Sunday, March 24, 2013


Opinion: Naadir Tharpe takes Bill Self on wild ride … to the Sweet 16

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe looks for the applause from the crowd as he leaves the court following the Jayhawks' 70-58 win over North Carolina, Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe looks for the applause from the crowd as he leaves the court following the Jayhawks' 70-58 win over North Carolina, Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.



KU-UNC reaction

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey

Kansas coach Bill Self and seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 70-58 victory over North Carolina on March 24, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

UNC coach Roy Williams, Marcus Paige, James Michael McAdoo

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, guard Marcus Paige and forward James Michael McAdoo talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 70-58 victory over UNC on March 24, 2013.

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Box score


— Kansas basketball coach Bill Self’s emotions took a wild spin on a tilt-a-whirl ride Sunday and sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe was behind the wheel, making his coach’s expressions scream “No!” “Yes!” “No!” “Oh no!” “Oh no, not again!” “Yes!” “Yes!” “Yes!”

While others sweated watching him, Tharpe played with the confidence of a man convinced that in the end everything would be just fine. He made sure of it. Mixing addled plays with brilliant ones, Tharpe had far more of the latter and helped Kansas storm from 11 points down to reach the Sweet 16 with a 70-58 victory against North Carolina.

On a day KU seniors Jeff Withey and Travis Releford relentlessly dominated at both ends in the second half, Kansas needed one of its underclassmen to join the party. On this day it wasn’t going to be either Ben McLemore (0-for-9, two points) or Perry Ellis (1-for-3, three points).

Tharpe answered the call, overshadowing his spills with thrills that chilled the partisan Kansas crowd.

A 5-foot-11 sophomore guard from Worcester, Mass., Tharpe scored all of his 12 points in a second half in which he made all three of his three-point shots. He also made three of four free throws in the half.

And then there were the plays that made his coach hold his head to keep it from exploding.

Instead of laying the ball in, Tharpe fired an off-target behind-the-back pass that Releford turned into a bucket, but that didn’t keep Self from pointing at Tharpe in frustration. Late in the game, Tharpe picked up one of his four turnovers on a five-second violation.

Tharpe’s most embarrassing moment “will never happen again” he vowed afterward. With Perry Ellis at the free throw line ready to take a second shot, Tharpe was talking to Elijah Johnson about “how to defend the next play” when he absentmindedly walked onto the three-point line, a lane violation. As soon as the whistle blew, a low, harsh voice shot through the still-silent arena. It belonged to Self.

Not long after that, Tharpe did what he had already done twice in the half. He stuck a dagger in North Carolina’s hopes. His first three-pointer gave Kansas a seven-point lead, the second a 12-point lead, the third, of the step-back variety, a 13-point advantage with 5:24 remaining.

Tharpe spent much of the second half playing in place of McLemore and when Tharpe checked out of the game in the final minute, Self gave him a hug and a pat on the backside and, according to Tharpe, Self told him, “You made some bone-headed plays, but wow, you played great for us today.”

After the buzzer sounded and KU’s record improved to 8-0 in Sprint Center games this season, Self walked with Tharpe to the spot of his violation and repeated his message.

“He said the same thing about the bone-headed play and once again he said, ‘You played great. You really showed toughness.'"

Tharpe, who looked very much like an overwhelmed freshman a year ago, has played with so much confidence this season.

We all see Self shaking his head at Tharpe’s miscues during games, but we’re not privy to other moments when the coach tells him what he thinks of his game.

“He comes up to me a lot and talks to me about how he wants me to be aggressive and always tells me how I’m a good player and how I’m a great shooter,” Tharpe said. “When your coach tells you that, it’s hard for you not to play with confidence. He’s been here a long time and he’s been around some great players. For him to say that to me, I feel like that’s how I have to play, and I need to do as much as I can to help him out.”

Not done with his 10th season at Kansas, Self has won 300 games for the school. You don’t do that without knowing how to balance climbing all over every player’s imperfection daily while still managing to inflate your players’ confidence levels.

Tharpe and the rest of the team combined to make 25 percent of their shots in the first half, 63 percent in the second.

Tharpe shared Self’s first words at halftime, when Kansas trailed 30-21:

“Is this how you want it to end, going out like that?”

And what was his tone?

Tharpe smiled at the question.

“Come on,” he said. “You guys know coach Self.”

Not nearly as well as Tharpe does. He knows him. He likes him. He doesn’t want to disappoint him. He did anything but that Sunday.


Boouk 9 years, 4 months ago

Releford was spectacular today defensively against Bullock. It'll be interesting to see who he guards Friday- Burke or Hardaway Jr?

Jeremy Wilhelm 9 years, 4 months ago

My guess is Hardaway, but McLemore may draw that assignment... either way I like our match ups with Michigan better than I would have had VCU advanced (and yea, I saw the UM-VCU game).

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

I'd like to see Releford on Burke, EJ on Stauskus and BMac on Hardaway Jr. Hardaway has been their scorer the last few games, but Burke and Stauskus seem due to make shots this time around. All 3 are pretty crafty, but I don't think Hardaway Jr will be as aggressive taking it into the paint if he's an athlete like BMac on him. EJ should be able to stick Stauskus tight and TRele is our best hope at keeping Burke from going off. Young is actually a pretty good matchup with GRobIII. Withey is going to take a beating in this one, hopefully the refs call their bigs for trying to shove him around 'cause I'm sure they will.

741hawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Last year, I honestly wondered if Tharpe would be on the team this year. My bad! Isn't it clear that we are much better with Tharpe at the point and EJ at the 2? Ben can take a big NBA check or stay a year and have a long and wealthy NBA career. IMHO, I believe The NBA would eat Ben up should he leave now. What a great second half. Rock Chalk!

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

BMac. To stay or to go. Many of these decisions (for better or worse) are driven by financial risk analysis. It ultimately comes down to the following difficult question, to which there is no clear answer:

What's worse? ...

A) To make only $15 million over a career, when you otherwise could have made $150 million.


B) To make $0 (due to injury in college), when you otherwise could have made $15 million.

Given Ben's financial situation, I think (B) is worse, thus he should go. But it's his call, and Jayhawk fans should support him either way.

Steve Corder 9 years, 4 months ago

Very true risk to reward assessment. You forgot to value a KU degree in the mix.

johnsont1 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't buy these arguments. Name one potential lottery pick in the last decade who has suffered a CAREER-ending injury. Before the OAD era, name a player who has suffered a career-ending injury. The NBA, as well as other professional sports, has had its share of broke former players. Not saying 15 million isn't a lot of money, but due to poor financial decisions made by kids not used to that kind of money, $150 million over $15 million will sure look a lot better when he's ready to retire and live a comfortable lifestyle. To stay in college for one year and risk - probably at worst - a knee injury, is not an entirely bad risk. The real biggest dilemma as I see it is having to wait a year for a paycheck..

Keith Kienzle 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't think B) is entirely accurate ($15mil vs $0). It's more likely the difference between 6-15 million (paid out over 3 years) if you're in the top 10, versus an injury potentially setting you back to the second round.. If you were Jeffrey Taylor, the 31st pick this year by the Charlotte Bobcats, you'd be making $575,000 with no guarantee, and in his case, benching on a bad team. Rookie contract money aside, the investment a team makes in you over three years means playing time and an opportunity to develop. Nobody cares if a GM/Coach fails to develop their 2nd round draft pick to his fullest potential.

hawk316 9 years, 4 months ago

I think most would agree that Ben could greatly benefit from another year in college. If he stayed for more seasoning and development, he would probably have a longer, more accomplished and more financially rewarding NBA career. But there's his family to consider. From what I've read, they are living in poverty. If Ben has the opportunity to make millions immediately, how can he justify waiting a year? I wish he could stay, but I understand if he must go. In any case, I wish him the best...what a great kid!

FL_Jhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

News media tends to over blow these things, and the deep poverty may have been a few years ago, not now, or at least it is managable. If he can stay and end up earning more money in the NBA and having a better career, then he should stay another year. So many people that a couple million dollars will allow them to retire at a young age. It doesn't. Income taxes, state taxes, agent's fees, costs for a home, cars, gifts, legal fees, etc. are huge.

If he can play 4 more games and he is clearly the reason KU wins it all, then his draft stock will rise back up and then maybe he should go. Otherwise, he really needs to stay. No shame in staying another year in college. Agents will be telling him he needs to go, as they want his money. Pro teams may say they want him, but they will show no mercy in cutting him off if he has problems developing. As long as there is a reasonable amount of development work that Self can do for him to improve his long term NBA career, he should stay.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 4 months ago

That five second call on Tharpe was bogus. Ridiculous. No way was he "closely guarded." No way.

mattiesdad 9 years, 4 months ago

He was also moving toward the basket, albeit very slightly. Still, it was forward progress.

Jim Roth 9 years, 4 months ago

The defender only has to be within 6 feet. It doesn't matter if the guy with the dribbling, holding the ball, standing still, or moving forward. It was pretty close, but the guy may have been <6 ft from Tharpe....seems like a long way to be "closely guarded".

For women's college basketball, it's 3 feet and only applies when the offensive player is holding the ball, not dribbling. Go figure.

John Randall 9 years, 4 months ago

On a five-second situation, the referee must make a visible count, so the player has no real excuse for being unaware that he needs to advance beyond the marker or make a pass. Very similar to not paying attention where he's standing during a free throw. We just have to hope these 'blank outs' don't happen at critical times – until Naadir comes closer to maturity.

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 4 months ago

Did the referee make that visible count? As I watched I didn't see it & I usually notice those counts as well as crossing the time line & inbounding the ball. Beyond that, how is it that with 20 seconds to go in any blow out game the ref's never make that count.

FL_Jhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Yes, the ref was counting it off and the total time might have been even 6 seconds. To my thinking, the defender was pretty close to 6', but distances can be impossible to determine on TV (without mathematical calculations at least). And the ref who was counting was behind Nadir, so Nadir had no way of knowing he was being timed.

It was probably a good call by the ref, but borderline.

dylans 9 years, 4 months ago

It seemed like the ref counting was behind Naadir. Also the defender wasn't very close on my tv, maybe if I switch back to an old 13" black and white I'll be happier with the officiating.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 4 months ago

They never count it out to 6ft, most of the time a defender has to be at basically arm's reach for the ref to start counting. If he was counting it was off my screen and directly behind Tharpe so that he had no idea there was a count. It was a bogus call. I guarantee you Tharpe is used to having to get right up on a guy to get the count started. The NCAA needs to actually adjust rules to the way it seems sensible to the officials to call them. Just like the elbow above the shoulders rule, where everyone knows it's ridiculous to make every instance of contact a technical, but that's what the rule says. You get inconsistencies in how the call is made and how often. It's not difficult to change this rule to 3 or 4 ft, where it's normally called at. The fact that the rule actually says 6 astonishes me, but it's still not 100% obvious he was even within the 6 ft. Where do you measure from? Naadir's closest toe, his chest, the ball?

Sam Constance 9 years, 4 months ago

If refs called the closely guarded rule the way they did on that play in KU's games, we would get a TON of turnovers that way.

No, that was some zebra deciding that he needed to show everyone he was paying attention and knows the rules to the strictest letter of the law.

Frank A Janzen 9 years, 4 months ago

"As soon as the whistle blew, a low, harsh voice shot through the still-silent arena. It belonged to Self." The camera was on Self at the point when he shouted, but we didn't see what happened on the court. On screen Self shouted, "God dammit!", and some in the crowd at Liberty Hall laughed at that, and then we heard about the lane violation.

TommieSmithElbow 9 years, 4 months ago

I may be wrong, but I played it back twice on the DVR, and it definitely sounded like he said "God dang it", not "damn". How in that moment he caught himself from compounding the wording is beyond me.

At the same time, wasn't Bill just referring to himself?

Kevin Enos 9 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, I heard "Goddangit" too although I think he was halfway to saying the more colorful expletive at the time. I don't know why the mike picked up that one moment so well. Anyway, that was a horrendous call, I can't believe that Self wasn't more angry with the refs than at Tharpe, that would have been a good moment for a technical. As for the occaisional muffs from Tharpe, point guards always get the most heat because they handle the ball so much and have a lot of responsibilities like calling plays, directing traffic, etc. so I don't see anything seriously amiss here. Recall that Tyshawn and Elijah also took a lot of heat when playing PG, what I like a lot about Tharpe is that he doesn't seem tp get rattled by it and comes back with big plays. Keep trucking, Tharpe.

jooz 9 years, 4 months ago

Self did not curse. I heard him loud and clear. This game he didn't have to cover his mouth like he did when McLemore got the technical that other game. (That was funny to see. Did anybody notice that?)

Timothy Rake 9 years, 4 months ago

I heard it very clearly as "God darn it."

Benz Junque 9 years, 4 months ago

We were sitting in the 8th row of Section 218 in the upper tier of seats at the Carolina end of the arena and heard it clearly.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 4 months ago

I listened very carefully and heard the same thing.

hawk316 9 years, 4 months ago

It appeared to me that after his outburst, Self had a sheepish, almost embarrassed look. I think he may have regretted yelling his expletive or non-expletive, whatever the case may be.

FL_Jhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Agreed. And I heard "God dang it". I played it back to verify.

eric poncharello 9 years, 4 months ago

DANG IT!! DANG IT!! That's what Self shouted.

RedJay 9 years, 4 months ago

Tharpe reminds me of a quieter Sherron Collins. Remember when Sherron would go dribbling deep into the paint and we'd all yell "Whaaa?!?!" Sherron would just stand under the basket dribbling until he found an open shooter or sunk a circus shot.

That's how I feel every time Tharpe heaves an open 3 with 28 left on the shot clock. The similarity is that both players know it's going in, even though I never believe them.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 4 months ago

Let's hope he can match Collins sophomore year heroics in the NCAA championship game!

tical523 9 years, 4 months ago

Tharpe has lots of skills and most importantly ball handing, he puts pressure on the defense when he dribbles the ball and that is so important when shots are not falling or to get others open. I like our back court but he is the only one that can penetrate and create whenever he has to, EJ can sometimes but not consistently well. B Mac is so so far from putting pressure on a defense and I agree with an above post in that he will get lost in the NBA shuffle. Naadir is going to be a stud the next couple of years.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 4 months ago

I've been saying that all year long. Naa is the kind of guy that can provide easy baskets for our guys. He will make up for his bonehead plays right away - so 4 TOs are easily forgotten if his 12 sparked our rally and bring down Heels' mentals. PEllis, BMac need to learn from Tharpe, not the seniors. Naa is the closest to them in terms of level of experience on the court. They need to have confidence level just like Naa - I never see him afraid to make mistakes. Just do it.

Let's keep the fight till the end. Rock Chalk!

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

Naa earned his spurs.

He earned everyone's respect.

He earned a good night's sleep.

He earned the right to say I play in the rotation of a team that has won 31 games and I'm in the Sweet 16.

Not bad for a sophomore that wasn't very highly recruited and seemed out of his depth for a while.

Not bad at all.

He has the getting better gene.

There was nothing going wrong out there with Naa today that can't be gotten better.

Bone head plays?

Self players that don't make some bone head plays aren't Self players.

Making some bone head plays appears to be part of the crucible of becoming a player who impacts out of his position.

Naa guarded and kept up with a bunch of Mickey D's in a money game.

Naa is part of the solution.

You're damned straight Self has seen a lot of good players in ten years, Naa.

And they've all made some bone head plays.

And when he says you played great for us today and showed real toughness, it means you do have the right stuff.

You've got stuff the Mickey Ds on UNC don't have.


Now don't ever make that mistake AGAIN!!!!!! :-)

Scott Smetana 9 years, 4 months ago

Naadir is the man, period. Same story, team gets behind and lacks offense, Tharpe sparks a great comeback. The only question is who to bench, EJ or BMac. I think Tharpe is better than both.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 4 months ago

This game.

A while ago, there were plenty of people that were calling for Naadir to start in place of EJ. Fortunately, Coach Self knows better. That was right before the 39 pt explosion.

A couple games ago, the call was for Perry to start in place of Kevin. Fortunately, Coach Self knows better.

John Randall 9 years, 4 months ago

+1 ... +1 ... +1

I miss EJ at the 2 where he has more freedom. I'm impatient with spotty offense from KY. But I know Naadir and Perry are not yet beyond the key reserve level – even without HCBS explaining it to me.

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

Way to put it in bas relief especially for the mind blind. :-)

Note: Be sure to look for and read a book called "Mind Blindness" from MIT Press. Can't recall the author right now. Its important for all kinds of issues.

Jeremy Hays 9 years, 4 months ago

Ok slow down there. The man AVERAGED 5 points. Has a 2-1 Ast to TO ratio. BMac has had a rough 3 games. EJ hasn't played horrible and has reduced many of his STUPID TO for earlier the year. I am not saying I'm not impressed with some of the things he has done. Let's just not go out and anoint him as the second coming because of 1 good game just like we said EJ is back after one good game. I worry not about next year's lineup, who plays what minutes or who will be starters as much as I worry about us getting past Michigan!!!!

Robert Brock 9 years, 4 months ago

Nothing lies like statistics. Even in baseball.

John Randall 9 years, 4 months ago

You remind me of my all-time favorite Okie Cherokee!

"There's Liars, there's Damn Liars, then there's statisticians."

Benz Junque 9 years, 4 months ago

You don't bench ANYONE at this point in the season. Thst would be foolish. The rotation is fine. EJ and BMac just need to stop worrying about failing and go out and ATTACK.

Playing "afraid to lose" is a mentality that almost always results in poor play that results in LOSING. They need to get their brains focused on what they SHOULD be doing and not what they DON'T want to do.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 4 months ago

Routine is very important. These kids believe in their rotation and expect it. When you change it, you change their opinion of themselves, not something you want to do now. What is our W-L record again? That tells me everything.

Bob Forer 9 years, 4 months ago

Best coaching move all season was yanking BMac in the second half. Tharpe's three treys were HUGE, and the points he scored were pretty much the difference in the game.

KULA 9 years, 4 months ago

Naadir is going to be, as is, a great point guard for us. He's got great quickness to the hole, handles the ball better than EJ and probably better than Tyshawn, is a great shooter and makes some beautiful passes, especially on the break.

But the best thing about him is that he's a GAMER! He doesn't shy away from the big shot--even last year when he was on Bill's "one&done" list (one mistake and you're done for the day) he still wasn't afraid to let his game fly. He doesn't go into his shell when the game is tight like so many Kansas shooters have in the past (and present). He's not afraid to step up and take the pressure shot. That's priceless!

Naa's gonna get All-Conference consideration next year and All-American consideration when he's a senior.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 4 months ago

I wonder what the starting lineup nxt season's gonna be with my guy - Selden - joins in the circle, plus Mason.

ManCrushOnCaptainKirk 9 years, 4 months ago

Although Naadir and Elijah are so turn-over prone that that they BOTH can create a turnover on a dead-ball situation -- ON THEIR OWN TEAM'S FREE THROW SHOT. That takes "turnover prone" to a whole new dimension.

Armen Kurdian 9 years, 4 months ago

Last year Nadir wasn't even in the equation. This year he's giving quality minutes, made a few clutch shots and moving the offense, and LEARNING. We see what Coach Self has done with guys that have come in unheralded and been turned into real quality players. Tharpe will be a starter next year if he continues to improve.

As for B-Mac, he needs to invest in himself one more year under Coach Self. His present value will explode with more time under his belt here, else he's gonna get one decent contract in the NBA and be done. Paul Pierce...NBA superstart, two years under Coach Roy. Want to say the same about B-Mac under Coach Self...not to be selfish to want him to stay at KU, but for his own benefit.

nostradavid 9 years, 4 months ago

Naa is awesome this year. Love a wild ride !

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

This is your best arc across word and picture.

This is working a bit like good haiku here. It is something you should consider building on.

line 1: Naa is awesome this year

line 2: love a wild ride!

line 3: image.

True haiku is three word images that link together even though the three lines do not lead it each other literally.

Amateurs worry about the syllable count.

But its the images and their cascading interplay that actually makes haiku great and virtually impossible to do well in English.

I'm not saying you're doing haiku here.

I'm saying you are building the rudiments of a form here.

Line 1 emotive judgement

Line 2 emotion linked to an action

Line 3 visualization of the action

nostradavid 9 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for your analysis and encouragement, jaybate. You have an interesting perspective. It's good to know when someone enjoys your stuff. Your sports insights are greatly appreciated. When you slip into your bard persona, I wonder if you've ever read Hamlet on the Holodeck - The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace by Janet H. Murray.

As a visual artist, I'm more influenced by film montage theory as expounded by Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein in his books Film Form and The Film Sense. Creating montage with the limit of a single visual image is an enjoyable challenge. I miss editing 16mm for fun and credit hours.

“You know it's ART, when the check clears.” ― Andy Warhol

Rock Chalk Jayhawk !

I thought innuendo was an Italian suppository.

I thought innuendo was an Italian suppository. by nostradavid

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 4 months ago

Somebody PLEASE tell me I'm not imagining this: when Tharpe was recruited, all we heard (from Self, too) was that he was a pure point guard, in the mold of an Aaron Miles or Russell Robinson. But this past year, we're hearing he's almost more of an off guard with a great shot. I'm not questioning Self, I'm quite sure he knows what he's got. But what happened to the pure point guard we recruited. Was this just what everybody saw in high school and reassessed what he truly was when he got in a D1 rotation?

dylans 9 years, 4 months ago

Elijah was considered one of the top point guards in his class also. Now they are both combo guards, go figure.

John Randall 9 years, 4 months ago

Chrissakes, you'd think they were playing for Bill Self!

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 4 months ago

Agreed. If a guy's not a scoring threat, you're playing 4 on 5. No Final Four teams do this.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 4 months ago

Seeing Tharpe evolve and us all have high hopes for him now for his upper classmen years, makes me wonder if we'll possibly be debating the same things for Frank Mason 2 years from now! :) I hope so. I think Tharpe was technically ranked in the 110's, right? And F. Mason was in the 130's so, at least kind of similar in that regard. Though I think by the end of his season, Mason was being posed as maybe should be ranked higher by so-called "experts". I know they've got a similar build.

AsadZ 9 years, 4 months ago

I have a new nick name for Tharpe, Assassin

KemDooKU 9 years, 4 months ago

Roy and the Ronald McDonald crew just got served by Pimp Daddy........ aka Tharpe!

7texdude 9 years, 4 months ago

Tharpe hit some huge shots against UNC, but he will have to play even better against Michigan. Their backcourt is filled with playmakers. KU will have to play even better to win. Rock Charlk!

monkeehawkSL8 9 years, 4 months ago

This story is about Nadir and his part in one of the most inspiring 180 degree turns I have ever seen in a college game. Naa's play, the 3's actually lowered my heart rate, I managed to get through the game yesterday without burning any furniture. (Old family tradition).

Some people have mentioned Frank Mason, I usually don't make blanket prediction's but between Nadir and Frank we're going to be fine a point. Frank's ball handling abilities and speed are sensational. Jayhawks, "take care of each other and win another", settle for nothing but everything. RCJH KAAAAAUOOOOO

ManCrushOnCaptainKirk 9 years, 4 months ago

Huge Ballsy Move by Bill Self for sitting McLemore for that long in the second half. Few coaches would have the gonads to do it. Perhaps he learned his lesson from leaning too heavily on Sherron a few years ago in the tourney.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 4 months ago

First best guess at next year's first starting line-up:

PG - Naadir with Mason and/or Frankamp.[Conner is better than people realize at the point]

SG - Selden with 'Rio and/or Frankamp.[Wayno is a BEAST!!!]

SF - Greene with AWIII. [Branden is going to surprise a lot of people]

PF - Ellis with Wesley and {????? we're gonna miss Zach here next season}

C - Traylor with Embiid and Lucas.{Embiid will work in quick and move Jamari to PF]

WOW... Junior, Soph, RS Soph, Frosh, Frosh starting lineup....we go from one of the most experienced starting fives to one of the youngest!! I don't think anyone redshirts...I think we'll need all hands on deck 2013-14!!!

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 4 months ago

I've read comments that think that Embiid will redshirt. They haven't seen his videos or know that he was a tourney MVP, beating out Wiggins and Wiggins team.

Dale Kroening 9 years, 4 months ago

Agree with everything except Wesley. He's not getting any pt now and with Embiid, Perry, Traylor, and Lucas, he will again be the 5th big and only get mop up duty unless there is an injury. If Wesley is in the rotation, Im sorry, we're in trouble. Dont get me wrong, I like Wesley and he's athletic, but he doesnt have the skills and is more foul prone than any KU player I can remember. He couldnt even start at Lamar.

towns 9 years, 4 months ago

Were we in trouble when Wesley got minutes last year?

Dale Kroening 9 years, 4 months ago

He played 8.6 mins per game. Mostly mop up duty or foul trouble because we had no depth. Travis played some at the 4 for that exact reason if you remember. Im just saying he's the least talented of our bigs and foul prone. Look at his stats.

Robert Robinson 9 years, 4 months ago

You ever notice when bills at his highest level of frustration with Tharpe he goes out and hits a 3? Some players do better when they're told how good they are in a nice way. I think Tharpe responds better to tough love.

easyfive 9 years, 4 months ago

I said long time ago that Naa is the best point g since Jo Jo White. People laughed at me. Understandable but, go look on u tube and put in his name and see yourself. I got to shake hands with Jo Jo when i was six in Allen.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 4 months ago

I watched Jo Jo at KU's summer bball camp in 1974. In one play, he stole the ball playing three on three and was so fast that I really didnt' see it. It's just that in a blink of an eye, he and the ballhandler switched positions.

JayHok 9 years, 4 months ago

When he plays juiced up, the rest of the team plays juiced up. What a benefit to have a juiced up point guard coming off the bench when the opposing defense is out of juice and our seven foot juice-man is ready to squeeze some oranges at ten and twelve feet.

Steve Corder 9 years, 4 months ago

Wonder what Bill said to Ben when he benched him the 2nd half?

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

He said stay ready.

But right now this group is playing really well against what they are doing, so I'm going with it.

FL_Jhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

I can see Naa becoming my favorite player, to finally replace Tyshawn, who was becoming my favorite later in his Sophomore year.

Naa just needs some more consistency in his shooting. He will miss everything, then he has games like last night. I rarely get upset when he shoots a three, even when he is missing, as I know he can hit them, but some of his driving to the basket drives me nuts. But Ty was much like that. Fact is, to get better, you have to push yourself, and you make mistakes when you push yourself hard. And while he can practice pushing himself in practice, it is not the same as in a real game with people you aren't familiar with. So, every time he drives to the basket and dribbles it off his foot and throws up a prayer, keep in mind he is learning and that will make him better. The alternative is to not make the attempt out of fear he will screw up, and thus never get much better. Maybe BMac needs to take a lesson here.

But oh man, if he, EJ and BMac can all get hot at the same time, wow.

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

If EJ, Naads, BMac, Releford, Withey, and Ellis all catch fire simultaneously, they'd be capable of ending the Miami Heat win streak.

I'm dead serious...ish

FarSideHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

KU still not getting the love from the 'experts', which is great! The team should read that and get motivated.

SI picking Michigan to come out of the South.

ESPN ranking KU as no. 11 out of the 16 left in its reseeding article.

Beat Michigan!

Steve Brown 9 years, 4 months ago

Michigan has talent we have the system. It will come to sight lines in the big Jones stadium, we should practice with large mirrors on the walls this week to make it hard to focus and find our rim/net sight lines, then in the dome, it will be natural.
Sort of similar to home bowling teams using heavier pins.

On similar note, anyone else notice the rims at Sprint are not balanced, the 1st half for us, has much smaller scoring in B12 as well as NCAA games. We got the large rim the 2nd half. Take all the games add up all the points and see our 2nd half basket up by 18- 24% is my guess.

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