Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Report: Naadir Tharpe turning pro

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe inbounds the ball against Georgetown during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe inbounds the ball against Georgetown during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Former Kansas University point guard Naadir Tharpe isn't transferring to a new college basketball program.'s Jon Rothstein reported Wednesday Tharpe, who left KU in May, after the conclusion of his junior season, will give the NBA D-League a shot.

"I didn't want to sit out," Tharpe told Rothstein. "At this point, I'd rather just try the D-League instead of sitting out a year to play a year (in college)."

In Tharpe's final year as a Jayhawk, the team's starting point guard for most of the season averaged 8.5 points, hit 37.7 percent of his three-pointers and 43.7 percent of his shots from the floor while averaging 5.0 assists and 2.1 turnovers.

Upon announcing his plans to transfer from KU in May, Tharpe, from Worcester, Massachusetts, planned to return to the northeast to be closer to his daughter, Amara, who had some medical issues.


Doug Longstaff 8 years, 3 months ago

Good luck. I hope this works out for you. Let the past be the past, and make good decisions in the future.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 3 months ago

Tharpe’s Kansas legacy will be the inability to lead a team that produced the Number 1 and 3 NBA draft picks along with a handful of additional NBA future talent. The role fell to him in part because Self was unsuccessful recruiting elite talent at that position. However, Self doesn’t bring anybody (except some of the non-scholarship players) to Kansas unless he believes they have the ability to grow into the expected role. Tharpe was provided every opportunity to succeed but for whatever reason(s) was not able to bring the necessary skills out of himself.

I’ll always carry the image of Tharpe mindlessly dribbling around with Black flashing to the high post urging and pointing for him to move the ball. When a guy in a key role fails to deliver, we all suffer. This case resulting in the worst year/team in the Self era. The photo incident was the last of a multi-year series of poor judgment on and off the court.

After learning of his grandfather’s background (veteran-even continued working with the military after active duty, mason, gardener…) in his obit last spring, people told me how much love / respect he had amongst his community as well as his pride in his grandson. I suspect Nadiir’s ending at Kansas must have been an awful pain to his grandfather. I really hope he gets himself together.

Robert Brock 8 years, 3 months ago

Elijah Johnson and Naadir Tharpe is what you get when you fail to identify and successfully recruit starter-quality point guards year after year. Bill Self and his assistants have struggled in that regard. Good job with bigs; not so good with smalls.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 3 months ago

Elijah wasn't recruited to be a PG, unless I am mistaken. Bill may have whiffed on a couple prep PGs, but I'd say he's entitled to whiff on some now and then. It's also hard to say he has "struggled" recruiting PGs when you consider the likes of Chalmers, Robinson, Collins, and Taylor were all Bill Self recruits.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

Joe- "Bill may have whiffed on a couple prep PGs, but I'd say he's entitled to whiff on some now and then."

Then you say, "It's also hard to say he has "struggled" recruiting PGs when you consider the likes of Chalmers, Robinson, Collins, and Taylor were all Bill Self recruits."

HCBS hit a homerun, obviously with 2008 group of guards. Taylor was unique, but still lacked that key pg quality of leading a team. He and TRob were somewhat instrumental in that NC game against UK. Yet Taylor lacked the ability to lead and shoot up to a NC pg standards.

However, you make an understatement on his attempts to land a 4-5 star pg. I think Self has "whiffed" so much on a top pg that he is now trying to replicate that 2008 group of guards. He is executing a guard recruiting strategy that seems to imply that he's incapable of getting a pg, why? It tells me that Self accepted the fact that he will not get a top pg (Josiah Turner) and others that he is settling on the Grahams and his interesting terms of lead guard or head guard or whatever he's calling his pgs nowadays, tells me Self simply can't sell a top rated pg to KU.

Bill Self cannot get a game changing pg, period. I want him to prove me wrong. I'll even accept Graham stepping up to become a top pg under Self. It would at least say he can coach a pg. Self can recuit 2-5 all day long, but ironically he can't recruit the major piece of any NC team, a pg. Just ask Kevin Ollie and Napier.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 2 months ago

Shabazz Napier was barely on the national radar as a prep. No one would have expected him to turn into the premier player that he was his senior year. So don't pretend like he was a prized recruit that Kevin Ollie (who wasn't even the lead recruiter for him) landed because he can "recruit the major piece of any NC team." If anything, the success of Napier and UCONN demonstrates that it could be better to have an experienced, talented point guard over an inexperienced, super-talented point guard.

Also, Josiah Turner? Really?! You're criticizing Self for not being able to lock up Josiah Turner? The guy who played one ho-hum year at Arizona, in which he averaged 7 points and 2 assists in 30 minutes? And later got booted from the team? And now is wallowing in the D-League? Damn, he sure did whiff on that one.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 3 months ago

Elijah Johnson was a 5 star combo guard coming out of HS. You don't project players to underachieve the way Johnson did throughout most of his career without having a negative impact somewhere in the program because of it.

Andy Smith 8 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, I remember the negative impact quite clearly from 2012. I was in St Louis to endure the pain. Then, I went to New Orleans the following week. That was really tough.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 2 months ago

EJ was a key player on the 2012 NCAA runner-up squad. While listed by as a PG, EJ was groomed by Self to play the 2 but needed to play the point as Tharpe never developed into a reliable PG in '13.

Tharpe was ranked in the 90s by rivals when recruited by Self and I believe was thought to be a back-up at most but Self didn't land a decent PG and Tharpe proved his rankings accurate.

Eliott Reeder 8 years, 3 months ago

Let it go Suzi, no need to crap on the kid at this point. I mean, really!?! You feel you have the right to chastise a young man who has made a few mistakes and tell him his dead grandfather would be ashamed of him? Because he didn't play good enough basketball for the team you like!?! Who do you think you are?

Joe Ross 8 years, 3 months ago

I pretty much agree with least her first two paragraphs. The last was an unnecessary twist of the dagger. Ouch.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 3 months ago

Eliott why are you so upset with her post? I think she was fair and on spot. Grandfather part might have been unnecessary but mercy, who do you think you are? Really? Let it go??? This is still fresh in everybody's mind. What is more disturbing is that 10 people liked your post. Now that is asinine.

Sam Constance 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm with Eliott. You have latched onto this distaste for Tharpe's performance in a very unhealthy way.

We all suffer? It's a f***ing game. You should not be suffering in any real way for anything that happens on the court. And I guarantee that whatever "suffering" Tharpe put you through, he has gone through it himself tenfold. The "oh woe is me the poor basketball fan!" attitudes that sometimes infect these boards really bother me.

Worst year/team in the Self era? WTF ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT?!?

And I can't even start on the presumptuousness of you talking about how Tharpe's passed grandfather felt about his grandson. Disgusting. If this is the best you can come with, then maybe don't post at all.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 3 months ago

Worst year/team in the Self era? Maybe, in terms of a terrible defense and the first 10-loss team in the Self era (and the first 10-loss season since Roy Williams suffered back-to-back 10-loss seasons in 98-99 and 99-00).

Mick Allen 8 years, 3 months ago

Good to see you back on the comment patrol Rodney.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 2 months ago

Sorry I have no patience with Sammy. If he gets to say all that junk, why can't I disagree with him, or on how he said it? A lot of people do with me? Or do you have to be 100% behind our team all the time, no matter what?

Adam Miller 8 years, 3 months ago

What a hateful little person you are. Every post that even hints at mentioning Tharpe and there you are, frothing at the mouth -- did he kill your dog or something. I mean, seriously, quarter of a year of reading your garbage -- and you don't even have the good grace to be respectful of the kid after he's left. Go find a bridge and hide.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 3 months ago

I've said it before. Something mind-effed Naadir and mind-effed him hard about half way through the season last year. Maybe it was Bill. Maybe it was health concerns. Or maybe it was an undisclosed injury. Whatever it was, Naadir made his mind up at about the same time that he probably wasn't going to be playing at Kansas his senior year.

He was good when he was good and was probably the most clutch player on the roster the first two thirds of the season. I hope he finds success.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 3 months ago

Give the kid a break. I wish him the best. Life isnt easy.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 3 months ago

You mean, like, two years ago when Tyshawn Taylor led KU to the NCAA title game... in 2012?

Eliott Reeder 8 years, 3 months ago

Right? How incredibly short the memory of a fan base is!

Rodney Crain 8 years, 3 months ago

led? led? Not sure that is how I would have put it. He was on the team, he played PG, but led them to the title game, not so sure on that one.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 3 months ago

Taylor didn't play great during the bulk of the tournament, but to pretend he didn't play a lead role in putting that team in position to make the 2012 run is pretty negligent.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 2 months ago

You are right, he led them in turnovers. My mistake. Come on Taylor barely had his presence known give me a break. That was TRob, Withey's near block record, and EJ down the stretch. 3 of those games we were behind with a minute to play. We were lucky. We were not led by Taylor. The 4th best player for us is not leading us in anything.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 2 months ago

I think the fiasco of Selby hurt Self more than anything else in trying to land another top PG.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 3 months ago

Interesting range of opinions and intolerance of others' opinions.

Actually, I feel a bit sorry for Tharpe. It is very clear to me that he did not leave because he wanted to. He was forced out. And the cover story was concocted to help him save face.

It was very clear that Tharpe was shown the door when Graham was available. The magical excuse of wanting to be near his daughter was too convenient. The timing was impeccable. And Graham saying Tharpe leaving influenced his decision was profound.

Now, with turning "pro", either D-league or Europe, the cover story on the transfer is as bogus as we knew it was at the start.

If he really ... really ... wanted to be near his daughter, he would not care if he sat out a year before playing. He would be near his daughter. He would have two years near his daughter.

Perhaps one of the worst transfer cover stories I can remember.

I wish Tharpe the best.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm in agreement. Last year wasn't the year he wanted and I hoped he would shine his senior year. It was ironic Graham became available and Tharpe transferred only for Graham to commit to us the next day. It is what it is and these things happen all the time. I wish him luck.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 3 months ago

Jack I love your first sentence.

I think Robert made a good point, but of course Eliott, Jim, Sam, Adam, and Erich have to make their condescending points by acting like Suzi cannot have a different opinion then theirs. Sadly that is somewhat typical for that bunch.

Suzi's post was fair and well stated.

I think EJ, Tharpe, and yes Taylor were weak point guards who did not value the ball, had too many turnovers, lack of focus and questionable leadership. (Joe, Taylor was average at best during that NCAA run, come on a true fan would agree with that. They got behind in half of those games by double digits and had to fight to win near the end of those games. Hardly something you going to hang your hat on. They did the same thing in the championship game...but were so far down they could not pull it out) I would call that run Lucky and Thank Heavens for TRob. EJ played well in that run too, which is why his senior year was mostly a disappointment.

Tharpe leaving the program never did smell right. The story did not add up either. Who knows what the truth is but I am glad he is no longer with the program. It looks like he was politely asked to leave, he did, and now he is looking to make some money while he can in basketball. Now that finally makes some sense. Good Luck Mr. Tharpe in whatever you end up doing with your life.

Kerby Rice 8 years, 3 months ago

Not going to lie, when I heard of Naadir first transferring, I had nightmares for a couple nights of him dropping about 35 on us first round in a 14-3 or 4-13 matchup in the NCAA's had he gone to a UMASS, Providence, or Boston U two years from now. I will never forget Tharpe hitting clutch shots in crunch time mid Jan in the Iowa St and Ok St games. I am still not sold that he wouldn't have won the starting job once again come November and for those of you who hate to admit it there is no denying Tharpe still may have been our best option at the point. I understand the desire to play immediately and not wanting to sit out a year, but for a guy who completed at least 3 academic years at an academically prestigious school such as Kansas (whom the majority of credits I'm sure would transfer) wouldn't the best option be to sit a year, play a year at a school he could potentially avg 12-15 ppg 5+ assists, snag a bachelor's degree in the process, and who knows even begin some master's coursework, all while boosting stock for a contract overseas or shot in the league.

Kevin Whelan 8 years, 3 months ago

I wish Nadir success with the D league. I can sympathize with him not wanting to wait out of basketball for year. Hope all goes well with Amara.

Lance Hobson 8 years, 3 months ago

Why is everyone ripping on EJ? He led us to a Final 4 in 2012 in a tourney in which TT made no threes. Remember the Purdue game? He was beyond clutch. He had a bad couple of minutes against Michigan but not a bad career.

Ryan Michael 8 years, 3 months ago

EJ will always be one of my favorite jayhawks ever... He lived and breathed KU basketball. He had a couple of mis-steps, probably due to being slammed into the 1PG slot etc. Regardless, he gave his all and wore his heart on his sleeve. I've got nothing but respect and well wishes for him! I hope EJ makes it into the NBA at least for a couple years, and if that doesn't pan out I hope he makes a ton of money in Europe throughout his career.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 2 months ago

Well with that promising end to the 2012 season, he disappeared in 2013, except for the ISU game, then loses his mind in the MI game costing us a real chance go to the final four. He had a bad senior year. I would say his career at KU was unfulfilled.

Joseph Leon 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry, but this whole story makes me sick. Na was a good kid. He should not have been pushed out of the program, it that's what happened. Now, he's not going to get a degree, or the additional coaching he needs to have a professional career? The whole thing makes me sad and disappointed in the program, again, if that's what happened.

Robert Rasdon 8 years, 2 months ago

Im with you Joseh,there no telling what Tharpe couldve done his senior year...lets not forget Tyshawn wasnt always the best decision took his senior season and the run we made that year for me to say Tyshawn is a good point guard..

Joseph Leon 8 years, 2 months ago

You know, he might have had a good senior year. But maybe not. Even so, pushing him out was pretty tough. This is still supposed to be COLLEGE basketball. Let the kid go to college. It certainly sends a message though. Still, I'm more soft hearted than that.

Robert Rasdon 8 years, 2 months ago

I really think Tharpe saw the writing on the wall, maybe he just totally lost his confidence in running the team...thats alot of pressure and its gotten to some of our other pointguards...i truly beleive we are gonna be in alot better shape with conner,mason,seldon,and devonte. not as much pressure on one player.

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