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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bill Self basks in glow

KU coach relishes gift of Andrew Wiggins

Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins smiles along side his mother Marita Payne-Wiggins, right, as he announces his commitment to Kansas University during a ceremony on 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 smiles along side his mother Marita Payne-Wiggins, right, as he announces his commitment to Kansas University during a ceremony on 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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Wednesday seemed a lot like the day after Christmas to Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self.

“My birthday falls two days after Christmas. I always got underwear or T-shirts for my birthday,” Self said during an appearance on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN radio show. “This was better than a Christmas and a birthday present combined.”

The present he received on Tuesday’s unofficial holiday was a signed letter of intent from the country’s top-ranked high school basketball player — Andrew Wiggins, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound guard/forward from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep.

The signing of Wiggins, who chose KU over Kentucky, Florida State and North Carolina, classified as huge national news, hence Self’s appearance on various national talk shows.

Tim Brando of CBS radio asked Self about losing one top-three NBA Draft pick in Ben McLemore with another filling the void in Wiggins.

“The situation with Ben, he handled himself beautifully while he was here. He’s an unbelievable kid. We lose him. We should have lost him (after one season). He should go because he has a chance to provide for his family,” Self said on Brando’s show. “You wake up and have somebody like Andrew Wiggins step in to go with five other guys (in KU’s recruiting Class of 2013), and you are, ‘Wow. Did we deserve this? This is unbelievable.’ We’re all ecstatic around here.”

Wiggins has been praised for announcing in a private ceremony at his high school attended by just one media member.

“It drives me nuts. You spend a lot of time recruiting a kid, and a kid picks a hat (off a table), which is fine. It’s how TV wants to play it up to be a big deal,” Self said of signing ceremonies in which a top high school player places hats of his finalists in front of him and puts the hat of one school on his head, signifying the winner.

“You have schools that invest so much time, energy and money sitting there watching it go down and not have a clue because they (network executives) tell them (prospects), ‘If you tell anybody, we won’t have you on TV.’ This was the high school beat writer, family, friends, teammates ... perfect. I thought it was very refreshing.”

Analysts have compared Wiggins to various NBA standouts, like LeBron James.

“Comparing him to LeBron is not fair,” Self said. “From a physical standpoint, they are both about the same height. LeBron is obviously much thicker and bigger physically. Andrew is extremely long at 6-8. His wingspan may be 7-1, 7-2, and they can both fly. There are some similarities in that. Both are freakish athletes.”

As far as how Wiggins will be used ...

“We’ll plug him in and do a lot of things we did with Ben plus add a whole bunch of more things,” Self said. “I think he’s a slasher who can shoot. You can post him. You can play really small with him at the 4, which we probably never will do, and of course he can be your 2-guard, which is his natural position.”

McLemore case: Brando referenced the situation in which McLemore’s amateur status from last season may be in jeopardy. It was recently alleged that a middleman paid for his birthday party, hotel rooms for relatives who attended the party and also paid travel expenses for McLemore’s AAU coach and McLemore’s cousin on a pair of trips to Los Angeles.

“I can’t comment on this other thing that’s happened. It is unfortunate,” Self told Brando. “It is something it’d be great to get your arms around. It’s easy from the cheap seats to say you should be doing this or should be doing that. That’s not the life these guys live. I don’t think Ben did anything remotely wrong at all, but the whole thing is ... you are talking about a big, big, big, big business. People know it’s a big business. There’s a lot of people benefiting from these exceptional athletes, more than just one sport — football, baseball, whatever, but certainly basketball is the one highlighted the most because of the situation where kids can leave so early and there are so many third party influences in some way, shape or form.”

Kentucky response: Kentucky coach John Calipari at a news conference Wednesday discussed losing Wiggins to KU.

“I’m as confident before and after his decision,” Calipari told the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy. “I wish him well. He’s a great kid and is going to be a terrific basketball player. I was confident in this team and what we have before and after.”

Calipari said his young Wildcat team will try to go undefeated.

“We’re chasing perfection. We’re chasing greatness. We’re chasing things that have never been done before in the history of this game,” Calipari said. “It’s never been done … in the modern era.”

No team has gone undefeated since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

“It wakes you up a little earlier in the morning,” Calipari said in the Sporting News. “I don’t mind a little pressure. You know what? I’m at my best when the gun is to my head. Players are the same. I’m not saying if we lose a game, it is not a successful season. No. But you’re chasing greatness. What’s wrong with that?”

Next year’s top player responds: Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10, 280-pound center from Chicago Whitney Young and the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014, wrote about Wiggins in his blog in USA Today.

“Of course I heard the news about Andrew Wiggins signing with Kansas and I really liked that move for him. He wouldn’t be there if I was to go there but that still makes them really attractive,” Okafor wrote.

“A lot of people say that Kansas doesn’t want a freshman to just come in for a year and have a huge impact then leave. I’ve never believed that, but I know Andrew will prove that it’s not true so that’s why it’s big. I’ll definitely be watching close to see how they handle a player of his talent level. I know coach Self will do a good job with it. I thought Andrew handled his whole recruitment really well. He took his time and made the right decision for him. I do think I’ll end up committing much sooner than he did though.”

Black’s visit: Tarik Black, a 6-9 junior from the University of Memphis who recently announced plans to transfer, was on KU’s campus on a recruiting visit Wednesday after visiting Duke earlier in the week. He’s also considering Oregon, Georgetown and Ohio State.

Number tidbits: KU junior Naadir Tharpe has given his jersey No. 1 to incoming freshman Wayne Selden, Selden reported on Twitter. Tharpe will be No. 10. Brannen Greene will wear No. 14, Frank Mason No. 0, Joel Embiid No. 21 and Conner Frankamp No. 23.

KU-UF announced: Kansas University’s men’s basketball game at Florida on Dec. 10 will be part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, the two conferences announced. The Big 12/SEC Challenge will begin during the 2013-14 season.

“This will be very good for our league,” Self said.

McLemore picks agent: Former KU guard Ben McLemore has chosen Rival Sports Group as his pro representation, ESPN’s Chad Ford reports from the NBA combine in Chicago. Ford said he has been working out in Los Angeles with Pooh Richardson. McLemore will not scrimmage at the NBA combine, just take part in measurements and interviews.

Comments

coloradojayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

You can probably pretty quickly pencil in Wiggins for #22, seeing as how that wasn't used last year.

Dirtyphog 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm still in shock after what happened Tuesday.. I know its WAY too early to even be talking about it, but after reading Okafor's response I'm pretty impressed with how he handles himself, professional and level-headed... I wonder if Tarik being on campus during all this hoopla will persuade him. Would be nice, but I think we are set either way with Embiid, Lucas, Traylor and Ellis.

fearthephog512 1 year, 7 months ago

Some legendary Jayhawk number selections - #0 Mason (Gooden), #23 Frankamp (BMac, Simien, Little) and #10 Tharpe (Hinrich).

Mark Kelly 1 year, 7 months ago

How did Little make it into your "legendary" category?

phins13td 1 year, 7 months ago

Mario Little a legend? I must have missed something there. The kid was a decent player. He was a juco transfer, played 2 seasons, started maybe a hand full of games - certainly not a LEGEND.

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 7 months ago

Mario Little? Can't we at least get an Archie Marshall if you're really trying that hard to fill out #23?

zsn 1 year, 7 months ago

Does #0 include #00 (Arthur, Ostertag, Gooden)? How about #14 (Valentine, Pritchard, Tyrel) and #21 (Milt, 'kieff)? I think at a place like KU just about every number is "legendary"!!

zsn 1 year, 7 months ago

Does #0 include #00 (Arthur, Ostertag, Gooden)? How about #14 (Valentine, Pritchard, Tyrel) and #21 (Milt, 'kieff)? I think at a place like KU just about every number is "legendary"!!

jayhawker97 1 year, 7 months ago

am i dreaming? is this for real? i have been out of the country, and all of a sudden KU landed #1 recruit? is Calpari still coaching?

YES!! HCBS geet-it done! here comes another awesome season!!! i got plenty readings to catch up. this is unbelievable. just unf*believable...

Bryce Landon 1 year, 7 months ago

No, I think Honest John has quit. Just like his Pussycats quit on him in the NIT.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Can you please leave the country NEXT year when Okafor gets ready to commit?

David Leathers 1 year, 7 months ago

I really do believe that it depends on what Andrew does next season that will make or break our chances at Tyus Jones and Jalil Okafor. However, I feel that we have a great shot at them.

Robert Brock 1 year, 7 months ago

Andrew White or Andrew Wiggins? We are stockpiling Andrews...

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

I really believe that if Wiggins has a positive result at Kansas that KU is a definite finalist for the uber-elite combo pack of Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones for 2014. They are #1 and #2 and are supposedly committed to playing together on the same college team. For those that think Wiggins impact is a OAD only, think again. His one year could affect future seasons as well...

bennybob 1 year, 7 months ago

My brother talked to Tyus about the wiggins signing. It hasn't made much of an impact on his mind set. Tyus is still going to Duke and Okafor will most likely follow.

Word around the Minnesota AAU circle is that Rashad Vaughn is a heavy Kansas lean though, so Wiggins situation could definitely help with him

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

Hmmmm, that's interesting. I'd been hearing R. Vaughn being a UNC lean.

Alex Peekeaton 1 year, 7 months ago

Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor are Duke bound...the only school that could jump in for the pair is Michigan State, but I don't see it.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 7 months ago

And there is no way Andrew will Wiggins will turn down Kentucky.

Alex Peekeaton 1 year, 7 months ago

Can't get every recruit - I think UK did pretty well in the recruiting world. If you asked me who I would rather have...Randle or Wiggins....Randle all the way!

rwhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

It'd be hard for Tyus to come in and replace a multiple year starter, senior. Can't imagine he'd want to be in that situation, but only he knows that answer.

dehawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I think Okafor's comment is quite telling. “A lot of people say that Kansas doesn’t want a freshman to just come in for a year and have a huge impact then leave. I’ve never believed that, but I know Andrew will prove that it’s not true so that’s why it’s big..."

This says that maybe we aren't getting a lot of the top picks because "others" are telling them that KU doesn't want to deal with someone coming in for one year. That could mean a lot of pressure on the coaches and the program to make sure Wiggins keeps his # 1 ranking. If he holds at #1 pick, then we could start to see more top 5 recruits coming to Kansas. If he drops, then we will be seen as the program that ruins the chances of top picks. Good example of the double edge sword.

LAJayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

That comment by Okafor shows how backstabbing and rough the world of college recruiting is. "A lot of people say..." almost certainly means competing coaches and programs. How much do you want to bet one of those voices is Calipari? "Hey, man, Kansas doesn't want a one and done guy, but we put them in the lottery..." Absolutely guarantee that's part of his spiel.

Wiggins success will be enormous for us in many, many ways.

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

There are Kansas FANS on these boards talking about how OADs don't "fit the KU model". This isn't just conversation amongst rival coaches.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I can't speak for the majority of Kansas fans, but I am one of those who would prefer 4 year players. Obviously, you would never pass on a OAD like Wiggins, but in the long run you're usually going to have better "teams" with Juniors and Seniors.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

I disagree a bit, nuleaf - I don't want the presumed OADs except to fill an obvious roster hole. But I think we're better off with guys that develop into guys that leave early. Like Aldrich, Morris twins, TRob, Wright, Chalmers, etc. Of course, a four year guy like Collins is great. But the guy that leaves as a junior is perhaps the best of all worlds. Stays 3 years and is leaving because he's damn good.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, I agree with your disagreement. BUT, do you ever wonder what our teams would have been like the next year if those guys you mentioned had come back?

Yikes.

LAJayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I definitely agree, twocoach, and I don't discount that at all. My guess, however, is his comment is directed more toward what he has heard on the recruiting trail. Just a guess, but I'm assuming the things competing coaches and their minions say to potential recruits has considerably more weight than what some of us say on sports message boards.

But that's just an assumption.

John Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

"Fitting the KU model" has a lot to do with other things than pro potential (after how ever many years). There are a lot of top talents who do fit (my version of) a "KU model." Fortunately, there also are a good many who do fit and are just as talented. I hope never to see the day when HCBS lets the media hype from rating services impact (either way) his decisions on the kind of person we should be recruiting.

mojayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

HCBS has nothing to prove to OAD's. We've had several already and Coach openly and emphatically supports that when they're ready, they need to go to the League. Other coaches use whatever tactics they can to sway players away. They have to SAY something against Coach Self, because his record speaks for itself.

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

WE may think that, but the perception is otherwise. Like it or not, it is seen that Selby and Henry went to KU and their NBA Draft stock subsequently dropped.

jhox 1 year, 7 months ago

Selby really hurt our perception with the one and done type of players and coaches used that against Self. Never mind that the kid got a late start and then suffered an injury that took away much of his quickness. Wiggins can turn that perception around with a big year...same for Selden.

In the mean time, Calipari is going to have a very difficult time finding enough minutes to go around for all of his stars, and that is bound to tarnish UK's image with the one and done crowd. What goes around comes around.

akgjenkintown 1 year, 7 months ago

It has more to do with the type of OAD player. Selby could have played more but he never bought into the team concept. Even when he was healthy he rode the bench because he thought he was bigger than Self and KU basketball. That does not work at Kansas and didn't work very well at UK last year. Everyone says that Wiggins is the complete opposite of Selby, starting with a more low key signing ceremony. Ben had a great attitude, but probably lacked the "alpha dog" instinct that Self wanted him to portray. I remember hearing all the Freshman talk about waiting their turn behind with a senior laden team, except maybe Rio. That is fine for the 3 and 4 year players; however an OAD is expected to make an impact. So having someone coachable like Ben and it sounds like Wiggins, Selden, Embiid, etc. are the similar types of players, Self has the talent but more importantly hopefully a bunch of team players with great attitudes. The key this coming season will be stellar play at the point and how quickly they learn to play team defense. The athleticism and attitude appears to be there and the returning players, Tharpe Ellis, AWIII, Traylor, and Lucas will have to contribute from day one.

Cmill1221 1 year, 7 months ago

I love how Kentucky is talking about going undefeated and they haven't even had a practice yet. Keep thinking that way! I'm sure they thought they would breeze through and win the NIT last year also!

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

I'd love to see MSU kick their a$$es in the Champions' Classic!!! :)

coloradojayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I'd love to see Robert Morris kick their a$$es again this fall - prove that the NIT game wasn't a fluke. I just noticed that wrwlumpy has the same suggestion a few posts down as well.

State of Kentucky has some really good teams. Kansas does as well.

jayhawkinATL 1 year, 7 months ago

Makes pulling for UNC that much easier!

LAJayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Anyone who's played organized ball knows that when a dude like Tharpe -- who is the legitimate leader of next year's team -- gives up his number to an incoming freshman, he is the absolute consummate teammate. It may not seem like a big deal, but that one simple gesture goes a really long way.

Bravo Naadir. You're already creating the right chemistry. Nicely done.

wrwlumpy 1 year, 7 months ago

Andrew Wiggins picked Tharpe to be his point guard. Pretty big confidence builder. There is a you Tube video of Wiggins at age 13 That would scare me if I was back playing 8th grade basketball.

dehawk 1 year, 7 months ago

What a good take. I hope that Tharpe also picked up on the validation of his ability and that CS does too. That would be quite a vote of confidence.

Now what does that say about Mr. Harrison?

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 7 months ago

It's even more impressive than Tyshawn giving #15 up to Elijah Johnson, because Tyshawn only had one year of experience, and it was still Sherron's team to lead.

KansasComet 1 year, 7 months ago

An undefeated season makes you legendary. There is nothing wrong with wanting that. What is wrong is saying it before the season starts, and convincing kids that have not done a thing at the Division 1 level to come play for me and this is possible. All it does is put a target on your chest.

So, we have one coach with a basketball program, and another coach basically saying ride with me, and we can go undefeated. Wow.

The current format is not set up for an undefeated season. You have to play 40 games, survive refs that don't want to see you get it, and advance in the tourney against teams that will attack your glaring weaknesses.

Glad to read Okafor's comments, that really says it all.

Robert Brock 1 year, 7 months ago

Who was the last coach to go undefeated? That's right...Bob Knight in 1976.

KansasComet 1 year, 7 months ago

32-0. Will be hard for anyone to win 40 games.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 7 months ago

Good point. I remember Knight's teams. Tough and consistent.

NorthStarHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Oh, you just had to ruin my quiet morning cup of joe with quotes from Calipari? No acknowledgment or Congrats to HCBS and KU.....just all self-absorbed narcissism, right down to his fishy-smelling core.

Alex Peekeaton 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm sure you have a link to Self giving a congrats to Calipari for the signing of Randle! These are recruiting wars!

Alex Peekeaton 1 year, 7 months ago

Isn't it every teams goal to win every game? I have no problem with Cal's goal of an undefeated season - it should be! What is UK's goal - go 36-4? I want to win every game. Cal isn't saying they will go undefeated, but rather it's the ultimate goal. Not sure why everyone is reading this as a Calipari prediction.

Alex Peekeaton 1 year, 7 months ago

How can you not be absolutely intrigued by the talent in Lexington next year? I wish I could watch the practices leading up to the season. You think Cal's comments are going to affect Andrew Harrison who will be UK's leader? Not a chance - Andrew Harrison will dominate the point guard position next year.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 7 months ago

How did all that talent worked out for you last season?
I heard Bobby Mo wants a rematch...oh wait...they won the game. I guess you will not be scheduling them any time soon.

Jason Keller 1 year, 7 months ago

Yep, go ahead and poor that pressure on Calipari. If hope they lose their first 3 conference games and the team implodes.

Steve Corder 1 year, 7 months ago

IF John Calipari stays at UK for another 10 or so years AND wins at least another 8 National Championships THEN I might put him in the same class as UCLA during John Wooden's tenture, EXCEPT he will never be another John Wooden. Those two men have very little else in common beyond wins & loses.

Go get 'em Bill!

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 7 months ago

Wooden and Calipari have a lot more in common that you know. Both looked the other way when boosters broke the rules consistently and the NCAA looked the other way for most of the time as well..
Calipari has Wide World Wes, Wooden had Sam Gilbert.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/08/sports/la-sp-0609-wooden-gilbert-20100609

wrwlumpy 1 year, 7 months ago

Kentucky has to play Robert Morris again this year. I would love the same result.

Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 7 months ago

Interesting thought that a coach could claim an undefeated season and have two prior seasons where he officially won zero games. Nice stat, huh?

I love this quote from Cal...“I don’t mind a little pressure. You know what? I’m at my best when the gun is to my head.".

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 7 months ago

sounds like he's speaking from experience, too. I'd guess it's all part of being the greatest used car salesman the world has never seen.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 7 months ago

Here's wondering why the NCAA's gun isn't to his head.

Ryan Patti 1 year, 7 months ago

I almost think we are TOO loaded now...lol. Hopefully there is no one that transfers like Brannen Greene, Andrew White III, or Landen Lucas. If we land Tarik Black that would mean Lucas would have to sit behind Embiid and Black. I also don't think Greene wants to sit behind Wiggins this year and White III for the next few years. Hopefully we redshirt Greene so he can be patient and learn from the great team we have. I think Wiggins will teach him though and he can be great for years to come.

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

I haven't seen enough out of White to think he is a shoe-in to be penciled in for major minutes for multiple years. Dude needs a LOT of work. For the "best shooter on the team" he sure missed a lot of open shots.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

I think it's more likely that White III redshirts.

Greene, while we haven't seen him in a D. I game yet, supposedly has a more well-rounded game - can handle the ball a bit and a bit more offensive repertoire than just a 3-chucker.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 7 months ago

What makes you think that Black will play better at KU that he did at Memphis, where he was a reserve on an average team?

Bryce Landon 1 year, 7 months ago

Pooh Richardson? What, was Eeyore Mills not available?

FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I believe the signing of Wiggins is going to have a long term affect on KU's recruiting future; Especially if Wiggins performs like a stud and we can take another title.

Matthew Pyle 1 year, 7 months ago

Calipari openly discussing "chasing a perfect" season?? This is going to be hilarious to watch when it doesn't work out. Most NBA drafts have 2-3 stand outs; no way all of these kids are NBA stars!

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 7 months ago

I think Calipari's move was smart because it gets his kids to focus on one goal. And hell, they might just be good enough, though that thought makes me feel sick.

Alex Peekeaton 1 year, 7 months ago

I know Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle will be!

akgjenkintown 1 year, 7 months ago

A bit premature given that a single game has yet to be played by Joe Lunardi has released his 2013-2014 NCAA tournament brackets now that Wiggins has officially signed. Highlights, KU a two seed in the West, OSU a three seed in the East, Baylor an eight seed in the South, KSU a nine seed in the Midwest, and Missouri a bubble team. What a way to make a living.

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/bracketology

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

I think they had Iowa State as an 11 or 12 too.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 7 months ago

I can see Kansas as a 2 seed. This will be a very young team and will likely take a few games to get it going. We could loose a half dozen games before conference commences. We'd never get a 1 seed with that many losses. HOWEVER, when this team jells, they can go all the way. How would you like to see a Kansas (33-6) two seed go up against UK (39-0) over all one .... with the Hawks taking the price.

Dale Stringer 1 year, 7 months ago

No, don't even think this again. This would mean we dropped 6 games on the overall victory count.

master16 1 year, 7 months ago

I saw the Okafor comment posted somewhere else, and apparently he mentions that John Cal also tells him that a lot of people hate how he recruits and how they assume he is cheating. I don't actually hate Calipari but I don't like his recruiting style. Utilizing rappers like Drake and Jay Z to push the idea that Kentucky players are celebrities / rock stars. Thankfully, Wiggin's personality doesn't mesh with that kind of thought.

Also, Okafor mentioning that he will take notice of how KU handles a superstar talent is BIG. These guys will take notice. If Andrew Wiggins (who every basketball player in America and Canada are now aware of his name) succeeds here that will be his legacy. It's honestly more than just helping us win the Big 12 and the NCAA championship, it's about Bill Self going out there and telling recruits look at what we just did with THE Andrew Wiggins. All that hype will account for something. If he is successful and KU is successful I think this entirely changes the outlook for future recruiting.

On the downside, expect a lot more one and does like UK.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

I've heard that him and Jones being "tied at the hip" IS NOT 100% binding.

Between the two it has sounded like we have a LOT better chance at alnding Okafor. Sounded like he LOVED his home-visit w/ Self.

Mike Nicco 1 year, 7 months ago

I know a lot changes in 10 years...wonder how much winning the title with Mello helped Syracuse.

notjustbread 1 year, 7 months ago

Why is one and done a major downside...they typically are ultra talented and are helping the team's record....and by your record you are measured. Self has a plan, and major talent. Let's bring home another title this year.

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 7 months ago

I just cannot believe after an early exit from the NIT, Cal would speak of going undefeated as their goal.

Gotta admit he doesn't back down from a challenge, but sounds a bit over the line to me at this stage.

drewsm8 1 year, 7 months ago

He will quickly stop talking about going undefeated after they lose to Michigan State in November

coloradojayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

The pressure will be off them at that point. The question will be, how do they respond? Do they run off 30 straight victories after that or do they stumble more and not even win the SEC?

Bville Hawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Yeah, I think Cal is just trying to wrest the spotlight away from KU and get it back on his program. He loves the limelight... According to SI a couple years ago, Cal has "Pitino envy" (my words, not SI's) and it has to be irking him that Louisville won the championship and now Bill Self has stolen his recruiting thunder.

MinorThreat 1 year, 7 months ago

I do hope Self doesn't use Wiggens too much the way McLemore was used, floating around on the perimeter waiting for an open 3....

Michael Luby 1 year, 7 months ago

No way that happens. He is quicker than anyone off the dribble and have you seen his spin move to either his left or right in the paint!? Its deadly unstoppable.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 7 months ago

That was more a function of BenMac's personality, than Bill's strategy. I think Self wouild have been thrilled of BenMac had become the "alpha dog" that Andrew quite frankly already is.

Wing penetration will NOT be a problem for 2013-134!!

Woody Cragg 1 year, 7 months ago

Another swish Oak, you play the hand you're dealt. Sometimes coaches have no feel for what they really have & some only care about the talent level. It's a pretty square deal that HCBS tries to get kids with good heads under the hat & personality traits that will become successful. He's done exceptionally well with kids that depart early. Not perfect, but Mario, Xavier, Arthur, Jackson, are all good examples of kids that reached maturity levels to be proud of. The book is still out on some others. Ben was a great kid too & aside from the moochers that follow such talent, has a great shot at an absolutely unparalleled financial future. What more can you ask for in life? Maybe an education to fall back on when things in your life change-& they will. Cole will walk the hill soon & to my knowledge, all of the other 4 starters from 12-13 have graduated. Correct me if wrong. But if your future career is in BB, Bill Self's program can & will prepare you for success, period, there & well beyond..

CrimsonPhoenix 1 year, 7 months ago

Nothing but the utmost confidence for the next 121 years, I like it.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

Having said that I expect more versatility from Wiggins, but I doubt that he shoots it at such a high clip from the outside as Ben did.

jay_cheese 1 year, 7 months ago

It cracks me up to read this anti OAD mentality. Some may not be ideal for your program BUT THEY HAVE TO PLAY SOMEWHERE. And why wouldn't we want it to be here?

Funny, but Selby, Henry, Ben Mac, Morris twins, JuJu, Chalmers, Rush, TRob all left before being seniors (w/ 3 being OAD). That record doesn't appear to be anti OAD to me in any way....

It's very smart of Self to be concerned with chemistry for any recruit and our existing team. That's how you don't end up in the NIT (especially when your coach throws you under the bus each time you lose). Cal can talk about going undefeated all he wants as all of that sounds really good in May of the offseason following a first round NIT loss. Oh UK will be good but meshing chemistry (do they even consider it?) is a major overlooked factor here.

Opposing coaches can't attack or record, our facilities, our fans, our history...so about the only thing left is to attack is the coach. Weak sauce...guy wins at an 84% clip. Oh, in regards to coaching top talent Deron Williams says hello. So do the other 40 plus players from Self's KU tenure alone that still play professionally. ROCKCHALK

jgkojak 1 year, 7 months ago

Okafor just said -- if Wiggins is successful at KS (meaning he ends up #1 in the draft, doesn't have many hiccups and KU goes deep in March) he'll pick KU.

RCJHTOTHEGRAVE 1 year, 7 months ago

So its pretty much a guarantee wiggins will be no. 22?

Joe Baker 1 year, 7 months ago

“It wakes you up a little earlier in the morning,” Calipari said in the Sporting News. “I don’t mind a little pressure. You know what? I’m at my best when the gun is to my head.

Put the gun down coach. It's not necessary or worth it. You're a good coach and we all have issues. It's an easy fix, remove the gun, and remove the pressure. Your problem is solved.

“Of course I heard the news about Andrew Wiggins signing with Kansas and I really liked that move for him. He wouldn’t be there if I was to go there but that still makes them really attractive,” Okafor wrote.

Umm...what?

Matt Kenton 1 year, 7 months ago

"He wouldn’t be there if I was to go there but that still makes them really attractive."

I don't get his either. Is he saying that if they were both in the same class, Wiggins wouldn't play him at KU? Something personal between those two or just Wiggins won't play with another #1 or #2 player? It makes us attractive because we are not Kentucky with all the top 10 talent?

BainDread 1 year, 7 months ago

I think he was simply referring to the fact that Wiggins will only be at KU one year.

oldalum 1 year, 7 months ago

If he had said, "He wouldn't still be there..." it would have been clear.

soapisurfriend 1 year, 7 months ago

No, he's saying Wiggins will be gone before Okafor arrived on campus. It's no secret Wiggins will declare after one year, and Okafor still has another year of high school left.

wrwlumpy 1 year, 7 months ago

This to me sums up what has happened to the landscape of basketball with the signing of Wiggins. Also, Calipari announced yesterday that his team could go undefeated. How about the opening game against a loaded mature Michigan State that comes on right after Wiggins and Parker go against each other when we play Duke. Wiggins will go against Walker of Florida in the SEC challenge at Florida. The toughest pre-season I can remember. This team will be forged steel when Conference, Big 12 Tourney and the NCAA begin. Linardi has already put the Hawks as a 2 seed. Get ready for a lot of folksy pre-game platitudes about the purity of Lawrence and coaches like Self that inspired this media shy phenom to come to Lawrence. Announcers aren't saying Wiggins is coming to KU, they are saying he is coming to Lawrence. Recruiting just took a big, big shift at KU.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 7 months ago

If Cals quote was perfection has never been done in the modern era, maybe he's spending too much time in Colorado, breathing that second hand Rocky Mountain blend? Surely he isn't disrespecting Coach Knight? Also amusingly funny how were now seeing posters who rarely ever contribute to our board that are so enamored with BB insight, wisdom, & repetitive descriptions of subjects we hash out daily. Fair weather board rats? Wiggins is bringing out the haters also, goes with the sweepstakes I guess. But don't forget we already had a top 5 class before with more than a few studs-Ellis, Selden, Lucas, Tharpe, Traylor, etc., who know how to play for an excellence, demanding coach. If we could get one more transfer or JC guy with exp/minutes, and Kevin Young's motor, I'd be sportsbookin my picks too. Just for clarification, I'm a fairweather gambler too. LOL. Maybe a few of our recent bailout transfers will get more love & min wherever, but here they'd have another legitimate shot at the whole enchilada next April. Those are damn good lookin rings! JMO...

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

The "Modern Era" he is referring to is considered post-1985 when the tourney expanded to 64 teams.

Joe Baker 1 year, 7 months ago

He doesn't need a rope, he has a "gun" to his head. Oh the pressure of D1 bball can put a strain on the soul. It also makes people take really interesting and desperate steps to relieve the pressure. Maybe he just pops some Tylenol and goes to bed. He wakes up early. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and ...well ... wealthy any way. haha

BainDread 1 year, 7 months ago

How can we be sure Cal hasn't put his money where his mouth is? What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Joe Baker 1 year, 7 months ago

Well put. His mouth is full of it. What happens in Lexington, stays in Lexington, apparently. Who needs Vegas?

All uk trolls, relax. It's all fun at Cal's expense. He can afford it.

Sally Presson 1 year, 7 months ago

I bet Coach Cal is the first in line to trash talk KU about not "Letting" or encouraging his players to be one & done. Somone ought to jam something in his mouth because he doesn't know what he's talking about. The fans hate to see our players go early, but that's human nature, we love our Jayhawks!! Call us selfish, yes we are but we always want what's best for the guys. Andrew, we're so glad to picked KU, are we going to hate to see you go in a year, yes we are, but do we wish you the very best in the NBA, you bet we do. there's no place on t his earth like KU and KU fans. You've jumped into our hearts and we'll support you forever and take great pride watching you in the NBA, knowing you chose KU to start your outstanding career. Bill Self is the best and has never discouraged his players from following their dream and he will do everything in his power to make this year at KU a great one for you Andrew and so will the fans!!!

Rock Chalk

Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

I am an unabashed AW3 supporter. I've seen some posts since Wiggins signed basically suggesting that AW3 is not that good, didn't deserve to play last season, needs more time, should redshirt. I think some folks see the negative in White simply because he wasn't in the rotation. Folks like twocoach44 above cite that for a shooter, he didn't shoot well when he was in. That has very little merit. I've posted this information before -

In a 5 game stretch where AW3 averaged 11 minutes a game, (Oregon St., Colorado, Belmont, Richmond, and American -- he didn't play vs. Ohio St), White average .55 points per minute (more than 1/2 a point per minute). That average is better than any KU player did for the season. This was the only time he was able to get substantial playing time. He did not play perfect. I'm not saying that. But Self praised him during this stretch, after Oregon St. game saying he was by far the most effective player off the bench.

Some also seem to think it's easy to come in dead cold and get into any rhythm. AW3 is a shooter. It's different than coming in and just taking up space (like Traylor). Some attempt to define his production because he didn't shoot a percentage that would justify playing more. That's ignoring reality of how shooters work. When he truly got an opportunity .. from Oregon St. through Richmond .. he proved he deserved playing time.

AW3 was probably our best player in Europe vs. the decent competition there. White scored 10 points in 15 minutes, 16 pts in 25 min., 3 pts in 9 min., and 15 pts in 26 min. -- 44 points in 75 minutes .. again, more than 1/2 a point per minute played (.586). Comparable to his 5 game stretch when he average double-digit minutes (.550). That is some solid evidence on how he could produce.

No KU player averaged over 1/2 a point per minute. McLemore was .495. Of course, I'm not suggesting AW3 would do this over the course of a season. But just giving a reference point. Releford, our third leading scorer, averaged just .352 points per minute played.

AW3's rebounds per minute for the season, even in sporadic playing time, was better than rotation guy Jamari Traylor, who played the 4 spot. And nearly double that of Releford, by the way.

(continued below)

KansasComet 1 year, 7 months ago

Andrew White is a really good basketball player in my opinion. I think he deserves minutes. He waited for his turn last year. He did not receive a lot of playing time, and he was not a distraction because of it. I am looking forward to him having a great season this year.

Competition will only make these kids play better. Hopefully playing time will not be an issue this season.

Tom Gillaspie 1 year, 7 months ago

Can't plat defense at the level Self expects from 25-30 minute guys. End of story.

Tom Gillaspie 1 year, 7 months ago

Can't play defense at the level Self expects from 25-30 minute guys. End of story.

jhox 1 year, 7 months ago

My only concern with him is foot quickness. He's a bit of a plodder. I think he can be a good role player but unless Hudy can work magic on his explosiveness I don't see him being a star. With Selden and Wiggins being great penetrators he could be valuable as a spot up guy they can kick it out to next year. I could see him averaging 8 or 10 a game in that type of role.

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

I am 100% certain that I can find a specific 5 game stretch where almost every player on the planet looked like a really good college player. OVERALL, White did not show the consistency and decision making needed YET. Can he? Sure, I would expect him to improve just as every other player does. But I just haven't seen a good reason to talk him out of redshirting YET.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

I feel that AW3 is a valuable 4 year type player. It might be surprising for some to see what this guy could bring to the table playing 25-30 per night. It is comical to me when folks simply think a guy isn't worthy because Self doesn't play him. Opportunity. You can't prove yourself without it. No different than life in general. But folks write it off as if White wouldn't have had a very successful season had Releford torn his ACL in October and he was pressed into service, or if AW3 played at Oklahoma instead of being stuck on the bench at KU.

Like a few mentioned yesterday, I hope he doesn't transfer.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 7 months ago

Redshirt or not, here or elsewhere (hopefully not) AWIII will be a scoring machine if he gets the chance. VCU & Richmond both drooled over him. Some of the posters you refer to are not the sharpest tools in the barn HEM, that's a fact. Someone may have to take a shirt, but hopefully White doesn't bail. Could you imagine this guy as a 5 year senior like Releford? His potential may be a first rounder under a good coach anywhere, but here? A disciplined Kansas program can create opportunities for these ballers that is right up there with anyplace in the country. We've witnessed Self for 10 years now & every "down" year has astounded us & who knows, maybe even Bill too. Ready for the season yet? Personally my ans would be a question, "is a jackrabbit quick on a date?" Here's the sign!

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

The only other one you'd be talking about with a redshirt is Freshman, Brannen Greene - in terms of comparable position and need.

I guess we won't really know until we get everyone in, but from EVERYTHING I'd heard Greene's a better ball handler, better defensively (though hard to know obviously at this point). If there IS a place for both of them (say Greene is the main "2" backup & White III the main "3" backup, then it COULD mean less time for Frankamp or Mason - one or the other.

A lot of this will iron itself out in September.

I think the end-upside of Br. Greene outweighs the end-upside of White III, so if one were to be redshirted I think I'd see it more likely being White.

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree that White is a valuable 4 year player because I don't think he'll be a huge value until his 3rd and 4th year on campus. He's got potential, but your point per minute breakdown is silly. Do you truly believe that White would average that same point per minute rate if he played 30 minutes a game? Obviously not.

Michael Luby 1 year, 7 months ago

I hope he doesnt transfer either. I hope he has the patience to stick it out this year. They are extremely deep at his position (4) if you count AW3, Wiggins, Selden and Greene. and it could end up being a reason for him to go.

Alex Peekeaton 1 year, 7 months ago

I wouldn't say the two are in a recruiting battle as Calipari has won about every one except Wiggins. If Calipari was to lose one, it would be Wiggins since UK has Poythress and James Young at the same position.

Xavier Henry signed with Calipari and Memphis but went to Kansas only because Calipari left for Kentucky. Morris twins signed LOI twice with Calipari at Memphis; Calipari had already signed higher recruit in Poythress if you look at the Ellis recruitment (Ellis was going to stay at home no matter what); Calipari already had Brandon Knight signed before Josh Selby committed late to KU; Cousins was part of Calipari's recruits for Memphis when he took the UK job and Wall & Cousins joined him there - Trob wasn't a high priority if any looking back at it.

JayDocMD 1 year, 7 months ago

It appears number 30 on the white team likes fresh tea.

wrwlumpy 1 year, 7 months ago

Slo-mo at the end shows he was desperately trying to avoid it.

wrwlumpy 1 year, 7 months ago

If Lucas doesn't start, he will play many, many minutes. Just like Ben getting to practice, Hudy, Self breaking him down and then building him back with daily practices with Tharpe's team. He has moved into the job to begin with until Jo Jo shows prime time defense, rebounding and scoring. Landon has a year under Self playing against Withey, Ellis and Traylor. Jo Jo will eventually start because he is suppose to be a OAD.

JayDocMD 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm a fan of Landon's and think he will be a solid player for us in the years to come. That said, there is zero chance Lucas will start this year. Lucas getting any playing time other than mop-up duty really hinges on whether Tarik Black comes. Embiid, Black and Traylor would almost certainly get minutes ahead of him.

Kristen Downing 1 year, 7 months ago

First off, I am thrilled Wiggins picked us and so far his father has not been announced as an assistant coach. I am not so thrilled with him missing some of the summer time with his future teammates of one year. I think the bonding and Hudy time is needed, but it is pretty clear that OAD's call the shots. As far as his playing skills, he will show some driving to the basket but seriously, he is going to protect his body for his future millions and float mostly outside just like Ben. Don't kid yourselves.

Ron Franklin 1 year, 7 months ago

If he can float outside and still break scoring records, I guess I'll take that.

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

AGAIN, several other Kansas players (Withey, Taylor, etc...) have missed chunks of summer time to play international ball. This isn't a OAD player calling the shots. It's the simple fact that Self has always believed that a kid will get more out of actually PLAYING competitive basketball than playing pickup ball on campus.

Ron Franklin 1 year, 7 months ago

Last year was a taste of the high-flying circus act we were privvy to in 2006-2008. I think with the athleticism on board now, we will all be delighted with the upcoming oopfests in 2013-2014.

Robert Robinson 1 year, 7 months ago

Just read this at kcstar. Im glad my coach doesnt have this mentality. Expectations should NEVER CHANGE...“Expectations change when you lose an all-conference player, but that is part of college basketball,” Weber said. “Kids leave and go pro, there are injuries. Players graduate. It happened unexpectedly. I was surprised. We were all definitely surprised. I understand his situation, but it doesn’t make it any easier on us so we have got to move forward.”Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/15/4238279/k-state-looks-ahead-without-rodriguez.html#storylink=cpy

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

"Up Cards and Down Cards on Next Year's Team"

Part 1

Self builds teams with pieces. Andrew Wiggins, no matter how good he may prove to be at a D1 level, is one piece. Self makes clear that Wiggins' natural position is the 2--a 6-7" 2 guard! But he can play the 3 and a light 4, too.

Self also builds teams like a gambler builds hands. He alters what hand he builds based on the cards he know he holds, and on the card he expects to draw. Expectations, however, often vary from outcome. Hence one can craft a hand/or a team from the cards one knows about, but one has to leave room to maneuver regarding what you draw next, and how it fits with what you already know you have.

Think of Andrew as an face-card up and wild in a seven card stud hand (five up and two down to make the best five card hand possible to bet on), but not the first up card. He is a a pretty sure thing, so a lot depends on the less understood cards.

Seven card stud is one model for building a basketball team with five starters and a two-man reserve rotation. The two reserve rotation players are hole cards you can bring that you know they can deliver, but the opponent has a much more iffy sense about. Hole cards and rotation reserves are uncertainties. Even the best card counting opponent can't be absolutely certain what's in the whole, nor can he be confident of how that hole card/rotation reserve will fit into and alter the best five hand/team being crafted for any particular deal/game.

Self's first up card is a face card--a proven one that holds MUA most every game and that he must build around. It is Perry Ellis at the 4.

Self's second up card is Naadir Tharpe, at the 1, but he is at most a one-eyed Jack. He has exactly what a team with a lot of talented scorers and newcomers needs: some experience and a natural aptitude as a ball distributor. But while his defense has improved, it is not at all clear that he can contain a big guard for 35-38 minutes defensively. This is a weakness that hole cards/reserve rotation and help defense will likely have to be used to compensate for on more than a few occasions.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 7 months ago

Never, in my entire life, have I ever found anyone to play that game for real, with real money-just sayin...But I'm still lookin, let me know if you find a roller that digs it. LOL!

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Global,

Part A

I have two stories for you about 7 card stud.

First, my father and his pal ran a briefly legendary gambling game out of a cabin on Coconut Point in American Samoa for the first six months or so of 1942. They were a pair of Marine lieutenants, maybe two louies, I don't recall now. Anyway, both were trained for motor transport battalion service, but it took a while to form up their division for its eventual first action in the Solomons on Bougaineville. So: in the Marine Corps' way, they were parked in Samoa in Pago Pago Harbor for six months or so, while the rest of the division was being trained and converging toward the South Pacific.

My dad was assigned command of the captain's gigs that ran officers from newly arrived ships to shore leave. With his access to the captain's gigs, he did his share of deep sea fishing out on the reef on the east end of Samoa, but I digress. His pal, was assigned to manage the motor pool at the harbor and as a result his pal had access to jeeps and trucks and side car Harleys, and most importantly for this yarn, spare parts for such vehicles. Anyway, they both loved to play poker and had brushed up on their games for quite sometime at Quantico, and on ship to Hawaii, out in Waikiki, and then again aboard ship to Samoa. They decided that while some money could be made playing, the real money was in being the house. So: once in Samoa, they got permission (by means I was deemed during the telling to be too young to know) to build a cabin of sorts out on Cocoanut Point for their billet. (Note: an adventurous aquaintance of mine that had lived in American Samoa in the 1970s confirmed the existence of the Coconut grove out on Coconut Point.)

Here is a link to a picture of what Coconut Point looks like today. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/11898159

But back to the yarn.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part B

Next, my dad's pal ordered some of his men to begin "requisitioning" all the replacement parts necessary to build a jeep entirely from spare parts; this was done so as to create a phantom vehicle that could not be traced to anyone were the jeep to be apprehended by the Shore Patrol. With this piece of overland transportation infrastructure assembled, one of my dad's captain's gigs would be assigned not only to pick up the green wood officers to shuttle them ashore, but the helmsman would also cordially invite said green wood out to a rollicking good time at a gambling and drinking establishment out on Coconut Point. If the green wood decided to come, well, then, they were dropped at the dock and the waiting phantom jeep would whisk them off to a considerable array of gaming out at the building they had built as a billet. The liquor served was reputedly a combination of legitimate bottled spirits destined for brass that were liberated by means of offering crane operators a fifth of whiskey, to liberate said spirits from said containers and then "accidentally" drop said containers into the harbor, so that it could be said that said spirits were lost along with other contents. The harbor was conveniently enough a fantastically deep caldera of a long since extinct volcano that had had one side of it eroded away and so formed one of the world's most beautiful and deep natural harbors. Dropping containers/crates into the depths of that harbor guarantied that no one would ever be able to recover the containers to check the contents. Well, it turns out that a lot of very good hooch could be had by this means. And, of course, in a pinch there were stills brewing backup supply of, shall we say, less well aged beverages. Okuleihow (sp?) some called it, but it apparently went by many names. I suppose some sick bay alcohol of that rare sort made from the alcohol in torpedoes might even have found its way there, but I am speculating now.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part C

The gambling games were reputedly kept scrupulously honest, though no attempt was made to hide the fact that the house was taking its share via slightly favorable odds. The billet became such a renowned establishment that at one point a "chief" of the local Samoan community decided that he wanted to visit. This triggered much fear on the part of my father and his pal, because the Samoan chief's desire to come and gamble would and did become something of a political football that reputedly lead to knowledge of the gaming spreading up the chain of command, which was, itself, not entirely unaware of the rumors of the festive activities out on Coconut Point. And apparently the brass did get wind of it and after some discreet, informal deliberation, apparently made clear quite indirectly, of course, to the two young enterprising lieutenants that it was imperative that the chief win and win big. Now, as it turns out, one of the most popular games of this establishment was seven card stud. I kid you not. And if my memory serves me correctly, one of the many games that the Samoan chief was highly (dare I say improbably) successful at over the course of a long night of festivities, was--you guessed it--seven card stud poker.

As a bit of post script to this story, I am of the impression that it was not so very long after the chief's extraordinary success on that night that these two enterprizing young lieutenants found themselves with orders to sail to join up with their division as it was forming up on the recently acquired Guadalcanal. It was believed that the gaming was not continued at the billet after their departures for the more serious aspects of organized warfare.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part D

Next, again, if my memory serves me faithfully, and I admit it can be iffy occasionally at this time of my life, I recall going on a road trip the summer before my senior year at KU (probably the summer of 1975) in which after barreling across Kansas, the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, in an unairconditioned '67 Chevelle, to Albuquerque, to Winslow, to Phoenix, to Tucson, to San Diego, to LA, and then to Vegas in a naive attempt to pay for our trip with lady luck, we walked into the old, original Caesar's Palace replete with then de rigeur brooding Italian strong arms, free drinks, analog one armed bandits, and of course the usual array of gaming tables and a considerably more earthy crowd than one would see in today's Disney-ized Vegas. The goal was to eat cheap and drink our fill for free on the strip and game till sun up, so as to avoid having to pay for a hotel room, and then drive to a rest area or camping ground and sleep in sleeping bags to recover.

What I recall most vividly is that in the back of old Caesar's there was a room with a few brooding Italian men in suits standing humorlessly on both sides of a curtained entrance. When we naively asked to go inside to see what was going on we were firmly advised to return to the casino tables and not bother them further. Over the course of one of the longest, weirdest nights of my then young life we would from time to time ask patrons what was going on in that back room. We learned shortly that it was a "private" high stakes poker game that "professional gamblers" were engaged in. From time to time the curtains would be parted and we could see amidst the cigarette smoke that indeed there was some very serious action going on. We saw what were reputed to be a number of professional athletes enter and depart, also, some Oakland Raiders I recall. We finally asked what kind of poker they were playing and were told that it was an all night game of seven card stud and that the pot at that particular moment was around $100K in size. Now, I cannot say for a fact that it was seven card stud, but more than a few patrons said that it was, so I have never felt a reason to doubt them.

Perhaps seven card stud is gone with the wind today. I cannot say, for I have never been a gambler, nor followed gambling much beyond the card tricks and card palming my father entertained me with, plus sundry other facts about hands and odds, all of which was enough to teach me that unless I committed very seriously to mastering the cards, I was just another easy mark, which I would be to this day, were I to wade in to a game.

And there endeth the recollection upon seven card stud, Globaljay.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part E

And now starteth you to decide if these honest recollections of an old man hold up as part of an oral tradition written down on the spur of a moment, or should be considered instead tiny little iBooks included in the Septuagint and Vulgate versions of the 20th and 21st Century testaments, but excluded from the more politely orthodox versions of the way we were. To wit, these things reportedly happened, as surely as the things Homer sang happened in the times before and during his times, as best he could gather and as best he could recall. And as best as Ezra Pound could re-recall.

"And then went down to the ship,

Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and

We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,

Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also

Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward

Bore us onward with bellying canvas,

Circe's this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.

Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller,

Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day's end.

Sun to his slumber, shadows o'er all the ocean,

Came we then to the bounds of deepest water,

To the Kimmerian lands, and peopled cities

Covered with close-webbed mist, unpierced ever

With glitter of sun-rays

Nor with stars stretched, nor looking back from heaven

Swartest night stretched over wretched men there.

The ocean flowing backward, came we then to the place

Aforesaid by Circe."

--Ezra Pound, Canto 1

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 2

Andrew Wiggins is Self's third up card in this metaphor and though he is inexperienced, his great talent and versatility makes him, as already suggested, a wild card. Wiggins can score a lot of ways, but he is not considered a great natural trey shooter in the way, say a similar sized and weighted Kevin Durant is. Comparing Wiggins to Lebron is pointless unless Wiggins adds about 25-30 pounds in a hurry. Wiggins does not appear to be able to muscle the way the freakish Lebron can. Wiggins has a skill set and physique much closer to Kobe and MJ. Neither Kobe, nor MJ, were ever considered great natural outside shooters, though over time their great abilities and competitiveness and will to get better made both of them become nevertheless go to outside shooters, simply because their slashing and leaping abilities ensured they could get an open look at a trey any time they wanted one. Wiggins probably can be this sort of player likely very soon in his first college season. But whether he is used in this way or not, and where Self plays him, depends to a great extent on what other cards Self has up and in the whole. For now, I am going to go against the conventional wisdom and say Self will start Wiggins at the 2, and after talking about Wayne Selden, you will understand my reasoning, whether you agree with it,or not.

The next up card, again a freshman, is 6-5 Wayne Selden, another great physical talent because of a near Charles Barkley like physical presense for a perimeter player (wide strength without the lard). But Selden also is something of a horizontal player and his outside shooting, as well as some of the rest of his game, could take a year or two to develop. It has been said that Selden could play 1, 2, or 3, but it has also been said that he may take some time getting adjusted to D1 speeds and bounce. Sophomore, or junior years, Selden is certain to be a great one. Its harder to say what he will be as a freshman. If Selden were able to hit the trey and feed the post reliably this season, it seems pretty certain to me that Self would play Selden at the 3, where Selden could both be a defense stretcher on offense and a lock down muscle man on most 3s. But the greatest benefit of putting Selden at the 3, would enable putting Wiggins at his natural 2 position. The 6-7 Wiggins at the 2, with a defense stretcher at the 3 would turn Wiggins into a nightmare for every opponent KU would face for an entire 40-0 season (Note: I do not think KU will go 40-0, even with Wiggin, because I do not think Selden can be as good from the beginning, as Travis Releford was as a 5th year senior.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 3

Still, if Selden were to come on a lot faster than expected, a mega season is possible with a mega player like Wiggins. So: I said it. Wiggins literally would face almost no one in D1 that he could not score on at will in isolations. For the sake of this preliminary analysis, let us leave it this way: Selden will shoot just well enough from the trey and muscle defend so superbly that Self will start Selden at the 3 and when ever he needs some extra stretch to shake Wiggins totally free he will bring in Brannen Greene's gun for Selden. Vice versa, whenever Self wants to shake Selden free, he will sub AWIII's (or Frankamp's) trey gun for Andrew Wiggins to stretch from the other side for Selden. And don't forget all of this stretching is going to make Perry Ellis a merciless scoring machine inside, too.

So: we have 1, 2, 3 and 4 positions and their possible back ups, except for Perry Ellis, limbed in.

Perry Ellis's back-up is definitely a hole card. Self probably knows, but we can't know. The easy call is Jamari Traylor, based on height, and build, but Jamari may have to start the 5 because of his experience level, or rather because of other players' lack of experience. It could also easily turn out to be Andrew Wiggins on any number of occassions, when scoring out of the 4 needs to be maintained and Self wants to make sure Wiggins gets his minutes to shine (in order to attract the Okafors of the future). But let's not go there now. Perry's backup could be Jamari Traylor, or Landen Lucas, or Tarik Black, if Tarik were signed. I'm taking the easy way out here and saying it will be Jamari.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Part 4

At the 5? I'm betting on a face card committee of Landen Lucas and Embiid with both fouling TOO MUCH. And since Embiid has developed so fast so far, and has so much athleticism for his height and position, I'm saying he may edge out Lucas by the end of the season.

Come next March?

Face cards:

1 Tharpe 2 Wiggins 3 Selden 4 Ellis 5 Embiid

Two Hole cards:

AWIII/Brannen Greene committee Jamari/Landon committee (sorry, but no metaphor is perfect so I'm using committees with the thinking that one member of each committee will by March assert himself as Numero Uno hole card)

Whither Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp? No doubt one or both of these guys will be the number one culprits of making me look stupid. But in the end, unless Self needs a whole lot of ball handling that Wiggins and Selden cannot provide, I don't see Frank getting a lot of backup minutes in the Madness. And unless Selden, Greene and Wiggins just supremely suck at trey shooting over the course of the regular season, then I just don't see all these long, strong athletics sitting much in big games in the Madness for Conner.

Oh, they will get a lot of looks over the course of the season, but when the fouls stop being called in March and April, and you get to have your best most of the time, and only take'em out for short blows, this is how it looks at this early date.

Who will bring the ball up or Tharpe, when Tharpe is taking his blows?

Well, for much of the season it will be Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp. But when the chips are down and the title is at stake, who would you rather have bringing it down? Frank Mason, AWIII, or Andrew Wiggins?

Michael and Kobe and Kevin and Lebron have all tended to wind up with the ball in their hands at the end. And they brought it up, when that were the surest way for it to be in their hands to create a shot and then shoot it.

Now, having written the above, Self will play Wiggins at point guard, Selden in the post, move Perry to the 2 guard, and turn Embiid into a 3, just to make sure EVERYONE is playing out of their comfort zones. Its Self's way.

And even if he doesn't, injuries and chemistry and guys getting better unexpectedly and not getting better unexpected will make a shambles of everything I've written.

Rock Chalk!

kennethst 1 year, 7 months ago

Jaybate.....I have been waiting for your analysis.....worth the wait. You probably have made other posts but I have not checked in a while. Well done, sir!

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

Good grief. I'll bet you spent two hours writing all that. Yeesh...

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Two hours? Man you must write slower than cold molasses dripping down an igloo in the Arctic.

Pick up the pace, kid. You can do it. And you don't have to hunt peck at the keyboard any more. Dictate into your iPhone email, copy and paste, if nothing else. I still do it the old fashioned way at the keyboard most of the time, but I was once notoriously good at one draft dictation and so I am tempted now occassionally by the outrageously improved voice dictation capabilities of my latest phone. I could go much longer with dictation, but since folks are already gripping about how long I go now, I figure I will stick to the keyboard, until others take the dictation hint and ramp up.

My gawd, I am amazed at how long people think it takes to write these posts.

Live young. Write fast. Leave a good corpus.

Rock Chalk!

Michael Luby 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks Jaybate! Your basketball prose keep me satiated during the off season. I have not been as excited to see a season start in recent memory. RCJH!

VaJay 1 year, 7 months ago

Tip of my hat:

I'm really glad that our coach blasted (in a gentlemanly way) the hat picking ceremonies that drive me crazy. I hope prospective recruits read that quote & move away from that rather cold & tasteless way of shunning the "not-so-lucky" schools he didn't pick.

Wag of my finger:

Calipari's goal of being undefeated. Good grief. Every coach's "goal" is to be undefeated, but no one says it because its rather bombastic. I hope all the teams lined up to play against him bring their "A" game & make that goal disappear quickly.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

I know you all have seen me posting seemingly incessantly of a desire to see us ink Josh Perkins to a commitment beginning the '14/'15 season.

Now I know why I recognized his high school, Regis Jesuit High in Aurora.

They had an article on Fox Sports - I guess he's one class year behind Missy Franklin that swimming phenom from the London Olympics.

I wonder if they know each other.

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

The combination of players will be virtually limitless and will depend almost entirely on who picks up on defense the best. What many have left out of the discussion is that Wiggins is an excellent defender.

Who can best defend the perimeter between Frankamp, Greene and Mason will determine who sees the next wave of minutes after Tharpe, Wiggins and Selden.

We also have a nice rotation of bigs with Ellis, Traylor, Lucas and Embiid. And if we end up with Tariq Black, that can only benefit KU. Frankly, he'll be as much if not more of a benefit in practice, where the young guys would have a large, experienced body to bang against every day. Again, that's IF we get him. And Hunter Mickelson will be practicing with the team all year but not playing per transfer rules.

Holy crap, we're going to be good next year. I am going to have a blast watching the youngsters develop and watching Wiggins soar. Yet another awesome season is brewing in Lawrence.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

twocoach - a couple of things in your post that I see.

First, I strongly believe that the next best ball handler behind Tharpe -- Frankamp or Mason -- will get substantial PT. Some have mentioned Selden, but he's not a ball handler. One of these guys, the best ball handler, will be solidly in the rotation. But what happens if both are shaky with the ball as freshmen might tend to be? Literally, it could be disastrous. I do have a feeling that will work out.

Second, and you aren't the only one that has said this, but do we really have a "nice rotation of bigs." I mean, can we say that on May 16, 2013? Was Traylor a solid rotation guy last season? Traylor was a body. A better version of Wesley. And Lucas redshirted behind Traylor. We cannot expect Traylor to make a huge leap from last season. He didn't improve literally at all from his first game on the floor last season. Have we heard anything about Lucas being a "beast" in practice, or making everyone better, or "watch out for Lucas"? No. Embiid is a "raw" player who we can't assume will be starter ready from day one.

Our post is a huge, huge weakness for next season. Black seems like a very important "get" to protect Ellis, and provide experience as you say. Without him, we'll need Embiid to be ready to play, and either Lucas or Traylor to make a huge leap from last season. That's a lot to ask.

David Gisi 1 year, 7 months ago

I wonder if some of the answer to the "big rotation" is found in Self's comment that Wiggins could "play the 4 if we go small, which we probably never would do." Just going by the way Self says things, I would think there's a good chance he is thinking about running small for some significant stretches. I would love to see Ellis, Wiggins, White, Selden, Tharpe out there together. Think about lineups that other teams ran against KU. It's really only "small" in the sense that there's no one over 6'8". Lots of length tho. And a great way to see some White minutes. Heck, call White the "4" if you want. He can still step out as easily as anyone else in that group. Would be interested in your take, HEM, on the comment from coach.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

I am a big advocate of playing small as you suggest. I love the lineup mentioned and I hope you're right. Actually, this would be my starting lineup, no question. With White as the 4 (See the Belmont game). Like you said, it's not really small .. it's just unconventional. Tough to guard. I've commented a number of times how hard MU was for us to match-up against in 2011-12, and we had to adjust to them. This would be our best lineup (assuming Embiid isn't a ready made monster).

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

"Have we heard anything about Lucas being a "beast" in practice, or making everyone better, or "watch out for Lucas"? No."

Actually, yes we have. Self has been very positive about Lucas:

Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

I had seen that article, and I'm not going to nit-pick it too much. I like that Self said “He’s probably the toughest kid we have inside without question."

I had also heard Self on Hawktawk, prior to the turn of the year, say that he has "a lot of work to do."

Really, my concern is that even Self's comments didn't imply that he would be good, be a starter, or that he has any real skill. There is nothing to suggest he'll be a good player next season .. and that's what I'm referring to.

He doesn't say that he was "beast" in practice, nor does he imply it. He doesn't say he makes everyone better, doesn't imply it. and Doesn't say "watch out for him", and doesn't imply it.

Remember, I'm talking about 2013-14 .. not when Lucas is a junior or senior.

Self will be complimentary of players, He always is. The key for Lucas, as with most bigs who are 6'9" 260, is whether they are skilled.

That said, I personally think .. guessing .. that Lucas will be better than Traylor next season. Not a high bar. I guess I did nit-pick it.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

Gotta' say that I DEFINITELY see Selden at the "2" and Wiggins at the "3".

Your typical "2" usually being a better ball-handler and outside shooter; less of a banger and less of a slasher.

Selden has appeared to have a better 3-pt. shot to Wiggins. Wiggins a better rebounder / slasher / dunker.

Heck, I think it's a foregone CONCLUSION

1- Tharpe 2 - Selden 3 - Wiggins 4 - P. Ellis 5 - Embiid....only one that's not 100% rock solid in my opinion....COULD see it starting out being Lucas or even Traylor.

***In ONLY seeing the video offerings and even body-type I would say that Wiggins's game looks a LOT MORE like LeBron than MJ or Kobe....probably the LEAST like Kobe.

Joe Ross 1 year, 7 months ago

I've been dumbfounded by KU news in the last few days. 1. Wiggins signs with Kansas. 2. Dayne Crists signs with the Ravens.

I really can't decide which is more unbelievable, but I'm leaning number 2.

jeffmaher 1 year, 7 months ago

People think the Wiggins commit will have a huge impact on future recruiting. I think the Kansas program stands on its own, Bill Self stands on his own two feet - and frankly while I LOVE that Wiggy is coming I think the impact will be only SLIGHTLY better than had he went elsewhere. Durant going to Texas for his OAD year didnt seem to catapult them. Shabazz Muhammad to UCLA hasn't exactly landed them in the drivers seat. Plenty of other examples as well. For pure consistency of a TOP NOTCH program KU owns it! Can anyone else claim an average of 30 wins a season over the last decade??? You don't do that by depending on the nations #1 recruit and OAD's year in and year out. AW coming to Lawrence is AWESOME and I cannot wait for Late Night and watching this kid live in AFH, but the best PROGRAM in the country is Kansas, who now can add the best HS baller to the mix for this year! Woot Woot!

Joe Ross 1 year, 7 months ago

I disagree with your comment in several ways. 1. Reputation in recruiting DOES matter. One need only consider the case of Kentucky as a recruiting juggernaut. No ONE recruit may turn the tide, as in the cases you mentioned, but if a program can score several big time recruits (Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas are all examples of this), it DOES have a way of building upon itself. 2. While you appropriately mention Kansas' consistency, you have to go a step further and address perspective of a program by the recruits themselves. They aren't just interested in consistency (I don't say they discount it, but...), they also consider which programs have the best history of putting players in the pros and in a high draft order, which programs have other great recruits they will be playing with (by Wiggins' dad own admission, this was a factor at Kansas), and which programs they can go to and get playing time immediately (not a factor in Wiggin's decision, obviously). I say this: if Ben McLemore goes number one, followed by Wiggins' going number one, and we recruiting another kid who goes number one the year after that (Okafor, for example), you would not be able to tell me that would not have a MAJOR impact on Kansas recruiting. Again, there are things I think you point out that are in fact correct, but I disagree with your conclusion that recruiting doesn't stand to benefit if highest level players choose Kansas.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 7 months ago

EVOLUTION OF KANSAS AS A FUTURE OAD POWERHOUSE.

1] Paul Pierce first Jayhawk to leave early.

2] Followed by Mario, the Twins and TRob.

3] In the meantime, Josh Selby first KU OAD..Disappointing results by both player and school.

4] Xavier Henry enters as second OAD, better results but far from perfect.

5] BenMac enters as third OAD...results are much improved all the way around..probable Top Three Pick.

6] Andrew comes in as fourth OAD..potential for sensational results including the Top Draft Pick.

7] Next logical step, based on a successful year career by AW1, multiple OADs come to Lawrence.

8] Momentum is starting to build as kids see both PT and developemnt under HCBS, Hudy, etc. Kansas enters in direct competition with UK as OAD Central.

9] Calipari is finally caught, UK falls and Kansas emerges as the Mecca of OADs and basketball excellence.

10] My only question.....do I really want this to happen????

Joe Ross 1 year, 7 months ago

THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is a GENIUS post...from beginning to end.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 7 months ago

Drew Gooden, Julian Wright, Darrell Arthur, Cole Aldrich all left school early, too.

Michael Gentemann 1 year, 7 months ago

and DeShawn Stevenson left after 0 years. Signed but went straight to the NBA.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 7 months ago

Oak .. it is a great post.

I would answer your question, but you already know the answer, don't you?

Tony Bandle 1 year, 7 months ago

HEM.

YES..only if we can maintain a steady supporting cast of quality 3 and 4 year kids, YES, if we can avoid the morass and stench of the AAU, YES if we can get OADs only of BenMac and Andrew's quality, YES if our elite program can maintain the highest standards for all players..............yeah, I guess I do know the answer.

Michael Luby 1 year, 7 months ago

Coach Self will absolutely keep KU's program balanced with OAD's and 3-4 year guys. Its IMHO, the best way to win rings and titles. Experience,talent,depth

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

Prerry sure Wilt was THE first Jayhawk to leave early...

Benz Junque 1 year, 7 months ago

Pretty sure Wilt was THE first Jayhawk to leave early...

REHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

1...Wilt? #2...Julian? #9...The death of legendary Jayhawk Hoops! #10...One OAD per season is plenty, if not more than plenty.

Hawk8086 1 year, 7 months ago

Oak if you are trying to scare us......it worked on me! :)

jeffmaher 1 year, 7 months ago

I do NOT want to become Kentucky and turnover our entire roster year after year. I like the fact that we can nab a OAD every once in awhile but the revolving door is not appealing to me AT ALL. I like kids to LOVE KU, to LOVE Lawrence and want to potentially build a life/home here like Danny, like Pollard etc... I think it is cool. The FAMILY atmosphere will be totally gone if guys come and go in 12 month increments. You will likely not see Selby, X, D Arthur, and Bmac back for reunions because to them we were simply a stopover, a halfway house, a means to an end and nothing else. They really didn't help build the tradition like the 3 and 4 year guys. I love those guys!

esque 1 year, 7 months ago

Xavier actually has been back a number of times sitting in the stands, attending games. Oddly, he seems to feel actual affinity for KU even though he was only on campus for 1 year. I suspect we'll see BMac from time to time too as he, by all accounts, really enjoyed his two years in Lawrence.

Colby Hebert 1 year, 7 months ago

2)Drew Gooden went early, and Cole Aldrich, no?

5) I think Ben came in as a good prospect but there was not really talk of one and done.

10) I hope we land the best recruits, but I do not really want the situation they have going at Kentucky, Self-ball you really want some 3 and 4 year players mixed in.

jayhawkinnc 1 year, 7 months ago

You need to flip flop numbers 3 and 4 on your list. Xavier Henry was OAD before Josh Selby was.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

Maybe he halves it and takes Withey's "5".

ittyandpace 1 year, 7 months ago

Wilt left KU for the Globetrotters because the NBA only took 4 years guys at the time (I think)

kennethst 1 year, 7 months ago

Ok. I admit I'm a glass half-empty kind of guy. Normally.....I would be saying "Great.....but lets see what the kid can really do"......or......"sure he has potential but".......

No. Not this time. This was a master stroke.....and there is absolutely no doubt that this kid is going to be amazing.

So.....If you have a 'Doubting Thomas' like me.......You have everyone. KU.......by far.......the team to beat next year.

kennethst 1 year, 7 months ago

My 3 year old almost cried when I told her Ben Mc was not playing for KU anymore.Try explaining that to a little 3 year old!! She doesn't understand why. Well......now I think she will have a new favorite.(after Baby Jayhawk, of course!)

Brandon Pope 1 year, 7 months ago

Ben is going to go down as one of the most beloved jayhawks in recent memory. No question.

kennethst 1 year, 7 months ago

Well.......Wiggins signing finally brought me out of my "funk". I don't know about you guys......but there is still a part of me that is staring dumbfounded at my TV screen after watching Michigan beat KU.

Oh well. Time to move on (I guess)

phins13td 1 year, 7 months ago

Well said. I still remember when KU lost to Bucknell in the opening round of the tourney. I walked around like a zombie for weeks. In fact I didn't sleep for about 48 hours. I remember that like it was yesterday.

JHAWKSWAG 1 year, 7 months ago

Calipari is a clown...seriously undefeated, get real.

TheBoHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

My goodness...how we all sleep on Andrew White III. He'll be a lottery pick by the time he's done in our hallowed halls...Yet no one talks about him...I do recall saying the same thing about T-Rob in the offseason before 2011-12...see for yourself in my previous comments... either way AWIII is going to be an absolute STUD...as long as he stays

REHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Naw, Bo, some of us hold out great hopes for AWIII. HEM has done a super statistical study of his production per minute last season. The kid has class...and loads of potential. No doubt about it, the acquisition of Wiggins has to have set White back on his heels, perhaps more than somewhat. I really, really hope he bears the patience to stick it out for one more season, whether he redshirts or makes the most of the minutes he earns. By next summer he will have a clearer blueprint of where he will fit into the winning Jayhawk puzzle for his final 2 or 3 seasons. I view this kid as a true Jayhawk at heart; and I hope that the OAD mania does not deter his determination to star as a future starter. The winning way of traditional Bill Self Basketball calls for 3, 4, 5-year players who develop incrementally to sustain championship play (and to allow for an occasional OAD player to thrive).

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