Sunday, May 22, 2011

Against the odds, Mario Little will graduate today

Kansas forward Mario Little puts up a shot during warmups prior to tipoff against Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Mario Little puts up a shot during warmups prior to tipoff against Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Mario Little, who in grammar school once brought home a report card with straight Fs, today graduates from Kansas University.

“This is something I didn’t think I would do 10 years ago. I grew up doing stuff I wasn’t supposed to do at times,” said Little, a KU senior basketball guard/forward from Roseland — one of the roughest neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago.

“People from my area ... all my life, they said I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t common to graduate. I kind of beat the odds,” added Little, an African American Studies major who today becomes the second member of his family to receive a college degree, joining a cousin who attended Purdue.

Little — he turned his academic career around with the help of mentor/Countee Cullen Elementary School coach Tommy Dobson, who told him he couldn’t play ball if he didn’t make the grade — does not want to dwell on the naysayers.

He’d rather focus on supporters responsible for his wearing a cap and gown and marching down Campanile Hill into Memorial Stadium today.

“My grandmother ... when it was hard, I thought of her. She wanted me to graduate. Basically, I could have given up, but I didn’t because of her,” Little said of 85-year-old Hazel. “My uncle guided me. He mentored me and tried to show me the right path to go down,” Little added of uncle O’Keefe, who delivers pizza back in Roseland.

O’Keefe and Hazel both will be in Memorial Stadium cheering on Mario as he concludes his tenure at KU today.

“I told the coaches that this is all I wanted from Kansas,” O’Keefe said. “Everything else is gravy. Everything else is extra. He’ll need a degree to get through life.

“We are ecstatic and proud of Mario. He had little to no chance of succeeding without Kansas,” O’Keefe added.

Reigning junior college player of the year Little arrived from Florida’s Chipola Community College in the summer of 2008 with the minimum amount of credit hours necessary to transfer.

He knew he had some work to do to earn a sheepskin at a major academic institution.

“In my very first meeting with Mario, he said he really, really wanted to graduate,” said Scott Ward, KU associate athletic director/academic and career counseling.

“That was part of him wanting to take that red-shirt year, to put himself in a really good position to do that. He thought if he red-shirted, he could focus on academics and finish up while he was here. It was his goal. He stuck to his word, stuck to his guns. He always did what was asked of him and had a good attitude about it.”

Little, who played the 2008-09 season at KU, red-shirted the next, then concluded this past season, said today would not have been possible without KU’s academic support system.

“I thank my tutors. For us to practice hours and hours of basketball ... if we just went to our rooms, we’d probably fall asleep,” Little said. “Going to meet with our tutors is the best thing for us.”

Little does not plan on using his degree for a while. Undecided about a career path that may or may not involve coaching, he wants to play professional basketball.

“My first plans are the NBA. That’s been my goal since childhood. I’ll try to pursue that. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go overseas,” said the 6-foot-6 Little.

KU coach Bill Self believes Little will play for pay next season.

“Everybody back home in Chicago would be proud of Mario. He not only got his degree from Kansas, but a chance to put himself in position to play professionally. Hopefully he’ll make a nice living doing that,” Self said. “He’s been through a lot in his lifetime. I’m very proud of Mario. He came from junior college and had to buckle down and he did that. He persevered and got it done.”

Reed to graduate as well: Burlington senior guard Tyrel Reed, who completed his degree requirements in exercise science (with a minor in business) at semester, also graduates today. A third senior on KU’s team, Brady Morningstar, graduated last spring.

“Tyrel has been amazing. To already be accepted to KU Med for PT (physical therapy) school is quite an accomplishment. He’s an Academic All-American, which speaks for itself right there,” Ward said.

“As a Kansas kid he represented the state in the best way — with class all the way. I’m impressed how he handled himself as a student, as a Kansan, as a Jayhawk.”

Noted Self: “Tyrel is winningest player all-time at Kansas and first-team Academic All-American. The only thing that would have made his senior year more complete would have been his second (national) championship. Needless to say I’m so proud of Tyrel and his accomplishments at Kansas,” added Self, who will be at the graduation ceremony today.


murph 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations, guys. It does take a lot of effort and commitment to graduate - and ever so much more to fit in the schedule of a Div. I athlete, too. Well done.

brooksmd 8 years, 9 months ago

Mario congratulations for not falling into the trap set by all the naysayers. All the best in your future endeavors on and off the court.

lee3022 8 years, 9 months ago

Mario deserves a standing ovation for his commitment and perseverance. This is your best moment yet, to walk down the hill for a KU degree.

The very same for Tyrel. Although coming from a more supportive background, your achieving Academic All American is second only to earning your degree.

Best of luck to both of you in your futures.

DSommersby 8 years, 9 months ago

Congrats on getting those degrees! It takes a lot of work to balance the schedules and work loads you have. Best of luck...and Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Dan Pawlowski 8 years, 9 months ago

Congrats Mario and Tyrel. An achievement that will last a lifetime. Rock Chalk!

DDDHawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations, Mario and Tyrel! Please remember always that K.U. fans appreciate you not only for your commitment to our basketball program, but also for your academic accomplishments. We wish you the best for the next phase of your lives!

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

(Note: this is a continuation of a recent exchange with Selbyville about Self's insistence on playing mostly players that show mastery of certain basic skills, and whether this maybe causing KU problems with player development and with early exits from the Madness. He puts his POV with clarity and genuineness and many others seem to think and feel as he does. This caused me to think at length about the issue. Here is my response.)


I know you care and are authentic and maybe you are onto something here. Maybe some players' rates of development are being stunted unecessarily by Self's approach. Maybe playing the guys who do the required four the best at the glue positions makes us vulnerable to upsets by not getting the most dynamic athletes on the floor at the same time. No aspect of how one coaches the game is above being analysed.

But, same as you, I can only apply my reason and come up with what I come up with. I may be right, or wrong, but that's all I can do.

Here's what I come up with on this very interesting and thoughtful distillation of your questioning of Self's approach on this issue.

Regarding Cal perhaps having a better approach that Self: Cal's never won a ring and Self, using his approach, has even beaten Cal and his approach for a ring in '08. I just don't think there is much to learn from Cal, unless you want to do the things upfront that Cal, or the hangers on at Cal's schools, apparently do to get the players he gets and turns loose to play his less demanding style. And even then, Cal's approach only means you don't get bounced in the early rounds by mid majors. You get bounced a little later, but don't win a ring regardless.

Three coaches you don't mention that put both glossy W&Ls and a recent ring on the board are Billy Donovan, Coach Consonants, and Roy Williams. Of these, only Roy subscribes to a more tolerant approach than Self regarding the big four basics. Donovan and Consonants are noted task masters about the big four. And Donovan and Consonants are conspicuous in having played "shorter and less athletics" on the wings on their recent ring teams.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Now back to Calhoun, whom you did mention.

Calhoun, though I think the guy maybe a cheater, is someone to learn somethings from, because he's gotten several rings now, at a program he basically had to take to the next level himself; i.e., he's self-made.

The first thing to learn from Calhoun is that, after winning two rings some time back with a pretty traditional brand of northeastern style ball, and being denied recently, he appears to have completely changed his game the last two seasons and emulated Self Ball almost completely. The biggest difference that I could see between KU and UConn this year was Kemba Walker, plus tournament match-ups, i.e., UConn not having to play Richmond and VCU in the same round was a blessing for UConn and a curse for KU.

First, Kemba. Kemba proved to be the great player of this past season--the impact player no one could hand cuff, when it counted. Marcus, good as he was most of the time, turned out be the kind of impact player that could be handcuffed occasionally. Whichever team is sound and has an impact player that can't really be shut down usually wins the Madness. UConn was sound and had that player. KU was sound and did not have that player. UConn won the ring. KU, despite 30+ wins, got upset. In the past, Calhoun has had some glossy W&L teams that lacked the unstoppable impact player and lost early, too.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Second, the Richmond-VCU match-up. Richmond ran a Princeton thing, stretched the half court on us, made us play chase, and got us to exhaust ourselves with a big effort against a team we should have not had to waste so much energy on. They sucked us into an emotional performance that gave us a convincing win, but drained us doing it. Then on a day's rest KU ran into the best conditioned basketball team I have seen in years and KU ran out gas ten minutes in, so it didn't have enough energy to offset its cold hand. My reason tells me that most teams would have lost playing VCU on one day's rest after getting sucked into playing an emotional game against Richmond's Princeton style offense. Marcus and Kieff, finally ran into a team, VCU, that could exhaust them with superior conditioning and a 260 pounder inside after one day's rest. KU out.

All that said, Calhoun is doing something right, because his teams are not shooting 10 percent from trey two seasons in a row in an early round Madness game.

Some argue, perhaps you, too, that these ten percent shooting games occur in part, because we are playing too many shorter, less athletic glue guys (guys who are playing because they can do the big four) on the wings that cannot get it done, when they run into the "long and athletics" in the Madness.

I see at least two flaws in this argument.

  1. It does not seem to explain why the "long and athletics" that do start for KU also perform about as poorly, and some times worse, than the "shorter and less athletics," in these upsets.

  2. It overlooks the fact that Northern Iowa, the previous year, had wings that were actually in some cases less "long and athletic" than our "short and less athletic" wings, and so not playing more of our own "long and athletics" does not explain the NIU loss at all.

But I still think there is something important and and revealing about the debate, especially when one thinks about UConn's and Calhoun's success this past year.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Remember: UConn's wings did the big four--guard, protect, feed the post and keep the ball from sticking--exceptionally well--and they had some long and athletics at the wings, if I recall correctly.

So: Calhoun does seem able to teach his long and athletic perimeter players how to do the basic four that Self has the last 2 years had trouble conveying to his "long and athletics."

Self, his critics suggest, somehow fails at teaching the "long and athletics" how to do the big four, so they can get on the floor, beat out the less "long and athletic" and help KU go deeper in the Madness.

But is he, or has he just coincidentally run into a few "long and athletics" that have struggled mightily with mastering the big four?

If one looks at Self Teams prior to the last two seasons, one sees wings and glue men with a wide range of body morphologies, including long and athletic, that could do the big four, not just "short and less athletic" players.

Therefore, I can only infer one of two things:

a) Self knows how to teach mastery of the big four, but has run into an anomalous run of long and athletics who have had exceptional trouble mastering the big four; or

b) Self has somehow forgotten how to teach "long and athletics" the big four, while remembering how to teach same to the "short and less athletic."

To me, "a" above seems vastly more probable.

Frankly, I think Self is as frustrated with his recent "long and athletics" slow progress, as his critics are.

Self recruited them, he has suggested, precisely because they were long and athletic...precisely because he thinks length and athleticism are crucial to winning basktetball the way he wants it played.

It cannot hurt for he and some of the coaches to revisit their techniques about how to teach mastery of the big four basics, so that all body morphologies get it.

But at the same time, there just are some persons sometimes that don't master tasks as fast as one would like.

Is that a reason to stop asking for the basic tasks of basketball to be mastered?

I still don't think so.

Rock Chak!

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

"And About Mario and Tyrel Graduating..."

For KU Basketball to live up to its legacy of being the Father of All Basketball Programs," it must continue to be blessed with exceptional team members.

Some of those have to be stellar on the wood.

Some of those have to be heroic in what they accomplish.

Some of them have to be stellar off the wood.

One without the other two is not Kansas Basketball at its best.

With only superstars on the wood, KU becomes like UK.

With only superstars off the wood, KU becomes like an Ivy League, or an Academy team.

The Twins were stellar on the wood and are going to the L. We need those kinds of persons.

Tyrel was solid on the wood and stellar off. We need that kind of person.

But Mario Little was literally heroic in struggling through adversity to finally find a role on the wood down the stretch and was literally heroic off the wood in getting his degree. We need that kind of person, as much as the first two kinds.

So long as the program continues to attract and enable these three kinds of persons to flourish and become the best they can be, KU basketball is the living myth.

Rock Chalk!!!

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

"Post Script on Mario and Tyrel"

Every few seasons a player comes a long that I think could be and ought to become a coach.

They are guys I view as having strong presence, strong will, strong character and a body of experience that may give them a deeper insight and compassion for players than most other players have. Sometimes they are stars. Sometimes role players. Sometimes bench riders. Some times they are coaches sons and some times they are not. Sometimes they get in trouble as players and sometimes they are perfect role models. I don't know enough about the game, or about the coaching profession, to know what level of coaching these sorts of persons might flourish at, but I feel they have that certain something that merits they some day be called "Coach."

It is rare when I see two guys on one team that I think could be coaching material some day.

But Mario Little and Tyrel Reed are these kinds of persons.

Rock Chalk!

REHawk 8 years, 9 months ago

EJ, I hope you are reading these posts the past two days. Just because Tyrel and Brady are gone, your ascension to a 30 minute player is not guaranteed. Strive to master those four essential elements for a Bill Self wing player. We know that you possess the length and athleticism to make a major impact on a team bound to compete for an 8th consecutive league title. Your time has come. Of the newcomers, what I have read about Tharp indicates that he should be a whiz at keeping the ball moving. BenMac has the length and athleticism to fit the mold of a super Bill Self-style wing player. I have not yet read or heard enough about Garrett to assess his possible impact on the program. Obviously, he is blessed with family genetics, and has played in a winning program at IMG. I predict that Releford and EJ both rise to the occasion this year. Gotta hope that Conner's 3 pt. shooting provides for exciting minutes off the bench. His 5th year leadership should be invaluable to the team. By now he knows precisely what the coaching staff wants and expects. If Taylor retains focus, he will rise to national prominence this season among a handfull of the best guards in the land. Barring injury or offcourt mayhem, wing positions bear the potential of being superb this season for the Jayhawks. Experience combined with exceptional potential and athleticism. Terrific ammo for typical reloading of the Bill Self firing machinery. Sleep restlessly, Frank Haith, Scott Drew and others! Billy G. is probably snoozing only 4 hours nightly, churning his energies into resurrecting another hoops program down in the grand ol' nation of incessant worship to football. Haunted by the beak of a blue and crimson clad critter fluttering through his dreams, zooming in to peck him on the backside.... Rock Chalk!

Make_Ur_Free_Throws 8 years, 9 months ago

Way to go Mario!!! You are a winner on and off the court!

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate: Your long winded post of BB wasn't appropriate for this article. This is about 2 seniors graduating and for you to sidetrack that was sorry.

Ann Oneill 8 years, 9 months ago

I've never found them funny, just annoying as hell. He's obviously lacking in social awareness.

NorthStarHawk 8 years, 9 months ago careful about criticizing the inglorious jaybate. As claycounty proves, there are a lot of "followers" who drink his kool-aid. I've just learned to scroll past the drivel even though I've had to get two new mice this past year due to wearing out the scroll wheel.

gchawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Mario, so proud of you for this accomplishment. Your perseverance is an admirable trait and will serve you well throughout the rest of your life. Best of luck to you in what ever endeavor you attempt.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations Tyrel & Mario....we are all very proud of you. It's amazing characters of two completely upbringings can walk shoulder-to-shoulder down the hill like this. One day, you are brothers in arms, the next you separate and move onward into the new chapter of your lives. I wish you the very best of luck, and hope you can continue to call upon your experiences from Mt. Oread for great use the rest of your lives.

I enjoyed Jaybate's post, though I wish to have caught Selbyvilles side of the debate. I wasn't sidetracked by his long and winded BB post, especially because it came several posts into the lognasium, well after the article concluded. It drives me incredibly nuts when people complain about something it takes a nano-second to completely bypass.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate is like a rogue elephant. He can thunder into the middle of a village and cause every action to come to a halt to see what he's going to do.Sometimes he just does a lap and leaves. Sometimes, he tramples everything in sight. And sometimes, his presence is just enough to make the villagers respect him and his unpredicable ways.

Those of us in the village who have experienced his visits for a more extended length of time just treat him as he should be treated. We respect his nature and know that he's coming to town whenever he wants and will affect life in the village however his mood allows. You might not want to jump on his back and ride him, but you cant help but have an opinion about him. And that's the beauty of a rogue elephant!

Up Simba!

REHawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations on the degree, Mario. Wherever you should land, we shall await word of your progress as a professional player. Your talents helped the Jayhawks to a number of important victories your first and third years in Lawrence. And Year #2 you and Travis did a fine job keeping our regular rotation on their toes in practice situations. Thanks especially for your commitment to bite the bullet and play injured your first season as a Jayhawk.

Janet Olin 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations, Mario and Tyrel. You make everybody in Jayhawk Nation proud. All the best to you both.

jayhawktalk 8 years, 9 months ago

Thousands of people are proud of you today, Mario. Huge congrats and best wishes!

akl6593 8 years, 9 months ago

Saw the guys today at looked like they walked down the hill together...and both looked very happy to be graduating!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 9 months ago

Mario Little has accomplished much. Little else needs to be said.

Congratulations..just take life's challenges a "Little" at a time. :)

Ed Brown 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations Mario. You have shown your family and the Jayhawk Nation you will be a winner for life! Keep focused on success as it will always be in your reach. Your dreams can be your reality!


Tim Bingaman 8 years, 9 months ago

Great Job Mario!!!! Best of luck in the Future!!!!

Debbie Mangen 8 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations Mario and Tyrel! We are so proud of you today. This is what KU is all about, getting that degree. I'd rather read one story like this than 1,000 about Deandre Daniels.

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 9 months ago

 Give all the credit in the world to guys like Mario... he may not be a #1 recruit, but he could have been the star of a lesser caliber team if he wanted to. All these guys come from an environment where they were probably the best player on the high school team  I really appreciate that he spent the time he did at the University of Kansas. It really takes a lot of maturity to accept a supporting role at that age, despite what some say to the contrary. I wish you the best of luck, and I sincerely hope that any future employers of any kind look past any off the court issues.

Some may have forgotten, but Mario was a key contributor to the 08-09" season.... a season which had little expectations after losing so many talented players to the draft the year before; but ended up being another year of Big 12 Regular Season Champions and the national Coach of the Year. Proud to have you graduate from KU.

s6u6r6f 8 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to Mario and Tyrel. Education is that which can never be taken away. Get a degree, then one can lose one's money, lose one's family, be strung out on dope, homeless, lying in the gutter in one's own filth, but one will still have that degree. So concludes an inspirational message of hope.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Mr. O'Keefe Little is all man.

Mrs. Hazel Little is all woman.

And because they are there is a young man named Mario who now has a path to a good life.

The world just got better.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 9 months ago

Christ Almighty, Jaybate....are you still on Italian time Zones!!??

So far I've read..get a life...get a job...get your own blog.....

My contribution is get some sleep!! :)

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

I believe I went native. :-)

Still fully on Italian time. This is the longest I have ever retained another time zone. No doubt a therapist could milk a few sessions out of this. Usually I recalibrate within two days. As Picasso decided to stay 30 in his mind for the rest of his life, because it seemed a great age to be, I do believe I have decided to stay on Italian time regardless of where I am, because, well, because siestas, let you catch up, and dining late with several courses agrees with me. :-)

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago


Can't believe I forgot to tell you. On my recent European recruiting trip, I visited Ferrari in Maranello and lo and behold, learned their wind tunnel facility was architected by Renzo Piano! See it here:

Can't vouch for how it works, but it has to be one of the coolest looking wind tunnel facilities I've seen.

And I just love the way he sculpted the pad, filled here, cut there, retained there, configured the tunnel conduit into a square (the fill to support the raised portion of the tunnel), all so it would fit on a small pad, and simultaneously embellish Ferrari's image as tastefully hi-tech, yet avoid over powering the Ferrari complex.

When you walk/drive by it, it is neat to look at, but what really impressed me is how this extraordinarily techy looking installation avoids the alienating feeling these kinds of structures often give off to their surroundings.

Score another one for Renzo.


Not really.

Warm and fuzzy.

Certainly not.

But it is an industrial building, where engineers and designers are trying to figure out how to manage wind flow over cars.

This building signals to me a mind elegantly engineering its way through a site constraint to a cool, fitting solution of a desired use, and finding beauty in the materials required for the job, rather than in "concepts" several degrees of freedom removed from the job at hand.

The down side of this approach is that buildings look more like componentized assemblies, than integrated wholes, but in fact buildings are integrated assemblies, and so maybe it is better to look that way than not.

And Ferrari's Formula One cars seem to be the better for it. :-)

Oh, and in a spasm of admiration for Piano, I bought a book length interview of him at a Florence book store. Having never read a book length interview of any human being, I was obliged to buy it. It was published a year or so ago. Alas, it is in Italian and I do not yet read Italian, so I cannot fill you in on its substance. But I have decided to use the book as a spur to learn to read Italian. Perhaps then I will at last get to read Dante in something closer to his voice than English permits. :-)

Janet Olin 8 years, 9 months ago

Put a cork in it and give our eyes a rest.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Yeast infection, hemorrhoids or involuntary abstinence, which is it? :-)

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

"A Quick Thought on This Year's Recruits So Far:"

Board rats seem rather pessimistic about the quality of this year's class, save maybe for Ben Mac.

It kind of reminds me of some of the pessimism about the signings of Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed many years ago.

The sentiment was something like: if these guys ever play serious minutes for KU, KU is in a world of trouble.

The sentiment became a refrain that followed both players through their long, and eventually fabulously successful careers at KU.

KU won 30+ games two seasons in a row with Brady and Tyrel playing first 20mpg sub roles and then 30mpg starting roles.

Brady even played 30+mpg in gluing a rebuilding team to 26 wins and a Sweet Sixteen.

Tyrel even became the player to participate in the most wins in the history of Kansas basketball.

A thought occurred to me: what if the 4 recruits this year really were as bad as Brady and Tyrel?

KU's got some legitimate NBA draft choices on the roster coming back to go with these guys.

And Self always seems to drag in a few more NBA draft choice type players every year or two.

Self seems to have some superstuds lined up for the following recruiting class.

How bad is KU going to be with not two, but four recruits coming in as bad as Brady and Tyrel?

Geez, are we're going to have to get used to winning 30+ even in the rebuilding years?

No, that isn't realistic.

But how realistic is it to write these recruits off before they've even laced them up once.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 9 months ago

"It kind of reminds me of some of the pessimism about the signings of Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed many years ago." I disagree. Morningstar came in with DA and Sherron Tyrell with Cole I will say many fans might not have expected much but these were two Kansas kids joining a team that was pretty much loaded already. How could Self not recruit Morningstar with his pedigree? Neither Reed nor Brady played major roles untill 2009. The difference is that this year's class is going to be needed to fill some holes immediately..a lot more is expected and needed.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 9 months ago

And sorry Mario..This is your time to celebrate. Congrats for graduating! I hope nothing but the best for you!

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 9 months ago

Thanks jay, always risky disagreeing with a word smith.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 9 months ago

Magnifico...yes, I've seen it in several publications. Frankly, to me, it looks better than some of the contemporary houses of worship being cranked out these days.
It is the ultimate building in "form follows function." I'll bet good old Mies V.D. would love it!!

The ultimate compliment you can give a high performance car [or building] is that it looks like it's moving when it is sitting still....Ferraris look like they're going 200 MPH!!!!!

We need Renzo to design Walgreens stores here in the states. At least we'd have a lot of neat buildings!!

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

Heck, I'd be grateful if he just did an espresso kiosk. :-)

If you get to Maranello, they rent new Ferraris for something like 60 Euros for 15 minutes. It is an outfit separate from Ferrari, but nested in the complex and otherwise seems a part of it.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 9 months ago

15 minutes...hmmm, let's full speed you could get about 50 miles away!!!! Me like!!!

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

But watch out for the cameras clicking license plates. They are everywhere. :-)

theend 8 years, 9 months ago

Leave Jaybate alone! If you don't like his posts.....don't read them!!

Ah Jaybate......Italy, eh? Whay a beautiful country......beautiful women!!

I was only there once forever ago.....1984. But the memories I have!!

I hope Mario Little plays in the NBA......If not I think he can play overseas.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago


It had been awhile for me also.

If you go again, brace for much change. It is not the Italy you recall. But the new Italy is very good, too.

To understand Italy (at least much more deeply that I did), read "The Dark Heart of Italy" by a Brit named Tobias Jones. Jones loves Italy, lives there for extended periods, and has made a valid effort at getting underneath the beautiful surface and tourist interface, and down to the underlying dynamics that make it both so wonderful and also so problematic. You will not regret it, even if you never go again. But then you probably will!

theend 8 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Mr. Jaybate.....appreciate that. Italy was great.....I'm a bit more familiar with southern France. Beautiful.....especially if you like warm air and sun!! Similar in some ways to parts of Italy I think............Oh.....and the!

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

A bon, monsieur. Peripignan, Narbonne, Cassoulet in Carcasonne, Montpellier, Lou Caleu restaurant in Arles, Roman ruins in Granum, the sunflowers of Van Gogh, the beach in Saintes Marie de la Mer, Pont du Garde aqueduct, Cote d'Rhone vineyards, Les Baux de Provence, Aix. This remains the greatest food in the world that I have tasted. Provencal cooking is half way between the robust flavor of French cooking and subtle nuance of Italian cooking doe right. It has the soul of Italian cooking without the heaviness of pasta. It has the robustness of flavors of French cooking, but without the hammering heavy sauces. Cassoulet is my favorite dish in the entire world. Period. The only cooking that comes close to Provence is Ligurian cooking in Rapallo, if you can find someone who still knows how to do it right. And it is fading fast, like so much Italian culture. Gosh, how I hope they are are still cooking food in Provence the old way!

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 9 months ago

jaybate can use 100 words when only one was needed and still make it worth reading. A rare skill...

theend 8 years, 9 months ago

Mario Little seems like a really good kid. I think he could have been a really great player at KU......but he still had a good career. Hopefully he will play professionally.

I think the "civil matter" he had got him sidetracked and obviously lost valuable playing time. He will learn from it. Many of you were very critical of him at the time.....I certainly don't condone what he did......but I wonder how you would react if you walked in on your girlfriend with another guy late at night???? I'm not saying he did the right thing......but it can be very hard to control your immediate emotions.....just saying.

kennethst 8 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate-When am I going to get you to visit Scotland?? You would love it.....especially the Highlands. Amazing scenery. Hey you could even visit Achnacarry.....where Brits did their commando training during WWII (As did other allied forces including US Rangers).......I know you like WWII history.

And have I mentionned the Scotch??? Heaven.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago


You have hit all my hot buttons at once. I truly do want to go to Scotland and I'm hoping the next trip will take me to the British Isles, especially to Scotland. Cotswolds in England, then Scotland, then Cork in Ireland. England to look at where one side of the family came from. Scotland to see where the others came from. And Ireland to visit a friend.

Chris Bailey 8 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to you Mario! Always proud to welcome a new alumni! So very proud to have had you at KU! You'll forever be part of the family! Rock Chalk!

Brady and Tyrel,

Congrats to you two as well! Well done! Thank you for making the KU and the state proud! Good luck as you move forward!

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 9 months ago

I see another discussion over the definition of alumni coming.

Chris Bailey 8 years, 9 months ago

Technically it's correct since I am an Alumnus and so is Mario thus we could be a group and thus be alumni

Thanks for that though.

jaybate 8 years, 9 months ago

"Always proud to welcome a new alumni."

I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt here, because English is alive and because there are grey areas from time to time and because I hate to play the language police, like Edwin Newman and William Safire (i.e., this could be claimed a run-on set of conjunctions for example), but your usage was wrong and now you are suggesting correctness on a technicality, which compounds your error.

First, it strains the meaning of welcome to welcome one's self to a group.

Second, it further strains the already strained meaning of welcome to also welcome oneself to a group one has already been a member of for sometime.

Third, it then fully renders the already strained meaning of welcome to welcome oneself--a member for some time--simultaneously with a new admission.

Technically correct?

Umm, no.

Technically incorrect?


It would have been be more accurate and appropriate for you to respond, "Well, not only did I use the plural, when I meant to use the singular, but my misuage was technically incorrect, also, because I wasn't welcoming all KU alumni--just Mario."

Alumnus is singular: it refers to one graduate.

Alumni is plural: it refers to a group.

Try it this way.

"Congrats to both of you, Mario and Tyrel. It is always nice to welcome new alumni."

Rock Chalk!

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