Friday, January 4, 2013

Self praises KU bench’s improved play, confidence

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe pushes the ball up the court past American center Tony Wroblicky during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe pushes the ball up the court past American center Tony Wroblicky during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Pleased with Kansas University’s men’s basketball starting lineup, Bill Self has also been impressed with the work of his reserves.

“We haven’t really taken a step back when we’ve gone to the bench,” said KU coach Self, who has started Elijah Johnson, Ben McLemore, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young the last nine games — since a Nov. 19 win over Washington State in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“I’ll be real candid. That was one of my biggest concerns playing Michigan State and playing all five (actually three) starters 33 minutes because you are a little nervous. Now we are getting more confidence,” Self added of bench players Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe and Jamari Traylor, as well as Andrew White III and Rio Adams.

“All you need to be worried about when you are in the game is whether the advantage increases or the deficit decreases. That’s how you determine if you are playing well or not. You are one of five out there. (Lately) we’ve done a good job of that,” Self noted of the substitutes on his weekly radio show.

In all, 10 Jayhawks played 11 or more minutes last Saturday against American; nine players 11 or more minutes on Dec. 18 against Richmond and nine players 10 or more minutes on Dec. 15 vs. Belmont. Self had used five starters 32 minutes or more versus Ohio State on Dec. 22 and four starters 28 minutes or more vs. MSU.

Tharpe, a 5-11 backup point guard from Worcester, Mass., has dished 22 assists against no turnovers over the last four games heading into Sunday’s 3:30 p.m., home game against Temple. For the year, he’s averaged 5.0 points with 38 assists against 11 turnovers.

“He is playing well in practice. He is comfortable. I think he is playing at a level he hasn’t played at since he’s been here,” Self said. “He’s a terrific shooter (13 of 30 threes for 43.3 percent) but you can’t always bank on making shots. You bank on being able to guard the ball, creating pressure, creating havoc and pushing it in transition, getting other guys looks. He’s done a really good job in that area.”

Tharpe is ahead of schedule, Self said.

“I thought he’d be capable of being a good backup early in his career and have a chance to play major minutes moving forward,” Self said. “His attitude is so good right now. I go through phases with all guys and I know they go through phases with me. You like what you see and then you don’t like what you see and then it takes a while to get it back.

“I’ve not been easy with Naadir by any stretch. Looking back, he deserved to be somebody gotten on hard because we see (now) what he’s capable of doing. If he wasn’t doing it before it means somebody wasn’t getting it out of him. That’s me. I like where he is.”

Freshman forward Ellis averages 6.1 points (off 50 percent shooting) and 3.7 rebounds in 15 minutes a game.

“Perry is playing pretty well right now — practice and in the games,” Self said. “He is getting more comfortable and confident. Jamari seems to be making some positive strides in that area,” he added of frosh forward Traylor, who averages 2.8 points and 3.1 boards in 13.1 minutes per game. “There seem to be some good things taking place even though it may not translate to Sunday (versus 10-2 Owls). Right now in practice, it’s looking pretty good.”

Self said competition has been strong in workouts.

“The better Perry plays, the harder Kevin plays. The better Jamari plays, the harder Perry plays. It’s unbelievable that it works like that,” Self said. “You obviously get better as a team when that happens.”

Freshman guard White has averaged 4.4 points and 1.9 rebounds (7-of-22 from three for 31.8 percent) while logging 8.2 minutes a game in nine games. Freshman guard Adams, who has been used mainly in mop-up time, played 11 minutes against American. Junior Justin Wesley has missed the last four games because of a broken little finger on his left hand. He has five points and 10 rebounds while combining for 35 minutes in seven games.

Greene MVP: KU signee Brannen Greene, a 6-7 senior from Tift County High in Tifton, Ga., was named MVP of the recent McDonald’s Invitational in Georgia, reports.’s No. 25-rated player nationally scored 32 points in the title game of the event, which matched teams from Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.

This, that: More than 1,200 Kansas State fans, who attended Wednesday’s Phoenix Suns-Philadelphia game in Phoenix, booed former KU forward Markieff Morris of the Suns during the game. The KSU fans were in Phoenix for Thursday’s Fiesta Bowl.

“I told Markieff that Big 12 stuff runs deep. I think that’s the first time he’s been booed when he checked into the game,” Suns coach and former KU assistant Alvin Gentry told

The KSU fans cheered former Wildcat Michael Beasley who played sparingly for the Suns.


odc213 5 years ago

Two thoughts. 1) I was able to attend my 1st game this season while home over the holidays. AWIII, after his one dunk, was doggin it. Out of shape? Jetlag? and 2) Earlier tonight, I was cheering on K-State, I hate to say it, to win the Fiesta. But why the discord with Morris in Phoenix? That's the difference between KU and KSU fans. Class. KSU had a great year and Synder is top notch, but give KSU fans a chance to cheer anyone who plays against KU, and they are off their rockers. KU = Kansas KSU = Manhattan. Little minds for the little apple

Ian Emerson 5 years ago

Excellent generalization of KSU fans. I always felt the same way.

John Randall 5 years ago

Do you feel that way because it is so, or because it makes you seem better than you really are?

TheBoHawk 5 years ago

Uhhhh... this isn't a psychology forum... and I can answer that question for everyone: It is because it it so. Your line of questioning is a bit harsh, by the way... I think it may be best if you try to avoid getting inside people's head and work on why you would wonder such things out of complete strangers.

Ian Emerson 5 years ago

The Internet always allows people to say things that they are too afraid to say in person.

odc213 5 years ago

because it is so. First hand my friend, from lots of folks

dogbones 5 years ago

Perhaps they haven't forgotten this incident quite as quickly as some of us have...

"That, of course, would be the penchant for one of the Morris twins to act impulsively and get whistled for an intentional foul. It didn’t hurt his team when Markieff Morris got called for one against Missouri’s Justin Safford. Against K-State, Markieff’s arm made contact with Jacob Pullen’s face, which didn’t slow the senior guard from Chicago enough to keep him from torching KU with 38 points."

jhox 5 years ago

You have to look at it from K State's perspective. First, they have an inferiority complex (and rightfully so) and, second, they've always viewed us as their primary rival. Out primary rival had always been Missery. KSU was just the harmless little neighbor kid who lived down the street. You don't really view him as a threat to your manhood, thus you wish him no ill will.

Tim Orel 5 years ago

Just wondering how many are going to be in the rotation in March. He usually goes for fewer than nine, but it's dependent upon the skills. Does this team have that many skilled players that he'll share all the minutes liberally or will he focus on narrowing down a player or two?

We'll see in a couple of months.

Adam McEwen 5 years ago

well I hope the KSU fans got enough satisfaction out of booing Markieff to justify traveling to phoenix, they sure didn't get any from their football team..

KEITHMILES05 5 years ago

Small minded KSU fans. Shows their true colors not being real Kansans but ideologues.

Michael Luby 5 years ago

Yah, they just jealous of the fact that there will always be more former KU players in the big League.

Scott MacWilliams 5 years ago

Why the heck was Pullen trying to mess up Markieff's delicate arms with his face?? That is just so bad, so KSU!!!

ParisHawk 5 years ago

Coach Self is really laying it on thick, for him. It looks like he has 8 guys he will let play when it means the most. That's all he wants really: 3-4 bigs and 4 smalls he can count on, plus W3 and Adams for insurance.

What the team needs now is health, sweet health!

wrwlumpy 5 years ago

Scheduling has been great this year. Having the American game after Ohio State was the perfect home follow up with long weeks of practice to allow all of them to play and showcase what they can do. By the way, Colorado actually beat Arizona last night. There is a photo showing .01 sec and the ball has left his hands. Nice to know we were up on Colorado by 40 at one time. All eyes will be on this national game with a long and fast Temple team. If we beat Temple does that mean that Syracuse isn't very good or that KU is really good. Right now, Kansas, Duke and Michigan will be #1 seeds and Mizzou if they win the SEC.

dylans 5 years ago

There needs to be that first 1 seed to lose to a 16, hmmm Mizou a 1 you say?

jaybate 5 years ago

"Its Amazing It Works Like That"

• "The better Perry plays, the harder Kevin plays. The better Jamari plays, the harder Perry plays. It’s unbelievable that it works like that,” Self said.

Self said, Gary, should have been changed to Self cracked. :-)

Self seems to be getting a bit more openly cynical about human nature as he ages. Its amazing it works like that. :-)

• Greene hangs 32 in a McD Invite and no board rats are orgasmic? Do I detect board rats maturing about numbers in high school games not meaning instant D1 starting ability for Bill Self? Its amazing it works like that. :-)

• KSU and Snyder still can't fill a bowl stadium after all these years. They remain a flat land Boise State. Good but inconsequential--the sound of a tree fallen in a forest no one hears. Soon Snyder will be gone and no one but silo rats will recall when KSU was any good. Its amazing it works like that. :-)

• Self says Naadir playing well implies Naadir needed getting ridden hard? Oh, AW3 and Rio, get ready for your new saddles now that Naadir is saddle broken. Its amazing it works like that. :-)

KGphoto 5 years ago

“I’ve not been easy with Naadir by any stretch. Looking back, he deserved to be somebody gotten on hard because we see (now) what he’s capable of doing. If he wasn’t doing it before it means somebody wasn’t getting it out of him. That’s me. I like where he is."

That's a Hall of Fame coach's quote. So revealing of Bill's greatness. It's Wooden'esque, but even better because it doesn't try to be scripture and because it is ours. Something of this nature (less player-specific) should be added to the base of his statue when it is eventually built.

It's eerily similar to this Wooden prophecy.

"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."

Make Self happy. Be successful. Makes good sense. Wooden the prophet.

jaybate 5 years ago

They are similar in many ways.

I hope they are similar in turning a corner on winning rings.

I always remember Wooden saying that they figured out how to win rings with that first rings.

I think Self is still learning a bit about how to do it.

But I think he is darned close.

JayhawkBonedoc 5 years ago

Jaybate cracked.:-)

Nice comments.

jaybate 5 years ago

• Self plays 8-10 players big mpg against lesser opponents, but not against top teams. Its amazing it works like that. :-)

• Tad Boyle's newly good Buffs get jobbed on the drug frontier with a bum replay by whistle swallowers against a lame coach with a team created by a ShoeCo? Its amazing it works like that. :-)

• The fiscal cliff gets deferred with our taxes increased, our services cut, and senators and congressmen voting themselves pay raises right before something justifies Obama invading Syria as per Israeli leaders predictions? Its amazing it works like that. :-)

aerohawk 5 years ago

I read a Jaybate post and one of two things happens: 1) I laugh my a** off or 2) I get educated. Amazing it works like that.

hucking_fawks_rock 5 years ago

I see a jaybate post and only one thing happens... I ignore it entirely. Who actually sits here and takes the time to respond to a news article with a 3 part response? And even worse... who actually wants to read those 3 part responses? Especially when they're written in broken up half sentences that do not flow whatsoever. I stopped reading jaybate responses a LOONNNGGGG time ago.

theend 5 years ago

Who? Me.....that's who. Jaybate offers good analysis and we are lucky to have him. Plus I like his stories and he likes WWII movies like I do. If you don't like him.....don't read him.

monkeehawkSL8 5 years ago

That's what "huck" said, "I stopped reading master bates a loonnngggg time ago". I guess you missed that.

hucking_fawks_rock 5 years ago

I don't read him, did you miss that part?

jayhawkboogeyman 5 years ago

Amen. When I do accidentally read part of it, it is most incoherent gibberish that I guess is supposed to be snarky and amusing.

bayareajhawk 5 years ago

Be warned, comments like these alert others to your obvious mental limitations.

KGphoto 5 years ago

The alias hucking_fawks_rock can't quite follow jb. What a surprise!

hucking_fawks_rock 5 years ago

I can follow what he/she says perfectly fine, but I choose not to because it's just an opinion filled block of gibberish that I don't care to read. I do like, however, your assumption that I'm some sort of uneducated 'tard because of a handle I use on the LJW. Good work...

jaybate 5 years ago

I am endlessly amused by board rats that post more about what they don't read than about basketball.

It might be worth of designation as a syndrome of sorts.


jaybate 5 years ago

Badge of honor not to be read by an alias called "bucking_fawks_rock."

Makes my day.


Jeez, how does the online editor tolerate your alias?

Was your first try...oh, never mind, that's too flipping easy!


KGphoto 5 years ago

LOL. Have you seen Idiocracy? All I could think of was Fuddruckers when I saw that. 500 years of dumbing down. I'm sure he also drinks plenty of Brawndo and doesn't talk all gay.

theend 5 years ago

Exactly, Jaybate!! I appreciate your posts. Great analysis. What are your thoughts on Temple on Sunday?

jaybate 5 years ago

I did my jaybate Intelligence Estimate on yesterday's thread.

KU by 10, but Temple is a very dangerous matchup for KU if KU shows up with its B game and not hitting.

Temple applies the same kind of defensive pressure with the same kind of length and athleticism on the perimeter as KU does.

So: KU may have to win this one inside. But Temple could get Jeff fouled up because of one of their inside guys, and because of their slashers on the perimeter.

I am also concerned that Temple's trey shooters may be due to come out of slumps, while KU's much better trey shooters are probably due for a cold game after American.

But, we're better and deeper on paper.

We have a new, flummoxing offense we play.

And we're at home.

So: I'm betting we shoot just well enough to score on them, and I have a hunch that Perry may provide us the extra inside scoring we may need to compensate for their ability to guard our perimeter hard.

Yes, I'm all over the map. :-)

But my conclusion--the one I will have to live with--is KU by 10.

John Randall 5 years ago

Who? I guess it's mostly those replying to the responders.

Steve Gantz 5 years ago

Jaybate, he says he doesn't read you, but I bet he read your response to what he wrote.

Robert Brock 5 years ago

The US is not invading Syria. You have been eating the wrong shrooms.

TheBoHawk 5 years ago

are you joking...we are already there. I have a childhood friend who's a ranger who is there currently...most know nothing

TheBoHawk 5 years ago

First a Syria invasion...then we take out their civilian infrastructure to make them hate us...then we attack Iran...and take out their civilian infrastructure..then finnally China and Russia have to stop the bully....the one that our own military is purposely creating..and has been well before Bosnia...and then the Commies nuke us.. it will happen....give it 5-12 years...our economy will be in shambles and then wham...

nuleafjhawk 5 years ago

"Good but inconsequential--the sound of a tree fallen in a forest no one hears. Soon Snyder will be gone and no one but silo rats will recall when KSU was any good."

Love the "silo rats" reference. When I was a kid, I didn't even realize the college was actually called Kansas State University. From listening to my dad and uncles, I thought it was called " Silo Tech on the Kaw ".

KansasComet 5 years ago

Obviously Coach Self sees something in the student athletes that he recruits. It's just a matter of if he can it out of them on the collegiate level. One or two things will happen. If he can, then by season 2-3 you start to see talent along with good decision making. If he can't...transfer. That's the way I see it. If he redshirts you, then he needs you, just not at the present moment. Looking forward to watching Lucas next year.

AsadZ 5 years ago

Thought provoking comments from the Master:

All you need to be worried about when you are in the game is whether the advantage increases or the deficit decreases.

I go through phases with all guys and I know they go through phases with me. You like what you see and then you don’t like what you see and then it takes a while to get it back.

The better Perry plays, the harder Kevin plays. The better Jamari plays, the harder Perry plays. It’s unbelievable that it works like that.

rtwngr 5 years ago

It's all coach speak. He's said the same thing over and over from season to season. The writers ask the same questions and Coach Self gives the same answers. I'm not criticizing, I'm just saying after, what, nine seasons, what's new to be said?

John Randall 5 years ago

One way to find who does well when things get tough is to put them in tough places and watch the results.

FearlessJayhawk 5 years ago

With the attitude that most K-Staters have toward KU, I believe it was fitting that the wildcats got their butt's kicked last night in Fiesta Bowl.

monkeehawkSL8 5 years ago

How dare them, have you been reading the posts above? Does that mean that childish Jayhawk attitudes toward K-State made it "fitting" that KU lost the NC last year?

Ever hear of "snob hill"?

theend 5 years ago

Our bench could beat the majority of Div 1 teams.......Maybe not the top teams......but the majority.

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

the end, first of all, nice to hear from you again..where have you been?

Secondly, Ellis, Tharpe, Traylor, Rio, and're right. that's actually a pretty darn good line up for 75% of Division 1!!!

If you think about it, this might be close to the starting line-up next year with Jo Jo, Landen, Brannen, Conner, Wayne and Frank pushing for PT!!

At Kansas, the beat goes on..and on..and on...and on!!

theend 5 years ago

Oakville-Hello! Nice to hear from you as well.......I have been here but usually just read what everyone says. Getting ready for a great year!! (again)....and more good comments/analysis from you, Jaybate & others.

nuleafjhawk 5 years ago

drgnslayr - I'm not a KSU fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I wish WE were crawling back to Lawrence with a runner up ribbon.

And $18,000,000 dollars !!!

Jeff Coffman 5 years ago

After expenses the revenue is split evenly between the if there was $16MM after the expenses, KU would get the same amount as KSU from the bowl game.

Remember when KU lost to UT a while back and UT got a bowl game, ironically if KU had beat UT it would have cost KU about a $1MM.

KUfreebird 5 years ago

KU is going to be so stacked next year its not even funny.

REHawk 5 years ago

I have enjoyed watching our starters do so well that five bench players are getting many game minutes. Bill Self seems to be sending a message to the scholarship freshmen that he wants them all back next season. AW3 and Rio are gleaning more than just mop up minutes, and Landon received a nice package deal for a freshman. If the bench players are patient enough to return and keep churning forward, we should have considerable experience on the court next season, albeit one of the youngest squads in Division 1. Tharpe and Wessley the only upperclassmen.

KansasComet 5 years ago

I have a feeling we will be just fine next year. Coach Self always seems to have a plan and a back up plan and a back up plan to the back up plan to make things work out in our favor. Every team that we have had since 2007 has had the potential to reach the final four. I don't think any other program can say that.

REHawk 5 years ago

Look at those arms and shoulders on Naadir. He appears to have adapted well to the KU training facilities.

Steve Reigle 5 years ago

Wow, that is truly tacky to boo Markieff. I can see it when KSU plays KU. We all boo the other team during BigXII games. But outside of that I always root for the BigXII team and players/former players. I really thought KSU fans had more class than that. I even rooted big time for KSU in the Fiesta Bowl and felt bad when they were so badly embarrassed. Shame on those KSU fans.

Jonathan Allison 5 years ago

I always reserve the right ro root against mizzou and their former players, regardless of whether or not they played in the big 12.

Is there a chance that at some point in time I have eased up and rooted for a former mizzou player? It's reasonable enough to consider, but I really can't think of a time when it's actually happened.

Jeff Coffman 5 years ago

I would imagine if you actually ended up cheering for a Mizzou player you would have to give up your KU Card...

I would say you have your priorities well grounded.

stm62 5 years ago

I NEVER root for K-State because they hate us so much. On 810 I heard several purples bragging about how "classy" their fans are. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's that typical inferior, chip on their shoulders attitude thats been around in my 50 years of living that seems to never change.

jayhawkinATL 5 years ago

I was actually happy to see KSU throttled last night.

Steve Gantz 5 years ago

I think what's funny about KSU is that they were there presumably to see their 1 and done Beasly warm the bench for a 12-21 team.

I'll admit, I saw perennial all stardom for Beasley in the league. I'm a Bulls fan, but thought we should have picked Beasley over Rose. Shows how much I know!

As for the meat of the article, it seems like this team is settling into the typical Self team. The rotation is set. The lack of competition in the league this year means we'll enter the big dance with probably 2 or at most 3 more losses. #1 seed and we'll nervously wait and watch to see how we'll manage the trap games that have besmirched Self's otherwise stellar coaching resume.

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

The following teams will not be allowed to play Kansas in the 2013 NCAA tourney: Bucknell, Boise State, Butler, Boston College, Baylor, Belmont, Bradley, Ball State, Bethune-Cookman, Binghamton, Boston U., Bowling Green, Brown, Bryant, Bufalo or BYU.

Steve Gantz 5 years ago

I'm Befuddled trying to find a B team that you missed.

nuleafjhawk 5 years ago

Baloney! We will Beat those Backwoods Buffoons Black and Blue. No more Banter about these much Ballyhooed, Bumbling, Benign, Backdoor Bacteria. Our men will Bedazzle and Baffle their Baby Boys.

I need a Beer. Preferably a Bud.

jaybate 5 years ago

"Some Little Known Facts about Temple"

~Temple's Owl mascot is actually based on John Chaney when he wore a beard during hormone treatments for lowT.

~Fran Dunphy is not related to Jack Dunphy, Truman Capote's life partner, or Jerry Dunphy, LA news anchorman, but jaybate's National Basketball Enquirer believes Fran may be a descendant of President Chester A. Arthur.

President Chester A. Arthur

President Chester A. Arthur by jaybate

Fran Dunphy

Fran Dunphy by jaybate

~Temple has 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students and not one of them is named Rocky Balboa, Jr.

~Temple is a public university that has achieved the best of all possible worlds, because while it gets state monies, it is independently operated...kind of like the Federal Reserve.

~Temple has international campuses in Rome, Tokyo, Singapore and London, but has yet to recruit these cities hard.

~Temple founder Russell Conwell is believed to be the only Yale graduate to be a captain in the Civil War, a Boston lawyer, a Philadelphia minister, and a founder of a university in Philadelphia named Temple.

~Temple graduate Noam Chomsky started his career as a linguist by studying the contribution of Temple graduate Bill Cosby's locker room humor to the manufacturing of sports consent in America.

~Temple graduates Daryl Hall and John Oates often perform live at Temple games from their nursing home beds.

~Temple graduate Patricia Wettig has signed to do a reunion show of Thirty Something to be called Ninety Something.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

jaybate 5 years ago

Note: obviously, jaybate did not take the photos above and, regrettably, jaybate has no idea who did.

VancouverHawk 5 years ago

Chomsky went to Penn, not Temple, though they're close.

jaybate 5 years ago

Oops, my bad. Temple wikipedia page has it this way:

Noam Chomsky – linguist and activist; as child attended Temple-run experimental Deweyite school

I didn't read the fine print. :-)

nostradavid 5 years ago

The last time I heard Chester Alan Arthur mentioned was by Firesign Theatre.

jaybate 5 years ago

My real name is Garrison Keilbate!

Dang, I'd forgotten Firesign for sure.

Now it floods back..."La Muerte y La Brujula."

Perhaps the only comedy schtick about Borges!!!

nostradavid 5 years ago

How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All?

JOE: 1829! In the midst of an ever-deepening sense of Prosperity, Chester Allen Arthur climbed to the top of his bedroom wall, thrust his defiance at the Javanese, and shouted

ARTHUR [badly recorded]: Give me Them, or I'm going Over There!

DC: But in 1934, in Germany, the Specter of Doom was rising its shrouded head in agony

SCHNIFTER [in auditorium]: Das ist Immer alles Aulung und ist rauch mit and potzen Volkswagen und meman stint und "Swell Pizza!!"

CROWD [chants]: Sig Freud! Sig Freud! Sig Freud! [Fading]

jaybate 5 years ago

I cannot top that one.

F-Troop was hilarious.

monkeehawkSL8 5 years ago

This is talking about basketball?

KansasComet 5 years ago

Looking forward to the game Sunday. Equally ready for the Big 12 season to get under way after Sunday's game! I think we are rounding into shape quite nicely.

jaybate 5 years ago

jaybate News Service (ins)

Dateline: The KU bench

Slug: jaybate interviews the KU bench

Part 1

jaybate: I want to say up front that this is the first bench I've ever interviewed virtually, or otherwise.

bench: Its a pleasure to be here, 'bate.

j: Not sure quite where to begin here. Hmm. What's it like being a bench in Division One college basketball.

b: Its multi-faceted.

j: You're not really an old fashioned bench, are you?

b: No, I'm a modern, multi-chaired bench. Polyethylene seat cushions and back on powder coated, or sometimes stainless steel tube frame and legs. But my father, baseball bench, he was a very traditional bench. Long wood 2x4s painted and bolted parallel to wood and concrete uprights.

j: Hmm. You come from a family of benches, eh?

b: Yes, on a Mormon family tree web site I tracked our family back to Old Vic theater benches in London, and then back to Roman Coliseum benches.

j: What does a bench do to prepare for a game?

b: Heavy breathing. Lots of heavy breathing to oxidize one's lungs. Its very tough to breath with some of these wide load types sitting on us.

j: Is there any skill required to be a good bench?

b: Oh, yea. When a player makes a bone headed play and gets a quick hook, two dangerous things are going to have happen very quickly.

j: What are they?

b: First, the player is going to flop down on the chair, start cursing and lean way, way back.

j: And...

b: Next a coach will come over about to have a flipping coronary and begin laying into the player about being softer than whipped cream in a hot tub.

j: What's the risk?

b: The coaches invariably want to get down in the player's face. The player is leaning back dangerously to exhibit defiance. The coach can easily cause the player to go over backwards.

j: Why is that your problem?

b: Chairs that tip over are considered bad luck by most coaches. I've seen a half dozen innocent chairs hounded into thrift stores by coaches blaming bad luck on chairs that flip over and injure a player.

j: What's your favorite part of being a bench?

b: Giving a great player the support and comfort he needs to catch his breath before returning to the game.

j: What's your least favorite part?

b: Having a butt in my face all the time.

(nervously shuffling papers)

j: That about does it.

b: No, really, you can't imagine how offensive it can be some times.

j: TMI

b: You've got your sweatty wide butts.

j: TMI

b: You've got your skinny boney tookases.

j: TMI, TMI, TMI!!!

jaybate 5 years ago

Part 2

b: I'm sorry. I thought this was 2013. I thought you and your readers were mature enough to handle the truth.

j: I want the truth!

b: You can't handle the truth!

(long pause)

b: Son, we live in a world that has balls, and those balls have to be supported by seats with legs. Who's gonna do it? You? You, mister jaybate? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep about TMI, and you curse the bench. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That TMI, while tragic, never saved a pair. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves pairs. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me under those balls, you need me under those balls. We use words like honor, code, loyalty on the bench. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent supporting something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a virtual interviewer who rises and sleeps on the support of the very freedom from dangling that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a seat cushion, and support a pair. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

j: No further questions.

(Note: all fiction. No malice.)

nostradavid 5 years ago

jaybate rhymes with hallucinate The bench interview reminds me of an art history paper from long ago. After a long night of fun, at 3am, it became an interview with a cricket that lived in a silver reliquary that contained the bones of a saint (on display in Spooner Hall at the time). - Seeing Okiehoma crushed in the Cotton Bowl brought back memories of Dana Stubblefield and the Jayhawks beating them on a fine fall afternoon in Lawrence. - Will Bill Snyder retire again after he realizes he can't win the big one ? That would clear the way for a proven bowl game winner - Mangino!

jaybate 5 years ago


There you go again, predicting the past!!!! :-)

Hope it gave you a grin.

I have always lived in a silver reliquary, though a reliquary is a chasse by any other name.

What's unusual about that? :-)

nostradavid 5 years ago

O Sacred Relic, you always give me a grin.

There was no prediction -, only a setup for a punchline. In this bright future you can't forget your past. Study the past, if you would divine the future.

HawkKlaw 5 years ago

"If he wasn’t doing it before it means somebody wasn’t getting it out of him. That’s me. I like where he is." -Self on Naadir Tharpe

What more needs to be said? For everyone arguing that Naadir has too many "physical limitations" and will never "play meaningful minutes in big games" and can't "guard bigger opposing guards" (although he guards 6'4" Elijah everyday in practice and I have yet to hear anyone on the staff raise this same argument), I hope you've got your spoons and forks ready because it's din-din time. Bill Self makes it sound like Naadir is on his way to making you eat all of those words.

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