Friday, September 26, 2014

You can call him ‘Svi,’ or ‘Mick,’ or …

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk


Kansas University coach Bill Self likes to address freshman guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk by the nickname of “Svi” — which rhymes with ski.

It seems there’s another acceptable way to refer to the 6-foot-8 Ukrainian guard, Self told ESPN’s Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg on an ESPNU college basketball podcast Thursday.

“Call him ‘Svi’ or call him ‘Mick,’” Self said, the pronunciation the same as the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger.

“I talked to Mike Fratello yesterday. He called him ‘Mick.’ I call him ‘Svi.’ I guarantee you nobody will call him Sviatoslav. That is a little too difficult,” Self added.

Fratello coached the Ukrainian National team, of which Mykhailiuk was a member, at the recent FIBA World Cup.

Self said the 17-year-old Mykhailiuk has looked great in individual workouts since arriving on campus on Sept. 8.

“He is young, but he is a really nice player,” Self said. “He can do a lot of everything. I think he’ll have a chance to be one of the better players we’ve had in our program as he gets a little stronger and spends a little time here.”

Cliff’s looking good: Self on 6-8, 240-pound freshman power forward Cliff Alexander, who was out more than a month this summer with a severe ankle sprain:

“What has impressed me is his conditioning. I thought he’d be way behind. He’s not only caught up, but kind of surpassed where we thought he’d be this early,” Self said of the Chicago native. “His body looks good, everything looks good. His foot feels good. He missed out on most of the summer of individual skill instruction. So naturally he’s a little behind in that area. He’s competitive. He’s trying hard. There’s nothing we’ve seen that would temper our enthusiasm on what a good player we think he can become.”

Tatum to attend Late Night: Jayson Tatum, a 6-foot-7 junior shooting guard from Chaminade High in St. Louis who is ranked No. 4 in the recruiting Class of 2016 by, will attend the Oct. 10 Late Night in the Phog with his dad, Justin, reported Thursday.

Tatum has received scholarship offers from KU, Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, Wake Forest, St. Louis and many others.

Self made a trip to St. Louis to see Tatum on Wednesday.

Ballock ranked 24th: Eudora High sophomore Mitchell Ballock has been ranked No. 24 in the Class of 2017 by, the website reported Thursday. Ballock, a 6-4 combo guard, was offered a scholarship by KU this summer.

Tourney on TV: For the first time in league history, the entire Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship will be televised nationally on ESPN networks, the league office has announced. The final is set for 5 p.m., Saturday, March 14, in Sprint Center on ESPN.


John Randall 7 years ago

If you want to use the last name, why not the last syllable?

"Luke" would go nicely with "Svi" and Oubre could team up as "Obi" (as in "wan Kenobi") for an out-of-this-world pair of wings.

May the force be with us!

Greg Lux 7 years ago

I like "Mick" or " Tall Kid" or "Uk Kid" or "Svi" or "The youngest ever scholarship member of the Kansas Basketball team" or "Future NBA Player" all of them work for me... :P

Tom Longhofer 7 years ago

If he's gonna go by "Mick", maybe he should wear number 7.

Lance Cheney 7 years ago

I think that Slipknot reference was lost on a lot of people here.

Titus Canby 7 years ago

Or just call him "7." George Kastanza would.

Jack Wilson 7 years ago

In the interview referred to in the article above, the really big news was actually coach Self's discussion of his desire to play two small guards together on the floor for ball handling -- meaning a combo of Mason, CF, and/or Graham. Here's a summary of Self's comments:

Self said that we have three little guards (referring to Mason, CF, and Graham). That we could play two of the three a majority of the game. From what he has seen, "I like playing small. I like playing two of the three." We won't do that all the time, but he thinks having two primary ball handlers on the court a majority of the time will help our team. He said that this was how we've "always played in the past", but last season we basically had two big wings and a point guard, and our passing, ball-handling, and playmaking was as poor as it has been. It will help playing two of those three guys.

For my money, that's the real news from the interview. The link is below. Self's portion starts at the about the 5 minute mark.

As a note, coach Self's comments seem to completely shut down the ridiculous talk of Selden playing point. Self just referred to Selden as a "big wing", which, of course, he is. Self also criticized our ball handling, playmaking, and passing of last year, and Selden was the 2 guard. Clearly, in Self's comments, he doesn't see Selden as a primary ball handler.

Mick Allen 7 years ago

Great post Jack. Apparently HCBS believes better ball handling and passing from the 2 small guards will offset some size mismatches on defense. Last year's squad was the weakest passing team I remember under HCBS. His better passing teams regularly posted 15 to 20 assists to 8 to 12 turnovers a game. Seldom last year did our assists outnumber our turnovers I agree with your contention that Selden will not play any point. Sorry Suzi.

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

Self is just saying that to mislead Cal and the other Big12 coaches.

Jack Wilson 7 years ago

Mick: What is interesting is that Self has had really two season with w/ 2 guards that can't handle the ball. I'd say that McLemore was a poor ball handler, where Selden is really just mediocre -- meaning McLemore was worse.

It is interesting, always, to hear Self talk on topics like this. Many times, he kind of talks himself out of his thought process. Self commented on playing small back in August, here's his quote:

“You could see two of those three playing together a lot,” Self said. “And then that makes us real small, so your deepest position is wing. So I could see one of our wings being a four-man and playing real small. I think it’d be really hard to guard; I just don’t know if we could guard anybody.”

It's that last little bit "... don't know if we could guard anybody", which is the qualifier. He may like the idea of better passing and ball handling, but then his mind leaps to what we give up -- defense. It will be interesting to see.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

This year is going to be very interesting. We are not a tall team so of course we are going to have to play differently, I just hope we improve in three point shooting as well. I like this years team, but am wondering how long it will take him to find a balanced, successful group that can defend. The pieces are there, he has talented options to choose from. We get to see the master coach at work! Sorry Suzi but Selden has always scared me at the point too.

Mick instead of Svi ok --- It's only Rock and Roll, but I like it!

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

Selden is a natural leader but totally hear what Self, Jack, Mick, you and others are saying. With two little guys on the court, that means one of our big 4 (Ellis, Selden, Alexander, Oubre) will be on the bench. That is big news coming from Self and says he is not about to put up with another sloppy year handling the ball.

We'll see how things turn out.

Dirk Medema 7 years ago

The interesting backdrop on the comments is that it is conjecture even from Coach Self, because they've not actually practiced/played together yet. There have been individual workouts, but the team doesn't start working together for another week. Not saying that it will happen one way or another, but just that things may change as the team actually plays together. How big is Deron Williams? He teamed up with a little 2 guard for Coach at UofI, no?

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

I live in Chicago, have Comcast, why do I get the SEC and PAC 12 network, in addition to the BTEN and not the B12??????

Titus Canby 7 years ago

"You can call me 'Svi,' or you can call me 'Mick,' but you don't have to call me 'Mr. Johnson.'"

Sam Burns 7 years ago

Rodney, those conferences have their own networks. The big 12 does not.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

So we are not really in a power conference? We just act like we are. Honestly I thought each school getting about what the others conferences' schools were getting meant that the B12's tv deal was for a network. Sorry but that is just sad. I know we have some weak market share cities but I did not know that.

Jonathan Allison 7 years ago

Each of the power conferences has similar deals for Tier 1 and Tier 2 programming with ESPN and other major networks (NBC, CBS, etc), I believe. Except that the SEC made an agreement with ESPN to start the SEC Network for the "tier 3" programming that doesn't make the standard ESPN family of networks. Same as the Texas Longhorns Network is tier 3. The difference in the Big 10 Network is that it gets the tier 3 broadcasts but it is not affiliated with ESPN (to my knowledge) And PAC 12 has a second contract with Fox Sports to pick up programming that isn't Tier 1 of Tier 2 on ESPN or major network television.

I don't know for sure, but I don't get a feeling that anybody really cares to watch The Longhorn Network for any programming other than football and basketball when their team is playing Texas. It would seem to me to be wise for the Big 12 to buy out The Longhorn Network and roll it up into a Big 12 network to have programming just like the SEC network and Big 10 network do. It would change some existing agreements that we have with Fox Sports for Tier 3 broadcasting rights, but I'm sure that it wouldn't change things too very much, because a Big 12 Network could only air one program at a time while Fox Sports has about a million channels to pick up the remaining 5 games that don't make CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, or the Big 12 Network.

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