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Originally published December 25, 2012 at 09:35p.m., updated December 25, 2012 at 11:37p.m.

Former player Greg Gurley settling into ‘dream job’ as KU radio analyst

Kansas University men’s basketball Radio broadcaster Greg Gurley, left, chats with partner Bob Davis during their pregame show before the Jayhawks’ game against Richmond on Dec. 18, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse. Gurley, a former KU guard under coach Roy Williams, is in his first year as color commentator alongside 29-year play-by-play man Davis.

Kansas University men’s basketball Radio broadcaster Greg Gurley, left, chats with partner Bob Davis during their pregame show before the Jayhawks’ game against Richmond on Dec. 18, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse. Gurley, a former KU guard under coach Roy Williams, is in his first year as color commentator alongside 29-year play-by-play man Davis.

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Greg Gurley looks comfortable in his east-side, press-row seat in Allen Fieldhouse, nestled in a chair he hopes to occupy for the next 25 or so years.

“That’s my plan. I love what I do. It’s a dream job,” former Kansas University basketball guard Gurley said of working as color announcer for KU men’s games on the Jayhawk Radio Network.

“Both are dream jobs,” added Gurley, who doubles as second-year director of development for the Williams Fund. “During basketball season, I get paid to sit on center court, have the access I have and talk about my favorite team. Offseason, I get to meet KU people, work with KU people. It’s perfect.”

Gurley, 40, who played for Roy Williams’ Jayhawks from 1992-95 — “this is the 20-year anniversary of our ‘93 Final Four team” he states incredulously — is KU’s third color announcer to work with play-by-play man Bob Davis in the last 29 years. Davis worked with KU legend Max Falkenstien, who turned it over to Chris Piper, who worked six seasons on the hoops broadcasts.

photo

Associated Press

In this file photo from March 16, 1995, Kansas’ Greg Gurley, left, and Colgate’s Tucker Neale go after a loose ball during a first-round NCAA Tournament game in Dayton, Ohio.

“I understand how big of an honor and privilege this is,” Gurley said. “Not to sound too corny ... Max was doing it for 60 years and Chris (for six) ... it’s a pretty big deal, a very big deal to be in that neighborhood. What gets lost in this is Bob. Bob Davis is a legend. I’m just trying to learn on the fly. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been a weird year the way the schedule has been made up. I’m looking forward to really getting going (with the usual flood of games) after Christmas.”

Davis said Gurley has picked up right where Piper left off.

“Greg is very enthusiastic, knows the kids (Jayhawks) well,” Davis said. “He can relate to what they are going through. He has great perspective. Chris kind of had the perspective of the big guy; I was getting on Greg for having the perspective of the shooter. I think they’ve been fine and are only going to get better,” Davis added of the broadcasts.

Gurley, who meets hundreds of KU grads yearly as a fundraiser, said he’s learned Jayhawk fans take their radio broadcasts seriously.

“I realize now how many people do listen to the radio broadcast, which is cool,” Gurley said. “In the past, I was either at the games or watching on TV, so the radio ... I didn’t really listen a lot unless I was in the car. You get a real sense of how many people do listen. I get phone calls, letters; most are positive, some are negative. I just take them and try to keep improving.”

He doesn’t mind the feedback at all.

“You get advice,” Gurley said with a smile. “Fans say, ‘Hey, you need to ask Bill (Self, KU coach) tougher questions (in postgame) or you need to do this or that.’ You sit there and listen and agree. I don’t really disagree. I’ve watched Bill work rooms where people ask dumb questions. He’s a master making everyone feel comfortable whether it’s a dumb question or not. I try to take that and run with it.”

Gurley, whose college coach had a remarkable .805 win percentage in 15 seasons at KU, is amazed that Self has an even better winning mark of .837 in 10 seasons.

“I’m not shocked, but I think what Bill has done is crazy,” Gurley said. “The eight straight Big 12 championships is what baffles me. There’s nothing out there like it. It’d be different if this was a weak conference. This is a really good basketball conference. To graduate the kids he graduates in bunches ... four, five guys leave at once and they come back and win it the next year. Florida won two national titles, then missed the NCAA Tournament let alone won their league. It’s a machine, reloading. He deserves a ton of credit.”

As far as this year’s team ... Gurley believes a ninth consecutive league title is quite possible.

“It’s not going to be overnight when you bring seven freshmen into the fold and immediately start playing well. The nature of Kansas fans is they expect that to happen,” Gurley said. “Look at Kentucky. They lost six guys to the NBA and have a bunch of new guys. It’s not happening (for Kentucky) as quickly.

“The great thing is we have four seniors. It doesn’t happen very often. It’s just the nature of college basketball. You are seeing a mix of seniors and freshmen playing really well together. And they’re going to get better.

“Fran Fraschilla (ESPN) said we’re probably not going to lose a game in Allen in the league. You win five or six on the road ... I don’t know if other teams are built for that. We’ll see.”

Gurley’s KU teams won three of four possible league titles. His fondest memory as a player?

“In 1995, the last game at Allen ... it was the only game I ever started. We were tied for the league lead. Whoever won that game won the Big Eight. We beat Oklahoma State,” Gurley said of a 78-62 win. “I had 50 family members here. I scored (13 points off 4-5 shooting; 3-4 from three) and had a good game. I actually got knocked out in the middle of it. I caught an errant elbow in the temple. If you were playing nowadays you’d be out a month. They gave you a little smelling salt, tell you to get back in there,” Gurley added with a laugh.

The Leawood native and Shawnee Mission South graduate currently dabbles in coaching as well as fundraising and announcing.

“My schedule doesn’t provide me to be around a lot on weekends, so my family has had to make sacrifices as far as me not being around as much,” said Gurley, who along with wife, Amy, have daughters Kate (12) and Jane (9). “Both my girls play volleyball and basketball. Since I don’t know anything about volleyball, I help in basketball when I can.”

The family man definitely is a popular figure around KU.

“He’s a KU guy and knows everybody,” Davis said. “Everybody likes him, and he’s a great person to be around.”

Comments

jayhawkinnc 2 years ago

Gary/LJW,

Chris Piper didn't do color for 7 seasons for KU radio.....He only did it for 6 seasons:

Max: 1984 - 2006 Pipe: 2006 - 2012 Gurley: 2012 - present

Suzi Marshall 2 years ago

What did Max do on the radio before color? Play by play? I knew him commencing in the '72 season and he'd been around some time befor that.

yates33333 2 years ago

THE AMERICAN V. KU GAME WILL BE ON ESPN 3 SATURDAY 7 P.M. CENTRAL TIME. WE CAN ALL CRITIQUE GURLEY THEN.

jayhawkinnc 2 years ago

and while we're at it....technically, Gurley played at KU from 1991 to 1995. Yea, I know that '92 implies the end of his freshman season/1st year as a lettterwinner (at the end of the 91-92 season), but I'm just sayin'.

I'm surprised that Gurley didn't mention the rare 5 point play he had in that KU/OSU game on senior day in '95. He hit a 3 in the corner right by the KU bench......as soon as the ball went through the net, he got knocked to the ground on a late box out by OSU. He then hit both ends of a 1 and 1 and momentum certainly went our way at that moment that day. You'd think he would bring that up during the game which he calls "his fondest memory as a KU player". I recall that same game, Randy Rutherford lit us up for 45 points and Bryant "Big Country" Reeves was held to a goose egg in points.

Joel Hood 2 years ago

The 5-point play is never mentioned - it is the only one I ever remember but never gets discussed.
The chant of "Reeves has ZERO!!!" was also quite memorable from that game. UNCle Roy made the students stop chanting it.

KUFan90 2 years ago

I guess Ive been living under s rock this year but why did Pipe leave?

Sam Constance 2 years ago

I know he's been doing TV broadcasts for KU, and a KC Star article suggested that the reason he switched was to have a smaller time commitment.

Too bad, because I really liked how he enhanced the radio broadcast.

Displayhawk 2 years ago

Chris Piper is also the owner of Grandstand Sports in Lawrence, and it has grown quite a bit over the years, so a lot of his time is devoted to that as well.

jayhawkinnc 2 years ago

he wanted to spend more time with his family. so, he and Gurley switched roles. Gurley is now the radio analyst and Pipe is the TV analyst on the Jayhawk TV Network with Dave Armstrong. It's only 6 games a year for Pipe now instead of 30 plus.

jaybate 2 years ago

"Some Fund RaisIng Recommendations Greg Has Declined So Far"

• Lew Perkins Exercise Equipment Raffle.

• Addidas lederhosen lingerie show.

• EBay auctions of Jeff Koons-designed Max Falkenstein bobbing head statuettes.

• CBernie-Paul Ruud mud wrestling match for minor sports.

• Bill Self-Joe Dooley strip chess on ice.

• William Inge "Splendor in the Synthetic Grass" Spring Football Theater Fest.

• Charley Weis-Dave Campo Nude Water Ballet at Potters Lake.

• Andrea Hudy-Sheahon Zenger Ballroom Dance Marathon.

• Remember the Summer Goose Down Thong Celebrity Relay Race

• Kurtis Townsend--Michael Kors XTReme Fashion Fund Raiser.

• Backing up 14th Street on Ice Demolition Derby fund raiser.

• Jayhawk Chapter Alcoholics Anonymous Coffee Kegger.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

jaybate 2 years ago

"Broadcaster Grades--First Semester"

Clark Kellogg F--Can't talk. Can't telestrate. Spins for the Ten.

Doogie Gotlieb A--Great Majerus piece. Grimaces too much, but who wouldn't listening to Seth. Has learned to love KU and Self.

Seth Davis D--Slumps too much. Seems afraid of Doogie. Rarely adds insights worth knowing. Looks a little devious, like he would inform for relatives at corporate.

Fran Frascilla B--cheerful, knows game. Hits the high points accurately. But won't risk being a know it all to help us learn.

Digger Phelps C--cheerful, knowledgeable, shamessly biased, good telestrator, too on the nose with matching ties and flow pens, expounds too often on what he thinks will get him eye balls and not on what is happening. Were he as insightful on his feet, as in his books, he would be a star. Should go back to hat schtick, or back to coaching, say against Larry and Danny in C-USA.

Dick Vitale C--Still brings energy, still hides what he knows, still has liplock on Duke, UNC, and his paisons--Cal and Rick. Still under reports and over reports with the best. Never discusses why one team is winning.

Jay Bilas A--gets it, gives it, limits bias to K.

Beate Williams 2 years ago

Excellent and you didn't miss a beat with your analysis.

Steve Gantz 2 years ago

Maybe it's because of my upbringing in the heart of Big10 country, but I've always liked Clark Kellogg. Never thought of him being biased. To be honest, most of the hoops I watch is KU and Wisconsin, and during KU games, I'm on my laptop with all of ya'll, hardly even listening to the announcers.

PSM 2 years ago

Did Clark Kellog call Saturday's game? I remember the announcers were giving OSU a lot of love throughout and not much to KU

jaybate 2 years ago

wissox,

You always have to be so right. :-) He is a Big Ten country guy. And he is likable for those reasons. He has always been a kind of guy we don't get to see much of on national TV and I am always for national TV broadening out the regions and speech patterns that our great big wide world of America is offered. I mean if we have to listen to the King's English piped over on NPR and CNN to try to bring us closer with our JV partner in world hegemony--the Crown of Great Britain--then I don't see why we can't some Big Ten guys, too.

I used to defend Clark and say give this guy some time. He was a pioneer for sure. But I have increasingly come to think he has not gotten better, and that he has not really busted his butt to get better. There is nothing wrong wrong with his idiosyncratic speech. It is that he has not worked to make it understandable and to turn it into a recognizable style. I also think he refuses to tell us what he knows. This is not entirely his fault. All announcers are dumbed down by directors trying to make the content understandable to a stereo type the director carries in his mind of a beer guzzling moron in flannel plaid--a stereotype that probably no longer exists.

But Clark has had the bully pulpit of CBS Sports Basketball for a long, long time and has done nothing excellent with it. I don't feel I know the Big Ten fans and players any better through listening to Clark. I don't feel he shares with us what he knows, or used to know about the game. I don't feel he really tries hard to bring the greatest game ever invented alive.

For these reasons I would like to see him replaced, or better yet, given a really good director that unleashes the inner Clark.

What we have now is the broadcasting equivalent of a General Motors CEO coasting on in an undistinguished performance that endlessly caters to a least common denominator and squanders one of America's little r republican jewels.

Roger Smith, Rick Waggoner, Dan Akerson, Clark Kellogg.

There is so much talent, so much pursuit of excellence going on in Big Ten country, despite the siege of the build down of America. Big Ten people are still one of the cornerstones of America. They are still persons that can get it done, if given the level playing field needed to get it done.

If the TV networks need a Big Ten guy for market share, get one of the ones that makes things happen.

dylans 2 years ago

I wish Gurley wasn't a KU guy it pains me to listen to him. I have only positive memories of Gregg the basketball player, but Gregg the announcer is just plain painful to listen to.

frompekka2sasha 2 years ago

Understandable. I'm sure he's annoyed that you don't know how to spell his name.

dylans 2 years ago

I'm not paid to entertain the masses.

danno1313 2 years ago

Clark K is good. Not sure what your talking about. Billy Packer was the worst.

TheBoHawk 2 years ago

You're damn right about Kellogg, I've thought that for years. He's turrible.

Jeremy Paul 2 years ago

I went to Blue Valley North, and in '91 we faced Gurley and his undefeated, defending state champs from SM South in the playoffs. (I don't say "we" as if I played, I was a spectator.) The game was at Wyandotte and I will always remember it as the most exciting game I've ever been to. It was like straight out of the movie Hoosiers. If any of you have been in Wyandotte's gym you know what I mean. Even though Gurley was the rival, I've always liked him.

sarcastichawk 2 years ago

So what happened? Sounds like a good story

Jeremy Paul 2 years ago

We beat them in a very close game. Adam Peakes was our star and he ended up at Rice. Then we went to Emporia for State and lost in the semis to Wichita East and their Seton Hall-bound stud Adrian Griffin. Good memories. I've been hoping someone on hear reads this and knows what I'm talking about.

Displayhawk 2 years ago

Greg Gurley will never be the broadcaster that Chris Piper is. Chris Piper has a much better voice and better delivery.

akgjenkintown 2 years ago

Miss Piper's insights. He was much more informative than Gurley. Hopefully Gurley will get better. Currently he is painful to listen to.

swunruh 2 years ago

I always listen to radio with Bob Davis and the TV sound off. Greg is improving with each broadcast. Great article.

REHawk 2 years ago

Of radio broadcasts Greg says, "I didn't really listen a lot unless I was in the car." It will take him awhile to get in the full swing of radio, but he is a very sincere earnest guy who will learn on the run. I wish I were a bit closer to Jayhawk radio so that I could receive clear broadcasts, esp. when some of jaybate's clunkers do the tv announcing. The important thing is, he represents a died in the wool Jayhawk who has the team's and fans' best interests at heart.

ucityjayhawk 2 years ago

You can listen to the KU bball broadcast in crystal clear definition. Just download the tune in radio app and find a Kansas radio station that is broadcasting the game. I listened to the Ohio State - Kansas game on my iPhone as we drove across Missouri oh our way to Fayetteville, Arkansas for Christmas.

REHawk 2 years ago

Thanks, ucityjayhawk. I am an electonically impaired old geezer who has kept to fairly simple cellphone use. Have never downloaded an app before. I will look into doing so. Have grown damnably weary of tv announcers who fail to identify those who commit fouls, and often completely avoid updates on numbers of Withey's blocks, etc. I crave the Jayhawk play by play of Bob Davis, esp. when the likes of Clark K. or Dicky V. draw our contests.

jaybate 2 years ago

Yes, if you don't love a medium, and haven't studied it closely for awhile, its a little tough to just wade in and do it well. Its a theater of the mind. Great radio broadcasters create a relationship with listeners. They become someone the listeners can count on. They tell a story like a friend would to another friend if he weren't there. They are credible. And the best of them straddle the line between being passionate homers and guys who just have to tell some hard truths occassionaly precisely because they do love the team so much. Chick Hearn of the Lakers was my all time favorite. I could listen to Chick tell me what was happening and know he was putting the best foot forward for the home team up to a point, when he had to say, "He's a great guy but he's just not getting the job done to Laker standards." Max Falkenstein could do it, too. He could eat Larry Brown's caustic jibes and be the butt of his jokes, but he could with one clear, concise phrase say, "The Jayhawks just aren't bringing it right now." Greg has to find that way of his own to be a homer and a trusted friend that will be positive, but not mislead.

jaybate 2 years ago

And I think Greg is not entirely sure about how he really feels about KU fans either.

As a player, you are constantly being told by coaches you can't listen to the fans, because they are fickle and will turn on you in a minute. This us versus them mentality can make it hard for a broadcaster to build the kind of relationship the great broadcasters build.

As a player, also, you know a lot about the game, hopefully more than most fans, so you possess a kind of innate sense of superiority about the game. That superiority can make it difficult to build up the kind of friendship with the fans that truly great broadcasters build.

As a fund raiser, you are a salesman and part of being a salesman is thinking you can take the sales target to yes, even if he may not be ready. It is a mind changing kind of a profession, rather than a friendship that great broadcasters build with their listeners.

Great broadcasters don't know more than the coaches and players about the game. They don't know more than great fund raisers about how to get to yes.

But what great broadcasters do know more than many coaches, players, fund raisers and lesser broadcasters, is how to build a friendship with fans.

Friends can talk. They can enthuse and diss. They can agree and disagree though not disagree on substance, on facts. If the team is playing poorly, or the coach is not at his best, close friends notice and no amount of getting to yes with them could change the insight. When they love the same things, like sports teams, the friendship and the topics the friends talk of matter.

Greg now is out of the playing business, and out of the getting to yes business, and is in the friendship business.

Greg now has tens of thousands of friends he never had before.

This friendship is not about money.

It is not about being a star, or being popular.

It is about building friendships one at a time with potential friends out in the darkness, beyond the field house, where he is coming into their homes, or into their cars--two of the most intimate places.

It is not a party, where he has to be on and entertaining.

Max Falkenstein and Chick Hearn were only mildly entertaining.

They were my friends at the game.

"I’ve watched Bill work rooms where people ask dumb questions. He’s a master making everyone feel comfortable whether it’s a dumb question or not. I try to take that and run with it.”--Greg

Bill Self would never say this in public about anyone else.

Bill Self would say of Charlie Weis that he hold serve.

He would not talk about Charlie handling dumb questions.

And here is why?

Everyone asks dumb questions and makes gaffes.

Self has said some incredibly dumb things and he is quite gifted at communicating.

jaybate 2 years ago

Broadcasters are renowned for muffing moments and saying dumb things.

Frankly, until the internet age, we fans were the ones that made the fewest gaffes, because we never got to the mike, or to the printed page, or the boob tube to make the mistakes that we now make in the interactive age.

It is not about working rooms. It is not about make fans feel comfortable about saying dumb things.

Dumb things is the common denominator none of us escapes and that binds us together.

Study Max, Greg.

Don't try to be Max for a second.

But try to see how he could be a fan's friend.

If you can be yourself and be a fan's friend at the game, and if you remember how you act with your close friends about basketball, you will get better and better at being a KU basketball radio broadcaster.

You are young enough that if you start being a friend now, you will have a vast audience and hang 40 years if you take care of your health.

Remember, being a good friend has nothing to do with age, or where you come from. Its just a trust and a bond. Cherish the trust and don't break the bond, and you will be a good friend to thousands of KU fans.

We aren't looking for a great voice, though it wouldn't hurt. We aren't looking for a brilliant analyst, though it wouldn't hurt. What we are looking for is someone we can trust to be a good friend for us at the game and let us know how things are going.

Rock Chalk!

Steve Gantz 2 years ago

Totally unrelated, but our local paper here in Baton Rouge advocated LSU leaving the SEC and going to the Big12. Here's the link. http://theadvocate.com/sports/lsu/4741258-123/five-reasons-lsu-should-leave

Jack Wilson 2 years ago

That is interesting. What I think will stabalize conference realignment, really, is an 8 team football playoff. When you get to 8 teams, that means everyone really has a shot at getting in. If you are a one loss team, as long as you're in a decent conference, you'll be in.

Right now, even moving to a 4 team playoff, everyone thinks the SEC is so great, I wouldn't doubt a scenario where 3 of the 4 teams are from the SEC.

Seriously, Alabama loses at home to Texas A&M .. again at home .. and they get a pass. Nearly as if it didn't happen. Just because they're Alabama. K-State loses on the road and they're not even in the discussion. Oregon St. loses at home to a quality Stanford team and they're out of the discussion as well. I watched Alabama lose to A&M and the cynic in me said it didn't matter. I hate when cynicism is proven correct.

The entire mantra that the regular season matters in college football is a lie. It doesn't. Teams can be eliminated after the first two or three weeks. Then the regular season is meaningless as it relates to a national champion. They're playing to go to the Beef O'Brady Bowl. Wow. And the bowl games are a sham. It truly is meaningless. Not to demean KU's Orange Bowl, but really, we're excited over a "BCS" bowl because Perkins outmaneuvered Alden? Again, I can hardly contain my excitement.

The teams that folks perceive as the better teams start with a huge advantage by being ranked higher to begin with. Perceptions. Based only on predictions. Predictions that pollsters find hard to let go of. At least in college basketball, that subjective "perception" may only impact a line or two on seeding.

The entire regular season in college basketball counts to most teams. And then the conference tournaments create new hope to get to the dance. It is a continuing effort to get in the tournament. Most teams aren't sure things. The regular season means more to more teams in college basketball. The regular season means something only to a decreasing few as the season progresses.

College football is such a joke in my mind, it's why I have very little interest. The bowl system is in place due to a centralized power structure that is all about lining the pockets of those associated with the bowl games (I would say oligarchy, but that's jb's word), who then kick it back to the NCAA. That structure has denied us true college football champions. It isn't about a champion.

Seriously, next season, KU could run the table in college football and still not get a sniff at the title. 'Bama and USC could go undefeated, and do you think we'd go before those to the title game? Not a chance. Heck, the same could have been K-State's fate this season. Or even Notre Dame's. Solely because of where each started in the rankings, and the perceptions.

There is no true champion. True national champions are decided in playoffs.

****wissoxfan83 .. thanks for starting my rant.

Steve Gantz 2 years ago

I think the biggest problem that my link points out, is the leagues are not playing everyone in their own league evenly. It kind of sickens me to see the Big10 not have 11 league games. They played 8, and then as a Badger fan I had to endure them against Northern Iowa and some other lightweight. Of course the same thing applies to basketball. There's no reason why the Big12 couldn't have a legitimate regular season and everyone play each other twice. The fans would love it, the best teams still will make the dance. Waiting for one of these leagues to do something for the fans instead of for their own athletic funds.

jaybate 2 years ago

This is very BIG!!!

There has long been a line of thinking that the Texas Oklahoma Kansas Energy Alliance has wanted to crush the Louisiana Democratic and Federal political machine in the parishes of New Orleans, divorce Louisiana from the Feds and the Democrats, and grab its pinch point on the mouth of the Mississippi, and grab tight control of the absolutely epic oil reserves directly under downtown New Orleans' oil dome, and thus be able to:

A) control entry/exit to the Mississippi River system; and

B) punch laterals to the east coast from the Super Corridor near old Kelly AFB across the Gulf Coast states to Florida to link up with the natural gas pipeline between southern Florida and the Grand Bahamas Regassification Terminal.

LSU jumping to the Big 12 would be a fabulous tactical gain by the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas Energy Alliance.

Turning Louisiana fully into a Red state would not be decisive, but would nevertheless really alter the long term play for control of North American energy and distribution infrastructure.

Missouri went red in the last election. The importance of regime change in Missouri, i.e., turning Missouri red was wildly understated in the media.

If the Texas/Kansas/Oklahoma Energy Alliance can pry Louisiana loose from the SEC it would mean it holds crucial influence on the Big Easy both in New Orleans and in St. Louis. Very, very, very big!!!!!

Thanks for the link.

P.S.: Probably won't happen, but it forces the Obama Administration to divide its forces and resources and to go on the offensive in Louisiana to hold the line there, rather than be able to focus all of its political capital on turning Missouri back to blue and keeping Florida and Virginia blue, too. If Virginia and Florida were decisively turned Blue, the hopes and dreams of the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas Energy Alliance for decisive control of a national transportation and energy infrastructure that would eventually deliver them full control over unification of the three energy grids of North America would be stone walled for several decades.

The stakes don't get much higher.

jaybate 2 years ago

Or so the hypothesis goes. :-)

HawksWin 2 years ago

I see the forest now, not the trees! Thanks JB! Keep the brain food coming.

jaybate 2 years ago

Just a hypothesis though.

Could be other hypotheses that fit better.

But optimizing football TV revenues as the primary driver for realignment?

I don't think so. :-)

The point of the hypothesis is not to say with confidence it is right, but rather to keep calling attention to the implausibility of conventional wisdom on realignment by coming up with a rather striking alternative hypothesis that fits the facts as well or better.

If little ol' me can come up with an alternative hypothesis that explains the phenomenon as well, or better than the conventional one, then some one else who has resources and expertise could probably figure out and explain what the heck really is going on.

I really have no idea whether my hypothesis is right, or not.

I just hope for the media pros to look into the phenomenon a bit more rigorously.

Now back to basketball. :-)

captku 2 years ago

Yikes! More purple in the conference? As Chuck B says, "I just can't stand it". Jayhawks in the Bayou ... hmmm.

monkeehawkSL8 2 years ago

Way off topic, lil help please. Just listened to Elijah talk about the "ball" during the Ohio st. game. There was period of time where it appeared as if the ball were on fire, second half? The Hawks were doing the weave and suddenly did a 3 Stooges routine?

Does anyone know the inside story on what was wrong with the ball? Was the ball on fire? Covered with crisco? Or am I in another acid flash back? Both? Thank you, a dazed and confused monk.

PSM 2 years ago

it's probably slang and might mean they couldn't hold on to the ball and were turning it over or maybe it means that they were on fire and just couldn't miss

mejayhawk 2 years ago

they went through a stretch where they couldn't dribble, pass or catch the ball in the second half. I'm guessing that's what he meant

monkeehawkSL8 2 years ago

After a little digging I believe Elijah was talking about the brand of ball. His comment was "we had to adjust to the ball it wasn't going to adjust, adapt to us". Adidas @ home, Nike @ Oh.st. Thanks, monk.

KGphoto 2 years ago

I was laughing at Gurley in the beginning because he sounds a little drunk. It's growing on me though. It's a pleasant drunken sound. Like Brian Doyle Murray had too many at the Christmas party and started telling stories about "back in the day".

Good guy. KU guy through and through. He'll only get better.

jayhawkinnc 2 years ago

yea, I've always thought he sounds drunk when he talks. it's like he's so laid back that he sounds sloshed/tipsy. I've always been surprised that he's on the air.

Joel Hood 2 years ago

When Gurley first started, he was on the local cable rebroadcast. He was awful - almost unbearable to listen to as every sound he made was forced through the upper most regions of his nose. But, he has obviously worked very hard and has improved greatly.

bradynsdad 2 years ago

I gotta say I thought Conner Frankcamp would sit his first year at KU but now I have seen the kid play, wow! He is going to give Tharpe and Rio a challenge for playing time. I thought he is too small, wasn't fast enough, had no elevation and didn't really play D. I was wrong on all accounts. This kid is the real deal.

monkeehawkSL8 2 years ago

Have to agree with you. he is going to have an immediate impact. The video's I've seen so far are inspiring. Pure gym rat. We are spoiled.

Any one offended by my use of "we", sorry. We won't do it again.

Displayhawk 2 years ago

I agree. His monotone voice that just doesn't do it for me. But not sure who is worse, Greg Gurley as color guy, or Tom Hedrick as play-by-play guy back in the day!

Jack Wilson 2 years ago

Expectations for Landen Lucas .. I read the thread yesterday. It's an interesting topic. What will Lucas do at KU?

First, our long term expectations should be relatively low. Lucas was an unranked guy. Not in the Rivals 150; not in the ESPN top 100 (ESPN had him a four star, "92" guy; some guys at "92" were in the top 100). This alone makes his potential for success lower in the long term. For him to be a legitimate starter at KU, he will have to exceed his ranking (or lack or ranking). That we know to be true. Those in the Rivals 100-150 over the past 5 seasons had a 13.3% chance of exceeding their expectations. We could raise it to 20% just because he's here. That's still pretty low. But we have one right here, right now .. Kevin Young.

Second -- and this one is perhaps the most telling -- look at the history of post players under Self. Do you see any low ranked post players achieve success? Ok, Christian Moody. His junior year only. But his playing time decreased by 40% as senior when other talent was ready. Any others? Try this for perspective .. find one lower ranked than Darnell Jackson (#54) that really contributed in the post? Kevin Young is now the only one other than Moody in 10 seasons.

Third, Self will be attempting to recruit and sign top ranked bigs all the time. Guys (appx) in the top 20 will likely be able to ascend on talent alone. Lucas will have an experience advantage, which is huge with Self, against those lower than that.

Fourth, our short term expectations appear to be that Lucas may be a rotation guy next season. But does that make sense? If Randle comes, it changes the dynamic. But even without Randle, Lucas will be battling Ellis, Traylor and Embiid. He won't go past Ellis. He couldn't beat Traylor out this season for a rotation spot. Embiid could be a project, but maybe not. Lucas could be a rotation contributor or even a starter next season (if Randle doesn't come). Lucas and Ellis as post starters is not a crazy stretch. But we will all be gauging Embiid's progress to displace him, right? Right now, we all want Embiid to be that major talent that starts. We can't wait for the day that he's starting. It's destiny, right? What does that mean for Lucas?

Fifth, he may play, but we'll always be looking at who will displace him. This new guy is better than Lucas. This new guy will play more than Lucas. Except for an exceedingly huge surprise, that appears to be what Lucas will be.

(continued)

Jack Wilson 2 years ago

(continued)

We know that experienced players have an advantage with Self. Lucas will constantly be challenged for his role, for his spot on the court. But he may be uniquely positioned to do something we don't expect .. earn and keep a starting spot. In the changing dynamic of college hoops, coach Self does things differently. Look at our roster this season. 4 senior starters, one freshman. Last season 4 juniors and a senior starting.

The difference is, when Self has started upperclassmen they were higher ranked guys .. TRob, Morris twins, Withey, Aldrich, Jackson, Simien. And the underclassmen were always top 50 guys .. Aldrich, Arthur, Wright, Morris. Even the rotations were higher ranked guys.

Experience rules with Self, except when there is an obvious talent. So that favors Lucas as we go forward -- so long as we don't score the top 20 bigs.

Lucas will be an interesting one to follow. His path (together with Traylor) is an unprecedented path. Can't see that it has ever happened since Self has been here. But we won't have one true idea until we see him on the court next season.

Boouk 2 years ago

This is where losing out on Kaleb Tarckewski last year really hurts. He would probably take over for Withey next season then leave for the NBA after his So. year. We'll need Lucas next year if we don't land Randle.

Boouk 2 years ago

Of those two I'd take Randle because of our depth along the perimeter with Tharpe, Frankamp, Mason, Seldon, Greene, and White even though McLemore's the better player.

AsadZ 2 years ago

McLemore or Randle?

From a talent and experience perspective definitely McLemore

From a need point of view, Randle

My heart says McLemore but my mind says Randle.

We will have quality depth in the backcourt and if McLemore stays chances are good that we will lose one talented player as a transfer, most likely AW3.

However we dont have such luxury on Bigs.

That is why my mind is telling me to have Randle.

Boouk 2 years ago

Anrio Adams is way more likely to transfer than White.

David Gisi 2 years ago

Before Peters left I would have said McLemore for sure. At least we would have been deep in the post. And Ben would be super special to watch as a soph. Now, though, I think Randle would be the best choice. With a little luck, Tharpe, White and Adams will add just enough experience to the incoming talent on the perimeter. We need the impact post player. Interesting "would you rather" question. Just spent some time playing that with the family.

Jack Wilson 2 years ago

Jaydogger: Very good points and info. I love your rational optimism. On Lucas, though, as with most players, I think there has to be a huge consideration of talent level. I just wonder if Lucas has the underlying talent to be successful. But the idea to have Randle as a bridge seems too perfect to even hope for. If Self scores Randle, we could be in for quite a run, even though we'll be young. Maybe a team that is 7-3 after 10 games, but explodes in February as talent adapts.

On your question, would I rather have McLemore or Randle next season? Easy. Without question. No doubt for me ... McLemore. He may be the best player in the country. We know how he can perform. Forget positions of need. Take the known stud.

texashawk10 2 years ago

I would rather have Randle over McLemore next year because Randle fills the much bigger need for KU next year. KU has White, Seldon, Greene, and Adams that can fill the 2/3 spot for KU next year. Next year in the post, KU will have Ellis, an Embiid who is a year away from becoming a huge impact player and ??? No one player next year will be able to replace McLemore's production, but without a second good post player, KU's defense will struggle and McLemore's offense may not be enough to compensate for that.

AsadZ 2 years ago

I feel that while Lucas may not get much PT next year, he will be a solid contributor starting his 2nd year. Will he eventually be in the starting line up is difficult to predict but as you have indicated he will have an advantage of being in HCBS system, and that experience is very valuable for Self.

By reading some of his quotes and family background he appears to be a very intelligent kid, well brought up and trained by his family, so that will help him in the system as well, staying out of trouble etc.

If he continues to improve I can see his path at KU similar to that of Travis Releford.

Boouk 2 years ago

I think Releford's career is a good comp. I think he'll certainly play more than Wesely will have by the time their college careers are over.

jaybate 2 years ago

HEM,

Your assessment is sound top to bottom. Going as far as the logic enables but not farther than the data permits. Way to bring it.

Trying to build on your foundation, Self probably views Landon as a very good long term gamble on a big man.

Landen is worst case a fourth back up in a four big man rotation.

Landen is mid case a third big of the kind Sasha Kaun was his last season in which he brought size, enforcement and an ability to guard a post, plus, perhaps Landen can bring some rebounding that Kaun's wounded knees did not permit. This is a great guy to have to bring in for two athletically gifted bigs.

Best case scenario, Landen is the exception that proves the rule that you have laid out regarding bigs relative to their ranks. Sooner or later, there will be an exception to the rule. Its just the law of probabilities weighing in. Self's been at this ten seasons at KU. Sooner or later an unranked big will slip in under the radar and blossom.

Yes, Self has to keep recruiting the highly ranked bigs and yes he needs to sign some.

But Self still has the experience the last few years of VCU and Butler doing very well without highly ranked bigs. And depending on how things go, he may have the experience with Kevin on his own team of doing the same.

It may sound trite, but I like to think of all these lesser players as the ring setting that Self crafts and the top players he lands as the jewels that go in the setting.

David Gisi 2 years ago

Nice post. My observation, for what its worth, is that Lucas "not being able to beat out Traylor" may not necessarily be the case. If Self felt that there were one too many guys for the rotation, and wanted to red-shirt somebody, Traylor really wasn't an option for that. It would seem that decision came down to maybe Lucas having more upside in the long term, and having enough "post bodies" to accomplish what was needed for this year. Obviously if Lucas had been dominant, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But maybe he was in fact a little better, just not enough to quell the urge to keep him back for something greater. Only time will tell on that one.

Jack Wilson 2 years ago

I think if I had to bet either way on Lucas, I might side with the majority here. That he'll be well worth it. Maybe even a starter his junior and senior season. Some info I recall that gives me that nudge is that he had a decent midrange jumper with good footwork to start with .. he seems like the classic guy that can develop.

That may go exactly to sbendjayhawk's point .. perhaps Traylor isn't better right now vs. Lucas. Perhaps for the 4th post player role this season, Self just decided Traylor was a better fit. The ability to redshirt fit. And Lucas' developmental prospects were better. Traylor's half season of practice gave him the advantage for now. That seems to make sense.

2013 will be one of those where we'll have our share of doubters. We'll lose all 5 starters most likely (barring a Mclemore miracle). Five new starters. That will be pretty fun following a national championship season, right? Been there, done that.

Boouk 2 years ago

If we don't get Randle I doubt we're in the top 15 in the pre-season polls. I hope I'm wrong, but next year could be a lot like the year after we won the title if Randle goes elsewhere.

AsadZ 2 years ago

JayDogger and JB,

Well said. I feel good about Mr. Lucas

Mike Kendall 2 years ago

Well, I am prejudice, what the heck! Love to see Max come back as the color analyst, with Bob Davis. OK, I know that won't happen. Maybe, Chris Piper can quit his "day-job" and take over for Greg. I really loved Chris and his take on the games during the radio broadcast. OK, that probably won't happen, too. I am getting used to Greg Gurley now, but when he first started out on the TV broadcasts, man---he was hard to listen to. He is improving, so, I am gonna give him some time. Good luck to you, Greg. Ask Bob, if you have any questions. Davis is a hella good announcer, BTW.

REHawk 2 years ago

Very good divergence today into the Lucas/Traylor/Randle/McLemore stuff; also the LSU article and the Frankamp reassurances. Post-Christmas 2012, LJW reader posts alive and well!

KEITHMILES05 2 years ago

Why is it there always must be a KU guy doing the analyst stuff? Why not branch out and get new blood? Gurley is just awful.

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