Advertisement

Advertisement

Originally published June 19, 2013 at 05:46p.m., updated June 19, 2013 at 11:40p.m.

Andrew Wiggins scores seven points in Bill Self campers game

Freshman from Canada dunks twice, says he's happy to be at KU

Blue Team forward Andrew Wiggins gets airborne for a dunk against Red Team center Cole Aldrich during a scrimmage before the basketball campers on Wednesday, June, 19, 2013 at the Horejsi Center.

Blue Team forward Andrew Wiggins gets airborne for a dunk against Red Team center Cole Aldrich during a scrimmage before the basketball campers on Wednesday, June, 19, 2013 at the Horejsi Center.

Advertisement

Andrew Wiggins skies for dunk in summer scrimmage

Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins skies for a dunk in the KU summer scrimmage on June 19, 2013.

KU blue team summer scrimmage highlights: June 19

KU blue team summer scrimmage No. 2 highlights from June 19, 2013. New player numbers: Frank Mason 0; Wayne Selden 1; Brannen Greene 14; Joel Embiid 21; Andrew Wiggins 22; Conner Frankamp 23; Tarik Black 25.

Bill Self’s 800 basketball campers, who obviously follow their Kansas Jayhawks closely, knew somebody was missing as the players gathered under Horejsi Center’s west goal Wednesday afternoon.

“We want Wiggins ... We want Wiggins,” the youths chanted, clapping and stomping their feet — then cheering wildly as 18-year-old Andrew Wiggins, wearing jersey No. 22, walked through a side door into the facility.

The 6-foot-7, 200-pounder, who joins KU’s program as the No. 1-ranked prospect in the recruiting Class of 2013, immediately gained the approval of 1,300 fans in the jam-packed gym by downing a few dunks during layup drills.

Once the scrimmage involving current and past Jayhawks started, the Toronto native picked up the intensity, throwing down a vicious one-handed dunk over Cole Aldrich, giving the Blue team a 2-0 lead en route to a 66-61 loss to the Red team.

“It felt good,” Wiggins said of the game-opening slam. “I let loose all of my nerves, so it was good after that dunk.”

He followed with a steal and two-handed jam and later hit a three in the second of two, 15-minute halves, finishing with seven points off 3-of-7 shooting.

“I just let my game come to me. I think that’s what happened,” said Wiggins. “I think that’s what the fans want to see.”

Red team member Tyrel Reed, who led all scorers with 19 points, said it was only fitting Wiggins — who didn’t play in last week’s campers game, arriving for summer school Sunday — opened with a dunk.

“He shows you how much a freak he is on the first play of the game. It’s going to be a special year,” Reed said, adding, “He looks like a 26-year-old NBA veteran.”

He handled his first local media gathering smoothly, as well.

“I know college is a big step from high school, so I just wanted to make sure I was ready for it,” Wiggins said of the reason he declined an invitation to play for Canada’s Under 19 national team, instead electing to attend KU summer school. “Coming here early would (make) higher my chances of being ready for college.

“It feels good to be here,” added Wiggins, who is rooming with senior Niko Roberts. “Everywhere I went, no matter where I went, everyone asks where I’m going to school. Now everybody knows I’m going to Kansas so it’s like a big relief, a big weight off my shoulders. It’s an experience I can enjoy. A lot of former players always say college was their greatest basketball experience. Being on campus is a great vibe. It’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Of course, barring some freak occurrence, he’ll be at KU just one season.

He’s considered a lock to be taken No. 1 in the 2014 NBA Draft.

“I just take my life day by day,” said Wiggins, who averaged 23.4 points and 11.1 rebounds a game for Huntington (W.Va.) Prep last season. “I just try to stay grounded, keep my circle tight, always stay close to my family and friends. When that day comes where hopefully God will bless me to go to the next level, hopefully I’ll be there.”

KU coach Bill Self, who couldn’t watch the scrimmage in accordance with NCAA rules, says the rock-star status of Wiggins, while exciting, could become “ridiculous” if it gets out of hand.

Self said professional autograph-seekers have been “waiting for him every time he steps out of his apartment. He has to be able to be a kid and tell people no. We have to help him do that and make it easier for him.

“The whole thing is, he’s just a kid. I told him the other night he hasn’t made a basket yet. The attention he’s received is based on potential, not based on anything he’s done. I think he should welcome the expectations. I don’t think there’s any reason to try to run from them. He’s going to have them no matter what. We’ll talk more as we get closer (to regular school year), the best way to have a strategy on handling things.”

Box score

BLUE TEAM (61): Perry Ellis 12, Brannen Greene 9, Naadir Tharpe 9, Landen Lucas 8, Andrew Wiggins 7, Wayne Selden 7, Frank Mason 3, Niko Roberts 3, Joel Embiid 2, Jamari Traylor 1, Tyler Self 0, Conner Frankamp 0.

RED TEAM (66): Tyrel Reed 19, Justin Wesley 14, Cole Aldrich 10, Tarik Black 9, Aaron Miles 6, Sherron Collins 5, Jeff Hawkins 3, Hunter Mickelson 0, Brady Morningstar 0, Christian Garrett 0. Andrew White, sprained knee, did not play.

Self said it might be a good idea for Wiggins to talk to former KU phenom Danny Manning about handling the limelight in Lawrence.

“I’m sure Danny had this type of exposure when he was coming in. Danny found a way to handle it,” Self said of Tulsa’s head coach. “Probably other than Danny, you’d have to go back to Wilt (Chamberlain) that would have the type of fanfare. I’m not saying the same type player but the same type fanfare coming in as he’s had.”

Wiggins has no complaints.

“It’s been a great vibe since I’ve been here. All the people of Lawrence have shown me nothing but love. I’ve been following the other players, seeing where to go, seeing how Lawrence is,” Wiggins said. “Everyone is loving, friendly. I’ve been pretty comfortable here.”

Wiggins — who said it’s great that his brother Nick, a Wichita State player, is so close to Lawrence — indicated he senses a family atmosphere with the KU fans. He attended KU’s Senior Day victory over Texas Tech.

“The whole, whole whole place was going crazy. The fans are so loving to all the players,” Wiggins said. “I can tell they are loyal fans because after the game, the players were talking for maybe 30, 45 minutes, and no one left the building at all. I know the fans are loyal. That’s what I like to see.”

Perry Ellis scored 12 points to lead the Blue team, while Brannen Greene and Naadir Tharpe had nine apiece. Reed had 19 points, Justin Wesley 14 and Cole Aldrich 10 for the Red team.

Scrimmage highlights: Wesley had 14 points for the winning team. ... Landen Lucas (eight points) blocked an Aaron Miles shot. ... Joel Embiid dunked following a lob from Wayne Selden. ... Frank Mason lobbed to Selden for a slam. ... Tarik Black hit a three-pointer. ... Black had a one-hand dunk off a lob from Brady Morningstar. ... Ellis hit a three from the corner. ... Jeff Hawkins lobbed to Aldrich for a slam. ... Jamari Traylor, who was going to try to lob the basketball off the glass to a trailing Tharpe, instead tossed the ball over the backboard.

Draft talk: Of Ben McLemore’s NBA Draft stock, Self said: “I think Ben’s been a little bit up and down. He’s on an uptick now based on what everybody is telling us and based on conversations we’ve had with general managers. I think he’ll have a happy end result next Thursday.”

Of Jeff Withey, Self said: “I read today where Chad (Ford, ESPN) said Withey on his board may have fallen out (of first round). I talk to everybody picking between 20 and 30. I think he has a great chance to go in the first round.”

Pride of Canada: Wiggins was asked about being one of the most popular athletes in Canada right now. “Yes, it’s a great feeling to know I’ve got a whole country on my back. Whatever I do, I know I have millions of people always supporting me through thick and thin,” Wiggins said.

Tonight’s game: Asked who he thought would win Game Seven of the NBA Finals tonight, Wiggins picked the Spurs.

Self’s take: “My heart says Spurs. My head I think says Heat (he is good friends with Spurs’ general manager R.C. Buford). I don’t see the Heat losing now. I think it’ll be a great game. How the Spurs lost that game (six) or how the Heat won it last night obviously will pump energy in one team and suck it out of another. It was a tough way to lose. It was a great basketball game.”

Comments

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 6 months ago

It sure seems likely to me that all the attention Wiggins is getting can only help the other freshman this season. Seems like it would take a lot of pressure off of each of them!

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 6 months ago

There's always a chance that Perry could slide down to the "3" though.

KJD 1 year, 6 months ago

Summer math: Ellis (30) + Black (20) + Traylor-Lucas-Embiid (30) = 80

I think it looks more like 'desirable competition' rather than 'log-jam creating a transfer'. For non-conference there are plenty of minutes in games for 5 guys to get a look and compete for conference rotation minutes. With Mickelson already in camp the depth has diversity and talent for healthy competition in practice, plus an incentive to go out and play really hard when you do get game minutes. Getting KU into foul trouble does not seem like an issue.

Ellis = 30 minutes which could be less at times to offer the third tier more opportunity minutes, could be more against a team like Duke. Ellis has as much of a chance to play the 3 as Marcus Morris did during his time at KU. I’m expecting a lot from Ellis from the perspective of team continuity-chemistry-fluidity-stability on the floor.

Black = 20-25 minutes sounds like a fair early estimate looking at his Memphis minutes over the last 2 years, especially for a Senior playing in front of two Freshmen. Bill likes a big, developed Senior body to bang and ware down the opposition which is a great fit pairing with Ellis next year. It might end up being less minutes for Black if he gets beat out by a couple of the guys in the next tier though I would be surprised due to the physical presence that Black offers on the boards. Could be more if the Senior seizes the opportunity with an eye on the NBA.

Traylor, Lucas, Embiid = all seem like 7-15 minute guys right now with an opportunity to earn more. For years the bench Bigs under Self will clock in this zone. Traylor of course has the experience from last year of playing in the rotation though he might still be an energy guy off the bench next year if his offense numbers don't improve, like developing a consistent mid-range jumper. Lucas red-shirted instead of competing for minutes in the rotation last year with Traylor though with Withey gone there are a feast of minutes at center if Embiid is slow to develop a college game. Embiid has so much talent it really is all about how steady he can become as his skill set and court awareness takes in the college game.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 6 months ago

Why did this embiggen? It didn't look embiggened when I typed it.

KJD 1 year, 6 months ago

You typed "#33 is Lucas, right?" and the "#" to start a paragraph off will trigger the CMS to style your content big and bold. It would be nice if a developer changed this style because this happens consistently to people posting.

KUFan90 1 year, 6 months ago

What? Wiggins didn't go off for 50+ points? Say it ain't so! : )

Just kidding...great to know he is out there with the guys and getting some game action.

Wish I could have seen the game!

AverageCitizen 1 year, 6 months ago

So very happy Andrew is settling in in Lawrence. I've thought all along that picking a college, for him, was going to be about relationships and comfort in his surroundings. He sounds like a really nice young man.

VailHawk 1 year, 6 months ago

So excited to hear he likes Lawrence! That fits perfectly with the type of player we want. If a kid needs to have a hat ceremony and wear Nike's he can and should go elsewhere.

jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

Draw some the adidas stripes on those Wings and he's good to go.

No,wait, how about Blackstone buys a big stake in Red Wing and the whole team can finally get serious about footwear. :-)

Steel toed basketball tennies.

They are faaaaantastic.

Boouk 1 year, 6 months ago

How did Justin Wesely score 14 points?

Alec White 1 year, 6 months ago

With his vast arsenal of scoring moves, of course!!! Nifty footwork in the paint? Check Deft touch from the perimeter? Bingo.

Not to mention, he has a mid-range game that would make Kobe and MJ blush. Mark my words, Justin Wesley will be the driving force behind the juggernauts known as the 2013-14 Kansas Jayhawks.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 6 months ago

lmao..,i think its Comic Sans MS o maybe Jester

Joseph Kuebel 1 year, 6 months ago

You're crazy. Make MJ blush? That's never happened and...times up: #3 NEVER WILL. But I do think his midrange game already makes LeBron blush. The guy is the most overrated shooter in the history of the NBA. He can drive but that's it. And he can pass, but his shooting stroke is not better than Kawhi Leonard.

brooksmd 1 year, 6 months ago

LJW, many people use iPads which won't play Adobe Flash videos. How about posting videos for Apple users? Thanks.

Jesse Newell 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey guys — We know the flash issue and — trust me — are working to get a fix.

In the meantime, most of our videos are on YouTube as well. Might want to bookmark our channel while you're there ...

Joseph Kuebel 1 year, 6 months ago

My takes from this video: Perry looks bigger. At the very least Landon Lucas looks like a big body that can provide production (as he is going against an NBA body in Aldrich- a direct testimont to Hudy). Wiggins does look very smooth.

Also I think that a practice game doesn't Create a possibility for the Killer instinct type game that you can't teach... The one that LeBron doesn't have and doesn't know exists. The one that separates Jordan from everyone else. I can't imagine Wiggins to have it in this game, but would have liked to see it.

Scott Smetana 1 year, 6 months ago

Good post, but you have to admit... Lebron isn't that bad. At times I think he's a bit too nice. I like him for it.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 6 months ago

LeBron has a killer instinct. You'll see it tonight.

Brak 1 year, 6 months ago

OMG you can't play flash videos on your iPad, your life must be totally sucking right now, I mean I literally cannot think of something worse to complain about. #1stWorldProblems

dylans 1 year, 6 months ago

Who Channinged all over your Tatum?

soapisurfriend 1 year, 6 months ago

Wow wow wow bro that's my mom! You don't wanna Channing all over my mom!

xyz243 1 year, 6 months ago

Brooksmd... Exactly. Why ljworld hasn't made it possible for people with iPhones to watch videos is dumb, considering most people use them...

Brak 1 year, 6 months ago

Only old people who don't understand technology use iPhones, don't you watch the commercials

bad_dog 1 year, 6 months ago

That's a personal communication device utilized by narcisists that can't get a "MePhone".

IPhones are never used by team players...

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 6 months ago

We need an App for that..preferably for Android.

Come into the future iStuff users!

Tim Chappell 1 year, 6 months ago

We missed the beginning of the scrimmage. But Perry Ellis looked very good out there shooting threes and being aggressive to the rim, and Justin Wesley had a 5 minute spurt where he scored probably 10 points. He was very active. Seldon was flying around, often far above the rim. And man is Mason fast. Wiggin's three pointer was sweet. Tyrel looked like he is still ready to suit up and play. Tariq and Landon should provide plenty of muscle inside.

Jesse Johnson 1 year, 6 months ago

I noticed that too. He either didn't play or they forgot to include his points. Either way I'd like to know.

Tim Chappell 1 year, 6 months ago

Conner was hitting the back of the rim with his shot. The stroke looked good; I just think he was a little overzealous that caused him to be too strong with the shot. He had a crossover step back move on play that was killer. I am not worried about him. He will settle down and be one of the deadliest shooters we have seen here at KU. That's my prediction anyway.

Cmill1221 1 year, 6 months ago

Justin Wesley doubled his scoring w/ 14. I'm excited about the guy but c'mon!

jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

I keep wondering about Justin. Everyone has written him off. But I keep recalling Self say he is one of the most athletic guys on the team. An athletic guy who keeps working and hanging on has to be getting better. What if Jamari's pop doesn't come back? Then it is 5th year senior Justin against a footer who couldn't hang in with Cole Aldrich, or out score Justin, or Tarik, in a game of summer grab. Remember Joel and Tarik are new guys with steep learning curves for Self Ball. Tarik was a great talent coming out of high school and Justin was a lesser talent. But five years of work by an athletic play has to accrue to something. It seems like a million to one shot that Justin will break out now, but it seemed a million to one shot Conner Teahan would become a sixth starting rotation player on a team that won over 30 games and took second in March Madness.

HEM WILL SHOOT ME with logic and probability, but I still wonder sometimes if something wonderous and unexpected is still "possible" with Justin.

always_correct 1 year, 6 months ago

You seem to be forgetting about defense. Justin fouls at a rate of 9.4 fouls per 40 minutes of play, if I'm not mistaken.

He's always been athletic. Today when Self introduced the team, he even said Justin has the highest vertical on the team. Also, from what I noticed today, Jamari's pop is still all there.

Joe Joseph 1 year, 6 months ago

He averaged, like, 1.7 ppg at Lamar. LAMAR...

Not getting my hopes up.

jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

Damn, and I was hoping you would be afraid.

:-)

Tim Chappell 1 year, 6 months ago

I think Justin may be able to play some minutes at the same time as a banger (Tarik, Landon) who can guard without fouling as much. Justin was wanting to shoot the ball; something I don't remember from previous years. I think he could earn productive minutes, and be a spark in the game.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 6 months ago

Good points..this is a player w/experience. I hope he busted his butt working on his game.

He seems to be a well liked player, if he could bring some energy off the bench, how good would that be?

KJD 1 year, 6 months ago

The probability of 'possible' with Justin withered hard when Black stepped into camp. Black's physical thumping will trump Justin's athleticism when Bill looks down the bench for a sub. T Teahan had a much higher probability because the depth in front of him that year was so much thinner. I like this perspective on Justin quite a lot, it shows how much practice depth there is if you include Mickelson, though there is too much talent now stacked between Justin and floor time.

kufanman88 1 year, 6 months ago

Wow, Sherron Collins is just out of shape. There is no way he is making an NBA team with that kind of self discipline.

Mel Clare 1 year, 6 months ago

Self has stated several times that Lucas will be a "load" for teams to deal with this year! Kinda the hidden gem in a big man for the Hawks!

Jack Wilson 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's flashback to last week, and the scrimmage, and the comments.

Scrimmages mean nothing. Zero. Zilch.

The best evidence of that is that Justin Wesley just scored 14 points. The same Justin Wesley that barely played behind Jamari Traylor last season. If Justin Wesley scores 14 points, you know the contest is irrelevant. Isn't that an undeniable truth?

Frankamp drills threes from NBA range and is the toast of the town last week, and now he scores 0. Neither result matters. The former doesn't mean he's Kirk Hinrich, and the latter doesn't mean he's Jeff Hawkins. It has nothing to do with what will happen on the court this coming season. There are too many other moving parts.

We should give jb a complete pass on his Wesley post above. It's like the guy who shows up on time to work every day for 2 years, and then he's late one day. It's an aberration. It doesn't discredit the resume. Plus, he was noncommittal. He was just tossing out thoughts, right? Anyway, that's the story and we're sticking to it.

ku_chap, though? He said "I think Justin may be able to play some minutes at the same time as a banger (Tarik, Landon) who can guard without fouling as much ... I think he could earn productive minutes, and be a spark in the game."

One has to wonder what planet he is on. Is it in some theoretical parallel universe? We are talking about Justin Wesley here -- and with all the talent on this team, that simple fact is amazing to me.

DanR 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree with Jaybate. Based on what I watched of Tarik Black in the past three years at Memphis (lived in TN), I would not be shocked at all if Wesley ends up a more reliable player for KU down the stretch next year. This isn't based on high school Rivals rankings, innate skills, NBA bulky body, or pure athleticism...just effort, consistency, dedication to a program and performance on the court. We'll see. It'd be great if Tarik could reach his potential at KU and be a positive factor, but if Justin is the guy off the bench, then that's just fine with me.

Cameron Cederlind 1 year, 6 months ago

Highlights: Jamari Traylor tossed the ball over the backboard.

I'm not sure that's a highlight

Tony Bandle 1 year, 6 months ago

RANDOM THOUGHTS.

1] At the risk of being branded a HERETIC amidst all this Jayhawk euphoria, may I add a little caution to our expectations.

2] KU vs Duke, the Tourney in Nassau, KU @ Florida, home against Georgetown and San Diego State, @ Iowa State, @ Baylor, @ Kansas State [you never know!!], both OSU games.......they all look potential speed bumps to me.

3] Black, Wiggins, Frankamp, Lucas, Selden, Greene, Mason......almost half the team first time game players as Jayhawks.

4] Injuries.........never mentioned but always lurking in the background.

5] Don't get me wrong..I am excited as anyone about this upcoming season but through life's hard experience I have learned to not count my chickens even before the eggs are laid, much less hatched!!

wrwlumpy 1 year, 6 months ago

It's starting to seem like it will be an Andrew White Red Shirt season. It looks like the Red Shirt has done wonders for Landon. 3-1/2 months of practice and pick up games. The loving Coach Wiggins speaks about will seem different when Self is allowed to start coaching this team on the floor.

3-1/2 months of practice and pick up games.

It seems like the NCAA policy that penalized Tarkanian for having early practices has changed all the rules about coach involvement. Yes, coach could not be in the gym while the game was played, but he will watch the film and the coaching process has already begun. Pick up game or practice - just get better.

JayDocMD 1 year, 6 months ago

Surprised there's no mention in LJW of Ben's AAU coach and KU officials meeting with the NCAA yesterday. Was it somewhere else and I missed it? Seems newsworthy.

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/19/4302150/ben-mclemores-aau-coach-to-meet.html

Tim Chappell 1 year, 6 months ago

This just in from another planet...

Justin was one of the most active guys in the paint at the scrimmage. I can't figure out why you would be so worried about him helping the team this year. He would have played more last year if he didn't foul so much. I think he can play some productive minutes as a backup. If he can give 5 minutes of rest to our other bigs, that would be awesome.

I may be proven wrong but at least I am basing it off of what I have seen this summer rather than what somebody saw last year.

DanR 1 year, 6 months ago

Chap, it's nice to hear a candid report from someone who saw the game in person. Wesley looked good enough on the highlight video that I had to rewind at least once to make sure that's who the player was.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't see Withey going in the first round. I know that you can't teach 7 feet but without any vertical jump, I'm just hoping he gets drafted. Some GM must have noticed how he has progressed from when he first came on campus till how he played his senior year.

KJD 1 year, 6 months ago

Selden + Wiggins + Ellis = team continuity-chemistry-fluidity-stability on the floor. I can't help but think about next years team being built around getting these three on the floor together a ton.

The Tharpe v Mason question, if there is a question, is all about Tharpe falling in love with the long, guarded jumper instead of getting into the paint and creating havoc. Tharpe has shown his ability to get into the paint though if his strength remains being an undersized 2 who's best trait is chucking up guarded 3's then I see Mason and Frankamp getting opportunities for big minutes. If Mason has a Freshman year presence at point guard approaching what Sherron Collins was able to step in and provide his first year at KU, we'll have less to worry about at the 1 next year than we did at the point last year. Still tons of questions remain at the point and my general lack of confidence in Tharpe's consistency and composure makes this the murkiest aspect for me in imagining how great this team can be next year. Tharpe was talking about being a coach someday in the press so it's time for him to grow into that and play like it on each and every possession.

White + Greene + Frankamp = depth and competition in the back court. The three point shooting off the bench is simply incredible here though there is the clear lack of experience playing in the Self system. Out of the three, who will develop the best lateral quickness and learn to be a serious defensive presence.

The wildest probability that seems intriguing to me is Selden developing into a primary ball handler with White/Greene/Frankamp stepping into that 3 bomb Boschee role which in and of itself can take over a game, open up the floor for a guy like Wiggins to destroy you, opens up Ellis's mid-range game and bigs like Black or Embiid to relentlessly clean offensive glass for bunnies.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 6 months ago

With respect to your last paragraph, this team is so loaded, it's impossible to list all the combinations. I mean, it gets into permutations! Permutations, man!

KJD 1 year, 6 months ago

Indeed! That last paragraph is my favorite permutation :-) Selden and Frankamp tag teaming the 1/2 might be more string theory than physics in relationship to our best 5 though it could very well be discovered as our most devastating offensive punch. I think Ellis at the 3 is pure string theory.

KJD 1 year, 6 months ago

The Selden + Wiggins + Ellis as a young core with role playing, platoon depth supporting them reminds me too much of the Chalmers + Rush + Wright trio that won a Big XII Championship their Freshmen year to not strongly believe that this is the blueprint. It seems like competition and plugging into roles every where else.

Tyler Gross 1 year, 6 months ago

Tharpe is the guy and he proved last year he can be and will be. He won't need to score much, last year we had problems scoring so he took too many shots. The kid is ice cold, not sure why people think mason has a chance to start or even play more then 10 mpg

jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

"Inversion Time"

Part I

Bob Dylan said in Chronicles somewhere that the way he learned to write songs was by taking old songs and inverting the music and lyrics into something opposite.

It is fun to do with any form of media.

Currently, we are all experiencing something regarding this coming year's team that is the basketball equivalent of pre-tumescent, anticipatory sexual arousal, if you know what I mean. :-)

So: in the spirit of the now old kid from Hibbings, let's invert this love fest into something akin to a Visions of Joanna.

Let's see what comes up when we look at the coming season with the ghost of electricity howling in the bones of its face, i.e., at a worst case scenarios.

Point guard--Naa turns out to be unable to guard without the XTReme help he got last season, and finds himself still a 35% or so trifectate. Teams lay off him and deny his penetrate and dish. Frank Mason gets a baptism of fire and though he regularly gets into the paint, and is muscular enough to stay in front of and bump opponents, opponents discover his trey is no better than Naa's, and because they are laying off him, too, Mason spends the first three quarters of the season coughing it up because he has trouble adjusting to the turn and burn recovery speed of D1 guards that he gets by, only to find them cramming the ball down his throat from behind. Self finds himself waaaay short at point guard, struggling with penetration and enduring lots of TOs. Skinny little dead eye dick trifectate Conner Frankamp, who has been subbing in for Selden and occasionally even for Wiggins to try to keep a serious defense stretcher on the floor, suddenly gets thrown to the Marcus Smart dogs and gives it his best shot for a few games, but he just isn't ready yet for how physical things are on the perimeter in D1 yet, plus he enters a shooting slump. Self soul searches between Selden and Wiggins, both of whom are shooting barely 37% from trey, and just beginning to get the hang of guarding, though still not yet able to help on D and feed the post reliably. Self considers Niko and Tyler and Christian, then roles his eyes for even considering such madness for a split second, then remembers he's got a lot of big lugs inside that could at least guard there positions some. And he asks himself in a whisper, "Which inexperience guy would you rather let the season ride on outside: a once in five years guy in Selden, or a once in 10 years guy in Wiggins? Self moves Wiggins to the point and tells Keegan: If we are going to suck at the point, I want to suck with the best guy we have. Self tells Wiggins the team is his on offense, and on defense, too. On offense, Self says, we're going to ball screen for you on offense everywhich way from Sunday, and the only person you pass up a shot for is an open Perry Ellis, capice? Wigs coughs the ball up a lot of the time, but he also scores at will, whenever he doesn't turn it over.

jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

Part 2

Shooting guard--Selden starts at the 2, but when the bottom falls out of the point, and Self rolls his furry dice on Wigs, Self moves Selden to 3 and brings Conner Frankamp in as the starting 2. Self tells Selden and Wiggins that it is up to them to provide all the help defense skinny Conner will need against the likes of Markell Brown. They do and with the help of Conner's sneaky speed, he learns some up and under defense and only suffers 2rd degree burns most of the time.

Small Forward--first Wig, then Selden. Selden actually flourishes at the 3 and over the course of the season gets to 38% shooting only as frequently as Brady and Travis did.

Tall Forward--The Designer, bulked way up, lives up to expectations until a knee injury forces him into a quick scope "to clean up some stuff" and a 10 day recovery a la Tyshawn Taylor. Ellis comes back slowly, but does get back to 85%. While Ellis is out, it is revealed that Self's rumored zoysia plugged hair is falling out and Self has to have some emergency transplants done. After the procedure, Self resorts to wearing an Indiana Jones-style, Poet model fedora from Herbert Johnson Hat Company of Saville Row, London, during games. Tarik Black moves over from his starting job at the 5 and not only fouls out the three games he starts at the 4, but also shoots 44% from the FT line. Opponents begin taping rolls of buffalo nickels to their palms and braining Tarik each time he gets a touch. Fortunately, The Designer returns and Tarik returns to the 5 where his Sumo defense on 5s is tolerated and his FT shooting improves to 52% the rest of the season.

Center--As just noted, Black plays the 5 except for the brief stretch in which the Fedora wearing Self has to move him to the Tall forward. While Tarik is at tall forward, Jamari and Jo-ELL committee the center (note: yes, Dr. Bremner, I really did just convert that noun into a verb just to make you spin once more in the grave, so as to let you enjoy yet again the feeling of well-aged scotch seeping back down through your half embalmed, half pickled tissues). However, in keeping with this worst case fantasy, Jamari's pop has never returned, and Jo-ELL continues to say wel into February in four different languages that he does not understand Self's needling and once tells ESPN's Holly Rowe, whose nose he accidentally breaks in a post game interview after becoming the first player to double double by scoring 20 points and making 20 turnovers: "...yah, excuse me, Holly, I didn't meant to hit you with my razor sharp elbows, but uh, where was I, yes, now I remember, you know, Holly, Coach Self, he really knows how to push players belly buttons. And he is so funny wearing that fetaldora, mahn. Just between you an me, Holly, I think he may be as bald as Conner was before I shaved his head with Gillette foamy and a Stihl gasoline powered machete given me by Cameroonian legend, Sameul Eto'o, a football player, who is my idol."

jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

Part 3

Sixth man--after AWIII goes 0 for 18 from three and Brannen Green goes -2 for 24 from three (forgetting which end of the court he is on--the defensive end, not once, but twice, Brannen actually throws up and makes two wrong-way threes swishing them in the opponents basket for six opposing points afterwhich, Self, now with fedora pulled fully down to his eyebrows and ears, decides to come with Justin on the perimeter. Justin becomes an absolute demon on defense, but becomes the first KU rotation player in history not to score a single point, or grab a single rebound, or make a single free throw.

Seventh Man--Landen Lucas becomes the seventh man and plays extraordinarily well (he finishes the season 4 for 9 in sky hooks from three), but then it is discovered that Landen is 1/3 Vulcan (his ears were bobbed as a small child to keep his extra terrestrial origins a secret) and he is entering Pon Farr. Lucas takes a medical red shirt after erupting in a rage during a Jay Bilas interview in which he grabs Jay by the lapels and shouts,"Don't...you...understand!!! I...must...return... to Vulcan...for Kalifee!!!!"

But now here is the most amazing discovery of this little exercise in inversion of expectations. Despite all of the above, Self still figures out a way to win 30!!!!!!!!!

Rock Chalk!!!

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

Robert Murphy 1 year, 6 months ago

Remember, the number of possible combinations are always n2-n divided by 2. If there are ten players there are 45 possible combinations.

jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

BFHOF!

Basketball Formalization Hall of Fame!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.