Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jamari Traylor looks like T-Rob

Kansas' Jamari Traylor scores as teammate Zach Peters looks on during an exhibition between KU and AMW Team France on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at the Coubertin Stadium in Paris.

Kansas' Jamari Traylor scores as teammate Zach Peters looks on during an exhibition between KU and AMW Team France on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at the Coubertin Stadium in Paris.


Jamari Traylor grinned when asked if he’s ever been approached by somebody who thinks he’s former Kansas University basketball All-American Thomas Robinson.

“That happens all the time, more than I like,” Traylor, KU’s 6-foot-8, 220-pound red-shirt freshman power forward, said of folks tapping him on the back thinking he’s T-Rob. “I guess they think I look like him. I don’t know if it’s me putting on weight or me just looking like him or something. Hopefully it stops. Once I get out there, people will know it’s me.”

KU coach Bill Self, whose Jayhawks open the exhibition season against Emporia State at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Allen Fieldhouse, isn’t ready to compare Chicago native Traylor with the 6-10, 240-pound Robinson, the No. 5 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

“Thomas is an inch or two taller and outweighs him by 20 pounds. Other than that, they are just alike,” Self said with a smile.

“I think Jamari is a better athlete as far as quick-twitch and being explosive. He’s just not as big. The thing about Thomas that is so great is if he got one mitt on the ball ... I mean he was fierce, a tough, competitive rebounder. He was unbelievable at 50-50 balls. I don’t know if Jamari is at that level. Jamari is going to be good, but we’re talking about a guy 19 years old who hasn’t played basketball. He played one year of high school a little bit.

“In Europe (this past summer), he looked good in practice, but the game is faster. It will take time,” Self added. “He is a competitive kid. He has great bounce and energy. You can’t expect him to do anything remotely close to what Thomas did even as a sophomore. Maybe some of the things Thomas did as a freshman we’ll see out of Jamari as well.”

Traylor, who practiced second semester last season but could not play in games in accordance with NCAA partial-qualifier rules, is ready to get started in actual games.

“Tuesday will be exciting. I know it will be a weight lifted from my shoulders, and I know I’m going to give it my all,” Traylor said. “It’s definitely been a year (since he last played at Florida’s IMG Academy). It seems longer than that. I’ve been determined to get out there.”

Traylor, who has been described as a fierce rebounder, said he put in countless hours in the gym to expand his game this past summer.

“I worked on my offense a lot,” said Traylor, who may be even more important to KU’s team now that senior Kevin Young is out 10 days to two weeks with a broken bone in his right hand. “I can knock down open shots. I can also make plays for my team a lot better than I could last year. I like to think I have a feel for the ball. I’m getting a lot of loose balls and rebounds. I think that’s where I’ll contribute this year.”

He said sitting out a year has made him extra eager for this year’s debut.

Red-shirt freshman guard Ben McLemore, who like Traylor arrived as a partial-qualifier, said Traylor has been an inspiration.

“He just tries so hard,” McLemore said. “In the classroom, I got a 3.2 (GPA), and he got a 3.3. He did great. Watching him helped me stay focused in class, too.”

Jackson cut by Jazz: Former KU forward Darnell Jackson has been cut by the Utah Jazz, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Jackson played in six exhibition games, averaging 1.7 points and 0.7 rebounds. The 6-9 forward, who played in Ukraine last year, played in 138 games with Cleveland, Milwaukee and Sacramento.

“He’s always been a tough-nosed type of player,” Utah’s Al Jefferson told the Salt Lake Tribune in lobbying to keep him on the team. “Go hard every time you step on the court. So when I found out he was in our camp, I knew it was going to be a very physical camp, that he was going to make you step up and play hard. He’s always been that way.

“When he gets on that court, he’s a machine, he’s gonna make you play. We’re friends off the court, but he’s going to go at you on the floor, and that’s the type of guy you need. It’s not my decision, but a guy like him, every team needs a guy like him on it.”


soapisurfriend 9 years, 6 months ago

No mention of Cole getting traded to Houston? Oh well, he's probably already fast asleep on McM's sofa. 💤😴

hawk316 9 years, 6 months ago

Considering how little basketball Traylor has actually played, sitting out last year as a partial qualifier might have been the best thing that could have happened to him. All that practice time 2nd semester...against TRob...provided much needed time for further development. That's going to pay off, I suspect!

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

"Maybe some of the things Thomas did as a freshman we’ll see out of Jamari as well.” --Self on Traylor

Thomas could not walk and chew gum as a freshman. And he played precious little.

Justin Wesley, your rendezvous with destiny may be at hand.

Either that or Travis has to swing 3/4 and backup Perry and AW3 backs up Trav at the 3. Please, basketball god, don't let this happen. Save Trav from the 3/4 swing. He has done nothing to deserve it. Let him just play 3.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 6 months ago

TRob averaged 14pts 15 brds 3blks/40 minutes as a freshman, what are you smoking jaybate? Ya, he only played 7.2 min/game being Cole and the Twins and he couldn't shoot FT's, big whoop, he wreaked havoc when he was in there.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

Wow! What kind of rock cocaine laced with meth icing on nembutal soaked marihuana brownies are you eating today. TRob was horrible as freshman. By the middle of the season he could not even turn around without travelling or fouling. He had stone fingers.

Let me introduce you to a concept called non linearity. One cannot reliably extrapolate from 3 minutes to 40 minutes on a freshman player who would foul out at the end of ten minutes if he were to keep playing.

I suppose you think because Justin Wesley scored a few points last year in early season games that if Self had only let him play the full forty the rest of the season Justin could have been a 15/10 guy each night. NOT!

Come on. Franchise this hallucination inducing brownie you're eating into a drive thru for junkies, will ya?


Seriously, I don't think you're on anything. I'm just satirizing this hackneyed style board rats use of disagreeinbg with a take by asking what one has been ingesting of an illegal nature. Either you get that that was what I was doing, or you must be stoned out of your mind, right? :-)

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 6 months ago

Well I could rely on your memory of events (yes TRob fouled a lot as a freshman, Self wanted him flying around on the offensive glass whenever he was in) or I can go by the stats and my memory, which are not from a couple early season games, TRob played in almost every game that year. You can't extrapolate anybody for 40 minutes, 'cause everyone gets tired, has foul trouble, yada yada, but that doesn't mean he wasn't productive with the minutes he played. At the rate he fouled he still could have gone for 28 a game, it's not like he ever fouled out. Bottom line, if he'd been needed he could have averaged a double double as a freshman as opposed to "could not walk and chew gum as a freshman" Wesley's stats on the other hand give 5.5 pts 7.2 brds/40mins and he actually fouled more frequently last year than TRob did as a freshman to where he would have fouled out on average at under 24 mins. I do think he could have averaged those numbers if he'd been given the time, for 24 mins/gm it only comes out to about 3.3 pts and 4.3 brds, you don't think Wesley could have pulled that off in 24 mins/game last year? 3.3 pts, 24 mins, seems pretty realistic.

Yes, that's what I meant by the smoking as well, it's just a light-hearted way of saying you've lost your mind my friend! TRob displayed some serious talent as a freshman and it was always exciting to see him come into the game. I actually thought going into last season that Traylor looked like the most ready to contribute of all the freshmen, but from the sounds of it I underestimated BMac and it didn't matter anyway 'cause he didn't get to play, but you can always use an athlete like Traylor to come in and create some opportunities. Fortunately KYo did some of that for the team and brought that energy off the bench.

Benz Junque 9 years, 6 months ago

T-Rob averaged 7 FOULS per 40 minutes his freshman year. He was a great per 40 minute player because he had NO WORRIES about not fouling. He could go balls out for every second he was in there.

The flip side is that Traylor is in the EXACT same situation. Traylor can go out there and bang for boards and loose balls because we have 6-7 big guys that can spread out the fouls. Withey, Traylor, Ellis, Young, Peters, Lucas and Wesley will all be included at some point, so there should be NO regard for foul counts. Just a relentless assault on the boards and the opposition.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 6 months ago

ralster, I'm really not worried about TRel having to play the post. Between Withey, Ellis and Traylor then throw in Wesley, obviously hoping for speedy recoveries from Peters and Young, still some big bodies to throw at other teams.

twocoach, I talked about the fouls, means he would have fouled out on average after 28 minutes of play, still would have put 10 and 10 playing the way he did with 28 mins on average. Plus bench players have a tendency to give up quick fouls when they come in, but either way it's not like he would have been fouling 1/2 way through the game or anything. I wasn't suggesting he would have put up 14, 15 and 3 / game as a freshman if he was starting, just that he put up admirable numbers as a freshman with limited PT.

Jim Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

"Red-shirt freshman guard Ben McLemore, who like Traylor arrived as a partial-qualifier, said Traylor has been an inspiration.

“Ben just tries so hard,” McLemore said. “In the classroom, I got a 3.2 (GPA), and he got a 3.3. He did great. Watching him helped me stay focused in class, too.” "......


dylans 9 years, 6 months ago

Traylor helped McLemore keep his chin up and stay focused on the task at hand. Instead of throwing a pity party for himself since he couldn't play ball.

Kit Duncan 9 years, 6 months ago

winco is referring to Bedore's writing. Gary is quoting "McLemore" as though he's speaking about himself. It should have read, "Jamari just tries so hard," McLemore said, ... not the way it is written.

KansasComet 9 years, 6 months ago

It appears Jamari Traylor wants to be the first Jamari Traylor and not the second Thomas Robinson. It is time to move forward. Thomas Robinson has, I am sure nearly everyone has seen that monster dunk he had in a Kings uniform over Dwight Howard of the Lakers? I definitely appreciate the past, Kansas has more basketball history than anyone. It is breaking news on ESPN every time the Jayhawks lose a game. That shows how great Kansas Basketball is. We currently have the longest NCAA Tournament appearance streak, which I am sure we will extend for years to come.

Bill Self is a great coach and probably the best fit at Kansas, however he will never have our court named for him, not that his accomplishments are not worthy, but because of our history. He cannot compete with the games inventor. I truly hope we find a way to honor him, when his time here is done.

I also remember how a lot of people lost their mind when Roy Williams left. For some reason, I have a feeling that in 2008 when Sherron Collins and Mario Chalmers put the team on their backs and willed us to a Championship, that not too many were missing Roy at the point? I was sad, but happy to see Roy Williams leave. He loved Kansas, but he wanted to be at North Carolina more. It has been obvious since day one, that this is where Bill Self wanted to be. I don't worry about him packing up and heading to the NBA or Oklahoma State for that matter.

Jamari Traylor will never be Thomas Robinson. I am pretty sure that he is comfortable in his own skin. By Traylor's second or third year, I am sure he will be a special player for us.

I am happy with what we currently have, which is a quality group of student athletes, that want to represent themselves, their families and best University in the world!

741hawk 9 years, 6 months ago

After his next national championship, Bill will be honored with a statue in front of AFH.

Originally . . . the Phog Allen statue faced across the entrance plaza to the field house facing south). I speculated that it was in preparation for another statue facing him. After R Williams left, the statue was moved to face outward (to the east).
. I believe that someday, Bill's statue will be there with Phog's (representing multiple national championships).

Andy Godwin 9 years, 6 months ago

If the games in Europe were any indication Zach Peters is likely the guy who could bring the the toughness on the boards and steal an extra possession. If healthy I could see him first off the bench to replace Withey. I just hope these types of injuries to Young and Peters are minor setbacks now and do not continue throughout the season.

onegonzo 9 years, 6 months ago

So KY is going to practice with one hand tied behind his!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

Comparing Traylor to Robinson is obviously as major stretch. Coach Self is not doing that. The only real comparison is the "motor" (and maybe the tatoos). Robinson, when he set foot on KU's campus, was not only a better player than Traylor, but was also a much more refined player. Don't forget the skill set. The biggest thing for TRob was to dial it back, and get under control. If not for the bodies in front of him .. Aldrich, Morris twins .. TRob could have started from Day 1. He was worthy of starting from Day 1. Circumstance dictates when a player gets to see the floor. And the coach's patience with playing through mistakes. We don't have a coach that has that inclination, when presented with other options. He'll compress his rotation most of the time before playing guys that drive him crazy.

My view is always this -- realistic expectations. It is unrealistic to assume that Traylor will make significant contributions this season, other than an uptick in a reprise of Wesley's role last season. This guy is a much longer shot to develop than TRob was .. TRob was the #31 player. Traylor was the #141 player. That mean something. It means a lot. If he plays better than expected, great. We'll all be happy. The early gauge will be how much he plays vs. Michigan St., and to what level.

If Traylor plays to his ranking, he wouldn't end up being a rotation player here. History tells us that. He has to exceed his ranking, or be forced by circumstance into the rotation (see Teahan/Wesley last season). That circumstance is favorable for him -- failure to sign better players in the post and now some key injuries. Traylor (and Lucas) must feel blessed.

An FYI .. just to get an idea where Self's mind is (where he ranks the talent), go look now at the players that Self has made offers to for 2014. Good time to get an idea of what he thinks of rankings (or that they might coincide with his assessment). We've made offers to eight players. Six are five star, two are four star. All are ranked #23 or higher except one, who is the #51 player. So seven of eight inside the top 25, and one outside the top 25 (#51). Here's the link -

You can see all the guys Self is following (at least as ESPN has it -- best to look at other sources too):

If you start tracking all this now (again using other sources too), you can see how the coaching staff moves in its pursuit of talent. It will really start moving in spring/2013.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 6 months ago

3 more PGs? I dont understand it!

well, Tyus Jones isn't going to happen, no technically its 2 PGs but still. We'll have 3-4 on the roster by the time any of them reach campus.

Rashad Vaughn is an amazing athlete and Under Armor endorsed. UA kids are kinda free agents because they dont have alot of options for schools sponsored by their brand so they look at both nike/addidas schools.

Great post for highlighting the fact that Self targets talent above all else. we should stay on this all year to show the blind-trusters he recruits no differently than any other top programs coach.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago


Noting the difference in rank between TRob and JamTray chilled me.

Thomas at #31 could barely get on the floor and when he did get on the floor, it was a truly horrible thing to watch his freshman season.

Jamari at #141 and having played one year of organized basketball before coming to KU?

Where is my Arctic grade down parka?!!!!!

And last season at this time Self was walking around saying Traylor probably would have started had he been eligible? Ahead of Withey?

Self is masking here, but at this point I cannot tell what.

Self sure does not want Jamari bucking high expectations; that's for sure.

This is going to be sooooooooooo interesting to watch unfold.

Self insists he wants to play inside out again this season.

Either Ellis and Withey must be absolutely gang busters together, or Self is sand bagging on JamTray and he has gotten way sweeter than his ranking would suggest.

And most interesting of all is how Self has not made a peep this preseason about Justin Wesley, after talking him up from time to time last season and this past off season. And Self is sticking to his mum's the world on Justin even though Self presently lacks KY and Zach.

I sense some serious caution in Self going into this season. In previous years, even last year, he said, "We could be a very good team by March."

But this pre season? All I've heard him say is we could be a good defensive team, EJ is going to have the ball even more than Tyshawn had it last year, and we have to find some one that can score in the paint.

And his remarks on Kevin's injury suggested that he was going to be starting and relying on Kevin in the beginning, not Perry Ellis, even though Self said a week or two ago that Perry could have all the minutes he wanted at the 4, if he just stayed aggressive.

To put it mildly, Self appears even more unresolved than usual.

Self is not talking confidently of having a good team at the end of the season, at least, I have not read any quotes like that from him.

And he is also not walking around saying how over rated the team is either, something Self has almost always done at the beginning. I infer from this that this is not the most confident, swagger-filled bunch he has ever had. He does not feel a need to puncture their over confidence.

Will this at long last be the winter of our discontent in Lawrence?

I would love to know what kind of offense the team is practicing most. And how physical the practices are right now.

Dickie Nutt's bringing in 4 235-250 pounders.

Then its Ratso Izzo's boys.

Ratso's team is green this year, even more so than Self's.

And Ratso always turns up the violence whenever he's got less skill and experience than usual.

As I said a few posts back: break out the carbon fiber cups and mouth pieces. :-)

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

jb: I for one don't buy that he'll play the same feed the post game this season. I'll expand on that at some point, but if you look at his recruiting, it sure seems as though his squads (now and 2013) are being developed to be shooting/slashing teams. Perhaps that is just the way it "looks" .. due to missing on post guys.

I've floated the idea that Self may be looking to copy MU's look from last season a bit -- to put it in the arsenal. It was an incredibly tough match up for a conventional team. It may be something we do out of necessity. Imagine (if one can handle the ball) .. Selden, McLemore, Greene, White, Ellis. Guarding the post is the challenge there.

I have thought for a while that regardless of recruiting, we'll be without a true center next season (Embiid or Shepherd will/would not be ready to start). 2013 will be a season with a 4 and 4a.

How terrific would Tharpe, McLemore, White, Ellis, and Randle/Gordon look, with Selden, Peters, Greene, and Frankamp off the bench? Then shifting to the MU look with four perimeter players, and a 4. I love the options.

Of course, Lucas and Traylor could demand PT.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 6 months ago

I just cant see Self ever not running some hybrid of the Hi - Lo

he's changed his system a little in recent years, adding alot of ball screens, but i think that to play to his personnel (Sherron, TT).

He's one how many games running that system? why try to fix what isnt broken?

It just seems that the system is changing because the front court recruiting hasn't been what it use to. But if we land Randle/Gorndon/Vonleh etc. the Hi - Lo is back in action for '13-14

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 6 months ago

HEM, you made note of it in the original post here, please inform Jaybate that he's way off base on TRob's ability as a freshman. I tried to use math, logic and reason with him, but he's ignoring those. Maybe he'll listen to you.

Also, trying to look too far ahead on recruiting might make my head explode, but it is interesting. There have to be quite a few factors as to when Self makes an offer, 'cause you'd expect to see Dakari Johnson on the offered list. Some kids may not want offers right away I guess, Self may not want to offer certain people to not scare off somebody he's still trying to get in this class, seems like it must be pretty complicated. Guess it would be interesting to watch it all play out from this far in advance though.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 6 months ago

"I think Jamari is a better athlete(than T Rob) as far as quick-twitch and being explosive."

That is a very hard quote to believe. If it's true, Traylor would be on NBA draft radar's based on athletic ability alone.

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. Physically, T-Rob is an absolute freak. Jamari's middle name must be Lebron.

HUGE statement Self is making about JT's physicality. I'm excited to see him play.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

"Ten Most Unlikely Things to Happen in KU's Exhibition Games"

  1. Self reveals whether he is has ever been to the Hair Club for Men.

  2. Coaches wear grass skirts and Nikes on the bench.

  3. George Raveling attends and talks about how much better Addidas shoes look these days than Nikes.

  4. Andrew Wiggins shows up and says he has inked a new deal with Allen Edmonds and will attend KU, if and only if Self will let him wear the new Andrew-Edmonds Leather Winged Tip High Top signature model basketball shoe.

  5. KU cheerleaders are judged less than the best looking in America by the new Bert Parks Institute for Cheerleading Research just built on west campus (note: institute promptly loses its not-for-profit status).

  6. KU plays 2-3 zone for a half.

  7. KU plays 3-2 zone for another half.

  8. KU players defy Coach Self and become a jump shooting team, and Self says, "What do I know about the game? Let's give these young men a chance to express themselves."

  9. CBernie and Sheahon will raise money for a good cause--keeping music and PE education in public schools--by playing a game of 1 on 1 at half time, with the loser having to donate a quarter of his/her salary to the Lawrence public schools (Note: rumor is CBernie got Hudy-ed over the summer in preparation and may dunk on ZMan's grille).

  10. Self tells Tom Keegan after the second exhibition game, "That's as good as we can play. No more need to get better this season. I'm ready for March right now!"

(Note: All fiction. No malice. Roll'em out trainers. Let's play. )

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 6 months ago

Gary, you gotta fix your article. Ben and Jamari weren't allowed to play second semester because the Big 12 has a rule that excludes partial qualifier from participation, its not an NCAA rule. This was something that Texas insisted on including when we formed the conference.

ParisHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

dpu, you gotta fix your post. The Big 12 does not have a rule that excludes partial qualifiers from participation: it has a rule that each case has to be judged by faculty reps. The faculty reps decided to make Ben and Jamari wait, but they could have let them play.

ParisHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Correction: rockchalk_dpu is correct, the Big 12 does have a rule that excludes partial qualifiers from competition; however, that rule is new. You can see in the Conference Handbook that the rule has a gray background, just like the new list of Conference members.

According to news reports last year, the rule was different at that time.

I agree that the article should be corrected: the NCAA says who is a full or partial qualifier, the Conference says how partial qualifiers are treated.

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

"Jackson cut by Jazz"



HawkKlaw 9 years, 6 months ago

“I think Jamari is a better athlete as far as quick-twitch and being explosive."

I'll believe it when I see it. That was the best part of Trob's game his first couple of years at KU...

Tony Bandle 9 years, 6 months ago

One point of true competiton between Thomas and Jamari..the nicknames.."TRob" vs "Semi"...both are classics!!

Sally Presson 9 years, 6 months ago

Jamari reminds me of Thomas, The first time we saw TRob, we knew he'd be a great one and he was. We're looking forward to watching you play Jamari, stay healthy and we'll have a great year.

RJ King 9 years, 6 months ago

The thing about the 4-spot is that it also matters who they will go up against. MSU's style of play is well known. What other non-conference foes have dominate, pounding, rebounding PF's? In conference play, is there a drop off at Baylor? What about Texas - don't they have a lot of youth as well??? Lots of posts about how our current Big Men compare to years past. How about how they match up with this year's opponents?

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