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Friday, April 19, 2013

Bill Self: OSU team to beat

From left, Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash, Markel Brown and Marcus Smart attend a news conference to announce their intention to return for another NCAA college basketball season on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Stillwater, Okla.

From left, Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash, Markel Brown and Marcus Smart attend a news conference to announce their intention to return for another NCAA college basketball season on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Stillwater, Okla.

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Point guard deluxe Marcus Smart’s decision to stay in school for his sophomore season has made Oklahoma State’s basketball team the early odds-on favorite to win the 2013-14 Big 12 regular-season title.

It’s a league that has been dominated by Kansas University the past nine seasons.

“I don’t know who everybody returns, but based on their roster, no question Oklahoma State would have the best roster returning,” KU coach Bill Self said.

Self was featured speaker at Thursday’s “Man 2 Man With Eric Berry” Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

“They may have had the best roster anyway (without Smart),” he added. “That was a big decision that I’m sure keyed other players making sure they stayed as well.”

OSU’s LeBryan Nash and Markel Brown also announced Wednesday they’d remain in college another season.

“They’ll be preseason top-5, -10 team for sure,” Self noted. “It’ll be good for our league, not a bad thing at all for our league. No question going into the summer they have the best roster. There’s also some schools not finished recruiting yet. We’ll see how it plays out.”

KU, which has signed five players in the Class of 2013, is still pursuing players with three scholarships to give.

“I’d like to sign one, two, maybe three more depending how things play out,” Self said. “There are still guys out there I think can make us better next year.”

The biggest prize is No. 1-ranked Andrew Wiggins, 6-foot-7 out of Huntington (W. Va.) Prep who has a final list of KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State.

Dollar Bill: Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder this week stole headlines by saying he is “grossly overpaid for what I do.” He also expressed concern for college athletics because of conference realignment and decisions being made for money reasons only.

In January, Snyder signed a new five-year contract worth $14.75 million.

Self commented in an interview with KSHB-TV’s Jack Harry at the Big Brothers event: “First of all, if anybody deserves to get paid for the job they’ve done, Bill Snyder does. He’s as good a coach as we have in any sport in America collegiately,” Self said. “He’s done a fabulous job there.

“It is out of whack,” Self added of money in college athletics going to coaches, not players. “There’s a lot of people who have benefited from kids performing well in college — coaches have and colleges, universities have. The NCAA has in a big way. Many believe room, board, tuition is enough (for players). It’s not enough when you are sending home every per diem to make sure the lights (of parents) are on. I’d like to see the kids receive something.”

Popular hire: KU assistant Joe Dooley’s hiring at Florida Gulf Coast University has met the approval of Dan DeLuca, columnist at the Fort Myers News-Press.

Here’s the start of his column:

“There’s only one emotion FGCU’s hiring of Joe Dooley as its men’s basketball coach should elicit from the Eagles players, fans and supporters.

Elation.

Total, complete, absolute elation.

A program precious few outside of Southwest Florida and — let’s be honest, not all that many inside of — knew or cared much about one month ago just got its coach from the University of Kansas.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk Kansas.

Phog Allen Kansas.

Wilt Chamberlain Kansas.

Wow.”

For the entire column, go to http://newspr.es/14AsOUY

Comments

chriz 7 years, 6 months ago

"There’s also some schools not finished recruiting yet. We’ll see how it plays out.”

But I dream...

Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 6 months ago

Everybody dreams, including coach Self. But AW is not going to KU. He doesn't fit in CS' coaching style. Top 10 recruits won't come to CS. They don't like to play defense too much. It's all about being 'productive' and shine on the scoreboard. Will CS adapt/change his style to invite the blue chip recruits? Never. Look at the NBA, not a single KU players (that were under CS) are dominant in the league.

So, let's just keep dreaming..

chriz 7 years, 6 months ago

I think I follow you, except a) it's hard to argue against the best coach in the country in terms of NCAA tournaments, not to even mention regular season, and b) regarding defense, I think Cal's kids played pretty good defense when they rolled through the tournament in '12. (Also, c) those top recruits are expensive!)

But I am also curious about the lack of dominance at the NBA level. Cole, Trob, X, and Selby come to mind as kids who were not only drafted high but were also highly ranked coming out of high school. Is any of them even starting now, much less playing?

Self's strength clearly is developing four star kids into lottery picks. Like the Morris twins. According to their high school rankings, they didn't have the talent to get taken that high (and we all know that the NBA drafts on talent), but Self got them there.

odc213 7 years, 6 months ago

I think AW does not go to Kentucky or UNC. Both have a lot of returnees as well as returning players. So, PT wise, It's FSU or KU. Purely PT, but that is really what it is about. KU or FSU.

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 6 months ago

first of all, both Selden and Embiid, are basically top 10 kids, as is Green. there is usually not much difference between the ones who are rated from 4 to 35, as it depends on the system they played in, and who marketed them. By the way, Wiggins is already a great defender, and has no problem at all, guarding the other teams best player, as he did against Jabari Parker in the McDonalds game, so that is not an issue with him. And he would probably start at the 3, for K.U., and would take Bens place, as our featured player, and although he does not shoot as well as Ben, he is much more aggressive, longer, and has the mentality of a big time score, and he is also a great passer. Wiggins would be a perfect fit at K.U., but it will be hard to get him, as FSU, being where his parents went to school, is probably the favorite, but remember, brotherly love can be the strongest Bond of all (I hope-lol)!

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 6 months ago

HCBS has already signed players in the top 10. Selby, Julian Wright and Xavier Henry. If you had said top 15, you would have added four more names. Does he get top 10 recruits as much as some other programs? Not as many as some but his recruiting classes have been consistently in the top 10.

I don't buy your reasoning for players passing on KU.The NBA is no longer all offense and no defense. I think the change might have started with the Isaiah Thomas led Detroit team but regardless, lower point totals has been trending for quite some time. Louisville's biggest reason for winning it all this year has been their defense. Louisville/Kansas would have been a great defensive game.

Bill Self has been getting players into the NBA who would never have had a shot with a different coach. HCBS develops players better than any other program that I can think of and this leads to many of his former players not dominating in the NBA.

A four-star recruit ranked #34 is going to be a lottery pick. Most NBA scouts believe he will become a dominant player.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 6 months ago

That was an easy thumbs up post. Don't forget about Darrell Arthur, he was developing into a solid NBA player until injuries started taking its toll. I think he still has an outside shot of becoming a dominant player.

okiedave 7 years, 6 months ago

My guess -- Smart is smart and either he or his family has received some assurance that he will not be out any $ if he foregoes the NBA and returns -- even if he blows out a knee and cannot play NBA ball. But then again, perhaps Smart is super smart and just enjoys taking exams and going to classes. Regardless, what is clear is the Hawks will have their work cut out for them in repeating a Big XII championship.

Eric J. Baker 7 years, 6 months ago

There are insurance policies college athletes can take out in the case of a career-ending or career-changing injury. Many of them don't even require any payments until the athlete signs a professional contract, either, which lets kids and their families afford them when they may not have any money at the moment.

Jonathan Briles 7 years, 6 months ago

To be honest I'm not a fan of Smart and was more upset about having to see him for another season than I was about it making OSU good. I think KU can definitely beat them and hope we do.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 6 months ago

Can KU beat Oklahoma State? At best, I think we have a good shot inside Allen Fieldhouse but barring injuries, OSU will end KU's streak but depending on how fast our recruits can develop with the returning players, it's not a given.

And if OSU does win, the following year will be the start of a new streak. Got to give Smart some credit for returning for another year. He was easily in the top 15, maybe better. I don't think he would have returned if he didn't believe OSU was going to be a serious contender for a championship, a NCAA championship.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 6 months ago

Good advice but I think it will take HCBS best effort to make it till 10. I NEVER bet against the Jayhawks because even winning stinks.

I think we have a better shot at winning the Big 12 Tournament then the regular season. In the end though, it all comes down to how we do in the NCAA.

trustyourSelf 7 years, 6 months ago

OSU will be the team to beat next season. Unless our team is just full of surprises, we won't be better than them.

dylans 7 years, 6 months ago

KU doesn't always have the most talent when they win the conference. But I don't know if KU will be at a talent disadvantage next year or if it will just be an experience gap. All next season is, is a challenge to Bill to prove his coaching mettle.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 6 months ago

Self has already proved his coaching mettle. And probably 10x over.

Next season will prove if Travis Ford actually has any coaching prowess.

Joe Baker 7 years, 6 months ago

OSU had the opp to win the B12 and they screwed it. Your coach can't coach and you have no quality bigs. This is the Ford syndrome, great guard talent and no title bigs. He can't coach a big to save his life or even recruit a quality big like his guards. KU has the guards, fowards, and the bigs to beat any team in the country. I thnk there are too many unknowns for any team to claim any reward at this point. Let's see what Ford can do with a second chance season.

rockchalkchalkin23 7 years, 6 months ago

"Above all, Stevens wants his players to be confident, not living in fear of being yanked for making a bad play."

KJD 7 years, 6 months ago

Smart, Brown and Nash pictured are the first three I think of too. Number four that came to my mind is Michael Cobbins. He certainly is good around the rim blocking and altering shots plus 6.1 was a good rebounding average last year and he averaged 5.7 the year before that. Cobbins has a confident, aggressive attitude that certainly gives them a good presence inside. He had 3 blocks and 14 boards in that double overtime loss to KU and played 35 minutes, 8 points, 4 blocks, 8 boards and fouled out during their win in Allen.

Center Philip Jurik is gone due to graduation. He was a thug anyway and they played Forte in the back-court with Smart, Brown, Nash and Cobbins more against us than Jurik. They've got a 7'0" F-C that has been on their bench for a couple of years from the Czech Republic named Marek Soucek who played 0 minutes against KU last year plus a 6'10" Junior College Center who signed. They return their top 6 in minutes which includes 6'8" Freshman Forward Kamari Murphy.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

I didn't look up the stats, but I believe Forte was in the top 5 or 10 of 3pt shooters in the Big 12 and probably in the top 5 free throw shooters. As a freshman. These guys will be very tough this year.

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 6 months ago

OSU also has a kid coming in from OK who is a gaurd who shoots, lights out. I can't remember his name, but I was surprised KU did not pursue him. at least I don't think they did.

WETSUhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

You're right about Cobbins, he looked good against everyone but us last year. I think Jeff got in his head. Talent wise we will match up well with them. I have a feeling our conference play will be as good if not better than this year. Non-conference depending how quickly they gel on both ends of the court.

KGphoto 7 years, 6 months ago

Exactly. Playing with a target on your back makes it twice as difficult. First you have the media putting pressure on you. Then you have the other team playing with nothing to lose. The opposing venues infuse their team with rabid enthusiasm. It’s a hole different ball game, and I expect Okie St. to waver under the pressure at times this year.

Joe Baker 7 years, 6 months ago

Ford will choke like he did this past year...moving on...

KansasComet 7 years, 6 months ago

Competition is always good. I still believe Kansas will win the Conference again, and will be a better team than OSU. I am very excited about next year's team. I would love to see us "Go Large" at some point during games with a lineup of Selden (PG), Greene (SG), Ellis (SF), Lucas (PF), and Embiid (C). Not saying this is a starting lineup or anything like that. I just think it would be great to pound teams inside from time to time and contol the boards in a half court game. Of course, our small lineup will be great as well.

Andy Godwin 7 years, 6 months ago

So by inference you think KU will actually be better next year after loosing their starting five players, the co-defensive player of the year and the #1 or 2 player in the NBA draft? OSU returns most of their players that beat KU in Allen Fieldhouse and lost in OT at home. If KU wins 10 conference titles in a row then Self is coach of the decade. KU will be lucky to finish second with the youth they put onto the floor next year. Would love to be wrong.

otaKU 7 years, 6 months ago

Even IF we don't win 10 conference titles in a row Bill Self is still the coach of the last decade. 9 Conference Titles; 2 Final Fours; 1 National Runner-up; 1 National Championship; Win/Loss Record

John Randall 7 years, 6 months ago

Why did you leave out total wins over ten years? Conference wins? etc etc etc

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

Even if they don't finish 1st in the conference - is that the end of the world?!?!?!

What did Michigan finish in the reg. season in the Big Ten? 5th?

Yet look at their tournament run!

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 6 months ago

Is Tharpe leaving? Perry Ellis would have been starting it he played nearly as well as he did at the end of the season than he did at the beginning. Still, he wasn't a starter but I think his improvement over the season will greatly help Kansas.

Not trying to take anything away from Kevin Young, I think his story is one of those that makes people love college basketball.

Bill Self has had several teams over the period KU was winning nine straight that basically had the starting team graduating or leaving early. The biggest difference was that he had an experienced bench to replace those players. I agree completely that winning 10 in a row might be a stretch even for the coach who develops players better than any other.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 6 months ago

During the last 10 years, many conference teams have had better players and KU has managed to win the conference anyway. Remember the Durant led Texas team? How about the Beasley/Walker KSU teams? Most of the Baylor teams (although they do have Scott Drew)? somehow KU will overcome and win its tenth championship.

DCLawHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Don't forget the Blake Griffin-led Oklahoma team.

duanep5ku 7 years, 6 months ago

KansasComet the line up you suggested is the same one. I thought of too,because I like the size of that line up. I also think if Wayne Selden can play PG were going to be very good.

KansasComet 7 years, 6 months ago

Good deal, maybe we will get to see it from time to time, thanks.

John Randall 7 years, 6 months ago

Would you explain wanting to move Wayne out of his own position to keep real point guards off the floor?

KansasComet 7 years, 6 months ago

I never said move him out of his position. I said it would be nice to see us "Go Large" at some point during games, to impose our will. I think Selden could bring the ball up and run the point. We know Self recruits combo guards.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 6 months ago

Not sure I want to see Selden playing PG. Tharpe/Frankamp/Mason should be able to handle that position.

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 6 months ago

large will probably happen. it depends on who we play. if other teams go big, we will have no problem doing so, and if they are small, we would kill them on the boards, with the team you mentioned. you could also have White in there, and Traylor. is Wesley ever gonna get to play? he is such a great young man, but dang! lol

kellerman411 7 years, 6 months ago

Some may disagree but I think Selden is just what the doctor ordered to shutdown Marcus Smart. Heck, Selden might actually be stronger. If you look at a conservative projection of improvement for our players and a conservative view of what we can expect out of the new comers, I still think the matchups are in our favor. We'll be a different kind of team but we'll be just as good in my opinion.

The big thing here is that we need Embiid to be a tenacious trash man. We need him to block shots and rebound. His offense won't be close to developed but that's alright. We'll have offense on the perimeter more so than last year. If you look at the 3 point shooting of Naadir, White and Selden, I think the offense will be there.

Dale Kroening 7 years, 6 months ago

Dont forget sharpshooter Greene. He's bigger and stronger than AW, more athletic and a better defender imo. He's also ranked higher than White was, now he just needs to prove it on the court. This team may be young and inexperienced, but has lots of shooters. This team has the potential to be one of the best offensive teams Self has had, look forward to see how it plays out.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 6 months ago

Any truth to the rumor Wiggins will announce in the next week?

REHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like a question deserving a 50/50 answer. He will or he won't. With Andrew W. aboard, the Jayhawks get the legitimate boost to Final Four status. Without him we are probably a Sweet 16 squad looking to win the trophy the following season, if everyone develops and stays. But then Bill Self now speaks in the plural, "There are still guys out there...." Things could pan out well for us, even without the addition of Andrew. That said, his coming to Lawrence would definitely boost Jayhawk chances for Top 10 prominence in 2013-14. Either way, much pressure on the coaching staff to work talented newbies into the winning puzzle. With Wiggins, the pressure becomes much more publicized.

Joe Baker 7 years, 6 months ago

Definitely- Bringing in the coaches, we should know by 26 Apr.

jaybate 7 years, 6 months ago

Add Wiggs and Tarik and Kaleb Johnson and the pieces fit for a Final Four run despite 7-8 losses from youth getting there.

Add Tarik and Kaleb and the team could win the conference.

Stand pat and it looks like 9-10 losses and Perry averaging 20-25 ppg on 15-18 FGAs per game.

Smart will be less of a problem for KU than for many, if Selden can guard. Markell brown will be tough to answer, unless one more long tough combo shows up.

702Hawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Who is Kaleb Johnson? Why not Hunter Mickelson from Arkansas? I know he has to sit a year but he could be a great training tool.

Ted Hume 7 years, 6 months ago

you're right ralster: no way Self changes his system enough to start multiple freshman. It just wont work. I can see him easily starting Selden, and bringing Embiid along fast enough to get important minutes, but certainly not as a starter. same with Greene. I think it will be fun to watch this thing develop, though. No doubt Perry, like TRob his Junior year, will be demanded as a player ready to step up dramatically and be the offensive focus of the team. I see 7 hard-core months of dedicated physical, strength and psychological team-coaching/training starting... well- last week I guess.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 6 months ago

I think this is not only HCBS's best recruiting class but perhaps the best class at KU ever...DEPENDING on how they actually perform.

The most potential doesn't always equal the most successful. Add in last year's class (rated in the top 10), Bill has plenty of horses to work with.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

Hopefully Smart has gotten smarter and will keep his acrobatics to himself if the Pokes beat us at home again next year. But yes, OSU is the team to beat in the league next season. We've lost all five starters, and there are too many question marks with our team next season.

KansasComet 7 years, 6 months ago

.

Just because a player is a starter, does not mean that they are irreplacable. This machine keeps on rolling. KU was much more than 5 players last year. Traylor's growth was great by the end of the season. White III showed flashes of what he is capable of. Tharpe hit a game winner, and proved he belongs. Ellis came on late and was quite impressive. Lucas could be next year's McLemore, as far as being a redshirt freshman that burst on the scene. It's not just about what we lost, but also about what we already have and what we have coming in.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 6 months ago

+1

I want Wiggins, but at the same time I dont. I think what we have right now is enough to be a great team (maybe not in November, but come Feb/March). Will be interesting to see how the bigs do with Hudy over the next 6 months to transform.

dylans 7 years, 6 months ago

I feel that KU would be better in two years without Wiggins, but would be better next year with him. So what would you do? Land Wiggins this year and another stud to replace him next year or develop what you have?

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

Wiggins for next year and Justise Winslow for next year's recruiting class. Some chance that Selden could ALSO be an OAD.

Hawk8086 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't see how Lucas can have the same impact as Ben. Lucas was redshirted because he couldn't beat out other players. Ben was academically ineligible.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 6 months ago

Agree HAWK8086, but with his size and already knowing the system, he is going to be a big factor in how we do while the freshmen develop.

Dale Kroening 7 years, 6 months ago

Lucas was redshirted because Traylor couldnt be imo. Not saying Lucas will start, but he will be in the rotation.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

Comet -- I appreciate your optimism. But I'm interested in one real tangible example of Traylor's improvement. Two things he did at the end of the season he did at start -- block a shot on someone else's man and follow-up a shot with a dunk. I saw one really nice drop-step and basket vs. Texas. But that's it. I saw no shooting ability early or late. Saw no ability to block a shot on his man. Saw barely average defense the entire season. Saw him get pushed out of position. Saw average rebounding? Help me here.

And on Lucas, what is there other than speculation? What have you heard about his performance in practice?

Just curious what I'm missing here.

Joe Baker 7 years, 6 months ago

FTs greatly improved. This was a great year for him to work on those tangibles.

KansasComet 7 years, 6 months ago

I liked the fact that he could knock down free throws, which is a great asset for a big man in crunch time.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

Ok, so we have free throws. That tells me something. The only improvement anyone can note is free throws. From the start of the season to the Michigan game, he was the same player. But for improvement in free throws. And this is a guy we may rely upon to play big minutes in the post?

Ted Hume 7 years, 6 months ago

sometimes big gains are made over the spring and summer, sometimes just a solid, steady uptick- lets hope he continues to find room there before reaching the ceiling. A solid, even modest jump in offensive skill set could be enough for him to be a real factor in the front court. I'd love to see just about the same Traylor as last year but with one of Perry's quick moves in the lane and a 70% FT. Basically enough to make him a very useful 25 mpg cog.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

ted .. This is KU. Jamari Traylor 25 minutes per game? That's scary.

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 6 months ago

Just some "proof" that Coach Self has some claim to Coach of the Decade.

bradynsdad 7 years, 6 months ago

I am never negative on here but I think we should all give up on having a shot at Wiggins. He is not coming to KU. I don't care where he goes honestly. I can guarantee UK will have immense ego problems if he goes there. Will all those five star recruits sacrifice playing time, points, tv time and everything else for the greater good? Doubt it. Will they all sacrifice their own draft status for the greater good? Doubt it. I do feel extreme optimistic about our entire team though. Even that ESPN article names Francamp as one of the top ten most impactful players in college next year, not bad for a kid that didn't get invited to any major all star games. I think Self will actually enjoy coaching these kids with no great expectations.

Joe Baker 7 years, 6 months ago

bradynsdad- I used to think the same thing. But, if you look at this he is basically down to UNC and KU. Many believe he is bound for UNC. KU's chances are 50/50. They improved immensely since inviting Williams, Self and Hamilton to his home. I don't think he goes to UK or even FLSt. People are making a huge deal over the family thing. He gains nothing going to either UK or FLSt. His brother Nick went to WSU. If it were a family thing, Nick Wiggins would've gone to FLSt too. It's not about family. It's about both players finding where they fit and thrive. My opinion is that Wiggins will thrive at any program, but to impact a program the most, his best fit is either KU or UNC.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

OSU will be a load next season, no doubt. And really, if OSU wins the conference, it's not the end of the world. Getting to the Final Four puts you in a position to win a national championship. Playing our best basketball by March, and having all necessary components ready to contribute in March should the primary goal (not winning the conference title). We'll have a young team with multiple moving parts.

The thing I'm probably most concerned about is our post play. There is lots of optimism here about Lucas (and I love the guys attitude and comments), but no substance to back it up. We've heard nothing about is excellent play in practice, or how he matched up great against Withey, or how he was able to hit the 12 footer, or how he was tough to handle. We always hears stuff like that on players -- we heard it about McLemore and Traylor. It would be nice to hear some of that. The other thing on Lucas I've mentioned is that we can't assume he's better than Traylor. Self would not have redshirted Lucas if Lucas was better than Traylor heading into this season, or if he felt Lucas would move past him. You don't redshirt guys that will play and contribute. At best, Self may have felt the difference was marginal and that puts him in the Traylor range. Further, Lucas was not ranked in the rivals top 150. Tell me one post player outside of the top 70 that has been successful under coach Self other than KY, and that was mainly 4th and 5th seasons? Not sure why there is optimism there.

Don't get me wrong on Lucas -- I think he's a developmental guy who might be more of an impact his junior and senior season, where development has time to take hold. That's different than the highly ranked guy that can come in immediately.

That said, we may have two players that are near Jamari Traylor's skill level next season -- Traylor and Lucas. That is not good. My hunch (or hope) is that Lucas will be better than Traylor. Traylor was not an adequate first big off the bench this past season. He was a body. He was just ok as the second big off the bench, but barely. The key for me is comparing improvement. I saw nearly zero improvement from Traylor this season. No change in skills. Compare to Ellis' improvement.

Our best hope is that Ellis continues his upward trajectory and he becomes a major scorer, and that Embiid starts and can handle the job. Unless we score and impact, "play now" transfer, or Juco guy that can play, our post play is going to be the challenge.

That doesn't mean we can't be real good. But it does mean that coach Self may have to adapt his game to a more perimeter based team, to take advantage of our talent there. All assuming we don't score an impact post player for next season.

Hawk8086 7 years, 6 months ago

HEM, You've commented on Traylor many times and I agree with your points. I think I feel a little better about his upside than you do, though. Who knows. Like Ralster, I am encouraged by his late season free throw improvement (albeit a small number of attempts). I like his energy and athletic ability. If he doesn't improve his offensive skills, he is more suited to a 4 man off the bench with limited minutes. Hopefully Lucas and / or Embiid show enough ability to man the 5 spot.

Ralster, great earlier post on coaching styles.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

On Traylor, ok, free throw %. But on the court, I saw nothing really. The "mini-TRob" talk is non-existent now.

I agree, and may see him similar to Darnell, but at a lower starting point. Ratings not being the know all say all, of course, Jackson was rated in the 60s, Traylor the 130s. Jackson was better to start with. Plus, Traylor is not near as wide/big as Jackson. And I'm talking about next season. I think developmental guys should be helpful by their junior/senior seasons.

I mentioned in response to KansasComet above, the only real offensive move he did make was vs. Texas; nice drop step and bucket. But really, that's it.

My only comment is related to 2013-14 and the lack of talent in the post, as it relates to our prior teams. I will be very surprised if Traylor makes any appreciable leap next season.

REHawk 7 years, 6 months ago

"I will be very surprised...." HEM, I really hope that all of us are surprised at Jamari's development and essence for the next 3 seasons. The kid's life story and finding a home in Lawrence goes beyond the matter of wins and losses. I sense in his play a determination to contribute and earn his way. If Self brings in an experienced big man, Jamari will be extended enough leash to develop incrementally without the pressure of immediate impact which he might otherwise face. I hope to see that happen, concurrent with Embiid's quick rise to prominence (which I do envision). Just speaking from the heart, I really like Traylor and wish him the very best in his future in the program.

KansasComet 7 years, 6 months ago

HEM, I can understand your concerns. Coach Bill Self has never fielded a team of players that can't win. We will win, we are Kansas. Now, Traylor did improve on the court last season, he developed a nice reverse move around the basket in addition to the drop step that you mentioned. He has a chance to be a steady player for us next season. I don't believe that Lucas was redshirted because he couldn't beat someone out. I believe he was redshirted because he did not fit into Coach Self's plans for last year. This year will probably be a different story. We have mad-bombers on this years team. White III, Frankamp, and Greene should be great 3 point threats. Tharpe can shoot it as well. If Lucas and Embiid can rebound and dunk, I think we will be fine. Traylor will continue to get better. He is not an elite player, but he does have elite hustle. I wish Frankamp well in tonights Derby Roundball Classic.

Dale Kroening 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree with HEM, and Traylor while strong will be undersized, he's listed at 6-8 but is really only 6'6". Love his athleticism, but he wont be an impact player until maybe his senior or junior year. And as I said earlier, I think Lucas was redshirted because Traylor couldnt be. Wasnt Lucas the best big in Canada ? Im not sure, but I thought he played pretty well as did Zach.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

Man, you're harsh on Traylor.

I felt like he DID add a dribble-drive on a few occasions - remember it being successful once or twice in Stillwater.

I remember him improving on blocking out and I CERTAINLY remember his FT's being HORRENDOUS to start the year and actually very good at the end of the year.

He also was a tad less shy about at least attempting the mid-range jumper.

I also remember as the year went on him becoming an EXCELLENT passing big-man AND he's NEVER had the TO problems with the "butter fingers" like Perry had at times last season.

joeloveshawks 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree. I think Traylor is going to be a huge part of what we do this year. He is a freak athlete and has already proven to be a skilled shot blocker. His offense will come. He, like Embiid is late to the game of basketball and I think both of them will surprise people this year.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

khuff .. you're trying too hard. I'm telling you, I followed Traylor like a hawk. Replayed games, watched his minutes, dying for improvement. The kid had a great story. But what I see is a guy who made lieterally zero improvement in his game (but for the free throw thing I guess). I saw him lose out on easy rebounds late in the season. All of this may culminate in improvement showing in 2013-14. I hope so. But as for last season, he was the same player on day one as he was vs. Michigan.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't think he had much of a chance to show improvement as down that last month or so Ellis's rising play was stealing a lot of what had been Traylor's minutes before too though, to be fair.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

Did you really just say that? I am assuming you live in Colorado. Weed is legal there, right? I love Tharpe, but he's not in Smart's league. Please tell me you agree.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 6 months ago

I'll only disagree that use of cannabis precludes ones ability to make a sound argument.

Kevin Crook 7 years, 6 months ago

What a gross picture to have at the top of our sports page...

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

OSU was weird - they went up to Ames & lost and their season wasn't the same - - -finished the year 2-3 and they weren't really that good in their win over Baylor in the Big XII Quarters - probably should've ended up losing - would have if P. Jackson's last second 3 went down.

Smart looked tired at the end of last season.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 6 months ago

RANDOM THOUGHTS.

1] All of you, including myself, will need to repeat this equation over and over next season......2013/14 KU Youth + 2013/14 KU Schedule = Hair-Pulling Losses/ Gained Experience = 2014 March Monster.

2] Based on HCBS's Modus Operandi, the starting line-up will be, initially, Ellis. Traylor, Tharpe, Selden and maybe Greene but more likely AWIII. The key word is INITIALLY!!

3] Cam-Jam, Conner and Frank the Tank will have a far bigger impact than anyone now is projecting.

4] Bill is the master of coach-speak as he defly deflects the bulls-eye from the back of a nine time defending champion to a team led by a pips-squeek.

5] Who wears the Crimson Cloth next season is the question. 10/11 Releford, 11/12 BenMac & Jamari, 12/13 Lucas..13/14 ??????

Jonathan Even 7 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I think bringing more depth does two things:

  1. Keeps a fire going under each player's butt. I think part of why players develop a great work ethic and get better each year is because they can't rest or become complacent. There will always be guys coming in with better talent or guys nipping at your butt to replace you.

  2. More depth means Self can use what 8-10 guys on the practice squad? Keep the first team going as long as they can to condition them by also constantly plugging in fresh bodies on the second team.

Whether we see any additional signees playing next year, that still creates an "impact."

JayHok 7 years, 6 months ago

Incredible Ford has kept three NBA ready players on the roster. Still a few weeks for an agent to get in their ear whispering millions. For the sake of the big 12 let's hope Pickens and Ford have them in an isolation tank until the draft is over.

BainDread 7 years, 6 months ago

Actually they only have to keep them in the Cowboy camp for 10 more days. The deadline for underclassmen to declare is April 28.

JayHok 7 years, 6 months ago

Good. I was concerned it was four weeks. Don't pick up the phone Cowboys!

duanep5ku 7 years, 6 months ago

I would not count out KU just yet. Here's why, I think the one thing we do know about OSU is their players coming back. Okay fans we all know what they can do on the court and how they play. Well so does everyone in the league. So we have plenty of time to prepare our team before conference play. Kansas team big weakness last year. I think some of us also forget how other teams could predict, how our team played last year. The other coaches knew they did not have to guard Kevin, so they could drop back an double team others players or Ben. The league coaches also played to our weaknesses, the lack of ball handlers and the turnovers. Who knows yet but maybe in this area alone we might be better,then last year,giving time. Kansas fans the one thing about this team coming in is the unknown factor. I get that, but it is also part of that unknown factor about the newbies that has me pretty excited about next year. I think were going to find out we could be young but more dangerous in many ways next year. Inside Landon Lucas,Joel Embiid, Jamari Traylor. Okay I get the youth factor on here and the unknown but remember in replacing Jeff we only need these 3 to play defense here and rebound. Jeff was not a great go to guy for scoring at times. I think if we don't get another big at least we know we have some size, keep in mind once again Kansas fans, we may lose something but we would have two bigs in the 230 to 240 range. Keep in mind Kevin Young was not an offensive threat,he could literally get knocked out of position at times. So we might be stronger and bigger inside then last year,I'm thinking upgrade if we can get Kevins energy transformed into a bigger and stronger player inside. I also think overall we have major upgrades in out side shooters and many more options. Greene,Frankamp,Selden,with returning AW. Yes the team will be young but in many ways could be more dangerous in the long run and certainly and hopefully a more complete team by March. A lineup that if developed would be great. PG Wayne Selden at 6'5 strong and likes to pass. SG Brannen Greene at 6'7 why not, he's tall can handle the rock,good shooter. SF Perry Ellis at 6'8 why,Perry showed in Kansas City that he can shoot the ball and drive. I would be more comfortable with him doing this, not sure if he's a banger inside type. Center or power Forward Joel or Landon. Then have the other at the 4. crazy no I thought I even read somewhere that Joel could play power forward, why not? I think this line up can play muscle ball with anyone in the league, don't you? Oh yeah it also provides more options, then we had last year,driving,scoring from out side, more size inside too. Then add in the bench, I like the unknown because it could bring surprises and fun next year. I may have rose colored KU glasses on but I still like our chances for number 10 in a row, despite what OSU has.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

That lineup would be VERY susceptible to teams with small quick G's.

NO WAY do I not start Tharpe at PG. Dude was FINALLY showing us something about the last 1/3 of the year, is the ONLY upper-classmen (KNOWS EXACTLY what to expect from Self) AND YOU WANT TO BENCH HIM?!?!?!?!

Jack Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

duanep5ku .. Not to shoot down your lineup, but remember that ball handling is crucial. No information yet that Selden is D-I level point guard, right? Fitting a square peg into a round hole didn't work for EJ. Tharpe is the man to run the show next season. Selden your 2.

jgkojak 7 years, 6 months ago

If Smart had come to KU he'd have a Nat. Championship ring.

Imagine Smart playing Pt. with McLemore, Withey, Releford and Young out there, and EJ for back-up.

741hawk 7 years, 6 months ago

EJ for back-up? Really? That wouldn't be Self's style at all. We see it over and over. He is deeply loyal to experienced players. He's willing to go down in flames with them . . . as he did this year!

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

One question (ok, two) - One statement.

1) Why in the name of all that is holy would any young hoops stud want to play basketball in Stillwater, Ok? And be called a Cowpoke?

2) Le'Bryan Nash will never be considered a legitmate OSU basketball player until he gets humongous diamond studs in his ears.

Joe Baker 7 years, 6 months ago

Nash is a bust and is along for the ride. He's the biggest disappointing recruit ever. He's never really lived up to his recruiting hype.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 6 months ago

I blame that on Ford. Nash was a slasher, ford made him a post player because he had no one else.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm looking forward to next year, but not like I'm looking forward to the year after next when all of these great young players will have a year or two under their belts. Ellis and Traylor and Lucas are tearing it up, Tharpe is racking up assist records while Embild is beginning to make us think he can rewrite Cole and Jeff's records, Frankamp and AWIII are stretching defenses and if he sticks around Selden is making us wonder if he's going to declare for the draft. That is going to be Self's best team yet I think.

Hawk8086 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree that, as long as we keep either Ellis or Selden, our 2014-2015 team could be really, really good. This year's team will, no doubt, struggle early at times and should improve by the end of the year. I worry about our defense. As far as level of experience, this team does remind you of the 2005-2006 team, although with Ellis and Tharpe, we have more proven players than that team. Fortunately we have HCBS whose track record speaks for itself.

Kevin Huffman 7 years, 6 months ago

I think Ellis is a minimum 3AD.....he's GOING TO GET a degree before he leaves - take that to the bank. Now, some of these guys can actually get it done in under 4 years, so......COULD be 3AD. But regardless, like others have said - the target REAL CONTENTION year is '14/'15...even if Selden leaves I would suspect that Perry would stick around even if HE's the one leading the team next season.

joeloveshawks 7 years, 6 months ago

The OAD talk regarding Selden should probably be put on hold. As you may all recall there were a lot of people on this board last summer saying that Perry Ellis might only be a Jayhawk for a year. Let's just wait and see how these kids stack up against NCAA talent after moving on from high school ball. It obviously took Perry about 3/4 of the year to look comfortable out there after dominating high school for 4 years.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 6 months ago

I didnt forget about him. I think him and AW3 will push each other for PT, either way he is going to be tough to guard (6'7 and has a sweet stroke). I hope the lack of all star game invites gets him fired up.

But the same thing goes for every young player- how well can you play D and are you an asset on offense or a liability for turnovers?

Joe Baker 7 years, 6 months ago

I have been watching this kid from day one. He is a HUGE sleeper. He is flying way under the radar. This kid can play 1-4. He has good handles and his shot is so pure. If you watch the vid with his dad, he is methodical on the court. He reminds of a bit taller Kahlif Wyatt. HIs bball IQ is higher than most.

Enjoy

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 6 months ago

great video truhawk! I hadn't seen that one b4. I noticed it was from b4 last season started. I also didn't realize he was almost 6'8" tall. I thought he was about 6'6" tall. wow I also didn't know has father (or maybe I heard it a while back, but just don't remember) went to Pitt State, and played in an All Star Game at Allen Field House, and that K.U. was his favorite school, and that after his experience there, he has always wanted to raise a son to play there. And now his son will be playing there. How cool is that. Rock Chalk, Baby!

Ron Franklin 7 years, 6 months ago

His dad is already giving him the KU inch

John Randall 7 years, 6 months ago

HCBS a bigger problem than replacing 5 starters – who fills coach Dooley's shoes? How much big man development was lost without coach Manning long term, not just 1012-'13?

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 6 months ago

let me just put it this way: there are a thousand assistant coaches out there, who would do anything to coach at K.U., and under Self, and also with the rest of our excellent coaching staff! Danny is missed, and Dooley will be missed, but coach Self will find an outstanding coach to take his place. But I'm not sure we will get a coach who is as good of a recruiter than Dooley is, especially when it comes to recruiting on the East Coast. But we all know that Coach Self is a magician, right! ha ha ha

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't care who Oklahoma State has coming back next year, and who they have coming in (although they will be a great team). K.U. will again, be the team to beat, and not just because we have Coach Self, and the rest of our great coaching staff, but also because of the players we have coming back, and the players we already know are coming in. Check this out, as it stands right now: PG: Tharp. SG: Selden. SF: White or Green. PF: Ellis. C: Lucas. Now Embiid could start a Center over Lucas, simply because of his length, and his defensive presence, and the kid got 5 blocks in the Jordan Brand Game, including 2 on Julius Randle, and he guarded Randle one on one-and Embiid has only been playing ball for about 3 years. And after the game, Embiid got invited to the NIKE game, which meant even Jordan loved what Embiid showed at the Jordan game. He never backed down from Randle, and it was obvious that Randle was pissed that Embiid did what nobody had ever done-blocked his dunk! And Coach self says Lucas will be a load to handle-the kid was built when he got to K.U., and Hudy has had him for a year, so I wonder what he looks like now! White & Green are a toss up, with White having a year in our system, but Green being a better ball handler, and also one of the best shooters in the Country (see Greens video from: truehawks93). You have Traylor coming off the bench at the PF spot, and he was so much improved by the end of the season, I wonder how much better he will be by next year. Now we also have Conner, who was the leading scorer, and a starter on a team that won a World Championship, and although he needs to get stronger, you don't even make a team like that, unless you have mad skills. And then you throw in Mason, who, by the way, is now up to about the #76 rated player in the class, and climbing, who coach Self says is a lot like Sherron like Collins (but he is probably in much better shape than Collins was ever in). Once we get half way through the season, and the new guys learn how to play defense at the big time College level, and the way coach Self wants them to play it, the sky is the limit. We "WILL" win another Big 12 Regular Season Title, and we will challenge for the National Championship, and we could very possibly win it all. Nobody will want to play us in the NCAA Tournament, and won't even want us in their side of the bracket, because we will be great at both ends of the court.

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 6 months ago

CONTINUED: K.U. will have depth, will be able to score from all 5 positions, rebound with anyone, and our defense will be tenacious! We will also be able to press "Full Court" next season, and I hope coach Self utilizes that concept. And all of this is even if we don't get Wiggins, or any of the other kids who are still available, and there are some really great players, who can transfer without having to sit out, due to them already Graduating. If we get Wiggins, us and Kentucky, will be the teams to beat, come tournament time, but remember that Kentucky also has a lot of kids coming in, who will have to mesh together, and learn at the big time college level, and there may not be enough basketballs for them, with some of their egos, when all is said and done. Plus, in my humble opinion (right-lol), even losing Dooley (and we will find a great replacement for him), we still have one of the top 3 coaching staffs in the Country!!! I picked us to win it all in 08, and in 12 ( and we came oh so close), and I am picking us to win it all again this year! But I do hope we get Wiggins! Let's hope he really loves his brother, who is at WSU. LMAO

Sam Constance 7 years, 6 months ago

Marcus Smart better hope he figures out how to shoot the ball next year. Right now, all the NBA scouts are salivating over his size and physicality as it relates to playing PG in the NBA, but no one seems to care that he really is a terrible shooter.

Unless you are Rajon Rondo, who is perhaps the most gifted passer in the NBA behind Chris Paul, you will not survive for long as a point guard who can't shoot. And Rondo shot +50% his freshman year and 49% his sophomore year. Smart finished this year shooting an abysmal 40% from the field. Both of them are/were pretty awful three-point shooters.

Shooting like that in college isn't the end of the world, especially if you are a big, physical guard like Smart. You can make it work because you have such a dominant physical advantage over most other players. But in the NBA, that inability to score will ultimately hurt him in the long run. If Smart has a second year where he shoots that terribly, some scouts are going to start wondering if that's an area of his game that can get any better, and he's going to lose the insane amount of buzz (and ignoring of his awful shooting) that he is getting were he to enter the draft this year.

In terms of next year, I worry about matching up with Smart, because even though he is--as I've established--an awful shooter, our backcourt is going to be missing anyone at the PG spot who can match up with him defensively.

kufanman88 7 years, 6 months ago

Everyone,

What are the chances that recently released Rutgers leading scorer/transfer, BFF and former Brewster teammate off Naadir Thorpe, Eli Carter (14.9 ppg), is signed to one of the three remaining scholarships at KU? Bill Self, if you are paying attention have a talk with Naadir and Eli soon.

Michael Luby 7 years, 6 months ago

November cannot get here soon enough for me..

Chad Smith 7 years, 6 months ago

Oklahoma State SHOULD win the big XII. However, I honestly think that kansas is psychologically ahead of every other team. We expect to win. Our coach knows how to coach defense. And realistically, Okie State needs Kansas to lose a couple conference home games NOT including the game against the pokes. Which I don't think will happen. It'll be a tight race once again. But once again, the other teams in the conference have to step up and show some confidence otherwise it's KU at the end of the day. You want the title, cowboys have to TAKE IT from us. Rock Chalk!

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