Archive for Monday, March 3, 2008

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

March 3, 2008

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K-State's Beasley falls short of guarantee

Well it wasn't decided in Africa - yet round one went to Kansas State just a little over a month ago. But on Saturday - with payback on their mind - the Kansas men officially welcomed Michael Beasley to Allen Fieldhouse. Enlarge video

Case stuck it out

The fans may give Jeremy Case extra applause tonight. Remember, the fifth-year senior from McAlester, Okla., was the only player to last from a recruiting class that included J.R. Giddens (New Mexico), Nick Bahe (Creighton), David Padgett (Louisville) and Omar Wilkes (Cal-Berkeley).

"I chose to stick coach (Bill) Self out, and I'm glad I did. I definitely am glad I've been at KU. I'm always going to be a Jayhawk. It's in my blood now," Case said.

Superlatives

KU's senior class has won three straight league titles. The squad is tied with Texas (11-3) for the league lead with two games to go.

"Making history ... we've been together so long, we might as well finish what we started. We want to bring a (national title) banner to KU," Darnell Jackson said.

Jackson likes the fact he's part of Self's first KU recruiting class.

"Coach Self never doubted us. He always believed in every player he recruited. Now we have a chance to repay him," Jackson said.

How they turned out

Of KU's senior class, Rodrick Stewart was the highest-rated player coming out of high school.

Stewart was ranked 25th by Rivals.com, Robinson 27th, Kaun 34th and Jackson 54th nationally.

Case was not rated.

"We were not McDonald's All-Americans. It's not that big a deal to me," Jackson said. "If you are a player, you are a player. A lot of guys are McDonald's All-Americans and not doing anything.

"You have to find who you are and what your role is on the team and go from there," Jackson said.

Update on 'Spoon

Brad Witherspoon, who is listed as a senior on the roster, won't give a senior speech tonight. "He's not a senior. He has another year of school," Self said of the player who has a year of eligibility remaining but will not play ball next year. Witherspoon will attend class first semester and student-teach second semester. He said with teaching responsibilities he'll be too busy to remain a member of the team. Senior managers Taylor High of Pittsburg and Bethany Scothorn of Burlington will work their last home game tonight.

Today's foe

Texas Tech (16-12, 7-7) is coming off an 83-80 victory over No. 5 Texas on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas. Tech has won three of its last four games and is 4-4 since Pat Knight took over for his dad, Bob.

Tech is 13-2 at home this season and 3-10 away from the United Spirit Arena. Senior guard Martin Zeno averages 15.9 points and 4.5 rebounds a game. Junior Alan Voskuil and freshman John Roberson average 13.5 and 12.1 ppg.

"They move without the ball better than anybody we play," Self said. "It's still coach (Bob) Knight's team as far as what he taught them. Pat the last two to three years has taken a lead role in implementing what coach wants. They are playing with a free mind offensively. They are playing faster. They are very aggressive on the offensive end."

Stats, facts

KU leads the series against Tech, 16-3, including a 9-0 mark in Lawrence. Tech won the last meeting, 69-64, last season in Lubbock ... KU has won 23 straight Senior Nights and 24 consecutive final home games. Last year, there were no seniors on the roster.

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