Florida Gulf Coast senior guard Julian DeBose was briefed by his coach, Joe Dooley, on Saturday on what to expect in playing for Kansas University’s Bill Self the next several weeks.
“He said, ‘You think I’m a problem, wait ‘til you meet Bill Self,’’’ DeBose said with a laugh on Sunday in Allen Fieldhouse before working out with his World University Games teammates for the first time.
“He (Dooley) basically said, ‘Same rules here as there. Play hard and there’s not too much else he can ask for from me. As long as you play hard, you’re fine,’’’ DeBose added.
Self, who needed a guard to replace the injured Devonté Graham, offered a spot on the 12-player World University Games team to the 6-foot-4 DeBose on the recommendation of third-year Florida Gulf Coast coach Dooley.
Dooley assisted Self at KU for 10 seasons before taking the job at the Atlantic Sun Conference School.
“I’m a versatile player. I can do pretty much everything on the court. I’m a pretty good leader,” said DeBose, who averaged 11.6 points (off 43.2 percent shooting) and 3.9 rebounds a game last season for the 22-11 Eagles. “(I’m a) very positive person, always in my teammates’ ears, letting ‘em know, ‘You can do it no matter what.’ I also like to lead by example.”
It’s definitely been a whirlwind couple of days for DeBose.
“Well I received the call about 12 a.m., on Friday morning from my coach saying, ‘Do you still want to go down to Kansas and compete with them in the University World Games for sure?’ I said, ‘Of course I want to.’ That’s how the conversation ended,” DeBose said Sunday.
“The next day (later Friday) he (Dooley) texted me and said, ‘Looks like it’s a go.’ From that point on he said, ‘Pack your bags.’ From that point on coach Q (Fred Quartlebaum, KU director of student/athlete development) called me, set up a few things, set up a flight. I was out the next day (Saturday) at 10 a.m.”
DeBose has been quite impressed with what he’s seen here so far.
“It’s an amazing experience of course. I’ve never been to Kansas. I’ve never seen a locker room like this or seen any facilities like this,” DeBose said. “I’m just glad and blessed and completely thankful to coach Dooley and coach Self to allow me to be on the team.”
Of his new teammates, he said: “I just met them within the last 20 minutes (noon Sunday). I don’t really know much about them. They seem pretty cool, accepting me in, greeting me like (this is) nothing out of the ordinary.
“I expect to come in, work hard and win a medal. That’s my expectations, win a gold medal.”
The Jayhawks, who will scrimmage with players from Team Canada today in Lawrence, will play exhibition games against Canada at 7 p.m., Tuesday and Friday, in KC’s Sprint Center. Cost of tickets is $27 for the Tuesday game and $37 for the Friday matchup or both games for $50. Fans can purchase tickets online at SprintCenter.com or by calling the KU ticket office at 800-34-HAWKS. KU officials have said the Sprint Center games will not be televised.
Pierce not retiring yet: Former KU forward Paul Pierce will pass on his player option with the Washington Wizards that is valued at $5.54 million, ESPN.com reports. The Washington Post says Pierce will either re-sign a new deal with the Wizards or join the Los Angeles Clippers to be reunited with his former coach, Doc Rivers. Ten-time all-star Pierce, 37, has played 17 seasons in the NBA. If it is money above everything else, Pierce won’t be going to his hometown Clippers. L.A. can offer him a $3.37 million mini mid-level exemption, ESPN says. Washington could actually give Pierce a raise and go to about $6 million.
Green room invitee: ESPN’s Andy Katz says KU’s Kelly Oubre, Jr., has been invited to attend the NBA Draft along with 19 other top prospects. The draft is Thursday in Brooklyn, New York. ESPN’s Chad Ford says Oubre will be tapped No. 16 overall by Boston. Draftexpress.com and NBAdraft.net say the guard will be taken No. 15 (by Atlanta) and No. 25 (Memphis) respectively. KU’s Cliff Alexander will not be invited to the draft. ESPN’s Ford has him going 14th in the second round to Phoenix. Draftexpress.com and NBAdraft.net have the forward taken in the second round: No. 10 (by Miami) and No. 5 (by Philadelphia) respectively.
Murray reclassifies: Canadian high school point guard sensation Jamal Murray is reclassifying to 2015 and will choose either Kentucky or Oregon on Tuesday, Zagsblog reports. Murray, 6-5 from Orangeville Prep in Ontario, scored 30 points in the Nike Hoop Summit. He’s currently listed as No. 21 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Kentucky plays KU in Allen Fieldhouse this upcoming season.