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Originally published October 17, 2012 at 01:36p.m., updated October 18, 2012 at 12:00a.m.

KU ranked No. 7 in first USA Today coaches poll and other Big 12 Media Day notes

Kansas head coach Bill Self laughs during a video skit showing his home run during the Celebrity All-Star Game.

Kansas head coach Bill Self laughs during a video skit showing his home run during the Celebrity All-Star Game.

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— The Kansas men's basketball team is ranked No. 7 in the preseason USA Today coaches poll released Wednesday.

Indiana took the top spot with 21 first-place votes, followed by Louisville (five first-place votes) and Kentucky (five first-place votes).

“It’s preseason so it doesn’t mean too much, but it is definitely an honor to be ranked seventh,” senior center Jeff Withey said.

Ohio State and Michigan rounded out the top five, followed by N.C. State, KU, Duke, Syracuse and Florida.

Baylor (No. 18) and Texas (No. 25) were the only other Big 12 schools to make the rankings.

USA Today preseason coaches poll

  1. Indiana (21)
  2. Louisville (5)
  3. Kentucky (5)
  4. Ohio St.
  5. Michigan
  6. N.C. State
  7. Kansas
  8. Duke
  9. Syracuse
  10. Florida
  11. Arizona
  12. North Carolina
  13. UCLA
  14. Michigan St.
  15. Creighton
  16. Memphis
  17. Missouri
  18. Baylor
  19. UNLV
  20. San Diego St.
  21. Wisconsin
  22. Gonzaga
  23. Notre Dame
  24. Florida St.
  25. Texas

Others Receiving Votes — Saint Louis 58, VCU 40, Cincinnati 33, Murray St. 30, Kansas St. 13, St. Mary's 11, Tennessee 10, New Mexico 10, Pittsburgh 9, Minnesota 9, Marquette 8, Stanford 7, Butler 6, Oklahoma St. 6, Colorado St. 4, Middle Tenn. St. 3, St. Joseph's 2, Miami (FL) 2, Drexel 2, Georgia 2, Marshall 1.

Senior class: KU senior point guard Elijah Johnson is a big fan of Jayhawk seniors Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young.

“There’s no negative energy,” he said. “The only negative energy that came from the seniors was coming from me before we went to Europe (in August for four games). Coach nipped it in the bud. I feel I learned lessons about me being an older person wanting to help our freshman class.”

Johnson’s mistake earlier this summer was “wanting to be positive so bad that it turned negative. I wanted my message to get through to people so bad that I was attacking them rather than coaching them. They (freshmen) didn’t know. I didn’t know when I first got to Kansas. Coach said, ‘That’s not the way we do it.’ He didn’t have to say much to me. I think he said one thing to me, and I cleaned it up.”

Of Johnson, Self said: “He is a different guy from a leadership standpoint. Elijah is ridiculously bright and a deep thinker. He gets it. The next step he has to take obviously is from a vocal leadership, being positive. I think it’s just a matter of time before he gets comfortable in those shoes.”

Bill Self on team chemistry: “Our older guys like our younger guys. They (freshmen) defer. They are the most unselfish group to a fault.”

Self on his contract extension: “I can’t see myself coaching anywhere else right now, in college for sure. As far as the NBA goes, there’s only 30 jobs. I hate to say this: I’ve got a better job than three-fourths of them. I’ve got one of the best jobs basketball has to offer. I can’t see wanting to be anywhere else.”

Withey on wearing his letterman’s jacket to Media Day: “I knew we were going to get dressed up a little bit. I knew it was going to get cold in the Sprint Center. I thought I’d put the old letterman jacket on. It’s more for special occasions, I’d say. When I first got it a couple years ago, I wore it around campus but it’s been in the back of the closet.”

Travel woes: West Virginia coach Bob Huggins on geographic difficulties his team faces: “They asked me who our rivalry in the conference was going to be, and said it’s probably Iowa State. They are the closest. Only 853 air miles. We came out to Wichita last year and had mechanical problems on the plane and didn’t get in until 4:30 Wichita time, 5:30 our time, then played the next day, played a heck of a game, an overtime game. Then we had some problems getting back. We didn’t get back until 5 a.m., and that was a Thursday night. Then we turned around and played Miami at 1:30 Saturday afternoon at home and were fortunate enough to win both games.”

Graduation: Self indicated that fifth-year senior Releford will graduate in December.

“He’s improved his stroke. His confidence level is sky-high. He can guard anybody. He’s the best around at stealing extra possessions and everybody loves him. That’s not a bad combination for a kid” Self said. “He’ll go down as one of the most fun kids I’ve coached.”

Comments

fearthephog512 2 years, 2 months ago

No. 7 is a good place to be. Not too high, not too low and keeps us hungry for the No. 1 spot. Rock Chalk!

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 2 months ago

I agree 100%. Better to be under ranked with a chip on your shoulder than over ranked with an unearned sense of entitlement.

Joe Satterwhite 2 years, 2 months ago

Crazy how they have OSU and Michigan ranked ahead of us......wtf

archercc 2 years, 2 months ago

I think they are betting the farm of Craft. Thing is, he got rattled the last couple times he faced KU. Guess with Sullenger out maybe they think Jeff will get bored without someone to block.

Aaron Carpenter 2 years, 2 months ago

can someone please remind me of where "frosh" came from? I hate that term, much like I hate mizz….damnit, can't say it…(gag)

Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

In 1922, Yale was playing Harvard in basketball and they scheduled a freshmen game. The score board wasn't big enough to spell out freshmen and since fresh was a word that certainly had a different connotation, the coach at Yale changed the"e" to an "o'...thus the term was born and has stuck since then.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 2 months ago

Origin of FROSH: by shortening & alteration First Known Use: circa 1915

Sorry, best I could do.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if signing Cat Barber is why North Carolina State is ranked above us? Seriously doubt they will finish higher than fourth in the ACC

clevelandjayhawker 2 years, 2 months ago

when you see nc state ahead of KU the picture of Self laughing makes more sense

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

I put some money on NC St to win it all this season.

Chris Shaw 2 years, 2 months ago

I will be honest, don't really want to play NC State again! They match up very well with Kansas, didn't lose anyone and had a top notch recruiting class. They are going to be very good.

Sandeep Kalburgie 2 years, 2 months ago

7 is too high for this year's BB squad. IMHO!

Adam Evans 2 years, 2 months ago

Hate to break it to you but this years squad has WAY more talent to start the season than last years. Last year was self feeding the masses with two small fish. He actually has a decent meal to serve this year.

master16 2 years, 2 months ago

i agree we have more talent but talent does not necessarily justifiy higher ranking especially on the first poll. we lose our two top scorers and a lot of our talent is inexperienced. i think we're top 4/5 to end the regular season.

Sandeep Kalburgie 2 years, 2 months ago

Agreed that they have talent but its Talent which will require atleast a year to fully harness.

Adam Evans 2 years, 2 months ago

Two small fish: Taylor (very sordid career heading into senior year) TRob (almost no significant experience) Both fed the masses and took us to title game.

This year we actually have more experience coming back than last year (returned 3 starters and a bench player forced to see more time than deserved (KYoung) plus two guys with a years of experience that we haven't seen (mclemore and traylor)). So, 7 is about right. Not too high, not too low.

Jeff Suther 2 years, 2 months ago

How can you say that.. you havent even seen most the players play.

Jason Keller 2 years, 2 months ago

I disagree. We have more athleticism but we have less guaranteed offensive fire power. Last year, we knew Ty, T-Rob and Elijah could all score. This year there are a lot of unknowns on the offensive end. Defensively, these guys will be plain scary. Our guards are just so big. Elijah is by far the smallest guy on the court and he's 6'2 or better.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

Worst case I could possibly see is #9, don't know who else you would be putting ahead of KU to go any lower than that. I think they're top5 but as stated above, would rather come in too low than too high. UK kids might struggle with their inevitable drop in the rankings when they lose a couple early, tough OOC games.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 2 months ago

Of course it's in your opinion. That's what rankings are.

Weren't we ranked 12th last year?

Micky Baker 2 years, 2 months ago

I think its as much a reflection on Bill Self's coaching, and the fact that the two that had to sit out a year ago had a full year to learn Self's system without stepping onto the court. The kids work their rear ends off for Bill Self, or they don't play.

Andrew Dunlap 2 years, 1 month ago

I can recall aaying the same thing about last years team. for some reason, I think this team will be pretty good

beware0fph0g 2 years, 2 months ago

Some lost, deep thoughts:

  • OSU at #4 is much too high. UK at #3 is too high. I'd have both of them around 10...but I don't know which teams should take their spot.
  • Michigan and NC State are going to be good this year.
  • OK State will crack the top 25 by the beginning of Big XII play.
  • WVU will make noise come tourney time.
  • 7 is a good place for us to start. Gives the newbies something to work on out of the gates, but gives us some of the respect we should be getting.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

I would have OSU at #3 myself, UK at #7. I give the coaches a lot of credit for not missing on an OSU team that brings everything back they needed to win a share of the B1G title. Sullinger didn't add that much to their team, plus you add extra years of experience for all the returning guys. Buford is gone, and they had a couple transfers that hurts them, but with Thompson, WIlliams and Ravenel ready to come in and take over for Buford and Sully and guys like Craft and Thomas with another year to develop, don't see where they slip and actually think they should be a better team. NC St is my preseason #2, if not for the head coach I'd have them #1 but I'd take Crean over Gottfried any day and twice on BigMondays. Not sold on Ford and OSU, WVU is too hard to call but not top25.

Mike Bratisax 2 years, 2 months ago

OSU has been a terrigic team w/top recruiting classes that always fall short in the NCAA.

Michael Bennett 2 years, 2 months ago

NC State has been hauling in recruits lately, they'll be good. UNC has the better coach though, we'll see.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

Miller did pretty well at Xavier, actually should have taken them past OSU when OSU had Conley and that tall guy that never plays anymore, but they get jobbed and lost that one in OT. That was against his mentor so had to be a tough one for him, but Xavier played well. I don't know why Michigan St has been so highly regarded by some, just another moment where the coaches are showing they know more about this game than the talking heads, I personally had them coming in at #16 on my list.

Adam Evans 2 years, 2 months ago

Happens occasionally. Not much in the last 20 years but not unheard of

Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 2 months ago

Why Barnes is still at UT, I'll never know. Sure he can recruit...

JayDocMD 2 years, 2 months ago

Top five sports at UT:

  1. Football
  2. Football
  3. Football
  4. Football
  5. Men's basketball

Does he waste talent? Yes. Is he a good coach? No. Bottom line: He does just well enough to be competitive and not embarrass the school. And at UT that's good enough.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like perfect aspirations for a certain football team, that takes a backseat to a top basketball program.

texashawk10 2 years, 2 months ago

5 is actually probably baseball, but the first 4 are dead on.

milehighhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

We have a lot more horses this year, but there can be only one T-Rob.

7th is perfect to start off the season: In the discussion without a ton of pressure.

JayhawkRock78 2 years, 2 months ago

I agree, 7 is a great spot to start. I sure hope Withey becomes the big man he showed us a few times last year!

parrothead8 2 years, 2 months ago

It's not where you're ranked in the first poll, but where you're ranked in the final poll. Last year, KU started at 13 and finished at 2.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

Big thing is to get a 1 or 2 seed in Arlington I think. With the resurgence of the west coast (Zaga, UCLA, Arizona) one of those 3 will be a top2 seed in the West I think, and it'll be a surprise to only have 1 ACC school as a 1 or 2 (even though that's how it probably should be), so not winning the Big12 outright or having a poor OOC could easily slip KU to a 3 seed. Also it'd be nice to be a fairly high 2 seed or a 1 seed and increase the likelihood of heading to Arlington.

jhawkrulz 2 years, 2 months ago

The fact that you use Zaga as an improving west coast, shows how far down the west coast and specifically the Pac12 is.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

Depends on how good this 7 footer they're bringing in is. Didn't want to snub them in case he's just incredible. In general though I'm saying if UCLA or Arizona steps it up and takes the Pac12 outright they are probably going to pick up a 1 or 2 seed this year. Tough to make a Pac12 champ a 3 seed if they are at all legit, unlike last year's Pac12.

Eric TheCapn 2 years, 2 months ago

It's "The Phog." For realz, duder, pay heed.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 2 months ago

I agree that KU is more talented this year and I think we will be better, but I can't believe people are complaining that we're #7 in a PRE-season poll. We lost our two best players and our first player off the bench. Honestly, I'm pretty surprised we're #7. Much of our talent is unproven which usually results in a lower ranking.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

It'll be interesting to see how Ferrell integrates into the team with everyone else back. He could be the difference that turns them into a great team...plus everyone developing for another season and another season under Crean's system. There are some reasons to doubt IU, but when you know they have that much talent and you know Crean is a capable coach, they should be good.

Nathan Scholl 2 years, 2 months ago

While I will not post my comment in a HUGE FONT to get my point across, it very well may be true that KU is ranked a little high TO START THE SEASON. But never doubt Self. We may struggle early with some frosh jitters, but expect this team to be fully in the hunt for their 9th Straight Big Twelve title and their second consecutive Final Four and hopefully National Championship. 7 is a show of respect to Bill Self and what he has done at KU. I agree it may seem like a slight even, to some, but it's fair. Don't pay attention to rankings anyway until tournament time!! Rock Chalk! Best school, best fans, best Coach. Stay classy Jayhawk Nation!

RJ King 2 years, 2 months ago

FYI, the large font happens when a post starts with a number, or perhaps also a symbol - like 7 or #7. We tested this out before.

RJ King 2 years, 2 months ago

FYI, and if you cross your eyes, stare at the sun, or . . .

Alohahawk 2 years, 2 months ago

1 - Jayhawks at season's end.

1 Rock Chalk!!!!!!!

Steve Gantz 2 years, 2 months ago

A little surprised at Indiana at #1. I think the media is always smitten by Indiana like they are Notre Dame. Our ranking is fine. Does anyone remember our last ranking last year entering the tourney? Probably was around there, and well, we darn near won it all.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

I'll share the top25 I put together once NBA draft entries were finalized. Probably needs a little tweaking, and this poll makes me wonder if I snubbed FSU, but this is about how I feel teams should do coming into this season.

1) IU

2) NC St.

3) Ohio St

4) UCLA

5) KU

6) UofL

7) UK

8) Michigan

9) Arizona

10) Duke

11) Baylor

12) UNC

13) Missery

14) Syracuse

15) Minnesota

16) Michigan St

17) Gonzaga

18) Florida

19) UNLV

20) Memphis

21) SDSU

22) Creighton

23) Wisconsin

24) Texas

25) VCU

Joe Baker 2 years, 1 month ago

I think your top three will start strong and by mid-season peak out due to experience. I would tend to put L'ville at #1- L'ville- I think are very similar to IU. They went the deepest in the tourney last yr and should go as deep this yr KU- returns the most experience and very similiar to uk's lyNC team IU- they are a "wild card" type team, not sure Crean can sustain his chemistry, even with their top player, may not be enough NCST- all talent, much like uk, don't think they do much Michigan- returns some good experience Florida- Billy D has some great talent UK- experience is going to hurt them and always will the first yr of his OADs, Wiltjer is all he has returning with any experience- Cal's strategy is to get his 3-4 OADs and hopes to keep 2-3 for a second yr NC run Baylor- great exerience and some new talent, depends on Drew's ability to coach- LOL, we all know how that goes every yr Syracuse- Boeheim MSU- I never underestimate Izzo OSU- lost too much, don't think they do much either

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 1 month ago

Buford was a good player for OSU, not sure how well Sullinger played last year, just don't think OSU lost much. Hard to knock IU too much for going out when they did in the tourney last year, they lost to UK just like UofL and KU did. UofL did lose 2 of their top3 scorers, plus they weren't a strong team much of last year (did have injuries throughout the year). Don't want to underestimate Pitino but I a lot depends on newcomers. This year's NC St. team will tell us if Gottfried can coach or not, but adding some really good talent to an already good team that gets a year older and stronger. Distinguishes them greatly from UK that they have a bunch of juniors back instead of a bunch of new freshmen. No way you can say Michigan returns good experience but not NC St, they return much more experience. Izzo is great, but Green was everything to that team last year. From an MVP standpoint he was it without doubt. I mean they wouldn't have made the tournament without him last year.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

Tight rotation is my bet after a little dabbling early. I don't think Self will be able to stomach mistakes, unless he has to. And he probably has to with Ellis, White, and McLemore.

So, I could see a boxscore that had Withey 27 minutes, Ellis 26, Releford 32, McLemore 25, EJ 33, Young 20, White 18, Tharpe 12, WesleyTraylor/Lucas 7.

Peters injury will set him back and there's a chance might not be able to compete for a rotation spot once he gets back. Bad, bad timing for the injury.

jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

Indiana--good team, lost little, recruited well, Crean gets browny points for saving IU--deserves Uno.

Rickyville--good team last year, some coming back, pile of recruits, people starting to forget Rick's mattress olympics--2 is justified.

Konvictucky--ringed, reloaded--why not.

Ohio State--exposed last year, Matta can't coach, a few recruits ain't gonna make Thad get it--overrated.

Michigan-Belhein got a lot out of a little last year, and this year he brought in more--five is right.

NC State--Self with Skeletons, a heckuva coach, a big haul of recruits--watch out.

Kansas--it will be tough not to have a let down after last year's emotional rescue, all depends on Perry and Kevin at the 4--can they create an All Committee American? If yes, then the rank is deserved. If know, Self finally reveals he is human.

Duke--Consonants likely disillusioned and a little uneasy after Lance Thomas bow shot--it wil probably make him even more willing to cheap shot when down 3. Solid rank.

Syracuse--pedophilia allegations receding mean Jim can go back to sleeping on the bench and letting the kids play zone.

Florida--Donovan is due. Maybe a little underrated.

Arizona--stumpy can't coach, everyone else has learned to All Star wrestle, too--maybe back to Xavier?

UNC--give Roy a break on the big C and he knocks off NCSU twice, splits with Duke and ties for title. Rank a little low.

UCLA--dead man coaching, Fouland's brought in the class that the AD needed to go get a good coach to replace him. Underrated on talent, overrated on coach. About right.

Michigan State--Ratso keeps finding it harder and harder to win big when everyone is practicing in helmets and shoulder pads, too. Yes the talent is down a bit, but Ratso could beat Stumpy at UA and Fouland at UCLA with four brownies and a Mafia Hitman. Slightly underranked.

Creighton--ridiculously overrated.

Memphis--Pastner can't even pull it together with ridiculous Dad wires to AAU talent and a school that doesn't care if he cheats or not. An average coach doing average things. About right though on the rank.

Missouri--Might amount to something if Haith would ever get off the phone and Mike Anderson would get him some more players. Overrated.

jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

Baylor--Word is out on Scott Drew--a talent squanderer facing a conference full of coaches--Self, Barnes, Ford, Kruger, Hoiberg--each who have forgotten more ball than Drew ever knew. Overrated.

UNLV--Tarklite will look nicer on the outside, but be dubious underneath--alas this team is way underrated.

San Diego State--Fish specializes in getting them, coaching is an after thought--still maybe a bit underrated.

Wisconsin--Bo knows bang ball, so by definition underrated.

Gonzaga--the little school that could no longer can. Overrated.

Notre Dame--Underrated, but not detested nearly enough for conference straddling. Good rank though.

Florida State--Underrated--Self's old mentor keeps revealing that he taught Bill quite a bit, too.

Texas--Barnes is not a great coach, but he's way better than this--this is just sports writers sour grapes about overrating him too many years and now they are like a bunch of jilted lovers massively underrating him.

Steve Gantz 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes Jaybate, you know about Bo, you remember! By season's end a top 4 seed once again and a whole bunch of fans saying "I don't want to play Wisconsin"!!

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

So Miller can't coach but Gottfried is a "heckuva" coach? By the way, Miller has a 9-5 NCAA tourney record in 6 seasons as a head coach and Gottfried has a 7-8 mark in his 15 years. Are you that upset about Tarc?

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

KU is in for a serious test and the toughest game on the slate @OSU, even if it wasn't such a revenge game. Remember how Sullinger kept throwing up shots and missing against Withey last season? Well imagine playing the same team, except with Deshaun Thomas taking all those shots and Amir Wiliams (better defensively) filling in the paint for OSU instead of Sullinger. Then you've got the athlete that is Thompson coming in for Buford. Don't underestimate that team, they bring a whole lot back. They are another example of having a hard time recruiting when you bring back legit starters at every position, just like KU a year ago. Having Thompson, Williams, Ross, Scott all back as Sophomores to go with Juniors Craft, Thomas, Smith and Senior Ravenel should be a sound 8 man rotation even after having a couple guys transfer out.

In general the coaches seemed to give a lot more respect to returning players than freshmen, except in the case of UK which doesn't jive at all with the other rankings. If UK and UCLA had the top2 classes, but UCLA brings back a bundle of big men and UK brings back basically nothing, why rank UK so high and UCLA so low? They both have transfers coming in to take over the point, UCLA has the better prospects coming in to play the 2 and 3, has the Wear twins and Josh Smith back starting ahead of Parker, while UK has a young frontcourt in Wiltjer, Cauley, Noel. I just don't see why there would be such disparity in expectations.

COHawk10 2 years, 2 months ago

Looking like UCLA's freshmen might not be eligible, would be devastating to their season.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 2 months ago

Definitely changes everything if Bazz isn't allowed to play (or Anderson), but still waiting to hear anything definitive so I'll keep running under the assumption he'll be there all year.

Joe Baker 2 years, 1 month ago

CO- please provide details or a link. Baz's relationships catching up or his academics?

brooksmd 2 years, 2 months ago

Geez, as much as I hate Cali-sleazy, I can see at least 1 SEC game I'll be rooting for Kenstinky.

bennybob 2 years, 2 months ago

Bill Self has 3 talented seniors that proved last year they know how to accept there roles and thrive in them for the betterment of the team.

He'll also be relying on 3-4 freshman to make significant contributions early which is alot to ask.

7 seems about right to me

bennybob 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm an engineer LJW. i'm available to fix these bugs......ill give ya fellow alumni discount on my usual consulting rate

Jason Keller 2 years, 2 months ago

Who are you with benny? I work for Cerner in KC. I too could fix these bugs. May the lowest bidder win :)

joeloveshawks 2 years, 2 months ago

I think we are perfect at #7. Some of the teams in front of us are based on potential and some are based on returning most of their starters. We will be right there in the top #5 shortly I feel. It is wide open this year in college b ball. There are no truly great teams.

Joe Baker 2 years, 1 month ago

I thnk what most of the ranking critics are saying is that if the so-called experts are ranking team based on talent, experience, and match-ups, then KU could theoretically should be higher. EJ BMac Rel KY Withey This is a strong and experienced four starters. If you add in Traylor who basically faced T-Rob all ly and prepared him each game, you have a strong starting five with some capable back-ups that are deeper than most in the country.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

Preseason polls are like swiss cheese..they're full of holes and smell after a little while.

Now haikus, on the otherhand, are precise pieces of truth:

Kansas at seven The journey starts to the top Slow, but steady, slow.

Steve Kubler 2 years, 2 months ago

“It’s preseason so it doesn’t mean too much, but it is definitely an honor to be ranked seventh,” senior center Jeff Withey said.

I'd like to have heard his tone of voice, I can not imagine Jeff or any of the seniors will accept being 7th gracefully. His mouth said honored but I hope he was thinking 'pissed off" at the rating. Jeff always plays better when he's mad, perhaps we should collect some of the troll droppings from this board and tweet them to him throughout the season.

Lets get this season going, my throat has healed, my blood pressure is under control and my wife has forgiven me for last years moments of insanity. I'm READY!

wildjayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Ku is about right, for no one knows what the other teams have for sure. Looks like we have a bunch of know nothings on here that really don't know a thing but, likes to flap their jaws with their brain not in gear.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 2 months ago

So Pot, I'm assuming you've met Kettle?

Ron Prichard 2 years, 2 months ago

Man, that's a lot of freshmen. Seems like we're either seniors or freshmen with not much in between.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 2 months ago

This actually made me wonder what Juniors and Sophomores we have on the team. While I'm sure most know this, the answer is exactly three, only one of which plays meaningful minutes:

Justin Wesley Niko Roberts Christian Garrett

I hate to say it, but when you look at this, you can see why some posters make an argument that Self's recruiting dipped in the last couple of years. I think it is probably just a fluke and I don't think it represents a trend, but not much there in the way of second and third year guys.

Selby would actually be a Jr., so getting the #1 recruit in the class two years ago kind of blows a hole in that argument. Also, McLemore and Traylor would be sophomores absent the redshirt, so that class would look a little better. Still, looking at the current freshman class and the 2013 class, I think it is safe to say Self can still recruit.

Still, the way it played out, next year this team will need some young players to develop into leaders in their second (and some in their first) year playing meaningful minutes. That will be very unlike Self's recent teams. It should be very interesting to watch the next few years to see how it plays out.

Sam Constance 2 years, 2 months ago

Kansas is in a good spot at 7th. For those that think we should be lower, I can only wonder who you think should take their spot.

Our four seniors are going to give us a considerable advantage in terms of collective chemistry compared to a lot of teams, but not all. I think that will help when the going gets tough as well as in terms of bringing along the newcomers. Keep in mind that McLemore and Traylor, though newcomers on the court, will have been a part of the chemistry that led to that tournament run, even though they weren't contributing in games.

All that being said, players will be learning new roles, which can always affect these sorts of things, especially when the new roles being learned are there because one of your departures created such an advantage in strategy. Robinson was such a dominant and relentless rebounder that he really allowed Self to leave crashing the glass to just one guy so that the other four guys could get into place on defense or move quickly up the court on offense.

One thing's for certain--the only reason this season won't end in at least a tiny bit of a letdown is if they win the whole shebang. And I only say that because the emotional connection of last season's team is going to stick with me a for a long, long time, and I suspect the 2011-12 Jayhawks will end up going down as one of my favorite Jayhawk teams to watch.

So here's to hoping for a national championship, but keeping an open mind and preparing to enjoy yet another great ride at the hands of Coach Self.

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