Friday, December 28, 2007

After quick hiatus, Jayhawks get back to work


'Hawks host holiday clinic

Thursday morning coach Bill Self traded in his roster of less than 20 college kids for nearly 500 third- through eighth-graders for his annual holiday skills camp.


Campers swarm around Kansas University guards Sherron Collins and Rodrick Stewart, right, as they compete for a rebound during the Jayhawks' Holiday Clinic. More than 400 youngsters showed up for the morning basketball session with the KU men's basketball team and coaches on Thursday at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas Head Basketball Coach Bill Self introduces his players to campers inside Allen Fieldhouse during the 2007 Bill Self Holiday Clinic. Self, his assistant coaches and his players schooled more than 500 youth who attended the morning camp on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007.

Sutton to coach again

Former Oklahoma State head basketball coach and Bill Self's mentor, Eddie Sutton, is coming out of retirement to coach San Francisco University.

Three and a half days out of the gym seemed like an eternity to Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who nonetheless enjoyed a white Christmas in his snowy home state of Oklahoma.

"It was good. I didn't do anything. I sat around and ate. I think I gained 10 pounds. That's what it feels like," Self said Thursday morning at KU's annual holiday hoops clinic at Allen Fieldhouse.

His players scattered to their various hometowns for Christmas after the KU-Miami of Ohio game on Dec. 22, with the exception of senior Russell Robinson, who decided not to make the long trek to Bronx, N.Y.

Robinson, who had told reporters he planned to spend Christmas watching a movie in front of his Christmas tree in his apartment, had a change of plans.

"I didn't stay in the room. I couldn't stay in the room. I got too many calls. Everybody was feeling sorry for me," Robinson said. "People reached out for me. I love 'em for that. I had some friends come over and hung out and had a good time."

Like his coach, Robinson dined well on Christmas Day.

"I was in Kansas City, had a nice little dinner," Robinson said, grinning when asked who entertained him. "I didn't go to Brandon's (Rush). I'm not going to give it up."

KU senior Sasha Kaun met his mother, Olga, in Seneca Falls, N.Y., at the home of the family that sponsored him during his high school days at Florida Air Academy.

"My mom was there. It was a good Christmas. It was awesome," said Kaun, who indicated he hopes his mother, who lives in Tomsk, Russia, will be able to remain in the U.S. until Kaun's graduation in May.

Kaun ate so many Christmas goodies he paid the price at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday - time for the Jayhawks' first official practice of second semester.

"It was a little tougher. Everybody had three days off - all the food and the Christmas food. We worked hard," Kaun said.

"It was hard. Coach Self didn't have any breaks. He worked us just like before (Christmas) break," Robinson noted. "We made it through and will be better for it."

The Jayhawks continued a frantic pace Thursday. First they held the clinic for 400 youths from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Then they held both afternoon and evening practices.

"By no means am I giddy about how we are playing or whatever, but I am very pleased with their attitudes," Self said. "Even when obviously they don't want to be here - they'd rather be with family - they come in and put in their time, do their work, move on down the road. I've had a lot of teams over Christmas break, it wasn't exactly that way. We'll see how we're doing a week from now."

The Jayhawks (12-0), who meet Yale (3-6) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse, enjoyed holding instructional stations with the campers Thursday morning.

"The clinic was great," Robinson said. "Being out here having a positive influence on the kids' lives is just wonderful. We enjoy it as much as they do. We take a lot of pride in doing it."

"It's good to have the guys around the kids, make them happy, give them something to look forward to during the holiday," Kaun said. "The biggest thing for them is getting autographs, I think. Being around us is most fun for them."

¢ Back on time: The Jayhawks all made it back for Wednesday night's return practice.

"Rod (Stewart, Seattle) and Sherron (Collins, Chicago) were delayed a little bit, not to the point they missed practice," Self said. "I moved it back 30 minutes to allow everybody to get here. As far as getting back (to hometowns on snowy Saturday) : Rod had the hardest time. His flight was scheduled Saturday night. He couldn't get out until Sunday morning. Everybody else was only delayed. They were able to get out."

¢ Yale, Yale, the gang's all here: Yale's players and coaches beat today's predicted snowstorm into town. They practiced Wednesday night at Olathe South, alma mater of Bulldog senior starters Caleb and Nick Holmes. The Bulldogs practiced Thursday afternoon at Free State High and Thursday night at KU.

¢ Eddie's back on bench: Self learned his mentor, Eddie Sutton, had accepted an interim-head-coaching position at University of San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon.

"I got a phone call asking for a quote (comment) yesterday at 4 o'clock," Self said. "It really, really surprised me. Based on what I've read, he's very excited about it. He'll do a great job."

Sutton needs two wins to reach 800.

"I don't think you need two more wins to validate a career. I don't believe that's the only reason he's doing this," Self said. "I think he really wants to go out on a positive note. The way he went out was not under the pretenses he hoped (after his arrest on DUI charges at Oklahoma State). I'm sure he's got his reasons, good and valid reasons. I think he'll have a lot of fun doing it. I think it'd be a lot of fun going to a place you don't know anybody, and you coach a team and not have to worry about recruiting or anything. Just go coach a team. I think it'd be a good time."


Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 9 months ago

Classy, cstevenday. Real classy.

I'll always like Eddie Sutton, especially after his display after Senior Day 2003 when he ran down to congratulate Hinrich and Collison after they checked out.

JNgohawks 14 years, 9 months ago

That was really neat Chicago_JHawk, I remember Kirk didn't see him coming and he had a surprised expression. I always liked him as well, and felt a little bad for all the negative press he got for the DUI.

JayCeph 14 years, 9 months ago

What's with all the secrecy regarding Robinson's trip to KC for the XMas holiday? Is there a sweetheart in the mix? Is he actually miffed at something or someone else and won't reveal his plans in an effort to confuse them or make them jealous?

I think it is just weird how secretive and mysterious he's being... odd, just odd.

argentinehawk 14 years, 9 months ago

Hey jayceph, Russ Rob probably just doesn't want people knowing his business, that's all. We're all entitled to our space.

Steve Day 14 years, 9 months ago

Welcome back guys. Lets continue the roll!!

Hey Sutton!! SF has some wonderful bars for you to get hammered at!! I can see it now. Eddie in a short skirt, a pair of pumps, and some lipstick, getting anothe DUI in the Tenderloin District of SF.

As well as Sean is doing at OSU, maybe he can be named your designated replacement at SF as well.

JayCeph 14 years, 9 months ago

No doubt Argentine... and some space that I am sure they all need.

When everyone just says they're going 'home' or 'getting together with friends' that anonymity is preserved.

However, when they create an elliptical turn of phrase and accentuate that that they AREN'T at someone of note's house, they are breeding a sense of mystery that doesn't lend itself to what the media or a rabid fan base would read into regarding his attempt to 'mind his own business.'

jaybate 14 years, 9 months ago

I would love to see Eddie stay at USF a couple years, either as HC, or as assistant. The Bay Area produces lots of players and there is the possibility in this era that he could do for USF what has happened at Gonzaga and elsewhere in the mid majors. This feels like Eddie's second chance at a Hoosiers ending. The bottle beat him at UK and he got his first chance at a Hoosiers ending in Stillwater. It bit him again. This is Eddie's second chance.

Eddie can still coach Eddie ball. He created it. He perfected it. And he can study Bill Self to see how he has advanced it.

Seeing Eddie in the tiny gymnasium at USF would send chills up my spine. I used to go see games their during the 80s when I lived in The City. I went just to feel the spirit of Bill Russell and K.C. Jones. I felt them there just as surely as I felt the spirit of Wilt in AFH. With all respect due Wilt, Russ was greatest of the great big men and he played in that little gym. He won two NCAA rings in a row back when doing it was even tougher that it is now. Bill Russell, first African American big to win two rings in a row. The man who won five more NBA rings than MJ. Think about that. When MJ was burned out, Russ won FIVE more! The man who even won a ring as a player coach!!!! Bill Russell--the greatest defensive player of all time according to John Wooden. And the greatest winner of all time in basketball.

And Eddie is ready to have Big Russ's legend looking over his shoulder. Eddie is the right age to appreciate Russ and what he and his coach Phil Woolpert did back in the 50s.

Eddie is taking Eddie ball to yet another shrine of college basketball. It is a shrine in disrepair, almost forgotten, much the way Okie State was when he went back there and revived it.

jaybate 14 years, 9 months ago

Eddie, you Kansan, I don't want to see you just coach a few games. I want to see you turn USF around. I want to see you bring Eddie Ball to this forgotten shrine the same way Self brought it to Allen Field House. I want to see you schedule a game with Knight's Texas Tech. I want to see you beat him with Russ's legend looking over your shoulder. Schedule a home and home with Self, too. Our KU players need to play in that tiny gym. Our players need to know about Bill Russell, the only player greater than Wilt.

One can never be exposed to too much greatness.

Eddie, this is mythic stuff, like Self fusing the Allen and Iba traditions at KU.

Eddie, you are squaring a debt owed by Oklahoma to big Russ. Remember the All College Tournament in 1954? Of course you do. Remember when Russ was integrating the game as its first true black superstar? Of course you do. Russ, KC and Hal were shut out of the hotels in OKC cause they had a little too much mellanin in their skins. Remember how Russ and all the USF team, black and white, decided to camp out together in a closed dorm in protest? Of course you do. Now, you've done as much to advance African American athletes (and to ride the coat tails of their great play, too), as any man, but this is a chance to make amends with big Russ, and K.C. It is a way to say, look here, Russ, K.C., I can't undo what was done back then in Oklahoma to you guys, but I can revive your alma mater's program for you. I can bring USF hoops into the 21st Century. I can introduce it to Eddie ball and so give your USF the fastest spreading brand of college basketball there is today. I can coach with your two legends looking over my shoulder, just the way old Hank looked over my shoulder at OSU, and the way Phog looks over my boy Bill back at Kansas. I can set things right here at USF in a basketball way. I CAN do that. I've done it every where I've been. And dang it, Bill and K.C., I need to do it. I gotta get this 86 proof monkey off my back once and for all. And I gotta do it with someone bigger even than my mentor Hank Iba lookin' over my shoulder and keepin' me on the straight and narrow. If I coulda done this in Boston with the Celtics, with old Red lookin' over my shoulder, I'd have done that. But the stars just didn't align that way for me. This is my place. This is my moment, my last chance at redemption. And I need you and K.C. and the ghost of old Phil Woolpert looking over my shoulder sayin', Fast Eddie, you do it right this time--all the way to the end. Don't let us down Fast Eddie. Don't let USF down. Don't let all the Fathers who have ever guided young persons at USF down Fast Eddie.

Okay, let's coach some basketball, Fast Eddie. Show'em all one last time who really was the greatest mind of the game of basketball in his generation of coaches.

Marcia Parsons 14 years, 9 months ago

Maybe the question was "did you go to Brandon's house?" If he considered the questions intrusive he had every right to evade them. I congratulate him for doing it with good humor.

tdub 14 years, 9 months ago

cstevenday, take your ignorant comments somewhere they will be appreciated.

I was at the game when Eddie congratulated the duo, and it was very funny because the entire crowd knew what he was doing but Kirk didn't see him coming. It just seemed so exceptional for a coach to go to such lengths to express his admiration.

Sparko 14 years, 9 months ago

San Francisco has a nice tradition, and is a wonderful place to live and work. That is about all the mystery of the Eddie Sutton job one need contemplate. "Pretenses" was perhaps an ill-chosen word by Self. Circumstances was what he meant.

CasperCorps 14 years, 9 months ago

San Francisco is a wonderful place to live and work?.. I guess once you get through all the drug addicts, homeless people peeing in public, crime, pollution, child molesters, illegals, high taxes, Nancy Pelosi's, it probably isn't so bad...

tis4tim 14 years, 9 months ago

Keith Langford just got signed by the San Antonio Spurs.

JNgohawks 14 years, 9 months ago

I figured he would, he has been scoring in the 20's all the time. Good to get him away from Quin. And sorry to say, San Francisco is a very beautiful place.

Drew Alan 14 years, 9 months ago

Casper you just described every metropolitan area in the country... Every big city in america has good parts and bad parts, some more than others... but from what I've heard San Fransisco is a great place to live.

ralsterKUMed95 14 years, 9 months ago

Kinda nice to see Eddie Sutton try it again. Only he knows if he is up to it. I personally think its sad OSU is not as worthy a foe as they used to be. We will have some interesting games in the Big XII. Texas should fall victim. Their two leading scorers are 6'1" guards! Who shall meet Mario and Russell Kevin Durant, so maybe a little better team-play, but I will take our team play (and team defense) over theirs anyday. aTm and Baylor could be interesting, and I will take a personal interest in seeing Mizzou defeated, and it has nothing to do with basketball (or football). Sorry Ive apparently been ignorant of the history behind the BorderWar, but I recently learned just exactly what those Quantrill raiders did, and for Mizzou fans to claim: "MO 83, KS 0" and referring to 83 people murdered, was a sad, sick f--king day in sports. Forever wrong. Everytime I see the TV pan a Mizzou crowd and see those kids yelling "#1", I pity their ignorance! Stupid fools not knowing what they support?! Forever wrong. To even bring up 'BorderWar' is unsportsmanlike (way too political, and if you dont mention the murders, then it is a disrespectful disservice to the memory of those Lawrence, KS men killed...).

ralsterKUMed95 14 years, 9 months ago

I digressed from the article....Hooray for Keith Langford! I hope he can stay in the NBA a while. A dream come true for that Jayhawk!

Chris McIlvain 14 years, 9 months ago

You idiots will post about anything, wont you? Jaybate being the biggest idiot of all.

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