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Sunday, April 6, 2014

KU’s Townsend ranked No. 1 assistant

Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins laughs with assistant coach Kurtis Townsend during an open-practice scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins laughs with assistant coach Kurtis Townsend during an open-practice scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins laughs with assistant coach Kurtis Townsend during an open-practice scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University’s Kurtis Townsend has been ranked the No. 1 assistant college basketball coach in the country, according to Basketball Times.

KU’s Norm Roberts checks in at No. 6 and Jerrance Howard No. 36 of the 60 coaches mentioned in the April 2014 edition of the magazine.

“That (ranking) just means I’m at a great school that has had a lot of success,” said Townsend, who has completed 10 seasons at KU. “I thank coach (Bill) Self and also thank coach Roberts and coach Howard. Thanks to everybody else I’ve worked with from coach Dooley (Joe, Florida Gulf Coast head coach), Jankovich (Tim, coach in waiting at SMU) to Danny (Manning, Wake Forest coach).

“Everybody has made me look good.”

Townsend has the second-longest run of any assistant coach in Kansas history. Sam Miranda worked 11 years on coach Ted Owens’ staff.

“That just means I can’t get a (head-coaching) job, I guess,” Townsend said with a laugh. “I’m the only one who could be there that long and not get a job. The other reason is there’s not a lot of jobs I could take that are better jobs than assistant coach at Kansas.”

Townsend, a 1982 graduate of Western Kentucky, in August was named the No. 1 recruiter in the country by ESPN.com. He was Self’s lead recruiter of No. 1 prospects Andrew Wiggins and Josh Selby, plus Sherron Collins, Darrell Arthur, Brandon Rush, Julian Wright, Jeff Withey and others.

“It’s all about coach Self and the school I work for,” Townsend said.

Basketball Times ranked Self as the ninth-best coach in the country. Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) was No. 1, followed by Rick Pitino (Louisville), Larry Brown (SMU), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Roy Williams (North Carolina), Billy Donovan (Florida), John Calipari (Kentucky) and Jim Boeheim (Syracuse).

KU grads Tad Boyle of Colorado and Rex Walters of San Francisco were ranked Nos. 9 and 23 on the list of “top coaches in mid-career.” KU grads Manning (Wake Forest) and Jerod Haase (UAB) were ranked Nos. 25 and 30 on the list of “top up-and-coming coaches.” Former KU assistant Dooley (Florida Gulf Coast) was 26th on that list.

Little has big year: Former KU guard Mario Little on Friday became the single-season scoring leader in Tulsa 66ers NBA Development League history. Little scored 31 points against Canton, Ohio, and had 929 entering Saturday’s regular-season finale. Mustafa Shakur scored 905 points in 2009-10.

The 6-foot-6 Little scored just 59 points in 15 games his first season with Tulsa. Through 48 games this season, he’s averaged 18.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 36.0 minutes a game. He’s had 31 outings of 20 points or more, four games where he’s been over 30 points.

“My mentality when I first came here last season was, ‘This is my time,’” Little, 6-foot-6 from Chicago, said on the team’s NBADL Website. “I was getting a chance to play in the D-League and I was planning on just putting up numbers. That didn’t happen and I started taking it the wrong way.

“This year, I feel like I bought into the system early and really believed in the coaching staff and the (Oklahoma City) Thunder organization (which is affiliated with team). I started doing everything the way I was supposed to, and I feel like I’ve begun to see the benefits of doing everything the right way — changing my mentality on and off the court, changing my attitude, not being so feisty, enjoying basketball. The OKC and Tulsa system has helped me really stay confident. It’s a credit to the coaching staff and keeping me working hard even when going through a slump.”

Twitter lover: KU freshman center Joel Embiid still hasn’t decided yet whether to return to KU for a second season or turn pro. He has been offering a lot of information on Twitter regarding his life, however.

Some recent Tweets:

“My phone was stolen...... if someone has it, please return it. Thank you.”

“Learned how to drive a car tonight. Much easier than I thought.... It was fun too.”

“Time to go to my favorite place to eat — Jefferson’s.”

“I love KU!!! So many good people.”

Boston guard on market: Boston University sophomore point guard Maurice Watson Jr., has decided to transfer to a yet-to-be-determined school. The 5-10 native of Philadelphia led the team in scoring (13.3), assists (7.1) and minutes (31.2) as a sophomore. He had 17 assists against Army. His 248 assists this past season set a Patriot League single-season record.

Recruiting analyst Alex Kline says KU, Vanderbilt, Temple, Wichita State, Villanova, Houston and Butler are possible destinations. Others have mentioned Stanford and Marquette as well.

Comments

Dale Rogers 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Bill Self is not among the top two or three coaches? They're kidding, right?

Mike Riches 7 months, 2 weeks ago

A big congrats to Coach Townsend, very well deserved!

Also congratulations to the eight coaches listed ahead of Self on winning their respective leagues 10 years in a row....wait, never mind.

Dirk Medema 7 months, 2 weeks ago

It would be interesting to see what the criteria was for ranking the coaches, especially when Coach K leads the list. Obviously, recent NCAA tourney results (15 & 14 seed upsets) don't factor into the equation much.

Eric TheCapn 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Asad Zoberi 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Great to hear about Mario Little. Hopefully he will get a chance at the L.

Jack Wilson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

All I offer is a choice.

We just witnessed two programs win Final Four games to send them to the national title contest. The battle Monday night will not just be for the national title. It will be for the mantle of the greatest college basketball program in the last 20 years.

Kentucky has on its shelf three national title trophies – 1996, 1998, and 2012.

UConn’s trophy case is adorned with three national title trophies in the same time period – 1999, 2004, and 2011.

One program will claim its fourth national championship in the last 20 years. That is greatness.

I have read comments here, and elsewhere. It is the classic “crimson and blue Kool-Aid” moment – the rationalizations, the explanations, the excuses. Specifically, the apologists.

What I ask of you is not easy. You have your life. You enjoy KU basketball. You love the history, and Allen Fieldhouse, and visiting broadcasters slobbering over the tradition. It’s quite satisfying to see highlight clips of former Jayhawks, and hearing Bob Davis scream “KU .. has won .. the national championship.”

But there’s something missing. You know what it is. You have felt it your entire life.

So I offer you a choice.

Take the red pill, and you see the world for how it really is. It’s not what you expect. The harsh reality is that KU is not a top five program. See, if you take the red pill, you will realize that the world is much different than you imagined. The world does not value conference titles. The real world does not care much about black and white photos of Wilt Chamberlain. Thirty win seasons are nice, but standing alone, they are mere conversation pieces. Take the red pill, and what you will see is the truth. The horrible truth. National championships define greatness. National championships are all that matter. You will see other programs achieving greatness, while our program languishes in excuses and rationalizations that serve only to satisfy our need for peace of mind. The red pill is reality. The red pill does not provide peace of mind. By taking the red pill, you will see a program that under the leadership of coach Self has underachieved in the NCAA tournament time and time again, losing to lower seeded foes on a regular basis. You will see a coach that remains inflexible, and refuses to adjust his strategies and schemes. You will see a coach who routinely fails to take the blame for his teams’ ultimate failures in the NCAA tournament. You will see a coach so enamored with his system, and arrogant in his approach, that he fails to recognize the need to change. You will see the horrible reality of underachievement. I didn’t say it would be easy. I just said it would be the truth.

(continued)

Jack Wilson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Take the blue pill, and you will wake up Tuesday morning in your “10 there, done that” t-shirt and remember nothing. You will remain convinced that KU had a “great” season, as you do every season. You will believe that conference titles define greatness, or that they really mean something. You will believe that we “were are just so young”, and thus a national title was a fantasy anyway. You will believe that the tournament is mostly about luck. You will believe that other teams miss shots just like we do. You will believe that adjustments to scheme and strategy are too complicated to understand. You will hide behind the age old proclamation that “Self knows best.” You will believe that we have a great coach that has done everything in his power to win national titles. The failures will roll of the tongue – Bucknell, Bradley, UCLA, UNI, VCU, Michigan, Stanford. There is no way that Self was outcoached against lower seeded teams. It’s anything but that. But mostly, you will believe that national championships do not define greatness. And you will believe the excuses and explanations. If you take the blue pill, you will remain in a fantasy world. You will go about your life, to your job, on vacation – you will enjoy the ride. You will believe that KU has a place among the elite college basketball programs. You will believe that two national championships in 27 seasons is elite. And that three in 64 seasons is astounding. You will remain in a fantasy world. But you will be at peace. Rationalizations are a powerful tonic. Take the blue pill, and nothing changes.

All I offer is the truth.

Mike Riches 7 months, 2 weeks ago

That's awesome...I never noticed the two pills were crimson and blue...even Morpheus was a Jayhawk fan! More Kool-Aid please....

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Morpheus is the God Of Dreams...Of course he is a Jayhawk.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

HEM, you have got to get off the meds and look at reality. Your hallucinations are taking you far away from reality.

1) Academics-Number 1: Kansas Basketball consistently ranks at the top when it comes to what really counts, the kids getting the most of their education. www.tidesport.org/Grad%20Rates/The%20...

2) NCAA Tournament - Number 1: Over the past twenty years no other school has shown the continuous excellence of the teams performance on the court, including the NCAA Tournament. In fact, a detail analysis of the record will show Kansas as Number 1.

http://collegespun.com/acc/syracuse/the-25-most-successful-college-basketball-teams-of-the-21st-century-scored-by-ncaa-tournament-bracket-rules/3

4) Seasons with a Winning Record: 1st with 94

5) Seasons with a Non-Losing Record: 1st with 97

6) Consecutive seasons with 30 Wins or More: 1st with 4 under Self

7) Consensus First Team All-American Selections: 1st with 28
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Men's_Basketball_All-Americans

8) Regular Season Conference Championships: 1st with 58. Bill Self has won the last 10 Big 12 Conference Championships and has a chance to set the all time record.

This list can go on and on. Choose your metric to show Kansas and Bill Self are at the top of Basketball Elites.

Rock Chalk

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Suzi I would trade our results in the NCAA's with KY or CT over the last 20 years, we just do not measure up against theses two. It's not like we were in position to win, we were and have never come close to runs like these two. It is tough to watch KY especially this year with a team as young as ours. Just too many excuses for us.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Not me. I'm very proud of what we have done and how we did it. Our record speaks for itself and does not take a backseat to anyone.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

You are proud of the early losses to double digit seeds, to teams we clearly should have beat? All the losses? All the missed opportunities? Proud? Really, somehow I don't believe that. Someone as passionate as you does not accept that record. Compared to these other two programs we are clearly lacking in how we have performed.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm proud of our record because it is ours. Sure I would have wanted different results but it is what it is. We can not change the past but can learn from it. We take it and embrace it because it is who we are. So long as we do it the right way, compete to our best abilities and honor our traditions, I will always be happy and proud of our guys.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The discussion point was are CT and KY actually more successful programs then ours in the NCAA's, and will it be too hard for Flag waving fans to actually face that reality. I am proud of our program but I am not proud of our record on the NCAA's. I would gladly trade with these two schools what they have accomplished.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Look at the link in my point 2 above. Prior to this season, ESPN's metric had KU ranked 1st in the NCAA Tournament performance over the past 20 years. No flag waving here. I wish we could have won more NCs. We had the teams to do so but we didn't. I wouldn't trade a thing.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Again means nothing, KY and CT have more trophies, and final fours. Who cares about anything else when you come right down to it. Its not about participating at a high level it is about winning when you have the rare shot to do it. We don't, they do. Nobody is going to hold up that ESPN article in that locker room and say see, even though we cannot advance they still think we are great. Who cares about that?

Jack Wilson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Suzi takes the blue pill, Rodney takes the red pill.

Suzi wouldn't trade a thing. That is peace of mind. And I admire that trait. I don't have it.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

HEM, I'm drug free.

With a guy like Self, we will get our share of NCs. Watch next year. He will be all over the guys. The lack of D will not be tolerated. Ellis will need to get a lot tougher and tighten up his D. It may well be that Ellis needs to learn to play the 3 or sit on the bench, if Embiid returns or we sign Turner. Alexander will start.

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I too take the red pill. I appreciate every point Suzi makes but agree w/Rodney & HEM. Of the 3 great freshman dominated teams (KU, UK, Duke IMO) this year, I would have given Kentucky's team the least chance of winning it all and I think the seeding bears (bares?) this out.

All three stumbled down the stretch and I will say Embiid's injury was probably the biggest loss of talent than any suffered by the other two teams BUT it was at a position where we were the deepest. Embiid not playing was not why we lost to Stanford.

Wisconsin losing the game late in the 2nd half was hard to swallow. I think the officiating was horrendous (I have no clue on how the refs decide charge or blocking other than flipping a coin an regardless of heads or tails, pick the opposite of what is in the rule book) but Kentucky made the winning shot w/the game on the line.

Jack Wilson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Rodney, appreciate your take. Obviously we agree on this.

Suzi, appreciate your response too. But did you seriously cite academics? That is some warped neon pill. It sounds like K-State citing a debate title.

Come on. National titles -- championships -- define greatness, don't they? There are just programs that have achieved greatness more than we have in the last 25 or so years. That shiny national title trophies.

No one replays Bob Davis screaming that we have won the conference title, right? No one fills out conference tourney brackets? But the blue pill is fine.

Shoot for the hill -- or shoot for the moon.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes I did say academics. First and foremost they are students. I have a strong abhorrence for UConn and their academic record.

I'm watching the Northwestern Union case closely because things might change radically. It's very possible major CBB in fact will become professional organizations. If that happens any reference to academics goes out the window.

Ian Emerson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I will now list all of the early exits (round 1 and 2) from the past 10 years by programs who have more national championships then us.

Duke = Lehigh(2012), West Virginia(2008), Virginia Commonwealth(2007) Kentucky = Marquette(2008), Kansas(2007), Uconn(2006), UAB(2004) UNC = Kansas(2013), George Mason(2006), Texas(2004) UConn = Iowa St. (2012), San Diego St. (2008), NCST(2005) UCLA = Minn(2013), Florida(2011), Villanova(2009), Texas Tech(2005) IU = Arkansas(2008), UCLA(2007), Gonzaga(2006)

That is about an average of 3 first or second round exits by the school that have won more championships than KU. Now look at our record.

KU = UNI (2010), Bradley(2006), Bucknell(2005)

I am KU. I am amazingly consistent but i chronically underachieve. I have been to the Final Four 14 times but i have only won 3 National Championships. I have a devoted fan base but every time i lose in the tournament my fans curse and ridicule me. They question my resolve, dedication and ability. They question my coaches ability after every lose also, asking if he truly can coach.

Will Bill Self ever turn KU from chronic under achievers into what they should be? Ask yourself what your expectations for the program moving forward. The most dominate program in college basketball and not just the Big 12 sounds about right, even though something like that has become incredibly difficult. While the line blurs between mid-major and powerhouse you look at the upcoming title game and realize that a 7 and 8 seed are playing for the championship. You do look at the 14 Final Fours and realize that we had our shot to pad our resume and we missed it, time after time in absolute heartbreaking fashion. To win a championship will become a more difficult task every year, just like my early exit figures showed, for every team. All you can do is take solace that we KU fans are in the middle of the most successful run of greatness the school has ever seen. As of now we can compete with anyone but our past will always catch up with us.

Ethan Berger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/09/27/ranking-college-basketballs-best-current-programs-the-top-five/

http://m.espn.go.com/ncb/story?storyId=3501739&src=desktop

Now the ESPN one is five years old but none of these are blue colored pill guys.

I 100% disagree that national titles are the only thing the matter. My reason is because of what basketball is. Basketball is a sport of chances. The greatest player ever only hit half his shots. The tourney exploits this more than most. One game win or go home. You miss shots you normally make, your packing. You hit shots you normally miss, you keep fighting. UCONN was not the best team in 2011 or possibly this year. But they were the best team for 6 games. There is a reason the NBA has a playoff system. Besides money, they understand sometimes the better team loses. So you get 4 chances each round to say your the best.

Let's put this in real life examples. In school, if you do all your work you get grades that have a certain %. Most college profs split 50% which they design as "major" and other is minor. You might have 20 minor assignments and only 4 major. Now imagine you do all that work and on the last day the prof says he will only be using the major grades for your final grade. You would be very angry because all that work meant nothing. If you had one bad test, could be the difference from a 4.0 to a 3.0. When we say only titles matter, we are doing that to our program. In the spirit of my argument, I'll post percentages.

National titles-50% Conf titles- 35% Tournament bids-15%

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

These are academic institutions and APR or some related metric needs to be dominate. I suggest:

APR - 50%

National Titles - 25%

Conference Titles - 20%

Some sort of NCAA Tournament performance metric: 5%

Jack Wilson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So, would you trade 2 conference titles for a national title? 3? 5? All of them? Suggesting that a national title is only better than a conference titled on a 5-3.5 ratio is patently absurd.

I ask, how many conference titles has UConn won? Does anyone care?

Ethan Berger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

when it comes to greatness it certainly matters. Conf titles represent consistency. It means being good at the top of your conf for certain period of time. Tourney bids show that you are good enough but not at the top. Many people, at the national level not just me have a hard time putting UCONN top 5 over the past 20 years even though they have the most titles over that period. Reason I give Conf titles so much is because of how the tourney is run. This isn't a solid every sport run down. NBA that Percentage jumps to 75%, College football it goes a bit lower because of the system that has been in place.

Ethan Berger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

when it comes to greatness it certainly matters. Conf titles represent consistency. It means being good at the top of your conf for certain period of time. Tourney bids show that you are good enough but not at the top. Many people, at the national level not just me have a hard time putting UCONN top 5 over the past 20 years even though they have the most titles over that period. Reason I give Conf titles so much is because of how the tourney is run. This isn't a solid every sport run down. NBA that Percentage jumps to 75%, College football it goes a bit lower because of the system that has been in place.

Eric TheCapn 7 months, 2 weeks ago

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Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I could not agree more.

As soon as KY won last night I started researching the same things. We are not on the same level as these two programs. We just are not.

We should be, we sure had our chances, but both of these great programs have been and today are better programs than KU.

We have not finished our chances under Roy and Bill. We have done well, but KY and CT have been great. We do not belong in the same sentence as a great basketball program if it includes those two.

Ask yourself one question; If you could have KY or CT's records over the past 20 years instead of ours, would you take the trade. The answer is YES. Ours, with all its talent and ability just do not measure up. Our program is good, not great.

Shane Johnston 7 months, 2 weeks ago

We don't belong in the same sentence as a great program? You can't possibly believe that.

People get too absorbed in moment. It's easy to get frustrated when other programs are playing for the national title and we're sitting at home. Trading their titles for our titles is not the same as trading their records for ours. Trading their titles also means living through more years with no tournament at all, fewer conference championships, more coaching turnover. We have outperformed those two other programs in so many other metrics over the past decade. Championships matter most, but other stuff matters some.

Going into the weekend, I would have rather seen Florida and Kentucky tomorrow but I don't really care. It's just nice to see good blue blood basketball in the Final Four. Glad it's not a year where I had to watch Butler or George Mason. Kentucky might be an unpleasant reminder about what could have been, but they are fun to watch. They've certainly been a part of some of the best basketball games in this tournament.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

We don't. I have not lost perspective here. We do not compare well to others who can win repeatedly in the NCAA. I am not talking about other metrics, the question was in terms of the NCAA's do we compare to the two playing Monday night. We don't. All your other points are worthless dribble. Someone trying to make a point by saying well our uniforms are better... Who cares. In the NCAA's, just the NCAA's CT and KY are better programs and win more often over the last 20 years. Overall sure we are in the picture, but in the NCAA we are good, not great. How could you possibly think we are great, really? We can't cross the finish line, we lose to inferior teams repeatedly, and we under achieve. That is not a great team.

Shane Johnston 7 months, 2 weeks ago

We are in that discussion. It's closer than you would have me believe. I will give you this- if the debate is about whether UK has won more national championships over the last 20 years - and absolutely nothing else- then UK won more than us. BUT it's ridiculous to ignore everything else.

The debate for best NCAA tournament team of the last 20 years is not between UK and UConn. Carolina matches both in titles with three. Go back to 1990 and Duke beats both UK and UConn in titles. Kansas has more final fours over the last two decades than UConn. UConn is not a factor in titles and final fours until the most recent decade. And both UConn and UK decided to watch last year's tourney from the couch.

Your hypothetical cutpoints/ timeframes are arbitrary. And you give WAY too much weight to the current year.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Shane you are missing the point. Jacks post is about winning, not participating at a high level. It is about winning it. If that is the what we are talking about, it is what I am talking about, we do not belong in the discussion. The two teams playing are better than us, NC and Duke too. We are a distant 5th. All the other stuff is koolaid for fans who want to feel good about not winning anything in the NCAA's. Jack is right there is a huge group of fans like you who think we are great, when we are not really. We are just good. We do ok, but we are not at the level of winning like those other 4 programs. We just are not, it is a fact. None of our players or our coaches would think that.

Shane Johnston 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The whole premise of your argument is flawed- that we are not a great program, because greatness only means winning national championships over the last 20 years. Our players and coaches would not take that position. My point about timeframes is valid. Duke has been abysmal over the last 10 years by your criterion (would you trade our last 10 years in the tourney for theirs?). They have been elite over the past 20. And they have been superior to all other programs in the last 23. Yet you say we are a distant 5th behind Duke and Duke is behind UK.

Your argument is only a factual one when it comes down to the number of national championships won over 20 years. That's boring. We don't disagree there. When you get into what greatness includes and the arbitrary period over which you define it, that's what I disagree with. Jack's post associates the idea that "national championships are all that matter" with some conception of reality. You both talk about national championships along with great / elite programs. Those ideas are not the same as saying Kentucky has won more national championships over the last 20 years. If you want to have a counting contest (and nothing more), then say so.

I only reference the ESPN article because that's a ranking that values NCAA results somewhat similarly to the system you advocate. That article reaches very different conclusions about KU than you. I don't pretend it's "right" but it counts facts and interprets them differently.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

We are not great Shane. Your view is a homer view and refuses the key element of what we are talking about. Winning in the NCAA tournament over the last 20 years. I don't care about all the other junk you want to throw into the discussion. All that junk means is that we are great at participation, not winning the tournament. Who cares about participation? Really what a warped view of greatness. I know it stings but we are not as good as those other programs over that time frame. We just are not. We are great as a conference championship team, but that is not what we are talking about. We a good program, but not great. Its hard I know, but face it we just do not compare to those programs.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Excellent post HEM, right on spot. Sorry all the KoolAid is going to splash on you but that is they way it is here. Why face reality, thus the Matrix angle, love it.

I ask this of anyone who disagrees with him, how did those two wins last night sit with you? Me I hated both wins. It validates that their recent success's show dominance over College Basketball, and also over KU's claim to a place in it.

El Jay 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I have been thinking about KU's place in the list of all-time programs a lot this past week. I have seen KU win two NCAA championships during my lifetime. I've seen nine final four appearances, numerous Conference championships, the closing of the gap in all-time wins,great teams, players and coaches.

But Monday night, I will either see UConn win its 4th NCAA in 15 years or Kentucky win its 5th (my lifetime) and 2nd in three years. When it comes to what most people count as excellence - CHAMPIONSHIPS - KU just doesn't seem to perform on the big stage when it counts.

You can point out graduation rates and every stat that Suzi points out but 5 or 4 beats 2 every time. Red Sox fans are great but being a Yankee fan is far better.Viking fans,Buffalo fans and all the other teams who made it to the Super Bowl would trade all their appearances for ONE Super Bowl victory if they admitting the truth or weren't lying to themselves.

I don't know why KU hasn't won more NCAA championships. 1986, 1997, 2003, 2010 were all years that I still believe were the best teams going in, only to watch some other team claim the prize.

I am glad to be a Jayhawk and would not change it for the world but using the measuring stick used in all athletics, we come up short.

Shane Johnston 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The ESPN post linked from Ethan Berger is interesting. It ranks college programs in recent years with a points system heavily emphasizing tournament wins and national championships. Those writers have KU and Duke in the top three. Kentucky is two. The post is three years old, so if it was updated to today, Kentucky would probably be one.

But we are right there. Just because championships matter most doesn't mean you can ignore everything else. Ask Coach K or Bill Self if they would trade Calipari's success for theirs over the past decade. Something tells me they pass.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

actually it does. Who cares about a ESPN report like that. Only people who want something positive when they do not win.

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Don't really care about ESPN's opinion either but I do agree that Championships are not the only way to rank a programs place in history. Without going through all the great history and traditions at Kansas, our school has had an enormous influence on the game.

As Suzi has already stated, I think the many branches of coaches on the KU coaching tree is second to no one. Former players who later go on be HOF coaches or young coaches learning their craft under KU head coaches may be the second most meaningful measuring stick AFTER Championships.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The premise for using NC to judge if Kansas is a top 5 program is flawed, especially in our case.

Sure we are all disappointed more of our great teams have not won the NC. This year’s team was deeply flawed, in spite of our talent. We had not PG leadership, were soft and could not defend a layup line.
More than the performance metrics I laid out is the fact that Kansas holds a unique place amongst all CBB and professional institutions. We play on Naismith Drive in Allen Field House and on Naismith Court. All the championships in world by other teams can never change those facts.

Rather than be depressed by the success of sibling programs we should think of how our coaches like Naismith and Allen would feel about the success of KY or UNC. I suspect both would be very proud. Also, virtually all of us that were around the program when Cal was here during the Owens and Brown years will attest that he is a great guy and coach. Cal met his wife at KU. Cal used to play pick-up games with the guys, look in on them at night, walk into class rooms, visit them in their homes in the summers, etc. Cal was a Kansas man and once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk. Would any of us cheer against Manning? Why would we ever cheer against a school that Kansas guys like Adolp Rupp and Calipari brought success?

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Suzi, Adolph Rupp was a racist and a cheat. Here is one documented exchange between Rupp and an assistant coach:

From Harry Lancaster, long-time assistant to Rupp, in his book Adolph Rupp As I Knew Him (Lexington Productions, 1979). Rupp said after a meeting with Dr. John Oswald, UK President at the time, "Harry, that son of a bitch is ordering me to get some ni***rs in here. What am I going to do ? He's the boss."

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

That doesn't mean he's a racist. Harry Truman talked like that all the time. Have you ever read what he said about the Jews and the UN vote for Israeli Independence? Nobody would say Truman was a racist or anti-Semite.

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Suzi..although I gave an example of speech and not actions (prejudice v discrimination), I find it extremely difficult for someone who I believe to be an intelligent person would make that argument.

You stated "Nobody would say Truman was an anti-Semite". Back in 2003, Ben Shapiro did just that: "The Jews, I find are very, very selfish," Truman wrote on July 21, 1947. "They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as DP (Displaced Persons) as long as the Jews get special treatment".

http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2003/07/16/harry_truman,_the_anti-semite/page/full

Do you really believe nobody would call Coach Self a racist if he was quoted using the exact same statement from the example I gave from Adolph Rupp?

Please, I do not want to get into this type of discussion on this format and though I admittedly fired the open salvo, let's argue over the zone versus man on man and let this one go.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow, I'm really impressed with your Harry Truman comments and link! Excellent reference to make a point. In a scored debate, that would earn several points.

Truman and Eddie Jacobson (Jewish) opened a haberdashery at 104 West 12th Street in downtown Kansas City. Jacobson and Truman were life-long close friends, and Jacobson's advice to Truman on Zionism played a role in the U.S. government's decision to recognize Israel. You can make a case that Truman was the "best friend" Israel ever had. To someone today his language would make one cringe.

Different eras and different standards for judging people. Today there is A LOT more sensitivity toward political correctness.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Mercy, we all know we are in the team picture of important teams of the CB game, but you are off a little on your points. If you knew anything about Naismith or read his book you would know he could care less about the success of coaches at KY or NC. His interest were more centered on the game itself not teams, coaches or statistics of games. Allen would be proud, sure, but he sure would wonder why our teams played so poorly at critical times. We did not get beat, but beat ourselves. I am not putting down Cal, I am asking why KY and CT as programs over 20 years have been so much more successful than ours? It sounds like we are talking about a participation medal for KU, I really dislike those, I would rather earn the trophy.

Sean Doherty 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I posted this regarding a similar yet other unrelated issues. And I got raped by the blue pill eaters. Take a look:

Yes, I cannot believe Bill Self does not want Andrew White with the team next year. Poor decision by Bill Self for a couple reasons. First of all, Bill Self, in effect, is telling all prospective 4-5 year players that they are not welcome on this team, even if you are the hardest working MO-FO on the team. Bill, what kind of message are you sending? You haven't seen Kelly Oubre play a college game and you are already throwing Andrew White to the curb. What I see is that you prefer one and done's? And by one and done I mean one serious headache and one serious fan base losing interest in players who are here for basketball vacation. KU fans love to see their seniors at senior night. That the guy who works the hardest plays the least is not going to vibe well with KU fans. I don't know what Self's master mind plan is for the next 8 years. This is the time he will remain at KU. But I am very concerned at what his plans are for the rest of his tenure at KU. Don't expect him to stay after the 2022 season when his contract ends. I fear that Bill Self will not try to improve his future teams by playing the exact same PREDICTABLE game planes he has played ever since he got to KU: Throw it to the big men at the corner of the backboard. That's basically it. Bill Self does not appear to have any intent in recruiting high caliber point guards. With that being said, high caliber point guards have been leading many of the national championship teams over the past 10 years. I'm worried about the future of KU Basketball as long as KU continues to play the same predictable game plans over and over and over again. Other teams scout. KU is easy to scout. It's been the same principles since 2003.

Sean Doherty 7 months, 2 weeks ago

On top of that Bill Self will not recruit a superior Point Guard and will not change the teams winning game plan. However he is willing to join the one and done fad and embrace it like Calipari does. Problem is, when you take great young athletes who want to learn, want to play, and want to stay for years; and just dismiss them as you'd dismiss lawn clippings. Bill Self needs to think about what he is doing here at KU. People don't like Coach Cal for a reason. Bill Self should not follow that track. KU can get any big name coach in the country they want. Let's hope Self will keep with traditions while at the same time learns to win games. I cannot believe I am saying this, because I love Coach Self and what he has done with this program. However, unless he can throw some curve balls to what opponents expect EVERY YEAR, such as a top tier point guard, and continue to support multi-year players who work as hard as AW the third, and rely not so much on one and done's as he has this year, then I unfortunately do not expect KU to make it past the Final Four between now and 2022. If they even make it to another FF. Like the announcers said tonight against KSU, Bill self has been playing the exact same game play since he joined the staff in 2003. That is 11 years of opponents watching tape and knowing exactly what KU is going to do. No wonder we have the best compilation of players almost every year yet can't get the big time W we all want. Just 2008. The definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome each time. I'm not saying this is getting insane, but if Bill Self doesn't consider a flowing fundamental change with the way he displays his teams, then yes, it would be insane to wonder why we can't finish the big dance with the same game plan that he has used over, and over, and over, and over, ..... again.

Shane Johnston 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"Bill Self does not appear to have any intent in recruiting high caliber point guards"? Bill Self dismisses great young athletes like you'd dismiss "lawn clippings"?

You lost me.

Sean Doherty 7 months, 2 weeks ago

We'll slow it down for you then, Shane, name a high caliber Point Guard since Bill Self has been at KU? You miss quoted be on your second opinion. Reading comprehension much? Or Liberal lie to make a point? I did not say what you infer.

Shane Johnston 7 months, 2 weeks ago

You said he shows no intent as if he doesn't try to recruit elite point guards. We recruited Lyle this year. We made a run at Tyus Jones. I don't think we're doing it for show...

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Sherron Collins, First Team All-American: Tyshawn Taylor, New Jersey Net; Josh Selby, #1 ranked recruit when he came to KU.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Jack I can not believe how many Blue pill people there are on here. So many people who just want to keep sipping the Koolaid and thinking all is well in the land of OZ. Its ok I am proud take the red pill and it has made all the difference in the way I see the world. :)

Thank again for this wonderful post. Very Clever!!!

Alex Berger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Where's the Rodney Crain that gets upset when he feels like people are being condescending to other's opinions (aka your opinion)? Or is it just not a two way street?

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Are you talking about Shane's comments, mine? I am in a few threads Alex if you are trying to tell me something you have to reference what post you are talking about. You replied to mine, replying to Jacks who I agree with... So help me understand your point. What does the blue pill taste like by the way.? What do you think of Jacks post? Interesting perspective and imagination I think.

Alex Berger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So HEM, would you say UCLA is the greatest basketball program of all time or at least since 1940?

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

What would you sat if you were an UCLA grad?

Beau Woolsey 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Those are way worse of options then the ones Neo was offered.

Rob Bedford III 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm not going to watch Kentucky win the Championship Monday night. If I didn't see it, then it did not happen. Right?

Walter Bridges 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Agree. If seeing is believing then what is not seeing?

Robert Brock 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Will Townsent never get a decent head-coaching offer?

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Watson:

I can't get too excited about this BU PG, whose program seems to be a mess. www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/04/02...

Nothing about his stats jump out that he can replace the guys we have, even Tharpe www.goterriers.com/sports/m-baskbl/mt...

NBADL vs. NCAA:

The LJW needs to do a better job reporting on the Northwestern Players Union, the NLRB and its implications. We would all love to hear Self's take on events. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20140402/northwestern-nlrb-union-ruling-mailbag/

Ethan Berger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The Union thing is interesting. It really depends on what their aims are for. If its pay to play, it has the potential to ruin college sports and academics for many schools. There are two revenue sports. Football and basketball. Basketball can't complain because options are overseas or d-leauge. Football has no choice. However, if they rule pay for play then it becomes interesting. Are they small stipends? Or a % of what the school makes.

If it goes the direction of football sucking all the funds, title IX will be in danger.

Eric TheCapn 7 months, 2 weeks ago

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Aaron Paisley 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The labor thing at Northwestern has minimal impact on KU at the moment because in order for KU athletes to unionize, they would have to go through the state government to become a union under Kansas law, not the NLRB because KU is a public, state university. The reason Northwestern athletes could unionize through the NLRB is because they are a privately run university and not subject to state laws in this issue.

Suzi Marshall 7 months, 2 weeks ago

What are the implications for a school like ND? If there players unionized, as employees of the university, through collective bargaining they could negotiate a premium packages for compensation, terms for eligibility, and benefits. Case law is clear that governing bodies like the NCAA can not override local collective bargaining, such as automotive plants in MI vs SC.

Major colleges will become professional organizations in every sense of the word. That's why the NBA needs to come to grips with the NBADL vs CBB on issues like the OAD otherwise the two entities will end up being major competition. My bet is fans would be far more loyal to their Alma Maters or local university pro teams than the local independent pro team that can move on a whim. The Kansas Jayhawks will never move like a pro franchise.

These are very big issues and I'd like to know what people like Self, Weis and Zenger think about this.

Aaron Paisley 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The implications at Notre Dame and any other private university is the same as Northwestern. Those athletes are considered to be employees of the university only. Athletes at a place like Kansas would not only be employees of the University of Kansas, but also employees of the state of Kansas and therefore subject to the unionization laws of the state of Kansas. That's the difference between a Northwestern or a Notre Dame and a place like Kansas.

Bruce Rist 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I can't believe someone (JW) would spend all that time writing that thesis out. To prove what? I hope the therapy session with yourself was good for you

Yonatan Negash 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This is off topic but I have a strong feeling Joel Embiid will make his announcement this coming week.

Two weeks ago Selden announced he'd be coming back.

Last week A. Wiggins made it official (going to the NBA)

This week, Embiid will announce his decision.

David Dohrmann 7 months, 2 weeks ago

My own opinion — and that's all it is — is that Bill is the best coach in the country, for a whole lot of reasons that I won't list here. I think this will be borne out in, say, a decade or so, when most of the first eight "Best Coaches" won't be coaching anymore. The only one younger than Bill (51) is Billy Donovan (49). Boeheim, is 69, K 67, Roy 63, Larry 73, Calipari 55, Izzo 58, Pitino 61. All of these nine guys are great coaches, but I think that none of them have been or will be as consistently good as Bill, and if you are consistently good, sooner or later national titles may happen. There is no guarantee, of course, because life doesn't work that way and neither does March Madness. In a round-robin tournament like NCAA baseball, or multi-game playoffs like the NBA, good coaching rises to the top, but not in this tournament, which is part of its allure.

We always root for the upsets, as long as they happen to other teams, and when they do happen fans often start looking for someone to blame. I like the concept "no blame" here and rather prefer to see how hard these guys — players and coaches alike — work to get to the top, and how they give us a very entertaining season in the process.

El Jay 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Allen Shepard 7 months, 2 weeks ago

uhh... number of years coaching at major conference teams disparity? Duh.

Eric Dawson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

It amazes me how many people there are in this world, especially those supposedly on the same side as their "correspondents", that love to stick a knife in their "buddies" and twist it just to get the reaction that ensues. They are sad, sick souls, and I am glad as I can be that, TTBOMK, I know none of these negative people beyond this medium.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Eric I bet you are great at Scrabble. Just people with passion talking about sports...

Tony Bandle 7 months, 2 weeks ago

We all take the red pill every Monday morning getting up to go to work when we don't want to get up........ when we lose a parent, a child, a sibling,a friend or a significant other............when every April 15th comes around..........when we look in the mirror year after year..........when we enter the voting booth........when the credit card bill comes....when the car, plumbing, furnace [pick one or more] breaks down......when we are laid off or terminated...when etc., etc,.

Regarding KU, I will gladly keep taking the blue pill because:

1] Because I am proud and forever grateful being a Jayhawk.

2] Because there is enough historical excellence to balance any short-term imbalance.

3] Because life for me would be unbearable if the glass wasn't perpetually half full.

4] Because it is not life and death.

5] And because I can.......and I have the deepest sympathy for those of you who can't.

Robert Brown 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's be honest with ourselves. While we all know it is difficult to win the NCAA tournament, if KU had just two more championships during the Williams-Self era, the program would be look at more positively by the rest of the country. While It is still viewed as a Top program, it is also viewed as underachieving. KU has lost to four double digit seeds in the NCAA tournament during Bill Self's tenure. In addition, KU lost to Northern Iowa who was 8 or 9 seed when they were a top seed.

Am I advocating a coaching change? Of course not. Bill Self is the best thing that happened to KU. I hope he breaks Phog Allen's win mark at KU.

Max Ledom 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Apparently Jack Wilson believes we should win the National Title every year hahahahaha

Jack Wilson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

No, how about at a rate commensurate with a great program .. not 3 in 64 seasons. Maybe the same rate as UNC, Duke, UConn, Kentucky.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Max why not expect a better record and performance on par with the Great programs in the Nation? 3 National Titles is just not good enough.

Ethan Berger 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's to the discussion where it should go. If our one and only criteria for being elite are champions then let's go back to 1939, when NCAA got involved. KU would be the 6th best team over that span. Is UCONN the better team if they win since 1939? Obvious answer is no because UCONN first win didn't come until 1999. Sixty years they were average. Is UCLA the best program of all time? No, UK has that honor. UCLA had the best dynasty with 11 in 12. But before and after they have been all over the place. A championship only criteria doesn't work in any sport. Especially in one game elimantion basketball.

Its not about excuses and its not about kool aid. College basketball and football has failed to crown a true champion. To me that is the truth. The game of basketball cannot rely on 1 loss. Some teams are the best and win and sometimes not (2011UK). If every non championship year is considered a failure then what a sad world we live in. By saying nothing else matters, you are saying we failed.

John Boyle 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Didn't Kentucky lose in the first round of the NIT last year to Robert Morris????? That doesn't sound like a dynasty to me. Just sayin'

Jack Wilson 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Three national titles in the last 18 seasons, playing for one tonight. And the NIT bid followed a title.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Actually John I think KY has done very well recently. Compared to KU we are weak sister at best.

Robert Brown 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I would trade an NIT bid or two for four championships in 18 years

Jonathan Allison 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Bill Self's legacy will depend on whether or not he can get us back into the promised land.

If no, then he is remembered by his reputation as a great coach who repeatedly sent his team out tight on the big stage and struggled to win big games in the postseason.

If yes, then he overcomes the reputation for failing in big games and joins Coach K, Roy, Billy Donovan, Rick Pitino and possibly Coach Cal as the only active coaches with multiple championships.

What is it that sets these coaches apart from the rest? Is it recruiting? X's and O's? Preparation? In-game adjustments?

Many people fault Bill Self for not making adjustments, or for waiting too long to make adjustments year by year, month by month, and within the flow of the game.

I would argue that while Bill Self is very loyal to his offensive and defensive strategies, he does adjust his strategy and game plan to suit his team and his opponent.

I think that a criticism of him not making adjustments or not making the right adjustments at the right time, in game, is probably fair.

However, this doesn't prevent him from winning games midseason when there is much less on the line. It seems that in season, his adjustments tend to work better than post-season. The postseason problem seems to be that no adjustment is going to help if you are not able to make baskets.

There is something about Coach Self and his staff that his teams appear to play nervous or play scared when the stakes are high. We hear from practice that Bill Self is much more of a calming personality than what many of us tend to imagine. We know that in game his demeanor is very fiery. I would guess that before big games the fiery demeanor becomes more severe and that it affects the players as they prepare mentally for a big game.

Bill Self has recognized that Fred Hoiberg's teams tend to play freely. Self tends to say the team is playing tight and that they need to play more loose. But the players tend to be afraid that if they loosen up then they will mess up and coach won't be happy.

Jonathan Allison 7 months, 2 weeks ago

One thing that Coach Self needs is a star who doesn't really care how the coach criticizes his play. A star that will stand up for himself if he takes a bad shot or makes a bad turnover. Not that he will dismiss the coach's instruction, but that he knows what he saw and knows what he was trying to accomplish and realizes that he messed up but doesn't feel a need to apologize for taking that shot, or attempting that pass, or going for that steal.

Sherron Collins was that way. Mario Chalmers was that way. Josh Selby was that way. Tyshawn Taylor was that way. Marcus Morris was that way and so was TRob. I think that Selden and Embiid have that quality.

But there are a bunch of leaders who weren't that way. Rush, Aldrich, Henry, Withey, Johnson, McLemore, Wiggins, Tharpe, Ellis.

If the leaders and stars of the team can take on that mindset then the team can take on that identity. That is the identity that makes champions. If Bill Self doesn't have a team that can take on that identity (ie. this year's team) then he needs to be a calming influence in the locker room and on the bench in oder to help his players to feel more free on the floor.

This type of play is a risk for Coach Self. It's the same thing that we've been talking about for several years now. It's developing players, and letting them play through their mistakes. It comes with a cost, but also comes with a potential payout if done effectively.

Will Self's legacy be one of an elite coach, deserving a statue? Or will it be one of a coach who could do it all but continued to struggle to win on the big stage?

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