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Friday, April 13, 2012

Living the life: Ex-KU players — some pursuing dreams of their own — help at Self fantasy camp

In back, From left, Kansas coaches Bill Self, Norm Roberts and Joe Dooley watch as players scramble for a loose ball during a scrimmage on the first day of the Bill Self Basketball Experience fantasy camp, Thursday, April 12, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

In back, From left, Kansas coaches Bill Self, Norm Roberts and Joe Dooley watch as players scramble for a loose ball during a scrimmage on the first day of the Bill Self Basketball Experience fantasy camp, Thursday, April 12, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Brady Morningstar would classify his first year in professional basketball as a resounding success.

“It was wonderful. I really enjoyed it,” said Morningstar, a 6-foot-4 former Kansas University guard, who averaged 9.6 points a game for the (23-27) Tulsa 66ers, whose NBA Development League season concluded on Saturday.

“It’s all about improving as a player there, not really winning games is what they were telling us. I improved there, and I’m ready for next year,” added Morningstar, whose squad did not advance to the playoffs.

Morningstar competed in a Bill Self Basketball Experience fantasy camp game as a teammate of Tyshawn Taylor, Conner Teahan and Wayne Simien (as well as campers between 35-60 years old) and opponent of Thomas Robinson, Jordan Juenemann and Billy Thomas on Thursday night in Allen Fieldhouse. Morningstar’s team fell, 56-49.

“Toward the first of the year I played a whole bunch, then we got some guys back from (NBA) training camp. As a rookie unless you are averaging 30 (points) a game, you’ve got to give way to older guys like I did here at Kansas,” said Morningstar, who started 20 of 50 games for the 66ers, good for 27.7 minutes a game.

He hit 42.2 percent of his shots (38.3 percent of his threes) while dishing 106 assists against 69 turnovers. He also had 2.2 boards per outing.

“I don’t know if I’m on track for the NBA. I think I’m on track to keep playing ball the way I like to play ball,” Morningstar said. “I’m not setting my NBA sights too high. I’m giving myself a chance. A lot of guys are trying to do what I do, so I’m not going to say I’m going to make it and nobody else will.

“There were a record number of call-ups this year — 50 they said (from NBADL rosters),” the former Free State High standout added. “Unfortunately I wasn’t one of them. A couple of my teammates were, but that’s why you have next year and the year after that and year after that ... to prove yourself.”

New KU assistant coach Norm Roberts grinned when asked about coaching Morningstar’s losing fantasy camp team on Thursday.

“Wayne had a couple threes that just didn’t go down. Teahan didn’t guard the way he needed to. I’ve got to be honest ... Brady Morningstar was playing that NBA defense — none,” Roberts said with a laugh. “It really hurt us.”

Morningstar said the campers, who paid $4,995 ($2,995 for Williams Fund members) for a weekend of basketball in Lawrence, were certain to have a great time.

“I think it’s great for them to see how spoiled we are for a couple days and see how we do things around Kansas basketball,” Morningstar said.

Of the camp, which continues with a batch of games today and Saturday, Roberts said: “I think it’s great. The only thing we worry about is we don’t need any of the older guys taking charges on Thomas Robinson at halfcourt. You have to be careful with that. I think it’s a great deal. You will have some guys be very, very competitive and other guys just want to have a good time.”

Roberts, who worked on Self’s first KU staff, then went to St. John’s as head coach for six years and took a year off before working as an assistant at Florida this past season, said he’s received a warm welcome back at KU.

“I’ve seen people I’d not seen in a while. Everybody’s been real nice,” said Roberts, on the job since Wednesday.

He’s ready to hit the road recruiting.

“We’ll be out not this weekend but next weekend. We get to evaluate again in April. It’s great they brought the (April evaluation) period back,” Roberts said of the NCAA. “You can get out and see players.”

Tourney in Olathe this year: The Jayhawk Invitational will be held April 27-29 in Olathe, Shawnee and Gardner this year. It had been held in Lawrence the past 11 years.

“Thanks to tremendous support and growth the Jayhawk has experienced over the years, the tournament will move to a new home in the Kansas City South Metro area in order to stay in line with some of the changes coming to grassroots events,” read a statement on the official tourney website. “The Jayhawk will still feature the same top-notch teams, facilities and exposure. In addition to all of the great things teams have come to expect from the Jayhawk Invitational, the new location in suburban Kansas City gives much better access to the facilities, additional lodging, dining, entertainment and shopping opportunities that the city can provide.”

Tulsa talk: Tulsa coach Danny Manning officially named former KU players Brett Ballard and Steve Woodberry and former KU manager Justin Bauman as members of his staff on Thursday. Bauman will be director of basketball operations; Ballard and Woodberry full-time assistant coaches. Ballard was Baker University head coach the past two seasons, Woodberry an assistant at Missouri State and Bauman an assistant at San Francisco.

Comments

jaybate 2 years ago

I just want it on record that:

a) there is no chance that KU could be competitive with Brady Morningstar playing significant minutes; and

b) there is no chance that Brady Morningstar could play at any level of the NBA.

:-)

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years ago

Reading lips....Norm is starting the second word in a two word coaching phrase. The phrase starts with the word, "Dumb". In the photo, his mouth has clearly started forming an "A" to complete the second word which ends in ".ss" as he reacts to a play where one player is chasing the ball down the sideline and a player on defense tries to steal it without success.

Just the "out of context" photo reveals a lot about the level of play in that scrimmage. But, the expression "There by the grace..." should be what most of us "keyboard jocks" are really thinking. But, I guess the 5Grand admission ticket allows one to be photographed while in the act of being charitable while looking just plain silly. They're out there and I'm just here commenting! We've all got our purposes to fulfill.

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justinryman 2 years ago

Oh oh oh new caption for the first picture:

Bill Self's Fantasy camp, features a game of the Jeff Boschee look a likes. Unfortunately they did not know abut this contest before the camp, but since there was an overwhelming number of participants with the look the coaching staff took it upon themselves to vote a winner.

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Tony Bandle 2 years ago

chuckleberry32............illiteracy, teenage pregnancy, drugs in grade schools, underpaid teachers, crumbling buildings, no technology, dropouts, violence and racism, cutbacks in arts and sciences....and this is what Missouri parents are complaining about...playing the Rock Chalk Fight Song....one time??!!

Armageddon will soon be upon us!!

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Tony Bandle 2 years ago

Potential captions for top picture;

1] Bill Self thinking. " If these guys can afford $5000 to play ball for a weekend, you'd think they could get a decent toupee like mine." 2] Guess which one on the bench is ahpersewithcoachingexperience? 3] Coach Norm Cook is mad because as a Kansas coach he was disqualified from the "Bald Is Beautiful" contest. 4] Believe it or not, that's Coach Dooley's best smile!! 5] The guy in white is ready to hike the ball...too bad he's playing basketball. 6] Check out the size of the noggin of the guy sitting next to Coach Joe!! 7] The guy at the end of the bench either just bit into a lemon or is getting ready to give someone a big smooch. 8] Coach Bill's actual thoughts...damn, make two dunks and have EJ's three count and that putz stays a loser!!! 9] Other picture..Rick Pitino in disguise to try to garnish some coaching tips from HCBS.....forgot to change his name on jersey, however!!

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ravenjayhawk 2 years ago

Very sad tourney is shifted toward KC. It was great for Lawrence. I would drive just a little under 3 hrs. to see the games in Lawrence. Will not make the trip to KC area. The entire allure is Lawrence and the KU surroundings. What is wrong with people to drive things away when they have had the best. Also hurst Lawrence economy

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Mkultra 2 years ago

Too bad coaches will not be allowed to attend the Jayhawk Invitational because they switched from Adidas to Under Armour and missed a paperwork deadline with the NCAA by four days.

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tom123kufan 2 years ago

Guy at the end of the bench is showing his "O" face. LOL

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Joe Baker 2 years ago

The dude on the end of the bench opposite of Self is freaky scary too.

LOL- I can't stop laughing.

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Ben Kane 2 years ago

Make me happy to see coach Manning taking so many jayhawks with him to tulsa.

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Joe Baker 2 years ago

LOLOLOLOLOLOL, crazy funny stuff of pics above.

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Tony Bandle 2 years ago

The picture above looks like a scrimmage of the Turnbull AC's, the skinhead street gang from the 1979 cult classic "The Warriors".

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Jason Keller 2 years ago

Why is T-Rob playing with that china doll in the photo above?

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Mike Rotchurtz 2 years ago

Those haircuts make it look more like a cult than a basketball camp.

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manginorh00lz 2 years ago

I remember seeing this ad with Coach K and thought it was a joke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuwVAV...

These things actually exist? double looool

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Steve Gantz 2 years ago

Steve Woodberry, a name I'd forgotten about, I think I do remember he was a pretty slick guard back in the early 90's. Glad to see he's still around hoops.

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2 years ago

Good article on DManning and the challenges of recruiting to a mid-major:

http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1354166

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tom123kufan 2 years ago

This was a weird article..and an ever weirder picture..

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tom123kufan 2 years ago

This was a weird article..and an ever weirder picture..

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RockChalk26 2 years ago

That fantasy camp looks awesome. IF I had 5 grrrrr to throw around, I would definitely throw it at Bill.

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baldwinjhawk 2 years ago

I would want Brett Ballard from Manning's staff. He's going to be a future D1 head coach.

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Ferd Magellan 2 years ago

I don't want to raid Manning's new staff immediately, but should one of our assistants move on for a head coaching gig in a few years, I hope Self considers Woodberry. One of my all-time favorite players and someone I think who could offer up plenty of wisdom to young athletes.

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dylans 2 years ago

Thank stinks about the Jayhawk Invitational. The Camp sounds like a blast for those able to attend. I hope Bill makes this an annual deal. It should be a good fund raiser for years to come.

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KEITHMILES05 2 years ago

Moving the JI to KC is a travesty and it will not have near the fan turnout compared to Lawrence.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years ago

Almost certain I'm going to try this camp next year...(lookout!)...haha, should be alot of fun. Since AFH isnt a "dome", hopefully I'll hit my 3s...

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