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Monday, March 23, 2015

Keegan

Column: KU’s 2015-’16 outlook uncertain

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) walks off the court after fouling out in the Jayhawks' third-round NCAA Tournament loss to Wichita State Sunday, March 22, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Neb.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) walks off the court after fouling out in the Jayhawks' third-round NCAA Tournament loss to Wichita State Sunday, March 22, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Neb.

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The malaise in the aftermath of Kansas University’s two other recent NCAA Tournament losses to schools from the Missouri Valley Conference feels different this time.

Kansas started three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior in the loss to Bradley in 2006. All the starters knew they had to return for at least another year to elevate their games before entertaining thoughts of playing for pay. They were just too young to handle the NCAA Tournament pressure in the wake of a thrilling drubbing of a loaded Texas in the Big 12 tournament final. It was easy to see better years on the horizon.

After Northern Iowa bounced Kansas in the Round of 32 in 2010, freshman Xavier Henry, junior Cole Aldrich and senior Sherron Collins were done playing college basketball. That’s a huge hit for any program. Still, Marcus and Markieff Morris and Tyshawn Taylor would return for their junior seasons, reserve forward Thomas Robinson showed strong promise. Veteran guards Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed exceeded expectations, and KU made it to the Elite Eight, losing to VCU.

Roster turnover in college basketball has increased since then. Prospects jump to the pros earlier. Freshmen and sophomores not yet in the rotation become antsy more often and transfer. Forecasting rosters in the wake of exiting the tournament becomes a hazier practice.

Who will start for Kansas next year? Impossible to say without knowing what players will make up the roster.

None of the 11 scholarship players is a senior. Subtract likely NBA Draft entrants Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre Jr. and add McDonald’s All-American Carlton Bragg, a 6-foot-9 sharp-shooter from Cleveland, and that brings the roster to 10, leaving the space for three more recruits. Certainly, 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman from Las Vegas could change the team for the better. Many consider 6-3 shooting guard Malik Newman of Mississippi to be the most talented player in the class. Kansas has a shot at him and is in on a number of other McDonald’s All-Americans.

KU should be able to count on its two best players — tough point guard Frank Mason and do-it-all forward Perry Ellis — returning, although Ellis hasn’t said definitively that he will.

Guard Devonté Graham, the team’s top player in the Wichita State game, should improve. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk said earlier this week he would return to Kansas for a sophomore season. If he does, he has enough talent to leap over Wayne Selden Jr., who regressed as a sophomore, and Brannen Greene, who took a step back late in the season.

Inside, Landen Lucas, not nearly the athlete that Jamari Traylor is, developed into a better basketball player and showed enough to at least fill a key reserve role for his remaining two seasons.

Maybe a summer trip to Korea could bring the team closer together. Maybe. That word pretty well sums up the outlook for next season, when Kansas will attempt to win a 12th consecutive Big 12 championship and make it past the Round of 32 for the first time in three seasons.

Comments

Bill McGovern 7 years, 6 months ago

We've had some really good teams the past few years, but we haven't had a great team since the 07-08 National Champion team. That team was consistent, mature and experienced. We had more than a few players who stepped up when things weren't going well and we won a lot of games, I think we only lost three games that year. We had a really good team that year we lost to Northern Iowa, a number of them had been there before - Aldridge, Morris twins, T Rob, Sherron, and a young Xavier Henry. Call me crazy, but I miss the teams that had guys who wanted more than just "a one and done."

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

I thought the 2011-12 team was great, even if they got spanked in the title game by UK.

Tom Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

KU was down five with 90 seconds to go. They didn't get "spanked".

Jesse Johnson 7 years, 6 months ago

I thought the 2010-2011 team was the best we've had since 2008. I loved how consistent, talented and unstoppable the Morris twins were. To be honest I thought we got lucky to make it as far as we did in 2012 (and really unlucky to not make it further in 2011).

I also think Sherron and Cole regressed from 2008-09 to 2009-10 and the only reason we still won so many games was the rise of the Morris twins in conference play.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 6 months ago

It's still a bitter pill - those back to back teams that lost to NIU and VCU were legit Final 4 teams. Yes, it's a crap shoot, but if you're going to be knocked out at the upper level, it's got to be to another major program. The NIU game was just a coaching anomaly - the team was flat and no one stepped up. The VCU game reminded me of Roy's game against Rhode Island years ago - our guards simply could contain the perimeter and other players couldn't raise their game to match the moment.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

We were a 1 seed when we lost to 10 seed Michigan. That game still hurts. Up 12 with 2 min. to play.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Don't be illiterate, say what you mean if you are able to. Otherwise I don't want to hear sh** from you.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Agree Walter, a complete failure to close out that MI game.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Thanks Bryce...doesn't make med feel better though. Obviously Benz enjoyed the game thoroughly

Jason Hiatt 7 years, 6 months ago

Recruiting Malik Newman, Jaylen Brown, and Thon Maker will only repeat the same March disappointment had from the last two tournaments. These OAD's are incredible athletes, but they are not incredible basketball players......just "potentially" incredible basketball players. Kansas doesn't benefit because they are raw, have low basketball IQ due to poor AAU coaching, and they have no clue how to play Bill Self defense....and they will be long gone by the time they blossom into complete players. Thus, the result is a flawed team that will lose early to a more experienced veteran team that may not have jaw dropping athletes, but will have good basketball players.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

Are you sure it's really Bill Self defense? Because the defense has been suspect at best and god-awful at worst ever since Danny Manning left Self's staff to coach Tulsa and Wake Forest. It's becoming increasingly apparent that Manning was the real genius behind Kansas' defensive prowess.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 6 months ago

The difference between Manning and post-Manning KU defense is the difference between guys like Aldrich, Robinson, Withey defending the rim and guys like Traylor, Lucas, Kevin Young. What's the difference between all of these guys? Several inches of height and/or greater talent and/or greater athleticism. I don't know why some people insist on seeking out all of these alternative theories about coaching and recruiting instead of just accepting the most obvious explanation: the current roster is lest talented then past rosters.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

I think Lucas can could develop quickly into a player that fits into your first group. He has pretty good touch and was a productive rebounder in limited minutes this year.

Traylor has confused me all season. I don't what role he plays for us, given that he hasn't been a consistent energy guy. Perry seems to make so many of his skills redundant. I could see him getting fewer minutes next year.

John Boyle 7 years, 6 months ago

Bill Self teams had great defense long before Manning was an assisant coach for him. Danny's biggest contribution was with the big men. Their lack of good defense the last few years has more to do with the players inexperience than it does with coaching.

Otis Gouty 7 years, 6 months ago

Coach Self was known as an outstanding defensive coach long before he came to KU.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

What happened? Other teams regularly shoot 50% against us now.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

This post is short-sighted. We have exactly ONE OAD player who's earned that standing, and he was one of our greatest contributors this year. He outshined most of the veterans! Let me say that again for emphasis: Kelly Oubre outperformed MOST OF OUR VETERAN PLAYERS. Where would we have been without him? And he's not even the best OAD prospect out there! Oh, and to your point about OADs defense? He was one of our best defenders as well. Your points lack merit.

Back off the ledge!

Duke and KY have been very successful with OAD players. Look where their programs are today. UNC has flagged in recruiting lately, and their program is falling off.

The right thing to do is to get both multi-year players AND talented OADs. Kentucky is showing it and is AGAIN threatening for a national title. But if you want to go the way of North Carolina and have us fizzle out, by all means lets avoid the OADs.

Jason Hiatt 7 years, 6 months ago

I look at history and make my opinion. The 2008 team were juniors/seniors w zero OAD's. The 2012 team were junior/seniors w zero OAD's. Both of those teams were DOMINANT man to man defensive teams that learned under Self for 3-4 years.....and both teams made fantastic March runs w one resulting in a Title... I will agree that Kelly Oubre was decent on D ( but not the best....I award that to reserve PG Devonte Graham which is telling about this team ) but I will take a Senior Travis Releford over a OAD Kelly Oubre any day of the week! They both averaged about the same ppg but Releford LOCKED OPPONENTS DOWN and provided leadership.....something a OAD will never do.

Again, Bill Self's history at KU shows that when he has a team full of upperclassmen, the results in March are impressive....when he recruits the OAD's......Northern Iowa, Stanford, Wich St, and the next first weekend opponent in 2016.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

The problem with that analysis is that it doesnt factor in that the game is changing. I see this mistake all the time. The year we won the title NCAA basketball was only two years removed from the institution of the age limit mandate. You cant take one frame from the roll of film and tell whats going on in the movie. THINGS ARE CHANGING!

Another mistake you are making is that you are judging the entire performance of the team based on its OADs. We have multi-year players too, and you have to judge how good and bad they are in your outcomes as well. We had stellar multi-year players in 2012. Not so much this year. But guess what: they all fit the category of "multi-year players". Yes, some multiyear players are going to be more reliable in certain ways that OAD phenoms. Why? Because four year players are comfortable in the system and know what to do. This is why the greatest minds in the game--Self, Coach Konsanants, Calipari, Williams, and so on--ALL subscribe to the idea that mixing reliable multi-year players with phenomenal OADs is a good prescription for success at the college level.

You simply can NOT avoid OADs in today's game if you want your program to be successful.

Jason Hiatt 7 years, 6 months ago

Mich St is an example of a successful program that does not recruit OADs

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

That depends on how we define success. At Kansas, "success" is winning national championships. Michigan State will never meet that standard if it never recruits OADs while other major programs do. Never.

(see Aaron Paisley's comment below...)

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Saying we have exactly ONE OAD is a bit misleading Joe. Everybody had Cliff (#3 Recruit) as an OAD also. He just didn't live up to expectations. Same thing w/Selden. I'm certain he never planned to still be at KU at this point.

Oubre is everything you stated. He plays great on both sides the ball but selling this roster as a single OAD doesn't match the facts.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

You didn't finish the quote, Walter.

"We have exactly ONE OAD player who's earned that standing..."

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

You didn't finish the quote, Walter.

"We have exactly ONE OAD player who's earned that standing..."

And it's clear he was a major contributor offensively and defensively as a OAD.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Yup.. When you're right you're right. My mistake Joe. Over the past 2 years we recruited 5 possible OADs with 3 (counting Kelly) making the transition.

Jim Stauffer 7 years, 6 months ago

The point made by Jason about the OAD's is spot on. Calipari takes the cream of the crop and we get the left overs. No need to even go that route if you can't have the best. Let's build our team with maturity and experience and compete for a final four every 2-3 years.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

What about Duke? Calipari doesn't get them all.

Again, I refer you to the comments I made about UNC, getting none of them (I cant recall any in recent history, help me if you know better).

Besides, if Adam Silver gets his way college players will have to be in college longer which will spread out the talent a little more. If Kansas wants to remain competitive as a program, we have to remain highly competitive for these kinds of players. If we abandon them we will go south.

The point is NOT well made. In fact, it is wrong. (All respect to Jason)

Joe Joseph 7 years, 6 months ago

Coach K hasn't started heavily recruiting the major OAD types until just recently. Really, it started with Kyrie Irving in 2011. And even then, he hasn't had multiple OADs in any given season. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) Coach K's best teams - championship teams - were ones with experienced talent.

In 2011 Duke lost in the round of 16. (albeit with an injured Irving)

In 2012 Duke lost in the round of 64.

In 2013 Duke lost in the round of 8.

In 2014 Duke lost in the round of 64.

The OAD approach hasn't exactly worked wonders for Duke in the tournament. This year could be the exception. I have postulated on previous posts, however, that the heavy emphasis on OAD recruits only works when one of those OADs is a legit NBA superstar (Anthony Davis) AND/OR some of those OAD-types return for a sophomore season to be accompanied by other OAD-types (Kentucky this year).

The jury's still out for Duke this season. Okafor could potentially be that superstar type of guy. Tyus Jones has been a stud as well. We'll see, however, if they can really handle the pressure of a regional semi-final/ final.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

The NBA-mandated one and done era is about eight years old. Duke's last championship came 6 years ago, when the OAD era was still a fledgling experience. Your comment that speaks to Duke's championships all coming with multi-year players is therefore GROSSLY misleading. But Corey Maggette (sp?) was Duke's first OAD player when the age limit was not mandated by the NBA. They lost in the national championship game his freshman season to UConn. Incidentally, Elton Brand left that year as a sophomore. Number 1 pick in the NBA. But the defections did not hurt Duke basketball. The 2000 Blue Devils won 29 games, went 15-1 in the ACC, claimed a second-straight ACC championship and finished No. 1 nationally in the final AP poll. Then, in the second year after the mass defections of ‘99 (with Maggette and Brand, Avery left as a junior), Krzyzewski won his third NCAA title.

Luol Deng was also a pre-NBA mandated age limit OAD in 03-04. Two years before the mandate. He led the Blue Devils to the national championship game. Are we starting to get a picture here? Again, they lost to UConn, but it was clear that OAD talent was useful in propelling teams to big games. Incidentally, the year after Deng left, Duke reached the Sweet 16 without him. Again, bolstering the proposition that OADS leaving do not irreparably harm the continuity of a program.

We all know of Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, and Jabari Parker. Kyrie Irving's team lost in the sweet 16, but he had battle a toe injury that left him out 26 games in his only season. Rivers is an outlier as a member of the Duke team that lost to Lehigh in the first round, but it would be a mistake to judge Rivers on his tournament game. His overall field goal percentage was .433, three point % was .365, and he score 15.5 a game. For comparison, all of those numbers are better than Oubre's. So he made a heavy contribution to his team as a OAD.

Then there's Jabari Parker, and no one needs to recap his success on the court being that it happened last year. This year, there are three potential OADs and they are acquitting themselves very well.

OAD talent is indispensable to a team if they can get them. Dont doubt it.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 6 months ago

All of those Duke teams you mentioned (1999, 2000, 2004) had very talented upperclassmen that were considered more of the "leaders" than the freshmen on those squads.

In 1999, senior, Trajan Langdon, was second in scoring (17.3) behind sophomore, Brand (17.7).

In 2000, Duke was led by junior, Shane Battier (17.4) and senior, Chris Carrawell (16.9).

The 2004 team may have been led by Luol Deng (a legit NBA superstar-type talent), but he was surrounded by a bevy of experienced talent, including senior, Chris Duhon, and several sophomore future NBA players.

I maintain that Coach K's recent OAD acquisitions have not translated to NCAA tournament success (which was the thesis of my post). I'm not sure anyone can argue the opposite, actually.

As I said earlier, this season could be the one that bucks the trend for Duke. If not, however, Coach K will be put in a position where he will either have to continue going after multiple OAD athletes every season, or suffer a down season or two, while the talent develops.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

RE: "All of those Duke teams you mentioned (1999, 2000, 2004) had very talented upperclassmen that were considered more of the "leaders" than the freshmen on those squads."

You're helping to make my point. I refer you to my above comments:

"The right thing to do is to get both multi-year players AND talented OADs. Kentucky is showing it and is AGAIN threatening for a national title."

Nowhere have I ever said that OADs do it all; in fact, Ive said quite the opposite. You need the complement of multi-year players to make it work. Just don't leave the OADs on the curb with the trash.

As far as Duke's tournament history, I refer you to comments Ive made elsewhere. But if your thesis is that OADs dont contribute to tournament success, there is a bevy of information to the contrary. Id be happy to provide it for you...

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

As as far as defense with OADs? Look at some of this year's crop. Myles Turner, Karl Anthony-Towns, Kelly Oubre, Jahlil Okafor and others are all OADS who are stellar defenders. (Granted, his point was about Bill Self's defense, but he needs to establish the case that Bill Selfs defense is harder to play than Kentucky's, Texas' and Duke's to have credibility on that point.)

Alex Resnik 7 years, 6 months ago

careful when calling Okafor "stellar" on defense.. replace with Stanly Johnson.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

Kelly Oubre was KU's best defender for most of the season, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid were KU's best defenders last year, and Xavier Henry was a solid defender so your point about the OAD's not being good defenders doesn't hold much water.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

Your point is well taken, though I'm not sure Kelly was our best defender for most of the season. Didn't Wayne usually get the tougher defensive assignments? Wayne had a much more successful year defensively than offensively. Wayne and Kelly both have the potential to be lock-down defenders and they were not that.

Steve Ramsey 7 years, 6 months ago

No opinion about the defense, but I agree completely with the point about recruiting. Seems to me that over the last few years, Self has aimed for a team made up of a core group of veterans, augmented by a few uber talented freshmen--the best of both worlds, where experience combines with excitement to produce a tournament winner.

That may be the goal, but instead, I'm afraid we may have ended up with the worst of both worlds, where older, average players combine with nervous new potential to produce an early exit.

Final thought: I'd take a four year commitment over a five star rating any day!

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 6 months ago

Self, not the media, will assess and determine how to go about developing existing players and adding new players that are required for success. This is why he makes the bucks.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

Speaking of Self making the bucks, he should take a salary cut after his last two teams have underachieved. 19 losses in two years, back-to-back losses in the Round of 32, and getting owned by "Little Brother" from the other end of the Turnpike - Dr. Zenger needs to hold him accountable for his failures and reduce his salary until his teams stop playing mediocre basketball.

Greg Lux 7 years, 6 months ago

This is just plain stupid. The man has done the best with the talent he has on hand. Before Alexander left we started two freshman, two sophomores and one Junior. We ended with a bunch of beat up players who played a bad game. We won the Big 12 outright and stayed ( thanks more to the fans then players ) undefeated at home again.

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 6 months ago

That is silly. If Embiid is healthy, KU goes deeper into the Tournament. All of the good ones have had moments like this including KY, Duke, and UNC. Let the man do his thing!

John Pritchett 7 years, 6 months ago

I agree. Stupid and silly. I would also add that those 19 losses came against the toughest schedule in all of college basketball for those two years. You can't just spew out numbers in a vacuum. The premise and the reality couldn't be further apart. Coach Self was up for coach of the year this year. He was named COY in at least one case.

Get a clue, people!

Humpy Helsel 7 years, 6 months ago

A post above which reminds me why I shouldn't either read or write in these blogs. However, it isn't a bad idea to lower one's IQ for a few moments to join the ranks of the unlearned.

Jesse Johnson 7 years, 6 months ago

Except our offense was pretty pitiful all year, with the exception of the first half of conference when we were shooting lights out threes (and thank goodness for that otherwise we do not win #11).

We need more than just returning our scoring from last year. We need NEW scoring, in the form of improved returning players and/or talented incoming freshman.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

Assuming only Kelly leaves, then it makes us better. It probably gives us a genuine shot at a title. Our odds will be better, but mainly because Kentucky will look very different. We still could start the year ranked behind Kentucky and probably Virginia. But we should jump Wisconsin, Arizona, Villanova. UNC will be in the mix, too.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 6 months ago

We go from a rotation with no seniors, three juniors and bunch of sophs and freshmen to three seniors[ Perry, Jamari and Hunter], four juniors[Frank, Brannen, Landen and Wayne], two high potential sophs[ Devonte and Svi], a very talented and coachable frosh in Carlton with room for recruits and/or transfers.

Plus everyone of the returnees have experienced at least one "Group of 32" flame-out....we will be better. The question is to what degree!!!

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

What degree is right. Those players got beaten off the ball regularly, lacked height and had trouble scoring consistently. In the back of my mind I wonder which of those players will regress. That seems to happen to at least one player a year. EJ, Tharpe, you could say Wayne this year. It certainly is not a given they all play better just because they are a year older. They certainly are not going to get quicker or taller.

Zeik Montellioso 7 years, 6 months ago

Jamari may be a senior, but that doesn't mean he'll be a good player next year. Unless he drastically improves over the summer, I would hope his minutes to be significantly reduced next year. He's got the athleticism, but no brain to back it up. He's extremely turnover and foul prone and horrible on both defense and offense.

David Kemp 7 years, 6 months ago

No excuses but Jamari is waaaaay undersized for his position. Probable stands 6 6 at best and is a lot leaner. Guarding quality post players is nearly impossible without taking chances or fouling.

Alex Resnik 7 years, 6 months ago

Jamari is a really good player as long as he is allowed to play his role of hustle guy. This year we needed him to score, defend, rebound, pass and give hustle. If we need all of that out of him again next year we will be in trouble...

Alex Berger 7 years, 6 months ago

Right there with ya, Oak! Yes, this team was disappointing in that it was hard to watch compared to some of our finer teams. However, any basketball team with a decent coach improves from year to year when you have a lot of returning players, and that's exactly what we have next year.

Does nobody remember how frustrating guys like Russ Robinson, Mario Chalmers, Marcus Morris, Jeff Withey, and TRob were when they first stepped on the court? They got yanked out of the game all of the time to get an earfull from Self. The difference? They all stayed and steadily improved.

If we gave up on every roster that had more than 6 losses, what about the 25-8 team that lost in the first round in '05-'06? They formed the core of the championship team of '08. Or the 27-8 team of '08-'09? That same team was almost undisputedly the best team of the '09-'10 season (screw you Farokhmanesh!!!).

I'm excited for next year's team. We haven't returned this many players in at least 4 years. Another year under Bill Self means less boneheaded plays. The only players that have stalled under Bill are basketball IQ challenged PGs like EJ & Tharpe, but PG is arguably our best position going forward with Mason & Graham. Guys like Selden, Ellis, Traylor, Svi, and Greene will only be better next year. One more year means smarter players, with better chemistry, with a giant chip on their shoulder. Ready to see these Jayhawks in '15-'16! Rock Chalk!!!

John Pritchett 7 years, 6 months ago

Everyone is just in a pissy mood. It's all gloom and doom. The team will be competitive next year, as always. Newsflash, we probably won't win the national title. If you haven't been paying attention, we tend to do that about once every 20 years if we're lucky (and there was a LOT of luck in that win over Memphis!). Stop basing our success on how often we win the title. You'll never be satisfied. Just enjoy the consistent success that we've had and stop acting like we deserve more. We're blessed!

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

When you compete at the level KU does, national titles are how you measure success. How many teams in the past 30 years has KU had that are capable of winning a title. Just since the 2008 team, KU's had 3 teams that could've won the title (2010-12). KU is absolutely blessed, blessed to have had so many teams that have been legitimate national title contenders in the past 30 years that only 2 banners to show for is a disappointment.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

Agree Aaron. We have underachieved in winning championships greatly in the Williams and Self era. There should be at least 3 more banners minimum since 2000. Baffling losses, inexplexible play by numerous teams resulting in way too early exits. You can rerun the article about the players being in shock from an early exit to a surprisingly low seed numerous times.

We have wasted numerous opportunities in the last 15-20 years. Sure most programs would be thrilled with our record, but we are not most programs. You cannot be elite and not be held to a higher standard.

It's not being spoiled, it's about winning your share when you are in a position to do so. We have fallen short too many times.

This was not one of those seasons. We deserve what we got this year. Some success but very short of what we expect of our program.

Tom Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

All of the elite programs have wasted opportunities to win titles. Winning the tournament doesn't mean you were the best team in college basketball. A 7 seven seed won it last year. A 6 seed won it in 1988.

If it was a 16 team tournament where every round was best two out of three, then yeah, KU would probably have a few more titles. But how many times in the last 30 years has KU had indisputably the best team? Twice? Maybe three times? They weren't indisputably the best either of the years they DID win it.

We are KU. We expect to be great every year, and whaddya know? We ARE. But even at KU you have teams that aren't legitimate national title contenders. This year we weren't. Last year we were until we lost Embiid. In 2009 we weren't. In 2004-06, while Self was rebuilding from Roy's lack of recruiting in his last two years, we weren't.

The tournament is what it is. KU has squandered golden opportunities to win it, but so has every other elite program. Winning 6 in a row, not having an off game, not running into a Mike Bibby or a Gerry McNamara or a Trey Burke is tough. It takes some luck, sometimes even IF you're indisputably the best team, which we haven't been since Self has been here. We've been among the best several times, and have only played for the title twice. We probably should have played for it another time or two. Roy's teams played for the title twice and two of his three best teams didn't even make the Final Four.

The question becomes...what's the point in whining about it? You take your draw and you play the games. Sometimes, if you're an overwhelming favorite, like 2009 UNC or 2012 UK, you close the deal. You don't run into some unstoppable force and you don't have a horrible shooting night. Most of the time it's just up for grabs. It's the nature of a one game tournament. The best team doesn't always win. They don't even USUALLY win. Deal with it.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 6 months ago

You know when you post all I see anymore is a rude person who only cares about putting people down on here. You are a angry vengeful person who vents on here with very little purpose other than to illustrate how your point of view is so much better than anyone's else. That no one deserves their point of view. You pick out those of us who have angered you in the past to make a point, over and over, that you are right. No matter what you say or how rude you are in saying it. I will answer you this time in kind. It seems the only way to get through to you, although I am not sure I care if you hear me or not.

Rarely do you have a respectful comment, or disagree with someone without putting the poster down, calling them names. Sometimes that is all you do, repeat their words and call them a name. You do this because you do not feel your point is strong enough without calling them some label in some insecure way to prove you and thus your point are better. Why do you have to put the poster down, call them a label when you disagree with them? Are you that emotional all the time?

It is the sign of someone who has the need to feel dominance even when there is none needed.

I will not argue with you anymore Tom. You are just not worth my or really anyones time on here. Wallow in your bitterness alone.

Feel free to blast away, I am sure you feel the need to vent now. I will not be reading your vibrant response. There will be nothing of substance in it.

I wonder though if you can curb your emotion enough to do it without bringing up the past, name calling or with any measure of respect. My bet is you cannot. Disagreeing on this level is unrecognizable to you.

This will be the last time I respond to you Tom. I am learning not to enable people like you.

Blast away you have my permission...

Tom Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

Sorry you feel that way, buddy, but there was nothing "emotional" or "rude" in my post. It sounds like you are looking for something that isn't there in this case.

If you can find evidence to the contrary, feel free to point it out!

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

No question. Absolutely true. Kansas is not "like every other program". Id trade away 11 consecutive conference titles for 2 additional national ones 5 years apart.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 6 months ago

I'd trade all 11 for one national title. Not that I don't value a conference title but we have so many we've run out of mantle space. And until the conference improves its tournament performance the value of a Big 12 regular season conference title is on the decline.

Robert Brown 7 years, 6 months ago

Really the future should look brighter next year. We could use some front court help. Bill Self's players usually get better. I would look for Selden to be more consistent next year.

Craig Alexander 7 years, 6 months ago

I definitely agree with the above posts how next year should be better. Hudy should help a lot with Svi and Greene to strengthen their lateral quickness. If those two would be able to stay in front of their men, we could have an incredibly good shooting rotation. Selden showed flashes of when his feet are set, he can be deadly. Svi will adjust to the tempo and showed a great knack for moving the ball with quick passes. Not to mention he does have some pretty good handles. If his defense improves, then he could easily jump ahead of Greene which means Greene might be forced to improve due to competition.

If Devonte makes a sophmore leap which he certainly will especially with the summer play our team will have, our guards will be great next year. I know people talk about Conner but Devonte has more skills and will be a much better player IMO.

Now we need a solid rim protector so hopefully we can get a nice 7 footer in the offseason!

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 6 months ago

With the exception of McLemore, our OAD’s have been pretty much a bust when we needed them most. In their last game in a KU uniform before heading off to the NBA, Wiggins, Selby, Henry and Oubre (?) all failed to live up to their expectations. Maybe it’s time to re-think our recruiting strategy.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 6 months ago

Maybe instead of obsessing over the ONE OAD player we should think more about the nine or ten other players on the roster. For example: maybe we should worry less about why Oubre didn't play well and ask why after 3 years Ellis can't carry the team, why after 3 years Lucas is still not a starter caliber player, why after 4 years of college Mickelson can't get on the court, why after 2 years of starting Selden didn't show up, why after 2 years Greene is still a space cadet on the court, why after 4 years of college Traylor is still not a starting caliber player, etc, etc.

Bryan Eck 7 years, 6 months ago

Such a point with the big men....how much do we need to pay Danny Manning to come back to Kansas and coach the 6'7"+ guys?

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

Because one player having a bad game determined whether or not KU lost. Kelly Oubre is not why we lost to WSU, Andrew Wiggins is not why we lost to Stanford, and Xavier Henry is not why we lost to UNI.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 6 months ago

Fair point, it is after all a team game and in 2015 I would agree with you. But last year we lost a close game to Stanford and Wiggins by his own admission had a less than stellar performance. Same thing in 2010 with Henry when we lost to Northern Iowa. Don’t know if the loss to VCU would have made a difference but Selby was a complete no-show in that game. I’m not placing the blame on these guys but as someone already stated, they are potentially great players just like Danny Manning was a potentially great player when he first played.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

Andrew Wiggins was not the only player to have a bad game against Stanford. KU shot 33% for the game and only scored 57 points. Perry Ellis was 3/10, Frank Mason was 0/4, Wayne Selden was 1/5, Jamari Traylor was 1/8, Naadir Tharpe only scored 5 points.

Actually looking at the box score for the UNI game, Xavier didn't have a terrible game. He didn't score a bunch of points, but 8 points on 3/6 shooting and 2/4 from deep with 8 rebounds isn't bad. Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor were the 2 players who had terrible games against UNI.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 6 months ago

Yep, again a team loss but Andrew was suppossed to be the guy to get us over the hump. He failed to do so and now he's gone. If he had been the difference in victory then there is an argument for recruiting an OAD of his caliber.

Tom Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

Without Wiggins the streak is over and KU would have been closer to Rodney's 8 seed than the two (which was too high, given we had no Embiid) we were. Without Wiggins AND Embiid .

Wiggins WAS the "difference in victory" may times in the season. Stanford recognized he was our only consistent threat and game planned against him. No one else stepped up. Tarik did his best but everyone else played poorly.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 6 months ago

Solid point but I will gladly trade a conference title for a deep(er) run in the tournament. Doesn't say much about a conference title when that team can't get past the second round.

Steve Corder 7 years, 6 months ago

I want competitors on the floor with decent basketball IQs! Some of this year's players need some real soul searching.

Justin Lindsley 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't like the one and done deal anymore than most of you. I find myself falling into the "no experience" argument often. I absolutely think there is something to be said about having experience. However, if we look at Kentucky and the success they are having with Freshman year after year, then i'm not sure experience is the end all be all. Maybe we just haven't found the right mix of talent yet?

In my opinion, a balanced team with experience guys and some young ultra talented guys would give us the best chance at tourney success.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 6 months ago

Kentucky is NOT having success year after year with Calipari's monopoly on the OAD market.

So far it's been a mixed bag for Calipari. He's had his fair mixture of great teams mixed in with good and even mediocre teams.

People forget that last year's Kentucky team was considered a bubble team for much of the season. It got hot at the right time and managed its way to the title game, which is why everyone on Earth forgets that UK had a relatively disappointing/ mediocre season prior to that. UK played in the NIT the year prior.

Calipari got lucky that a number of his OAD players from last season returned for this season. THAT coupled with talented OAD freshmen THIS season is what has led to UK being dominant. If UK loses the players it was expected to lose, then UK is simply another good team and isn't nearly the contender it is.

Calipari's system will reward him at times, but it will also burn him.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

A mixed bag for Calipari? If he plays for the national championship this year, he will have played in HALF OF THEM SINCE 2008!!!

How is this a mixed bag exactly?

I want that mixed bag at Kansas!

Bryan Eck 7 years, 6 months ago

Based on KU's last 3 games, 2 of which were under pressure, it's apparent that none of the guys are mentally ready for the big show. Stay in college another year or 2, take some business classes, and learn how to handle the millions of $$$ you will be earning in the coming years.

Robert Brock 7 years, 6 months ago

It is fun to dream of landing a few of the remaining top recruits from the Class of 2015. Problem is, why has the KU staff painted the program into a corner, once again, by attempting to draw an inside straight this late in the recruitment game? There is a strong possibility of completely whiffing on these remaining prospects.

Perhaps Coach Self needs to replace one or more of his assistants and come up with a more effective recruiting MO.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

That weedhead Jerrance Howard should be the first to go.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm curious if you could explain what you mean by saying that the staff has painted the program into a corner.

Are you suggesting that they'd be better off not holding out for the late signees? Or are they putting all of the eggs in one basket again similar to what they did with Myles Turner last spring, even making an in-home visit on Easter Sunday.

I haven't read a ton of recruiting talk this year other than some fantasies about Thon Maker, and some postulating about Zimmerman being Kentucky bound and some talk about how KU will miss out on Diallo, and Rabb will stay close to home, and KU stopped recruiting Stone, and Newman is anybody's guess....

Cody Riedy 7 years, 6 months ago

Let's simplify things here for everyone wracking their brain to explain our supposed lack of success from the past two years. Simple question, how many of this year's players would have started or played significant minutes on any of our teams previous to this and last years team? Our 11-12 team lacked depth, so there were reserve minutes to be had on that team, but I don't think Lucas, Mickelson, Traylor, or Greene would have seen the court on most of our past teams. Selden would have played reserve minutes. Mason would probably get minutes, but not as a starter. Even Ellis would have had to come off the bench on many of those teams, though he would have gotten minutes. Moral of the story: this team just isn't as talented as past teams.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 6 months ago

Even if we just look at our post championship teams, talent wise this year's squad is questionable. Here's some of our main players from that time period. Let's rank them. We'll just use two simple categories: guards/wings and post players.

Guards/Wings: Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Travis Releford, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed, Connor Teahan, Elijah Johnson, Xavier Henry, Josh Selby, Ben Mclemore, Naadir Tharpe, Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden, Frank Mason, Brannen Greene, Devonte Graham, Kelly Oubre

Post Players: Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Cole Aldrich, Jeff Withey, Thomas Robinson, Kevin Young, Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas, Joel Embiid, Cliff Alexander.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 6 months ago

Now let's rank these guys, not off of potential, but on how past guys at their best compare to where our guys are at right now. I've put their best season stats in parenthesis.

Point Gaurds: Sherron Collins (18.9 ppg, 5.0 asst), Tyshawn Taylor (16.6 ppg, 4.8 asst) Frank Mason (12.6 ppg, 3.9 asst), Devonte Graham (5.7 ppg, 2.1 asst), Naadir Tharpe (8.5 ppg, 5 asst.).

Cody Riedy 7 years, 6 months ago

Guards/Wings: Andrew Wiggins (17.1 ppg, 5.9 reb. 1.2 stl, 1 blk), Ben Mclemore (15.9 ppg, 5.2 reb, 2 asst, 1 stl), Xavier Henry (13.4 ppg, 4.5 Reb, 1.5 stl), Travis Releford (11.9 ppg, 3.8 reb, 2.6 asst, 1.3 stls), Elijah Johnson (9.9 ppg, 3.1 reb, 4.6 asst.), Tyrel Reed (9.7 ppg, 3.1 reb, 1.5 stl), Brady Morningstar (7.1 ppg, 3.3. asst, 1.4 stl, 41% 3pt), Wayne Selden (9.4 ppg, 2.8 reb, 2.6 asst), Kelly Oubre (9.3 ppg, 5 reb, 1.1 stl), Brannen Greene (5.7 ppg, 2.1 reb, 40.4% 3pt), Connor Teahan (5.5 ppg, 2.1 reb, 33.6% 3 pt).

Cody Riedy 7 years, 6 months ago

I won't bother to list every post player, because this is the most obvious category, but here's the highlights of the best:

Post Players: Thomas Robinson (17.7 ppg, 11.9 reb), Marcus Morris (17.2 ppg, 7.6 reb) Markieff Morris (13.6 ppg, 8.3 reb.) Cole Aldrich (soph:14.9 ppg, 11.1 reb, jun: 3.5 blks), Jeff Withey (13.7 ppg 8.5 reb, 3.9 blks), Joel Embiid (11.2 ppg, 8.1 Reb, 2.6 blks)

Joe Joseph 7 years, 6 months ago

This category is about the only one that matters. A lot of the other ones are unfair for a variety of reasons when comparing to players on this past season's roster. I don't think those reasons really need to be explained.

KU has lacked a dominant big man the last 2 years. Embiid could have been that guy had he avoided injury. Every one of Bill Self's great teams (whether regular season or post season) have featured multiple low-post players who played or are still playing in the NBA. Perry will get his chance to play in the League, but it won't be at the 4.

David Serven 7 years, 6 months ago

Kansas is missing the two 'C"s which made up some of the better teams we've had, 'Consistancy and Chemistry'. We were consistently inconsistent and showed no real chemistry for a first year team. We can't expect to have either of these qualities in the first year unless we have mature players. If we can keep this core of players and add a real post man, then maybe we can compete at a higher level next year.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 6 months ago

Add a "center" to your list of required C's...

William Weissbeck 7 years, 6 months ago

See below - Izzo gets by without a true center. The you have to have leapers and guards that keep players out of the lane.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

Great point. A center like Aldrich, Withey or Embiid would definitely be nice, but that center is not necessarily going to defend ball screens well or prevent guards from getting into the paint in the first place. Having that center would not have affected the WSU game very much.

The first couple threes by Wessel are hard to complain about, but once he hit the first two, Perry needed to do a much better job finding him. The open threes from Baker and Van Fleet are the hardest ones to get over. Devonte - as good as we was at getting into the passing lanes- has to deny the screen and recover better when he's on the ball. Landon is smart enough to know that when our guards are slow recovering, he has to stay with the shooter longer. The fact that WSU got great, open looks from the perimeter over the first 12 minutes of the second half was big them. A true center wouldn't have done much to change that.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 6 months ago

Maybe not, but then again, a rim protector allows your perimeter defenders to commit more to defending the outside shot and not have to worry as much about collapsing when their man decides to drive. Therefore, a defensive anchor in the post also strengthens the perimeter defense. It doesn't solve every problem in the world, but it does help in multiple ways.

Shane Johnston 7 years, 6 months ago

Making that argument for the WSU game really risks letting our perimeter defenders off the hook. I don't think Wayne and Kelly were overly committed to protecting the paint- they didn't appear to be committed, period. I don't know why, but they just didn't seem to be checked in. I don't think that game is reflective of who they are. As far as Brannen, I'm skeptical that another three inches behind him - in any game - will transform him into a plus defender. It will not surprise me if Self struggles to hide Brannen defensively for the next two years.

That being said, I'm happy all three of those guys are Jayhawks, and I would love to have all of them back. I just struggle to explain the lack of aggressiveness. In my opinion the lack of wing production was much more frustrating than the lack of production at center this season.

William Weissbeck 7 years, 6 months ago

We are not that much different than an Izzo or Patino team, but we miss their key ingredients - guards that command the game, and undersized guys that get rebounds. Remind you of WSU? Some of that might be physical talent. Some of that might be "moxie" that you were born with. But I think it is coaches getting into the players heads that they may not be the best player on the floor, but no one is going to out tough them. Think Bob Huggins. Think a Brady Morningstar with athleticism.

Alex Resnik 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm not a fan of your Izzo comparison because Self and Izzo have two different coaching styles... Izzo doesn't want a true center because they run so much and score a high % of their points in transition. Self depends on secondary break and sets to score... not transition.

Bryan Swan 7 years, 6 months ago

Look, Villanova and Virginia got bounced too, and we did better than 3 seeds ISU and Baylor. This is the Tournament dynamic: one bad day and you are done. In a lot of ways this team overachieved based on having so many holes. Looking forward to the next couple of years with all the returning underclassmen and recruits. Rock Chalk Forever!!!

Bryce Landon 7 years, 6 months ago

Right, we should be proud of ourselves because we lasted one round longer than ISU and BU. Because those two teams are the standard we should measure ourselves against.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 6 months ago

More and more I am hearing Thon is going to play over seas for a year then go pro. I am not holding out for him anymore. Also, if Alexander stays we may not get a center because of the log jam at the position. If he goes, Zimmerman is coming, which is why he is waiting to make his choice, which will end up being UNLV or Arizona if he doesn't come here.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

Thon will be ruled indelible at some point next season...maybe right before post season play.

Harlan Hobbs 7 years, 6 months ago

Once again, Joe Ross has summed things up just right.

Jeff Fugitt 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't get the outlook uncertainty. A more mature team, more confidence, hunger and leadership from the likes of Mason and Graham and the addition of some 5 star talent will equate to another B12 title and likely a deeper run in the tourney. What was KU to do with the loss of Wiggins and Embiid and a very vulnerable, young team? We punched the B12 right in the mouth and took the conference title. In your column on Jan 2nd, you picked Texas and Iowa State to finish first and second in the B12. How did that workout for you? Have you not learned your lesson? You can say the outlook is uncertain every year, yet HCBS delivers.

Rich Hetherington 7 years, 6 months ago

I think the Jayhawks will be just fine next year. They will have Perry, Traylor and Mickelson as seniors, as well as Seldon, Greene, Mason and Lucas as Juniors. I just have a feeling that those guys are all going to improve and play with more urgency and poise next year. Throw in Graham and Svi as improved sophomores and maybe a couple recruits and it will be another classic Kansas team.

What I'm most excited about now is seeing the team compete in the 2015 World University Games in July. All the games will be televised state side, and they will be fun to watch. Have a strong performance there, and they may come back even more prepared and focused for next season. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Joe Ingalls 7 years, 6 months ago

The problem with a One and Done occurs, for the most part, when that player happens to not be one and done. The idea of using KU as a steppingstone to the NBA is okay if you take that step, if not it's two steps back. Not only for the player but also for the program. There is no doubts that the OAD is using the KU program, but also we must understand that Bill Self and the Ku program is using the OAD. Wayne Selden, a projected OAD, is a good example of this. We cannot overestimate the talent of a projected OAD, that to me is obvious. However, we can overestimate the value of sheer talent to a Basketball Team. The non one and done puts Self in a pickle. It's my wish that Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander do not return to KU. That they take the step befoe they take the two steps back. I think Selden may be okay now, he has taken the two steps back and may be ready to move forward. How soon we forget the Dreiling, Aldrich and Withey and their journeys. I see that journey with Landon Lucas and it gives me some hope.i wonder if Alexander and Ellis didn't have their problems, if I would have gotten a chance to see it this year. Can Hunter Mickelson make the journey, is he going to get the chance? How soon we forget the Brady Morningstar, Tyrell Reed, and Jerod Hass and where they would be on a team of OAD's Many here have wished Hunter Mickelson and Svi would have gotten to play when the circumstances dictated they should have. It may be hindsight to think they could have made a difference. Whether or not that's true doesn't really matter....because what is true and what matters, is it would have made a difference for Hunter and Svi.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 6 months ago

How do you guys see Oubre projecting to the NBA? I think he is on the fence right now in regards to whether or not going pro or staying in college benefits him both financially and development-wise. Last year, Wiggins was clearly an NBA player and needed to go against elite level talent to accelerate his development. With Oubre, it seems like he can still very much be pushed by college level competition. At the same time, I'm not sure if he could improve his draft stock enough to gain financially from another year in college.

Don Burgundy 7 years, 6 months ago

According to reports Kelly is a fringe late lottery pick right now. Selfishly I would want him to come back because he would kill next year, however I believe an extra year would help him develop more with his body. I could see him putting up Brandon Rush type numbers offensively and defensively as a Soph next year.

Kristen Downing 7 years, 6 months ago

He's gone. Have to consider their family situation as number one priority and they do, just ask Cliff Alexander and Julian Wright.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 6 months ago

It's harder to predict who is coming back in the age on transfers.

Corey Sparks 7 years, 6 months ago

Look last year we lost in the second (third lmao) round because unfortunately Embid got injured...that's part of the game I understand but don't fault bill for a round of 32 loss when our second best player got injured right before tourney time. Had he been healthy we would easily have made the sweet 16 and most likely elite 8 contending for a final four. This year we got screwed with Wichita State as a 7 seed. Yes we gotta beat who we are scheduled to play but we were playing a 3/4 seed in the Rnd of 32...tough luck, and no shame in losing to Wichita state, except we will never hear the end of it unfortunately. The year before we lost in the sweet 16, bc Elijah had a mental breakdown...but get this! To the national runner up, again no shame in that. The year before we were runner ups.

You guys go into "freak out" mode wayyy to quick! Chill we will be returning most of our players, hopefully Oubre to. Playing great teams in July. We should be a final four contender next year. Really y'all need a chill lol

Alex Resnik 7 years, 6 months ago

I still fault Bill for that loss last year. He said when talking to the press this year about Alexander that they were preparing as though he wasn't going to play. And with Embiid, they prepared as if he WAS going to play. That's his mistake. Now, Stanford was a really tough matchup for us, but we still should have won that game IMO.

Layne Pierce 7 years, 6 months ago

My fellow Jayhawks we will have plenty of talent coming back next year. The question is how much heart we have oming back. If basketball was simply a game of one and one we'd be champtions. Unfortunately it is a team game as WSU clearly demonstrated to us. It is a game not just of shooting, but of rebounding, passing and playing defense. It is a game of making each other better.

The last two years watching every game I have noticed not a lack of talent, but a lack of defense, and very poor ball movement and passing.

The one thing we don't have besides Frank Mason, is someone who will come to play every night. An interesting stat on this years team was the variance in scoring by everyone but Perry and Frank from game to game. If we are going to be a better team next year, that has to stop.

It's time for the baby corp to grow up. if a person cannot be counted on, then put in someone who can.

The good news is we have so many players coming back, the bad news ...

Brian Wilson 7 years, 6 months ago

The bad news is .......so far next year we are still too small! We have loads of talent with a lack of leadership, heart and size. Bill Self needs to reevaluate his recruiting plan and his coaching staff - its not rocket science.

Perry Ellis is not a Power Forward. Traylor is also too small. We need to stop recruiting Power Forwards that put us in this situation. Currently our plan leaves us short again at PF with a short 6'9" newcomer in Bragg. However, Bragg is a bigger load to handle than Ellis and Traylor, so Bragg is an upgrade.

Bill needs to think about recruiting some 4 star legitimate big men as back ups behind the OADs. There are a ton of them that we could have and Jerrance Howard needs to reset his priorities to signing one maybe two of these guys early and developing them as a backup plan for when we don't sign the OADs.

.
We need someone to replace, Manning to help develop the big men. Someone with NBA experience and a name to help with recruiting such as Scott Pollard.


Rich Hetherington 7 years, 6 months ago

Mickelson is/was a 4-star big man if I'm not mistaken. Going into his senior campaign, all I can hope is that he works hard in the offseason and comes ready to have a great senior year. I'm not sure he'll get much PT no matter what the circumstances, but I do know he can turn into a decent rim protector if given the chance... or at least I think (or hope) he can.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

We need to stop recruiting the Mickelsons. Perry Ellis is the standard for multi-year players. At Kansas, standards must be higher. Otherwise, we will get results like we have the last couple of years.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm surprised we made no effort to sign Semi Oleje who will be eligible in Dec. of next year.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

He couldn't find the court at Duke, yet he would find the court at KU? He would do nothing but ride the bench in Lawrence just like at Duke.

Joe Ross 7 years, 6 months ago

All, respect Walter. I agree with Aaron on this one. I can remember few players brought here from another school's program who performed at a high level at Kansas. Lester Earl underperformed. Tarik Black was so foul prone he could not make an impact. Hunter Mickelson rarely saw the floor because of better players in front of him in a year where our talent level was sub-par. Jeff Withey is a notable exception.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 6 months ago

Quit applying NBA standards to the college game. 6-8 and 6-9 are not too small to be successful. Wayne Simien, Darrell Arthur, and the twins were all 6-8 or 6-9 and had no problems becoming very successful college players.

Roger Boland 7 years, 6 months ago

Funny how nobody gives Mason more credit. Rarely when he dominated we lost. I believe he wasn't a high recruit and he's already better then Tharpe and EJ. Why is everyone cracking on this years team? Losing Cliff and a redhot Ellis( before the knee and elbow to the nose.. btw after the nose shot he was done) our season was done. I knew coming in to this season, a title was not realistic. Outside of Towns and Booker the oad for Kenstinky are not as reliable. If they played in the Big 12 or Acc they're not 36-0. We underachieved but did better then I thought. What about the 30 and 25 point losses this year. Most teams prolly would of tanked. WSU played better without the ball on both ends then we did. Plus, having more vetern players. I'll put money on the 08 team to beat both stellar Kenstinky teams. Experienced teams proves more every time.

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