Friday, August 2, 2013

KU grad Nick Bradford to coach at MSSU

Nick Bradford and Ryan Robertson horse around before the The Legends of  the Phog game on Saturday Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Nick Bradford and Ryan Robertson horse around before the The Legends of the Phog game on Saturday Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.



Nick Bradford and Ryan Robertson horse around before the The Legends of the Phog game on Saturday Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Nick Bradford started seriously to consider a career in coaching during his basketball playing days at Kansas University.

“It was when I was recruiting guys my sophomore and junior year in college. I was always a host when coach (Roy) Williams brought guys in. I was the guy who reeled them in — Kenny (Gregory), Drew (Gooden), Nick (Collison) and Kirk (Hinrich), even (Jeff) Boschee,” said Bradford, campus host for several prime KU prospects during his Jayhawk career that ran from 1997-2000.

“That’s not bad. I missed out on (Shane) Battier and (Dan) Gadzuric, but we got enough in there to keep it running,” Bradford added.

The 6-foot-7 guard/forward, who worked the past two years as an assistant coach at Labette Community College in Parsons, this week was named assistant at Missouri Southern State University, joining KU teammate/fourth-year Lion aide Jeff Boschee at the NCAA Div. II school in Joplin, Mo.

“I’m really excited. I get to coach with one of my best friends in Boschee and work for coach (Robert) Corn, who I’ve gotten to know a little bit with him recruiting one of our players (at Labette),” added the 34-year-old Bradford.

Corn, who is beginning his 25th season at MSSU, is elated he’ll be surrounded by Jayhawks on the Lions’ bench.

“We’re excited to add Nick to our staff. Obviously, he and Jeff know each other really well, having played together at Kansas, and he has a lot of experience,” Corn said. “Nick has played overseas (France, Iceland, Finland, England and Romania) and brings that to the team, and he’s been coaching at the junior-college level, as well, and we’re just glad to have him here to work with our big guys.”

Bradford, a 2000 KU graduate, helped lead Labette to back-to-back winning seasons and back-to-back 10-win conference seasons. Last season, Labette finished third in the Jayhawk Eastern Division, the highest finish for Labette in over two decades. Bradford helped recruit and coached three All-Jayhawk Conference players and two All-Region VI performers and has helped send seven players to four-year schools.

“I’m excited to work with a former teammate of mine,” said Boschee, a 2002 KU graduate. “Nick has been a great friend of mine ever since college, and I’ve watched him at practices at Labette and in game situations, as well. He does a great job with the big guys and does an excellent job with in-game coaching.”

Bradford during his time at Labette also worked as assistant coach for the Kansas City Run GMC AAU team. With Run GMC, he tutored KU’s Conner Frankamp, Alabama’s Trevor Releford and Georgia Tech’s Travis Jorgenson.

A native of Fayetteville, Ark., Bradford was part of three Big 12 championship teams (1997-99). He arrived at Labette after completing an eight-year professional basketball career. He played for the 2002 ABA champion Kansas City Knights before heading overseas. He was 2005 MVP of the Finals in a pro league in Iceland.

Bradford, who has a 2-year-old son, Isaiah, this week became engaged to girlfriend Brittani Bond.

“She left to go out of the country yesterday. She went with her best friend. I wanted to do it before she left,” Bradford said of proposing marriage.

Bradford said he’d definitely like to be a head coach someday.

“I think it’s in the future,” he said. “Right now, I’m still learning and grinding, trying to get to that. This is a good step. Boschee and coach Corn have done a great job with the program. I’ll see what I can bring. One step at a time.”

Jayhawks at Adidas camp: KU’s Perry Ellis, Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden are working as camp counselors at the Adidas Nations camp for top high school basketball players this weekend in Garden Grove, Calif.

The three will work as instructors during practice sessions with the prep players and participate in camp counselor games with the other college players.

Other camp counselors are: Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Tony Parker, Norman Powell, David Wear, Travis Wear, UCLA; Montrezi Harrell, Chris Jones, Louisville; Isaiah Austin, Cory Jefferson, Baylor; Ryan Boatright, UConn; Alec Brown, Wisconsin-Green Bay; Jahii Carson, Arizona State; Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado; Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall; Jerian Grant, Notre Dame; Andre Hollins, Minnesota; Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati; Javon MCrea, Buffalo; LeBryan Nash, Oklahoma State; Cameron Ridley, Texas; Will Sheehey, Indiana; Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona; Bernard Thompson, Florida Gulf Coast; T.J. Warren, N.C. State; Chaz Williams, UMass; and Jamil Wilson, Marquette.

Some top prep players who will attend who have KU on their lists: No. 1-ranked Jahlil Okafor, 6-10, Chicago Whitney Young High; No. 3 Emmanuel Mudiay, 6-3, Prime Prep, Dallas; No. 6 Myles Turner, 6-11, Trinity High, Euless, Texas; No. 8 Stanley Johnson, 6-6 Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif.; and No. 16 Justise Winslow, 6-5, St. John’s, Houston.


Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 2 months ago

More Jayhawk bloodlines in the world of coaching is a good thing! We're proud Nick.

jayhawkinnc 9 years, 2 months ago

Very happy for Nick B. I had the fortune of meeting him about a year ago. Super nice guy!

Eric Culp 9 years, 2 months ago

Glad to hear the news on nick, I know he was in the roy era but one of the most improved players from frosh to senior I've seen and became a leader on the court, congrats nicky b

Bryce Landon 9 years, 2 months ago

You say "roy era" like somehow that's a bad thing. Aside from the lack of a national championship, there was nothing bad about Roy Williams' tenure here at Kansas.

REHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Perry, JoJo and Wayne will get some quality practice time with really good players. No Kentucky hotshots in camp? Probably at home, sneaking in some frantic 3 a.m. practice hours, trying to mount an edge on the teammanship thing which was in disarray last season.

kusayzone 9 years, 2 months ago

I noticed the lack of Kentucky-ists too. Makes one wonder!

texashawk10 9 years, 2 months ago

Several players that are on this list go to Nike schools.

Clay Ellison 9 years, 2 months ago

oklahoma state is a nike school, I believe, as well as some others in there..

Brad Avery 9 years, 2 months ago

The next staff opening Self has, he needs to give strong consideration to Jeff Boschee. Jeff ran a basketball skills coaching service when he was in Kansas City and worked a bit with my son. He is a superb shooting and offensive position coach.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

Most of these guys can coach .. the key is, can he recruit at a KU level?

Clearly, that's what Self focused on with Howard. That is nearly all that matters.

Brad Avery 9 years, 2 months ago

Disagree. Fundamentals were lacking in some areas of last year's team, particularly free throws, Withey's development as a post player and Elijah's decision making capabilities as a point guard. Boschee is an excellent position and shooting coach. Recruiting is obviously important, but it's not everything.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 2 months ago

Intelligent and experienced PG play were lacking the most - intelligence from EJ and experience from Naadir

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

My point is not that coaching is unimportant. You obviously didn't catch that. The point is that the differences in assistant coaches and their coaching abilities is not that huge. There are lots of good coaches. Coach Self is at every practice and runs the show. He's a pretty good coach. I did not say that recruiting was everything. When you have one factor that is important (coaching) and many people possess that quality, moving the the more finite quality is really what becomes the focus.

By way, how do you know that Boschee would be an excellent coach at the D-I, elite level? I mean, the type of coach that would stand out over the rest of the group at that level?

Really, getting good players is the top priority and quality an assistant can provide under coach Self. If an assistant is under another head coach .. one not as good as a "coach" -- it might be different. Recruiting is the priority here.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

"What Bill Self does is actually still doing his mid-major thing (team and discipline building), but at a royalty school ..."

Right. Great point. That's really where Self feels comfortable, I think.

I continue to believe that we can completely ignore recruiting presumed OADs, "team build", and still win national titles.

Snagging a Wiggins, though, helps our recruiting profile for the guys ouside of presumed OAD range, too. Multi-year players in the 10ish - 50ish area are best suited for coach Self and his propensity to favor experience, and his "system" approach. I remain interested to see how the Wiggins experience goes this season, and how it will impact our future recruiting focus.

And by the way, we get just a few shots to go down the stretch in the 2012 title game, I think UK would have crumbled.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

Mario's comments have the credibility of perspective .. something kids coming out of high school, in all walks of life, lack.

Ian Emerson 9 years, 2 months ago

Jeff was my favorite growing up. His basketball I.Q. Is off the charts

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

Interesting that "college" players with 0 college experience are "coaching" players 1 year younger. I'm excited that our name gets out there with elite recruits, and our guys get a chance to play together and against other good to elite players.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 2 months ago

Speaking of Joplin, I wonder how that town is doing over two years after the big tornado...?

Bryce Landon 9 years, 2 months ago

Well yeah, but, I mean, for a town of Joplin's size to suffer a direct hit from an EF5 tornado, are they fully rebuilt, or is the rebuilding still a work in progress?

Dale Stringer 9 years, 2 months ago

Good for Nick. Hopefully he and Jeff can help MSSU become a top-tier MIAA basketball team. I would rather have the coach at Emporia State though. BTW, the tornado went about a mile south of the campus, so it didn't directly suffer much.

As for Ellis, Embiid and Selden, I would only consider Ellis as a counselor. Embiid and Selden haven't gone thru enough official college practices and have enough college class experiance for me to rate them as counselors. Of course, all the camp is for is too give current college players practice and to allow coachs to rate next year's class to this years.

CaptnMo 9 years, 2 months ago

If I remember right Embiid and Selden were crucial in getting Wiggins. Maybe these two can work their magic again and we will see a few more top tens swayed the KU way.

kellerman411 9 years, 2 months ago

Its not about the X's and O's but rather the Jimmie and Joe's..

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 2 months ago

To the poster inferring Withey had problems developing in the post you are so wrong. LMAO. As for on!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Part 1

Self probably asks a few simple questions of candidates to be his assistants.

Are you willing to work as hard as I do?

Who can you bring me right now without my help?

Who can you bring me with my help?

Will you tell me first, when you are interviewing for assistant jobs, and will you not talk to the media until I give you the ok?

Can you walk the talk of the gospel of getting better?

Can you handle how hard I am on players and coaches?

Can you work for what I can pay, and my camps can pay, and turn a blind eye to the alumni and gamblers?

These are all expressed in some dialect of Okie, but they are probably the essense of it.

Self probably already knows everything they know and knows which few pieces of basketball knowledge they possess that he does not yet possess.

Self probably already knows exactly what role he wants them to play, based on their personality types.

And he probably makes out his list of candidates based on their known swagger, work ethic and special experience with kind of ball Self wants to add to his repertoire.

And of course they have to mesh personality wise with his other coaches.

Let's consider Snack's hire, because it is recent.

Self needed renewed connections in Chicago, where his are fading some after ten years away. He knows Bruce Weber is going to be recruiting Chicago hard there, and Self knows that every guy in Chi he signs necessarily makes it harder for Weber to compete against Self on the floor once the season starts. Snack's had the connections. Snack's knows how Weber works and who Weber knows, and so has an insider's knowledge of how to recruit effectively in competition with Weber. Hiring Snack's kills two birds with one stone. It gets Self renewed Chicago pull, and it gives him an edge over Bruce Weber trying to challenge Bill from KSU.

It also doesn't hurt that Snack's can help Self learn more about Bruce Weber's brand of ball and Weber's coaching tendencies in order to keep his edge over Weber in the conference. Self understands that part of the job of a KU coach is to beat KSU. Snack's assisted Weber and knows him frontwards and backwards. So: Snacks can help Self beat Weber in recruiting and in coaching during a game.

To digress a bit, Weber's brand of ball is an interesting mix that Self would probably like to know more about. Weber learned it from Gene Keady. Keady won a lot of games at Purdue against Bob Knight and Tom Izzo, even though Keady never had the charisma to rise above them more than a few seasons.

Keady learned the lion's share of his game over four seasons while assisting...drum roll please...Eddie Sutton down at UArk in Eddie's yeasty, creative days there.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Part 2

Note: for a really interesting, just the facts Jack, rendering of how a coach came to be a coach in the coaching generation of Gene Keady, Eddie Sutton and Bob Knight, and what it was like to coach and recruit then, go to this link of Keady's autobiographical book about his life as an athlete growing up in Kansas and rising through the coaching ranks.

To continue the digression a bit, though a good football and track man, Keady was never good enough to play for Tex Winter, but Winter taught him Fundamentals of Basketball in the classroom and it appears that Keady picked Winter's brain some.

But Keady's early basketball experiences were largely shaped by playing juco basketball and then coaching running basketball with the philosophy of outscoring the opponent by shooting 72 times a game, a statistic he had learned from future KSU and Phoenix Suns coach Cotton Fitzimmons then of Moberly Juco.

But as I said, Keady credits the lions share of his game to Eddie Ball. So: if one stops and thinks about it a moment, Gene Keady and his long time Purdue assistant, and later Illini HC Bruce Weber, have more knowledge about playing and beating Big Ten style basketball with Eddie ball schemes than anyone on the planet, including Bill Self.

In turn, all roads to a ring lead through some very difficult Big Ten teams, especially Tom Izzo's Spartans, who gives Self fits.

If anyone has watched Keady's teams, Weber's teams, or even Steve Lavin's teams at UCLA, and now at St. John's, one cannot help but notice a decidedly different strain of Eddie Ball than what Self, or even Eddie played. It is frankly a bit more physical on the defensive end, while leaning even more on what at first appears to be a lot of free lancing.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Part 3

IMHO, Keady has always been a bit cagey about what actually is going on on the offensive end in his game, all the while seeming to be utterly aw shucks and gosh darned transparent about so much of his life and career. And its important to note that when Steve Lavin got the St. John's job, he called Keady out of retirement to break down game film for him; this says a lot about what Keady knows most about. He knows how to find ways to score on rugged defenses. Despite Lavin's and Keady's recent struggles at St. Johns, its still a good bet that Keady knows his stuff.

Keady's book emphasizes four things he learned from Eddie: 1) defense as a cornerstone; 2) how to recruit; 3) how to run practices; and 4) not to put such a tight rein on player's shooting.

All four of those things are pretty much the exact things Self learned from Eddie.

But notice that Keady did not say he learned his offensive schemes from Eddie.

And early in the book, Keady preens ever so slightly about how he was doing an awful lot of experimentation with offense in high school and at juco.

My point here is this: I suspect Keady picked up quite a bit of Tex Winter's then triple post (now aka The Triangle) from brain picking and improvised and experimented with it way back in high school and juco, and has developed that a lot into something that is a real pain in the butt to guard, and probably still something of a black box to those outside Keady's disciples. Bottom line is that Keady's Purdue teams with lesser talent still gave Bob Knight's team's fits and Tom Izzo said that Bruce Weber (and Keady) had been the toughest out for him while both were head coaches in the B1G.

Yes, Self beat Weber handily largely with superior talent last season. But should the talent get more even, then Self has to be prepared. Snack's helps him in this regard.

Keady and Weber took Eddie ball off in another direction.

Weber has kept using it and, in fact, Weber did exceptionally well with Self's talented Illini players. Snacks was there.

Snacks gets the job.

One other dimension to this Self needs to hire at least some assistants that have a strong likelihood of becoming head coaches. Why? Because he needs head coaches out there that can hire some of his assistants out there. Its part of what keeps Self appealing to future assistant coaches with talent to bring him. Snacks seems this kind of person.

All of this is a long way of saying Self wants a number of things in an assistant that may be distilled to three basic categories: 1) someone that can bring him players; and 2) someone that can add to his knowledge of the game and 3) someone that can give him a coaching edge against likely problem opponents.

ParisHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Vintage jaybate! Clear, informative, analytical and insightful.

Your best long posts don't seem long. This was one of them.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree with this for the most part (the thesis that is- just that it happens to be at the end of your post). But, Weber? Really?? I don't think Self is so worried about Weber that he hired Snacks for this reason... I think it was more of a cherry on top. Recruiting, yes, add knowledge, slightly but I'll give it to you, someone that can help give him an insiders edge (yes), but I just can't call KSU a "problem opponent" just yet... Despite their "Big 12 co-championship" they had been awarded (or should I say "given"?) this year. Good points otherwise. I agree that assistants need to bring recruiting, some sort of other aspects or looks to the gameplan, and like the NBA in some regard, be able to counter whatever advantage an opponent might have be it coaching or matchups (such as getting a big to counter a Shaq-type player come playoff time, or such as the Heat have done by getting killed on the glass by Hibbert, then Duncan- went and got Greg Oden).

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