Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jayhawks survive tougher, condensed Boot Camp

Memphis transfer Tarik Black conducts an interview inside Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday, June 6, 2013.

Memphis transfer Tarik Black conducts an interview inside Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday, June 6, 2013.


Tarik Black rolled out of bed at 5 a.m. Monday through Friday this week, giving himself plenty of time to prepare physically and mentally for Bill Self’s Basketball Boot Camp, set for a 6 a.m. start in Kansas University’s practice gym.

“I have to be awake in order to run,” Black said Friday afternoon after learning he, Andrew White III and Naadir Tharpe had been singled out by coach Bill Self as players who “may be the ones who stood out the most” during a week of non-stop sprints, backboard touches and defensive slides for an hour before dawn.

“I had to get here and sit in the gym a minute. That was one of the hardest things, waking up every morning, knowing I’m about to go to the gym, and I’m about to be extremely tired in 20, 30 minutes. It’s a very hard thing mentally. Coach Self actually knows that mentally is where it all is at. If you can overcome it mentally, your body will keep going,” Black added.

Black, a big-bodied 6-foot-9, 260-pound senior who is immediately eligible after transferring from Memphis where he has earned his undergraduate degree, said his first and last Boot Camp was as difficult as advertised.

“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done, especially in my college career,” said Black. “At the same time, I’m a senior — no excuses for me, anymore. I have to get through and make it through anything coach puts me through. One reason I came here is I trust him. Going through Boot Camp ... I know it’s to get me better.”

Black said he was impressed with the effort of KU’s six freshmen — Joel Embiid, Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason, Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins.

“If I was a freshman going through this stuff I would have given up. I can honestly say that right now,” Black said. “We didn’t have any freshmen give up. We didn’t have any freshmen hurling in the trash can. Everybody made it through.”

Black saw just one Jayhawk puke at Boot Camp, on Friday.

“I’ve got to put my boy, Naadir, on blast, man,” Black said with a smile. “The last day, today, he let it go. Like coach said, the last day is hardest day of Boot Camp. He had to do so many more (suicide sprints). He said he ate some weird stuff last night. He had to let it go.”

Tharpe, a junior, actually ran 36 suicide sprints (running to halfcourt and back, three-quarter court and back and fullcourt and back) Friday, because as point guard/team leader he was asked to help lead the different groups. Everybody else ran 30 suicides for time.

“I feel everybody played a role in being a leader. Naadir did, Frank (Mason) did as our point guards. Everybody played their role to help somebody,” said senior Niko Roberts. “The freshmen did really well. They worked hard. I was really impressed. They were more mentally tough than a lot of freshmen are.”

Of Black’s effort, Roberts said: “He is strong. He is conditioned. He came into Boot Camp ready and he did a really good job.”

KU coach Self said he was impressed with his 18 players who all made their conditioning times.

“The guys did great. I mean really good. It’s probably as good a group as we’ve ever had,” Self said. “The new guys did great. I was pleased with them all. I would say the most consistent guy we had all week was probably Andrew White. I thought Naadir Tharpe was really good. Of course, Tarik Black. I would say to me, those may be the ones who stood out the most, but they all did good. They all helped each other out. Today got a little long and tough for them. They pulled it back together and helped each other. I thought it was a pretty good team-building experience.”

Boot Camp at KU normally encompasses two weeks, but Self scheduled just one week this year because of the early start to practice. Teams can begin next Friday in accordance with NCAA rules, instead of Friday closest to Oct. 15 of past years.

“I think the guys caught a break with it being one week,” Self said, “but I don’t think two weeks would have been smart. I will say this: It was good, but it was harder this year than what it has been in other years.”

The players will hold individual workouts and play unsupervised pick-up games next week. Late Night in the Phog is Oct. 4.

“They are never easy,” Roberts said, assessing his four Boot Camps. “I was happy to get through this one in one week rather than two weeks. Either way ... the freshmen are already worried about Boot Camp. Whether it’s one week or two weeks, they don’t really know the difference. We know it was tough.”

Black said the players definitely are in a good frame of mind after surviving Boot Camp.

“Later on in the season, I actually fell out of shape a little bit,” Black said of last season at Memphis. “The things we went through at Boot Camp ... people would be shocked to see me doing that stuff now. They definitely would be. We got through it, came together as a team and now, here we are.”


jayhawkinnc 8 years, 10 months ago

It's tough to interpret in the article, but do they run 30 suicide sprints for the whole week or 30 suicide sprints each day? If it's each day....damn, that's a lot. I'm assuming it's 30 for the whole week.

Priest Fontaine 8 years, 10 months ago

Self, KU’s 11th-year coach, quickly said “all of them,” when asked which players stood out during Monday-to-Friday conditioning workouts from 6 to 7 a.m. Junior Naadir Tharpe actually ran 36 suicide sprints this morning because as point guard/team leader he was asked to help lead two groups of players.

Ian Emerson 8 years, 10 months ago

36 a week wouldn't be nothin, that's 30 a day. Which is absolutely bananas. Anyways Frank Mason and Naa, we have out point guards. It's looking more and more either BG or CF are gonna redshirt.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't see any scenario where Greene or Connor redshirt. Greene will be fighting for a starting position and I see Connor in the rotation.

And 36 a week (five day) comes closer to 7 a least it did when I was in school.

Ian Emerson 8 years, 10 months ago

I was incredibly hammered when I wrote that, as you can see by the typos, but I totally agree.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Pardon me, while I wipe some egg from my mug. I thought Self would pull a September surprise on his players and go 2 weeks of BC. He did not.

Still, I say 1 week of boot camp is NOT epic. It is not heroic. It is not manly--no matter how hard he made it. At the end of a week, one is only passing through the pain barrier. Living beyond the pain barrier; that is the challenging part; getting your mail there for a week with other guys; that is epic.

On the other hand, I like Self implying this is how you win with the new schedule; that winning is more important than proving manhood.

Self was asked last year, if he were mellowing with age. He said that he was not, but that he was learning more and more not to dwell on what had nothing to do with winning; that was profound. Joe Buddha is getting still more basketball enlightenment.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 10 months ago

Do you really think one week or two weeks in September will make that much difference in conditioning with the season not opening until sometime in November?

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

Boot Camp isn't about conditioning your body; it's about conditioning your mind to be able to put in the work to condition your body. A week of nearly throwing up will help later in the year when they are asked to work hard around the rigors of games, practice and class. And it's also all about getting the guys together as a unit to support each other and begin to come together as a team.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

All the greats in all fields get more elegant and efficient as their careers progress. They increasingly discover what matters and what does not. Manning up is important, but proving manhood may be superfluous to the task of playing great hoops and winning.

Of course, there is a more practical dimension to the one week of boot camp and it has nothing to do with any of the above, nor with season length.

Self has to find some way to keep from going .500 with a green team facing unusually tough pre conference competition. His tactic appears to be to give his team less fatigued legs than the early opposition.

Self is gambling early opponents will have gone two weeks and not be at peak bouncy-ness. His green guys will have gone one week. Both will have practiced hard. So: his guys should have the edge in energy in going hard and getting up. He is trading off cardiovascular endurance building for explosive legs.

When Self doesn't hold all the aces, i.e., total advantage, he often gambles--often big--often puts it all on red--often let's it ride. He seems to be doing that now.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

What's the risk?

It is a huge composite one; that his best guys aren't in good enough shape to play as much as needed down the stretch of big early games; that they poop out early; that later in the schedule he has to do more conditioning; and, riskiest of all, that they lack the deep confidence inspired by XTReme conditioning.

Wooden always said his guys had an edge, because they knew they were in better condition than the opponent. Shaka Smart re-taught Self the lesson. And KU has performed above talent level each year since. Now we find out again what happens without that edge.

What else dare we infer from Self's gamble?

To get those more explosive legs with perhaps less cardiovascular endurance, he is likely planning to use his bench a lot early, despite the stiff competition, maybe all season.

What else?

Not much, except that Self is in full strategic ambiguity mode early; this suggests there is no pre-conference this season; this season is all play every game balls to the walls to win.

For example, Self keeps stroking AWIII; this could either mean he is pumping AWIII up, because Self is going to start him out of seniority, after which he may not be seen again, or it could mean SELF IS GOING WITH AN EXPANDED ROTATION AND AWIII IS IN IT. Both would require such feathering.

Tarik gets early love. Meaning? He is the big man, or, alternatively, Tarik is a smoke screen for JE.

Next, JE gets no strokes. It could mean Self is putting a Kling On cloaking device on JE, so he can fly under radar and explode on early opponents, or JE is a useless diamond in the XTReme Rough.

Self is happy with all of them. Meaning? All will play, and need praise, or most won't play and this is his last opportunity to dish out luv to keep them happy.

From a fan's perspective, it's already that time of year when we need the team to play a game.

Rock Chalk!

ParisHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Elegant analysis of the extent of our ignorance.

W.C. Beck 8 years, 10 months ago

ParisHawk! I just moved to Paris. Where do you watch the games? Would love to figure out my spot for the upcoming season and watch the games with other Jayhawk diehards. Let me know...à bientôt!

alittlecurious 8 years, 10 months ago

Could it be that Self will have more players deserving play time? As such, they don't need to be in as good shape for less individual PT...

Dirk Medema 8 years, 10 months ago

That's not the thought process of an elite coach.

ParisHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

This is for drgnslayr, who wants to know what Andrew Wiggins has for breakfast: I don't know, but he did say his phone was broken and is now working again.

He is with his brother at Wichita State this weekend.


hotrodm 8 years, 10 months ago

I hope Coach Self learns to have someone foul when his team is down by three with a few seconds on the clock. Remember the Michigan game last year? If KU puts Michigan on the foul line, KU wins, instead Burke hits a three to tie the game and go to overtime. Remember when Memphis did not foul and Mario hit the three in the 08 Championship game? Come on Coach Self foul in that situation.

Andy Godwin 8 years, 10 months ago

Maybe Self needs to go through a statistical bootcamp to determine the likelihood of a successful outcome by fouling up 3 with seconds to go. Most coaches do not trust their players to execute the play and avoid fouling during a three point shot and putting the player on the line tie or even complete a four point play. Yes, Self put his players in position to loss, even though others will argue that Michigan players made the plays to advance. New year, many new players and still one of the best coaches.

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

And I SHOULD win the lottery and be married to a supermodel...

Self made the call and it didn't work. Crap happens. Fouling was only the better choice because NOT fouling didn't work in this instance. He has made the choice not to foul and had it work out far more times than not. If he does foul and it blows up in his face he is labeled as an idiot. Let the kids do what thy do the best and do the most - D up. If you get beat by a crazy leaning 30 footer, you get beat.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 10 months ago

"KU puts Michigan on the foul line, KU wins, instead Burke hits a three to tie the game and go to overtime"

I wouldn't say that, exactly. Fouling simply increases the liklihood that we would have won, that's all. You basically play the liklihood of a player hitting a 3 (say, at best, 40%), vs. the crazy outcomes if you do foul. Here's one - we foul Burke. He goes to the line. He hits the first free throw. Two point game. Second free throw bounces off, fight for the ball and it it is tipped out to Burke, who steps back and drains a 3. Game over. And no overtime to redeem ourselves. Low probability.

Really, if Self actually draws up a play to score on our last possession of overtime, maybe this conversation is irrelevant. A good high school coach would sketched out a better option than simply giving the ball to EJ to make something happen.

But we must move on.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 10 months ago

kd: You and I had this discussion before. I'm trying to be respectful here, but I don't really think this is your strong suit. NBA and college coaches all have multiple end game sets, each with multiple options and contingencies (in the NBA, they rarely go full court because they get the ball at halfcourt after a TO). To be sure, though, I know that happens sometimes. But game on the line, eight seconds left, season on the line?

To demonstrate the absurdity of your position, do you really think that all game long, coaches design plays, run offenses, etc. But in the last 8-10 seconds, they throw all of that out the window?

For example, just look at what coach Self did in the 2008 championship game? He just let one player try to get a shot, right? Look at what Michigan did to tie (hard screen across the top). This isn't "give the ball to one guy and hope he gets a shot." We didn't even set a screen for G*d sakes. Not one.

It can be as simple as one ball screen, or a back screen .. and very complex with multiple options. All can be executed in less than 8 seconds.

I'm sorry, but to simply say in the most important situation of the season, all coach Self could do is give the ball to EJ and let him get a shot, is being an apologist for an end game choke. It is a cop-out.

Eight seconds is a lifetime. You are satisfied that Self did everything in his power to win the game in those eight seconds? Give the ball to EJ and let him get a shot. Amazing.

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

HEM: "Eight seconds is a lifetime. You are satisfied that Self did everything in his power to win the game in those eight seconds? Give the ball to EJ and let him get a shot. Amazing. "

You are assuming that what transpired at the end of the games was what Self requested be done. That is a huge assumption. EJ panicked and did not do what he was supposed to do just as he did throughout the entire game. To hang EJ's actions on Self is at best misguided.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 10 months ago

Hindsight is always a greater companion. Many times the flow of a game dictates strategy, and 8 ticks is way too much time to foul. As for calling a play, I tend to agree with HEM, because EJ had such a poorly executed match, complete with a rattled sense of confidence because of the cheap shot he delivered at the start of the game. If not for that in itself, I would likely have let him try to get to the line also. He had 4 years of being the guy to do that. Hell, I'm still disappointed too, as with the VCU game, the Arizona game under Roy, & yada, yada, yada. Many of these losses for me have taken longer to get over than the last one. Sometimes when you roll the dice you win & others not. I would imagine that Self will chalk this one to experience in being fully aware that he could have done something different. As it played out, we all can see that a diff option probably would have been better. No cheap shot at all, just a fan's opinion, take it or leave it.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm not guided by "anger." You should know that -- well, with the hour or so after the UNI and VCU losses aside. And saying your affirmation of the decision is a cop out isn't name calling; saying you're being an apologist is descriptive and intended to be a direct criticism.

If running iso is the best way to get a point, why not do it all the time? Getting "a point" is the same as getting two. Why not run iso all the time? Because it isn't the best way to get "a point."

I get the iso thing at times when you have an extraordinary talent -- Lebron James. Kobe Bryant. I get that. Or even Sherron Collins at the end of the first half. But the season on the line, no freaking way.

Your solution to being down by one is to take it hard to the hoop. That's it. You coach a team, you can just stop, down 1, less than 10 seconds. Iso. With all of the solutions, and plays, and options .. just let EJ drive it to the hoop. And you are worrying about the possibility that the opposing team has time for a last second "heave?" You have to score first or it's irrelevant.

You point out the difference between down 3 and down 1. Sure, I get that. But needing 3 is more different than needing 1, much more than needing 1 is different than needing 3 (if that makes sense) Down 1, the goal is to score. Doesn't matter how. Let's add in down by 2. Last 10 seconds, season on the line. Score. If you don't score you lose. If you don't score, your season is over.

Open your mind here. That's all I ask. Open your mind that there is more to life than giving EJ the ball and asking him to drive with your season on the line. And there is more to coaching in the last 10 seconds than just give it to freaking EJ or anyone else for that matter. Focus being with your season on the line.

When we are up 1 in similar situations, I pray that our opponents go iso as you've suggested because I'm confident that Self has coached his defense to that situation the same way Beilein did .. help, close out, rotate down, and push to the baseline.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Awright, ferchrissakes, you two,

I depend on you both as role models for collegiality and high brow opining. You both make some valid points, as usual, and you are both familiar with each other's virtues and foibles and so should be able to make allowances in our iCrib. You are acting like an old married couple instead or two of our most distinguished keyboard ticklers. Perhaps Oak can step away from his craddle robbing bliss long enough to mediate. I am a bit to agitated at the moment trying to keep myself from killing my 8 month old Golden Retriever for chewing up the right shoe of a new $150 pair to take this function on right now. Besides WTF do I know! :-)

Rock Chalk!!!

Woody Cragg 8 years, 10 months ago

Gee, what a coincidence. I've been dog sitting my daughter-in-law's Belgian Malinois for 2 weeks now & he's freaking like a child you can't turn your back on. Plus the little (100#) Schlitz has a case of fear aggression & bit my old Boxer square on the nose. Very smart, high energy & headstrong as hell-was a Belgian on the SEAL op that nailed BinLaden. They look like a German Shepard but smaller with more black fur from the shoulders up. Many law enforcement agencies prefer them over the Shepard because of their size. If you train them, they can be absolutely great. If you don't they're an even greater pain in the keester. Supposedly this is only till the first weekend in Oct. & it can't get here quick enough for me or poor old Woodrow. This Belgian has a penchant for new denim blue jeans. Must be getting a buzz from the dye. My advice would be get a muzzle or a cage-or just get him outside to tear up the landscaping. You can buy a lot of garden hoses for $150 bucks.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Sage advice. And that sounds like quite a variation on a Shepherd. Those Belgian folks always like to outdo things. Belgian cooking is like northern French, only more so. :-)

By the way Patton the Golden Retriever is sleeping like a baby right now. He apparently understands intuitively that he is too cute to kill while sleeping. :-)

Woody Cragg 8 years, 10 months ago

If you've seen & remember the HBO movie from way back about Don King & the Foreman/Ali Rumble in the Jungle, George Foreman was disliked immensely by the people of Ziare (Congo) because he traveled there accompanied by his Belgian Malinois & that was the animal that the government police used for riot control. Very feared & aggressive dog, and Ali used that as an example of why the people there should all want him to win the fight. At least that's how the movie storyline played out, who knows what really happened. But this one is pi$$ & vinegar. If you allow a headstrong dog to push you around, he'll gladly do just that.

RockChalkGuy 8 years, 10 months ago

Just because we love to correct ol' crazy Bedore, I thought I'd mention the correction that you should have typed "too" instead of "to" in the second to last sentence.

As jaybate says, "no malice". :>

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

Far more likely "OH NO!" situation --- foul Burke to put him on the line. He makes the first shot UM now down two. He misses the second and McGary, who has eaten the KU interior for lunch all game, gets the rebound and puts it back (score now tied) and is also fouled in the scrum for the rebound. He steps to the line and hits the game WINNING free throw. Game over.

You cannot guarantee what the results would have been had they tried to foul Burke, so it is a pointless exercise done solely to attempt to ease frustration over the outcome. Time to move on, people. We aren't Mizzou; we will have more chances to get to Elite Eights and Final Fours and National title games.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 10 months ago

You mean, like, just a year ago when KU -up 3- put Ohio State on the free throw line with just seconds remaining? To advance to the championship game? Definitely should learn how to do that...

Steve Gantz 8 years, 10 months ago

Yes, because Bill Self is such a bum. Why can't we get a real coach instead of a coach a junior high coach could outcoach? Or better yet hotrod, why don't you try to schedule a meeting with him and give him a few tips? Send him a copy of "Basketball coaching for dummies". Sit behind the bench and tell him you're there for him.

Others here took the high road and answered your question, but what is the point of your comment?

Teejay Roden 8 years, 10 months ago

No I completely forgot the Michigan game.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 10 months ago

I hope the fans learn to join the team in the new season.

Number_22 8 years, 10 months ago

Burke hit a 36 foot jumper. Honestly, I'd give it to him again. Great players make great plays and win big games. That's really all you can say about that play. Though I do agree that fouling when up three is usually the right move.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 10 months ago

Cal agrees, but sometimes great players still make great plays.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 10 months ago

That article reminded me of Seinfeld, an article about nothing.

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

I hope White's defensive effort and his long range jump shot are as consistent as he is running back and forth between lines on the court...

His personal "atta boy" from Coach Self over his performance in drills whee no actual basketball is used doesn't carry any weight into the season.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Those noting above that MITCHELL WIGGINS remains at Wheat Shocker U, while ANDREW WIGGINS is at KU, prompts me to ask if WSU is an Adidas school, as KU is? Anyone know?

Travis Shetler 8 years, 10 months ago

If I remember right from the tournament, WSU had Jordan gear on. I don't know if they are sponsored or if they bought them. Of course, after that run they probably got sponsored by somebody. They might have something different by now but last year they had Jordan. BTW, why doesn't KU sports sign you up as one of their writers. I love reading your comments. Maybe you should start your own website. If you do, let me know. You are a superb writer. Keep it up.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Oops, Mitchell is Andrew's pop's name. What's Andrew's brother's handle?

Note: that is my record for apostrophe density in a sentence. :-)

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Thx dagger,

As of last season, Wichita State wore Nike Shoes and Jordan apparel.

Here is a link to all the teams in last season's NCAA by shoe brand and apparel brand the schools wore last season.

For the record, Nike had: Duke, MSU, Okie State, Missouri, Oregon, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Ohio State, K-state, Zona, Iowa State, Nova, OU, Minnesota, Miami, Syracuse, UNLV, Butler, Illinois, Colorado, among majors.

Adidas had Louisville, UCinn, New Mexico State, Wisconsin, Creighton, KU, Michigan, UCLA, Indiana, NC State.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago


If AWIII puts it together this year, he could become the next RUSS ROB in my heart. Talk about staring down a freight train in a tunnel!!!!! Numbers looked bleak but he said, "nuts!" And then went to work! This is Self Ball at its best. This is why my heart cares so much.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 10 months ago

And the strong (even if generally quiet) influence of his father. Same thing happened with Russ Rob after his Fresh year. RR has commented he wanted to leave, but dad told him to suck it up. Yeah AWII!

Woody Cragg 8 years, 10 months ago

I also agree that one must be pushed well beyond their limits to be successful & dependable under the gun. But when I was young I had no concept of that. One week may have done it this year depending on the severity of the camp PT. I'm having a tough time waiting with patience to see how this unfolds. Broke out the Jayhawk denim & cap this morning. Once there's a chill in the air, I'm ready for hoops & the big easy chair. Wife knows what's up when she hears me doing the sound check on the 100 w amp & the 15 inch speakers. The women can talk all they want, but I refuse to allow it to affect a game. Now that I think of it, I need a bigger sub!

Steve Gantz 8 years, 10 months ago

It does stink, but.... On April 2nd, 2012 I fulfilled a lifelong dream, (thanks BrooksMD) to watch KU in a national championship at the Superdome! Never would have happened if they were in a 20,000 seat basketball arena. I never would have come across 50 dollar tickets if there were 50,000 fewer seats available.

ku_foaf 8 years, 10 months ago

As someone who was at the 2003 Championship game (in the Superdome) and the 2008 Championship, hopefully you will get to go another one where we win! THAT is the lifelong dream! The drive back from NO to Houston was pretty long. Ultimately glad I got to see it.

There always seem to be tickets available for the championship game. Half are disappointed fans who want to lose their ticket and go home!

Jack Wilson 8 years, 10 months ago

Remember last season, late November? Tharpe was looking literally at the end of KU career. Self was clearly ready to go in a different direction. Tharpe was too small, couldn't play defense. Self was questioning his effort. Some were predicting a Tharpe transfer. All signs pointed to Rio and his apparent suffocating defense. Then it all changed.

I've been an unabashed AW3 fan, and remain one. And I love the optimism flowing his way.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 10 months ago

HEM, My gut feeling about EJ was not good the entire game after the crotch shot. Either a set play or a dish to Releford would have been my preference. Travis was very accomplished at finishing strong & hitting a high% of his FT's. It was also fairly obvious that the ref's were not going to do any favors for EJ, & that's why I would have drawn it up differently. Had they fouled, there would have been even more than 8 secs-it was 8 after the possession. I'm still just amazed with EJ's lack of poise in that game, it sticks out to me more than anything about in the game. As we all know, not all are cut out for the trenches or the foxholes. The thing about that, is you don't really know until you're in the battle, & that's way too late to find out you've got the wrong partner.

Tim Orel 8 years, 10 months ago

I strongly believe EJ is a warrior ready to take on any challenge on the court, which is why I was baffled by the groin cheap shot. He seemed off the whole game, but at any point he could have taken over the game like he did at ISU. I don't know why he was off but I trust Self to know his players and who could do the final play. It's over, Self will learn and move on and I'm focusing on this year.

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

No, I do not remember that and neither does anyone else. At no point were there ever any signs that Rio was going to be taking over any role from Tharpe.

At the end of November, Anrio Adams had a TOTAL of two baskets made through KU's seven games. TWO. You may be embellishing a bit for the sake of making a point...

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Playing in football stadia guaranties you get the best seat at home.

Playing in football stadia guaranties three point shooting can't be what you depend on to get a W and a ring.

Playing basketball in a football stadia guaranties CBSESPNNCAA don't care about the game.

Playing basketball in a football stadia is like running the TRIPLE CROWN on paved NASCAR ovals.

Travis Shetler 8 years, 10 months ago

I can't wait for this next year. Here are some random thoughts.

  1. Knowing Bill Self, my guess is that Tarik Black will start over Joel Embiid at the beginning of the year because of experience. Embiid might replace later on but...... 2.It will be interesting to see how much Traylor and Lucas will play. They should both get quality minutes of the bench since they only have 5 big guys. 3.Tharpe will almost certainly start at point guard but they are so deep in their backcourt that there will be times during games when there backcourt will be something like this Frankamp Mason- Tharpe - WigginsSeldon. They have so many capable backourt players that it will be impossible to get in foul trouble. 4.The way Self raves about Selden I am almost as excited to see him play as I am Wiggins. He will be special. 5.I think the starting rotation for the begining of the season will look something like this.

Center- 1. Black 2. Embiid Forward- 1. Ellis 2. Traylor 3. Lucas Forward- 1. Wiggins 2. Green Guard- 1. Selden Guard- 1. Tharpe 2. Frankamp 3. Mason

Keep in mind that all the guards are kind of interchangeable. In other words most of them could play two. And as mentioned in Point 3 Tharpe can play the two if needed when Seldon sits. Or Selden can play the three when Wiggins sits. In other words... they have a terribly versatile back court.

Rock Chalk!!!

Ryan Michael 8 years, 10 months ago

Honest question here... Have you seen Embiid play outside of a few highlight clips? He is raw. Really raw. He doesn't play with a fire for more than little spurts. If you ask me, Embiid won't start this entire season.

It'll be next year before he even grows into his frame, much less learns the game enough to really contribute. I think people are buying into his potential wayyyy too much and expecting far too much from a guy who looks lost 75% of the time on the court. Sure he has amazing up-side and potential, but it's nowhere near being realized, and that's not going to change in the next month or two. Black would put him to shame day in and day out for the next year no doubt about it.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

"For Tarik"

Part 1

Tarik Black is talking like an absolute man. He is talking like a man that has finally connected with someone he can trust. Self can tell Tarik how to get better and, at last, Tarik can begin doing what all persons worth knowing most like to do--get better.

Sport is so much about being able to hear a coach be constructive no matter how blunt, or screechy, his delivery may be.

So much of sport is about making teeny, tiny adjustments, adjustments so small we fans can't even see them most of the time, so small a player may not even see them. But Self sees them. These adjustments take a kink out of this move, or they start a move just a hair quicker, or they make your mind feel the right speed, and so the play happens rather than not. Some time the getting better is accruing under the radar screen. Sometimes it can't be gauged for a few games, and then suddenly nonlinear improvement occurs.

Tarik, baby, you are home!


We know how to pronounce it.

We know how to shout it in unison, when you back one of Ratso Izzo's boys down and bury two the hard way.

We know how to appreciate you going and getting the ball, setting a pick, and helping on defense; not just when you muscle to stop a pencil necked point guard in the midst of his junk.

You do something good, anything, we're going to notice it.

Basketball is spoken here. It is the machine language under the compiler language under the C Bounce Bounce we program in. Basketball is spoken here. English is just the GUI.

We are not expecting miracles from you. Allen Field House is not the Magic Castle. KU players man-up, when the going gets tough. They glue, when someone else is impacting. And they impact when someone else is gluing. Great things happen here. Not magical things.

Like the coaches, we are expecting you to get a little better all the time; that's all any fan expects at KU. We want bench warmers to get better at warming the bench. We want stars to get better at shining. We want glue men to get stickier. We want shooters to score a little more efficiently all the time. We want hedge defense to sustain just a little longer each game. When you grind it out, we want the grinding to be done just a weeee bit better the next time.

In the Self era, all basketball players from OADs to walk ons are held in esteem if they can show improvement. All the getting better icing on a really good cake.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Part 2

We analyse the excrement out of everything, because it is a challenge to understand the game on the level that you will be playing it within the legacy that you will have coursing through you. Don't pay a penny's worth of attention to our speculations, criticisms, advice, and wonderings. Its what we do. And we think about all the guys. And we crit all the guys and no matter how good, or bad, you play, you're still our guy, if you're busting your butt. Its the Kansas way.

We expect getting better out of The Designer. We expect it of Wiggins. We expect it out of you. We expect it of Tyler. We expect it out of every coach and we expect it out of ourselves. KU fans are a little better now than they used to be. And they will get a little better five years from now.

This is the flipping living myth of Kansas basketball. Its the thing people say can't be but is--can't exist, but does. Its Brigadoon on Wood that reappears every fall. Its not a tradition, like UNC; traditions are nice, but they are basically lifeless things peopled by persons pretending to be alive by wearing school colors and Sears powder blue double knit blazers. Its also not a religion. Religions are myths no longer enacted, just believed in. Indiana basketball is a religion. And its sure as heck not an intellectual ritual endowed by a cigarette heiress, like Duke. Nor is it an excercise in the pursuit of success through sustained flirtation with death penalties, like UK. And it most definitely is not a party though we party and celebrate like all get out.

This is a living myth. Coach, players, students and fans are living it. Old men and women die living it. Babies are born into living it. Populism and elitism are fused in it. Here the impossible happens almost routinely. Great wins. Shattering losses. Super human performances. Inexplicably bad performances. Exasperating team funks. Heroic clutch performances. Horrendous injuries. And always the alchemy of team. Of imperfect persons caught up in the greatest human drama of all--of trying to "do it the right way." People think deeply about the game, yet cheer it as if they had just fallen in love with it.

The living myth courses through us all. It is big enough to contain the inventor of the game, the inventor of basketball coaching, Clyde Lovellette, Wilt Chamberlain, Dean Smith, Ralph Miller, Larry Brown, Roy Williams, Bill Self, Jo Jo White, Danny Manning, Paul Pierce and Mario Chalmers. It is big enough to have helped integrate the game. It is big enough to overcome all of the flaws and mistakes and pettyinesses of all the human beings that have chosen to join in it.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Part 3

We expect getting better especially when everything is going wrong. Just find one small thing to get better at in the midst of the Shizz Storm that will be your lot at least one third of the time during your coming season and you are a Kansas man.

Ad astra per aspera; that is the state motto.

We eat per aspera for breakfast.

We slap wheat bread and mustard on it for lunch.

And we roast it over a grill for dinner under the ad astra.

Tarik, you are home. You are in the very bosom of the living myth.


Tarik, there is nothing better than to have a perpetual motion machine running around practice not missing a thing you do that you could do just a hair better.

God is in the details, Tarik.

And Self is like God's eye in adidas.

All coaches yell at players to do this or that, to not make this or that mistake, Tarik.

But only a few coaches can not only find everything tiny thing you could do a leeeeeeetle bit better, but also tell you in EXACTLY the way that you can GET a leeeeetle bit better.

Some coaches can tell you what you need to get better at.

Some coaches can even tell you how you ought to be able to get better at it.

But Self can tell you exactly how you, with your particular strengths and weaknesses, actually can get better at it.

Self doesn't turn men into super men. He keeps them getting a leeeeeetle bit better every day so that at some point they are able to play the game to the best of their abilities.

This is why you are home, baby!

Don't get down about going in "The Toughening Box." Get down if he doesn't put you in it for a week or two. "The Toughening Box" is a painful honor. It does for the individual what Boot Camp does for the team. It means he plans on depending on you. It means he is heating up your steel--tempering it. He doesn't put anyone in it that he won't need. Mario Chalmers was in The Toughening Box. All the KU NBA players you have heard about under Self have been in The Toughening Box. You go in a basketball player. You come out a Self Baller--a Navy Seal in tennies.

You are going to get more increments of better this season than in all your other years of basketball combined at all levels. I can tell when Self thinks he can take a player to the next level. He thinks that about you. Let him. Give him everything you've got. You won't be sorry.

And if you do you are going to like being a part of a winner and a Jayhawk for the rest of your life.

Best regards,


P.S.: As is my custom, after you play your last game at the end of your last full season at KU, I will call you Mr. Black forever more. But until then, you are ta-RIK Baby!

Michael Luby 8 years, 10 months ago

Truly inspiring stuff there Jaybate. Actually read it over again too.
Awesome! PHOF.

Michael Luby 8 years, 10 months ago

If you ever teach a class on Jayhawk Basketball prose. I am in. Absolutely.

dynamitehawk 8 years, 10 months ago

OK... So we've finally moved to SC (cock country)... I'm freaked out... I'm going to be one of the people asking for a live feed in the Newell Post... I can't go buy ridiculous tix at AFH on game day anymore. I need to find a good place in Charleston where alums watch games.. I do surf often, which is not available in Kansas...

Very excited for the season...

P.S. I've figured out how to piss of Clemson fans. Pronounce Clemson with a "p" after the "m"...especially after they correct you. That $hit is funny.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

I was just in Hyman's recently. May I recommend standing on the street in front of Hyman's an hour before the game waving a KU pennant and a sign "Jayhawks Meet at Hyman's"; then as a crowd of alums go inside and watch the feed on a lap top. Sit in the Jimmy Buffett chair. I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. Eli Hyman was tremendously gracious. Tell him you are just trying to combine your love of the Jayhawks with your love of his cooking, and he is sure to support you. The combination of his food and a game are sure to draw them to you like ants to sugar.

dynamitehawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Thanks - Eli is a good guy, and I live in Mt P with a dock on the Wando... I'm on it :)

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Also, I suspect you will find some Jayhawks in Mt. Pleasant. Charleston is a fun town.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 10 months ago

My nephew & wife both teach in Mt. Pleasant.

jaybate 8 years, 10 months ago

Finally get yourself a boat ASAP. If you are of independent means, hump down to Florida and pick up an Albury Brother's boat. You will be the envy of all fishermen on the planet.

If you are of ordinary means, and want to buy local, check out Scout boats made in Summerville, SC.

If you can stand to go to North Carolina, Jones Brothers Marine in Morehead City, North Carolina makes a great CC model still mostly under the radar called a Cape Fisherman 23. You are in the heart of boat country. Take advantage of it.

Also, check out the women walking around College of Charleston. If I go back for another degree, it will likely be at College of Charleston. :-)

And get yourself one helluva good air conditioner.

dynamitehawk 8 years, 10 months ago

Good info - and the CoC is a peculiar and wildly wonderful place. I'm kind of pissed off that no one mentioned this place to me 20 years ago.

RockChalkGuy 8 years, 10 months ago

HCBS...I feel I'm showing my age by this comment, but folks, we are living in an enchanted time for the Jayhawk nation. A guy like Self comes along once in a great while. I admit he won't make the right decision in every game situation, but I can't imagine another human being I'd rather have leading our 'hawks than Bill Self. Squabble all you want able this and that, but Late Night is just moments away and our roller coaster rides is just tick, tick ticking it's way up the hill to excitement. It's not so much about the destination as it is about the ride. RCJHGKU!!!!

Michael Gentemann 8 years, 10 months ago

dynamitehawk Welcome to the Lowcountry. According to the KU Alumni Assoc website there is a Chapter in Charleston. It's hard to find locals to talk hoops but there are many people in SC along the coast who've moved from the upper states and even a few Jayhawks scattered about so it's getting better. C of C has even been decent recently with Bobby Cremins resurrecting the program For football, Clemson and Death Valley on game day is a true experience, take it in if you can.

Will Bixenman 8 years, 10 months ago

30 suicides a day? The most we ever ran in high school was 6 a day. We thought that was rough.

ParisHawk 8 years, 10 months ago

For those of you who thought this wasn't basketball season:

France just won the European Basketball Championship for the first time. Tony Parker was tournament MVP. They didn't even need Noah, who is injured again.

So when does next season start?

Michael Luby 8 years, 10 months ago

My preseason Final Four : KU, Michigan St, Kentucky, Duke

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