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Archive for Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Kansas basketball notebook

February 27, 2007

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Saturday's game against Texas will be Kansas University's home finale. Normally that means it's Senior Day.

Not this year.

"We don't have any seniors so we won't have a Senior Night for the first time in a while. No speeches," KU sophomore Brandon Rush said.

A reporter joked that Rush wouldn't have to give a speech since he'd be back next year, right? Rush smiled.

Then the question was put to him formally. Will he be back for a junior campaign?

"I haven't decided yet. I'm pretty sure I'm coming back, though," he said.

¢ Foot feels fine: Russell Robinson, who had seven points and two assists in 19 minutes, left the arena wearing a boot to protect his sprained right foot, which felt "fine" during Monday's game.

¢ Good practices of late: KU coach Bill Self was surprised his team squandered a 17-point lead versus the Sooners.

"I am serious. Yesterday we were as good as we've been all year, and shootaround today we were terrific," he said. "The first five minutes were great. It was one of those games we got off to a big lead, relaxed, let them get back in and their play kept them in it. I'm really happy to get a 'W.'"

¢ Swish: Mario Chalmers on hitting six of six free throws late.

"We basically cancel out the crowd, focus, concentrate on what is in front of you," he said.

KU barely tops Oklahoma in tough conference play

The Jayhawks had a hard time with Oklahoma Monday night, but was able to come away with the road victory over the Sooners, 67-65. Enlarge video

¢ Faces in crowd: Former KU coach Ted Owens attended with his son. Former KU guard Carl Henry and his son, major-college prospect Xavier, were on hand. : Former KU assistant Jerry Green flew on a private jet from Indiana with former OU coach Kelvin Sampson. Kelvin was on hand for Senior Night festivities. His son, Kellen, started the game. : OU football coach Bob Stoops watched with family members.

¢ Tough scout for KU, OU: Kansas closes the regular-season portion of its slate against two teams from the South (Oklahoma, Texas). OU closes its slate against two teams from the North (KU, Kansas State).

It makes for extra work for the coaches this time of year.

"We've played five schools twice (in North) and now it's the first scout for our last two opponents. Sometimes I think that's tough," Self said. "I do wish it was different. I'd almost think ESPN said, 'Hey we want to put the Kansas-OU game on. We'll do it on Big Monday,' and CBS said, 'We want the Texas-KU game.' You do it where it falls. I'd think television has a lot to do with it. The Big 12 usually does a great, great job in scheduling."

¢ Praise of Self: OU coach Jeff Capel wouldn't discount Self as a league coach-of-the-year possibility.

"Bill Self doesn't get as much credit as he deserves," Capel said. "Kansas is playing great basketball, as well as anyone in the country right now."

¢ Kleinmann's class: KU sophomore center Matt Kleinmann is one of the "Architecture Students for Social Action" who will be holding a fundraising and awareness event for the rebuilding effort in New Orleans on Wednesday on the east lawn of Marvin Hall.

The "Shade Structure for New Orleans," which is a project in one of Kleinmann's classes, will be set up all day so the public can stop by for updates on current conditions in New Orleans.

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