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Rockchalk's Ramblings // 6-16-09

Here we go, at it again. Real content, non-links style, should be up later otnight, and continue throughout the week. Hopefully.

Kansas Basketball

Andy Katz: Final top 25 before the fall - ESPN

We're #1, very unsurprisingly. The whole list is worth checking out, though. Kentucky is at #7. Yes, #7. I understand they have a ridiculous amount of talent, but I'm not buying it. And Texas is already scaring the absolute shit out of me. Appears to be another epic Kansas-Texas basketball game is on its way.

Winners and losers in this year's NBA Draft - FOX Sports on MSN

Yeah duh, we're winners. Well, technically, only Bill Self is a winner; not us. So, don't feel good about Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich coming back. Only Bill Self can. Seriously, though, it's crazy how many people are staying in the Draft that aren't as good as either of them, particularly Cole. And who the hell knows what is going on with Nick Calathes. Greece over the NBA? I'm assuming Russel Robinson wasn't a reference point.

Collins to skip University Games |

All that's being told is that it was a "family situation", so hopefully it's nothing serious and everything can get worked out. As long as the situation isn't anything serious, then everything is fine. And from the sound of it, he just wanted to hang out with his family. Perfectly understandable and everything. Good decision, Sherron. Just please don't show up overweight again.

Mix of old and new faces bring smiles to Big 12 basketball coaches - Kansas City Star

Some three-packs from Kerkhoff. Also of note, there are audio interviews up, including this one from FHOFNCOYNCHCBS himself.

KU wants Withey to bulk up the Jayhawks’ frontcourt - Kansas City Star

And finally, an interesting look into Withey's Michael Phelps-ian diet. 3,500 calories a day, eating breakfast every morning with the nutritionist to make sure he was eating his fatty foods. It's all kind of odd. But, we'll get (or is it only Bill Self again?) a stockier, thicker Jeff Withey. In this case, that's a good thing.

Kansas Football

"History says Huskers should be favorites to win Big 12 North" by The Newell Post /

Jesse Newell has quickly become my absolute favorite part of the LJ World/KU Sports combo. He's fantastic, in nearly every way. And again, this is a great article, even if it provides a less-than-pleasing result. Can't we win the North, just once?

Early questions to consider before football season :

The title's pretty much self-explanatory. It's from over the weekend, but I missed it yesterday. My badz.

Kansas Baseball

Not to steal JQ's thunder or anything, but two players signed. One, David Narodowski, was a draftee of the Diamondbacks. Afenir, on the other hand, was a senior who went undrafted. He will be joining Shaffer in the Yankees' farm system, though. | KU's Narodowski signs with Arizona Diamondbacks | KU's Afenir signs with Yankees

Where Should Kentucky Be Ranked?

I realize that John Calipari has stocked a ridiculous amount of talent in Lexington over the past two-or-so months on the job. And I realize that they already had two bonafide superstars, and a host of other talented players; enough talent, certainly, to make the NCAA Tournament. But I'm not buying that a team of talent can simply waltz in to school and earn a Top 10 ranking.

Obviously, they have the potential to win a Championship this season. But with Jodie Meeks staying in the NBA Draft, they are left with one player (Patrick Patterson) that is a significant piece to the puzzle that's actually played in a NCAA game. The other keys players are all newcomers. Sure, it just may be the "Greatest Recruiting Class Evar!!!11", but they are all still freshmen. Ridiculously talented freshmen, sure, like John Wall and Daniel Orton and DeMarcus Cousins, but they still have a ways to go.

Now, if they all get better over the year, then sure, by the time March Madness rolls around they should be taken seriously. Ridiculously seriously. But as we stand right now, I'm not buying it. Prove something, anything to me first. The one-and-done player is an interesting collegiate proposition. On one hand, there are some incredible talents that have gone that route (see: Mayo, O.J. and Love, Kevin among a host of others). There is no doubting that you can pick up some crazy talent going after the kid who is simply going to college because he's forced to. But only one has ever led his team to a title (do I have to tell you who?), that's all. They've added depth to teams (like Marvin Williams), but only once have served as the central focus and made it all worth it by winning a title.

And basically, Kentucky is a team made up of one-and-dones, at least potentially, combined with Patrick Patterson (who is a stud, by the way) and a couple of other freshmen. There are other pieces, sure, but this is a team that only made the NIT last year. Blame it on Gillespie all you want, Jammie Foxx wannabe, but it isn't like there was a Final Four team hiding amidst the coaching screwups.

So, basically, here is what we have. We have a team that went to the NIT last season. Subtract the team's best perimeter player, the SEC's Player of the Year and a stud from three-point range (all the same player). Add in a pretty good coach, and a whole mess of recruits. Some of them incredibly touted, like John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, but is this batch of recruits alone enough to get this team a Top 10 preseason standing?

I've spent way too much time on such a topic. And it isn't as if this is a bad team; it is most certainly a good team, maybe even a very good team, that could be a Title contender by the time the calendar flips to March 2010. Just make them prove something first, please, before annointing them with such preseason praise.

They seem to belong comfortably in the bottom-half of the 'teens, right now. Definitely a candidate to quickly shoot up the polls, given some impressive early-season performances, but at least let them beat up on the patsies in November before putting them so high.