Archive for Saturday, December 10, 2005

Mayer: All-time KU five stellar

December 10, 2005


Don't think fantasy basketball computerizations could handle it, but it would be fun to match Kansas University's current 10-man NBA squad against a crew of all-time Jayhawks. Only I'd have to clone one guy.

First, the NBA Jayhawk Five. There'd be Boston's Raef LaFrentz at center, Seattle's Nick Collison and Cleveland's Drew Gooden as the forwards and Chicago's Kirk Hinrich and Boston's Paul Pierce as the guards. (Is that New Orleans mayor a dead ringer for Gooden?) The second unit would have Utah's Greg Ostertag at center, Indiana's Scot Pollard and Miami's Wayne Simien as forwards and New Jersey's Jacque Vaughn and Golden State's Aaron Miles as the guards.

With a little time to prepare under a coach like Larry Brown, that gang could win a lot of games against anybody.

My all-time KU quintet would be Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Manning, Clyde Lovellette, Jo Jo White and Hinrich (the clone). You could name second and third units so fast your head would swim, and they would give the starters and the NBA pros fits.

There are fantasy operations for football and baseball; I know of no college fantasy basketball formats. Remember when as a kid you'd daydream about playing these guys or those against each other, never dreaming the day would come when it's possible.

Who'd win my NBA-Jayhawk Legend series? Sure would be a delight to find out.

¢ When will KU's Brandon Rush shake off the rust of playing in prep school and realize he's among big boys? Hype-time and NBA talk be damned.

Rush, along with other freshman teammates, has skills you can't coach. He needs to assert them. He could use his talent and size to outdo the preppies; that old dog won't hunt anymore. He's 20 years old; time to blossom.

Rush could develop like Arizona's Miles Simon, who broke KU's heart in 1997. Simon wasn't so much a shooter as he was a scorer who'd find ways to get points at crunch time. Rush is a better shooter than he's shown and free-throws effectively. But he too often vanishes. Until that stops he won't come near doing what KU needs.

¢ Gotta love the candor of Kansas women's coach Bonnie Henrickson, who minces no words evaluating players with Bonnie Barbs. She recently discussed defensive lapses by Ivana Catic, the Serbia-Montenegro guard who has boosted the ballhandling and scoring departments. "I'm not sure she could cover me wearing my heels," the coach quipped. Point made. Henrickson didn't tiptoe around about one senior's academic laxity and sat her down until she got the books in shape. Bonnie names names and hangs the albatross where it belongs. So refreshing.

¢ OK, how do you inter-relate cheap toilet paper and basketball? When the former is in Allen Fieldhouse restrooms and people are upset about the crummy way it creates an extra-undesirable adventure of going to the can.

Men with their plumbing and porcelain conveniences may not be as mindful of the problem as women. But there are those huge rolls that look like wheels on a Roman chariot, the flimsy paper that rips so easily and performs so badly for the sit-downs. Simple elimination should not be so challenging and frustrating.

With all the money KU has spent on fieldhouse renovation, you'd think the least it could do would be to give Sam the Lavatory Man better products to dispense.


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