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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

KU’s starting lineup in flux

Kansas head coach Bill Self spoke with a local sports radio show with Danny Clinkscale before the start of the Coaches vs. Cancer Season Tip-off Reception at Municipal Auditorium.

Kansas head coach Bill Self spoke with a local sports radio show with Danny Clinkscale before the start of the Coaches vs. Cancer Season Tip-off Reception at Municipal Auditorium.

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— As one might expect, Kansas University’s starting lineup is up for grabs a mere four practices into the 2014-15 basketball season.

“The guys have tried real hard. I’m really pleased with their competitive juices and spirit moreso than recent memory. They’re getting after it right now,” KU coach Bill Self said at Tuesday’s Coaches Vs. Cancer Reception in Municipal Auditorium. “Right now, I don’t know other than Perry (Ellis, forward) and you’d think Wayne (Selden, wing) although I wouldn’t say Wayne’s been at his best so far. We could have four or five positions (open) right now, for sure four. If Wayne plays like he’s capable of playing it’d be hard for anybody to beat him out. Really to be quite candid, it’s a coin flip.”

As far as the point guard slot, Self on Tuesday continued to speak glowingly of Devonté Graham, a 6-foot-2 freshman floor general from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, who reminds Self of former KU standout Aaron Miles.

“Devonté has been terrific. He’s battling for starting minutes, not just playing. He’s battling to start,” Self said. “I think he’s more ready to play right now than any freshman point guard we’ve signed in a while, Tyshawn maybe,” Self added of Tyshawn Taylor, who started as a frosh in 2008-09.

“Tyshawn was kind of forced into action because there was nobody else there challenging. This is a little bit different. Devonté’s a good player, a good leader. He has intangibles. He’s an athlete. He’s exciting for me because of all the guys we recruited, he’d be the least publicized one but he probably has the best feel for what’s going on right now than anybody.”

Late Night to include Royals: Fans who follow the Royals will be happy to learn they won’t be forgotten at Friday’s Late Night in the Phog. Late Night begins at 6:30 p.m. The Royals and Orioles will meet in game one of the ALCS at 7:07 p.m.

“We know they (KU officials) are working on being able to show the Royals game, at least parts of it — highlights while the festivities (of Late Night) are going on,” Self said. “We can make it kind of a pep rally for basketball and baseball so to speak. It’ll be one of the better ones (Late Nights) we’ve had from what I understand what everyone is trying to do. I know our players are excited.”

Self is counting on KU fans jamming the fieldhouse despite fall break and the Royals game. It’s a huge recruiting weekend with five players — Jaylen Brown, Stephen Zimmerman, Carlton Bragg, Brandon Ingram and Tyler Dorsey — making official recruiting visits and a dozen or more players making unofficial visits.

New MU coach attends: Self spoke at the Coaches vs. Cancer event with Missouri’s Kim Anderson, Kansas State’s Bruce Weber, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and UMKC’s Kareem Richardson.

Self is a buddy of first-year MU coach Anderson.

“I’ve known him awhile, going back to my playing days he was assistant at Missouri,” Self said. “People may not realize what a great player he was at Mizzou in the Big Eight. He will do a great job. He’s a terrific hire in my opinion.”

KU has no plans to schedule the Tigers.

“Who knows what will happen in the future with that situation. If we don’t play Missouri for a while, then it’s not going to be because of Kim. It’ll be because it’s best for our program to do so. We’ll wait and see what happens,” Self said.

“The reason we haven’t played didn’t have anything to do with coaches or players. I liked Quin (Snyder). I liked Mike (Anderson). I like Frank (Haith) and I like Kim.”

Memories: Self revealed he attended Game Seven of the 1985 World Series between KC and St. Louis.

“R.C. (Buford, KU assistant) and I bought a keg of beer and put it in the back (for party in Kauffman Stadium parking lot). We got there in the bottom of the first. A guy said, ‘face value (for tickets).’ We bought two tickets, parked right in front of the building, went in and sat about 10 rows up right off the right-field line. I got kind of spoiled then,” Self said of being able to watch such a big game in prime seats instead of just partying in the parking lot.

Wiggins scores 18: Former KU wing Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points off 4-of-11 shooting and grabbed four rebounds while playing 32 minutes in Minnesota’s 103-90 loss to Indiana on Tuesday in Indianapolis. Wiggins was 2-of-2 from three-point land in his NBA preseason debut.

Comments

Chad Harris 7 years ago

I'm very excited for this coming season. I'm curious to see how much Conner has improved. The kid really gained some confidence during the Stanford game; he kept Kansas in the game despite the loss. Personally, Conner's assist/turnover ratio was better than Mason's even though his minutes were minimal. Don't get me wrong, Mason is one tough player and fine defender and he played well last year. He just had more opportunities than Conner.

Doug Cramer 7 years ago

Chad I 100% agree, and would love to see Conner win over the PG starting job hands down.

It was obvious from his limited play last year, that he's a HIGHLY INTELLIGENT point guard. The lack of intelligent PG play is what costed us that Michigan game two seasons ago...and the Stanford game last year.

We need Conner to be our guy at PG. I'm done with the big, long, and athletic utility guards we keep forcing into that role. It's time for a smart PG that knows how to eliminate turnovers, take care of the ball, and can hit the 3 ball.

Robert Brock 7 years ago

Conner is not a PG. Look for him to back up Wayne at the 2.

Brian Wilson 7 years ago

Actually you are wrong. As a prospect, Conner is the highest rated PG on the team as rated by Rivals Scout and ESPN. But of course he can play the 2 and this next year may be the first guard off the bench.

IMO, most great coaches, including BS, trend toward the best athlete regardless of bottom line result. I hope Connor starts as I think he is the best choice but not counting on it. SOMETIMES, when remembering Self's comments at the end of last year, I envision a surprise starting lineup of Selden at PG and Connor at the 2. Self has said Selden will play PG at the next level and Self would like to get him some minutes there.

That of course would be a nice Big surprise. Imagine this inventive lineup:

PG: Selden, Mason, Graham
SG: Frankamp, Svi
SF: Oubre, Green, Ellis
PF: Ellis, Traylor, Lucas
C: Alexander, Mickelson,

Graham and Lucas wait there turn. Don't be surprised if Ellis plays a little at the 3 this year. That will be his position in the Pros and Bill has said he might give him some minutes there as well.

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

That is the lineup I've been promoting and hoping for since the Stanford loss. Most freak out, but not Bill Self, at the mention of Selden. It bothers me some when Self says Selden is not up to par yet.

Brian Wilson 7 years ago

wow Suzi... you are the first I know to agree. I think when Self says that he means being more of a leader. Out of all the 4 guards, Selden is the strongest and closest to NBA caliber. We shall see but I think last year Selden was overshadowed and quiet. I think this year he is thinking about taking charge.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

I think it's "their" turn, but Graham will not be waiting sorry. Selden is not playing the point, as per Self. He is not a great ball handler. Although we rarely play with defined roles, your lineup makes almost no sense so it would be quite a surprise. I would be shocked if Conner starts unless we have injuries. Keep you feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars Brian!

Brian Wilson 7 years ago

Rodney.... Google Fox Sports Kansas City "Shooter or Player" Self Challenges Frankamp to shape his KU legacy. A new article posted this past 24 hours that talks about Mason's defense not being any better than Frankamp's. Frankamp's shooting woes and him finding the solution at year's end. More Arc! And Selden possibly getting minutes at the point. Yes I agree its not Graham's time yet. It's Selden and Frankamp's. But Graham may be so good you can't keep him off the court. However, we have not yet seen him play in Allen Fieldhouse against the big boys yet. And usually, like Frankamp, it takes time to learn, adjust, and fit into the system I personally think Mason transfers at years end.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

I was not agreeing that it was their time, I was pointing out you used the wrong spelling of there... It is Graham and Mason's time.

Brian sometimes its best not to read so much into preseason articles you might look really silly once the games are played for real. If you follow Self he thinks that Graham and Mason should be at the point. Self has consistently said he values playmaking and ball handling from the point this year. Neither Connor, nor Selden come to mind if that is true. Btw we really do need better playmaking and ball handling. So I hope CF has found his shot, it would nice to bring him in for that, but if he is starting at the point for us we are in trouble. Having someone safe playing PG is not the option. It should be Mason/Graham. If they get in foul trouble or do not value the ball Conner can come in and spell one of them.

Just cause it is the most recent article does not make it true. I trust our local team here at KUsports.com with having the pulse of our team and coaches.

Erich Hartmann 7 years ago

Same old drum: Hurry! Quick! Put Connor in because he had a good 5min vs. Stanford!!! He is the saviour, having cut his teeth against the brutal city-league opposition in Wichita, Kansas...!

I'd like to buy each of you a ticket to a 1on1 exhibition game between Frankamp vs. Mason...Then another 1on1 between Graham vs Frankamp. And finally, a 1on1 between Wayne Selden vs Frankamp. Now I would bet on Frankamp if he was facing Niko Roberts or Christian Garrett...

Last season's worst 3% shooter on the team (24%) was none other than Connor Frankamp. He's got a lot to prove. Self values toughness. And, since Sherron and Tyshawn, he now values dribble-drive penetration (which was EJ's issue, didnt have the guts to do it). I dont see CF as tough enough, nor physical enough to go dribble-drive. But I'd love for CF to prove me wrong.

Adam Collins 7 years ago

Is it just me or does it seems like Self might be easing up just a little in his desire to not schedule Missouri?

Aaron Paisley 7 years ago

Self's stance has always been that he'd schedule Missouri if it benefits KU. Until Missouri is a consistent top 25 team, it doesn't benefit KU to schedule Missouri.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Do not schedule Missouri. Do not schedule Wichita State either. There is no valid reason for either school to be on our schedule. Missouri decided to leave our conference, WSU has not shown that can play at an elite level for more than a few years.

Jonathan Allison 7 years ago

agreed.

We benefit none from playing WSU. They've been a solid team for a few years, but the media would slaughter us if we were to lose to them. Beating them would be good for our RPI but beating Florida or Georgetown or Duke is much much better for us from an exposure standpoint to recruits.

Bryce Landon 7 years ago

No. Put Wichita State back on the schedule. It's an in-state rivalry that needs to be rekindled. It'd be great for the state of Kansas and fans of both schools, and it would be wise to keep the money in state.

Yes, do not schedule Misuse. They tried to screw us over in the conference realignment soap opera. They can only profit when we are on their schedule. They can't have both the filthy lucre of the $EC and our money. They had their choice between a century of tradition and money, and they chose money.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

WSU ??? What rivalry, when have we ever had a rivalry with WSU? Great for the state? Sounds like a WSU fan talking. WSU has been back in the top 25 for the last two years? Back in the final four after a 40 year absence. Don't forget about their coach's comments either. I am with our coach "we schedule for what is in the best interest of our team". Heck we even have more Missouri Valley conference tittles than they do and we last played in that conference in 1928, WSU been there since 1945. No need to play them, nor MU.

Erich Hartmann 7 years ago

Sorry, Bryce, but I will side with Bill Self about not scheduling WSU. I live and grew up in the Wichita area, and I absolutely dont get the angry-WSU-fans who hate-KU. Problem is their coach has called out KU more than once, and honestly, they simply are desperate for the respect that playing a blue-blood would bring to their program. Look, they had their best shot against another blue-blood: Kentucky. And WSU played a pretty good game, but were simply outclassed.

To think the Stay-Angry-Shocker fans would actually call out for getting themselves embarrassed is plain ridiculous. They know not what they ask for...I wonder if, after such a game, they'd be so kind as to say "thank you, sir, may I please have another". At least Gregg Marshall might take it like a man...maybe...

Dale Stringer 7 years ago

But I think it would be awesome to schedule an exhibition game with UCM, the D2 school the won the championship under Anderson. Or (by what my UCM attending daughter thinks of Anderson) The D2 school Anderson used to win his championship.

Gary Bedore 7 years ago

I don't think his position has changed at all. He does like Kim Anderson a lot, though. There's no reason for KU to give MU a presence in KC by playing the Tigers in Sprint Center which is where the game would have to be. My suggestion to MU would be to do all the legwork on a game in SC, get a sponsor for the game to give each side enough $$ that it's "an offer you can't refuse." Give KU something to think about. KU doesn't want to play. Only possible way MIGHT be to offer enough a big enough PAYDAY and that probably still wouldn't be nuff.

Chad Harris 7 years ago

It's actually the other way around. Missouri doesn't want to play Kansas.

Bryce Landon 7 years ago

That's not the impression I get from interacting with Mistake fans on CBSSports.com. They want to play Kansas and accuse us of being chicken or crybabies for not playing. Playing Kansas is the only way they can fill up their Walmart-shaped arena.

Erich Hartmann 7 years ago

MizzooCreatures can be mad at Self all they want, but he's been beatin' them like a baby since he was at Illinois. We arent the ones who've never been to a Final4. Maybe they ought to worry about improving their program and getting to the F4, instead of whining about a team in a different conference from them?! Same goes for WichitaSt.

Aaron Paisley 7 years ago

I do think it's possible that the starting line up ends up being Mason, Frankamp, Selden, Ellis, and Alexander if Self is serious about multiple ball handlers being on the court a lot. Connor is a steady enough player that he is an ideal secondary ball handler. He makes good decisions with the ball and doesn't turn it over. He's not a playmaker with the ball with is why I don't think he's an ideal fit as the lead guard, but does work as the secondary guy.

That said, I believe the starting line up will the obvious one of Mason, Selden, Oubre, Ellis, and Alexander with Traylor, Frankamp, and Graham being the primary subs and Greene and Mickelson playing when the match up or foul trouble requires it.

Doug Cramer 7 years ago

Aaron I'd like to see:

  1. Frankamp <---it's time for a smart PG that can take care of the ball.
  2. Selden
  3. Oubre
  4. Ellis
  5. Alexander

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

From what Self is saying Frankamp is 3rd in line for him to play at the Point. I would like a PG who can hit an open 3 once or twice a game too. I like Conner but he is not the choice for PG.

Brian Wilson 7 years ago

Frankamp is not 3rd in line. At the very least he will be the first guard off the bench.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Not at PG, it's either Graham or Mason starting, coming in off the bench. So that means he would be the 3rd option at PG. He might be the first off the bench when we are playing small or if we need a 3 point shooter. PG sorry he is the 3rd option.

Erich Hartmann 7 years ago

Doug, Selden beats CF. You will see that Mason beats CF, and Graham will soon take out CF. You are worried about a:t ratio, while those other players can be taught, yet bring a lot more intangibles to the hardwood.

Unfortunately, for your boy Frankamp, his most heated competition are amongst his own teammates.

Jack Wilson 7 years ago

I completely disagree on CF. I like him, but not as my starting PG.

Doug -- Why is he highly intelligent? Because he dribbles slow and makes safe passes to the wing? I am interested in that. I just see a conservative player that plays kind of slow.

CF's assist to TO was good, but he had no assists.

CF had 15 assists in 225 minutes. That is a mere .066 assists per minute played.

Frank Mason has .126 assists per minute played, nearly double.

Selden played all of his minutes on the wing, and his assist to minute played well exceeded CF's at .085 per minute played.

CF is serviceable. He's safe. He tail dribbles. He's methodical. He delivers the ball securely to the wing. That has value. But as far as a playmaking, starting point guard, he isn't it. Not even close. Self has emphasized playmaking skills in his preseason discussions of using two smaller guards. CF demonstrated no real playmaking skills.

Again, the guy has value. And I'm not saying Mason was a major playmaker, either. CF could get better at it, just as Mason improved during the last season. But as our main, starting PG, I think it's really remote that Self picks CF.

I can't believe that anyone thinks "playmaker" when they think Conner Frankamp.

Glen Miller 7 years ago

After watching our guards throw the ball all over the court and lose games for us.... I would much rather have Frankamps "safe" play than the erratic hair pulling crap I have seen in recent years. He's not flashy or an elite athlete, but he gets the job done and provides a calming and in control force when he's on the floor that is invaluable to such a young team that wants to fly around. Your assist rate stat is a little misleading. Mason turns the ball over 5 times as often as Connor while only dishing the ball out twice as often as Frankamp. The metrics don't add up to being a better option to me. Mason is out of control and not near as smart with the ball. He's Sherron Collins but not as good a shooter and I love Collins, but he wasn't that great of a PG if you go by the true definition of a PG. I'd like to see this Graham kid take over the point and work there for the next 3 or 4 years. Mason is a spark plug, but not a starter. I just don't see it like some of you do.

Doug Cramer 7 years ago

Agree with Glen.

The questions are:

  1. Do we need a "playmaker" at the point ?
    We got plenty of playmakers on this team that aren't point guards.

  2. The other option....do we need a ball handler, that will take care of it, and get it in the hands of the play makers ?

Based off recent history and performance in the post season, I'll take number 2. The PG that isn't a playmaker, but is smart and gets it into the hands of the playmakers.

Walter Bridges 7 years ago

Why do you break it down to an 'either/or' proposition. The starting PG at Kansas should be competent at doing both.

As of now, that player would be Devonté Graham.

Mick Allen 7 years ago

What an oxymoron, a point guard that isn't a playmaker. C'mon Doug have a clue.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

On spot post Jack.

Glenn and Doug - Graham and Mason will be the first two choices at the point, CF will earn some PT if he can;

  1. hit his shot, especially when open
  2. does a better job of defending his position
  3. can show he can make passes into the post that result in points.
  4. the other two are in foul trouble

I like Conner but he has to earn his play, as far as I know there is no requirement that he needs to be smart to do that, although that does not hurt. Quicker, better technique, and confidence in his shot will help him.

Jack Wilson 7 years ago

Glen: I am a Mason fan, based largely on his improvement during the season. It seems that we're forgetting that Mason was freshman .. first season point guard under Bill Self. Mason was learning and getting better under fire. His shooting improved as the season went on, and in the off season he worked on getting the ball into his finger tips. But he'll never shoot it like CF

For that matter, CF was just a freshman, as well. So he could/should make a jump forward too.

I understand the ratios argument you're making, and the numbers don't lie; my point though really was that CF just didn't do anything to create. And truth be told, you need turnovers. Sounds odd. But you have to take risks to create. If you aren't turning the ball over some, you are playing too conservatively. Now, of course, there is a nice balance .. and we've been scarred by the TT days.

Maybe with CF his conservative play was so he wouldn't get yanked. That's reasonable. Maybe he will be more of a playmaking guy than he showed because he won't fear the hook as much.

Doug - Don't shoot too low here. Have you ever seen a point guard that plays as conservatively as CF did lead a team to a national championship? Or with such a low assist rate? I understand your reflections on the last few seasons. CF did provide tremendous stability.

That all being said, again, CF could be a more free flowing and open player this season. We know he can shoot. Maybe he will be. I really think we have three nice options. .

Mick Allen 7 years ago

No surprise here Jack, I totally agree with your opinion at what Self and 99% of coaches look for in a point guard. A point guard has to create shots and opportunities for his teammates. The way a successful point guard routinely does this is by breaking down his defender off the dribble thereby setting up a numbers advantage when defensive help comes to help stop the dribble. HCBS has repeatedly stated that Mason is by far our quickest player off the bounce to help create the numbers advantage that leads to high percentage shots for his teammates, who have to find the open space for the pass from the point guard who has beaten his defender off the dribble. A lot of the criticism of Mason last year, of which some was warranted, was that Frank, once in the paint off the dribble, to often forced up a low percentage shot instead of looking to dish the ball off to a teammate. Perhaps because of their limited time playing with Frank, I did not think our bigs did a good job of giving Frank an open space to distribute the ball. Conner, perhaps as you intimated Jack, was so concerned about not making a mistake that he played very cautiously which inhibited his ability to make a play. He is not fast off the dribble but handles it well and will not often turn it over. He will get his minutes at the 2 and possibly at the 1 in the last 5 to 7 minutes of a game where we are nursing a lead and milking the clock. He is also an excellent free throw shooter and I would like him at the line in those situations. Because we will be smaller his year than we have been in the past, I believe we will have to play" faster" on both ends. Pushing the ball on offense and perhaps more 3/4 pressure on defense. Mason's skill set fits this approach more readily than Conner's. It may be that Graham has the same strengths as Mason, just haven't seen him enough. Our assist to turnover ratio last year was as poor as any season in recent memory. I would rather have the point guard game stats to be 7 or 8 assists with 3 turnovers than 3 assists and 1 turnover. Mason's skill set is more in line with that preference.

Joseph Bullock 7 years ago

My problem here, is that when people single CF out, like he is the only intelligent guard we have, I have to wonder about your level of intelligence, or why you want him to be our PG! I like CF a lot, but the only thing that will tell us about how he will be at the PG position, is for him to get more minutes on the court. My problem with him, is on the defensive end of the floor, and his lack of strength (which I am sure will both have improved). On Frank Mason, do your homework, before you say negative things about him. If you would have done so, you would know that he was put in a position that was very challenging for him, playing PG, because he had never played it before, thus, all of last season was a learning experience for him, and he did improve, distributing the ball, late in the season. My choice for the starting PG is DG, who is a true PG, and solid athlete, and a solid defender, with a bit more size than CF and FM. Don't be surprised if the starting lineup is as follows: DG, WS, KO, PE, and CA. I would say that LL would have a chance to be the starting center, except for the fact that Cliff comes in with all the hype, and it would be very hard for coach Self not to start such a highly rated player. Brennan Green is also very capable of being a starter, if his defense has improved, and if his attention span has improved, but he may be better, as a spark off the bench. Oh, one other thing-don't be surprised if, because coach Self wants more ball handling, CF starts at PG, and Graham at the 2, with Graham being the primary ball handler, and Wayne at the 3. I was court side at the Stanford game, and CF did a great job at the end of the game, protecting the ball (not just making some shots), but I don't think he is a great option, as our primary ball handler. I look at my post, and the one thing I know for sure, is none of us know for sure. What I do know is this: we have a lot of great options!

Joseph Bullock 7 years ago

PS: All sorts of modifiers capture different types of confidence, ranging from “quiet” to “obnoxious.”

“Classy” is the best word to put in front of confidence as it relates to Kansas University freshman point guard Devonté Graham.

He’s smart and he knows it, but he doesn’t have to say it because he shows it with everything he says.

In an age when so much communication is non-verbal, from games played with remotes to thumbs, not voices, doing the talking on phones, it has become increasingly difficult to find people in any walk of life comfortable locking eyes and speaking with strong voices. Graham does both.

The Marines who worked with the Kansas basketball team named Graham the team’s best leader, and coach Bill Self took it a step beyond that.

“He’s probably as popular as any student is on campus,” Self said. “I mean, everybody knows him. Everybody likes him. He’s got potential to be a great leader, and he’s really a good basketball player.”

Communication is important in basketball, especially for a point guard, the first defender to influence a possession and the first one to make a decision at the other end.

“I’ve always been a true point guard,” Graham said. “The leadership is just natural with me. I just know things, see things, and I talk. I let people know how I feel, where they should be and I just hold everyone accountable.”

Patrick Bryant 7 years ago

I would like to know what the HS rankings were of point guards I have admired at KU, mainly Jacque Vaughn, Aaron Miles, Russell Robinson, Mark Turgeon and Rex Walters.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

There is the cool new thing called google on the internet you type in your question and it finds you the answer. What will they think of next???

Nick Thompson 7 years ago

JV: 7 AM: 15 RR: 27

not sure about turg and rex

Brian Wilson 7 years ago

Connor was #7
Devonte was #6
Mason #17
Connor had the highest combined rating and overall rating. Rivals started in 1998 and so there is not rating history on Turgeon and Walters...
Mario Chalmers I believe is the highest rated of those rated ever for KU. He was the #2 point guard in the 2005 class

Michael Bennett 7 years ago

Actually, Josh Selby was #1 pg on Rivals (and overall, not that that meant anything on the court)

Adam James 7 years ago

My guess on the rotation based on Self's comments of playing small will be:

Mason Selden Greene Oubre Ellis

CF,Graham will split back up minutes Alexander will be in foul trouble and will have difficulty defending at D1 speed but will get minutes Lucas will get mintues at 5 when we are in foul trouble Traylor will get minutes at 4 for Oubre Mickelson will get regular rotation of 15min (maybe more if he makes shots and is a shot blocking presence)

Everyone else is out of the mix so I predict a 11 player rotation but Lucas will get limited minutes. Look out for Mickelson to surprise a lot of people.

Steve Williams 7 years ago

"What am I, Chopped Liver?" - Brennen Greene

Joseph Bullock 7 years ago

Perry Ellis is not going to be the starting center for the Jayhawks! Do you want him in foul trouble, and physically worn down in the first half? I think not. Cliff will probably be the starter, with Lucas getting major minutes. Green could start. If his D has improved, but I don't think he will start! He will be a wonderful spark off the bench!!!

Bryce Landon 7 years ago

I don't envision Perry Ellis as a starting center, but I can see him as the starting power forward. Thing with Perry is, he has to be tougher on D, and he must be more assertive on O, especially when he is at point-blank range. Don't finger-roll the ball in the basket, SLAM THE DAMN THING IN THERE WITH AUTHORITY!

robert rasdon 7 years ago

i dont know if CF is the answer as far as starting pg but one thing i do know is ...i doubt he is going to play as a reserved as last year...im from Wichita and have seen him play alot...at north high in wichita he was theyre go to everytime..... so i think he may surprise people how much he can be a playmaker....plus Self has said numerous time theres not gonna be a true pg...so we will see.

Brian Wilson 7 years ago

Robert.......I totally agree. I laugh every time someone is down on CF. Bill Self does not have to build up CF's confidence or anything like that. Bill simply said last year, Connor is a "stud", enough said. In the summer, prior to his freshman year, to the surprise of all the coaches and media, it was the boy from Kansas that was opening up a can of whoop ass game after game on all the high school All Americans. Neither Graham or Mason have ever shown that ability yet. Especially in a game for KU. Connor like Mason was a freshman last year and in the beginning Connor seldom got minutes and when he did he looked lost in the system. But by years end Connor got the minutes when it counted and he was "the man". When has Mason done anything like that playing against the big boys? In addition, the stats that don't lie is right! ..... Connor played safe because that was what was needed. It was pretty obvious that everyone was tired of seeing Tharpe and Mason throw the ball away and making mistakes. Mistakes are not a sign of creative play, it's a sign of stupid play. Players need to save the creativity for practice until they can actually do it in a game, without making mistakes, and costing the team the game. If CF doesn't start he will be first off the bench. NI can't wait to see him after he has added some strength. By his senior year he will be a terror to other teams. We have yet to see Graham in a game running KU's system.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

The Man? Seriously?

I like CF but he has a lot of improvement to make. He could not hit open 3's, was beat off the ball by athletics guards, and was up and down running the team.

A terror??? Real it in, we have had enough unnessary hype this off season.

Brian Wilson 7 years ago

well, in the tournament while Mason rode pine, It was Connor trying to keep the Jayhawks in the tournament against Stanford.

Mick Allen 7 years ago

He was in the game because he was the only one hitting shots[3 3s I believe] You don't have to be a point guard to hit 3s Brian.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Brian CF was serviceable, just ok last year.

Honestly, your post made me think you might be a relative of his and not just just a poster on here...

Jonathan Allison 7 years ago

"When has Mason done anything like that playing against the big boys?"

How about against Duke in the second game of the season. Had 15 pts on 6 field goal attempts and contributed 2 steals and 0 TOs

Aaron Paisley 7 years ago

His defense at the end of the Oklahoma State game.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Agreed Jonathan and Aaron. Hang in there Brian we like Conner, just not as our starting PG this year.

Mick Allen 7 years ago

Brian obviously you either didn't see or had a moment of senility and forgot our win over Duke last year when Mason and Wiggens were our outstanding players. I will not bore you with repeating my defense of Mason and why he will start ahead of Conner at the point. Surely you consider Duke a "Big Boy". How quickly one forgets.

Michael Sillman 7 years ago

The starting point will be the guy who can get the ball into the lane on the bounce and, per Self, cut the head off the snake on the defensive end.

I don't see Frankamp doing either of those things. I see him as a secondary ball handler and outside shooter to relieve Selden.

The key to a deep March run will be whether Mason or Graham or both can become Self's mongoose.

robert rasdon 7 years ago

screw mizzou!!! they made the choice....and for Wichita state... they shot theyre selves in the foot when it comes to playing KU Roy Williams put an end to that series when KU played at WSU.... And wsu blacked it out on tv and made it a pay per view event....KU never saw a dime out of that....sooo that was that.

John Fitzgerald 7 years ago

Reading through some of these posts and it's amazing how mean and nasty KU fans can be toward each other. I've been a huge KU fan and try my best not to beat down my own KU family. I will admit I've been caught in a few negative comments only because I was being drowned in stupidity. But seriously though, show some love yall! It's bball season again!

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

John, now that is a funny post.

I had this really good explanation for you on why we can stand united against all competitors but can be rather blunt among ourselves. But it sounds like you are down, so I will just thank you for the laugh.

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