Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bill Self: Jayhawks in need of senior ‘assassins’


Bill Self says he’s looking for one or two of his Kansas University basketball players to adopt a take-charge, take-no-prisoners mentality.

“We had two guys last year that were assassins,” Self said Saturday, referring to current NBA players Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. “We haven’t developed those guys yet. We don’t have an assassin as a senior. Now you are banking on freshmen to become your guys? That’s not right.

“Those seniors have to step up and become those players everybody draws confidence from, because one thing about Tyshawn, it was, ‘Hey, put it on me.’ Or Thomas? ‘Hey, put it on me.’ We don’t have anybody like that yet.”

Self, whose Jayhawks (2-1) will meet Washington State (2-1) at 9 p.m. Monday in the CBE Classic in Kansas City’s Sprint Center, is still assessing personnel at this early juncture.

“Right now, I am set on four starters,” Self said of seniors Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson and freshman Ben McLemore. Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor have started at the other slot.

“I am not even close to being set on the fifth. I don’t know who is better off the bench and who is better starting,” Self added. “We haven’t given Kevin Young a chance to start yet because of his hand (which forced him to miss two exhibitions and the opener). Jamari has played better off the bench than starting. I don’t know what the answer is. We need energy and points off the bench. Our bench for the most part has played OK,” he added, noting he’d like to develop a scorer at the power-forward spot.

“Jamari against Michigan State played great. He had six points and four rebounds in 25 minutes. In the past, when guys in that position played great, they got 20 and 10. That’s not a knock on him. That’s not who he is yet. We somehow have to get production out of that spot.”

Self said one bench player needs to step it up — sophomore backup point guard Naadir Tharpe.

“His man scored nine straight points on him the other day,” Self said of Chattanooga’s Farad Cobb, who scored 18 the first half. “He (Tharpe) has to run the team, be poised and guard and take care of the ball. The responsibility is easy compared to somebody who has to make shots in order to play well. I just think his effort defensively is at the point where it has to improve, or we’re going to seriously have to go in a different direction. We need him. But if you are not making shots and you are not guarding, that’s a bad combination.”

Tharpe said he needed to “put more pressure on the ball, just come out with energy, basically.”

Travel: Self cut a joke when asked about KU’s fans venturing to nearby Kansas City for Monday and Tuesday’s CBE Classic as opposed to heading to the Maui Invitational last November.

“Hey, our fans went to Maui last year and are going to Atlantis next year (Battle 4 Atlantis tourney in Bahamas), and they went to New Orleans last year. I think they’ll be OK,” Self cracked.

Recruiting continues: Self, who has signed five incoming high school players, says he’s not finished recruiting.

“It’s incomplete still. We need to get another guy or two to make it as good a class as we’ve had,” Self said.

“I think it’s a great recruiting class because there are two players nobody is talking about just about as good as anybody at their position in the country — Mason and Joel,” Self said of guard Frank Mason and center Joel Embiid.

He’s also inked guards Conner Frankamp and Wayne Selden and wing Brannen Greene.

“Everybody talks about Frankamp, which they should, and Selden, which they should, and Greene, which they should. Those other two are really good players,” Self said.

KU has filled all five of its available scholarship openings. There’s always the possibility of players turning pro or transferring.

Royce returns: Former KU guard Royce Woolridge is starting point guard at Washington State. He has averaged 7.7 points with 10 assists against nine turnovers while logging an average of 31.3 minutes a game. He has made eight of 18 shots (44.4 percent) and four of eight threes.

“Royce is their point guard. It’ll be fun seeing him again,” center Jeff Withey said of his former teammate who sat out last season at WSU in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

Still out: There’s no change in the status of freshmen big men Landen Lucas and Zach Peters. Lucas is being red-shirted barring any injury to a KU big man, while Peters is expected to red-shirt because of his ongoing rotator-cuff problems. Peters has yet to practice this season.


JayDocMD 6 years, 4 months ago

“It’s incomplete still. We need to get another guy or two to make it as good a class as we’ve had,” Self said.

Two? Very interesting...

machinegun 6 years, 4 months ago

Elijah Johnson proved last year that he was ready to become the leader of this team. Elijah is our man...and what a sweet shot he's got!

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Elijah is our man when his man is not draining 3s or crashing the basket. And what a sweet shot he's got when they are falling...which already is mercurial. In the first half of the last game, Elijah was an empty shell of the player he became in the second half. 30+ minutes per game, which Elijah will we see?

Steve Reigle 6 years, 4 months ago

Sounds familiar... "Which Tyshawn will we see?"

RJ King 6 years, 4 months ago

yeah, but Tyshawn's energy level and commitment were never in question. He'd drive into a crowded lane or make a bonehead pass, but he always owned it and kept up the intensity for all 35 of his minutes.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry but respectfully disagree.. Looking at this year's seniors, there isn't anyone who can fit into that role. Not one senior makes me feel confident taking the last shot with the game on the line. EJ would be the player I would hope to see getting the shot but the more the pressure the less chance it goes in.

trustyourSelf 6 years, 4 months ago

We have 4 seniors leaving, and I guess Justin could go back to being a walk-on, which gives us 5 available scholarships. And we have 5 recruits coming in. I wonder if that means someone will "decide" to transfer or if he thinks McLemore is going pro. Any holes in my logic here?

KUFan90 6 years, 4 months ago

I think Self is already counting McLemore as off to the NBA for next year.

RJ King 6 years, 4 months ago

If Lucas is in fact red-shirted this year, and then decides to transfer, would he have to sit out a year at a new school, or does the red-shirt year count as the "sit out" year?

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

Discussion of the recruiting comments started on the thread yesterday after HEM posted a link to the interview in which Self gave the comments. My thoughts on the matter:

The comments about recruiting are concerning to me as well. Two? That's harsh, especially if BMac decides to stick around for another year. I don't want to speculate too much on who it might be, other than to say I would be disappointed to lose Adams and/or AW3 without giving them a serious look. I hope those guys stick around, because I think both have great upside. But in saying "two", it means that at least one guy is at risk of having their schollie pulled because even if we do lose BMac we would still have to make room for one more.

My thinking/hope here is that it is Self's way of telling Randle, Johnson, & Parker "hey, we'll make room for any of you." Which I think the chances of getting any of those guys is slim (Randle probably the highest probability, maybe 10-15%), but why give up on those guys if you're still in the running? Anybody else I don't see the point.

Or...Self is seeing something from a player or two in practice that simply won't cut it. Lack of effort perhaps. And he is throwing it out there that "it's my way or the highway. You don't want to sell out in practice because you're not getting the minutes you think you deserve? I have no problem pulling your scholarship and sending you on your way."

Or...the speculation on Peters brought up by Jaybate is accurate, and the rotator cuff injury is a career killer.

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

Just speculation. But since hoops was no problem for you, I'm sure Peters will be all right. I mean, since everybody and every injury is exactly the same and all...

And since hoops would be no problem for you, send Self a tape and get in on this recruitment.

Look, you're probably right. It was brought up on another thread as a possibility is all. No need for the "Get a grip!"

Andy Godwin 6 years, 4 months ago

It is truly a shame that Peters is out indefinitely. Watching him in Europe, although nice off the court, I think he has the toughness Self is looking for, especially since the senior Withey is so soft. If found Bob Knight's comments before the Michigan State game that Withey appeared not to get any bigger or stronger over the summer accurate. Somebody needs to take this team over and lead by example.

Keith Kienzle 6 years, 4 months ago

McLemore is going to lead by example. The kid can't NOT score.

kujayhawk7476 6 years, 4 months ago

Don't worry too much about Adams and White getting a chance. Self opened the door when speaking of Tharpe not guarding and also not making shots as being a "bad combination". If I were a betting person, I would put money on either Adams or White or both getting a chance very soon, possibly Monday.

Sam Constance 6 years, 4 months ago

I tend to agree with kujayhawk7476. I don't think the comment about perhaps bringing in two players is intended for Rio or Andrew as much as it is intended for Naadir. Kind of a sad thing to think about, since he seems like a good kid, but that's one of the harsh realities of major D-1 basketball. Especially at a school that is one of the standard-bearers for the sport.

Self was clearly as appalled as the rest of AFH on Thursday when the only people in the building who didn't seem to realize that #22 (Cobb) was shooting like he was throwing a tennis ball through a hula hoop were the Kansas players.

It sounds like he would even be willing to accept some defensive lapses if there was more offensive production going on, which is extremely odd for Self.

I think he also is anticipating that McLemore is going pro if this season is going to go anywhere near where Self wants it to. He knows that for KU to have a good-to-great year, McLemore is going to have to do the same, which will likely mean some NBA team(s) will want him.

Michael Sillman 6 years, 4 months ago

Although Self says Embiid is not talked about much, I did notice on the Rivals site that he has 4 stars even though he is not currently in their Top 150.

Every year that I remember, Self has never stopped recruiting once his scholarships are theoretically filled. I don't think he has any plans or necessarily preconceived notions on who might be leaving early.

Self just recognizes that with 13 highy talented players on scholarship but only playing time for 8 or 9 that somebody will be leaving for the NBA or some other university in all likelihood.

Ashwin Rao 6 years, 4 months ago

I believe he learned his lesson after the Morris Brothers/Selby fiasco. I believe he expected all three to play for one more year, so he didn't recruit extensively... It all ended well for us, but it was quite nerve-racking for everyone.

KUFan90 6 years, 4 months ago

I also don't get the "Embiid not talked about much" comment. Besides your observation about Rivals, the recruiting services are saying they can easily see him winding up as a Top 20 guy. I'd say that's "talking about him".

I agree it does apply to Mason. Self certainly sees something there that the recruiting "experts" don't. I'm interested in seeing what this guy can do.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

AW3 seems the mystery that needs solving next to make sense of Self's continued recruiting, and this team's need to develop a 5th perimeter player.

With Naadir, Mason, Rio, Conner, A3, Selden, and Greene available, that's 7 perimeter guys. If Ben stays, that's 8. And Self likes a 4-5 man rotation on the perimeter. And he is recruiting an 8th, or 9th Perimeter guy?

And remember Perry would be happy to play wing, too

Robert Brock 6 years, 4 months ago

Perry is not capable of playing wing. He is strictly a four.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago


You're so often right on such things, that I can't disagree categorically with you and have any legitimacy. :-)

But I do think Perry "could" play some 3, play it pretty well, and perhaps with more early success than he is having playing the 4. At the 3, he would be bigger and stronger than most 3s he would meet, rather than be outweighed by 10-50 pounds as he often is inside. Think about how Travis used to struggle, when Self would have him play some 4 two seasons ago. Perry and Travis weigh the same and Perry is only an inch or two taller than Trav.

But its a moot point, because Coach Self agrees with you. :-)

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, we saw the full monty (monte?) regarding Self's freshman toughening box with the Russ Rob situation. Thankfully, Russell was tough enough, patient enough, far sighted enough to stick around and become a jewell in the crown of Jayhawk Basketball. His sophomore transition was meteoric. Very tough mindset, very focused player...and head coach. I will never abandon the notion that the team would have gone further in the Tournament if Bill Self had developed Russell by playing him more relief minutes his first year. But I am not about to diss on a coach whose system has produced the best winning percentage in Division 1 hoops the past 6 seasons. Self is a sometimes harsh general, but a winning warrior. I fully understand "It's my way or the highway." I have been there. If we don't see AW3 or Rio on the court for many minutes in the next few weeks, then there are practice problems regarding playing adjustments, physical limitations, attitudes or mindsets. We posters are not privy to the myriad elements which enter into situations involving playing, benching, retention or waving of scholarship recruits. For starting or playing time, Royce Wooldridge appears to have made the right have a bevy of other former Jayhawk freshmen who did not quite fit or flourish in the Bill Self system. At this stage, it would appear that a very strong message is being delivered to Tharpe and, perhaps, AW3, Rio and Zach. Our 4 position looks to be a slot which will be subject to weekly shuffling of Perry, Jamari, Kevin. I feel certain that Perry will continue to glean the majority of the minutes. Jamari and Kevin bring a variety of very different skills to the table, dynamic change-ups to the current Perry style of play.

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate, I really appreciate your "here and there" essay yesterday, regarding Bill Self defense. I will never again watch a basketball game without an awareness of and an eye upon the manner in which players guard not only their own assigned man, but also step forth to cover other opponents. A very distinguishing factor in the harsh insistence and implementation of iron-will Bill Self Basketball.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Thank you very much, Coach. It means quite a lot to me coming from you.

hathead 6 years, 4 months ago

OT and without malice: is Hudy a tranny?

gchawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Totally without malice, but why would you ask such an idiotic question? Even if she was, and she's not, I can't see any reason why this question would be asked, or how it could be any of your business.

TexasHawk44 6 years, 4 months ago

You are a moron. There doesn't to be a question posed, hathead . What are you, ten years old?

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Talk about going in "a different direction." Think about this: From current perspective, our only returning players with significant game experience next year look to be Tharpe (if he stays), Ellis and Traylor. Wessley's development, minutes and impact still in limbo. WOW! The starting lineup for 2013-14 might appear to resemble a modified modern Kentucky framework.

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

But I still think we will see game minutes for AW3 and/or Rio in the next few weeks. And Lucas is getting daily practice work vs. our experienced seniors.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Yep, next year's green team is going to make this one look old and grizzled.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 4 months ago

The Peters situation isn't what is being talked about. The problem is NOBODY is asking the tough questions and the topic is allowed to slide. He is not playing with the team this year at all and the future is highly questionable.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

Exactly - There was no questions about Lucas, Peters, their futures, etc., even in light of the we need one to two more players. But I wonder how such an exchange might go -- how about:

-Do you see there to be a chance that Landen Lucas transfers, given his place on the depth chart, incoming talent, and continued recruiting for the post?

Coach replies with, "Landen is part of our program. We're excited for his future."

-Coach, you say that you're not done recruiting. Who do you anticipate leaving then if you get 2 more players?

Now, assuming coach Self says "Well, we have to plan in case the NBA calls." A very reasonable response. Follow-up with -

-But coach, if you get 2 more commits and there are no early entrants, who goes and how?

Assuming coach Self responds with, "We don't know any of that. You're talking hypotheticals. We don't even know if we get two more."

-Well, coach, how does it appear to kids that are on your roster. Isn't this saying, hey, if no one turns pro then two of you are leaving? You would accept commits before you know if others are leaving, right?

Coach Self says then "I didn't say that. I said we're still recruiting. I'm always recruiting. There are a lot of variables."

-Ok then, coach, tell me precisely what you do if the #1 or #2 players say right now, we want to come to Kansas? How do you find the room -- since you're still recruiting?

Coach says, "Look, again, these are hypotheticals. I can't talk about recruits until they sign. I keep recruiting because I don't know who may be leaving for the NBA. And I always recruit good players."

Even asking direct question, my guess is you still get no real answers. And my guess is that reporter wouldn't get to ask questions very often after that. It seems like it's a balancing act on getting information and intruding beyond what the coach will give you (and keeping your job).

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

A very clear explanation of the issue, HEM.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

Here's the link --

A couple things -

-One of the main "macro" points in interview, in my opinion, was that Self wants to play faster. He says the only guy that is playing fast is McLemore.

-At the 5:00 minute mark, Self hits on a main topic we have discussed. Lack of post scoring, referring to the 4 spot only getting a combined 8 points and 6 rebounds .. vs. the 20 points and 12 rebounds they are used to combined from that spot. Add that to Withey's 10-12 points, and they're at

-Go to 8:10 and listen to comments on Tharpe. It quoted above, but the tone is important. Sounds like an important point in time in this kid's career. That's some blunt stuff.

-Not noted in the article above, go to the 9:00 minute mark, Self says he thinks White and Adams will both be "ok" that we "just haven't had a chance to play them yet." And that they just have to stay "patient."

-The article above does not state it, but Self said he wants a "big" and a "wing." As the one or two more guys in the class. He says those are the positions. Landen Lucas has to be seriously considering transferring at semester hearing that. Ellis, Traylor, Peters, Embiid, Wesley, and another big? Yikes. Wings, we have a pretty full plate there, too. But hey, he's going after the top guys -- Randle/Johnson (bigs), Wiggins (wing).

-As I posted yesterday, I don't get the Mason comments about being "just about as good as anyone out there." If he says it enough, should we believe it? Really, just about as good as Barber, Jackson, or Jones? Or should we believe that the Mason visit wasn't even set up until after those three all committed elsewhere (and literally less than a week after Jackson chose ND)? And we were cut from the lists of others? Depends on if I'm drinkin' the Kool-Aid. And I'm not. Remember Tharpe? We got in on him late after similar top guys were misses. Teague, Turner, Branch, and Chasson Randle. To be fair, our main target, Josiah Turner, flamed out at AZ anyway; and Self didn't go that far in his comments when Tharpe was signed:

-I would not be concerned career-wise on Peters as I mentioned yesterday. The torque necessary to throw a baseball, for example, is much different and I think the rotator cuff (generally) can be repaired routinely. But "at risk" to be run -- sure. Definitely. The entire world south of McLemore and Ellis is at risk to be a "voluntary transfer."

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

Also, for guys beyond Randle, Johnson, and Wiggin, a couple lower guys that might be on the radar (for better or worse):

Luke Cothron .. konkeyDong had pointed him out -- a JUCO player -

Cothron may have some eligibility issues

Junior Etou -- unranked

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

Thanks again for the link yesterday. As to your "for better or worse" comment, given the circumstances I would definitely say anyone beyond Randle, Johnson, or Wiggins is for worse. Aside from those guys, who out there is going to be better than someone already on roster that would have to end up transferring to make room?

Now as a general rule I think it is good to have a couple end of the bench guys - players that are good enough to command a scholarship and not just walk-on caliber, but who are...maybe not content, but definitely accepting of their roles as complimentary, practice players. Jeremy Case types (maybe even Justin Wesley types).I think having more than 10 guys all expecting major playing time is a situation that has the potential to be less than ideal. Chemistry issues, discouragement and subsequent lack of effort in practice, etc.

However, I don't think you'd ever want more talented players transferring to make room for end of the bench types. A more ideal scenario is that guys in the program accept the Darnell Jackson/EJ/Releford career trajectory and put in the hard work until their number is called. That way you constantly have a handful of upperclassmen and not a stacked Kentucky-esque roster that is constantly being turned over, and you run the risk of one meager recruiting class sinking you.

Could White possibly be patient enough to wait a couple of years before seeing major minutes? Lucas appears on that trajectory if he doesn't transfer. Peters too.

AsadZ 6 years, 4 months ago

HEM. After watching the interview I had pointed this in other article last night that HCBS comments on Tharpe were striking, and as you correctly mention that Coaches tone in the statement tells the story, he is very upset.

Tharpe is definitely on a short leash. I hope he gets this turned around although I must admit that whenever ball is in his hands I get very nervous.

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

To me the most interesting position going forward is the point guard position. Self is not recruiting any more point guards, and with EJ gone next year you have potentially 4 guys vying for 2 spots as the starting & back-up PGs: Tharpe, Adams, Frankamp, & Mason. We haven't seen a freshman come in and flourish in either role yet, aside from Collins in a back-up role. Selby had the best chance before being put behind the 8 ball with his NCAA suspension. RussRob struggled, Chalmers flamed out. So at best Frankamp & Mason will be competing for the back-up minutes, imo. And now we have the comment from Self about Tharpe's game needing to improve or having to "go in a different direction." Will Self be willing to roll the dice on Adams? Hoping to get him comfortable enough with one season's worth of back-up minutes to assume the mantle next year? As others have postulated, tomorrow night could be key. Not just for Tharpe's future, but for the future of next year's squad as a whole.

Alan Dickey 6 years, 4 months ago

I just noticed that McLemore has completely disappeared from the online 2013 NBA mock draft lists inwhich heused to be projected to go in the top-10. Is there a reason for that?

I hope he returns. If we do not lose him, this looks pretty sweet to me (I think a lot of our young guys obviously will improve/heal a ton between now ans, say, Feb. 2014):

FRONT COURT Perry Ellis / So. / 6-8 / 220 (Rivals #24) Jamari Traylor / RS-So. / 6-7 / 230 Zach Peters / So. / 6-9 / 235 (Rivals #137) Landen Lucas / So. / 6-8 / 240 Joel Embiid / Fr. / 7-0 / 220 (Rivals #20-40?) Justin Wesley / RS-Sr. / 6-8 / 200

WING Ben McLemore / RS-So. / 6-5 / 185 (Rivals #34) Andrew White / So. / 6-6 / 210 (Rivals #51) Brannen Greene / Fr. / 6-7 / 200 (Rivals #22)

GUARDS Naadir Tharpe / Jr. / 6-0 / 170 (Rivals #92) Anrio Adams / So. / 6-3 / 185 (Rivals #98) Wayne Selden / Fr. / 6-5 / 225 (Rivals #23) Conner Frankamp / Fr. / 6-0 / 200 (Rivals #28)

Soe amazing recruiting there. Because of the youthfulness, I can see the 2013-14 season being one of our cyclcal peaks for a combinatin of talent and experience.

hawk316 6 years, 4 months ago

Marine, you failed to mention Frank Mason as a guard. It sounds like Self is very impressed with him, describing him as "just about as good as anybody at (his) position in the country." That's pretty high praise.

FarSideHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Good points. Just for my education, if scholarships are given on a yearly basis only and universities can choose to pull it after one year, does that mean the transfer doesn't have to sit out a year? If he still does, thats a pretty raw deal for him.

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

That has always been my point. Because yes, if a player has his scholarship pulled and transfers he does indeed have to sit out a year. It's brutal to waste a year of a young adult's prime because "well...sorry, you practiced & played hard but some one-and-done wants to come here and I need the scholarship, so best of luck to ya!" It's especially unethical, in my opinion, if during their recruitment as high school minors they are fed lines of B.S. just to get them on campus and then subsequently tossed aside. Consider some of the kids we brought in late because of recruiting misses and we had to have insurance to protect against injuries as well as athletic bodies for our "real players" to practice against, but as soon as recruiting takes an upswing they are forced to sit out a year. It's one thing if the kid isn't living up to his end of the bargain by selling out everyday in practice, but if he is I think it's crap to pull the scholarship. I mean, Self knows what kinds of kids he's bringing in. If he's bringing in low/unranked players he can't reasonably be surprised when after one season of practice and seeing garbage minutes in games that they haven't rapidly progressed into bona fide rotation players. Dragonslyr wants to talk about the NBA being a business - how many of the players we dismiss have a legitimate shot at the pros? Has any former player that has been dismissed come out and said "ya know, that one year at KU really taught me a lot about life in the real world. I'm thankful for the life lessons I learned there"? Give me a break.

ParisHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Could have been Giddens: put his parking lot problems behind him, became an all-round player and first round draft pick (although the last one).

ParisHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

It is, which is why Coach Self says "I only redshirt guys I think can play for us." If he redshirted someone then cut him, that person would sit out a second year and have only three years of eligibility.

Does anyone know of a case where Self redshirted someone then made him leave the program?

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago


I wish it weren't this way. But I didn't play at this level and so I can't say what guys are really like and how they would behave with the 4 year guaranty. I wish they could have it, so D1 were less like the pros.

But you have finally made a case for what is good about it being this way. It prepares them for how it is in the real world. And now that I start to think about it, all students get bounced out of college anytime they can't make their grades, so, I suppose I have just had all these years a sentimental streak about our athletes.

Maybe I have, its hard to say it...change. :-)

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't think you have to change Jaybate. Yes if a player isn't giving his all in practice then pulling the scholarship is warranted. But consider the case of Merv Lindsey. What do you think Self told him? The truth? The truth is that he had little to no chance of seeing major minutes as a freshman regardless of effort. He was bound to be a project player at a program like KU. He was brought in as injury insurance in case something happened to one of the regulars, and if Self was able to land better players who could help the team more immediately in the subsequent recruiting class then he would have his scholarship pulled and be forced to sit out a year after transferring. Self had to know this was the scenario going in. or at least close to it. We all saw it playing out this way early in the season; as early as the exhibition games. But was anything close to that situation explained to Lindsey as he was a high school player looking to choose his school? I have a hard time believing that it was, because what high school player would willingly jump at those slim odds? That is my biggest problem with these scenarios - big time college coaches preying on high school kids (not adults), seducing them with the all the bright lights a school of KU's stature brings, then pulling the rug out from under them once they no longer need them.

To me the fix is simple - make it to where kids who have their scholarships pulled by their coaches (not those who leave voluntarily) able to play immediately and not have to sit out a year. Then you would have coach accountability for player transfers and not simply saying they left "voluntarily", and the student-athlete is protected.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago


You are right. The obvious solution is no penalty for transferring.

But an interesting question it raises is: why did the NCAA and colleges create this asymmetry? I suspect it was created to discourage coaches from "recruiting" each other's roster players.

Take last season. Going into it, Self knew he was very short-handed. And so: what would Self have done all summer long, maybe even from midseason the previous season, when he might have begun to be concerned about Kieff and Selby jumping to the pros?

My guess is that Self and staff would have been out beating the bushes for either:

a) some top player that had developed a lot on an Iowa State; or

b) some talented players that were waiting in the cue at some marquis programs.

It would mean, D1 coaches were not only out recruiting high school kids, but D1 kids, too.

I am not sure this would be an entirely bad thing from a market efficiency stand point. More freedom of movement would increase the tendency for talent to migrate to where it was in most in demand. Why stay at Iowa State and play for a second tier team, when you could jump to KU and fill a slot that opened because of an unexpected probability of early departure?

But if I'm a coach, guys jumping to the NBA are tough enough to manage. But guys jumping from one D1 team to another could really trigger a lot of instability, too.

Again, it might be okay. I haven't thought it through yet.

Regardless, your point is well taken. Thanks for the help D.

FarSideHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate, but NCAA could easily add that to 1,001 rules they have for recruiting already:

"Thou shalt not covet other schools' players"

Transferring shouldn't be easy, but in cases like these, they should waive the sitting out a year clause.

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm not 100% certain, but I think the NCAA does have a rule that a coach can not continue to recruit someone who has signed a LOI, or contact/attempt to steal a player who is already playing for another school (unless the player has publicly announced that he wants out of his LOI. ie. Jeff Withey, who left because of Arizona's coaching change.). A year or two back, Scott Drew (Baylor) alledgedly contacted another schools top player (Can't remember his name, but made his all conference team and was only a sophomore, if I remember correctly.) If pursued and found to be true, I believe Drew/Baylor could have been sanchioned by the NCAA.

However, I agree a player shouldn't have to sit, if their scholardship has been pulled.

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate - I had never even considered the possibility of coaches recruiting each other's rosters. That would definitely not be a good thing, imo. However, I think my solution still would work, that players don't have to sit out a year, but only if their scholarship is pulled by their current/soon-to-be former head coach. If a player leaves of his own free will, then he has to sit, and in that scenario anyone poaching other rosters would still have to wait a year for that player. Also, the NCAA is undoubtedly already ensuring roster tampering doesn't occur now. Again, I think it would be a good thing. If the coach really wants that scholarship open that bad, he has to own up to pulling it, which I think would discourage it from happening as often as it does.

Or your solution of having scholarships be given out as 4-year guarantees works too. The only downfall in that scenario is if you get a bad apple - someone that doesn't want to practice hard, disrupts team chemistry, is a locker room cancer, etc - then the school could be just stuck with him, or at the very least with his allotted scholarship, should the player decide to stay on campus and get his free education for however many years remain of the given 4. In that situation the school is handcuffed on what it can do.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

We want coach Self to put the best team possible on the floor. Heck, we demand it, right? We analyze it, discuss strategy, who did he get, who did he miss on .. I mentioned this a while back .. we want him on that wall, we need him on that wall. It ain't pretty. But we've got the best, total package in coach Self.

In the very messy game of college basketball recruiting, I think it's very safe saying that we have a guy that's going to do it as ethically as anyone out there. He has to make tough decisions, sometimes it's not pretty, but he handles it as good as he possibly can while providing product, year in and year out, worthy of being a top 5 program. A team and program we can always be proud of. Would we trade this for anything else out there? Absolutely not.

Here's a quote from Brannen Greene's dad, that is similar to what we've heard before:

"Kansas came around early," he said. "They weren't about telling him things that they thought might convince him to pick them as a school. They were real open with him, and honest. He felt that honesty and that openness, and he shared that with me. Kansas wasn't the only school that Brannen felt that way about, but I'll say it was one of three schools that he felt were being truthful.'

Ready for Washington St.

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

HEM - all due respect, but don't you think that's a little bit of an incongruous comparison? What Self is reported to have said to a top 25, 5-star recruit vs. what he's telling someone he's recruiting out of desperation due to recruiting misses. If I'm reading what you're getting at right? It's a rebuff of my questioning what Self is telling these kids, by trotting out Brannen Greene's dad saying Self was honest & truthful. I guess if you think it's the same all around and he gave guys like Merv Lindsey the straight, more power to you.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

Nah, I agree with you. It was not meant that way. My point was just that this stuff is messy and Self handles it as good as any coach at our level can, and still be sure to have the best roster possible. I've posted in the past a possible conversation between Self and a low level recruit, and I agree with you that.

Here's what I'm guessing as to the gist of what he told Merv: "You have talent. How far that can develop is up to you. At KU, we can develop talent. We have a situation now where you could play your first season, particularly if we have an injury to Releford. We like to have players that stay 3-4 seasons, and I see you as that type of kid. You seem like a competitor to me and we think you can come in and compete. If you come, though, don't expect to play much early. But if you work hard and develop, I could see you being in our rotation. How good you get will determine that, and we both have a vested interest in making you better. "

Now, did Self actually believe what he may have said to Merv, or was it a remote possibility? Was it spin? Was it saying enough to seal the deal?

Do I think he may mislead the lower tier guys a bit with pie in the sky possibilities? Sure. But I doubt that he lies. Does he have to mislead to ensure that we are not dangerously thin? Sure. That we have depth. Sure. Does he create stars in recruit's eyes with the top 5 program stuff? Sure. See Merv, as you pointed out.

And of course, we're just assuming. He could have told Merv, "Dude, you'll never play here. Come if you want. We need a body. Yea, maybe, as 5th year senior, you might play if we have some recruiting misses. Other than that, not likely."

Just a guess he didn't say that.

Dale Kroening 6 years, 4 months ago

If Lucas and Zach redshirt this year and then decide to transfer next year that would leave them with just 3 years of eligibility because they would have to sit the transfer year right ? Five years to complete four years of eligibility ? Im not so sure they would want to transfer unless they are left with no choice.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

Right .. some speculation here is that Lucas might bail at semester if he really sees major roadblocks going forward here, which would leave him eligible once finals end for fall/2013 at another non-big 12 school (you have to sit two to transfer inside the conference). But that's just speculation.

ParisHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, it's five years to complete four years of eligibility, so if you sit two years you can only play three.

That is why Coach Self doesn't redshirt players unless he expects them to contribute down the road.

Again, who at KU has redshirted, then transferred? Who has actually lost a year of eligibility because of Self? I think no one.

Royce Woolridge refused to redshirt his freshman year: he wanted to fight for minutes and transfer if he lost. Self said OK, he didn't "make" him redshirt.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

"Some Ways You Know Self Wants Another Two Recruits"

~Just had number "2" tatooed on his forehead.

~Just had "wing" embroidered on one hip pocket, and "big" embroidered on the other.

~Walks around muttering "Wiggins" to everyone he meets.

~Downloaded a new screen saver that reads "Dakiri".

~Told Cin: "From now till April, I want the same breakfast-- double latte, two lumps of sugar, two eggs, two rashers of bacon, two English muffins, and two kinds of fruit."

~Keeps trying to put on his pants two legs at a time.

~Refuses to chew anything but Doublemint."

~Starts listening to nothing but "The Best of Tupac" on his Nano.

~Diagrams more and more two-point plays to chagrin of Joe Dooley, who says, "He coach, I'm your statistician and I'm telling you we can't win with 2-point, mid-range Js."

~Keeps watching "Double Indemnity" and dwelling deeply on every thing Robert Osborne has to say about it.

~Keeps walking around during practices singing:

""I Dig a Pygmy" by Charles Hawtrey and the Deaf-Aids Phase One in which Doris gets her oats

Two of us riding nowhere Spending someone's Hard earned pay You and me Sunday driving Not arriving On our way back home We're on our way home We're on our way home We're going home

Two of us sending postcards Writing letters On my wall You and me burning matches Lifting latches On our way back home We're on our way home We're on our way home We're going home

You and I have memories Longer than the road that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats Standing solo In the sun You and me chasing paper Getting nowhere On our way back home We're on our way home We're on our way home We're going home

You and I have memories Longer than the road that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats Standing solo In the sun You and me chasing paper Getting nowhere On our way back home We're on our way home We're on our way home We're going home

We're going home Better believe it" --"Two of Us" by The Beatles

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

Alohahawk 6 years, 4 months ago

KU will have its work cut out when the conference games roll around. Unranked Oklahoma State made a statement by overpowering #6, N.Carolina State, in the championship game and winning the Puerto Rican Tourney this weekend. Smart and Nash had impressive stats. OSU was my choice to finish 2nd to KU in the Big 12. Meanwhile, Baylor is averaging over 90 points through their first couple games, although their defense is suspect. Will be interesting to see if the two teams can continue playing at the same level.

Today's game vs Washington State should be a good test for KU. It's another game away from the friendly confines of AFH. Yet, it's not that far to travel, so should have a nice home crowd advantage. Time for the seniors to shoulder more of the load. Jeff needs to show some anger and fill the stat sheet with a double/double with another 5+ blocks. Releford just needs to hit some shots. I hope Young gets back in the grove and over his injury. Johnson needs to drive the lane instead of launching 3 pointers all night. As for the newbies, BMc. should have a little incentive, playing in KC. And it's time for Perry to start outsmarting the defense, as well as starting to collect more rebounds.

For obvious reasons, as a former Jayhawk, I would expect Woolridge to try to excel.


KEITHMILES05 6 years, 4 months ago

Peter's injury is nothing like all of are thinking.

Ron Prichard 6 years, 4 months ago

So enlighten us, then. You've made comments like this before. I could easily come on here and make a generic statement with no detail and claim it to be true. "Releford hates playing for Coach Self." I have no basis to make that statement, but by saying it bluntly many people may think it is true. A simple statement can have far reaching effects. Maybe that's what you want and that's your whole purpose for making that statement. If not, please share your knowledge on this matter with the rest of us.

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