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Monday, June 3, 2013

Good point(s): A look at best point guards in Bill Self era

The top points guards in the Bill Self era at Kansas University, as chosen by the Journal-World/KUSports.com staff, are, clockwise from upper left: Naadir Tharpe, Jeff Hawkins, Russell Robinson, Sherron Collins, Elijah Johnson, Aaron MIles and, at center, Tyshawn Taylor.

The top points guards in the Bill Self era at Kansas University, as chosen by the Journal-World/KUSports.com staff, are, clockwise from upper left: Naadir Tharpe, Jeff Hawkins, Russell Robinson, Sherron Collins, Elijah Johnson, Aaron MIles and, at center, Tyshawn Taylor.

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The top points guards in the Bill Self era at Kansas University, as chosen by the Journal-World/KUSports.com staff, are, clockwise from upper left: Naadir Tharpe, Jeff Hawkins, Russell Robinson, Sherron Collins, Elijah Johnson, Aaron MIles and, at center, Tyshawn Taylor.

For the past few summers, those of us at the Journal-World and KUSports.com who cover Kansas University teams and athletes have taken part in a variety of summer series projects designed to provide a deeper look at the Jayhawks and a quick peek inside our minds.

With another summer now upon us, it’s time to dive into this year’s series of Monday features. Rather than picking arbitrary or abstract categories or breaking down various teams or position battles, we’ve decided to use this summer to look back at the Bill Self era.

Last season capped Self’s first decade as the head coach at KU, and during that time all kinds of highlight players, moments and memories have made their way into Kansas basketball lore.

For the next 10 weeks, we’ll look back at several of them, through the eyes of those of us who had the best seats in the house. KU basketball beat writer Gary Bedore has been there every step of the way and put his stamp on every one of these athletes and events. Sports editor Tom Keegan arrived in town two years into Self’s stint at Kansas and has provided unique insight into all the ups and downs of the past eight years. And Matt Tait and Jesse Newell, in one way or another, also have been around for most of the fun and viewed things in a slightly different way than the staff’s upperclassmen.

We’ll kick off the series with five straight weeks of the top players of the Self era. We’ll start with point guards today and move through all five positions in the weeks that follow. Then we’ll dive into a few more team-oriented topics, such as best game, best comeback, best bench players and more.

Gary Bedore

  1. Sherron Collins: The Chicago native was a bit undersized — meaning too short — to make it in the NBA, but he was great in college. He could hit the deep jumper and drive to the hole. He still could make some money in Europe if he commits himself to getting and staying in shape. He’s just carrying too much weight to be effective again.
  2. Aaron Miles: Miles would rather set somebody else up for a shot than take the shot himself. He was an extremely unselfish player and one of the nicest guys in the Self era as well.
  3. Russell Robinson: He was ornery enough to turn down a chance to enter a game for mop-up minutes his freshman season at Baylor, later emerging as the heart and soul of an NCAA championship team. I also liked the “New York, New York” pregame intro of Robinson at home games.
  4. Tyshawn Taylor: I especially enjoyed the way he embraced his senior year, relishing every minute of it and choosing to be the unofficial team spokesman. He never hid from doing interviews, just enjoyed his final campaign, which, frankly, all seniors should do.
  5. Jeff Hawkins: The defensive whiz from Kansas City, Kan., could stick a deep three-pointer when needed. He never became a star but was a fine role player. I loved talking to his mom during the recruiting process and loved seeing Hawkins mature to the point he’s now Perry-Lecompton’s outstanding boys basketball coach.

Tom Keegan

  1. Sherron Collins: Was too smart for Baylor’s zone defense and too relentless to let the hot-shooting Bears win in Allen Fieldhouse in a memorable 100-90 shootout. Overtime victory in Manhattan also comes to mind. Amazingly skilled basketball player who loved to compete.
  2. Tyshawn Taylor: Quicker than Cool Papa Bell and cooler than Hot Rod Hundley, Taylor sometimes was too quick for his own good and wasn’t a gifted passer. Still, he was a defense’s biggest nightmare because he consistently blew by his man.
  3. Aaron Miles: Pure point guard knew the ball needed to get into Wayne Simien’s hands and knew how to get it there.
  4. Russell Robinson: Tremendous defender who learned to let better scorers take the majority of the shots.
  5. Elijah Johnson: We never will know whether Kansas could have defeated Michigan had the refs done the right thing and ejected him in the opening minutes.

Matt Tait

  1. Tyshawn Taylor: Few players have been as loved and hated during their time at KU as Taylor, the four-year starter who showed flashes of brilliance and moments of madness throughout his Kansas career. The one thing that never wavered with Taylor was his effort. Whether he made an outstanding play or one that drove people crazy, both were born from tremendous effort and I always respected that about him.
  2. Aaron Miles: For my money, he’s the best pure passer ever to play at KU. His career assist total (954, tops in KU and Big 12 history) certainly backs up that claim, but it was not just the fact that Miles racked up stats that always impressed me. It was the way he did it: calm, poised and with a smirk.
  3. Sherron Collins: One of the top competitors in college basketball history. Collins’ will to win, especially at the end of games and in crunch time, was unmatched by anybody in the Self era.
  4. Naadir Tharpe: As president and founder of the #TharpeFanClub, I couldn’t overlook the KU junior, and two years from now I’m betting you’ll understand why. I’ve liked Tharpe’s demeanor from Day One. He’s a confident and capable point guard and a born leader.
  5. Russell Robinson: I always thought his role as the “glue guy” on the 2008 national championship team was mentioned way too much and way too often. As proven by his long and solid pro career overseas, Robinson is talented enough to do it all yet smart enough to know that team didn’t need him to.

Jesse Newell

  1. Sherron Collins: The best point guard on the 2008 national title team, even if he didn’t start. The fact that he later became a consensus first-team All-American only seals his spot on the top of this list.
  2. Tyshawn Taylor: Four-year starter whose accomplishments on the court more than made up for a few off-the-court struggles. The second half of his senior year was — I believe — the best that any point guard has played under Self at KU.
  3. Russell Robinson: The fact he was the starting point guard on the 2008 title team boosts him up to third. His offensive stats were never special, but his on-ball defense was.
  4. Aaron Miles: Had advanced stats been more prevalent in his day, Aaron Miles might not have gotten as much national love because of a high turnover count. He still was a great distributor and also worked to make himself into a 50-percent three-point shooter his senior year (40 of 80).
  5. Elijah Johnson: Fair or not, he will be remembered for three games: saving KU against Purdue in the NCAA Tournament his junior year; going for 39 points against Iowa State his senior year; and committing costly late turnovers in the loss to Michigan in his final game. His senior season, statistically, was one of the worst of any player in Self’s KU tenure.

Comments

Michael Luby 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I think Matt Tait is correct. I also believe in Naadir. He will prove himself to be very comparable to Miles after he is done. It is hard to include him on this list though, simply because he hasn't proven himself yet...completely. We've seen glimpses, but not the full show.

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Ralster Jayhawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Hmm...it seems Russell Robinson saw this and tweeted the above response that he considers Miles the #1 PG in the Self era. Interestingly, Miles was indeed the only true pass-first PG on the list. ALL the others, including Russell, were 'combo guards'. Back in 07-08, I kept referring to Russell and Mario as Combo1 + Combo2, or Lead-Combo + Shooting-combo. Or even PG/Combo & SG/Combo. Miles was the lone true PG. Sherron really was a 5'9 combo guard, if we want to be true to the definitions used by Self at that time. I really appreciate Russell's view, easily more qualified opinion than all of us. And Bill Self likely would agree with RussRob, from everything he has said over the years. Sherron was a devastating "Lead guard", as did Tyshawn become...but neither was a pure PG.

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bp1328 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Worst guard was Johnson.. but the most overrated guard was Aarin Miles. He may has assist records, but if you look at the group he always had around him, anyone would rack up assists.

I think if anyone objectively reviews his performance in each tourney game starting from his first year to his senior year you will see each game he performed miserably

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Ralster Jayhawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Forward perspective: Player to watch (among many): Tharpe. Has swagger. Has cojones. Took notes from Tyshawn and Sherron. Came in and gave what EJ couldnt, so he has an intelligence about the game. I dont mind his dagger-3att, as he personally as a backup PG already won a game or 2 for us this last season...and his a:t ratio hasnt been seen since the days of Russell Robinson. If he can keep his A:T ratio > 2:1, he will seem like a breath of fresh air to KU fans, as he facilitates guys named Ellis, Wiggins, White, Embiid, TBlak...Naads also likes to slash.

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Ralster Jayhawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Stupid to put EJ on as a #5, because really the statement is using the moment to slam him and say something else about that Michigan game by subtracting EJ. Not making any summation about his PG stats/career. How stupidly unanalytical to take a "career performance summary list"...and then make a 1 game comment about 1 player. SO YOU GONNA TAKE A POT-SHOT AT SHERRON FOR TANKING vs. UNI?? (Where's that 1-game slam?). How about taking a 1-game pot-shot at Reed for tanking in the VCU game on the SG list to come? How about stay within the parameters of the premise of the article? Also cannot put Tharpe on such a list as he has NEVER been the starting PG: career summary? So are we going to put EJ on the SG list, as his very good 2012 season alongside Tyshawn might qualify? Just asking, because he plays PG for 1yr and that qualifies him to be mentioned on the PG list. My personal list is a top 3: Sherron Collins, Russell Robinson (he got it done), followed by a "tie" between Tyshawn/AaronMiles. EJ isnt on the list (because his PG stats dont warrant it), nor is Tharpe (yet).

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Preston Dwiggins 10 months, 3 weeks ago

How about we build the best of what we had?

Strength: Collins Quickness: Taylor Mental: Robinson Leaping: Johnson Agility: Taylor Shooting: Collins Passing: Miles

  • My wildcard that possesses a lot of these attributes that is just now taking over as starting PG: Tharpe. I like, no, I LOVE having Tharpe's experience running point this year!
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MarineHawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I could be wrong, but I don't think you guys are getting Keegan's comment: "5. Elijah Johnson: We never will know whether Kansas could have defeated Michigan had the refs done the right thing and ejected him in the opening minutes." I think he's sarcastically saying that EJ was one of the greatest KU PGs in ten years by selflessly ... trying to take himself out of the game by racking an opponent's nuts and letting Tharpe then come in and win the game he could not. Didn't work out, but at least he went to an extreme attempt and tried.

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gwenthejayhawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Didn't really realize the lack of talent we have had at PG. The other positions will be much better, but when you start including guys like Jeff Hawkins, and a guy that would have helped beat Michigan if he would have been ejected, you probably haven't had great PGs. Collins and Miles = great; Robinson = good, all others are merely there to get from three to five.

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pizzashuttle 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Miles, RR, Collins, TT and that's it. TT only made it because of his sr season. Collins made it in spite of his sr season when he was out of shape.

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REHawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm going with Collins, Miles, Taylor, Russ Rob, Tharpe. Taylor had perhaps the best one semester of any of that group, but Miles gave the Jayhawks 4 solid semesters under Self, even tho the coaching change made for a tough adjustment. The gamble to bring EJ along as a point guard just did not work out. I think that Elijah might have played a steadier senior season if he had the good fortune to have played the 2 guard; but with the emergence of McLemore, that was not to be. Taylor was a train wreck until he settled into focus and got serious his senior year. Miles was steady and reliable. Collins is king.

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KCJHawk08 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Russell apparently has an opinion on the subject. He just posted the following on twitter:

"@Next718star: Love all my bro's but #1 PG in Self era AMiles...can't see how anybody can think different...Lucky I got to play with him! #kubball"

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William Blake 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Well done, people! Very good perspectives out there, and I love to read them and compare.

Ultimately, the thoughts here are pretty subjective. Even throwing in stats gives a bit of guidance only, because every team was different, as well as the teams they played. If the games were replayed, the results would differ... I guess fate deals the final hand, which is the perception left with all of us, along with the final scores in the record book.

Thinking back to all those PGs... it gives me a broader perspective and appreciation for CS, and the great job he has done at the helm of the Jayhawk ship!

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texashawk10 10 months, 3 weeks ago

It's all opinion and who someone puts at number one usually reflects the skill set one values in a PG. I personally prefer a pass first PG, then defense, then scoring so I would go with Miles, Robinson, Taylor, then Collins. I know some will disagree with my choices and that's fine. My list reflects what I value in PG's and not everyone values the same things in a PG.

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Bryce Landon 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Keegan, you're a hack. EJ should NOT have been ejected. The Michigan player flopped and made EJ's move look worse than it actually was. Those Skunk Weasels were flopping all game long, and the refs made all kinds of ticky-tack calls all night on us while letting scUM get away with whatever they wanted. If the refs had called that game fairly, the game never would have been close enough for EJ to piss it away at the end.

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DJHOLLA 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Sherron Collins. No explanation needed. Miles is still up there. Two Final Four appearances and an Elite 8 is nothing to sniff at.

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Jack Jones 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt ~ Re criteria > I would hope that your future articles on this topic would be for the "top" (read "best" players at each position during Bill Self's tenure. "Most liked" seems more like a popularity contest rather than a testament as to their athletic ability, and perhaps even more importantly ~ their contributions to the success of the teams on which they played. IMO ~ more in the bailiwick of a sportswriter, rather than a beauty contest judge. Although, certainly not disparaging the fine work of those judges by any means.

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John Fitzgerald 10 months, 3 weeks ago

My take on all Self's point guards:

  1. Russell Robinson - He was on the National Title team and was literally the heart and soul of the team. He was very unselfish and when they needed a points from him, he made it happen. Great vision on the floor as well, but I think his standout was his defensive ability. I don't think Self has had another point that played defense as good as him. Every other play he was on a breakaway from a steal. His quickness, mental stability, and 4 years of experience made him as strong as any point KU has had.

  2. Aaron Miles - Good defender and an even better distributor. I'd have Russell and Aaron tied for first, but Russell got a title. It may not seem to make much of a difference, but when you look at the greats, what makes them greater is a title. Miles was also one of the most reliable points Self has had. Very few mistakes and very efficient on the turnover side. Best passer out of all the point guards as well.

  3. Sherron Collins - Most people either loved this guy, or loved to hate him. Played with a chip on his shoulder and we either won games because of him, or we fell by the waste side on his silly mistakes. Not the most turnover efficient point Self has had, but when the team needed him, he came through more than any point Self has seen. An example is the OU game, at OU. Granted, it was without Blake Griffin, but he still put on one heck of a show.

  4. Tyshawn Taylor - Another guy that people either loved or hated. One thing I will say about Tyshawn, is he always gave 100%. Like Sherron, he made a lot of mistakes, and wasn't the most turnover efficient point, but when he took over games, he was virtually unstoppable. The fastest point Self has had off the dribble, and could play defense. Also, extremely athletic and could score like a shooting guard.

  5. Naadir Tharpe - Tharpe has a HUGE upside to him, and given full control of the team next year, I think he will make big things happen, especially with Andrew Wiggins and Perry Ellis in the lineup. He has already proven he can take over games and he is turnover efficient, he just needs the in game experience other guards have had. Once he has a few nail bitters under his belt, while he is the starting point, I think he will begin to grow even more and really take advantage of the opportunity that lies ahead of him. If KU wins a title this year, look to move Naadir ahead of Sherron and Tyshawn.

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Mike Barnhart 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Hawksince51,

You're right, Roy can't develop point guards.

Sincerely,

Adonis Jordan, Jacque Vaughn, Jeff Boschee, Kirk Heinrich, Aaron Miles, Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson

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Tony Bandle 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The center position will be interesting what with Sasha [4 yrs], Markieff [3yrs], Cole [3 yrs] and Jeff [5 yrs] being Bill's only true centers with any impact.

If you are looking for five would Wayne be the logical choice??

My take is that with Jeff's last two years, his defensive presence on the court overshadows Markieff's offensive advantage. yet Sasha and Cole played key roles in winning a National Championship. Jeff, however, was a force to reckon with on his own.

I guess what I am saying is that we wouldn't have lost as many games missing Markieff as we would have had we been missing Jeff these last two seasons.

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hawksince51 10 months, 3 weeks ago

IMHO Tharpe, Hawkins and Elijah on anyone's list shows that PG has not been a Self strong suit especially when you consider that he inherited Miles from Roy. I agree that Tharpe has potential but he has not even started yet, Hawkins was also off the bench as a role player and Elijah's shortcomings as a PG are well documented above. Interesting that the only PG Self has playing in the NBA (Chalmers) did not play the position at KU. But, recruiting and developing PGs was also one of Roy's weaknesses. The best one of his era, Vaughn, was never more than a backup in the NBA.
Like Roy, Self seems to be plagued with coming in 2nd when recruiting for PGs. That Self's only NC came when he had 2 who fully deserve to be on the above list, shows the importance of the PG position in today's college game.

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Jack Wilson 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I think the Miles vs. Taylor debate is a real interesting one. Not want many might think.

In Miles' career, he averaged 8.6 points per game and 6.9 assists per game.

In Taylor's career, he averaged 10.35 points per game and 3.6 assists per game. While a true point guard his last two seasons, it was an average of 4.7 assists per game.

For Miles, he thus created an average of 22.4 points per game (with each assist assumed to create two points*)

For Taylor, he created an average of 18.25 points per game. If we used his average assists for his last two seasons, comparing point guard play, he created an average of 19.75 points per game as his apg went up by 1.1.

For Miles, he average 1.9 steals and 3 turnovers per game; Taylor 1.2 steals per game and 2.6 turnovers per game, but 3.1 turnovers per game in his last two seasons as the point guard.

I would have thought Taylor would have had more steals, and a significantly more turnovers per game. Not so. Miles stole it more, but turned it over nearly as much as a point guard.

Taylor led us to the championship game. That's a huge deal. Taylor was a more dynamic player. But that didn't lead to much of a difference -- except the final four run.

Except for that fact, for my money, I'd take Aaron Miles as my point guard over Taylor.

Because we haven't had a pass first point guard in a long time, I think many may forget how good it really is to have one.

*I know some assists led to three pointers, but for comparison, the likelihood of Taylor's assists creating three pointers vs. Miles' would be the same)

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jaybate 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I just got an email from Staff Reports, an intern pissed because he didn't get to be included with the Round Mound of Expound (Keegs), Mr. Unaffected (Bedore), A Simple Twist of Taitt, and Live Bait with Jesse Re-Newell.

Staff Reports said, "Shizz, mon, I be a better touch typist, better story teller and better mon than those stroked out, pixel burned wretches! You give me their column inches and I'll get twice their clicks!!!!!"

To wit, here are young Staff Reports top 5 practice point guards .

  1. Tyler Self--Its hard to find nepotism, softness, and an inability to make the entry pass in one player, but TSelf's got it all.

  2. Niko Roberts--Niko does, too.

  3. Chase Buford--no one threw up like that guy. He could hurl a pizza just thinking about running to a scorer's table.

  4. Steve Vinson--the man could really NOT play with the best of them.

  5. Milton Doyle--Milt set the record for shortest KU point guard career. He left having only worn crimson and blue in Europe. He didn't play more games at point guard than any other player. Just the thought of boot camp made him leave.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

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Mike Barnhart 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I almost have to break it down by season because none of Coach Self's point guards have been four year studs! Sherron's junior season was outstanding and so was Tyshawn's senior year. Aaron started good and got better every year but only played 2 years for Coach Self. Russell started slow but was almost a perfect pure point guard in '07-'08.

Final answer: Sherron Collins 19 points and 5 assist as a junior in 2008-2009.

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Kevin Huffman 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Next week's:

2-guard...I can only even think of 5.

Langford, Ty. Reid, Chalmers, B. McLemore & E. Johnson

Probably have to go:

  1. Chalmers
  2. Langford
  3. B. McLemore
  4. E. Johnson
  5. Ty. Reid

Figuring Morningstar would be considered a small "3". I mean sometimes they'd let Reid bring the ball up....wasn't the case for Morningstar.

I guess technically Selby fits the '2". Would we even put him in the top 5 though?!?!? Heck, I'd take Reid over him!!!!

"3" 's then (no, not going further & going to rank them would be - B. Rush, X. Henry, Tr. Releford, Little, Morningstar & Teahan. Am I missing anybody there? Who played the "3" back in those early years for Self on the Miles, Langford & Simien teams? Honestly, can't remember. I guess Giddens, B. Nash, Galindo & M. Downs.

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Chris Shaw 10 months, 3 weeks ago

When do we get to the Big Men?

Elijah Johnson and Jeff Hawkins make me cringe!

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REHawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm with Keegan. Refs toss EJ for the low blow and Jayhawks have a better than average chance to hold on to the late lead, with both Ellis and Tharpe holding down the fort, regardless of Michigan's seasonlong history of great comebacks down the stretches.

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Ethan Berger 10 months, 3 weeks ago

How about a list of the top 5 walk-on point guards? Now that would be interesting!

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CWGOKU 10 months, 3 weeks ago

"Elijah Johnson: We never will know whether Kansas could have defeated Michigan had the refs done the right thing and ejected him in the opening minutes"

Really, eject him. I did not see it that way, at all. Hack

Sherron Tyshawn Russell Robinson Aaron Miles N/A

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Tony Bandle 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Just a comment,

....if Jo Jo White had played under Bill's system along with the three point shot, as opposed to playing under Ted Owens whose system essentially forced Jo Jo to throw the ball into the center everytime, Jo Jo would have ended up one of the greatest guards in the history of the NCAA.

Ability-wise, none of the guys llisted above, and many were great players, could have carried Jo Jo's tennis shoes.....he was THAT GOOD!!

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JayhawkLaw12 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Tom Keegan: We never will know whether Kansas fans could have been exposed to quality journalism had the LJW done the right thing and dismissed him after his first column.

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Scott Smetana 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I'll be VP of the Tharpe fan club. I think Tait's list is the best. Tharpe was playing as well as any PG we've had the past 10 years in the last part of the season. Did anyone see him shut down Burke? He's quick, has learned defense, has guts, and a shot. I'm betting he climbs to top 3 on the list before he's done.

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Joe Baker 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I would give Collins the lead over Miles, but loved Miles' vision and IQ. I just wished he would've stepped up to the shot moe often. I didn't see enough shooting from deep. This is why Collins wins. He does have a NC too. Miles and Co failed.

Collins - Decision making a bit shaky at times, but his pitbull attitude was the reason for his shooting ability - he made shots when needed. Miles- Leadership and bball IQ is huge. He was too hesitant to step up and take the shot. He yielded a bit too much when he was as capable of nailing shots. RussRob - NC and liked his NY tough play. I also liked his maturity on the court. He didn't take chances, but his D was nasty. RR may be the best defensive of the group. TT - TT had some huge shoes to fill with this group. He just didn't quite match up. However, he showed tremendous up side his senior year. He played in Sherron's shadow too. One of the most athletic and quickest pgs of the group next to RR.

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Matt Stephan 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The SG will be tough. Keith Langford was an amazing scorer. Mario Chalmers was pretty clutch. Ben McLemore was awesome his one year at KU.

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Benjamin Piehler 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Dispute his flaws, Sherron will always have a special place in my memory. He had a lot of heart; a shame how it went for him after KU.

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Matt Stephan 10 months, 3 weeks ago

KU's starting PG during the Bill Self era: 2004-2005: Aaron Miles, 2006-2008: Russell Robinson, 2009-2010: Sherron Collins, 2011-2012: Tyshawn Taylor, 2013: Elijah Johnson. Although Elijah Johnson started one year at the 2, and would primarily play the 2 off the bench in 2010 and 2011, he still played the 1 for one year. I think Elijah Johnson's 1 year starting at PG was better then like Jeff Hawkins 2 years (under Self) or Selby's 1 bomb year.

Sherron was by far the best PG under Self. Aaron Miles was a dish master. Tyshawn Taylor over Russell Robinson on the fact that he contributed more to a National Championship Runner Up run more then Russell Robinson on a National Championship run.

Most likely after this year, Nadir Tharpe will trump Elijah Johnson as the 5th best PG under Bill Self.

  1. Sherron Collins 2. Aaron Miles 3. Tyshawn Taylor 4. Russell Robinson 5. Elijah Johnson
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joeloveshawks 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Jeff Hawkins has no place on a top 5 PG list.

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Jeff Suther 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Tait, I can see why you write about football, just an absolutely terrible list

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fearthephog512 10 months, 3 weeks ago

"Elijah Johnson: We never will know whether Kansas could have defeated Michigan had the refs done the right thing and ejected him in the opening minutes."

This comment sounds like it should be on the "worst PGs" of the Self era, TK ...

Johnson was an athletic, charismatic teammate that could finish with the best of Self's guards, and could knock down the three when needed. He also was a large part of how KU made to the '12 title game. Unfortunately his senior year will be all that KU fans remember of Johnson, but I'll remember his big grin and great transition play.

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Jeff Schartz 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Was TJ Whatley during the Bill Era at any time? Best mustache in a KU uniform ever. Period.

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rcjh88 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Is this a look at the "best" point guards in the Bill Self era or just ranking them? Aren't these guys the only point guards in the Bill Self era? Or at least the only ones who had any impact?

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TD_Jayhawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Mario Chalmers was as much of a point guard as Elijah Johnson and mario had more career assists than EJ even though he played 25 fewer games.

Not even fair to compare Mario's impact to Jeff Hawkins or Tharpe at this point.

I understand Mario was primarily a #2, but Russell wasn't on the floor all the time, and when you average 4 assists/game for your career, you were handling the ball a significant amount of the time as PG.

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nuleafjhawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm glad I re-read the headline that includes " in Bill Self era ". I was about to come unglued that the LJW guys had left Jacque Vaughn off of the list. Ok - I'm going to go get more coffee now.....

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KEITHMILES05 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Newell having EJ on the list is laughable and embarassing. Evidently he felt an obligation to mention him? Whatever. We are talking POINT GUARDS for crying out loud.EJ wasn't anything close to that in ONE season. I'll give Newell a pass on this one as he was attempting to humor his readers.

Old style PG award to A. Miles. New style award to Collins at 1A and Russ Robb at 1B.

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milehighhawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Naadir Tharpe and Jeff Hawkins?

Really??

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Joe Joseph 10 months, 3 weeks ago

No point guard was as important to the success of his team than Tyshawn Taylor was his senior year. I would take that Tyshawn over any point guard KU has had since Vaughn. Unfortunately, you gotta take the good with the bad, so I'd probably put Collins at the top as well. Tyshawn #2.

Miles may have been a pure point guard, but will probably be the last one of that type under Bill Self. He clearly values the scoring type and Miles was far from a scorer. Imagine if someone like Brady Morningstar had played point guard in place of Miles over the course of his tenure. His only job is to bring the ball up the court and pass to All-Americans Nick Collison, Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich, and Wayne Simien. Morningstar may not have had 900+ assists, but he would have had a lot. Miles #3.

Russell #4, though I would take him before Miles if I were to create a team.

After that, it's a wash for #5.

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Eybea Opiner 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Sherron Collins' biggest strength, his will to win, was also his biggest weakness, as he tended to try to do too much by himself. He didn't fully appreciate that there is no "I" in Team. I was never on his bandwagon. Give me Aaron Miles or Russell Robinson.

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JacquesMerde 10 months, 3 weeks ago

How about columnists who are about 30 years old writing about "the best in KU history!!" hmm Hubris, look it up.

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Kye Clark 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Tait's list loses all credibility putting Naadir on it over anybody, and in this case it's not just anybody (I might have lived with it over EJ or Jeff Hawkins), but over RussRob? It's like Tait is the NBA draft of the bunch - just going off potential.

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mattiesdad 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Gee, I wonder what the greatest comeback will be? The suspense! Fun series. Looking forward to summer Mondays.

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KJD 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Love the topic, tough to choose even in this limited era. Try doing a top 5 all-time and the task gets so much more difficult.

Sherron as number 1 is a strong choice for the Bill Self era since he was in the 7 man rotation for the 2008 championship team, he was key in the furious comeback against Memphis in the title game, he was clearly the floor leader on the KU team after 2008, and nobody else since Bill has been here has seemed to be the floor persona of Bill on the floor as much as Sherron embodied-both are fierce competitors. Sherron drained threes in the clutch and he was a bowling ball attacking the rim.

There just seemed to be a special connection between Bill and Sherron. I would be much surprised if Sherron'acon isn't a regular for grill outs over at the Self's this summer while Collins works out in Lawrence for next season. The more Sherron is over at the Self's for diner the more others can monitor Collins desire for the extra helping of Brisket and Pork Beans. Mmmmm, KC Brisket and Pork beans sounds good.

1-5 I agree with Bedore. That means at #4 there is Tyshawn Taylor–the Point Guard on a Kansas team that had a spectacular run to the National Championship game. 1-4 this is a mean list to try and crack into to say that you belong among the best over the last 10 years. An embarrassment of riches.

At #5 is Jeff Hawkins who earned the nickname 'J-Hawk' by Coach Self early on in the Self era. Seriously, if the coach calls you 'J-Hawk' you are earning it big time, you are being put in the spotlight as an example for others on the team and that example was effort. Earning the 'J-Hawk' nickname early on must have helped set the tone for the program moving forward which for me is the tie breaker against Reed or Morningstar though I do luves me so Brady Morningstar defense.

Since effort is a big deal on a Bill Self team, especially defensive effort, I would rather have Reed or Morningstar on my list before Tharpe. Both Reed and Morningstar also understood the team game on the offensive side of the ball so much better than Tharpe has shown. Remember that between Morningstar's Junior and Senior year he was in San Francisco working out at a Point Guard skills camp though he had the D skills to play against the other teams best perimeter player. Tait might be right in a couple of years though Tharpe has not earned it yet, not by a long shot.

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William Blake 10 months, 3 weeks ago

i agree with Jesse's list.

Sherron is #1 because he did the impossible in '08. Results come first, and he's the one that brought it home.

From a skill level, TT in his senior year is as good as it gets in this list. He brought us a runner-up result with a team that couldn't compare to '08.

RRob... brought results in '08 and was the best defender in this bunch, except for certain games where TT knew he had to step up his d.

Miles was good and solid, and everyone loved his assists.

EJ... should have hired a snake charmer his senior year to distract him from himself.

Naadir... can't wait to compare him in a couple of years. He could easily top this list! Yes, the potential is there because none of these guys has the wheels Naadir has... not even TT.

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Ryan Lee 10 months, 3 weeks ago

You guys are playing man crush on Sherron b/c he was a character. l LOVE HIM, BUT don't GET EMOTIONS INTO THE ARGUMENT. You are PROFESSIONAL WRITERS.Ill take all these guys and they can crash at my pad anytime... But the article is for best PG ...Self era... MILES!!!!!!!!!!

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Ryan Lee 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Aaron miles all day. Not even close. Sickest passes and complete authoritarian...reminds me of Jacques.

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deberg81 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I feel like we are about to become "shooting guard U"

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DCLawHawk 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I agree with HawkOverseas. Elijah was not recruited as a PG. He would stack up more favorably compared to other Hawks at his natural position. That said, I would be curious where LJW staff would rank Mario as a point guard. He actually had more assists than RussRob in 07-08. If you were to consider him in this category for sake of argument, does he rise to #1 on everyone's list? He was the best at steals. He had an excellent 3-pt %. He got to the line. And, unlike any of the folks listed above, Mario is actually playing the PG position as a starter in the NBA. Where would he rank on your list at KU?

My top 5 would be: 1. Mario (for reasons given above) 2. Miles (leader in assists; did more with less; played under control) 3. Collins (lost some games by trying to do too much himself; great leader/warrior) 4. Taylor (also liable to take too much on himself at times, but he could blow by people like none other and got to the line like no other) 5. RussRob (defense, even-keeled leadership, and consistent).

I'm a Tharpe fan too though, so I expect he'll crack my list before his playing days at KU are over.

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Phil Leister 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I've got beef with anyone who included Elijah Johnson. He only played point for one season and we all know that was not his best year. His one year at PG was a huge letdown when compared to his productivity as the shooting guard his first three years. If we're including EJ's play at shooting guard, then Mario Chalmers needs to be on this list.

Also, Sherron is hands down the best PG under Self. There is no argument.

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