Forgive me if I’m not ready to move back to Connecticut in order to cover the college basketball career of DeAndre Daniels.
Pardon me if I’m not devastated that the team I follow to Lubbock, home of the Buddy Holly Museum, and Waco, where the Dr. Pepper Museum ranks as the main attraction, won’t feature a one-and-done, high school mega superstar ranked among the top 10 prospects in the nation.
Defending national champion UConn landed Daniels. Good for UConn. Not necessarily so bad for Kansas, which surely would have had more talent with the 6-foot-8 sharp-shooter in the lineup, but just might be more interesting and easier to embrace without him.
Anybody else welcome a breather from watching a hyped freshman fall far short of ridiculous expectations?
Xavier Henry arrived at KU already built like an NBA guard, but to this day he looks better walking through an airport than trying to shoot his team to victory. McDonald’s All-American. OK. Ranked No. 8 in the nation. Really? Chosen 12th in the NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. Why?
Henry averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in a strong freshman season for Kansas, but 10 years from now will anything he did endure in many memories?
Through no fault of his, the pleasant young man from Oklahoma City brought with him to Kansas some family baggage named C.J. Henry. He didn’t cost KU a scholarship because the New York Yankees paid his tuition. His on-court body language was bad enough to make bathroom walls blush.
C.J. did a better job of escaping Xavier’s shadow this past season, tying with Xavier Alexander as Southern Nazarene’s leading scorer with 403 points in 31 games (13.0 average). C.J., a bust at the plate with the Yankees after getting drafted by them in the first round, had 49 assists and 67 turnovers for Southern Nazarene, proving not all of his rust has been knocked off just yet.
If the postseason basketball banquet included a C.J. Henry Bad Body Language Award, freshman Josh Selby would have taken home the hardware. An NCAA suspension and later an injury combined to destroy Selby’s confidence, but didn’t keep him from bolting college after a year. McDonald’s All-American. OK. Ranked No. 1 in the nation. Really? Projected as a first-round pick. Why?
Selby’s been tearing it up in individual workouts, but thus far hasn’t proven he knows how to play with four teammates. The most startling statistic of the 2010-2011 Kansas basketball season: KU outscored VCU by 10 points when Selby sat and VCU outscored the Jayhawks by 20 points when Selby played.
The Kansas recruiting class, not as loaded as most of coach Bill Self’s, does have highly regarded Ben McLemore. Curiosity about his game will bring many to Late Night, but the really interesting stories will revolve around three returning players whose development could take huge leaps forward.
Self has no choice but to give significant minutes to juniors Travis Releford, Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey. Should I be embarrassed that I find weighing in on their progress far more fulfilling work than participating in the over-hyping of another one-and-done wonder?