Entries from blogs tagged with “Kansas”

Lawrence Libations: Hares Away! at Five Bar and Tables

This month’s Lawrence Libations is something of a mystery.

Earlier this week, we sampled a refreshing — and potent — cocktail at Five Bar and Tables called “Hares Away!” We’d originally come across the ambiguously named concoction (cutesy animal-themed food/drink items are like catnip to this reporter) on the bar’s online menu, so when we journeyed a few blocks down Massachusetts Street to sample the drink, we were a little let down to see it missing from the menu’s printed edition.

Our bartender wasn’t quite sure what exactly went into the cocktail at first, but reassured us that folks can still order the Hares Away and yes, he’d make one for us.

We’re still not certain if what we sampled really was a Hares Away!, whatever that is, because it wasn’t 100 percent reflective of the description on the online menu. What we got looked sort of like Butterbeer (you know, from “Harry Potter,” obviously) in terms of coloring, and tasted mostly like Jack Daniels blended with lemon juice and muddled mint leaves. It was nice.

Apparently, the sole keeper of the Hares Away! secrets, we’re told, is Five Bar owner Nick Wysong, who could not be reached for comment. But from a bit of online sleuthing, I did find a few entries on dictionary websites that offered what is now my best speculation: To “hare off” or “hare away” means to move quickly, like a hare.

If you’re looking to move quickly into a state of intoxication, this is your drink, I guess. It’s strong, but also tastes light and springy (maybe the “hare” has something to do with that? Easter and rebirth and all?), which makes it deceptively easy to overindulge.

The "Hares Away!" at Five Bar and Tables, 947 Massachusetts St.

The "Hares Away!" at Five Bar and Tables, 947 Massachusetts St. by Joanna Hlavacek

The hard stuff: Jack Daniels whiskey, triple sec and vodka, according to our bartender. Bourbon, crème de menthe, triple sec and vodka, according to the Five Bar and Tables online menu.

Where it's served: Five Bar and Tables, 947 Massachusetts St.

What you'll pay: $6.50, according to my receipt, but if we're going to go by what's on the online menu, $10

Other libations at this location: Classics like Moscow mules and gimlets, plus plenty of warm-weather cocktails like the Cool Cucumber, strawberry margarita and the intriguing cherry limeade and whiskey.

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Art in the Park returns this weekend amid ‘rebuilding year’ for Lawrence Art Guild ‘s event

Cheyenne Bartz had always been drawn — pun intended — to creative pursuits from an early age. From the time she could hold a pencil in her tiny hand, she was also reaching for a paintbrush.

Instead of joining her classmates on the playground at recess, Bartz would stay inside and command an audience of girlfriends, who would watch her intently as she brought to life on paper the images they’d requested.

“They were almost mesmerized by it,” recalls Bartz, 32, whose artistic inclinations made her somewhat of an oddity in her small central-Kansas town. “They would just sit there and watch me.”

Cheyenne Bartz, shown here working on a painting at her Lawrence home, is one of approximately 100 artists showing work in Sunday's Art in the Park exhibition. The Lawrence Art Guild organizes the annual event, which will be be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

Cheyenne Bartz, shown here working on a painting at her Lawrence home, is one of approximately 100 artists showing work in Sunday's Art in the Park exhibition. The Lawrence Art Guild organizes the annual event, which will be be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park. by Richard Gwin

At the time, her commissions were usually waterfalls and “Lisa Frank sort of stuff,” she says, because this was the early 1990s, and little girls loved their high-chroma unicorns and tiger cubs and panda bears.

These days, she’s still fascinated by the natural world, and is happily exploring her two loves — science and art — with her studies in ecology and evolutionary biology at Washburn University.

“Looking at a specimen under a microscope is actually a beautiful little world on its own,” Bartz says.

Despite her busy schedule, Bartz has kept up with her painting and drawing and will exhibit her work, along with more than 100 other artists, at this weekend’s Art in the Park.

Sunyoung Cheong, whose work is shown here, is one of approximately 100 artists showing in Sunday's Art in the Park. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual outdoor juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

Sunyoung Cheong, whose work is shown here, is one of approximately 100 artists showing in Sunday's Art in the Park. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual outdoor juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

Slated for Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in South Park, the latest cycle of the Lawrence Art Guild’s annual juried arts-and-crafts exhibition — which will also feature live music, food vendors and children’s activities — has fallen amid a bit of a “rebuilding year,” says Art in the Park coordinator Jennifer Unekis.

In January, former officers called an emergency meeting to discuss financial irregularities and insufficient guild leadership. After years of dwindling membership and participation in events like Art in the Park and the guild’s holiday arts show, the public has rallied behind the Art Guild with “amazing support,” Unekis says, and the results are palpable.

Brian Timmer is one of approximately 100 artists showing in Sunday's Art in the Park. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual outdoor juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

Brian Timmer is one of approximately 100 artists showing in Sunday's Art in the Park. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual outdoor juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

Since the January meeting, the guild’s membership has shot up from “around 30 to something over 200,” she says. The Art Guild has also received nearly $4,000 in grants from the city of Lawrence to fund marketing efforts for Art in the Park. The number of artists participating in this year’s event is nearly double that of last year’s, according to data reported by Unekis at the January meeting.

“It’s been a really strong community event, and it would have been pretty tragic to let it fall apart,” she says of Art in the Park, which Unekis had coordinated on and off from 1997 to 2013 before taking up the job again this year. “It took some great measures and some quick-moving measures and some pretty harsh measures in order to pull it back from where it was and the management it was under.”

“Where it was,” Unekis told her fellow guild members earlier this year, was far removed from the Art in the Park of years past, when the event attracted more than 140 artists — some formally trained, some not — from the Lawrence community during its first incarnation as an indoor arts show in 1962.

“It was the talk of the town,” original guild vice president Joyce Schild recalled in a written history of the event, which was regarded at the time as both elegant — ladies showed up in dresses and hats, and attendees were handed silk-screened programs — and populist.

Megan Leong, whose work is seen here, is one of approximately 100 artists showing in Sunday's Art in the Park. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual outdoor juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

Megan Leong, whose work is seen here, is one of approximately 100 artists showing in Sunday's Art in the Park. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual outdoor juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

The show was open to all Douglas County residents 18 and up who could spare $1 for yearly dues to the Art Guild.

“The reason why they started it was because they had so many people who wanted to do it — the garbage man and the hair stylist and a variety of people who didn’t professionally show as artists in a gallery. It’s always been a mix,” says Unekis. “For a lot of artists, it’s the only event they’ll do all year. They don’t want to do the big art fair circuit, but they really want to do Art in the Park.”

Sunday will mark Cheyenne Bartz’s “second or third” appearance at the event, where she’ll sell mostly watercolors and chunky pieces of jewelry (copper, brass and mixed-metal pendants and necklaces that resemble “something an art teacher would wear,” Bartz says) that she crafted as an art student at Kansas University.

The pressures of “trying to sell myself and make that my living” became too much for her eventually, and she took a step back from art for a while. But Bartz, realizing she could still enjoy art as a creative outlet without pursuing a life as a career artist, came back to it eventually. She even makes money with her talents as an instructor at Painted Kanvas and through events like Art in the Park.

After graduation, Bartz says she’d like to find a job that combines art and science, ideally in conservation. A few years back, she heard about a series of projects at two East Coast universities that used invasive tree species to create environmentally friendly art.

“They had to work together, and it brought art to the science students and science to the art students. The implications of it are huge,” she says. “We could this in Kansas.”

Liz Mayne, whose work is seen here, is one of approximately 100 artists showing in Sunday's Art in the Park. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual outdoor juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

Liz Mayne, whose work is seen here, is one of approximately 100 artists showing in Sunday's Art in the Park. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual outdoor juried exhibition of fine arts and crafts will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the west side of South Park.

If you go What: Art in the Park When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. In the event of a rainout, the fair will be rescheduled for Sunday, May 8. Rain cancellation will be announced Sunday morning on KLWN 1320AM radio, the Lawrence Art Guild’s Facebook page and at 760-4800 by 7:00 a.m. Where: The west side of South Park Cost: Entry is free

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Mariscos to be renovated, rebranded as ‘J. Wilson’s’

Contrary to what some hapless customers might think, the restaurant owned by Nancy and Rick Renfro at 4821 W. Sixth St. is not Maceli’s, nor does it serve Italian food or tacos.

It’s Mariscos — but not for much longer. The upscale eatery, which you might’ve visited for a special-occasion steak or seafood dinner, is undergoing a rebranding and renovation process set to wrap this summer and will henceforth be known as J. Wilson’s, Nancy Renfro told the Journal-World on Monday.

“Cosmetically it’ll change, menu-wise it’ll be tweaked, but generally it’s just a facelift,” says Nancy, who’s kept the rebranding on her backburner since taking over operations at Mariscos in 2010. “We wanted to change the name to something that is a meaningful name for us now.”

Cheesy Crab Tots at Mariscos, 4821 W. Sixth St.

Cheesy Crab Tots at Mariscos, 4821 W. Sixth St.

For those not in the know, the Renfros also own Johnny’s Tavern. Rick bought the original spot at 401 N. Second St. in 1978, and the couple has seen Johnny’s expanded to west Lawrence and the Kansas City area. J. Wilson’s, Nancy says, is a nod to the longtime bar’s first owner, John T. Wilson.

Since getting their start at Johnny’s Tavern, the Renfros’ tastes have evolved. Mariscos started out in 2001 specializing in Southwestern seafood dishes (the name itself means “seafood” in Spanish), which explains the Southwestern design motifs scattered around the restaurant and the mild confusion surrounding its menu, says Nancy, who classifies Mariscos as leaning more toward “New American” cuisine these days.

The aesthetics will change, but the menu, by and large, won’t.

“We’re probably going to keep the all-time favorites that people love and tweak them a bit to make them more up-to-date and contemporary,” says Nancy, who plans to keep Mariscos steak and seafood dishes on the streamlined menu while rotating in more locally sourced and seasonal features.

Nancy envisions a sort of understated “New York supper club” vibe with dark woods, upgraded flooring and softer lighting (to replace Mariscos’ “spotlight”-style bulbs), and more seating to allow for bigger gatherings. One of the major changes is moving the entrance to the west side of the building, so that patrons will face a renovated bar area (which will be rebranded Wilson’s Bar, complete with banquette seating and “Bar Plates,” which I’m guessing are sort of like tapas) as they walk in. The Renfros are also planning on removing the walls that now separate the main area from a private dining room to allow for more seating, though Nancy says she’s installing drapes to section off areas for “smaller parties.”

Mariscos (or J. Wilson’s, we should say) will remain open throughout renovations, which should be complete sometime this summer. Nancy isn’t offering any specifics yet, but says the new menu should debut around the same time. In the meantime, I’ll try to stay in the loop and keep up with any developments that pop up.

“It’s really exciting and I love all the things that are going on in that neck of the woods, with Rock Chalk Park and the new apartments and home construction,” Nancy says. “I think we’ll be a good, solid base for people who want to eat in their locally owned restaurant … that’s who we’re going to be when we open up.”

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An interview with Broadway legend Patti LuPone ahead of her Lied Center performance

Originally, Patti LuPone was slated to perform her popular, long-running concert “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” for Thursday’s gig at the Lied Center, which as of press time was still advertising the show under that name.

But the Broadway star, she of “Evita,” “Gypsy” and the myriad showbiz honors, was quick to correct me — good naturedly, it should be said — during a phone interview last week on the eve of her 67th birthday.

“Don’t Monkey with Broadway” is the name of her new show, which revisits classics by Rodgers & Hart, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein and Irving Berlin, among others that ignited her Broadway dreams as a young girl growing up in Long Island.

Enjoy the show, by all means, but don’t “monkey around” with your cellphone, or you might find it snatched away by LuPone herself, and not without a good lecturing. (Yes, that has actually happened on several occasions, and has since become the stuff of legend.)

Broadway legend Patti LuPone will perform her new show "Don't Monkey with Broadway" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive.

Broadway legend Patti LuPone will perform her new show "Don't Monkey with Broadway" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive.

I heard it’s your birthday tomorrow. Any fun plans?

Well, I’m with one of my oldest friends in the world in Seattle, where we’re performing tomorrow. I’ll be singing and I’m here in Seattle. That’s what I have planned.

How’s Seattle right now?

It’s beautiful. The sun is shining. It’s warm. I think it’s global warming at its best (laughs).

So, how did you go about curating the songs in the new show?

Well, I got sick of singing the old ones, quite frankly (laughs). We’ve done “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” for a very long time, and I was sick of these songs. So we thought, “OK, how do we update the show without really changing the premise, which is basically singing Broadway show tunes?” And so I went back to my very beginning history of involvement in musical theater. It really goes all the way back to when I was quite young and discovered Broadway musicals.

I’d read somewhere that your first production of “Gypsy,” one of the shows that later made you famous and earned you a Tony, didn’t go so well. Something about a fiasco with a live lamb onstage?

I was part of a group called the Patio Players, and this was on Long Island. There were kids in my high school obsessed with music. What they did in school was not enough; they had to continue their obsession in the summertime. So they formed a little group called the Patio Players and they performed great big Broadway musicals on Cathy Sheldon’s patio. The second production I did with the Patio Players was “Gypsy,” and Cathy Sheldon was my Rose and I played the lead, Gypsy. We went to some rich estate, someplace out on Long Island, and they had sheep grazing on the way up the driveway to the mansion. We went up and we talked to the caretaker and they said, “Yes, of course you can have a lamb when they’re born.” Well, the lambs were born in the spring and we were doing this (the show) in the summer, and the lamb was a sheep by the time we got him (laughs). He was great in dress rehearsal under the huge spotlight, with me singing “Little Lamb” to this sheep. Come opening night, I sang “Little lamb, little lamb,” and it went off. Well, the sheep just got very nervous and started stomping all over the stage, and there was nothing I could do except let him go, and he ended up in the boy’s room. They caught him in the boy’s room, which was tiled, and this thing was bah-ing all the way through the show in the boy’s room. It was a riot. We loved it. We were kids — we didn’t care.

So, did you glean any lessons on show business from that incident?

Oh, we gleaned lots of lessons on show business all through junior high and high school because we had great teachers. They had a lot to say — not just about what might happen in a show, but they gave us really heady lessons about commitment and doing the best you can. I’m telling you, I just sang with the (LuPone’s alma mater) Northport High School choir last night in the show that we’re calling “Don’t Monkey With Broadway,” and the kids were unbelievable. These kids could hold pitch, they enunciated their words, they were a professional choir, and they’re high school kids. It was just very moving to see these kids who could be doing anything else, and they chose to do this. They chose to present themselves this way and they chose to be good at it. That’s pretty impressive in today’s world. Not a cellphone in sight, not a distraction in sight. Not that they didn’t get on their cellphones when they came off stage, but they were disciplined. They were fantastic. I started to weep, I really did, just thinking that, “Wow, this exists. This really exists.”

Right, and that kind of professionalism is something we don’t normally associate with Millennials. It makes me think of your cameo on “Girls,” where Lena Dunham’s character is interviewing you and picks up her phone mid-interview to answer a call from her boyfriend, which just made me cringe, by the way. Was that scene a sort of tongue-in-cheek nod to your no-nonsense attitude about cellphones in theaters?

No, not with “Girls.” That’s how people interview now. I’m sure that’s what you’re doing! I’m not against phones. I have a phone; I use a phone. It depends on how you use that phone. You don’t pull it out at the distraction of the audience. You don’t pull it out when you’re supposed to be involved in anything, like a piece of art in a museum or a concert or a ballet. That’s the big question to me — why did you spend the money to get there when you can’t get away from your phone? I don’t know what’s going on. It’s so alienating, you know what I mean? We live in a society now where we don’t look at each other and we don’t talk to each other. We text, or we just don’t do anything. It bothers me so much more in concerts than it does in theatrical events, because you’re trying to cast a spell for an audience and it’s difficult to cast that spell if the audience is distracted in any way, not just by phone. It breaks the spell.

**Speaking of casting a spell, I remember watching an interview with you on TV a few years back where you said people still approached you assuming that you were your character from “Evita.”

No, no, they remember me now as Eva Peron, but back then, you know…

Where do you think that phenomenon comes from? Of people not being able to disassociate you as an actor from the character you play?

Well, it doesn’t go that far. They don’t talk to me as if I am Evita. If they have been affected that deeply by the production, then that’s great. I mean, people still come up to me today and say that “Evita” was a very seminal moment in their life, that production.

“Evita” is partly about fame, about pursuing fame and what happens when you get it. Did you ever have a moment when you realized you were famous?

Well, no, because it was controversial fame. There were a lot of people, in the theater community and just period, who were not happy that a fascist dictator’s wife cozied up with the Nazi regime, was being glorified. So, that’s infamy — it’s not fame. I had Peronistas and anti-Peronistas in my dressing room — people from Argentina that had escaped the Peron regime or that had just come to America, anti and pro, saying, “You had her to a T.” And they weren’t seeing me — they were seeing Evita Peron. It was a very, very controversial fame. It wasn’t celebrated as much as it was controversial.

You’re very close friends with your “Evita” co-star Mandy Patinkin, who attended KU here in Lawrence before matriculating to Juilliard. Do you guys have any plans to work together again?

I hope so. We have a show that we dropped because we’d been doing it a long time and we have to come up with a new one. But yeah, it’s such a joy to be on stage with him, anytime I can be. He was my rock in “Evita” and he’s one of my dearest friends in life.

Do you have any roles on your bucket list at this point, that you haven’t played yet but would like to?

No. I never think that way because I never get the roles I want to play, you know what I mean? I audition for them and I don’t get them, so there’s no reason to think that way. What’s exciting to me about my career is the surprise of it. I never know what’s coming next.

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Veteran Paul Pierce goes through new playoff experience

Through the years, NBA veteran Paul Pierce made a name for himself by coming through in the playoffs.

In the 2008 postseason alone, the former Kansas star scored 20-plus points 11 times. Pierce went for 41 points in a series-clinching victory over LeBron James and Cleveland, scored 27 points in the decisive game of the Eastern Conference Finals against Detroit and went on to be named NBA Finals MVP, as Boston defeated the Los Angeles Lakers.

Now in his 18th season, with 159 playoff games behind him, the cagy small forward known as “The Truth” went through a whole new postseason experience in the L.A. Clippers’ Game 2 victory over Portland. For the first time in his illustrious career, Pierce watched an NBA playoff game from the bench, and never checked in.

It almost seems impossible for a player of Pierce’s stature. He has averaged 19.8 points in the playoffs for his career — Pierce even scored 14.6 a game for Washington one year ago. Still, next to his name in the box score it read: DNP-Coach’s Decision.

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul Pierce warms up prior to an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul Pierce warms up prior to an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

This came three days after Pierce played just 11 minutes, made 1 of 2 shots and had an assist in a Game 1 win.

The 38-year-old future hall-of-famer spoke about the unprecedented move with Chris Mannix, for Yahoo’s NBA site, The Vertical.

"It is what it is. It's difficult,” Pierce said. “As a competitor, you want to compete and help your team win. A close game – I've been in those situations lots of times. When you have competed at a high level, it's difficult."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who coached Pierce with the Celtics and is well aware of the aging small forward’s ability to come through in the clutch, told The Vertical he almost subbed Pierce in against the Trail Blazers in Game 2.

"A guy like Paul,” Rivers said, “you always want to use him."

Pierce, of course, isn’t nearly as lethal as he used to be. With more than 47,000 minutes on his NBA odometer, no one would expect him to start at this stage of his career and come out and score 30 points.

But he can still play. Earlier this month, Pierce scored 18 points and shot 4-for-5 from 3-point range in a Clippers win at Utah.

According to Mannix’s report, Rivers is just having trouble finding minutes for Pierce because the Clippers’ bench unit began to flourish, oddly enough, when Pierce moved into the starting lineup in place of injured Blake Griffin. Once Griffin returned, Rivers didn’t want to hinder the progress of backups Jeff Green, Wesley Johnson, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers, all of whom had played well, along with former KU big man Cole Aldrich.

Pierce, though more accomplished than all of those role players combined, became the odd man out.

Still, Pierce remains a valuable part of the team. According to The Vertical, all-stars Griffin and Chris Paul trust him and look to him for guidance.

"When I see stuff," Pierce said, "I'm going to talk about it."

Plus, Rivers predicts we haven’t seen the last of Pierce this postseason.

None by NBA

"He's going to help us," Rivers said. "I have no doubt about that. There's a lot left in him."

But will this, Pierce’s 13th trip to the NBA Playoffs, be his last? He signed a three-year deal with the Clippers last summer, but Pierce has contemplated calling it a career before.

"The last few years it has been an end-of-the-season decision," Pierce told The Vertical. "I'll make that decision after this season, too"

Before that day comes, maybe Pierce will remind the league he still can play the role of playoff hero.


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com


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Cole Aldrich emerges as key contributor for Clippers in playoffs

When the Los Angeles Clippers signed Cole Aldrich in free agency last summer, the move didn’t exactly generate buzz in the NBA, or even among the Clippers’ fan base.

Even when the regular season began this past fall, the non-response seemed appropriate, as Aldrich, a former standout center at Kansas, barely played at all.

Yet, here we are in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, and the 6-foot-11 reserve has morphed into a critical contributor for the Clippers, who now have a 2-0 series lead against Portland.

According to teammate Blake Griffin, Aldrich’s relentless work ethic turned him into an important cog in L.A.’s rotation.

“He’d be the first guy in here,” Griffin told Rowan Cavner for the Clippers’ website. “Doc (Rivers) challenged him to get into better shape, and he accepted it and it paid off.”

Los Angeles Clippers' Cole Aldrich, bottom, gets the ball against Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard in the second half in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 115-95. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Los Angeles Clippers' Cole Aldrich, bottom, gets the ball against Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard in the second half in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 115-95. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Early in the season, Aldrich didn’t play in 23 of L.A.’s first 27 games, but he consistently showed up to the Clippers’ practice facility more than two hours early to run on the treadmill, lift weights and work on his game.

“That was just kind of my thing,” Aldrich told the Clippers’ website. “When I was going through that period of time and I wasn’t playing, it was just knowing at some point in time it was going to happen. I had to be in shape and be ready and kind of run with the opportunity.”

According to Aldrich, he has lost 25 pounds since the beginning of his sixth NBA season. That has transformed him into a much more agile defender and finisher in the paint. Wednesday night, in L.A.’s victory over Portland, Aldrich scored 8 points, grabbed 8 boards and blocked 2 shots in just 12 minutes of action.

“Maybe we should write down the Cole diet,” Clippers head coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said, “because I don’t know what he did. But, he really worked his butt off.”

In Aldrich’s limited minutes he helps the Clippers get defensive stops. According to basketball-reference.com, Aldrich is securing 31.4% of available defensive rebounds and blocking 9% of Portland’s shot attempts when he is on the court.

None by J.A. Adande

“He’s blocking everything that comes in the paint,” said DeAndre Jordan, L.A.’s starting big man. “He’s gobbling up every rebound, he’s running, he’s dunking now, which is nice to see. He definitely helped our second unit out a lot.”

Aldrich, far from ever being mistaken for the most athletic player on the floor, has even been described as “clumsy” in a feature by Shaun Powell for NBA.com.

None by Anthony Slater

Still, his progress and small contributions can’t be ignored.

"He's been outstanding for us, really all season, doing everything asked of him," Rivers told NBA.com.

Just before the playoffs began, Aldrich turned out his best stretch of the season, averaging 9.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals in 19.4 minutes off the bench, while converting on 75% of his field-goal attempts.

In the midst of the Clippers winning six of their final seven games, Aldrich started at Utah, played 40 minutes and went for 21 points and 18 boards in a road win.

"This has been great for me and hopefully great for the team," Aldrich told NBA.com of his recent success. "My teammates have been very supportive and shown a lot of confidence in me, and I think that's played a huge part in how this season has turned out."

One of the most demanding players in the league, Clippers point guard Chris Paul appreciates what the 27-year-old veteran has brought to the team, as it tries to advance through the playoffs.

“I think Cole is a lot better than a lot of people realize,” Paul told the Clippers’ website.


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com


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Watkins Museum invites public to ‘Know Your Antiques’ at Saturday event

If you've ever wondered about the potential value of an estate sale impulse buy (can one really have too many coasters? ... is a question I have been asking myself to no avail for years now) or family heirloom, you might find some answers at this weekend's "Know Your Antiques" event, hosted by the Watkins Museum of History at 1047 Massachusetts St.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., history buffs, "Antiques Roadshow" fans and lovers of old stuff can have their antiques appraised by local experts, then participate in presentations on caring for family heirlooms and behind-the-scenes tours of the Watkins collections. (All for a small fee, of course.)

Experts include: quilter and quilt historian Barbara Brackman (quilts and textiles), Ernie Cummings of Kizer Cummings Jewelers (jewelry), Mass Street Music Store owner and "Antiques Roadshow" appraiser Jim Baggett (musical instruments), Patricia Graham, owner of Asian Art Research & Appraisals (Asian art); Dirk Soulis, owner and principal auctioneer of Dirk Soulis Auctions (fine and decorative art); and Soodie Beasley, art and antique appraiser (fine and decorative art).

Tickets cost $5 per item or $12 for 3 items if you're a Douglas County Historical Society member, and $10 per item or $25 for 3 items if you're not. They can be purchased at the door or online. All proceeds benefit the Watkins Museum.

Check out www.watkinsmuseum.org for details.

The Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.

The Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St. by Mike Yoder

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Marcus Morris ready to put up fight vs. LeBron James and Cavs

Making his NBA Playoffs debut this spring, former Kansas star Marcus Morris isn’t going home without a fight.

A starting forward for Detroit, Morris came out firing in his first professional postseason game, scoring 20 points in a loss to the Eastern Conference’s top seed, Cleveland. And although Morris only managed 11 points in another Pistons loss Wednesday night, he made a statement of sorts by not backing down from one of the best players in league history.

By the time Cleveland secured a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, a clip of LeBron James from Game 2 started making the rounds on Twitter. James, holding his ribs after Morris banged into him down low during the fourth quarter, had some choice words for the Pistons forward.

According to social media lip-reading experts, James could be seen saying of Morris: “I’m gonna [expletive] that [expletive] up.”

Detroit Pistons' Marcus Morris, right, drives past Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James in the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 107-90. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Detroit Pistons' Marcus Morris, right, drives past Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James in the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 107-90. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Apparently the threat didn’t exactly frighten the 6-foot-9 forward from Philadelphia, who doesn’t mind embracing the old “Bad Boys” image of the late 1980s Pistons.

“I know for a fact he wasn’t talking to me,” Morris said in a report from the Detroit Free Press. “You can quote me on that.”

That wasn’t the only time King James took umbrage with Morris, either. At one point, James gave Morris a dirty look, apparently feeling disrespected by Morris’ decision to leave one of the NBA’s greatest players so open for a 3-pointer.

None by NBA SKITS

The eighth-seeded Pistons have a long way to go to turn this into a series, but if they find a way to win a game or two in Detroit don’t be surprised if Morris plays a key role in making that happen.

As ESPN’s NBA expert Zach Lowe said this week on his podcast: “Marcus Morris has been like a flaming volcano for about six weeks.”

That might be going a bit overboard, but Morris did put up some impressive numbers against playoff teams down the home stretch of the season, as Detroit secured the final available postseason berth in the East.

- March 6 vs. Portland: 19 points, 2-for-4 on 3’s

- March 9 at Dallas: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2-for-3 on 3’s

- March 25 vs. Charlotte: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3-for-7 on 3’s

- March 29 vs. Oklahoma City: 24 points, 7 rebounds

- April 1 vs. Dallas: 31 points, 12 rebounds, 6-for-8 on 3’s

Morris averaged 16.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in March, while connecting on 50.8% of his 3-pointers. In April regular-season games, he averaged 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds while making 44.4% from downtown.

After exploding for 19 points in the first half of Game 1 against Cleveland, Morris has cooled off on offense, putting up just 12 total points in the past six quarters of the series. He shot 2-for-10 in Game 2, making just 1 of 5 from downtown.

The Pistons will need Morris to rediscover his scoring touch in the games ahead to keep Detroit alive.

Lucky for them, Morris has the type of personality to remain confident, play with fire and not back down from the NBA’s king. The series continues Friday and Sunday, in Detroit.


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com


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Off the Beaten Plate: Cajun Corn Dog at Terrebonne Cafe

If Terrebonne’s Cajun twist on this classic summertime treat were a person, she’d be the corndog’s sassy, tell-it-like-it-is cousin from down South. (I’ve very sincerely thought of my cat as my own hairy, clawed “problem child” for a while now, so personifying food just seems like a natural progression at this point, OK?)

The Cajun Corn Dog is greasy and gluttonous as all hell and totally unapologetic about it. One bite into its crispy, golden hushpuppy shell reveals where this corn dog differs most prominently from its relatives — instead of a hot dog is a spicy smoked andouille sausage, glistening like New Orleans city lights upon the mighty Mississippi. Or, like, meat grease.

Gird yourself with napkins and enjoy.

The Cajun Corn Dog at Terrebonne Cafe, 805 Vermont St.

The Cajun Corn Dog at Terrebonne Cafe, 805 Vermont St. by Joanna Hlavacek

Where to get it: Terrebonne Cafe, 805 Vermont St.

What you'll pay: $3.50

Try it with: The corn dog already comes with a side of honey-mustard sauce, but if you're still hungry for more (no judgement here), Terrebonne makes a nice, vinegary cole slaw that would help ameliorate some of the sausage's spiciness.

Also on the menu: Other Cajun favorites like the po' boy (Terrebonne offers the Louisiana sub with shrimp, gator, crawdad and andouille sausage, among other protein options), muffaletta, gumbo, fried okra and hushpuppies.

— Off The Beaten Plate highlights some of the more exotic, oddly named or inventively concocted dishes from local menus. Know of an offbeat item we should check out? Email reporter Joanna Hlavacek at jhlavacek@ljworld.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/hlavacekjoanna. Check monthly for more Off the Beaten Plate and Lawrence Libations.

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Earth Day parade, celebration set for Saturday

Nick Schmiedeler is committed to eco-friendly practices in his art, but he doesn’t like to get all philosophical about it.

“It’s what I’ve always focused on, just because I enjoy trips to the junkyard anyway,” says Schmiedeler, whose Missouri Street yard has become something of a folk-art destination in recent years, even garnering a spot on HGTV’s “Home Strange Home” for its myriad whirligigs, mobiles and other castoffs-turned-treasures. “I try working with 100 percent recycled materials all the time.”

His latest creation, a 6-foot, 500-pound metal sculpture he’s calling “Evolving Auger,” is no exception. The piece, designed and built by Schmiedeler and longtime buddies Pat Slimmer and Kobie Kobler, will be displayed, judged and auctioned off (with 60 percent of proceeds benefitting Van Go, Inc., and the rest going to the artists) at Saturday’s Earth Day celebration in South Park.

A trailer decorated with painted flowers pulls parade participants down Massachusetts Street during the annual Earth Day parade in 2014.

A trailer decorated with painted flowers pulls parade participants down Massachusetts Street during the annual Earth Day parade in 2014. by John Young

The 16th annual event, slated for 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and once again hosted by the city of Lawrence’s solid waste division, will feature a handful of metal sculptures produced by local artists in Advantage Metals Recycling’s “Scrap Showdown” contest. In keeping with the Earth Day theme, all materials were repurposed from the company’s yard of scrap metals.

Jenica Nelson, a waste reduction and recycling specialist with the city’s solid waste division, is coordinating this year’s Earth Day celebration. She expects about 2,000 people to attend the free South Park festivities, plus another 200 in the Earth Day parade, which is organized by KU Environs and will begin in Buford Watson Park at 11 a.m. and proceed down Massachusetts Street to the party in South Park.

“We definitely have an emphasis on trying to teach people about some sort of environmental effort, whether that’s reusing materials or what we can do to help wildlife, or water issues,” Nelson says, adding that it’s important to instill mindfulness in children early on in life. “It’s supposed to be an educational opportunity, more than anything. Hopefully they’re learning and taking something away from it.”

But that doesn’t mean the event’s no fun. Among the family-oriented activities this year: live music at the South Park gazebo, free yoga classes every half hour beginning at noon, courtesy of OmTree Shala; face painting and a bouncy house for the kiddos; food vendors and dozens of informational exhibits; and the ever-popular ReCycle Cycle, a four-wheel pedal car made with recycled materials by Lawrence resident Richard Renner.

In promotion of the eco-friendly festivities, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is providing “bike valet” services free of charge to South Park attendees, and the Lawrence Transit System is offering free bus rides all day Saturday. Botany-inclined visitors can also partake in “tree I.D. tours” of South Park led by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation department.

It’s a fittingly green location for the unveiling of “Evolving Auger,” the scrap-metal piece created by Schmiedeler and his “Team LFK” buddies. After being given an hour to sift through scraps at Advantage Metals Recycling, the artists procured a large industrial metal auger, from which they organically welded and braised steel and copper scraps upward in a tree-like shape.

The piece, with its nature-minded form, represents a life cycle in which forgotten and discarded materials have the chance to be become something new, Schmiedeler says.

There are so many useful and interesting objects being tossed — and loaded onto trunks to the junkyard — every day, the artist adds, having just returned from a junkyard haul himself.

“It’s amazing what can be reused as something beautiful,” Schmiedeler says.

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Stock watch: Perry Ellis looks like late 2nd-round pick (for now)

If the NBA Draft happened today, odds are four-year Kansas forward Perry Ellis would last deep into the second round — or perhaps not be selected at all.

A consensus All-American in his senior season with the Jayhawks, all Ellis did was average 16.9 points and 5.8 rebounds, shoot 53.1% from the floor, make 28 of 64 3-pointers (43.8%) and visit the free-throw line 4.7 times a game, where he connected on 78.5% of his tries.

As reliable a scorer as the Big 12 has seen the past handful of years, Ellis, according to sports-reference.com, ranks No. 1 in the conference since 2009-10 in career offensive rating (120.30), even beating out Naismith Award winner Buddy Hield of Oklahoma (115.39).

Yet, when you look at projections for the 2016 NBA Draft, such as the current mock at DraftExpress.com, Hield’s name appears in the lottery and Ellis’ doesn’t show up until near the end of the second round. DraftExpress lists Ellis 59th, the next-to-last pick in the entire draft. NBADraft.net’s predictions have Ellis going 56th.

Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis (34) gets to the bucket against Maryland forward Damonte Dodd (35) during the first half, Thursday, March 24, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis (34) gets to the bucket against Maryland forward Damonte Dodd (35) during the first half, Thursday, March 24, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. by Nick Krug

Now, there is no denying that Hield and other projected lottery picks look like more sure fits in the NBA than Ellis. But could there possibly be 50-plus prospects in this draft better than him?

The good news for the soft-spoken, hard-working forward from KU is the draft isn’t until the end of June. Ellis will have plenty of opportunities in the weeks ahead to work out for various franchises, in front of coaches and decision-makers, and show them exactly what type of player and person he can be for their organization.

At 6-foot-8, one perceived knock on Ellis is that he’s a tweener — not big enough to play power forward, but not exactly a small forward, either. However, Ellis might be entering the NBA at the exact right time for that not to matter. More and more teams are showing their preferences for playing smaller lineups, putting a stretch-4 at power forward, someone who can hit outside shots and provide better offensive spacing.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts up a three against San Diego State forward Zylan Cheatham (14) during the first half, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 at Viejas Arena in San Diego.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) puts up a three against San Diego State forward Zylan Cheatham (14) during the first half, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 at Viejas Arena in San Diego. by Nick Krug

There isn’t an NBA coach or general manager who would look at Ellis and say, “There’s our new starting 4-man.” But there are so many teams in need of production off the bench, it’s hard to imagine that many organizations passing up on Ellis, who can smoothly knock down jumpers (Bill Self just didn’t often need him to or ask him to), or use his quickness facing up to get inside for a high-percentage attempt.

Maybe the draft will play out that way the current predictions indicate, and Ellis will hear the names of 50-some players called before his. Or maybe the right organization will see Ellis’ potential to contribute off the bench and decide to take a proven basketball commodity over a gamble with intriguing measurements.

Either way, we’ll continue to track the draft stock of Ellis and other Jayhawks in the weeks ahead, here at KUsports.com.

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Tarik Black adjusted to lesser role in second season

Tarik Black didn’t play nearly as much in his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers as he did as a rookie.

But the 24-year-old who spent his final season of college basketball at Kansas isn’t complaining.

For one, Black had both a courtside seat and an on-court role in a historic performance by Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who scored 60 points in his NBA finale for the downtrodden franchise.

Black, a backup center for L.A., is one of the few players not named Kobe Bryant who can say he made a highlight-reel play during the Mamba’s farewell show. The 6-foot-9 big man went up high to deny Rodney Hood a jam, setting up a Showtime-worthy fast break for the miserable Lakers (17-65, worst record in the Western Conference).

During Black’s exit interview with L.A. media members, he said the young players on the roster unified in making Kobe’s last game memorable for everyone who watched it.

“It definitely sparked something for us and opened our eyes to something that previously we hadn’t focused in on, and it happened to be Kobe Bryant’s last game, and doing whatever it took for him,” Black said.

“But no young person has ever come into this league like, ‘Oh, OK. I’m already a champion. I already know what it takes to win this ring,’ or ‘I know what it takes to keep the legacy going, of this organization.’”

Consequently, Black understood the franchise had to do everything within its power to try and determine which direction it is headed, post-Bryant. That likely led to a dip in Black’s minutes.

After starting 27 of his 38 games with the Lakers in 2014-15 and averaging 21.1 minutes, Black appeared in 39 games during his second season, logging just 12.7 minutes as a full-time reserve. He spent a chunk of the season inactive and never checked in during 22 games in which he suited up.

On the year, Black averaged 3.4 points and 4.0 rebounds — both numbers down from his rookie averages with the Lakers: 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds.

Los Angeles Lakers' Tarik Black dunks in front of Dallas Mavericks' Justin Anderson, left, and Dirk Nowitzki, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Mavericks won 92-90. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Los Angeles Lakers' Tarik Black dunks in front of Dallas Mavericks' Justin Anderson, left, and Dirk Nowitzki, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Mavericks won 92-90. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

“They’re rebuilding,” Black said of the Lakers. “They’re finding out slots, they’re finding what players work best together… because we’re trying to build this thing back up. It’s tough, definitely. But that’s something that’ll inevitably be said, that it’s tough. You need minutes. But at the same time I understand, because you’re trying to find out: What is the dynamic of this team? Who needs to play together? What spots need to be filled? That’s what we’re finding out right now. We’re just going through the process.”

Although Black only spent 496 minutes on the court for L.A. this past season, a small sample size for sure, basketball-reference.com shows that the Lakers’ team numbers improved with the second-year center in the lineup.

Of particular importance to Black, L.A.’s rebounding percentages improved when he played, while the Lakers’ opponents saw their rebounding success drop off.

If Black returns to the Lakers next season (more on that to come), there are some aspects of his game L.A.’s brass would like to see him address. According to the young post player, his season-ending exit interview with the organization included a list of areas that needed improvement, while they also see potential in him.

“One of the big things for them was finding consistency on the floor — consistent energy and consistent tough play,” Black revealed.

None by Los Angeles Lakers

Early in his second season, coach Bryon Scott (who may not be around much longer with the Lakers) urged Black to unleash the “beast” or mean streak within him. The center thinks he got closer to doing that in his limited minutes.

“I believe it’s about being comfortable, finding your comfort on the floor. I definitely play hard. I don’t think anybody questions whether I play hard… But it’s a controlled ‘beast.’ You don’t just go out there and just run crazy. You have to understand what you’re out there on the floor to do, the spots you need to be in in order to do it,” Black said.

“And I think, for myself, I’m a second-year player, too. I’m one of the younger guys, as well. So it’s still a learning process for me and it’s still, even in being an energy guy or taking on that role, I still need to learn exactly what that means,” he continued, “and find my spots and comfort on the floor in order to truly define that.”

The mostly youthful Lakers roster included eight players with three or fewer seasons of NBA experience. Black added, with a large smile, that his name came up with the younger guys during his end-of-the-year meeting. The former KU big indicated he thinks he’ll move forward with that young core.

However, there is no guarantee that will be the case. Black — who according to HoopsHype.com was the 421st-best paid player in the NBA this past season, earning $845,059 — will become a restricted free agent this summer.

When July finally rolls around, and Black is free to talk with other franchises, as well as the Lakers, about his next contract, he isn’t sure what to expect.

“It’s gonna be different, but that’s what makes life interesting, honestly,” Black said. “That’s what makes it worth it. Things like this, the dynamics, the ups and downs and just what’s the next chapter, what’s about to happen. I’m interested to see what’s gonna take place. I haven’t thought about it too much, honestly, because I’m not gonna stress myself over it. Plus, we just got done with our season.”


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com


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Comparing potential point guard transfers for KU

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self and his assistants remain in the hunt for a high school player who can help the Jayhawks in the upcoming 2016-17 season. In the meantime, it seems increasingly likely they will also add a transfer with college experience.

Reports surfaced in early April of KU’s interest in Kory Holden, formerly of Delaware. News on the transfer front heated up Monday, though, with the names of San Francisco’s Devin Watson and Duke’s Derryck Thornton being linked with Kansas, as well.

All three play point guard, and if any were to join KU it would mean sitting out a season. It seems as though Self wants to bring in an experienced ball handler to share the backcourt with Devonté Graham in 2017-18, after Frank Mason III completes his senior season with the Jayhawks.

Here’s a look at what each potential transfer could bring to KU.

Kory Holden | 6-2, 180

Delaware's Kory Holden in action during an NCAA college basketball game against Villanova, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Delaware's Kory Holden in action during an NCAA college basketball game against Villanova, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Season MP FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS
2014-15 34.1 .395 3.2 8.0 .401 0.8 2.2 .375 3.5 4.7 .756 3.1 5.0 0.6 0.1 3.3 12.4
2015-16 36.3 .395 3.7 9.3 .400 2.3 5.9 .388 3.4 4.2 .795 3.0 4.2 0.4 0.1 2.9 17.7
Career 35.2 .395 3.5 8.7 .400 1.6 4.1 .384 3.4 4.4 .775 3.1 4.6 0.5 0.1 3.1 15.1

In two seasons at Delaware, Kory Holden didn’t experience much team success. The Fightin’ Blue Hens went 10-20 in his freshman year, and finished 7-23 in 2015-16.

However, Holden, rated a three-star point guard out of high school, proved to be one of the program’s few bright spots. While Holden distributed the ball well, dishing 4.6 assists a game in 59 appearances (55 starts), he also increased his scoring average from 12.4 points in Year One to 17.7 points as a sophomore.

Holden shot 38.8% from 3-point range in his final year at Delaware, connecting on 69 long-range bombs.

Against some of the stiffest competition the Hens faced this past season, Holden more than held his own. The lead guard scored 35 points and shot 6-for-13 from deep in a loss at Boston College. In his very next game, Holden put up 23 points, going 6-for-10 from 3-point distance, in a road loss to eventual national champion Villanova.

Devin Watson | 6-1, 165

San Francisco guard Devin Watson (1) drives around Pepperdine guard Amadi Udenyi during the first half of a West Coast Conference tournament NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

San Francisco guard Devin Watson (1) drives around Pepperdine guard Amadi Udenyi during the first half of a West Coast Conference tournament NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Season MP FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL TOV PTS
2014-15 23.6 .383 2.1 4.8 .440 0.5 2.1 .250 2.6 3.6 .730 1.7 2.5 1.0 1.9 8.4
2015-16 34.7 .418 4.2 9.1 .465 2.2 6.2 .349 5.3 7.2 .733 2.5 4.9 0.9 3.0 20.3
Career 29.1 .407 3.2 6.9 .456 1.3 4.1 .324 3.9 5.4 .732 2.1 3.7 1.0 2.4 14.2

A significant jump in minutes also meant a massive leap in production for second-year San Francisco guard Devin Watson, who will be moving on from the Dons.

None by Jeff Goodman

Watson, playing for former Kansas guard and since-fired coach Rex Walters at USF, became a workhorse for the West Coast Conference program as a sophomore. Playing 34.7 minutes a game, the small guard passed out 4.9 assists a game while also scoring 20.3 an outing.

Not quite as good a shooter as Holden, Watson (also rated as a three-star point guard in the Class of 2014) connected on 65 of his 186 3-pointers for San Francisco this past season (34.9%).

Watson tied his career high with 33 points in what turned out to be his USF finale, a WCC Tournament loss to Pepperdine, a game in which he went 4-for-7 from 3-point land.

His other 33-point outing came in January, when Watson also distributed 7 assists and shot 5-for-12 from downtown in a loss to Gonzaga.

Derryck Thornton | 6-2, 175

Louisville's Donovan Mitchell (45) guards Duke's Derryck Thornton (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Louisville's Donovan Mitchell (45) guards Duke's Derryck Thornton (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Season MP FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS
2015-16 26.0 .390 1.9 4.4 .421 0.8 2.3 .329 1.1 1.6 .690 1.8 2.5 0.8 0.2 1.6 7.1
Career 26.0 .390 1.9 4.4 .421 0.8 2.3 .329 1.1 1.6 .690 1.8 2.5 0.8 0.2 1.6 7.1

After playing 36 games for Duke as a freshman, Derryck Thornton might be on the move from one college basketball blue blood program to another.

None by Jeff Borzello

Thornton’s numbers — 7.1 points, 2.5 assists, 27 of 82 on 3-pointers in 26.0 minutes (20 starts) — might not be as eye-popping as those of Watson and Holden, but Delaware and San Francisco certainly don’t have the type of talented teammates Thornton had at Duke.

What’s more, Thornton was much more highly regarded coming out of high school, with a five-star rating and offers from the likes of Duke, Arizona and UCLA.

The Blue Devils, who finished 25-11 and lost in the Sweet 16, were 15-5 with Thornton in the starting lineup.

His most productive games, however, came against inferior competition. Thornton only turned out one double-digit scoring performance in the final three months of the season — 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists at Georgia Tech.

During Thornton’s brief stay in Durham, N.C., his best showings came in the non-conference, with a career-high 19 points against VCU, and 18 points against Long Beach State on 8-for-12 shooting (2-for-3 from 3-point range).

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West Side Folk concert series to end 20-year run next month

Sad news, music fans.

West Side Folk, the popular longtime local concert series devoted to "folk, bluegrass and old-time" jams, will end its 20-year run next month.

The series' founder and artistic director, Bob McWilliams, confirmed Monday that the May 20 concert would be the last. He shared the news first with West Side Folk email subscribers Sunday.

"It just seemed like the right time," McWilliams says, reassuring fans that the concert series is "not going broke."

Between his day jobs (McWilliams is also the jazz director at Kansas Public Radio, and teaches history at Johnson County Community College) and health issues, he says the move is partly to cut down on stress.

The series' last two concerts, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and May 20, will feature Ellis Paul and Cheryl Wheeler, respectively, at the Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St., and at the Unity Church of Lawrence, 900 Madeline Lane. The musicians have been regular performers at West Side Folk throughout the years.

Since its founding in 1995, the concert series has featured artists such as Greg Brown, Tim O'Brien, Dougie MacLean, Martin Sexton and Lucy Kaplansky.

In those 20 years, similar programs have emerged in Topeka, Manhattan and Johnson County, McWilliams points out, providing folk fans across northeast Kansas and beyond with far more choices than what existed in West Side Folk's early days.

"It's a time when there are going to be alternatives," he says. "We feel like we're leaving the music scene in this region healthier than it was 20 years ago."

For more information on West Side Folk, including a concert schedule and how to purchase tickets, visit www.westsidefolk.org.

Poster from the very first West Side Folk ...

Poster from the very first West Side Folk ... by West Side Folk

Poster from the 2nd West Side Folk concert ever

Poster from the 2nd West Side Folk concert ever by West Side Folk

Poster from the 5th of 5 concerts (can not find

Poster from the 5th of 5 concerts (can not find by West Side Folk

From our spring 1996 season.

From our spring 1996 season. by West Side Folk

From our spring 1996 concert season.

From our spring 1996 concert season. by West Side Folk

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Kelly Oubre Jr. evaluates rookie season: ‘I’m not a bust’

No rookie enters the NBA expecting to spend most of his initial season watching from the bench. Still, that’s the reality of the league — even for many first-round picks.

Such was the case for one-and-done Kansas wing Kelly Oubre Jr., whose first go-round in The Association came to a close Wednesday.

Oubre’s name won’t appear on any All-Rookie team ballots — not after playing just 10.7 minutes a game in 63 appearances for Washington, which, despite postseason expectations finished 41-41, three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Oubre started five games in December, with injuries forcing then-coach Randy Wittman to start the 6-foot-7 rookie.

Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr., left, takes a shot against Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) and guard Kyle Korver (26) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr., left, takes a shot against Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) and guard Kyle Korver (26) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

At the time, Oubre told The Washington Post’s Jorge Castillo, he thought more would come in the months ahead.

“I was feeling like, ‘I’ve showed I can be in this rotation,’ ” Oubre said. “I can hold my own, so we’ll see what happens next. . . . I was like, I should be able to crack the rotation and be able to play and sustain the whole year.”

However, he only started four more times — going scoreless in the final two such occasions in late January.

The Wizards, according to The Post, had no plan to heavily involve Oubre in the rotation for 2015-16. Castillo reported Oubre would have spent time in the D-League if Washington’s injury issues hadn’t required the organization to keep him on the roster.

With the Wizards unexpectedly out of the playoff picture the final week of the regular season (leading to Wittman’s firing Thursday), Oubre played 20-plus minutes for the first time in nearly three months (a stretch that included 12 DNP’s).

None by NBA

The 20-year-old responded to his suddenly increased role Monday by scoring 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting on the road against Brooklyn, which finished with the third-worst record in the NBA (21-61).

“You saw how I swagged it out a little bit?” Oubre asked afterward, referring to his buzzer-beating 3-pointer to close the first half.

Two days later, in Washington’s finale, Oubre scored 6 points on 3-for-8 shooting in 25 minutes off the bench.

None by Washington Wizards

On the season, Oubre shot 42.7% from the floor, 31.6% from 3-point range, 63.3% at the free-throw line, and averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Always confident, and oozing good vibes (as evidenced by his “Wave Papi” social media pseudonym), Oubre, the 15th pick in the 2015 draft, thought he had a solid first campaign.

“I got a chance to play. I showed everybody in the league that I’m not a bust,” Oubre told The Post. “I’m ready. I can play in this league. No matter how many minutes I’ve totaled up the whole year, I got a chance to show everybody that I can play in this league and I can help a team win.”

Individual success is all relative in the NBA. And at least one of Oubre’s teammates, guard Garrett Temple, described to The Post what stood out about the young wing.

“Just his willingness to learn as a draft pick that high that hasn’t been able to play as much,” Temple said. “He was in and out of the lineup, but he was always professional. Getting his work in every day, looking up to guys, asking questions. Being a sponge. It was a successful season in that regard.”


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com


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MixMaster music conference kicks off this weekend; early workshops begin Friday

Trying to carve out a career as a young musician in the age of do-it-yourself culture can be as overwhelming as it is empowering, says Nick Carswell, of the Lawrence-based indie-rock band Carswell & Hope.

That’s why it’s important, especially now as the industry continues to reinvent itself, for musicians to talk to each other, he says. Upwards of 100 artists, bookers, radio DJs, promoters and other music professionals will be doing just that at this weekend’s third annual MixMaster music conference.

This year’s free conference, hosted by the Lawrence Public Library and supported by a $3,200 grant through the Lawrence Public Library Foundation, will be preceded by a series of production workshops from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the library’s Sound + Vision Studio, 707 Vermont St.

From left: Isaac Flynn of the Kansas City-based band Hembree, Katlyn Conroy of Lawrence's La Guerre, Bill Sundahl of Kansas City's KKFI 90.1 FM, and Whatever Forever Tapes co-founder Rolf Petermann participate in a panel during the 2015 MixMaster music conference. This year's conference will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.

From left: Isaac Flynn of the Kansas City-based band Hembree, Katlyn Conroy of Lawrence's La Guerre, Bill Sundahl of Kansas City's KKFI 90.1 FM, and Whatever Forever Tapes co-founder Rolf Petermann participate in a panel during the 2015 MixMaster music conference. This year's conference will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.

“There aren’t too many outlets or opportunities for artists in the industry to connect,” says Carswell, whose independent music collective, Silly Goose Records, has spearheaded the conference since its beginnings in 2014. “While we’re used to seeing each other at gigs or concerts, there are very few trade shows and conferences that put us together during the day in a comfortable space.”

MixMaster, he points out, is not the merch table in the back of the bar. The idea is to arm local musicians (all skill and experience levels are welcome, Carswell says) with the resources they need to succeed. Oftentimes, that starts by simply putting them in the same room with each other.

The conference, slated for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, connects artists with established industry professionals, and offers workshops on everything from copyright and legal issues to lessons on how to book gigs and get your music on the radio.

It’s all hosted in a “very positive, welcoming environment with everyone having the ultimate goal of getting better music out there,” says Carswell. “And learning together and sharing together also ensures better business practices.”

Other activities on the lineup include a “demo dip” (in which a panel of experts will offer critiques after reaching into a hat and listening to each randomly selected demo for exactly one minute) at 4 p.m. Saturday and a songwriter night at 7 p.m. Friday at Five Bar and Tables, 947 Massachusetts St. All events are free.

Registration for the conference is recommended but not required, and walk-ins are welcome at any time, Carswell says.

Like the similar Artists Inc. program, which teaches entrepreneurial skills to artists of all disciplines (Carswell is a local facilitator) and this year is partnering with the conference, Carswell hopes MixMaster will have a “long-lasting effect” on the Lawrence music community.

He’s already witnessed collaborations between artists who met at the first two conferences.

“We’ve seen the results anecdotally or just personally,” he says. “We know that these connections are really valuable and really do advance people’s careers.”

For more information on MixMaster, including a full schedule of events, visit www.SillyGooseRecords.com.

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Brandon Rush part of Warriors’ historic run

For years, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls seemed destined to reign forever as the greatest team in NBA regular-season history.

The Bulls, as any NBA fan could tell you, went 72-10 that season, before winning their fourth of six championships, with legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way.

That historic Chicago team so enthralled the league’s fan base that even now, 20 years later, most die-hards could rattle off the names of all the Bulls’ role players, too. Not just Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper, Luc Longley and Steve Kerr, but Bill Wennington, John Salley and Jud Buechler, as well.

Wednesday, of course, on the final night of the 2015-16 season, Golden State made history, supplanting those Bulls as the best regular-season team in league history, with an astonishing 73-9 mark.

While Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson serve as the collective faces associated with the Warriors’ greatness, the names of the members of their supporting cast will live on, as well, just like all of those lesser known Bulls — particularly if Golden State goes on to win its second consecutive NBA title.

Golden State Warriors' Brandon Rush brings in a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Golden State Warriors' Brandon Rush brings in a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Regardless of what happens in the upcoming playoffs, Brandon Rush’s name just might live on perpetually as one of the contributors to the most successful regular-season team of all time. (Seriously, can you imagine any team going 74-8?)

The former Kansas star already is associated with greatness in Lawrence, where he played for Bill Self’s 2008 national championship team. But now Rush can add an NBA ring (from the 2015 Finals) and a piece of history to him enviable résumé.

None by KNBR

Rush, now a 30-year-old veteran, only averaged 4.2 points in 14.7 minutes for Golden State during its record-setting run. But the backup wing knocked down 41.4 percent of his 3-pointers and actually served as a starter in 25 games during the Warriors’ record-breaking run over the past five and a half months.

You can start watching Rush chip in to the Warriors’ 2016 title push beginning this weekend, when Golden State takes on Houston, on Saturday.


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com


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Theatre Lawrence announces 2016-2017 season, including ‘A Chorus Line’ and ‘The Music Man’

To honor its upcoming 40th season, Theatre Lawrence is staging four musicals instead of the usual three, and it will "include two shows that were offered as examples of why the Theatre needed to build a bigger stage," it was announced this week.

Theatre Lawrence opened its then-new, state-of-the-art facility at 4660 Bauer Farm Drive in summer 2013 after nearly 20 years of operating inside a much smaller building at 1501 New Hampshire St.

The 2016-2017 season kicks off with one of those ambitious shows, the iconic musical "A Chorus Line," followed by "Peter Pan" around the winter holidays.

Other offerings include "blend of humor, heartbreak and a splash of romance" in January's production of "The Last Romance," the musical comedy "Church Basement Ladies" in March, Michael Frayn's farce "Noises Off" in April, and perennial favorite "The Music Man" capping off the season.

As a special post-season treat, Theatre Lawrence will stage "The Rocky Horror Show" in October, just in time for Halloween.

Season tickets for the 2016-2017 season go on sale May 1 and will be available at the Theatre Lawrence box office and by phone at 843-7469.

The exterior of the Theatre Lawrence building, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive.

The exterior of the Theatre Lawrence building, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive. by Nick Krug

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KU Sports Extra: Josh Jackson Impact and Spring Football Recap

There aren’t any Kansas basketball games for our KUsports.com team to talk about right now, but that doesn’t mean Tom Keegan and Matt Tait have run out of topics for discussion.

For one, KU and coach Bill Self received some humongous news this week when the top-ranked senior in the Class of 2016, Josh Jackson, announced he’ll play for the Jayhawks next season.

Just what does the addition of such a talent mean for Kansas?

Find out, and get some KU football knowledge, too, on this week’s episode of KU Sports Extra.

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Peek inside KU football’s open practice

Take a peek inside the Kansas football team’s 14th practice of the spring, on Tuesday, inside Memorial Stadium.

The Jayhawks, who practiced in front of fans three days earlier, at their annual spring game, wrap up their offseason allotment of full coaching sessions this week.

KU opens its second season under head coach David Beaty, on Sept. 3, against Rhode Island.

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