Thursday, May 29, 2008

KU basketball notebook

Brandon Rush will not take part in this week's pre-NBA draft camp in Orlando.


Morris twins waiting on academic qualifications

On Tuesday, Kansas head coach Bill Self told Lawrence Journal-World basketball writer Gary Bedore that incoming freshman twins Marcus and Markieff Morris have not yet qualified academically.

Nets work out KU duo

The New Jersey Nets, who have picks 10, 21 and 40 in the 2008 NBA Draft, will be working out a pair of Jayhawks next week.

Darrell Arthur will be in New Jersey on Wednesday and Brandon Rush on Friday.

Former Jayhawk J.R. Giddens, who completed his career at New Mexico, will work out with the Nets on Thursday.

Rush to Suns?'s Chad Ford on Wednesday looked into rumors that Rush would be a lock to be tapped by Phoenix at No. 15 in the first round.

"I spoke with Steve Kerr (Suns' GM) and Rush's agent, Mark Bartelstein," Ford wrote in his column. "Kerr acknowledged that the Suns like Rush and he'd be a great fit, but also said the Suns are bringing in around 20 players (for workouts) for their pick. Bartelstein said Rush is working out for teams drafting before and after the Suns."

Henry tastes AAU glory

Xavier Henry, the No. 2 prospect in the recruiting Class of 2009, scored 17 points to help Oklahoma Athletes First to a 71-70 victory over New York's Gauchos in the title game of the Nike Memorial Day AAU Classic on Monday in Nashville.

Henry, a 6-foot-6 senior-to-be out of Putnam City (Okla.) High, is expected ultimately to choose KU or Memphis.

"Henry's squad won the championship, and he was the main reason for their success," analyst Jerry Meyer said. "The top prospect in the tournament, Henry put up big scoring numbers throughout the event. Most impressive from a scouting perspective was the way Henry attacked the basket off the dribble rather than settling for long-range jumpers. He looks bigger and stronger every time we see him, and Henry is getting more mileage out of his impressive physique."

Analysts are starting to believe he may not stick around long in college.

"Simply put, this guy is one of the most well-rounded prospects out there, and he has 'one-and-done' written all over him," said Nathan McCauley of

Lawson takes stance

KU coach Bill Self recently made a bold statement concerning players like KU's Arthur and Mario Chalmers who declare for the draft, but do not sign with agents.

"When they declare, I don't think they really want to be here anyway," Self said of players in general.

North Carolina sophomore Ty Lawson confirmed that stance. He pointed out to ESPN's Andy Katz that it was not correct to say he was merely "testing the waters," as a North Carolina news release indicated.

"That's not the truth," he told Katz. "Everybody is in the draft to stay in the draft unless (they get hurt). Comments like that are misleading to NBA teams, to say we're just testing the waters."


13 years, 11 months ago

I know, KU. It still hasn't completely set in for me.


Here's an interesting kid to keep an eye on:

Timmay97 13 years, 11 months ago

Why isn't Matt Kleinmann "testing the waters?"

Joe Ross 13 years, 11 months ago

oldalum and txjayhawk92-great posts that I (almost) agree 100% on. oldalum, Im curious as to what you mean about being good enough to go but deciding to stay. remember al horford and joakim noah both stayed at florida. I think you were saying entering your name in the draft to test the waters, being projected highly, and THEN coming back to college right?

KU 13 years, 11 months ago

We won the freaking National Championship!

Brian Conrad 13 years, 11 months ago

when would Mario have to pull out of draft? most drafts have him second round. will he really go with no guarantees? If he stays will be for sure first rounder 09 . hope for the best for Mario just hope he does not go if not for sure money. if we Sherron , Mario , Aldrich and others returning along with Fantastic class coming in they would be very tough to beat. Juco players will be ready to roll and think this would be very fast team with Mario having the go to guy status from open of season. He would be able to put up great numbers along with big 12 and all American accolades which would move him way up in 09 draft. Whatever he decides WOW what a year and all the best to every Jayhawk.

Chris Shaw 13 years, 11 months ago

If I was an NBA GM I wouldn't touch Lawson in the first or Second round. He's a poor man's version of Raymond Felton and probably worse than Dee Brown. I wouldn't touch Lawson in the Frist or Second Round. Felton has been exposed as an inadequate Point Guard and I can't imagine Lawson doing anything better than Felton. Just like the National Media had this complex writing about the "greatness" of the UNC Tarheels only to see them completely exposed against the Jayhawks. The same thing can be said about Lawson as well as Ellington and Green. I wouldn't touch any of them in the First round especially Lawson.

Jonathan Allison 13 years, 11 months ago

In my opinion, if you're in the lottery you take the best available. You don't want to pass up an opportunity to grab an elite player for your team. Once you start getting down around 15-20 the talent levels off. At that point it's safe to draft based on need, because there are still good prospects available at every position even after all the stars are off the board. Obviously Beasley, Rose, Mayo, and those guys will all go early. Guys like Arthur, Augustin, Eric Gordon, and Kevin Love go toward the bottom of the lottery. After them you have tons of talent still available to choose and many of them should be fairly comparable. If you need a small forward or a shooting guard Brandon will be the best available, but if you really just need a point guard or a center then draft a point guard or a center.

Marcia Parsons 13 years, 11 months ago

I think Self's point was that if they really wanted to be in college another year, they wouldn't be trying to get into the NBA. They aren't just curious about whether they are good enough to make it. I've never heard of anyone being told they were good enough and then saying, no I think I'd like to go back to my college team--with or without classes and tests. Self is right. If they didn't want to be gone they wouldn't be checking it out.

TXJayhawk92 13 years, 11 months ago

Two things - any player who declares for the draft plans to be drafted. It's not that they don't want to play for their college team but they'd rather play for money. Testing the water is really hedging their bet, just in case it doesn't go well. I think Bill's point is that the don't intend to come back unless something goes wrong. Also, there have been plenty of players that were good enough but chose to stay in school another year. Look at Florida's team a year ago.On the issue of the Net's drafting another power forward, I would be looking at the best player available at all times. If there are a couple that are close in terms of quality, I take the one that fills a void, but if there aren't any great prospects that fill a need, I take the best thing out there, regardless of position. I recall being pretty pissed several years ago when the Dallas Maverick's GM stated that Paul Pierce was the best player on the board (when their pick came up), but they didn't need another player like him - so they passed on drafting him! Paul ended up with the Celtics who had two players just like him (I forget the names - Walker and ???) so they adjusted their lineup and look how that turned out. Paul is a stud. I don't care what the Nets have, if Darrell is the best player available at the time, take him. Of course I rather see him in Dallas so I can watch him play regularly.

justanotherfan 13 years, 11 months ago

I agree with the assessment that teams SHOULD take the best player available, regardless of position. However, most NBA teams DON'T follow that philosophy. They want the traditional 5, point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center. The drafting for need is what caused Sam Bowie to go before Michael Jordan, probably the greatest draft day pass in history. A close second is Detroit taking Darko Milicic just after Lebron James and in front of (drumroll) Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. That's four allstars with a dud mixed in. I do think if the Nets take Darrell, they will trade one of their other power forwards. I also don't think the Nets will have a chance to take Brandon at 21, but won't want to spend Lottery money on him at 10. Enter JR Giddens. I'm a little surprised the Nets aren't bringing in Mario just in case.

justanotherfan 13 years, 11 months ago

NBA teams are already wary of Lawson because of his suspect jumpshot and his size. While his quickness is elite at the college level, in the NBA he will be confronted with bigger, stronger guys that are just as quick as he is. Without a consistent jumper, he's unlikely to be a major contributor in the League.Ellington and Green are another story. Ellington because he is a very good catch and shoot player, Green because he is a good perimeter defender who can do a little bit of everything. I wouldn't say that either of those guys is a lottery type, but they could sneak into the back end of the first round depending on who stays in. I'm surprised the Nets are working out Darrell. They already have 4 power forwards, including a couple that are still pretty young (one of whom they drafted last year). I think Darrell can compete with those guys, but from an organization standpoint, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Rush makes more sense for them, but I'm not sure he will be there at 21, and 10 seems a little too early.

lee3022 13 years, 11 months ago

Basketball players come to college to get jobs just as we did. The longer they stay the better their chances up to a point after which their opportunities decline. Seniors are not as valued in the draft because the word "potential" has been more completely answered. I have no quarrel with anyone who can get drafted in the NBA in leaving for that dream job. It is a choice that most KU stars face and many have chosen to stay longer than was best for them. As for the NJ Nets - they had arguably top-five players in three positions the past few years and could not find a big to carry them deep into the playoffs. With Kidd in Dallas and Harris in NJ the focus still has to be on big men if available. Their secondary need is at SG with Carter advancing in years. So Arthur and Rush both having interest from NJ is no news. It should be pointed out that these two and others will get many more opportunities to work out for teams. Both could be drafted by a team not working them out because they have been so scrutinized this past year. I would love to have a count of the number of NBA GM visits we had this year to our games. I know of one who made several trips here. And that does not even approach the scouts in attendance. Finally I disagree with the comment that players leave to avoid study. There is more study in the NBA than at KU with many hours of film work each week and many more games and game plans to learn. These guys simply want to succeed when given the opportunity.

13 years, 11 months ago

cooonrod - I think players with eligibility left have to withdraw no later than ten days prior to the draft if they want to return to college.

jaybate 13 years, 11 months ago

Anyone know the skinny on Rex Walters leaving FAU in some kind of trouble, when he moved on to USF?

Lance Hobson 13 years, 11 months ago

Well, I know FAU wasn't happy that Rex left and the way he left. It seemed like they were pretty surprised.As far as staying or declaring for the draft, the reality is that the majority of these guys don't have much else going for them other than basketball. Even playing in Europe they would make a much better living than whatever job the could get based on their degree.

jaybate 13 years, 11 months ago

The big story seems to be that the Morris twins have not yet qualified academically.Was this the reason they were not as high on everyone's lists as their physical abilities suggest they might have been?This could get very interesting next year if KU has to go with just Aldrich and Kleinman and Thomas in the post.Could be fun to start 4 guards with a 3 man post rotation.Talk about a test for Coach Self's inventiveness.Rock chalk!!!Last year was too easy.This could separate the real Jayhawks from the bandwagon types.

actorman 13 years, 11 months ago

"We won the freaking National Championship!"Best comment on the thread. It reminds me of a friend of mine who said he'll be driving and all of a sudden feel the need to pump his fist and yell, "Yeah!" Every time I think about the fact that we actually won, I still can't believe it.As Strikewso says, it's pretty silly to compare studying basketball to other subjects. Players are obviously going to be more comfortable studying basketball than a subject they have no interest in.

Lance Hobson 13 years, 11 months ago

Studying in the NBA? C'mon! Basketball is pretty simple compared to football and certainly easier than any classes they're taking at KU - it's not rocket surgery.

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