The Jayhawks looked 'sloppy' but talented
Posted on: October 17, 2009 9:56 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2009 10:03 pm
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- "How sloppy was that," Bill Self asked just moments after putting his top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks through their first official practice.
My answer: Pretty sloppy.
But the talent level was still hard to miss.
No, the Jayhawks didn't spend Saturday morning looking like a team ready to beat everybody by 20 points; they seemed more likely to turn it over 20 times. That bothered Self, and he made it clear. But in time that stuff will get worked out, I'm certain, and what will remain is an awesome roster that's as deep as it is talented.
Seriously, the biggest problem facing Self isn't going to be sloppiness.
It's going to be trying to figure out a way to keep all of his players happy.
Remember, Kansas returns seven guys who played at least 15 minutes per game last season and adds two freshmen (Xavier Henry and Thomas Robinson) who are expected to contribute immediately. That means there are at least nine players who think they're getting major minutes, and I'm not even counting senior Mario Little or freshmen Elijah Johnson or Jeff Withey. So clearly, something has to give. And that's why Brady Morningstar's first-semester suspension might actually be a good thing for the Jayhawks, because what it basically did was free minutes for somebody else, among them the aforementioned Henry who seems on track to endure a growing pain or two.
"You do the same thing every time you get the ball," Self yelled during one drill after Henry turned it over. Right then, I was reminded that though the 6-foot-6 guard has a chance to be a one-and-done player based on his physical gifts, he's far from a lock for the 2010 NBA Draft despite what you might've heard elsewhere. Honestly, Henry has a ways to go, and I'm not even sure he's one of KU's top five players, at the moment. But the good news for Kansas fans is that Henry appears to be in great shape and the proper frame of mind, and to a man the staff raves about his character and willingness to learn.
If you thought he might be a prima donna, think again.
There's no evidence that such is or will be a problem with Henry.
"He's so coachable," said Kansas assistant Joe Dooley. "He's a 10 [on a scale of one to 10]. Just a great kid."