Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Royce Woolridge frustrated after getting blown out by ‘friends’

Kansas center Jeff Withey fist bumps his former teammate Royce Woolridge before tipoff of the CBE Classic, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas center Jeff Withey fist bumps his former teammate Royce Woolridge before tipoff of the CBE Classic, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.


— Washington State guard Royce Woolridge, who transferred after playing one year at Kansas University, said he didn’t have to work hard to convince his Cougars teammates they were facing a good team.

“It’s obvious. It’s Kansas. They’re always a really good school,” Woolridge said in a Sprint Center hallway outside the locker room following WSU’s 78-41 loss to KU on Monday night.

Just after answering, Woolridge looked up, saying hello to KU staff member Brennan Bechard and shaking hands with KU assistant coach Joe Dooley as they passed by on their way to the team bus.

Woolridge, who played a team-high 33 minutes, finished with five points on 2-for-6 shooting with one assist and five turnovers.

Wearing a black backpack with white headphones around his neck, Woolridge couldn’t hide his disappointment following the rout.

“I know we weren’t expected to win or anything, but to get blown out by 40 ... that hurts,” Woolridge said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Kansas or anybody else. Just losing by a lot, it’s going to hurt definitely.”

The 6-foot-3 Woolridge did have one standout play, swishing a three-pointer with 10:31 left in the first half over KU guard Elijah Johnson.

“I should have hit a couple more,” Woolridge said, “but it happens.”

The Phoenix native met up with quite a few of his former KU teammates before the game. That included Johnson, who wished him good luck before asking him if he was ready to go.

Woolridge made sure to tell him that he was.

“Those are my friends,” Woolridge said. “I miss them, so it was definitely good to see them and talk to them.”

The sophomore admitted that he had looked forward to Monday’s game for a while, even if it didn’t turn out as he had hoped.

“Kansas came, and they played well,” Woolridge said. “There’s not really much I can say. I wanted to play (better), but their scout was really good. They knew where we were going and what we were doing.

“It was just hard to make things happen for all of us.”


jaybate 10 years ago

Glad KU put the wood to them and handcuffed Royce.

Now, I'm cool with Royce rallying back and WSU winning its league.

Jeremy Bolinger 10 years ago

Sad thing is he could've really helped our guard play over the last 2 seasons. Oh well Royce. You're either with us, or you're going to get smoked by us.

texashawk10 10 years ago

Hindsight is 20/20. I'm sure Royce and Bill didn't expect KU to have the misses they've had the past couple of seasons. With Royce being the turnover machine he has been so far, even with the potential PT had he stayed I don't know how much he would've played last year.

jaybate 10 years ago

After thinking about this quite a bit, I suspect Self and Royce probably did know it was going to go something like it went. Royce was going to sit for a season, like EJ and Trav did, and like Rio and AW3 are, and like RR did, and so on. What happened to a player of Royce's ranking is normal. To be expected.

So with this mutual knowledge, what shakes out is that Royce decided he didn't like that future and thought he could cut a better one elsewhere.

That Royce's right.

But its KU's right to say it wasn't what was best for KU.

And I'm unapologetically and unequivocally for what is best for the KU basketball legacy and each season's team.

I would like it if all scholies were 4 year guaranties and that was that.

But until its that way, we need guys that will fill the expected roles they are given and quit wet nursing them for doing what's right for them.

In this system, they don't need wet nursing to do what is right for them. They do it.

ParisHawk 10 years ago

I'm too late so you'll probably never read this, but you left out one thing: Self and Royce probably knew how things were going to work out when he came, but not when he committed.

If Royce were a senior year commit, I would agree with you: he should have known the score. But he wasn't.

Self took a chance offering him early, and Royce took a chance accepting if he really expected to see the floor his freshman year. It didn't work out, but they both took a calculated risk, not just Royce.

Joe Ross 10 years ago

Reminds me of fantasy football, where in the real world you have a team that faces a player on your fantasy team. You root for the player to do well, but for your own team to win. Id have been cool with Royce dropping 41 all by himself if the final score stayed the same. Of course if he could drop it like that Kansas would still have him on the roster.

jaybate 10 years ago

jLost, jLost, jLost,

You're getting soft(er).

I would have been cool with Royce being held scoreless and being given a broken nose, with one of Thomas Robinson's patented fore arm smashes delivered by any one of our big guys on a drive by Royce.

Even though the guy was never destined for stardom, his selfishness left us short handed two seasons in a row.

He needed a good cracking and he got one.

There was no way this KU coach and team were not going to punish him for what he did.

They did.

And now its next.

dylans 10 years ago

Didn't Royce transfer because he'd never see the floor? And didn't that free up a scholarship for one of the current players? The kid signed after his sophomore season in high school. Royce loved (loves) KU, but was shown the door. I wish him the best against any other team.

texashawk10 10 years ago

I believe Royce's scholarship went to Merv Lindsay.

jaybate 10 years ago


Not joking. Losing these players, after we keep them around developing them for slots down the road, is costly to the program.

There just does not seem to be any reason to think that a player like Royce, with a dad who played the game professionally, could not have foreseen how his first few seasons were going to go at KU, once he did not blossum and grow as tall as expected after that early commitment to KU.

Royce came to KU and sat on the bench as he should have expected. If he had not been willing to sit on the bench for a couple of years, he should not have come to KU and wasted Self's time developing him for a rotation slot a couple of years down the road.

This is not pilotless drone science. If you enter as low ranked as Royce did, you're likely going to sit a couple of years. Self probably gave him a ride on that basis.

Self had a role for him last season, but he left.

Self would have had a larger role for him this season, but he left.

And he left, after coming to KU probably knowing the likely scenario.

That leaving created a hole in our back up depth last season and now again this.

I don't dispute that it was Royce's right to leave.

And if Self forced him out, then I'm glad he left Self high and dry to stew in his own juices of lack of depth.

But if Self brought him in with a pretty clear expectation of how it was going to go, and it was going that way, then he cost the program significantly and the least we could do was administer a good beating for payback.

Steve Reigle 10 years ago

I with those wishing Woolrdige good luck in his future and I hope he excels at Washington State. When he left, he did so on good terms. He didn't blast the coaches, team, school, town, or anything. He left for a legitimate reason. Any kid who sees professional basketball may not be in his future likely wants to maximize his remaining playing time. Instead of pouting over playing time, he got up and went after it. Good luck to Royce. He's a class guy.

kranny 10 years ago

Agree that Bate's "being given a broken nose, with one of Thomas Robinson's patented fore arm smashes delivered by any one of our big guys on a drive by Royce post was over the top. I surely hope that similar comments or hopes aren't shared with the kids or grandkids or any kids. Rise above such notions.

ironhead80 10 years ago

Look like to me Royce lost some muscle mass since he left KU. When he came to KU, he had some pipes.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.