Thursday, February 25, 2016

Self: Three players obvious for All-Big 12

Kansas head coach Bill Self has a laugh with Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) as time begins to expire in the Jayhawks' 66-60 win over Baylor, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Kansas head coach Bill Self has a laugh with Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) as time begins to expire in the Jayhawks' 66-60 win over Baylor, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.


In about a week and a half, Bill Self and nine other Big 12 head basketball coaches will submit their all-conference picks to the league office.

“You’ve got three that are givens — Buddy (Hield, Oklahoma), Perry (Ellis, Kansas) and Georges (Niang, Iowa State),” Self said of first-team mention. “The other two ... you could make a case for a lot of guys who could be on that first team. There will be consensus on those three. Everybody (coaches, media) will have different opinions after that,” Self added on his weekly “Hawk Talk” radio show.

Hield (25.4 ppg), Niang (19.5) and Ellis (16.4 ppg) are the top three scorers in the league. Some other players sure to be up for Big 12 honors: Isaiah Taylor, Texas; Taurean Prince, Rico Gathers, Johnathan Motley, Baylor; Monte Morris, Abdel Nader, ISU; Jaysean Paige, Devin Williams, West Virginia; Frank Mason III, Devonté Graham, Wayne Selden Jr., KU; and Isaiah Cousins, Jordan Woodard, Ryan Spangler, OU, to name a bundle.

Mason OK: Mason had a sore neck Wednesday, the result of a hard foul by Baylor’s Motley with 2:14 left in KU’s 66-60 win over the Bears on Tuesday. Mason hit one of two free throws to give the Jayhawks a 58-55 lead.

“Bill (Cowgill, trainer) said he is sore and will have to get it worked on probably with treatment the next three to four days before he’s 100 percent,” Self said. “It’s not anything to keep him from playing. You will not keep him out unless it’s something significant.

“When he jerked his head left, he tweaked something in his neck. It wasn’t a head injury. His neck is stiff. They can work on that,” Self added.

Ellis tough: KU senior Ellis scored 15 points while playing 36 minutes Tuesday, three days after he was kneed in the head by teammate Carlton Bragg Jr., opening a 12-stitch cut at Kansas State. Selden accidentally slugged Ellis in the right eye late in the KSU game. His eye remained watery on Tuesday.

“Wayne swung at the ball as hard as a man can swing. It was not just a poke. It was a blow,” Self said. “I’m proud of Perry. He got beat up that game. That would knock most people out. I don’t think I’ve seen him that upset since I’ve been here because he really wanted to be out there down the stretch (of 72-63 win vs. KSU). It means a lot to him. ... I think with Perry, we take for granted he is a rock out there all the time.”

Mickelson update: Self said senior Hunter Mickelson still is not fully recovered from a high-ankle sprain he suffered a couple of weeks ago.

“He said he’s 90, 95 percent,” Self said. “High-ankle sprains take awhile to heal. He didn’t get a chance to play last night. We decided to go with guys who’ve been playing the majority of the minutes, especially after we got behind. He stepped in and make a huge play against Kansas State (forcing a turnover late).”

Good grades: KU’s Ellis, Svi Mykhailiuk and Evan Manning have been named to the Academic All-Big 12 first team, it was announced Wednesday.

This, that: A win over Texas Tech at 11 a.m. Saturday would give KU at least a share of a 12th straight Big 12 title. It also would surely vault No. 2 KU to the No. 1 spot in the AP poll. No. 1 Villanova fell to Xavier, 90-83, on Wednesday. ... Trevon Duval, a 6-2 junior from Dallas Advanced Preparatory International, attended the KU-Baylor game. He’s considering KU, Baylor, Arizona and many others. He’s ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2017 by


Scott Smetana 6 years, 9 months ago

It's nice to give the young stars some minutes, but when it comes to crunch time, I'd much rather see Mick get the minutes over Diallo and Bragg.

Danny Hernandez 6 years, 9 months ago

I too prefer Hunter, he knows the playbook, can alter and/or block shots and is more trust worthy when hea's in the game. Bragg and Diallo will come up big for us these next 12 games, count on it

Joe Ross 6 years, 9 months ago

But this is presumably not the only season of college basketball youre going to watch. I love the guy, but when Mickelson is gone next year, it will be Diallo and Bragg who are on the floor. They need minutes for experience. If you weigh what MIckelson might add this year vs. what Diallo and Bragg have to become for next year, the choice is clear about who the minutes should go to. And it's not Mickelson.

Dane Griffith 6 years, 9 months ago

With all due respect, @ 24-4 this year, if you are preparing for next year, your doing it wrong. I agree if we were 18-10 or something like that and really had no chance to make a deep run in the tournament, get them minutes and experience for next year. Right now though, I lean toward playing the best options to win. CD and CB are getting better all the time but it is in spurts. I think after a full off season in Hudy's program and gaining a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities - Look Out!!

Kent Richardson 6 years, 9 months ago

I think it's the good plays versus bad plays that make CD and CB less than reliable. It's about 50/50. Diallo has that quick jumping ability and length. Is he a better blocker than Hunter? Carlton's situtation is different in that he can and does sub for Perry. He can hit a few shots but in 8 minutes a game it is hard to get a lot of decent looks.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

Sound argument Joe. I feel bad that Mickelson never really got his shot at Kansas but going forward, Bragg and Diallo are the future and every minute they get on the court this year will pay dividends next year.

Doug Cramer 6 years, 9 months ago

J-Ross - we're playing for a national championship this year. Self should focus on this year and only this year.

If Mickelson is the more effective player and helps bring us home a championship...then that's who needs to play.

Cameron Cederlind 6 years, 9 months ago

I get the feeling someone is pulling a "Tonya Harding" on his ankle each week . . .

Kent Richardson 6 years, 9 months ago

I thought we had put that all behind us but..... Lol

Len Shaffer 6 years, 9 months ago

One of the best things about this team has been how often a player comes in for a few minutes and makes a big play. I've been impressed with how ready everyone has been to contribute, even if they don't get much playing time.

That's one of the things that gives me the most hope for the tournament: that someone could come in and have a huge impact like Aldrich did in '08 against UNC.

Colby Hebert 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree.These guys seem to be able to make impact plays cold off the bench.

Greene can come in and hit a 3. Svi has provided energy and a spark when he comes in lately. Diallo will try to block everything. Bragg has come in and hit some timely shots. Traylor will nab a 50-50 ball. Hunter had a huge play in a tiny amount of minutes when he deflected that ball..

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

That was Cole's best game as a Jayhawk. He may have finished with only eight points but he completely shut down Tyler Hansbrough, had 7 rebounds and 4 blocks coming off the bench.

Tom Jones 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe his most memorable game (and definitely his most important contribution as a freshman), but no...far from his best game as a Jayhawk.

Danny Hernandez 6 years, 9 months ago

If Kansas wins the Big 12 outright, they should have Frank and Wayne first team with Devonte second team. They're a significant reason Kansas wins #12!!!! If two other players has as much influence on their team, they'd be in first place!

Alan Mills 6 years, 9 months ago

Danny, I disagree completely. Selden has been terrible in most games, at both ends of the court. He looks lost in almost every game. Besides Ellis, the only players deserving of All Big 12 honors would be Mason and Graham. If a 4th player sneaks in, it could be Lucas. Although I have been a major detractor of his over the years, his play since January has been critical to the success the Jayhawks have enjoyed. Miles Simon can call him a "liability" all he wants, but his play has been stellar of late. Not saying I would vote him to All Big 12, but he's been KU's 4th-best player over the conference season.

RJ King 6 years, 9 months ago

Simon actually elaborated on the other qualities Lucas brings to the game. He seemed to use the word "liability" in regards to his offense in general, but even more specifically in reference to the fact that on several occasions Baylor's defense gave Lucas space, and he passed up an opportunity to take one dribble and score.

I don't see Lucas currently as a liability on offense so much as just a non-factor. I hope his improving defense (more authoritative rebounding, etc) carries over into confidence in his ability to score. He is improving at such a rate that he could be quite productive on both ends of the court by mid-March.

I agree with you on Selden, only not as extreme as "terrible" in most games. I would say terrible half the time in most games.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

Lucas does do some positive things on offense. He sets solid picks, does a decent job on all offensive rebounds and put backs and usually finds the right guy to pass to but he cannot continue to pass up driving to the rim when the other team all but gives him a free pass to do so and with his size, he needs to go up strong without first bringing the ball down to where the ball can be easily swatted from his hands.

RJ King 6 years, 9 months ago

You are right. I should have said what I meant, which is "non-factor" in terms of scoring.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

I just don't see how you can make a case for Wayne to be first team All Big 12. He has had games that show how much potential he has but far too often disappears for extended periods in too many games this year. I think Selden will inevitably decide to return for a fourth season as I don't see him getting drafted next year unless possibly a late second rounder.

I think a better argument is clearly having Mason on the first team although I think Isaiah Taylor will probably get picked ahead of him. I wish they had a category for Big 12 All Toughness awards. Mason would be at the top of that list hands-down.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 9 months ago

Really happy the Hawks placed 3 guys on the academic first team All-Big 12. Based solely on the heady style Lucas plays, I would have expected him to be on at least the second team. Hard for me to believe Lucas does not maintain at least a 3.0 gpa.

Like Self said, a case can be made for a lot of different guys for the first team All-Big 12. Due to the lapses Mason and Selden have had, I don't expect them to get much support for First Team All-Big 12 but they both should be second team.

Self must be seeing a lot from Diallo and Bragg in practice but from my observations, we need the WUG Mickelson to take those minutes at the 5.

Assuming Kansas wins at home Saturday vs TTU and we become Number 1, it chances my perspective on the UT game. Had 'Nova remained number 1, I would have been ok with Self giving the other guys tons of minutes in Austin, since the game would be somewhat meaningless. However, being Number 1 changes all that kind of thinking. The team should take a lot of pride in what they have accomplished this year and go out and agressively defend what they have worked so hard to earn.

RJ King 6 years, 9 months ago

Agree with first three paragraphs. However . . .

1) Assuming that KU wins vs TT could be a huge mistake. If TT plays like they have been (and why wouldn't they, with a tournament berth on the line?), they will be ONE TOUGH OUT. We can't afford to leave our A game in the locker room.

2) If we settle the 12-straight question on Saturday, the Texas game could be the last opportunity to rest Frank and Perry, and get major minutes for Svi, Brannen, CD, CB, and a healthy (?) Mick. I'd grudgingly take a loss at Texas if something more valuable could be gained,

3) I would be hard-pressed to mess around with ISU, with senior day and the home-win-streak on the line.

But yes - I think you're saying they should go all-out to stand alone in 1st. It will be interesting to see how Self strikes a balance between that and resting or protecting our key players. Something tells me the alpha-dog in Self will go all out.

Mike Greer 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree, I think coach will go all out, especially against TT and ISU. And I don't think he'll hold back against UT unless he sees that as a lost cause and they have already secured the conference. Coach doesn't seem to be much of a gambler, so I don't see him not pressing these next couple of games.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 9 months ago

No doubt Self and the team will go all out to win the TTU game. Also no doubt they will do the same vs ISU since it is Senior Day, Ellis' last game in AFH, and we NEVER NEVER under any circumstance want to lose at home.

It's the UT game that I'm wondering what Self does. Bill Self will never lay down and allow a loss. If he holds out the starters to get more PT for the others, I'm more than sure he will drive them and hold them to the same expectations as he would the regulars, through Traylor. I'd love to see how a team like Vick, Mykailiuk, Greene, Bragg, Diallo, and Mickelson. My only concern about that would be the loss of PT for Ellis as he moves up the All Time KU Score Card.

Steve Macy 6 years, 9 months ago

Three great student/athletes, congratulations. Hunter does have his moments, at this point would rather have Lucas or Traylor in. RCJH, two teams on winning streaks collide on Saturday. It will be fun.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 9 months ago

Perry, Svi and Evan. A lot of effort goes into what you accomplished. Nice job guys!

As it stands now, Perry is our FT all conference along with Niang, Hield, Devon and Monte Morris.. Wayne and Frank would have to go off big time in Lawrence and Austin, both wins, to gain any traction.

Next year preseason choices Frank and Wayne.

Billy Derringer 6 years, 9 months ago

Siv's all around game is starting to pull away from Green's an his patience has rewarded him with more min. An he has played well. I think he will be the one that has the surprise game (10-15 points) Second language college an hes a academic all american very impressive.

Aaron Millsap 6 years, 9 months ago

My First Team All-Big IXI Team: Monte Morris, Buddy Hield, Jaysean Paige, Georges Niang, Perry Ellis. To me, the toughest call is for the last spot between Mason and Paige.

Glen Miller 6 years, 9 months ago

My 1st team All-Big 12

Heild (OU) Ellis (KU) Niang (ISU) Taylor (Texas) Paige (WVU)

2nd Team

Mason (KU) Gathers (Baylor) Ibeh (Texas) Prince (Baylor) Cousins (OU)

Obviously the combinations are endless. Just based from what I've watched this season and I am in no way, shape or form an expert.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 9 months ago

I wouldn't be surprised if your 1st Team All Big 12 predictions are exactly right. I'd like to see Graham make the 2nd team with Mason but doubt it will happen.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 9 months ago

Alan, we must not be watching the same games. Selden hasn't always been at the top of his game, but he is definitely a mainstay of the team.

I do like Len's observation of the bench players, and I am glad that the coaching staff recognizes them, as Coach Self did with Hunter in the KSU game. Not sure that the KSU turnover was a correct call, but we will take it.

Rodney Pain 6 years, 9 months ago

I think Monte Morris will be a first teamer, and maybe Devin Williams too. Mason and Motely seem like obvious 2nd teamers, and probably Taylor, Woodard, and Prince. Oddly, no names from Tech seem to be popping up despite them having an unexpectedly solid season. I doubt Wayne's getting on any All Big 12 teams, though. His conference play has been no where near what his nonconf play was like. But if getting up for nonconf foes is his thing, that has to bode well for us in the dance.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 9 months ago

Just curious, but if we beat TT do any of you really think Bill can back down and let the game at Texas be a "measured effort"? It's just not in his DNA and he transferes that to his players.

Sorry, I think they need to play every game like it's the last game of their careers to get tourney tough.

PS Hey, Katie... get in your friggin' Land Rover and just drive away. :)

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