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Friday, June 27, 2014

Self: Having two of NBA draft’s top picks ‘means a lot’ for KU

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Cleveland takes Andrew Wiggins 1st in NBA Draft

The Cleveland Cavaliers made Kansas basketball product Andrew Wiggins the first pick in the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26, in Brooklyn, New York.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Andrew Wiggins talks about "dream come true" of going No. 1 in 2014 NBA Draft

Andrew Wiggins talks about "dream come true" of going No. 1 in 2014 NBA Draft

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self thrilled for Wiggins, Embiid and Kansas

KU coach Bill Self thrilled for Wiggins, Embiid and Kansas after Jayhawk duo goes first and third in 2014 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Kansas University’s domination of the 2014 NBA draft had coach Bill Self beaming in the Big Apple on Thursday night.

“Obviously it means a lot for our program to have two guys to be so well thought of and drafted so high,” Self, KU’s 12th-year coach, said in a national phone teleconference from New York after Andrew Wiggins was selected No. 1 overall by Cleveland and Joel Embiid No. 3 by Philadelphia.

“We’ve had others taken high in the draft without question, never two this high. Coming in the same year with two kids that are as good a kids as they are players, I think it bodes well for our program and certainly gives a lot of Kansas fans a lot to brag about,” Self added.

Prior to Thursday, KU’s top pick in the Self era was Thomas Robinson at No. 5 in the 2012 draft. That was the same year University of Kentucky players went 1-2 overall.

“I’d have been just as proud of him if he went two. I’m not more proud of Andrew than I was Ben or Thomas the year before, or the twins,” Self said. Ben McLemore went No. 7 a year ago. Markieff and Marcus Morris went 13 and 14 in 2011.

“I think there’s something about that label being No. 1 (that) I think will certainly bode well for our program. As many great players as Kansas has had, it’s been 26 years since we’ve had the No. 1 pick (Danny Manning, 1988). We don’t want to wait another 26 years, but it’s certainly very exciting,” Self said.

This has to be positive news for recruiting.

“No question one knock that has been used against us recruiting with other programs is the fact, ‘Yeah, they’ve had a lot of pros but their guys aren’t one-and-done guys.’ Here we’ve had three one-and-dones — 1, 3 and 7 in the last two years. I don’t think anybody can say that anymore,” Self said. “Not that that was a big deal. I think it does help recruiting when you have freshmen projected to be one-and-dones go as high as they have.”

Self had an inkling Wiggins would be taken No. 1.

“I talked to Cleveland two days ago and talked to them again today,” Self said. “The talk today led me to believe that was the direction they were possibly leaning. I was very surprised pleasantly with Philadelphia with Joel until I spoke with their GM about two hours before the draft. The questions he asked me ... I told the guys I was with, I said, ‘I guarantee Jo is in play at 3,’ and sure enough he was.”

Self thinks both players fit in well with their NBA teams.

“The Sixers already have another big guy in Nerlens Noel, who hasn’t played yet because of injury,” Self said. “They are a franchise that knows it doesn’t happen overnight. I guarantee when both are healthy it won’t be near as easy to score against them around the basket.”

About Wiggins in Cleveland, Self noted: “With Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving and Andrew and other guys, that’s a pretty formidable backcourt, without question, especially to be so young. I think he’ll fit in great. He’ll be part of the rebuilding process. I know they are very very interested in winning now and becoming a playoff team immediately. I think Andrew will certainly aid in accomplishing that goal. He gets a chance to play with a point guard (Irving) who has a great reputation and has an abundance of talent. I think that will be very exciting for him.”

Self said he didn’t know when 7-footer Embiid would be able to play for the Sixers. He had surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his foot.

“I don’t know if he will play this year or look at getting him back sometime around the first of the year,” Self said. “That will be up to the rehab process and brass in Philadelphia.”

Black goes undrafted: Former Kansas center Tarik Black went undrafted after all 60 picks were called on Thursday. Black, 6-9, 260 pounds, has said he’d like to play professional basketball before exploring other opportunities such as pro football.

Maker visits: Thon Maker, a 7-foot junior center from Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia and his 6-foot-10 sophomore brother, Matur, visited both KU and Missouri this week.

Their mentor, Ed Smith, told Rivals.com that the Maker brothers will visit Duke on June 30. When Thon heads to Los Angeles for the Adidas Nations event in July he will likely visit UCLA and Arizona. In August, Smith will take the brothers to North Carolina State and Georgetown and possibly Kentucky and Indiana.

Thon, who is ranked No. 3 nationally by Rivals.com, may reclassify from the Class of 2016 to 2015.

“We have to sit down with our school and come up with a plan. We have to see the possibilities and go from there once the school year starts, It is not as easily done as it is said with what the NCAA has to do,” Smith told Rivals.

Comments

Robert Rauktis 5 months ago

"certainly gives a lot of Kansas fans a lot to brag about,” Self added." : Hey Coach, how about getting to the second week with no draft choices?

"Their mentor, Ed Smith, told Rivals.com": Is that code for "agent"?

Allison Steen 5 months ago

This is something to be proud of. We lost in the first weekend, we were without the #3 pick in the draft. Move on.

Eric TheCapn 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I agree. It may mean a lot for Bill Self, but it means nothing to me as a fan/alumnus.

Jonathan Allison 5 months ago

Bill Self just listed on ESPNs top 50 coaches at #6.

Coaches yet to be listed: Calipari, Donovan, Izzo, Coach K, Pitino

Brianna Zaleski 5 months ago

That is nonsense. Calipari is a better coach than Self? Right

Allen Shepard 5 months ago

CANNNNNOOOTOTTTTTT believe they took Donovan over self... that's completely bat-s.

Len Shaffer 5 months ago

Donovan's won two titles. That's it, plain and simple.

Scott MacWilliams 5 months ago

Congrats to Andrew and Jojo! Good luck on your careers, guys, and be sure and come back and visit every chance you get. Even though your stay was short, you are always a Jayhawk and we will root for you always.

Robert, we all would have liked to go farther in the tournament this year, but we did pretty well. Stanford played a great game, and we didn't counter. Life goes on.

I like the timing of Thon Makers visit to KU and the NBA draft, with our African 7-footer going at 3rd with a broken foot!! That should bode well for his selection process.

Linda Peschka 5 months ago

Yea, it is great for the image of KU. However, with the #1 and #3 picks for the NBA draft from KU, I think Self has to seriously, privately of course, ask why KU did not do better in the NCAA tourney. Getting 2 of the 3 top draftees is great for those 2, but what about the KU team for which they played? Again I ask, why did KU not do better during the 2013-2014 BBall season? Before the reaction with the usual defensive remarks to justify the season from die-hard KU fans, stop and think about it. KU should have done better. So, what were variables that interfered with a better showing? Just stop and ask yourselves. Do not be just like wandering sheep without any pensive thought.

Suzi Marshall 5 months ago

Linda, we talked about this topic all season long...before the Tournament...and after. Wiggins and Embiid were our two best players, offensively and defensively. We had no PG and Selden, we learned, was playing on a bum leg. The team was far to soft to be able to recover from a key loss like Embiid. When he was out, we could not defend against a layup line.

Sad thing against Stanford we played a very good defensive game but our soft play at the rim (4-16, sans Black) and poor output from the 4s really let the team down in the game.

Nevertheless, last year's team had no realistic chance without Embiid.

Ryan Michael 5 months ago

You are asking everyone to stop and think about it... Yet you don't appear to have acted on your own advice. Our best player and critical center was hurt and couldn't play. There is your problem, it didn't even require "pensive thought". It's common sense.

RJ King 5 months ago

"The KU team for which they played?" Regarding the Stanford loss:

1) For KU, the number 3 pick in the draft DID NOT PLAY.

2) Tharpe did.

3) Josh Huestis, defensive specialist - and 1st round NBA pick - guarded Wiggins, who had 4 pts and 4 turnovers. Note: senior on freshman.

4) Stanford had nothing to lose (as is the case with all lower seeds).

What variables interfered with a better showing on the season?

Embiid was not on the radar in HS. He didn't even crack the Top 100 before his senior year. He finally landed at #36. His status as the projected #1 NBA pick is based on POTENTIAL, as in large part is Wiggins' actual #1 selection. It's not like KU played with 2 of the top 3 NBA rookies all season. Many other college players were simply better last year - because they were better as COLLEGE players.

We had the youngest roster in college and we had the toughest schedule - BY FAR.

These are not defensive remarks, they are facts which explain exactly the season that a great many fans expected. I think I hear something braying.

Len Shaffer 5 months ago

RJ, that's the best analysis I've seen of KU's season. You're spot on, and you should be writing for the LJW. (Now if only we could convince Keegan to give up his spot.)

Rodney Crain 5 months ago

I think he was talking about the Stanford loss specifically not the season, thus the : semi colon. Unless Huestis was on every team we played?

Len Shaffer 5 months ago

No, the first part of his analysis was about the Stanford loss. After that he said, "What variables interfered with a better showing on the season?"

That might have clued you in to the fact that he was analyzing "the season."

Rodney Crain 5 months ago

LOL so his rambling error filled 4 sentences is the best analysis "I've seen of KU's season"??? OK never mind sorry for bothering you I thought you were a bit too excited about his incomplete season analysis, obviously I am mistaken. He nailed it, sure he did...

Rodney Crain 5 months ago

KY 18.6 was younger than KU 18.9 and started more freshman and made it to NC runner up, that is a fact. I guess they were just lucky??? So strike "had the youngest roster in college BY FAR"... sorry but that is not a fact by far! ps - Huestis was taken way to early in the first round. He was 2nd round talent at best (projected as pick #17 in round #2 OK City was just bored when they picked him). Also players do not win basketball games teams actually do. CT had one 1st rounder, and 2 others who played out of their minds and their team won it all. I agree with 1 and 2. The rest of that post is not really factual or even relevant.

Rodney Crain 5 months ago

braying? If you mean laugh loudly, yes I was, am still smiling about your post.

Erich Hartmann 5 months ago

Linda, I understand your angst, as it doesnt seem to jibe 1 fact (2 top 3 picks) with another fact (2nd round loss). But that is WAY too simplistic. The logical basis of your idea is actually dispelled by the fact that Embiid couldnt even suit up for that Stanford loss.

RJKing hit the nail on the head, regarding "why" our team absolutely sucked, in comparison to other Bill Self KU teams. Couldnt defend, only 5mos together as a group, so very dumbed-down offense, thus not a lot of go-to options for Self in the timeout, right? (And he took several timeouts, trying to help these floundering kids). And not to mention the junior PG (Naa) sat next to his coach as the headless team went down in flames. Oh, and were we putting all our hopes on an 18yr old kid? Come on, that isnt Bill Self team ball. Nor is some inexperienced squad with 5mos of experience--that isnt your typical Self squad either. In that game, the "bunch of upperclassmen playing as a team" was actually Stanford, not us. Next season please.

Rodney Crain 5 months ago

Linda missed all the points some of you are making, but keep in mind when I tried to point out how poorly they were playing before conference play, many of you said, wait till the Christmas break, give them a chance they are just young, Self will have them turned around like he always does after the break, Tharpe will be fine, he is one of the best PG in the nation..... Then Joel goes down and we lose 4 out of the last 7. Last years team was the worst team Self has had at Kansas in a decade, in spite of a 10th title. Yes we expect a lot of our team, you do that if you consider them great or elite, there is nothing wrong with that. I find it so ironic that the reasons I brought up 7 months ago, cause I was a negative Nancy, are now brought up to Linda. Hypocrites. Wiggins and Joel remind us all that you need 5 players to win in basketball, a great coaching staff and some luck. We did not have 5 players always working together, our coach had limited options partially his own fault, and we did not have enough luck. Bad year, by our standards. I hope this year we are better. It looks like we are.

Chad Lee 5 months ago

Lets not forget about all the guys we lost the year before. Three freshman starting, two of which were hurt and one that was supposed to be a senior in high school. Then you have Ellis our old man with one year of experience on the bench. Naa?naw! most fans in the know already predicted a 10 loss season and we still made it there with the youth and injuries. Have real expectations, your glass may be overflowing or empty Linda im not sure which.

Chad Lee 5 months ago

Rodney I think it is more the constant negativity that made others want to defend our team. I have pointed out in prior posts that not all but most of your posts seem to have some Nancy in them. In my opinion last years team could have beaten anyone on any given night. It was wishful thinking to hope they would win out at the end of the year with the injuries and Naa at pg. I guess for that my friend you can call me a fan. It seems Self is trying to recruit toughness instead of having to develop it. I like this years team, surprised?

Rodney Crain 5 months ago

Chad, sorry Homer, I see my points as realistic not negative. They only sound negative to Homers like yourself who have no comprehension on how anyone a fan of our team can ever say anything negative about KU basketball. How can someone ever critique a team they follow, gee golly that just does not make sense? Its ok I sure don't need anyone, especially you, to validate or even agree with me. I do find it ironic that points I was making 7 months ago that were highly disagreed with, are now considered accepted reasons on why we did not do very well last season, especially at the end of the season. If you think Self can recruit toughness I wonder what you think that word means. You can only find out how tough a player is by how they respond to adversity. Knowing how tough a player responds comes in game action, you hope every player is tough but you can only hope they are, you can't recruit it, but you can develop it. I think our head coach says that word soft a lot, recently too. I know you could find my response petty, and mean so I hope I was not. Actually I really don't care if you think I was. You just don't know what you are talking about most of the time. Is that trivial enough for you? :)

Chad Lee 5 months ago

I don't make sense? The last few statement you made are as confusing as it can get. With your attack on my knowledge and comprehension, plus your doubts about Selfs ways I think it would be useless to debate any further. The last words I will give you which im sure will twist the knife in your uppity know it all back "im right and you are wrong and also negative" fare thee well

Rodney Crain 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Chad I don't think you can use are without a plural noun in a sentence. Plural, meaning more than one. Did you mean "The last few statement(s) you made "are"? See, I find that confusing. I think it is very obvious what I think about your comments and I agree there is no debate to most of your points. I am not sure I doubted Self above as much as I doubted that you can recruit toughness, your statement. I am not sure how you could comprehend I doubted Self from that statement. As far as twisting the knife I think you forgot the last words of your quote - "im right and you are wrong and also negative" na na na na na, followed by running away with your fingers in your ears. Also I am not sure you know what fare thee well actually means. These words were used to tell a person sir your point is made in the utmost degree or to a state of perfection - Merriam. It does not mean I bid you farewell sir, although I can see why one would make that mistake. I can understand why you think I only am negative on here, cause that is all you respond to, but if you took the time to read all my comments you will see I also am positive. Like life is Chad, I think there is good and bad. This is not a cheerleading posting area, it is ok to critique your team on here too.

Chad Lee 4 months, 4 weeks ago

thank the good lord I gave you enough ammunition to stay off the basketball teams back for a post. Rodney I am flattered such a long post just for me. You are playing into my hands old chum.

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