Tuesday, June 25, 2013

KU basketball notebook: Self still saying no to KU-MU

KU fans celebrate the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win against the Missouri Tigers, Saturday, Feb 25, 2012.

KU fans celebrate the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime win against the Missouri Tigers, Saturday, Feb 25, 2012.


As long as the Big 12/SEC Challenge goes on in men’s basketball, Kansas University will not be facing the Missouri Tigers.

KU coach Bill Self reiterated that point Tuesday during a Big 12 teleconference, responding with a simple “No” when asked if he anticipated playing MU in the conference agreement.

Self later was asked if anyone had approached KU about playing MU in the series.

“That would never come up,” Self said. “I don’t think Texas is going to play (Texas) A&M either.”

The two conferences have not yet determined how many years the Big 12/SEC Challenge will take place.

In the inaugural year, the Jayhawks will play at Florida on Dec. 10, while MU will play host to West Virginia on Dec. 5.

More on Wiggins

Self said he’s setting his expectations high for 6-foot-7 wing Andrew Wiggins.

Wiggins, who committed to KU last month, is Rivals’ top-ranked player in the class of 2013.

“I would hope that he’s as talented as any player in the country, because from a raw, athletic ability standpoint, he can do some things that I’ve never had a player be able to do physically,” Self said. “But the bottom line is, he’s still just 18 years old. He’s still just going to be a freshman. He’s going to go through ups and downs like everybody else.

“But hopefully by midseason, he’s totally comfortable and is able to really just play and not think.”

Draft talk on McLemore

Self said Tuesday that he believes KU shooting guard Ben McLemore’s game will translate well to the next level.

McLemore is expected to be taken somewhere in the first seven picks of Thursday’s NBA Draft.

“Ben is one of those elite, elite shooters. The difference is, he’s a freak athlete, too,” Self said. “ ... Now, he’s got to get stronger. He’s got to be able to put it down (with the dribble). He’s got to be able to have a little bit better vision passing the ball, things like that, but those are things he’ll grow into.”

Self thinks that there might be a several-month adjustment period in the NBA before McLemore starts to show his potential.

“I tell everybody I’ve talked to, I think by January to February, he could be a guy that’s averaging 13 points a game for anybody who picks him,” Self said. “I do think he has that type of ability, and I do think he could be a potential All-Star.

“To me, he’s the one guy in the draft that — there’ll be somebody else emerge — but just looking at it on paper right now, he’s the one guy in the draft I think has the highest ceiling.”

Self on Withey

KU center Jeff Withey also could be taken with McLemore in the first round, and Self believes the best situation for the big man would be getting drafted by a winning team.

“I’ve seen San Antonio or Miami, these teams that are really, really good … good gosh, how nice would it be to have a shot-blocker that’s 7 foot that can come in and change the game and battle guys around the rim and that kind of stuff?” Self said. “He’s not a natural scorer yet. He’s not a guy that you can draft and say, ‘Well definitely, he’s got to give this team 13 points and eight rebounds or he’s going to be a flop.’ I don’t think that’s what he’s going to be.

“I think he’s going to — early in his career — be a very nice complementary guy that can have a role, but kind of find his way and grow into it until hopefully he can be a starter.”

Ben signs Blackstock

Former KU guard Ben McLemore has signed with NBA player agent Rodney Blackstock, who just recently was certified to become an agent, Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen reports. Blackstock is the man who allegedly paid McLemore’s former AAU coach, Darius Cobb, $10,000 and travel expenses last year in an attempt to be introduced to the KU player.

He also allegedly paid for a birthday party of McLemore’s in Lawrence.

Several outlets have reported that Blackstock’s influence in the draft process has caused McLemore’s stock to drop.

Last week, ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote: “McLemore is in a tug-of-war right now between adviser Rodney Blackstock and his agency, Rivals. It’s kept McLemore out of the gym and, for the most part, out of workouts. How much will all of this affect the draft stock? I’m told teams are worried.”


ku_foaf 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd prefer to play somebody we haven't already beaten nearly 200 times.


Lance Hobson 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I believe it's universally excepted by all sports pundits that Mizzou made a big mistake going to the SEC. The panic is over and they should have held firm but now they're stuck with being a bottom feeder and outsider in the SEC.


Preston Dwiggins 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I love Ben...but now may be the time to sell most of my McLemore autographed things : / Having a good agent you can fully trust is a must so you can concentrate on one thing...improving your game of basketball and this isn't panning out that way. Good luck Ben.


kay_you 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Ben signing with Blackstock does not help his case.


Benjamin Piehler 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Why would we play them? They're halfway to irrelevance already.


91hawk 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I do think Kansas made a mistake in their take on the Missouri series. When they left the conference, I thought we should have said that, anytime they wanted to come over to the Fieldhouse or to Memorial Stadium, we'd be glad to have them. We might even give them 30 tickets or so to sell to their fans.

However, since it would not be to Kansas' advantage to go to Columbia or play them in Kansas City, that'd be the extent of what we're willing to do.


Ralster Jayhawk 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Hey let Kentucky deliver the royal blue beatin's on Mizzou for awhile. Mizzou can be Kentucky's b-tch now. Dont worry, as there's always another sucka around the corner...and here comes one now (right on cue) from that Manlesshattan place...looks like a (purple)pussy to me...and lookie there, even showing up with a grin on their face...More fun! Watch what happens to Weber's team in the Elijahgon-o-gloom, in AFH of course... and no need for Africa...


William Blake 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Missouri? Missouri who? Hey... we don't have a noodling team, sorry... we play basketball. We don't need to play whoever that is. Let them continue on the new path they set. BTW - Noodling is illegal in Missouri anyways.

If they want to play, they can always get on the list to join the B12 again... but I doubt they would be accepted. They sort of squandered that relationship.

Ben... dude.... all I can say is he is too green to do real business with a real agent. Should have stayed in school and enjoyed his youth before committing to the big boys' league. He just gave the okay sign to every d-bag in the world to throw illegal money at kids in school. Not exactly a move based on integrity.

I'm hoping the best for Jeff. If he gets with the right team, he can become a journeyman player and have a great NBA career.

Andrew - can't agree more with CS. He is going to deliver some sweet ball before his year of college is up. This is the first time in my life I'm actually hating summer. Seconds seems like weeks... days seem like years....


Lonnie Snow 9 months, 4 weeks ago

As much as I hear everyone and feel the same way about misery, we all know all of this is about the money. One way or another it will eventually come about. The sad thing is I know ill be watching. And watching them kick there butts. Rock Chaulk!


jay_cheese 9 months, 4 weeks ago

-Not playing MU is bad for KC....but that isn't KU's fault. Missery misses the being involved with KU quite a bit (and so do the neutral KC fans). Oh well...their choice (and their loss). -BMac will be fine. Everybody's all concerned about agents/fitness...HA. Let the kid make his own call and don't act like you didn't see his potential in this past season. Kid is an amazing athlete with a one of the best shooting strokes I've seen in a while. OK so he gives bad/average interviews....taking off from the free throw line or swishing a covered 35 ft'r is still damn impressive.



Steve Gantz 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I disagree with coach Self and the majority of my KUSports friends. I'd rather see us playing Missouri, than Missouri Kansas City. I'd rather see us play Missouri than Lamar or Drake or Central Idaho. It seems childish and petulant to me to say "I'll show them, I won't schedule them anymore". Sure I know Misery brought this on by leaving. But a game that I looked forward to every year is gone now. Yeehaw, I hope we beat Towson, and Iona this year.


chriz 9 months, 4 weeks ago

The MU fans just don't understand that we have absolutely no need for them. It's kinda sad, but funny since it's MU. We have very little to gain by playing them.

We are their purpose. They are an old stale turd in the neighboring stall.


midwest_muser 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I would rather see HCBS schedule good teams than Mizzery.... Their are much better options.


jgkojak 9 months, 4 weeks ago

The next time we meet MU will be in NCAA Tourn.

Of course, for that to happen, MU actually has to get in the tournament and win a game.


CWGOKU 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Please, never play mu again.


gthejayhawk 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I pray you are correct in your assessment, Oakville. Especially considering the leniency the NCAA has shown in recent years to schools like UConn and Duke.


otaKU 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Ben making the switch and signing with Blackstock seems very fishy. I really hope this isn't a situation where maybe he has more dirt on McLemore and uses that as leverage to have Ben sign. Clearly speculation but it all seems odd to me.

As far as the BIG 12/SEC series goes, I don't want to play Mizzou, but who else do we play? Florida, Kentucky, and then who?


Michael Luby 9 months, 4 weeks ago

“I would hope that he’s as talented as any player in the country, because from a raw, athletic ability standpoint, he can do some things that I’ve never had a player be able to do physically,” Self said.

Wow! Just Wow! Considering he has been coaching great players for 20 years, that's amazing..

Hey Blown, HEM or Ralster said it earlier, KU may or may not get penalized, this is just an investigation. Until it becomes more, we really shouldn't sweat it. I hope that if it does become more, the NCAA isn't too hard on KU and the coach. Its not like they had any small amount of advanced knowledge of said event in question. It shouldn't be on them.


Ron Franklin 9 months, 4 weeks ago

It's just a matter if time before the 2012-2013 season is vacated, right? No more second in all time wins. No more tourney streak. No more Jeff Withey shot block record. No new scoring record for freshman. No 500th win for Self. Nothing. Son of a.


Glen Miller 9 months, 4 weeks ago

As much as I hope I am completely wrong.... Ben seems to be making a lot of bad choices that are sending him down the path of a bust. Showing up out of shape for workouts and not performing well in them, sticking with an agent that you should have ran from as soon as you heard he was being shady behind the scenes.... Come on Ben. You have so much potential and promise, I hope these ill advised decisions don't hurt you in the long run. The NBA has chewed him up and spit him out already and he hasn't even stepped on the court.


jahawkdave 9 months, 4 weeks ago

How is Blackstock allowed to get an agents lic to rep NBA players / soon to be NBA players? Aren't his past interactions and payments prohibited by agents. If the loophole is that he was an agent at the time, then the system is flawed.

Ben, Blackstock is a greasy leach, he fooled you once shame on him, now he's fooled you twice shame on


iamakufan 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I hope Self never changes his mind about Missouri. If that were a normal rivalry I'd be in favor of scheduling it. But with Missouri there is too much animosity. Too many years of nasty, dirty deeds from the Antlers. Displays of pure hatred from Missouri fans.

To use a trite, but still appropriate, cliche', they made their bed... now they have to go and sleep in it.


STL_Jayhawk 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Forget MU. But I would like to see us play Saint Louis University regularly. Play them at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis and AFH or the Sprint Center in KC. This might help us build on our success recruiting St. Louis.


RockChalk26 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Let me get in on this Mizzou bashing.



rtwngr 9 months, 4 weeks ago

MU made their own bed, let them lie in it. They have no rivalry to hang their season on any longer. They wanted to be a big fish and they wound up being a guppy. The SEC needed a football team they could use to pad their schedule with wins for the big boys like LSU, Florida, and 'Bama. As far as basketball, they'll always be an also ran in any league. MU can just "bite it"!


Jack Wilson 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I know I am in the minority by long ways here, but I don't like the "take my ball and go home" approach to this. I get all of the hard feelings due to MU's behavior in leaving the Big 12, and I also believe MU got a lot of this going by their open courtship of the Big 10 (when they were really being played by the Big 10 commissioner).

The rivalry with MU does not define KU. I understand that. We can get along just fine without it.

But KU hoops is entertainment. It's enjoyment. It's passion.

Besides a final four, when is that ever greater than when we battled MU? Just my opinion.

By the way, did you know that MU's only national championships in athletics were a men's baseball championship in 1954, and an indoor track title in 1965? And did you know that the current over/under for MU football wins for the upcoming season is 5.5?


Robert Brock 9 months, 4 weeks ago

It may be difficult to avoid getting matched up with Mizzwho if the Big 12/SEC Challenge continues.


Boouk 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I've moved on from Mizzou. I rarely think about them anymore. Despite their absence, it doesn't seem like there's something missing on our conference schedule.


Stephen Johnson 9 months, 4 weeks ago

There is nothing of value for KU in playing MU. I'm with Self on this. They wanted to go and now there gone. I don't want to recreate this game for their benefit.


Hawk8086 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I agree that we should not play them. They walked away. We almost ended up in the WAC or somewhere similar. A KU / MU game is more important to them than it is to us. We don't need them. I agree with the poster that said the NCAA will pair us up in the tournament at some point.


mattiesdad 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Bill just needs to say one thing: Once Misery has finally made it to a Final 4 we will play them. This guarantees the game will never happen!


Jason Keller 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Really disappointed in the way that Ben has started life after KU. This could be the beginning of a really sad ending. It goes without saying that Ben needs to tighten his circle. Mr. Blackstock has caused nothing but problems and has no agent experience so Ben hires him? What in the world?


Vince Brown 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I do not miss KU/mu. Glad they left the Big 12. Let the Antlers pull their stunts in the SEC.


Gary Amble 9 months, 4 weeks ago

MU walked away from their million dollar game. No one in the SEC can match the environment KU brought to the table. To bad. Why would KU give the Tigers a "gift" when we can schedule a REAL game with REAL National intrest?


KansasComet 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Missouri walked away, Kansas did not. Simple as that!


Robbk1066 9 months, 4 weeks ago

There is just a taint from anything from Missouri, no need to foul our mouth with that if we can control it. If we have to in the tournament so be it, you have to earn it there and sometimes that means getting some mud on you doing something you would not normally do. Of anything in this sport it asks you for tests you would never be asked to take yourself.

Ben and Blackstock, I believe in a year or two this will be considered one of the biggest mistakes made by a NBA rookie in quite some time. Others will point to Blackstock as the poster child on how not to handle this process. From first contact to draft, to his early career, this might be the worst train wreck seen in some time for a rookie. I hope I am as wrong as a person can be, but this smells really bad already too. What will make it so sad is that this is a great young man, with a lot of upside who had a chance to change his life. These are rare gifts that you have to be very careful with. If it is lost it will be because of one mans greed.


Micky Baker 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Also, they did this over the Texas having too much control in the Big 12. Well, they're not winning athletic events.


Micky Baker 9 months, 4 weeks ago

We have no obligation to MU. We didn't bail out, they did.


Chris1955 9 months, 4 weeks ago

KU will be playing Mizzou when both teams end up in the B1G TEN in a few years.


KJD 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Ben signing with Blackstock after all of what I've read on this story is simply mystifying.


stm62 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Missouri was willing to throw KU under the bus during conference re-alignment. Enough said.


okiedave 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Personally, I grew up with the KU/MU series. It has become a part of my DNA. I miss it. However, I think the coaches dreaded the series because the expectation to win was too stressful. MU needs the series, the 2 yearly games they played KU was their only value they had in basketball.


Stephan123 9 months, 4 weeks ago

KU is in a different league from Missouri in more ways than one. Association with the KU brand is a valuable thing.


Doug Cramer 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Love Self for not playing Missouri. Them border ruffian...bushwackin SOBs don't deserve to play against us. Hope Self never gives in...would be fine with me if we never play them F-sticks again.


Mike Riches 9 months, 4 weeks ago

It's just a matter of time before the Committee will intentionally set up a KU/MU matchup in the tournament. And as much as I'm on HCBS's side on this, I can't wait for that day to come!!


Konkis Dongington III 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I will mention that this is a repost from a previous thread cause if I don't BigManU will flip out, but here goes:

Anybody else here that McLemore fired his agent and hired Blackstock two days before the draft? That kid needs some serious help. Some people are freaking out on the assumption that this puts KU in a worse position, but as far as I can tell, the water doesn't get any hotter than it already is because of this. Again, I'll save a full-fledged freak out save for the use of the words 'lack of institutional control' by the NCAA, but I can't help but feel sorry for Ben because I think his naivety and trust is allowing this vampire to exploit him. Hopefully, the NCAA leaves KU alone on this one, but I'd completely understand if we got a slap on the wrist for this one, and if it means vacating our tournament appearance, so be it. A Sweet 16 for KU is a vacated season anyway. If it goes any further than that, I'll be upset, but long and short, I'm not going to fret until I have something to fret about. An investigation isn't it.


Suzi Marshall 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I loved the Missouri series but am extremely pleased with Self's refusal to play them! It still bugs me they left for the SEC. As for BMac signing with Blackstock....


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