Monthly Archives: October 2010

Self not expecting Selby ruling by start of season

Kansas coach Bill Self issued a comment on Wednesday afternoon that was low on new information about freshman guard Josh Selby’s eligibility, but Self did say for the first time that he doesn’t expect the NCAA to issue a ruling by the start of the season.

“We support and respect the process and hope that it is over sooner rather than later,” Self said. “But we don’t expect a decision on this before the regular season begins. We will not comment further until the process is complete.”

The Jayhawks begin exhibition play on Tuesday night against Washburn at Allen Fieldhouse, and it appears they will be without Selby.


KU’s Torbush covets Self’s basketball players

It was only a few weeks ago that Kansas defensive coordinator Carl Torbush spoke the obvious by saying that he needed to recruit better players than he currently has.

Now, Torbush has a new idea about how he could get that done without even leaving campus. Forget flying commercial all over Texas and the Southeast. Torbush can take a jog up to Allen Fieldhouse and have it all.

“I’m probably gonna get myself in trouble now,” Torbush said. “I’ve been around basketball. I let Julius Peppers play basketball at North Carolina. He was just another guy on that basketball court. That tells you the size and athleticism of those forwards in basketball. You’d like to have you a couple of those guys.”

Torbush’s defense, thus far, has lacked the defensive ends athletic enough to get to the passer. He describes his ideal defensive end as a guy with a nice wingspan, quickness, acceleration and flexibility in his hips. Peppers, apparently, came to Torbush as a 6-foot-5, 210-pound high-school running back. Now, he’s terrorizing NFL quarterbacks.

So which KU basketball players does Torbush have his eye on? Travis Releford (6-5, 207)? Marcus Morris (6-8, 235)? Markieff Morris (6-9, 245)? Mario Little (6-6, 218)? Thomas Robinson (6-9, 237)?

“How about the starting lineup?” Torbush said. “I think we can find some cornerbacks and d-ends and a little bit of everything out of that group.”

Something tells me that the likes of Josh Selby, Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson and Royce Woolridge would make pretty good defensive backs. How would you like throwing the fade route on one of them?

Bottom line, Self better keep close tabs on his guys during this offseason. Torbush may have more in mind than borrowing Conner Teahan for a couple of practices this time around.


KU-Iowa State on Oct. 30 won’t be televised

If you want to watch the Kansas football team play on Oct. 30 at Iowa State, you’d better get on the horn to the Iowa State ticket office, because the game will not be televised.

Jayhawks-Cyclones, a 1 p.m. kickoff, will break a 22-game streak of televised Kansas games dating back to the 2008 game at Nebraska, which was available on pay-per-view.

The no-TV designation is an indictment on the performance of KU coach Turner Gill’s Jayhawks. Iowa State hasn’t been a TV draw for years, and that wasn’t going to change with the Cyclones sitting at 3-4 overall and coming off a 52-0 shellacking by Oklahoma.

But Kansas has been a consistent TV draw since the middle of the 2007 season. That, like everything else, appears to have changed.


The day after with Turner Gill

By J. Brady McCollough

Kansas coach Turner Gill moved his usual Sunday night talk with beat reporters up to Friday afternoon because of the Thursday night game.

Gill said that KU’s 59-7 loss to Kansas State could be narrowed down to a handful of plays that went wrong early.

“Looking at the tape, there’s aways those three to four plays,” Gill said. “The main thing is, we’ve got to play better early. I thought the defense played well in the first quarter, then we put them in positions with the turnovers. We’ve just got to learn from it and start early, execute better on offense.”

Other notes:

* KU senior captain and guard Sal Capra is questionable for the Texas A&M game with a sprained ankle.

* KU redshirt freshman tackle Riley Spencer would play in his absence as he did on Thursday night, moving Brad Thorson to guard. Gill said Spencer did OK Thursday.

* KU senior captain Angus Quigley carried 16 times for 70 yards and a touchdown on Thursday, one of the lone positives to come out of the game. Gill said part of the reason Quigley hasn’t been playing was his health.

* KU senior cornerback Chris Harris may have suffered a concussion during the game, but Gill is not sure yet. He has to hear from the medical staff first.



Self talks a little Jayhawk arithmetic

Today is Kansas basketball media day, which means that KU coach Bill Self was asked about guys who are no longer on his roster and how their absence will affect the play of his team.

No, Sherron Collins and lottery picks Xavier Henry and Cole Aldrich are not walking through that door. But Self knows that doesn’t matter around here.

“Kansas math is unique,” Self said. “My first year here, you lose (Nick) Collison and (Kirk) Hinrich, but you’re supposed to be better. That’s Kansas math. It’s kind of the same thing this year. You lose those three, and how could you expect to be better? But I do think this: 33-3 is a pretty good winning percentage. I don’t think this team will do that. But I do think this team can be as good a team as what last year’s team was when it counted the most.”

Self seemed like he already has some ideas about how to solve this equation. The Jayhawks lose Collins, who won more games in four years than any other player in KU history, but he sees a lot of the same qualities in freshman Josh Selby, who has yet to be cleared to play in games by the NCAA. Certainly Selby, the No. 1 recruit in the nation according to Rivals.com, is a key to the math working out.

As for losing Aldrich, Self knows that KU will not be as strong in the middle with a defensive force that can block shots and rebound as well as Aldrich. But he also sees KU being able to pressure more and change the way they guard lots of things, including ball screens.

Overall, Self sees this team having more team speed, which has him thinking big things once again. Of course, in Lawrence, he has no other choice.


KU’s Torbush says Jayhawks need better players

In the world of sports media, we appreciate honesty from a coach or player more than anything. Kansas defensive coordinator Carl Torbush, a veteran of the game, went above and beyond the call of duty on Monday when I asked him if KU was focusing on recruiting players who could rush the passer (the Jayhawks’ defensive line does not have a sack in five games).

“You always try to make sure that every guy you recruit is better than the guy you play with,” Torbush said. “That doesn’t always happen, but ideally, in a perfect world, that’s what you’d do. Just like when you’re buying a car. It may not be the best car, but normally it’s gonna be a bigger car, a more luxury car. We gotta continue to recruit and recruit our needs and what we need. Ya’ll see the same thing, that we gotta be able to get more pressure on the quarterback. You normally do that by speed and athleticism. I think our guys are doing an adequate job. It’s not a detriment to what we’re playing with, because you’re always playing with good players. What you want to do is recruit a guy who’s better than who you’re playing with. That’s the only way to get better as a football team.”

OK, this seems like an obvious thing. Coaches want to recruit better players than the ones they have. But I’ve never actually heard a coach come out and say that.

I appreciated the honesty, and fans should, too.