Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hoops notes: Bill Self goes shopping for a guard

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) and Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) walk off the court  during the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Norman.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) and Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) walk off the court during the Jayhawks 75-73 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Norman.


Down a returning point guard just more than a week before his team leaves the country for the World University Games, Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self finds himself scrambling, in search of a replacement.

In May, Self added SMU senior point guard Nic Moore to the Jayhawks’ roster for the South Korea trip, and figured his 12-player team was all set.

However, when KU sophomore point guard Devonté Graham partially tore a quad tendon above his knee Wednesday, the U.S. lineup again looked incomplete. Self learned the extent of Graham’s injury Thursday night and immediately started his search for another guard.

“All we do is just call coaches and ask if they’ve got their best player that’s a guard, that’s not in summer school and has a passport and doesn’t have anything to do the next 23 days and has no plans,” Self joked of the criteria for the late addition. He was speaking before the 12th-annual Bill Self/Lawrence Parks and Recreation Golf Classic at Eagle Bend.

“It’s OK to call somebody on short notice and say, ‘Hey, let’s go do something.’ But we’re not going to dinner,” Self added. “It’s a little bit hard to do when you have a long commitment like that.”

KU will play in the Games July 3-14 in Gwangju, South Korea.

Guards on the roster are Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden, Jr., LaGerald Vick, SMU’s Moore as well as KU non-scholarship players Evan Manning and Tyler Self. The bigs are Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas, Carlton Bragg and Hunter Mickelson.

“We’ve just got to get enough guys healthy to go on the trip, because we’re beat up right now,” Self said. Brannen Greene is unavailable as he recovers from offseason hip surgery. “And then we’ve messed around and recruited enough international players (Ukraine’s Svi Mykhailiuk, Mali’s Cheick Diallo and Bahamas’ Dwight Coleby) that they’re not eligible. So we need a little help.”

Self hoped to have the roster situation “sorted out, hopefully by tomorrow (today) for sure.”

Self said Raleigh, North Carolina sophomore Graham is expected to recover in four to six weeks, then will start rehabbing for a full return.

“It’s pretty significant,” Self said. “He’s out for the summer more than likely.”

KU senior forward Jamari Traylor, who hurt his hip on Tuesday, practiced some on Friday, Self said.

“He’ll practice a little bit more tomorrow and hopefully be full speed by the end of the weekend,” Self said. “He’s fine. Just day-to-day.”

Golf talk: Self’s Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department Golf Classic benefits the department’s youth scholarship fund. Self described the number of youths served by LPRD as “staggering.”

“Now that we’ve made so many improvements from a facilities standpoint with Sports Pavilion Lawrence going on and everything,” Self said of the new recreation facility adjacent at Rock Chalk Park, “it’s just going to make for a much better community and much better lifestyle for younger people — especially younger families — and hopefully attract more families to our community.”

Busier than usual this summer, with the World University Games on tap, Self said he hasn’t golfed as much as past years.

“I’m usually on round 20 or 25 right now. I’m about on round five,” he said. “It stinks, and summer’s officially over next Sunday — at least it is for us.”

KU will leave for South Korea on June 28, after playing two exhibitions against Canada Tuesday and Friday of this coming week, at Sprint Center, in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I don’t think we’ll get an opportunity to take our clubs over there and get a chance to play,” Self said with a smile.

Later, Maker: Thon Maker, a 7-foot center from Orangeville Prep in Mono, Ontario, has decided to remain in the recruiting Class of 2016, Maker told at the NBPA Top 100 camp. Maker, who is ranked No. 9 nationally by, had talked about enrolling at a college for second semester of the 2015-16 season.

— The Journal-World’s Gary Bedore contributed to this report.


Suzi Marshall 6 years, 11 months ago

Baker or Van Fleet?

I'm not real sure what to think of Maker but ....

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Just a thought, but I would like to see us bring in some mid major stud PG. Someone who really wants to show everyone he belongs with the big boys.

Motivated, experienced, and good. Love to see a a Jimmy Chickwood wearing TEAM USA thing. That could be really fun.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

Neither, both are going to be in Colorado Springs trying out for the Pan Am games.

Todd Simpson 6 years, 11 months ago

just a Thought but what about Conner!!!!

Bert White 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm REAL happy with the Maker news. I've wanted him since I first saw tape on him, but the second semester thing was stupid to me (joining school late could allow for grade or other issues to come up at a poor time (is there ever a good time though heheh) and if we're playing good throwing Thon in even though I think he'll be a lottery pick there is that chance it could mess up the way we were playing). But a full season of Thon could be a very fun thing to watch not to mention what Hudy could do in that time. Hoping the staff that stays behind on the Korea trip pays him a few visits.

Joe Joseph 6 years, 11 months ago


There's no way Greg Marshall is in Bill Self's contacts list.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Agree that would be surprising. This late its going to be interesting to see what he does, or who he can even get.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 11 months ago

Riley LaChance is a 6-2 G from Vandy that was just cut from the U-19 team. That would mean that he shouldn't have other summer plans and should have a passport. The negative is that we play Vandy next year, so your sort of building a scouting report into their program, but the current urgency would seem to over rule 1 non-con game during the season. A Purdue F was also cut, but I didn't hear who the other players were.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 11 months ago

LaChance was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after a year where he made his mark on the Vanderbilt freshman record book. He averaged 12.3 points per game, making him the league’s highest scoring freshmen, and his 429 points ranked third on Vanderbilt’s all-time list. LaChance also ranked third on that all-time freshman list with 102 assists, while he shot free-throws at an 87.3 percent clip, which is 10th best in program history regardless of class.

For more, go to or google his name.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

That could be an option. KU isn't guaranteed to played to play Vandy because they may very well be on the opposite side of the Maui bracket from KU. Another reason this could be an option is that Kevin Stallings is part of the Jayhawk family. He was an assistant for Roy's first 5 years in Lawrence so he would probably be willing to help out the family.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.