prize.

jayhawkerjoel. I am sure Coach Self is worried if those warrior necklaces bring the Peter Brady curse...

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kushaw 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow! It's 9:45 central time and there are already 22 comments. You can definitely tell that there hasn't been a basketball article in a couple of days. WE ARE STARVING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS 2010 TEAM!!!!!! LOL! Good article and it seems to me that X and CJ kind of got a bad rap over the summer. Looking back, it was Carl Henry who was doing all the talking and you never had a quote from either X and CJ until really late in the summer. With that all being over, it's good to see or at least assume from this article that X and CJ are fitting in nicely. Can't wait for Nov. 3rd!

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NebraskaJayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

I can't tell what the guy on the left is offering him. Is that a tootsie roll? Snicker's bar? Some people will do anything to get close our our stars.

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Chicago_JHawk 4 years, 7 months ago

100- Duke had more wins than us over the same span. I think they had around 290.

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100 4 years, 7 months ago

Lindy's College Basketball.

If you look at the statistics, they're right -- no one even comes close (except UNC which has 30 fewer victories).

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KANSTUCKY 4 years, 7 months ago

Nice article Gary. Anything to feed the beast. This is going to be a great season. Keep 'em coming.

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100 4 years, 7 months ago

Great job Xavier, we're happy to have you here.

A bit off topic: a Preseason mag has KU as the best team in the last 10 years. We had the most wins by 30 games over #2, UNC. 280 wins we had. We had 3 F4's & 1 National Championship.

All of this is great press considering KU had the most wins in the 90's too.

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Jonathan Allison 4 years, 7 months ago

Most importantly, Xavier's teeth look fantastic. Evidence of a successful summer.

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Joe Baker 4 years, 7 months ago

It's early and let the guys get to know each other. Let's hold off on the comments until the season starts. I'm excited and very hopeful for an outstanding year with this group.

Let's enjoy our football season because it will be over soon. B-ball will be here before you know it!!

Oct 16 is around the corner!!!

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KUFan90 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree Joel. It's silly to expect glowing comments on commitment to playing intense defense in summer pickup games. I found it interesting that there were no comments on how CJ was playing. I like the article but wish the questions would have been about both brothers. We know X can play, I'm really curious about how CJ has been doing, even in these pickup games.

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rawkhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Let's remember that these kids aren't politicians and don't deserve to have everything they say or don't say picked apart by the hungry masses. We KU fans should feel blessed with the prospects of this year's team and the athleticism of players such as X, Whithey, Cole, Sherron, etc.

Can't wait for the season! In the meantime, enjoying the football. Good time to be a Jayhawk!

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Joel Hood 4 years, 7 months ago

No mention of D???? Relax, this is pre-season pickup. When was the last time you heard anyone talk about D in pickup? Coaches get individual time with them - I'm sure they have things in line.

tophersdad is right about the freshman rule. Roy got that rule from Dean. Remember 1981 when Dean did not allow MJ to be on the cover of SI (Worthy, Daugherty, Perkins, ...) Bill has never been as uptight about stuff like that. I'm sure his mind is more focused on what color of camo to wear at Boot Camp.. heh heh

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Aligned 4 years, 7 months ago

Welcome to KU, X.

"Jeff Withey". That's interesting. I 'm looking forward to seeing that boy play.

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tophersdad 4 years, 7 months ago

There is no NCAA rule against freshman talking to media before their first game. But, Roy Williams had a team rule that freshmen were not allowed to talk to the media unil they had played their first game. That is probably what you were remembering.

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Jaydub 4 years, 7 months ago

Memhawk, I'd say that's a poor summary.

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Ben Kane 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm not worried so much about the D, it doesn't even sound like they are working on it yet. What worries me is the lack of the catch phrase "whatever we have to do to win". players on this team need to accept fairly quickly that it's not about their minutes but about their goals.

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 7 months ago

Lets summarize,

Conner and Brady showed their love but didn't get any mention in the interview from X.

Withey - tall and active.

Has X met the Morrisses?

Maybe the other freshmen don't attend pick up games!

Tyshawn, Tyrel, Mario and Travis may bot have impressed him with their height and activity so much.

X knows Sherron and Cole can be his buddies.

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K_Easthouse 4 years, 7 months ago

There's no rules against the media talking to recruits, new players, or the like; it's the media's job to get the story, and athletic institutions can't be held accountable for an independent organization. And the NCAA can't punish a newspaper, since it has no jurisdiction over the media (and there's all sorts of first amendment issues at play).

I think they didn't interview any of the young guys because hearing from the veterans about the "new kid in town" is more credible than from the other freshmen. I really would like to hear what Sherron says about the kid.

Frankly, I really liked the article.

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Matt1958 4 years, 7 months ago

I hear you waywardJay. But I'll bet if ANYBODY on this roster doesn't work on the D end, they will do a lot of sitting.

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Kent Wells 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey Gary... Question. I thought there was a NCAA rule you couldn't talk to the new kids until their first game. I note no comments from the other members of the incoming class. So, what's up? How is X exempt? Thanks!

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mojayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like the chemistry is already good with da boys!

When is boot camp? Haven't heard much about it lately.

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waywardJay 4 years, 7 months ago

No mention at all of his determination to play defense..... Only mentions offense.... His D is key to our championship, and his elevation as a pro player.....

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