Sunday, June 23, 2013

Power struggle: Four spot well-stocked during Bill Self decade

According to the Journal-World and staffs, the top power forwards in the Bill Self era are, from left, Wayne Simien, Darrell Arthur, Thomas Robinson, Marcus Morris, Julian Wright and Kevin Young.

According to the Journal-World and staffs, the top power forwards in the Bill Self era are, from left, Wayne Simien, Darrell Arthur, Thomas Robinson, Marcus Morris, Julian Wright and Kevin Young.



J-W File Photos

According to the Journal-World and staffs, the top power forwards in the Bill Self era are, from left, Wayne Simien, Darrell Arthur, Thomas Robinson, Marcus Morris, Julian Wright and Kevin Young.

During Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self’s first 10 years in Lawrence, the power-forward position has been filled by a wide range of skilled players.

From smooth, slippery overachievers asked to battle with the big men to finely-tuned athletes who appeared to be chiseled from granite and everything in between, the four spot during the Self era has featured some of the best players in school history.

Because of that, putting together a list of the top five low-post monsters made this edition of our annual summer series, which looks back at the top players and moments of KU basketball under Self, one of the most challenging.

Here’s a look at what we came up with and the reasoning behind each pick:

Gary Bedore

1. Wayne Simien: Simien was the Mark Randall of his day, the fundamentally sound star who knew how to put the ball in the basket. You have to appreciate the fact he felt a calling to ministry and chose that path rather than the more lucrative route of playing ball in Europe for 15 years or so.

2. Darrell Arthur: The unsung hero of the national-title team, Arthur was one smooth-shooting forward. Also had one of the best stories, indicating he chose KU because of a dream he had the night before his signing-day news conference.

3. Thomas Robinson: The all-time overachiever, whose future as an NBA starter might be in jeopardy because of lack of a stellar offensive repertoire, certainly was great in college around the goal. What a powerful player.

4. Marcus Morris: Smooth, smooth, smooth. Morris was a dandy college forward, spectacular at times. I think he could have been a better leader, but, hey, that’s debatable, too.

5. Julian Wright: Anybody who watched the skinny kid from Chicago drive and dunk had to be awed. I’m a little surprised he didn’t make it in the NBA, but it seems Julian just didn’t have a position and didn’t have a reliable jump shot.

Tom Keegan

1. Wayne Simien: The most prolific scorer during the Self era, Simien had such a wide variety of scoring options that not many college basketball players were well suited to stopping him. Had tough luck in the health department in the NBA, where he was drafted by a team (Miami Heat) that needed him only as leverage in contract negotiations with Udonis Haslem.

2. Thomas Robinson: A relentless defensive rebounder whose defensive deficiencies were masked by Jeff Withey, Robinson developed into an excellent scorer who relied on explosiveness and a solid mid-range jumper.

3. Marcus Morris: There wasn’t anything he did not do well. On defense, he slid his feet like a guard. Offensively, he was a gifted passer, had nice footwork and fakes that he used down low, and he had a steady pull-back jumper. Surest hands on the planet.

4. Darrell Arthur: Ran the floor like a guard, had great hands and a soft shooting touch. He never overcame a penchant for fouling, but with KU’s consistent front-court depth, that didn’t burn the team. In the 2008 national-title game, Mario Chalmers hit the shot, and Sherron Collins had huge late plays, but nobody on either team played better than Arthur, who totaled 20 points and 10 rebounds.

5. Julian Wright: A terrific passer, he was far quicker than most inside players, which enabled him to rebound well. Might rank higher on this deep list if only he had not so thoroughly enjoyed dribbling, when giving up the ball was the right call.

Matt Tait

1. Thomas Robinson: Robinson takes the top spot simply because of his power and unyielding tenacity. Whenever Self and the Jayhawks needed a bucket, they could throw it down to Robinson, and, one way or the other, he would get to the rim or the free-throw line, often times looking flat-out unstoppable in doing so. An automatic double-double night in and night out, Robinson came as far as any player in the Self era in terms of development.

2. Wayne Simien: A kinder, gentler version of Robinson a few years earlier, Simien also seemed unstoppable at times. His soft shooting touch and sharp mind often put him a step or two ahead of overmatched opponents. Not many KU players appreciated being a Jayhawk as much as Simien.

3. Marcus Morris: Arguably the best all-around player to handle the four spot during Self’s time at KU, Morris used his big frame to get buckets but also could play D and put the ball on the floor and score on the move or create easy shots for teammates.

4. Darrell Arthur: Had a complete game and was an incredible athlete but often was overshadowed because of the incredible talent around him. Still, Arthur was a reliable scorer, an underrated jump shooter and a tremendous athlete. When he showcased all three skills at the same time, he, too, looked unstoppable.

5. Kevin Young: Julian Wright had more game, and Perry Ellis has more potential, but I went with Young here because he played such a key role on two national-title contending teams, and I’m partial to guys like Young, who are willing to do all the little things — track down loose balls, steal offensive rebounds, grow great afros — that make a good team great.

Jesse Newell

1. Wayne Simien: A consensus first-team All-America selection in 2005, Simien was a really, really good college player. While taking on huge offensive loads for KU in his final two seasons, he still managed to keep his two-point percentages above 54 percent and his free-throw percentages above 81 percent. He doesn’t get much credit for this, but he’s also one of the best rebounders on both ends that Self has had at KU.

2. Marcus Morris: Gets the nod over Thomas Robinson simply because he contributed two elite offensive seasons to Robinson’s one. A talented jump-shooter, Morris did it all his junior season, making 62 percent of his twos while also posting top-250 marks in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage.

3. Thomas Robinson: Produced offensively his junior season even with the pressure of having to take on a huge offensive load. Defensively, he did one thing and did it well, grabbing defensive rebounds at a rate better than any other player in the nation. Robinson is one of three consensus All-America selections for Self during his KU tenure.

4. Darrell Arthur: Had two productive years for KU before jumping to the pros. Contributed in a lot of areas for the ’08 title team, posting above-average shooting, rebounding and shot-blocking numbers his sophomore year.

5. Julian Wright: Because of his athleticism, Wright could fill up a stat sheet for the Jayhawks ... though sometimes that included turnovers as well. One could definitely make the argument Wright was KU’s best player during the 2006-07 season, as he ranked in the top 300 nationally in shooting, offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, shot-blocking and steals.


Scott MacWilliams 6 years, 2 months ago

What a great line-up! These guys have really been special as a group, and I'm always amazed that they didn't make a bigger splash in the NBA, etc. Wayne could have had a much longer career if he wanted, but his heart led him elsewhere.

I really don't watch the pro game, as it never seems to have much energy compared to the college game. Sure, they might be great athletes, but every time I watch, I see mostly guys who look like they'd rather be somewhere else running up and down the floor.

Still, I'll always pull for any Jayhawks, no matter where they play. They are family, deserving of my cheering, forever!!

Rock Chalk, Alumni Hawks!!

Tony Bandle 6 years, 2 months ago

I think his shoulder had something to do with it as well...the pros never saw the Wayne we saw when he was 100%!!!

KGphoto 6 years, 2 months ago

The college game without a doubt is more exciting and I think there are many reasons that support you viewpoint, that they look like they’d rather be somewhere else. A lot of these guys have been playing basketball forever. Lot’s of “been there done that”, grizzled veterans, who are playing through injuries to keep that paycheck rolling in. Lots of guys worried about families, mortgages, insurance and life in general.

In college it’s nothing but young, springy, wide-eyed kids who want to make every game the best moment ever. They want to end up in that “One Shining Moment” montage in April. They have wild fans and student sections filled with their peers, going nuts on every play.


I really think an 82 game season + playoffs has something to do with the NBA style and pace as well. On average they play more than twice as many games a year as the college kids. The top 10 to 15 teams are a lock for the playoffs any given year, and often save some energy for the playoffs. Pop’s and the Spurs actually got in trouble for that this season.

Then there is the fact that NBA players are supremely skilled, to the point there is little wasted motion on either defense or offense. You get a lot of scrappy filler in the college game that makes it more intense for the fan.

Whatever the reasons, I agree the college game is better. However if you have an NBA team that makes the playoffs, you’ll see a different game from them. Every game is more intense, and it has a much more college-like feel. I don’t know if you watched any of the NBA finals, but that was some of the best basketball I’ve seen, anywhere, in a long time.

hawk316 6 years, 2 months ago

Gary, kudos to you for acknowledging Wayne Simien's character as well as his ability. In an age of big bucks, Wayne chose the "road less traveled." Much more than his outstanding basketball ability, I respect him for that choice.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

No doubt, if Wayne could have played without all the injuries, put up another banner in AFH and another player to get serious consideration around the All-Star break.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

Okay - DA is the only player on this list to be a major contributor to a NCAA championship team. To me, that gives him at least one step above the others. Clearly, it is not the only reason I have him as number one but it did contribute to my decision. My favorite player on this list is easily Wayne Sinien

And a question.. Why wasn't Markieff in this list? Granted he often took over at the five spot when Marcus was on the floor but both players are power forwards. If anything, I thought Markieff had moved ahead of his brother during their final year. The most common scenario had the brothers switching on and off when one needed a break.

A fairly good list that I think you could justify just about anyone as being number one.

GBJayhawk, I'm with you when it comes to the NBA. I will only watch if there are some Jayhawks playing O it is playoff time.

Luke Kading 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm guessing they are considering Markieff as a center for this list's sake.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

Agree about MJ..nobody is close to taking the 2nd best of all time. Only the Magic Man was better :-)

JayHawkFanToo 6 years, 2 months ago

I have to go with Newell. TRob had one great season. Simien had a great career as did Marcus. Based on the overall body of work, I have:

  1. Wayne Simien

  2. Marcus Morris

  3. Thomas Robinson

  4. Darrel Arthur

  5. Julian Wright

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 2 months ago

Arthur #1. Top game scorer in biggest game of his life.

Marcus M. #2 Could shoot in and play inside.

Robinson #3 Fantastic athlete

Simien #4 Great career

Markieff M. #5 Probably left some of his ability off of the floor.

hawksince51 6 years, 2 months ago

Have to go with Newell. In spite of lost time with injuries his total body of work over 4 years at KU earned Simien the top spot. While Thomas had one truly great year, Marcus had a decent freshman year and then a solid 2 more years so he gets no. 2. Darrel two good years and the NC trump Julian. While Julian played the 4 out of necessity, I never felt he was really a Power Forward.

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm good with Wayne Simien topping the lists for the most part. I see some having issues with TRob having one great season. I would take his one great season over Wright and Arthur's 2 above average season's. Markieff didn't quite get the credit he deserved. He came on slower than Marcus, but surpassed him their Junior year in game play (rebounding and 3-pt). Meanwhile, Mr. Tait is humoring me with Kevin Young on the list. I love Kevin, but he still has (watched him play last week) no shot anywhere on the floor other than garbage points around the bucket (mostly dunks). Here's my list:

  1. Wayne Simien
  2. Thomas Robinson
  3. Markieff Morris
  4. Marcus Morris
  5. Julian Wright

  6. Honorable Mention: Darrel Arthur

  7. On Deck: Perry Ellis

RocktoRock 6 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't include Markieff on this list. I know he played PF when Cole was still holding down the C position but when Cole wasn't in the game, he was the Center. If that's how you view how this list works, Darnell Jackson should have made the list too. IMO, I have no idea how you can rank Markieff in front of Marcus, not huge but clear difference between who the better player was at Kansas

LakeShawnee 6 years, 2 months ago

Markieff Morris was a PF. Just because he was the fifth starter for the 2011 team doesn't make him a center. I too would consider Darnell a PF, Sasha would have been the center on those earlier clubs. IMO.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

Clearly both players were power forwards. If anything, Markieff had improved to the level that he could play both the four or the five.

Dee Shaw 6 years, 2 months ago

Arthur, Honorable Mention. Wow. Your tough. Without Darrel Arthur KU's 2008 National Championship banner in Allen Field House is hanging somewhere else. I like your pick of both Morris boys. Great combo. The only problem with the Morris boys I have is that they were thugs. Always seemed to have an attitude.

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

The same could be said for any one of the starting 5 on the 2008 team. Arthur left unpolished as have many others lately. I never cared for the elbows or whatever they would do time to time as I don't like KU to be associated with mean play. We all love our Jayhawks and it's fun to see how each family member see's the others : ) KU BBALL IS FAMILY ;)

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

Unpolished?... I completely disagree. It wasn't his play that kept DA on the bench, it was his injuries.

The Memphis Grizzlies released a statement today (for the 2012 season) saying 24-year-old PF Darrell Arthur has a small, non-displaced fracture of his left leg. Arthur could miss as long as 6 weeks with the injury but could return earlier.

This is the 3rd serious injury Arthur has sustained since the Grizzlies traded for Arthur on draft night five years ago. Previously Arthur tore the labrum muscle of his shoulder before the start of the second NBA season and tore his Achilles before the start of last season.

hawksince51 6 years, 2 months ago

Just a technical point: The banner would not have been hanging anywhere since the NCAA would have taken it away from Memphis and presumably filed it away under "cheaters."

Dee Shaw 6 years, 2 months ago

That is why I said somewhere else and not specifically mention Memphis.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

I must have been watching a different channel when Kansas played. Calling these guys thugs is nothing more than a cheap shot. These kids played and worked hard to get to where they are now.

That's not the behavior associated with thugs.

RocktoRock 6 years, 2 months ago

I loved T-Rob in 2011-2012. One hell of a year. If this was based off of one season, he would be number 1 in this list. But, from a career standpoint and who contributed through their years here, my list would go: 1. Wayne Simien 2. Darrell Arthur 3. Marcus Morris 4. Thomas Robinson 5. Julian Wright If I could throw in the next 3 years, Perry would be in this list because I think he will get to that level. Marcus Morris could do it all sophomore and junior year. One of my favorite players in the Bill Self era. I have Darrell at #2 because he was the best player on the national championship team in my opinion. Just think if he had the chance to be in Thomas's shoes in 2012, if he got the amount of minutes and shots that Thomas had (been the focal point), he would of been NPOY I think. And Wayne just had an amazing career, greatest leader on this list.

actorman 6 years, 2 months ago

"You have to appreciate the fact he felt a calling to ministry and chose that path rather than the more lucrative route of playing ball in Europe for 15 years or so."

No, actually, as much as I loved Wayne as a player, I don't have any particular appreciation for him choosing to be a minister. In fact, it really has no place in this article. Good for him that he chose what he wanted to do, but it doesn't make a difference to me one way or another

As for the rest of the column, I think Keegan's list and explanations are the best.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 2 months ago

It would be easy to relax if those who were not religious were continuously thought of as less moral. If that weren't the case, then many of us could relax.

Jack Jones 6 years, 2 months ago

Religion and politics ~ not appropriate for a sports site ~ period.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

I think you have a good point actorman. If we are not counting NBA performances then that should hold true for all the others as well.

The only considerations here should be how they played and contributed to Kansas.

REHawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Difficult for me to hold my list to five. Gotta tag Kevin Young with attention, number six. Might have been the garbage man of that group, but one of the most exciting players to don a jersey in the Bill Self era. After a half dozen games his first year in the system I began braying about his penchant to make things happen, even when his fouling was barely under control. I hope his high energy style leads him to a bundle of cash eventually, somewhere in the world of professional basketball. From the getgo he was a KU racehorse deluxe.

Boouk 6 years, 2 months ago

I'd be surprised if Perry Ellis didn't belong in the top 5 on this list by the time his KU career is over. He's way better defensively than Robinson and the Morris twins.

jhox 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you on the first statement, but Ellis hasn't figured out the defensive part yet. TRob was a decent defender until his last year, though a little over zealous. He's the one and only player I can recall in the Self era who Self let play despite terrible defensive lapses. In fact, I suspect Self probably encouraged him to be less aggressive to keep him on the floor.

Mick Allen 6 years, 2 months ago

And better than Simeon. Pastor Wayne was a fine offensive player but his lack of quickness and lateral movement made him a liability on defense and presented no weak side defensive help. However this limitation was often overcome as he almost always outscored the man guarding him significantly.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

I wonder where Simien would be if not for his reoccurring injuries.

jhox 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm a little surprised Darnell Jackson didn't make anyone's list. How does Tate pick Young and leave off Wright and Jackson? Hope I'm wrong, but I doubt Kevin ever plays a game in the NBA. And he certainly didn't have a better career at KU than those guys.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm guessing Jackson is being considered a center, since that's the "position" he started at during his senior year. Could be wrong...

Joe Joseph 6 years, 2 months ago

No way anybody other than Wayne Simien tops this list.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 2 months ago

Here's a way. Darrell Arthur. I'd choose him every time over Simien, and I loved Simien's play.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 2 months ago

Cole and Jeff will be obvious 5's, but it will be interesting to see the lists that are presented considering that we have often fielded line-ups with double 4's.

hawksince51 6 years, 2 months ago

Was thinking about that myself. Sasha also a clear 5 but beyond that we had Darnell and Kief who were combo players but apparently will be featured next week since they were not included today.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 6 years, 2 months ago

It's the middle of the summer.

Could we please get some football articles?

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

What's football, keep the basketball articles coming PLEASE!

CrystalJones 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, umcnotmizzou has unintentionally illustrated Cogburn's point as well as anyone. I love KU b-ball, and always will. But we're talking basketball, not football, in June. Sure, that's also happening at Butler, Gonzaga, Georgetown and Creighton. But at Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, Ohio State and even K-State, they're talking football full bore in June (and every other month of the year, for that matter). They put football way ahead of basketball, and it shows on the field. They don't really care that much about basketball. But we are a very successful basketball school, and that's just who we are, I guess.

wrwlumpy 6 years, 2 months ago

Please go to the top of this page and click on KU Football. You don't have to be here.

Dee Shaw 6 years, 2 months ago

Go to the football tab above and click on it and read all the football articles you want. Not sure why you want to read about a program that has not won a conference game since Nov.6 2010 against Colorado. Pathetic.

bad_dog 6 years, 2 months ago

What is pathetic is not rooting for the Hawks, regardless of the sport.

Really pathetic, in fact.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

Since we are just going to throw comments not have nothing to do with this article then I will say: the Lady Jayhawks Track Team had just won a NCAA championship.

That's one more than Kansas State has won and ties Missouri's only championship.

hawkbono1313 6 years, 2 months ago

I sorry but Wayne Simien is one of the most overrated KU basketball players of all time. Give me Arthur, T-Rob and Marcus over him any day.

  1. Darrell Arthur
  2. Thomas Robinson
  3. Marcus Morris
  4. Wayne Simien
  5. Julien Wright

Brianna Zaleski 6 years, 2 months ago

Wayne Simien was UNDER-rated? Are you serious? Wayne was one of the most dominant players KU has ever had. I'm too tired this morning to give a lengthy explanation, but there is a reason he was a unanimous All-American and is 1 or 2 on everyone's lists above.... Except for you, bono

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 2 months ago

Uh, not mine. Simien was fantastic, but I'd rather have Arthur's reach and athleticism. Both Morrises could shoot threes. Of course, Simien is in the top 5, but I don't see clear #1 there. I do not agree that he was "overrated."

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

Arthur never reached his full potential while at KU. If we go by numbers, Arthur and Wright are pretty equal. TRob had absolutely no choice but to sit behind the likes of Aldrich, Morris & Morris or his stats would have been tremendous at least 2 years. I guess people forgot Marcus Morris' senior season, Markieff surpassed him and still does in the NBA. I know the NBA isn't a part of this discussion, but Marcus has seen the "D League". I also feel because Julian is out of the NBA, people are skewed how they view Wright to Arthur. Wright was a complete stud at KU. I loved watching him drop 30+ of MU too!

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

Please.. Do a basic amount of research before making absurdly wrong comparisons.. Are you saying that Julian Wright achieved is full potential? Do you think Julian was more NBA ready then DA?

Because if so, you could not be more wrong.

DA is still in the NBA, Julian Wright just finished this past year in the D league. DA has had three serious injuries and yet the Grizzlies still have him on their roster. DA has had two solid seasons, one in 2010/11 and a second one in 2012/13. Since you like comparing these two players then you should compare their productivity.

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

6 points per game in the NBA is hardly worth bragging about regarding Arthur. I never said Wright reached his full potential. I said he was a stud. Arthur had a solid team around him, hence the championship. Wright' head isn't fully screwed on right regarding the NBA. Some guys go there and get lazy etc. I think Wright was just as ready as Arthur, but think both should have stayed one more year. I was comparing their college years, which is what this article is about.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 2 months ago

You're letting Simien's pro career affect your judgement. If you truly believe Simien is #3 on the list, I'd encourage you to check out the following link. In short, Simien had a higher offensive rating (significantly) than Arthur and Robinson. He averaged more pp40, more ppg, and was a better shooter. He also rebounded the ball at a rate that was only slightly less than Robinson.

Kevin Huffman 6 years, 2 months ago

I go:

1) Tho. Robinson 2) Simien 3) Mc. Morris 4) Arthur 5) Ju. Wright

Kevin Huffman 6 years, 2 months ago

So that would leave possible 5's as Aldrich, Dar. Jackson, Kaun, Withey, maybe Mk. Morris & Moody.


1) Withey 2) Aldrich 3) Mk. Morris 4) Dar. Jackson 5) Kaun/Moody (tie)

wrwlumpy 6 years, 2 months ago

Sorry to change the subject but USA today's article about Wiggins had this paragraph:

"Despite his unassuming manner, Wiggins does not lack confidence. He was motivated to outplay Julius Randle during a highly anticipated showdown at an event in North Augusta, S.C., last July because it "solidified" his reputation as the nation's best high school player. And his high school coach Rob Fulford said Wiggins had been "very upset" that touted Jabari Parker was not at the same event because Wiggins was "tired of hearing about him," Fulford said."

First game. KU vs. Duke and Jabari Parker.

Simien, Morris, Wright.

Jeff Suther 6 years, 2 months ago

Tait, you always have to throw someone in there to make me mad, young... Really

Jeff Suther 6 years, 2 months ago

Also, Keegan I would hardly say that trob had a "solid mid range jumper"

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

TRob lacked a mid-range jumper, back to the rim moves and defense on the perimeter...

notjustbread 6 years, 2 months ago

Simien should be at the top of all of the lists. I think people who are nudging others above him are having a classic case of the recency effect.

Jesse Johnson 6 years, 2 months ago

After Simien, I think the next 3 are difficult to put in order. I agree with Jesse that Marcus goes in front of TRob simply because he had two great seasons as opposed to one. The I have a hard time with is Darrell Arthur. Unlike Marcus and Trob, Arthur was surrounded by great offensive weapons during his stellar two year stint, which overshadows how great he really was. I'm glad that Keegan pointed out how great of game he had in the national title overall, but none of them pointed out that, specifically, he had 4 of the 10 points in that 10-1 run to tie the game! (4 Arthur + 3 Sherron + 3 Chalmers = 10). And they were both 18 foot jump shots, not easy baskets to make in a tight game. For this reason I give Arthur the nod at #2 over Marcus, then TRob, then Wright.

actorman 6 years, 2 months ago

Jesse, you make excellent points about DA, especially about the two clutch jumpers in the title game. I'd actually forgotten about those shots.

Greg Lux 6 years, 2 months ago

Young Young Young Young Young The guy gave 115% every minute he was in the game. He didn't have the outside game the others did but he did the little things to help you win. He was the intangible that you can't coach ( Effort ).Obviously we will never know how much he meant to the team but I love the less talented guys who seem to give it all every second hes in the game. His passing was awesome and he seemed to be in the right place to get those critical rebounds at the right moment.

Rock Chalk Kevin

Joe Baker 6 years, 2 months ago

I like Bedore's order: 1. Simien- He was dominant and overall the better player for many reasons.

  1. Arthur- You can't deny his part in the 08 NC team. He was dominant in that game.

  2. TRob- He had a terrific junior year and may be the most improved 4 on this list in a short time. I think playing behind the Morri helped in practice, but hurt in the games. He never blossomed early enough to really shine.

  3. McMorris- I loved the twins physical play. Many thought them dirty, but I liked how they gave the team grit. Their mouths were out of control and thought their stupid comments to VCU were out of line and totally unnecessary. They were definitely on the officials' list of players to watch. They couldn't even breath without a tech or smile without a foul.

  4. Wright- As some have said, left unpolished. He's paying the price. He missed a NC and is now paying a career price in the league. He had so much untapped talent and should've left KU as one of the best players recruited. He left a bit prematurely.

  5. Young- He wasn't the most talented, but was much like Simien. He had so many unsung skills that couldn't be taught. His stats weren't always the best, but he did little things that made the difference. He got rebounds when everyone else stood around and watched the ball.

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 2 months ago

wow our fours are incredible. If you look at the Big XII over the past ten years, I would guess you would have just a few that would crack the top five from any of the other schools.

Shows how blessed we are at KU.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 2 months ago

If you had a college basketball team, and could pick one of the guys to play the 4 at his peak, who would it be?

I'd go TRob.

JayDocMD 6 years, 2 months ago

I guess it would depend on who else was on the team. If I need a four who can score away from the basket I'd pick Morris, Arthur or even Simien. If I want more of an athletic 4 who can crash the boards and run the floor I'm taking TRob or Wright.

If I'm asked to quit hedging my bets, using your criteria I'm taking Arthur with Simien a close second.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 2 months ago

I might forgo the five spot and pick two power forwards instead. My first pick would be a healthy Wayne Simien or DA.

Virgil_Caine 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, this is certainly a position we've done well with! It's really not fair to rank them, but I may be inclined to give Robinson the top spot, since he helped carry an underdog "rebuilding" team to the championship game. I wish Simien could have made it past the first round his senior year. What an awful way to end an otherwise brilliant career. Marcus was about as polished as you'll ever see a junior, but again, a very disappointing end to his career. Arthur went out a champion, and quite possibly would have eliminated this whole debate if he had stayed one more year, as national POY would have likely been in play for him. Julian, we hardly knew ye, but I sure loved his game, and he played some great defense on Kevin Durant, easily the best player we've faced in the Self Era. And the mere fact that Kevin Young is being mentioned with these other guys speaks volumes about how much he contributed in his two years.

KansasComet 6 years, 2 months ago

Overall Talent in the Self Era. They all were stud performers for KU!

  1. Authur
  2. Wright
  3. Robinson
  4. Simien
  5. Morris

wrwlumpy 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes and so was Danny after he got injured early. Most of these Simien haters must be 19 years old. No one could seal his man like Wayne. Always open inside because of that ability. When he got the ball, he played around the rim similar to Nick, a stronger version of Kevin McHale.

Watch and learn.

Scott Smetana 6 years, 2 months ago

Great link. However, I'm quite certain this is the worst music ever chosen for a highlight reel.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 2 months ago

Agree on both points. Wayne was a mega star. There is no question who is Frist on this list.

RocktoRock 6 years, 2 months ago

Nevermind the music. That youtube channel, Judah618, is by far my favorite channel on youtube. A lot of great videos of Jayhawk BBall. Wishing he put out more videos though.

hawksince51 6 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the memories, and for providing the evidence to those who have forgotten that Wayne is clearly no. 1 at the 4.

selfhimbill 6 years, 2 months ago

I would have called your "1." "First". Then I would change your "2." to "B". I would leave "3.", "4:" and "five." so as is to remain consistently inconsistent. Please stop drinking and writing.

Allen Shepard 6 years, 2 months ago

My top 5:

  1. Andrew Wiggins

  2. Andrew Wiggins

  3. Andrew Wiggins

  4. Andrew Wiggins

  5. Andrew Wiggins


Rorawk 6 years, 2 months ago

Marcus Morris was the most talented power forward we have had under Bill Self. Simien takes a close second because his low post game was so good, but the overall game of Marcus was unmatched by anyone. T-Rob was stronger and more powerful, but lacked an elite offensive move set, or passing ability. Darrell Arthur was close but left for the NBA before he could have really taken over.

My Top 5:

1) Marcus Morris 2) Wayne Simien 3) Darrell Arthur 4) Julian Wright 5) Thomas Robinson

Kevin Huffman 6 years, 2 months ago

Let's see:

Best Shot-blocking PF - probably Arthur

Best 3-pt. shooting PF - Mc. Morris

Best FT-Shooting PF - Arthur

Best post-up PF - Simien

Best Rebounding PF - T.Rob

Best Jump-shooting inside the arc PF - Arthur

Best Passing PF - Wright

Best at Getting Steals PF - Wright

Most Exciting Dunk from a PF - Wright at Mizzou

Most Exciting Shot Block from a PF - T.Rob against Mizzou (the "Final Game" in Lawrence)at the end of regulation

Hard to Deny Most Effort - Young

Best at Taking a Charge - Young

Best Scorer - Simien; athough T.Rob Jr. Yr. probably best overall

Best Leader - Simien (Specifically in '03/'04 season especially)

Most Crazy Athletic - Wright

Stongest - T.Rob

Fastest - Wright

Most Improved - (Tie) Mc. Morris & T.Rob

Most Introverted - Wright

Most Animated - Mc. Morris

Most Quirky - Young

Easiest to Cheer For Given Circumstances - T.Rob particularly his last two seasons with what went on with his Mom & Grandparents

I suspect in another couple of years Perry will fit the "Smartest" category.....begs a good question....2 years from now how do you suspect the list will be:

I could see:

  1. T.Rob
  2. Simien
  3. P. Ellis
  4. Arthur
  5. Mc. Morris............Hard to believe Julian Wright just kind of getting "written off". Have to agree with others that while his leaving early wasn't the mistake that Selby's was....still wish he'd come back. But then who knows if Arthur would've gotten the run he did too so.....

Kevin Huffman 6 years, 2 months ago

Sadly the two things I remember the most w/ Simien was him "going down" in '02/'03 (otherwise we'd've won it all) and in '03/'04 we were having a season with EXTREMELY few losses and LATE in the season having a nationally televised game in Stillwater that ended up becoming the Joey Graham vs. Simien show and I think BOTH Graham AND OSU came out on top.

Looks like I was wrong....I must've been thinking of '04/'05...we only beat them 81-79 at home and then lost to them 78-75 in the Big XII Semifinal Game.

Wow! What a TERRIBLE year '04/'05 was....Self's 2nd year.

We went 3-6 in our final 9 games after starting out 20-1!!!!!! Maybe the 21 pt. loss at Villanova in late Jan. was more telling of what to have expected out of that team as opposed to 2 pt. home OT win vs. #9 Georgia Tech or 6 pt. road win at #8 Kentucky or 25 pt. home win over #16 Texas or 2 pt. win over #4 Okla. St.

The___Floater 6 years, 2 months ago

1.Simien- simply the man.

2.T-Rob-might be blinded by my man crush and his story is still brings tears.

2B. Darrell Arthur- No Arthur, no banner.

3.Morris- boy, what a talent huh?

4.Young-hustle, hustle, hustle. did ALL the little things. Remember him taking the foul for Jeff late in the Iowa state game?

5.Wright- could dish like a guard, and beat his man with pure athleticism.

KJD 6 years, 2 months ago

Off topic though it was just on ESPN: BMac was just on "NBA Job Interview" with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose who did a good job helping Ben reverse engineer some of that negative publicity that Chad Ford published. Jalen finished by telling Ben that he liked his attitude after Ben answered the last question about what do you do when Kobe Bryant is talking trash to you. Ben is going to be talking right back! And he said it confidently though still in his quiet, humble demeanor. He also had more good things to day about last years 4 Seniors too. Hopefully they will re-air between now and Thursday. They are interviewing and showing highlights of a bunch of the draft talent.

KJD 6 years, 2 months ago

Simien - 29th Overall - Heat

Wright - 13th Overall - Hornets

Arthur - 27th Overall - Hornets

Morris - 14th Overall - Rockets

Robinson - 5th Overall - Kings

TRob is the highest picked, was the only one out of the five that had a season where he was widely considered for National Player of the Year–he was the clear runner up– and he took his team to the National Championship game.

Simien had a 1st Team All-American season and a 3rd Team All-American season in his two years with Self. His Junior year KU lost an Elite 8 game in OT.

Arthur was a Champion and he did hit that pure, long 2 point jumper to start the late rally against Memphis. He was also All Big 12 First Team that year.

Wright started early as a Freshman, he was pre-season Freshman of the year, and was a fantastic team player his first year which earned him First Team Big XII. He was a 3rd Team All-American for the Coaches his Sophomore year. He contributed so much to those Big XII championships his Freshman and Sophomore years which are so much apart of the early leg of the current Conference Championship string. His last game was in that Elite 8 game against UCLA.

Morris in the fifth slot seems ridiculous so I'm refusing to number the list. Marcus won, consistently. He's a big reason why Tyrel Reed has the most wins as a player in Kansas history.

KJD 6 years, 2 months ago

To finish off, Marcus Morris also went out in an Elite 8 game as his best run in the NCAA tournament. Losing to VCU is still haunting, especially after how that team dominated all year.

So our Power Forwards best years, all key corner stones to their teams, in the NCAA tournament are a National Champion, a National Runner-Up, and 3 Elite Eight's.

I like that people above are already mentioning Ellis in relationship to this list. Perry certainly seems like he's next in line to extend on this impressive list. Out of all the positions, I think this one is the most loaded. I love Young, the gleeful energizer bunny trashman PF, though Kevin to me shows how different of a team we had last year and it really makes me more impressed with what Withey did last year for the team.

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

Markieff was the 13th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft AHEAD of Marcus. Just say'n.

hawkmoon2020 6 years, 2 months ago

News Update: Wiltjer is transfering from UK. Gee, I wonder why? Since it's his decision, I guess he will be eligible in 2014. Will we need him? Do we need him?

Hawk8086 6 years, 2 months ago

In my mind, no question Simien is #1. Great scorer and rebounder. But, some keep saying his NBA career was held back by injuries. Wasn't it that he was undersized for a back to the basket player, and not quick enough to play away from the basket in the NBA? Wasn't that why he was drafted with the last pick in the first round? Great player, great person. But, a successful college career does not necessarily translate to the next level. Wayman Tisdale, I thought, was one of the all time greats in college. He was a good NBA player, but not nearly as dominant as he was in college for similar reasons.

jcourt 6 years, 2 months ago

Gary Bedore is smarter than all the other writers. But he has the top three a little out of order. #1 Darrel Aurthur had more skills than them all. If they all played equal yrs 2, 3 or 4 yrs. Darrel would be the best he is just more polished. #2 Thomas Robinson, If he played 3 or 4 yrs he would be the No 1 pick. # 3 Wayne Simien, great college player, but missed his shot. #4 Markieff Morris could dominate a game but fell short too. #5 Julian Wright, If he played 4 yrs he would have been on ESPN the most.

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

I honestly think a lot of people mixed Markieff and Marcus up in their heads when watching the games, let alone trying to remember them a couple of year's later. Their number's are almost identical their jumior year and in fact, Markieff did more of the intangibles that aren't on the stat sheets. Marcus started off strong his senior year and Markieff played better the last 60% of the season. Markieff hasn't been demoted to the D League like Marcus. Not sure why no love is thrown Markieff's way...

KansasComet 6 years, 2 months ago

So, you're telling me I missed the Morris Twins entire Senior Year?

Preston Dwiggins 6 years, 2 months ago

KansasComet: I couldn't go back and edit senior year to junior year if that's what you meant. I strongly feel people confused the two all the time. There's no reason Markieff isn't mentioned in this group. He made me a believer.

KansasComet 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you on Markieff. I often thought Markieff deferred to Marcus and let the spot light shine on him. Great post.

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