WRITER: Tom Keegan

Friday Forecasts: Utah State seventh-year football coach Matt Wells back on the rise

"Not Gonna Fool Me Nellie," as he likes to call himself, has the most elaborate twitch I've ever seen, and the simplest approach to sports betting. First, the twitch: He looks left, then straight ahead, then right, then behind. He repeats this constantly throughout the day, so he seldom looks at you when he's talking. All day. Never stops. His wagering system: If it looks too good to be true, that means it's ...

Firebirds' caveman mentality blends well with team speed

Sure, glamor has its part in the Free State High football program. A 7-0 record. No. 2 ranking in the state. Stylish uniforms with blends of white, silver and hunter green. Terrific skill players. But reaching the essence of this football team that dominates opponents on a weekly basis requires peeling off layers of glitz. “We have to line up and play smash-mouth football, honestly, no matter who we’re ...

Former KU assistant coach, current Texas Tech DC David Gibbs having big season

If I were an agent for assistant college football coaches I would insist that they all are paid moving expenses with a set amount of cash and then can make arrangements on their own. And then I would insist that each one of them buy a truck big enough to pack all of their belongings. They would pay off the truck by their third or fourth move and make money off of the next 10 moves. Texas Tech defensive ...

Did David Beaty pull a Tommy Lasorda with timing of coaching change?

One of the many enjoyable aspects of covering Hall of Fame Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, the greatest motivator in the history of baseball, centered on witnessing him lose his cool in his office. Most of the time, anyway. I could have done without the flying chicken spittle, but hey, chalk that up to an occupational hazard of a very interesting occupation. Beat writers enjoyed Tommy's blowups so much that ...

Tom Keegan: Does Kansas have a clean basketball program?

It’s reached the point where the issues that need to be addressed with the Kansas basketball program have grown beyond what’s provable and what may or may not lead to an NCAA violation. It’s bigger than that. It boils down to a central question: Does Kansas believe it has a clean basketball program? Not are they just doing what everybody else is doing. Not can it stay out of trouble. Those are separate, ...

Tom Keegan: For KU tight ends past and present, it's all about catching opportunities

The Associated Press released its midseason All-American team Tuesday afternoon, and not surprisingly, one of David Beaty’s Kansas recruits made the first-team offense. Jace Sternberger, who spent two seasons in the KU program and caught one pass for 5 yards, earned the AP honor at tight end. Beaty raved about Sternberger the day he showed video of and broke down each of the players from his first recruiting ...

Tom Keegan: Marcus Garrett has ugly jumper, beautiful game

Every so often, an athlete so obviously lacks a particular skill to such a degree that the image of his or her deficiency can color a fan’s nightmares. In some cases, that very same athlete is a coach’s dream. Meet Marcus Garrett, sophomore guard. Watch him shoot. Better yet, turn your head and watch everything else he does. Comparing Garrett’s jumper to the rest of his game is akin to likening the mood ...

Tom Keegan: Stormy texting puts KU basketball on center stage at trial

What you make of the Monday revelations from the trial on corruption in college basketball very well could depend on what the giant letters in fancy font at the top of the framed diploma on your wall spell. If they spell Kentucky, you’re going to embrace the worst-case-for-KU interpretation of the texts between Kansas basketball coach Bill Self and T.J. Gassnola, formerly a director of an AAU program in ...

Friday Forecasts: Careful of betting with a system

Everybody has a system for betting sports. Break Even Benny told me about his surefire method to do no worse than break even. “If you lose the first bet, just double the wager on the next,” he said. “And if you lose again, just double the amount you lost and keep doubling until you win and you’re guaranteed to break even.” OK, but it only works if you have enough money set aside to cover a real long ...

Evan Fairs, Kyle Mayberry still have option of using new redshirt rule

Fourth-year Kansas football coach David Beaty said last week he doesn't anticipate using the new rule that enables players to redshirt as long as they don't play in more than four games, but two juniors on the roster who might be attractive to other FBS schools still could do so. Receiver Evan Fairs played in the first four games of the season and did not participate in the two most recent ones. Cornerback Kyle ...

Tom Keegan: David Beaty still firing away

David Beaty almost found the right solution to the Kansas football program’s main problem. In fact, he only missed by one letter. Beaty hired himself again as offensive coordinator. He should have fired himself as head coach. Oh well, the ‘f’ is only two keys to the left of the ‘h.’ Understandable mistake. Unforgivable, to be sure, but understandable. If Beaty worked for athletic directors as ...

Jayhawks rising ahead of schedule

Ainise Havili, Kelsie Payne and Madison Rigdon were so talented they led Kansas to its first Final Four volleyball appearance as sophomores, when Laura “Bird” Kuhn was named national assistant coach of the year. Last season was the final one at KU for all of them, as well as for assistant coach Todd Chamberlain, now filling a similar role at Louisville. Kuhn is Texas A&M’s head volleyball ...

Tom Keegan: Silvio De Sousa says, 'I know I am going to play this year'

Silvio De Sousa was sitting in his assigned seat at Kansas basketball Media Day, fully decked out in his home uniform and sharing his delight at his sophomore season drawing closer. “It’s just super exciting knowing that I’m wearing a jersey that we usually wear for games,” De Sousa said Wednesday afternoon. “And it just makes me feel like the season is about to start tomorrow. It’s a great feeling ...

Doug Meacham out: David Beaty fires OC, hires himself for second time during rocky tenure

Fourth-year Kansas football coach David Beaty engaged his itchy trigger finger yet again Wednesday, firing offensive coordinator Doug Meacham in a two-paragraph press release. Beaty said he will handle in-game play-calling and will coach quarterbacks, duties Meacham handled for the first half of a 2-4 season. Meacham was hired as offensive coordinator before the 2017 season. “None of us are satisfied with ...

Multiple factors led to major improvement in secondary in one week

The switch from primarily using a three-man front to a four-man front for Saturday's game in Morgantown resulted in a far better pass rush. The appreciative secondary responded with three interceptions in the red zone of West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, who had not thrown a red-zone pick in his career heading into the game. Daniel Wise stood out up front and Hasan Defense in the back, but according to ...

Tom Keegan: Kurtis Townsend's basketball life filled with stars

Everybody knows the names that inspire many to say that all college basketball roads lead to the University of Kansas. Wilt Chamberlain, the most dominant player in the history of the game, spent three seasons here, one playing for a freshman team that was better than the varsity, and two for the varsity. James Naismith, basketball’s inventor, was the school’s first coach and, to date, the only one with a ...

Tom Keegan: Kansas football coach David Beaty safe for now

Morgantown, W.V. — In the wake of Saturday’s closer-than-expected, 38-22 loss to West Virginia, first-year Kansas athletic director Jeff Long accommodated my request for an interview about his impressions of the football program at the halfway point of the season. “You know, we got a couple of wins there, won back-to-back games, which is something we hadn’t done here in a while,” Long said. “We’re ...

Keegan: KU defense did its part in loss to WVU

Morgantown, W. Va. — The Kansas defense played with anger, born of an insult, one delivered by the opposing coach no less. The Jayhawks played as if they were tired of being the butt of jokes, fed up with not getting credit for the improvements they have made, ready to fight back and fight hard. The defense did its part Saturday in a 38-22 loss to West Virginia at Milan Puskar Stadium, where 57,419 watched a ...

Friday forecasts: Kevin Kane learned well under Dave Doeren

I went 0-3 vs. the spread last week, which means I either am due or you should go opposite of me based on theory that it’s never wise to bet against a streak. 1 - SMU +24 at Central Florida: Northern Illinois tied with Michigan for most tackles for loss per game (8.8) in the nation in 2017 under defensive coordinator Kevin Kane. Sonny Dykes, who uses an up-tempo Air Raid attack, hired Kane to become his ...

KU football interim HC countdown: No. 1, Bill Miller

The most experienced assistant coach on David Beaty’s staff has deep recruiting roots in Kansas and Florida and has such a rich well of experience working for head coaches on which to draw in cobbling his own approach to running a college football program, should Kansas decide not let Beaty complete his fourth season. Miller worked for Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban, Mark Mangino, Jerry Kill and Jimbo ...