Archive for Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kansas basketball team excited to play UCLA on Thursday

UCLA’s Malcolm Lee, right, takes a rebound away from Virginia Commonwealth’s D.J. Haley during UCLA’s loss Friday in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. UCLA will take on Kansas on Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse.

UCLA’s Malcolm Lee, right, takes a rebound away from Virginia Commonwealth’s D.J. Haley during UCLA’s loss Friday in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. UCLA will take on Kansas on Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse.

December 1, 2010


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Tyshawn Taylor, who has been a part of Kansas University’s tradition-rich college basketball program the past three years, acknowledges another school with vast hoops history — UCLA.

“It’s a storied program,” Taylor, KU’s junior guard from Hoboken, N.J., said in advance of Thursday’s 8 p.m., home game against the Bruins, who have won a record 11 NCAA Div. I championships entering the 2010-11 season. KU has won three NCAA Div. I titles to go with a pair of Helms Foundation national crowns for five overall.

“It’s a great history. They’ve got a great coach. They’ve got good talent,” added Taylor, whose Jayhawks rank second in history with 2,009 victories, while UCLA is eighth at 1,689.

Bruins’ coach Ben Howland has led UCLA to three Final Fours (2006, ’07, ’08) in his first seven seasons in Westwood, Calif. That run included a spot in the ’06 NCAA title game.

UCLA followed the Final Four run with a 26-9 record and spot in the NCAA Round of 32 in 2008-09, then an un-Bruin-like 14-18 mark last season.

“They’ve probably been struggling for the past couple years. Some schools go through that,” Taylor said. “It’s schools like that where you know they’ve got good players, they’ve got big-name guys, they’ve got a real good coach and they come from a program that you know they’re going to work hard, the coach is going to demand the best out of them.

“Those are schools you kind of sleep on just because they haven’t been the UCLA that we know, and then they come in here and they can beat us because they’re still UCLA. We’ve got to be ready. We’ve got to be prepared, play them like they’re the best team.”

The unranked (3-2) Bruins opened the 2010-11 campaign with home wins over Cal State Northridge (83-50), Pepperdine (79-69) and Pacific (57-44) before dropping Preseason NIT games to Villanova (82-70) and Virginia Commonwealth (89-85) at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“I’m excited and our guys will be excited about playing arguably as storied of a program as there is in the country. I think our fans will be excited about that, too. The building should be jumping, without question,” KU coach Bill Self said.

The Bruins — who have reached 17 Final Fours to KU’s 13 — have been in a rebuilding mode of sorts since the falling apart of’s top-rated recruiting Class of 2008. That class consisted of No. 2-rated Jrue Holiday (left for NBA after one season), No. 25 J’Mison Morgan (dismissed from team, now at Baylor), No. 46 Drew Gordon (transferred to New Mexico seven games into last season) as well as No. 48 Malcolm Lee (current starter) and No. 37 Jerime Anderson (reserve).

KU’s recruiting Class of 2008 was ranked No. 2, right behind the Bruins. That class, which has helped the Jayhawks to a 66-11 record, consisted of the No. 77-rated Taylor, plus No. 29 Marcus Morris, No. 50 Markieff Morris, No. 70 Travis Releford and No. 150 Quintrell Thomas (transfer to UNLV). The large class also includes juco transfers Mario Little and Tyrone Appleton (left team after one year and never played again).

“Look at the players they’ve had,” Self gushed of UCLA under Howland. “Start with the (Aaron) Afflalos, the (Darren) Collisons, the (Russell) Westbrooks, the Kevin Loves. Now they’ve got Joshua Smith, a McDonald’s All-American, highly recruited, (Tyler) Honeycutt, another McDonald’s All-American playing the three. They’re good.”

Sophomore forward Reeves Nelson averages a team-leading 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Honeycutt averages 14.6 ppg and 8.0 rpg. Junior guard Lazeric Jones averages 12.6 ppg and junior guard Lee 11.5 ppg.

Self by the way, like combo guard Taylor, is well-versed in UCLA history. KU’s coach was a long-time admirer of the late John Wooden.

“Nobody in the 1960s, in the ’70s beat them. Very rarely did they ever lose, certainly not in the NCAA Tournament,” Self said, referring to a stretch from 1963-64 to 1974-75, in which Wooden’s Bruins won 10 national titles.


Kash_Encarri 6 years, 11 months ago

Here's another

Funny, KU's cupcake schedule is tougher than K-State's according to both sources.

Brian Conrad 6 years, 11 months ago

Babboy. does ksu have anything worth reading? why always on our page? oh yes.. Manhattan has no internet service. still live in the 80s ... last time you made it to the final 8 and we had to smoke you out then. one year in twenty you make it to elite eight and you kitties think you have climbed the mountain.. KSU just KU wanna beees I am soooo ready for the beat down and the tears for the pimple of gloom.. under 10% wins for KSU in ten years and ohhh yeah 0 - 3 last year. KSU zero big 12 titles , KU 6 in a row . KSU no titles .. except ... the cow cuddlers

puddleglum 6 years, 11 months ago

awww... babboy is just slinging sand around the box because poor little kittykats have no respectable history whatsoever..... whaa whaa...... lessseee, coach Self's record vs. your coach's record?

thats what I thought.

hail2oldku 6 years, 11 months ago

You do realize Babboy that many of these games are contracted years in advance. Yes, there are some cupcakes on the schedule, as there are with just about every school in every BCS conference. When the contract with UCLA was signed, the Bruins were in the middle of three FF in three seasons, Arizona was a top 20 program and Valpo and Memphis are favored to finish atop their leagues. Take those teams and combine it with league play and KU's schedule will rate out fairly highly when all is said and done.

With the league going to home and home games next season, and the departure of the weak sisters in the basketball department Nebraska and Colorado, look for all of the remaining schools to soften their schedules even further in the future.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 11 months ago

Basketball schedules are not like football, they are not made that many years in advance. Put it this way, the teams KU have beat has beaten nobody of note. And let's give credit to Missouri for playing Georgetown, and KSU for beating Gonzaga and playing Duke.

hail2oldku 6 years, 11 months ago

While that statement is true for many of the fill-in games, games like the UCLA and Memphis game along with "tournament" match-ups like Arizona were all made three years ago.

And who knocked Mizzo-GTown or KSU-Duke and Gonzaga?

Brian Conrad 6 years, 11 months ago

KU has beaten nobody .. except KSU last 3 in a row BLLLLLAHHHhahahahaha

Bill Lee 6 years, 11 months ago

I went to both UCLA and KU so cheer for both each season. When they play each other, I win no matter who does on the court.

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