Entries from blogs tagged with “kansas”
As sweet a life as the NBA provides its players, it honestly can’t be all that much fun to play for one of the league’s struggling franchises.
Still, former one-year Kansas standout Ben McLemore proved to be a good sport when someone with Sacramento pitched him the idea of paying tribute to a viral video that exploded across social media a few days ago.
If you’ve been on Twitter or Facebook or any other social media platform in the past 72 hours, surely you’ve come across the video of a woman laughing hysterically as she tries on her Star Wars Chewbacca mask.
In a parody of the latest queen of the Internet, the third-year Kings guard claims on camera he just got back from the store and is excited about his purchase.
What did McLemore supposedly buy?
A Chewbacca mask. The Sacramento guard isn’t moved to hysteria over trying out the mask, which comes with a recorded Wookiee roar, but he enjoyed the gag all the same.
Check out the video, tweeted out by the Kings, below:
Former Kansas football star and Super Bowl champion Chris Harris of the Denver Broncos didn’t hold back Thursday in an appearance on ESPN’s Highly Questionable.
In the midst of an interview with co-hosts Dan Le Batard and Bomani Jones, Harris offered his recollection of an infamous on-campus altercation between members of the KU basketball and football teams, back in 2009.
“Were you on the Kansas football team that lost the fight to the basketball Morris twins?” Le Batard asked.
Smiling, Harris responded: “We definitely won that fight.”
Jones followed up: “We hear the other way.”
As reported by the Lawrence Journal-World at the time, the brawl left KU guard Tyshawn Taylor with a dislocated left thumb weeks before the start of the 2009-10 basketball season.
According to LeBetard, Marcus and Markieff Morris’ account of the incident includes them back-to-back, taking on football players “over someone who was on the track team.”
Harris remembers the fracas differently.
“Nah, man. I mean that story right there, I think it was over one of the little track girls, but, I mean, we had 300-pound dudes fighting these basketball guys, so they definitely didn’t win,” Harris said. “I definitely watched it and seen it with my own eyes. We definitely won that for sure. I love the Morris twins, though. Those my boys, though.”
Furthermore, Harris claimed there wasn’t really a football versus basketball dynamic at KU.
“We (the football team, coming off back-to-back bowl-win seasons) were actually pretty good at that time,” Harris said. “I guess you could say they were running the campus. We were, too.”
Reiterating his love for the Morris twins, Harris said he had to have his football teammates’ backs during the heated disagreement, before again laughing at the idea of a humongous defensive tackles in a melee against slighter basketball players.
“It’s not fair to fight a 6-foot point guard or 6-7, 6-9 power forward. I think we had a little advantage,” Harris recalled, wearing a grin.
Harris, who played with volatile cornerback Aqib Talib at Kansas and is teamed up with him again in Denver, also shared on ESPN one of his favorite Talib stories from back in the day.
“I was a true freshman, and I was starting opposite of Talib, who was an All-American. We were playing Missouri. They had their whole team on the 50-yard line, and Talib just like ran through their whole team,” Harris said. “And they were warming up, running plays, and he like, they had to get the cops to come drag him off there, off their side of the field for warmups, back in the tunnel. So I was like, ‘Man.’ That was one of the craziest times I’ve seen Talib right there.”
Watch the entire entertaining segment with Harris below:
Hey, everyone. You’ll never believe this. Cheick Diallo is entering the NBA Draft.
This obviously isn’t news at this point, but we do have Diallo’s somewhat official statement on the matter as of Monday afternoon.
The big man who spent one season at Kansas tweeted out a letter regarding his decision to sign with an agent and forego his college eligibility.
“After spending the last couple of weeks thinking about my future,” Diallo stated in his Twitter message, “I took the decision to enter the 2016 NBA Draft, and signed with an agent today.
“It was not an easy call, but time has come for me to take that step up to the next level and make my goal of joining the NBA come true.”
Diallo details his unlikely life path from Kayes, Mali, to where he is now in the open letter, which includes thank-yous to those he encountered along the way.
The gregarious post player also thanks his fans, and declares himself “a Jayhawk for life.”
“This is the first step of many more to come,” Diallo says in the closing paragraph, “and I am looking forward to the new challenges with confidence and determination.”
Read Diallo’s entire letter below.
Bill Self is a popular and busy man around Lawrence, but the Kansas basketball coach doesn’t mind taking some time to boost the spirits of a young fan.
A short video message from Self began making the rounds on Facebook Monday.
The coach wished a bleated happy birthday to a young fan named Brooklyn, who, as the KU coach pointed out, had to celebrate from a hospital room.
“I know you’ve been going through a little bit of a rough stretch here recently,” Self says to the young Jayhawks fan in the video, “and your lungs are filling with blood right now, but I’m sure they’ll get that straightened out.
"But I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. I hope you’re doing fine. I know that’s gotta get you down a little bit, especially on an important day like this.
"But I’m sure mom and dad are gonna take care of you in a big, big way.”
And, in typical Self fashion, the coach found a way to really personalize the interaction.
“I wish my players were just half as tough as what you are,” Self told the youngster.
Watch Self’s message below:
When former high school teammates get together, it doesn’t take long for some shenanigans to break out — even at the NBA Combine.
With Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. and Iowa State forward Georges Niang both in Chicago for this week’s pre-draft combine, it only makes sense that the former Tilton School teammates would reunite as they embark on an important step in their professional careers.
This morning, Selden didn’t hesitate to take advantage of an opportunity to try and clown Niang, a star for one of KU’s biggest rivals over the past few seasons.
Apparently when Niang wasn’t around, Selden put his KU 2016 Big 12 Tournament champions T-shirt with his buddy’s phone and snapped a pic to share on Twitter, claiming Niang was showing his support for the Jayhawks.
Not exactly a likely scenario for one of the most popular ISU players in the program's history.
However, maybe Selden should have chosen another piece of KU gear for the joke. He set up Niang for an easy comeback, considering the Cyclones won the Big 12 Tournament in both 2014 and 2015.
“That’s cute that you only won one of those things,” Niang tweeted in response, “I’ll make sure to bring my 2 shirts out tonight!!”
Selden had no choice at that juncture but to bring out the big guns — or big rings. The KU guard posted a photo of him wearing two Big 12 regular-season championship rings.
“Bear with me,” Selden added, “my 3rd one is being made now.”
Former Kansas University forward Perry Ellis, who still is less than a month removed from being the face of the KU basketball program, teamed with the popular web site The Players' Tribune to pen a farewell letter to Jayhawk fans everywhere.
The letter, titled "Thank You, Kansas," takes Jayhawk fans on a journey all the way back to Ellis' freshman year and before, with pictures from his days as a young baller and tales of his childhood in Wichita.
Some of it you've heard before, but even if you have it's one final look at what being a Jayhawk meant to Ellis.
Dubbed "a new media company that provides athletes with a platform to connect directly with their fans, in their own words," The Players' Tribune has taken the sports world by storm, with letters, flashbacks, inside stories and memorable moments from some of the world's best known athletes.
Founded by former New York Yankees great Derek Jeter, The Players’ Tribune publishes first-person stories from athletes, providing unique insight into the daily sports conversation. Through impactful and powerful long and short form stories, video series and podcasts, The Players’ Tribune brings fans closer than ever to the games they love.
Fellow former KU great Paul Pierce already has been featured on the site 11 times, including this look back at the heartbreaking loss to Arizona during the 1997 NCAA Tournament.
Every March — and one weekend each April — the NCAA Tournament churns out indelible moments that live on in the consciousness of college basketball fans like the very March Madness promos designed to remind us of the mega event’s greatness.
The 2016 tournament featured a phenomenal national title game, capped by a buzzer-beater for the ages by Villanova’s Kris Jenkins.
But that wasn’t the only great game of the most recent postseason — nor the only Villanova matchup that kept fans on the edges of their seats.
Zac Ellis of SI.com ranked the top 10 battles of the 2016 tourney, and the Wildcats’ Elite Eight meeting with Kansas made the list, as well.
While Villanova’s 64-59 victory in Louisville will linger in the hearts and minds of KU basketball fans for years, because it meant the end of the road for the top-seeded Jayhawks, the regional final also stood out for neutral parties.
Ellis (Zac of SI.com, not Perry of KU) said Kansas vs. Villanova, which he ranked No. 6, had a “Final Four feel to it.”
See the complete top 10 over as SI.com. (You can probably guess which game topped the rankings.)
Where does KU-’Nova rank in your mind? It certainly turned out to be a more defensive-oriented game, but the effort exerted by both teams is undeniable.
Tonight's the night.
Kobe Bryant, the man Magic Johnson himself calls the greatest Los Angeles Laker of all time, will play the final game of his legendary NBA career at home in front of what figures to be a star-studded crowd of some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment.
And there's no doubt that, given that this is Kobe and Hollywood we're talking about, it figures to be one heck of a send-off.
For those of you who don't care much for Kobe, I'm sure the dominant thought in your minds is, "Hasn't this whole season been a Kobe send-off?" And, yeah. It has. But that's what happens when legends say goodbye and, love or hate him, Kobe Bryant, on the floor is a basketball legend.
With that said, so much of this day and this week have been about Kobe send-offs. And one of the most recent tributes I saw, a Nike commercial which should speak to the Kobe fans and haters, featured a little Kansas basketball flavor, as legendary Jayhawk and Boston Celtic Paul Pierce made an appearance.
Here's a look...
Josh Jackson fever has overtaken the Kansas basketball universe since the No. 1-rated player in the Class of 2016 tweeted out Monday night his decision to play for the Jayhawks next season.
Because the 6-foot-7 wing won’t arrive in Lawrence until the summer and won’t suit up for KU until November, the only way to watch him in the meantime is to check out Jackson’s YouTube highlight reels.
We’ve compiled a small assortment of the more enthralling clips. So feel free to watch to your heart’s content and consider how Jackson will translate to the college game and fit in at Kansas — playing for coach Bill Self, alongside the likes of Frank Mason III, Devonté Graham, Landen Lucas, Carlton Bragg Jr., Svi Mykhailiuk, and the rest of the Jayhawks.
Jackson’s amazing explosiveness and fiery competitive approach to the game become abundantly clear in the array of mixtapes and highlights, viewable below.
(This clip also mixes in highlights of Michigan State-bound Miles Bridges, but is worth viewing for the in-game display put on by Jackson.)
According to multiple recent reports, highly coveted high school senior Josh Jackson, a 6-foot-7, 201-pound McDonald’s All-American wing ranked No. 1 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, will announce his college of choice next Monday or Wednesday.
This is in line with Jackson’s original timeline of sometime after the Nike Hoops Summit game, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday and will be shown on ESPN2.
Future Jayhawk big man Udoka Azubuike also will play in the Hoops Summit game on Saturday.
As for which day is most likely between the two, Eric Bossi, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, recently Tweeted that Jackson told him that Monday would be the day.
No. 1 Josh Jackson tells me that Monday is likely going to be the day for his college decision.— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) April 8, 2016
Kansas and head coach Bill Self remain in good position for Jackson’s services and the Jayhawks are competing with Michigan State and Arizona to land the standout perimeter player who has the total package and figures to make an immediate and profound impact wherever he plays his college ball.
Jackson, who earned co-MVP honors at the McDonald's game, has said throughout the process that he's looking for the best fit for him as a person and basketball player and often talked about how important the family feel would be for him in choosing a school.
Here are a couple of recent good looks at Jackson from USA Today.
The stage gets bigger every day for the top-seeded Kansas basketball team, as the Jayhawks make their NCAA Tournament run.
Friday was a day off from basketball for KU, which is one win away from a trip to Houston for the Final Four.
The Kansas players, coach Bill Self, as well as their counterparts at Villanova, and coach Jay Wright, stayed busy this afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, with media interviews previewing their Saturday night Elite Eight showdown at the KFC Yum! Center.
— Check out the highlights from the afternoon of interviews: Jayhawks and Wildcats preview Elite Eight matchup
As the South region’s No. 1 seed, the Kansas Jayhawks, prepare to face 5th-seeded Maryland in Louisville, Kentucky, the players and coaches went through interviews with the media and an open practice Wednesday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center.
— Get the highlights from the KUsports.com team at our live blog: Sweet 16 Media Day: Kansas vs. Maryland
Both the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks and No. 9-seed Connecticut Huskies had plenty of questions to answer and topics to cover Friday at Wells Fargo Arena, in Des Moines, Iowa.
KU and UConn face off Saturday night with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. Players and coaches from both schools spent a chunk of Friday afternoon sharing their thoughts on the matchup between two of the nation’s most prominent programs.
— Get the media day highlights from KUsports.com’s live coverage: Jayhawks and Huskies headed toward Saturday showdown
3:23 p.m. Update:
Several KU players shared what past NCAA Tournaments taught them that they can use heading into this year's run.
2:55 p.m. update:
An open-to-the-public practice served as the last part of the Jayhawks' Wednesday obligations at Wells Fargo Arena. Here is a look at the highlights:
2:10 p.m. update:
1:50 p.m. update:
Kansas veterans Frank Mason III and Landen Lucas answered questions at a press conference early Wednesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.
1:30 p.m. update:
A handful of Austin Peay players give their first thoughts on what hearing the words "Kansas basketball" means to them.
When the 2016 NCAA Tournament bracket came out Sunday night, Austin Peay junior forward Kenny Jones says his eyes didn’t move too far from the No. 1 seed line.
The Governors knew they would be a 16 seed and they couldn’t wait to find out which national program they would play in the first round.
Believe it or not, most of the pre-Selection Show discussion in the AP locker room focused on whether the Governors would be in a play-in game, and they actually hoped that would be the case.
Jones says Austin Peay’s players are excited to face Kansas without the benefit of a play-in game, though. And he thinks playing in what should be a packed Wells Fargo Arena, with KU, Kentucky and Indians fans descending on Des Moines, Iowa, will be a special experience, too.
1 p.m. update:
Austin Peay senior guard Khalil Davis didn’t fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket, but he has seen on social media and through other avenues that some people have picked the 16th-seeded Governors to knock off No. 1 overall seed Kansas.
A No. 16 seed never has defeated a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
This will serve as your landing spot today as the KUsports.com team covers the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks the day before their 2016 NCAA Tournament opener against Austin Peay.
— Check back throughout the day for updates.
Now that the brackets are out and the No. 1-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (30-4) know where they’re headed (Des Moines) and who they’ll play (Austin Peay), Kansas coach Bill Self reacted to Sunday’s NCAA Tournament news at a press conference.
— Get the Q&A highlights from KUsports.com's live coverage of the press conference: Self reacts to KU's draw, South region
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEWS:
Since 2016 is an election year — and since Bill Self, both before Kansas and with the Jayhawks has fared pretty well during election years in the past (Elite 8 in 2000 at Tulsa, Elite 8 in 2004 during first year at KU, national title in 2008, national runner-up in 2012 — why not put a little election-year spin on this year's NCAA Tournament?
That's sort of what the guys at SportsBettingExperts.com did recently by polling 100 college basketball fans in all 50 states and asking them for their pick to win this year's national championship.
Kansas, which enters this week's Big 12 championship in Kansas City, Mo., as the 12-time Big 12 champ and No. 1 ranked team in the nation, was the overwhelming pick by America's college hoops fans.
People in 18 different states gave Kansas the nod in the recent poll, with Villanova (7), Michigan State (5) and North Carolina (2) playing the Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich roles in the polls.
Here's a list of the states that KU claimed along with a map of how the entire country voted. It's kind of cool and completely understandable to see how the Utes claimed Utah, West Virginia went with the Mountaineers or Oklahoma went with the Sooners.
But there were a couple of strange selections, such as Villanova winning in Washington and Hawaii or Kansas claiming New Hampshire.
Either way, it was a pretty fun and clearly very unscientific way to break down what has become one of the most exciting events in today's sports landscape.
Also, from betting site bovada.lv, listed below in the third column are the updated odds to win the national championship as of March 3. The second column is where the odds sat one month earlier.
As you can see, four Big 12 teams rank in the Top 20, including Kansas, which, at 5-1, is the co-favorite with Michigan State.
Kansas — 12/1 — 5/1
Michigan State — 12/1 — 5/1
North Carolina — 6/1 — 9/1
Kentucky — 20/1 — 10/1
Oklahoma — 15/2 — 12/1
Xavier — 20/1 — 12/1
Villanova — 16/1 — 14/1
Virginia — 25/1 — 14/1
Duke — 14/1 — 20/1
Maryland — 11/1 — 20/1
Iowa — 12/1 — 25/1
Wisconsin — 200/1 — 25/1
Miami FL — 28/1 — 28/1
Arizona — 33/1 — 33/1
California — 100/1 — 33/1
Indiana — 33/1 — 33/1
Iowa State — 25/1 — 33/1
Oregon — 40/1 — 33/1
West Virginia — 28/1 — 33/1
Wichita State — 25/1 — 33/1
It does not appear that the powers that be in the Bracketology world are interested at all in moving Kansas off of the No. 1 seed line.
The Jayhawks, who have won 11 in a row and enter the postseason as hot as any team in the country, have a lot to do with that and, even if KU does not fare well in Kansas City this week, it seems like it will not have a negative affect on KU's seed.
The Jayhawks, barring something incredibly crazy, will be a No. 1 seed and as long as they win a game or two in KCMO, they likely will be the No. 1 overall seed.
With that in mind, it's time to start taking a closer look at which teams are on the 8-9 line. No disrespect to the 16 seeds, but since a No. 1 has never lost to No. 16, it doesn't seem like spending too much time studying who those teams might be is really worth it. Besides, would it even mean much to anyone if we started talking about Texas Southern, Wagner or Wright State?
With the possible exception of a first-round match-up between KU and Florida Gulf Coast — aka Bill Self against Joe Dooley — there's not a lot of intrigue in the 1-16 match-ups.
That second-round showdown could be something, though.
Right now, in his latest Bracketology update (March 8), ESPN's Joe Lunardi again has Wichita State in that 8-9 game in KU's region. That would set up a potential KU-WSU rematch from last season's tournament and, obviously, would bring a lot of buzz to the Sunflower State.
Looking beyond that, though, there are some teams on the 8-9 line that are pretty powerful.
South Carolina, under former K-State coach Frank Martin, has had a good year. St. Mary's is an underrated team on the rise. And Colorado, coached by former Jayhawk Tad Boyle, has a couple of signature victories over good teams.
While those are all interesting and potentially dangerous second-round teams, the one that jumped off the page at me is Vanderbilt. You'll remember Vandy from the title game in Maui, where the Commodores pushed the Jayhawks to the brink and had plenty of people leaving the islands thinking that Kevin Stallings' team was a potential Final Four ballclub. They still might be. Even though the Commodores fell on hard times during the middle of the season, they're playing much better of late and recently knocked off Kentucky at home.
I doubt that's a team Kansas would face in the second round, but, as you can tell from what's mentioned above, there are plenty of strong teams all over the bracket in the 7-10 range that easily could be waiting on the Jayhawks in Round 2.
Such is life in college basketball this season and it appears that the days of the 8-9 game being a battle of weaker teams are long gone.
The No. 1-ranked Kansas Jayhawks went 27-4 in the regular season and their 15-3 mark in conference play secured the program’s 12th straight Big 12 regular-season championship. Now the real fun begins.
The postseason is here, and KU will get started Thursday at Sprint Center, in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. Kansas coach Bill Self discussed the K.C. showcase and the NCAAs Monday, before the Jayhawks embark on their March Madness journey.
— Read up on all the Q&A highlights from KUsports.com’s live coverage.
— AUDIO | Listen to the complete press conference: Bill Self looks ahead to Big 12 tourney and NCAAs
As suspected, Wichita State already has moved up a line or two from the last Watchetology update we did, taking them out of the 8-9 game in KU’s region.
Whether that’s good news for KU or not, it definitely qualifies as noteworthy.
With that in mind, Joe Lunardi’s most recent updated Bracketology (from March 2) still has KU as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest regional, with a second-round match-up against the winner of Colorado vs. Syracuse looming.
CU and the ‘Cuse both are teams with which KU has a significant amount of history and both would make for intriguing — but not necessarily difficult — second-round match-ups for the Jayhawks, who still appear to be Lunardi’s No. 1 overall seed.
KU’s updated regional includes the following teams: 2. Xavier, 3. Indiana, 4. Duke and 5. Iowa.
That potential Duke-Kansas Sweet 16 match-up is certainly interesting and easily the one thing from this updated version of the bracket that jumps off the page at me.
KU would likely be a substantial favorite in that match-up, but Duke, even with its non-existent bench, would be an incredibly tough third-round opponent, with Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram being two of the more talented offensive players in college basketball and Coach K being one of the all-time great coaches and tournament coaches. It’s a match-up I’m sure KU would rather not see that early.
Wichita State remains in the Midwest as the No. 7 seed and, the Big 12 kept its stranglehold on the top half of the bracket with all seven Big 12 teams in the tournament being on the 8 line or higher.
Here’s a look:
3. West Virginia
4. Iowa State
8. Texas Tech
KU will wrap up the regular season with Senior Day against Iowa State at 3 p.m. on Saturday and then it will be on to the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, with just one week standing between the end of the regular season and Selction Sunday on March 13.
It’s almost time.
Entering the final game of the regular season, No. 1-ranked Kansas already has wrapped up its 12th consecutive Big 12 championship ahead of Saturday’s Allen Fieldhouse finale, versus No. 21 Iowa State.
KU coach Bill Self discussed the Jayhawks’ Senior Day and much more at his weekly press conference on Thursday afternoon.
— Read the Q&A highlights from KUsports.com’s live coverage of the press conference: Jayhawks preparing for season finale