Thursday, November 4, 2010

Conner Teahan mulls taking redshirt this year


It’s decision-making time for Kansas University basketball player Conner Teahan ... again.

“Our trainer was just making fun of me saying I’m always trying to be ‘Brett Favre-esque,’” Teahan said with a smile, comparing his series of quandaries to that of the Minnesota Vikings quarterback, who yearly contemplates whether to play in the NFL another season or retire for good.

The 6-foot-5, 212-pound senior out of Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst High for the second straight preseason is pondering red-shirting — practicing but not playing in games — and completing his five-year KU career in 2011-12.

This is the same Teahan who worked out with the KU football team as a quarterback last spring before ultimately deciding to remain a one-sport athlete.

“It’s something that’s tough, but at the same time, it is what it is,” Teahan said of making a series of important calls about his future.

Teahan — he averaged 3.8 minutes a game in 19 games in 2009-10 after deciding to not red-shirt — again faces the prospect of minimal playing time on the perimeter, especially if freshman Josh Selby is cleared for participation by the NCAA.

Meanwhile a year from now, KU will be without senior perimeter players Mario Little, Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed. The Jayhawks also could lose Selby, Marcus Morris and/or Tyshawn Taylor to the NBA.

“It’s a little bit about playing time,” said Teahan, who sat out Tuesday’s exhibition against Washburn and also may miss next Tuesday’s Emporia State contest because of NCAA rules that prohibit a non-first-year player from red-shirting if he enters a preseason game.

“I’ve always said that’s been a main goal of mine, but with playing time, it’s how you can help the team out. If coach (Bill Self) thinks I can help the team in terms of in games next year, then I’ll probably red-shirt.

“Also, I do have some school I need to finish up. If I end up red-shirting, I’ll probably go for my MBA, which is something I’ve been wanting to do,” the Finance major added.

KU has received a commitment from Naadir Tharpe, a 6-0 senior out of Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H. KU is also in the running for Ben McLemore, a 6-5 senior guard out of Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

“You never really know the future. That’s what I was talking to coach about ... nothing is guaranteed,” Teahan said. “I understand if I red-shirt, it’s not like I’m going to come into a situation expecting anything. You’ve still got to work hard.

“This is Kansas. Of course we are going to go get some guys this fall or this spring who can come in and play. That’s what’s expected.”

Even if KU signs a batch of new players, there might be a need for a veteran presence in 2011-12.

“Even if it comes down to something where let’s say I red-shirt and we get some great guards and I end up not playing (much) next year, I could still be a vocal leader on the team,” Teahan said. “That’s always something that’s needed and I could be somebody that can help the young guys out.”

Self has said it was good for Travis Releford and Mario Little to red-shirt last season because it has assured them graduation. Athletes sometimes need an extra year because of the great time demands in playing a sport.

“We talked about it last year. Coach kind of brought it up because he knew I might have to do some more schooling. He knows I’m trying to get my MBA, so he said, ‘If you are going to be in school, why not play basketball?’ It’s a good point,” Teahan said.

Teahan said that as of today, “it’s 50-50. I’m still weighing my options. I think in the end, coach Self will steer me in the right direction and so will my parents.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, but I am just focused on trying to make the team better right now.”

Of the situation, Self said: “There’s a chance Conner will red-shirt. We will not play him in the next exhibition game more than likely because if we do, then he forfeits that right. Just because we don’t play him the next game doesn’t mean he’s red-shirting because we’re going to wait. He wants to wait, but he’s totally open to that (red-shirting) if we decide go in that direction.”

Teahan has had a good preseason camp.

“I feel I’ve been playing well. The thing is you practice every day so you have your good days and bad days,” he said. “You try to get better every day to make the team better every day.”

Of Teahan’s career, Self said: “He’s been the odd guy out and not had a chance to play. Like (former KU national title team reserve) Jeremy Case, he’s not really had a chance, but not because he hasn’t gotten better. He’s a good player.”

Hoops only: The fact KU was down to its third-string quarterback last week did not make Teahan second-guess his decision to leave the football team after spring drills.

“No regrets,” Teahan said. “I’m happy I went out there and tried it out. I’m also happy I’m back here. Best of luck to the football team, though. I became friends with a lot of football players. They are very nice guys, very nice to me and very welcoming. I want to see them succeed. I hope they can turn it around,” he added of the 2-6 Jayhawks, who play host to Colorado on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

On scholarship: Former walk-on Teahan is grateful to be on scholarship this year. One became available when Xavier Henry turned pro, leaving 12 of 13 available slots full.

“I got informed the last weekend of August. Coach told me he was going to put me on scholarship. He told me I earned it and decided it was time for me to be on scholarship so he gave me one. It’s great,” Teahan said. “I never thought it was a huge deal I didn’t have one in the first place. However it is nice getting a scholarship. The title is more being a ‘Kansas basketball player’ than being a ‘scholarship athlete.’’’

Reed up for award: KU senior Tyrel Reed is of 30 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, presented to the Div. I player who has “notable achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition.” Ten finalists will be placed on the official ballot midway through the season. Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen and Texas’ Gary Johnson are also on the ballot.

McLemore update: Ben McLemore, a 6-5 senior from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., who visited Missouri last weekend, will sign with either KU or MU during the Nov. 10-17 signing period.

“Quinn Cook and Ben McLemore (are) close to making their college decisions. Could happen in the next few days,” Oak Hill coach Steve Smith tweeted on Wednesday night.


AsadZ 11 years, 1 month ago

Best of luck to Conner Teahan. This is a very positive attitude by putting the team first.

FairgroveJayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

I'd say making the decision to red shirt as a senior would be much more difficult than as a freshman or sophomore. Hell Conner, stay in the land of milk and honey one more year.

Robert Brock 11 years, 1 month ago

Good idea.

1) He would complete his fifth year and graduate at the end of the 2012 season.

2) He may be the only guy who will be able to knock down 3s after Reed departs.

REHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self seems prone to depend on his most experienced players when it comes down to gametime lineups. No big surprise Tuesday night to see Brady and Tyrel start, and Kieff get major minutes even after recent hernia surgery. Considering the backlog of perimeter players this season (depending on Selby's or Woolridge's availability), Conner might be more important to the team next season. That leadership factor, even for practice time, is a bigtime contribution. Since Conner is pointing toward earning an academic MBA, the fifth year package would appear to be a nice fit. Fans might grow excited once again to watch him surge into another 3 pt. shooting streak.

Jim Roth 11 years, 1 month ago

I certainly appreciate all the time and effort he has put in for the team. However, last year something like 26% of his shot attempts were blocked (I quit counting the last few games). A clear statistical outlier.

If likely playing time is an issue, he should also consider how much easier it would be to earn an MBA without the huge time commitment of basketball. I do wish him all be best, regardless of his decision.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 1 month ago

What's the rush? The only thing waiting for you is the working world. Stay in college as long as you can.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 1 month ago

Quinn Cook will be going to Duke. I think he would be better served going to UCLA, but Duke got a great back up guard if Irving stays.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 1 month ago

As I posted earlier, Conner's value to the team is somewhat hidden, but very important. In practice, he plays the opponent's three point specialist, thus giving Bill a real option to have his defense focus on. As an aside, supposedly he is lights out on the practice court.

By staying two years he maximizes his value to the team because, even with the red shirt, he can still practice. As far as game time contributions, if we have to rely on Conner in 2011-2012 as our three point guy, it means Ben McLemore declared for Missouri.....ain't gonna happen!!

I hope Conner stays. he's a great guy and every team needs a Zach Efron look-alike!!

Andrew Moore 11 years, 1 month ago

From what I've read, Ben McLemore is not much of a sharp shooter

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago

Man, oh, man, when KU was loaded with talent, the reason we did not land the talent was not enough PT available.

Now, next season, KU has 7 certain, probable, and possible departures in Brady, Tyrel, Little, Marcus, Tyshawn, Kieff, and Selby, and returning players that do not look like NBA types, and KU is having trouble landing both perimeter and paint players.

Something is up.

But what?

REHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Oakville, speaking of practicetime situations, I have focused often on the Josh Selby thing. What a boon to the Jayhawks to have him on the practice court. Our returning perimeter guys and Royce are able to work daily with one of the best young guards in NCAA basketball. If his eligibility ruling is prolonged, he and Royce will be relegated to second team practice guards competing daily against Tyshawn, Elijah, Tyrel. Practice scrimmages will represent topnotch competitive matchups. Not a bad thing for Josh, either, as he matures thru this developmental season. Gotta hope that he is available for games sooner than later. But in the meantime, our eventual starting unit and freshmen guards benefit from such courttime competition.

REHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, this 2011 recruiting situaton looks a bit scary from an outsider's view. We might see a jr. cllg. player or two zoom into the fold next summer.

loyal2thephog 11 years, 1 month ago

During the Big XII media day... I was listening to an interview with Self on the radio.... he paints the picture that an NBA lockout next year is more than just realistic, it's likely.

Two things from that: a) top notch HS recruits know this and will be influenced by immediate and significant PT opportunities

b) I don't know about #1, but I think it would be a huge surprise to fall out of the top 5, much less top 10 all season.

A team that can get to the line, make their free throws, and is comprised of seasoned vets who are hungry for a championship are downright DANGEROUS!

KuKain 11 years, 1 month ago

We can always pray for the NBA lockout. Seriously though, I have a gut feeling that Marcus will stick around for his senior year. I think the bond between him and Keif will be enough to keep him around. Unless of course Keif has an outstanding year and really shows that he is ready for the NBA. I think he might need another year to get there though to really guarantee a spot for him.

As for Tyshawn, I really don't see him leaving after this year as well. I predict and improved season, but will still need one more to get his ball handling and decision making improved. My only concern is our lack of big men. Where's a 7 foot Russian/farmer when you need em?

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps the Russians have a secret clone farm? :-)

jayhawkjoe98 11 years, 1 month ago

If Markieff is a first-round draft pick after this season, then KU will have had a helluva season.

REHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self might have an inside line on the possible 2011 NBA lockout. That could affect the Jayhawk lineup and his recruiting urgency in a major way. Then, too, if Marcus should not project as a Lottery Pick, and if Kieff looks to be a borderline first/secound round selection, perhaps the twins will choose to return in order to increase their pro value. Another season with those two, TRob and Withey available and healthy, and BINGO!

DallasHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm with you on the inside line. I think most coaches have a pretty good idea of the reality of the lockout. Not sure if it's going to happen, but I have faith that Self is planning accordingly. Always has...

Ron Franklin 11 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self does have an inside line. His name is R.C. Buford and he works in the front office for the San Antonio Spurs. The father of former walk-on Chase Buford.

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago


No doubt Conner could provide what you say.

But if the guy is still lights out in practice, and since he was lights out his freshman season in mop up minute shooting in games (50% from trey), there remains reason to hope for Teahan getting his stroke back for games. There is room on any team for a 50% trey shooter. Mentally, great natural shooters are as weird as pitching savants in baseball. They can have it. They can lose it. They can get it back. Injury is the only thing that ends it. Conner has not been injured that I know of.

All Self has to do is get this kid to red shirt and come back one more year, when Self will have, if he were lucky, McClemore only for the Trinitarian Order, and he pulls Conner aside, looks him in the eye, and says, "See Nadiir over there. He can thread the ball between the antennae on a gnat, Conner. He can get the ball to anyone anytime that person is open. And he hates to shoot. Dishes to live, got me? All you have to do is stand 30 feet from the basket, and wait. We'll three pass it. We'll give the jumping jacks a chance to find a crease; then out it comes to you. For you, games are just going to be practice 32 times year with refs; that's all. You just launch when you're open. I am done screwing with you and tweeking you. Your footwork and defense are as good as they are gonna get, which, I'll be honest with you, are still so-so. But the only other money we've got from three this season than you is McLemore. And you, my man, are a far better shooter than Ben. You are the best natural shooter I ever saw in tennis shoes, Conner...ever. You rode the wood for four years. You were the scout team's designated gunner and the guy who watched everyone else pass you by for PT. When I said, "Eat dung for the team, you said how much, Coach? Well, I never forget that sort of thing and I knew what I was doing all along, son. This is your season. This is the year the world finally gets to see the greatest natural shooter I've ever seen. Go get'em, kid!!!"

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago

Ben and Royce on the wings to start, or maybe TRel, or EJ, if either finds a trey gun. Conner fills for Royce to put dead eyes on both wings. Conner fills for Ben when Ben can't hit. Nadiir on point. Maybe even Marcus and Kieff in the middle, because Marcus wants to stick around and look after Kieff. If the Twins both jump (highly probably IMHO), then Withey and Robinson in the paint. Withey and Robinson would make the classic footer center with enforcer power forward combo. Zack Peters for backup (or is he two years out), plus whatever else the cat drags in on the blocks and outside? Withey and Robinson are not a run the floor pair. The team will play a half court game. Cram it in. Kick it out to McClemore and Teahan. Sure trey on either wing. Royce starts and does the slashing thing. Conner subs and Mclemore and Teahan KO the opponent from trey. Chase this down with Royce, TRel and EJ subbing for McLemore and Teahan, who kick the tempo up two gears for 5 minutes. Close out the half with McLemore and Royce back on the wings and Nadiir driving. A good team. And an absolute killer with a McLemore and Teahan shooting a combined 47% from trey with Withey and TRob on the blocks to cram the few misses back down the peach basket.

Hope springs eternal in me for great natural shooters.

Teahan could contribute to this team...unless Travis Releford finds a gun.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 1 month ago

If there is an NBA Lockout after the draft and they don't settle for an entire season:

Would they have another draft in 2012 based on where all teams was at the end of the 2011 season? Would they throw everyone back into a group and draft on two classes of graduates and one and dones? Would the entire class of 2011 end up overseas for a year? Would the NCAA grant a one-year special exception eligibilty ruling for all seniors? Would cable and TV fill in the dead time with more college games? Would we just get more friggin' poker?

The mind boggles at the infinite permutations....hey, it's the National Basketball Association. Any insanity is possible!!!!

KGphoto 11 years, 1 month ago

There will be a draft regardless of the lockout (which IS going to happen) The teams will own the rights but will not pay the players until the lockout is resolved. The players have the right to play overseas but I think they would lose their draft status. When they return to the NBA they would do so as free-agents, not with guaranteed contracts. So the top 10-15 players, the lottery guys, would be well advised to get drafted and wait for a resolution, then cash in on big rookie guaranteed contracts. Or, of course, if they are underclassmen they would be wise to return to college and work on their draft position for 2012. Unless you're Harrison Barnes. If I was Barnes I'd go ahead and get drafted #1 overall, sign a shoe deal, and spend a year playing video games of myself.

I'm not 100% sure of all this, but I am sure the draft will happen no matter what. And I'm almost 100% the lockout will happen. It's just one of those things that cycles in pro sports.

COJHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

anyone else see this:

sorry that it's just an 'insider' article. has AFH as loudest arena in the country. pretty cool.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 1 month ago

I know people are concerned about recruiting, but it is amazing how consistent and similar Self's recruiting has been since 2004. The trend is almost scary how consistent he's been.

2004-#2 2005-#4 2006-#12 2007-NR 2008-#2 2009-#6 I'm not sure how you get 3 Top 30 guys and only get a Top 6 ranking, but that's another debate for another day 2010-#23

I mean, it's almost like clockwork for Self. Who really knows what Self is going to do, right? Who knows what these players are going to do, right? We know who's leaving, but what happens if Marcus, Taylor, and Selby all leave? Well, KU could be in trouble! What happens if they all stay? Wow!

Rehawk above may be onto something. Who knows really, right? IMO it could go either way. If everybody stays there are no concerns. If the Big 3 leave than the naysayers and "I told you so" flies will be out in full force.

With all of that said, what guard in the country wants to play behind Taylor, Selby, EJ, and Rolls Royce if they all do indeed return for another year? If I'm a recruit, unless I'm a Kansas born and Kansas Bred shooter like Tyrel Reed, I'm steering away from Kansas.

2011 completely reminds me of the 2007 season. There was so much talk whether those guys would return or not and the same can be said about this season. If KU gets McLemore (I sure hope they do) then KU has their "Rush Spot" of the future and then 2011 looks eerily similar to 2007.

If everybody stays and Tharpe, McLemore, and Chol than KU will be fine for the future because 2012 and 2013 will shape up very nice and be compared to the classes before them just like in 2004 and 2005 and again in 2008 and 2009.

When you have a Coach of Self's caliber and a program consistently on National TV, he will not let the program slip by the way side because of one recruiting class. I mean, do you think Roy Williams is going to go to the NIT again this year? As much as i would love to see it, I just don't see it happening.

Selbyville 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm thinking it was you that had the ESPN insider, kushaw?

Anyway, I saw on their site some profile about the loudest venues in college, and their teaser headline was alluding to Kansas having the loudest stadium. Wanted to check it out..

Chris Shaw 11 years, 1 month ago

selbyville: I can't copy and paste the articles. It's a violation of the terms and guidelines of ESPN. I can copy and past the link just not the entire article. I didn't think it was a big deal, but I don't want to risk getting fined. Sorry!

Steve Gantz 11 years, 1 month ago

I always like Roys' recruiting. He chose few people that left early. He found very good players who needed college to develop into pro talent. Obviously every one of those years ultimately ended in disappointment. I don't recall this yearly angst over will he stay, will he leave? To my knowledge Pierce and Gooden were the only early leavers and they left after their junior year. That's why those teams were so good.

Bill Klein 11 years, 1 month ago

Conner, appreciate the "do it for the team", but a 3.8 avg for part of the games last year? Go ahead and graduate and head off to the big bad real world. Best of luck! This isn't what red-shirting was designed for.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 1 month ago

Along with the big bad real world comes the big bad real job market......maybe another year of school wouldn't be so bad and that would allow the economy a chance to improve.

Just a thought.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 1 month ago

someone want to tell me what is going on with recruiting. not going to hit the panic button, but i am getting a little nervous.

will ljw credit ahpersecoachingexperience with the scoop?

Chris Shaw 11 years, 1 month ago

LOL! You're about 10 hours too late! Scroll up! Just having fun with ya.

Jack Wilson 11 years, 1 month ago

Really, Teahan is a complete non-factor. He won't play this year, he won't play next year. Just a matter of whether another scholarship is taken up for next season. Nice kid, got a ring, part of KU tradition .. but if he wanted to play, he should have gone to Wichita St.

jaybate 11 years, 1 month ago


I agreed with you that Conner was a complete non-factor, after failing to deliver on multiple opportunities given him by Self last year and the year before, but then these following three facts surfaced.

Self gave Conner a ride this season.

Self said: "Conner is a good player."

Self says he wants Conner to come back next season.

Tell me how you get from these three facts to: "Teahan is a complete non-factor"?

Does Bill Self waste scholies? Is Bill Self wrong about Conner being a good player? Is Self lying about wanting Conner to come back next season?

Again, I agreed with you before these three facts surfaced.

But I haven't been able to make these three facts square with Conner being a complete non-factor.

How do you do it?

Darnell Jackson was a bench jockey before his last season; then he blossomed.

I would like to forget about Conner. It would make being a fan that much less complicated. But I can't. Do tell how you do?

Greg Lux 11 years, 1 month ago

Conner is not going on after his time at KU. So Red-Shirting means possible extra playing time next year as apposed to riding the bench again this year. I would red-shirt and hope for P.T. next year. I think its probably a hopeless gamble since HCBS recruits so many top players each year but he could a least double his PT and that could be all he wants to end his basketball career. Whatever his decision is I hope for the best for him ... he is a quality young man and I wish the best for him.

Rock Chalk

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 1 month ago

I hope Conner makes his decision on what is best for him. I needed to stay a fifth year to make up for time spent at the Hawk my 1st and part of 2nd year. Threats of academic probation and being cut off financially were great motivators. Maybe moving the drinking age to 21 was a good thing..but I'm glad it was still 18 while I was there!

Jack Wilson 11 years, 1 month ago

Jaybate: First, from what I have seen, Teahan is simply horrible on defense. A death sentence under Self. Second, the talent pool in front of him is too rich. Who is he better than? Third, his only real attribute would be hitting the three .. which he did not do last season.

Regardling Darnell, tough to see any similarities there except that they both played three years of college basketball prior to their senior season.

I would not say that Self would lie .. but Self would be respectful. Anything else would be to throw a great kid under the bus. I would say that the redshirt discussion is a respectful one. Self likely sees his 2011 class as not needing that extra scholarship, so it is no risk.

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