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Archive for Friday, April 15, 2011

Royce Woolridge to transfer from KU

KU guard: ‘I love Kansas, but I just really want to play … ’

Kansas guard Royce Woolridge pushes the ball up court past Washburn's Jeff Reid in the second half of the exhibition game, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Royce Woolridge pushes the ball up court past Washburn's Jeff Reid in the second half of the exhibition game, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

April 15, 2011, 2:16 p.m. Updated April 16, 2011, 12:00 a.m.

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Royce Woolridge, who committed to Kansas University’s basketball program back as a sophomore in high school, on Friday announced plans to transfer at the end of his freshman year.

“I love Kansas, but I just really want to play more,” said Woolridge, a 6-foot-3, 182-pound guard out of Phoenix Sunnyslope High. “I feel like I will have more of an opportunity to play if I went somewhere else.

“I mean it’s sad that it happened like this. I committed so early. Playing at Kansas was my dream. I’m happy I had a year living out my dream. I have no regrets. You can never have regrets. It was a great year. It’s a great place to be, but it’s important to me get more of an opportunity to play.”

Woolridge — he scored nine points all season while playing 44 minutes in 16 games — said he had no specific school in mind.

“It would be nice to be closer to home, to my mom, but I really have no idea,” said Woolridge, who informed coach Bill Self of his decision on Thursday.

Self explained the transfer decision-making process on Friday.

“When Royce and I met after the season, we talked openly and honestly of the potential role he would have for our team moving forward,” Self said. “After the meeting, he wanted to visit with his family. He then came back to me yesterday and said he wanted his release and was seeking to transfer.

“Royce works hard and is deserving of an opportunity to play more,” Self added. “Although his play was limited this season, he did have an impact on our team. We wish him nothing but the best and we know he will do well wherever he attends. He is a good teammate and a great student.”

Woolridge had a 3.6 grade point average first semester.

“The KU coaches have taught me so much. Coach Self is an amazing coach. All the assistant coaches have taught me a ton this year,” Woolridge said. “I’ve learned more about basketball that I had no idea about. I look at basketball from a whole different perspective because of the coaches. I really understand it more.

“I want to thank all of my teammates,” Woolridge added. “They are family. I want to thank the fans. They have been amazing. I didn’t even play and they still showed me a lot of love and accepted me as part of the KU family and I appreciate that. I want to thank the wives of the coaches for helping me. My mom was back in Phoenix and they helped me from that standpoint.

“Kansas made me better, no doubt. I am so much better and this place helped me become more of a man and I appreciate everything it has done for me.”

Woolridge’s mom, Victoria, says there are no hard feelings.

“This is amicable. There’s not a bad reason for this,” Victoria said. “Royce came at a time there were a lot of seniors in front of him. He wants to play now. He and coach Self came to an understanding. We have some options (of other schools) that we will look at because Royce really wants to play.

“I want to stress there’s no better fans than (at) Kansas. You have the greatest fans in America. They stood behind Royce after he signed and after he got there. We have nothing against Kansas. We will miss everyone tremendously.”

Woolridge said no matter where he lands he’ll always consider himself a KU fan.

“Of course,” he said. “My brothers are here. I love KU.”

The Jayhawks, who lost three seniors as well as the Morris twins and Josh Selby off a 35-3 team, now have six returning scholarship players (counting Conner Teahan, who received a scholarship last season after arriving as a walk-on) to go with signees Braeden Anderson, Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe.

Thus, KU has four additional scholarships still to give during the spring signing period, which lasts until May 18. Self has said he would like to sign at least one more perimeter player and one more frontcourt player.

Players still on KU’s wish list include DeAndre Daniels, 6-8, 180, from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.; Jamari Traylor, 6-7, 210, also from IMG; and Trevor Lacey, 6-3, 190, from Butler High in Huntsville, Ala. Daniels is visiting Duke this weekend.

Comments

Yide 3 years, 8 months ago

This is unfortunate news. I thought Royce had a great opportunity to get meaningful minutes next year, and to be an integral part of the rotation his junior and senior year.

Maybe someone can help me understand how transferring and sitting for a full year will help with his desire to play right now. It seems to me that his best chance at playing right away is to stay put. Injuries happen all the time and he could have been needed in a major way this upcoming year.

Best of luck Royce wherever you decide to go.

John Brown 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, it's a suprise. However, Ben, Tyshawn, Elijah, Travis and maybe Lacey. We seem to be guard loaded. I was suprised that he didn't redshirt last year. Oh well, he should have developed his skills on the practice squad. That should carry over to where he ends up. Good Luck Royce!

jhawkinsf 3 years, 8 months ago

Royce always struck me as the kind of player who would contribute in his Jr. and Sr. years. Good luck to him wherever he goes. Now, we seem to have a bunch of scholarships and not that many top flight recruits. Daniels and Lacey are iffy, each. Who else do we offer?

Daniel Speicher 3 years, 8 months ago

You're obviously joking, right, pig? The only other explanation would be that you are entirely uninformed and haven't noticed that Self is the greatest recruiting coach in America and one of the best X's and O's coaches out there. Whoever gets Woolridge's scholarship will be: a) An outstanding recruit, not unlike Woolridge, himself, and b) Coached well and to the point where we will not miss Royce's potential.

Bill Self has proven year after year at KU to be a solid coach who can shape a potential championship team every year... Even in years that other teams would consider "rebuilding" years. KU doesn't have rebuilding years... They are consistently a Top 25 (if not Top 10) program in NCAA basketball. This is due, in near entirety, to Self's ability to find and craft potentially amazing basketball players.

Brian Conrad 3 years, 8 months ago

YOU have lost your mind ... as usual.. Self doing Great. Royce great young man .. but with many guards his minutes would be limited.

3 years, 8 months ago

If web servers could take a crap, a post like this is evidence of the fact.

theotherphogg 3 years, 8 months ago

I love it when people take the time to post comments, and in the process, reveal they know little to nothing about D1 basketball. I too wish Royce would stay. But don't hate on Brady and TT because they played in front of him. Self's 'wheels are falling off'? Wow, you have no clue....

windjammer 3 years, 8 months ago

Two ignorant posts on the same subject

OceanStateJayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

The man won a national title in 2008 and his wheels are falling off? He has won 7 straight conference titles and his wheels are falling off? Since 2006 he has won the Big XII tourney every year except 2009 and his wheels are falling off? He has an 84% winning percentage and his wheels are falling off?

Maybe KU should start the buyout process now and go after oh I don't know Jesus Christ?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 8 months ago

I have always believed that in the world of big time sports, and K.U. basketball qualifies, that players and coaches should be fired (of let go) if there is someone out there that is available and would do a better job. In the case of Bill Self, there is NOT someone out there available and would do a better job. It's often said that K.U. does not rebuild, they reload. Next year may be the exception. But I have full confidence in Coach Self. Anyone want to give him a ten year extension? I would.

jonas_opines 3 years, 8 months ago

If you can't win a championship in less or equal time than your tickets drop off of your license then clearly you suck. (/sarcasm)

Pigballin likes to think he knows what he's talking about. Of course, the great thing about negative sports prognostications is that you can pretend you're justified if the team ever loses ever.

Jeff Kilgore 3 years, 8 months ago

Exactly. Did you know that we lost three games this year! And we lost three games last year! I know we won 68 games in those two years, but those three losses mean the wheels are falling off! Head for the exits! The sky is falling!

rgh 3 years, 8 months ago

I wish Royce all the best. He fulfilled his wish to play at KU and playing time would have been difficult even with his skills. He's a great kid and you know Coach Self respects what he has to do. You have to respect Coach Self for being honest with the kid at the same time. He'll be a fine player for the right team. Very similar to CJ leaving after last year.

Janet Olin 3 years, 8 months ago

Best of luck to you, Royce. You handled it with class, and we wish you great success.

Gregory Newman 3 years, 8 months ago

Good move that high-low is a death trap for guards you won't develope. Butler runs a variation of it but they allow for dribble-drive penetration for mid-range jumpers. If one has never played on a high school team in the 60's and 70's you would not have a clue its a lost art.

Watch guards like Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Duane Wade, Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billips, Kirk Hinrich, Steve Nash, Brandon Roy and Mario Chalmers. Mario got that from his Dad. Manning is doing a great job with the Bigs but those other 3 coaches-please.

Brian Conrad 3 years, 8 months ago

Great young man.. sorry the minutes did not work , but you will always be welcome in Lawrence. KU fans realize players with character. would much rather have Royce anyday than a Selby.. Royce worked much harder. And his mommy did not have to speak for him... Good luck Royce! you are a fine young man.

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