According to those familiar with the process, making the pieces fit was as much about the mental side of things as it is about basketball.
“It is what you make it,” said Reed, a junior on that 2009-10 team, who also watched his squad welcome one-and-done player Josh Selby a year later. “Coach Self always reminds us that we play at Kansas and he’s always gonna go after the best players in the country. I think making that work depends on the current group but also a lot on the type of kid coming in, and X was a great kid who wanted best for team first and foremost.”
By all accounts, that same thing can be and has been said about Jackson, who spent most of the summer in Lawrence getting familiar with his future teammates.
Self celebrated Jackson’s maturity and “polish” throughout the summer and said those traits have made it easy to blend the 6-foot-8 Detroit forward whom many are expecting to make a major impact this season into KU’s already talented and experienced squad.
“I don’t think I need to address it with the older guys,” Self told the Journal-World. “But I do need to address it with Josh and I have. But he can educate me as much as I can educate him. He gets it. He sees big picture and all he cares about is winning.”
Draft Express Top NBA Prospects in the Big 12
ICYMI: Previously linked
1 Josh Jackson
#3 Devonte Graham
#6-9 includes Carlton Bragg and Svi.
#12 is Landen Lucas
College basketball has 351 teams. The fun of the sport has been how that huge inventory of teams also brings about different styles. Plenty of teams aren't all that appealing, while others win big despite featureless schemes.
We're going to give you a category of teams you'll want to watch as often as possible. These are teams that are not only good, but make winning look fun. Be it because of offense, coaching, exciting freshmen or overall style of play, the teams listed below are among the best watches on the tube.
For a variety of reasons, these are the squads you'll want to see no matter who they're playing
When you've got a super-athletic small forward, and then a guy who's a prime candidate to have a breakout season, a veteran backcourt and yet another guy who's barely played, but is still -- still! -- considered a likely NBA pick, then yes, you're going to be fun to watch.
Kansas is almost always fun to watch. You know that.
And so the Jayhawks, again, will be plenty entertaining. Josh Jackson is the aforementioned super-athletic dude. He could go No. 1 in the 2017 NBA Draft. He enters this season without the hype that hung around Andrew Wiggins a few years back, but truth is, Jackson's got the game to do more than what Wiggins did while at KU.
We'll see, though. Devonte Graham and Frank Mason comprise the backcourt. Combo them with Svi Mykhailiuk (is this finally the breakout year for him?), and that's a very watchable backcourt.
Kansas isn't going to be a dominant defensive team, but sometimes a lack of defense makes a team all the more entertaining, even if not elite. Kansas can crack that, though, because it would be a shock if this isn't a top-15 team, wire to wire, in college hoops this season.
KUAD Rock Chalk Weekly: Welcome to Boot Camp
This is not your college dorm -- unless your college dorm had a basketball court and a barbershop.
It begins with Graham’s humble description of the half-court facility players have 24/7 access to: "This is the gym. Uh, we get to come down here, late nights, whenever we want to. Just come down and put some shots up."
Remember, this is separate from the court at Allen Fieldhouse and the practice facility courts attached to the Phog.
Oh, the plush media room at McCarthy Hall, per Graham, is a great place to watch NFL games on Sunday. And when players need a snack, they go to the multipurpose kitchen, which is like the kitchen you see on "Iron Chef."
Lucas takes over at the two-minute mark to walk us through the impressive condo-like rooms and the game room that features a pool table, TVs, a ping pong table and a "nice view of the basketball court down here."
Then, he enters the barbershop -- "Before games and stuff, we’ll have some barbers come in here" -- and next takes us to the outdoor lounge, which is separate from the impressive, players-only lounge at Allen Fieldhouse.
Half the students who live at McCarthy Hall do not play for the Jayhawks, who occupy 16 of the facility’s 33 slots. But this is their dorm.
So yeah, it’s a good time to play for Kansas right now, especially if you need a haircut on game day.
Devonte’ Graham, Josh Jackson, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Dwight Coleby and newcomer Malik Newman checked out a little of the action at the tournament that coincides with this week’s Late Night in the Phog. The top two teams on the men’s side and the top two teams on the women’s side will do battle at Allen Fieldhouse for the 3-on-3 title. KU coaches Bill Self and Brandon Schneider will dole out the trophies to the winning teams.
…“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some people. For these guys to sign up, come out, help the cause and just compete, hoping to get a shot to play in Allen Fieldhouse, I think it’s a great thing.”
As for Newman’s first few weeks at his new home, the Mississippi native and Mississippi State transfer who will be forced to sit out this season because of NCAA transfer rules had nothing but good things to say about his decision to come to the Midwest.
“I love it. I love it,” he said. “It’s been a great month, on the court, off the court, in the community and in the classroom. I’m enjoying myself right now.”
KU single game ticket info
Why Allen Fieldhouse is the BEST!
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!”
BIG 12/COLLEGE NEWS
As dazzling as Oklahoma's 2015-16 season was -- and, with the exception of that 44-point loss to Villanova in the Final Four, it was almost exclusively dazzling -- one might argue that the four years that preceded it will stand as the most impressive, and most lasting, achievement in recent OU hoops history, and even Lon Kruger's 40-year coaching career.
Either way, both views lead back to one central, simple question about the 2016-17 Oklahoma Sooners:
Kruger arrived in Norman, Oklahoma, on April 1, 2011. A year earlier, under former coach Jeff Capel, OU assistant Orlando Taliaferro had abruptly resigned -- just a few weeks before the Oklahoman uncovered dozens of calls and texts from Taliaferro to a Tampa financial advisor, who had wired $3,000 to five-star prospect and All-Name Team-er Tiny Gallon. The NCAA launched an investigation. Before it would finish, Capel would be fired, if not for presiding over the program's second serious scandal in five years (the first came under Kelvin Sampson; Capel was never implicated) then for the 36 losses, and massive roster exodus, suffered in his final two seasons.
Five years later, this feels like ancient, irrelevant history. Because for five years under Kruger, the Sooners have done nothing but get better.
Indiana senior Collin Hartman underwent surgery to repair damage on his left knee, the school announced Wednesday.
The Hoosiers provided no timetable for Hartman’s return following a non-contact injury he suffered in practice last week.
…Indiana opens the year in a big way on Nov. 11, facing off against Kansas in the Armed Forces Classic in Honolulu.
NCAA Tournament Brackets and History interactive tool
CBS Interactive Tool: Pick two teams to compare record, RPI and SOS details head to head. By default, the top two teams in RPI are shown.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
Five-star point guard Trae Young says he won't sign during the early period. "Just want to be able to watch these teams play and see how these teams play, as well as see who will be there when I get on campus."
This week we caught up with Norman North’s (Norman, Okla.) Trae Young, a five-star point guard who just hosted Kansas, Kentucky, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
And the award for Best Comic Relief goes to… “Coach Self. I think I would say him because he’s probably the coach that most people might not think is funny, but he really is. He told a lot of funny stories about his past players and his whole presentation was cool. Coach Self is a funny dude.”
Annual Late Night in the Phog
Annual Bill Self Camp KU vs Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube