Friday, January 4, 2013

Senior Kevin Young embracing role mentoring KU’s freshmen bigs

Kansas forward Kevin Young celebrates a dunk by center Jeff Withey against Belmont during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Kevin Young celebrates a dunk by center Jeff Withey against Belmont during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


A superbly conditioned athlete, who, in his own words, could “run all day,” Kevin Young doesn’t need much downtime in a two-hour Kansas University basketball workout.

“I try to get in every possession at practice. One day coach (assistant Norm) Roberts said, ‘Take a break. These guys have got to learn the plays, too,’” senior power forward Young said of younger frontcourt players Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor as well as red-shirt Landen Lucas.

“When he told me that, it dawned on me they are going to be in the game just as much as me. If they mess up, we lose possessions. It’s my role on the team to help them get better and make sure they know the plays and know what to do when they are out there,” Young added.

It hasn’t taken much urging from big-man coach Roberts or head coach Bill Self to get Young to embrace a leadership role on the 2012-13 KU team.

Remember, this is the same player, who, in taking off the 2010-11 season, worked as a volunteer assistant coach at Barstow Community College in California.

“Kevin is an unbelievable kid. He coaches those other (young) guys trying to get them better,” Self said. “He knows the better they get, they will not necessarily beat him out, but cut into his minutes because we become more balanced and deeper. It is good for our team later on. He gets that. It’s kind of fun to see,” Self added of such unselfishness.

“I’ve been really pleased with Kevin on how he’s utilized his maturity to help the young guys,” Self said.

Young, who played two seasons at Loyola Marymount, then played last year at KU, said he’s bought into everything surrounding KU’s tradition-rich program.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about me. It’s about us, and it’s about Kansas,” said Young. The 6-foot-8, 190-pounder averages 6.5 points and 6.7 rebounds a game heading into Sunday’s 3:30 p.m., home game against Temple.

“One of the biggest things I took in when I got here was coach’s philosophy on recruiting. He said it’s our duty to get somebody better (to come) here, and I am already leaving, so it’s not like I’m having much effect on bringing some new kids, so why not help the kids that are here?”

Young — he is majoring in African American studies with a minor in history — said he’s not yet decided if he’ll continue playing next year, become a coach or enter another field.

“My mom ... when she sees me coming home with scratches, says, ‘Maybe basketball is not cut out for you. Maybe you should start coaching already,’” Young said with a smile.

His mom, Alicia, and younger brother, Donovan, recently moved from Perris, Calif., to Lawrence as chronicled in the Journal World last month (

Young, by the way, said he has no plans on cutting his trademark afro hairstyle anytime soon.

“Probably not until the end of the season,” he said, smiling.

Wesley’s back: KU junior forward Justin Wesley practiced with limited contact on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, Self said. It’s expected he’ll be used only if he’s needed in the game. Wesley broke the little finger on his left hand on Dec. 13.

Larry vs. Danny: Former KU coach Larry Brown’s SMU team (10-5) will meet former KU All-American Danny Manning’s Tulsa team (8-6) at 7 p.m., Sunday, in Dallas. The game will be televised locally on cable channels 36, 236 and 144.

“It’s pretty neat to see a guy that was arguably the best collegiate player of the decade of the 80s — right there collegiately maybe (the best) in the last 30 years — that led his team to the national championship coaching against the coach that everybody feels like was maybe the best X’s and O’s guy, best last-minute strategist our sport has seen in many, many years,” said Self.

Tough for Tad: Self on Colorado’s last-second, game winning shot against Arizona being waved off Thursday after the officials checked the replay. CU went on to lose in overtime.

“Tad (Boyle, former KU player and current CU coach) is right on this point ... when the NCAA tournament committee is evaluating if you are on the bubble or not, they are not going to say, ‘Well, this should have been.’ They are going to go off the facts and the facts are Arizona won the game,” Self said. “That is why I think it is so important we get it right (by checking replay and making sure the replay table has high-definition TV replay that is available to the networks).”

Hudy honored: Andrea Hudy, KU’s assistant athletic director for sports performance, has been named the National College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Hudy is receiving her award this weekend at the annual NSCA Coaches Conference in Nashville.

“It is a privilege to honor Andrea Hudy and recognize her achievement,” NSCA Founder Boyd Epley said. “Andrea’s well-earned award and her contributions shape the NSCA into what it is today.”

No. 15 prospect considers KU: Leron Black, a 6-7, 215-pound junior power forward from Memphis’ White Station High, who decommitted from Baylor this week, has KU on his list of schools, reports. The country’s No. 15-rated player in the Class of 2014 lists KU, Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida, UConn, Memphis, Missouri, N.C. State, Louisville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt as well as Baylor.


FarSideHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

Dakari Johnson to Kentucky.

Does that improve our chances of landing Randle?


Josh Galler 1 year, 3 months ago

OFF TOPIC My wife is trying to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, she is so close to her goal. I hope some of you be able to donate for any amount. thank you.


texashawk10 1 year, 3 months ago

I know this isn't a football article, but there wasn't one posted today so I figured I'd ask here. What happened with Reeve Koehler at the Army All-American game? Last I saw was that he was supposed to make his decision during the game, but now Rivals is saying he's visiting Arkansas on the 18th. When did that happen and how much does that affect KU's chances at landing him and keeping Colton Goeas since those two are supposedly a package deal?


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

jaybate's Institute for Advanced Basketball Research did some data mining on shoes, as part of its on-going funding of research into the dynamic linkages between school choice and shoe contracts, and found this piece of research produced by none other than University of Kansas researchers published in that trendy rag--the Journal of Research in Personality.

It seems shoe appearance reveals lots about personality types of wearers.

Some of the findings master the obvious.

Women who wear stilettos on downtown streets late at night in sub zero, snowy conditions either had a car break down on the way to a a chic restaurant, or are hookers trying to make ends meet.


No, the researchers did not really say that at all.

I inserted that egregious, tongue-in-cheek falsehood to hold board rats' attentions long enough to get them to go to this link and read a sliver of what shoes tell us about ourselves, and then to ask what Addias, Nike, Under Armor, and Russell are trying to tell us about ourselves with their designs.

Say, I wonder if one of these ShoeCos funded this research? And if the researches did not get ShoeCo granting for this research, well, then, maybe they should seek a grant from the foundations of the ShoeCos to do some research on shoes. Consider this idea a late XMAS gift aimed at helping some KU grad students/professors gain/hold an edge in the terrier-eat-terrier world of publish or perish.

Maybe one of the KU researchers is also a board rat and will inform us what these various ShoeCo brands are trying to lock into with their styling, regarding our personalities, for their commercial benefit.

P.S.: There's a really nice close shot of Charlize Theron's high heels for those board rats with foot fetishes, too. :-)


William Blake 1 year, 3 months ago

Kevin is so vital to this team because he brings a heightened hustle into the games and practices. Think back to our first games without Kevin, and what a difference it made when Kevin returned. If we had Kevin for more than 3 minutes against MSU, I doubt we would have lost that game.

Kevin is not the most physically-talented player on this squad, but he is every bit as valuable and makes a valid argument for emphasizing attitude as much as talent when recruiting future Jayhawks. Like many of you, I have watched (and played) a lot of basketball but I have yet to see a player at Kansas impact the game this much by shear hustle alone! Kevin has taught me plenty and has shifted my focus towards the benefits of hustle.

Yes, Kevin has a motor that exceeds most others and makes most players look like they are restricted by a rev-limiter. Kevin is exposing that his high-performance motor fuels other motors on the team to try to keep up and (in doing so) helps the entire team reach the finish line ahead of the rest.

Kevin deserves a nickname that reflects his motor.... how about NITRO!!!(?)

Rock Chalk, NITRO!


Jack Wilson 1 year, 3 months ago

One of the biggest stories from Self's press conference was his statement that he's moving to an 8 man rotation. Starters, plus Tharpe, Ellis, Traylor. Thought that was some pretty big news for AW3 fans. But we'll see.

Also, if you missed it, jaybate had a nice write up on the three point shooting "cocaine" a few days ago ... meaning, that in our nice stretch here, we've been pretty reliant on the outstanding three point shooting. And that doesn't usually last. Of course, he's right.

I did look at three point shooting %s over last few years:

-2008-09: 37.1

-2009-10: 40.4

-2010-11: 38.2

-2011-12: 34.5

-This season: 37.8

I think the point is though that hot stretches of three point shooting can make things look rosier than they are. In the last 5 games, we have shot 47.8% from three (cocaine). Contrast that to the first stretch of games to give us our average of 37.8.

One thought on this team, and next season's team -- we may be transitioning to more of a perimeter based team anyway. We're getting a lower percentage of our points in the paint this season than any season in since and including our title season. And our prospects for significant post scoring is diminished for next season, unless we score on Randle.

If you look at the players we have coming in, our strength should be on the perimeter because we would only have one real post scorer (Ellis), again assuming no Randle.

This team can shoot 40% for the season. We do have the ability to do that. It is not beyond reason. Our 2009-10 team did it. We might be able to do better. But all that matters is what we do from here. If we can shoot at a 42-43% rate from three from here on out, watch out. Is that crazy to suggest?


Vittorio1224 1 year, 3 months ago

Here's a link to the KC Star's article on Manning & Coach Brown:

Brings back some amazing memories of good times gone by!

Rock Chalk!


JayhawkPurist 1 year, 3 months ago

Great article about a great member of the current squad.


Joe Baker 1 year, 3 months ago

Kevin Young is a great young man and has a great future to match a wonderful personality. His personality is going to pay great dividends in all he does as a person, player or possibly a good coach. This seems to be a huge oversight that many people fail to see how Self not only develops players, but he also makes great investments with the future of college bball. I don't see too many coaches making the same investment. It's great to see your players go on to the next level, but Self got it as a player and many of his players are realizing how important it is to give back to a great game. Only the great coaches have created players and coaches. It's almost as good as a NC. Lastly, Hudy is a great asset to KU's athletic program. She can't be appreciated enough for how she contributes to the players and the program. Congrats to Andrea Hudy for a well deserved honor.

Rock Chalk


yates33333 1 year, 3 months ago

I don't know if referees ever cheat for a home team, but Colorado sure got screwed in Arizona. I don't know how the refs could have made such a terrible decision. That the ball was shot before the clock expired, it read 1, and the backboard had yet turned red was obvious on TV. Yet the wrong decision was made despite the call having to be reversed. One of the on floor refs had held up two hands indicating it was a valid three point shot. I don't care that Tad is a KU grad. He'd be right if he had gone to Missouri on this one. Then I heard the self serving Pac 12 commissioner on Sports Center endorse the off court call. Really sickening. Thank God it wasn't KU getting the sharft.


mojayhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

Great article and comments.

BUT, I might add that we need a little more hype surrounding Danny coaching against his Coach! A historic moment for KU in Dallas on Sunday. Wouldn't you like to be in Larry and Danny's head when they see each other on the sidelines?


Scut Farkus 1 year, 3 months ago

I wouldn't be surprised to see KY end up on a pro roster next year. His athleticism is going to impress a lot of scouts.


nostradavid 1 year, 3 months ago

Kevin needs that awesome 'fro to intimidate opponents. Let it grow.

Hooray for Hudy!


Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 3 months ago

How cool would it be to see KY on the sidelines as a grad assistant next year??? That's assuming he doesn't get a ballin' gig overseas somewhere. Seems to me he could make some serious $$ over there and then be back in a few years at AFH.
I'd love to see his energy hopping around the bench in a few years.

rock chalk, Jayhawks!!!


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

Leron decommed on Dottie Screw.

Good for Leron.


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

Self is handling the Boyle-Stumpy Miller deal carefully, not coming to Boyle's side.


Self owes Boyle nada.

Boyle could one day compete with one of Self's Okie Ballers for the KU job.

And most importantly, Self and Stumpy have a date in the Madness for a huge game.

Self doesn't want to give the refs any reason to favor Stumpy in March...or April.


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago


Keep being tireless. Don't hesitate to help. Teaching always helps the teacher get better.

When the game is close--on the line--when an explosion is needed--the coach will always turn first to his tireless teacher that explodes.

Self wants scoring.



jayhawkboogeyman 1 year, 3 months ago

Add Kevin to the list of Hawks I'd love to see on the coaching staff someday. He has a really good chance to join an elite group to make multiple Final Fours here as a player, and despite his limitations we'd have little chance without the effort he brings. The only sad thing is he's running out of eligibility.


iamakufan 1 year, 3 months ago

Yea, Hudy! KU's "secret weapon!"


KUFan90 1 year, 3 months ago

Go KY! Sounds like coaching may be in his future.

Go Hudy! We are lucky to have her.

Go KU! Crush those Owls!


stm62 1 year, 3 months ago

Good article about KU's tradition and fanbase in Fridays


finestack 1 year, 3 months ago

Well deserved national honor for Hudy! Best in the business (Keep her happy Zenger).


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