WRITER: Benton Smith

Les Koenning not yet ready to forecast what KU football offense will look like in fall

Any time a football program hires a new coach, those who follow the team want to know what the presence of a fresh perspective will mean for the product on the field. Unfortunately for those diehards who keep up with Kansas football and are curious about what the offense will look like this fall, with an overhauled staff working for new head coach Les Miles, the man who will be calling the Jayhawks’ plays is ...

Rejuvenated Dedric Lawson will be crucial in KU's push for another Big 12 title

After spending much of the season’s first three months doing his best to carry the Kansas basketball team, things are finally beginning to settle down for Dedric Lawson. Not only has the emergence of freshmen guards Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji meant the Jayhawks can actually win games without Lawson scoring 20-plus points and registering a double-double, KU’s leading scorer and rebounder will get some ...

Benton Smith: Jayhawks' defense trending upward in final weeks of regular season

Unfailingly at his most crotchety after a one-sided defeat, West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins was less than thrilled about discussing what had just transpired at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday during his postgame press conference. Huggins’ Mountaineers had just shot 33.9 percent from the floor, a number that plunged with every one of their 20 missed 3-pointers on 23 attempts. Further contributing to ...

New starting role doesn't mean David McCormack trying to play like 'superstar'

Before the season began, not a whole lot was expected out of David McCormack during his freshman year with the Kansas basketball program. It wasn’t that the 6-foot-10 forward from prep powerhouse Oak Hill Academy lacked potential. It was just that McCormack was joining what looked like a very crowded frontcourt, with 7-footer Udoka Azubuike, 6-9 forwards Dedric Lawson and Silvio De Sousa and 6-8 Mitch ...

Even without Lagerald Vick, Jayhawks capable of producing from 3-point range

At no point in the past couple of weeks did Bill Self give his team a directive to shoot more 3-pointers. But since the calendar flipped to February, the Jayhawks have definitely been more ready and likely to fire away from beyond the arc. On the season, KU is averaging 20.7 3-point attempts per game with a 35.9% success rate. Through 12 Big 12 games, the Jayhawks are averaging 21.4 3-point tries and hitting ...

Les Miles wants to get KU football to point where Jayhawks don't need as many juco signees

When six junior college prospects signed with the Kansas football program this past December, it seemed new head coach Les Miles might be headed down a familiar recruiting path. The man who held the job before him, David Beaty, signed 10 juco players in 2017 and 12 more in 2018. However, when the dust settled on Miles’ first recruiting class at KU, he and his staff only ended up signing five transfers from ...

Jayhawks showed some vital mental toughness by winning on road

As currently comprised, the Kansas roster is too flawed overall for the Jayhawks to play the type of aesthetically pleasing basketball that has characterized so many of their predecessors coached by Bill Self. But they have now proven, most importantly to themselves, that they can offset some of their depth, ball handling and shooting deficiencies with one of the qualities that their coach appreciates most. By ...

Miles announces recruiting-focused support staff additions

Fresh off his first signing class as head football coach at the University of Kansas, Les Miles announced Monday some more additions to his support staff that figure to help the Jayhawks on the never-ending recruiting front. Miles announced that Dirk Wedd will move from an analyst job to director of high school relations, while Drew Hixson has been hired as KU’s director of scouting. Entering his second ...

'He's been through it': KU coaches think highly of junior QB Thomas MacVittie

When Les Miles took over the long-struggling Kansas football program this past November and began making decisions about the roster’s most pressing needs, it became clear to him where to get started. “Offensively, it was we needed to have a quarterback,” Miles shared during his “Hawk Talk” radio show this past week. “And Thomas MacVittie is that guy. He’s mobile. He can run it and throw ...

Benton Smith: Devon Dotson breaks through on Big Monday for rare KU road win

Fort Worth, Texas — Ever since it became clear that winning away games could no longer be considered the foregone luxury that it typically is for Bill Self-coached teams at Kansas, the Jayhawks have searched for one of their role players to drag them out of their road stupor by becoming more of a leading man. As good as Dedric Lawson has been this season for KU, the redshirt junior big needed a wingman. All ...

4-star talent Steven Parker expected to contribute quickly

While head coach Les Miles and his assistants seem genuinely enthused about the Kansas football program’s 2019 signing class, no one in the crop of incoming Jayhawks is as touted as four-star talent Steven Parker. A dominant defensive end at South Oak Cliff High, in Dallas, Rivals ranked him as the 20th-best weakside defensive end in the nation, as well as the No. 40 overall prospect in the state of Texas. A ...

CB Justin Ford reopens recruitment

It doesn’t appear Justin Ford will end up joining the Kansas football program after all. One of the 11 early signees in Les Miles’ first recruiting class this past December, Ford tweeted out a note this week to make known his future plans. “I will like to announce that I will be reopening my recruitment, looking to transfer out in May,” Ford wrote in a note accompanying his post on Twitter. That ...

Benton Smith: Ochai Agbaji has become key player for KU after just 10 games

Ochai Agbaji wasn’t supposed to play this season. The Kansas basketball team, it appeared, didn’t need the freshman guard from Kansas City, Mo. Sure, KU’s coaches loved his long-term potential. But Agbaji could take a redshirt year and the Jayhawks would be just fine without him, what with their McDonald’s All-Americans and returning players with Final Four experience. That was the line of thinking ...

Trials and tribulations piling up for Jayhawks this season

Perhaps because he’s spent so much of this season in college basketball’s version of crisis management mode, Bill Self on Friday afternoon turned one question about the at times tedious nature of a season into a nearly 3-minute long public service announcement about the state of the Kansas basketball team. Whether it was the Jayhawks’ four losses in their last six games (with all the defeats coming on the ...

Les Miles sees some great potential in KU's 2019 recruiting class

On the second Sunday of December, new Kansas football coach Les Miles got his first commitment for the program’s 2019 recruiting class. By the first Wednesday in February, also known as National Signing Day in the college football universe, Miles was able to laud 19 prospects who will become a part of his debut season in Lawrence this coming fall. During his press conference earlier this week, Miles ...

Les Miles' first KU football signing class grows to 19

As the Kansas football program’s 2019 recruiting class grew by nine players on Wednesday, National Signing Day revealed a peek into the mind of first-year head coach Les Miles. All the deliberate assessments and planning that went into Miles’ first recruiting class since re-entering the coaching ranks culminated with the Jayhawks winning over a number of talented high school prospects. “The key is to ...

Notebook: Gavin Potter picks KU after showing up to signing ceremony in K-State gear

After his recruitment came down to the wire, Gavin Potter, a high school linebacker from Oklahoma, introduced himself to the Kansas football fan base in grand fashion Wednesday. A three-star prospect who had verbally committed to Kansas State, Potter waited until National Signing Day to reveal whether he would stick with the Wildcats or choose another Big 12 program. And when it was time for his signing ...

Les Miles and staff look to fill final spots in 2019 recruiting class

Although Les Miles and his staff finished off much of their work ahead of December’s early signing period, a little drama remains for the first-year Kansas head coach and his assistants heading into National Signing Day. The Jayhawks already have 11 signees and a key verbal commitment from four-star Dallas defensive end Steven Parker in place. But the total composition of what will be a small 2019 signing ...

Benton Smith: Mistakes prove costly as KU drops rivalry showdown

Manhattan — For all that Kansas State had done well this season, particularly while putting together a six-game Big 12 winning streak heading into Tuesday night’s Sunflower Showdown with Kansas, the Wildcats’ offensive prowess couldn’t exactly be considered a point of concern. What the visiting Jayhawks, so often road losers this season, had to worry about, though, was one of K-State’s primary sources ...

4-star prep DE Steven Parker commits to KU football

National Signing Day isn’t until Wednesday, but Monday very well could go down as the most important day for the Kansas football program’s 2019 recruiting class. That’s when Steven Parker, a four-star defensive end from Dallas, announced his decision to join the Jayhawks. In picking KU over Texas Tech and Nebraska, Parker became the top-rated prospect in new head coach Les Miles’ recruiting ...