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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jayhawks finish first day of dreaded basketball Boot Camp

Jayhawks survive strenuous workout

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The first day of Kansas University basketball Boot Camp proved as rugged as advertised.

“It was probably the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life. High school is nothing compared to the first day of Boot Camp,” said KU freshman walk-on Niko Roberts, a 5-foot-10 guard out of St. Anthony’s High in Long Island, N.Y.

He rolled out of bed at 5:35 a.m. Monday at Jayhawker Towers, woke up roommate Royce Woolridge, then made the short walk to Allen Fieldhouse for 6 a.m. roll call for coach Bill Self’s two-week conditioning program.

“We started with some jump-roping and did some sprints after that,” Roberts, son of former KU assistant coach Norm Roberts, said of the hourlong session.

“The hardest thing he (Self) made us do was probably a figure-eight slide all around the gym — you run, close out, run, close out, slide across halfcourt, run, close out, run, close out, slide and just keep going.”

Roberts — he had three classes on campus that stretched from morning to early afternoon — returned to the fieldhouse at 3 p.m. for an interview, followed by a weight-lifting session.

“The mood is positive,” Roberts said. “Everybody is ready to knock this out. Everybody is taking it seriously. Everybody is ready.”

Roberts might have winced had he listened to his elders discuss Monday’s proceedings.

“No day is easy. Every day is challenging,” senior Conner Teahan said, “(but) the first day ... it wasn’t as bad. It wasn’t extremely intense. It’s kind of one of those things you have to have everybody on the same page, the new guys coming in, so it’s a teaching day. I’m tired. (But) it’s only going to get harder.”

Fellow senior Mario Little echoed: “It was more of a teaching day for us, to explain to the newcomers what was going on. Tomorrow will be ‘get after it.’ Today was not an easy day at all, but coach gave us more of a break to teach. Everybody did well. Nobody struggled. If they did, they didn’t show it. Coach didn’t stop to say guys weren’t going hard. We ran sprints at the end and everybody made it.”

Freshman Josh Selby participated. He has been cleared by the NCAA to attend class and practice, but not yet cleared for participation in games as the organization looks at the point guard’s academic record and amateur status.

“He did all right for not really doing a lot this whole semester,” Little said. “He was tired. He did all right.”

Selby, who is not available for interviews as he waits to be deemed eligible, commented about Boot Camp on Twitter.

“Grind time. Bootcamp. Day One. Kick (butt) :)”

And ... “9 more days fellas. Let’s work. Road to the championship. Love my team.”

Finally ... “It’s way diff than high school. Man the work is so much harder.”

Meanwhile, Teahan — like most players he elected to sleep as long as he could and skipped breakfast Monday (Little had a banana and juice) — believes he’s mentally and physically prepared for his final Boot Camp.

“I feel I came in good shape. I got some conditioning in (last several weeks and in summer),” Teahan said. “I’m not too worried about how I’m going to do. I’m more encouraging the team, trying to make sure everybody does well. Everybody had a good attitude. Coach didn’t get on anybody too much for slacking off, so I think everybody did well.”

Teahan a scholarship player: A former walk-on, Teahan is on scholarship for his senior year of college.

The Jayhawks did not sign a full allotment of 13 players, so the former Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst standout was granted the final, unused grant-in-aid.

“I did receive one. I got informed the last weekend of August,” Teahan said. “Coach told me I earned it and decided it was time for me to be on scholarship, so he gave me one.

“It’s great. I love it,” Teahan added. “I never thought it was a huge deal I didn’t have one in the first place. However, it is nice getting a scholarship and the title. To me the title is more being a ‘Kansas basketball player’ than being a ‘scholarship athlete,’ though.”

Honors: KU’s Marcus Morris has been named first-team preseason All-America by Blue Ribbon Yearbook. He was joined by Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen, Duke’s Kyle Singler and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette. ... The magazine ranked KU No. 7 in the country, a spot in front of North Carolina. KSU was tapped No. 10, Baylor 16, Texas 18 and Missouri 20. Defending champion Duke was No. 1.

Comments

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

-Loved the Twitter post by Selby, "9 more days fellas. Let’s work. Road to the championship. Love my team.”

-It's great to see Teahan earn a schollie for his senior. He deserves it and certainly has paid his dues.

-Wow! Three Big 12 players selected as Pre-Season All American candidates. It doesn't surprise me, but it just shows the lack of true centers in the college game.

My preseason Top 25 would look like this

1) Duke 2) Michigan State 3) Purdue 4) Pittsburg 5) Kansas State 6) Ohio State 7) Nova 8) Kansas 9) Baylor 10) Florida 11) Temple 12) Washington 13) Kentucky 14) Syracuse 15) Mizzou 16) Butler 17) Tennessee 18) Gonzaga 19) Temple 20) Memphis 21) UNC 22) Illinois 23) Texas 24) Wisconsin 25) V. Tech

Other Nominations: San Diego St, UNLV, Texas A&M, BYU, Arizona St., Murray State, Richmond, Vanderbilt.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

Suppose to say this.......

"Wow! Three Big 12 players selected as Pre-Season All American candidates. It doesn't surprise me that the list is guard heavy, but it just shows the lack of true centers and power forwards in the college game (Marcus could transition into one, but both players are "3's" in the NBA."

Where are the Dajuan Blairs and Darnell Jackson's of the world? J. Sullinger from Ohio State is definitely a banger, but where are the rest?

waywardJay 9 years, 3 months ago

Notice Roy's amateur athlete's are not currently on your top 25, is that an oversight or do you think the addition of Harrison barnes is not enough to get them into the top 25 ?

It's definitely good to see true point guard attitude from Selby. Between he and Tyshawn, I expect it to look like a compeltely different backcourt this year. I want to see Ankles broken on the perimeter, I want to see little floaters in the lane and I want to see Marcus and Markieff dunking 2 foot passes this year.

Does Kentucky get a boost in your rankings if Enes can stay out of NCAA Lockdown ( I say If, knowing full well he will because refuse to punish Calipari... )?

Kirk Goodwin 9 years, 3 months ago

people are underestimating the loss of clemente

waywardJay 9 years, 3 months ago

Clemente was a hell of a player, but Macgruder was supposed to take minutes from him last year and that didn't work out so well. For all their sake, I hope he put in the time over the summer. K-state will need him.

waywardJay 9 years, 3 months ago

I'm stoked the Big 12 got three there also, and that's a legit 3. # guys who will do damage.

SLightly worried about pullen, though. We'll see if Macgruder steps into Clemente's starting spot like the 4 star player he was supposed to be. Quietly watching Wally jduge and Samuels, too. If State got them in the weight room, expect another two battles for conference supremacy, this year.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

You aren't kidding. Kansas State is going to be extremely tough this season. I'd say that might even have the edge on Kansas. They have some tough, hard-nosed players in Pullen and Samuels.

On a side note, I think Reed is going to have an outstanding season in his final year as a Jayhawk. Looking forward to his scrappy defense and spot-on shooting.

waywardJay 9 years, 3 months ago

Pullen's an off guard ( I like him but seriously, he needs a new gimmick the chops are ancient. ) without Magruder's Point being successful they might as well be Iowa State. their forwards should be good, they looked good for stretches and will not waste 5 fouls on Colon anymore. more athleeticism, better shooting.

It just comes back down to if they have someone to replace clemente's leadership, If they do. Look out.

RuffHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

You Guys Are Forgetting That BILL SELF Is a Far Superior Coach Than frank martin!!! We Are Always Better Prepared. And KSU's Lack Of Depth At Every Position, A Couple Nagging Injuries And They Might Not Even Go Dancing In March

ldjayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Delighted to hear Teahan finally received a scholarship! What a honourable thing to do for a guy who gives his all and truly bleed crimson and blue. Look forward to a emotional senior night speech from Teahan, and well done HCBS!

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like the "Chase Cans" were spared on the first day.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Marcus, stay focused. You have gotten much well deserved attention since the conclusion of your dandy sophomore season. You and Kieff bring it on stronger for your 3rd years! Could be really great things ahead for both of you. Early signs indicate this year's group is gliding into team mode.

WDC_Jayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't disagree with you about Clemente's importance, but, I don't think we should overstate it either. J. Pullen, to me, was and is the heart and soul of that team. He's a gamer. He's got pluck. He's also more level headed than Clemente ever was. I think everyone on here is sounding a similar message of, don't underestimate K-State this year.

RuffHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

With Clemente Gone. All U Have To Do Is Stop Pullen And Its Game Over!!! They Have No One Else To Take Over Like Clemente Did When Pullen Got Shut Down.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 3 months ago

The streak for another conference championship is ready to begin. I don't think you can pick K-State above KU until they have actually won a Big XII tournament. One thing everyone forgets is that KU won last year's conference championship by 4 games.

K-State loses a lot of games, and that Octogon of Loses has collected only one win in its history against KU.

Stephen Johnson 9 years, 3 months ago

Based on what other teams lost last year and what KSU is returning, they are definitiely a top 10 team. The difference between our Hawks, Baylor and KSU will be slim, but I think HCBS will find a way again.

honk_for_hawks 9 years, 3 months ago

kstate lost clemente, sutton, and colon. Thats their instant offense guy, their best defender, and one of their centers. they will still rest their hats on defense and be fine, but they are top 15, not top 10. There is a good chance they will round into a top 10 or even top 5 quality team by the time the conference season gets going, but I guess it all depends on how you think of preseason rankings. is a preseason ranking how good a team is going to start out being? or is it a projection as to how good you think they will be by tournament time? if you are going by how you start out, neither KSU or KU should be top 10 teams. but if you go with the latter definition, you could make a strong case that both could end up being among the top 5 teams you DO NOT want to see come tournament time. but we'll see. that's why the games are played and thats why I LOVE college basketball. 17 days til late night. it's a beautiful thing.

KUFan90 9 years, 3 months ago

Is anyone else not quite getting the fear factor of boot camp? I get that 6am is early for college students, but come on, everyone gets up early now and then. And the work out is 50 mins? I'm sure it's an intense 50 mins, and I'd probably puke too, but a 50 min workout at 6am for two weeks...for elite college athletes...am I missing something?

I'm glad they do it, I'm sure it helps with bonding, but to talk about it like it's a decent into the depths of hell or something...

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

They forgot to mention you do the workouts in barefeet on a court covered with crushed glass while listening to the Hansen Brothers singing at full volume!!

The question is which hurts worse??

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

KUfan: This is not a slap in the face or anything, but it's complete hell. I know in the past Self and Co. have put in doubles to go along with classes and to go along with the weightlifting and it's very trying and tiring days.

Boot camp is all mindset and it's your body adjusting to exercises, drills, and sprints that you rarely use on a basketball court or rather you haven't used in a competitive setting for almost 7 months. It's pretty much a "Shock Factor" for your muscles. It's much worse for the Freshman or newbies than the upperclassman that have been through it before it.

WDC_Jayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I think that you can pack A LOT into 50 minutes. And I also think this is 50 minutes of near constant motion; plus it's not the only work out they have on any given day (pickup, lifting, etc.) ... but I think if you want to look at who is hyping bootcamp it's a lot more the LJ World, and a lot less the players. Just saying.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

I am happy to see that the NCAA has allowed Josh the opportunity to vomit with his teammates. :}

Seriously, Josh's twitter message showes why this kid is #1. He will be a leader and, by definition, will make those around him better.

Frankly, I hope HCBS doesn't redshirt anyone. Let everyone play, evaluate his guys and consider the next year ala Travis.

Even with Jeff currently out of the equation, Josh, Elijah, Tyshawn, Royce, Marcus, Markieff, TRob, Travis, Tyrell, Brady and Mario.....there are a lot of elite athletes there. Sure hope Bill expands his rotation.

Walk-ons: Niko Roberts son of Norm Roberts and Justin Wesley, the son of Walt Wesley?? If so Kansas is keeping it in the family.

TxJyHwk 9 years, 3 months ago

I beleive Justin Wesley is the half-brother of Keith Langford

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

Thank you....it's still keepin' it in the family, TxJyHawk...good news!!

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part One

"Tuesday Expecting the Chase Baskets Have Now Been Used"

~“The mood is positive. Everybody is ready to knock this out."--Niko Roberts

Does this guy sound like a Bill Self/Norm Roberts kind of Jayhawk, or what? Having cocky, savvy guys, as bench and practice glue, are crucial to laminating a team into a can do bunch of champions.

~Champion bench + champion glue + champion go-to's = champion team. Anything less does not a champion make.

~Suggestion for Self: If freshman have enough strength left to Tweet, the work-out wasn't tough enough.

~Selby is now proving his manhood. To go through BC without a guaranty of becoming cleared to play, will make this one of the toughest things he's done in his young life. The first week will be no big deal to a stud like him. But at the half way point, when real fatigue sets in and begins to make cowards of them all, unless they pull together, a doubt about Josh's eligibility will begin to gnaw at him. Some Tweet, or post, will surface doubting whether he will be cleared, maybe this one. What if he doesn't get cleared? What if he has to move on? What if he has to leave it all on the floor and the Chase Basket in BC for nothing? Then the real inner struggle for the potentially great Josh Selby will begin. BC is mind over matter, is choosing to belong to survive, is about how much you want to belong to survive and what you are willing to endure to see that everyone makes it? It is about realizing you have reached your known limits and your teammates are really suffering, because of you, and reaching down and finding the survival reserve you didn't know you had in order to save not just you, but your buddy. It is knowing, if you make it, you save not only yourself, but your teammates, and, until you make it, they are carrying you from their own reserve of unselfishness, and if you give up, the circle of team will close behind you as you quit. Can you make it? If you can make it, they will try to carry you until you do make it, and then you are in the circle. You are an equal at the deepest, truest level of sport, whether you play a second, or not, the entire season. God decides who is fastest, who is quickest, who jumps highest, who is strongest, who has the most accurate shot, who anticipates best how the ball comes off the rim. Want to decides who survives and joins the circle.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part II

~Great teams not only have great go-tos and great glue. They have honest player-leaders with no quit and talent. Honest leaders with no quit and talent come in all kinds of exterior packages. To borrow examples from politics and war, some are wily charismatics, like FDR. Some are wily bulldogs, like Churchill. Some are brightly feathered like Patton and Montgomery. Some are quiet men, like Eisenhower and Bradley. FDR was probably the greatest judge of leadership talent America has produced, so far.

The right men with the right stuff got in the right positions at the right time; i.e., before it was too late. Consider LBJ and Dubya at the opposite end of the spectrum. Everywhere the wrong persons in the wrong places at the wrong times. Popularity and unpopularity, perfection, Q-rating, ultimately have nothing to do with it. Do you get the right persons in the right positions before it is too late?

~Great leaders have the uncanny knack (paradox even) of being deeply confident and decisive, yet able to speak with unblinking honesty about the difficulty of the task at hand. The knack is uncanny, because when ordinary persons speak with unblinking honesty, those around them usually get scared, rather than focused, wracked with doubt rather than more determined to prevail than ever.

Only a few persons have sufficient reservoirs of confidence, ferocity of competitiveness, humor, guile, and strength of will that enable them also to speak the dire truth with unblinking honesty and lead groups to become the best that they can be.

All human action, but especially that in groups, is messy and fraught with complexity and unforeseen outcomes. All leaders understand this on a deep level. The lousy ones, like the Dick Cheneys and Don Rumselds of the world, operate with unearned self-confidence. When things go deeply wrong, they lack the deep reserves of courage necessary to face up to the truth and still provide the leadership needed to propel their group forward. Eventually, they expose themselves. They hide behind the complexity. They whine about having to fight the war with the Army they have, not the one they wish they had. They make excuses about the unforeseen consequences their hubris and the world's complexity have jointly triggered. They put on a positive face for a while, they keep wearing flag pins on their lapels, and they dissemble for awhile, but inevitably, sooner, or later, when the system regurgitates them, at last, they go into hiding, waiting until someone else has either cleaned up their terrible messes, or drowned in them themselves, and so made it safe for the fake leaders to resurface.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part III

Authentic leaders understand that neither unblinking optimism, nor unblinking honesty are sufficient to persevere through the greatest adversities, to master the catastrophic successes, and to perpetually modify tactics, and even strategy, without losing sight of grand strategy and the good in the mean time. They know, on some level anyway, that you must lead and be honest about circumstances as you lead. You must say with absolute conviction and candor what can be, while acknowledging just as honestly what has to be done to achieve it. If one cannot talk honestly about what must be done, what must be endured, one cannot lead effectively.

“I know. Don’t remind me/ Every time somebody starts talking about it, I drag my head and get all ...Boot Camp is never fun.”--Marcus Morris talking about Boot Camp the day before it started

Some would view that quote by Marcus Morris as the wrong stuff of leadership. I disagree. This is unblinking honesty from this team's coach-designated leader. He is a terrific athlete and player admitting something openly and with unblinking honesty about himself that most of the rest of his teammates either talk of with the protective armor of humor, or false bravado, or intellectualized rationalizing, or naive lack of insight, or carefully crafted words they hope the coach will like to hear.

But the reality is: boot camp is tough. It is no fun. It is designed to cauterize individuals into a group with a combination of fear and suffering and doing what one doubts, at times, can be done: survive individually and as a group. It is easy, though misguided, to believe one can survive on one's own. It is hard to admit one's survival depends on others, when one knows how little control one has over others at times. BC is not something to be taken lightly precisely because of all the imperfect teammates involved. Brothers do falter in boot camps. Friends do get sick. Humans do suffer. Guys you may not yet fully trust, or may even dislike a bit, have a huge impact on whether your team survives BC, and how much it has to suffer to survive BC.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part IV

The kind of self confidence one is born with, or must acquire, that one can do anything on one's own is not enough in BC. It is just ante to the game. It is not enough to believe, or even to know, that you, yourself can make it through anything Self can dish out. You have to believe that you can also endure enough suffering, so that others you may have grave doubts about can make it. It is ultimately about making individual minds believe the group can make it. This is the tribal truth that has separated one human group from another from the time the first human stepped down from the forest canopy, stood upright, and bid his family and friends to follow him in the upright sruvival strategy.

Upright there was a kind of vision and freedom worth having, worth fighting for even. But beneath the canopy, on the forest floor, there were predators that our long tree-top evolution did not prepare us to defeat. Down here on the forest floor, we had feet of clay, despite the super-sized frontal lobes and the often cunning abstractions they enabled. On the forest floor, we were, despite, even a times because of, our fantasies and scheming, vulnerable and there is only one known, adaptive behavior that sharply increases the chances of survival: team.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part V

Marcus Morris has the kind of honesty I prize in a team leader. He has the honesty that lets he and his team know the kind of trouble they are in. If a leader and a team don't even know the kind of trouble they are in, confidence, and talent, and failure to quit and belief are useless evolutionary weapons. Without the courage of being able to live honestly with the awareness of the tiger in the jungle, of the bear in the forest, the shark in the water, the true size of the mountain to be scaled, the desert to be crossed, or the ocean to be navigated, the individual and the group is doomed unless dumb luck prevails consistently. And it never does.

Whether Marcus is the rah-rah guy, even whether he proves ultimately to be the first option go-to guy (which I suspect he will struggle with at times early before mastering), Marcus Morris is going to be the guts and glory guy of this team, if the team has any guts and if it experiences any glory. He has earned his spurs the last two seasons. He has been to the promised land of camps with NBA players and fellow top collegians. He has played in two XTReme March Madnesses. He has been humiliated by opponents and he has badly beaten opponents. He has experienced using every tool he had just to hang on at times. He has been through two Boot Camps and is starting a third. He knows how big the bear in the forest is that has to be slain on the quest for a ring. He knows what is fun and what is no fun. He naturally walks the tight rope of great leaders. He is very talented and he has no quit. But more important, he is supremely confident and he can express doubt that the tribe needs to hear and know.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part VI

Sherron Collins had all the tools of a great leader, but even he could never be quite as honest as Marcus Morris can be.

A wise, but little known TV writer once told me: all great quests involve a sympathetic hero struggling against seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve a worthwhile goal. That assertion was the distillation of his life's work.

Marcus Morris, no matter what your ppg, or rpg are this season, you are the hero of this story--the leader of this tribe that is in a quest to survive in order to become the best it can be--the young man who can say not only how tough things are, but believe and make his mates believe that they can be overcome with getting relentlessly better and with the impacts and glue of teamwork.

Rock Chalk!

SCHNBALL 9 years, 3 months ago

The true sign of leader is one that makes the people around him better each day. We did not have that leadership last year at any point in time. This team seems to be different and I believe will be a team similiar to the championship team with a great mix of talent. What lacked, in my opinion, from last years team, even though their record does not show this to be true, was a willingness to be the best that the TEAM could be, not just to be good enough to win the game at hand, a leader and or leaders will make this happen. I have only 2 questions about this team:

  1. Can this team play above the rim with our size?
  2. Will this team defend the basket with a no surrender style?

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Respectfully disagree on last year's team lacking leadership. All last year's 30+ win, number-one-ranked, number-one-seeded team lacked was either:

a) a 30% shooting night from trey against Northern Iowa; or

b) having been coached to play XTReme Muscle Ball; or

c) having been coached to XTReme Cheap Shot in the Coach Consonants School for Advanced Cheap Shotting.

If they had had any one of those things in their favor, we would be talking about them being of KU's great championship teams right now.

Next...

Answer to Q1: Yes, but it doesn't matter, because once XTReme Ball starts jumping and athleticism above the rim are largely discounted by shoving and cheap shotting. Duke, Butler, West Virginia, and Northern Iowa for four examples, were not known for playing above the rim. The game is no longer about athleticism and jumping. It is about occasionally being able to jump and be athletic, and mostly about delivering a blow, shoving persons out of their cuts, fouling at every opportunity, and cheap shotting when an opponent begins to close the gap.

Answer to Q2: Yes, except for Tyshawn Taylor, who still ways only 173 by his own admission and so, at 6'3" tall is probably still too light to hang in with anyone who plays XTReme Muscle Ball with him.

waywardJay 9 years, 3 months ago

Schn, 1 will be answered by our starting lineup coming in November. There is no doubt in my mind that Marcus will play above the rim. I think otherws will follow suit, especially since i beleive we start both Tyshawn and Josh at the "point" and "semi-Point" guard positions.....

Both will drive into the lane without fear. both will dish off to the big men for dunks.

  1. Is a bit more difficult, but here again we have a perceptive leader to point to, in the form of Mario Little. Mario's Heart and will to made him largely successful at the 4 despite a size disadvatnage, I expect him from the 3 to be the teams "matt Barnes" IE, stopper, instigator and at times executioner. If he becomes our emobdiment of team defense, I believe we are destined for great things.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

I was amazed at the improved play and steady production of Marcus Morris last season. And feel assured that he will continue to grow and lead this year. In more than a few contests I yearned for the re-emergence of Mario Little who had made a serious commitment to improving his physical wellbeing and the mix of last year's lineups by accepting a red shirt. The arrival of the Henrys threw a wrench into the plans of both Releford and Little. Both paid their dues, have hungrily awaited the moment for opportunity to contribute. Bill Self has access to a wealth of experienced talent on the 2010/11 team, even if Selby does not play. In reflecting upon the freshman woes of Russell Robinson, then his steady sophomore outing, I can envision an Elijah Johnson springing to life as a topflight Kansas guard. Man, it is time to get this season underway!!!!!!!!!!!

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 3 months ago

@ Jaybate----Hey, I don't have to read books anymore---I just read your posts and it all equals to about reading ten books----LOL. All kidding aside, I enjoyed reading them, seriously. Marcus is definitely our leader this year. Because of that, I believe Markief will really raise his level of play, both scoring and rebounding. Rock Chalk!

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

KU_FanSince75,

Agreed about Kieff. I think he is going to be the sleeper, if persons just don't expect him to do the exact same things Cole did. He is a different kind of post man with a different set of skills. If he really has trifectation from the top of the circle wired, then this could be year Self fields a team with the kind of one two punch on the wings that Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe once provided UCLA, when center Steve Patterson broke teams backs with from the top of the key. It could be a really terrific team. Substitute Marcus and Little for Wicks and Rowe. Add Selby on the point and a simply awesome supporting casts of shooters and slashers and there is reason for excitement. And Self will surprise us with some new wrinkle, too.

Rock Chalk!

Scott Smetana 9 years, 3 months ago

Is that a record Jaybate? Way to give it your all during boot camp.

SCHNBALL 9 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate, I think the answer lies in b or c, which leads to my next question. The championship team as talented as they were, challenged everything on defense going to the basket, and I mean everything, so does where has that mentality gone and are we a little softer? As great as our record was last year, I think you could point to many games where we did not finish a team off or we played under our potential, that is point I was trying to make. Lastly, if Tyshawn plays as inconsistent in the first part of the year as last, how long will Self stick with him?

hailtoku 9 years, 3 months ago

“9 more days fellas. Let’s work. Road to the championship. Love my team.”

F*** yeah Selby! Bring it home!

s6u6r6f 9 years, 3 months ago

If Bill Self could recruit a bunch of players over 60, they'd have no problem getting up by 5:30...

Rock Chalk, fellow geezers!

newyorkjayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

This might be a dumb question, but maybe one of you posters could give some insight...

So Selby was granted permission from NCAA to attend class and practice. HCBS has gone along with this allowance and put him through the intense first day of boot camp... not only that the NCAA has given permission for him to do everything except play in games at this point, but also that Self has also given Selby permission to participate thus far... does this give anybody else further confidence that Selby's case will turn out just fine? If Self wasn't confident Selby would be fine, would he consider holding him out of boot camp on his own accord? And if Selby had any doubts, would the kid "waste" his time attending classes? i'm not saying class is a waste of time, but if he wasn't confident about being cleared, he'd jump ship ala Jennings and play out his year of NBA ineligibility in Europe so he could at least play if NCAA didn't clear him, right?

I, for one, am getting pretty darn antsy checking this website every darn day waiting for the "Selby deemed elidible by NCAA to participate in games" headline to highlight the feature story spot... how much longer before we find out? Any speculation, clue, insight???

Chris Shaw 9 years, 3 months ago

Based on John Wall's situation last year, KU and Self probably won't hear anything about Selby until middle to late October. I wouldn't be surprised if it drug into the first week of November.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

Probably right before the Kansas vs Arizona game on 11/27/10 or else ESPN will pitch a fit!!

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part I

schn,

First, I think you are onto something with the notion of "challenging" opponents, of contesting everything all the time. Teams that are cornerstoned on defense, have to do this, or they are not going to be the best they can be, regardless of how much talent they have.

The Championship team seemed more able to challenge in this way, than did last season's team, despite its sterling record, conference championship, and number one seed and freakish narrow loss to Northern Iowa on a horrible shooting night that would have sunk any team that shot that way. I do not recall the Championship team having a night of shooting that bad in the NCAA tourney championship run.

The Championship team was a marvelous team, but I am not sure it could have won it all in last year's XTReme Tourney with the same bad shooting night last season's team had, unless Self had coached XTReme Ball, or coached XTreme Cheap Shotting. These are the only two things that might have overcome that dreadful shooting night that shot down last season's team. And, frankly, the only way any team could have beaten Duke the way it cheap shotted in the finals would have been to have cheap shotted even more. The KU championship team was not a bunch of cheap shotters, nor were they coached to be. They played strong. They were strong. They played hack'n'slap. They were incredibly athletic in retrospect. Kaun could and did muscle with anyone. But they were never XTReme Muscle Ballers. They never just pushed and shoved like Northern Iowa and they never cheap shotted when anyone got within 3 points of them the way Duke did to Butler, and this was so despite how big and muscular Kaun, DBlock BRush and the guards were.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part II

The big difference between last year's team and the championship team was how physical and quick and ball theiving all three of our guards were on the championship team. Basically, the guards on our championship team were never bettered in any game where they brought their A-Games. Last year's team, on the other hand, basically had only one stellar guard on the team: Sherron, and he was not a great ball thief, as were RR and Chalmers. We also lacked an exceptional offensive running mate for Sherron last season, something Sherron had when he had Chalmers on the championship team running with him.

A lesser, but still very significant difference between the Championship team and last year's team was that all the bigs on the championship team could pretty much guard their positions straight up with out much double team help. Cole, despite his wonderful shot blocking, rebounding and help defense, ran into several post men he could not guard without a lot of double team help. And he always seemed so winded that even when he could handle his opponent, he could only do so for about a half a game. Marcus learned to guard his position without much help but was certainly not an intimidating type of player like DBlock and Kaun. But Kieff needed help. And TRob and Withey simply could not guard their positions consistently. It is very hard for a team to challenge constantly in the paint with so few players physically capable of challenging constantly.

Frankly, I thought last season's KU team challenged pretty well from three positions: pg (Colliins), center (Cole), and big forward (Marcus), but Collins and Cole just could not guard the way RR, Chalmers and, say, Kaun could without a lot of help. Tyshawn was just not able to challenge, because of some combination of mental focus and light weight. Xavier, it appears increasingly likely, did not challenge often, because he was too young and probably advised not to risk any injuries.

And bottom line on the championship team, if The Shot had not fallen, we would remember its flaws more than we do now. We would talk more about Arthur being an under achieving head case and less about challenging. We would talk more about Kaun's lack of rebounding and less about how little help he needed guarding the post. And so on.

So: where does all this lead us regarding this year's team? I think that Self has proven that he coaches all his teams to get after it on defense at the edge of their envelopes. The differences we see year to year are attributable to the varying physical envelopes of the different teams he has had.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part III

This season's team appears to have a lot of guys who "could" challenge, "if" they develop. The key word, however, is develop. It takes most guys several years to develop--to acquire the combination of physical maturity, emotional maturity, and experience under fire to challenge relentlessly for 30-40 minutes game in and game out for a season, and especially down the stretch.

The Championship team was not ready to challenge consistently the two seasons before it finally made its championship run. It didn't know how to win when times were really tough. Its players were not as big and strong as they would become in the championship season. It really could not challenge everywhere on the court in prior seasons the way it did in its championship season.

Trying to be as objective as I can be, I don't this this year's team has a prayer of being able to challenge opponents as consistently as the championship team.

To begin with, it lacks the mature minds and bodies and experience of Sherron, RR and Chalmers. This year's guards certainly seem like they could be as good at challenging as that trio was, but it will almost certainly take the same 2-3 years that group required.

Next, outside of Marcus, this team starts the season with not one other big man at a stage of physical and emotional development and experiential development, as advanced as DBlock, Kaun and Arthur were at the starts of their senior years, though Kieff could be close. TRob and Withey are both at least a year behind, and probably more like two years behind in development.

Can this years bigs challenge everywhere for 30-40 minutes the way the championship team did and do so without needing a ton of double team help? I think it is patently unfair and unrealistic to expect this year's bigs to play that way.

Might this year's bigs challenge more than last year's bigs? One would hope so, because most are a year older. But Cole is gone and he has left some pretty big shoes to fill, even though he did need a lot of double team help. Can Kieff fill them without a year of carrying the load in the trenches? I think we can expect some fine play from Kieff, but any player's first full season as a starter, when he is not yet a senior, involves a lot of hard knocks and testing by opponents and a lot of seasoning. I doubt Kieff can fully replace all the forms of challenging that Cole performed, but he may well become a defender that is harder to move around, and one capable of playing more minutes than Cole played, should he avoid injury and apparent mono that plagued Cole last season.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part IV

Still, in sum, its seems unlikely that this team, unless it mature sharply faster than most teams have done in the past, is going to be able to challenge the way the Championship team did, and it could even fall short of last season's team's capacity in this regard. What gives one, however, is that this team likely will have more depth on the perimeter to challenge with...if Self were to move beyond the 8 man format, which he has never suggested he would do. But even if Self were to got to 9-10 men and use numbers to challenge with, these 9-10hope players would largely lack as much physical and emotional maturity, and as much experience as the Championship team used to challenge the way it did.

Self is probably going to build another 8 man team out of what he has. It increasingly looks like Withey may not be a big factor again this year, because of the fracture. Sans Withey as anything but a spot player, this year's bigs are Marcus, Kieff and TRob. By season's end they could be a good trio capable of challenging quite a bit of the time, but TRob will have to come a long, long ways for this to occur. Until TRob comes this distance, there will be a lot of minutes where this team cannot afford to challenge in the paint.

Perimeter defense gives one reason for quite a bit of hope of challenging for extended periods of time. Little and Travis Releford are frankly my ideals for the 3 and 2 positions on this team. With a half a season of experience, these two guys could become ferocious challengers on defense, not only guarding hard on the perimeter, but largely denying slashing to the opponents.

We know Tyshawn is an excellent on-ball defender and can take the team's number one offender on, but he's light and has trouble when taken inside.

We also know Brady is an excellent all around defender and can guard the number one threat, but he too gets into trouble when taken inside.

And Tyrel, who became a credible defender last season, will likely become nearly as capable as Brady and Tyshawn.

Since Tyrel is more physical and has by far the best trey, Tyrel ought to play quite a bit.

But Little and Releford bring the combination of speed, muscle, height and aggressiveness that "challenging" team requires to be on the floor much of the time. If they prove able to hit the trey at 38%, they are going to play a lot.

The point is where things get interesting.

Selby and EJ appear the best "challenger"--the guys with the physiques, skill and temperments to get all over opposing PGs, but they are very, very green. Selby, good as he may be, has no clue how to challenge 30-40 minutes a game in D1.

EJ has a clue, but can he do it now, or will it take a couple seasons of other coaches exposing all his flaws the way it did Chalmers, and RR, and Sherron, before EJ is a street legal "challenger"?

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Part V

There is no question that this team has a lot of talented players.

But only a few of these talented players are far enough a long to "challenge" effectively for 30-40 minutes a game for a season on defense alone.

At least thats my take on things right now.

Outside, Self has to develop an impact player in a hurry, or teams are just going to double team Marcus and force KU to try to win with Tyrel's, Brady's and Kieff's trey shooting; that could be a very long season.

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