Archive for Monday, May 9, 2005

KU must avoid 0-3 run in Maui

May 9, 2005


Editor's note: This is the third in a series of columns in which Journal-World assistant sports editor Gary Bedore answers questions about Kansas University men's basketball.

Q: Is KU going to go 0-3 at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational?

A: I hope not. That would not help a young team's confidence at all.

Plus, the fans tend to overreact around here, and 0-3 might really put the team and its backers in a deep funk. I remember a few years ago KU went 0-2 in New York at the Preseason NIT, and people were writing about the demise of Roy Williams.

I still remember Williams blowing up at the media for acting like his program was in the gutter. Of course, reports of the team's demise were premature, and the Jayhawks advancing to the Final Four that year.

That said ... Arizona, UConn, Maryland, Arkansas, Michigan State and Gonzaga are the opponents, along with Chaminade. It'd be nice if KU could catch a break and be matched against Chaminade in the first round, though I bet ya UConn will get that matchup.

Going 0-3 is a possibility, so is 1-2 or 2-1. I can't see the Jayhawks going 3-0 in Maui with such a young team, but maybe the Jayhawks will jell early and prove me wrong.

Q: I do not have a question, but I do have a comment. Maybe it is time to help the basketball team to move forward. They might have lost a ballgame, but they are winners in many other ways. How many teams can say that their senior players will graduate? We have not seen any of the players' names in the police reports. There are many other ways to be a winner!

A: I agree with you. This season is over. Can't get it back. Time to move ahead.

Q: Well I want to know if I could have a possibility to try for the team? I am good and very fast player and I am from Ecuador but I was there for a year and I am going this summer so I would like to try out.

A: It's against the rules for coaches to give you a tryout, but I'm sure if you come up to KU this summer you could play in pick-up games with the current players. If they think you are a great player, they could tell the coaches.

That's how Bud Stallworth became a Jayhawk. He came to band camp, played in a pickup game or two, and boom ... he was scoring 50 versus Missouri. Good luck.

Q: After watching Bill Self coach for the past two seasons, do you think that he has the ability to maintain the same level of play that KU enjoyed during the Roy Williams era? I know that Bill Self is an excellent recruiter. He has certainly proven that with the players he's recruited for next year; however, I'm concerned about his coaching. In assuming that you've seen Bill Self coach during practice, let me ask you this: Is Bill Self as good a teacher as he is a recruiter?

A: The media weren't allowed to watch practices this past season, so I can't tell you a lot about his teaching during workout sessions. We got to watch practice last year, however, and I was impressed with his style.

I do sometimes question the physicality of practice. It seems to me players should save the banging for the games, but Roy's teams also were extremely physical at practice -- very, very physical.

All I can tell you is Bill Self is one of the best coaches in the country, and it doesn't do anybody any good to doubt that. Let him continue to bring in his own players, and I'd suggest you just feel confident you have one of the best coaches to mold the team.

It's not easy to follow a legend, and fans can help him in his building of his own KU program by once and for all forgetting about Roy Williams and concentrating solely on KU, Bill Self and his players.

Q: What are the chances of one or two of the present freshman redshirting next season if they are not in the nine-man rotation? Hopefully, this is an option to prevent them from transferring or sitting on the bench. I know Galindo is the only one transferring. Do you foresee any other potentials?

A: I don't know if any of the present freshmen will red-shirt, but I guess it's a possibility. KU still needs the three big men to produce, maybe even more than ever, so it's doubtful they will red-shirt, though I still think it'd be good for Darnell Jackson maybe to sit a year.

I doubt Russell Robinson would red-shirt. I would think KU will need his ballhandling. Heck, he might be starting point guard. Anything is possible, but I don't think likely.

As far as kids transferring, it's the new era. I think rosters are gonna fluctuate a lot from now until doomsday. Most blue-chippers are thinking about turning pro as soon as they can. Players who don't excel early, also are considering moving on, seemingly more than ever.

I've said many times it's not a good era for college sports. I feel that way more than ever.

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