The Newell Post
Kansas picked a bad time to return to the rankings.If you haven’t heard yet, the Jayhawks are back in the rankings, as high as No. 21 in the AP poll.I know what you’re going to say: There’s never a bad time to be ranked. You always want your program receiving national attention for its success.I would agree with you most of the time. But not today.After the Michigan State loss, KU’s done a great job of simply winning. No additional spotlight was thrown upon the Jayhawks, and they responded by improving themselves while also picking up a pair of tough victories on the road (Nebraska and Iowa State).Starting tonight, KU will have an added burden: that small No. 24 next to its name in the corner of your TV.The problem isn’t with the ranking — instead, it’s with what that number means to the next two teams the Jayhawks are playing. KU will take on a desperate Baylor team tonight. After starting well, the Bears have lost three straight.Baylor and KU’s next opponent — Oklahoma State — have one major thing in common: They both are teams firmly on the bubble.Check out the latest Bracketology on ESPN — Baylor is one of the last four teams in, while Oklahoma State is one of the last four teams out.Both these teams need quality wins. And while beating the defending national champions would be nice, beating a ranked opponent at this point would be much more valuable for an NCAA resume.KU would have been much better off getting ranked next week when it plays at Missouri and Kansas State. MU and KSU fans don’t care whether KU is 21st or 321st — they simply want to beat their rival.The Jayhawks might win tonight (even though, right now, they’re not favored). But if they don’t, expect one thing: Baylor fans will storm the court.It’s not something you do for an unranked team. But that small number in the corner of your screen just made the Jayhawks’ challenge tonight in Waco a whole lot tougher.
He does look like Zac Efron. http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... out the video.
Now that the Kansas men's basketball team's Allen Fieldhouse win streak is safely at 34 games, another Jayhawk squad will have a streak of its own on the line tonight against one of its biggest rivals.The KU women (11-3) face Missouri (9-5) in the Jayhawks' conference home-opener. KU, which is 8-0 at Allen Fieldhouse this season, will be going for its 10th straight home win.To be blunt, the Jayhawks need this one badly — both for confidence and for the conference standings.KU opened the Big 12 season with a 72-39 loss to Kansas State on Saturday. Though the Jayhawks probably weren't supposed to beat the undefeated Wildcats at Bramlage, they probably expected a better showing. The Jayhawks shot just 33 percent — their lowest percentage of the season.This KU team looks, at this point, like it's running the risk of having the same fate as last year's squad.This year, KU finished non-conference play with an 11-2 record — the same record that the Jayhawks had heading into conference play a year ago.In 2007-08, the Jayhawks went just 4-12 in conference and had to settle for a berth in the WNIT. KU lost six of its first seven Big 12 games and couldn't recover from there.The goal for this year's team, from the beginning of the year, has been the NCAA Tournament.If the Jayhawks want to avoid having history repeat itself, they need a victory tonight.Missouri is the kind of game that NCAA Tournament teams win at home. MU looks to be struggling again this season, as an earlier 10-point loss to Illinois indicates (the Illini promptly lost 13 of their next 14 games).A victory tonight would be a good start in helping the Jayhawks build what they hope to be an NCAA resume.I'll be live-blogging from tonight's game at Allen Fieldhouse, so be sure to check back to KUsports.com for updates.
We're counting down the top five stories on various topics today as part of an annual recap of the top stories of the year we'll do later this month. Join the conversation by letting us know what we missed or what stories you think are important by posting a comment, below.Though it didn't finish at the top of the polls, the 2008 Kansas football team might have been among the nation's leaders in highlight-reel plays. Oftentimes, KU players found themselves on ESPN's Top 10 ranking, a segment that celebrates the best plays each day in the sports world.Looking back, here are my top five football plays from the 2008 season (note: this does not count the 2008 Orange Bowl). 5. Dezmon Briscoe breaks five (and perhaps even six) tackles on his way to a 48-yard touchdown reception against Louisiana Tech.
Briscoe displayed his NFL ability on this play, cutting across the middle and stepping through every Bulldog who attempted an arm tackle. It was also a memorable moment afterward at Memorial Stadium, as fans counted the missed tackles on the videoboard replay.4. Todd Reesing bounces off a big hit from Nebraska's Eric Hagg before throwing a 28-yard touchdown pass to Kerry Meier. Though he's a cornerback, Hagg is listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. He put quite a lick on Reesing, but somehow Reesing kept his balance (and composure) before finding a wide-open Meier running free toward the end zone.3. Todd Reesing sidesteps two tacklers, launches 57-yard touchdown pass to Dezmon Briscoe against Sam Houston State.
When I first saw this play, I thought that for sure it would be the best play I would see from KU all season. Reesing made two defenders look silly by sidestepping them, then bought time by scrambling to his right before tossing the ball 60-plus yards in the air to a sprinting Briscoe. From the press box, the pass originally looked a few steps overthrown. Turned out Reesing had Briscoe's speed measured perfectly, delivering a pass with impressive accuracy.2. Dezmon Briscoe tips the ball up to himself, then pins the ball to his helmet in a 26-yard reception against Texas.
On a play similar to David Tyree's catch in the Super Bowl, Briscoe went up over a Texas defender, tipped the ball up to himself, then somehow managed to pin the ball against his head with one hand for the reception. It's probably the best catch I've ever seen in person. Also remember it was on a fourth-and-11 and led to the Jayhawks' only touchdown of the game.1. "The pass" from Todd Reesing to Kerry Meier, a 26-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left that helped KU defeat MU, 40-37.
This one takes the top spot based on significance alone. On fourth-and-7, Reesing managed to buy some time by moving up in the pocket before floating a touch pass to Meier for the game-winning score. Both Reesing and Meier simply made a play, as both were resourceful enough in a scramble situation to make something happen. Also helping the play was the setting (Arrowhead Stadium, a neutral site, with large snowflakes falling), which made for some great video. Later, Meier would admit that he didn't even see Reesing throw the pass; instead, he just saw the ball in the air and ran under it. This play should be long remembered in Border War history.Honorable mention:
Jake Laptad gets 16-yard sack, safety against Colorado's Cody Hawkins;
Daymond Patterson runs, hurdles his way to 75-yard punt return touchdown against FIU;
Jake Sharp helps change momentum with 67-yard touchdown reception against Iowa State;
Darrell Stuckey hustles to catch Louisiana Tech's Patrick Livas from behind at the 2-yard-line to help preserve KU's 29-0 shutout over the Bulldogs;
Stuckey chases down Missouri's Chase Daniel on a 47-yard run, punching the ball loose from behind before recovering the fumble himself.
So how would the world be different if the BCS ran college basketball? And how would KU’s basketball history be altered?Let’s take a look. I went back and grabbed the final regular-season Associated Press polls from the last 18 seasons (thanks to Statsheet.com for the information).I couldn't find complete information on the coaches poll, and the RPI only went back to the 1999-2000 season, so for this exercise, we’ll just take the AP rankings and make them our BCS final poll.The two BCS title teams (that would have played in the championship game) are listed on the left, along with their final ranking in the Associated Press poll. In parentheses on the right is the actual NCAA tournament winner and that team’s final AP ranking.1990-91:No. 1 UNLV vs. No. 2 Arkansas (No. 6 Duke)1991-92:No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Kansas (No. 1 Duke)1992-93:No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 2 Kentucky (No. 4 North Carolina)1993-94:No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Arkansas (No. 2 Arkansas)1994-95:No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 2 Kentucky (No. 1 UCLA)1995-96:No. 1 Massachusetts vs. No. 2 Kentucky (No. 2 Kentucky)1996-97:No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Utah (No. 15 Arizona)1997-98:No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Kansas (No. 5 Kentucky)1998-99:No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Michigan State (No. 3 Connecticut)1999-2000:No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Michigan State (No. 2 Michigan State)2000-01:No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Stanford (No. 1 Duke)2001-02:No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Kansas (No. 4 Maryland)2002-03:No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Arizona (No. 13 Syracuse)2003-04:No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 2 Kentucky (No. 7 Connecticut)2004-05:No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 2 North Carolina (No. 2 North Carolina)2005-06:No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Connecticut (No. 11 Florida)2006-07:No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Kansas (No. 3 Florida)2007-08:No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Memphis (No. 4 Kansas)What does this all mean? For one, it means Roy Williams would have benefited greatly from the BCS.http://worldonline.media.clients.elli...• At KU, Williams made two championship games: 1991 and 2003, losing both of them.With the BCS system in place, Williams’ teams would have been put in the finals four years: 1992, 1997, 1998 and 2002. Looking at those matchups, Williams would have probably left Lawrence with at least one national title, most likely in 1997 with his starting five of Jacque Vaughn, Jerod Haase, Paul Pierce, Scot Pollard and Raef LaFrentz taking down Keith Van Horn and the Utes.Williams also would have made two championship games with UNC under the BCS: in 2005 and 2008.• As for Bill Self, he would have been in the same number of championship games (one) either way.In the BCS, KU would have made the title game in 2007, going up against Ohio State. I actually would have liked the Jayhawks’ chances in that matchup.As it was, though, Self was able to take last year’s No. 4-ranked Jayhawks all the way to a national title, upsetting the two top-ranked teams, North Carolina and Memphis, along the way.• As a whole, KU would have made five championship games from 1990-2008 under the BCS. With the NCAA tournament in place, the Jayhawks made three championship games, winning one title. Though it’s hard to guess what would have happened in the BCS title games, one might assume that KU would have been able to win more than one of its five championship games.• Duke would have made six title games under the BCS. Kentucky and Kansas would have been next with five title games, while North Carolina would have made four.• Another note: Obviously, with a BCS system in place, KU wouldn’t have sniffed the 1988 title. KU, in fact, wasn’t ranked in the top 20 in the final AP poll. Here’s the matchup that would have taken place: No. 1 Temple vs. No. 2 Arizona.• By the way, only seven of the last 18 national champions in college basketball have been either the No. 1- or No. 2-ranked team in the final AP poll. Makes me of the opinion that the BCS can never “get it right.” Only a playoff can truly decide the “right” teams for a national championship game.
Here's a question for you: Which KU men's basketball newcomer will average the most points per game this season?It's an interesting question when you think about it. Through two regular-season games, here are the scoring leaders among the newcomers.
1. Travis Releford 7.0 points per game
2. Markieff Morris 6.5 points per game
3. Tyshawn Taylor 6.0 points per game
T4. Quintrell Thomas 3.5 points per game
T4. Marcus Morris 3.5 points per game
6. Tyrone Appleton 0.5 points per game
7. Jordan Juenemann 0 points per game
8. Mario Little (has not played, injury)I'd be surprised if Releford is the leading scorer, as he's averaged just 14 minutes per game and might not get the consistent playing time like some of the other newcomers.Tyshawn Taylor would be an interesting pick, but I don't think his primary role on this team will be to score.Markieff Morris has shown flashes and also can shoot from the outside, but I'm not going to with him, either.My prediction: Marcus Morris.http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... coach Bill Self has talked up Marcus since the preseason, but because of foul trouble, Marcus has struggled to get going offensively. I think we'll see more of his ability as the season progresses.
Audio from Kansas coach [Mark Mangino's weekly press conference] has been posted. The biggest news from the day is the announcement that [Kendrick Harper and Dexton Fields] are expected to play Saturday against Iowa State. Definitely good news for the Jayhawks heading into conference play.Switching gears a little bit, I came across a cool idea the other day while checking out the ["Kansas football-It's business time"] blog.The writer (Hiphopopotamus, if you must know) came up with a "Big Board" for the Kansas football team. Here, he listed the Jayhawks' top 10 players on both offense and defense.Based only on player performance through the first four games, I went ahead and compiled my own Top 10 list for the KU football team. In my ranking, I combined offense and defense (and special teams).Following my list are the other "Big Board" rankings from Lawrence Journal-World staff members. I also combined everyone's lists to make one master ranking.Without further ado, here is my current KU "Big Board" :!1. Todd Reesing - No argument on the top spot. The success of KU's season rests on Reesing's right arm. Because of this, an injury to Todd would be devastating for the Jayhawks. 2. Dezmon Briscoe - KU's biggest playmaker not named Todd. It was tempting to put Meier in the second spot, but Briscoe gets the nod with his athleticism and speed. If KU were the Patriots, Briscoe would be Randy Moss and Kerry Meier would be Wes Welker. 3. Kerry Meier - I hope the "Old Reliable" nickname sticks. Meier has become like KU's Tony Gonzalez - any time Reesing has a crucial situation or needs a big catch, he looks Meier's way. If Meier really does not practice much at receiver (as his coaches and teammates say), his numbers are even more remarkable. 4. Darrell Stuckey - This might be painful for KU fans to hear, but he might be the only defensive starter that has played above expectations this year. The safety always seems to be around the ball and has been the most consistent player on defense. 5. Johnathan Wilson - KU players knew what they were talking about when they voted him as the biggest surprise player coming into the season. He's averaging more than 78 receiving yards per game and is showing no signs of slowing down. 6. Daymond Patterson - See a pattern here? KU's quarterback and receivers take up five of the top six spots, and deservedly so. After two weeks of showing how great he could be, Patterson reminded everyone the next two weeks that he still is a true freshman and will make freshman mistakes. I expect a big bounce back from the speedy Texan. 7. Jacob Branstetter - What was thought to be a weakness has become a strength because of Branstetter. He has made six of seven field goals and 11 of 12 extra points and should give KU fans peace of mind during close games. He still could use a little more distance on his kickoffs, but Jayhawk fans shouldn't be complaining about his production. !8. Jake Laptad - He's moved to the starter on the depth chart this week and deserves to be in that spot. Laptad's 2 1/2 sacks lead the team, and the Jayhawks desperately need him to continue his improvement. Future games against Sam Bradford and Graham Harrell and Chase Daniel will get ugly if KU can't establish a better pass rush. 9. Angus Quigley - Angus runs extremely hard and doesn't go down easy. He still runs high, and KU's coaches have been slow to give him an extended workload because of it. He's No. 1 on the depth chart now, but my gut tells me that Jocques Crawford will be back in the top spot before the season is done. 10. Joe Mortensen - Joe is tied for second on the team in tackles but still hasn't had a breakout game. He's just missed on a couple sacks and interceptions that would have boosted his numbers.Other "Big Boards" Dugan Arnett, KU football beat writer 1. Todd Reesing 2. Kerry Meier 3. Dezmon Briscoe 4. Darrell Stuckey 5. Angus Quigley 6. Daymond Patterson 7. Johnathan Wilson 8. Joe Mortensen 9. Jake Laptad 10. Chris HarrisEric Sorrentino, Big 12 Spotlight Editor 1. Todd Reesing 2. Kerry Meier 3. Dezmon Briscoe 4. Darrell Stuckey 5. Joe Mortensen 6. Daymond Patterson 7. Jake Laptad 8. Angus Quigley 9. James Holt 10. Jacob BranstetterTom Keegan, Journal-World Sports Editor 1. Todd Reesing 2. Kerry Meier 3. Darrell Stuckey 4. Dezmon Briscoe 5. Daymond Patterson 6. Johnathan Wilson 7. Joe Mortensen 8. Mike Rivera 9. Jacob Branstetter 10. Jake LaptadCombined "Big Board" 1. Todd Reesing (40 points) 2. Kerry Meier (35 points) 3. Dezmon Briscoe (32 points) 4. Darrell Stuckey (29 points) 5. Daymond Patterson (21 points) 6. Johnathan Wilson (15 points) 7. Joe Mortensen (14 points) 8. Angus Quigley (11 points) 9. Jake Laptad (10 points) 10. Jacob Branstetter (7 points) Others receiving votes - Mike Rivera (3 points), James Holt (2 points), Chris Harris (1 point). : http://www2.kusports.com/podcasts/press_conferences_postgame_interviews/2008/sep/30/ku_coach_mark_man/ : http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/sep/30/fields_harper_expected_play/?breaking : http://kansasfootball-itsbusinesstime.blogspot.com/2008/09/revised-big-boards.html : http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/photos/2008/09/20/ku_fbc_shs_ta322_t800.jpg?" " width="270" height="215 : http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/photos/2008/09/20/ku_fbc_shs_ta608_t800.jpg" " width="160" height="215
While waiting before Kansas coach Mark Mangino's press conference, I was surfing the Internet when I stumbled upon something interesting.I randomly typed "Todd Reesing" into Google, and the fourth item down was a [nice feature by Kellis Robinett,] formerly of the University Daily Kansan, on Reesing before he arrived at KU.!It was interesting to read the quotes from Reesing then, back when he was just a small quarterback wondering if he would get a chance to play at Division-I Kansas. I especially liked this closing quote: "I'll get to play against some coaches that didn't give me a chance. And I can prove them wrong."Prophetic? I would say so. Here are a few more articles done before we knew [Dezmon Briscoe,] [Joe Mortensen] and [Daymond Patterson] would become standout players.OK, on to some notes from Mangino's press conference (the complete audio can be found [here]).¢ The players of the week are: Offense: Todd Reesing Defense: Darrell Stuckey and Joe Mortensen Special Teams: Jacob Branstetter Scout Team Offense: Xavier Rambo Scout Team Defense: Chris Heinz¢ Mangino said he wasn't concerned as much about his team's red-zone offense because of its ability to rack up a high yardage total (538 yards).¢ Mangino mentioned that changing offensive structure and personnel were ways to gameplan around a dominant pass-rusher like South Florida's George Selvie. The coach said, however, that KU couldn't spend all its time focusing on stopping Selvie or the team ran the risk of getting hurt by other players on USF's defense.¢ Again, Mangino talked about how he'd prefer to not play on Friday nights, but he later said, "We have to take opportunities as they come." ¢ Mangino also mentioned that the idea was at least suggested that the KU-USF game would be played on a Thursday. The coach said he didn't want to make his team travel so early during the week for an east-coast game."I didn't think that was in the best interest of our program at all," Mangino said.¢ Mangino refused to compare Todd Reesing to the other quarterbacks in the Big 12, but the coach did say this: "I wouldn't trade him for anybody, anywhere."¢ Wide receiver Dexton Fields will not play against USF, but Mangino said he was making progress and should be back soon.¢ Mangino also seemed optimistic about a quick recovery for cornerback Kendrick Harper. The coach said that he wouldn't rush Harper back before he was ready. Mangino also talked more about Harper's injury, saying the cornerback didn't seem to be hurt seriously initially, but that he later showed more serious symptoms while on the bench. The trainers, then, decided to take him off the field on a stretcher as a precaution. Mangino did not reveal specifically what Harper's injury was.Check back on KUsports.com Wednesday for an extended Sideline Report with KU receiver Dezmon Briscoe. : http://www.kansan.com/stories/2005/nov/30/reesing_profile/ : http://worldonline.media.clients.elli..." width="200" height="215 : http://www2.kusports.com/news/2007/au... : http://www2.kusports.com/news/2004/fe... : http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/fe... : http://www2.kusports.com/podcasts/press_conferences_postgame_interviews/2008/sep/09/mark_mangino_press_conference/
6:09 p.m.Here are the other audio clips. The first is from KU's [Jamal Greene], who talks about the Jayhawks' defensive linemen competing for sacks. Interesting stuff.The other is a short clip from staffer [Dugan Arnett's] interview with [Louisiana Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett]. For the full story, see the Gameday section of Saturday's [Lawrence Journal-World].5:18 p.m.A couple of audio clips for you: [KU coach Mark Mangino] and [defensive lineman Jake Laptad].Two more interviews to come later, including one with Louisiana Tech quarterback Taylor Bennett.4:02 p.m. I guess it's the sign of an improving program, but aren't Kansas fans being a little harsh after watching their team [beat an opponent by 30 points?]Yeah, I know. The Jayhawks [weren't great running the ball Saturday against FIU] (they still had 128 yards rushing). The offensive line didn't overwhelm FIU's defensive line. Jocques Crawford wasn't running circles around FIU's defense like Bo Jackson in Tecmo Super Bowl. I get it.But still KU won by 30 on a week that Texas A&M and Virginia Tech lost to Arkansas State and East Carolina, respectively. KU is 1-0 and didn't even have to break a sweat after halftime.Did everyone bet the 37-point spread (and lose)? Since when has a 40-10 victory been considered a disappointment in Lawrence?I can't count how many times I've read or heard, "KU is going to have to play a lot better to beat OU/MU/Tech/UT." But the Jayhawks weren't playing those teams - they were facing FIU.Look, you can't win Week 7 games in Week 1. KU had a ton of positives: the punt return game with Daymond Patterson, the kicking game with Alonso Rojas and the constant pressure coming from multiple defensive linemen.Weren't those three of the biggest concerns heading into Week 1? KU performed well in all three areas, and many fans still act like the whole game was a letdown.The other issues will be addressed. Jeremiah Hatch should make a big difference on the offensive line when he's back and healthy. The running backs will be more comfortable once they get more carries. Personally, I'd rather the holes show up in Week 1 so they can be attended to.So take a deep breath, Jayhawk fans. Your team is 1-0 - just like Ohio State, Georgia and USC.In a few weeks, no one will care that KU only beat FIU by 30. The win will matter. And the Jayhawks had no problem getting that Saturday.Back to the topic at hand: Tuesday's Mark Mangino press conference. Here are the notes I took down.¢ The players of the week were:Offense: Kerry MeierDefense: Russell BrorsenSpecial Teams: Daymond PattersonScout Team Defense: Dustin SpearsScout Team Offense: Jose Rodriguez¢ Mangino said after studying the FIU tape carefully, he liked what he saw from his team for the most part.¢ The speed of Louisiana Tech's defense impressed Mangino on film. The Bulldogs forced five turnovers in their 22-14 victory over Mississippi State last Saturday.¢ Mangino reiterated once again that FIU was stacking its defense to stop the run, therefore he is not as concerned as many people are about the running game. The coach said that when a team takes chances to stop KU's running game, that team will pay by giving up yards in the passing game. He also said he wasn't going to run the ball if it wasn't there."We're not going to beat our head against a wall," he said.¢ Mangino was short with his answers about right offensive tackle Jeremiah Hatch. The coach said Hatch was practicing and "it's possible" that he will play Saturday. We'll see.¢ Mangino said much of Caleb Blakesley's improvement could be credited to the defensive lineman playing more with his knees bent. As we learned from [Ryan Cantrell] last week, leverage equals power.¢ When asked about a specific area he was pleased with from the first game, Mangino said, "I'm not ready to jump out of my shoes about anything." Guess it's still a little too early for that.We'll post some audio interviews a little later, so check back on KUsports.com for those. : http://www2.kusports.com/audioclips/4090/ : http://www2.kusports.com/staff/dugan_arnett/ : http://www2.kusports.com/audioclips/4091/ : http://www.ljworld.com/ : http://www2.kusports.com/audioclips/4088/ : http://www2.kusports.com/audioclips/4089/ : http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/aug/31/fine_first_impression/?football : http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/se... : http://www2.kusports.com/blogs/sideline_report/2008/aug/29/cantrell/
4:00 p.m. Here's another audio clip, this one from wide receiver[ Johnathan Wilson].3:32 p.m.Here's the audio from[ Mark Mangino] during Tuesday's press conference.2:44 p.m.Let's get you right to some news, notes and quotes from the Kansas football team's weekly press conference Tuesday.News and Notes¢ Interesting comments from KU coach Mark Mangino about the kickers. Mangino said that, even though Grady Fowler had struggled early on with his kicks, he had a "pit-bull mentality" and was out to prove he could win the job. The coach said he liked that Fowler gets the ball off the ground well and gets it high in the air. Meanwhile, Mangino said Alonso Rojas would "be the guy" at kicker if he had started taking kicks from the beginning of camp.It seems this situation just gets more jumbled as we go along. I asked Rojas directly, and he said that he had been told he would be handling kickoffs.My best guess? Fowler goes in for point-afters and shorter field goals, while Rojas goes in for kickoffs and longer kicks. Rojas, it seems, still could earn more kicking responsibilities as the season goes on.¢ Mangino said he wouldn't necessarily stick to the depth chart released Monday, saying the only reason it was released was because of the public demand for it."It (the depth chart) can change before the ink dries," he said.¢ Mangino said he never recruited players with the idea that he would start them as true freshmen. That's why he's been so impressed with Daymond Patterson."If somebody can do that, it's a bonus," Mangino said of the freshman. "He's proven he can play right now at this level."Patterson has moved to the top of the depth chart at punt returner and also is a backup at wide receiver.When asked what stood out most about Patterson, Mangino had a quick response."Speed," the coach said. "He can flat out run."¢ Mangino said that he foresaw freshman fullback Steven Foster having the same type of impact that Brandon McAnderson had early in his career: as a blocking back and also a special teams player.¢ Safety Justin Thornton has taken a greater leadership role on this team, and Mangino has noticed."We expect him to put it all together and have a huge year this year," Mangino said.¢ Mangino commented that Dezmon Briscoe was one guy who "had an incredibly productive training camp."¢ As for starting defensive tackle Richard Johnson, Mangino said he was "getting better, but he still has a lot of work to do."¢ Some FIU players Mangino talked about potentially being playmakers were cornerback Anthony Gaitor, safety Jeremiah Weatherspoon and defensive end Artis Warthen.¢ Mangino said that Jake Sharp received the starting nod at running back based on maturity, dependability and understanding of the offense. The coach still made sure to point out that both Sharp and Jocques Crawford will get their share of carries.QuotesMangino on freshman cornerback Corrigan Powell: "For a freshman, he has a lot of talent. ... He's going to be a really good player for us."Mangino on playing the first game: "Opening games are always tricky because you have to have all the right people in the right places. ... The first one, to me, is always the one that makes me the most nervous. I'm not a guy that sits around and wrings his hands before games. (The first game) always makes you a little antsy, but I'll still have fun before the game."One quick basketball note: C.J. Henry, brother of Kansas basketball recruit Xavier Henry, on Tuesday [committed to play basketball at Memphis].C.J. Henry, who orally committed to KU his senior year of high school only to play professional baseball for the New York Yankees organization, told the Daily Oklahoman he will play for the Tigers' basketball team this season. : http://www2.kusports.com/audioclips/4083/ : http://www2.kusports.com/audioclips/4082/ : http://newsok.com/c.j.-henry-to-play-basketball-for-memphis/article/3288810