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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gary Bedore’s KU hoops notebook

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed elevates to the bucket past Kansas State forward Curtis Kelly and teammate Xavier Henry during the second half Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Tyrel Reed elevates to the bucket past Kansas State forward Curtis Kelly and teammate Xavier Henry during the second half Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.

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Kansas takes Big 12 tournament title

The Kansas University men's basketball team will enter the NCAA tournament on a high note after defeating Kansas State to take the Big 12 tournament title.

Audio clips

Big 12 championship: KU-KSU

Reader poll

Assuming Duke is the fourth No. 1 seed, which team do you not want to see as a No. 2 seed in KU's bracket?

  • West Virginia 25% 771 votes
  • Ohio State 16% 497 votes
  • Purdue 13% 420 votes
  • New Mexico 5% 175 votes
  • Kansas State 29% 899 votes
  • Villanova 7% 223 votes
  • Other 2% 82 votes

3067 total votes.

Reed on fire

Tyrel Reed, who scored a career-high-tying 14 points in a victory over Missouri this season in Allen Fieldhouse, burned Kansas State for a personal-best 15 points in Saturday’s Big 12 tournament final in Sprint Center.

“Nothing too special. I was a recipient of my teammates playing well,” said the junior guard from Burlington, who hit three of four shots (including two threes in two tries) and seven of nine free throws.

“I don’t worry about anything. I just shoot the ball, whether it’s a clutch time or beginning of the game. I feel I’m a good shooter at all times. I enjoy being in the moment, stepping up and knocking down shots.”

His teammates certainly respected his effort against a gritty KSU team.

“Tyrel is our designated three-point shooter,” senior Sherron Collins said. “He came through for us again.”

“We’ve come to expect that from Tyrel,” noted sophomore Tyshawn Taylor. “He’s a good player. I’ve known that for a long time.”

KU’s fate

It’s all but certain KU will be awarded first and second round NCAA Tournament games at Oklahoma City’s Ford Center (Thursday, Saturday) when sites and pairings are announced at 5 p.m. today on CBS.

If KU is No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional, the Jayhawks could march to St. Louis for Friday/Sunday games the following week.

“We’ll watch it as a group,” Self said of today’s TV show. “I think we’ll go to Oklahoma City. To be honest, K-State should go there, too. That’s fine. It means nothing to me. We’ve not excelled in Oklahoma City at times.”

KU lost to Baylor in the first round of last year’s Big 12 tourney in OKC and lost to Bucknell in the first round of the NCAAs in 2005. However, KU won three games in the Big 12 tourney in OKC in 2007.

Bumps, bruises

Collins “bumped his knee,” Self said of KU’s senior leader. “Hopefully, that’s not an issue. He’s hopefully on an uptick. He really played well.”

Going home

Playing in OKC will please former KU player Carl Henry, father of freshmen Xavier and C.J. Henry. Carl, who lives in OKC, thinks freshman starter Xavier would fare well playing in Ford Center.

“I think that’d be great. There’s nothing like coming back home and playing in front of Oklahoma City people. Many of them only get to see him play on TV,” Carl Henry said Saturday from his seat eight rows behind KU’s bench.

“I don’t think he will feel pressure,” Carl added of Xavier, who, like C.J., starred at Putnam City High. “He just plays the game. There’s no pressure in coming home. You just play the game.”

Carl, whose sons played for his Oklahoma City Athletes First AAU program, commented on decisions both players will have to make shortly after the season ends.

Xavier has to announce whether he’s entering the NBA Draft by the league’s deadline date of April 25.

“Actually we’ll sit down at the end of the season and see where he is, talk about it, then we’ll deal with it,” Carl said, adding that, “if he’s high in the draft, he has to go (pro).

“To me, we have to see how he feels, see if he wants to come back,” Carl added. “There’s a lot of stuff that plays into it if you want to go pro, like where they (NBA officials) have got you on the mock draft, what they are saying, then you decide whether you want to go or not.”

Carl said Xavier is only thinking about trying to win a national championship. Once the season ends ... “it shouldn’t take long (to decide) because they moved the date. The way they do things now you have to decide really quick whether you are coming back or staying in.”

C.J. Henry has been limited by injuries and also will have to make a decision on his own future.

“C.J. ... that’s another thing ... we’re going to sit down and talk. I know he’s going to visit with coach Self and whatever comes out of that meeting, that will determine what he’s going to do,” Carl said.

“He could do a lot of things. He could go overseas. He could decide to stay at Kansas. He could sit out and go to another school. He could go to the D-League (NBA Developmental League). Actually, he could put his name in the (NBA) Draft. Nobody’s seen him play but an hour (this year because of injuries).”

Stats, facts

Junior center Cole Aldrich and senior guard Collins were named to the all-tournament team with K-State’s Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen and Texas A&M;’s Donald Sloan. Collins was tourney MVP. It is the first all-tournament team honors for each, while Collins became the sixth KU player to take home MVP honors. ... KU is 7-1 in Big 12 title games. ... KU has won six in a row over KSU and 10 straight over the Cats in conference tourney play, seven in a row in the Big 12 tourney. ... Aldrich pulled down eight rebounds, moving him into 10th place on the KU all-time rebounding chart (842). Aldrich moved past Clyde Lovellette (1950-52), who collected 839 rebounds. ... KU held Pullen to just 13 points after allowing the junior guard to score 20 or more in its previous two meeting this season. ... KSU committed just five turnovers, tying Missouri (Jan. 25) for a KU opponent season low.

Self on the ’Cats

“I think their team could seriously make a Final Four run. I don’t know if we’ll play anybody who pursues the ball like K-State in the tournament. I thought they competed so hard, and we did, too. I would feel good regardless of who you are playing. But having a chance to beat in what our estimation is one of the best teams in the country in a great atmosphere against your state rival in Kansas City, I think makes it a little bit more special than if we had been playing somebody else.”

Comments

davelass 9 years, 10 months ago

D**m right it's more special to beat them in the tourney final in KC...rumor has it on an off note that North Carolina may be heading to Wichita State for the first round of the N.I.T....the shockers were close to getting in....any predictions on a. if this will happen. and b. do the shockers have a chance?

Elliot Cohen 9 years, 10 months ago

Well taking it from Carl Henry, C.J. will probably only be here as long as Xavier is. There's no way he would go to another school and sit out, not with his eligibility clock ticking. We know X and C.J. have strong desires to make money playing this game, no matter at what level of hoop. The only reason C.J. came here was to be at his brothers side for one season. Hopefully Xavier and C.J. both come back. But in reality, both are likely gone. Hopefully they can take a ring with them when they depart.

ICTJAYHAWK61 9 years, 10 months ago

Davelass not only do the Shockers have a chance I would bet on the victory. Their guard play will eat NC up. The shocks could beat a handful of tourney teams. Beat Texas techs ass(the team that gave us hell the other day). They hung with Pitt with out clevin Hannah their best player and only senior. The valley deserved 2 in this year oh well if NC comes to town I can handle it. By the way on another note I'm sorry I know I'm biased but after his 6th straight B12 championship HCBS is with out a doubt the best coach in college bball. Congrats guys and thank u, u guys spoil us fans. Rock Chalk 6 more baby!!!!!!! Oh btw Pullen....go pro your a stud son good effort.

Trey Hohman 9 years, 10 months ago

The new Tyrel Reed chant: ONE MORE YEAR!!! ONE MORE YEAR!!!

yates33333 9 years, 10 months ago

I wish Xavier luck, but I really do not think he is ready for the pros. I was surprised to hear that Cole, because of his shot blocking ability, will be a first round draft. He is not as fast as most pro big men and doesn't seem to have the stamina necessary to compete for extended periods and during the long schedule of teams at that level. Collins is tough enough to be a starting point guard for most NBA teams. I hope the Morrises round out. They currently look like pro prototypes. They aren't bad outside shooters either. I have slowly come to believe that Reed might have a shot, because of his shot. He is faster than he looks, if that is possible.

ParisHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

The Morrises would be much better pro prospects if they played more above the rim!

fansincewilt 9 years, 10 months ago

The Morris twins are sophomores and have plenty of time to develop into NBA prospects. The 6'9 guys have to be much quicker than the 7' guys. They're expected to do more. The Morris twins are not going to be the main inside guy. I actually believe that MK has a bigger future than MC. MK can develop more muscle in this off-season and will probably play the 4 and 5 next year. That is what he will do in the NBA - F/C. MC will be a 4. With his size, that is not impossible but more difficult. They will excel next year in college basketball. They are going to be the dynamite duo. I believe they will be the talk of the country in college basketball. Scouts will be in the stands studying them. I hope we will have two more years of the Morris duo. The PG question is a tough one for us. But at 2,3,4 and 5, we will be the deepest and right at there among the best. Who knows, maybe TT will get his head on straight and we will be back at the top by this time next year. He has sure had a good enough guy to learn from in SC. Morris to Morris for two will be a common theme of next year's team. We just need someone to guard and get the ball to them. Taylor can be that guy.

KU 9 years, 10 months ago

The Morris brothers are fine college players. I've said this before and people jumped me: they are not explosive athletes. They don't have the kind of jumping ability that would make them great NBA players. They have a very hard time finishing around the rim when they take contact. As someone said above, they don't play above the rim.

If Ostertag can make as much money as he did in the League, Cole certainly can. He won't be a star, but his shot blocking and rebounding skills are like gold. He will need to put on quite a bit of muscle to battle with the Shaq's of the world.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 10 months ago

Carl spouting off yet again about his boys. CJ won't sniff anything other that college ball. He would do himself well to get a free education. Forget little brother and do your own thing. Eventually you have to cut ties with people and grow up.

It is quite evident all Carl cares about his the NBA. He doesn't profess much allegiance or excitement for his alma mater.

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 10 months ago

As for Cole leaving, I think it's a misconception that he won't be on par with NBA big men. I really think most people think of the great big men when they question if Cole is ready, but the fact is most NBA teams don't have a quality big man. Cole will be just fine. As for X, I actually think he's as ready as he needs to be. He certainly could improve with another year, but the NBA draft is all about potential, and he's shown enough to be drafted high. CJ...well, I'm not even sure what dad is thinking with CJ. Nice shot, but we didn't really see anything else this year to prove he's ready for anything other than Europe or NAIA ball.

David Friend 9 years, 10 months ago

anyone know the history here?

HOLLY ROWE SHOWN HUGGING KU PLAYER AFTER INTERVIEW The University of Kansas had just defeated in-state rival Kansas State 72-64 for the Big 12 Tournament Championship. Pandemonium was breaking loose at Kansas City's Sprint Arena. ESPN's veteran sideline reporter Holly Rowe, who has been doing games for the sports network for 11 years, was seen scrambling to get an interview with KU player Sherron Collins. She asked Collins a few puff questions and the interview was over and turned back to veteran Brent Musburger.

Alec White 9 years, 10 months ago

X will leave and I'm fine with that. Self recruited him to play one year and all he asked was to become a deadly three point threat and constantly improve his defense and rebounding---which he undoubtedly has. He will be a lottery pick more likely than not, so why not jump? CJ is gone after this year and I'm also fine with that.

Cole isn't going to be drafted in the top 10 for his offensive skills. His value in The League will be shot blocking and rebounding, which are two skills the generally translate well from the college game to the pros. If we win the NC he's gone, if we don't I say it's 50/50.

Marcus and Kieff' are obviously coming back, but Cus' will definitely be a successful SF in the NBA down the road. He might not be great at anything, but he's good in every aspect of the game. I envision Markieff being a backup PF in the NBA for a long while if he can continue to make that 18-footer with consistency.

Jeremy Paul 9 years, 10 months ago

I made the comment to several people before the game that if KU wants to cut down the nets in Indy, Tyrel Reed is going to be the key. And he showed again last night why he is so valuable to the team. He isn't more than just a 3-point bomber. He plays very smart, great passer, can hit from anywhere on the floor, is a very active defender, and he brings a great attitude and confidence everytime he comes in. They are a better team when he's on the floor, and I bet he would be a starter on 90% of the teams in America. Reed is clutch, and it's really great to see a home-grown Kansan playing for his favorite team.

Don't get me wrong--as a KU fan I love every player they've ever had no matter where they come from. But as a native Kansan, I really love my home-state guys even more. Self has done a great job of recruiting players from Kansas, and it's great to see that the talent of kids from Kansas seems to be getting better. With that said--how good is Releford's brother? Anyone been to a Miege game this year?

swjhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I have a short-term view. I wish that Cole & the twins stop doing that little dribble dance around the goal and go right to the rim. HCBS is fully capable of bringing back a great team next year regardless of who moves on and who stays. Bring on Thursday! (confessions of a 52-year basketball junkie)

bpjhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

jersey, I saw the same thing with Holly. I suspect it is nothing more than respect and admiration. She's done many KU games in Sherron's career and for a woman to get a gig at ESPN, she has to know her sports. I bet that was just her way of thanking him and wishing him luck. That was the last time Sherron will play a college game on ESPN.

Fruity22 9 years, 10 months ago

It seems Xavier and CJ have a big leg up over their dad in knowing what to say and not say to the media. "If he his projected high he has to go pro." What is high to you Carl? Would it be a terrible thing if he was projected 20th to 25th and came back for a year of free college and played himself into a top 10 or even top 5 pick? CJ may very well be good enough to play pro basketball overseas but I think he is going to have to prove it by playing more than a handful of minutes in college. With that said maybe he should transfer Tyrel, Brady, Tyshawn, and Elijah aren't going anywhere. Throw in Selby and Woolridge and minutes are hard to come by.

Kenneth Johnson 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm not sure whether C. J. Henry will be back next year. Certainly, it's less likely if Xavier leaves, but the Jayhawks have five other guards coming back next year (Morningstar, Reed, Taylor, Releford and Johnson). I don't see C. J. getting a lot more playing time next year than he got this year. Remember too, that KU is still in the hunt for a couple of big time guard recruits.

But if Xavier stays (and I'm certainly in a minority who think that might happen), look for C. J. to stay and be a dependable 3-point man in 2011.

Here's my take on why X might come back. First, I don't think he'll be a lottery pick (unless of course he dominates throughout the NCAA tourney). He's good and has tremendous potential, but another year under Bill Self will make him a lottery pick next year. Too, I believe that X really likes the college life. Other than the big money, why trade being an adulated star playing 30+ games a year, for being mostly on the bench for 80-100+ pro games? Thirdly, if he comes back, he'll be the focal star on what looks like another strong, deep KU team (one that should dominate again if Withey develops into a sophomore-Aldrich).

Ken Johnson (KU MS '70) www.hoopszone.net

David Friend 9 years, 10 months ago

Kjohnson: Adulated start or a minimum of $1 million a year.. Its about the coin.. BTW why is it everyone here thinks the NBA life sucks. Its tiresome certainly but I do not here most complaining.. These guys are treated like kings in most cities. I would love to see everyone come back but not for a second do I blame these kids chasing the money and have a chance to play with the best night in and night out..

Michael Auchard 9 years, 10 months ago

I love the effort the Henrys have put in this year, I just wish Carl would stop sounding like such a mercenary. It's really fatiguing to have to read his comments.

Matt Gonzo 9 years, 10 months ago

I remember going to games as a kid and watching Carl play. He was great. I was 13 years old then so I never really paid attention to much except what was going on the court. He must of not had a good experience with his time at Kansas. I have not heard him say anything promoting the school or showing excitiment about his boys being at KU. Maybe its just the type of person he is who knows. I do hope CJ stays. He is an amazing outside shooter and its a shame he has had to deal with injuries. He can still be an asset to the program if he decides to stay.

Rock on you Hawks!!

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 10 months ago

gonzo, I have heard plenty of love for KU from Carl and his wife, it's just lost between all the marketing he does for the boys! At the end of the recruiting period, I remember stopping and trying to remember what X or CJ had said that made them seem spoiled, and I couldn't think of much I had read. It was all Carl...I agree, just stop talking and let your kids play their way into Kansas lore! If he plays big in the dance and we get another championship, I hope he lets the boys enjoy it!!!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

No one seems to be mentioning the NBA lock out next year. if it happens, and it's better than 50/50 no one and I mean NO ONE gets paid next year.

Maybe another year of free room and board, school and the best coaching in America would look pretty good!!

Just sayin'.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 10 months ago

When I hear these quotes from Carl Henry I get the feeling that he is out for himself and not the best interest of his kids. He seems like a slick AAU loser. I wish X would listen to Bill Self about what to do and not his father.

If what Carl is saying about CJ is really true as far as what CJ is considering, then maybe he takes after his old man. He already was a bust with the Yankees, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him give up on KU and be a bust here, too. Maybe he's the kind of guy who doesn't finish what he starts. We'll see but I'm not holding my breath on him ever doing anything for KU.

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