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Chat with J-W KU hoops beat writer Gary Bedore

July 27, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

It's been a news-filled summer for the KU men's basketball program, again proving that the world of Jayhawk hoops never stops turning. Between injuries, recruiting and the NBA Draft, the stories have kept flowing. Journal-World KU basketball beat writer Gary Bedore will be on hand Friday, July 27, to answer whatever questions you've been storing over the summer months and are ready to ask.

Moderator:

Hey there everybody, I'm KUSports.com editor Ryan Greene, and I'll be moderating today's live chat with Journal-World KU hoops beat writer Gary Bedore. It's been a news-filled summer in the world of KU basketball, as I've come to understand that just about every summer is that way. Gary, thanks for joining us today to answer some burning questions from our readers. What's new in your world? How are you coping with your beloved White Sox being in fourth place amidst the Dog Days?

Gary Bedore:

Not bad, since they won the World Series just two years ago. But it is disappointing to see them blow game after game because of a bad bullpen full of ex-Royals and bad years from veterans like Thome, Konerko, AJP

Gary Bedore:

The Royals showed some signs of life until the Yankees came in and blasted them 3 of 4. Too bad.

Moderator:

Well lets get to some reader questions...

Hawklin:

We've had updates on every player this summer with the exception of Russ. Hows the senior guard looking?

Gary Bedore:

Actually we did have an update on Russell during the first week of Self camp. He was the first Jayhawk profiled this summer I believe. But he's doing well (knock on wood always). I saw him leaving weights the other day and he looked good. He told me he's working on becoming more a vocal leader and I don't know if you can suddenly develop that trait, but he is hoping to do that. He's one of the nicer Jayhawks personality wise in recent memory.

jayhwk5288:

with the loss of Julian Wright and Brandon Rush being injured along with Darrell Arthur, what are some of the expectations of this team early? There are some tough games to start off...do you think this team with Rush out and possibly Arthur not at 100% is strong enough to win these games?

Gary Bedore:

Well Arthur will be 100 percent. He already is walking around well. He just has that overuse injury, the stress fracture.I would think KU would win all those home games nonconference unless somebody comes in and steals one like ORU did last year. KU will probably drop one of those road games, maybe at BC or Georgia Tech or USC. I'd think it won't be because Rush is out however.

TykePeacock:

Will Carl Henry turn be involved in a turning point in KU basketball history for a second time? He mentored Calvin Thompson and Ron Kellogg and got us back to the NCAA tourney in Larry Brown's first year. Now he could deliver CJ Henry and X Henry to us to stem the flow of early entries to the NBA. (Arther, Rush, and maybe Collins/Chalmers) Why not hire him for the old Danny Manning job?

Gary Bedore:

It's funny how more and more nowadays questions are worded that way. That to make sure to get a recruit KU or any other school better hire the dad. I mean I know where you are coming from, but I think KU can get players without hiring dads. I realize Larry hired Danny's dad and Bill Self hired Mario's dad and ORU hired Clarke's dad. But KU is able to recruit Henry and probably get him (remember his brother committed here) without hiring Xavier's dad. Tom Keegan asked Carl if he wanted such a job on Self's staff or any other staff and Carl said no. Anything can happen in college sports nowadays and it's always possible Carl could join the staff here or somewhere else, but I don't think a program of KU's caliber needs to do that.

Gary Bedore:

Carl by the way is a classy guy. I knew him before and talked to him at the AAU tourney here and he remains a great guy.

Gary Bedore:

One other point: Don't forget Xavier is only a junior to be and CJ wants to play at least one more year in baseball so they aren't available yet.

Moderator:

Speaking of Clarke, is there anything new on Rotnei? Or Willie Warren or J'Mison Morgan? Those are just the three names I've been hearing a bunch lately...

Gary Bedore:

No. It's all the same. We had an update today that Warren has 10 schools now on list; Clarke has the same list and Morgan wants to cut his list to a workable number soon, probably in early August.

gutter:

I know we have the talent but does Coach Self have what it takes to get us to the Final Four next year? Why or why not? Thank You!

Gary Bedore:

I think he has what it takes to get KU there. Now as far as will KU make it?
It's a boring answer always, but the team needs to be healthy in March. If not, all bets are off (bad pun in lieu of the Tim Donaghy situation).
I would say on paper KU again has a team capable of reaching the Final Four, but health is pivotal. Would KU have made it last year had Sherron been healthy? Who knows. But in answer to your question I think Self has what it takes. It's a matter of hitting shots and free throws and staying healthy.

Moderator:

We've got one more question in line for ya, Gary, but first, I've got to ask...now that you've seen the non-conference schedule, which game should be the most glitzy of KU's pre-Big 12 slate? I'm liking the looks of the USC tilt.

Moderator:

Actually, we've got a couple more...my bad...

Gary Bedore:

Probably USC because of Mayo, although fans are usually laid back in Southern California so it probably won't be a wild atmosphere. I'd expect a lot of KU fans will find their way into that arena. The Arizona game here should be big just because the teams have met so many times with some memorable games and Lute nearing the end of his career. I would think KU will face a hostile crowd on Georgia Tech's campus. That might be a very very difficult game to win. If I had to pick a loss out of the "marquee" games I'd say that is the one to fear.

Gary Bedore:

Also KU has had some trouble going East so the BC game might be trouble.

Moderator:

OK, time for three more queries...

jayhwk5288:

Do you think this is an important season for Self as far as his career at KU is concerned?

Gary Bedore:

Of course, every year is a big year for coaches at high profile programs at KU.
He needs to sign a big recruiting class to keep the wins coming.
If you are asking is his job in jeopardy, the answer is no.
If you are asking is it an important year for the future of his program, yes, because he needs to sign some top players.
Really nowadays any season is considered a disappointment if a school doesn't reach the Final Four and/or win it all, so this year is no different than any other for Self.

senegal66025:

Exactly what obligation does KU have with Rush? It seems to me that KU's obligation ended when Rush entered the pre-draft pool. If Rush had a good number he would have been gone with no obligation to KU. So why at this point does KU have an obligation to him? When will have be able to play. And if and when he does play will he want to risk further injury prior to the new draft? I thnk at this point we are just being used for rehab.

Gary Bedore:

Personally I think he's going to be ready by Dec. 1 or sooner.
ACL is a serious injury but these guys get so much better treatment nowadays I think he's going to be ready earlier than people think.
As far as "obligation" I don't know what you mean.
KU has an oblligation to treat all its injured players.
When Rush does play he will have to be willing to risk injury prior to the next draft. Any player will tell you if they take the court trying to not get hurt, that's when they get hurt.
I am asuming you are not a Rush fan. Let me just say any team in the country would be happy to welcome back a possible All American who gave two good to great years already, even with injury. He would have definitely gone pro had he been healthy but he's back. The coaches and players want him back so he rehabs and gives it his best shot. If it plays out in a negative fashion get back to me and tell me "I told you so." Yes he wants to be in the NBA, but truth be told, so do 95 to 100 percent of all former McDonald's All Americans. That's the way it is nowadays. Deal with it or don't.

Moderator:

Final question...in celebration of our beloved Bears reporting to Bourbonnais...

Jaydub:

Ditka vs. da Jayhawks, who wins?

Gary Bedore:

Senegal by the way is the home of one of my favorites, Mou Mou. He's a great man.

Gary Bedore:

Ditka.
No, the Jayhawks because he can't shoot the three.

Moderator:

I dunno. I'd take Ditka, or a team full of mini-Ditkas....Gary, thanks for taking the time, any parting words?

Gary Bedore:

By the way I realize Rush is not a former McDonalds All American but he was at prep school his final year and not eligible.
Good bye and good luck to all.

Moderator:

Thank you again to Gary, and thanks to everyone for your questions. We'll see you in the near future for another live chat here on KUSports.com

Comments

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 4 months ago

Your answer to the Rush questions was 100% on target... I think it's likely that he will once again be the most productive player on the team...

Bobo Fleming 7 years, 4 months ago

Rush the most productive player? No doubt the best looking player on TV. No doubt the most promising player. But productive player? Maybe. I watch all the games. Maybe my memory is a little faulty. I seem to remember a lot of crucial times when Rush disappeared. Set me straight on this.

booze_buds_03 7 years, 4 months ago

Lets see: He led in minutes, points, second in rebounds, 5th in assists, I would say productive. I dont think anyone said he was the most "clutch" as it seems you are referring to senegal. I really dont think anyone on our team was very clutch when it mattered.

Bobo Fleming 7 years, 4 months ago

ok I give. Believe it or not I really like him. I just think it's a strange system when the player can leave the team and then because of injury come back. In this case Self might think its worth the risk. I wonder what the attitude would have been if he would have been out for the next season.

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