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Archive for Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

March 6, 2008

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Four Jayhawks named to all-district team

Four Kansas University basketball players earned spots on the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 12 team announced Wednesday.

Junior guards Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush made the first team. Senior Darnell Jackson and sophomore Darrell Arthur made the second-team.

Other first team members: K-State's Michael Beasley, Oklahoma's Blake Griffin and Nebraska's Aleks Maric. Other second-team honorees: KSU's Bill Walker, Colorado's Richard Roby and Drake's Josh Young.

District 12 covers Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Rush was first-team all-District 12 last year and second-team as a freshman. The other Jayhawks are first-time honorees.

Canada trip a go

Details have yet to be finalized, but it's looking as if KU will play three exhibition games on its trip to Canada over Labor Day weekend.

KU will likely play two games Saturday, Aug. 30, and one on Aug. 31, both in Ottawa, Ontario. KU likely will play Carleton University and a yet-to-be-determined foe in a day/night doubleheader on Aug. 30. Carleton's Ravens Nest seats 1,400 fans.

The Jayhawks then would meet Ottawa University on Aug. 31 at Ottawa's 1,000-seat Montpetit Hall.

The Jayhawks will be allowed 10 practice days in August preceding the trip.

Details on travel packages and game times will be released in coming months.

Giddens' senior year

Former KU guard/forward J.R. Giddens has had an outstanding senior season at the University of New Mexico.

The 6-foot-5 Oklahoma City native averages a team-leading 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds for the 23-7 Lobos.

The 23-year-old Giddens scored 17 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and had five assists in the Lobos' 59-45 victory over UNLV on Tuesday on Giddens' Senior Night.

Students at Albuquerque's Pit chanted "MVP" after the final horn, calling for Giddens to be named Mountain West Player of the Year.

Giddens was appreciative.

"That's as good as it's been here the past three years," Giddens said of the crowd in an interview with ESPN.com. "And I'm saying that coming from a place like Phog Allen (Fieldhouse). It was a big-time college atmosphere."

Wright back in the mix

Former Kansas University forward Julian Wright has had a wacky rookie season in the NBA.

Wright, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, had been on the New Orleans Hornets inactive list for several games because of what was deemed "unproductive play" by coach Byron Scott.

He entered Wednesday's game against Atlanta having played in just 34 of the Hornets' 59 games, scoring 73 points with 15 assists against 15 turnovers.

Yet Wednesday - after not playing in the last three games - the 20-year-old Wright had his best game as a pro.

He scored a career-high 13 points off 6-of-11 shooting and tied a career high with seven rebounds while playing a whopping 22 minutes in the Hornets' 116-101 home victory over Atlanta.

Ex-Jayhawk Billy Thomas is into his second 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has scored nine points in four games.

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