Monday, April 04, 2005

Preparing to Wrap Up the College Basketball Season

1) Let me say before tonight's game (lest those few who care think that I tailor my feelings to the result) that I do not begrudge Roy Williams his opportunity to win a National Championship. I only hope that should achieve that goal he finds some happiness.

I believe that his desire to win a National Championship is every bit as intense as his public disavowals regarding that desire. His insistence on "enjoying the ride" is largely in response to the embarrassment he suffered from the public response to his intensely emotional annual press conference following Kansas's NCAA Tournament loss. He stayed at Kansas to coach Gooden, Hinrich, and Collison and he left for North Carolina to coach May, McCants and Felton. Roy wants to win a National Championship more than anything.

2) I do not think that Roy Williams should have called his former players at Kansas until they had used up their eligibility. Nor do I think that his phone calls had any malevolent purpose. Roy has a tremendous need for approval demonstrated by his inability to accept that Kansas fans were upset when he left and that some refuse to forgive him for accepting the North Carolina job. Were I a North Carolina fan (or player), I'd be none too thrilled that my head coach talked constantly about Kansas, either.

3) I think tonight's matchup is basically a toss-up. In lieu of actual analysis, I'll cop-out and say that whichever team plays better will win with the caveat that an appearance by the point-zone will significantly diminish Carolina's chances.

4) The odd feeling of seeing Kansas's old coach (I could stop there having completed a coherent thought. I hope that Roy is the first and last coach to leave Lawrence for another college job.) square off against our current coach's old players isn't a dreadful as I expected due in large part to last week's McDonald's All-American game.

Unquestionably, Kansas stands third after the first two years of this tri-partite transition, but I like the Jayhawks chances of having the best team of the three two years hence. Now that I've seen the incoming freshmen and Alex Galindo appears to be the only candidate to transfer out I'm somewhat less cautious in my optimism for the '06-'07 season. Though Wright, Chalmers, and Downs all played well last Wednesday, I still think that next year's team will struggle to score consistently.

As for Galindo, he seemed to have the least utility of the five freshmen going forward in terms of the team it appears Self is building. I would not be surprised if he finds another program that could make better use of his talent. It would be unlikely that he would get enough playing time at Kansas to expand his game beyond his apparent, singular skill (shooting).

If Galindo's scholarship goes to DeAndre Thomas, I'd expect one of Thomas, Kaun or Darnell Jackson to redshirt next season. Assuming Julian Wright and CJ Giles start and that Moody plays some minutes at the 4, there's no need for a six-man rotation through the two post positions.

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