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Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2001

Bomber Boschee big/Langford notes

December 6, 2001

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Kansas senior guard Jeff Boschee does more than spot up and launch three-point shots.

A lot more, says KU men's basketball coach Roy Williams, who praised the 6-foot-1 Boschee's defense in Tuesday's 83-76 victory over Wake Forest.

"It's amazing how people don't give him credit for his work on the defensive end," Williams said of Valley City, N.D., native, who has hit 15 of 32 threes this season for 46.9 percent. He made three of six threes against the Demon Deacons.

"I played golf with a guy this summer. He talked to me about how bad a defensive player Jeff Boschee was. I told him he should stop talking because he didn't know what he was talking about," Williams related. "Jeff won the defensive award for the entire team for the entire season last year."

And he seems to be even better on 'D' this season.

"He was fighting guys, fighting through screens, working his tail off," Williams said of Boschee's work on 6-5 guard Craig Dawson, who hit just two of six threes. "Jeff is playing on both ends of the court."

Boschee worked so hard chasing Dawson and fighting off screens on Tuesday, he felt "faint" the second half in a hot Allen Fieldhouse.

"We worked extremely hard on the defensive end. That's something you can do every night," Boschee said. "We were much smarter on the defensive end than offense. We didn't shoot free throws well (20 of 40) and made some stupid mistakes (on offense) but we competed hard."

Offensively, KU didn't click as it did in Saturday's 105-97 victory at Arizona, but the Jayhawks still impressed with their fastbreaking style of play.

The transition game has been so good at times this year, somebody asked Williams Tuesday if this was his best transition team in 14 years at KU.

The Jayhawks are averaging 93.2 points a game heading into Saturday's home battle against UMKC (7:05 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse).

"It's not the best we've had," Williams said. "We have got a chance to be a really good offensive team. In 1990 we led the entire nation in field goal percentage (53.3) and set the school scoring record (92.1). It was a pretty good offensive team.

"That team could run pretty well with Mark Randall running the court like our big guys can do this year as well. It's too early to start talking about that. We do have a chance to be a very good team on both ends."

It does help having mobile big men like Drew Gooden, Nick Collison, Wayne Simien and Jeff Carey.

"With Drew and Nick down low and our guards up front, we can get down the floor faster than we've ever been," Boschee said.

There is a chance KU could use three big guys in the lineup at the same time in future weeks, just as they've been going with three guards most of the time in the early going.

"I said something to Drew yesterday ... we'll go with Wayne like this a week or so to make sure he doesn't have recurring problems with his knee," Williams said of 6-9 freshman Simien, who returned from arthroscopic knee surgery to score 10 points and grab 11 boards in 15 minutes.

"Then we'll get to a point we let Drew play a little bit at the 3-spot (small forward with Collison and Simien at the 4 and 5). I think it will help us on the backboards."

As far as the 6-10 Carey, who had one rebound in five minutes ... he figures to continue to get some time even with Simien back.

"I was so mad at Jeff Carey stepping in and taking away one of Wayne's free throws in the first half," Williams said of the fifth-year senior, who had a lane violation. "We have seen Wayne shoot free throws every day and know his motion. Two minutes later, Jeff dove on the floor, we come up with the loose ball and Jeff Boschee hits a three. I said to Jeff, 'You gave one away, but got us three.' Jeff was important. He has played very well at times this year and will continue to contribute."

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Langford's ankle hurting: Freshman guard Keith Langford, who had five points in 19 minutes on Tuesday, reaggravated an old left ankle injury last week before the Arizona game. X-rays of the ankle taken Wednesday show a bone chip on the outside of his ankle.

He'll take anti-inflammatory medication to decrease the swelling and the plan is for him to continue to receive daily treatments and practice and play with the ankle taped tightly. The chip won't be removed until the end of the season unless it gets worse.

Langford, who had arthroscopic left knee surgery last spring, suffered a severe ankle sprain last summer.

He played with his left knee injury all last school year at North Crowley High in Crowley, Texas, undergoing surgery after the season.

There's been some confusion on the starting times for KU's men and women's doubleheader Saturday at Allen. KU's women will meet Weber State at 1 p.m. in a game to be shown on channels 13 and 38. The men will meet UMKC at 7, also on 13 and 38.

Assistant sports editor Gary Bedore can be reached at 832-7186.

There's been some confusion on the starting times for KU's men and women's doubleheader Saturday at Allen. KU's women will meet Weber State at 1 p.m. in a game to be shown on channels 13 and 38. The men will meet UMKC at 7, also on 13 and 38.

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