Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beyond the Phog’ excerpt: Keith Langford on Kris Humphries, Roy Williams

"Beyond the Phog" book.

"Beyond the Phog" book.



Courtesy photo

"Beyond the Phog" book.

The following is an excerpt from "Beyond the Phog - Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball's Most Dominant Decade." Compiled by Jason King of Yahoo! Sports and Lawrence Journal-World sportswriter Jesse Newell, the 400-page book includes interviews with 40 players and coaches from the most successful era in Jayhawks history. "Beyond the Phog" will be available in stores Sept. 30. For more information or to pre-order the book, check out will run excerpts from the book throughout the next few weeks.

In Keith Langford's words ...


Most people don’t know this, but we had a lot of recruits take visits here, guys that are in the NBA right now, that Roy turned down. He would talk to us after their visit and ask us if we thought the guy would be a good fit. That was Roy's thing: It wasn’t always about getting the highest-rated recruits. It was about getting guys who were the best fit for what was going on.

Kris Humphries came on a visit and tried to commit. He really wanted to come here. But no one on the team liked Kris Humphries. He was arrogant. He told everyone he was going to come in and be the leading scorer as a freshman and that we’d all have to take a backseat to him. We were trying to be respectful and not say anything. But he was an absolute jerk. It was tough, because Roy was really excited about him. Kris Humphries was a big deal. He was a one-and-done or a two-and-done kind of player. Roy wanted him to commit on his visit. But we told him, "Coach, you can't bring this guy in. You can't do it." You'd figure Roy would say something like, “Let’s work on him,” or “Let’s give him another chance.” Instead he told Humphries, “Sorry, but you can’t come.” Bill Self did the same thing years later with Terrence Williams.

For all the respect we showed Roy, he always made it a point to show respect back. He treated everyone in his program really well. The coaches would never eat before the players. And when it came to getting in line for food, the seniors would always go first — then junior, sophomores, freshmen, managers and then coaches at the very end. They treated everyone from top to bottom the absolute same. Drew would get the same amount of attention that Chris Zerbe would get. It was incredible. His morals and his ethics and the way he conducted himself ... we would never catch him being a hypocrite. That was big with us.

Another thing was that, with us, you never had to worry about any sort of NCAA violations or rule-breaking. Roy always emphasized that he was going to do everything he could to help get us money. He was going to squeeze every dollar he could out of our scholarship checks. He was going to help us get our Pell grants and find camps for us to work at during the summer. He'd always say, “Don’t do anything to break NCAA rules, because we’re going to make sure you have a way to make money.” He was great about that. The fact that we stayed out of trouble also goes back to the character of guys he brought in. Like I said, it wasn't always the top 10 guys. It was the guys who were the best fit.


Ryan Mullen 10 years, 10 months ago

Thanks aphersecoaching. How many names do you post under? I know 2 of them have been banned.

Ryan Mullen 10 years, 10 months ago

Alright time to lay off of grandpa's medicine.

Funhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

This book sounds so revealing, I want to read it NOW!

hawk316 10 years, 10 months ago

I was never a "Roy hater." I was very much disappointed when he left for North Carolina, but I was always grateful for what he did for KU. Nevertheless, this excerpt really gives me a greater appreciation for the man.

Don Everett 10 years, 10 months ago

Great excerpt, can't wait to get the book!!!

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 10 months ago

I can amazed Roy allowed cash payment to the graduating seniors by a booster. For being such a control freak it's very odd he thought that would be ok.

Danny Hernandez 10 years, 10 months ago

as for payments to seniors, I'm sure Coach Williams thought that since they exhausted their eligibility, it was ok....I too would have thought the same and obviously been wrong. I still don't see whats the big deal.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

"Most people don’t know this, but we had a lot of recruits take visits here, guys that are in the NBA right now, that Roy turned down. He would talk to us after their visit and ask us if we thought the guy would be a good fit. That was Roy's thing: It wasn’t always about getting the highest-rated recruits. It was about getting guys who were the best fit for what was going on."

That was the only thing I read in this article. It seems very much like what Self does and most of you want his head to roll because he can't land every single top recruit.

Maybe he doesn't WANT every single top recruit ??

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't want his head to roll...I love the guy! I took my daughter to a function where he was the guest speaker. I won't profess to know HCBS, but he came across as the most genuine dude I've ever been around that has that kind of influence and power. I know, I know...Jayhawk fans already know that! But since I was lucky enough to hear him talk to a small group of people, I gained that added bit of perspective I never had from watching him on TV.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Glad you had that opportunity! I'm pretty enthused about him also. (except for a few times in late March - sorry)

It just makes me crazy to hear people whining about his "inability" to recruit. Maybe it's just me, but when I look at his record - kinda makes me think he knows what he's doing! I'm funny that way.

You watch - even after landing Perry Ellis, people will lose their minds if Self can't sign Shabazz. " See - TOLD you he can't recruit the really good ones ".

I guess I'll just have to bite my tongue until the end of the season when his " sad-sack " recruits have another 30+ wins.

selfishhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Really? Self brought in Selby. Bad fit. He brought in CJ Giles. Bad fit. Xavier Henry. His parents stole the show. He wanted "Born Ready", and would have taken him, but X opened back up his recruitment. Should I go on?

I am a big fan of Roy for lots of reasons. I disliked him for some too. I also am a big fan of Self. I also dislike him, primarily because he recruits some kids of low character, which Roy only did once (Lester Earl). Either way, don't compare how Roy recruits to Self. When Roy was here, we had one of the cleanest and most respected programs in the country. Now we are just like everyone else - clean with a couple question marks.

Michael Pannacciulli 10 years, 10 months ago

This is how all coaches except Cal operate, it's their job. I was a student during the Roy years and will always be a fan of his. loved the teams, Roy's fire, etc. Keith was a lot of fun to watch...quick and had some great dunks!

breckmoney 10 years, 10 months ago

Wrong. That's just what some media and fans of other schools that don't take the time to know what really goes on with Cal will say. At least at UK, all of his guys have been great citizens and by all accounts good people. I can think of at least 3 recent big time recruits who have begged Cal to take them and he said no for this exact reason - the one you're probably most familiar with is Josh Selby. How'd that work out? Others are Quincy Miller last year and Ricardo Ledo this year. Deshaun Thomas also wanted to decommit from OSU to come to UK and Cal told him that wouldn't be right.

I continue to enjoy these excerpts and look forward to reading, even as a UK fan. I respect KU and actually root for them usually. I'd love nothing more than UK-KU championship each year.

Matt Kenton 10 years, 10 months ago

So, you are claiming that Selby, the number ONE recruit by rivals, begged to to go to Kentucky and was turned down by Calipari because he was not a great citizen and by all accounts a good person?

addlime 10 years, 10 months ago

Even Bill Self recruited Harrison Barnes and Brandon Knight ahead of Selby. Plus, Selby wasn't ranked #1 in most rankings by the time he came to KU. He had fallen to an average of about 5, with Barnes and Knight ahead of him. Only one ranking (espn, maybe, can't remember) had Selby at #1 when he came to KU.

Steven Mathew 10 years, 10 months ago

I believe in all due respect, that once Brandon Knight committed, Calipari backed off of Selby because he had his point guard. He didn't need Selby to be a SG because they already had Doron Lamb.

breckmoney 10 years, 10 months ago

Correct, all along Cal preferred Knight to Selby - partially on court and partially due to off the court. He got his guy (an honor student & class act). Selby still wanted to go to UK in a Wall/Bledsoe type thing and Cal said no. Had Knight chosen somewhere else, it might have been different.

Chris Bruning 10 years, 10 months ago

interesting take there breckmoney, interesting indeed......but here is how it really went down....Selby had interest in Kansas and on a visit to Lawrence to a game vs. Iowa State it showed him and Maeshon.....there is no place as good as this, done deal. KU it was.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations, I've seen Kentucky fans come here over the years. You're the first that has not had vicious insults thrown back at him for what he wrote!

brooksmd 10 years, 10 months ago

We are talking about the same Calipari who called Terrence Jones after he committed to UW and made him feel bad enough to de-commit and then select UK. Great ethics.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I hate Cal. But I would say that he probably USE to operate that way. Nowadays he just offers to the cream of the crop and 90% accept gladly. He was the guy that stopped recruiting Selby last year and that looks like a good decision by him in retrospect given that Selby wasn't eligible to start the year and Brandon Knight grew into the better point guard. Cal is smart in that he markets himself and his program better than any other coach in America. Kids these days care about the clearest path to the NBA and that's what he is promising them even though other schools are producing just as much NBA talent. That said, I'm proud that we have the guy that snatched a national title away from him in 2008.

100 10 years, 10 months ago

Rock Chalk, Breck.

It would be great if UK & KU could get that yearly game going again.

Unfortunately for now it looks like you'll have to settle for Missouri in the SEC.

See you guys at MSG.

breckmoney 10 years, 10 months ago

Believe me, I can't stand those UK fans as much as you. I imagine you guys have your fair share of radical idiots who give everyone a bad name too (I certainly know UNC, Duke, Indiana and others do). I'd never been to this site until finding links from Jason King's twitter account to the book excerpts. As I commented on the first one, any behind-the-scenes look at an elite basketball school I'll find fascinating (except probably Duke). I read TheShiver occasionally because they have good recruiting info usually, but don't comment.

Good for Selby at KU. Admittedly, I didn't follow him too closely while there, but would watch games and perhaps let analysts critiques carry too much weight (selfish, team plays better without him, headcase, etc). I should've learned my lesson with analysts with how DeMarcus Cousins was portrayed outside of UK circles during his time in Lexington.

Your other point is valid too. Recruiting at UK is much different than at Memphis. The original comment I replied to was written in present tense so I was just backing Cal a bit.

Good luck this season. I'll be at MSG. And, Good luck with Perry Ellis shortly. Everything seems to be pointing to him being a Jayhawk but maybe UK surprises. If nothing else, he and his family have shown to be class acts and will be a nice addition to any campus/team.

Dan Harris 10 years, 10 months ago

Good posts, your welcome here anytime. Good luck with all your games this year ecxept the ONE at the garden!

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't think I would say all but the better ones do... Roy will go down as one of the best coaches of the game. I just wish he won a NC here. But now we have another HOF Coach... And this season will be special.

FSUJHAWK 10 years, 10 months ago

Where are the proceeds from the sale of this book going?


bay93 10 years, 10 months ago

I was watching from the stands when Kris Humphries visited. Roy got mad at someone during practice and then turned around a yelled at Humphries, "Yes Kris Humphres, if you come here I'll yell at you like that too". Neil Dougherty came running over to talk to Humphries, looked like he was trying to smooth things out. My thought was, I guess he's not coming. I never would have thought that he was turned down.

kuis1 10 years, 10 months ago

I played against Kris Humphries in 8th grade at a basketball camp and all the coaches did was kiss his butt the entire time. He was an arrogant baby and the camp had to go his way or he would throw a fit. I can definitely confirm what Langford was saying about him. Very happy Roy passed on him.

Matt Kenton 10 years, 10 months ago

Wow, that would be a great gesture on the part of Self to invite him. Don't think it would happen. Also, this has got to be a great recruiting tool, not sure you want a a recruit seeing Pierce, Collison, Ostertag, Pollard, Gurley palling around with Roy. Larry Brown and Ted Owens will be there.

Ron Prichard 10 years, 10 months ago

If I am not mistaken it has been reported that Roy and the other NC coaches with KU ties were invited but were unable to come due to their schedules. Whether any of that is true or not I don't know.

James McGuire 10 years, 10 months ago

Per the LJ World, and as raprichard said, Roy and other coaches were invited but are unable to attend.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 10 months ago

I would also but the timing isn't the best.. Still, its only one night.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 10 months ago

Looking like a pretty decent book about KU basketball. I'll have to have my wife buy it for me for Christmas.

Vincent Patterson 10 years, 10 months ago

After all the crap Roy received from UNC fans after pulling that sticker stunt at the Final Four, ain't no way in hell he was about to show up to The Legends game. UNC fans are still salty about that! I wouldn't expect to see him at an event like that until he retires. Would be cool as hell to see him there though.

Scott Oswalt 10 years, 10 months ago

A random fan slapped that sticker on Roy. He just didn't bother to take it off :)

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 10 months ago

Just for something lighthearted: Missouri town kindly asks the University of Kansas to drop 'Jayhawks' nickname for celebrating domestic terrorism.

The people of Osceola, Missouri, are still butt hurt over Jayhawkers raiding their town 150 years ago. The Columbia Daily Tribune is reporting that the town's board of aldermen passed a resolution Tuesday requesting that the University of Kansas drop its "Jayhawks" nickname and end the school's supposed association with "a group of domestic terrorists."

John Randall 10 years, 10 months ago

Good point. Every chance, I remind misguided denizens of Mt Oread that there is a difference between Jayhawks and JayhawkERs.

farnamjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Osceola's high schools mascot is an "Indian"........... Thanks for casting the first stone Osceola

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 10 months ago

Roy also had the clarevoyance of not wanting to attend the big wedding this past summer!

baby_jay 10 years, 10 months ago

i saw this story on US Magazine's website - national (gossip) news!

Ethan Berger 10 years, 10 months ago

Still don't like what Roy did to us, but his teams have always have good chemistry. That is what makes him and Self such great coaches. They don't have to get the top 5 guys in every class. They get good talent that gel well and they become great talent (Collison, Hinrich, Morris Twins to name a few for both coaches).

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

"Some Suggestions For Future Props for's Banner Ads that Run on"

~one well cooked vermicelli

~one foot-long ball park, hot dog tenderized by a jackhammer.

~one bathtub soaked Liga Privada No. 9 ” Robusto Oscuro” cigar by Drew Estate

~one 50 feet length of half inch garden hose heated for a day under a Goodland sun in August.

~one long balloon tied into a wiener dog by Whizzo the Clown back in 1964 and now deflated and pressed into a yellowed scrap book.

~one 20 feet length of ethernet cable obsoleted by an Apple Airport and softened by a forced air heating vent.

~one 6 feet length of electric cord for Betty Hudson's vintage Hitachi Magic Wand.

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