Rock Chalk Diss-appointment!



  • It is difficult to be a hardcore Jayhawk fan and not feel disappointed by some of the players (or teams) who have come to Lawrence over the years.

    I thought now is the time for everyone to vent their lists of all-time disappointing players and teams who wore crimson and blue. Maybe a player didn’t perform well enough for your expectations. Maybe a player committed a no-no off the court. Maybe a player left college too soon or transferred for the wrong reasons. Maybe a player dropped a big goose egg trying to reach the next level.

    Maybe you just didn’t like a player… bad attitude?

    Here is your opportunity to cut loose and let her rip!

    Focus on one player, or feel free to post a list (in order) of the players who didn’t make grade with your hopes and expectations.

    Or… maybe you have a particular Jayhawk team you feel under-performed and you’d like to clear your consciousness of all bad juju from the past!



  • A license to complain? YES!!

    OK, the teams that bothered me the most - in no particular order:

    The ones that lost to :

    Stanford

    Michigan

    VCU

    N. Iowa

    Bradley

    Bucknell

    Syracuse

    I believe the Syracuse game bothered me the most because if we had just shot free throws POORLY instead of not at all, we would have won the game easily.

    Players that bugged me? (still in no particular order)

    Tharpe last year.

    E.J.

    The Morri - stupid antics brought down their “stock” in my eyes. I always liked them, but wish they had been a bit more mature.

    Selby - enough said.

    X-Henry - more of enough said.

    The non NCAA game that bothered me the most - the home loss to Texas right after the passing of Thomas Robinson’s mother. No way we lose that game under normal circumstances.



  • For me the biggest disappointments as far as entire seasons go are 2003 (Cuse loss) 2011 (VCU loss) and 2013 (Michigan loss). My reason is simple. Those were teams full of incredible talent and / or lots of upperclassmen and each year we were in a great position to win it all even though we lost at different point of the tourney each year.

    Unfortunately EJ and the Morris twins are easy to be mad at. EJ punching a guy in the nuts is probably why karma came back to bite us when we blew our huge lead. The Morris twins supposedly fired up the entire VCU squad by talking tons of shit before the game. I’m sure I have other players I am mad at but those are specific examples. That said, EJ and the Morris twins were both huge parts of our teams and I loved watching them play with the exception of those bad decisions.



  • Drew Gooden. Here’s why. He gave us some great years obviously, but left a year early, with a National Championship clearly in reach. Had he stayed we may have been one of the great teams in NCAA history. I never blame a kid for getting that NBA check, but I do blame kids for not having the foresight to delay gratification for something that would be far more memorable than a few million more dollars. I’m not surprised he’s bounced around the league.

    Wilt Chamberlain! Why? Anyone who is capable of scoring 100 points in an NBA game surely could have scored two more points in a triple OT national championship game! I jest on Wilt of course.

    Wigs. Seriously. I know he had great stats for a freshman, but I guess I was expecting Durant type of performances, and not complete disappearances from games throughout the season. His missed layups really wore on me during the season as well. Maybe he’s just a victim of hype, but I never warmed up to him.

    Tyler Self just because it sounds funny to say he belongs here.

    Jaybate because of his shoe contract theories. (No malice JB, just playin!)



  • @nuleafjhawk You named every loss I would put on my list.



  • @JayhawkRock78 Great minds…



  • Josh Selby has to be at or near the top of my list for player disappointment. His freshman year was wrecked by the suspension & injuries. If only he would have come back for his sophomore season! I have no doubt he could not only be on an NBA roster, but be an impact player in the league. I’ve seen some people say his family needed the money so he gambled and lost, but what a waste of talent to not have made it! He’s still young so it could happen, but now it’s a long shot.

    EJ, mostly because I thought for being the #23 ranked recruit that we should have gotten more out of him. He languished away on the bench behind guys like Brady & Tyrel early in his career. He had a great junior year once finally being able to start, but had an up & down senior year with most fans pinning a lion’s share of the blame on him for the Michigan loss.

    Rio Adams. Loved the guy’s game. Thought Self made a mistake in going with Tharpe as the back-up two seasons ago while banishing Adams to the bench. He did himself no favors, but that much raw talent going to waste is such a shame.

    As far as teams go, the '11 MorrisHawks are at the top, as that is Self’s best team to not win it all in my opinion, and the title was there for the taking that year. The '13 squad of 4 seniors + BMac losing to Michigan and the '10 senior Sherron squad are probably tied for the next two most disappointing teams with premature tourney exits. Both were capable of winning a title, although maybe they weren’t the odds on favorites.

    These are Self era teams mind you. The '96 team that lost in the sweet 16 to Arizona might have been even better than the '11 MorrisHawks. That one still stings.



  • @icthawkfan316 That Zona loss was tough-at least Lute took them all the way for a title.



  • There has been a several players that have disappointed but at the top of my list is C.J. Giles. Most scouts consider him one of the most talented players to ever come to KU, and he obviously blew it here and just about everywhere he went afterwards.



  • Only two KU players ever disappointed me: Xavier Henry and Andrew Wiggins.

    Every other KU player that seemed disappointing always turned out to have valid reasons for under-performing. Usually it was health related.

    But I was never able to find a valid reason that explained the way X and Wigs appeared to pull their punches for extended stretches of each of their seasons at KU.

    But to put my disappointment with these two players in proper perspective, even appearing to pull their punches these players played very well statistically and appeared loyal to their teammates and represented KU well.

    So: my disappointment is minor.

    But it is there and it tastes bad.

    It tastes bad, because of what it may imply about where the game may be headed.



  • The only guy I can say I was truly disappointed in was CJ Giles. His off the floor actions just cannot be excused. I would also point to JR Giddens, who had some off the floor issues as well.

    Note that when I say off the floor issues, I am talking about dangerous and potentially criminal acts, not social media posts. Saying or posting something stupid on social media is a sign of immaturity. Doing something criminal is just being a bad guy. Abusing women or being involved in bar fights is just unacceptable.

    There are guys I wish had played better or stayed healthy (Lester Earl, Kenny Gregory, Selby, Henry, Selden, Wiggins, Embiid, etc.) but I can’t be disappointed because as far as I can tell, they did everything they could to play well and represent the crimson and blue. Just my take.



  • @justanotherfan Good call on Giddens. I had forgotten about him ( or blocked him from my memory ). Also Lester Earl - it’s been quite a while, but they were really high on him, we were all salivating just waiting for his first game - the air was let out of our balloons pretty quickly.



  • @nuleafjhawk

    I saw Lester Earl before he hurt his knee. Absolutely the most athletic player KU would have ever had to that point had he stayed healthy. That 97-98 team may have won a title if Earl had been healthy to team with Pierce and LaFrentz. Pre-injury he was just outright scary.



  • Here’s an odd one. Not really a disappointment. But Travis Releford. Excellent player. Great defense. Sufficient offense. I always felt that he could have provided more offense if he would just have asserted himself more. Great skill set, just not assertive enough.

    In the true disappointment category, Josh Selby is really the only one. Circumstances and the one track focus on turning pro conspired to ruin his season and college career. Year two could have been a game changer for him.



  • This won’t be a popular answer, but honestly, my biggest disappointment concerning KU basketball was Bill Self this year. I felt with the talent we had (possibly 2 of the top 3 NBA draft picks…), his stubborness led to the worst season we’ve had since he started. Ten losses (that hurts to even type it) is not acceptable in my view for any modern era KU team.



  • @nuleafjhawk

    By the time you’re done you’re going to name everyone down to the bus driver, who I’m disappointed with for getting us to the airport to lose all those NCAA games.



  • @wissoxfan83 You know - I HAVE seen better bus drivers in my day…lol



  • Man this is tough. How long do you “stay mad” at some 18-22yr old for having a bad game…and getting us bounced out of the Tourney? I privately ‘blamed’ various players for various losses…but even pro players, even MJ…can have really bad shooting days where they simply stink it up. Best 3shooter of all time Ray Allen has had games where he couldnt buy a 3, for example.

    Its the nature of the game.

    Selby never had the chance (by NCAA, by fateful injuries x 2, and by his own decision on passing Yr2) to get comfortable on the college court.

    No issue with Wiggins, as he already carried himself professionally. But a 1-man team isnt going to win it all, folks…I thought MJ proved that in his early Bulls years? Didnt Wiggins prove that with his 41pt performance at WVU. Wiggins quote post-WVU loss: “I’d rather only had 5pts if it meant my team would have won.” And he was THE best defender on the team, rare for a frosh.

    Very painful to watch Embiid decide to not come back for Yr2, purely for selfish reasons–> because this doesnt serve Self’s system. He’s GOT to have experienced+physical players doing all that his playstyle requires.



  • @ralster hope nobody is disappointed w/me! I was mad every time we lost a game, especially in the tourney. 2 regular season games, TRobs mom and last away game at Missouri, stand out recently. As far as kids go- don’t like this thread.



  • @nuleafjhawk Do you remember the bus driver that drove the football team bus into the wing of the jet at, I think, Auburn in the mid 80’s? Now that one may take the cake!



  • This may be difficult to get others on board with me…

    I thought we should have won the big prize in the 2012-13 year. If you are a “Self guy” then that team represented a big part of his philosophy; defense.

    We had Mr. Lockdown, Releford, in his senior year along with a senior laden team including one of the best all-time D1 shot blockers in Jeff Withey. We had Mr. Scrappy, Young at the 4, Releford at the 3, BMAC at the 2, and EJ at point. They ended up 15th in the nation on defense and 33rd on offense.

    That team should have been #1 on defense and defense should have brought them another NC. But we were something like 329th out of 347 teams on TOs. Those TOs often led to run outs and those #s are part of the defensive stat bringing our d down.

    This was the year we had the dead spot during conference and dropped 3 in a row, including the humiliating loss at TCU, giving them their first B12 victory (ever). Then the team had a players only meeting and improved but they never bonded to the level they need to. If that team communicated better and really came together as a team, they would have murdered everyone because their defense would have killed the field in March.

    All we really had to do was tighten up a few areas and take better care of the ball. We averaged 14 TOs a game, and in our bad games we were around 20+.

    That Michigan loss was terrible, and so ended our relatively easy path to the trophy.



  • Finally, just me personally, I’d be guilty of a reverse-cop out to blame Self (attributing it to him under the catch-all “buck stops there/he’s the coach” phrase) for specific things–I consider that too simplistic. I might blame him for a bad play call here or there, thats fine. Or maybe second-guess the lineup or mpg decisions he makes, I’m sure we all do that, just as fans/alums of every other college team does. The whole ‘blame Self’ thing seems like a convenient, too-easy way out of trying to come to grips with a painful end to a season. If you gotta do that to put the season “to rest” in your own mind, then so be it…but I cannot do that because it just doesnt have enough rationale behind it to make it explain the various issues we saw. Each issue has its own analysis. You cannot “catch-all explanation” for all of them. This is that human tendency to ‘boil it all down’ or trying to make a whole season’s worth of lessons into a 1-liner, and one that puts the chief culprits (players) off the hook. I ask again: is that an accurate way to summarize the complex analytics of a team’s performances? I want more analytical statements: WHAT and WHY do you blame Self for the '13-14 season? Please elaborate on specific decisions he did or didnt make.

    Do you blame Self for recruiting 5star, #4 ranked PG named Elijah Johnson? Do you blame him for the way EJ developed, or do you blame EJ himself? Do you blame Self for wanting better-D, and lower turnovers, and better feed-the-post (all things Brady did better than frosh EJ)? Do you blame Self for the way he handled EJ’s ego? Do we know enough details publicly to judge that aspect? Or is this all “gut feel” for ya?

    Do you blame Self for how Naadir played up/down this season? He got pulled and benched quite a bit. Fair to assume he got an ass-chewin in practice that was probably legendary, even for Self. Probably borderline Frank Martin…to the point Naadir wondered if Self didnt like him anymore. Do we blame Self for Naadir NOT being able to defend to the level of almost all previous BillSelfKU guards?

    Why do we persist on blaming Self for what a kid does/doesnt do, when we know good and well that Self’s way is to hammer repetition so that the kids have a higher % chance of executing correctly? Doesnt mean they will 100% of the time (again, cue the MJ and Ray Allen examples…).

    This bothers me because it smacks of another parallel in society: this political-correctness stuff that simply stops people from assigning blame to the true culprits (players in error). Always somebody else’s fault? Nope. How about blaming the guilty party that poorly executed a given play? Or missed the bunny shot?

    You can be simple+inaccurate (blame Self for everything), or simple+accurate (blame the bad play(s) on the ones that screwed them up on the hardwood).



  • Cliff-Notes Synopsis on the '13-14 season: Too much youth, not enough reps/experience at zone-busting. Poor physicality. Hand-checking rule change hurt Self + Izzo + Kryzyewski. Historically poor D. Best defenders were ALL frosh. Simplified offense, due to youthful inexperience/limited reps. Poor leadership from 2 key returnees, Ellis and Tharpe. And, key injuries to Embiid +/- Selden.

    Next season please, as the whole mix changes again…



  • Agree with @Crimsonorblue22: This is a tough thread, as I’ve tried to refrain from singling out our own KU players, as whatever dagger we alums (or fans) feel in our guts about a Tourney loss…the players themselves feel that sword or howitzer in their gut way worse, its in all the books (& on film) for the end of time, assigned to their names…while we have largely moved on, as we get to ‘dance’ EVERY year in March Madness.

    But Collison, Miles, Langford, Lee, Sherron, Aldrich, Reed, Markieff, Tyshawn, TRob, EJ…will all never get the chance to Dance again, they will carry that L around permanently.

    Lets applaud the sweat and toil these guys put in, knowing that not all of them will achieve pinnacle performance. I still applaud their effort. What can we “supportive” fans say to our own players after a season ending loss to lift their spirits? The best fan spirit is exemplified by those precious fans who met the midnight team plane or bus after our guys came home from a Tourney exit loss. I applaud that, we should always hold our heads high…because we are lucky enough to be Jayhawks, win or lose.

    RCJH



  • @HighEliteMajor I think you are the only person I’ve heard to say anything negative about Rele. As far as Josh Selby goes, nobody is more disappointed than him. May you and I never be as hungry as some of those kids!



  • @drgnslayr I agree that the Michigan loss was truly a tough way to go out, as it really came down to 1 bucket or even 1 missed FT (could have put us up 4 prior to Burke’s trey). But even in the NBA, games are lost this way, when a team fades late. That loss in AFH to Texas the night after TRob’s mother died, also went that way…KU started out on a tear…then faded in the 4th qtr, as their emotional drain caught up with their energy. They had nothing else to give, I understand it…and I support them 100%. I could care less about some AFH win-streak at that point in time.

    I agree with the veteran-heavy lineup favoring Self’s playstyle, but here is my takeaway on what was missing: Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, who were the heart of the 2012RunnerUp team. Those 2 had enough spillover-swag and drew enough attention, that it really helped EJ. With Self’s inside-out approach, there is simply NO go-to guy in the post in 2013 with Withey and Kevin Young. Withey was a garbage guy and an elite rim-protector, and decent FT shooter. Kevin Young was even more of a garbage-only, hustle guy…but not a go-to presence in the post.

    Look at Withey+TRob, then substitute KYo in for TRob, and you get my point. Then remove ‘unstoppable/unguardable’ Tyshawn (as a Sr.), and see what was missing.

    Releford=Releford. Role player, although I kept hoping he was capable of more. McLemore not the slasher that Wiggins was. Nor quite the defender. He was not unstoppable/unguardable.

    Honestly, with the heart and passion the '12RunnerUp team had…god, I wish they had Markieff + Selby for another season…its exactly what would have pushed that team past KY.



  • @ralster

    Good post. I agree. What was missing with the 2012-13 team was swagger. I think Self was hoping BMac was going to offer that, but he didn’t. One of those guys needed to step up with some attitude, someone who could throw out a challenging comment that would produce a shelf of expectations for these guys to reach for and otherwise be humiliated by not meeting it. The team lacked identity.

    The other thing that bothered me that year was the fact that none of those guys carried a chip on their shoulders for finishing runner-up the year before. That should have been planted in them in the locker room following our loss to Kentucky. Someone saying “next year, this is ours to win and we are going to!”

    You don’t have to look too far in sports to see that many teams that finish runner-up one year come back to take it the next year.

    It sure worked for ol’ Roy in 2009. That team felt like they had to redeem themselves after we shellacked them in 2008.



  • @ralster Great post.



  • @HighEliteMajor I read Releford’s book. Great read. He specifically addresses his offense, and his disappointment in the role that Self asked him to take, based on what those years’ squads needed. It sounded eerily similar to what Russell Robinson was asked to do (be glue and curtail the offense to picked-moments-only). It cost RussRob NBA opps, and likely cost Releford as well. Evidently Releford had crazy hops and vicious dunks before the ankle injury, and was fully healthy again by his senior season. Definitely lost mpg immediately after the ankle injury, and even when healthy again, he never really got his mpg back in his ankle-injury season. Hard to show the NBA scouts what you can do when Self assigns a “glue” role, and when you cannot get mpg. Godspeed to Travis Releford. I hope he gets a shot at the NBA again, if thats what he wants.



  • @drgnslayr By the way Slayer-I like the signature. I do my best to grab a beer at the Wheel whenever I’m in Lawrence. (Which isn’t often enough.)



  • @JayhawkRock78

    Thanks! The Wheel is my favorite hangout when I’m in Lawrence, and was my hangout back in my school days.

    If those walls could talk… glad they can’t!



  • @drgnslayr You nailed it, about chip on the shoulder and swagger. You get a guy like TRob or Marcus Morris (with his 6’10 brotha lurking nearby) riled up…and the whole team follows. And Bill Self wants a couple of guys like that on each year’s team. He personally cultivated that in the Twins (who were 2 big softies when they arrived). He didnt get that on the 2013 team: Withey (quiet), KYo (enthusiastic at least), Releford (quiet), McLemore (smiling guy), not a physical finisher in the paint, and EJ (quiet guy, definitely not a Tyshawn clone). EJ was great in the assassin role lurking behind the limelight that TRob and TT attracted. Notice how that changed his Sr year, unless somehow he got really pissed off, like he did at IowaSt and at KState. It has now come out that the cheap shot on Mitch McGary was in retaliation for a hard screen set by McGary on EJ a couple of plays prior. We’d never seen such behavior out of mild-mannered EJ in 4yrs, which is my whole point.

    This is why I realized that Self is correct that a team also needs the right “mix” of nastiness-factor. Tyshawn was always yapping/barking at teammates, but was also busy putting relentless pressure on opposing defenses, and earned many FT trips. When TRob was double+triple teamed, TT was the offense.

    Look at the '13-14 Jayhawks: Ellis (nice guy. Does ANYTHING piss him off? Or too “cool” to be bothered? If he guessed he could come and score 15ppg for Bill Self without playing D, then 4.0smartEllis guessed wrong.). Tharpe (lost his mojo somehow following a couple of bad games, combined with his newbie-heavy squad not being in the right places. And when your PG leader is a D-liability, he loses cred as a leader)–and the “end” of Naadir came when the leader did the 2 acts of indiscretion (photo+fling) with a married woman…that could not sit well with Self’s + much of KU nation’s conservative midWestern values, nor the straightforward face of program reasons. Selden (he has the fire and personality. Watch BigWayne explode this season). Wiggins (definitely a quiet guy demeanor). Mason (HAS the fire and the muscle to back it up. Watch him explode too.) Embiid (had fire, but lacked knowledge and was not physically toughened yet.) Black (despite 6’9, 260lb size, was a “nice guy” personality. He was not a Thomas Robinson persona.) Frankamp (quiet guy. Physically not imposing. Struggled almost all of his frosh year). Greene (Has the fire. Set to have breakout, solid season). Traylor (prototypical fire, trying to gain skills to match…)

    Now see us add CliffBeast, Oubre (100%all the time), and Graham (abundant swagger). Add the experience ALL the returning guys have in executing everything better, defending better…and lets see how the influx of “nastiness factor” energizes the “quiet” kids like Ellis and Franny. I truly hope Perry Ellis is not a kid who, known for his smarts, tries ‘too hard’ to be JoeCool, and cant be bothered to break a sweat. Again, I would tell him he “mans” the ThomasRobinson position. And now there is literally another tough kid from Chicago breathing down Ellis’ neck…and this one is a top5 recruit/McDAA. And I dont mean the pussy/psychiatric “breathing” like Lance Stephenson…I mean breathing fire, more like TRob would. Its whats required to overcome taller or thicker opponents when you play in the post for Bill Self. Are you strong enough to pull this team, Perry? If not, play your role and let Cliff, Jamari, Kelly, Wayne, Frank, and Brannen lead the way. And Landon is nothing but a dark, hungry horse, chomping at the bit, who knows the system…and Mickelson is a former top50 guy with established prowess, only can get better, hungrier.

    This season, the angry wolves will play. The quiet guys may get left out in the cold, regarding mpg.

    Nutshell: I liked the never-say-die fight of TRob, TT and EJ, when they came from behind and ended Robbie Hummel’s dreams–that pure release of emotion on center court was an effin’ catharsis! Really cant put that into words… When they carried KU’s flag over UNC’s yet again. And when they showed Thad Matta the difference between his 81% TheOSU win rate vs. Self’s KU 83% win rate. And when they never, ever gave up against KY, only running out of clock…THAT’s the fight, the guts, the desire, the attitude and effort that Self wants, from his lead PG to his thundering bigs. Cue the LateNight IntroVideo now…!!!



  • @ralster great post! I do think Perry is not being to cool, I think it’s just his demeanor, not really cool.



  • @ralster

    Finally, just me personally, I’d be guilty of a reverse-cop out to blame Self (attributing it to him under the catch-all “buck stops there/he’s the coach” phrase) for specific things–I consider that too simplistic.

    I agree with you and I think you are spot on on your assessment.



  • @justanotherfan

    I purposely did not mention Giddens because he also was caught in a bad situation. Night clubs are where college kids go, particularly in the off-season and by all accounts, he did not start the fight or do the stabbing. You get a much different perspective when you read his side of the story in the book Beyond the Phog. Also, he did very well at his next stop and was drafted in the first round by the Celtics and made it to the NBA, so how can one really be disappointed…



  • In terms of disappointing losses?

    I really am not annoyed, or disappointed by the early outs by mid majors, because I assume Self is gambling on sending them out flat for those and he is going to lose some of those gambles.

    The losses that really disappointed me were:

    1. to VCU, because that team had a clear path to the ring at that point, because of upsets in other regions;

    2. to Michigan, because that team had a clear path to a ring.

    Disappointment to me is failure to seize opportunity. Those were the two best ring opportunities KU has blown under Self. They hurt. They will always hurt.

    And disappoint.



  • @JayHawkFanToo Man, I thought that passage in Beyond the Phog (in Gidden’s own words) was very chilling. As J.R. told it, Self wouldnt allow any of his teammates to go see him, or have any contact. And if I recall correctly, there was no support given by KU for J.R. during his healing & recovery process. Most interestingly, throughout the book, which is exclusively first-person player quotes on various topics and about each other…occasionally Self is asked about such things, and the author put the responses or additional info in italics. The interviews took place over the summer before the book’s release in 2011? Self directly responds (in 2011) to J.R.'s allegations with the statement “that is an outright lie.” That is simply wow-type stuff. And not necessarily flattering to the KU program–the book spans 10 years, including 3-4 Roy years/players…I recall reading the book, thinking this ‘definitely is not a homer book’. Riveting reading, as you are reading player’s own recorded words. If anything, it simply affirms that Bill Self is an (effective) old-ball, disciplinarian type of coach. And Roy’s players make it clear he was a totalitarian as well. Very demanding, was Roy, about his system requirements. And finally, I wish every Eric Chenoweth hater could read what Eric said about KU (still loves ku) and how Roy pulled him in the office after his promising soph year and bluntly told him the offense would be “going a different direction” (Pierce), but fans never understood why Eric’s stats went down his upperclassman seasons. He feels it cost him NBA legitimacy. But he still flies a KU flag in front of his Calif. home to this day.

    The only thing I can think about the JRGiddens scenario is 3 possibilities:

    Here’s my gut thoughts on the incident: He was an innocent, but high profile “target” (as any player is in a bar scene)…who got provoked into “reacting”, and made the mistake of going outside, where events took a scary turn.

    Scenario 1: JR tells Self what happens, maybe there is a scared-delay, Self thinks JR is guilty, and doesnt believe him, and everything thereafter is a result of Self not believing JR. I thought back then, and still do now, that Self new KU coach…chose to ‘make an example’ out of JR to simply cement his authority over the team (some Roy players remained), and this JR episode unwittingly provided the opportunity for Self to flex.

    Scenario 2: Maybe Self believes JR, but still for publicity’s sake, felt forced to make an example of JR…again, just to cement ‘what kind of program’ he was running at KU. JR was the ‘fall guy’ and Self stuck to his guns on it…and knew that he would have to til the end of time.

    Scenario 3: Self came in thinking Giddens was a wild card &never liked him (at best) or a thug at worst…Then JR wouldnt play D, wouldnt dribble-drive as Self repeatedly asked him to…and there was always that “Walmart shoplifting incident” from Oklahoma when Giddens was still in highschool…maybe that never sat well with Self. Maybe thats the kind of character thing that is a major turnoff for Self, and 1 mistake and he’d be done, meaning JR was on a short leash in Self’s head from the word ‘go’.

    So, what Im trying to say is, there was the personal private response from Self towards JRGiddens, then there was the public response (no doubt engineered for all the correct effects)…and neither is very flattering. JR hasnt changed his story, so I doubt Self included him in on the public harsh response. JR sounds like a forlorn lost puppy, and if he was telling the truth, maybe he has every right to feel that way. Most heart-wrenching is to hear 2011 JRGiddens say how much he loved KU, and still does. I just dont know what to think, other than I wish somehow JR never went to that stupid bar…

    I thought for a while that maybe fellow Oklahoman Self would cut MickeyD Oklahoma kid JR some slack, but actually, maybe it caused the opposite effect (wouldnt want to show favortism?).

    Very sad chapter. But this is Bill Self’s program to run. After CJGile and JR…I thought Mario Little was toast after his little incident, but Self was willing to work with Mario…for which I’m grateful. Maybe Mario played it differently, going immediately to Self, maybe witnesses told a different story…and actually the situation (unfaithful girlfriend) was a totally different circumstance than JR’s altercation? Or maybe Self felt guilty after JR’s scenario and chose to be a tad bit more open minded with Mario’s situation? Who knows!?

    Enquiring minds want answers to this gossip!



  • @drgnslayr I have to say I’m a bit hardcore. I love conference championships, but if KU doesn’t make it to at least the final four I’m shaking my head. However I’m thinking it was the 2011 team that pisses me off the most. They lost to VCU if my memory serves me. I’m stilling shaking my head. :-( That team was badass. They could blow you out even before the first tv timeout. I’m still shaking my head. That team had champions writing all over it.



  • @DoubleDD Agree about VCU. We were listening to it on the radio on the way back from KC…and I simply couldnt believe what I was hearing. I was mad at everybody not named Marcus or Tyshawn in that game. Also was mad at Self for not getting 100% out of our guys, who had been stopping people all season long…except for the defeat by the Tennessee walk-ons (dont know if that was some sort of omen or not?). Definitely gave Duke an easy-path NC.

    My consolation after UNI and VCU is pretty straightforward: Where is Ben Jacobsen now? Where is Shaka now? Why did they fall off? Hmm?

    VCU and UNI were examples of KU teams performing badly in multiple areas in the same game enough to enable almost any team to be able to beat us. See the game film. We beat ourselves. Play better, and for 40min next time…not 36min like vs. Michigan…

    Same old lessons…always a new set of kids that have to learn…



  • @ralster

    I got the same impression you did about Gidden after reading Beyond the Phog. In fact, I made me look at both,Coach Williams and Self, from a different perspective and made me realize that the coaches (and players) we know from watching them at games and press conferences can be quite different away from the limelight.



  • @drgnslayr Do you remember the OAK Lodge from the sixties? Our band played there many times. Lots of fun & fisticuffs with wine, women & song.



  • @globaljaybird

    I really can’t recall it. Can you clue me in? Where was it, exactly?



  • @ralster Not to be that guy, but… The year KU lost to VCU, UConn went on to win the NC. Sickening. That season, KU didn’t play Tennessee…

    And while, yes, UNI is a nothing program (which makes that loss even harder to take!), VCU made a name for itself on that win and haven’t gone away. To quote Elijah Johnson…

    "I won’t discredit the man (Shaka Smart). He had a good run. I think it’s so amazing that people can make their name off of us, though. Because of our slip up, his name is still relevant.” He went on to say, ‘what has he done since?’ Which in the grand expectations of KU fans, isn’t much for us…but for VCU, it’s pretty damn good.

    Unfortunately, that pretty much sums up VCU (as far as we’re concerned). And to your last point, I’ll quote Elijah again…

    “My sophomore year (against VCU) I feel we were focused. I don’t feel we were serious. I feel we knew what the goal was and I thought that we played toward the goal and I thought that it was team basketball. But at some point I feel that we broke down. And when we broke down there was really no recovering from it.”



  • I haven’t read all the above posts yet, but surely Eric Chenowith’s name came up at least once?



  • And, I would add, that Chenowith’s 98-99 and 99-00 teams were probably the least interesting teams in the past 25 years.



  • @DanR you need to read ralster’s post regarding Chenowith.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 I’m really not a Chenowith hater (I’m a dissapoint-er). Pierce was gone, playing for the Celtics, during Chenowith’s decent Sophomore season, so that “offense is going in a different direction because of Pierce” excuse is total revisionism. Roy really didn’t expect much from his centers (exhibit A: Ostertag): block shots, rebound, hit the putbacks and make a shot from the free throw line once in a while. And Chenowith could actually jump at least a foot higher than O’s 3" vertical. There was so much potential, and so little development. in hindsight, maybe it was Roy’s coaching staff’s blame. In comparison, Withey seemed destined to follow that mold and he reached another level.

    I just remember thinking back in the summer of 1999, well, with a solid junior center in Chenowith, maybe he’d be able to help carry those three new guys (Gooden, Collison and Hinrich) in 1999-2000. Nope. California dreamin’.



  • @DanR I wasn’t arguing, just thought you might want to read ralster’s take.



  • @drgnslayr Oak Lodge was a “club” about 10-12 miles South of Lawrence on 59 Hiway. Technically the address is Baldwin, KS. It also has been a restaurant among other things trough the years. Haven’t driven by it in some time so don’t know if the building is even still standing.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 Sorry – that came across a lot harsher than I intended. The idea that Roy reigned him in was news to me. It would be interesting to hear more from Chenowith’s perspective about his last couple of years at KU. @Ralster: Source?


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