Tuesday, August 2, 2011

KU basketball offers Texas prep

Phil Forte’s father former football Jayhawk


Kansas University’s basketball team has offered a scholarship to Phil Forte, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior-to-be from Marcus High in Flower Mound, Texas, reported Monday.

Forte, who is the son of former KU football lineman Phil Forte, averaged 16.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game last season. He hit 3.7 threes per game.

Currently unranked, Forte is being recruited by KU, Iowa, USC, Kansas State, Villanova, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Texas Tech and others.

“Kansas has been my dream school since I was little,” Forte told He indicated he will visit KU and four other schools this fall. “Both of my parents went to Kansas and my dad played football at Kansas, so I grew up a huge Kansas fan.”

Forte’s Texas Assault and high school teammate, No. 24-rated Marcus Smart, also has KU on his list. Smart, a 6-4 combo guard, and Forte recently helped Texas Assault to a 93-78 victory over Shabazz Muhammad’s Dream Vision team in the finals of the adidas Super 64 tournament. Smart had 28 points and 18 boards in that game.

“Forte, a tough combo guard, knocked down shots from all over and played tough defense,” analyst Eric Bossi wrote after that game.


Manginosspeedo 11 years, 3 months ago

If KU is his dream school then I am guessing he will take the offer.

Tribehawk 11 years, 3 months ago

I love the fact he's a legacy and I love the fact he's a teammate of a highly ranked recruit. Not so in love with the fact he's a 5'11" "combo guard." But I guess you could also categorize Sherron that way, and he worked out pretty awesomely.

LaJHawk666 11 years, 3 months ago

Do we have more sponsorships than I am are of?

stravinsky 11 years, 3 months ago

Is it our policy now to offer scholarships to friends of every top 25 player we recruit?

Corey Shideler 11 years, 3 months ago

For the record, this kid is no bum. He shot over 50% from 3 in his junior year. Dave Telep is in love with his game. Says he is lethal from the perimeter. He has always been a KU fan and could help us score one of the best SF's in the recruiting class. I think this was a great offer. We need a deep threat, welp here he is.

Cmill1221 11 years, 3 months ago

Michael Lee = Aaron Miles. Nothing new here. Pluss the kid will hang around 4 years. That's always a +.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 3 months ago

I know in HCBS we trust...But I seem to be reading the word "unranked" more than usual.

gratefultyler 11 years, 3 months ago

And followed by "and friends/teammates with Top ___ recruit (insert name here). Hope Perry doesn't have many friends...

Robin Smith 11 years, 3 months ago

don't believe the hype, dude.

1, # 55 #150, and NR will all need to improve and grow as men and players.

The disparity in rank, between 1 and 150, is a constant, and most often larger than the disparity in ability, ie, the difference in ability is small and essentially non-existent when you factor in how much growing lies ahead. The rankings are artificial and hugely imperfect. The only thing to glean from the rankings is that the top 25 are almost assuredly big time D1 contributors, but not necessarily without growth initially.

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

Unranked - has two meanings.

An unranked poster is anonymous and unknown expect by his posts. By this standard the questioner would be unranked among posters.

An unranked basketball player, on the other hand, is not recognized by national websites who have little or no knowledge of players or coaching. An unranked player offered a scholarship by Kansas University is immediately ranked in the top 3-5 players in the country by KU fans. Moreover, that ranking extends to the coaching staff as coming from highly successful experts who have won more games over the past five years than any other college program. Moreover they have sent more players to be drafted by the NBA than any other college program over that period. Thus this ranking is based upon a player's skill, character, and fit for the Jayhawk program. This last point is usually misunderstood by some posters who wish to be negative in character. The fit for this program will not be ranked by Rivals, Scout or BSPN.

My own personal opinion supports both readings as stated above based upon prior skepticism which was proven foolish. Danell Valentine through Markieff Morris have come and gone and made the program better in my observations.

notigers4me 11 years, 3 months ago

It always amazes me that most of the bloggers seem to have a better clue than the coaches whose job depends on recruiting successful players have. It makes you think why does the athletic dept. put up with it? Maybe they should hire one of the bloggers who seems to know which recruit will work best for the program.

Alohahawk 11 years, 3 months ago

jayhawkdon, Love your avatar. Posters avatars seem to come and go (Not Jaybates, of course). Don't know that I've seen yours before. Crimson and Blue all the way!!!

Never had an avatar myself, but sooner or later. (?)

Steve Quatrocky 11 years, 3 months ago

I think they are primarily reacting to the fact you cant coach a kid to grow taller and he's 5'11". If was 6'2" they'd react a whole different way.

Jabez Harlan 11 years, 3 months ago

And yet if you had seen the final of the adidas super 64 in Vegas you would have seen Forte finishing at the rim with contact through Shabazz Muhammed and Winston Shepard. Forte is tough as nails plus he can shoot lights out!

Dirk Medema 11 years, 3 months ago

And of course a jr in HS won't grow 3 inches, or put on any weight either. Some folks need to get new glasses so they can see past the end of their nose.

Jhawker400 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree but only to a point. Often times the opinions of people who have an outside view which isn't slanted or skewed by personal bias can identify issues maybe someone close to the problem cannot. I truly believe BSelf and Co have a great eye for a number of guys, but I also think they have made a couple of moves offering guys to fill needs, not really because they are the elite KU quality signings we absolutely demand year in and out. People like these guys cause "coach sees this or that" well lets take a look at three particular seasons and the type of talent on the teams that had tons of success and see how many TOP 100 guys they had. Last year's team had 8 guys ranked in the top 80 by rivals. not including Tyrel Reed, who was 109. You go 35-3 because you have a loaded roster. not because you found a diamond in the rough at 5' doesnt work that way. That is the rare exception not the rule.

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 3 months ago

Sorry but most of the posters complaints have to do with players not being ranked. To me that is an opinion that is developed by popular opinion which by definition offers no unique perspective.

Kevin Studer 11 years, 3 months ago

He seems a bit small. If he grows large enough to play defensive tackle...

Martin Rosenblum 11 years, 3 months ago

Is the NCAA considering lowering the basket in the next few years? Our average height being recruited, ala Forte and Conner, and others seems to be well under what it has been in the past years.Or, maybe HCBS is getting older and his neck is gerting strained having to look up to those tall guys.

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Or, possibly HCBS is getting tired of getting spanked in the tournament by short sharpshooters.

keith horinek 11 years, 3 months ago

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If he has talent and is coachable and wants to play at KU, I say grab him now. The bonus will be if his teammate Smart follows him to KU. You have to trust HCBS. He didn't get to be the best college BB coach in the country by being stupid. The 2008 national championship team didn't have a lot of high profile players on it either.

Keith Kienzle 11 years, 3 months ago

oljhwk, people have listed the high school rankings for the 2008 squad. They were all ranked very highly.

petey55 11 years, 3 months ago

Chalmers (#12), Rush (#13 & Second ranked small forwad behind Julian Wright), Collins(#21), Robinson (#27), Kaun (#34), Aldrich (#30), and Jackson (#54) were all ranked highly. According to rivals the roster was full of highly ranked players. FYI Rivals ranks the top 150 players.

John Randall 11 years, 3 months ago

petey – all those numbers you quoted were considerably inflated AFTER they got offers from KU. I am much in favor of our coaches finding KU-type players without relying on the services which are in the business of selling advertising.

Andrew Washington 11 years, 3 months ago

Wow, you couldn't be more wrong...the 2008 team had A TON of highly ranked players...they were all five star and high four star recruits.

SCHNBALL 11 years, 3 months ago



20 fouls to give every game!! I see a shift in recruting and maybe a style all together with Self, only question for this year, where will this leave Withey? If we play man to man, be ready for a high pick and roll with whoever Withey is guarding at the time.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

"Phil Forte: In Which a Prior Meaning of the Word "Combo" Is Renewed"

Phil Forte is a 5'11" combo guard?


You don't often read 5'11" and combo in the same sentence.

What's going on here, Bill?

The cynics as usual post that you only offered Forte, because he is a legacy and a teammate of KU's next great perimeter star--Marcus Smart--assuming Smart is as smart his surname and comes to KU.

But we know from recent experience that you don't offer guys to get their star pals, and then pull it when the star pals sign elsewhere.

You offer guys you think can fill roles on your squads down stream. Same with walk-ons. Oh, there are one, or two, exceptions, but mostly that's how you operate. No deadwood on your squads. Everyone can do something you want done, or they aren't offered, or depart shortly.

Nadiir Tharpe and Christian Garrett were supposed to be bait for stars, but the stars didn't come and Nadiir and Christian are still here doing what you want done.

So, it is likely that you want Phil for Phil, first, and that you hope his presence can:

--attract Marcus Smart,

--reaffirm a recruiting presence in Texas; and

--last, but not least, trigger some good institutional karma by signing a KU legacy, when he fits a role you need anyway.

The trouble for some thread rats is that they just can never really except that teams have lesser and greater roles on them, and so they look at an unranked, 5'11" combo Phil Forte and disbelieve that you could possibly want Phil for Phil.

Part of Bill Self's genius is his endless bending and redefining of who can do what, and how, on a basketball team. This quality of Self's is what makes his brand of ball so endlessly interesting to a knowledgeable basketball fan.

Until now, combo has largely meant a guy big enough and strong enough to guard long 2 guards, even a short 3, and nimble and skilled enough to play some point.

Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers were combo guards.

Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar and Josh Selby were combo guards.

Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson are combo guards.

BenMac might become a combo guard.

5'11" Sherron Collins, on the other hand, was a point guard, even though occasionally you would detail him to a wing to fire away, and to attack the rim from a new angle.

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

"The trouble for some thread rats is that they just can never really except that teams have lesser and greater roles on them, and so they look at an unranked, 5'11" combo Phil Forte and disbelieve that you could possibly want Phil for Phil."

ouside of Ben Mac, who in the recent recruiting trend is capable of playing a "greater role" for this basketball team in the future? Seems to me self is accumulating a team of "lesser roles" players.

last years team had tyrel and brady for the "lesser roles", but also had 2 NBA lottery picks and what we thought was going to be a 3rd to fill the "greater roles". I don't see 3 potential lottery picks on the '13-'14 team right now if all this years scholarships are taken by the lower ranked recruits Self has offered. Unless of course self starts down the dreaded one and done path we all hate so much.

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

Well at least we're both in agreement that Tarczweski and Ellis are must gets


If we miss on both of them, i'll star getting nervous

kerbyd 11 years, 3 months ago

This may have been covered below so I am sorry if it was. However, I think the problem with a lot of ratings in college is they are not rated for their potential in the PROS not necessarily their potential in college. A great example is a North Carolina power forward who came from Missery. Great college player....pros eh. (I know I hate NC also.) But I think you get my drift. We have been burned of late by some great college team players who will not ever be great pro players.

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

In college ranks a combo guard can create for others and can get and hit his own shot. We have too few of those. Coach has lived without a true point guard since Sherron left and even Sherron had trouble hitting his shots. It matters less in college ball than NBA that he is 5'11" (Likely 5'9" based on typical hyperbole) because the opportunity to see and take advantage of opponent's mistakes is much greater. Whoever Phil guards must likely guard him. So can he distribute, get into the lane, hit the open shot (especially from distance) are the questions that he has evidently answered for coach Self.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Without putting too fine a point on it, under 6'2", and you are a point guard at Kansas.

6'2", or over, and you tend to be a combo.

5'11" Jeff Hawkins is the lone exception in the Self era.

Jeff was listed as a point guard, but because he could defend and shoot the trey he sometimes entered the game on the wing, as did Sherron Collins, but unlike Sherron, Jeff was sometimes tasked with guarding combos. For this reason, Jeff was more of a combo than Sherron.

Who but Bill Self would recruit a 5'11" combo guard?

I cannot think of a single coach.

Sometimes I think Self defies the traditions of basketball coaching just to keep it interesting.

No, I take that back: Self is too purposeful for that.

Self is an orchestra conductor that knows one heckuva lot about the sound capacities of each slot in his orchestra.

Most conductors look at first violin and think, well, that's where I put my Itzak Perlman, my superstar fiddle player.

If Bill Self were to conduct a philharmonic, Perlman might wind up being asked to play third violin, maybe even viola occasionally. Bill would challenge a Perlman. He would say, "Hey, of course you can play that thing, but I'm giving you a chance to get better as a musician. You wanna man up and rosin it up at viola, help this orchestra take it to the next level on this particular piece, or do you just want the orchestra to get stagnant being all about you and your comfort level at first violin?"

Having watched Self work for some time now, my money would be on Perlman catching fire for one piece on the viola, and then taking a few bows for being such a genius that he can not only be a virtuoso first violinist, but a combo string man!

Who knows? Bill Self as a conductor might have Perlman change stringed instruments within the same piece occasionally! Perlman at cello! Perlman base violin. Perlman on harp! Perlman on the piano. Perlman back to first violin.

Now this sort of versatility is not for everyone.

Lots of people just want a sure thing repeating itself surely again and again.

Bill Self is this way about big men.

Self talks a good game about swinging 4s out to the 3, but then he almost never does it.

Self's base line is the base line, the blocks, the paint zone, the 3 second realm, the lane of manliness. There, the men who can get it done game in and game out, the men who can bring stability and theme to a team, there, those men stay. Being men.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

But, out on the perimeter, where there is beauty and improvisation and mobility and rainbow shooting arcs, out on the perimeter where players are non-chemically "stoned immaculate" (to retrofit a Jim Morrison brilliance) in the moves they can make, out on the perimeter where boys can still be boys and play the game with XTReme Joy, rather than XTReme Muscle, out there where they can flank and run, rather than hunker down in trench warfare inside, out there, there is room for improvisation in both role and action.

But, jaybate, you cry, you are talking about the impact playuzs, the go-getta-basketeers, the stars, not the glue men.

jaybate, this rant is supposed to be about Self signing an unranked 5'11" combo from Texas. Its supposed to be about how Self wants Phil Forte for Phil Forte and not for Marcus Smart! Its supposed to be about Self's genius for finding a role for such a short, flipping combo.


To borrow a bit from number theory jargon, Self has a set often thought rather imprecisely of of as the 1-2-3 combo set.

In fact, that set is really an intersection of two subsets: 1-2 combo subset, and the 2-3 combo subset.

The union of these two subsets is the set 1-2-3 combo and it includes all possible combinations of perimeter combo guards.

But there is also an intersection of the two subsets of perimeter combo guards.

This intersection includes only those combo guards capable of playing all three positions. Brady Morningstar was an example of a such a player. He could and did show up at all three combo positions over the course of his career.

Phil Forte is not in the intersection of being able to play all three combo positions.

But he is probably able to play the role of the 1-2 combo subset.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Therefore, it is entirely possible that the signing of Phil Forte has something to do with relationship of number theory to the elliptical orbits of Saturnian moons!

(Thank you for letting me channel you, Professor Irwin Corey!)

Self has subsets of combos.

Because he does, he can recruit a hard nosed, good shooting, unranked guard like Phil Forte to fill a role, not just to attract Marcus Smart.

To Bill Self, Phil Forte is not just another short point guard. He is a guy who can play some point, but also, because he is hard nosed and can shoot, and probably very, very quick, he can create a match-up problem for a big, slow footed 2 guard on an opposing team. You know the kind I am talking about. They are 2 guards that are on the floor, because they can drain the trey, but are step slow on defense.

Phil Forte is, like Jeff Hawkins before him, the kind of combo that can come in at the 2 and make an opposing coach pay for bringing in this tall, step-slow, 2 guard.

Or, alternatively, when KU comes up against a lesser team playing two, short, fast guards, at the same time, Self can bring Phil Forte in at the 2 guard to "go small."

Part of Bill Self's genius is to recognize he can use an unranked player in this way, and so afford to offer him and also perhaps up his chances of landing Marcus Smart.

But the key is: even if Smart takes a powder, Bill Self's game needs a Phil Forte.

In fact, Bill Self would probably be very excited and happy to get Phil Forte. Self has not had a Jeff Hawkins on his KU teams since Hawk departed. He has not had that situational gun on the wing that also allowed him to go small, when Self saw an edge in doing so.

Phil Forte, don't doubt for a second that Coach Self want you for you.

Say yes.

Renew an old definition of the word combo--renew the definition that Jeff Hawkins showed us mattered in the scheme of Self Ball.

Rock Chalk!

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

Nicely ranted. I am disappointed that Phil will not be a 1-3 combo but I now understand, thanks to you, that I should not expect him to play against Nash, of Okie State, on defense.

I completely agree that there is no buddy factor in a scholarship offer (but maybe a walk-on offer there might be a hint.) Phil will be a welcome addition if he chooses KU (I am not going to assume anything since he has an important decision to be made for his own best interests.) There is some advantage to having two players that have played extensively together and had national success. I am thinking of Conley and Oden together since grade school and how they almost stole a national championship from defending Florida. Smart and Ford together could make sweet music for us. I do believe there are two better players on that Texas Assault team that we want and have offered. I think they (twins) are for the following year.

mi_familia 11 years, 3 months ago

i'll make this shorter than the previous poster.

Remember that not all scholarships are immediate offers. Some scholarship offers are contingent. I'm guessing in this case that he has a late signing period scholarship or a preferred walkon spot.

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

dude - leo tolstoy would make it shorter than the previous poster !

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago



Cold war.

Limited war.

Currency war.

Weather War.

Directed Energy War.

Cyber War.

Leo would have to go longer today. :-)

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Agree with you on the Kaleb front.

But it is cynical to say Self offered Forte to get Smart, because it leave the implication that Self would drop Smart if he were not to get Smart.

It suggests that Forte only has value as a magnet for Smart.

If I am Phil Forte, I figure I have some value of my own.

Self's record contradicts such cynicism.

Self offers guys that he believes he has roles for.

And he takes them even if the star goes elsewhere.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Ooops, I meant it leaves an implication that Self would drop Forte, were Smart to go elsewhere.

Tom Richmond 11 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate - I love you man but you do need an editor.

FoCoCoHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

12 Step Group for overly verbose posters: On-and-on Anon.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Thx. If you dish it, you gotta take it. :-)

mikehawk 11 years, 3 months ago

I am getting more and more confused about recruiting strategy here. One thought, Bill has given up on only but the fewest of the OAD he can land without putting everything else on hold. He may also know something about changes coming down the pike on high school kids and how long they have to stay in college before jumping. He may be beginning the "mid-major" strategy of develop a team that is together three or four years rather than one or two. He may also be telling them if they are good enough and develop, they stay, and if not, they walk. He also has to have his eyes on Smart here. Maybe one of these, maybe all of these ideas are in play, but right now, it isn't clear. If we didn't trust The Man so much, we "summer time, need a life" type bloggers who think KU should win it all every year, would be going absolutely bonkers right now. Maybe I need to check out some of the medication offers showing up in my spam a little more carefully for awhile. Wow!

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

He's always on the look out for 40% trey shooters that can glue; that's the short of it.

Alohahawk 11 years, 3 months ago

It's a very good observation about what may, or may not occur regarding seniors heading directly to the NBA, or across the big water to Europe. After what happened with Selby, and somewhat with Henry, I would imagine Self feels it a bit of a waste to spend so much time recruiting an individual, only to have them jump ship so early. And what happens if he does hit paydirt and has one or two elite players give a verbal, only to have them jump directly to the NBA (if the NBA starts accepting seniors once again)? It's pick your poison: Does a coach recruit elites on the off-chance they will actually go to school, or does he focus on a more guaranteed route, and recruit those who aren't going to be drafted by the NBA right out of high school? That recent story about USC's coach being disgusted with all the recruits believing their NBA bound was right on the money. Selby was drafted, but much lower than "he" expected he would be, and is a perfect example of that. Too many people whispering too much wishful thinking builds up too much over-confidence in young minds.

If Self believes (or is confident) that the NBA will actually make a rule change and starts taking seniors again, he is smart and is already setting up the team for that type of situation. Build the foundation and it will support the future.

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

I personally am very stoked about the offer to Phil Forte. I know I'm biased because I've known his parents for over 20 years, but that aside, the kid is one heck of a ball player no matter where rivals or anyone else has him ranked. Or not ranked.

As far as being bait for Smart, I suppose it's possible, but I've not seen that Self usually operates that way. And sometimes the bait turns out to be better than the target. Anyone ever use shrimp to try and catch catfish? Sometimes the catfish don't bite......

Don't let the 5'11" stats fool you - Ali Farokhmanesh (that name ring any bells?) LISTED at 6'0". Keiton Page listed at 5'9". That's just the first two I thought of, the list of good, vertically challenged players is considerable. I'm telling you - this Forte kid can flat out shoot the 3. I don't think anyone will be disappointed if he signs with us. Except, Oklahoma, OK State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and others.

Here's what has to say about him:

Strengths: Forte is a tough as nails guard that backs down from no one. He is an outstanding shooter. His jump shot is lethal from 23 feet and in, and he is comfortable knocking down jump shots off the bounce. He is also able to spot up and get in the view of his teammates when they are driving the basketball and cut off screens to knock shots down. When driving the ball, Phil can knock down the mid-range pull up jump shot or the teardrop from eight feet and in.

Weaknesses: Phil needs to keep improving his foot speed, court vision with the pass and on the ball defense. Some question his quickness and athleticism to play at the elite level.

Bottom Line: Forte is a solid guard who makes winning plays. Phil doesn't get rattled when teams try to pressure and trap him; he keeps his composure and makes great decisions with the basketball. In my book he is a winner that will help a successful high major program.

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

In how many of these recent recruit descriptions have we read something on the line of "needs to improve his defense"?

seems like the exact opposite types of kids Self usually targets

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

bennybob - there is not one - NOT ONE - player out there, High School, College, or Pro that does not need to improve defense. Have you ever heard of a single player recruited for his defensive ability alone? I'm gonna guess Coach doesn't get this call very often :

" Hey Coach Self, we've got THE guy for you! 5'9", slow, fat and ugly. Averages 1.1 ppg, 0 assists and 14 turnovers - but don't let that hinder your decision - the S.O.B. can play some lockdown defense."

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

LOL, good point.

But if i remember correctly, i think rivals touted both mario and rus rob as excellent defenders when they were recruits.

Sam Constance 11 years, 3 months ago

Excellent point about other playmaking guards who were lacking in the height area. And just to help illustrate that it's not a fluke, here are several other guards who were big-time contributors in college (and some beyond) who were diminutive in their own right:

Jacob Pullen - listed at 6'1" Corey Fisher - listed at 6'1" Tu Holloway - listed at 6'0" Isaiah Thomas (jr) - listed at 5'9" Ty Lawson - listed at 5'11" T.J. Ford - listed at 6'0" Chris Paul - listed at 6'0" Rotnei Clarke - listed at 6'0"

The takeaway here is that you can be an effective guard in college, regardless of height, as long as you have skill. Some of these guys were in the conversation for being the best player in college basketball their respective years.

In fact, I'd surmise that part of the reason Forte isn't ranked is because he doesn't have the kind of height/length that makes NBA scouts drool. In my opinion, the Rivals and ESPN recruit rankings are done more from a perspective of NBA-prospect worthiness, rather than college prospect worthiness.

@bennybob - Since when has Self not recruited players who need to improve defense? I have a feeling in Self's mind, EVERY single kid he offers needs to improve on defense. I think he also sees himself as the type of coach that can get ANYONE to play solid team defense.

jayhawktalk 11 years, 3 months ago

Acknowledging that this is a list of exceptions and not the rule, Iverson wasn't too shabby.

Sam Constance 11 years, 3 months ago

Iverson's a good one. I didn't take the time to do a comprehensive list.

And while these guys are all 'exceptions', we don't really need Forte to come in and be THE guy, like many of those listed above were for their respective teams.

There is a range of possible outcomes between 'bust' and 'exception'. As long as Forte trends more to the exception than the bust (not a crazy expectation, imho), he will be a solid contributor for the Jayhawks.

Don Perry 11 years, 3 months ago

Have seen this kid, and Smart, play since they were freshman in high school. He is every bit as quick and smooth a ball handler as Collins (without the weight issues). In addition, he is a better shooter from long range and is "basketball smart". From what I understand from teaching contacts in TX, he is a very good student - in the classroom and as a leader. Don't sell him short (no pun intended) because of his height or his recruiting ranking. He is the type of player who will be there for four years, lead his team, and get the most cheers at Senior Night. He is the talented player who makes it possible to bring in others who are 1-year or 2-year players to make your team championship material. These types of players bring annual success along the lines of regional championships and Final Fours without the annual turnover (see KY). Dont' get fooled by the number beside the name on the recruiting list. But, be happy if you see his name and number in an Allen Fieldhouse program for four years.

FoCoCoHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Somebody once said "It's not the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog."

(Might have been Gary Coleman.)

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

"If you've got two dogs with a lot of fight, I'll take the bigger dog every goddamntime." --jaybate

packywacky88 11 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate, you got me laughing with that one!!!!!! Thanks.

Jabez Harlan 11 years, 3 months ago

Besides, we have all seen how a number one rated player by rivals can come in and be a major disappointment.

I am beginning to not take so much stock in rankings. Not that I completely disregard them, but I saw Forte play in the final against dream vision. He was the second best player on the floor for texas assault behind Smart. Forte is going to be a good player for KU and I am excited about the offer.

The only thing I am curious about is people getting him confused with the Forte from SNL.

Jory Collins 11 years, 3 months ago

If he anticipates getting Ellis, Tarzcewski (sp), with Peters, he wants shooters to make teams pay for the double team. Frankamp and Forte are lights out gunners.

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

Frankamp and Forte are the only shooters in there respective classes? there aren't any 6'4" shooters that can also take it to the rim to go after?

Jory Collins 11 years, 3 months ago

Sure, Marcus Smart, Archie Goodwin, Dillon Graham, Danuel House, Winston Shephard, and Shabazz Muhammad.

wavinghawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Get the shooters that are going to stay around four years. If he was 6'4 and could shoot like that we'd be looking at another Rush/Henry player that is going to leave for that NBA payday.

Fred Davis 11 years, 3 months ago

The one thing I've noticed about Self since the Xavier Henry and Josh Selby debacles is that he's paying less attention to where a kid is ranked and he's grabbing some grinders, kids with chips on their shoulders and above all else - they have something to prove. I don't care where the kid is ranked, because too many times the higher the kid is ranked, the more baggage that comes with him, and that's been a problem the past two seasons... I like what Self is doing, the different approach he's taking to recruiting, and the bottom line is, can these kids play at a high level in crunch time? Because when you're 1-5 in Elite 8s, something has to give, and I think that's a reason why we're seeing the altered approach to Self's recruiting...

ku1otaku 11 years, 3 months ago

+1,000 - thank you, thank you, thank you!

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Not that he was dumb to start with, but maybe he's getting smarter ! Learning from his mistakes. A nice goal for all of us.

Jabez Harlan 11 years, 3 months ago

Especially since being beaten by "lesser teams" like Northern Iowa and VCU that actually matched up pretty well against KU highly recruited players.

It appears as though Self is looking for the Faroukmaneshes and Joey Rodriguezes that have beaten KU in the tourney the last couple of years.

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

You mean like players who go to Northern Iowa and VCU chips? I agree that he is continuing to build the core and complementary part of the team as seen in the 2011 class. However, in 2012 he has some special players who have been offered as well and the same for 2013. Coach has his own system for ranking players and fitting them together to be what he needs. I do not see an altered approach at all. He has offered Andrew Harrison (Rivals #1) for 2013 along with his twin brother Aaron Rivals #9) and Shabazz Muhammad (Rivals #1) for 2012.

Bryan Summers 11 years, 3 months ago

I watched Forte in the Adidas Super 64 tournament. In the 2nd half of the championship game he and Smart took over the game. At one point Rivals #1 ranked Shabazz Muhammed was guarding Forte. Forte was running Muhammed all over the court, driving to the basket, jab-step and step back for a long range 2 or 3. He made whomever guarded him look clumsy and slow. His ball handling was superb and his control of the game was excellent. I was VERY impressed and am pleased that we are recruiting a guy who can run our offense and make the opponent suffer from dropping down low to protect the basket. His 3 point range is accurate out to the NBA 3. He's exciting to watch! RCJKU!

mi_familia 11 years, 3 months ago

Just in case you weren't aware, Bazz had a very swollen ankle in that tourney. He probably should not have been playing.

Bryan Summers 11 years, 3 months ago

I know he turned his ankle that morning in a game. That doesn"t diminish the fact that Forte has a quick first step and is very difficult for defenders to stay with. "Bazz" had more difficulty with Forte than he did guarding others; likewise, Forte made all defenders look slow.

FoCoCoHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Somebody once said "It's not the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog."

(Might have been Gary Coleman.)

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

"If you've got two dogs with a lot of fight, I'll take the bigger dog every goddamntime." --jaybate

REHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, summers, for the Super 64 report.
Bill Self's genius appears to be taking new directions. I am juiced to watch the immediate future of incoming recruits. Can't forget that we have BenMac, a lengthy guard who can slash. If he should stay and develop at least 3 seasons, we can afford a pair of deadeye smaller guards. Jaybate, thanks for your in-depth analysis and projections. Never too long for me.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago


The great thing about going long is the reader can always cut it short.


Dennis Mahorney 11 years, 3 months ago

I am a homer, no matter the method we use to attract great players...I just want to get that straight first. Cynic is a strong word to use to describe those of us who were paying attention when Ed 'truck driver"Manning was hired only to have a son who could play a little ball then decide to come to KU with Dad. Or perhaps approaching a high school basketball coach in Alaska to be the Head of Basketball Operations at KU was the suprise of the year.... Are we to believe KU did not know he had a highly ranked son named Marrio Chalmers? Michael Lee was even described then as being a role player when he signed. His heavily recruited teammate Keith Miles said "Hey can I come to KU too? Ive never been recruited by you guys, but would love to offer my services" I love KU, and always will...but come on friends we and others are simply creative when we have to be.

Sam Constance 11 years, 3 months ago

I think Ronnie Chalmers wasn't offered a job at KU until almost a full year after his son committed.

I think that most times in these scenarios, it's not so much quid pro quo (aka 'we'll give you a job if your son comes here') as it is a unique circumstance that just happens to make sense for all parties.

Keeping with the Chalmers example--I think Chalmers committing to KU was independent of his dad getting a job at KU. BUT, once Chalmers had committed to KU, it made sense for KU to give his dad a job because he was qualified, and his family was moving to the area anyway. So, without Mario's commitment, Ronnie would likely never have been a KU employee, but it's not like he was offered the job so that Mario would come here.

Applying to this situation--I think Forte is the kind of talent that Self would offer anyway. However, I'm sure Self is thinking that if Forte coming to KU somehow encouraged Smart to come here as well, that would be just fine too.

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

This is the way I remember the Chalmers signing as well. Coach said Ronnie called to see if there was a HS BB coaching spot available he could apply for and coach thought his military organizational skills could be used by KU in the Basketball Operations slot. The primary purpose of Chalmers' move was to be near Mario (as Angel and others have done here.) In this role, Ronnie reportedly was excellent - arranging flights, hotel rooms, transportation etc.

The Manning case was more blatant (although Manning Sr was a HS coach as well I believe) but Danny still visited other schools and the primary function of hiring his dad served to expose him to Kansas from NC. That exposure and his dad's presence both worked to get his commitment. That was, of course, coach Brown and not Self.

Gary Wirsig 11 years, 3 months ago

Not arguing with your post, but don't confuse Aaron Miles the basketball player with "KeithMiles" the poster on this site!

Steve Kubler 11 years, 3 months ago

Call me old school, or maybe just odd but I want to see a pure point guard running the show. I could care less how tall he is or his ranking but he has to be quick, must see the floor, be able and willing to pass, and able to hit the long shot or drive if the D falls off him. With Forte and Tharp it appears there are two possible 4 year candidates for that position. If they have the capability to play the 2 as well that is a nice bonus.

Get a superstar type for the 3 and 4 but I want a no nonsense hard nosed point without any fancy trimmings!

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Ok, your old school, or maybe just odd.


lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

Nothing odd about Steve Nash or Chris Paul type players. They simply make their teammates greatly better.

Sometime look up the statistics of Bob Cousy - perhaps the greatest point guard of the NBA history. Note along with the personal statistics (really not noteworthy) the championship rings he earned. Thirteen All Star games. 12 consecutive All-NBA. He was listed at 6'1" but that did not look possible from seeing him play, A wizard with the basketball who inspired many.

If a player can also shoot (Nash and Paul) they can force mismatches with the defense and hit the open man.

Steve Kubler 11 years, 3 months ago

+1 on Cousy, exactly who I picture when thinking of point guards, John Stockton is another.

Mel Clare 11 years, 3 months ago

50% from beyond the arc.......................I dont care HOW tall the kid is................

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Thread Rat: This guy is long and athletic.

jaybate: But he shoots 35% from trey.

Thread Rat: I don't care. He's long and athletic.

jaybate: But Phil Forte shoots 50% from trey.

Thread Rat: But he's not long and athletic.

jaybate: But he shoots 50% from trey.

Thread Rate: Look, you knob, scoring is not the point of the game. Running up and down the floor is the point of the game.

jaybate: (Dumb struck silence).

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Part I

"Some Playuhs That Fell Off the Recruiting Radar This Year"

~Whitey Whiteman 6'10" 128 lb Center, The Beige and Plaid Academy--A project center with a soft touch from 3 feet in, Whiteman disappeared from the recruiting radar screen, when it was discovered that he was too weak to lift nano weights, apologized everywhere he went, and at certain angles in the post became too thin for teammates to see.

~Varnadoe "C-5A Galaxy" Bonzell 5'4" 292 lb Power Forward, Trachea of Jefferson Academy--Bonzell was on everyone's radar screen until he shrank nearly a foot after accidentally taking an irreversible, experimental human growth hormone thought to be extracted from Watusi, but in fact extracted from Danny DeVito.

~Waldemar "Brick" Scheisshauesen 7'4" 673 lb Center, Old Heidelberg University Prep--Nicknamed E100 after the experimental German giant tank developed near the end of WWII, Scheisshausen was on everyone recruiters' Euro radar screen, until it was discovered that no floor in D1 could hold him without caving in and that he had only transitioned from offense to defense once in four seasons.

~John Marter Travelling 6'2" 180 lb Point Guard, Hoop Fundamentalist Academy--Travelling fell off recruiting radar screens, when it was discovered that he literally was born with two right feet and compulsively fell to his knees to pray with the clock running.

~Manny Borges Gabriel-Garcia Marquez Vargas Llosa 6'6" 214 lb Shooting Forward, Xtapa-Juarez-Kelly AFB-Richards Gebaur AFB Super Corridor Academy--Llosa sky-rocketed in magical realistic style from sure thing only to crash-and-burn in the same style, when it was discovered that this slick shooting forward not only possessed bad handles, but glowed fusia in the center circle and refused to play defense unless his extended family of 247 persons in Oaxaca were given campus jobs.

~Rimmer Smith 6'0" 195" Shooting Guard, Mormon Legacy Polygamy Academy--Recruiters hoping for the next Jimmer Fredette grew disillusioned with Rimmer Smith, when he shot only 12 percent from 3 point range and coaches realized they would have to persuade 12 different mothers that their schools were best for Rimmer.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Part II

~Abdul-Qawi al Turnover 6'4" 255 lb Shooting Guard, Right Hand Rule Academy--al Turnover, who was widely described as possessing an NBA body capable of XTReme Muscle Ball from 4th grade on, plummeted from the recruiting radar, when it was not only discovered that he refused to dribble with his left hand, but that he turned the ball over 542 times in one half of the Lard and Animal Fat All Americans game in Manhattan, Kansas.

~John Bunch-of-Misses 6'5" 220 lb Shooting Forward, Ute Trail and Casino Academy--Once thought to be a 21st Century Jim Thorpe, Bunch-of-Misses fell out of favor, when he played 22 consecutive games without hitting a free throw, or making a basket, despite averaging 17 FGAs and 8 FTAs per game.

~Jeff Schmendrik (rumored alias) 6' 1" 200 lb Combo Guard, B'nai Marty Feldman Academy--fell way off the kosher radar screen the minute it was learned that this 48 year old combo guard partial to citrus colored, two button suits was actually a recently forced-out D1 head coach, and rumored by some to be one Brian Ruby, who liked to hang with playuhs with caches of small arms in the trunks of early Naught Decade DeVilles.

~Virgil Tickwater 5'9" 170 lb Shooting Guard, Keep It in the Family Academy--went from the edge of the radar screen to off it in the blink of an eye, when it was discovered that the tiny eastern Carolina academy he had lettered at for the last seven years had dropped reading and math back in 1987 and that Virgil was the father of his three brothers.

~Paul "The Rope" Pope 6'7" 161 lb Point Guard, St.Peters-Hagia Sophia Transcendentally Holy and Positively Immaculately Conceived Catholic Prep Academy--"The Rope" completely disappeared from the radar screens, when it was discovered that he could neither dribble with his right hand, nor shoot effectively within 666 inches of the basket, without exorcisms in both Rome and Istanbul.

~Feng Schui Leung 8' 12" 360 lb Center, Lousy Shanghai Tap Water Academy--this harmoniously designed early product of state-corporate dictatorship-sponsored genetic engineering seemed destined for Maybach offers and OAD status in D1, until it was discovered that his braincase contained only a medulla and a GPS chip.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Part III

~Rock Hudson-Smith 6'3" 190 lb Shooting Guard, Noe Valley Hoops Academy--This inaccurate trey shooting twin, of Bullneck Hudson-Smith, vanished from recruiters radar screens, when it was discovered that he not only had trouble finishing around the rim, but that he insisted on redecorating his teammates rooms and calling his athletic bag a man purse on steroids.

~Bullneck Hudson-Smith 6'3" 190 lb Shooting Guard, Hillsborough Suburban Homophobia Academy--This inaccurate trey shooting twin of Rock Hudson-Smith vanished from recruiters' radar screens, when it was discovered that he not only had trouble finishing around the rim, but that he also refused to shower with the team out of absurd fear that every member of his team was not only fixated on him sexually, but also inappropriately envious of his hunter's orange camouflage jock strap.

~Vinny "The Mechanical Bull" Mascarpone 6'9" 240 lb Power Forward, Jersey Black Glove Academy--this enforcer type power forward fell out of favor with recruiters, when it was discovered that he often cleared the boards by swinging a gym sock filled with No.8 bird shot at the heads of competing rebounders, while imitating Frank Sinatra singing "New York, New York."

~Ron Ksvskizxvskzbrvcsiksckikeski (pronounced Smith) 6'5" 700 lb Shooting Forward, Hammtrammck Solidarity Academy--recruiters lost interest in this dead eye shooting forward, when it was discovered that he suffered from acute kielbasa toxicity and required a tower crane to move from one end of the floor to the other.

~Thomas "Tommy Angel" Carlisle 6'0" 175 lb Point Guard, Repressed Presbyterian Academy--Recruiters cooled on deft ball handler and distributor Tommy Angel, when it was learned that his false humility masked a blood thirsty, win-at-any-costs, serial dating mentality and an XTReme lack of rhythm.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Part IV

~John X 6'8" 246 lb Power Forward, Academy X--First-named for the great Georgetown head coach that once enabled Hoya Paranoia, this recruit fell off the radar screen, when it was learned that he actually did suffer from paranoia and believed that ESPN was run by devious aliens from a parallel universe (note: since it is reputed by some that Murdoch phone hacking records may substantiate his fear, John X may once again become a hotly pursued recruit).

~Meyer David "Mad Dog 20/20" Blackschilde 5'6" 160 lb Combo Guard, Family and Friends Investment Bank and Fake Derivative Insurance Bail Out Academy--One of two extremely slick combo guards in this year's class--both embodying the worst in the Judeo-Christian ethics and neither having ever played a game in their lives, Mad Dog 20/20 Blackschilde fell off the recruiters' radar screens, when it was discovered that his family would not permit him to attend any university that refused to sell itself to the Blackschilde Charitable Foundation and Trust for the Preservation of Massive, Ill-Gotten Bones.

~Winston Pugh Conover VII 5'6" 160 lb Combo Guard, Triangle Trade Piracy and Central Bank Ponzi Scheme Prep Academy--Conover was the other of two extremely slick combo guards representing the worst in Judeo-Christian ethics that had also never played the game in this recruiting class. Conover was hot and then not, when it was learned that his grandfather, Pugh Biddle Conover--once severely satirized by Joseph Heller in his poorly executed, but still occasionally hilarious novel "Good as Gold"--had reputedly engineered the destabilization of D1 in order to enable its fire sale to Chinese and Japanese central banks that the aging Conover reputedly controls jointly with the other owners of the Fed, the Crown of Great Britain, and the House of Blackschilde. Until that time, everyone had overlooked young Conover having never played a single game of organized basketball, as a minor obstacle to signing him in hopes of attracting grants from The Pugh Biddle Conover Charitable Foundation and Trust for the Preservation of Massive, Ill-Gotten Bones.

(Note: All parts of this multipart post are fiction and lacking a smidgeon of malice. jaybate tried to be an equal opportunity joker and regrets any sub cultures he/she/it may have overlooked.)

texashawk10 11 years, 3 months ago

I can guarantee that Forte's offer is partly to entice Marcus Smart. Forte is still someone though that Self would've likely offered anyway because of him being a legacy player for KU athletics. Having said that, I still would've waited a little longer to offer Forte until other pieces have fallen. However, if Phil Forte does commit to KU relatively soon, that would leave KU with 1 scholarship left for sure and probably 2 because not many people expect T-Rob to stay for his senior season. That concerns me because there are still several high profile recruits that KU still has a very good chance of landing like Perry Ellis, Kaleb Tarczewski, Marcus Smart, and Nino Jackson. It's not that I don't think Phil Forte can't be a good player for KU, but at this time there are still several players that I would rather have ahead of Forte and unless there is a transfer or two after this season, KU won't have enough scholarships to pass out and it could cost KU the best player the state of Kansas has produced since Wayne Simien or a true center that could shut down the paint on defense like Cole did or someone who is considered to be the best athlete in the class of 2012 in Jackson, or Forte's teammate.

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate - Thanks to you, now everyone in my office is 100% convinced that I've lost my mind. I'm at my desk laughing like a hyena, with tears streaming down my face. That is some funny stuff !

I know some posters on here think you have to be all bidness, all the time but I'm glad there are some that aren't afraid to have fun and show a little levity. Now, in all seriousness, you have a real gift in your writing. I've said it before, but if you don't get paid to write you should. Keep up the good work!

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Thx. If we don't keep knocking down the barriers the political strategists will keep using them as wedge issues and eventually take our republic from us.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 3 months ago

Kaleb made a special effort to show his Mom the Kansas campus, for Christ's sake!! You don't lug your Mom over to a school that you're not going to.

I was right about McLemore and I am right about Super K...and if I am wrong, I will write a posting longer than anything Jaybate has written...and you will all read it because I will use the words nude, naked and shiny and a listing of various parts of the female anatomy in every sentence!!!


jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Ooooh nooo Mr. Bill!!!!!!!

Dont post longer than jaybate!!!! :-)

Steve Kubler 11 years, 3 months ago

Dang Oak, don't encourage him to greater(?) heights of XTReme writing!

REHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Bill Self has waited and waited for some highly rated recruits who have postponed and postponed, then trickled off to lesser or questionably savory programs. Hey, there are just so many scholarships to offer. Why not force the issues for these halfhearted guys on the waiting list.
If you really understand greatness, and would like to be a Jayhawk, then get off the auction block and COMMIT! Future offers begin to look not so plentiful for playing time at The Phog. A talented legacy player who can hit 50% of his 3s and would probably give the program 3 or 4 good years. That is a no-brainer for our recruiting staff.

Alohahawk 11 years, 3 months ago

+1 Exactly what I mentioned in a post a few days ago. If a player is seriously interested in attending KU, and the scholarships are up for the asking, why wait? A number of recruits have indicated that KU is their favorite, and they have been offered, so WHY WAIT? Is it because their offer was tendered from Self with the statement, "This is contingent on if whats his name decides to go elsewhere."? That's the only reason I can see for not giving a verbal.

Decide now, or pay later.

LaJHawk666 11 years, 3 months ago

The way I see it, we get either Nino or Forte, but not both. I would rather get Nino but some posters here have made a compelling case for Forte.

I really don't think that Smart's decision hinges on Forte's choice of school, though.


LaJHawk666 11 years, 3 months ago

The way I see it, we get either Nino or Forte, but not both. I would rather get Nino but some posters here have made a compelling case for Forte.

I really don't think that Smart's decision hinges on Forte's choice of school, though.


jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

I get the feeling some thread rats are fifty/fifty on Forte. :-)

donnie 11 years, 3 months ago

This is my first ever post. It's great to be here. Maybe talking to you guys will spare my wife a little of my costant KU chatter. I got a funny feeling that the mad scientist,HCBS, has been in the lab experimenting with some miraculous formulas to shock the nation yet again in 2011-12. What can I say? Maybe I'm an optimist to a fault?

Alohahawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Aloha donnie, Better to be an optimist, than to be a pessimist (Whom might otherwise be called a pestaminute). Or, better to be a glass half full, rather than half empty guy. Being an optimist, you most likely bet your wife the Jayhawks will win the NCAA at the beginning of each season, which is why she begs you not to pull your hair out if KU loses, or to lower the volume when they won in 2008. Get the impression she isn't a KU grad?

I remember my first post, way back about two years ago. I found getting any response, be it positive or negative, gives a person a sense of belonging. Welcome to the board.

Keith Kienzle 11 years, 3 months ago

Welcome aboard, Donnie. I'd like to be able to tell you that scouring these messages negates the need for regular spousal KU haranguement, but for me, keeping it in only widened the gulf between me and my well-adjusted wife, so I had to regurgitate everything I read on here to help her keep in touch with the inner me.

This year, I hope that Self has fun. Last year felt like a championship year, and the expectations were sky high. I think having the pressure off of us for a year will do everyone some good.

After this year, I don't think Self wants to be in a position where he's hung out to dry by the bluechips at the end of the recruiting cycle, and scrambling to find appropriate fits for his needs. So, he's shopping early now. Either bluechip or perfect fit.

Self says himself that he's disorganized. .The philosophy shift has to do with Self's work habits, and getting the job done ahead of the pack with next year's class.

REHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

That is pretty fine stuff: HCBS the mad scientist. As jaybate insists, Bill Self is a master at taking what the opposition offers, and making gametime adjustments to counter most any defense. Now we see Self sweeping up players who, basically. are low on the radar of topflight Div. I hoops programs. He has the coaching/training staff to work wonders with such athletes if they choose to fill roles, give 100% effort, and stay the 4-year course. Heck, I remember thinking about the twins more than once during their freshmen seasons, These guys are gonna cripple this program. The sooner they move off to greener pastures, the better for Jayhawk basketball. Then by Dec. of their sophomore seasons, I quietly swithced gears and leaped on their bandwagon. Self's observations and experiences with the Butlers, Bradleys, UNIs, Bucknells and VCUs appear to have garnered his serious attention. Not to mention his exhausting fruitless pursuit of topflight recruits. He appears set to travel a different track. Many members of the Jayhawk following hope to see more focus on kids who will stay the 4- or 5-year course. I am always thrilled to read comments of a recruit who claims childhood attachment to the Jayhawk program. Talented in-state players or legacy offspring make for solid scholarship choices, in my humble opinion. And I am high on athletes who might have gotten into the sport late, but whose bodies and recent games indicate that they might grow into nuggets such as Kaun or DBlock.

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