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Kansas Basketball 50 in 50, No. 45: Mario Chalmers v. Jay Wright

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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.

Jason King of Yahoo and Jesse Newell of the LJW have combined to write a behind the scenes type look at the last decade of Jayhawk basketball called Beyond the Phog, and if you haven't read it by now they posted a little excerpt of it online. The pertinent points: Mario Chalmers wanted to play for the Pan-Am team the summer before, but despite he being one of the better players in camp and Scottie Reynolds one of the worst (according to him) Coach Jay Wright - who also happened to coach Reynolds at Villanova - kept Reynolds over Mario. Fast forward to the 2008 Sweet 16:

during the game we were talking all kinds of s--t to Jay Wright. We’d run by him and tell him, "Sit your ass down! We got this!" Another time we said to him, "This is what you get for cutting us. We’re about to dog you!" Anytime we were throwing the ball in from the sideline, when he was standing up trying to call a play, we’d tell him to shut his mouth and sit down. There was one play where I threw a lob to Shady on an inbounds pass and he dunked over Scottie Reynolds. Right before I threw it I looked at Jay Wright and said, "Watch this!" That game was definitely personal for Sherron and me.

A couple thoughts (in bullet point form. Hey, it's Saturday) after the jump:

  • First, I can't say I blame Jay Wright for keeping his own kid over someone at another school. Beyond building up his confidence and not wanting him to think that he sucks,  you get a free excuse to coach him over the summer.
  • Secondly, if you don't think that there is all kinds of trash talking, even to coaches (granted, probably not this bad) in every big game I invite you to join 2011. It's fun out here, I promise.
  • That said, hell of a classy job by Jay Wright not saying anything about it at any point. He obviously must have been pissed but as far as I know never said anything to the team or in public. Kudos.
  • Finally, holy crap that 2008 team was good. (best team of the KenPom era in fact)