Tuesday, June 19, 2018

KU coach Bill Self still plans to meet with Lagerald Vick about future plans

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) swoops in for a shot during the first half on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) swoops in for a shot during the first half on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas basketball coach Bill Self on Tuesday stopped short of saying that the door was completely closed for Lagerald Vick to return to Kansas for his senior season.

And it’s clear, at least as of Tuesday, that Self and Vick will sit down for a conversation about the Memphis native’s options and desires in the coming days. But whether that meeting leads to the 6-foot-5 guard rejoining the Jayhawks for one more run is uncertain.

“I think we owe it to each other to at least sit down and visit,” Self said Tuesday afternoon during a joint news conference with recent gold medalist and KU freshman Quentin Grimes. “We’ve been through too much together (in) three years and had quite a bit of success, and I think we definitely need to do that.”

Because the 2018-19 Kansas basketball roster features just 12 scholarship players, Self has the option to add another player via scholarship. And on paper, the idea of giving that scholarship to a player of Vick’s caliber and experience certainly would make sense.

In three seasons with KU, the Memphis native, who played a key role in the Final Four and Elite Eight teams of the past two seasons, appeared in 94 games and made 41 starts.

For a team that does not currently have a single senior on its roster, that kind of experience and veteran presence certainly could look appealing. But that’s why the conversation needs to happen.

Self reiterated Tuesday that when Vick elected to leave KU early and declare for the NBA draft in April — he since has officially pulled his name out and did so by the deadline and without hiring an agent to retain his college eligibility — the move was made with the understanding by both parties that it would close the book on his KU career.

“Nothing, as of now, has changed in my mind,” Self said Tuesday. “We recruited with the idea of him not being here. We signed a young man late with the idea of him not being here. So there’s some things we’ll have to talk about. ... It has been cut and dry in my eye. Maybe not in their eyes.”

Self, who returned to Lawrence on Sunday night from his stint as the head coach of the U18 USA Basketball gold medal team, said he had talked “very briefly” with Vick and his mother, LaLa Vick, while adding that he wanted to get settled back home before setting up a meeting.

He said that meeting would take place “hopefully in the near future,” and added that he probably has as many questions as Vick and his family.

“We like Lagerald and the thought was, when he declared, that his time at KU would be done either way,” Self said. “So that’s something that I’ll visit with him and his mother about. But at this point in time, it hasn’t been decided, nor has he told us positively or whatever (that he wants to come back). I just think he wants to be able to sit down with us and be able to go over future options and if there are any here.

“We’ll see what happens here. But no hurry. I don’t think it’s anything where you guys should ask every day where this is because, as of right now, nothing has changed from what it was when we ended the season.”


Pius Waldman 4 years, 1 month ago

Well as for me if he wants to come back for his senior year hope Self agrees. Mother might have had a big effect on his original decision. Not signing and not staying in the draft tells me he just might want to return.

Max Kennedy 4 years, 1 month ago

It seems like a no-brainer conclusion. With his abilities, what kind of sense would it make to miss the draft AND not return? Not signing with an agent and withdrawing from the draft says he chose to retain his eligibility and now hopes to return. And he has the added responsibility of being a parent. I like Lagerald and really hope things work out how ever is best for him.

Titus Canby 4 years, 1 month ago

Other than Europe, D-League, and KU, what are Vick's options? Can he transfer to a DII school without having to sit out a year?

Matt Tait 4 years, 1 month ago

He can. He can also transfer to a D-I school and sit out a year. I've heard Memphis kicked around, but I don't see that as the most likely path. That's two more years of school for a guy who, two months ago, was full-speed-ahead on starting his pro career.

Still think that's the outcome and think he'll end up in the G League for the 2018-19 season. There are certainly worse places to be.

Mike Riches 4 years, 1 month ago

"We signed a young man late with the idea of him not being here."

Who is Self talking about here? The only player who committed this calendar year is Agbaji. Is Self saying he knew in early February that Vick was planning to leave? That seems interesting...

To me the idea of senior leadership on a team that currently has none, sounds attractive. But maybe the question Self has is whether Vick is the kind of player who can provide that leadership. This feels a little similar to when Naadir Tharpe left early.

Jay Scott 4 years, 1 month ago

The word leadership has never been attached to Vick before. Tharpe is a great comparison.

Matt Tait 4 years, 1 month ago

Agree with the first part. But Tharpe, for all of his faults, was a way better leader than Vick has shown to be.

I don't think anyone is thinking about leadership if the option to add Vick to the roster is really considered. I think it'd be about 3-point shooting first, athleticism second and experience third.

Matt Tait 4 years, 1 month ago

Guessing he means E.J. Elliott, who obviously did not receive a scholarship but was added to the team.

It gets to a point where having too many bodies is not a good thing even in practice and I'm guessing that Elliott would not have been added had they known Vick would be back or landed Romeo Langford or another player like that.

Matt Tait 4 years, 1 month ago

In addition to that, it could have meant Agbaji because February, though not late late, is still after the early signing period and, therefore, could be deemed "late" in the eyes of the coaches and the recruiting cycle.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 1 month ago

and Agbaji technically didn't sign until April.

Lawrence McGlinn 4 years, 1 month ago

The difference between Thaarpe and Vick is that there is still a scholie available. Thaarpe was forced out a couple of weeks after Graham got his release from Appalachian State, and KU had no scholarships left. Self hoped for Langford or another late addition this time, so Vick had to go, but KU did not get any late additions this time.

Jay Scott 4 years, 1 month ago

This team already has 11 players with real expectations of playing time. Cunliffe, KJ, Grimes, and Garrett all play, or can play, more or less the same position as Vick.

If Vick hasn't matured in several ways and nothing changes between now and September, this team is better in March without Vick.

Mike Greer 4 years, 1 month ago

As much as I was an early supporter of Lagerald, I was a bit disappointed with last season's effort after a good start. I have to agree with Jay, there is a lot of talent waiting in the wings looking for playing time and some of that talent may ultimately be better in March than Lagerald, but not if he gets the playing time early.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 1 month ago

Another article mentioned raising his child. I hadn't heard that before and have no personal knowledge of it, could easily see it being a factor.

Robert Brock 4 years, 1 month ago

Lagerald needs to earn a paycheck and support his daughter. He can earn his degree later.

Jay Scott 4 years, 1 month ago

Best case scenario? Self puts Vick on scholarship as a PR move. Vick plays for Des Moines in the G League while he finishes his degree.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 1 month ago

Vick should have stayed at KU, or announced his intention as to test the waters with the possibility to return to KU. As it is, I think that his best opportunity is the G League. I wish that he had stayed, but coming back now probably isn't in his best interest from a basketball perspective.

Bill Self's language makes it clear that he has already moved on from Vick.

[''] 4 years, 1 month ago

If a guy hasn't learned to play D and dribble by his Senior year he is a liability -- buhbye. Too many good players on the team now since he idiotically decided to test the NBA waters.

Ryan Zimmerman 4 years, 1 month ago

Self doesn't want him back. You can tell. He'd elude to "we'd love to have him back" or "we'd love to work it out somehow", etc... He'd do that with Malik, but Vick was a personality issue and he won't be back

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 1 month ago

Yep. I can only come up with two reasons why Self would make the public comments that he has made on this situation.

1.) The most likely scenario is that Self is sending the message that he doesn't want Vick on the team, or 2.) Self is sending a message to Vick that there are serious conditions that have to be kept if Vick is allowed to return to KU and expects to remain on the team.

My guess is that Self is trying to help Vick come to the conclusion on his own that he should not return to KU. But the possibility remains that Self is willing to bring back Vick, however it seems clear that Self is unsatisfied with Vick for some reasons possibly related to attitude, behavior, effort, and/or off court issues some of which have been made public, some have been the subject of rumors, and likely others which remain private.

Jacob Zutterman 4 years, 1 month ago

A few things:

I agree with Ryan. Self has moved on from Vick and is holding this meeting strictly as a "I owe it to you" move. It's been pretty obvious Self and Vick haven't gotten along in the past with off and on the court issues. His declaration for the draft was needed and he just didn't get the words he was looking for.

Personally, I'd love to see Vick back. I think another year of maturity would not only help Vick himself, but the team as well. If he doesn't mature as a player and person though, it could also be bad for this young squad. IMO I don't see Cunliffe playing much. He hasn't shown me anything in his limited time during the Italy trip or the regular season that I was very impressed with. Vick's outside presence could really help open up the paint for the bigs this year if he was to return.

All in all, I don't see him coming back, but certainly wouldn't turn it down.

Lawrence McGlinn 4 years, 1 month ago

Remember that scholarships are year-by-year. Doesn't anyone else see a pattern here of marginal, perhaps troublesome players "deciding" to leave KU? Thaarpe, Greene, Vick. I don't believe it is a coincidence, and I don't believe it is their decision. There are usually talented recruits ready to take roster spots they have vacated. Sorry to be so cynical about our saintly coach, but throwing the players under the bus for their "decisions" seems a bit unfair.

[''] 4 years, 1 month ago

If Self is indeed doing makes me love him more. If KU gives you a scholly, with all that includes, and you squander it, and don't earn it day by need to head down the road to KSU or Fizzou. Good riddance. All the players above you mentioned deserved the nudge out the door they got. Not Self's fault.

Matthew Coleman 4 years, 1 month ago

Agree with ". Failure to prune his team would be a major mistake on HCBS's part - one with long lasting negative repercussions. These decisions seem just as important as recruiting decisions.

This is not to say that I don't or that HCBS doesn't love Vick or value his contributions. So many things are not in HCBS's control. This is one that is in his control and one that he appears to manage well.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 1 month ago

Vick will always be a Jayhawk and had some great moments, but his inconsistency last year sealed the deal that if we had a great recruiting class, his minutes would go way down this year. Add to that he is just not a vocal leader type. His personality looks pretty quiet, shy, at least based on some Q&A's before the media after games. I hope he gets on in Europe like Tyshawn did.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for mentioning E. J. Elliott, Matt. Even though he is only a walk-on at this point, from what I have read, he seems like an outstanding young man who can really shoot the ball.

Of course, getting playing time will rest mostly on his ability to play defense. If E. J. can do that, he might just be a "sleeper" in this year's recruiting class.

Daniel Parker 4 years, 1 month ago

Vick is very gifted physically, but, the questions around leadership and commitment have always lingered. There just seems to be something deeper that would have Coach Self seem so uninterested. From my standpoint, I would rather have his talent on the floor than Cunliffe or Garrett---the latter who just didn't seem that good in the games he played in.

Jason Venable 4 years, 1 month ago

Garrett was a freshman. How many freshman that are most likely going the full 4 years are that good as a frosh?

Jay Scott 4 years, 1 month ago

You would prefer the worst defender Vick over Garrett, one of the best?

Daniel Parker 4 years, 1 month ago

I would take Vick's offense over Garrett's defense.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 1 month ago

Garrett will get better on offense (and defense too) with experience because of his attitude and ability to drive to the basket. Unfortunately, Vick had three years to show his defense, and it rarely showed up.

I hope that things go well for Lagerald. He has amazing skill potential if he can show the type of commitment to do what it takes to be successful on a consistent basis.

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