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Archive for Friday, October 20, 1995

MCGRATH WAITS HIS TURN AT KU

October 20, 1995

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There's a logjam at point guard at Kansas this year.

The Jayhawks have perhaps the country's best college basketball floor leader in junior Jacque Vaughn. He's backed by senior Calvin Rayford, who missed all of last season recovering from knee surgery.

Also on hand is sophomore C.B. McGrath, who spelled Vaughn last season, and freshman Ryan Robertson, who can play both point and shooting guard.

"It's good to have depth," said McGrath, who had 27 assists and 30 points in 31 games last year, while playing an average of 5.9 minutes per game.

KU has so much depth the talk-show callers are wondering about the possibility of McGrath red-shirting.

No chance of that.

"I'll compete hard and work hard and try to earn a spot. I'll practice hard and whatever happens, happens," the 5-11 McGrath said. "I've still got two more years after this year."

It's rare to find a player who wants to red-shirt -- that is, practice but not play in games in the hopes of more playing time down the line.

"It's so hard," McGrath said. "You practice all the time but never get to suit up, to run on the court. It's so hard to make that commitment.

"Going into this season, I've got three more years to play Kansas basketball. You never know who will be coming in. There could be another Jacque Vaughn coming in. If another Jacque comes, it's not a good decision (to red-shirt)."

KU coach Roy Williams has never asked a player to red-shirt. It's a non-issue at Kansas, except in the rare case of 7-0 sophomore center Travis Williams.

Because Williams played high school ball at tiny Rozel High and the fact he sat out last year in accordance with Proposition 48 guidelines, a decision will be made before the first exhibition game (Nov. 10) whether Williams is ready for major-college basketball. If he's not ready, he'll red-shirt.

"Hopefully we'll play a fast-enough tempo everybody will get tired and I'll get to play all of them," KU coach Williams said of the point guards.

He applauds the contribution McGrath made a year ago.

"Here's a kid, I really liked him more than anybody else out of high school," Williams said of the former Topeka West standout. "He did even more than I thought he could do (his first year). He's got a chance to be important to us this year and several years down the road.

"He's a kid everybody enjoys being around and he's a better athlete than people understand. We've got several guys at the 1 and 2 (spots). That's good because by golly we're going to give them an opportunity to decide who is going to play. The competitive part of it in practice is what I love."

And McGrath is competitive. He remembers scoring five points and dishing three assists in 13 minutes in a home win over Oklahoma last year. He was needed because Vaughn was hurt in that game.

"I wouldn't say scared. I'd say nervous. When there was pressure, I played better," McGrath said.

He's ready for the glut of national TV games again this year.

"We've got a lot of big games. We go to some great places. It's going to be fun," McGrath said, realizing KU has perhaps the toughest slate in the country.

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