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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson puts on shooting clinic at Bill Self hoops camp

Kansas University guard Elijah Johnson participates in a workout during the Bill Self basketball camp on Tuesday at Horejsi Center.

Kansas University guard Elijah Johnson participates in a workout during the Bill Self basketball camp on Tuesday at Horejsi Center.

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Kansas University junior combo guard Elijah Johnson put on an impressive three-point shooting exhibition for Bill Self’s basketball campers on Tuesday afternoon in Horejsi Center.

Darting around a team manager who was setting screens, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Johnson swished between five and 10 treys in a row several different times in a high-energy, 20-minute drill.

“It’s like dancing. You catch a rhythm and you go,” Johnson said. “Just like the O.K. State game, it’s a rhythm with me. Once I’m on, I’m on.”

Johnson, who hit 22 of 55 threes his sophomore season (40 percent), went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc in a 92-65 pounding of Oklahoma State last Feb. 21 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I don’t count how many I shoot (practicing) or how many I make. I just try to see the highest number I can make in a row,” Johnson said.

“Conner Teahan (senior guard) can make about 60 in a row. I’ve seen him do it and from anywhere, too. With me, the number varies. I’ve made about 42, 43 in a row before. I’ve probably made more than that, but that’s just lately I made 42 in a row.”

The former Las Vegas Cheyenne High standout, who averaged 3.4 points, 1.8 assists and 13.7 minutes a game in 36 games last season, realizes he’ll have to provide scoring punch following the loss of the Morris twins, Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar, Mario Little and Josh Selby.

“Somebody has to make shots. We’ve got to have guards that can make a shot,” Johnson said. “I feel like every guard on our team can make shots this year. Tyshawn (Taylor) drives so well. He can shoot the ball.”

Johnson believes hard work in the spring and summer will pay off during the 2011-12 season.

“Me and Thomas (Robinson, junior power forward) were trying to take no days off since the season ended, especially Thomas. Coach (Bill Self) told us to leave the ball alone a little bit and let our legs recover and start over so I stopped playing ball a little bit,” Johnson said of the week or so following KU’s season-ending, Elite Eight loss to VCU.

“Once I got back into it I felt like I was learning all over again. It made it fun again, just working and being in the gym, starting all over again — 365 (days).”

Johnson said he relishes the opportunity to grasp a more meaningful role in games.

“Honestly the time to go is now (after KU’s personnel losses). I’m one of the people to look up to with Tyshawn, Thomas. We’ve got to carry the team,” Johnson said. “The team will go as far as we take ’em, so I am willing to take ’em far.”

Johnson, who is enrolled in summer school, has time to make his mark.

“I need to get stronger, to make sure I’m definitely the strongest guard. I am right now, but I definitely want to be the strongest guard on the team,” Johnson said. “Also learn how to work with the freshmen because they are an important piece of our puzzle, to be a leader, lead by example, have a good attitude.”

Keller to A&M: Texas A&M on Tuesday officially announced the hiring of KU video coordinator Kyle Keller as assistant coach on new Aggie coach Billy Kennedy’s staff.

Prior to his three-year stint at KU, Keller served nine years on the Oklahoma State staff under head coaches Eddie Sutton and Sean Sutton.

“I’ve known Kyle for a long time,” Kennedy said. “His experience in the Big 12 and his ability to recruit Dallas and the state of Texas will be a great benefit to our program.”

KU coach Bill Self said he was, “really excited for Kyle. Kyle has been basically in a situation because of the staff change at Oklahoma State, he’s been overqualified doing what he’s doing here. It’s great seeing him to get back on the road (recruiting as full-time assistant).”

Self said he did not know if he’d replace Keller at KU.

“If we do (get somebody) we could use somebody that is very computer savvy and certainly hungry and really wants to learn and grow. I’m not sure we have to do anything. I’m going to wait and evaluate and see where we need to go as we go through the summer,” Self said.

Collins in Puerto Rico: Former KU guard Sherron Collins, who was released by the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats last winter, has signed with Puerto Rican pro team Piratas de Quebradillas for the rest of the season.

Say what?: Marcus Morris had the Internet buzzing with a quote he provided to the San Francisco Chronicle after Monday’s workout with the Golden State Warriors.

“I think there's a little buzz that I'm more than advertised,” Morris said. “At Kansas, you're really restricted from showing your game. I think a lot of teams are surprised that I’m better than they expected. I’m not afraid of going to a workout, because I don't feel like there’s anything I can’t do.”

Lest anybody think the talkative, ever-quotable Morris has anything against KU, he also told nba.com he felt “privileged to play at Kansas (where) Danny Manning was a mentor to me. He helped me a lot, made me successful playing the 4 (power forward) and helped me with everything.”

Marcus was asked by Milwaukee WSSP radio who will be better when all is said and done: the Morris twins or the NBA’s Lopez brothers?

“Is that a trick question? Not to take anything away from those guys. I think they are great players. I just think me and Markieff have been through a little bit more,” Marcus said. “I think we have different aspects of our game that are just a little bit more than those two. They are both just strictly centers, so there’s not too much they could do as far as stretching the defense and creating open shots off the dribble and things like that. I think me and Markieff both can really do that real well, so at the end of the day I think me and Markieff are probably going to better.”

Comments

Chris Bruning 3 years, 2 months ago

WOW! How many NBA personnel (scouts, gm's, etc) were at the KU vs. Baylor game?? Cant wait for next season and the draft!!

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 2 months ago

Baylor has come out swinging for the fences. They have already received a verbal from rivals #1 recruit Isaiah Austin. But I'm really looking forward to seeing EJ at or near the top of his game. I think he will be next years break-out player. We have the potential for an awesome 3 guard rotation.

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odc213 3 years, 2 months ago

yea, Marcus didn't get the ball at all, he didn't get very many minutes. well news flash, there was more talent than just him on the team. Atypical of KU grads but typical of Marcus. This seems right in line of a string of recent comments from him, that basically are complimenting himself, trying to prop himself up for the draft. Who needs a nba agent when you've got Marcus mouthing off for you? I actually think Derrick Williams is a better player than Marcus. Remember his comments on the Arizona player?

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RockChalkIowa2010 3 years, 2 months ago

this is a rather ignorant comment. clearly, for whatever reason, you have something against the twins. too bad. i'm proud to couple myself with them as alums (hoping they decide to graduate). They bleed crimson and blue and are fantastic representatives to what KU has to offer. Two tough kids from philly who, although having troubles to adapt their first year, realized that Self offered not only a winning tradition but a winning lifestyle. they embraced both. This is what Marcus is saying in these comments. what he's saying is people didn't realize he possessed the skill set that he has. it's no newsflash to him. he'd be the first to tell you he played and shined within a system because he knew that if he followed Self's plan they'd be the most dominant team in the country. why? because of the talent on his team. 2 years running the twins, especially marucs, were dramatic reasons for our success and #1 seeds and rankings. I love the twins because they hold nothing back. Marcus is going in with loads of confidence because he's already proven to the world that he can play team basketball, within a system, and be wildly successful both individually and as a team. Now he goes into an NBA work out and shows the scouts that in a short shot clock league that relies on players making their own shots he can not only play within a team system but create his own shot, take the defender off the bounce, shoot 3 pointers, spread a defense, create wholes for team's superstars. Neither twin ever said they were better than williams. for their sake i hope they both believe it. but what markieff meant is he didn't feel williams was as good as advertised. the twins feel (and i'm referring to their comments about both the lopez twins and williams) that they are not only big/strong/athletic enough to bang inside with the three but can also step outside. run a pick and pop. spread a defense. In ku's system they were fed the ball down low and the offense worked through them. in the nba it works through the primary ball handler. what they're showing is they have the ability to play within a system but adapt to any situation, an invaluable asset in the league. will the twins have better careers than the lopez twins or williams? who knows. i hope so. they certainly think they will. and if you think going into draft work outs and entering professional play with the attitude that: "I played for the best team in college, won countless games, had tremendous individual success, and i have no doubt I will take these lessons and apply them in the nba" is atypical of kansas alums then you clearly are a bit out of touch.

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WilburNether 3 years, 2 months ago

Classic fanboi comment.

Someone suggests that maybe, just maybe a KU jock (or, in this case, former KU jock) is not a perfect god-like creature towering above the earth, and the fanbois come unglued.

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Robin Smith 3 years, 2 months ago

Seven Points of Fact :-)

  1. An alum is any person who goes to a school for any amount of time.
  2. Markieff made the comment about Derrick Williams.
  3. KU is definitely a structured program that subjugates individual game to team game.
  4. Marcus is correct in saying he did not play his individual game at KU - whereas in the NBA he may have more freedom (keyword: may).
  5. Neither of the twins have said anything of late that is unfounded, specious or blatantly untrue.
  6. The twins' candid interactions with reporters should be praised.
  7. The twins will be awesome in pros.
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odc213 3 years, 2 months ago

save it for your mutha RockChalkIowa,

Glad you stayed up late and wrote a blathering base comment for all to see

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jayhawka15fan 3 years, 2 months ago

I thought the comments were from Markief???

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Chris Bruning 3 years, 2 months ago

oops, meant to throw in there that elijah johnson, along with the manbeast TRob, became my favorite player last year, can't wait to see this kid get busy. This team will be fun, as always....

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odc213 3 years, 2 months ago

not to take away from ELIJAH! He will have progress

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Chris Bruning 3 years, 2 months ago

odc213- I believe that was Markieff who commented on D. Williams...but i agree with you, Morris twins are awesome, but if i were drafting i take Williams before either twin....

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odc213 3 years, 2 months ago

tru - just funny that the twins only took us to the Elite 8 yet, are someone so underrated and 'better than advertised'

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RockChalkGuy 3 years, 2 months ago

Just as people are criticized for being a fanboy (blindly loving their team and/or players), this comment deserves as much criticism for being an anti-fanboy (blindly hating on the Morris twins).

Why all the persistent hate?

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oldalum 3 years, 2 months ago

I think all he was saying is that at Kansas you play team ball instead of showcasing individual talent. Quotes taken out of context can be very deceiving.

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Gene Jackson 3 years, 2 months ago

Conner Teahan making 60 in a row from anywhere? Well, hope to see him play a few more minutes if that is the case.

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Timmay97 3 years, 2 months ago

Haven't posted here in a long while.....but I wanted to put my two cents in on this DeAndre Daniels kid.

My personal opinion is that Calhoun is 1 or 2 years away from retirement. There is NO WAY that kid is going to UConn unless he knows for a fact that Calhoun is coming back. Therefore, I think both Daniels and Calhoun are on the same timeline. If Daniels is a one and done player, then my guess is so is Calhoun as a coach.

Also, I have an immense feeling.......prepare to see Elijah Johnson play out of his mind this year.

Starters:

Taylor, Johnson, McClemore, Robinson, Withey (?)

Withey is the only question mark to me. Also, don't underestimate how much Connor Teehan will mean to the team this year. He's going to be our Tyrel Reed this year with his shot and nonstop motor.

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hawksquawk 3 years, 2 months ago

I think we'll see Releford start at the 3 with McClemore getting some solid minutes behind him.

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Ted Hume 3 years, 2 months ago

Wait, did you just write "Connor Teehan" and "non-stop motor" in the same sentence? Really? Not to be too critical of Connor, but there's really little similarity between Reed and Teehan, athletically speaking.

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FairgroveJayhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm understanding more and more Self had a gag order on the Morris brothers!

Good news EJ! Great attitude, great work ethic and growing talent. Can't beat it.

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jhkprd 3 years, 2 months ago

I love Connor, but he's not Tyrel Reed. Connor is blessed/cursed to be what he is, a slow but enthusiastic guy who can shoot in practice, but has yet to bring it to a game. Tyrel was the fastest guy on the team, a real athlete, who did not need to shoot well to contribute. That said, here's hoping Connor will show me a new side and prove me wrong.

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cmm889 3 years, 2 months ago

Haha, I'm always glad to see the Morris twins quoted.

The twins are going to be great NBA players and fantastic KU representatives. Who cares if they talk smack? I think its great that some players that come through our program have some kind of attitude other than acting like secret service agents and keeping a "gag" order.

Johnson: you'd better be ready to throw down when the season starts up! you've got what it takes so lets make it happen.

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Joe Baker 3 years, 2 months ago

Give me more recruits like EJ. The moment he waved the KU jersey in front of a Kentucky crowd, he won me over with his loyalty. This kid is all KU.

Rock Chalk Elijah- This is the year of the Prophet.

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

Starters.......TT,EJ,T-ROB,Withey,Releford???

Do I have that right? They could be good......very,very good.

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LHS1980 3 years, 2 months ago

That mouth has a mouth of its own...that was pretty much a slam to the KU coaching staff..a pretty screwed up thing to say..

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WilburNether 3 years, 2 months ago

"Former KU guard Sherron Collins, who was released by the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats last winter, has signed with Puerto Rican pro team Piratas de Quebradillas for the rest of the season."

Assuming, of course, that he makes the flight to Puerto Rico.....

See, I told you so, that Collins would never make it in the NBA.

And, predictably, fanbois came unglued that someone suggested that their idol was not all they hyped him up to be.

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

Don't like Sherron, eh? I wonder.....did you dislike him and have no respect for him when he won us the national title in 2008? Plus he gave KU four amazing years.....did you dislike him when he was winning us Big 12's??

I think he was everything and more than we "hyped him up to be".

Besides....you don't know him or know anything about him.....yet you think you can judge him??

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HawkKlaw 3 years, 2 months ago

+1

Sherron was an excellent Jayhawk. It didn't work out for him in the pros, but you cannot deny his contribution to KU. We would not have won it in 2008 without him and he deserves to get his jersey on the wall in AFH for being loyal enough to stay at KU for four years. I've never heard AFH get louder than it did on his senior night against KSU.

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

I fully agree with you....and I don't get people that seem to enjoy his lack of success in NBA. But he could still make it. Plus, sounds like he's fine. He will earn pretty good money in PR and also I know he played in Europe(Lithuania) for a while this year.....probably made good $$$ there too.......I'm sure he could play more in Europe if NBA doesn't work.

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 2 months ago

Don't know if you need to 'know' someone to judge them. We all do it.. BUT..Sherron made the singular best play in the 2008 championship. IMO Mario deserves all the credit he gets from hitting the clutch 3 to tie but I though Sherron's steal then 3 pointer the play before was spectacular.

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milehighhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Should we be doing shots for every time you use the word "fanboi" on this page?

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KUFan90 3 years, 2 months ago

Our version of the drinking game is to do a shot whenever Wilbur uses either "fanboi" OR "unglued". When he uses them in the same sentence, it's a quadruple shot.

We also drink whenever Wilbur makes an ass of himself.

Needless to say, we are all completely hammered...

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 2 months ago

I see a lot of plantains, paella and arroz con pollo in his future. Have a great time Sherron... but get back into NBA shape, you already have NBA skills.

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HawkKlaw 3 years, 2 months ago

It's going to be difficult for any team to line up against the plethora of guards that we have next season. We may be a little weak at the 4 & 5 spots (besides TRob, of course), but I truly believe that success in the NCAA tourney depends a lot on great guard play. I would consider that the main reason why we lost to VCU...none of the guards stepped up. KU shouldn't have that problem next season.

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RockChalk26 3 years, 2 months ago

EJ continues to climb my list of all time favorite Jayhawks. Sadly, Marcus is slipping down the list. With more comments like that coming from Marcus, he may be off my list all together.

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milehighhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Whatever - I don't see what the big deal is. Marcus is not a robot, he's a character. Scot Pollard was similar, and fans drooled over him.

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RockChalk26 3 years, 2 months ago

Marcus is one of the better players in recent years to go through KU. HCBS gave him tons of opportunities to showcase his skills so to say, "At Kansas, you're really restricted from showing your game," is kind of a slap in the face.

And yes, Scot Pollard was a character, but he never threw KU under the bus with comments that degrade the program and how they use their players.

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

Marcus is free to say whatever he wants. I don't think it is a big deal. What do you want.....for him to build a KU shrine where he comes to meditate daily and give thanks to Kansas? Get over it.

Besides.....he didn't say anything bad about KU. And you better get a thicker skin if you think he did.....because I promise you many in the future will say much worse.

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RockChalk26 3 years, 2 months ago

Out of curiosity, how do you interpret the quote?

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Nutflush21 3 years, 2 months ago

I think most people interpretted that quote as, "at kansas its team over everything, we played team ball there. Kieff and I have more to offer and that wasn't showcased fully while at KU."

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Ethan Berger 3 years, 2 months ago

I took at as him saying that one player doesn't run the team. Self system is pass first, NBA is do whatever you can to play street ball.

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

For those of you that take a certain,strange glee in Sherron Collin's lack of success in the NBA......Made me think of 3 plays he made in the title game vs Mempjis that allowed KU to win. Near the end.....as time seemed to be slipping away for Kansas....

1)The unbelievable steal on the baseline & pass back to Chalmers

2) The 3 point shot seconds later from the corner on pass from Robinson.

3) The assist to Chalmers 3 to tie the game

Curious.....did you like Collins back then?

They are all right here(below link).....maybe some of you need a refresher course on Sherron Collins:

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

JWLiddell-I was curious about what you said about the Red Light District in Amsterdam.....were you being sarcastic about not going there.....or is it really a place you don't want to go? I have heard it is pretty nuts with the drugs,prostituion,etc......but also heard it is a bit unsafe. (crime)

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

“At Kansas, you're really restricted from showing your game. I think a lot of teams are surprised that I’m better than they expected." --Marcus Morris

This was the same rap on John Wooden and Dean Smith and Bob Knight, who crafted roles for their players that maximized their strengths, masked their weaknesses, and muzzled their mouths.

in Wooden's case, a bunch of his guys would get drafted simply because so many thought they must be good, because they led Bruin team's to rings year after year. But Wooden knew the guys that could make it in the L and those that could not. And he knew very few could. And so he hugely emphasized getting one's degree.

Quite a lot of UCLA players, great ones and lesser ones, left UCLA and immediately started exercising their free speech and French pastry abilities that Wooden had abridged during their UCLA years in pursuit of D1 excellence.

A few great ones, like Bill Walton, and Kareem Jabbar, quickly learned that their political views were loathsome to many who had admired them at UCLA and found that political views, which are good to have, don't advance one's business career when expressed in the wrong forums. Walton and Jabbar were always appreciative of what Wooden had done for their games, because they were both smart. But it took Walton a decade or so to realize what Wooden had done for him off the court and with the media. And Jabbar never figured it out until he finally left the NBA and discovered no one even wanted to hire him for a city league coach.

But of course, Marcus and Kieff will never even be able to hold the jocks straps of the likes of Kareem and Walton.

Marcus and Kieff are more like the David Greenwoods, Sven Naters, Richard Washington types that seemed to stream endlessly through Westwood in those days. Those guys had certain talents and if Wooden hid their flaws and put them together with just the right kind of players, then they won rings with superior conditioning and superior strategy, and a coach that almost never made a mistake in March.

Self is not yet in Wooden's league, but he maybe on track for a run in his 50s that could take him there and he has won a ring in his formative years that eluded Wooden.

And Self does essentially the same think Wooden did with his players. He elevates their strengths, masks their weaknesses masterfully, and muzzles those that need it. And though he does not flatly bench players for individual French Pastry and selfish plays, they go in the resume and whenever a lesser player that toes the line gets better and can do the job, that player that toes the line begins to get most of the PT.

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 2 months ago

I remember the joke that the only who could hold Jordan under 20 was Dean Smith.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

For all Self and his staff, not just Manning, but all of his staff, did for Marcus, he is biting the hand that fed him, without need to do so.

This betrays considerable immaturity and resentment on his part.

Self is getting no thanks from Marcus.

Self is getting no thanks from Markieff.

Self is getting no thanks from Selby.

Selby isn't surprising. Things went south for him at KU, because of injuries and his suspension, and because he never could protect.

But the Twins ingratitude seems a sign of kids carefully protected by a mother and a coach and a local media (the LJW) that is not very exploitative, getting a whiff of big money and getting too high and being fed set-ups by exploitative media operating without parental supervision.

Ingratitude may bite these three guys one day, especially the Morri.

Selby has seemed to be on some promoter's puppet strings--maybe Melo's biz manager that almost sunk him connecting him to Pearl--so he may not have to care. Self and KU may just have been an exploitation by some hard cases that have owned Selby's glutes since he was in junior high. And, if so, maybe Selby just knows who owns him.

But the Morri ought to know better.

Here is the harsh historical truth about Self's player's performances in the pros.

Without exception, it turns out that Self successfully masked a ton of weaknesses in his players' games in college that have later been exposed in the pros.

Simien--money on the blocks in college, because Self maximized his wide body MUA in D1, but even when healthy he proved to be a player with limited ability in the pros.

Julian--capable of beasting on the run, when he had the MUA, in college, and defending until Brandon had to take over for him. Because Self masked his lack of a shot, Julian got exposed in the pros for having no shot and not being strong enough to muscle and defend in the pros.

Kaun--the smartest one of the bunch, because he understood how Self had masked his limitations. Sasha took the Russian money now, instead of going to the NBA and having his limitations exposed and then missing out on the Russian bones, too.

Arthur--at KU, Self masked Arthur's lack of concentration by subbing him constantly and never requiring him to carry the team, except for brief stretches, or the rare game, when he could concentrate. In the pros, Arthur's got enough physical talent to stay on a roster and play some for a bad team, but bottom line Arthur's been exposed.

Rush--a great, great college player, a guy who could have scored 25 ppg, but who lacked great intensity, Self masked his lack of intensity, and lack of a left hand, by creating a team around him that could provide the intensity he often lacked and that did not require him to put the ball on the floor. In the pros, BRush's lack of intensity and mono-handedness keep him always teetering on the edge of being more than a role player, but never quite getting over the hump.

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

He always had that "sleep-walk" look to him.....but who knows what goes on in any person's head(let alone a woman's....GEEZ!!) .......but I will say during both the 2008 UNC and Memphis game....that guy was fired up. You can see it in his face.

PS-If a woman ever asks if she looks ok before going out in the evening.....never (NEVER!!) hesitate or act like it is even a question. Immediately say yes,fabulous,perfect.....and keep moving. Don't hover. Just keep moving....and you will be ok.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

kennethst,

You are wise!

It is frankly amazing how few men get this and how long it takes them to get it.

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

HA! Yes....I have figured them out to a limited extent. But what about the classic woman's line of "aren't I worth it?" when you balk at the price of something??? There is no comeback!! Women.....they are masters of the mind. There is nothing that can be done!!

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JayDocMD 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree with everyone except Arthur - I think he could be a legit starter if given the opportunty. He showed that he could score against playoff-caliber teams and was the best big man coming off the bench for a team that made it to the conference semi-finals.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

Chalmers--Self understood the great crunch time shooter that was only a good shooter otherwise, and the short 2 guard that thought he was a PG. Self significantly limited Chalmers total FGAs, but got the ball in his hands at crunch time, and made sure he stayed at the 2, after giving him an early chance to show he was not a natural PG. In the pros, he is told to shoot too often and his career percentages are not good enough to justify him as a starter, even though he still has the crunch time gun. Now more than ever he is a too short 2 that can bring juice off the bench, but lacks what it takes to be a formidable starter. To Spoelstra's credit, he is slowly moving Rio back into the role Self had him in all along and has him coming off the bench to exploit his strengths when MUAs permit.

Aldrich--Self completely masked his hedging deficiency on the pick'n'roll, even from me, and brought him so much double team help on defense that his obvious upper body weakness was masked, or discounted, also. Self even hid how short he was. All we saw were his mad stork defensive and rebounding strengths. In the pros, suddenly all was exposed and he spent his rookie season shuttling between the L and the D league.

XHenry--The NBA GMs saw the NBA body, trey, and the improved rebounding at KU, while Self carefully masked the inability to finish at the rim, his lack of a mean streak, and his need for help defense. In the L, even though he quit sand bagging, he still can't finish, and so they over guard his trey and he can't get it off at will, and can't play NBA grade defense.

Sherron--Self didn't mask much with Sherron (TO streaks, overcommittment on drives, etc., were all quite apparent), but Self did mask, by muzzling Sherron, that Sherron apparently had a psyche that required a tremendously strong father figure to keep him remotely on track. When Sherron entered adult life, his 30 point D-league performances showed he had the game for the L to a consumate pro like Larry Brown, but Sherron quickly went off the rails without a firm hand, lost emotional discipline, and ate too much, and crashed down to the Puerto Rican league.

And yet all of these guys performed exceptionally well at KU under Self, so well the NBA gave all sizeable chunks of change and a shot, only to watch them dissipate into mediocrity, or to disappear completely from the L, when their limitations began not to be masked for them.

Chalmers has probably had the best go of any of Self's players in the pros and he has quickly found his long term level coming off the bench.

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate I wouldn't worry much about what Marcus said. I don't think he meant much by it. And remember....he's still just a kid.....kids say things without thinking. And now that he's NBA bound he's probably not thinking much of the "right" things to say about Kansas. With age comes perspective and wisdom. In the end he will look back fondly at Kanas and be proud of his time there.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

Wise points. I hope the Twins read them.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes, the L is a big step up for everyone and only a few can make it. But it is apparent that Self gets the most out of these guys, protects them from themselves, and masks a lot of their flaws in doing so.

If Marcus truly believes what he is saying and implying, then he is in for a very, very rude awakening in the L.

Marcus and Markieff Morris are soon about to learn just how much Self has protected them from their weaknesses and just how vulnerable they and their games are to exploiters at the professional level.

It is, of course, possible that Marcus and Kieff are being "managed" by the agents to promote themselves in their recent quotes, and that is okay if that is the case. Promotion in an auction game usually stimulates competitive bidding and raises price. They are now in business mode and they can tell Self its all an act to get their bid price up. Bully for them, for them if this were the case.

But if Marcus Morris, and Markieff, do not understand that Bill Self carefully, masterfully hid their considerable weaknesses from teams, at least until they were finally exposed in the Madness--i.e., neither can go hard 35-40 minutes on a day's rest, neither can handle a guy with 20 pounds on them, neither can take it when the other team really starts doing more than trash talking, neither can really put it on the floor and create against anyone their own size, and both have emotional interdependencies that could easily be exploited without a clever coach protecting them--they just are not emotionally ready for rigors of the L that they are about to encounter.

You have to remember who helped you get where you are going, or you will inevitably forget how you got there and, when the bullets begin to fly and adversity sets in, you will be all alone and inevitably crushed.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

I am a huge fan of Marcus and Kieff.

I think they can be very good professionals.

I have defended their candor in virtually ever remark they have made to date.

And I think what Marcus said is essentially correct.

But what you say in public about those that have helped you succeed, and how you say it, and when and where, matters.

It really is not good for Marcus and Markieff to be seen as guys that think Self over-restricted their games, as guys that are not grateful to Self for what he did for them, and as guys who may be ingrates.

Organizations draft based on ceiling, but the best organizations include character as part of ceiling.

Birds of a feather flock together.

You attract what you put out.

The Twins may well be maxing their draft rank and dollar value by feeding the quote machine.

But I fear they may be doing so at the expense of getting themselves drafted by lesser quality GMs and organizations.

The NBA is a collection of small athletic bureaucracies. Career wise, plugging into the best organization you can initially is a lot more important that a few hundred thousand dollars difference in the first contract, which is probably all this kind of managed self-hyping can achieve for either of them. And notice their handlers, if this in fact is happening, are careful to have them do the self-promotion, not the handlers. The handlers are protecting their own abilities to work with owners by having their players do the dirty work.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

I believe Marcus is a very, very, very underrated player, because his long suit is his versatility and that kind of player is always underrated. He can have a long and successful NBA career, if he can learn to drain the NBA trey, instead of shoot the 36% perent he shot last year at KU--a frankly terrible percentage for a claimed trey shooting big without an injury. But he will have to muscle up and learn how to deal with guys bigger and stronger than him, before his manifold virtues can display themselves in the NBA.

I believe Kieff actually has a higher probability of success in the NBA simply because he has a better trey, and is better suited to the NBA 4 than Marcus is. And does not have to worry about swinging to the NBA 3, as Marcus does.

You have to be flippin' great to play that NBA 3 spot as a starter. There are so many good 3 players coming out all the time. The NBA 4 has a narrow skill set that fewer players possess, and if you've got it, you've pretty much got a 10-15 year NBA career wired.

Kieff seems closer to having the 4 spot skill set than Marcus does to having the 3 spot skill set wired, because Marcus doesn't have the proven trifecta that most NBA 3s have to have.

But regardless of what their skill sets are, and of how much Self masked in their games, they would be much better off landing with a quality organization with a quality GM and HC.

And rightly or wrongly, I fear that playing the self-promotion game and signalling ingratitude could steer them toward the weasels and away from the class pros in the drafting process.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

Loyalty and gratitude are not just virtues: they are real politik.

You can tell Mario gets it, when he comes back.

The Twins appear not to get it.

Talking up Danny Manning is one thing.

But Bill Self was where the buck stopped, when the Twins played at Kansas.

Bill Self is why the Twins were at Kansas.

Bill Self crafted the offensive and defensive schemes that enabled the Twins to flourish as much as they did.

Bill Self was who decided who played the supporting roles that enabled the Twins to be the guys KU played through and so show case their games for the NBA GMs.

If Self had turned the team over to Josh Selby, for example, who quickly got injured and never learned to protect and make the guys around him better in his one season, KU and the Twins could easily have fallen off the radar screen last season. If Self had given the team to Selby, the Twins would not have been the guys that carried the team.

They would not have been the hot commodities they are right now.

Never bite the hand that feeds you, before or after it feeds you...unless it abused you and broke the law.

Self appears only to have helped them and played by the rules.

Why not bite the hand that fed you, if you can get away with it?

Well, even if you lack all loyalty, and even if you can get away with under-respecting those that helped you , think about this: the bosses in the future are going to view you and treat you as a guy with no loyalty, when they see you acting this way.

Is that the way Marcus and Kieff want to be treated?

I don't think so.

Give Self the curtesy he deserves in these inteviews, Morri. Self will be fine either way. It is you two I am worried about.

"Oh baby baby it's a wild world, it's hard to get by just upon a smile Oh baby baby it's a wild world, and I'll always remember you like a child, girl." --Cat Stevens "Wild World"

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

I always feel something is missing on this board until Jaybate shows up and restores order.

If all of us posters ever got together.....I envision a lively round of pre-dinner drinks and animated discusion at a long table during dinner.

But I think after the meal......Jaybate would naturally move to the center of the room.....and we would naturally encircle him and listen to his stories of KU Basketball until the the wee hours.

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hawksquawk 3 years, 2 months ago

And I'd be impatiently tapping my fingers on the table as it takes him 17 hours to tell the waitress what he's having.

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes.....but it would be a fun 17 hours!

Somebody can order for him.

I think we would have to reserve a private room, though......for the entire evening.

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hawksquawk 3 years, 2 months ago

It might be fun for 30 seconds. I have a feeling Jaybate would either be bashfully introverted or a conversational ballhog. Either way, not fun in a social setting. Brevity, sir, is the soul of wit.

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh....I don't know. I would bet it would be one of those events you would be apathetic about going but go just the same.....and when it was done being surprised at how much fun you had.......to me those always seem to be the best experiences....when you least expect it.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

You are very kind to me.

Thx.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

“Honestly the time to go is now (after KU’s personnel losses). I’m one of the people to look up to with Tyshawn, Thomas. We’ve got to carry the team,” Johnson said. “The team will go as far as we take ’em, so I am willing to take ’em far.”--Elijah Johnson

"Memo to Elijah"

If you really get it now, then you will know you goofed here not including Travis Releford and Jeff Withey.

Travis is older than you. Withey maybe, too, given they year he had to sit out.

Travis had some bad luck with his ankle, but he was coming on stronger than you were last year before it bit him.

WIthey got sick and never recovered.

But when you look at Travis and Withey, you need to see them as two guys that are your, TT's and TRob's equals. Frankly, none of you three--TT, TRob, or you--has a very good chance unless Travis and Withey play good enough to be considered your equals.

You guys are in an outfit with enough fire power to be dangerous, if all of you form the core of a team that lives and fights with unified purpose.

If this KU team is to amount to anything but a 19 win team, say, to a 26 win team, a team that gets hot and makes a late run to glory, not only you, Tyshawn, and TRob have to play great.

Travis has to become the player he was recruited to become.

Jeff Withey has to become the player he was recruited to become.

3 star freshman are not going to get it done.

Whatever you may think of Travis, or Jeff, your future depends on them and theirs on you.

TT, TRob and you may play the impact roles, but there is no doubt that this team is only going to be as good as Travis and Jeff enable it to be.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

If Travis and Jeff play like men, then Nadiir and Ben Mac and Jamari are going to be ideal green substitutes.

If Travis and Jeff fail to cut it, all your impacting isn't going to cut it and those freshman are just going to make you guys look horrible.

You have to become the player you were recruited to become.

Include Travis and Withey in everything you say.

The last two clubs had obvious factions that prevented them from achieving their fullest potential. Even the FOA thing was only a band aid over cliques.

End the cliques.

You, Elijah, have an opportunity to become a terrific player this season. You have the kind of explosive talent, slow though it has been to develop, that could super nova and lead you to big NBA bones sooner than you realize.

Show Self, the staff, and the NBA how smart you are; that you are smarter and more resourceful than the team leaders in the past few years, that you can find a way to build not just a leadership clique, of three impact players, or a family driven together by adversity, but a real one for all, all for one team.

There will be no OADs on this team to worry about.

There will be no extreme head cases on this team to worry about.

There are no neurotic brother relationships to bridge.

There are just different talent levels, different experience levels, different wealth backgrounds, and different racial back grounds to bridge.

Bridge them starting now.

You are an exceptional person, not just an exceptional athlete; this has always been apparent in your quotes.

That your game took a while to mature was just a product of you catching up with your own physical growth, and the amount of talent that was ahead of you.

You are right.

Now is your moment.

Seize it.

Keep getting better and bring all the upperclassmen into the tent as the core of the team, then all of you upper classmen lead the new recruits.

Then success will be inevitable.

Build a fully unified team top to bottom...one without the victim mentality last year's team embraced and used to carry it quite aways, but not far enough.

Always build on the positive, on what is, on what can be.

You can do it.

You must do it.

Rock Chalk!

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

Hopefully, Withey will focus on things he can control this summer.....putting on weight,building muscle,FT's......the tough part is his athleticism.....not sure how much he can get better. Practice will help......but I'm just not sure if he will be athletic enough.

Oh well.....he's what we have so you go with it. Hopefully his time in Europe helped him.

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

ralster,

I believe in Travis, wild hair though he has sometimes.

Jeff Withey is the worrisome link in the chain.

I watched the feeds from Poland and was not encouraged even though Jordan did a commendable and honorable job of giving props to his team mates.

Withey needs to go to mean school.

His problem is not just that he is light.

Opponents just don't believe he is willing to hurt them on the way to work.

Kieff seemed to have the same problem going into last season, so maybe there is hope for Withey.

But Kieff at least had the sucker punch and kick'em when the numbers favor you mentality from the playgrounds.

Jeff seems like a guy who hasn't taken a real kick when he's down by a dirty street fighter, or else like a guy who has taken it, and decided not to fight back.

Gentleness can keep a player from playing the game, especially now.

Kieff was gentle for awhile last season.

But then the combat drew him out.

Cole was gentle for awhile, but then the combat drew him out.

Maybe the combat will draw Withey out.

Self can craft a role that masks Withey's weight limitations.

But he can't really mask a guy who is unwilling to mix it up.

Frankly, the best thing that ever happened to the Twins last year was for Marcus to get kicked out of a game and get the two of them branded as dirty players.

Why?

Well, not because either of them were really tough guys. They weren't.

It was because once they had red X's on their backs and other teams started really gunning for them, they had to stop sucker punching and running from the war, and start standing in and fighting as best they could. They had no where to run after they got the red x's on their backs. It made them better players.

I will always wonder in retrospect, if Self and Manning finally just decided to tell them to do a few XTReme Cheap Shots to get the red x's on their backs, so the Twins ceased to have any where to run?

Whatever, Withey has light years to travel to get to where he is ready for the combat.

But the tools are there for the 10/10 you so rightly point out as needed from Withey.

10/10 from Withey would completely unleash Thomas Robinson on our foes and his wrath and force would be biblical in its impact!

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

Withey is out of the landingt craft.....he has hit the beach.....but he's ducking behind an anti-tank X obstacle. He's firing his weapon at the enemy gun emplacements.....but he has move closer. He has to take out those enemy positions. He has the weapons his squad needs....But can he move??? Will he move???

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Make_Ur_Free_Throws 3 years, 2 months ago

"You have to become the player you were recruited to become."

That is the MOST profound statement I have heard in a long, long time! Honestly, that is the mark of a true champion and the other side of the coin for the recent arguments that Bill Self can't recruit . . . which I don't believe for a moment.

When we see some player playing poorly or making a turnover or something my wife always says "Bill must see something in him that we don't to leave him on the court." So we hope the player is willing "to become" and that Bill and his staff are working to encourage them to do so!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Rock Chalk!

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jaybate 3 years, 2 months ago

This is a great question, ralster. I forgot about The Prophet's shoulder.

If this guy can drain 40% with a bum rotator cuff, or a tear, or whatever, he should super nova if he is healed.

He must not have had surgery recently, if he's making 40+ in a row at this camp!

Go, Elijah, go!!!!!

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

As we have 5 months of waiting.....Here's a way to use a little time.

A great video of the beatdown of UNC in 2008. I'm not a huge m&m fan.....but the song goes well with the video. Enjoy. It's only about 4 1/2 min. It's awesome!!

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

PS-Hilarious how the Jayhawk mascot has to keep standing up after we score!! You can see him in the upper left corner. Poor guy had to be getting tired!

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm not being a hater. Just curious jaybate - do you work? I appreciate your insight and knowledge, but sometimes I'm winded after reading ! RCJH

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

lol - well, if you're not getting paid to write, you ought to consider it.

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

Excellent question. There are certainly many players that are very religious but also very motivated and aggresive.....I believe Tyrel Reed is a good example.....but look at all the players on last year's BYU team. I don't know him personally.....he seems like a great kid....I hope he steps up his game.

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Wayne Simien comes to mind also. I'm not sure about the "restraint" that is being talked about - it is not easy being a Christian in today's society! My respect level for him went up considerably when he announced to the world that he was a Christian, knowing full well that people would be talking smack about him. (I'm not referring to anyone on here - just people in general). My guess is that Jeff's problems (regarding playing time) have been due in large part to injury and the quality of players in front of him, not his religious beliefs.

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes! How could I leave out Wayne! Awesome player. Your words nailed it. How did it come to pass in this country when Christians are the bad guys and have to be ashamed about their beliefs??? Well....you know what? We aren't and we don't have to be!!! Nobody in America,regardless of your beliefs,should be.

Well done,sir.....Well Done!

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

kennethst - Bless you brother! I'm almost certain we will disagree about things on this site periodically, but as long as we agree about what's really important we will be all right!

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes....exactly right!

I see you traded in Herman Munster for good old Wilt. They were probably about the same height.

Didn't Herman play basketball in an episode...or was it baseball?

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

lol - i'm not sure about basketball, but he definitely played baseball in at least one episode. I like ol Herman, but I think it was Ralster (apologies, if it was someone else) that said something about having KU related avatars, and that made pretty good sense, considering where we're at and what we're talking about. Well, most of the time! haha

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 2 months ago

Nailed and Christian..I'm NOT going there..

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

I have been watching a lot of videos from 2008 Final Four.....You know who I think deserves a lot of credit but isn't spoken of much? Darrell Arthur. Especially in the Memphis game.....some huge points(20 total and high scorer).

Yes....I'm bored. But the fact remains.....Arthur was awesome......heck they all were.

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theend 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes....defense! Exactly. I sure miss Russell Robinson. He is classy guy, too.

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Jayhawklegacy 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree about Warren ralster. He should of picked KU where is he now?

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Jayhawklegacy 3 years, 2 months ago

Oh yeah, almost forgot he was Bakersfield Jam best player in the D league! Then got moved back to the Clippers and then back to Bakersfield! Should of picked KU!

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manunitedjayhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

The 2008 team was not Self's best? What team that Self has had can compare with that squad? One of his Illinois teams with D Williams, D Brown, and Luther Head? I do not think their is a question that 2008 was his greatest team, just look at how many of those guys are in the NBA. Maybe the 2006-2007 team with Julian Wright could compare, but those were all the same players. I just don't see how you can say the 2008 team was not Self's best squad.

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KULA 3 years, 2 months ago

Arthur had MOP numbers--20/10.

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

I agree . Self is an excellent coach. Tough.....but the tough side makes the compassionate side even more apprecaited by the players(note Darnell Jackson's kid words for Self). I would never trade Self. .....and would take him over Roy. For sure!

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Since you mentioned them both in the same breath, general question for anyone: If Self left KU for whatever reason and Roy wanted to come back, would you want him to or not, and why?

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kennethst 3 years, 2 months ago

No....I would not want Roy back. I respect him.....but that ship has sailed. And I would want somebody younger.

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 2 months ago

Agree with kennethst..age being the reason.

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

Interesting. You guys must be young bucks!! I think I would jump at the opportunity if it were up to me, just because he's won - what - a bazillion games and 2 NC's. Plus he's a good guy. (Hahaha - didn't say that for about 5 years after he left - I was NOT happy with him!!) Anyway, my guess is we won't have to worry about that scenario.

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

OK - the following indicates nothing more than the fact that I have absolutely nothing to do today, and that I was interested in seeing how "older" coaches have fared. I don't know what constitutes old in everyones vocabulary, so my totally un-scientific information is based solely on the past NCAA Championship coaches since 2000. Don't ask why since 2000 - I don't have a sensible answer.

Listed are the year, the coaches names, the age at which they won their respective championships, their overall win/loss record and overall winning percentages (all teams). If they have won more than one NC, the record/pct is only listed once.

2011 Calhoun ( 69 ) 852-366 .700 2010 K ( 63 ) 899-283 .761 2009 R. Williams ( 58 ) 638-163 .797 2008 Self ( 45 ) 442-150 .747 2007 Donovan ( 42 ) 395-166 .704 2006 Donovan ( 41 ) 2005 R. Williams ( 54 )
2004 Calhoun ( 62 ) 2003 Boeheim ( 58 ) 854-300 .740 2002 G. Williams ( 57 ) 668-379 .638 2001 Izzo ( 46 ) 378-160 .703 2000 Calhoun ( 58 )

Stats provided by statsheet.com. Any typos or misinformation provided by me.

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El Jay 3 years, 2 months ago

you gotta love what youre hearing from this kid - both about himself and about TRob. It really sounds like TRob especially took the loss personally and is on a mission this year. EJ too though. He's had to scrap for his chances and now that he sees a small opening you better watch out b/c it looks like he's gonna do everything in his power to make the most of it. I love that. Next year is going to be a really fun, if at times frustrating, year. Im really excited. RCJH

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Jayhawklegacy 3 years, 2 months ago

Like I have said before, we have top rated experienced guards next season!! Let's run them and stay away from high low a little. Our bigs our fairly quick also. If I'm Self then I am running this team and running them some more!! We could even full court press teams some. Can't wait for next season!! Uconn look out Daniels could change his mind tommorow!

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slowplay 3 years, 2 months ago

It will be interesting to how HCBS structures his offense around what I believe will be one of the best perimeter teams in the country. Without the inside presence and depth he's had the last few years, we should see some1-4 spread offensive sets. The challenge may be in guarding taller teams.

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