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Friday, October 22, 2010

Kansas, KSU share spotlight with Texas Tech at Big 12 Men’s Basketball Media Day

Kansas head coach Bill Self laughs as he sits down for a chat with Texas Tech head coach Pat Knight and Kansas State coach Frank Martin following talks with reporters during Big 12 media day Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas head coach Bill Self laughs as he sits down for a chat with Texas Tech head coach Pat Knight and Kansas State coach Frank Martin following talks with reporters during Big 12 media day Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

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Media Day Snippets from Bill Self

Bill Self talks about the importance of rivalries and jokes about Brady Morningstar's age.

Bill Self: Big 12 Media Day

Kansas head coach Bill Self talks about the upcoming season and leadership roles.

— Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who had just completed a marathon, hour-long session with reporters, plopped down in a chair directly to the right of Texas Tech coach Pat Knight on Thursday afternoon at Sprint Center.

Moments later, Kansas State’s Frank Martin joined in the fun, occupying the seat to Knight’s left.

“This will be the most attention Tech’s ever got,” Knight said to the onlookers eavesdropping on the trio’s meeting of the minds at Big 12 Men’s Basketball Media Day.

Martin, whose Wildcats were tapped No. 1 in the coaches’ preseason poll, and Self, whose Jayhawks placed second, were mobbed at their respective tables for the full 60 minutes. Knight, whose Red Raiders were predicted to finish seventh, not so much.

Self’s most interesting comments came in response to questions about individual KU players, starting with first-team preseason All-Big 12 pick Marcus Morris.

“Marcus may be as good a guard as we’ve got,” Self said of the 6-9, 235-pounder, who will play in both the frontcourt and backcourt this season. “We can go big if we want and play Marcus on the perimeter.”

Surprising reporters by use of the word “guard,” he did say Marcus was ticketed for inside duty in the immediate future because of injuries to Jeff Withey (foot) and Markieff Morris (hernia).

“We don’t have enough inside guys to practice,” Self said. “We have practiced Travis (Releford) at the 4 and Mario Little at the 4. It’s something we can do when we try to play small. Offensively, those guys are really good on the post. You can put Marcus at the 3, then post a guard. I think we’ll get to the point we’re actually decent doing that.”

Morris grinned when asked if he could even play point guard in a pinch.

“Yes, I’ve played that before, in prep school,” he said. “I feel I’m one of the most versatile players in the country. I can play every position if need be.”

Self also was asked about ...

• Senior guard/forward Little: “I think he can score,” Self said. “I think he’ll be part of our rotation. I don’t know if he’ll start, be sixth man, seventh man. I like him because he is older. He has a pace about him. He doesn’t get rattled. He’s become a more poised player. He’s hungry. He feels he has something to prove and show to everybody. What I see a lot is posting him and playing Marcus on the perimeter so you get Marcus’ big man away from the basket and allow him (Little) to post a guard.”

• Sophomore guard/forward Releford: “We thought he’d be a major-college defender when we signed him. I don’t think his freshman year he had a chance to show that (before red-shirting last year). He can slide. He’s long. He’s strong. He’s smart. There’s no reason why he can’t be a really good defender.”

• Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson: “He is a beast. Unfortunately, he fouls the heck out of everybody. His game is still in fast forward. He has to slow down. He works hard. Thomas should be one of the most improved players in our league.”

• Senior guard Brady Morningstar: “What is Brady, 25? The Class of ’83?” Self joked of the 24-year-old. “He goes to prep school, then red-shirts here. He’s really been good. He’s had a good offseason. I think he’ll have a big senior year.”

• Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor: “He’s worked very hard to make this a special year for himself.”

• Freshman guard Josh Selby, who has yet to be cleared by the NCAA: “I don’t know if we will know in the next two or three weeks,” Self said of the NCAA’s final decision on Selby’s academic eligibility and amateur status. “There are natural progressions that need to take place that potentially give us a better idea. We are in a situation we are at ground zero. We do have reason to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I think there’s a chance that could happen,” he added of Selby not being cleared by the season opener. “I also think there’s a chance he could. I just hope that whatever penalties are leveled, if any, it’ll be things that give him a chance to still enjoy his freshman year.”

Self is optimistic.

“I just believe in my heart these things have a way of working themselves out. I believe the kid deserves the right to play.”

• Freshman guard Royce Woolridge: “Royce is very good with the ball, and he is a typical freshman in that I have him totally screwed up. He doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. Most freshmen are like that. He’ll get it because he’s a bright kid. He’s a guy who can help us. For him to beat out Brady or Tyrel (Reed) or Elijah (Johnson) he’s going to have to play very well but he’s capable of doing that.”

Turgeon true blue: Coaches couldn’t vote for their own teams, so somebody besides Frank Martin gave KU its second first-place vote in the coaches poll. Was it Texas A&M’s Mark Turgeon?

“I think so. To tell you the truth, I don’t know for sure,” Turgeon said. “I thought it was me, but I was talking to Doc (Sadler, Nebraska), and he said he thinks he voted them No. 1. I honestly can’t remember.”

Fashion statement: Marcus Morris wore his 2010 Big 12 title ring. “It’s our sixth straight (title). I’m proud of it. It’s a Big 12 (event). I have to show everybody,” he said with a smile, referring to players from other teams.

KU 7th: KU is seventh in the first USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll. Duke is No. 1, followed by Michigan State, Kansas State, Pitt, Ohio State and Villanova.

Turgeon lauds Self: Turgeon said if of Self’s role in keeping the Big 12 together: “Bill was tireless. Kansas basketball is pretty powerful. I know there were a lot of people, whether it was commissioners or television people, who were going through Bill, I think, to try to save the league. Bill was calling me four or five times on a Sunday morning, and I’m like, ‘Bill, I’m walking into church. I’m going to leave my phone here, and I’ll call you when I get out.’ And there will be two messages, ‘Hey this is going on.’

“I’m not saying Bill saved the league. I think Frank Martin worked hard on it. We all worked hard on it. We all wanted to save it because we have something special in basketball here, and we wanted to save it. I think Bill had something to do with it.”

Comments

fansincewilt 3 years, 11 months ago

Mark Turgeon walking into church - that is a good guy. I'm also glad Self was busy saving the league but I think going to church was the better choice. I'm sure he did just at another time. Bill Self can do no wrong in my mind. haha

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JamesA 3 years, 11 months ago

...separation of church and basketball, please.

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r1ck_jayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

James A...a certain father of basketball, who shares your name, would argue that they are forever related. I, personally, am not an uber religious person, but I definitely worship the church of basketball. Allen fieldhouse is my temple!

Get the bells ringing, its almost time for Church!!!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU!

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hawk316 3 years, 11 months ago

r1ck, with all due respect, if you're worshiping a round, leather ball, you might want to rethink that choice. :-) I love the jayhawks and am so excited about basketball season, but when it comes to worship, I want my God to be both transcendent and personal.

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murph 3 years, 11 months ago

Put a sock in it, Hawk. This is a SPORTS board, not a showcase for religious zealots.

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KULA 3 years, 11 months ago

Amen murph! Can that stuff, hawk316. No one's gonna have a spiritual epiphany from something they read on a sports chat board.

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Chris Bruning 3 years, 11 months ago

you know......the longer you look at selfs smile (above), the crazier it gets

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FarSideHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

LOL! I didn't notice that first. But you're right. In fact, it gets scarier.

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kufaninmo 3 years, 11 months ago

And the more u look at knight and Martin the more it looks like they want to kiss

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jeremiah29 3 years, 11 months ago

yep...combine that with all the double talk and stop and start sentences and you get......a bunch of gobbleydeguk (sp?) that i can't make heads or tails of. Who is and is not a guard? Who does and does not have the potential to maybe be a pretty good defender...possibly? Who's the 6th man no 7th man no, scratch that...a starter? Who has the light...at the end of the tunnel? Is it me or does it appear like we are, once again, being given the pre-season nods because we are Kansas? Seriously....no, just kidding, I mean really...we have the potential to be a pretty good team if a few of our guys can, maybe, well you know, JUST PLAY!!

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FairgroveJayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

“Yes, I’ve played that before, in prep school,” he said. “I feel I’m one of the most versatile players in the country. I can play every position if need be.”

... "Yes, I can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee"....

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Matt1958 3 years, 11 months ago

Wow! I hadn't really thought about Baylor and OSU being programs that out dueled us for prospects. Am I silly for being a little concerned?

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JacquesMerde 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes. Remember these are 17 and 18 year old kids usually from the poorer side of town. They are very impressionable, and their family and neighborhood have tremendous influences on them. They are usually not well versed in basketball history other than a year or two in the past. Besides, OSU has a pretty good BB history and is better known in Dallas for its sports than KU. Likewise he will play immediately at OSU. KU has many high quality players on its roster right now and few seniors, and with the except of Little they are all natural guards, which Little might be considering his height. Further the recruits brother was a star at OSU and the recruit said: “I chose Oklahoma State because it’s best for me and my family.”

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okjhok 3 years, 11 months ago

all true, but have you been to Stillwater? I would think anyone with a heartbeat would prefer Lawrence in that regard.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 11 months ago

It could be have boiled down to something as simple as geography. Take a look at a map and you'll see that Stillwater is a heck of a lot closer to Dallas than Lawrence.

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tahawk81 3 years, 11 months ago

It came down to playing time IMO. You nailed it when saying he will play right away. Look at EJ. He is an unreal talent that still might see very limited time in his sophomore season.

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Matt1958 3 years, 11 months ago

You all make reasonable statements. I guess I just don't understand anyone having an offer from Kansas and going anywhere else.

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Brian Conrad 3 years, 11 months ago

Baylor will go on probation, everyone knows some large violations took place .. and OSU was getting Nash, because of Eaton.. has been strong posts this was going to happen. If you get all the best recruits , you are cheating! ( Cal a greasy ) Self does the best job in the country. find something else to worry about.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 11 months ago

Marcus in the front court playing guard? Wow! How would you like to be the opposing guard at, let's say, 5-10, guarding someone that is 6-9----and, 235 pounds to boot?! That's awesome!

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phogthedog 3 years, 11 months ago

Don't we have enough church issues with football? Let's leave church discussions out of basketball, please.

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craigers 3 years, 11 months ago

Too many people are making church an issue in football.

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jayhawk1866 3 years, 11 months ago

God should be left out of no part of life.

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hawk316 3 years, 11 months ago

phog, didn't you know that Jesus LOVES the jayhawks, including the entire basketball team?

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Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 11 months ago

Frank Martin has some huge hands!

I think of him as the Big 12's Bruce Pearl (prior to Pearl's latest infraction discovery and admissions).

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TtownHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

You never know with Martin, he has some shady things in his coaching past while in Florida. Don't be suprised if he gets looked at for some wrongdoings at ksu.

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waywardJay 3 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps Al bohl had it wrong. Perhaps it was Frank Martin who crushed him like a dove.

Second thought, Frank Martin's hands are bigger than Pat Knight's head... Pat knight has a tiny Head.

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Matt1958 3 years, 11 months ago

Just don't bite it's head off like Ozzy.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 11 months ago

It's all about camera angles.....just ask Nick. Unfortunately, I guess Brett Favre didn't pick a very good one...shrinkage!! :)

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KUbsee69 3 years, 11 months ago

I think he's just repeating Coach Self. Also, would you rather he say that he's one dimensional and limited in talent?

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kushaw 3 years, 11 months ago

You know, if there is anybody out there who is questioning Kansas' and Self's recruiting tactics then read the last section of this article about Turgeon commenting on Self.

For a guy who worked tirelessly (In the eyes of Turgeon) in order to save the league, don't you think Self puts that same effort and energy into recruiting? Regardless, whether or not KU stayed in the Big 12 or not, Self was still going to have his job at the end of the day.

However, you let your recruiting slip in consectuive years and you'll end up like Kentucky and firing everyone involved, even if it is after a couple of years. I don't think anybody understands more how important recruiting is than Bill Self. Everyone wants to talk about Roy Williams off one year and on the next year recruting tactics, but Bill Self's tactics are different.

History has shown that he brings in Top 5 classes in consecutive years (2004 and 2005------2008 and 2009) and then "Plugs" and "Fills" where he needs positions and players. Based on history, 2012 and 2013 classes look to be very promising for KU. Even in his so called down years in recruiting he still brings in Top 5 talent? I am baffled by the negative recruiting talk because comments like Turgeon's above only reinforce my confidence that there is no greater coach at the moment for Kansas than Bill Self.

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REHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Marcus is quite accurate at calling things as he sees them. Self has said the same thing about his versatility. I don't think he is bragging so much as he is just stating a fact. Invariably, his quotes catch the attention of a reporter's ear.

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REHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

These Top 20/Top 30 recruits who see themselves as one and done crave guaranteed playing time. I don't envision Bill Self guaranteeing much of anything to most recruits. Selby and Xavier might be exceptions to that.
With the current waiting game regarding a possible NBA lockout next season, kids are going to see Marcus, Tyshawn, Josh possibly still wearing Jayhawk uniforms...blocking opportunity for major playing time and showcased stardom. Markieff, Withey, Thomas, Elijah, Travis, Royce will probably still be in the program. Even considering the cherished opportunity to play in the heralded Phog, it is not going to be easy for Bill Self to beckon 5-star recruits for 2011.

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kkoenig 3 years, 11 months ago

"I just hope that whatever penalties are leveled, if any, it’ll be things that give him a chance to still enjoy his freshman year."

is this just expecting the worst ... or knowing it's coming?

I'd say Self is preparing the masses for a suspension for Selby of at least a few games.

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TtownHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Wasn't Wall suspended for the first 4-5 games? Wouldn't suprise me if something similar happens here.

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KUbsee69 3 years, 11 months ago

I think it was two games and he had to pay back some money previously received.

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waywardJay 3 years, 11 months ago

It was only two, but let's be honest. It was a slap on hte hand. It was one exhibition and one regular season.

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Chicago_JHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

A agree that Self is greasing the skids a little for some bad news. This is the first I've heard Self mention anything about possible penalties regarding Selby. Not a shock, as it seems to be nearly identical to the John Wall situation last years, and I believe he had to sit out a game or two?

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Ron Franklin 3 years, 11 months ago

I've listened to Self about 4 different times now regarding Selby....He definitely knows more than he's letting on...

I think Self knows Josh will be cleared. I also think Self knows that there will most likely be a penalty....the penalty being suspension of a few games for Josh's relationship with Carmelo's agent. The sticky part is that Josh has a 'pre-existing relationship' with the agent....and NCAA by-laws give leniency for this.

I also agree that the NCAA already knows what the penalty is, but they are not making a decision so Josh, KU and the rest of us haveto sit in limbo...as I believe they are trying to send strong message to young athletes. NCAA wants this to seem as thorough and extensive as possible to let kids know fooling with amateurism is not a joke to them.

My 1 1/2 cents.

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tis4tim 3 years, 11 months ago

BlownJay,

You said: "NCAA wants this to seem as thorough and extensive as possible to let kids know fooling with amateurism is not a joke to them."

You're actually crediting the NCAA with having a motive for their actions? That implies foresight and planning on their part. Radical thinking, my friend. :)

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Ron Franklin 3 years, 11 months ago

You know what, You're absolutely correct!

What was I thinking....scratch that!

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Matt1958 3 years, 11 months ago

The NCAA has had plenty of time. Either the kid is eligible, or he isn't. This is beginning to really be frustrating. What was that T Shirt the Boz wore? National Communists Against Athletes

OK. OK. Over the top.

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r1ck_jayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

I think that we all know that HCBS is a master at tempering expectations. I have a hard time believing that he would consciously recruit a player that he knows has skeletons in his closet. That being said, of course I am biased in this situation. I certainly hope that we are all going to look back at this and laugh about all of this worrying. No matter what, with Selby or not, I think the 10 coaches that voted for KSUck are crazy (of course, with the exception of Self since he couldn't vote for us).

RCJKU!

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 11 months ago

In the past 4 or 5 seasons, this is the first time I have ever seen Frank Martin smile!!

"SCARY"

PS Actually, would make a great Halloween Mask!!

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KUbsee69 3 years, 11 months ago

For what it's worth ... one of the KC sports talk radio guys said he believes that Selby has not done "anything wrong" and that the NCAA is just using this delaying tactic on him to scare future recruits.

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sabd 3 years, 11 months ago

I like the title "Gary Bedores basketball notes" better. I know I'm going to get info on KU. I almost didn't open this article because I thought it was going to be about texas tech.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 11 months ago

An open letter.

Something to think about, Ben McLemore.

This is your visit weekend to Missouri: Homecoming Ranked Missouri vs #1 Oklahoma ESPN Gameday, 20.000 expected on "Quad" on campus Open Practice expecting 10,000 to attend before 7:00 pm football game

Ben....it's all smoke and mirrors. Stay the course and come to Kansas, your true destination!!

PS God, I wish we didn't suck at football!!

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 11 months ago

Ben, please ignore that PS...I was only kidding.

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dynamitehawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Pat Knight is a funny dude. With a Dad like Bobby, one would need a sense of levity. If coaching doesn't work out for him, he will make one heck of a color analyst.

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kcglowboy 3 years, 11 months ago

Dyed-in-the-wool, lifetime KU fan here ... who hopes a larger percentage of fans this year grow up, quit trashing K-State and instead enjoy the fact that two of the Top 5 programs in the country are in our home state -- the 36th most populous state in the land. Let's have some pride in that, and let's appreciate that this rivalry, at long last, really means something again. Oh, how about giving some props to Frank Martin, while we're at it? In my mind, we can do all that without detracting one iota from the love and devotion we give to our Hawks. (Missouri, on the other hand, despite its classy coach, still deserves every ounce of disdain we can muster up.)

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UncleMiltyN 3 years, 11 months ago

This all really depends on where/when you became a KU fan. In the Lawrence/KC area, Fizzou will always be the enemy. KState is different to fans from that area usually. You might even say a bitter but respected rival.

You have to remember that most KState fans hate KU as much as our Lawrence/KC area hate Fizzou. Therefore many KU fans that live outside that area have a different feeling toward Silo Tech.

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jayhawk1866 3 years, 11 months ago

I am so glad Turg was on his way into Church. That probably saved our league.

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REHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Those Norm Stewart coaching years were worth millions in maintaining the Kansas/Missouri rivalry. The guy, avowedly, would not house his players on the Kansas side of the line, and swore that no MO team bus would ever purchase a nickel of Kansas petrol! After his retirement they hired that mophead who immediately lured talented recruits who struggled godawful under his mentorship. Then they chanced upon a jewel in hiring Mike Anderson. Once again the rivalry will be dependably exciting. Even without topflight recruits Anderson's teams have run the competition ragged; and now he has begun to fill his roster with noteworthy talent. Five years ago, who would have imagined that our two schools would be bidding closely for a super recruit. Ben is gonna face a tough decision. We've gotta hope that his longtime admiration for the Jayhawk program wins out. There would seem to be much less margin of error for him to become a Jayhawk. He appears to be a thoughtful steady player and recruit. Bill Self's style of play would go far to prepare him for professional basketball.

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cragarhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Surely church and basketball deserve to be atleast considered to have some common ground, afterall, if Jesus had played basketball, he would have most certainly been a Jayhawk!!!!!

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FairgroveJayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

What was really said in the picture above:

Self: "Hey Pat, you guys are going to be lucky to hit .500" Franky: "Sit on my lap and I'll tell you a few funny jokes"

Self: "Lubbock is a long ways from success" Franky: "Pat, sitting next to you make me giddy"

Self: "Bet you a Long Horn we'll turn your Red Raiders brown" Franky: "Pat, damn you make me smile"

Self: "Honestly Pat, I'm pretty certain we'll beat you twice this year by twenty" Franky: "Pat, you'd look muy caliente in my purple house slippers"

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FairgroveJayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Thanks drgnslayr. Also thanks to you, some variation of Crystal Gayle's greatest hit will be in my head on repeat all day :)

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newyorkjayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

i had to post this somewhere and i have a feeling fellow jayhawk fans will agree...

doug gottlieb, in all his misfortunes has blundered once again... many ku fans have their issues with tyshawn taylor, but when mentioning the backcourt, doug didn't mention ty at all... he mentioned elijah johnson, tyrel reed and brady morningstar,.... but did not mention the other guard that started 2/3rds of our games last year. secondly, he suggested that selby was our ONLY future pro... completely forgetting that marcus morris was almost an early entry this past offseason and has every skillset necessary to garner serious consideration for first round drafting following his junior season... if he performs up to his assumed potential... doug should be wishing his espn.com video on the big 12 preview gets forgotten quick as not only will selby NOT be the only jayhawk to be going pro... but that selby isn't the only jayhawk to be drafted in the lottery... i just wish espn brought on some analysts that knew what they were talking about... dg is an assumed big 12 expert cuz after getting caught with gambling and thievery at notre dame, he played a few seasons as a scoreless point guard at okla st... turns out, he doesn't know anything! i'm not saying he needed to say kansas is the best team in the world, but at least get your facts straight!!!!

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Hurinfan 3 years, 11 months ago

Marcus' comments about his versatility were real modest

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didjabuti 3 years, 11 months ago

He did spend the summer with alot of the top college talent. I'd have to say he probably has a good idea of where he is at. I also believe he's going to be let loose a little more this year. Is it November yet?

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kerbyd 3 years, 11 months ago

I agree with kcglowboy about how cool it would be to have both Kansas schools in the top five. Even cooler would be to have all 3 Kansas division I teams in the top 25 at the end of the season.

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