Friday, November 30, 2012

KU’s Lucas eager to see match-up with all the president’s men at Oregon State

Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Portland, Oregon, is one of seven scholarship freshmen on this year's KU team.

Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Portland, Oregon, is one of seven scholarship freshmen on this year's KU team.


— As one of Oregon State’s top targets in recruiting, Landen Lucas developed a close relationship with Beavers basketball coach Craig Robinson, the brother-in-law of President Barack Obama.

“I never got to meet President Obama, but I did talk to him (Robinson) one time on Thanksgiving when he was in the White House having dinner, so I can say I talked to somebody in the White House,” Lucas, Kansas University’s freshman center from Portland said, smiling.

“When he called, he was just moving away from the dinner table with the first family,” Lucas added of Robinson, whose (4-1) Beavers will meet (5-1) KU at 7 tonight in Sprint Center.

“It’s one of the deals in his recruiting process: (If you go to OSU) you get to meet the president. Every year, they play a game in front of him and get to meet him.”

Barring a big surprise, President Obama will not be in Sprint Center tonight. Lucas, who is red-shirting the season (practicing but not playing in games) will, however, still get a chance to meet with Robinson and some of the OSU players he’s played with and against throughout the years.

“When I first saw the schedule, I was looking forward to this game. The coaches have recruited me since eighth grade. They were one of the schools that recruited me the hardest since the first day they could,” said Lucas, whose house in Portland is located about 85 miles from Oregon State’s campus.

“I know a lot of guys on the team, a lot of people from the fanbase. With my dad (Richard) going to Oregon, I’d like to beat them and stuff, but it’s fine (that he can’t play). Hopefully we might get a chance to play them again sometime.”

Lucas is impressed with OSU starting big men Eric Moreland (6-10, 215) and Joe Burton (6-7, 295). Moreland averages 8.4 points and 10.4 rebounds a game with 12 blocks in five games, while Burton averages 11.6 points and 5.4 boards. Angus Brandt (6-10 senior) averaged 11.3 points and 8.5 boards in four games before tearing his ACL in a 66-58 win over Purdue on Nov. 19. Oregon State, which runs the old Princeton style offense under former Princeton player Robinson, has also defeated Niagara (102-83), New Mexico State (71-62) and Montana State (78-65) while losing to Alabama (65-62).

“Their big guys are strong,” Lucas said. “They really are going to make up for a nice match-up inside, for sure.”

Some of the Beavers may be surprised when they get a good look at Lucas tonight. He’s already shed the baby fat he brought with him to Lawrence last summer. Let the 6-10, 230-pounder out of Westview High School explain.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Hudy (Andrea, strength coach) every day. I’ve lost 18 pounds,” Lucas said. “That was the first step, losing the weight. Now we’re trying to put it on with muscle. Hudy can see me adding another 10, 15 pounds, but it’s a difference in the 15 from when I first came here.”

Electing to red-shirt — guard and be guarded daily at practice by senior Jeff Withey but not play in games in exchange for a fifth year at KU — proved to be an easy decision.

“The last deal is how many minutes could I possibly get in the long run?” Lucas said. “No matter how much we maxed out, it was really going to be limited because of who was here. Obviously in my mind you feel you could beat out some people. Then it came down to, ‘If you did that, how much would you actually play?’ It came down to, ‘Why waste a year doing that?’ Also my mental state. That can be frustrating getting out there and preparing yourself for a game and maybe only getting in a couple minutes and not getting in the flow. It was the best decision I could have made. It’s like I’m in high school getting to do everything with these guys,” added Lucas, who chose KU over OSU, Washington, Stanford, Cal, Tennessee and Duke.

“I’m making practices like my games, making it a competitive, spirited environment,” Lucas said. “Trying to help the team as much as I can. It sucks when game day comes around ... obviously you want to be out there playing. I can see where I can assert myself on the floor and next year, having it only be my freshman year, I can bring a lot to the team.”

Shootout: Tonight’s game is billed as the BMO Harris Bank Kansas City Shootout. It’s the Jayhawks’ annual regular-season game in KC. KU recently beat Washington State and Saint Louis in Sprint Center as part of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, which drew about 10,000 fans per game in the building that seats 18,972.

Tonight’s game is on KU’s season-ticket package.

“The first time wasn’t any indication of Kansas fans,” Self said. “I mean that was a third party marketing it and selling it, but yes, the crowds were poor. I still love going over there and hopefully we can have 16-17,000 in there Friday night.”

KU’s volleyball team plays Cleveland State in an NCAA Tournament match at 6:30 tonight at Allen Fieldhouse.

“I said last night (on his radio show), I don’t want our fans not to come to the Sprint Center to go support volleyball. If they have basketball tickets, come to basketball. Go to see Ray (Bechard, volleyball coach) the next day (Saturday in second round if KU wins Friday). But if you’re not planning on going to the basketball game, then go watch Ray and his team because they are fun to watch,” Self said.

KU coach Self on OSU: “They are really, really long. They probably would be about as big a team as we will play this year. It kind of reminds me, from a height standpoint, like what Baylor was last year.”

Self on OSU coach Robinson, who is 68-72 in five seasons: “Craig and I played against each other in 1983 in Corvallis, Ore., believe it or not, coincidentally, in the NCAA tournament. He played for Pete Carril at Princeton and our immaturity and lack of discipline allowed Princeton to beat us (Oklahoma State), 56-53, running all their stuff.

“He’s a good guy. You would think he’d have a little bit more juice making recruiting calls over the last four years and the next four years than most college coaches would. I wonder if he introduces himself as ‘coach Robinson’ or ‘I’m the president’s brother in law,’” Self cracked.

This, that: This marks the first meeting between the schools. KU (2,075 wins) and OSU (1,644 wins) entered the season second and 20th, respectively, for most victories in NCAA history. ... Legendary OSU coach Ralph Miller attended KU where he played for Phog Allen. Miller, who also played quarterback for KU’s football team, won 359 games in 19 years as the head coach at Oregon State before retiring in 1989. ... Self’s KU teams are 14-4 against Pac-12 schools, including nine straight wins. ... In 2010-11, KU defeated four Pac-12 teams. ... Self tonight is trying for his 275th career win at KU. He has 54 losses.


Chris Shaw 7 years, 10 months ago

In the "Me Now" instant gratification society we live in (Especially the sports world) it's great to see a kid like Landen Lucas understand what his potential and role could be over his 4 or 5 year career. It's also good to see Self and Staff make a commitment to the kid and see that he could impact the program a great deal in his Junior and Senior years.

As much success as Bill Self has had recently with red-shirting players (Morningstar, Withey, Releford, and Indirectly with Traylor and McLemore due to academic reasons) you would think going forward that Self at the bare minimum would red-shirt at least one player and if the opportunity presents itself possibly two players every year.

I always love Self's statement in regards to redshirting and I am paraphrasing here: "We are substitutiing Age 23 for Age 18".

Looking back, you wonder what could have happened with guys like Appleton, Q. Thomas, Woolridge and Lindsey had they red-shirted, been given the opportunity to red-shirt and or fully understand the red-shirt option.

I mean, had Q. Thomas and Woolridge red-shirted, who knows how much they could have impacted or helped out the squad last year. We will never know, but I like the option of red-shirting a lot better than I do coming to a school for a year and then transferring out.

KUMED71 7 years, 10 months ago

I had to LOL when I first show the 23 for 18 comment. It's actually 22 for 18, but who's counting.

Benz Junque 7 years, 10 months ago

A redshirt senior is typically 23 at the end of his senior year, but who's counting?

ParisHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

I would think Coach Self does what he can to make players "fully understand the red-shirt option".

You can red-shirt one year and still play four years.

Or you can transfer, sit out a year and still play four years.

If you red-shirt somewhere, then transfer, you sit two seasons and you lose a year of eligibility.

That is why Self said recently "I only red-shirt a guy I think can help the team down the road." He's not going to red-shirt a guy then make him transfer. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think that has happened once in Self's tenure.

So if a guy leaves instead of red-shirting, either Self or the guy didn't like the way his future at KU was shaping up.

In the case of Royce Woolridge, media reports made me think Self wanted him to red-shirt and he didn't. So he was halfway out the door before the season started.

Maybe Self succeeds with the red-shirts because he knows how to pick his spots. If he did it too much, his success rate might go way down. I think he would rather recruit 1ADs and 2ADs than RA5s.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 10 months ago

I still think there is a lot of gray area especially from the coaches perspective and experience in the "Business". You said it your self with 'Self's' statement... "I only red-shirt a guy I think can help the team down the road."

If a coach is recruiting a guy his senior year of high school then I think a commitment should be made during that span. Everyone thinks it's just easy to pack up your bags and transfer. Yes, it's very easy for a Coach to switch offices. A player has to deal with his or credits and it is very unlikely a player's credits all transfer to the next school.

All I am saying is that Self likes Landen Lucas (You can Tell) so therefore he gets a red-shirt and most likely a "Career" at Kansas. Appleton, Lindsey, Thomas, and Woolridge couldn't have gotten a "Red-Shirt" either? To me, it seems they were forced out, which is my biggest pet peeve in amateur "Student Athletics".

Chris Shaw 7 years, 10 months ago

Note: Parishawk, I am on the road to WVU for the Kansas game so if you don't get a response from that is why. Happy Friday!

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Actually, " can transfer, sit out a year and still play (three) years." You have wasted a year sitting on a Jayhawk bench; although you get a terrific freshman season of practice competition and learning.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

Red shirting makes for good scout teams.

It seems to help guys graduate, too, which is important to the program's standing.

Wear and tear is a minus.

So is losing a year of earnings playing professionally, if you can.

I always wonder if Cole should have shirted to get bigger before starting, but it was best not to for the dollars.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree with the wear and tear issue but not the point about losing a year of playing professionally. Typically, those that are going to go pro are good enough as freshmen that they don't redshirt. If a player is a slow developer, he may need the redshirt year to develop enough skills to eventually make it to the NBA.

The wildcard in my argument would be size. If a player is 6'10" or above, the NBA may grab him even if he is raw just based on his size. Lucas would probably fit into that mold. That said, I do think Lucas needed this year to develop his basketball skills and work with Hudy. If he has a shot at the NBA, this year can only help him.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Great analysis made by Lucas re losing the baby fat, resculpting with muscle this redshirt year. For him, this red shirt decision was certainly a no-brainer. Unless Jeff goes down to serious injury, and Landen has to shed the shirt, he has put himself in terrific position for his future as a Jayhawk...and, probably, as a draft pick.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago


I agree with you on the NBA players. I was thinking about the guys that go to Europe to play. They don't make nearly as much, so every year they can play counts for more in a the margin as they used to say in economics for the rest of us back when building and sustaining a middle class drove economic policy purposes. :-)

There are two costs of waiting a year in, say, a ten year pro career.

First, you don't get that year one income to bank and collect interest on for ten years, which accrues to quite a lot if merely invested sensibly.

Second, the length of a pro career appears to me to be fundamentally based on and limited by a number of years before your body, if if healthy, gets to old to keep up with the younger guys and stay healthy enough to keep up with the younger guys.

So: if you take a year off up front of a ten year window for playing, you are left with 9 years. You might stretch it to ten, or 15 or 20, depending how far out on the right tail of the distribution that you are. But the probability is that you shorten your pro career, whatever your unique body was going to allow, by a year. 9 years, say, instead of 10.

So: there are significant monetary costs that have to be off-set, in order to achieve a satisfactory net benefit decision.

In a player like Lucas situation, it makes a lot of sense for KU for him to take a shirt, so that, as Self says, KU gets 23 instead of 18.

But the question is: outside of the shirt making him more likely to graduate, which is a significant benefit, wouldn't Landen be just as well off doing what Cole did, which is banging in practice as a freshman bench warmer, working with Hudy as all the players do, with, or without redshirts, progressing as far as he can in four years, and so have a 10 year pro career in Europe instead of a 9 year career over there. And since most of the bigs reach maturity by their junior or senior seasons, what does he gain outside of a better probability of getting a degree?

The only thing I can think of would be a slightly higher probability of developing enough to make the NBA and its higher probability. But still, I can think of few bigs that took a shirt and got to the pros because of it.

Just throwing out some thoughts.

I'm not dogmatic on this.

702Hawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate, do to his length and size Lucas may think he has potential to be a NBA guy. Therefor he is will to delay that year of an European career because he might make it up with NBA money. 9 years of NBA cash > 10 years of Euros. And who shines the brightest at KU under HCBS, big guys. How many bigs have transferred and then got into the NBA because that is doing the same thing. This years draft will have Withey and Mike Moser from UNLV. Both are bigs who sat a year.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 10 months ago

Good analysis. Europe can make a difference in the determination. I wonder if kids ever consider Europe when they are thinking about playing professionally.

I also agree with 702Hawk's analysis, especially for Lucas.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago


From a selfish POV and getting that ring, me 2.

I was trying to separate from ring lust and think about what might have been best for Cole. :-)

jaytube 7 years, 10 months ago

Apparently we didn't want to vote him out of office. In fact, we voted him into office. Be careful how your throw around the word "we," buddy. Let's save it for the "we" we all feel we belong to...

we Hawks

we ballers

we Self disciples

we Jaybate apostles

we defense zealots

we rightous defenders of basketball purity

we Phog-fearing fans

we believers

Ron Prichard 7 years, 10 months ago

I like Jaybate's posts (most of the time) but a Jaybate apostle is a little over the top. The rest of them sound pretty good, though.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago


Good to hear from you. Its been kind of a long dry spell between posts, like since Jan. 28, 2009 to late November, 2012. What's been going on?

Now, regarding the "jaybate apostles" and your post: I found it pretty amusing, but obviously rap did not.

Most of our posters here are pretty strong willed and independent thinkers and I don't think they would think of themselves as apostles of anything, much less my alias'. Naismith's apostles I believe they would all gladly embrace, but likely no other member of the community. So: in the interest of collegiality among board rats, I reckon I should ask you with utmost politeness on my part to retire "jaybate apostles" and just refer to me as "that moron," or "windbag," or "know it all," as I do not think andy of these will be found either unfamiliar, or offensive by anyone. :-)

But thanks again for including my alias in your very amusing list.

Rock Chalk!!!

TJWhatley 7 years, 10 months ago

Poor conservatives can't even enjoy sports anymore...:(

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't know what he wrote, but I sure wouldn't let my November 6th disappointment ruin following the 'Hawks for another great season!

Ron Prichard 7 years, 10 months ago

"Legendary OSU coach Ralph Miller attended KU where he played for Phog Allen."

Ahh, the Kansas legacy knows no bounds. When you look at the legendary coaches that came out of KU or have strong ties to KU, it truly is staggering.

Steve Kubler 7 years, 10 months ago

Makes it even sweeter that Coach Miller was a Kansas native. Chanute has a Ralph Miller Classic every year in honor of their hometown boy.

TJWhatley 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh yeah, except, if we let everybody vote, like the millions of felons, and weren't discouraging civic engagement with voter ID laws... then republicans would only be at most 35-40% of the the population...

Jack Jones 7 years, 10 months ago

Ah, but MR. ROMNEY was only there for a couple of hours.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 10 months ago

Gee..I guess the lack of bipartisan co-operation and tolerance is not limited to the Congress!! For the winners, quit gloating..for the losers, quit bitching. We're all on the U.S.S. America and it's heading for the falls!!

Everybody better put their oars in the water and row like Hell !!!


Jo Jo + Landen = Jeff?????

702Hawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Not a chance. Withey has proven to be truly an oddity because of his rim protection. But Jo Jo and Lucas will provide things that with doesn't, rebounding. Also from the films Jo Jo looks like he has a better ability to dunk, than Withey does.

This is why I love college ball, there is always new players who bring different things to the team. I just hope that Selden plays like Sherron with diving in the lane.

Ted Hume 7 years, 10 months ago

I see Ellis playing BMac-type minutes (35 pg) as our primary, desperately-needed scorer at the 4 next year, with Traylor likely playing the role of undersized starter at the 5 (that would change if we landed Randle obviously), at least as the season opens. Maybe Lucas is ready to be a solid starting center by that time, so we don't have to go so small, who knows, but one thing's for certain that Jo is a project with a capital P and will not be in a situation to plug into the rotation next year. I hope Lucas makes a big jump in strength and toughness to be in there, even if he's not a real scoring threat yet.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Sorry Oakville, I'll turn in my lifemember KUsports membership card if you want, but who again is Jo Jo? I thought JoJo White had used up his eligibility and he's not a shotblocker. Is it the kid from Cameroon?

702Hawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Yes, Joel Embiid originally from Cameroon.

dylans 7 years, 10 months ago

Come on guys, this is a day that we shouldn't see trolls on this site. Kentucky lost and MU's Dixon is a twice accused rapist no longer on the team, so lets enjoy the nice day and leave politics out of the KU basketball forum.

Mick Allen 7 years, 10 months ago

Here, here I heartily agree with you dylans. At least Dixon will have his fond memories from his last game for misery.

BainDread 7 years, 10 months ago

Kentucky losing puts a smile on my face. News of another alleged assault? Sorry, but I find no joy in that regardless the consequences to the alleged perp or his school.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 10 months ago

I think it's cool how interested in college basketball (and sports in general) Obama is. Politics aside, he's the only President I can remember being that vocal about sports.

I don't end up on either side of the "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots" game, so my opinion is probably less valid than most of yours, but frankly I think it's awesome how upset people get about which pawn is chosen to sit in a chair in an oval office. Keep griping. Life will get better because of it.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 10 months ago

KSU troll?

I clearly stated I'm not on either side of that fence. So whatever the liberal/conservative media has to say doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on what I believe in.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 10 months ago

Haha, wow. The fact that you think I'm an agent of the liberal media shows how far your head is up your own ...

My first comment clearly said "politics aside." It wasn't a political statement about Obama. I was just stating that it's refreshing to see a President who likes college hoops/sports so much. But then I don't expect you to be able to read that given where your head is currently located.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh, I am. I even know how to spell "Obama" and use ellipses correctly, unlike somebody I know...

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Come on Midwest, I'm a Rush/Fox conservative, but you read into his statement evidence of a liberal media?

lv_jhwk 7 years, 10 months ago

I apologize in advance for getting this thread back on topic, but...

I've always wondered why more players don't redshirt, especially those who end up going to the prep schools. Yes, I realize that in some cases its due to grades and similar factors, but you also often hear that someone wanted to prove themselves against better competition.

Now, surely a few are kids who felt overlooked and think a year at a prep school could bring a better offer. But in the case of someone like Lucas, who was at Findlay Prep here for a year before returning home for his senior season, surely he will benefit more from being around the coaches and trainers for a season before stepping on the court for the first time. All he has to do is look at Traylor for evidence of that.

Michael Auchard 7 years, 10 months ago

Is it just me, or is Self still holding a grudge for losing back in '83 to Robinson? If so, that's a Jordanesque level of competitiveness.

KansasComet 7 years, 10 months ago

Nothing wrong with Red-Shirting. I think Landen Lucas will benefit from it, physically with our strength and conditioning coach and mentally with just having a year of practice to develop and grow as a player while not losing any eligibility.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Who's been KU's best redshirt? Am I wrong thinking Rush red shirted one year with the knee? Who else? Anyone?

Kristen Downing 7 years, 10 months ago

Using the President connection is as slimy as Calipari using rappers. Glad Landen joined KU without any car salesman(no offense)tactics.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 10 months ago

The better ones that will end up making millions in the NBA probably did...

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

So, if we're going to delete a comment or two that aren't particularly flattering regarding our president, why not delete the opposing comments?

702Hawk 7 years, 10 months ago

I was just wondering that. It shocks me that they censured a comment not liking the President but "nibble some d-Con" allowed. Yes I don't care for seeing political comments on this board but in all fareness Bedore did open that door. But why censure any comments that isn't violent? I guess they can censure for being disrespectful to others but that is whats on here more than half the time and we keep coming back. Some times the people who use the first amendment the most are the first to ignore it.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

702, my rat metaphor is not a dig at any one political party leaning. It was intended as a slam at a Friday morning poster whose political anguish appeared on a Jayhawk basketball thread. There are surely other and more appropriate sites for such public regurgitations.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 10 months ago

You're going to have to do a better job of masking your irrationality if you're going to claim that your discussion on this article has been "rational."

This is not a shameless promotion for Obama. It's an article about how a current KU player was recruited by OSU, who happens to be coached by Obama's brother-in-law. It's more of a promotion for Landon Lucas. Pull your head out.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 10 months ago

Who's heated? I'm basically just refuting your conservatively biased notions. I never endorsed or spoke against any political candidate in any of my comments on this article.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Announcers claimed that Robinson took over a team which had logged an 0-18 league record. It would appear that he has brought the Beavers to prominence. If he had not lost his big man, this would be a very tough rated squad.

hawkdiek 7 years, 10 months ago

I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road and not have their motives questioned!

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

Come on, is it really to get to the other side, or is it to get more playing time?

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

May I suggest this .. as guy who has definite and precise political views, I really like this site because it is about KU hoops. Liberal, conservative, whatever. We are KU basketball fans and we can unite in that cause. As hard is it can be, let's try and forget politics here (me included).

AsadZ 7 years, 10 months ago

Mr Lucas,

I am very proud of you. By red shirting this year, you have made a very sound decision. I am sure that it was not a easy decision, as like every young player, you want to live your dream and want to be on the field right now. However you have realized that given the current roster situation and your personal development, red shirting this year is in your and KU's best interest down the road.

By reading your comments, I can easily conclude that you are a very intelligent and polished young man. I am sure that with your continued hard work on the court and in the gym with Ms Hudy, and by being a good student of the game learning from Coach Self and other KU coaching staff, you will have a great college and an extremely rewarding Pro basketball career.

Rock Chalk Mr. Lucas.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

One add on Lucas.

The picture of him above reveals exactly why Self signed him. Self likes swagger. Landen's got it. You can tell by the cocked eye brow and smile.

REHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

I am excited at anticipation of Landen and JoJo in the mix for time at the 5 position next season. And sad that Zach won't be in that mix.

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