Friday, November 2, 2012

Coming around: Panelists have high praise for Jayhawks

Kansas coach Bill Self, right, listens as Blair Kerkhoff shares his opinion of the one-and-done rule during Bill Self's Courtside roundtable discussion on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, at Crown Toyota Pavilion. Other panel members were Jay Bilas, Mike DeCourcy,  and Fran Fraschilla.

Kansas coach Bill Self, right, listens as Blair Kerkhoff shares his opinion of the one-and-done rule during Bill Self's Courtside roundtable discussion on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, at Crown Toyota Pavilion. Other panel members were Jay Bilas, Mike DeCourcy, and Fran Fraschilla.



Kansas coach Bill Self, right, listens as Blair Kerkhoff shares his opinion of the one-and-done rule during Bill Self's Courtside roundtable discussion on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, at Crown Toyota Pavilion. Other panel members were Jay Bilas, Mike DeCourcy, and Fran Fraschilla.

The panelists at Thursday night’s inaugural “Courtside View” at Crown Toyota Pavilion prepped for their roundtable discussion with Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self by attending the Jayhawks’ afternoon hoops practice.

The consensus?

KU will have a heck of a team again this season.

“We picked you 12th (in preseason poll). I’d say it’s our first error of the season. You will be better than that,” Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News told a crowd of more than 400 at the Assists Foundation fundraiser.

“A lot of guys can score,” DeCourcy added. “I think Ben McLemore missed two shots today. He took a few.”

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said: “It’s a very young team. I’m impressed with the way they related to each other and the coaches.

“If you told any of us at this time last year Kansas would play for a national championship, we’d say, ‘Really? Can we have some of what you are smoking?’” Bilas added to laughs from the crowd. “I think by the middle of the season, we will not see more than a handful of teams where we’d say they are better (than KU).”

ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, who replaces Bob Knight on Big 12’s ESPN Big Monday telecasts this season, said: “It may not be the deepest Kansas team he (Self) has had. The great recruiting class is on the way (for next season). Some of the best players are young players, and they have not gotten the full effect of Bill’s coaching yet.

“They’ll likely be 9-0 at home. If you go 6-3 on the road, which is do-able, that’s 15-3 and likely a ninth consecutive conference championship. Every home game except one or two will be a test for you (in league) and every road game for sure. They (Jayhawks) will play hard. They are always prepared,” Fraschilla added.

KU coach Self took the kind words in stride.

“I think the guys definitely over-evaluated my team right now, but I guess you expect them to do that if they are your guests,” Self said. “I don’t think we’re that good. I really don’t. I think we have a chance. We’re a little deeper than last year. We were six deep.

“We are athletic. The key will be our anchor and point guard. If Jeff Withey plays like the third-best center in the country and Elijah (Johnson) can run a team, those would be keys. One thing I’m proud of is our guys expect to do it. That’s half of it. They think they are good.

“It should be a great league race,” Self added. “Losing Missouri ... I think our league needed personality. Huggs (Bob Huggins, West Virginia) brings personality, and TCU brings recruiting in the Dallas area.

“On the national level, Indiana may be better than everybody from a roster standpoint,” Self continued, “but I don’t think there’s a clear-cut team. Last year there were definitely two, Kentucky and North Carolina. I don’t see it. I see 15-20 teams that have a shot, and hopefully we will be one in the mix.”

The panelists tackled questions presented by host/former KU player Greg Gurley. One particularly interesting moment came when Bilas, in response to a question about tougher academic standards for incoming players, indicated there should be no standards. He said schools should be able to admit any student-athletes they wish.

“Kansas knows how to educate their students. Duke does. St. John’s does. We don’t need this,” Bilas said. “A lot of schools say, ‘We wouldn’t take these kids (academic risks).’ My response is, ‘You don’t have to.’

“Kansas is perfectly capable of saying, ‘We deem this student appropriate for admission. We’ll educate them.’ I don’t think the NCAA should be in that business.”

Self is concerned that a student who earns a 2.3 grade-point average in coming years will need a 1080 on the SAT to qualify for admission. In the past, a 2.3 GPA was matched with a 900 SAT.

“The difference between 900 and 1080 is, what, 18 percent?” Self said. “That is pretty significant.”

He likes Bilas’ suggestion.

“You do have standards,” Self said. “The NCAA put restrictions on schools with the APR (academic progress rating). If you are meeting that standard and a school wants to accept a kid, then why would that be a problem to do so? Leave it to the universities to decide if they want that student, and if they do take the student, then if he doesn’t do well, then the university is at risk. That’s the way it is already. I don’t understand why you need to have a double whammy.”

Reunion in February: It was revealed that there will be a 115th year of KU basketball celebration this year in which former players will be invited to town for a reunion, which has been the custom every five years. The reunion will be for the KU-TCU game on Feb. 23 in Allen.


Alohahawk 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm not a pro "tattoo" person, so this could/should be considered in that context. And I don't mean this as preaching against them. Each their own, when it it comes down to it. Plus, I have no idea how much a tattoo costs. That said, while I think the scholarship athletes probably deserve some extra spending money for incidentals, I sometimes wonder just how badly they need that money, if they already have enough to pay for all the tattoos which many of them have. They seem to be a priority for some.

Makes one wonder, just what does an athlete need extra spending money to purchase? Things which most people take for granted. Cars, and (especially now-a-days) gas, car insurance, street clothes, dates/gifts for girlfriends/boyfriends (husbands/wives), Twitter accounts (cost?), ipods, cell phones, large screen TV's and video equipment, video games, snack foods, Etc.? College kids being what they are, they do buy alcoholic beverages. (Unfortunately, one has to admit, some buy drugs.)

I look back on my own college days and remember having to cut costs at every corner just to make ends meet. (Even though gas cost less than 40 cent a gallon back then.) And my generation didn't have all the extra non-essentials students feel they need to survive now. (ie. tattoos, cell phones, computer related products, Etc.) I went 4 years without a TV and never missed it. I didn't date steadily, but I did my share of partying/drinking.


Geezer 1 year, 5 months ago

A lot of video from last night is posted on The Shiver.


jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

"Friday Burn Ends"

"If Jeff Withey plays like the third-best center in the country and Elijah (Johnson) can run a team, those would be keys." --Self on 2012-13 keys to team success

First, Self seems to be putting a huge burden on Withey. This is the first time he has come out and done anything but down played Jeff's burden this season. Maybe that phone it in performance against ESU caused Self to up the public pressure on Mr. Withey.

Second, who are the two better centers than Withey that Self refers to? Nerlen Noels and who else?

Third, anyone want to hazard a guess as to Self's criteria for Elijah being a success at running a team? Does it mean meeting or beating Tyshawn's performance last season? If it does, that's a pretty tall order to ask of a guy in his first year with the keys to the car. Remember, Tyshawn had a year of on-the-job training his junior year; something The Prophet will not have had.

Fourth, frankly, I thought Self was asking a lot of Tyshawn to learn to play point his junior year after never having played it in his career. But, now, asking Elijah to become proficient at driving the car, after only one year with the keys? Whew! Elijah's gotta be feeling some pressure right about now. I always remember Nick Krug pictures of team leaders Marcus Morris, two seasons back, and TRob and Tyshawn, last season, during, or after, losses. Those pictures portray how lonely it can get, when you are the guy, or the two guys, that Self says: okay, the team is on your back(s)--carry us. I have a feeling there are going to be some lonely photos of Elijah and Jeff this year.

Fifth, its significant that Self did not include Travis Releford in his statement about keys to the team. This tells me that Travis is going to be playing pretty much the same role as last year--a role he mastered and so is assumed by Self not a question mark at fulfilling. So: don't expect Travis to light it up much more than he did last season. Travis is the glue 3 and top defender. His trey shot just must not be quite good enough to let him join the go-get-a-basket men. Without the trey gun, defenders can lay off you too much to be able to go get a basket.


RJ King 1 year, 5 months ago

Nice read about a local (sort of) program. (Lourawls. You'll never find . . . another guard like mine.) A little insight into in-state recruiting.


Steve Gantz 1 year, 5 months ago

I'll miss Bobby. For one, he shut mushberger up enough so we don't have to listen to him. I do admit that he would get disinterested in the game at times and make the infamous mistakes that he made a lot.

As for the headline, tell us something we didn't know! To be honest I get a little tired of the articles that talk about how much everyone in the national media loves us, how much respect they have for Self, how great AFH is, how special a program this is. It strokes the egos a little too much for my taste. Leads to fanaticism that goes overboard. You don't see it here much, but go to the message boards on Yahoo, ESPN, etc. and our fans have a rep for being over the top. And I see why, some of them there are just plain idiotic.


Michael Luby 1 year, 5 months ago

He could go 9 deep this year without batting an eye lash. Wesley doesnt have the ability to keep himself off the bench this year, which isnt a bad thing.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

bennybob cited Self's comment above -- "We’re a little deeper than last year. We were six deep."

As fans, all we have is what coach Self says, information from other third party sources, statements, quotes, video, etc. Every so often, coach Self says things that really give insight. Sometimes it's coachspeak, or stuff said for consumption of his players.

This quote meant something.

What he was saying was, bluntly, we only had 6 real players last season. We only had 6 guys that should have been on the court for KU. If things had broken differently .. say McLemore and Traylor eligible .. Wesley and Teahan may not have played much.

To me, and I'm sure many, this was not surprising at all - in substance. Self worked very hard in recruiting to ensure that neither Wesley nor Teahan would have had to play a major role. Teahan's performance was a pleasant and much needed surprise last season. One could argue (easily) that without Teahan, there is no way we make the Final Four run. We are all very appreciative of his vital contribution. Wesley -- while we're just as appreciative -- wasn't as crucial. But a post guy that could go in and simply get fouls called on him, be active, and spell guys for a few minutes, is a necessary function. In my eyes, it allowed Withey and TRob to avoid getting "make up" or "catch up" fouls called on them sometimes.

However, it is a bit surprising in style -- because it really seems as a slap to Teahan in particular. I know Self didn't mean it that way, but it sure could be interpreted that way.


Kip_McSmithers 1 year, 5 months ago

Take away the scholarship, perks, and free merch (including tats if you're the ohio state) that each of student athletes receive and have them pay their way like all of the other students. Use the money that is now saved by not having athletic scholarships to pay all of the athletes. Pay them the same wages as other students that work for the university.


yates33333 1 year, 5 months ago

Although I liked Knight and few, if any, know the game better, Fraschilla is the best basketball commentator on TV. He will be good for the Big 12 since he plays no favorites. He's the Jaybate of the pros.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

Despite his Duke pedigree, in 2008, Jay Bilas was the only one on a pregame panel that picked Kansas over Memphis. That panel included that included Bobby Knight, noted Jayhawk Hater Digger Phelps, Brent Mushberger, Dick Vitale and Billy Packer.

From that night onward, Jay Bilas has bought a lot of credibility from me.

Just a thought but what if we gave the athletes gift cards for food, gas, clothes, air travel, etc. thus putting together a list of common NCAA-approved expenditure items to help them out, rather than cash?

It would serve the purpose and control misuse of the stipends.


jgkojak 1 year, 5 months ago

IF we pay them, they should be classified as other work-study students and paid the going rate for students employed by the university for their practice/travel time/game time.

That would be about 30hrs/wk during the season -

30*8/hr = 240

I think that keeps the emphasis on them being students and still compensates them for their time - if they didn't play basketball, they'd have to work somewhere else and that's what they'd make.


REHawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Good move, the shift from Knight to Fran for Big Monday games. I liked some of Knight's patter, but was disgruntled with his lack of specific team and game preparation, misidentifying players, etc. The guy sometimes dispensed marvelous technical stuff, but appeared to have little desire to do his homework for the game or players at hand. If he had been that ho-hum as a coach at Indiana, he would not have compiled such a marvelous record there, in my humble opinion. He would appear to be coasting along now, waving his middle finger at anyone or anything which shares his path.


KU79 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't know what the right amount is, but they deserve a little walking around money. Probably $200 a month or less. But you would probably have to pay all student-athletes so it would be a sizable amount. I was an RA in McCollum (rip), and received a private room and a monthly stipend of $160 (I think). That was a million years ago, and it was a job, which is virtually impossible for most athletes to have. But, I think they deserve something. Decades ago they received what was termed "laundry money," I believe. There are a lot of poor kids on schollie and they could use a little extra to cover needed expenses that aren't included in what they currently receive.


jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Bilas including St. John's with KU and Duke signals something, but what? SJ reputedly ran Norm Roberts for doing it the right way and being denied talent by elements of The Complex. SJ hired Lavin who suddenly could land complex guys. But now Lavin is 2-2. Is Bilas giving SJ some face saving cream to rejoin the "right way guys?"

• No reporting of mention of The ShoeCo-Summer Game-Agency Complex by the panel? 900 lb. gorilla. In room. Wearing black fedora.


Eybea Opiner 1 year, 5 months ago

If you are to pay student athletes, pay them like other student employees. That is, pay them for practice time and game time at a rate commensurate with what other students earn for jobs in the dean's office, traffic office, etc. Pay all athletes on the same basis. Furthermore, a portion of jersey sales should go into a pot, by sport, and be distributed equally to a student athlete upon graduation.


bennybob 1 year, 5 months ago

"We’re a little deeper than last year. We were six deep."

I lol'd


hotrodm 1 year, 5 months ago

If the players were paid, can you imagine the cheating by boosters slipping them cash. This practice would be out of control especially at Kentucky and Baylor.


Dee Shaw 1 year, 5 months ago

Mike DeCourcy and Jay Bilas are great talents in there field. Mike DeCourcy the last few year has been on the morning show on 810 AM radio in K.C. with a 20 minute weekly segment that I believe every college basketball fan should hear. Not sure what day and time he comes on for this year but well worth listening too. Jay Bilas is awesome at what he does at ESPN. I always thought Jay would make a good coach. He brings great comments and knowledge to the broadcast. Jay is a Duke Blue Devil but you would never know it. Non bias when giving his opinion. Something today in the journalism field we sadly miss. People giving there opinions instead of facts. Glad to hear that Fran Fraschilla will be replacing the grumpy old man. Now all we need is to get Brent out and replace him with Jay Bilas. That would make watching Big Monday games much more enjoyable with Fran and Jay in the booth.


KansasComet 1 year, 5 months ago

Last years team made it to the Championship Game. We lost two Players to the NBA, however, we added two red-shirt freshmen, the high school player of the year, a long distance assassin, a lock down defensive minded guard and two capable bigs, and we somehow get ranked 7th. I think the snub will be motivation. Not the first time we have been dissed. Can't wait to prove the doubters wrong.


phogphan2000 1 year, 5 months ago

"That’s half of it. They think they are good." Love it. They know they're good, 'cause they went through trial by fire last year, and they just kept fighting and winning.


Hurinfan 1 year, 5 months ago

They make a very valid point about raising the academic standard and I agree. They also spoke about paying athletes and Bill said that they should receive 2000$ stipend at least. This is fine and I think 2000$ is a good amount to cover extra expenses and things like that but I think they should be weary about giving too much money to athletes. They're already receiving a free education (with a value of $30K+ depending on the school + tutors, vacation, room and board etc.) The idea that student athletes get the kind of treatment that they do plus maybe a decent amount of cash would upset students, like myself, that have to pay for their own education, tutoring, room and board etc.


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