Self discusses strange Lagerald Vick situation at USA Basketball camp


None by USA Basketball

A bit of strange news from the Jayhawks trying to make it in the NBA Draft circuit that surfaced late last week received a little clarity on Monday.’s Jeff Borzello, who is in Colorado Springs covering the USA Basketball tryout for the U18 Men’s National Team that will be coached by KU coach Bill Self, got a chance to talk with Self over the weekend about former Kansas guard Lagerald Vick’s decision to pull his name out of the NBA Draft pool.

Vick, as his mother, LaLa, told the Journal-World on Friday night, is considering a whole host of options now that the NBA Draft is officially out of the running, and exploring a potential return to KU is, at least in some small way, one of them.

When Vick declared he was leaving Kansas after his junior season in early April, both he and Self said they believed the time was right for Vick to move forward with his professional career. And that is still the overwhelming favorite for what will happen with Vick this summer, be it in the G League or some other professional endeavor.

Self reiterated that in his brief chat with Borzello, which also included a look at freshman guard Quentin Grimes' first interactions with Self as his head coach.

“Lagerald and I talked at the end of the season, and it was a situation where he was going to do his best to prepare himself and put himself in position to stay in the draft," Self said Saturday. "And if he didn't stay in the draft, there was certainly the option for him to transfer. I haven't made a final decision on the situation, but the talk we had at the end of the season would be that he would go somewhere else if he decided to stay in school. That was something we talked about; we kind of agreed on that.”

Although Self sort of left the door cracked to at least entertain the idea of a Vick return to Kansas, all signs point to that being a long shot at best.

Yes, KU does have one scholarship still to give and, yes, Vick would immediately step in as the most accomplished and experienced player in a KU uniform, but Vick’s return to Kansas does not appear to be something Self is planning on in any way, shape or form.

“He should look into whatever he wants to do, or look into other schools or whatnot," Self told Borzello. “But there will be a point in time when I get back (from the USA Basketball stint in mid-June) that I'm sure we'll sit and down and we'll visit and talk about the situation. But I have not planned on having him back since the season was over.”

As for Self’s first few days out in Colorado Springs, which included trimming the roster down from 33 to 18, with six cuts still to go before the team heads to Canada for the FIBA Americas tournament, those close to him have said Self is having a blast during his head coaching debut with USA Basketball.

“He’s doing great,” KU assistant coach Norm Roberts said on Monday. “I was out there a couple of days ago and I think he’s really enjoying it.”

By “enjoying it,” Roberts made sure to point out he was not talking about some kind of basketball vacation, where his boss just gets to kick back and watch some of the best talent in the country get after it a couple of times a day and then head back to the hotel for some R & R afterwards.

“It’s quite a bit of work now,” Roberts said. “They’re going two-a-days and meetings at night and that stuff. And I think USA Basketball really wants this team to be good and do well and I think he’s enjoying it. I think he’s having fun.”


[''] 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow. Pretty clear Self doesn't want him back. The conversation probably went something like: "Thanks anyway Lagerald....but we are going with players who play defense and can dribble. Good luck."

Craig Carson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

idk..we might need his 3pt shooting..Im hearing this team might be very good in that department...but Vick does have experience and Self does like that

[''] 9 months, 2 weeks ago

3 pt shooting? Vick? He shot like 36% and averaged ONE 3pter per game..... I think we're fine. Hell Cunliffe could do that off the bench.

Barry Weiss 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I never did think Vick would get alot of minutes this coming season if he stayed. Vick was so hot and cold, there were many games he just disappeared. He started last year very good, but once conference play started, he fell off dramatically in production. I thought maybe he had a health issue, as he really started to look like he lost alot of weight. I hope the best for him!

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Sounds like a Brandon Green situation unfortunately.

Chris DeWeese 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Agreed. I'm hearing there was a lot of attitude issues with Vick (arrogant, defensive, immature, just didn't like criticism). I think Self had enough and basically showed him the door, much like Green.

Ryan Zimmerman 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah. He's not coming back. If Self wanted him back, you'd think he'd say something like "We'd love to hear from him and discuss the future" or "it would be great to work something out" etc HCBS gives no indication he wants Vick back and by saying they "agreed" he wouldn't come to KU regardless of the draft, that's pretty obvious

Jay Scott 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Sam Cunliffe has more upside than Vick. I'd love to see whatever Cunliffe is missing to click. It's perplexing that the player with the best attitude and the best grasp of Coach Self's objectives (Mitch) is Cunliffe's best buddy. If Sam ( and KJ) bring it, no need for Vick.

Craig Carson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Cunliffe didnt show too much last year..

Mike Greer 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I think what he missed most was the non-conference schedule. All the conference games were very close and he really never had a chance to just work into the rotation in a game where he could stay in for any length of time. Hope to see more of Sam this coming season.

Jonathan Allison 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I am very curious to see what happens with Vick. Without having been in the room when he met with Coach Self after the final four, it's hard to know exactly what the feelings might be like on either side. Self's comments about agreeing that if he returns to college he will transfer certainly make it sound like Self was ready to move on without Vick. Some of that maybe have been because Vick was burnt out and didn't like the thought of returning without Graham, Svi, Malik, Billy, etc. Given some time away he has likely had a chance to warm up to the thought of playing with the redshirts and newcomers.

As far as pro-prospects, Vick probably thought that he'd get a combine invite and could get at least a few looks from NBA teams and if not get selected in the draft at least get a chance to play in Summer League. But when his phone never rang in mid and late May he realized that he wasn't getting a shot at the NBA this year.

G League probably is his best option basketball-wise. But getting a college degree will serve him better for life.

I have a feeling that if he chooses school that Self will welcome him back. I don't see him transferring and having to sit a year. Not sure how close he might be to graduating. Right now I think G League vs. return to KU is a toss up. With a transfer being a distant third. Sounds like G League might be a soft lean.

Harlan Hobbs 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Good point, Jay, about Sam Cunliffe. I had forgotten that he and Mitch have forged such a good relationship. Certainly, Mitch will be a very positive influence, and if Sam can expand his game and gain confidence, he could be a very valuable piece of the puzzle.

Keith Gellar 9 months, 2 weeks ago

hmm..kinda sad that Self is giving vick the boot given the situation he's in. Seems very calipari-ish of Self. We don't have anyone lined up for the last scholarship and only makes sense to let vick back in and if not, i'd like to know why not? he couldn't possibly have committed worse offences than Sherron or Morri.

When Calipari does something like this, all KU fans are first to point out about how Cal doesn't care about his players and just wants the next batch of kids in. Wonder what they will be saying now about Self.

Jay Scott 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Cal punts kids because he's already hired their replacements.

Coach Self is allowing Vick to choose to leave, because he's not matured to the point of leadership after 3 years.

Massive difference.

Ryan Ferree 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I bet Self is just sending Vick a message, we don't need you, we have other options. You thought you were all that and then some and now look where you are. But... Then Vick ends up as a Jayhawk, having a team attitude and he strives to make the most of this opportunity because it might be his last. Give the kid another chance Bill, it never hurts to have bodies with experience.

Chris DeWeese 9 months, 2 weeks ago

It might hurt if that body has a toxic personality.

Tony Bandle 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Vick returns, Hell Yes:

1] Three years under Bill Self is worth a good look.

2] At times, showed he had solid to sometimes extraordinary Div. 1 ability.

3] Experienced Depth at the back line is rarely a bad thing to have.

4] Everybody deserves a second chance and, with Vick's potential, that may turn out to be huge.

Vick returns, Hell No:

1] Three years with Bill and he still doesn't "get it" [ball handling, tough D, etc.]

2] More times than not he just disappeared with minimal impact on the game.

3] Too much depth on the back line can potentially cause growth problems for the young players and PT issues with the experienced ones.

4] After three seasons, maybe Lagerald has already had his second chance...and maybe even his third.

My thought was is he a better option for that last schollie as a one timer than anyone else out there? I've always been a "glass half full" guy, so my vote is give him a chance. It can't hurt the team much and the upside may end up being significant.

Just my thoughts..I could certainly be wrong.

Jesse Johnson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Good points. I'm on the other side of the argument though, mainly because of your Hell No #3. I really don't want valuable PT going to a known quantity who often disappears rather than a young player who needs it to reach his ceiling.

Lawrence McGlinn 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Self wasn't going to renew his scholarship. He thought he had a shot at someone better. Plain and simple.

Dirk Medema 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Sounds to me like it might be off the court issues that we know little about more than anything about actual basketball. Maybe.

Pius Waldman 9 months, 2 weeks ago

We all have opinions some are just guessing so here is my guess. His mother probably felt he had a good chance to go pro. Self might have felt well if you do that maybe you aren't returning for next year. Now Vick realizes (well without an agent ?) a return might be the best. Money wise the G league isn't much more rewarding than benefits from college. Seems to me the assistants could behind closed doors find out just what Vick wants to return to school. Also a college degree would be meaningful. A transfer sitting out a year isn't very popular so G league or back to KU. A summer enrollment needs to be done soon. Come on Snacks put your ability to task and solve this problem.

Harlan Hobbs 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Whatever Coach Self decides is just fine with me. As you indicate, Pius, none of us really know what has gone on behind the scenes.

Mike Greer 9 months, 2 weeks ago

From the beginning you could tell Vick had talent and potential. That freshman year I just kept saying to myself, hang in there, you'll get playing time. His sophomore year he got playing time and showed progress. He also had some off court issues. The anticipation was that his junior year would be the break out year, and it started off that way, but by the time conference play started, he was truly hit and miss. He came and went game to game, and that's an issue. Could a senior year be a wake up call and bring out a consistent Vick? We may not get a chance to find out, it doesn't sound like he left on a good note with Coach.

Geoff Ermlap 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Second guessing Self is generally a losing proposition but this could be interpreted as, "well, we got all we wanted out of you and its time for you to move on." which presents a scenario where players come to Kansas and if it works out great but if not dont let the door hit you on the way out. We got another guy were giving that deal to now. If it doesnt work out with him, he'll be shown the door as well

Mike Greer 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I could see a conversation where Coach pulled the cover off his crystal ball and gave Lagerald a sneak peek into the 18/19 season. Based on this little peek, Lagerald decided to try the NBA now rather than later. Who wants to be a starter one year and a bench warmer the next? It's going to be a great team for 18/19, there won't be a four guard lineup most of the time, there are guys with a lot of talent on the upcoming team, playing time isn't going to be available for guys who don't give 100% all the time. That's how you get to the point where you part ways.

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