Sunday, October 16, 2011

Travis Releford shrugs off Kansas’ losses

Junior aware Jayhawks not deep, but ‘of course we are going to be able to survive it’

Kansas guard Travis Releford scoops a pass up the court after stealing the ball from Conner Teahan during the Late Night in the Phog scrimmage on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford scoops a pass up the court after stealing the ball from Conner Teahan during the Late Night in the Phog scrimmage on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.



2011 Late Night in the Phog

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The Kansas men's and women's basketball teams performed skits and scrimmaged at Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

To Travis Releford, it matters not that Kansas University’s basketball team enters the 2011-12 season with just eight recruited scholarship players on the roster.

“Of course we are going to be able to survive it. It doesn’t matter if we have five scholarship players. What we’ve got to do here is win. That’s what we are going to go out and do,” Releford, KU’s fourth-year junior forward from Kansas City, Mo., said after scoring 16 points in leading his Blue team to a 40-33 victory over the Red squad in a Late Night in the Phog scrimmage Friday in Allen Fieldhouse.

The 6-foot-5 wing realizes KU’s depth took a hit Friday when it was announced that freshmen Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor would not be able to play for KU until next season after being deemed partial academic qualifiers.

“We just have to work a little harder,” Releford said. “Every year we have to. We lose a bunch of guys every year (to graduation, NBA and transfer). I wouldn’t say we’re rebuilding. I’d say we have to combine and come together, play together.”

Releford dazzled on Friday by hitting six of eight shots, including three of four three-pointers. He hit a driving basket and foul shot, then followed with a slam dunk off a steal in erasing a 16-12 deficit.

“We were down, and the next thing you know we were up,” he said with a smile.

He also hit a pair of three-pointers, sandwiched by a Thomas Robinson bucket, increasing a 29-27 lead to 37-27.

“A few guys did make a few shots. Hopefully that can carry through the season,” said Releford, whose Blue team hit 16 of 32 shots, the Reds 12 of 25. “I shot it with confidence. I have a lot of confidence in my shot.”

For the winning Blue team, Elijah Johnson hit four of seven shots including one of four threes, good for nine points with seven assists against one turnover. Robinson hit five of 10 shots, including a three, good for 13 points. Tyshawn Taylor hit six of 10 shots and scored 17 in a losing cause.

“We have to make sure we take advantage of Tyshawn touching the paint,” coach Bill Self said, asked about KU’s potential style of play with a not-so-deep bench this season. “You saw tonight that cat can really get to the paint. Why would we let somebody shoot it before he has a chance to get to the paint?

“Thomas can get fouled. Why would we want somebody pulling a jumper before he has a chance to get fouled? Now we are coaching like the majority of coaches in America coach, play through your best players. We’re not going to change how we play. We may just tweak it a little bit. Our philosophy will not change. We may tweak it a bit.”

He reiterated it’ll be fun to coach this squad, which has 10 players on scholarship counting Conner Teahan and Justin Wesley.

On whom will Self be relying?

“All of ‘em,” he said. “It’s not like if Cole (Aldrich) turned his ankle we’d have Robinson be first guy off the bench. They’ll all get an opportunity to contribute.”

Releford assessed his fourth Late Night

“It’s like every night here. The fans come out and support us. They’re great. We have a great time in front of them.

“I’d say Naadir was the best dancer,” he added of freshman Naadir Tharpe. “He held his group down (during dance with KU newcomers).

“Seeing coach in that leather suit was really funny,” he added of Bill Self entering the fieldhouse driving a motorcycle wearing black leather jacket, chaps and boots.

Two partial qualifiers in; one out

Self was asked the difference in the Big 12 faculty reps approving freshmen Traylor and McLemore for financial aid and the right to practice second semester and play next season, but not approving the case of freshman Braeden Anderson, another partial qualifier who left KU and is looking at finding another school to play at second semester. All three cases were decided on their individual merits.

“I wasn’t in on that call at all,” Self said. “I’d say some things were thrown at us that allowed the Big 12 to rule on Jamari and Ben before they got the information on Braeden to rule on Braeden. It wasn’t our fault. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. It was just the circumstances. Braeden was a little later getting in (information). That may have been the difference. I don’t know.”

Late Night frivolity

Actor Rob Riggle, a KU grad who appeared in “The Hangover” and was a former cast member on Saturday Night Live, had a role as referee in the fake boxing match between KU staff member Barry Hinson and “Vicious” Victor Ortiz. “I used to sit up there,” Riggle said, pointing to the seats in the upper deck, northwest corner. “I was too busy ‘studying’ to get the good seats,” he added of the seats in the student section behind the north goal. ... In a wild twist, KU’s Hinson accidently head butted Ortiz in the face, the boxer getting cut in the lip. “Coach, what is that, a headbutt,” Riggle said, jokingly referring to Ortiz headbutting Floyd Mayweather in last month’s title fight in Las Vegas. Riggle and Ortiz were introduced to the fans during timeouts at Saturday’s KU-OU football game.


Bert White 8 years, 7 months ago

"Fake boxing match"? The boxing match wasn't real? What's next; are you're going to tell me that Knowledge Man isn't a real super hero?

yates33333 8 years, 7 months ago

Since Lawrence pundits know so much, and since many who post here are well versed in round ball matters, why did Bill Self and KU have so much trouble recruiting basketball players last year? This must be the most disastrous recruiting year since Self became coach. What happened? Did the loss in the elite eight cause it?

ccarp 8 years, 7 months ago

No, players chose other schools for personal reasons. If you are a jayhawk, which does not sound the case, you would recall May was exciting because we were in it for the guard who chose Alabama (close to home) and DeAndre Daniels was miffed Self would not promise him a schooly in January b/c Self did not know if Selby or Kief would return. We landed Traylor in that period and we are excited for him. We had locked in B Mac and Tharpe earlier in the year and had a late pick up with Kevin Young and had a prospect in Anderson that unfortunately was not allow to participate as a partial qualifier. We've locked in Zack Peters early, similar to how Cole committed his sophomore year, and now we locked in Perry Ellis. We got more to give and will continue to reload. Thanks for caring, but we will be fine as we work through the transition. Instead of being lazy and asking for answers, you could have traced through the recruiting saga here on KU sports. The internet is a wonderful thing. We will most likely make our 24th NCAA tourney in a row and might very well win our 8 conference title in a row. Good luck to your team.

yates33333 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for your answer but I knew everything you said having read it throughout the year. Unfortunately, you do not answer my question except for the guard from Alabama and Daniels. I hope Traylor is outstanding, two of the other three may be next year, but I was asking about this year. I know we have Peters and Ellis and I hope soon Self adds Kaleb Tarczewski for next year. Still, not much about those never landed this year whomever they might be.

BTW, I have two degrees from KU post graduate schools although I played basketball in the MVC. I have been a Jayhawk for a long, long time.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 7 months ago

i've seen your comments before...we know you are a lifelong Jayhawk.

I'm just curious about this Internet thing that ccarp is referring to. Is it something like you could post a question and people will give their thoughts or opinions and have a lively discussion about? Sounds like what you were doing.

By the way I think last year's recruiting class was different, because all indictations were that the Morris Twins were leaving, and than as the season went on Selby didn't look like he would be a first round draft so most thought he would stay. This left us with the ability to recruit, but not to offer scholarships, when all of sudden all three of them left, most top recruits were locked up, and just a couple of names were available, unfortunately, many of them were partial qualifiers, probably one of the reasons they hadn't been recruited.

Just my thoughts.

ccarp 8 years, 7 months ago

Sorry to take offense, but it did sound a little harsh on coach self. FWIW, I think not having Selby's and Kief's scholarship was the limitation, which was in my original answer.

jhox 8 years, 7 months ago

Don't forget that the Morris twins could have potentially both been back this year, as well as Selby. Guys don't want to come in and play behind players like that. They all want to come in and play immediately. Unfortunately, we've had a lot of seasons lately with situations like that (guys announcing leaving fairly late.) At Kentucky, most of those kids can't wait to get out of there, so recruits figure there's a high liklihood they'll get a lot of PT as freshmen.

Robert Robinson 8 years, 7 months ago

This is a large problem the past few years. But I guess its a "good" problem. KU is such a good place to play players have to actually think about leaving.

addlime 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I believe the coaching staff felt there was at least a decent chance the twins might be back do to their love of playing together and the potential (now actual) NBA lockout disaster. I imagine the twins could be second guessing their decision if the lockout turns into months instead of weeks. And, of course, no one thought Selby would/should go.

Jayhawkfanalum 8 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps Self didn’t have $10,000 handy & great table reservations at a strip club/ladies house courtesy of Miami booster Neville Shapiro. Regarding that, Missouri troll, why don’t you look up Gassaway’s article on Basketball Prospectus: “I paid $10,000 for a player and all I got was 46% 2-pt shooting?” MU needs to be on it’s way to the SEC; it already has SEC-level-corrupt BB coach on staff. MU-BB fan vocabulary word for the day: VACATED.

yates33333 8 years, 7 months ago

This answer is really sad. If you ask a question, and a legitimate question, you are a Missouri Troll. If I wrote snide remarks I'd have a few for you. I'd say use your imagination of what they might be, but that would be expecting too much I fear.

Were you a long jumper in track? Get the point?

Scott Bonnet 8 years, 7 months ago

Give me a break. Don't act all innocent about the question. You had an answer in mind before you asked it. Since when is an elite eight run a detriment to recruiting? Especially when we were the last one-seed standing. You are a troll. So-called KU fan or not.

hawk316 8 years, 7 months ago

yates, this recruiting class may turn out to be much better than you think. BMac is supposed to be some kind of athlete and an outstanding scorer. Traylor may not be a Thomas Robinson, but before it's all over, he will be a force to be reckoned with on the inside. He had a chance to start as a freshman. From all accounts, it sounds like Tharpe may be another Aaron Miles, and from his comments thus far, it's obvious that Coach Self is very excited about Kevin Young. Unfortunately, we won't be able to enjoy three of the recruits this year, but hope for big things from all of them in the future.

ku_foaf 8 years, 7 months ago

Yes, reaching the Elite 8 is always BAD for recruiting.

John Mueller 8 years, 7 months ago

It will certainly be an interesting year.

We essentially have 2 kids that can play for anybody.

2 kids (Releford and Withey) who have a HUGE opportunity to step up and become players.

Maybe 3 if you count Elijah.

And then some bodies, i think. I hope i am missing somebody, but cannot think of another proven commodity on this roster??

It should make every single game entertaining. Don't see a lotta gimme's with this roster, but of course, our 2 best players can be truly exceptional.

TT is clearly the single biggest impact on how this season goes in terms of running the offense / creating offense.

ajhk 8 years, 7 months ago

I would put Releford AND Elijah in the "play for anybody" category. I think our starters are seasoned and can really play. Beyond that, nothing is proven.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

If Withey stays healthy and out of fould trouble and has a chance to build his confidence I could see him emerging and having a big year. It's a big IF.

That said, Robinson, Taylor, Releford, Johnson are going to be as good from #1 to #4 as any team in the country at those positions.

After our first 5 we have a LOT of question marks.

Merv and Conner will play as 3 pt specialists.

Tharpe will likely be first off the bench for Taylor/EJ.

I'm excited to see what Kevin Young and Justin Wesley bring to the table in terms of "Big Man Depth". Too bad we can't test out Traylor this year.

We really could have used McLemore this year, he'd be a great asset off the bench to spell Releford.

Ted Hume 8 years, 7 months ago

spot-on plastic man, spot-on! ...on all counts

1-4 are, in fact, able to line up with any team in the country, and Releford has the potential to be one of those national radar break-out season guys everyone notices. I think he could very well be our team scoring leader this year as well

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

This is a season in which a very determined focused newcomer can step up to play major minutes for a Bill Self team at the most heralded program in the world. Must be a very quick learner who eats drinks sleeps DEFENSE...and does not engage in offcourt mayhem.

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Releford has done a nice job of body sculpting in his 3 previous years at Kansas. He and Tyshawn were major contributors on winning USA junior world teams a few years ago. Now time to produce accordingly on the national Div. I stage.

Clarence Haynes 8 years, 7 months ago

TRob, Tyshawn, and Travis got some TV time during the OU game last night. They along with EJ and Jeff will give us a solid nucleus. All that we need is for Tharpe, Conner, and Young to come through and we'll be okay come March! Rock Chalk!

WilburNether 8 years, 7 months ago

“Thomas can get fouled. Why would we want somebody pulling a jumper before he has a chance to get fouled?"

Um...because with his track record at the free throw line, fouling him amounts to a turnover?

I hope he's been working hard on his free throw shooting. It would be a shame to have him sitting on the bench at the end of close games, lest the opponent play Hack-a-T-Rob.

Tim Orel 8 years, 7 months ago

He has said he's worked hard at that. Of course, the proof will come during games, when he might actually be hurting from the foul, breathing hard because of the long periods he'll be playing, and the fan noise won't always be in his favor. I'm hopeful he'll get in the mid-60's, though I'd love for him to do better still.

nocolohawk 8 years, 7 months ago

For 20+ years, I've been as rabid a Jayhawk BB fan as there is. Moving forward I'm still there. But I have to say the instances of misbehavior of team members over the last several years, coupled with what looks like the coaching staff taking increasing risks with its recruiting decisions are taking their toll and causing me to measure my enthusiasm.

The program hasn't been spotless over the years, but is it perception or reality that it seems to be in the news for the wrong reasons lately moreso than yesteryear?

"W"s are important, but not to the exclusion of reputation -- especially the reputation of Kansas Basketball.

rxjayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree. Seems like the players from 2006 and a few of the 08 championship team have way more class than the more recent players. Hope Ellis and the next few recruits we bring in bring back that class and respect that KU needs.

ParisHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Drawing fouls is a very good thing even when you don't go to the foul line: it gets your team into the bonus early and it gets opposing players in foul trouble. Yes Robinson needs to be a much better free throw shooter, but that's more important at the end of games than earlier.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

I saw the the comments above about the excuses for our current recruiting class, or lack of recruiting class .. references by ccarp and jhox.

The lead "excuse" is that we may have had a number of players returning .. Selby, Marcus, Markieff; therefore, top recruits looked elsewhere due to playing time. This "excuse" has been prevalent since April.

The fact is ... and this is fact .. take it how you want .. other top programs did not have this same problem, despite the fact that they had studs returning (or potentially returning) as well.

One reality, I think, is that coach Self is incredibly honest with recruits. The Lacey example .. where Self told him early that he might not play much if he came (assuming Selby came back). Lacey mentioned this after Selby declared, and said he appreciated the honesty. Unfortunately, this honesty costs you sometimes. But is that unique to KU? I suspect, pure speculation, that he has been honest with a host of other top guys. Daniels, Chol, et. al. But does this mean that Boeheim, Roy, coach K .. whoever .. aren't honest? I don't know. Is it that coach Self won't promise playing time while others do? I doubt it.

But where I question this is .. why didn't coach Self appreciate that all three, Selby, Marcus, and Markieff, were more likely than not to turn pro? We all recall Self's comments that he was surprised on Selby,and I found that really odd. Everyone and their brother (and sister) knew Selby was a one and done. Marcus was on all draft lists and seemed a certainty; with Markieff being the possible surprise. But was he? Really? I recall Markieff being fringe first round on mocks last preseason. And with that, and from what coach Self saw of Markieff in practice, couldn't that possibility become a probability in his mind? The guy with the most info? The guy who talks to NBA types? Understanding that the Morrises wanted to stay together and this could be part of their decision? Self acted as if he was caught off guard by the Morrises, too.

I guess my point is that we struck out on the big guys last season. And now can we agree that "struck out" is correct? I said "struck out" after we got Traylor and Anderson, and caught a rash of "stars don't matter" and "Butler did this and that" crap. But can we agree now, officially, we struck out on big guys? It is exactly what many of us said when it was going on. Now it is scary. (cont)

Sparko 8 years, 7 months ago

And the other programs have the same problem unless they are like UK and force kids out when things don't work out as far as numbers.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

A good number here placed their blind faith in coach Self's decisions regarding the unranked, low tier prospects .. Traylor and Anderson; each who turned out to be partial qualifiers. I recall one poster .. not me .. that raised the qualifying thing as an issue, only be castigated by posters who said that Self knew better, he wouldn't recruit a guy that couldn't play, would risk our season that way because we needed depth, etc. There were then comments about desperation causes you to do things you might not otherwise do.

As Kansas, we should be able to land at least one top big guy every season. Every season. And that is a minimum. Regardless of whether Aldrich, Collison, and Arthur are on the roster for the upcoming season. If you question the "every season" comment .. look at the other top programs.

So .. coach Self hasn't succeeded as we expect. But I still support our coach, we all should. We wouldn't trade him for any other coach. This is not a pattern. This is a soft patch. He'll bounce back with a big class for 2012, and then another one the next season.

Regardless of all that. We know coach Self can coach. Seasons like the one we have in front of us are fun because of the significantly lowered expectations. Big successes are magnified, not expected. Successes aren't as scrutinized. And this season, anyone that says "compete for a national championship", before February 15, needs to be put in a head lock. That is always the ultimate goal. But I'd like to travel to the moon this season, too .. ain't happenin'.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 7 months ago

Which big guy is going to come knowing that you have Marcus, Markief, Thomas Robinson, Withey, and Wesley already on the team?

I'm sorry, but once Marcus/Markief left there opened up a lot of playing time, not only to the other three named, but an incoming big man...before, you were going to fight for 3-5 mins.

Joseph Kuebel 8 years, 7 months ago

By Big man I'm thinking he meant a top recruit.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 7 months ago

And one last thing .. for all of you that told me to "enjoy the ride" the past few seasons -- This is an "enjoy the ride" season. When a national championship is there, on a silver platter for the taking. I don't enjoy the ride. We were the best team last season, and all we did was increase VCU's t-shirt orders. Those opportunities don't come along every season. Case in point, 2011-12. Where a conference championship would actually mean something. Enjoy the ride, baby.

waywardJay 8 years, 7 months ago

What a pathetic Existance you lead.

You arrogantly surmise your knowledge extends beyond that of a Championship level coach and his assistants. You turn your nose up at Tyshawn's play, and lock in your glare when the kid makes a few mistakes.

I prefer to believe that Coach can achieve brilliance with the kids he coaches, and that only our players Abilities and Weaknesses limit their potential IE, our occasional under performance on the national stage that seems to be the premise of your argument, and completely disregards 4 of the last 5 years of 30+ wins and a winning percentage of 82.4 over 9 seasons . A series of events that when facing a best of 3,5 or 7 format would bear us out victors fair more consistently than not.

Best of 3,5 or 7. Last year and we were national champions.

Best of 3,5, or 7 in 2008, we may have lost in the Elite Eight.

my point is this, Stuff a pipe with what you know and Smoke it, because it's more worthwhile there than on this message board.

Hawkgymrat91 8 years, 7 months ago

Boy, seems like someone here has something personal going on. Get a life, wayward. You respond to well thought out post like that?

Keith Kienzle 8 years, 7 months ago

Agree completely, HEM. I will enjoy the ride this year. Looking forward to it.

HawkKlaw 8 years, 7 months ago

Didn't I read this post 2 months ago?

SCHNBALL 8 years, 7 months ago

HEM, always enjoy reading your posts!! Whilte I will agree that this will be an "enjoy the ride season", the most interesting part about this season will be the ability for the coaching staff to adapt to what we truly have on the floor this year.

Many question in my mind:

  1. With our lack of size, do we play an up tempo game?
  2. Can we play up tempo with lack of depth and with Withey on the court?
  3. Will we play zone more often then not due to lack of depth?
  4. I assume most teams will zone us until we prove we can shoot, do we play a 1 in 4 out? 5 TRob, how agressive can he be on the defensive side knowing full well we need him on the offensive end for the entire game?

I was counting on Traylor for a little more inside backup, but with him gone, I don't see how we can domninate inside at all, Merv does not apear to be an side player which leaves Wesley and Young.

What has suprised me the most about recruiting over the past 2 years is the lack to land a true center, I have posted about it before, but with Manning on the staff, you think we would get one a year?

While this year may not pile up the wins we have become accustomed to, I agree this will be a great year to watch this team develop over the year, and for me, I will have more confidence at the end of the year for this group to make shots when we need them than last years team, shoudl be an interesting ride.

And before I end, I am not totally sold on the Tyshawn all grown up scenario, hope the articles are correct.

baldwinjhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

i don't think having a 7"0 footer (whithey) and a 6'11 beast (TRob) as starter would neccessarally mean we are undersized..

Keith Kienzle 8 years, 7 months ago

TRob is 6'9, and our second tallest guy. If Withey doesn't play well, that makes us pretty small...

yates33333 8 years, 7 months ago

HEM and Schnball. Great comments, but I think you underestimate Withey's ability to move up and down the court. He gets into position pretty fast. The key is what he will do once in position. He could be a great shot blocker and rebounder along with TRob. The big question, of course, is what happens when either man gets into foul trouble, especially TRob. I look for TT to be outstanding, and I hope Travis is too. I believe EJ could be if Self lets him play without too many rules or disciplines to follow. Sort of, like, let EJ be EJ.

One thing is certain. It will be interesting.

Tim Orel 8 years, 7 months ago

Can the partial qualifiers be walk-ons? I mean, do they accept a scholarship that says they don't have the same rights as someone who has an academic scholarship that doesn't place that restriction on them (or anyone else paying their own way)? Are they financially capable of paying for their schooling, in which case could they consider dropping their athletic scholarship and just play as a walk-on? I know Braedon didn't have the finances to do it, but I'm wondering about the other two. I'm just wondering what the rules are here.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm not an expert, but did read up on it.

One site that I used:

Basically, the requirements to become elgible are to fulfill a core corricullum in high school, and than have a scale based on GPA and than ACT/SAT score. If you have a 4.0, you can have a lower ACT/SAT score, but if you had a low GPA you would need to have a higher ACT/SAT score.

In DI there is a scale. In DII there is just minimums for each. In DIII there are no standards (basically if you meet the curricullum you are elgible).

If you don't meet the standards you are deemed a non-qualifier or a partial-qualifier. If you are a partial-qualifier, whether you are on scholarship or not, you have restrictions on competition and/or practices for your first year.

I was thinking B. Anderson had a 4.0, so it must have been a problem with his ACT/SAT score or something was missing from his core corricullum.

ACT/SAT scores typically seem to be the biggest problem with being a full-qualifier. If you recall with Derek Rose, his SAT/ACT score was inaccurate, so he should have been a partial qualifier and that led to all of the problems that Memphis had with him on the roster.

Don't know if that helps, but hope so.

Tim Orel 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks. I wonder if the NCAA (or KU) checks walk-ons status, or if they're able to assume since they're students at KU they're eligible (though I would think their grades at KU might also be checked).

Jeeveshawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Relefords assesment that we will still be a winning team. Lets look at my projected rotation: starters: 1 2 3 4 5 Taylor Johnson Releford Young Robinson backup: Tharpe Teahan Lindsay Withey

with a solid rotation like this and a fantastic coach like self we will definitely do well.

Kye Clark 8 years, 7 months ago

HEM - I agree with much of your post. The thing I might question is the statement that this isn't a pattern. Isn't it? I posted on the "thin, but fun" article last night that recruiting has been trending downwards for several years. While I don't think year's like this one are going to be the norm (just landing Perry Ellis by himself makes next year's incoming class better than this year's would have been WITH BMac, Jamari, & Braeden), it can't be denied that recruiting has been off for several years. I've been pointing this out for a few seasons, and other fans who disagree will point to Xavier Henry & Josh Selby, Self's prized top-10 recruits the past couple of seasons. And those were good gets no doubt, despite how they worked out they were good gets. But KU wasn't Xavier's first choice. He would have played at Memphis had Calipari not left. And this could be said of many players over the past few years. The Morris Twins, Tyshawn, Withey. I'm glad we got them, but you can't keep counting on those type of players to fall in your lap year in - year out.

Now Selby was a great signing. Several things conspired to keep him from having the type of season I think he was capable of, but I will definitely give Self all the credit he deserves for bringing him in. However in the case of both Xavier & Selby, those are two players who Self knew he wasn't going to be able to build his program around. They were brought in to compliment an already solid group and the hope was even though they were likely OADs, they would be enough to put us over the top. That's a good strategy, but you have to keep bringing in the Darnell Jacksons, the Morris Twins, the Russell Robinsons, the Travis Relefords...the quality 4-star guys you can use to build the foundations of future teams. That is what I think Self has gotten away from. I think he focuses so much on too many of the elite tier of players that he has neglected the very good players who might not be stars right away but could definitely be coached into those roles. And don't mistake this for me saying he needs to go out and recruit a bunch of "glue" players. Those are the Jamari Traylors & Braedon Andersons. Those are the guys you get when you KNOW you have a loaded roster returning and they are going to sit a year or two. Instead he has indeed been striking out on a lot of the elite tier players and then having scramble for the glue guys. It wasn't just this year either. Two years ago he was in on Selby, Harrison Barnes, Terrance Jones, Terrance Ross, and Doron Lamb. He ended up with only Selby, and was already bringing in Royce (a glue guy who might have contributed after a couple of seasons). No foundation type players brought in.

billboy89 8 years, 7 months ago

As I stated on the Phog board, something is amiss with recruiting. In our conference, Texas, and arguably Baylor and Okie State have out recruited us the last few years (Certainly Texas and Baylor). On a national level, we have not recruited with other elite programs at all since probably 2008. The question is, why? Why do one time favorites like Xavier Henry take a series of fortunate events to land (see Selby as well). How about Trevor Lacey passing us up when we had immediate playing time to go to Alabama or Mississippi State (whatever it was). Deandre Daniels? Was there not a huge amount of playing time for him this year? These are not misses that would have happened several years ago. Something is happening. I mentioned before that the one and done rule is hurting us...I believe there is some negative recruiting against KU that is resonating with recrurits as well. Perhaps there are some recruiting ties which have been severed (for whatever reason) which were previously in place (what happened to Chi-Town recruiting?). Whether or not you blame the current staff, perhaps there needs to be a shake up. Whatever the cause, we are in some trouble here with our talent level, folks.

This year, our starting 5 is good. Possibly very good. But let's take a closer look...Robinson was class of 2009. Withey was a transfer, but came in with the 2009 class. Releford was 2008, as was Taylor. Johnson was 2009 recruiting class. What do we have to show for 2010 and 2011 classes? The 2011 class (this year) best recruit at this point was Kevin Young (of the guys that are playing) and he is a junior. What if McLemore and Traylor don't come back? The 2010 class was Selby and Woolridge. Where are they now? In most years, we have had arguably the best starting 5 and in the conference and a second 5 that could contend for 2nd or 3rd in the conference. I don't think this year's 2nd five could win many games in the Mid America Conference.

My belief is that unless the one-and -done rule is changed (to possibly a 2 or 3 and done rule), that on their current trajectory, KU will continue to struggle. One way out may be to change they way they approach recruiting entirely...go for 3 or 4 year players exclusively maybe? If there are any such players out there that have the ability to have an impact at KU ( my guess is most of thoset ypes of players don't view themselves as 3-4 year players).

Sign Tarc and a couple of other top 25-75 players this year, and then come back with another similar class next year, then maybe all of this angst is for nothing. Miss on Tarc and post another mediocre class year next year, and we are Ted Owens circa 1981 all over again. We've been extremely fortunate the last 25 or so years. But all it takes is a 2-3 years of down recruiting to turn you into Indiana. Self is a great coach...but those KU fans out there that are concerned are concerned for good reason...

Kye Clark 8 years, 7 months ago

So what we have is this season. We actually have the foundation players for this year. Releford, TT, EJ, maybe Withey (I still have my doubts). But we haven't been reloading for several years, and when you have a year where you completely strike out you have no incoming superstars to help you compete at the highest levels, no glue guys to give you the bodies necessary for a typical Self rotation, and no players to develop into the foundation of future teams. What does it all mean? For this year I think we can maybe expect a year similar to the '08-'09, post championship season, maybe a little worse. We have enough guys who have been in Self's system long enough that there won't be many growing pains, so I think we'll be OK, but sweet 16 aspirations are probably where the bar should be set. The other thing it means is that Self absolutely has to hit a "home run" with next year's class. As I said yesterday, Perry is a nice start, but we need another 2 or 3 guys who are star-caliber guys, along with another 2 foundation guys and maybe a glue guy or two. And I asked this yesterday, but are we sure BMac & Jamari are going to be here next year? Or is there a chance they'll leave too?

I'm not claiming to be smarter than Coach Self or saying I have all the answers to our recent recruiting woes. I don't know all the nuances that go into building, replenishing, & maintaining an elite program. It can also be pointed out that most if not all of the other elite college programs have had down years and fallen off in the recent past, so it happens to the best of them. I'm not giving my opinions because I have soured on Coach Self or KU basketball. But what I am saying is that I think a different approach to recruiting might be in order. If it is possible to not expend so much time & resources on a handful of players that you might land 1 in 5 if you're lucky. If there is a way to zero in on the few that you are confident you have a good chance to sign, then cast your net wider to the next tier down. All that being said...I'm ready to see these guys play! Can't wait for the season to start. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!!

Michael Sillman 8 years, 7 months ago

I echo the comment by Hawk316 that this year's recruiting class was not a washout and will contribute this year and even more so in future years.

At the time that Self made contact with McLemore, the kid had not been to 3 high schools so it was difficult to anticipate his partial qualifying. Traylor was a late add but it was certainly worth getting him for next year.

Both are caught up in school and do not appear to be disciplinary problems. Let's give them a break.

Tyshawn Taylor was rated #77 in Rivals 2008 class and has been a solid contributor since day 1. Tharpe was #92 in Rivals 2011 class so I don't see a significant difference. We can expect good things from him this year.

Young averaged in double figures in D1 ball and has 2 years left.

We will be fine this year and even better next year.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

Never before awarded...

Double PHOF!!!!!!!!!!

Tuskin 8 years, 7 months ago

Pinball Hall of Fame? Urban dictionary won't give me even that much...

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 7 months ago

there are just a couple of schools out there that wouldn't be excited with a TT and TR coming back next year. I would say that last season would have been a lot different if T. Releford (TR as well) wouldn't have gotten hurt. Throw in the experience that EJ got last year, there are 4 players that any team would kill to have on their team. That right there is worth 20-25 wins; however, on top of that you have a 7footer that has struggled to find playing time, but when he has played he has held his own. During the off-season in some of those camps overseas he was labeled as a playmaker and a scorer. Should be a good add to the starting rotation. So how is our bench.

Well we add Tharpe a natural point (and future leader of the Jayhawks), Wesley (who red-shirted last year) and has been playing against the likes of the twins and Robinson all of last year, understands BS's system. You have Young and Merv with the size bonus and Young I would hope improves significantly once he starts working with the likes of Manning. I don't think these guys are going to start out being All-Americans, but last time I checked TR was in a supportive role last year.

All in All we will be solid and if we gel, at the end of the season we will be the team nobody wants to face in the tourney. I'm guessing about a 1-4 seed this year, really depends how we start, but my lean would be the 3-4 seed.

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

As someone just pointed out, it is something of a mystery that no quality big guys have signed to work with Danny Manning this season. What a wonderful opportunity for any big kid who craves preparation for First Round NBA Draft, even Lottery status. Is our coaching staff losing at the recruiting game, or are high school kids, parents and advisors so fickle that they can't see the marvelous opportunity to develop and tweak their already superior talent? My money is on Bill Self and crew to win big this season, reload explosively, and climb back to quick prominence next season. The NBA Lock-out drama coupled with the twins' outstanding play last season obviously threw a monkey wrench into the cogs that normally grind in the way of Bill Self recruiting. He was forced to scamper late and to gamble on Anderson and Traylor. Another gamble that appears to be set to succeed well is the Kevin Young transfer. Gotta hope that BenMac and Jamari hang tight. Tarc the Shark might walk right into major playing time next season if, as expected, Thomas departs. Surely, there are some 4 and 5 star bigs out there who will drool at the opportunity to play in the Phog and undergo the NBA skillscamp of Danny Manning.

jaybate 8 years, 7 months ago

"Some Things That Have Not Gone Wrong with KU Recruiting the Last Year"

~Haqqani terrorists were not accidentally recruited.

~Some intelligence organization did not put put thermite and C4 in the frame of Allen Field House, fly a commercial jet into it by remote control, cause AFH to fall in its own footprint, say Arabs with box cutters did it and invade 9 countries and Iran next.

~Okotok, Canada was not accidentally fracked into oblivion, so Braeden Anderson had a home to return to.

~No KU recruit attended 5 high schools, which has been known to take the NCAA as many as 16 years to clear.

~Deandre Daniels mercifully went to UConn, instead of KU, or he would not have been cleared by the NCAAn until the next leap year.

~Dick Vitale did not pick KU to finish 20th in the Big 12, as Dick was having his dome polished by a Zamboni machine.

~Frank Martin killed no recruits KU and KSU were both interested in.

~The Oklahoma and The Texas (I'm using Eisenhower style, like Ike calling Germany the German, so as to diminish both of these lamentable institutions) did not try to self immolate by igniting UT's oil reserves.

~Kirstie Alley was not asked to Late Night to eat her way back to a full figure.

~President Obama did not put any KU recruits on his list of American citizens targeted for assassination.

~Occupy Wall Street has not yet occupied Allen Field House.

(Note: all fiction. No malice.)

yates33333 8 years, 7 months ago

Great Stuff, but quit using those damn initials. I still don't know what PHOF is. Is it Phog Hall of Fame?

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

Please Hurl On Frank [Martin] Perseofcoachingexperience Has Officially Farted Pancakes Hot Off [the] Fire. [Lord] Please Help Our Footballers Pretty Hot Old Females Pervert Home Of Frats

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

jb, we have missed your posts since the breaking news re McLemore and Traylor. Good to see you up and about.

Gregor Southard 8 years, 7 months ago

Why call '12 recruiting class mediocre? They haven't even played a game yet.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 7 months ago

It's good to hear that Wesley has been granted a scholarship, but I am curious how many schoarships we'll have left to give this year.

Teahan and Taylor will be done, and we can pretty well count on having Robinson's scholarship available. But with McLemore and Traylor taking the first two scholarships next year, and Peters and Ellis coming in, I count 11 scholarship players already on the team for next year assuming no surprises.

JHawk74 8 years, 7 months ago

It appears we will have a very solid starting lineup this year.

G Taylor G Johnson G Releford F Young F Robinson

6th & 7th Man(s) Withey, Tharpe Key Bench Players: Teahan and Wesley

Hopefully Withey has improved enough to be in the Starting Line up but not sure I put him there yet. Young is new to the program but has solid stats at LMU and should be the starter. Teahan and Wesley are probably the key to our season. If they prove to provide solid 8-10 minutes each during the game we should be very good.

Hawkgymrat91 8 years, 7 months ago

It is the bench that is the question. But aren't we weak inside with Young playing the PF? He's a skinny guy. More of a SF???? Would guess Withey will start instead.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 7 months ago

Zach Efron..I mean, Conner Teahan is a key member off the bench?

Why do I suddenly hear tornado sirens in the background?

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I think that one of the major factors working against Bill Self in the recruiting game is that he develops a more complex system for players to chew and digest, a system not designed for quick ingestion and a gulp. Most of our recent NBA first round draftees and Chalmers have spent 3 or 4 years developing their host of skills, esp. defensive efficiency. So many of those top tier recruits are seeking 30 minute freshman games to showcase their existing skills, then a quick exit to professional sport. That worked for Xavier, and probably would have for Josh, but for his ineligibility and injury. A current Kansas recruit senses that his development as a Div. I player will take time, patience and tremendous effort and focus in order to glean minutes on the hardwood of The Phog. He must sublimate his craving for highlights to the concept of team play. (I still get a grin out of freshman Brandon Rush, when asked by the press to define his play, responding, "Highlights!" Bill Self must have burped up a burger or a beer when he tuned in to hear that on the 6 o'clock sportsnews!"

SaulGood 8 years, 7 months ago

Releford's time has come. Let's do this season! Can't wait to see some punishment dealt from Travis' hands this season!

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