Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kansas men’s basketball notebook: Lyons to visit KU; Self offers NYC prep


Former Xavier University basketball combo guard Mark Lyons said Tuesday he is considering a transfer to just three schools — Kansas University, Kentucky and Arizona.

He told the Journal-World he has not set any dates for campus visits to the three finalists.

Lyons, 6-foot-1, 190- pound college senior-to-be from Schnectady, N.Y., played his senior year of high school at Brewster Academy, alma mater of former KU forward Thomas Robinson and current KU guard Naadir Tharpe. He was recruited to Xavier initially by current Arizona coach Sean Miller.

Lyons averaged 15.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game for the Musketeers, who advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. He is wrapping up work on his degree. If he graduates in May, he’s eligible to play immediately at any school.

KU offers McCullough: Chris McCullough, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound junior-to-be from Salisbury School in Salisbury, Conn., has been offered a scholarship by KU, reports.

McCullough, who is originally from Bronx, N.Y., has already visited St. John’s, Seton Hall, Arizona, UConn, and Syracuse.’s No. 10-rated player holds scholarship offers from KU, North Carolina, UConn, Pitt, Louisville, Florida, Arizona, Memphis and Iowa State.

“Chris received an offer today from Kansas,” McCullough’s AAU coach, Terrance “Munch” Williams, told

When asked specifics, Team SCAN coach Williams said: “Head coach Bill Self and assistant Norm Roberts called me today.”

Team SCAN will play in the Boo Williams AAU tournament this weekend.

“I’m looking for playing time as a freshman and want a school with a good graduation rate,” McCullough told “I want an up-tempo, fast-pace team that uses the pick and roll.”

McCullough wants to make a decision this summer.

Iowa Mr. Basketball visits Creighton: Former Wisconsin forward Jarrod Uthoff, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound freshman from Marengo, Iowa, visited Creighton on Monday and will visit Iowa State in early May, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Initially, Wisconsin tried to limit his transfer possibilities, but now says he can go anywhere outside of the Big 10.

Uthoff has not mentioned KU on his list of schools. His AAU coach says Northern Iowa and Florida are also possibilities.

“I’m just looking for the best fit for me,” Uthoff told the Gazette. “Whether a team is on the rise or not is not really a concern of mine. It’s all different types of aspects of the system and of the program.”

Seven-footer update: Przemek Karnowski, a 7-foot high school senior center from Poland, will not visit KU or Duke, according to Gonzaga is considered the favorite with Marquette and Cal-Berkeley possible destinations. He’s been compared to the NBA’s Marc Gasol. Gonzaga coach Mark Few traveled to Warsaw recently to watch Karnowski play. Earlier this week, it was reported that Duke and KU were trying to get involved.


trustyourSelf 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't think I want Lyons. It feels a bit like a OAD to me. Plus all the stuff we've read about him forcing stuff late in games and not getting along with his coach. I sort of like the idea of having Trav or Ben play the 2 anyway.

....on a side note I'm totally confused as to why the Uthoff story was mentioned here.

Cmill1221 10 years, 5 months ago

Haha!! Agree about Uthoff! What did that have to do with anything!?!? Transfer that no KU coach has contacted, has no links to KU, and no KU fan knows about does not have KU on list. Thanks for the update!

addlime 10 years, 5 months ago

I disagree. Everyone has been hearing a lot about the Uthoff transfer saga, and the guy can play a bit. So I think its natural to wonder whether he's interested in KU and whether KU is interested in him. A short paragraph explaining no and no at least lets us know that JW looked into it and nothing is gonna happen there. Its not like they tried to write an entire story about him or something.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 5 months ago

Lyons in announcing that he is leaving X said he wants to run the point. I really don't want him in place of EJ.

addlime 10 years, 5 months ago

I worry about that also. At the very most, it seems like they could share duties like Self teams have in the past. But in the end, there is gonna be one guy on the crucial possessions and I think EJ has earned that right. On the other hand, maybe I'd rather have Lyons penetrating and dishing to EJ for the open 3.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 5 months ago

Mark Lyons is a true point guard while EJ is better at the 2. Not saying that EJ couldn't run the point but I would rather see EJ setting up to hit the three than passing to others or driving in the lane.

At worst, it's another option and at best, it might just be the last piece of a championship team

RJ King 10 years, 5 months ago

Well, the Parker Sweepstakes is over and the boards need to be fed.

You're here, therefore you're hungry. Consider it a buffet.You don't have to put everything on your plate. Pass if you're not interested.

Alohahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Just like with a newspaper. Scan the headlines, and pick and choose your poison. During the off-season there's only so much to write about. At least with a new article every two or three days it allows us regulars/diehards space to express views on anything we feel pertains to KU BB.

As for Lyons, KU could use a dyed in the wool backup PG. But I'm also sure that Self doesn't want to disturb the chemistry this team has from last season. As has been proven in the past, a visit with possible future teammates could clear up questions which might arise along those lines.

10 years, 5 months ago

Cool new avatar, Aloha! Just curious though, what happened to the lovely young lady that previously graced your profile? I hope it wasn’t the dreaded cease and desist communiqué for using a licensed image without express written consent, which of course, is strictly prohibited :-)

Alohahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Mahalo, txrockchalk. When I was first debating what to use as an avatar I had always had the surfing Jayhawk as my first option and had already made this one. Then someone on here (can't remember which poster) suggested a wahine lei greeter from the airport. So, I talked a friend of mine into posing with the lei and added the Jayhawk. As for the change, I had mentioned a few weeks ago that with the off season I'd let her take a vacation. One's arms get tired holding up that lei all day. She'll return sometime around the start of next BB season. As I posted above regarding newspaper headlines, "Pick and choose your poison." In this case, however, I'd have to say, "Pick your favorite flavor." :>?

And to BigManU, below: I, myself, doubt Lyons chooses KU for exactly the reason you mention. He sounds like he wants to be principle PG. I think EJ has earned that position and I look forward to seeing him there. Sort of one of those scenarios: Damned if you do (Bring in Lyons), and damned if you don't. It may all depend on whether Self trusts in the future abilities of Tharpe and/or Adams.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't think Self is looking for a "Backup". You don't bring in a Senior 1000 point scoring PG to be a backup for just one year. I think Self sees Lyons and EJ playing together in the backcourt.

It's definitely interesting that is for sure.

ohjayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm guessing the Uthoff story was mentioned only because there are inevitably people who ask about the possibility of any transfer going to KU. I'm guessing they figure if they say up front it doesn't appear he's going to be a Jayhawk, it might cut down on some of that? Just a hunch.

John Myers 10 years, 5 months ago

Might be a stretch for a connection, but he mentions Uthoff was Iowa's Mr Basketball - as were Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich..

Miguel Colón 10 years, 5 months ago

I have said it for years since Kirk and Nick left, we need WHITE BOYS FROM IOWA on the team! We are three for three! I know that was not politically correct, and before I get blasted, I am a latino man that misses the Iowa connection!

John Boyle 10 years, 5 months ago

Of course he is a one and done. He only has one year of eligibility left. He has some upside but we really don't need a ball hog for one year.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 5 months ago

I figured they mentioned it because of Iowa State which affects us at least twice a year. And maybe to clarify that he wasn't visiting KU. It was a pretty heavy topic on the boards for a while, so maybe someone thought some readers were interested.

Mel Clare 10 years, 5 months ago

Of course he is a OAD...........he graduates in May but has 1 year sports elegibilty

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 5 months ago

He will graduate this spring. He will need to enroll in a graduate program not offered by Xavier in order to play immediately.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want this guy. He brings experience and a would bring needed depth to our bench. Plus, I don't want either Arizona or Kentucky to get him.

I do understand the downside from his past behavior but he did graduate. There has also been some discussion on Anrio Adams transcripts. Of course this is all academic. Seems like every time a new name is mentioned, he ends up going somewhere else. I cannot understand why a player would rather be coached by a Sean Miller or a Ben Howland then Bill Self. I wonder how many Arizona players will transfer next year?

Brandon Pope 10 years, 5 months ago

“I want an up-tempo, fast-pace team that uses the pick and roll.”?

Welcome to Kansas my friend.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 5 months ago

Ku offense isnt pick and roll is it? Isnt more of a Kentucky thing?

april28 10 years, 5 months ago

He should go to UCLA. They'll run any offense that the tells them to run.

Dee Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

No my friend your are completely wrong. Not to burst your bubble but UNC is the place for up tempo, fast pace and pick and roll. Which is fine. KU will still kick there butts.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 5 months ago

Also NOT considering Kansas University..... a multitude of high school players who know they wouldn't fit into our program and who aren't going to dilude themselves into thinking they would be allowed to stay more than a year.

RJ King 10 years, 5 months ago

Merv will be fine. I doubt he'll be saying, "and all I got was this stupid T-shirt."

AsadZ 10 years, 5 months ago

LJW, Any word on Uconn transfers especially Bradley. He would be a gread addition to KU for next year.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

And..............Norm begins doing his work!

bradynsdad 10 years, 5 months ago

I am really ready for football to be here. If a kid is looking for playing time as a freshmen I wouldn't put stock in him coming here. Everyone knows self doesn't offer kids that when he talks about Kansas. ALSO I tweeted to tait and Newell yesterday for an Anrio Adams update but never got one. Does anyone have anything new on him besides the fact were waiting for ACT scores?

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

Just waiting on the scores it sounds like. It takes 3 to 5 weeks I believe.

selfishhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I would say that the recent recruitment of this Xavier transfer means Self isn't very confident in Anrio's ability to qualify. Total speculation. But that silence on Anrio is deafening and we don't exactly have schollies laying around if Anrio was on board.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 5 months ago

On Adams, I can't speak, but to me, it says that Self is less sure of Tharpe, but like you, speculation.

dylans 10 years, 5 months ago

Merv's scholarship is available now. So one scholarship is available with Wesley going back to walk on status.

Andy Godwin 10 years, 5 months ago

Self apparently going after a 5th year senior demonstrates true concern regarding the backcourt for the 2012-2013 season and the likelihood that Anrio Adams will qualify. Tharpe is a very good talent and needs to start playing. Obviously he needs to improve on both his defensive and ball handling/decision making parts of his game to get minutes. As we learned from this years team, chemistry is an essential component of success, so one would clearly want to avoid a player who could sour a team. The one constant is Bill Self and he clearly seems to know what he is doing. Trust in Self.

april28 10 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I'm not really sold on EJ at the point. He did show some more assertiveness in getting to the rim later in the year but I think he is a more natural 2.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 5 months ago

@Ralster/Bayhawkaholic- REposted from the other thread regarding Tyshawn:

"Wasnt a snipe. I was simply saying Tyshawn made mistakes Just like Lyons has and Ty was given second chances and made the best of it."

My point is that somebody pointed out all the bad character traits of Mark Lyons and said they wanted nothing to do with him. I was simply saying that Tyshawn made a transformation his Senior year, so there is no reason to think Lyons could not do the same.

On that point; the amount of recruit bashing that goes on this site is a joke. Reminds me of high school. "we didn't want them anyway" crap. "anybody who does a hat ceremony-we don't want em" "somebody must have paid them, since they didn't come to KU"

Sour Grapes & Negative Nancies always come out when things don't go 'their way.' Makes us all look like a bunch of whiny babies.

Soap Box.....Off.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

LOL! Those are the people that were actually shocked that Parker picked another school. It's been known for a while that Parker was leaning towards UCLA so it wasn't much of a shocker to me.

The Tarc and Beal recruitments were more "Shockers", but even those there were last minute rumblings that something was shifting to the other school in those recruitments.

REHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

If that RE in your heading should happen to refer to my post yesterday re the behavior of T. Parker, I will happily stand forth and take responsibility for making your day. A recruit who chooses to use a public forum to diss on schools who recruited him by fumbling clownishly with caps, then pulls the superman t-shirt act deserves to end up working with a coach who is known to be a weak disciplinarian. I would have ragged on Tony even more if he had pulled that "crap" and selected KU.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 5 months ago

RE wasnt for you, but your point is well taken. I prefer humility, myself. But give these guys a break. This is one of, if not the biggest moment of their life. They are 18 year old 'celebrities' and they do what most people do--conform the behavior of their cohorts and idols. That's okay with me. Kids are just learning how to fit in this world.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 5 months ago

Self's track record makes me believe that their necessary mutual understanding has already taken place.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 5 months ago

Never doubt where you stand--like many others on this site I really respect and appreciate getting insight from you. That's why I went out of my way to let you know I wasn't hammering Tyshawn. I was simply using him as an example for how fans portray players based on past incidents, and how you cannot always project future by visiting the past.

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

Contrary to my strong opinion on the Parker recruitiment, I knew he would pick UCLA. However, I remained positive and hopefuly to the end. It didn't "shock" me that he picked Hollywood U, but it just reinforced the fact these kids are young and will do almost anything during the recruiting process. Parker went to UCLA for Shabazz and Anderson. He went for his AAU coach too. I hope those are good reasons.

I don't take any recruit's decision personally. It's their decision and regardless of my opinion, it doesn't matter. Do I want these top recruits, absolutely. But, it's not the end of the world. It's fun to follow.

RJ King 10 years, 5 months ago

BJ - I never interpreted your post as a TT snipe - those were RE's words. I was, however, echoing the positive TT comments mentioned in RE's response, and was responding to him/her, not to you.

Ty is the poster child for parent/kid or coach/kid issues with a happy ending. For that reason I have a love-fest with the kid. In time, the spontaneous urge to sing his praises will subside and my, "We Love You TT" quick-posts will disappear.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

So, with Quincy Miller (Baylor) now deciding that he wants to leave Baylor and enter the NBA Draft.................I was curious what the latest mock drafts looked like! (Updated on the 4/19)

T-Rob-#2 TT-#54 (Hope he doesn't go that low) (Updated yesterday)

T-Rob #3 TT-#34 (Updated this morning)

T-Rob #4 TT-#27 (Not a fan of bleacher report but it was updated 2 days ago)

T-Rob #3 TT-# 34

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Self has to bridge big risk at the point next year.

Self has to find pg that can guard and score and handle.

EJ has a knee in trouble.

Tharpe's defense was nonexistant.

Adams is a likely pre-shirt, because he likely won't qualify till his second year.

Of course, Self has to go after Lyons.

He has to get some one in here for sure.

Self can't sit and hope EJ is well and Tharpe develops in time.

He has to act. And he is doing so.

KGphoto 10 years, 5 months ago

Don't want him. Don't need him.

We made a great dinner with the groceries on hand last year. There's no reason we can't do it again.

It's motivating.

Personally, I like watching these kids out-play expectations. They all have it in them. They all are capable.

The Prophet cometh!

Jory Collins 10 years, 5 months ago

You can't expect that to happen every year or rely on overachieving. Talent wins out most of the time, we need an upgrade at the PG.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 5 months ago

Want him. May really need him. Tharpe's ball handling was noticeable, which is not what you want in any year. I don't see the point guard position solidified in any way.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 5 months ago

As you would say jaybate, "copy and paste".

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Karnowski is getting bad advice if he is not visiting KU and Duke.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

He shouldl choose Duke.

Fits in very well with Coach Khickenonacowonaski - whatever it is.

JJHAWK 10 years, 5 months ago

Easy for you to type! Could you give a travel map on pronunciation?

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Chicken - on - a - cow - on - a - ski !!

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

Or he's getting advice that he may not be good enough to get major minutes at a place like KU or Duke.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 5 months ago

There has been a lot of transfer talk lately (Merv Lindsay boards) as well as the Jared Uthoff stuff earlier in the week and last week on the Mike and Mike show. Here is a good article just talking about transfers in general. Good read.

REHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

jb, the fact that Mark Few visited Warsaw to watch Karnowski play probably seals the deal with Gonzaga.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

After thinking about Mr. Lyons, I have switched sides:

1] Technically, Mark is a "one and done", & can play now so no 2013 schollie lost.

2] He wants the responsibility of running the point and has had experience doing so.

3] He will do whatever it takes to correct his negative image,

4] Elijah is more of a natural 2, which allows BenMac to switch to a 3 on occasion . 5] Mark, EJ, Naadir, 'Rio, BenMac, gives Bill plenty of backline high quality flexibility.

6] If he's good enouigh for Bill Self, he's good enough for me.

My vote is now thumbs up on Mark becoming a Jayhawk.

KGphoto 10 years, 5 months ago

1] OADs suck! KU basketball is different. We want to know our players. We want to watch them transform. We want to watch them as the tradition absorbs into them, and they become Hawks for life.

2] He "Demands" the responsibility. Ball hog.

3] Whatever it takes? I call Bull$h!t.

4] EJ is a natural point. Ask him.

5] All of the above are plenty capable themselves. Ask them.

6] Ultimately, I have to agree, but the Selby/Xavier experience is haunting.

Thumbs down on Lyons.

KGphoto 10 years, 5 months ago


5] All of the above - Mark

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 5 months ago

+1 Oak! And he will get to enjoy senior night.

Jory Collins 10 years, 5 months ago

We would be silly not to pursue Lyons. Our PG position is unproven. Yes, EJ played well when he had to play it last year. Tharpe may get there but he may not. One injury to either one of these guys and we're in deep trouble at the PG. McClemore, White, and Releford can't play the 1. Besides, this still allows us to chase a big-time PG in the 2013 class (may already have him in Frankamp).

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

This whole thing reminds me of the movie The Replacements with Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves. I just don't think Lyons will be able to bond, gel, mix, play, or get the program like this group has the last 2-4 years. You can't bring a 1 yr guy in and expect instant chemistry.

Self can handle this kid's issues, but I just don't think you bring a round peg into a square hole. I guess there will be a proving wrong and if it works, great. Self can do many things and I hope it works if Lyons commits.

master16 10 years, 5 months ago

It's simple to me: If HCBS and the coaching staff want Mark Lyons, then I want Mark Lyons to come to KU.

Aligned 10 years, 5 months ago

Boy, not me. There aren't many things that would lower my opinion of Self and KU basketball, but bringing in this kid would definitely be one for that category.

master16 10 years, 5 months ago

Unless you know something about Lyon's antics that I don't know about, he seems like another version of TT. Both supposedly continued to make bone-headed basketball plays well into their later career, and both have gotten suspensions for fighting.

Would you say 'NO' if TT wanted to come back for another season?

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

Not even a good question. Of course I would love TT to come back another year. However, TT had 3-4 years with this team my friend. You're comparison is not even realistic.

TT grew up really fast year by year. He matured before our eyes. His final year was his best year. We really don't know much about Lyons except what has been brought out from his Xavier record. His track record is questionable and I don't think we need his drama.

master16 10 years, 5 months ago

No not a great comparison, but there isn't a better one. Lyons, to the rest of us is what TT is to everyone else. We see the headlines of how he was suspended 2 games for fighting, and how he is stubborn on the court and according to his coach hasn't made many adjustments. His coach also isn't the guy that recruited him to play, Sean Miller at Arizona got him to Xavier.

Since we know how TT really is, why would we be so quick to judge Lyons? I took the liberty to read the Xavier forums and most fans believe his presence will be missed. He is a talented guy.

JayhawkinNE 10 years, 5 months ago

I tend to agree with many negative posts. What makes US experts?? TRUST IN SELF!

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

Lyons definitely has some warning flags, but there are also warning flags with the two existing options we have to slot in at the point. Johnson only played sparingly, and so it's hard to extrapolate how he would perform as the game-in, game-out point guard (an ability that Tyshawn handled amazingly well, and is often overlooked).

Naadir will likely be much better than last year, but do we really think he's going to go from rarely-used, mistake-prone, defensively-lacking freshman to a guy who gets big-time minutes and performs exceptionally well over one offseason? I'd hazard a guess that the learning curve trajectory isn't that steep.

Lyons is the best option from a basketball standpoint, and I imagine Self is going to try and gauge just how much work he would have cut out for himself in terms of team chemistry and discipline by meeting with Lyons. We can be interested and decide not to offer him a spot on the team, you know.

One thing is for sure--I think it's a huge mistake to look back a the year we just enjoyed and assume that we don't need anyone else because Self just finished taking a shallow and less-talented-than-usual-on-paper team to the national title game. This past season was incredibly unique and is not likely to come close to being repeated for some time. I've been watching basketball for over twenty years, and this was the first time I've ever seen a season like that.

I'm confident in the notion that, if Self decides to bring Lyons onboard, he trusts that he'll be a solid contributor to the team.

REHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

marchphog88, good post. Precisely the way I feel about Lyons. Your last sentence says it all.

KGphoto 10 years, 5 months ago

Regarding the past season. It was unique to be sure, but there is no reason we can't have another unique season. What I saw last year was a product of determination brought on by demand. We literally had no options. Backs against the wall.

It brings out the best in players when you have a coach who will accept no less than winning a conference title.

We will win it again, without Lyons.

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

I hear you, and I will start by saying that I agree we can win another conference title without Lyons. Self could win the Big 12 coaching the Flint Tropics (

And while I agree, in general, with the effectiveness of having one's back against the wall as a motivating factor, part of that approach requires having a specific type of player.

It's not just that we didn't have options last year, it's that we didn't have options, but two of the guys we DID have were about as well-suited to the 'back against the wall' disposition as anyone can be. I mean, Robinson has been living a real-life "back against the wall" scenario for a year and a half now, and Taylor's career was defined by the phrase "back against the wall", with all the troubles he had and criticisms from the media and fans.

I love EJ, Withey and Releford, and I'm excited to see the new guys, but I'm not sure who on next year's team is the obvious heir apparent to that mentality. It's part of what made Tyshawn and Thomas so special--the ability to harden under pressure, rather than fold. Also worth noting is the fact that the same "us against the world" mentality will be hard to foster for two reasons (imho):

1) They JUST finished proving to the world not to underestimate Kansas. No one is going to be talking about Kansas having a "down" or "rebuilding" year, and without that component, it will be naturally harder to develop that "back against the wall" mentality.

2) Even though we may be a little light at the PG position, our roster is going to have plenty of depth next year, again making it harder to generate that feeling of it being just a small group of guys going against all odds.

Personally, I would prefer we have as much talent as possible this year. And Lyons transferring to play for a coach that he chooses (since he didn't choose to play for Coach Mack, having been recruited by Sean Miller) might be a positive influence on his attitude... concerns. And that's not even accounting for the fact that Self makes a point of developing young men, not just churning out basketball athletes. A Lyons/Kansas one-year marriage could end up being incredibly beneficial for both parties.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 5 months ago

But I believe we will with Lyons if he chooses KU.

I would say that we won the title with Players 1-5, whom it was argued, were as good as any in the college ranks. That proved true. If EJ has knee problems or doesn't handle the ball well consistently, and if Tharpe isn't vastly improved, this is a team without a ball handler/leader.

As good as TRob played, it will be Tyshawn's absence that will be most noticed. In my opinion, we'll be glad to have Lyons on the floor.

Without a strong coach like Self, we have seen former players who would likely have acted out as well. Also, who is to say that Lyons wouldn't really benefit as a person? Doesn't that fit into the equation somewhere?

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

KU was very lucky to not have any games missed due to injury last year. 4 players averaged 30+ minutes a game last year and bodies become more prone to injury when you play that many minutes and I would be shocked if KU went 2 straight seasons without any games missed due to injury. Lyons is someone who if nothing else, provides depth at a position could be very thin at next year, especially if Adams doesn't qualify. Best case scenario is Lyons comes in and takes the starting PG spot and KU has a bench that includes Tharpe, McLemore, and White in the backcourt along with Young and someone else in the front court. With Lyons, KU could very well have a true back up for every position on the floor and allow KU to only play their starters 27-30 minutes per game instead of 30+ minutes per game.

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

I flat out don't trust EJ as the primary point guard next year. There were too many times last year when he had the ball in his hands at the end of a shot clock and the result was either a shot clock violation or KU not coming close to getting a good shot off. I just don't trust his awareness with the ball in his hands. I would much rather see EJ in the role that he was last year at the end of the season when he finally started getting aggressive and attacking the rim which was the biggest reason for his improved 3 point shooting in March last year. If Lyons comes to KU and it works out, KU has a similar situation to last year where Lyons handles the majority of the PG duties, EJ is playing off the ball free to create havoc either coming off of screens and driving the lane or taking an open 3.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 5 months ago

A lot of that comes with practice. I like Self's idea that 1s and 2s are really just basketball players. EJ stepped in well for TT and vice versa. EJ can do it if given the responsibility because they'll practice with him in all the circumstances that can come about in a game.

Hank Cross 10 years, 5 months ago

Great post. You just can't assume that because Self took a group of players that no one expected to go far to the FF that he can do it every year. It takes a special mix of players and circumstances. TRob is going to be a high lottery pick and was a POY candidate. TT will also probably get drafted. That's a lot of talent to make up. Tharpe has got a long way to go before he's ready for heavy minutes.

jgkojak 10 years, 5 months ago

I gotta say Self maybe knows what he's doing. Here is what I see going on-

Lyons is on the edge of being drafted or at least playing for bigger money overseas- he wants to do it right for a year and get himself noticed.

I could see a 3 guard rotation of EJ, BMac and Lyons- leaving Tharpe for mop-up minutes or emergency subbing. That's 80 min. / 3 = 26 mpg -- but also remembering that we can also play 3 guards to take up the 3 spot... seems like plenty to go around.

What intrigues me about Lyons is the steals- if we can get a guy to go with EJ and Releford who can attack the ball like that - that's huge.

RockChalkSam 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't see why people are mad about this? its that much more depth. think about the '08 squad...DEPTH. And heck, this will push EJ, not that he isnt working hard, but it will help improve him. I hope to see Lyons in the Crimson and Blue!

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 5 months ago

Depth wins. Lack of depth was the difference a few weeks ago.

justanotherfan 10 years, 5 months ago

This whole Lyons thing goes back to needing two true ball handlers on the roster.

Tharpe struggled last year, there's no other way to put that. He may be ready this year, he may not be. I'm not at practices, so I really have no way of knowing.

However, we DO know that Lyons can play either guard spot at the D-1 level. He's proven that during his time at Xavier. He has shown that he can handle the ball, defend and score well.

Without Lyons, and if Tharpe is not ready, we do not have a backup point guard. Read that sentence again. Actually, I will just say it again. If Tharpe is not ready WE DO NOT HAVE A BACKUP POINT GUARD.

That would basically mean that EJ would have to play almost every second of almost every game that was within 10 points just to make sure we could do simple things like get into our offense and run our sets. EJ showed that he could handle the point, but at various times he also picked up foul trouble. If he's our only reliable option at the point, we couldn't afford foul trouble, injury or poor play from him. That's just too big a risk to take over the course of a season. I'm not saying that our other guards can't handle the ball, but we would sacrifice something by moving either Travis or Ben or another guy off the wing and to the point.

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

McCullough looks fundamentally sound. Let's see if his words and his attitude match. If we get him, he commits early. Otherwise, if he waits and goes the distance, we can forget it.

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm not getting my hopes up on Chris Walker either. He's waiting for Calipari to offer. Walker is uk's to lose. If Walker was crazy about KU and wanted KU, he would've already committed.

It also looks like we've lost out on the Pollock too.

I thought Parker's comments about UCLA were pretty dumb. This kid wasn't as mature as I thought. His explanation of his choice made no sense whatsoever. They're kids, but they need to grow up and act as mature as they appear.

SoCalAlum 10 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, true...but Parker's comments were no dumber than someone referring to a person from Poland as a fish.

Joe Baker 10 years, 5 months ago

Yeah - spelling is really off on that one. I mean no disrespect. I appreciate your calling me out. I forget about the grammer police, the pc police and those who just want to appear intelligent, kudos.

Let me rephrase for the sake of posting "dumb."

It appears we've lost the Pole. That's the best I can do in a short minute. LOL BTW- I like pollock. I actually thought the fish was pollack. You learn something new everyday.

Seriously, Parker did say some silly things to justify his choice. I wish him and our 7' Pole the best.

master16 10 years, 5 months ago

unfortunately, people can say whatever they want but recruiting hasn't been as easy for KU the past number of seasons. we could be slowly losing out on Allerik Freeman too, who has been considered a heavy KU-lean. then again, the same was said about Chris Walker a while back, and now it doesn't look like he's coming here. good thing HCBS is such a good coach that we don't need top 20 talent to make an appearance in the final four.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

We keep losing out on the highly ranked recruits because no one wants to be part of the team that eventually does NOT win the Big 12 Championship, whenever that may be.

Guess we'll have to keep doing it with the " duds ".

master16 10 years, 5 months ago

I could be wrong, but I remember a Brannen Greene tweet a couple weeks back that gave % of guys coming to KU:

Freeman - 90% Walker and Randle - 40%

I think Walker is UK's to lose, like all top 10 recruits.

Maurice E. King III 10 years, 5 months ago

Does anyone know what happened to Nino Jackson, high school PG class of 2012 out of Ardmore, OK who was very interested in Kansas last year this time. Rivals has him as the #7 PG in 2012. He has not commited and does not show any schools interested in him.

Robert Brock 10 years, 5 months ago

He did an academic faceplant fifteen months ago and he has not played a single game since that tIme. He is probably headed for juco (if he qualifies).

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

He's probably prep school bound and will be in the class of 2013 and still an option for KU at that time if Self wants to go that direction.

Robert Brock 10 years, 5 months ago

What "prepschool" accepts failing students?

texashawk10 10 years, 5 months ago

What juco accepts a student that hasn't graduated high school or gotten a GED?

s6u6r6f 10 years, 5 months ago

Many community colleges accept students under what is called "ability to benefit." Both of my kids attended a juco because of this; neither had either high school diplomas or GEDs. My daughter later matriculated at Kansas as a 16-year-old junior (my son, alas, went to the University of Utrecht, thus forcing me to submit to years of Amsterdam visits - oh, the horror, the sickly sweet horror!).

Kristen Downing 10 years, 5 months ago

Not sure why you are wasting all this time discussing Lyons. Sean Miller originally recruited him to Xavier, he's going to Arizona. KU is not everyone's perfect scenerio.

master16 10 years, 5 months ago

it's the offseason, what else are you going to discuss?

REHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Lyons might be savvy enough by now to take a look at the two programs, the successes of the two coaches, and decide, "I'd rather spend a superwinning season in Lawrence than gamble on another collapse in Arizona."

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm with you--it seems like that's the obvious route here, but...

...if it's a foregone conclusion, why is he listing two other finalists, and why is he talking about visiting the two schools not named Arizona?

Just for sh*ts and giggles?

SoCalAlum 10 years, 5 months ago

No mystery why Coach Self would want Mark Lyons...go to the 1:46 mark -


Kristen Downing 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't even know if I hope I am wrong about Lyons(going to Arizona)....but I guess he is worth the risk. Just see an attitude waiting to happen.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 5 months ago

A decade of watching Self handle players convinces me that Lyons is not a risk.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

Totally unofficial poll as off 1:32 CDT

For Lyons; 21 posts Against Lyons: 10 posts Wait and see: 5 posts.

Ron Prichard 10 years, 5 months ago

Wishing I was in a bar somewhere: 1 post.

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Taking a nude walk in Antarctica to clear my sinuses. 1 post.

Ron Prichard 10 years, 5 months ago

Puzzled and slightly disturbed by jaybate's post: 1 post :)

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

South Pole least pollen during spring in the Northern Hemisphere. :-)

Plus nudism is always a good off season jolt to flow of discourse. :-)

AZHawk72 10 years, 5 months ago

Thanks, for the numerical oversight, Oakville, and I agree with the majority. Main reason--I'd rather add a senior for one year than be stuck with a low-performing freshman for four years. And, people, trust me that there is no one out there from 2012 who you would want.

My own numerical oversight looks like this:

Sr. 4 Jr. 0 So. 1 Fr. 7(2RS)

And the following year:

Sr. 0 Jr. 1 So.7 Fr. 5(?)

I think the 2013 group will be even better than the current crop of 2012, and I don't want anything getting in the way of our chances. So, Lyons, yes. Anyone elso, no.

wildjayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Looks like KU is fallen off the radar on recruiting again this year like last. The experts are saying that Ku is no where in site in the recruiting like last year. They are saying they don't understand what Self is up to as he is not getting any good players. UCLA is top on the list and KU is not even in the top 40.

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

Ah yes, the nebulous, faceless "experts".

I'm guessing none of those "experts" work for ESPN, who clearly has Kansas "on the radar", as txrockchalk has provided below.

And apparently, they don't work for Rivals either, who has Kansas as the #10 school in the class of 2012 recruiting rankings:

These "experts" must be too good for the two most prolific services for recruit rankings...

[rolls eyes]

10 years, 5 months ago

Sorry marchphog88, I didn't see your Rivals post prior to mine.

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

Yours was totally first. In fact, it gave me the idea, so....

no worries!


Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

I think the Kansas 2013 class on Rivals is listed at #3....wildjayhawk, are you'all just pimping us on a little bit?? You'all ain't really serious, are ya ??

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 5 months ago

Yes, and I predict that Detroit will beat KU in a game that doesn't even look like an upset. No, on second thought, KU will win the national championship said one national expert. Ah, the experts. . .

RJ King 10 years, 5 months ago

It's OK WildJay. Let me help. See, in a ranking list, a lower number - for example 10 or 11 - is actually BETTER than a bigger number, such as 40.

I know it's a difficult concept to grasp. Especially if you learnt some math along with your moonshine. Or if you were taught Meth, not Math. Dude, maybe you're from So Cal, where, you know, like, this one time at Math class, you had, like an awesome glaucoma attack?

But, Wildcat, very nice work on the last sentence, "KU is not even in the top 40." You make a very good point, as they are actually in the top 10-12..

FoCoCoHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

I love seasons like last year because they bring up the iimportant intangibles like "team chemistry" and "heart". HCBS definitely tries to coach these--as nuch as possible anyway--and he might just be adept at seeing the 22 yr old inside the 17 year old, as well as recognizing the value of second chances. I'm not the first but I defer to his judgement on all things KUBB. But I support and encourage dissenting viewpoints. "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" and all that...

justanotherfan 10 years, 5 months ago

Got carried away on Lyons earlier and didn't talk about McCullough at all.

This kid is going to be special, I think. They list him as a PF and it looks like he could still grow a bit, but he looks like he could play SF equally as well, particularly if he strengthens his ball handling. He's already 6-8 and if he grows more, he could be a really nice face up 4, but he could definitely play 3.

I watched both his freshman and sophomore highlights on Youtube. The first thing that stuck out to me is how fluid he is. He never looks like he is running fast, but he covers tons of ground. Equally, he never appears to really be "skying" for a dunk or block, but he gets there easily. That fluid athleticism usually indicates that someone is just scratching the surface on their athletic potential, and if so, he's the type of player that could be a top 5 in his class talent.

The second thing that stuck out was the amount of physical maturity you could see from his freshman year to sophomore year. He's really thin, but he appeared to be a bit thicker as a soph. That's good to see in a kid that obviously has a long way to go maturity and growthwise, but he has plenty of time to do it.

He plays quite a bit facing the basket, so there isn't a lot of concern about him not developing his ball handling in case he ends up being a 3 instead.

My favorite thing about his game, though is the fact that he dunks EVERYTHING around the basket. Typically with high school players you see guys lay the ball up unless they are on an uncontested breakaway, especially freshmen and sophomores. This kid doesn't do that. He dunks the ball whenever he can, which will help him transition to college much easier.

If I had to compare him to anyone, I'd loosely compare him to Tayshaun Prince. He doesn't have quite that wingspan (though it is over 7 feet) and he's a righty, but he can face up, handle the ball, shoot the three and has some inside moves. He has the athletic ability to be an above average defender at the 3 spot. I don't know if he has the bulk (or will ever get the bulk) to be more than an average defender at the 4. He has good timing and control on shotblocking.

He's a special player that could definitely help KU, although I would guess he probably won't be in college for more than a couple of seasons with the type of talent he appears to have.

Curtis Stutz 10 years, 5 months ago

I can understand some nervousness over bringing in a senior for 1 year, but Lyons brings a lot of positives. The biggest negatives I can see are 1) possible disruption in team chemistry 2) if Adams qualifies we need a PF/C more than another guard, but the problem is are there any PF/C's that we can actually bring in to contribute next year?

Now let's look at positives 1) Talk about plug n play as a TT replacement, this guy can handle the ball and score it. Oh, he's had issues with his coach before...familiar, and some believe he forces the action too much...awfully familiar 2) If you've watched much X basketball the past couple years you've noticed that Tu Holloway always had the green light, got most of the hype and Lyons took a backseat. Bottom line, I always thought he was a better player than Tu and didn't force things as much as Tu either. 3) Mentioned before on here we can definitely use proven PG skills. I don't know who I'd consider to have been the PG at X this past year, lot of shared responsibilities between Lyons and Tu. 4) We can use that extra scholarship next year and get it back the year after to try to build another phenomenal class in 2013.

Alohahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

For those who might overlook it, Jesse (in his article to the upper right on this board) just posted a great breakdown which compares last year's stats - TT vs Lyons. They illustrate quite vividly why Coach Self is considering Lyons.

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

The big payoff of having Lyons join the team is that it keeps KU a player in NYC recruiting market with a NY guy playing minutes. Norm needs that to recruit back there against the AAU and juco coaches that ran him out of town.

Saying we have a New Yorker playing means more than we had a New Yorker playing.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 5 months ago

I find myself in the "trust coach Self" camp on this one.

I seriously doubt he'd bring a problem in, or a chemistry killer.

Clearly, the only issue is the general "character" issue. Numbers are fine. Skills are fine. And I have a hard time believing Self would fumble on the character issue, risking the season imploding.

REHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

+1 (and I am not even walking nude in Antarctica).

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Nothing like communing naked with penguins. :-)

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Lyons is probably a NY guy that Norm knew well and tried to recruit to St. Johns sometime before Norm got S-canned.

Norm probably blessed him to Self.

Even with a need, it never makes sense to invite a cancer.

The kid fell into a dubious college coaching tree at Xavier.

Sean Miller and Chris Mack and Thad Matta and the Drews and then Herb Sendek fits in some how to this dubious coaching tree.

I don't know what it is about the water in the Ohio. Think about Cal at UK and Cal/Pastner at Memphisto, and Slick Rick at Slick'd'Ville. Throw in Huggie bear, too, even though he's coming to join us. Its quite a checkered crowd down there. They try to pass themselves off as white bread MidEasterners (remember that category for regional tournaments?), and a lot of the stench does get carried away by the river, but every so often there is a flood and a back-up and the stench builds up in a hurry.

And then these guys always seem to jump to UA, or ASU.

Sean Miller...ugh!

Call him Little Cal, even though he coaches Little Herb's schemes, when he isn't cribbing from Self, like Matta has been.

Ben Simonett 10 years, 5 months ago

McCullough wants playing time as a freshman.

seeing as how this years "great" class of "elite" bigs will be juniors when he sets foot on campus. either he's not coming to KU or Self has admitted to him that a freshman can beat out Lucas/Peters with 2 years under there belts...... whats that tell you about Lucas/Peters?

Ben Simonett 10 years, 5 months ago


i havent seen that movie in a decade, i really hope its on netflix. i actually want to see "wax on, wax off" again


jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago


You are oversimplifying, of course.

Wilt Chamberlain never had to worry about someone being better than him. He just had to worry about getting old, and about other teams being better than his team. When Wilt got old he had to worry about Kareem's sky hook. But during his prime, Wilt only had to worry about how good the other team was.

Same with Oscar Robertson. Same with Jordan. Same with quite a few great players at their positions, frankly.

Hmm, nobody was better than Shaq at his peak.

No one was better at his slot that Kobe for quite awhile.

Nobody is better than Lebron at his slot.

No one was better than Wooden at his peak.

Self is easentially entering that phase of his career, too. There isn't one other active coach that could have milked last year's team to the Finals.

The Karate Kid made the point it made, okay, despite being a vapid movie, but its point was simplistic.

Westerns have tended to get it right, simply because there were so many westerns their makers could afford to explore all facets of the hero myth.

Jeremiah Johnson is a memorable example of someone who is just too tough to beat, no matter how many are sent against him.

In contrast, watch The Shootist with John Wayne for a depressing, but truthful example about the best getting too old to keep doing it.

Most westerns also address in one way or another that there are lots of guys who aren't as good as they think they are. :-)

The guys not as good as they think they are--those are the ones that have to worry all the time about someone else being better.

But they rarely do.

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

So was mine. C'mon. Get to know the tongue in the cheek, will ya?

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

I love making fun witch yo' rants, konkmeisterdonk.

What would I do with out them?

Ben Simonett 10 years, 5 months ago

Quincy Miller has decided to go pro.

Scratch Baylor off as a Big12 title contender next season

everything is lining up for number 9 in a row!

jaybate 10 years, 5 months ago

Does this mean he has decided to transfer to Kentucky? :-)

RJ King 10 years, 5 months ago

no, but drew is probably doing some insider trading in order to scrape up some more skrill.

kufanman88 10 years, 5 months ago

Do we really want a guy that doesn't think he has room for improvement? It sounds like he is the kind of guy that will instantly disrupt the chemistry of the team. A guy that feels he is bigger than the team. I am pretty sure all of the statistical niceties that this player brings to the game, will not be worth the chaos he will bring to the Jayhawks. I think we all could see what a lack of chemistry and focus does to a promising team (see Morris twins).

REHawk 10 years, 5 months ago

But then just maybe, maybe Lyons did not see room for improvement under a coach who was not in power when he signed with Xavier, and in whom he has no confidence re "improvements." If he signs with Bill Self, there is no question re his coming aboard with a full mindset toward ways to improve! The pine grows mighty hard for Jayhawk players who don't buy into Bill Self's improvement suggestions.

Sam Constance 10 years, 5 months ago

Not to mention the fact that I haven't heard Lyons himself say he didn't have room for improvement.

We heard that from his childish, spout-off-in-the-media coach, Chris Mack, who is clearly butt-hurt that he's losing a talented player.

I would be completely mortified if Coach Self ever said something that bitter about a departing recruit, regardless of the circumstances surrounding said departure. I mean, he sounded gracious (albeit disappointed) when Giddens and Giles were each dismissed, and the circumstances surrounding their departures was much more sordid than anything Lyons did.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

C'mon something...anything.....we need to start a new string!!!

Alohahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

How about we start a pre-season guess list of how the Big 12 Conference BB teams will end up the season in March, 2013?

  1. KU (2, maybe 3 losses - at Texas, Iowa State and/or Oklahoma State)
  2. Texas
  3. Tie: West Virginia and Oklahoma State
  4. Tie: Baylor and Iowa State and K State
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Texas Tech 10: TCU (1, maybe 2 wins)

Or, how many games will Coach Weis win during his debut season at KU? How about 7?

And in the legendary words of Porky the Pig, "I believe, I believe that's all folks."

Tony Bandle 10 years, 5 months ago

No've got a huge advantage. What is it?...still yesterday in Hawaii??!!

Alohahawk 10 years, 5 months ago

If it's 6:19 PM on April 26th in Kansas, it's 1:19 PM on April 26th in Hawaii - Kansas is five hours ahead of Hawaii. When Daylight Savings Time reverts back to normal time in the fall, Kansas would gain an hour, to 5:19 PM - a four hour difference. Hawaii doesn't use Daylight Saving Time. The International Dateline is further to the west of Hawaii. Now, if you were in Japan, you would then be on the opposite side of the dateline, where it's April 27th in Tokyo, at this moment. Or, in the prophetic words of Scarlett O'Hara, "Tomorrow is another day."

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