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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Self-ish team: KU coach proud of, thankful for maximum-effort squad

Coach Bill Self tells the crowd how proud he is about the Jayhawks during the return ceremony from the NCAA championship in New Orleans.

Coach Bill Self tells the crowd how proud he is about the Jayhawks during the return ceremony from the NCAA championship in New Orleans.

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Bill Self will never forget his gritty 2011-12 Kansas University basketball team — one that went 32-7, won the school’s eighth-straight Big 12 title and placed second to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.

“For me personally, there’s never been a team that cared more, tried more, liked each other more, allowed us to coach them more,” said Self, thankful for the effort not only in a 67-59 loss to Kentucky in Monday’s national championship game, but throughout the entire season.

“That team (Kentucky) has six first-round draft picks, three lottery picks. We’re out there fighting our butt off. I love this team.”

It’s a team that had precious little depth. Self used seven to eight players in his rotation most of the season.

“We caught a couple breaks this year. We were healthy. We did not have a lot of depth so it was important to stay healthy,” Self said of a team that he said had a lot of “fight.”

“As a player, you could always say, ‘Could I give 5 percent more or 10 percent more?’ I don’t think the kids on this team can say that,” stated Self, convinced they gave it their all.

Junior guard Elijah Johnson concocted a nickname for the national-runner-up squad.

“We’re the Comeback Kids,” Johnson said after KU sliced an 18-point deficit to five in crunch time.

It’s an appropriate moniker considering the Jayhawks led at halftime in only one game in the NCAAs — against No. 15-seed Detroit Mercy. The Jayhawks, who were ahead of Detroit by 10 after 20 minutes, trailed Purdue by six, North Carolina State by one, was tied with North Carolina, trailed Ohio State by nine and Kentucky by 14.

“I wouldn’t feel right if we just blew a team out,” said Johnson, heir apparent to Tyshawn Taylor as starting point guard next season. The 6-4 junior from Las Vegas said he’d definitely be returning for his senior year following the game.

“I never give up on our team. I feel I know our team. I know we’ll always go on a run. I feel I can predict it. Ask Niko,” Johnson added, referring to sophomore guard Niko Roberts. “I always tell Niko to relax, that we’re going to come back. Go ask him. He’ll tell you.”

Roberts, a 5-11 walk-on out of Huntington, N.Y., backed Johnson’s claims.

“Every game it seems we go through one or two rough patches,” Roberts said. “Elijah says, ‘Trust me, we’ll be fine.’ It seems like he’s always calm. He knows we’ll come back.”

KU will return Johnson and two other starters next season — 7-footer Jeff Withey, who like Johnson on Monday said he’ll return for his senior year and 6-6 junior forward Travis Releford. The Jayhawks will lose senior starter Taylor, a possible late-first-round/early-second-round draft pick; senior sixth-man Conner Teahan, and junior forward Thomas Robinson, expected to be a certain top-five draft pick. Robinson has yet to officially declare his intentions, though Self has said for months not to expect the big man’s return.

Bookend reserve forwards Kevin Young (6-8 junior, Perris, Calif.) and Justin Wesley (6-9 sophomore, Fort Worth, Texas) return, as does backup freshman point guard Naadir Tharpe (5-11, Worcester, Mass.).

Ineligible freshmen Ben McLemore (6-5, St. Louis) and Jamari Traylor (6-8, Chicago), who were cited for their effective play on the scout team second semester, will be eligible next season.

Also back: Merv Lindsay (6-7 freshman, Moreno Valley, Calif.) and walk-ons Roberts and Christian Garrett (6-3 freshman, Los Angeles).

KU has a batch of recruits coming in. They are: Perry Ellis, 6-8, Wichita Heights; Landen Lucas, 6-8, Portland’s Westlake High; Zach Peters, 6-9, Prestonwood Christian High, Plano, Texas; Anrio Adams, 6-3, Seattle’s Rainier Beach High; and Andrew White, 6-6, Miller School, Chester, Va.

Ellis, a McDonald’s All-American, is ranked 24th by Rivals.com, White 56th, Peters 144th. Adams and Lucas are unranked. Self has said he still could add a player or two in recruiting.

Manning’s big day: Tulsa will introduce KU assistant Danny Manning as the school’s head basketball coach during a 2:30 p.m., news conference today. The news conference will be streamed live on www.TulsaHurricane.com. Manning was named Tulsa’s 29th head basketball coach last Thursday.

Comments

jayhawkinnc 2 years, 3 months ago

“That team (Kentucky) has six first-round draft picks, three lottery picks. We’re out there fighting our butt off. I love this team.”

This quote from Self says it all. We basically lost in the finals to a young NBA team. They had 6 McDonald's All-Americans on their team. We had none and we were in the game until the final 90 seconds or so. Just goes to show you KU had a great TEAM this year and we have an awesome Coach. Bill Self is the BEST!!!!!!

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Marc Frey 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree, I have been calling the KTY Wildcats an NBA D-League team. The only thing that bothers me, as I look back, is how many times have we lost in the NCAA tournament with 3 or 4 NBA players on our team. Still, love Kansas and root for them in all sports. But MLB Opening Day, KU Football Spring practice, and soon enough....football with HCCW. Rock Chalk!

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Hank Cross 2 years, 3 months ago

They lost the game, but were not defeated.

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Joel Thomas 2 years, 3 months ago

Aside from Johnson, Releford, and Withey will be interesting to see who gets minutes. Hopefully the team can stay tough and we can get some shooters. Not expecting too much with so many question marks in the new additions - a ninth league title would be amazing - but I've always liked Johnson and Releford, and Withey will be a nice presence. Tough to see Taylor and especially Robinson go, but will be interesting to see another team develop. The worst part of the final wasn't that KU lost (though a win would have been the best thing), but that the season is over. Awesome season.

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connhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

McLemore and Ellis are both supposed to be studs, so hopefully they can both contribute some big minutes right off the bat. Tharpe will hopefully be in the rotation also. He seems like he could be really good if he had some time to get accustomed to the college game. I think Young will still get minutes, but Wesley's minutes might be taken by Traylor.

I could be completely wrong though, because I'm certainly no expert.

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Mel Clare 2 years, 3 months ago

From all reports you are right about McClemore, he is a stud! Traylor is a beast! Ellis will be very good once he gets Hudy behind him and he is a LEGIT 6'8! And a smooth player, saw him in high school games this year a couple times. Lucas has been listed at 6'8 to 6'10. Does not matter once they hit the weight room. The White kid has not signed yet but is a very good shooter. More so than the players we had this year and also next years too commits are PURE shooters, Frankamp is a SHOOTER!!!!!!!!!!! Scored over 40 against Ellis's team. And Green also is known for his shooting..............I personnaly thing that Young and Wesley will lose out on minutes with these guys coming in and that Lindsay will redshirt.............

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REHawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Young brings so much energy to the game, and is developing well into a key figure in Bill Self's system. I don't see him losing any of his current minutes. Justin is going to have to commit T-Rob like effort in the offseason to be able to glean more minutes, what with the plethora of big men arriving this summer to battle with Jamari for playing time. Justin has to become more proficient at playing defense from sternum to heel, saving his arms for rebounding. Gonna be a relief to view so many big players on the roster, and to see who wants most to represent the Jayhawks on the floor next season. Withey will get some breathers in order to sustain his wind and full capacity of energy when he is in the game.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Everybody trust me...I've seen BenMac play. This kid can SHOOT the TREY!!!! If he keeps developing, there's a small chance he may end up a one + one??? and done!!

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jgkojak 2 years, 3 months ago

Sure starters are likely Johnson McLemore Releford Ellis Withey

Bench (in order of production) Tharpe Young Traylor White

We have a nice 8-9 man rotation next year - with not much drop-off between Ellis and Young or Traylor

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PickleFuzz 2 years, 3 months ago

Why aren't there more people there? Place looks empty!

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dansmullet 2 years, 3 months ago

probably because they are facing the crowd....

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jayhawks0034 2 years, 3 months ago

I was there for it, they only had one side open to to the public. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upu8Qb...

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jayhawkinATL 2 years, 3 months ago

KC Star has a pic that shows the opposite side completely packed.

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jayhawk02 2 years, 3 months ago

Does the reporter from the KC Star not know the difference between TRob and TT?

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 3 months ago

How dare KU fans not show up to hear the coach and players talk!

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Dan Pawlowski 2 years, 3 months ago

We were the best college team on the court monday night.

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 3 months ago

Anrio Adams has NOT been given a scholarship. That is incorrect reporting.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Please elaborate...every site a go to has him listed as a Kansas committment. I don't doubt you, I'm just curious what your source is. Thanks.

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oldalum 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't have a link, but as I remember he made an oral commitment, but no scholarship was offered because there was some academic issue. Scholarship is still pending. Can't guarantee that, but that's how I remember it.

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mustlehustle 2 years, 3 months ago

His Uncle "Sean Adams" hosts the "Adams Theory" on the ESPN radio affiliate in Austin TX. and has been saying for weeks that his nephew committed to Kansas.

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Jason Keller 2 years, 3 months ago

I've been trying to figure this out for months. I've read everything from 6'7 to 6'10. Either way, he is a furocious competitor and I mean furocious. He's the type of guy who will smack a shot attempt into the stands and then come down and get in the guy's face. He's going to get some minutes for sure.

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UmbertoConforti 2 years, 3 months ago

Resign yourself to the fact you shall never know the true height of any of the players unless you have a chance to measure them yourself. Short of the latter you can try to judge their height when they stand next to each other. Even then it's a guess because of the angles. There's little doubt that Withey is between 6'11" and 7'1". Other than that at best you can make an educated guess regarding next year's Jayhawks..

The powers that be, usually coaches, start fibbing in junior varsity and do so all the way up. I played at 6'4" and measured 6'1" and not for a major conference team like KU. I bet TRob is 6'6" or thereabouts, not 6'9" as sometimes advertised. His greatest ability is his upper body size and strength. He also is a pretty good jumper. He will be an excellent rebounder at the next level because he can use that strength all the way. He also moves well and will be taught how to get position better than he has been despite Danny's outstanding job. He will either be a Paul Silas, remember him, or another Charles Barkley with out Charles disgusting bite. Silas was mostly a rebounder but Barkley was a scorer as well. Neither was all that tall for the ability they possessed in getting the ball off the backboard.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

UC......I totally agree..Charles Barkley is actually "only" 6'-5" and he was lsited as 6'-8" right up to the day he retired!!

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually, he really was 6'-8" at one time. All the extra weight dragged him down to 6'-5". Lol.

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KULA 2 years, 3 months ago

The NBA draft compound lists a pretty accurate height for a player in stocking feet. So you'll probably have to wait 4 years to find out.

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Jonathan Allison 2 years, 3 months ago

ahh the horror at the combine when everyone realized that Cole Aldrich was 6'10" in shoes and 6'7.5" in socks.

oh well at least his arms are 4 feet long.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 3 months ago

Just huge for next year's squad that Withey will be back. There was much speculation that he could possibly test the draft waters. Although I think most agree this is the right decision and in his best interest to return, it wouldn't have been the first time someone left before they were ready. Very proud of this team, and already can't wait until next year!

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juke4jay 2 years, 3 months ago

For those Hawks who are leaving this year's team, we wish you the best in your future NBA careers and endeavors. My buddies and I have been referring to this team as "Danny & the Miracles", and now its a bit sad to see Danny leaving for Tulsa, and Tyshawn, Thomas, and others leaving for other green pastures. But its also exciting with a new crop of faces coming in to play with seasoned veterans, and I expect Withey will be a real monster next season (he already is now!). Thanks Coach Self and team for a fantastic exciting ride this season - you were fantastic!

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Jason Keller 2 years, 3 months ago

I think we all get a little emotionally attached to our basketball teams here at KU but this one was different for some reason. This team is hard to let go of. I loved Tyshawn and T-Rob's flashly style of play. The way Taylor would always look to dunk when he was near the rim and the way T-Rob would stare someone down after he slammed it in their face or rejected a shot attempt. I even loved the way they were both sleeved out with tattoos.

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 3 months ago

Ms Hudy, thanks for your part in this year's run. Now, please put Mr. Withey in your "time machine" and set the dial to "beast". We know he'll never be the physical speciman that TRob was. We trust that you'll transform him into Withey2.0. If it's not too much to ask, maybe KYoung could use some upper body enhancing as well. Naadir could handle some muscle lbs too. You are an unsung hero and we rely on your skills just like we do with the players themselves.

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Ron Franklin 2 years, 3 months ago

This is by far the best team in College Basketball, notwithstanding the paid professionals over in Kentucky.

I wonder how long it will be before news comes out that UK was paying at least one of their players.

This Kansas team embodies everything that I love about basketball and amateur athletics. These guys make me wish I could be a great coach and reach kids and help them reach their life potential.

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2 years, 3 months ago

The latest rumor for Kentucky is that Calipari may take over the Knicks head coaching position. Here is a story discussing the possibility:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Ajas_Ma17jUo3zdv9dkex6E5nYcB?slug=aw-wojnarowski_john_calipari_knicks_kentucky_040312

I found this part interesting:

“For all the access that William Wesley, the famous World Wide Wes, has provided Calipari to star recruits, basketball’s most mysterious dealmaker is well positioned to bridge a Calipari deal with the Knicks too.”

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

I am curious why the media waited till after the Final 4 to discuss all this? I mean, if it was Bill Self and Kansas, it would be the lead story!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Kye Clark 2 years, 3 months ago

The most hilarious part was that he created a fictional persona to call into the NY radio shows to defend him! What a vain, egotistical piece of crap!

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Sam Constance 2 years, 3 months ago

My favorite passage is this one:

"Calipari understands that the nature of big-time recruiting leaves him vulnerable to investigation and scandal."

No. It's not "big-time recruiting" that inherently leaves Calipari vulnerable. It's the fact that he has no boundaries that he won't cross to succeed in "big-time recruiting".

Bill Self is a "big time recruiter", but I would hazard a guess that he is much less "vulnerable" than Calipari because he doesn't rely on an NBA henchman (William "World Wide" Wesley) to land his recruits, the way a Fortune 500 company would use a headhunting service.

By the way, I would LOVE it if Calipari left the Wildcats in the lurch for the NBA. Those fans have become unbearably smug in the last three years and I can only imagine that this title will make it worse. What better way to check those egos than losing the only reason you're still ahead of Kansas and North Carolina in the all-time wins race: John Calipari.

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Joe Baker 2 years, 3 months ago

They don't care. The kool-aid is already gone. The consequences are pending.

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FSUJHAWK 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to 2011/2012 University of Kansas Men's Basketall Team! To everyone from the practice squad to the starters to the coaching staff, simply amazing and nothing but love for you all. Heros forever.

Prior to the game, I heard many state that KU would lose a series against those cats. I completely disagree. We've got a straight up better coach and we've got players with lion's heart and tenacity. I just can't imagine HCBS not making the necessary adjustments and the players not doing what's necessary to win in a short series. Maybe I'm hallucinating on the joy and sorrow of this season. Not sure at this point. At any rate, thanks again for a great season and best of luck to Jayhawks everywhere.

Three things I'm curious to know are: who will replace Coach Manning? Who will be the third guard ? Who will be the second big man? As for replacement to coach Manning something tells me Wayne Simien may get a crack at it somehow.

RCJHGKU!!!

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John Mueller 2 years, 3 months ago

I was at a dinner meeting last night and the pre meeting chatter was all about the game.

Nobody knew my affiliation to KU at the dinner, but somebody asked me my thoughts on the game and I just simply said

"I'm a Jayhawk. And, I couldn't be more proud."

Well done, men! Well, done.

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Oklahoma_Hawk 2 years, 3 months ago

What did they think? What were their reaction after you said that?

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John Mueller 2 years, 3 months ago

They were all just talking about how impressive Kentucky was and that Kansas seemed to be holding on by a thread the entire game, etc.

I just basically said, and I was in Nola at the game, I couldn't be more proud of my school and my team. I have never been more pleased with a team after a tourney loss in my entire life. It was a very difficult opponent and we didn't play perfect, but darned if this team didn't fight enough to have a chance at the end.

Up until Ty's attempt was snuffed out at the rim, I thought our guys might actually pull it off, which would have been amazing.

I can tell you the UK fans sitting in front of me, got real quiet for about 5 minutes when everybody was feeling "Wait, can this happen, can these guys do it one more time?"

Super proud of this team!

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Danny Hernandez 2 years, 3 months ago

I wish Coach Brown would come on board for a few years.....not sure he's up to the recruiting part but this man has a plethora of knowledge.

And this WorldWideWes character, can't figure him out or his agenda in steering highly prized recruits to Coach Cal. I have no proof he's doing anything that circumvents the rules but how is Cal getting 4-5 of the top 10 recruits nationally?

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

NBA and guaranteed $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ as Oakville just stated! It's actually "Genius" on Calipari's part! He sold the dream and apparently it works because he now has a Championship to prove it!

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Joe Baker 2 years, 3 months ago

Mr Benjamin Franklin is the greatest recruiter of all time.

Just ask Terrance Jones who recruited him. Yes, he'll say John Calipari and that Wes had a small part in the deal. What really sealed his commitment to uk was Big Ben.

You put Ben, Calipari and Wes together and you have an unbeatable recruiting team.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

So Derrick Rose is from Chicago. Failed the SAT test there twice. The night before 'Derrick' took his final attempt at the SAT in Detroit, he was spotted at a Detroit Piston game with who else?

Wes Anderson. Search for a picture of what Wes looked like 5 years ago, around the time 'Derrick' took the test in Detroit. I seriously can't believe this gas never been 'fully' investigated by the NCAA.

The man who got this SAT miracle to happen was Wes Anderson. There is no question to anyone with some common sense. All the UK fans know it but they aren't concerned about it because it happened during the Memphis years. This was the biggest chance to bring Calipari down for the things we knew he was attached to.

The reason the NCAA only partially investigated? Wes Anderson wouldn't talk. Derrick Rose denied all charges. John Calipari said how could he know what a high school kid was doing.

This is what happened. UK fans are claiming Calipari won't let Wes Anderson anywhere near the UK program, they say that was a horribly run Memphis program which needs to be investigated, not their's.

Same thing is happening right now with the Davis story. Two college coaches said Davis' dad asked for $150K. Interview them NCAA--- it was in the Chicago paper, you can find out what coaches said this by interviewing the reporter. The fact that multiple sources in Chicago who knew Davis said that his dad took $200K from a UK employee should have had the NCAA in Chicago immediately asking questions. Now is the time for the NCAA to grill each and every UK player, while Calipari is having a hernia over if they will finish the semester and help his APR. UK players have to talk to them while students. The first question is common sensical---"Mr Davis, have you or your Dad ever met Wes Anderson?"

Instead of dealing with the UK recruiting investigation early in the year, what happened on the court was KU's two partial qualifiers who would have been eligible to play for Calipari in the SEC, sat all year at KU, while another good 6'10" recruit arrived on campus to be told by the NCAA a couple of his Canadian classes didn't transfer and that he needed to go back to Canada. Meanwhile Calipari brings in 4 partial qualifiers, throws them into summer school and let's them scrimmage his Puerto Rican team all summer.

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Sam Constance 2 years, 3 months ago

Jayhok -

I share the following with you, not to criticize, but because I find the information you share on this subject interesting, but it's hard to take it very seriously, when you keep referring to World Wide Wes as Wes Anderson.

Wes Anderson is a movie director: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wes_Ande...

World Wide Wes' given name is William Wesley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_...

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

JayHok,

I will take it seriously.

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JayHok 2 years, 3 months ago

Marchphog, you have me laughing at myself. All I know is the guy is nicknamed Worldwide Wes. Wes Anderson does have some cool movies as I recall. I have no idea where I got off calling him Wes Anderson other than I've seen other people calling him that so I never questioned it.

Anyhow the fact that the NCAA thinks Wes Anderson is who they need to get ahold of would explain how they can't contact Worldwide Wes!

RCJ

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BronxHawk1 2 years, 3 months ago

It was an awe inspiring season!!

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 3 months ago

Great year! It was definitely a fun ride. Make it to the Final 4 every year---a lot of other teams would be envious of us because of our success. 316 is spot on---it is huge that Jeff Withey is coming back. And if Perry Ellis develops fast and gets into the regular rotation. . . . . . . . . . look out!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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UmbertoConforti 2 years, 3 months ago

Imagine what Withey is going to be like next year!! I put him on the All American team already.

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UmbertoConforti 2 years, 3 months ago

Good Luck TT, I will miss you. Same to you TRob. You didn't win the NCAA tournament, but you won the hearts of KU fans everywhere.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

I never like posting after an emotional game and to be honest, I am still a little bummed about the game because despite what the National Pundits expected or believed, I still feel KU had an opportunity to win that game.

There are still a couple of situations in that first half that drive me nuts from a basketball purist standpoint, but those are the little things you can't change and unfortunately it allowed Kentucky to get some uncontested layups on the other end ,which in the end, proved to be too much.

The one thing I truly feel in my gut is that Self and Kansas will win another title in the next 3 years! I don't have a problem saying it, but I truly believe it and I think Self believes it as well!

For me as a fan, I want to see Self get his second championship so by automatic default that gives him "Legendary Status". And...............for my greedy side, I want to see Self get a third Championship and trump Roy Williams and also be on the same line as Jim Calhoun so we can all truly see the difference between "Good" and "Evil" when it comes to the college basketball landscape.

What a fantastic season! Late Night and October 15th can't get here soon enough!

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FLJHK 2 years, 3 months ago

As it turns out this team is very selfish. For months now I've watched every game I could, read every post and submitted multiple posts to this website, and researched other sources. Then when the tourney started, it all became an obsession, and I was spending about 10 hours per day on this stuff. So what the heck am I supposed to do now and for the next seven months? Did any of them think of that? Selfish indeed.

Thanks to all for a wonderful season.

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Kevin Huffman 2 years, 3 months ago

I'll post an idea of the Manning replacement.

What about Raef LaFrentz?

Yes, definitely a different style of big-man....could help Withey IMMENSELY though with development of an offensive game and a jump shot.

I read Raef's dad was an assistant coach on his high school's basketball team.

Remember Raef, himself, was a two-time All American and was drafted 3rd overall in the NBA Draft he was in - 7 spots ahead of Pierce btw.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

You have to remember, anybody like LaFrentz and Pollard are going to have to come in and be part of Student Development, Video Coordinator, or Director of Operations before they come in as an assistant with zero coaching experience.

D. Manning came in for 4 years as student athlete development coordinator or something like that before he became an assistant. Kansas needs a full-time recruiter with experience and connetions to come in right away!

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Joe Baker 2 years, 3 months ago

He's too busy managing half the land in Iowa. - LOL

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Kevin Huffman 2 years, 3 months ago

Also, count me as one of the ones excited for next season. Return of Elijah, Releford & Withey to go along with the talents brought by McLemore & Ellis. Something tells me that by the end of the year every bit the team that we were this past year....though hard to replace the "hearts" of Taylor & TRob, at least we SHOULD have greater depth as well with the incoming recruits and continuing developments for Tharpe, Young & Wesley.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Let's start the unique Kansas trend of obsessing about next season immediately:

Center: Withey, Lucas[RS?}, Parker [Bill's final recruit?]? Power Forward: Ellis, Traylor, Peters Combo Forward: Young, White, Wesley [non-schollie], Lindsay [transfer?] Shooting Guard: BenMac, Releford, Adams Point Guard: Johnson, Tharpe,

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Kye Clark 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't think Parker is coming, and I think Bill is done. I think Withey sealed that when he said he was returning. I think Bill was just ensuring he wasn't caught flat-footed like he was last year. We're at the maximum allotment of scholarships, and I just have a feeling he won't ask Merv to transfer. Now he may say "Merv, I'll keep you, but here's how it's going to be. First, you're going to redshirt next year. As it stands now you have almost zero chance of cracking the rotation. After that, I'm not gonna lie to you, you're probably not gonna play much the season after that either. Now, in year 4 for you, I think you can be a solid contributor. This is more or less the path that Travis has taken. So the question is, are you willing to sacrifice two years of your life, one year of eligibility, in order to get better and have a chance to play with two year eligibility left, but with no guarantee you'll be one of the top players and in the rotation then?" And then it's on Merv. And to me I don't think that's forcing him out. Anyway, I still think Parker is not coming here. And I'm saying it now that I'm fine with that. I'm not going to be like some of these fans that when a recruit doesn't pick us I'm all sour grapes and playing the "I guess he was afraid of hard work/playing defense" card. That's just lame. If he comes - great. But I don't think we need him and I'm not frantically checking the website to see if there's any updates on his status.

As for your line-up, I think you pretty much got it nailed, but I think Releford stays where he is at the 3 rather than moving to the 2. I think Self will want to get BMac on the floor as a starter, and it makes more sense to have Relly start at the 3 like he has been. I do think it will probably be in someone's best interest to redshirt (along with Lindsay), and also agree that it should probably be Lucas. Even without another big man recruit, we still have 4 other post players up there right now on your list, and really Wesley belongs at the power forward spot. He's not taking anyone away from the basket. KY is more than serviceable there too, especially when we have to play teams with stretch 4s or 4 guard line-ups.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

WOW...nice!! I think you need to apply for Keegan's job!!

Actually you look at the posts by Jaybate, HEM, Ralster, BigManU plus yourself among many others and you could field a pretty darn good sports reporting group!!

Everyone, cruise some other high profile school posting sites...you won't get commentary on ee cummings, haikus or poetry on any of them!!!!

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Kye Clark 2 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for the compliment. Very humbling.

Not that I'm on the level of covering D-1 basketball, but sports reporting is actually my part-time profession. I cover high school football, boys & girls basketball, baseball, and write stories for track (although I rarely go to the meets because they often fall on the same days as baseball games. Also, there's no way one person could cover every event at a track meet. I just write stories from the results and interview the coaches after the fact). All for a small town local paper that goes to press once/week.

Throw yourself in with that list. I do, and have said as much recently.

I miss 100 also.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

Much appreciated Oakville! I love Kansas Basketball!

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 3 months ago

Which Parker are you referring to? If it's Jabari Parker, he's only a junior.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

Icthawk: I think as long as coaches paint the picture and they stick to their word as you suggest with that description above, but I am not completely sold that always happens. Actually, I know first hand that it doesn't happen all the time.

This is certainly an interesting topic and one that will always intrigue me until the day I day. If Self does tell Merv in the same manner in which you described than I truly believe Merv Lindsey would be content and honored to have that opportunity. I know I would as long as it was described to me in that manner.

With that said, I know things change and they can change quickly, but it also comes down to what Self told Merv during his recruitment that ultimately made him to make the choice to come to Kansas.

I really really really want to believe the scenario above and I truly want it to work out that way. On the flip side, however, if Merv somehow ends up transferring over the next few months than IMO, there was some breakdown in communication during his recruitment and that's unfortunate.

I know you need bodies for practice, but most guys I know don't want to be practice players for a year and then run off, which I still believe Appleton and Q. Thomas were kind of in this boat. I just think if the worst case scenario happens and Merv does transfer than I believe Kansas and Self should have never recruited Merv if they didn't feel he would be in the program for 4 years.

I don't think any coach should recruit a player if they don't feel they will be apart of the program for 4 years. And Yes, I do believe coaches recruit just for numbers and what is best available just so they enough for practice players! That's the part I don't agree with.

Great Post Icthawk, this will definitely create some discussion.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 3 months ago

Shaw - I'm of the exact same thought. My problem is as much with the NCAA rule as anything. I know scholarships are only 1-year guarantees. I don't necessarily like that, but that's what they are right now. However, if players are more or less forced out, or their scholarships outright pulled simply because someone better comes along, I don't think it's fair for that player to have to sit out a year before resuming play. I still don't think I'd like the practice of coaches pulling scholarships in favor of finding better talent, but at least if the rule were changed I wouldn't feel as bad for the kids.

I agree on Appleton & Thomas. If Merv leaves, it may be as I described and he simply leaves in lieu of some more immediately and likely playing time. He may have saw a situation where he was one injury away from showcasing his talents, but now looks at all the incoming talent we have over the next two years and decides the odds are long that he'll ever be more than an end of the bench player. And for some that's fine. For some it is a dream to practice and suit up for a heralded program like KU. But some (and in all likelihood most) love playing the game more, and seek opportunities elsewhere. That could be the case with Merv. He's certainly not local, so it wouldn't be a stretch to assume he'd rather see court-time elsewhere. But it could also be a case where Self says he's pulling it to make room for someone else. We'll probably never know.

We saw Self throw down the gauntlet earlier in the season, I forget when exactly or what the exact quote was, but he was quoted on this website as saying everybody, even the practice players, had to pull their weight or they wouldn't be here anymore. Trying to light a fire under a player or two? Or putting it out there ahead of time so many might assume that is the case and all the while knowing he might need one extra scholarship? I love Bill Self and think he's as good a dude as there is, but we know he's a competitor, and losing to a more talented UK team when even he couldn't out-coach his opponent to a win might be enough to have him pull out all the stops.

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Kevin Huffman 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree that I don't think that we get Parker...not sure that he necessarily goes to UK either though.....see him going somewhere like Memphis.

I DO however still see us adding one more.....a PG.

Lindsay would be smart to redshirt. It seemed to work for Releford his sophomore year and they play the same position as well.

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

I am sorry I missed your post, because I have been on the road and viewing things through my cell phone reduces what I see.

Thank you.

This is a special place.

You have noted a few of the many that make it so.

You overlooked yourself.

I now add you to the list you mention and thank you for your contributions.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

This is my prediction on Anrio Adams! I think this kid as long as he gets qualified and signs the letter of intent could have a season like Tony Wroten Jr.

Statistically, I'm not saying he is going to have the same numbers, but I think this kid could have a "Sleeper Impact" for the Jayhawks.

Remember, Wroten dipped in the rankings big time and you barely heard of him this year at Washington in a terrible Pac 12, but Wroten played himself into a most likely Top 20 pick as a Freshman this season!

I think Adams has the potential to be a stud!

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 3 months ago

Kind of an aside to this conversation. Our local paper had an AP story about KU's season and they repeated a line that I've heard often that bugs me a bit.
It was (this is a paraphrase) 'KU's last few years they had more talented teams but made early exits each year'.

UNI was defnitely an early exit. Last year, while disappointing, is not really an early exit in my view. What do you think?

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2 years, 3 months ago

If I am not mistaken, we were the #1 overall seed in last year’s Big Dance. Thus, to lose in the Elite Eight, particularly to a #11 seed in VCU, could be deemed an early exit. Agreed though, not as big of a disappointment as the UNI loss in the round of 32 the year prior.

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manunitedjayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

We were the #1 overall seed when we lost to UNI, Ohio State was the #1 overall seed last year.

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HawkKlaw 2 years, 3 months ago

Elite 8 is not an early exit. IMO, early exit means losing in one of the first two rounds.

It was incredibly disappointing, since VCU was a mid-major and KU was a #1 seed, but it was not an "early" exit. If that were the case, every time a #1 seed got beat before the Final Four it would be deemed an early exit. I don't see it that way, especially in a "win or go home" format.

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 3 months ago

Kind of an aside to this conversation. Our local paper had an AP story about KU's season and they repeated a line that I've heard often that bugs me a bit.
It was (this is a paraphrase) 'KU's last few years they had more talented teams but made early exits each year'.

UNI was defnitely an early exit. Last year, while disappointing, is not really an early exit in my view. What do you think?

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

Last year was an "Early Exit" when you're playing a double digit seed to get to the Final 4! That team botched an opportunity to win a national championship last year. The road was paved for them to have a smooth ride and the police set up a road block.

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Janet Olin 2 years, 3 months ago

This team has aged me several years, bringing both joy and agony.A Jayhawk fan since 1968, I do not remember a team working so hard to improve, play together, play consistently, and be consistently tough. Just like Coach Self. I admire that so much and am grateful for a sensational season. I also believe that this team will be remembered much more for its passion and grit in victory (unlike some more heralded teams), than for the ones that got away.

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FLJHK 2 years, 3 months ago

Has anyone heard anything lately about realignment? Seems to have been awfully quiet. Sure would be nice to add Louisville, but the steam seems to be gone for now. Is Neinas still interim commissioner? Any word on a permanent hire? I wish I had more confidence in the long-term stability of the league than I do. It's be a nice time for a Tait update.

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hawksince51 2 years, 3 months ago

Everything I have heard suggests that the powers that be wish to stick with 10 teams for at least a few years and see what other conferences/teams do. But of course UT or OU could change things anytime they wanted to. Hopefully, the Big "12" won't get caught flatfooted again using this wait and see strategy.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

Louisville????......I don't know...I'm not sure Rick Pitino has such fond memories of Allen Fieldhouse [150 to 90 something butt kicking in the late 90's??!!]

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FLJHK 2 years, 3 months ago

True about Pitino and he indicates he doesn't want to leave the Big East. But apparently the school does or at least did. Sen McConnell tried some last minute shenanigans last year to try and get them the spot that W. Va. got.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 3 months ago

Louisville needs to come to the Big 12! It's a great market, their football team has potential for growth, it's in SEC country, already a great basketball program, One of the best Athletic Budgets in the country.

I know 12 makes sense, but just get Louisville into the conference and worry about the 12th later! They have ties to the Missouri Valley as well and are Midwest fit! It makes sense Long Term even if the short term doesn't say so with the split of money between 10 and 11 is less. Make it happen!

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HawkKlaw 2 years, 3 months ago

I would love to see Louisville join the Big 12. They are always a good bball team come March thanks to Pitino (even if he did get slaughtered in AFH once).

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Ryan Shelton 2 years, 3 months ago

It sucks to refer to this team in the past tense.

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 3 months ago

IF those rumors are true about Cal and the NBA, it is probably a matter of weeks or months until some sort of scrutiny is announced. He's always riding that horse out of town looking back over his shoulder.

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Ryan Shelton 2 years, 3 months ago

Knock on wood, but I haven't seen the UK trolls surface on this website yet to rub it in our faces. Do they not allow computers in Kentucky prisons anymore?

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wrwlumpy 2 years, 3 months ago

Withy, a projected 1st round pick who is choosing to come back, will be 20 pounds heavier. He'll spend time this summer with Stoudamire working with the NBA big men. He has a great mind, he loves KU and he will be a first team all-america candidate.

Look what ESPN thinks of him after the tourney.

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/57532/the-2012-all-tournament-team

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

What kind of chump are you?

You need ESPN's approval to back up your opinion?

Get a pair.

Go to the cemetery and dig some up, if you have to.

But get a pair.

You're an embarrassment to this web site without them.

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wrwlumpy 2 years, 3 months ago

Sorry Jaybate. I lost my mind and I forgot you were angry today. I have some, but I'm old and they hang low.

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 3 months ago

N O T S O O N E N O U G H !!!!!!!!

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AsadZ 2 years, 3 months ago

Folks, I would like to have a discussion on T-Rob's play in the NCAA tournament.

I'd like to start the conversation by making it clear to everyone that T-Rob is now one of my favorite Jayhawks of all time. What he has accomplished this year is truly amazing.

But I am wondering why his play dropped so much during the tournament? Was he injured? I had never seen him miss so many easy buckets and lay ups. He used to finish easy plays.

He scored points for sure but his FG% was not impressive.

He used to be a moster on slams but he was misssing simple dunks. I could not believe it.

Was he really trying to show case himself over AD and prove something?

Even Kellog / Kerr said something to the effect that T-Rob is sped up. I know he is an emothional personal. But did his emotions get better of him?

Again I love his game, his guts, his energy etc etc and would not trade him for any other player but wondering why his game slipped so much in the tournament.

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corvuscorax 2 years, 3 months ago

TRob.............Eli wants to play catch sometime.

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Sam Constance 2 years, 3 months ago

Meh.

He averaged 16.6 ppg, which was slightly off his season average, but really that was because of one "bad" game (11 pts vs. Purdue). He scored at least 18 in every other game in the tournament.

He also increased his rebounding average in the tourney, grabbing 12.5 rpg, so that was actually an improvement and had his best performance in the title game, ripping down 17 boards.

Maybe the shooting percentage was down a little, but then the entire team seemed to struggle shooting the ball. We just weren't a great shooting team as a whole. Robinson did shoot pretty well from the line, and came up big in the title game yet again, going 6/7 from the line. If the refs had actually remembered their whistles, he might have scored us a few more points from the line.

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corvuscorax 2 years, 3 months ago

Frame this season and hang it over the mantle. I wonder how OSU and UNC will remember theirs? Duke? Am I forgetting anyone?

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kennethst 2 years, 3 months ago

I heard last night on the news that some KU students in Lawrence were tearing down the Kentucky Street signs. Isn't that hilarious???

Well.....it's been a great year. Thanks to all of you for being here. I hope you check back here from time to time before next October.

Have a great spring and summer....be safe!!!

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MizzouBest 2 years, 3 months ago

Well Kansas fans......you had a great saeson and great run in the tournement. And they almost pulled it out on Monday. No shame in losing to a team like Kentucky.

As you may have heard......many loser MU fans gathered at bars to cheer for UK. Just so you know......that angers me and I think it is pretty pathetic. They are jealous, I guess. I have never been jealous of KU and actually pull for you when not playing MU.

I wish I could defect to your side sometimes......especially seeing some of our moron fans act. But I can't. Just can't do it. I have been an MU fan since I was a kid.....and I can't change my "stripes"!

It was nice speaking with you guys. I will miss the Big 12.....but will check in with you from time to time.

Take care.......MB

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2 years, 3 months ago

Ah yes, an example of which you speak:

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/04/02/v-print/3532069/sad-jayhawks-warm-the-hearts-of.html

Thank you for keeping it classy on here, MizzouBest. I hope you rub off on some of your fellow MU fans.

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Jonathan Allison 2 years, 3 months ago

Stay Classy MB!

Maybe you'll rub off on some your SEC compatriats.

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 3 months ago

Were there any couches blazing or cars turned over Monday night in Columbia? Just askin?

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JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 3 months ago

MB, you don't have to stay in the dark side; plenty of room at the Jayhawk table. By the time the next Conference Championship finds it way to Lawrence, you will be fully deprogrammed.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

This just hit me and I haven't seen it addressed anywhere....in the entire season, did any of the first five EVER foul out???

I can't remember one Jayhawk actually fouling out of a game. That plus the lack of any major injury that kept anyone out of a game seems to be almost miraculous, considering our lack of our depth and talent!!!

Am I overstating the obvious??

I wonder what the score would have been if you switched the head coaches??!!

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theend 2 years, 3 months ago

Can count on 1 hand the fouling outs.......Releford did Monday night......and I'm pretty sure TRob and EJ fouled out once each. It's pretty amazing. 3 times all season long???

Remember when TRob first came in a game 2 years ago? He got like 4 fouls in the 5 minutes!! He's come quite a long way.

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Sam Constance 2 years, 3 months ago

So you're saying Justin Wesley is going to be better than TRob?

That guy fouls at a 4 fouls per ONE minute ratio.

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theend 2 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm.....don't see a single reference in my comment to Justin Wesley......what the %^&* are you talking about?

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Sam Constance 2 years, 3 months ago

It's just a little joke. A VERY little one, apparently.

I was just making a crack about how early-career foul-per-minute ratios were an indicator of future dominance.

=)

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Kye Clark 2 years, 3 months ago

TRob fouled out of the first UK game in the Garden I know.

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billcorrigan 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't ever refer to KU finishing in second place or as runner-up.

These Jayhawks were 2012 NCAA FINALISTS!

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BillSelf4Prez 2 years, 3 months ago

Love these guys. One hell of a season! I hope to see T-Rob and Tyshawn's jersey hanging in the rafters in the near future

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JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 3 months ago

FWIW. KU finished ranked #2 in the last poll. Also in the first pre-season poll, KU is ranked #3. Indiana is #1, Louisville #2 and Kentucky #4.

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theend 2 years, 3 months ago

Another great season for KU in 2012-2013???? Who would have ever thought that???

Isn't it good to be a KU fan? Yes!!

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kupark 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, we played hard against a team with six McDonald's AAs and future NBA picks but it also highlights that Bill Self hasn't had a strong recruiting class the last two years (and this year doesn't look much better except for PE). You've to look at the complete picture. It's ok for a mid-major to brag about playing tough against a team like UK. But, KU fans should look at the title game and realize that we were beaten at recruiting as well.

I hope we don't turn into another Michigan State. They always play tough and go deep into the tourney frequently but they don't win the whole thing because of lack of talent (i.e. can't score).

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theend 2 years, 3 months ago

Hmmmmm....think I hear just enough to say that you are no KU fan......you're trying to use that cloaking device just a bit too much......and it's giving you away. Go to an army surplus store and buy that more elaborate camouflage.

Either that or you have a major passive/aggressive disorder.

"Look at the complete picture",huh? Complete picture says KU again had 30 wins(32),ranked in top 10 most of season,won the Big 12(again),made it to the title game and came within 8 points of a title......against a once in a decade dream team of NBA players,

So go away.......and take your condescending and negative BS elsewhere.

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nwhawkfan 2 years, 3 months ago

Don't know if I like the comparison of Anrio Adams to Tony Wroten. Wroten struck me as an immensely talented but very selfish player.

I heard that when he announced his intention to go pro yesterday, Wroten didn't even mention his coach or his teammates, let alone thank them.

Hope Anrio shows a lot more class and maturity than that.

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earl 2 years, 3 months ago

The best nickname for this year's team would be the Houdini Hawks. These guys got into every type of trap, but they found a way to get away every time, except like Houdini, the last shot to the gut. They were truly escape artists that made them one of the all time best Jayhawk teams.

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4Runner 2 years, 3 months ago

The ONLY way MethU fans will ever experience the Final Four/National Championship, will be to head to a local bar and cheer against the Jayhawks. Pathetic!

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 3 months ago

Some perspective on the title game.

Bill Self ..Naismith Coach of the Year, on the Superdome sideline Thomas Robinson.....runner up to National Player of the Year (led the voting the entire season until the final week when Anthony Davis surged ahead, according to CBS Sports), playing his heart out. John Calipari...NOT Coach of the Year in any poll, on the Superdome sideline Anthony Davis...National Player of the Year (although he was second until the final week), helping to get Calipari a ring. Frank Haith...AP Coach of the Year, sitting in the stands Roy Williams...NOT Coach of the Year, sitting in the stands Every other D1 Head Coach...sitting in the stands or at home or somewhere else watching TV.

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 3 months ago

and.....

Dick Vitale... mumbling something like "..what I meant to say was I think Kansas can go all the way to the championship game this season, not that they probably won't win the B12 championship."

Josh Selby...sitting somewhere in a Denny's waiting on a Grand Slam Breakfast before the team bus picks him up to go to the next D-League practice..."I really thought another year at Kansas wouldn't have helped me."

Bruse Webber..."I'm going to turn the KState program around just like I did at Illinois after that slacker Bill Self left. What, he coached his way to another Final Four championship game?" "..well, I always liked the color purple."

Rick Pitino..."if anybody wants me, I'll be in a men's room stall trying to get rid of some...frustration"

Bobby Knight..."You people at Kansas deserved to win. I watched your games and you've got the best coach who was in the championship game"

Brent Mussberger..."whatever you say Coach Knight, you know I agree with you out of respect, fear and lust.".

Lew Perkins..."Wow, I could have racked up at the Superdome."

Billy Gillespie..."I could have done that at Kentucky if I was friends with WWW."

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HawkinPA 2 years, 3 months ago

I have another nickname for this team...."The Goonies"!!! Goonies never say die

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