Posts tagged with Basketball

Devonte Graham on tourney wins: We’re defending way better

Kansas City, Mo. — After three straight double-digit wins in the NCAA Tournament, Kansas junior guard Devonte Graham discussed why the team's playing so well and what the keys are against Oregon in Saturday's Elite Eight showdown (7:49 p.m., TBS) at Sprint Center.

"I actually think we are defending way better. I think that would have to be it," Graham said of KU's blowout wins. "We've just been locked in so, so much defensively, holding each other accountable."

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Frank Mason, Svi Mykhailiuk on trying to avenge last year’s Elite Eight loss

Kansas City, Mo. — One day before facing Oregon in the Elite Eight, Kansas guards Frank Mason III and Svi Mykhailiuk discussed using last year's Elite Eight loss to Villanova as motivation for this season.

The Jayhawks will play Oregon for a spot in the Final Four at 7:49 p.m. Saturday at Sprint Center.

"Just ending the season that we did last year is something that we thought about for a while," Mason said. "We just want to come out this year ad try to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen this year."

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Oregon players discuss matching up against KU, Josh Jackson

Kansas City, Mo. — About 24 hours prior to Saturday's Elite Eight showdown (7:49 p.m, TBS) against Kansas, Oregon basketball players discussed the similarities between teams and what makes KU freshman Josh Jackson so difficult to guard.

"Everyone on that team knows their role," Oregon forward Dillon Brooks said. "Once a team knows their role, they are hard to stop, especially with a player of the year like Frank Mason. You have to come out there and really change it up on them."

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Ducks prepared to play in front of pro-KU, KC crowd

Kansas City, Mo. — Sitting in the locker room after a one-point Sweet 16 victory over Michigan, Oregon basketball players heard the pro-Kansas crowd at Sprint Center when the Jayhawks tipped off against Purdue on Thursday.

It was loud and definitely felt like a home game for the Jayhawks, but the Ducks are confident that it won't be too much of a factor when the two schools meet in the Elite Eight at 7:49 p.m. Saturday (TBS).

"It's going to be a fun atmosphere," Oregon freshman guard Payton Pritchard said. "We don't want it any way different — playing in Kansas' backyard with all those fans there. That's going to make it fun."

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Oregon players hope to use Elite Eight experience to their advantage

Kansas City, Mo. — One season after a 12-point loss in the Elite Eight to Oklahoma, Oregon basketball players want to use that experience to their advantage when they face Kansas on Saturday at Sprint Center (7:49 p.m., TBS).

The Ducks advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over Iona, Rhode Island and Michigan.

"We know what to expect," Oregon guard Dylan Ennis said. "It's not these bright lights where it blinds us. We know what we have to do to win. We know what feeling we had when we lost, watching Oklahoma play in the Final Four."

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Boilermakers discuss what makes KU’s offense so tough to stop

Kansas City, Mo. — Ahead of Thursday's Sweet 16 game at Sprint Center (8:40 p.m., CBS), Purdue basketball players discuss what makes Kansas guards Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson so difficult to slow down.

"Anytime you can score at three levels with mid-range, going to the basket and hitting threes, makes you a really difficult match-up," Purdue guard P.J. Thompson said of Mason. "And he can do all three."

The Jayhawks are averaging 95 points through their first two games in the NCAA Tournament.

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Purdue players expecting hostile environment against Jayhawks in KC

Kansas City, Mo. — Purdue basketball players are expecting a tough environment when they step on the court for their Sweet 16 matchup against Kansas on Thursday (8:40 p.m., CBS) in the NCAA Tournament, but they are confident they can handle it.

"At this point of the season, if you're not ready to play in front of a hostile crowd, it's just tough," Purdue guard Spike Albrecht said. "This late in the season, you've got to be ready."

The Jayhawks own a 3-1 record inside of Sprint Center this season, including a 34-7 mark all-time.

"I'm sure it'll be a great crowd," Albrecht said. "I expect them to have a lot of people. Kansas, they typically travel really well. But it'll be a fun game, fun atmosphere for us."

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Highlights from KU basketball practice in Kansas City

Kansas City, Mo. — One day before facing Purdue in the Sweet 16, the Kansas Jayhawks held their open practice Wednesday in front of a large crowd at Sprint Center, which included dunks, half-court shots and left-handed 3's by Svi Mykhailiuk.

The Jayhawks will play Purdue around 8:40 p.m. Thursday (CBS) for a spot in the Elite Eight. KU closed practice with a half-court shot from Devonte Graham and a between-the-legs alley-oop from Frank Mason to injured freshman Udoka Azubuike.

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Jayhawks depart for KC, Sweet 16

Two days ahead of Thursday's Sweet 16 game against Purdue (8:40 p.m., CBS), the Kansas Jayhawks departed Allen Fieldhouse for their team hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

On their way to KC, the Jayhawks signed autographs for the fans that met them on their way to the bus. The Jayhawks will have an open practice Wednesday afternoon at Sprint Center, free of charge to the public, from 3:10-4 p.m.

"Bring us back some nets," one fan told KU coach Bill Self.

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Michigan State players talk about the difficulty of playing KU

Tulsa, Okla. — About 24 hours before facing top-seeded Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Michigan State basketball players talked about what makes the Jayhawks so difficult to prepare for.

There’s the talented back court, featuring Frank Mason III and Devonte Graham. The Jayhawks are tough to slow down in transition. They do a good job of rebounding their own misses.

"They've just got a lot of strengths," MSU sophomore forward Kenny Goins said. "I would say probably the toughest thing is just the turnaround and not having played them at all this year – trying to prepare for a top-four team in the nation with one day in between games."

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