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Jayhawk Flashback: Kenny Gregory earns bragging rights in KU's 1999 home win over Ohio State
After reading Gary Bedore's update on former KU player Kenny Gregory this week, I figured Gregory would be a good topic for the latest Jayhawk Flashback. When talking with Gary, former KU center Eric Chenowith said one of the best games he remembered from Gregory was his 17-point performance against Ohio State in KU's 80-67 victory during his junior year (Dec. 16, 1999).
The highlights of the game are below.
• This game was more significant for Gregory because it was against his hometown university (Gregory is from Columbus, Ohio) and because his parents also were in the stands (you can see them in the video).
Gregory also had taken some flak back home, as OSU had made the Final Four the previous year even after Gregory had decided not to go there. He even played pickup ball with some of the Buckeye players that summer.
"We spent all offseason arguing who is going to win and who will lose. The most important thing is about bragging rights," Gregory said before the game. "Hopefully I can go home for Christmas with something to talk about. I don't think I can go home with a loss."
Gregory made 8 of his 11 shots against the Buckeyes in his 17-point effort.
• Ohio State's two best players didn't have their best games against KU.
Point guard Scoonie Penn finished with 19 points, but he made just 5 of 23 shots.
His teammate, Michael Redd (before becoming a $100-million man) scored 20 points on 7-for-17 shooting. He was 3-for-9 from three-point range.
The Buckeyes' bench, meanwhile, combined for just two points and two rebounds.
"It was one of the best defensive jobs done on us," OSU coach Jim O'Brien said. "They just take you right out of what you want to do. Their pressure was very hard to play against."
• It's almost weird to see both Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison on this team. Because those two were defined so much by what they accomplished in 2002 and (especially) 2003, it's almost hard to remember that they still played with guys like Gregory, Chenowith and Nick Bradford.
• Speaking of Hinrich, he played despite taking an elbow to the right eye from teammate Ashante Johnson at practice the day before.
"I took a pretty good shot. I drove past Drew (Gooden) and pump faked. Ashante cracked my head," Hinrich said. "I was really dizzy (Wednesday), but I never felt I was seriously hurt. The doctor said it was either a first- or second-degree concussion."
KU coach Roy Williams made sure to reiterate after the game that Hinrich had been completely cleared to play by doctors.
• The Jayhawks' weren't shy about firing up long three-pointers, huh?
Luke Axtell looks amazing in this video, which includes his 25-foot trey in the first half, and Jeff Boschee later adds a heat-check three of his own.
You have to think Williams wasn't happy with either of the shots when they were first hitched up.
• Anyone else notice all the Santa hats in the background? I know it's December, but is the 16th really that close to Christmas?
• After watching this several times, I'm convinced OSU's Ken Johnson (2:14 mark)
and former KU receiver Dezmon Briscoe
are long-lost brothers.
• How does official Steve Welmer manage to sneak into almost all the Jayhawk Flashbacks?
• Great pass by Bradford at the 2:45 mark, though honestly, it looks like he didn't know what he was going to do with the ball until the very last instant.
• KU had 12 steals in the game, with Axtell and Bradford swiping three apiece.
• In case you were wondering, Gregory and the Jayhawks also defeated the Buckeyes in the return trip to Columbus the next season.