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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

KU locker room gets facelift

The rotunda entrance to the Kansas University basketball locker room has a new look.

The rotunda entrance to the Kansas University basketball locker room has a new look.

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Kansas University’s men’s basketball locker room and hallway leading to the locker room in the northwest corner of Allen Fieldhouse have undergone a facelift heading into the 2014-15 season.

Included in the aesthetic improvements to the locker room, player lounge and the hallway that were completed in October 2009, is a photo tribute to Wilt Chamberlain, photos and quotes from KU’s NBA players in the Bill Self era, framed magazine covers of Jayhawks as well as light boxes at each player’s locker replacing the standard name plates.

“They took the space we have and the selling points we have as a basketball program and utilized it with a modern yet traditional feel,” 12th-year coach Self said of Dimensional Innovations, a company in Overland Park. “I believe it really captures who we are.

“Our players are excited about it,” Self added. “It gives our locker room area a totally different feel and certainly is impressive to anyone that is able to step inside the halls and take a tour of it.”

Ground has been broken on the 32,000-square foot DeBruce Center, which will house James Naismith’s original rules of basketball. Also, McCarthy Hall, an apartment complex for the players, will soon be under construction just south and east of Allen Fieldhouse. Included at the complex will be a theater and basketball court.

We have so many things going on with our basketball program right now,” Self said. “You have Late Night (in the Phog, Oct. 10), the 60th event (Oct. 27 with Self, Larry Brown, Ted Owens, Roy Williams), the DeBruce Center, the McCarthy Hall but something that has gone unnoticed is that we have totally renovated the interior of our locker room facility.”

See pictures of the locker room and hallway here.

It starts today: Today is men’s basketball media day in Allen Fieldhouse. The event is closed to the public. It precedes Friday’s official start of the season. The Jayhawks have been able to practice two hours a week since the start of school in accordance with NCAA rules.

You can bet “small ball” will likely be discussed at Self’s news conference today. He has said a few times this offseason, most recently on Andy Katz’s podcast, that he may play small a lot in 14-15.

“We’ve got three little guards (Conner Frankamp, Devonté Graham, Frank Mason). One of them probably needs to play, but we could play two of the three the majority of the game, too,” Self said. “Devonté is probably the truest point. Frank is the best scorer. Conner is obviously the best shooter. They all kind of bring something different to the table, but from what we’ve seen so far I like playing small. I like playing two of the three. I know we won’t do that all the time. I think having two primary handlers on the court the majority of the time will help our team. Last year we played basically with a couple of big wings and a point. I thought our ballhandling and passing was as poor as it’s been and our playmaking ability (too).”

Recruiting: There is a chance the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2016, 7-foot Thon Maker of Athletes Institute in Ontario, Canada, could reclassify to the class of 2015, his guardian Ed Smith, tells Zagsblog.com. Smith said KU, Duke, Kentucky and Indiana are involved. ... Tony Bradley, a 6-8 junior forward from Bartow (Florida) High, has received a scholarship offer from KU, Zagsblog reports. He’s ranked No. 43 in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com. ... Jayhawkslant.com reports KU has offered V.J. King, a 6-7 junior forward from Paul VI in Fairfax, Virginia, who is ranked No. 19 in the Class of 2016.

No. 3: ESPN’s Dick Vitale ranks Kentucky No. 1 and KU No. 3 in his preseason top 40 poll. Duke is 2, Texas No. 7, Wichita State 12, Iowa State 13, Oklahoma 19 and Kansas State 28. The poll is available at http://ljw.bz/1rN7wxe

Comments

Rodney Crain 7 years, 10 months ago

Now that represents an elite program, sweet remodel. From meeting room, to SI covers, to Wilt, to NBA, to Olympics, it is all covered. Very Nice!

Mike Riches 7 years, 10 months ago

Playing 2 of the MFG3 "the majority of the game" would move Selden to the three? In place of Oubre/Greene? Or one of those guys in place of Ellis, with Cliff at the five? That would be an interesting lineup to see. Better ball handling, but less scoring maybe?

Rodney Crain 7 years, 10 months ago

There are 25 Top 70 players left who have not committed. 1 top 15 PG is left, we did not offer a Scholarship to him, 5 SG's are left we have offers to two of them. Plenty of big guys left. KY has only 1 commit a SG. I mention them since they should lose 4-6 players from this years team.

Sorry, but this makes me anxious that we do not have even one commit at any position. I am trying to r-e-l-a-x but it is difficult since every week, the players left keep dwindling, especially at guard.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 10 months ago

it should help that we have bus load of top 30 talent coming to late night... hopefully you will be able to rest a little easier next week.

Brian Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

Agreed! Alexander has said he wants to stay two years but could be one and done, but who knows. Mickelson Traylor and Lucas all return. Ellis could also go but he is a junior and it will depend on the year he has. Oubre is most likely one and done while Sophomore Green and Svi are waiting a year before they get big minutes. Selden has not dominated yet and with the disappointing trend of small guards leaving early and not making it he may stay as long as he can until he goes first round. So look at the lineup in 2015-16.with the likelies to be gone.
PG: Graham and Mason
SG: Frankamp and Svi
SF: Green and SviBr> PF: Traylor, Lucas
C: Alexander, Mickelson

Add Thon and take away Alexander... or add back in Selden or Ellis or both! KU is looking good.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 10 months ago

Shocker here - I am not that optimistic Brian. Self has one Scholarship in his pocket, don't forget about that. To my point there are only 25 top 70 players left (many of those in the top 20 who consider themselves one and dones, would rather have a player for more than a year myself). As you say Hunter has two years left, Lucas will be here, so will Perry, Svi, Cliff maybe too, kind of crowded already at SF/C for PT. Lucas (fouls) and Perry are not known for their defense, Hunter has been weak as a scorer too. We have no idea how Svi or Cliff will play so not sure how overall this is considered good or great just yet.

We are going to need a SF and C, and maybe a SG if we can get one. Since 19 big man are still on the board and most of the guards are gone, it will be interesting who is left after KY gets who they want, to me they get first pick since they will have PT as freshman to offer, where we will have 3-4 bigs to compete with and 3 guards. I would prefer to be on the board with a commit. Last year we ended up with 5 scholarship open and only had two recruits. Then Graham and Svi, who we were not really following appeared and we got them both. Not sure this is a good trend to be following, to wait till the very end to get players, or to just be lucky.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 10 months ago

Bryan, my guess Selden, Alexander, and Oubre are gone and Perry stays. However, I could see Oubre end up staying if Self opts for small ball more often like he's been hinting.

Perry is an NBA tweener, his got limited draft potential unless he has a Marcus Morris like development as a "3" and he hasn't shown that he has 'Cus's ball skills. However, if Perry leads the team in scoring and is 1st or 2nd in rebounding, and KU plays into the final four, then there's a chance his stock could max out in the middle 1st round and if that happens then he should leave, because he probably won't go higher than that.

So, you're lineup is close. But I'd put Perry and Traylor at PF and Lucas and Mickey at C. It's a serviceable lineup no doubt, Self could win the Big 12 with it in an average year. But Self will land some guys that will play big minutes just like he's been doing the past several years.

He does have 1 scholly left over, and if we lose 3 to the NBA, then that's 4 available spots. His track record lately suggests he'll reel in two top 20 talents and find one or two sleepers as well.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 10 months ago

Not a big deal this year. Most of the players Self has been targeting have said they're likely to be spring commitments. Unless some crazy unforseen stuff happens, this is going to be a small class.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 10 months ago

Jonathan, Aaron, I am sure we will get someone, but do you see any other elite program without at least one player committed?

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 10 months ago

Unfortunately I think that it's kinda the nature of the recruiting game for Kansas. Kentucky has major appeal with recruits because of their recent final four history and their status and an NBA draft factory. Kansas has been well represented in the draft, but we haven't been on the same level as UK in that or in FF appearances. Kansas also isn't home to many 5* talents who may tend to commit early. We may land an early commit from the Eudora kid, but he's likely not going to be a top 10 recruit next year.

Kids have always been lining up to play at Duke and UNC. Kentucky is a huge draw, and naturally lots of kids from from the northeast will look at UConn because of their recent success. West Coast kids look at Arizona. Our recruiting region is dominated by Chicago, Dallas, Houston, KC and StL. But lots of those kids don't look at Kansas as a cool place to live until they visit.

Our main appeal is Allen Fieldhouse, which is why so many kids commit after Late Night.

We just aren't as likely to get the early commits as Duke, UNC, UConn, Zona, Florida, UK, etc. So our coaching staff has to work their tails off to get kids to visit.

Adam Collins 7 years, 10 months ago

Good to see that they got a picture of Wiggs in a Wolves jersey instead of a Cavs jersey.

Richard Duran 7 years, 10 months ago

Nice to be able to renovate a 5 year old locker room when a 100 football stadium needs to be redone. where is the T. Boone Pickens of KU?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 10 months ago

Investing in the basketball program. I've posted it several times in the past, but KU football will never even have a chance to be a consistent winner until the high dollar donors decide to commit large sums of money to the football program. The reason for this belief is simple to me, even if KU finds the next Nick Saban, where's the influence to stay if the high dollar donors don't commit to the football program long term. Unless KU is your dream job (I don't know who would say that other than Bowen right now), the motivation to make KU a winner is going to come from the donors investing all aspects of KU football and make the coach believe there is a legitimate chance at sustainable success. Had Glen Mason received any kind of financial support from the administration and donors, he might still be the head coach here at KU because he was that good of a coach. I would've been very interested in seeing what he could've done with the resources he would've had at Georgia.

Jason Bruner 7 years, 10 months ago

It's a vicious cycle. Nobody wants to invest if we aren't winning but we won't win without investing. I think the program is really gonna have to show some sort of improvement though before big donations come in. Someone just invested .5M this year and what do they have to show for it? A nice looking field to showcase our losses on ESPN. We don't even have a coach right now so who would invest not even knowing if there's a chance of improvement?

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