WRITER: Tom Keegan

Tom Keegan: Coaching search thoughts and a farewell to Lawrence

You know you can’t run or jump or withstand contact the way the athletes you cover do, which brings us to why coaching searches are such a blast to follow: You very often are convinced that you can do a better job with those than the people conducting them. Too often, you are right. Turner Gill, Charlie Weis and David Beaty have combined for a 17-80 record with three games left for Beaty. This came in the ...

Tom Keegan: Kansas primed to upset Kansas State

Three weeks ago, when Kansas State was enjoying its bye week, coming off of a 31-12 blasting of Oklahoma State and Kansas was getting torched by Texas Tech, 48-16, it didn’t occur to me that the duly named Sunflower Showdown could amount to much this season. More of the same seemed on the way, especially since Saturday’s 11 a.m. game is in Manhattan and KU never wins a Big 12 road game. Call me crazy — ...

Tom Keegan: Despite shooting struggles, Dedric Lawson thrives in debut

Indianapolis — In his much-anticipated Kansas debut Tuesday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, fourth-year junior Dedric Lawson forced a couple of bad shots, shot just 27.8 percent from the field, ran the floor with that borderline awkward gait of his and still showed why he easily represents his team’s best shot at making it back to the Final Four. Most of Lawson’s shots didn’t stay down. Even the ones ...

Tom Keegan: Pick your favorite next KU football coach from this list of 17 names

Jeff Long held a very candid press conference Sunday night in the wake of the announcement that David Beaty would coach the final three games of the season for Kansas and wouldn't be retained. During the half-hour question-and-answer session, he opened a window into what a search looks like from an athletic director’s chair. “The biggest challenge is trying to find out who is really interested in your job ...

Tom Keegan: Beaty's failure to execute his own blueprint led to demise

So nervous at his introductory press conference that he twice said “Texas” when he meant “Kansas,” David Beaty still was able to articulate his plan for rescuing a football program flailing in quicksand. He could not execute his blueprint because he so quickly abandoned it. In three games shy of four seasons on the job, he didn’t move the program forward an inch and has a 6-39 record. “It starts ...

Tom Keegan: Coaching change would energize fanbase

The sun eventually popped out of the clouds Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, but the outlook for Kansas football remained the same: indefinitely gloomy. The final scoreboard read Iowa State 27, Kansas 3. The color scheme in the stands and the loudest roars from the crowd painted an even more damning view of the state of the program. On the east side of the stadium, renamed for a man whose ...

Tom Keegan: KU forward Dedric Lawson already looks like a pro

Dedric Lawson easily could have passed for an NBA veteran Tuesday night, stopping by his perennial powerhouse school, giving teenagers the thrill of running with them as he treats them as equals. He knows shortcuts most do not learn until they seek means of compensating for barking knees. He’s never in a hurry, yet always on time. He’s not necessarily as fast getting up and down the court, or as quick ...

Tom Keegan: Snappy Wirtel family on both sidelines and in stands Saturday

The better the long snapper, the less likely anybody is to recognize his name. He is to football what the third-base coach is to baseball. In both jobs, he only merits mention if he screws up. John Wirtel has a realistic shot of having the longest NFL career of any senior on the Kansas football roster, yet is one of the Jayhawks’ most anonymous players. NFL scouts aren’t just watching defensive lineman ...

Tom Keegan: Udoka's time will come, just not Thursday

The day before Kansas played Emporia State at Allen Fieldhouse in the exhibition opener, coach Bill Self spoke in interesting fashion about the contrasting styles of his two tallest starters, Udoka Azubuike and Dedric Lawson. “We’ve got the past and the future,” Self said. Prototypical centers of a bygone era stayed close to the block and powered their way to points and rebounds. Today’s big men are ...

Tom Keegan: Gap between KU and K-State narrowing in two sports

Kansas has the better basketball program, Kansas State the superior football team. It’s been that way nearly every year for more than a quarter of a century. At the moment though, it’s a tough call in both sports. Kansas is No. 1 in the nation in basketball, but with so many new faces and such a young backcourt, it could be a while before the Jayhawks justify that forecast. Meanwhile, Kansas State, ...

Tom Keegan: Jayhawks rewarded by sticking with Bender at QB

If he had it to do over again, Kansas senior quarterback Peyton Bender would have thrown his intentional-safety pass with his back to the field higher so that time would have elapsed, instead of leaving one long second on the game clock. How long was that last second? Game 3 of the World Series long. One bad kick later, the final second could have cost Kansas the game if a TCU player had fielded it on one knee ...

Pooka Williams tops ratings in 27-26 victory vs. TCU

1 - Pooka Williams: Has become great weapon in passing game. Caught seven passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 33 yards on 11 carries and had 41 yards on two kick returns. 2 - Peyton Bender: Had a terrific second half, scrambling to extend a play that resulted in a touchdown pass and running for 12 yards on third and 11. Completed 19 of 29 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. 3 - Joe ...

Tom Keegan: Jury rules Adidas defrauds KU, strangely happy news for 'victims'

Kansas City, Mo. — Adidas, apparel partner of the University of Kansas athletic department, was found guilty of defrauding the university, and it was the best news the nation’s No. 1-ranked college basketball program had heard in months. It was this type of trial: You find out it has been determined that your business partner went behind your back to break rules and the first thing you want to do is find a ...

Stats say Carter Stanley better QB vs. Big 12

(Still) Kansas head football coach David Beaty said he will see how things go in practice this week before selecting a starting quarterback. Maybe he just wants to keep TCU guessing or maybe he really does put more emphasis on how quarterbacks perform in practice than in games, although that's hard to believe. The statistics clearly show that Stanley is a better quarterback vs. Big 12 competition than ...

Tom Keegan: Daylon Charlot finally put on stage

The euphoria of the Kansas football fan base when David Beaty landed a pair of Alabama transfers reached offseason levels that it hadn’t experienced since Charlie Weis’ rapid-fire announcements of a pair of five-star quarterbacks transferring to KU. Offensive tackle Charles Baldwin and wide receiver Daylon Charlot were going to take Kansas to the big time after leaving ‘Bama, just as Notre Dame transfer ...

KU AD Jeff Long follows interesting coaching names on Twitter

All athletic directors constantly update lists of names of coaching candidates in case they happen to be in the market for a new one. Obviously, KU athletic director Jeff Long isn't going to share his list, so I thought I would check out his Twitter account to see what college football coaches he follows. It proved a worthwhile exercise. Maybe it doesn't mean anything, but if you were a month or so away from ...

Tom Keegan: Even No. 1 preseason ranking can't lift cloud hovering over KU basketball

News broke Monday that Kansas earned the distinction as preseason No. 1 in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll. Under normal circumstances, that would trigger peacock struts from Mass Street to campus to the West side of town. It might spark conversations here and there as to whether this adds pressure to the season, but those would be drowned out by festive, relentless boasting. Instead, the ...

Tom Keegan: Why does Carter Stanley keep drawing the short stick?

If you found watching Kansas football on television even more excruciating than usual Saturday, consider how lucky you were compared to redshirt junior quarterback Carter Stanley. He had to fly all the way to Lubbock to watch it in person. At least you had the option of changing the channel. He was forced to pay attention. Not only that, he had to watch Peyton Bender, his friend and teammate, suffer through ...

Daniel Wise tops ratings in ugly loss at Texas Tech

1 - Daniel Wise: Facing steady double-teaming, Wise battled his way to three solo tackles, two assists, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry. 2 - Joe Dineen: Totaled two tackles for loss among his seven solo tackles, one of them a sack. Also nearly had an interception on a pass he got a hand on. 3 - Pooka Williams: Rushed for 70 yards and caught three passes for 26 yards against a defense designed to ...

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 ...