Friday, March 27, 2009

Gary Bedore’s Kansas basketball notebook

Kansas center Cole Aldrich talks on his cell phone in a pair of house slippers as his teammate Sherron Collins is surrounded by media members in the Jayhawks' locker room Thursday, March 26, 2009 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich talks on his cell phone in a pair of house slippers as his teammate Sherron Collins is surrounded by media members in the Jayhawks' locker room Thursday, March 26, 2009 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.


Shooting woes

Kansas University guard Brady Morningstar enters having hit nine of his last 35 shots over seven games, including six of 25 threes.

“Every shooter misses shots. I’ve missed some the last couple games,” Morningstar said. “I look for my shot. It’ll start falling. I’ve got to knock down open shots to help take the pressure off Cole (Aldrich) and Sherron (Collins).”

One key matchup

Morningstar, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 187 pounds, will guard Raymar Morgan, who is 6-8, 225.

“He’s good, strong, physical. He plays hard,” said Morningstar, who scored five points and had three rebounds in KU’s 75-62 loss to the Spartans on Jan. 10 in East Lansing, Mich. Morgan had 13 points and eight boards.

“I’m sure people will think he’ll dominate,” Morningstar added. “I guarded a lot of players his size this year, like Budinger (Chase, Arizona). I will not back down, neither will he.”

Rush in the house

Former KU guard Brandon Rush attended KU’s practice Thursday morning at the Indiana Pacers’ practice facility.

The Jayhawks were in the stands for the Pacers’ victory over former KU guard Mario Chalmers’ Miami Heat on Wednesday. They had seats halfcourt, about 20 rows up.

“I loved it. It’s the first time I’ve seen those two in the NBA,” Morningstar said. “Brandon watched practice today. He was going to lift (weights). Coach Self asked him if he had any advice for us. He said, ‘Go out there and play.’ He’s always been a man of few words,” Morningstar added, laughing.

Collins laughed when asked about Rush’s talk to the team.

“He said this is our time. He told us to ‘Do our thing,’’’ Collins said.

1986 revisited

MSU coach Tom Izzo worked as a grad assistant on the Spartan squad that fell to KU, 98-86, in overtime in the 1986 Sweet 16.

That’s the game in which the Kemper Arena clock malfunctioned and stopped for about 10 seconds. That became critical when KU, which was down by six with 1:39 left, sent that game into OT on a bucket with about 10 seconds left.

“I can’t say I thought about that game, although I did when I was talking to Jud (Heathcote, former MSU coach) in between games the other night,” Izzo said.

“One of my jobs at the end was to watch the clock. When it wasn’t moving and I told Jud, he more or less told me where to go because I don’t think he believed me. When he found out it really wasn’t moving, he went down and very quietly informed the scorekeeper that the clock wasn’t moving,” Izzo added, smiling.

“I always talk to Larry Brown (former KU coach) when he was with the (Detroit) Pistons about that. We kind of laughed. I told Danny Manning when he was at our place (on Jan. 10) that we got ripped off. I was really just kidding.

“I learned a good lesson that game. ... every play of every game does matter, does have a purpose, whether it’s a missed free throw, rebound, all the things that happen. Because we were this far from moving on and didn’t. As I look back, Jud never got farther than that the rest of the years I was an assistant.”

KU coach Bill Self also was a grad assistant — for Brown at KU — in ’86.

“I was probably sitting 20 rows up worrying about the concession stand or whatever,” Self said. “I do remember the clock malfunction, whatever it was. I remember coach Heathcote not being very pleased during that stretch. The thing about Michigan State I remember is they had a guy (Scott) Skiles that was unbelievable, hard to guard. We were very fortunate to win that game. They were really good.”


Self has compiled a 16-4 record (at KU and Illinois) in games his teams played after suffering a loss earlier in the season.

“I’ve never thought about that,” Self said. “Usually if you lost to a team that you are going to play twice, it’s happened because you played in their building and the return game is in your building, so you should have an advantage.”

On Billy G

Self on rumors that his buddy, Billy Gillispie, may be fired after two seasons at Kentucky.

“I don’t think it’s fair. Nobody cares what I think,” Self said. “You’ve had a lot of coaches out there over time that struggled in their first few years on a job. One of them lives and resides in Durham, N.C.,” Self added of Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.

“Ten Final Fours later and three national championships later they’re probably glad they didn’t move on that (firing him). I think Billy is the same way. Given time, Billy will have Kentucky competing for championships again.

“Obviously in today’s time, patience is not one of society’s virtues,” Self added. “It’s win and win now. It’s a quick fix on everything. Sometimes I think you have to step back and think big picture, what would be best over time? There’s no doubt in my mind they’ve got the right guy at the helm. But he’s going to need a little bit of time.”

Taylor will be OK

KU guard Collins said he hasn’t had many one-on-one chat sessions with freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor this week.

Taylor struggled a bit in wins over North Dakota State and Dayton last weekend.

“I haven’t talked to him as much this week as last week,” Collins said. “He understands what is expected, to calm down, don’t think as much. He’s getting a feel for it (tournament play).”

Collins said he could tell early on how Taylor would fare in a game.

“Probably the first three minutes, five minutes,” Collins said. “The biggest thing with him is being consistent.”

“I want to help the team the best way I can, by playing hard,” Taylor said. “That’s what I’m going to do.”

Stephenson appears to be KU-bound

The recruiting world believes Lance Stephenson, a 6-foot-5 senior guard from Lincoln High in Brooklyn, N.Y., will play college basketball at Kansas University next season.

“He really wants to play for Bill Self,” a source told Zach Smart of the NBE Basketball Report. “He had a great visit (to KU), and they essentially sent Danny Manning as the Mariano Rivera in this situation to close the deal.

“Lance understood the magnitude of this decision,” NBE Basketball’s source added. “He flirted with the idea of revitalizing the St. John’s program and sort of sprouting into a New York City icon by putting SJU and New York City back on the map. But realistically, he wants to win at a big-time program, and Kansas is a perfect fit for him.”


Karen Mansfield-Stewart 13 years, 3 months ago

That's great news about Mr. Stephenson. Over the years I've seen a lot of players turn down KU to "stay home" or to be "the man" at some other program... I can't remember many of their names though... hummm. Must not not have worked out that well.

JHAWKBALLER 13 years, 3 months ago

Great news on Lance, but where will the scholarships come from

kuengphotog 13 years, 3 months ago

A non-basketball observation. Why have all the ads on this website shown MSU all week?

mojayhawk 13 years, 3 months ago

Scholarships have a way of working themselves out. We will likely have scholarships available after the season. No worry.

eastTXjayhawk 13 years, 3 months ago

Spartans, tonight, we die!! (as do our Final Four dreams)

Jayhawk444 13 years, 3 months ago

How come every time the media brings up the Michigan State/clock stop issue they forget to mention that in the hubbub that followed the stoppage in play to straighten out the clock, it was Larry Brown who ended up getting a technical foul called on him? I was at that game in Kemper. Larry thought Jud Heathcote was getting too much face time with the refs so he left the coaching area to complain/yell at the refs, too, and got slapped with the "T." MSU was awarded free throws. They actually benefitted from the situation! I guess history goes to the loudest whiners.

Jeremy LeMaster 13 years, 3 months ago

"Scholarships have a way of working themselves out" (not quoting any specific from this article or any other)...

How is that exactly? The reports I have heard is that Cole needs a little work and to build some strength... and that Collins should come back as well. Does that mean that the staff will "coerce" someone into transferring or will one of the kids just think that they should give up their scholarship? Or perhaps transition one of the less impacting players to a walk-on and work out an academic scholarship...

Just curious.

In all truth, the coach's job is to always work to bring in better talent than they currently have... but I hate to see them do anything shady to get it done. Not saying they are doing that though!

rockchalkin54 13 years, 3 months ago

I think Self has an idea of how the scholarship thing is going to work out, otherwise he wouldn't have been recruiting Lance so hard. I'm just gonna sit back and trust that Self knows what he is doing.

keith horinek 13 years, 3 months ago

I count 12 players currently on scholarship. Kleinnaman will graduate and we get our 13th scholarship back after this season. That makes 2 available and we have two commitments now plus Withey transfered from arizona earlier this year. That makes 2 scholarships for 4 players. I don't know how it will work out but I do know, it's a problem most head coaches would like to have. Especially with the talent level HCBS is working with.

Jonathan Allison 13 years, 3 months ago

we've had lots of impact players in the past on academic scholarships. Recently Jeff Hawkins and Christian Moody come to mind. I'm sure it would not be very difficult for KU to find a non-athletics scholarship for Travis, Tyshawn, Tyrone, Tyrel, Quintrell, Brady or someone.

Jonathan Allison 13 years, 3 months ago

I believe that Klienman is a walk-on isn't he?

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 13 years, 3 months ago

I personally think both Collins and Cole will go pro. They could both use some work, but its been mentioned in the past that their families could definitely use the money; and money talks. If one or both stays, I see one or two of the rarely used players to transfer; probably not encouraged, but not discouraged either (Travis and Quintrell perhaps). Just my thoughts - no facts!

JayhawkCasey 13 years, 3 months ago

I doubt Collins goes pro since he said he will let Self decide. Collins and Cole have both said their families are fine and that will not influence their decision.

keith horinek 13 years, 3 months ago

I believe Self gave Kleinnaman a scholarship his junior and senior year. I don't think he was hurting for scholarships at the time. Anybody know for sure?

Hawkin8r 13 years, 3 months ago

No worries...if Lance comes, there will be a scholarship freed up. There is NO WAY our Coach (of the year) turns away a player that is the caliber of Lance. Therefore there is NO WAY he doesn't have this figured out. I'm guessing he has 2-3 options on how to make it happen and will choose the right option based on Cole/Sherron.

Lance Hobson 13 years, 3 months ago

Why do you guys keep yapping about the scholarships? Coach Self is managing the program and knows what he's doing.

I'll wait until Stephenson declares before celebrating.

truefan 13 years, 3 months ago

There have been a lot of rumors that both Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed would give up their scholarships since they are both Kansas residents and it would not be expensive to just pay the tuition anyway. I hope Sherron and Cole stay so we can have a good run at another title.

JayhawkPhil64 13 years, 3 months ago

As one of the main "yappers" about the scholarship situation, I have to admit you are right Strikewso -- that Self already has a plan worked out. I just kept bringing it up because I knew at least two people would have to leave one way or the other and I hoped noone was going to be forced to transfer or give up their scholarship.. That wouldn't have to happen if two guys went Pro. I was just trying unsuccessfully to get people to speculate who would be leaving.

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