Tuesday, July 31, 2012

KU’s Bill Self not quite so road-weary this summer

Kansas head coach Bill Self disputes a call with an official during the second half on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self disputes a call with an official during the second half on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


The just-completed July college basketball recruiting evaluation period wasn’t as taxing on Kansas University coach Bill Self as some in the past.

“The new calendar kind of rejuvenates you. You get a chance to come home every week. It has not been bad at all,” Self said.

He adjusted well to new recruiting rules that sent coaches on the road July 11-15, 18-22 and 25-29. In Julys past, coaches hit the road the first 10 days and last 10 days of the month, with a break in the middle.

Self and his aides made their usual stops at AAU tournaments in Nevada, Florida and South Carolina during parts of July.

“We’re just trying to get the best players, period. We got a couple of commitments, but we need a big and a point guard to go with what we have,” Self said.

He filled two of his four available 2013 scholarship slots last school year, garnering early oral commitments from Wichita North combo guard Conner Frankamp and Tift County (Forsyth, Ga.) High wing Brannen Greene.

“We’re excited about what we have. If we can get another great player, that’d be a bonus,” Self said. “We are trying to get the best players possible. We do need an inside presence that could obviously replace Jeff (Withey), and a point guard to replace Elijah (Johnson) would be great.”

Some of the senior players the Jayhawks reportedly tracked during the summer include guards Anthony Barber (6-2, Hampton, Va.), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (6-4, 205, Toronto), Frank Mason (5-11, Petersburg, Va.), Demetrius Jackson (6-1, Mishawaka, Ind.), Rysheed Jordan (6-4, Philadelphia), Allerik Freeman (6-4, Henderson, Nev.), Isaiah Lewis (6-3, Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Detrick Mostella (6-3, Landover Hills, Md.).

Also, forwards Aaron Gordon (6-8, San Jose, Calif.); Julius Randle (6-9, Plano, Texas), Jermaine Lawrence (6-9, Sparta, N.J.), Jabari Parker (6-8, Chicago), Troy Williams (6-6, Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Jordan Mickey (6-7, Arlington, Texas), Jarell Martin (6-9, Baton Rouge, La.), Semi Ojeleye (6-6, Ottawa), Karviar Shepherd (6-10, Arlington, Texas), Marcus Lee (6-8, Antioch, Calif.), Wayne Selden (6-5, Tilton, N.H.), Tyler Roberson, 6-8, Roselle, N.J.) and Austin Nichols (6-8, Eads, Tenn).

Guard Barber, by the way, told on Tuesday he will visit KU, Alabama and Louisville. The country’s No. 9-rated player attends Hampton (Va.) High.

The trip: KU’s basketball team, which leaves for Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday and returns to the U.S. on Aug. 14, will play four games (Aug. 7 and 8 in Fribourg, Switzerland, and Aug. 11, 12 in Paris) in nine days. That leaves a lot of time for sightseeing.

“I’ve never been to Switzerland. I heard it’s just unbelievably gorgeous,” Self said. “The way we set our schedule up, we’ve allowed our guys time on their own. We allowed them sightseeing as a group, and we’ve allowed them some team functions. We’re not going to lay around in bed. We’re going to make the most of the trip. I wouldn’t be surprised if we go on a sightseeing tour for three or four hours right before a game even. I want our guys to experience it.”

Self said all of his players will receive plenty of playing time in exhibitions versus the Swiss National Team and French pro teams.

“I think it will be a great experience for our guys,” Self said. “Winning is always important, but having an opportunity to go to Switzerland and France and hang out is a memory that will last all our guys’ lifetime. I am excited for them to experience that and at the same time get our basketball team a little better.”

This, that: Former KU center Sasha Kaun scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds with four blocks in Russia’s 73-54 victory over China at the Olympic Games in London. Russia, 2-0, will meet Brazil on Thursday. ... ESPN has reported that former KU guard Tyshawn Taylor’s two-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets is guaranteed. The second-round pick will make $473,604 this season and $788,872 in 2013-14.


Brendan Connolly 9 years, 9 months ago

Good to see Tyshawn get a nice guarantee. Think he could be a steal.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 9 months ago

Agree. Tyshawn has put the work in and glad to see it paying off. I think he will become one of the biggest sleepers in the draft.

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 9 months ago

Hey guys,

Have fun in Switzerland. It is beautiful, and lots to see. We stayed in Zurich for ten days in 1995 and made side trips to N. Italy, France and briefly Germany. Weird how close all those places were.

One thing about Swiss motor laws is their required auto inspections, once every 2 years, I think, with virtually the entire vehicle inspected, NOT just emissions, and it must be very close to new specifications or be brought up to spec. Resulting in not many older cars on the roads there, or if they are, they are completely rebuilt every so often and look brand new. No smoking heaps rattling down the Swiss roads...

Oh yeah, if you take a walk in old-town Zurich, look at some of the cornerstones on the buildings. You will see some dates from over 700 years ago!!! Very Cool!!

If you can, take a night-time dinner cruise on Lake Zurich. Amazing!

Rock Chalk, Swiss Hawks!!

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 9 months ago

Ok, off topic but...

FYI for an amazing picture of JeffW showing Texas how it's done, look at the ESPN college hoops site under the "Summer Shootaround" article and see the Big 12 entry.

I want this framed in my living room. PRICELESS!!!

Rock Chalk, Withey Hawks!!

KGphoto 9 years, 9 months ago

Who's that Texas player crying in the front? He wants out of the game bad.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Good for Tyshawn. Turn off twitter and get to work. There's some point plankin' cheddar to be made!

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 9 months ago

GB - I think this is the one you're talking about.

KGphoto 9 years, 9 months ago

Oops. Guess I should've scrolled down.

Danny Hernandez 9 years, 9 months ago

So happy for Tyshawn. Still wish he could have been a first rounder but that aside, he's in an incredible situation and with his maturity, he'll show the NBA what an awesome player he is. I still believe he's faster with the ball than John Wall, end to end.

And Tyshawn will be a great ambassador for Kansas.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 9 months ago

“We’re just trying to get the best players, period."

Directly from Bill Self's mouth!

KGphoto 9 years, 9 months ago

No disrespect to recruiting, Bill, or Tyshawn, but IMHO Sasha Kaun is really the biggest story here. Can't believe there aren't more comments on our Olympian throwing down against China. I would LOVE to see Russia vs USA for the gold. It looks like Russia and Spain will be battling for group B. I'm betting on this guy and I'll be catching every Russian game available. Damn! Sasha scary!

Here's the next one.

Here's the TV listing for Direct TV in Colorado. Looks like it will be 10:30am central on NBCSN (603). I think Russia is going take Brazil to the woodshed.

So jealous of Ty. Playing and living in Brooklyn. It's not NY penthouse money but you can get a nice pad with that contract. Congrats TT!!

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 9 months ago

In Russia, if you look too happy, they know something's wrong! With the money Sasha must be banking, he is surely smiling on the inside though. Plus, being on your country's Olympic team...he must be fighting back a huge smile. Or, maybe that photo just wasn't taken on a good day, who knows?

finestack 9 years, 9 months ago

It's actually a cultural fact, Russians don't typically smile in pictures. Cross my heart...

Martin Shupert 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm not sure. It was fairly recent. He helped a coach get away down a hallway after the coach slapped a player. Apparently, you can't do that in England.

Danny Hernandez 9 years, 9 months ago

Does anyone know the exact Paris schedule for the team? Where they'll be staying or where they'll be playing? My wife is thinking of taking me to Paris to watch the team for my 60th birthday

9 years, 9 months ago

You are one lucky dog 'dannyboy' that would be the trip of a lifetime!

ParisHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

They are playing Saturday August 11th and Sunday August 12th. One game is at 7 P.M. and one is at 8 P.M. but there is some confusion about which game starts at which time.

No idea where they'll be staying.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 9 months ago

On they have an article about it, and I believe they give all the times, translated into Central Time. I didn't check back, but I think that's where I saw it a couple days ago. Whoops! I should have scrolled down before I answered.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

Most likely gets...if I was a betting man.....Jackson and Shepard, with a decent chance of Barber if he realizes Alabama was, is and always will be, a football first university!!

Opinion listed above based on absolutely no concrete evidence, knowledge or reasonable expertise.......similar to every post on this site for the last ten years!!

theend 9 years, 9 months ago

OakvilleJaybate Nightmare???? Oakville and Jaybate are two Jayhawk national treasures.......Hardly a nightmare on either accounts. Quite the opposite, sir.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 9 months ago

Jaybate for sure, but this blog and the shared knowledge about the Trip with our French and Swiss Jayhawks with such things as providing phone streams to Gary Bedfore that he might show them on this blog, or the Frenchys sending us the advertising posters. Thank you all for the prose. Tyshawn, Hang out with all the NBA Hawks, but make them buy dinner. Sasha, I always wished you would have come back to play for Cleveland who own the NBA draft rights, but, not too shabby of a resume. NCAA National Champion, Russian League Champion and an Olympic medal playing for Mother Russia.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 9 months ago

Hey, didn't you read the disclaimer about using usernames that are icons on this site and are expressly forbidden by Major League Posting, etc.?

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

Actually pretty darn funny..except Jaybate deserves to be first...he's the Arnold Palmer of posting. I'm just the kid holding the golf clubs...but thanks, OJN.....imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :)

I did have a gold fish named Nigthmare. He lived for about three hours!!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

And where did you get that picture of JB for your avatar?

kennethst 9 years, 9 months ago

JAYBATE..........are you heading to Europe this summer? Wouldn't it be nice to go and watch KU play? I still hope you get to Scotland sometime. I'm planning on going over in the western Highlands......beautiful spot......and so quiet. Just the mountains and streams and lakes. Gorgeous.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

Recruiting articles with quotes from the coach are the best. Parsing the coach's words for hints, implications, etc., can be read differently by different people. Two things said by the coach that are important:

-Bennybob nailed it “We’re just trying to get the best players." So if there is any doubt, let's put that to rest. Sure, there are some nuances -- overall player, I'm sure. Character, fit, etc. But coach Self aims high (higher ranked players -- look at who he is recruiting for confirmation that his idea of "best" equals higher ranked guys) and works his way down. Look at who we're recruiting. This is surprise only to folks who think Self really wants low/ranked guys like Lucas, Traylor, Lindsay, Anderson, etc.

But the quotes that really caught my eye:

-“We do need an inside presence that could obviously replace Jeff (Withey), and a point guard to replace Elijah (Johnson) would be great.” And ... "We got a couple of commitments, but we need a big and a point guard to go with what we have,”

Self has confirmed what many of us have speculated on. He is targeting a big in this class. Not earth-shattering or surprising. But he sees it as a "need." However, if Traylor/Peters/Lucas were clearly the real deal in Self's mind, why would he "need a big". "Need an inside presence." That's different than "would like a big." Sometimes adding a position is a luxury. That would be understandable. But "need" is a whole different thing. More confirmation that this is a three man race for two scholarship spots in 2013.

And the word "point" .. as in point guard .. was a bit surprising to me. To specify "point guard" as opposed "guard" or perimter player, or something more general.

That suggests a few things:

1) He clearly does consider the point guard a specific position to be recruited for that purpose vs. being fine with just combo guys that assume that role.

2) He does not have faith that any of the combo guards .. Frankamp, Doyle, Adams .. are competent enough to handle the point as a backup. Two pure point guards on the roster (with Tharpe) is sufficient. But ....

3) If 2) is not true, then he has a severe lack of faith in Tharpe being the guy to assume that point guard role in 2013.

4) He does not think that McLemore will leave after one season as a two guard is not on his need list. But ..


Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago


5) If 4) is not true, then he is open to a five man recruiting class as he is pursuing a number of 2 guard types, and wants a big and point guard. This is emphasized by the fact that Mason is on the list. Meaning I would bet that if he added a 2 guard type, Mason would be the 5th add to the class. A 5th add means someone goes. And back to points 2 and 3, why pursue Mason if the current roster has sufficient point guard material? But ..

6) If not 5) .. meaning he is not open to a 5 man class .. then he probably has significant faith that Adams or Doyle can fill the two guard spot if he gets surprised by McLemore leaving.

7) If not 4) or 6), which is assuming he does not have faith in Adams or Doyle filling the two guard spot, and he thinks McLemore leaving is a risk, then he is clearly open to a 5 man recruiting class .. which means .. you guessed it .. someone leaves. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it will be a big.

If we add the guys Oak speculates we get .. Jackson and Shepherd .. 2013 is a huge class.

My best guess .. go to Bennybob's isolation of Self's quote .. we pursue the best players. The best players translates to the best roster. The best roster usually translates to more wins. Easy.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Precision focus on that word "need." The first need, a replacement for Withey, we know to be essential. The second, a point guard, opens up a world of speculation. Grist for a torrent of verbiage in future LJW posts.

AsadZ 9 years, 9 months ago

HEM, Very good analysis. I was also surprised by his comment on PG to repalce Elijah. My 1st reaction is that he has very little to no faith in Tharpe becoming the primary PG in the future.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

Tharpe may be a "tweener"...too tall to be a Spud Webb dribble around guys ankles type guard and too small to take on anybody over 6'-2".

Of course, maybe the solution is we just list him at 5'-6" and we're good to go!!

I think we all better face the fact that BenMac may very well be gone after this 2012-13 season....two years of school and one year as a starter at Kansas may be all he needs to reach the next level.

I think that Bill will have AT LEAST five schollies for next year!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.