Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bill Self: Kansas set as realignment ramps up again

KU coach Bill Self talks to fans at Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU coach Bill Self talks to fans at Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.


The Omaha World-Herald has spoken with four unnamed BCS conference coaches and administrators who said they think the Big Ten is “actively hunting for members 15 and 16 and mentioned the (North Carolina) Tar Heels and (Kansas) Jayhawks.”

“Is that right? I have not heard that one,” KU basketball coach Bill Self said Wednesday on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show. “You know what? I don’t even think that’s worth discussing,” Self quickly added. “I think we are in a great spot where we are at. Can you imagine Carolina being without Duke (in ACC)? That makes no sense to me.”

Maryland and Rutgers this week announced plans to leave the ACC and Big East respectively to join the Big Ten.

“Maryland basketball is the third best job in that league behind Carolina and Duke,” Self said of the ACC. “That’s a great, tradition-rich program. Of course they are leaving for reasons other than basketball. I’m not sure how ‘Turg’ (Maryland coach/KU grad Mark Turgeon) would feel about that move. They are kind of taking themselves out of their element to go play teams back in the Midwest,” he added, noting Turgeon’s Terrapins are situated in fertile recruiting ground in the East. “I don’t know if that is a great move or whatever for them.”

Self does think the Big Ten’s going from 12 to 14 schools will have a “domino effect” on conferences nationwide.

“I think what it does is it speeds up the process for the Big East to not stay intact the way we know it,” Self said. “The Big East has lost Pittsburgh and Syracuse and now with Maryland leaving, they say they want Connecticut now to go from the Big East to the ACC so that makes that league (Big East) that much weaker. I think the Big Ten obviously has the most juice of all the leagues. People say the Southeast Conference ... I still think the Big Ten and Southeast would be one and two and after that, I think the Big 12 falls three to be real candid with you.”

Self said with Rutgers leaving and UConn out ... “I don’t know if you’ve seen, San Diego State and Boise State are now renegotiating with the Mountain West (in a late update, ADs said Wednesday that they are still committed to a move to the Big East). Why would Houston and SMU want to be in the Big East? They are going to go back and try to get back in the Mountain West I’d think. I think this is going to start a domino effect that I think will be pretty significant in the next 12 months or so.”

Gobble, gobble: The Jayhawks, who defeated Washington State (78-41) and Saint Louis (73-59) on Monday and Tuesday in KC’s Sprint Center, took Wednesday off. They’ll practice this morning, then ... “let everybody break and go eat big and enjoy families if they are close enough,” Self said. “If not, they will go to different homes to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll stay off until 4 p.m., Friday, give them a little time. Then we’ll also hit it hard Saturday and Sunday (in preparation for Monday’s 8 p.m. home game against San Jose State).”

Peters struggling: It’s safe to say freshman forward Zach Peters, who has not practiced yet this season because of a rotator cuff injury, will not be a factor at all this year.

“I would say so,” Self said on Hawk Talk when asked if the Plano, Texas, native is “struggling.”

“His health isn’t great. He’s been under the weather sick-wise and he can’t catch a break right now. I really don’t know what his situation is moving forward. He’s got to the point now he’s going to be so far behind we are definitely not anticipating him to be an impact player for us this year. Who knows how it’ll be moving forward. I feel bad for him. I feel bad for us because I think he could definitely help us without question but it just hasn’t been a good situation for him yet.”

Self reiterated freshman forward Landen Lucas will red-shirt, “unless somebody were to get hurt in the near future. I think it’s better for him and us to substitute age 23 for 18, 19. I do think he has a chance to be a really good player.”

More signees to come?: KU, which has signed five players in the Class of 2013, is looking to add more players this spring. The Jayhawks technically have no scholarships to give with the full allotment of 13 on board for next season.

“Just because we signed five doesn’t mean we are maxed out on our scholarships,” Self said. “A lot of times we don’t tell the public exactly where everything stands on everybody in certain situations. I am not going to run anybody. I am not going to chase anybody (off team). There could be a situation I could see us having at least eight available because you never know. What if a couple kids go early (to NBA) or whatnot? I am not one to say, ‘Hey we are full’ and we come up needing more late. We’ll try to sign one or two more without question.”

He added ... “a lot of times you have one guy transfer, one go hardship and something else happens and all of a sudden you are playing with 10 scholarship guys as opposed to playing with 13. You’ve got to be prepared.”


okiedave 6 years, 6 months ago

The Big XII is a much better fit for KU. I can see Iowa State going to the Big XII just because of their geography.

Brad Avery 6 years, 6 months ago

As a fan, I'd rather be in a conference where we played North Carolina, Maryland, Indiana and Ohio State in basketball twice a year rather than ISU, TCU and WVU. Apparently, the Big 10 doesn't do too badly for its members on the financial end of things either. But it probably isn't going to happen.

Eric J. Baker 6 years, 6 months ago

@Doolindalton That's what I don't like about massive conferences, though, we wouldn't be playing any of those teams twice a year, most likely. We didn't even get to play half of the teams in the Big 12 twice a year when we only had 12 teams. Look at the completely backwards way the Big East has to schedule its conference seasons for basketball because it has so many members.

Kyle Sybesma 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm assuming you mean ISU to the B1G but that won't happen. The B1G already has the Iowa market with the Hawkeyes. KU and UNC would make a lot of sense for both schools and the B1G. UNC brings more east coast TV's and they have one of the most recognized university brand names in the country with Ohio State, Michigan and Texas. The B1G pursued KU in the mid 90's. We bring an AAU school and a national power basketball program. Geographically we touch Nebraska. We also bring the Kansas City market. Most people will say football drives this and that's true. But it drives it for a playoff system. Four 16-team power conferences make it easy to have an eight team playoff. The B1G doesn't want to hurt it's existing traditional football schools like OSU and Michigan by bringing in Texas or Florida State. They want TV markets like North Carolina and Kansas City. If KU gets a call they better listen.

jhkprd 6 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone but me think Zach's situation is sounding more like a total wash out? Maybe that is one of the spots Bill is "not telling the public" about.

jhox 6 years, 6 months ago

No way. He was on the fast track to significant playing time before the health issue arose. He commited to KU as a soph. He's all in.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 6 months ago

Zach's situation sounds to me like a cross between Withey & Traylor. Seeing the lack of Biggs in this recruiting class is a little troublesome until articles like this remind me of Peters & Lucas developing behind the camera.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 6 months ago

Good grief between the lines or better yet just listen to what BS is saying about Peters. His "health"............let your mind expand on what that really means. I'm just puzzled why he remains on the team.

yates33333 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand it. Zach looked pretty good in Europe. I'd like to know what has happened in the locker room or in Self's relations with Peters and his family. I hate to agree with KeithMiles05 but his view certainly makes good sense. The problem can't just be the rotator cuff. Some decision would have been made on that long ago. Maybe Zach is lonesome for the Dallas area. Lawrence can be the pits as I remember. I hated the winter. But Peters hasn't experienced that yet.

dylans 6 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence is awesome, man. I don't care what time of year. However, in the spring when the weather gets nice and the skirts get short...

Dirk Medema 6 years, 6 months ago

Didn't he have the flu recently? I believe that was in actual print in an article. No reading between the lines necessary.

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 6 months ago

8 is a big number, hopefully he only threw it out there 'cause he has so much interest from some of the remaining recruits like Randle and Johnson.

texashawk10 6 years, 6 months ago

There is a not very far fetched scenario where KU ends up with 8 scholarships this year. KU has already filled the 5 that are currently available. In order of plausibility, #6 would be Ben McLemore going pro, #7 would be Landon Lucas transferring, and #8 would be Zach Peters having to quit basketball because of his shoulder. Hopefully #8 doesn't happen, but 6 and 7 happening wouldn't be very surprising to most people at this point regardless of KU signing any of the elite players in the spring.

mwmilsted 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree with everything you said except for #7. It could be that Lucas transfers, but I doubt it. I think at this point in the season that either Adams or White is more likely to transfer due to lack of playing time. The team is overloaded with Guards and not talent.

Corey Shideler 6 years, 6 months ago

What the hell are you people talking about? There are no lines to read between. And speculation is one thing, but treating that speculation as a fact is ridiculous. He is injured And he got sick. That is all. Go about your day.

"don't even know why he is still on the team" you gotta be f'in kidding me

jhawk23 6 years, 6 months ago

When/if the B1G invites us, we must jump on the opportunity. Please, Zenger, understand what that would mean for KU.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 6 months ago

Would K-State then take their ball and go home, and refuse to play us annually because we threatened the existence of the conference, yet be fine with playing Colorado or participating in a tourney where you could play Texas A&M? Just wonderin'.

MoralVictory 6 years, 6 months ago

I couldn't care less if we ever played the Purple Plague again. We had a true rivalry with Mizzou, older than any other in the country. Don't try and compare the two situations.

The great news for KU fans? Pinkel will leave this year - he sees the writing on the wall - and Missouri immediately begins its downward spiral.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Why is Pinkel leaving good news for KU fans? You sound like some of my KSU friends when they say "at least KU lost, too" after their Cats lose.

minnhawk84 6 years, 6 months ago

older than any "west of the Mississippi." Minnesota -Wisconsin is older, but the UofM is on the east bank of the river. I think there are several others older than our rivalry with Misery.....but east of the Mississippi.

Kyle Sybesma 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree.

Western Division of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Indiana.

Eastern Division of Ohio State, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, North Carolina, Maryland,

The TarHeels and 'Ol Roy at AFH I like it. Forget waiting for the call. Let's be proactive and make a call to the B1G.

LAJayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Does everyone understand what it would cost to exit the Big 12 with the grant of rights deal? This isn't a 25 or even a 50 million exit "fee" that can be negotiated down. The UNANIMOUS agreement of grant of rights means everyone's media rights are surrendered to the conference for the next 13 years. Getting out of that would take 9 figures easily. No one is paying that. It was a super-smart idea, because it made the conference super-safe. The Big 12 is staying at 10 or expanding. No one is leaving.

Ted Adams 6 years, 6 months ago

$20-30M x 13 years = A crapload of money that is the majority chunk of the athletic department budget. Not gonna happen.

Vernon Riggs 6 years, 6 months ago

AND, giving up our Tier3 Revenue. That is another $9-11 million per year. The B1G and SEC wants 16 teams because 16 teams have more TV markets and viewers than 12. This round of realignment is about Tier3 Money. Big12 teams are not leaving. Texas is NOT leaving. They make too much money from their Longhorn Network to even consider it. OU is pushing the $8-9 million mark in Tier3 Revenue. The Big12 is NOT the target. When the ACC signed their poor tv contract, the writing was on the wall. The ACC will not survive as a Premium Football Conference.

Andy Godwin 6 years, 6 months ago

Peters will be a great player when he gets on the court. However, I am concerned about his status. I think he could be a flight risk, which would be a true shame. I am not sure of the rules but if he never steps onto the court at KU, he can transfer (as early as at the end of the semester) and retain 4 years of eligibility and resume playing in the middle of next season. He showed toughness and hustles in Europe and could contribute now and substantially in the future. I thought he would be the starting center next year for KU. Self's comments clearly indicate someone is transferring and unfortunately it may be sooner than later.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 6 months ago

I need a little help here ladies and gents. I am about as involved in conference realignment as a fan can be as I go back between this board, Maryland Boards, FSU Boards, WVU Boards, and Texas boards.

With that said, if these rumors become more and more true and Kansas does have a legit shot at the Big 10, how does the Grant of Rights technically work? What I mean is that if the Big 12's GOR's are technically more severe and more strict than the ACC's 50 million exit fee, how does KU get out of those media/TV rights? I haven't seen one post or one article that shows how Kansas would be able to get out of those penalities. How do they pay for it?

Happy Turkey Day Jayhawks!

Boouk 6 years, 6 months ago

Anyone else sick and tired of this realignment already? I don't see how Rutgers and Maryland going to the Big 10 impacts KU.

Boouk 6 years, 6 months ago

You ever looked at our football teams record?

texashawk10 6 years, 6 months ago

You looked at Maryland's record recently?

Boouk 6 years, 6 months ago

Their market's way better than ours.

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 6 months ago

KU would be playing in a bowl game this year if they were in the B1G

Vernon Riggs 6 years, 6 months ago

You are looking at the wrong thing. Rutgers and Maryland going to the B1G has NOTHING to do with their fooball records. HEM is correct this is more Dominoes or Chess than Football. Yesterday's moves causes today reactions.

Kyle Sybesma 6 years, 6 months ago

Money is driving for four 16-team conferences (each with 2 divisions of 8 teams) which will allow 4 conference championship games which equals money and the beginning of an 8-team playoff. Conference champions are placed in the already agreed upon 4 team playoff starting in 2014.

If Maryland lowers their buyout from $50 million to a more manageable $20 million then the Big 12 may look to add Florida State and Clemson. If that happens look for the SEC to pursue NC State and Virginia (according to rumors).

So many realistic scenarios can take place. One of which could have KU to the B1G. Each move can shift the dominos in one direction or another.

AsadZ 6 years, 6 months ago

Below are some comments from HCBS at the time of Lucas signing, link is below

When asked what impresses him most about Lucas, Self said, "His skill set. He can shoot it. He can pass it. He understands the game like the big guys we’ve had here in the past, such as Sasha (Kaun) and Darnell (Jackson) that really have a great feel on how to play.”

Below are some comments from HCBS on Tharpe signing:

He reminds me so much of (former KU guard) Aaron Miles. He’s a good solid point guard, quick, athletic and has a very goo shooter. I really believe he will be a great addition to our program.”

Jack Wilson 6 years, 6 months ago

Coach Self's statements on scholarships and Peters is huge information. Astounding, really. Why? Because if there was no fire there, he'd keep his mouth shut. He'd just say, "Look, Zach is injured but we expect big things from him. We can't wait to get him healed and competing, whether it's this year or next."

Self is no buffoon when dealing with the media. He's a pro. He generally gives the info he wants to give. He gave it.

keithmiles05 suggested reading between the lines -- uh, yea, excellent advice. I don't think you can avoid reading something into the statement unless you are actively trying not to. Does that mean our interpretation is right? No. But there is really no other reasonable interpretation when in context of the fact that Self usually would not give this much, or this type, of info. Bellyofthewhale wants to drive by the car wreck, look the other way, and act as if it didn't happen. It's easier to sleep at night.

I am always interested in words. The chosen word means something in most contexts. And "why" the words are said means perhaps even more. Why would Self say, "I am not going to run anybody. I am not going to chase anybody (off team)." Who said that? Who implied it? Who suggested he would, or is? Heck, even here, most people acknowledge that if he wanted to create a scholarship, it would be with a very soft and subtle touch. History tells us that. No reported animosity in splits at all.

My "speculation" -- he's saying it because he is, or is planning, on doing it. And it might not be soft, or subtle, or pretty. I have posted a hypothetical conversation between Self and Lindsay. Just a hypo. But to illustrate how easily it would be to make it appear that it is a player's decision, if you did want to run someone.


brooksmd 6 years, 6 months ago

Maybe he said he wasn't going to run anybody or chase anybody off the team because he's been accused to doing it in the past. Or he knew where the interviewer was going. What I would like to see is more interviews where he just throws out off the wall stuff to really drive the "between the liner's" batty.

Ted Hume 6 years, 6 months ago

yea- this is the strongest set of statements about players leaving the team that Self has ever made here, including this jaw-dropper:

“A lot of times we don’t tell the public exactly where everything stands on everybody in certain situations."

Sounds like there has already been a decision made about at least one, but probably 2 players that they're waiting to release. Look for one transfer to be announced by mid-December, in order for that player to take advantage of losing only 1 semester to sitting out the following year- just like Jeff did. I also agree that one of the situations that seems nearly resolved is that Peters' shoulder injury is very serious, and possible a career ender for him at KU. I agree that Self's language about him was pretty astonishing

Kye Clark 6 years, 6 months ago

Interesting comments from Self about the scholarship situation. Obviously it's all speculation, but up to 8 scholarships to give out? Where are the other three to come from?

  1. McLemore - Self is obviously preparing for his jump to the NBA. This seems the most likely.

  2. Peters - On the one hand it's hard to fathom that a kid that committed to KU as a high school sophomore would be considering leaving on his own. But his health and ominous comments such as "who knows how it'll be moving forward" from Self make Peters the second most likely scholarship void.

  3. Adams/White - I think it's unlikely both would voluntarily leave, but it's not hard to imagine one of them leaving for more playing time. It's hard for me to get a good read on who would be the more likely of the two to leave. Adams will have 3 other point guards to contend with next year, as well as Selden at the 2. But in terms of pure ability and ceiling, Adams might have the jump on all of them (at the point anyway, not over Selden I wouldn't think). White only has Greene (and Selden possibly, depending on whether you think he'll split time between the 2 & 3), so the numbers are more in his favor but Greene is more highly touted than any of the PGs Adams would have to overtake. At the very least White appears to be in line for minutes coming off the bench next season, whereas it's possible Adams could get lost in the shuffle all together again next season. I'm really high on both of these guys though, so I really hope both stick around.

  4. Lucas - some might say he is the prime candidate and should be rated higher on my list, but I think he's staying. Comments from Self about his situation just don't scream "transfer" to me. He might not be a contributor until his junior season, but that worked out pretty well for Darnell Jackson & Sasha Kaun. Could be the career trajectory Self envisions for Lucas.

  5. Ellis - seems unthinkable at this point, but if Self is going to say "what if a couple kids go early", the only other possibility of jumping to the NBA is Ellis. This would obviously require a significant progression in his production, but we all know the talent is there.

Kye Clark 6 years, 6 months ago

The reality is, next year will be the biggest rebuilding challenge for Self, and I get the feeling he knows it. He'll likely be losing all 5 starters if McLemore leaves (and if you include Young), first time that's happened since '08-'09. This time there does not appear to be any leaders on the current roster ready to step in. When you think about the big roster turnovers of years past, there has always been the obvious future leaders of the team on the roster. Collins, and to a lesser extent Aldrich, stepping in after the National Championship. The Morris Twins after Collins left. TRob & Tyshawn after the MorrisHawks era ended. And this year the committee of EJ, Releford, & Withey. Whose team is it next year? Ellis will be the most talented returning player, but you just get the feeling he won't be assuming the leadership role. Not knocking the guy, but his demeanor just doesn't appear suited for leading, at least not vocally. He'll likely lead a lot by example. It will make for an interesting team dynamic next season.

LAJayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Excellent point. Tharpe will be about the only guy with significant minutes that will be "veteran" status. His progression this year should determine his leadership status next year. I do see a personality that could be vocal. We shall see...

Jack Wilson 6 years, 6 months ago


Self says possibly 8 scholarships available? Yikes. That is a shock to me. We've speculated, really, on 7 at most here. But let's connect the dots on the possibility.

5 are in the bag. Here's 3 more ... McLemore goes pro, Adams transfers, and either Peters or Lucas transfers. Ok ... that should be no surprise, right? Self is planning for exactly what we've speculated on. From my end, I have always felt that at least one ... Traylor/Peters/Lucas ... would transfer. Numbers and talent dictate there. And I felt that with the incoming class, after adding another perimeter player (a stud) in Selden, it was a competition between Tharpe and Adams. Numbers and talent again. Easy concept. Kids want to play.

Self said "A lot of times we don’t tell the public exactly where everything stands on everybody in certain situations." As keithmile said, read between the lines. Why would Self say this? This is telling us -- the public -- understand here, there is more going on than you know. The comment is so specific too about referring to "certain situations." Again, he could have said "everything is fine. We have a solid, committed group of players." That would have been easier.

Self also said -- "I am not one to say, ‘Hey we are full’ and we come up needing more late. We’ll try to sign one or two more without question.”

So much information. Actually, Self is "no longer one" to say "Hey, we are full", and then come up needing more late. We were critical of this in 2011 -- remember the spring scramble? Anderson, Traylor, Lindsay. To be fair, that doesn't mean Self said "we are full" then. we missed on Lacey and Daniels which led to the underwhelming trifecta there. But remember, Lacey backed off KU in the winter because Self had told him he wouldn't play much because Selby would be back. Lacey's reference to Self being "honest." I wonder if Self is approaching the recruiting trail saying McLemore will be back (see Selby), or not?

And saying "we'll try to sign one or two more without question." "Without question" -- that means, no reading between the lines, that coach Self expects 1 or 2 more openings beyond our 5 signees. So where do the openings come from?

Really, the only thing "without question" is that there is a lot of turbulence here.

On this day, I give "Thanks" for such a bountiful harvest of much information. Nice job, Gary.

Kye Clark 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry to bust up your multiple posts with 2 of my own. Looks like we were both thinking about the same things and posting at the same time.

A quick reply to your questions "Who said that? Who implied it? Who suggested he would, or is?" regarding Self saying he is not going to run anybody. Earlier in the article, when talking about the Peters situation, it says he mentions this on Hawk Talk. It's possible, especially considering the amount of conversation the topic has gotten on the message boards recently, that it was brought up by a caller. Specifically. I know you had asked why the LJW wasn't asking the hard, direct questions. Perhaps this was the forum for that question to get asked, directly, without jeopardizing someone's media access. So without knowing how it came up, I don't know that I'm ready to speculate that he is for sure planning on doing that. Now maybe the more subtle, Lindsay-hypothetical situation...sure.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 6 months ago

ict: You're rundown of possibilities seems right on. I would say though that I was not as convinced about McLemore going pro. But when Self says a lot of behind the scenes stuff, he may know that McLemore is going pro. So my initial hunch is probably incorrect. That adds up.

I've never found a podcast on Hawktalk. It's a good point you raise. Maybe someone did ask him a pointed question. Still, I'm surprised at the volume and depth of his response.

brooksmd 6 years, 6 months ago

And hasn't Self been raked over the coals on this board because he failed to recruit to meet unknown early departures? Geez, if I was in his shoes I'd throw so much stuff out there I'd have all the "between the liner's" pulling their hair out and laughing myself silly.

jayhawkinATL 6 years, 6 months ago

This Peters situation brings back memories of Luke Axtell.

Gary Amble 6 years, 6 months ago

Big 10 would be great for KU. Even though we fall about 20,000 students shy of the Big 10 norm ( N/Western not withstanding ) our academics are competitive. Football would make us competitive again and BB is a no brainer. So why would the want us? Easy. TV market. KU has a solid market 31 in Kansas City. Half the Wichita market ( 50s) and half of Topeka ( 120s ). Iowa State offers almost no additional eyeballs with 80% of the Hawkeye state complete with smaller TV markets firmly in the U of I corner.

fansincewilt 6 years, 6 months ago

I am thinking if North Carolina and Kansas went to the same conference, it would be virtually over for the other teams. Kentucky would still be in the mix but annual games with North Carolina would create an impossible eventual rivalry for other teams to contend with. It would trump the Carolina/Duke rivalry. I disagree with Self on this one. They would become the best basketball programs in the nation. Kentucky/Louisville would pale in comparison. That is the only scenario I can see where Kansas would leave the Big 12. Otherwise I would like to stay. The thought of a Kansas/Carolina rivalry would be the best rivalry of all times. I'm for it.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 6 months ago

UNC & Duke are so close, so the fans are always in each others ear. That can't be replicated from half way across the country. Similar to in-state rivals UK&L-ville.

The Big12 is completely position to become one of the 4 power conferences. The SEC won't take the in-state rivals, which sets up the Big12 for that much more built in conference rivalries.

jayhawktalk 6 years, 6 months ago

While still trying to sign a couple impact players, what Is Self supposed to say, "We have no scholarships."?

Though a transfer wouldn't be shocking, could be as simple as, if Wiggins and Randle go elsewhere, no one transfers.

Eric J. Baker 6 years, 6 months ago

Exactly. Plus, I imagine Bill always tries to sign as many big recruits as possible, because you never know what your situation is going to be at the end of the year. Sometimes Bill transparency makes people speculate WAY too much.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

"What Get's Self the Most Juiced"

Part 1

Despite everyone's fetishism about realignment (note: my take is forget about it, because its going to be decided by red state/blue state jockeying for geo political advantage, not by what's good for hoops or KU), the biggest news in this story, as HEM and ICT mentioned eloquently above, is this:

"There could be a situation I could see us having at least eight available because you never know. What if a couple kids go early (to NBA) or whatnot?" --Bill Self


What two players off this team might leave early for the NBA?

One is easy: Ben Mac might.

But who is the second one?

Naadir Tharpe? No.

Rio Adams? Hmmm? No.

AW3? Kinda hard to tell cuz he never gets to play. No.

Justin Wesley? Eh, no.

Jamari? Hmmm. He must really be sand bagging. No.

Niko? No.

Tyler? Probably not.

Well, who does that leave?

Perry Ellis?

The Designer?

Unless Self is going to suddenly screw his head back on, no.

Or maybe Self is trying to telegraph something here.

Maybe he is saying Perry is getting the business, right now and he is very soon going to stop getting the business and we will soon see a beast. Maybe?

It seems a long shot.

And Josh Selby and Kieff proved that Self is not always a good judge of who can jump.

Still, Perry must be who he is referring to.

What about the possible transfer?

Well, my money is on AW3, as the possible transfer, because he went suddenly from getting a lot of love and PT to getting none and a pittance. It was nice to hear Self say he wouldn't run anyone. I like AW3, and his gun and I hope he stays. But I liked Merv and his gun and hoped he would stay. Merv is now at New Mexico listening to Steve Alford tell Knight stories. I guess AW3 could be at one of 24 schools, according to AW2. Ugh. How will this one go? Self made clear early that AW3 was a fun kind of player--6-6 with a trey gun. It appears to me that Self has gotten the idea that maybe AW3 might transfer and called him on it and got a definite maybe. Self has thus marginalized him until he and his dad give a definite yes about his commitment to the team, or so I hypothesize. 2:1 odds.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Part 2

And then there is Tharpe. Self is on record as saying that not shooting well and not defending well may force them to go in another direction. That meant to me something more than just riding the bench. That meant to me I'm putting you out there to sink, or swim. If you sink, then that's it and your are a transfer. 5:1 odds.

And then there is Zach. Self loved Zach; that was clear. Zach was a bull. Zach could play out of the box as well as Perry could. Zach played football and Self liked that.

But then Zach got hurt. Nothing wrong with getting hurt. But Zach hasn't played hurt. Self likes players that play hurt. Self's idea of a player worth having is a guy that will play on one knee, like EJ, or no knees, like Kaun, or without bounce, like Sherron, well, you get it.

And here is big stud Zach walking around saying my shoulder hurts, kind of like Garo Ypremian telling Alex Karras, "I keek a touch down." It isn't manly. It isn't suffering. Self liked Mario Little limping around completely unable to play worth a damn but still out there. Self likes EJ limping around learning to play with one leg and without the ability to get anywhere near the rim. Its apparently interesting to see if a talented guy can find a way to adapt to being a hopeless cripple. Its manly, or at least different.

Its like Self when he blew his own knee. Self has said he viewed himself as a no talent who had to work harder than the guys with talent, and then as a no talent with only one knee.

Self seems not to give a hoot about how well you play, if you're injured. He gives you a pass for playing injured. Its almost like he prefers watching an injured guy trying to overcome the impossible more than he likes to watch a healthy guy make impacts.

Well, heck, he seems to think, anyone can make a play when they are healthy. Now guarding a future draft choice while you only have one ankle, as Travis had when he faced Kidd-Gilchrist in the Finals last year, that's really something to Self. One legged basketball players are really compelling to watch to him. Lots of drama and courage, I guess. Travis Releford is in Self's Inner Hall of Fame for guarding a great player in a big game with one leg.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Part 3

My guess with Zach is that Self was really juiced up about watching Zach do a one-armed man thing, maybe wear his arm taped to his body and run around playing one armed like an amputee. I think Self would really respect him for this. It would guaranty Zach a spot on the team the same way it did Mario Little. Even if Zach never got in a game.

I know I practiced one armed my junior year in high school, when I had a broken collar bone. I taped my arm to my chest and I practiced shooting and dribbling and ran steps and the coach loved me for it. I kept telling him I could play if he would just let me. He just loved it. Because he knew I wasn't faking. I would have gone out there and let them forearm smash my fracture clavicle. Hell, I had already rebroken it once myself out of anger at it not healing fast enough. Once you've rebroken a bone, and felt that pain, you just go, WTF, tape it up and let's play through. My coach was to kind to let me do it, thankfully, but I was brave (and dumb) enough to want to. I couldn't really do whizz, but I was like one of those guys on a crutch missing a leg in WWI willing to shoulder a rifle.

Zach is probably thinking he's got to get it healed just right so he can have a pro career and he is probably right. But Self is thinking, but, Zach, you're missing an opportunity to do something really different and manly. No one has ever played one-armed for me before; that would be different; that would stand out even if it wrecked your career.

Truth be known, Self really doesn't probably care much about pro careers since he never got to have one. To Self, a pro career is kind of a matter of luck. If you don't get injured, and you've got alot of talent, then its a given. No heroism and manliness in that. Just a given. But Mario Little playing with a knee that swang 360; that's something that will stick with Self forever. He'd never seen anyone do that. Even Self himself couldn't do it.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Part 4

Zach has had a chance to do something Self had never seen before--to play through a really nasty rotator cuff; that would have been memorable.

It would allow moments like Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss, and Roy Scheider sitting around the table on the boat waiting for Jaws with each man talking about his scars and how he got them. Zach playing with a rotator cuff so messed up his arm might just fall out of its socket from time time; that would be priceless to talk about over beers. Hey, coach, remember back in that St. Louis game when I was running down the court and my arm came unstrapped and I used it to whip the guy in the back as he was trying to shoot one on me? And Self would savor the memory and say, yea, that was something else.

But the St. Louis game has passed, and so Zach can never say that, and Self can never recall it. A precious opportunity lost.

Zach has chosen not to even tape it up and play in practice it sounds like.

Self would never ask him to play with it. That wouldn't be any fun either. Any coach can coerce any player into doing impossbile, even crazy foolish things; that's not the point.

The point is to have a player on your team that wants it so much he is willing to go against medical advice, go against common sense, and go out there with both eyes hanging out of their sockets and see if he can given even a few seconds of worthwhile play to help the team win.

The kind of player that WANTS to play injured, that WANTS to go out there and fight a bull while both his legs are broken; that's what gets a coach juiced up. That's real want to and heroism.

How can a coach like Self hold a scholie open for a guy that will pass up an opportunity like that? I mean how can Self ever really imagine that Zach will play through horrible injuries in the future if he passes up the opportunity, the privilege, to play through a really nasty one now? 6:1 odds.

That's about it.

Well, one more thing. Sometimes when D2 and low major players are blowing by Naadir on defense, I get an inkling that Self wishes Naadir would get injured, so that Self could quit agonizing over how bad his defense is. If Naadir were to get injured, I mean a real clocker, like maybe a broken thigh, an FX that shows up well on an Xray, that then Self could send Naadir out and enjoy his courage at least. Naadir would be hopping on one leg and dribbling the ball up the court. His face would be grimacing with agony. Guys would strip the ball from him. They would dribble around him like he wasn't even there except when he threw himself on the floor to trip them up. And Self would be saying, "Isn't he something? Look at THAT! Playing with a broken thigh!!! Look at that Joe! Now that takes a pair."

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Part 5

Self isn't really about asking players to recognize the difference between pain and injury.

He wants them to play through real injury. I reckon Self might get pretty juiced about a guy playing with a foot cut off and the stubb taped up. Especially without a prosthetic, or a shoe. Best of all without a sock. Just bare stub on bare wood. Mano a mano.

I bet of all the guys at the Olympics this past year, that guy who ran the long sprints wearing those insane metal tongs strapped onto his aputated leg stubs was Self's none. Though he might have said, well, it would be even better if the amputations were fresh.

Strangley, I don't think Self is a sadist, or that he would be classified as a neurotic either.

He just likes to see human beings do incredible things and just about the most incredible thing is to watch a guy with one wheel, or one wing, try to stay on the floor with a healthy person.

Zach, you're missing your shot at immortality with Self.

Maybe you should miss it, too, for your own good.

But it sure does seem to be what Self likes the most.

Rock Chalk, Broken Hawk, Hobble KU!

Its what gets Self the most juiced.

stm62 6 years, 6 months ago

I wouldn't be surprised that some day after this current cycle of economic, moral and political insanity thats taking place in the world (I would include conference reallignment as part of that insanity) is over, schools will return to their conference roots. For KU, Mizzou, Nebraska, and Colorado that would be the BIG 8.

davidkbach 6 years, 6 months ago

What does all this Red State / Blue State NONSENSE have to do with conference re-alignment? As far as I'm concerned as long as the Big-12 remains viable and that certainly includes UT, it's where we belong for a variety of reasons. First, we can't afford to leave, the exit fees are prohibitive and whether folks in the K C Metro area like or even realise it Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are joined at the hip geographically, economically and culturally and have been for years. Second does all this chatter about bolting for greener pastures make mention of K-State. It sure better because neither school is going anywhere without the other, just ask your State Rep or Senator. As far as I'm concerned the Conference needs to be looking hard at schools that strenghen our position, perhaps Houston to lock up that huge market and Louisville, Notre Dame or BYU for the national exposure they'd bring. The rest is just so much chatter. / Bach

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