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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ready to roll: Jayhawks make themselves at home

Kansas forward Perry Ellis exits the team bus after it arrived at the Westin Crown Center on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis exits the team bus after it arrived at the Westin Crown Center on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Mo.

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Kansas forward Perry Ellis exits the team bus after it arrived at the Westin Crown Center on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Mo.

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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self talks with media members after the Jayhawks' arrival at the Westin Crown Center on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas University’s basketball team bus pulled in front of the Westin Crown Center Hotel about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The Jayhawks checked in for what they hope will be a four-night stay.

“It was a tough travel day. It probably took 45 minutes instead of 40 coming over here today. I tell you what ... the traffic in Lawrence is awful,” KU coach Bill Self said with a smile.

His Jayhawks were rewarded for their 29-5 season with a No. 1 seed in the South Regional and second- and possible third-round games exceedingly close to home. KU will meet Western Kentucky (20-15) at 8:50 p.m. Friday in Sprint Center. A victory would mean a Sunday contest against North Carolina or Villanova, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 a week from Friday in Dallas.

“I’d much rather play a team you match up well against than play in your time zone,” Self said. “I think it (playing close to home) has helped us in some instances, some it hasn’t been great for us. Sometimes when you play close to home, especially this close, there are a lot more potential distractions that creep in there.

“Sometimes when you play far away, you can eliminate a lot of those distractions. Still, I think the positives far outweigh the negatives when you talk about the familiarity with the court, the arena and of course, hopefully a great fan base.”

Self took his players and assistants out for dinner at Capital Grille on Wednesday night. They’ll hold a shoot-around open to the public (admission is free) from 5:10 to 5:50 p.m. today in Sprint Center, then hang out at the hotel all day Friday while awaiting game time.

“They will not be walking around downtown or the mall (Crown Center) much at all,” Self said. “We’ll have a nice dinner tonight. After that, we’ll probably spend all our time at least on their room floor or banquet room (meeting) area. We will not be amongst the people too much.

“It’s a business trip,” Self added. “We’ll have fun tonight. Business should be fun if you win. We rarely go out as a group and dine ever. During the NCAA Tournament, usually you are going in two days early, (so) the first night is probably a pretty good night to do that. That’s what we’ll do ... get them out of the hotel. After that, we’ll have them pretty much on lockdown.”

Self is not a fan of Friday’s 8:50 p.m. game time. His Jayhawks play the next-to-last game of the opening round.

“I don’t like the late start on Friday night,” Self said. “I guess if we’re playing in it, I should love it. The late start on Friday night is not a big deal unless you play the first game on Sunday afternoon. Then it becomes a big deal.

“The things that are mandatory that take place after the game (interviews, drug testing) ... you look at having dinner at 1 a.m. or 1:30 and not going to bed until 3. Then it’s a short day the next day, and you potentially have to get up at 8 in the morning Sunday. That’s the part where Friday/Sunday is a disadvantage as opposed to Thursday/Saturday because Saturday night is one of the big nights teams play. Usually on Sundays, most of the games are done before ‘60 Minutes’ (6 p.m.).”

Self gave an early scouting report on Western Kentucky.

“They are really athletic, fast. They can play four guards around a 6-foot-5, 6-6 post man. That’s a little bit different and obviously something we don’t see a lot in our league,” Self said. “Ray Harper (WKU coach) is a good coach; that (Sun Belt) league is good. They are 9-1 under Ray in the postseason (in two years). The last time we won it all in 2008, they were in the Sweet 16. You don’t see many 16 seeds in the Sweet 16 five years ago.”

Self said his team was healthy entering the weekend.

“We’re good,” he said.

He hopes the Jayhawks pick up where they left off last weekend in winning three games at the Big 12 Tournament in Sprint Center.

“I thought we played pretty well last week over here,” Self said. “I thought we played miserably in Waco (in 23-point loss to Baylor in final regular-season game), so we’re still a work in progress, and we’re up and down with a lot more ups than downs. We’ve had a good week of practice and a good week of preparation, so I think our guys — it doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to play well — but I think they’ve put themselves in a position to be prepared to play well.”

Cheater talk

USA Today conducted a roundtable discussion with 12 active coaches who have won NCAA titles. Wednesday’s question: “Have you ever lost a recruit because you would not cheat?”

Self’s answer: “I really think that it is pretty sorry for anybody to say — how’s the right way to put this? — in recruiting what frustrates me a lot of the time is when you don’t get a kid, the feeling is either he was not good enough or somebody cheated to get him. And I think that is a terrible attitude to have as a coach. Sometimes you just get beat. I don’t know that I ever have, to be quite candid with you. There have been numerous rumors. There are rumors about everybody on everything. Rumors don’t mean that it is remotely true or not. I cannot tell you right now honestly that I know for a fact that people have bought kids we recruited, or cheated on kids we recruited.”

Roy Williams’ answer: “I have made a lot of decisions in my life to not get involved in scenarios that I thought were going to get ugly at the end. There is no question that some decisions that have been made surprised me, and I guess that is a better way that I would like to answer that.”

Larry Brown’s answer: “I would agree that I think there’s a lot of bad stuff happening out there. There’s no doubt in my mind we lost kids. It’s going to happen … So many of the kids we recruit have nothing. I have seen kids who have children now. Kids 18 years old and have a baby. It’s hard to look at people and judge what they do. The more I see it, I don’t want every kid to make a lot of money. But I want every kid who comes to SMU to be able to go to school like an SMU student. Or every kid at KU can go to school like a KU student. So if a kid can go out and eat on a Friday night, or go to a movie because his parents are able to provide that, every student-athlete should have that ability. To go beyond that, I don’t think is right.”

The article is available at http://usat.ly/160qrI3

Comments

bradynsdad 5 years, 11 months ago

Sometimes I think Cal does tell his recruits to make a big deal of their announcements. To make sure more people see it. Think about our players his year, Embiid, Greene, Selden, Francamp or Mason didn't have a big press conference with ESPN. Do I think Cal is a cheat? Absolutely. How big of a cheater? Who knows. Here is what I do know. He has brought in countless top recruits and still only has one title. Which by the way only had two starting freshman not five like people think. Will anyone ever provide hard evidence of Cal cheating? Doubtful unless he burns a kid. No prize recruit is worth dragging our schools name through the mud.

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 11 months ago

3 freshmen starters, Teague, MKG and AD. Also 2 of the top3 draft picks, it's not like these were 3 top10 recruits, 2 of them were top 2 or 3 and an epic top 2 or 3.

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 11 months ago

So by brady and jross' comments maybe Self should withdraw offers to anyone doing a TV deal? I though players called their recruiters either right before or right after these deals go down. I am kind of on board with you guys that the winning coach knows beforehand, so Self should just withdraw the offer if he doesn't know beforehand and make a big deal about not wanting a recruit that needs this much publicity.

JayDocMD 5 years, 11 months ago

I've been thinking about the way recruits announce - specifically KU recruits. I'm pondering a slightly different angle than Brady and jross.

What if the type of kid that clicks with KU and Bill Self's "tough" no nonsense style isn't the same type of kid that likes to toot his own horn and call a great deal of attention to himself. While there are no absolutes, and there have been exceptions, I think for the most part the kids that have committed to KU in the recent past are the ones that are ready to go to work and are more interested in being a part of a winning team instead of being The Man. Those type of kids don't need a table full of hats.

Ted Hume 5 years, 11 months ago

that's something we don't hear much about, but is definitely true. The set-up for many of these events is often secretly coordinated with the program, theyve chosen- on some level it's at least done with some communication- it is promotion after all. Did Cal know what Randle's decision was prior to the announcement? Of course he did. I'll go one further: Did Self already know Randle's decision on Wednesday morning? Of course he did. Coaches make an extraordinary investment in top recruits and make it known to them that they want to open and honest- this is Self talking- and out of respect let me know that you've decided to go elsewhere before one of these press conferences happens. Self lets the kid know that it's only man-to man, no one else needs to know- but that he needs to know- it's only fair and respectful given the relationship that's built up over the long recruitment process. So yes, by announcement time, the key parties involved have been told and everyone can move on... Bill Self is not left watching ESPN in order to find out. OH, right, and yes Cal's cheating operation is probably every bit as sophisticated as Lance Armstrong's

Michael Bratisax 5 years, 11 months ago

"Cal's cheating operation is probably every bit as sophisticated as Lance Armstrong's"

I couldn't agree more tedHume.

Michael Bratisax 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who is a little miffed over Randall and Kentucky. Normally I would just say that the recruit thought he would do better in Calipari's system.

But here you have a Kentucky team that is bounced in the first round of the NIT and three possible OADs decide to come back. There are going to be several highly regarded recruits or current players who will only get limited PT.

Hopefully, I don't sound like one of Aesop's fables but it just doesn't pass the smell test.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

brady...I was just thinking that today. The whole hat ceremony thing. Makes it so that its not just a kid PICKING Kentucky, but also Cal would get the benefit of seeing which specific teams--major recruiting competitors like Kansas--get REJECTED. Punk move.

I do agree that no recruit is worth staining a good reputation; however, there is a lot more Kansas can do. I'm not sure Coach Self has Calipari's silver tongue (it's forked, but still), but Self is promoting a brand that sells itself. Problem is, there is a lot Coach Self can't control. Like better student housing. I made this point on a thread yesterday. Unfortunately you have to portray an image to kids nowadays. I mean Kansas does it. The pregame videos...the whole pregame routine, in fact. Why are we so loathe to have better housing facilities? I dont get it. It makes an impression on kids. And it's completely LEGAL according to NCAA rules. Most programs dont have the money (Kentuckys investment was somewhere between 7 and 10 million to house the men's bball team alone--but thats an investment in their cash cow program) or the tradition to justify it. Let's face it: if you're Lehigh you're not going to drop that kind of cheddar on your basketball team. But don't tell Duke that.

I say get it done while it's legal, before the omnipotent NCAA rules committee makes in illegal, and Kentucky remains the only top-tier program with those kind of facilities and gets to retain them because of some grandfather clause.

Dissenters will say we don't need to rely on one and dones like that. The hell we dont. We wouldnt be where we are today without Ben McLemore...and all respect to our group of seniors. Last years championship game is not so far removed to forget the lesson of a crop of OADs versus veterans. And before Randle made his announcement, no one was arguing, "No...we dont want him. He'll be gone in a year." Julius chooses Kansas and ironically he is derided while the virtues of veteran players are extolled.

Now dont get me wrong. I think the best strategy is EXACTLY what Coach Self is doing. Build the core of your team around perennial veteran players, and when you can get a couple of OADs to complement that core. But that only works if you dont miss out on those players.

Jayhawker Towers is NOT a competitive housing facility. It hurts us, and Cal is not cheating to take advantage of loopholes and whatever the NCAA rules committee either says is allowable, fails to address, or doesn't police. WE NEED A NEW HOUSING FACILITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

justinesmydog 5 years, 11 months ago

There is a strong counter agreement to changing housing. The US Army spent much more than 7 mil upgrading with new barracks at ft Riley. The new buildings are great and look awesome, but they changed the way Soldiers live and interact with each other. The guys have more room, but the extra room segregates them from each other. KU's facilities are far superior to kentucky's new building because of the functionality of the campus. It's essential for the player to want to be around his team. Having a better gym than apartment is really important. Young men go to college in the Midwest because of our work ethic, not the great apartment. Self proves every year that consistent performance is based on getting guys to work really hard and god given talent - not just pure talent.

Displayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Obviously, you never lived in Jayhawker Towers! I lived in both Towers A & D in the 80's, and they were roach motels back then. We turned on a blacklight one night and still saw the remnants of peace signs sprayed on the walls back in the 70's. In this day and age of instant gratification, the recruit doesn't care about functionality and interaction.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

There is a strong counter point to your counter point justine. If the way players interact with each other can be changed by their housing, maybe that interaction can be changed for the better. In free time, it doesnt matter where kids are. They needn't be together 24-7. As Calipari showed in his video, all the kids ever need is in ONE PLACE. You needn't worry about kids being "too spread out". They will find each other. They see enough of each other at practice and meal times, and I assure you that the bond of basketball ties them together as friends stronger than you know. There is no down-side to a new housing facility, viewed through the lens of comraderie. The only strong counterpoint there is is the question of fairness to other sports programs. I say start with basketball...see it as an investment. Get the recruits, sustain the program's greatness, and pledge to improve non-revenue generating sports' accomodations in the future. Lock the men's basketball team down FIRST!

jhox 5 years, 11 months ago

Good point, JRoss. I recall back in the late 70's or early 80's Kentucky built another house specifically for the basketball team, and the NCAA made them shut it down by implementing a rule that didn't allow athletes to live in a facility that was significantly better than the housing of the general student population (or some such rule). In any event, I was surprised when I saw their new facility because I thought that NCAA rule still existed.

But it's not all about their living arrangements. Least we forget the Chicago Sun Times' allegations against UK and a star recruit and his Dad of 2 years ago. I won't go into specifics because the website cops didn't like it the last time I did. The family and UK threatened suit against the paper if they didn't retract. They stood by the story but did remove it from their website. No suit was ever filed. Wonder why? I also wonder why the NCAA never did a full blown investigation?

cklarock 5 years, 11 months ago

"Having a better gym than apartment is really important."

That is an excellent point.

jhox 5 years, 11 months ago

I do recall Coach Self, as part of his new contract (in 2008 I believe) negotiated improvements to Jayhawk Towers for his players. I wonder if those were ever completed?

texashawk10 5 years, 11 months ago

The last one should've finished up in time for this year. The changes made were new carpet, new windows, fresh paint, new wiring, wifi capabilities, and I'm not sure what else.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 5 years, 11 months ago

The renovated towers are very nice. They have their own full kitchen (with smaller appliances but still an oven and stove), fake granite counter tops. Seriously they are pretty nice.

Michael Bratisax 5 years, 11 months ago

Isn't there some requirement for every program to have a certain percentage of graduates? Calipari must be using a lot of walk-ons just for that reason. Not a bad deal for the walk-ons, free front row seats, traveling with the team and time to obtain enough knowledge for a possible future career as a coach.

deepind 5 years, 11 months ago

I may be wrong... but I am fairly positive that walk-ons don't count towards the mandatory graduation rate set by the NCAA. They consider the results (GPA and graduation rates) of scholarship players only. Having said that, I am sure Calipari would have already taken that into account. It can be a pretty simple scheme like this: give out the minimum number of scholarships to "GPA players" and save the rest for the actual players who are mostly OADs.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

I stayed at the Jayhawk Towers in the late 70's when it was still a private and pricey property. The apartments were nice and roomy although I was not a big fan of the brick walls. I am not sure how much it has changed since it was turned over to the university, but I believe that with renovations/upgrades, such as converting the kitchen (player don't need one anyway) into a second bathroom or enlarging the current bathroom, they could be a first rate facility.
In looking at the UK rooms, I was surprised how small they were; they definitely do not want the student to spend much time there. A two person, 2 bedroom apartment is much nicer than the little rooms.

jaybate 5 years, 11 months ago

JLost,

I've got an idea for how to finance the KU student athlete housing.

Let's ask all the those that never graduated from KU that wanted our wealthy alumni to pay Turner Gill $6M to walk, so KU could avoid another 1-12 season pitch in the $6M.

:-)

P.S.: na-na-na poo-pooo, I never wanted Turner Gill hired in the first place. :-)

P.P.S.: I justed didn't want to blow $6m we needed for basketball housing to exchange 1-12 seasons, when waiting a year, or two would have gotten us where we wanted to go (a new football coach) and the New KU basketball housing, too.

P.P.P.S.: as Bugs Bunny used to say, whattta maroon, JLost. You're our own combination of Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn and Porky Pig with some Daffy and Elmer too!!

P.P.P.P.S.: I'm still not feeling scared. I wonder why? :-)

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

For those that saw this link I posted yesterday of Kentucky's Wildcat Coal Lodge, please ignore. For the rest of you it's worth a look.

See for yourself here: http://www.coachcal.com/16170/2012/09/no-place-like-home-uks-new-gold-standard-in-housing/

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 11 months ago

It's amazing what kind of money you can get from wrecking the environment.

Michael Bratisax 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for that information. Definitely an eye opener. I would think Kansas basketball would bring in just as much as Kentucky.

If someone asked "who has a great basketball program but a struggling football program", I would think that both Kansas and Kentucky would fall in that category.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 5 years, 11 months ago

There is a similar video for KU's facilities, Weis is talking about our facilities, it shows the renovated towers, workout facilities, etc - but I can't find it. It makes our facilities look really nice.

Also for the towers, I hated living in the dorms because there was no kitchen. The new towers have fully equipped kitchens. Really nice too

Edit: Found the KU video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd8WiMCoMf8

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Here's Jayhawker Towers lounge by comparison. It's simply NO CONTEST.

Jayhawker Towers

Jayhawker Towers by Joe Ross

farnamjayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Hasn't changed since I was there in 89-93

lurkerhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

this is pathetic. let's get this changed Zenger!

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

Question: Is that the lounge for the athletes or that for the other residents?
In any case, a competent architect and an interior designer could have that place looking every bit as nice as the UK place in a matter of weeks if not days.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 5 years, 11 months ago

That is general for the students. The players have in the attached building to allen fieldhouse. But . . . . . if I was a college star I wouldn't want to live with just basketball players . . . get out an socialize a little. The Kentucky "basketball players only" house limits contact with other students - which is weird in college.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

The lounge at the practice center is nicer than the one at Kentucky. I wonder if they have a back door at the residence for co-eds to sneak in.
If you really want to see luxury, you should look up the one at Oklahoma State.

KULA 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for those posts jross. Quite an eye opener.

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 11 months ago

Here's to hoping KU fans make Sprint into an Allen Fieldhouse Rocky Mountain type environment, not exactly home court but not far from it. We need folks to be rowdy! I was in Sprint for the SLU game and they were louder than we were. To heck with that, let's show WKU and UNC/Nova what a real crowd sounds like!

Mark Wooden 5 years, 11 months ago

KU has played the late Friday game for the last 15 years. People should have that answer memorized by now.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

"People should have that answer memorized by now."

Apparently you did not. In 2008, KU played the first game in the tournament on Thursday at 11:30 AM in Omaha (beat Portland 86-61), and the last game, a win over Memphis in the Championship game.

hawkfan4life 5 years, 11 months ago

They renovated Tower A for the guys a couple of years back. Definitely not a brand new building, but honestly our guys apartments have better bedrooms and living room areas. They have a lot more space, and king size beds compared to wiltjers room in that video.

The other comparable ammenities that our players use are included in the fieldhouse renovation and practice facility addition. I got lucky and got an insider tour of the new fieldhouse updates and practice facility back in 2011. We have all the same stuff they have in that video its just right accross the street from Tower A in the phog.

Our guys aren't doing too bad on accommodations, definitely not a brand new multi-million dollar building, but they have a spruced up players lounge, training table, and nicely furnished 2 bedroom apartments all at their disposal. No one from either tower A-D uses that lounge much. No telling how old that pic is, but it hasn't changed much since I was a student. I think Self is doing what he can to compete in terms of housing.

KJD 5 years, 11 months ago

Loved reading the "Cheater talk" section. Thanks!

headache 5 years, 11 months ago

Gentlemen: HAVE FUN & KEEP WINNING!!!!!!!!!!

FearlessJayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Let's face it, there are some coaches that are more gifted at doing sneaky things to get a recruit. I wouldn't worry about it. Coach Self is a straight up type a guy who tells it like it is. He can take good talent and make them great. That's why he is such a great coach. My advice is to relax, have fun and everything will work out right.

Scott Smetana 5 years, 11 months ago

Calisleazy doesn't do the dirty work. Thats for his connections like World Wide Wes.

Justin Daniel 5 years, 11 months ago

I know someone has answered this before, but how can Kentucky sign all of these guys. They have 6 commits and will only loose 3 maybe 4 if Goodwin goes, how many scholarships did they not use this year?

nuleafjhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

March 21, 2013

John Marshall, Associated Press:

Potential Upsets

No. 1 Western Kentucky over No. 1 Kansas, South Region. OK, it's probably a stretch, but 16 will eventually beat a 1 and after this season of surprises, we decided to throw one in there.

. I know what I'm thinking about John Marshall; anyone else care to share their feelings?

Kent Wells 5 years, 11 months ago

I think it is going to happen some day. I don't want it to be my Hawks...

Michael Bratisax 5 years, 11 months ago

kuwells..so far I believe that our worst first game result was when we were beaten by a 14 seed. And yes, it will happen someday and I equally hope it's not us.

If it were to happen this year, I would bet that it would be Gonzaga.

WETSUhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

IMO the addition of the playoff games decreases the chances of this happening. Except for KU, the other ones have a play in opponent. The one seed is already at their game site by time the play-in team knows if they're going.

Find out Sunday night, travel Monday to Ohio, play Tuesday, travel to California Wednesday, play Thursday. Number one seed, find out Sunday, practice Monday, travel Tuesday to California, practice at site Wednesday be ready to play Thursday. Advantage to the 1 seed, one more obstacle in place for the 16 seed to hurtle.

Kent Wells 5 years, 11 months ago

Except the 16 seeds aren't always playing in the First Four games... LaSalle is playing KSU, St Mary's played Memphis, Indiana and Louisville do get First Four teams...

Danny Hernandez 5 years, 11 months ago

There is no reason at Kansas, that our facilities for the basketball team isn't first class. I mean FIRST CLASS. Kentucky should not be overshadowing our facilities. We could raise through donations, 10 million dollars and pour that into our basketball players lounges, locker rooms, basketball player dormitory only. I'm in for 10grand if Coach Self started a fund to build that type of first class facility.

Robert Brock 5 years, 11 months ago

KU is selling Ghetto Chic. Gotta love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff Coffman 5 years, 11 months ago

It's amazing, KU has the second best class in basketball and people are complaining. I still think a little of the rankings is if certain schools are recruiting them. Look how much air time UK has received on having 6 of the top 20 recruits. I know that many of them are really legitimate top 10 recruits, but some of them could easily be in the 30s. Take for instance Frankamp, I'm not a scout or anything, but he went in to the under USA and cleaned up as well as Greene (sp?). They could have easily been higher, but because UNC, Duke, and UK were not recruiting them, the story wasn't as good. Let them slide 5-10 spots.

I am confused I must say about the NCAA rules. I remember at one point in time you could only recruit 8 freshman over a two year period, with no more than 5 in one season; however, it seems like that rule was thrown out a while back. I look at the UK and they use the shotgun approach, I'm going to get as many recruits as possible and hope that 2-3 pan out each year and 1-2 don't transfer. BS it seems has focused on identifying 2-3 top recruits and typically gets the ones he wants, but as Roy put it, one will surprise you (I think of the Arizona guy last year). I'm not sure if any of us really thought any of the recruits that have committed to UK over the past 3-4 years were ever KU leans (including Randle), I just know we always like the chance.

If you look at the way UK and KU recruit, KU has come out on top. KU has a national championship and an additional Final Four and appearances in the tourney for nearly forever. UK has about the same, but a lot more up and down.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Jhawkrulz. LOVE your last point. Kansas and Kentucky are both top-notch programs, but due to the nature of HOW they recruit there are consequences in terms of their abilities to make a push at national championships. They do it DIFFERENTLY! Kansas, on the one hand, is there every year seemingly under Self. When we make it we are never heavily favored, but it's a much steadier/more consistent approach. Kentucky, on the other, is more mercurial (up and down), but when they are there in the FF, chances are good that they will be heavily favored. The question becomes something like this (for example). Would you rather make the final four every single year, NEVER be heavily favored, but have that be guaranteed, or would you take your chances being in the national championship game every two or three years and be heavily favored?

RJ King 5 years, 11 months ago

And would you rather have Senior Night be a big deal, or cancelled every other year for lack of participants?

Ethan Berger 5 years, 11 months ago

I feel like all the experts are acting like KU is a 6 seed. They make it seem like KU has to go through Michigan, VCU, Florida and Georgetown. They need to remember that those schools have to go through Kansas. I love this. KU is the one seed and if they come out of it everyone will be shocked! It is insane. I hope Bill uses this as motivation. It worked during the Big 12 tourney. The whole "you want us, you can have us." We need to have that attitude. Now lets talk about a couple more things.

This year and in two years are years where we are primed to be holding the crown. This year is a great chance but in two years, in a perfect world, could be our best chance.

Tharpe, Selden, Greene or White, Ellis and Embiid will be our starting 5. Not to mention a stacked bench (of course this is in a perfect world with no major transfers). This is our line up in two years. No one will want to play us.

However, look at for Selden to be a one and done. He is a similar player to Tyreke Evans. He is a boy in a mans body. He could dominate next year and bolt. Hopefully he doesn't but with his improved jump shot, look out. Also, he has a will to become great that few KU guys have had.

Back to this year. The emergence of Ellis is prime. It changes our low post game completely. If they double on Withey, Ellis can just get the ball and hit a jumper. Tharpe will also be huge, maybe even bigger then EJ. EJ needs to remember to only shoot when open. Distribute first, get the offense in a flow then shoot if no one is on you. Tharpe can make every pass and if EJ is struggling, we have another point guard to come and save us from a major upset. But by the sound of it, EJ will have this team ready for all 6 games. Get it done men!

jhox 5 years, 11 months ago

I worry about our interior defense next year. Perry is still struggling defensively and Freshmen seldom come in ready to play high D1 defense. Embiid looks like he has the stuff to be another Withey defensively...he's tall, and jumps extremely well, plus he has quick feet. Maybe he'll be the answer, but if he is then we'll be giving up a lot of offense at that position. Selden is ready made to play right away and perhaps star, but we're going to have to replace a lot of lost offense. We should be good enough to make the tourney, but the Big 12 championship streak will be at risk.

FarSideHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Kentucky is 2 over the limit right now. So if two leave early or transfer they should be ok, unless they get Wiggins also, then they need 3 to leave.

http://www.verbalcommits.com/schools/kentucky

That was my last Kentucky related recruiting comment for the year.

Our Jayhawks are about to go on a championship run with 4 senior studs and a freshman phenom. Let's focus on that now.

Then we can talk about the awesome group of kids coming to Lawrence next year. Forget Kentucky!

FarSideHawk 5 years, 11 months ago

I think Cal should beg Goodwin to stay. He is the only leader/fighter he has on this team and can do wonders for the new kids getting there. Poythress has a tendency to disappear in games and may be encouraged to leave if Wiggins commits.

Either way, this could be the greatest team on the floor next year or the biggest soap-opera with disastrous results. Let's see.

texashawk10 5 years, 11 months ago

I would love to see what happens next year if Goodwin stays. That'll be a soap opera worth watching to see how the PG Harrison twin deals with the ego blow of coming off the. Hint, it won't be pretty for UK fans.

WETSUhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

Goodwin and Poythress both transfer to KU because they want to be coached properly.

ONLY KIDDING

RJ King 5 years, 11 months ago

Excerpts from Ray Ratto on the Squid:

"That blizzard of escaping air you heard was John Calipari exhaling. He can stop coaching this Kentucky team, and by the sounds of his postgame comments, he’s not all that sad about it.

“They haven't had any discipline all year," Calipari added about his own team. “We ended on a note we've been talking about (all year). We can't really play (disciplined).”

Of course, Calipari now has fences to mend with his fan base, at least the one guy named Chester who said on Kentucky Sports Radio that the ‘Cats had not been placed in the NCAA Tournament because of “liberal socialists.” Even if Vladimir Putin did keep UK out of the big dance, the performance in the little dance pretty much means he and his pals in the Russian political class at least know one thing about basketball."

Funny stuff. I agree - forget Kentucky. Let them play for Chester.

FinalFour1993 5 years, 11 months ago

Disclaimer: I love Roy. He was coach when I first broke my heart with this team in 1993, and--like a good fan--I am SO over his departure.

That being said, am I correct in remembering that a few years back Roy threw a giant hissy fit in the press and accused Billy Donovan of cheating? It makes his comment here (out of context) seem a little odd to me. I assume Billy Donovan was involved in this conversation.

yates33333 5 years, 11 months ago

I think that if Calipari cheated as much as our fans seem to think he does he would get caught. I don't like the NCAA but their investigators aren't stupid. I suspect Cal feeds his recruiting targets a lot of BS about how Kenturky players make the big dance and how he can assure them they will. He also probably has a starting lineup of about 10 players while out on the recruiting trail and only 5 can ever start. Anyway, most of these kids aren't playing college ball because they like Kenturky more than KU or UNC or Duke or Florida, etal., they play because it is recognized as a stepping stone to the pros. Those who don't need the stepping stone go directly. If you say is Cal a liar, well that is a different matter. I think lying is endemic in coaching. He certainly isn't the only coach that gilds the lily.

Kenturky has a tradition of cheating, some based on allegations, some on proven facts. Rupp wasn't a model for young people, nor was Eddie Sutton. I have always marveled at the fact that Wooten who won so many years at UCLA and had outstanding recruits year after year was never accused of cheating. I really doubt some of his players were attracted by the education one could get at UCLA.

Anyway I think Cal is assessed unfairly. Who knows maybe someday the accusations will be proven. So far, they are not proven.

BTW, I think Randle made a big mistake. He is playing with a team that will have trouble jelling as a team, and he will only play one year if he stays healthy. The Harrison twins will take care of the Harrison twins. Watch!!!

Andy Tweedy 5 years, 11 months ago

I have no idea what Cal does or doesn't do on the recruiting trail, but he's taken two teams to the Final 4 that have been hammered with probation right as he's seen himself out the door. So it's not like this dude has been squeaky clean for the last 20+ years. Where there's smoke, there's usually fire!

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. Saint John looked the other way to all the rampant violations happening under his nose; this is the worst type of hypocrisy.

RJ King 5 years, 11 months ago

It was a different culture back then too.

I think the NCAA thought they needed the illusion of UCLA's coolness and class to be successful in order to promote college basketball in general. Interest in basketball was taking a backseat to football, Vietnam, music, social and political activism...

JD Roth 5 years, 11 months ago

NCAA is going after Syracuse, Kentucky may not be far behind.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

The squid is smart and is careful enough to not get his own hands dirty; he has other people do this for him, He left his two previous college coaching gigs (UMass and Memphis) on probation and with wins vacated while he skated away scot free.
Do you think players come to UK because he is a great coach? This year he probably had the most talent of any team and ended up losing to the last seed in the friggin' NIT! How poor of a coach do you have to be to sink this low?

jayhawkinATL 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey...what perfect timing! The WEF is currently in its 2013 fund drive. I know the economy is not the best right now, but give what you can. I have given for the past 8 years or so...and I'm not talking big bucks. And I don't do it for the benefits, such as first dibs on tickets. Just knowing that I am helping KU athletics is some way. Currently, the WEF membership ranks 9th out of the conference's 10 schools (we're only ahead of Baylor)...pretty pathetic! I think KSU's membership is twice what WEF has. Non-students can be an WEF member for as little as $100 annually; students for $25 annually. Every little bit helps! And it's tax deductable up to 80 percent.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 11 months ago

Please repeat this soothing mantra over and over.....23 straight NCAA's, 9 straight Big 12's, essentially 30 victories a season for the last 10 seasons, numerous Number One Seeds, 14 Final Fours, 5 NC's, Allen Fieldhouse, James Naismith, Bill Self, The Phog, The Rock Chalk Chant, the most games played with the second most victories...and closing, Wilt, Jayhawk Nation, Family Forever!!

741hawk 5 years, 11 months ago

I believe the main reason we don't get Top 10 recruits may be that they don't want to put in the work required by HCBS and Hudy. They've been pampered and told for years how great they are. They think they can go to Kentucky and play a year without making and effort in strength and conditioning.

I think Bill is honest and says "You'll have to work and earn you playing time." I think Cal says, "Gosh, you are a great player. You could start for us today!"

JD Roth 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree, they hear about Self's practices and they have never had to hit it hard. Consequently they go elsewhere.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Not seeking an argument, and I say this is all respect, but there is no way in the world in knowing what the "main reason" is for even a single kid, and consequently you can't know why a batch of top 10 recruits dont choose Kansas over Kentucky. If KY were blown off the map right now, I assure you that half of these would come to Kansas. So we have to look at Kentucky and what they are doing to get these kids. And for everyone (not you) saying we dont need these kids, then someone PLEASE tell me why Self is going after all of them!

Someone PLEASE explain that.

I guarantee if he didn't want them, he would NOT be recruiting them! Getting them can only make his job easier.

texashawk10 5 years, 11 months ago

It might help if you used the right word choice. Need and want are two different words with two different definitions, yet you choose to use them interchangeably. Need is something necessary to survive and want is something that is desired but not necessary to survival. Bill Self does not NEED top 10 recruits as the recent results have shown he can succeed with a team of 4 star kids. Bill Self WANTS top 10 5 star recruits because those players typically come in and perform at a higher level sooner than 4 star recruits do. Now that you know need and want are not interchangeable words like you're using them as, maybe you can drop this argument.

Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Regardless or need or want, if Coach Self had his way they would be here. Since that's the case, there is no point in people's saying Randle was not a good fit for the program and all such nonsense. Need, want, whatever...Coach Self saw a purpose in Randle in being here (and other OAD recruits for that matter) which is why they were targeted as recruits in the first place.

Ethan Berger 5 years, 11 months ago

I think its unfair to say that. Watch Coach Cal during games. If they didn't want to work, then he would sit their emotionless. But he is crazy on game day, always yelling.

We need to realize something now. UK is a brand. College sports hasn't a brand like that since the U of the 80s,90s and early 2000s. Kids want to go play for that brand. It is now associated with win early, leave early, be a pro. Which is why the NBA and NCAA are to blame for this, not Cal. Cal doesn't need to cheat anymore. He has so many pros that he just has to say look at my rosters from the past 5 years. Those kids work hard under Cal. Difference is most kids who go play for him want to bolt after year 1. Self gets highly ranked players but not good enough to bolt after year 1. So he develops kids who had not shot to make it to he NBA and makes them pros.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 5 years, 11 months ago

How do you think they came to be Top 10 recruits - by not working?

This argument that players go to Kentucky because "they don't want to put in the work" is ridiculous.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 11 months ago

Here's one scenario whereby a school or a coach could cheat.

1] An agreement is reached between the school/coach and the recruit's family.

2] After the recruit commits, an anonymous entity can give a tax free gift not exceeding $12,000 to each member of the family except the recruit.

3] This "gift' will tide the family over until the season is completed.

4] After the season is over, and the player has essentially left school, the player can get whatever money he wants from an agent, a shoe company, etc. and the NCAA has no authority or leverage to stop it without risking a big lawsuit.

I am not saying that this is being done [wink, wink]......all I am saying is there are ways and means to cheat with almost no risk.

63Jayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

I have a question for any of you who know the NCAA rules.

Can the shoe/apparel company that supplies athletic wear to a university make payments to the family of a high profile recruit to induce the recruit to attend a university that wears it's products?

Hypothetically, let's say a recruit has reduced his or her choice to two schools. One school wears apparel supplied by company A and the other school wears apparel supplied by company N. Company N offers a job and/or other inducements to the father of the recruit, provided the recruit wears N's apparel in college. Company A makes no offer or offers less. The recruit chooses the school that wears company N's apparel. Company N does not represent a booster for the school involved. Company N simply wants the high profile player to wear its' products for promotional purposes. In fact, company N doesn't care where the recruit attends school as long as the recruit wears N's apparel.

Has a violation occurred?

Cameron Cederlind 5 years, 11 months ago

You talking about Affliction and North Face?

Ethan Berger 5 years, 11 months ago

I think the NBA and NCAA need to realize that it has gotten to the point where kids are now jumping ship way to early, just like when they changed the rule 8 years ago. Here is my answer

Make kids play 2 years in college. Usually the freak players who under achieve their freshmen year, star in their sophomore year. Your body develops from a boys to a man, and an extra year of college learning helps expand the brain. At the same time, their are kids like LeBron, Dwight Howard, Derek Rose and Kevin Durant who should be able to jump pro right away.

So make a 12 man committee (why 12? because its a nice number). Mix them as former coaches, former players and former gms. If a kid wants to jump pro strait from high school, make him get approved by the committee. These kids need to dominate the AAU circuit, the All star games and have NBA ready bodies. If they fail, then they go to college. If they want to leave after year 1, go back through the committee. Same criteria. Be a star on your team, dominate multiple games and be ready physically. This will save us from watching kids like Selby, Cory Joseph, Avery Bradly, Marquis Teague, Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe blow it or take to many years to develop. (Bradly and Bledsoe are good players, but took them some time). Then after they finish their second year of college, they are physically and mentally mature. Many kids will be half way from graduating, so you might get some kids who decide to stay and get that degree. But hopefully a couple years on their own without making millions at 18/19 will make them more mature.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

The NCAA has zero control over when a student leaves. It cannot force a student to stay and not look for work elsewhere (NBA). The only recourse the NCAA has is to penalize the school if the student leaves and he is not in good academic standard.
The one year rule (19 years old and his graduation class is one year removed) is an NBA rule not an NCAA rule.
My preferred approach would be similar to the one used for baseball players. You can got to the show directly from high school but, if you decide to go to college, you have to wait at least 3 years (hopefully in college) before becoming eligible to play in the major leagues. This gives students 3 years to get a degree or be close enough to one that if baseball does not work, you can go back to school and finish your degree,

Ethan Berger 5 years, 11 months ago

Problem is that you will have more kids bolt pro because they cannot wait three years. The reaaon the high school rule changed is because it failed. Thr NCAA cannot force a kid to stay but they can give them a reason to

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

The NBA will not draft kids that are not ready or else it will ship them to the D League where the make next to nothing. College would be a much better option.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 5 years, 11 months ago

"Make kids play 2 years in college" - In Soviet Russia school chooses you.

Kevin Jenkins 5 years, 11 months ago

So we arrived and are ready to play. We have good players and they should have their mind set. Not all our players where number ones or top ten recruits So what has happened? We one the Big12 right out and have a 29-5 record. How many in a row NCAA appearences? We are a number 1 seed. We weren't attending the NIT and crashed and burned with so many highy recruits and former champions. Randle will go to UK where there will be more players with the same skills, size and play the same positon. And they will be fighting each other for playing time. We will be all right with who we have and who will be coming. Rio should be staying. If he learned anything this year it's to watch, learn and your time will come. Look at Naadir from last year till now.

kennethst 5 years, 11 months ago

Colorado State.....my 2nd favorite team(at least for a day).

Tim Orel 5 years, 11 months ago

I really hope they reach the second weekend. What a story that would be!

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

Wichita State about to finish up Pitt; up by 14 with 1 minute to go. Go Kansas teams!!!

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

I root for ALL Kansas teams except when they play KU,

kennethst 5 years, 11 months ago

Why ?????? I don't ever root for K-State. Why would I? Why would you? I don't care about Wichita State. I'm a Jayhawk fan. Period.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

I am a Jayhawk Fan but I am also a Kansas and as such, I root for all the state teams. I guess we agree to disagree.

kennethst 5 years, 11 months ago

Fair enough, sir. I love the state of Kansas.....I just could never root for KSU.

Hawkamania 5 years, 11 months ago

Why doesn't anyone in the NCAA look deeper into what is going on in Kentucky? How is it that this is the only program in the country that gets the majority of the top players year after year? The only other programs that has came close in recent memory is UCLA and N. Carolina St, and they both still can't hold a candle to what Cal has accomplished.

One of the main reasons Cal gets all these top guys is due to the fact that he strokes all these kids egos even more then they've been stroked already. He lets them play however they want to play with little structure and these ME ME ME type of players love it that way. Our man Self tells em like it is from the jump and lets em know that they gotta actually work to get that playing time. You think these premadonnas wanna work for what they believe is already theirs? HELL NO.

The NBA and NCAA need to get this crap situated and situated fast. Cal is making a mockery of the college game with the way hes able to work the system and its a complete JOKE. He is a mediocre coach and it really showed with his team's showing this season. He is NOTHING without multiple top tier guys on his roster.

kennethst 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree and well said. But it's not going to change......so other schools must adapt......outplay......outsmart......and outlast.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 5 years, 11 months ago

Your tune would be a lot different if we got Randle.

Hawkamania 5 years, 11 months ago

No it wouldn't. That would have been just a drop in the bucket compared to what they would still have down there. Look, don't get me wrong here. Im still super excited about what we got going on here in Kansas next season. I just don't like how almost all the top players EVERY year is basically a lock to go to Kentucky ALL the time. How is this OK in the NCAA's eyes? Do they even realize the programs this man has left in shambles in the past? I guess he's getting all these stud recruits just because its Kentucky now right? LOL

Somethin' is fishy and it needs to be brought to light in the worst way. College basketball is being made to look like a fool right now.

Kye Clark 5 years, 11 months ago

I just wonder about the toll losing recruits takes on a coach. Any coach. The process is so intensive these days and to come up empty more times than not (unless your Cheatipari) has to be deflating. To be recruiting kids for years, flying to see them, having the university roll out the red carpet on their visits, and in the end to not come away with anything. To me, I'd imagine that is the most frustrating part of the gig for Self. We know how much of a competitor he is and how he hates losing.

Of course, this is just from my perspective. Div-1 coaches are surely a different breed. Maybe they know it comes with the territory and just let it slide off their backs.

MizzouBest 5 years, 11 months ago

Icthawk.....You old rogue. Still at it, eh?

Kye Clark 5 years, 11 months ago

Not as often as I used to be. Family & job taking up more of my time to where not as much is left to sit down and spew my opinions and analysis out to the masses on here.

MizzouBest 5 years, 11 months ago

Well....I enjoy your posts when you do have time. Good luck tomorrow night. No problem vs WKU .

MizzouBest 5 years, 11 months ago

Get less talented players and go beat the %$%^ out of Kentucky......That's what you do. Forget worrying about Cal.

MizzouBest 5 years, 11 months ago

Oakville.....You piece of work.....You still on here too??? Where is that wordy guy.....Jaybate? He still here?

Kent Wells 5 years, 11 months ago

OK, this is going to be pretty hard to explain to a Missery fan, but the way to reply to people is to click on the reply link below their post. It works a little better that way...

MizzouBest 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey look you're right.....it works!! kuwells......I remember you too........You,Jaybate,Oakville,Icthawk.......enjoy your posts......you old scoundrels!

Kent Wells 5 years, 11 months ago

I am feeling old. But if we're talking pirate, I prefer scaliwag.

theend 5 years, 11 months ago

Is anyone else sick of the media talking about Shaka Smart and the VCU rams????? Hope they lose....badly.

Kent Wells 5 years, 11 months ago

I was at the game in 2011 and the fans just did not conduct themselves with any class at all. It was a sad display.

Kent Wells 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh sorry. You were talking about VCU and so was I...

MizzouBest 5 years, 11 months ago

MU may win tonight......but no way we get by Louisville. That's my opinion. KU? A tough draw for being 2nd #1........but you can get to Final 4. KU completely dominated the Big 12 tournement......no reason for that to change in the early rounds. My two cents.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 11 months ago

Worry about your own team that just got owned by Colorado State. When is the last time MU won a game? 2010? 3 first round losses in a row. It does not matter how high MU is ranked, nobody expect anything from them and they don't disappoint.

jaybate 5 years, 11 months ago

I've got to take a minute and praise Travis Releford out through the roof of whatever building he plays in.

Travis guards that baddest muthah on the opposition's perimeter.

Trav goes down and guts it out at the 4 when the opponents go dwarf.

Trav brings the ball up court when EJ and Dir are having Neural net shorts.

Trav grabs rebounds when Self tells him to.

Trav gets out on the break, when the other guys can't.

Trav feeds people when no one else can.

Trav is the rock of Gibraltar.

Trav is always cheerful and up beat.

Trav defends his point guard.

Trav defends everyone that gets bad mouthed on his team.

Pretty awesome glue you say.

But get this.

Trav after a long season shoots 41% from trey. That's barely behind only Super Gun Ben Mac.

And Trav, after a long season, shoots 80% from the FT stripe.

And Trav, after a long season, shoots 56% from the field which is second only to flippin' footer Jeff Withey.

He's got the most assists of any non point guard.

He's got the most steals of anyone.

And though he guards the toughest out every night, he is tied for second least PFs of any starter.

Travis Releford has quietly put together a MONSTER season.

What a fabulous Jayhawk he has become!!!

Rock Chalk Travis Releford.

theend 5 years, 11 months ago

Well said , Jaybate! He's awesome. Plus he really seems like just an all-around nice person.

PS-Missouri losing 35-26. HA HA.

theend 5 years, 11 months ago

Colorado St 47, Missouri 38........Halftime.

HA HA.

theend 5 years, 11 months ago

MU loses in first round......shocking!

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