Those pundits penciling in Kansas University’s basketball team as an automatic winner against unheralded Richmond on Friday in San Antonio may be forgetting one thing.
Richmond of the Atlantic 10 Conference actually defeated KU, 69-68, on Jan. 22, 2004, in Allen Fieldhouse.
“They weren’t nervous playing us in Allen Fieldhouse ... they won’t be worried playing us in San Antonio,” KU coach Bill Self said before practice on Tuesday in Allen Fieldhouse, where his eight KU teams have compiled a 129-7 record.
The only other nonconference losses in Allen in the Self era have been to Oral Roberts and Nevada.
“It was Jerry Wainwright’s team. I remember that well because he’s reminded me of that several times that he was actually the one in charge when they did that,” Self said of Wainwright, current Spiders’ coach Chris Mooney’s predecessor at the Richmond, Va., school.
Former KU guard Keith Langford played on that KU team with the likes of Wayne Simien, Aaron Miles, J.R. Giddens and David Padgett.
“KU is playing Richmond? Richmond, I will have my revenge... vicariously of course ... Let’s get it,” Langford, a pro player in Russia, wrote on Twitter this week.
KU junior Tyshawn Taylor listened intently Tuesday as a reporter informed him of the home loss to Richmond, which occurred in the not-so-distant-past.
“That is interesting. I did not know that,” Taylor said. “That is something good to know. It’s something we probably could feed off of now. I think I am going to tell the guys that now.
“It’s a different situation. There’s a lot more to play for right now. We don’t want to lose at all,” Taylor added.
Wesley can’t go: KU sophomore red-shirt Justin Wesley did not make the trip to Tulsa for KU’s wins over Boston University and Illinois last week and cannot travel to San Antonio with his teammates today in advance of Friday’s game against Richmond.
“Transfers cannot travel (in accordance with NCAA rules),” Self explained on Tuesday. Wesley, who is Langford’s brother, transferred to KU from Lamar. He has practiced this season, but not played in games, in accordance with transfer rules.
Jayla still in D.C.: TNT/TBS announcer Craig Sager was incorrect during last Sunday’s broadcast when he said Thomas Robinson’s sister, Jayla, had moved to Lawrence. Sager said she was living with Angel Morris, mother of the Morris twins.
Jayla is living with her father in her hometown of Washington, D.C.
KU officials informed Sager and network officials of the mistake, well in advance of Friday’s KU-Richmond game. Tip is 6:27 p.m. in the Alamodome with a live telecast on TBS. If KU wins, the Jayhawks would play either Florida State or VCU at either 1:10 p.m. or 4 p.m. Sunday.
Happy memories: San Antonio, of course, is where the Jayhawks beat North Carolina and Memphis in the 2008 Final Four.
“We’ve already got those memories,” Self said. “It would be nice to play well this weekend and move on to Houston (Final Four). If we were able to do that, San Antonio has officially become my second favorite place behind Lawrence.”
Itinerary: The Jayhawks are scheduled to leave Allen Fieldhouse for Topeka’s Forbes Field at 2 p.m. today. Flight time at Forbes is set for 3:30 p.m. KU is staying at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk in San Antonio. Times of today’s departure, of course, could change, depending on length of KU’s practice. The Jayhawks will practice from 2:10 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Alamodome. The practice is open to the public. Richmond will hold an open practice from noon to 12:50 p.m.
Job openings: Former KU assistant and St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts is expected to surface as a candidate for the opening at Fairfield, ESPN reported Tuesday.