Monday, July 29, 2013

Eyes on the prize: Assistant Jerrance Howard relishes role as recruiter

Mario Chalmers, center, poses with Kansas assistant coaches Jerrance Howard, second from left, Kurtis Townsend, second from right, and Norm Roberts, right, prior to Chalmers' charity golf tournament on Monday, July 29, 2013, at Alvamar.

Mario Chalmers, center, poses with Kansas assistant coaches Jerrance Howard, second from left, Kurtis Townsend, second from right, and Norm Roberts, right, prior to Chalmers' charity golf tournament on Monday, July 29, 2013, at Alvamar.



Mario Chalmers, center, and his mom, Almarie, wait the start of Mario's benefit golf tournament on Monday, July 29, 2013, at Alvamar.


Awards at Mario Chalmers' benefit golf tournament reflect one of the beneficiaries on Monday, July 29, 2013, at Alvamar.


Mario Chalmers, center, poses with Kansas assistant coaches Jerrance Howard, second from left, Kurtis Townsend, second from right, and Norm Roberts, right, prior to Chalmers' charity golf tournament on Monday, July 29, 2013, at Alvamar.

First-year Kansas University assistant basketball coach Jerrance Howard enjoyed representing his new school during the just-completed July recruiting period.

“It was great to walk in that gym and have that ‘KU’ and Jayhawk on my chest. It was a good experience. We’ve got to get some guys (prospects) if I want to keep my job,” the 33-year-old Howard said with a smile while waiting to tee off in Mario Chalmers’ fifth-annual National Championship Golf Classic on Monday at Alvamar.

Only time will tell how Howard, fellow assistants Norm Roberts and Kurtis Townsend and head coach Bill Self fared during their 15 days on the road tracking top AAU talent. Early indications hint that, “We did really well,” Howard said. “We saw some great prospects. We were in Orlando (Fla). We were in (Las) Vegas, Kansas City. It was fun.

“They (prospects, coaches) pick up the phone and look over a little bit more now that you have ‘Kansas’ on your chest. It’s been great,” added Howard, who also has worked on coaching staffs at his alma mater, Illinois, as well as SMU, Texas A&M; and Kentucky.

Peoria native Howard — he played for both Self and Bruce Weber at Illinois — is known as a good recruiter with great connections in Chicago. KU currently is recruiting Chicago seniors Jahlil Okafor (6-foot-10, Whitney Young, ranked No. 1 in the country by and Cliff Alexander (6-8, Curie, ranked No. 4).

KU also is recruiting No. 2 Tyus Jones, 6-1, Apple Valley (Minn.) High; No. 3 Emmanuel Mudiay, 6-5, Prime Prep Academy, Arlington, Texas; No. 6 Myles Turner, 6-11, Trinity High, Euless, Texas; No. 7 Rashad Vaughn, 6-5, Findlay Prep, Las Vegas; No. 8 Stanley Johnson, 6-6 Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif.; No. 14 Malik Pope, 6-8, Laguna Creek High, Elk Grove, Calif.; No. 16 Justise Winslow, 6-5, Houston St. John’s; and No. 19 Kelly Oubre, 6-5, Bush High, Richmond, Texas, as well as others.

“I love it. I don’t look at it like a job,” Howard said of recruiting. “I’ve always been a people person. It’s why coach Self brought me along, to bring some energy.

“How can you not be passionate about KU basketball with the history and tradition? Working for coach Self and Norm Roberts, who was on our staff at Illinois ... K.T. (Townsend) may be the funniest assistant coach in the country. We have a great staff, coach doing things the right way. We’re excited about this young group we have.”

Howard said having the entire roster on campus for just-completed summer school was productive for the players and staff.

“I know there’s going to be a couple plays and a couple possessions where you are going to say, ‘Wow,’ with the things Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden do and Tarik (Black),” Howard said of some of the incoming players for the 2013-14 season. “We have so many athletic guys. We are going to have some depth. I think we’ve got good point guard play with Naadir (Tharpe) and Frank (Mason). This summer was really good for us to get after it and kind of put our system in and terminology especially with our young guys (eight incoming players including six freshmen). I thought we had a great summer.”

Howard was asked if coaches on the recruiting trail refer to him as Jerrance or his nickname, “Snacks.”

“It’s half and half. That’s one name I can’t get away from,” Howard said. “My teammates (at Illinois) gave me that name. My freshman year ... I had surgery. I had to sit out. Every time they came to see me in the hospital or at home, I had Skittles and Snicker bars. They started calling me ‘Snacks,’ and it stuck.”

Mixer a success

Chalmers Foundation officials said former Kansas University guard Mario Chalmers raised $15,000 for charity at his Sunday night VIP mixer.

Monday’s tourney, which included about 100 golfers, was hampered by steady rain. KU basketball was represented by its three assistant coaches and former KU guard Jeff Hawkins. Coach Bill Self was golfing — on a vacation in Scotland, not Lawrence — and could not attend.

“He deserves it (success) because he works so hard, and his dad and mom have trained him growing up of who he is going to be,” assistant coach Kurtis Townsend said of Chalmers and his parents, Ronnie and Almarie. “He believes in God and has great faith. I’m happy for him and his family and all the success and the fact that he comes back and gives to the community is great. He will always be a special part of the KU family.”

Giving back

Chalmers realizes his overtime-inducing shot against Memphis in the 2008 National Championship game, and KU’s performance in overtime in the 75-68 victory, positioned him to host such a golf event.

“That is the reason we are here today,” Mario said. “That helped propel me to the next level and propel all the things I wanted to do with my foundation. It made for a perfect opportunity.”

Tourney pairings

KU will meet Wake Forest in a first-round Battle 4 Atlantis game at 2:30 p.m., Central time, Nov. 28, in Paradise Island, Bahamas, tournament officials announced Monday.

The game will be televised on AXS TV. Villanova, Tennessee, Iowa, UTEP, Xavier and USC fill out the tournament field.

The Jayhawks will meet either Villanova or USC on Friday, Nov. 29.

Tipoff will be 8:30 p.m. with a KU victory against Wake Forest or 2:30 p.m. with a loss.

The third day of the Battle 4 Atlantis is slated for Saturday, Nov. 30, with four games starting at noon and the championship game beginning at 8:30 p.m.


chriz 8 years, 1 month ago

Wow...Jerrance sure looks like Mario. Or not.

Excited to have him with us! I'm hoping he can maintain some of his Texas presence on the recruiting trail.

Michael Pannacciulli 8 years, 1 month ago

Thought the same thing...

Who is the other guy in the pic with Mario and the coaches to the far left?

Waiting to see who of the big recruits we are hunting chooses a school first...would be nice to get a big man first...but I am not picky.

Who will be Howard's first big fish? I think his optimism and energy will land us a few studs for sure.

hawk316 8 years, 1 month ago

Coach Howard looks like another great hire for Bill Self. One common characteristic of great leadership is to surround oneself with outstanding support personnel, and it appears that Coach Self has further strengthened the quality of his staff with the addition of Coach Howard.

I'm excited to see what these coaches can do this season with all this amazing talent.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 1 month ago

I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post. I will read the article before I post.

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 1 month ago


So Howard played for both Self and Webber. Meaning Howard attended Self's funeral?!?!?!?

Ken Sedgwick 8 years, 1 month ago

Did you even read the article before you posted?

Stéphane Roque 8 years, 1 month ago

I think it's awesome how Mario acknowledges that his shot propelled him to so many different opportunities. Pretty neat to see one shot have such a far-reaching effect for great guy like Mario.

John Randall 8 years, 1 month ago

And for rehearsing the play three times in the regular season, then having the guts to run it right up the Caliope's @$$ with all the marbles on the line!

Kevin Studer 8 years, 1 month ago

What's with the stupidly loaded immigration questions attached to this article? LJW is making money from John Burch push polls now?

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 1 month ago

If you don't like a question, all you have to do is click and get a different one.

KJD 8 years, 1 month ago

Part I

KU v Iowa State: 2013 Big XII Semi-final First Half, final 10 minutes (this flows from my post yesterday from the Atlantis schedule. Also, if you are a Senior in High School you will get to play with Tharpe, Ellis and Traylor when you arrive at KU! Go Recruiting! Go KU! We love our round ball here in Lawrence!!)

Fun, dramatic 10 minutes with Tharpe and Ellis producing on the floor, with Traylor playing a bunch of those minutes too, is an optimistic lens to view what we bring as experience, leadership, been-there-and-done-that for the 2013-2014 season.

Personally I see Tharpe as facilitator (someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives). When Tharpe plays this way in 2013-2014 with Ellis, Selden, Wiggins as his primary options, then KU will roar!

We pick up the game after Young injures his ankle and Self turns to Ellis for minutes. It should be noted that Young was KU’s best in that game up to his injury.

0:24:35 Let’s start off with the bad and ugly. The knock on Tharpe can be seen here. Thapre gets the D board, which is positive, then after three passes he jacks up a guarded three. This is where he gets his most important criticism and Fran F even notes “Tharpe needed to be more patient, they have an advantage inside right now.” KU 13, ISU 13 10:00

0:24:55 A Lucious venture into the paint is denied, stripped, casted out by Perry Ellis. Way to go big man! BMac gets the board, outlets to Tharpe, Tharpe controls the transition to split two defenders in order to perfectly feed BMac who catches on the move, sets, drains a smooth 3 (it takes months of practices and games to get that kind of on court chemistry for ‘poof’, mind-free, can’t draw it up magic–so be patient KU fans when there are rough patches and be faithful that it will appear in 2014). Classic transition BMac 3. Ben does his one of a kind dance-strut-jog in front of the Iowa State bench after the tri-fecta drain-o in the corner and gets T’d up for “looking at the Iowa State bench”. KU 16, ISU 13 9:42

0:26:45 After an Ellis defensive rebound, Traylor screens for Tharpe in the half court set, Tharpe penetrates to the low block, finds Ellis at the top of the key, Perry jabs steps, collects himself, drains a 17 footer. Traylor for Thrape for Ellis who finishes which answers the first T. Outstanding. KU 18, ISU 15 9:05

0:27:50 Ellis with the defensive rebound once more. Thapre passes up the three point shot–in the motion of what I would call being a product of spacing from a secondary break–drives to the hoop and hits a money bounce pass for Ellis to receive then step into his shot for his second FG on the night. Gorgeous play by the point guard, fantastic decision making once again in transition, and Kansas continues to answer the T. KU 20, ISU 17 8:12 1st half.

KJD 8 years, 1 month ago

Part II

0:28:20 Niang hooks Traylor for a lay-up. Self barks at the officials and gets T’d up. This is a great half for 2012-2013 lore. With two T’s on KU at this point I strongly believe that the chip on ISU’s shoulder for being dissed by the officials in Ames has been completely dissolved. ISU picks up zero momentum from the McLemore T. Especially since Self was DEMANDING that an offensive foul be called on NIANG, the same guy who tried to take the charge against EJ at the end of regulation in Ames. If there was ever a perfect T to guide your team to a W, that was it–cast it, bronze it, teach it to your kids.

0:30:30 After ISU gains 4 points on the Technical Fouls over this span, Tharpe hooks up with Ellis again in impressive fashion to keep KU scoring. ISU shows a zone. Tharpe and Ellis recognize the flow. After the ball reverses through the fourth side with Withey out-letting to return to the top for the option to go to the fifth side, Tharpe takes one bounce to penetrate the center of the zone to find Ellis, who has sealed his man for a perfect angle for the layup. KU 22, ISU 21 7:21

(0:32:40 EJ’s coast to coast layup is gorgeous after grabbing he grabs the defensive board while throwing a big hip on Niang which forces the Mayor to call time out. KU 24, ISU 21 6:10)

0:35:53 If you want to get geeky, and this is where we get our Ellis love up, check out how quick the ball goes from Tharpe at the top, to Ellis sealing his man on the block, then out to an open 3 for Releford which he shoots a bit strong. In December Ellis simply was unaware of that play, let alone having the play making ability smoothly facilitate out of the post. KU 24, ISU 26 4:23

With 4:23 remaining in the half, Kansas down by 2, Jeff Withey picks up his second foul and heads to the bench. Jamari Traylor subs for the Senior leader to close the half out.

0:37:12 Tharpe with the pull-up, off of a Traylor screen, drains the 17 footer without making a pass. It’s smooth, it’s silky, and it’s why Tharpe likes to take the jumper. It’s also open due to the good screen by Traylor. Still a risk so early in shot clock with no one in rebounding position. It has been 5:45 of game time since Tharpe took his own personal heat check instead of running offense. Is it gutsy or silly with your team down 2 points and the best defensive player in the country just checked out of the game for the remainder of the half. I strongly think that it is both silly and fortunate plus essential for Tharpe to hit these to play his game IF he mostly continues to make plays for the scorers on the team: Ellis-Wiggins-Selden. If he regularly makes shots like these along with being a distributor primarily, Kansas will be tough to guard 2013-2014. KU 26, ISU 26 4:15

KJD 8 years, 1 month ago

Part III

With KU being so young and so talented next year I personally hope that Tharpe gets many shots for his teammates in non-conference instead of looking for his own shot too often–at this point it is going to take a veterans touch in the flow of the game and Tharpe is showing this discernment right here in 2013. In this game against ISU it feels like Tharpe has found an excellent flow. We should also keep in mind that he is guarding Luscious on the other side of the court and Luscious was not terrific during this stretch.

0:37:35 McLemore returns to the floor with two fouls to join Relefod and Tharpe-Ellis-Traylor. After a Releford missed three pointer, Tharpe grabs the offensive rebound and neatly feeds Ellis for a quick jam. Mussberger in the moment observes that “Ellis has been the main cog offensivly” over this dramatic stretch and all of his baskets are feeds from Tharpe. KU 28, ISU 26 3:44

0:39:20 Traylor hits the front end of the one-and-one which he drew blocking an Ejim shot on the defensive side. Mcleomre, Withey and Young all have two fouls at this point. Traylor swishes both charities to push him to +6 since he subbed into the game last. KU 30, ISU 26 3:31

0:41:10 Tharpe and Ellis have been on the floor for the enitre time of this post coverage, the entire final 10 minutes of this closely fought half. Here Tharpe first goes to Ellis in the post. Ellis takes a look and remains composed when there is nothing there. Then Tharpe shows what dribble driving threats yeild. What a finish. Tharpe snakes through an Ellis high screen, after a chance for Ellis to re-post, to find himself a couple of dribbles away from a swoop to the hoop. Also notice that it is Traylor who seals his man away from the rim and the lane to allow Tharpe to crash the boards with his dribble to sink the floating 2 pointer. KU 32, ISU 26 2:26

Fran F at this point can’t help himself to say “If histroy is any guide, Tharpe will develop into a very good Jayhawk”. Right here, at this moment, looking into this specific crystal ball, is what we are hoping for to spring a successful 2013-2014 campagin. We don’t need Tharpe to be the next Tyshawn Taylor–the great player Tharpe arrived behind. Tharpe would be best if he followed a bit more in Robinson’s footsteps, though it would be so much better if he found his own balance, from his own personal game with this team in mind, between his two predecessors in order to ignite the talent on this 2013-2014 team.

KJD 8 years, 1 month ago

It's summer vacation so on with the second half and Perry Ellis's best game as a Freshman:

Part IV

0:49:40 With 18:08 to play in the second half, Young sits after the ankle is injured further, and Ellis takes the floor. KU 40, ISU 33 18:08

0:53:00 Ellis with a swift post move to his left on Ejim after a feed from Releford to earn his 5th FG. KU 46, ISU 35 16:06 2nd Half

0:55:00 Tharpe for Releford at the 15:22 mark with 6 first half assists gets his 7th on pick and roll action with Withey less than a minute into the game.

0:56:35 Ellis simply creates on his own and destroys Ejim on penetration using his left hand to handle the ball to penetrate like he's going to go with a left hand lay-in over Ejim though he stops for a spin move to a right hand jump hook: “The offensive leader as far as Kansas is concerned”. Sensational. 6-7 from the field at this point. KU 50, ISU 39 13:57

0:59:05 Tharpe uses his left hand dribble drive to knife the middle of the defense which earns him a layup in traffic: “The point guard of the future for the Jayhawks…”. KU 55, ISU 39 12:24

1:01:00 Traylor finishes a Kansas offensive set that breaks down ISU zone with a one bounce finish through the middle of the defense. KU 57, ISU 41 11:40

KJD 8 years, 1 month ago

Part V

ISU cuts the lead to 10 points with 9:20 play, all of this with Ellis on the bench, and Self goes back to Ellis out of the 9:20 time out.

1:07:00 To ‘begin’ this half court set Ellis gets after it on the offensive boards to keep the ball. KU maintains possession with a Releford board then later Ellis again staying active on the offensive boards. A long KU possesion ends with Ellis receiving a post feed from EJ up top as Perry makes his way to a board rattling jam to get his 14th point on the night. Fabulous trip for Ellis: “Just in time for March Madness”. ESPN gives Ellis the “6th man of the game” award to Ellis immidiatly after this offensive set. 14 points; 7-9; 5 reb. KU 61, ISU 49 7:49

1:09:05 Right after the ‘6th man’ highlights for Ellis, KU gets into a half court set and you’ve got to love the unique camera angle on this one. Watch Perry all the way. First he’s active up top in trying to set a screen for EJ. Then he settles into the post where he eventually sets his man up for a seal, pass receive, turn, and jump hook flick with the right hand for an easy 2: “Nothing to it”.

1:12:05 A half court set that gets the ball low to Withey, draws the doulbe, then Jeff finds Ellis for a slashing two hand jam for his 18th points. KU 68, ISU 54 6:18

1:13:30 If you are into the macabre this is where KU shows the shadows of what it to come late in the Michigan game. EJ gets called for a 5 second count in the half court due to ball pressure.

1:14:55 EJ immidiatly steps up to that pressure on the next possession, breaks down the ISU defense to take what they are giving him to create a strong situation for a Withey lay up, foul, and 1. EJ is terrific here breaking down pressure then assisting. This is also a situation to look at for anyone questioning Self in the Michigan game. Tharpe has not played much in the second half plus EJ was strong here. KU 71, ISU 59 5:24

1:16:35 ISU cuts the KU lead to 9 points with just under 5 minutes to play. Ellis is determined in the low post during the set. Tharpe, who has not played so much in the second half, does a great job feeding Ellis the ball, Perry draws contact and the foul then drops in a tasty little jumper from about 3 feet: “A monster performance by the young man from Whicitha”. Ellis makes the FT to push the lead back to 12.

1:21:35 Ellis hits the front end of the one and one. Then the back end for his 23rd point to push the lead to 14. Ellis clocks 28 minutes and plays most of the second half. KU 79, ISU 65 3:09

Tack on this quote from the article from above and you've got BAM! "“I know there’s going to be a couple plays and a couple possessions where you are going to say, ‘Wow,’ with the things Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden do and Tarik (Black)…I think we’ve got good point guard play with Naadir (Tharpe) and Frank (Mason)."

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

Wow, I think Jaybate has met his match in regard to long winded posts.

How about it, Jaybate? You going to let KJD top you for word content?

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

I am so SICK of how many times I had to scroll down.

What is it with this KJD guy? Dude, we know you can write subject-verb-object. You don't need to do it a thousand time.

He is soooo long winded.

He just goes on and on and likes to see his own words on the screen!

You must really think you're smart and we're dumb! Well, its the other way around. We can say in a sentence what you take a thousand to say.

Shut the Flip Up, would you?!!!

You don't know sheep dip in an ice cream cup.

Isn't there some kind of restriction on how long idiots are allowed to Bogart a thread?!!!

Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Now STFU!!!!!

Don't make me think! If I wanted my head to hurt from being made to think I sure wouldn't want you to be the one making me think!

You must have a size challenged penis.


Seriously, KJD, way to air it out and go looooooooog!

The length fit the content.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rock Chalk!

Kyle Rohde 8 years, 1 month ago

So the article is about Jerrance Howard but showing a pic of Mario? Perfect.

Not to be a cynic, but that golf tournament sounds like a lot of work for a 15K net. Mario could have asked his Heat teammates to each check under their car seats and probably found that much.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 1 month ago

I was thinking that, but didn't want to post it. Looking at it another way, it's 15K more than you or I contributed.

John Randall 8 years, 1 month ago

The figure of $15K was for the dinner the night before, not for the tournament. Don't just read, pay attention, Kyle, baby!

REHawk 8 years, 1 month ago

Begins to shape up, Mason relieving Tharpe. That leaves Fankamp, White, Greene to relieve Selden and Wiggins. A red shirt, perhaps, for one of those 3? Greene will start the season in Bill's doghouse, regardless.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

That is exactly what I thought. My biggest question was whether Frankamp had the ball handling ability. Coupled with Self's comment this time last year stating that a recruiting need was getting a "point guard" when Frankamp was already committed, I think there is a high probability of Mr. Mason being a rotation member. You have to have a second primary ball handler.

Perimeter rotation of 5 - Tharpe, Selden, Mason, Wiggins, and one more.

That changes the dynamic of this team. The three in competition for one spot are likely the three best outside shooters. If it plays out like this, there will be two excellent shooters riding the pine.

I think you're right. A redshirt seems likely and reasonable for at least one.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

we've been talking about this for months now and the only basis was Bill Self's comments about Frank and the others. But now we're getting snippets of information from former players and assistant coaches, and all of them have something to say about Frank it seems. Could just be the editing. But it's got me thinking like you, that Frank is a rotation guy. I find it hard to believe considering that last season Rio Adams couldn't find the floor, BUT Rio also couldn't maintain possession of the ball, couldn't keep his mouth shut, and couldn't beat Tharpe out for minutes. Frank doesn't have to beat anyone out for minutes. He just has to maintain possession, and play adequate defense for 10 minutes a night.

I tend to think that AWIII has an edge on Greene and Frankamp due to his year of experience, and his versatility. He was forced out of necessity to practice part of last season as a Small 4/set shooter and probably found himself defending against Releford/McLemore/Young in practice. He's not a typical Self player, but he's a very unique tool to have in your toolbox. I think that he will be effective offensively only if he gets to play long enough to get into the rhythm of the game. That is to say that he will be effective offensively only if he can be effective defensively.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 1 month ago

I caught that too. They didn't mention Frankamp in the article when they were talking about the point guard position. It is going to be interesting to see how things will unfold. It will also be interesting to see what will happen if we get another point guard in the next couple years. Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp are both four year players (likely). So if some freshman point guard comes in we won't have anything to do with him because there isn't any room for him. I think the best bet is to get some point guards that don't have a lot of hype and redshirt him. Then in the next few years when Mason and Frankamp are gone we have this guy that no one has seen play but will have gotten better because of his red shirt year and training. Question: Can you red shirt more than one year?

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

You can only redshirt 1 year. You essentially have 5 years to play 4 years. There are rare cases when a player gets a medical redshirt year and a 6th year of eligibility.

I was not really indicating that I think that we have a full stable of point guards. If Mason is the PG of the future (after Tharpe) then that remains to be proven. I never saw Frankamp as a point guard at KU anyway. He's a combo guard who's better molded for off the ball as a spot shooter extraordinaire (a la A.J. Abrams at UT a few years back). I think that Self definitely needs to recruit one or two more PGs in the next two years. Mason needs the competition.

Mick Allen 8 years, 1 month ago

Was it 3 or 4 weeks ago HEM that you stated Mason was the most likely to red shirt and lectured me about basketball being more than athletic ability? So what REHawk is saying is not "exactly what you thought" a short time ago. I marvel at your ability to jump on and off the band wagon so effortlessly.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

Everyone has been waaaaaaaaay overlooking something revealed by the roster just released.

Andrew Wiggins is listed as a guard. Period. Not a shooting forward. Not an 2 guard. Not a forward either. Just a guard.

If Wiggins is one of the greatest perimeter basketball players of the last decade there is absolutely zero chance that Self will ignore him as a primary ball handler in any situation that 3-star Tharpe and 3-star Mason cannot cope with, which could be quite a few situations, if one is prone to view star-rankings indicative of athleticism and skill levels.

I mean, come on guys, if we area talking about a player of the decade that Self calls a guard, of course this guy could become the backup to Naa, or Frank, without really cracking a sweat.

Shoot, I watched Selden's videos and though he might be a step slow, he could also probably get the job done if Self were forced into it by limitations in Naa, or, Frank.

Even if Frank Mason proves a terrific backup, or even if Frank were actually to become the starter, there is going to be a need for a tall point guard for more than a few situations. And Self just happens to have a tall point guard likely with more speed, athleticism, strength, penetrating and get-to-the-rim ability than either Naa, or Frank, already playing on the perimeter.

If you guys thought Tyshawn could get to the rim at will, imagine what 6-8 Andrew Wiggins could do, if Self said go sick 'em.

I'm not saying this is going to happen. I am saying quit worrying a lick about Naa, or Frank, being good enough. Frankly, if they both suck, or both go out with knee injuries, Andrew Wiggins could take over the point and go through a Tyshawn stretch of 10-12 TOs/game for awhile and by the end of the season be viewed as a Magic Johnson with touch.

That tall point guard does not necessarily have to replace Tharpe, or Mason, when a tall point guard is needed either. Andrew can simply become the ball handler and point defender, when it makes sense.

I mean, don't you think Wilt could have played a little 4, if Harp had had a couple good 5's? :-)

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

Yes, K-Fish and you said it waaaaaay better than I did.

And imagine the wide open looks Naa would get on the wing, when the opponents wing had to help on Andrew all...the...time!!!

Rock Chalk!

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

Good points. There will be no shortage of guys comfortable with both hands on this season's team. Talk about stark contrast to last year, when we didn't have anyone we could really rely on consistently, in handling the rock.

Michael Luby 8 years, 1 month ago

I agree Jaybate, Ive seen two posts about Wiggins vs LBJ on the Bleacher Report. Obviously Wigs isnt James but he absolutely has the ability to be a facilitator of offense and a good passer. His senior year game stats compared to Brons are fairly similar with the exception of their assist #'s. Wigs ave 2.5 to Brons 5.
I also agree about Selden being able to play point. I watched Selden in the Mickey D's game and he seemed to handle the point pretty well when he was in. The line up of Selden, Wigs and Greene/White in the backcourt would be SICK!

But we all know that CS tends to be exceedingly loyal to his upperclassmen. Naa will be our eldest player with meaningful minutes this season and he will be our PG to start. I also watched the replay of KU/Kstate Big12 champ game on youtube, just to keep my eyes on Naa when he was in. If he improves from that, we will be simply unbeatable at times. Not undefeated unbeatable but another Big12 title and deep run in the big dance. Absolute.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

babyphog: Why don't you look at this link, and your reply to me. I have been very consistent in stating that the best ballhandler between Mason and Frankamp will get rotation minutes. Below is the link is from June 4 with the discussion you reference.

Then, later, is the discussion on skill and athletic ability. My position is that Mason will not displace Tharpe as the starter. Your position is that Mason will beat out Tharpe. You previously suggested that we revisit that in January. I'll be here.

Here's what else I said: "There is a significant chance, assuming Frankamp can handle being the second ball handler, that Mason plays less than Adams did this past season. But that doesn't mean he's not the point guard of the future. Mason seems like a great kid to have come in, sit for a couple seasons (perhaps redshirt 2nd season), and be there for three productive seasons after that. Why expect more?"

My point is that we shouldn't be too "giddy" regarding Mason yet, like you are.

But as you'll see in my posts, my position on Mason has been completely consistent. Next best ball handler plays.

One of things you did not do is provide any link or authority for your claim that Self said Mason would have started if he were here last season. Still waiting.

If you want to quote me, quote me. But if you are going to paraphrase, at least do your research. It's pretty easy.

And you might read drgnslayr's post in response, regarding my post. It might assist you in where I was coming from.

jhox 8 years, 1 month ago

Don't forget all of the rave reviews Frankamp received from Tyshawn and Sherron a few weeks back. Unless he's simply unable to defend, he's likely to get a decent share of playing time (though I admit that's a big if.) But don't forget that he not only started on the U.S. 17 and under team, he led them in scoring. This kid is not a fluke. People tend to see a short white guard and assume he's not going to be athletic enough to play right away. I have very little doubt in his offensive abilities.

I see him playing mostly the two next year, but he could be serviceable as a point guard when needed. I've only seen him on TV maybe 3 times, so I could be completely wrong about him, but I think he's going to get a chance to be in the regular rotation. He's very crafty with the ball, changing directions and speed and keeping the defender off balance, and he has a great step back jumper. I'm pretty confident he'll be a guy who can create his own shot.

But can he defend high D1 guards? That is the question.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 1 month ago

Its been a while, but is the unnamed person in the picture Wayne Simien?

KGphoto 8 years, 1 month ago

Some resemblance but I think he would’ve had to shrink about 4-5 inches since Mario is 6’1”. That guy looks to be 6’4” at the most.

Jesse Newell 8 years, 1 month ago

Wasn't there, but it looks like Fred Quartlebaum to me.

Eliott Reeder 8 years, 1 month ago

Yep. He was on Norm's staff at St. John 's and is our Director of Student Athlete Development, or something like that...

Quartlebaum, meanwhile, comes to KU after working as associate director of PACT (Personalized Achievement Contract), a leadership and mentoring program at Mercy College in New York. Additionally, in 2010, he started his own company, 212 Hoops, which combines his experience developing collegiate athletes to youth basketball. Prior to his position at Mercy College, Quartlebaum spent six years as an assistant coach at St. John’s under current KU assistant coach Norm Roberts.

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity,” Quartlebaum said. “What a thrill to come back and work with coach Roberts and the basketball program at Kansas. Coach Self is one of the top coaches in college basketball and to have the opportunity to learn under his direction is such a privilege for me. I’m thrilled to be a part of Kansas basketball.”

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 1 month ago

you're right. Simien's taller and much slimmer now.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 8 years, 1 month ago

...pertinent July.

Maybe we'll have football stories on September 7th.

wrwlumpy 8 years, 1 month ago

Again, click the Football button at the top.

"K.T. (Townsend) may be the funniest assistant coach in the country." Coach Kurtis appears to have lost weight in the picture. As to his sense of humor, that developed after sitting next to a KU Co-Ed on a plane, comped her tickets and then find out later that she was a porn star who posted pictures on her website of the fabulous seats that Coach Kurtis gave her. This was when all Jayhawks found out how funny he can be. Andy Katz had a field day with the story.

I hope Self leaves his phone at the hotel and enjoys a well earned vacation to a place where every golfer dreams of one day experiencing.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

I thought that it looked like Roberts had lost weight also.

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago


You clicked on the bball article and showed the website that it was worth their effort posting it. You even prompted me to revisit the same article page just to respond to you ;-) Reality has shown that Basketball is just simply superior to Football in every way.

In fact, here is a quick run-down of the best sports in the world:

  1. Basketball
  2. Soccer
  3. Hockey
  4. Tennis
  5. Sepak Takraw
  6. Lacrosse
  7. Bowling
  8. Volleyball
  9. Table Tennis
  10. Squash
  11. Badminton
  12. Raquetball
  13. Cricket
  14. Field Hockey
  15. Golf
  16. Chess Boxing
  17. Quidditch
  18. Rugby
  19. Football (not soccer)
  20. Baseball

See: 19th best sport in the world. Not as good as rugby, but better than baseball.

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

Which logic would that be?

Piggy-backing on basketball is not a bad idea, except that my link is /news/mens_basketball/

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

And actually, now that I think about, it makes sense that people would complain about the dearth of football articles on the basketball articles... because basketball articles are the ones that are read!

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

Your point makes a strong case why they should NOT write more football articles

Tony Bandle 8 years, 1 month ago

SOCCER #2 ??!!.....most boring game ever invented!! I'd rather watch a match of Lawn Jarts [using the old school steel points of course!!]

Games 10, 11 and 12 are all the same sport really....just different things to hit.

Chess boxing sounds that 32 guys on a giant chess board beating the crap out of other one move at a time????

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

Soccer is only boring if you don't understand what's happening. It's exactly like Football except every play isn't explained to you in elementary terms with slow-motion replays and telestrated diagrams ;-)

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

Also, with 10-12 I just wanted to reinforce how bad football is (which it's not, I like it; I'm just teasing Cogburn, though it is in fact inferior to basketball and soccer -- it's not even in the top 10 of popular sports in the world)

Chess boxing, I have no idea. Just looked it up on a unusual sports list.

but check out Sepak Takraw

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

Greatest sports:

  1. Baseball 2. Basketball 3. Football 4. Hockey 5. Sepak Takraw (with the only question being who would be the tekong on such a squad from the current KU hoops team if one was needed?)

Robin Smith 8 years, 1 month ago

Baseball -- that makes sense for you HEM.

I hope everyone realizes my posts on this subject were ironic and provocative. Except for the bit about how awesome Soccer and Sepak Takraw are. I stand by both.

My real list (personal preference, that is) would be 1. Basketball 2. Soccer 3. Football 4. Baseball 5. Hockey. Baseball and Hockey I would pretty much only watch postseason, although I do follow standings in baseball. Football I love, but not as much as Soccer and Basketball.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

There is basketball...

and then everything else.

The only thing better than basketball is sex with one (or more) REALLY beautiful woman (women) that really knows (know) how to make love.

Sex with an average looking woman who is skillful in bed, is not quite as good as basketball, but a little better than baseball.

Sex with a really beautiful woman, or an average woman, that are not skillful in bed, is not quite as good as baseball, but still better than football.

Sex with a homely woman that is skillful in bed is also better than football.

Sex with any woman lacking skill in bed is not as good as football.

Sex with any higher order mammal is better than curling.

Just joking around here. :-)

Robert Robinson 8 years, 1 month ago

Im no expert but something about AWIII just doesnt set right with me. I really didnt see Anything last year to make me feel like I was ready to see him in the rotation this year. I know I know, he was a freshman. But most freshman at some point do Something to make me think, "that guy will be year." I dont mean to hate on the guy, i just think he would be a good redshirt candidate. Give him some more time to build

kj_hawk 8 years, 1 month ago

I agree with you, but I'm glad to have him. I could see a red shirt for him this year and a career that tracks similar to Releford's. Maybe he'll be the glue guy in 2016-17.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 1 month ago

Well we really don't know. It all depends on the way he is progressing throughout the summer. We haven't been able to see him play so we don't know how well he does and how hard he works. If he doesn't get much better from last year then I don't see any reason not to red shirt him because we also have Greene that can take his position.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

The only things he did good were SOME good shooting spurts & good rebounding for a SF....actually seemed to do better when asked to guard or play offensively seemingly out of position at PF). I agree that a redshrit would do him good. He needs to improve his ballhandling and perimeter D most of all. I don't really ever see him fitting in as a "2", but I could see him play "3" or even the "4" in a pinch.

Ben Simonett 8 years, 1 month ago

Look at all those top 10, sure fire OADs once again on this years recruiting target list.

Yet, people still cling to the idea that Self doesnt want OADs and he's really looking for those overlooked diamonds in the rough (ie low ranked recruits).

The evidence speaks for itself, Self wants the best talent, year in and year out. the '10-12 streak of signing low/unranked players was not intentional. It was the result of a recruiting drought that people still seem to refuse to acknowledge ever happened.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

I would argue only top 10 or 12 would probably be OAD. Malik Pope on down and you're likely looking at 2 or 3 AD.

Still wanting that No. 19 Oubre the MOST.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

benny - game, set, match. You won that argument a long time ago, my friend.

justanotherfan 8 years, 1 month ago

The only people that ever believed that are the ones that hate Calipari so much that they believe that "real" coaches like Self won't recruit those kinds of players. The top programs are going to recruit the best talent. It just so happens that given the rules, the best talent will only be available in college for one year.

texashawk10 8 years, 1 month ago

Here's the difference between the championship team and teams since. How many 5 star players were on that championship team? Chalmers, Rush, Arthur, Robinson, and Collins were all 5 star players who played major roles on that team. Since then, KU has had EJ, Henry, and Selby for 3 5 star recruits between 2009 and 2012. That's a full cycle of players post championship in which KU only had 3 5 star guys come in. That's the difference between the championship team and the near championship teams.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

texashawk10: Exactly .. and everyone else in the rotation was 4 star, with the lowest rated player being senior Darnell Jackson, #54.

Kingfisher: If you have read many of the posts, there are folks that believe exactly what justanotherfan said. You obviously aren't one of them. And don't confuse Big 12 championships, with NCAA championships. The only real title is the one that ends the season.

Fact is, Self can win with high talent, but it doesn't have to be OAD talent. And Self can win with lesser players in the rotation as 2012 proved. On that team, Taylor (80s), Releford (60s), EJ (10s), Withey (30s), Robinson (30s), and Teahan and KY, who were both unranked upper classmen; and Wesley in emergencies. Amazing coaching job.

justanotherfan 8 years, 1 month ago

HEM, you nailed it.

Self can win without having OAD talent, but you still need high talent. Thomas Robinson is a good example. He wasn't a OAD, but he was rated in the low teens. That's almost always going to produce a very good player.

Imagine if the 2012 team had been able to play McLemore and Traylor. That changes how good that team could have been. It alters the ceiling, like I wrote about Wiggins last week.

Imagine if last year's team would have had another high rated player on it. Yes, sometimes lower ranked guys develop into great players, but many times the high ranked guys are high ranked because they are just really, really good.

John Randall 8 years, 1 month ago

There are players Self won't recruit, but it isn't because they are too talented – it's because they are too full of themselves to fit his program. Super talent is a nice bonus, provided they have the heart and attitude for Selfball along with enough talent to belong in D1.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago


Not only do I believe the recruiting drought happened, I believe it was partly a side effect of unmarked jet aircraft flying at high altitudes that emitted chem-trails in order to engineer our weather. :-)

There were some other more likely drivers including: Scalpinggate, Realignment Gate I, Lewgate, and Realignmentgate II. And there were also a few missed gambles on who was leaving early and who wasn't. And I reckon there was the Shoe Factor that comes with being allied with the shoe brand with reputedly sharply fewer summer league teams and players locked up.

All that being said, I think it is incredibly far fetched to argue that the deep government, or the parallel government, had anything to do with it. :-)

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago


I forgot to ask you.

What do you think of Self's recruiting class this season?

Is he starting to get his recruiting mojo back?

It seems like it to me.

I say the return of his mojo is partly do to the non-tongue-in-cheek factors sandwiched above, plus Self shaking off the middle age crazies, and adidas probably making some kind of new implicit commitment to meeting, or beating, the endorsement deals currently being offered by Nike to NBA players.

I have always felt that a player likely to be one of the top NBA stars down stream would be kind of goofy not to go with a Nike program and Nike coach in D1, if it was Nike that would in their later pro career be the outfit to really make it rain.

I know there are exceptions, like maybe Derek Rose, who maybe needed a program that could get him an SAT test taking surrogate quick to make sure he got to the L as fast as possible. Remember it came down to Cal and Self as Rose's choices. Maybe Self didn't want to expedite the paper work. Who knows?

But otherwise, if your paper work is in order, and you have plenty on the ball, its seems like you would be wise to build relationships now with your long term rain maker, i.e., Nike in this case, ASAP.

But now if my hypothesis were right that adidas has decided to move beyond mostly just putting threads on NBA teams, and really start breaking the piggy bank on the NBA player endorsement deals to get them wearing shoes with three stripes, well then some of these creme-de la creme OADs can begin to consider adidas programs as something other than fall back positions, when their Nike programs implode, or don't have enough slots left.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 1 month ago

I honestly feel like out of those they listed we only have realistic hope with: Cliff Alexander, Rashad Vaughn & Kelly Oubre.

Might have hope with Jordan McLaughlin, whom ESPN has at No. 18.

I'm pretty sure we can do no more than add 2 if ONLY Wiggins & Black go.

Even with Black gone, if the others stay, you'd still have the same depth in the frontcourt as Mickelson would slide into Black's spot.

I could see a want for a good defensive, versatile, "2" / "3" man which is why I keep saying landing Oubre should probably be tops on our list. 6'-7, 215 - in one of the top Tourney games recently he went for 20, 6 & 4 - kind of a 1" taller Releford in terms of known as attempting to be a lock-down defender which is refreshing this early on.

I think while Cl. Alexander & R. Vaughn are better I'd almost see McLaughlin as the next best fit & pray we could convince him to stay for 3 years - back-up to Tharpe & battle / share mins. w/ Mason (assuming Mason's as good as we're hoping / hearing).

Of course, if they landed Vaughn, he'd probably start & Selden would slide to a slightly undersized "3"...just undersized in height and not by much 6'-5, compared to most others' 3's are like 6'-6 or 6'-7 or so. Or maybe even Vaughn could be the "3"...he is 6'-6 himself.

Of the others that I don't give us any chance for?

J. Okafor & Ty. Jones to Duke My. Turner - heard some seriousness to him considering UCLA E. Mudiay - UK Slam Dunk S. Johnson - pretty much a toss-up between 'zona or UK - I'll say UK M. Pope - think I'd been hearing all West Coast schools but us - I'll say Cal (could even see USC w/ Enfield looking to make a splash) Winslow - will, in fact, make it a pkg. w/ Okafor & Jones....similar to S. Johnson - 'zona's also a factor.

'zona shouldn't get too upset if they land neither S. Johnson or Winslow or Pope or others as I want to say they've ALREADY landed 2 in the Class of '14. We're kind of behind it compared to some of the other schools currently. UNC has like 3 of the top 17 in '14. Duke's landed a Top 30 - 40 SG/SF guy. UK landed Towns Jr. who's somewhere in the top 6 - 8. Louisville's landed at least 2. Ohio State's landed 2 or 3. Syracuse landed someone in the top 15 or so. We're kind of behind them....hopefully we don't have a massive "leaving early OAD group".

Tony Bandle 8 years, 1 month ago


1] Aztec "Head of the Enemy" Basketball.

2] Mongolian "Head of the Enemy" Polo.

3] Steel-tipped Lawn Jarts Dodgeball.

4] Women's Topless Any Sport.

5] Native American "Head of the Enemy" Soccer.

6] Shark Roping..

7] Hand Grenade Jai Alai.

8] Man vs Gorilla Arm Wrestling.

9] Circular Saw Blade Frisbee Tag.

10] Rugby [ no need to elaborate!!].

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

So, you want great sports, eh?

Hot aluminum ingot handball.

Gasoline-soaked, uniformed bacci ball with each player carrying a lit tiki torch.

Explosive helmet tackle football.

Directed energy dodge ball played under loitering killer drones.

Flaming cup weight lifting (athletic cup packed with lit sterno of course).

Three-legged plastique medicine ball relay.

Under mower arm wrestling.

Precision swimming and shin planing.

Blindfolded boxing with palm-adhesive blasting caps.

Depleted uranium lawn bowling.


jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

Jerrance is going to need two chairs on the bench.

Hudy! See what you can do about Mr. Positive's eating habits.

Norm and Kurtis look positively emaciated next to Jerrance.

jaybate 8 years, 1 month ago

Maybe lay out a diet for Fred Q-Baum, too!

Seriously, are we lucky or what to have this many super quality coaches on staff.

Self just keeps teeing up the assistants and they keep doing super jobs!!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

jb: On your post above on the point guard spot, I'm curious as to why you think Self would actually play Wiggins at the point. Has Self ever really done that before? Self did a lot of talking about others at the point, like KY or Releford, but that never happened. Just Self blowing steam, or motivating.

I see a near zero chance that Wiggins runs the point, other than situational duty here and there (a trip or two down the court, or ball in his hands in the last 20 seconds of a half).

I go back to the skill of handling the ball. It's like a catcher in baseball .. very few possess the skill, and that skill, if not present in the game, creates a disastrous outcome.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

Zero ballhandlers? EJ and Tharpe were ballhandlers. And I thought Tharpe was pretty good. EJ was relatively average with the ball, but far, far better than any other player in the rotation (or near the rotation .. Adams/White).

Jack Wilson 8 years, 1 month ago

Self never tried to put KY or Releford on the ball. That was all talk. It never happened. Fiction. Fantasy. Neither could dribble the ball well enough to comec close to doing the job.

One thing is for sure, and that is that Self about benched Tharpe in late November. But when Tharpe was on the floor after the break, point guard play improved dramatically. Don't forget that Self played Tharpe over BMac multiple times down the stretch in crunch time.

You are among the Tharpe detractors/skeptics. I see upside to him, and I think he'll be a steady force at the point this season. You point on improvement by Tharpe is correct .. but I think if he improves at just 50% the rate he improve from freshman to sophomore season, you'll be very happy.

You comment that we had zero ballhandlers last season is, respectfully, asinine. Your statements are way too black and white. Commenting on the quality is one thing, but saying we had "zero" ballhandling is just absurd.

Your definition of a good ballhandler way too limited. First and foremost, a ballhandler has to be able to dribble under D-I pressure without losing the basketball. That is something that, consistently, only EJ and Tharpe could do among rotation players last season (including White/Adams).

texashawk10 8 years, 1 month ago

I agree with HEM on this one. EJ was a good enough ball handler, it was his decision making that failed him most often. Naadir's biggest issue last season was that he was a little too trigger happy with the ball at times and his stamina wasn't great yet, but when he was focused on being a distributor, he was a very good PG.

I do disagree with HEM on Wiggins playing some point this year to an extent. I believe Self when he said he wanted Releford and Young to be able to run some point last year, but I think he tried it in practice and neither were good enough in practice so Self abandoned the idea in game situations because of that. I believe Self will let Wiggins run point in practice to see if Wiggins is capable of doing so and if Wiggins is capable in practice, we'll see him do so in game situations to see if he can handle it in real game situations.

Evan Bilyeu 8 years, 1 month ago

Adding to that, I have seen a ton of improvement to Tharpe's shot this summer.

Hawk8086 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't see Wiggins playing the point. Even though he is a great talent, that does not mean he is ready to run the show. Being great at penetrating, slashing, etc. does not mean that he will be a great point guard. Might not be his thing. Also, following up on the comments on Self recruiting OADs...... I beleive that future recruits will be watching closely as to how Wiggins performs and whether he is able, in their minds, to showcase his talents. Given that there is a perception (reinforced, no doubt, by rival coaches) that X and Selby underachieved (I don't believe that to be the case with X), Wiggins performance may be critical to whether we continue to be able to get this type of player. I'm glad he is here and I think he will be great, but there is that dynamic.

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