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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Season in review: Aldrich, Collins named co-MVPs at KU men’s basketball banquet

Kansas junior Cole Aldrich, left, is congratulated by coach Bill Self after Aldrich and Sherron Collins were named co-winners of the Danny Manning/Mr. Jayhawk award at the KU men’s basketball banquet. Aldrich is trying to decide what he'll wear for the cameras during the NBA draft Thursday.

Kansas junior Cole Aldrich, left, is congratulated by coach Bill Self after Aldrich and Sherron Collins were named co-winners of the Danny Manning/Mr. Jayhawk award at the KU men’s basketball banquet. Aldrich is trying to decide what he'll wear for the cameras during the NBA draft Thursday.

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Jayhawks earn honors at basketball banquet

Several KU basketball players earned awards at Monday's banquet. Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich each took home a Mr. basketball award, giving to the season MVP.

Kansas University’s Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins were named co-winners of the Danny Manning/Mr. Jayhawk Award for the second-straight year at KU’s season-ending men’s basketball banquet Monday night at the Holidome.

“I don’t see how you can give it to one without giving it to the other. Both meant the same to our program over time,” said KU coach Bill Self, who was able to personally embrace only one of the honorees.

Junior center Aldrich, who also was presented his Academic Player of the Year trophy to a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd of 600, was the only half of KU’s dynamic duo to attend the banquet.

Self said senior guard Collins flew to his hometown of Chicago on Monday morning to sign with agents Andy Miller and Justin Zanik of ASM Sports and was unable to make it back in time for the 7-9:15 p.m. dinner.

“It’s most disappointing to me that Sherron wasn’t here,” Self said, “because he would have absolutely loved this.

“He had to go back to sign. We talked to the agents this morning. His agent guaranteed us he’d make it back in time, so we OK’d it. He didn’t make it back. He missed a pretty memorable night for himself.”

Aldrich admitted he missed having his buddy and fellow team leader on hand to share the MVP award, the highest individual honor accorded a KU player.

“It would have made the night a little more special just because we’ve had a great three years together, but, I mean, I understand,” Aldrich said.

Self appeared more sad than upset that Collins wasn’t on hand for a banquet that honored the accomplishments of the 33-3 Jayhawks, who won a sixth-straight Big 12 regular-season title as well as the postseason tourney crown.

“It shouldn’t be taken lightly —130-19 (record), 59 wins in a row at home. There’s eight chances to win hardware up here, and there’s seven trophies,” Self said, pointing to the seven league regular-season and postseason tourney titles won by Collins.

“I think we certainly owe one of the toughest players I ever coached this recognition,” Self added to rousing applause from the fans.

Aldrich thanked KU’s fans for making his three season as KU “so special.”

“I had a blast here,” said Aldrich, who recently entered his name in the 2010 NBA Draft. “After this semester, I’ll only be 15 hours short of my degree. I’m hoping to get it done as soon as possible, so hopefully I can graduate and walk down the hill with those guys (his incoming class) next year.”

Aldrich said he has been interviewing agents the past couple days, but has yet to select his pro representation. Freshman Xavier Henry also said he’d yet to sign with an agency.

Recruiting: Self spoke in generalities about recruiting two days before the start of the monthlong spring signing period.

The Jayhawks, who signed 6-3 Royce Woolridge in April, hope to land a player or two on Saturday night.

That’s when Josh Selby, a 6-2 guard from Baltimore’s Lake Clifton High, and Doron Lamb, 6-4 from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., will announce their college choices at the Jordan Brand Classic in New York.

Brandon Knight, 6-3 from Pine Crest High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who still has KU on his list, is expected to sign with Kentucky on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period.

“We should be happy for these guys,” Self said, referring to KU early entries Aldrich and Henry. “When they go, they attract others to come. We need to hit a home run in recruiting the next couple weeks. Hopefully we’re in position to do so. You never know until it’s done. I think we’ve got really good players coming back (next season). I know we’ll have great leadership. I know some guys who may have not had the opportunity to play as much, when they get the opportunity, they’ll make you (fans) as proud as you are of this year’s team.”

Staff changes: Nothing is official yet, but Self indicated there was the strong possibility Barry Hinson, KU’s director of external relations, would replace Brett Ballard as director of basketball operations. Ballard is Baker University’s new basketball coach.

Self, who just completed his seventh season at KU, hinted that he would love to remain at KU a long time.

“There are a lot of great places out there. It cracks me up when somebody says, ‘This is the very best place or that is the very best place.’ You don’t know that until you’ve been to every place, but I can tell you, there’s no place I’m more proud to be than right here as your coach at the University of Kansas,” he said, to a loud round of applause.

Comments

Trey Hohman 9 years, 7 months ago

Recruiting homerun would = getting both Selby & Lamb. Selby at PG & Lamb at SG...Selby is as fast a John Wall -- at least from his highlights on youtube; and Lamb looks really strong & can hit from anywhere. Seems like a smaller version of the Paul Pierce's game. Both very dangerous. Fingers crossed.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 7 months ago

It sure helps when you have 4 or 5 star guys, but what you must have is a guy like Bill Self. What a steal he's been. There is much to be stated when young men trust that their leader as he consistantly developes. If you're going to be a man, you must first be a man of your word. He epitomizes what you would want your son to be. A world class guy for this world class university. Thank you coach. 7 out of 8 is good enough for me. RCJH!!!

FairgroveJayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

"Self said senior guard Collins flew to his hometown of Chicago on Monday morning to sign with agents Andy Miller and Justin Zanik of ASM Sports and was unable to make it back in time for the 7-9:15 p.m. dinner. His agent guaranteed us he’d make it back in time, so we OK’d it Self appeared more sad than upset that Collins wasn’t on hand"

I don't believe those agents will get any reccomendations from Self in the future.

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

Collins was without doubt the MVP of this year's team.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 7 months ago

Why couldn't Collins sign and FAX it in??? Thought that was done all the time.

Jeremy LeMaster 9 years, 7 months ago

The agents could have flown to Lawrence... there is an idea.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 7 months ago

True. Just goes to show, NEVER trust an agent...even your own.

KUFan90 9 years, 7 months ago

Did this contract absolutely have to be signed on Monday? Couldn't it be signed Tuesday?

Bad planning. You can't count on that kind of turn around in travel happening with confidence. He should have just flown out and signed it today.

KUFan90 9 years, 7 months ago

Did this contract absolutely have to be signed on Monday? Couldn't it be signed Tuesday?

Bad planning. You can't count on that kind of turn around in travel happening with confidence. He should have just flown out and signed it today.

hawksince51 9 years, 7 months ago

This event was an appropriate end to the '09/10 season which IMHO has been a great years for KU B-ball and yet one of the greatest disappointments. Cole and Collins stayed around for this season, resulting in our being the pre-season favorites. Yet neither lived up to the high expectations we and the B-ball world had for them. All in all they had good, but not great, seasons and were our MVPs even though an argument could be made for Marcus. But in my mind their greatest contribution will always be during the '08 NC run, Cole against UNC and Collins' great plays at the end of the Memphis game. I wish them much success at the next level.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

For some reason, I cant put a finger on it......I don't like the photo they've used for this article.

It's seems awkward, sour, & just weird. Or then again, maybe it's supposed to reflect the season.

quigley 9 years, 7 months ago

I have been wondering what the deal was with Sherron since our loss to UNI. I follow him on twitter and he has been in CHI all but a couple of days since we lost. He is supposed to graduate this spring right? Maybe he is done with all of his classes? Not sure why he has been MIA so much, considering he only has one month left at KU. Hope he finishes everything out the right way.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

I too hope he finishes his classes and graduates. I'm sure that part of the reason he is in Chicago a lot is because his kids are there.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 7 months ago

Very disappointed Sherron wasn't in attendance. Self did make the comment at the banquet "I don't like his agents already" and that drew alot of laughs. Why did he have to go Monday to sign? Why not another day? Very unfortunate he didn't make it back.

WilburNether 9 years, 7 months ago

Collins was a no-show against Northern Iowa, too.

addlime 9 years, 7 months ago

Collins not making it back seems sad and somewhat appropriate at the same time. So much accomplished here, and they went out with two of the weakest tourney games imaginable. Seems like in key moments, this team lost perspective on what's important.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 7 months ago

Some thoughts about the absence of Collins:

He needs to make a public apology to HCBS and to Danny Manning.

Cole needs to kick his A$s for not making the event.

Sherron needs to be concerned about broken promises that his new agents have made for something so trivial as a banquet. What other promises will be broken?

The awards that Sherron earned need to be presented to him at some sort of press conference so he can personally accept them and speak to his absence at the banquet.

Collins' agents should release a statement of apology and support for the KU program.

If Sherron has not been back in Lawrence as quigley indicated, HCBS should not have been surprised that he was not at the banquet.

Josh Galler 9 years, 7 months ago

Is Boschee a HS coach for Barstow in KC?

John Thomas 9 years, 7 months ago

I like the photo used with the article. To me, it looks like two guys who like each other and are sad that their time together is over. To bad Sherron wasn't there.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for that perspective...I can see that.

Maybe Sherron is using avoidance as a defense mechanism to prevent himself from experiencing more pain & sadness.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for that perspective...I can see that.

Maybe Sherron is using avoidance as a defense mechanism to prevent himself from experiencing more pain & sadness.

KUFan90 9 years, 7 months ago

It is a little strange though. Looks like Cole is preparing to slap 5 with Self, while Self is slapping Cole across the face.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

I wish this website had an option to delete our own comments, so we could remove double posts.

Ryan Mullen 9 years, 7 months ago

I could not agree more. I post some pretty stupid comments on here sometimes I wish I could have taken back.

Steve Brown 9 years, 7 months ago

were any other awards given?

does LJW have a video post of the season digital recap usually shown at these events.

jayhawkinnc 9 years, 7 months ago

this may be a stretch....but perhaps Sherron is avoiding Lawrence/KU the way Wilt did for 40 years because maybe he feels like the loss to UNI is his fault.

quigley 9 years, 7 months ago

I think that Coach Self was doing what any genuinely caring coach does, helping a player save face, even when he does not agree with his actions.

RockChalk26 9 years, 7 months ago

Say we land both Selby and Lamb, where do you rank the Hawks in the preseason polls?

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

top 10 somewhere. depends on who leaves from some other schools, and where some other recruits go. Duke, Mich St, and Purdue will likely be in the top 5. Depending on what Heyward does, Butler will be highly ranked as well. K-State will also probably be in the top 10.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

“In Which jaybate Mixes an ‘All-Time KU Point Guard’ Discussion with a Past Due Assessment of What Went Wrong with the 2010 Team:”

Dear 100,

Judging by your recent sparkling post mixed with some dutiful re-ranking of Sherron and Cole, I can only reckon you went to the wailing wall in the Middle East. :-)

I, too, have had time to reflect.

On Cole, I agree. Got to get it done when it needs to get done at championship time, or you have to post extraterrestrial numbers to force Wilt, or Manning out of first team in the paint. Cole just never really could become an offensive force this season. And the longer the season went on, the more the opposing coaches studying the game videos learned that Cole could be stopped dead with a heavy big and a sagging wing. A full double team with a 4 was not necessary at all. From that moment on, basically from Cornell on, or maybe from the Texas game onward, the Northern Iowa game seems now a foregone conclusion, though I could not foresee it at the time. A down the middle team, which was what KU remained, even with Xavier, had to be able to score out of the post at crunch time, especially when the missing piece, Xavier, really couldn't get to the hole at all with big trees in the paint. Cole wouldn't, or couldn't, score this season. Therefore, doom loomed.

Regarding Chalmers vs. Sherron, it is very, very close. I could certainly go with a toss up call, especially if it included Darnell Valentine in a three way toss-up at the 1, which is truly how I think it should go in hindsight. See: I can recalibrate, too. :-)

Note: I hate making a negative case against any of KU's players, but in order to clarify my preference for Sherron, I have to clarify what I believe were Chalmers' short comings.

To cut to the chase, he never played point much.

Next, I cannot say I would rather have Mario than Sherron on my team, even with "The Shot," and even with Chalmers' superior trifectation and defense. If I have to have to labor through a season on one guy’s shoulders, or win one game, I would pick Sherron every time.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Only if I needed a combo 2 to blend into a team with the anchor, like BRush on the perimeter, plus some terrific bigs, would I choose Chalmers.

If I were a player, I would just rather go to war with Sherron. He's just more ferocious, more of a Chief Warrant Officer. No one could intimidate him. And he could go get a basket and put more pressure on a defense than Chalmers could play-in and play-out.

Next, Mario never carried a team on his back. Mario always rode Rush's broad shoulders and strong back on scoring and defense. He’s doing the same in the pros. Good for him. It is a great role that he is exceptional at playing. But that doesn’t make him the all-time KU PG.

Next, what people forget the most about Mario, because of Mario's glitzy strip numbers and fine shooting senior season, is this: Mario couldn't lock down True 2s. He could only lock down other combos at the 2. Self had to switch Rush onto Mario's man to lock down True 2s.

So: I have to stay with Sherronatron by a hair.

Sherron did nothing this season but win tons of games single handed, again, and reverse countless momenta and lead a team full of guys, who did not live up to their hype, or their abilities (Cole, Tyshawn and Xavier), or their previous year's performance (Brady), to a 33-3 record.

Name me one other team in the history of college basketball that entered the tournament as conference and conference tournament champions with a 32-2 record, unanimously ranked Number 1, and seeded Number 1, that had not one, but four, players—Cole, Tyshawn, Xavier, and Brady--significantly under-performing expectations. Five if you want to count Sherron, too. (Note: I'll address later why I don't think Sherron under performed as much as he was played too much).

I don’t believe there is one.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

(Note: beyond the Sherron vs. Mario discussion, the broader inference for all of us to draw here is that, while Self may be criticized with failing to get these four (or five) players to perform to their abilities, he also has to be praised to the heavens for masking these under-performances, as brilliantly as any coach has ever done IMHO. Self remains a genius of hiding weaknesses in individual and team performances. This has largely been overlooked in the rush to judgment that Self failed to get these four players to perform to their abilities. And I think this extraordinary but distinctly ambiguous performance by Self--to both fail to get so many players to play to their potentials and to ingeniously mask these failures with compensating offensive and defensive schemes and substitution patterns--is what has made the 2010 team so vexing and so hard to evaluate during the season, itself.)

Recall that Jo Jo and Mario and Darnell Valentine never played on a KU team with so many under-performers, and certainly never lead a team with so many under-performers to a 33-3 record.

The more time passes, the more amazed I am at what Sherron accomplished with this 2010 team.

The 2010 team, as good as it was, was truly not more than an 8-man team and a team without real chemistry from first tip to season’s end. It never became greater than the sum of its parts; i.e., a dynamo that a coach could sit back and watch steamroller opponents. While it played more and more like a team, it remained just a lot of really good parts that Self used a lot of coach’s bailing wire to hold together. Self had to keep tightening wire here and cutting it there the entire season, while the team tried unsuccessfully to find itself.

It is true that Sherron faded down the stretch, and wound up shooting only 37% from trey, but the jockey, Bill Self, rode him too hard and so the jockey has to take some of the blame. Self perhaps rightly gambled that burning Sherron out to get the number one seed in the Madness was the surest way to put the team in position to win it all. He must have figured his center would finally get untracked offensively, and he knew Marcus was playing way better than expected. And Xavier, though he couldn’t get to the rim, had turned into a fine shooter and rebounder and an adequate defender. But the NCAA tournament selection committee apparently intentionally ruined that gamble by putting KU in the toughest region, instead of the easiest and Cole never became a scorer, and the experiment of making Tyshawn into glue never really caused the team synergy that was hoped for, and, when Self tried to return TT to a difference maker role, TT never regained his “difference making.”

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

But in jockey Bill Self’s defense regarding playing Sherron too many minutes, because of the way rest of the horses in the stable underperformed, and Self's decision to gamble everything getting a Number 1 seed, jockey Self had no real choice but to play Sherron big minutes. And to Sherron's critics, Sherron really had little choice but to take over many, many times. The team just never came together as a well-oiled machine that could produce baskets at crunch time by everyone letting the game come to them a la 2008.

Still, ironically, in some respects, the 2010 team became the fullest realization yet of the Self Ball philosophy of unselfishly putting impact players in the best match-up positions to make the most impacts; this the team did game after game. Alas, against good competition, Cole and Tyshawn were found almost never to have match-up advantages offensively. And against teams with any size inside, Xavier was found to be able to do nothing offensively but pot the trey. So: the trouble really was that there were only two guys on the team that could go get a basket most of the time by season’s end: Sherron and Marcus.

Stop and think about it: two go-get-a-basket guys is all the 2010 team had; that’s the same number as the 2009 team.

Bottom line: the 2010 team had a guy, Xavier, who could get off more treys from the wing than the 2009 team’s wing, Brady, but the 2010 team had a center that could not go get it a basket for reasons never fully made clear. The reasons were probably never clarified, so as not to help the enemy during the season, and probably so as not to hurt Cole’s and Sherron's draft rank any more than necessary after the season.

I suspect that sometime after the draft, the real story on the 2010 team will come out. I can only guess right now that Cole was injured and/or sick, that Sherron had something wrong also, Xavier was perhaps protecting himself from injury in order to go OAD, and Tyshawn was mentally off-planet for some reason.

But let me get back to further analysis of what was observable and problematic with the 2010.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

The 2010 team really played like two four-man teams the entire season. One four man team had Cole as the post. The other four man team had Marcus as the post. Whichever post man was played through on offense, it was as if the other post man ceased to exist offensively. The perimeter players never learned to play through both Cole and Marcus on a single possession, and so Cole and Marcus never really learned to dish to each other and exploit the nearly constant double-teaming of Cole. It is only fair to assign some blame here to Self. A coach ought to be able to resolve this sort of problem over 36 games. But in Self’s defense, the game of basketball seemed to grow exponentially more violent as the season wore on, until the Madness, when it became unadulterated XTreme Ball. Essentially, the referees were forcing Self increasingly to learn to coach butcher ball in real time. Coaches like Izzo, and Mike “Pretend to be a good guy, but really be a bad actor” K, Bob Thuggins, the newbie Ben Jacobson, and so on, saw the game come increasingly to them; that is, to the style of play they coach and try to play all the time.

Self gambled wrong on how violently and how dirty he had to teach his players to play. Self clearly expected getting tougher would be enough and as late as 2/3s of the way through the 2010 season, KU seemed to always be the tougher bunch of thuggers, when forced to be.

But the emperor thug turned out to have no prison body clothes later in post season, when the refs really started swallowing their clothers. For awhile late in the season, KU eeked by with more talent. But when the Madness came, and when the gloves were taken fully off, and the whistles were lubed and fully used as suppositories only, KU just wasn’t as good at thug ball as other teams.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Total butcher ball was the coin of the realm in the 2010 Madness. Mike “I’ll never call him coach again” K relied on a simple rule against Butler in the championship game. If you fall behind by 4, mug them. This rule is merely emblematic of the 2010 Madness and so only makes Duke’s Brown Shirts the poster boys for the kind of violence that was normalized in this XTreme Ball tournament. Of course, Mike K almost seemed virtuous in comparison to Ratso Izzo, who started out having his players throw punches and then mugged opponents the rest of the games. And of course Bob Huggins thugs got to the Final Four with almost no discernible basketball talent, but for one player, Butler, and when he went down, WVU promptly went out even with WVU’s hyper-thug ball. Inference: even thug ball teams have to have one guy that can still go get a basket.

But KU 2010 team had yet another problem. It could not get all three perimeter players to play well for any significant stretch of the season. Why? I can't explain it. I can only describe it. Sherron, Xavier, Brady and Tyrel each had shooting slumps, which are normal, so their slumps are not the crucial drivers.

So what were the crucial drivers then?

The were at least two crucial drivers. One was already mentioned. The jockey road Sherron too hard and Sherron burned out down the stretch, leaving KU with only Marcus able to go get a basket.

But there was another driver and it was related to the first one.

Tyshawn spent virtually the entire season playing either poorly, or barely adequately and that contributed to Self needing to ride Sherron too hard.

A great team cannot have one of its top three perimeter players mired in a season-long slump and ever hope to really arrive playing on all cylinders. If Tyshawn had merely suffered a shooting slump, like the rest of the perimeter players, there would have been several extended stretches during the season, when Self could have fielded 3 difference making perimeter players with significant match-up advantages with all hitting on all cylinders simultaneously. But because Tyshawn could never get it together Self could never field a well-oiled perimeter. And when players other than Tyshawn went through their usual shooting slumps, it meant that KU had significant stretches when KU only had one difference maker on the perimeter functioning adequately.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Playing Self Ball without functioning offensive difference-makers inside (Cole) and outside (Tyshawn and who ever was in a slump) is like a day without sunshine, or breakfast without OJ. It is not healthy for extended periods. And yet that is exactly what occurred for extended periods.

How Self managed to coax such a team to 33 wins and only 3 losses is hard to explain.

I can only explain it this way: Self applied his take-what-they-give-us philosophy to his own team. He tried every trick in the book to forge them into a real team and kind of ran out of time before reaching his goal. Along the way he seemed to coach as if to say, okay, this team won’t give me what I want, so I will take what they can give me and make that work the best I can until they do become a team.

I would argue that Bill Self did the greatest job of coaching a non team in the history of college basketball. Difference makers outside won’t perform? Fine, I will just play anyone who makes a basket from trey until they stop making them; then switch, or, alternatively, I will turn some non performing difference makers into glue guys.

Difference makers inside won’t perform offensively? Fine, I’ll just play through another guy in the paint.

The team can’t really get the hand of playing as a five man unit, only as a 4 man unit? Fine, go with it. Let’s be the best 4 man offensive team in the history of the game and play through which ever big is not double teamed. Screw it if they can’t learn to pass out of double teams to the open big.

And so on.

Necessity is sometimes the mother of invention.

Alas, sometimes the mothers of invention run out of fresh ideas at certain times; that happened in against Northern Iowa.

Simply put, Self finally could not find a Self Ball way for a 4 man offensive unit shooting 25% from trey to beat a team of push’n’shove palookas allowed to do so by referees running the floor with whistles “suppository-ed” deep in their recta.

There was no “invention” that could be mothered, so to speak.

Mike K had a solution, however, that was not remotely consistent with Self Ball principles, as it has been played up to this point.

Don’t get behind by more than 4 in a possession game…ever.

Play as dirty and violently as you have to once your are four down to not let the deficit get greater than four.

Bill Self was not prepared to go there this season.

But he probably will be next season.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

"A Thought on Sherron Missing the Banquet:"

Unfortunate, but I am for cutting slack. When I fly, the airlines increasingly don't get me back on the day they say they will.

When Bill Self won a championship in 2008, it was unfortunate that he had to let business interfere with the enjoyment of the accomplishment, but Bill Self did not hesitate to let business take priority for a time.

Sherron had to let business take priority.

It happens.

Now if Sherron doesn't explain what happened, well, then he's being impolite.

Self explained why he had to let business interfere after 2008.

Sherron probably will, too.

But there is another issue here that needs to be addressed.

After a guy gets a night like Sherron had after the KSU game at Allen Field House, he just doesn't need another appreciation night.

Personally, I think all of the appreciation ought to wait until after the season.

I attended the KSU game and I felt that the experience was so intense that a player could never really recover from that moment and rise to anything higher, as players have to do in order to win the Madness.

I would like to see Senior Night reduced to a simple jog to center court, a wave while listening to applause, and then a run off the court to the lockerroom.

I was ready for the season to be over after that KSU experience in Allen Field House. It was a perfect moment. But it came too soon.

Rock Chalk!

Jabez Harlan 9 years, 7 months ago

Too many thought threads to comment on them all. But I would like to adress the Chalmers v. Collins argument, and the reason for early exit.

Yes, Sherron was the go-get-a-basket player and put the team on his back, but I will still take Chalmers. Not only is he a better on ball defender, he is also a better help defender. He had many of his steals by playing help defense. Help defense was a major hole for the 2010 team. Once a perimeter player drove past one of our guards, they almost always made it to the rim or got fouled by a post.

Another big difference I see between 2008 and 2010, this year the high-low offense was largely ineffective. KU normally plays that offense with high success, and in 2008, high-low was worked to perfection with Darnell, Shady, and Sasha. The 2008 team just knew how to feed the post and ally-oops were offered on a regular basis to big men. This year, KU played a lot of secondary break and three man weave on the perimeter trying to move the defense laterally, to open up a post pass or open three. When that didn't work, KU resorted to 4 flat, and let Sherron drive from the top of the key and hope he made the right choice. 4 flat should only be used IMHO at the end of half or the end of games. It can not be sustained as a staple offense.

As for Collins not attending the banquet? I think it was intentional on his part, and I understand his reasoning. He has always been a guy that does not celebrate a loss, and I believe that is how he views this season, a loss to UNI. If it were important to him, he would have been there. But, to me, he is still ashamed and has not let go. Hopefully, he will get over this, he needs to. I for one, am ever grateful for his four years at KU.

WDC_Jayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Big Hawk Bill -- I just want to cosign on this. Every aspect of it is correct in my opinion. I don't think I fully recognized the "oop" deficit until midway through the Lehigh game, and ... by then it was of course too late.

And I'm with you. Not a conspiracy theorist, but there's no way Collins missed this because he was just signing paperwork.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

Why is the NCAA modeling the NBA and going to thug ball?

I hate it.

The finesse of basketball is what makes this such a great team sport.

Bball has always been my favorite sport to watch, but it's been losing it's luster lately.

I quit watching the NBA 13 years ago for these same reasons. I hope I'm not forever left with this same sour taste for college ball.

I want to watch players make plays, not refs.

tis4tim 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate,

You said: "Next, what people forget the most about Mario, because of Mario's glitzy strip numbers and fine shooting senior season, is this: Mario couldn't lock down True 2s."

Mario stayed only three seasons. But, if you mean "senior" as the latter-most year of his time at KU, then my beef is like finding one of Jimmy Johnson's hairs out of place instead of focusing on the fact that his 'do is, for the better part, firmly intact.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm with you man...I forced my self to rewatch the UNI game, (along with other NCAA games) and watched a lot of the UNI game in slow motion. My biggest gripe is that they don't call consistently.

In regards to the charge they called on Reed when driving the baseline....he clearly elevated, released his shot, and then came down into a still-moving big from UNI. They called the charge. IF the big would have been set, and Reed comes down on him after releasing his shot, Is that still a charge?

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Rockchalk26....I find it interesting that when someone asks a question on this site, they rarely get an answer.

Let me try.

If Kansas gets Josh Selby and Doron Lamb to go with Royce Woolridge, the Kansas class of 2010 will be Top 25 maybe even Top 10 due to the impact of the timing. However, there is more than just signing 5 stars; it's what they bring to a team's situation that is critical.

Based on our strong supply of big men [ Morris and Morris, Withey, T-Rob], role players [ Brady, Tyrel,], swing men [ Mario, Travis] that leaves one category-guard:

Tyshawn - all the potential in the world but needs to harness it. Elijah - unless you get to watch practice, an unknown quantity although apparently a strong up side. CJ - injured, inactive, older..time may be running out. Royce - almost certain to get a redshirt.

Do any of you feel this group is strong enough as is? I do not!!

Of all the teams in Division 1, on a strictly team-orientated individual needs basis, if HCBS signs both these young men, KU will be, in effect, a top five class although not recognized by the media till next season.

Many teams are trying to fill multiple spots i.e. UK for example which may need another totally new line-up. Kansas only needs this year are to add one or two more bullets to it's gun!!

A penetrating, team-orientated, finisher Point Guard and a dead eye, not afraid to pop Shooting Guard would look mighty good in Crimson and Blue.

RockChalk26 9 years, 7 months ago

Oakville,

Thanks for acknowledging my question. Sometimes I get to reading the posts of others which in turn stirs up a few questions of my own.

I do agree with you. Going into next season I don't feel as comfortable with our guards as I have in the past. One thing I do know is that there is a lot of talent in EJ, but how do we know if he can perform in game situations?

I was watching Selby in the McDonalds All-American dunk contest the other day. All I have to say is, WOW! This kid has tremendous athleticism and looks like a true finisher. I hope he decides on KU this Saturday. He would be a great addition to our back court.

RCJH

Turk 9 years, 7 months ago

I agree the game is getting too rough. The refs let the players run over each other and no foul is called. Basketball is a game of skill. The NBA has ruined the game. The college game is too rough. This rough mentality is clear down to the grade school level. This is a reflection on our society.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 7 months ago

Ralster- My thoughts exactly after the UNI debacle. Crappy zebras. But hindsite is always 20/20, right jb? Maybe you aren't old enough to have seen Jo Jo, but there's THE man pardner. The game is changing alright and the purists are gradually fading. Dylan said "you don't need a weatherman". We all must change with the times or they'll change without you. Maybe I've missed them, but have seen no comments on Self hanging around awhile longer. Careful what you wish for guys, you'ld have a hard time getting this lucky again.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate - I enjoyed reading your analysis. Regarding Sherron vs. Mario, the obvious flaw in the comparison is that Mario was not a true point guard. However, for the purposes of discussion we can overlook that detail. A couple of respectful quibbles I had with your post. You said that "Mario couldn't lock down True 2s. He could only lock down other combos at the 2. Self had to switch Rush onto Mario's man to lock down True 2s." Maybe, however the past 2 seasons Collins couldn't lock down much of anybody - true point guards, true 2s, combo guards - nor did he have the "glitzy strip numbers". So Collins was a below average on-ball defender and he did not do much of anything in the way of help defense, anticipating passes, or generally wreaking havoc in any way. Mario was maybe the best ever at those things, so pointing out Mario's slight defensive deficiences only puts Collins' massive defensive deficiencies in more of a spotlight. Collins helped us win the '08 Championship more with his defense than anything else. His steal and subsequent 3 to cut the lead to 4 in the closing minutes was every bit as important as Mario's 3 to tie it, and Collins was the only defender who had success guarding Derrick Rose that night. Sadly, we never saw anything close to that kind of defense from Sherron again after that game.

The other problem I had with your arguement is the excuse made for Sherron's fade down the stretch and defending him significantly underperforming this season. Saying that Self rode him too hard? I have a hard time believing that reasoning. Sherron played less minutes this year than he did a year ago, both in terms of total minutes & mpg. 33 mpg is not a lot, especially not for someone as vaunted as Sherron - a senior all-american. And also not a lot considering that the team didn't play overly fast in terms of tempo and pushing the ball up the court. He was not required to take over games as often as he was during his junior season. He was a senior, not some kid out of high school who wasn't accustomed to the demands of the college game or used to playing 30+ games/year. He wasn't some defensive specialist who expended tons of energy on the defensive end of the court. He didn't have to suffer the bumps, bruises, & pains of someone who's a force on the low blocks, banging against 230-280 lbs bigs game in and game out. Basically I'm saying that if Sherron was burnt out down the stretch, that is not a reason to shift blame off of his mid-to-late season fade, but rather to perhaps place more blame on him not being in better condition.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

I love both Sherron & Mario. Two of my top 5 favorite Jayhawks (I wasn't around for the JoJo White & Darnell Valentine years, my fanhood begins with Danny's teams). It's impossible to ever get much of an apples-to-apples comparison of the two, for their surrounding casts and the roles they had were just too different. On the defensive end of the floor, I take Mario over Sherron everyday of the week. That's on-ball, off-ball, help defense...whatever. On the offensive end it's tougher to say. I think Mario was a better passer & shooter. Sherron a better ball handler & driver. Sherron had more of an ability to take over games down the stretch, but Mario was no slouch in this area (the '08 Big 12 Championship game against Texas comes to mind). Final possession of the game? I take Mario. While it's true Mario couldn't go get his own shot as much as Sherron could, Sherron became increasingly predictable with his clear out-isolation move that he showcased for 2 years.

Again, it's just too hard to say. Different teammates, different roles. Mario never had to be "the guy" like Sherron did his last two years. Being "the guy", the unquestionable leader these past two years defines Sherron in ways that weren't available to Mario. Overall that helps Sherron (for the purposes of this debate), but I also think it's hurts him a bit. Once this was "his team" they exceded expectations one year, but fell far short one year. We praise and exhalt him for getting the team to over-perform last year, he also has to carry some of the burden for the team under-performing this season. He can't get credit for leading this team to 33 wins and being Big 12 conference & tournament champs, yet have excuses made for why this team fell in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament (and for his performance in that game). Either you're a leader all the time or none of the time. I guess I'd have I'd take Mario over Sherron, but not by much.

hwker 9 years, 7 months ago

who really cares???

Collins is a thug!

Dan Harris 9 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I'll bet you thought that every time he single handedly will or carried us to a win this year!

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

I also am waiting for all of this recruiting stuff to be over with because I find myself repeating the same information over and over.

RockChalk26: Good question about Selby and Lamb and where the Hawks stand with or without both players.

Without Both: I think it's a fine line, but I have KU somewhere firmly inside the Top 13 if KU doesn't sign another player. As much as KU has coming back I think that is legitimate and it allows for top 30 prospects from last year in EJ and Robinson to come into their own. Have the national pundits forgotten about that fact?

I mean, they want to glorify these recruiting classes and classic example is Gary Parrish from CBSsports.com who had UNC preseason #5. Huh? Please excuse me as I have to vomit now! Or, how about Dodson from FOXsports.com who had the Tar Heels ranked #10? I don't know, I firmly have UNC somewhere between 16-19 and I think that is very generous considering their season last year and even the recruits they have coming in. Just like the Wear Twins from last year, Kendall Marshall is severely overrated and I do think Bullock and Barnes will be severe threats for extensive playing time next year.

I haven't seen one National Pundit, except Luke Winn, acknowledge how much talent KU has coming despite the losses of Collins, Aldrich, and X. It's a shame and it's even more of a shame when UNC is somehow ranked ahead of KU for next season.

Selby and Lamb: I don't think it matters too much if Lamb joins or doesn't join the KU roster next season in terms of the preseason ranking. I think KU can be vastly improved at the 2 and 3 next year with Lamb, but I don't think his addition will move KU up too many spots in the polls.

If you add Selby to the mix, he is a difference maker and together with Lamb and Selby, I have KU no higher than 8th and probably 9th or 10th would be justified with the addition of those two players plus Woolridge. I think those two players alone add 3-5 spots in the rankings. Even if it was just Selby I would still give KU a 3-5 rank bump from 12th or 13th.

Recruiting: In terms of Class recruiting rankings (KU is currently not in the Top 25) I think KU with the signings of both Selby and Lamb to go along with Woolridge would firmly put KU in the Top 10 class recruiting rankings.

Oakvillejhawk: Great Post!

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

cathwker,

If Collins were a thug, then what would that make everyone on Duke, Michigan State, WVU, etc.? Serial Killahs?

Scott Lippoldt 9 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone know where Xavier and Cole stand now in the draft projections and where I can find a site for this info? With all the recent underclassmen entering the draft, I was just curious if Cole still is an assured lottery and if Xavier still is thought to be mid-first round.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

kushaw,

I have argued for some time that KU has to get out from under the media gray out; i.e., the under-reporting, the ESPN and CBS and impose on it.

If the media grey listing and under-reporting of KU is allowed to continue indefinitely, KU will eventually face a serious disadvantage in recruiting.

Right now, KU doesn't get equal coverage, when it wins a championship.

It doesn't get equal coverage, when it wins conference.

It doesn't get equal coverage, when it is ranked first and seeded first in a tournament.

Self wins 82% of his games. He wins a ring. He wins conference championships like they are cracker jacks prizes. And yet he can't win coach of the year!!!!

Self has proven to be one of the best recruiters in the country. Self is one of the best coaches. But even so, Self has a devil of a time landing any of the Top 10 players in a recruiting class. In seven years, he has landed Brandon Rush and Xavier Henry that might be so classified. And truth be told he has not landed anyone as good as Michael Beasely, or Kevin Durant.

Self has proven that if you recruit the whole country and are a great people person, you can keep KU's cupboard stocked more consistently full than Roy could.

But even Self hasn't been able to get the best of the best to come to KU.

Sooner or later, Chancellor Grey-Little, AD Perkins, and Coach Self and some very influential alumni have to hatch a plan to get KU out from other the media gray-out,

I have proposed KU lead in the politicing for a new 30-36 team super conference spanning all the time zones that places KU into east coast games once a week through the conference season to brand manage KU on the golden crescent from Boston to Houston. This would increase KU's basketball drawing power and it would attract students to KU's academics. I've argued that KU needs to be marketed as America's Team.

Maybe it can't be done, but some way out of the grey-out has to be found.

Sooner or later KU will hire a coach that is not quite such a remarkable people person as Self and this grey out will really hurt KU basketball.

Jabez Harlan 9 years, 7 months ago

I see three mistakes in this post that I have to point out. They are KU's exposure on ESPN and CBS, Bill Self being recognized as a top tier coach, and Self being able to land top talent.

  1. Every one of KU's games was televised either on the ESPN family of networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Full Court) or CBS. I know this, because I watched every game in its entirety except for Lehigh and UNI. Those two games, CBS carried regional games on TV so I watched them for free online. Also, every analyst picked KU to the Final Four. Everyone! And Most either had UK, KU, or Syracuse winning. Most picked KU as the winner. Obama picked KU to win!

  2. Bill Self won AP coach of the year in 2009.

  3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Julian Wright and Darrell Arthur were both top 10 recruits.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

ict,

Sherron is valued largely on his offensive impact.

Mario is valued largely on his versatility.

Regarding Mario, I was just trying to point out that Mario's defense was not as versatile as persons sometimes simplify it to be. I did not mean to suggest that Sherron's defense was anywhere near as good as Marios.

tis4tim,

First, I did mean as in Mario's last season.

Second, I cannot agree that Mario's shortcomings reduce to a mussed hair. Mario shot inadequately from trey for his first two years. Mario was definitely not a great ball handler his first season. And KU would certainly have gone much farther had he been able to shoot 40% from trey and guard True 2s. Mario was tried repeatedly his freshman year at the point and could not cut it. Mario was, frankly, not good enough to keep Sherron off the floor Sherron's freshman year, or sophomore year, when Sherron was playing seriously injured both years. And Mario never really did cut it as a PG at KU for all manner of reasons, not least being the Sherron was such a terrific PG. But just as surely as Mario's great shot in the national finals is frozen in my memory, so is his inability to handle Aaron Afflalo the year before. Mario simply could not contain Aaron Afflalo on UCLA and KU got bounced out of the tourney early to considerable degree because he could not handle Afflalo. Finally, Mario was a freaking head case half his sophomore year, when Self put him through the Hurt Locker.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

The bottom line comparison on Sherron and Mario is this:

--Sherron was so good that Self either started him, or played him at crunch time, at point guard, even when Sherron was injured, and Self was always willing to suffer his defensive limitations.

--Mario was never good enough to take and hold the point guard position as long as he was at KU and Self preferred even an injured Sherron at point, to a healthy Mario for most of the time that he had the luxury of choosing between them. This is particularly significant, because the last two seasons, we have seen that Self has been willing to play Sherron on the wing significant minutes to keep Sherron in the game and burn less of his energy. This means Self could have played Sherron the wing and played Mario at the point had Self had sufficient confidence in Mario as a PG.

But again, all the criticism I make here have to be kept in context.

I think Mario is a great player.

I think Sherron is a great player.

I think both players had significant flaws.

Yours is the argument that is much harder to defend.

You are arguing that anything wrong with Mario is like mussed hair in comparison to Sherron.

Your argument, at least to the modest extent you articulated it, just doesn't square with the record of how Self dealt with both of them and what both players actually accomplished at KU.

I'm comfortable with saying both players are within a micron of each other in terms of excellence.

I can live with the idea that Mario was the better two guard and Sherron was the better point guard.

But this mussed hair argument of yours just doesn't hold water for me.

Rock Chalk!

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

ralster and KU fans: Have you seen that Andy Katz and Gary Parrish have UK firmly inside the Top 15 ahead of Kansas??????????? What? How is that possible? Especially right now considering only has Kanter and Poole signed for next year. Yes, it's a possibility and very good likely that Knight signs and goes to UK, but look at everything that KU has returning.

Yes, I know preseason rankings don't matter for next year even with all the question marks in the eyes of the most. However, as Jaybate has said so beautifully above and I have believed for quite sometime, every publication, every article, every analyst forum and media outlet almost most every year has KU on the outside looking in when it comes to National recognition.

Jaybate, I agree with you 100 percent and most will probably say we're both crazy for thinking that because of all the recognition this past season? Think about it for a second.

Despite all the success KU had this season the pundits never were convinced that KU had a great team. Now, with the second round loss that fuels the fire and even though I don't agree with it, shows in the eyes from media perspective that all those fools were right? Maybe they were, but it ticks me off the more I think about it.

How crucial was this year for KU? IMO it was very crucial from a National perspective to gain that extra step in the eyes of the media.

How many times did the pundits say that this was a watered down year? That was even more reason and why I so badly wanted KU to win a Championship or at least get to a Final 4 year.

How many times did the pundits say "Parity" to describe this season? KU's early exit only fueled that belief and solidified for so many who write our country's articles.

How many times did the pundits say "There is no UNC this year in college hoops"? How much does that feed the "ACC" ego? How much does the Duke Championship this year do the same thing?

How much press did UK get compared to KU this season? It was completely one sided in favor of the Wall and Cousin's youth vs the Collins and Aldrich experience. Nobody seemed convinced of Collins and Aldrich.

It was obvious and blatant from national writers ever so slightly putting KU in a negative light. I so wanted this season to be a "Success" from an NCAA Tournament standpoint and prove all those naysayers wrong. Instead, from a National perspective KU took a step backwards IMO trying to get rid of that "Early Exit" image that has claimed the Jayhawks under two different coaches the past two decades.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Just when you think KU and Self can't do anything wrong, you have an "Early Exit" in the tournament to bring things back in perspective. I still love Self and will always love KU, but my confidence level has been shaken back to reality unlike the "High" I was on in 2008 and 2009. Just think if KU would have made the Final 4 or better yet won the NCAA Championship in 2010? Do you all realize how "Smug" and "Obnoxious" we all would be viewed by other fanbases? I think that is the goal of every fan base and I would have loved every second to be in that position. Right now, we have to keep on grinding and fighting to get to that pinnacle. We were close, but not quite there with the early exit this past season.

Just think how dejected we all are going to feel with another public snub of Selby and or Lamb or both this Saturday on ESPN if those players choose other schools. I don't know about the rest of you, but I want KU to be at the pinnacle and experience what Duke fans are currently experiencing. The most hated College basketball program in the country. Also, no one will admit it, but the most respected as well.

Firebirdguy31 9 years, 7 months ago

I really have a bad feeling about Saturday as well. I hope I'm just paranoid and things end up as they should...

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

The only thing I can add from above between jaybate's and my post is that I am glad Self is our coach and I'm glad Self is from the Midwest. He "Gets It" when it comes to the Great Plains under reporting and I think that is why KU's early exit and Duke's miracle run to the Championship has affected me negatively so much this season unlike many of the past seasons.

Dan Harris 9 years, 7 months ago

Didn't take a miracle to come out of the easiest bracket! (Yeah I'm still bitter!)

dynamitehawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Gots to win on the court. Do that and then the people questioning our ability all season look dumb. Then we tea-bag them, and make 'Yo Mamma Jokes'. Really simple if you think about it.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 7 months ago

Truly profound!

This sums up what hundreds of posts have struggled with since the "loss heard round the world"!

Plus, "Yo mama jokes" are a national treasure.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

kkoenig: Duke gets paired with the weakest #4 seed in Purdue. Duke gets paired with the weakest #2 seed in Nova, which opened up the bracket for Baylor.

Every team needs breaks in the dance, but Duke got multiple breaks in the NCAA tournament, hence "The Miracle" comment.

One of the biggest upset tournaments in recent history

All 3 number 1 seeds losing before Final 4:

Purdue: Anybody really think Duke was going to lose to a Hummell less Purdue squad? Didn't think so!

Baylor Game: Enough said on the 50/50 charge call that completely changed the game. 6 point swing in that game.

WVU: Butler going down with the knee injury, but the game was somewhat already out of reach by the time. Injury only boosted Duke's confidence.

Butler: Enough said with the Butler game. I don't have to explain some of the terrible no calls that definitely benefited Duke all tournament.

I think "Miracle" is the right term considering they got the break of the century with the region they were selected to play and for the simple fact at how the tournament broke down for the Blue Devils the entire 3 weeks.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't think "Miracle" is the right term, nor is "break". Both imply an element of luck or something that could (or should) have gone one way or the other. If you can count on one thing it's greed. This was a money run. The bracket set-up was a calculated, deliberate, & purposeful strategy to advance Duke as far as possible for the sake of TV ratings. The officiating throughout the tournament was almost as blatant and obvious in terms of the Blue Devil favoritism. Everything about your analysis was correct, only disagree with the label you put on it. In my opinion, money run seems more fitting.

Chris Bruning 9 years, 7 months ago

kkoenig (anonymous) replies… miracle run? how so?

well they weren't the best team and they made it all the way through the tourney and won another lucky one for coach WEIRD AS HELL WHAT IS THAT A FACIAL EXPRESSION?!?! therefore you have a MIRACLE RUN.....

tis4tim 9 years, 7 months ago

Jaybate,

Thanks for the bonus coverage. :)

The hair comment was more to suggest you made a sound argument and that for me to focus on one little grammatical anomaly in your post was to miss the greater picture you were trying to paint.

I will say that while both Mario and Sherron are indeed great players as you pointed out, I think Self's inclination to play Sherron come he** or high water was because in Sherron Self saw a kid that perfectly embodied the spirit he wants inside all of his players.

That spirit didn't always translate perfectly to the court as he would have liked, but Sherron possessed that bulldog mentality Self used to work his way up the coaching ranks. Sherron's transition from the streets of Chicago to one of the most accomplished players in KU's vaunted history mirrors Self's deliberate slog up the coaching chain. Nothing was given to either of these guys and both overcame serious disadvantages, albeit different kinds, to reach the pinnacle. Both had every reason to fail, but both did not.

That's not to suggest Mario didn't have to work hard to get to where he did, or that he lived a charmed existence, but he came from a more stable environment and had some advantages growing up that Sherron did not. I think that's why Self really gravitated to Sherron.

Rock Chalk right back atcha, JB.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

@ict

If the tournament is driven by ratings & greed, but tournament committee selects and places each bracket, how is the "conspiracy" even possible??

Are CBS/ESPN ceo's choosing who's on the committee? If not, I don't quite understand how the relationship works

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Really? You don't see how things of this nature are possible? Let me set the stage for you a little bit. You've heard about the tournament expansion right? It is in all likelihood going to happen. Why? Money, that's why. The same committee who will decide this - the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Committee, consisting of 10 members - are the people who select & seed the tournament every year. No they aren't employed by cbs or espn, nor are the chosen by anyone at these networks. However, the NCAA has to sell their product -the NCAA tournament - to these networks. Now that this year's tournament is complete, the NCAA opt out of the final three years of their contract with CBS. Sensing a theme yet? The better their product performs (ratings!), the more they can ask for it on the open market. Now, are you wondering how Duke fits into this? Consider this:

"The dramatic nature of Duke’s victory, which wasn’t sealed until Butler barely missed a half-court shot at the final buzzer, helped to attract the highest TV ratings since the 1999 championship game. Duke also played in that game, losing 77-74 to the University of Connecticut in another game not decided until the closing seconds." -Triangle Business Journal, April 6, 2010

"TV ratings for the championship game had declined each of the previous three years, mirroring the trend of dropping viewership for most major sports events. The good news for the network is that it's a 10.5 percent increase over last year's record low." -from an AP article featured on CNNSI.com, April 3, 2001

In case you're wondering, that year the championship game featured Arizona and...Duke! (gasp!) Everyone know's Duke is good for ratings. They're like the Yankees of men's college basketball. You either love them or you hate them, but people tune in to watch. So you can even make an arguement that the given the opt-out clause available to the NCAA this year, good ratings may have hurt CBS (and any other networks looking to get in on the bidding) and cost them more money in the long run.

I'm not saying that it's professional wrestling, all scripted and fixed. I'm also not a conspiracy nut. Just saying, to think the NCAA doesn't do everything they do because of money is naive. It's why we don't have a playoff in college football, because the university presidents have determined that the bowl system is more lucrative for them.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Here is Max Preps Top 100 list. Terrence Jones and Reggie Bullock made some big jumps. Right now, Ohio State (2 and 12) and UNC (1 and 4) are the only schools that have two Top 20 recruits signed. UK could very easily wind up 2 or even possibly 3 and KU has a shot with Selby and Lamb. Here is the article and list

http://www.maxpreps.com/news/S2JUHkZWEd-lugAcxJTdpg/class-of-2010-final-top-100.htm

Ryan Mullen 9 years, 7 months ago

Considering what was expected of our top players ( Sherron, Cole, and Marcus) Marcus is my MVP of the year.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Five Burning questions in recruiting: Question 5 is my favorite

"5. Outside of Kentucky, which programs do you expect to close this recruiting cycle strongest?

Kansas looks as if it has a great chance to contend with Kentucky for the top remaining players in the late signing period. The dominoes will start to fall as players start to commit. Some potential scenarios that could occur would be Knight to Kentucky, Selby to Kansas, Terrence Ross (Portland, Ore./Jefferson) to Kentucky, Doron Lamb (New York/Oak Hill) to Kansas, etc. If Cory Joseph joins teammate Tristan Thompson at Texas, it would give the Longhorns two top-25 players in much-needed positions. Also, if NC State can close the borders and keep C.J. Leslie (Holly Springs, N.C./Word of God) away from Kentucky, the Wolfpack's class would be considered among the better ones in the nation."

Here's the link

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/recruiting/notebook/_/page/spring-signing-period-primer

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Just reading this article I figured it would have been written by Andy Katz or even Jeff Goodman from foxsports. Those two (along with Dick Vitale) are the biggest Kentucky honks...its nauseating reading their articles.

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