Tharpe Exits: "Addition By Subtraction"

  • On Wednesday, I posted that the only thing that really concerned me heading into next season was, in announcer voice — “Starting at guard, a 5’11” senior, number 10, Naadir Tharpe."

    That was quick. @KansasComet posted this afternoon - “Addition by subtraction as far as guard play goes.” Here’s why Tharpe’s departure can only be viewed as a positive – addition by subtraction:

    1. More Talented Players: As seems quite obvious, Mason and Frankamp are both more talented. They both have more upside, higher ceilings. We will simply have a better all around player on the floor than Tharpe. Doesn’t mean it will always seem that way.

    2. No Temptation: Self saw Tharpe’s play against EKU, a game where Self sent Tharpe to the bench three separate times due to extremely poor play. Then he trotted him out there against Stanford, even with other extremely poor games in the recent rear view mirror. With Tharpe gone, we don’t have to worry about that. We don’t have to be concerned that Self will start Tharpe because he’s a senior. We don’t have to worry about Self saying that Tharpe may not be the most talented player, but that he is the most important player. We don’t have to worry about Tharpe creating a logjam with more talented players behind him. Best of all, Self will have to play Mason, CF, or Graham (if he signs) at PG. With Tharpe gone, Self won’t be able to bench any of them in favor of Tharpe’s “experience.”

    3. Defense: Most agree that Tharpe was horrific on the defensive end. Our defense immediately improves with Tharpe off the floor. This permits Self to place more reliance on his go-to philosophy – tough man to man defense. Tharpe’s biggest failing was the blow-by, which compromised our entire defensive structure. Further, Tharpe lacked any tenacity on the defensive end. No grit. The whipped puppy look was maddening. Clearly not passionate about it. Not a Self kind of guy. Mason and CF bring more every time.

    4. November Issues: In November/2012, Tharpe was nearly benched for Adams. In November/2013, he was benched for Mason. Self, on both occasions, had to deliver ultimatums to Tharpe to inspire him. Tharpe questioned whether Self “liked” him. Perhaps the November drama will be gone with Tharpe. Still wonder the “what if” – what if Self had benched Tharpe and gave the back-up job to Adams? Regardless, Tharpe takes with him another potential November melt-down.

    5. Graham: Hopefully, this move will inspire Devonte Graham to pick KU. By all accounts, Graham is a significantly more talented player. But I have no idea – hadn’t heard of him until a few weeks ago. Solely based on rankings and comments - Jeff Goodman saying today he would expect Graham to start at PG next season for KU at some point if he came to Lawrence. Let’s hope we snag this guy. It is even more important when you look at the dearth of high level point guards in the 2015 class. Only 4 in the top 60.

    Separating the harsh basketball realities from the personal side of it, @globaljaybird summed it up pretty well - “But from all the rats on kubuckets, our deepest gratitude &sincerest thanks to you Nadir, for all you’ve accomplished, given, and the efforts you’ve put forth. Find the right path for your family & yourself. Sometimes things happen for reasons we don’t fully understand, and just maybe it’s better this time that we really don’t.”

  • Deleted a diatribe. Just move on, man.

  • Can’t decide how I feel about Naa leaving. I’m actually excited others will get his PT. However, on the human side I feel for the guy.

    Haven’t seen anything about it…but is there any chance he has enough credits to graduate and transfer to a school that offers a graduate degree not offered at KU?

  • @VailHawk not enough credits. One mentioned the ncaa granting a hardship case, cause of his daughter.

  • @HighEliteMajor Spot on analysis as usual. Just earlier in the day I was responding to truehawk who wanted to talk about next season’s rotation, and my response was until we get some clarity, there’s just no way to know how it will shake out with so many players vying for minutes on the perimeter. This provides us with some clarity. Now we are only waiting on Graham’s decision to have the full picture. I don’t know exactly what to expect from Graham either in terms of his play, but it’s reported he’s 6’3", and depending on what camp you’re in on long & athletic guards in Self’s system, that could be key.

    As to number 4, don’t get me started on the “what if…”. You know I was an adamant Adams supporter.

  • Anyone that has had sick child knows he would do anything to be near the child and do whatever can to help. If this is the case, I am sure the NCAA will grant a hardship waiver and allow him to play closer to home.

    Naa has been a loyal Jayhawk and has been an integral part of the team’s success over the last 3 years. Regardless of how many in this Forum feel, let’s not forget that we are losing our most experience point guard and one of who could have come back next season as a much improved player. I hope there is a positive outcome for him and his family and that he finds success wherever he lands; hopefully we will not have to face him in the NCAA.

  • I think Matt Tait’s analysis is very good on Tharpe departing.

    I’ll get on my soapbox, and will probably be told to get off my soapbox too, but he should be with his daughter. She could care less that he plays basketball. She wonders why her daddy isn’t home every night. This scourge of fatherlessness is plaguing our society. I’ve worked for almost twenty years with kids who are bearing the scars of fathers not doing their God-given job of raising their kids. It’s ugly, no other way to put it. I hope it’s not too late for them to establish a strong relationship.

  • @wissoxfan83 Get off your soapbox.

    I’M KIDDING! You’re spot on - kids with no fathers is tearing our society up. It’s a huge, huge issue. If men would, well, man up and be real fathers to their kids, all of us - especially the kids - would reap big benefits.

    A few years ago, we went to some sort of awards ceremony at our son’s High School - don’t remember exactly what they were handing out, but it was an academic thing. This has stuck with me and probably always will. There were about 25 kids that got awards and every one of them - their parents were still married to each other. Now, I know that there are plenty of smart kids who are from single parent or divorced families, and I know that many who are divorced/seperated/single may not be that way of their own choosing, I’m just saying that it seems as though the one’s whose parents were still married had less “distractions”.

    I certainly hope I don’t offend anyone who is in this situation, that’s not my intent at all.

    But whether you’re married or not, and raising kids, you are a blessing and your “job” of raising them is the most important job you’ll ever have.

    Wow - @wissoxfan83 - talk about being on a soapbox. Sorry.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    If all the deadbeat dads started doing their job, my job teaching their kids would become 100 times easier!

  • @wissoxfan83-Dead right sox, but IMO it’s not a God given job…It is, far & away, the most widely & profoundly abused privilege that the Good Lord graces anyone with.

    And I do mean privilege.

    But that’s only my opinion.

  • @wissoxfan83-Let me share the box sox.

    It’s been 34 years & 22 days since I first held my youngest baby boy, but my eyes still get glassy & my heart still pounds when I remember that morning.

    I’ll admit there have been times when if he’d have said “I didn’t ask to be born”, I could’ve replied “You’re damn lucky you didn’t cause the answer would’ve been no!”

    But when your heart & head are in the right place it makes no difference if they’re eight or eighty…they’re always still your baby.

  • I really feel bad for kids who don’t have a father active in their lives. Through no fault of their own they come out of the gate with a disadvantage. Our school has a very high % of two parent households. We have very few distractions and the school ranks very high. I just heard Mike Huckabee read a report-adjusted for inflation we spend twice the money on education than we did in 1972, yet the tests score have dropped 3%. Then he said, “Our kids need a good education so they can find a good job to pay off all the debt we are running up.” Anyway, good for Nadir getting more involved in his daughter’s life.

  • @wissoxfan83-I posted last weekend’s Jayhawk Invitational link on another thread, but it is the primary fundraiser for the Morning Star Project. If you are not aware of this adoption organization, as (tongue in cheek) “responsible adult Jayhawks”, you should be. Enlighten yourselves. Of course, JMO.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I think you left out the key reason I’m in on the “Addition by Subtraction.”

    6 - We don’t have to enter March next year knowing the guy we loaded up with leadership minutes all year will choke down the stretch.

    That may sound critical and negative… but after this past year I have ZERO belief in Tharpe as a March player.

    I’ll never forget:

    “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”

    I don’t want to bag on Tharpe. He was recruited as a backup player. The cards just fell too right for him and he wasn’t able to reach the level we needed. I hope he finds the right situation for him to have a good senior year. Maybe it will help lift his self-confidence to a healthier level, too!

    Personally, I feel like a great weight has been lifted. It was that same weight I felt going into EJ’s senior year. Its one of those situations where you base the team’s entire season on trying to prove the critics wrong. Most of these situations don’t overcome the critics’ doubt.

    And I’m glad we will not be putting all of this weight on Tharpe’s shoulders any longer. It was clear this past year, that he wasn’t up to carrying all the pressure that goes along with being the PG at Kansas. Next year would have been worse. So he would have to overcome even more than what was on his plate this last year. It could easily have ended up a disastrous year, and Tharpe would have taken a far worse beat down from fans than he did this year. That is not what I want to see happen to him in his senior year! Now he has the opportunity to play for a smaller program and have less weight on his shoulders. This is a much better situation for him and the possibility of a positive outcome. Something we all want for Tharpe!

    I hope Tharpe has a great year when he is allowed to finish his last year of eligibility, and it is enough to build his confidence to a level where he can continue to play basketball, where he can make a solid living for him and his daughter.

  • First, I should point out that I always liked Naadir, and wish him all the best. He will get a well-deserved applause if he ever comes to AFH to enjoy a game as an alumnus. As critical of him as I was, my real beef was with Coach Self for putting him in a role that he just wasn’t right for.

    We knew he would start at the beginning of the season, but once we saw Mason’s huge contributions in the Duke game, it seemed inevitable that Naadir would be relegated to his 2012-13 role - a role he very much excelled in. He was a great spark plug off the bench, and the team this year and this coming year could have definitely benefitted from him being in that role. A good 20 minutes off the bench to ignite some offense when we go stagnant (as Self teams often do) would have been the perfect job for him. And Self almost made that move…almost.

    It seemed he just wasn’t willing to put the team through Mason’s growing pains, even though the entire team went through them. For that reason, I think that even if we land Graham, Mason and Frankamp have a leg up on playing time. I know one thing…if I were those guys, I’d be at the gym by 6am all summer, going hard every day. You can’t ask for a better opportunity, and I hope both of them are planning to make the most of it.

  • @drgnslayr EJ “had” a 5star, top20 rating. He lost confidence when he couldnt defend, and Brady could. But EJ, together with another tough, aggressive combo guard (Tyshawn) was a dynamic duo. EJ’s “confidence” is it’s whole own thread, but there can be no question that he was a better ranked, more explosive, and more capable guard.

    People may or may not pan out for different reasons, and may have lackluster, or underachieving performances or seasons for different reasons. The analyst in me hates when people lump lackluster-type of play or players together. I want to know why in each separate case.

  • People may or may not pan out for different reasons, and may have lackluster, or underachieving performances or seasons for different reasons. The analyst in me hates when people lump lackluster-type of play or players together. I want to know why in each separate case.

    @ralster That’s the Anna Karenina principal: star players are all alike; every lackluster player is lackluster in its own way.

  • @konkeyDong Ha, yes…good way to put it!

  • According to Rivals Frankamp - 34 (7 Position ranking) Mason - 76 (17) Graham - 36 (Some are saying he is the 3rd best after Mundiay and Jones?)

    Bill Self said in an interview today that he would let Selden try for the Point guard spot as well. I have to say that having all these guys being good ball handlers makes me overjoyed after having sloppy play from EJ Tyshawn and Naa. Not that they sucked but the turnover rate was really out of control at times! Hopefully we are past that with this bunch?

  • @Statmachine I did hear that Self said he would give Selden that chance. But we all know, don’t we? There isn’t a chance in … well … you know where.

    Selden can’t handle the ball sufficiently. Wish he could.

  • @HighEliteMajor don’t agree w/you much, but do on this point!

  • @konkeyDong

    Are you taking about Anna Kournikova by any chance? She might not have been good but she looked great at not being good.

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