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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dressed to impress: Freshman Naadir Tharpe looks sharp on first day in town

Tyshawn Taylor, left, takes a shot, while Travis Releford and Naadir Tharpe, right, observe during Bill Self’s Basketball Boogie on Saturday at the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City, Mo.

Tyshawn Taylor, left, takes a shot, while Travis Releford and Naadir Tharpe, right, observe during Bill Self’s Basketball Boogie on Saturday at the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City, Mo.

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KU basketball coach Bill Self talks with Rich Jantz, center, and Robert Farha during Bill Self's Basketball Boogie Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City, Mo.

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Cindy Self, left, gives a thumbs up to Joe Calhoon of Lake Weatherby, Mo., during Bill Self's Basketball Boogie Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City, Mo.

— Bill Self wore a green silk shirt, gold chain and white slacks to his third Bill’s Basketball Boogie held Saturday night at the College Basketball Experience next to Sprint Center.

Cindy Self, co-chair of the charity event — and wife of Kansas University’s ninth-year hoops coach — modeled a rainbow-colored dress with white go-go boots, also befitting the disco-oriented theme of the evening.

Actually, a quick glimpse of the 700 or so guests at the dinner/dance revealed just one person in a 2011-style dress shirt with a silver necktie to go with black pants.

That’d be incoming freshman point guard Naadir Tharpe, who several months earlier also stood out by arriving in business attire on his official recruiting trip to KU.

“I get it from my father. He worked at a bank. He looked proper at all times, always wearing a nice shirt and tie as well,” said Tharpe, a 6-foot, 170-pounder from Worcester, Mass., who arrived for summer school at 3 p.m. Saturday, after flying from Boston’s Logan International Airport to KCI.

“I went to prep school. That’s what I’m used to wearing,” added Tharpe, Rivals.com’s No. 92-rated player. He averaged 14.5 points and 6.0 assists a game in leading Brewster Academy of Wolfeboro, N.H., to a 31-3 record and a spot in the national prep school semifinals.

Tharpe, who phoned his mother, Lori, shortly after landing — “She said, ‘I’m proud of you. Reach whatever goals you want.’ That’s what I’m looking forward to doing,’’ — tries to make both mom and dad proud on a daily basis.

Tharpe’s papa, Ronald Edward Tharpe, died after a yearlong battle with lung cancer in 2006 at the age of 47.

“What a great kid,” Self said of Naadir, New England Preparatory School Athletic Council player of the year. “This kid showed up on his recruiting visit in a tie. He reminds me a lot of Aaron (Miles, KU career assists leader, 954, 2002-05). There are things about him ... people gravitate to him.

“I think he’ll be a great leader for us, a great recruiter for us moving forward. I’ll be shocked if he’s not more an impact player next season than what a lot of people think. He’s a lot better player than his ranking,” Self added.

Tharpe — he chose KU over Oklahoma, Minnesota, St. John’s, UCLA, UNLV, Indiana, Marquette, North Carolina State and Boston College — is looking forward to getting right in the gym. He shot baskets with his teammates, including fellow freshman Ben McLemore of St. Louis, on Saturday night at the Boogie.

“I’m just going to work on my defense. Like coach said, ‘You can’t get in the game unless you keep your man in front of you,’’’ Tharpe said. “I’m going to work on everything I need to work on to become better and be able to get on the floor. I’m excited. It was a lot of work to get here.”

Tharpe was glad an outing such as the Boogie was scheduled on his first night in town.

“It’s exciting. I got a chance to meet a lot of new people, plus I got a chance to be hanging around with the dudes from the team,” Tharpe said. “Coach Self is here. Everybody got all dressed up. It’s a fun time.

“I’m 100 percent happy to be around the team. There’s definitely some tension, a little bit of nervousness going on. I just can’t wait for everything to get started.”

Any chance he’ll get homesick this summer?

“No chance. No chance,” he said with an infectious smile. “I’m too old for homesick. I’m around a lot of people you can call your family.”

Boogie fever: The Boogie, which includes an auction, raises money for Bill and Cindy Self’s Assists Foundation. The foundation benefits various youth initiatives including awarding college scholarships to area youths.

“This has been a great night,” Self said. “It’s great for everybody to let their hair down, relax and enjoy the night. It was really cool. What it did was raise a lot of money for youths in our area. We are appreciative of everybody who supports this cause.”

He said it was a big thrill last year in personally handing out scholarship checks to eight youths.

“A lot of these kids wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to school if it weren’t for some assistance,” Self said. “We’re really proud to be able to play a role in that. I’m proud of the recipients.”

Of the outfits of he and his wife, Self said: “My wife looks great. She looks like a cross between one of the go-go girls in an Austin Powers movie or someone from the late 70s, early 80s. She certainly looks a lot better than her spouse. It’s fun to see all these people dressed up.”

Comments

finally4hawks 2 years, 10 months ago

Can't wait to watch Naadir play, hopefully not just in practice !!! (And hope he doesn't get the "freshman syndrome".

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

theend, Thanks for remembering our veterans. WW2 has been a major interest/hobby of mine since grade school. I ultimately hope to get involved with flying warbirds soon... The posters above are correct about the delays by the Germans in mobilizing their panzer divisions to attack near Normandy. The fact is the German high command was split, with some wanting to attack the beachheads directly to obliterate the landing, while others wished to hold the tank divisions in reserve. We should all be thankful they chose to not attack immediately. Normandy was hell enough without the prospect of real defeat by Eastern-front-battle-hardened panzers. Similar mistake made by the Germans in 1940, stopping outside of Dunkirk, not blitzing all the way to the beaches. Allowed over 250k allied men to escape. The military side of ww2 is fascinating stuff--partly because early on, there was a lot of parity, making matchups and strategy all the more important. Also many tantalizing "what if" scenarios...


Kinda like the Big12 this coming season: could be alot of parity. Matchups and strategy will be very interesting.

RCJH

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Joseph Kuebel 2 years, 10 months ago

Oakville- nice to see the regulars! Soobawls is in jail... poor guy, between him and talib I hate seeing and hearing that type of negativity w/in our chalk family. So next subject.

Now, the new schedule... we get a double dose of tayhass and ou(tamu no longer a walkover, texas tech, closer to what baylor was than what baylor is, and on again, off again okie st)... Colorado and Nebraska were two teams that could be compared to a lil sister, lose-lose teams(now all that's left is Iowa state, a tough team in Ames, well... sometimes) the...if you win u r supposed to, if you lose its unforgivable. That's the one good thing is the lil sisters left. Now the rest of the south gets to find out again how it feels to play on the jayhawk conference. I'd say for bball the conference as a whole looks a lot more talented w no scrubs w the exception of Iowa st.

Jaybater, your crazy man. I like u but u r crazy.

Irishdaddy = new anthonyzal = hater = classiness of mizzou and manpower of a Manhattan native...

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REHawk 2 years, 10 months ago

"...a season like Christmas morning for the first 20 games." Very nice, Fairgrove. Jaybate oughtta work that into his dialogue, Cin to her former 2 guard turned coach! Baldy stares down at HCBS with his inscrutable big man mystery demeanor; Bill shrugs and turns to Cin who smiles blandly and whispers, "Ahhhhh. 2011-12. Every game just like Christmas morning."

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 10 months ago

I think it's a great idea to have all of us posters meet. I'll be the one with the neat scars on my abdomen and the hot wife 12 years my junior!!

Good call, theend...thank God the Nazis were idiots. With 10 panzer divisions within a couple hours, they could have destroyed the invasion and bought more time for Hitler to finish development of the atomic bomb.

I wonder if TNT will run "The Longest Day" for 24 straight hours??...they should!!

If anyone needs travel tips on the following places, please let me know:

1] Napa Valley, CA. 2] Sedona, AZ. 3} Sante Fe, NM. 4] Destin, FL. 5] Dyersville, IA. [The Field of Dreams] 6] Manhattan, NY. 7] Seattle, WA. 8] Juneau, AK. 9] St.Louis, MO.[No really, it's actually pretty fun] 10] Any of the Hawaiin Islands

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 10 months ago

Selby didn't fall "flat from ego and inability to play defense." What you say is uniformed, incorrect, and downright foolish. We all know the story so stop fabricating and hating on him.

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FairgroveJayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm excited to see what Naadir can do. Looks like he can potentially be a four year man with a lot of capacity.

Last summer, Marcus was the talk, and he produced. Markieff was the other brother, he turned out to be nearly as important as Marcus. Selby fell flat from ego and inability to play defense. Taylor seemed mediocre from... over expectation of fans? Robinson... holy sweet motor. Releford came with swagger and fell to injury. EJ.. right on track for a freshman. Whithey, looked for offense to compliment his blocks.

This year, it's wide open. Taylor seems to give us the most consistency. At least we know what to expect from the bottom line, and that's pretty darn good.

All others have a ceiling that hasn't been reached which will make this season like Christmas morning for the first 20 games. It'll be fun to watch come October.

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theend 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes.....I know.....this is a basketball board.......But a quick 'shout-out" to our WWII veterans on this D-Day eve. About this time .....Ike was sweating bullets trying to get an accurate weather report......and the boys were making their final preparations and last equipment checks.....staring at the abyss. The noble crusade to end tyranny. 67 years ago tomorrow. Freedom is not Free. Thank God for you veterans.....and thank you!!

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MGJayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Tharpe reminds me of a poor man's Kemba Walker. I think he can develop into a solid pick and roll PG. If Self isn't stubborn and decides to change the offense a bit to match Tharpe's talents, then this kid could be special. In 2 years, remember this post...

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stubert 2 years, 10 months ago

anyone know self's foundation address and name to send contrubitions to ?

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kennethst 2 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate.....would impact(if any) do you expect from Withey?? I think he is a true wildcard.

PS-Glenfiddich 12 yr old on tap for tonight....single malt. You better let me know when/if you go to Scotland. I would be happy to suggest some great places to stay.....and especially some scenic routes through the Highlands that aren't on the general maps. On some of them.....you may think you have left the earth!

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jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

Cin puts an arm around Bill's broad shoulder.

"There, there, Bill, we've been through this before. Every season when there's an unproven big to depend on. Every time you go through the same denial. Every time I call you on it. Every time you break down and say you can't do it, you're not a miracle worker, who can understand bigs?! But every time, you grab your whistle, head to practice and start working on it until something pops. Something always pops, honey, you always find a way to make those bigs perform...tailor them a role that they can perform...however limited. And then they are so grateful to you for fighting through it all for them that they literally run through walls for you later. Heck, honey, you may not understand'em, any better than you do women, or the way you do the perimeter guys, but, if you stop and think about it, your bigs have always been your most stellar guys at crunch time. They almost always produce for you. Its the perimeter guys that blow hot and cold from outside on you."

Cin gives Bill a buck-up hug, then a kiss on the cheek, then hands him his old whistle that Eddie gave him, that Hank gave Eddie. "Get going, big guy. October 15th will be here before you know it. Withey's back in town. He's ready to run through walls for you, if you just keep after him. We'll have a little celebration when you get home tonight, okay?"

He gives her a bear hug.

"You're the best, baby," he says.

She sends him on his way to the field house.

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jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

"But he's a big! Who can understood these tall guys? I mean two years ago Kieff can barely walk and chew gum, and last season suddenly he's solid as a rock and goin' to the show! Withey? If I were his size, I would have been one of the 50 best players of the last flippin' 50 years!"

"Oh," Cin says knowingly, "Big Man Mystery Syndrome again, huh?"

He nods, trying to will himself back to his swagger and get-better modes.

"Well, Danny can sure make them get-better fundamentally, alright, but you're the guy that's got to put the swagger into them; that's got to make them fit in with the runts."

Bill glares.

"Excuse me, honey, I mean you're the one that has got to make them meld with the long and athletic perimeter guys and be a team. And you can do it, Bill, it is part of what makes you a genius at this game."

"Aaaa, genius schmenius, you have been readin' that jaybate again! Look, I got this great footer that Hank, and Paul, Leonard, and Eddie, would have killed for and in two seasons I've got zip to show for it. Give me Tyshawn, give me EJ, give me Travis, I understand these guys, warts and all. Ya goose'em here, they do this, ya goose'em there, they do that, even with all the crazy young male stuff, they still respond eventually. But bigs? Its like they are playing on another planet. Everything I know tellls me Withey is going to come around and we'll be fine at the 5, but that's what I thought last season, too. How does a freaking guy lose 30 pounds and his ability to remember the flippin' plays in two months? Come'on Cin, cut me some slack here. I haven't got a clue what's going to happen with Withey. I ask baldy every day about Withey. Danny just looks at me like, 'Let it go, Bill, it'll happen when it happens.' Then he gives me that big guy look they all have. You know, the one where they look down at you and say nothing. They just stare. Like they know something you don't; that you never will. I'm not a flippin' miracle worker, Cin! I'm just an old 2 guard fakin' it as a coach!!!!"

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jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

To which Bill says, "Trinitizing? Have you been reading that flippin' jaybate again?"

To which Cin says, "He got that from me, darling. Didn't you know that?" She bats her baby blues. "So what about moving EJ to the 2. Are you sure about that? Tyshawn is money at the 2; that's proven already. Remember: Eddie always used to say never pay for the same real estate twice."

To which Bill moves in close and says, "You know me, baby, I'm all in the moment when it comes to things like that. The working hypothesis is EJ, because he's got a better dinger from down town. But it depends on how they play in practice and then in games, when I try them at the 2 with "The Banker" running things. Who knows, maybe both of them will play some 2."

Cin holds Bill off.

"What about BenMac?" Cin asks.

"The kid is good, real good," Bill whispers, pressing closer. "He will back up both wings, baby, and average about 25-30 mpg doing it. Your mileage may vary."

"Not so fast, slick," Cin says, "what about Withey?"

"You worry too much, baby," Self says, "these things always work out."

"Don't go baby, baby, baby with me, until I hear about the 5, Bill," Cin says, "You know the drill. Hank and Paul and Leonard and Eddie have each pulled me aside more than once and said, 'Mrs. Self, that husband of yours is going to be one heck of a basketball coach, but he's a former guard and former guards always underestimate the importance of big men. They obsess on guards and think, oh, the bigs'll work out some how. Former guards that become head coaches have to have wives that keep them focused on the bigs.' Well, don't crowd me, Bill, until you show me the 5."

Bill's face screws tight and his broad shoulders scrunch a little and he turns away muttering.

"I don't know," Bill says, "I delegated that to Danny." He dry washes his hands as Cin give him the critical eye. "I don't know, baby, I'm not Oral Roberts. I can't talk to god and get a response, ya know. Withey's a footer. He's got a good touch. He can run the floor plenty good. But, but, but..."

Cin goes gentle.

"But what? she says.

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jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

Nadiir's remarks make clear what Self has told him. Nadiir says he is going to work on defense from now till October 15th, because Self told him no one gets on the floor unless he can keep his man in front of him.

From this I infer Self is sure Nadiir can play at least 10-20 minutes of offense at the point right now, but is taking a wait and see attitude about Nadiir's defense.

Protection, defense, and Cindy: these are the three things Self will never waver on.

Everything else is subject to nonlinear chaos and he is a master at adapting to such. There his genius lies.

So: key assumption--Nadiir "The Banker" Tharpe can learn to play properly secured Self-defense, i.e. he can learn to stay in front of his man, while being genetically predisposed to "protection," and so he gets to be first back-up at the 1.

Bill Self in turn goes home to Cindy, exhales and say, "Whew, hon, now we've got a fighting chance for another good season. Now I've got some room to move."

And Cin says, "Ah, that's what I love to hear. Come here big guy, I told you Nadiir was a critical get. If Nadiir can guard that means we are going to have twice as many pleasant dinners where you are fun to be with."

To which Bill answers, "Yeah, it means I can start my most explosive, mature impact guys--Tyshawn at 1, EJ at 2, and Travis at 3--on the perimeter--each guy gunning 40% from trey; then bring Nadiir and BenMac 5-10 min in, keep EJ, or Travis on a wing, and still have 2 40% shooters on the wings, while Tyshawn and either EJ, or Travis, take a blow."

To which Cin says, "EJ to the 2? You've invested so much in him at the 1! What about the following year, when Tyshawn is a lottery pick, after cutting his TOs and trinitizing at 40% with healed fingers?"

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jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

With the above in mind, there seems, as Yogi Berra might have said, a 50 percent chance Nadiir Tharpe impacts, a 50% that he disappears, and a 50% chance that he is just so-so.

I spend so much time on Nadiir, because I believe his performance will have a large "impact" on who plays where this coming season, which to me, today, seems more interesting than hopeless speculation about who will specifically start and make big impacts most of the season, who won't do either, or who will do slivers of both.

Nadiir has a strange tendency; this much I can say for sure. He is a freshman who likes to wear ties. Strange tendencies in a sea of chaos are some times all the order one can hope to apprehend of reality.

And so in a tempestuous world, one must sometimes build predictive models from the vague, often counter-intuitive data ghosts of strange tendencies.

I expect Nadiir Tharpe to have some impact at the 1, because he was considered a very polished 1 in high school and wears a tie to recruiting visits and to Boogie Fever parties.

Why does jaybate hang so much of his analysis on the strange tendency of Nadiir wearing a tie?

The tie means Nadiir gets it coming in. It means he is very businesslike in his approach. It means he is his father's son and his father is a banker. I would guess Father Tharpe to be the kind of banker that did not make a lot of stupid loans in the go-go years; the kind of banker that "protected" the depositors' and the banks' monies; the kind of banker that would instill in his basketballin' son the ethic that in basketball a point guard is basically a banker making loans of the ball in search of 2-point and 3-point returns on passing investment; that "protecting" the ball--the paramount thing of value in basketball--the only think capable of generating return and a profitable W&L statement--matters nearly as much as life itself.

Bill Self just got done moving a supposed lottery pick OAD point guard (i.e., Josh Selby) to the 3, because he lacked the protection ethic that Bill Self holds even more sacred than open career options and finishing strong.

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jaybate 2 years, 10 months ago

"Chaos Theory, The Banker, and Big Man Mystery Syndrome:"

Guessing in the off season where Bill Self will play people is a little like picking where the eddies will flow down stream from a pole you stick in the river. Even with the aid of chaos theory, the fluid dynamics are fraught with such nonlinearities that you often guess wrong.

Still, it is the duty of a KU basketball chaos theoretician to try.

Self hints Nadiir Tharpe will impact his first season; that Nadiir is much better than his ranking.

Sometimes Selfian hints mean something, but sometimes they do not.

Self, afterall, is forecasting amidst the same nonlinear fluid dynamics that plague we KU basketball chaos theoreticians (aka thread rats).

To wit...

Self expected Brandon Rush to impact his first season. He lead the team in scoring.

Self expected Russell Robinson to impact his first season. He turned down mop up minutes and never saw the floor again that freshman season.

Self said he expected Brady to play well his first year starting after red shirting. He averaged 32 mpg on a team that went to the Sweet 16.

Self said he expected Travis and Mario to make big impacts last season, after red-shirting. Travis started to, but then disappeared. Mario started not to, but then slowly carved out a small supporting role.

Self expected Tyshawn Taylor to impact his first season. He started almost every game.

Self said he expected C.J. Henry to impact two seasons in a row. C.J. didn't play one season and went to Division II the second.

Thank heavens Self is better at deciding who can play at practice than he is at forecasting who can play in the off season.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 10 months ago

Having graduated in 1971 I can testify that Joe's Bakery probably saved most of the architectural class that year with 3:00AM donut runs to help us all finish our design studio thesis projects and graduate!!

Being compared to Aaron Miles by the head coach is a very, very good start for Naadir!!

Speaking of Theutus, soobawls, anthonyzal, Lebowski, bobbyfissure and many other regulars have disappeared. What gives?

Based on total lines posted since 01/01/11:

  • Jaybate leads the pack although his lead was significantly cut during his trip to Italy.
  • Following neck and neck is kushaw and HighEliteMajor for second place.
  • Right behind them is the upset favorite Ralster [he of the outstanding avatars].
  • Others back in the pack include drgnslyr, 100 and myself [I was shocked....I need to get a life!!].

PS, the beauty of this is nobody in their right minds would actually go back and check me, so I could almost say anything. Listing my friend, Jaybate, as number one was a no brainer!!

I'll be the idiot today and ask...any word on Deandre? Some sources said that he would declare after a tournament this weekend. I am also waiting for monkeys to fly out of my butt!!!

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kennethst 2 years, 10 months ago

I went from thinking this season would be kind of average at best, yawn,ho-hum......to being pretty darn excited!! I think these guys will have a very good.....possibly great...team.

seems like that happens a lot at Kansas!

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William Blake 2 years, 10 months ago

"There are things about him ... people gravitate to him."

Naadir carries plenty of positive juju with him at all times. I can't ever recall an incoming recruit, who wasn't ranked high, that has already captured so much enthusiasm from the Jayhawk Nation.

He's bringing some magic with him... his great attitude will carry over to the rest of the team, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't end up leading this team soon.

Naadir's impact in year one may be realized through Tyshawn. I am betting he has plenty of mind and spirit to help Tyshawn perform to his best in his senior year. Tyshawn knows he will need to step up this year in a stronger leadership role.

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kennethst 2 years, 10 months ago

Has anyone heard from "Theutus" lately??? He used to post on this board often but I have not heard from him in quite a while.....

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ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 10 months ago

Lot of old timers on the boards today. I can't wait till hcbs retires and someone around my age is hired and turns the bogie into the "thong song." That's right, the coach will color his hair silver like Sisco and the ladies will come in proper attire. Ah bleachers, the hawk, Abe and jakes, let's do this!

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yvonnewarren 2 years, 10 months ago

This must be for us because i arrived in Lawrence in August of '76 and I do think the club was Shenanigans. And Joes Doughnuts was down the street. ( fresh doughnuts at 2am).It's going to be a good year! WELCOME JAYHAWKS!!

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 10 months ago

I have found it disappointing Self's Assists foundation only includes KC and Lawrence. There are Jayhawks all across the state and to only have these two cities included for scholarships is disappointing.

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REHawk 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm not looking to see a season with only 2 or 3 losses. I predict a real roller coaster ride in the won/loss column. But the ingredients for another run at the league title would appear to be in place, and the Jayhawk Nation is in for another exciting year of basketball. Lotsa tension throughout. An action packed season of grins and groans.

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bradynsdad 2 years, 10 months ago

I am kind of curious what was meant by "alot of tension". Is there tension with the team or the guys are just excited and ready to get the season started. I am really excited to see if self is right, if tharpe and traylor both are better players than people think we may have another great season.

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IrishDaddy 2 years, 10 months ago

sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

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jayhawker_97 2 years, 10 months ago

Naadir Tharpe is a dangerous pg. his cross-over, accurate passes, and strong bounces are lethal. i'm really excited and can't wait to see him play. rock chalk!

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Funhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

What a coincidence, listening to Boogie Fever as this website was pulled up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPueR6... Ah, to arrive in Lawrence in 1976....afros and feather cuts and Charlie's girl Farrah...bell bottoms and high platform shoes... disco and get up to get down....Bucky's burgers and Joe's donuts late at night....Hare Krishna's dancing in circles on the hill......all kids as skinny as the Jayhawk players....those were the days.....they will never return.

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Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 10 months ago

Seems like a good representative of Kansas Basketball.

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Jeremy Bolinger 2 years, 10 months ago

After reading this article, I'd have to say I'm extremely excited to watch Nadir Tharp play. Also love that he dresses like a man. Very nice!

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