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Conventional wisdom holds that it is impossible to be all things to all people. This is true. Within the subset of humanity known as Jayhawk Nation, however, I feel that it is possible for one publication to serve the needs of every person who loves Kansas basketball. This inaugural edition of the Maple Street Press Jayhawk Tip-Off is my most sincere attempt to achieve that end. In order to explore everything there is to know and speculate about in the upcoming season, as well as recount some of the tradition we all hold so dear, I had to assemble an excellent team of writers. I was able to do that, and getting first crack at reading their contributions was one of the real joys of this process. Within these pages, Marco Anskis and Cory Brenneman break down the schedule, providing key information on each opponent Kansas will face in the regular season. Eric Bossi and Dan Hanner analyze the KU newcomers, and give their informed opinions on how those fresh faces will mesh with the veterans on the squad. Jacob Osterhout takes a step back to look at the big picture, assessing where the Jayhawks fit on the national scene. Bruno Chu gives rare insight into the strategy and tactics of a Bill Self-coached team, and Mike Miller profiles budding Jayhawk legend Sherron Collins. Lest all this thinking give you a headache, Rick Paulus chimes in to bring the funny, and Michael Atchison throws a little verbal gasoline on the raging KU vs. Mizzou bonfire. I personally got a chance to write about everything that interests me, from Roy Williams’s eye-opening second season on Mount Oread, to KU’s quest to shed the “basketball school” label and excel in all sports. I’ve had those thoughts in my head for a long time now, and it’s wonderful to be able to share them with likeminded fans. Other than my own, the byline you will see most often in these pages is that of Ken Davis. He gets his own paragraph here because he went above and beyond the call of duty for a writer. Not only did he turn in excellent features on the 1952 championship squad and Kansas icon Danny Manning, he also got together with his son, Joe, to contribute a pitch-perfect remembrance of the late Dr. Bob Frederick. When I was having trouble tracking down an interview subject, Ken got me in touch with living legend Bud Stallworth. Suffice to say that Ken was instrumental to the Jayhawk Tip-Off experience, and you’re in for a treat when you read his work. Finally, the eye-popping look of this Annual is due to the fine folks at Maple Street Press: Jim Walsh, Ryan Bray, Jon Franke, Bryan Davidson, and probably several others I never got to meet. All of the stat boxes, play diagrams, photos, and good layout decisions are theirs. Kudos especially to Mr. Walsh, who had the vision to accept my request that I be allowed to preach to the greatest choir in college hoops. I sincerely hope you find this publication to be informative, entertaining, and indispensible as you enjoy the 2009–10 team. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Eric Angevine ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I’m so glad I finally get a chance to thank my wife Molly in print. It’s one of the few benefits of being married to a writer. Without her love, patience, and support—not to mention her knowledge of Excel—this Annual would not exist. My son Jack made do with less daddy time this summer; fortunately, he’d do anything for his Jayhawks. Thanks also to my parents, who have kept me in KU shirts, hats, mugs, and other accessories since I moved away from Lawrence; and my brother, who is always game to talk hoops. Much appreciation to Marco, the best business partner a guy could ask for. I’d also like to acknowledge the steadfast support of my desk chair, which was with me all the way, and bears the indelible imprint of my behind as a testament to its endurance.


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5 What It Takes by Eric Angevine A look at a few questions that Bill Self will have to answer on the long road to Indianapolis.

15 2009–2010 Jayhawk Player Profiles 51 New Faces In The Phog by Eric Bossi The motto on the Kansas flag means “To the Stars Through Difficulty.” It’s also a fairly accurate recap of the recruiting trail for KU’s class of 2009.

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55 The First Season by Marco Anskis The college basketball season has three parts: the non-conference slate, conference play, and the postseason. Here’s how the journey begins for Kansas.

61 The Usual Suspects by Cory Brenneman The names on the front of the jerseys remain the same, but the 2009–10 Big 12 season may have a few surprises in store.

67 How To Heckle The Rest Of The Big 12 by Rick Paulas Few moments are quite as enjoyable as the perfectly-executed heckle, here are some suggestions for how to create the greatest possible heckles for the rest of the Big 12.

69 Seven Keys To Reaching The Final Four by Jacob E. Osterhout

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Combine ingredients and increase heat slowly. Remove from the oven in April and enjoy!

K U F EAT U R ES AN D ANAL Y S I S 75 Big Shoulders by Mike Miller Senior Sherron Collins is ready to put the Jayhawks on his back.

79 Diagramming KU’s Signature Plays by Bruno Chu The Xs and Os behind Bill Self’s Kansas offense, and what makes it tick

87 An Embarrassment Of Riches by Dan Hanner In order to be an elite team in 2009–10, Kansas will need to make some improvements on offense.

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91 The Best Of The Rest by Jacob E. Osterhout How the Jayhawks can expect to match up with other highly-touted programs should they meet in the postseason.

95 Renaissance Manning by Ken Davis A bright future on the bench awaits Kansas great Danny Manning… if he wants it.

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99 The Jayhawk Go-Giver by Ken and Joe Davis Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk. Why Bob Frederick was so special to so many.

103 An Open Letter From The Dark Side by Michael Atchison A Missouri fan checks in on the status of the Jayhawks-Tigers rivalry.

105 Chasing The Directors’ Cup by Eric Angevine Athletic director Lew Perkins thinks Kansas can compete in more sports, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

h i s t o ry a n d t r a di t i o n 111 Phog’s Golden Season

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by Ken Davis Phog Allen’s Jayhawks won KU’s first NCAA championship in 1952, but that was just the beginning. Relive the season from opening tip to gold medal.

115 In The Rafters With Bud Stallworth by Eric Angevine “When you’re playing at an institution like the University of Kansas… you have to make a change in how you think about things.”

119 Mario’s Make Led To Darrell’s Dunks In San Antonio by Bruno Chu The end of the 2008 NCAA Tournament was an instant classic. Here’s how it happened.

121 Roy’s Boys Took Flight Twenty Years Ago by Eric Angevine Kansas followed a championship season with probation and a new coach. Early returns from the 1989–90 campaign announced that the Jayhawks were back in the title hunt.

127 Dr. Naismith’s Lost Rules Of Basket Ball by Rick Paulas

Maple Street Press LLC 155 Webster Street, Ste. B Hanover, MA 02339 www.maplestreetpress.com © 2009 Maple Street Press LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any way, stored in any type of retrieval device, or transmitted by any method or media, electronic or mechanical, including, but not limited to, photocopy, recording, or scanning, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

Front Cover photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images Interior Front Cover photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Back Cover photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Cover design: Garrett Cullen Interior design: Garrett Cullen/MSP Eric Angevine, editor. Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 ISSN: 2150-5365

121 Maple Street Press LLC and Jayhawk Tip-Off are in no way affiliated with the University of Kansas or the NCAA. The opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Maple Street Press. All product names and brand names mentioned in this book are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. Any omission or misuse (of any kind) of service marks or trademarks should not be regarded as intent to infringe upon the property of others. The publisher respects all marks used by companies, manufacturers, and developers as a means to distinguish their products. Printed in the USA


2009–2010 Kansas


What it Takes

The Questions Bill Self Has to Answer on the Long Road to Indianapolis by Eric Angevine

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n paper, this year’s Kansas Jayhawks look like a championshipcaliber squad.    If you’ve been a college basketball fan for any length of time, the term “on paper” has probably lost all meaning for you. Paper is a flimsy material to pin your hopes on. Are you afraid of a “paper tiger?” Probably not. Memphis Tigers? Clemson Tigers? Missouri Tigers? These flesh-andblood teams are more of a challenge. All you need to do is look at the last two Jayhawk teams to go all the way in the Big Dance to see that fate is fickle. The 1988 champions were nicknamed “Danny and the Miracles” following their surprising run to Kemper Arena. It’s a backhanded compliment at best. The subtext is that observers knew Danny Manning was a winner, but didn’t have much respect for the no-names that made up the rest of the team. On paper, they were a six seed reeling in the wake of an injury-plagued season. On the hardwood, they were the best team at the right time. The 2008 team was marked for greatness from day one. Deep and experienced, with size and speed to burn; thoroughbreds expected to run near the front of the pack from wire to wire. Nonetheless, they carried the stigma of “chokers” that had been laid on the Crimson and Blue in the wake of six #1 seeds in 20 years without a championship, and some brutal first-round upsets in the new millennium. Pundits began to question the team’s heart, Bill Self’s coaching, and even the wisdom of having too many great players with no dominant superstar. Seems kind of silly in retrospect, doesn’t it? All of this is a rather longwinded way of saying that we have another enigma on our hands this season. Last season’s Sweet 16 appearance by a

Basketball


Bill Self has one championship under his belt. Players and fans alike want to see him cut down the nets again. largely inexperienced group, hard on the heels of Bill Self’s first championship, may have boosted expectations to an unreasonable level. A second championship in the new millennium would create whispers of a dynasty in the making. But let’s not put the cart before the horse. There are a few questions that must be answered throughout the upcoming season if the paper champions are to win out on the hardwood.

Can This Team Make the Leap from Good to Great? Following the 2008 championship, Kansas lost its entire starting lineup and a key reserve with starting experience to a combination of graduation and early NBA entry. Jayhawk fans can be forgiven for wondering whether their team could compete the following season. With the gift of hindsight, it’s easy to see that Sherron Collins was ready to lead the team, that Cole Aldrich would blossom into a superstar, and that one of the new arrivals would assert himself as a third scorer and immediate contributor. At the time, however, most of the facts now in evidence were speculation, at best. Bill Self has proven himself to be a master at building his team in layers. He brought in three big men in Quintrell

6 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Thomas (who has since transferred), along with Markieff and Marcus Morris from Philadelphia, to vie for the post slots vacated by Darnell Jackson, Darrell Arthur, and Sasha Kaun. With Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich coming back, Self had a powerful nucleus to build around. Junior college transfers Mario Little and Tyrone Appleton came in to provide instant experience, and Tyshawn Taylor and Travis Releford joined the guard rotation alongside holdovers Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar. It was a nice blend of established talent, skilled newcomers, and experienced transfers, but so much was still up in the air. Which new players would assert themselves? Would any of the newcomers play defense at the level Bill Self requires? Where would all of the minutes go? You know what happened. A very young team played well beyond its years, winning the regular-season Big 12 crown, and advancing to the Sweet 16 before bowing to Michigan State. At some point, hubris began to creep in. Some fans began to dream of a Final Four in what many had assumed would be a low-profile rebuilding year. They mistook a good team for a great one. Sure, signs of greatness were there. Any team with Kansas-level talent can get hot and make a run, especially with the high-low game in such capable hands. But the danger signs were there, too, evident to anyone who has followed KU basketball for a decade or so. The fourth game of the season was a neutral-court battle with Syracuse at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Some courts are more neutral than others, and the Jayhawks built a 13-point lead in front of what amounted to a home crowd. That’s when the freshman yips kicked in, as Syracuse switched from its famous zone and went man-to-man against the young team, creating turnovers and clawing back into the game, eventually winning in overtime. After cruising for a couple more weeks, KU returned to the Sprint Center to face a UMass team in disarray following a coaching change and the installation of a new offensive system. The Minutemen dominated early, playing physically and picking off soft passes from the baby Jays. To their credit, the ’Hawks fought their way back into the game and had a chance at the win, only to have the opportunity trickle away off the fingers of shot-blocking center Tony Gaffney. Ensuing road games further exposed the Jayhawks’ lack of scoring options. Arizona took care of the ball and capitalized on KU turnovers to blast the visitors in Tucson. A disastrous visit to East Lansing saw several Jayhawks in foul trouble, leading to Bill Self’s uncharacteristic comment about Markieff Morris: “He thinks he’s a championship wrestler the way he mauls everybody.” A loss at Missouri was not unexpected, but early March

Photo on previous page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Photo this page: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall


What it Takes

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

brought a 19-point destruction at the hands of a severely undermanned Texas Tech squad that nauseated any KU fan who had the misfortune to tune in. Baylor booted Kansas unceremoniously from the Big 12 Tournament, and Michigan State ended the NCAA Tournament run after Kansas defeated a couple of mid-majors. It sounds like a bad season when you look at it that way, but it clearly wasn’t. A dominant run through the Big 12 was a high point of the season, but poor play against elite competition was the smoking gun that pointed to a short postseason for the Jayhawks. So what’s to keep that from happening this season? For one thing, Tyshawn Taylor built upon his successful freshman campaign by playing internationally with FIBA over the summer. He led an all-star team of college underclassmen to a gold medal in New Zealand, past national teams that practice together for months for just such occasions. He should come back with even more confidence and poise, locking up the two-guard spot. A more complete big-man rotation should help, too. If Markieff Morris can get his fouling problems under control, he’ll see more court time. If he can’t get it together, Jeff Withey, Thomas Robinson, and Markieff’s own brother will

be there to grab some PT. Last year’s shortish, three-guard lineup should benefit from the addition of Xavier and C.J. Henry, both of whom are in the 6'6" range, allowing them to play more of a small forward’s game. Marcus Morris can create real match-up issues if he gets his wish to play more on the wing as well. This year’s team has more talent providing more depth. Bill Self has recruited exactly the players he needs to fill in the gaps last year’s team struggled with. Senior leadership at the point, an established third scoring option, and more choices up front make for a great team. The addition of an NBAready freshman in the person of Xavier Henry makes this look like a Final Four team.

Can the Jayhawks Find A Regular Rotation? Take a dollar out of your pocket. Look at the back of the bill, and you’ll see your 2009–10 Kansas Jayhawks. They look a lot like that pyramid. The broad, strong base is made up of underclassmen, the fruit of two high impact recruiting classes following the 2008 championship season, which simultaneously raised Kansas’s profile as a destination program and emptied the roster of

Kansas fans live and die with every free throw in Allen Fieldhouse. Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 7


2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall a deft touch when setting the lineup each season. It’s a task that sounds easy from a distance—with so much talent, what’s the problem?—but keeping a group of star players happy with a limited number of meaningful minutes has got to be tough. Here’s where crusty old conventional wisdom collides with reality. Does a great college team really need an NBAstyle rotation to rely on? Over the course of any given season at KU, a rather obvious starting five usually shakes out. These are the guys who are typically going to play around 30 minutes per game every time out, barring injury. Clichéd thinking would hold that a coach has a designated sixth man off the bench, and one or two role players who spell the starters or provide specialized defensive skills. The rest get splinters and DNPs in the box score. If anything, the 2008 national championship team showed that it’s possible to think outside the box when dealing with an uber-talented lineup. In two areas, especially, refusing to be doctrinaire about playing time paid big dividends for Self and his team. First, the frontcourt situation. In the 2006–07 season, defensive-minded center Sasha Kaun had started in the middle regularly, while Darnell Jackson came off the bench. In the senior season for both players, Kaun again started in the early going, but a game of three-card monte erupted, with the Russian, Jackson, and Darrell Arthur each averaging between 15–25 minutes per game in various combinations. Jackson, despite being around four inches shorter than Kaun, eventually took over the official starting duties by December after displaying a new body and a much stronger offensive presence. But Kaun still got plenty of floor time, and the luxury of having three effective big men was a real boon for a team that went on the deepest of runs in March. In a similar fashion, the backcourt in ’07–08 played to KU’s strengths: a plethora of skilled guards. Surehanded, levelheaded Russell Robinson tended to start at point, alongside charismatic shooter Mario Chalmers. Robinson’s ability to lock down his opponent and generate Finding enough minutes for the Kansas bench will be one of Bill Self’s greatest challenges. steals as a defender gave

8 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

experienced players, making room for those excited kids who wanted to be a part of the Crimson and Blue experience. Four current players—Tyshawn Taylor, Travis Releford, and the Morris twins—return as sophomores, with former classmate Quintrell Thomas opting to transfer to UNLV. Five more players will make their Allen Fieldhouse debuts this year, including redshirt sophomore Jeff Withey, who fled the chaos surrounding the Arizona Wildcats and has yet to play an official collegiate minute after sitting out a transfer season. There are three freshmen of the usual variety in Xavier Henry, Elijah Johnson, and Thomas Robinson. Then there’s C.J. Henry, a 23-year-old just starting to use his collegiate eligibility after four years of minor league baseball. It’s hard to tell how baseball maturity and basketball rust will factor into his first year on campus. The next row of pyramid blocks are the juniors. They’re a mixed bag, with key player Cole Aldrich atop the group, important contributor Tyrel Reed joining him, and seldomused bench players Conner Teahan and Chase Buford rounding out the class. They form that middle layer of experienced players who know their roles in Bill Self’s system. Nearing the apex, we have burgeoning Jayhawk legend Sherron Collins as the only four-year senior on the squad. Alongside him is Mario Little, who never got into the flow of his first season as a junior college transfer on Mount Oread, due to a litany of unfortunate injuries and a crowded frontcourt. That all-seeing eye on top of the structure belongs to Bill Self. In his six years at Kansas, the 46-year-old coach has shown


What it Takes who can make good cases for expanded roles: Henry’s older brother C.J. is one; Marcus Morris has expressed a desire to play more as a small forward; Tyrel Reed, Travis Releford, and Mario Little all have experience in Bill Self’s system. And let’s not overlook incoming recruit Elijah Johnson, who can play either guard position. When you look at it that way, settling on a rotation isn’t such an enviable job. Tyrone Appleton and Quintrell Thomas left KU after one year of riding the pine, and a similar shakeout could occur after the upcoming season, especially if Xavier Henry somehow decides to blow off NBA riches and stay for a sophomore year. Regardless, Bill Self will more than likely continue to find creative ways to use the bounty he has recruited to Lawrence. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks. And why he’s favored to add another championship banner to the Fieldhouse rafters long before another 20 years can go by.

Will Xavier Henry be KU’s First One-and-Done?

Top photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Bottom photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

KU’s youth showed in big-time games last season, as in this non-conference loss to Syracuse. him the advantage in securing the opening gig. But there was no way the team would be well served with Sherron Collins wasting away on the bench, so the Chicago native came into the game as an aggressive change of pace when needed, culminating in his late-game heroics against Memphis in San Antonio. There’s nothing to stop this year’s team from playing the same way, but the dividing lines are not quite so clear yet. In the frontcourt this season, Cole Aldrich is clearly the man, and the team is best served by having him on the floor as much as possible. He’s simply too good on offense and defense for anyone else on the roster to provide the same value in relief. The Morris twins are KU’s most experienced big men outside of Aldrich; 6’9” freshman Thomas Robinson and 7’0” Arizona transfer Jeff Withey will be playing catch-up for a while before they can put in solid minutes. In the backcourt, the situation is much more fluid. Collins and Taylor will start as guards, and Xavier Henry will most likely play the Brandon Rush role at the three. Brady Morningstar has many of the Russell Robinson qualities mentioned above, and will likely be the preferred backup in most situations. But there are plenty of guys on the bench

Let’s get one thing straight: Kansas already had a powerful recruiting class in place for 2009, even before the Henry brothers decommitted from Memphis in the wake of a coaching change. With Elijah Johnson in the backcourt, and Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey down low, Bill Self had lined up understudies for the juniors and seniors on the roster, securing the team’s immediate future. When John Calipari left Memphis, and the Henry brothers were back on the market, it would have been foolish not to make a run at such a talented package deal. It could be the difference between making the Elite Eight and a national championship. The fact that C.J. Henry, a former first-round MLB draft choice, was willing to play as a walk-on made the

Sherron Collins returned to Kansas for his senior season with one goal in mind: a national championship. Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 9


2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall

prospect even more appealing. While C.J. Henry alone would have been a strong addition to the team, his brother Xavier was considered the true prize. Make no mistake: Xavier Henry could play in the NBA right now if it weren’t for that pesky rule that keeps players from entering the draft until they are 19 years of age. The younger Henry could have opted to play overseas, a la Brandon Jennings, but seemed more interested in playing for a top-flight college program. He narrowed his choices down to two: follow Calipari to Kentucky, or attend his parents’ alma mater, KU. Either way, most pundits expect the explosive combo guard to bolt for the NBA after one year of being a student-athlete. The Kansas basketball team has had a wealth of experience with game-changing, one-hit wonders. Carmelo Anthony, the most successful one-year player to date, helped Syracuse hold Kansas back from the 2003 title. Two more spectacular temps came to the Big 12 in successive seasons, with Kevin Durant facing KU twice as a Tyshawn Taylor’s emergence as a solid starter and third scoring option Texas Longhorn (losing both times), and makes this year’s KU team more dangerous.

10 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Top photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images  Bottom photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Kansas has had multiple encounters with one-and-done superstars. Can Xavier Henry emulate Melo’s success in the postseason?

Michael Beasley managing a split with the Jayhawks during his brief time in the Little Apple. Derrick Rose led Memphis to the national title game against KU, but fell just short of one final win for his college career. These four familiar cases should illustrate something meaningful about short-term players: they rarely fare well when they’re expected to single-handedly carry a team all the way. Kevin Durant was a singular talent, one of the most exciting opponents Kansas has ever seen, but his teammates too often stood around and watched him dazzle. When elite opponents really wanted to stop the Longhorns, they moreor-less let Durant get his double-double and kept the rest of the team quiet. And it worked. The 2007 version of the Longhorns didn’t make it past the tournament’s first weekend. Beasley, on the other hand, had a more assertive supporting cast. 6'6" Bill Walker was an excellent complement to Beasley in the frontcourt, providing a duo that was difficult for most opponents to manage. The team’s guard play was a bit shaky, however, and that doomed the Wildcats to a second-round exit in 2008, as well. Rose actually had a pretty sweet setup. The 2007–08 Memphis team was loaded with strong, fast athletes, and played Calipari’s “Princeton on Steroids” system—a version of the Dribble-Drive Motion offense that Travis Ford recently brought to Oklahoma State. Rose was dynamite from the get-go, and almost sunk Kansas in the final game but for a few


What it Takes miscues. There’s no doubt it could have gone the other way, but there’s a reason experienced players are often able to fight their way through misfortune, as Sherron Collins did in that very same contest, where a freshman might not. Sometimes basketball, like football, is a game of inches. Which brings us to Carmelo Anthony. As charismatic and skilled as Anthony was as a freshman, he did not have to carry the Orange. Fellow freshman Gerry McNamara had a strong perimeter game, and Hakim Warrick was a beast down low. With those supporting players in place, Anthony was free to create for himself, and more-or-less run the team as a point-forward at times (he dished seven assists in the title game, tying KU point Aaron Miles). The Boeheim 2-3 zone disrupted the Jayhawk inside-outside game so effectively that the game was won on a last-second block of a Michael Lee trey by Warrick. Looking at these three scenarios, Xavier Henry would seem to be stepping into more of a Carmelo role than a Durant situation. In fact, with experienced, mega-talented upperclassmen at point and center, his job will even easier than Anthony’s was. Henry will be able to attack the basket from inside and out without having to run the offense like Derrick Rose did. With Collins and Aldrich the clear leaders of the team, the freshman can concentrate on learning from Bill Self, and doing what he does best. Of course, this assumes that Henry will be a one-anddone. While that prospect may dismay Jayhawk fans, it may be time to make friends with the notion. As previously mentioned, Kansas has five new players coming in, essentially a whole new starting five, and a throng of skilled sophomores who have already been to a Sweet 16. As demonstrated last season, when Tyrone Appleton and Quintrell Thomas transferred as an antidote to gluteal splinter syndrome, good players hate to sit. Hoarding talent that never sees the floor isn’t good for anyone. The perception that Xavier Henry will spend just one season in Allen Fieldhouse may be crucial to team morale. Of course, if Henry proves to be the final piece that pushes this team to a second national title in three years, it’ll be pretty difficult to find anyone on Mount Oread claiming hurt feelings.

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Will there be any Sophomore Surprises? Last year’s Jayhawk team was very young. Five scholarship freshman—Tyshawn Taylor, Quintrell Thomas, Travis Releford, and the Morris twins—entered the program, where they battled the existing group of sophomores for playing time. With Cole Aldrich emphatically laying claim to the center spot, that left Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar to share space with freshmen and transfers.

Improved team defense will be crucial for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Neither player developed into a consistent offensive threat, allowing freshman Tyshawn Taylor to become a starter in the three-guard set. The Morris brothers saw plenty of playing time in the post, so Releford and Thomas were left to pick up scraps. Thomas left after the season, as did seldomused transfer Tyrone Appleton. With the aforementioned excellent recruiting class coming in, however, this year’s sophomores have become something of a sandwich generation, with experienced leaders above them, and hungry, blue-chip recruits in the class below. So, if everyone can play, who will play? There’s an entire article about that very question later in this edition of Jayhawk Tip-Off, so I’ll be brief. Here are some factors that will tip the balance when deciding between freshmen and sophomores: • • • •

Transcendent talent Shooting range Match-ups Defense

Xavier Henry stands out in each of the first three categories. His all-around game puts him in a class above even some

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 11


2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall

of the other top-notch talent at Kansas. If he plays as exthat he’s an excellent athlete, but that, plus a foot injury that pected, he’s a game-changer. He can drive or stop-and-pop all redshirted him last season, feeds concern that he may be rusty the way out to the three-point line, and at a speedy 6'6", he’ll after a long time away from hoops. However, he’s very similar bamboozle all but the most talented opponents by streaking to his brother, so he should fit in very well as a backup on the past them or shooting over them. And he can dish. perimeter until his health and talent level can be sorted out. Markieff Morris was a bit of a disappointment in the post Juniors Reed and Morningstar have already slipped as a freshman, and he’ll be pushed by Arizona transfer Jeff into role-player modes: Reed as a shooter off the bench, and Withey, who is taller, blocks tons of shots, and has a year of redshirt knowledge under his belt. Marcus Morris was decent in the post, but prefers to play small forward, where he presents a serious match-up problem at 6'8". Both brothers from Philadelphia might find themselves in a bit of a time crunch, and will have to fight if they wish to become key contributors rather than role players, especially with super-talented freshman Thomas Robinson itching to get into the mix as well. Elijah Johnson’s role is more clearly defined. The point guard recruit from Las Vegas will back up Sherron Collins for a season, learning on the job and keeping the team on track while #4 takes a breather now and again. Barring an unfortunate injury to the senior, Johnson knows he’ll be coming off the bench in 2009–10. C.J. Henry is a bit of a wild card. Senior Sherron Collins paces Kansas on offense and defense. His four years of pro baseball prove

12 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photos: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kansas has three NCAA championships (1952, 1988, 2008), but fans would prefer to skip the customary 20–30-year wait before landing another.


What it Takes Morningstar as a defensive stalwart who can run the offense for stretches. Neither meets the definition of transcendent talent, nor does either present a particularly tricky match-up problem. Both have range and a decent move to the hoop, so they can steal a few more minutes with a commitment to defense. Releford will need to do the same if he plans to avoid becoming the forgotten man of the class of 2008.

Will the Defense Rest? Bill Self’s recruits learn one thing right away: play defense, or get splinters. This means more than getting into a crouch and slapping the floor. Individual defensive plays can often be made on pure talent. Glamorous stats like steals and blocks fall into that category: A blue-chip athlete can make these kinds of plays on instinct. But Jayhawk-brand defense is a thinking man’s game. Grueling hours of practice pay off at game time, when entry passes are deflected, charges taken, and inside position denied. The rewards of team defense rarely show up on the scoreboard. Most often, a good defender is paid in red-faced opposing coaches and basketballs slammed to the court in fits of frustration. Kansas is fortunate to be led by two players who get it done on both ends of the floor. Collins hounds his man from three-quarter court on down, and Aldrich’s long arms protect the rim. As a team, KU was seventh in the nation in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. A smart player can always find a role on a Bill Selfcoached team by pouring his energies into team defense. In the current crowd, it will be a crucial component of individual and team success.

The Verdict

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Jayhawk Tip-Off spoke to Kansas legend Bud Stallworth for the History and Tradition section of this Annual. Stallworth starred at KU for Ted Owens, scoring 50 points against Missouri, and played in a Final Four against John Wooden and the UCLA dynasty. His name and number hang in the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse. He lives in Lawrence to this day. This is a guy who knows what it means to be a Jayhawk, so we’ll heed his counsel on the prospects facing the 2009–10 Jayhawks. I think the team this year, if they work as hard as the team last year did, they should cut the nets down. I put a caveat by that because I think last year’s team went leaps and bounds beyond their talent level in what they accomplished. They bought into what Coach preached from day one. The guys who had to be role players played their roles. I’m not taking

When the “Rock-Chalk” chant goes up in the Allen Fieldhouse, it’s time for opponents to warm up the bus. anything away from the players, but near the end of the year, that was one of the best coaching jobs I’ve ever seen. Putting the team together, there were holes that anyone without the passion that Coach Self has—to put in the extra time with the guys and make them believe that they could play at that high level—wouldn’t be able to fill. With these recruits he has coming in, if they buy into that theory about teamwork, playing hard, playing defense, not trying to be the superstar among stars, talent-wise, they should be at the top of the pack at the end of the year. Well said, sir. MSP

Eric Angevine is the editor of the national college basketball site StormingtheFloor.net. A Lawrence townie who attended KU during the Larry Brown and Roy Williams eras, he is also a freelance writer who has contributed to ESPN.com, Baseball America, and Deadspin.com.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 13


2009 – 2010

KANSAS JAYHAWKS Roster

No.

Name

Exp.

Position

Height

Weight

Hometown High School/Last School

0

Thomas Robinson

FR-HS

Forward

6'9"

230

Washington, DC Brewster Academy (NH)

1

Xavier Henry

FR-HS

Guard

6'6"

220

Oklahoma City, OK Putnam City HS

2

Conner Teahan

JR-2L

Guard

6'5"

215

Leawood, KS Rockhurst HS

4

Sherron Collins

SR-3L

Guard

5'11"

205

Chicago, IL Crane HS

5

Jeff Withey

RS FR

Center

7'0"

225

San Diego, CA Horizon HS

10

Tyshawn Taylor

SO-1L

Guard

6'3"

180

Hoboken, NJ St. Anthony HS

12

Brady Morningstar

RS JR-2L

Guard

6'3"

185

Lawrence, KS Free State HS/New Hampton Prep (NH)

13

C.J. Henry

RS FR

Guard

6'4"

205

Oklahoma City, OK Putnam City HS/Memphis

14

Tyrel Reed

JR-2L

Guard

6'3"

185

Burlington, KS Burlington HS

15

Elijah Johnson

FR-HS

Guard

6'2"

183

Las Vegas, NV Cheyenne HS

21

Markieff Morris

SO-1L

Center

6'9"

232

Philadelphia, PA Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy (NJ)

22

Marcus Morris

SO-1L

Forward

6'8"

225

Philadelphia, PA Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy (NJ)

23

Mario Little

SR-1L

Guard

6'5"

210

Chicago, IL Washington HS/Chipola CC

24

Travis Releford

SO-1L

Guard

6'5"

205

Kansas City, MO Bishop Miege HS

40

Jordan Juenemann

SO-1L

Guard

6'4"

195

Hays, KS Hays HS

41

Chase Buford

JR-2L

Guard

6'3"

210

San Antonio, TX Alamo Heights HS

45

Cole Aldrich

JR-2L

Center

6'11"

245

Bloomington, MN Jefferson HS


Sherron Collins

Senior | Guard | 5'11" | 205 lbs | Chicago, IL

4

#

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

Photo: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

T

his time last year, the buzzwords surrounding the 2008– 09 KU basketball season were “youth” and “inexperience.” Savvy Kansas fans felt there was an effective antidote to those issues: the tough, fast-talking, lightning-quick point guard who wears #4. Chicago native Sherron Collins was the most experienced player returning last year, and he quickly silenced any concerns about his ability to impart focus to his young teammates. A naturally ebullient and outspoken player, Collins stepped immediately into the shoes vacated when Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers, and Brandon Rush left the Kansas backcourt. With so many talented but untested athletes vying for starting spots, there was no doubt this was finally Sherron’s team, and his personality would make or break it. You know the rest. Despite some stumbles along the way, the team played cohesive basketball more often than not, finishing atop the Big 12 standings and earning a confidencebuilding trip to the Sweet 16. It was a good season. There can be little doubt that Sherron wants more. Collins exploded as a starter, going from an average of 23 minutes per game in his first two seasons, to a team-leading 35 as a junior. He also doubled his previous scoring numbers and rang up nearly five assists per contest, also leading the team in those categories. The question is: Can he do even better this year? If all goes well, he won’t have to, as his teammates are expected to pick up more of the slack this season. Still, there

are areas of Collins’s game that could use some tightening. Collins’s effective field goal percentage (eFG%, calculated as FGM + (1.5 x 3PM))/ FGA) was 50.8% last year. To put that number in context, Collins didn’t even show up on a list of the 100 most efficient shooters in the nation (limited to players who played at least 60% of their team’s minutes). So, if we go to the chalkboard and begin writing under the heading “Areas of Improvement,” bullet point number one is Shot Selection. Collins is also a very aggressive player; one who pushes the tempo and uses his tenacity, strength, and speed to drive the lane at every opportunity. Truth be told, it’s one of his most exciting qualities as a player. But that assertiveness can sometimes turn a little reckless, as a look at Collins’s assistto-turnover ratio will attest. His 1.5:1 mark is pretty low for a primary ball-handler, but that can be expected to improve as he learns to trust his teammates throughout the season. A second year of practicing together should help last year’s freshmen and sophomores gel with their leader, allowing Collins to delegate a bit more. Still, Control the Ball goes up on the board. Collins’s Three-point Percentage was also less than spectacular at 37.6%, but that’s likely an artifact of his tendency to draw top-notch defenders as a full-time starter. Collins has better three-point shooters to pass to in Morningstar, Reed, and Xavier Henry, so his perimeter touch needs to be just good enough to punish defenders who play off in respect of his driving ability. A slight uptick in his 79.5% Free-throw Shooting would create a true Sophie’s choice for any defender unlucky enough to find himself guarding #4. Enough with the Debbie Downer routine. Sherron is going to be Sherron, which means he’ll maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses. His productive relationship with Cole Aldrich will continue, and the dazzling array of complementary players Bill Self has assembled for the big show will almost certainly create more room for Collins’s creative athleticism to dominate. There has been some concern among fans as reports of an off-season weight gain have circulated, but the proof will be in the pudding (or the lack thereof) this fall. A team with so many talented options at every position needs a defining voice in the huddle and on the floor, and Sherron Collins provides that. His teams will be organized without being predictable, patient but opportunistic, balanced, and above all, tough. Sherron Collins left millions on the table to put on crimson and blue one last time. This season is his swan song as a Kansas Jayhawk. He’ll make it count.

15


Sherron Collins 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Sun 11/16/08

Date

Opponent Missouri-Kansas City

W, 71-56

H

37

6-12

3-5

1-5

0/3

3

2

1

4

0

2

11

0.164

16

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

29

9-15

3-4

4-7

0/2

2

3

0

3

0

3

22

0.395

25

 Mon 11/24/08

Washington

W, 73-54

N

30

6-13

5-6

1-4

0/2

2

5

2

1

0

2

20

0.395

18

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

40

8-23

2-6

3-10

1/2

3

2

1

3

0

3

6

0.087

21

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

31

5-12

1-2

0-3

0/1

1

8

2

3

0

1

13

0.263

11

 Mon 12/01/08

Kent State

W, 87-60

H

27

6-15

6-7

1-5

1/0

1

3

2

0

0

3

17

0.354

19

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

34

6-12

1-2

2-5

1/1

2

11

2

4

0

1

21

0.308

15

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

37

6-18

0-0

5-11

2/3

5

5

3

4

0

3

14

0.194

17

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

38

6-22

6-9

1-8

3/1

4

4

2

1

0

1

10

0.164

19

 Sat 12/20/08

Temple

W, 71-59

H

36

8-19

0-0

3-8

0/2

2

6

0

2

0

0

15

0.249

19

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

36

6-18

0-0

4-9

1/2

3

4

1

4

0

2

8

0.137

16

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

30

2-6

2-4

1-5

0/0

0

4

1

5

0

2

3

0.062

7

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

36

7-15

10-15

2-6

1/4

5

9

1

4

0

1

25

0.403

26

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

34

5-14

6-8

2-7

0/2

2

4

0

5

0

2

10

0.163

18

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

36

6-15

11-15

2-9

0/3

3

8

2

8

0

4

18

0.278

25

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

27

7-12

8-9

2-4

0/5

5

4

0

4

0

4

24

0.508

24

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

37

5-15

4-5

4-8

1/0

1

7

1

2

0

2

15

0.262

18

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

34

5-15

4-5

2-5

0/1

1

7

3

5

0

1

13

0.228

16

 Sat 01/24/09

Iowa State

W, 82-67

A

39

10-20

3-4

3-7

0/4

4

5

0

3

0

0

22

0.305

26

 Wed 01/28/09

Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

37

6-12

4-5

1-4

0/2

2

3

1

3

0

3

12

0.206

17

 Sat 01/31/09

Colorado

W, 66-61

H

34

4-17

2-3

1-11

0/1

1

4

1

3

0

3

2

0.039

11

 Mon 02/02/09

Baylor

W, 75-65

A

39

5-14

7-9

0-2

1/2

3

6

1

2

0

2

15

0.211

17

 Sat 02/07/09

Oklahoma State

W, 78-67

H

34

4-13

0-1

4-9

0/5

5

2

1

3

0

3

7

0.106

12

 Mon 02/09/09

Missouri

L, 60-62

A

36

4-14

1-5

0-4

1/3

4

3

0

6

0

1

0

0.000

9

 Sat 02/14/09

Kansas State

W, 85-74

A

37

5-12

7-9

2-6

0/1

1

6

0

5

0

3

14

0.213

19

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

37

9-18

0-0

4-7

0/2

2

6

2

0

0

0

24

0.371

22

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

34

8-13

4-6

2-5

0/2

2

4

2

0

0

0

25

0.433

22

 Mon 02/23/09

Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

38

6-15

9-13

5-9

0/2

2

3

2

4

0

1

18

0.249

26

 Sun 03/01/09

Missouri

W, 90-65

H

33

8-15

5-7

4-7

2/3

5

6

1

5

0

0

24

0.393

25

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

38

3-20

4-8

1-11

2/3

5

4

1

3

0

2

0

0.000

11

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

36

7-20

6-9

1-5

1/2

3

7

2

3

0

2

15

0.245

21

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

37

6-21

0-0

4-13

1/3

4

6

0

5

0

3

6

0.101

16

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

38

12-27

6-7

2-7

0/4

4

8

0

2

0

3

27

0.389

32

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

35

11-20

2-5

1-5

0/7

7

2

1

0

0

2

24

0.386

25

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

N

38

9-14

0-1

2-6

0/2

2

3

0

6

0

2

14

0.220

20

174

39

115

0

67

661

TOTALS

16

1229 226-521 132-166 77-205 19/82 101


Sherron Collins Career Situational STATISTICS Overall Career Season

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

 2006-07

38

22.3

129-270

47.8

49-64

76.6

47-116

40.5

2.3

2.9

0.7

0.0

63

70

354

9.3

 2007-08

34

23.8

116-251

46.2

45-58

77.6

38-105

36.2

2.2

3.1

1.1

0.1

68

54

315

9.3

 2008-09

35

35.1

226-521

43.4

132-166

79.5

77-205

37.6

2.9

5.0

1.1

0.0

115

67

661

18.9

TOTALS

107

27.0

471-1042

45.2

226-288

78.5

162-426

38.0

2.4

3.6

1.0

0.0

246

191

1330

12.4

Pts

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

 Thu 03/20/08

Portland State

W, 85-61

22

3-4

0-0

3-4

1/2

3

5

0

1

0

2

15

0.413

9

 Sat 03/22/08

UNLV

W, 75-56

27

5-8

0-0

0-1

0/2

2

1

0

2

0

1

8

0.182

10

 Fri 03/28/08

Villanova

W, 72-57

21

2-5

0-1

0-2

0/2

2

4

2

3

0

3

5

0.141

4

 Sun 03/30/08

Davidson

W, 59-57

28

1-8

2-2

1-3

1/2

3

3

0

2

0

2

2

0.046

5

 Sat 04/05/08

North Carolina

W, 84-66

30

4-9

2-2

1-1

1/3

4

4

1

7

0

4

8

0.132

11

 Mon 04/07/08

Memphis

W, 75-68

34

4-10

2-2

1-4

0/4

4

6

3

4

0

3

14

0.235

11

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

38

12-26

6-6

2-6

0/4

4

8

0

2

0

3

27

0.389

32

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

35

11-19

2-4

1-4

0/7

7

2

1

0

0

2

24

0.386

25

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

38

9-13

0-1

2-5

0/2

2

3

0

6

0

2

14

0.220

20

11-30 36.7%

3/28

31

36

7

27

0

22

127

TOTALS

273

51-102 14-18 49.2% 77.8%

Photo: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Note: Collins did not accrue any postseason stats as a Freshman

Sherron Collins’s ability to drive or pull up for a three earns him extra defensive attention.

17


Mario Little

Senior | Guard/Forward | 6'5" | 210 lbs | Chicago, IL

23

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

M

ario Little came to Kansas expecting great things. A tall, versatile player with defensive chops, he parlayed two years at Florida’s Chipola Junior College into the top ranking on Rivals.com’s JC transfer list. After the gavel went down on an NBA Draft that saw Kansas’s entire starting lineup go pro, Little was expected to help fill the gap in talent and experience left by the departure of Brandon Rush. Early returns indicated that this was no mere hyperbole. Little D’d up Julian Wright in a pickup game at Bill Self’s 2008 youth camp, holding the future NBA player to just three rebounds, and Little’s team won the game. Wright had been Little’s teammate on a Chicagoland AAU team, and had some words of praise about his friend. “He’s coming here to produce,” Wright told Kansan.com “He’s long and athletic, so he can give people fits on the defensive end.” Little’s showing against Wright was made all the more impressive by the revelation that the incoming junior had been nursing a stress fracture in the lower part of his left leg at the time. Clearly, it wasn’t too serious. The Big 12 Conference honored Little with its pre-season Newcomer of the Year designation. But the more Mario Little played on the leg, the worse it felt. He ended up on crutches by early November. When the leg healed enough for him to practice again, he broke the fourth metacarpal in his left hand when it tangled in a teammate’s jersey. There went December. After spending two months on the bench wearing a suit,

18

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

#

Little finally got on the court when Tennessee came to Allen Fieldhouse on January 3, 2009. In spite of the rust, he put in ten solid minutes off the bench, grabbing five rebounds despite missing on all of his field-goal attempts. He played only five minutes in KU’s next game, against Siena, but got on the board by hitting three of four from the charity stripe. On January 10, Kansas made a disastrous trip to East Lansing, losing to Michigan State by a score of 75–62. Little was not immune to the yips that seemed to afflict every Jayhawk player that day. He had the worst outing of his career, committing five personal fouls in just seven minutes of playing time. As the Big 12 season got underway, Little began to find his groove, and there were some solid moments: 15 points in a win over Texas A&M; 30 minutes and seven rebounds at Nebraska; back-to-back strong performances against Baylor and Oklahoma State. The injuries seemed to nag at him, however, and his minutes were erratic for the remainder of the season. All of this is the long way of saying that we don’t know what we’ll get from Mario Little in the 2009–10 season. He had surgery on the leg during the offseason, so barring any more practice mishaps, he should be ready to show what he can do. The only obstacle standing in his way is a certain Xavier Henry, who just happens to boast similar size and a more potent offensive skill set. It should be noted that Little did not transfer when he had the chance, unlike fellow JC matriculant Tyrone Appleton. He chose to stick it out on Mount Oread, and that speaks to a certain unselfish, team-oriented frame of mind. Given his size, experience, and defensive reputation, it seems very likely that Little will be a crucial role player, coming off the bench as a versatile stopper who can play guard or forward. His knack for offensive rebounding should result in some points, which is an excellent skill for a player on spot-duty to have. Which is not to say that Little will be limited to bench-jockey status. Bill Self values experience and defensive toughness, and is likely to give his other senior more minutes in the first month of the season while the talented newbies get a crash course in team defense. Little should prepare himself to do the most he can with the minutes that come his way. Mario Little may have missed his window of opportunity to be the next Brandon Rush. But he’s shown grit, team spirit, and a willingness to finish what he starts. That goes a long way in Allen Fieldhouse, and Mario will feel the love when he steps on the court for Senior Night in 2010.


Mario Little 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

10

0-3

0-0

0-1

1/4

5

2

0

1

0

2

2

0.116

0

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

5

0-0

3-4

0-0

0/0

0

2

0

1

0

0

3

0.333

3

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

7

0-1

0-0

0-0

1/2

3

0

0

1

0

5

0

0.000

0

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

13

4-6

0-0

0-1

1/2

3

0

0

1

1

1

8

0.352

8

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

8

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

1

0

0

1

1

0.081

0

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

14

6-6

2-2

1-1

2/2

4

0

0

0

0

3

18

0.768

15

 Sat 01/24/09

Iowa State

W, 82-67

A

12

4-4

1-3

0-0

0/1

1

0

1

1

0

4

8

0.360

9

 Wed 01/28/09

Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

30

2-6

0-0

0-0

2/5

7

2

0

1

0

1

7

0.148

4

 Sat 01/31/09

Colorado

W, 66-61

H

11

1-2

0-0

0-1

1/0

1

0

0

1

1

0

2

0.121

2

 Mon 02/02/09

Baylor

W, 75-65

A

13

4-7

4-5

0-0

0/3

3

1

1

1

0

4

11

0.464

12

 Sat 02/07/09

Oklahoma State

W, 78-67

H

26

6-8

0-0

1-1

3/2

5

3

0

1

1

1

18

0.355

13

 Mon 02/09/09

Missouri

L, 60-62

A

24

4-7

1-2

0-1

0/4

4

0

0

3

0

4

5

0.108

9

 Sat 02/14/09

Kansas State

W, 85-74

A

9

0-0

0-0

0-0

2/0

2

3

0

1

0

0

4

0.250

0

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

5

0-5

2-2

0-0

4/2

6

1

0

0

0

0

3

0.343

2

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

12

0-4

0-0

0-0

0/3

3

2

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Mon 02/23/09

Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

7

1-1

0-1

0-0

1/1

2

0

0

0

0

3

3

0.226

2

 Sun 03/01/09

Missouri

W, 90-65

H

15

2-6

1-2

0-0

1/5

6

2

3

1

0

4

9

0.324

5

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

12

0-2

2-4

0-1

1/1

2

1

2

1

0

1

4

0.183

2

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

12

1-1

4-4

0-0

1/1

2

0

1

0

0

0

9

0.441

6

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

12

3-5

0-2

0-0

2/3

5

1

0

1

0

0

6

0.312

6

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

8

0-2

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

16

3-4

0-1

1-1

2/4

6

0

1

1

1

1

11

0.387

7

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

N

7

1-2

0-0

0-0

1/0

1

0

1

0

0

2

3

0.256

2

288

42-82

20-32

3-8

26/47 73

20

11

18

4

37

107

TOTALS

19


Mario Little Career Situational STATISTICS OVERALL CAREER SEASON

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

2008-09

23

12.5

42-82

51.2

20-32

62.5

3-8

37.5

3.2

0.9

0.5

0.2

18

37

107

4.7

TOTALS

23

12.5

42-82

51.2

20-32

62.5

3-8

37.5

3.2

0.9

0.5

0.2

18

37

107

4.7

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

8

0-2

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

16

3-4

0-1

1-1

2/4

6

0

1

1

1

1

11

0.387

7

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

7

1-2

0-0

0-0

1/0

1

0

1

0

0

2

3

0.256

2

31

4-8 50.0%

0-1 0.0%

1-1 100.0%

3/5

8

0

2

1

1

3

9

TOTALS

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“He’s coming here to produce. He’s long and athletic, so he can give people fits on the defensive end.” – Julian Wright

Mario Little has been road-tested in the Big 12, which should help him play a leadership role in 2009–10.

20


Cole Aldrich

Junior | Center | 6'11" | 245 lbs | Bloomington, MN

45

#

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

C

ole Aldrich exploded like a supernova in the 2008–09 season. If not for one huge game in the 2008 Final Four, nobody would have seen it coming. As a freshman at KU, Aldrich was relegated to rare appearances off the bench. With Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun sharing the low-post duties, Bill Self had a rare luxury: a third talented big man, who could take his time and develop under the tutelage of Kansas legend Danny Manning. Aldrich averaged just 8.3 minutes per game, with a microscopic 2.8 points in each. His only double-digit game (11 points, 11 rebounds) was a result of extended garbage time in a 109–51 home walloping of Texas Tech. In his rare appearances, he often looked overwhelmed. As Kansas’s run to the 2008 title began, he fared even worse. In KU’s first four games, against Portland State, UNLV, Villanova, and Davidson, Aldrich clocked only 21 minutes and four points total. So it came as a shock to many when the forgotten man got in the game early and played 17 crucial minutes in a Final Four contest against the dreaded North Carolina Tar Heels. The measurables were impressive enough—eight points, seven rebounds, four blocks, and a perfect 4-4 from the line—but the freshman’s defensive intensity and poise had an even bigger impact on the pace of the game. When he ripped a hotly contested rebound away from Tyler “Psycho-T” Hansbrough, Jayhawk fans knew they had a keeper. Already an NCAA champion, Aldrich began his sophomore season in beast mode. As the first, best option for every Kansas

possession, his minutes shot up to 29.6 per contest. The kid who began the season with just one double-double to his credit added 21 more to his total, exhibiting a combination of dexterity, strength, intelligence, and shooting touch that is seldom seen in a player of his size. Aldrich’s defensive contributions are every bit as valuable as the effort he puts in on the offensive end. From a leadership standpoint, it may be even more valuable. Scoring is fun and rewarding and those who can do it well may lollygag when the ball changes directions. But the biggest Jayhawk routinely hustles for position and always gets a hand up to contest an inside shot attempt. His average of 2.7 blocks per game included a careerhigh ten in an NCAA Tournament game against Dayton, giving him his first career triple-double. And here’s a stat that will blow your mind. Cole Aldrich did not foul out of a single game last season. Not one! In fact, no referee has had to disqualify #45 as long as he’s been a Jayhawk. So what improvements can we look for in such an accomplished young man? For one thing, statistics can be tricky. Does Aldrich’s low personal-foul total mean he plays with exquisite control, or does it mean he needs to be a little more intimidating? Probably a little bit of both. Cole’s clearly a low-key kind of guy, so maybe we can wish for a little more fire. In his sophomore season, Aldrich was less effective against guard-oriented teams like Baylor and Texas Tech. Without a big man to battle, he struggles to catch the ball cleanly in the post and tends to turn it over with all of the bees buzzing around him in the paint. In a similar vein, he’ll need to do a better job of finding his teammates with crisp passes when he’s under pressure. Because he will be under pressure. His near-telepathic rapport with senior guard Sherron Collins should help. Maybe foreshadowing is just Cole’s thing, however. In Kansas’s final game of last season—a rematch with Michigan State—Aldrich had his highest assist total of the season, dishing out four passes that resulted in points for teammates. Finding a way to contribute in other ways on nights when defenses have him pinned will be crucial to the team’s success. In refining his game, Aldrich has a secret weapon that no opponent can boast: assistant coach Danny Manning. Observers were astonished by the single-year improvements made by Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson in ’08, and it seems reasonable to think that the Jayhawk legend will get the most out of Aldrich as well. Add in experienced post players Marcus Morris and Arizona transfer Jeff Withey, and the Kansas frontcourt becomes truly multifaceted.

21


Cole Aldrich 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/ Pos

Pts

 Sun 11/16/08

Missouri-Kansas City

W, 71-56

H

22

5-8

3-5

0-0

2/3

5

2

1

1

1

3

17

0.426

13

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

19

6-8

0-1

0-0

2/4

6

1

3

1

3

3

20

0.548

12

 Mon 11/24/08

Washington

W, 73-54

N

31

6-13

4-5

0-0

2/7

9

2

1

1

6

3

24

0.459

16

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

38

5-14

5-7

0-0

6/10

16

2

3

3

2

4

22

0.334

15

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

28

8-12

7-8

0-0

4/7

11

3

1

2

1

0

32

0.715

23

 Mon 12/01/08

Kent State

W, 87-60

H

28

3-8

4-5

0-0

4/9

13

2

0

2

4

2

20

0.402

10

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

22

5-10

3-5

0-0

6/7

13

1

1

1

2

3

21

0.477

13

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

22

4-8

5-6

0-0

3/5

8

0

0

2

3

3

17

0.396

13

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

36

5-9

2-3

0-0

6/7

13

2

0

2

2

1

21

0.365

12

 Sat 12/20/08

Temple

W, 71-59

H

26

6-9

1-3

0-0

2/9

11

0

0

1

2

4

19

0.436

13

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

23

2-5

6-11

0-0

0/4

4

2

0

1

0

4

8

0.214

10

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

21

8-11

4-5

0-0

2/4

6

1

0

3

3

3

23

0.674

20

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

37

10-15

2-3

0-0

3/7

10

1

1

3

6

3

30

0.470

22

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

32

9-14

6-10

0-0

4/9

13

0

1

2

4

3

30

0.521

24

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

36

4-10

6-9

0-0

1/10

11

0

0

1

3

2

17

0.262

14

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

28

5-7

5-6

0-0

2/6

8

1

0

0

2

4

23

0.469

15

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

33

6-7

3-7

0-0

3/7

10

1

0

1

3

3

23

0.450

15

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

31

8-14

0-0

0-0

2/6

8

1

0

2

2

3

18

0.347

16

 Sat 01/24/09

Iowa State

W, 82-67

A

34

7-13

2-3

0-0

3/9

12

0

0

1

2

3

21

0.334

16

 Wed 01/28/09

Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

26

3-6

2-5

0-0

2/6

8

0

1

4

0

3

7

0.171

8

 Sat 01/31/09

Colorado

W, 66-61

H

31

5-11

5-7

0-0

3/10

13

1

1

0

2

0

23

0.495

15

 Mon 02/02/09

Baylor

W, 75-65

A

28

4-8

1-3

0-0

2/6

8

0

0

0

2

4

13

0.254

9

 Sat 02/07/09

Oklahoma State

W, 78-67

H

34

6-13

0-1

0-0

2/16

18

0

0

0

3

2

22

0.332

12

 Mon 02/09/09

Missouri

L, 60-62

A

35

3-9

2-3

0-0

2/13

15

0

0

4

5

4

15

0.223

8

 Sat 02/14/09

Kansas State

W, 85-74

A

36

8-14

5-6

0-0

0/7

7

2

0

0

1

1

24

0.376

21

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

27

9-13

4-5

0-0

2/9

11

0

1

5

1

2

25

0.529

22

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

26

7-12

4-10

0-0

3/9

12

2

0

1

2

0

21

0.475

18

 Mon 02/23/09

Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

38

5-11

5-7

0-0

5/15

20

1

2

0

4

3

31

0.429

15

 Sun 03/01/09

Missouri

W, 90-65

H

32

8-14

3-4

0-0

3/11

14

1

0

0

2

2

28

0.473

19

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

19

1-6

6-7

0-0

2/1

3

1

1

0

1

4

9

0.260

8

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

33

4-10

4-5

0-0

4/6

10

1

0

1

3

3

17

0.303

12

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

29

3-6

2-3

0-0

6/8

14

0

0

2

1

2

16

0.345

8

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

31

9-13

5-7

0-0

2/11

13

0

1

0

2

3

30

0.530

23

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

31

6-13

1-4

0-0

6/14

20

1

0

5

10

2

25

0.454

13

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

N

34

6-14

5-7

0-0

5/9

14

4

2

4

4

1

25

0.439

17

106/281 387

36

21

56

94

90

520

TOTALS

22

1037 199-333 122-154

0-0


Cole Aldrich Career Situational STATISTICS Overall Career Season

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

 2007-08

40

8.3

43-83

51.8

26-38

68.4

0-0

3.0

0.1

0.3

0.8

21

48

112

2.8

 2008-09

35

29.6

199-333

59.8

122-154

79.2

0-0

11.1

1.0

0.6

2.7

56

90

520

14.9

TOTALS

75

18.2

242-416

58.2

148-192

77.1

0-0

6.7

0.5

0.4

1.7

77

138

632

8.4

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Thu 03/20/08

Portland State

W, 85-61

10

1-2

0-0

0-0

0/2

2

1

2

1

1

3

6

0.363

2

 Sat 03/22/08

UNLV

W, 75-56

3

1-1

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

0.410

2

 Fri 03/28/08

Villanova

W, 72-57

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

0.395

0

 Sun 03/30/08

Davidson

W, 59-57

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0.000

0

 Sat 04/05/08

North Carolina

W, 84-66

17

2-4

4-4

0-0

4/3

7

0

1

2

4

1

16

0.467

8

 Mon 04/07/08

Memphis

W, 75-68

4

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

31

9-12

5-6

0-0

2/11

13

0

1

0

2

3

30

0.530

23

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

31

6-12

1-3

0-0

6/14

20

1

0

5

10

2

25

0.454

13

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

34

6-13

5-6

0-0

5/9

14

4

2

4

4

1

25

0.439

17

138

25-44 56.8%

15-19 78.9%

0-0

17/41

58

7

6

13

21

13

65

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

TOTALS

Cole Aldrich uses his superior height and awareness to pass to open teammates when he’s pinned.

23


Brady Morningstar

Junior | Guard | 6'3" | 185 lbs | Lawrence, KS

12

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

T

he list of Lawrence natives who have played for Kansas is actually pretty long. But most of the hometown heroes who have donned crimson and blue did so in the days before college hoops became big business, when recruiting was mostly local. In 1966, Roger Harris and Ralph Light both played for their hometown team, but neither saw much action that year and were gone the next. Since then, five Lawrencians have also been basketball Jayhawks (some people stunt-cast Danny Manning as a local, but one season as a Lawrence High Chesty Lion does not a native Kansan make). Of those, Chris Piper saw the most floor time, serving as a co-captain and role player on the 1988 title squad. Jeff Johnson occupied the end of the bench in the mid’80s, and Stephen Vinson and Brennan Bechard walked on and played sparingly in recent times. So what to make of Brady, son of Roger? Well, he’s actually quite good, isn’t he? His father was a solid 6'6" forward for the 1975 Jayhawk team. He averaged 11.1 points per game and exhibited a knack for assists. Brady Morningstar is three inches shorter, but shows no fear inside. He grabbed four or more rebounds on 13 occasions last season, including a season high eight at Colorado on January 17. On a team with trees in the frontcourt, Brady Morningstar is never going to make his living as a rebounder, but it’s a nice bonus in a player who displays the full array of guard skills.

24

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

#

He’s the team’s best returning three-point shooter, with a very respectable 42% mark. Last season, he also led the Jayhawks with a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and swiped the ball from opponents 1.2 times per game to lead that category as well. That combination of ball-handling skills, defensive alacrity, and shooting prowess allows him to spell presumed starters Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor at either position, or play alongside them when the Jayhawks go small. In the 2009–10 season, Morningstar is poised to play the role that Russell Robinson filled for the ’08 championship team: the team’s security blanket. Remember when Russ Rob would come off the bench, and you’d know that he had things under control? That’s what Brady Morningstar gives this year’s Kansas Jayhawks. He’s experienced, with three years in the system already thanks to a redshirt year in ’08. He’s steady as a freight train and never seems to rattle. He controls the ball and provides a presence behind the arc. He’s tough and tenacious, and tends to instill similar qualities in his teammates when he’s on the floor. He’s the rarest kind of sixth man. Obviously, the reason Brady Morningstar isn’t a starter is because he’s not going to blow anyone away with his athleticism. There’s not much he or anyone else can do about that. Morningstar plays a ton of minutes for Bill Self (30.4 per game last season) but he doesn’t put many points on the board. With a passel of talented freshmen coming into Allen Fieldhouse this season, that might relegate him to the status of role player. Morningstar was at Kansas in ’08, so he has some idea of what it means to be a backup on a championship-caliber team. Though he redshirted that season, he had to have seen the value of building a strong rotation full of capable players. He’ll likely keep his head on straight and be prepared to do the little things it takes to help the team win. His job will be to play so well that Bill Self can’t afford to keep him on the bench during tight games, when heady play and defensive tenacity are at a premium. If he is going to be in those challenging situations, the old free-throw bugaboo raises its head. Morningstar’s 79% mark from last season isn’t bad, but it could certainly be better for someone who figures to take a few charges and maybe get fouled during three-point attempts. Another way to produce off the bench is to snatch every freebie that comes your way. Brady Morningstar is the best Lawrence-born Jayhawk of this decade, and Bill Self is no doubt pleased he was able to keep the legacy recruit at home.


Brady Morningstar 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Sun 11/16/08

Date

Opponent Missouri-Kansas City

W, 71-56

H

22

1-4

3-4

0-1

0/2

2

1

0

1

0

0

3

0.075

5

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

28

2-5

0-0

0-2

0/2

2

6

3

0

1

2

12

0.223

4

 Mon 11/24/08

Washington

W, 73-54

N

36

1-4

1-2

0-1

1/3

4

5

2

0

0

2

9

0.148

3

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

26

1-2

3-3

1-1

0/1

1

1

0

2

1

3

6

0.133

6

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

32

7-9

1-2

6-8

2/5

7

2

2

2

0

0

26

0.509

21

 Mon 12/01/08

Kent State

W, 87-60

H

30

2-5

4-4

1-3

0/0

0

1

4

2

0

3

9

0.169

9

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

22

1-3

0-0

1-2

0/2

2

2

1

2

0

4

4

0.091

3

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

21

2-5

0-0

2-5

0/0

0

2

0

0

0

1

5

0.122

6

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

29

2-7

2-2

1-4

2/1

3

0

1

0

0

3

5

0.108

7

 Sat 12/20/08

Temple

W, 71-59

H

27

4-6

0-0

3-4

0/1

1

2

0

2

0

0

10

0.221

11

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

32

3-8

0-0

2-6

3/2

5

4

0

1

0

2

10

0.192

8

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

22

2-5

0-0

2-4

1/4

5

3

0

1

0

1

9

0.252

6

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

33

4-7

1-2

3-5

2/2

4

6

0

3

0

2

14

0.246

12

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

32

2-7

2-2

1-4

0/2

2

5

1

0

2

0

11

0.191

7

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

29

2-4

0-0

1-2

2/1

3

2

2

0

0

1

9

0.172

5

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

34

2-7

0-1

2-4

0/0

0

3

1

0

0

1

4

0.067

6

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

32

1-2

0-1

0-0

1/7

8

4

1

4

0

3

7

0.141

2

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

32

1-3

1-1

0-1

2/4

6

4

2

0

0

1

12

0.224

3

 Sat 01/24/09

Iowa State

W, 82-67

A

33

4-7

0-0

1-3

1/2

3

3

1

0

0

0

12

0.197

9

 Wed 01/28/09

Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

35

4-6

1-1

2-3

2/3

5

0

0

2

0

0

11

0.200

11

 Sat 01/31/09

Colorado

W, 66-61

H

39

3-7

2-2

2-6

0/4

4

0

1

3

1

3

8

0.137

10

 Mon 02/02/09

Baylor

W, 75-65

A

40

2-4

0-0

2-3

1/2

3

1

1

3

0

3

5

0.068

6

 Sat 02/07/09

Oklahoma State

W, 78-67

H

32

3-8

0-0

3-7

1/1

2

6

1

2

0

1

11

0.176

9

 Mon 02/09/09

Missouri

L, 60-62

A

34

1-3

0-0

0-2

2/1

3

2

3

3

0

1

4

0.061

2

 Sat 02/14/09

Kansas State

W, 85-74

A

32

4-5

0-0

4-4

0/4

4

1

2

2

0

5

15

0.264

12

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

33

2-5

0-0

2-4

0/3

3

3

4

3

0

1

9

0.156

6

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

32

3-5

0-0

2-3

2/2

4

3

1

1

0

1

12

0.221

8

 Mon 02/23/09

Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

21

0-3

2-2

0-2

0/1

1

3

0

1

0

4

2

0.050

2

 Sun 03/01/09

Missouri

W, 90-65

H

29

1-5

0-0

0-2

1/3

4

2

1

2

0

0

2

0.037

2

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

23

1-7

0-0

1-6

1/2

3

1

2

0

0

2

2

0.048

3

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

36

3-6

0-0

3-4

0/4

4

4

1

0

0

3

14

0.229

9

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

30

1-5

0-0

0-4

0/1

1

5

2

0

0

2

6

0.125

2

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

29

3-5

0-0

2-3

0/0

0

1

1

0

0

3

8

0.151

8

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

32

0-4

0-0

0-4

1/1

2

2

0

3

0

2

0

0.000

0

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

N

34

3-8

0-0

0-2

1/2

3

2

2

2

0

0

5

0.088

6

92

43

47

5

60

229

TOTALS

1063 78-186

23-29

50-119 29/75 104

25


Brady Morningstar Career Situational STATISTICS Overall Career Season

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

 2006-07

16

5.6

13-26

50.0

4-5

80.0

4-9

44.4

0.8

0.5

0.3

0.1

4

8

34

2.1

 2008-09

35

30.4

78-186

41.9

23-29

79.3

50-119

42.0

3.0

2.6

2.6

0.1

47

60

229

6.5

TOTALS

51

22.6

91-212

42.9

27-34

79.4

54-128

42.2

2.3

2.0

1.9

0.1

51

68

263

5.2

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

29

3-5

0-0

2-3

0/0

0

1

1

0

0

3

8

0.151

8

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

32

0-4

0-0

0-4

1/1

2

2

0

3

0

2

0

0.000

0

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

34

3-8

0-0

0-2

1/2

3

2

2

2

0

0

5

0.088

6

95

6-17 35.3%

0-0

2-9 22.2%

2/3

5

5

3

5

0

5

14

TOTALS

Lawrence-born Brady Morningstar is steady as a freight train and never seems to rattle.

26

Photo: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

He’s the team’s best returning three-point shooter, with a very respectable 42% mark.


Tyrel Reed

Junior | Guard | 6'3" | 185 lbs | Burlington, KS

14

#

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I

t’s the quiet ones that always surprise you. Tyrel Reed comes off the bench. It’s his role, and he accepts it. Sometimes, opponents may even forget he’s there, as more demonstrative teammates react to the flow of the game by leaping, shouting, and gesturing. Reed is more of the silent assassin. His expression rarely changes, and the gears are always turning behind that impassive mask. He knows the call can come at any time, and when it does, he will be ready. Ready to put up clutch shots in tight games. Ready to add the winning margin when a team just won’t go away. Ready to answer an opponent’s hot shooting with a few daggers of his own. He’s a coach’s kid, a former Mr. Kansas Basketball from Burlington. He patterned his game after Kirk Hinrich, and couldn’t wait to step onto the floor in the Phog. Perimeter shooting is not Reed’s only skill by any means. He has handle and court vision that would allow him to start most anywhere in the country, but he’s chosen to be a role player for the Crimson and Blue. A pretty good choice, seeing as how he’s already sporting one championship ring, and is gunning for another in his junior year. It’s no surprise that Tyrel Reed has all the angles figured. The man is smart. This past summer, he was selected to represent KU at the NCAA’s National Student-Athlete Development Conference in Orlando. Reed was part of a select group of 700

athletes drawn from every division and sport sponsored by the governing body. He roomed with a D-III water polo star from Brazil, learned about problem solving and leadership, and made a lot of new friends. He feels the experience taught him something he can use on the court at Kansas. “I definitely feel after going to that conference and after being under Coach Self for a couple years that I’m a lot more confident, and I feel like I can assume that leadership role,” Reed told KUAthletics.com. “I need to be more vocal. That’s probably the biggest key for me. I try to lead by example a lot, but sometimes you just have to step in there and say what you really feel and hopefully other people will follow what you say.” You have to love a player who analyzes himself. So, the first thing on Reed’s to-do list will be vocal leadership. He’s also shown a tendency to heat up late after shooting cold in the first half. It’s great to have a clutch shooter the team can rely on in the late going, but a player who’s only getting 20–25 minutes per game needs to be more efficient. His role as a designated three-point threat might make that difficult, but it also makes it crucial to individual and team success. In general, Reed’s shooting percentages went down as his minutes went up. In his freshman season, #14 played just 6.3 minutes per game, hitting 51.4% from the floor, and 45.8% from behind the arc. Last year, his playing time more than tripled, and both numbers fell to the 40% range. It seems reasonable to expect that Reed will find more balance in his game as he grows into his role. It’s pretty easy to see the writing on the wall. Reed is going to be pushed for minutes with so many blue-chip prospects coming into the program this season. Like some of the other upperclassmen, he’s going to have to carve out his niche early on through defense. Reed’s solid steals rate will give him that chance, and his steady demeanor will be a big plus on a roster that is still heavily weighted toward freshmen and sophomores. He’s also a fine free-throw shooter. Something about Reed just screams out “coach.” He comes from a coaching family. He’s a smart kid who’s discovering how to lead. He’s learning from some of the best minds the college game has to offer. It’s no stretch to imagine him as a graduate assistant in two year’s time, becoming the next branch on the Bill Self coaching tree. In the meantime, Reed has unfinished business on the court. If he can be more vocal while staying ready to knock down the open shot, Kansas just might be the last team standing in 2010.

27


Tyrel Reed 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Sun 11/16/08

Date

Opponent Missouri-Kansas City

W, 71-56

H

34

5-10

2-2

0-5

0/4

4

0

0

1

0

2

9

0.146

12

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

14

2-3

3-4

2-2

0/0

0

2

3

0

0

2

11

0.409

9

 Mon 11/24/08

Washington

W, 73-54

N

24

1-5

0-0

0-3

0/4

4

1

2

0

0

0

4

0.099

2

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

29

2-8

0-0

2-8

0/1

1

5

2

2

0

4

6

0.119

6

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

15

0-1

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0.000

0

 Mon 12/01/08

Kent State

W, 87-60

H

20

1-3

4-4

0-1

0/1

1

3

0

1

0

2

7

0.197

6

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

21

4-8

0-0

4-6

1/1

2

0

2

2

0

2

10

0.238

12

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

24

3-8

2-2

3-6

1/3

4

2

2

3

0

2

10

0.213

11

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

29

3-7

0-0

3-7

0/4

4

2

1

1

0

2

10

0.216

9

 Sat 12/20/08

Temple

W, 71-59

H

16

0-3

0-0

0-3

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

15

1-4

0-0

1-4

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

2

0

0.000

3

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

23

4-6

1-1

3-5

0/1

1

4

1

0

0

0

16

0.428

12

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

24

2-5

2-2

2-5

2/0

2

2

0

0

0

1

9

0.217

8

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

22

3-6

6-6

2-4

0/1

1

0

1

0

0

0

13

0.328

14

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

20

4-8

0-2

2-6

0/1

1

1

0

0

0

3

6

0.167

10

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

23

2-5

2-4

0-2

0/0

0

0

2

1

0

1

2

0.050

6

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

21

4-6

0-1

3-5

1/1

2

1

0

2

0

2

9

0.276

11

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

14

1-2

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

0

1

0

0

1

2

0.085

2

 Sat 01/24/09

Iowa State

W, 82-67

A

21

2-3

4-4

2-3

0/2

2

1

0

0

0

1

12

0.309

10

 Wed 01/28/09

Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

20

2-2

1-2

2-2

0/2

2

1

1

2

0

3

8

0.254

7

 Sat 01/31/09

Colorado

W, 66-61

H

24

2-4

2-2

2-3

1/1

2

2

1

2

0

1

9

0.250

8

 Mon 02/02/09

Baylor

W, 75-65

A

22

1-1

1-2

0-0

1/1

2

1

1

2

0

0

4

0.100

3

 Sat 02/07/09

Oklahoma State

W, 78-67

H

22

2-5

1-1

1-3

0/4

4

2

1

2

0

2

7

0.163

6

 Mon 02/09/09

Missouri

L, 60-62

A

22

2-7

2-2

2-7

2/3

5

0

0

0

0

2

7

0.182

8

 Sat 02/14/09

Kansas State

W, 85-74

A

19

1-3

4-4

1-2

0/2

2

0

0

3

0

3

4

0.119

7

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

26

1-5

0-0

1-4

0/3

3

1

0

1

0

2

1

0.022

3

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

15

0-2

0-0

0-2

1/2

3

0

0

2

0

1

0

0.000

0

 Mon 02/23/09

Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

17

1-3

0-0

1-3

0/0

0

1

1

2

0

3

1

0.031

3

 Sun 03/01/09

Missouri

W, 90-65

H

18

3-6

0-0

3-4

0/0

0

3

0

0

0

1

9

0.270

9

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

21

2-7

1-2

2-6

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

3

0

0.000

7

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

10

1-1

0-0

1-1

0/2

2

0

0

0

0

1

5

0.294

3

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

16

2-5

0-0

2-5

2/2

4

0

0

1

0

0

5

0.195

6

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

21

0-3

3-4

0-1

1/1

2

2

1

0

0

0

4

0.104

3

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

21

1-5

6-6

1-5

0/3

3

0

1

0

0

0

8

0.215

9

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

N

21

1-2

0-0

1-2

0/1

1

0

0

2

0

5

1

0.028

3

724

66-162

47-57

49-126 13/52 65

37

24

36

0

55

228

TOTALS

28


Tyrel Reed Career Situational STATISTICS Overall Career Season

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

 2007-08

23

6.3

18-35

51.4

0-1

0.0

11-24

45.8

0.5

0.9

0.3

0.0

4

8

47

2.0

 2008-09

35

20.7

66-162

40.7

47-57

82.5

49-126

38.9

1.9

1.1

0.7

0.0

36

55

228

6.5

TOTALS

58

15.2

84-197

42.6

47-58

81.0

60-150

40.0

1.3

1.0

0.5

0.0

40

63

275

4.8

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Thu 03/20/08

Portland State

W, 85-61

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0.303

0

 Sat 03/22/08

UNLV

W, 75-56

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0.615

0

 Fri 03/28/08

Villanova

W, 72-57

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

21

0-3

3-4

0-1

1/2

3

2

1

0

0

0

4

0.104

3

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

21

1-5

6-6

1-5

0/3

3

0

1

0

0

0

8

0.215

9

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

21

1-2

0-0

1-2

0/1

1

0

0

2

0

5

1

0.028

3

66

2-10 20.0%

9-10 90.0%

2-8 25.0%

1/6

7

3

3

2

0

5

15

Photo: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

TOTALS

Tyrel Reed plays the game with a cool head and the smarts of a coach’s son.

29


Tyshawn Taylor

Sophomore | Guard | 6'3" | 180 lbs | Hoboken, NJ

10

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

D

ue to NCAA rules, coaches have to let their players go during the offseason. No organized practices or supervised weight training for months. It’s kind of a crapshoot. Unless, of course, your starting off-guard is good enough (and young enough) to garner an invite to play for Team USA’s U-19 squad. In that rare case, you can rest assured that he’s getting a first-rate basketball education over the summer. Tyshawn Taylor did just that, spending three and a half weeks in the company of superstar rising sophomores like Butler’s Gordon Hayward and newly-minted Dukie Seth Curry. The team practiced and played under the watchful eye of one of the college game’s best young coaches: Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon. The all-star youth team had one goal: to win the international gold medal. The last time the USA had done so was 1991, which qualifies as a lifelong drought for a team so young. Aside from the opportunity to take back some basketball glory, a U-19 selection offered the chance to play by international rules and journey to beautiful New Zealand in the bargain. Team USA had no problems in Auckland, squashing Team Canada 93–73 in the first round, and downing Croatia in the semis by a score of 81–77. Taylor turned in his best performance of the summer in the final game against a physical Greek team, tallying 18 points, six assists, and five steals. It wasn’t an isolated event, Taylor led the team in those same three categories in the cumulative stats as well. He’s the only player on the

30

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

#

Jayhawks with a gold medal to show off. “It means so much. I’m glad I got the chance to represent my country,” said Taylor in an interview with KUAthletics.com “It feels so good to just come back after all the hard work—the two-a-days in Colorado, being here and practicing right after getting off an 18-hour flight—it feels so good, like all the hard work paid off.” Kansas fans are hoping that Taylor’s positive experiences on the international stage will translate to an even stronger presence in the KU backcourt this season. As a freshman, Taylor was third on the team in scoring behind the dynamic duo of Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, notching 9.7 points per game. His all-around game was on display early: Taylor played an astonishing 36 minutes in only his fourth collegiate game, against Syracuse; he had an 11-assist game against Jackson State in early December; and four steals against Temple two weeks later. As a scorer, his most impressive game by far came on the road at Oklahoma: 26 points on 8-13 shooting, including 3-5 from behind the arc. Taylor can hit the three, though last year’s stats definitely welcome improvement. If Taylor is to start all season at shooting guard, as expected, last year’s 36.4% mark will be a handicap. He can absolutely thrive as a slasher, but it’s never a good idea to be too one-dimensional, even if you’re quick. Defenses have a much harder time adjusting to a real shooting threat who can drive. A perceived lack of perimeter mojo could lead to more Brady Morningstar (42.2% career) or Tyrel Reed (40.0%) in lategame situations. It’s not particularly likely, but it could happen. Turnovers are the other area of concern when looking at Tyshawn Taylor. On three separate occasions—against Nebraska, Missouri, and Dayton—he turned the ball over six times. That’s two tough away games and a neutral-court NCAA contest, but it’s no stretch to say that a starting guard might want to improve on a 1.3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Tyshawn Taylor seems very likely to overcome these obstacles and become the third scoring option all of Mount Oread wants him to be. It may be a technicality, since his 9.7 per game was already good enough for third place on the team in ’09, but the conventional wisdom is that he can do more, and his off-season exploits in New Zealand would seem to bear out that line of reasoning. The opportunity to add a national championship ring to his gold medal should have Tyshawn Taylor salivating for Midnight Madness, just like the rest of us. (Note: incoming freshman Elija Johnson will wear #15 this season)


Tyshawn Taylor 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Sun 11/16/08

Date

Opponent Missouri-Kansas City

W, 71-56

H

19

2-4

3-6

0-1

0/3

3

2

2

2

0

4

6

0.174

7

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

18

2-4

1-2

0-2

0/0

0

3

2

3

1

3

5

0.144

5

 Mon 11/24/08

Washington

W, 73-54

N

25

4-5

2-3

0-0

0/2

2

1

0

2

1

1

9

0.213

10

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

36

8-13

0-1

1-2

0/3

3

2

2

4

0

4

13

0.208

17

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

25

2-4

4-4

2-3

2/3

5

6

0

1

0

1

17

0.426

10

 Mon 12/01/08

Kent State

W, 87-60

H

35

5-14

0-0

2-2

1/2

3

2

3

1

0

1

9

0.145

12

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

31

8-14

7-8

0-3

0/1

1

3

1

2

0

0

19

0.306

23

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

34

4-10

1-1

1-4

0/3

3

11

2

4

0

1

15

0.226

10

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

20

1-7

1-2

0-3

0/2

2

3

2

3

1

4

0

0.000

3

 Sat 12/20/08

Temple

W, 71-59

H

37

4-7

2-2

1-3

0/2

2

8

4

1

1

3

21

0.339

11

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

29

2-6

3-5

2-4

1/0

1

3

1

1

0

3

7

0.149

9

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

19

1-2

0-0

1-2

0/2

2

1

1

1

1

2

5

0.162

3

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

23

6-11

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

3

1

1

0

4

10

0.252

12

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

26

3-8

1-2

1-3

2/2

4

2

1

2

0

2

6

0.128

8

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

18

1-3

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

0

0

2

0

1

0

0.000

2

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

34

5-8

9-13

1-2

1/3

4

3

2

2

1

2

20

0.336

20

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

23

6-7

1-2

1-2

0/1

1

2

0

4

0

3

11

0.309

14

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

30

4-5

0-0

0-1

0/3

3

1

0

2

0

3

8

0.159

8

 Sat 01/24/09

Iowa State

W, 82-67

A

27

3-10

4-4

0-1

1/5

6

3

2

1

0

2

12

0.240

10

 Wed 01/28/09

Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

30

1-3

4-6

0-2

0/3

3

3

0

6

1

3

3

0.063

6

 Sat 01/31/09

Colorado

W, 66-61

H

22

1-4

2-2

0-1

0/2

2

1

0

1

1

3

3

0.091

4

 Mon 02/02/09

Baylor

W, 75-65

A

23

3-8

0-0

0-1

0/2

2

4

0

3

0

4

4

0.095

6

 Sat 02/07/09

Oklahoma State

W, 78-67

H

22

3-5

4-4

2-3

1/1

2

4

2

2

0

3

16

0.373

12

 Mon 02/09/09

Missouri

L, 60-62

A

20

5-6

1-1

0-0

1/2

3

2

1

6

0

2

9

0.234

11

 Sat 02/14/09

Kansas State

W, 85-74

A

22

1-2

2-2

0-0

0/2

2

3

1

2

0

5

7

0.179

4

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

16

1-2

0-0

1-2

0/0

0

3

1

2

0

4

4

0.143

3

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

25

2-6

1-2

1-5

0/3

3

1

0

3

0

0

1

0.024

6

 Mon 02/23/09

Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

34

8-13

7-11

3-5

0/1

1

3

1

1

0

1

21

0.325

26

 Sun 03/01/09

Missouri

W, 90-65

H

30

5-7

4-6

1-1

1/0

1

6

0

2

0

1

16

0.288

15

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

28

4-5

3-4

0-0

0/2

2

1

3

2

0

1

11

0.215

11

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

27

4-9

2-2

1-1

0/2

2

5

0

3

0

1

10

0.218

11

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

38

4-7

2-2

2-3

0/2

2

3

1

0

0

3

15

0.247

12

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

27

4-9

0-1

0-1

0/2

2

1

0

2

0

2

3

0.061

8

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

27

1-5

1-3

0-1

0/3

3

3

1

6

0

1

0

0.000

3

 Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

N

28

2-4

4-4

0-1

0/1

1

2

1

3

0

3

7

0.149

8

104

38

83

8

81

340

TOTALS

928 120-237 76-105

24-66 11/65 76

31


Tyshawn Taylor Career Situational STATISTICS Overall Career Season

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

2008-09

35

26.5

120-237

50.6

76-105

72.4

24-66

36.4

2.2

3.0

1.1

0.2

83

81

340

9.7

TOTALS

35

26.5

120-237

50.6

76-105

72.4

24-66

36.4

2.2

3.0

1.1

0.2

83

81

340

9.7

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

27

4-9

0-1

0-1

0/2

2

1

0

2

0

2

3

0.061

8

Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

27

1-5

1-3

0-1

0/3

3

3

1

6

0

1

0

0.000

3

Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

28

2-4

4-4

0-1

0/1

1

2

1

3

0

3

7

0.149

8

82

7-18 38.8%

5-8 62.5%

0-3 0.0%

0/6

6

6

2

11

0

6

19

TOTALS

Tyshawn Taylor Team USA U19 Game-by-Game Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FG%

3-A

3PT%

FT-A

FT%

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

PF

Blk

Pts

W 106-55

18

5-5

100.0

1-2

50.0

0-1

0.0

0/1

1

3

2

2

1

0

13

W 71-55

17

2-2

10.0

1-3

33.3

0-0

0.0

0/2

2

5

0

2

4

0

7

Greece

W 85-69

20

1-5

20.0

1-2

50.0

3-4

75.0

0/3

3

2

1

5

2

0

8

Puerto Rico

W 82-61

21

4-10

40.0

0-3

0.0

0-0

0.0

2/0

2

5

2

0

4

0

8

Lithuania

W 76-69

22

6-12

50.0

0-1

0.0

1-2

50.0

0/0

0

4

1

2

4

0

13

Canada

W 93-73

23

3-6

50.0

1-1

100.0

1-1

100.0

1/1

2

7

0

3

2

0

10

Croatia

W 81-77

24

2-7

28.6

0-0

0.0

5-7

71.4

0/3

3

3

3

2

0

0

9

Greece

W 88-80

27

4-10

40.0

1-1

100.0

7-12

58.3

2/0

2

6

5

2

1

0

18

TOTALS

8 Games

172

27-57

47.4

5-13

38.5

17-27

63.0

5/10

15

35

14

18

18

0

86

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Iran France

Last season’s third option at Kansas, Taylor became a leader in New Zealand.

32


Marcus Morris

Sophomore | Forward | 6'8" | 225 lbs | Philadelphia, PA

22

#

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

M

arcus Morris played well enough in the post as a freshman that you won’t be seeing him there as much this year. MC Morris (as his jersey reads) was the team’s secondleading rebounder behind Cole Aldrich. He was able to play that role with a fairly pedestrian 4.7 boards per game, which says more about the Jayhawks’ overreliance on Cole Aldrich than it does about Morris’s abilities. With senior walk-on Matt Kleinmann the only other Jayhawk above 6'9", both Morris brothers had to play inside in the 2008–09 season. Despite his size, that’s not where Marcus Morris feels comfortable. He says he was never a post player at any time in his career until last season at Kansas. His versatility and shooting range have always made him much more attractive as a wing player, where he creates severe mismatches and throws defenses into chaos. Imagine stepping onto the court against a 6'8" forward with a strong perimeter game—who guards him? Morris has always considered small forward to be his natural position. With 6'9" power forward Thomas Robinson coming in, and 7'0" Arizona transfer Jeff Withey available to join the team in ’09, #22 should be able to spend more time in the three spot, helping national radio and television announcers do a better job of distinguishing him from his twin brother. Markieff, at 6'9" and 232 pounds, will continue to roam the paint. Over the summer, Morris played a pickup game against notable Jayhawk basketball alumni (Sasha Kaun, Russell

Robinson, Billy Thomas) at Bill Self’s basketball camp. His renewed dedication to perimeter shooting was in evidence, as he drilled several guarded treys. At a post-game press conference, Marcus said he’d been working on his shooting all summer, and that he had been given the green light to shoot it when he’s open. In that same impromptu locker room interview, which can be found at TheShiver.com, Morris was quite candid about his biggest weakness: foul shooting. His 60.4% mark was tenth on the team, and by far the worst percentage by a player logging significant floor time. Of the returning players from last year’s squad, only Travis Releford (53.1%) and Chase Buford (no attempts) were less effective at the stripe. The defensive education of Marcus Morris seems to be proceeding fairly well. A tendency for the then-freshman to be somewhat lackadaisical and overconfident on defense was exposed last season, and in rather spectacular fashion by Iowa State’s Craig Brackens. Jayhawk fans will remember that the 6'10" Brackens torched a variety of KU defenders for 42 points in Ames last year. When Brackins came to Allen Fieldhouse for the rematch, Morris was ready for him. Brackins wore his own number as well as #22 that night, and was held to 7-21 from the floor. Against a player like Brackins, a 20-point evening is a victory for the defender. “That was a game I needed for myself to see where I was at defensively,” Morris told Phog.net. “I told myself before the game, ‘I’m not worried about anything else on the court.’ I told myself, ‘He won’t get 42 tonight.’ Once I knew that, the game was over.” Anyone who’s watched a Bill Self-coached team knows that defensive toughness is crucial. Morris is learning that a hand in the face is not the only way to play D. His effort against Brackins was largely focused on denying him the ball and position. Knowing how to limit a high-scoring opponent’s touches is a nice complement to a fairly solid defensive repertoire. Marcus, like many other experienced KU players, will find himself squeezed for playing time when Xavier Henry rolls into Allen Fieldhouse this winter. That makes Morris’s size and defensive ability the key to carrying over the 18.5 minutes per game he carved out of last year’s schedule. No doubt, his acknowledged versatility will still be called upon in the four spot as well. Marcus Morris made a game-winning shot for a repeat state title in his senior year at Philadelphia’s Charter Prep. He and his brother then spent a post-graduate year at New Jersey’s Apex Academy. That experience and maturity should serve him well as the Jayhawks attempt to make it to Indianapolis.

33


Marcus Morris 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Sun 11/16/08 Missouri-Kansas City

Date

W, 71-56

H

8

1-1

0-0

0-0

0/3

3

0

0

2

1

2

3

0.207

2

 Tue 11/18/08

W, 85-45

H

20

2-8

1-2

0-0

5/5

10

1

4

0

1

2

12

0.312

5

 Mon 11/24/08 Washington

W, 73-54

N

19

6-9

1-2

0-1

1/1

2

1

0

3

0

4

9

0.281

13

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

36

5-10

1-4

0-0

6/5

11

6

1

2

2

3

18

0.256

11

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

18

2-7

2-4

0-0

5/4

9

1

0

0

1

0

8

0.282

6

 Mon 12/01/08 Kent State

W, 87-60

H

29

3-9

8-12

0-0

3/7

10

0

1

2

1

2

12

0.233

14

 Wed 12/03/08 New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

9

3-6

0-0

0-0

3/1

4

1

1

0

0

3

7

0.166

6

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

17

5-6

3-3

0-0

0/3

3

0

1

2

0

4

13

0.392

13

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

17

2-8

0-0

0-1

2/3

5

0

0

0

0

1

2

0.074

4

 Sat 12/20/08

Temple

W, 71-59

H

25

4-8

1-2

0-0

1/1

2

1

3

3

0

1

7

0.167

9

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

23

4-7

4-4

0-0

2/3

5

1

0

1

0

2

13

0.348

12

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

18

3-4

0-1

1-1

1/4

5

2

2

1

1

0

13

0.444

7

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

20

3-8

1-3

0-0

2/4

6

2

2

4

0

5

5

0.145

7

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

17

4-8

0-0

0-0

4/2

6

3

1

1

0

3

12

0.392

8

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

8

1-2

0-2

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0.000

2

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

15

1-2

1-4

0-0

2/5

7

0

2

1

0

2

6

0.229

3

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

19

4-5

1-3

1-1

2/1

3

2

1

3

0

3

9

0.306

10

 Mon 01/19/09 Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

20

3-5

2-5

2-3

0/1

1

1

2

2

0

2

7

0.209

10

 Sat 01/24/09

W, 82-67

A

19

0-2

0-2

0-0

2/4

6

0

1

3

0

5

0

0.000

0

 Wed 01/28/09 Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

7

1-2

3-4

0-0

1/0

1

1

0

2

0

1

2

0.181

5

 Sat 01/31/09

W, 66-61

H

20

1-2

4-4

0-0

4/3

7

2

0

0

1

1

13

0.433

6

 Mon 02/02/09 Baylor

W, 75-65

A

16

5-9

3-3

0-1

1/5

6

0

1

4

0

1

11

0.377

13

 Sat 02/07/09

W, 78-67

H

14

2-4

5-6

0-0

0/4

4

0

0

1

0

1

8

0.293

9

 Mon 02/09/09 Missouri

L, 60-62

A

11

0-4

2-2

0-1

2/1

3

2

2

3

0

4

1

0.047

2

 Sat 02/14/09

W, 85-74

A

28

4-7

6-8

1-1

3/4

7

4

3

1

0

3

20

0.402

15

 Wed 02/18/09 Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

29

3-7

2-2

0-2

1/5

6

1

2

3

0

3

9

0.177

8

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

13

2-2

0-0

1-1

0/3

3

0

0

5

1

4

3

0.136

5

 Mon 02/23/09 Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

17

1-4

3-5

0-1

0/3

3

2

1

2

0

4

4

0.124

5

 Sun 03/01/09 Missouri

W, 90-65

H

11

2-3

0-1

0-0

1/4

5

0

0

1

2

3

7

0.344

4

 Wed 03/04/09 Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

26

5-9

1-3

0-0

6/2

8

0

1

1

0

5

10

0.211

11

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

19

3-3

3-4

0-0

1/1

2

0

0

1

1

4

9

0.279

9

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

24

5-11

2-4

0-1

2/2

4

0

0

0

0

1

7

0.312

12

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

26

3-3

2-3

0-0

2/5

7

4

1

0

0

3

17

0.233

8

 Sun 03/22/09 Dayton

W, 60-43

N

14

0-1

0-2

0-0

0/0

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

0.000

0

 Fri 03/27/09

L, 62-67

N

14

1-4

2-2

0-0

1/1

2

0

1

2

0

3

2

0.085

4

646

94-190

64-106

6-15

38

36

57

12

88

258

TOTALS

34

Opponent

Florida Gulf Coast

Iowa State

Colorado

Oklahoma State

Kansas State

Michigan State

66/100 166


Marcus Morris Career Situational STATISTICS Overall Career Season

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

2008-09

35

18.5

94-190

49.5

64-106

60.4

6-15

40

4.7

1.1

1.0

0.3

57

88

258

7.4

TOTALS

35

18.5

94-190

49.5

64-106

60.4

6-15

40

4.7

1.1

1.0

0.3

57

88

258

7.4

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

26

3-3

2-3

0-0

2/5

7

4

1

0

0

3

17

0.233

8

Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

14

0-1

0-2

0-0

0/0

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

0.000

0

Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

14

1-4

2-2

0-0

1/1

2

0

1

2

0

3

2

0.085

4

54

4-8 50.0%

4-7 51.7%

0-0 –

3/6

9

4

3

3

0

7

12

TOTALS

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Marcus Morris's versatility and shooting range have always made him more attractive as a wing player.

Marcus Morris can jam, but will have to work on his free-throw shooting.

35


Markieff Morris

Sophomore | Forward | 6'9" | 232 lbs | Philadelphia, PA

21

B

efore Markieff Morris arrived on campus at KU, an interviewer for NorthStarBasketball.com asked him which NBA player he felt he most resembled on the court. His answer? Rasheed Wallace. The former Tar Heel is a bit taller than Markieff, though he weighs about the same. Both are a bit rangier than the classic power forward, with a decent outside-shooting touch. And, of course, both are from Philadelphia, where toughness and tenacity are admired above all other things. Where else could a statue of fictional boxer Rocky Balboa grace the lawn of a first-rate art museum? It will take more than a shared hometown to make the comparison legit, however. One way it may be hoped that Markieff will emulate ’Sheed is in the low post. At the beginning of his freshman season in Lawrence, MK Morris (it’s on his jersey!) was lauded as the more effective post player of the Morris twins package deal. In reality, however, he seemed to struggle with the speed and strength of experienced NCAA players, notching just 4.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 2008–09. He committed 2.8 fouls per contest, ending up in foul trouble in 11 games and being disqualified from four. Morris only scored in double figures against Colorado (with ten points), and seemed visibly frustrated at times. With foul trouble comes reduced playing time, and Markieff ended up playing less than his brother did throughout the season.

36

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

#

Morris feels he can play outside as well as inside, which is no doubt a notion Bill Self would rather disabuse his talented sophomore forward of. Last season’s 18.8% from behind the arc is not encouraging in that regard. In the Kansas system, Morris should rarely be seen shooting from anywhere outside the high post. Preferably, he’ll be on the receiving end of more entry passes and lobs, especially as defenders gravitate toward Cole Aldrich in the paint. Effectively establishing position inside should become easier for Morris after spending another year learning the ropes of the High-Low offense. Extra time with the strength coach should allow #21 to make more efficient use of his body down low, as well. What cannot be sacrificed—and surely the staff will make certain it is not—is speed. The ability to run in the open court is a prized commodity at Kansas, and taking advantage of easy transition buckets will be a great way for the taller Morris brother to raise his shooting percentage from last year’s rather disappointing 44.8%. A more efficient offensive presence from Markieff will be crucial if he is to make defenders pay for doubling Aldrich. Not to pile on here, but the 65% free-throw shooting isn’t helping matters on that front, either. The good news is, Markieff Morris can play defense. He had at least one blocked shot in 14 out of 35 games played, and managed multiples in eight contests. In high school, Markieff was named best defensive player for three years running, and was honored for his rebounding in two of those three, as well. Clearly, the raw materials are there. This coaching staff should be able to shape that raw talent into a focused player given time. A basketball truism states that big men take longer to develop than guards. Anyone who witnessed Cole Aldrich’s development from seldom-used freshman to linchpin of the Jayhawk offense as a sophomore will no doubt be willing to wait a little while for Morris to make that leap. As a freshman, the big man did what freshmen—scholarship athletes or not—often do: He acted like a kid. Few will forget that he ran into some legal trouble by firing a pellet gun out of his dorm window. It was a case of poor judgment that lent some credence to the Wallace comparison in a negative way. Finding the mental toughness that will allow him to keep developing and growing will be the first step for Markieff Morris. Morris’s ace in the hole is assistant coach Danny Manning. The Jayhawk legend has shown a deft touch with post players, and there’s little doubt that he will work with Morris as much as it takes. Will the upcoming season begin Markieff Morris’s great leap forward? Don’t bet against him.


Markieff Morris 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Sun 11/16/08 Missouri-Kansas City

W, 71-56

H

29

0-3

7-10

0-1

3/12

15

3

0

4

2

3

14

0.266

7

 Tue 11/18/08

W, 85-45

H

16

3-5

0-0

0-0

2/3

5

0

0

1

0

0

7

0.228

6

 Mon 11/24/08 Washington

W, 73-54

N

21

2-4

0-0

0-0

2/4

6

0

0

2

3

4

7

0.198

4

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

13

2-4

0-1

1-2

1/3

4

1

0

1

0

5

5

0.197

5

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

17

1-1

1-2

0-0

0/1

1

1

0

2

1

3

3

0.112

3

 Mon 12/01/08 Kent State

W, 87-60

H

13

1-2

4-4

0-0

3/2

5

1

0

1

0

2

9

0.389

6

 Wed 12/03/08 New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

21

3-8

2-2

0-0

1/3

4

2

0

4

0

4

8

0.444

8

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

19

3-5

1-3

1-1

3/2

5

3

2

0

0

2

13

0.350

8

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

8

0-1

0-2

0-0

1/0

1

0

0

2

0

2

0

0.000

0

 Sat 12/20/08

Temple

W, 71-59

H

16

3-4

2-3

0-0

0/5

5

0

0

0

0

4

10

0.373

8

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

28

3-5

1-2

0-0

1/6

7

4

2

3

0

3

13

0.286

7

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

20

1-3

3-4

0-0

0/1

1

1

2

1

0

4

5

0.154

5

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

7

2-2

0-0

0-0

1/1

2

0

0

0

0

5

6

0.497

4

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

24

1-4

2-2

0-1

3/5

8

2

0

0

3

2

12

0.278

4

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

14

2-4

0-0

0-1

1/2

3

1

0

1

0

5

4

0.159

4

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

23

2-2

1-2

0-0

1/4

5

1

0

1

1

4

9

0.224

5

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 73-56

A

18

1-3

1-2

0-1

1/4

5

2

0

0

0

1

6

0.215

3

 Mon 01/19/09 Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

11

0-4

2-4

0-0

2/1

3

1

0

0

0

2

0

0.000

2

 Sat 01/24/09

W, 82-67

A

7

1-4

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

1

2

0

3

0

0.000

2

 Wed 01/28/09 Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

7

1-2

3-4

0-0

3/2

5

0

1

0

1

1

9

0.816

5

 Sat 01/31/09

W, 66-61

H

12

4-5

2-2

0-0

4/0

4

3

0

2

2

3

15

0.833

10

 Mon 02/02/09 Baylor

W, 75-65

A

19

4-8

0-0

1-1

3/6

9

0

0

0

2

4

14

0.404

9

 Sat 02/07/09

W, 78-67

H

6

0-3

0-0

0-0

0/3

3

1

0

3

0

2

0

0.000

0

L, 60-62

A

10

1-3

0-0

0-0

1/2

3

0

1

0

1

3

4

0.208

2

Iowa State

Colorado

Oklahoma State

 Mon 02/09/09 Missouri

W, 85-74

A

5

1-2

0-2

0-0

0/0

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

0.000

2

 Wed 02/18/09 Iowa State

 Sat 02/14/09

Kansas State

W, 72-55

H

16

2-2

0-0

0-0

1/2

3

2

0

3

2

3

7

0.250

4

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

19

3-6

0-0

0-1

4/5

9

1

1

0

3

1

15

0.464

6

 Mon 02/23/09 Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

14

3-6

1-2

0-1

0/2

2

1

0

2

1

5

5

0.188

7

 Sun 03/01/09 Missouri

W, 90-65

H

15

2-3

2-2

0-1

1/6

7

1

1

1

2

3

13

0.468

6

 Wed 03/04/09 Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

17

1-4

2-2

0-0

1/3

4

0

0

3

0

4

2

0.064

4

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

14

3-5

2-2

0-1

1/1

2

0

0

2

0

3

6

0.252

8

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

14

1-4

0-0

0-0

1/3

4

0

1

1

0

2

2

0.089

2

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

13

1-3

0-0

0-1

1/2

3

1

1

0

0

2

4

0.169

2

 Sun 03/22/09 Dayton

W, 60-43

N

17

1-3

0-1

0-1

1/4

5

1

0

1

1

1

5

0.166

2

 Fri 03/27/09

L, 62-67

N

24

1-7

0-0

0-2

3/4

7

0

0

0

0

1

2

0.050

2

547

60-134

39-60

3-16

34

14

43

25

98

162

TOTALS

Michigan State

51/104 155

37


Markieff Morris Career Situational STATISTICS Overall Career Season

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

2008-09

35

15.6

60-134

44.8

39-60

65.0

3-16

18.8

4.4

1.0

0.4

0.7

43

98

162

4.6

TOTALS

35

15.6

60-134

44.8

39-60

65.0

3-16

18.8

4.4

1.0

0.4

0.7

43

98

162

4.6

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATISTICS Date

Opponent

Result

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

TRB

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

13

1-3

0-0

0-1

1/2

3

1

1

0

0

2

4

0.169

2

Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

17

1-3

0-1

0-1

1/4

5

1

0

0

1

1

5

0.166

2

Fri 03/27/09

Michigan State

L, 62-67

24

1-7

0-0

0-2

3/4

7

0

0

0

0

1

2

0.050

2

54

3-13 23.1%

0-1 0.0%

0-4 0.0%

5/10

15

2

1

0

1

4

6

TOTALS

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The raw materials are there… this coaching staff should be able to mold them into a focused player.

Markieff Morris is at his best in the post.

38


Travis Releford

Sophomore | Forward | 6'5" | 205 lbs | Kansas City, MO

24

#

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I

f college English professors assigned the “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay that we all wrote at one time or another as kids, the KU basketball team would turn in some doozies. Over the summer, the gold medal awarded to Tyshawn Taylor and the U-19 USA squad was big news for Jayhawk fans. But it may have slipped a few minds that Taylor is not the only current Kansas player with international experience. Rising sophomore Travis Releford played on the U-18 team in the summer between his senior year of high school and his arrival on Mount Oread. Davidson coach Bob McKillop led the team through preliminaries in South America, where they easily qualified for the medal round. Releford played on a roster full of blue-chip recruits: Kemba Walker (UConn), JaMychal Green (Alabama), Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns (both Villanova), and the Wear brothers (UNC), among others. His team made the finals, but lost to a strong Argentina team playing in their own country. While Releford wasn’t as dominant as Taylor was on his more recent overseas journey, he did catch McKillop’s eye early on. “Travis Releford did everything,” the Davidson coach told FIBA.com. “He rebounded, ran the court, defended, got loose balls, made shots inside, and was extremely, extremely effective and efficient in running our offense.” A heady experience for a kid from Kansas City who was preparing to be the first member of his family to go to college,

let alone Argentina. “It’s a lot of pressure, everybody’s looking for me to not mess up so that I can carry them,” Releford told Jayhawk Illustrated. “I think they hope that I can get the best [out] of college, make the NBA, and take care of my family.” Those possibilities, along with the attendant responsibilities, began to blossom while Releford was in high school on the Missouri side of the state line. In one of his first games at Central High, Releford exploded for 43 points and 12 rebounds. After that, he became a marked man, both for opposing defenders and college coaches. Garnering a reputation as the best player in the KC area, and a top-ten national ranking at his position, Releford began to look for a way out of his rough local school district. He was dating a young lady who attended Bishop Miege, in the Kansas suburbs of the city, and that helped seal the deal when Releford decided to transfer. From there, it came down to choosing a school. Proving that his eye for talent is second to none, Kansas coach Bill Self made an early scholarship offer, which Releford accepted. The kid from just up the road seemed destined to be a Jayhawk— talented, focused, humble, and family-oriented. Not to mention, he possessed a quick first step, a nose for the basket, and a commitment to defense. “I think I’m going to be an impact player because I’m going to come in and try and stop the best scorer on the other team,” Releford told Phog.net. “Of course I’m going to score and do the other things. If I come to work, I could see myself as a starter.” That particular prediction has yet to come true, and it will be a difficult goal to fulfill in such a crowded, skilled backcourt. Releford played a season-high 21 minutes in the first loss to Michigan State, but more often than not, he spent his freshman season on the bench. The lack of playing time is likely due to a certain lack of variety in his game that makes him too easy to defend. Releford has always been an effective slasher, but has yet to develop sufficient range to complement his quickness. It’s not that he’s a bad shooter, he hit 56.9% of his shots as a freshman, it’s more that he’s too predictable. Releford has been shut down pretty effectively by the collegiate defenders he’s faced so far, and there are plenty of players in front of him (and coming up behind him) who don’t have that problem. Number 24 has the talent, and the work ethic, so it’ll be interesting to see where a second year of top-notch coaching can take him. It’s already taken him to Argentina, and the NCAA Tournament. The horizon is wide open.

39


Travis Releford 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Sun 11/16/08

Date

Opponent Missouri-Kansas City

W, 71-56

H

13

3-3

0-0

0-0

1/1

2

1

2

0

0

2

11

0.466

6

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

15

4-8

0-3

0-1

2/0

2

0

0

2

0

1

1

0.035

8

 Mon 11/24/08

Washington

W, 73-54

N

3

1-2

2-2

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

0.593

4

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

13

3-6

2-5

0-0

3/0

3

0

0

2

0

2

2

0.096

8

 Mon 12/01/08

Kent State

W, 87-60

H

3

2-2

0-0

1-1

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

1

6

1.688

5

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

5

1-3

0-0

0-0

2/1

3

0

0

1

0

0

1

0.100

2

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

6

1-1

0-0

0-0

1/1

2

0

0

0

0

0

4

0.341

2

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

4

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 12/20/08

Temple

W, 71-59

H

6

0-1

0-0

0-0

1/0

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

0.000

0

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

8

1-3

0-0

0-0

2/0

2

0

0

0

0

3

2

0.154

2

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

14

3-4

0-0

1-1

0/4

4

2

0

1

0

0

10

0.440

7

 Sat 01/03/09

Tennessee

W, 92-85

H

8

0-2

1-2

0-0

1/3

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.072

1

 Tue 01/06/09

Siena

W, 91-84

H

8

2-2

0-0

1-1

1/1

2

1

1

1

0

3

8

0.556

5

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

21

0-2

0-2

0-1

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

0.000

0

 Tue 01/13/09

Kansas State

W, 87-71

H

3

0-1

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

0.000

0

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

2

0

3

0

0.000

0

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

9

0-2

1-2

0-1

1/1

2

0

2

0

0

0

2

0.133

1

 Sat 01/24/09

Iowa State

W, 82-67

A

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Wed 01/28/09

Nebraska

W, 68-62

A

6

2-2

1-2

0-0

0/3

3

0

0

0

0

1

6

0.635

5

 Sat 01/31/09

Colorado

W, 66-61

H

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 02/07/09

Oklahoma State

W, 78-67

H

7

2-4

1-2

0-1

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0.073

5

 Mon 02/09/09

Missouri

L, 60-62

A

8

3-4

3-3

0-0

1/1

2

0

0

1

0

1

9

1.558

9

 Sat 02/14/09

Kansas State

W, 85-74

A

5

1-1

2-4

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0.000

4

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/2

2

0

0

1

0

1

1

0.114

0

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

11

1-2

1-1

0-1

1/0

1

0

0

1

0

1

2

0.107

3

 Mon 02/23/09

Oklahoma

W, 87-78

A

10

0-0

1-2

0-0

2/0

2

1

0

1

0

3

2

0.105

1

 Sun 03/01/09

Missouri

W, 90-65

H

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0.108

0

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

9

2-2

0-0

0-0

1/3

4

0

1

2

0

0

6

0.365

4

 Sat 03/07/09

Texas

W, 83-73

H

10

1-1

2-2

0-0

0/1

1

0

1

0

0

1

6

0.353

4

 Thu 03/12/09

Baylor

L, 64-71

H

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

6 0.2

8 0.3

22 0.7

0 0.0

86 2.7

TOTALS AVG

40

1

0-0

0-0

225 7.0

33-58 56.9%

17-32 53.1%

3-8 45 20/25 37.5% 1.4

29


Conner Teahan

Junior | Guard | 6'5" | 215 lbs | Leawood, KS

2

#

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

C

onner Teahan didn’t have to be a Jayhawk. That sounds like an odd statement. Being a KU basketball player is generally considered to be a desirable thing. But the appeal of sitting on the bench at Kansas is not black and white, there are plenty of shades of grey. For a guy like Teahan, there were plenty of options. He was never a blue-chipper, but he drew some interest as a two-sport star at Missouri’s Rockhurst High. Tulsa tried to talk him into accepting a scholarship as a football quarterback. Wichita State offered a basketball scholarship. All Bill Self could offer the local prep star was an invitation to walk on at Kansas. A tough kid, 6'5", 215 pounds? Sounds like Tulsa would have had a steal at QB had Teahan gone that route. But something else spoke to Teahan, maybe it was his inner child. “It was the atmosphere, the coaches, and how much I’ve always loved them,” Teahan told Phog.net after committing to Kansas. “It feels good to have everything done. It feels even better that I’m going to KU, especially since that’s always been my dream.” Turning down scholarship offers had to be difficult, but

Teahan got the last laugh when the Jayhawks cut down the nets in 2008. He played in 21 games that magical season, drilling 12-20 three-point attempts for a sterling 60% mark. He made the most of limited playing time, tallying an amazing 81.5% eFG percentage. The eFG stat gives an idea of how efficiently a player shoots, so, that’s pretty danged efficient. Teahan’s best game that season was a seven-minute outing at home against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. In that limited amount of time, Teahan drilled 3-3 from behind the arc, and dished out an assist. Teahan saw some court time against KU’s first three opponents in the Big Dance, which had to be encouraging for a guy still hoping to get a scholarship offer somewhere down the road. Last season, that dream took a hit, as Teahan’s already minimal role was diminished further by the emergence of scholarship athletes like Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed, and Tyshawn Taylor. Oddly enough, Teahan saw his minutes increase in spot duty, though his scoring average went down to 0.7 points per contest. Playing ten minutes in a blowout of Florida Gulf Coast, he had a good game, netting five points and grabbing three rebounds. Against New Mexico State, he logged 11 minutes and grabbed four rebounds. His final double-digit game of the season came at the Sprint Center, as he played 17 minutes in a close loss to UMass. He had another decent game, tallying five points, five rebounds, and an assist in front of supportive friends and family. With a whole new crop of blue-chip freshmen coming in to join the battle-tested crew Bill Self has already assembled, Teahan’s prospects for further meaningful playing time are getting pretty slim. The popular local guy will likely be relegated to mop-up duty from here on out, until he gets the traditional start on Senior Night in 2011. With any luck, that means we’ll be seeing plenty of Mr. Teahan. One interesting side note: Conner Teahan has never missed a free-throw attempt in his career at Kansas. If he can teach his teammates to remain cool under pressure and stroke their freebies in the upcoming season, he’ll be worth his weight in gold. In the meantime, expect Kansas fans to cheer long and loud when the man from Leawood checks into the game.

41


Conner Teahan GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS 2008–2009 Date

Opponent

Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts 0

 Sun 11/16/08

Missouri-Kansas City

W, 71-56

H

4

0-2

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

0.000

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

10

1-5

2-2

1-4

0/3

3

0

0

0

0

1

3

0.156

5

 Mon 11/24/08

Washington

W, 73-54

N

1

1-1

0-0

1-1

0/0

0

0

1

0

0

0

4

2.370

3

 Tue 11/25/08

Syracuse

L, 81-89

N

4

0-2

0-0

0-2

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.000

0

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

4

0-1

0-0

0-1

1/1

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Mon 12/01/08

 Fri 11/28/08

Kent State

W, 87-60

H

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

1

1

0

0

0

2

0.563

0

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

11

0-0

2-2

0-0

1/3

4

0

0

0

0

0

5

0.227

2

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

4

0-1

0-0

0-1

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 12/13/08

Massachusetts

L, 60-61

N

17

2-3

1-1

0-1

2/3

5

1

0

1

0

1

8

0.294

5

 Tue 12/23/08

Arizona

L, 67-84

A

3

0-1

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

6

0-2

0-0

0-2

0/0

0

1

1

2

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 01/10/09

Michigan State

L, 62-75

A

1

0-1

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.000

0

 Sat 01/17/09

Colorado

W, 73-56

A

3

0-1

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.000

0

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 01/31/09

Colorado

W, 66-61

H

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.333

0

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

1

0-2

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sun 03/01/09

Missouri

W, 90-65

H

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

0.270

0

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

1/0

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

0.274

0

 Fri 03/20/09

North Dakota State

W, 84-74

N

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

0

0

0.000

0

TOTALS AVG

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

81 3.9

4-22 18.2%

5-5 100.0%

2-17 11.8%

5/13

18 0.9

3 0.1

3 0.1

4 0.2

0 0.0

10

15 0.7

Pts

2007–2008 Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

 Fri 11/09/07

Date

Opponent Louisiana-Monroe

W, 107-78

H

2

0-2

0-0

0-1

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.000

0

 Thu 11/15/07

Washburn

W, 92-60

H

5

2-2

2-2

2-2

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

2

8

0.857

8

 Wed 11/21/07

Northern Arizona

W, 87-46

H

7

3-3

0-0

3-3

0/0

0

1

0

0

0

1

10

0.883

9

 Wed 11/28/07

Florida Atlantic

W, 87-49

H

9

3-4

0-0

3-4

0/1

1

1

0

1

0

1

9

0.614

9

 Wed 12/05/07

Eastern Washington

W, 85-47

H

2

2-2

0-0

1-1

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

1.391

5

 Sat 12/08/07

DePaul

W, 84-66

H

4

0-1

0-0

0-1

0/1

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

0.137

0

 Sat 12/15/07

Ohio

W, 88-51

N

3

1-1

0-0

0-0

0/2

2

0

1

1

0

0

4

0.750

2

 Sat 12/22/07

Miami (Oh.)

W, 78-54

H

3

1-1

0-0

1-1

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0.686

3

 Sat 12/29/07

Yale

W, 86-53

H

3

0-2

0-0

0-2

0/0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0.000

0

 Tue 01/08/08

Loyola (Md.)

W, 90-60

H

6

2-3

0-0

1-2

1/1

2

0

0

1

0

0

5

0.430

5

 Sat 01/12/08

Nebraska

W, 79-58

A

1

1-1

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

1.201

2

 Mon 01/14/08

Oklahoma

W, 85-55

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0.611

0

 Wed 01/23/08

Iowa State

W, 83-59

H

3

0-1

0-0

0-0

0/2

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.177

0

 Sat 01/26/08

Nebraska

W, 84-49

H

3

0-2

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Mon 02/04/08

Missouri

W, 90-71

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 02/16/08

Colorado

W, 69-45

H

3

0-1

0-0

0-1

0/0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Mon 03/03/08

Texas Tech

W, 109-51

H

5

1-1

0-0

1-1

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

1

2

0.213

3

 Thu 03/20/08

Portland State

W, 85-61

N

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 03/22/08

UNLV

W, 75-56

N

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Fri 03/28/08

Villanova

W, 72-57

N

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

64

16-27

2-2

12-20

1/8

9

6

2

7

1

6

46

TOTALS

42


Chase Buford

Junior | Guard | 6'3" | 210 lbs | San Antonio, TX

41

#

y y An invited walk-on with strong KU ties, Buford is the son of former Larry Brown assistant and current Spurs general manager R.C. Buford. His mother, Beth, was a member of the Kansas Golf team from 1975–78. Four other members of his immediate family attended KU as well. y y Texas forward Alexis Wangmene is an adopted member of the Buford family. The French-speaking Cameroon native was discovered by R.C. Buford during a trip to South Africa as part of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program. The Bufords are Wangmene’s legal guardians in the US. Chase Buford refers to Wangmene as his brother. Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

y y Buford is a star in the classroom. His major is business finance, and his academic performance in spring 2008 earned him a spot on the athletic directors’ and Big 12 commissioner’s honor rolls. y y Saw playing time in the NCAA Tournament last season, notching one minute against Dayton.

y y Played both football and basketball at San Antonio’s Alamo Heights High. Overall Career Season

G

MPG

FG-A

FG%

FT-A

FT%

3-A

3PT%

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

Pts

PPG

 2007-08

13

1.6

1-9

11.1

0-0

0-6

0.0

0.4

0.1

0.1

0.1

2

4

2

0.2

 2008-09

11

1.2

2-4

50.0

0-0

0-1

0.0

0.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

1

2

4

0.4

TOTALS

24

1.4

3-13

23.1

0-0

0-7

0.0

0.5

0.0

0.1

0.0

3

6

6

0.3

2008–2009 Game-BY-GAMe

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Date

Opponent

Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

1/2

3

0

0

0

0

1

2

0.520

0

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

1

1-1

0-0

0-0

1/0

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

1.878

2

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

1

1-1

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

1.024

2

 Tue 12/30/08

Albany

W, 79-43

H

3

0-1

0-0

0-0

0/1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Mon 01/19/09

Texas A&M

W, 73-53

H

1

0-1

0-0

0-1

0/1

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Mon 02/02/09

Baylor

W, 75-65

A

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Wed 02/18/09

Iowa State

W, 72-55

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Wed 03/04/09

Texas Tech

L, 65-84

A

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

 Sun 03/22/09

Dayton

W, 60-43

N

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.000

0

13

2-4

0-0

0-1

2/4

6

0

0

1

0

2

4

TOTALS

43


Jordan Juenemann

Sophomore | Guard | 6'4" | 195 lbs | Hays, KS

40

#

went 14–7, with the guard averaging 17.3 points, six rebounds, and four assists per game. Juenemann was also team MVP, and earned first-team all-star honors in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Was third-team All-State in Kansas’s 5A classification. y y Hays won the WAC championship when Juenemann was a sophomore. y y Lettered in track at Hays for two years. y y Juenemann’s older sister, Jessica, graduated from KU in 2008.

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

y y Walk-on Juenemann played in five games as a freshman. He logged two minutes against Florida Gulf Coast, and one minute each against New Mexico State, Jackson State, and Nebraska. He played less than a minute against Coppin State. y y In his senior season at Hays High School, Juenemann’s team

y y The sophomore guard is an academic stalwart who maintained a 3.98 GPA in high school. Was a member of the KBCA All-State Academic team, and earned more academic honors from Hays City Shootout All Academic Team, Dodge City Tournament of Champions All Academic Team, and American Legion School Award for Academics. y y Juenemann plans to put his academic skills to the test, hoping to become an orthopedic surgeon or radiologist after graduating from the University of Kansas. He would also like to play basketball overseas.

2008–2009 Game-BY-GAMe Date

Opponent

Result

Loc

Min

FG-A

FT-A

3-A

O/D

Rb

A

St

TO

Blk

PF

Eff

Eff/Pos

Pts

 Tue 11/18/08

Florida Gulf Coast

W, 85-45

H

2

0-1

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

 Fri 11/28/08

Coppin State

W, 85-53

H

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 Wed 12/03/08

New Mexico State

W, 100-79

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 Sat 12/06/08

Jackson State

W, 86-62

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 Sat 02/21/09

Nebraska

W, 70-53

H

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

0-1

0-0

0-0

0/0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

Photo: Jeff Jacobsen/Kansas Athletics

TOTALS

44


C. J. Henry

Freshman | Guard | 6'4" | 205 lbs | Oklahoma City, OK

13

#

never rose above A-ball, the lowest level of the minor leagues.

y y C.J. originally committed to play for John Calipari at Memphis when his baseball career ended, but was forced to sit out as a medical redshirt with a foot injury. When Calipari left for Kentucky, Henry and his brother both chose to come to Kansas instead. y y Playing for a team with a mythical bird for a mascot shouldn’t bother Henry. On the diamond, he’s suited up for the Charleston RiverDogs and the Lakewood BlueClaws.

y y C.J. may have been a stronger baseball prospect, but he was no slouch on the hardwood. He played varsity as a freshman on a team that won the Oklahoma 6A state championship, contributing 9.4 points per game. As a senior, his all-around game produced averages of 23.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.4 steals per game, while shooting 58% from the field, 36% from deep, and 80% from the charity stripe.

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

y y C.J. Henry is the oldest player on the Kansas roster, at age 23. Though he and kid brother Xavier have the same class standing, C.J. is five years removed from his prep hoops career at Putnam City High School.

y y Parents Carl and Barbara Henry both played basketball at KU. Carl for Ted Owens and Larry Brown, and then-Barbara Adkins for Marian Washington. y y C.J. is technically a walk-on at Kansas. He wears #13 in honor of his father, who wore it during his time on Mount Oread in the 1980s.

y y Henry was a first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2005. He also spent time with the Phillies farm organization, but C.J. Henry Minor League Batting Statistics Year

Age

Org.

Level

Pos

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2005

19

Nyy

Rookie

ss

48

181

32

2006

20

Nyy

A

ss

77

275

35

45

9

3

3

17

17

4

17

39

.249

.333

.381

.714

66

19

3

2

33

14

4

32

86

.240

.330

.353

.683

20

Phi

A

ss

25

91

13

23

3

4

1

16

1

0

7

25

.253

.313

.407

.720

2007

21

Phi

A

of-3b

102

342

46

63

12

4

9

38

13

3

18

139

.184

.238

.322

.560

2008

22

Nyy

A+

of

20

64

7

15

2

0

2

6

3

2

5

24

.234

.319

.359

.678

272

953

133

212

45

14

17

110

48

13

79

313

.222

.296

.353

.649

Photo: Steve Snowden/Getty Images

Minor League Totals - 4 Seasons

45


Jeff Withey

Freshman | Center | 7'0" | 225 lbs | San Diego, CA

5

#

eligible. He joined teammate Conner Teahan and dozens of varsity athletes from every part of the KU Athletics Department in the Second Annual Jayhawk SAAC Special Olympics Bowling Challenge on April 27 of 2009. Clearly, this is a guy who’s becoming a full member of the Lawrence community.

y y Jeff Withey is a mobile big man who can run the floor, block shots, and is equally effective in the post or shooting a jumper. y y Withey originally committed to Lute Olson at Arizona. Following Olson’s leave of absence, Kevin O’Neill’s unrenewed contract, and further signs of instability in Tucson, Withey made the leap to Kansas. y y Speaking of his decision to transfer, Withey told Scout.com, “It’s definitely been a roller-coaster ride. You can’t really control a lot of it and you’ve just got to make the best of it. That’s what I’m doing with this transfer to Kansas.” y y Despite sitting out his transfer year, Withey has been granted redshirt freshman standing at KU. He will stay on the bench throughout the fall semester of the 2009–10 season, then take the floor with three and a half years of collegiate eligibility remaining. y y During his senior season at San Diego’s Horizon High School, Withey produced a dominant statistical line: 69% shooting, 20.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 7.3 blocked shots, and 4.1 assists per game. y y Rated as the #8 center recruit in the nation by Scout.com. y y Withey hasn’t just been sitting around waiting to become 46

y y Looking at his Jayhawk teammates, Withey believes his game most approximates that of Marcus Morris, due to his ability to bang inside as well as step out for a long-range bomb. Guess which one he’ll do more of? y y Withey arrived at KU in January of ’09 from his home in Southern California, and got a crash course in Kansas weather. It was the first time he had ever seen snow in his life. After a month on campus, he told the Journal-World, “I like the snow. I think that’s kind of fun, but we haven’t seen it in a little while. It’s just different. I like different. It’s a little wacky how it changes up and down. Today was hot. Yesterday was freezing.” It’s only the beginning, young Padawan. y y Withey’s older brother is a firefighter in California. Withey says he has always looked up to his elder sibling, but finds it difficult to be out of communication with him during the state’s frequent summer wildfires. y y Arizona originally refused to release Withey from his scholarship, but relented in late December of 2008—just in time for Christmas, actually—making him the only gift Bill Self has ever received that was taller than the tree. The center’s eligibility at Kansas will begin in December of ’09, so Kansas fans who leave town for winter break will be missing something special.

Photo: Jeff Jacobsen/Kansas Athletics

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

y y Remember Brook and Robin Lopez, the seven-foot twins who made Stanford a force in the Pac-10 a couple of years ago? Withey faced them in high school. In a February interview with Jesse Newell of the Lawrence Journal-World, the San Diego native recounted the experience. “That was probably my biggest memory in high school,” said Withey. “It was my sophomore year. We played the Lopez twins to get to [the state tournament]. It was a double-overtime game. We ended up winning by one. I’ve played with them before, actually, on my club team, so I knew them pretty well. It was a big step, because beating them, I get to talk trash and all that. It was fun. Just everything about that game was real memorable. They’re in the [NBA] now. But just watching them on TV it’s just like, ‘I played against them. I beat them.’”


Xavier Henry

Freshman | Guard | 6'6" | 220 lbs | Oklahoma City, OK

1

#

College. He started in his junior year under Ted Owens, averaging 17.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a 6'5" guard/forward. Larry Brown took over in his senior season, and Henry again started, averaging 16.8 points and 6.3 boards and becoming an All-Big Eight selection.

y y The Henry family also boasts two Jayhawk women’s basketball players: Barbara Henry, nee Adkins, played for Marian Washington before marrying Carl. The brothers’ aunt Vickie Adkins is still fourth on the Lady Jayhawks’ all-time scoring list. She made the All-Big Eight first team three times in the early 1980s.

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

y y The pearl of KU’s 2009 recruiting class, Xavier Henry may remind some of Brandon Rush. He’s tall, strong, and can play anywhere from the 1 to the 3 spot. He has the speed to drive to the bucket, and the range to make defenders pay for playing off, but will need to learn to play defense the Bill Self way. He is very likely to start anyway. y y Originally planned to join his brother, C.J., at Memphis, but changed his mind when John Calipari left for Kentucky. Both brothers wavered in their commitment briefly after reading an unflattering portrait of their family in the Kansas City Star. A visit from Bill Self calmed the waters. y y Led Putnam City High to the 2009 Oklahoma 6A state championship, averaging 28.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 steals, and 2.1 assists per game as a senior. Shot an excellent 43% from behind the arc, as well.

Photo: Doug Benc/Getty Images

y y Also claimed a state title as a high school freshman, and four conference titles in four years. y y Henry displayed his complete offensive skill set in the 2009 McDonald’s All-American Game, scoring 14 points to go with five rebounds, two assists, and two steals. y y Xavier and his brother C.J. come from a Jayhawks family. Their father, Carl, came to Kansas after two years at Oklahoma City

y y Many are speculating that Xavier Henry will be the first oneand-done player in KU history. Henry’s decision not to attend summer classes at Kansas this year would seem to support that theory, though the official reason given by Henry was that he needed a root canal and other dental work done in his hometown of Oklahoma City before he could enroll. Older brother C.J. also arrived in August. y y Xavier considered playing a year overseas rather than signing with a college program, after talking to Brandon Jennings, who spent a year abroad before entering the NBA Draft. His father, Carl, elaborated on his reasons for choosing to come to Kansas instead during a June interview with the Lawrence Journal-World. “They [the European team] could get him $1 million a year,” Carl said. “But he’s not interested in that. He needs instruction and you don’t get that overseas. Overseas they put you in and want you to score. There’s no talk of Europe at all.” y y In a one-on-one interview with the Journal-World’s Tom Keegan, Henry allayed fears that he would let his press clippings go to his head. He disparaged showboating players with these words: “You’ll see some guys start to think they are the best player ever,” Henry said. “They start acting crazy, become hardheaded and don’t listen to anybody. I’ve played with a couple of guys who have gotten big heads, and they don’t listen.” Add the word “coachable” to his already impressive resume. y y The Henry family calls Oklahoma City home, but Xavier wasn’t born in the Sooner state. He was born in Europe—in Ghent, Belgium, to be precise—where his father was playing for a team known as Bobcat Ghent in 1991. The family chose Xavier’s name after meeting a Bobcat trainer with the rare moniker. The family stayed in Ghent until 1993, then moved back to the United States, where Carl became an AAU coach and personal trainer. 47


Elijah Johnson

Freshman | Guard | 6'2" | 183 lbs | Las Vegas, NV y y Was named to the all-state and all-city teams as a sophomore, junior, and senior.

15

#

y y Bill Self, speaking to KUAthletics.com, had this to say about Johnson the day he signed: “Right now, Elijah is not a true point guard. He is a scoring, fast, active guard. He can play point but he is more of a combo than a point. We think his potential is very high and he has a chance to be a terrific player. Athletically, he will have very few equals.”

y y A five-star point guard from Cheyenne High School, Elijah Johnson considered two other Big 12 schools—Texas and Oklahoma—before committing to Kansas. He signed after attending the 2008 Late Night and seeing the championship banner raised in Allen Fieldhouse. y y Johnson brought several family members with him on his official recruiting visit to Lawrence, and told Scout.com, “It was fun, I had fun the whole weekend and it was a good environment to be in. I can’t wait to go back down there.” After Johnson signed his letter of intent, his new coach said, “Elijah is outgoing. He likes Kansas. He’s been out here a couple of times. I think he’s one of those guys who has always pictured himself playing here.” y y Johnson also considered his hometown option, UNLV, and West Coast powerhouse UCLA. y y As a senior, Johnson paced Cheyenne High, averaging 15.9 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.0 rebounds. y y In his junior season, Johnson averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 8.9 assists in taking his team to the state championship game, where they lost to a team from Reno. y y Scored 26 points in a single quarter as a high school junior.

48

y y Despite coming from opposite ends of the United States— Johnson from Las Vegas, Robinson from a prep season in New Hampshire—the two freshmen had met before they decided to share rooms at Jayhawker Towers. They also roomed together at the Reebok All-America Game in Washington DC in April. y y As a backup point guard, Johnson will need to shadow senior Sherron Collins in order to learn the tricks of the trade at his natural position. Nonetheless, the newcomer has been grateful for the informal tutelage of off-guard Tyshawn Taylor, as well. “Tyshawn’s only been here a year, but the small stuff he picked up in a year he’s helping me with already, like attacking and being aggressive,” Johnson told the Journal-World. “He told me it’s going to get hard, real hard, and there will be a point where I don’t feel like playing basketball and that will be my test. He said, ‘As crazy as that might sound, you are going to see what I mean one day.’ When he said that he kind of gave me a look. I keep picturing that look every time I think about the season.” y y Johnson has called this his “learning year” at KU, but would prefer to be available for games rather than redshirting. With Collins due to graduate after this season, it seems likely that Johnson will get some meaningful playing time; the better to prepare him for an increased role in 2010–11.

Photo: Jeff Jacobsen/Kansas Athletics

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

y y Johnson has already bonded with fellow true freshman Thomas Robinson. Having undergone arthroscopic knee surgery in late June, the young guard found getting around Mt. Oread to be pretty difficult. His new roommate, a 6'9" power forward, was always there to lend a helping hand. “He made sure we were on time to class,” Johnson told the Lawrence Journal-World. “If I wanted something to eat and didn’t feel like walking downstairs to get in the car—or sit awkwardly in the car driving to the place and taking 30 minutes to walk into the restaurant—he’d say, ‘I’ll pick you up something. What do you have a taste for?’”


Thomas Robinson

Freshman | Forward | 6'9" | 230 lbs | Washington, DC and a Reebok All-Star. By that point, it was too late: Robinson signed with KU early in the fall after witnessing the 2008 championship ring ceremony on an official visit. He became KU’s first signing of the season on November 12, 2008.

0

#

y y Unlike some highly-recruited athletes, Robinson knows he’s signed on for some hard work. “I’ve got to get my footwork right and just polish all my post moves,” Robinson told Scout.com. “I’ve been working on hitting the 15-footer too and am trying to improve my free throws. Everything has gotten better so far.”

Getty Images Sport/Streeter Lecka

y y Thomas Robinson was yet another player who considered playing for John Calipari before deciding to become a Jayhawk. Before his decision was made, he told Scout.com, “Anytime [Kansas or Memphis] sign someone else, as far as other players, I’ll be looking. I’m not saying I’m going to base my decision on where John Wall and Xavier Henry go but I would like to play with them. I feel that if I played with those guys we’d be dangerous.” Wall followed Calipari to Kentucky, but Henry’s presence will make half of Robinson’s dream come true. y y Robinson played one prep season at Riverdale Baptist High School, where he averaged 16 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks per game. He had 23 double-doubles that year.

Photo: Jeff Jacobsen/Kansas Athletics

y y You might want to sit down for this. Robinson’s best game at Riverdale Baptist was a doozy. He put up 32 points, pulled down 27 rebounds, and sent back nine blocked shots. Yes, in one game. y y Despite the jaw-dropping numbers listed above, Robinson had only been offered by one school leading in to his senior year. y y Robinson switched to Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH for his senior year, and the buzz took off. He averaged 16 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocked shots per game in his final year of high school, and garnered accolades as a Parade All-American

y y Since moving to campus in May, Robinson has bulked up in a good way, going from 219 to a reported 235 pounds. It’s a Freshman 15 that should help him adjust to the banging in the post that he’ll face as a Jayhawk. y y While KU doesn’t have an official “Big Brothers” program, sophomore Markieff Morris has taken it upon himself to help Robinson acclimate, based on his own experiences of a year prior. “He’s been like my big brother,” Robinson told the Lawrence Journal-World. “He’s pretty much taken me under his wing,” he said. “I have a tendency of moving too fast. He’ll slow me down, tell me what to do, how to do it the right way. He’ll fill me in on what I should expect, what not to do so I don’t get in trouble, stuff like that.” y y After going against Robinson in pickup games, Jayhawk center Cole Aldrich praised Robinson’s range, work ethic, and willingness to take direction. That, coupled with the freshman’s proven ability to bulk up, speaks to a bright future at Kansas. y y Robinson knows KU is not just about basketball these days. He’s also plenty excited about the nationally-ranked Jayhawk football team of coach Mark Mangino. “Our team will be real good this year,” he told the LJW. “I’m going to show my support because I know they’ll do the same for us.” y y Robinson’s game was summed up well by ESPN.com’s recruiting page, which praised the up-and-coming big man for his “take no prisoners attitude when it comes to hitting the boards,” as well as his “strength and tenacity to power up in traffic to finish above the rim.” The national sports site also noted that Robinson is a vocal leader who runs the floor well and passes well. Scout.com gave him a grade of 93 out of 100 as a prep player.

49


Big XII RAnkINGS 2008–2009 Scoring Offense Team Oklahoma State Missouri Oklahoma

Points 1263 1257 1239 1214 1170 1167 1153 1145 1127 997 990 943

Kansas

Texas Texas Tech Baylor Texas A&M Kansas State Iowa State Nebraska Colorado

Avg/Game 78.9 78.6 77.4 75.9 73.1 72.9 72.1 71.6 70.4 62.3 61.9 58.9

Scoring Margin Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Team Kansas Missouri Oklahoma Texas Texas A&M Oklahoma State Nebraska Kansas State Baylor Texas Tech Iowa State Colorado

Team Oklahoma Kansas Texas

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Kansas State

Texas A&M Missouri Oklahoma State Texas Tech Baylor Iowa State Nebraska Colorado

6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Team Nebraska Kansas Texas A&M Iowa State

Oklahoma Missouri Texas Colorado Kansas State Baylor Oklahoma State Texas Tech

Points Allowed 998 1046 1117 1119 1119 1122 1124 1133 1153 1219 1242 1273

Avg/Game 62.4 65.4 69.8 69.9 69.9 70.1 70.2 70.8 72.1 76.2 77.6 79.6

Field Goal Percentage Off 75.9 78.6 77.4 73.1

71.6 78.9 61.9 70.4 72.1 72.9 62.3 58.9

Def 65.4 70.1 69.9 70.2 69.8 77.6 62.4 72.1 76.2 79.6 69.9 70.8

Margin +10.5 +8.4 +7.5 +2.9 +1.8 +1.3 -0.5 -1.7 -4.1 -6.7 -7.6 -11.9

Rebounding Rank 1 2

Rank 1 2 3 4

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Team Oklahoma Kansas Missouri Texas A&M

Oklahoma State Texas Tech Texas Colorado Baylor Nebraska Iowa State Kansas State

FG 437 422 447 382 412 397 419 325 394 335 361 392

FGA 875 858 971 846 916 906 960 754 922 802 872 953

49.9 49.2 46.0 45.2 45.0 43.8 43.6 43.1 42.7 41.8 41.4 41.1

%

FGA 898 979 894 908 785 917 907 823 917 907 894 806

38.6 41.3 43.1 43.6 44.6 44.9 45.1 45.2 45.7 45.9 48.6 49.0

Field Goal Defense Rebounds 612 607 607 599 581 550 547 534 522 519 440 421

Reb/Game 38.2 37.9 37.9 37.4 36.3 34.4 34.2 33.4 32.6 32.4 27.5 26.3

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Team Kansas Oklahoma Texas Missouri

Nebraska Texas A&M Iowa State Kansas State Texas Tech Oklahoma State Baylor Colorado

FG 347 404 385 396 350 412 409 372 419 416 418 395

%

courtesy Big12Sports.com

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Scoring Defense


New Faces in the Phog A Look at KU’s Class of 2009 by Eric Bossi

T

he motto on the Kansas flag means “To the Stars Through Difficulty.” It’s also a fairly accurate recap of the recruiting trail for KU’s class of 2009. Bill Self and Kansas fans have certainly learned over the years exactly how important it is to continually replace talent in the Jayhawk basketball program, no matter how difficult the task. Just a little over a year removed from their 2008 national championship, it’s the recruiting of Self and assistants Joe Dooley, Danny Manning, and Kurt Townsend that has the Jayhawks poised to make another national championship run in 2009–10. Not surprisingly, 2009’s recruiting haul of brothers Xavier (6'6", shooting guard, Oklahoma City) and C.J. Henry (6'4", guard, transfer, Memphis), Jeff Withey (7'0" center, transfer, Arizona), Elijah Johnson (6'2", point guard, Las Vegas), and Thomas Robinson (6'9", power forward, Washington DC) is yet another in a long line of impressive efforts by Self and staff.

Writer and analyst Rob Harrington, who covers recruiting for USA Today and serves as the editor for PrepStars.com and its partner magazine the Recruiter’s Handbook, thinks the 2009 class is an important one. “Kansas has assembled one of those classes that could put them over the top to win a national title this season, but one that also could provide the foundation for a second national championship down the road,” said Harrington. “It’s big on elite talent and also the kind of blue-chip, four-year player you have to have for the sake of continuity.” Unafraid to chase after the nation’s top prospects, Self has proven through the years that he is also capable of pulling off last-second recruiting coups, and his classes haven’t always come together in the most conventional of ways. No strangers to watching transfers come and go, Self and his staff have also mastered the art of picking up recruits just under the wire.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 51


A new generation of players grows a new generation of fans.

in their careers. In fact, Self began recruiting Xavier when the younger Henry was just an eighth grader. Next, C.J. was a standout in both basketball and baseball at Putnam City High. After verbally committing to play basketball at Kansas as a high school senior in the spring of 2005, Henry was chosen by the New York Yankees in the first round of Major League Baseball’s draft. Rather than play basketball at Kansas, Henry chose the Yankees and their $1 million-plus signing bonus. While C.J. was off trying his hand at professional baseball, Xavier was busy growing into one of the top five prospects in the recruiting class of 2009. A physical southpaw capable of posting up, attacking the rim, and smoking jumpers from well beyond the three-point line, he became the object of an incredibly intense and high profile recruiting battle between John Calipari of Memphis and Self. As it turned out, Calipari had served as an assistant coach at Kansas while Carl played there during the early ’80s so both programs had strong ties to Henry. During the summer of 2008, C.J. unexpectedly chose to end his pursuit of professional baseball and promptly walked on the basketball team at Memphis. Eventually, Xavier followed suit when he announced on ESPN that he would be joining his brother in Memphis and signed a letter of intent during the fall. As if things hadn’t been wild enough, John Calipari then left Memphis for Kentucky in the spring. That change freed Xavier from his letter of intent, and C.J. also decided to leave Memphis. After weeks of speculation, the brothers finally landed at Kansas. In fact, the question of whether or not the duo would even show up in Lawrence wasn’t answered for good until well into the summer, after a less-than-positive

Such was certainly the case when they added Brandon Rush a few weeks into 2005’s fall semester, after Rush had originally declared for the NBA Draft and then gone rounds with the NCAA to gain academic clearance. Kansas fans are also unlikely to forget Darrell Arthur canceling a press conference where he was expected to commit to Baylor only to come back the next day and pick Kansas, saying that a dream led him to do so. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that over half of this year’s newcomers—the Henry brothers and Jeff Withey— encountered some drama during their non-traditional journey to Lawrence. And in terms of recruiting sagas, the recruitment of Xavier (who initially signed with Kentucky) and C.J. (who makes his way to Kansas as a Memphis transfer) will go down as one for the ages. A full recap of the Henry brothers’ story could fill an entire magazine, but there are some basics that everybody needs to understand in order to fully appreciate how unique this recruitment was. To start, both the Henrys’ father, Carl, and mother, Barbara, played college basketball at Kansas, meaning that the Kansas staff was well aware Tim Jankovich (second from left) is now a head coach at Illinois State, but of both Xavier and C.J. very early on Manning, Self, Dooley, and Townsend turned in another top-notch recruiting class.

52 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo on previous page: Joe Sohm/VisionsofAmerica  Top photo this page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Bottom photo this page: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall


Photo: Ned Dishman/Getty Images

New Faces in the Phog article about the brothers appeared in the Kansas City Star, which prompted a meeting between the Kansas staff and the Henry family to iron everything out. Of course, if you are Bill Self or a Kansas fan the drama was well worth it. Xavier, a McDonald’s All-American, fills a potential hole on the wing, where he should emerge as an impact guy on the offensive end, giving the Jayhawks a big, physical scorer with range. In C.J.—who will compete as a 23-year-old redshirt freshman—the Jayhawks get another versatile guard to add to what is already a deep stable of guys who can play multiple positions in the backcourt. According to Harrington, nobody will care how or why the Henrys wound up at Kansas when the balls roll out for practice in October. “To me, the stuff with Xavier and C.J. Henry is a nonstarter,” said Harrington. “People might razz them about it initially, but once the season begins the focus will be on winning.” In comparison to the Henrys, Withey’s path to Kansas was relatively drama-free, but he didn’t arrive in Lawrence in the most traditional manner, either. After starring at San Diego’s Horizon High School, Withey signed a letter of intent in the fall of 2007 to play for the legendary Lute Olson at Arizona as a freshman in 2008–09. Withey then watched as Olson took a leave of absence and returned after current Southern Cal coach Kevin O’Neill handled coaching duties in 2007–08. However, shortly after Withey arrived in Tucson for his freshman season, Olson again stepped down. Rather than play for interim coach Russ Pennell, Withey requested a release from his scholarship and was initially denied. Finally, after finishing a semester in good standing at Arizona, the sevenfoot shot blocker was granted a release and announced his transfer to Kansas in December. Withey will be available to play upon completion of the fall semester and will have 3.5 years of eligibility remaining after technically sitting out as a redshirt. An agile and swift big man, he’s expected to be a force on the defensive end where he’s earned praise as a shot blocker. Not devoid of offense, he also has a soft touch to 12 feet but must add more strength to a lean frame. Rounding out the class were a pair of top-35 high school prospects in Johnson and Robinson. A high flyer from Sin City, Elijah Johnson is a longtime Kansas fan who declared the Jayhawks his leader during the spring of his sophomore year before committing in the fall of 2008. An electric athlete, Johnson is blessed with an explosive first step and leaping ability that allows him to finish highlight dunks and scoops in traffic. A streaky shooter with deep range, he’s got the talent to play immediately. However, Johnson is also a little rough around the edges and will likely

Prized recruit Xavier Henry is expected to be the breakout star of the class of 2009. face some struggles adapting to the college game. Thomas Robinson catapulted onto the national scene seemingly out of nowhere during the summer between his junior and senior years. After scouting him at the Reebok AllAmerican Camp in the summer of 2008, Self moved quickly to land the long and athletic forward. A superior athlete and great rebounder, it won’t be a surprise to see Robinson push for early playing time in the Jayhawks’ loaded frontcourt. In fact, Harrington wouldn’t be surprised if Robinson ultimately emerged as the jewel of what not-so-easily turned into an impressive recruiting class. “Well, from a talent perspective you’d have to say Henry,” finished Harrington. “He’s the ringer freshman who can be the decisive factor for a club that already boasts loads of talent and experience. Long term, though, Robinson is one of those guys who could become the emotional backbone of the team. Players like that fire me up, and I think he’ll become very popular once he works his way into the rotation, whenever that happens.” MSP

Eric Bossi is the founder and director of EBoss Hoops Scouting Service and a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association. Bossi has done freelance recruiting analysis for many outlets devoted to covering high school basketball, including Scout.com and Phog.net. He has served as a senior recruiting analyst for highly-regarded PrepStars.com and the Recruiter’s Handbook for seven years.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 53


2009 – 2010

KANSAS JAYHAWKS RegulAr Season Schedule

Date

Opponent/Event

Location

Time

11/3/2009

vs. Fort Hays State †

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

11/10/2009

vs. Pittsburg St †

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

11/13/2009

vs. Hofstra

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

11/17/2009

vs. Memphis ‡

Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO

9:00 p.m. CT

11/19/2009

vs. Central Arkansas

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

11/25/2009

vs. Oakland

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

11/27/2009

vs. Tennessee Tech

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

12/2/2009

vs. Alcorn State

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

12/6/2009

at UCLA**

Los Angeles, CA

4:30 p.m. CT

12/9/2009

vs. Radford

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

12/12/2009

vs. La Salle

Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

1:00 p.m. CT

12/19/2009

vs. Michigan

Lawrence, KS

11:00 a.m. CT

12/22/2009

vs. California

Lawrence, KS

8:00 p.m. CT

12/29/2009

vs. Belmont

Lawrence, KS

8:00 p.m. CT

1/2/2010

at Temple

Philadelphia, PA

2:30 or 4:30 p.m. CT

1/6/2010

vs. Cornell

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

1/10/2010

at Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

12:30 or 3:30 p.m. CT

1/13/2010

at Nebraska *

Lincoln, NE

8:00 p.m. CT

1/16/2010

vs. Texas Tech *

Lawrence, KS

12:45 p.m. CT

1/20/2010

vs. Baylor *

Lawrence, KS

8:00 p.m. CT

1/23/2010

at Iowa State *

Ames, IA

1:00 p.m. CT

1/25/2010

vs. Missouri *

Lawrence, KS

8:00 p.m. CT

1/30/2010

at Kansas State *

Manhattan, KS

6:00 p.m. CT

2/3/2010

at Colorado *

Boulder, CO

8:00 p.m. CT

2/6/2010

vs. Nebraska *

Lawrence, KS

5:00 p.m. CT

2/8/2010

at Texas *

Austin, TX

8:00 p.m. CT

2/13/2010

vs. Iowa State *

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

2/15/2010

at Texas A&M *

College Station, TX

8:00 p.m. CT

2/20/2010

vs. Colorado *

Lawrence, KS

3:00 p.m. CT

2/22/2010

vs. Oklahoma *

Lawrence, KS

8:00 p.m. CT

2/27/2010

at Oklahoma State *

Stillwater, OK

3:00 p.m. CT

3/3/2010

vs. Kansas State *

Lawrence, KS

7:00 p.m. CT

3/6/2010

at Missouri *

Columbia, MO

1:00 p.m. CT

Big 12 Tournament: March 10 - 13 @ Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri † Exhibition Game  *Conference Game  ‡ Hall Of Fame Classic  ** Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Series Schedule subject to change.


The First Season A Look at KU’s Non-conference Schedule by Marco Anskis

K

ansas is an elite basketball program with high expectations. Like any big-time school with dreams of postseason glory, the Jayhawks have loaded their nonconference schedule with teams of varying strength, including some they may see again at the end of the season. Counting conference games, KU will face 13 foes who participated in last season’s NCAA tournament. This article will look at KU’s 2009–2010 non-conference schedule in tiers, starting with the toughest tests and working down to the upset-minded mid-majors.

The Heavyweights UCLA Bruins Date: December 6, 2009 (Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series) Location: Los Angeles, CA (Pauley Pavilion) Last Meeting: March 24, 2007, NCAA West Region Final—UCLA 68, KU 55 Key Returning Players: Nikola Dragovic (9.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Michael Roll (6.7 ppg), Drew Gordon (3.6 ppg) Key Newcomer: Tyler Honeycutt, Freshman F (6'8", 180) Buzz Heading into 2009: Though he hasn’t won a national title since his 2003 arrival in Westwood, Ben Howland has transformed the UCLA Bruins into a model of consistency in the topsy-turvy world of college basketball. The numbers from 2006–2008 speak for themselves: three straight Final Fours, three straight Pac-10 titles, and three straight seasons with 20 or more wins. Despite the return of three key members from that impressive run and one of the nation’s best freshman prospects, the Bruins’ consistency train hit an unexpected bump on the tracks. Sure, they scored the most points in the Howland era and won a more-than-respectable 29 games, but the team struggled on the defensive end and on the boards, resulting in a humiliating loss to Villanova in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That isn’t going to cut it in Westwood, home to some of the most demanding fans in college basketball. Now,

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2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall

UCLA’s Nikola Dragovic has the confidence to lead his team against Kansas in the Big 12/Pac-10 Challenge.

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(he was arrested for battery last November) than on it. He’s got one last chance to finally live up to his potential. The Call: Pauley Pavilion is never an easy place to win, especially in one of the first true road games of the season, but the Bruins look too callow to pull off the upset.

Memphis Tigers Date: November 17, 2009 (Hall of Fame Game) Location: St. Louis, MO Last Meeting: 2008 National Championship— KU 75, Memphis 68 (OT) Key Returning Players: Doneal Mack (8.7 ppg), Roburt Sallie (5.8 ppg), Pierre Niles-Henderson (2.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg) Key Newcomers: Will Coleman (6'9", 265), Elliot Williams (transfer from Duke, awaiting NCAA waiver) Buzz Heading into 2009: Two years ago, Kansas and Memphis played in one of the epic national championship games in college basketball history, with the Jayhawks pulling it out by the slimmest of margins. Two seasons later, the two teams find themselves on opposite ends of the college basketball landscape. The Jayhawks are gearing up for another national championship run while Memphis finds itself picking up the pieces after John Calipari, the coach who gave them their identity, fled for Kentucky in the middle of the summer. To make matters even worse, Calipari’s departure triggered a mass exodus of early entries (leading scorer Tyrke Evans and leading rebounder Shawn

Photo on previous page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Photo this page: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

with the team’s top four scorers and senior leaders gone, can this group of inexperienced Bruins get the program back on track? Major Strength: While last season saw a somewhat significant decline in the Bruins’ typically tough-as-nails defense—the team allowed opponents to shoot above 44% from the field—make no mistake: Ben Howland’s Bruins thrive on the defensive end. Howland’s teams and players typically display outstanding fundamentals and play with intensity, and that’s unlikely to change. Major Weakness: The entire UCLA season may come down to two questions: Who will do the scoring and who is going to be the leader of this team? Not only do the Bruins lose four of their five leading scorers (Shipp, Collision, Aboya, and Holliday), they also lose valuable locker-room leaders. So who will take the reins of this Bruins team in transition? A successful equation will depend on traditional role players Nikola Dragovic, Michael Roll, and 6'8" James Keefe stepping up into leadership positions, while talented-butunproven underclassmen Drew Gordon, Malcolm Lee, and J’mison Morgan learn the offense. Player to Watch: A role player for the Bruins during his first three years despite being the team’s top returning scorer, rebounder, and shot-blocker, Nikola Dragovic will need to make the leap from complementary piece to major contributor and team leader. A highly regarded international prospect just a few years ago, Dragovic has yet to make a major impact at the collegiate level, making more headlines off the court


The First Season Taggart) and de-commitments (top preps John Wall and Latavious Williams), essentially gutting the roster. First-time head coach Josh Pastner is left to pick up the pieces with the cupboard nearly bare. Can he maintain the program’s resurgent national status, or will the Tigers fade away like UNLV’s short-lived dynasty? No doubt they’d prefer to have at least one championship first. Major Strength: Last season, the Tigers had the best defense in the nation, finishing in the top ten nationally in opponents’ field goal percentage (37.1%) and points allowed (58.8 ppg). Even with the loss of Calipari and defensive stoppers like Taggart and Robert Dozier, don’t expect a massive drop off in one of the most unrelenting pressure defenses in all of college hoops. The Tigers still have one the best collections of pure athletes in the game, and Pastner should continue to use the team’s size and speed to control the glass and pressure opponents. Major Weakness: Pastner’s biggest challenge at Memphis may be managing the unrealistically high expectations of Tiger fans after years of winning under Calipari. With almost 75% of the offense gone, not only does another 30-win season seem unrealistic, but with the improved play of teams like Tulsa and UTEP, another runaway Conference USA title may also be out of reach. Hopefully, Tiger fans will remember that it took Calipari five seasons at Memphis before he reached the 30-win plateau. Player to Watch: If Williams is granted an NCAA family medical waiver and can play this season, the former starting point guard from Duke would greatly soften the blow of successive one-and-done seasons from Derrick Rose and Evans. If Williams doesn’t gain NCAA approval, all the pressure could rest on the (very large) shoulders of freshman Will Coleman. A beast of a man at 6'9" and 265 pounds, with a 40inch vertical leap, Coleman spent last season dominating the competition at Miami-Dade Community College. Described by most as a freak of nature (he won the Georgia 100- and 200-meter championship in high school while weighing 250-plus pounds), he’s still quite raw on the offensive end, but could develop into the perfect defensive stopper in the paint to complement Memphis’s pressure. The Call: This will be the Jayhawks’ first major test of the new season, but in the early going, Memphis should still be in chaos.

Key Newcomer: Bak Bak (6'10", 200) certainly has the best name of any incoming freshman. Buzz Heading into 2009: Mike Montgomery... miracle worker? That’s what Cal fans—once his biggest rivals when he coached at Stanford—would have you believe after his first season in Berkeley. The Golden Bears were one of last season’s biggest surprises, winning 22 games and reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. The Bears also gave the fans one of the most exciting offensive products in all of college basketball, leading the nation in three-point shooting (42.7%). But 2009 is a different season, and the Golden Bears aren’t going to sneak up on anyone. Being hyped as the pre-season favorite in the Pac-10, can the Bears live up to expectations or was last season just a flash in the pan? Major Strength: No surprises, Cal’s strength in 2009 will come from behind the arc. Both point guard Jerome Randle and shooting guard Patrick Christopher—possibly the best backcourt in the nation—are dynamic scorers that can light up the scoreboard in a hurry. Role players like Theo Robinson also thrive in Monty’s open offense. If the Golden Bears are on from behind the arc and controlling the tempo,

Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

California Golden Bears Date: December 22, 2009 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Last Meeting: December 28, 2002, Pete Newell Challenge— KU 80, Cal 67 Key Returning Players: Jerome Randle (18.3 ppg, 5.1 apg), Patrick Christopher (14.5 ppg), Theo Robinson (13.1 ppg), Jamal Boykin (6.4 rpg)

Cal’s Patrick Christopher resisted the lure of the NBA. He’ll test the Allen Fieldhouse rims in late December. Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 57


2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall they can beat anyone in the nation. Major Weakness: Just like any team that relies solely on the three-point shot, they can lose to anyone if the shots aren’t falling. Cal got little offensive production from their big guys in 2008, and run the risk of being too one-dimensional on the offensive end to be considered a serious Final Four contender. They will also need to greatly improve on the defensive end after allowing close to 70 ppg last season. Player to Watch: Diminutive sparkplug Randle may be the catalyst that makes the Cal engine go, but Patrick Christopher is an NBA-level talent whose decision to return to school makes the Golden Bears a Pac-10 favorite. A physically imposing shooting guard at 6'5", he can score in a variety of ways and can easily create his own shot off the dribble. Playing in the same backcourt as Randle, Christopher doesn’t have to worry about constant double teams. If he just works on his defense, and he clearly has all of the tools to be a successful defender, he could be the Pac-10 Player of the Year. The Call: The three-point shot is the great equalizer in college basketball, but KU is too big and too physical for the Golden Bears to pull off the upset in Lawrence.

Tennessee Volunteers

return a massive amount of talent and experience (possibly the most outside of Lawrence), making this one of the deepest teams in America. The Vols return all five starters from one of last season’s best offensive teams, while not losing a single major contributor. In fact, the Vols’ projected second string could probably be a pretty formidable starting five if they played elsewhere in the SEC. The hope is that this group’s chemistry will be greatly improved from last season and that last season’s much-hyped freshmen Scotty Hopson and Renaldo Woolridge step up defensively in their second season in Knoxville. Major Weakness: The Volunteer guards, mostly freshmen last season, will need to figure out how to play defense in a hurry if this team plans to compete on the national level. If there was a common theme to last season, it was opposing guards burning the Vols with career offensive outings. Just ask Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks (54 points), Temple’s Dionte Christmas (35), and Sherron Collins (26) how much they enjoyed playing against the Vols. In fact, opponents shot a blistering 33.7% from behind the arc against a Tennessee defense that finished 295th in the nation in points allowed. If the Vols plan to complete for an SEC championship, it’s going to be about stopping people every once in a while.

Buzz Heading into 2009: After earning a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament in his first season in Knoxville and reaching the Sweet 16 in his second, the natural progression should have had the Vols take the next step in Bruce Pearl’s third season in Knoxville. Pearl had just about everything he could want in a team poised to make a Final Four leap: a pre-season top-ten ranking, and the return of four starters and seven players that saw significant minutes in 2007–08. On top of that, he recruited one of the best freshman classes in America. Despite all that, 2008–09 was a disaster. Though Tennessee finished in the top 15 in points scored (78.4 per game), the team was plagued by injures and inexperience at the guard positions. Shockingly, they played some of the worst perimeter defense in the country. It’s almost a miracle the team earned a nine seed in the NCAA Tournament, losing a last-second heartbreaker to Oklahoma State. But with nearly everyone back in 2009, can Pearl turn this talented but disappointing group into a Final Four contender? Major Strength: For the second consecutive season, the Vols

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Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl is rockin’ the orange blazer, and knockin’ on the door to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Date: January 9, 2010 Location: Knoxville, TN (Thompson-Boling Arena) Last Meeting: January 3, 2009 in Allen Fieldhouse— KU 92, Tennessee 85 Key Returning Players: Tyler Smith (17.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Wayne Chism (13.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg), J.P. Prince (9.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg) Key Newcomer: Kenny Hall (6'9", 215)


The First Season Player to Watch: The main reason for optimism in Knoxville is the return of Tyler Smith. Expected to be a mid-to-late first-round pick, he spurned the NBA for one final season on Rocky Top. A nightmare match-up because of his size and speed, he led the Vols in points (17.4) and assists (3.3), and was second in rebounding (5.8). Still, he struggled last season on the defensive end (who didn’t for Tennessee?) and doesn’t have the best shooting percentage from behind the arc (29.2%). Still, if the versatile Smith can play up to his All-America level talent, the Vols go from a Sweet 16 threat to Final Four contender. The Call: Very tough spot for the Jayhawks. A true road game right before the start of the Big 12 schedule against a deep squad with the size, depth, and talent to run with them. If Kansas loses a game in the non-conference schedule, it will come here.

resurgence in Ann Arbor. The Big Ten’s reigning scoring champ is a defender’s nightmare because of his speed off the dribble, excellent finishing ability around the basket, and range from the perimeter. If he does have a weakness, it’s that he is very turnover-prone (finishing with the second most giveaways in the nation). The Call: Playing at home should be enough to carry the ’Hawks in a tight contest.

Dangerous Games Temple Owls Date: January 2, 2010 Location: Philadelphia, PA (Liacouras Center) Last Meeting: December 20, 2008 in Lawrence— KU 71, Temple 59

Michigan Wolverines Date: December 19, 2009 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Last Meeting: December 30, 1992 Rainbow Basketball Classic—Michigan 86, KU 74 Key Returning Players: Manny Harris (16.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg), DeShawn Sims (15.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Zack Novak (6.7 ppg) Key Newcomer: Tim Hardaway, Jr. just signed to play in Ann Arbor in 2010, but this season’s catch is four-star shooting guard Matt Vogrich, who will help out from behind the arc

Why it’s Dangerous: One of KU’s few true road games, including cross-country travel between holidays. Player to Watch: With Dionte Christmas gone, it’s up to Lavoy Allen to pick up the scoring slack for the Owls. He’s a talented big man with silky-smooth moves in the post. The Call: The Jayhawks could come out sluggish after traveling across the country, but Temple just doesn’t have enough scorers to pull off the upset.

La Salle Explorers Buzz Heading into 2009: Last season marked the return of Michigan basketball to the national radar. In Jon Beilein’s second season in Ann Arbor, he parlayed the skills of multitalented Manny Harris and his unique 1-3-1 defense into the most successful season for Michigan basketball since the Fab Five (incidentally, the last Wolverine team KU played against). With the return of Harris and equally explosive DeShawn Sims, the Wolverines will be one of the favorites in the Big Ten along with Michigan State and Purdue. Major Strength: It’s pick your poison for opponents of the Wolverines, who may have the strongest one-two punch outside of Lawrence in Harris and Sims. Harris is one of the best pure scorers in the nation, with the ability to slash inside and bomb from outside. Sims is a big man who shoots above 50% in the paint. Major Weakness: While the Harris-Sims combo got Michigan back on the radar, questions still remain about the supporting cast. The Wolverines’ big two combined for close to 50% of the team’s points last season while no other player averaged more than seven. Good defensive teams will force the team to find other options. Player to Watch: Manny Harris is one of the most talented scorers in America and one of the major reasons for the hoops

Date: December 12, 2009 Location: Kansas City, MO (Sprint Center) Last Meeting: December 20, 1975 in Lawrence— KU 74, La Salle 73 Why it’s Dangerous: KU fans only need to think back to last December against an A-10 team (UMass) in the Sprint Center. La Salle could sneak up. Player to Watch: Freshman Aaric Murray is the best prospect (rated #18 by Rivals) to head to La Salle in nearly three decades and the big reason that the Explorers are being considered an A-10 sleeper. The 6'11" beast and hometown product gives the Explorers the perfect complement to leading scorer and senior leader Rodney Green. The Call: La Salle may be one of the country’s best-kept secrets heading into the season, but this stage is still a bit too large for them.

Hofstra Pride Date: November 13, 2009 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Last Meeting: N/A

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2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall Why it’s Dangerous: Hofstra, from the Colonial Athletic Association, may not jump off the page of as a dangerous opponent, but it’s the first game of a pressure-packed season for Kansas, and one needs only to remember 2005, when eventual national champions North Carolina lost to a sub-.500 Santa Clara squad to start the year. Player to Watch: As a sophomore last season, Charles Jenkins did everything for the Pride. He led the team in minutes, points, assists, and steals, and didn’t miss many free throws, either. With six seniors from last year’s team graduating, he’ll probably have to do it again. The Call: Nerves or not, the Jayhawks should still roll.

Mid-Major Wonders Cornell Big Red Date: January 5, 2010 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Last Meeting: January 2, 1996 in Lawrence— KU 100, Cornell 46

Belmont Bruins Date: December 29, 2009 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Last Meeting: N/A Where You Saw Them Last: As a 15 seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, nearly pulling off a stunning upset of Duke. Player to Watch: 6'6" Ontario native Jon House is the team’s only returning starter. He didn’t do anything truly noteworthy last season, so he’s got to shoulder more of the load this time out.

Radford Highlanders Date: December 9, 2009 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Last Meeting: N/A Where You Saw Them Last: Playing North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament last season as a 16 seed. Player to Watch: Artsiom Parakhouski, a 6'11" center from Minsk, can get up and down the floor and has some nifty moves around the basket. The big man averaged a doubledouble last season, but should be eaten alive by Cole Aldrich and friends.

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6'11" Minsk native Artsiom Parakhouski will rarely find this much space when Radford enters the Phog.

The Rest Alcorn State Braves Date: December 2, 2009 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Player to Watch: 6'3" Senior Troy Jackson led the SWAC with 20 points and 2.5 steals per game.

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Date: November 27, 2009 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Player to Watch: Kevin Murphy is a 6'6" sophomore who can nail the three and showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman.

Central Arkansas Bears Date: November 19, 2009 Location: Allen Fieldhouse Player to Watch: Senior guard Marcus Pillow is the team’s biggest threat, but he will be blanketed by the KU defense. MSP Marco Anskis is the sports information director at Swarthmore College, and the founder of the college basketball site StormingTheFloor.net. He has written game stories for OwlSports.com and the Associated Press.

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Where You Saw Them Last: Ending Penn and Princeton’s stranglehold on the Ivy League by winning back-to-back league titles. Player to Watch: 5'11" senior guard Louis Dale is the best allaround player for the Big Red. He can score, dish, and defend.


The Usual Suspects

2009–10 Big 12 Preview by Cory Brenneman

T

he 2009–10 Big 12 promises to feature some of the best teams in the country. Here is a preview of each team, from worst to best, for the coming season. There is a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive right in.

Baylor Bears Coach: Scott Drew (7th Season) 2008–2009 Record: 24–15 (5–11 Big 12) The Bears revolve around sharpshooter LaceDarius Dunn. He’s always liked shooting—he took a shot on 28% of his oncourt possessions last year, and 28.2% in 2008—and is accurate from far away, hitting 38.8% of his threes as a sophomore and 41.6% as a freshman. Tweety Carter will likely be assigned the position of point guard because of his short stature, but he turns it over too much to hold down the spot long-term. Quincy Acy is primed to take over for Kevin Rogers, and while he isn’t as polished as his predecessor, he might be just as good. Acy is a better shooter (65.5% from the floor last year), and was better on the offensive glass and playing defense, blocking more than 6% of opponents’ two-point tries. Everyone else is a role player. Josh Lomers and Fred Ellis are super rebounders, while providing little on offense, and Anthony Jones isn’t much good at anything. Nolan Dennis is the star of the recruiting class of ’09, and he’s a slasher extraordinaire—drawing numerous comparisons to former Memphis Tiger Chris Douglas-Roberts— with point guard skills. A.J. Walton is Curtis Jerrells 2.0: He prefers to drive, but can also shoot and is a ballhawk on defense. Cory Jefferson is a wiry (6'9", 190 pounds) athlete with limitless potential. A year in the weight room and working on that 15-footer and he should be lighting up the Big 12. Mark McLaughlin is a slasher who can also, occasionally, pop out for three. Givon Crump, on the other hand, is just a long-range bomber. There is a bunch of talent on this Baylor squad, with a lot of unknown quantities. When you have this much ability this

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2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall best player is probably Jaye Crockett, an uber-athletic small forward, with combo guard Mike Davis having the potential to start immediately. There’s also junior college transfer Brad Reese, a three-point specialist. The Red Raiders have some pieces to play with, but the NIT is, most likely, as high as they can aim.

Colorado Buffaloes

Do Scott Drew and Pat Knight discuss their famous coaching fathers during the pre-game handshake? short on experience, the possibilities are endless. Jayhawk fans should hope the Bears go dancing—the only two years they’ve made the NCAA Tournament since 1950 have been 1988 and 2008.

Texas Tech Red Raiders Coach: Pat Knight (2nd Full Season) 2008–2009 Record: 14–19 (3–13 Big 12)

Colorado guard Cory Higgins is awesome. He can shoot, he can play super defense, he can drive, and draw fouls (he’s really good at that). He’s an All-Big 12 talent, one of the more underrated players in the country. The problem is, no one’s there to help him out. Dwight Thorne III can really shoot the three, but not much else. So can Nate Tomlinson. But there aren’t any strong rebounders returning, no defensive studs to slow down the opposition, nothing. Bzdelik is bringing in a lefty combo guard in Alec Burks, a developmental center in Shane Harris-Tunks, a three-point shooter in Keegan Hornbuckle, and a developed point guard in Shannon Sharpe. (With a name like that, how could he not go to Colorado?) Maybe in a couple of years Colorado can put together a decent roster. But it isn’t happening any time soon. Ricardo Patton sure did leave this program in a heap of trouble.

Gone are the days of general Bobby Knight in Lubbock, where defense reigned supreme. Instead, the Red Raiders are now offensively-inclined, with guard John Roberson leading the charge. Roberson is a good perimeter shooter who has problems with the turnover bug. The real potential star is forward Mike Singletary, who burst onto the national scene against Texas A&M in the Big 12 Tournament, scoring 29 consecutive points for the Red Raiders. He is a slasher, drawing fouls (7.3 per 40 minutes, ninth most in the entire country) like nobody’s business. He’s a real star in the making. Guard Nick Okorie is a nice mix of the two, who can both draw fouls (4.9 per 40) and shoot the three (37.5%). Then you have the dime-a-dozen bigs down low, led by Robert Lewandowski and his very accurate shooting (58.1%). There are also primary rebounders, Darko Cohadarevic, Trevor Cook, and D’walyn Roberts. Roberts is the best of the bunch, specializing on the offensive glass. Pat Knight and Company are going the quick-fix route, bringing in three junior college transfers and only two high schoolers. The Missouri and Texas are among the stronger Big 12 teams this season.

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Photo on previous page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Top photo this page: Layne Murdoch/Getty Images  Bottom photo this page: G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

Coach: Jeff Bzdelik (3rd Season) 2008–2009 Record: 9–22 (1–15 Big 12)


The Usual Suspects

Iowa State Cyclones

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Coach: Greg McDermott (4th Season) 2008–2009 Record: 15–17 (4–12 Big 12) Like Colorado, the Iowa State Cyclones have one fantastic player in forward Craig Brackins. He is kind of a ball hog, though—he took shots on 36.5% of the ’Clones’ possessions last season, good enough for eighth in the country. He is deadly from 15 feet and in, and can pop out and hit a three on occasion. He’s also one of the best defensive rebounders in the entire country, which is always valuable. And what’s really scary is he still has a bunch of untapped potential. Most of his support comes from Diante Garrett, a drive-first point guard who is an assist machine, and long-range bomber Lucca Staiger, who shot 38.5% from three last season. Then you have shooters number two and three in Jamie Vanderbeken and Wes Eikmeier, and two super rebounders in guard Charles Boozer and center Justin Hamilton. That’s about it. Chris Colvin is clearly the star of the incoming class, an uber-athletic shooting guard who can drive, shoot, play defense—just about everything. The other three incoming newbies are just role players: athletic Antwon Oliver, longrange bomber Marquis Gilstrap, and rebounder LaRon Dendy. The Cyclones should not be overlooked, due to Brackins alone, but they don’t have enough talent to seriously compete.

three-point acumen (along with a solid midrange game), and forward Kourtney Robertson with his aggressive rebounding. Then there is pure scorer (and not much else) Jeremy Adams and the extremely athletic forward, Ray Turner. A&M has the pieces to make the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year, with a much better shot of making the second weekend than in the past couple of years.

Texas A&M Aggies

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Coach: Mark Turgeon (3rd Season) 2008-2009 Record: 24–10 (9–7 Big 12) NCAA #9 Seed, Round of 32

Coach: Doc Sadler (4th Season) 2008–2009 Record: 18–13 (8–8 Big 12)

The Aggies figure to take a step forward in 2010, with a bonanza of returning players combining with some talented new faces. Guard Donald Sloan headlines the returnees, an awesome defender who takes good care of the ball on offense, as well, with really good assist and turnover rates. Down low, Bryan Davis is a fabulous rebounder, particularly on offense, and a force defensively, with some decent range. Departed forward Chinemelu Elonu was better at all of those things, though, leaving a gap. That space will be partially filled by David Loubeau, a perfectly fine player who isn’t particularly good or bad at anything. The most underrated player on the team, maybe in the entire Big 12, is guard B.J. Holmes—he never turns it over (second best in the country last season in turnover rate) and is lights-out from three, shooting 41.5% in 2009. He should get a starting gig. Other returnees include defensive stopper Derrick Roland, bland forward Nathan Walkup, and raw, offensivelychallenged point guard Dash Harris. Of the incomers, three stand out: guard Naji Hibbert and his exceptional midrange game, Khris Middleton and his

Former Jayhawk player Mark Turgeon has learned that you never take sides against the family during his years in College Station.

In 2009, Nebraska was feisty, short, played outstanding defense (first in the country at forcing turnovers), and hit treys. Basically, they were a mid-major squad in the Big 12. Sek Henry is the returning star from the team, an extremely versatile player who can play both outside (34.2% from three) and inside. Also returning is Ryan Anderson, the 6'4" guy often assigned the task of guarding the other team’s power forward. He’s a good player on defense, while on offense he’s essentially just a three-point shooter. Toney McCray is a really good defensive rebounder, and just about perfectly average at everything else. The team will have to replace Cookie Miller, the five-foot-nothing point guard who transferred to West Virginia. Two players who barely saw any action last season, 6'11" centers Christopher Niemann and Brian Diaz, figure to play a big role in providing some much-needed height to the Cornhuskers. As good as the team was in the turnover battle—and they were one of the best in the country—they were just as poor in the rebounding department. Just brutally awful, particularly on offense. Besides Niemann and Diaz, some other low-post help is on its way through the recruiting class of 2009. There is the

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2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall inside-outside game of forward Brandon Ubel, who can drain threes while also owning a substantial amount of low-post moves, the incredible rawness of German forward Christian Standhardinger, whose athleticism lets him pile up boards, and the pure rebounding ability of 6'8" junior college transfer Quincy Hankins-Cole. On the perimeter, the name to know is Ray Gallegos, a ridiculously quick guard who can get to the basket at will. While the Cornhuskers appeared to be on the brink of taking the next step at times last season, this doesn’t appear to be the year to do it. They lose a lot of talent, particularly in the form of incredibly underrated Ade Dagunduro and Miller, and the NIT looks to be a fine goal for yet another year.

Oklahoma Sooners Coach: Jeff Capel (4th Season) 2008-2009 Record: 30–6 (13–3 Big 12) NCAA #2 Seed, Elite Eight They were one of the nation’s best teams last season, but so much of Oklahoma’s success was dependent on that one player. You may have heard of him. And yes, Blake Griffin has taken his game to the NBA, meaning a return trip to the Elite Eight isn’t looking nearly as promising. However, despite the loss of Griffin, it isn’t all negative for the Sooners. They still have sophmore guard Willie Warren, after all, and him taking more shots isn’t a bad thing at all. His eFG% (a stat that gives threepointers more credit because they’re worth more points) was one of the highest in the conference last season because of his

balanced approach. He can drain it from deep while also being able to drive, draw fouls, and all of that fun offensive stuff. He’s a star in the making, and the clear leader of this team. Helping him out will be three-point specialists Tony Crocker and Cade Davis, along with the outstanding rebounding of forward Ryan Wright. Wright is the key to the team, as he is going to be the most experienced man down low only a year after being fourth on the depth chart behind both Griffin brothers and Juan Pattillo, who was kicked off the team in the spring for violating team rules. Wright will have to step into some very big shoes. He won’t have to do it all by himself, though, as he will be joined by the seventh ranked recruiting class, according to Rivals.com. Center Tiny Gallon, a McDonald’s All-American, should help out in the low post. He struggles with his weight, but when he can keep it down he’s just a monster, both inside with his size and outside with his underrated jump shot. Joining him down low are “effort players” Andrew Fitzgerald and Kyle Hardrick, who are both beasts on the boards and have some moves down low, particularly Fitzgerald. But the best member of the class may be Tommy Mason-Griffin, the projected replacement for departed Austin Johnson. He’s an offense-first point guard, unlike Johnson, who can really light it up from the outside. Rounding out the class is long-range bomber Steve Pledger. Obviously, the Sooners won’t be as good as they were last year. But they should be more balanced, and if the Warren, Gallon, Mason-Griffin trio sticks around for 2011, partisans can start talking Final Four again. This year, an NCAA bid appears likely, with the talent present to make a run deeper into March.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Willie Warren looks to keep the Sooner juggernaut rolling. 64 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

College basketball’s version of the spread offense, Travis Ford’s Run and Shoot, lost its quarterback in Byron Eaton to graduation. Back, though, is the stud running back that carried the team for stretches (uber-talented guard James Anderson), the sure-handed slot receiver (three-point specialist Keiton Page), the underrated and overlooked tight end (do-everything Obi Muonelo), and the developing left tackle (forward Marshall Moses, who began to dominate for stretches at the end of the season). The Cowboys should be just fine, particularly in the hands of Anderson, who has All-Big 12 written all over him, and the frequently underrated duo of Muonelo and Moses, who are beasts on the glass (two of the best defensive rebounders in the entire country). Both provide something different on offense: Muonelo the three-point shot (39.8% last season) and

Photo: Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Coach: Travis Ford (2nd Season) 2008-2009 Record: 23–12 (9–7 Big 12) NCAA #8 Seed, Round of 32


Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Usual Suspects Moses the effective hook in the lane. Plus, the team gets reinforcements in the form of the 11th-rated incoming class. The star of the group is arguably super-athletic Karron Johnson, a 6'7" forward whose specialty is the midrange game though he can pop out or work down low just as well. He will be attending junior college this year working towards becoming academically eligible. The class is still impressive, with 5'9" point guard Ray Penn, who is as offensively skilled as they get, and can shoot from half court. Rounding out the top half of the class is forward Roger Franklin, who is a great rebounder and good passer. He likes staying down low, but Franklin has more range and can pop out to around 15 feet. Centers Torin Walker and Jarred Shaw are basically just rebounders, but Shaw does have a bunch of athletic potential. Point guards Reger Dowell and Fred Gulley, who both kind of sound like a poor man’s version Obi Muonelo, Zaire Taylor, and Keiton Page return to battle one of Eaton, close out the promising group of freshmen. another and the Jayhawks this season. The Cowboys are still very talented, and should be excellent on offense yet again, particularly from long range. actually. Jordan Henriquez is tall (6'11") and has potential, They’ll miss Eaton, but definitely have the pieces to replace but he’s not nearly strong enough (yet) to bang in the Big 12. him. An NCAA berth should be expected, with enough talent Guard Rodney McGruder (no, not McGruber) is a slasher to make a sneaky deep run. to the extreme with an okay midrange game but little threepoint range. He’s fantastic in transition, though. Guard Nick Kansas State Wildcats Russell is a very similar player, someone who is awesome in Coach: Frank Martin (3rd Season) transition but struggles with the jump shot. Finally, you have 2008–2009 Record: 22–12 (9–7 Big 12) Martavious Irving, another slasher who prefers to play in the open floor. After a year’s hiatus from serious competition, Frank Martin This team is packed full of athletes, with rebounders and the Wildcats are back, returning nearly everyone from to pick up the trash. It should be a path to success, and the a dangerous team and adding the 20th-ranked class. Guard Wildcats should make it back to the NCAA Tournament after Denis Clemente is the best returnee (as the Longhorns can a year off in 2009. attest), combining his driving ability with an underrated three-point stroke. Jacob Pullen likes the three even more, Missouri Tigers but isn’t quite as accurate as Clemente, yet he’s a thief on Coach: Mike Anderson (4th Season) defense. He is a hot-and-cold player, as is Clemente: When 2008–2009 Record: 31–7 (12–4 Big 12) they’re on, they have enough firepower to take down a team NCAA #3 Seed, Elite Eight all by themselves, but they’ll also disappear for games on end. Forward Dominique Sutton is their defensive stopper, who Missouri was really, really good last season. It wasn’t a fluky trip uses the offensive glass and draws fouls to score his points. to the Elite Eight—according to the KenPom.com rankings, they Forward Ron Anderson, an absolute monster rebounder, were the sixth best team in the country last season—thanks to announced that he will transfer, leaving Luis Colon to fill an incredible balance between offense and defense. For most, it his shoes, though Luis isn’t quite as incredible as Ron on the came out of nowhere, of course, a year following a postseasonglass. Along with forward Jamar Samuels, an athletic freak less 16–16 record in 2008. This year, expectations are at an who struggles with his shot, K-State was the best offensive all-time high, despite the losses of DeMarre Carroll, Leo rebounding team in the country last season. Lyons, and three-point specialist Matt Lawrence. The Tigers In an effort to provide non-put-back production from are returning plenty of talent, led by point guard J.T. Tiller, down low, Wally Judge is making his way to Manhattan. He the heart and soul of the team. He’s a poor shooter, but is scores most of his points with his face to the basket, but isn’t outstanding on the defensive end, and can set up his teammates hopeless flipped around, either. He resembles Darrell Arthur, incredibly well. Guard Zaire Taylor is a similar player—can’t

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 65


2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall

Texas Longhorns Coach: Rick Barnes (12th Season) 2008–2009 Record: 23–12 (9–7 Big 12) NCAA #7 Seed, Round of 32 Kansas’s toughest competition for the Big 12 crown is, yet again, the Texas Longhorns. The teams are almost always 1-2 in the Big 12, and after a substandard year in 2009 the Longhorns appear poised to jump back on top. They’ll be led by do-everything-incredibly-well Damion James, who can play on the perimeter, drive to the basket, rebound, and play pretty solid D. However, he might not be the best player on the team, as center Dexter Pittman is an absolute beast. The fourth best offensive rebounder in the country last season, Big Dex draws what seems like a thousand fouls a game. Plus, he was developing some low-post moves toward the end of the season, which basically makes him and his incredible girth impossible to guard. Forward Gary Johnson is a good complement for Pittman, as he prefers to hang around 15 feet away from the bucket. He’s got a great midrange jumper that’s his calling card, but he can score closer in around bodies, too. Rounding out the key returnees are the trio of no-shoot guards: Dogus Balbay, Varez Ward, and Justin Mason. Balbay is a point guard at heart who prefers to dish the ball off after driving into the lane, while Ward is more of a pure scorer who looks to attack. Mason is a defensive stopper, providing marginal production

66 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Kim English committed Tiger-on-Tiger crime in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Will he continue to excel? on the offensive end. If any of them, particularly Balbay, could just develop a 15-footer, they’d be near unstoppable. If that isn’t enough sheer talent for you, then let’s add in the third-ranked recruiting class in the country, with only three players. The best shooting guard in the class, Avery Bradley, is the headliner: an absolute defensive stud who can get to the bucket at will. Like seemingly every other guard on the roster, though, he can’t really shoot. Fortunately, Rick Barnes recruited someone that has a complete package on offense in forward Jordan Hamilton. Anywhere from 25 feet to above the rim, Hamilton can get it in the bucket. He might be the best offensive player in the entire 2009 recruiting class, really. Forward Shawn Williams can slash as well as shoot, although he does prefer to put the ball on the floor. And certainly don’t forget the x-factor of the entire Texas roster, transfer point guard Jai Lucas from Florida. Lucas can really light it up from deep, which is probably more important to Texas than his point guard abilities. He has those too, though. Texas is just ridiculously deep. So much talent, so much potential, so much ability—really, they should probably be Final Four favorites. Nothing’s a sure thing, obviously, but the sky’s clearly the limit in Austin this season. Once again, Kansas-Texas should be mind-numbingly awesome. MSP

Cory Brenneman is the son of two University of Kansas alums (Class of ‘88) and has been attending games at Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium since he was a baby. He is the founder and lead writer for the website, RockChalkTalk.com.

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

shoot, but can sure play D—but is probably a little better at getting to the rack. After those two seniors, the rest of the players are all young, athletic, and perfect fits for Mike Anderson’s full-court style. Guard Kim English is the shooter from the outside, forward Laurence Bowers the monster on the glass, guard Marcus Denmon the defensive stalwart. Rounding out the rotation are athletic freak Keith Ramsey and do-everything Justin Safford. They all play some, none play too much, and all contribute in their own way. When you’re playing 12 people a game, though, you always need reinforcements. Insert the freshmen: defensefirst Mike Dixon, who can kinda-sorta get into the lane but can’t shoot at all, great rebounder Tyler Stone, who has a nice 15-foot jump shot, and another awesome defender in John Underwood. None have real superstar potential, except maybe Dixon if he can establish a consistent jump shot, but each should fill his role just fine. No matter what happens, Mizzou won’t be as good as last season. It just isn’t happening. However, it shouldn’t be a big step back, and Mike Anderson is clearly building something long-lasting in Columbia. That doesn’t mean Elite Eight berths every year, but just getting into the Dance consistently is no small change.


How To Heckle The Rest Of The Big 12 by Rick Paulas

F

ew moments are quite as enjoyable in the entirety of the sports world as the perfectly-executed heckle against a divisional foe. So as a service to our readers, here are some suggestions for how to create the greatest possible heckles for the rest of the Big 12. (Note: We are not responsible for any bodily harm caused by the following heckles.)

Baylor Bears Focus your heckles on coach Scott Drew, the son of Valparaiso University coach Homer Drew. Bring a large homemade chart showcasing, precisely, how much prouder his father is of his other son (Bryce Drew, the hero of Valparaiso’s first round upset win over Ole Miss back in 1998) than of Scott himself. Also point out that Bryce has a much cooler name.

Colorado Buffaloes Bring a large abacus, wear a white lab coat, and thick, blackframed glasses. Explain mathematically why, even though nearby Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies) is notorious for high scoring games due to the altitude, basketball games in Coors Events Center are so low scoring. After two hours of calculations, conclude that it’s because the Buffaloes are awful. It’s science!

Kansas State Wildcats Spend the entire pregame mentioning to surrounding Wildcats fans how excited you are to finally see legendary basketball coach Bob Huggins in person as he patrols the sidelines. When they try to correct you by saying Frank Martin is, in fact, the current coach, don’t believe them. There’s no way Huggins would leave after only a season at Kansas State, not after all of the excitement he brought to the campus with his perfectly greased hair. He wouldn’t leave an esteemed university like Kansas State for West Virginia. They must have horribly inaccurate information.

Missouri Tigers Performing a three-part, one-person play about the rise and quick, hard fall of former coach Quin Snyder should get the trick done. At least one act should be entirely devoted to the frustration Snyder encountered on a daily basis while trying to get his hair to look… just… right.

Nebraska Cornhuskers In honor of Nebraska alumnus Johnny Carson, break out your best Carnac the Magnificent impression and read from the following script: (Carnac holds envelope to his turban)

Iowa State Cyclones According to Iowa State fans, Hilton Coliseum has “Hilton Magic” during basketball games because the fans create an atmosphere that is horribly detrimental to foes. As soon as the Cyclones start doing poorly—something that generally happens in the first minute of the game—proclaim that the stadium has Hilton Magic, alright. Paris Hilton Magic!

Carnac: Charles Barkley at the US Open. Sidekick: Charles Barkley, ha-ha, at the US Open. (Carnac opens envelope)

Carnac: Who has a better chance of winning than the Cornhuskers?

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 67


It’s heckle or be heckled when you’re the guy in the stuffed Jayhawk head.

Oklahoma Sooners Last year it was announced that, by 2013, the entire main campus of the University of Oklahoma will be powered by wind. Comment that they could probably have gone green much more quickly if they just learned how to harness the team’s massive amount of suck power!

Oklahoma State Cowboys The Oklahoma State Student Union, reportedly the largest student union in the world, was used in the has-to-be-awful 1992 direct-to-video thriller All-American Murder, starring the esteemed and highly-imitable Christopher Walken. As such, feel free to break out Walken’s infamous monologue from Pulp Fiction, swapping out the uncomfortable gold watch for an even more uncomfortable Pistol Pete.

Texas Longhorns Longhorns center Dexter Pittman left high school at a stout 388 pounds, a weight that dropped to 366 before he enrolled at Texas. Pittman is currently “down” to 298 pounds. Congratulate Sexy Dexy (his official nickname) on a job well done losing all of that weight, and hope he can hear you through your mouthful of delicious cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and cotton candy. In fact, let him know that you’re so proud

68 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

of him, his next dinner at McDonald’s is on you.

Texas A&M Aggies The school’s mascot, since 1931, is a border collie who goes by the name of Reveille. At this point, 78 years into the tradition, the school is on their eighth dog, Reveille VIII, who took over the mantle in 2008. Gain her trust by offering a treat and giving her a slight ruffle of the fur, before bending over, drawing close to her ear, and quietly whispering the fates of the previous seven collies.

Texas Tech Red Raiders Spend the entire game purposefully mistaking new head coach Pat Knight for his father, Bobby. Examples include telling everyone to keep chairs away from “Bobby,” commenting on how he must be using some kind of hair tonic because his gray has completely disappeared, and that he was the weak acting link in the last year’s commercial for Guitar Hero: Metallica. Although he did look good in those boxing shorts. MSP

Rick Paulas is a freelance writer, currently residing in Los Angeles, who has yet to write a single sentence that is good for society. Some of those sentences can be found at McSweeney’s, ESPN Page 2, Radar Magazine, and The Heckler’s Prospectus.

Upper photo on previous page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Background photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Photo this page: Elsa/Getty Images

2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall


Seven Keys to Reaching the Final Four Combine the ingredients and increase the heat slowly. Remove from oven in April and enjoy! by Jacob E. Osterhout

S

omewhere out there in the miasma of the college basketball universe, hidden under Danny Manning’s old socks or nestled behind Wilt Chamberlain’s knee pads, is the secret to making the Final Four. Every year, four teams discover this secret, but then quickly forget it as soon as the season ends. In its entirety, the secret to college basketball success is likely a complicated algorithm created over the years by James Naismith, Dr. Phog Allen, and Adolph Rupp that the die-hard college basketball fan, this writer included, cannot understand. But that doesn’t mean we, the serious hoops fans, can’t try to come up with our own equation for success on the hard court. The fact is, if the Kansas Jayhawks are going to make it to Indianapolis next April, they will have to meet certain criteria that every Final Four team throughout the decades has achieved to one degree or another. The seven cylinders that must be firing for Kansas to

fulfill their enormous potential and steamroll their way to the Final Four are point guard play, inside presence, three-point shooting, depth, defense, coaching, and cohesiveness. How does Kansas stack up?

Point Guards Point guards drive a team. Every successful NCAA Tournament team must have a point guard that can control the tempo, drain a three-pointer, drive the lane, and, most importantly, get his teammates involved. With the return of 5'11" senior Sherron Collins, the Jayhawks just might have the best floor general in college basketball. Collins averaged 18.9 points per game last season, but more significantly, he boasted a 1.51 assist-to-turnover ratio, and led his Kansas team—one that had lost its entire starting lineup from the previous season—to a Big 12 regular season

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 69


While Aldrich’s defense certainly boosts Kansas’s chances of returning to the Final Four, it is the big man’s offensive improvements that will ultimately determine if the Jayhawks will still be playing come April. Aldrich has always been great when he receives a lob pass over a fronting defender, but he struggles at times to assert himself offensively with his back to the basket. This season, if he features a larger arsenal of reliable post moves—a drop step or a jump hook—and better court vision, which would allow him to quickly find the open man on the perimeter when double-teamed, Kansas will be able to better control a game’s tempo and have a good shot of surviving the early Kansas has been there before, and has all the ingredients to get there again. rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Enter Arizona transfer Jeff Withey, championship. When Collins is on the court, it’s no secret a lanky seven-footer who will not only learn quickly from who is in charge as the only part of the Chicago native that’s Aldrich, but will test the All-Big 12 first-team player in faster than his feet is his mouth. Never at a loss for words, practice. A fallout from the Lute Olson retirement fiasco, Collins will have no problem directing Kansas’s crop of young, talented players. Of course, Collins wasn’t perfect last season and will have to improve certain parts of his game if Kansas is to gain a spot in the Final Four in 2010. In last season’s Sweet 16 loss to Michigan State, Collins scored 20 points on 9-13 shooting, but he had only three assists to six turnovers, and failed to assert himself against Spartan point guard Kalin Lucas at the end of the game. Collins must improve his stamina in order to finish late-season games as strong as he starts them. Possibly the greatest benefit of the arrival of muchheralded freshman point guard Elijah Johnson is that he will push the sometimes-indolent Collins to be a better player. At 6'2", Johnson will force Collins to prepare against a much bigger guard during practices. Plus, Johnson’s massive potential could create a healthy intrasquad competition that would benefit both point guards.

Inside Presence Inside presence is a necessity, as well. No championshipcaliber team is complete without a big man, someone who literally looks down on his opponents. Thankfully for Kansas fans, center Cole Aldrich ignored the lure of the NBA Draft and returned to Lawrence for his junior season. The 6'11" Aldrich averaged 14.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game last year, but his biggest impact was on defense. Every time opposing guards drove the lane, they had to take into consideration Aldrich’s 7'5" wingspan, which allowed him to average more blocks per game than any other player in the Big 12.

70 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Cole Aldrich is a force on both ends of the floor, and he has plenty of backup.

Photo on previous page: Anne Rippy/Getty Images  Top photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images  Bottom photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall


Seven Keys to Reaching the Final Four Withey was once a top recruit, but he redshirted last season and is now looking to make an immediate impact. If Withey can play up to his potential, he’ll allow Bill Self the luxury of clogging up the lane with two very large shot-blockers.

Three-Point Shooting Three-point shooting cannot be overlooked as a requisite for success in today’s game. With Collins or Johnson running the point and Aldrich and Withey taking up real estate in the paint, Kansas has the ability to play a very effective inside-out game, but the Jayhawks must improve their three-point shooting. During the 2008–2009 campaign, Kansas’s one glaring offensive weakness was long range shooting. Kansas shot 37.1% from behind the arc last season, despite shooting guard Brady Morningstar knocking down 42% of his three-point attempts. As Morningstar’s minutes inevitably diminish due to the massive influx of talent in the latest recruiting class, fellow shooting guards Tyrel Reed, Tyshawn Taylor, and Xavier Henry will have to confidently knock down the open three when given the opportunity. As a sophomore, Taylor must improve upon last season’s 36.4% shooting from behind the arc. His ability to penetrate the lane and either score or dish (or turn the ball over) is well known, but he’ll have to become more comfortable from downtown if he is to pose any sort of outside threat that can draw opposing defenses out. Not to worry, though, the offseason seems to have helped Taylor take his game to the next level. The 6'3" shooting guard dominated the Under-19 World Championships, exploding for 18 points, six assists, and five steals in Team USA’s 88–80 title game victory over Greece. Competing for minutes with Taylor at the two spot is prized recruit Xavier Henry, who by all accounts, has a silky-smooth three-point shot. He is 6'6" and should have no problem shooting over the outstretched hands of defenders. Henry has to be able to take advantage of the opposing team’s defensive convergence on Aldrich for Kansas to convert consistently on offense.

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Depth Depth is also necessary for any championship contender to survive the long college basketball season. Everyone knows that Collins and Aldrich will anchor the 2009–10 Kansas team, but if the Jayhawks are truly going to make a deep tournament run, they’ll need more than just their two returning All-America candidates. They’ll need Taylor, Morningstar, and Henry to step up, along with a supporting cast that feeds off of their less visible roles. Final Four teams are defined just as much by players who put up big numbers as players who assert themselves at the right time of a game or a season. To that end, Markieff and Marcus Morris must show

Tyshawn Taylor led Team USA to the U19 World Championship this summer. improvement this season. As freshmen, the two brothers let the game come to them. Both the power forwards averaged less than eight points and five rebounds per game. Right or wrong, they were often considered two halves of one player, and as they enter their sophomore season in Lawrence, they will need to define themselves more as individuals, either by grabbing more boards or developing a nice touch near the hoop. The Morris brothers’ ability to perform at a higher level will help take the pressure off fellow big man Aldrich. The arrival of explosive power forward Thomas Robinson should help motivate the Morris twins and provide more depth inside for the Jayhawks. At 6'8", Robinson is an aggressive rebounder who should complement some of his more shot-happy teammates. Then there is the case of swingman Mario Little. The 6'5" junior college transfer showed grit and scoring potential last year while playing with a stress fracture in his lower left leg. Due to the injury, he played more as a small forward, but Little had successful surgery this offseason and hopes to play more on the perimeter as a senior.

Defense Defense must be emphasized for any team that dreams of making the Final Four. Up until now, this whole article has focused on what Kansas needs to do on offense to reach Indianapolis, but as the old saying goes, “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.” A true national title contender must be stingy when it comes to giving up points.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 71


2009–2010 Kansas BasketBall Consider this: Last season Kansas ranked in the top 40 nationally in points, assists, rebounds, and field-goal percentage per game on offense, but defensively, the Jayhawks were only in the top 40 for opponents’ FG%. Their defense could only limit opponents to 65.4 points per game, which was just fifth in the Big 12. (Fortunately for the Jayhawks, their offense wasn’t too shabby.) And let’s not forget, in their final game of the NCAA Tournament, it was Kansas’s team defense that failed them down the stretch. The Jayhawks simply couldn’t stop Michigan State when they needed to. But much has changed this season. With the arrival of Xavier Henry, his brother C.J., and Elijah Johnson, and the transition of Little to guard, the Jayhawks have grown bigger and more athletic on the perimeter. They no longer have match-up problems against teams with athletic shooting guards that penetrate the lane with a quick first step. Plus, fatigue should certainly not limit the Kansas defense. The Jayhawks return eight players who saw significant playing time last season and added five big-time recruits. There is no lack of talented players on the bench ready to relieve a winded Jayhawk defender. Which brings us back to the importance of depth in

college basketball, and if there is one thing that Kansas has, it is a deep lineup. While most college basketball teams utilize an eight-man rotation, the Jayhawks feature—at least on paper—13 talented players who would start on almost any team in the country. Even if Kansas started the reserves, they would still be able to compete talent-wise with the best teams in the nation. In its most positive light, the sheer amount of skilled players on the Jayhawks bench will allow the team on the floor to exert maximum energy throughout every game without growing fatigued as the season wears on. Kansas’s depth should also allow Coach Self to mix and match his lineup to best stifle opponents. Think about this: if Self wants to go big, he can feature a lineup where the shortest guy on the floor is Xavier Henry at 6'6". If he wants to go for speed he can put five players on the floor who can all handle the rock and he still wouldn’t lose much of an advantage on the boards.

Coaching Coaching is an integral part of a team fulfilling its potential. As great as it is to have so many gifted players on one squad, an excess of talent can lead to team unity issues, as minutes are at a premium. But a good coach is an expert at managing personnel. Few college basketball teams have a coach as gifted as Bill Self; he brings in the talent, cultivates it, and wins championships. If any coach is capable of handling a 13-man rotation it’s… Self himself.

Cohesiveness is the final key to a successful college basketball season. Ultimately, the biggest obstacle standing in Kansas’s path next season is itself. Can 13 talented players form a cohesive squad capable of weathering—both physically and mentally—the wear and tear of a five-month season? Or will individual dreams and disappointments hamstring the team’s overall goal of winning a national championship? After all, a team has to bring its best effort every night without selfdestructing—either through argument, injury, or off-court distractions. Point guard play. Inside presence. Three-point shooting. Depth. Defense. Coaching. Cohesiveness. All seven of these criteria for reaching the Final Four appear to be strengths for Kansas. But, luck also plays a major role. Only the season will tell how fortuitous the Jayhawks will be, but one thing is for sure: Even without a little help from the basketball gods, based on talent alone, Kansas would certainly seem to have a shot at winning it all. MSP

How Bill Self metes out playing time will be huge in 2009–10. 72 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Jacob E. Osterhout is a features reporter for the New York Daily News and a regular contributor to SI.com and CBS College Sports.

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Cohesiveness


KANSAS JAYHAWKS 2008– 2009

season averages NAME

GM

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

TO

A/T

STL

BLK

PF

FG%

FT%

3P%

Sherron Collins

35

35.1

18.9

2.9

5.0

3.3

1.5/1

1.1

0.0

1.9

.434

.795

.376

Cole Aldrich

35

29.6

14.9

11.1

1.0

1.6

1/1.6

0.6

2.7

2.6

.598

.792

-

Tyshawn Taylor

35

26.5

9.7

2.2

3.0

2.4

1.3/1

1.1

0.2

2.3

.506

.724

.364

Marcus Morris

35

18.5

7.4

4.7

1.1

1.6

1/1.5

1.0

0.3

2.5

.495

.604

.400

Brady Morningstar

35

30.4

6.5

3.0

2.6

1.3

2/1

1.2

0.1

1.7

.419

.793

.420

Tyrel Reed

35

20.7

6.5

1.9

1.1

1.0

1/1

0.7

0.0

1.6

.407

.825

.389

Mario Little

23

12.5

4.7

3.2

0.9

0.8

1.1/1

0.5

0.2

1.6

.512

.625

.375

Markieff Morris

35

15.6

4.6

4.4

1.0

1.2

1/1.3

0.4

0.7

2.8

.448

.650

.188

Travis Releford

32

7.0

2.7

1.4

0.2

0.7

1/3.7

0.3

0.0

0.9

.569

.531

.375

Quintrell Thomas

26

5.4

1.5

2.0

0.1

0.5

1/6.5

0.0

0.2

1.0

.440

.680

-

Tyrone Appleton

21

2.2

0.8

0.3

0.3

0.4

1/1.3

0.0

0.0

0.4

.538

.500

-

Conner Teahan

21

3.9

0.7

0.9

0.1

0.2

1/1.3

0.1

0.0

0.5

.182

1.000

.118

Matt Kleinmann

17

2.1

0.4

0.6

0.0

0.1

-

0.0

0.1

0.4

.600

.333

-

Chase Buford

11

1.2

0.4

0.5

0.0

0.1

-

0.0

0.0

0.2

.500

-

-

Brennan Bechard

11

1.5

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.0

-

0.0

0.0

0.4

.000

.500

-

Jordan Juenemann

5

1.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.2

-

0.0

0.0

0.2

.000

-

-

Team Averages

35

-

76.4

39.2

15.9

14.5

1.1/1

6.8

4.4

18.9

.478

.725

.371

2008– 2009

season totals NAME

GM

MIN

FGM

FGA

FTM

FTA

3PM

3PA

PTS

OFF

DEF

TOT

AST

TO

STL

BLK

PF

Sherron Collins

35

1229

226

521

132

166

77

205

661

19

82

101

174

115

39

0

67

Cole Aldrich

35

1037

199

333

122

154

0

0

520

106

281

387

36

56

21

94

90

Tyshawn Taylor

35

928

120

237

76

105

24

66

340

11

65

76

104

83

38

8

81

Marcus Morris

35

646

94

190

64

106

6

15

258

66

100

166

38

57

36

12

88

Brady Morningstar

35

1063

78

186

23

29

50

119

229

29

75

104

92

47

43

5

60

Tyrel Reed

35

724

66

162

47

57

49

126

228

13

52

65

37

36

24

0

55

Markieff Morris

35

547

60

134

39

60

3

16

162

51

104

155

34

43

14

25

98

Mario Little

23

288

42

82

20

32

3

8

107

26

47

73

20

18

11

4

37

Travis Releford

32

225

33

58

17

32

3

8

86

20

25

45

6

22

8

0

29

Quintrell Thomas

26

140

11

25

17

25

0

0

39

18

33

51

2

13

1

4

25

Tyrone Appleton

21

47

7

13

3

6

0

0

17

2

5

7

7

9

1

1

9

Conner Teahan

21

81

4

22

5

5

2

17

15

5

13

18

3

4

3

0

10

Matt Kleinmann

17

36

3

5

1

3

0

0

7

4

7

11

0

2

0

2

6

Chase Buford

11

13

2

4

0

0

0

1

4

2

4

6

0

1

0

0

2

Brennan Bechard

11

16

0

6

1

2

0

4

1

0

1

1

2

0

0

0

4

Jordan Juenemann

5

5

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

Team

35

-

945

1979

567

782

217

585

2674

421

950

1371

555

508

239

155

662


KU Features


Big Shoulders Sherron Collins Eyes a Second National Title by Mike Miller

N

early every college basketball player enters his senior year with a few goals. Maybe it’s to display more confidence on the floor. Maybe it’s to improve his scoring or defense, which would result in more victories. Some will start. Some even entertain thoughts of conference crowns or a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. A lucky few can dream of winning a national title. Sherron Collins is not most seniors. The Kansas guard is one of the nation’s top players. A third-team AP AllAmerican last season, Collins enters his senior season as a player of the year candidate. The 5'11" Chicago native also is cementing his place in the Jayhawk record books. A solid season would place him among the school’s leaders in multiple categories, including scoring, games played, and games won. And he’s the unquestioned leader of a team that figures to be the among the favorites to win the national title in April. The Jayhawks return every single starter and nearly every role player from last season’s Big 12 regularseason champions, whose 27–9 season ended with a loss to eventual national runner-up Michigan State in the Sweet 16. “He’s one heck of a point guard,” said junior center Cole Aldrich, who teams with Collins to form perhaps the nation’s best inside-outside combination. “I wouldn’t trade him for anybody, I know that.” Still, good players are supposed to accrue conference titles and rack up stats. Collins is different. He already has one NCAA title. He wants another. “It pushes me a lot,” he told the Lawrence Journal-World. “To be able to win one was special. If we’re able to win this one and I’m able to have a bigger part in it, it’d be really special.”

and Analysis


KU Features and Analysis be pretty good. I like our team’s makeup. We’ve got length, we’ve got a little bulk, we’ve got size on the wing, and we’ve got depth.” But Collins is the key. Last season, on a roster filled with freshmen and sophomores, the Jayhawks relied on Collins do the bulk of the scoring and playmaking while providing on-court leadership. It was the natural play—and the only one, to start the year— and it worked. Collins doubled his scoring to 18.9 points per game and handed out five assists per contest. “That’s one of the things that comes with the territory of playing at Kansas,” Aldrich said. “We were young, but we were still expected to win the conference and play well in the Refuse to Lose [NCAA] Tournament. And we love having those expectations.” Okay, that’s laying it on a little thick. If this were a movie, Still, when a team relies on one player to do the yeoman’s we’d be hearing uplifting music, we’d see a basketball monwork, it has issues. Kansas struggled when Collins’s shot tage with players hitting jumpers, setting picks, and driving wasn’t falling. By the end of the season, that wasn’t the case past defenders. Probably in slow motion. And, at the end, the because the underclassmen improved. crowd would rush the court and sweep Collins up and carry This season, Collins is still expected to carry the load, him off the court. but it’ll be one of leadership and distribution, not scoring. It could happen. Hoops pundits think it will happen. And that’s a good thing. April’s a long way off, but it’s a good sign that observers point “If I average ten points and we win big, that’s what I to Kansas as one of the teams to watch, and Collins as perhaps want,” he told the Journal-World. the most important player. Self is thinking the same thing. “What it says is we’re definitely in the game,” Self said. “I don’t see him taking as many shots. I see him focusing “Last year, Carolina was the clear-cut favorite. I don’t know if on making other guys better on the court. He won’t need to we’re going to be that. On paper, you’d think we’re going to be the guy who needs to take the shot as much,” he said. “I don’t think defenses can be designed just to slow him down.” Not that he isn’t capable of doing it again. Collins remains one of the game’s toughest players to guard. He’s stronger than other guards his size, quicker than taller guards. And most of all, as Aldrich said, Collins is just downright “stubborn.” Perhaps there is no greater skill to have than that single-minded pursuit of a goal, like getting to the basket. “It’s a great quality for him,” Aldrich said. “His determination is what sets him apart.” Not everyone has that determination. On a roster made up of players from Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Nevada, among others, no one developed their game the same way. Collins uses every bit of his 205 pounds to bull his way Sherron Collins will shoulder the responsibility of being the team’s only four-year senior in the upcoming season. into the lane for a driving lay-up or an

76 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo on previous page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Photo this page: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Another title wouldn’t just be great, it would be transformative. Few NCAA players get that chance. More importantly, no Jayhawk player has ever won two NCAA tournament titles. Not Danny Manning. Not Clyde Lovellette. Heck, Wilt Chamberlain fell short in his only title game appearance. “He’s going to have a huge senior year,” said coach Bill Self. “He has a chance to go down as the winningest player in the history of the school. That takes a lot of effort, and he’s going to have to work at it.” This season, Collins is dreaming big. Bigger than most players can ever dream.


Big Shoulders Self said. “He’s got range, he can put it on the floor, he can hit the pull-up. He’s just one of those natural scoring point guards that you don’t see every day.”

The Maestro

Top photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images  Bottom photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Collins made two huge plays near the end of regulation to help KU secure the 2008 title. easy scoring opportunity for a teammate. “To me, that’s just growing up in Chicago. Growing up on those playgrounds,” Self said. “If he’s playing against bigger guys, he’s not scared in the least. He thinks he can do anything.” Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel might agree. He was on the wrong end last season when Collins was at his most determined. The Sooners (then ranked third overall), were without Player of the Year Blake Griffin, but freshman guard Willie Warren did his best to ensure they wouldn’t lose at home, hitting shot after shot. Collins wasn’t about to let Kansas lose. “I don’t know how many possessions he had, but he and Willie Warren were going at it. He’d come up from 25 and hit it. And we’d get a stop, then he’d come down again and create a basket for someone else,” Aldrich said. “He can dominate a game without even making a basket.” Collins finished with 26 points, hit 5-8 three-pointers, and dished three assists in an 87–78 Kansas victory that played a huge role in winning a fifth straight regular-season conference championship. “When he is in his best condition, when’s he got everything right, he’s as hard to guard as any player in the country,”

Collins and Aldrich announced their intentions last April to bypass the NBA and return to Kansas. Both were touted as first-round picks—Aldrich possibly even a lottery selection— but the chance at history was too great to pass up. “We’ll have a good chance for being in the race for another national championship,” Collins said. “We could go down in history with two.” If another title run is anything like the 2007–08 season, Collins, Aldrich, and their teammates could put on quite a show. The Jayhawks were one of a handful of contenders for the title two years ago. The previous season—a 33–5 campaign in which they won the Big 12 regular-season and conference titles and lost to UCLA in the West Regional final—set up Kansas as one of the most balanced and experienced teams in the country. And Collins was crucial. Despite missing six games due to a stress fracture in his foot (even when he returned, the foot never felt right), Collins was fifth on the Jayhawks in scoring (9.3 ppg) and started three games. He’d often play with Russell Robinson

Once a sparkplug off the KU bench, Collins is now a vocal leader. Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 77


Tournament, according to David Mucci, director of KU Memorial Unions. Everyone hungered for a championship. They have that hunger again. The only question will be: Can they do all the little things that make up a championship season? Because talent isn’t always enough. Even good players can have bad games. “A lot of those things play into having a successful year,” Aldrich said. “We had quite a few close games and we were just able to hunker down. You have a lot of games that you just don’t play well Bill Self thinks his star point guard is becoming a maestro of the hardwood. and you have to squeak and Mario Chalmers in a three-guard lineup, or create more one out. Over the last few years for me and the last three for scoring chances off the bench. Sherron, we’ve learned how to handle those.” In 2007–08, a 37–3 season—with another pair of Big 12 If Kansas is going to be mentally strong enough to win, titles—was capped with the Jayhawks’ first national title in 20 most of that burden rests with Collins. years when they beat Memphis, 75–68, in overtime. Mario But he’s up for it. When he badly wants something, there Chalmers’ dramatic three-pointer at the end of regulation isn’t much that can stop him. And if that’s true, there isn’t drew most of the attention, but any KU fan can tell you much that will prevent him from securing a place among the Collins made an equally crucial play less than two minutes all-time Kansas greats. earlier. When he stole a Memphis in-bounds pass, dished to And no matter what numbers he accumulates—he’s a teammate, and got the ball right back for a back-breaking approaching some big ones, including 2,000 career points three-pointer, it cut Memphis’s lead to 60–56 and swung and possibly 130 wins in four seasons—the title quest is what things Kansas’s way. matters to him. “Coach told us at the timeout to go and get a trap and “Sherron’s a guy who no matter who the player was, no then go for a steal,” Collins said. “They didn’t cover me well matter how big he was, how old he was, how strong or tough enough, so I was able to get the ball. That was it, the momenhe was, or how good he was, Sherron would be the guy chaltum swing after that play. It changed the whole game.” lenging him,” Self said. “He’s an easy guy to motivate because As an added bonus, Collins set up Chalmers for the gameall you gotta do is say he can’t do something. He accepts all tying three, too. It was just one of his six assists that night. those challenges. It’s hard to fully express how huge that season was to the “He’s gotten a little better each year. But there’s another team, the school, and the Kansas fan base. step he can take in that last category to be a maestro, shall we Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, and Darnell say. People are looking to him more than ever and he’s gotta Jackson all play in the NBA. Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun be better than ever.” MSP are also playing professionally. Self signed a monster extension that summer. And fans bought more than $47 million worth of Mike Miller is a 2000 graduate of the University of Kansas. He is the collicensed merchandise, mostly fueled by that title. lege basketball editor at NBCSports.com and blogs about all things college For comparison, roughly $1.5 million in licensed merhoops at Beyondthearc.msnbc.msn.com. His goal is to one day fill out the perfect NCAA Tournament bracket. chandise was sold when the Jayhawks won the 1988 NCAA

78 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo: Gregor y Shamus/Getty Images

KU Features and Analysis


Diagramming KU’s Signature Plays On the court, the action moves quickly. Here’s how they turn Xs and Os into points. by Bruno Chu Editor’s note: If you watch enough Kansas basketball—and we know you do—you’ll hear the occasional Xs and Os talk bandied about in the broadcast booth. Just in case you don’t diagram plays in your spare time, we found someone who does. Here, Bruno Chu deconstructs some of KU’s signature offensive sets.

Kansas Jayhawks Early Offense During the 2008–2009 season, the Kansas Jayhawks made one important adjustment midseason that helped turn around what initially looked like a hangover from their championship season. That adjustment was the emphasis on transition offense. With a speedy guard in Sherron Collins and a mobile big man in Cole Aldrich, the Jayhawks pushed the ball at every opportunity, which helped propel the team to a surprising Sweet 16 appearance in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Before we look at the Jayhawks early offense, we should define a few terms first. In transition, there are three categories of offense. The fast-break is generally referred to as a 2-on-1 or 1-on-0 generated after a steal, turnover, or rebound. The secondary break is similar to the fast break except that generally there are two defenders back, creating a 3-on-2, 4-on-2, or 5-on-2 situation. Early offense generally refers to transition offense off of made baskets, or any sideline or baseline inbounds play, where all five defenders are already in their half court. The advantages of early offense are obvious: Score before the defense gets set. This is especially advantageous against teams that play a zone defense and try to dictate the tempo of the game by forcing the offense to use the entire shot clock. Oftentimes, the best three-point shot opportunities come in early offense, as seen this past year with the many threepointers that Collins was able to hit. There are two key components to the Jayhawks’ early offense. The first key is quick ball reversals. By overloading one side temporarily, then reversing the ball, the offense is

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 79


KU Features and Analysis able to take advantage of the momentary lapse as the defense scrambles side-to-side to regain position. The second key is to get the ball into the post. This is where Cole Aldrich scored many points this past season, in transition or following offensive rebounds within the early offense.

Diagram 1: Early Offense

5 3

A Closer Look

4 2 1 Following a defensive rebound, players streak down the court in a pre-determined pattern of attack.

clears the low post and pops out to the high post. O4 tries to post up his defender, and O1 looks for the post-entry into O4 (Diagram 4). If none of those options work, the players fall back into their base half-court offense, which Bill Self calls “Fist.” The Jayhawks’ early offense this past season really took advantage of the quick three-pointers from Collins and the early inside position of Aldrich on the first ball reversal. By implementing the early offense, the Jayhawks were able to get the ball into Aldrich before any double teams could come and disrupt his move to the basket.

The Kansas early offense takes advantage of speed and superior numbers to put points on the board quickly. 80 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo on previous page: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images  Photo this page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As shown in the diagrams, O2 or O3 rips the ball out of the net and inbounds the ball to O1 to start the offense. The guards O2 and O3 run opposite sidelines, O5 runs from rim to rim, and O4 is the trailing forward and moves to the high post. O1 should pick a side to start the offense in the half court, O5 should move to the opposite block (Diagram 1). Diagram O4 then pops out of the high post to the top of the key to receive the pass from O1. O4 first looks for O5, pinning his defender for the post-entry, if that’s not there, O4 reverses the ball to O2 on the opposite wing. O2 will look for the post-entry into O5 who will look to make a post move to score 1-on-1 against his defender (Diagram 2). In the next iteration, O1 and O4 set a stagger screen for O3 coming over the top, this happens simultaneously with O2 looking to pass to O5. If O2 is unable to make a post-entry to O5, he reverses the ball to O3 coming off the stagger screen. O3 can shoot the three-pointer if he’s initially open. O4 cuts to the mid-post after the screen, O1 pops back out to the wing after the screen (Diagram 3). If O3 does not have the shot, then he completes the ball reversal to O1 and cuts to the opposite corner. O2 comes up to the top of the key to fill and act as the new safety. O5


Diagramming KU’s Signature Plays Diagram 2: Early Offense

5 3 4 2 1 Perimeter players have two options for getting the ball into the post (O5).

Diagram 3: Early Offense

5 3

2 1 4 If O5 isn’t open in the post, screens allow the ball-handlers (O3 & O2) to work around the perimeter.

Diagram 4: Early Offense

5 4

1

2 3

O5 clears the paint for O4 to come into the low block. If this doesn’t work, the half-court offense is initiated.

Ball Screening Offense The heart of every basketball team—its identity—is its halfcourt offense. The evolution of the base half-court offense used by the Kansas Jayhawks parallels the evolution of Bill Self’s own development as a head coach. For the majority of Self’s career at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, and Illinois, he used pure motion and his famous Hi-Low continuity offense. For more

on the Hi-Low offense, see the History and Tradition section of the annual. However, in each of the offensive systems, motion and the high-low, Self felt his players were being unnecessarily restricted. In motion, the worst player on the floor always ended up with the ball and the open shot. Motion would work well with Danny Manning shooting the ball, or Wayne Simien in the post, who didn’t need to dribble for a post move. The Hi-Low continuity offense was good, but Self felt it was too much spot-to-spot—players moved from place to place without really thinking about what the defense was doing. So in thinking of a new offense, the question Self kept asking himself was, “What do you run behind what you run?” In other words, when it’s the end of the game, what do you run? The answer was either a 1-4 flat or a high ball-screen. 1-4 flat is good for the end of quarters or games, but not suitable all game, mainly due to transition defense issues. The ball is the hardest thing to defend, so why not design an offense solely around ball-screens? For the past couple of years, the Jayhawks have been running what Self calls “Fist” which is a ball-screening, motionbased offense with several options out of the base. “Fist” is predicated on the following basic rules: 1. G  uards should fill any one of six spots on the floor: corners, wings, and wing-tops. 2. A  ny time a forward catches the ball and passes it back out to a guard, he chases the ball into a ball screen. 3. O  n any ball screen, the guard should try to drive to the rim (baseline or middle). 4. O  n any baseline drive off a ball screen, the forward steps out for a pick and pop. 5. O  n any middle drive off a ball screen, the forward rolls off and sets a down screen for the strong side corner then slips to the basket. 6. O  n any middle drive off a ball screen, the weak side forward should duck in once the ball crosses the lane. 7. O  n all ball reversals, the weak side forward should duck-in attempting to seal his defender for an easy drop step dunk move. Permutations of these concepts are illustrated on the next page.

Initial Setup Guards should attempt to fill one of six spots on the floor. It’s usually a 3-out 2-in with 2 guards and 1 forward on the strong side, and 1 forward and 1 guard on the weak side. The initial goal is to get the ball into the post (Diagram 5).

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 81


KU Features and Analysis Diagram 5: Ball Screening Offense

popped out. O5 chases the ball into a ball screen (Rule 2), and on every ball reversal the goal is to look for O4 in the post ducking in (Rule 7). The duck in is key, because on the ball reversal, the post defender should be in help position. Therefore, on the reversal, the forward should be able to seal the defender with his backside and get a drop-step dunk (Diagram 8).

5

4

3

2

1 As always, the initial objective is to enter the ball into the post.

Diagram 6: Ball Screening Offense

1

4

5

Once the ball reaches the weak side on the ball reversal, O5 comes to set another ball screen. The screen can be a side screen in this case but O5 can also flatten out. The guard picks a side, baseline, or middle, again trying to get to the rim (Rule 3). If the guard goes baseline, then play like Diagram 3. If the guard goes middle, then O5 rolls into a down screen for O1 in the corner, then slips to the basket (Rule 5). O2 now has these options: pass to O5 slipping to the basket, pass to O4 on the duck in after O2 crosses the lane (Rule 6), or reverse it back out to O3 (Diagram 9).

Ball Reversal, Looking for the Duck in, Redux 3

2

Ball Screen, Down Screen, Slip

Just like the previous ball reversal, O3 should immediately look for O4 on the duck in. Because of the ball reversal, O4’s

Diagram 7: Ball Screening Offense 1

4

If the post players are stymied, the ball is kicked out and the screening begins.

Bigs Always Chase into the Ball Screen

5

If the post cannot make a move, the ball is kicked back out to the perimeter to start the ball-screening action. Rule 2, anytime a post kicks the ball out, the forward must chase the ball into a ball screen (Diagram 6).

2

The screen set by O5 allows O3 to drive, where he can shoot, lob to O4, or kick out.

Driving Baseline The core of the offense is based on the ball screen. O5 sets a flat screen which allows O3 to choose which way to drive, baseline or middle (Rule 3). If the guard comes off the ball screen naked (turning the corner unguarded), then it forces the help-side defender to either help stop the penetration or allow O3 a free lane to the basket. If the help-side defender helps, O4 should look for a lob pass for the dunk. O5 pops out after setting the screen looking for the pick and pop (Rule 4) (Diagram 7).

Ball Reversal, Looking for the Duck in If O3 drives but can’t score, and O4 is no longer open, O3 reverses the ball to the weak side through O5 who has just

82 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

3

Diagram 8: Ball Screening Offense 1

4 3

2

5

As O5 steps out to the perimeter, his job is to chase the ball into a screen while O4 roams the paint.


Diagramming KU’s Signature Plays defender should be caught in help position from the side-toside action. O2 cuts to the opposite corner (Diagram 10).

Bigs Always Chase into the Ball Screen, Redux If O4 is unable to make a post move, the ball is kicked out again and the offense repeats. The offense is not strictly a continuity offense because the ball can be kicked out to any of the guards, and the action is always the same, O4 chases the

Diagram 9: Ball Screening Offense 1

4

3

5 2 O5 sets a screen as the ball reverses, then moves toward the basket again, ready to receive a pass or grab a board.

Bill Self calls his ball-screening, motion-based offensive set “Fist.”

Diagram 10: Ball Screening Offense

5

4

1

3

2 Interior defenders are sealed as the ball reverses again, and O2 cuts to the corner, taking his defender with him.

Diagram 11: Ball Screening Offense

Gapping a 2-3 Zone

2

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

5

ball into a ball screen (Rule 2) and they repeat (Diagram 11). The advantage of the offense is that it combines principles of ball screening, drive and kick, and ball reversal. According to Self, the main objective at all times is to get the ball in the paint. Once the ball gets inside, it opens up the offense to three-point opportunities on the perimeter. The key to making the offense work is that forwards must always chase the ball into the ball screen. This creates separation between the screener and the defender, resulting in a numbers advantage for the offense that forces the screener’s defender to choose who to defend. The offense allows players to react to the defense instead of over thinking the game.

4

3

1 As the offense resets, it’s O4’s job to chase the ball and set a screen.

Another fundamental part of offensive strategy and tactics is playing against zone defenses. Against a talented big man like Aldrich, the 2-3 zone works to limit offensive touches and keep bodies in the paint to contest shots. Some teams will scheme specific plays against a specific zone, or will run a continuity offense to exploit space in the zone. Another strategy is to align the offense to take advantage of the gaps in the zone. Bill Self prefers to use the latter. All zone defenses share two fundamental characteristics: They are ball-oriented, that is to say that they focus on the ball and not the man, and they have gaps between each

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 83


KU Features and Analysis

A Closer Look The initial setup against the 2-3 zone is a 1-3-1 alignment which has the effect of “gapping” the zone. The players remain stationary (hence the play call) and the four players (O1, O2, O3, and O5) play hot potato, moving the ball from side-to-side. The key to the play is to utilize a great passing big man in the middle who can really move the ball. This player forces the two top defenders to stay close to the high post and not allow the zone defense to extend out. According to Self, Julian Wright was great in this role (Diagram 12). Each time the ball is reversed, the wing should try to get below the free throw line. In this way, the low defender of the zone is forced to come up and play the wing and prevent the open three-pointer. When this happens, the middle zone defender has to decide whether to drop down to defend O4 in the short corner, or stay in the middle in case the ball goes back to O5 in the high post (Diagram 13).

Former Jayhawk forward Julian Wright was an excellent zone buster.

Diagram 12: Gapping a 2-3 Zone 4

1. U  se ball reversals, skip passes, and pass fakes to move the defense and morph the zone. 2. G  et players into the zone gaps either through alignment, penetration, or a combination of both. 3. P  lay underneath the zone where the defenders can’t see, gaining better rebounding position. The specific zone offense Self has used the past several years is a system he calls “Stationary.” The offensive scheme is to align his players inside the gaps of the zone and play “hot potato” with the ball. Against a 2-3 zone, the Jayhawks will align in an offensive 1-3-1. If the opponent plays 1-3-1 zone defense, the Jayhawks will align in a box or 2-1-2. The goal of the offense is to move the ball side-to-side very quickly, with the post player moving behind the defense by going from short corner to short corner (short corner referring to the area just outside each low-post block). Finally, against the 2-3 zone, the Jayhawks like to move the wing players up and down below the free throw line extended. According to Self, this way they can force the four exterior zone defenders to defend the three outside players, instead of the defense with the numbers advantage of the top two defenders of the zone defending the three outside players.

84 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

5

2

3

1 In this 1-3-1 alignment, stationary players pass the ball quickly to open gaps in the zone.

Diagram 13: Gapping a 2-3 Zone 4

2

5

3

1 The threat of three-point shots from the wing forces interior defenders to pick their poison in the post.

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

player’s defensive area of responsibility. With that in mind, there are some zone offense concepts which we will outline first before looking at a specific example of the Kansas Jayhawks zone offense:


Diagramming KU’s Signature Plays Diagram 14: Gapping a 2-3 Zone

Kansas Jayhawks Inbounds Play

4 2 3

5

1 Passing lanes open up in the zone and big men shoot or kick out to a wing if the zone collapses.

Diagram 15: Gapping a 2-3 Zone 4

5

3

2

1

An often overlooked aspect of basketball game strategy and tactics is the inbounds play, both side out and baseline. A sign of a well-prepared team is how well they execute their inbounds plays and what percentage of their inbounds plays result in points or turnovers, especially on baseline out of bounds plays. There are two philosophies in designing and running inbounds plays: those designed to get the ball in safely and those designed to score. Bill Self subscribes to the former. The two most common formations used for baseline out of bounds plays are stack and box. The Jayhawks start most of their inbounds plays out of a box formation, meaning the four players form the corners of a box in the frontcourt aligned according to set markers on the floor. The most common alignment for a box is for the four players to occupy each corner of the paint ,which Self calls “2 narrow.” However, the Jayhawks usually prefer to line up wide on the side of the floor where the ball will be inbounded, which Self calls “2 wide.” The last consideration for the inbounds play is how the defense is set up. Not only is the formation important—manto-man, zone, or a match-up zone—but the most important factor to consider is how the defense is set up to defend the inbounder. In a straight man-to-man, the inbounds defender will be right up to the baseline. In a zone, the defender nearest the inbounder will most likely have his back to the baseline watching for cutters into the middle. In a match-up zone, the defender nearest the inbounder will face the baseline but will be “wearing the crown” or standing directly underneath the basket to protect it.

Photo: G. Newman Lowrance/Stringer

As O5 moves toward the basket, O4 takes his place in the middle of the 1-3-1.

If the ball goes into the short corner and the middle zone defender is late, it should be an easy layup for O4. As O4 catches the ball, O5 dives to the opposite low post. If O4 is not able to score, O5 should be open on the basket cut. If O5 is not open, O4 can pass it back out to O2 or skip it out to O1 or O3 on the perimeter (Diagram 14). Since O5 dove, O4 comes up and plays the highpost position. The players O1, O2, O3, and O4 now play hot potato and O5 plays underneath the zone going from short corner to short corner and they repeat this until the team scores (Diagram 15). As mentioned in the section on early offense, one of the best zone busters for the Jayhawks last season was the use of transition to score before the zone defense had a chance to get set. Beyond that, the zone offense outlined above allows the Jayhawks to force the defense to cover three offensive players with four zone defenders.

Getting the ball inbounds safely against pressure is the beginning of an offensive opportunity. Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 85


KU Features and Analysis

A Closer Look

Diagram 18: Inbounds Play

The Jayhawks align in a 2 wide box formation, where O2 is the best shooter on the team, O1 is the point guard, O4 and O5 are screeners, and O3 is the inbounder. This inbounds play works against all defensive schemes, man-to-man, zone, and match-up zone. O4 and O5 set cross screens for O2 and O1, respectively. O2 comes out to the three-point line, and O1 goes high and wide, acting as the safety (Diagram 16). The key to the next sequence is O4. After setting a fake screen or bump on O2’s defender, O4 attempts to seal out whoever is occupying the middle. This works especially well against a zone defense. After O5 screens for O1, he cuts straight down the lane looking for a quick pass from O3 for the layup. If O5 is not open, O3 can hit O2 for the three-pointer or O1 as the safety (Diagram 17). If the ball is inbounded to either O2 or O1, the inbounder immediately cuts to the top of the key opposite of the ball. The ball is reversed until it reaches back into O3 (Diagram 18). From here, the Jayhawks like to run a lob play. O5 will clear the low post and come up to the high post begging for

3 2

5

4

1 If a guard receives the inbounds pass, the inbounder cuts to the top of the key looking for the ball.

Diagram 19: Inbounds Play 2 5

4

Diagram 16: Inbounds Play 3 1 4

3

2 O5 clears the lane and O4 screens the perimeter defender as O2 goes backdoor for the lob.

5

1

In inbounds formation, bigs set screens for the guards, who start inside the perimeter.

Diagram 17: Inbounds Play 3 2

4

the ball. O4 goes to set a back screen for O2 who uses the screen and looks for the lob from O3 (Diagram 19). If the lob is not there, then the Jayhawks fall back into their base half court offense, the Fist. In this one simple inbounds play the Jayhawks have at least three main options. A forward or center like Cole Aldrich cutting down the lane, a three-pointer for a shooter in the corner, or a lob pass. Additionally, the play works against both man-to-man and zone defenses, which allows the players to remember just the one play with slight variations depending on how the defense is aligned. These four offensive sets are used frequently by Bill Self’s Jayhawk teams. See if you can spot them during live action this season. MSP

5 1 O5 moves toward the inbounder, who can pass to him or to the two-guard as O4 seals.

86 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Bruno Chu lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where he is studying Education at Simon Fraser University. Bruno has coached several teams around the Vancouver area and is a freelance writer whose work has been featured in the Sports Illustrated Tourney Blog. Read more of his coaching insights at http://coachingbetterbball.blogspot.com.


An Embarrassment of Riches The 2009–10 Lineup by the Numbers by Dan Hanner

I

n 2009, Bill Self was able to turn a young Jayhawks team into a defensive juggernaut. This should come as no surprise to Kansas fans. Since taking over as Kansas head coach in 2003, Self’s teams have been in the top 20 in defensive efficiency every year. But for the Jayhawks to fight for a national title again in 2010, the offense needs to take a leap forward. The last six college basketball national champions were all in the top five in offensive efficiency and Kansas ranked only 26th in 2009. Offensive and defensive efficiency stats measure points per possession. Unlike points per game, efficiency removes the impact of pace of play to provide a more direct measure of offensive and defensive quality. These numbers are then adjusted based on the quality of the opponent. (All figures are from kenpom.com.)

Offensive vs. Defensive Efficiency Team

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Rank

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Rank 16

UNC 2009

1

Kansas 2008

2

1

Florida 2007

1

12

Florida 2006

2

5

UNC 2005

1

5

UConn 2004

4

5

Kansas 2009

26

7

Third Scorer? Most Jayhawk fans believe the key to improving the offense is to develop a consistent third scorer to complement Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins. But it is certainly possible for a championship-caliber offense to rely heavily on two players.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 87


KU Features and Analysis

Dynamic Duos in 2008-2009 Offensive Rank

Team

Top Scorers

% of Team Scoring

1

UNC

T. Hansbrough, W. Ellington

38

2

Pittsburgh

S. Young, D. Blair

44

3

UCLA

D. Collison, J. Shipp

37

4

AZ State

J. Pendergraph, J. Harden

50

5

Gonzaga

J. Heytvelt, M. Bouldin

36

6

Oklahoma

B. Griffin, W. Warren

47

7

Arizona

C. Budinger, J. Hill

49

8

Missouri

D. Carroll, L. Lyons

38

9

Marquette

J. McNeal, W. Matthews

49

10

Duke

G. Henderson, K. Singler

43

26

Kansas

S. Collins, C. Aldrich

44

While two stars can clearly carry a winning team, asking Collins and Aldrich to make a big leap in production and efficiency for a second straight year may not be realistic. 2009 was an incredible year of development for the two Kansas stars. Collins more than doubled his points per game from his sophomore to his junior year. This was largely an artifact of more minutes and more shots, but should still be viewed as a substantial leap forward because Collins did not see a significant drop in offensive efficiency despite his larger role in the offense. (Collins’s shooting percentage fell slightly, but his assist rate increased.) Similarly, Aldrich went from a garbage-time scorer in ’08, to making 60% of his field goal attempts and dominating in the paint last season. That shooting percentage, combined with a relatively low turnover rate, made him one of the most efficient post players in the country. By Ken Pomeroy’s measure of individual offensive efficiency, the only big men in major conferences to be more effective were Tyler Hansbrough (UNC), DeJuan Blair (Pitt), and Jeff Pendergraph (Arizona State), all three have since moved on to the NBA. It seems unlikely that both can take giant strides forward again. Collins often faces the opponent’s best perimeter defender, and too often in 2009 he had to take the tough shot when the offense stalled. Most likely Collins will only make a major leap in efficiency if he can be more judicious in his shot selection in 2010, while Cole Aldrich probably could take more shots and continue to be an efficient scorer. But with teams game planning around denying Aldrich the ball, it could be hard to get him more shots without incurring more turnovers as a team. While you should never count out the possibility that Collins and Aldrich take another step and

88 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

improve from stars to superstars, for Kansas to become an elite offense in 2010, a third scoring option does seem critical.

Does Kansas Need Xavier Henry? The quickest way to achieve a more efficient offense is to add talented players. Adding Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur brought Kansas’s offensive efficiency ranking from 38th to 17th in 2007. And any time you recruit at the elite level like Kansas, there’s a strong possibility that one of the freshmen will score efficiently, take a starting job, and never look back. Many people view Xavier Henry as that type of player, but whether he shows up on campus and fulfills his commitment or not, Kansas has no shortage of talented players who could become breakout stars. Freshmen Elijah Johnson and Thomas Robinson have the potential to be efficient scorers, and 6'10" Arizona transfer Jeff Withey could join the team at midseason and turn a lot of heads. Remember, even if these players are not stars immediately they can still make a

Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor should start in the KU backcourt.

Photo on previous page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Photo this page: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Looking at the percentage of points scored by the top two scorers on last season’s most efficient offenses, Kansas did not have the balanced scoring of North Carolina or UCLA, but the Jayhawks were no more dependent on their stars than many other elite teams.


Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

An Embarrassment of Riches since then-freshmen Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, and Julian Wright contributed to the team’s 22.2% rate in 2006. It is easy to blame the turnovers on freshman inconsistency, and many people expect Kansas to be better in 2010. But the mandate for the returning sophomore class seems clear: If individuals can make better decisions, the offense can reach an elite level, but if individuals fail to take care of the ball again, those players will play less. With so much young talent, Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed are also in the unusual position of having to defend their minutes as they become upperclassmen. Both saw subIf you’re looking for guaranteed starters, you can’t go wrong with the law stantial minutes last season, and since their high firm of Collins, Aldrich, and Taylor. efficiency rates are the product of careful shot selection, neither player is projected to improve difference. Cole Aldrich waited until the NCAA tournament substantially. Unless Morningstar and Reed are late bloomers to have a breakout performance in 2008, proving that talent like Darnell Jackson in 2008, the boost in offensive efficiency on the bench—even inexperienced talent—is critical when will probably come from one of the younger players. trying to win a national title. The sophomore class may also produce a breakout star. The Unknown Lineup But while Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, Tyshawn Taylor, One might assume that with every key player returning, the and Travis Releford had their productive moments, each also lineup will stay the same in 2009–2010, but Bill Self has shown had significant problems with turnovers in 2009. Although no hesitation to start freshJayhawks 2009-2010 Projected touches are not an official stat, all four are estimated to have men when appropriate. Starting Lineup turned the ball over in more than 20% of their possessions in Elite recruit Xavier Player Height Class 2009. When compared to the highly-efficient Cole Aldrich, Henry will likely start. Cole Aldrich 6'11" Junior Marcus Morris 6'8" Sophomore it is clear that they have some work to do to improve their Aldrich and Collins return Xavier Henry 6'6" Freshman effective FG% and turnover rates. and are obviously the heart Tyshawn Taylor 6'3" Sophomore The statistic eFG% is of the team. Because post Sophomore Class vs. Aldrich Sherron Collins 5'11" Senior the same as FG% except players often take time Player eFG% Turnover Rate that it weights made to develop, Marcus Morris will probably remain a starter in Tyshawn Taylor 55.7% 25.6% Marcus Morris 51.1% 21.7% three-point shots as 1.5 2009–10, but how much playing time he receives will depend Markieff Morris 45.9% 23.2% (vs. 1 for two-pointers). on the quality of his play. Based on his high assist rate and Travis Releford 59.5% 26.6% So, in the shooting perability to drive and either make two-point shots or draw Cole Aldrich 59.8% 14.3% centage stat, while a made the foul, I project Tyshawn Taylor as the fifth starter. Brady two-pointer counts for one attempt and one make, a threeMorningstar should be the first player off the bench. pointer counts for one attempt and 1.5 makes. Turnover rate Bill Self knows that in order for his offense to reach a approximates the number of possessions used by the player championship level, he is going to need some of the younger and divides the number of turnovers by the number of possesplayers to step up. The majority of the early season will be sions. Figures are again from kenpom.com. dedicated to evaluating the newcomers and giving the sophoKansas as a team turned the ball over on 21.5% of its more class time to show how they improved in the offseason. possessions in 2009. Bill Self’s teams are always going to have And through fewer turnovers or a new breakout star, Kansas a slightly higher turnover rate than the average team because figures to have an elite offense again in 2009–10. MSP the high-low offense emphasizes getting the ball into the post instead of settling for jump shots. But Kansas cannot put After spending over a decade claiming that conference tournaments are as an elite offense on the floor if the team continues to be so fun as the NCAAs, Dan Hanner has been writing about college basketball at turnover-prone. Yet Another Basketball Blog since 2007. An Illinois grad, he knows whereof he speaks when it comes to Bill Self. Last season saw the worst turnover percentage for Kansas

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 89


Jayhawks in the Pros L

ike any elite basketball program, the University of Kansas prides itself on the athletes who have gone into the professional ranks after playing at KU. The players listed on this page all played at the top level of the sport, and some went on to become NBA champions, MVPs, and have extended pro careers that spanned two decades.

Jayhawks Picked in the NBA’s First Round Player Name Clyde Lovellette Wilt Chamberlain Wayne Hightower Walt Wesley Jo Jo White Bud Stallworth Norm Cook Darnell Valentine Danny Manning Mark Randall Rex Walters Greg Ostertag Scot Pollard Jacque Vaughn Raef LaFrentz Paul Pierce Drew Gooden Nick Collison Kirk Hinrich Wayne Simien Julian Wright Brandon Rush Darrell Arthur

Year Chosen 1952 1958 1961 1966 1969 1972 1976 1981 1988 1991 1993 1995 1997 1997 1998 1998 2002 2003 2003 2005 2007 2008 2008

NBA Champions from KU Name Clyde Lovellette Clyde Lovellette Maurice King Wilt Chamberlain Wilt Chamberlain Jo Jo White Bill Bridges Wayne Simien Jacque Vaughn Paul Pierce Scot Pollard

Years at KU

NBA Team

Title Season(s)

1950-52 1950-52 1955-57 1957-58 1957-58 1966-69 1959-61 2002-05 1994-97 1996-98 1994-97

Minneapolis Lakers Boston Celtics Boston Celtics Philadelphia 76ers L.A. Lakers Boston Celtics Golden State Warriors Miami Heat San Antonio Spurs Boston Celtics Boston Celtics

1954 1963, 1964 1960 1967 1972 1974, 1976 1975 2006 2007 2008 2008

KU Players Named NBA Finals MVP

Wilt Chamberlain Jo Jo White Paul Pierce

1972 1976 2008

All-Time Selections Player (Round)

Year

Player (Round)

1948

Otto Schnellbacher (Basketball Association of America) Clyde Lovellette (1) Dean Kelley (8), Gil Reich (11) B.H. Born (3), Alan Kelley (7) Maurice King (6) Wilt Chamberlain (1) Ron Loneski (10) Wayne Hightower (1), Bill Bridges (3) Nolen Ellison (4) Walt Wesley (1), Al Lopes (13) Ron Franz (10) Roger Bohnenstiel (9) Jo Jo White (1), Dave Nash (4), Bruce Sloan (11) Roger Brown (3), Dave Robisch (5), Pierre Russell (13) Bud Stallworth (1)

1974 1975

Ken Koenigs (5) Rick Suttle (7), Roger Morningstar (8) Norm Cook (1) Herb Nobles (6) John Douglas (6) Paul Mokeski (2), Randolph Carroll (10) Darnell Valentine (1), Art Housey (3), John Crawford (7) Tony Guy (2), David Magley (2) Carl Henry (4), Brian Martin (9) Greg Drieling (2), Ron Kellogg (2), Calvin Thompson (4) Danny Manning (1), Archie Marshall (3) Kevin Pritchard (2) Mark Randall (1) Rex Walters (1), Adonis Jordan (2)

1952 1953 1954 1957 1958 1959 1961 1963 1966 1967 1968 1969 1971 1972

1976 1977 1978 1979 1981 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1991 1993

Year 1994 1995 1997 1998 1999 2001 2002 2003 2005 2007 2008

Player (Round) Darrin Hancock (2) Greg Ostertag (1) Scot Pollard (1), Jacque Vaughn (1) Raef LaFrentz (1), Paul Pierce (1) Ryan Robertson (2) Eric Chenowith (2) Drew Gooden (1) Nick Collison (1), Kirk Hinrich (1) Wayne Simien (1) Julian Wright (1) Brandon Rush (1), Darrell Arthur (1), Mario Chalmers (2), Darnell Jackson (2), Sasha Kaun (2)

Photos: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Year


The Best of the Rest How Kansas Compares to Some Other Contenders for NCAA Tournament Glory by Jacob E. Osterhout

F

or diehard college basketball fans, understanding the makeup of their favorite teams is of the utmost importance. Similarly significant, however, is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the competition. The Jayhawks have a very good shot at making the Final Four in 2010. But which teams will be there with them? Just as Kansas fans are convinced that their team has what it takes to win a national championship, fans of many other teams around the country harbor the same hopes. Let’s evaluate a few of these possible contenders and see how they stack up to the Jayhawks keeping in mind the seven criteria laid out in the article “Seven Keys to Reaching the Final Four”: point guard play; inside presence; three-point shooting; depth; defense; coaching; and cohesiveness.

Kentucky 2008–2009 Record: 22–14 (SEC: 8–8) Other than Kansas, no school added as much talent to its roster this offseason as Kentucky did. To the glee of Wildcat partisans, Kentucky prematurely ended the Billy Gillispie experiment, luring John Calipari to Lexington. With Coach Cal came a flood of skilled recruits, headlined by point guard John Wall, supposedly the best athlete in his recruiting class. If the 6'4" guard is a quarter of what he is cracked up to be, then Kentucky should have no problem at the point. But having a freshman as a team’s floor general, even a highly touted freshman, rarely leads to a national title. (The most recent example being Derrick Rose’s inability to lead his team past a more experienced Kansas squad in the 2008 final.) Wall won’t be the lone talented freshman on the perimeter either. Eric Bledsoe, another point guard with massive

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 91


KU Features and Analysis stalwart Danny Green, sharpshooter Wayne Ellington, and the incomparable Tyler Hansbrough. But former KU coach Roy Williams has done his usual masterful job of restocking the team with proven talent and massive potential. The biggest question mark entering the season is at the point guard position. As great as the Tar Heels were last season, their offense depended more on Ty Lawson than any other player on the team. With Lawson now in the NBA, sophomore Larry Drew II will be called upon to run the show. That is a heavy responsibility for a sophomore who sat out the last two months of the 2008–09 season after being mysteriously suspended by coach Williams. As usual, UNC will be strong in the post in 2009–10. After years of playing in the shadow of Hansbrough, senior big man Deon Thompson has finally earned his role as team leader. A scorer by nature, Thompson should have no problem improving upon the 10.6 points per game he scored last season. Joining him inside is a talented group of lanky sophomores. Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller showed flashes of brilliance last season playing an important supporting role in the Tar Heels’ title run. This year they’ll be called on in the clutch more often, and should have the experience and confidence to carry a team without a proven on-court leader. Then there is the arrival of brothers David and Travis Wear. At 6'10" the twins have the ability to be the next great twin towers of college basketball. (Think about the Lopez brothers at Stanford.) The Wears already have the post moves to make an instant impact and the agility to take their defenders off the dribble. Even more importantly, they will be going up against Davis, Zeller, and Thompson in practice, which should provide a steep learning curve.

North Carolina 2008–2009 Record: 34–4 (ACC: 13–3) Few programs can lose four of their five starters during the offseason and still be considered a national title contender, but North Carolina has replaced old talent with new talent and has a good shot of repeating as national champions. Gone are point guard Ty Lawson, defensive

92 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

North Carolina’s Deon Thompson will get his chance to step out of Tyler Hansbrough’s shadow this season.

Photo on previous page: Andy Lyons/Getty Images  Photo this page: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

expectations, will share time with Wall and provide a healthy competition that should push both players. With the ball in Wall’s and Bledsoe’s hands, the Wildcats will have the ability to penetrate on any defense in the country. Which is why Kentucky’s success might depend on its ability to hit the open shot. Enter another freshman, Jon Hood, a 6'6" shooting guard who was Kentucky’s “Mr. Basketball” last season. Hood will have the opportunity to make an immediate impact from the perimeter if his shots fall. But if his shots aren’t falling, Kentucky won’t have a whole lot of other shooters to bring off the bench. There is the possibility that 6'7" swingman Darnell Dodson, a JuCo star last season, will regain the form that once made him a prized recruit at Pittsburgh. Really, the only bad news for Kentucky fans this offseason was Jodie Meeks’s decision to be a second-round pick in the NBA Draft rather than return to college for a glorious senior season. Meeks’s ability to shoot from downtown would have taken the pressure off of Hood. What the Wildcats lack in experience on the perimeter, they make up for in the paint. Patrick Patterson resisted the lure of the NBA and his return to Lexington gives Kentucky a solid, if not dominant, inside presence. Perry Stevenson, Ramon Harris, and Darius Miller should all improve on last year’s middling numbers. Add in star-studded recruits DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton and Kentucky has the ability and depth to bang with any team in the country. Ultimately, the biggest challenge for the Wildcats might be mental. Can a team that failed to make the NCAA Tournament last season suddenly have a shot at winning the whole thing? Can Coach Calipari finally break through his glass ceiling and capture a national championship? One thing is for sure, there have been enough off-season changes to make Kentucky fans forget about last season. Kansas vs. Kentucky: In terms of incoming talent, Kansas and Kentucky are in a league of their own. The similarities don’t stop there: Both teams will be well-coached, deep in the paint, and able to penetrate at will. If either has a perceived weakness, it would be their ability to drain threes, but this is less of a fault and more of an unknown.


The Best of the Rest As if the Tar Heels didn’t have enough talent inside, Roy Williams also brought in the top power forward prospect in the country, 6'10" John Henson, who has the wingspan of a pterodactyl and the footwork of a ballet dancer. Henson will have to add some muscle to his skinny frame if he wants to make an immediate impact, but his court vision and passing abilities more than make up for his lack of bulk. While Marcus Ginyard’s injury might have cost him last season, the fact that the shooting guard redshirted is a huge benefit to UNC’s relatively inexperienced squad. Ginyard will be the Tar Heels’ shutdown defender on the perimeter, covering opposing teams’ best penetrator. But Ginyard’s most valuable contribution might be his steady and calming influence. After all, the rest of North Carolina’s guards have very little experience. If Drew can’t perform adequately, highly-touted recruit Dexter Strickland will have to put his scoring tendencies aside and become more of a distributor. Strickland will be joined on the perimeter by the lithe freshmen Leslie McDonald, whose long frame could make him a dangerous defender. What North Carolina failed to replace this offseason is the three-point shooting of Ellington, which was nicely complemented by Green’s and Lawson’s own occasional brilliance behind the arc. The freshman guards will have to quickly find their range if the Tar Heels are going to legitimately threaten opponents, both in the paint and from downtown. Kansas vs. UNC: North Carolina is as strong, if not stronger, in the paint than any team in the country. Roy Williams will have his choice of six big men, which even Kansas cannot compete with. But the Tar Heels are as shaky on the perimeter as they are deep inside. They lack a proven point guard and an accurate three-point threat, which will hurt their chances of a deep NCAA Tournament run if their freshmen phenoms don’t develop as planned.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Michigan State 2008–2009 Record: 31–7 (Big Ten: 15–3) Michigan State surprised a lot of college basketball fans last season, rolling through the NCAA Tournament all the way to the finals, where they were crushed by North Carolina. But this season, the Spartans won’t be surprising many people. Coach Tom Izzo lost seniors Goran Suton and Travis Walton, both steady presences on last season’s team, but all of his other underclassmen stuck around, which gives Michigan State a deep and experienced squad that has “the best starting five in college hoops,” according to Luke Winn at Sports Illustrated. As Kansas fans intimately understand from the Jayhawks’ 67–62 loss to the Spartans in last season’s Sweet 16 (and the 75–62 January blowout in East Lansing), 2009 Big Ten Player

Michigan State had KU’s number in 2008–09. of the Year Kalin Lucas is an incredibly dangerous point guard, capable of scoring at will on even the most tenacious of defenders (just ask Sherron Collins, who shut down Lucas for all but the final minute of last season’s tournament loss). Joining Lucas on the perimeter will be Chris Allen and Durrell Summers. Neither will be able to replace Walton’s defensive presence on the wing, but offensively few teams will have the right pieces to stop this dynamic trio. Allen is lights out from downtown. Summers can penetrate the lane and finish even after contact. Plus, the Spartans can boast a backup point guard who would start on almost any other team in the country. Korie Lucious showed flashes of brilliance towards the end of last season and memorably helped MSU pull off a tough victory over Connecticut in the Final Four. The Spartans are just as strong on the blocks, with scorer Raymar Morgan and rebounding machine Delvon Roe down low. Sophomore Draymond Green should continue to improve as well, and will provide necessary depth inside. If there is one thing coach Izzo is missing, it’s a shot-blocking center. Seven-foot junior Tom Herzog could fill this need, but he’ll have to bulk up and improve his footwork if he wants to see playing time. Even with all the returning talent, Coach Izzo still managed to bolster his team with highly-prized recruit Derrick

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 93


KU Features and Analysis Nix, Michigan’s Mr. Basketball. At 6'9" and a robust 285 pounds, Nix should be able to contribute immediately, at least physically, to Michigan State’s quest to return to the championship game. Kansas vs. Michigan State: Neither team lost much talent from last season, yet it seems that Kansas added many more recruits, which could be good or bad. Izzo will not have to manage such a large rotation, but he’ll be limited inside without a true center and one injury could severely hamper his team’s frontcourt scoring capabilities. There would be very little more exciting than a postseason rematch of the Michigan State-Kansas game from last year’s Sweet 16. And, let’s not forget that North Carolina won a national championship last season after getting embarrassed in the finals the year before. Michigan State can easily mimic that fate.

More Final Four Potential Texas

Purdue 2008–2009 Record: 27–10 (Big Ten: 11–7) The Boilermakers return seven of their eight top scorers and all five starters, but they haven’t been to the Final Four since 1980 and one has to wonder if coach Matt Painter can instill the level of confidence his team needs to make a late season run. E’Twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel, and JaJuan Johnson should anchor this well-rounded team, but Purdue lacks a true three-point threat and a true center, which will make it difficult to keep pace with Kansas.

Connecticut 2008–2009 Record: 31–5 (Big East: 15–3) As impressive as point guard Kemba Walker was as a freshman, one can only wonder how good he’ll be as a sophomore. Walker will be joined in the Huskies backcourt by Jerome Dyson, a shooting guard who proved his scoring abilities last season before suffering a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. Stanley Robinson should take care of the frontcourt scoring, but with the departure of center Hasheem Thabeet

94 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Kemba Walker went into high gear in the 2009 postseason, but can he lead UConn back to the same heights as a sophomore? he’ll need help on the boards. Seven-footers Charles Okwandu and Jonathan Mandeldove should provide some depth inside, as should incoming recruit Alex Oriakhi, assuming he receives clearance from the NCAA. While Connecticut certainly has the potential to reach the Final Four, the Huskies lack the inside presence to truly take on teams like Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Michigan State.

Villanova 2008–2009 Record: 30–8 (Big East 13–5) Under coach Jay Wright, Villanova will never have any trouble defensively, but the Wildcats must find a way to replace power forward Dante Cunningham, along with Shane Clark and Dwayne Anderson. Scottie Reynolds is back, which gives Villanova a premier point guard, and the Wildcats have a star-studded recruiting class highlighted by Dominic Cheek, a 6'6" swingman with the ability to score in droves. With their defensive intensity and stellar guard play, Villanova should be able to hang with any team in the country, including Kansas, but their lack of depth and size in the frontcourt will ultimately do the Wildcats in. MSP Jacob E. Osterhout is a features reporter for the New York Daily News and a regular contributor to SI.com and CBS College Sports.

Photo: Gregor y Shamus/Getty Images

2008–2009 Record: 23–12 (Big 12: 9–7) The Longhorns return four of their five starters from last season’s team, but they lost their premier shooter, A.J. Abrams, which will allow opposing teams to concentrate more on stopping penetration and could stifle Texas’s offensive output. Last season, Rick Barnes’s squad also struggled without the leadership of a true point guard, but Florida transfer Jai Lucas should solve that issue this year. Still, even with a strong inside presence and an athletic lineup, the Longhorns won’t have the depth or range to hang with the Jayhawks.


Renaissance Manning Danny Manning has a bright future on the bench… if he wants it. by Ken Davis

W

hen assistant coach Danny Manning starts scribbling in that folder he brings along with him to every Kansas basketball game, center Cole Aldrich rarely knows the precise nature of the note being recorded. Aldrich does know it won’t take long for him to find out. Word could come during the next timeout. Or Manning might wait until the next practice. One way or another, Aldrich is going to receive another lesson. “He writes all sorts of stuff in his little folder,” Aldrich said. “He might write down I missed a rebound, or somebody got blocked out. You’ll find out about it, probably in practice the next day. But we will be working on something that he wrote down.” Aldrich isn’t complaining. He realizes one of the benefits of playing a frontcourt position at Kansas these days is the opportunity to be coached by the former All-American and

top pick in the NBA Draft, an assistant who just happens to be the all-time scoring and rebounding leader at the same school. In the quest to explain how Aldrich became the most improved player in the nation last season, anyone would be well advised to include the private instructions of Manning. “When I was a freshman, I was a McDonald’s AllAmerican and I had some accolades and what not, but it’s a tough transition [to college],” Aldrich said. “I really didn’t understand that. I think with Coach Manning on our staff, it really helped me to improve my game a lot, but also, with him at practice and off the court, to understand it more. “I couldn’t walk and chew gum when I first got on campus. Now I’m doing both.” Danny Manning has a new mission. Once recognized as the top college basketball player in the nation as he led the Jayhawks to the 1988 NCAA national championship,

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Before he officially became an assistant to Bill Self, Danny Manning mentored post players like Julian Wright. Manning now works with KU’s big men and is turning heads with the results he has achieved with players such as Darrell Arthur, Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson, and Aldrich. NBA executives, looking ahead to the 2010 draft, are already commenting on Aldrich’s sound fundamentals. If he leaves Kansas after his junior season as expected, Aldrich might be one of the first three players drafted. “I always thought he’d be an excellent teacher,” Kansas coach Bill Self said of Manning, a two-time NBA All-Star. “But he hadn’t had a chance to do what he’s enjoying so much, and that’s helping guys get better. I think Danny has been unbelievable with our guys. And I think Cole’s been the biggest recipient because he’s had the most time with him.” Self first approached the Kansas legend about joining his staff when he heard Manning planed to retire from the NBA after the 2002–03 season. The job description of a full-time assistant didn’t appeal to Manning because his initial goal was to spend more time with his wife and two children. So Self created an administrative position and hired Manning as director of student-athlete development. Manning was promoted to assistant coach in March 2007, after Tim Jankovich left the Jayhawks to become head coach at Illinois State. Now he prepares game plans and recruits. In two seasons, including the national championship of 2008, Manning has demonstrated the ability to handle every aspect of the assistant coaching position.

96 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Fran Fraschilla, the former college coach turned broadcast analyst for ESPN, calls the opportunity to come back to Lawrence and join Self’s staff “a great fit” for Manning. “He’s young enough that most of the players still know of his exploits, but he’s old enough to have the wisdom of experience that he can pass on to a lot of these young players,” Fraschilla said. “Now that I’ve been around him, I don’t look at him as Danny Manning, arguably one of the 50 greatest players in college basketball history, I look at him as a guy that has a great coaching future. “He’s a guy who is a grinder, who’s in the office long hours, putting time in. There are very few people who have had that much success in basketball as a player who would be willing to make that career move. But Danny has done it flawlessly.” Fraschilla also points out that Manning has done it with “a quiet gracefulness and humbleness” that he calls refreshing. But that’s really just true to form for Manning, a private person who has never sought the spotlight. Manning, 43, has never been comfortable with the assertions that he “single-handedly” led Kansas to the 1988 national championship. Now, as a coach, he’d rather see credit go to the players, even though it is obvious he has been a part of the Jayhawks’ recent success. It isn’t unusual for him

Knee injuries curtailed Manning’s NBA career, but learning how to play through them may have made him a better coach.

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KU Features and Analysis


Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Renaissance Manning to turn down interview requests, as he did for this article. But after winning NCAA titles as a player and a coach, he holds a special place in the hearts of Kansas fans. “I felt blessed before we won the [2008] championship,” Manning said in an interview for The University of Kansas Basketball Vault, The History of the Jayhawks. “I felt blessed before we won it in 1988. The bigger picture is life. I’m very fortunate to have a job at a place that means a lot to me and so many other people.” Manning, who was inducted into the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, MO in November 2008, has a unique perspective on his new career. “I’m very happy to [be coaching],” he said. “I enjoy sharing and mentoring. A lot of people say coaching is teaching. But to me it’s all about sharing your experiences. It’s been a lot of fun, from the standpoint of developing my individual coaching style. For me, it’s a little different because it’s the school I attended. There’s a lot of pride that engulfs you again because you reflect back on your playing days at that university.” Manning’s ability to mentor really started to show through during the 2007–08 season as Kaun and Jackson improved dramatically and KU’s four-man frontcourt rotation struck a balance with a deep and talented backcourt. “The things he showed me, the things he told, they all worked,” said Jackson, who averaged 11.2 points, led the team with a 6.7 rebounding average, and became a second-round NBA pick. “It was like he was putting his identity into all of us.” Despite the knee injuries that essentially derailed his NBA career, Manning can still get on the floor and show the Kansas players the footwork and technique of a champion. Aldrich jokes that none of the current big men want to guard Manning in a half-court practice situation. Manning can make each and every one of them look silly. “With Coach Manning, you just want to pick his brain apart because he knows so much,” Aldrich said. “Every time I go on the court I get excited because I usually learn something new every day.” Aldrich, Fraschilla, and Self all agree that those knee injuries actually made the transition from player to coach easier for Manning. “This guy learned all the shortcuts,” Self said. “This guy learned how important technique was. I think he’s a much better passer-down of knowledge because he’s gone through some tough times himself. So many great players, they say, have a hard time teaching because they can’t teach it the way they did it because other people aren’t gifted enough to do it that way.” In addition to his tremendous mind for the game, Manning brings an air of calmness to the bench that the players appreciate and respect. Some wonder if his personality, and his reluctance with the media, might work against him if he

After leading KU to the 1988 title, Manning became the #1 overall draft pick of the Clippers. wants to become a head coach, or an NBA coach, one day. But none of that is on Manning’s agenda right now. He’s at home in Lawrence, his daughter just started college in Florida, his son is still in high school, and Manning seems content with his role. “I don’t know what the ultimate goal is,” Manning said during a 2008 interview. “Is this my last stop in my coaching career or my basketball profession? Absolutely not. I just don’t know [what’s ahead].” Self thinks that is still Manning’s position as the Jayhawks head into another season. The bottom line is that Manning is in the infancy of his coaching career. And he is making the most of a great situation. “He will be a star, if he wants to be a star, in coaching,” Fraschilla said. “If he wants to just be an assistant coach at Kansas the next ten years, I have no doubt he’ll do that flawlessly. But he if he eventually decides that there are other things in his coaching career he wants, he’s definitely capable of accomplishing those things.” MSP

Ken Davis is the author of The University of Kansas Basketball Vault, The History of the Jayhawks, published by Whitman Publishing in December 2008. Davis, a freelance writer based in Connecticut, is the college basketball expert for NBCSports.com and writes the national college basketball column for AthlonSports.com.

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MANNING’S PERFORMANCE If there weren’t so many other worthy contenders for the title, it would be tempting to call Danny Manning “Mr. Jayhawk Basketball.” He is the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, an honor that places him among the top ten scorers in NCAA histor y. He was a first-team All-America choice in 1987 and 1988, and the consensus Player of the Year in ’88 as well. Manning led Kansas to victor y over Oklahoma for the 1988 national title, and was the #1 overall NBA draft pick that year, going to the Los Angeles Clippers. Persistent knee injuries limited his effectiveness in the pros, but he was still chosen as an All-Star in 1993 and 1994. He played for seven different franchises in a 15-year NBA career. After retiring from playing in 2003, Manning returned to the Kansas basketball program as director of studentathlete development and was named an official assistant coach in 2007. His work with the Kansas big men contributed greatly to the team’s 2008 championship run.

Danny Manning Season-by-Season at Kansas Season

G

GS

Avg Min

Pts

Avg Pts

Reb

Avg Rebs

Ast

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

84-85

34

33

32.9

496

14.6

258

7.6

108

209

369

56.6

78

102

76.5

85-86

39

39

32.2

653

16.7

245

6.3

93

279

465

60.0

95

127

74.8

86-87

36

36

34.7

860

23.9

342

9.5

64

347

562

61.7

165

226

73.0

87-88

38

38

35.2

942

24.8

342

9.0

77

381

653

58.3

171

233

73.4

TOTALS

147

146

33.8

2951

20.0

1187

8.1

342

1216

2049

59.2

509

688

74.4

Stats Courtesy of RockChalk.com

Danny Manning Season-by-Season in the NBA Season

Age

Tm

G

GS

Minutes

FGM

FGA

FG%

FTM

FTA

FT%

REB

AST

STL

BLK

PTS

Avg Pts

1988-89

22

LAC

26

18

950

177

358

49.4

79

103

76.7

171

81

44

25

434

16.7

1989-90

23

LAC

71

42

2269

440

826

53.3

274

370

74.1

422

187

91

39

1154

16.3

1990-91

24

LAC

73

47

2197

470

905

51.9

219

306

71.6

426

196

117

62

1159

15.9

1991-92

25

LAC

82

82

2904

650

1199

54.2

279

385

72.5

564

285

135

122

1579

19.3

1992-93

26

LAC

79

77

2761

702

1379

50.9

388

484

80.2

520

207

108

101

1800

22.8

1993-94

27

LAC

42

41

1595

409

829

49.3

174

258

67.4

296

176

53

57

994

23.7

1993-94

27

ATL

26

25

925

177

372

47.6

54

83

65.1

169

85

46

25

409

15.7

1994-95

28

PHO

46

19

1510

340

622

54.7

136

202

67.3

276

154

41

57

822

17.9

1995-96

29

PHO

33

4

816

178

388

45.9

82

109

75.2

143

65

38

24

441

13.4

1996-97

30

PHO

77

17

2134

426

795

53.6

181

251

72.1

469

173

81

74

1040

13.5

1997-98

31

PHO

70

11

1794

390

756

51.6

167

226

73.9

392

139

71

46

947

13.5

1998-99

32

PHO

50

5

1184

187

386

48.4

78

112

69.6

219

113

36

38

453

9.1

1999-00

33

MIL

72

0

1217

149

339

44.0

34

52

65.4

208

73

62

29

333

4.6

2000-01

34

UTA

82

0

1305

247

500

49.4

102

140

72.9

214

92

47

29

603

7.4

2001-02

35

DAL

41

10

552

71

149

47.7

22

33

66.7

108

30

21

21

165

4.0

2002-03

36

DET

13

0

89

13

32

40.6

5

6

83.3

18

7

9

3

34

2.6

883

398

24202

5026

9835

51.1

2274

3120

72.9

4615

2063

1000

752

12367

14.0

Career Courtesy BasketballReference.com

98 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010


The Jayhawk Go-Giver A Father and Son Remember Bob Frederick By Ken and Joe Davis

B

ill Hancock wasn’t expecting a postcard from his longtime friend when he walked to his mailbox the morning of June 13. But there it was. The man who had inspired Hancock to ride his bicycle coast to coast a few years earlier now was peddling another idea. This time it was a ride across the Flint Hills. The scenery in the Flint Hills is always fabulous, it said. The sender commented he would keep going as long as he could pedal. And then it was signed, from Bob Frederick. The night before that postcard arrived, Frederick died from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident in Lawrence. Frederick, 69, was the athletic director at Kansas in 1988 when coach Larry Brown and the Jayhawks won the NCAA championship in men’s basketball. And he was the man who hired Roy Williams, an unknown assistant at North Carolina, to replace Brown later that year. But those moments did not

define him. Frederick was something different to everyone in his life—a professor, a mentor, a coach, an administrator, a husband, a father, a friend, a competitive bike rider, a spokesman for helmet safety (yes, he was wearing a helmet)—and a truly beloved citizen of Lawrence. And so it is that the timing of that postcard seems symbolic of the magic, personal touch he applied to everything in his life. “As you can imagine, it was a shock,” Hancock, administrator of the Bowl Championship Series, said of the postcard’s arrival. “Mystical. Amazing. We’re all going to miss him very much.” It’s too bad there is no instrument to gauge the number of people Frederick touched. The total would have been staggering. Williams, a Hall of Famer who has gone on to win two national championships at North Carolina, has said

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KU Features and Analysis

Bob Frederick was a Jayhawk through and through. repeatedly there’s no way to know what might have happened with his career if Frederick hadn’t hired him. “Bob had a belief and gave me a chance,” Williams said. Some may say that hire defines Frederick’s legacy, but he once told me it was nothing more than luck. Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon, who played at Kansas and was an assistant coach for the Jayhawks, asked Frederick for advice as a senior, when he was thinking about a career in coaching. “He went out of his way and gathered information for me,” Turgeon said. “He really went out of his way.” That was a Frederick trademark. Frederick became a friend of the national media when he served as chairman of the NCAA men’s basketball committee. But even after his days as athletic director, he made himself available to reporters and shared his stories about the history of the KU program. He was a tremendous source for my book on the history of Kansas basketball. Bob and I exchanged e-mail messages in late May, after the death of Sam Miranda. Frederick and Miranda were assistants on the staff of basketball coach Ted Owens and Miranda was best man when Bob and Margey Frederick married 37 years ago. Bob thanked me for my note. “Have a good summer,” was the last thing he wrote. Just 13 days later, summer turned very sad. It’s hard to imagine Lawrence without Bob Frederick. He will continue

100 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Bob Frederick was, and always will be, a legend on the KU campus. Not because he was an excellent athletic director, a leader of several NCAA committees, a coach, or even a wonderful teacher. He is a legend because he radiated kindness. In February 2008, Frederick wrote an article for Sports Management Resources that was entitled “Fewer ‘Go-Givers’ and More ‘Go-Getters’”. The article was about a man named James “Easter” Heathman, a farmer in Kansas who discovered the wreckage of Knute Rockne’s TWA airplane. He refers to a quote from Charles O’Donnell in the eulogy for Rockne, the legendary Notre Dame football coach. “In an age that has stamped itself as the era of ‘go-getter,’ he was a ‘go-giver,’ giving himself, spreading himself like water, not for himself, but for others.” Frederick was a go-giver. Anyone who knew him would tell you that Frederick put others before himself. In these days, when athletic departments are more concerned about the bottom line, it is refreshing to consider Frederick’s philosophy. Student athletes always came first for Dr. Bob. “I’ve worked in college athletics for close to eight years and sometimes things can get complicated,” said Kyle Krueger, who earned his masters in sports administration at Kansas in 2003. “When that happens, I think about Dr. Bob’s fantastically simple explanation: ‘When it comes to the job, put the student-athletes first.’ I can still remember sitting in a classroom on the second floor of Robinson, and writing that down in my notes, and being struck by how simple and profound that piece of knowledge was.” I met Dr. Frederick the day I stepped on the University of Kansas campus after I decided I was going to be a Jayhawk. My father set up a meeting with Dr. Frederick to speak to my parents and me about sports management. It was during the summer of 2006 and I really had no idea what I

Photo on previous page: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Photo this page: Jeff Jacobsen/Kansas Athletics

to touch us all, but Jayhawk Nation won’t be the same without him. After stepping down as KU’s athletic director in 2001, Frederick reached out to another segment of the campus population as a professor. He taught classes in sports management, sports law, and sports facilities. When my youngest son, Joe, decided to enroll at KU in 2006, Frederick welcomed our family into his office and he outlined the sports management program in great detail. Frederick continued to be an adviser to Joe and so many others. We can all learn something from the way “Dr. Bob” touched the people around him, especially his students. Here’s a sample of what Joe wrote after attending Bob Frederick’s memorial service at the Lied Center.


The Jayhawk Go-Giver

Photo: G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

was going to do for my major. Much like Dr. Frederick, I was drawn to Lawrence. Both my parents were alumni of KU and I had lived all of my life in Connecticut. I had no idea what to expect. Within an hour, Dr. Frederick filled me in on my path to graduation from KU. He laid out everything for me: what classes I should be taking and in what semesters, and what my goals would be. More than two years later, October 27, 2008 to be exact, I had a meeting with Dr. Bob (he turns into Dr. Bob at this point, as he signed his email this way). I wasn’t on path to graduate in sports management due to several factors. I was devastated and lost. Dr. Bob made me feel a lot better about what was happening because he told me that if I were to switch to journalism, I could still take some sports management courses, including his sports law class (which by the way, was the consensus favorite course of fellow students I spoke to). I never got to take that class, but my biggest regret is not speaking to him more. He was the perfect role model and always so accessible. I asked some friends to offer their reflections on Dr. Frederick. Eric Wieberg, a KU sports management graduate and now a graduate student at the University of Texas, said there isn’t one single memory that stands out.

“Instead, I’ll always remember simply that his classes were great, and that he was an even better person,” Wieberg said. “Dr. Frederick reached the highest levels of achievement in his profession, yet remained extremely approachable, and made it obvious that he cared for his students and was willing to help them out—regardless of who they were. “He will always be a role model for me given his accomplishments as an AD, but more so because of his character and the way he tried to inspire others to conduct themselves with similar class. Developing a relationship with Dr. Frederick will always be one of my fondest and most influential memories of my time at KU.” Sarah Stokowski graduated from Kansas in 2008 and is completing her masters in intercollegiate administration at the University of Oklahoma. She met Frederick during the fall semester of her junior year and things didn’t go well at first. “I had him for sports law and I was kind of intimidated by him,” she said. “On my first test, I got a 57 percent. He talked to me and worked with me. We got to really know each other that way by [him] helping me out with class. He was always willing to go above and beyond. He cared about me as an individual. He knew about my situation, particularly because I’m from Chicago, and I was homesick and I was really

During Frederick’s tenure as AD, crucial upgrades were made to venerable Memorial Stadium Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 101


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Bob Frederick took heat for hiring an unknown assistant coach named Roy Williams. 102 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Dr. Frederick went out of his way to help Mark Turgeon break into coaching. two shared the Lawrence campus, Self’s respect for the man grew enormously. “The thing that he did epitomize at all times was class,” Self said. “Everybody thought he was as professional and as classy a gentleman as there is, and a great role model, which I think is a fabulous compliment. I had somebody, who has been at the university for many, many, many years and is very well respected at the university, tell me this is the biggest loss our university has had.” Dr. Frederick finished that article for Sports Management Resources with this statement: “We need more people like Knute Rockne and Easter Heathman leading our young people.” The same could be said for Dr. Bob. “I wouldn’t trade those years at KU for anything,” Frederick said in the book What It Means to Be a Jayhawk, written by Doug Vance and Jeff Bollig. “I’ve always been amazed at the emotional attachment that people have to the University of Kansas. I’m not sure there is another public university that has such a strong emotional attachment for alumni as this one seems to have. From my observation, it’s tied to both the athletic and academic traditions. I believe they are unique and set us apart from most other public universities. “People don’t forget about this place. It becomes part of their life forever. It certainly has for me.” And we will never forget you, Dr. Bob. Kansas was a much better place because of you. MSP Ken Davis is the author of The University of Kansas Basketball Vault, The History of the Jayhawks and a national freelance writer. Joe Davis is a KU student and a correspondent for the Associated Press.

Bottom photo : Stephen Dunn/Getty Images  Top photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

close to my family. He had four boys of his own so he knew the importance of keeping in touch with your family even though you’re so far away. In a way, he became my grandpa in that sense. He always made sure I was okay and made sure I was calling my mom and was always asking me how my family was doing. “In spring when it came time for me to take an internship, Dr. Bob suggested I go to the University of Missouri to complete my degree. So I went to set up an interview with [athletic director] Mike Alden, who called [Frederick] up and he gave me a really good reference. He pretty much got me my internship. I went there for my interview. I remember I was so excited when I found out I got it and I called Dr. Bob and he was excited for me. It didn’t matter that it was Missouri to him. It just mattered that I was doing what I wanted to do. “I walked down the hill at graduation and I remembered Dr. Bob got me out of the line and took pictures and I was crying because it meant so much to me. I didn’t want to leave but knew we’d still keep in touch. I remember coming back to Chicago right after I graduated before I headed to my internship and Dr. Bob had sent me a package and it was a Mizzou shirt. I think it was the only Mizzou shirt he ever bought. But he’s from St. Louis so he told me to represent his home state and was proud of me and knew that I was going to do a great job.” Kansas basketball coach Bill Self didn’t have the opportunity to work directly with Frederick, but in the short time the


An Open Letter from the Dark Side by Michael Atchison

H

ow strange to be in these pages, like Al Franken riffing for The American Conservative. It must be strange for you, too, to see a Missouri guy (or toothless Ozark hillbilly if you prefer) defiling the sanctity of this holy writ in which the Jayhawks’ fourth national title is foretold. I can feel your contempt through the paper. And I like it. My assignment was to explain why Kansas fans should look out for Missouri. But instead, let me suggest that you shouldn’t. Give these Tigers no more thought than you gave the middling Mizzou squad that beat the juggernaut Jayhawks in two overtimes in 1997. Pay them no more mind than the tailspinning Tigers who clipped Kansas when Thomas Gardner couldn’t miss a three and Christian Moody couldn’t make a one. And show them no more respect than the Big 12 coaches who picked Mizzou to finish in the league’s bottom half last year, only to see the Tigers win 31 games, take the conference tournament, and advance to the Final Four’s doorstep. But if you’re inclined to ignore my counsel, the main reason must be Mike Anderson. After sucking poison from the program for two years, Anderson won more games in his third season than any Tiger coach had won before. More than Bill Self ever won at Illinois or in any of his first three years in Lawrence. Then Anderson rejected mountains of money from other schools to plant his flag firmly in Columbia and build on last season’s promise. In just seven years as a head coach, Mike Anderson has restored two programs in decline, taking each to the NCAA Sweet 16 or beyond. Though the teams he inherited had become familiar with futility, Anderson has known no failure, averaging nearly 22 victories per year, winning more than 60% of his postseason games, and displaying an unflinching commitment to doing things his way. The canard that Anderson’s chaotic defensive style can’t win at the highest

level hasn’t just been discredited. It’s been disintegrated. When introduced as Missouri’s coach, Anderson said, “My goal is to win the national championship. I can get it done here.” It seemed laughable then, but it hardly seems preposterous now. With less than 12 minutes to play in March’s Western Regional final, Missouri stood tied with Connecticut. In just his third year, with a roster full of transfers and freshmen, Mike Anderson got Mizzou to within two TV timeouts of the Final Four. And with better athletes now on Missouri’s recruiting radar, there’s cause to believe that he might someday achieve his goal. This season, Anderson’s mission is made easier by a battle-tested backcourt. J.T. Tiller (who smothered Sherron Collins last year in Columbia) returns for his senior season, and Zaire Taylor (who struck the fatal blow that night) is back, too. Sophomore guards Kim English and Marcus Denmon stand among six returning Tigers who scored 15 or more points in at least one conference game a season ago. That quartet, plus sophomore Miguel Paul and gifted freshman guard Mike Dixon, will key Missouri’s 40-minute fury. The frontcourt is less proven, but doesn’t lack promise. Keith Ramsey, Mizzou’s best post defender a year ago, returns as the last line of defense, and Justin Safford became an inside-outside scoring threat late last season, converting 9-12 three-pointers in the final nine games. Gravity-resistant Laurence Bowers, occasionally explosive (though rarely healthy) as a freshman, will be asked to help fill the vast void left by DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons, among the nation’s most productive forward tandems a year ago. Though results are hard to project for Mizzou’s relatively untested interior, it is certain that the entire team will play fast and furious basketball. I suspect that even the most hardened Jayhawks fans might admit that this team should be fun to watch.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 103


Missouri fans and players had much to celebrate last season. I also suspect that somewhere deep inside your shriveled, coal-black hearts, you’re rooting for the Tigers to sustain their resurgence, because this rivalry—perhaps the best in college basketball—deserves to be great again. Missouri and Kansas have battled since 1907, when James Naismith coached his final two games for the Jayhawks and lost both to the Tigers. But our great war really blossomed near the time of The Great War, when two Hall of Fame coaches arrived. At a game in 1920, Missouri mentor Walter Meanwell rose to his feet to argue a call, and a young Phog Allen shouted, “Sit down, you big boob!” It was the kindest exchange in Border War history. Allen and Missouri coach Sparky Stalcup nearly came to blows in 1947, and Jayhawks giant Wayne Hightower and the Tigers’ towering Charlie Henke actually did in 1961, sparking the ugliest brawl imaginable. But the brutality has often yielded beauty. Anthony Peeler’s 43. Bud Stallworth’s 50. John Brown’s rage. Danny Manning’s grace. Lee Coward’s ruthless cool. And Sherron Collins’s extreme retribution last year in Lawrence, an act of hardcore vengeance disguised as hardwood brilliance. Back in 1989, Norm Stewart beat cancer because it sounded like beating Kansas, and that’s just what he did in those days. His Tigers swept the Jayhawks that year, and again the next, twice claiming KU’s #1 ranking for themselves. The teams played on a national stage back then, but despite what

104 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

anyone in Bristol, CT says, rivalries—like politics—are local. What counts is not in the eye of the beholder but the hearts of the stakeholders, the fans who have loved their team and loathed yours for decades. The South Jersey kids who make their way to Duke don’t harbor a deep-seated distaste for North Carolina. They put it on with their face paint when they enter Cameron Indoor Stadium. But kids from Ottawa and Osawatomie, Osceola and O’Fallon grow up with the Border War, a tradition passed through generations of degeneration, steeped in modern day insanity and Civil War inanity. (The 1860s mythos provides character, but does anyone think Confederate sympathizers can be found in the Tigers locker room?) Any given game can break your heart or make your year, and even bit players in each program’s history can live forever in memory simply by making one shot, as Corey Tate and David Padgett have shown us all. And though these ancient hostilities often prove magical, until the Tigers triumphed last season in Columbia, Mizzou had failed to keep up its end of the rivalry in recent years. So on behalf of Missouri Tigers everywhere, let me apologize for not beating you often enough over the past decade. We promise to do better. MSP Michael Atchison is the author of True Sons: A Century of Missouri Tigers Basketball.

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KU Features and Analysis


Chasing the Directors’ Cup Can Kansas become a multisport juggernaut? AD Lew Perkins thinks so. by Eric Angevine “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and to do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard... Because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

P

resident John F. Kennedy uttered these famous sentences in September of 1962. A little less than seven years later, his vision had become reality. Is the sentiment a tad overblown for analyzing sports? Probably. But on this 40th anniversary of the moon landing, it behooves us to remember that great things are accomplished through hard work, which cannot begin without a vision and the commitment to act on that vision. Kansas athletics director Lew Perkins articulated his own lofty vision for the university’s sports teams on paper, in a strategic plan that was released to the public in January of 2006. The document is available at kuathletics.com, along with an invitation to fans to hold the department accountable for its implementation. An ambitious declaration of goals and principles is laid out, with one, in particular, that draws the reader’s eye. Goal three reads: Achieve a top-25 ranking within five years in the annual Directors’ Cup. The Directors’ Cup ranks the best overall Division One athletics programs in the nation. Wait… what’s this? We already have one of the elite basketball programs in the country! Football and baseball are improving! Isn’t that enough? Not for Kansas. Not any more.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 105


KU Features and Analysis

The Directors’ Cup

Kansas Directors’ Cup Finishes Since 2000

Victory in the Orange Bowl gave KU’s Directors’ Cup totals a boost in ’08. conferences are laid out can vary greatly.” Carolina routinely does very well in the final Directors’ Cup standings, which are issued June 29, after spring sports are complete. In 2009 they finished in second place, 271 points behind mighty Stanford, which has claimed 15 straight crystal paperweights. In fact, the only Cup not won by Stanford, the inaugural edition, went to UNC. Stanford is the 300-pound gorilla in this fight. We’ll get to them in a minute. Teams from Chapel Hill scored points in ten men’s and ten women’s sports this year, the maximum allowed. The NACDA does not specify which sports are counted; any sport that crowns an NCAA champion is fair game. In the spring session alone, UNC earned points in men’s baseball, women’s golf, women’s and men’s lacrosse, women’s softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s track and field. That’s 493 points in a session where Kansas earned just 50, all of which came from the baseball team’s postseason appearance. Add in 95 from the fall session and 137 from basketball-happy winter sports, and Kansas placed 72nd. Clearly, the program has a long way to go, and a short time to get there. In essence, Lew Perkins has challenged the University of Kansas to shed its burnished reputation as a basketball school. In our analogy, he chooses to go to the moon in many sports, instead of just one or two high-profile revenue sports.

Year

National Rank

Big 12 Rank

Big 12 Leader (Rank)

2009

72

11

Texas (#6)

2008

54

10

Texas (#5)

2007

66

10

Texas (#8)

2006

60

9

Texas (#3)

2005

61

10

Texas (#2)

2004

65

11

Texas (#10)

2003

108

12

Texas (#2)

The Gold Standard

2002

64

12

Texas (#2)

2001

79

11

Nebraska (#13)

2000

82

11

Nebraska (#6)

Stanford. They’re smart, good-looking, and excel at sports. Don’t you just hate institutions of higher learning like that? The Cardinal provides the gold standard in terms of

106 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

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So what is this Directors’ Cup, anyway? First of all, it’s an actual trophy. A good-sized chunk of ornately-worked crystal atop a heavy wooden base. The trophy has been sponsored by different companies throughout the years, but it has always been awarded based on the scoring system tallied by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The organization was founded in 1966 as a professional association, and as such, its primary purpose is to provide information, community, and education to ADs from member institutions large and small. But let’s be honest, athletic directors are competitive people by nature. By 1993, the membership had ginned up a little competition to find out who had the best overall program, to be decided by the NACDA and USA Today. National retailer Sears signed up to sponsor the competition, which became the first-ever Directors’ Cup. Initially, only Division I schools were measured, but by 1995, separate versions of the Cup were awarded to D-II, D-III, and NAIA participants as well. Programs score Cup points by qualifying for NCAA championships in both men’s and women’s sports. Any sport that holds a sanctioned championship counts. Morehead State and Alabama State earned at least five points for their appearance in opening round of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament in 2009, with the winning team eligible to earn more if they managed to advance further. North Carolina earned the full 100 points as men’s champions. That was a huge deal nationally, but it was one small fraction of the Directors’ Cup standings. Regular season success and conference championships mean bupkes. “I think that’s the biggest misconception people have. You can win your conference, but if you don’t qualify for the NCAA championship, you don’t earn any points,” said NACDA communications director Julie Work. “The way


Chasing the Directors’ Cup broad-based, consistent success. There are many reasons for that success, but one is that the school simply gives itself more chances to win. Most competing institutions are not willing or able to sponsor so many programs. “We sponsor thirty-six sports: nineteen for women, sixteen for men, and one coed,” said Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby. “We scored in fourteen women’s sports last year, and ten men’s sports, so we’re good enough in a lot of sports that if we get eighth in the country in something—a lot of schools would want to count that—we can sometimes toss that out in favor of another sport we scored higher in.” As previously mentioned, programs can score points in ten men’s and ten women’s sports. There’s absolutely no rule that says your university can’t sponsor more than 20 sports overall, and that’s what allows a juggernaut program like Stanford to pick and choose. National titles in men’s gymnastics and women’s rowing made the cut. Women’s golf and track and field—eligible to earn points despite hovering around #40 in the national rankings—were tossed out. Trying to match that level of excellence across the board is a daunting task, to be sure. Programs that regularly finish in the NACDA top ten are a murderer’s row of well-funded powerhouses. After Stanford, the 2009 top finishers were, in

order: UNC, Florida, USC, and Michigan. Big 12 leviathan Texas just missed, coming in sixth after nearly winning the College World Series. Yep, it’s about money. What isn’t? The three major components of all-sports success are facilities, coaches, and athletic scholarships. To lead the country in any one category, an institution must open up its coffers. Only an elite few schools can compete in all three areas on an annual basis. Stanford’s list of facilities is impressive, of course. The Avery Aquatic Center attracts elite swimmers, divers, and water polo players. The swimming program’s list of Olympic medalists begins in 1920 in Antwerp and continues through the present day. Sailing and rowing teams take to the water from facilities on San Francisco bay. And golf? You might have heard of guys like Tom Watson and Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. It’s not all sunshine and daisies for Stanford, though. To benefit from these world-class facilities, professors, and coaches, a potential recruit must score very, very well on standardized tests. “You have to go out and find the kid in East Overshoe, Georgia who is bright enough to benefit from a Stanford education, and then you have to convince them to leave good ol’ State U,” said Bowlsby. “In some years, in basketball, for instance, you might look at the top 100 players and not find anybody that meets our academic profile. It adds a degree of difficulty, but it also adds a degree of satisfaction.” Clearly, an AD has to keep a lot of balls in the air to excel on the national level. If getting into the top 25 is going to the moon, Stanford is in another galaxy altogether.

Photo: Patrick Murphy-Racey/Getty Images

Competing in the Big 12

At Stanford, invoking Tiger’s name can even aid in football and basketball recruiting.

So, where to begin? Looking in our own backyard—our solar system, if you will—we see several very successful programs within the Big 12. As previously noted, Texas is annually in the top ten, and has regularly led the Big 12 in Directors’ Cup points since leaping ahead of Nebraska in 2002. In 2009’s final standings, only Texas A&M joined their Austin-based rivals in the top 25, coming in at #13. Seven Big 12 schools finished in the top 50, with only Nebraska (#31) and Missouri (#36) representing the North division. The closest Kansas has come this decade is a 54th-place finish in 2008, which included an Orange Bowl win by the football team and a national championship in basketball. It was a huge year for Kansas fans, but the success didn’t spread far beyond the revenue sports. The Big 12 is a premier conference, which gives Kansas the right platform to spring from in a quest for national rankings in other sports. While it’s no fun trying to play catch-up, the goal might be a little easier to visualize if it’s taken in smaller chunks.

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KU Features and Analysis

Making Progress

That’s what Virginia AD Craig Littlepage did. His six goals, articulated shortly after he took the top job in 2001, included some solid numbers: By 2012, he wanted the Cavaliers to own 12 national championships and 70 conference titles. Notice he didn’t specify which sports would bear the load. David Storm was Littlepage’s compliance director from 2002–2004. He remembers a department that took Title IX very seriously. “To have a truly excellent program, you cannot give short shrift to half your student population,” said Storm. “Women’s sports can play a huge role in creating support on campus and among younger alumni, especially those who are starting families which include girls who are growing up with different expectations of athletic success.” Virginia’s commitment to its women’s programs—along with traditionally non-revenue-generating sports like lacrosse, soccer, and tennis—has turned the school into a competitive force in the stacked Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavalier baseball team’s run to Omaha pumped up the department’s totals right at the end of last season, allowing UVA to finish eighth in Directors’ Cup points, with 1,059 on the year. Maybe it’s too much to expect Kansas to play with the Texas schools just yet, but suppose each eligible team works to beat out the old Big Eight teams? Odds are, championship participation would follow, as would Directors’ Cup points.

108 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Texas leads the Big 12 in all-sports success, regularly finishing in the top five. Longhorn baseball is especially dominant.

Photo top: Brian Bahr/Getty Images  Photo bottom: Elsa/Getty Images

A commitment to women’s sports is crucial to building a broad base of support for a strong athletic department.

Before taking the same job at Kansas, Lew Perkins had an immensely successful, 13-year run as athletics director at the University of Connecticut. From 1990 to 2003, UConn won six national titles—four in women’s basketball, one in men’s hoops, and one in men’s soccer—and was in contention for several more. Husky teams won 33 championships in various sports in the ultra-competitive Big East. The football team in Storrs made a successful transition to 1-A certification, and became competitive very quickly. Perkins was named AD of the Year by Street & Smith’s in 2000, a year in which the teams under his administration garnered an overall winning percentage of 70.8%. When Perkins became the 14th AD in KU history, his name brought hope to some teams that have long operated in the shadow of men’s basketball. Perkins was known for invigorating UConn’s football program, and that interested plenty of people who were tired of being a Big 12 doormat on the gridiron. And, of course, smiles could be seen on faces in the women’s basketball offices, as the Huskies, under coach Geno Auriemma, are national condenders on an annual basis. There was no doubt that Perkins was being hired to keep mighty hoops rolling at Kansas, but he was also known as a department builder: someone who could bring pride, and money, to the table for non-revenue sports as well. Older facilities were immediately targeted for upgrades, and in some cases brand new structures were erected. While the KU football team continues to play in 89-year-old Memorial Stadium, generous grants from the Anderson


Photo: Michael Bradley/Getty Images

Chasing the Directors’ Cup especially disheartening because it came on the heels of KU’s much-improved 54thplace finish in 2008, which was buoyed by a national championship in men’s hoops (100 points) and an Orange Bowl victory from the football team (72 points). In last year’s fall session, Kansas was on pace to match ’08, earning 45 points for a lower-tier bowl win, and 50 points from the men’s soccer In the Directors’ Cup standings, a national championship in swimming is team. The winter session also worth the same as one in basketball went well, with 64 points from family helped to create a new football complex and a strength men’s basketball, 34 from women’s swimming, and 39 from center that have dramatically improved the visual appeal of men’s track and field, allowing the Jayhawks to hold steady at recruiting visits for Mark Mangino’s program. When football #56. The program finished weakly, though, limping in with relocated, some of the team’s space behind Allen opened up just 50 points from men’s baseball, who were dumped from for soccer, men’s and women’s track, and softball. their regional by host (and Directors’ Cup #2 finisher) North Allen Fieldhouse has been renovated, with the Booth Carolina. Family Hall of Athletics as the most visible change. Restroom Time is running out on the stated strategic goal of a and concession facilities were also upgraded, and accessibility top-25 Directors’ Cup finish within five years. The results of for all fans was improved. this season and next will provide the program’s only chance to Jayhawk baseball has been on the rise, with new training meet that lofty mark within the desired time period. In order facilities and a scoreboard being added to Hoglund Ballpark. to score more points, Kansas must qualify for championships The home field for women’s softball, Arrocha Ballpark, is being in more sports, which will be difficult. Only ten women’s and upgraded to meet NCAA championship standards, with chairsix men’s sports are currently sponsored by the school at the back seating replacing many of the bleachers. Similar improveNCAA level. Arkansas’ 730 total points were good enough ments have been made to the Jayhawk Soccer Complex. for 25th-place last season, so if the bar for contention is set at Perhaps the most surprising improvement is the brandaround 700, KU’s teams would each have to average 43.75 to new Kansas Rowing Boathouse in Burcham Park. Perkins have a chance. called the boathouse “the most satisfying building I’ve ever If we assume that football and basketball will do fairly been involved with” at the February 2009 dedication of well, earning something in the neighborhood of 120 points, the 14,000 square-foot facility. The student body ratified a that leaves a lot of ground to be made up. Several other teams special activities fee to help fund the boathouse, a sure sign would need to not only qualify, but place highly, to get the that second-tier sports are a point of enjoyment and pride for job done. Them’s the breaks when your school offers 20 fewer more than just the members of the athletics department. sports than the top department does. The impact of new facilities, careful coaching searches, It might not happen right away; that’s okay. The arbiand stronger commitment to all of KU’s teams is difficult to trary time limit had the effect of kicking the department’s quantify. Kansas baseball has never finished with a winning efforts into high gear, and if the strategic plan is realized in record in the Big 12, despite being league tournament champs all of its academic and compliance goals, the university and its in 2006 and qualifying for the NCAA postseason in 2009. student-athletes are already winners. Kansas rowing, beneficiaries of that brand-new facility, will Man’s reach should exceed his grasp. It gives us somehost the first-ever Big 12 championship in their sport, in thing to strive for. MSP part because Oklahoma’s recent addition of the sport to their repertoire gave the conference four active teams. Eric Angevine is the editor of the MSP Jayhawk Tip-Off. His sportswriting In the most recent Directors’ Cup standings, Kansas has appeared at ESPN.com, Baseball America, and Deadspin.com. He is ranked 72nd, the school’s worst finish since 2003. This was committed to the notion that KU should be the best at everything.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 109


History and


Dean Smith (far right) dives for the ball.

Phog’s Golden Season

KU’s 1952 season didn’t end with the national championship. The Helsinki Olympics came next. by Ken Davis

I

t was the summer of 1948 and Bill Lienhard was working on his uncle’s farm in Sumner County, KS, when University of Kansas assistant coach Dick Harp stopped by for a visit. Harp, who had just joined Phog Allen’s staff, wasn’t in the market to buy wheat. This was a recruiting mission and the legendary coach had asked Harp to deliver a promise. “If you come to Kansas, we’ll not only win the conference, but we will win the national championship in 1952 and we’ll go to the Olympics and win the gold medal,” Harp told Lienhard, who had been a star on the powerful Newton High School team. Harp could barely believe his own words as they left his mouth. Allen, in all his years at Kansas, had never recruited by promising championships. But Kansas State was putting together a competitive program in Manhattan and Allen viewed Wildcats coach Jack Gardner as a legitimate threat. Under direct order, Harp carried the same message to two more Kansas prospects, Bill Hougland at Beloit and Bob Kenney at Winfield. “Of course, when you’re a senior in high school in 1948, the Olympics weren’t a big deal,” Lienhard said. “There was very little news coverage then, so it really didn’t mean a whole lot. I lived in Newton, Kansas, and it didn’t make that big of an impression.” The tradition of Jayhawk basketball was enough to lure all three players to Lawrence, but Allen needed one more piece to complete the puzzle he was

Tradition


Kansas crushed Santa Clara 74– 55 in a national semifinal game, and he tallied 33 more to go with 17 rebounds as the Jayhawks defeated St. John’s 80–63 for the title. Allen, at age 66, had finally won the tournament he helped create. And Lovellette remains the only player in Division I history to lead the nation in scoring (28.4 ppg) and play on the championship team in the same season. In those days, winning the NCAA title meant the Jayhawks had qualified for the eight-team Olympic playoff. That gave The 1952 Kansas Jayhawks won a national championship, then sent seven players them little time to enjoy their and coach Phog Allen on to win gold in the summer Olympics. championship. Three days after building for that 1952 season. Allen drove to Terre Haute, beating St. John’s in Seattle, Kansas opened play with a 92–55 Indiana to personally deliver his promise to Clyde Lovellette, win over NAIA champion Southwest Missouri State in Kansas a 6'9" center who had already told Indiana coach Branch City, MO. McCracken he would play for the Hoosiers. “We weren’t back [in Lawrence] very long,” Hougland “He said, ‘I’ve got this, this, and this from Kansas. I need said. “The night after winning the NCAA, we got back and a big guy in the middle and you’re it,’” Lovellette remembers Doc [Allen] told us, ‘You all go to school tomorrow.’ Kids Allen saying. “He had told Dick Harp to tell all the guys he were all over town celebrating. But we all went to school.” was recruiting in Kansas that if you come to Kansas, we’ll The victory over Southwest Missouri State meant the win the national championship in 1952 and we’ll go to the Jayhawks were on their way to New York, where they would Olympics and win the gold medal. He recruited all of us with face NIT champion LaSalle. The team’s flight was delayed that thought in mind. It turned out to be his prophecy. It all and the Kansas players were left sitting in the lobby of turned out the right way.” the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City when Allen learned Allen was definitely right about “Cumulus Clyde.” that only officials from the East had been assigned to the Lovellette became an All-American at Kansas, a true star semifinals and finals of the playoffs. The Jayhawks had been on the national scene, and eventually was enshrined in the through that routine before. Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. He “We wouldn’t move from Kansas City if we were going was that special player the Jayhawks needed to win their East and we were going to be officiated by two Eastern offirst NCAA championship. With Lovellette surrounded by ficials,” Lovellette said. “[Allen] would notify the league that Kenney, Hougland, Lienhard, and Dean Kelley, Kansas won we needed a Big Seven official to be working that game. If we the Big Seven title in 1952 with an 11–1 record. 1951-1952 Kansas Varsity Roster Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith was on that 1952 squad No. Player Position Height Weight Class PPG too and, although he didn’t play much, Smith was already 16 Clyde Lovellette C 6’9” 230 SR 28.4 showing his special ability to break down opponents as he 9 Bob Kenney F 6’2” 185 SR 13.1 17 Bill Hougland G 6’4” 180 SR 6.8 assisted Harp in game preparation. The plan on offense was 14 Dean Kelley F 5’11” 165 JR 6.5 pretty simple. 11 Bill Lienhard F 6’5” 180 SR 5.8 “Clyde was big for his day,” Hougland said. “He didn’t 5 Charlie Hoag G/F 6’3” 185 JR 5.2 have a lot of speed. Phog just told us to get the ball to him 20 John Keller G/F 6’3” 185 SR 2.3 and he’d score.” 25 B.H. Born F/C 6’8” 195 SO 1.7 That’s exactly what the Jayhawks did all the way to the 21 Bill Heitholt G/F 6’4” 178 FR 1.5 22 Dean Smith F 5’10” 160 JR 1.5 Final Four in Seattle. Once they got that far, there was no 4 Larry Davenport F 6’2” 165 FR 1.4 reason to change a thing. Lovellette scored 33 points as

112 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

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History and Tradition


Photo: Nat Farbman/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Phog’s Golden Season could not get a confirmation, the team would stay in the hotel until we got that confirmation. Not that a Big Seven official would give us any breaks. We just felt better.” Allen didn’t get his first choice, but a Midwest official did join the crew. The Jayhawks traveled on to New York for the most critical game of the playoffs. Officiating really didn’t matter because Lovellette scored 40 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Kansas won 70–65. “LaSalle had us down six at the half,” Lienhard said. “They were a good team. They beat St. John’s in the Olympic playoffs and then we had to play them. They had Tom Gola but we came back in the second half and won. That put seven [Kansas players] in the Olympics. That game was for the college representation.” Hougland said the Olympic committee wanted only five Kansas players, but Allen battled to get seven Jayhawks on the roster. Before the playoff finals against the AAU champions, the Peoria Caterpillar Diesels, Allen announced that Lovellette, Hougland, Lienhard, Kenney, Kelley, Charlie Hoag, and John Keller would be the seven Jayhawks headed to Helsinki to represent their country. Joining them were five players from Peoria and two from AAU runner-up Phillips 66, including Bob Kurland, a seven-foot center from Oklahoma A&M. With the roster set, the last order of business was determining the head coach for the Olympic team. Kansas trailed throughout the championship game until Kelley hit a running one-hander to tie the score at 60 with 50 seconds left. As Peoria set up its offense near midcourt, Lovellette stole the ball from Marcus Freiberger with 15 seconds remaining. Lovellette had already scored 22 points and he had a free path to the basket. In the perfect script, Lovellette would have been the one to fulfill Allen’s dream of becoming Olympic coach. But Lovellette also had Kansas players—quicker players with better ball-handling skills—on either side of him. In another setting, he might have made the team play and passed the ball. Instead, Lovellette misjudged his shot, left his feet too soon and his uncontested layup attempt hit the back of the rim. Peoria rebounded the miss and passed the ball to the other end for a game-winning shot by Howie Williams. Kansas lost 62–60. Peoria’s Warren Womble became head coach and Allen would be his assistant. The play remains the greatest regret in Lovellette’s long career. He cared deeply for Allen and still kicks himself for not passing the ball. “I screwed him up,” Lovellette said. “I think of that so many times. All I had to do was just throw it off to one of the guys by my side. They could have taken it in and had a good angle and scored. I don’t think they would have gotten the

ball and come down and scored. “Phog never said anything about it. None of the Kansas boys said anything to me that I blew it. But, oh yes, I felt it. I don’t know what you would call it but stupidity on my part. I should have given the ball up.” In Helsinki, the United States was barely challenged. Led by the seven Jayhawks, the team breezed to the gold medal game against the Soviet Union. That was a rematch of the fourth game in Helsinki, won by the US 86–58. The Russians knew they couldn’t succeed playing an uptempo style again. But the stall tactic they utilized was nothing new to the Jayhawks or the other Americans. “In those days, the other countries were way behind us,” Lienhard said. “The Russians had a bunch of older guys who played all the time, but they couldn’t beat us.” Lovellette led all scorers at the Olympics with a 14.1 average, and the US won the gold medal game 36–25. “To me that was the top, the cherry on the cake, I guess,” Lovellette said. “When you go to the Olympics, you’re

Robert Kurland and Frank McCabe pose with Russian player Ioann Lysou. Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 113


History and Tradition representing the United States. Seven Kansas guys. Number one, you are representing the state of Kansas. Two, you are representing the University of Kansas. And third, you are representing the United States. I just don’t think it gets much better than going over there and representing those three great institutions. “You are an American, one of the few athletes to go represent your country, and to top it off, to bring back a gold medal. It can’t get much better. Now [with NBA players representing Team USA] it’s a shame because college kids will not have that opportunity. That’s a sad commentary.” Allen’s lofty promise had been fulfilled. The Kansas players understood why Allen placed so much importance on Olympic gold. Allen had been instrumental in basketball’s acceptance as an Olympic sport in 1936 and led a nationwide fundraising drive that sent his mentor, Dr. James Naismith, to the games in Berlin. Naismith, the first basketball coach at Kansas, was also the first inventor of a game to see his sport played at the Olympics. When Allen died in 1974 at age 88, he was buried in his Olympic USA sweat suit. His former players refer to him as a “patriot.” Hougland says Allen “loved the university and loved the USA.”

1951-1952 Kansas Jayhawks Schedule and Results Opponent

Result

Score

Date

Location

Baylor

W

57-46

12/3

Lawrence, KS

Denver

W

84-53

12/8

Lawrence, KS

Creighton

W

65-47

12/10

Omaha, NE

Southern Methodist

W

74-51

12/14

Dallas, TX

Southern Methodist

W

58-57

12/15

Dallas, TX

Rice

W

68-48

12/18

Lawrence, KS

Southern California

W

76-55

12/22

Lawrence, KS

Colorado

W

76-56

12/26

Kansas City, MO

Kansas State

W

90-88

12/28

Kansas City, MO Kansas City, MO

Missouri

W

75-65

12/29

Oklahoma

W

71-48

1/5

Lawrence, KS

Missouri

W

60-59

1/12

Columbia, MO

Nebraska

W

69-66

1/14

Lincoln, NE

Kansas State

L

64-81

1/26

Manhattan, KS

Oklahoma State

L

45-49

1/30

Stillwater, OK

Iowa State

W

86-68

2/2

Lawrence, KS Lawrence, KS

Colorado

W

73-68

2/4

Iowa State

W

55-50

2/11

Ames, IA

Nebraska

W

90-52

2/16

Lawrence, KS

Oklahoma State

W

66-46

2/19

Lawrence, KS

Missouri

W

65-54

2/25

Lawrence, KS

Oklahoma

W

74-55

3/1

Norman, OK

Kansas State

W

78-61

3/7

Lawrence, KS

Colorado

W

72-55

3/10

Boulder, CO

*TCU

W

68-64

3/21

Kansas City, MO

*St. Louis

W

74-55

3/22

Kansas City, MO

**Santa Clara

W

74-55

3/25

Seattle, WA

**St. John’s

W

80-63

3/26

Seattle, WA

†Southwest Missouri

W

92-65

3/30

Kansas City, MO

†LaSalle

W

70-65

3/31

New York, NY

†Peoria

L

60-62

4/1

New York, NY

Today, more than 50 years after seven Jayhawks won the NCAA trophy and struck Olympic gold, Hougland proudly displays a picture of his Kansas teammates together on the medal stand. The photograph is in the library of his Lawrence home. “I’m corny about this, but the thing that always impressed me most was playing for your country,” said Hougland, who also won gold in Melbourne, Australia in 1956. “My best memory, of anything that happened in my time, is when we got our gold medal, they raised the flag, played the ‘Stars and Stripes’ and all of us were standing at attention.” MSP

KU coach Phog Allen landed seven Jayhawks on Team USA, but had to settle for the assistant coaching slot. 114 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Ken Davis, a 1980 graduate of Kansas, is the author of The University of Kansas Basketball Vault, The History of the Jayhawks. He began his newspaper career as the KU Sports Correspondent for the Kansas City Star and wrote for The Hartford Courant from 1985-2005. Now a freelance writer based in Connecticut, Davis is the college basketball expert for NBCSports.com and writes the national college basketball column for AthlonSports.com. His work has appeared at USA Today, SI.com, The Sporting News, ESPN The Magazine, Yahoo! Sports, Basketball Times, and Sports Business Journal.

Photo: George Silk/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

*NCAA Tournament **NCAA Final Four †U.S Olympic Playoffs


In the Raf ters with Bud Stallworth Meet the Ultimate #15: Jayhawk Legend Isaac “Bud” Stallworth by Eric Angevine

B

music camp out here. I was a high school trumpet player, and my parents thought it would be a good challenge for me to go out and get instruction from a worldwide group of instructors, and also compete against other musicians from around the nation and other countries. It was a lifetime experience, and I got a chance to see how I stacked up against other musicians from around the country.

ud Stallworth’s jersey was raised in Allen Fieldhouse in 2005. He played at KU from 1970–1972 and quickly became one of the greatest scorers the program has ever seen. Stallworth’s 1,495 career points were accrued over just 82 games in an era when freshmen did not play, and without the aid of the three-point line. Nonetheless, he still ranks among the top 25 all-time KU scorers. An Alabama native, Stallworth was courted by Auburn and Alabama, but ended up at Kansas after playing pickup basketball with Jo Jo White under unusual circumstances.

JTO: And Tonight Show bandleader Doc Severinsen was in charge of the camp at that time?

Jayhawk Tip-Off: You didn’t come to the Kansas program

Stallworth: Absolutely. He was a trumpet player and so was

in the usual way. How did your musical talents help land you in a crimson and blue uniform?

I, so fortunately I got a chance to be tutored by one of the best players in the history of music. But while I was there, I played some pickup games in the gym, and word got back to Coach Owens.

Bud Stallworth: Well, my musical endeavors led me to a

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 115


History and Tradition JTO: Was he a mentor off the court, as well? Stallworth: Absolutely. I tell him that all the time. It was hard for me to channel some of my energies on the court into the more disciplined style that coaches have. Especially when you’re playing at an institution like the University of Kansas, where they have such a great reputation for their players both on and off the floor, you have to make a change in how you think about things. He knew my background—both of my parents were educators—and he made sure I didn’t forget about that. One of my goals was to do well in school and graduate. Through his pushing and pulling a little bit, I was able to become one of the first Academic All-Americans as well as [succeeding] on the floor at the University of Kansas. JTO: What career path would you have pursued if you had never played basketball?

Bud Stallworth realized his dream of playing in the NBA when Seattle picked him seventh in the 1972 draft.

be being an attorney or an architect. I wanted to pursue something in one of those fields. I was a good student in math, but I didn’t want to be a teacher. My sister ended up being the teacher; she also attended school out here.

JTO: Younger fans know very little about Ted Owens. What

JTO: Your “cardiac kids” team almost derailed the UCLA

was his coaching style?

dynasty in the 1971 Final Four. What did coach Wooden say to you after the game?

Stallworth: When I came to Kansas, they were more big man-oriented, and scored a lot on post-up plays. I was fortunate to play with one of the great big men in the history of Kansas basketball in Dave Robisch. But also in the recruiting class we had coming in, we had a couple of guys, including myself, that had a background in more of an up-tempo style. With the guys he had as sophomores when I was a freshman, we began to see a change to a more up-tempo style of play. I think it was a struggle for him at first to understand that my style of play was not so much “walk it up and throw it into the post.” Over time, seeing what kind of player I was and what kind of talent I had, he tweaked his offense a little bit. Prior to me playing, Jo Jo White was a point guard/two guard on the team, and I think his style was similar to mine. But he had two big guys playing with him and they were more deliberate also. As time went by, I think Coach Owens may have changed his philosophy a little bit to where he went more up-tempo during my career.

116 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Stallworth: I had gotten slightly injured at the beginning of that game, and wasn’t 100%, not making any excuses, so I was over there getting some treatment at the team hotel. Back in those days, we all stayed at the same place. I was down by the pool getting some ice for my leg, and he walked by and said, “It’s a nice day, isn’t it? But it could have been nicer.” It kind of rubbed me the wrong way at the time, because I had a lot of respect for Coach Wooden, but it seemed like he was being a little arrogant. Of course, they had won something like nine in a row, so they had a reason to be arrogant. But it was a cheap shot at how I was feeling that day, since they were getting ready to play for another national championship. They were a great team, and you can’t take anything away from them, but I think we represented the university well by getting to the Final Four. It was one of my goals to play for a championship, and I was able to come within a game of it.

Photo on previous page: NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images  Photo this page: NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images

Stallworth: My dad wanted me to go into may-


In the Rafters with Bud Stallworth JTO: Speaking of jousting with coaches, you used to get into it with Norm Stewart, didn’t you?

Stallworth: [Laughs] We were great competitors. I was at Kansas, and he was the head coach at Missouri, so that was a natural rivalry. I didn’t know the magnitude of it until I ended up competing against them and I came to understand that it is a battle. It’s something that both states really, really take seriously. They don’t like each other when it comes to the athletic programs. Coach Stewart was one of those guys who was a great player at the University of Missouri, then took over the program and made it one of the top teams in the Big Eight. When you’re coaching against your biggest rival, you want to do everything you can to make sure your players are ready to play hard. The most aggressive way he did that was in my senior year, because he had a great player in John Brown. They were a physical team, and we always had to compete against them that way. We weren’t having a good year, and they were playing for a Big Eight championship, and my roommate noticed an article in the paper right before the game and brought it to my attention. In it, he was trying to push his guy as the best player in the Big Eight over me. We were kind of

neck-and-neck as far as having a chance to win that honor, and I took it personally because I felt like it was a jab at the Jayhawks and at me personally that I was having a good year but we weren’t winning, so therefore his player was better than I was. So it was our last home game, my mother had come out for it. I wasn’t really feeling that well beforehand, but I had a little heart-to-heart with my roommate about how we were going to let Norm know that we had one more bullet left in our gun, also.

JTO: Indeed! That 50-point outing against Missouri is usually the first game mentioned when your name comes up. Are there other games do you recall fondly?

Stallworth: Oh, absolutely! My sophomore year I was starting, and had more points than any sophomore since Wilt Chamberlain. My junior year, we had everything it took to win a national championship. The opening game against Long Beach State—we didn’t talk much about our defensive capabilities— we held them to the lowest score of any KU opponent in the modern era for that time. So I thought I played pretty well defensively, but I was able to score the ball accurately from long range, which I think was different from other teams of that era at the University of Kansas. JTO: And there wasn’t the three-point line at that time. Stallworth: Well, that’s something that’s always been a question for me from the fans and the media. Everybody knows that I did like to take long shots, which was not one of Coach Owens’ favorite things. Over time he relented, and I took better shots, so we became a better coach-player tandem as I began to realize that every shot didn’t need to be a 25-footer. But the way that I could shoot from the perimeter that junior season really made things easier for Dave Robisch and Roger Brown, who were our inside guys. Teams couldn’t go up and double-team Dave.

JTO: Bob Frederick was one of Ted Owens’ assistants then.

Photo: Malcolm Ali/WireImage

We remember his tenure as athletics director so well, but what was he like as a coach?

Stallworth still lives in Lawrence today, where he is involved with KU and myriad local and national charities.

Stallworth: Well, Bob used to work out with me quite a bit during my junior and senior seasons, because he was here as a grad assistant. One of the things that Bob was really big on was conditioning, so I’d follow him around the track at Lawrence High School during the summer while we were doing our kids basketball camps, and I always knew that Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 117


History and Tradition if I could keep up with Bob, I’d be in condition to play 40 minutes of basketball. I have to take my hat off to Bob, because it was his call to Coach Owens during the Missouri game that got me back in the game with the chance to score 50 points. We had a nice lead and coach took me out of the game. In those days, not all of the coaches sat on the bench, so Bob was up with the press and he called on the two-way phone. He wanted me to go back in to set the Big Eight single-game scoring record, because the year before, a great player at Colorado, Cliff Meely, had scored 47 against Oklahoma. So I was tied with him, and the only reason I got back in the game was because Bob let Coach know that I was within a bucket of breaking that record.

JTO: You were drafted in both the NBA and the ABA. Were those days of great nicknames and flashy players as fun as they looked?

Bud Stallworth’s Career Stats Yr.

PPG

RPG

Games

FG%

FT%

1969-70

12.7

6.0

26

43.0

69.9

1970-71

16.9

6.6

30

45.7

64.7

1971-72

25.3

7.7

26

44.7

73.9

Totals

18.2

6.7

82

44.7

69.8

I had an agent, and we talked to them. We knew it would be taking a chance since not all of the teams were very financially stable in the ABA, but they had guys like the Doctor, George Gervin, and Spencer Haywood. But I always wanted to play in the NBA, and Seattle chose me, too. We didn’t want to be bargaining back-and-forth between them, so my agent said whoever gave us the best offer, we would take it. So I ended up with Seattle [editor’s note: Stallworth later played for the New Orleans Jazz]. I had a lot of friends who played in the ABA, but at the time it wasn’t right for me financially.

JTO: A car accident ended your playing career premaStallworth: There were nicknames everywhere back then. Some of them were printable and some were not. The ABA was just beginning when I got drafted. I was picked by the Denver Rockets. They did a secret draft in January, while the NBA wasn’t until April. So after the season

turely. Then you worked for KU Design and Construction Management for a couple of decades as a budget manager. What are you involved with now?

Stallworth: Well, I retired recently from Construction Management, but I have my own project management business that works around town. I also host a radio show at KLWN that’s KU-driven, and through that, I’ve been able to bring current and former NBA players to town and get them involved with my charities and have them come on my show.

Stallworth: I’m on the board for Special Olympics of Kansas, and I do fundraising events for them. I’ve also done Heart Association of America and the Cancer Society. I lost my wife a few years ago to cancer, and I’m dedicated to research in that area. I also lost one of my sons to a brain aneurysm, and I was recently invited to come down to Houston to participate in the Phil Niekro fundraiser for research into that. So most of the charities I get involved with are ones that hit pretty close to home. I also like to talk to kids. I have a mentoring program here in Lawrence for kids who are at risk. I’m a social worker by degree, and I think that I’ve always known that I’ve been more fortunate than a lot of people in achieving my dreams, so I like to make sure I take time to give back and help those less fortunate. MSP

KU teammate Dave Robisch played against Dr. J in the ABA, but Bud decided the NBA was the better choice for him. 118 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Eric Angevine is the editor of MSP Jayhawk Tip-Off. His sportswriting has appeared at ESPN.com, Baseball America, and Deadspin.com. He is committed to the notion that KU should be the best at everything.

Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

JTO: Which organizations do you work with?


Mario’s Make Led to Darrell’s Dunks in San Antonio The end of the 2008 NCAA tournament was an instant classic. Here’s how it happened. by Bruno Chu Basketball places creative and skilled individuals into team-based strategic contexts. Nowhere was that more evident than in the 2008 national championship game between Kansas and Memphis. Down three, with seconds remaining in regulation, Sherron Collins stumbled as he brought the ball into the frontcourt for what was supposed to be a smooth handoff to Mario Chalmers behind the arc. As his momentum carried him inside the perimeter, Collins used his superior athleticism and instincts to flip the ball underhand to Chalmers instead, who caught it, and fired an improvised shot born of supreme confidence and hours of practice. That fortunate made basket, driven by two players reacting on the fly, led to an overtime period in which surgical precision took over. Kansas ran the high-low offense to perfection, finding Darrell Arthur inside for a number of ferocious dunks over the depleted Tigers frontcourt. Luck, skill, and strategy combined in a perfect storm to bring the 2008 championship banner to the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse.

T

he 2008 NCAA Championship game against the Memphis Tigers is one that Kansas Jayhawks fans will most likely remember for a lifetime. A come-from-behind, second-half rally, capped off by a tremendous three-pointer by Mario Chalmers to send the game into overtime, where the Jayhawks would eventually prevail. In the overtime period, the Jayhawks used a combination of their superior size and the Tigers’ foul trouble to dominate the final five minutes. A play they went to over and over again was an option quick hitter out of their base half-court “Fist”

offense, a variation Bill Self calls “Buna Fist.” The Buna is a four-out one-in half-court offense with three guards on the perimeter, a forward playing the top of the key, and the center in the low block. The objective of this play is to take advantage of the Tigers’ hedging defense on a corner pick and roll in order to get a high-low lob pass into Darrell Arthur.

A Closer Look As mentioned, the offense is in a Buna set, four-out one-in. In this case O5 would represent Arthur. O1 dribbles to the strong side and passes to the wing in the low wing area not too deep in the corner, then relocates to the opposite

Diagram 1

5 3

2 4 1 The Buna opens with four out and one—Arthur—inside.

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 119


History and tradition

Diagram 2 1

3

5

2 4 Big man O4 makes a v-cut to shake his defender as Arthur sets a screen.

weak-side corner. O2 is at the weak-side wing, O5 is at the ball-side low block and O4 is at the top of the key, O3 dribbles his defender down towards the corner as O5 sprints into the ball screen. The key is for O5 to not pick a side until the last moment and then pick the high side. O4 does a v-cut to shake off the defender and get into position to receive a pass from O3. After O5 sets the screen, the defense attempts to hard hedge (meaning the screener’s defender tries to block the path

of the ball). The separation between O5 and the defender has hopefully allowed O3 to beat the hedge and get a clear, crisp pass to O4 up at the top of the key. O5 rolls to the basket to receive a lob from O4. If O4 is unable to lob the ball into O5, the Jayhawks fall back into their base half-court offense, Fist. O4 reverses the ball to a guard, O2, and chases into a ball screen. The Jayhawks under Bill Self have generally been fond of lobs because of Self’s background in the high-low continuity offense. As the championship game wore on, the Jayhawks relied more and more on their size advantage to get easy baskets. By the overtime period, it was clear that the Tigers were worn and weary and the Jayhawks took clear advantage, partially through plays like this one. MSP Bruno Chu lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada and is currently studying Education at Simon Fraser University. Bruno has coached several teams around the Vancouver area and is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on the SI.com Tourney Blog. Read more of his coaching insights at coachingbetterbball.blogspot.com.

1

3 5

2 4 The screen succeeds and O3 passes to O4, who lobs it to Arthur inside.

Diagram 4 1

5

3

2 4 In the event that Arthur is unable to score, the ball comes back out and another screen is set.

120 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Darrell Arthur was open for several dunks in OT as the high-low worked to perfection.

Upper photo on previous page: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images  Photo this pge and background photo both pages: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Diagram 3


Roy’s Boys Took Flight Twenty Years Ago Probation behind them, the ’89–90 Jayhawks got off to a fast start. by Eric Angevine

A

s the Kansas Jayhawks prepared for the 1989–1990 season, they might have felt like they needed extrastrength Dramamine to help them endure the rollercoaster ride they’d been on since 1987. Yes, Danny and the Miracles had won the 1988 national championship in stunning fashion, overcoming Big Eight foes Kansas State and Oklahoma—as well as national rival Duke—along the way. That was the summit. But storm clouds began to gather almost immediately, beginning with broadcaster Dick Vitale’s public pronouncement that he’d clean the Allen Fieldhouse floor with a toothbrush if peripatetic coach Larry Brown returned to guide the Jayhawks’ title defense the following year. Confident Kansas fans donned bald wigs and grabbed their toothpaste, more than ready to serve Vitale a batch of humble pie. Then the first shoe dropped. Coach Brown, who had coached three pro teams and three NCAA teams by 1988, started flirting with UCLA, one of his former employers. One week after winning a national championship at Kansas, Brown accepted the Bruins job, then flip-flopped and turned it down. Two months later, he was gone for good, back to the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs. He would never return to the college game thereafter. Timing is everything, as they say. In late June of 1988, one week after Brown’s departure, the KU Athletic Department received a letter from the NCAA, informing the program that it was under investigation for alleged recruiting violations. That turned into a one-year ban from postseason play, leaving the Jayhawks without a coach, and without hope of defending their crown. A strong list of national candidates for the post was produced, loaded with big names: Eddie Fogler, Gary Williams, Kansas native Gene Keady. Perhaps it was the looming specter of probation, but none of those known quantities ended up

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 121


History and tradition

in Lawrence. Instead, it was unheralded UNC assistant Roy mixed bag for the team and its fans. The Crimson and Blue Williams who got the call. When Ol’ Roy showed up, with his had shown some spark while on probation, but had faded “shucks” and “dang,” and “baskeet-bawl,” fan reaction ranged badly down the stretch. Roy Williams had gained a measure from dubious to appalled. Was this the best we could do? of respect from his demanding fan base, but with postseason The answer was yes, as it turned out. restrictions now a thing of the past, nothing but a return to Mark Randall came off of a medical redshirt year ready the NCAA Tournament would make them happy. to play. He joined the remnants of the Manning-less Miracles, The humbled KU program entered the season unand Williams led a proud but overmatched team to a surprisranked—an unaccustomed afterthought on the national scene. ing 19–12 record. The early schedule was admittedly weak by Kansas standards, but it featured an 11-game winning streak, Pre-season NIT during which the Jayhawks topped 100 points six times. The Give Roy Williams credit. He understood the KU tradition. reversal of fortune came in Norman, Unwilling to ease his team gently 1989–1990 Kansas Roster as OU paid back the championship into the season with easy wins over No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. CL game pain with a 123–95 win. Duke Division II programs and small confer35 Todd Alexander G 6’2 190 Fr also took revenge, pasting Kansas ence bottom-dwellers, the second-year 3 Terry Brown G 6’1 185 Jr 102–77 in the middle of what coach set his sights on Madison Square 20 Rick Calloway F 6’6 190 Sr 33 Jeff Gueldner G-F 6’5 190 Sr became an eight-game slide for the Garden, home of the pre-season NIT. 24 Alonzo Jamison F 6’5 235 So ’Hawks. The ’89 season ended with The field was eclectic as usual. 30 Adonis Jordan G 5’11 160 Fr a final act of year-late payback, as Jerry Tarkanian’s UNLV Runnin’ 32 Mike Maddox F 6’7 210 Jr the K-State Wildcats booted KU Rebels lived up to their team nickname, 44 Pekka Markkanen C 6’10 215 Jr from the first round of the Big Eight with a powerful lineup that feared no 43 Macolm Nash F 6’7 195 So Tournament in Kansas City, ending one. The LSU Tigers featured the 14 Kevin Pritchard G 6’3 180 Sr 42 Mark Randall F 6’9 230 Jr their season. twin towers of Shaquille O’Neal and 31 Kirk Wagner F 6’7 210 Jr Therefore, the beginning of Stanley Roberts, both well over seven 34 Freeman West F 6’5 210 Sr the ’89–90 season was an emotional feet tall. Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble

122 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo on previous page: Earl Richardson/Getty Images  Photo this page: Ken Levine/Getty Images

Larry Johnson led UNLV to the 1990 NCAA title, but couldn’t get past KU in November.


Photo: Getty Images Staff

Roy’s Boys Took Flight Twenty Years Ago had Loyola Marymount running Paul Westhead’s high-octane offense at a breakneck pace. The rest of the bracket was a minefield of capable programs. The Jayhawks drew a home game in the first round. Head coach Gene Bartow led his UAB Blazers into Allen Fieldhouse, a building that was already 23 years old when he left UCLA in 1978 to create the Birmingham Athletic Department from scratch. The team from Alabama had no answer for KU’s tradition or for Roy’s beloved fast-break offense. Kansas won handily, 109–83. After cruising at home, the Jayhawks needed one more win to get to MSG for the semifinals. It was a feat that seemed anything but likely, given the stature of the team standing in their way. The LSU Tigers were the #2 team in the nation, and the game would be contested in Baton Rouge. Louisiana State’s basketball squad had the most coveted, and feared, frontcourt in the nation. The pre-season practice battles of young seven-foot monsters Stanley Roberts and Shaquille O’Neal had already become legendary in college basketball circles. Both were forces on the defensive and offensive ends of the court. But the Twin Towers were not the only reason Dale Brown’s Tigers were so highly respected. Sophomore floor general Chris Jackson (known as Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf in his NBA days) was the true engine that made LSU run. The superstar guard befuddled opponents with his ability to drive inside, pull up for the three, or pass to the open man with equal alacrity. As a freshman, he had dropped 50-plus points on Florida and Tennessee, en route to a freshman record 30.2 points per game. He was the most exciting player Baton Rouge had seen since Pete Maravich. To face LSU’s big three, Kansas ran out a much lessheralded starting lineup. Point guard Kevin Pritchard was a tough, brainy holdover from the 1988 championship squad. Ricky Calloway was a smooth shooting guard who had transferred from Indiana. 6'5" Jeff Gueldner was a low-scoring senior who was beginning to find his shooting stroke from inside and out. To counter Roberts and O’Neal, Kansas paired 6'9" junior Mark Randall and a skinny 6'10" newcomer from Finland by the name of Pekka Markkanen. Consumer confidence was low. But Roy Williams had a plan. The two-part strategy called for the undersized Kansas big men to create space in the middle, and asked the guards to keep Jackson out of the paint as well, forcing him to score with lower-percentage jump shots, and eliminating his lightning-quick drives to the hoop. Junior pivot Mark Randall was the key to the first half of the plan. His deft shooting touch allowed him to find the net from outside the paint, drawing O’Neal further from the

basket as the game wore on. Randall scored 26 points and goaded a frustrated Shaq into defensive foul trouble. The LSU center fouled out with 3:42 remaining in the game. He was limited to 10 points and seven rebounds on the night. KU’s team defensive effort on the perimeter kept Jackson from taking over the game. It didn’t look like a victory in the box score—the Tiger star scored 32 points—but the Jayhawk guards harassed Jackson into a 4-17 second half. It was a crucial containment of the sophomore who had proved his ability to break the half-century mark when necessary. As Jackson cooled off, junior college transfer “Downtown” Terry Brown heated up for the visitors, pouring in four of five three-pointers down the stretch to power the Jayhawk win. Pritchard put the nail in the coffin with a crucial free throw in the final seconds to put Kansas up by four. The final tally was 89–83. Kansas had slain the giant. All over Mount Oread, bars and dorm rooms reverberated with whoops and hollers as students realized what had happened. Their young coach was for real. Their previously untested lineup was going to work. Their beloved team was a force to be reckoned with again. Roy’s Boys had beaten the #2 team in the country on the road. Their reward? Another long trip—this time from

Heralded freshman Shaquille O’Neal was stymied by Mark Randall’s shooting touch. Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 123


History and tradition By this point, it was pretty obvious that Kansas would not be denied. St. John’s tried to slow the pace of the game, but the Jayhawks led by 13 at halftime. The Redmen mounted a furious second half comeback, but Kansas ended the game on an 11–1 run, eventually winning by a score of 66–57. The Kansas Jayhawks were the pre-season NIT champions. Their gutsy run had catapulted them from “also receiving votes” to the dizzying heights of the #4 spot in the national polls. Roy’s Boys had sent a message: “We’re Baaaaack!” “I thought that was good for us,” said Roy Williams after the game. “I wanted to see what the heck we were made of.”

The Streak

Lawrence to New York City—to play the #1 team in the land, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. The team from Las Vegas seemed to play with house money every night, blitzing opponents with a high-scoring attack. Coach Jerry Tarkanian had assembled a formidable team. Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, and Anderson Hunt led the team, while junior college transfer Larry Johnson played intimidator on the frontline. Sixth man Moses Scurry, with his energetic, trash-talking presence coming off the bench, was a favorite of Rebels fans. UNLV poured it on in the early going, jumping out to a 36–28 lead. But Kansas would not rattle so easily. Jeff Gueldner and freshman guard Adonis Jordan began peppering in shots from the perimeter. Randall and 1989–1990 Individual Player Statistics (Part 1) Markkanen double-teamed Johnson, and Player G GS Min Avg Min. Pts Avg Pts. Reb Avg Reb. Ast reserve forward Mike Maddox came off Pritchard 35 35 976 27.9 506 14.5 89 2.5 177 the bench to score 17. Kansas once again Randall 35 - 35 902 25.8 466 13.3 216 6.2 65 dictated the pace of the game: running in Calloway 35 - 35 838 23.9 458 13.1 149 4.3 104 transition, executing perfect back-door cuts Brown 35 - 0 562 16.1 386 11.0 88 2.5 29 in the half court, and trapping on defense. Gueldner 35 - 35 950 27.1 374 10.7 162 4.6 132 The Jayhawks were victorious, beating Maddox 34 - 1 610 17.9 297 8.7 118 3.5 47 Markkanen 34 - 33 666 19.6 234 6.9 132 3.9 16 the top team in the country 91–77. They West 34 - 1 538 15.8 205 6.0 125 3.7 44 would stay in New York for the final game. Jordan 35 - 0 466 13.3 105 3.0 43 1.2 109 Their final opponent in the seasonJamison 17 - 0 189 11.1 83 4.9 34 2.0 26 opening NIT would be the local favorites, Wagner 21 - 0 130 6.2 64 3.0 38 1.8 1 the St. John’s Redmen. Ranked #25 in the Alexander 23 - 0 90 3.9 26 1.1 24 1.0 11 Nash 20 - 0 81 4.1 19 1.0 25 1.3 2 nation, the Johnnies were the third top-25 Jayhawks 35 7000 7000 3223 92.1 1381 39.5 763 team the Jayhawks had faced over a nineOpponents 35 7000 7000 2532 72.3 1224 35.0 486 day period.

124 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

TO

Blk

Stl

91

9

59

57

13

35

80

11

50

28

2

18

59

4

47

43

19

16

34

38

26

43

3

18

47

0

20

24

0

12

7

0

5

8

1

3

9

3

0

532

103

309

687

77

247

Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca could not prevent KU from winning the pre-NIT crown.

Having started the season 4–0, Williams was not about to let his foot off the gas. The Crimson and Blue plunged into non-conference play, beating their next 15 opponents by an average margin of 31 points. Before the Jayhawks suffered their first loss of the season, on the road at #4 Missouri on January 20, they had amassed a 19–0 record. Along the way, Kansas had scored a surprising victory over another elite program: the Kentucky Wildcats. Rick Pitino’s squad was laboring through a post-Eddie Sutton probationary downturn that must have looked familiar to Roy Williams, who had lived through the same thing one season prior. Nonetheless, both teams had to take the floor, and the shot clock was running. Kansas beat their fellow bluebloods by a score of 150–95, a record score differential for both schools. Terry Brown shot the lights out in that game, scoring 31 despite an unusual shooting motion, in which he launched the ball from behind his head with his elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. During the streak, Roy Williams’ fast-breaking squad had topped the century mark six times, to the delight of Kansas fans everywhere.


Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Roy’s Boys Took Flight Twenty Years Ago 1989–1990 Individual Player Statistics (Part 2) The Big Eight schedule was also Player FGs -Att FG Pct 3FGs - Att 3FG Pct FTs - Att FT Pct PF - Dq loaded with land mines that season. KU, Pritchard 177 337 52.5 46 108 42.6 106 130 81.5 81.5 84 - 0 after losing to a top-five Mizzou team, beat Randall 183 - 305 60.0 0-1 0.0 100 - 148 67.6 67.6 79 - 3 #9 Oklahoma in Lawrence, then met the Calloway 178 - 327 54.4 8 - 17 47.1 94 - 128 73.4 73.4 85 - 0 Tigers again in an epic one-vs.-two matchBrown 138 - 311 44.4 89 - 208 42.8 21 - 32 65.6 65.6 34 - 0 up in Lawrence. Norm Stewart had Roy’s Gueldner 117 - 222 52.7 69 - 142 48.6 71 - 91 78.0 78.0 73 - 0 number that year, as the Gold and Black Maddox 133 - 233 57.1 0-1 0.0 31 - 57 54.4 54.4 93 - 0 Markkanen 90 - 155 58.1 – – 54 - 90 60.0 60.0 76 - 1 swept the season series and snatched the top West 78 - 131 59.5 – – 49 - 81 60.5 60.5 59 - 0 spot from their most hated rivals. Kansas Jordan 33 - 97 34.0 14 - 40 35.0 25 - 36 69.4 69.4 32 - 0 climbed back atop the rankings before Jamison 35 - 57 61.4 0-1 0.0 13 - 26 50.0 50.0 24 - 0 losing to #5 OU in Norman. The Sooners Wagner 28 - 47 59.6 – – 8 - 16 50.0 50.0 15 - 0 rose to #1 in the polls before ousting the Alexander 8 - 22 36.4 4 - 13 30.8 6 - 9 66.7 66.7 11 - 0 Nash 6 - 13 46.2 – – 7 - 15 46.7 46.7 15 - 0 then-#2 Jayhawks from the Big Eight Jayhawks 1204 - 2257 53.3 230 - 531 43.3 585 - 859 68.1 68.1 680 - 4 tournament in the second round. Opponents 934 - 2123 44.0 143 - 441 32.4 521 - 759 68.6 68.6 791 - 31 Kansas, picked to finish between sixth and dead last in the Big Eight, finished the conference slate tied for second, with an 11–3 mark. Steady Pritchard was named to the All-Big Eight team. senior point guard Kevin Pritchard had led the team in scorElectrifying Ricky Calloway earned Newcomer of the Year ing, averaging 14.5 points per game. Junior forward Mark honors. Head coach Roy Williams earned the Henry Iba Randall shot over 60% from the field, a distinction he would Award after being voted best coach of 1990 by the United hold throughout his career at Kansas. Calloway, Brown, and States Basketball Writers Association. Gueldner also averaged double figures that season. Adonis Jordan showed his ability to take over at point while serving The Tournament as Pritchard’s backup. Kansas entered the NCAA Tournament with a 29–4 record, good enough for the #2 seed in the East region, sandwiched between #1 Connecticut and #3 Duke. All of the teams the Jayhawks beat to win the pre-season NIT were there as well. St. John’s was a six seed in Kansas’s quarter of the bracket, and UAB showed up as a 10 in the East. LSU had been seeded #5 in the Southeast, and UNLV had cruised to the top of the West region. The Big Eight was also well represented. Oklahoma had snagged the top seed in the Midwest after winning the conference tourney, and regular season-champ Mizzou was #3 in the Southeast. Lon Kruger and his K-State Wildcats had eked into the Midwest at #11. Roy Williams was in his first NCAA Tournament as a head coach, and his team looked shaky from the get-go. The Jayhawks played it too close for comfort in the first round, beating the outgunned Robert Morris Colonials by just eight points. The poor showing proved to be foreshadowing, as Kansas fell to Jim Harrick’s UCLA Bruins in the second round in Atlanta. It was not to be Kansas’s year. The most memorable moments of the 1990 NCAA Tournament belonged to another pre-season NIT participant: the Loyola Marymount Lions. A high-scoring team coached by Paul Westhead, the Lions were reeling from the on-court death of star player Hank Gathers, who had collapsed during a March 4 West Coast Conference Rick Pitino’s Kentucky team suffered a 150–95 December setback in Allen Fieldhouse. tournament game—the victim of an undiagnosed heart

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 125


History and tradition 1989–1990 Jayhawks Schedule And Results W/L

Score

Date

Location

*Alabama-Birmingham

W

109-83

11/15

Lawrence, KS

*LSU

W

89-83

11/17

Baton Rouge, LA

*UNLV

W

91-77

11/22

New York, NY

*St. John’s

W

66-57

11/24

New York, NY

Idaho

W

87-58

11/30

Lawrence, KS

MD-Baltimore County

W

86-67

12/2

Lawrence, KS

Tennessee-Martin

W

103-48

12/4

Lawrence, KS

Southern Methodist

W

86-53

12/6

Dallas, TX

Kentucky

W

150—95

12/9

Lawrence, KS

Pepperdine

W

98-73

12/16

Lawrence, KS

Arizona State

W

90-67

12/22

Lawrence, KS

Texas-Pan American

W

103-83

12/29

Kansas City, MO

Stanford

W

83-61

12/30

Kansas City, MO

Wichita State

W

93-66

1/4

Wichita, KS

Winthrop

W

94-51

1/6

Lawrence, KS

Nebraska

W

98-93

1/8

Lincoln, NE

Miami

W

100-73

1/10

Miami, FL

Oklahoma State

W

91-77

1/13

Lawrence, KS

Elizabeth City State

W

132-65

1/18

Lawrence, KS

Missouri

L

87-95

1/20

Columbia, MO

Kansas State

W

85-57

1/27

Manhattan, KS

Colorado

W

90-69

1/31

Lawrence, KS

Oklahoma

W

85-74

2/3

Lawrence, KS

Oklahoma State

W

83-76

2/7

Stillwater, OK

Iowa State

W

88-83

2/10

Ames, IA

Missouri

L

71-77

2/13

Lawrence, KS

Nebraska

W

94-67

2/17

Lawrence, KS

Colorado

W

103-71

2/21

Boulder, CO

Kansas State

W

70-58

2/24

Lawrence, KS

Oklahoma

L

78-100

2/27

Norman, OK

Iowa State

W

96-63

3/3

Lawrence, KS

**Iowa State

W

118-75

3/9

Kansas City, MO

**Oklahoma

L

77-95

3/10

Kansas City, MO

Robert Morris

W

79-71

3/16

Atlanta, GA

UCLA

L

70-71

3/18

Atlanta, GA

*Pre-Season NIT * *Big 8 Tournament † NCAA Tournament (East Regional)

126 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Playing behind Kevin Pritchard, Adonis Jordan showed flashes of the leader he would later become. condition. Gathers’ best friend, Bo Kimble, a natural righty, shot and made three left-handed free throws in the NCAAs as an homage to his fallen teammate. The team’s high-tempo offense and unified desire to win for Gathers got them as far as the Elite Eight, where they fell to UNLV 131–101. Having thus eliminated the sentimental favorites, the Runnin’ Rebels went on to win the 1990 title by beating Georgia Tech in the Final Four, and Duke in the championship game. Disappointment over Kansas’s poor showing in the tournament was tempered by the realization of just how far the team had come in a very short time. Expected to stumble after their year of NCAA probation, with an inexperienced head coach, the Jayhawks had exploded out of the gate and declared themselves as national contenders. From a rotation that was considered to be less than elite by most pundits, several enduring fan favorites emerged. Roy’s Boys had endured difficult times and low expectations, and they had responded with toughness and teamwork. Kansas was back in the hunt. MSP Eric Angevine is the editor of Jayhawk Tip-Off. His writing has appeared in Baseball America, and he is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. He was a junior at Kansas in 1989–90, and was one of those students who was whooping it up when the Jayhawks won the pre-NIT crown.

Photo: Earl Richardson/Getty Images

Opponent


Dr. Naismith’s Lost Rules of Basket Ball Archive Reveals Surprising Rules You Never Knew Existed by Rick Paulas

O

ne brisk winter day way back in 1891, Dr. James Naismith woke from his slumber, put on his fashionable Teddy Roosevelt-style glasses, gave his mustache a brisk comb-through, and began composing a document that would rival the US Constitution for the effect it ultimately had on American culture: The 13 Original Rules for “Basket Ball” Kansas fans know the rest of the story: Naismith would later create the Kansas basketball program, become the team’s first head coach, lead the squad to 55 wins and 60 losses during his nine seasons, and ironically become the only coach in Kansas history to exit with a losing record. Unfortunately, too few know the secret behind Naismith’s original set of guidelines: There were actually 13 additional rules, forever lost to the passage of time. Or so we thought. After years scouring the dusty archives of the KU library, we have found the additional baker’s dozen of Naismith’s rules. And so now, for the very first time, we present the great doctor’s surprisingly prescient (and in some cases, odd) original vision for the game of “Basket Ball.”

Rule 14: If a player takes more than one and a half steps on his way to the basket without batting the ball on the ground, or “dribbling” if you will, that player will be penalized for “traveling,” unless said player is a superstar the league uses to bring in (x) amount of profits, (x) will be determined on a yearly basis, accounting for inflation.

Rule 16: At some point in the future, when a communications device can link various telegraphs from around the world instantly, there will be a period of one month that will be devoted entirely to the sport of collegiate basketball. The event will be named for the month it takes place and a synonym for “insanity” starting with the same letter of the month. For example: “December Dementia” or “November Neurosis.” Something like that.

Rule 17: If a player accidentally calls a timeout during a pivotal moment of a national championship game when, in fact, the team has already used its final timeout, that player will be remembered for nothing else during the rest of his playing career.

Rule 18: If a winner has not been determined at the end of regulation and after seven periods of overtime, the victor will be determined by the team who can collectively spit sunflower seeds the furthest in distance. If that is also a tie, the winner will be determined by a chili cook-off. If that is also a tie, the winner will be determined by the first team to say “I win!”

Rule 19: If a player transforms into a werewolf at any time during a game, the team with the wolf-player will forfeit the contest outright and the player will be suspended until the next full moon.

Rule 15: The above rule will be extended to every player in the

Rule 20: If a player or coach mentions my status of being

unlikely event that the earth’s gravitational pull ceases to exist.

born in Canada, they will be suspended for life from the

Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 127


History and tradition game of basketball. If anyone not connected to the sport mentions it, they will immediately meet me outside of whatever building they are residing in to collect a patented Naismith whooping of a to-be-determined length.

Rule 21: If a player fails to perform satisfactorily in his collegiate studies, he will be ineligible to participate in collegiate basketball contests. First and foremost, a player’s time spent in college should be used to advance his scholarly learning … [Ed Note: the rest of the sentence is obscured by what appears to be tears caused from the author’s laughter].

leaves to return to his alma mater, in which case he will be praised for following his heart.

Rule 24: The baskets will be maintained consistently at a height of ten feet above the court unless a broadcast network that, at one point, aired a steady rotation of “musically enhanced visuals” creates a program featuring celebrities playing the game of “Basket Ball.” In that case the baskets may be moved higher, as long as they are worth more points for a shot made. Like, ten points.

Rule 25: The final three spots of a roster will be made up Rule 22: Any player caught using unapproved methods to rehabilitate or strengthen their body will be suspended for a to-be-determined length of time. Currently approved methods include stretching, ice water baths, Dr. Smith’s cure-all tonic, leeches, bloodletting, and animal sacrifice.

of individuals of no discernable basketball skill, whose job will consist solely of rooting on their fellow teammates, delivering high fives when necessary, and locking arms during the exciting final minutes of an important game.

Rule 26: Missouri sucks. MSP Rule 23: If a head coach leaves his job before the end of Rick Paulas is a freelance writer currently residing in Los Angeles who has yet to write a single sentence that is good for society. Some of those sentences can be found at McSweeney’s, ESPN Page 2, Radar Magazine, and The Heckler’s Prospectus.

Tough D like this could lead to a “traveling” violation.

128 | Jayhawk Tip-Off 2009–2010

Upper photo previous page: Hulton Archive/Getty Images  Background photo both pages: Jamie Squire/Getty Images  Photo this page: SuperStack

his contract, he will be forced to endure endless ridicule by opinion-makers over the telegraph, or whatever means of communication is the norm at the time. Unless said coach

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