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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. Rivals.com’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.

Latinbask.com had indicated Thursday that Collins was cut after reporting overweight.

Comments

KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 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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redlegger 3 years, 3 months ago

Ya, he pretty much sucks ("foolish" is another great way to describe him), doesn't know what he is talking about (never did), and he can't seem to tell the truth to boot!

Maybe we could land a stud-of-a-guy like, I don't know...Keith Miles 05 - now there is a guy that knows his stuff!!!!

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Kevin Studer 3 years, 3 months ago

Did I misread that, or did you call Bill Self "foolish"? Yeah. I sure do wish we had a smarter guy who could coach a basketball team! Give me a break.

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Khublai_Juan 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow. Redlegger's comment obviously flew right over your head.

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baldwinjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Sarcasism is his (kmiles) friend...silly

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dylans 3 years, 3 months ago

Sideways from 35-3 means KU should be pretty darn good. Not to expect less than last year. Everyone knows what KU lost now look at what the Jayhawks retained and gained.

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Sam Constance 3 years, 3 months ago

When you say that we will be fortunate to be in the "top tier in league" next year, what exactly do you mean?

I don't care how thin we are, we still have more talent than MOST of the other teams in the Big 12. Not to mention the best coach by far.

But thank you for giving me a laugh--I always enjoy hearing board rats (not meant insultingly, as I am one as well) pontificate about how a given NCAA Div. I head coach (who happens to have the highest winning percentage over the last 8 years of any major school coach) should handle his coaching staff.

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kranny 3 years, 3 months ago

Get back to us after he finishes lower than 3rd in the league and doesn't make the sweet 16. Until then, you haven't an argument.

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Dale Kroening 3 years, 3 months ago

Totally disagree. There is still a lot of talent on this team beyond 5 starters. We will compete for the league like every year, and be in the big dance. No worries here........

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bennybob 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm glad you said it instead of me,

now you can deal with the homer hate for a while, I'm getting tired of carrying the load

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quill_46 3 years, 3 months ago

i think you dont know what your talking about,so you might shut your trap. We in here know your a K-State fan trying to stir things up. Bill Self knows what he is doing,so go bother some of your own K-State fans because Martin had a down year for a team that was suppose to be loaded and win the Big 12 go focus on him he needs your help.

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SacJayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm being a total smartass here, but if you're in a position to hit a "grand slam" then a double ought to clear the bases and score three runs. Not too shabby...

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Scott MacWilliams 3 years, 3 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!!!

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minnhawk84 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, the Big 10(11) , with the addition of Nebraska is.......still the Big 10. Doesn't seem to bother these schools that they now have 12 teams in a league called the Big 10. This perverse logic then would follow that the BigXII will remain the BigXII with only 10 teams. And Is it the PAC 11 now?

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Justin Carlson 3 years, 3 months ago

The new league of 10 should just be known as " X " the roman numerial !

That would look sweet on some league garments and look sweet on a hat with a jayhawk holding onto the " X "

I would buy one!!

Just my thoughts!!

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NebraskaJayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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jayhawkinATL 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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FairgroveJayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 3 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!

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Ed Brown 3 years, 3 months ago

Collins can't control his weight and was late to a team meeting and lost his golden egg that MJ gave him. How sad that it wasn't important enough to work hard to achieve his goals for life. Chalmers worked harder, landed in a good spot but has backed up his goals with his action. He has been a phenom in the playoffs. Especially loved his half court buzzer beaters! The first one he was so nonchalant about it like the Memphis game but the one at the end of the first qtr last night he was pumped (as he should be).

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Viggo3003 3 years, 3 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?

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Viggo - you are probably right, but if the sports writers are on the Butler bandwagon is because they've been to the Championship game two years in a row.

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Gregor Southard 3 years, 3 months ago

Just because Jaybate leaves long winded comments doesn't mean he's any smarter than anyone else on here. Your opinion matters too, dude!

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HawkKlaw 3 years, 3 months ago

Because people expect KU to be excellent every year and they see Butler as a Cinderella story (to be honest, Butler has earned all the attention they get). The only time we hear about KU in the national media is when we underperform, our players get in trouble, or when we reach the Sweet 16 (for some reason KU doesn't get noticed by ESPN until late in the season....real late - like after we win the Big 12 tourney. Then all the sudden it's cool to pick KU to win it all).

It's the same reason why Kobe Bryant only has won one NBA regular season MVP award...continued excellence tends to go unnoticed. Over the years Kobe has had the numbers to win far more than just one NBA regular season MVP. I think he's probably cool with 5 world championships though.

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 3 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.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 months ago

Choice 6 gave me a good chuckle...self-depreciation can sometimes be hilarious.

HighEliteMajor..just a posting tip. When numbering your responses, vertical orientation really has a greater impact. Oh damn, I'm giving away all my poster secrets again.:)

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

HEM, you're not an idiot. You make some really good points. One conclusion I've come to though, is that none of us know what we're talking about !! haha - Didn't the "experts" pick K-State to win the conference last year?

All the facts, figures, stats and personnel profiles in the world won't help us figure this stuff out, but it sure is fun to try. Seven titles in a row does give me a certain amount of confidence in our chances though! RCJH!

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bennybob 3 years, 3 months ago

The experts did pick K-State, i was never worried, anyone close to the program new we were loaded last year, the media just didn't know it.

this year however, any realist can recognize lack of talent when they see it.

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

bennybob - all I can say is that I hope you're pleasantly surprised next year. Or really disappointed if you're actually not a KU fan.

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Ed Brown 3 years, 3 months ago

If you truly believe "Seven titles in a row does give me a certain amount of confidence in our chances though!" I hope you bought the shirt. I have two in case one wears out but then again I have two drawers full of KU BB shirts. When someone asked me if I have any clothes that don't say KU something on them my only reply was, "Oh, they make things without KU on them."

RCJH

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Uptown, I'm not sure if you're making fun of me or if you agree! I do think we've got as good a chance as anyone this year, especially given the amount of talent that other teams in the league have lost. And on any given day, there is about an 87% chance that if I reach into my closet blindfolded, I'm going to grab something with KU on it.

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jayhawktalk 3 years, 3 months ago

Glass half full... TGIF!

I said at the time, and honestly still believe that Self makes a lot of the comments to the press related to recruiting with the intent or at least the thought that the recruits themselves will hear them. When you are recruiting a wing (Daniels) and a SG (Lacy), of course you are going to publicly say that you really, really need people at those positions - 4 and 5 ended up being our greatest need from a depth perspective. No one is going to make a comment, which, in effect, would tell the recruit(s), "we will sign you because we have scholarship to burn, but we don't really need you."

No doubt, 2012 is going to be critical.

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tis4tim 3 years, 3 months ago

HEM,

I think I've read most if not all of your posts regarding your thoughts on recruiting and your assessment of Self's upcoming team. And I think I've said before that I appreciate your consistency when it comes to your feelings regarding KU basketball.

But, I've done some thinking and the following quote by Bill Self is why I don't see a "down" year as a bad thing. It is thus:

“My batteries are probably about as charged as they’ve been, because it is going to be a challenge." - Bill Self

I don't want to go into a long psychoanalysis of what this statement means because there are others with much more time and who are much more adept at such things who can aptly delve into the subject, but the quote has surfaced a couple of times in recent days and I think it's an important one.

IMO, everyone has a competitive streak. And when it comes to sports that fact is magnified. There is always a challenge in coming to play day in and day out and some have the ability to rise to meet the challenge time and time again. These are the best of the best. But what happens when one experiences sustained success is that there is a tendency to get bored. We've seen it with Michael Jordan when he decided to play baseball. And we've seen it with Tiger Woods when he decided to ... um ... take up indoor sports.

One thing many of us have pondered in regards to Self is whether or not he would entertain the NBA if it came calling. My thought has always been that once Self doesn't feel challenged anymore in his current position he would, as many of us would in our jobs, consider looking for something else. For most coaches that ever-present challenge is winning a national championship. Self has that. So what else is there? Well, there's winning another and another and league titles and all that, but there is also the scenario that Self finds himself in now.

No, he didn't get the highly touted recruits for which he had hoped, but in its place he has opportunity to take what many consider lesser puzzle pieces and assemble them into something more beautiful than the picture on the box cover. Deep down, I believe a challenge such as this, if accomplished by the end of the season, can be more gratifying to a coach than shiny new hardware, especially if said coach has already won such hardware. Don't get me wrong: national championsips are great, but it's apparent by his quote that Self relishes opportunities like this. And I think that, though we'll fret over our win-loss record this year and our likely lower-than-usual seeding in the tournament, they are ultimately good for the long term success of our program and for the prospects of Self remaining at Kansas.

Rock Chalk!

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Kurt Eskilson 3 years, 3 months ago

Well said. What's more, Self will be working with an "underdog" group who need to grow to have a shot at the L, rather than OADs marking time and griping that they can't show off their true game. Working with kids who want to be coached is a better opportunity for Self to showcase his coaching skills – and exceed expectations. Our returning players sound hungry. And the new recruits know they'll need to work! This should be a group Self can enjoy building. And we can enjoy watching!

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Hank Cross 3 years, 3 months ago

Yep. I remember all of those quotes from Self and I wondered at the time if he wasn't painting himself into a verbal corner. I also remember a quote about landing 2-3 recruits was the difference between winning the conference and fighitng to keep their head above water, or words to that effect.

That being said, I'm still optomistic about next year's team. I don't see them getting to the FF much less winning the NC, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the elite 8.

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bennybob 3 years, 3 months ago

As always HEM, I couldn't have said it better.

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LaJHawk666 3 years, 3 months ago

We basically have no recruiting class of '10. Selby is gone and Royce transferred. If it weren't for walk-on Niko there would be no one for the 2014 Senior Night. This is a mediocre/double recruiting class following a bust.

That being said, I'm still excited and the glass is definitely half-full for the '12 Jayhawks. I'm high on Ben and Tharpe, and I think the 2 new bigs have potential. Whithey, injuries/suspensions are the biggest wild cards.

After two mega-hyped seasons, this upcoming one may be a nice change.

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jhawkrulz 3 years, 3 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.

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HawkKlaw 3 years, 3 months ago

Now that's what I call an analysis...based in reality. Well done!

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Nice post. When you mentioned not having the ability to switch people at will, I almost think that's a good thing for us. Last year, at times it seemed that just as the team was getting into a nice rhythm we were subbing guys in and out and kind of disrupting the flow. It's great to have a deep bench, but this may eventually work to our advantage.

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duanep5ku 3 years, 3 months ago

A great post by jhawkrulz, well said. Hem-you sound like a broken record on here, What nothing new to say?

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KUFan90 3 years, 3 months ago

Completely agree. You list 8 pretty solid players in your post. You have to think one of Wesley/Traylor/Anderson will be a serviceable 8th player. That's all you need. Self likes to have his bench shortened to 7-8 max by tourney time anyway.

So I think it really boils down to the availability of those top 8 players. If they can avoid injuries/suspensions we are in good shape for next year. The lack of depth beyond that is only felt when someone is out...and as mentioned previously may hurt in future years.

But if we can keep those 7-8 key guys available I like our chances.

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Matt Kenton 3 years, 3 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.

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Mark Lindrud 3 years, 3 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.

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jayhawktalk 3 years, 3 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?

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bradynsdad 3 years, 3 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.

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure if your comment is related to the 2011-12 season.

I hear what you're saying, but I'm sorry, it I don't track. If Marcus and Markieff made you nervous their freshman year, and you didn't want either touching the ball, what do you think Traylor and Anderson will do this season? Then you extrapolate that simply because Traylor and Anderson are with "Robinson all summer" (even though they are the two not here yet) that their growth will be accelerated. Weren't the Morrises here with Aldrich? Why does Robinson accelerate their growth? Makes zero sense. But it is to make your point .. the point you want to make is that we had a subpar class, you love coach Self, and thus you want to rationalize why everything is ok. And I'm good with that.

But I just don't understand it. I don't understand the rationalizing (or ir-rationalizing, to make up a word). Can't we just say we love coach Self, he had a subpar class .. which happens to every coach from time to time, see Anderson and Traylor for what they are, and move on?

I see rob4lb's comment below. No one here can evaluate any of these players. We don't watch games, meet with them, get to know them, talk to their coaches, talk to college coaches who evaluate them .. that what the folks at scouting services do. Where do you think Rivals gets their rankings? They talk to college coaches. They do the leg work It is really unbelievable how some just poo-poo rankings when we happen to have low or unranked talent -- my word, ir-rationalizing. I've suggested to many here to actually go back and review the rankings .. you see how accurate they are, and you'll see that teams that win titles have highly ranked players. But then I get the, "well, Derrick Williams was three star" or some Butler reference. And then you get the " we shouldn't recruit possible one and dones, they are only problems" ... forgetting that we don't win the title without Brandon Rush, who was a projected one and done. Talk that Arthur might have been thinking that way too.

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mandomax 3 years, 3 months ago

bradynsdad is implying that we shouldn't have to lean too heavily on Anderson and Traylor this coming year, just like we didn't have to rely on the Twins in their freshman year. They both have good frames for college ball, and will come in for mop up minutes in '11-'12. We may cringe when they get the ball, but one to two years of Hudy and Manning will get them to a Div-1 competitive level, especially if they both have a high work ethic as reported.

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bradynsdad 3 years, 3 months ago

HEM, just wanted to address a couple points with you. What I should clarify about the twins was, I was nervous everytime they touched the ball just the same as I was robinsons freshmen year. I didn't argue that they didn't produce because they still put up good numbers and helped us to a sweet sixteen. Freshmen are raw and too eager not too make mistakes but they can still produce. As far as traylor and Anderson go, it was my understanding that they are on campus now. I didn't mean to imply they would come off the bench for double doubles but I believe ku has a great trickle down system. Everything with our bug men revolves around manning but also the players. Robinson learned from the twins who learned from Cole who learned from kaun, Jackson, and aurthur. So hopefully that effect will happen with traylor and Anderson. I do not think we had a good recruiting year at all but I am not ready to say self is a subpar recruiter. Kind of in a hurry worth for any errors and thanks for the conversation.

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bradynsdad 3 years, 3 months ago

HEM the other quick point I wanted to make was I have always been a student of and taught my kids that you become a product of what you surround yourself with. Hang out with losers and you will become one, hang out with winners and you will win. I meant by Robinson helping mentor Anderson and traylor than that work ethic and determination could rub off on them. We have had alot of players that weren't highly rated recruits but they left Kansas as some of the most loved players.

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 3 months ago

Makes sense to me .. thanks for the reply. Work ethic is a big deal. I liked Robinson's "365 days" comment. Hope he can stay out foul trouble, and stay healthy.

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rob4lb 3 years, 3 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.

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bradynsdad 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the response. I am not worried about the next season at all. Here are my reasons. We lose Taylor, Robinson and maybe mclmore if he has a breakout season. Other than that everyone comes back, plus we signed peters and I have it on good authority (not saying I guarantee) that perry Ellis is down to wsu and ku. I think self signs him and if he picks up shabazz then we will be a top three team in the country. I am excited to see how this season plays out though.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 months ago

If you're right about Perry's final two choices, start making those Perry Ellis Kansas jerseys today!!!!

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

rob4lb -That's a good reason to stay away from evaluating the high school talent and the recruiting websites. It's all an educated guess, nothing more. If the prognosticators were right we should have won the NC the past two years, having landed Selby and Henry. I have to admit, I made a lot of giddy phone calls to friends and relatives after having seen Selby in the McDonald's HS All-American game. I, too believe we will be just fine next year with no "superstars".

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HawkKlaw 3 years, 3 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.

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Kirk 3 years, 3 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?

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jhawkrulz 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes last year at the beginning of the season you said that we were going to go 35-3, Go undefeated in non-conference play, win the Big XII outright, when the Big XII tournament revenging our only home loss, and make it to the Elite Eight, I don't think there would be too many people that wouldn't have taken that.

I for one thought we had an awesome season last year.

I would have loved to win it all, but only one team gets to do that and if you expect that every year, than you are only going to be happy about once every 5-20 years...sorry, but the Elite 8 is good. In football terms that would be going to a BCS Bowl (Final 4 would be winning the BCS bowl). Championship Going to the BCS championship game.... So the equation would be we made it to the BCS, but lost still has to be a good year.

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Kirk 3 years, 3 months ago

It was a very good year.

But see, I really like to see Kansas play for the national title, or make the final four, rather than get blown out by VCU.

That's just me.

As for the Big XII in basketball, ha, ha.

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

I felt the same way about 2 1/2 months ago. It's probably time to move on now. I will never be happy about getting beat by them, or others like them that we should have beaten in the past, but it is what it is and pouting won't change the outcome.

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Kirk 3 years, 3 months ago

Right. Pouting about pouting won't either.

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KUsmoothies 3 years, 3 months ago

What's wrong with Big XII in basketball?

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nuleafjhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Nothing. Sounds like sour grapes.

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Kirk 3 years, 3 months ago

It's not that competitive. It doesn't prepare KU for the post-season. It lacks heavyweights besides KU. It's a football conference.

Otherwise it's okay. It's been better.

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HawkKlaw 3 years, 3 months ago

You just censored the word "crap" lmao

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 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 13...it's bad luck.

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Mike Nicco 3 years, 3 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?

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Robert Robinson 3 years, 3 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.

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Jayhawklegacy 3 years, 3 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.

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ClydeTurnbuckle 3 years, 3 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.

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KUsmoothies 3 years, 3 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.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 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!!}

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Eurekahwk 3 years, 3 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.

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theend 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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theend 3 years, 3 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.

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oldalum 3 years, 3 months ago

From the article above: 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. Maybe he wasn't released after all?

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theend 3 years, 3 months ago

I hope it is not true that Sherron was cut!!

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theend 3 years, 3 months ago

I hope it is not true that Sherron was cut!!

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Trey Hohman 3 years, 3 months ago

Tom Osborn and Bill Self. Same same same same?

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okjhok 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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actorman 3 years, 3 months ago

"self-depreciation ..."

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

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HawksWin 3 years, 3 months ago

Here's a writer (unknown?) who thinks Self's 2011-12 class is flying under the radar. http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/729288-jayhawks-reload-class-of-2011-flies-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.

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lee3022 3 years, 3 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>CBSSports.com 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?
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