50 in 50 is a feature here at RCT counting down until the Jayhawks kick off the 2011 basketball season on November first. Got an idea for something you'd like to see featured here? tweet @rockchalktalk or @fetch9 or email me at fetch9 at gmail dot com.
The Legends of the Phog game is on September 24th, and it will reunite some of the biggest stars in recent history with the building that launched them into fame, and in some cases provided them with the best four years of their basketball careers. But while the roster is littered with names we all remember, there are a few players missing. Some have basketball reasons keeping them from being there (eg Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Sasha Kaun playing in Europe), some have family type reasons for not being there, and some I am assuming weren't invited (or declined an invite). I'll examine the latter groups below:
I covered Hinrich's dominance in college last year here at RCT, but its a shame he's not playing in this game. Granted its because he has a conflict and not because he didn't get an invite, but he's probably the best perimeter defender to wear a KU uniform in recent memory (I love Russ Robinson and Chalmers was fantastic as well, but those two had each other. Kirk had decent perimeter defenders around him, but played in a system that didn't really emphasize that end of the floor).
Pugh wasn't a great player for the Jayhawks (career 5.3 PPG) but he was a quintessential KU guy who went from bit player and eventually worked his way up to occasional starter when Eric Chenowith's play fell off. Plus, wouldn't you like to see them go at it? I'm sure there would have to be some intensity there. Plus, wouldn't you like to hear the PUGHHHHHH chants again? I sure would. Though, given that he is an oncologist, he probably has some more important things to do.
Duh, I had to. He was originally slated to be in the game, and was 99.999999% of the reason I bought a ticket to the event. I do wonder if he has to skip due to the tornado that hit Joplin, but I was looking forward to seeing the shooting stroke that led me to become a Kansas fan in the first place, as well as all of the weird looks I would have gotten when I cheered for Boschee and no one else. Not to mention, we could have speculated at the return of bald Boschee.
I hate how Sherron's tenure at KU ended probably more than any fan alive. With all the talent on our roster we didn't need him trying to be the hero like we needed him to be in the previous season. Still, his steal and three pointer were as big a part of the national championship as anything else in that game, and he was great in the 2009 season when, despite having all the attention on him, he shot almost 40% from three, got to the line more than anyone else on the team, and still had almost a 30% assist rate. It's a bit unfair he'll probably be remembered for his disaster in the Northern Iowa game (and that's probably how I'll remember him), but he deserves a nice standing ovation.
This game is a bit short on great guard play, so enter Miles, who started at point guard as a Freshman for a Final Four team, started as a Sophomore for the national runner up, and as a Senior put up a pretty ridiculous 38% assist rate, which was 13th in the country. And he did it in the first year of the Bill Self era, meaning he had to learn an entirely new system.
He didn't play much at KU, but as a 5th year Senior he appeared in 33 games and was injured in the open practice at the final four when taking off for a dunk. The guy who went through so much hardship deserves to run out of the tunnel at Allen Fieldhouse one more time.