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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ex-KU great Wayne Simien’s words gave Jayhawks hope

Former Kansas University forward Wayne Simien makes his way through a basketball drill at his Called to Greatness camp in this photo from 2011.

Former Kansas University forward Wayne Simien makes his way through a basketball drill at his Called to Greatness camp in this photo from 2011.

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Kansas University’s basketball team had one meeting with players and coaches — and one players-only session — during a three-game losing streak from Feb. 2-9.

The Jayhawk players also had a helpful chit-chat with former KU great Wayne Simien during the stressful stretch.

“I remember Wayne talking to us before we came out here (for practice one day in Allen Fieldhouse). He said, ‘We lost three games my senior year (2004-05), too, and we pulled it out. Anything is possible,’” KU senior forward Kevin Young said Thursday.

“It gave us a lot of hope. We knew we’d be all right if we kept working hard.”

A month after Simien, who serves as the team chaplain, provided some words of wisdom, the Jayhawks are in the hunt for a ninth-straight Big 12 regular-season title. KU and Kansas State take 14-3 league records into Saturday’s finales. The Wildcats (25-5) travel to Oklahoma State (22-7, 12-5) for a 12:30 p.m. tipoff. KU (26-4) will travel to Baylor (17-13, 8-9) for a 5 p.m. contest.

“I’ve always been selfish. I’m trying to be selfish again, trying to take it all,” KU senior point guard Elijah Johnson said. “I want to own it. I don’t want to split it.”

KU coach Bill Self said he hadn’t decided if he’d let his players watch the K-State game in their Waco, Texas, hotel rooms.

“I don’t want them to burn energy worrying about K-State,” Self said. “All we need to do is burn energy worrying about us and Baylor. That is hard to do sometimes. You watch a game that has implications on your season, and it’s hard not to get emotionally invested in a game like that. If I was picking one of the two, I’d rather play the first game than the second, but I don’t think it makes any difference.”

Self said winning on Saturday and taking the title, “would be as cool as any we have won. I think for us to go through a tough stretch the way we did, it’d probably be as gratifying as any we’ve ever had. We still have a lot of work to get there, but I’m excited for Saturday.”

Player-of-the-year race: Self said one of four players — KU’s Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey, KSU’s Rodney McGruder, OSU’s Marcus Smart — should win big 12 player-of-the-year honors.

“If they (McLemore, Withey) split the vote, then that could hurt both of them for their chances to be named Player of the Year. To me, I would not say who I think deserves it, I want to wait until the end of the season is here,” Self said. “You could make a strong case, if you look at statistics and all that stuff, that Ben or Jeff could be Big 12 Player of the Year. All are worthy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the four got it.”

Self’s coach-of-the-year vote goes to KSU’s Bruce Weber.

“I think the best job this year has been done from a coaching standpoint in Manhattan, Kan. That’s one guy’s opinion,” Self said, also citing OSU’s Travis Ford and Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger. “They (Wildcats) have given themselves the best chance to have a great year because they’ve been able to find ways to win games that were maybe a coin-flip game.”

Trim: Young, who has an expansive afro hair style, reports that he had his hair cut last Friday. “I got a little trimmed up and shaved up a little bit. Coach said I didn’t get my money’s worth,” Young said, laughing.

Jayhawk vs. Jayhawk: Former KU coach Larry Brown’s SMU team defeated former Jayhawk player Danny Manning’s Tulsa team, 71-65, Wednesday in Tulsa to assure a split of the season series. Earlier this season Tulsa defeated SMU in Dallas. Tulsa is 15-14 (7-8); SMU is 15-15 (5-10) .

“It’s not fair to judge either one of those games because neither team is close to where they will be two or three years from now. They are going to continue to get better, because they both took over tough situations, but I don’t pull one way or another in those particular outings,” Self said. “I guess it’s fitting (that they split) as people would say, but I don’t read too much into that stuff.”

Twitter talk: KU point guard Johnson was asked if he learned anything from Tyshawn Taylor about handling criticism. “Yeah, I learned don’t tweet it,” he said with a laugh. “Just handle it like a man. (I’m) not a little boy any more.”

Comments

Adam Collins 6 years, 7 months ago

In other good news, we are closing in on Kentucky in all-time wins. We started out the year something like 13 back and have closed the gap to around 7. Keep winning Hawks (and losing Kensucky)!

Tim Marshall 6 years, 7 months ago

I believe we started the season 20 games back. I think we are now 14 behind in all time wins. Could be wrong though. We could definitely make up some ground in the tournament.

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I'm kind of hoping UK gets into the tourney just for that reason, but still hoping they lose to UF. Don't think they'll finish outside the top4 in the SEC if they lose 'cause they have the head to head with both Ole Miss and Misery, so 3rd should be their worst case scenario I believe.

Ron Prichard 6 years, 7 months ago

For wins, you would want them in the tourney. However, for their arrogant fan base I think being left out of the tourney would be just perfect. Let them go to the NIT. Would Kensucky hang a NIT banner if they won it? Would they possibly decline the invitation?

Steve Reigle 6 years, 7 months ago

They'll be more likely to win in the NIT against less difficult competition than they would in the NCAA Tournament. In other words, they'll get more wins in the NIT. However, since 68 teams get into the tournament, I suspect Kentucky will be one of them. I'd love to see them in the NIT, though.

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

How many are we ahead of K-State?

Bwa-hahahaha

Hurinfan 6 years, 7 months ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_teams_with_the_most_victories_in_NCAA_Division_I_men%27s_college_basketball

this is a list as of last season. They had 2090 we had 2070. We're at 26 wins and they're at 20.

That puts us at 2096 and them at 2110. Your numbers are wrong.

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 6 years, 7 months ago

Don't be surprised. Oregon State was coached for years by Ralph Miller, a former KU FB & BB All- American from Chanute,KS

jgkojak 6 years, 7 months ago

Best case:

We win 1 (Baylor) 3 (b12 tourney) 6 (NCAA tourney) 10 TOTAL wins

KY 1 loss (to whoever they play this weekend) 1 loss in SEC Tourn. 1 loss to begin NIT

That would finish us Kentucky 2110 KU 2006

We would be 4 back to begin next year(!)

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

So how long will it be 'till UK fans start saying we had a 5 year head start?

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 7 months ago

We were smart enough to anticipate the great game and field a team while they were out making whiskey, not that that's a bad thing.

kufanman88 6 years, 7 months ago

They only played 10 games a season during that period, so it is really irrelevant.

latigo 6 years, 7 months ago

A KU grad made their program great. A simple thank you would be nice.

BainDread 6 years, 7 months ago

While I would enjoy seeing Kentucky drop into the NIT, it would probably improve our odds of gaining on their total wins record if they are a low seed in the NCAA tournament. I'm conflicted, but since I'm confident we will catch them in the next three or four years anyway, I think I'll be pulling for them to miss the NCAA.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 7 months ago

I am with you dread. What the hell is going on over in Lexington. This was another top recruiting class for Cal, but for some reason the fruit is all rotten. I know they will get a few more 'W''s out of the NIT, but at least they'll have no shot at an NCAA title.

jhox 6 years, 7 months ago

What's wrong is they have too many "me" players and not enough "we" players. I'm a little surprised that this is the first time their recruiting philosophy has come back to bite them. Slick Cal has done a good job in previous years of getting selfish guys to play together. It was bound to catch up with them sooner or later. Also, they're not getting the elite PG play they've been accustomed too.

It will be interesting to see how the Harrison twins work out next year. Anybody not named Harrison is unlikely to see much of the ball. If Randle or Wiggins end up there they won't be doing themselves any favors.

Alex Peekeaton 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow, you must have watched every one of the Harrison's games to come to the conclusion that they are selfish players. About every review I've read from college recruiters and pro scouts state they are too unselfish at times! Maybe that's the only way you can discredit their skill as the #1 point guard and #1 shooting guard in the 2013 class!

brooksmd 6 years, 7 months ago

Yep. Even Cali-sleazy said he had a couple of players this year that aren't coach-able. At least Kensucky fans can still say they had the top recruiting class last year loaded with OAD's. That's important to them.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 7 months ago

Not sure about all the rest, but definitely a lack of PG.

I'd say that it is also relavent that while the OAD's were significant last year, they don't go anywhere without the "old" guys - even if it was just a couple.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 7 months ago

Funny how all the Kansas and Kentucky fans are following this record so closly. Falling behind Kansas in the all time wins stat is their worst nightmare. I'm with you in hoping they get in the NCAA to best limit the number of wins they rack up this season. Next year KY should be back to the high 30s for wins putting Kansas under the gun.

Alex Peekeaton 6 years, 7 months ago

Actually, we are more concerned with NCs than all time wins. UK is only 3 behind UCLA and can make some serious noise with the talent already signed for the next two years. You are right about next year, UK will get that number back around 20 with KU losing all five starters and UK more than likely going to be preseason #1.

Allen Shepard 6 years, 7 months ago

UK won't be preseason number one. The media should have learned its lesson after last year.

Alex Peekeaton 6 years, 7 months ago

With 3+ experienced players back next year plus arguably the greatest recruiting class ever (have 5 five stars currently signed) plus a great shot at one of the remaining 3 unsigned (probably Wiggins), UK will be preseason #1.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 7 months ago

Of course if I was a kentucky fan, which I definitely am not, I would point out the major ground we'd have to make up in the national championship category, the most important category to me. For all of our wins since Larry arrived in 84 we've got 2 NC's to show for it. There's two years we should've won, but didn't '97 and '03, and many other disappointing coulda won it years too.

That being said, most all time wins is a nice title to have and hopefully we close the gap with at least 10 more wins this year.

KKunde 6 years, 7 months ago

I would also say we should've won in 2011. There's no way we should've lost that elite eight game to VCU... That would've left us with Butler, who we outmatched by quite a bit, and Duke, who we had far more strength and athleticism.

niemoth 6 years, 7 months ago

Think that was the uconn year wasn't it? Duke won when we lost to northern iowa

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

You never know how other players would have changed the team chemistry although having McLemore practicing with the team might have negated or minimized any changes in chemistry.

I'm with you 100% when it comes to 2011. I thought we had by far the best team of the remaining eight. VCU surprised us. They had and still have a coach that could be coaching in any of the major conferences plus they were well disciplined and athletic. I also think that beating their crosstown rivals Richmond contributed in us lowering our guard.

You could go crazy looking back on past years and chances. I've talked to several Jayhawkers who are still incensed over our double overtime loss to Texas Western in 1966.

Tom Longhofer 6 years, 7 months ago

Sooner or later, Kentucky will have to forfeit all their win for a whole season because the Squid does not care if a player is likely to be declared ineligible after the season is over, he just goes ahead and plays 'em.

Tom Longhofer 6 years, 7 months ago

sooner or later, Kentucky will have to forfeit all their wins for a whole season because the Squid does not care if a player is likely to be declared ineligible after the season is over. He just goes ahead and plays 'em, gets personal credit for the wins on his resume, but leaves the school in the lurch. By now, no one feels sorry for the school because they knew what they're getting when they hired him.

VaJay 6 years, 7 months ago

I hope they don't make it to NCAA's and are too embarrassed to take up the NIT invite. That would be sweet (or even better - they lose in the first round of the NIT at home!!)

Freedman Moor 6 years, 7 months ago

Lets just hope for 6 wins in the tournament. I'll be happier if we gain on them in the championships list.

Bernard Gregory 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't know about Embiid but Frank Mason had a outstanding season and although they lost in the first round of their tournament he still was impressive being that this was the first time he ever really got to play a true point guard role.

Joseph Bullock 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't know what Embiid's stats are, but I was watching ESPN a couple weeks ago, and he is now the #2 rated Center for 2013. A kid going to Kentucky is #1. But they also said that Embiid has the highest ceiling of all of the centers, especially after Andrea Hudy gets ahold of him, to improve his strength. Frank Mason has indeed had a great year, and I can't remember what he is now rated, but I don't think he was rated when the season began. Now I believe he is top 100!

jhox 6 years, 7 months ago

I'll be shocked if Embiid doesn't leave KU as an All American and a lottery pick. He's tall, long arms, good leaping ability, soft hands...all he needs is a little refinement (which Self will undoubtedly provide) and muscle (courtesy of Hudy.) I don't expect great things year one but look for a quantum leap in year 2.

Ted Hume 6 years, 7 months ago

bingo. his leap will be year 2. next year is all about building him up. wouldn't be disapointed to see him in a forced red-shirt situation like JamTray. Could be the best thing for everyone to have him in pure development mode next year with no distractions from lack of PT, rather than in Adams "this-sh*t aint fair on the bench mode".

Glen Miller 6 years, 7 months ago

His ranking is based more off of his potential than his numbers from what I've read. I've not seen the guy play, but I've read that the sky is the limit with his ability with the right coaching. We all know coach Self will give him the coaching he needs. I look forward to seeing what this kid can accomplish while he's here.

jaybate 6 years, 7 months ago

Embiid appears to me to be a once a decade athlete that just happened not to grow up playing hoops. It will take him awhile to develop, but he is very likely the kind of player that could dominate college basketball years from now and take KU to a Final Four.

Robert Murphy 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree, he reminds me of Kevin Durant. Great shooting touch. Here's hoping.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

I think Embiid will probably become more of a post player but it would be nice if he could become anywhere near as deadly as KD from the outside.

Ted Hume 6 years, 7 months ago

here's a question: if we land Randal, who is physically ready to go from day 1 as a true impact 4, do we do something crazy like redshirt Jo to put him into full-time development mode in preparation for an impact 2nd year, knowing that we'll need him to be our major inside force if Randal is one-and done?

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

Embiid and Randall don't play the same position so I don't think it would affect any redshirt decisions. I know that HCBS will often interchange centers and forwards into the lineup but why redshirt our only true center? Here is a pretty good article updating Embiid's progress: http://www.maxpreps.com/news/GFsRdgheQEqFmB23dcxXAg/the-rock-basketball-program-rises-to-national-prominence.htm

texashawk10 6 years, 7 months ago

Embiid probably comes off the bench no matter what his freshmen season. One the positives I've read about him is that he doesn't get bullied easily, but he's not much bigger than Withey was when he got to KU and it will take a year to muscle him up enough to where he can play 30 minutes a game. Next year I would look for Embiid to be a 15-20 minute a game player simply because that's what his body will likely be able to physically handle. Julius Randle is an impact player from day 1, think Marcus Morris as a junior type skill set.

soapisurfriend 6 years, 7 months ago

Jo was named MVP in a tournament a couple weekends ago that had a ton of talent. In fact, Embiid's Rock School beat Huntington Prep and Andrew Wiggins fairly easily in that tournament and he pretty much dominated the game.

wrwlumpy 6 years, 7 months ago

After watching this CBS documentary about BMac and his brother you can understand the incredible separation of one brother who will be in jail for 15 years while the other brother not only enjoys freedom but plays basketball with a freedom seldom seen for a Freshman. Think of the money that Ben will make in endorsments alone. He has a movie star quality to him and sorority row carry signs to games with marriage proposals. http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/blog/inside-college-basketball/21833958/watch-kansas-ben-mclemore-and-his-imprisoned-brother

Jack Wilson 6 years, 7 months ago

Let me restate that .. there is NO WAY we redshirt Embiid. I think that's what jaydogger meant. Need caps for emphasis.

If we get Randle, it's Randle and Ellis and 4 and 4a. Likely Embiid off the bench, along with the winner of the Traylor/Lucas battle.

Ben Berglund 6 years, 7 months ago

Technically Wesley is our most senior post player next year. But I think it will be Jojo and Landon at the 5 with Perry and Jamari at the 4 unless Wesley makes some noise - which I won't entirely rule out. There's always the possibility we get Randle and he plays the 4 though, also. Frankly, Ender might just complicate things at the 3/4 were he to join the squad, but Bill is the master of figuring that type of thing out.

jayhawkinnc 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes, we started the season 20 wins behind Kensucky. We have now trimmed the margin to 14. And, we've stretched out our lead a little bit more over UNC.....we're now 9 wins ahead of them.

UK: 2110 KU: 2096 UNC: 2087

as of games thru 3/7/13

KansasComet 6 years, 7 months ago

This is the time of year where team chemistry is important. Know your role, except your role, do your role, and hopefully we get on a roll all the way to Atlanta! Lets see:

Leader(s): Check Big Man: Check Outside Shooter(s): Check Slasher: Check Spark off the Bench: Check Board Crashers: Check Penetrating Guards: Check Tournament Experience: Check Close Game Experience: Check

I believe we are ready! (Don't know if we need a Discount Double Check?)

Go Jayhawks!

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 7 months ago

You get the feeling the players are finally settling into playing together and understanding each other's strengths. Pretty exciting stuff, hopefully the guys are focused on getting the W @BU.

I realize my initial statement may sound ridiculous considering these guys have played together before this season, but the dynamic is just so much different without TT and TRob out there.

jhox 6 years, 7 months ago

This is one of those KU teams that could go deep in the tournament if they can just get through the first weekend. When this team is focused they're as good as anyone in the country. I hope they learned something from the 3 losses in a row and don't take anyone lightly in the tournament.

actorman 6 years, 7 months ago

You left off a big one, Comet: Best coach in the land: Check.

KansasComet 6 years, 7 months ago

Thanks! Best coach in the land. Check.

Outstanding traveling fan base. Check.

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 7 months ago

I hate to add to our high expectations but, Close to home tourney site: Check

nostradavid 6 years, 7 months ago

A 12:30 game in Stillwater will be tough for the 'Cats. Yawn.

Kevin must be setting a good example for his little brother ...

Sly shave

Sly shave by nostradavid

jaybate 6 years, 7 months ago

I am sorry, but this picture of Sly has made me unable to shave my neck this morning. :-)

KULA 6 years, 7 months ago

I like that--Bill's pick for Coach of the Year is a guy he beat twice, lol. Weber does deserve it though. I'll probably be pulling for K State in the tournament against anyone but us.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, and as Weber proved at Illinois, it's the last time he'll even come close to having a chance to win the award. I am now going to proclaim Weber as the best first year coach at a new university in America....And the worst 2nd year and beyond coach in America.

John Boyle 6 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, the worst coach in America is already taken by a guy named Scott Drew!!

Steve Gantz 6 years, 7 months ago

Could be a tie. As a Chicagoan, I still pay attention to the Illini and got just totally disgusted by his perennially underachieving teams.

Drew, if you could quantify it, has more talent than most teams but rarely puts up a fight against us or any other major teams. Sure they beat us last year in the 12 conf. tourney, but I've never seen a coach with such a deer in the headlights look when things start going south.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

KULA..that's why I often find it hard to call Kansas State our biggest rival. Kansas State just hasn't had the talent to rival Kansas since the Jack Hartman era. I often catch myself cheering on Kansas State.

Maybe with Missouri gone and if Weber does a good job, the rivalry can be rekindled. The Iowa State rivalry seems to be growing in intensity.

jaybate 6 years, 7 months ago

What this team could really use is Wayne's game--a big strong guy that can stay on a spot. It the only thing missing from the team. I don't know how long Self can finesse around this.

HawksWin 6 years, 7 months ago

ralster, thanks for the image - can't stop laughing... And, like your argument.

KULA 6 years, 7 months ago

I'll take this team over any of Bill's "Wayne" teams. Bill kinda wasted Wayne.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 7 months ago

When EJ is on his game, this year's team is nearly flawless.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

Wasted /ˈwāstid/ Adjective

  1. having smoked some really good ****

Synonyms: Straight

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

Thanks! Actually I think 'wasted' is an adverb in this example. Back to Grammar 101.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd have to look it up I guess, but not sure if any of those teams scored 13 points in a half against an otherwise winless conference team.

KULA 6 years, 7 months ago

I just remember the frustration of watching the 05 team struggle to score in Bill's offense. They started the year ranked #1, struggled late, and--well, you know the rest.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 7 months ago

Definitely a matter of the team learning the coach's culture.

The antithesis was EJ being asked about the pressure of not being the class to lose the Big12 championship streak. "That's nothing new. I've heard that all 4 years I've been here." Its a culture thing.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

David Padgett wasn't thrilled with the new offence either and took his game elsewhere. Wayne stayed with it and had his 2 most productive years after an injury plagued 2nd season.

KansasComet 6 years, 7 months ago

Is it possible for KU to have three players on the First Team All Big XII Team? I know that Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore are locks, but what about Travis Releford? We have not dropped a game this year, when Travis Releford has scored 10 or more points. He often draws the opposing teams best scorer and does a great job on defense. No one finishes at the rim better in transition. I truly hope Travis Releford gets some well deserved recognition.

jhox 6 years, 7 months ago

He won't be there but probably deserves it. I heard John Sundvold on the radio say he would pick Rele as the conference player of the year for all he brings to the team. It's hard to argue that, though my vote goes to Withey. He just affects the game in so many ways. For every block he gets he probably discourages two shots in the paint from even being taken.

texashawk10 6 years, 7 months ago

Releford is definitely deserving of consideration and probably going end up second team all Big 12. My first team would be McLemore, Withey, McGruder, Smart, and Osby.

Ross Cargo 6 years, 7 months ago

With regard to Tulsa and SMU splitting the series, isn't UAB (J Haase) in that conference? If so, how did they do against Tulsa & SMU?

Steve Gantz 6 years, 7 months ago

I hate to say it, but go on yahoo sports, or ESPN and look it up. It'll take about a minute.

Ross Cargo 6 years, 7 months ago

1) I was really trying to hint to LJW that there is another KU connection in the same league and that maybe if they start an article like that, they could finish up the thought. 2) I was running out the door from the breakfast table and didn't have time. At work, I cannot post or anything (blocks).

ps Now that i'm home and have time, I see that Haase is the coach of UAB, just as I thought, and UAB did play both Tulsa and SMU.

FearlessJayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

It's crunch time. Just keep focused, play with intensity, have fun and forget about what K-State or anybody else does. The team that is going to come out on top is the one that can do this best.

Tim Orel 6 years, 7 months ago

I think either way the Hawks will show up to play. They won't want to settle for a tie with KState.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

Baylor needs this win to have a shot of getting into the NCAA Tournament, so they also will be motivated. I think we win going away but I do wish we played first.

Steve Corder 6 years, 7 months ago

The weekend games of KU and North Carolina will tell us a lot. NC has got their game together and seem to be peaking at the best time. KU can show us how tough and focused they are as they finish these conference away games. If both teams win on Saturday I think they both get back to the Final Four.

yates33333 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm really going to miss Kevin Young. I hope his family stays in Lawrence, and he hangs around the program in his off seasons from the NBA.

Bedore bedone. The game really was played in Dallas.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 7 months ago

kD, allow me to join you on this. Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina are the foundation of all of college basketball. We have the inventor of the game and the inventor of modern coaching on our resumer and the greatest coaches of the other two programs are Kansas boys, so like it or not, we are family.

I also totally agree with you on the automatic bid to the reigning champion. As crappy a season as UK is having by their standards, there are at least two dozen teams that couldn't tie UK's sneakers that will get into the tournament. At the very least, if the reigning champion is on the bubble or beyond, give them a chance by making them a play-in team!!

yates33333 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't think John Wooden was from Kansas. I also don't care whether Kentucky loses all of its games or whatever. I just hope they never beat KU again.

wrwlumpy 6 years, 7 months ago

Wooden worked for Phogg in the summer helping to build the football stadium.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 7 months ago

Wooden was a Boilermaker, 1st ever three time All-American and national champion.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 7 months ago

Slam dunk KD! It does make us look insecure. And I'd bet there's KU fans going on UKs sites and returning the favor.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 7 months ago

kD .. +1 on that. It's an odd, somewhat insecure pasttime. I've made a few posts similar to yours in the past. There are a handful or so of elite programs, and UK is one of them. And they still happen to have that ring on their finger from last season, which is valid through April 8, 2013.

DanR 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't obsess about UK, but I snicker like a sixth grader when people refer to them as Kensucky.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 7 months ago

I started obsessing about their failure when they started hiring sleezeballs to coach and win at all costs. As long as Missouri borders Kansas and as long as Dr Disgacey McSleeze is in Lexington, I'm cheering for them both to fail miserably.

texashawk10 6 years, 7 months ago

So you started obsessing about Kentucky back in the early 50's when UK was forced to cancel their 1952-53 season because their point shaving scandal?

Ryan Michael 6 years, 7 months ago

Elijah always has the best quotes and I'm really gonna miss him after this season. The way he handled his slump, and the way he's always bled crimson and blue... I'll be following that young man wherever he ends up. Whether it's Europe or the NBA.

I'm also probably ten years his senior, but I could learn a thing or two from him on handling adversity and pressure. Nothing but respect.

RockChalkDoc 6 years, 7 months ago

  • 15 At the beginning of the year, EJ was already in my Top 10 favorite Jayhawks. Now, Top 5. He is just a great person and loves to wear the Crimson and Blue. What a great spokesperson for the University of Kansas!

Tony Bandle 6 years, 7 months ago

Kansas University is only 14 victories behind Kentucky, 9 victories ahead of North Carolina but, most importantly, ONLY 1875 VICTORIES AHEAD OF CHICAGO STATE!!!

I felt it critical to remind the Jayhawks to be ever alert to all their pursuers in the team total victory race!!

Steve Gantz 6 years, 7 months ago

Chicago St is exhibit 1AA of there being about 200 too many NCAA division I basketball team. They don't draw fans, they don't win, conferences have shunned them, they don't recruit any decent players, but they get to waste taxpayer money upholding this farce of a program at division I status.

Ths best basketball played at Chicago St. is the Chicago Public league games that regularly use their nice gym.

JayhawkRock78 6 years, 7 months ago

Ryan, I'm with you 100% on EJ's mental toughness and maturity. Heaven knows I was somewhere in my 30's before I grew up.

Woody Cragg 6 years, 7 months ago

Random ramblings...

Take some notes Rio..."I'm not a little boy anymore."

Also interesting that unless Bill's comments were out of context, he failed to mention "the coach in Manhattan's" name; me either. Almost as much as misery, I hate to listen to the EX Illini coach's squeaky, whiney, and no fidelity sounding voice and change the channel immediately upon encountering his soundbites. Don't mind the program that badly, just him.

And, I have thought the same about Wayne also JB. We're short that one big stud in the paint. He was one of the best ever at KU when he played at full strength. But the 4 spot by committee has worked better than I thought it would, and Kevin has become a force most of us never imagined possible. The screen on Marcus Smart was awsome, even if he had to put some rocks in his pockets. I posted a couple of days back that I wouldn't at all be surprised to see him as a grad assistant for HCBE next year. To that I would only say...Welcome Back!

Tony Bandle 6 years, 7 months ago

From the "GOD I HOPE THIS RUMOR IS WRONG" category.

The word out of Plano, Texas is that, based on what Kentucky has done this year, Wiggins and Randle have decided to pair up and join the Harrisons, Johnson, Lee and Young since there is no one on the team right now that can beat them out of PT.

They figure high exposure and a sure national championship will follow if they become Widlcats. To me, the biggest challenge for PT will be from the guys that have already committed, not anyone that's staying unless it's Goodwin!!

Someone out there, please tell me this is a crock!!!

jaybate 6 years, 7 months ago

I would tell you it were a crock had the LJW not just run the Landen story to prepared for just such news. :-(

DanR 6 years, 7 months ago

Six new guys who all think they're going to be starters, along with the remnants of the uncoachable group Cal already has. What could possibly go wrong?

edit... meant to reply to Oak

Jack Wilson 6 years, 7 months ago

I would seriously doubt the rumor. My focus is only on Randle .. he's the guy we need. Self has made a huge recruiting investment in him.

Math: Add in Cauley-Stein, Wiltjer, and maybe one other returning player, that would be 10 if both went.

Position Availability: Look at the number of post guys, and 3s. Post - Lee, Johnson, Cauley-Stein, Wiltger. If Wiggins comes, then Young and Wiggins at the 3.

Ego: While Randle seems well grounded, he certainly will not want to be another fish in the UK freshman pond. He can be the focus at the other schools on his list.

Offense: For Randle, UK style of play would not highlight his skill set as would KU. UK tends to focus on dribble penetration, and a sped up style of play. Here, he can play the true 4, he can play pick and pop, he'd be in a high low many times, and he'd get opportunities on the perimeter.

Can't completely discount. Logic says no. However, when Telep interviewed Randle prior to Christmas he said that challenging for a national title was his most important factor, and the player he wanted to play with most was Andrew Harrison. That would favor Oak's rumor.

Telep, just days ago, when asked about Randle's choice said "Watch out for Kansas." And that may be worth zero.

I'm not feeling "good" about it, but I do think we have an excellent shot on Randle.

jaybate 6 years, 7 months ago

OK, HEM, I will now go into my positive thinking mode.

Randle cometh.

Randle cometh.

Randle cometh.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 7 months ago

HEM..your last sentence is hilarious. If we indeed have an excellent shot at Julius but you don't feel good about it, then you must feel "great"!!! :)

Joe Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

Randle himself said not to believe the rumors. They don't want to share that much spotlight. They won't get the pt with all the talent. Calipari will screw his players to get his "dream team."

The Landen article has nothing to do with Randle. Please stop reading into stories, timing, and rumors. I'm content with who we have at KU, but wait until he announces.

Alex Peekeaton 6 years, 7 months ago

Being a UK fan, I wouldn't read much into the rumor. I think Randle will sign with KU because UK is already loaded at the #4 & #5 spots, and Wiggins will sign with UK. Although the trump card in Randle's services may be the chance to play with Andrew Harrison.

bradynsdad 6 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for coming on here and actually being an objective voice from another fanbase. Most are obnoxious trolls. My question is, what positions do the twins and wiggins play? Also what do you think happens of poythres does come back?

Alex Peekeaton 6 years, 7 months ago

Poythress isn't coming back to UK since he is a top 15 pick right now per Chad Ford's mock draft. Although Poythress isn't ready for the NBA, this will be a very weak draft and sticking around another year won't improve his draft status since the 2014 draft will be loaded. Andrew Harrison is a true point guard (6'5) while his twin brother Aaron will be the shooting guard. Wiggins will play small forward. The #6 recruit James Young can player either shooting guard or small forward and will be backing up Aaron Harrison & Andrew Wiggins (if he signs) - similar to the role Darius Miller played last year.

yates33333 6 years, 7 months ago

If you have ever watched the Harrisons play in regular games I don't think you would want to be their teammate. If you known anyone in the Houston area interested in local BB ask them.

Alex Peekeaton 6 years, 7 months ago

I guess that is why both Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle have come out and said they want to play with the Twins!!!

texashawk10 6 years, 7 months ago

Houston guy here yates is referring to and while Randle and Wiggins may like the Harrison twins personally, and why they say they wouldn't mind playing with them, the reality is that the Harrison twins are very selfish players. Next year's UK team may be the most talented team Calipari has ever had, but UK fans should also be very worried about team chemistry next year being even worse than it is this year.

Woody Cragg 6 years, 7 months ago

The only crock is that they may be under the impression that a NC will be theirs at UK. Other than that, they only care about their own "exposure" for draft status, & have no clue that their developement will surely stunt "under the influence" of a Rod Strickland & the squid. And I don't limit that progress to only BB either. Without the vision of the big picture, it's quite possible they are so full of themselves they would at all not fit here anyway. When I read that Randle would announce on ESPN, my suspisions heightened. His blog also made me raise my eyebrows. Could we use them? Is a frog waterproof? Of course, but it's not a fit like Ben has been for the betterment of the team, I say just go where the wind blows boys, Cal's done a stellar job this year hasn't he? Good luck with that.

BainDread 6 years, 7 months ago

Has any player who has "announced" on ESPN ever chosen KU?

Woody Cragg 6 years, 7 months ago

Personally I think Cal's coaching ability peaked out last year & even that is in question with the blue chippers he managed. Think about it-with that talent level in each recruiting class is he challenged in his endeavors? I mean really, what is the challenge if you have the best available players? Has he ever coached a kid for 3 or 4 years that turned into a really good pro? I dunno, but I don't think so in recent years. If he were trying to teach them the ways of maturity & life, would Strickland still be on the staff? That, I really question.Whatever. If kids want to follow WW Wes's breadcrumbs to Lexington, then que sera, sera. Dodging bullets all the time has to get old after a while.

Joe Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

global- Personally, I find it interesting that Calipari hung his team out to dry for not being "cohesive" after the Georgia game. All his teams were "cohesive" at this point. He totally blamed them for not being "cohesive." He never once said, "I am the coach and that's my fault." This proves Calipari cannot coach subpar teams and players. He expects to teach them a few plays and then use their talents to win. It's too late in the season to use this kind of psycho-coaching babble. I hope all recruits took note of his piss poor attitude concerning his team. If he was half the coach, he would've had this team turned around, clicking on the right cylinders, and winning. They lost and are out of the NCAA Tourney. Calipari is not the coach many have claimed. "He has a NC and that proves he is a great coach." I could've taken his team and won a NC last year. I feel for his players playing for a failed coach. He failed the team and let them down. Archie Goodwin's interview was telling. Coach Cal is a failure in spite of the NC. There is no excuse for a coach making his salary to have such a season. He could at least be in the top 3-4 in the SEC. Let's see Calipari recruit 3-4 star recruits and mold them into conference champions or even NC. Sorry he hasn't proven a anything to me and I know a little bit about bball. It's funny because there are coaches with less talent that have done far more, for way way less money.
Now queue the all the NBA recruits from uk since his arrival. They made Calipari the coach he is today, called hype. He did nothing for them. Don't tell me he prepared them for the NBA. He did absolutely nothing for any of them. Queue the TCU, Bradley, UNI, VCU and any other losses you want to throw in the argument against KU, but better to lose to these teams in a year and make the tourney, than have a losing season and miss the tourney completely. I apologize to all the uk fans that are good and descent, but all the others are in denial. Self>Calipari any day of the week. Queue the 2012 NC, but any coach would've won that game with the crazy talent on the court that year.

jaybate 6 years, 7 months ago

"Do's and Don'ts for Jayhawks Trying to Stay Alive in Waco After the KU Beat Down of Faylor"

Part 1

~Don't tell people you are doing a documentary on William Cowper Brann who published "The Iconoclast" in Waco and who shortly after publishing an 1890s story about Baylor officials importing South American children for house servants was shot in the back by a Baylor supporter. Also keep to yourself that the estimable Brann, though back shot, turned, drew his pistol, and shot and killed his attacker. Do talk about how Brann then died from his wounds.

~Don't tell people you are there to shoot a documentary about the "Reservation," a late 19th Century red light district regulated by the city of Waco. Do ask them where to find the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame.

~Don't call Dr. Pepper Dr. Regular. Do ask if anyone really drinks them at 10, 2 and 4?

~Don't say you are opposed to including the Waco Mammoth Site in the National Park System because you are against big gubmint. Do say you are for cutting school lunches for poor kids because you are against big gubmint.

~Don't say the Branch Davidian women and children did not deserve to be burned to death, whether or not you believe unsubstaniated claims that thermite bombs were used. Do say the mass murder of 114 Davidians shows how far equal rights for women and children have come.

~Don't say Waco is nothing more than a bridge with a town attached to it. Say Waco is a bridge with a beautiful town and river walk attached to it.

~Don't say Waco never did anything for you. Say "god bless Waco for giving us all Leon Jaworski, who prosecuted Nazis at Nuremberg and later became the special prosecutor that brought down Dick Nixon.

jaybate 6 years, 7 months ago

It was a very dark event. Only the blackest satire fits it still. This is a lesson Kurt Vonnegut taught well after he survived Slaughterhouse 5.

yates33333 6 years, 7 months ago

You're amazing. How do you know about W.C. Brann? Wow!!!

jaybate 6 years, 7 months ago

Part 2

~Don't praise Waco for producing highly influential left wing sociologist C. Wright Mills. Do praise Waco for the beauty of the Brazos and Bosque Rivers.

~Don't talk about the 1916 torture, mutilation, and burning to death of African American teenager Jesse Washington by a mob of 15,000 that seized Washington from a court house after he had been convicted of raping a Caucasian-American Woman. Do talk to them about Big Red being the other soft drink invented in Waco.

~Don't call them fundamentalist necks without culture. Do remind them that they produced Willie Nelson, Terrence Mallick, legendary record producer Tom Wilson, and T. Berry Brazelton who saved a generation of parents from raising kids without an owners manual.

~Talk about how much you are against welfare, gubmint spending and how much you are for private enterprise and economic productivity. Don't mention that 10 of Waco's 16 largest employers are educational entities, health care systems, correctional facilities and government employers.

~Do talk about how nice it is that Baylor has discovered basketball. Don't talk about how KU has just kicked Baylor a new one.

(Note: The source for most of the above [i.e., Parts 1 and 2 of this droll attempt at relevance to the upcoming KU-Baylor game] was a Waco wikipedia page and of course, wikipedia must always be viewed as, well, maybe accurate and maybe not.)

Marcia Parsons 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm guessing this will be senior night for Baylor. I hope that isn't an added incentive for them.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 7 months ago

I would guess the best incentive for the Baylor players.....if they beat Kansas, Scott Drew gets fired!!!

Woody Cragg 6 years, 7 months ago

One more Don't...

Don't pronounce it Wacko as some of us refer to it, even if it is politically correct.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 7 months ago

The word on the Harrison twins is that they are great players...but they only pass the ball to players who look like them!! :)

kureader 6 years, 7 months ago

Well, they could have printed t-shirts that said, "3rd best college basketball team in Kansas"!

texashawk10 6 years, 7 months ago

I can't wait for the DVD if they end up sharing the conference title.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 7 months ago

um do you have a source for the Randle thing?

bradynsdad 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow!!!! Nothing like celebrating mediocrity. Why would they do this?

niemoth 6 years, 7 months ago

Because they don't win any real titles so they make them up

niemoth 6 years, 7 months ago

They need to get some t shirt sales somewhere. It's like Missouri selling t shirts for their first ever sec win. Never mind that they lost their first 4

Nathan Scholl 6 years, 7 months ago

Wayne Simien. One of the all time KU greats. A great player and an even better person.

Steve Grimm 6 years, 7 months ago

Interesting comments from a 2014 Kentucky recruit about Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins. In short: They are both going to sign with Kentucky. Julius is "a lock". Granted, it is a high school recruit talking but, since they network a lot and don't have the restrictions in communicating to media like the schools do, sometimes it is more accurate than media speculation. Prior to this comment, most all folks were thinking KU was leading in Randle's consideration. No idea where Wiggins is leaning.

Anyway, for what it is worth: http://blogs.courier-journal.com/recruiting/2013/03/08/qa-derek-willis-talks-andrew-wiggins-julius-randle-aaron-gordon-dominique-hawkins/

Kevin Huffman 6 years, 7 months ago

Reading that article.

Let's say that kid's right.

Any chance that we lose out on Randle but actually get Wiggins?!?!?

I know people were leaning toward Randle, but this wouldn't look too shabby:

Tharpe / Frankamp

Selden / B.Greene / R. Adams (if he sticks around)

A. Wiggins / White III

P. Ellis / Traylor

L.Lucas / Embiid

Our last recruit to do great's more of a quiet introverted, good kid in McLemore.

A. Wiggins reminds me of that a lot more than Randle. Randle seems more like the Morris's & T.Rob and the like.

Wouldn't hurt having either or both, but if what they were exposed to is the success of our recent team I could see the appeal for Wiggins almost even more especially if Randle doesn't commit to KU.

Would open things up for him to penetrate which is what I surmise is what he's best at.

swig - in what I read out of that - I'm not sure that I agree that, that recruit thinks that they're BOTH going to sign with UK. He only really sounded positive about Randle. But people were feeling that way almost a lot more back in the fall....could still just be going off of "those" feelings.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm .. Of course, I'd take it with Wiggins.

But the Traylor/Lucase thing gives me .. pause.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 7 months ago

Edit .. feel like an old man. Double-posted.

bradynsdad 6 years, 7 months ago

Remember this too. Lets say Noel leaves but everyone else comes back. Who's parents are going to pay for school outright? A team only has so many scholarships.

Joe Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

swig- I don't know a writer that is too objective when it comes to uk and Calipari. I read a little of this where Calipari passed Hawkins in the hallway and "grabbed him by the arm" and said, "good game" ?
I'm sorry doesn't that immediately strike anyone as odd, but me? This is Calipari's recruiting practices and bumps into players all the time. Self, goes to Prestonwood and watches Randle. He then speaks to Randle's coach after the game. He leaves well before Randle exits the locker room. Am I missing something here? Is not Hawkins a recruit? Is Calipari even allowed to talk to him let alone "grab" him by the arm? WOW! I'm sure there's a little recruiting loophole I'm overlooking that will justify this "bump." haha

Joe Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

I get it...the kid signed with uk. I guess Calipari can touch him all he wants. He pretty much touches any recruit he wants at this point.

Alex Peekeaton 6 years, 7 months ago

Why don't you ask Bill Self about running into John Wall after a game when he wasn't suppose to be talking to any players...

"I'm not supposed to be talking to you, and you know that, but I just wanted to tell you that was a great win."

KansasComet 6 years, 7 months ago

It appears to me that both will make an informed decision, that's all we can really hope for.

Kevin Huffman 6 years, 7 months ago

I have to agree with others that I don't remember ANY ESPN-announced kid coming our way.

Going all the way back to Baron Davis. Terrence Jones, Tony Parker.

Honestly, can't remember who else spurned us in that way....there's just been too many.

And those who do commit to us don't usually do the big spectacle....lower-key.

REALLY feeling like we're not going to get EITHER guy now.

Having said that I'd be in shock if Wiggins went to UK. I think Randle will, but I SERIOUSLY believe that Wiggins is going to go to UNC in order to dog J.Parker over at Duke! :) With Randle declaring 1st, he'll see too much of a crowded frontcourt at UK so I would think that he goes to U of A, which is crowded in its' own right but not quite as much.

We NEVER do get these guys.

I think a No. 12 guy (Selden)'s about the max. we can expect unless the highly rated player already had a HUGE affinity to Kansas and/or actually IS from Kansas.

We can forget Tyus Jones & Jahlil Okafor for next year too - expect them to go to Duke.

Get serious about something like 23rd ranked Jor. McLaughlin for PG & 26th ranked JaKeenan Gant (GA boy that maybe B. Greene can pitch for us) for SF/PF. We get a twosome of those two if we don't do anything with those open scholarships this offseason & I think those would be good moves. Having said that I wouldn't mind 41st ranked Josh Perkins for Pt. or even Nairns - though I think he'd be a bit more of a "project".

We need to be MAJOR players in this ~ 12 - 50 or 60 range.

We're really not good w/ the OAD thing anyway. But 3AD's....we're plenty good with them. You'll find a LOT of them in this little bit later range.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 7 months ago

"We need to be MAJOR players in this ~ 12 - 50 or 60 range."

Brilliant. We need to live just outside the OAD range, to about 60 .. pretty much like our current recruiting class, but for no-rank Frank.

But Randle is a "need." A perfect OAD stop-gap.

Also, Selby announced on ESPN .. not the "at the table deal" but on a basketball court after a game.

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/10704/josh-selby-picks-kansas-plans-short-stay

Joe Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

Let's get the 3-4 star and watch Self work his magic. However, getting JR not only completes the class as a pf, but also, gets us a OAD. It's okay to get at least one per year if possible. I don't want the top 10 every year, just one. I love watching Self and Co develop these guys into players and young men.

SaltLakeHawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Dear World of Lawrence Journal,

Please stop your stubborn, disrespectful practice of calling former KU players "ex" players. It's idiotic. Especially in this case. "Ex-KU great" sounds like someone who fell from greatness. OJ Simpson is an "ex great." Wayne Simien is simply a "KU great."

Knock it off.

Sincerely,

Every-"Kansas-University"-fan-with-more-than-2-grams-of-brain-matter.

All Non-Fiction. Malice.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 7 months ago

Does winning out earn the #1 overall seed? Any guesses?

Jack Wilson 6 years, 7 months ago

By saying "this whole enterprise is all his", you mean the University of Kansas, right?

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd rather have 3 more years w/AW3 than one w/Wiggans. Competition for PT will be intense already.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we should all help out and sign their petition!

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