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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kansas basketball walk-on Christian Garrett settling in

Kansas University walk-on Christian Garrett warms up with the Jayhawks before their game against Missouri on Feb. 7 at Allen Fieldhouse. Garrett, a Los Angeles native, will be eligible to play with the team in the 2011-2012 season.

Kansas University walk-on Christian Garrett warms up with the Jayhawks before their game against Missouri on Feb. 7 at Allen Fieldhouse. Garrett, a Los Angeles native, will be eligible to play with the team in the 2011-2012 season.

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New Kansas University basketball walk-on Christian Garrett had a rather emotional, out-of-the-ordinary first day on campus.

He arrived from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., on Jan. 21, the day Thomas Robinson’s mom, Lisa, died of an apparent heart attack back in Washington, D.C.

“Watching how close the team was helped me be at ease with my decision (to attend KU),” said Garrett, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound freshman originally from Los Angeles. “Coach (Bill) Self ... the way he handled it and talked to everybody ... he wasn’t like a coach who brings somebody in and doesn’t ever talk to them (players). He actually cares about them.”

The personable Garrett — he chose KU over North Carolina State, Alabama and Auburn and elected to enroll immediately and practice but not play in games in preparation for the start of his official career in 2011-12 — felt comfortable speaking to Robinson about this most serious issue.

“I went up to Thomas and basically said, ‘I’m new here. I don’t know you,’ but I told him my mom was sick before. She almost died (when Christian was in high school in L.A.). I said, ‘The biggest thing you can do, what I did in that situation was get closer to God and just be thankful for everything I have.’ I said, ‘The best thing you can do now is be successful for her.’’’

Garrett — he played his sophomore year at Campbell Hall High in North Hollywood, Calif., and his junior season at Stone Ridge Prep in Tarzana, Calif. — was off to a successful start this season at IMG. He averaged 14.0 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds a game for a team that plays small colleges and prep schools.

“This is different, a big transition, but great,” Garrett said of KU. “I like it even though it’s hard because I see what I have to work on. In high school, I could see what my weaknesses were. Now I get to work on them against better competition.”

He entered the major college mix right away, practicing with the team his first day as an official member of the program.

“They gave me everything (gear) and threw me right in,” Garrett said with a smile. “I went out and guarded Tyshawn (Taylor) and Elijah (Johnson) a lot and Tyrel (Reed). The hardest thing about it was the reaction time on defense. Definitely they are a lot quicker and stronger. You’ve always got to be ready to play. If you are just kind of out there playing, you’ll get lost easily.”

Garrett, who played for Belmont Shore AAU program, became acquainted with current KU freshman Royce Woolridge at the Pangos All-America camp last summer. Garrett made the top 50 at that camp and was a top 25 pick at the Fullcourt Press All-West camp.

“We both did pretty well at that (Pangos) camp,” Garrett said. “Royce has been cool. Everybody’s been cool and treated me well.”

Garrett — he said his goal is to earn a scholarship in the future and play meaningful minutes at Kansas — is hoping to welcome another buddy to campus this summer.

He’s best friends of DeAndre Daniels, a 6-8 forward from IMG, who is considering KU, Texas and Kentucky.

“I lived with him throughout the year and I’ve known him four years. He’s like family, like a brother,” Garrett said. “There were a lot of schools I was looking at he wasn’t looking at. We’ve always wanted to go to the same school. We said we’d do what’s best for each other. The only thing I can tell him is that there’s nothing like this place. I think he knows that. I think it’s just going to be him making the right decision (for himself).”

Combo guard Garrett was confident in his decision when he and other family members spoke with Self late in the decision-making process.

“My mom (Cynthia) kept on feeling this is where God wanted me to be and she felt at peace with it (decision),” Garrett said. “After meeting with coach Self and seeing the place and getting to think about the other places I’ve seen ... there’s no place like this.

“I’ve always been about getting better. I’m not done as a player. My body hasn’t matured. I’m not done growing. I wanted to go to the place I could reach my full potential. This is definitely the right time and the right place.”

KU senior Brady Morningstar likes the person he’s just starting to get to know.

“You’ve got to know he’s young and coming here right from high school bright eyed and bushy tailed ... everything is new,” Morningstar said, noting everything has to be overwhelming for Garrett. “He’s a good kid who works hard and is going to get better.”

Coach Self noted Garrett “is a quality young man that will be a great representative of us. He’s also a very good athlete that has a chance to be a very good basketball player.”

His AAU coach, Dinos Trigonis, also indicated Garrett “is very athletic for his size. He’s a late-bloomer, growing-wise. He’s listed as 6-3. He may be a little taller than that, closer to 6-4. He’s improved a lot. Although he was inconsistent at times in the summer, he had some good moments, especially offensively. He has a chance down the road. From a walk-on standpoint, he has a lot of long-term potential and academically will enhance the team significantly. He is an excellent student.”

Garrett — he’s taking four classes his first semester at KU — said he’s enjoyed everything about his time on campus, even trudging through the recent winter blizzard.

“The snow was cool,” said Garrett, who committed to KU despite never having stepped in the state before. “I’d seen snow, but not like that. The snow was cool, but I’d say the Missouri game was the wildest moment so far because it was the first time I was into the game, standing up and yelling, seeing how loud the crowd was, being on the sideline for the game and working out before the game and seeing the fans. That’s the craziest thing so far.”

So far Garrett, whose great uncle, Bill Garrett, played basketball collegiately at Indiana (1949-51) and cousins Mike Garrett and Chris Chambliss played for the K.C. Chiefs and New York Yankees respectively — has maintained a low profile.

He’s conducted just this one interview and has managed to avoid getting recognized on campus, unheard of for a KU basketball player.

All in good time.

“Honestly I feel God brought me here so I know everything will be fine,” Garrett said. “I know after a couple months of this I’ll be a whole different player and be a step ahead (for next season). I have focus.”

He has high hopes for KU (24-2) the rest of this season.

“As far as executing, they are the best from every team I’ve seen,” Garrett said. “They are really close as a family. I feel it’s a real balanced team. Just watching from the bench, we’ve got to guard a lot better. I don’t know how, but if we figure it out, that would make the biggest difference.”

Comments

Ron Franklin 3 years, 2 months ago

copied from a poster @ zagsblog. no i didn't verify any of his b/c I've been super strapped for time. but not too busy to look around re: ku bball:-)

"Star ratings are so overblown to begin with and have more to do with politics than skill. Angelo Chol is one of those guys who was late to the game, didn’t really start playing seriously until 9th grade, so many recruiting analysts were late to acknowledge his skills.

However, in case you didn’t know, he is currently 2nd All Time in career rebounds in the state of California… and 2nd All Time in the history of the country in blocked shots, including a national record 337 blocks as a sophomore. Has something like 35 triple doubles in his high school career. Chol is a big-time defender, a natural shot blocker and the dude can ball, no matter how many stars are next to his name.

Above and beyond that, he is a very centered and classy young man. He goes about things the right way and would be a great addition to any college program. Seems to be a really good kid."

potential, eh!?

go get em Self.

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jayhawktalk 3 years, 2 months ago

Goshen, just be careful what you let your child watch. My wife, after hearing great things about it and because we all love musicals, decided to let my daughters watch High School Musical. They loved, loved, loved it! Harmless, right? Not so fast!

Mascot of the basketball team in High School Musical...? Wildcat. Now, every time daddy watches KSU, UK or AZ, my 3 year old (my oldest) gets so excited she nearly wets herself. It takes a lot of self control to nod and feign a smile when she proclaims repeatedly, publicly and with tremendous pride that her favorite team is "the Wildcats"... Any wildcats, she doesn't discriminate.

High School Musical is evil.

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No_phog 3 years, 2 months ago

Kansas is God's paradise LMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And according to some, the Garden Of Eden is in Missousri !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 2 months ago

Yea, jaybate, ku's glue guy now is sucking on a bottle of Budweiser and Brady's glue has failed.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

Re Garret: let's hope he avoided his Uncle Mike's ethical framework.

Welcome Christian. If you can shoot the rock from trey, you can be our next glue man.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

lincase,

Since you mentioned you taught genetics, here is a little known tip about Gregor Mendel. He cooked an awesome breakfast. And he supposedly invented an egg dish someone has named "Eggs Mendel."

Recipe:

Put small pad of butter in a frying pan.

Turn burner to 4 on a scale of 10, 10 being hottest.

When the butter begins to bubble a little, crack one egg in the frying pan.

Let the egg cook enough to allow you to flip it over (cook as you would any "egg over soft")

Sprinkle a tea spoon, or two, of chopped shallot, on the turned egg while still in the pan.

Put a heaping soup spoon full of large curd cottage cheese on top of the shallot covered egg.

Tap the yoke three times with your spatula to make the yolk run.

Wait about 20 seconds, or until the cottage cheese just begins to run a bit.

Slide out on a plate.

Eat immediately.

It is very good.

Toast and bacon go well with it, but so does a bagel.

Strong coffee, too.

Mendel is king of breakfast, not just a wunderkind of genetics.

Rock Chalk!

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jayhawk1866 3 years, 2 months ago

I am in the military with 5 kids. We always ventured back to Wichita about a month before delivery to ensure a Kansas birth. Save your vacation days. It is your child's future.

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Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Selby is a classic, tough Bill Self combo/PG recruit--If he only stays to develop some of his potential/polish his skills at this level..."Classic" Self recruit just like Rush, Chalmers, Arthur, Aldrich--guys that really werent OADs, but clearly still near-elite talent with a great work ethic (mostly). They made themselves better while at KU and legit NBA players, if you see past the high-school hype...

Xavier never gave himself (or daddy wouldnt allow) the chance to become better...and he sandbagged on us. My theory is he hurt last year's chemistry from the get-go, and shied away from physicality. The essence of "soft". All that only hurt KU. Could care less about X's motivation or whatever daddy was pulling his strings to do...

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rockingthechalk 3 years, 2 months ago

This entire comment board is hilarious today. jayhawk nation is on fire!

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GoodwinK 3 years, 2 months ago

Come on down Deandre Daniels!

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Benjamin Piehler 3 years, 2 months ago

selby and morris' are all gone next year as long as they are 1st round projections... gonna need all the help we can get.

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Jason Wilson 3 years, 2 months ago

6'3 170? Someone needs to be force-feeding that kid a gallon of ice cream every night

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bdk980 3 years, 2 months ago

KUfan75... you sound pessimistic. If this is the "catch" your referring to, I'm fine with it if it means Daniels is going to don a Jayhawk uniform next season. This is a guy's a project and he's not taking a spot on the roster (at this point). He could be playing at a mid-major no prob, possible a lower end major conference school with a need to fill. Considering the likelihood of players leaving early for the draft, I see nothing wrong with giving a guy who, if he becomes good enough will see playing time as a 5th yr. senior, a chance. Talent alone only take you so far. I'll reference Xavier here (i.e. no hustle no heart...he was like a mercenary in stage 1 development). If I remember correctly, there was a "catch" to recruiting Aaron Miles. His name was Michael Lee. I really liked Lee. In todays game of college basketball, its very difficult (i.e. UK and lesser extent UNC) to win on talent alone. The problem is, you have to reload every 1-2 years which makes it extremely difficult to get your players to buy in (fully) to the team philosophy that will inevitably take them to that next level. Nothing wrong with giving a guy who is going to work hard, do everything asked of him, who has some talent, and is still developing a chance. Even in the likelihood that this kid and Daniels recruitment are unrelated, I'm still fine with it.

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notigers4me 3 years, 2 months ago

Goshenjhawk I would do one thing and one thing only, GET A NEW DOCTOR. Don't take any chances with your wife or you child's health.

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Theutus 3 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like a good kid... Hope he continues to put his game together and grow into his body so he can see some court time...

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John Randall 3 years, 2 months ago

This kid has a lot more things together in one package than we hardly ever hear about around the AAU/prep academy circuit. He seems like another foundation piece for the basketball program and the University as well – more aligned with the heart and guts than with the face or image of what he's getting himself into.

Welcome, Chris, to one of God's special places for young people to continue on their life journey.

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 2 months ago

I hope Garrett can play better than Budweiser Brady --5th year senior, ha, what a dud. No wonder no one recruited Brady, they could see that he isn't worth the soap to wash his suit. Self is fit to be tied, he should have went at Harrison Barns, he had 17 points last night. That right there would have gone a long way at Kansas ST., rather then 6 points by lissless Morningstump. Bill sure missed his recruiting of guards, Pullen, and even Sprading, a player right here in Bill's own back yard. I use to think Bill was a good coach but, this year tells us that he is not that great and maybe only a mediocre coach.

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Joe Joseph 3 years, 2 months ago

Walk-ons named Christian have fared well at Kansas.

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 2 months ago

I knew there was a "catch" in nabbing DeAndre Daniels. Hey, good article, though. The kid sounds like a good one. Good luck to you, Christian!

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James Naismith 3 years, 2 months ago

" I was wearing a Jayhawk shirt, and during some small talk I found out that he is a Mizzou fan!"

Wow, didn't even know they gave academic related degrees at Mizzlose.

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Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 2 months ago

He and Withey need to plan meaks together and schedule Hudy to work with them frequently if they have a shot at being contributors in positive ways.

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goshenjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Ok, I need some advice from my fellow Jayhawks. I was going to bring this up yesterday, but after the debacle Monday night I knew everyone needed a chance to vent. So my wife and I are expecting our first child in a couple months and were at the doctor's office Monday afternoon. I was wearing a Jayhawk shirt, and during some small talk I found out that he is a Mizzou fan! What do I do? What if he somehow taints the innocent child? We see various doctors at this office and any of them could help deliver our baby just depending on who is on call. So he may not be the one but should we take that chance? Please advise...

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doolindalton 3 years, 2 months ago

If he can dribble without bouncing the ball off his foot, knows which man he is supposed to be guarding, and can consistently make layups and 80 percent of his freethrows, he is definitely a candidate for starting point guard next season because KU seemingly doesn't have anyone who can do that now.

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leonard 3 years, 2 months ago

"The hardest thing about it was the reaction time on defense. Definitely they are a lot quicker and stronger. You’ve always got to be ready to play. If you are just kind of out there playing, you’ll get lost easily.” - Christian Garrett

Ye gods...he's barely got his suitcase unpacked and he understands what Taylor hasn't figured out in 3 years.

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Kye Clark 3 years, 2 months ago

Good article, seems like a good kid. I don't know what the future holds for him in terms of playing time, but it's nice to have so many quality guys for practices. Justin Wesley, Niko Roberts, Jordan Juenemann, Royce Woolridge...and now Christian. All these guys could be starting at some mid-major I would think. And who knows? You look at guys like Brady & Tyrel, guys that weren't heavily recruited by the elite level programs and after a lot of hard work are starters on one of the handful of teams with a realistic shot at a National Championship. Maybe one of these guys will take a similar path and play a similar role down the line.

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kusportsdotcom 3 years, 2 months ago

" He’s listed as 6-3. He may be a little taller than that, closer to 6-4"

Nobody is ever listed as SHORTER than what they actually are. like juenemann at 6'4"? Yea right. Cole 6'11? Not even close, as the draft measurements told us.

none of this really matters. just wanted to say it

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