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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wiggins followed heart in signing with Jayhawks

Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins, center, flanked by his parents Mitchell Wiggins and Marita Payne-Wiggins, as he announces his commitment to the University of Kansas during a ceremony, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at St. Joseph High School in Huntington W.Va. The Canadian star, a top prospect, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game this season for West Virginia's Huntington Prep.

Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins, center, flanked by his parents Mitchell Wiggins and Marita Payne-Wiggins, as he announces his commitment to the University of Kansas during a ceremony, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at St. Joseph High School in Huntington W.Va. The Canadian star, a top prospect, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game this season for West Virginia's Huntington Prep.

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Down to four finalists the past many weeks, Huntington (W. Va.) Prep basketball phenom Andrew Wiggins had a difficult time distinguishing and deciding between Kansas University, Florida State, North Carolina and Kentucky.

Ultimately ....

“I just followed my heart. Kansas had my heart so that’s where I wanted to go,” Wiggins, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound small forward said Tuesday morning after signing a letter-of-intent with KU.

“I’m looking forward to getting there and just doing my thing,” added Wiggins, Rivals.com’s No. 1-rated prospect, who is expected to be taken first in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Suffice it to say hordes of KU fans — including those who logged onto the Twitter account of Huntington Herald-Dispatch sports writer Grant Traylor shortly after 11 a.m., Central time, to learn of Wiggins’ decision (Traylor was the only media member allowed to break the news from a private signing ceremony) — will be counting the days until the start of the 2013-14 season to watch Wiggins “do his thing.”

In his case, that’s unleash his repertoire of spin moves and highlight-reel dunks at the shooting guard and small forward positions, interchangeable in the KU offense.

“I’ve got a weight lifted off my shoulders. I can relax now,” said Wiggins, who will be playing one year of college ball just up the road from his brother, Nick, a senior-to-be at Wichita State.

“That’s another positive in going there. We talked about all the possibilities. My brother is right there with me. Wichita State is like an hour-and-a-half travel away, so I can be close to my brother. I just look forward to having fun (at KU) and competing,” he added.

Wiggins — the last ranked player in the Class of 2013 to announce his college choice — didn’t keep anybody waiting on Tuesday morning.

His press conference, which was scheduled for 11:15 a.m., started at 11:09. That’s when Traylor’s tweet came out, KU coach Bill Self and lead Wiggins recruiter Kurtis Townsend not immediately noticing that they’d won the biggest recruiting battle of their careers.

Recruiting analyst Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com called Townsend with the news.

“Shay asked Kurt, has he heard? We said, ‘No, he hasn’t done it yet,’” Self said. “Shay said, ‘He just did it. He’s coming to Kansas.’ It’s how we found out. Everybody started running in the office saying it was out everywhere he signed. Then my phone started blowing up. I probably got 150 texts in 10 minutes.

“There wasn’t jubilation,” Self added. “It was kind of a surreal feeling. I was so happy. It was a humble happiness. I was so proud we were able to land Andrew. There were some high fives, but not that much celebration. There will be a time we do celebrate. Hopefully that’s after we win a lot of games next year,” Self added.

Self admitted he went to bed on Monday night apprehensive about Tuesday’s announcement.

“I didn’t think it was great,” he said of KU’s chances. “I kept texting him. I couldn’t get him to respond. In the morning I text him and said, ‘Hey man, have a great day today.’ He texted back, ‘Thank you.’ That’s been my limited contact with him in recent days because he shut it all down and wanted to think about everything. We had no communication with the family until after he signed the papers.”

Wiggins — his high school coach and teammates didn’t know the decision until thepress conference — actually decided last weekend, at that point asking his parents, former NBA player Mitchell and track Olympian Marita, to make the trip from Toronto to West Virginia for an announcement. The Herald-Dispatch reports that the parents held a meeting with their son to make sure he was solid with his decision, before walking into the high school gym for Tuesday’s ceremony.

“Just letting down the other schools,” Wiggins told Traylor of the only downside to the day. “All the other three schools were great schools. I couldn’t go wrong with any one of them.”

Of KU, he added: “I’ve always liked Kansas and I like their style of play.”

Wiggins, who averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds last season for 30-3 Huntington Prep, likely won’t be in Lawrence this summer. He said he plans on returning to his native Canada to be with family and friends and likely play for Canada’s Under-19 national team.

Self said that’s fine with him, just as long as he’s in a spot where he’s “getting better.”

Self said there’s plenty of time to work out details. Tuesday was a day of celebrating the signing of a player who reclassified from the Class of 2014 to ‘13 back in October.

“I thought it was the longest long shot,” Self said, “at least when we first got involved and everything. The more we hung around, the more we felt he liked us. There was a little bit of a connection. Kurtis (Townsend) played a huge role in making sure that occurred.”

Self said KU caught a break in Wiggins visiting for Senior Day.

“He saw what this place was about,” Self said. “The game wasn’t a huge high intensity game (vs. Texas Tech) but he was able to see how the players are beloved here. After he left, I felt we were definitely in the game and had a shot.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

Comments

okiedave 5 years, 10 months ago

Excited about Basketball season? This fan is.

Steve Zimmerman 5 years, 10 months ago

Is it Thanksgiving Day already? I can't wait!!!!!!!

Bill Skeet 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh yeah!

Wiggins is instantly the most important Canadian Jayhawk since Dr. Naismith.

Cmill1221 5 years, 10 months ago

John Cornish was the first Jayhawk in 35 years to beat Nebraska in football...

BainDread 5 years, 10 months ago

Why four microphones for one media member?

RockChalk26 5 years, 10 months ago

"Hey Grant, I'll give you $20 bucks if you set my microphone up on the table"

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 10 months ago

He was the only one allowed to cover it live. I notice multiple tv station (likely local) microphones - maybe they were going with tape-delayed.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 10 months ago

Curious why Self will allow him not to come to campus the first of summer as all others have done. IIRC Xavier and his bro did the same thing and there were problems jelling with the rest of the team.

master16 5 years, 10 months ago

i believe Wiggins made that clear during recruitment he wouldn't be around in the summer. so the coaches either had to accept that or stop recruiting him. but hey, when you are drawing comparisons to Lebron and Michael Jordan you have that power.

Tonyjayhawk38 5 years, 10 months ago

Why are you curious?It says he is going to play on the Canadian under 19 team!!

Robin Smith 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm fairly certain Self has never stood in the way of a player representing his country.

So to answer your question: it's because he's good enough to be a featured player on his country's team.

brooksmd 5 years, 10 months ago

Yeah I'd like to see him there asap so Hudy can get her hands on him.

eric poncharello 5 years, 10 months ago

I thought X stayed in OKC and said he was going to keep in shape with a trainer, it seemed the media was counting the day's when he was going to show and every time he did not show they wrote about it and even when there was nothing to report on the media made something of it.

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

Henceforth and forevermore, I hope Kansas fans stop bashing the one and dones with charges that Self doesnt like to go after them, etc. The truth is, he wants a solid core of multiple-year players with impact OADs to complement them. It's the truth, y'all. And if both McLemore and Wiggins go number one you should expect more of this kind of thing, so get used to it.

Joseph Kuebel 5 years, 10 months ago

I feel it, and agree. I'd like to think it was more of a bashing of UK though, all in all. Having a mix of talent and age helps, as the younger most talented players will most likely leave early unless they can drastically improve their draft position, and older players that know the system can help mentor the youth and lead by example. The aforementioned was the case with Ben McLemore's. Of course, we didn't realize Ben was going to go pro (after his red-shirt season) at the time we signed him, but regardless I truly believe Self has a great system that needs a great signing like this every so often.. However, this is even more so true when we lose all 5 starters. Put me down as a Kansas fan that will not bash any type of one and done, unless they fall for UK's shenanigans. I don't think I see a lot of one-and-done bashing tho, I think it is moreso fans getting salty with the system that Calipari is getting away with... its making people believe that most of the one-and-done's are primadonnas/not team players / foolish and superficial for falling for the "cool, trendy" Calipari sleezebucket. A lot of fans have said a player that truly wants to play for Kentucky over Kansas they would not want, which I understand, but don't necessarily agree with fully.

ChicagoJHawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Thank you!! Well said. It used to annoy the hell out of me when people say how getting one and dones "isn't the KU way". Those people don't know what the hell they're talking about.

It just so happened that we've ended up with 3 or 4 year players, but for any coach to purposely turn down a top 5 recruit that's a potential one and done, would be stupid. The fact that Self tried to recruit Derrick Rose and John Wall was enough proof, I thought, yet I'd still see people on the message boards talking about how Self avoids those kinds of players on purpose.

Ben Simonett 5 years, 10 months ago

I don't think anybody actually believes Self doesnt want OADs and that OADs aren't good for the program. I think that rationalization is made in an attempt to dismiss the recruiting struggles the staff had the previous 3 years. Those same people who said these things are on here posting how excited they are about Wiggins.

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree Benny. So many have dismissed OADs and now theyre coming out of the woodwork when we land a major one. The reason they were dismissed has EVERYTHING to do with rationalization.

ku_foaf 5 years, 10 months ago

One and Dones are part of life in today's CB. Many of the top players will be of this category. You cannot pretend they don't exist, they often impact programs significantly, and have contributed to national championships.

KansasComet 5 years, 10 months ago

Andrew Wiggins took his time and made an informed decision. I am happy for him. I think it is great that he will be able to spend time with his brother Nick. It is unfair to criticize any of these young men for the schools they decide to attend. It is their life, and their choice. At the end of the day, I wish them all success in the game of life!

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 10 months ago

you've taken this stance all along that no matter where he picked that he was doing the right thing to take his time and make a decision he wouldn't regret, and I'm confident that you'd have posted this same thing had he ended up anywhere else, but the sad thing is that this board would be full of people bashing Wiggins saying that he had made his decision a long time ago and was just playing the schools and that he did it for publicity and to inflate his ego, etc.

I'm glad that he picked KU but I'm with you. It sounds like he really did his due diligence and then made a tough decision. I'm glad that his brother happened to be at Wichita State or else we might have missed out on this kid.

KansasComet 5 years, 10 months ago

plasticJHawk, Thanks. You are correct, I would have posted congratulations to Andrew Wiggins on whatever school he decided to attend. It's his choice not mine. It is really refreshing to see a young man take his time, and make an informed decision. Having a brother at Wichita State definitely did not hurt. It is sad that some hurl insults at these young men, for not picking their school. Thanks again!

Michael Luby 5 years, 10 months ago

I could barely wait for the first game of the season before I heard Big Wig was coming to KU. Now, its off the scale! The next 5 months or so will be agonizing. Especially since Andrew wont be on campus until fall semester starts in August? I cant blame the kid for wanting to be near home and compete nationally like he is doing. I just hope it doesn't mess with the chemistry, like what happened with Xavier. It is different though because its his choice and not his dad's.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 10 months ago

Well, we do have a little thing called a football team, so that will help kill some of the "dead time" till Late Night.

chipmunk1956 5 years, 10 months ago

"My brother is right there with me. Wichita State is like an hour-and-a-half travel away, so I can be close to my brother."

Hour and a half?... Must be that new high performance sports car he'll be driving!... :)

jgkojak 5 years, 10 months ago

Ha! Maybe that was Townsend's recruiting pitch - "your brother is two and a h- I mean two - no, an hour and a half away"

kellerman411 5 years, 10 months ago

With the increased speed limit, you can do 80 and actually it's about 1:40... just did it this weekend for mother's day

nostradavid 5 years, 10 months ago

I went from Lawrence to Wichita in 90 minutes back in '72, driving a 1969 MGC GT (3 liter 6 cylinder, 4 speed with the optional Laycock electric overdrive). It was a beautiful afternoon on a deserted turnpike. One of the wire wheels was out of tune; the faster I drove, the smoother it ran. Distance 165 miles, average speed 110.

1969 MGC GT

1969 MGC GT by nostradavid

DDDHawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Welcome to the Jayhawk family, Andrew! And welcome to your family, as well!

Karen Holmes 5 years, 10 months ago

The video I saw Mr. Wiggins said, "I have decided to go to ..The University of Kansas." NOT Kansas University Mr. Bedore.

"Down to four finalists the past many weeks, Huntington (W. Va.) Prep basketball phenom Andrew Wiggins had a difficult time distinguishing and deciding between Kansas University, Florida State, North Carolina and Kentucky."

Robin Smith 5 years, 10 months ago

  1. 'Kansas University' is the journalistic policy. It's official, sanctified, and truthfully better. It makes sense with our acronym and it's simpler and less awkward to use in writing.

  2. Everyone who has ever been to this site has made this critique

Steve Gantz 5 years, 10 months ago

  1. I've been here for years and have only observed that people need to get a life if they're worried about the usage of our school's name. I still don't get why people obsess about it.

wrwlumpy 5 years, 10 months ago

It must have been Jeff's 3 pointer that did it on Senior night.

Mick Allen 5 years, 10 months ago

Additionally I read that Andrew was developing a relationship with Emblid and Selden at the all star games.

archercc 5 years, 10 months ago

I don't get why people are making a big deal about the Ben situation. A former coach, without the knowledge of Ben, was paid to attempt to sway Ben to pick X agent when he leaves KU for MILLIONS of pesos in the NBA.

KU did no wrong, Ben did no wrong and all this really means is Ben became so valuable that agents were throwing money at whomever they could just to get a chance at him. Yeah it might suck that our championship might get taken away by the Big 12 due to no fault of our own but there is zero risk of any future penalties because nobody involved with the program did anything.

Hawk8086 5 years, 10 months ago

I think potentially getting the Big 12 championship taken away is a big deal.

Jesse Johnson 5 years, 10 months ago

If that were all the details in the report then I wouldn't be worried either. The scary details that you didn't mention include the agent attending a game with one of Ben's family passes and something about a bowling birthday party for Ben paid for by the agent. And yes, taking away the Big XII title would be a big deal. Hopefully for all our sakes it just blows over like the Duke controversy.

Lindsey Buscher 5 years, 10 months ago

“I kept texting him."

Easy there HCBS, don't want to invite a Kelvin Sampson like investigation, NCAA won't touch Calimari but they would come after us.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 10 months ago

NCAA changed the rule about coaching texting and calling players if I recall correctly. Coaches now have "unlimited contact" during whatever periods. It's why playres and players parents now have to enforce a strict "shut-it-down" regime in order to keep the vultures from getting too close.

ccarp 5 years, 10 months ago

Leave it to coach to keep cool as the fans go crazy! Great get coaches! Welcome Andrew Wiggins and can't wait to Rock Chalk this season!

5 years, 10 months ago

When Andrew visited KU with his parents on Senior Day, during the game they showed Mitchell sitting next to and speaking with Wayne Simien. It looked like they were having an enjoyable conversation, and at that point, I thought we might have a good chance of landing Andrew.

To the Wiggins family, welcome to the Jayhawk family!

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 10 months ago

They don't come any classier than the Big Dub. It must be reassuring to the parent to know that he is the team chaplain.

5 years, 10 months ago

I was thinking the same thing, JHFT.

championhawks 5 years, 10 months ago

I don't think we can compare Wiggin's situation with not coming to KU this summer to Henry's. If I remember right, X just wasn't coming to campus and was supposedly working out with a personal trainer or something. At least Wiggin's will be playing on an organized team and probably against decent competition.

The only downside to this is that Hudy loses a couple of months with him.

Choctaw 5 years, 10 months ago

We're Kansas! We don't rebuild we reload! Fire In the Hole Big12! We're baaaaaack! One for the next thumb! 10 straight titles. Ok ....enough with the silly stuff but this feels soooo good to look forward to fall. God it's good to be a Jayhawk.

JayDocMD 5 years, 10 months ago

I saw the article regarding what the football players said on Twitter about the signing of Wiggins, however I'm more interested in what our basketball players think of his signing.

Upon twitter review of next year's team:

  • I've seen positive remarks by our signees: Embiid, Greene, Mason, Frankamp and Selden.

  • I've seen positive remarks from Traylor, Lucas, Tyler Self, Evan Manning, Wesley, Niko Roberts, and Garrett.

  • Noticeably quiet: Naadir Tharpe, Andrew White and Perry Ellis. Both White and Ellis tweeted yesterday but nothing regarding Wiggins coming on board.

I'm not trying to stir things up, but I am interested in the chemistry of this team. If Wiggins is gone all summer playing ball for Canada and then steps in to be the "alpha dog" will the team accept him as a leader? Something to watch.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 10 months ago

You would figure that Tharpe would be elated.

The only two players that this affects in a negative way are Brannen Greene & Andrew White III.

wrwlumpy 5 years, 10 months ago

Naadir now has the best point guard job in America. I think Self's best coaching job recently was to make Naadir into a guard that all KU fans can have confidence in. If Conner can handle the ball as well as Naadir then he will take over as a starter. I think Naadir will be there at the end unless Conner turns into a Keaton Page clone.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

Wiggins' being on the team will make Tharpe's job as facilitator easier. Tharpe will not be counted on to be a scorer as well as PG.

Wiggins' being on the team will make Ellis' and Traylor's jobs as low post scorers easier. They will now not have to worry about being double teamed when they get the ball in the post.

EVEYONE will benefit from having Wiggins on the floor. It would be in their best interest to wrap their arms around it. They have all been the new guys added to the rotation as freshmen and can relate. All three seem to be good kids and not knuckleheads so I am not worried that there will be any type of issues.

Robin Smith 5 years, 10 months ago

Tharpe is a pretty low key tweeter. If you look at his profile you can see that he mostly retweets a few things and responds to his friends, but he's not composing new tweets very often.

JayDocMD 5 years, 10 months ago

Agreed - really mostly wondering what AWIII is thinking. WIggins coming most likely eats into his minutes big time.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

Honestly, what AW3 NEEDS to be thinking is that "I have to keep working to prove that I deserve minutes and I have the great opportunity to prove it every day against one of the best players I will ever face".

White will not face a defender better than Wiggins, who he will be matched up against directly every day in practice. I honestly think that if he has the right frame of mind, this will speed is development more than Wiggins NOT being here. White still has a LOT of work to do to be a decent college basketball player.

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

Excellent point for White. White is here for the long haul. He is a good kid and is a team player. He will be around for another 1-2, or 3 years. His day is coming. We all know good things come to those who wait.

Justin Steele 5 years, 10 months ago

would the Heat except Lebron with open arms? absolutely because hes the best player in the world! same with AW his teamates will be happy to see him!

Jack Jones 5 years, 10 months ago

Nice job of "not trying to stir things up" (not) ~ relax, enjoy your summer ~ things will all work out just fine ~ without our "stirring things up".

JayDocMD 5 years, 10 months ago

I can just picture you making air quotes while you lecture me. Sandwiched between the quotes are your generous pointers to help me with my mood/attitude and summer plans. Thanks?

My turn. "Nice job of" contributing to this particular discussion thread. You know what discussion boards are for? ...Discussion. The purpose of my post was a legitimate question and intended to initiate discussion. If you don't want to take me at my word, your choice. Apparently the intention of your post, was to question my integrity. "Nice Job."

Just be assured that I was SO relaxed while I typed this that I fell asleep multiple times.

chaggs 5 years, 10 months ago

Curious if there is a collection of tweets from former KU players regarding Wiggins' decision. I'd love to see tweets from Pierce, Vaughn, Chalmers, Morii, et. al.

Maybe I will have to just break down and set up a twitter account. sigh

Bill Pitcher 5 years, 10 months ago

Nice to know that Coach didn't resort to the ploy of offering Dad an assistant coach position --- and that he didn't have to....

kckuguy 5 years, 10 months ago

I just hope his dad doesn't "think" he is an assistant coach, we have been through that before.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 10 months ago

Yep..AW Prime is a fabulous basketball player, but........CAN HE DANCE!!??!!!!!!! :)

FearlessJayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm so excited, I could do a back-flip. I think I will!

Jack Wilson 5 years, 10 months ago

Interesting. That's all I can say.

My position is the same as it was yesterday morning, and last month. I do wish Wiggins would have gone elsewhere. Seems like a nice kid. Great family. It's not him. It's what he is .. a presumed OAD.

Of course, I'll be very happy when he drops 28 on Oklahoma St., or whatever. And he's now a Jayhawk. So every Jayhawk (including me) will root for him and the team. But rooting for Wiggins is not the point. We will all do that.

It's the travesty that is the presumed OAD situation in college basketball.

Look at the hype on Wiggins -- the next Kevin Durant, the next Lebron James, the next Michael Jordan. "Maple" Jordan is one that I heard. Does anyone believe that? But as with Selby and X, KU fans will expect more than is actually delivered, or that is realistically deliverable. We see a national title.

Look at the special treatment already -- Self says he can do whatever he wants in the summer. Go play for Canada. Forget chemistry, and bonding, and learning, and summer classes, and what every other freshman is required to be here (Uh, except OAD Xavier Henry). Go do whatever he wants to do because he's, well, Andrew Wiggins.

Look at the comments -- this changes Kansas basketball. We are now a title contender. We now have "street cred" (whatever the he** that is). He's KU's go-to guy from the start. We go from ranked 23 (or whatever) to ranked 5. All of a sudden, this 18 year old kid changes KU basketball.

Look at our post-mortems on X and Selby. Most think they were flops, didn't work, etc. When X actually did pretty well and Selby's season was shortened by suspension and injury.

I mean this .. short of a national title. Anything short of winning a national title -- this was not worth it. If he is Carmelo Anthony, fine. We'll let Frankamp be McNamara. But selling your soul on the presumed one and done, the guy with his foot out the door, is not needed, nor is it the best path for Self's KU Jayhawks.

And I believe that this 8 month Wiggins interlude (August - March) will harm our chances of perhaps even greater success in 2014-15. Either Greene or White sits. And the other one is now an off the bench player only if they are lucky. Again, we win the title this season -- national title, not Big 12 for those of you who over-value the latter -- I will gladly say it was worth it.

I'll say this right now -- and from a pure talent perspective, it is idiotic -- but I would have rather landed Jermaine Lawrence. 6'9" power forward. #26 player, instead of Wiggins. Likely 3 year player at the least. High talent. Foundational type player in the post, which we needed. We do that, I think we have a better chance for one national title in the next two seasons than we do now.

(continued below)

Ben Simonett 5 years, 10 months ago

HEM,

I've got alot of respect for your basketball knowledge and understanding of the game. But comparing Andrew Wiggins to Josh Selby and Xavier Henry is idiotic.

Wiggins is on a completely different level then those two recruits. I think both of us saw the potential in Mclemore and agreed he was being overlooked with a mid 30's ranking, now hes a top 2 pick. Andrew Wiggins makes Ben Mclemore look slow and unathletic.

kellerman411 5 years, 10 months ago

That's not entirely true. In fact, Mclemore and Wiggins are much alike but are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Wiggins has crazy handles but lacks perimeter shooting, Mclemore is vice versa. As for athleticism, Mclemore is as good as it gets. He can hit the rim with his head at 6'5.... Those videos on youtube, Wiggins is taller than almost all of his opponents. At 6'7, he will be middle of the road in the Big 12. I'm just as excited as you but let's just see how that slender frame holds up at this level. If he still looks as powerful as in high school, then it's solidified.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

"At 6'7, he will be middle of the road in the Big 12."

WHAT?!?

Name ONE SG/SF that will be taller than Wiggins' 6'7"-6'8". LeBryan Nash is listed at a very gererous 6'7" and is the only guy close. McLemore a 6'5'rarely faced up against a guy taller than him.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

I could not disagree with you any more. Without Wiggins we have ZERO chance at a national title this year. Period. And landing Wiggins may possibly open KU up as a maore favorable destination for the uber-elite players in the near future. His playing at Kansas has more than a one year impact.

People need to get off this retarded issue with OAD players or schools that have them. This isn't 1986. The world of college and pro basketball is different.

Tyshawn Taylor played for the USA U-19 team the summer after his freshman year and missed most of the summer. Jeff Withey played for the Athletes in Action team in 2011 over the summer before the 2011-2012 season. Stop acting like Wiggins is getting special treatment that no other KU player would get. Self has ALWAYS allowed players to pursue outside playing options that were beneficial to their development. ALWAYS.

Steve Gantz 5 years, 10 months ago

I like what you wrote. For weeks as we've been speculating I've been writing look out for KU in 14-15. We will be loaded with experienced players that year. That has changed now as you mentioned. Someone who I presumed would be ripe after years of seasoning now is going to be less ripe.

But, a NC would obviously make it easier to accept, although, not very many OAD's lead their teams to National Championships, except for, as we painfully know, Carmelo Anthony.

BainDread 5 years, 10 months ago

And Anthony Davis! For KU, the "Anthony" curse is worse than the SI cover curse.

Steve Gantz 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh boy, I was at that game, how could I forget that one?!! You might be onto something with the Anthony thing, although maybe it only applies when the game's in New Orleans.

kckuguy 5 years, 10 months ago

Why don't you write an article about your past experiences, the teams you have coached and what kind of players you recruited and maybe a little about the teams you played for, before you became a coach. Also, what was your record when you either played or coached against Coach Self ? I bet you kicked his butt every time, didn't you ?

JacquesMerde 5 years, 10 months ago

Grow up. This type of comment is juvenile and sucks. Give a reason for disagreeing with HEM. He explains why he holds his opinion.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 10 months ago

From the standpoint of how Self builds his program, my view (just my humble opinion) is that the value he places on system, experience, and being a defense-first team, runs contrary to the OAD drama. The guy who is not the presumed OAD, but a high talent, top 50 guy -- having to work to get to the NBA -- I think -- is the overall better fit for KU with coach Self at the helm. I think Self would do better to avoid presumed OADs unless we have a clear hole in our roster to fill. And I wouldn't bring in an OAD to relegate top 50 players to the bench.

I mentioned my thoughts a bit yesterday, and in other posts before .. but my opinion hasn't changed simply because Wiggins chose KU.

All that being said, how about if Wiggins does what we want .. and leads us to the national title? It's simple. Everyone's happy.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

Ugh. While I appreciate the basic message of your posts on this topic, that KU players are expected to work hard and value their time at Kansas, you have made a huge error in assuming that OAD players do not still have to work hard and do not value their time in school as much as other players. Many KU fans simply have a negative attitude about OAD players because KU has seen so many of them go to our rivals at UK, UNC and Duke. A shell of BS excuses has been formed by many with this preposterous justification of how OAD players "don't fit" the KU model. That's a load of crap.

The KU model is to get the best players possible, coach them up as well as possible and win as many games as possible. We tend to get more players that place a higher value on the experience of playing in college because playing at Kansas in AFH is such an amazing experience. By all accounts, Wiggins' enjoyment of the experience during his official visit to KU was a huge reason why he is coming to Kansas.

I do not care how many years a player stays in school. If he works hard, tries hard and represents the Kansas basketball program in the best possible manner then I will be his biggest fan. Trust me, there have been 4 year players at KU who have been stars who I was THRILLED to see them leave campus because they were knuckleheaded idiots that shined a negative light on KU.

To judge a player's worth to the program before he has ever even played a game is snobbish and ignorant. It's a shame that you cannot simply give every new player that suits up for KU a blank slate. I am THRILLED that Kansas was able land Andrew Wiggins. We are a better team for it.

Truthhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

I don't post much but I have to here. I love that we got Wiggins. It will make us better next year without a doubt.

But I think you guys aren't really reading what HEM said here. He's talking about unrealistic expectations. He has not compared Wiggins to Henry or SElby. Just the hype is compared. He never said that Wiggins won't work hard. He's talking about special treatment. Does anyone think he won't get special treatment?

The main thing I read from HEM is that it is coach Self. Coach Self is better without a guy like Wiggins. He can coach. He has taken lesser talent and won 30. He coaches defense first and he is pretty impatient with guys that don't have experience. I guess what I read is HEM thinks Self isn't wired for one and done players. Does that make sense? Some coaches might function better with a one and done player but maybe Self doesn't. I don't think anybody will say that's wrong.

Is this worth it? I will take a final four. I just hope White doesn't transfer!

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 10 months ago

Yep,...that's my one worry too.

He'd be in good shape if he were to redshirt, and would be smart to see the benefits in doing so....won't feel like a wasted year and would still have 3 years of eligibility.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 10 months ago

We all love Andrew White III because he seems to be a very modest, quiet, hard-working player who has said and done things the right way and is very relatable. But he needs to be considering what's best for his future, and I'm sure that he's questioning that now. Not because of Andrew Wiggins, because Wiggins is a one year wonder at KU, but because he's already down one year of eligibility and he's about to be down another year if he doesn't redshirt, and he's also the same size, the same position, the same skill set as Greene. I want AWIII to flourish, I want it to happen at KU, but nothing is guaranteed. And he may choose to find a place where he can be more optimistic about his chances. I wouldn't be upset about it. He seems like a kid who will take it as a positive and who will have no ill will or animosity toward the staff or the school if he chooses to leave. That said. I hope that he sticks with it. I think that both he and Greene can excel at KU. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

"Self is better without a guy like Wiggins"?!? What? How can you possibly say that with any shred of seriousness? Has Bill Self ever HAD a guy like Wiggins? NO, so you are purely speculating.

Bill Self has been EXCELLENT without a guy like Wiggins, but that doesn't mean he cannot have the ultimate success WITH Wiggins. It's stupid to think that Self cannot succeed with Wiggins.

You don't have the first clue how Self is "wired". Self runs a great system and he preaches aggressive defense. You are ASSUMING that only players that have been in the program for multiple years have the ability to function and thrive in that scenario. That's a foolish assumption likely jaded largely by the relative failure of Josh Selby.

Truthhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

twocoach44 I'm not saying he can't be. I'm just saying that the way coach Self is as a coach doesn't seem to work well with one and dones. He really doesn't like freshmen, right? He likes experienced guys that develop. No one is saying he can't succeed with Wiggins. Who said that? All that is being said is Self is better with guys that know the system, and are experienced. I'm not assuming that "only players that have been in the system for multiple years" can thrive. I did not say that. You mischaracterized what I said. It is you who obviously hasn't paid attention to Self's handling of his lineups.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

He really doesn't like freshmen? If freshmen were the best players available, Self has not hesitated to use them. He really doesn't like UNPREPARED freshmen. There's a difference. Every player that was considered a OAD prospect has STARTED under Bill Self. Selby, Henry and McLemore all were the best players available and all started. When Selby was no longer the best player available, he no longer started.

Too many fans make too many broad sweeping ASSumptions. Self's system works with whoever is the best player available. If you play hard and smart, you get minutes. It's just that most freshmen are equipped to do that right away. That's not a SELF issue, that's a PLAYER issue.

Truthhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

He doesn't like the mistakes. If you cannot even recognize that then you don't pay attention to the game for the last 10 seasons.

You say all OADs have started. That helps prove the point. How about other freshmen? Other coaches play freshman much more than Self. Self just has a higher bar for freshmen, that's all.

By the way, thanks for the CAPS. I ASSume you can't do without using them.

Ethan Berger 5 years, 10 months ago

Well no offense but I'm glad you aren't coach. I understand the one and done scare, I even understand Bill isn't perfect. But we have the most hyped high school guy since LeBron. Now this also helps with how media is today, but he is incredibly efficient. Greene and white will have to face him in practice each day. Practice develops players, not games.

Hawk8086 5 years, 10 months ago

Hem, I posted before that I agreed with your basic analysis, but I'm going to repeat it since some people read things into your comments that aren't there (typical). It is interesting that Self's system isn't ideal for the OAD. For any program at our level (i.e not one trying to break into the national scene, but, maybe especially ours given Self's system) a OAD is not necessarily a good fit for in the long run for the reasons you laid out. But coaches, like Self can't turn down a player of AW's (or X or Selby's) talent.

Hawk8086 5 years, 10 months ago

KD, Great summary and you have expressed alot of what I believe, especially as it relates to X and Selby. I tend to lean more with HEM on the fact that this may hinder the development of White and / or Greene. But everything is a trade off.

thmdmph 5 years, 10 months ago

coach like Self should not take Wiggins or an elite athlete because it changes what his program HAS been doing. First, if Lebron were a high school kid and he has one year, it'd be DUMB for anybody to say we don't want him or he's not good for us. (and NO, I'm not comparing Lebron to Andrew, but it demonstrate a point.) Next, every good player, coach, fan.... has to be able to adapt and change to time and situations. Here, I remember times when we've complained about Coach Self not adapting here and there. So a good coach needs to adapt to the personel that he has. Self has done the first part, recruit a good set of players. Then adapt his coaching and plays to his players' strength. You can't possible expect Self to stay within the same mold of the past ten years for the next ten years. Lastly, I'd still be happy if KU got a chance to have seen and be part of Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, or Andrew Wiggins' games. Even if we don't win a championship.

thmdmph 5 years, 10 months ago

First part of my response.

"It's silly to say Wiggins is not good or any ......"

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 10 months ago

HEM, while I don't particularly care for the one and done concept, as long as you don't try to assemble the entire team with them, as Calipari is trying to do, I have no problem with one one-and-done per season.
Let's face it; as long as the NBA doe not change the rules, the one and dones are here to stay. Passing on Player of Wiggins Caliber is like trying to recruit players with a rotary phone and long distance card, when everybody else is using cell phones, e-mail, text messaging and twitter..

Ron Franklin 5 years, 10 months ago

Updated Pecking Order:

  1. Tharpe

  2. Wiggins

  3. Ellis

  4. Embiid

  5. Selden

  6. Tarik Black

  7. AW3

  8. Greene

  9. Mason

  10. Frankamp

  11. Traylor

  12. Lucas

  13. Wesley

  14. Manning

  15. Roberts

  16. Garrett

  17. Self

Tony Bandle 5 years, 10 months ago

Tharpe over Wigggins?

Did Tarek commit?

How come ahperse and Jaybate were left off the list?

Why is Coach Self at the bottom? :) And you forgot Cindy Self, also.

What does the term pecking order actually mean? Shouldn't it be "Beaking Order"???

You may want to put Red Shirt behind the name on #7

WOW..no love for Frankamp!!

Ron Franklin 5 years, 10 months ago

I admire your wit, no wait, I envy it just a bit. Tharpe, IMHO, will be the leader (not the most talented player) but he will lead this team. He's got the swagger to not be bothered by Wiggs. Tarik will commit. I'm taking AW3's one year of experience over Greene. I'll be high on Frankamp when he does not weigh 155 pounds. I could take him out with a knee to the kidney.

Ron Franklin 5 years, 10 months ago

And Jaybate didn't make the squad this year. He's been dropping the ball a lot lately :)

JacquesMerde 5 years, 10 months ago

Actually, he isn't posting very often. He must have a new job or a new girlfriend.

kellerman411 5 years, 10 months ago

This is very true... Tharpe has balled against some guys who currently make and are about to make a decent living in the league right now. He won't be bothered by Wiggins at all.

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

I totally agree about Tharpe. It's his for the losing. However, does he want it? The more I see and hear from Frank Mason, this kid is for real. If Tharpe thinks he can coast on the premise this is "his team" as EJ, he better check his heart and head. Frank Mason will ball his way to the pg and Tharpe will get pine time.

Tharpe better get serious and play like the junior we know and has the experience to ball with the best or Frank Mason will steal that role. It could be Mason's for the taking.

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

Ultimately, I agree completely. However, Self has one shot with Wiggins. I don't think he can afford to allow Tharpe to make freshman mistakes. He was quick to bench EJ and threw Tharpe in and he'll be even more so to yank Tharpe for Mason from time to time.

Let's just hope Tharpe steps up to the year by leading, balling, and being the pg Self recruited. He is now a junior and I'm out of excuses for his play. I hope he dominates. I can allow some mistakes, but if he his consistent, he'll have a great year. Again, when you're a junior veteran leader of a team of this caliber, you better be ready to step up and shine. Tharpe is capable of being the best pg in the nation.

Greg Lux 5 years, 10 months ago

For years I have said ( of recruits ) Why not KU it's such an awesome place to play basketball and to become part of the best family in all of college basketball? Then it would happen the recruit would go to UK or Duke or NC or some other school. My heart would be hammered once again. I try to understand why. I never get the right answer. Then yesterday, like many of you I was waiting for the UK or NC choice with a slimmer of hope it would be KU. Time dragged until 11:09 am when it finally happened. I yelled to my wife, "AW is coming to KU!!!! My heart raced for more then an hour as I double checked and read reports.Finally a young man saw the real KU and not the Cal Bull. I agree with HCBS about getting a big break having Andrew and his family visit on Senior Day. He got to see the love that Jayhawk fans have for their basketball and the truth about once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk. We are family. You won't regret your choice Andrew. You are now a Jayhawk for life.. Congrats

Rock Chalk

Tony Bandle 5 years, 10 months ago

Andrew Wiggins now joins Jake Heaps as the two most anticipated athletes that are going to start their careers at Kansas this next season.

I've just got this overwhelming gut feeling that the Jayhawk football team is going to sneak up on some people and pull some big surprises!!

Conversely, the Jayhawk basketball team isn't going to sneak up on ANYBODY!!!!!

HI I I I I I I I I I I I IH - Memorial Stadium.....Iv_O_vI - Allen Field House.

/{ "}> <[......] - Jayhawk...........HHHHHH - Sixth National Championship.......KUNATION!!! HH.............................VVVVVV

Alex Peekeaton 5 years, 10 months ago

Are you counting every NC by 2? KU is tied with Louisville & UConn with 3 NCs.

nuleafjhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Don't believe everything your mommy reads to you - it's 5.

Ben Simonett 5 years, 10 months ago

Attention athletic department: Give Kurtis Townsend a raise!

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

We aren't going to have Townsend long for this very reason. Townsend must have elite recruiting skills.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 10 months ago

He promised he would introduce him to Samantha Ryan...

DanR 5 years, 10 months ago

Yesterday he was 6-7, 190. Today he's 6-8, 215.

Wiggins said the weight was lifted off his shoulders, which could possibly account for the extra inch in height in 24 hours, but it doesn't explain the 25 pounds.

Joel Thomas 5 years, 10 months ago

Physics. Though it's true Wiggins plays in rarefied air.

Ron Franklin 5 years, 10 months ago

I would add to this that Andrew was smart enough to stay away from the poisonous waters down there. It won't be long before all 'new' wears off of them boys in Kentucky and they start trying to one up another for their share of the spotlight. Next thing you know there is no team chemistry and no success.

JacquesMerde 5 years, 10 months ago

With the Harrison brothers you can bet on it.

Alex Peekeaton 5 years, 10 months ago

If that's the best scenerio for de-throning UK off the top spot next year, there are going to be a lot of disappointed college basketball fans outside the Commonwealth!

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

I was thinking the same thing and really believe the Harrison's feel enttitled. I do believe that some pride is going to go before a fall with the big bluegrass recruits. I would be very concerned as a uk fan. Those twins will be the down fall. The more I hear, the more bratty, entitlted, and spoiled they appear.

Mark it down at some point this season, there will be a breakdown with these twins. Their attitude sux.

Alex Peekeaton 5 years, 10 months ago

The Twins will be the "DOWNFALL"??? Don't make me laugh - the way you talk about the Twins makes it sound that you have know each of them and their family for 5+ years? 10+ years? How long have you known the Harrison family to make those statements? Could it be the only way in your mind to try and knock the Twins down is to discredit them? There is no doubt Andrew Harrison will be the best point guard in the country next year!

soapisurfriend 5 years, 10 months ago

Look, I'm sorry Kentucky didn't get Andrew Wiggins. If it makes you feel any better, UK lost in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris. I hope that helps.

nuleafjhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Please humor me. Be a man ( or woman, if that's what you are ). Why are you here? I really, truly would like to know. The vast majority of us don't go to other schools' websites. I would appreciate an honest answer. Thank you.

JayHawkFanToo 5 years, 10 months ago

Here is a good subject for you: BOBBY MO!!!

Alex Peekeaton 5 years, 10 months ago

No insecurity on my part...just preparing myself to watch one of the most talented teams in the history of college basketball next year. UK's second team (Polson, Young, Wiltjer, Lee, Johnson) would be in the top 25! It's going to be a fun year KD!

Alex Peekeaton 5 years, 10 months ago

So you're comparing the likes of Ryan Harrow to Andrew Harrison, Archie Goodwin to Aaron Harrison, Julius Mayes to James Young, adding alpha dog Julius Randle, #1 Center Dakari Johnson, another year of maturity for projected lottery pick Cauley-Stein, Poythress, and Wiltjer? No gross estimate - only the 1996 UK team has as much talent as the 2013 UK team in terms of pro players.

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

Are you sure Dakari is the #1 Center? Now I'm laughing.

WisconsinJayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Bedore bugs the heck out of me. What kind of sentence is this??

"Down to four finalists the past many weeks, Huntington (W. Va.) Prep basketball phenom Andrew Wiggins had a difficult time distinguishing and deciding between Kansas University, Florida State, North Carolina and Kentucky."

Really? He had a hard time "distinguishing" between these four schools? They have different mascots, school colors, coaches, and locations that vary by hundreds of miles. How about you just leave it at "he had a hard time deciding between" these schools?

Ron Franklin 5 years, 10 months ago

He probably wasn't distinguishing facts such as school colors, mascots, and locations. Maybe he had a hard time distinguishing between the academic programs, and how comfortable he felt with each coach, and which fanbase he felt the most love from. Maybe he had a hard time distinguishing which kinds of personalities he would jive with best? Maybe it was hard for him to distinguish the different styles of play? This is probably why he followed his Heart, his instincts. Intuition is a crazy phenomena.

Robin Smith 5 years, 10 months ago

that's a pisspoor point of criticism on your part

WisconsinJayhawk 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry. I do feel that writers should have a command of the English language. Your lack of capitalization and punctuation indicates that use of the English language is of little concern to you and that is fine; however, message board posters and writers should not be held to the same standard. I doubt Wiggins had any difficulty distinguishing-- i.e., "recognize or as different; perceive or point out a difference" (Websters) between the schools. He may have had difficulty CHOOSING between the distinct schools, but to say Wiggins could not "distinguish" between them is either bad use of the English language or an insult to Wiggins. I am charitably assuming the former and not the latter.

Jack Jones 5 years, 10 months ago

Give it a rest ~ after all this is a sports site ~ not the "college bowl".

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree that Bedore should have left out the word distinguishing. It's redundant at best and potentially changes the meaning of the statement and misleads the reader.

If I were the editor I would have revised it. However, I'm not the editor, nor was I confused by the statement, nor do I give a crap that the editor didn't use my personal standard usage.

Jack Jones 5 years, 10 months ago

Grammar and syntax police on high alert ~ again.

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

These are a great bunch of guys that have high IQs on and off the court. All these guys are coachable and seem to really believe in Self. I'd say this is a Self-taught recruiting class. Kudos to the coaching staff for a job well done. Now as Wiggins and Selden have said, "it's time to go to work" and "do your thing." Yikes, I'm all KU and the thought of those two saying that scares even me. Beware B12 and NCAA, be very aware of the Phog.

idahawk 5 years, 10 months ago

"6'8" He's already added an inch.... Everything pre-signing had him at 6'7.

Robin Smith 5 years, 10 months ago

there's a lot of listings of him being 6'8"

but none so ever present as ESPN, which happens to be notoriously slow at updating their info.

he is young so it would make sense that he might have actually grown.

Ron Franklin 5 years, 10 months ago

Marita & Mitchell no how to pull of the ' looks like we are at funeral when we are actually happy" look.

I would probably lose a card game to them.

BainDread 5 years, 10 months ago

A photo captures life lived 1/120th of a second at a time. We look at it and project it out over a two-hour event.

kckuguy 5 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations to Coach Self & Coach Townsend, Great job. Already had a great class and now the recruiting class is just awesome. Coach Self, over all, is the best coach in basketball in my opinion. And that was my opinion before yesterday. When Coach Self signed, that was our biggest "get". Andrew Wiggins will never regret his decision about becoming a Jayhawk and with Andrew here, that will only make the other recruits better. The Jayhawk Nation's future never looked brighter.

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

All this love for a OAD is refreshing, if not a bit puzzling given their usual bashing here. Just goes to show that we (as a fanbase) are a little schizo depending on whether or not the single-trippers come here or land elsewhere.

How about a little intellectual integrity from our fans?

Congrats, Coach Self. Welcome Wiggins. Rock Chalk Jayhawks.

DanR 5 years, 10 months ago

I lost my intellectual integrity when our team with four seniors melted down agains Michigan in the tournament this year.

BainDread 5 years, 10 months ago

I assume your comment was made in jest and that you haven't forgotten the last four games leading up to the Michigan loss when various seniors carried the team while our star OAD averaged seven points per game, including a two-point effort against North Carolina.

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

Comment was not made in jest. Not at all, and unless YOUR comment was made in jest you are somewhat an idiot. Just because a OAD has a bad stretch doesn't detract from my point at all. Not even a little.

BainDread 5 years, 10 months ago

I was replying to DanR, not you jross.

soapisurfriend 5 years, 10 months ago

I just heard Selden and Tharpe switched numbers. Looks like Wayne will be sporting #1.

Norm Jennings 5 years, 10 months ago

First welcome Mr. Wiiggins! I can't to watch you play.

Second, some observations 1. HCBS knows how to recruit (still) 2. HCBS knows how to coach (still) 3. It is asinine and an injustice to compare any high school kid to Lebron James (there has only been one). 4. There will be a number of teams with well-founded NC aspirations, but still an unrealistic expectation to make of any preseason team, let alone any single player (especially a freshman). All but one of those aspiring teams will come up short. 5. Rick Barnes couldn't build a style for one player, and continue high performance in the absence of that player, I'm confident HCBS will create the best balance for the sucess of player, team , and program (and not just for the 2013-2014 season).

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

Selden sported 14, 4,1, 12, and 27 on various vids. I wonder what is significant about 1?

JacquesMerde 5 years, 10 months ago

I know you are pretty smart about basketball, but have you seen TRob play with the Rockets? His problem is size. This is why Kevin McHale gave him fewer and fewer minutes the longer he was on their squad, except for the last game of the regular season. Bigger guys were replacing him and frankly doing a better a job. I hate to write that last part because as a KU partisan I cheer for him at each game he plays and watch his stats as if he were my son. But McHale is a touch critic of power forwards. You must dominate your space on the floor or he yanks you.

BTW I don't believe any of the size stats the NBA teams publish.

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

Off the topic. A "little". Who has the best chance of beating Kentucky early? Probably only Michigan State, Louisville, or Arizona. Experience. But later in the season, probably the only team that is capable of beating Kentucky will be Kansas. No one else will be able to match their personnel. For what it's worth, Kansas has the same early vulnerability that Kentucky does, especially given the strength of the non-con.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

I assume you mean Carolina, not Arizona. Michigan State gets UK early and will be a tough game for both. Then UK gets a month off basically before Baylor, Carolina and Louisville

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

I meant Arizona. Speaking hypotheticaly. Of course AZ and KY dont meet, but if they did...

Didnt make that clear in the post above.

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

I don't see a need to talk hypothetical here. UK actually has games against Michigan State, Carolina and Louisville, three preseason Top 10 teams. With a team full of freshmen, UK will be more vulnerable in the non-con than in the tissue-soft SEC schedule and they will be a nasty tough out by the time the tourney gets here.

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

You may not see a need, and thats okay. You dont have to. My point is not based on what will transpire based on a schedule. Its based on the caliber of teams who have the ability to beat UK, and thats a musing that is not based on who plays who. The point is that Kentucky's talent will jell over the course of the season, such that teams who have the potential to best them at season's start may not be able to do so at season's end. Again, the argument is based on caliber rather than schedule.

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

Well all you "brother theorists" were right:

“That’s another positive in going there. We talked about all the possibilities. My brother is right there with me. Wichita State is like an hour-and-a-half travel away, so I can be close to my brother. I just look forward to having fun (at KU) and competing,” he added.

Adam James 5 years, 10 months ago

How come there is no more talk about Rio?

jaybate 5 years, 10 months ago

Our team full of talented newbies still has two gaping holes.

  1. A guard that can lock down a big point guard like Marcus Smart, and another defender that can lock down Markell Brown.

  2. a banger in the paint.

Without these two, the team could easily turn into a bunch of talent that can't close the circle on defense, and that has no answer when the bullies start bullying them.

Yes, Self can rotate Selden, or Wiggins onto tough outs on the perimeter, but once rotated, there isn't someone to come in and hand cuff the guy that was rotated off of.

Yes, Self can play skinny again, but the fact is that last year's skinnies couldn't get past the 16 with two draft choices. This year's team only has one sure draft choice in terms of developmental readiness for the NBA--AWigs.

One isn't enough.

I still think this team is going to face some significant problems defensively, though it should be able to put points on the board.

Ben Simonett 5 years, 10 months ago

have Wiggins guard the point. problem solved

:)

Scott Smetana 5 years, 10 months ago

Tharpe is ready to shine. He was shining last year when he shut down Burke. I have no worries at the 1 spot. I'm just hoping Wiggins and Seldon can learn Bill's defense quick.

I totally agree with your second point. Our most unclear position is 5. Right now I'd say that's our weak spot.

Woody Cragg 5 years, 10 months ago

Year 3 for Traylor & 2 for Perry under Hudy just may give us the "banger brothers." Big Jo will likely be our new lane (game) changer, but in due respect to JW, it won't be even close to the same. Don't forget Lucas has been in the pipeline for a year also. Selden is a flat out stud too. But things always change. IMO HCBS can adjust his teams' play to the talents he has, as well as any coach in CBB. Hope there are adequate supplies of light bulbs for scoreboards on hand cause we'll likely light up a few of them.

Benjamin Piehler 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm on cloud 9, Wiggins to KU and Gotze to Munich!

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

Wiggins, Tharpe, Ellis, Traylor, Lucas, Selden, Embiid, Frankamp, Greene, White, Mason... the combinations are almost endless. It will be fascinating to see how the rotation starts out against Duke, how it develops through a nasty non-con season and how it gels into conference play.

Every year seems to get more exciting. Crazy!!!

Bobettes 5 years, 10 months ago

first finding out when Downtown Abbey will premier their next season (Jan. 5th '14) and now learning Andrew Wiggins just signed with KU ... COULD THIS DAY GET ANY BETTER ???!!!

Big_Dipper 5 years, 10 months ago

Congrats Andrew Wiggins for following your heart and not just doing the trendy thing or any other wierd reason. You'll be forever loved in Jayhawkland. Good luck this Summer, unless you play against team USA of course. ;)

On the topic of not wanting one and dones, it's just expectation. Sometimes they work out, and sometimes they don't. The more you expect of something, and it turns out disappointing, the more it hurts. See 1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13 Kansas teams for high expectations that didn't work out the way most expected. I guess I can't be too hard on the 2001-02 and 2002-03 teams. They did make the Final Four/Championship Game, but ya have to admit, that the way they lost was disappointing.

See 1987-88 Kansas team for a team that exceeded expectations. Just ask Dickie V! The 2011-12 team is another that comes to mind with no Mickey D's All-Americans on the team and made it to the National Championship Game.

Continued...

Big_Dipper 5 years, 10 months ago

...

For players, how about Julian Wright. He said he intended to graduate in 3 years at KU, but ended up leaving for the NBA after 2. Maybe it worked out well for KU since we won the National Title the following year. Up to that point I believe he left KU the earlist. All others were Juniors (Paul Pierce), or seniors. Josh Selby was/is multi talented, but his lack of a full season likely hurt him. Or how about other teams? I think it was Brandon Knight that KU was recruiting along with UK, and many people thought he would stay in school for 3 or 4 years and graduate. He ended up leaving after a year.

Then you have players that surprise people. Marcus Smart for one. Lots of people expected him to be a top 5 pick this year. He decided to return for his sophomore season. Good or bad, it was his choice. Cole Aldrich was expected to declare for the draft after his sophomore season, but came back for his junior year. Tyler Hansbrough, he probably could have been a lottery pick in several seasons he played in college, but stayed all four years. Harrison Barnes also stayed longer than many expected early on. Brandon Rush came back for his junior season. Granted, he had a torn ACL, but they likely have team doctors in the NBA.

Ben McLemore said he intended to come back to KU for his sophomore season, but Coach Self said it was the right time for him to turn pro. I doubt he was on many NBA boards before he played his first game. He might be an example of a surprise one and done.

The point is, you can't say you want player X because he is 'expected' to play 3 or 4 years over player Y because he is 'expected' to be a one and done. You can have all the 'expectations' in the world on every player. However, what they do in the future is their choice, and their choice alone. Let the coaches recruit the players they like that will fit their system. So far I think Self has done a great job of that. Then, when the players decide to leave or not to leave, that is their choice. Don't 'expect' this or that. Just enjoy the players while they are here. Let them worry about their future, and Coach Self can worry about the roster.

Since79 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm glad Globaljaybird mentioned Lucas. People are sleepin on him. He had to go up against Withey everyday last season.. If facing the DPOY everyday didn't help his game..Embiid will be starting early next season

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

Since- You are absolutely right on Lucas. His redshirt took him completely off the radar. This kid really toned up and lost fat since redshirting. He's 6-10 and 240-245? He will be your banger down low with Traylor. Just think of the them as the bruise bros. haha

I will have to disagree with Embiid starting early. I really think Lucas will start pre-season through December. You might see Embiid playing a bit more in January. It really depends on how quickly Embiid learns Self's big man system.

Scott Smetana 5 years, 10 months ago

As good as Wiggins looks, he has huge shoes to fill at the 3 spot (Releford). Obviously he has a higher ceiling, but Releford was a stud last year.

I'm thinking 40-0 next year, especially if our 5 man can play defense and rebound. So many questions regarding Embiid and Lucas. We're so used to going inside first.... do we do that again?

Joe Baker 5 years, 10 months ago

Smitty- I think Lucas will be ready for the inside game. Tharpe Selden Wiggins Ellis and Lucas...I'd say it will be 20-30 mins Lucas and 10-15 mins Embiid early. It's going to be interesting to see what Self does with Embiid and Lucas.

Greg Lux 5 years, 10 months ago

What is really going to be fun is to watch and see if UK can win their first round NIT game in March 2014. :D

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