Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fresh from Europe, Jayhawks already looking ahead


It took Kansas University’s basketball players, coaches and support staff members about one-third of the time to return from Europe as it took to get there.

The Jayhawks — who flew commercial from Paris to Chicago at 11:30 a.m., (4:30 a.m., Central time) Tuesday, then caught a connecting flight to Kansas City, Mo., at 4 p.m. — touched down at KCI Airport about 5 p.m.

That’s total travel time of 12.5 hours.

On the way to Switzerland on Sunday, Aug. 5, weather-related problems on the East Coast forced the Jayhawks to miss a connecting flight to Zurich and spend the night in Washington, D.C. The Jayhawks finally made it to Switzerland after being re-routed to Germany at 10 a.m., Swiss time last Tuesday — travel time of about 38 hours.

“It went very well,” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said of Tuesday’s return. “Everybody’s a little tired, but it was a great trip.”

Chicago freshmen Milt Doyle and Jamari Traylor remained in the Windy City to spend a few days with relatives before start of first-semester classes Monday. Senior Elijah Johnson and sophomore Naadir Tharpe caught flights in Chicago to Las Vegas and Boston, respectively.

The Jayhawks, who did a lot of sightseeing on the just-completed trip, opened with two victories against the Swiss National Team before dropping two games to French pro teams.

KU coach Bill Self called it an “unbelievable trip. It’s been a lot of fun. Paris is a great place to be. Switzerland was great. We didn’t practice (in Europe after 10 practices in U.S.) so there’s no way we could look good, but still we’re at Kansas, a place that never loses back-to-back games, so that shouldn’t happen either. We’ll take some good things from it.

“I think if anything, it tells us how hard we need to work because we’re not very good right now. I’m not sure anybody’s any good in early August, but we’re certainly not. Our veterans need to really step up because there’s no reason why we should have lost back-to-back games,” Self added.

Obviously the players had a blast on their European vacation.

“Basketball-wise it meant a lot,” said freshman forward Perry Ellis, who averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game over four games. “For a lot of us it was our first time coming overseas. Getting together and bonding ... it was a good experience for us. We always want to win, but still it was a good experience for us.”

“In the locker room, the players all talked about how this is a learning experience,” noted frosh forward Zach Peters, who averaged 5.0 points and 6.3 boards in 14.5 minutes a game. “We have a lot of guys rotating in and everybody is going to learn. What we talked about is how we are working toward March. It’s not about right now. We’ve still got to stay positive and play harder. We’re going to stay positive on it,” Peters added.

Noted senior center Jeff Withey, who averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds while logging 22 minutes a game in three games, said: “We’re going to build off this. It’s only going to get better. It’s going to be a long time before we are all playing great together. It’s going to happen.”

The Jayhawks’ next formal team activity will be Boot Camp conditioning near the end of September. Late Night in the Phog will be the official start of practice on Oct. 12 in Allen Fieldhouse.

Frankamp back: Future KU guard Conner Frankamp, a 6-1 senior from Wichita North, says he’s back on the court fully recovered from a left foot fracture that cut short his AAU season in mid-July. Frankamp said via text message he’ll definitely be able to play in the Under Armour Elite game Aug. 25 in Venice Beach, Calif.

Barber, Williams update: Anthony “Cat” Barber, a 6-foot-2 senior point guard from Hampton (Va.) High, will visit North Carolina State on Sept. 1-3, reports.’s No. 9-rated player also is considering KU, Louisville and Alabama.

No. 41-rated Troy Williams, a 6-6 senior small forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., and Barber, are considering attending the same school. KU recently entered the mix for Williams.

“We’re about 50/50 on it,” Williams told, referring to being a package deal. “We’re going to talk about it more. We’re going to try and either commit and sign in November. If not, we’re going to just wait until the spring.”

Of KU, Williams said: “I’ve been keeping in touch with coach (Bill) Self and coach (Joe) Dooley a lot. They’re also recruiting Cat, too, so they’re looking to get us together.”

Williams, who will visit Alabama this weekend, also is considering Indiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgetown, Memphis and Ohio State.

Lee to visit UCLA: Marcus Lee, a 6-10 senior forward from Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley High, will visit UCLA this weekend and Cal-Berkeley on Sept. 1, reports. The country’s No. 33-rated player also has KU, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana on his list.


JJHawq 9 years, 9 months ago

if we get both of them - that's an OMG lineup for sure.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

Brock: You are assuming that we only have 4 scholarships to offer ...

Robert Brock 9 years, 9 months ago

I am only assuming that we don't need Williams.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

So you would skip Williams, even though it might assist in landing Barber? Simply because you think we're fine at the wing spot? Granted, White and Greene seem like a nice tandem. But if Williams' getting a scholarship helps us land Barber, wouldn't you sacrifice Adams or Doyle, or the least productive of the freshmen big guy (Traylor/Lucas/Peters) to get this done -- by opening up a scholarship?

I get that the package deal is a big "if", perhaps an unlikely "if" .. but why shut the door?

Robert Brock 9 years, 9 months ago

I don't buy the "package deal" here. Barber either likes his chances at KU or he doesn't. He wants to play at a big-time program or he doesn't. He recognizes he can possibly be the PG on a team playing in the Final Four or he doesn't. If he can't figure it out then he isn't our guy. Find someone else - like Jackson, for example.

KJD 9 years, 9 months ago

Ellis: points 10.3; rebounds 5.5; minutes 14.5

Peters: points 5.0; rebounds 6.3; minutes 14.5

Withey: points 10; rebounds 8; minutes 22

Eliott Reeder 9 years, 9 months ago

Strange that Self is criticizing "the veterans" for allowing two losses in a row when they only lost by a handful of points in the second-to-last game and then were not allowed to suit up for the final, especially after the French team added an NBA forward to their roster between outings. Typical Self spin! Always the motivator... :)

HawkKlaw 9 years, 9 months ago

He's talking about being a vocal leader. Sure, EJ, Travis and Withey are all leaders on the court, but one of these guys needs to step up and be the vocal leader of the team, whether he's sitting on the bench or not. We need a guy who keeps everyone in check and who everyone on the team respects. Basically, Sherron Collins' role in 2008-09 (and 2009-10).

RJ King 9 years, 9 months ago

I took it to mean that had vets played to a level resulting in a first game victory, then the squad wouldn't have lost two in a row.

Self seems OK with the second game loss, sacrificing a win for playing time for the newbies. He's just saying that should've been the ONLY loss.

ccarp 9 years, 9 months ago

Coach Self got just what he wanted from the trip; practice, bonding, a little sight seeing, and a humbling experience. He has them right where he wants them. Can't wait till coach Hudy is able to work her magic on the freshmen.

Ben Berglund 9 years, 9 months ago

Exactly right, ccarp. I love that we all know the formula by now. No matter how good the team is at the begining of the season, they need to good whooping to really get going (and it's been Texas, it's been AtM (and Mr. Law IV), shoot, it's been Oral Roberts, more recently it's been Syracuse. Got their attention early this year. It's gonna be a real good season. (It was Davidson last year!)

Blake Post 9 years, 9 months ago

As long as we beat mzoo...wait.... Guess I will just have to laugh at em.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

Forgive me for this football/Misery post but all the Tigger fans around here are bragging how they are going to shock the SEC with their team.

The only shock that they will give the SEC teams is how those teams will find out how easy it will be to kick Misery's butt!!!!

Barber and Shepard along with Framkcamp and Greene would be an unbelievable class.

Next year's team could be Barber, Frankcamp, Greene, Shephard, McLemore, White, Ellis, Adams, Peters, Traylor, Doyle, Lucas along with Tharpe and Wesley!!


master16 9 years, 9 months ago

landing Williams would be pretty cool, but primarily if we got Barber and Randle to commit we would be pretty beast. i mean, not only is that another championship caliber team, that's a lot of future first round draft picks too.

and why do so many people spell Frankamp wrong? lol

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

For texters, a 2-syllable word with four letters per syllable is a huge stretch.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

A couple of things to consider on Barber:

  1. I bet that coach Self has told Barber that Frankamp is not a threat to be the point guard over him. Just a hunch.

  2. I'm also guessing that Self has told Barber that he has a reasonable chance of beating out Tharpe, which we all can probably agree is reasonable.

  3. Louisville has Siva, who will be a senior in 2013-14, and two backup point guards. Do you think Barber beats out Siva?

  4. Alabama has Trevor Releford, who will be a junior in 2013-14, and two guys behind him. Do you think Barber beats out Releford?

  5. With the situations at Alabama and Louisville, I'm not sure that Barber would be dissuaded by Tharpe in his way -- as the deciding factor. Really, his best place to start his freshman season might be here. I think Siva and Releford are better right now than Tharpe.

  6. And Frankamp not being a pure PG .. coupled with Self's comments about the "need" for a point guard to wrap up the class .. makes me believe that Frankamp isn't competition for Barber.

  7. I think the thing that might be a factor is Self's reputation with freshmen. Always seems to be in play. But if Ellis and McLemore start this season, and White plays as much as projected, that might put a bit of an end to that thinking.

I'm usually a bit pessimistic on the top guys, but the logic on Barber seems to favor KU .. at least my logic, which is questionable, of course.

Perhaps the 2013-14 rotation:

Starters 1. Barber 2. McLemore 3. White 4. Ellis 5. Shepherd

Bench 6. Tharpe 7. One of either Peters, Lucas or Traylor 8. One of either Peters, Lucas or Traylor 9. Frankamp 10. Greene, Adams, or Doyle

soapisurfriend 9 years, 9 months ago

Frankamp will never be the full-time PG at Kansas. He will be off the ball far more often than on the ball.
And the younger Releford will be a junior this year at Bama and not the following but the point that Barber likely would not take his spot is a good one.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

The key thing to remember about this trip is that few will remember this in two seasons and it will probably decisively shape nothing about the coming season, which will probably be sensitively dependent on the initial condition of October 15, 2012. Self did not coach defense. Next

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

One word there is important .. "decisively."

With that one word in the equation, I agree with you. With that one word out, replacing it with the word "strongly", I disagree.

Lot's of things have been strongly shaped here (in combo with the extra practices) that may not have been nearly as evident before:

  1. White is a real player.
  2. Peters is the favorite for the 4th post rotation spot over Traylor, Lucas, and Wesley.
  3. Tharpe is being counted upon to be the backup point guard and no one else is in that conversation (meaning Doyle or Adams).

Do you disagree?

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Old Coaching Proverb: No coach with half a brain turns down two signed birds in the hand now for one unsigned bird in a bush next season, when scholies are one year contracts. :-)

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago


Do you remember when 4-5 star EJ played modestly well in an exhibition or two as a freshman? It gave neither a strong, nor a decisive indication of his career arc, despite having only Tyrell and Brady vying for back-up minutes with him later that season. And that was after October 15th, when defense had been taught and player could dribble, pass and catch.

I agree with your usual perspicacity in identifying who did well and in what rank order.

I just would use "weak" rather than "strong" as modifier for indicator, of who will eventually be "in the rotation" early on or later.

Playing Self Defense, executing from a 1000-page play book, protecting and knowing how and when Self wants the post fed at D1 speeds appears to tax many young players.

None of these conditions of play were fully in effect in these exhibition games.

Self was not even coaching some of the time.

The four upper classmen sat one entire game.

And BenMac came up lame. And Self probably already knew Traylor and Justin could guard and board enough, and will never score, so he was sure to give Ellis big minutes to see if he could score, and Peters the same to see if he could muscle a bit and board.

White got a lot of minutes, because Self knows this injury to Ben Mac could be serious and enduring. White's performance is a weak indication he could get thrown to the dogs, if Ben Mac heals slowly, or not at all. Why? Because he scored a useful amount, but baked pop tarts. He proved nothing on defense, because no one was tasked with doing so. But if BenMac heals, White may just have succeeded in betraying he has protection issues.And if Ben Mac does not heal, White's pop tarts may have given Self reason to doubt White can be thrown to the dogs early on.

Sitting the upperclassmen was stacking the deck to let the newbie's lose the second game in a row, and prevent the newbie's from thinking they are probably good enough to command big minutes early.

Frankly, what I suspect Self learned was that early Self is likely going to have to play the older guys a whole lot, and spoon feed the youngin's yet again.

I think we will see as much of the freshmen early as the point spread and their turnovers permits, but that will mean in most cases less than most are expecting. And I suspect freshmen playing the last 5-10 minutes of any close game will be rare.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

If we were negotiating, we might agree on "moderate" and both go home unhappy ....

"I think we will see as much of the freshmen early as the point spread and their turnovers permits, but that will mean in most cases less than most are expecting." That's pretty funny. But you've got a pretty good read on coach Self. Don't be surprised if Ellis and McLemore start, but KY and Tharpe are in late, right? We know what makes the man comfortable, and that usually translates to a W.

One thing is for certain. I mean dead certain. Defense is the name of the game, and if one of these freshmen simply can't guard, Self won't risk an aneurysm simply to give the guy PT. I personally can't wait to see this team play defense, particularly if McLemore is as good on that end of the floor as Self has suggested. It will be a long wait for the season to start.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

FYI from ESPN .. ranked as 4th 2013 class. Here's what was said --

"Bill Self landed one of the most complete guards in the class in local ESPN 100 point guard Conner Frankamp (Wichita, Kan./North) who reminds us of a young John Stockton or Kirk Hinrich. ESPN 100 wing shooter Brannen Greene (Monroe, Ga./Tift County) will provide Frankamp with plenty of assist opportunities thanks to his deep range and ability to stretch the defense."

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

We'r e #3 on that's just with Conner and Brannen

Ben Simonett 9 years, 9 months ago

and that ranking was made before conner jumped 20+ spots on the top150 list. the class should probably be #2 right now.

but its still very early. need 2 more good guys before you can call it a successful year on the recruiting trail

Ben Simonett 9 years, 9 months ago

correction, technically it should still be #3 because florida just jumped to the top spot with the Walker signing

Ben Simonett 9 years, 9 months ago

Williams + Barber would make 4 back court players in this years class. Including 2 PGs because @ 6'0" Frankamp isn't playing the wing.

I think we can conclude from the fact that the staff is actually trying to land this Duo that Barbers a for sure OAD.

The plan appears to be to bring him for next year to cover for a still underwhelming Tharpe and then move forward with a senior Tharpe + sophmore Frankamp as your PGs

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

I think Shephard not Williams is the fourth prime target...we need a big guy for class balance!!

Ben Simonett 9 years, 9 months ago

I agree a big guy is and should be the top priority. But i don't think Shephard is the preferred target.

Randle and Lawrence are getting alot of attention from the staff.

Plus we're still in the mix for Jabari Parker and you have to try to sign the #1 recruit in the country if you can get him.

However, given Selfs recent struggles on the trail of late I'm expecting a miss on those 3 recruits and a settlement on Shephard. which although disappointing, is much better consolation prize than the last few years

Alohahawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Mahalo, JayDogger. LMAO! "....there's nothing wrong with making projections.....I certainly do it." PHOF, and I'm not referring just to you, JayDogger. "We" all do it. That's what makes this board so interesting, debatable and controversial (at times.) Otherwise, why spend the time to post a comment? Most of us enjoy hearing ourselves speak out, and later, hoping to be proven right in our projections. Buck up and admit it everyone. Projecting our thoughts on who will start and who won't. Who'll be around next year and who might not be (NBA or transfer). Which recruit is best for KU and which isn't, and who will sign on and who won't. What Coach Self has done right, and what we "think" he is doing, or will do, wrong. *

Without this board these late Springs, endless Summers and early Falls (despite this year's Olympics) would send us all into fits of anxiety and frustration. Keep those projections coming in, Jayhawk Nation. Whether I agree with them or not, they make my day(s). RCJHKU!!!

*Maybe I should have added in the rare "English" police, who post their frustration with poor grammar (or typing mistakes), the KU/Kansas University or University of Kansas debaters, the occasional trolls, the football junkies who want more gridiron info on the basketball page, Etc.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm Bennybob, and i approve this message!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

At the rate he's going, Frankcamp will be 6'-6" by his high school graduation next spring, will have to be moved to the wing and we'll still be short a's that for a projection!!

AsadZ 9 years, 9 months ago

I heard that Alabama athletic program is under investigation including BB. This could discourage Barber from selecting Bama and puts KU in a better position to land him.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Good scoop, AsadZ. Only bad about Bama is it could artificially inflate where Fizzou and Haith finish.

Cormac McCarthy predicts "There Will Be Blood." (or was that the American Red Cross?)

JayShagger predicts: "There will be predictions."

BlownJay predicts: "the Blown Generation will soon unleash a mother lode of spatial truth in a new literature in the shadow of the torture prisons."

Bill Self predicts: "Protectors that guard play the last 5 minutes."

Oak predicts: "jaybate will hate the addition to the Salk Institute" (he did).

jaybate predicts: "emergent complexity will tend to be tough on accuracy of predictions and hell on getting good ribs cooked perfectly."

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

Awesome .. that was good for Darrell Arthur.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 9 months ago

I need some Meat. Feed MEEEEEEEEEEEEE LJW.



jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Ralster makes an important point here.

Xavier is a benchmark for vast talent seemingly compromised by ulterior motive. He signifies how self- and team-corrosive intermittent commitment and conditioned want-to are.

White has shown he is game for the challenge; that he is committed to the fight; that even inadequately prepared, jet lagged struggling with new teammates and foreign pros, and filling for the intended star, he will man-up to the role assigned and seize the moment.

Ralster has done us all a service noting this through the tie to a known benchmark--Xavier.

It adds needed context to HEM's earlier assessment of White having performed in a way that should mark him a rotation guy, despite the nascence of this trip in the season.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 9 months ago

Your pearl line of today, - Bill Self predicts: "Protectors that guard play the last 5 minutes."

If this is the case, The last 5 minutes will have to feature a freshman or two. Whenever the starting 5 is introduced. We fans for the most part have found the ones who can do it. The people in the rotation have been set by IMO the best coach in the country for knowing who he can trust on the court at crunch. Every fan can see the evidence throughout the year. We've watched coach for 10 years. We know when when someone is going to be taken out. We know why coach did it. We know when someone is going to be chewed out on national TV and why coach did it. We then see the Athlete nod his head, learn, and go on to celebrate the victory.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Once again, this time prior to midDecember or January, Mr. Self glawms onto the opportunity to promote winning by losing. I chuckled at his comments in this article, bemoaning the twin losses, asserting that this squad is not very good, at least at this juncture. If he were sauntering near the precipice of sleep loss over back to back travesty in the W/L column, he would have gone with the seniors, his best chance for victory in game 4. Adversely, he set his squad up to lose the last game, offering newcomers and bench veterans a chance to prove themselves while he watched carefully to identify the players with true grit. Those August losses might just stretch a long way toward sealing the determination for regular season victories. What occurs in the July-October months holds great bearing upon game results, November-March. The Self Psychology is alive and brewing.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

REHawk, It doesn't always take one to know one, but it never hurts. :-)

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago


I wonder if there has been no story added, because something has been afoot that requires some coordination, or alternately every one has been given a couple days to do their laundry, after the globe trotting.

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