Sunday, March 31, 2013


Opinion: Defend Big 12 title? Of course KU can


Barring a surprising decision to return to school by Ben McLemore, Kansas University’s basketball team will have five new starters when the season opens in November. That’s no way to defend a conference title.

Or is it?

Tenth-year KU coach Bill Self has been there, done that. He lost all five starters after the 2005 loss to Bucknell. The next season, with a starting lineup that featured three freshmen and two sophomores who had played sparingly the previous season, Kansas shared the Big 12 title with a veteran, star-studded Texas squad.

KU again lost all five starters after winning the national title in 2008 and the next season, with two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, finished a game ahead of Blake Griffin-led Oklahoma to win the Big 12 outright. Sherron Collins played starter minutes his first two seasons as sixth man, and Cole Aldrich had blossomed in the 2008 Final Four with his break-out game against North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough.

The 2005-06 situation more closely resembles next season’s outlook in that Kansas has very little experience returning.

Perry Ellis will be the foundation. He sprints the floor like a guard, making him a valuable player in transition in both directions. He has more moves in the low post than Sybil had personalities. He soars high for rebounds, handles the ball extremely well and will grow as a defender, although he probably won’t ever develop into a shot-blocker. The hard-to-guard Ellis will become even more so once his mid-range jumper becomes more of a weapon.

In the last seven games of a 31-6 season, Ellis averaged 26.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per 40 minutes (19.9/9.6 per 30 minutes), shot 66 percent from the field and 86 percent from the line. That’s serious production from the versatile scorer.

Jamari Traylor is the next most experienced returning post player, but experienced isn’t a word often associated with the muscular, quick, explosive power forward from Chicago. He took up basketball late in life, and it sometimes shows. He has a knack for blocking shots, brings terrific energy and can become a scoring threat if he can develop a jumper out to 15 feet, a goal he works tirelessly to achieve.

Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-10 post player from Portland, Ore., has made strides as a basketball player and in building strength while red-shirting.

Moving to the perimeter, Naadir Tharpe has more experience than any returning player. He played and shot better late in the season, hitting 46 percent of his threes and 42 percent of all field goals in the final 10 games, during which time he posted a 2.3 assists-to-turnover ratio. Andrew White III, who showed a nice shooting touch as a freshman in limited time, will compete for time at small forward.

To compete for a league title as the most recent two KU teams with five new starters did, the Jayhawks must match those classes in terms of instant major contributions from talented freshmen. McDonald’s All-American Wayne Selden, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound shooting guard, highlights the five-deep incoming class. Small forward Brannen Greene, combination guard Conner Frankamp and center Joel Embiid also are ranked in the top 40 of the 2013 class by Self also is high on 5-11 point guard Frank Mason, who is not ranked in the top 100 by Rivals.

Andrew Wiggins, the nation’s top-ranked recruit, could decide to become the first McDonald’s All-American in this class to sign with Florida State, the second to commit to Kansas or the seventh to join Kentucky.

If Wiggins signs with KU, here’s an early guess at a starting lineup: Tharpe, Wiggins, Selden, Ellis and Traylor, with Embiid, Greene, Frankamp and Mason competing hard to supplant one of the starters.

Without Wiggins, the best guess is: Tharpe, Selden, Greene, Ellis and Traylor. This much isn’t a guess: Whatever the starting lineup and bench, both will perform far better in January than in November. A 10th consecutive Big 12 title is a possibility, despite the lack of experience.


Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 6 months ago

Well, it'd be a shame to win 9 strait and not get the 10.

10's got a nice ring to it.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 6 months ago

Tharpe, Frankamp, Seldon, Ellis, and Embiid sound like number 10! Traylor, Greene, White, Lucas, and Adams battling for minutes off the bench also sounds nice. KU will be fine.

Robert Murphy 9 years, 5 months ago

You forgot Mason. Remember, he's the little fast guy.

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 6 months ago

Yeah I think we can win it again next season. We have some nice pieces returning and a great class coming in. I would love getting number ten because I want a shirt that says "Decade of Dominance".

JayhawkJack98 9 years, 5 months ago

hey I posted that on D.J. Beshears twitter the day of the Baylor game when we found out k state lost

Scott Smetana 9 years, 6 months ago

We all know this. Let's talk about our competition. Who will be number 2?

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Take your pick between OU and OSU. Baylor is the only other Big 12 team with impact players in their recruiting class that has a chance to compete, but they still have Scott Drew which means their talent will be wasted.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

Do you think anyone from osu is jumping to the league? Their roster is still a mystery to me.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Marcus Smart is a top 5 pick and Jurik is graduating. Everybody else for them will be back and that's still a pretty good team.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I believe Smart is gone as well. However, I dont know what LeBryan Nash is planning to do. It is said to be a weaker draft this year as opposed to next, so he might have higher value this season. In my opinion he should come back, but I have definitely seen lower producing players bolt.

Brian Conrad 9 years, 6 months ago

Nash is gone also... think ISU and Oklahoma will be there , Baylor will lose most to NBA .. think our chances are as high as any and will preseason be in top 3 to win conference .. if Wiggins. well would be heavy fav for 10th...

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

LeBryan Nash is not leaving if he has any common sense and Isaiah Austin is the only Baylor player that may leave early.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

Smart's gone, but they are reaplacing him with another Top 60 kid in S. Clark from OKC (a bit undersized, something like 5'-9, but scored like 51 in their title game!!!).

I don't think they really lose anybody else. LeBryan Nash was a threat to go but I think he wants to elevate his stock more than it currently is before leaving.

Daniel Kennamore 9 years, 6 months ago

I think Iowa State is due for a breakout season...even with losing their top two scorers.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

They are losing 6 seniors total. I think they will return Niang, Ejim, and Palu from last years squad and have a pretty good recruiting class coming in. I definitely see them winning more conference games than they lose, but I dont see them breaking out and separating themselves from the pack.

63Jayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Iowa State is going to be our primary competition for the big 12 championship for years to come.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

  1. KU
  2. OSU
  3. UT (I'm assuming Kabongo stays....if he's "right" as good as he was playing toward the end he could be a Top 10 pick - even with the greater class as opposed to being slotted ~ 20th as he currently is)
  4. BU
  5. WVU
  6. KSU
  7. ISU
  8. OU
  9. TCU
  10. TTech

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 5 months ago

I haven't read any comments from other team's players on whether they will stay or go, but I'd be very surprised if Kabongo stays. He's ready to give the NCAA the finger after his 20+ game suspension.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised at all if LeBryan Nash decides to bolt OSU. After all, Texas10 says that common sense will tell him to stay, so he'll likely go. Markel Brown could test the waters, too. I expect him to stay, but if he hears from some GMs that he's a first rounder, he may take the payday.

I wouldn't overlook KSU next year as far as the competition for #2 in league. I'd place them in the top 3 or 4. They lose McGruder fur sure, but they've got a lot of returnees including Angel, Spradling, and Gipson.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 5 months ago

by the way, I'm pretty sure that PikesPeakSmitty made a funny about Keegan's article from early January about "The Competition for #2 in the Big 12 Starts Today".

Sure, we rightly claimed our part of the shared title, but there certainly was competition for #1 as KSU was a win over OSU on the last day of the season away from taking it from us (so much for "to be the best you have to beat the best").

Debbie Mangen 9 years, 6 months ago

I've been waiting all year for Lucas. He's a big boy, takes up a lot of space and if he can play ball he should be fun to watch. I'm excited about next years team. Bill will get them going. Does anyone know if we are losing and coaches or assist coaches? I love to see Kevin Yong to get the job had, director of opporations. He brings so much energy to the floor, I'm sure going to miss his play.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Can you imagine if DManning had spent this entire year working with Lucas???

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 5 months ago

Kevin Young could get a spot as a graduate assistant or as video coordinator or something like that, but I'd be shocked if Bill Self were to give DBO (even though it's technically a non-coaching position) to a new graduate who hasn't coached or had any experience in any profession at all. There is a lot of administrative work and a lot of planning and coordinating involved in being DBO. You better have something on your resume if you expect an interview for that spot.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 5 months ago

I'd more expect Kevin to briefly pursue a playing career before settling into coaching long-term. I see him playing one or two seasons playing semi-pro ball in Europe kinda like Tyrel Reed did, before opting in to his real career path.

Jason Wilson 9 years, 5 months ago

Young should go play in Europe. He can make many times over what he'd make as an assistant on the KU staff... and he gets to travel Europe on someone else's dime.

trustyourSelf 9 years, 6 months ago

Here's my projected starting line-up: Tharpe, Selden, AW3, Ellis, Lucas. I think that the first big off the bench will be Traylor- the reason I don't have him in the starting lineup is just because of size. Also, I hope Embiid can compete for some serious minutes. Then I think Frankamp and Greene will come off the bench at guard. I'm excited to have some guards that can really score, but I'm not sure how reliable they will be defensively. I know that next year may be a little frustrating to our spoiled fan base, but looking 2 and 3 years down the line, we will be a force on the national scene. Nobody transfer!

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 6 months ago

Trust yourself, Rio will transfer. Guaranteed. And we'll lose Frankamp if he doesn't start. The kid can demoralize opponents at will. AW3 won't have that same level of confidence. Never. And no offense, Tom, I don't believe Traylor is ready to take starting position. He'll be a great sub coming off the bench. Lucas will be ready by then.

April13 9 years, 6 months ago

Frankamp will start, regardless of who stays or goes. Unless, of course, Naadir learns how to dribble.

I'm with you on Rio - I think he's gone within two weeks.

What I don't understand about Wiggins, Smart and other top recruits is this: do you understand that if you come to KU that you have about a 70% chance of getting a one seed? That means, most likely, a trip to the Sweet 16 at minimum, which means press coverage, which means better draft prospects. Florida State? Seriously?

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I hope Frankamp is a beast and takes the job from Naadir. But I would bet going into the season Naadir is our starter. We desperately need leadership and he is going to be the lone upperclassman to provide it for us next year.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

TOTALLY agree.

I think Frankamp would struggle with the speed of the game from the start. I think he'll probably still excel shooting, but I could see him have some problems being the primary ballhandler. I could see him being the primary backup at either G spot.....Assuming Rio doesn't transfer could be some fun in the preseason with their battles.

monkeehawkSL8 9 years, 5 months ago

I know this may come as a shock to you, pardon the pun, but there are people in the world who do not get emotional when they here the KU Rock Chalk cheer at the end of a game. People that have no bond in any way to being a Jayhawk. I often have had the same thought and I realized its the "I can't imagine you don't think like me". One of the reasons we, over the years have been referred to as snob hill.

Michael Luby 9 years, 6 months ago

Self will make him learn to defend. Most absolutely, he will.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 6 months ago

That sounds familiar. Remind me about Woolridge, please.

Steven Mathew 9 years, 6 months ago

surrealKU, Frankamp has been a Kansas fan for life. Was Woolridge a Jayhawk since he was born?

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Connor Frankamp is ranked about 90 spots higher than Royce Woolridge was.

Jim Roth 9 years, 6 months ago

Rio is very juvenile, but I wouldn't give up on him yet. That could go either way.

thmdmph 9 years, 6 months ago

Having seen Self's style this year, IF Frankamp plays better than Tharpe, who's Self going to have coming off the bench and who starts?

Eric TheCapn 9 years, 6 months ago

Regarding this question, Self's loyalty to upperclassmen is frightening, but I'd hope the better point guard would be starting.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

One...I DON'T think Rio will transfer.

Two, I think B. Greene beats out AW3 for a starting spot.

A lot and I mean A LOT of services have Greene rated even higher than Selden. Kind of funny as I've heard that his play is more reminiscent of a SG's & Selden's more reminscent of a SF's, yet Greene's 6'-7 & Selden's 6'-5.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I really want wiggins to sign with ku, but he hasnt yet...

My starting five

Tharpe, Selden, White, Ellis, Embiid

With Traylor, Francamp, and Greene getting the most minutes off the bench. I hope Lucas is truly a load under the basket. This team really needs a wide body down low.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 5 months ago

I agree with every pick. How Embiid is being undervalued early on is the scant amount of information known about him. One CBS analyst says that Embiid is without a doubt the most talented unknowns in the country and the one he projects as the player everyone will talk about next year.

Also, Emiid played in tourney game with Wiggins. Embiid's team won, and Embiid was named the tourney MVP. Since he's also in the Jordan Brands game, that doesn't sound like a player you bring off the bench, at least for long.

JayhawkJack98 9 years, 5 months ago

I want him to sign to but I think it is between Florida state and Kentucky he recently said that if he went to Kentucky it would be the best recruiting class in the nation and they would win the national championship for sure.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

I think the biggest reason that KU will likely be favored to win their 10th straight Big 12 title is that the conference as a whole didn't have a great recruiting season this year and most of the best players are going pro. KU has a top 2/3 class depending where you look and only Baylor or WVU have top 20 classes depending where you look. Of the 15 players named to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd all Big 12 teams, only 2 are returning for sure. Isaiah Austin could make it 3, but right now Angel Rodriguez and Melvin Egim are the only all Big 12 players we know are coming back. That just adds up to me that nobody is really going to have the talent to make themselves look like serious contenders for the Big 12 right now.

Michael Sillman 9 years, 6 months ago

I share the optimism. Depending on what Adams does, we have six recruited players coming back who have been in the Self system for at least a season. All of them will have had another off-season of conditioning under Hudy.

We are set at point guard which is not something a lot of teams can say. I still think that a lot of people underestimate Tharpe (I would include Self in that group since I think Tharpe should have been the primary ball handler and free throw shooter at the end of the Michigan game).

Ellis brings scoring to the power forward spot and should have more muscle next year.

Traylor can fill the Kevin Young role of energizer bunny.

White could be a great outside threat to replace McLemore.

Clearly we need Lucas and some of the freshman to step up.

Add in Wesley and Manning for depth and I see no reason why we can't be in the hunt for a Big 12 title.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 6 months ago

Wesley & Manning? Are you in Thailand? Seriously?

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Speaking of Wesley...I was surprised we didn't see more of him off the bench this year. I know it's mainly because we had Traylor available. But I thought Wesley did a decent job off the bench last year.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

Wesley was hurt, injured or sick on at least 3 separate occasions including at the end of the year (think he didn't even travel with the team).

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

If Wesley and Manning are playing anything other than garbage time or major foul trouble minutes next year in Wesley's case, KU is in trouble. Justin Wesley will start 1 game next year and it will be on senior night along with Niko Roberts.

Matt Strausz 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't sleep on Mr. Rio Adams. That guy can play, has fight and toughness that we should want in our lineup. He would be the type who would not defer when the moment arises. I predict that Adams will be some one who becomes a great Jayhawk over the next few years.

Rock Chalk 9 years, 6 months ago

He wasn't even mentioned in the article in terms of his play next year. Did I miss something? I knew he was frustrated but thought Bill calmed him down. So hoping you are right that he stays in our lineup.

Jim Roth 9 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps Tom knows something we don't....I hope not.

Brian Conrad 9 years, 6 months ago

tweets fro Rio "time for change" pretty sure he will transfer... hope he sees transfers start all over at most top schools... he is probably gone , but think he would get minutes if he stays.. to much D.. and We like D

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago

Rio is on a similar path as RussRob was - he was so close to leaving his freshman year & had a similar rough go of it early. However, if I were to bet money, it would be on Rio leaving, because his maturity level is not that high at this stage & he doesn't realize that patience & effort will pay off in a huge way in Self's program.

I think he will be phenomenal in a couple of years if he stays & I hope he does!

dumbarton 9 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the article, Tom. Very timely as it gives the fan base an opportunity to switch gears and start thinking toward the future and stop dwelling on Friday's debacle. It's in Self's hands to implement what he needs to do to insure that won't happen again. It's in our hands to be postive and support the future of Kansas basketball. Rock Chalk!!

Michael Johnson 9 years, 6 months ago

tharpe, selden, greene, lucas, & ellis. lucas will be a stud.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

That's my same starting lineup.

As the year goes on maybe Embiid can steal more and more minutes from Lucas and that would have NOTHING to do with Lucas underachieving as much as Embiid fulfilling his massive potential.

Joe Baker 9 years, 5 months ago

I have HIGH hopes for Lucas. I hope he took complete advantage of the redshirt. His size and weight will be great muscle, but his speed is lacking. He reminds me of Cole. Embiid is going to be Withey 2.0.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't care that much about championships.

It's about how well does the team play with each other, show respect for other teams and how many games Jayhawks can win throughout the regular season.

If KU wins a lot of games and never wins a final four so what. How well does the team play and do they play as a team?

5 starters and 5 on the bench that are equally as good = a hot winning regular season no matter what else happens.

Let's bring Wichita State and Kansas State in during "non conference" early season schedules for added excitement and downtown extra dollars.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 6 months ago

Let's bring Wichita State and Kansas State in during "non conference" early season schedules for added excitement and downtown extra dollars.

Locally grown excitement and a real test to see how training is coming along.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 6 months ago

You don't play a conference foe during non-conference play unless it is in an invitational tournament, and usually you don't invite two schools from the same conference to those. Wichita state, maybe. KState, no. You can see how this team is doing when we play teams like temple, Michigan State, Duke, etc.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree and disagree.

I understand your point and respect it.

I love championships though.

Stu Van Gorp 9 years, 6 months ago

Thanks Tom. Please keep us updated, and the starting candidates motivated, with their individual progress and personal incentive to dominate their peers in the Big XII and beyond for years to come.

Jim Erickson 9 years, 6 months ago

KState? Bruce Weber did a great job coaching Bill Self's roster at Illinois but failed to recruit. Looking at K-State's incoming class, that could again be the case.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Agreed. Over time, Bruce will cause KSU to be irrelevant once again.

monkeehawkSL8 9 years, 6 months ago

YO, what exit? Seriously, njjayhawk, would you consider dropping the Manure U thing? Yes I understand the "thrash talk" aspect of basketball. The problem is that we Kansas fans often talk about the rich history & tradition of being a Jayhawk. Whether it's meant as a joke or not it's classless and in light of recent event's we need to act with class. Consider it would you please?

ManCrushOnCaptainKirk 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree. Only KSU needs to engage in ChickenHawk and all that stuff. I root for KSU when they play most everybody besides KU (despite the fact that many KSU fans don't do the same).

90sHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Won't bad mouth you for saying you root for KSU when they aren't playing us; just not sure I understand it unless it's the tourney and we're simply supporting Big 12 teams.

CrystalJones 9 years, 6 months ago

Manure U, Silo Tech, Moo U, whatever...In reality, they're a highly respected land-grant institution that has a particular ag mission. Makes sense for Midwestern state. (I mean, we are the ones who "wave the wheat.") And while we dominate them in b-ball, they're a national player in football.

In the meantime, I see no reason for our basketball dominance over the entire league to continue. KU is a special place for basketball, and no one else in the conference is even close to us in tradition. Let the little Shockers have their day...a one-hit wonder who will not get a NC.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

How about this .. we finish 4th in the league and win the national title?

How about we stop talking about this "win the league" stuff. We've won the league 9 times in a row, and won the national title just once. Let's win a title again.

Right now .. would you trade the league title for a win vs. Michigan Friday and just the chance to advance? To just be able to play Florida today?

I would in a minute.

Kent Wells 9 years, 6 months ago

I'll go for second. I think a 4th place finish in our weak league would be a 8-10 seed. Otherwise, harrumph!

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

KState will be middle of the pack. Angel Rodriguez is good enough to where he may be able to carry KSU to top 3 finish, but after him and Southwell, KSU just doesn't have the fire power to be serious threat.

AsadZ 9 years, 6 months ago

Texas should be a good team next year. While their record was not impressive they played tough D with Freshmen and Sophmores who have gained valuable experience. I expect Texas to compete for the title next year.

justinryman 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't give Rick Barnes too much credit as a coach. He and Scott Drew share a few things in common. They both can recruit great talent, but they don't know how to coach it. Durant should have been able to take Texas to the National Title, but Barnes got in the way and tried to coach. There have been a lot of wasted Texas teams in the past 7 years.


ManCrushOnCaptainKirk 9 years, 6 months ago

Texas should fire Barnes while they have the chance. He's as bad as Scott Drew. They can get top 10 recruiting classes because of who they are, but the guy cannot coach, it doesn't even seem like he can remotely connect with his players. I'd like a rejuvenated Texas to make the whole league (and us) better.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

So you want to see him fired? Buzz Williams from Marquette would take the job and immediately Texas becomes a tough game.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 5 months ago

Never thought about it. Agreed. A poor Texas team hurts KU. Competition counts for more than Ws and Ls, as far as the Tourney goes.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

I HONESTLY think Kabongo's staying!!! Right now he's being projected about 20th - 24th depending on the sevice. But in his last 5 or 6 gm's he was playing Burke-esque. Burke right now is being projected like 7th - 10th.

I think Myck stays in the hope of making it to at least the top 10 - 12 picks next year. There's a big difference between barely in the 1st round and safely in the lottery!!!

NoteToSelf 9 years, 6 months ago

Keegan not mentioning Rio should tell you that he is transferring. Rio looked lost defensively and out of control offensively. HCBS will put his scholarship to good use in 2014 since we will only lose Wesley next year. I hope Wiggins commits to KU, but I wouldn't count on it. I thought Randle was our best bet and Coach Cal pulled another fast one at the last minute. What a crook. Nice loss in the NIT this year Coach.

Also Conner won't transfer if he doesn't start as a freshman. KU is his dream school and always has been.

ManCrushOnCaptainKirk 9 years, 6 months ago

I sure hope Conner is another Pritchard, Haas, or Hinrich!!! Hopefully, he is working on his defense and quickness as well as his shot before stepping foot on campus. He should know as well as anybody that if he can't play D, he won't get to show off his pretty stroke.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

kd .. I responded to your post on the discussion about running another play with 9+ seconds left, fyi.

AsadZ 9 years, 6 months ago

How is our non-conf schedule for next year. I know we play against Michigan State early in Chicago as part of a tournament and we would be at Temple. Both of these games would be challenging for the young team.

I'd like to see some other tough non-conf games to really make the team ready for conf games and NCAA tournament.

In 2011-2012 we played a tough one, Kentucky, Duke, Georgetown, OH State etc and I truly believe that it provided a confidence to the team that carried with them in the post season.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm pretty sure we play Duke in Chicago, not Mich St.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Yep...played MSU this year in the rotation. Duke is only one left.

90sHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I love the big non-conf games we typically have year in and year out, but we also need to play teams with varying styles. That's an important part of being prepared for the tourney as the Big 12 doesn't do that as much for us.

Robert Brock 9 years, 6 months ago

Our chances of landing Wiggins: Slim and What are you smoking, Keegan?

soapisurfriend 9 years, 6 months ago

KU played MSU this season in Atlanta. They play Duke next season in Chicago as part of the Champions Classic. As for the 10th conference title, I heard yesterday that Smart and Nash were leaning towards returning, which would make them the early favorites. They would only be losing one player with significant minutes this year in the big guy, Jurick.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm pretty sure Markel Brown is leaving.

REHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I think the keys to a really fine season will depend upon how fast Selden and Frankamp develop by January, and how successfully Embiid escalates by midFebruary. Hopefully, White gets the opportunity to engage in competition for high level summer play. In my mind, Rio is the biggest puzzle: obviously, huge upside; perhaps, most erratic downside. But for one glorious second semester in the past four seasons I have grown weary of bashing the arms of my recliner over Jayhawk guard play.

gwenthejayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Is it just me, or is it odd that Keegan doesn't even mention Lucas in his projected starters or reserves? Does anyone see anyway a 6'10" body that Self has raved about doesn't get playing time? I'm going to assume that Wiggins will not go to KU, since everytime I get excited about a big time blue chipper he puts on a Kentucky hat. Starting lineup: Tharpe, Selden, Ellis - really these guys are the only "guarantees" to start - in other words, if these guys aren't starting, we're toast. After that, I see it as a massive battle day in day out in practice for the next 2 starting spot between Lucas, Traylor, Greene, and Frankamp. Frank Mason, Emblid, AWIII, etc won't sniff starting lineup this year. Love AWIII, but he will have to put in some major defensive work to get some PT. Top transfer potentials - Rio Adams and Andrew White III. If Keegan is right, and AWIII doesn't crack our top 9-10, he's gone. Same with Adams; which is a shame, because I think Adams has talent - reminds me of Tharpe his freshman year - talented but awkward.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

JD .. you're right. I just think that it's incorrect to presume that Lucas plays over Traylor until proven otherwise, based on the fact that Self chose Traylor over Lucas this season. As Self has said in the past, you don't redshirt better players. And Lucas' height seems a question .. he's listed sometimes as tall as 6'10", but if you see him standing near the huddle, he's about Ellis' height. I see him listed at 6'8" too.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I understand Lucas did not "beat out" Traylor for a spot this past season but I do not feel that has any bearing on next season.

We needed toughness and energy this season. We had a big body down low to bang with the big boys in Jeff but next years squad seems to be lacking any girth down low. This is why I feel Lucas has potential to crack the rotation and get meaningful minutes.

Though if Embiid is a good as I am hoping and starts from day one, then Lucas' role will not be as vital as Traylor's.

Follow me?

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 5 months ago

...and without EJ, KU does not make it to the finals. Remember the Purdue game much?

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

I hope no transfers. We're "light" as it is already.

justinryman 9 years, 6 months ago

Tennessee Lady Vols won 7 straight SEC titles from 1999 thru 2006.

UCLA mens 13 straight PAC10 titles from 1967 thru 1979.

Gonzaga Bulldogs 11 straight WCC titles from 2001 thru 2011.

Kansas Jayhawks 9 straight Big12 titles from 2005 thru...TO BE CONTINUED

ManCrushOnCaptainKirk 9 years, 6 months ago

In the era of Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant....

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

Griffin is a monster dunker.

KD is on another planet.

Robert Murphy 9 years, 5 months ago

We not only beat them both but we also beat Jason Kidd when he came to the field house.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Perry has come a long way...especially in the last couple of weeks. Just needs to muscle up a little bit and cut down on the shuffling of the feet when he gets position down low. Think he will have a very nice 3-year career at KU.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Wondering what Self is doing. Do you think he's bugging the crap out of the Wigginseses???

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

Probably checking on Minnesota, New Mexico, UCLA kids? My guess.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 5 months ago

A coach leaving does not allow student to transfer and start playing immediately somewhere else; they would have to sit one year before they are eligible.

Andy Godwin 9 years, 6 months ago

I just wish KU would quit pissing away high seeds in the NCAA tournament. Winning 9 straight Big XII has been special, but look how many final four appearances (2) and national championships (1) resulted during that streak. Blue blood programs are suppose to be better at the national level, not constantly lose to lower seeds. I think Self is great and one of the best at developing lesser talent, but the most recent failure was squarely on his shoulders.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

I get your point, but Michigan is not your typical "lower seed". Yes, we should have won...that's obvious. Losing to Michigan doesn't bother's HOW we lost to them.

justinryman 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree, losing to Michigan is not a bad loss, the way KU lost was bad.

Michigan is a blue blood, not the likes of a UNC, or Kentucky or Duke, but they are a team to be reconned with.

Would you rather lose to Michigan like KU did or lose to Wichita St like Ohio St did?

90sHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Completely agree. It's definitely how we lost that bugged me, not actually losing to UM.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

You can only be upset or lose to lower seeded teams when you are the higher seed though.

Not too many teams get the chance to be upset on a year to year basis like Kansas. But I will keep our #1 seeds and our chances of cutting down the nets.

Danny Hernandez 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't get the couch coaches here suggesting who may transfer. No team can start more than 5 and if the second 5 are just as good or very good, then they'll get playing time....KY will have what 8-9 starters? Only so many can start, plus we need a strong bench of at least 4-5....that's 9!

Rio and Andrew won't be transferring but getting better over the summer. Don't count these guys out

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

Self said earlier this season that we may have 8 scholarships available. With the 4 seniors, McLemore, Peters, Wesley (Doyle) .. that's 7 right there. What's the 8th? I think we're at the stage that it's Adams until we hear someting affirmative otherwise. The guy is back to posting stuff on twitter as this site has quoted.

But what is most curious, as pointed out above, is the Keegan ignored AW3 for the rotation. Either a horrible oversight, or some inside knowledge.

Remember, let's not make too many assumptions about freshment starting .. Self only does it, really, when it's an overwhelming talent, or when he has to. Next season he may have to.

But a complete non-freshman starting lineup of Tharpe, Adams, White, Ellis and Traylor .. would that surprise anyone if Adams and White both stayed?

AsadZ 9 years, 6 months ago

It is Bill Self's system/philosphy. Freshmen are on a very thin leash. One mistake and they will be on the bench. He will give them chances here and there but as soon as they make a mistake they will be on the bench. They have to beat an upperclassman in practice or they will not be seeing much PT, uless you are a top recruit like X or Selby.

But once you go survive his toughnening period and stay for 2-3 years he will have his full loyalty and you will get as much PT as you can get regardless of how many mistakes you make, latest exampe Elijah Johnson.

90sHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

That's what I don't agree with re: Self's philosophy. Upperclassmen or freshman, mistakes are mistakes regardless of who is making them, so why is a freshman yanked from the game after 1 and a junior/senior allowed to make 3 or 4 in a row. I totally get a player putting in his time and earning it. ALL players should have to earn their time; just don't agree a newcomer should be on a short leash simply b/c of his age. Doesn't make a bit of sense in my opinion.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

AsadZ .. did you see McLemore's quote after WKU came? Related to his passive game, McLemore said he just didn't want to mess up. That's the mindset that Self inspires with young players.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

That mindset has also led to an almost 84% winning percentage in his time at Kansas.....

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

JD: I agree with you on Traylor 100%. Actually, I'm a little harsher there. I don't think he has the talent to play right now. This season, where did we see any improvement? Barely adequate defense. Smaller than advertised. He can athletically block shots here and there. Can't shoot. Same guy as game #1 this season. But he's only a freshman. His productivity as the 141st player will likely be more down the road as he develops, perhaps a KY-like player.

But as far as starting? Yikes. I hope not. It just wouldn't surprise me of Self started him.

I don't think we should assume any freshman would be a presumed starter with Self if he has another decent option. But you ask the question that we all ask .. "but I just don't understand why guys like White, Adams (and Tharpe last year) and, to a lesser extent, Ellis can't both "develop" and actually play as freshmen. Is it Self, his system, or the types of players recruited?"

The answer is easy. It's Self. He has a comfort level with experience, with a more sure thing, minimizing risk vs. rolling the dice on a better outcome. It is in his DNA.

Stu Van Gorp 9 years, 6 months ago

As i recall, Traylor, in less than two minutes had two blocked shots and saved a possession. Just sayin', the kid is quick, can hit free throws, has tremendous elevation, and will work on his ball handling patience this off season to surprise as poster darling. Show 'em Jamari!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

I know it sounds EXTREMELY minor, but in the VERY LIMITED minutes I saw him as the season progressed I DID see an improvement in BOTH his jump shot and ESPECIALLY his FT's. They were AWFUL early on. By the end of they year I was pretty confident that he'd go 2-2.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

KU won't end up with 8 unless Adams transfers and Self signs 3 more players meaning he also has to pull Wesley's scholarships. KU ends up with 6 or 7 depending on what Adams does. KU has already filled the 5 that are currently available and McLemore makes 6, but I don't see who KU is going to sign for sure right now assuming Wiggins is ACC bound. Assuming Wiggins doesn't come, I would expect Self to sign a 3 star kid, a JuCo kid, or bring in a transfer to fill that last scholarship since he doesn't like to sit on scholarships even though this would be the year to do so.

Steve Corder 9 years, 6 months ago

By November, (offically in the pre season polls) favored or not, KU is the odds-on pick to make it 10 straight. The Big12 is a weak conference by comparison. Self is an elite coach that makes the difference.

jaycard 9 years, 6 months ago

About those classy Kstate fans....watching the 1st round game last week at my local Tanners with my son and his buddies, I noticed a group of 4Western Kentucky fans, cheering wildly. They were decked out in the Hilltoppers colors, shirts and all. As the game wore on and their consumption increased, I heard more negative profanity laced comments about KU. after the less than convincing victory, I stopped by the table to tell them good game, and found out they were Kstate fans in drag. Wasn't really surprised, but all I could do was to shake my head, walk away and revel in their stupidity.

90sHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

This is exactly why I don't understand why KU fans would root for them when not playing us. Never heard of KU fans doing this. Their 'little sister' complex is strong; puts them in the Mizzou category of classlessness. Just gotta laugh at them.

monkeehawkSL8 9 years, 5 months ago

And you know this from all the toxic waste in the meadow lands? I use to drive through occasionally, its actually the longest I have ever held my breath. Not because I wanted too, I had too. Doesn't new jersy have the the highest rate of retardation in children in the U.S.? Whole state should have concrete poured over it. Besides, the mob could get kick backs on the sale of the concrete and jersy's governor Snooki could manage a massive pile of toxic waste.

Now, that is childish behavior. Those are the type of things I have heard about N.J. all my life. But I know better because I have been there. I have fond memories of the shore, the whole state in general and the people. We can't afford to treat each other this way. Respect doesn't start with the other person, it start's with me regardless of what the other person says or does. Is that a fireman's symbol you use as your avatar? If it, is thank you for your service. RCJH

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 5 months ago

Have you considered that these might not be typical KSU fans? I know lots of KSU fans in the KC area and none are like the ones you mentioned.
I have seen KU fans do and say stupid things, but I do not label all KU fans as such.

Pbbut 9 years, 6 months ago

When looking at the rosters around the league, suspected transfers and NBA declarers, incoming recruits, and the coaches on our bench, I believe we have a good shot at #10. If Ben were to return, it would be an easy call. I gotta believe the kid will go, cha-ching has a nice sound to it.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 6 months ago

9 conference titles = two final fours. Just an observation. As far as next season, KSU should be favored and KU should struggle early. These are not great OAD players we are talking about. It's OK to rebuild for a season. It's OK to win a National Championship one year, miss the tournament the next, and being a top 5 team again the next.

Kind of like the Chiefs, you can't start over going 8-8. but you sure can going 2-14.

Allen Shepard 9 years, 6 months ago

The last ten teams to win the ACC regular season and the Big 10 regular season have made 3 Final Fours apiece in those years.

If we make the Final Four next year, we are right on average.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

What are you? A K-State fan?!?!?! NO WAY will K-State be favored. Lose McGruder & they're going to be favored?!?!?! LMAO!!! Have you forgotten already what happened w/ B. Weber at Illinois?!?!?!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 6 months ago

One last comment on the UM game. If you had told me that we would score 85 points and all five starters would score in double figures, I would have said it was a blow out.

THE KEY PLAY THAT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN THE MOST OVERLOOKED??? Ben's ridiculously bad defense and foul that resulted in a four point play and cut the lead from 10 to 6 going in at the half. That gave Michigan hope considering KU was shooting 60% and was only ahead by half as dozen.

Sometimes the decisive play of a game comes way before the ending...think about it!!!

BainDread 9 years, 6 months ago

Good point, but needs a minor correction. Stauskas missed the free throw. It went from a nine-point lead to a six-point lead.

Sam Constance 9 years, 5 months ago


Everyone except Johnson had a GREAT game!

Hank Cross 9 years, 6 months ago

Of course KU can, should, and probably will win the B12 next year - the B12 along with the P12 are the bottom feeder leagues of BCS BB. Before all the B12 homers get all spun up, just ask yourself how many B12 teams apart from KU and the School FKA Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical have won the NC. Answer - None. The new Catholic 7 league with Butler, Creighton and Xavier will be better.

Joe Joseph 9 years, 6 months ago

When did Andrew White ever show a good shooting touch? One game? He air balled more shots than the other guards combined.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

When he got to play consistently, he shot well. Look at the four games in Europe. If you watch him shoot, you can see that he has a tremendous shot. Given his erratic playing time, what would one expect? It's always humorous when folks criticize a guy who never plays, and then throws up and airball.

The guy nearly single handedly won us the Ok. St. game even with the rust. He had other excellent games. He drew great reviews from Self, Self said he should be playing more, that he deserved to play more, that numbers were an issue, and that we need ball handling more from a reserve this season (presumably because McLemore and Releford weren't ball handlers).

He was an untapped resource .. the WKU game, and first half of the UNC game were prime examples of where a shooter off the bench would be a great weapon, to change flow.

The three spot is his for the taking.

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago

HEM - the three spot is his for the taking IF he improves his handle. Coach needs all three guard positions to be able to take care of the ball & be a threat to drive.

If he does that, watch out, because like you say - he's got a great stroke.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

I think our "shooter off the bench" role next year will be Frankamp's role.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

He can definitely shoot. I worry about his ability to defend. His lateral quickness looks a little suspect to me. My guess is that he didn't get more minutes for that very reason. If he works hard maybe Hudy can help him change that.

Michael Luby 9 years, 6 months ago

Ah come on TK and guys. While it is a bit of fun to speculate on the rotations for next year, it is just that. Speculation. Anything can happen between now and almost 8 months from now. Gosh, that's a long time. All this speculation does right now is take the sting out of watching our guys lose the other night. I mean, watching EJ throw the game away for our guys. Im still mad at him for how he played, and will be for quite some time. But I digress. Needless to say, we have some great players returning, an incredible class coming in and we may even get another guy to add to it. Who knows. The only thing that is for certain is this; the Big 12 conference goes through Kansas and will always until someone gets lucky and takes it temporarily. RCJH!

Rock Chalk 9 years, 6 months ago

Hey Lulu, to maybe help get over your anger with Elijah, let me tell you what was picked up on our local CBS affiliate after our game with Michigan. The KU players were glumly walking through the tunnel with coaches, reporters and other personnel. The reporter said there was a loud noise from behind. They turned around to look, and it was Elijah, sobbing his heart out. The camera swung around and showed how the poor guy was devastated. HCBS had his arm around him, kind of looking at the cameraman like "Really? You want to film this kid now?" Elijah pulled his jersey up over his head as he continued to just literally break down. So completely heartbreaking. Bill went into the locker room, and then Justin supported Elijah and guided him into the locker room. If anybody can still be mad at him after witnessing his heartbreak, then probably nothing will help get over the anger. I know he wanted to be the player who was heralded in the tourney like last year and help his team advance, and it didn't work out.

I think of his dad, too, since we've read about their close relationship. I know he's hurting big time for Elijah. I hope people will find love and compassion in their hearts and forgive him, especially now at Easter. He gave a lot to us over the course of his career, and we need to remember the good and forget the bad and wish him the very best.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

We lost the game as a team, period. We defended poorly. Missed a lot of easy shots in the paint in the second half. Yeah, he made some poor plays but he didn't cost us the game. If we foul at the end of regulation we almost certainly win but I don't see people questioning coach. Why isn't Releford on Burk late in the game when he heated up? Withey was gassed. Why didn't Ellis spell him more?

When we won in Ames a big deal was made of the late call and fans were quick to point out earlier bad calls that went against us, and that one call does not a game determine. This is not much different.

This was a team loss. Not even debatable.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

I DID!!!! That was one of the things I was most upset about. On that final 3, Releford actually WAS on Burke to start w/ and switched on to Hardaway.

Another one was on that lay-in by Robinson....before it was a loose ball, looked like Withey probably SHOULD HAVE had that rebound. He's gotta' be feeling it too.

Michael Luby 9 years, 6 months ago

Yah, if Id seen that I would have felt a lot different.

Robert Murphy 9 years, 5 months ago

We can't change one iota of the past. We must all thank Johnson as he taught us more about ourselves than winning the game would have ever done.

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago

OK, I just turned on the UM - UF game and I felt sick to my stomach. UM was up by as many as 24 first half & that should've been us. We would be THUMPING the gators right now... Not going to watch that game anymore. I'm having serious flashbacks to '97 when we had the best team in America & met a hot at the time Arizona team that beat everyone after edging out us. Grrrrrr.

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago

Part II (KU - AZ history - the pain that feels so similar, but due to other causes) courtesy of Brady McCollough whom I miss reading at KCStar Sports:

Ten years later, the 1996-97 Kansas Jayhawks' pain lingers. Robertson is two years removed from his basketball career, working in marketing in the St. Louis area, and he still hurts because his No. 1 Kansas team was upset by Arizona in the Sweet 16.

"To me, it will never go away," says Robertson, then a sophomore. "It's only been 10 years, but it will be the most painful basketball loss or feeling I'll ever have. To this day, it sours my feeling about the NCAA Tournament as a whole."

As the 2006-07 Jayhawks prepare to face Southern Illinois tonight in the Sweet 16, it's hard not to revisit the Arizona loss. And not just because it's an anniversary.

Here are the facts: KU has won 13 straight games. The Jayhawks are loaded with NBA talent. They've been a hot pick to win the national championship, and they're playing a four seed and major underdog in the Sweet 16, just like in '97.

KU became the toast of the tournament's first weekend, dominating its opponents more than any other No. 1 seed.'s front page on Tuesday afternoon showed a picture of Kansas players Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Julian Wright, Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur, with a caption that read, "If we're replanting the NCAA seeds right now, the Jayhawks would be No. 1 overall."

All that attention and hype is great, but, Robertson says, the Jayhawks better ignore it. He knows from experience. The '97 team was even more of a sure bet to make a run than this year's group.

Instead, the Jayhawks finished the season 34-2 and watched as the Wildcats went on to bring home what many felt was certain to be Kansas' first national championship since 1988. KU's six seniors graduated with 115 career wins and no trips to the Final Four.

"It's just a scar on my career," Robertson says. "I have very fond memories of playing there, but that game pretty much overshadows everything."

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago

Part III

The Arizona Wildcats finished fifth in the Pac-10 that season, so when they arrived in Birmingham, Ala., to play the No. 1 overall seed Jayhawks, nobody gave them much of a chance. Even their own fans.

"On the plane ride down there, an Arizona fan said, 'Take it easy on us tomorrow,' " recalls KU senior student Travis Robinett, then a 12-year-old going to the game with his family. "They weren't expecting to win the game."

Kansas had been No. 1 in the polls for months after starting the season 22-0. The Jayhawks boasted future NBA players Jacque Vaughn, Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz and Scot Pollard. After they got past Arizona, they would face either 10th-seeded Providence or 14th-seeded Tennessee-Chattanooga. It was a foregone conclusion they were headed to Indianapolis for the Final Four.

That is, until the game started. Arizona, stacked with talented guards Mike Bibby, Miles Simon and Michael Dickerson, jumped out to a 10-2 lead after converting five KU turnovers. Still, the KU fans didn't worry. Robinett remembers the Jayhawk fan contingent almost muting the smaller Arizona section during the first half.

On the court, however, the Jayhawks weren't at full strength. KU shooting guard Jerod Haase, a senior fan favorite who averaged 12 points per game, had been playing with a broken wrist all year long. The week before the Arizona game, the pain worsened.

"Two nights before," Haase says, "I was in as much pain as I'd ever been in my life. It got to the point where I couldn't hold the basketball."

Haase tried to play, but it became futile. He realized he was hurting the team by being out there. He played only 14 minutes in what would be his final game as a Jayhawk.

Haase could only watch as KU took the lead in the second half, only to give it away again. The Jayhawks trailed by 13 with three minutes to play, 75-62, and embarked on a furious comeback, going on a 20-8 run to bring the score to 83-82 Arizona with 21 seconds remaining. Bibby made two free throws to make it 85-82. Then, Kansas missed three three-point attempts in the final seconds.

The buzzer sounded on Haase's career.

"I'm still not over it," says Haase, now on Roy Williams' staff at North Carolina. "It may be a little bit sick and twisted, but that's something that's always haunted me, and it always will haunt me."

Haase has never gotten over his career ending without a trip to the Final Four. He also hasn't gotten over sitting out the final minutes due to injury.

"I always felt a little responsible," Haase says. "That's the way my career ended. I haven't had a long NBA career or anything like that to hang my hat on."

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago

Part IV

After the game was over and Roy Williams had told his KU team that they were still the nation's best, Williams hunkered down in a corner and looked glumly at the box score. He has said in past years that the '97 KU team simply deserved to go to the Final Four.

C.B. McGrath, a junior on that team, works with Haase on Williams' staff at North Carolina.

"It still lingers with him," McGrath says. "He is upset when he thinks about that '97 team. We had all the makings of a national-championship team."

Of course, the loss has stuck with fans, too. Robinett, who writes sports columns for the University Daily Kansan 10 years later, remembers KU fans staying in their seats for the first half of the next game. Some of them were crying, he says. Robinett won a ticket for this weekend's games in the KU student lottery and will be watching in the HP Pavilion tonight.

"The Arizona loss was the first painful Jayhawk memory for me," Robinett says. "I'm hoping it's not going to be a repeat this year."

KU fan Brent Pierce thought about it as he waited for the KU shootaround to start on Wednesday.

"That was probably the worst loss," Pierce says. "I'm still mad at Jacque Vaughn for passing up the shot."

Vaughn, KU's star point guard, passed up his team's second chance at a three-pointer in the final seconds because he thought his foot was on the line. He passed to Robertson, who shot a leaning three and missed. LaFrentz rebounded it, dribbled to the three-point line and hoisted a prayer. It clanged out, too.

Robertson doesn't think about his missed attempt very often. He thinks more about the bigger picture and his team's missed opportunity.

"It's typical," Robertson says, "that when I look back on my career at KU, what I generally tend to remember are the losses. The reason for that is that there just weren't many of them."

Ten years later, Arizona still hurts more than all the others.

"I have my demons," Robertson says. "Things are etched into my memory. I remember the feeling I felt afterward, the pain, the raw disappointment I still have."

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

Good summary of that awful game. I was listening on the radio as we were traveling. Couldn't believe what i was hearing.

While it is painful to think of, dang we were good, the pain is dulled a little by the thought of knowing we lost to the team that won it all, surprising as that was at the time.

The toughest game for me was in 03. We were just about as good as in 97 I believe. But to lose a game on missed free throws was just awful. I have never watched a replay of that game and never will. It reminds me of the Michigan game the other night. Should have won, absolutely, but somehow didn't.

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago

Yes I agree the '03 game hurt a lot. The difference between that and '97 IMO is Syracuse was a more well regarded & feared team. AZ was FIFTH in the big ten & we were 11 point favorites & the top seed overall I believe - a juggernaut by comparison. We were traveling & I heard the last five minutes on the radio & remember exactly where we were when I heard Raef's shot at the buzzer was off target.

I've got that same sinking feeling right now after the UM beatdown of FL.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

That one sticks with me more than any other too.

THAT TEAM to me was the BEST team I can EVER think of that SHOULD HAVE won the Nat'l Championship and didn't in my 28 years of really following college basketball.

I mean 34-1 and the only loss was in double OT at Mizzou on pretty much a lucky bounce?!?!?!

I still SWEAR that reffing crew let 'zona get a TON of steals off of hacks of arms!!!! :(

VaJay 9 years, 5 months ago

What I remember most about the Mizzou debacle was JV taking way too much time (I think at the end of regulation) to bring the ball up the court when the game was tied & we didn't get a decent look to win the game. One of the few times I was ticked with Jacque!

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago


What I also remember that really chaps my hide about Jerod Haase's injury - is he was fighting that almost all season long & was doing ok with it until the Missouri game and there was a loose ball scrum for the ball & Jerod dove in there like a good Jayhawk would and some MU player purposely twisted his wrapped wrist & he never recovered from that. If he was even 80%, we win the game.

FLJHK 9 years, 6 months ago

Even as just a lowly fan, it remains the '97 loss that bugs me most to this day. But Friday's loss ain't no picnic. It's tough being a Jayhawk fan.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

Not only who's our backup PG, but who's our backup SG too?

let's say Frankamp's handle is solid and he can be the primary backup PG.

Who's to say that Adams couldn't still be the backup SG. Heck, who's to say that Selden couldn't be a OAD and Adams fill right in as the starter at SG in '14/'15?!?!?!

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Just damn...woulda, coulda, shoulda. UF was there for the taking. I was saying to friends/coworkers on Friday before the game that the winner of KU/Michigan was going to win the South. Just damn.

AsadZ 9 years, 6 months ago

I dont think Traylor will start next year. Traylor to me is more like D Jackson. If he can develop the jump shot he will be in starting line up in his junior or senior year.

At this point I'd expect Ellis and Lucas to start at 4 and 5 spots respectively.

AW3 will be in starting line up if he can improve his D. He is a good rebounder and has a nice 3 point stroke. It was streaky this year but this could be attributed to rust, very littlle PT. I agree that he needs to work on his ball handling and D.

I also hope HCBS can find a wide body, 250 lb Big. After watching UM game I fully believe that we need 3 wide bodies, bangers, in the middle.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I dont think Traylor will start either. Thats not to say that he cant get 18-20 minutes of solid court time though. I just feel if we start Ellis and Traylor together we have NO rim protector.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Next year should be interesting. I'm hoping we play loose and have fun. That last game sucked, but it was a great season. This group was fun to watch, and I went to three games in person. I'm so looking forward to going to Chicago to see us vs. Dook.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 6 months ago

"Andrew Wiggins, the nation’s top-ranked recruit, could decide to become the first McDonald’s All-American in this class to sign with Florida State, the second to commit to Kansas or the seventh to join Kentucky."

If that statement alone doesn't get the NCAA sniffing all over Kentucky's campus I don't know what will.

KULA 9 years, 6 months ago

Why wouldn't we win the Big(?)12? As they've proved again this year in the tournament, it's a weak conference. The Big12 shouldn't even be considered a "power" conference. Minus Kansas, what's the Big12 done in the tournament the last 10 years? Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Congratulations Jayhawks on your tenth straight Big12 Championship!

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 6 months ago

Perry Ellis - "although he probably won’t ever develop into a shot-blocker." I don't get this bit of analysis... Why the heck couldn't Perry be able to block a few shots a game? Sure he's not got the length of Withey, but he's got plenty of quickness and mobility. What is to keep him from doing some damage, too?

Can anybody give me some feedback on this??

Bill Manley 9 years, 6 months ago

Self needs to really focus on two fundamental things: free throws and turnovers - sloppy passes. Michigan led the nation in fewest turnovers and self needs to figure that one out. So many games are decided by 6 points or less. EJ missed the FT that would have iced it for us and had us going to Atlanta most likely. No excuse for missing the easiest shot in BB. No one leaves the gym until they make 10 FT in a row.

VaJay 9 years, 6 months ago

Free throws: it all comes down to percentages. Almost 8 times out of 10, EJ will make that first free throw. The previous time EJ was at the line he made both. The odds of a 76% FT shooter making three in a row is 44% (or less than half the time). They all work on their FT mechanics & are helped by the coaches. Not much else you can work on - some are better than others.

Turnovers: It's mostly personnel. TT was sloppy with the ball last two seasons & EJ proved to be a little more loose than that. Naadir is more careful with the ball & if he is primary PG next season, which is likely, we should see a lot fewer errant passes.

Hammertoe 9 years, 6 months ago

The Big 12 Champions in Both Football and Basketball (have you seen the billboards on I70?) Kansas State University will be competitive in both sports again next season. KU's football conference record of one win in the last 24 is the worst in the history of the league. KU will again be picked dead last in football next season. KSU is a top 25 program in both football (the sport driving college athletics) and in basketball. Basketball season is over. Time to look forward to Football....

AsadZ 9 years, 6 months ago

This loss hit the groin realy bad, too painful. It will take a log time, real long time to heal the wound.

I hope KUSports can keep up the good work in the offseason with BB stories to divert the mind.

Mel Clare 9 years, 6 months ago

The thing I think that is missing from the artice is the fact that I can see Adams and White gettin good minutes because of being sophmores instead of freshman. We all know how HCBS is with freshman. Rio and White should do very well. Both have size at thier positions. Both have shown they can shoot the ball if given the chance. Next years team will be 10 deep instead of just 7-8. I know HCBS likes to rotate 9 if he is comortable with the players.

Lucas at 6'10 and 240 will in HCBS words will be a "load" and with 7'0 Embid and 6'8 Ellis and Traylor should be fine in the low post.

I believe SF will be a combo of Selden,Greene, White (or Wiggins) if he signs. All are about the same size as Releford.

PG will be Tharpe, with Rio and probably Frankamp as rotation. AND dont be suprised if Frank Mason comes in and gets minutes as a freshman point guard, he is listed as an ESPN "sleeper" for players NOT in the top 100.

I think next years team surprises will be Rio, White and Lucas. 2 sophs and a redshirt freshman.

squintseugene1 9 years, 6 months ago

For me there could be 4 different starting 5's for KU 1 is much more likely than the other 3 seeing as they require minor miracles but my most likely is Tharpe, Greene, Seldon, Ellis, and Lucas OR Embiid, one of my least likely depends on Wiggins committing, it would be Tharpe, Seldon, Wiggins, Ellis, and Lucas OR Embiid, my other depends on if B-Mac stays, it would be Tharpe, B-Mac, Seldon, Ellis, and Lucas OR Embiid, my last and least likely is if Wiggins commits and B-Mac stays it would be Tharpe, B-Mac, Wiggins, Ellis, and Lucas OR Embiid (I wish this Starting 5 could happen but it would take a miracle).

Zstegs 9 years, 5 months ago

I think the starting five will be Tharpe, Selden, White III, Ellis, Lucas. I think that AW3 will be a pleasant surprise next season and with Naadir as a competent PG that can feed him the ball where he needs it he will go off. I bet Embiid spends most of his Freshman year getting Hudy-ized while Lucas controls the low block and splits time with Traylor. But Perry is gonna be a monster next year, and it's gonna be awesome!

Austin Breding 9 years, 5 months ago

I don't know if this was already mentioned, but in '08, Robinson started ahead of Collins even though Collins was by far the better player. This is in response to the Frampkin/Tharp starting debate.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 5 months ago

I strongly disagree. Collins had more talent and potential but RussRob was the better player at the time. Collins frequently played out of control and was not nearly as steady as RussRob. Collins settled down on his sophomore year and ended up being a great PG for KU.

Robert Murphy 9 years, 5 months ago

We can't change one iota of the past. We must all thank our beloved friend Elijah "the Profit" Johnson for he taught us more about ourselves than winning the game would have ever done. Blessings are always mysterious.

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