Monday, August 26, 2013

Bill Self fired up for start of school year

Kansas’ men’s basketball coach predicts practices will be ‘competitive’

Coach Bill Self laughs at a call in the second-half of the Jayhawks 61-56 win against the Mountaineers Monday night at West Virginia University.

Coach Bill Self laughs at a call in the second-half of the Jayhawks 61-56 win against the Mountaineers Monday night at West Virginia University.


The start of the 2013-14 school year had Bill Self beaming bright and early on a sunny Monday morning.

“I’m real excited about this year, this team, the entire athletic department, the prospects of everybody,” said Self, starting his 11th season as head men’s basketball coach at Kansas University.

“I’m probably as excited to get started coaching my guys as I have been at any point in time,” added Self, speaking before his 16th-annual Boy Scout Classic golf tournament at Lawrence Country Club.

The man who has led KU to nine straight conference championships, an NCAA championship and a runner-up finish, said he’s raring to see what his young team can accomplish. He brings in seven new players expected to battle for spots in the rotation and offset the loss of five starters off a 31-6 team.

“Yes, it will be competitive,” Self said of practices.

The Jayhawks, who welcome back rotation players Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe and Jamari Traylor to go with the Andrew Wiggins-led class of newcomers, will work out with coaches two hours a week (in accordance with NCAA rules) in anticipation of the new, early start of the season on Sept. 27.

In past years, the season began the Friday closest to Oct. 15.

“I think for a young team, you’ve got to be careful, because starting Sept. 27 as opposed to Oct. 18, which is what it’d have been this year, that’s a lot more wear and tear,” said Self, who will hold Late Night 2013 on Oct. 4.

“I think practices will probably be shorter. I also believe you have to take two days off a week if you start that early, so we’ll rest our guys. I think it will be good for us. To have a young team, we can get a lot accomplished hopefully before the start of the season maybe where we couldn’t have in the past.”

Playing time will be up for grabs with such a deep roster.

“Competition can be a negative because if guys don’t produce, they may not play as much,” he said. “Of course, it’s great if you have injuries. It’s great for sharpening each others’ skills in practice sessions so you can’t help but get better. The other thing it does ... if guys maybe don’t do the things that you expect out of them they could find themselves seated behind somebody else. That’s motivation that way, too. I think it’s going to be great.”

On a personal note, Self said he’s happy as can be as he begins his second decade at KU. He was reminded that he was well-traveled during the first 10 years of his 21-year head-coaching career.

“Yes, we stayed four, three and three (years at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois respectively), and we’re in Year 11 now. Hopefully we can figure out a way to stay here a little longer — a lot longer. We love it here,” Self said.

“Cindy (wife) is very happy. Of course, having Tyler (son) on the team, I think, is great for me, but also great for her. She gets a chance to be part of that as well. It’s pretty good for us right now.”

Emergency point: The starting point-guard position figures to be a battle between returnee Naadir Tharpe and newcomer Frank Mason, with freshman Conner Frankamp playing both shooting guard and lead guard. Self was asked if 6-foot-5 freshman Wayne Selden could play point as well.

“I think Wayne could maybe be an emergency point, maybe in certain situations,” Self said. “I think Andrew (Wiggins) could be a guy who could eliminate pressure by bringing the ball up too. Those guys are pretty gifted as far as handling the ball goes. Those two are natural wings. We use them to initiate maybe every now and then.”

Fore: Self said he loved lending his support to the Boy Scout Classic, which benefits the Heart of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America serving northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. Proceeds go to camp scholarships and outreach support for the Boy Scouts in the area.

“It’s grown,” Self said of the tourney first started by former KU football great John Hadl. “It’s sold out for a good cause. A lot of people come out to support it (more than 100 golfers). They’ve made it a first-class tournament.”


milehighhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

"Wake me up - When September ends!"

Cannot wait for bball!!

Dirtyphog 4 years, 9 months ago

Every year Bill says, it will be a work in progress, or we have a young team we should let them develop.. I can't remember him ever having this much excitement or at least publicity saying it. On a side note, after the first day of classes, Justin Wesley is in my history class... Over/under he shows up 4 times this semester

Micky Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

In 2008 he was pretty open about how much he loved that team. Maybe a good omen.

Report back in two weeks on Justin Wesley, and I bet he shows up more than four times in the first two weeks.

Jack Jones 4 years, 9 months ago

So thrilled to hear of your history classmates ~ on a side note, who cares?

Evan Bilyeu 4 years, 9 months ago

I care... I thought that is pretty interesting...

TheBoHawk 4 years, 9 months ago

the English language... use it, my friend

Dirtyphog 4 years, 9 months ago

As a lifelong fan of ku, its pretty awesome for me. And I posed the question because last semester tharpe was in my class but showed up once.. Seeing as how you posted that at 4am I'm sure you were up taking a vinegar piss and drinking your daily shake of unicorn blood and baby tears. Lighten up

actorman 4 years, 9 months ago

That's a strange comment to make in a KU sports chat room, jackdavid. I'll bet there are a lot of people who would be interested to know how often JW attends class, what he's like, etc.

hailtoku 4 years, 9 months ago

My freshman year Biology class had Arthur, Collins and Rush and they showed up twice.

Granted it was second semester, but it was pretty funny when our proffessor asked them to stand and be recognized for winning the championship and none of them were there.

Steve Corder 4 years, 9 months ago

John Riggins, as a junior, attending 1st day of intro biology lecture, took one quick look at the syllabus and left saying, "This is too ----- damn hard!"

The prof never knew he was there for those 10 minutes.

jhox 4 years, 9 months ago

Back in the late 70's and early 80's the guys actually had to go to class. Of course, even the star players were staying 3 to 4 years, so they had to remain eligible. I had several classes with Darnell Valentine, who was a very bright guy. The Business Law professor would frequently make a point of asking him questions, as if to show him off. He knew Darnell knew the material.

I had another class with one of the other stars from that team, and he was a very hard worker, but struggled with the material. The professor, a rather obese female, resented athletes and the attention they got. She made it her mission to try to make the guy look bad in class, and frequently put him on the spot. Athletes get favoritism from some professors, but in my experience for every one of those professors there is one who goes out of their way to make life hard on athletes.

Dirtyphog 4 years, 9 months ago

There is definitely a level of favoritism now, I've had classes with Schuyler miles and a few other football players and they were there everyday, never missed class once. However when I had classes with naadir tharpe he showed up only once the whole semester, it may have just been this one case but I've heard similar stories from friends who have classes with other bball players

jaybate 4 years, 9 months ago

Along with Bill's enthusiasms there seems a lot of thinking about how to handle early start-up. At first I suspected early start up would be a real problem to program effectively. I still think it will be and I expect that the coach that gets it right this season will win a ring and be widely emulated next season.

But whether Self gets it right, or not, I think this early start is tonic for his mid career and mid life crisis last season. This early start makes it all new again. After 20 seasons, it must make it feel a little like it did back when he was figuring it all out the first season at ORU--about how to start a season. its real coaching of the kind coaches like. its not about refining what you've already got wired. Its a clean sheet of paper. Its a new chance to match wits with your peers on a new problem.

And it's a team with not just new players but with new levels of talent he has never worked with before.

And one of his players, Snaks, is now his top assistant, so his career is bearing fresh fruit that way, too.

And the the guy he believes may be the smartest coach he ever met, LB, is lurking out there and a possible matchup come tourney time. Talk about matching wits with the best!

And Fred and Doc will throw something at him that he has never seen!

And Tyler's on the team.

And most of...

Cindy's happy.

And as any man can tell you.

When the woman he loves is happy, a man feels like he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Yo, Adrian...

Go, Bill, go!!!!!

Michael Pannacciulli 4 years, 9 months ago

I had Scot Pollard in a class. He came a handful of times. Problem was he was too big for the desk so he sat on the floor. Dude was long!

Cameron Cederlind 4 years, 9 months ago

Saw Pollard at "The Flamingo" a few years back, awkwardly large man in the back of the room wearing his Celtics Championship ring, classic

clevelandjayhawker 4 years, 9 months ago

I dont think teams are going to want to try and press us this year. On the flip side I wouldnt mind us trying to press other teams. Especially if Black, Embid or Lucas can play "The Eraser" in the lane.

If Coach is .001% as excited for this season as I am, then he is pretty excited!

Jack Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

You're dreaming if you think coach Self will press .. he did it for a little 2-3 game stretch a few years ago, but that was it. Oh, and in the last two minutes of the UNI game.

clevelandjayhawker 4 years, 9 months ago

what team in the last 10 years was ever as fast as this team? Had 6 guys on the bench that could start for any other team in our league?

Why not take "the risk"? I have a feeling we will see some zone also, not as often but occasionally.

Jory Collins 4 years, 9 months ago

What's the reward for pressing? Coach Self is a fundamental guy, have court pressure defense / assignment correct. When you press you have to many things that can happen that you can't prepare for, too hard to hold people accountable. Not his style.

I agree we're super athletic so I would like to see a little more aggressiveness in the half-court, but my guess is we just stay hard to score on and focus on FG% defense. Not TO's

Jack Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm not saying you're wrong in that we should press; I'm just saying Self won't do it.

KGphoto 4 years, 9 months ago

I thought he mentioned at some point, that he would try things defensively that he hadn’t in the past. I’m not saying he will, but you know he’s absolutely giddy about the defensive potential on this team. The athleticism sets this roster apart from any he’s ever coached, so while we all think about the sharp shooting, lane driving and highlight dunks, he’s thinking about maybe getting away with some press, and lol’ing to himself in his office.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 9 months ago

Self will only do it in emergency or desperate times.

jhox 4 years, 9 months ago

He's said on several occasions he hates to press because he can't stand the easy baskets you inevitively give up. I would love to see us press though. We always have the better athletes and would gain more from it than we would lose.

VaJay 4 years, 9 months ago

Poor coach Self... he has to be SOOOOO careful about how he talks about his future at Kansas, "Hopefully we can figure out a way to stay here a little longer — a lot longer. We love it here,” He caught himself mid-sentence to correct himself because if he stuck with "a little longer" the prognosticators would have had a field day wondering if he's leaving...they'll probably jump on this "correction" anyway.

nuleafjhawk 4 years, 9 months ago

Here's a foolproof plan to figure out a way to stay here a little longer - a lot longer.

Say no to anybody who offers you a job that's not the Head Coach of KU.

Evan Bilyeu 4 years, 9 months ago

The thing is, I don't understand the reasoning behind going to the NBA. He loves it here plus he is making around 2-3 mil, and he gets amazing talent every year. What else could a coach ask for?

Brad Farha 4 years, 9 months ago

I think he's closer to $5M/year now. I think the last contract extension was $50M (+- a few mil) for the next 10 years. If I were him, I'd stay, but at this point he doesn't need more money. If he leaves, I think it'll be because he's driven by the challenge, and not by the money.

Kevin Huffman 4 years, 9 months ago

The thing is I don't think he leaves unless it's a be able to win out of the gate type of situation like if he could actually take over for Popovic (though a number have said that there's an assistant being groomed as his replacement). I doubt that he'd go to a team like the Suns to be with the Morris's or New Orleans were Jeff is or Portland where T.Rob is or Sacramento where B.Mc is. or Utah where B. Rush is. I just don't see him going to these teams that have been struggling for a while now.

Andrew Horigan 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm gonna play the devil's advocate here, but... as much as us Jayhawk fans don't like to believe, the ultimate goal should always be to play in the NBA for players, I'm sure they look at playing in the Phog as an honor and an experience they'll never forget as it is the greatest venue for basketball in the world (followed by the United Center in Chicago, I know, I'm biased) and although it is a little different for coaches as they can be the greatest in college ball and it may not transcend to the NBA, and some coaches in the NBA are just not cut out for college ball, as an NBA coach you are coaching the best of the best and that right there is an honor in itself. If Coach Self thinks he has the chops to make it in the NBA and wants to give it a try, more power to him. I would hate to lose him but if it's something he wants to do then so be it. I think it would be completely different if he left for another school, for example, OSU.

Ted Hume 4 years, 9 months ago

I know I'm not alone in wondering why Self keeps commenting about his future lately. It seems overwhelmingly intentional, and carefully, deliberately done- just as most of his brilliant coaching commentary aimed at player development and potential maximization. There's no way all of these comments are purely coincidental. So what's the carefully-laid strategy for Self here? 'bate and others have been over this already, I know, but what gives? OK- additional conspiracy theories or thoughts again, in three... two .. one

Jack Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

From above:

The starting point-guard position figures to be a battle between returnee Naadir Tharpe and newcomer Frank Mason, with freshman Conner Frankamp playing both shooting guard and lead guard. Self was asked if 6-foot-5 freshman Wayne Selden could play point as well.

“I think Wayne could maybe be an emergency point, maybe in certain situations,” Self said

Ok, then. Selden is not a point guard. Can we put that to rest now? "Emergency point" is not your back-up point guard.

Can someone at the LJW, when asking questions, simply ask Self if Conner Frankamp has strong enough ball handling skills to play point guard? And then maybe follow-up?

If it is "expected" that Frankamp will be "playing" both shooting guard and point guard, then it is seems likely that Mason's playing time will be minimal, if at all, assuming Tharpe wins the starting spot.

But if Frankamp is not a strong enough ball handler to play the point (as the information had tended to indicate to this point), then that changes the whole dynamic of what the rotation might look like.

ParisHawk 4 years, 9 months ago

It wasn't "expected", it was "figures to be" and I think Gary was doing the figuring, not Coach.

At the PG position, you seem to be focusing recently on ball handling. There's also defense, where Self has been praising Mason.

Frankamp needs the abilities to protect, distribute and defend if he wants to take the floor as a PG.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

Sure, I know it was Gary's statement .. Self's comments were quoted.

I shouldn't have put "expected" in quotes; but Gary certainly meant the same thing by saying "figures to be."

Ball handling is the #1 prerequisite. It's what separates players at the point. You can't play the point and be a poor ball handler; but you can play the point and be a poor defender. There are defensive liabilities on every team. But you can't have a point guard that can't handle the ball. That isn't even debatable.

Mick Allen 4 years, 9 months ago

HEM, when are you going to realize that Mason will not be asked to red shirt, as you once surmised, nor will his playing time be" minimal", as you suggest today. Myself and other posters have tried to educate you on this kid's ability. Nadir will start to begin the season, but to say Mason will play minimally, is wrong. It will be interesting to see who the point guard is at semester break. The kid is much better than you believe. I know coach Self will not start 3 freshman to begin the season, but Mason will play significant minutes, especially if Coach follows through with his stated desire to play more three quarter pressure defense.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

Hmmm .. I noticed on your last post on this subject you did not respond when I posted the link to the article where you misquoted me. Here, at least, you mention the word "surmised" .. yes, I did surmise a situation where Mason could redshirt -- if Frankamp was a solid back up point (emphasis on ball handling).

But you again fail to read what is written. Really, how hard is this? I did not "say Mason will play minimally." I said, and have said, it's based on Frankamp's ability to handle the ball. And I've said very consistently that Mason will be in the rotation if Frankamp can't handle the ball adequately to be the backup PG.

Evan Bilyeu 4 years, 9 months ago

Alright well I don't think Mason will ever start. Not this year or the next. As long as Tharpe is here he won't. And what if we get some really high ranked PG. By the end of that season he could even take his place for back up.

Joe Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

babyphog- You made sense up to the point of forgetting how Self remained with EJ at the point. I think you're right about Mason, but if you think Self is going to put the ball in the hands of freshman Mason over Tharpe as a junior, you need to reevaluate Self's system. I guarantee you Mason plays a bit, but make no mistake Tharpe will be the PG come rain, shine, sleet or snow on the court. I fear he will be EJ 2.0 and I want to be wrong. Mason may earn the spot, but Self has a huge reputation for remaining faithful to his PGs regardless of the depth. Tharpe came in as a talented pg with skills. There is a crazy confidence trend from Collins, TT, EJ, and now Tharpe. Collins was the only true pg that could handle a game. Even Collins played behind Mario and RussRob. That 1-2 yr period of minimal playing seems to work on players unless you're Collins who handled Self's system quite well. TT revealed Self's "doghouse" mind-games with players. It wreaked havoc with TT's confidence too. There were games he was really mentally challenged and EJ experienced some of that too. Now we'll see how Tharpe weathers the 1-2 years of Self's pg test. The reward will be pt for Tharpe. I just don't think CF will be up to D1 pg responsibilities as a freshman. He needs to get physically stronger and learn. Again, I want to be wrong on this whole post, but don't think I'm too far away from reality at this point.

Joe Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

Selden is quite capable of playing pg. However, he needs some solid reps against some great D1 pgs. He handled the ball really well in HS, but this is not high school. He has the body and the skills, but he's never played against D1, B12 points. He got away with a lot in HS, but D1 is a totally different level.

Having said that, I really can't wait for the Selden-Smart match-up. It could be a great opportunity for Selden to seal his draft fate. If he fairs well against other D1 guards like Smart, he may be gone early. However, if he struggles, he will be around for another year.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

I completely disagree as well. To say Tharpe "displayed virtually nothing last year" is beyond rationality here. Perhaps you don't care for his style of play, which is fair. But I think you're being way too harsh in the critique.

Give us numbers and facts .. or are you ignoring his 2.21 assist/turnover ratio (better than EJ's)? 33% from three in his first season in the rotation (better than EJ's)? 88.6% free throw % (better than EJ)? Now, there were some stats that weren't all that pretty .. but did display more than "virtually nothing."

Mick Allen 4 years, 9 months ago

Self's allegiance to EJ will be considerably stronger than his allegiance to Nadir. Why, because EJ was coming off a banner year as the 2 guard his junior year. Nadir filled in adequately last year, but rightly or wrongly has never started for us truehawk83. It will not be Nadir, rain or shine. You and HEM put too much stock in Self staying with the veteran instead of a more athletic, more talented underclassman. While I am aware, as I have repeatedly stated, that Coach will not start 3 freshman to open the season, Mason not Frankamp will be the backup point to start the season. One of Coach's many talents is generally his ability to adjust, with the exception of his at times, blind faith in EJ last year. He is going to give minutes to those players who give him the best chance of winning be it a veteran or underclassman. If at semester break, Mason is playing like I believe he can and will, Coach will give him the ball. I disagree with HEM's contention that Coach does not care if his point guard can play defense. As we all know a point guard is the strongest factor in the rhythm and the pace of the game. A defending point guard has to play solid enough defense to keep the other point guard out of the paint where he can drive and distribute, bother his dribble enough to make him give the ball up to a teammate who generally lacks the experience and talent to initiate plays. Defensive prowess becomes even more significant if,as Coach has stated,we play some 3/4 court pressure and traps.I know Coach has hinted at this in the past but not implemented it. With 10 or 11 guys that can all play, I think Coach will increase the pressure, not the frantic, often out of control " 40 minutes of hell" espoused by some, but a more refined change of pace from our always suffocating half court man to man. Mason is faster and stronger than Nadir and he has great handles. Before you and my foil HEM just give Nadir the job,"come rain, shine, sleet or snow", watch Mason play. I believe that the difference in their comparative abilities, is significant enough, that Coach's reluctance to start a lesser experienced player will be overcome by his desire to put the best 5 on the court. We all know Coach well enough that if you can't play D, you will not be among the best 5. To think that rule applies to everyone but the point guard, as HEM contents, is foolish. There can be no doubt we will be a better defensive team with Mason getting serious minutes. Compare our starting line up at the beginning of the season, to the starting line up after semester break.

Joe Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree about D. I've watched Mason too. I agree that he is a great chunk of coal in the rough and believe he'll be a diamond some day. He has great skills, but he's not going to make that transition to D1 like you anticipate. If so, I can admit when I'm wrong. There are few recruits who can step into D1 play and make an immediate impact. Most go through a natural learning and developmental curve. Ellis is my case in point. He learned quickly in the second half of the season. Remember, I want to be wrong. I've been around KU bball and Self too long. There will be a quasi-battle for the pg for obvious reasons. But once the season moves into conference, Tharpe will be the starting pg. He would be my PG hands down. It's not fair to put the ball and expectations on a freshman like Mason or even CF. If they do, great! It will be a win for us all, especially KU. It will be fun all the same.

Boouk 4 years, 9 months ago

I think if the coaches see Frankamp stay in front of Tharpe and Mason for the majority of the time he's guarding them in practice, he'll get strong consideration to start. His perimeter shooting would be a great complement to the slashing ability of Wiggins and Seldon.

Kevin Huffman 4 years, 9 months ago

Wrong! Frankamp's going to be Boschee 2.0. He's going to be a great shooter, have the body of a PG, but usually come off the bench to help with perimeter shooting. I would suspect in his entire career he sees only sparse, emerg. (like Tyrel Reid and even Hinrich's time) periods of time at PG - even at his best in years 3 or 4.

Kevin Huffman 4 years, 9 months ago

Ummm, I thought I was being generous in mentioning Boschee and I think we would all be pleased if he turned out as such. Are you like 16 or something?:

Note, you're talking about 20+ min per game this season for Conner, Jeff had over 29 a game!!! They were ranked about the same coming out of high school and Jeff had about an inch and 25 lbs on him.

If Conner has any season where he avgs. ~ 13.5/gm, 46.5% from 3, and ends up setting Big XII 3 Pt. & 3 Pt. shooting records...heck, yeah, I'd be happy.

Joe Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

Then according to you, KU is in trouble. Naadir Tharpe will be the starting PG.

Kevin Huffman 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree with truehawk93, and NO, I don't think we're in trouble.

Joe Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

We'll be fine and I'm perfectly comfortable with Tharpe at the PG. He's got too much IQ and experience. This is his year to take over. Tharpe will have to rise to the occasion. Tharpe is a true, experienced, and skilled PG to lose out. This is HCBS's way of stoking the competition. He is licking his chops at the PG prospects right now. His choice is Naadir Tharpe. If not, he has had a big change of coaching philosophy.

Evan Bilyeu 4 years, 9 months ago

Do you really think Tharpe is bad as starting point guard position??? He did great by the end of last season! You have nothing to worry about, we will do great. Even if something happens to Tharpe, I dont think we will go plummeting down (like Kentucky did last season.) because we have so much talent and so many options.

Scott Smetana 4 years, 9 months ago

Tharpe is the man and played fantastic down the stretch. He led our team to a 10 point lead over Michigan. He was ball smart and quick on D. I doubt you watched much of last season, truehawk.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 9 months ago

If Naadir had been the starting PG last year, KU would not have had to share the title with KSU and might have beaten the Skunk Weasels in the Sweet 16.

Jory Collins 4 years, 9 months ago

I've watched Frankamp play several times in high school, his handle looks plenty fine to me to play a lot of 1.

Joe Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

jc read your post. You watched him play in high school, me too. He played in a mediocre city league that wasn't much on talent. How many players have come out of Wichita high schools to a solid D1 program in the last 1-2 years? CF and Ellis? He may play some 1, but not much this year. He will sit, develop, grow, and learn. He's a great player, but saying he's ready for the D1 point challenges is a bit exaggerated. I love CF and he's arguably one of the best snipers in the B12. I'm not hearing much from Self and Co on CF. I'm a bit concerned how that's translated on the court right now. I know you're going to throw the U17 team and that's great. But, again, all those players were HS players, under 17 yrs old too. I want CF to prove me wrong and break out like a possessed man, but it's tough to make that transition to D1 play from high school.

Ron Prichard 4 years, 9 months ago

Okay, Kingfisher, I agree that Frankamp will see meaningful minutes this year. At the same time, I don't think there is any question that Tharpe will be the starting point guard at the beginning of the season and I think it is very likely he remains the starter as the year progresses.

But you blast everyone that disagrees with you for being uninformed. At the same time, you don't provide any support for your comments about Tharpe. Having watched KU basketball for all the years that I am sure we both have, how likely do you think it is that Self starts a freshman over a proven junior in Tharpe? Even if Tharpe has weaknesses, Frankamp is an unknown. Also, you may remember that Mason was signed after Frankamp and as what most people saw as a panic move by Self to get a pointguard. Every comment Self has made about Mason has had the undertone of, "He's better than you think," or "he will surprise people."

I do think Frankamp will play as a freshman but I don't think it is as the backup (or starting) point guard. I think he plays as a 2 guard.

Joe Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

Please review the U17 team and games. Then look at the competition in the B12. NO one is saying he isn't talented or capable. He is unproven at this point at the D1 level King. He's a stud and will be great, but just don't expect him to follow his past North High feats at the D1 level. You should be better informed and at least admit the kid has a some proving to do. I did the same thing with some past KU players and was utterly disappointed. Let's just give him time before we make him the KU PG, B12 POY, and KU's leading scorer; all prior to playing any games. Remember, I'm on your side and want nothing but success for CF. He's worked hard and will likely be a phenomenal player.

Evan Bilyeu 4 years, 9 months ago

No one is against you on this site, why do you have to be against everyone? We are all jayhawks here...

Jory Collins 4 years, 9 months ago

I have no idea how much he will play this year. My point is in response to HEM and his question on his handle. IMO, if he doesn't play the 1 this year it isn't going to be because of his handle. His skill level is ridiculous. What isn't so great is his physicality, ability to separate, and ability to defend better athletes.

texashawk10 4 years, 9 months ago

HEM, I think those next three sentences after where you stopped are are very important (especially the second one) because they are also direct quotes from Self.

“I think Andrew (Wiggins) could be a guy who could eliminate pressure by bringing the ball up too. Those guys are pretty gifted as far as handling the ball goes. Those two are natural wings. We use them to initiate maybe every now and then.”

It would appear based on these quotes that KU will have three capable ball handlers on the floor most of the time. I do think it will be similar to the 2008 where that team usually had 2-3 guys capable of bringing the ball up the floor, but was usually either Robinson or Collins because those two were the PG's, but it was not uncommon to see Chalmers bring the ball up the floor on occasion as well.

Also, I would like to add something to the absolute must list of a good Bill Self PG and that is he has to be a good decision maker. This was one of EJ's two biggest flaws (along with his shooting) throughout his career and why I believe he didn't get significant minutes until his junior season. Tharpe was shaky as a freshmen and the beginning of last year, but sometime mid season the light bulb clicked for him and he became a more consistent and improved player.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

Nah .. relieving pressure isn't a primary ballhandler. Robinson, Chalmers, and Collins all had point guard skills. What Self is referring to is helping, not the primary guy. No different than Releford is my guess.

jhox 4 years, 9 months ago

First of all, there is little doubt Conner has the ball handling skills to play point. His change of speed and direction skills can get him by the defender and in the lane, so that won't be a problem. Can he defend the other teams one? That's the only real question. Besides, his value is really more at the two, which makes use of his outside shooting abilities.

As for the Tharpe / Mason battle, everything I'm hearing is that Mason is really good. I've not seen enough myself to know, but word I'm hearing is that he's likely to start before the year is over. Tharpe made good strides last year, but we're still not talking about an elite high major point guard. We're talking about a serviceable point guard. Mason can win the point guard battle.

mikehawk 4 years, 9 months ago

Just take Coach's comments, change the names and the year of the story. The man always knows how to say just the right thing, always getting maximum purpose out of each statement. He says essentially what he says here every year. On the other hand...who wouldn't be excited about coaching this team. In the meantime, basketball fans, let's hope for some football success which helps all of KU sports, including...yes, basketball.

jaybate 4 years, 9 months ago


Could you are commiting an imitative fallacy?

You jumped on what Self said before anyone else!!!!!

Yeeeeee haaaaaaw!

The floor is painted and just a hint of fresh shellac is in the field house. The nets are tight. The practice court is ready for sweat drops and screeching slides by new tennies.

The hangovers of country club week are receding and the barn parties loom just around the bend. The girls are still showing some alabaster tan lines on the side walks as the boy-men dream of how to meet them.

Self is fired up, through his ring of fire and happier than Johnny Cash ever could be..

Charlie and The Heap have their work clothes and hats on and chin straps buckled out on the synthetic north forty--Harvest heat forging December steel and titanium balls.

The Campanile and Daisy Hill dorms stand watch like Transformers overall.

Yet another senseless invasion looms like a bombing storm beyond the seen horizon--the Kosovar-Ing of Syria counting down in a squal of false flags and drone death.

But on the ground--here--now--the simultaneity of sublimity and season following season.

Custom combines have turned the waving wheat to golden stubble yet again and the leaves of corn and bean fields in the bottoms hang deep green in sunned breeze waiting silently the needle nosed pickers.

Summer fights a losing battle with Fall.

Board rats type goosey with anticipation.

Basketball time.

Pick up the balls.


JayhawkRock78 4 years, 9 months ago

That was awesome! If I still lived in KC right now I'd be driving west on 10 heading for the wheel and a coors. I wonder if "See you in September" is still on the jukebox? Thanks Jaybate!!!

Bville Hawk 4 years, 9 months ago

I'd bet not on "See you in September" but I'd be surprised if "Layla" wasn't still on and getting a fair amount of play.

Ron Prichard 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm so excited for basketball I almost agreed with milehigh's statement above (Wake me up when September ends--nice homage to Green Day, by the way). Then I thought about it and as excited as I am about basketball I am also excited for football. I think this year, more than any other I can remember, we have no idea what kind of product we are going to get with either football or basketball.

I think there will be huge improvement in football, but will it lead to more wins? Likewise with basketball, we will be more athletic than we have ever been. We may be more talented than we have ever been. We are certainly younger than we have ever been. While the combination of young, athletic talented players will lead to some of the most exciting basketball we have seen in a while, will it lead to another Big 12 title? Will it lead to a NC?

This is going to be an exciting--and hopefully fun--year all the way around.

Evan Bilyeu 4 years, 9 months ago

Well if you really think about it ( I agree we are a little young) we aren't THAT young. We have Tharpe who is a junior, Tarik Black senior, Ellis sophmore, Wesly(if he ever plays) will be a senior.

Ron Prichard 4 years, 9 months ago

I envision the following upperclassmen getting significant minutes: Tharpe (Jr), Black (Sr), and maybe Traylor (Jr).

I then see Ellis (So) and maybe AW3 (So).

After that it is Lucas (RS Fr), Wiggins (Fr), Selden (Fr), Mason (Fr), Frankamp (Fr) and Embiid (Fr) and possibly Greene (Fr).

Only three upper classmen in that entire group, and only Tharpe, Black and Ellis have major minutes (with Traylor having some significant time, but I wouldn't consider that he has a ton of experience).

I think we probably start a Jr (Tharpe), Sr (Black), So (Ellis) and two Freshmen (Wiggins and Selden). Our first players off the bench could be freshmen (Embiid & Lucas in the post and Green, Frankamp or Mason at guard).

We are amazingly young, but I also think that is what creates the most excitement. If this team comes together and the newcomers are as talented as we think they are, then the sky is the limit.

Andrew Horigan 4 years, 9 months ago

Technically, Traylor is a Sophomore when it comes to being on the team. True, he's been in school going on 3 now, but he was in BMac's same situation.

Vince Brown 4 years, 9 months ago

I had Bobby Douglas in a physical education in fall '68. Saw him the first couple of sessions and had to go to football games to see after that.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 9 months ago

Formula for keeping Bill Self at Kansas.

1] 2013-14, Tyler redshirts his sophomore year.

2] 2014-15, Tyler plays his redshirt sophomore year.

3] 2015-16, Tyler plays his redshirt junior year.

4] 2016-17, Tyler is granted a injury hardship redshirt.

5] 2017-18, Tyler plays his redshirt senior year.

OK...I've given you guys five all take over from here!! :)

Ron Prichard 4 years, 9 months ago

Are you going to kneecap him his junior year to ensure the injury hardship? ;-)

JayDocMD 4 years, 9 months ago

2018-20, Tyler as Graduate Assistant 2021-23, Tyler as Video Coordinator 2023-25, Tyler as Director of Basketball Operations 2025-31, Tyler as Assistant Coach 2031 Tyler Self: KU Head Coach

joeloveshawks 4 years, 9 months ago

There is not a great deal of love for Tharpe on any of our boards. I know that he was erratic last year, took a lot of bad shots, occasionally fell asleep on defense and looked almost disinterested at times. All that said, I think we saw a few games last season that showed just how much talent he really has. He has a great stroke, he can pass, he can dribble and he is incredibly fast. This is going to be his break out year where he does not have to share time with an older guy like EJ. Last year in the Michigan game (I can't believe I am even mentioning that day) Tharpe played pretty great b ball and it was a preview of things to come for this year. With the incredible athleticism surrounding him look for him to put up 7-10 points, 7 assists and just a couple of TO's a game. Honestly, I don't think there is a competition for PG. I think there is a competition for who backs up Tharpe.

Kevin Huffman 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree....we need more of EJ like in that first half of that game against K-State in Lawrence. I think I recall him looking REALLY GOOD in the Big XII Tournament too.

I would also argue that the non-OAD's, 2AD's always look WORLDS better by their Jr. years than they had looked in their Fr. & Sophomore years.

Kevin Huffman 4 years, 9 months ago

Don't know why I said EJ...I meant Tharpe.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 9 months ago

He might have had a breakout year last year if Coach hadn't shown so much favoritism toward someone who couldn't play the point if his life had been on the line.

Michael Luby 4 years, 9 months ago

Just finished watching the KU/Okie st. 2OT game from last season...again. Watched the Kstate/KU Big 12 tourney final &watched the 08 Champ game fairly recently too.
Seriously, its time for the season to start already. Cant wait to see what they do this year!

Number_22 4 years, 9 months ago

Chris Walker not enrolled at Florida for the first semester. He won't be able to play until Dec. 13th at the earliest. We play in Gainsville on 12/10. Did we dodge a bullet? Probably not.

Did Self back off in his recruitment? Probably not.

Interesting though.

Hawk8086 4 years, 9 months ago

No way Mason starts or even splits time with Tharpe at the point. Self's history is that the more experienced player will play the majority of the minutes. The more experienced player is allowed to play through his mistakes, while the freshman does not. Now there are exceptions, and Wiggins and Selden will surely be in this category. Most likely Mason backs up Tharpe. Whether that is for 5 minutes or 10 minutes depends on how each of them plays. I think Tharpe will be very good for us at the point this year.

Jack Wilson 4 years, 9 months ago

You seem like a guy that's watched a little KU hoops since Self got here ...

Joe Baker 4 years, 9 months ago

Black will school Walker. Embiid will be a load for Walker. I'd say Walker dodged that bullet?

gchawk 4 years, 9 months ago

First 3 words of this article scared the heck out of me, just caught the headlines on a glance.

Jonny Swift 4 years, 9 months ago

Good point, ralster. Naadir is gonna be one of the most unpredictable guards in the country rhis year with all those weapons around him. With all the attention on Wiggins, Perry, Selden aand co, defenders will forget that Naa can make open outside shots and drive to the hoop with a soft touch off the glass. Last year we didn't have too many initiators on offense and when Naadir came in he sometimes forced things, but I don't think that will be an issue this year with all of the aggressive offensive players-I think he will actually have less pressure but more responsibility and success. I expect a huge breakout year from him with less bad decisions, less unadvised shots, more on-the-dime breakaway passes, and a 2:1 turnover to assist ratio. I think he might be the perfect PG to facilitate the team this year

jahawker2004 4 years, 9 months ago

ralster--you forget the 10 second violation by EJ in the final two minutes of the Michigan game last year?

I like EJ, but it was a crucial violation at a critical time of the game. And Self could have bailed him out by calling a time out, but didn't.

actorman 4 years, 9 months ago

I saw the first three words of that headline and practically had a heart attack!

Kay Jensen 4 years, 9 months ago

I totally let Nick Bradford copy my answers on Econ quizzes. I mean, come on, it's do what you can to support the team...

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