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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kansas men’s basketball notebook: Lyons to visit KU; Self offers NYC prep

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Former Xavier University basketball combo guard Mark Lyons said Tuesday he is considering a transfer to just three schools — Kansas University, Kentucky and Arizona.

He told the Journal-World he has not set any dates for campus visits to the three finalists.

Lyons, 6-foot-1, 190- pound college senior-to-be from Schnectady, N.Y., played his senior year of high school at Brewster Academy, alma mater of former KU forward Thomas Robinson and current KU guard Naadir Tharpe. He was recruited to Xavier initially by current Arizona coach Sean Miller.

Lyons averaged 15.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game for the Musketeers, who advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. He is wrapping up work on his degree. If he graduates in May, he’s eligible to play immediately at any school.

KU offers McCullough: Chris McCullough, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound junior-to-be from Salisbury School in Salisbury, Conn., has been offered a scholarship by KU, rivals.com reports.

McCullough, who is originally from Bronx, N.Y., has already visited St. John’s, Seton Hall, Arizona, UConn, and Syracuse. Rivals.com’s No. 10-rated player holds scholarship offers from KU, North Carolina, UConn, Pitt, Louisville, Florida, Arizona, Memphis and Iowa State.

“Chris received an offer today from Kansas,” McCullough’s AAU coach, Terrance “Munch” Williams, told NYCHoops.net.

When asked specifics, Team SCAN coach Williams said: “Head coach Bill Self and assistant Norm Roberts called me today.”

Team SCAN will play in the Boo Williams AAU tournament this weekend.

“I’m looking for playing time as a freshman and want a school with a good graduation rate,” McCullough told recruitingspotlight.wordpress.com. “I want an up-tempo, fast-pace team that uses the pick and roll.”

McCullough wants to make a decision this summer.

Iowa Mr. Basketball visits Creighton: Former Wisconsin forward Jarrod Uthoff, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound freshman from Marengo, Iowa, visited Creighton on Monday and will visit Iowa State in early May, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Initially, Wisconsin tried to limit his transfer possibilities, but now says he can go anywhere outside of the Big 10.

Uthoff has not mentioned KU on his list of schools. His AAU coach says Northern Iowa and Florida are also possibilities.

“I’m just looking for the best fit for me,” Uthoff told the Gazette. “Whether a team is on the rise or not is not really a concern of mine. It’s all different types of aspects of the system and of the program.”

Seven-footer update: Przemek Karnowski, a 7-foot high school senior center from Poland, will not visit KU or Duke, according to dukehoopblog.com. Gonzaga is considered the favorite with Marquette and Cal-Berkeley possible destinations. He’s been compared to the NBA’s Marc Gasol. Gonzaga coach Mark Few traveled to Warsaw recently to watch Karnowski play. Earlier this week, it was reported that Duke and KU were trying to get involved.

Comments

Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

C'mon LJW..post something...anything.....we need to start a new string!!!

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kufanman88 1 year, 11 months ago

Do we really want a guy that doesn't think he has room for improvement? It sounds like he is the kind of guy that will instantly disrupt the chemistry of the team. A guy that feels he is bigger than the team. I am pretty sure all of the statistical niceties that this player brings to the game, will not be worth the chaos he will bring to the Jayhawks. I think we all could see what a lack of chemistry and focus does to a promising team (see Morris twins).

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bennybob 1 year, 11 months ago

Quincy Miller has decided to go pro.

Scratch Baylor off as a Big12 title contender next season

everything is lining up for number 9 in a row!

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bennybob 1 year, 11 months ago

McCullough wants playing time as a freshman.

seeing as how this years "great" class of "elite" bigs will be juniors when he sets foot on campus. either he's not coming to KU or Self has admitted to him that a freshman can beat out Lucas/Peters with 2 years under there belts...... whats that tell you about Lucas/Peters?

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 11 months ago

I find myself in the "trust coach Self" camp on this one.

I seriously doubt he'd bring a problem in, or a chemistry killer.

Clearly, the only issue is the general "character" issue. Numbers are fine. Skills are fine. And I have a hard time believing Self would fumble on the character issue, risking the season imploding.

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phogphan2000 1 year, 11 months ago

I can understand some nervousness over bringing in a senior for 1 year, but Lyons brings a lot of positives. The biggest negatives I can see are 1) possible disruption in team chemistry 2) if Adams qualifies we need a PF/C more than another guard, but the problem is are there any PF/C's that we can actually bring in to contribute next year?

Now let's look at positives 1) Talk about plug n play as a TT replacement, this guy can handle the ball and score it. Oh, he's had issues with his coach before...familiar, and some believe he forces the action too much...awfully familiar 2) If you've watched much X basketball the past couple years you've noticed that Tu Holloway always had the green light, got most of the hype and Lyons took a backseat. Bottom line, I always thought he was a better player than Tu and didn't force things as much as Tu either. 3) Mentioned before on here we can definitely use proven PG skills. I don't know who I'd consider to have been the PG at X this past year, lot of shared responsibilities between Lyons and Tu. 4) We can use that extra scholarship next year and get it back the year after to try to build another phenomenal class in 2013.

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justanotherfan 1 year, 11 months ago

Got carried away on Lyons earlier and didn't talk about McCullough at all.

This kid is going to be special, I think. They list him as a PF and it looks like he could still grow a bit, but he looks like he could play SF equally as well, particularly if he strengthens his ball handling. He's already 6-8 and if he grows more, he could be a really nice face up 4, but he could definitely play 3.

I watched both his freshman and sophomore highlights on Youtube. The first thing that stuck out to me is how fluid he is. He never looks like he is running fast, but he covers tons of ground. Equally, he never appears to really be "skying" for a dunk or block, but he gets there easily. That fluid athleticism usually indicates that someone is just scratching the surface on their athletic potential, and if so, he's the type of player that could be a top 5 in his class talent.

The second thing that stuck out was the amount of physical maturity you could see from his freshman year to sophomore year. He's really thin, but he appeared to be a bit thicker as a soph. That's good to see in a kid that obviously has a long way to go maturity and growthwise, but he has plenty of time to do it.

He plays quite a bit facing the basket, so there isn't a lot of concern about him not developing his ball handling in case he ends up being a 3 instead.

My favorite thing about his game, though is the fact that he dunks EVERYTHING around the basket. Typically with high school players you see guys lay the ball up unless they are on an uncontested breakaway, especially freshmen and sophomores. This kid doesn't do that. He dunks the ball whenever he can, which will help him transition to college much easier.

If I had to compare him to anyone, I'd loosely compare him to Tayshaun Prince. He doesn't have quite that wingspan (though it is over 7 feet) and he's a righty, but he can face up, handle the ball, shoot the three and has some inside moves. He has the athletic ability to be an above average defender at the 3 spot. I don't know if he has the bulk (or will ever get the bulk) to be more than an average defender at the 4. He has good timing and control on shotblocking.

He's a special player that could definitely help KU, although I would guess he probably won't be in college for more than a couple of seasons with the type of talent he appears to have.

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FoCoCoHawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I love seasons like last year because they bring up the iimportant intangibles like "team chemistry" and "heart". HCBS definitely tries to coach these--as nuch as possible anyway--and he might just be adept at seeing the 22 yr old inside the 17 year old, as well as recognizing the value of second chances. I'm not the first but I defer to his judgement on all things KUBB. But I support and encourage dissenting viewpoints. "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" and all that...

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claycountyjayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm sorry but KU has the 11th ranked recruiting class.Guess your experts our a bunch of frauds.

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wildjayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Looks like KU is fallen off the radar on recruiting again this year like last. The experts are saying that Ku is no where in site in the recruiting like last year. They are saying they don't understand what Self is up to as he is not getting any good players. UCLA is top on the list and KU is not even in the top 40.

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AZHawk72 1 year, 11 months ago

Thanks, for the numerical oversight, Oakville, and I agree with the majority. Main reason--I'd rather add a senior for one year than be stuck with a low-performing freshman for four years. And, people, trust me that there is no one out there from 2012 who you would want.

My own numerical oversight looks like this:

Sr. 4 Jr. 0 So. 1 Fr. 7(2RS)

And the following year:

Sr. 0 Jr. 1 So.7 Fr. 5(?)

I think the 2013 group will be even better than the current crop of 2012, and I don't want anything getting in the way of our chances. So, Lyons, yes. Anyone elso, no.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

Totally unofficial poll as off 1:32 CDT

For Lyons; 21 posts Against Lyons: 10 posts Wait and see: 5 posts.

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cajayfan 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't even know if I hope I am wrong about Lyons(going to Arizona)....but I guess he is worth the risk. Just see an attitude waiting to happen.

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SoCalAlum 1 year, 11 months ago

No mystery why Coach Self would want Mark Lyons...go to the 1:46 mark -

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

Sherron-esque.

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cajayfan 1 year, 11 months ago

Not sure why you are wasting all this time discussing Lyons. Sean Miller originally recruited him to Xavier, he's going to Arizona. KU is not everyone's perfect scenerio.

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kcblkscorpion 1 year, 11 months ago

Does anyone know what happened to Nino Jackson, high school PG class of 2012 out of Ardmore, OK who was very interested in Kansas last year this time. Rivals has him as the #7 PG in 2012. He has not commited and does not show any schools interested in him.

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Joe Baker 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm not getting my hopes up on Chris Walker either. He's waiting for Calipari to offer. Walker is uk's to lose. If Walker was crazy about KU and wanted KU, he would've already committed.

It also looks like we've lost out on the Pollock too.

I thought Parker's comments about UCLA were pretty dumb. This kid wasn't as mature as I thought. His explanation of his choice made no sense whatsoever. They're kids, but they need to grow up and act as mature as they appear.

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Joe Baker 1 year, 11 months ago

McCullough looks fundamentally sound. Let's see if his words and his attitude match. If we get him, he commits early. Otherwise, if he waits and goes the distance, we can forget it.

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justanotherfan 1 year, 11 months ago

This whole Lyons thing goes back to needing two true ball handlers on the roster.

Tharpe struggled last year, there's no other way to put that. He may be ready this year, he may not be. I'm not at practices, so I really have no way of knowing.

However, we DO know that Lyons can play either guard spot at the D-1 level. He's proven that during his time at Xavier. He has shown that he can handle the ball, defend and score well.

Without Lyons, and if Tharpe is not ready, we do not have a backup point guard. Read that sentence again. Actually, I will just say it again. If Tharpe is not ready WE DO NOT HAVE A BACKUP POINT GUARD.

That would basically mean that EJ would have to play almost every second of almost every game that was within 10 points just to make sure we could do simple things like get into our offense and run our sets. EJ showed that he could handle the point, but at various times he also picked up foul trouble. If he's our only reliable option at the point, we couldn't afford foul trouble, injury or poor play from him. That's just too big a risk to take over the course of a season. I'm not saying that our other guards can't handle the ball, but we would sacrifice something by moving either Travis or Ben or another guy off the wing and to the point.

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RockChalkSam 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't see why people are mad about this? its that much more depth. think about the '08 squad...DEPTH. And heck, this will push EJ, not that he isnt working hard, but it will help improve him. I hope to see Lyons in the Crimson and Blue!

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jgkojak 1 year, 11 months ago

I gotta say Self maybe knows what he's doing. Here is what I see going on-

Lyons is on the edge of being drafted or at least playing for bigger money overseas- he wants to do it right for a year and get himself noticed.

I could see a 3 guard rotation of EJ, BMac and Lyons- leaving Tharpe for mop-up minutes or emergency subbing. That's 80 min. / 3 = 26 mpg -- but also remembering that we can also play 3 guards to take up the 3 spot... seems like plenty to go around.

What intrigues me about Lyons is the steals- if we can get a guy to go with EJ and Releford who can attack the ball like that - that's huge.

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Sam Constance 1 year, 11 months ago

Lyons definitely has some warning flags, but there are also warning flags with the two existing options we have to slot in at the point. Johnson only played sparingly, and so it's hard to extrapolate how he would perform as the game-in, game-out point guard (an ability that Tyshawn handled amazingly well, and is often overlooked).

Naadir will likely be much better than last year, but do we really think he's going to go from rarely-used, mistake-prone, defensively-lacking freshman to a guy who gets big-time minutes and performs exceptionally well over one offseason? I'd hazard a guess that the learning curve trajectory isn't that steep.

Lyons is the best option from a basketball standpoint, and I imagine Self is going to try and gauge just how much work he would have cut out for himself in terms of team chemistry and discipline by meeting with Lyons. We can be interested and decide not to offer him a spot on the team, you know.

One thing is for sure--I think it's a huge mistake to look back a the year we just enjoyed and assume that we don't need anyone else because Self just finished taking a shallow and less-talented-than-usual-on-paper team to the national title game. This past season was incredibly unique and is not likely to come close to being repeated for some time. I've been watching basketball for over twenty years, and this was the first time I've ever seen a season like that.

I'm confident in the notion that, if Self decides to bring Lyons onboard, he trusts that he'll be a solid contributor to the team.

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JayhawkinNE 1 year, 11 months ago

I tend to agree with BlownJay....so many negative posts. What makes US experts?? TRUST IN SELF!

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

There are also some hotshot guards/prospects that may think higher of KU now simply because of Tyshawn (and Elijah's) high-visibility play this season, specifically in the March Madness, since everybody was watching. And I mean the attack/dribble drive-types...perhaps not realizing Self allowed that to flourish since we had only 2 main scorers, much like the 2-man Sherron/ColeHawks of 2009.

More balanced attack for '12-13...the sum will be greater than the parts. And we got alot more "parts" to play with...

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master16 1 year, 11 months ago

It's simple to me: If HCBS and the coaching staff want Mark Lyons, then I want Mark Lyons to come to KU.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Oak, Good to be positive. Lyons makes me nervous, but I/we just may not have the full story. Lyons, Im sure knows Self runs a tight ship. And he no doubt talked with his fellow Brewster Academy alum Thomas Robinson. It is very likely if Lyons comes here, just like any other recruit, he knows exactly what he is getting into. He will play along with the rules here, just because no kid beats Bill Self, or perhaps really has matured (I hope for his sake, if he comes here or not).

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jc1306 1 year, 11 months ago

We would be silly not to pursue Lyons. Our PG position is unproven. Yes, EJ played well when he had to play it last year. Tharpe may get there but he may not. One injury to either one of these guys and we're in deep trouble at the PG. McClemore, White, and Releford can't play the 1. Besides, this still allows us to chase a big-time PG in the 2013 class (may already have him in Frankamp).

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

After thinking about Mr. Lyons, I have switched sides:

1] Technically, Mark is a "one and done", & can play now so no 2013 schollie lost.

2] He wants the responsibility of running the point and has had experience doing so.

3] He will do whatever it takes to correct his negative image,

4] Elijah is more of a natural 2, which allows BenMac to switch to a 3 on occasion . 5] Mark, EJ, Naadir, 'Rio, BenMac, gives Bill plenty of backline high quality flexibility.

6] If he's good enouigh for Bill Self, he's good enough for me.

My vote is now thumbs up on Mark becoming a Jayhawk.

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REHawk 1 year, 11 months ago

jb, the fact that Mark Few visited Warsaw to watch Karnowski play probably seals the deal with Gonzaga.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 11 months ago

There has been a lot of transfer talk lately (Merv Lindsay boards) as well as the Jared Uthoff stuff earlier in the week and last week on the Mike and Mike show. Here is a good article just talking about transfers in general. Good read.

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7845980/the-transfer-process-perspective-players-coaches-ncb

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IrishCharlie 1 year, 11 months ago

Lyons, is there ANYONE that mr. BS will not take?

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jaybate 1 year, 11 months ago

Karnowski is getting bad advice if he is not visiting KU and Duke.

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jaybate 1 year, 11 months ago

Self has to bridge big risk at the point next year.

Self has to find pg that can guard and score and handle.

EJ has a knee in trouble.

Tharpe's defense was nonexistant.

Adams is a likely pre-shirt, because he likely won't qualify till his second year.

Of course, Self has to go after Lyons.

He has to get some one in here for sure.

Self can't sit and hope EJ is well and Tharpe develops in time.

He has to act. And he is doing so.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 11 months ago

So, with Quincy Miller (Baylor) now deciding that he wants to leave Baylor and enter the NBA Draft.................I was curious what the latest mock drafts looked like!

http://nbadraft.net/2012mock_draft (Updated on the 4/19)

T-Rob-#2 TT-#54 (Hope he doesn't go that low)

http://www.mynbadraft.com/2012-NBA-Mock-Draft-Round-2 (Updated yesterday)

T-Rob #3 TT-#34

http://www.mynbadraft.com/2012-NBA-Mock-Draft-Round-2 (Updated this morning)

T-Rob #4 TT-#27

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1154675-2012-nba-mock-draft-definitive-full-two-round-predictions#/articles/1154675-2012-nba-mock-draft-definitive-full-two-round-predictions/page/35 (Not a fan of bleacher report but it was updated 2 days ago)

T-Rob #3 TT-# 34

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Ron Franklin 1 year, 11 months ago

@Ralster/Bayhawkaholic- REposted from the other thread regarding Tyshawn:

"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."

My point is that somebody pointed out all the bad character traits of Mark Lyons and said they wanted nothing to do with him. I was simply saying that Tyshawn made a transformation his Senior year, so there is no reason to think Lyons could not do the same.

On that point; the amount of recruit bashing that goes on this site is a joke. Reminds me of high school. "we didn't want them anyway" crap. "anybody who does a hat ceremony-we don't want em" "somebody must have paid them, since they didn't come to KU"

Sour Grapes & Negative Nancies always come out when things don't go 'their way.' Makes us all look like a bunch of whiny babies.

Soap Box.....Off.

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akgjenkintown 1 year, 11 months ago

Self apparently going after a 5th year senior demonstrates true concern regarding the backcourt for the 2012-2013 season and the likelihood that Anrio Adams will qualify. Tharpe is a very good talent and needs to start playing. Obviously he needs to improve on both his defensive and ball handling/decision making parts of his game to get minutes. As we learned from this years team, chemistry is an essential component of success, so one would clearly want to avoid a player who could sour a team. The one constant is Bill Self and he clearly seems to know what he is doing. Trust in Self.

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bradynsdad 1 year, 11 months ago

I am really ready for football to be here. If a kid is looking for playing time as a freshmen I wouldn't put stock in him coming here. Everyone knows self doesn't offer kids that when he talks about Kansas. ALSO I tweeted to tait and Newell yesterday for an Anrio Adams update but never got one. Does anyone have anything new on him besides the fact were waiting for ACT scores?

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 11 months ago

And..............Norm begins doing his work!

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AsadZ 1 year, 11 months ago

LJW, Any word on Uconn transfers especially Bradley. He would be a gread addition to KU for next year.

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Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 11 months ago

Also NOT considering Kansas University..... a multitude of high school players who know they wouldn't fit into our program and who aren't going to dilude themselves into thinking they would be allowed to stay more than a year.

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Brandon Pope 1 year, 11 months ago

“I want an up-tempo, fast-pace team that uses the pick and roll.”?

Welcome to Kansas my friend.

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trustyourSelf 1 year, 11 months ago

I don't think I want Lyons. It feels a bit like a OAD to me. Plus all the stuff we've read about him forcing stuff late in games and not getting along with his coach. I sort of like the idea of having Trav or Ben play the 2 anyway.

....on a side note I'm totally confused as to why the Uthoff story was mentioned here.

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