Danny Manning moved to Lawrence while in high school, stayed for four years during college and returned thereafter in the summer.
Yet on Wednesday afternoon, just two days after Kansas’ loss in the NCAA championship game, Manning officially left Lawrence and KU when he was introduced as Tulsa’s head coach.
“Kansas is home,” Manning said.
Now Manning, 45, will make his home at Tulsa, the school where Bill Self rose to prominence and where Nolan Richardson and Tubby Smith coached. On Wednesday, he officially started the next challenge of his coaching career.
Manning thanked Self for “giving me the chance to be a part of his staff for the past nine years. I have learned a tremendous amount about the game and the profession from him and all of the members of his staff.”
He will employ Self’s philosophy.
“The biggest thing for us is on the defensive end, we don’t want to give up any easy buckets,” Manning said. “The philosophy is, if the team can’t score, it will be hard for them to beat you.”
Self said he is thrilled for Manning.
“Although we’ve known this for several days, Danny (Manning) being named officially in a press conference at Tulsa is a great thrill not only for him but for all of us,” Self said. “We’re so happy for Danny because in large part we understand what a great job the University of Tulsa basketball position is. He’ll represent the school in a first-class way. He’ll recruit good kids that can play and he’ll coach their tails off. He’ll have Tulsa competing for championships in a very short time. I personally think it will be a great marriage for both parties.”
When Danny Manning was a young boy, he used to spend hours in the gym with his father. Ed Manning was a former college star at Jackson State who would bounce around for years in the NBA and ABA — “a journeyman,” Danny says — and his son always studied all the little tricks that helped him survive on a basketball court.
“I always wanted to be a coach,” Manning says. “My father was a coach.”
If you are wondering why a former NBA All-Star — a former No. 1 draft pick who made millions in his 15-year career — would want to spend nine years climbing the assistant coaching ladder at his alma mater … and then take even more pressure and responsibility by becoming the head coach for a Conference USA school, this is Manning’s best explanation.
…Manning will also bring a little of Kansas with him. Former KU player Brett Ballard, who spent the past two seasons as the head coach at Baker, will join Manning in Tulsa as an assistant coach. And Justin Bauman, a former KU manager, will also be a member of the staff after a short stint as an assistant under Rex Walters at the University of San Francisco.
Now, Manning takes over a team that finished 17-14, leading to the firing of Doug Wojcik. It’s a program that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament in nine years. But it’s also a school that Self led to the Elite Eight in 2000. And the goal, Manning says, starts with the NCAA Tournament.
Danny Manning, Tulsa’s new men’s basketball coach, was asked Wednesday about the biggest piece of advice he received from Kansas coach and former TU coach Bill Self.
“Win games,” Manning said, drawing laughter from the standing room only audience the Chapman Stadium ONEOK Club.
Manning met with the media and fans during an afternoon press conference. He was officially named the Golden Hurricane’s next coach last Thursday, but waited until KU’s season was complete to take full control of the program.
Manning said Self and his wife Cindy gave glowing reports of Tulsa.
“Coach Self and his wife rave about Tulsa,” Manning said. “They rave about TU, the athletic side of it, the community, the university. They had nothing but love. That has really made the transition easier mentally for me and I think for my wife and our kids, as well.”
...Manning introduced a pair of staff members — Brett Ballard (previously Baker University’s head coach) and Justin Bauman (an assistant at the University of San Francisco.)
Manning met with the media and fans during his introductory news conference on Wednesday. The former KU assistant was officially named the Golden Hurricane's next coach last Thursday but waited until Kansas' season was complete to take full control of the program.
Manning's day also took a downward turn about two hours after his press conference when Tulsa junior Kodi Maduka was rushed to the hospital after collapsing during a pickup basketball game. University officials said Maduka is in stable condition and would be kept overnight for observation.
Manning, 45, met his new basketball team face-to-face for the first time, leaving a solid impression on the players.
"He's glad to be here and excited to be here and will make things happen," said Scottie Haralson, who will be a senior. "He's eager to build a relationship with us and get things rolling right away."
Manning said he received text messages from TU players Jordan Clarkson and Tim Peete during Kansas' run at the Final Four.
"That was very nice," Manning said. "It came at great times because you are watching tape and you're tired and you're crunching numbers and all of a sudden you get a text from one of your guys saying good luck, go get them, play hard, we're watching, we're cheering for you ... that gave me a lot of extra energy and boosted my day."
Although not exactly the same as the 1-2 punch of Taylor and Robinson, physically or emotionally, Johnson and Withey bring similar skills from similar positions. Johnson, like Taylor, is a tall guard with great athleticism who is capable of driving to the rim and knocking down outside shots. The 7-foot Withey, though not nearly as chiseled as Robinson, has great size and an improving post game. He also grew to enjoy hurting the rim with highlight slam dunks.
“They’re definitely different players,” senior Conner Teahan said Monday. “But, at the same time, in terms of importance, I think that could happen. I think Elijah can lead a team from the point-guard position very easily, and I think that Jeff can be somebody that you can throw the ball into in the post. This year just gave him more and more experience.”
While Taylor (18.6 points per game) and Robinson (18.2) led the Jayhawks in scoring, Withey (10.3) and Johnson (7.9) were not far behind. Because of his performance in KU’s final eight games of the season, when he averaged 15.1 points, led the team in scoring twice and reached double figures in all eight of the Jayhawks’ Big 12 and NCAA Tournament games, Johnson’s season average does not seem to fit. Many of his current teammates believe that stretch will go down as the springboard to a big senior season.
“He blossomed in this tournament,” Teahan said of Johnson. “He understood what it meant to be aggressive. He was always aggressive in terms of taking shots but not always in terms of getting to the basket and wanting the ball in the last minutes when great players make the plays. But he was in the tournament, and hopefully he just keeps this momentum going into next year.”
In the locker room following the loss to Kentucky, both Johnson and Withey said they would be back at Kansas for their senior seasons. And both already were looking ahead to how they could take on a larger role.
“Obviously (I’ll work on) my offensive game,” Withey said. “I don’t think I was too much of an offensive threat this year. A little bit here and there, maybe, but not what I’m capable of. So for next year, offensively, I’m going to try to get better and stronger and try and look like T-Rob. That’s the game plan.”
Asked if he thought KU’s future top duo could have the same type of chemistry that Taylor and Robinson enjoyed throughout the past couple of seasons, Withey said there was no question about it.
“Definitely,” he said. “Me and Elijah get along really well. I love the guy. He’s a great point guard, we’ll both be seniors, and we’ll have a great team next year. I’m really excited for the opportunity to be a leader. If we keep on getting better, I think this experience will only make us more hungry for next year.”
Kansas WBB ranked 25th in final Coaches Poll
Big 12/College News
Missouri split with Kansas and actually won the Big 12. So if we just factor in credentials based off the previous season, Missouri doesn’t have a national championship win but still has an extremely solid résumé.
When you factor in offseason losses and additions, Missouri has a major edge. No matter how talented Kentucky’s freshman recruits are, they’re still freshman recruits.
Delusional MU fan site
For his help during the hiring process of Bruce Weber, Kansas State agreed to pay Todd Turner and his consulting firm Collegiate Sports Associates $40,000 plus pre-approved expenses. K-State has 30 days to pay Turner for his services.
As the president of CSA, Turner has helped numerous other schools search for coaches and athletic directors. K-State came to terms with CSA on March 26. Turner and CSA agreed to provide its services until the Wildcats hired a new basketball coach. Weber was hired on Saturday.
A new NCAA rule says players who entered the NBA draft early but want to return to school only have until next week to withdraw. That April 10 deadline is about a month earlier than before and 19 days before the NBA requires players to say they’re entering early.
Not surprisingly, the NCAA and NBA are not on the same page.
The NCAA says the change keeps players focused on academics and gives coaches a measure of certainty for their rosters as they prepare for the next year.
NBA Commissioner David Stern isn’t buying it. His league says underclassmen have until April 29 to enter the draft and may withdraw from it by June 18 — more than two months later than the NCAA allows.
“I believe it makes it harder for the player, but that’s a can that I don’t want to open up other than to say that we would like to make it as easy for the players as possible,” Stern said. “And if the NCAA would spend a little less time talking about whether players should stay in school for one year or two years and enforce their rules equally so that hockey players can talk to agents but basketball players can’t?
“I think, to me, the most important thing is to get kids in college the most informed advice they can get without losing their eligibility,” Stern added. “That’s what they should be focusing on, and hopefully they’ll get around to it because it seems fair and just.”
…The rule, adopted last April and put into effect Aug. 1, is crafted so the deadline falls on the day before the start of the spring signing period. In theory, that gives coaches who lose a player a chance to find a quality replacement.
In reality, many recruits talented enough to replace them already have settled on their schools by then. Only seven of the top 50 players rated by Rivals.com for 2012 have yet to sign their letters of intent.
The departure of Jim Christian from the TCU basketball program to Ohio was well-timed for both the Horned Frogs and Christian. It gives Christian a chance to go back to a conference where he's had success (at Kent State) and it gives TCU a chance to hire a proven coach who can bring some excitement to the program just as it enters the Big 12.
And there's one logical name: Jamie Dixon.
Before you roll your eyes and claim that TCU has no shot, know this: He's at the top of their wish list. And I wonder if the timing isn't right for him to leapfrog to Fort Worth.
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Saw @emanning15 at the airport this morning. Congrats to his father Danny on the Tulsa job & good luck to Evan who will walk on @ Kansas.
Right now, my list of colleges is still pretty long. The schools that I’m most interested in are: Duke, UCLA, Ohio State, Memphis, Georgetown, Georgia and Kansas. It’s going to be a tough decision because all of these colleges have great basketball programs and a lot to offer off the court. My style of play is very hard-nosed, but I also like to have fun, so I definitely want to wind up at a place with the best of both worlds. I’m not looking for just a great place to play basketball, but also a great place to get a degree from–education is very important to my family and I.
I’m very fortunate to have my parents supporting me through the whole recruiting process. My phone has been ringing 24/7, but I don’t even answer; my mom and dad handle all that for me. They love it, though, they think the world of it, they love talking to the coaches.
I’ve been watching the NCAA Tournament very closely and am looking forward to watching the Final Four this weekend and hopefully play in the tournament myself one day. I’ve been very impressed with Kansas and the way they are playing right now. Thomas Robinson has put the team on his back and Tyshawn Taylor has been a beast the whole tournament. They are going to be very tough to beat.
I also love the way Kentucky is playing. They are the best defensive team in the country and have been beating teams up on that end of the court. I think it’s going to be the Wildcats and the Jayhawks in the championship game.
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