Friday, January 7, 2011

KU’s Bill Self: Travis Releford a utility player

Kansas guard Travis Releford knocks the ball away for a steal from UMKC forward Max Rockmann during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford knocks the ball away for a steal from UMKC forward Max Rockmann during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University sophomore forward Travis Releford made a name for himself nationally on Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Kansas City native’s highlight-reel dunk against UMKC emerged as ESPN’s Top Ten Play of the Day — a nightly SportsCenter award that encompasses all games in all sports.

Nice honor? To be sure, but not one needed for Releford to prove his value to teammates and coaches.

“Travis is great. I believe that he’s like a baseball utility player. You put him out there, he’ll play wherever,” KU coach Bill Self said Thursday, a day after after Releford hit four of seven shots and three of four free throws — good for 13 points in KU’s 99-52 win over the Kangaroos.

“You can play him as a big. You can play him as a guard. He can play post defense. He guards ball screens as well as anybody we have. He does a lot of things that are important to us.

“This year, he’s not taken a ton (of threes), but has really shot it well from range. He’s shooting 46 percent (12 of 26) from three. He’s done a little bit of everything,” Self added.

Junior power forward Markieff Morris has noticed.

“Travis is very quick. He has a great work ethic and just outworks a lot of the guys in the post,” Morris said of Releford, who averages 6.1 points per game off 56.1 percent shooting.

Releford followed his crowd-pleasing second-half dunk by burying a three on KU’s ensuing possession.

“I was just feeling it at the moment,” Releford said. “Make a layup, a close shot, then it just seems easier.”

A regular member of the rotation who has started four of 14 games, Releford said he’s relished playing an average of 15.3 minutes per game.

“It’s a lot of fun coming from sitting out the whole season,” said Releford, a red-shirt last season. “All the hard work I put in and being able to come out this year and show it off, it’s been a lot of fun.

“The year paid off a lot, with my confidence, with my jump shot,” Releford added. “As you can see, I’ve been making it. Just learning more about the system.”

Self said there’s always room for improvement.

“I want him to be our best lockdown defender,” Self said, “and he is not that yet. I’m not saying he doesn’t defend. I’m saying for him to become a great lockdown defender, still there’s room for that. It’s what I’d love to get from him off the bench.”

Morris on latest Wooden list: KU junior Marcus Morris is one of 30 players named a Wooden Award midseason top 30 candidate. Other Big 12 players on the list: Marcus Denmon, Missouri; Jacob Pullen, Kansas State; Alec Burks, Colorado; Jordan Hamilton, Texas; LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor.

Daniels update: Several national recruiting analysts believe DeAndre Daniels will soon commit to KU over Texas and Kentucky. Jerry Meyer of says Daniels, a 6-8 forward from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., is likely “waiting on certain non-athletic financial aid paperwork to go through.” KU has a full allotment of scholarships awarded for this season, so Daniels would need to acquire a Pell Grant or some sort of academic scholarship to have his tuition, books and room and board paid second semester.

Robinson returns: KU sophomore forward Thomas Robinson returned from hometown Washington, D.C., Thursday in time for practice. He had headed home earlier this week for his grandmother’s funeral. KU will next meet Michigan at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, in Ann Arbor, Mich.


jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Hey, I think we have hit up something, make Brady an assistant, water bucket assistant, maybe he wouldn't foul that up like he did that free throw a while back. Brady is just causing Woolridge and others from getting experience on the floor, the really talented players. He has been a foul ball since he has been here.


100 3 years, 3 months ago

Calipari's crew has been taking a few hits this year... This one would have really damaged Calipari's honest Abe reputation had Kanter not suddenly come under investigation & stolen the headlines.... This article was a few months ago but was quickly swept under the rug by the Kanter story....

This from the Lexington paper:

""The Sun-Times posted another story Friday citing "sources from three separate universities" saying that the father of prospect Anthony Davis asked for between $125,000 to $150,000 in return for his son's commitment.

UK Coach John Calipari declined Thursday to comment on the initial report. "No, no. I won't bother with ridiculous things," he said.

The newspaper's article said that the NCAA was "checking" into the recruitment of Davis, who heretofore had been most famous for growing 10 inches in two years, a growth spurt that elevated him to the top echelon of prospects in the class of 2011. After visiting UK recently, Davis reportedly said he had made his college choice but would wait an undetermined time before announcing it.

When contacted Wednesday, Davis declined comment.

Spokesman Chuck Wynne said that the NCAA does not comment on any review conducted by its enforcement staff.

A statement released from the UK athletic department noted that the Friday story followed denials by UK and Davis' father.""


jayhawktalk 3 years, 3 months ago

Kanter was a professional in Turkey making good money.

He left his pro career and the associated money in Turkey to play a year at UK, despite being widely acknowledged as an NBA lottery pick.

Obviously a leading question, but does anyone else question the motivation for him making the decision to walk away from a paycheck, and, rather than take the next big check, play "without compensation"...? Do they air a ton of UK games on TV in Turkey, and Enes wanted to play for them since his earliest memories... Somehow, I doubt this was the case.

I know it's widely speculated, but Kentucky really can't be more than a stone's throw from sanctions. Coach Cal is way, way more crooked than people even give him credit, and the UK boosters are apparently too stupid or arrogant to exercise discretion.


100 3 years, 3 months ago

So the NCAA ruled (again) that Kanter cannot practice anymore with the Kentucky team. So while UK waited for this appeal Calipari found a loophole to allow him to practice with the team. But as of today, Kanter cannot take another shot at a Kentucky gym.

So what did Calipari do?

He immediately hired Kanter as a graduate assistant coach! (who somehow cannot play legally on the practice court according to the NCAA hammer that came down again today).

So what does Calipari say at the presser?

Anyone needing a laugh?

Here it is from the Lexington Herald Journal.....


"""The silver lining is that Enes will always be part of this team," he said. "My job will be to prepare him for his entry into the NBA Draft, which this decision by the Association will likely necessitate. Enes will always be a part of our family and I plan to be by his side in the green room whenever he is drafted."

p> projects Kanter as the fifth player chosen in this year's draft. Draftexpress projects him as the fourth player selected.""


So from this point on it appears Calipari's practices will be making sure that Kanter doesn't shoot shots at the gym and then at the NBA draft he can be on Enes's shoulder and take credit for the great NBA players Calipari is producing?

This is made even more comical if you saw Calipari's quote last year that "the 2010 NBA draft was the greatest day in the history of Kentucky basketball!!!!!"


Alohahawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Off the subject, but, according to the NCAA has officially, permanently banned Enes Kanter from NCAA competition. Can't practice with the team. However, Kentucky says they have assigned him as a student assistant.

After what they decided with the Cam Newton affair, I'm slightly surprised. Perhaps, the NCAA is getting more suspect with Coach Cal's behind the scenes shenanigans. I always felt the NCAA opened up a real can of worms when they OK'd a player receiving his basic expenses while playing with a professional team, as so often happens in Europe.


jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

What we don't know about EJ and Travis is: what will happen when EJ and Travis meet guys who are proven D1 and top tier B12 opponents. What will they do, when they actually have to play grind it out, and all their weapons are taken away from them on the second time around the league? How deep is their character? How bad do they want it? What do they do when the baddies come to hurt them? Are they like the chumps on the playgrounds that shuck and jive and sucker punch 3 on 1 until a gang 5 good and bad "m!@#$%^&ers" show up and they tuck their tales and play like good little boys taking their beating poe-litely?

You know what I am saying here, Blown Father, and so I feel comfortable in saying it to you, of all poppas.

You are a fair daddy.

You know the game.

You know how players break under pressure--every size, every shape, every color--when they cannot do what they like to do for any length of time.

Some get better, some break and run.

But you never really know who until the combat starts and the not getting do do what they like drags on awhile.

Brady may well be breaking under pressure right now.

But I have a hunch a player that survives X Henry and Frank Matriciano is probably not breaking from competitive pressure.

The odds to me are: Brady is slumping and in Self's toughening box. Brady may have burn out, too. A lot of seniors get it.

My prayer, Blown Father, is this: both Brady comes out of his slump and EJ and Travis prove real, and not just guys who will fold in war time, go into slumps, and have a bunch of flaws exposed by coaches on the second trip around the league. Why? Because unless affirmatively answered prayers ensue, it could be another heart breaker come March.

And you know its so, Blown Father.

Still, we will never know the answers to the prayers about EJ, Travis, and Brady until the real war starts.

Rock Chalk!


jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Turned out Travis was really pretty darned good at utility man, or as the SUP (sport utility player), as slayr has tagged Travis recently. Personally, Blown Father, I call him the Cayenne, as in Porsche, in this role. Travis gave huge energy in the SUP role.

But at about the same time the Mario Little drama and his replacement by Travis was unfolding, well, then Self had a couple of other things keep him from moving EJ to the 3.

First Josh Selby comes in an blows the doors off the place starting at 3, which made Brady a back up at the 3 regardless.

Next, Tyshawn goes into a slump.

Boom! EJ, you are back at the 1 getting more menudo there until further noticias.

All the while, Self is giving Brady more shots at redemption, so that Self can really go 2 deep at every position and have two units, but Brady slumps deeper.

Despite playing Brady 15-18 minutes, Self also tries humiliating him with mop up minutes two games in a row. Even that does not work.

Which kind of brings us up to date.

A bunch of dunks on UMKC maybe aimed to entertain (and attract) Deandre and Ben don't, frankly, mean john shiz in terms of who is going to be playing serious minutes when the conference games roll around.

But EJ and Travis not coughing up leather fur balls all the time, or making hair brained choices, do mean they are now serious candidates for minutes gluing between The Twins and Selby, who remain options 1 through 3, unless Kieff has to go in for a psychological rebuild even before the real war starts.

I want to believe you about EJ and Travis being dogs blooded by Brady bait, Blown Father, I really do, because them being as awesome as you say would guarranty us a big time W&L statement and a deep run.

But I have to say it, pappy: Nothing be writ yet.

We know Brady, when not slumping, can play and guard future NBA players like Chase Budinger at 6'7" and with a lethal gun. We know he can play and guard guys in the round robbin of the B12. The other coaches have already exposed all his weaknesses the previous two years and he could keep up, though not excel. We know he's slumping right now, as most players do for a couple of weeks, or more, during a season. Tyshawn slumped almost an entire season last year. What we don't know about Brady is this: will his slump end soon, or will it go on and on like Tyshawn's did last season?


jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

BlownJay aka Blown Father,

I want to believe daddy on this one, as believing daddy always feels best, but I have to strop Ockham's razor a little this time.

Is Self capable of dangling Brady to blood the dogs? Yes.

Is that probably how it went down? Doubtful in my mind, poppa.

Of course, I don't agree with Theutus on anything except his assertions about unequivocally simple things, like pain hurts. :-)

So: here's my humble take for my very own BlownFather. :-)

Brady was playing better early, then went into a slump. Possible reasons approaching infinity, and as always including injury, sickness and the fair sex.

At the same time, EJ, who was being axed to play the PG, which is a bit more complex than the 3 spot, started with less competancy at his spot than Brady did at the 3, which said Brady has been playing 3 seasons now.

The Travis man started out fairly sharp at the 3 and got an early start. But he kind of muffed it. And since Brady played okay early, well, Travis saw his bowl of menudo cut way back in portion.

But then Brady started slumping and against Memphis, Self had to try something, so he plugged EJ into the 3 to replace slumping Brady, because Tyshawn seemed the new Mr. Steady at PG.

Why didn't he go with Travis that game?

Well, Self was having problems getting the kind of performaces out of Mario Little that he had hoped for, so Self had begun to use Travis as a competitor for Little's role.

Little's role was the utility man--the 3-4 swingman--the guy that Travis has subseqently become, when Little went for a little walk in the moonlight with waaaaay too much on his mind.

So, with Little out, Self turns to Travis as the utility man, which means he can't very well play the 3, when he's swinging at the 4 for foul prone bigs, while Withey clears phlegm, or whatever he was doing.


waywardJay 3 years, 3 months ago

Over. as current. Might change my mind after Michigan. Baylor, K-state, Texas are all tough games alone. Baylor's in Waco, which should mean an L. K-State is in Manhattan and could be an L. We got two against a decent tigers team. Oklahoma State is always tough.


SCHNBALL 3 years, 3 months ago

The evaluation is spot on. As far as Brady goes, High Elite has him pegged, looks like a guy who knows he has been passed up by other players yet he is the senior, kind of feel for the guy, seems totally out of sink with the rest of the team. What a difference a few days of practice made for this team, glad to see that Self has not pushed them to hard early and hope that he keeps a pace to have them peak late.

I believe this team will struggle a little over the next few weeks, but I hope BCHS makes them dig out themselves. If this team decides to play defense for 40 minutes, the sky is the limit. With that said, if they don't come out defensively strong, I can see them losing a few games which bring me to the following:

over under on conference losses this year:

2.5 are you over or under


wrwlumpy 3 years, 3 months ago

This seeems to be a very fair evaluation of the Jayhawks by our Sunday Opponent.


Ron Franklin 3 years, 3 months ago

I love Brady.

But, he has just been the carrot dangling in front of EJ & Travis for 9 games.

Why would EJ & Travis work hard to improve if they were "given" the minutes from the get-go.

Just another one of Coach Self's motivational chess moves.


kirkhinrichflow 3 years, 3 months ago

he's had the 2 dunks thats defined this whole entire season so far.......SWAG!


Joe Baker 3 years, 3 months ago

iSports Page- By Chris Resor

Hopefully TheShiver will make it official today. He doesn't name his "source."

The uk boards are really nasty toward Daniels. I wouldn't go there if you paid me.


Joe Baker 3 years, 3 months ago

A source has confirmed, that after a very odd recruitment, one time Texas commit DeAndre Daniels will commit to the Kansas Jayhawks today pending completion of financial aid paperwork, and plan on enrolling there next semester. The plan is to sit next semester and be available for the 2012 season. The 5 star SF from IMG Academies has made trips to each of the schools in contention for his services over the last few weeks and finally settled on KU. Daniels is one of the premier scorers in the country and can score in various ways. As a 6′-8 small forward, Daniels’ game would remind you of Terrence Jones of Kentucky with his ability to face the basket and score with his back to it. Depending on who goes pro and who comes back next season, and with the extra time to get acclimated to the system Bill Self runs, Daniels could very well be a key part of the Jayhawks 2012 squad. Be sure to check out for the exact moment the official word comes down.


jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

"Its Friday, So Hurry Sundown"

~Project--List all the words you have heard used for "dunk," including any of your own favorites that don't get widely adopted, that you can think of. This excludes types of dunks; that would be another list.

Dunk Stuff Slam Jam Throw-down Posterization Rim Ram Zero Footer Point Blank

~Needed: some names for dunks, where the ball goes down and hits the dunker in his own face? I've always thought guys that dunk in their own faces need a word for this and I haven't heard any, though I'm sure they exist. Here are my suggestions:

Face print.--Who are you? the Law? You gave yourself a face-print on that last dunk. Wilson Blowback--Play of the Day except for the Wilson blowback. Ball-makeup--Man, you got some ball make-up on that dunk. Rim-stop--Nice , but you used your head for a rim-stop. Grille-press--I'm surprised you got any face left at all, after that last grille-press Leather Sanchez--Travis just gave himself a leather sanchez on that last dunk.

~Wild Hair Rumor: Self told the team before the UMKC game that DeAndre and Ben were trying to make up their minds about which school to attend, and then told the team to go out and play the game, as if they were trying to convince DeAndre and Ben to choose KU. :-)

Outta here.


William Blake 3 years, 3 months ago

Scene from Animal House -

Belushi: "Travis... Your new name is "SUP"."

Travis: "Why SUP?

Belushi: "Why not?"

Travis: "Like... Wassup?"

Belushi: "No... Sport Utility Player!"


bradynsdad 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't think Brady is the difference between ku and a national championship. Sure E.J and Travis are more talented but that doesn't mean they always play smart. To start a trend where coach gives minutes to under classmen because their more talented than the upperclassman who have earned their way would make us identical to coach cal and Kentucky. He always said he would take talent over experience, but that hasn't won a national title yet. Self is brilliant in the fact that just because your an espn top thirty doesn't mean he gives you playing time. Brady may not be as naturally gifted as some of our younger players but I guarantee his basketball I.q. Is double.


Ian Brown 3 years, 3 months ago

I kind of feel sorry for the "Brady Basher Brigade." They have jayhawkinnebr in their corner. I'm embarrassed that he calls himself a Jayhawk fan.

I actually have respect for most of the anti-Brady people out there (HighEliteMajor, for example.) Most of you bring up compelling arguments and some valid points when taking your stance against Brady. More importantly, most of you actually discuss various other topics and concerns regarding Kansas basketball without having to mention Brady in every single post.

What I mean to say is that it really must suck when you guys make a decent, coherent argument regarding Brady's ineffectiveness on the court, and then that bumbling moron, jayhawkinnebr, comes along trying to ride your coat tails saying, "You're exactly right. Brady needs P.T. (that's Pine Time) and a lot of it. He's a glue guy, glue him to the bench. He should never see the light of day. Give him mop up minutes, make him mop the floor. Brady's a dud, flop, washout, drag to the team, blah, blah, blah, blah." And whatever other idiotic statements he makes in every post on every thread.

There's no way the guy is all there. I think he really needs some sort of psychiatric help. I'm beginning to feel sympathetic towards him, too. It's quite sad.


duanep5ku 3 years, 3 months ago

Jayhawkinnebr I'm curious to no can you make a day without showing us you do not like Brady because we all get that,so move on. I get what you saying but to keep ripping on a Kansas player that still wears the Kansas uniform day after day is just wrong because it really does not matter what you or I think or anyone else thinks about him. Brady is playing for KU and if Self plays him that's all that should matter to the KU fan base because he's in charge of running the team,not you. 'Oh if you don't like it feel free to apply for the job as head coach,that should get a nice laugh


clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 3 months ago

Still....What was the good news we were suppose to hear about yesterday? And Travis is making up for lost time!!!


FreddyinLA 3 years, 3 months ago

Rele is my preseason MVP.

Best off the ball defender. Shooting the ball as well as anyone. Great team guy. In both the bigs and guards rotation. Great Attitude. Smart on the court. Makes good decision with the ball. Leads the team in windmill dunks.

Reminds me a lot of Steve Woodberry.


jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Travis is coming on as I expected him to do, he just needs more mins on the floor. EJ and Travis are potential great players and we need for them to get the experience that they need right now. For this team to take the next step that is what needs to happen. Bings Brady is a washout, give the mins to these to up and coming players they deserve it.


KU_FanSince75 3 years, 3 months ago

Releford is a gamer. He has spurtability. All the hard work (sitting out last year) is paying off. He has a great attitude and he accepts his role, whatever it is. That helps the Jayhawks! Rock Chalk!


KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 months ago

Do you not think Self and Compliance are on top of this situation? What a dumb statement. LMAO


ParisHawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Agreee with Nutflush21, except that DeAndre Daniels probably does not want "to pay his own way this year."

Some posters have suggested that a current player give up his scholarship. Apparently, either Self refuses to take back what he has already given, or the NCAA doesn't allow splitting a scholarship between two players the same year. Either way, I approve.

Now there is talk about getting Daniels a non-athletic scholarship or grant -- just for the rest of this year, because next year scholarships are available. This worries me: won't it appear that we are giving an extra scholarship to a player while pretending it's not an athletic scholarship? If we are going this route, I hope our compliance folks are working to get NCAA approval, otherwise we could be looking at sanctions.


Nutflush21 3 years, 3 months ago

DeAndre Daniels is looking to join the team immediately and attend school this spring semester. He wants to get acclimated to the college life and practice but not play this year. We currently do not have any scholarships available, so DeAndre will have to pay his own way one semester.


Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe because it's still early. But, The scholarsip issue with DeAndre Daniels seems confusing. How do our scholarships for this year affect next year's incoming players? If he has to seek alternative forms of assistance for the second semester, what would his status be for the first semester? And, would he be considered a walk-on if he is not a true scholarship student-athlete in the traditional form of scholarship? C.J. Henry played without a scholi. But, in his case, he had other means to pay for expenses.

Clarification Gary?


Varlo52 3 years, 3 months ago

TR2 has been a pleasant surprise, but totally off topic, I hope Michigan figures out where Sunday's game is to be played. As of yesterday their official site still showed it "@Kansas."


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