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Sunday, January 27, 2013

First ascent: Mountaineers, Huggins await Jayhawks

The West Virginia Mountaineer mascot, Jonathan Kimble, cheers during the first half West Virginia’s game with Kansas State on Jan. 12, 2013, in Morgantown, W.Va.

The West Virginia Mountaineer mascot, Jonathan Kimble, cheers during the first half West Virginia’s game with Kansas State on Jan. 12, 2013, in Morgantown, W.Va.

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— Someday, Kansas and West Virginia may become fierce Big 12 Conference basketball rivals.

As of today, however, the teams coached by Bill Self (two Final Fours, one NCAA title) and Bob Huggins (two Final Fours) classify as strangers preparing to meet for the first time in the history of the two proud programs.

“We’ve never made the trip to Morgantown. I hear it’s a great home-court advantage they have,” KU coach Self said of the atmosphere in 14,000-seat WVU Coliseum, site of today’s 8 p.m. ESPN Big Monday clash between KU (18-1, 6-0) and WVU (9-10, 2-4).

“We’ve probably got to remind our guys about shooting the musket off and scaring them,” Self added with a laugh.

It’s a tradition for the Mountaineer mascot to fire a rifle while leading the players onto the field for West Virginia’s home football games.

Who knows? Huggins may put in a request to blast the musket to wake up his struggling Mountaineers, who are in jeopardy of not making the NCAAs for the first time in Huggins’ six years at his alma mater.

“I guess, in all honesty, winning has become expected. Losing is excruciatingly painful,” Huggins said.

The former Kansas State, Cincinnati and Akron coach opened the season with a 709-268 career coaching record.

“My dad (Charlie, long-time high school coach in Gnadenhutten, Ohio) quit because the losing affected him so much,” Huggins said. “If you go back, they played an 18-game regular-season schedule. He averaged over 20 wins for his career, so he didn’t lose much.

“It’s hard. It’s like Saturday (in 79-52 loss at Purdue on Jan. 19). They take us off CBS (cut away late in game). We’ve done things I’ve never had anybody do. I’ve never had a team not compete like that.

“We’ve got guys jogging down the floor. At this time of year, I’ve never had to do that before (get on his players for lack of hustle). It was always ingrained. It’s been a struggle to ingrain how hard you have to compete. When you are the 21st-worst shooting team in America (39.5 percent), you’ve got to play hard. We’ve got guys, they lose, it doesn’t bother them.”

Huggins, whose team has lost at home to Oklahoma and Kansas State and on the road to Iowa State and Oklahoma State (80-66 on Saturday), explained the hustle issue.

“I believe you get out of this game what you put into it. I think Kevin Noreen is a good example,” Huggins said of the 6-foot-10 sophomore from Minneapolis. “Kevin physically is not near as gifted as anybody else on our team, but he puts so much into it. The truth is, he’s getting a heck of a lot out of it. He’s realizing his dream of playing big-time major-college basketball on television. He’ll have three majors and a masters (degree) coming out of here. He’ll get a great job coming out of here. He’s invested in it. If you don’t invest anything, why would you expect to get anything out?

“You can’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. You can’t get in the stock market unless you invest. If you don’t invest ... obviously the more you invest the more you get out of it.”

Some practices have been good this season, some bad.

“We should be in a stance snapping our head, slapping the floor. Instead, you go down, stand up and let guys go where they want,” Huggins said of his defenders. “They (Mountaineers) know better. You put them in a drill, they know not to do that. They’d wear that treadmill out. You get in a game, it doesn’t transfer for whatever reasons. A lot of that is personality.”

The Mountaineers, who average 67.2 points a game, have a balanced attack. Aaric Murray (6-10 junior), Juwan Staten (6-1 sophomore), Terry Henderson (6-3 freshman) and Jabarie Hinds (5-11 sophomore) average 9.6, 9.6, 8.0 and 7.9 ppg respectively.

“We don’t have aggressive people by nature. We have a whole bunch of laid-back, nice guys,” Huggins said. “They’ll do anything in the world for you. The reality is, a good portion of them ... this is not the most important thing to them. I am talking God, family and basketball, or like (Vince) Lombardi said, ‘God, family and the Green Bay Packers.’ That’s the way it has to be.

“It’s not that you don’t have fun. I tell them, ‘College is the greatest time of your life. Enjoy it, but take care of your business first.’ You’d be dumbfounded. When guys come in, they’re like, ‘Gosh, I’ve got no time, man. I’ve got class, study hall, lifting (weights).’ Let’s think about this, ‘You’ve got class three hours a day, study hall at the max two hours a day and lifting an hour. That’s six (hours). That’s 18 hours (free). I don’t know what’s wrong putting another hour or so in and maybe work on your game. You should have enough time to have some fun and get some sleep, you’d think.”

The colorful Huggins has a huge fan in Self.

“Huggs back in the league gives it an unbelievable element,” Self said.

“He has a typical Huggs team,” Self said. “They play fast (and) drive it, drive it, drive it. You’ve got to be able to guard the ball in transition. They’ll rebound it. It’ll be a very physical game, probably one of the more physical games we’ve played this year. We’ll have to play better, going on the road.”

Uncommon foe: KU’s Travis Releford on playing West Virginia for the first time in history: “At first, it’s not going to feel like a Big 12 game because we haven’t played in that building.”

How will they look?: The Jayhawks tonight will wear special jerseys provided by adidas. The “tone-out” jerseys have been described as featuring a “more aggressive Crimson and Blue.” They will only be worn during the West Virginia game. KU also will wear “tone-out” warm-ups and shoes.

Hinds due: West Virginia’s Hinds, a 5-11 sophomore from Mount Vernon, N.Y., has hit 33.3 percent of his shots (58 of 174). He has made 16 of 62 threes for 25.8 percent. He has 33 assists against 33 turnovers.

Last year, Hinds averaged 7.4 ppg off 41.9 percent shooting. He made 25 of 78 threes for 32.1 percent.

“I went 4-for-18 at Texas. I’ve got to find a groove, and I’ll be OK,” Hinds said. “My numbers have been down. It’s a mind thing, confidence. If I keep shooting, it’ll eventually go in. I’ll keep working on it and get comfortable.

“We stick together on and off the court. If we keep doing that, we should be fine,” Hinds added.

Comments

Michael Johnson 1 year, 10 months ago

I saw them and they suck. blue tops with blue numbers.

Kyle Cornish 1 year, 10 months ago

Same version that Baylor wore against us pretty much.

KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

Kansas currently has the best basketball program in the country, hands down. I have read a lot of recent postings and it is really sad, from supposed die-hard KU fans. Elijah can't do this or do that is the comment that really bugs me more than anything. Elijah Johnson is the starting point guard of our basketball team. He is our floor leader, and as he proved during the NCAA Tournament last year, our insurance policy. He keeps the ball moving and tries to get everyone involved. He is also the first to criticize himself, when he is not playing up to his standards. It is so easy for some fans to say he can't do this or do that, when what we should be doing is encouraging him, because guess what, once the Big Dance starts we made need another clutch shot, defense play or great pass from him like we did last year so that we can survive and advance. Maybe he needs our support, more than our criticism? After all, he is one of us.

Comments about Elijah Johnson missing Tyshawn Taylor, I just don't understand. As much as I like Tyshawn, he was not always a good teammate. He could be a more of a distraction than a leader on and off the court. Jayhawk players have not received bad press this season, to my knowledge. No, I am not saying that is all on Tyshawn, but in my opinion, he could have been a better teammate instead of clashing with coaching and diminishing his draft stock. If we want to criticize EJ about his shooting, okay, but let's also heap praise on him for getting his team to an 18-1 record.

It is amazing that we are 18-1 after losing two impact starters and we still find something to complain about. Last years team was 26-5 after the Big XII regular season and had 6 losses going into the NCAA Tournament. Enjoy the ride and appreciate the fact that we are Kansas, and we have the best basketball program in the country. For those old enough to, please remember the lean years especially from about 1975-1983. We had some good teams back then, but that's all they were, just good teams. Nothing that really said National Championship. We have been really good to great for nearly 30 years, and by that I mean in the conversation.

Look at coach Huggins, begging for his players to show some "want to and fight". Have not had that problem at KU.

I know some won't agree with me, oh well. It's my opinion. Elijah Johnson is one of my favorite Jayhawks, and I love and appreciate his commitment to KU. He may not be perfect, but he is perfect for KU! His shots will start to fall, and he will show that leaping ability and get a nice dunk over someone, count on it.

Kye Clark 1 year, 10 months ago

You're very much entitled to your opinion, just as other posters are entitled to theirs.

I posted a couple times yesterday on how I doubted EJ would get back to the level of play we saw last year during the tournament. I stand by that. Don't confuse that with me not hoping he gets back to that level. I sincerely do.

You throw out our record as if it's proof he's playing up to that level, or at a level that is above reproach. It's like the posters who toss out Bill Self's record/resume whenever someone is critical of the program or our style of play or suggests that they'd like to see us do something different on the court (press, trap, play zone, have a secondary break, etc.). The "Self is God so shut your hole unless you're going to sing his praises" crowd. To me that is what is really sad - that level of worship that fans no longer have opinions of their own.

That, and when fans have criticisms and they are labeled as "supposed" die-hard fans.

Kye Clark 1 year, 10 months ago

Did you really just call me a troll? If that is serious, then get a clue. Most of the regulars can vouch for my passion as an avid fan. If it was tongue in cheek, then well played.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 10 months ago

the winky face was supposed to indicate that it was a joke.

I read and respect your opinions. Don't always agree with you 100%, but would never question your allegiance.

Kye Clark 1 year, 10 months ago

The more I thought about it the more I thought that's where ya might be going (hence the tongue in cheek comment). Thought you were too regular a poster for the opposite to be true.

My apologies for even entertaining my initial response :)

Steve Gantz 1 year, 10 months ago

Really Plastic? ICThe... has been on here for years and always gives a not so mainstream but valued opinion of our team. He is not a troll.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

I hate Bill.

Now is it okay to say he is a genius? :-)

Seriously, I do think EJ is either not getting enough praise for 18-1, or he is getting too much crit for TOs.

Ict, I am utterly with you in wanting people to write their honest critiques of the players and of Self. I would like it if they kept their comments in reasonable perspective, but I'm not even a stickler for that. :-)

I have always believed that pointing out some negs helps put in perspective just how awesome the positives are on most of our players and coaches.

I think my post over generalized and perhaps overstated fans criticism of EJ this season.

I will just leave it this way: I feel boardrats are either underappreciating the work he has done to lead us to an 18-1 record, or over focusing on his flaws, some of which are structural and more of which relate to his knees.

P.S.: Have scaled up one of Nick Krug's pictures of him in the KU-OU game? He is so far beyond quilts on his knees now, it is hard to believe. He is practically wearing braces on his knees now. Really, it is very awesome that he can play at all. He has to be in incredible pain most of the time.

Close Up of EJ's Knees in the OU Game. Photo by Nick Krug/cropping and enlargement by jaybate

Close Up of EJ's Knees in the OU Game. Photo by Nick Krug/cropping and enlargement by jaybate by jaybate

kckuguy 1 year, 10 months ago

You should have stopped after the first sentence. We all know you hate Bill. That backs up my earlier post to you, that you are nothing but a blowhard, who for some reason thinks very highly of themselves. What are your credentials that you seem to feel make you smarter than the average person ? Actually I can answer that question, you are nothing but a cheap shot artist who is easily entertained by yourself, but by no one else. Your ignorance is quite apparent especially, when you attempt to analyze a basketball team or a specific game. Your father evidently didn't teach you a valuable lesson that all children should learn, you never learn anything while you are talking, only when you are listening. You should try it.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

I hesitate to respond here in anything but one syllable words, but I'll give it a go.

Congratulations: you have now moved to the top of my least informed posters list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unbelievable.

You can't even comprehend a tongue in cheek statement.

You can't possibly be familiar with what I post here, if you really think I hate Bill Self.

How does your foot taste?

KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

Excellent post Jaybate. Thank you for making the point that I was trying to make.

KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

Elijah Johnson has given his all Kansas and I appreciate it, that's my point. You can have your opinion. Mine is to support a kid that has given his heart and soul to KU, never made waves, had knee surgery this year, and is obviously playing with knee issues. Anyone can see that he is not the same as last year. Have some understanding as to why, and encourage him this year as he makes his way through, that's all I'm saying.

jbal32 1 year, 10 months ago

Here Here!! Nobody apparently remembers what TT was like until around this time last year. I have faith in EJ and will for the foreseeable future.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Elijah is getting the same kind of ridiculous treatment that Brady and Tyrel got. These three players are core long term guys that started and played huge minutes and lead their teams to 30 win seasons. EJ is having exactly the same kind of injury plagued senior season that Tyrel had. His trey is hurting the same as Tyrel's did. And yet like Brady and Tyrel, E.J. Just keeps coming for the crimson and blue and fighting to a terrific W&L statement, and fans are bagging on him just like they did on Brady and Tyrel. They are now even starting to turn on Kevin Young just because he can't ice the 17 feet J. Players have to be judged by all the positives they bring, not mostly on their weaknesses. Not everyone is a Ben Mac, or a Withey. Less perfect players like EJ, Kevin, Brady and Tyrel are still incredible contributors. People that can't appreciate that EJ has played point on bad knees and delivered this team to one loss and a number 1 ranking are stuck on some eye test with Elijah, too.

Rock Chalk!

HawksWin 1 year, 10 months ago

JB, I too have wondered if Elijah's knees have gotten worse - since the 2 practices/day? Have you noticed EJ has been taking himself out in the early or late 1H in the last several games with some questionable fouls? I'm thinking EJ knows better - he's one of the intelligent players. Perhaps his knees are forcing him to sit out? Did Elijah have foul problems last year? I don't recall.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

HawksWin,

Its clear simply from the variety of things he has worn on his knees so far this season that they are desperately trying everything under the sun but bailing wire to keep his knees going and that's a testament to how incredibly important they think he is to this team's success.

HawksWin 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree. When EJ is in the game, it looks more organized offensively. I'll be saying some Hail Marys for his full recovery, for his own sake and ours.

Robert Brown 1 year, 10 months ago

I think some of the criticism of EJ has merit. People are entitled to their opinion and just because they have a criticism doesn't make then a bad fan. I would contend that 99% of the people who take time to post here are some of the most passionate fans in all of Jayhawk Nation.

Collison 1 year, 10 months ago

Your nuts about Taylor. While he did struggle early in his career on and off the court, KU doesn't sniff the final four without him last year. Him not being a leader? Him, along w. Robinson, carried that team last year. If we had him this year, this team would be insane because we don't have a guy that can consistently get into the paint. I would love for you to explain how you personally know his draft stock diminished because of all this. Finally, I agree with you about the comments on the message boards concerning Elijah. Simply put, the guy has never played point at the collegiate level.

Kent Wells 1 year, 10 months ago

The kid wore a KU jersey into Rupp before he even played one second for my Hawks. The kid gets a pass forever. I have never known a kid that wanted to be a Jayhawk so badly. He's getting the same treatment as Tyshawn and he led us to the championship game. Yes, Taylor did some crazy stuff. Whatever. Most that post on here cant even begin to understand the pressure. Elijah is 18-1. SHUT UP!

Eliott Reeder 1 year, 10 months ago

And while at Rupp that same day, he did this, IN THE GAME:

Don't hate on somebody because their knees are failing them. He has obviously lost a lot of hop over the last four years, giving his heart and soul to this team. Love him forever!!!

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

This is exactly what I meant about Tyrel Reed. He shot 46% from trey when he was healthy his junior season. He was easily one of the greatest three point shooters we ever had in terms of accuracy in a glue role. Tyrel would have blown the single season trey shooting records apart his senior season, if he had not had to play with a foot that needed operating on.

Elijah is caught up in the eye test, just like Tyrel was. Its another kind of eye test, but its an eye test just the same. Its the eye test that says the only kind of good African American is an African American that can jump out of the gym and slam every play. It is a ridiculous eye test. Just as ridiculous an eye test as a Caucasian American kid that can shoot 46% from trey and jump 40 inches suddenly isn't somehow a player when his heel needs surgery, but he keeps playing through incredible pain for the team and the Legacy. Its all BS. These kids are all awesome athletes. Just some are more awesome than others. But its the size of their goddamned hearts that is really huge. Lion sized. T-Rex sized. And that's the part that the eye tests really cruelly cheat and ignore.

!@#$%^& the eye tests!!!!!

Rock Chalk!

TexasRockChalk 1 year, 10 months ago

Good work Kansas Comet! Just think if HCBS & Company were as equally discouraging to Elijah as some of the naysayers....he'd quickly lose heart, which his veiled comments seem to indicate about his own shooting slump. He'll pull out of this bad stretch. We just need to support him as best we can!

Jim Roth 1 year, 10 months ago

Your point is that we should support our players, not criticize. Yet you criticize Tyshawn while making that point. Your inconsistency lessens the lesson.

KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

Nope, you are reaching. Read my post again. I said he was not always a good teammate. It is actually pretty tactful. That is a fact. Nothing against Tyshawn. Just like Elijah Johnson had surgery this season and is giving his all. Great teammate.

texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

You're nothing but a hypocite in this matter Comet. You cannot rip Tyshawn in the next paragraph after being criticsal of those who are ripping EJ for his play of late because that completely invalidates any point you were trying to make.

KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

I did not rip Tyshawn. I never said he sucks, I said he could have been a better teammate? I stand by that. Read my whole post, you sound desperate. Nice try though.

Kye Clark 1 year, 10 months ago

Jaybate - Yesterday in my posts I did mention that his injuries are one possible cause of what I feel is declined play. The other theory that is popularly getting tossed around is that he is playing out of position. I am more inclined to agree that his injuries are the cause rather than playing the point. He was a PG in high school, he ran the team very effectively his sophomore year during a stretch in which Tyshawn was in the doghouse (suspended for a couple of games leading up to the Big 12 tourney if memory serves me right. I won't go into the speculated reasons why he was suspended/benched). He was more or less the back-up PG last season with Self's thin bench and Naadir not being ready for the role. But I am inclined to believe that injuries are possibly affecting his play.

My post early this morning was just in response to KansasComet's post striking a nerve. The "it's sad" and "supposedly die-hard fans" comments in particular. I wasn't speaking for everyone's posts. Perhaps some of them are sad. But I knew I had posted yesterday on the matter. It wasn't an "EJ bashing" by any means, just speculation that I had my doubts that he'll be able to elevate his play to much higher a level than we've seen. And again, it's not that I don't want to see him succeed, but as my post yesterday asked, if it's injuries that are holding him back, what is the fix? Rest? We know Bill is not inclined to let his starters rest. To sit them for a game or two, or even to give them a day off from practice unless absolutely necessary. He lets them labor. You yourself have outlined countless examples. So if it's lingering injuries, what evidence do we have that measures will be taken to allow EJ to heal? I don't even know what would be required to allow said healing to take place. Because of this, I'm doubtful we'll see much improvement.

This is not to say EJ is not to be commended for what he's played through this year, and yes for being the starting PG on an 18-1 team.

P.S. It's been 3 games now I believe. Are you ready to declare BMac's ankle as good-to-go? :)

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, hell yes it appears I was way off on Ben Mac's ankle. I will take my whipping for that. :-)

And I could be overstating how much knee trouble EJ is in. But here's my take for what little its worth.

Regarding EJ's knees, I think there are certain injuries that aren't going to heal in a season, unless you hang it up for a season and come back next year. I think in these kinds of situations, a senior and a coach have to size up whether or not to take a medical red shirt, or not. I think if Naadir had been a viable back up for EJ from the beginning, and if Rio had been plug and play EJ would have been given a medical red shirt before the season started. But the calculus probably was that Dir and Rio were so iffy that best case scenario was Dir starts to get it when he started getting it, and Rio was a question mark. The decision was that they had to try to buy as much time for Dir and Rio with EJ's knees as they could buy, and hope for a lucky break on EJ getting a miracle and healing some.

I suspect the reason we are starting to see Rio some now is not just because Rio is developing, but the trend line on EJ's knees no longer positive. Its not totally negative, but its is now oscillating around a flat trajectory, rather than a healing trajectory. So: with EJ asking to come out sooner in each half rather than staying in longer, Self is being forced to play Dir more, and develop Rio some to buy more time off the floor for EJ.

Rio is saying that his job is to come in at the end of a half, or some time and to just play enough defense to keep the score from going south, not try to do anything offensively. Rio is in effect, EJ's defensive legs for the minutes he is in. Rio is buying time. When Rio is in, it is 4 on 5 on offense by plan.

I really don't know how long EJ's knees can hold up. Great athletes like EJ have amazing minds, not just amazing bodies. They can will themselves to do amazing things for periods of time. Sometimes even for seasons. The very great can sometimes compensate for a career. I am thinking of Mickey Mantle here. Easily destined to become the greatest center fielder of all time in the beginning, but he tore his knees up after only a couple of years. But he was so great that he could play on two gimpy knees and compensate and still hit 500 homers and make the hall of fame, while medicating with booze and pills. Joe Namath was the same way. Easily destined to be greatest quarterback who ever lived before, during, or since his career, but torn up knees reduced him to a one dimensional passer, who was still good enough to be the greatest passer of his time, and win a Super Bowl.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

People are already forgetting that Elijah Johnson was one of the greatest pure athletes Self ever recruited. He was a little bit late maturing, as any guy is who grows two inches after his freshman year would be (that implied he was very physically immature that first season at KU). But EJ was the kind of player that would eventually have done much of what Ben is doing, had he not wrecked his knees. A guy like EJ is the kind of great athlete who might be able compensate his way through a season like this with enough bailing wire. But knees can go at any moment. And remember that when you are suffering something as fundamental as a knee injury over the course of a season it can trigger a cascade of other injuries, because you are favoring it so much.

People have almost forgotten that EJ only injured one knee last season. He reputedly only had one knee "cleaned up," according to Self. But look at the picture of his knees now. He's is wearing heavy equipment on both knees. You may be too young to recall Joe Namath. But right now, our point guard, Elijah Johnson, is the Joe Namath of college point guards. He still has a few things he can do superbly. He still has a few situatons where he can unleash what remains of his once incredible athleticism. But he has to pick and choose them. And he also has to fight against letting the injury make him too conservative. If fatigue makes cowards of us all, injuries make self doubters of us all. Self isn't putting the spurs to him all the time, because Self, who had a knee injury, knows exactly what the hell EJ is caught up in. He knows EJ is already doing more than Self ever could after his knee injury. Self is just trying to spur him enough from time to time to chip away the self doubting layer of protection. He's trying to keep EJ picking his spots. And that's what he should do and EJ knows it too.

Frankly, I am in awe of what EJ is doing. The only other guy that has every tried to do this under Self is Kaun. And Kaun played a position where it was much easier to mask two bad knees.

If KU gave the Congressional Medal of Honor for basketball, Elijah Johnson would surely deserve it this season for what he is trying to play through, IMHO.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Note: If it were me, I would have given him a medical red shirt regardless, because I am a pussy about injuries. I don't like guys playing injured. Period.

But in the world of D1, especially with Self, this is how it is done.

I'd like to change it, but until it does change, this is one heroic effort EJ is putting up.

KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

What an incredible post! An absolutely incredible read! Thanks!

PSM 1 year, 10 months ago

I couldn't agree more. What happened to all the talk of how awesome it was we could run lob plays that outrpoint guard (EJ) could finish? He's lost a lot of bounce, a lot of the athletic gifts that come with youth. You really can't get that back in one season, perhaps ever. Miss the old EJ.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 10 months ago

I would say that we're tied for the best program in the country. It's hard to argue against what Duke has done, UNC and of course Kentucky. Anyone one of them and us can lay claim to the best in the country.

PSM 1 year, 10 months ago

I love Elijah as much as the next guy, but you can't honestly say he's played well this year. We saw how he played late last season, and this year he has just not played anywhere close to that potential. It's halfway thru his senior season, if the shots "just aren't falling" yet, they're never going to fall. He didn't "get us here".

Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 10 months ago

Post about this one more time. The rest of us didn't read it the first 4-5 times. You don't like the tone out jerseys. Got it.

I personally liked the look of them and will be curious to see how they look on tv.

I could be wrong, but won't WVU be wearing white? And the crowd usually wears yellow.

Ben Kane 1 year, 10 months ago

I wish we were wearing the reds as well, we don't wear them anywhere near enough. I'm looking forward to seeing a blowout. we are due for one of those.

also, dont' be freaking out when we aren't number 1, it's of no significance. Joe Lunardi has us as the overall #1 on his bracket S-Curve.

Josh Galler 1 year, 10 months ago

I saw replicas at Kansas Sampler on Saturday, I like them. Not sure how they will look on TV but I like them

Thomas Michaud 1 year, 10 months ago

The issue with the "tone-out" uniforms for Kansas is that the Red doesn't provide enough contrast to the blue. The colors are too similar in value and can be really annoying to look at for any length of time - basic color theory there.

If there was white piping around the letters, it would help. You can barely make out "Kansas" ... It works on other schools (Baylor and UCLA) because the colors (Black/Dark Green and Yellow (BU) and Blue+Yellow (UCLA)) have a higher contrast. Even take a look at the "Tone Out Practice T-Shirt" -- thank goodness for the small Jayhawk below the lettering because I have no idea what the text says.

http://www.kustore.com/style/NCAA-Tone-Out-Practice-T-Shirt/20431954

Tone Out Practice T-Shirt

Tone Out Practice T-Shirt by ColdCoffee

Brak 1 year, 10 months ago

So I guess you didn't watch the KU Baylor game when they wore their "tone-out" uniforms, at first I thought it was weird that they didn't have their names on the back of their jerseys. Guess they did and you just couldn't read them because they were green on green with a small black outline.

Jim Roth 1 year, 10 months ago

It was even worse watching online. Sometimes the streaming is so poor I have to check the number even for our own players to identify them. I'm not looking forward to this KU experiment.

mejayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

If you have a HD tv, try watching it on the tv via HDMI cable. Might help?

Thomas Michaud 1 year, 10 months ago

While you can't read the names on the Baylor "tone-out" jersey, you can clearly read "Baylor" and the number (with the yellow piping)--a black outline would have had nearly the same result as the names. The yellow against the dark green provide (me anyway) a better contrast that what you'll see with red an blue next to each other. As I would point out in the image below, the name is invisible, but you can read "Baylor" "5" and "34" easily enough.

justinryman 1 year, 10 months ago

Does anyone know what if anything KU is getting paid by Adidas to wear the "tone out" uniforms?

I just can't see them doing it for free.

I have seen other schools wear them this year along with some NBA teams on Christmas day, it is hard to see the numbers on TV and the names even harder to read.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Is KU receiving tone out money.

The marks so faint you can't tell the denominations of the bills?

HawkKlaw 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm sure there is some clause requiring it in the contract between KU and Adidas.

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 10 months ago

Anyone know the kind of shoes Coach Self was wearing saturday? The gray adidias with a sort of mesh look to them.

Ludwig Supraphonic 1 year, 10 months ago

Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Program.

clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 10 months ago

I get that, but what kind of Adidas were they, they zoomed in on them

SaltLakeHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I believe they were Nike. I understand why the coaches were wearing them, but I also thought it was odd considering we're an addidas school.

TexasRockChalk 1 year, 10 months ago

What does everyone think about KU's chances of breaking 60 points today? Over or under?

Kent Wells 1 year, 10 months ago

Over. WVa is pretty bad. I'd say 76 or so...

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

This is jaybate Apparel, Inc.'s proposed new practice jersey.

The marketing name is Shizz Down Jerseys.

It makes it so you can't see shizz on the jersey. :-)

The tag line for ads in industry magazines is:

"Shizz down, not up."

The IPO will be floated on the Pyongyang Stock Exchange tomorrow, or is that today across the iDateline?

Robert Brock 1 year, 10 months ago

Why are the Hawks wearing some ugly adidas "tone-out" uniforms for one game - and especially for THIS game? It seems rather absurd to me.

Ron Franklin 1 year, 10 months ago

so we don't appeal to the east cost media and athletes?

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

jaybate Apparel Inc.'s Shizz Down Line of Practice Jerseys

jaybate Apparel Inc.'s Shizz Down Line of Practice Jerseys by jaybate

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

First Ascent headline makes me think this is going to be a many layered, Eddie Bauer kind of game.

Justin Kruse 1 year, 10 months ago

Hopefully it's a blow-out early and we see a lot of Jamari, Andrew, and Rio tonight. I think Jamari is going to be the man next year.

KGphoto 1 year, 10 months ago

He's showing signs but we may have another freshman-of-the-year in Selden.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Ah, that would be a "SWISH" on Selden.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

"Some Hints about XTReme Wrinkles Bob Huggins Is Reputedly Developing for Tonight's Game with KU"

~Huggs has asked that Abraham Zapruder's 8mm camera be used to record a short portion of the game.

~DARPA has contracted with a legendary coach in West Virginia to test some of the cyborg attack insects powered by HAARP in Gakona.

~Charlie Partana doesn't know whether to ice Andrea Hudy, or marry her.

~Visitor's locker room reputedly fitted with several aerosol jets and plastic canisters from white, unmarked 747s often seen spraying barium Chem Trails in criss crossing patterns over Morgantown, West Virginia.

~An unmarked semi backed up to WVU Coliseum yesterday and off-loaded 16 cases of rubber bullets.

~WVU manager told police that Huggs forced him to wear a blue tone down jersey with the number 23 and let the Mountaineer team take turns tasing him at the trey stripe.

~Large blood drive reportedly going on in West Virginia this week with donors with blood types matching Jeff Withey's being given extra incentives to donate.

~Trap doors reputedly being added to WVU court this week.

~Bob's man bra underwires being electrified for when he chest bumps referees.

~Doomsday weapon reputedly installed this week under center jump circle and set to go off when ever KU separates by 10.

~Old buddy of Bob's in US Army Psychological Warfare Operations group called in to hack KU players' Nanos and fill them with "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

Thoughts on tonights game.

1] Rumor has it that West Virgina will be firing a musket after every Mountaineer basket...they will be using live ammo and will be aimed at the Jayhawks...luckily there won't be many shots fired!!

2] Coach Huggins will at some point in the game do his best Frank Martin imitation.

3] Mountaineer fans sport many fur caps including racoon, badger and skunk...unfortunately, most of the skunk caps are still alive!!

4] The concession stands serve Coke, Pepsi and White Lighning with refillable jugs.

5] Hopefully, the fade out jerseys rermain true to their name and "fade out" of existence as soon as possible.

6] Unlike some of the posters, I am finding it hard to criticize an 18-1 team that will probably be #2 in the country with the best coach, the best defender, the best venue, the best fans, the best chant and the best freshman in America......but that's just me.

7] If you want to see a Mountaineer fan's head explode, just tell them how great it is to be in VIRGINIA!!!

8] My fearless prediction, as long as their musket aim IS as crappy as their basket shooting, Kansas 80 - West Virginia 61.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

2] Coach Huggins will at some point in the game do his best Frank Martin imitation.

I forget already. Does this mean he will imitate Bert, or Ernie? :-)

Joel Hood 1 year, 10 months ago

"...You’ve got class three hours a day, study hall at the max two hours a day and..."

2 hours max?? Oh, that's right... this is the same game that ran the squeakly clean program at Cincy, where academics got in the way of giving a kid a hand up.

texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

Study Hall is the manditory time with tutors in the academic wing of the athletic building. KU athletes have the same rules because it's an NCAA rule. If the athletes are only spending 2 hours a day studying most days, then that's where the issues start. Some days, 2 hours enough time to get everything done, but that's usually only early on in the semester.

Ron Franklin 1 year, 10 months ago

I was always taught to study 3 hours for every credit hour. Damn, I wasted a lot of fun time in college!

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 10 months ago

No WAY is this going to be a game where we score more than 65!!!!! I've seen a lot of the WVU games already, and while they SUKK shooting the ball, they're one of the top 2 or 3 def. teams in the conference FOR SURE!!!....along w/ KU & UT.

I think it's going to be ugly & it wouldn't surprise me if this is our signature "ugly loss" for the year.

I'll stay positive and still pick us, but I doubt that it's going to look much different than our 59 - 55 win in Manhattan.

I'll say

KU 60
WVU 54

jgkojak 1 year, 10 months ago

I wonder if the travel is wearing on the players. It is not a good travel schedule for WV in the B12 - they don't have any 'bus' games (Pittsburg, Louisville) like they had in the Big East and its a long 9 game road schedule.

I also imagine the travel at some pt will end up impacting recruiting - if I have a choice of Va Tech, Pitt or WV, why am I going to WV? Unless I'm really into Huggins?

I predict that some day, WV will be out of the B12.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

If the B12 doesn't build an eastern time zone division for WVU within a year or two, it seems inevitable to me too.

jgkojak 1 year, 10 months ago

Agreed - if they were sticking with 10 - why not add BYU instead of WV - but I digress.

Actually, of all the realignment atrocities, WV is the worst (I'm ignoring the SD and Boise to Big East, since that's falling apart as we speak). Put WV in the ACC where they belong and things aren't that bad. I'd rather be at 9 than at 10.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

I revisited my political economy and alliance building hypothesis to explain realignment and it really gets people hot under the collar, so I'm giving it a rest and a cool down period. :-)

Suffice it to say that I think WVU was added with the expectation of creating an eastern division, for a combination of reasons that may now be in limbo do to additions made by the Big Ten, and by additions yet to be made by the Big Ten.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

I recall sitting behind the benches at Gallagher Iba in Stillwater back in the early 90's when the Cow Poke mascot was firing the blank pistol during TO's & & that was about the most God awful, unnerving thing imaginable-like it wasn't loud enough already. Does anyone know if OSU still does that? I thought it was really an unfair advantage, but what do I know?

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

I hate to say it, but this is not going to be an easy game, let alone a blowout. I don't care who you are, or what your record is, you give KU your absolute best when they roll into town. And any Big XII road game is not a guaranteed victory.

Just ask Bill Self what his thoughts are on playing in Lubbock.

And this team has not been playing well as of late. Sure getting out of Austin and Manhattan was great, but you can sense that this is a team that is in need of a loss to get them more focused.

Defensively, superb as usual. But the turnovers and offensive inefficiency needs to get turned around in February.

Does West Virginia pull off the upset tonight? I highly doubt it. But these lethargic, careless streaks are going to cost us a win one of these nights.

mejayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm glad this topic came up. Just thinking recently, "I hope the ku players don't read these boards." Not suggesting we constantly heap praise on them, either. My personal ethic is I don't write anything on here I wouldn't want a player to read.

By the way, jaybate, I watched the OU game again last night with your recent KY musings in mind. He doesn't look hurt to me. That leaves personal problems and I think that's it. He played with passion, but the joy is gone right now. If he is having personal problems, I wish him the best in his struggles. On the other hand, maybe he's spending so much time in front of the mirror, checking out his fro, that his studies, class attendance, lifting, practice time and personal relationships are all suffering. If that's the case, I'd say, "Kevin, you gotta cut the fro."

RCJGKU

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

Glad he's not injured.

We need to remember also that this IS Kevin's first season as a starter.

Most guys need a full season of starting before they really get consistent.

I still think he is doing a great job and exceeding expectations in a way that Perry, and Jamari, still are not.

But Mother Hen Self is out there on the practice court and in there at the trainer's table and he knows what's up with his guys. If Kevin is really not doing it, as some say, he'll get the hook. But I believe he is doing it.

And furthermore, I believe he is in a slump on his jump shot and I believe he will come out of it before too long.

oldalum 1 year, 10 months ago

I re-watched the Colorado game over the weekend, and Kevin played the whole game with a smile on his face, gestured to the crowd for noise, and had a good time in general. All of a sudden all that joy is gone. Maybe he's trying too hard right now?

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

Final weeks in the schedule may deal us a couple of losses, but I think we have too much defense for this to go awry. Ames & Stillwater are always tough, even without talent levels as they are now. Only way we tank this game is for Jeff to get in early foul trouble.

HawkKlaw 1 year, 10 months ago

As for the jerseys, I'm a big fan of getting back on board with Nike. And while we're at it, we should do away with the atrocious Trajan font (definitely not representative of anything related to KU basketball) and go back to the ultra-awesome circus-y font of the 90's and early 00's.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 10 months ago

Agreed about the font.

The Old English was awesome, and fitting.

okiedave 1 year, 10 months ago

If the Mountaineers are allowed to shoot off those obnoxious muskets during BB games, Allen fieldhouse should be allowed to have bird droppings drip from the rafters on the opposing bench.

DanR 1 year, 10 months ago

It'll be the toughest environment of the season.

I hate to say anything negative about another team's fans, but WV fans are stupider than methzoo fans, more bitter than k-staters... and they all seem to have that asymmetrical ugliness commonly found in a shallow, moonshine-dulled gene pool.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 10 months ago

We no longer have Misery to stereotype so now we'll stereotype WV? Why don't you stick to commenting about basketball because comments like yours make us look exactly like what you accuse them of being.

bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

Well they DO burn their couches after big victories...

Scott Smetana 1 year, 10 months ago

  • Wouldn't be so easy to criticize EJ if Tharpe wasn't playing so awesome and if our half-court offense was so stale.
  • Huggy seems like a cheeseball. He belonged at KSU.
  • I'm willing to give the new jersey's a chance... picture doesn't look THAT bad.
  • Yes, KansasComet, we truly have no place to criticize the Jayhawks, but it's our right:) We all agree that we're experts second only to coach Self. I don't like people saying we have no chance or game over before it's over. I remember about 5 people saying it's over in '08 when we lost at OSU.

Redlandsjhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

ATTN: Off Topic Alert!!

Question to the board. Does anyone have any idea what is wrong with Texas? Seriously

I mean the team not the state. It's my understanding they have beautiful facilities, are

regularly successful in recruiting, so what's up. I know Rick Barnes is no Bill Self

but come on! Is it injuries? turmoil? Anyone know?

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

I think what happened to Rick Barnes is that he signed up with the "right way" avant garde of Self, Donovan, K, and a few others, and its eaten into his recruiting just the way it as all the top coaches.

All the top coaches in the unofficial "right way" avant gard have seen a fall off in talent IMHO. They are down to having 2-3 draft choices every years, instead of 4, 5, 6, or 7.

Remember, Self just said this team is no where near as talented as his '08 team, which he said had 7 NBA players on it. No KU team since has had 7 NBA players on it is what he was saying.

I have said for awhile that I think either '08, or '09, the "right way" avant gard was formed and started trying to recover the game from the ShoeCo-Summer Game-Agency complex. Its cost all these top coaches in terms of recruiting to take the stand.

I can't prove this is what happened, but this is what appears to have happened.

I am not positing a conspiracy theory. :-)

I am just saying it looks like a duck.

And its my hypothesis for the phenomenon. Not a proven theory. And certainly not any kind of an illegal conspiracy.

Self gets more out of players than these other coaches IMHO.

Self hit his creative prime about Xs and Os at about this time.

And Self has had some luck with certain players sticking around longer because of early injuries, and developing farther than expected.

So: Self has suffered the least perhaps.

But IMHO, if Self had kept going after the talent the way he did his first few years, I think we would have been looking at a John Wooden run in the years since '08.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 10 months ago

that and Myck Kabongo is by far their best player and a future pro and he's sidelined by the NCAA till mid February. Their a different team after Kabongo returns.

Steve Gantz 1 year, 10 months ago

This feels to me like Tennessee a couple of years back. While this is a conference game, it still kind of feels like an non-conference game. Tennessee in that game was having a bad season, had suspensions and injuries and there was no possible way our highly ranked team was going to lose to them.

Until we did.

We'll get their best shot. Probably won't be players jogging up the court like Huggy mentioned in the article. We're the team they really want to beat as the new guy in the league. Although their horrible shooting percentage combined with our outstanding defense means they might not break 40 points tonight.

And did that article really say Huggins has won over 700 games? I'd like to look that up, but I can't believe it.

And count me as one who says who cares what the uniform looks like as long as it says Kansas on it and it's got Withey, BMac and company wearing them.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

I remember that loss. Was a real "whuppin." Also I recall how they responded in the conf & dance tourneys. Self never had much trouble getting that group energized even though they couldn't hit the broadside of a boxcar vs OSU. Gotta admit it was butt ugly. But if that's what it takes to get another NC, I'm all for it. Wasn't that the year of the OT win vs Durant/UT in the Championship game?

ohjayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Never in a million years did I ever imagine my hometown would be mentioned in kusports.com. Amazing. Although, Charlie Huggins is definitely worth mentioning. He's one of the all-time best high school coaches in Ohio basketball history.

Tom Longhofer 1 year, 10 months ago

Sounds like Huggins's current players are a far cry from those Samari sword wielding, coat hanger branding lads that he sent onto the floor in Cinncinnati. I wonder which team he prefers?

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

As Huggs has aged, he seems to have gotten like teams that play to their competition.

Huggs needs a game with Self too really get his own competitive juices flowing.

Frankly, I think Huggs has caused his own problems this year, because he has appeared to be sulking about having to play in the Big12 without an eastern division.

Huggs team has probably caught onto his whining. They probably doubt he is going to stick around. They probably figure the B12 won't add anyone by next season, and Huggs will motion play on them.

I hope Huggs stays and I hope the B12 adds an eastern division ASAP.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

The year they won the NC (early 90's) that Cincy team only beat UMKC by one at Municipal at the buzzer. Dumas & Schmitz were on Lee Hunt's team at the time. If I recall, Dumas went late 1st round to the Mavs & Ronnie tried out for several teams, Hawks, Bulls, Blazers, but had signifigant back issues so never was able to play pro ball. Too bad cause that kid could flat shoot the lights out. He was a participant in the in the 3pt contest at the Final Four & Dumas was in the Dunk contest That was the one year they probably should have had an at large bid. Played a really tough schedule-OSU, KSU, Neb, St Louis, Cincy, KU-not a great team but could have easily been a higher seed. Got to know several of those kids well, & they were fun to hang out with. Road trips were really enjoyable for my family, we made all we could for several years.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

May I correct myself, Huggie did not win the NC in 92, close but no cigar!

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 10 months ago

I saw the play and could go either way with it.

He looked like a player who was trying to make a statement. He wanted that dunk so bad because he knows that he used to have that, and that he should be able to put that one away.

The driving attempt was late in the game and it was contested and I believe that a K-State player got a hand on the ball, so it was definitely a tough shot.

I was surprised when I saw the take off as it was clear that he wanted to throw it down, but it looked to me that he didn't quite get the elevation that he thought he was going to get and maybe the launch point was longer than he thought it was, could have been that he should have taken another step then launched off of two feet.

I remember watching him a little bit after that attempt to see if it looked like it hurt him any or if he was slow on the defensive end. I felt like he did look a half step slower after that, but he didn't look to be in pain.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

I thought HCBS let him set on the bench for an awfully long stretch with 2 fouls the following game. I don't think all the parts are in order either, but these guys will not let on unless they have to. I also base my hunch on the fact that Adams got sizeable minutes on the floor vs an OU team that was not going away very easily. Don't remember that happening for a long time either. Bill is not that big on floor time for freshmen, especially once conf begins. Prior to, maybe. But is just an opinion, however EJ does have a chronic problem with, I think, his left shoulder. He's been a pretty damn accurate shooter till about the past half dozen games. Hope my math is off adding all these things up.We certainly are not the same team with him at 75%, but as Dad used to say "50% of something is better than 100% of nothing."

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

We were very fortunate to be involved in many charitable events and met countless interesting & neat people-Eddie & Sean Sutton, Max Faulkenstien, Gene Bartow, Dick Vitale, Tom Headrick, and scads of current (at the time) Royals & Chiefs players and coaches. Those were fun years especially for my kids, who were able to see first hand how much skill & hard work were neccessary to compete at a D-1 level. I'll never ever forget how squeaky & cartoon-like Byron Houston sounded when he tried to holler "Watch them elbows!" But he was a stud in the paint, think he played at Golden State after college. One of the funniest stories I've ever heard was from parents who's son was recruited by Norm Stewart. They said he chauffered them around campus in a scroungy, filthy old Caprice they said looked as if he'd hauled hay bales & chickens in the back seat. Originally their 6'-10" son was offered a ride, but they told me they couldn't get out of Columbia quick enough when Norm said he'd lost some schollies & wanted Rick to walk on. What?

KansasComet 1 year, 10 months ago

ICThawkfan316,

You are right, some post were sad. Still do not know how it struck a nerve with you? My post was about understanding what EJ is going through, appreciating all that he has done for us, and encouraging him through what has to be a difficult time for him. You were not one of the sad post or supposed fans that I posted about. No need to get upset. I would reply back to you, if I had an issue, rest assured. I enjoy reading your post and I can appreciate anyone's right to have an opinion. The funniest part about my post is that practically no one responded to my remember the lean years statement? I'm still puzzled by that? We are a spoiled bunch, but in a good way!

Kye Clark 1 year, 10 months ago

No worries KSComet. It's all good. Maybe too early in the morning, and knowing I had posted on EJ the day before assumed too much.

I was not around for the lean years. I became a KU fan as a boy of 10 watching the Jayhawks capture the '88 Championship with my grandparents (which included all of their tourney run that year). Much of my sports affections stem from that age. I'm a Dodger fan due to watching Kirk Gibson's heroics that year. And I'm a Raider fan because around that time Bo Jackson was the coolest guy in cleats, and it was in stark contrast to Christian Okoye and Marty's 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense! Anyway, I digress...

You are right tho...we are spoiled!

Kye Clark 1 year, 10 months ago

Ralster - I too am a huge admirer of Self. His philosophy, his persona, and all he has done for the program. I wasn't in the debates yesterday, but I did perhaps bring up the "Self worship" topic today. First off, I would never lump you into that category. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with NOT second-guessing Self ever, or blindly trusting his wisdom, which is obviously far superior to anyone posting on these boards. The problem I have is that it adds nothing to the discussion. If two fans are arguing about say...Self not ever pressing, obviously it is an academic debate. We all understand that. We're not going to apply for Self's job or a job on his staff (as some people snidely reply to those that suggest they'd like to see the team do something different), or draw up plays for him to use thinking he's never thought of it. It's when people throw out "you don't know more than Self" or "I think I'll trust Self's basketball IQ over yours" that I get irked. Along these lines, maybe a lesser offense than this, is pointing to our record or Self's resume as a debating tool. Yes I understand that Self knows what he's doing. The flip side is that we'll never know how scenario B might play out. It is all hypothetical. I enjoy it, so long as I'm having a discussion or debate with someone willing add to the discussion.

Anyway, I always enjoy your posts, so don't let fear of getting lumped into some category by others keep from posting! RCJH!

Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 10 months ago

I truly believe he has changed his coaching up a bit too. I'm not the brightest bball mind out there, but I do watch a lot of college bball and never miss a Hawks game. And what I've observed this year and last was a willingness to shake things up in the 2 nd half when we weren't playing well. In game adjustments. Now I'm not on here suggesting that Self wasn't making adjustments before the ''11-12 season, I just think he finally figured out the best way to implement them. The UNI game especially I remember as a game where we just kept trying to do what we do and didn't make an adjustment (full court press) until too late. What I observe happening the last two years is to figure out what the problem is in the 1st half and then scheme how to turn things around but not show the opposition until the 2nd half to give them less time to adjust.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

Maybe the most impressive element of all of HCBS skills is that he assembles his team so well each year going forward, He loses players every single year & comes back stronger it seems the next. He recruits as this is his strategy. We loose all 5 next year-I still think we're at least a 4 seed-minimum. Ellis will probably be the leading scorer, we have Green,Traylor, minimum in the paint, & White, Adams, & about the #2-3 ranked recruiting class even without Mr Randle. That, IMO is Mr Self at his best. That's why he is consistently at the head of the coaching class. So who cares if we sound like bandwagon fans. Just look at what he's getting done with the 4 spot by committee? When was the last "down" year we have had with Bill? 2004?

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