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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Basketball notebook: Top 2014 recruit considers KU

Mater Dei forward Stanley Johnson, left, spins around Archbishop Mitty forward Aaron Gordon as he goes to the basket during the second quarter of the CIF boys open division state high school basketball championship game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, March 23, 2013.

Mater Dei forward Stanley Johnson, left, spins around Archbishop Mitty forward Aaron Gordon as he goes to the basket during the second quarter of the CIF boys open division state high school basketball championship game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, March 23, 2013.

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Stanley Johnson, the No. 2-rated player on the West Coast in the high school basketball recruiting Class of 2014, tells Zagsblog.com he’s considering adding Kansas University to his current list of seven schools.

Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound senior-to-be from Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif., said at last weekend’s Minneapolis EYBL tournament that KU is now a “wild card” in his recruitment.

“I really like what coach (Bill) Self said to me on the phone. I’ve talked to him a couple of times,” Johnson said. “They showed me how Ben McLemore was so effective in their system. They picked up another good wing in Andrew Wiggins and I’m sure they’ll use him well. With Wayne Selden there and Brannen Greene, they’ll have a great team and I’m excited to hear about them.”

Johnson, who plays for Oakland Soldiers AAU, has a current list of Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Oregon, USC and UCLA. He’s ranked No. 12 nationally by Rivals.com. The only West Coast player ahead of him is No. 7 Malik Pope, a 6-8 forward from Laguna Creek High in Elk Grove, Calif.

Jones update: Tyus Jones, a 6-1 senior-to-be from Apple Valley (Minn.) High, has set up an official visit to Baylor at the end of August, Zagsblog reports. Rivals.com’s No. 3-rated player in the Class of 2014 has a final list of KU, Kentucky, Baylor, Duke, Ohio State, Michigan State and Minnesota.

Releford impresses: Former KU guard/forward Travis Releford attended the Brooklyn Nets draft combine for NBA prospects last week.

“Most of them (scouts) say how well I improved over last year and this year and my toughness on the defensive end and my decision-making on offense,” Releford told an NBA.com Nets reporter. “They say if I continue doing that and getting better at it, I could have a great chance (of making a team as second-round pick or free agent).”

Of his senior year in which he averaged 11.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists a game, Releford said: “It was a different role for me. The year before we had T-Rob (Thomas Robinson) and Tyshawn (Taylor). They were our go-to guys. I had to sit back, play a role and do all the little things for our team to win. My senior year, I had to actually score and also be the guy to try to stop the offense’s best player. I took pride in it,” added Releford, who emerged as KU’s third-leading scorer on offense and defensive stopper.

Johnson in Detroit: Former KU guard Elijah Johnson worked out for the Detroit Pistons Monday, Hoopsworld.com reports.

Jayhawks slide: KU’s Ben McLemore has dropped two spots to No. 4 and Jeff Withey four slots to No. 28 in Chad Ford’s latest list of top NBA prospects. Ford has Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel at No. 1, followed by Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Georgetown’s Otto Porter.

“McLemore has as much talent and upside as anyone in the draft. His picture-perfect jump shot and extraordinary athletic ability make him one of the few players on the board with the potential to be an All-Star. But concerns arose among NBA teams during his interviews (at Chicago combine),” Ford writes at ESPN.com. “Although everyone attests to McLemore’s humility and thinks he’s a great young man, his lack of aggressiveness shined through even in the interviews. ‘The key question is: Do you love to win, or do you hate to lose?’ one GM said. The good ones love to win. The great ones hate to lose. McLemore’s a love-to-win type of prospect. Oladipo’s a hate-to-lose type.”

Of Withey, Ford writes: “Withey didn’t do anything extraordinary at the combine, but few expected him to. His main attributes are his height and defense, and neither shows particularly well in the drills.”

Comments

Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 5 months ago

Well, Gee, Ben is how old now?

Seems to me like discounting his hoops value based on a perceived personality trait is kind of going in the opposite direction from what I hear most of the time from the NBA. "He can jump over the moon, he's worth $5 million day one!"

Granted, Ben did look a bit lost at times this last season, but hey, who wouldn't?? But when he was in rhythm it was lights out. How can they discount that???

You go and show them how to eat their words, Ben. We're all pulling for you to have a GREAT NBA career.

Rock Chalk, NBA Hawks!!

BigBlue4KU 1 year, 5 months ago

Paul Pierce wasn't top 5 and I think he did pretty well in the long run. So will Ben McLemore. Who cares what the "talking heads" say, they are, after all, "talking heads"!

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 5 months ago

I would have lost money betting on what round Paul Pierce was drafted. Don't know why I had thought it was in the fifth round but Boston still got their money's worth.

Andy Hess 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm assuming you mean 5th pick, not 5th round, as the NBA Draft only has 2 rounds.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

I think Oladipos' more well-rounded. But I think Mc's a more eplosive shooter & scorer. You can get role-players to give you the more "well-rounded game". Quality shooting & scoring in today's NBA games are harder to come by.

Mike Barnhart 1 year, 5 months ago

Roy Williams would say he needs more "want to!"

hawk316 1 year, 5 months ago

Ideally, Ben should have had a couple more years in college to mature personally and to develop his game. But we all know that's not the way things work in the current system. By all accounts, Ben is a great kid and obviously has a ton of talent. Hopefully, he'll land in a situation that is conducive to his growth and allows him to succeed.

Phil Leister 1 year, 5 months ago

Allow me to be a bit of a nerd for a second. My master's dissertation was about motivation in athletes. Athletes who are motivated by wanting to avoid failure are overall less successful than athletes who are motivated by the desire to win. Mr. Ford, and NBA GM's, you're wrong. Keep doing what you're doing Ben. Can't believe a kid is faulted for being too humble.

BainDread 1 year, 5 months ago

I assume there is a big difference between a "fear of failure" personality and a "hate to lose" personality.

archercc 1 year, 5 months ago

Yeah its less of a motivation from fear than anger. The greats get pissed, have an internal locus of control (blame themselves) and channel that anger into work.

"We lost because I didn't take enough shots, didn't drive enough, didn't rebound hard enough, etc"

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Part 1

Permission granted.

First, you perhaps got screwed having to write a dissertation for a Master's Degree, rather than a mere thesis. Maybe ask for your money back, or do a bit more course work and ask them to print you out a Ph.d.

Next, about the following assertion of yours.

"Athletes who are motivated by wanting to avoid failure are overall less successful than athletes who are motivated by the desire to win."

My heart is with you, but my head masters the obvious based on several decades of wrestling with data and research: your assertion implies an unpersuasive reduction of a constellation of drivers contributing to athletic success that you were either too rushed to disaggregate for us here, or that were too difficult to have been accurately and precisely measured and formally modelled back when you were "dissertatin'," or both. My lean would be to both.

I know a good sports psychologist and the laundry list of things he works on with athletes, especially highly successful ones, betrays the oversimplification of your dissertation's finding, even if you did avoid violating the parametric assumptions of the statistical model you used.

Turning a key can be empirically verified to start a car with a high degree of statistical significance. It can be empirically verified to start a car more often than using a fettucine noodle will. But then it is reductive to conclude that cars start more often with keys than with fettucine noodles. It is an exercise in empirical verification that sheds no light, because of the complex of drivers and their dynamic interdependencies glossed over.

Were you able to control enough drivers and their dynamics in the list of drivers and their dynamics that trigger success, so that your randomly drawn N of haters-to-lose and your randomly drawn N of lovers-to-win were so similar that you could, with, say, 95% confidence, infer parametric statistical significance that lovers to win are more successful than haters-to-lose? I kind of doubt it, based on my experience of measuring and forecasting human choice and preferences.

The soft sciences are a house of mirrors for light thinkers. It takes great insight, a fast processor, rigorousness of purpose and acute intellectual honesty to do sound research in many fields of inquiry in the soft sciences, because of how easy it is to deceive one's self with inferences drawn from imperfectly controlled surveying circumstances.

Some academic scholarship is just not very good. Many programs are paper mills. Even those that are not paper mills, sometimes fail to turn out rigorous, useful research by students, because the professors are so overburdened with grant hustling and publishing to keep getting their pay raises that some they just shake their heads at and pass them through with middling grades that will keep them from becoming professors. A not insignificant number of students slip through without ever learning to think rigorously.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Part 2

Much academic research, as another very dear friend--a scientist descended from two prior generations of hard scientists, is tantamount to "academic ball licking." Like dogs licking their pairs, certain scientists often do research, because they can, not because it is worth doing. Remember, this is not a layman talking; this is a hard scientist.

Regarding NBA GMs faulting Ben for being too humble. Well, as I read the above story, they are not, at least according to what is reported as what Chad Ford said. They are faulting Ben, rightly, or wrongly, for liking to win, instead of hating to lose. They are relying on a conventional wisdom, or what I like to call an automaton's heuristic.

But, in any case, I would not worry about what NBA GMs think. Many are obviously end products of the Peter Principle. Others are simply poster children for nepotism. As in all fields, only a few really know what they are doing. Mr. Ford's inclination to disseminate uncritically the likely as not wrong-headed thinking of GMs of teams so poorly put together that they are drafting high enough even to think about Ben Mac, suggests Mr. Ford, and his story, too, should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

Now, go back to being a non nerd and enjoying life.

The nerds have inherited the earth.

And by all indications, they are bungling it up as badly as all those that inherited it before them.

Next.

Phil Leister 1 year, 5 months ago

Good stuff Jay. As my name indicates, my master's was obtained in a foreign land, and they use 'dissertation' for master's degrees. Jolly England. I get what you're saying. My assertion was obviously oversimplified, but it's a central tenet of goal theory that avoidance goals (the desire to avoid failure) lead to less intrinsic motivation than athletes who have mastery goals. This isn't necessarily what they were referring to in Ben's case, just wanted to throw it out there.

And I can't hide from my nerdness. Your post was quite enjoyable for a change ;)

ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 5 months ago

So according to NBA execs: head down, grinding, and humble = bad. Head up with giant look at me hairstyle with the letters UK shaved into the back = no concern.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 5 months ago

There are several analysis that are calling Noel the most over rated player in many years. According to some reports, many teams have been told by doctors that he needs another year to heal enough to play in the NBA. Add to that his lightweight frame and I don't see him starting in the NBA much being a star. To be effective in the League he would have to put 20 or 30 pounds which I don't believe his knees can take. He might end up being Sam Bowie II. I believe Ben will go either one or two.

Tickan 1 year, 5 months ago

All-Color Big 12 preseason team 2013/14:

Tarik Black, Kansas

Brannen Greene, Kansas

Andrew White III, Kansas

Markel Brown, Oklahoma State

Josh Gray, Texas Tech

Adam Bengtson 1 year, 5 months ago

Im not suggesting, but someone could look at this list and say that's racist. Haha

BringBackMark 1 year, 5 months ago

No surprise to see EJ trying to help out another Michigan team.

aerohawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Boo, below the belt. The loss sucked, but EJ has been bleeding crimson and blue since he was in high school.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Interesting that you would refer to " below the belt ".......

aerohawk 1 year, 5 months ago

I would like to claim that it was intentional, but I was just typing a quick response and didn't think about it.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 5 months ago

I completely agree that EJ bled blue and crimson, I just don't think he ever lived up to his true potential. I still think that the right offense, EJ could be a star.

Anyone who thinks EJ did anything other than his best hasn't paid much attention. I think his biggest fault was having a short-term memory.

aerohawk 1 year, 5 months ago

No argument from me, I just don't think it was intentional.

Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

Oh my god. Whoever takes Oladipo at 2 should immediately be fired by the owners. He's a small shooting guard already but the way he hunches over makes him even smaller. Who is Oladipo going to defend? An NBA 1 would run around him and a 2 would abuse him. Oladipo is a good player but he has hit his ceiling.

You can't pass up a jump shot like Ben's. No amount of hours in the gym can produce that. He is special in that way. He has the stroke and the size and elevation to get his shot off. Oh, and he also will put your team on sportscenter with some earth shattering dunks in transition.

Ben has the most upside in this draft and it's not close. None of these kids are going to change your team in year one anyway so you might as well go with the upside.

David Leathers 1 year, 5 months ago

Oladipo has hit his ceiling? This dude is a gamer and has put on one of the best NBA workouts this year. He's going to be a great NBA player. Here's his workout...

KUFan90 1 year, 5 months ago

He clearly traveled on that one drive to the hoop.

David Leathers 1 year, 5 months ago

But can you deny that the workout was impressive?

Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

lol I understand that not everyone gets an up close look at athletes like this so this workout would seem over the top. If you saw an individual workout from Elijah Johnson, it would blow your mind. This is the big leagues bud, everyone can dribble with two balls and dunk...

Honestly though, he does look good and like I said he is good but at this size, you have to be able to score from the perimeter.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Ummm, isn't he only like less than an inch shorter than Mc....I think has a greater or at least = reach, and has a good 15 or more lbs on him too. I'd hardly call him small by comparison.

doolindalton 1 year, 5 months ago

Chad Ford and Mel Kiper have the same degree of relevance to their respective drafts. Their speculation is fun to listen or read but not to be taken seriously, Whoever expressed "concerns" about Ben may have doing so to throw other teams off about his true value in the draft.

jhox 1 year, 5 months ago

Ben could be another Paul Pierce, but I just don't see it in his personality. He's more like Brandon Rush...the best athlete and best player on the court, who doesn't know it, and who is perfectly happy blending in and sharing. The great ones don't worry about sharing. They want the ball and the want to show off.

I hope someone can figure out how to get Ben to want to show off, because if he figures that out, he could be one of the greats.

dylans 1 year, 5 months ago

Just tell him that's what it will take to be able to care for his family.

pepper_bar 1 year, 5 months ago

I realize we're trying to not talk about this, but I wonder if the Blackstock fiasco had any effect on teams' impressions of McLemore.

David Leathers 1 year, 5 months ago

I doubt it. Controversy didn't effect Derrick Rose much.

jhawkrulz 1 year, 5 months ago

McLemore clearly has a pure shot and you see glimpses of his ability to dribble in (but this is his need of development). I've heard the comparison to Ray Allen with the athleticism to go with the shot. If that is true, you take him.

NN from UK has a banged up knee and was not on a good team. That team may have been able to win a game or two more, but NN is not what people think he is. I always worry about knees the most. Some people recover well (Blake Griffin) and others that never see the light of day (Greg Oden). It will definitely be interesting to see if he ever recovers.

Olidipo did well in the combine, so his stock rose, but I've never seen someone in the combine shoot up to the top. I have seen people like a Releford get drafted because of a combine, but not become the top prospect.

Otto Porter was coming on strong at the end of the season. I actually think he is one of the top two prospects with upside.

Always the best part "if I was a GM", Otto Porter would be hard to pass up, but Ben McLemore can shoot the ball and that is what the NBA is all about.

Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

Exactly. You don't pass up a jump shot like that. End of story.

Keith Kienzle 1 year, 5 months ago

What blows my mind is that if Smart had been in the draft, you could potentially be looking at 3 of the top 5 guys being guys who were undervalued coming out of high school that were heavily recruited by Self. I was bummed we didn't get Smart and Porter, but it makes me happy to know that our staff knows a baller when they see one, regardless of ranking.

Joe Ross 1 year, 5 months ago

I remember having a conversation a couple of weeks ago with one who said the Wiggins commitment wouldnt help with recruiting, and that the Kansas brand (tradition, etc.) sells itself. To which my reply was that it DOES play in the minds of recruits, and by landing top-tier talent, you feed a positive feedback system where more top-tier recruits become interested in the program.

Behold:

"I really like what coach (Bill) Self said to me on the phone. I’ve talked to him a couple of times,” Johnson said. “They showed me how Ben McLemore was so effective in their system. They picked up another good wing in Andrew Wiggins and I’m sure they’ll use him well. With Wayne Selden there and Brannen Greene, they’ll have a great team and I’m excited to hear about them..."

Sounds like even Coach Self himself (no pun intended) is using the track record of landing high-profile players to land new ones. There's a reason why the Dukes, the North Carolinas, the Kentuckys and recently Kansas...all have an easier time recruiting than others. It begins with reputation, and ends with a recruits perception that a program can push them to the pros. Seeing other big name recruits having come through certainly helps the latter.

Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

All this down talking on Mclemore is just draft strategy. Other teams are licking their chops praying that Orlando passes.

Robert Brock 1 year, 5 months ago

How on Earth does Baylor deserve an official visit from Tyus Jones? KU may never get an official from the kid. Doesn't make sense to me.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 5 months ago

Bryce can certainly recruit. Fortunately for him, BU isn't on TV much, so the recruits don't get to see his coaching ability - or lack there of.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Do Kenneth Starr and Bush's base ring a bell?

texashawk10 1 year, 5 months ago

KU isn't landing Tyus Jones anyway so does it matter that much? Jones is a OAD whise lone season wil happen to coincide with Tharpe's senior season. If KU does land a 2014 PG, it will be someone who isn't ready to start year one, but good enough to play and possibly start year two.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Well, no and yes.

In terms of likelihood, no.

But in terms of possibility, yes.

KU wasn't supposed to land Andrew Wiggins, but it did.

Inference: if KU isn't supposed to land Tyus Jones, it still might.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Again, why I keep suggesting Josh Perkins. Ranked somewhere in the 30-40 range. But you see the videos & hear the critiques and get REALLY encouraged about years 2 - 4 for him.

Sadly, the ideal would be J. Okafor (for Black leaving & since Embiid MIGHT be leaving) & Jo. Perkins....but the whole Jones & Okafor together thing might prevent that.

Thus, maybe get a SF type....would still be 4-deep in the frontcourt most likely.

Obviously, the best one where there've been whispers with us has been Justise Winslow, but it's REALLY sounding like 'zona or Duke for him. LeRon Black (the decommitted Baylor, from Memphis ----oooh, maybe T. Black coming here might help there?) or S. Johnson are the next two with interest in us who might be possibilities.

Some have noted Jordan McLaughlin at PG as a possibility too - might be too highly rated and looking to start off the bat - have heard rumors of UCLA, San Diego State & Gonzaga with him.

Competition for Josh Perkins would be Duke (and they'd get him) IF they don't land Tyus Jones, and otherwise, probably UCLA or Gonzaga.

Interesting how many recruits that it seems like we'll be interested in that we're in competition w/ UCLA & Gonzaga for some reason (0h, probably since W.C. recruits).

Hawk8086 1 year, 5 months ago

I mentioned this when they landed Freeman, but I am surprised that Baylor continues to be in the hunt for so many highly rated players (especially someone like Jones). Don't nitpick on Freeman's ranking....alot of good programs wanted him. I would think that Drew has proven to the players, coaches, and parents that he is not a good coach. (Yes, I realize they dominated the NIT........Whoo! Whoo!) Obviously he is a good salesman.

Joseph Leon 1 year, 5 months ago

On Ben's jump shot, it's beautiful, but I don't recall him hitting a ton of contested threes. (Other than as a bank shot.) Am I wrong here?

Joseph Leon 1 year, 5 months ago

Maybe he jumped so high they didn't seem contested. : )

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 5 months ago

there ya go!

The key to getting your shot off when defenses are keying on you and closing out quickly on a sharp shooter is to either get the shot off before the defender arrives (quick release) or shoot over the top of the defender (high release). Ben's release is both quick and high. Both are essential to being a great shooter in the NBA (especially for a 6-5 or shorter guard).

actorman 1 year, 5 months ago

It at least partly depends on how you define "contested." One of the things that made McLemore so great was how quickly he got his shot off, so a lot of times he might have shot before it was actually contested, whereas another player might not have been able to get a shot off before the defender got there.

bennybob 1 year, 5 months ago

Remember when KU use to be considered "Big Man University"?

How did we get to the point were all the great wing players consider us while we need to rely on 4th year transfers to fill out the front court depth?

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Two word answer: Joel Embiid.

KU will soon be known as "Even Bigger Man U".

Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

The answer to your question is now coaching at Tulsa.

Kip_McSmithers 1 year, 5 months ago

Didn't we just pick up Jojo? Top C in the class that'll be playing next to Perry. Yea we can't recruit.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

And speaking of Perry....him, just the year before that.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

~Ben, keep on loving to win. Do it your way. Someone always has to be the first. Every team will regret not taking you. And while their franchises continue to suck air, you will be counting your cash and rings and living a great life.

~One look at Stanley Johnson and it is obvious: he is Self's kind of player--tough and a character.

~If St. Travis of the Immaculate Defense can sting the ring from three in the NBA, then he is lock in the L. But that is a big "if."

~Tyus Jones coming in with Naa and Frank ahead of him? Not unless Naa and Frank really can't get it done this season, or suffer injuries.

~What is the latest on Ben's potential ineligibility due to agent runner shennanigans? Will Bill Self get to move beyond "no comment" finally? Will KU get to keep the Ws?

~What about the pot trial in Wichita? How did that ever play out?

~Oh, merciful basketball god,

and dear Saint Jimmy

How we try to do it the right way

Amidst this emergent complexity

with all its unforeseen consequences

And iniquity

From Toad on a rock

To Agent Runners

From boys in a Y

To pots of gold for three point gunners

This is the Odyssey of St. Jimmy's game

Of its recruiting wars and decent into Circe's bosom

Under the cyclops scowl

And of the one and flush

Oh, bend, bend, bend,

but never break, St. Jimmy.

"All along the watch tower..."

Keep the Coleman mantles in the window lit,

Burning hot-bright with white gas

Keep a brew at the Wheel, Penelope

"Two riders one approaching..."

The right way guys will get home some how.

"The wind began to howl..."

Because we try to do it the right way

Because we try

Because we hope to try again

"So Hermes spoke, but for all his good intent he prevailed not upon the heart of Aegisthus; and now he has paid the full price of all.”

Out of place and back into time

Until the following season

Brings us out of time again

And into place

kranny 1 year, 5 months ago

NBA prospects have "cliff notes" now. Just say, "Hate to lose" and you gain $250,000 in signing money and draft status. Gimme a break.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

PHOF!!!!

Most NBA GMs are truly laughing stocks.

RockChalk26 1 year, 5 months ago

I say let him slip. Then when he kills it in the NBA all these talking heads will have to eat crow.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Worked well for Pierce.

Most had him 4th - 6th before the draft and then he got taken 8th. Heck, I think LaFrentz was taken ahead of him!!!!

He was mad & motivated about that for quite a while.

actorman 1 year, 5 months ago

He actually got taken TENTH. La Frentz was taken 3rd.

tis4tim 1 year, 5 months ago

So, the NBA drafts on potential AND semantics. Is it any wonder the quality of play at the pro level is so dismal?

monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 5 months ago

I applied for a job selling Cadillacs in Kansas City in 1979. I was still living in the 60"s (if you know what I mean) at the time and did not think I had the slightest chance of getting the job. Much to my surprise, out of 106 applicant's I made to the final 2.

I took a test that according to the man that gave it to me showed that I needed constant reassurance that I was doing the right thing, (no confidence). Finally, he sits back in his chair and says " tell me, how do you feel about losing"? I'm 19 at the time, "sir when I was a kid I couldn't stand it, but as I have gotten older I am learning its part of life". He smiled, stood up from his desk and "said have a nice day, you just lost the job".

Ben is a wonderful young man, one of the most beautiful shooting strokes I have ever seen. He is also very shy, lacks confidence and is immature. Not immature irresponsible, he has not begun to grow up yet, naive. Perhaps the exec's have the fear that he's not ready for the type of life the NBA world throws at you. Please this is not meant in any way to shed a negative light on Ben, possible sad truth. The one recurring thread with NBA interviews and Ben was he is immature. Whoever drafts him will have to address this. I want every thing wonderful and successful for Ben.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Cadillac in 1979 was already well into squandering its one time insurmountable lead market share in luxury cars.

Cadillac in 1979 was a subsidiary of General Motors, already well into squandering its seemingly insurmountable lead in market share.

Cadillac today has had to use every form of public assistance including quotas and public bailouts just to get back into the game.

General Motors had to become Government Motors with the biggest cash hand out ever given to a private corporation, if I recall correctly, to keep its doors open, even as it declared bankruptcy.

You should always be proud that two such dysfunctional and incompetant organizations, and their even worse dealerships, done in largely by their own hubris and hide bound dullardism recognized you lacked the right stuff to contribute to the enabling of their collapse and disgrace.

I have little doubt that had GM, Cadillac and their dealerships hired as many persons like yourself as they possibly could have starting in 1979 and continuing to the present, their chances of avoiding bankruptcy and disgrace would have been vastly diminished.

You demonstrate insight and humility and compassion and a commitment to the truth.

Give me an organization composed of such persons and I could not fail.

Trust me.

They were the ones that did not get it.

You were just young at the time and had all the right stuff required to be trained to make great contributions to an organization.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

Gosh..what a Dick..you were lucky not to get the job!!

Preston Dwiggins 1 year, 5 months ago

Had Ben answered the other way, they would say he's a pessimist. His talent will be displayed on the court. End of story.

Sam Constance 1 year, 5 months ago

And the Spectre of Jordan rears it's ugly head again in the NBA. Talent evaluators are so obsessed with not missing out on the next Jordan that they can't see the forest for the trees.

Well Jordan was an a-hole and a "hate to lose" type player, so we better make sure we find out if recruits "hate to lose" or "love to win", nevermind if we might be passing up a talented shooting guard to draft a big man. Again.

Each year that passes, I find myself watching the NBA, not because of what an amazing game it is, but because I am hopelessly addicted to basketball and the NBA provides the only basketball available from April - June. And it's because the people running the show seem to lack any semblance of basic logic. Between the broken talent evaluation and acquisition system and the horribly inept officiating, the only good thing about the NBA is the amazing skills displayed by the players.

But it's better than the sports doldrums of summer. Nothing but coma-inducing baseball for months. Blech.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Posted as only a true basketball fan could.

My compliments.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

Unless you're a Cardinal fan...if a Royals fan, then regretfully, yes, I have to totally agree.

actorman 1 year, 5 months ago

I actually had high hopes for the Royals this year. I thought that with all of the talent they had brought up and what seemed like some decent trades, they might be competitive for a change. Clearly I was desperate to believe. You'd think I would know better after a quarter-century ...

actorman 1 year, 5 months ago

This was actually the first time in a long time that I enjoyed watching the NBA, thanks to the Warriors. They might have been my favorite NBA team of all time, and it all starts with Stephen Curry. Hell, I even got to like Jarrett Jack and forgave him for killing KU in '04 ...

1 year, 5 months ago

It's a shame BRush wasn't able to play most of what turned out to an exciting season for the Warriors.

soapisurfriend 1 year, 5 months ago

Sure, here you go. Dude is a boss. One of the best recruiters in the country and the best for the Chicago area. It was only a matter of time before Self scooped him up. Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander, anyone?

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Feelings about winning and losing are so NOT what greatness is about.

The greatest in all professions are the ones that have great talent, work harder than most, work smarter than most, discover how to keep getting better till they quit, and always find a way to turn failure into their ally, not their obstacle.

One last thing: they have to be at their best when they need their best--Wooden called it competitive greatness, and to do that they have to be willing to pay any price to get up on that level. What ever they have to do to get to that level, and it usually many many things, they have to do and do again and again. Big Russ vomitted before every NBA game in his career, but he also was willing to pay the price in every other way as well. Bill Russell, not Michael Jordan, is the gold standard in competitive greatness. Michael is the silver standard. And everyone else is below them. You choose the metal for their analogy. Regardless, to be great, you gotta do what you gotta do to get up on that edge.

All this talk about loving to win and hating to lose is a load of horse dung.

Every person worth a tinkerer's damn loves to win and hates to lose. Hell, my dog loves to win and hates to lose when we play tug of war with a towel.

Only naives think its about loving to win and hating to lose.

Stephan123 1 year, 5 months ago

Perhaps NBA scouts throw out these comments about McLemore in hopes, naively, that he falls to them in the draft. Any astute GM will see McLemore's talent is worth adding to their team. A little further experience and he will shine in the NBA.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Now this makes some sense. Surely all of the NBA GMs can't be stupid enough to guilelessly reveal to future prospects how to answer correctly. Rock Chalk to you.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

DO NOT EVER under estimate the capacity for "STUPID" among NBA GM's!!!

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Still like others said - I think Orlando would be a good place there with Jacque as the head coach. His strength was probably dribble penetration. And he certainly had a great deal of maturity early on.

jaybate 1 year, 5 months ago

Jerrance Howard.

Not surprised he is the one to fill the vacancy on the staff.

But am surprised at the title.

Assistant Head Coach?

At KU?

That's a very big title considering Norm's and Kurtis' accomplishments and they are just titled assistant coaches. If I were going to hand out an "assistant head coach" title, it might be to Kurtis for landing Andrew Wiggins.

Jerrance and Bill go back.

Jerrance and Bruce Weber go back, too.

Jerrance almost went to KSU with Weber before going instead to SMU and LB.

Jerrance delivered a blue chip to LB on demand.

Jerrance must have a brimming pipeline.

Bill wants blue chips, too.

Jerrance's slogan on his web page at SMU is "Live Life with Passion."

Let's hope he recruits with passion.

Tyler Roberson, Jerrance calling, you were a former target of mine. Would you like to transfer from Syrexcuse?

Assistant Head Coach?

Is Jerrance going to be Bill Self's hand-picked successor one day?

Jerrance has the Self style broad shoulders.

Or is the assistant head coach title just geared to helping him get hired at his next stop?

Or is this all just an unconfirmed rumor?

Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

Just a little more insulation around the window frames and a good door threshold sweep and it will be gone altogether!!

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 5 months ago

You think? Personally, I thought this years draft was solid even without having a clear choice at the top. IMHO, there is plenty of talent in this years draft.

On the other hand, the incoming class of freshmen will be one of the best we've had in several years. Knowing that most of the best talent in this year's class will not be in college two years from now could make the 2014/15 drafts extremely important for several franchises.

AZHawk72 1 year, 5 months ago

For simply personal reasons, I hope BenMac is picked fifth and joins Marcus and Markief in Phoenix under Hornacek.

If he falls to fifth, it's due to "Top Gun" with Maverick being screamed at to "engage"--except the person in his head is Coach Self. That's the problem if he slips a bit. I hope that "problem" brings him here.

Jaminrawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Wing players are typically underrated. Remember that Dwyane Wade was picked 4th in the NBA draft behind Darko Milicic (a notorious Ford favorite prospect Bill Simmons refuses to let Ford forget). We're all biased here, but I think Ben is the one guy in this draft who could be great. He is too nice and too passive but people said the same thing about Paul George too. If Anthony Davis wasn't such a freak people would have pegged him as "passive" at UK rather than "unselfish". As long as the team drafting McLemore mentors him and lights that fire they will be glad they drafted him. That's leaping ability and shooting stroke are too good to pass up in my opinion. Dude wins at the line too. He can score a lot of different ways and his leaping ability had him protecting the rim a lot too. Seems like scouts gloss over this.

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