Archive for Monday, April 7, 2003

Fan close, not quite there

April 7, 2003


— Tim Alexander is among a dozen Kansas University classmates who made the trip from Lawrence to New Orleans for the Final Four, but he's the only one with a real taste for what it's like to be on the floor with the Jayhawks.

The 6-foot-9 senior from Wichita would like to be out there again, but the 10 days he spent as an almost-on-the-team walk-on during the preseason will just have to suffice.

"They're tough," said Alexander, one of the last two walk-ons cut in October by coach Roy Williams. "I've got the bruises and scars to show for it. (Jeff) Graves was up to 300 pounds back then. And Nick Collison -- he could do pretty much whatever he wanted when I was guarding him."

Alexander doesn't have tickets for tonight's title game against Syracuse but he'll be happy to watch from a TV in the French Quarter.

Back home in Lawrence, he keeps his mementos from his short stint with what could become a national championship team: Photos with all the players, coaches and former North Carolina coaches Dean Smith and Matt Doherty; and practice togs.

Alexander is hoping the Jayhawks hoist the NCAA championship trophy tonight, adding to his own "One Shining Moment" with KU basketball.

KU fan in Carolina blue

Don't let the Tar Heel-blue North Carolina jersey fool you.

Maurice Wright, sporting Ed Cota's No. 5 "because it looks good," doesn't want KU coach Roy Williams going anywhere, much less Chapel Hill, N.C.

"He should stay at Kansas, that's all I know," said Wright, a student at Baylor University. "He's 100 percent Kansas."

Wright played high school basketball against KU's Keith Langford, and said he wouldn't want Langford to lose his team's leader.

Home away

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway won't be home tonight to watch over his campus, but he's hoping fans will respect the property and celebrate civilly after the game.

"Hopefully we'll be celebrating here," he said, "and we hope everybody will be celebrating back in Lawrence."

Remember that roads onto the main campus will be closed. And try to remember to stay out of his bushes at the Overlook, the chancellor's residence.

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