Graham's decision is nigh...

  • According to Paul Biancardi:

    (@PaulBiancardi) From several sources close to PG Devonte Graham it appears that his decision between Kansas and N.C State should be happening this weekend .

    Tharpe bolting, then Graham moving up his time table for commitment? I think we know where he’s going…

  • Basketball-wise, maybe not a bad trade-off.

  • @tundrahok

    Read Matt Tait’s column on Tharpe departing. I think it’s spot on.

  • @wissoxfan83 I read it, and I read Keegan’s article. While the Keegan article is pretty awful (I mean, a large portion of it is just Keegan chuckling to himself about the language used in the press release), but this quote rings true:

    "When in doubt, college basketball coaches tend to resort to their security blankets, otherwise known as their most experienced players.

    As long as Tharpe was in the program, coach Bill Self forever was going to be tempted to play him, thus stunting the growth of players with higher ceilings, such as likely recruit Devonte Graham and rising sophomores Conner Frankamp and Frank Mason."

    The double-edged sword of experience. Tait extolling its virtues and saying we’ll miss it, Keegan calling it a crutch and saying we’ll be better off. Time will tell, but I’m excited at the prospect of seeing the other options on the court.

    The other thing that I have wondered on about Tharpe from the get-go was him playing so far away from his daughter. I have a 5 year old son and can’t imagine being away from him months at a time. While it is true that the opportunity to play for a storied program like Kansas is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so to is the opportunity to watch your child grow up. In this respect, I think we should all cheer his departure.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Well, I didn’t read Keegan! I generally don’t.

    Here’s the thing with Tharpe. He reminds me of Tyshawn. Tharpe has had some really good games. Taylor broke out his senior year and was arguably our best or 2nd best player at season’s end. Now I’m not sure Tharpe has the skill level of Tyshawn. I guess we’ll never know if Tharpe had a forthcoming breakout season.

  • @wissoxfan83 Tharpe did have some good games, but for me that’s where the comparison ends. He doesn’t remind me of Tyshawn at all. Tyshawn has swagger. Tharpe has what HEM has described as a “whipped puppy” demeanor. There is probably something to Tharpe questioning if Self liked him. Consider Self let Tyshawn have the longest leash of anyone during his tenure at KU. I remember the Self quotes about how Tyshawn was a cool kid; how if he was a college student he’d want to hang out with Tyshawn. Tharpe on the other hand was often the victim of the quick hook early in his career, and the victim of Self’s wrath on the sidelines this past year. He wasn’t nurtured and favored the way Tyshawn was. And maybe that’s a huge reason for the difference in demeanor. Whatever the case, Tyshawn had the “it” factor - the confidence, the trust - to lead his teams (remember he looked really good to start his junior year too, then developed some insecurities once Selby became eligible), and I just don’t see that in Tharpe. From the Tait article “Tharpe probably was not starting point guard material at this level to begin with.”

    The other glaring difference between Tyshawn & Tharpe was in their physiques. Tyshawn is long & athletic, which allowed him to be a plus defender. Tharpe is not (infamously described by Jaybate his freshman season as having “short legs” ), which is one reason why he was a detriment on defense. In part because of his physical limitations, I just can’t fathom Tharpe “breaking out” his senior season on the defensive end of the court.

    BTW, I don’t blame you for not reading Keegan. Like I said, the vast majority of the article was garbage!

  • I, also, don’t see a resemblance of Tharpe to Taylor. Taylor had more size and a higher ceiling, and improved considerably while attending Kansas. His summer session with John Lucas definitely showed in his senior year.

    Tharpe was more athletic than we know, because he never pushed the window on what he could do. Taylor always pushed to his outer limits. That is what got him in trouble until his senior year when he was coached by Lucas how to control himself on his drives, and he worked on his shooting foundation and flow to become a bigger threat from 3.

    We rarely experienced Tharpe going to the hole and showing what he could do. And we rarely watched him take on a player one-on-one to create his own scoring space either at the rim or out on the perimeter.

    Tharpe didn’t have the self-confidence to push his game to higher levels. He held himself back. Such a pity, because he was far more athletic than we know because we never got to see him push himself to the limit.

    I think Tharpe is a good guy… but a flaw like not having an ounce of swagger, not pushing yourself to the limit… those things rub off on teammates, especially when it is your PG.

    I can’t count how many times this year he had the ball on an open court situation where it was one-on-one or two-on-two and he wouldn’t try to finish at the rim, but chose to pull the ball out. Once in a while, that shows discipline and restraint, but you typically want a PG who isn’t afraid to finish out those plays and either score, get fouled or both. Every time he did that it seemed we were headed for a bad spell because it sent a message to teammates to play soft.

    There was no way he was going to have the senior season Taylor had. You can’t really build much confidence in players. They have to do it from within, and some players can and other players can’t. I’ve always pulled for Tharpe, but this past year proved to me that he can’t.

  • @drgnslayr

    Slayer, we have gone over this before. Taylor might have attended a summer camp before his senior year but it was not with John Lucas. John Lucas trains mostly pre-college kids and college players preparing for the draft; Tyshawn did go there AFTER his senior year while preparing for the draft.

    John Lucas camp…

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