Monday, October 14, 2013

Jayhawks work over ‘break’


Kansas University’s basketball players are not taking it easy during Monday/Tuesday Fall Break.

“I’m actually enjoying Fall Break. I don’t know if our players are as much,” Jayhawk coach Bill Self said Monday. “Break gives us a chance to go twice a day.

“It gives us a chance to have our first intense chalk-talk of the season,” he added of instruction between the sessions.

Self had been taking it slow and easy on the 2013-14 Jayhawks the first week-and-a-half of the season, which began Sept. 27 in accordance with new NCAA rules. It’s time to step it up, however, with the first of two exhibition games approaching on Oct. 29 (Pittsburg State, Allen Fieldhouse).

“We’ll go twice again (today),” Self said, indicating he has been pleased with the effort of his squad. “We can get a lot done over two days. It’s the same thing we’ve been doing, get as much repetition in as possible. We still are in the infant stages. We can add some things as we go. It’s meat and potatoes now.”

Self said freshman guard Wayne Selden, “has been as consistent a player as we had since school started.” Of freshman point guard Frank Mason, he noted: “He’s been thinking more than playing. He’s starting to come around. He’s starting to get it.”

Senior forward Justin Wesley, who has been wearing a walking boot, has a strained foot, Self said. He did practice Monday. Also, red-shirt freshman center Landen Lucas has been slowed by the flu.

Assists event coming: Self and his players will host a Fall Festival and Equipment Drive from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27 at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 East Sixth Street, in downtown Lawrence. Admission is free and open to the public.

Fans are asked to donate new and gently used sporting goods and equipment. Attendees who donate equipment will be entered into a drawing to win four tickets to the KU vs. Iona game on Nov. 19th.

The event will feature appearances by the KU men’s basketball players and coaches. The players will participate in games with attendees including Pop A Shot and Dance Dance Revolution. There also will be a photo booth.

“We’re excited about hosting an event that the entire family can participate in” Self said. “To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a community-wide equipment drive in Lawrence, so we’re hopeful that we can collect a lot of items for the Boys and Girls Club. Every child should have the opportunity to reap the benefits of being involved in sports and leading an active life and not be held back by the cost of participating.”

Self added: “The Boys and Girls Club provides a great service to our community. Our Assists Foundation is looking forward to joining in to promote kids being active through this drive. We want to have interaction between our players and kids in the community. We primarily want to try to help promote kids’ active lifestyles through the donations of many.”

The types of equipment to donate can be found at

Polls:’s writers have revealed their Top 25 picks for the coming season.

Jerry Palm ranked KU No. 3 in the country. Gary Parrish has KU No. 4; John Rothstein No. 5; Jeff Borzello and Matt Norlander No. 6; Doug Gottlieb No. 9. Overall, CBS has Kentucky No. 1, followed by Louisville, Michigan State, Duke, Arizona, KU, Florida, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Michigan.

Selby off to China: Former KU guard Josh Selby, who played sparingly for the Memphis Grizzlies and in the NBA Developmental League the past two years, will be playing for Qingdao Eagle, a pro team in China this season. Terms of his contract were not disclosed.

Recruits: The Nos. 1- and 5-rated high school senior prospects in the country are scheduled to visit KU this weekend and should be at the Jayhawks’ open practice at 9:45 a.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. They are: Jahlil Okafor, 6-10, from Chicago’s Whitney Young, and Tyus Jones, 6-1, Apple Valley (Minn.) High. They plan to attend the same college, with KU, Duke, Baylor and Kentucky the finalists. Jones also has Minnesota on his list.


Chris Shaw 5 years, 7 months ago

I was surprised (Shocked actually) that Andrew Wiggins chose Kansas so I hope I am just as surprised for Okafor and Jones to choose Kansas as well to go with Oubre.

Not sure how Kansas is going to get those two away from Duke, but it would be pretty sweet if it happened.

Actually, I'm pretty content with Kansas getting Alexander or Turner or both. I think that would be a better scenario as I am pretty pleased with Tharpe, Mason, and Frankamp for the next two years.

Ian Emerson 5 years, 7 months ago

Alexander is coming here for sure. As for myles chances are he's waiting to see if Joel leaves early.

Evan Bilyeu 5 years, 7 months ago

I would honestly be more happy with Alexander and Turner. Tyus would be taking up a spot and playing time. Then we would have three guys that could potentially start at point!! Crazy..

Evan Bilyeu 5 years, 7 months ago

If Tyus and Okafor did commit I think Mason would have to red shirt.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

Heck, if Tyus committed, Tharpe might have to redshirt ...

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 7 months ago

I doubt that we get Tyus/Okafor mostly due to the Tharpe factor. If Tyus comes to Kansas he's likely a 20 mpg guy with Tharpe, if not Mason waiting to take minutes.

I like the thought of landing two more recruits, but I think that if we land a PG this year it's likely not a projected one-and-done.

Big Cliff is a must get if we are expected to lose Embiid to the draft. He and Oubre would make for an excellent class, but if we need to fill three or more scholarships I'd like to see us land a 2+ year big man first, then a 2+ year PG.

If we whiff on Cliff and lose Embiid we could be left with Traylor, Lucas, Mickelson and need to add potentially two big men for next year. Hopefully missing on Cliff would leave us with enough time to recruit a high caliber post in his place, and then we'd have to scramble for a late bloomer or a Sr transfer after Embiid declares for the draft.

Or maybe Embiid is not a one-and-done, then with he, Mickey, Lucas, and Traylor we'd be solid in the post as long as no one gets hurt... I wouldn't be suprised to see Self shopping for a Traylor type 5 year, late bloomer for insurance in the post.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 7 months ago

Are you forgetting about Ellis being in the post beyond this season. Something tells me he's not leaving any earlier than after the '14/'15 season.

Also Cliff wouldn't be taking Embiid's spot - he'd be taking T. Black's spot. His game is more similar to Black's than Embiid's I would say. Turner, I think, would be more similar to Embiid. If we don't get Jones & Okafor, AND Embiid were to leave early then I think we would stand a good chance of landing Turner.

Similarly, I think we might have a good chance at landing R. Vaughn if Selden were to leave early.

I could see Turner & Vaughn come for a visit for the same game - I would encourage them to hold off for the 1/18/14 game against OSU (The "Revenge" Game).

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 7 months ago

wow, complete whiff on my part. I guess Ellis is just too quiet!

Jack Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

Turner is deciding in the spring. But I'd say that position isn't the issue. If we get Alexander, Embiid leaves, and Ellis stays, I would bet we don't get Turner. Turner is waiting, it appears, to see how things shake out (code words for "I want to go where I'll start").

Really, you can blend those post spots together. The only issue might be playing two true centers together, like Withey/Aldrich types -- the two centers on the board aren't both coming, and neither will come if Embiid is staying anyway. Plus, Turner is a pretty good outside shooter, so more PF skills. It's mostly about two open starting spots in the post, not necessarily their "positions." That being said, Alexander is announcing Nov. 16 and he won't know yet if Embiid (or Ellis) would turn pro. With his announcement date, we'll know he doesn't care about an "open starting spot" if he picks KU.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if Bill Self is asking people associated with KU basketball to talk up Embiid and Selden as potential one-and-dones in order to encourage other recruits to choose KU? I was thinking about this after Tyshawn said he thinks they all three (with Wiggins) will be pro's next year.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 7 months ago

Also, Kentucky is no longer being considered by Jones OFFICIALLY. I think there's actually 5 schools in total that have a shot and whoever wrote this didn't list two of them - Michigan State & Ohio State being the other two.

Ron Franklin 5 years, 7 months ago

Looks as if we've lost a lot of good board rats. That is too bad. I hope they find the same work around that I did.

I wonder how much of Bill doing the open practice has to do with showing off the KU spirit to the recruits, and how much is getting more reps for the freshmen to 'work' in front of a large crowd. I remember my first few public performances, and it did take a while to forget the eyes that were upon me.

Regarding the rankings: it's pretty obvious that statistics have little to do with them any more and its all about who's been propped up by the hype machine.

Cupboard looks to stocked to get Okafor and Jones.

I also find it interesting that Self continues to make (unsolicited?) comments about Frank Mason more than he does Frankamp.


Steve Gantz 5 years, 7 months ago

I emailed Jesse last night begging for KUSports to go back and he said it's not going to happen. He said that the quality of commenting has gone up, I told him I disagree. A loaded story like this we're commenting on right now would have upwards of 50 comments by now.

Ron Franklin 5 years, 7 months ago

Hey Steve, I work for a corporation too, like Jesse. We are always required to spin things in the positive direction to the public. Probably when Jesse is having beers with his friends he's not saying the same thing. It is completely impossible that the quality of the comments has gone up. Maybe there are less 'hateful' or misinterpreted things said, but as far as Quality Threads go, this is dead. You and I are more followers here, as we don't bring much new information--hope you don't find that insulting--but at least we still have TexasHawk10 'Paisley' to keep us updated on scoops and insights to the game and recruiting. I hope we get the others back soon. SHENANIGANS!!!

Ron Franklin 5 years, 7 months ago

ha, foot in mouth, quality info from Mr. Gantz!! Stepping up to the plate. I'll do the same...

Steve Gantz 5 years, 7 months ago

I just don't have the time to pore over articles and other sites like some people. And I like other things besides KU basketball, if you can imagine that!

Ron Franklin 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm in the same boat. That's why I've been heavily dependent on what others bring here.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 7 months ago

Tyus Jones supposedly cut Kentucky because Cal has already signed a PG this class even though Jones is the better player. It sounds like he is scared of competition and if that's the case, I'm starting to think that Duke may not be a lock to land both of them and it may not be a lock that they end up playing together. KU will have Tharpe back next year and Duke should have Cook back next year for them as a senior PG. I'm starting to think that Minnesota may have a legit shot at Jones.

As for KU this year, I think Alexander will be announcing he's a Jayhawk next month or whenever he decides to announce. Turner's decision I don't believe is dependent upon Embiid because I believe Turner is Self's thirs choice in this class and it's sounding more and more likely that Selden will be OAD. A fourth and/or fifth recruit tied to KU would be a pretty signaficant sign that Embiid will be OAD or someone is going to transfer out or both if KU is pretty strongly tied to 5 players this class which is not the case at the moment.

Ron Franklin 5 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for coming back and sharing, Aaron. --Blown

AJ Vanderhorst 5 years, 7 months ago

I'd be happy to pick up Alexander and overjoyed if we landed both him and Turner. That said, stealing Okafor and Jones would be another recruiting coup/home run for Self and Co that would open the pipeline even wider.

Back to back #1 recruits. Forget "big man U" or "point guard U"--how about #1 recruit U.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

So, if we get Jones, where does that leave senior to be point guard Tharpe?

Is it as simple as recruiting the best players irrespective of how long they will be here, and the current players on the roster simply suffer the consequences of these OADs, regardless of their time, loyalty, and dedication?

Jack Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

This whole "facebook" thing has nothing to do with quality of comments. That is not the reason for the change. wissoxfan (Steve) was told this apparently by Jesse.

The reason for the change is the same as the Google surveys .. it's all about information gathering and selling that information. It's money.

As part of its business, Facebook sells information to Google. All those ads generate a lot of money. And the information gathered through Facebook allow advertisers to target you.

It has zero to do with the quality of comments. They don't care about the actual comments. They don't care about the posters. They don't care about the Jayhawks. The LJW is a private business, in the business of making money -- that's what they have to care about. Newspapers are dying everywhere. They have to look for all potential revenue sources.

I don't like it either .. but we can adapt to this.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 7 months ago

Andrew Wiggins is going to be a very wealthy man before he ever puts on an NBA uniform.

Jaybate, if you're still reading these boards, please create a dummy facebook account with a fake name and come back because I would love to read one of your conspiracies about this.

Steve Gantz 5 years, 7 months ago

I saw him once since the change, then it seemed to mysteriously disappear, adding to the myth that his Jaybate. Would really like to see Oakville, HEM, and some of the other regulars too. I don't have much to offer so I need these others.

Ron Franklin 5 years, 7 months ago

Isn't it interesting that the reports coming out of Lawrence are that Selden is more polished than Wiggins, and Jeff Goodman (if memory serves) listed Wiggins as the the 5th or 6th best guy at practice; yet The hype that surrounds Wiggins is so great that the expectations are still so high? The expectations are so high I don't think they can be achieved, and conversations about Bills developmental ability will be questioned by the unreasonable pundits who propagated the hype in the first place.

Ian Emerson 5 years, 7 months ago

What can you say. It gives them a great topic to write tons of stories about. All i know is this is Selfs toughest class to date. If this one fails we will go back to the way before, if it succeeds however, we will enter into a golden age of recruiting only rivaled by Kentucky.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

Steve/wissoxfan: no worries my man, HEM here. Just had to work with Facebook a bit.

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