“I used to be totally against paying players, paying athletes. I’ve changed,” Self said Friday in a phone conversation with the Journal-World to discuss particulars of his upcoming “Courtside View” panel discussion set for 7-8:30 p.m., Nov. 1 at Lawrence’s Crown Toyota Pavilion.
“I think if presidents are willing to take these athletes and send them across America, miss more school because they have conference realignment, and with the big business of the BCS Championship playoff in football plus the amount of money we generate through television in basketball, I can’t imagine why there aren’t different angles and avenues in which we could compensate the people that are exactly the ones bringing the money to the schools — the student-athletes,” Self said, taking one long breath.
Perhaps the athletes could sell their own jerseys and receive the profits?
“We can get into that later,” Self said with a laugh, referring to the event at Miles Schnaer’s Crown facility.
The panel, which includes Self, plus national basketball writers/broadcasters Mike DeCourcy, Fran Fraschilla and Blair Kerkhoff, includes another supporter of paying athletes — ESPN’s Jay Bilas.
…KU’s men’s and women’s basketball players have been using the new EliteForm weight training system during workouts this semester at Anderson Strength Center.
The EliteForm system, which according to KU officials is used by 10 strength training systems worldwide, uses a network of cameras, sensors and software. It allows coaches the ability to chart progress and performance during team workouts, tailor a workout specifically for an athlete during the course of the season and use the camera system to monitor and correct form.
For a video on KU’s new weight training system, go to http://www.kuathletics.com/genrel/101812aac.html
Still seats available for Coach Self's "Courtside View"
Ben McLemore had a heart-to-heart talk with his mom, Sonya, in the summer of 2011 before beginning his academic and athletic career at Kansas University.
“She told me to think about three main things. She said, ‘Remember this: B.B.B.,’” McLemore, KU’s 6-foot-5, 185-pound red-shirt freshman basketball guard from St. Louis, said. “I said, ‘B.B.B? What does that mean?’ She was like, ‘Ben, Books and Basketball.’ I heard what she said. I cherish that now. I keep working on my grades and stuff in class.”
...“I do like class. Class is great,” McLemore said with a smile. “It’s like I wake up (and say), ‘I’ve got to go to class. I can’t wait to go to class.’ In college, you learn so much, like different types of history I didn’t know about in high school. It’s helped me better myself as a person.”
KU coach Bill Self met regularly with McLemore last year to monitor his academic progress and state of mind.
“He came in my office one day, and I said, ‘How are you doing in school?’ He said, ‘Coach, I like it,’” Self said, emphasizing the word “like.”
“He liked learning. There was a different emphasis on what was important to him, which has now made him more balanced. He has matured. You watch him. He’s quiet, unassuming, a pleaser. He wants everybody to like him, maybe too much. I wish he had a little more ‘dog’ in him, so to speak. We’ll get that out of him in time. This kid works. He’s going to be really good.”
…“Just from an athletic standpoint — shooting, length, slide, rebounding — he can do about as many things as we have had here,” Self said. “He reminds me a lot of Brandon (Rush, now with Golden State Warriors) in that regard, but we struggled with Brandon being aggressive, if you guys remember. So that is one thing that Ben is going to have to be good at.”
…Who knows? McLemore, a new fan of academia, might even stick around more than one full season to continue his studies while improving his skills for what could be a long NBA career.
“I definitely could stay more than one year,” McLemore said. “This is going to be my first year playing. Definitely I could stay, getting the feel of the program and keep on going forward toward my goal.”
Kansas coach Bill Self was asked Wednesday what advice he would have for first-year Tulsa coach Danny Manning.
“I think he has to be — until he gets it the way he wants it, which will take a little time, obviously — I think the reality of it is to let people get to know him,” Self said. “Because there’s not that many alums living in Tulsa. So you have to draw from all the other fan bases together, and they will support him as long as they like him. And Danny is the most likeable guy around. And I would make sure he’s as visible as possible, and then when he starts winning games, that’ll all take care of itself, too.”
...Self said the Jayhawks will benefit from the return of Norm Roberts, who replaces Manning as KU’s big man coach, but said Manning will be missed.
“I think it’s a loss. Without question,” Self said. “… I think it’s a loss that Barry Hinson’s not here (he’s now head coach at Southern Illinois). I think you could say that. But the reality of it is you replace guys with either similar expertise or maybe bring a different set of skills to your program that are bonuses.
“So it’s great for Danny that he got the job and we’re gonna miss him. He was great with our guys. But Norm’s great with our guys, too. Norm, I mean, he’s been the head coach at St. John’s for six years. He worked with big guys for six years we were together."
Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
Big 12/College News
Big 12 Composite Schedule
First, take out a pen and write 'KANSAS' at the top, no questions asked. We don't care if Justin Bieber is starting at point guard for the Jayhawks; Bill Self ain't foolin' us the same way twice.
So you slot Kansas and Baylor at one end, Texas Tech and TCU at the other. As for projecting the rest of the men's basketball race in the Big 12 Conference, well — have fun, champ. With the middle of this league, it's a pencil proposition. Scribble the names of teams three through eight on little pieces of paper, grab a hat, and go to town. We'll wait.
"Scary," Horned Frogs coach Trent Johnson mused during Big 12 conference media day Wednesday at the Sprint Center. "I just think it's as deep as all get-out."
Oklahoma State is the sexy dark horse, tapped for third by the league's coaches in the preseason poll released last Friday. West Virginia was sixth, a fact that coach Bob Huggins, no stranger to the disrespect card, had to love. Kansas State was fifth, Iowa State was eighth, and both figure to be in the mix for NCAA Tournament berths.
And then there's Oklahoma. Lurking.
"I'm just looking forward to being the underdogs and (a chance) to show the league that we're better than what they picked us at," forward Amath M'Baye said of the preseason poll, which slotted the Sooners at seventh. "Being a sleeper is a great thing."
An innocent practice play might have altered the outlook of Oklahoma State's basketball season.
Brian Williams threw down a two-handed slam Monday in practice — something many figured he'd make commonplace this season — but after the athletic finish, OSU's starting forward fell awkwardly.
The tumble fractured his left (non-shooting) wrist and tore some tendons. Surgery came Wednesday, and Williams is expected to miss the entire 2012-13 season.
“From what I understand, he's going to be in a cast for three months and he needs another month, month and a half to rehab,” coach Travis Ford said after Friday night's Homecoming and Hoops festivities.
It's another tough break for Ford and the Cowboys, with expectations and pressure building for what many believe is an NCAA bid or bust season in Stillwater.
You can’t make this up. Or perhaps you can.
Minnesota basketball’s off-court woes read like the script of a reality TV show.
On Friday, Gophers star Trevor Mbakwe dodged jail time after a Florida judge added two years to his probation from an earlier case.
On Sunday, the program announced that assistant coach Saul Smith, son of head coach Tubby Smith, had been placed on unpaid administrative leave after he was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence.
Count them, folks. Two. Days. Later.
I've been asked to vote in the Associated Press men's college basketball rankings this season. I'll try and post my rankings Sunday night in this space.
This is the preseason top 25 list I emailed to AP. It also includes a preseason All-American team.
No. 1 Kentucky
No. 2 Indiana
No. 3 Louisville
No. 4 Michigan
No. 5 North Carolina State
No. 6 Ohio State
No. 7 Kansas
No. 8 UCLA
No. 9 Florida
No. 10 North Carolina
No. 11 Baylor
No. 12 Syracuse
No. 13 Duke
No. 14 Arizona
No. 15 Missouri
No. 16 Memphis
No. 17 Creighton
No. 18 Michigan State
No. 19 Gonzaga
No. 20 Notre Dame
No. 21 San Diego State
No. 22 Wisconsin
No. 23 UNLV
No. 24 Minnesota
No. 25 Murray State
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
C - Cody Zeller, Indiana
F - Doug McDermott, Creighton
F - DeShaun Thomas, Ohio State
G - Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
G - Trey Burke, Michigan
A month ago, people in and around the UCLA basketball program expected a quick end to the NCAA investigation of freshman Kyle Anderson.
This wasn't supposed to be like teammate Shabazz Muhammad's case, they said. It wasn't supposed to drag on.
But as the Bruins enter their second full week of practice, both players are facing a similar predicament. They have been given no timeline for a resolution and feel as if they are operating in the dark.
"We have attempted to answer any question, provide any documentation that we can, but one of the problems is not knowing specifically any real issue or question that the NCAA has," said Robert Orr, the attorney representing Muhammad.
Investigators are looking into financial assistance Muhammad received from a man the family has characterized as a longtime friend. They have also asked about money that a financial planner gave to Muhammad's summer team in Las Vegas.
Anderson's probe still appears focused on the relationship between his father and NBA agent Thad Foucher, according to people with knowledge of the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly.
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Tyler Roberson, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound senior basketball small forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic High School, completed his official recruiting visit to Kansas University on Sunday.
The No. 30-rated player in the class of 2013 has also visited SMU and Syracuse and has upcoming trips planned to Villanova and Kentucky. His weekend host was red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore.
“Coach (Bill) Self talked to me about what my role would be if I decide to come to Kansas. He was just straightforward and he told me that I’d have to work hard if I come to Kansas,” Roberson told jayhawkslant.com. “Coach Self let me know that I’d have to work hard to earn playing time and he talked about what type of player I could become if I went to Kansas. The thing I liked most is how open and honest coach Self was when talking to me.”
Roberson is expected to sign with a school during the November signing period.
Long considered a near-lock to choose Kansas as the signing period approached, New Hampshire center Kaleb Tarczewski took a final recruiting visit to Arizona for last season's Red-Blue Game.
Tarczewski spent the weekend with three other top 2012 prospects, all of whom had already committed to the Wildcats: Grant Jerrett, Brandon Ashley and Gabe York. He watched the Wildcats honor several former players from the NBA who were available to show up because of the NBA lockout.
And he saw a sold-out crowd of more than 14,000 people fill McKale Center. For an intrasquad scrimmage.
Nine days later, Tarczewski pledged to become a Wildcat himself.
The Red-Blue "played a lot into it," Tarczewski said earlier this month at the Wildcats' preseason media day. "It was great seeing the fan support and also seeing Coach (Sean) Miller and all the other coaches. I got comfortable with the place, and I learned that this was a place I can succeed at, and a place I can have fun at."
Basically, one afternoon proved a final blow to everything Kansas had been doing for many months.
"Kansas had been recruiting me longer than Arizona had, but it doesn't matter how long they've been recruiting you," Tarczewski told the Star upon committing. "It matters how you feel."
Tarczewski and those three other 2012 commits - now all UA freshmen - will get to experience being a Wildcat today in front of a sold-out McKale Center crowd for the first time.
At the same time, it'll be their chance to help sell the program on another important batch of recruiting targets. The long shot this time is 2013 recruit Aaron Gordon, a powerful and talented forward from San Jose, Calif., who has longtime ties with Washington coach Lorenzo Romar and is also looking at Oregon, Kentucky and, yes, Kansas.
Arizona Daily Star (Arizona honored their first ever Final Four team (1988) at this event.)
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube