Kris Humphries an ‘absolute jerk’? Ex-Kansas player agrees

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An upcoming book on Kansas basketball promises to be more than just fluff. And that’s not just the book jacket talking.

Two excerpts from “Beyond the Phog: Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball’s Most Dominant Decade,” provide insight to how the teams were built and some motivating factors for a program that won nine conference titles, 300 games and a national title since 2001. Writers Jason King and Jesse Newell spoke to nearly 40 players and both head coaches, Bill Self and Roy Williams.

The result? Stuff like this from former player Keith Langford:

“Kris Humphries came on a visit and tried to commit. He really wanted to come here. But no one on the team liked Kris Humphries. He was arrogant. He told everyone he was going to come in and be the leading scorer as a freshman and that we’d all have to take a backseat to him. We were trying to be respectful and not say anything. But he was an absolute jerk. It was tough, because Roy was really excited about him. Kris Humphries was a big deal. He was a one-and-done or a two-and-done kind of player. Roy wanted him to commit on his visit. But we told him, ‘Coach, you can’t bring this guy in. You can’t do it.’ You’d figure Roy would say something like, ‘Let’s work on him,’ or ‘Let’s give him another chance.’ Instead he told Humphries, ‘Sorry, but you can’t come.’ Bill Self did the same thing years later with Terrence Williams.”

Nobody liked Kris Humphries? Guess his sisters-in-law aren’t the only ones who think so. Given that he eventually committed to Duke, then backed out and spent one season at Minnesota before bolting for the NBA, that was hardly a tough call.

Terrence Williams, on the other hand, probably wasn’t an ideal fit given how stacked the Jayhawks were with talent between 2006 and 2009. But I’m not sure how close T-Will was to coming to Kansas anyway. According to this, KU wasn’t one of the four schools on his final list. (Because they didn’t want him? Anyway.)

Then there’s the Jayhawks’ run to the 2008 national title, which included a “revenge” game against Villanova. Well, at least for Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins.

See, both were cut by ‘Nova coach Jay Wright during tryouts for the 2007 Pan-Am Games. Collins had a bum knee, but Chalmers says he led the camp in steals and hardly had any turnovers.

Yet Wright picked his own guy, Wildcats guard Scottie Reynolds. So when a Sweet 16 game between Kansas and Villanova rolled around, Chalmers wasn’t about to forget. An excerpt:

Coach Self called Sherron and me into his office and said, “How do you feel about this Villanova game?” I said, “Coach, this is personal to me. I don’t like Jay Wright.” He was like, “I understand that, but keep it out of the media.” So when the media asked if it was a personal game, we’d say, “No, it’s not personal. It’s just another game.” But 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.

You can see more about what’s included in the book here. My biggest hope? That Williams goes through a detailed recount of his Bonnie Bernstein interview. A guy can dream, right?

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PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.