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Archive for Wednesday, August 13, 2003

KU’s Self pulling for former BU coach

August 13, 2003

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It's going to be tough, but perhaps not impossible for Dave Bliss to resurrect his college basketball coaching career.

"I do hope 35 years in the business of doing good things for people is not totally negated," said first-year Kansas University coach Bill Self, a friend of beleaguered former Baylor coach Bliss, who Friday resigned amid major NCAA rules violations and the death of Bears' player Patrick Dennehy.

Self has only good things to say about the 59-year-old Bliss, who has compiled a career record of 526-328, including a 61-57 mark at BU the past four seasons.

"I've always had great respect for him as a coach and person," Self said of Bliss, whose New Mexico squad tripped Self's Tulsa University team, 60-59, in a second-round WAC Tournament game in 1998.

"It's terrible, tragic what happened there. I feel for everybody down there in all ways."

Self talked to Bliss on the phone once while Dennehy was missing. He has not spoken to Bliss since Dennehy's body was found and ex-Baylor player Carlton Dotson was accused of murder in the case.

As far as BU's program, the Bears now are without a coach and athletic director, and the university president offered all current players and incoming signees a release from their national letters of intent.

"Those are things you obviously hope never go on in your program," Self said. It will be something that will set them back for a while."

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Giddens progressing: Self on incoming freshman J.R. Giddens, who had surgery a couple of weeks ago to repair a stress fracture in his left foot: "I've talked to J.R. He has one of those injuries even though he may not feel hurt, we will make him take some time off," Self said. "It'll be four weeks from (Monday) before he'll be released (to play). They (doctors) said initially a safe bet would be Sept. 15. We'll give him some more time, the reality is early to the middle of September."

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Late Night in the books: Out-of-town fans can book their flights and make their hotel reservations. There definitely will be a Late Night With Bill Self Oct. 17 at Allen Fieldhouse.

"Yes, we'll do Late Night and it'll be a big celebration and party as in the past," said Self, a supporter of traditions at KU. "It probably will be a little different, maybe not as much time with skits, but we'll do some things the fans will enjoy."

The players will take part in the annual scrimmage at midnight -- officially Oct. 18 -- in accordance with NCAA rules.

"We'll definitely scrimmage," Self said.

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Recruiting update: Quentin Thomas, a 6-4, 165-pound point guard from Oakland (Calif.) Tech, tells Shay Wildeboor of rivals.com he's in the process of setting up an official recruiting trip to Kansas. Thomas, a former prep teammate of Cal freshman Leon Powe, is considering KU, North Carolina, Arizona State, Utah and Oregon.

Why not Cal?

The Golden Bears are bringing in Ayinde Ubaka, a freshman point guard from Oakland (Calif.) High, who figures to hold down the floor general duties the next four years.

KU is looking at several guards, including Russell Robinson, a 6-1 shooting guard from New York City's Rice High, who told Wildeboor he would visit KU for the Missouri football game Sept. 27.

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No Rolls for Langford: Dick Vitale has commented on ESPN.com about leaving junior Keith Langford off his Rolls Royce teams, which encompass the top 25 players in the country.

KU's Wayne Simien made fourth team, while Missouri's Ricky Paulding and Arthur Johnson were first- and second-team selections. In all, there are five teams.

"Again, Langford is an explosive scorer, and at the end of the year he has the potential to make an All-Rolls Royce team," Vitale wrote. "This is the preseason, but it's all about postseason. He can be there at the end. There are so many talented players out there."

Texas' James Thomas made the third team and Colorado's David Harrison the fifth team.

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