Saturday, June 1, 2013

New KU assistant Howard grateful to learn under ‘great coaches’

New Kansas University assistant coach Jerrance Howard says he's been blessed to work with "great coaches" such as Larry Brown, left at SMU, Bruce Weber, middle at Illinois, and Billy Gillispie, right, at Texas A&M and Kentucky.

New Kansas University assistant coach Jerrance Howard says he's been blessed to work with "great coaches" such as Larry Brown, left at SMU, Bruce Weber, middle at Illinois, and Billy Gillispie, right, at Texas A&M and Kentucky.


More on the hiring of SMU’s Jerrance Howard as replacement for Joe Dooley as assistant coach on Kansas University’s basketball staff. ...

• Howard last season worked for Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown at SMU. He’s also worked for Billy Gillispie at Texas A&M and Kentucky, Bruce Weber at Illinois and now Bill Self at KU.

“One of my close friends said, ‘Jerrance do you realize who you have worked for?’” Howard said in a phone conversation with the Journal-World. “I guess I haven’t realized it. I’m caught up in the moment. It’s really prepared me to be a better person, assistant coach and head coach in the future. I’ve been blessed and fortunate to be around some great people, great coaches.”

• Howard on what impressed him about former KU coach Brown: “I could give you a list of things, but probably his knowledge of the game. I look at the game of basketball totally different. He always said he was blessed to see 10 guys moving at once, to know what all 10 guys are doing on the floor.

“He is so humble in wanting to get better. He’d talk to me after games and say, ‘Coach, what could I have done to get better?’ That blew me away,” Howard added. “Here’s a Hall of Fame coach who has done it all, coached at the highest level and won championships (in college and NBA) and he’s asking a young assistant coach what he could have done to get better. I thought that was cool he was that humble to visit after the game and ask that.”

• Howard, who was involved in the recruitment of McDonald’s All-American Keith Frazier to SMU, is known as a great recruiter.

‘“Snacks’ has a lot of personality. He will be very popular with Kansas fans as well as an asset in recruiting,” writes national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi of at

Howard was given the nickname “Snacks” during his playing days at the University of Illinois (2000 to ‘04) for his love of snack food.

Howard’s tweet to the world on Saturday: “Rooock chaaaaalllkkkkkk Jayhawwwkk KU!!! Thanks to all my family and friends for the love and support. Ready to go to work!”

Haas update: Isaac Haas, a 7-foot, 275-pound senior-to-be from Hokes Bluff High in Piedmont, Ala., is considering KU, UAB, Clemson, Stanford and Texas A&M, reports via He’s also heard from Purdue, Harvard and Northwestern. He’s ranked No. 58 nationally by

Top-ranked Shabazz criticized: A lot has changed since Shabazz Muhammad was the No. 1-ranked high school player in the Class of 2012 by Not only did he not have a huge impact at UCLA his one and only season, he’s drawn the wrath of analysts such as Doug Gottlieb who writes that Muhammad should not be taken in the first round of the NBA Draft.

“Reason No. 1 is his skill level,” Gottlieb writes at “He’s a 6-foot-5 small forward who is a very average athlete with some ‘old man body’ to him. ... If he’s too small to play his usual position and not athletic enough to make up for the lack of size and skill, where does that leave him?

“Additionally, small forwards at the next level bring multiple skills to the table. But in his one year at UCLA Muhammad didn’t defend, didn’t really rebound unless it was the offensive boards, and never passed. Consider that he played in 32 games and had a total of 27 assists despite averaging 30 minutes a game. Read that sentence again. Wow.

“Muhammad also stinks as a teammate,” Gottlieb writes. “We all saw the pouting on the floor after his teammate Larry Drew hit the game-winner versus Washington last season, when Shabazz was shouting for the ball. I have been told by multiple sources that such behavior was the norm. When Muhammad didn’t get his touches, didn’t get his numbers, he was totally disconnected from his team.

“His arrogance and lack of desire to be coached was apparent to all who watched. Shabazz was only about Shabazz. Go back and look at how he came out of (games). ‘He would not walk close to Ben (Howland, coach),’ one UCLA source told me. Translation: coach killer.”


Jason Keller 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Doug Gottlieb is the most unsufferable gas bag that is allowed to litter the airwaves today. Questioning Shabazz's physical tools and athletic ability is crazy. Old man body... what the heck does that even mean? The kid can practically dunk from the free throw line. He measured 6'6.25 at the combine with a 6'11 wing span... that is what you call very solid size for a SF in the NBA. He carried UCLA once he became eligible, from game one on. Oh, so he doesn't pass much. Then he will fit in perfect at the next level! NBA is all about isolation... Shabazz can score in isolation!

What else would we expect from a gas bag like Gottlieb


jhawkrulz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm all about criticizing; however, for a hindsight 20/20 article where the father was professing to work the system including the ncaa that doesn't make sense. At the baby making timeframe the one and done rule didn't exist and wasn't even phathomed. Why would a father be expressing that when a good high school athlete would go straight to the pros. This just seems like a bad article to kick someone when they are down. Truth be told...the kid still had to learn how to dribble and shoot. There are a lot of nba players who haven't learned how to pass even point guards.


Tony Bandle 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Larry's Photo...get that guy in the orange blazer out of here immediately!!

Brucie's Photo....Me, me,,choose me!!

Billy's Photo...that guy in the orange blazer is a L-O-S-E-R, LOSER!!


jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Looking at Bruce Weber in that orange coat, I cannot help but thank the basketball gods that no KU head coach in my memory has worn a crimson blazer on our bench. Please, Bill, don't ever be tempted.


FearlessJayhawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I would not rank Bruce Weber and Billy Gillispie as great coaches.


KansasComet 10 months, 2 weeks ago

It is impossible to compare Andrew Wiggins with Shabazz Muhammad. Just totally impossible. Number 1 player coming out of high school. That is where the comparisons stop. From what I can read and see, they are nothing alike. Andrew Wiggins has shown maturity beyond his years. I can't wait to watch him play college basketball, and if he wants to stay in school for more than one year, I am sure he will be the only one making that decision.


REHawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Interesting story re Shabazz' dad and the report of his declaration about selecting a mate who would help him produce all American offspring. That said, considering genetics and accomplishments, I would imagine that Andrew Wiggins' parents might have fostered somewhat similar dreams for their offspring. I like Andrew's father's recent statement about his son: He's humble and hungry; we'll see how that plays out.


iamakufan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I suspect had Shabazz come to KU he would have been a totally different person. Or he'd have ridden the bench. Coach Self would not put up with that crap. Shabazz would have changed or he'd not have played. Sounds to me like Howland did not gain control where he should have. But, then, that's pretty much what we've heard about his coaching style at UCLA, anyhow.


Hawk8086 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree that by all appearances, Wiggins will have a much better attitude than someone like Shabazz. However, the general concerns of the OAD will always exist. Feeling the need to demonstrate their talents for the NBA scouts, fitting in with the team amidst potential jealously, resentment over displaced playing time, other players' concerns over being treated differently, etc. Obviously, the better the character and the more team-oriented mindset of the individual OAD candidate can potentially mitigate theses issues, but they are always out there. I believe that with Wiggins we have one of the better OAD candidates in terms of all of these issues and things will work out well. The other issues with any potential one and done (Selden, Embiid.....maybe) is the difficulty in filling out your roster when recruiting. Will we need a big wing in 2014as TexasHawk suggests? Could depend in large part as to who goes and who stays. .


AverageCitizen 10 months, 2 weeks ago

BrainDead- I remember reading that article. The way he planned to use his children for his own gain struck me as cold hearted after reading this part of the article:

The selling of Shabazz began before he was born. As a student, Holmes said, he found himself fascinated by the careful breeding of thoroughbreds, the way that two fast, powerful horses could be crossed to create an even faster, more powerful colt.

Around that time he met Faye Paige, a point guard, sprinter and hurdler at Cal State Long Beach. Spotting her at a summer league game, Holmes recalled saying to a friend: "See that No. 10? She's going to be my wife, and we're going to make some All-Americans."

HighEliteMajor- I think there are clues to kid's personality before they get here. I remember red flags going off when I read this quote from Shabazz:

“I absolutely can't stand when people in general pronounce my name wrong, but when coaches do it, it’s really surprising honestly. Throughout my recruitment it has happened a lot but a school that just keeps on doing it, they are pretty much off my list.” That from a 17 year old! I understand the frustration but it's a very harsh consequence for the 'crime'. You never really know if it is youthful folly or total self centeredness but it certainly sounded egotistical to me.

Wiggins behavior, most especially how he handles his recruitment/announcement and his thank you letter to the school, gives us the total opposite of Shabazz's behavior. We have a winner in Andrew.


BainDread 10 months, 2 weeks ago

In Shabazz's defense, he is exactly what his father made him - a business commodity. He had little to no chance of being a normal, well-adjusted kid. The LA Times ran an in-depth story on March 22, 2013, detailing the lengths to which his father went to develop and market his son as a professional athlete beginning before he was born. You can find it in the archives on the LA Times web site. The title of the article is "NCAA to NBA millions: UCLA star’s father mapped out a dream" Here's a of teaser from the article...

"But Holmes' real genius has been navigating the cutthroat realm of college basketball. It's a world in which school athletic departments, coaches and TV networks reap millions while young athletes, in Holmes words, are left with "crumbs." The father decided long ago that he would make the system work for him. For years, Holmes has tirelessly promoted the Shabazz Muhammad brand to scouts, journalists, money managers and others."


Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 10 months, 2 weeks ago

If only Ben would have wanted the ball as badly as Shabazz.


William Blake 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Shabby Shabazz is about to learn why it's called the No Boys Allowed league.


Jack Wilson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

With the presumed OAD guys, why is this surprising with Shabazz? What is surprising are the humble, well grounded guys. The exceptions to the rule. These guys have been basketball stars for years, catered to, fawned over, and told how great they are. When there was all the talk about Shabazz and KU, I said I hoped he'd take his gold shoes somewhere else. There was a rather large group with the opposite opinion.

Look at how he behaved at UCLA. If he had chosen KU, do you think Self could have changed that? I don't .. no way. KU would have been like UCLA. A pit stop until Shabazz got to the NBA. That's it. A necessary evil to the presumed OAD. Would Shabazz have made KU better last season? Doubtful. But what it would have done was sat loyal 5th year senior Travis Releford on the bench, out of the starting lineup for his final season. Releford wasn't a marginal player. He was a very good player. But Muhammad doesn't come to KU if he's not going to start. Self was recruiting to do just that. Sit Releford in favor of Muhammad.

Do we want that? Would we have wanted that? It's obviously Self's call.

Now we're left to wonder if Wiggins is a humble, well grounded young man. A guy who doesn't view KU as a pit stop. A guy who doesn't want his way over the team. We'd like to think so. But we really don't know yet. We do know Self said he can do whatever he wants this summer, while other freshman are showing up this week. We can speculate, but until he's here and we see with our own eyes, we don't know. This is different, of course .. I guess .. he's displacing a sophomore (White) who hasn't really played much.

At least we can hope that Wiggins will see the Shabazz Muhammad story. Assumed #1 pick, but then creates a lot of negativity in college and sees his stock drop. That lesson should at least increase the odds that Wiggins won't be Muhammad. But it reasonable to think that these guys think "they" are different. It won't happen to them. It's the same way we thought when we were 18 or 19 years old.

This will be an interesting experiment under the lights of AFH this coming season. If Wiggins isn't the kind of talent that can deliver a national championship, what's the point? If he is, and does, the point is made without any disagreement.

Chemistry, how he assimilates, how Self uses him, if Self treates him differently, what Self does differently coaching-wise because of Wiggins -- those will be interesting things to watch.


Kovo12 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Does anyone think there's a chance we bring Michael Lee in as our basketball ops?


Larry Smith 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Gottlieb is not the only one with that opinion about Shabazz. Scott Van Pelt and Ryan Russillo were killing him on the radio as well. No real standout skill, not a good teammate, average when up against talent, etc.. Compared him a lot to Felipe Lopez. I remember when that kid was supposed to be the second coming.


GortHawker 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Man I'd say Doug G. is just a little down on Shabazz, ya think? Welcome JH , now go get us some more top recruits.


jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

What with guys like OJ Mayo, Lance Stephenson, Shabazz and so on, the NBA needs an Al Davis/Pappy Boyington type owner that runs a buccaneer themed franchise that specializes in taking in all these black sheep. With all the crappy franchises, one ought to give it a try. Some times rogues play better with other rogues.


ferdthemooncat 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Howland's a dope. They deserve each other.


jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Because Dim Doogie Godlove XTReme dissed Shabazzletoff, and Self pursued Shabazzletoff so long and hard, and Shabazzletoff played for Mediocre Ben's sinking ship, well, it seems logical to think Shabazzletoff will rebound from starring in "His Own Private OJ Mayo." Shabazzletoff could turn out to be the steal of the draft, if NBA GM stupidity lets him fall below 10. Shabazzletoff's selection of Ben and UCLA never seemed driven by Shabazzletoff himself, but more by DEEP RECRUITING and Shabazzletoff's perhaps too domineering pappy. Talent will out, even in the age of XTReme Hype. Here's hoping Shabazzletoff can get control of his life, learn PR, and LAND WITH A FUNCTIONAL ORGANIZATION, of which there are precious few in the L.


jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

"Some Suggested Football TV Revenue Drives Realignment Mantras"

Maximizing football TV revenues drove Florida State to the Big 12. No, wait, it didn't.

Maximizing football TV revenues drove MU to stay in the Big 12. No, wait, it didn't.

Maximizing football TV revenues drove Louisville to the Big 12 instead of the ACC. No, wait, it didn't.

Maximizing football TV revenues drove OU to the PAC 12. No, wait, it didn't.



Gil Ek 10 months, 2 weeks ago

The article on Shabazz could be what is written about this years UK team after the season. Can't see how their team chemistry will work with all the ego and talent.


NorthStarHawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

....yup & speaking of Squeaky.....I've never seen a set of jawbones that could open as wide as his and nothing of substance being capable of leaving his mouth. What an unfortunate affliction that must be to live with.


chipmunk1956 10 months, 3 weeks ago

32 games... 27 assists?... WOW!... Just WOW!!!


jaybate 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Where is Billy Gillispie? Is he doing ok? Is he going into broadcasting? Would love to see LB or Self find him a role to bounce back in.

Calling Ben Howland? I never liked Ben much, but no one deserved a disingenuous Athletic Director AND Shabazz! Did Ben catch a break and land somewhere in the game, or is it sell insurance time for the Father of Hack'n Slap?

LB ought to frame his dismissal letter from Jordan. MJ was better at baseball than basketball team management.

Self has hired Snacks Howard for his assistant. Is it time to hire Fast Food Collins as his director of basketball opps?

Shabazz must have said something nasty to Doogie Godlove to get that kind of hatchet job.

Self has been so lucky not to get ShaBazz. In the OAD era, avoiding OAD flops is as crucial as getting an OAD success. OAD flops are brutal gifts that keep on giving. Bad PR for future recruiting. A hole in the rotation. Bad team chemistry. Agent runners every where. And Microphone Monkies like Doogie Godlove dissing afterwards!


cwf414 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Cant take anything in this article serious when you put "great coaches" and add a picture of squeaky...


Scott MacWilliams 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Welcome to KU, Mr. Howard! We're all very excited to have you and your young guy energy on the sidelines. It's great to have a new face with a great pedigree helping out the team. About that "Snacks" nickname and the junk food history, I hope that you're watching your diet these days. I couldn't help but notice that you're looking a little wide for your height, and given your tremendous attitude and attributes, we all want you to have a LONG and healthy coaching career. Besides, you're likely to get caught in some of those legendary pickup games that are known to happen around Allen Field House in the summer.
Lots of famous vintage Jayhawk alums have been seen there, knocking the rust off and having a blast. You don't want to get left behind by a bunch of old fahts, do you??? Rock Chalk!!


Konkis Dongington III 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Welcome Jerrance Howard. Now go get us Jahlil Okafor! I'm glad we missed on Shabazz if even half of this is true. Poison through and through. Even more glad we have Wigs given his rep. I've seen Haas. He's a loafer. He's big, but he's incredibly slow. Josh Smith slow. He may not get winded getting up off the bench, but he's gonna be just as bad at getting up and down the floor. Elbert Robinson is the better footer in the class in terms of potential.

2014 is a weird class. There isn't a lot of size in the top 'bigs'. You've got Okafor, Lyle, McCullough, and Towns as the only immediate impact guys that are 6'10" and none of the top guys are any bigger. Most of the PFs are 6'8". And the footers are all either loafers like Haas or low-skilled.

Regardless, we're unlikely to sign anyone of consequence in this class, and unlikely to need to. We're in the same position we were in with the class of 2010-11 (when we signed Selby and Woolridge). Provided we get Selden, Embiid, and Ellis back for 2014, no alarms, no surprises. If both Ellis and Embiid leave, however, we'd likely be hurting for another impact big in either a top 20 dude, or a quality transfer like Black (though Ellis will almost definitely be back). I'm looking to 2015 as the next big haul.


kay_you 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The headline reads great coaches. I'm assuming it means Larry and Bill and not the other two guys.


Mike Rotchurtz 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Remember when Shabazz was considering going to KU? Aren't you glad that didn't happen?

Not a quality person or teammate. And his dad?... complete dirtbag.

I'm excited about Jerrance Howard. I think he'll get the job done.


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