Posts tagged with Ku

Big 12 media days blog: Quickfire notes from Bill Self’s one-on-one interviews

1:50 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

We're going to go ahead and sign off on our live coverage from Big 12 media days.

Be sure to look below for:

Notes from Self talking at the podium and in one-on-one interviews.

Short videos with Big 12 director of officiating Curtis Shaw explaining the new handchecking and block/charge rules.

Also, check back to on Wednesday for all of Gary Bedore's stories and notebook items from media day.

1:08 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

OK, here are some quickfire notes from what Self said during his hour of one-on-one interviews:

• Self still believes Perry Ellis has the potential to be KU's leading or second-leading scorer this year.

Self says he never watches tape of his team's final game of the season after an NCAA Tournament loss. "Why watch it? You can't get it back. It's over," Self said. He said he's only watched one final game during his time at KU, but he joked that he watched that one a bunch.

• Self says center Joel Embiid "has fallen in love with basketball." He says the big man has great feet. Embiid might not make an impact early, but he could make a huge impact late. Self said KU only saw Embiid in recruiting because he was the fourth-best player on Brannen Greene's AAU team.

• Self said Wayne Selden has been "one of our best players since Day One. Period." Self says once the games start, he won't be overlooked by anyone.

On the possibility of Selden being a backup poing guard for KU, Self said the last thing he wants is Selden thinking too much. "Could he do it in time? Absolutely," Self said. Self doesn't believe right away is the best time for that, though. Playing point guard requires a lot. Self compared it to having your starting running back in football also assigned to be the backup quarterback. He said that's asking quite a bit of a player.

Self said at nearly every practice, 6-10 NBA guys are watching his players. He said that's a good situation that you want to have at your program. You want your guys to get exposure.

• Self said the biggest surprises for him have been the development of Naadir Tharpe, Perry Ellis and Embiid.

• Self said Tarik Black should be the best player he's had at sealing off defenders and scoring with angles. He's also helped Embiid's development.

• Last year, Self said KU didn't have a true low-post scorer with Kevin Young and Jeff Withey in the starting lineup. KU should play through the post more this year, and it's also deeper on the perimeter than last year's team. Self still said that last year's team at the end of the year would whip the team he has right now, which doesn't completely know what it's doing yet.

Self didn't hesitate to let Andrew Wiggins do the SI cover. At the time, though, Self didn't know how SI was going to do the cover or the story. Self did think the cover was cool, even if it did perhaps add more expectations.

Self believes the attention on Wiggins could help all his players, especially ones like Conner Frankamp and Brannen Greene. Those guys should be able to develop at their own pace, whereas in another program, they'd probably have a lot expected of them right away. Self said Frankamp was going to be good, as he could shoot as well as anyone on the team. Self said one improvement Frankamp needs to make is with his defense.

• Self said KU was teaching its defense a bit differently because of the new defensive rules changes with handchekcing. The block/charge change, though, doesn't affect Self's defensive philosophy, as he's never taught guys to take charges, even though guys like Kevin Young and Travis Releford were good at it. Self said he likes to have his guys play physical on the perimeter, so he's not telling his guys to back off defensively, because he thinks that might send the wrong message. The team might have to adjust principles, though, based on how the game is officiated.

Self says his team has scrimmaged twice, and both times, it had three officials to get used to the new rules. His team will scrimmage twice a week from now on, and two officials will be present at those as well.

Embiid will not be a rim-protector like Jeff Withey was. Self said his team was spoiled the last two years. Self said Embiid is good at shot-blocking, but not as good as he could be. Embiid needs to get it more in his mind to go after blocked shots.

Self said he looks to NBA teams for information, mostly regarding how to guard ball screens.

Self said Wiggins is a guard that can post up, and KU's never had that in his time there. KU will try to get it to him there at times.

Self said KU could play with four guards this year, but he's more inclined to play his best players, and right now, the big men have been as consistent as anyone. It's going to be hard to take more than two big men out at a time.

• Last year, Tharpe was more comfortable being "a guy." "Now, he's the guy," Self said. Tharpe now believes he belongs.

• Self said Andrew White III's role could be first guard off the bench. He's listened to the coaches and improved nearly every aspect he was asked to in the offseason.

11:15 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

A quick note on the blog ... the updates might be a little more infrequent over the next hour or so, as starting at 11:30, one-on-one interviews start with both coaches and players. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the Bill Self Cliff's notes below, along with the short videos that explain the new NCAA rule changes this year.

11:04 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's more clarification of OSU coach Travis Ford's quote below. Here's officially what he said from the Big 12's transcript:

"Well, we haven't talked much about where we were picked (in Big 12). We talk a lot about understanding what our goals are and what we want to try to accomplish. Winning a Big 12 Championship is something that we strive to do. It's something we talk about, but we fully grasp that Kansas is still a team to beat. I think any coach would tell you that. They're still the team in the Big 12 that everybody's trying to compete with."

10:49 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Some interesting comments a few seconds ago from Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, who was asked about the Big 12 preseason rankings.

"We fully grasped that Kansas is a team to beat," Ford said.

I believe Ford was referencing most of the past decade as KU being the league favorite, but he also might be trying to take some pressure off his guys.

10:32 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Short note from our Gary Bedore: KU walkon Tyler Self will be out three to four weeks with a torn ligament in the top of his foot.

10:25 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

For those who haven't heard anything about the new rules ... be sure to take a look at the two short videos below. Big 12 director of officials Curtis Shaw explains — with video examples — how block/charge and handchecking calls will be different this season.

In case you were wondering, KU plays from last year make appearances on both videos.

10:04 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

A couple photos of KU's players doing radio interviews about 20 minutes ago.


Wiggins by Jesse Newell


Black by Jesse Newell

10:02 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

The Big 12 officiating coordinator Curtis Shaw just finished his talk. Here are a few of the key points:

Shaw says the intent with the new rules isn't to shoot more free throws, but that might happen early as players adjust. Handchecks have been moved up into the front part of the rulebook, so now, these aren't just guidelines. They're rules. Now, these handcheck things are automatic fouls.

He says every game's officiating will be graded within 48 hours this year. The referees and coaches will get a copy so they know the league is reviewing it. Shaw believes this will help the referees and help find some tendencies from certain officials.

More from Shaw later, as I'll post some video of him explaining the new handcheck and block/charge rules.

9:40 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

A story from our Gary Bedore about KU coach Bill Self's reaction to the new rule changes ...

8:58 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's the full audio from KU coach Bill Self's time at the podium.

8:42 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Big 12 media days

Big 12 media days by Jesse Newell

Here are the Cliff's notes from Self's time at the podium:

Self says there's as much anticipation with his group as any time he's been at KU.

Center Joel Embiid has a chance to be as talented a big guy as Self has had. He's just starting his third year of playing ball. If he continues to improve at this rate, he could impact the league and also the college game nationally. He has a skill-set few 7-footers have.

KU has been ranked higher preseason a lot of times than this year, but it seems to Self there's higher hype about this team because of the recruiting class and Andrew Wiggins. Self has told the young guys he has that there have been pretty good players before them that have been proven, and none of you guys have made a basket. Nothing's going to be easy, and those guys are going to get everyone's best shot. Those guys are looking forward to it, though.

Wiggins hasn't asked for the attention. He deflects attention as much as anyone Self has been around. Self says the LeBron James comparisons and such are unfair. He just needs to try to be Andrew. When you're on the cover of SI ... you could go for 20 points and 10 rebounds in the opener and be a disappointment in some people's eyes. If you know ball, Self says you will see Wiggins impact the team in ways that can help KU win that might not be points and rebounds. Self says the expectations for him should be high, and there should be hype. He is talented, and he should be able to put his handprint over almost everything that KU does.

KU had big guards last year. Some of Self's best teams have had little guards. Wiggins and Wayne Selden can make plays off the bounce, but KU isn't going to change how it plays too much. KU will run a lot of ball screens for them.

Self's initial thought with the new handchecking rules is that scoring will go up and good play will go down. Self thinks the scoring will go up because of more free throws. Self doesn't know if he rule change will create more shots; he thinks it will create more free throws. There may be games early when teams won't go up and down the court twice without a stoppage. It'll be good down the line, but there could be fragmented games to get to that point.

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart is the best competitor Self has faced while at KU. He wills his team to win. He's going to do whatever it takes to give his team the best chance to win.

KU is going to make mistakes this year. The Jayhawks will struggle in some areas. Self thinks closing close games out could be a struggle, as you have to learn how to win. Self hopes that by league play, he won't be looking at his freshmen as young players, because if this tough non-conference schedule doesn't prepare you for conference play, none will.

8:25 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

More talk about the rule changes this year: Texas coach Rick Barnes believes zone defenses could make a comeback this year — along with pack-line defenses — with defensive contact being eliminated on the perimeter.

Barnes also noted that it will be very difficult for players to take charges with the rule changes. He said that in a scrimmage this past week, his team had three plays that he thought were charges that were called as blocks. After looking at film, he said they all were the right calls with the new rules.

Barnes said he'd like for the NCAA to continue to adjust its rules, as he'd like to see a 30-second shot clock, a wider lane and the opportunity for defenders to take the ball off the rim if it's bouncing above it. Barnes said he's in favor of an international game, so he'd prefer the NCAA go to the international rules.

8:13 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

I haven't seen many reporters from Oklahoma here, so that might let you know where college basketball falls in the pecking order as far as Oklahoma sports go at this time of the year.

One interesting thing — and it'll be a theme all day — was from OU coach Lon Kruger talking about officials enforcing handchecking rules more this season.

"It'll be extremely difficult (to adjust)," Kruger said. "That's what they want. If they're able to call it as they're describing and maintain it throughout the season, it'll be good for everyone."

Kruger called the change "as big as an adjustment as we've seen" in college basketball, and he included three-point line and clock changes in that statement.

The rule — meant to help increase scoring, which has been dipping in the NCAA for some time — is partially explained below.

The rules committee is concerned that various types of handchecking on a player with the ball drastically reduces the dribbler's ability to beat his man to create scoring opportunities. Accordingly, certain guidelines for officiating these plays have been inserted into Rule 10 and officials are instructed to call the fouls written within the rules.

Original post: By Jesse Newell

Welcome to Big 12 men's basketball media days at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Here's the schedule for the podium today:

8 a.m. — Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger
8:15 a.m. — Texas coach Rick Barnes
8:30 a.m. — Kansas coach Bill Self
8:45 a.m. — Baylor coach Scott Drew
9 a.m. — West Virginia coach Bob Huggins
9:45 a.m. — Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith
10 a.m. — Kansas State coach Bruce Weber
10:15 a.m. — TCU coach Trent Johnson
10:30 a.m. —  Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg
10:45 a.m. — Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — Coaches' one-on-ones
12:30-1:15 p.m. — Athletes one-on-ones

Be sure to check back for more from media days as it happens, including Self's audio and Cliff's notes from his time at the podium.

Reply 13 comments from Trojanhawk Jayhawkmarshall Theonerd Scritty Maxbmerriman Koolkeithfreeze Blown Jmj919 Herbisco Icthawk and 2 others

Big 12 media days blog: Matt, Jesse provide their takeaways from Day 2 in Dallas

4:58 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Matt and I just finished up this video chat, talking about the biggest takeaways we had from Day 2 in Dallas.

With that, we're going to wrap up our coverage from Big 12 media days. Be sure to check back to for all your KU football coverage as the team begins practices in August.

4:25 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

You can find the news of the day in Matt Tait's notebook below. Also included in there is the latest on KU football signee and offensive lineman Pearce Slater.

3:26 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Was going through Big 12 media days photos from the Associated Press and couldn't resist posting this one.

Kanas quarterback Jake Heaps conducts interviews during a breakout session at the Big 12 conference football media days on Monday, July 22, 2013 in Dallas.

Kanas quarterback Jake Heaps conducts interviews during a breakout session at the Big 12 conference football media days on Monday, July 22, 2013 in Dallas.

I'll let you guys determine who is the best dressed of the two.

3:08 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

I wanted to give you guys a glimpse of what Matt was talking about with Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk's personality.

Here's a video I shot of him where he says Baylor should be seen in the same light as the Texases and Oklahomas of college football. He also says he's tired of only hearing about Robert Griffin III when people talk about Baylor.

Much like KU coach Charlie Weis yesterday, I have no problem with Seastrunk avoiding cliches and saying how he really feels. It makes days like this much more interesting.

Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk speaks to the media during Day 2 of the 2013 Big 12 Media Days in Dallas.

Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk speaks to the media during Day 2 of the 2013 Big 12 Media Days in Dallas. by Jesse Newell

2:12 p.m. update: By Matt Tait

Just got my first taste of Baylor running back Lache (pronounced Lake) Seastrunk, who has made waves this preseason by predicting a Heisman Trophy victory for himself at the end of the year.

Don't confuse Seastrunk's bold prediction for cockiness or arrogance. It's not. It's more a general feeling of, if that's what you believe, why not say it, because saying it can only help you visualize it and then attain it.

The Bears, picked to finish in the middle of the pack in 2013, have been doing a lot of that today, with the words "Big 12 championship" and "national championship" coming out of the mouths of all four BU representatives here today.

Personally, I like it. Having talked to them and listened to their explanations for why they believe those lofty goals are attainable, it seems perfectly legitimate for them to think big like that. The only time when it became an issue was when BU coach Art Briles was asked what he wanted from his defense this season. His answer? One word.

"Shutouts," Briles said. "Why would we want to shoot for anything else. We want to score 60 on offense, throw up shutouts on defense and win the Big 12 and national championships."

Briles went on to say that he understood that hoping for shutouts in a league as offensively advanced as the Big 12 was a bit of a reach, but it all came back to that philosophy of why not say what you believe.

"We're never going to go into a game saying, 'Let's hold them to 21 and hope that's enough,'" Briles said. "If we hold 'em to zero, we know that'll be enough to at least get us to overtime."

I like this Baylor team. Good dudes, confident guys, no-nonsense approach. I wouldn't bet against them this season.

As I was typing this up, I overheard Mack Brown talking about KU coach Charlie Weis a little more:

"Charlie Weis, to me, is a great coach, not a good one," Brown said. "And I think it's only a matter of time before he gets Kansas going again because he knows what he's doing and he's passionate about it."

1:07 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

The breakout session is just starting, with players and coaches from today's five schools available to media members. Not surprisingly, Texas and Oklahoma are drawing the biggest crowds.

Going to go listen in. Here are two more KU videos from yesterday, in case you missed 'em:

12:14 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads had high praise for his punter Kirby Van Der Kamp during his time at the podium.

"We believe we have the best punter in college football," Rhoads said.

Like KU men's basketball coach Bill Self, Rhoads will get the opportunity to coach his son, Jake, who is on the team as a long snapper this season.

"I've already seen him mature and grow in the five weeks he's been a part of our summer training," coach Rhoads said. "It will have its trying moments, but I'm sure it's going to be a lot of fun."

11:49 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Baylor coach Art Briles, on his team's new gold helmet: "There's two shiny things up here: that helmet and my head."

Briles also didn't seem concerned with this quote from running back Lache Seastrunk in the offseason: "I'm going to win the Heisman. I'm going to win it in 2013. If I don't, I'm going to get very close."

"I'd rather have players wanting to win the Heisman than clapping for the one that does," Briles said.

11:24 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

A few videos in case you missed them yesterday.

11:17 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen was asked what he thought about coaches — like Arkansas' Bret Bielema and Alabama's Nick Saban — that have publicly complained about what the spread offense has done to college football.

"I'd tell them to get over it, because it's not going to change," Holgorsen said.

While on the podium, Holgorsen also complimented former KU running back signee Dreamius Smith, who ended up going to Butler Community College before signing with WVU.

10:59 a.m. update: By Matt Tait

It was obvious Monday that KU football coach Charlie Weis' comments about using the phrase "have you seen that pile of crap" in recruiting took the Big 12 media by storm.

Here's a quick look at some of the reaction from around the league as well as my take on why it's not such a big deal.

10:53 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Texas coach Mack Brown had some interesting things to say:

Brown had high praise for Kansas, which nearly knocked off Texas last year. Brown noted that KU nearly beat every Big 12 team it played at home last year. "Charlie's doing a tremendous job, and Kansas will be back soon, in my opinion," Brown said.

Brown says Texas quarterback David Ash has grown up and says at times last year, Ash played like former UT quarterbacks Vince Young and Colt McCoy.

Brown defended his defensive coaches, who took some fire a year ago: "They didn't just get stupid."

Brown said he'd like for his team to get 80-plus plays per game. Texas ran 68 plays per game a year ago.

10:20 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops just finished his time at the podium. Here are a few notes:

Stoops has not announced a starting quarterback as of yet, but he likes what he has with Wichita native Blake Bell. Though Bell is known mostly for coming in for OU's "Bell-dozer" goal-line packages as a run-pass threat, Stoops said he "does throw the football well. We have have a history of having excellent throwers ... and Blake fits that mold."

Stoops says if you're going to go no-huddle, you have to be able to stay on the field and score. It's a balancing act with the no-huddle, hurry-up offense, as sometime that adds pressure to your defense.

Stoops says he feels appreciated by OU's fans and administration. He's never going to be appreciated by everybody, and that was even the case during the 2000 national championship season. He also was asked if his wife was participating in the Mary Kay convention in this same hotel, and he said yes. "Get your wives into it," he told media members with a smile.

9:56 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Quick note: Big 12 coordinator of officials Walt Anderson was showing video of the correct ways to hit an offensive player that is not considered "targeting."

Anderson showed a play of former KU safety Bradley McDougald hitting a TCU receiver last year, saying it was the correct way to hit a receiver. McDougald, as you might recall, was flagged 15 yards on the play. Matt even talked about the hit in this blog.

The biggest thing to remember: "Targeting" this year will carry an immediate ejection. Anderson said there were 17 instances of targeting in the Big 12 last year, and five were found later to be incorrect calls.

Interestingly, Anderson said if a player was flagged for targeting, but after the play is reviewed in the booth and it's determined the play is not targeting, an ejection will be avoided, but the 15 yards will still be penalized.

9:27 a.m. update: By Matt Tait

KU cheerleader Kiley Dombroski.

KU cheerleader Kiley Dombroski. by Jesse Newell

Charlie Weis, Jake Heaps, James Sims and the rest of the Kansas University football team may have left Dallas Monday evening after their five hours of media responsibilities ended at the Omni Hotel.

But that does not mean that KU will not be represented today, when the Big 12 Conference's five remaining schools — Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Baylor and Iowa State — take their turn in front of the 475 media members who obtained credentials to this year's Big 12 media days.

That's where KU sophomore Kiley Dombroski enters the picture. Dombroski, a second-year member of the KU dance team known as the Rock Chalk Dancers was the lone member of KU's spirit squad — other than Big Jay the mascot — who was chosen to attend the two-day event in Dallas, which features cheerleaders and mascots from all 10 schools drumming up enthusiasm and excitement throughout the week.

Dombroski, a Lakewood, Colo., native, showed up Monday in full crimson-and-blue uniform, with a signature Kansas sunflower tucked behind her left ear and a huge smile on her face.

“Mostly travel is done by seniority so I was pretty surprised and really excited when my coach called and said, 'We talked it over and we want to see you to the media days,'” Dombroski said. “It's really a great experience for me.”

Though surprised by the invitation, Dombroski, one of 46 members of KU's dance and cheer squad, said she did everything she could as a freshman to get noticed for her passion for KU.

“I had a great year last year and I love appearances,” she said. “I did everything there was to do, whether it was sitting outside of HyVee promoting the KU chicken bucket or whatever. When you do all the little small things, it builds up and then you get to do big things like this, which has been amazing. You get to meet everybody else and hear their stories and their experiences at their universities.”

Dombroski, who performed at both KU basketball and football games last season, said she had a good feeling about the fall.

“I am looking forward to football season,” she said. “We have great fans, a great atmosphere, a great coach who's so enthusiastic about the team. So we're looking forward to it and hoping for a great year.”

Original post: By Jesse Newell

Welcome back to Big 12 football media days at the Omni Hotel here in Dallas.

Here's the schedule for the podium today:

10 a.m. — Oklahoma
10:30 a.m. — Texas
11 a.m. — West Virginia
11:30 a.m. — Baylor
Noon — Iowa State

Just in case you missed it, here's a video from Matt and me discussing Kansas coach Charlie Weis' controversial "piece of crap" comment Monday.

I'd also invite you to look back to Monday's live blog in case you missed any of our KU coverage, which included player videos, a short podcast with defensive back Cassius Sendish, photos and notes from Dallas.

Reply 9 comments from Charleslogan Texashawk10 Matt Tait Jjhawq Jeff Coffman Displayhawk Kingfisher Bobby Burch Ahpersecoachingexperience

Big 12 media days blog: Jesse, Matt discuss Weis’ ‘pile of crap’ controversy

9:00 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's a video wrap-up from Matt and me discussing the KU news of the day and the controversy that was Weis' "pile of crap" comment.

With that, we're going to sign off from Big 12 media days in Dallas. Be sure to check back Tuesday for the live blog as five other Big 12 schools step to the podium.

5:45 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Two more light-hearted videos ...

The guys talk about who was the best-dressed at media days — and quarterback Jake Heaps admits he helped one Jayhawk with tying his tie.

Also, KU linebacker Ben Heeney discusses his beard and says it might grow the whole season.

5:16 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Matt just posted his notebook that you can find here ...

Also, I've got a couple lighter videos coming to show more of these guys' personalities. Here I posed the question, "If the NCAA had no celebration penalties, what would your touchdown celebration be?"

4:44 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

And another video. The question this time: "Which KU players will surprise fans this season?"

4:29 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Quick video: I asked three of the Jayhawks, "What makes you optimistic about this season?"

Charlie Weis talks to reporters on Monday afternoon at media days.

Charlie Weis talks to reporters on Monday afternoon at media days. by Jesse Newell

4:02 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

I enjoyed talking to KU defensive back Cassius Sendish today, as he represented KU at Big 12 media days though he's yet to play a game for the Jayhawks as a juco transfer from Arizona Western CC.

You can learn more about Sendish in this Q-and-A podcast we recorded this afternoon.

3:26 p.m. update: By Matt Tait

Tweeted this out a while ago, but KU coach Charlie Weis said today that linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore, a juco transfer from Pierce College in Los Angeles, tweaked a knee on the first day of workouts and has since had a surgical procedure on the knee to fix the problem.

Weis said he did not yet know how long Jenkins-Moore would be sidelined and also did not rule him out for the entire season.

Since Jenkins-Moore has three years to play out his two years of eligibility, doing this does not hurt him in the long run. Weis said that was a big factor in them deciding how to proceed once the injury occurred.

At this point, it's a wait-and-see thing but the one thing Weis did confirm was that we should not expect to see Jenkins-Moore in action any time in the near future.

One other note of interest came in the saga of transfer wide receiver Nick Harwell, from Miami (Ohio) University. Weis said Harwell's status for 2013 was still unknown and he compared it to a soap opera, one which KU has no control over.

The only thing he could say definitively about Harwell was that he would be on campus in August and, if he was not eligible, he would be the best scout team receiver in the country.

I still think Harwell has a good shot of playing this year but any future updates will likely come from his lawyer, Don Jackson.

Stay tuned...

3:15 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Just finished with breakout interviews, and we'll have much more as we get content posted.

A few quick notes ...

KU running back James Sims said one personal goal was to beat his rushing yard total from last year (1,013). He said he was surprised he wasn't a first-team preseason all-league pick, but that might be because KU didn't win much last year.

He also said the NFL running backs he liked watching most were Pierre Thomas and Adrian Peterson, and if he could have one attribute from a running back teammate (that wasn't Tony Pierson's speed), he would take Darrian Miller's balance.

Defensive back Cassius Sendish said one of the biggest draws to playing at KU was the ability to show his abilities against pass-happy Big 12 offenses. He also said his juco (Arizona Western CC) is structured like a Div. I school, so the transition to KU was easier.

He said he'd never been to a media day before today. When asked his position, he also responded with defensive back, hinting perhaps that he could play cornerback or safety depending on the defensive matchup.

Quarterback Jake Heaps said watching last year's team without being able to help out was "excruciating." He said sitting out a year to learn the offense was the best and worst thing that could have happened to him. At the time, though, "It just felt horrible." He said he learned a lot from Dayne Crist last year, and complimented the former KU QB, saying he handled his struggles as well as anyone could have.

Heaps said it would be important to get a passing game going this year to "alleviate pressure from the running backs." He said the team's expectations are higher than any outside expectations, and he also believes this year will be different because winning and losing can both become habits, and the Jayhawks have had leaders emerge that have the mind-set that enough is enough.

Heaps also said receiver Justin McCay was playing with confidence, and his strong performance in the spring game helped that.

12:54 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's the full transcript of Weis' comments at the podium, in case you want to read them in their entirety.

A programming note: KU's players and Weis will be available from 1-3 p.m. here, so there might not be many updates from the blog in that time, as Matt and I work our hardest to get all the quotes we can.

After that, though, we'll come back to the blog to update with quotes, notes and also some video.

11:52 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Charlie Weis at podium.

Charlie Weis at podium. by Jesse Newell

Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Weis during his time at the podium today:

Weis started his time at the podium by saying last year KU was 1-11, that everyone had picked his team last in the Big 12, and he said he agreed with everyone believing that. "We've given you no evidence, no reason to be picked other than that."

Weis says he's going to group quarterback Jake Heaps and receiver Justin McCay together. He says the two established a rapport together on the practice field. KU had a solid running game, but it couldn't pass the ball and couldn't score points. Weis is counting on his team being more balanced this year, and Heaps and McCay should be a big part of that.

• Though KU wasn't good last year, Weis said his team had quality players at the running-back position. KU is even better at that position this year, so that has allowed Weis to use those guys more flexibly. If KU can get Tony Pierson more involved in space, it will open things up on offense.

The high number of juco players Weis took this year was a necessity. It's not a long-term plan. Weis believed his team needed to fill the holes right now. Most high-school kids need at least a year to develop. Weis needed guys that could play now, or otherwise, his team was going to be ranked 10th in the league every year.

Weis takes an honest and practical approach to recruiting. He says when he brings in recruits he tells them it's a great situation and that facilities are on par with everyone else. He says KU still needs work on the stadium, which is in the plans. Then, everyone wants to play. Weis tells recruits, 'Have you taken a look at that pile of crap out there (referring to last year's team)?' ... If you can't play here, where can you play?'

Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps' situations are totally different. Crist was coming off two ACL injuries. You can simulate a lot of things, but in training camp, you couldn't simulate players coming after him. Heaps had no physical issues. That's how it's different.

Weis says he didn't take much from the loss to Texas last season. He said he was happy for Texas coach Mack Brown but miserable for himself. Other than that, he didn't take much for the game.

Weis agreed with a media member that said his kicking game was atrocious. He said he believes one juco guy (Trevor Pardula) could handle all three responsibilities next year.

Weis believes running back James Sims might not have been put on the all-Big 12 first team because KU hasn't been winning. Weis said KU could potentially have the best stable of running backs in the Big 12, and you can't say that for the Jayhawks in many positions.

Bob Bowlsby.

Bob Bowlsby. by Jesse Newell

11:22 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Weis will be at the podium in eight minutes. Saw him chatting downstairs a few minutes ago with former NFL running back Eddie George, who now is a member of the media.

Be sure to check back for Cliff's Notes of what Weis says.

11:11 a.m. update: By Matt Tait

TCU coach Gary Patterson is on the podium now and he opened things up by answering questions about why he did not bring last year's opening-day starting QB Casey Pachall to Dallas with him this week.

Pachall, you may remember, went through all kinds of trouble last season off the field and ultimately was suspended for the remainder of the season, forcing the Horned Frogs to play the final half of the season without him.

He has since been reinstated, but Patterson stressed that he has not been handed his starting job back and that's one of the big reasons he's not here.

As Patterson put it:

  1. We don't know who our starting QB is yet. (Sophomore Trayvon Boykin, who filled in during 2012 is in the running)

  2. He told me this spring that he wanted to be a student and a football player so I'm trying to let him do his thing and keep some of the pressure of being back off of him.

Boykin can flat-out play and he's a different player than Pachall. Because of that, it sounds like the possibility exists that TCU could play two QBs this season.

Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

10:59 a.m. update: By Matt Tait

Given the recent success of the Oklahoma State football program, OSU coach Mike Gundy, an OSU alum, was asked during his time on the podium whether he had seriously entertained taking any of the other jobs to which his name has become attached in the past.

Gundy was very candid in his response and said he loved his current situation. He also said in order for the Cowboys to enjoy continued success, he had to avoid any uncertainty about his future at the school:

"From Day One when we took this over, our coaching staff going into nine years now, we felt like the most important thing that we could do for the players on our team is make a commitment to them, if they would buy in, that we would have a chance to have success.

"For me personally, I have to feel comfortable knowing there's a commitment to the young men on our team to give them the best opportunity for success in the classroom and on the football field, and if there's not, then it's hard for me to sell. So at times, whether we all like to admit it or not, there's a business aspect to this profession, probably more so than we would like to think. But I have to feel comfortable myself personally — and I don't use 'I' myself very often when we talk about Oklahoma State football — that there's a commitment in all different areas for our young men to have success.

"So when we go in those homes, the very most important thing we do is recruit young men who want to get a degree from Oklahoma State and be a part of that team, and that commitment has to be from both sides. So I'm comfortable with that. It doesn't mean I always agree with the decisions that are made, none of us do, but I do understand a chain of command, and at the end of the day, I say, yes, sir, and move forward."

10:50 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder skipped the opening statement and went straight to questions. He's become a pro at talking without saying much.

A couple notes:

Snyder was asked about being picked sixth in the conference, and he said ranking teams is a difficult task. He even declined to participate in national coaches polls in the past because he thought it would be a tough chore.

When asked about his first assistant-coaching gig, Snyder said he made $6,000 a year in Gallatin, Mo. While there, he was an assistant coach for four sports, drove the bus and also taught four hours of Spanish.

10:20 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy just finished his time at the podium. Remember, the Cowboys were the media's preseason pick to win the league. Some notes:

No decision has been made on a starting quarterback.

Gundy thinks the Big 12 using an additional official to spot the ball is a good move. He believes it allows the other guys to give more attention to officiate the game.

10:03 a.m. update: By Matt Tait

Here's a just-posted story breaking down the key points that Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby talked about this morning ...

9:21 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Big 12 commish Bob Bowlsby just announced the conference would roll out a new logo starting next July. Didn't get my phone out quick enough, but you can check it out here.

9:11 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is at the podium now, talking about how realignment has settled down. I think everyone's happy with that. We'll have some notes on what he says later.

In addition to the mannequins below, the Big 12 and Omni Hotel also have put up banners where each player and coach will sit during interviews this afternoon. These are all banners that are taller than me ... and I'm sure would be swiped up if more were printed off and available for sale.

Here's a look:


Heaps by Jesse Newell

Ben Heeney.

Ben Heeney. by Jesse Newell

Cassius Sendish.

Cassius Sendish. by Jesse Newell

James Sims.

James Sims. by Jesse Newell

Oh, and here's one more pic, this one of KU's blue-uniform mannequin.

Blue mannequin.

Blue mannequin. by Jesse Newell

Original post: By Jesse Newell

Dallas — Welcome to's live coverage of Big 12 football media days, live from the Omni Hotel in Dallas.

Today marks the first of two days here in Dallas. Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU, Kansas and Texas Tech will all have their own time at the podium today, with KU coach Charlie Weis stepping to the mic at 11:30 a.m.

The Big 12 switched locations for football media days this year, and one of the main features in the main interview room are the player mannequins that have been set up in each team's jersey. Here's a look at KU's.

KU mannequin.

KU mannequin. by Jesse Newell

Be sure to check back throughout the day, as KU football beat writer Matt Tait and I will be posting updates to the blog. which will include videos and photos. You can also follow our updates on Twitter at our handles @jessenewell and @mctait.

Reply 44 comments from Micky Baker Iamakufan Raprichard Matt Tait Havecents Shawn Darius Jayhawk1127 Kgphoto Ralster Jjjjjhok and 20 others