Something about Nick Bahe really has impressed Kansas University coach Bill Self this preseason.
It's his attitude -- and it's not hard to tell why.
"I'm approaching this year like I approached last year," Bahe said. "If minutes come from that, then great. If a red shirt comes from that, that's fine. Wherever the chips fall, the chips fall."
The sophomore guard from Lincoln, Neb., has other reasons why he has improved in the eyes of his coaches.
"I think just playing a year," Bahe said. "I'd say it's just experience. I've got a better feel for the offense. I've got a better feel for what coach (Bill) Self wants."
Bahe and Jeremy Case have been mentioned as red-shirt candidates, along with Matt Kleinmann, who definitely will red-shirt -- that is, practice but not play in games.
"I feel Nick may too good to red-shirt," Self said. "I think Nick will be the first to tell you. I think he's going to be a guy that warrants minutes because of our depth."
Last season, Bahe averaged four minutes in 16 games. Bahe played 18 of 20 minutes in the Late Night in the Phog scrimmage.
Court time isn't as important as spending time as a member of one of the most highly touted teams in the country. That's why he turned down NCAA Division One scholarship offers from schools like Boise State, Ohio and Bowling Green to become an invited walk-on at KU.
"Obviously, this where every kid wants to play," Bahe said. "It doesn't take a genius to figure out this going to be a special year. I want to be a part of that in any way, shape or form. We've got four seniors that are about as special as any seniors in the country, and I tell you what, they're better people than they are players and they're pretty good players."
Although Bahe is learning about red-shirts, he knows all about the "black shirts," as in the defensive unit on Neb-raska's football team.
Bahe grew up in Lincoln and played with several current Nebraska players at Southeast High.
Now, the former quarterback -- plus red-clad fans throughout the state -- are trying to get use to watching the Cornhuskers scrap their traditional option running game to new coach Bill Callahan's West Coast offense.
"It's interesting to see what's going on down there," said Bahe, who sat in astonishment with friends during the team's last spring game. "It took a while to figure out this is Nebraska. I think everyone's a little flustered at the new and different style, but the way the game's going, everybody throws the ball."
Bahe also attended the 21-17 loss to Southern Mississippi on Sept. 11 at NU's Memorial Stadium.
"It's weird to see Nebraska lose at home," he said. "It's kind of like when we lost to Richmond (at home last season). It's very rare."
He was up in the stands yet again on Oct. 2 when Kansas was handed a close 14-8 loss to Nebraska.
"That was just a sloppy game," Bahe said in reflection. "The game didn't have a rhythm, but we were right there. Nebraska lucked out with that one."
| Full name: Nicholas Alan BaheClass: sophomoreHeight: 6-3Weight: 185Hometown: Lincoln, Neb.High school: SoutheastMajor: broadcast journalismBirthdate: May 14, 1984