Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Basketball notebook: Tharpe draws interest from New England schools

Kansas point guard Naadir Tharpe pumps his fist after forcing an Iowa State timeout during a Jayhawk run in the second half on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas point guard Naadir Tharpe pumps his fist after forcing an Iowa State timeout during a Jayhawk run in the second half on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.


Providence and UMass have emerged as possible transfer destinations of former Kansas University point guard Naadir Tharpe.’s Jeff Borzello tweeted on Tuesday that the 5-foot-11 Worcester, Massachusetts, native is being pursued by both schools. Playing overseas also was listed as an option for Tharpe, who announced his decision to transfer from KU on May 1.

He cited wanting to be close to his daughter, who has had some health problems in the past.

If Tharpe, who will be a senior, is granted a waiver by the NCAA, he’d be eligible immediately, meaning UMass would have a crowded backcourt with Tharpe, 6-3 Derrick Gordon, 6-0 Trey Davis and 5-11 former West Virginia player Jabarie Hinds. reports that UMass does not have a scholarship available.

As for Providence ... Tharpe actually committed to coach Ed Cooley’s program out of high school, but ultimately reopened his recruitment. Cooley will be beginning his fourth year at Providence.

Providence returns guard Kris Dunn and is bringing in highly-touted recruit Kyron Cartwright.

Wiggins workouts: In preparation for the 2014 NBA Draft and ensuing NBA summer league, Andrew Wiggins has been working out diligently in Santa Barbara, California, with trainer Drew Hanlen of the company “Pure Sweat.”

“I would say a lot of go-to moves from the mid-post, staying low on my dribble,” Wiggins told’s Chad Ford, when asked what’s been emphasized the most.

“Fixing my shot,” Wiggins added. “It doesn’t need too much fixing. I’m trying to perfect my shot (but) you can’t perfect anything.”

Hanlen also has had Wiggins study film.

“I’ve been watching a lot of Paul George, Kobe (Bryant), (Michael) Jordan and T-Mac (Tracy McGrady) videos,” Wiggins told Ford, who was invited to watch a workout last weekend. “Just seeing the variety of ways they score, their demeanor, just their work ethic.”

Wiggins provided Ford with his case for being the No. 1 overall pick in the June 26 draft. Cleveland owns that top pick.

“I think I’ll give them what they need. I’m going to try my best to take the organization to a different level, a level it hasn’t been to before,” Wiggins said. “I’m going to give my all. I’m going to give the fans what they want. I’m going to give the coaches what they want. I’m going to try my heart out and be the best I can be and best I can be for the team.”

Of Wiggins’ film study sessions, Hanlen told Ford ... “I normally never pull Jordan or Kobe video for players because, truthfully, they just can’t do what Jordan or Kobe could do athletically. Wiggins is the first player I’ve trained who has that capability, athletically, to do some of the things those two have done. It’s just a learning process for him now. He’s gotten by on his athleticism his whole life. Now it’s about really learning what makes players like that special from a skills standpoint and a mentality standpoint. He was hesitant at Kansas and as he improves his skills, I’m starting to see him develop confidence and a killer mentality that will be necessary at the next level. He’s been like a sponge. The improvement over the past few weeks has been incredible. I think in a few more weeks he’s going to blow people away in workouts.”

To read Ford’s article, click here.

Gonzalez twins transfer to UNLV: Kansas University women’s basketball guards Dakota and Dylan Gonzalez have been released to transfer and will head to UNLV, KU coach Bonnie Henrickson announced Thursday.

Dakota Gonzalez averaged 4.4 points and 2.0 rebounds over 17.3 minutes a game during her freshman season at KU. Dylan Gonzalez averaged 1.1 points in 2.8 minutes a game, but made just nine appearances to twin sister Dakota’s 30.


Suzi Marshall 5 years ago

Tharpe leaves Kansas so he can be closer to his daughter but is considering Overseas .... ?

How long before Bonnie transfers out?

Jack Wilson 5 years ago

If the "considering overseas" part is correct, that simply destroys all credibility regarding the purported reason for the transfer.

But, of course, that was pretty obvious, anyway.

Robert Brock 5 years ago

I hope that he gets his degree (perhaps at Providence) and plays overseas to make some money. Nothing wrong with that concept.

Jack Wilson 5 years ago

The overseas thing is listed as an option now, not as an option after playing college.

The exact quote from Borzello was: "Providence and Massachusetts are both in pursuit of former Kansas point guard Naadir Tharpe, per sources. Overseas also an option."

Robin Smith 5 years ago

I don't know if it destroys credibility for the reason of transferring

He's either going to be close to his daughter or make money for his daughter. Neither of which he does at Kansas.

Jack Wilson 5 years ago

When your stated reason is to be closer to your sick daughter (who has now improved), and one of your stated options is to leave your daughter and go play overseas, the rationale of "being close to your daughter" is now quite flimsy, correct?

Now, if he takes his daughter on the road with him to Europe, I would stand corrected. And of course, he has to make a living. Playing hoops in Europe can be a good deal. It just, again, goes against the noble idea of being near your daughter.

But we all know that the stated reason for the transfer was a smokescreen, right?

I mean, Devonte Graham committed the next day and Graham said the Tharpe transferring impacted his decision.

Self just traded Tharpe for Graham, straight up.

Sam Constance 5 years ago

I guess I never read the part about him leaving his daughter here.

Jack Wilson 5 years ago

I'm kind of assuming that .. he left her on the east coast to play here. Mom and he aren't married. If the kid was going to travel with him around Europe, or live with him there, then I'm sure it would have been easier to move to Lawrence.

Walter Bridges 5 years ago

I don't think that Tharpe necessarily loses credibility if he goes overseas but the reason for leaving certainly does. I would like to believe Tharpe wasn't given the leave now or sit out his final season option, basically shown the door by the coaching staff.

How can he get a waiver to play this season by the NCAA? I'm guessing the health of his daughter could qualify as a hardship but that didn't just happen and he is not w/the mother.

Jonathan Allison 5 years ago

Advice for Tharpe: Get your degree. You never know how soon you're going to be looking for a job outside of basketball.

Rodney Crain 5 years ago

Tharpe might be looking for that job as soon as he graduates. I don't see a long future for a Turn Over prone, poor shooting guard.

Mark Lindrud 5 years ago

My Dad and I suspected Tharpe was talked into leaving and the daughter situation was the easy out. Now that he is contemplating going over seas I would say the assessment is more and more correct. Finish college and get your degree because there is no guarantee his European career will be a long one for a 5'11 point guard who isn't super athletic.

Dan Burns 5 years ago

I never bought the "leaving to be closer to my daughter" spiel, but I do think it would be to his best interest to stay close to home and get a degree. Providence or UMass would be more of a caliber of team that he could positively contribute. With his issues both on and off the court, I would have been disappointed if he could have continued to be a starter, especially with the talent KU has on the bench.

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

I wish him only the best of good luck...he tried hard but lost something between his sophomre and junior year.

Regarding the daughter situation, transferring because of a "sick child" certainly reads better for an immediate hardship exemption than "I may go overseas to make some money".

Not being cruel...just being realistic.

Eliott Reeder 5 years ago

Indeed. I think the "closer to my daughter" story had less to do with placating a curious KU fanbase than putting Naa in a position to play right away after transferring...

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

It is amazing to think how much of history rides on just a fraction of an inch;

What if the ref had correctly called Jo Jo's foot being over the line not on the line.

What is Mario's shot was just a tad to the right?

What if Hightower hadn't noticed that Rose's toe was just over the three point line.

What if Naadir had hit that three pointer from Elijah's reverse from the basket pass against Michigan.

What if Bird could have risen one more inch against Michael's buzzer beater.

What if the bullet that hit Stonewall Jackson would have been three more inches to the right and passed by him.

What if Lee Harvey Oswald had missed. What if Sirhan Sirhan had missed. What if James Earl Ray had missed.

Sometimes, an inch is as good as a mile.

Suzi Marshall 5 years ago

What if Captain Patrick Ferguson, reputed to be the finest shot in the British army, taken the shot on September 11, 1777 and taken out George Washington.

What if Private Henry Tandey, who won the Victoria Cross, taken the shot on September 28, 1918 and taken out Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler.

History is full of interesting “what ifs” and reinforces the belief to learn from experience do your best the first time.

Joseph Leon 5 years ago

"What if Naadir had hit that three pointer from Elijah's reverse from the basket pass against Michigan."

Or what if EJ had just taken the damn shot! For all his weaknesses, that was like his one saving grace, that he was fearless to the bucket!

Oh well.

Walter Bridges 5 years ago

Or not punched the Michigan player in the nuts?

Sam Constance 5 years ago

So, apparently no one in the "his daughter was just a cover" camp has considered the fact that if Tharpe ends up playing overseas, SHE WOULD GO WITH HIM?

Because that seems pretty reasonable from my view. He either stays here and continues as an amateur in an area that allows him to be close to his daughter while she stays in a situation that doesn't require her dad to have a paying job... OR, he goes overseas and begins playing for money, at which point he has the capability to take her with him as he'd be earning a paycheck and can actually cover the cost of supporting her.

But no, it's so much more fun to continue the hypercriticism of the guy. I mean, he was just an average point guard, we might as well whip out the pitchforks, right?

Sometimes KU fans make me so mad.

Jack Wilson 5 years ago

That makes zero sense. He left her on the east coast to play at KU. Mom and he aren't married. If the kid was going to travel with him around Europe, or live with him there, then why not move to Lawrence? That's easier.

It appears that you (illogically) are struggling to explain away the smokescreen.

And none of this is pitchforks or criticism. It's an observation regarding an absurd explanation.

Jack Jones 5 years ago

What if..............we just let Mr. Tharpe move ahead with his life ~ without our none-of-your-business comment? Find something really important in your life to be concerned about.

Doug Cramer 5 years ago

I'm torn on this one. Even if Tharpe wasn't going to start next season, his experience would be GREAT off the bench.

Good luck Tharpe...I hope to see you tearing it up somewhere next year.

Tony Bandle 5 years ago

Well said, Doug..let's end this chain of posts with this solid comment.

Bill Drumm 5 years ago

Regarding Tharpe, I think we're all being a little short-sided about his decisions. His choice to head overseas would be about money. I'm sure he has plenty of medical bills to pay, so he'd be taking care of his family. You may not agree with it, but at least you can respect his maturity with regard to his family. FOE.

Mark Lindrud 5 years ago

There is no doubt it is about money and like many players who leave for the NBA early they decide it is time to earn the cash. I don't know how well he will do in the Euro League, but I hope he succeeds. My concern is if it does not do well that he does not have his degree to fall back on. Either way I wish him the best.

Walter Bridges 5 years ago

I'm guessing not everyone is happy that the Gonzo twins are leaving...

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