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A proper welcome for Danny Manning

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You know who should be waiting for Danny Manning at the airport with outspread arms and a huge, goofy grin? Junior center Kodi Maduka. He should be ECSTATIC that Manning is the new head coach of the Golden Hurricane.

Why? Because Manning molds big men. He has done it over the years at Kansas. It also helps to have played 15 years in the NBA. That level of experience … those credentials… that HAS to stand out if you are an up-and-coming star like Maduka.

The potential is there for Kodi. He has the frame to be great. He needs to add a little more muscle but he is already a defensive force. He blocked nearly two shots per game last season (Tied for 3rd in C-USA) and altered many, MANY more. He finished last year with 8.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Can Manning bump those numbers to 15 and 12? I think so. I think he will take that raw ability and unfinished offensive potential and turn Kodi into a first-team All-CUSA performer. Mark it down.

Since he was promoted to assistant coach in '07 with the Jayhawks, KU has had 6 big men drafted. Four went in the first round. Three were lottery picks and Thomas Robinson (17.7 ppg and 11.8 rpg) will probably go early in this year's draft.

Oral Roberts center Damen Bell Holter tweeted that the TU "big guys are lucky". Maduka himself said Manning "will be a good look". I figure that counts as excitement.

Let me help you out, Kodi. Here are directions to the airport.

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