Bill Self had modest expectations as he teed it up in the 15th-annual Boy Scout Classic on Monday afternoon at Lawrence Country Club.
“I’ve gotten to the point where I hate golf,” Self, Kansas University’s 10th-year basketball coach, said with a smile. “It’s not because I haven’t played a lot. It’s because when I do, I’ve been awful. I’m going to spend about six months regrouping, then get ready for a stellar 2013.”
Self said he was pleased to lend his support to a tournament that was run by former KU football great John Hadl before Self’s arrival in Lawrence.
“This is a great event that goes to a good cause,” Self said. “Any time you can benefit youth in our community, it’s always a positive.”
…Self said red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore (hip flexor) is back on the court practicing. “He should be full speed by next week,” Self said.
…“We’ll be practicing our two hours a week (in accordance with NCAA rules) and doing individuals (workouts),” Self said. “Beginning Sept. 15, we can do that with our entire team. Boot Camp starts the fourth week in September.
“The bottom line is this: They are going to spend more time than ever in the weight room,” he added. “I felt we probably didn’t spend as much time in the weight room this summer as what I would have liked because we were practicing those days (for European trip). You are limited on hours. We are going to really get after the guys physically here the next six to eight weeks.”
So many coaches return from foreign trips of exhibitions bragging about 4-0 records even though the wins usually mean nothing because the competition is normally terrible. But Kansas' trip to Switzerland and France was different.
"The last two teams we played were good," said KU coach Bill Self. Consequently, his new-look and short-handed Jayhawks (more on this later) lost their final two games in Europe, snapped their 41-game winning streak in exhibitions and finished just 2-2 on the trip.
But what does it really mean?
The Jayhawks are still the pick to win the Big 12 and will almost certainly win at least a share of it considering they've won at least a share of the league title in nine consecutive seasons. Either way, Self returned with his team from Europe earlier this month. I talked to him about the experience this week. Here's what he said ...
…"What we need is for Withey and Releford and Johnson to play like [Thomas] Robinson and [Tyshawn] Taylor did last year. Those guys had never done it, and then they stepped up and did it. And I just hope these guys can step up and do the same thing even though they've never been asked to do it. But they're all good players -- just look at the NCAA tournament. Releford was our best player against Ohio State, Elijah was our best player in another game and Withey was our best player in the national championship game. So they've all shown they can do it. Now they just have to show they can do it for this team."
Tyshawn Taylor took to Twitter on Saturday night in his new, Hoboken, N.J., two-bedroom, two-bath condo to express his emotions regarding this week’s trip to Kansas.
“Kansas tomorrow !!!! Never been this hype to be in Kansas,” Taylor wrote on his favorite social media website.
The former KU point guard, who recently signed a two-year guaranteed contract with the Brooklyn Nets to pay him $473,604 this season and $788,872 in 2013-14, explained Monday why his first trip to Lawrence since graduation in May had him so excited.
“I just miss it, man. I just miss it so much. I miss it a lot, man,” said Taylor, who signed autographs for fans for two hours at the Massachusetts Street Dillons. “It’s weird because I’ve been living a structured life for four years. To not have it any more is a weird feeling.”
Taylor, who said he’d love to make it back for the Oct. 12 Late Night in the Phog if the Nets aren’t playing an exhibition game that day, is as comfortable in Lawrence as in his hometown of Hoboken.
“I hope to make it back as much as possible. Guys were always coming back for Late Night when I played here. I hope to come back a lot as well,” noted the 6-foot-3 guard, whose four-year career as a KU starter was capped with a trip to the 2012 national title game.
…He believes the Jayhawks will do just fine without him.
“Elijah has been here four years. He’s learned from some guys. He’s been in big games. He knows what to do,” Taylor said of senior point guard Elijah Johnson. “Naadir (Tharpe, sophomore) has been watching for a year. I love Naadir’s game. I don’t know who else is there they brought in, but with those two, I think the ball is in good hands for sure.
“I think they’ll go through some stuff. They are a young team. Coach (Bill) Self has proven he can make any team good. We’ve got guys who’ve been on really good teams and know how to win. They’ll pull it together eventually. It’s a process, though.”
The imprisoned former head of Kansas University’s Williams Fund alleges that he’s entitled to a shorter prison sentence because he claims federal prosecutors did not honor terms of his plea agreement in the case.
Rodney Dale Jones, 43, filed a motion on Aug. 23 from prison in El Reno, Okla., asking a judge to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence. U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown in March 2011 sentenced Jones to serve 46 months for his guilty plea to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in a scheme to steal more than $2 million worth of KU football and basketball tickets and distribute them to brokers and others. Four former athletics employees and one consultant were sentenced to prison.
“The government failed to adhere to their commitment to file a (request for lesser sentence) in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea and for providing substantial assistance in investigating his co-conspirators,” Jones wrote in the motion.
Jones, who was the former leader of fundraising at Kansas Athletics Inc., alleges in the motion that his cooperation with federal authorities led directly to co-defendant Ben Kirtland, who served as associate athletic director for development from 2004 to April 2010, pleading guilty instead of going to trial. Kirtland is serving a 57-month prison sentence.
Jones also claims his assistance led to the indictment of co-defendant Kassie Liebsch, a former systems analyst who took over ticket operations at KU, in the case after she was initially exonerated in KU’s internal investigation. Prior to federal indictments in the case, KU officials in 2010 had the Wichita-based law firm Foulston Siefkin conduct the investigation without subpoena power.
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A study by BYU and University of Chicago economists looked at where students send their SAT scores, and what effects athletic success had on those decisions. They discovered that universities received up to 10 percent more scores from potential students when a school "has a stellar year in basketball or football."
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“@J30_RANDLE: Texas Kansas Baylor UNC Duke Kentucky Florida NC St Oklahoma and Ok st .. No specific order” KANSAS !!!!!
Chris Jones, a 5-foot-10, 195-pound sophomore point guard from Northwest Florida State college in Niceville, Fla., tells Rivals.com he has a list of KU, Baylor, Florida State, Louisville and Oklahoma State. The Memphis native said he will visit KU for Late Night. He said he has been offered a scholarship by the KU staff.
“They’re ready to put the ball in my hands and let me rock. The coaching staff at Kansas wants me and they want me to help win another national championship,” Jones told JayhawkSlant.com. “I really like the style of play at Kansas and I like coach Bill Self as a person.”
Expressions program director Todd Quarles said Abu and Terrell, a 6-4 shooting guard who will play at Brewster (N.H.) Academy, will also visit Kansas, UConn, Iowa State and Cincinnati.
No dates are set.
Deion Sanders' new charter school, Prime Prep (Tex.), should be a factor in basketball right off the bat. Emmanuel Mudiay, Jordan Mickey, Karviar Shepherd and others are all reportedly heading there
"I think they're doing what's right," Simeon coach Robert Smith told ESPNChicago.com. "He hasn't made his decision to a school yet. They were kind of behind the eight ball because Groce came in so late. ...I think they're doing a good job of staying in with him and seeing what's going to happen.
"I think they need an opportunity to present themselves to the family, Jabari and myself and what their plans are and what they're looking for. I think that will happen. By them still recruiting him, I think that says a lot about the coaching staff."
As Parker, the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, recovers from a foot injury and prepares for his senior season in which he will try to lead Chicago Simeon to a third consecutive state title, his father said he expects his son to take official college visits soon and cut his list in half to five schools he's considering.
Illinois missed the last cut, but will Groce give Illinois a chance to make the next cut in the Jabari sweepstakes?
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