Entries from blogs tagged with “kansas”

Sporting News moves Jayhawks to No. 1 spot in preseason Top 25

Kansas players Jamari Traylor, left, Devonte Graham, Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis surround Frank Mason before a pair of free throws by Mason during the second half on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players Jamari Traylor, left, Devonte Graham, Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis surround Frank Mason before a pair of free throws by Mason during the second half on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The hype for Kansas University’s 2015-16 men’s basketball season received another early boost to accompany the just-announced January showdown versus Kentucky, at Allen Fieldhouse.

With actual games still almost six months away, The Sporting News rolled out an updated preseason Top 25 and placed the Jayhawks at No. 1.

KU, of course, hasn’t advanced past the Round of 32 in the previous two NCAA Tournaments, so the selection might come as a surprise to some.

“When the best answer to the question of ‘Why Kansas?’ is ‘Why not?’, you’ve got yourself a pretty strange college basketball season on the way,” Mike DeCourcy wrote.

Between reliable senior-to-be Perry Ellis, the addition of incoming freshman big man Cheick Diallo and a number of Jayhawks capable of making significant strides in their development, The Sporting News likes KU’s potential rotation.

Still, attempting to predict next season’s elite teams, DeCourcy said on SportingNews.com, wasn’t as easy as it was in 2014-15, with Kentucky, Wisconsin and Duke leading the pack.

“What we have now are a lot of teams that have potential, but flaws,” he said, “and they’re gonna have to overcome those flaws in order to be champions.”

Settling on Bill Self’s Jayhawks, DeCourcy added, came with some trepidation.

“There’s just not any single player that says, ‘I’m your star,’ and usually you need someone to carry you to a title,” he indicated. “Nobody at Kansas at this point has emerged as that sort of player.”

DeCourcy questioned whether Ellis possesses headliner power and pointed to Wayne Selden Jr. as someone who hasn’t proven to look comfortable in that role. Diallo, he added, projects as “a great defensive weapon,” but might not be as reliable on offense.

“One of those guys has to be a star for us to be right,” he offered, “but we like them more than some of the other contenders.”

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) defends against a shot from Michigan State guard/forward Branden Dawson (22) during the first half on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida. Also pictured are KU guard Frank Mason, left, and forward Cliff Alexander.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) defends against a shot from Michigan State guard/forward Branden Dawson (22) during the first half on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida. Also pictured are KU guard Frank Mason, left, and forward Cliff Alexander. by Nick Krug

Ultimately, DeCourcy said The Sporting News staff believes in Self, and thinks the Jayhawks will play great defense in 2015-16.

The two teams immediately following the Jayhawks in the advance rankings have Kansas ties. Former KU guard Mark Turgeon’s Maryland Terrapins snagged the No. 2 spot and Self’s predecessor at Kansas, Roy Williams, leads No. 3 North Carolina.

Wichita State, which knocked the Jayhawks out of The Big Dance this past March and adds former KU guard Conner Frankamp to the roster this coming season, landed at No. 9.

The Big 12 earned four total spots in the rankings, with No. 7 Iowa State, No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 16 West Virginia joining KU.

None by Sporting News NCAAB

Sporting News College Hoops 2015-16 Preseason Top 10

1. Kansas

2. Maryland

3. North Carolina

4. Kentucky

5. Duke

6. Virginia

7. Iowa State

8. Arizona

9. Wichita State

10. Gonzaga

See the complete Top 25 at SportingNews.com.

Reply

Now more than ever, diehard KU fan and professional boxer Victor Ortiz wants another shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr.

WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz waves to the Hoglund Ballpark crowd after being introduced during KU's game against Wichita State on Tuesday, May 3, 2011.

WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz waves to the Hoglund Ballpark crowd after being introduced during KU's game against Wichita State on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. by Nick Krug

Remember the boxer from Garden City who wears Jayhawks on his trunks and lights up rooms with his smile?

His name is Victor Ortiz and, yeah, he watched the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight a couple of weeks ago — at least some of it — and came away less than impressed by Mayweather's easy victory.

See, Ortiz, who lost to Mayweather via a controversial knockout in September of 2011 that started with a dirty headbutt by the diehard KU fan and ended with Mayweather rocking him with a couple of shots that no one expected including the official in the ring, has not quite gotten over how the biggest bout of his life came to a close.

The fourth-round drama ended what was shaping up to be a terrific fight and left a bitter taste in Ortiz's mouth.

On Wednesday, Ortiz, 28, spoke out about the fight through a contributed piece on the web site theplayerstribune.com dubbed “Disputed.”

It's a candid look at Ortiz's feelings about his lost shot at glory, his true feelings about Mayweather as a person and a fighter and a clear indication that he wants a rematch and believes he is owed one.

Here's a look:

http://www.theplayerstribune.com/floyd-mayweather-rematch-victor-ortiz/

Reply

Cheick Diallo’s announcement had Twitter abuzz

None by _cd13

When one of the nation’s elite high school basketball prospects waits until late in the spring of his senior year to pick his future hoops home, the whole college basketball world takes notice.

Such was the case Tuesday, when Cheick Diallo tweeted out his decision to commit to Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks.

From college basketball reporters and analysts, to current and former Jayhawks, the news piqued the interest of many in the Twitterverse.

Here are some of the many reactions and story links:

None by Jeff Goodman

None by Paul Biancardi

None by Rush the Court

None by Dick Vitale

None by SB Nation

None by Fran Fraschilla

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by Cox Hub

None by SLAM Magazine

None by COACH Embiid

None by Wayne Selden Jr.

None by Cole Aldrich

None by Carlton Bragg

None by Christian Garrett

Reply

Watch KU introduce women’s basketball coach Brandon Schneider

New KU women's basketball coach Brandon Schneider introduced himself to the media and the Jayhawk fanbase this morning at a press conference.

Watch here:


KUsports.com's Matt Tait was tweeting from the room:

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

Reply

Danny Manning, Paul Pierce share their ‘Tales of Madness’

Danny Manning and Larry Brown embrace after clinching the 1988 Men’s NCAA Basketball title.

Danny Manning and Larry Brown embrace after clinching the 1988 Men’s NCAA Basketball title. by Mike Yoder

The spectacle of March Madness entertains and amazes the nation each and every year. But for the vast majority of the players out there deciding whose brackets get framed and whose get tossed in the recycling bin, the win-or-go-home tournament ends in pain.

Only a select few can survive The Madness and call themselves champions of the NCAA Tournament.

Over at The Players’ Tribune — a website designed to let professional athletes share their first-person accounts of athletic triumphs and trials — there is a series called “Tales of Madness,” in which former college hoops stars detail all that is great (and devastating) about The Big Dance.

Wouldn’t you know it, you can read about an early exit and "one shining moment" from the Kansas perspective, thanks to entries from a couple of all-time greats.

Paul Pierce shares his memories of a painful loss to Arizona — in the Sweet 16, in 1997 — in a piece titled “One Bad Game.”

On the polar opposite end of the NCAA Tournament experience, KU legend Danny Manning describes the joy of winning the 1988 national championship.

“I played in four NCAA tournaments at Kansas, but that 1987-88 team was a special group,” Manning says. “Whenever a team wins a championship, everything has to fall into place. The coach has to have the right gameplan, coaches have to implement it and the players have to buy in and execute it. You have to catch some breaks along the way, but you also have to be dedicated and disciplined in your actions.

“In that 1988 NCAA Tournament, we weren’t the most talented team. We weren’t the most athletic team. But as anyone who’s ever watched the tournament knows, once you’re in, everyone’s record is 0-0. It’s all about which team can get hot at the right time.”

Pierce and his fellow Jayhawks from that 1996-97 KU team know that better than just about anybody who put on a college basketball uniform. Kansas entered the NCAA Tournament with just one loss, and it came in double overtime at rival Missouri.

KU’s previous dominance that season didn’t matter against No. 4 seed Arizona, which, much like Danny and The Miracles, started clicking at just the right time and won a national title.

“Arizona was good — they had a tremendous backcourt comprised of Mike Bibby and Jason Terry — but I didn’t have much doubt that we would win,” Pierce says. “Honestly, I thought we would crush them. Our team was stacked with NBA talent. The expectation was that we were going to bulldoze through the early rounds of the tournament. I had my sights set on the Final Four, where I figured we’d probably meet Kentucky, the defending national champs. That was the game we were all looking forward to.

“But Arizona came to play, and we weren’t at our best.”

Nine years earlier, Kansas entered the postseason as a No. 6 seed with 11 losses. Manning says coach Larry Brown’s unwavering belief in the Jayhawks helped them overcome what had at times been a bumpy regular season — the Jayhawks were 12-8 at one juncture.

Manning admits no one outside of the program expected KU in the Final Four, but there the Jayhawks were, playing in nearby Kansas City, Missouri, against fellow Big Eight program Oklahoma in the title game.

In the final seconds of a one-possession game, Manning hit two clutch free throws to push Kansas to an unlikely national title.

At The Players’ Tribune, Manning says his favorite memory from that magical ride actually came after the final game ended.

“Sitting in the locker room with my teammates after winning the national championship, we talked about our season, which was my senior season. We talked about the tournament. And that’s when it hit us: That was the last time we’d ever be together on the court as a team. It was a somber moment for me, but also a very satisfying one knowing that I was a part of a group that was able to win a national championship. A lot of hard work, sweat and tears went into it. A lot of guys made huge sacrifices for our team and for each other. We’d been through such uncertainty and endured so many tough losses, and here we were, reaping the benefits together — as a team.”

Obviously, Pierce recalls a far more agonizing feeling permeating the Kansas locker room when the season ended in 1997.

“The tournament is unforgiving,” Pierce says. “If you have one bad game, that’s it. Throughout my career I’ve had many losses, but all these years later, this is one that still stings.”

Other “Tales of Madness” from The Players’ Tribune include accounts from Ali Farokhmanesh, Mateen Cleaves, Baron Davis, Kenny Lofton, Jameer Nelson, Jalen Rose, Jason Kidd and more.

Reply

Carlton Bragg’s windmill jam highlights future Jayhawk’s McDonald’s experience

East forward Dwayne Bacon, left, of Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va., shoots against West forward Carlton Bragg of Villa Angela-St. Joseph of Cleveland, during the second half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game in Chicago on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The East won 111-91. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

East forward Dwayne Bacon, left, of Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va., shoots against West forward Carlton Bragg of Villa Angela-St. Joseph of Cleveland, during the second half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game in Chicago on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The East won 111-91. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) by Nam Y. Huh

Almost every spring, just before the Final Four, Kansas basketball fans get a sneak preview — courtesy of the McDonald’s All-American game — of who’s coming to Lawrence in the fall to help KU in its continuous chase of national championship banners.

Wednesday night in Chicago, 6-foot-9 forward Carlton Bragg, who committed to Kentucky … err, make that Kansas … was the latest “next big-time player” on display.

Bragg, a five-star recruit from Villa Angela-St.Joseph in Cleveland, scored nine points and hit a 3-pointer for the West.

The Jayhawk-to-be also delivered one of the top plays of the prep all-star showcase, jumping into the passing lane for a steal, on his way to a windmill jam.

It came right after his West teammate, Kansas recruiting target Stephen Zimmerman, threw one down.

Here are a few other angles at the back-to-back, highlight-reel slams:

Want to hear something crazy? Bragg actually considered taking his uncontested jam to the next level.

“I was thinking about going between my legs, but I wasn't quite warmed up,” Bragg told Cleveland.com. “The windmill I felt like I could have got it, so I just did it."

His team lost, but really, participating in the game is a huge deal in itself, and the smiling young big man spoke about that with Cleveland.com.

He also had a message for Kansas fans:

“It’s coming, baby. Just be ready.”

Cleveland prep forward Carlton Bragg — who has committed to Kansas University — poses for a photo prior to Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago.

Cleveland prep forward Carlton Bragg — who has committed to Kansas University — poses for a photo prior to Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago.

Before the game, PrepHoops Illinois caught up with Bragg, who declared his love for pick-and-pop sets, explaining why he is considered a stretch-4.

Don’t worry, though. Bragg hasn’t abandoned playing in the paint. In fact, he said that’s one area of his game that he made a point to improve upon in his senior season.

“My post game got a lot better and I’m more aggressive.”

Bragg said KU’s style of play led to him choosing Bill Self’s program as his college team of choice.

“They run up and down, play the pick and pop, the pick and roll.”

With the expected departure of Cliff Alexander, Bragg could make an immediate impact for KU next season, providing the Jayhawks with another long body to man the paint with Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas and Hunter Mickelson.

If Bragg can score in the post at the college level, that would make KU’s offense — which often lacked that ability in 2014-15 — more complete and dangerous.

Reply

KU football coach David Beaty “Mic’d Up” for first practice

Throughout the past few years, the video crew at KU has done a fantastic job of capturing what goes on both on the field where everyone can see and behind the scenes of the program.

Whether you're talking practice or game highlights, players of the day video or the former feature known as The Gridiron, produced by former Jayhawk Micah Brown, there has been no shortage of entertaining video to watch about the KU football program.

That trend appears to have continued under the direction of first-year coach David Beaty, who was mic'd up by KU's video crew during the opening practice of the spring.

The video gives you a great look at the constant energy and urgency that Beaty operates with during practices. This was not just him putting on a show because he knew the mic was on. In fact, a good guess would be that he forgot he was wearing the thing about 10 minutes into practice.

This is just how the guy works on a daily basis and the hope, with the coaching staff, the KU administration and in the locker room, is that this kind of always-on attitude will become the norm for the Jayhawks in the near future.

Here's a look.

Reply

College basketball world reacts to KU’s Round of 32 exit

When the season ends for Kansas, it doesn’t just move the needle in the Sunflower State, the college basketball nation takes notice.

When the Jayhawks lose before the Sweet 16, it becomes an even bigger deal. Throw in the whole in-state, previously unplayed rivalry game angle and you’ve got all sorts of intrigue surrounding KU’s Round of 32 loss to Wichita State on Sunday in Omaha.

Below is some of the Twitter chatter, photos, stories — and trash talk — that showed up after the Shockers bounced Kansas from the NCAA Tournament.

None by Dick Vitale

None by Kyle Tucker

None by Fran Fraschilla

None by Dana O'Neil

None by Dick Vitale

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by Dick Vitale

None by Gary Parrish

None by Gary Parrish

None by ShockerHoops.net

None by Sporting News NCAAB

None by Dan Dakich

None by Kristen Rodgers

None by Dan Dakich

None by Luke Winn

None by Theodore Bressman

None by Jason King

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by NCAA March Madness

None by Brian Hamilton

None by Jay Bilas

None by Fran Fraschilla

None by Dick Vitale

Jeff Eisenberg went as far as to include one Kansas player in his “Best and worst of the NCAA tourney’s opening weekend” feature.

Spoiler alert: The Jayhawk didn’t land in the best category.

None by Jeff Eisenberg

Wayne Selden Jr. received the unappealing label of “Player who shrank in the spotlight”:

“Selden scored a quiet six points in a victory over New Mexico State on Friday and then went scoreless on five shots in a 78-65 loss to Wichita State two days later. Granted Kansas' game plan was to pound the ball inside against the smaller Shockers, but Selden still acknowledged after the game that he had let down his team by not being aggressive on offense and not playing well on defense.”

A couple of former KU players felt pretty good about their Jayhawks before the game, but since then we have social media silence on the subject.

None by Cole Aldrich

None by Mario Chalmers

Reply

Let the hype continue: Media day, before KU vs. WSU

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to the media outside the Jayhawks' locker-room Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to the media outside the Jayhawks' locker-room Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb. by Mike Yoder

There might not be basketball games going on Saturday in Omaha, but there certainly is pre-game buzz at CenturyLInk Center for Sunday’s Kansas University basketball game against Wichita State, in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32.

The locker rooms for both the Jayhawks and Shockers were packed with media members as the anticipation for the Sunflower State’s postseason matchup grows.

This will be your landing place for all the quotes, audio, video and photos the KUsports.com team gathers, so check back as we update it throughout the afternoon.

— 4:54 p.m. update —

Kansas sophomore forward Landen Lucas understands why this Kansas vs. Wichita State game means so much in the Sunflower State, and to the fans especially.

That just makes it more exciting for the players, too, Lucas said.

— 4:49 p.m. update — By Matt Tait—

Just another quick hit from WSU guard Ron Baker, a Scott City, Kansas, native, who was asked on Saturday about the idea of playing KU and K-State on a more regular basis in the future.

“Every Kansas school would like that, I think," Baker said. "Obviously we're not the BCS school and I can see how KU and K-State wouldn't want to have a home-and-home. It's just kind of how the RPI and BPI and all that stuff works.”

“I think it would be good for the state if we had like a Sunflower Showdown. Even if we're not playing each other, maybe the three schools played different opponents in the same location. That way Kansas can kind of bond and watch those three games in a day. Something simple like that would be neat.”

Great idea. Needs to happen.

— 4:30 p.m. update — By Matt Tait

Had a chance to talk with both Perry Ellis and Wichita State's Evan Wessel about their friendship and time playing together in high school at Wichita Heights.

Interestingly enough, the two guys are pretty similar. Both quiet. Both polite. Both hard-working dudes who have made the most of their abilities.

I asked a few KU guys what they would want to know about Ellis if they had the chance to talk to Wessel and their answers were pretty funny. Evan Manning, Tyler Self and Josh Pollard said they've heard stories about how Ellis used to get technical fouls when he was younger and may even have thrown a chair once. Wessel didn't recall those incidents and said it might have happened before they started playing on the same teams.

Landen Lucas wanted to know if Wessel remembered whether Ellis would actually dance at school dances or just kind of hang back against the wall. Wessel didn't remember any specific incidents of Ellis dancing or not dancing but said he was certain that Ellis was never the one out there leading the dance party.

KU freshman Kelly Oubre might have given the most interesting answer when he was asked what he'd want to know about Ellis from Wessel: "They're the opposition right now."

I asked Jamari Traylor what he would want to know and he said he had been around Ellis for so long now that he could not really think of anything.

"I know everything I need to know about Perry," Traylor said. "I've been around him for a while now. I know I'd trust him with my wallet."

Wessel, who averages 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds a game in 23 minutes, said the one thing he always liked the most about Ellis' game was how unselfish he was.

"He could always be the best player on the floor when he's out there," Wessel said. "But he still was unselfish. He's a great teammate and a lot of fun to play with."

As for the upcoming battle between these two former Wichita Heights teammates, both sounded excited about the challenge and each said he hoped he would guard the other guy, which seems pretty likely according to players and coaches in both locker rooms.

"It's going to be a great opportunity," Wessel said. "Great teammates back in high school and it will be fun to play against him here tomorrow."

Added Ellis: "We have been competing since we were young and he's a great guy and it's going to be fun to get to play against each other again."

— 4:09 p.m. update —

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall knows this is a big game for his program, but he also realizes the ultimate goal here in Omaha is moving on to Cleveland.

It's exciting. I'm not going to tell you that I'm not excited about being in the third round against a wonderful program, a great team, a great coach, but when that ball is tossed, I'm just going to coach my team, and it's going to be just like any other game, with tremendous energy and intensity. And last year, Kentucky, that was a wonderful basketball game! It was electricity all through the building; it was one play after another, and tomorrow's game could very well be like that. I just hope we come out on the different end.

— Hear Marshall's press conference: Gregg Marshall looks ahead to Sunday's game vs. Kansas

— 3:58 p.m. update —

You might have heard that Wichita State junior Ron Baker grew up a Kansas basketball fan. He talked about that Saturday in the Shockers' locker room.

— 3:42 p.m. update —

Bill Self said it didn't take long for Kansas to turn its focus to Wichita State.

Yesterday was a great win for us, I think anybody that plays in the tournament that won would say it's a great win, but we got forgot about 30 minutes after we played and focused in on the next task, and that's a talented and well-coached Wichita State ball club.

— Listen to the complete press conference: Bill Self discusses Saturday's showdown with Wichita State

— 3:15 p.m. update —

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

— 3:05 p.m. update —

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

— 2:20 p.m. update —

You can tell some of the Jayhawks aren’t as excited about the two-programs-from-Kansas angle of this game as the media. Which is completely fine and understandable.

Kansas would want to win this game if Indiana was the opponent, too. The players don’t mind all the WSU buzz, but the subplots didn’t seem to exactly intrigue them. They’re just trying to get to the Sweet 16.

Reply

Jayhawk-killer Ali Farokhmanesh surprises Kansas fans in Omaha

When March rolls around and the talk turns to NCAA upsets, you're liable to overhear conversations like this in Kansas basketball circles:

"Who was that shooter? Who was the little, um ... "

"He had a weird last name, right?"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. What was his name?"

"Uh, Farokhmanesh? Farokhma-something?"

"Yes. Yeah, I remember him just raining jumpers the whole game."

Now what happens when the conversation starter is that guy, the infamous hero/villain of Northern Iowa's 2010 upset of KU, Ali Farokhmanesh?

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar (12) defends UNI's Ali Farokhmanesh (5) Saturday, March 20, 2010, in Oklahoma City, OK.

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar (12) defends UNI's Ali Farokhmanesh (5) Saturday, March 20, 2010, in Oklahoma City, OK. by Mike Yoder

To find out, the Omaha World-Herald grabbed the now-Nebraska graduate assistant and brought him to CenturyLink Center, where the Jayhawks started their 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Read the result, as chronicled by the W-H's Dirk Chatelain, or watch the video below:

Reply

Media day at CenturyLink Center

Kansas forward Perry Ellis talks to the media at the Centrurylink Center in Omaha, NE. Friday March 19, 2015.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis talks to the media at the Centrurylink Center in Omaha, NE. Friday March 19, 2015. by Richard Gwin

The NCAA Tournament already is in full swing in some cities, but in Omaha, Nebraska, the games don’t start until Friday. That means today at CenturyLink Center, players and coaches from Kansas University, New Mexico State, Wichita State and Indiana will only be talking basketball (and going through a pseudo practice which will be open to the public).

This will serve as your landing spot for the media day, and we’ll check in as we can to update you on what’s being said about Friday’s Round of 64 games — and the Sunday could-be game between KU and WSU, when that inevitably gets brought up.

Check back in throughout the day for updates.

— 7:43 p.m. update— By Matt Tait

Just filed this story about New Mexico State big man Tshilidzi Nephawe that includes where his nickname "Chili" came from, what he's playing for and why he's proud of his homeland of South Africa.

Had a lot of fun interviewing him and writing this one. Just a really, really good dude.

New Mexico State's 'Chili' plays to represent South Africa

— 5:08 p.m. update—

Kansas guards Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Wayne Selden Jr. answer questions during a press conference at Centrurylink Center in Omaha, NE. Thursday March 19 2015.

Kansas guards Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Wayne Selden Jr. answer questions during a press conference at Centrurylink Center in Omaha, NE. Thursday March 19 2015. by Richard Gwin

KU sent sophomore Wayne Selden Jr. and freshman Kelly Oubre jr. to the bright lights of the stage for Thursday's press conference.

Said Oubre of his upcoming first tourney:

"Guys like Wayne, Perry, Jamari, they've pretty much just calmed me down throughout this whole process and told me to take every game, one game at a time, one possession at a time; don't take anybody for granted and pretty much just play with a free mind. Try to take care of business for the name across your chest."

— Listen to what they had to say: Selden and Oubre discuss preparing for NCAAs

— 4:55 p.m. update —

At his press conference Thursday afternoon, Kansas coach Bill Self opened by talking about the excitement and urgency of playing in the NCAA Tournament.

"Obviously we're excited to play in another Tournament and something that we definitely do not take for granted, and the guys have worked real hard to put themselves in a position to be here. And, of course, being in Omaha is like a double bonus to us. It's certainly close for our fans. But even more importantly to us, it's a great venue, it's a great setup and a great city, and we have experienced a little bit of success the last couple of times we've been here, so we're very happy to be here in Omaha."

— Listen to the complete press conference here: Bill Self talks expectations, New Mexico State

— 4:47 p.m. update — by Matt Tait

The Jayhawks were in, by far, the smallest locker room I've seen them in during an NCAA Tournament (New Mexico State's was not any bigger) and it was incredibly packed during the entire open locker room session.

Jamari Traylor was so far back in the corner of the locker room that he just hung back in his locker and stayed out of sight. I was able to get back into the corner eventually and I asked him how the past four days had been for the health of the Jayhawks.

"We're good, man," Traylor said. "Everybody's healthy, feeling good and ready to go."

Down the row from Traylor, Brannen Greene held the edge and that made the access to him easy in and easy out. I talked to Greene a lot about the difference between the feeling he has this year at the tournament and the feeling he had last year, as a true freshman.

The basic answer was this: Instead of having his head on a swivel and being a little bit in awe of all that takes place here, from the media hype to the fan frenzy to the intensity of the games himself, Greene feels much more comfortable and enjoys that he knows what to expect.

"Your energy has to be at an all-time high at a tournament like this," Greene said. "And I think we all know that now. Instead of worrying about all of the things going on around us, we can focus more on basketball and getting ready to play."

— 4 p.m. update —

The Kansas locker room was crowded with working media Thursday afternoon, but our photographer Mike Yoder got in there for video.

— 2:20 p.m. update —

You can't tell a whole lot from these open "practices" that the NCAA Tournament holds for the fans, but Brannen Greene — just like his teammates — worked on his shot during the session.

None by Benton Smith

Some fell, some didn't. But that's the way it goes when three or four players are shooting at once.

If KU wants to turn a corner and start playing at a higher level on offense, they'll need Green to find that shooting touch again.

Here's a look at all of the perimeter players going through drills Thursday afternoon.

None by Benton Smith

— 1:33 p.m. update —

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

— 1:05 p.m. update —

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

— 12:53 p.m. update —

None by Benton Smith

— 12 p.m., from Benton Smith —

Just got back from the New Mexico State locker room and the Aggies seem loose and confident.

They pride themselves on playing disruptive, turnover-focused defense and they hope that creates easy offense for them.

NMSU opponents average 13.2 giveaways a game this season, so it’s not a ridiculous number. But that mindset can get under opponents’ skin, and that can be just as beneficial.

Both point guard Ian Baker and sixth man D.K Eldridge talked about that peskiness and pointed to it as one of NMSU’s strengths.

Check back for video from the locker room and quotes from the Aggies (23-10).

Reply

KU Sports Extra — 2015 NCAA Tournament bracket breakdowns

The KU Sports Extra team, Tom Keegan and Matt Tait, breaks down the four regions of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket.


Midwest

None


West

None


East

None


South

None


Don't forget to make your picks in KUsports.com's Bracket Challenge.

Reply

Twitterverse reacts to KU grabbing share of Big 12 title

No, Kansas University didn’t play on Big Monday this week. But the Jayhawks’ Big 12 title hopes were in play on ESPN’s weekly showcase.

Accordingly, many sets of eyes usually so focused on Kansas basketball suddenly had an uncharacteristically high level of interest in a game between Iowa State and Oklahoma.

Big 12 championships will do that.

When the Jayhawks needed league competitor ISU to defeat OU, the Cyclones came through, securing KU at least a share of its 11th Big 12 regular-season championship in a row.

Once that happened, congratulations, celebrations and observations began breaking out in the Twitterverse from those who cover college basketball, those who have played it and others.

Here are some of the highlights:

None by Seth Davis

None by Dennis Dodd

None by Fran Fraschilla

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by Myron Medcalf

None by Cole Aldrich

None by tyshawn taylor

None by Tyrel Reed

None by Kansas Basketball

None by Kansas Basketball

Reply

Both Bill Self and Roy Williams make list of top tourney coaches since bracket expansion

Flanked by their national championship trophies, Kansas coach Bill Self, left, Sasha Kaun, center, and Russell Robinson bask in the spotlight the morning after beating Memphis for the national championship in San Antonio.

Flanked by their national championship trophies, Kansas coach Bill Self, left, Sasha Kaun, center, and Russell Robinson bask in the spotlight the morning after beating Memphis for the national championship in San Antonio. by thad-allender

With March just four days away, the SportingNews.com’s Michael DeCourcy rolled out a list of “Tourney All-Stars,” ranking the top 15 college hoops coaches in the expanded bracket era.

To make it clear, the list only includes the postseason accomplishments of coaches since the 1984-85 tourney, when the field expanded to 64 teams.

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self makes an appearance on the list at No. 11. Self, of course, has guided KU to a pair of Final Fours, in 2008 and 2012, and his ’08 team captured the program’s first national championship in 20 years.

The former Tulsa and Illinois coach has compiled an NCAA Tournament record of 36-15. Here’s what DeCourcy had to say about Self landing at No. 11 on the Top-15 list:

“When a list such as this is compiled in another 10 years, it’s likely Self will be closer to the top five. Funny thing: When his Jayhawks at last broke through his alleged “barrier”, it was to get past the Elite Eight (four prior visits) and into the Final Four. Can you imagine that – that some consider getting to the Elite Eight all the time some sort of affliction?”

Roy Williams argues a traveling call on Kirk Hinrich in the first half.

Roy Williams argues a traveling call on Kirk Hinrich in the first half. by scott-mcclurg

One of the 10 coaches ranked ahead of Self is his predecessor at Kansas, Roy Williams. The North Carolina coach has a pair of UNC championships on his résumé, and seven Final Four appearances, between his time at KU and UNC.

His NCAA Tournament record sits at 63-22.

SportingNews.com’s Top Expanded Bracket Era Coaches

No. 1: Mike Krzyzewski — Duke

No. 2: Jim Calhoun — Connecticut and Northeastern

No. 3: Roy Williams — North Carolina and Kansas

No. 4: Rick Pitino — Louisville, Providence and Kentucky

No. 5: John Calipari — Kentucky, UMass and Memphis

No. 6: Dean Smith — North Carolina

No. 7: Billy Donovan — Florida

No. 8: Tom Izzo — Michigan State

No. 9: Jerry Tarkanian — UNLV

No. 10: Nolan Richardson — Arkansas and Tulsa

No. 11: Bill Self — Kansas, Tulsa and Illinois

— See who else made the top-15 cut at SportingNews.com.

Reply

Watch KU football’s 2015 Signing Day press conference

This afternoon, KU football coach David Beaty broke down his first recruiting class as the Jayhawks' head coach.

Watch the press conference below:

Also, catch up on Signing Day news and notes from this morning.

Matt Tait was up at 5:33 a.m., updating a blog post with quotes, video and more.

Rise & Sign: 2015 KU football class ready to make it official on National Signing Day

Be sure to check back to KUsports.com for more coverage.


None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Kansas Football

None by Kansas Football

None by Matt Tait

None by Kansas Football

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Kansas Football

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Kansas Football

None by Matt Tait

None by Kansas Football

None by Matt Tait

None by Kansas Football

None by Matt Tait

None by Kansas Football

None by Kansas Football

None by Kansas Football

Reply

College hoops world reacts to Temple thrashing KU

When a program with brand-name recognition like Kansas loses a game, it registers throughout the college hoops landscape. When one of the blue bloods gets blown out, that attention reaches another level.

The Jayhawks (currently ranked No. 10) experienced an unbelievably bad night Monday in Philadelphia, where Temple looked the part of the powerhouse program in a 77-52 drubbing.

Here is a look at some of the reactions to the surprising beatdown.

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by Jeff Eisenberg

None by Jeff Goodman

Even if people weren’t watching the game, the score grabbed their attention.

None by Dick Vitale

None by Dick Vitale

The loss reminded Fran Fraschilla of another not-so-great KU trip to The City of Brotherly Love.

None by Fran Fraschilla

What better place to get reaction to Monday’s game than RushTheCourt.net? The Temple fans, after all, did celebrate the win right there on the floor when the final buzzer sounded.

Temple fans run onto the court following the Jayhawk's 77-52 loss to the Owls Monday.

Temple fans run onto the court following the Jayhawk's 77-52 loss to the Owls Monday.

None by Rush the Court

RTC’s Brian Goodman had three thoughts on the shellacking:

  1. “When the Jayhawks get the bad Perry Ellis, the wheels come off quickly.”

  2. “There was more to it than Temple just getting hot.”

  3. “It’s taking longer than many thought it would for Bill Self to settle on a frontcourt rotation.”

While the lopsided score left some questioning the Jayhawks’ toughness…

None by w.vod

… others maintained KU is still a solid team which has played a serious non-conference schedule.

None by KPI Sports

None by Gary Parrish

None by Jeff Goodman

None by Gary Parrish

In fact, CBSsports.com’s Gary Parrish still thinks KU ranks among the nation’s top teams.

None by Gary Parrish

In Parrish’s rankings, which he updates daily, he only moved Kansas down to No. 15 (the day before he had KU ninth). Right now, the national writer has two Big 12 teams ahead of the Jayhawks: Texas (ninth) and Oklahoma (14th).

What can be learned from such a game?

None by Myron Medcalf

Seth Davis, of SI.com and CBS, thought Temple looks vastly better with its new lineup. (Not that he thought KU looked remotely good.)

None by Seth Davis

None by Seth Davis

And ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan wonders if the Temple loss even means anything for Kansas in the grand scheme of the entire season.

None by Eamonn Brennan

Still, he couldn’t overlook some bad tendencies that showed up in Philadelphia.

None by Eamonn Brennan

Reply

Nigel King’s circus catch vs. TCU up for national play of the year

Nick Krug's images from Nigel King's circus touchdown reception vs. TCU during the 2014 KU football season.

Nick Krug's images from Nigel King's circus touchdown reception vs. TCU during the 2014 KU football season. by Matt Tait

Although there are still plenty of meaningful college football games to be played this season, we've reached the time of the year where awards are handed out pretty much every day and some of the top players, plays and moments from the past season come roaring back.

Over at ESPN.com, the college football nation crew has broken the entire 2014 season into four crazy plays and, believe it or not, your Kansas Jayhawks are represented.

Junior receiver Nigel King's circus catch and touchdown against TCU is one of four plays up for ESPN.com's #PlayOfTheYear and fans are encouraged to vote by Tweeting #PlayOfTheYear Kansas on their Twitter accounts during the next several hours.

The play that receives the most Tweets will be announced during Thursday's Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which airs at 6 p.m. tonight on ESPN.

For those of you who would like to make sure King's wild catch is worthy of the vote, here's a look at the four finalists for this year's best play.

For those of you who don't really care what else is nominated and would just like to see the Jayhawks win something, remember to cast your vote via Twitter by simply sending a Tweet with the words "PlayOfTheYear Kansas" in it and check in with the awards show later tonight to see if King's catch wins.

Reply

25 years ago today, KU basketball beat Kentucky, 150-95

KU players gather on the court during KU's 150-95 blowout of Rick Pitino's Kentucky Wildcats in December, 1989. From left are Pekka Markkanen, Freeman West, Kevin Prichard and Jeff Gueldner. Seven KU players scored in double figures.

KU players gather on the court during KU's 150-95 blowout of Rick Pitino's Kentucky Wildcats in December, 1989. From left are Pekka Markkanen, Freeman West, Kevin Prichard and Jeff Gueldner. Seven KU players scored in double figures.

On Dec. 9, 1989, Kansas handed Kentucky its worst loss in program history, 150-95.

25 years later, it's still hard to believe ...

  • 150 points in a game (current KU record)
  • 80 points in the first half (current KU record)
  • 70 points in the second half
  • 53 rebounds
  • 52 field goals made (current KU record)
  • 36 assists (current KU record)
  • 36 free throws made
  • 10 three-pointers
  • And six players with at least 16 points

... all against one of the top programs in college basketball history.

Box score from the Kansas-Kentucky game, Dec. 9, 1989, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Box score from the Kansas-Kentucky game, Dec. 9, 1989, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Here's part of the post-game coverage from longtime Journal-World beat writer Gary Bedore:

Rick Pitino sure didn't act like a coach who had been left twisting in the wind.

Yet Adolph Rupp, the legendary Baron of the Bluegrass, the man who turned college basketball into a religion in Kentucky, may have been twisting in his grave.

"I'm not concerned about the score," Pitino said after Kansas besmirched bluegrass basketball with an astonishing 150-95 victory on Saturday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse.

"We could have slowed down," added Pitino, who left the New York Knicks to take over Kentucky's probation-riddled program this season, "but we can't get anything out of that. It's very, very embarrassing, but if you hang your heads that'll happen. And until we get some bigger bodies, it'll happen again."

It was the most lopsided loss in the history of Kentucky's tradition-rich program. City College of New York, a school that has long since dropped basketball, clubbed the Wildcats, 89-39, in the NIT back in 1950.

Too, the 150 points were the most a Kentucky team had surrendered in 1,945 games. . .or ever since the school started its program back in 1903. The previous high was 116 and that was in a 118-116 win over Northwestern back in 1966.

Did Pitino think Kansas coach Roy Williams tried to run up the score?

"I believe they weren't trying to hurt anyone," he said. "They were just passing the ball and scoring. They just drilled us."

The blowout inspired plenty of great quotes, including this one that brings to mind Bill Self's more recent "Topeka YMCA" comments:

"I didn't think we could score 80 in a half against St. Mary's of the Western Plains. I didn't think we could do it against a high school," said KU guard Kevin Pritchard.

More coverage from the immediate aftermath:

Also, be sure to check out various retrospectives from the past 25 years:

Or, if you have some time to kill, watch the historic game in its entirety.

Happy December 9th, Jayhawk fans.

Reply

Watch David Beaty’s first press conference as KU football coach

David Beaty steps up to the mic today for his first press conference as Kansas University's head football coach.

Watch here:


Follow along with KUsports.com's Matt Tait and Benton Smith:

None by Benton Smith

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Benton Smith

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Benton Smith

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Matt Tait

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Benton Smith

None by Matt Tait

None by Matt Tait

None by Benton Smith

None by Matt Tait


More coverage of Beaty's hire:

Reply

Mykhailiuk touted as Jayhawks’ ‘best longterm prospect’

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) pulls up for a three during the first half on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) pulls up for a three during the first half on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida. by Nick Krug

By now, you know all about Kansas University freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.

He’s from Ukraine. His name is hard to pronounce. He is just 17. He can hoop.

Don’t think this knowledge — especially the last two bits of information — has slipped past NBA scouts.

In a Gary Parrish column for CBSsports.com, he introduces the college basketball nation to the up-and-coming freshman known in Lawrence as “Svi.”

Parrish also reveals he talked with multiple NBA scouts this past weekend at the Orlando Classic, and they touted the 6-foot-8 wing from Cherkasy, Ukraine as "the best longterm prospect" on KU’s roster right now.

(Keep in mind ESPN’s Chad Ford has fellow Kansas freshmen Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre ranked 12th and 13th respectively in his latest 2015 NBA Draft big board — updated on Tuesday.)

At least one NBA executive told Parrish he wasn’t too concerned about Mykhailiuk’s three-point production — 7-for-24 from deep through six games —either.

"But did you see him in warmups?" asked one NBA executive. "Didn't miss in warmups."

Mock drafts (especially ones put out more than a year in advance) don’t mean too much. But DraftExpress.com already has the Ukrainian freshman as the 14th-rated prospect for the 2016 NBA Draft.

That, of course, is the good news for Kansas coach Bill Self. Even if NBA decision-makers would love to snatch the intriguing young wing up this coming summer, he won’t be old enough to be eligible for the draft for another year.

So pro scouts and executives have plenty of time to salivate over Mykhailiuk’s skills. Or fall out of love with him.

Reply

Prev 1 2 ...8