Monday, June 3, 2013

Chicago prep Matthews considers KU


New Kansas University basketball assistant coach Jerrance Howard’s connections in Chicago might be paying off in recruiting already.

Recruiting analyst Scott Phillips of reports that Charles Matthews, a 6-foot-4 junior-to-be from Chicago’s St. Rita High, has recently “been in touch” with coaches from KU, Kentucky and Michigan State. He told he has offers from DePaul, Illinois, Wisconsin, and SMU.

Remember, Howard was an assistant at SMU prior to taking over for Joe Dooley at KU. A native of Peoria, Howard has ties in Chicago after attending the University of Illinois.

“SMU has already offered me. I talk with coach Jerrance Howard and head coach Larry Brown. It’s a good relationship because coach Jerrance coached at Illinois, which I know a lot about. My dad really likes coach Brown a lot,” Matthews, who is ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2015, told on May 15.

KU is also in the hunt for top-ranked senior Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10 center from Chicago’s Whitney Young, who has a final eight of KU, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Arizona, Duke and Baylor.

No. 5-ranked Cliff Alexander, 6-8 senior from Chicago Curie, at one point was considering KU. It should be interesting to see if KU ultimately secures a campus visit from Alexander now that Howard is on board.

Nets, Knicks to look at Withey: Former KU center Jeff Withey, who is from San Diego, might wind up playing NBA basketball on the East Coast. Both the New York Knicks, who pick 24th in the June 27 Draft, and Brooklyn Nets (22) will work out Withey in coming days.

Both teams are in the market for a backup big man.

“Mike Woodson (Knicks coach) is very defensive-oriented, and Jeff is going to protect that rim,” Withey’s agent, Darren Matsubara, told “I think he will show some people a little bit that he can shoot from the perimeter, but that wasn’t what he had to do when he was at Kansas.

“I’ve known Mike for a while now and (Knicks) could be a pretty good fit,” Matsubara added. “He’s someone that could maybe step in there and give Tyson (Chandler) a breather when he needs it.”

Withey averaged 13.7 points and 8.5 rebounds last season. He also became the Big 12’s all-time shot block leader.

“I think as good of a shot-blocker he is, he has to master that at the next level as well,” Matsubara told ESPN New York. “Offensively, what comes is what comes. He’s not going to be a first option. He’s not going to be a second option. He’ll find his niche offensively, but one of the things physically he’s got to do is really get more flexible. He plays a little bit erect, and that will change with specialized training. Also, his dad is a weightlifter and he’s a big, strong man, so Jeff is going to get stronger naturally.”

Another possible first-round draft pick at the center position is Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng. Former KU big man Cole Aldrich is a free agent this offseason.

Gee whiz: Embattled Ohio State president Gordon Gee had some things to say about KU potentially joining the Big Ten during a meeting of Ohio State’s athletic council in December. Some of his comments were printed at

He said: “I think the Big Ten needs to be predatory and positive rather than waiting for other people to take away from them. Very candidly, I think we made a mistake (in adding Rutgers and Maryland and nobody else). Because (there was) thought about adding Missouri and Kansas at the time. There was not a great deal of enthusiasm about that. I think we should have done that at the time. So we would have had Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and then moved into that other area. I think, by the way, that that can still happen.

Also ... “I would see potentially Missouri and Kansas (joining Big Ten). By the way, it goes without saying this all has to be speculation that remains right here. And I could also see a ‘T’ that goes south all according to what happens with the ACC, but we need to be ready to move.”

Gee also blasted the SEC.

“Well, you tell the SEC when they can learn to read and write then they can figure out what we’re doing. I’ve been down there. I was the chairman of the Southeastern Conference for two years. I’ll tell you something. It’s shameful. It really is,” Gee said.


Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. Teams and coaches come and go, sadly, but stable conferences do not. With apologies to Gary and Mr. Matthews, the article title "Chicago prep Matthews considers KU" should have been "B1G in talks to add the University of Kansas." By 1000% the most important piece written here is B1G membership.

I can't help but go a little Jaybate here (with apologies to Jaybate).

I'm not sure how others see this potential move, but a little information wouldn't hurt those who don't know about the B1G's academic reputation, simply the best of the state colleges in America. Secondly, their athletic history truly is of legendary status full of leaders--couldn't help that--but our entrance into the B1G would solidify our position for generations. To me, the writing is on the wall. Eventually, UT will decide whether to break east or west, and I think it will be west. OU will join them or make their break which ever benefits them most. I don't see either UT or OU helping out little brother schools. I just don't. They already tried a one-night stand with the Pac-12, and the Pac-12 simply played coy. Besides, they might not really need Texas, although I wouldn't think that they're that proud.

The Big12 is doomed, and those high-cost fines could be paid by alums with the cost of a newly named building. They're just pieces of paper and wouldn't be honored any more than the way Vikings honored signed documents.

For those only interested in athletics, you'd've hit the jackpot. For those mainly interested in academics, double the jackpot. Recruiting? Much improved. And for those who have the money to watch the mighty Hawks, you trade destinations of Lubbock, Stillwater, and Waco for Chicago, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Columbus, and Madison. No knock on Lincoln, Iowa City, or West Lafayette. Who wouldn't be for that? As for Missouri again? I really don't care one way or the other. I'm not looking backward, I'm looking forward.

Stephan123 8 years, 11 months ago

I would think the PAC-12 academically trumps the BIG. Hard financial times will put a real strain on universities as they strive to maintain their traditional brick and mortar model. That and other factors like alternative delivery systems to TV will prove financially problematic for overextended conferences.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

Penn State's pretty good academically as well.

TxJyHwk 8 years, 11 months ago

Most of the top schools academically in the PAC-12 are not state colleges. His comment was " simply the best of the state colleges in America" - emphasis on state colleges.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

Don't you think that there are enough rich alums at these schools to foot the bills, or a great portion of them? Also, if you look at the TV contracts, they will pay for any number of plane trips. But, maybe I overstate the case. Where is Jaybate in all of this?



Michael Bratisax 8 years, 11 months ago

I would rather see the BIG 12 succeed. They could have added Louisville and Memphis but I guess Texas makes all these decisions now. I'm still hoping but probably will end up disappointed,,.

bmg3074 8 years, 11 months ago

I have to disagree with jkilgore. I would hate to see KU in the Big 10 (I don't hold with that pretentious B1G stuff.) I don't want the Hawks lumped in the same catagory as Wisconsin. Recent story about the revenue payoff in the Big 12 leads me to believe it's not going anywhere. Just a traditionalist I guess.

Cmill1221 8 years, 11 months ago

Honestly I thought I would miss playing missouri, but after this season I would be more than happy if we never played them again! I would hate for us to end up in any confrence with them. The season was great and it feels like we are developing some new rivals that I don't genuinely hate and actually look forward to playing. Let mu remain sub par and irrelevant and away from P&L for the big12 tourney. The war is over and we won lets leave it like that.

chezlog 8 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. The thought of KU joining the Big 10 is exciting but the thought of MU being there is a turd in the punch bowl.

hawk316 8 years, 11 months ago

chez, remind me to check out the punch bowl a little more closely at the next reception. Yuck!

HawkitToEm 8 years, 11 months ago

oh boy! remind everyone plzzzzz!!!!! hehaw!! snortle

Phil Leister 8 years, 11 months ago

Chances Cole Aldrich ever plays a meaningful minute in the NBA? Slim. It's always weird seeing a lottery pick who struggles to find his place anywhere in the league. Hello Julian Wright. And maybe Thomas Robinson.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 11 months ago

Mike Malone, the new coach at Sacramento is a defense oriented coach and might be able to give Cole a shot. Like Withey, Aldrich is a defense oriented player that could do well in the right system.
If Robinson lands on the right team, he could give his career a jump start; Houston was not a good fit for his skill set.

David Brown 8 years, 11 months ago

Kevin McHale, Houston coach, was not a good fit. Never gave Marcus Morris a chance. Same with T-Rob. McHale in love with Chandler Parsons who gets the start and the minutes. Though Parson was getting 15pts and 5reb per game which are good numbers.

Joe Baker 8 years, 11 months ago

I could see TRob going to Brooklyn. I would love to see TT and TRob team in the NBA.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

Cole went for 12 & 12 and 12 & 13 his last two games last year.

At a minimum he SHOULD be a backup C somewhere.

Joe Baker 8 years, 11 months ago

I think Cole would be a great backup with SA and Tim Duncan. They have enough fire power and wouldn't need Cole much on O.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

Technically, I think he'd be Splitter's backup at C there. D. Blair &/or Diaw would backup Duncan at PF.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 11 months ago

Gee is too good of a fund raiser; they will have a nun slap his knuckles with a ruler and will sent on his way to raise more money.

Michael Pannacciulli 8 years, 11 months ago

Go get 'em Jerrance!

KU is not going anywhere without KSU.

I am curious to know what Gee deems as shameful. I could assume but would love to hear more! Those are some pretty unfiltered comments.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

I HATE that part regarding future conference decisions.

If things are in peril and UT & OU ditch the Big XII, KU better just forget alliances with K-State and look out for their own best interests!!!

I wouldn't want to be stuck in a Mtn. West with K-State if the opportunity would be there to be in the Big Ten so long as we sever ties w/ K-State.

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 11 months ago

IF (and a big IF) the Big Ten make an offer, KU takes it with or without (most likely) K-State.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

I disagree with the KSU statement. Once our politicians get the word, they'll change their minds.

D20 8 years, 11 months ago

I'm not so sure that the KU/KSU alliance is a bad thing. I would think that KSU's stock has to be on the rise with what they've done in athletics this year (Football, Basketball, and Baseball). I could be wrong, but it seems like they would be a valuable asset for conferences to be considering during realignment talks. Whether I like it or not, KU can tend to be a one-strength school (which, granted, is a mighty big strength). KSU, for the time being, seems more well rounded. While KU/KSU isn't a great rivalry, I do think it is a great partnership.

FearlessJayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of all the realignment. Let KU and those in the Big 12 stay put. I don't ever want to see KU having to play the scum-bags from Colombia again. I'm sure one of the reasons this guy from Ohio State would like to see KU in the Big 10 is because KU basketball makes a lot of money for everyone connected to us.

Robert Brock 8 years, 11 months ago

Football is what makes money. And KU brings nothing positive to the table in football.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

That wasn't the case all that long ago when they won a BCS bowl.

Robert Brock 8 years, 11 months ago

I have been following (and attending) KU football since 1959. There has been very little good to show in all those years. A few decent Jack Mitchell teams. A couple of good Pepper Rodgers teams. Sprinkles since then. I loved the 2007 team, but you have to factor in our relatively easy Big 12 schedule. Good BCS win for sure.

All in all...not much to show for FIFTY YEARS of football. I would be flattered if the Big Ten wanted KU, but could understand their reluctance to choose a school with a terrible history of football. And football is the revenue sport.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

Brock, I was born the year you started attending, and although I have to agree with much of what you say, "nothing" is a poor choice of words. In this same 50-year span, we've done more in football than Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, or Indiana, right? Schedule padding might not be seen as a bad thing because there are plenty of top-tier teams in the conference already. Don't you think there is more of a chance for the stadium to fill if OSU or Michigan comes through the gates? I do.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

I would argue probably better than Northwestern''s history in football.

Minnesota's & Indiana's hardly better.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 11 months ago

I didn't really think Gary put those comments into the proper context. While he did say that, it was also wrapped around "what the ACC does" and those comments were made before the ACC seemingly strengthened its position. I really can't imagine we're going anywhere. I really hope we add two more schools, but I'm not even remotely sure who it would be at this point.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

I think the ONLY school who would be a pretty attractive "add" right now would be BYU. Unfortunately, I don't see a good 12th one out there. UConn probably wouldn't be too bad, but SOOOOOOOO da*n far away!!!!! :( Not going to happen.

If we were smart we should've quit having Fla. St. dreams and just invited Louisville & BYU.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

And BYU is a LONG WAY from Lawrence. It just as well be Egypt State to Iowa State.

Vernon Riggs 8 years, 11 months ago

Big12 is good fit. We keep our Tier3 Money and cash a large check each year. We make more money now in the Big12 than we would now in the B1G. Schedule is balanced. Plus, all the good schools that we could've/should've added are gone. Unless you could show where Cincy, South Florida, UConn, BYU or Boise State could bring in an additional $30 million each, why add?

KGphoto 8 years, 11 months ago

The problem is, IMHO, it’s still very likely we end up with four power conferences. Sixteen teams per conference and if you don’t have one of the 64 chairs when the music stops, you’re out of luck. The B1G, SEC and PAC are set. The last power conference has yet to be determined.

The ACC and the Big 12 are going to be fighting for that spot. Clemson and Florida St. are still in the mix because the ACC could end up the odd conference out.

If we have a chance to be one of those four we should try, but the teams and the timing have to be right. If that doesn’t go our way, if it’s not the Big 12, we better jump at the chance to get in the B1G, or any other of the four that would take us.

The alternative is we would remain a member of the depleted Big 12, which would become a mid-major and the money would suck.

Bottom line is, we have little chance to sit on this particular sweet deal for very much longer. You have to be ready and willing to make a move in this dog-eat-dog realignment world.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

I hope that you're wrong, but going the route of the B1G is our best alternative, at least in my opinion.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

That's only a big deal & will happen if it's ONLY a 4-team playoff.

Been a LOT of discussions about expanding it to an 8-team playoff and if that's the case I suspect the four power team conferences and the rumors regarding that COMPLETELY goes away.

KGphoto 8 years, 11 months ago

I don’t think so. I could see 4 automatic bids for each conference champ, and 4 at-large bigs to fill out the 8 team playoff. That way a team like Boise St., if they don’t end up in a power, could still have a shot to play their way to a national title.

This way you also have a chance to recover from a bad non-conference showing by storming back during conference play to earn an auto bid. There are opportunities for cinderella stories from both the power and the non-power conferences. It sounds like a great system to me. Especially since it would take at least some of the power out of the hands of the polls and selection committees, and into the hands of the teams themselves.

GortHawker 8 years, 11 months ago

Gee, did Gee say he was chairman over SEC for two years, and They can't read and write, or keep their mouth shut either!

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

" It’s a good relationship because coach Jerrance coached at Illinois, which I know a lot about. " Charles Matthews.

Hmmm. It seems like there's another guy associated with KU that knows something about coaching at Illinois............

Tony Bandle 8 years, 11 months ago


1] I really miss the photo when there is an "all-text" article only - without fail, you can always come up with something hilarious in the picture. [Nick Krug. where are you?]

2] Coach Howard comes on board at KU and, BOOM, goes recruiting for the Jayhawks in Illinois...this is a better hire than some OAD's dad!!! :)

3] Kansas State has had winning football for years and Kansas has been genarally a bottom feeder, yet the League still talks only of Kansas.....I guess they figure one team with purple [Northwestern] is enough for their color pallette.

4] It remains to be seen, but AW's [Andrew, that is] committment to the University of Kansas followed by Coach Howard,s hiring may, potentially, end up being the most significant recruitng development in the NCAA for the next decade!! Coach Self, with all due respect....DO NOT BLOW IT!!!!

5] Kansas University....posting this is always good for an outraged response or two!!

6] Cole needs to call The Big O and find out how he lasted a decade in the NBA with significantly less talent!!

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

KSU could not be added until they were an AU school. It's that simple.

dustfan 8 years, 11 months ago

Big O had significantly more size and played in an era of big slow post players. The Big O would not last as long in today's NBA imo.

brooksmd 8 years, 11 months ago

Why is anyone even talking about the B1G? I took the story as one individual at one B1G school expressing his opinion at a meeting of his athletic department. It didn't involve any other B1G schools or individuals. And BTW, Mr Gee has even been rebuked by OSU trustees for his comments concerning the SEC and ND. Why would MU even consider moving? Either conference they're simply conference schedule filler. To me the Big12 missed it's golden opportunity when it might've been possible to grab Clemson and FSU when the ACC almost came unraveled. As for the Big12, it's time for a name change.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 11 months ago

Problem being they probably had a BETTER chance to nab Louisville who was clamoring for WVU's spot earlier BEFORE the ACC had to get them to fill Maryland's spot.

Had we been proactive I could've seen an add of Louisville & BYU.....both decent in BOTH sports. Also would've given WVU a nearby 'partner" & expanded the Big XII's footprint into KY & Utah.

ku_foaf 8 years, 11 months ago

He was talking about Missouri joining the Big 10 in Dec?? He doesn't sound like he was talking about 2-3 years ago, he sounds like he is talking about now. That seems unlikely they would leave the SEC. That was a strange conversation, it sounds like. Saying "we might want Kansas, but a lot of people didn't want them."

The "read and write" comment is just being a jerk.

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

Gordon Gee is a dead president talking. Noone says those kinds of things if they believe they are going to last.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

Or maybe he's full enough of himself and popular enough to make an apology he doesn't mean, get the smiles of the B1G power people, and make good. He's only saying what a lot of Yankees are thinking, but I have no opinion in the matter.

JB, what's your take on a B1G invitation? KLGTRN

jaybate 8 years, 11 months ago

So Jerrance knows playuhs in Chi.

Imagine how good SMU would have become had he brought these guys down to Gasoline Alley for LB.

Imagine how quick he will be out of KU, if he brings 2-3 blue chips from Chi straight to KU.

The next top ten team that needs a coach will hire him pronto.

KemDooKU 8 years, 11 months ago

I wonder if Larry Brown suggested Jerrance to Self or if Bill just raided his coaching staff - I figured Brown was fine with Self taking one of his coaches but it seems a little wrong raiding your friends coaching staff- kind of like dating your best friends Ex - any one heard anything about how it went down?

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 11 months ago

I wondered about that and just figure it's big fish eating little fish. If Brown were in his 40s or 50s, he might be really upset, but he has to be at his last job grabbing a few more millions, memories, and relevancy before it's over. I'm not making fun of Brown or his age because I think he did a great job here at Kansas, but let's say that Hugh Hefner's wife decided to move to younger pastures, who would say they didn't see that coming?

Steve Reigle 8 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like Gee wants to retire but he doesn't want to just quit. If he gets fired, they probably buy out his contract. I don't know that but that's the only reason I can come up with for his suddenly mouthing off like he has in the past week.

Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 11 months ago

Iama, not sure if Gee's comments are all that recent. Seems like he's been blowing wind for a while... I have no idea what his motivation might be, but definitely sounds like he's not concerned with the opinions of others.

As for J Howard, seems like a great add to the staff. Ties to chicago and TX?? Very nice hoops terrain to cover.

Rock Chalk!!!

bmg3074 8 years, 11 months ago

The way I see it, schools are foresaking loyalty for dollars, and in that regard, mentioned before, the Big 12 schools aren't doing too bad, even Texas. I don't really see anyone wanting out of the Big 12 as long as there are payoffs like the TV revenue deal recently reported on. Sure, the Big 10 would probably love to have KU, football not withstanding, because as the poster said earlier, KU would help generate bucks. Sadly, that's what it's all about.

Michael Luby 8 years, 11 months ago

I agree Jaybate, I'll believe the Big 12 is doomed when I see it happen. Till then, lets gear up, albeit slowly, for the next season.

jay_cheese 8 years, 11 months ago

You don't want to be the last one without a home in superconference realignment. KU can smile and say they love the Big12 all they want...the facts are we are happy unless a more stable option (B1G) presents itself. I not going to say football isn't a factor, but it's more about tv sets and expanding your demographics than anything. Texas has never been a stable partner in any conference. As a KU alum, I want what is best for my school longterm. Forget Missou as they aren't leaving another conference anytime soon. IF the B1G way in heck we could say no. I like the big 12 but the B1G in basketball won't be horrible either. It's the loss of rivalries and close travel that aren't the fun part in any realignment. Rockchalk

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