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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Xavier transfer Mark Lyons considering KU

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Kansas University is recruiting former Xavier University basketball combo guard Mark Lyons, according to Lyons’ former prep school coach, Jason Smith.

Lyons, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior out of Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., and originally from Schenectady, N.Y., was released from his scholarship agreement at Xavier on Monday.

Lyons, who averaged 15.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game last season, is also being pursued by Arizona, Kentucky and UCLA, Smith indicated on Twitter. Syracuse is another possibility.

Lyons will be immediately eligible if he can complete his undergraduate degree in May.

The Associated Press reported that Xavier coach Chris Mack and Lyons “were at odds during the season, when the guard repeatedly tried to take over games by driving into crowds of defenders or taking long shots.”

Lyons also was suspended two games for his role in a fight against Cincinnati in December. Four players from both teams were suspended as a result of that nonconference brawl.

“After our end-of-the-season meeting with Mark, it became apparent that a change for both parties was the right thing moving forward,” Mack said Monday. “During our meeting, expectations were outlined for his fifth and final season, areas in which I believe needed improvement. Mark did not recognize these expectations as being important, and ultimately it was decided that a change of scenery would be in his best interest. I wish Mark well.”

Lyons was recruited to Xavier by current Arizona head coach Sean Miller.

Arizona recently lost a point guard in sophomore-to-be Josiah Turner, who has announced plans to transfer to a yet-to-be-determined school. KU returns starting combo guard Elijah Johnson and reserve point Naadir Tharpe, who played sparingly as a freshman.

Lyons last season dished 94 assists against 74 turnovers while logging 32 minutes per game for the Musketeers, who reached the Sweet 16. He hit 176 of 414 shots for 42.5 percent. He made 58 of 148 threes for 39.2 percent. He scored in double figures in 29 games with a career-high 27 points against Saint Louis on Jan. 25. Lyons finished his career 28th on Xavier’s all-time scoring (1,194 points).

Lyons, a third-team all-Atlantic 10 pick, told the Arizona Daily Star he is looking forward to proving he’s a true point guard. He played combo guard last year, with Tu Holloway running the point most of the time.

“That’s what I’m going to play my final year,” Lyons told the Daily Star. “Tu Holloway was one of the best in the country so I didn’t get to play it. A lot of people don’t think I can play point guard.”

Parker taps UCLA: Tony Parker, a 6-9 senior forward from Miller Grove High in Lithonia, Ga., on Monday signed a letter-of-intent with UCLA. He chose the Bruins over Duke, Georgia and Ohio State. KU apparently was eliminated prior to Parker’s news conference because a Jayhawk cap was not placed next to those of his other four finalists.

Parker, who is Rivals.com’s No. 27-rated player, first grabbed hats from Georgia and Ohio State before opening his shirt to reveal a UCLA T-shirt.

“I just wanted to go to a place with a winning tradition,” Parker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At UCLA, he’ll be reunited with his former Atlanta Celtics coach, Korey McCray, who is on the UCLA staff.

“Yes sir, I did want to play for Korey,” Parker told the Journal-Constitution. “We’re extremely close. He’s like an older brother to me, and he has been looking out for me for a long time … I really thought if I went to UCLA, Korey could really develop me. He pushes me hard.”

ESPN’s Dave Telep ranks UCLA’s incoming class, which includes No. 1-ranked Shabazz Muhammad and No. 3 Kyle Anderson, No. 1 in the country. Telep said Kentucky would garner the No. 1 class for the fourth-straight year if the Wildcats land No. 7 Anthony Bennett of Findlay Prep High (Henderson, Nev.) this spring.

New name: James Young, a 6-5 junior from Troy, Mich., is considering KU, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan State and others, Rivals.com reports. Young is rated No. 9 in the Class of 2013. He averaged 25 points a game (hitting 12 of 27 threes) during a weekend AAU tournament in Minnesota, which KU coach Bill Self attended.

Comments

KStoCAHippie 2 years, 4 months ago

Didn't like Parker from the outset -- seemed to have a serious "the world owes me everything" attitude, not to mention the silly, childish hat thing... but man am I ever happy he didn't come to KU now. “I just wanted to go to a place with a winning tradition,” Enjoy UCLA then buddy.

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april28 2 years, 4 months ago

Gotcha Tony......KU and Duke.....no winning traditions there!

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prusso25 2 years, 4 months ago

We always lose the hat contest.... and I am ok with that.

Am I the only one who wants to see Elijah as the true point guard on the team? He always had a good number of assists each game and made great decisions down the stretch during the tourney. I would like to get this Xavier kid, but I would like Eli to do the majority of the offense-running next season.

Thoughts?

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Dirk Medema 2 years, 4 months ago

Definitely agree!

I think the team next year is set up perfectly to be led by EJ. There will be enough talent around him that he can feed that it won't be as necessary for him to create the way that TT needed t this year. That's not meant as a knock on him or TT. Last year we needed TT creativity more because there wasn't as much O-power around him - and dealt with a few more TO's along with it. We don't need that next year. It might take a while for the young guys to learn to play KU ball, but fortunately we have EJ, Travis, and Withey leading the way and steadying the ship. There will be plenty of time for the young guns to grow up by March/April.

Miller is desparate for a PG now that Turner is gone. He'll be happy to rent him for a year. We don't need the headaches.

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RJ King 2 years, 4 months ago

One thing that stood out was Lyons' comment about needing to prove himself. Nothing about a desire to be part of a team, or win championships. Just seemed kind of self-centered - which is what got him in hot water in the first place.

EJ has maintained a great attitude while waiting his turn to shine. The loyalty needs to go both ways. Unless EJ has expressed a desire to play off the ball, I would rather our program maintain class and integrity even if it costs us a win here and there.

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JakeBarnes 2 years, 4 months ago

Is KU this hard pressed for a point guard next season?

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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 4 months ago

After EJ, we have Tharpe. Maybe we do need another player at the point.

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ironhead80 2 years, 4 months ago

I don't think so! Will have Anrio with MAC and White to back up the PG position these guys have played both gaurd positions before.

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Chris1955 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm glad that the KU baseball cap wasn't on display. I wonder if someone from KU contacted Parker and asked him not to put a KU cap on the table?

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

“I just wanted to go to a place with a winning tradition,” Parker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

????

I'm a tiny bit biased, but damn, I thought KU had a decent winning tradition. Guess I'd better take another look......

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 4 months ago

My guess is he was comparing to Georgia when he made that comment, which was probably his second choice.

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Joe Satterwhite 2 years, 4 months ago

I guess second in all-time wins ever isn't enough. To him a winning tradition is where players fight each other in the locker rooms and the coach does nothing about it.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 4 months ago

He really hasn't come out with a list yet, but there was an article somewhere talking about St. Johns.

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2 years, 4 months ago

I believe he signed with Liberty University already. It seems he is not too concerned about future earnings potential, as reports indicate he won a $10M lottery a couple of years ago ;)

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BahrainJayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Let's pass on this Lyons guy!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgbvdFW5qoQ

In case you forgot what happened during their Cincinnati v Xavier game and then the post game press conference. He looked like a fool after the game with those comments. That isn't what we want in AFH. I know he is just a 'kid' and people deserve 2nd chances but I think there are others out there that will give him a 2nd chance. We don't need him. The only reason he would be good for us is to bring some edge and a little bit of a mean streak to our team, but at what cost? I would rather steer clear of him, but then again I am sitting in the desert so I will defer to HCBS on this one and trust his instincts.

Thank you coach for a memorable year! Let's do it again, that was a fun ride!

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Cameron Schienebeck 2 years, 4 months ago

Winning tradition? UCLA can barely put together a winning season. To get all these recruits after all the controversy around Howland and that program I can't imagine anything good is going to come of this. If Hoeland can't win with this bunch he will be fired and Parker isn't good enough to be one and done.

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Robert Brock 2 years, 4 months ago

Shabazz is precisely what Howland needed. He is a great scorer; all he needs now is a little defensive effort from the club and they battle Zona for the Pac-whatever title.

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REHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Personally, even though they are a turncoat program, I would like to see Colorado stomp both UCLA and Arizona next season. Gotta stand by the Buffs' KU connection at the coaching position. Wouldn't surprise me to find that Sean Miller has been counting on picking up Mark Lyons since last midseason.

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Ross Cargo 2 years, 4 months ago

Just say no to Lyons. Get in a brawl, drive into crowds and jack up shots that the coach advised you not to do. What a piece of work. No way do I want that guy.

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RJ King 2 years, 4 months ago

Exactly. Looks like Son of World Peace in the making.

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Ron Franklin 2 years, 4 months ago

Your description reminded me of the first 3.5 years of ty taylor

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Ron Franklin 2 years, 3 months ago

Wasnt a snipe. I was simply saying Tyshawn made mistakes Just like Lyons has and Ty was given second chances and made the best of it.

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KGphoto 2 years, 4 months ago

Don't want Lyons. Glad Parker went to UCLA. Both those guys make me uneasy. The whole thing with publicly dissing schools who tried to recruit you, who spent money recruiting you... shameful. What a complete tool. He's perfect for UCLA.

I'm guessing if Howland couldn't control the team before, he's gonna get steamrolled by this lineup. Wooden is rolling over right now.

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texashawk10 2 years, 3 months ago

Marcus Morris 29, Markeiff Morris 49, also in the class of 2008 was Jeff Withey who was ranked 36.

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Brian Powell 2 years, 4 months ago

Why do we want this guy??

We're fine with EJ and Tharpe running the point. With the addition of BMac, and a healthy Travis, etc. I think we'll be in great shape with guards. We have more wings and bigs this year too, so maybe we play a little big.

We sure don't need to get someone else's trouble -- and after he graduates? What's the point?

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jc1306 2 years, 4 months ago

What happens if EJ or Tharpe get injured? Who is the 3rd PG?

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Jabez Harlan 2 years, 4 months ago

That is beside the point. If Lyons came to KU he would be playing in front of Naadir, not behind him. Lyons would not consider coming to a school to play third fiddle. Also, EJ deserves a shot at the point and should not have to give that up to a guy that will only be around for one year.

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John Randall 2 years, 3 months ago

If you haven't noticed, who plays 'in front' of whomever else is not determined while interviewing recruits. That determination begins with boot camp and is renewed at every practice.

Also, I am puzzled by the obsession with "point" guard in regard to Self's teams. His system has coined the term "combo guard" for the whole country. Any guard at KU plays off-the-ball at least half of every possession, no matter which one brings it up the court and relays instructions from the bench.

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Steve Kubler 2 years, 4 months ago

He put KU on his list. That does not mean KU has him on their list. Besides, we are scholarship poor at the moment. I can not see him being worth freeing up a spot.

I understand why coaches can not talk about their potential recruits, but wish it was otherwise.

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2 years, 4 months ago

"Kansas University is recruiting former Xavier University basketball combo guard Mark Lyons, according to Lyons’ former prep school coach, Jason Smith."

It sounds like he is on our list as well.

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John Randall 2 years, 3 months ago

Maybe so. I'm sure Lyons and Smith would like everyone to have that impression . . .

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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 4 months ago

Don't know about needing a third point guard. But I'm definitely not sold on Tharpe. If Lyons was coming to KU, he would be the second point guard.

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ironhead80 2 years, 4 months ago

Again, I don't think so! MAC, WHITE, and RELEFORD have all played both gaurd positions and some have even played the 3. That includes ANRIO, if he makes the grade score.

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shinguard 2 years, 4 months ago

If we end up losing a few more games next season due to not having Lyons on the team, I am okay with that. I understand that we need basketball players and not boy scouts, but this kid is a bit over the top. In addition to his well documented attitude issues, he already graduated so he will have no accountability to any class work. He will be a one-year player only so there is no school loyalty either. Be aware. Be very aware. Wherever Lyons ends up, I see him being a cancer to the team. I see him wanting to play one last season for the parties and the ladies - not much else. What else does he have to play for? He is not NBA caliber.

With that being said, if Bill does give him an offer and he accepts, he will have the opportunity to prove all of us wrong.

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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 4 months ago

He does have accountability..in order for him to come here and play immediately he needs to enroll in a graduate program at his new school that's not offered at his former school. Pretty much the same accountability as any one and done any one-year player has.

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ironhead80 2 years, 4 months ago

You have this one right, plus Self has more players with talent and he will be able to sit Lyons if he is not playing up to KU's level of play.

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kckmedic 2 years, 4 months ago

I think EJ will run the point with Naadir as the projected backup. I think they just want insurance at the point in case Naadir doesn't improve. Say EJ gets injured or gets into foul trouble and Naadir continues to turn the ball over. You have nobody else on the roster as a "point guard." Maclemore is a true 2 guard. Same with Travis. Travis could even bee looked at as a combo 2/3. So, I get why we're looking. But I also won't be disappointed if we don't get someone else. I'd also rather go with what we have than take someone with a lot of baggage just to get another guard.

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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 4 months ago

Travis played the 3 last year. I don't see him scoring enough to be a 2 and he doesn't have the skills to be a point guard. Travis has made huge improvements every year so I don't want to rule anything out.

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ironhead80 2 years, 4 months ago

True but Travis will be a senior with game experience plus we know he can drive to the basket anytime pass or try to score inside. Trav would be better off at the 2 or 3 but he could play point. But lets hope these other guys at the point can be productive.

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2 years, 4 months ago

Is our flirting with Lyons a backup plan in case we don't get Adams? How long before we find out how he did on his ACT?

Here is a repost of a nice short article on Anrio from last month:

http://leftcoastrecruiting.com/2012/03/04/1-in-washington-anrio-adams/

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

Let's call Calipari and get some good references for test takers!!

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2 years, 4 months ago

LOL ~ I wonder if Derrick Rose is available to do us a solid :-)

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Stephan123 2 years, 4 months ago

If Lyons is booted off Xavier for disagreeing with his coach on "areas of improvement", he may be too into his own agenda and not the teams. Could create poor team chemistry if Lyons ends up at KU.

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Redlandsjhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Seriously, really, I know all my alarms are going off. He's already decided he's playing the point and I assume he fully expects to start. I guess coach sees something we don't but I hope they are very careful with this one.

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Mike Bratisax 2 years, 4 months ago

The guy did graduate so that says something about him. He played the point at Xavier which is why I imagine Coach Self is recruiting him. It's not like he decided to play the point out of thin air. He shoots 40% from the three-point line. My worries are more with team compatibility. I can't imagine anyone wanting to see a one-year player come in and take their job.

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ironhead80 2 years, 4 months ago

Yea! It would not be good for team chemistry plus he has shown he is thuggish and shown no remorse or class when they had those X guys on TV. He's a punk!

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1jhawk2 2 years, 4 months ago

Whatever happend to the recruit Nino Jackson? Wasn't he considering KU for the upcoming season?

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

Nino may need a year of prep school to even try to qualify.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

WOW!!! That's one heck of a long website ID!!!

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Andy Hess 2 years, 4 months ago

a winning tradition? UCLA has won 1 national championship in the last 37 years.

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 4 months ago

Uh, we've won 2 in 59 years. Not the best argument, particularly if you include what UCLA did in those same 59 years.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Your argument is unpersuasive. Here is why.

Other teams and coaches had the exact same opportunities that Wooden and UCLA had. Some, like KU, UNC, Duke, Cinncinati, and Ohio State, probably had better opportunities, because they had been more successful just prior to UCLA's run than UCLA had been.

Even if you accept the argument that Sam Gilbert bought players, well, as the book "College Sports, Inc." documents just about all schools were paying players during the period also.

So: UCLA took advantage of nothing in the pre-64 team tournament era.

Next, your argument that early departures to the NBA changed everything and make continuity of success impossible over a ten year period is porous at best.

By your logic, Self should not have been able to win 83% of his games the last 8-9 years. Self should not have been able to win 8-9 consecutive conference titles.

Finally, the 64 team format only reduces the probability of a team winning ten in a row, it does not eliminate the possibility.

In fact, before Wooden lead UCLA to all those titles in the smaller format, everyone said it was virtually impossible to do what Wooden and UCLA then did.

You are way, way, way off base here.

All you can say is that it is less likely for someone to win ten titles in such a show time, but then you also have to add that if the tournament continues to be played for quite a long time, say for the rest of this century, there is a some chance, and not an infinitesimal one either, that it will happen again.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

No, I understood clearly. I analyzed it clearly. This much I can grant you--you stated your reasoning clearly enough that the flaws in your logic were apparent.

So: claiming someone else misunderstood and then repeating the same flawed logic only makes clear that it is you that does not yet get it.

And arguing that no one since Wooden has strung together more than two demonstrates, without your meaning to, of course, still more evidence of flaws in your reasoning.

Notice that before Wooden's run, both during the pre tournament Helms Foundation era, then in the pre-64 team format era, no team strung together more than 2 straight championships. And if you eliminate UK's championships in which point shaving was proven to have taken place, then not only have no teams before UCLA strung together more than two straight rings, but there may in fact have been a lesser frequency of two straight ring teams than in the pre-64 team format.

You are simply not evaluating the data carefully enough.

Next, it doesn't matter if you were trying to diminish Wooden, or not, because the errors of your reasoning make that a moot point.

Nearing the end here, not only is there always the possibility that another team will make a ten ring run in the 64 team format, all of the flaws in your reasoning prevent your reasoning from adding any specificity regarding probabilities of it happening being slim, greater, or lesser as a result of the 64-team format.

If you are a quantitative analyst, you ought to know better.

If you are not, then I can offer you a rule of thumb. Time series analysis, either formally, or informally (as in this case), especially when covering time series events from sharply disparate eras is fraught with analytical traps that require a lot of hard work and clear thinking to prevent being tripped up into logical invalidity and irrelevance.

You fell into a prairie dog town full of holes each time you analyzed a piece of the puzzle.

Inference: either bear down on your analysis and work out the bugs, or don't do it.

Finally, the only thing worse than making the mistakes is refusing to admit you did and instead asserting some other clear thinker did not understand. :-)

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Sam Constance 2 years, 4 months ago

"Even if you accept the argument that Sam Gilbert bought players, well, as the book "College Sports, Inc." documents just about all schools were paying players during the period also." - jaybate

I don't quite buy this argument, mainly because not all handouts are created equal. I'm sure UCLA was not the only school in the country doing a pay-for-play scheme, but the excesses of Sam Gilbert, a booster with extraordinarily deep pockets, are well documented. Not everyone who wanted to cheat had a Sam Gilbert readily available.

And the fact remains that whatever information about the behind-the-scenes goings on at UCLA we don't have, the results speak volumes. UCLA had players coming to school who weren't seeing any court time, when they could have played immediately at any number of schools.

Even if "everyone" was cheating, UCLA and Gilbert were doing it the most/best. I refuse to write off the cheating because "everyone was doing it" the same way I refuse to write off the fact that Mark McGwire and others were cheating in MLB, even though everyone was doing it.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

You are making the "leper with the most fingers" argument and it is reasonable to consider.

I am not writing off the reputed cheating by Gilbert.

To put the kind of money that many schools were paying players: let's take the reputed Bob Knight assertion in "College Sports Inc." that by the 1980s a top player cost a university around a $150k dispensed over four years.

Surely, Gilbert was paying less than that, because he was doing what he was doing in the late 60s and early 70s.

But whatever he was paying them, it had to be substantial money, because scaling back the $150K figure to 1960s dollars still meant significant monies were being thrown at players in the decade when UCLA won ten.

Now, I have never seen any evidence presented that indicated that Gilbert paid players sharply more than other schools that were paying players. And I haven't seen any evidence that Gilbert was paying players any more than the highest paying schools were paying players either.

And it is always fair to point out regarding a dead man who cannot defend himself that Sam Gilbert was not convicted of paying UCLA players, and UCLA was never penalized by the NCAA for Gilbert playing players, at least as far as I can recall.

But here is the real problem I have with the claim that Sam Gilbert was paying much more than other schools.

The year UCLA lost to NC State, NC State clearly had more talent.

And when I think back to Wooden's first two teams, UCLA in fact did have less, or comparable talent when compared with the teams they beat in the tournaments. How could this have happened, if Sam Gilbert became aligned with the UCLA program at the same time that Jerry Norman joined Wooden's staff and UCLA won two rings in a row.

Frankly, UCLA did not have drastically better talent than opposing teams during Jabbars run either. And Wooden ran off Lucious Allen at that. It is important to remember the Jabbar team, because his greatness paired with one or two other good players, plus a bunch of role players, plus Wooden's coaching is what produced those three rings.

And after Jabbar's run, when UCLA had won 6 straight rings, well, I reckon UCLA only had to pay the going rate to land the players on Walton's run.

And remember that Greg Lee was never a great point guard. And there were lots of other lesser players on those UCLA teams. It wasn't all Sven Naters behind the starters on Walton's teams.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Qualifier: Now that I think about it, I am not sure Nater was behind Walton, or Steve Patterson, or both.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Claiming UCLA paid way more than other schools requires one to believe that Jabbar and especially Walton would logically have gone elsewhere had UCLA not been paying so much.

But where were the two greatest players of the era most likely to go, if not to the greatest coach of the era.

KU landed Wilt Chamberlain with some under the table incentives in the 1950s, when everyone else was probably offering the same, because Phog Allen was unquestionably one of two of the greatest coaches in the game. The other was Rupp. But UK was not integrated. So KU got Wilt over Pete Newell at Cal and Fred what's his name at Ohio State and so on.

All UCLA had to do was pay as much as anyone was willing to pay and they were sure to land the greatest players of the era. They had the greatest coach of the era. They had the California weather. They had Hollywood. And so on. I remember asking my brother who played against Lucious Allen in high school, "Hey, how can Lucious go to UCLA and not KU?" And my brother, who is as devoted to KU as anyone, said something like, "Are you kidding me? Who wouldn't go to UCLA and play for Wooden if they could. They've won the last two championships. Man, it never snows there and there's surfing and hot babes at the beach. Wake up. I know you're only in sixth grade but you can figure that one out."

Logic tells me that UCLA began to win rings when Jerry Norman joined the staff, started recruiting actively like other schools were doing, and began using Gilbert, or someone like him to pay about what others were paying for players.

Logic tells me that with the greatest coach of the era reaching maturity that they began winning rings with a trick 2-2-1 zone press and a brilliant offensive basketball mind in Wooden.

Logic tells me that they payed as much as other programs would pay for Jabbar and the kid from New York who could go anywhere said, "I want to be in a progressive school in the sunshine and out of New York."

Logic tells me that by the time Walton came along, UCLA had won six rings and all they had to do was pay the same amount others were paying and the stuttering beach boy from San Diego said, "Y-y-y-yes, Coach W-w-w-w-wooden, I'll jump in my woody yesterday and come up the 405 if you want me. Wooden was an absolute legend by the time he had won six straight.

Titles 6-8 were Walton with an incredibly deep team including Wilkes. Maybe Gilbert was paying the subs more than other schools were paying subs.

But Titles 9 and 10 in my opinion were won with talent and depth not decisively superior to, say, North Carolina's.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

And for what its worth, Dean probably had nearly as great a corner on great talent for the ten years following Wooden's retirement as Wooden had. And he never strung a lot of titles together and no one ever accused him of paying players.

I know the above may not persuade you, but until I see some evidence documenting that Gilbert was paying drastically more than the other high paying schools of the time, I think the scenario I have laid out is just as plausible, if not more so, than the one that says UCLA paid more to get more.

But regardless of whether I am right or wrong, the underlying problem is that college players have been being paid under the table since at least the 1930s and those under the table payments have apparently opened the door for truly bad actors to corrupt the game for many stretches over the decades since.

Payers need to be payed above board as employees of the university, while going to school. The pay needs to be equal everywhere. And those that pay money under the table need to be penalized harshly. This is the only thing that will free the game of the creeping blight of corruption on it IMHO.

But I have said this for all of my life and the powers that be have never seen it the way I have and still do not.

Still, I say that game cannot be freed from the blackmailing of it by the bad actors until the good actors rewrite the rules so that the good actors do not have to pay players under the table.

Rock Chalk!

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 4 months ago

Konkey: You are incorrect .. the tournament did not expand to 64 teams 37 years ago. It expanded to 64 teams in 1985, 27 years ago.

Now I like that argument to compare programs in that era .. since 1985 .. much like espn did a few years ago.

And I'm sure you know that I picked 59 years as it was arbitrary to 1953, just after our 1952 title.

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Sam Constance 2 years, 4 months ago

Let's bypass the arbitrary constraints of X number of years and look at their winning tradition within the context of the "modernization" (i.e., expansion) of the tournament in 1985. Here are three teams accomplishments since 1985 (28 years):

Team A

21 Appearances 4 Final Fours 1 Championship 1 Vacated season

Team B

26 Appearances 4 Final Fours 1 Championship 1 Vacated season

Team C

27 Appearances 8 Final Fours 2 Championships 0 Vacated seasons

TEAM NAMES REVEALED AT BOTTOM OF POST

I think most people will be surprised at the identities of Teams A and B, and puts the UCLA's recent (almost 3 decades) success in perspective. Decent, yes, but falls well short if you don't reference the never-to-be-repeated run in the 60s and 70s.

Speaking of that amazing run, it will forever be a part of the glory and history of college basketball. Nothing I'm about to say will take that away. However, the following facts about UCLA's dominance so often get casually ignored

1) Wooden coached for 15 years with middling success before (apparently) flipping a switch and becoming completely unbeatable (right around the time Sam Gilbert arrived, oddly...).

2) UCLA's success was has been, for the most part, isolated in a very narrow window of college basketball history. UCLA continuing to claim "winning tradition" on the level of schools like Kansas, Duke, UNC, Kentucky, etc... is based on a distant past of glory. It's almost like Chicago Cubs fans talking about their "winning tradition" because they were dominant in the early 1900s (almost--I realize much more time has passed than in UCLA's case)

3) They haven't come close to the kind of success that other schools (Kansas, Duke, UNC, Michigan State, Kentucky, to name a few) have enjoyed in the modern era. I guess just color me skeptical that something that happened in the 60s and 70s, with a lot of players that today's youth probably don't recognize, is playing that big a role in a choice of college.

In other words, I guess I think it's fair for swishymcjayhawk (great name, btw) to poke fun at UCLA's winning tradition, even if he did chose a block of years that just barely omits UCLA's main claim to fame.

And to those who are wondering about the answer to the three teams I listed above:

A: UCLA B: Arizona C: Kansas

(Making UCLA the least accomplished of these three teams--just barely behind Arizona by virtue of NCAA appearances--since 1985, for those of you following at home)

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 4 months ago

Forget about Lyons......drive time from his home town of Schenectady, NY to Syracue, NY..two hours. This New York lad is going home to Boehiem Land, where the patients totally run the asylum.....he'll fit right in.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

What if he and/or his parents are against going to a program under a cloud of reputed child molestation claims involving a long time assistant coach, and reputed claims that a wife of same assistant coach was diddling players (plural)?

It would probably alter my recommendation to my child, unless I happened to learn for a fact that the reputed claims were false.

Have they been resolved yet?

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RJ King 2 years, 4 months ago

You do know that the last accuser (Kansas fan, Zach Tomaselli) has admitted his testimony was a lie, and was simply seeking revenge for the KU to Syracuse loss in 2003?

I believe he is from Maine, nevertheless he represents a shameful particle of our fan base.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaab-the-dagger-college-basketball-blog/one-bernie-fine-accusers-admits-story-complete-lie-162413175.html

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2 years, 4 months ago

Let's hope Zach was lying about being a KU fan as well.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

BayHawkaholic,

No, I did not know that, so thanks for bringing that to my attention.

But of course that only means, 1 down and 2 more accusers not retracted, or are you feeding me the retractions I have not seen one at a time? :-)

Next, I have a question for you.

Have there ever been other accusers in the past that have retracted their accusations either out of fear of reprisal, or due to a settlement bound up in a confidentiality agreement?

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RJ King 2 years, 3 months ago

me thinks the first two (?) accusers were legit. The third and fourth (which included Zach) were probably just trying to cash in and/or ride the emotional wave of the Fine and Sandusky shame-fests.

Once the party is started, the more accusers, the merrier. I think the fear of reprisal is more likely with the very first accuser, not those who also "sign the petition."

Wouldn't a settlement agreement would affect all? It doesn't make sense that some would retract/recant and others would stand firm?

It does seem that the dysfunctional nature of these things helps a very small few to get in touch with their inner Loose Cannon.

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Joe Baker 2 years, 4 months ago

You know what konkey? You can't take these kids at their word. I don't trust a word they say. They're young and very impressionable. Parker was saying the same thing about KU. I guarantee you if and when uk offers, Walker will commit. Uk snubbed him once and he still wants uk.
The whole Greene thing is only interesting when it's Shabazz and Anderson texting you. Walker also has the other kid from Florida in his ear too. KU is always an early favorite with these top recruits. They mysteriously decide against KU in the last few weeks and months of their choosing.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

I know the kid looks like a potential problem, but on the other hand, any kid smart enough to want to get away from the recent Xavier coaching legacy might be a person that can be redirected.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

BayHawkaholic,

Are you making a veiled reference to Sean Miller?

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REHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

At the risk of going down as a Bill Self socksniffer, I'll vote to stand by our coach if he should decide to gamble on bringing Mark Lyons aboard. If he appears on the scene, then Self sees an immediate need to bolster the point guard position...or to keep Elijah at the helm of combo guard swinging between the 1/2. From what I viewed of that Xavier/Cincy fracas, I wouldn't much care to see any of those combatants in a Jayhawk singlet, though I am quite aware that the refs allowed that game to get out of control quite some time before fists were thrown and group emotions gushed into the sportsnewscups which proceeded to runneth over. The one and done thing tends to dull my anticipatory enthusiasms. Regarding the Tony Parker press conference, I say WHEW! We dodged a real hollow point when that shot was fired. The cap tricks combined with a supermanlike t-shirt gimmick? The feebs appear to be in a race to take over any willing asylum. Best of luck to Ben Howland, who, having survied recent mayhem, is on track to wield a pitiful buggywhip over a herd of thundering rhinos.

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jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

Again, my wildly speculative hypothesis on Ben Howland is that he was kept by the AD to get Ben's recruits, before cashing Ben out of his long term contract.

It is only guessing, of course, but maybe Ben will be replaced middle of next season, or maybe at the end. In the interim starting now, the AD lines up a high powered coach by waving dollars, Westwood, and the bait of some major talent to come in and start winning quick with.

Typically, less than a hundred percent of supposed OADs jump. And the percentage that jump can decline, if there is a bad season, as UCLA is apt to have next year, simply because the chaos of a bad season fails to seduce the GMs and coaches in the NBA into parting with lottery money--even first round money.

To wit, Josh Selby even played on a 30 win team, but saw his stock drop way down, because he did not perform exceptionally well due to delays and injuries. And it didn't help that Josh, who I am on record as saying was a heckuva player, liked to bake the Pop Tarts before and after being injured.

Regardless, the AD, if my hypothesis were correct, made a smart move. Firing Ben this year got UCLA left with nothing much juicy for the next coach, and it required a huge bail out check. Firing Ben next season, means UCLA probably will have 2 of the three to offer a hot shot coach, maybe all three, if the coach has a record producing big time lottery picks. And they get to write a smaller buy out check.

Could a college AD have that much guile?

Did Rodrigo Borgia prove that a priest from the provinces understood the means to gaining and holding power in Rome? :-)

Oh, let's be kind here, because it serves our own interests.

Let's hope Ben Howland is the UCLA coach for the next two decades.

It will mean that UCLA will not be a major threat in basketball and basketball recruiting.

Note: Ben was a one trick pony--the Howland Hack'n'Slap.

Once others adopted it, he descended to mediocrity.

Stay, Ben, stay!!!

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lee3022 2 years, 3 months ago

I had the same thought when I read this:

"At UCLA, he’ll be reunited with his former Atlanta Celtics coach, Korey McCray, who is on the UCLA staff.

“Yes sir, I did want to play for Korey,” Parker told the Journal-Constitution. “We’re extremely close. He’s like an older brother to me, and he has been looking out for me for a long time … I really thought if I went to UCLA, Korey could really develop me. He pushes me hard.”"

A top recruiter is what is needed at UCLA. Perhaps McCray will be the next HC there.

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Jeeveshawk 2 years, 3 months ago

We may need Lyons for if Tharpe is a terrible player again this next year. But if Tharpe does well, I don't give a damn about Lyons. We have better guards in Elijah, Travis, and Ben McLemore. Then we also have a promising backup in Andrew White.

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lee3022 2 years, 3 months ago

KU does likely need an upperclassman PG to back up Johnson. Tharpe might make the grade but without Johnson we are still too thin. That said I see nothing about Lyons that indicate he is that guy. Bad press? Inaccurate? Perhaps but his conduct against Cincinnati makes him toxic and his quotes above make him all about him and not KU. That we can do without.

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Michael Bennett 2 years, 3 months ago

Having a seasoned PG to back up Johnson in the case of substitution/off night/injury is always an advantage. Depth on the bench is what this team's been missing recently.

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