Archive for Monday, March 22, 2010

Next year, title possible

March 22, 2010


Nobody took the premature Kansas University exit from the NCAA Tournament harder than Marcus Morris, who was balled up on the corner of the Ford Center floor, bawling so hard he was shaking.

Asked about that afterward, Morris said disappointment brought him to the ground because he knew he had played his last game with teammates Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich.

“I feel like I grew up with them,” Morris said. “I became so close to those guys, for them to leave, it’s going to be emotional. I feel like next year I’ve got to come back and get a championship for them.”

It’s a lofty goal for someone who plays for a team that went 33-3 with the help of three starters not expected back. It’s also an attainable goal, even with Collins’ eligibility exhausted and Aldrich and Xavier Henry expected to enter their names in the NBA Draft.

First, Kansas must secure a commitment from Josh Selby, a 6-foot-2, 183-pound guard from Baltimore ranked No. 4 in the nation by He would become Bill Self’s highest-rated recruit in his time at Kansas. Selby said he’ll announce his college choice April 17 at the Jordan Brand Classic in New York City.

Selby’s known as a skilled scorer just as happy setting up teammates for buckets as getting them himself. He’s also ahead of most high school players defensively in that he seems to enjoy playing it. At Kansas, from Day 1 he would play point guard, his NBA position.

Adding Selby and November signee Royce Woolridge and subtracting Aldrich, Collins and Henry would bring Kansas to 12 scholarships, one short of the limit. The coaching staff has the luxury of using that scholarship to land the best player available, regardless of position.

Some believe Kansas will use it on a post player, but with nobody taking ownership of the second guard spot this past season, why not consider landing someone who immediately could play alongside Selby?

A 6-4 guard ranked 21st in the nation by, Doron Lamb lists Kansas and Kentucky among his schools of choice. He, too, has said he will announce his decision April 17 at the Jordan Brand Classic. A native of Queens, N.Y., Lamb attends Oak Hill Academy, a boarding school in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

A starting five of Selby, Lamb, Mario Little, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris could make Kansas a national-title contender. The competition among reserves for playing time on the perimeter, waged by Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Woolridge, could bring out the best in all the players. Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey, who showed flashes as freshmen and bring different styles, give Kansas quality depth in the post. Little also has the ability to play in the post, if needed.

Whatever recruits come to Kansas, they’ll enjoy playing with the friendly Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, who arrived as lazy players and became hooked on self-improvement.

“I’ll take a week or so off and just push harder than I did last summer,” Marcus Morris said. “This is not going to happen next year. I’ll be a leader. I’ll push myself over the summer to be the best player I can be and win a national championship at KU.”


anon1958 8 years, 3 months ago

"Marcus Morris, who was balled up on the corner of the Ford Center floor, bawling so hard he was shaking."

Jeez what a crybaby. I guess being a prima donna basketball player at KU is pretty rough stuff.

Seth Peterson 8 years, 3 months ago

As childish as that was to read, if this is a defining moment in his life and he take something away to help him grow, then I would support. After all the incidents he was involved with last year he now has lost something that is profound to him - may be it is enough and it might help prepare him for the truly horrible events that do happen throughout one's life and he'll realize how meaningless this moment is.

I guess we'll find out next year.

rdkone 8 years, 3 months ago

NIU just showed that you don't have to have a bunch of highly recruited McDonald's All-Americans to win basketball games. You need good coaching with kids who have the size, quickness, and motivation to compete. Then to win a national championship you need the right mix of players along with a little bit of luck. It will take more than another top ten recruit.

jonas_opines 8 years, 3 months ago

If they take the embarrassment that they sufferred this year and develop the step-on-your-throat mentality, rather than believing the late 2nd half run will bail them out, then they will compete for another title in all likelihood. KU almost always has a chance at it, often a good chance, probably 2 out of 3 years. And, as we proved this year, it's never pre-ordained.

kujayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Actually if he was a prima donna he'd be talking about the NBA instead of getting better for next year. I applaud the kid for how much he's grown up this year.

jonas_opines 8 years, 3 months ago

That's probably true, but anon is just a basketball hater, perhaps just a generic sports hater, based off previous posts. One of the ones who doesn't stay silent, either, but has to proselytize their hate, seeking converts. Sad.

deathwalker 8 years, 3 months ago

Well, as a UNI alum, we feel your PAIN!!! (Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!) Oh MAN! That had to hurt!!! Oh the humanity!!! The tears, the moaning, the HORROR!!! (Ha ha ha ha ha!!!) SCHMUCKS!!! You all looked right past us, thought it would be a cake walk... That's the difference between a champion and an over-rated bunch of pampered fools; a CHAMPION fights for every tick of the clock. These guys were ready to do their post game victory interview BEFORE the game started! TOO BAD!!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

Jeez, deathwalker, it was just a basketball game.

I suggest you find other ways to work out your inferiority complex.

seagull 8 years, 3 months ago

Have to agree with just_another_bozo. True champions know how to win (and lose) with class, which Self showed in the post game press conference, and deathwalker clearly has yet to learn. In response to Keegan, although McDonald's All-Americans may not be the answer, it remains to be seen whether UNI can win it all with Ali Farokmaneshes, especially when its next opponents will have a week to prepare for them. You gotta root for them though--and for St. Mary's and Xavier.

Robert Rauktis 8 years, 3 months ago

They have the talent. More MickeyD's means more prima donnas. Motivation and luck take over in the tournament. I think the year Maryland beat us, they had NO HS AA's. But on paper, WE had the best team. Swamp land looks good on paper. And Self's a good coach...very good, but not always a magician. Statistics bounce the ball the other way sometimes. Has anyone ever looked back at Rivals real accuracy? Done an autopsy? Never do read about their busts, do ya? But it sells gossip, which sells newspapers.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 3 months ago

so cole aldrich is definitely bye-bye? that's the way the article made it sound.

Kontum1972 8 years, 3 months ago

they were just sloppy...period...! mb they should watch the K-State game...and how they executed....

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 3 months ago

On to next year!! Propaganda, teabaggers and coservatism fail God Bless Bill Self in all he does. ROCK CHALK!!

kuphillyjim 8 years, 3 months ago

cole is probably gone, though his offensive game is not NBA ready (see Omar Samhan for some real lost post moves). Xavier will likely go and average 2 points a game in the NBA next season. Sherron will be a late first round, early second round pick and play 10 minutes a game as a backup next year. Maybe the lesson learned is you can further with less...maybe 2 or 3 mcdonalds all americans is enough, and fill the rest of your roster with gritty role players.... tyshawn taylor growing his game after a very disappointing season would be a key for next year, plus of course the point guard spot... can elijah be the man?

by the way, am i the only guy walking around his office muttering "ali farokmanesh" (or however you spell it) under his breath?

kuphillyjim 8 years, 3 months ago

it also makes me sick to think we could be playing a Kalin-Lucas less Michigan State team for a spot in the regional final.... what could have been... and these sweet 16 matchups are the least compelling in memory...

fabian_zimbabwe 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow, way to show some class, deathwalker. If you're looking to stir up the ire of KU fans, it won't happen here, at least not with me. UNI played a helluva game, and I wish them well going forward...dead serious about that. As for your comments, schadenfreude (it's a big word...look it up, if you need to) is something akin to karma: it can be a killer. Cheers!

opie81 8 years, 3 months ago

Keegen, why wouldn't Taylor be starting? Why are you writing off Tyrel? He was our best player against UNI.

Ideal 5: Selby Taylor/Reed Little/Releford Marcus Markieff

anon1958 8 years, 3 months ago

jonas_opines (anonymous) says…

That's probably true, but anon is just a basketball hater, perhaps just a generic sports hater, based off previous posts.

I support any sport that cultivates mental and physical discipline of its participants. Neither big time college basketball nor college football are coached or played in a manner that deserves anything more than contempt and open disdain. I am not particularly interested in the play of basketball or its rules but I dont hate it either. It is a child's game. It is a set of completely arbitrary rules as are almost all games, it is not something that a thinking person could possibly hate. Because you love basketball, does not mean that people who are disinterested in it as a sport, hate it.

Even though I have no interest in playing or watching basketball, there can be no argument it is much more elegant than football, more exciting than soccer and infinitely more interesting than a contest about who can make the most left turns while driving over smooth terrain during sunny weather.

The practices of the KUAC and its peers are an anathema to the ideals of higher education. The latter point is not debatable.

Normally I do not take pleasure from the misfortune of others. However my hatred of the administration of the University of Kansas is as pure as the love of the virgin Mary for baby Jesus, so ANY bad thing that happens to KU I count as a blessing. This group of players in particular, collectively, have shown themselves to be a bunch of thuggish and arrogant players beyond the usual limit, and thus do not deserve any pity or sympathy whatsoever. They really deserve to be mocked, along with their apologist fans.

jbiegs 8 years, 3 months ago

KU won't even win the big 12 title next year, let alone a national championship!

labmonkey 8 years, 3 months ago

The Henry's were a mistake. They brought a prima-donna attitude to the team that brought them down. Self also needs to find a way to coach the team to not believe their own press and play like they are the underdogs in every game. Hopefully this will make the Morrises hungry next year, and Taylor already has a chip on his shoulder....use that to your advantage.

jbiegs....just remember, KSU has Obama stank on them too. Look for them to lose the next game.

labmonkey 8 years, 3 months ago

The Henry's were a mistake. They brought a prima-donna attitude to the team that brought them down. Self also needs to find a way to coach the team to not believe their own press and play like they are the underdogs in every game. Hopefully this will make the Morrises hungry next year, and Taylor already has a chip on his shoulder....use that to your advantage.

jbiegs....just remember, KSU has Obama stank on them too. Look for them to lose the next game.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 3 months ago

jbiegs, kstate is NOTHING w/out its guards. if they go to the NBA y'all will go right back to sucking just as you've done every other year.

DavidEdge 8 years, 3 months ago

NCAA home team and #1 overall OUT!! Rock CHOKE Jayhawks!!

monkeyspunk 8 years, 3 months ago

UNI vs KU is why we love college basketball in March. It just sucks when its your team that is hit with the madness.

Coach has shown year after year that he is a stellar recruiter, but he has yet to produce a team that can crush the little guys from the jump ball to the final horn and also beat the elite teams. Maybe so many good HS players is a crutch. It was evident early on that a ton of time had to be spent just on learning how to play defense for some of these guys.

I like the sound of this Selby kid. Next Russel Robinson? That would be awesome.

I think the Morris brothers will shine next year. I like what I am hearing from Marcus.

We are going to be good next year, probably better. Our record may not reflect it as I think we got way lucky on a few of the games this season, but Big 12 championships for 2010-2011 are very likely.

And if you think K-State will be nearly as good this year, you are mistaken. When two of your players account for 70-80% of your scoring and one of them is leaving. You are going to have issues.

Baylor will be stellar next year, returning FIVE starters. KU vs. Baylor will be the game to watch.

In the meantime, I am cheering for K-State and for Baylor to kick the crap out of those east coast pansies.

Dogwaller 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm a UK fan and was curious to see what the Jayhawk fans were saying when I signed on here. Like a lot of fans (other than KU) I was pulling UNI however after the game there was a part of me that wished KU had won. Believe me, UK fans feel your pain as both programs have experienced losses that are very painful. Who's to say we won't get beat next week. It's hard not think about a Kansas - Kentucky matchup as I think it would have been really entertaining to watch as neither team would be concerned about controlling tempo! I don't think you have a lot to worry about as Coach Self will always bring in top talent but I'd be here's one fan who hopes the pick the Cats of over the Jayhawks.

7texdude 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't buy into the "they will learn from this" mentality. The only thing that happened was that KU let another national championship slip away. Simple as that. Why would I expect them to learn anything from this game when it is obvious they have so much growing up to do. I hope I'm wrong, but with Cole and Sherron gone, there is a huge leadership void that has to be filled. And, to be brutally honest, where was the great leadership from anyone last weekend?

Sure, KU will be good next year. Self is a good coach and a strong recruiter, but win a national championship? Come on. We had a "special" team this year and they didn't show up in the NCAAs. And didn't we say we learned from Bucknell when we played Bradley the next year?

Sorry, I guess I still have a UNI hangover, but I'll drink water and take Advil to feel better, not Kool-Aid. We can all wait until Late Night to feel better about next year's team. Watching Sherron and Tyshawn jack up those 3's reminded me of Jared Haase and Billy Thomas. We'll need someone to step up on the perimeter next year and I hope it happens.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Richard Payton 8 years, 3 months ago

Reminds me of the Georgetown vs. Ohio game or Murray St. vs. Vanderbilt games in this years tourney. Syracuse lost to LeMoyne College in a preseason game this year. Any team that advances in this tourney has to win with skill and luck. The Jayhawks have more tournament wins than any other school in the history of the tournament.

MyName 8 years, 3 months ago

Guard play is what killed us in this tournament, but the cupboard isn't going to be bare next season, especially in the paint. So get two more good guards in case one or more of them is having an off night, and we'll be in good shape.

I wouldn't bet on us winning it all next year, but we have a good chance, and two years from now we'll have a better chance. Something that bothers me the most about the early games is the fact that we've been on TV so much that anyone we play would be able to scout us, while we are unlikely to be able to scout them as well. Not that it made the difference, but something that occurred to me is all.

mom_of_three 8 years, 3 months ago

I didn't get to watch the entire game, but KU beat themselves. Not hitting shots, not playing with intensity. And honestly, UNI had to bring their best game to beat KU at their worst game. UNI hit the shots they had to hit (and normally don't) and KU didn't. A couple of charges go the other way (on both ends) and KU wins. 9 times out of 10, KU will beat UNI. This was the one time. And that's why its called March madness, cause nothing about the basketball tournament makes sense. KSU is in the sweet 16 and we beat them by 17 at home. KU just didn't play. And all of this reminds me of the 97 team that lost to Arizona - they also should have won it all but didn't.
Tough loss as it goes, but KU is still one of the best teams in the country. Taylor has to learn to play with control, as he has shown from time to time, and KU will still be one of the best.

barricade 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes like all of you I am upset that KU lost. I visioned them going to the Title game and winning. But look back on the successful year that KU had. 2000 wins, Big 12 regular season champs, Big 12 title champs, Coach Self became the fastest coach to get 200 wins and he also got 400 career wins also. Do not critize his coaching he obvoioulsy knows what he is doing and he has been a great coach. Also KU knows how to execute look back at games this season, I think they have showed that they can. Yes it sucks we lost, espiceally to a MIAA conference team, but that is part of March Madness right? It didnt help that everything NIU threw up went in, but give them credit, they were ready for us.

I look forward to next year we have a strong team returning and I think Xavier will be back

Jeff Johnson 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, Keegs.....a national title at KU is not possible next year. They won't even be a consensus fav to win the Big XII.

Gary Hawke 8 years, 3 months ago

We can hope in one hand and dump in the other and see which one fills up first. Aside from UNI students and alums, the rest of the world lost some great games ahead in the tourney.

Jeff Johnson 8 years, 3 months ago

MS....KSU is NOT losing 70-80% of their scoring. Try looking up true stats once in a while. In Clemente, KSU is losing a whopping 15 to 20% of their scoring.....of which much will easily be compensated by McGruder stepping into the two guard role. McGruder is a much better "pure" shooter and his 3 pt percentage is much higher than Clemente's. KSU will....much to your better next year, especially with KSU's MVP and top leader in Pullen coming back.

drnater 8 years, 3 months ago

Did we already forget who some of our former players who were high school mcdonalds all-american's? The 2008 championship team was loaded with them, but nobody is saying they are prima-donnas. Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur, Cole Aldrich, and Sherron were all Mcdonalds all-americans that were part of that core that won the national championship. Julian Wright was as well. Danny Manning and Wayne Simien were Mcdonalds All-Americans, are they prima-donnas? Im confused on this calling the same recruits we've been getting for years all of a sudden being prima-donna's.... can someone explain that to me?

jonas_opines 8 years, 3 months ago

"Im confused on this calling the same recruits we've been getting for years all of a sudden being prima-donna's.... can someone explain that to me?"

A bias that existed before some of them even started playing this year, that is being stuck to, that is all. A bad pre-season with the fight and Morningstar's DUI, and thus not allowing them to notice that since then there were about 0 black marks (the worst being unconfirmed facebook postings by Taylor that no one read but felt free to comment on).

Then of course there are the Henrys, who have been blackmarked for comments made by virtually everybody but the two of them themselves. Loudmouth dad, to be sure, and lots of commentator hype, but the two players contributed decidedly little to all of it, which has also been ignored or forgotten.

Biggest problem with late-season this year was the feeling of being pre-ordained as a national champion, as if the basketball gods would make it happen. They don't do that.

ScottyMac 8 years, 3 months ago

AtlasShrugging (anonymous) says… "One and doners and McDonald all Americans are over rated Pre-Madonnas."

Pre-Madonna: Women could emerge as music superstars based on musical talent alone.

Post-Madonna: Even highly original performers feel pressure to market their sex appeal to sell albums.

jbiegs 8 years, 3 months ago

OK Mel, you obviously know more than I do about the KSU basketball team. Frank Martin has been a winner at every stop along the way. He has been laying the groundwork for the last 3 years and now it is our time to reap the benefits. KU WILL BE PLAYING FOR 2ND PLACE NEXT YEAR.

Don Whiteley 8 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, Collins should do REAL well in the draft. I hear Lichtenstein is looking for a power player who shoots 20%. After last Saturday, the rest of the KU players should look about as attractive to the draft as the south end of a north bound jackass.

ozfan 8 years, 3 months ago

"And that's why its called March madness, cause nothing about the basketball tournament makes sense"

Yes, it does not make sense that the other three #1 seeds did get into the sweet 16.

ozfan 8 years, 3 months ago

"but KU is still one of the best teams in the country"

This is what the players had in their mind and what Self was not able to take out of their minds.

ozfan 8 years, 3 months ago

"But look back on the successful year that KU had. 2000 wins, Big 12 regular season champs, Big 12 title champs, Coach Self became the fastest coach to get 200 wins and he also got 400 career wins also."

Yes, given this the score should have been set to 4-0 KU before the beginning of the UNI game.

pankakes 8 years, 3 months ago

My only consolation is this: The prospect that Aldrich and Henry will stay another year. For Aldrich, we've learned, another year of seasoning is absolutely vital before he attempts the NBA. And clearly, Henry is not ready for the NBA. He's not even close; a premature jump could mean that in spite of his talents, he'll always be a peripheral player rather than an NBA star.

Kdogg44 8 years, 3 months ago

For all you haters out there, Bill Self is a great coach. We lost a game ...Kansas Basketball will continue to prosper. 33-3... great job Coach Self and staff. See you next year Hawk Fans...and all the people who are not happy with the team or Coach, stay off the Bandwagon...Rock Chalk.....

ozfan 8 years, 3 months ago

"You guys are living the American Dream, being big men on campus and many of you getting athletic scholarships. An average Joe would give his left testicle to be in your shoes...Time to put things in their proper perspective, gents. Constructive criticism, nothing more."

Very well put.

BruceWayne 8 years, 3 months ago

I love it when KStaters jump on this site and spew forth their hatred. Guess what goat boy? Going one round deeper in the tourney than KU does not a banner hang. Martin and his band of thugs will be exposed soon enough. EGIN!

bigdchi 8 years, 3 months ago

Self is one overated coach. We saw him choke in 01" with the Illini who were favored to win it all. He is a very good recruiter but has never been able to get a team to play at a consistently high level. I have always had a fondness for KU basketball, as my late Dad was a graduate in the 1940's, and worked with Phog Allen. KU has too great of a repution to put up with a coach like this. He will soon wear out his welcome. KU you deserve alot better.

Echo_Boom 8 years, 3 months ago

Ummm, Xavier is not going anywhere. I would be shocked if he tried to go to the NBA. He's not ready and frankly, I don't think Sherron and Cole are sure bets either. Sherron is a good college player, no doubt. But a good college player is a far cry from a good NBA player. Plus, he doesn't even hit 6 foot, I'm not sure any NBA team is looking for that.

Cole has the best shot of the three but I think another year would do him good, there are definitely areas that he needs to improve on. An NBA may want to develop him, or they may want him to play another year of college ball. After their performance against UNI, I'm not sure any of them offer anything worth millions of dollars to an NBA team. Sherron obviously doesn't have a choice, he's gone. Xavier needs a great deal of improvement before the NBA should even enter his mind.

That said, another title next year is DEFINITELY possible. It's always possible. WE ARE KANSAS.

And KSU people, you need to quit living in your unrealistic world. K State could return everyone and we'd still beat you. We will beat you in Manhattan next year and in Lawrence and in the Big 12 tournament if need be. The fact of the matter is that we beat you THREE times. Not once, not twice, but THREE times. Doesn't matter if you go further in the tournament, we are still a better team than you. Also, KSU is like KU's ugly stepsister. KU has the history, the tradition, KSU doesn't have anything close. Come to think of it, hey K State, could we borrow your trophy case? Ours are getting full.

bigdchi 8 years, 3 months ago

The K State KU rivalry reminds me a little of the Michigan-OSU football rivalry. I graduated from Ohio State, and like KU in basketball, we expect to be in the top 4 or 5 every year. Also like KU in basketball, we have an overated coach (Tressel) who is a good recruiter but can't get it done consistently with great talent. Roy Williams (The Carpetbagger) is a much better coach than Self. I don't think he is as good of a recruiter as billy Boy. When Self eventually gets canned (hopefully sooner than later), I wonder which candiates will be considered. KU is the best job in college basketball and that's why I can't believe they lowered the bar to hire Self. Those of us who lived in Illinois saw what a mediocre job he did with 2superior teams choked full of talent.

Kontum1972 8 years, 3 months ago

i wont waste my time and money next year....they should of gave the head job to Danny Manning.

Penders did your mum have any children who lived?

spitfiresydney13244 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey Tom Keegan:

First of all, this article is garbage. What kind of title is "Next year, title possible" anyways? If you're Kansas (or any elite program), you are expected to contend for the title every year -- meaning, it's always possible.

Second, remember how you ALWAYS put Syracuse behind KU with your AP vote? Nobody cares if your parents met while working in the same hospital in upstate NY. What kind of defense is that? It's crystal clear that you don't watch any other basketball team than KU. Don't say your vote is based on objective reasoning when you don't follow the rest of the college basketball world.

Third, don't tell me that Syracuse would never beat KU. Uh, we did. Remember last year? Let me remind you. The game was in Kansas City...Sherron and Cole played, too. Plus, SU won with a less dynamic team. But I guess this shouldn't come as a complete shocker since even Northern Iowa can beat a very arrogant KU team.

You, sir, have a lot of cake on your face. Eat it.

Thats_messed_up 8 years, 3 months ago

"Martin and his band of thugs will be exposed soon enough." Sorry Snob Hill fans you guys are the Big 12 Champs in Thuggery! Sheron got away with sexual assault in an elevator, Morris twins shot an old lady with a BB gun, Sheron and Tyshon and the Morris twins beat up the football players and threw them down the stairs on campus between classes! Morningstar blew over twice the legal limit on the turnpike-DUI, sat out the Ft. Hays state game. No suspensions for the fight on campus by Self. KState players have had zero incidents this year.

ksuone1 8 years, 3 months ago

You know ever since I left Lawrence and had to put up with all the arrogant morons or less-ons Please get over your self....ok you lost big whoop...this is a "game"....nothing more nothing less. You may try to agree with each other and waste precious prognosis blah blah on only those of you that "care" or are just the fair weathered fans that you are truly. I am so glad I don't live there any more and have to be subjected to the blah blah of this ku newspaper and the sad fans that are frankly get over yourself.... Change is good only if you truly change for the better........ I think you won the conference....hello....or Good the wheat waved from Northern Iowa...

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