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Archive for Saturday, April 4, 2009

KU men’s hoops notebook

April 4, 2009

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Gathering Information

KU coach Bill Self will begin the process of gathering information from NBA sources next Tuesday and then sit down with both Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich to discuss their plans.

“I talked to both of them them Tuesday and Wednesday and I told them I could not gather information until I got back from the Final Four,” said Self, who will not attend Monday night’s championship game. “I’m going to gather information from Tuesday through Friday and hopefully we can visit soon after that.”

Information from the NBA teams regarding draft position and evaluations are more than trustworthy, Self said.

“Every year, it has been right on,” he said.

Still waiting

Movement on the coaching carousel, especially John Calipari’s move from Memphis to Kentucky, has created quite a bit of uncertainty in the recruiting world. KU is still awaiting decisions from Lance Stephenson, who had planned on announcing his selection on Tuesday, and Xavier Henry, who signed a letter of intent with Memphis in November but is reconsidering. Point guard John Wall is still weighing his options as well.

Under NCAA rules, Self cannot comment on recruits until Kansas receives a signed letter of intent. But he admitted the situation adds to the uncertainty surrounding KU’s roster.

“I wouldn’t say it’s out of whack,” Self said. “It happens every year. Coaching changes create recruiting rumors, too. There are some things that can happen, but who knows if they will.

“We’ve added two good players (Thomas Robinson and Elijah Johnson) to a team that, if we don’t lose anybody, could be pretty good. There’s a lot of unknown with us with Cole, Sherron and recruiting.”

Self likes MSU, UNC

Self is picking Michigan State, the team that defeated KU in the tournament, and North Carolina to win today’s semifinal games at Ford Field. “Last year, I thought the stars were aligned for us to win it all,” Self said. “I think this year, if the stars are aligned for anybody, it will be Michigan State. And I think Carolina will win. They’re the most talented team here, but I think Villanova’s style could give them problems.”

Attaboy, Roy

Self also said Kansas fans should be rooting for former KU coach Roy Williams and North Carolina this weekend.

“He did an awful lot for the university and brought a lot of joy to all of our fans. If they are holding hard feelings still, that means they’re probably still wishing he was here instead of me. Hopefully that’s not the case. What needed to happen, happened last year. Kansas and Carolina squared off in an important game. Regardless of who the winner was, I think that kind of helped it come to an end.”

Kansas jumped to a 40-12 lead on North Carolina on the way to an 84-66 national semifinal victory in San Antonio last year. Williams and the Tar Heels were asked about that performance on several occasions Friday.

“I’ve got some crazy sayings and one of them is that you can’t go out there and tiptoe through the tulips,” Williams said. “You have to be ready to plant your feet and make a stand. Last year we didn’t do that. I’m hopeful they understand. Hopefully they’ll be ready to go (today) before the referee throws the ball up. ... When we went out against Kansas, we looked around and said, ‘My goodness we’re in the Final Four.’ They hit us right in the mouth. It took us 15 minutes before we realized we were playing a game.”

This, that

Self confirmed he will be playing golf in Scotland on May 29 with a group of Kansas boosters. ... After the AP ceremony, Self also received an offer to conduct a clinic in Greece this summer. ... Self joked that the biggest reason he received coach of the year honors was for holding AP Player of the Year Blake Griffin scoreless in KU’s game at Oklahoma. “Of course, he did have a concussion and didn’t play,” Self said.

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