Sunday, March 31, 2013


Opinion: Defend Big 12 title? Of course KU can


Barring a surprising decision to return to school by Ben McLemore, Kansas University’s basketball team will have five new starters when the season opens in November. That’s no way to defend a conference title.

Or is it?

Tenth-year KU coach Bill Self has been there, done that. He lost all five starters after the 2005 loss to Bucknell. The next season, with a starting lineup that featured three freshmen and two sophomores who had played sparingly the previous season, Kansas shared the Big 12 title with a veteran, star-studded Texas squad.

KU again lost all five starters after winning the national title in 2008 and the next season, with two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, finished a game ahead of Blake Griffin-led Oklahoma to win the Big 12 outright. Sherron Collins played starter minutes his first two seasons as sixth man, and Cole Aldrich had blossomed in the 2008 Final Four with his break-out game against North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough.

The 2005-06 situation more closely resembles next season’s outlook in that Kansas has very little experience returning.

Perry Ellis will be the foundation. He sprints the floor like a guard, making him a valuable player in transition in both directions. He has more moves in the low post than Sybil had personalities. He soars high for rebounds, handles the ball extremely well and will grow as a defender, although he probably won’t ever develop into a shot-blocker. The hard-to-guard Ellis will become even more so once his mid-range jumper becomes more of a weapon.

In the last seven games of a 31-6 season, Ellis averaged 26.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per 40 minutes (19.9/9.6 per 30 minutes), shot 66 percent from the field and 86 percent from the line. That’s serious production from the versatile scorer.

Jamari Traylor is the next most experienced returning post player, but experienced isn’t a word often associated with the muscular, quick, explosive power forward from Chicago. He took up basketball late in life, and it sometimes shows. He has a knack for blocking shots, brings terrific energy and can become a scoring threat if he can develop a jumper out to 15 feet, a goal he works tirelessly to achieve.

Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-10 post player from Portland, Ore., has made strides as a basketball player and in building strength while red-shirting.

Moving to the perimeter, Naadir Tharpe has more experience than any returning player. He played and shot better late in the season, hitting 46 percent of his threes and 42 percent of all field goals in the final 10 games, during which time he posted a 2.3 assists-to-turnover ratio. Andrew White III, who showed a nice shooting touch as a freshman in limited time, will compete for time at small forward.

To compete for a league title as the most recent two KU teams with five new starters did, the Jayhawks must match those classes in terms of instant major contributions from talented freshmen. McDonald’s All-American Wayne Selden, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound shooting guard, highlights the five-deep incoming class. Small forward Brannen Greene, combination guard Conner Frankamp and center Joel Embiid also are ranked in the top 40 of the 2013 class by Self also is high on 5-11 point guard Frank Mason, who is not ranked in the top 100 by Rivals.

Andrew Wiggins, the nation’s top-ranked recruit, could decide to become the first McDonald’s All-American in this class to sign with Florida State, the second to commit to Kansas or the seventh to join Kentucky.

If Wiggins signs with KU, here’s an early guess at a starting lineup: Tharpe, Wiggins, Selden, Ellis and Traylor, with Embiid, Greene, Frankamp and Mason competing hard to supplant one of the starters.

Without Wiggins, the best guess is: Tharpe, Selden, Greene, Ellis and Traylor. This much isn’t a guess: Whatever the starting lineup and bench, both will perform far better in January than in November. A 10th consecutive Big 12 title is a possibility, despite the lack of experience.


Robert Murphy 1 year ago

We can't change one iota of the past. We must all thank our beloved friend Elijah "the Profit" Johnson for he taught us more about ourselves than winning the game would have ever done. Blessings are always mysterious.


Austin Breding 1 year ago

I don't know if this was already mentioned, but in '08, Robinson started ahead of Collins even though Collins was by far the better player. This is in response to the Frampkin/Tharp starting debate.


Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 1 year ago

My guess at next years lineup: 1: Naadir Tharpe

2: Conner Frankamp (leading scorer for USA U17 team)

3: Wayne Selden, note: he can dunk like McLemore, watch the video

4: Perry Ellis

5: Embiid (only slightly more inexperienced than Traylor, but more athletic)

bench: G: AW3 G: Brannen Greene F: Jamari Traylor


Zstegs 1 year ago

I think the starting five will be Tharpe, Selden, White III, Ellis, Lucas. I think that AW3 will be a pleasant surprise next season and with Naadir as a competent PG that can feed him the ball where he needs it he will go off. I bet Embiid spends most of his Freshman year getting Hudy-ized while Lucas controls the low block and splits time with Traylor. But Perry is gonna be a monster next year, and it's gonna be awesome!


squintseugene1 1 year ago

For me there could be 4 different starting 5's for KU 1 is much more likely than the other 3 seeing as they require minor miracles but my most likely is Tharpe, Greene, Seldon, Ellis, and Lucas OR Embiid, one of my least likely depends on Wiggins committing, it would be Tharpe, Seldon, Wiggins, Ellis, and Lucas OR Embiid, my other depends on if B-Mac stays, it would be Tharpe, B-Mac, Seldon, Ellis, and Lucas OR Embiid, my last and least likely is if Wiggins commits and B-Mac stays it would be Tharpe, B-Mac, Wiggins, Ellis, and Lucas OR Embiid (I wish this Starting 5 could happen but it would take a miracle).


Mel Clare 1 year ago

The thing I think that is missing from the artice is the fact that I can see Adams and White gettin good minutes because of being sophmores instead of freshman. We all know how HCBS is with freshman. Rio and White should do very well. Both have size at thier positions. Both have shown they can shoot the ball if given the chance. Next years team will be 10 deep instead of just 7-8. I know HCBS likes to rotate 9 if he is comortable with the players.

Lucas at 6'10 and 240 will in HCBS words will be a "load" and with 7'0 Embid and 6'8 Ellis and Traylor should be fine in the low post.

I believe SF will be a combo of Selden,Greene, White (or Wiggins) if he signs. All are about the same size as Releford.

PG will be Tharpe, with Rio and probably Frankamp as rotation. AND dont be suprised if Frank Mason comes in and gets minutes as a freshman point guard, he is listed as an ESPN "sleeper" for players NOT in the top 100.

I think next years team surprises will be Rio, White and Lucas. 2 sophs and a redshirt freshman.


AsadZ 1 year ago

This loss hit the groin realy bad, too painful. It will take a log time, real long time to heal the wound.

I hope KUSports can keep up the good work in the offseason with BB stories to divert the mind.


Hammertoe 1 year ago

The Big 12 Champions in Both Football and Basketball (have you seen the billboards on I70?) Kansas State University will be competitive in both sports again next season. KU's football conference record of one win in the last 24 is the worst in the history of the league. KU will again be picked dead last in football next season. KSU is a top 25 program in both football (the sport driving college athletics) and in basketball. Basketball season is over. Time to look forward to Football....


Bill Manley 1 year ago

Self needs to really focus on two fundamental things: free throws and turnovers - sloppy passes. Michigan led the nation in fewest turnovers and self needs to figure that one out. So many games are decided by 6 points or less. EJ missed the FT that would have iced it for us and had us going to Atlanta most likely. No excuse for missing the easiest shot in BB. No one leaves the gym until they make 10 FT in a row.


Scott MacWilliams 1 year ago

Perry Ellis - "although he probably won’t ever develop into a shot-blocker." I don't get this bit of analysis... Why the heck couldn't Perry be able to block a few shots a game? Sure he's not got the length of Withey, but he's got plenty of quickness and mobility. What is to keep him from doing some damage, too?

Can anybody give me some feedback on this??


KULA 1 year ago

Why wouldn't we win the Big(?)12? As they've proved again this year in the tournament, it's a weak conference. The Big12 shouldn't even be considered a "power" conference. Minus Kansas, what's the Big12 done in the tournament the last 10 years? Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Congratulations Jayhawks on your tenth straight Big12 Championship!


Steve Gantz 1 year ago

"Andrew Wiggins, the nation’s top-ranked recruit, could decide to become the first McDonald’s All-American in this class to sign with Florida State, the second to commit to Kansas or the seventh to join Kentucky."

If that statement alone doesn't get the NCAA sniffing all over Kentucky's campus I don't know what will.


dynamitehawk 1 year ago

Next year should be interesting. I'm hoping we play loose and have fun. That last game sucked, but it was a great season. This group was fun to watch, and I went to three games in person. I'm so looking forward to going to Chicago to see us vs. Dook.


AsadZ 1 year ago

I dont think Traylor will start next year. Traylor to me is more like D Jackson. If he can develop the jump shot he will be in starting line up in his junior or senior year.

At this point I'd expect Ellis and Lucas to start at 4 and 5 spots respectively.

AW3 will be in starting line up if he can improve his D. He is a good rebounder and has a nice 3 point stroke. It was streaky this year but this could be attributed to rust, very littlle PT. I agree that he needs to work on his ball handling and D.

I also hope HCBS can find a wide body, 250 lb Big. After watching UM game I fully believe that we need 3 wide bodies, bangers, in the middle.


jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

Just damn...woulda, coulda, shoulda. UF was there for the taking. I was saying to friends/coworkers on Friday before the game that the winner of KU/Michigan was going to win the South. Just damn.


Adam Gerval 1 year ago

Watching Michigan destroy Florida makes me feel so much worse...

Anyways, some of this stuff is so delusional. Look, I follow Rio on twitter, I know what he says. If the kid has a brain in his head, he should know to stay at KU. The reason I say this? Who's our back up PG next year? He's at least a solid rotation guy for the simple reason that there isn't another option. Not only that, but does he really gain anything by transferring and sitting out a year.

Next, if you honestly think that Frankamp is going to start or getting any significant minutes, you're delusional. He's 6 ft., and probably can't defend on a D1 level. He'll take some time to adjust. I can see Selden potentially starting, but he'll have to prove himself just as anyone else would in the program.

I don't know what to expect next year, but it's what makes me feel so incredibly upset about losing on Friday, the way we did. This was a special team. Not very often do you have 4 seniors and a lottery pick in your starting five. Next year Justin Wesley will be our lone senior, with Tharpe as a junior. And while I think Tharpe is going to flourish, he is not going to have the best supporting cast around him.

There may be transfers, but I don't know about all this speculation of AW3 being so disheartened that he transfers. And while I'm worried about Rio, I don't think he leaves. I can't think of many players that have left the KU program to find greener pastures.


Jay Dogger 1 year ago

I couldn't watch the Michigan-Florida game, either. While this team was no '97 Jayhawks, and maybe we didn't have "it," this year's team had outstanding defense and an offense that at times could be great. And we seemed to be getting better as the tourney wore on. Ugh! Sometimes I really wish I wasn't into sports. I'm sure bird watchers and stamp collectors don't go through this.


VaJay 1 year ago


What I also remember that really chaps my hide about Jerod Haase's injury - is he was fighting that almost all season long & was doing ok with it until the Missouri game and there was a loose ball scrum for the ball & Jerod dove in there like a good Jayhawk would and some MU player purposely twisted his wrapped wrist & he never recovered from that. If he was even 80%, we win the game.


VaJay 1 year ago

Part IV

After the game was over and Roy Williams had told his KU team that they were still the nation's best, Williams hunkered down in a corner and looked glumly at the box score. He has said in past years that the '97 KU team simply deserved to go to the Final Four.

C.B. McGrath, a junior on that team, works with Haase on Williams' staff at North Carolina.

"It still lingers with him," McGrath says. "He is upset when he thinks about that '97 team. We had all the makings of a national-championship team."

Of course, the loss has stuck with fans, too. Robinett, who writes sports columns for the University Daily Kansan 10 years later, remembers KU fans staying in their seats for the first half of the next game. Some of them were crying, he says. Robinett won a ticket for this weekend's games in the KU student lottery and will be watching in the HP Pavilion tonight.

"The Arizona loss was the first painful Jayhawk memory for me," Robinett says. "I'm hoping it's not going to be a repeat this year."

KU fan Brent Pierce thought about it as he waited for the KU shootaround to start on Wednesday.

"That was probably the worst loss," Pierce says. "I'm still mad at Jacque Vaughn for passing up the shot."

Vaughn, KU's star point guard, passed up his team's second chance at a three-pointer in the final seconds because he thought his foot was on the line. He passed to Robertson, who shot a leaning three and missed. LaFrentz rebounded it, dribbled to the three-point line and hoisted a prayer. It clanged out, too.

Robertson doesn't think about his missed attempt very often. He thinks more about the bigger picture and his team's missed opportunity.

"It's typical," Robertson says, "that when I look back on my career at KU, what I generally tend to remember are the losses. The reason for that is that there just weren't many of them."

Ten years later, Arizona still hurts more than all the others.

"I have my demons," Robertson says. "Things are etched into my memory. I remember the feeling I felt afterward, the pain, the raw disappointment I still have."


VaJay 1 year ago

Part III

The Arizona Wildcats finished fifth in the Pac-10 that season, so when they arrived in Birmingham, Ala., to play the No. 1 overall seed Jayhawks, nobody gave them much of a chance. Even their own fans.

"On the plane ride down there, an Arizona fan said, 'Take it easy on us tomorrow,' " recalls KU senior student Travis Robinett, then a 12-year-old going to the game with his family. "They weren't expecting to win the game."

Kansas had been No. 1 in the polls for months after starting the season 22-0. The Jayhawks boasted future NBA players Jacque Vaughn, Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz and Scot Pollard. After they got past Arizona, they would face either 10th-seeded Providence or 14th-seeded Tennessee-Chattanooga. It was a foregone conclusion they were headed to Indianapolis for the Final Four.

That is, until the game started. Arizona, stacked with talented guards Mike Bibby, Miles Simon and Michael Dickerson, jumped out to a 10-2 lead after converting five KU turnovers. Still, the KU fans didn't worry. Robinett remembers the Jayhawk fan contingent almost muting the smaller Arizona section during the first half.

On the court, however, the Jayhawks weren't at full strength. KU shooting guard Jerod Haase, a senior fan favorite who averaged 12 points per game, had been playing with a broken wrist all year long. The week before the Arizona game, the pain worsened.

"Two nights before," Haase says, "I was in as much pain as I'd ever been in my life. It got to the point where I couldn't hold the basketball."

Haase tried to play, but it became futile. He realized he was hurting the team by being out there. He played only 14 minutes in what would be his final game as a Jayhawk.

Haase could only watch as KU took the lead in the second half, only to give it away again. The Jayhawks trailed by 13 with three minutes to play, 75-62, and embarked on a furious comeback, going on a 20-8 run to bring the score to 83-82 Arizona with 21 seconds remaining. Bibby made two free throws to make it 85-82. Then, Kansas missed three three-point attempts in the final seconds.

The buzzer sounded on Haase's career.

"I'm still not over it," says Haase, now on Roy Williams' staff at North Carolina. "It may be a little bit sick and twisted, but that's something that's always haunted me, and it always will haunt me."

Haase has never gotten over his career ending without a trip to the Final Four. He also hasn't gotten over sitting out the final minutes due to injury.

"I always felt a little responsible," Haase says. "That's the way my career ended. I haven't had a long NBA career or anything like that to hang my hat on."


VaJay 1 year ago

Part II (KU - AZ history - the pain that feels so similar, but due to other causes) courtesy of Brady McCollough whom I miss reading at KCStar Sports:

Ten years later, the 1996-97 Kansas Jayhawks' pain lingers. Robertson is two years removed from his basketball career, working in marketing in the St. Louis area, and he still hurts because his No. 1 Kansas team was upset by Arizona in the Sweet 16.

"To me, it will never go away," says Robertson, then a sophomore. "It's only been 10 years, but it will be the most painful basketball loss or feeling I'll ever have. To this day, it sours my feeling about the NCAA Tournament as a whole."

As the 2006-07 Jayhawks prepare to face Southern Illinois tonight in the Sweet 16, it's hard not to revisit the Arizona loss. And not just because it's an anniversary.

Here are the facts: KU has won 13 straight games. The Jayhawks are loaded with NBA talent. They've been a hot pick to win the national championship, and they're playing a four seed and major underdog in the Sweet 16, just like in '97.

KU became the toast of the tournament's first weekend, dominating its opponents more than any other No. 1 seed.'s front page on Tuesday afternoon showed a picture of Kansas players Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Julian Wright, Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur, with a caption that read, "If we're replanting the NCAA seeds right now, the Jayhawks would be No. 1 overall."

All that attention and hype is great, but, Robertson says, the Jayhawks better ignore it. He knows from experience. The '97 team was even more of a sure bet to make a run than this year's group.

Instead, the Jayhawks finished the season 34-2 and watched as the Wildcats went on to bring home what many felt was certain to be Kansas' first national championship since 1988. KU's six seniors graduated with 115 career wins and no trips to the Final Four.

"It's just a scar on my career," Robertson says. "I have very fond memories of playing there, but that game pretty much overshadows everything."


VaJay 1 year ago

OK, I just turned on the UM - UF game and I felt sick to my stomach. UM was up by as many as 24 first half & that should've been us. We would be THUMPING the gators right now... Not going to watch that game anymore. I'm having serious flashbacks to '97 when we had the best team in America & met a hot at the time Arizona team that beat everyone after edging out us. Grrrrrr.


Michael Luby 1 year ago

Ah come on TK and guys. While it is a bit of fun to speculate on the rotations for next year, it is just that. Speculation. Anything can happen between now and almost 8 months from now. Gosh, that's a long time. All this speculation does right now is take the sting out of watching our guys lose the other night. I mean, watching EJ throw the game away for our guys. Im still mad at him for how he played, and will be for quite some time. But I digress. Needless to say, we have some great players returning, an incredible class coming in and we may even get another guy to add to it. Who knows. The only thing that is for certain is this; the Big 12 conference goes through Kansas and will always until someone gets lucky and takes it temporarily. RCJH!


Joe Joseph 1 year ago

When did Andrew White ever show a good shooting touch? One game? He air balled more shots than the other guards combined.


Hank Cross 1 year ago

Of course KU can, should, and probably will win the B12 next year - the B12 along with the P12 are the bottom feeder leagues of BCS BB. Before all the B12 homers get all spun up, just ask yourself how many B12 teams apart from KU and the School FKA Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical have won the NC. Answer - None. The new Catholic 7 league with Butler, Creighton and Xavier will be better.


Tony Bandle 1 year ago

One last comment on the UM game. If you had told me that we would score 85 points and all five starters would score in double figures, I would have said it was a blow out.

THE KEY PLAY THAT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN THE MOST OVERLOOKED??? Ben's ridiculously bad defense and foul that resulted in a four point play and cut the lead from 10 to 6 going in at the half. That gave Michigan hope considering KU was shooting 60% and was only ahead by half as dozen.

Sometimes the decisive play of a game comes way before the ending...think about it!!!


Steve Jacob 1 year ago

9 conference titles = two final fours. Just an observation. As far as next season, KSU should be favored and KU should struggle early. These are not great OAD players we are talking about. It's OK to rebuild for a season. It's OK to win a National Championship one year, miss the tournament the next, and being a top 5 team again the next.

Kind of like the Chiefs, you can't start over going 8-8. but you sure can going 2-14.


Pbbut 1 year ago

When looking at the rosters around the league, suspected transfers and NBA declarers, incoming recruits, and the coaches on our bench, I believe we have a good shot at #10. If Ben were to return, it would be an easy call. I gotta believe the kid will go, cha-ching has a nice sound to it.


jaycard 1 year ago

About those classy Kstate fans....watching the 1st round game last week at my local Tanners with my son and his buddies, I noticed a group of 4Western Kentucky fans, cheering wildly. They were decked out in the Hilltoppers colors, shirts and all. As the game wore on and their consumption increased, I heard more negative profanity laced comments about KU. after the less than convincing victory, I stopped by the table to tell them good game, and found out they were Kstate fans in drag. Wasn't really surprised, but all I could do was to shake my head, walk away and revel in their stupidity.


Steve Corder 1 year ago

By November, (offically in the pre season polls) favored or not, KU is the odds-on pick to make it 10 straight. The Big12 is a weak conference by comparison. Self is an elite coach that makes the difference.


Jack Wilson 1 year ago

Self said earlier this season that we may have 8 scholarships available. With the 4 seniors, McLemore, Peters, Wesley (Doyle) .. that's 7 right there. What's the 8th? I think we're at the stage that it's Adams until we hear someting affirmative otherwise. The guy is back to posting stuff on twitter as this site has quoted.

But what is most curious, as pointed out above, is the Keegan ignored AW3 for the rotation. Either a horrible oversight, or some inside knowledge.

Remember, let's not make too many assumptions about freshment starting .. Self only does it, really, when it's an overwhelming talent, or when he has to. Next season he may have to.

But a complete non-freshman starting lineup of Tharpe, Adams, White, Ellis and Traylor .. would that surprise anyone if Adams and White both stayed?


Danny Hernandez 1 year ago

I don't get the couch coaches here suggesting who may transfer. No team can start more than 5 and if the second 5 are just as good or very good, then they'll get playing time....KY will have what 8-9 starters? Only so many can start, plus we need a strong bench of at least 4-5....that's 9!

Rio and Andrew won't be transferring but getting better over the summer. Don't count these guys out


akgjenkintown 1 year ago

I just wish KU would quit pissing away high seeds in the NCAA tournament. Winning 9 straight Big XII has been special, but look how many final four appearances (2) and national championships (1) resulted during that streak. Blue blood programs are suppose to be better at the national level, not constantly lose to lower seeds. I think Self is great and one of the best at developing lesser talent, but the most recent failure was squarely on his shoulders.


jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

Wondering what Self is doing. Do you think he's bugging the crap out of the Wigginseses???


jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

Perry has come a long way...especially in the last couple of weeks. Just needs to muscle up a little bit and cut down on the shuffling of the feet when he gets position down low. Think he will have a very nice 3-year career at KU.


justinryman 1 year ago

Tennessee Lady Vols won 7 straight SEC titles from 1999 thru 2006.

UCLA mens 13 straight PAC10 titles from 1967 thru 1979.

Gonzaga Bulldogs 11 straight WCC titles from 2001 thru 2011.

Kansas Jayhawks 9 straight Big12 titles from 2005 thru...TO BE CONTINUED


gwenthejayhawk 1 year ago

Is it just me, or is it odd that Keegan doesn't even mention Lucas in his projected starters or reserves? Does anyone see anyway a 6'10" body that Self has raved about doesn't get playing time? I'm going to assume that Wiggins will not go to KU, since everytime I get excited about a big time blue chipper he puts on a Kentucky hat. Starting lineup: Tharpe, Selden, Ellis - really these guys are the only "guarantees" to start - in other words, if these guys aren't starting, we're toast. After that, I see it as a massive battle day in day out in practice for the next 2 starting spot between Lucas, Traylor, Greene, and Frankamp. Frank Mason, Emblid, AWIII, etc won't sniff starting lineup this year. Love AWIII, but he will have to put in some major defensive work to get some PT. Top transfer potentials - Rio Adams and Andrew White III. If Keegan is right, and AWIII doesn't crack our top 9-10, he's gone. Same with Adams; which is a shame, because I think Adams has talent - reminds me of Tharpe his freshman year - talented but awkward.


REHawk 1 year ago

I think the keys to a really fine season will depend upon how fast Selden and Frankamp develop by January, and how successfully Embiid escalates by midFebruary. Hopefully, White gets the opportunity to engage in competition for high level summer play. In my mind, Rio is the biggest puzzle: obviously, huge upside; perhaps, most erratic downside. But for one glorious second semester in the past four seasons I have grown weary of bashing the arms of my recliner over Jayhawk guard play.


soapisurfriend 1 year ago

KU played MSU this season in Atlanta. They play Duke next season in Chicago as part of the Champions Classic. As for the 10th conference title, I heard yesterday that Smart and Nash were leaning towards returning, which would make them the early favorites. They would only be losing one player with significant minutes this year in the big guy, Jurick.


Robert Brock 1 year ago

Our chances of landing Wiggins: Slim and What are you smoking, Keegan?


AsadZ 1 year ago

How is our non-conf schedule for next year. I know we play against Michigan State early in Chicago as part of a tournament and we would be at Temple. Both of these games would be challenging for the young team.

I'd like to see some other tough non-conf games to really make the team ready for conf games and NCAA tournament.

In 2011-2012 we played a tough one, Kentucky, Duke, Georgetown, OH State etc and I truly believe that it provided a confidence to the team that carried with them in the post season.


NoteToSelf 1 year ago

Keegan not mentioning Rio should tell you that he is transferring. Rio looked lost defensively and out of control offensively. HCBS will put his scholarship to good use in 2014 since we will only lose Wesley next year. I hope Wiggins commits to KU, but I wouldn't count on it. I thought Randle was our best bet and Coach Cal pulled another fast one at the last minute. What a crook. Nice loss in the NIT this year Coach.

Also Conner won't transfer if he doesn't start as a freshman. KU is his dream school and always has been.


AsadZ 1 year ago

Texas should be a good team next year. While their record was not impressive they played tough D with Freshmen and Sophmores who have gained valuable experience. I expect Texas to compete for the title next year.


Janet Scott 1 year ago

I like KU to finish at the top again. As a aside, where does that place Manure U.?


Stu Van Gorp 1 year ago

Thanks Tom. Please keep us updated, and the starting candidates motivated, with their individual progress and personal incentive to dominate their peers in the Big XII and beyond for years to come.


Richard Heckler 1 year ago

I don't care that much about championships.

It's about how well does the team play with each other, show respect for other teams and how many games Jayhawks can win throughout the regular season.

If KU wins a lot of games and never wins a final four so what. How well does the team play and do they play as a team?

5 starters and 5 on the bench that are equally as good = a hot winning regular season no matter what else happens.

Let's bring Wichita State and Kansas State in during "non conference" early season schedules for added excitement and downtown extra dollars.


Michael Johnson 1 year ago

tharpe, selden, greene, lucas, & ellis. lucas will be a stud.


dumbarton 1 year ago

Thanks for the article, Tom. Very timely as it gives the fan base an opportunity to switch gears and start thinking toward the future and stop dwelling on Friday's debacle. It's in Self's hands to implement what he needs to do to insure that won't happen again. It's in our hands to be postive and support the future of Kansas basketball. Rock Chalk!!


justanotherhawk 1 year ago

Don't sleep on Mr. Rio Adams. That guy can play, has fight and toughness that we should want in our lineup. He would be the type who would not defer when the moment arises. I predict that Adams will be some one who becomes a great Jayhawk over the next few years.


Michael Sillman 1 year ago

I share the optimism. Depending on what Adams does, we have six recruited players coming back who have been in the Self system for at least a season. All of them will have had another off-season of conditioning under Hudy.

We are set at point guard which is not something a lot of teams can say. I still think that a lot of people underestimate Tharpe (I would include Self in that group since I think Tharpe should have been the primary ball handler and free throw shooter at the end of the Michigan game).

Ellis brings scoring to the power forward spot and should have more muscle next year.

Traylor can fill the Kevin Young role of energizer bunny.

White could be a great outside threat to replace McLemore.

Clearly we need Lucas and some of the freshman to step up.

Add in Wesley and Manning for depth and I see no reason why we can't be in the hunt for a Big 12 title.


texashawk10 1 year ago

I think the biggest reason that KU will likely be favored to win their 10th straight Big 12 title is that the conference as a whole didn't have a great recruiting season this year and most of the best players are going pro. KU has a top 2/3 class depending where you look and only Baylor or WVU have top 20 classes depending where you look. Of the 15 players named to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd all Big 12 teams, only 2 are returning for sure. Isaiah Austin could make it 3, but right now Angel Rodriguez and Melvin Egim are the only all Big 12 players we know are coming back. That just adds up to me that nobody is really going to have the talent to make themselves look like serious contenders for the Big 12 right now.


Adam Tyler 1 year ago

I really want wiggins to sign with ku, but he hasnt yet...

My starting five

Tharpe, Selden, White, Ellis, Embiid

With Traylor, Francamp, and Greene getting the most minutes off the bench. I hope Lucas is truly a load under the basket. This team really needs a wide body down low.


trustyourSelf 1 year ago

Here's my projected starting line-up: Tharpe, Selden, AW3, Ellis, Lucas. I think that the first big off the bench will be Traylor- the reason I don't have him in the starting lineup is just because of size. Also, I hope Embiid can compete for some serious minutes. Then I think Frankamp and Greene will come off the bench at guard. I'm excited to have some guards that can really score, but I'm not sure how reliable they will be defensively. I know that next year may be a little frustrating to our spoiled fan base, but looking 2 and 3 years down the line, we will be a force on the national scene. Nobody transfer!


Rockchalk_Mom 1 year ago

I've been waiting all year for Lucas. He's a big boy, takes up a lot of space and if he can play ball he should be fun to watch. I'm excited about next years team. Bill will get them going. Does anyone know if we are losing and coaches or assist coaches? I love to see Kevin Yong to get the job had, director of opporations. He brings so much energy to the floor, I'm sure going to miss his play.


Scott Smetana 1 year ago

We all know this. Let's talk about our competition. Who will be number 2?


KanFan27 1 year ago

Yeah I think we can win it again next season. We have some nice pieces returning and a great class coming in. I would love getting number ten because I want a shirt that says "Decade of Dominance".


Benjamin Piehler 1 year ago

Well, it'd be a shame to win 9 strait and not get the 10.

10's got a nice ring to it.


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