Thursday, July 28, 2011

KU freshman Jamari Traylor learning from Morris twins, Cole Aldrich

Jamari Traylor will be a freshman for the Kansas men's basketball team this season.

Jamari Traylor will be a freshman for the Kansas men's basketball team this season.


Kansas University freshman basketball power forward Jamari Traylor has found a way to beat the heat during a brutally-hot July in his new college hometown.

The 6-foot-8, 216–pounder from IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., has been splitting his time taking summer school classes in air-conditioned classrooms on campus and working out in the Jayhawks’ climate-controlled practice facility.

“For the most part, I’m in the gym with the twins. They are here all the time,” Traylor said Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse.

He was referring to Marcus and Markieff Morris, who have been in Lawrence off and on since the June 23 NBA Draft.

“Thomas (Robinson) is in here all the time. Cole (Aldrich) is in here, too. Anytime I get a chance to watch them, I will try to steal a couple moves here and there.

“It is really helpful playing against guys who have accomplished things like Cole and the twins,” Traylor added. “Those guys really made a name for themselves in the Big 12. I look forward to playing here and hopefully I can do the same as well.”

Traylor — who has attended the second session of summer school after working out at IMG Academies in June — has been impressed with KU junior-to-be Robinson.

“Thomas is a freak athlete. He is super strong,” Traylor said of the 6-10, 240-pound Washington, D.C., native. “When we play against each other, he’s not movable. He is a beast.”

Traylor, who averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks a game last year at IMG, “is physical,” Robinson noted. “He plays hard. I kind of want to say he’s similar to me. He’s high energy. He’s trying to dunk all the time.”

Traylor is known as a guy who hustles all the time.

“His motor is similar to Thomas Robinson,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He’s an inner-city, tough Chicago kid that has bounce. He wants to be good. We think he’ll be an immediate and major contributor for us.”

Traylor flashed an infectious smile when asked about his rugged style of play.

“I played football growing up (in Chicago). It’s probably why I got so tough,” Traylor said. “I get a couple nicks and scratches everywhere,” he added, showing off a nicked-up forearm. “I try to play as hard as I can all the time. I just know I’ve got to work hard for everything I’ve got. Every time I’m out there, I give it my all.”

Traylor enters college without the burden of great expectations. He’s’s No. 141-ranked player in the Class of 2011.

“I don’t think I have to prove anything to myself,” he said, “but as far as everyone else, I think I do. I think I was ranked pretty low, but it is what it is. I started playing basketball really late (junior year of high school) so I probably didn’t give everyone a good chance to look at me. I’ll show ’em what I’ve got this year.”

Traylor — he chose KU over Oklahoma State, Indiana and Texas Tech — said the adjustment to college life has been relatively easy. His roommate is former IMG teammate Christian Garrett.

“It’s really good. I know Christian is a good guy. I don’t have to worry about anything because I know we get along,” Traylor said.

“It feels good to actually be here. I wanted to get a good head start on school, to get a good feel on how it’ll be in the fall.”

He has no complaints, not even about the scorching temperatures in town.

“It’s super hot, man,” Traylor said. “I lived in Florida last year. I’m kind of used to it now. I can deal with it. I’m excited, very thrilled to be here. Honestly I can’t wait for the season to start.”

AAU tournament: Tom Tietze’s Kansas City Prep Invitational AAU tournament will be held today through Sunday at Mid America Sports Complex West, 20200 Johnson Drive in Shawnee. Conner Frankamp, a 6-foot guard from Wichita North, who recently committed to KU, will play for KC Pump and Run 16-year-olds in the 17-and-under Platinum Division. His first game is 6:15 p.m., today. KU target Mitch McGary’s SYF Players team also is in the tourney. The first game is 5 p.m. today. For tournament information and schedules, go to the website

Europe an option: Marcus Morris of the Houston Rockets would consider playing in Europe this season in the event of a long NBA lockout, Morris’ agent, Tony Dutt, tells

“It’s intriguing. If the right offer came along, we would look at it,” Dutt said. “We both agreed I would send a bunch of stuff to teams over there. We haven’t received anything that makes sense at this point. There is nothing pending.”

Dutt also represents former KU forward Markieff Morris, meaning the two could wind up on the same pro team after all. Markieff was a first-round pick of the Phoenix Suns.


onlylookin2score 10 years, 9 months ago

Awwww. Thats nice.... I liked the story before the next to last one better. The one about Robinson being a beast. Gaaaaawwwwwd I like KUSPORTS.COM even better than that.

When is the.. um.. the Jayhawk Network launching again?

Alohahawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Love the hunger expressed by Jamari. Highly ranked recruits could take lessons from him. Putting in the extra effort should reap big rewards. Also like the fact he likes to dunk the ball. Something he's a year ahead of the twins on.

As for Mr. Robinson. Difficult to wait for his true coming out season. He just needs to work to get his freethrows under control, as well as his fouls. Also, getting close to the trial date for where his sister lives. Keep us informed, LJW.

Finally, just like in the national political arena, it appears the NBA lockout has two sides unwilling to negotiate. Glad the twins and Cole have a place to work out, especially with our recruits. Since, between seasons, the coaches aren't allowed a lot of training time with them.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Just as the NFL was never going to LO, the NBA is never going to LO either.

Both sides are milking this to pump up interest.

Both sides play the bargaining game, because that's what the lawyers tell them to do.

Both sides make insignificant concessions.

Both sides agree and make beau coup bucks.

No one wants to lose a dollar in this economy.

The TV schedule tells all. It is the can't miss barometer.

The NFL was not preparing to back load the season with big market games, so there never was going to be an LO.

Same with the NBA.

No sign of preparing to back load big market games till late in the season.

So: no chance of an LO.


Andy Hess 10 years, 9 months ago

you clearly don't understand the nuances of the NBA lockout vs. the NFL lockout. with the NFL it was just bickering about money and spreading profits around. with the NBA, the whole system is broken. teams losing money, etc. this one is going to be going on for a while.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago


Take two reality tablets and post me in the morning.

jhox 10 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate, I'm not so sure. Everything I've heard is that the NBA is headed for lost games or even a lost season. Unlike the NFL, where owners said they weren't making money, when in fact they were, many NBA teams really are losing money (or so the story goes.) From day one the "experts" were saying the NFL would get a deal done. From day one the NBA "experts" have been saying this one is going to get ugly.

Time will tell, but my guess is part of the NBA season will be lost.

Tad Shurtz 10 years, 9 months ago

Yo, Gary. Would you say Jamari is a legit 6'8"? When he originally committed, most places had him listed at 6'6", so I'm wondering/hoping he's grown a couple inches since his playing days at IMG.

truefan 10 years, 9 months ago

Most of the sites I looked him up on had him at 6'7, but who knows, he could still be growing.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 9 months ago

Self regarding Traylor -- "We think he’ll be an immediate and major contributor for us.”

So, together with the quote yesterday about Justin Wesley "definitely" being a part of the rotation, it appears that we are firming things up.

Waiting on quotes about Young and Anderson.

HawkKlaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Firming things up? It's July man. The only thing firmed up at this point is the fact that TRob will be one of the best big men in the country next year.

squawkhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Just hope he doesn't learn to shoot (gun) from them.

gchawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Weak attempt at humor. Come on, you're better than this.

jayhwkr77 10 years, 9 months ago

i personally thought that was pretty funny. you might wanna lighten up a little bit. believe it or not it is ok to tease about the athletes we all love and support every now and then.

gchawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Humor at the expense of someone else's mistakes is rarely funny, exhibits remarkable shallowness.

Jared Grillot 10 years, 9 months ago

Meh - not THAT funny, but a little funny, and that wasn't exactly one of those mistakes that you hide your face from the TV cameras, but more of a "Man, I was dumb back then" type of mistakes, which most of us, eventually, learn to laugh at ourselves for.

justanotherfan 10 years, 9 months ago

I like the fact that Traylor goes to the rim with intent (to dunk). I hate it when big guys get in close and then try to just lay it in and either get blocked or can't finish through contact. I want big men that DUNK. WITH AUTHORITY!

ku1otaku 10 years, 9 months ago

As my coach use to say, they don't give out style points for dunks. A dunk and a lay-in are worth the same amount of points. I guess I am ok with them just laying it long as they CAN finish through contact. But, just because you go up to dunk doesn't mean you are going to finish either.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

not to be argumentative ku, but they actually do give style points for dunks! The fans, anyway. And I've heard many players say that it is the most demoralizing thing that happens to a team during the course of a game - to get dunked on. It pumps up the home crowd and deflates the opponent. So, yeah - I love to see good dunks! From KU.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 9 months ago

We should nickname the 2011-2012 Jayhawks, " The Babies and the Beasts"

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

Since TRob is going to be triple teamed a few other power forwards are expected to get a few uncontested lay ins. Play Strong and rise up.

Jabez Harlan 10 years, 9 months ago

Jeff Withey will benefit from the double and triple.

Jared Grillot 10 years, 9 months ago

That was probably my favorite thing about the '08 team - you had so many guys that were going to stuff it down your throat if you dropped coverage or tried to double up down low - Sasha, Shady, DBlock, Cole, Rush, heck, even Mario once in a while.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

Since TRob is going to be triple teamed a few other power forwards are expected to get a few uncontested lay ins. Play Strong and rise up.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

Since TRob is going to be triple teamed a few other power forwards are expected to get a few uncontested lay ins. Play Strong and rise up.

Jabez Harlan 10 years, 9 months ago

Just took a look at the roster for this year, and all of the player pictures and player numbers are up. I am noticing that there are 16 players on the roster!

Can Self really bench Teahan and Jueneman again this year?

Will Niko Roberts see any time on floor?

What about Kevin Young? He comes in as a Junior. One would believe he would be a contributor this year.

With Justin Wesley and Jamari Traylor reportedly being impact players this year, where does that leave Braedon Anderson?

Will Christian Garrett and Merv Lindsay red shirt this year knowing that they may never be called to go into the game?

Many more questions to be answered, but let's start there. Any one have some answers?

JayDocMD 10 years, 9 months ago

  1. "Can Self really bench Teahan and Jueneman again this year?"
  2. please yes (Teahan at best 2nd/3rd option off bench for 3 pt shooting; Jueneman: see Niko below)

  3. "Will Niko Roberts see any time on floor?"

  4. please no (unless its mop-up during Rock Chalk chant)

  5. "What about Kevin Young? He comes in as a Junior. One would believe he would be a contributor this year."

  6. its between K Young, Wesley, Jamari and Braeden for PT behind Robinson/Withey. Despite what Self said, my money's on Traylor and Young

  7. "With Justin Wesley and Jamari Traylor reportedly being impact players this year, where does that leave Braedon Anderson?"

  8. see #3

  9. "Will Christian Garrett and Merv Lindsay red shirt this year knowing that they may never be called to go into the game?"

  10. These are the top two transfer candidates for 2012-2013, with B Anderson a close 3rd

Tony Bandle 10 years, 9 months ago

1] Self can bench anybody....yes, sorry Conner and Jordan 2] Niko will see pregame warmups and garbage time...that's it. 3] "KY" will play..count on it. 4] Braedon will be schooled in practice and maybe a transfer casualty for next year. 5] A} Has Christian even shown up? B} Merv, I hope you look good in red

honk_for_hawks 10 years, 9 months ago

christian transferred at semester. he's already been here since december

REHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

A roster filled with intrigue; Tulsa-type Bill Self roster. Some real gold to be mined from those 16 players. Even Dicky V is coming to understand that a Bill Self team had best not be underestimated. If Withey bolts to the fore this season, the w/l column could be stellar. Gotta keep TRob and TT on track to stay on the floor all season w/o injury or mayhem. If those 3 players produce super seasons, we possess a wide variety of others to fill the slots for specific situations. EJ and Releford are primed for breakout seasons. Another league title is within our grasp, as well as a #2 seed for our NCAA Regional.

lee3022 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree after your "if". But the odds of breakout year is less Withey than Johnson and the team seems destined to have a hard charging pushing, fast breaking style that will require frequent rest breaks from the floor.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 9 months ago

I think we're set at 1-3, with Releford being a workhorse and offensive juggernaut. He and Taylor should be driving beasts, especially with the rule changes.

Oakville, I like your optimism about our bigs being so deep that Braedon won't see any PT. I hope you're right. We all know TRob will be double teamed, so I feel our 5 position is the key to the season. I don't know much about Wesley....does he have some beef? Sorry, but I have no faith in Withey at this time. I hope he proves me wrong.

Jabez Harlan 10 years, 9 months ago

Also looking ahead to the UK vs. KU game in Madison. Lots more questions there...

How will Withey matchup against Anthony Davis?

Who will win the battle of contrasting styles in TRob and Terence (should've picked up the KU hat) Jones?

Who is going to guard Gilchrist? Releford? Young? How about Darius Miller?

Can Taylor impose shut down defense on Marquis Teague?

Who will have more threes? EJ or Lamb?

Man, I cannot wait for Nov. 15th.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 9 months ago

1] Withey will dominate, subjugate, operate and shut the gate!! 2] Jones will get schooled, fooled and tooled by TRob. 3] Gilchrist and Miller will be tied to pillars by a team of Jayhawk killers. 4] Teague will be out of his League. 5] "And the Prophet will lead the Lamb to slaughter."

Jared Grillot 10 years, 9 months ago

That was both lame and amusing at the same time, like rolling your eyes at a bad pun just to keep yourself from laughing. Very nicely done!

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Will be in the Big Apple for this MSG showdown. Can't wait!

AsadZ 10 years, 9 months ago

Shaw, Do you have ticket info for this game>

Ben Simonett 10 years, 9 months ago

why would you be looking forward to what is sure to be a 10+ point KU loss?

this will be the worst team KU puts on the court in the last decade going up against the best team Kentucky has had since Pitino was coaching there.

wont be close

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 9 months ago

So we should just mail in the loss? We're still the KU Jayhawks. As far as the worst team, I disagree. We've had better players in the past, but this group may actually play better as a team. Time will tell - if you're right, I'll eat my words, but I won't concede until the final buzzer!

Ben Simonett 10 years, 9 months ago

I never said I'm not going to cheer for the hawks to win, its just in all honesty thats the game next year I'm most worried about and don't honestly believe i will like the outcome.

How someone can be excited about that game baffles me.

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 9 months ago

One the one hand I see your point - quite possibly a loss. On the other hand, this is the type of contest that the players get up for, especially given our overall past record against Kentucky.

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 9 months ago

Remember the KU - Arkansas game in the 1991 tournament?

Remember KU - Florida in 2006?

It's not over until it's over....

tis4tim 10 years, 9 months ago

You underestimate the power of the force.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 9 months ago

There's a difference between realistically thinking your team can't win and hoping they don't.

I really hope Self goes out and lays another beat down on Caliipari, nothing would make me happier.

But if you were honest with yourself you'd have to agree with me, the odds of the hawks actually winning that game aren't great.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry, but you make your determination that Traylor is a beast from this silly video?

Let's see what the guy does against D-1 competition before coming to conclusions.

Again .. though I know we have a slew of "ratings don't matter" fellows here .. mainly because we have signed a number of ratings-challenged players .. but come on. A dose of logic and realism here, please.

Jabez Harlan 10 years, 9 months ago

Speaking of youtube...

I can't wait to see what he does with a little more playing time this year.

REHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Nice post, BigHawk. This Jayhawk squad is quietly LOADED.

Dan Harris 10 years, 9 months ago

Oh oh! Looks like OU is in a heap of trouble again, Welcome to Norman Lonnie!

"Oklahoma admitted Thursday that its men's basketball program committed two major rules violations and asked the NCAA for leniency despite its second serious infractions case in the last five years. Under NCAA bylaws, a "repeat violator" can face a minimum of having the sport dropped for one or two seasons with no scholarships provided for two seasons. The NCAA infractions committee has the authority to override such a designation."

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Everyone keeps forgetting, or underestimating, Self's key quote after the VCU game, where he said he looked at VCU's players and thought they weren't much different than his players.

What he was implying was a team full of 4-5 stars bulked out with 2-3 years experience is not that much better than a team of unranked players to 3-star players bulked out and extreme conditioned.

The difference was XTReme Conditioning.

Self clearly decided after losing to a team full of unranked players conditioned to the max that he would go ahead and go with the unranked players, if he had tom, Hudy-ize them, and then, I suspect, Xtreme Condition them, and then make do, hoping one, two, or three impact players with 4-5 stars would be enough.

Self is not nervous about the lack of stars. He has some returning.

Self is nervous about having to go with a lot of green wood lacking experience.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 9 months ago

I would have to disagree there on one point .. he did not decide to go with unranked players. That decision was forced upon him. Had we gotten Daniels and Lacey, both players that we were pursuing post-VCU, our class would look a lot different. And as for the big guys .. Anderson and Traylor .. we were stuck into taking the "best available" when Self was "surprised" by the departures of the Morris twins (and we hadn't locked down a top big guy or two).

Self did make the comparison you noted to the VCU players. But I think that was more out of disgust or frustration than anything. I don't see this as a change in philosophy. At least not yet. I still think Self is pursuing the top guys and is not limiting that pursuit.

What is interesting in your take is your suggestion related to conditioning. I am curious as to whether that is your speculation/conclusion, or whether you saw that in a quote or statement from Self (that I missed).

Ben Simonett 10 years, 9 months ago

I think Self said its a Tulsa-like recruiting class, not squad. Your right the top 7 is comprised of highly ranked players that would never have been assembled at Tulsa..

lee3022 10 years, 9 months ago

The biggest advantage of this team is its versatility and depth. The disadvantage of the team is lack of go-to players. Bringing along a move-the-ball, rebound hard and run hard philosophy may result in 5 bigs playing instead of four and four wings playing instead of two. That could result in an 11 or 12 man rotation, very unlike Self.

Traylor, Young, Anderson, Wesley, Lindsay, McLemore and Releford can all play both four and three. Some (Releford, McLemore) can play some two. Thomas and Withey are the bigs and Taylor and Johnson and maybe some Tharp are the PGs. The other seven will play wing/big mostly and the ability to interchange makes this an extra deep team. Go with who is playing well and keep all of the fresh.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 9 months ago

I would refer you to my above response in regard to who I hope wins the game. But from all the posts of mine you've read nby ow you have to have realised I try not to let my fandom interfere with objectivity.

I honestly beleive the hawks have no chance in that game, would you care to make a wager on it?

If Kentucky wins you have to change your avatar from one of the fine women you grace us with on the boards everyday to some ugly fat dude of my choosing and leave it that way for 2 weeks.

Ill let you chose an acceptable stake for me if the hawks hopefully win.

lee3022 10 years, 9 months ago

Forget about him and responding to what he writes. Anybody betting against the Jayhawks cannot, with integrity, say they are hoping the Jayhawks win. Truth.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 9 months ago

Emotions and logic are separate parts of the brain, both of which can be used at the same time.

Logic says we got not shot, my emotions still hope we do.

A wager like this is actually a win-win scenario for me. if the hawks do lose at least i'd get to see ralster posting with this guy next to his name for two weeks:

if they win, who cares that i lost the bet? Self just handed Calipari another beat down!

AZHawk72 10 years, 9 months ago

I wonder what it must be like to get to practice with Cole, Marcus, Markief, and Thomas--and then you have Danny checking your every move--and you're getting your feet wet, academically with some summer school action. By the time this young man shows up for the first day of fall classes, he'll already be a sophomore in b-ball I.Q. When you have the kind of loyalty from former players who need to work out, and they show up to put the rookies on the fast track toward what's to be expected of them--you have to like going to KU, and you have to like the benefits of the lockout.

Interesting thoughts were expressed on the comparison between the NFL and the NBA situations. Being in an NBA city, those that think the situations are totally different are completely correct. Locally, the Suns are fourth in wins over the last twenty years, have no championships, and could go under. The twins made a horrible mistake--if half a season happens, it will be a miracle. Supposedly, over twenty teams are in over their heads and near bankruptcy. The NFL is on an all-time high. The NBA had one of its best years ever and has little to show for it--sponsors, ratings, the economy, season ticket sales, fan disinterest with unheard-of Euro-punks, and never quite living up to March Madness has crippled professional basketball.

The NBA lacks a galvanizing issue such as the greatest tight end in NFL history, John Mackay of the Baltimore Colts (yeah, I love Gonzales, too) basically, losing his mind and not receiving adequate care. The owners wore the guilt trip of not providing for the greatness that put them on their current platforms, and the players respected the greatness before them that afforded them their present opportunity in America's dream sports league.

The NBA, however, lacks a good feel for tradition and for those individuals who labored in the trenches to enable the league to become what it is today. At times, they resemble five individual contractors who pretend to like each other and work for a common cause, only to watch the house collapse upon them after a loss and begin blaming each other for their shortcomings as they emerge from the wreckage. The ironically-named Stern is nothing more than an overmatched cop who just doesn't get the big picture

If they're lucky, they'll start after Thanksgiving--while we'll be watching leagues calling themselves "10" play with 12 teams, and those calling themselves "12" having only 10 teams; we'll see BYU and Boise in the same league for just one year, while we'll wonder what is "big" and "east" about a school from Fort Worth, which along with Houston should have been added to to Big Twelve, moving both of the Okies to the north.

Merry Christmas, kids! Hurry-up, the Lakers play the Heat at noon. Who cares, dad, have the bowls started yet?

JHawk74 10 years, 9 months ago

Withey and Young will be given the best chance to play early. If they produce they will continue to play. If they don't help the team they will be benched and the freshman will be allowed to play. No doubt someone will transfer after season. It happens almost every season. I think the only two players with established positions is Robinson and Taylor. All other spots in the rotation is up for grabs. I believe Releford, Johnson and McLemore will be in the mix but none are guaranteed a starting spot.

Most likely starting line up for first game: Taylor Johnson Releford Robinson Withey

My prediction for the Big 12 season starting line up and stats: Taylor (11 pts - 6 assists per game) - Season high pts: 22 McLemore (13 pts - 2 assists per game) - Season high pts: 26 Releford (12 pts - 4 rebounds - 2 assists per game) - Season high pts: 19 Robinson (18 pts - 11 rebonuds - 1.2 blocks per game) Season high pts: 24 Young (6 pts - 10 rebounds - 0.5 blocks per game) Season high pts: 15

Sixth Man: Johnson (10 pts - 5 assists/ per game) Seasn high pts: 21 Bench: Withey, Traylor, Tharpe (Withey: 6 pts - 7 rebounds - 1 block per game) Bench Warmers: Teahan, Roberts, Junneman (Teahan will hit 4 threes in one game early season) Redshirt or Transfers: Garret, Lindsay

Rob Bedford III 10 years, 9 months ago

Where does Anderson fit in your prediction?

Jack Wilson 10 years, 9 months ago

Not disputing your predictions .. this is good off season stuff. 1. I doubt EJ will find the bench. Defensively he excelled which give him a leg up. Chance to be the star of this team. But I think Releford will be the man .. second to Robinson. 2. If Withey is not a starter, we may be in trouble. Meaning because he did not progress as hoped. 3. Self just said a few days ago that Justin Wesley will "definitely" be a part of the rotation. You don't list him at all. But I would tend to agree with you. 4. Robphog points out your lack of Anderson in the equation. Likely an oversight. Though I think it highly probable that either Traylor or Anderson is a pure benchwarmer after getting a tryout with some time in December. 5. Look at your starting lineup ... this has the potential of being a stellar defensive team. That, I predict, will be our calling card as we progress into January. It will need to be our calling card. Withey's presence in the middle will be a big factor there. Need a solid 22-24 minutes there.

Jeeveshawk 10 years, 9 months ago

In a year or two Traylor will be shockingly good if he can combine Aldriches smooth but huge game, TRobs bulky and yet super entergeticness, and the Morris twins unstoppable postmoves and abilities to knock down any open shot they are given.

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