Friday, November 11, 2011


What if … the twins stayed?


No other two-letter word that says nothing real has inspired so many words written about it as “if.”

Rudyard Kipling penned the best in his signature poem “If,” which starts,

“If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you ...”

Coaches and baseball managers generally hate questions that begin with “if” because it often means a hypothetical follows.

“If,” Tommy Lasorda routinely snarled. “If a bullfrog had wings, it could fly.”

Good point. Additionally, if the queen refused to stop to ask for directions even if it meant driving aimlessly for hours, fired a sexual thought every seven seconds and hogged the TV remote, she would be the king.

Put the word “what” in front of “if” and it becomes even more meaningless. What’s the point in wasting time on “What if?” “What if I won the lottery?” First purchase: the Batmobile, behind the wheel of which I could bomb around the streets of Lawrence, hoping not to get flagged for speeding by the cop parked at the bottom of the hill heading east-bound on Ninth Street, just east of Iowa.

But just this once, indulge me in “What if,” before Kansas University’s basketball season starts, and I promise to leave it alone forever.

What if Marcus and Markieff Morris had decided to return for their senior years for fear the NBA lockout would keep them idle for too long?

Before considering what that would have meant to KU’s chances of winning an eighth consecutive Big 12 title, look at what it would have done for the twins’ development. For a young basketball player, every day not spent getting better is a day spent getting worse. No matter what individual workouts or scrimmages athletes engage in — regardless of the strength of the competition — nothing substitutes for being pushed with peers by a coaching staff and competing for a team. Plus, Marcus Morris could have used this season to show off his perimeter skills.

The problem with this scenario is that it can apply to a number of schools that lost players early to last year’s NBA Draft. Suspend that reality and go with the fantasy, just this once. The starting five for today’s 7 p.m. opening tip against Towson: Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson, Marcus Morris, Thomas Robinson, Markieff Morris. Fast, big, experienced, explosive and skilled. Coming off the bench: Travis Releford, Jeff Withey, Naadir Tharpe, Conner Teahan. An answer for every need.

That lineup would ensure KU entering the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed for the fifth time in six seasons, numbers of fantasy. That just doesn’t happen. Not for Duke. Not for North Carolina. Not for UConn. Not for Michigan State. Not for UCLA. Not for anybody.

Kansas enters this rebuilding season ranked No. 13. Come to think of it, who needs to ask “What if” to enjoy it?


kusportsdotcom 10 years, 7 months ago

The first half of this article was the most incoherent, babbling crap I've ever read. Seriously, do you think about your words before you start typing?

But to answer the "what if" question regarding the twins... KU would be number one in the nation, and anything short of a national title would be a letdown.

manginorh00lz 10 years, 7 months ago


I really don't understand Keegan's obsession with folksy, quasi-sexist ramblings. What is he trying to prove? Who is he trying to prove it to? It's just so completely unnecessary.

Ann Oneill 10 years, 7 months ago

I had to read the first sentence several times to figure out wtf he was trying to say.

actorman 10 years, 7 months ago

It's interesting that in one of his other recent columns he said something like "Call me sexist, but ...," followed by a ridiculously sexist comment, and then in this column he proved again how much of a sexist he is.

I've defended him in the past but his act is wearing EXTREMELY thin.

"But just this once, indulge me in 'What if,' before Kansas University’s basketball season starts, and I promise to leave it alone forever."

If only you were promising to just LEAVE forever. Seriously, Keegan, just do us all a favor and go away.

stahlin 10 years, 7 months ago

maybe its the fat that makes you incoherent, he writes more like peter king everyday. next week he'll be telling us about where he got his favorite coffee and name dropping

Pitthawk34 10 years, 7 months ago

What if we never hired Gill, that would be a better what if. What if's get us nowhere.

onlylookin2score 10 years, 7 months ago

What if I took a great big breath of the Phog?

Ben Levy 10 years, 7 months ago

What if you could actually write a decent article?... I guess we'll never know

LAJayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

"That just doesn’t happen. Not for Duke. Not for North Carolina. Not for UConn. Not for Michigan State. Not for UCLA. Not for anybody."

No, it doesn't happen.

You know why it doesn't happen?

Because two players that go 13th and 14th in the NBA draft, respectively, do not stick around. They don't hold out for another year for the college version of the dream team. They don't set aside their own personal security for the business of college athletics which gives very little return on investment. They go on to be professionals in the field they have trained enough in to make a very successful living. They do not stick around.

Now, do teams sometimes get 1 guy to stay (i.e. Danny Manning) when he could go top 15? Of course. But to have TWO all-American caliber forwards who are clear lottery picks BOTH stick around for another season.... yeah, you are absolutely correct... that doesn't happen. Not in the way this system is set up. And it didn't happen for KU, just like it doesn't happen for the other Blue Blood programs.

So, what if. What if you would have come up with a legitimate idea for an opinion piece instead of the lazy trappings of the general sports blogger. What if our sports editor had a creative mind that not only inspired but made us take a deeper look at the symbolic nature of the battle of athletics as it relates to the ongoing struggle of the human condition.

Or even an reporter who doesn't seem like a college kid who put off writing his English paper until 2 hours before it was due.

What if, indeed.

David Lara 10 years, 7 months ago

Yes, but let me give you another what if. What if these great players had no guarantee they could be playing b-ball in the league making big money? Isn't that what Keegan wrote in his "what if" statement?? What if you actually read the article stating exactly this? Changes things just a little, right?

Here's another one. What if you take a look at the all the lottery picks that returned this season. Sullinger would have gone much higher than the twins. Harrison Barnes as well. Perry Jones III was slated to be top 5. The list goes on. There were plenty of guys to prove your point wrong all because the usual assumptions of getting big money and exposure in the League were more than just a little suspect.

The only reason Keegs is writing about it right now is because the whole season is currently flat-lining and there are apparently plenty of folks reaching for the plug instead of the paddles.

You maybe can't say the twins made a dumb move, but it was most definitely not a smart move. People need to get a clue. Nothing wrong with Keeg's "what if" statement.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

"...but it was most definitely not a smart move."

And with that your entire post became totally irrelevant. They are lottery picks with guaranteed contracts who would have gained very little from another year in school. You are right, people do need to get a clue...

And to the players you mentioned sticking around... every mock draft out there had the twins going basically where they went. So any point about other players not in the draft is moot. And it actually makes them leaving when they did make EVEN MORE sense. They left in a weaker draft than what it could have been. So the timing is good, even with the lockout.

But my point was that this is a pointless article. There are an infinite number of topics that Keegan could have taken on that wouldn't have seemed like a lazy way to fill the newspaper page.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I did not.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

What if the hokey-pokey ISN'T what it's all about ?

kureader 10 years, 7 months ago

Fortunately, I wasn't drinking coffee when I read your post. lol. Good one, nuleaf. Regardless of what your friends probably think, you are clever sometimes.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

lol - I don't even know what to think about that !! thanks? I think?

Mo Golany 10 years, 7 months ago

The real what if should have been what if Josh Selby had stayed! Then we would have had a sick 3 point shooter to start and eith EJ or Travis off the bench! Instead he choose to make no money and get picked 48th in the draft which equals chump change to what he could have gotten had he stayed!

ccarp 10 years, 7 months ago

Then they would not have been lottery picks. Better question is what if Selby stayed. Or what if Coach Self can get the most of the team he has. I think we have a good chance to see that one!

ccarp 10 years, 7 months ago

I agree, I am excited to see! Hopefully Withey can give solid minutes too.

thebigspoon 10 years, 7 months ago

Oh, I don't know. Isn't Shaq, like, 93 or something. How about Greg Oden? He was 48 when he finally left college.

klineisanazi 10 years, 7 months ago

What if.....Brandon Rush hadn't injured himself in the summer of 2007 and was drafted? Think KU would have won a national championship? You can play this game all day.

Steve Brown 10 years, 7 months ago

If KU lottery pick players stay around, it further hurts our efforts with future recruits that envision they are hot stuff.

Love to dream about a 'stacked' KU team, yet happy we send those with talent onward and upward. Keeps the pipeline flowing.

David Lara 10 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, because our whale of a recruiting class would have been in big jeopardy this season. HUH??? Which big man would have told us "no thanks" due to the twins returning? Braedon? Jamari? (Hint: those are you only two options besides C: All of the above)

Robert Brown 10 years, 7 months ago

The labor situation and the cancelled games in the NBA is not a surprise. Hopefully that was factored into any decision to apply for the NBA draft. I can't blame anyone for deciding to get the guaranteed money, but I'm not sure whether or not the draftee have even signed contracts. They certainly aren't getting paid as of today.

Sam Constance 10 years, 7 months ago

Any player drafted in the first round of the 2011 Draft will have a guaranteed contract of some kind when/if the owners and players stop acting like children...

...IF the new CBA doesn't involve changes to the way the draft and rookie contracts work. Certainly a possibility, but I would surmise that if anything would change, it might be the amounts and lengths of contracts that would be affected. I'm doubtful that the fact that all first-round draftees are guaranteed a contract would go away completely.

But you're right--none of them are getting paid until they sign on the dotted line. Interestingly, the two sides are as close to ending the lockout as they've been since it started. There is a halfway decent possibility that the players could agree to the latest proposal and a 72-game season will be played:

Robert Brock 10 years, 7 months ago

Look on the bright side: it created the opportunity to see Conner Teahan play the 4.

chriz 10 years, 7 months ago

What if people stopped underestimating this team? That's a big what if...

justinryman 10 years, 7 months ago

If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts we'd all have a very merry Christmas.

If my aunt Mary had testicles she'd be my uncle Larry.

If the Big 12 actually had 12 schools then it's name would make sense. (See also Big10)

If I had more caffeine I could write more, but since I don't....

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

He probably feels the need to explain himself early in the article why "ifs" don't matter so he doesn't get a backlash from a bunch of snot-nosed spoiled punks. So indulge him like he's requesting this once and quit being so critical. I swear some of you guys are 3 years old.

It's a legitimate proposition, Keagan, and I have thought about that possibility as probably every other KU fan has as we enter this season. I for one, however, am glad to see the twins move on. As much as I admire the skill set they brought to the table, I am looking forward to seeing Releford, Johnson, & Teahan on the court. These guys have waited patiently to make their mark on this program and I have a feeling people are going to be pleasantly surprised with how good these guys have become during that waiting period. I wish the best of luck to the Morris's, but welcome the new faces and the development of our existing team.


MGJayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

Not for nothing but the Twins wouldn't have fit in with this team. They were ready for the NBA. They would have been frustrated with the inconsistency this team will bring to the table due to the youth movement.

I like our team this year. You can't put a price tag on athleticism (which we have a lot of). We as fans have to value this team because they will look like a team we have not ever seen in a KU uniform. We have 1 true big man (T Rob). The rest are Guards or poor man's PF's.

To me that means we will get out and "run" a lot. This team will look nothing like a typical Bill Self coached team.

In my opinion, the Twins would not have fit in.

Joel Hood 10 years, 7 months ago

If this tripe was only published online, I'd swear Keegs was trolling.

milehighhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

What the hell is this crap, Keegan?


Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 7 months ago

this article should have been written about four or five months ago. Because then the lockout was just getting started to be a news issue. Now, when you can see the big picture and it looks like it will get solved soon, it's a moot point.

be that as it may, with the ineligible players that we recruited, this is the one time that it would have been greatly beneficial to both sides for players to come back. this includes Selby. He really made the mistake going pro. The twins not so much becasue they eventually will get their reward. Sebly could very easily get lost in the shuffle.

With Marcus, Markieff and Josh, we would be sitting real pretty. the twins and Tyshawn would give great senior would have been a salute season for those guys....nostalgic...and we would be darn GOOD.

but, it is what it is, and now we'll see what happens. we're a scrappy bunch for sure....these guys will play hard...i really like Tharpe...and i think it will be a fun year.

i still stay, if we go north of 11-7 in the league, it's a great it, and Bill Self is coach of the year...not even a question.

Go Jayhawks!

Hank Cross 10 years, 7 months ago

What if God tried to make a rock so heavy He couldn't lift it?

What if Napoleon had a B-52 at the Battle of Waterloo?

What if Keegan purposely writes nonsense knowing it will generate clicks and comments?

Mo Mosallaei 10 years, 7 months ago

What if C.A.T. really .. spelled ... Dog.

jgkojak 10 years, 7 months ago

This year's team's only issue is lack of depth at big-

it looks like Teahan and Tharpe will be extremely competent back-ups at guard.

Keep Robinson in the game, and we're going to be fine, whether its Withey, Young or Wesley playing opposite him.

We're spoiled because, guess what, most teams have 3-4 players that play 35 minutes.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 7 months ago

Then answer: we'd be great. No more Brady or Tyrel bricked threes and wasted minutes, and even more dominant inside. Still, we'll be ok this year because of the former.

capnwacky 10 years, 7 months ago

What if Paul Pierce had stayed?

What if Drew Gooden had stayed?

What if Xavier Henry had stayed?

This is a fun game.

RockCaCO3 10 years, 7 months ago

If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle.

Gregor Southard 10 years, 7 months ago

What if the posters here took the advice "Lighten up, Frances?"

Kevin Huffman 10 years, 7 months ago

Honestly, I thought it was smart for the twins to declare once all the higher-rated guys like Barnes & Sullinger, etc. all said they were staying. Boosted their ranking and got them drafted higher than they would've been next year. I don't think they had all that much more they could do to impress at the college level. Their stock wasn't going to get much higher and comparatively all that could happen is that they would drop down. Not the same for T-Rob. He'll be able to be showcased moreso this year.

trueblue68 10 years, 7 months ago

"What if" a Healthy Josh Selby had stayed too????

Strange no mention of him, with this fantasy??????

The bigger question that Keegan did not write about , is how or why was Roy & his Stafff able to keep all of their Upper Class Burger AAs, & also get 2 more new Burger AAs to come to UNC also??? & Self & Staff did not do either one???

HawkKlaw 10 years, 7 months ago

Cool story bro!

Then again, Bill Self & Co. didn't have to settle for the NIT last year and probably won't have to this year either. Would you rather have good recruits or a good team?

brgregory 10 years, 7 months ago

Is Keegan actually paid for stuff like this? I mean "what if"? Seriously!?

texashawk10 10 years, 7 months ago

What if I actually read the article instead of just clicking on it to post a smartass remark?

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 7 months ago

In regards to 2011-2012, I think my "what if?" is "what if we stay healthy?" If we do, I think it's going to be another really good year. If not, we'll see...

HawkKlaw 10 years, 7 months ago

It's bad when you can tell it's a Keegan article by the headline.

And it's even worse when you try to read and comprehend the article.

John Myers 10 years, 7 months ago

Good grief, you write some garbage, Keegan.. Wow...

Scott Smetana 10 years, 7 months ago

Painfully true to read. I hope the Twins, Selby, and Xavier are using their downtime to lecture young talent to never listen to agents' promises and $$

jaybate 10 years, 7 months ago

KU would be scheduling the Lakers and the Heat for home and homes, that's what.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 7 months ago

What it no one read Keegan......would the articles still suck?

What if no one ever uttered the words what if again?

What if monkeys flew out of my butt? [ makes no sense with this string, but the visuals always remain hilarious!!]

refugee 10 years, 7 months ago

What if Katy Perry could dunk? Would HCBS recruit her? Would she play the 2 or the 3? What # would she wear? C'mon Keegan, these are important issues....

Commenting has been disabled for this item.