Kansas University basketball notebook. ...
The Jayhawks’ return charter flight from Maui flew through the night and wee hours of the morning and landed at Topeka’s Forbes Field at 9 a.m. Friday. The players were able to sleep in their own beds Friday afternoon prior to a 7 p.m. workout in KU’s practice facility adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse.
Coach Bill Self awarded his players, who went 2-1 in Maui, some free time Wednesday night after the championship game against Duke and again Thursday. Prior to departure, the coaches and players feasted on a Thanksgiving Day buffet Thursday afternoon at Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Lahaina.
KU (3-2) will meet Florida Atlantic (3-3) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse.
Bad call in final?: ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, who worked the games in Maui, agrees with hordes of KU fans who felt Duke’s Seth Curry should have been called for traveling on the key possession of the Blue Devils’ 68-61 title victory on Wednesday night at Lahaina Civic Center.
Curry passed the basketball from up top to Tyler Thornton, who heaved in an acrobatic three from the corner with :20 left. That three gave Duke a 66-61 lead.
“On the decisive play of the Duke-Kansas final, Seth Curry did not travel, he traveled twice. The officials simply missed it,” Bilas wrote on ESPN.com.
“The contrast in the crowd when Tyler Thornton hit his circus shot was priceless. The Cameron side was jumping around in utter disbelief and joy, and the Phog side was jumping up and down giving the universal signal for traveling. It was bedlam, and it was a really cool scene,” Bilas added.
It appeared the 2,400-seat arena was split in half with fans of both schools in the gym ... and loud.
“To me, Cameron and the Phog are the two best basketball venues on the planet, and it was pretty cool to have them both represented in the same building and such a cozy atmosphere. All that was missing were the students,” Bilas wrote in his ESPN.com piece.
More from Bilas on KU: The Jayhawks’ lack of a deep roster continues to be a major story line early this season. Bilas took notice that just five Jayhawks — Tyshawn Taylor (17), Thomas Robinson (16), Jeff Withey (14), Elijah Johnson (10) and Travis Releford (4) — scored versus Duke.
“Kansas has played as difficult a schedule as anyone in the country thus far. Bill Self has seen his team grow, and the Jayhawks are going to be good. But Kansas does not have quality depth right now, and can only rely upon five players to score,” Bilas wrote at ESPN.com. “When Jamari Traylor and Ben McLemore were declared ineligible by the NCAA, that really hurt KU’s depth. Still, the Jayhawks are very good, and will continue to get better. The margin for error, however, is slim. Kansas cannot have injuries or foul trouble.”
Of Duke, Bilas noted: “Mike Krzyzewski was as happy as I have ever seen him after the Kansas win. It shows how much winning still matters to him, and also how big of a game this was. Coach K has done it all, but for his team, this was the first and only Maui Invitational they would play in. He seems to really value seeing that experience through his players’ eyes, and there is a freshness to his approach. His team is better than I thought it would be, and it has been tested.”
Next edition of tourney: Here’s the field for the 2012 Maui Invitational: North Carolina, Texas, Marquette, Illinois, USC, Butler, Mississippi State and host Chaminade.