Archive for Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thomas, Appleton leaving Kansas

Players transferring for more playing time

Kansas men's basketball players Tyrone Appleton, left, and forward Quintrell Thomas will look to transfer after the spring 2009 semester, according to head coach Bill Self.

Kansas men's basketball players Tyrone Appleton, left, and forward Quintrell Thomas will look to transfer after the spring 2009 semester, according to head coach Bill Self.

April 9, 2009


Appleton, Thomas transfer from KU

Tyrone Appleton and Quintrell Thomas have decided to transfer from the Kansas University men's basketball program, it was announced Thursday. Enlarge video

Kansas University freshman Quintrell Thomas and junior Tyrone Appleton, who played sparingly for the Jayhawks during the 2008-09 basketball season, both cited a desire for playing time — and lots of it — as their reasons for deciding to transfer away from KU.

‘“Q’ wants to play. I don’t blame him,” KU coach Bill Self said Thursday night, hours after issuing a press release that indicated the two would leave KU for yet-to-be-determined destinations.

“Tyrone intends on playing basketball for a living, whether Europe or somewhere. There’s no chance to do that if you do not develop a résumé, same for Quintrell,” Self added.

He sat down with the two players this week, and after a discussion of the 2009-10 roster, it was apparent transferring was the only way they’d be guaranteed meaningful minutes.

“We talked about where they are now and their role next season based on players returning and ones coming in,” Self said. “Both were not happy with their playing time last year. If players return and others are coming in, their chances to play and contribute minutes would be similar to this year. I asked, ‘Would you be happy in the same role next year? If you are happy with it, fine.’ They want to play.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-7, 240-pounder from Newark, N.J., who averaged 5.4 minutes in 26 games, not only would face front-court competition for minutes from Cole Aldrich, who most expect will return next season, Mario Little, the Morris twins and Travis Releford, but also newcomers Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson.

Appleton, a 6-2, 203-pounder from Gary, Ind., who averaged 2.2 minutes in 21 games, would find it tough taking time from Sherron Collins, who also is a good bet to return, as well as Tyshawn Taylor, Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and newcomer Elijah Johnson, with the possibility of Xavier Henry and his brother, C.J., joining the program.

“Kansas has been great with the fans, my teammates and the tradition,” said Thomas, who, like Appleton, didn’t list any schools on his transfer list. It’s always possible Thomas could go the junior-college route to avoid sitting out a year, while Appleton already has played juco ball. “I think by transferring, I can find an expanded role elsewhere. I want to thank the basketball staff and administration for the opportunity to play at Kansas and have no ill feelings toward the program,” Thomas added.

Noted Appleton: “Kansas has been a great experience, one that I will never forget. I enjoyed my teammates, coaches and the fans. I am just looking for more time on the court and don’t see it here. I want to be able to have a solid senior season.”

Self believes the phone will be ringing off the hook regarding both players.

“I think there will be quite a bit of interest,” he said, responding “absolutely” when asked if he’d help the two pick schools.

“We, as a staff, know whoever gets them will be getting good, hard-working players. They have been fabulous young men, good teammates and solid ambassadors for the university.

“I like them. The coaches like them. The kids (teammates) like them. They’ve chosen to attend a university where they can have expanded roles.”

The departure of Appleton and Thomas puts KU at 12 scholarship players for next season, one under the limit of 13.

A previous version of this story contained a number of notes. Those items have been moved to a separate story.


FFAF 9 years ago

Can't really blame them. Best of luck to both.

Daniel Kennamore 9 years ago

Hopefully they move on to good things...

Meanwhile, whatever shall we do with two more scholarships open? evil grin

missingdigits 9 years ago

I do wish them well. I hope they find what they are looking for. However I am getting tired of players transferring every year for lack of playing time. If all you were looking for was playing time why did you come to KU in the first place? I am pretty sure Self never promised either of these guys big minutes. Sorry guys, but you will assuredly not transfer to a better school (on scholarship) and get a the same education nor will you ever have the chance to be a part of another national championship team. If all you want is PT then go for it, but I really think you are making a big mistake.

jayhawklawrence 9 years ago

I am completely impressed with these young men and their attitude.

Actually, I am stunned.

These guys could really impact a program somewhere and they are already a success in my book.

jaywalker 9 years ago

Good luck, gentleman! Wish them both nothing but the best. Thanks for being a part of our program.

bakpak 9 years ago

Do you really think transferring was their choice? BS needs schollies for better players.

average 9 years ago

Hope to hear from both on "Cinderella Watch" in March, 2011.

webmocker 9 years ago

"Sorry guys, but you will assuredly not transfer to a better school (on scholarship) and get a the same education ..."

Really? KU offers the best education in the country among Division 1 schools that offer basketball scholarships? I was not aware of that, but it's nice to know.

formyle 9 years ago

I also thought Thomas could develop into a good player, but perhaps with the Morris twins and the new kid coming in next year that got snubbed from the McDonald's game (I forget his name right now), maybe it seemed he would always be third or fourth (or worse) in the rotation. I do hope the best for both players, I think they did a good job while they were here.

greenworld 9 years ago

Let's review what may happen for the good and what may happen for the not so good. One, this will definately make it so the Henry brothers came now come. I would have kept Thomas and ask Morningstore to transfer. Now I would assume currently Collins and Aldrich have not announced their plans of staying or going but if they both leave then the Henry brothers all of a sudden become a very important element to the team. Also we dont know if we are getting one of them or both or neither so this could play out to be dangerous moves. If Collins and Aldrich jump and the Henry brothers dont come here we are left with decent talent but not great talent. Best case scenario both Collins and Aldrich stay and we get both the Henry brothers. This will be one hell of a team if that plays out. Coach Self will have to make some changes to the starting lineup. I think you keep Aldrich, Collins, Taylor, and then let it open up to whoever deserves it. I wouldnt just start Morningstar and Morris because they started last year. I think the older Henry brother will have to be starting and getting major playing time to keep things real here. I mean why would you sit a top 10 high school/ pick over somebody that doesnt have the creditials. No knock on Brady but I just hope they put the 5 best players out on the court and not just Brady becasue his dad played for KU. Also dont forget about that guy Mario Little, I think the more time he gets out on the court you could have you a ringer. I know he didnt show his whole game when he was in but how do you do that when your not getting minutes.

cg1029 9 years ago

Greenworld Your are right, but your facts are completly wrong. Morningstar only started this year because we had noone else beat him out for minutes. Think back to last year when Sheron was healthy he played more minutes then Russell Robinson. Self plays the best players available that is why we have people transfer. If both the Henry brothers come to KU and Cole and Sheron both stay then we will have a starting lineup of Sheron, Taylor, Xavier Henry, Cole, and whoever is best out of the Morris twins and incoming freshmen Thomas Robinson. Once Jeff Whitney becomes avilable second semester he will figure into the rotation as well. Noone knows what CJ Henry has to offer at this time he has not played in an organized game since his senior year of high school and sat out all of last year with an injury.

maxcrabb 9 years ago

So... a friend pointed out to me that Cole was moved from a lot of draft projections for this year to next...

Soooo maybe he is here for one more year...

notjustastudent 9 years ago

Bill Self would never ask Morningstar to leave. I have personally heard the words "Brady is an incredible asset to this team, and more of our fans need to get behind him" come out of his mouth far too many times for that to happen. As far as the players leaving- I don't think their stupid, greedy, or whatever else. Obviously they had respect for the program at KU, and they wanted to be a part of that tradition. But sometimes the desire to just play overwhelms that. Ask any athlete- being on the field or on the court is far better than being on the bench, no matter how talented you may be.

jaywalker 9 years ago

"Do you really think transferring was their choice? BS needs schollies for better players."

Coach can NOT ask for a scholarship back without violations, it's not an option. And Self is are too class to cut guys loose who committed to him and the program in order to replace them with highly regarded recruits. You and 'thanksforcoming' need to cop a clue.

rgh 9 years ago

Morningstar will definitely be back. He wants another NCAA title.

Self would NEVER ask a kid to leave he recruited for another recruit! He would ask them to leave if they were causing harm to the university or team but Tyrone and Q certainly were not in that category.

Good luck to both players and your year at KU!

rabbit 9 years ago

Get rid of the Morris Twins and keep these two players.

jonas_opines 9 years ago

2fat4u (Anonymous) says…

"I played 2 minutes a game in highschool too, did I transfer?"

And here you are! Posting your opinion on Division I basketball in the LjWorld!

Truly a success story.

Rickyonealku 9 years ago

All I would like to comment on is young men good luck and everyone wants more playing time who collect splinters on the bench. Kansas Basketball games are an event not just a game. Again good luck.

Catbacker 9 years ago

jaywalker - You could not be more incorrect. Scholarships are one-year "contracts." The school/coach can pull them at any time, for any reason. It's kind of a classless thing to do...but most coaches will do it if winning is the most important thing to their school/program. I would guess "fringe" players are told this could happen before they ever sign up at KU.

jaywalker 9 years ago

Sorry, Cat, but MOST coaches would not do it, if only because their rep would be crap. And scholarships canNOT be rescinded without cause.

Satirical 9 years ago

Best of luck in the future Thomas and Appleton.

Now, if Self could just convince Releford to transfer...

Jeff Kilgore 9 years ago

2fat, rabbit, satirical, you make really unfair, and even stupid comments about players that were an integral part of a Sweet Sixteen season. What are you thinking? These kids are good enough to take us this far, what might happen next year with more seasoning and new faces? I want to win as bad as anybody, but I don't call out kids for any flaws that I might perceive. Instead, I cheer for them and accept that sometimes teams lose. All 340 NCAA schools lost games this year. I'm much happier about our '09 season than you sound. And cat, if Self is honest with the two kids who are transferring, they probably will go on to play more at different schools, so there is no need in bashing Self, nor 2fart, in bashing those two kids. They are human beings. Treat our kids with respect, and I won't call out your comments as stupid, which they are.

beauj 9 years ago

Tyrone and Quintrell - Thanks for being part of our program and for representing our university well. We respect your decision and wish you all the best!

bevy 9 years ago

Am I the only one who finds it disturbing that one of these kids (who was apparently not good enough to be a starter at KU) wants to "make a living playing basketball"? I hope he gets a degree so he has something to fall back on...those jobs aren't exactly thick on the ground. Unless they are in Europe?

jonas_opines 9 years ago

For Appleton, "not good enough to be a starter" means "not as good as Sherron Collins." Transferring to another team might mean a good chance to get good minutes, develop, and prove his talents. He's probably not NBA starter potential, but there are lower options too.

cellogrl 9 years ago

What was with all the Morningstar bashing earlier? Was I the only one who saw 3 pointers raining down late in the season every time he stepped in?

Tucker 9 years ago

2fat4u, your an idiot! You should refrain from talking about KU basketball.

rgh 9 years ago


Couldn't have said it better. Being recruited by Bill Self and his staff at KU says it all for these two. This is totally different than Gideons and that crybaby Micah Downs leaving.

Coach Self will even help these young men find good fit for them and not just tell them good bye, and good luck.

I wish them both the best.

Poon 9 years ago

2fat4you making repeated posts = meth sales are slow in Columbia today.

Satirical 9 years ago


How is my comment unfair?

Releford is never going to start at KU or play significant minutes. In my opinion he should transfer if he doesn't want to be a bench warmer his college career. It would also have the added benefit of freeing up scholarship so KU can get a better player. It is a win-win situation. Just like with Thomas and Appleton.

Bone777 9 years ago

A lot of people on here don't understand the concept of team. It is these very players that are responsible for making 'your starters' better in practice everyday. They don't deserve to be insulted for making a decision, especially when the writing was on the wall. A simple thank-you will do. If I was a recruit and I thought this message board was indicitive of the average KU fan, I would go to UNC.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

"Releford is never going to start at KU or play significant minutes."

I predict you'll have to eat those (english) words, satirical.

And well-said, Bone777.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

It'll be interesting to see whether Appleton goes to a Div I school, or to a Div II where he wouldn't have to sit out for a year. Will Thomas go to a juco for a year for the same reason?

Satirical 9 years ago

Bozo.. “I predict you'll have to eat those (english) words, satirical.”

If I do it will either mean, (1) he has vastly improved and has earned playing time, in which I would be happy to “eat my words,” or (2) Self does a horrible recruiting job the next few years or because of injuries he is forced to play, in which case I will be very sad.

The fact is Releford isn’t that good. He plays like a post player but is about 6 inches short for that position. He isn’t a good 3-point shooter, and isn’t a very good shooter period. He isn’t that great of a defender either. He isn’t a very good ball-handler and isn’t extremely quick. If he stays, I sincerely hope he improves, but I think he has a low ceiling and would be better of playing for another team if he wants significant playing time.

Satirical 9 years ago

Simply because I am able to critically analyze each player's performance doesn't mean I don't want them to succeed.

If you wanted, I could tell you the flaws in Collins and Aldrich's game, even though next year (assuming they return) they will respectively be the best point guard and center in college.

Patricia Davis 9 years ago

Personally I'm still wondering about the twins. They seem like two people with one brain. Last year's recruiting class didn't seem to reflect our championship. You have to wonder sometimes about Self's choices. He seems to do best when goodies fall from the tree, or at least from Memphis.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

Releford is a project. He'll see limited minutes next year just as he did this year, unless Collins leaves and neither Stephenson nor the Henrys come here. But by his junior and especially his senior years, I predict he'll play a major role.

Leprechaunking13 9 years ago

WOOOOOOW, a bunch of you have no reason or right to speak about sports, players, or people in general. In fact most of you shouldn't speak AT ALL!!!! Morningstar ended the season with the HIGHEST 3 point field goal percentage IN THE BIG 12!!! You want him to transfer??? Stupid move. Releford, will be rediculous when developed over the next couple seasons. Look at what our coaching staff has done with less athletic players(sasha kaun anyone), and you if you think that he isn't that quick, or fast you have no clue what either of those things are. He was our most athletic player on the team hands down, with Tyshawn a close second. The game is just too fast for Travis to be effective yet. When the game slows down for Releford, watch out cause he's going to be a stud! These players(Tyrone and Q) are leaving because they were the low end of the totem pole for their positions this year, and we have better talent coming in next season with the recruits we DEFINITELY have. So even if we don't get anymore recruits, there was little chance that they would move up. 2fat4u you are retarded!! Please become a fan of another team, seriously you don't even know the names of the players on the team. Unless you are a TRUE and supportive fan. SHUT UP!!!! Q and Appleton best of luck, probably the smart move to build your resumes.

Satirical 9 years ago


I agree about the twins. It seems they are most effective when both of them are on the floor at the same time. However, I think we will be extremely deep at the 4 & 5 position next year, which means competition, so I am not too worried.

Leprechaunking13 9 years ago

oxyMORON, you don't think that Self makes the right choices with recruiting?!?!?! Really??? So Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Darnell Jackson, Russell Robinson, Sasha Kaun, Tyshawn Taylor, Sherron Collins, Julian Wright, and Darrell Arthur were bad recruits??? Wow, seems to me that's a lot of NBA talent right there. Maybe that's just me! The reason that some of the highly recruited players don't pick Kansas, even when we are on their list, is because they think that they won't get enough minutes to be one and done oooor they choose a different school because it's better for the family. Self is the best recruiter in College Basketball, hands down.

Armen Kurdian 9 years ago

(Obligatory defaming statement coming:) "...and Quintrell stinks, & Thomas stinks & losers, & no good & my grandma's better & stupid comment this & I don't have a clue what I'm talking about that..." Some of these guys forget that even Matt Kleinemann (I think I butchered his name there) contributed to this team heavily...who do the starters play against in practice? Even the scrubs play a valuable role. Looks like this was handled very well & I wish them both good luck.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years ago

Satirical, I am sure that you have no idea whether or not Releford will play. Go back with me 10 years ago or so and think back about the sophomore years of Heinrich and Collison. They went up to IU and got beat 90somethingto50something. It was at that point that I announced that "this is the beginning of the end." Two years later, we're playing the Orange for it all, as you know. And both H and C are multi-millionaires.

My point is that It is impossible to predict what these kids will do. I think that Releford may develop into a kid who can average 10-12 a game and be a part of dominating teams. Self doesn't miss on talent very often, and I really think that these two transfers would have played and done well next year if we weren't capable of stocking up on greater players. Perhaps my beef wasn't really with you. I just get tired of the lambasting of TEENAGERS on this board. Some of the adults who comment on the sports page show less maturity than the teenagers they cheer? for. That's my biggest problem. They're castigating the BigXII champions. And they were a part of that team. If you haven't sat the bench and waited for your turn as I have, then you have no idea what these kids are doing. I really respect them, and not in a sappy patronizing way, either. They are class kids and really great athletes. Rant complete. ROCK CHALK!

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