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Top 10 KUsports.com stories from 2011
It’s time to take a look back at the year that was in Kansas University athletics.
The following are the top 10 most-clicked on stories for KUsports.com in 2011:
10. KU men's basketball earns No. 1 seed (29,293 pageviews)
Following a 32-2 regular season, the Kansas men's basketball team earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament's Southwest region. Most of the talk on Selection Sunday was about Boston U., a potential "Killer B" following recent KU losses to mid-majors Bucknell and Bradley in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks took a 72-53 victory over Boston but were later tripped up by VCU in the Elite Eight.
9. Recruit DeAndre Daniels delays decision (30,118 pageviews)
In a recruitment that never seemed to end, Rivals.com's 10th-ranked player in the class of 2011 announced that he was pushing back his much-awaited announcement for another day. The 6-foot-8 Daniels — who had a final list of Kansas, Texas, Duke and Oregon at the time — eventually ended up committing to UConn more than two weeks later.
8. Thomas Robinson cited for misdemeanor (30,962 pageviews)
Lawrence police cited Kansas University basketball player Thomas Robinson to appear in municipal court on a misdemeanor battery charge in connection with an altercation outside The Cave, a nightclub inside The Oread hotel and condominiums in Lawrence.
7. Josh Selby declares for NBA Draft (33,763 pageviews)
Josh Selby ended up being coach Bill Self's second one-and-done player at Kansas — just not the way everyone expected. After being hampered by a foot injury most of his freshman year, Selby left KU shortly after the NCAA Tournament and headed to Las Vegas to train and also weigh his NBA options. After a week and a half there, he alerted Self over the phone that he was turning pro. Selby was drafted 49th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2011 NBA Draft.
6. Ben McLemore commits (34,585 pageviews)
Rivals.com's 17th-ranked player made his college plans official following the NeXt All-America Classic in Hoffman Estates, Ill., picking Kansas over Missouri. The St. Louis prep had to convince his mother, Sonya, before deciding upon KU. “I will always be a Mizzou fan,” Sonya said. “But this is something he wanted. I’m proud of him and happy for him.”
5. Perry Ellis commits to KU (39,628 pageviews)
Touted as perhaps the best Kansas high school recruit since Wayne Simien, Wichita Heights' Perry Ellis called together a Sept. 21 press conference in his high school gymnasium to announce his decision to attend Kansas University next year. The 6-foot-8 forward — ranked No. 22 by Rivals.com in the class of 2012 — chose KU over Kansas State, Wichita State and Kentucky. "I knew for so long. I've been there so many times. I felt so comfortable there," Ellis said. "It made me realize that was the school for me. All the schools were so great, but I was so comfortable there."
4. Turner Gill fired (41,200 pageviews)
After just two seasons at Kansas University, football coach Turner Gill was fired by athletic director Sheahon Zenger during a 4 p.m. meeting on Nov. 27. Gill went 5-19 during his two seasons in Lawrence; ten of his 19 losses were by 30 points or more. The former Nebraska quarterback later was hired as Liberty's football coach on Dec. 15.
3. Tyshawn Taylor suspended (46,622 pageviews)
Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor — who already had a history of off-the-court incidents — was suspended indefinitely for violating unspecified team rules on Feb. 21. KUsports.com users posted 326 comments on the breaking news story. Taylor ended up missing two games before returning to KU's lineup on March 2 against Texas A&M.
2. Pac-12 not expanding; Big 12 lives (81,459 pageviews)
After months of speculation, the Pac-12's announcement that it would not expand past 12 teams was official word that the Big 12 — in some form — would be saved as a conference. Matt Tait's realignment blogs were some of the most-clicked-on items to ever appear on KUSports.com. Fifteen of his blogs had at least 25,000 pageviews, while five of those surpassed 40,000 pageviews and three had more than 50,000 pageviews.
1. Charlie Weis hired as KU football coach (88,780 pageviews)
Following an air-tight search by athletic director Sheahon Zenger, KU announced on Dec. 8 that Florida offensive coordinator (and former New England Patriots offensive coordinator) Charlie Weis would be its next football coach. Much like Big 12 realignment, the coaching search brought back a huge following of people each day to KUSports.com. Tait's coaching search blog had 10 separate entries that had more than 25,000 pageviews, with three days' numbers topping 40,000 pageviews.
The rest of the top 20:
11. Recruit Landen Lucas picks KU (28,213 pageviews); 12. Recruit Andrew White picks KU (28,148 pageviews); 13. Tyshawn Taylor, Thomas Robinson to return to KU (28,014 pageviews); 14. Royce Woolridge to transfer from KU (27,602 pageviews); 15. Ben McLemore, Jamari Traylor ruled ineligible for 2011-12 season (26,468 pageviews); 16. DeAndre Daniels, Jamari Traylor, Trevor Lacey to pick schools Wednesday (25,583 pageviews); 17. Morris twins to enter NBA Draft (24,290 pageviews); 18. Recruit Jamari Traylor picks KU (24,276 pageviews); 19. Recruit Braeden Anderson commits to KU (23,863 pageviews); 20. Quarterback Jake Heaps announces transfer to KU (23,705 pageviews).