Kansas, Bill Self could be big winners if NBA locks out in 2011


If you're a Kansas basketball fan, you now have an NBA rooting interest for next season.

You should be cheering for an NBA lockout.

Many reports out there have it as a strong possibility that the NBA will lock out its players in the 2011-12 season.

Around this area, I get the impression that not many folks pay attention to the NBA. They don't have to. No NBA team is located in Kansas City, and the NBA game usually doesn't affect the Jayhawks.

This upcoming year is different, though.

If there is a lockout, most college players with eligibility remaining would opt to stay in college.

Take a quick look at the Jayhawks' 2010-11 roster, and you can see why an NBA lockout might be the equivalent of KU coach Bill Self hitting the lottery for the 2011-12 season.

Josh Selby

Josh Selby's mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, has indicated that her son might stay more than one season at KU.

Still, facts are facts when it comes to's No. 1-ranked players.

Here's a list of the No. 1-ranked players according to Rivals since 2003.

2003 — LeBron James
2004 — Dwight Howard
2005 — Gerald Green
2006 — Greg Oden
2007 — Michael Beasley
2008 — B.J. Mullens
2009 — John Wall
2010 — Josh Selby

Three of the players above (James, Howard, Green) went straight to the pros. The next four (Oden, Beasley, Mullens, Wall) spent one year in college.

Since 2003, no No. 1-ranked player has stayed in college more than one season. And, with a lockout, KU would be nearly guaranteed that Selby would stay at least two years.

Marcus Morris

Though Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich took most of the headlines last season, Marcus Morris ended up being KU's most efficient offensive player.

What impressed me about Marcus last year, though, were his decreased turnovers.

Consider this: During his freshman year, Marcus had 57 turnovers in 646 minutes (3.5 turnovers per 40 minutes). Last year, Marcus had only 48 turnovers in 889 minutes (2.2 turnovers per 40 minutes).

He's too big to be guarded by a three, but too fast to be guarded by a four. He can also shoot inside and outside and can defend guards on switches when needed.

Marcus should have a chance to compete for Big 12 player of the year in 2010-11, but even if he gets the honor, an NBA lockout could keep him in Lawrence for his senior season. If he stays that long, he'd be the best forward KU's had stay four years since Wayne Simien.

Tyshawn Taylor

Though many fans seem to have soured a bit on Taylor, mostly because of some off-the-court issues, the fact remains that he is perceived as one of the Jayhawks' top future NBA prospects.

Taylor is projected as the 11th overall pick in this 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the 12th overall pick in this one.

Though consistency has always been the knock on Taylor, I wouldn't be surprised if the junior-to-be was one of KU's most improved players in 2010-11.

Even if Taylor combines with Selby to become "among the best 1-2 combos in the nation" as one national writer is predicting, Jayhawk fans would have the luxury of knowing that, with an NBA lockout, both would probably still be around for an encore in 2011-12.


Jordan Smith 12 years ago

Good stuff as always, Jesse. Now, how can I help make this happen?

Paul Brozik 12 years ago

every team in the country would have their players return. How is kansas the winner? As much as I hate kentucky, imagine if they could have a recruiting class return/stay elibible for two years. I know, the stay eligible part is a bigger stretch. just sayin.

Kevin Studer 12 years ago

Hehehe my thoughts would UK's one-year rentals do having to actually behave like college students?

DevilHawk 12 years ago

Kentucky wouldn't matter because Calipari is probably headed to the NBA before that happens - and the players may or may not decide to transfer depending on the situation.

KGphoto 12 years ago

Actually Cal's guys are probably top 10-14 picks, and would probably go pro even if there is a lockout. Especially since their 2.0 GPA is pretty demonstrative of their love for college. After the lottery picks, the chance for a player to make an impact, and therefore secure a new contract, within the two years left on their rookie contract goes down a lot.

Guys like Marcus, and Tyshawn are right on that bubble. But hey, KU ain't UK. Self ain't Calipari. Coach Self gets them to understand that college is fun, and the experience is fleeting in retrospect, so they would probably stay. Cal wouldn't know what to do with a sophomore. If he's still there, he'll probably try to convince them to bolt, so he can get the next kid.

d_prowess 12 years ago

If there is a lockout, there won't be a draft so the players would have to stay in college or look overseas. And I don't see many players doing that.

KGphoto 12 years ago

Any lockout would occur after the draft.

Andy Tweedy 12 years ago

It will take a pretty diligent coaching staff for anybody to be a winner at Kentucky. My guess is most of Coach Cal's one and done players forgot where their classes were sometime in early January. Of course, where there is a will there is a way. I can't imagine Kentucky's players would have problems being eligible, regardless of how many classes they missed.

Alec White 12 years ago

I think us and Kentucky would be dynamite in 2011-2012 if the lockout went down. On a semi-similar subject, would you guys like it if John Calipari bolted for the Cavs as many are suggesting? It would almost guarantee him an NBA championship as long as LeBron stays which would be hard to stomach---I mean I hope this guy fails at life in general. He is terrible for the college game but it feels morally right for him to stay at the college level and continue to come up short when he commits so many NCAA infractions. Dream scenario: Cal stays a few years and never wins the NC...LeBron wins multiple rings while Cal regrets his decision for years...and finally goes to the NBA again and epically fails again.

Q: Why do KU fans hate Calipari so much? A: Cause Quinn Snyder no longer coaches at Mizzou.

DevilHawk 12 years ago

Actual dream scenario: Calipari finally gets caught red-handed in committing NCAA violations and gets blacklisted by the NCAA and the NBA.

Actual A: Because Cal is a terrible influence on college basketball.

dylans 12 years ago

Cal is supposed to go to the Bulls and bring LeBron with him. Not a stretch being the master recruiter that he is.

Mike Kendall 12 years ago

Sweeeeeeet! Sucks for the NBA, if there is a lockout, huh?

stravinsky 12 years ago

I think Tyshawn will be fantastic this next year. To reference the 'role' thing, that's going to be a lot clearer for him. Frosh year he was the third scoring threat behind Sherron and Cole, last year he was our... sometimes point, sometimes two guard, who was now the fifth scoring option behind SC, Cole, X, and Marcus. So I'm not sure I understand what his role was either.

Everyone knows he has a lot of talent and potential. I really have faith in him that he's going to pick it up and fulfill the high expectations of him. I really don't think he's a 'thug' or something, like a lot of people have been saying with the off the field issues. I really get the feeling he's a hard worker who really does have pride in this team, but also happens to be a 19-20 year old kid who can be prone to dumb decisions and talking a little too loudly.

Remember, the Morris twins welcome party to KU was getting the cops called on them for the airsoft gun incident. They seem to have turned out alright. I think TT will be alright too.

Robert Brock 12 years ago

I have no problem with Taylor's off-the-court issues. It is his on-the-court problems that concern me - a lot.

KGphoto 12 years ago

Hmmm. These on-the-court problems?

Dude had a sophomore slump. It happens. I'm totally down with him breaking out this year. The NBA thinks he's a lottery pick. So why the concern?

Kye Clark 12 years ago

The NBA mock draft sites think he's a lottery pick based on athleticism, not production. And quite frankly, what the NBA covets doesn't always equal great success in college. The best college players are not often the highest NBA picks. As for why there is concern...I don't know. Maybe the fact that his FG%, 3P%, & FT% all drastically declined. Maybe the fact that everytime he tried to assert himself beyond that of a role player he crapped the bed. It's too convenient to show a highlight reel from two seasons ago and say last year was simply a "sophomore slump". The Twins were sophomores last year, didn't stop them from improving.

KGphoto 12 years ago

Nay. What is too easy, is to dump on a guy for having a bad year. Sophomore slumps are more common than cyber-coaching haters. Why do you think there is a term for it?

Now, the Morris' should be commended for their improvement over that stretch. But quite honestly, they grossly under-achieved during their freshman campaigns and were driven to stabilize into true form last year.

I'll blog-bet you right now. With the weight of Grandpa Collins gone, Taylor flourishes, and combines with Selby to make the best back-court in the nation next year. You on?

Kye Clark 12 years ago

Well first I'd want you to define "flourish". What are your parameters for this break-out season of his?

And yes there is a term obviously a term "sophomore slump", and yes they happen. However, the whole point was you can't just sweep last year's performance under the rug and chalk it up to that. It's a cop out.

You asked why the cause for concern. I told you. And again, highlights from two years ago and what NBA mock draft sites say are not relevant to either his play last year or what we might expect next year. I hope he succeeds.

KGphoto 12 years ago

flour·ish: [flur-ish],

–verb 1. to be in its or in one's prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc.

For Taylor? -14pts/game -6 asst/game -4 rb/game

-fast breaks -clutch shooting -floor leadership

The team's style of play will enhance Taylor's game. KU will run, a lot. Therefore the highlights from his freshman year are indeed relevant to what we might expect this year.

I can already hear the analysts. "This is what we expected to see from Tyshawn last year".

Kye Clark 12 years ago

14 ppg? Clutch shooting? Sure, I'll take that "blog-bet". I don't see any way he scores that much or is clutch. I hope I'm wrong.

lawrence_is_my_middle_name 12 years ago

I agree 100 percent with this article. KU will be dynamite in two seasons if everyone comes back. The only important players we'd lose would be Reed, Morningstar, and Little.

Don't forget about the other Morris. IMO Markieff is better than his brother if you take offense out of the equation, a better rebounder for sure. He'll be a senior. Taylor will be a senior. Travis Releford will be a fifth-year senior. Jeff Withey, CJ Henry, Elijah Johnson, and Thomas Robinson will be juniors. We'll have the No. 1 high school recruit as a sophomore, and the freshman we recruit between now and then could add even more to the mix.

That's depth, experience, and loads of talent, much more so than the team we had this past year. Think about how tough those kids will be after Self has had them for three, four, or five seasons. Think about how good the chemistry will be because they've been playing and practicing together for so long. In 2008 we had that toughness and that chemistry. But in 2012 we'll have even more talent.

I think we'd be the best team that year by far. I'd definitely take our chances against a bunch of sophomores from Kentucky, no matter how talented they are, because they won't have the experience our guys will.

I for one don't really care about the NBA, although the playoffs are pretty cool, but yeah, Please lockout! That would bring college basketball heavily into the spotlight, just in time for Kansas to show that we are the nation's top college basketball program. This decade is for the Jayhawks!

Jesse Johnson 12 years ago

Travis Releford would be a 4th year junior in in '11-'12 (since this upcoming year he will be a 3rd year sophomore)

Benjamin Piehler 12 years ago

you know who would be a big loser with the lockout? kyle singler. shoulda gone pro. he going to play in europe if that happens?

Kye Clark 12 years ago

he could actually be a big winner in terms of draft position. The draft this year was saturated with talent. By waiting a year he watches all the other talent that should have stayed a year leave early and make the draft pool for next year pretty weak. Sure the NBA probably locks out, the season is shortened, and perhaps the contracts are a bit smaller. But regardless there will still be a draft, and what's better? To enter this year and maybe get picked at the end of the 1st round or somewhere in the 2nd, or to wait a year and probably become a lottery pick? I'd bet that being a lottery pick under the new CBA will still net him a bigger contract than what he could have expected to get had he come out this year. And he comes back with a chance to maybe win another championship.

d_prowess 12 years ago

Where do you read that the draft would still happen? Everything I have heard said that a lockout would cause the draft to not take place.

Kye Clark 12 years ago

I actually haven't read anything, but then again I haven't heard anything to the contrary. I was just using common sense, considering the last time the NBA had a lock-out was to start the 1998-1999 season (it lasted from July 1, 1998 to January 20, 1999) and there was still a draft that year. That was the year Lafrentz & Pierce were drafted.

justanotherfan 12 years ago

I think Releford would be a redshirt junior in two years, but your points are well made.

As I stated some time ago, the importance in recruiting this year was because you were really recruiting for two years rather than one. This is also the reason that so many top players this year jumped, especially juniors. It will be unfortunate for guys that are seniors next year to graduate and then have the NBA lockout, but it has happened before.

The real benefit KU has is that not only do they have a strong class this year, but they will have plenty of scholarships coming available for the class of 2011 to add to what is potentially going to be an abnormally strong group. Not many teams will be able to say that. Some schools will boast a strong returning group, but not have an scholarships to add players. Others will boast lots of scholarships, but not have anyone of note returning as a core.

This is where KU has a potential advantage on everyone. They will have lots of scholarships AND great returners. The only school that might have that same formula is UNC with the Wear brothers transferring out. It's doubtful that they fill both those scholarships this year, so it's highly possible that they have an extra one next season, along with whatever other graduates they have. Memphis is also intriguing because they have an extremely strong group coming in this season, and should have some guys leaving. Kentucky also is in that situation, although they don't have as many upperclassmen. It wouldn't shock me if there is a lockout that your 2012 Final Four is KU, UNC, UK and Memphis. And can you imagine the storylines for that one...

Tony Bandle 12 years ago

2011 if lock out happens:

Scholarships available 4 [ offer Angelo Choi, Zach Peters on board early, offer Perry Ellis early, offer Ben McLemore early, offer Shabazz Mohammed ]


Seniors: Marcus M., Markieff M., Tyshawn, Juniors: TRob, Elijah, Jeff [RS], Travis [RS], CJ [if he stays] Sophomores: Josh, Frosh: Angel, Royce [off RS]

That would be a eleven man rotation with 10 schollies, 4 given for 2012 with a possibility of at least 3 more schollies after the season.for the 2012 admittedly an awesome class!!!

The 2012 team could be TRob, Elijah, Jeff, Travis, CJ, Angel, Royce, Zach, Perry, Ben, Shabazz......Holy Moly we would be good!!!

Mike Kendall 12 years ago

KGphoto: Better call the fire department--- Brock just got burned!

In that "youtube" clip, did anyone notice that Tyshawn was blowing by so many defenders that in one highlight, there was a "wind advisory for part of the State of Kansas? HA, HA, HA!

Kye Clark 12 years ago

Gotta love this revisionist history where all of a sudden Tyshawn Taylor is now the second coming. Very convenient for some fans to have such a selective memory and point to his freshman highlights while forgetting that last year he was an off the court cancer, and on the court was about as big of a disappointment as we've seen during Coach Self's tenure.

WilburNether 12 years ago

Tyshawn Taylor projected as the #12 overall pick in THIS YEAR'S draft? What are those people smoking?

gardenjay 12 years ago

Those poor OAD's. What a bummer.

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