Friday, June 10, 2011

Bill Self confident KU hoops will remain atop league standings

Kansas head coach Bill Self introduces members of his staff during the KU men's basketball banquet Monday, April 11, 2011 at the Holiday Inn Lawrence.

Kansas head coach Bill Self introduces members of his staff during the KU men's basketball banquet Monday, April 11, 2011 at the Holiday Inn Lawrence.


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If Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self is worried about losing three possible first-round NBA draft picks — and seven players overall — from a dominant 35-3 league champion/Elite Eight team, well, he certainly didn’t act like it Thursday morning.

Speaking on the Big 12 coaches summer conference call, Self expressed confidence about KU’s chances of contending for an eighth straight league crown.

“I don’t think we’ll take a step backwards. I think we’ll take a step sideways and I think we’ll be a totally different-looking team than what we were this past year, but I am really excited,” Self said.

“My batteries are probably about as charged as they’ve been, because it is going to be a challenge. I feel it’s like the year after we won the national championship (2008). You lose six of your top seven or whatever it was and come back and have to figure out a way to win the league next year. That’s where we are at.”

Self, who said he may not be finished recruiting, has signed four incoming freshmen — guards Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe and forwards Braeden Anderson and Jamari Traylor.

“We’ve recruited pretty well. We haven’t hit a home run from a scouting service perspective, but I think we’ve got guys that fit what we need,” Self said. “We could still add another piece or two, but it is getting awfully late.”

He didn’t name names of any possible prospects in accordance with NCAA rules.

It’s been reported KU is on the list of schools of Andre Walker, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, who has graduated from Vanderbilt and has decided to play elsewhere his final season. He is free to attend any school without sitting out a year.

No other prospects have yet publicly mentioned KU as far as joining the program for the 2011-12 season.

“I think there’s been a handful of teams in America that’s lost a lot of guys, certainly in our league,” Self said. “Look at Texas, look at us as far as the loss of unbelievably important personnel to our success. We’ve had five guys leave early (for NBA) in the last couple years,” Self added, aware expectations have remained high.

“Kansas math is such when I got here, you lose Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich and all of a sudden you are supposed to get better. I never quite understood that. You could say the same thing losing some of the guys we’ve lost.”

Self was asked about a possible change in the one-and-done rule in the NBA’s next bargaining agreement.

“First and foremost, I would like to see kids be able to go out of high school, but I wish there was some program in place where not everybody could jump,” Self said. “I wish there was some committee saying, ‘OK if this kid is thought to be a certain pick then he would be allowed to go.’ There wouldn’t be bad decisions. Then after that, I wish we had the baseball rule (if player enrolls in college he must stay three years). If we don’t have the baseball rule, I wish it was a minimum of a two-year deal.”

Kruger talk: Self was asked about new Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger.

“Of all the coaches that I’ve followed, I think that Lon, without question, was the easiest one to follow,” said Self, who took over for Kruger at Illinois. “I’m not saying the other ones weren’t great (at KU, Oral Roberts and Tulsa), I’m not saying that at all.

“(At U of I) I went into a situation he is really a good guy, about as ego-less as any coach in our business can be. He was so into helping me help the kids that he coached at Illinois get better, (being) positive and I was able to take over a healthy program. Obviously I took over a healthy program here and other places as well. I thought that was the smoothest transition just because of how he is as a man. There are not many coaches out there that do as good a job as Lon Kruger.”

Kaleb in town: Kaleb Tarczewski, a 7-foot, 220-pound senior-to-be from St. Mark’s High in Southborough, Mass., is to be on campus today as part of an unofficial recruiting visit.’s No. 11-rated player has said he will visit North Carolina June 13-14 and Arizona June 20-21. His list also includes UConn, Duke, Florida, Indiana, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Boston College and Southern Cal.

Not so fast: Former KU guard Sherron Collins said on Twitter on Thursday night that he was not cut from Puerto Rican pro team Piratas de Quebradillas just one day after reporting. had indicated Thursday that Collins was cut after reporting overweight.


Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Any of you jerks who think Bill Self has done anything (anything at all?!) to justify getting called "foolish" is simply showing your stupidity? That means you, Keithmiles05, and you too, bennybob! Is that a 'reverse-bandwagon', bennybob, that you are so quick to jump on without thinking?????

You forget this is a fan site. No one's opinion is gold, not mine or anyone elses...but bennybob thinks going against the overwhelmingly positive grain is cool??? But the slant here always will be fan-based. And unless we go to 2 NIT's in a row, the majority of the fans will always, always, always, always, always be positive. Do you dumbasses get it? How ya like the name-calling? We all can be negative, or "foolish", if we choose to be, but again, Self has done nothing to warrant getting called "foolish", you fools.

Some "fans" will always be 'losers' simply because of their attitude, even if KU wins the National Championship! Wasnt it soobawls who was spouting off some weird comment about Davidson with his usual single-handed piston, right after the 08 win over Memphis? Total loser(s)!


lee3022 2 years, 10 months ago

Coach is always kind to others such as scouting services which tend to miss on many top players and sometimes way over rate others.

Sure KU fans want to see the scouts' call KU's recruits great. But the strength of this team is in the coaches and not the players. There seems to be a ton of talent here every year and every year another two or three step up to greatness, regardless of their original ranking. This is, in my seriously unrefined by coaching experience opinion, the result of the coaching job done year after year.

p> yesterday had a poll up asking which conference do you consider the best athletic conference? The SEC was leading by a very wide margin. They are wrong, unless football and baseball are the only two sports considered. Certainly in basketball, it does not get better than the Big XII and in the Big XII, it does not get better than Kansas. Do you agree with this?

HawksWin 2 years, 10 months ago

Here's a writer (unknown?) who thinks Self's 2011-12 class is flying under the radar.

By the way, I've enjoyed learning about KU BB from all of you. I had no idea you guys existed until this year - and it was by accident I discovered the site. I'm a renewed Jayhawk fan (lost interest with Owens & literally turned off Williams). I returned because of Self. Darnell Valentine was the first Jayhawk I watched at AFH. Thanks for making this offseason bearable.


actorman 2 years, 10 months ago

"self-depreciation ..."

Does that mean we become less valuable as we get older? Just wondering ... (Sorry, Oakville, couldn't resist.)


okjhok 2 years, 10 months ago

I really like two hearted ale...don't you?


lhohman3 2 years, 10 months ago

Tom Osborn and Bill Self. Same same same same?


theend 2 years, 10 months ago

I just read Sherron Collins was released by a Puerto Rican team for not being in shape????

I bet Bill Self will be in touch with and set him straight.....Self will give him the tough love he needs. Sherron is too good to let this happen. He can at least play in Europe. Self will not let this pass without at least trying to help him.


William Blake 2 years, 10 months ago

Maybe we are blessed to have recruited several lower-tier recruits this year over some of those potential OADs that didn't come.

Here is why.....

We have several developmental players now that will surely improve over their 4 years. So with any luck, after this coming year, several will start to contribute plenty, and will continue to build on that for 4 years. That is the base we need to constantly sit at the top.

We really need these guys to contribute big after next year. I know 2012 is supposed to be a banner recruiting year for us... but there is no guarantee all these 5-star rookies will produce enough to make us a contender. Just look at teams like Kentucky. They did remarkably well this past year, but there was no way they could have reached as far without the few veteran players they had. Those veteran players not only gave them quality PT, but also helped father along the star freshmen.

So in the long run, we may be much better off to have our latest lower-tier recruits over a recruit like DD, who may or may not produce big as a freshman and is probably gone after that.


theend 2 years, 10 months ago

Oakville is also somewhat of a travel addition to resident comedian.


Eurekahwk 2 years, 10 months ago

The entire league is in flux. All the teams that were within a couple games of threatening us last year lost the heart of their scoring. We can always afford that because our talent will always be as good as anything anybody else has. So we will be fine.

And the Mayans never said the world was going to end. A couple thousand years went by and ignorant people made faulty assumptions on what little they found. Imagine in a couple thousand years what people will presume if the only thing left of this civilization is the Beatles' White Album.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 10 months ago

Clyde Turnbuckle..good point.....a down year for Kansas is 24 victories, finish in the top three of the Big Twelve, make the NCAAs and win a game in Round One.

Haven't had a losing season in 28 years. NCAAs 27 out of the last 28 years [the one year was the NCAA probation]. Two or three multiple year consecutive home winning streaks. Since 1970, 9 Final Fours. More All-Americans than anybody. More games played than anybody. Hot on Kentucky's heals for most victories. More conference titles than anyone.

Let's have some fun this year and kick a$$ in 2012 [assuming the Mayans are wrong!!}


KUsmoothies 2 years, 10 months ago

Look at what happened this year. We had great players and recruits weren't sure whether they would be able to play right away, and knew they wouldn't be the standouts on the team. Self thought the Morris twin would stay and because of that wasn't able to score the big recruits this yr. So he recruited some solid 3-4 year guys that are willing to work hard but wont threaten the big time recruits for pt and scoring (at least not in their perspective). I think Self knows we can still have a really good coming season with the returning players and these recruits, while at the same time setting himself to have a huge 2012 recruiting class. Self has won the league seven times in a row, I think he kinda knows what he is doing.


ClydeTurnbuckle 2 years, 10 months ago

Every powerhouse hoops program has a down year once in a while. KU is no exception. We'll be fine. We'll be a tournament team and we might be able to shock a couple teams here and there. We really need to get Shabazz and Kaleb though.


Jayhawklegacy 2 years, 10 months ago

It will be nice to see the scrappy players with something to prove next season! It will be fun to watch compared to last couple of seasons!! Not saying we didn't have scrappy players they just had less to prove! Not sure I would care as much if we didn't win league, compared to being pushed around by a team we should beat in the dance. I like the idea of having hard nose kids with something to prove everybody next season! So keep making comments on how we are not going to be as good, so it will push these kids even harder to prove the doubters! Just saying I think this going to be a fun team to watch.


Robert Robinson 2 years, 10 months ago

We have got to be the most spoiled fans in the country. I think next year is going to be VERY exciting. I can't wait. Next year will also bring out the true fans and weed out the fair weather ones.


IrishDaddy 2 years, 10 months ago

AS IF leading the "Big" 12 is anything to brag about !!!!!!


Mike Nicco 2 years, 10 months ago

You know what would be highly entertaining...having Jaybate create one of his signature posts as if this was the 1987-88 season.

Lots of drama that season, injuries, dismissals, incoming freshman players that didn't play up to expectations, emergency players from the football team and so on.

Can you imagine what this board would have been like then!!

What do you say Jaybate?


Tony Bandle 2 years, 10 months ago

The List of Why I do Lists:

1] As the world's worst typist, the fewer words the better. 2] Jaybate,100, HEM, drgnslyr kushaw write encyclopedias....I write comic books. 3] Helps me not repeat myself...which I do more and more lately. 4] Literary "curb appeal'... easier to scan a grocery list versus a doctorate thesis. 5] As the son an accountant, I am terminally organized. 6] Allows posters to respond to specific statements.....which I truly enjoy. 7] If I was clever, I could number responses to match players jerseys....not that clever. 8] Did I list that no repeat thing...I did, drats!! 9] Other famous lists: Laundry, grocery, check, hit, bucket,shopping, Franz. 10] If anyone calls you "listless', it's not a good thing. 11] Number of lines helps you realize maybe you've said enough. 12] If it's good enough for David Letterman, it's good enough for me. 13] Never, never, never end a list on the number's bad luck.


William Blake 2 years, 10 months ago

CS could have avoided all of this last year by being a dishonest piece of cr_p like Calipari and telling 5-star recruits that the Morris twins and Selby would be gone for sure!

; )


Kirk 2 years, 10 months ago

it's.....not as though this conference is so great.

How about the postseason? Can we include consideration of how this team performs at THAT time of year?


HawkKlaw 2 years, 10 months ago

Let the Self bashing begin!

Personally, I don't see why everyone is so upset about KU's recruiting class this year. Obviously, the Morrii and Selby didn't make their decisions until after the season ended. Self was pretty much handcuffed to their decision. If they wouldn't have gone pro, KU wouldn't have needed to recruit any post players. And he couldn't really promise any playing time to top recruits while the Morrii were on the roster. So he was caught in a difficult situation. But look at all the other recruits Self has signed. All those guys that won the National Championship in '08 were recruited by Self & Co. This year, we are going to be a little weak at the 5 spot, but every other position is solid. We have plenty of depth at the 1, 2 and 3 spots. Plus we have TRob and a plethora of role players to back him up down low. Lastly, don't forget that next year's recruiting class may be one of the best that Bill Self will have recruited (from top to bottom). Don't throw Self under the bus just because this year was a strange recruiting situation for him. He's doing the best with what he has.


rob4lb 2 years, 10 months ago

Brady- I couldn't agree more. If you read these blogs, you would think that most of the people who comment are evaluators of high school talent when in fact all they do is spout off comments from the recruiting websites.

I think the team can be very good next year and I like that the bar is set a little lower. Looking at the Big 12 next year, who is going to be favored to dethrone KU? On paper the strongest teams are Baylor, A&M and Missouri. I would expect these schools along with KU to be ranked in the lower half of the Top 25 at the start of the season.

Given the open scholarships, I would be more concerned about 2012-13, but alot can happen between now and then.


bradynsdad 2 years, 10 months ago

Recruiting rankings are just rough guidelines, they are nothing to be sworn by. Keep in mind traylor has really only been playing competitive ball for two years and he almost broke into espns top 100 recruits. If he brings a work ethic in like Robinson there is no telling how big his impact could be on the season. The twins first season was a nervous one, I didn't want either one touching the ball. Then by this last year they were go to guys. Wether your the #1 recruit or the #100 it means nothing if your work ethic is crap. I believe our coaches have a system in place that breeds a strong work ethic. Put Anderson and traylor with Robinson all summer and I guarantee his focus and vision will accelerate their games.


jayhawktalk 2 years, 10 months ago

With regard to getting athletic guards that want to get into the open court and run, how much might our inability to run a fast break last year have hurt recruiting?

I started thinking about this while watching the youtube clip of the '08 team posted on these boards recently by theend... Watching the offense last year, if I'm a big, I want to be a part of it, but if I'm an uber athletic guard I'm less than overwhelmed. During Cole's jr. yr., I get that we weren't a run and gun team, but last year was supposed to have been different. Shoulda, coulda, woulda ran... What happened?


Mark Lindrud 2 years, 10 months ago

We have talent on this team and honestly so what if we don't win the Big 12 Title for the 8th year in a row! Last I checked UConn went 8th in conference and um, well, they won the title. We have a lot of changes on this team and let's see how it plays out. We are not expected to win the conference, but we will be good. When we had the Morris twins as freshman he made me mad with stupid mistakes on a nightly basis we won the conference title so anything can happen.

It will be a fun year either way and I am looking forward to it.


Matt Kenton 2 years, 10 months ago

We have been so spoiled lately, our M.O. has been to win games based on superior talent. Almost to the point of using it as a crutch, we have gotten away with sloppy and uninspired play, but still pulled out wins because individuals can score when needed. Now I am actually more excited in a way, to see what we can do. We have plenty of talent on our roster, no longer to the point of having a second five that could start for most teams in the country. I think it will be fun to see us get the most out of each player.

You'd still have a hard time finding two guards as quick and athletic as Tyshawn and Elijah. I've always thought we still haven't seen what Releford is capable of, and show me a team with a 7 footer, plus a beast like T Rob. Tharpe and McLemore will be great off the bench, and maybe even challenge TT or EJ, when they play dumb. Anderson will need work, but will outplay most opponents' second string bigs.

We will have to play much smarter, and will definitely have a more exciting season, no longer winning most our games by 20. And no more one-and-dones, just working for draft day. I for one, am pretty excited.


jhawkrulz 2 years, 10 months ago

I'll classify my comments in that I am not an expert and don't even profess to be. However, I think of our team as being a lot more athletic than last year's team, but a lot more raw as well.

I think by the time the season starts we will be doing alright. I think the big question will be injuries, last year we had the injury and suspension bug and probably more than the average team out there. Withey had the foot trouble, Selby had the hand and foot (not too mention the suspension), Tyshawn had hand issues which he played through(not too mention a small suspension), Thomas had family things to work out and a torn MCL, Releford had the ankle, and Little had the suspension. What's sad is I am probably missing a few.

The thing about last year's team is we had the depth to keep plugging along, this year, I think it all hinges on health, we won't have the ability to switch people at will. I think TT/Tharpe, Thomas, Releford/BM, Johnson, and Withey/Wesley are going to be great. If you think about it, right now most people would say our "weakest" link is Withey. I betcha there are a lot of programs out there that would want a legit 7-footer to be that. I'm sure he is going to be inconsistent at times, but if he can be a 10/10 kind of guy and focus on defense, that is what will be asked of him. I also don't think he is the decisive part of our season, I think it will be how the guards play D on the perimeter. We will score that won't be our issue, it is how good we our able to force people to go inside where Thomas and Withey will be trees. From what I have heard Wesley is looking very athletic, isn't that what Thomas looked like, just is raw around the defensive needs, which he'll get over pretty quickly.

Just a few thoughts. I think we win the Big XII convincingly because most teams are taking a step back this year. We are just manuevering parts. KU by 2 games.


Jack Wilson 2 years, 10 months ago

redlegger/cusack118: I agree, I would not call coach Self "foolish."

But think about this - coach Self said .. his words .. on May 15, 2011, prior to the decisions of Traylor, Lacey, and Daniels.

“How we do in the next 10 days,” Self said Sunday, “could very well determine whether or not we have a chance to win the league next year or have a chance just to keep our head above water. I think we’ll be good no matter what. I like the guys. If we’re able to finish strong (in recruiting), we’ll be good.”

And we know what we got .. Traylor. A project at best. Not the top guys.

And here's what coach Self said on March 30: “We need to hit a home run ... one, but the bases need to be full,” Self, Kansas University’s eighth-year hoops coach, said, using a baseball analogy for the spring recruiting period. We need to sign two, three, four kids depending on if we do have departures. We obviously need to sign a couple of guards or wings,” he added. "From a bigs standpoint, a lot depends on what our twins (Marcus, Markieff Morris) want to do (regarding NBA), and I haven’t even talked to them about it yet. We just need to be prepared.”

And we did end up losing the Morrises and Selby. In the spring period we had one decent signing .. McLemore. Anderson and Traylor were "best available", low rated guys. We did not get a couple of guards or wings in the spring, as he suggested we needed. We lost the twins and got depth, not guys that -- on paper -- would appear to be solid players their freshman season (Anderson and Traylor).

And in coach Self's words, we'll go "sideways." Not sure what that means. Perhaps conference title, elite 8?

But go back to coach Self's quote on May 15 .. his words. "If we finish strong in recruiting, we'll be good." ---- "If" was the operative word. And we did not finish strong in recruiting.

That's the only comment. Not what the result will be. Not criticism. Just fact. Based only on coach Self's words.

Now I'm sure someone will argue 1) But Manning will make Anderson and Traylor into monsters their first season, 2) Don't doubt coach Self, 3) We've won 7 straight conference titles, 4) Ratings mean nothing, 5) Don't be negative, and/or 6) I'm an idiot.

I get all of those points. Really. I agree. We'll have to wait and see.

But one main point not discussed is how a weak class affects the next season, as a weak class will create more of a reliance on freshmen come 2012-13. And we'll lose Taylor and Robinson. This one season is not as much of a concern as is the impact of a potentially weak recruiting class in future seasons. That may be part of the reason why Self had referenced needs being a couple of guards and wings.

I really believe we'll have a killer 2012 class; and that this season will be better than expected because EJ and Releford, getting their shot, will deliver. Glass half full.


Viggo3003 2 years, 10 months ago

OK I've been pondering this for over 24 hours and here's my thought of the day. I'm a mental midget compared to Jaybate but here it goes....If you took our roster for next year and put them on the Butler team with their coach I'll bet all the sports writers would be on the Butler bandwagon to make the final four next year.

Butler has a great coach but we have a better one so why not us?


Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 10 months ago

The play.....Collins swings the ball to Chalmers, Chalmers for a three with seconds on the clock in regulation time to send the game to OT with Memphis for the National Championship, it's up-it's gooood!

And now....Collins defending rumors on Twitter about his being cut from a Pureto Rican pro team for conditioning issues while Chalmers is playing for the NBA Championship with the Miami Heat!


FairgroveJayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

The sideways comment sets the bar for this year. It's Self's goal for the season.


jayhawkinATL 2 years, 10 months ago

As long as Bill is here, we are in good hands!!!


NebraskaJayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Hey....Oklahoma finally hired a basketball coach. I look for them to improve dramatically in the next 5 years.


Scott MacWilliams 2 years, 10 months ago

I am excited for the season to begin. HCBS will have his ducks all going in the right direction, and I think we'll be the team to beat for the Big 12 title yet again. The freshmen look like a great crew, all on the same page and not afraid to work their butts off for the big prize.

BTW, is it going to stay the 'Big 12' forever? Seems kind of silly with ten teams on the list. Ought to be someone we could add to get back to a dozen...

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!!!


KEITHMILES05 2 years, 10 months ago

Beg to differ on his assesment of the recruiting. He can be so foolish as to not remember in the past few months he indicated he needed a "grand slam" and it is pretty apparent he got only a double, at best.

His sideways comment is meant to tell fans they better not expect that much in results and temper their expectations. This team is very thin at all positions and will be fortunate to be in the top tier in league. Seeing the bench is enough to make one shudder.

The bottom line is he earns 3 mil and year and will have to work miracles to coach up the team next year.

I have never said this but am not afraid to admit he needs to shuffle his staff to better exploit recruiting. He really needs to have a young, dynamic guy to go with the older fellas.


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