Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Former Jayhawk Aaron Miles Russia-bound

Former KU players and teammates Aaron Miles, left, and Wayne Simien watch the Jayhawks during the second half of their game against the Kansas State Wildcats, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. Simien had his jersey retired in a halftime ceremony at the game.

Former KU players and teammates Aaron Miles, left, and Wayne Simien watch the Jayhawks during the second half of their game against the Kansas State Wildcats, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. Simien had his jersey retired in a halftime ceremony at the game.


Former Kansas University basketball point guard Aaron Miles will be playing in Russia’s top professional league this season.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder, who competed for the Reno (Nev.) Bighorns of the NBA Developmental League last season, has signed a contract with Krasnie Krilya, a franchise based in Samara, Russia.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Miles, who is currently with the team at its training camp in Italy, is the third KU player to compete in Russia. Sasha Kaun plays for CSKA Moscow and Keith Langford for Khimki Moscow.

Miles, 28, averaged 15.3 points, 8.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game for Reno last season. KU’s all-time assist leader has also played professionally in Greece, Spain and France.

KU has had several players reach agreements with foreign teams the past couple of weeks. Tyrel Reed will play for VOO Verviers-Pepinster, a member of the Ethias League in Verviers, Belgium; Brady Morningstar for A.G.O. Rethymno, which plays in Greece’s top league and is based in Crete; Russell Robinson for JSF Nanterre, which plays in France’s top league and is based outside Paris; and Sherron Collins, who has joined Turkish League team Hacettepe Universites, based in Ankara, Turkey.

Miles’ new team also recently signed U.S. natives Jarvis Hayes and Joe Alexander.


Alohahawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Congratulations to Aaron. Keep adding the Jayhawk presence all over the European Continent. One negative, though. Sounds like this would put the damper on his participating in the September 24 Legions of the Phog game..

Adam Collins 11 years, 3 months ago

15 points per game and nearly 9 assists per game in the d-league and he's still not getting picked up by an NBA team? Can someone let me know what I'm missing here (besides the lockout, of course)?

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

Small guards in the NBA must be very quick to get playing time. They simply are a defensive liability as 6-6 opponents shoot over them and post them up.

Aaron is a very smart player and an asset for any team but his outside shot and his quickness fail to set him apart as a prime NBA player.

Kyle Rohde 11 years, 3 months ago

Wonder if Aaron is going to play in the alumni game - saw Keith Langford tweet that he was headed back to Moscow and asked him if he was, but got no response. Hoping a lot of that 01-05 team will be there!

David Brown 11 years, 3 months ago

Is a foreign language any part of these guys KU education? That, and a healthy dose of accounting/finance would do well to aid them in the future!

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

Here, here. Accounting is a universal language which embraces all nationalities. The Business School at KU is one of the very best and the education you get from there will carry you anywhere you want to go.

(Note: to the Dean, does that endorsement earn those tickets you promised?)

Alohahawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Hate to say it, but foreign language courses will not be high on anyone's course lists in the near future, unless that is your major. You can now download a program (I believe into your I-pad, and for only a couple dollars) which can instantly translate something like 80 languages. You speak into it and it translates as you speak. It is a two way speaker/microphone device, each person speaking into it and then listening to the other person's response. I heard about it from a close friend, so I don't know a lot of details about it.

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 3 months ago

Yes and that will be respected by the people you are doing business with. Sarcasm there.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 3 months ago

Poster Challenge for the day.

Since the Legends game is coming up, name the best five from any elite program and see how they compare to Kansas with;

Kansas- Jo Jo White, Clyde Lovellette, Paul Pierce, Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Manning

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm to busy to do the extensive research, but the '82 UNC team had Michael Jordan, and James Worthy. I think for arguments sake Tyler Hansborough would be on that list as well.

don't know who would get the nod for the last 2 spots.

lee3022 11 years, 3 months ago

Not sure that UNC has ever had a player to match up with Wilt. Not sure any school has ever had a player to match up with Jordan. Pierce is as good as Worthy - maybe better. Hansborough would be owned by Lovellette or Manning. Guard play for KU needs to add Kirk H.

100 11 years, 3 months ago

Excellent post Oakville.

The only school that has a remote shot is UCLA in my humble opinion.

To answer UCLA's Walton, Alcindor, Slaughter crowd, below I've posted an impossible matchup that even UCLA can't handle. MJ at UNC also is no problem with these matchups....

Thanks again for the post!

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

If you were compiling the list based on best athletes I'd absolutley agree with you.

I was coming at it more from the "best college team" aspect.

Tylet hansborough is the Tim Tebow of basketball, they'll never be thought of as one of the most talented players of all time, but when your compiling a list of the best college careers they're near the top.

Michael Luby 11 years, 3 months ago

Oakville, ya gotta consider Chalmers in there with JoJo and Clyde... he did break the KU steals record held by one of them I think, twice.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 3 months ago

Will we need to keep a column on the side similar to "KU players in the NBA"?

justinryman 11 years, 3 months ago

Thank you!!!!!!! You got the headline right!!! No more Ex-Jayhawk, I like "Former" a lot better.

kugrad93 11 years, 3 months ago

In the print version of the J-W, headline writers can't always squeeze in the word former. Ex is a lot shorter and means the same thing in this case. It's not an insult. They are, in fact, ex or former KU players. They are not on the current roster. People need to get over this.

justinryman 11 years, 3 months ago

Go tell a retired Marine he is an Ex-Marine.

It is a show of respect, ex in my mind would be a player that transfers from KU, ie. Micha Downs.

Chayse Patrick 11 years, 3 months ago

Not only is the NBA well represented by Kansas players. How many 12 or so? BUT the foreign leagues have also been getting several KU players as well..... that's GREAT

100 11 years, 3 months ago

  1. Wilt Chamberlain - Center. 7'2", wingspan 7'6" (6 inches more than Kareem), 40 inch vertical, tons of dexterity, strength, defense, even ball handling skills. Defensive skills that can't be matched. Head always in the game. An absolute beast of a competitor.

  2. Pollard - 7'0" stud. Tough. Tough. Tough. Superior defensive skills. Remarkably agile & coordinated for a big man. Excellent footwork. Mind always "in" the game. Superior footwork & rebounding skills. Superior pick setter & outlet skills. Vocal leader!!!! Win. Win. Win!!!!

  3. Lafrentz - 6'11". Southpaw! Sweet shot. Great defensive skills on the wing players. Great sliding footwork. Never takes a play off. A true winner. Decent ball handling for a big man. Great passer. Incredible coordination. Great outside shot. Once hit 9 NBA 3's in a quarter playing for the Celtics.

  4. Pierce - our shortest starter at 6'7". Superior defense as has been shown multiple times against Kobe Bryant, deadly 3 point shooting & pump fake passing. Head always in the game. Vocal leader. Absolute winner.

  5. Manning -- 6'11" Point guard. Long, long arms. One of the best ball handlers we have ever seen. One of the best passers we've ever had. One of the most selfless competitors we've ever had. Vocal leader. Superior defense, inside & out, rebounding. Incredibly quick hands & top of the line footwork. Be your best is his motto. He's all about winning.

..... 6'7" Pierce can handle 6'5" MJ when there's four 7 footers in the lane....

But what 6'2" "all UNC" point guard can handle Danny Manning posting up on him after a pitch & curl around Chamberlain?

100 11 years, 3 months ago


Jo Jo, Lovellette, Endacott, Phog and so many other worthy Jayhawks were unfortunately left off of this starting lineup. That doesn't mean they weren't worthy. It just so happens we have a mixture of players above that can't be beat by any team, any time, any place.

Anytime a UNC or UCLA fan thinks they have a better starting five, this is the list to throw at them.... Unbeatable.

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm sorry, but nobody, regardless of height, could handle MJ, even with 4 7 footers in the lane.

if you packed the lane with with shot blockers, Jordan would just start killing you with his turn around fade away. just like he did to Ostertag and Malone in the '97 and '98 finals.

100 11 years, 3 months ago

First of all, that's one position. It's MJ versus Pierce.

What made Jordan so tough to stop was...

  1. He was good (natural athleticism plus an inner passion to practice by himself, hours a day behind the scenes).

But more importantly....

  1. In the pros, he was surrounded by a superior four players running a beautiful offensive scheme in the triangle. Essentially a unique form of a basketball spread offense to maximize mismatches. So....

First of all I'm not giving you that MJ would manhandle Pierce. Pierce would very much hold his own. And Pierce for that matter can just as easily light up Jordan at the other end.

Most importantly, since Jordan's game very much relies on having four superior players waiting to receive the ball (to minimize double & triple teams on MJ), show me one defensive mismatch UNC could throw against Chamberlain, Pollard, Lafrentz & Manning.

In fact you'll find yourself spinning your wheels.

The only chance a team has against us is UCLA, & I still don't see UCLA able to throw out a 6'11" defensive point guard on Manning.

And without a doubt Wilt & Pollard dominate the low blocks against Alcindor & Walton. We have too much height, wingspan, length, leaping ability, guts & strength there.

As for MJ, even if you throw him on UCLA's team & give Pierce a broken leg like he had in the 2008 NBA finals where he still shut Kobe down, tell me what you're gonna do about the mismatch at point guard?

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

College Wilt and Lew probably would have been a wash. Wilt was much the better athlete, but Jabbar had the unstoppable skyhook. It would have depended on the night which player prevailed.

Between Pollard and Walton, I have to give a big edge to Thebig red head.

Sidney Wicks, or Sven Nater, or Richard Washington, or Kevin Love would have played Raef near even.

Silk Wilkes and Pierce would have been very close, but edge to Pierce on strength.

So: as you say, Manning at PG would be the difference and at least even up for Walton's edge on Pollard.

Versus UCLA, maybe the better line-up would be to put Manning on Walton, getting a wash there, and putting JoJo on point. joJo on point was equal to, or better than any UCLA guard.

But again, it would be nearly a wash with UCLA.

Versus Baja KU?

Not even close.

KU by the length of Tobacco Road!

But KU needs the next great center to fully separate from UCLA.

And Self will see to it that will happen.

100 11 years, 3 months ago

For the benefit of a fair contest for all participants, Doc Naismith is setting the flux capacitor so that all participants can be as skilled as they "could have been" in the prime of their college careers. So we're calling it the Brady Morningstar rule.

The kids will also get the best coach of their program & 6 months to work into shape as a unit, getting up to current day trends.

I've always loved Alcindor, what he stands for & his game in general... But with all my heart I believe Wilt would have dominated him. Even under the tutelage of Harp as a 19 year old, Wilt was physically just enough taller & longer (6 inches in wingspan) & more of an athlete (could high jump 7 feet) than Alcindor.

Alcindor's game was fluid & really sweet. But did we ever see him play on a team with four undercoached, non-superior players?

Every team Wilt ever played on until he finally signed with the Lakers was stacked with average players. Thus the triple teams.

And as great as Walton was... You're onto something. He never faced a 7 foot stud like Pollard. Walton himself would have major issues against a kid who is so into the game like Pollard was. It would be like seeing a kid in the mirror who was a taller & thicker than he was, with nearly as good footwork, but with every bit as much heart. To me that might be the most interesting matchup.

But again, as fun as these matchups would be, UCLA can't find a 6'11" wing (that's how Lafrentz was often used in the NBA) & they certainly can't find a 6'11" stud of all studs to match with at the point in Danny Manning...

I really think if Self & Phog are running bootcamp, we very well could beat UCLA in the championship by 50 points. UCLA simply wouldn't have an answer to the length & skill of two of our positions.

On a sidenote, it's awfully hard to leave Jo-Jo out... But I've had enough of UCLA winning the all-time championship.

Put Manning at point & UCLA fans can go cry to their sunburned mommies....

Thinking of the way UT has marketed itself so well... How about a $300 million interactive online video game deal split 60/40 between KU & UCLA?

"Championship interactive NCAA Basketball, Flux Capacitor Version: Wooden's Dynasty Versus Wilt, Danny & the Cradle"

JayHawkFanToo 11 years, 3 months ago

100, you make some good, valid points about Jordan; however, you forgot one of the main factors that helped Jordan. i.e. the refs.

No doubt, Jordan had superior talent, but he also got tons of help from the refs. There were very few contested shots that he missed and he was not granted a foul. On defense he got away with more stuff than any other player. In fact, in one sports show, he once demonstrated how he would pull the player he was guarding against him and the other player would invariable be called for charging; the refs had to know that he was doing that.

Not that all NBA players do not try to push the envelope; he simply got away (or was allowed by the refs) with more than any player I have ever seen...maybe that is part of being a great player???

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

To clarify, I beleive the KU team would win. my comment was aimed specifically at the comment:

"6'7" Pierce can handle 6'5" MJ when there's four 7 footers in the lane"

the UNC team would lose, but MJ would still drop 30+ on pierce in the game

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago


With 100's lineup vs. Baja KU, sticking collegiate Wilt on MJ would probably hold MJ scoreless and still leave KU well equipped to guard the lane with Pollard and Lafrentz!

And imagine MJ trying to guard Wilt's fadeaway, or his finger roll, or his dunks!!!

Gedddoutta here with that girlie mon MJ stuff.

100 11 years, 3 months ago

UNC flat out doesn't have the troops for this kind of contest...

Nice touch Jaybate.... I hadn't thought of Wilt shutting down MJ just for the heck of shutting up the pro-MJ crowd.... Sounds like one heck of a video game for a newborn in his crib... "MJ & Baja KU go one on one with Wilt & the cradle"

Now, if this time machine actually exists & Phog & Self are going for the win in the Final 4, I still think the Pierce-MJ matchup is the way to go...

That way we dominate UNC easily at the other 4 positions....

It's no pancake flippin contest.

jaybate 11 years, 3 months ago

Gotta go with 100 here.

It all hinges on Manning playing the point.

Most who knew said Manning could have and should have played the point to reach his full potential.

Manning was the great follow up to Magic.

Manning had to make himself into a postman.

Brown had to make Manning make himself into a post man.

Manning was a natural guard, if there ever were one.

I was a student of Magic. I studied everything he ever did. Manning could do everything Magic could do, without the French pastry, and with a better touch and a jump hook Magic never mastered.

The difference between Magic and Manning was that Heathcote went with Magic at the point because he had muscle inside and lacked a pg, whereas Brown had a pg and lacked the inside strength and scoring Manning could deliver.

To be blunt, Larry Brown misused the second greatest talent that ever put on a KU uniform for several seasons.

Manning was so great that he could win a ring playing out of position for Brown.

I have always believed, and will to my last breath, believe that Manning at PG would have lead KU to a ring each season he played at KU.

Heathcote and Magic Johnson proved irrefutably that a great tall point guard makes an otherwise ordinary team nearly unbeatable.

It is one of the great failings of a coaching profession dominated by former short guards that that profession has stubbornly, and stupidly, persisted in shunting great ball handling, tall basketball players into the post.

I hate to say this, because Manning is one of our greatest Jayhawks, but for his own good, and for the good of the game, he should have gone to MSU and played for Heathcote and become the second all-time great tall point guard.

Two ring-winning, tall PGs in quick series would have kicked the door down for tall PGs.

Instead, the game and the coaching profession have stagnated into the hide bound insistence that great big men must labor in the lane, rather than have the best player on the floor have his hands on the ball most of the time.

It is insipid to have the ball out of the hands of a great player any more than necessary.

And, yes, Wilt should have played the point, too.

With the ball in Wilt's and Danny's hands from the beginning of each possession, there would have been no need to try to feed into a double, or triple team. Both would simply have been passing out of double and triple team's.

It is so simple.

I am ashamed of the coaching profession that has perpetuated this mismanagement of great talent.

kdeutch 11 years, 3 months ago

If KU had a "Jayhawk Network" like Texas has the "Longhorn Network", and they broadcast the Krasnie Krilya vs. CSKA Moscow game, it would get a huge rating all over Jayhawk Nation!

Ben Simonett 11 years, 3 months ago

You an I are in complete agreement.

Just curious, does it piss you off as much as it does me when you hear kids these days saying Kobe or Lebron are better than Jordon?

I almost had to slap my nephew last weekend.

100 11 years, 3 months ago


Jordan was great, there's no debate there. He certainly benefitted from media coverage & advertising opportunities like no athlete before. He was a winner with guts, no doubt.

The minor debate, which it appears only Benny Bob held the view of, was if MJ could somehow propel an All-UNC team that is mismatched at four positions past Chamberlain, Pollard, Lafrentz, Pierce & led by Danny Manning at point.

Anyone who saw MJ knows how good he was.

There's only one in the history of the game I'd choose before him in an all-time draft.


I agree with your stance on Lebron & Kobe compared to Lebron. MJ tops these two easily. There's only one in the history of the game he sits behind. Not bad for a tar-heel.

100 11 years, 3 months ago

Great attitude Ralster!

As for MJ, I saw him play his first collegiate game in person, just six months removed from high school. Just another skinny lengthy player in white & baby blue, although his athleticism was noteable.

You'll never guess which university he played against?

100 11 years, 3 months ago

Benny Bob,

Sorry I just read your comment a few comments above. Now I understand your meaning. You think MJ would drop 30 on Pierce but UNC would lose...

Hmmm.... I'd love to see that matchup....

I respect your opinion a bunch more now...

OK so that's certainly possible...

However I really think he'd have a tough time doing it against Pierce with or without our four 7 footers including Chamberlain...

But OK, let's say there's no help defense & 30 for Jordan happens....

How many would Pierce score on MJ?

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