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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

jay_cheese 11 months, 1 week ago

Drew Gooden left school early too.

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TheBoHawk 11 months, 1 week 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

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JHAWKSWAG 11 months, 1 week ago

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

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kennethst 11 months, 1 week 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)

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kennethst 11 months, 1 week 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!)

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kennethst 11 months, 1 week 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.

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ittyandpace 11 months, 1 week ago

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

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Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 11 months, 1 week ago

If Tharpe becomes #10 then what will Evan Manning's number be?

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jayhawkinnc 11 months, 1 week ago

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

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Tony Bandle 11 months, 1 week 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????

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jeffmaher 11 months, 1 week 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!

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Joe Ross 11 months, 1 week 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.

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Kevin Huffman 11 months, 1 week 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.

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Benz Junque 11 months, 1 week 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.

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Kevin Huffman 11 months, 1 week 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.

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VaJay 11 months, 1 week 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.

2

jaybate 11 months, 1 week 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!

1

jaybate 11 months, 1 week 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.

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jaybate 11 months, 1 week 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.

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jaybate 11 months, 1 week 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.

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Robert Robinson 11 months, 1 week 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

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Ron Franklin 11 months, 1 week 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.

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cajayfan 11 months, 1 week 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.

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Jack Wilson 11 months, 1 week 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.

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Jack Wilson 11 months, 1 week 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)

1

Sally Presson 11 months, 1 week 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

1

BainDread 11 months, 1 week ago

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

0

William Blake 11 months, 1 week ago

Someone should make Cal put his money where his mouth is.

If he's so confident they'll go undefeated this coming year, then he should resign if they don't.

Talk is cheap, and we are all sick of Cal's mouth flying open constantly like a cheap suitcase.

Put up, or shut up, Cal!

Anyone can talk the talk... how about walking the walk?

He won't take me up on this because the only balls he has are being dribbled on the court.

Can I get some unity on this one?

If you agree with me... that Cal should "put up, or shut up" please respond by giving this post a thumbs up!

I suggest we hit the airwaves, the entire Jayhawk Nation... let's put Cal to the test and let's throw this ultimatum on him each and every day.. publicly.

In the very least, it will expose to the world how much hot air explodes out of his mouth.

He just threw the rope around his own tree. Let's bring it to the people so he can hang himself. It will be the best thing for college basketball.

I've never had a problem with UK. My problem is with Cal. I'd like to see UK prosper with a dignified coach.

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Woody Cragg 11 months, 1 week 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...

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wrwlumpy 11 months, 1 week 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.

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Joe Baker 11 months, 1 week 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?

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RCJHTOTHEGRAVE 11 months, 1 week ago

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

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jgkojak 11 months, 1 week 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.

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jay_cheese 11 months, 1 week 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

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MinorThreat 11 months, 1 week 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....

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Jim Stauffer 11 months, 1 week 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.

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notjustbread 11 months, 1 week 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.

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master16 11 months, 1 week 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.

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akgjenkintown 11 months, 1 week 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

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Matthew Pyle 11 months, 1 week 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!

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FearlessJayhawk 11 months, 1 week 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.

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Bryce Landon 11 months, 1 week ago

Pooh Richardson? What, was Eeyore Mills not available?

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Ryan Patti 11 months, 1 week 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.

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James Naismith 11 months, 1 week ago

Cal's best outcome is 38-1. They ain't beating us in the final this time :)

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Martin Rosenblum 11 months, 1 week 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.".

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wrwlumpy 11 months, 1 week ago

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

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Steve Corder 11 months, 1 week 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!

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Jason Keller 11 months, 1 week ago

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

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NorthStarHawk 11 months, 1 week 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.

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KansasComet 11 months, 1 week 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.

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LAJayhawk 11 months, 2 weeks 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.

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Cmill1221 11 months, 2 weeks 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!

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dehawk 11 months, 2 weeks 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.

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Benz Junque 11 months, 2 weeks 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...

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jayhawker97 11 months, 2 weeks 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...

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fearthephog512 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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

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Dirtyphog 11 months, 2 weeks 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.

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coloradojayhawk 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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

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