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Archive for Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

October 30, 2007

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B-Rush may start contact drills next week

Injured guard Brandon Rush returned to practice from ACL surgery just two weeks ago, but doctors may allow him limited contact drills next week. Enlarge video

Hoops by Halloween? Not this year

Self's squad has been overshadowed by the Fighting Manginos this year. The Jayhawks play their first exhibition game against Pittsburgh State this Thursday at Allen Fieldhouse. Enlarge video

Stewart playing well

Don't be surprised if senior guard Rodrick Stewart plays a lot in Kansas University's exhibition opener Thursday at Allen Fieldhouse.

"Rodrick has been one of our most consistent performers, counting everyone on the team," KU coach Bill Self said. "Rod is by far the most active defender we have. He's always been pretty good. He's become better."

Self said the experience of Stewart and Jeremy Case may have them a "little bit ahead" of other backup guards, including Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Conner Teahan.

"You can't play seven guys on the perimeter," Self noted.

Three-guard offense

Self likes his three "little guards" - Mario Chalmers, Russell Robinson and Sherron Collins.

"The beauty of those three little guys is they are all interchangeable," Self said. "Whoever gets it, brings it. I could see them all playing 15, 20 minutes together (per game), subbing and playing with two of them in the game a majority of the other time."

CBE field

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that KU, Syracuse, Florida and Washington will be host schools for next year's CBE Classic. KU will hold a two-day tournament involving four schools. Two victories there would vault KU into the semifinals at the Sprint Center.

Simien cut

The Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday released former KU forward Wayne Simien, who was acquired from the Miami Heat via trade last week. Simien, who currently is coming off arthroscopic knee surgery, is free to sign with another team or head to Europe.

"To this day, I never coached a better college player," Self said. "Hopefully he can get healthy. Wayne can play at that level and impact a franchise. He's not had the opportunity yet because of health concerns (salmonella and knee woes)."

Workouts

The Jayhawks normally practice 2-21â2 hours per day.

"From a practice standpoint, don't wear your guys out in November," Self said. "We're trying to cut back time. We went three hours yesterday. That's the only practice this year to go three hours."

Still, the grind since Oct. 12 has tested the freshmen.

"We had a few morning practices. I've gotten up, and I'm like, 'Boot Camp, again?''' exclaimed center Cole Aldrich. "It's been a blast so far. They're throwing a lot at us. We're trying to understand everything."

Trick or treat

Aldrich hopes to fit in some fun after practice on Halloween, his 19th birthday.

"I really want to go trick or treating. I love trick or treating. I don't think I've taken a year off. I went all throughout high school, and I'll probably do it until I'm 30," he said. "I know we have a big game Thursday, so I'm really going to get some good sleep and just get as much rest as I can, but hopefully get a little candy."

Recruiting updates

¢ Tyshawn Taylor, 6-foot-3 from Jersey City, N.J., orally committed to Marquette on Monday. He considered KU, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and others.

¢ J'Mison Morgan, 6-10 from Dallas' South Oak Cliff High, will choose either KU, LSU, Alabama, UCLA or Cincinnati at a noon news conference Friday at his high school. "I haven't made up my mind yet. I'm still thinking about everything, but I'll be ready by Friday," Morgan told Rivals.com.

¢ C.J. Henry, 6-3 from Oklahoma City, still is deciding whether to play baseball or basketball next year. He recently completed his third minor-league season, hitting .184 for the Philadelphia Phillies' Class A team in Lakewood, N.J. He told Rivals.com he'll attend either KU, Memphis or Texas if he plays basketball. KU is the heavy favorite considering he committed to KU as a senior in high school.

¢ Devoe Joseph, 6-2 from Ontario, Canada, will visit KU this weekend. He will also visit Minnesota, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt.

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