Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top shots: A look at Bill Self’s best shooting guards

The top shooting guards in the Bill Self tenure at Kansas University, as recalled by the Journal-World and staffs, clockwise from top right: Tyrel Reed, Jeremy Case, Ben McLemore, Conner Teahan, Michael Lee, J.R. Giddens, and, at center, Mario Chalmers (and, yes, that is THE shot).

The top shooting guards in the Bill Self tenure at Kansas University, as recalled by the Journal-World and staffs, clockwise from top right: Tyrel Reed, Jeremy Case, Ben McLemore, Conner Teahan, Michael Lee, J.R. Giddens, and, at center, Mario Chalmers (and, yes, that is THE shot).



J-W File Photos

The top shooting guards in the Bill Self tenure at Kansas University, as recalled by the Journal-World and staffs, clockwise from top right: Tyrel Reed, Jeremy Case, Ben McLemore, Conner Teahan, Michael Lee, J.R. Giddens, and, at center, Mario Chalmers (and, yes, that is THE shot).

During the first installment of this year’s summer series, which will look back at the top players and moments in the 10-season Bill Self era, the Journal-World and staff dissected the top point guards who ran Self’s offenses and guided the Jayhawks to unprecedented heights.

This week, we turn our attention to the off guard position, which not only included some of the biggest names to come through Kansas but also produced some of the best memories in the storied history of the program.

Seven players made the cut, with the top three shooting guards making the top three on all four lists, and two lists included the same five guys, albeit in a slightly different order.

Here’s a look:

Gary Bedore

  1. Mario Chalmers: The pride of Anchorage, Alaska, hit the biggest shot in KU history, which means he’s the best shooting guard in KU history as far as I’m concerned.
  2. Ben McLemore: He’s undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes in KU history. His assortment of dunks was just incredible. Can you imagine if this was a different era and he could play two, three seasons here?
  3. Tyrel Reed: The classy kid from Kansas, who grew up a Jayhawk fan, was a fierce competitor who wound up being a major contributor. He proved to small-town kids everywhere that, yes, you can make it as a Jayhawk basketball player.
  4. Michael Lee: I’ll never forget how excited he was to earn a KU scholarship, courtesy of Roy Williams. He went from a likely bench-warmer to a guy KU coach Self could count on. Also one of my favorite Jayhawk interviews of all time. He actually likes the media.
  5. Jeremy Case: The long-range bomber from Oklahoma caught a bad break at KU. There never was any playing time available, but he studied the game intently and now is an assistant coach.

Tom Keegan

  1. Ben McLemore: Combination of shooting touch and leaping ability made him the most exciting player during the Self era.
  2. Mario Chalmers: Timely steals and clutch shots made him more than worth the $90,000 salary his father drew as director of basketball operations.
  3. Tyrel Reed: Good leaper and a strong shooter in the clutch, he didn’t take bad shots and was an intense competitor.
  4. J.R. Giddens: Without his transfer to New Mexico after the Moon Bar incident, Kansas doesn’t get Brandon Rush.
  5. Michael Lee: Solid player who did a lit bit of everything. Underrated shooter, perhaps, because the shot remembered most was blocked by Hakim Warrick.

Matt Tait

  1. Ben McLemore: Few players at KU have possessed more talent, and few, if any, made the game look so easy. McLemore will be remembered for his three-point shooting and ability to fly through the air but should also be remembered for how much he loved being a Jayhawk.
  2. Mario Chalmers: One of the most clutch players in KU history, Chalmers also brought that key element of cockiness to any floor he ever stepped on. If not for his huge shot, he’d probably be most remembered for that smirk on his face.
  3. Tyrel Reed: Proof that hard work and buying into everything KU offers can turn a good player into a big-time player. The Burlington native was a part of a KU-best 132 career victories.
  4. J.R. Giddens: Giddens’ off-the-court issues overshadowed his skills on the floor, but for a couple of seasons, he flashed a little of what we saw from McLemore in 2012-13. I can remember a stretch during his freshman season when I thought every shot he took was going in.
  5. Conner Teahan: I know it was just for one season, but that season turned out to be pretty spectacular, and Teahan was part of it. Dubbed at times by Self as KU’s “sixth starter,” the sweet-shooting Teahan often was overmatched but never outworked.

Jesse Newell

  1. Mario Chalmers: Ranked in the top 16 nationally in steal rate in each of his three seasons. That alone makes him the best defensive guard Self has had.
  2. Ben McLemore: One of the most athletic players Self has brought in to Lawrence. McLemore left KU after one season with the school’s freshman scoring record (15.9 points per game) and a highlight reel full of dunks.
  3. Tyrel Reed: His 1-for-9 performance in KU’s Elite Eight loss to VCU is a shame, as many KU fans won’t remember how good of a player he became. Reed was exceptional his senior year while battling through a left-foot injury. His steal percentage that year would have ranked first on the 2012-13 Jayhawks, while his low turnover rate and accurate three-point shooting (72 of 190, 38 percent) made him an ideal role player on a powerful offensive team.
  4. J.R. Giddens: I’m only basing this on his on-court performance, and, statistically, Giddens followed a strong freshman year with a so-so sophomore campaign. To Giddens’ credit, he became a much more well rounded player in his final two years at New Mexico after basically serving as a three-point, spot-up shooter at KU.
  5. Michael Lee: Solid role player for three straight KU teams and a nice guy to boot.


Allen Shepard 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow... we have been so thin at guard....

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

No way... Always choked under pressure.

hawksince51 9 years, 3 months ago

Super Mario hands down! His shot at end of regulation in NC game erased any memories of his choking.

ShawHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Can't be certain here, but this might have been sarcasm.

KGphoto 9 years, 3 months ago

You can be certain. lol It’s Cairo, after all.

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

I believe Cairo was joking, hawksince51, considering that Mario was one of the best clutch shooters I've ever seen -- and that was BEFORE The Shot.

As great as Ben could be at times, I'm shocked that anyone would even CONSIDER not putting Mario first.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 3 months ago

Yep, always. Like against Memphis. And like in the NBA Playoffs last season and this one.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 3 months ago

Comparing Rio and Ben is a bit distorted by Rio being remembered for his 3rd yr vs. Ben's 1st/2nd yr.

It is really amazing that in 10 years we have really only had 2 SG's, and that only for 4 years of PT. Makes it even more amazing that Coach has cobbled together 30+ W's per yr.

KJD 9 years, 3 months ago

Rio and Ben are outstanding. I get why you say 2 SG's. Personally I feel we've had 4. Reed and EJ were solid 2 guards, they lack the gaudy bling when compared to Rio and Ben, though they were both good, key members on top national teams.

Reed set the standard for complete effort, Self would have loved his passing ability and decision making on the 2012-2013 team. EJ was the shooting guard on a National Runner Up and with all the talk about his struggles at the point last year I'm more than a bit surprised, even a bit disappointed, that he is not considered a shooting guard.

It will be interesting to see how far up this list Selden can go. Lot's of talent on this new Jayhawk roster this summer and the #5 slots for both guard lists seems accessible for several from this recruiting class.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

Or B. Greene or even Frankamp. I would suspect they would stick around longer.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

Love these articles!

I don't claim to be the worlds expert on guards (I never made it past the NBA D-League) but it seems like the guard position under Coach Self is often more of a combo guard rather than a traditional point guard and shooting guard. This was a bit of an exception (McLemore screams shooting guard) but in some of the years past it has often been combo. That championship year especially... Robinson, Chalmers, and Collins rotated for a pair of combo guards it seemed.

In short... I'd like to see do an additional article on the best guards in the Bill Self era.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

My picks for best OVERALL guards:

1. Collins... Huge in the championship game and was dominate for 2 more years.

2. Chalmers... Too bad he always choked under pressure :)

3. McLemore... Would have been higher but only payed a year.

4. Taylor... Amazing senior year. There is no way we could have made it to the championship without him.

5. Miles... Incredible pure point guard. His numbers are good (#1 in assists, serviceable scorer) but it was the fact that he facilitate the careers of Simien and Langford that made him great.

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

Cairo, I'm with you on the list except that I would put Mario ahead of Sherron. As great as Sherron could be, he was also wildly inconsistent at times and didn't adjust well when things weren't working.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

True but as big as that shot was, it isn't possible without a previous clutch play from Collins. Collins also got the assist on the shot. Because of that, I put them nearly equal in the Championship... Collins played 4 years and put up bigger numbers.

Of course... Arguing Chalmers as number 1 is a great choice as well. That is just my reasoning.

addlime 9 years, 3 months ago

This is better than the lists above. But I would switch Taylor and McLemore purely on the body of work In Jayhawk uniform. Assessments are right on.

Michael Auchard 9 years, 3 months ago

Keeg's point on Chalmers illustrates his whole writing style: usually painful to read and at least slightly off topic.

Michael Auchard 9 years, 3 months ago

Also, his guilt-by-association pick of J.R. Giddens at No. 4 reads like someone who doesn't even follow sports. It's a total backhanded compliment to Rush, who was obviously a superior player. His whole selection seems like total lazy cop out. Sorry, Keegan Fanatics. Truth.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

Rush wasn't a guard though. He will be mentioned next article with Small Forwards...

It's often hard to classify guards in college basketball but Rush played the small forward, wing, 3, or whatever you want to call it. When Giddens was here they did a similar system to what they did this year. A true point guard with Miles and a pair of guys (Langford and Giddens) who played a wing/shooting guard mix. This year Elijah was the pure point guard while McLemore and Releford played the wing/shooting guard mix.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

Johnson was a true point this year... That was more due to McLemore's ability as a shooting guard though. McLemore isn't a combo guy.

FinalFinal 9 years, 3 months ago

I am guessing Langford is classified as Small Forward. He has played guard as a pro.

Regardless, he was incredible.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

As I said above, it's hard to classify positions in college the way they do it in the NBA. There are a lot of combo guards (Chalmers, Robinson, Collins) and shooting guard/small forward mixes (Rush, Giddens, Langford) that are difficult. Post is the same as many teams don't have true centers like we do, but instead just have a pair of big boys.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

I hate that Giddens is on here... He was a streaky spot up shooter that had to skip town because he couldn't behave. I met Giddens and Wayne Simien in the same month when I was a Freshman at KU. I'll leave it at this: Giddens lacked class.

Simien on the other hand was with a mutual friend when we met briefly and a month later I heard somebody yelling my name. I looked around and saw Wayne Simien, the best basketball player in college basketball, going out of his way to say hi to me. It seems like everyone who met Wayne has a similar story. Awesome guy... We would have another championship if he was healthy against Syracuse.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

Agreed, on your last sentence. Although Jeff Graves certainly DID fill in admirably in his place.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 3 months ago

True... Graves did well. Would have loved to have Wayne in the starting lineup and Graves come off the bench.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree about Simien. I was a sophomore in his Senior year and I had these ugly green and yellow shoes with neon laces. One day I passed by Simien on campus and he told me that he liked my laces. Either he was being very nice, sarcastic, or he had as bad of taste in shoes as I did back then. Those were ugly.

Jonny Swift 9 years, 3 months ago

Ya this whole ranking thing is kinda flawed. When you look at this list, it makes you think - are these really the only SGs we've had during the Self era? Let's take a look...

First of all, I don't know why Langford isn't on this list. Is he not a SG? Did he not play 2 seasons under Self, the same as Lee? I know he played a lot of the 3 spot at KU, but his natural position is SG and is what he's played his entire pro career. Anyways...Lee/Langford passed off to Chalmers, but after his reign, during the '08-'09 and '09-'10 seasons, the starting guards were Sherron and Tyshawn. You could argue that they kinda switched off like RussRob and Mario did between PG and SG (Sherron liked to run the show but sometimes was a better scorer off the ball with Tyshawn distributing), but both Sherron and Tyshawn were listed in the PG rankings. If you argue that Sherron was the true PG during that span, then Tyshawn played SG for two years and PG for two years. And for his final two years as undisputed starting PG, Tyshawn's starting SGs were Brady Morningstar in '10-'11 and Elijah Johnson in '11-'12 (enter McLemore!). But I don't see Morningstar on this list (I kinda always considered him the 2 guard since he handled the ball a little bit more and Reed the 3 even though they were kind of interchangeable...can't really consider Brady a SF). And Elijah was listed on the PG list even though he played the 2 guard most of his Kansas career (and is more his natural position). That's the confusion you get with Self's combo guard system I guess haha.

I thought I read somewhere that these rankings were supposed to be based on the player's true position, not necessarily what they played at KU. But in that case, shouldn't Langford, Elijah, and Morningstar be on this SG list? This list of 2 guards - Chalmers, McLemore, Reed, Lee, Giddens, Teahan, and Case - seems so depleted because our 2 guards from '08-'10 (Tyshawn) and during the '11-'12 season (Elijah) were on the PG list, and it looks like Morningstar and also Langford will be on the SF list? Who knows. If so, the 3 spot is stacked (not that it wasn't already) - Rush, Langford, Morningstar, Releford, Little, Wright, and That's pretty ridiculous.

One other cool tidbit - Teahan is the only guy on any of these lists that was on the '08 championship team and played in the '12 championship game. That's gotta count for something.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 3 months ago

Actually the lists are based on the position they played at KU and not their natural position, i.e. EJ is listed with the PGs because he played that position on his most important year.

Jonny Swift 9 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the input, but if that were true, why is Teahan listed as a SG? He was never a SG. He played the 3 and was never a ball handling guard, but probably got lumped in here since he was a "shooter." Also, Giddens played the 3 more than the 2 and didn't Lee play the 3 more often with Langford at the 2?

andersonalex 9 years, 3 months ago

Regarding ppg for Mario vs. Ben, I think it's good to keep in mind that Mario played with a team that was much more talented overall. If he played on last year's team, he very well may have needed to go for more points for himself. To me, the combination of his ball control and defense made him the stronger sg of the two. He really made opposing teams nervous and disrupted their flow. His higher number of assists also suggests that on average he was more involved in the offense on the occasions where he wasn't the one shooting.

hawksince51 9 years, 3 months ago

Mario was a better overall player and therefore deserves to be number 1. There is more to playing the 2 than "shooting and leaping."

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Wrong title for this article. For the most part, it should be titled:

*Our favorite guys that happened to wear a Jayhawk uniform and shot the ball sometimes.

I'm sorry, just because they're nice guys and good interviews doesn't make them "Top Shots".

David Brown 9 years, 3 months ago

Four years down the road, wouldn't it be great to add "Conner Frankamp" to this list? Of course Conner hasn't played a minute yet, so his history has yet to be written. For whatever reason, I just feel, or want to feel, that he will be a gutsy, clutch outside shooter who will win us some games outright, or shoot us back into contention in others.

Bring on the new season, the new faces, and let Coach Self mold them into something magical once again. This group sure has the athletic talent. Once they add some KU experience and additional X's and O's knowledge, they could really take off. Can't wait for this upcoming season.

kellerman411 9 years, 3 months ago

Won't happen. Conner Frankamp won't play much SG. Mr. Self won't give up that kind of size. The average height of Chalmers, Mclemore and Reed is probably 6'4. Frankamp comes in at 6'0. And if you've ever been around him, you'd know that even 6'0 is plenty generous. Still excited for his career as a PG/Combo type guy.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

Chalmers is 6', Frankamp's 6'.

Besides, F.Mason being groomed as Tharpe's back-up and/or a recruit from this next class of 2014 - maybe Josh Perkins or Jordan McLaughlin likely to be KU's future PG.

If Frankamp's EVER going to actually start he'll be an undersized "2" a'la Boschee....maybe more to his game than just the long-range bombing that Boschee specialized in but most likely what we'll see.

AGAIN, some of why I want to see us land the 6'-3 / 6'-4 - Josh Perkins. Once Wiggins & Selden leave early could still have either A.White III as a Sr. at SF or B. Greene there.

So say in '15/'16 assuming on great recruiting classes could go Jo. Perkins - "1", Frankamp - "2", B. Greene - "3", P. Ellis "4" (assuming stays for Sr. sesason)....???? at the "5"....hoping we land S. Zimmerman from the Class of '15.

JayDocMD 9 years, 3 months ago

You need to put an asterisk next to that initial comparison of Chalmers and Frankamp.

Their height difference is negligible (Mario is listed as 6'1" or 6'2" depending where you look) but the real difference is Mario's 6'10" wingspan. That long reach allowed him to guard taller players and snag all those steals en route to becoming one of KU's best perimeter defenders ever.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 3 months ago

Frankamp is listed as 6'1" by USA Basketball.
Hopefully he has grown another inch since then, so he will be listed at 6'4" by KU; it is called AFH Magic.

johnsont1 9 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone know if Elijah was eligible for this? He did help us get to a nc. I would put Mario, Elijah, mclemore, reed, lee.. With a large emphasis on post season performance.

Robert Brock 9 years, 3 months ago

Good point. Johnson was effective in the 2012 tournament and, therefore, he has to place above a human slug like Giddens.

Jesse Newell 9 years, 3 months ago

We split the guys up into "best-fit" positions. In our list, Elijah Johnson is listed as a 1, Giddens is a 2 and Langford is a 3.

MarchSadness 9 years, 3 months ago

Langford played the 2 his whole career here! And Giddens was without a doubt a SF. This is unreal. And Elijah only played one season as a point guard, in which he struggled mightily.

ArgyleJayhawks 9 years, 3 months ago

He seems like a great dude and all but, Jeremy Case?!?!?!

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

But remember, Argyle, Case was the best practice shooter in NCAA history. Who cares if he virtually never showed that in an actual game? And on top of that, he was a really nice guy, and now he's an assistant coach! Those are all quite meaningful distinctions, aren't they?

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

I ALWAYS think of Mi. Lee & Teahan as SF's.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

Now see, Mi. Lee & Teahan I count as SF's, but NO WAY do I consider Langford a SF. Yes, he wasn't a long-range bomber type of SG, but he was a Kenny Gregory slashing type of SG.

jayhawkrob 9 years, 3 months ago

morningstar was def a 2 guard and should be put right behind rio and b mac

MarchSadness 9 years, 3 months ago

The lack of knowledge from the KU fans on this page today is unreal. Brady played the 3 here. While some combination of Sherron, Tyshawn and Tyrel all played the guard spots.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 3 months ago

Oh why don't you correct us all wise one. Or in other words get lost with your arrogance.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

Here's my argument against some that are considered "2" 's here that I would argue as being "3" 's. I would argue that in a pinch when a SG's in foul trouble you would trust a "2" to bring the ball up the court.

I.e., we DID trust Reid to bring the ball up the court. We did NOT trust Brady to do likewise.

Similar with Michael Lee vs. Langford....seldom would you not have Miles bring up the ball back then anyway, but JUST IN CASE he WAS in foul trouble, Keith COULD bring it up if asked....not Michael.

Heck, in a pinch, Lee played PF with some in foul trouble much like we had Releford do a couple times last season when bigs were in foul trouble or for matchup reasons.

Similar deal w/ Teahn....would you EVER trust him to bring the ball up?!?!?! Did he have some time on the floor as a "stretch 4"? Yes, he did.

Langford = "2"

Mi. Lee, Morningstar & Teahan = "3".

I'd MAYBE argue X. Henry = a "2" and certainly Selby was.

I know he had injuries and was a bit disappointing and what all....kind of funny to see Jeremy Case mentioned and no mention of Selby!!! :)

I know we recruited Selby as a PG, but he was a SG his entire time with us. He didn't back up Tyshawn.

For SG's I'd go something like this:

  1. Chalmers
  2. B. McLemore
  3. Langford
  4. Giddens
  5. Ty. Reid (tempted to put ahead of Giddens) ..........again, only "Self Era".

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

The "3" next week's going to be interesting.

They're going to include Langford & X. Henry in there. And then you have Releford, B. Rush, Morningstar

I wonder how they'll list it...I'm thinking:

  1. B. Rush
  2. Langford
  3. Releford
  4. X. Henry
  5. Morningstar ..........feel like I'm probably missing some.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 3 months ago

Other than Mario Little I can't think of any that would have a decent argument for the top 5.

Jonny Swift 9 years, 3 months ago

Little for sure, probly right behind Morningstar...What about Julian Wright? More of a 3 than a 4 in my opinion

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

He really didn't play the "3" in his time on the team. DEFINITELY played the "4".

hawksince51 9 years, 3 months ago

Agree Rush is the hands number 1. But I would have to make two swaps: Releford over Langford and Morningstar over X.

Matthew Stephan 9 years, 3 months ago

Seriously, I am sorry I follow these articles pretty well. I know it is hard to define what position some of these guards play. For example, Elijah Johnson started as a 2 in 2012 and a 1 in 2013; Tyshawn Taylor started as a 2 in 2009 and 2010 and a 1 in 2011 and 2012. But for the Bill Self era, Keith Langford started at the 2. He was the 3 for the Roy Williams teams. JR Giddens was a 3. I know people knock down JR Giddens for his attitude and obviously the Moon Bar incident, but he still started for two seasons for KU. He probably contributed more in his career then Xavier Henry and Josh Selby. Regardless, Keith Langford is a 2 and JR Giddens is a 3. With that said, here are my rankings for the 2 guards under Self.

After reevaluating my PG Top 5. I decided to consider Elijah Johnson a 2 instead of a 1.

  1. Mario Chalmers 2. Keith Langford 3. Ben McLemore 4. Elijah Johnson 5. Tyrel Reed

From the PG article, here was my top 5 PG

  1. Sherron Collins 2. Aaron Miles 3. Tyshawn Taylor 4. Russell Robinson 5. Nadir Tharpe

MarchSadness 9 years, 3 months ago

Great list! The LJW should hire you, because their 2 lists so far are atrocious. I would love to see your list of SF.

My Top 5 SF

  1. Brandon Rush 2. JR Giddens 3. Xavier Henry 4. Travis Releford 5. Brady Morningstar

KGphoto 9 years, 3 months ago

I got Relly #2 because of the lock-down defense and historic ability to finish at the rim. 54% shooting from a SF is elite. I don’t think he missed a layup over his last two years, no matter how difficult. Granted it took him several years to get to that level, but if you compare his best season with Henry’s season, he’s equal plus a little better D, and he performed in the clutch in many key games. Giddens was a step below while he was at KU, but blossomed in New Mexico.

Matthew Stephan 9 years, 3 months ago

SF is a little tricky. Brandon Rush is the clear #1. I couldn't put JR Giddens #2. Travis Releford would probably be #2. He was very efficient his senior year and trumped Xavier, Brady, and JR. Also, a great defender. #3 would probably have to be Xavier Henry. Although he failed his high expectations, he still had a decent freshmen year averaging 13pts a game and the second leading scorer on the team in 2010. #4 I would have to say Brady Morningstar. He was a two year starter 09 and 11, a great defender, and very efficient. #5 JR Giddens, this is tough. I can easily put him over Xavier or Brady, but I feel like a transfer is a little 'tainted'.

When Andrew Wiggins steps foot into Lawrence the SF ranking will be tricky. If he reaches anywhere near his expectations, he should be hands down the best SF even over Brandon Rush. I also believe Brannen Greene will make some noise in the SF rankings and even Andrew White. The problem is that Andrew White might have a hard time to get the opportunity with the depth at SF over the next few years. I am assumming that Brannen Greene is at least a 3 year player.

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

Well done, Jhawk! I can't find fault with any of your choices (other than the misspelling of Naadir, LOL).

Steve Yeakel 9 years, 3 months ago

Where does Kirk Heinrich fit in, was/is tremendous guard at KU and very good one in NBA?

JayhawkMitts 9 years, 3 months ago

Ha, yeah guys! And what about Boschee?!

TKELuke 9 years, 3 months ago

LOL, I would consider Langford as a SG. If you watch his highlight reel on YouTube... you can clearly see that JR Giddens plays the small forward position with Simien and Padgett down low and Miles running the point.

Maybe there is some confusion because he is a slashing style guard instead of a jump shooter.

Stan Crown 9 years, 3 months ago

Memories appear to be short on this thread. I would rank Terry Brown with any of these guys. And this will show how old I am, but perhaps some of the best shooters in KU history played well before the 3-point line era. Mark (Marc?) Williams and Delvy Lewis come to mind, along with 50-point game Bud Stallworth, not to mention Jo Jo White who, but for an at best controversial out of bounds call, would own the second biggest shot in KU history, his disallowed game-winner against Texas Western in 1966. Although, on second thought, White should probably be considered a point guard.

Stan Crown 9 years, 3 months ago

And now I have egg on my face, because I note that we're only talking about the Bill Self era. Sorry to miss the boat.

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

No worries, wp, but if you were considering all shooters certainly Calvin Thompson and Ronnie Kellogg would have to be in there somewhere. It still galls me to this day that the 3-point shot came in one year too late for them, as they would have probably gone undefeated in '86 if they had had it then.

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

I guess Bootie Neal would have to deserve some consideration too ...

Dillweed 9 years, 3 months ago

Don't get the need for Mr Keegan to throw in the dig on Mario's dad. Seems like a hater type comment

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

"Seems like a hater type comment"

In other words, it's from Keegan. He is nothing if not consistent when it comes to inserting unnecessary digs into the middle of his comments.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 3 months ago

They're all the best, they're Jayhawks!

FarSideHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

The article I really want to see: Roy Williams best 8 versus Bill Self's best 8. Who would win?

Roy's Boys:

  1. Jacque Vaughn (Adonis Jordan)

  2. Kirk Hinrich

  3. Paul Pierce

  4. Nick Collison (Wayne Simien)

  5. Raef Lafrentz (Drew Gooden)

Self's Squad:

  1. Sherron Collins

  2. Mario Chalmers (Ben Mclemore)

  3. Brandon Rush

  4. Thomas Robinson (Marcus Morris)

  5. Cole Aldrich (Jeff Withey)

Seems like Roy's team has more talent, but Roy vs Self history favors Self.

Matthew Stephan 9 years, 3 months ago

Pure Roy recruits vs. Pure Self recruits:

Roy Williams: PG Vaughn SG Hinrich SF Pierce PF Collison C LaFrentz
BENCH Miles, Boschee, Langford, Simien, Gooden

Bill Self PG: Collins SG: Chalmers SF: Rush PF: Robinson C: Withey BENCH: Taylor, McLemore, Henry, Mc Morris, Aldrich

Tim Orel 9 years, 3 months ago

That history between the coaches includes Self's Illinois team beating up on Roy's boys (definitely an audition to become the KU coach when it became available a couple years later).

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

That was in '01, but people forget that KU got revenge in the tournament the next year on the way to the Final Four, so they split their two tournament games while Self was at Illinois. And I believe both games were in the Sweet 16.

KJD 9 years, 3 months ago

Brown's Squad put together over 5 years (of course no shot clock, no three point arc, short shorts):

  1. Hunter (Pritchard)
  2. Thompson
  3. Kellogg (Newton)
  4. Manning
  5. Dreiling (Randall)

texashawk10 9 years, 3 months ago

The problem with trying to do this kind of list is that so many players under Self don't have a set position because of Self's love of players capable of playing multiple positions like Tyshawn, EJ, Brady, Langford and so on. T There are valid arguments for all of those players at the different positions being discussed both by the writers and other oosters on here.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

My list of the posters I'd most like to sit down and have a beer [well, rootbeer for me] and talk Hawk Ball all night.

1] Jaybate - My good buddy and fellow "old timer" who like me actually remembers having to get up and change the TV channels by hand.

2] Big Man U - alias KUShaw, by renaming himself changed the course of KU Ball with the influx of footers and dunkers.

3] Ralster - Never wavering is his positive outlook or maintaining a classy response..even if he disagrees with me and is wrong....of course. :)

4] Bennybob - You have to admire someone who, without exception, can always find someone that gets pissed with one of his responses...I kind of like that!!

5] ParisHawk - Always ready to bring in the very logical feminine view. I am assuming you are a girl..if not and you're a guy, congrats to you for developing your female side.

6] HEM - Analyzer extraordinnaire...he sometimes make the talking heads look like...well...talking heads!!

7] drgnslyr - Nothing specific comes to mind yet I always enjoy your're kind of "stealth-like."

8] ahpersewithexperience - See Number 4...ditto!! :)

9] turdferguson - I just think you've got the best post name of us all!!!!!

10] soobawls - I miss the old byotch.

I'm sure I could name another thirty or so but my boss is looking at me and wondering why I am actually working so hard...better go!!

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

Good list, but let's not forget 100, who I'm sure we all miss. Wonder what happened to him.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

Thanks..he is a Poster Hall Of Famer. I am quite sure he is in a better place than any of us can even imagine.

Kye Clark 9 years, 3 months ago

Good list. Maybe the LJW staff should rank the posters after they're done with the actual positions. They surely read us enough (seems like often they get their story ideas and media questions from topics discussed on these boards days earlier).

And if you're going to include soobawls, what? No jayhawkinnebr? LOL

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

Good point about using our ideas, icthawk, although I don't think it's really fair to lump Newell, Tait, et al. in the same category as Keegan.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

All three channels by hand. :-)

Note: your list is in complete without you on it, though I know your premise preempted you.

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 3 months ago

My top 5:

  1. Mario Chalmers - Clutch, Clutch, Clutch! This guy was a true defender, great distributor, and an intelligent player. His fast break points came easy, when we needed a 3 he made it happen, and was a team leader for the national championship team. He's in my top 5 of all time KU players since I've been watching them.

  2. Ben McLemore - Talk about raw talent. This kid only had one flaw, he's too dang nice! If he had the attitude of Marcus Smart, watch out, we win the national championship last year. But, being nice also has its perks, as he wasn't only a top scorer, he wasn't too selfish to pass and loved helping his teammates. He was also strong on the defensive end.

  3. Brady Morningstar - If I remember right, Morningstar played a little bit of point and SG depending on the lineup. I'll probably get a lot of disagreement with this one, but I feel like he contributed a HUGE amount during his time here and was always playing 120%. He had some archy shots, and even though it took forever for them to go in, they did, and quite often. Also a very strong defender and a stand up guy.

  4. Michael Lee - Loved watching this guy play! When he was on, man he was on fire. Probably a better guy than a basketball player, but he still contributed a lot and made people better around him. One of my favorite players to watch especially when it came to him getting media coverage. Very charasmatic and fun to listen to. I think he'll be a great coach one day!

  5. J.R. Giddens - He wasn't around long, and transfered to New Mexico, but man he was good. Given different circumstances, and better decisions on his part, I think he turns into a Ben McLemore type of player. Probably not as talented, but he still had a pretty shot and could lay down some exciting dunks.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

Hey, did anyone see Chad Ford's latest Top 30 or whatever and he drops McLemore yet again.

Down to No. 6 from No. 4 the week before.

Starting to get ridiculous! Although I did hear that he woudln't work out with / against Oladipo & Muhammad while out for the Suns.

Could be another OAD that fades away into nothingness! :(

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Adidas and Self have defied Nike by signing reputed former Nike lean Wiggins.

There will be blood.

Ben appears to be getting some blowback.

Ben is probably just the start.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Forgot to note: the above is presently intended as a hypothesis.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

To those comparing Roy's Boys with Bill's Boys today, remember to compare apples with apples, i.e., only Roy's first ten years of players with Bill's ten. On that basis, I suspect Bill's Boys will stack up pretty well.

actorman 9 years, 3 months ago

That's an excellent point, jaybate, and it's funny that no one else has mentioned it. Obviously with a 50% advantage in number of years, Roy would have a huge advantage in stockpiling talent, and yet the squads were still comparable. That just shows you how much better Bill has been in recruiting than Roy was.

KJD 9 years, 3 months ago

With this incoming class there is at least a bit of a crystal ball of what the next 5 years will consist of in Bill's first 15 years. Looking into that crystal ball: Peirce or Wiggins may end up being a debate for the ages.

For Roy's Boy's I would like to give a shout out to Rex Walters at SG. Roy's 15 years has some sneaky depth to it too. My Roy sneaky depth top 5 are Steve Woodberry, Richard Scott, Billy Thomas, Alonzo Jamison, Rick Calloway.

Big_Dipper 9 years, 3 months ago

If you want to be equal, then the first 9 years of actual recruits, as Self's first year was with Roy's recruits mostly. Self's first class was Kaun, Russell Robinson, Darnell Jackson, and I'm likely forgetting a player or 2. Oh, Giles. Still you'd have Jacque Vaughn, Haase, LeFrentz, Pierce, Walters, A. Jordan, Pollard, Robertson, etc. to choose from for Roy with the first 10 years.

A list could be made with all of their recruits, counting North Carolina for Roy, and Illinois, Tulsa, and Oral Roberts for Self. Self recruited some great players at Illinois as well. They did nearly go undefeated after he left after all. Deron Williams anyone?

It's hard to judge players from 2 separate eras. Who's to say Self couldn't have recruited Vaughn, LaFrentz, Pierce, etc. if he had been the coach here at the time? Maybe another list could be Self's recruits since Kansas and Roy's recruits since North Carolina...? That would be the same time frame. In that case you have basically KU's 2007-2008 team against UNC's 2008-2009 team which was basically the same one as the 2007-2008 team KU destroyed. Then Self's recruit's have beaten Roy's 2 more times since. Yes, I'm not counting the 3 big players on Roy's 2005 championship since those were Matt Doherty's recruits. Maybe Marvin is a Roy guy, but the others shouldn't be. Anyways, I like the players Self has had since he's been here. Keep up the fantastic work coach!

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Fine, then the first nine of Roy too. Knock out what Roy inherited from LB.

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 3 months ago

Teahan and Case IMO should not be listed. Had Teahan been on the bench where he should have been if McLemore was eligible, we might have won it all in 2012. Case from what I hear was terrific in practice, but could not carry it over to actual games. I think we are in for quite a treat from here on out with our guards.

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you on EJ ... that's a great point and I saw right past it. I would put him in place of Lee and move him ahead of giddens. I think Hinrich played with Williams though, otherwise he'd definitely be my number one.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

Backcasting is often more fraught with error than forecasting.

gwenthejayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Our program is sad if Jeremy Case is top 5.

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