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Monday, April 2, 2018

Keegan

Tom Keegan: Next season’s Kansas basketball roster deeper, more balanced, greener

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) pulls down a rebound while running drills with the post players during an open practice on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. The Jayhawks are preparing for four early-August exhibition games in Italy.

Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) pulls down a rebound while running drills with the post players during an open practice on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. The Jayhawks are preparing for four early-August exhibition games in Italy.

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Turning a player into a redshirt in order to have him use a year of eligibility later in his career happens way more often in college football than basketball.

It’s not that common in basketball because it only makes sense if the player has enough talent to justify tying up a scholarship for five years and if he’s not needed in the rotation now.

Every now and then a player fits both of those descriptions and a redshirt is in order. It doesn’t necessarily happen in a player’s first year in college. In many cases, appearing in games as a true freshman can drive home to a player just where he needs to become either stronger or more skilled or both.

Brady Morningstar appeared in 16 games and played 90 minutes as a freshman and then redshirted. He started 67 games over the next three seasons at Kansas.

Travis Releford appeared in 32 games as a reserve during his freshman season, sat out the next year as a redshirt, started three games in his first season back and then combined for 74 starts in his final two seasons.

Morningstar and Releford both were better players who attained far more playing time in their fifth year in school than they would have in their second year, so the move worked out well for both of them and for the program.

One name jumps off the page of next season’s projected roster as a player suited to spending a year as a redshirt.

As a sophomore, Mitch Lightfoot helped the 31-8 Jayhawks weather the challenges of playing a season without top recruit Billy Preston and played a part in KU winning the Big 12 tournament without center Udoka Azubuike.

But playing time will be harder to come by next season for Lightfoot, who could benefit from adding muscle for a year in the weight room.

Assuming Udoka Azubuike returns for a junior season, Lightfoot projects as no higher than fifth on next season’s frontcourt depth chart. His body will be more suited to the physical brand of basketball he plays in his fifth year in school than his third, so why not spend the year as a redshirt?

Silvio De Sousa replaced Lightfoot in the rotation at the end of the season and Lightfoot played just four minutes in KU’s final three games.

Transfer Dedric Lawson (19.2 points, 9.9 rebounds as a sophomore at Memphis) figures to start next season. Incoming freshman David McCormack, a 6-foot-10, 285-pound center from basketball factory Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., also will vie for minutes.

Next season, Kansas will be bigger, far deeper and way less experienced than Bill Self’s third Final Four squad.

At point guard, the Jayhawks will be much deeper. Devonte’ Graham played every minute in 17 games.

Kansas likely will start a freshman at both point guard and shooting guard. Rivals ranks the 6-1 Devon Dotson from Charlotte, N.C., 17th overall in the Class of 2018, and only Duke, Kentucky and Florida recruited point guards ranked higher than Dotson, and just barely at that.

Quentin Grimes is ranked No. 10 overall in the class and is the No. 2 shooting guard, ranked behind only Romeo Langford, who still is considering Kansas, Indiana and Vanderbilt.

Grimes, expected to start for Kansas from Day 1 at shooting guard, projects as someone who can fill in at point when needed.

Cal transfer Charlie Moore, a 5-11 sophomore, provides depth at both guard spots.

At the moment, Kansas has 14 scholarship players, one over the limit mandated by the NCAA. Look for Malik Newman, who finished the season on a hot streak, to declare for the draft.

If Newman leaves, that means another spot would have to open up for Langford, should he choose Kansas over Indiana and Vanderbilt.

Lagerald Vick said after KU’s loss to Villanova that he wasn’t sure about his plans beyond this season.

If Langford wants to come to Kansas, a roster spot will open for him, so that’s not an issue.

In Dotson, Grimes, Moore and either Vick or Langford, KU won’t have any trouble filling the perimeter minutes, and that doesn’t even count K.J. Lawson, who can play down low or on the perimeter. He averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds for Memphis in the 2016-17 season.

Ochai Agbaji, an incoming freshman from Kansas City, Mo., adds to the backcourt depth. Marcus Garrett would be wise to consider redshirting in order to completely overhaul his jumper and add strength. His defensive prowess makes him worthy of occupying a scholarship for five seasons. Sam Cunliffe has two remaining years of eligibility.

In review, if Newman leaves and Azubuike returns, here’s how 12 of the scholarships could be filled, listed in alphabetical order: Agbaji, Azubuike, Cunliffe, De Sousa, Dotson, Garrett, Grimes, Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson, Lightfoot, McCormack and Moore.

Pencil Langford or Vick in for a scholarship and that makes 13.

It will be a balanced, talented, deep roster that will be shy of experience and will need time to gel.

Comments

Barry Weiss 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Hard to argue with your logic Tom. Given Langford did not even make a trip to Lawrence, I have to think we are a long shot, even though he said he watched a lot of our tape. If we do get him, Coach has a good way of being honest with whoever the odd man out would be.

Matt Tait 8 months, 2 weeks ago

He made an official visit. He just didn't make it down for a game during the 2017-18 season.

Barry Weiss 8 months, 2 weeks ago

oh that is good to know. I read something that said he did not make a trip here. I'm glad we have a shot at him.

Gerry Butler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I think we have a really good chance at landing Langford. As Matt said he did visit and it was due to his schedule and timing that he didn't visit during the regular season. - -He said even though he didn't visit he took the time and actually watched KU the most probably out of the 3. - Vick or Newman is not going to keep him from coming, we just need either Vick OR Newman to move on now we don't need both , I personally think they are both gone but we shall see. - A interesting thing that Romeo told Eric Bossi that the one thing that stands out about KU is what KU does is how much success Coach as had with bigger Guards.. - -That being said plus the fact he has mentioned in the past he wanted to surrounded and play with other really talented players, and on top of the fact that Quentin and him are pretty close - -I think we have a very good shot

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

from what I have heard Vandy and Indiana are still the favorites..personally, it doesnt feel like he is leaning towards Kansas..even if Newman leaves..besides, Id rather have a senior Vick..next years team is gonna need someone with experience...

Allan Olson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Langford is rated just a "tick" above Grimes, and if Newman returns [I hope], Romeo has to see that he will see way more playing time at IU or Vandy. As for Cunliffe, Clay Young saw more meaningful court time than he did. Talk about wasting a scholarship on a glorified walk-on. Sam should find a step-down school so as not to lose any more time riding the bench. I say Lightfoot and Abgaji will be redshirted for the future.

Bryce Landon 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Newman was on a hot streak, but that doesn't make him ready for the Association. He needs more experience under his belt.

Joe Joseph 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Experience that he can gain just as well in the NBA or internationally.

Newman’s stock is about as high as it can be. Why return to college? He has far more to risk losing than he has to gain.

Gerry Butler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Well it's not happening here. - -I well not only myself really can't figure out why some think he will be back. - -The kid is going to declare for the NBA and if he doesn't get drafted he will go over sea's like so many others and play for money - he is wanting to be paid , was mentioned before he even arrived here that Bill had mentioned that he would have to give him his year. - Many Many people knew that it was a one year thing. He tested the waters was told the things he needed to work on -came back sit his year working on them , now played this year and the kid is ready for money - doesn't matter where - he is GONE

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

if Newman is smart, he'll cash out on that hot streak and leave..if he stays he might loose minutes to Grimes at SG..he had the luxury of starting off the season playing terrible but knowing Self didnt have anyone on the bench to take his minutes..Imagine Newman staying and getting off to a rocky start only to lose his spot to a freshmen..personally, I think Newman has spent more time in the NCAA than he had planned to...he helped KU to FF and now its time for him to pursue his dreams

Tom Jones 8 months, 2 weeks ago

He should go. I'd love to have him back, but he has very little to gain.

Go get paid, Malik.

Joe Joseph 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Garrett is far too valuable to redshirt. Aside from Graham, he was the most steady player on the roster last season. As a freshman. His defense and wherewithal will earn him close to 20 mpg even with a more talented roster.

Blake Phillips 8 months, 2 weeks ago

uh no. his offense is just plain bad. he needs to develop.....and honestly offense is not an overnight fix. it's a craft that takes years to be good at. i dont plan on seeing much of garett in the future... IMO

Jonathan Allison 8 months, 2 weeks ago

His jump shot was bad, but the kid has a knack for beating his man off the dribble and finishing in traffic. The way that he was breaking down defenders during the Big XII season and finishing in the paint was reminiscent of Jr. year Tyshawn Taylor before Tyshawn found a little consistency with his jump shot.

Garrett doesn't have a horrible jumper. He has a lack of confidence in his jumper and he's not comfortable taking the shot so he overshoots it or misses wildly and then he goes away from it. You can guarantee that he will get 100s of shots up every day between now and next season and everyone will be telling him "keep shooting. keep shooting. keep shooting." Unfortunately for next season his minutes likely won't go up from this year, so he will have limited opportunities in game to build that confidence, but it only takes a few good games for a player to get comfortable shooting the ball under pressure.

Stephen Burtin 8 months, 2 weeks ago

He looked a lot like Tyshawn to me as well. Great defender, great instincts, no confidence in his jumper. He was surrounded by lights out shooters all year, it makes sense that he would hesitate to shoot when he had so many options to pass to. I don't expect him to make a quantum leap in his shooting ability next season, but I bet he shoots it well enough to make teams respect it.

Barry Weiss 8 months, 2 weeks ago

ouch, I'm a big Tyshawn Taylor fan and to compare Garrett to him is brutal. I like Garrett's defense, but he is a liability out there on offense. Every team immediately went to a double team on someone else when he had the ball at the perimeter, begging him to shoot. I would put his working on that right up there with Dok working on his free throws.

Stephen Burtin 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Fair enough, maybe a better comparison would be Russell Robinson. Both known as good defenders, both shot in the 20 percent range from three their freshman seasons. Robinson never developed a great shot, but his stops on defense and his ability to steal possessions for the team were invaluable. Robinson shot better from the FT line than Garrett who shot an abysmal 49%, but even there, his shot looked fine, it was just rushed and often times flat. Those things can be corrected.

Gerry Butler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

uh no , with the resource of talented - -offensive players we will have this coming season , Marcus will not be needed even as much as this year to produce offensively , Coach Self made mention himself that Marcus Garret was a player that could change a game with out having to even score. - -If anything Marcus will be need even more this coming year then the present one for his defense - -he is an absolute lock down defender quick with his hands - you will see plenty of Marcus next season

Joe Joseph 8 months, 2 weeks ago

His jumper is bad -- not his offense. Like others have said, he demonstrated a better-than-average ability to get to the rim. He moves the ball well and he knows where to be on the floor. His ability to shoot will improve over time. I agree with the Tyshawn Taylor comparisons.

Dee Shaw 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Next year should fun. I can’t wait to watch this team play Villanova in Lawrence next season. So glad that KU and Villanova agreed to play each other and do a home and home series. That game should be a doozy in Lawrence.

Stephen Burtin 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Playing Villanova early and often is nothing but good news for KU. Even if we lose our team will gain valuable experience and knowledge of just how much better they need to be. If we win, the confidence could skyrocket for the newcomers.

Rae Bricil 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Agreed playing Nova will be good for KU--that team is a machine. Self always says it takes a little luck to win the NCAA tourney and for the most part and most teams i agree. Wright doesnt seem to see it that way--his teams have such a high level of confidence that it felt like they knew they were going win.

Just thinking back to the play where Brunson was knocked down with a few mins left against KU and the whole team ran over to help him up. This play really stood out--it was like the team just a machine working together to accomplish a singular goal and would not be stopped--whether up 20 or down they just continued to execute.

Jesse Johnson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree that Garrett should redshirt this next season and totally reconstruct his shot mechanic. We have the depth that we won't need his minutes next year so I would rather him spend a year just working on his shot.

Craig Alexander 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Self will want Garrett on the floor defensively. That is desire #1 for Self is defense. He isn't redshirting.

Gerry Butler 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Exactly Craig. - -what is it Coach Self harps on a lot? -- Defense. - -If you wanna play a lot for Coach you best know how to play some defense or your going to be spending time on the pine. - Look what he did to Malik he sit his butt not just for the defensive part - -but the defense had a big part to play in it. - Marcus Garrett will for sure be playing next season excellent defender quick hands , he will not be red shirting like you said - just not happening - -we will have enough guys more then this year that can score the ball - -what we need is guys that will be willing to play the full floor not just on the offensive end - - that's why you will see Marcus getting his minutes

Jay Scott 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Marcus Garrett is a PG. He was recruited as a PG. He played PG in high school. He's proven that he gets the offense, can defend at an elite level and values the ball. Charlie Moore has to have picked up on at least some of the same in his year in Lawrence. Anyone who thinks Dotson is going to come in and start at the point as a freshman hasn't been paying attention to 15 years of Bill Self at Kansas.

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

exactly...Dotson will have to win the starting PG spot..it isnt just gonna be handed to him..Id rather Moore start and Dotson back him up..if Dotson does end up starting later in the year it will be because he outplayed Moore, not because he was a burger boy with a HS ranking..and you are right on Self, he loves defense..Cunliffe, offensively, would have been better suited for subbing in for Vick or Newman, but he hadnt shown he grasped what Self wanted on defense..Garrett did, so he played and Sam didnt

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 2 weeks ago

You cannot have a point guard who only shoots 49% from the free-throw line.

It's just that simple.

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

if you are talking about Garrett, then I understand..BUT, he isnt being asked to start..his FT % can be fixed..I like his D, his hustle and his energy..as long as he brings that, Self will use him

Tyler Gross 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Dotson absolutely will come in and start at PG if hes the better player. Bill self will not play charlie moore over dotson if dotson is the superior PG. Freshman status is irrelevant in this situation.

Dennis Strick 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Tom's logic is sound, and it probably has a sprinkle of Bill Self's thoughts in it. Similar to Coleby last season I think coach will sit down with Vick and say you will be able to start elsewhere and really contribute to that team and increase your draft stock. At KU he is a 7/8 in the rotation. Makes a ton of sense for Lightfoot to redshirt and become a beast underneath with Hudy's help. Finally, if it were not for the calendar rolling to the month of March and a light bulb going off in Newman's head I could have easily seen Coach having a similar transfer conversation with him. However, he seems to have figured out that defense is critical to playing time at KU and if he wants to become an All American at he can. That creates a late season numbers problem for Coach going into next season. I look to that conversation switching from Newman to Cunliffe. He will get to stay if he wants knowing he will see another year of very little playing time. Otherwise, he is best to transfer again.

Rae Bricil 8 months, 2 weeks ago

agreed with most except i see 0 percent chance of Newman transferring anywhere---he is going pro (somewhere) or will lead this team next year.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

SVI & Devonte - Graduate.

Newman - To declare for NBA Draft/go to Europe/G League..

Lawson, Lawson, Moore - Become eligible and see significant PT.

Dok; Vick, De Sousa - To return.

Cunliffe - Will transfer to Division 2 for PT.

Lightfoot, Agbaji - Red shirt

Garrett - Toss up - Red shirt to work on O/play because of D.

Dotson, Grimes, McCormack, Langford - Join team as freshmen.

BOOK IT!!! :)

Robert Brock 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Dotson is a true point guard and - more importantly - he is Bill Self’s type of point guard. He will start from Day One, notwithstanding the fact that he will be a rookie. He will be the Hawks’ starting PG for the next three seasons.

Jay Scott 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Quick...name all the rookies that started at PG for Bill Self from day 1.....

Tyler Gross 8 months, 2 weeks ago

That doesnt matter because you have to look at the whole picture. Every PG we have had come in since self got here has had a high level upper classman in front of him. Dotson will not, Charlie is a transfer and is no where a proven player for self. Dotson circumstance is absolutely unique to the bill self PG era. You keep going on like bill self wont start dotson because hes a freshman, well I hope Bill self is a better coach than you give him credit for, because it would be pretty stupid to not start Dotson if hes the best PG on the roster just because hes a freshman lol.

Jaston Archie 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm so happy that Devontae Graham is gone! He was a Robin who Self asked to be Batman and it was not good. It was no coincidence that the only game in the tourney where he led in points was the one KU got the crap beat out of em. BUT as for next year, the roster does look good from a talent standpoint but the game is going more to small ball and if you look at Villanova, they have 5 players who can shoot. How can KU match up with that, especially when one of the guards (Garret) shoots worse than Udoka. I don't care about his defense if you can't shoot in this day and age you're a liability. Getting Langford would be huge bc he can light it up from three. Hopefully both twins can shoot it and De Sousa works on his jump shot and as for Udoka,he better be utterly dominant in the post or it will be tough to watch, on the defensive side he has no chance against a 5 man like Villanova has. Self was lauded for his adaptability this year but really it was just bc he failed in recruiting that his roster forced him to play small ball which was great for this era, now he'll probably go back more to high-low and fall further behind the curve. Jay Wright has made him look silly the past two times they've met

Brad Farha 8 months, 2 weeks ago

That's a bit harsh. DG led in scoring vs Penn, led in scoring vs. Nova, and was only 1 point behind Malik vs Clemson.

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

the 2016 KU vs Nova matchup was a really tight game..even with Nova taking away Perry, KU was still in position to win that game in the final minutes..the match up this season was more Nova being a more complete team than KU was..Self worked miracles to get KU to the FF this year..so to say Wright made Self look foolish is an exaggeration...you didnt watch the game did you, because Nova's game plan was to take away KU's 3 because their inside game wasnt all that good..yes they limited Dok, but them taking away the 3 was KU's downfall..had KU had a more explosive front court, they could have pounded the paint and got points in there since Nova wasnt a big team themselves. Id rather have 2 bigs on the floor at once and play high low than watching them chuck up 25-30 3's a game...

Marcia Parsons 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Amazing that you think Devonte was so bad when he made All America as a result of his play. Sounds like you hate all of the team, including the coach. What's your problem? You saw nothing good from this team?

Tom Jones 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Most of his posts are like this. I'd go with column B.

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Jaston, I see a great future for you as a talent scout. Not really.

James Donnell 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This probably won't enter into the decision for Garrett, but he was supported this year by a group of great 3 pt shooters, so his offensive deficiency wasn't as much of a handicap (and even then it was pretty glaring at times). Without those guys, he is going to be more of a liability, even though he does so many other good things for the team. Maybe he CAN improve his shot over the summer, but he has a lot of work to do. Between his jump shot (more of a set shot) and FT's, I wonder how he scored in high school--I guess on drives. If he can develop a shot that has to be guarded on the perimeter, then look out, he'll be fabulous.

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

well, to be fair, he really didnt shoot a lot of jump shots..his shots were mainly 3's and lay ups so we really dont know if he really can shoot or not..to me, it looked more like he lacked confidence and was hesitant than it was him not having a jump shot

Ryan Zimmerman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I think having Malik back next year is key- not only for performance but for leadership. I don't see Vick as a leader at all, honestly. He doesn't have the hustle or attitude or leadership that we need these younger players to have and honestly wouldn't want him to take on that role. I know Romeo would be great, but I'd rather have a leader like Newman than another freshman. Malik would do more to make this team cohesive than anyone and could take over the Graham role next year. Graham fills in for Mason... Newman fills in for Graham. Right now Malik is in that 55-60 draft pick which is similar to Devonte last year. With another year under his belt, Graham jumped up 15+ picks and is a sure pick rather than a maybe. Malik could follow that method

Kerby Rice 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I've thought the same thing. I think Malik could come back and average 17-20 a game next year. He could also take the primary ball handler role and at 6'3 is what I think he will be asked to do in the NBA. I think were a top 3 team with him around, not sure how good without him as much inexperience we will have on the perimeter. He could easily become a POY/All American candidate, show he can be consistent, and also work his way to a late first round pick IMO. His stock is hot right now but he has only played well and consistent collegiately for 1 month.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

SORRY GUYS, Malik has spent three years at the college level and now it's time for someone to show him the money. If you are expecting him to return, it would be great, but I am afraid you are dreaming.

Jacob Zutterman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm curious as to why I'm not seeing it talked about much, but I personally think Cunliffe has a better chance at leaving the program vs. Vick. Everyone knows Vick needs a lot of work, but Cunliffe very rarely played on an already hair thin roster. Maybe he wasn't that good? Watching the team in Italy, I can't say I was too impressed with his play. It's not that I want to see either leave, I'm just making sure I haven't missed anything in the Sam vs Legarld argument

Ryan Zimmerman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Agreed, Cunliffe will bail. He didn't play this year without depth. Next year he won't see any time. He's gone.

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

i cant see Cunliffe leaving..he already sat out a whole year (1/2 with ASU 1/2 with KU) for him to leave and have to sit out another year, it seems unlikely..Id rather him stay..Self had a great class this year but its no guarantee that he pulls in another class in 2019 to replace guys that might leave unexpectedly..we might need guys like Garrett, Lightfoot and Cunliffe to stick around in case Self isnt able to land multiple recruits

Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Nope, will go Division 2 and play right away.

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

actually he wont "play right away"..he'll sit another year..why would he opt to do that AGAIN!!!!!..he can choose to transfer and sit for a whole year, or he can stay at KU and sit most of the year, but still have a chance at minutes while being coached by a HOFer and practicing against a couple of future pros....there is no guarantee that Self brings in a 2019 class as good as this incoming class..might need a kid like Cunliffe to start in 2019 should Self strike out on the recruiting trail

Brad Farha 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Sitting out a year applies if he goes to another D1 school. If he transfers to a D2 school he can play right away. That said, I hope he stays and competes for playing time.

Grant Hastin 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Malik is gone, Vick is gone, Cunliffe is transferring. We'll have room for Romeo, but the fact that Vandy and Indiana are on his list makes me think that he wants to be the top dog, spend his mandatory year in college, and then head to the NBA with his draft stock as high as possible. Going to be a lot of mouths to feed on this Kansas team next year...don't think he'll want to compete for touches with Grimes and Dedric. Ogbaji looks like the real deal and I think he'll be ahead of Marcus on the depth chart next year. He defends well and has all the offensive tools that Marcus lacks.

I'm excited for next year. I think this is the most pure talent we've had on a team in a long time.

Jacob Zutterman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

If he wanted to be the top dog at Vandy or Indi, he's had months to make that decision. It's to my belief he's waited this long to see how our roster shakes down and if he'll have a spot. Why wait so long to decide otherwise?

Grant Hastin 8 months, 2 weeks ago

You could be right...and I hope you are! I know Grimes, Dotson, and McCormack were in his ear a bunch during the McDonald's All American week, so hopefully they were persuasive. I know Romeo's dad has been pretty heavily involved in his whole recruiting process, so it has always been my assumption that everything was on his timeline and he didn't want Romeo to make any rash decisions, with Romeo ultimately making the final decision come end of April after him and his parents have talked through everything.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Romeo, oh Romeo, where forth out thou? Am I the first one to use that? If so,then shame on me! Simple equation, Malik leaves, Romeo comes. Next season, Starting line up - Dotson, Grimes, Langford, DeSousa, Azubuke. Inside game and outside game.

Dave Miller 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"Romeo, oh Romeo, where forth out thou? Am I the first one to use that?"

This is the first time I've seen anyone use that line... You got a chuckle from me for sure on that one, Tony. lol :)

Barry Weiss 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I have to think Trae Young may at times wish he chose Kansas over Oklahoma. Sure he got to be the big dog there, but once teams figured out how to defend him, the Oklahoma roster could not support him that well. Not sure where he is on draft charts now, but I bet he would have been higher had he gone to KU.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Latest mock draft has him going 8th to Chicago with a whole bunch of big men [Bagley, Mamba, Ayton, Porter JR. etc.] ahead of him.

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Devante was going to be our PG this year and Young knew it BUT he would have played major minutes maybe the 3rd most on the team.

Dale Stringer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

What about this: We could get a local DII team to be our farm team: Washburn, PSU, UCM, ESU. It would just need a coach that would work with and run a team like Self does. Instead of red shirting, send the kids to DII for a year to bulk up and get playing experience. Then if they are ready, we bring them back next year.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Dale, I'll be damned if I have ever heard of that scenario. It's such a good idea I am sure the NCAA would find a way to kill it.

Dave Miller 8 months, 2 weeks ago

If one of those teams could get a coach like Bill Self, I think they would have already. But if a coach like Bill Self were around, I'm pretty sure they would be in Division I and not wanting to run a "farm system team". But it would be cool if that could happen... lol

Corey Sparks 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Jatson Archie, you have gotta be trolling? Right. If not you are as clueless as they come. Devonte lead this team to a final four....you know that thing we haven't been to in 6 years, would not have got there without Devonte. KU played the best team in the country...who couldn't miss for the first 20 minutes.Clearly you haven't got over the loss let, once you do you will realize how ridiculous you sound. The Nova loss was not Devontes fault. We lost for four reasons;

  1. Nova was the better team
  2. Nova couldn't miss
  3. Our main gameplan (throw it in to Dok) fell apart within minutes.
  4. We were playing catch-up the whole game.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Corey, you need to correct your list..Nova was the best team. :)

Clark Groseth 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Shame, Tony. When you are comparing two, the word is "better." Nova may have been the "best" team in the tourney, but in that game they were the "better." C'mon, man!

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Technically, Kansas did make it to the Final 3.

Brad Watson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Villanova coming to Allen Field House on December !5th should be fun...something to really train and work and look forward to during this off season...get to work boys....next year you will have another shot at them.

Harlan Hobbs 8 months, 2 weeks ago

My take on Langford is about the same as it was with Andrew Wiggins and Josh Jackson. They both waited to pick a college until after the season was over and the dominoes started falling.

In Andrew's case, he was projected to go to Florida State where his parents went. However, my position all along was that, if that was where he wanted to go, he would have made his decision early on. The longer it went, the better I felt about KU's chances.

With Josh, he didn't pick until Wayne Selden declared for the draft. That opened up the position that Josh was tabbed to play, though Josh was far more versatile than Wayne.

This year, if Langford is really down to Indiana and Vanderbilt, then why is he waiting. I'm not aware of any dominoes there. However, assuming that Malik declares (which I think is quite certain), then that opens the slot for a "big guard" to which Langford has been referring in his positive comments about Coach Self. I'm not betting on him but wouldn't be at all surprised if he picks KU.

Lastly, I hope that Udoka returns, but won't be surprised he declares. Fortunately, he is still quite young, but these past two years have to give him some pause about possible injuries. He missed most of last season and had his MCL scare prior to the Big 12 tournament.

He can improve his stock by returning, especially given that he will have plenty of backup as it stands now. However, he probably is considering the risks as well.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Harlan, have you ever said a mean word about anybody on this site ever? Even Bryce, who can be bull headed and me who is capable of all kinds of idiocy, you treat with a gentle kindness and understanding.

You aren't Jaybate, are you???????

Noel Backwards 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I think next year will be a great season for the Jayhawks. Maybe we can see a 2009 UNC situation. My predictions for next year's roster are below:

Starting PG: Marcus Garrett (Will be 3-year starter like Graham and Mason before him; embodies a Bill Self basketball player.) Starting SG: Quentin Grimes (Should be a good complementary scorer and can handle some ball-handling load) Starting SF: LaGerald Vick (2017 Vick for a whole season makes this a dominant team) Starting PF: Dedric Lawson (Should be the best player on this team, Big 12 Newcomer of the Year should be expected, shouldn't surprise anyone if he wins Big 12 POY either; watched him at Memphis and he is that good) Starting C: Udoka Azubuike (More improvements defensively would help anchor what should be a much improved defensive team, wouldn't hurt if he led the nation in FG% again either but I think it's unlikely since he could try to throw in a couple short jumpers here and there over the summer while working on his FT's)

Bench Contributors: Devon Dotson (True PG; backup that can come in and slide Garrett to the 2 for stints), Charlie Moore (Can play both Guard spots and his versatility and scoring punch will be valuable off bench) K.J. Lawson (another versatile option, but will have to prove he can play the 3 to get more minutes) Silvio De Sousa (Should be a monster next year, especially on the glass; expect him to demand enough minutes to make McCormack a spot player and wouldn't be surprised if he often plays more minutes than Udoka) David McCormack (should see some spot minutes, if he can show solid defensive skills he may earn more minutes as the season goes on; I believe he won't really hit a stride until year 2)

Bench Warmers: Sam Cunliffe (I think he sticks it out here and plays meaningful minutes his Jr. and Sr. years) Chris Teahen James Sosinski (?) Another walk-on with family ties to the program

Redshirts: Mitch Lightfoot (Let Hudy have a year to beef him up and he should have really good Jr. and Sr. Years) Ochai Agbaji (Only makes sense IMO, Don't think he would earn much playing time his Fr. year but he has solid skills and could contribute down the road)

Of course, this all changes if Malik Newman decides to return (Unlikely), LaGerald Vick decides to go pro (More likely to happen than Newman coming back but I still don't think he gets good enough feedback to warrant keeping his name in), Romeo Langford commits to KU (May be the most likely to happen of all three of these scenarios, but I don't think he comes unless Newman and Vick both leave for good).

Craig Carson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

where are you getting your Langford info? because at this point IU and Vanderbilt are more favored than KU..KU is seen more of a long shot..and the FB team dude was more of an emergency than a guy that would get any actual minutes

Barry Weiss 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I can't see Garret or Vick starting, or Vick being drafted. Vick will come off the bench or leave. Garret will also come off the bench.

Tom Jones 8 months, 2 weeks ago

a 2009 UNC situation? You mean the team that was #1 for much of 2008 and then returned their whole team and rolled through the tournament?

It'd be tough for 2018-19 KU to be less similar to 2009 UNC, really. Hopefully we'll have two or three contributors and maybe even a couple starters come back, but...nothing like 09 UNC.

Noel Backwards 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I think we'll have 2 starters back, 1 other returning contributor, 1 redshirt that has played 2 years in the program, and 4 guys who have spent at least a year with the program and all have high-level playing experience. I don't think we'll be going in as blind and inexperienced as people think. Will be fun to watch it all come together regardless.

Noel Backwards 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Craig: Those are just my predictions for Langford. I don’t see a reason why he wouldn’t be committed yet if he wasn’t waiting on decisions by our guys. Not saying it’ll happen I just think it’s more likely to happen than Malik coming back or LaGerald leaving.

Barry: LaGerald did a lot of good things last season and knows what it takes to play for Self now so He already has the upper hand on anyone else coming in. Just don’t see him going from being a starter on the FF team to a Sr. bench player after already sticking it out with Coach Self his first 2 years. Garrett naturally does the things Coach Self wants better than anyone else on the team. We will need a tone setter from day one and I think he’ll be that person.

Barry Weiss 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I like Vick and agree he does some things real good at times, but also disappears at times. I think that is why Coach would bench him from time to time to try some way to motivate him. That is why I think he will lose his starting spot to one of these recruits. He may start right away, but if he goes into one of his funks again and loses his spot, it may be hard for him to get it back. Same with Garret. I love his defense like everyone does, but man, his outside shooting and someone said he was 49% from the free throw line. If true, man, that is a tough one to have a point guard shooting FT's like that. Id say he is an off the bench guy right now.

Noel Backwards 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with your assessment of Vick from last year, but I'm also thinking best case right now as I always do in the offseason. Best case, Sr. Vick picks up where he left off in the tournament and comes in ready to be a leader on the team. Maybe not vocally, but with his actions and effort on the court. Before this past season, I could have made similar points about Svi but he showed up this year playing and leading like a Sr. I do agree that his starting spot is not as secure as it was this past season and if he goes into a funk like this past season it will be difficult for him to get back in the rotation. I just think that coming in its his spot to lose and I think he could surprise some folks.

Garrett has A LOT of work to do offensively I agree, but everything else he does should be invaluable for next year's team. You'll have much more of a scoring punch coming off the bench next year so it's not as imperative to have scoring from every position to start the game. He can be out there to set the tone early and guard the other team's best perimeter player. He fought his way to some starts this past season with those numbers and will surely improve his offensive game and confidence. You could see the progression starting as the season went on.

Paul Christiansen 8 months, 2 weeks ago

All I know about next years team is this: I don't want to ever see 4 Guards and a Center. I couldn't stand watching us get beat defensively down low. Villanova certainly had far better balance and just ran their Offense to perfection. Especially against us! Let's get back to rebuilding our low post defense.

Harlan Hobbs 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Sorry to be so late in acknowledging your kind words, Tony. Actually, I have had my moments of "meanness" as some can certainly testify. Perhaps it is just the euphoria of such a great season.

Anyway, this year was especially rewarding to me given all of the roadblocks and internal issues that the team faced. To see them gel at the right time and get the opportunity to give a nice sendoff to Devonte and Svi (the Villanova game notwithstanding) was just fantastic.

They should have no regrets, and hopefully the pride that they have attained this year will last them forever.

Lastly, please keep up your posts as well, Tony, as they are enlightening and humorous. You are extremely creative.

Chad Smith 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Newman is a coin flip on stay/go. He did go on a hot streak and raised his stock, he also still needs defensive work.

I wont lie, though we will lack a true senior leader next year, think about nova, their starting 5 this season and 6th man superstar, none were seniors. Experience is helpful, but it doesnt mean everything. Our frontcourt rotation next year will be lethal and with that roster self can get back to his high low, interior passing, perimeter complement oriented offense that is his bread and butter. Our team wont be soft, if people perform like they can it will be a physically imposing defensively sound team that can block shots get boards and steals and wear you down over time. Garrett will be a lockdown defender. Azubuike andDe Sousa will be great. The lawson twins are the key, how good will they be? If they are as good as expected, this team wil be playing for more than a final four appearance.

Im super excited for next season, we have the roster of balance which includes shotmakers, athletes and physical beasts. We will be a hard team to deal with. I know self always cuts down on rotation, but i really cant see him going below 8 man, not with the amount of talent we will have. The frontcourt will come in waves and not drop off in terms of quality. Man i have high hopes.

Danny Hernandez 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Malik's going to declare as many have said on this site and he should.

Thank You Malik, you were awesome against Duke and in the Big12 tourney

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