Entries from blogs tagged with “ku”

Kansas guards rewarding coach Bill Self for trust he puts in them

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) and Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) watch a free throw during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 during the championship game of the CBE Classic at Sprint Center.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) and Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) watch a free throw during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 during the championship game of the CBE Classic at Sprint Center. by Nick Krug

It sometimes can take quite a while for Kansas basketball players to earn the trust of their demanding coach, Bill Self.

That’s what made something Self said Monday afternoon so interesting when asked how much importance he puts on the first play of the game.

“Not much,” Self said, “although probably for the last 10 years we’ve scripted the first five plays every game, until this year. We haven’t scripted really this year much at all. We script the first play, obviously, but after that we really haven’t scripted much.”

Interesting. Why the change?

“I’ve found the best way to play with guys that we presently have is to let them play, not to try to tell them how to play,” Self said. “I think that’s worked out better for us and maybe save the scripted plays for an ATO (after timeout).”

Self is the Larry Brown of his era in turning ATO’s into points.

His backing off on scripting in general says a lot. First, I think it says he trusts his guards, which makes sense since senior Frank Mason and junior Devonte Graham are so experienced and such smart players.

It also might say that he what he trusts most about them and fellow perimeter player freshman Josh Jackson is that they will play with unbridled aggressiveness. Scripting too much can lead to too much thinking, which can temper aggressiveness.

Graham, Jackson and Mason put so much pressure on teams at both ends and they seem to enjoy playing together to such an extent that they feed off of each other and fuel each other’s attacking style.

The trio is terrific at collapsing defenses with strong drives to the hoop and nearly as good at collapsing offenses with Mason and especially Graham pressuring the ball and Jackson sniping in the passing lanes better than any Kansas player since Mario Chalmers.

It really is quite a compliment to the players that Self has minimized scripting plays. So for the starting perimeter trio has made the coach look smart for doing so.

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Say something nice about Kansas football: Quarterback forecast for 2017 best in years

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley (9) heaves a long pass from the Jayhawks' own end zone during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley (9) heaves a long pass from the Jayhawks' own end zone during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. by Nick Krug

It's not a reach to project for 2017 the best quarterback play Kansas has had in the post-Todd Reesing years.

Redshirt freshman Carter Stanley, the third quarterback to start a game for Kansas during a 2-10 season, easily was the best.

It's no coincidence that the offensive line performed the best it has during David Beaty's two years as head coach once Stanley became the starter. O-lines always look better protecting a quarterback and opening holes for running backs when a decisive QB is at the controls of the offense. Having a running threat at quarterback also helps an offensive line and Stanley is a better scrambler and runner than the faster Montell Cozart and the slower Ryan Willis.

Stanley's statistics weren't mind-blowing by any stretch, but they clearly were better than his predecessors.

Statistical comparison for this season's 11 games vs. FBS competition:

Points per start: 1 - Stanley 22.3; 2 - Cozart 15.1; 3 - Willis 15.0.

Touchdowns/Interceptions: 1 - Stanley 5/6; 2 - Cozart 4/8; 3 - Willis 1/7.

Yards per attempt: 1 - Willis 6.18; 2 - Stanley 5.94; 3 - Cozart 5.31.

Passes attempted per sack: 1 - Cozart 63.3; 2 - Stanley 19.5; 3 - Willis 7.3.

Completion percentage: 1 - Willis 60.2; 2 - Stanley 59.2; 3 - Cozart 57.0.

Yards per rush attempt: 1 - Stanley 3.90; 2 - Cozart 3.08; 3 - Willis -0.83.

Stanley ranked first in 3 of 6 categories, second in the other three. Cozart ranked first in one category, second in three and third in two. Willis ranked first in two, third in four.

The emergence of Stanley alone ranks no better than second among reasons for a bullish 2017 outlook at quarterback.

My guess is juco transfer and former Washington State quarterback Peyton Bender will win the job in the spring. For one thing, Bender has the arm strength to put more zip on the sideline passes that are a big part of Beaty's Air Raid offense.

Those familiar with the extremely entertaining, insightful Netflix docu-series "Last Chance U," know that East Mississippi Community College plays big-time football. Well, Bender, playing for Itawamba, threw for 566 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-42 loss to Buddy Stephens' talented squad. Bender completed 39 of 59 passes and did not throw a single interception.

The addition of Bender and emergence of Stanley gives Tyriek Starks more time to add seasoning. A dual-threat QB from New Orleans, Starks has four seasons of eligibility remaining. Unlike Stanley and Bender, Starks had no experience in an Air Raid offense before coming to Kansas. Bender played in Air Raid attacks in high school, at Washington State and at Itawamba. Stanley's high school ran the Air Raid as well. No point in rushing Starks, who needs more seasoning.

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Frank Mason delivers another big night against Georgia

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) pulls up for a shot over Georgia guard Juwan Parker (3) during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 during the championship game of the CBE Classic at Sprint Center.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) pulls up for a shot over Georgia guard Juwan Parker (3) during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 during the championship game of the CBE Classic at Sprint Center. by Nick Krug

1 - Frank Mason: Led the Jayhawks in scoring for the fourth time in five games with 19 points. He made 2 of 4 free throws and put the pressure on Georgia's defense until tiring late in the game and mixed it up well enough to grab five rebounds. Also had three assists and three steals. He disrupted Georgia's plans at both ends, even though it wasn't one of his cleanest nights, as evidenced by his five turnovers. Earned all-tournament honors.

2 - Josh Jackson: Named CBE Classic MVP after another big night. Totaled 15 points with a game-high 11 rebounds, did a nice job passing from the high post, showed extremely quick hands on a blocked shot and moved fast in both directions in transition. Rebounds like a big man, but is not equipped to defend the post. He does slide his feet well enough to guard a point guard, if needed. Jackson understands the value of good ball movement and does his part to promote it by keeping the ball moving most of the time. For a man who can do such amazing things at such high speeds and altitudes, has trouble when standing still in a quiet arena. Has made just 11 of 23 free throws.

3 - Devonte Graham: Did a nice job of shutting down high-scoring Georgia guard (two points, nearly 17 below his average) until Kansas went to a zone, which was for about 30 minutes of the game. Didn't stay hot from outside after coming out on fire Monday night. Made 3 of 9 three-pointers. Scored 14 points with two assists and four steals and had just one turnover in 36 minutes.

4 - Lagerald Vick: Has made just 1 of 11 three-point shots, which might be a disguised blessing because it will force him to look first for the drive, a good way for him to go because he's so quick. Had his second eight-rebound game to go with nine points in 24 minutes.

5 - Dwight Coleby: Foul trouble forced him into the game and responded well playing, "by far," the best of KU's bigs, coach Bill Self said. Coleby blocked four shots, had four rebounds and two points before fouling out after 20 minutes of action. He said his leg is almost all the way back, but he still does not run as if his surgically repaired knee is at full strength yet.

6 - Svi Mykhailiuk: Georgia had quick defenders in its zone and Svi tends toward shooting worse against quick defenders. Made 1 of 6 three-pointers, picked up three rebounds, an assist and a steal without turning it over.

7 - Udoka Azubuike: Self explained that he only played five minutes because he has not had enough practice playing in a zone defense.

8 - Carlton Bragg: I don't understand why Self played him 10 minutes and by that I mean I don't understand why he played him that much. Yante Maten had his way down low with 30 points and 13 rebounds and Bragg was not able to help out to make life more difficult for him. Bragg had just three points and one rebound, which came at the offensive end.

9 - Landen Lucas: Might his foot, which requires him to wear a boot, be hindering him more than he's letting on? Played 10 scoreless minutes, had more turnovers (three) than rebounds (two) and fouled out. He hasn't looked like the same player who played such a key role in helping Kansas advance to the Elite Eight last season.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Georgia


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Say something nice about Kansas football: Dorance Armstrong deserves to be in running for All-American honors

Kansas sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong works out with the team at Memorial Stadium, early Friday, July 29, 2016.

Kansas sophomore defensive end Dorance Armstrong works out with the team at Memorial Stadium, early Friday, July 29, 2016. by Mike Yoder

In writing about Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong after the potentially program-turning upset of Texas, I left off the final sentence of a string of superlatives that safety Fish Smithson said about Armstrong until I could research it.

"Statistically," Smithson said, "I think his stats will match up with any defensive end in the country."

Smithson not only knows his stuff on the field in making the calls for the defense, he knows his national statistics. Since All-Americans need numbers to back them up and Armstrong has them, that makes him a bona fide All-American candidate.

Take a look at how Armstrong stacks up in two key statistical categories for defensive ends, sacks and tackles for loss:

PLAYER (POS.) School G Sacks;

1 - Hunter Dimick (DE) Utah 11 14.0;
2 - DeMarcus Walker (DE) FSU 11 13.0;
3 - Harold Landry (DE) BC 11 12.0;
3 - Jaylon Ferguson (DE) LaTech 11 12.0;
5 - Ejuan Price (DE) Pitt 11 11.0;
5 - Derek Barnett (DE) Tenn 11 11.0;
5 - Shaquem Griffin (LB) UCF 11 11.0;
8 - Arden Key (DE) LSU 10 10.0;
8 - Dorance Armstrong(DE) KU 11 10.0;
8 - Takkarist McKinley(DE) UCLA 11 10.0;
8 - Jimmie Gilbert (LB) Col. 11 10.0;

PLAYER (POS.) SCHOOL G TFL;

1 - Haason Reddick(DE) Temple 11 20.0;
2 - Hunter Dimick (DE) Utah 11 19.5;
2 - Bradley Chubb (DE) NC State 11 19.5;
4 - Ejuan Price (DE) Pitt 11 19.0;
4 - Ed Oliver (DT) Houston 11 19.0;
6 - McKinley (DE) UCLA 10 18.0;
7 - Armstrong (DE) KU 11 17.0;
7 - Barnett (DE) Tenn 11 17.0;
7 - Carroll Phillips (DE) Ill. 11 17.0;
7 - Tanzel Smart (DT) Tulane 11 17.0;
7 - Woody Baron (DT) Va. Tech 11 17.0;

Armstrong ranks tied for seventh in the FBS in sacks and, as you can see, only four other players, all defensive ends, are listed in the top 10 in the nation in both sacks and tackles for loss: Utah's Dimick, Pitt's Price, UCLA's McKinley and Tennessee's Barnett.

That doesn't mean Armstrong will be named All-American. KU's 2-9 record, which could fall to 2-10 Saturday in Manhattan, won't help his cause. His stats do mean he's a bona fide All-American candidate.

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KU’s upset win over Texas sends shockwaves across the globe, Twitterverse

Everybody loves to root for the underdog and when the Kansas Jayhawks forced overtime and earned an eventual 24-21 win over Texas, it captured the attention of college football fans everywhere.

As expected, KU's first victory over Texas since 1938 sent shockwaves across the nation — and the globe. Famous Korean Kansas City Royals fan Sungwoo Lee confirmed the Jayhawks' win made headlines on Korea's international channel.

Then, of course, former KU players, athletes from other sports and many others shared their excitement across Twitter. Fans stormed the field, eventually tore one of the goal posts down and carried it out of the stadium to, presumably, Potter Lake.

Below are some of the many social media highlights that accompanied KU's first Big 12 win of the season.

None by Kansas Football

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None by Dorance Armstrong

None by Carter Stanley

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None by Ryan Willis #1⃣3⃣

None by Kyle Mayberry

None by THE EmanMoore™

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The next Todd Reesing? Watch these videos and you be the judge

I called Kale Pick to congratulate him and write a story about his promotion to head football coach at Fort Scott Community College. I came away with a bonus.

Pick forever will be linked to the great Todd Reesing because he was his successor, although he lasted only three quarters before Turner Gill turned to Jordan Webb. Now, Pick himself brought up a link to Reesing without any prompting from me. (I have been accused of writing too often about Reesing and just wanted to make it clear it’s Pick’s fault this time).

Pick was Fort Scott’s offensive coordinator this past season and he gives most of the credit for the school’s monumental offensive improvement in one season to freshman quarterback Nathan Rourke, a 6-foot-3, 209-pound scrambler.

“He was one vote shy of player of the year in the Jayhawk Conference, which a lot of people say is the SEC of junior college,” Pick said. “Our offensive line was probably the worst in the conference, our receivers were pretty mediocre and he led every passing category. This kid is special.”

How special?

“I’m the last one to ever make comparisons,” Pick said, which meant he was about to make one, “but if you watch his HUDL (highlight tape), he reminds me a lot of Todd Reesing.”

Those words made me sit up straight and move to the edge of my recliner.

Tell me more. Tell me more. He told me more, but first, have a look at Rourke’s video.

He really does call to mind Reesing, scrambling in every direction, yet forever keeping his eyes downfield.

Rourke moved from Canada for his senior year of high school, which he spent at Edgewood Academy in Elmore, Ala. Rourke threw 59 touchdown passes and three interceptions for Edgewood. He completed 75 percent of his passes and averaged 15.4 yards per completion.

Pick said that out of high school Rourke received offers from FCS schools, but wanted to gain exposure at a junior college for a year in hopes of landing at an FBS school. Iowa State and Baylor are interested, according to Pick. Note the positioning of the field goal posts from his highlight video from his junior season Holy Trinity Catholic High in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

Kansas has strong-armed, former Washington State quarterback and current Mississippi juco standout Peyton Bender in for a visit this weekend. Bender's a potential game-changer for a KU offense that has been stuck in the mud so long I'm starting to wonder if it's actually quicksand. I like KU's chances of landing him, but if not, Rourke is definitely worth a long, hard look. Running for his life, he still managed to throw for 2,367 yards and 18 touchdown passes (13 interceptions).

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Frank Mason’s game winner vs. Duke, up close and personal

If you're like most Kansas basketball fans today, you just cannot get enough of last night's victory over No. 1 Duke.

Whether that means you've been surfing the web to read as much as you can about the 77-75 victory — thanks, by the way! — or you've been on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and anywhere else you can think of to view imagines of Frank Mason's thrilling game-winning shot, the aftermath of that moment or any other images of the game, your day likely has included you smiling a little bigger, puffing your chest out a little farther and perhaps even reaching out to those Duke fans you know (and sometimes even love) to tell them "good game" or some other version of that thought.

But if you still haven't got enough of the shot — and what a great, clutch shot it was — take a look at this video, filmed at courtside, of the final moments of Tuesday's game and Mason's terrific game winner.

It's no doubt the biggest shot of Mason's career to date and it came on the biggest and brightest stage college basketball possibly can have in mid-November.

One of the great things about Mason being the one who hit the shot is that the Jayhawks run absolutely no risk of the moment going to his head. Mason on Friday in the home opener against Siena is going to be the same player he was on Monday morning, Tuesday at halftime or when Duke hit the three-pointer to tie the game — an ultra-competitive, fighter who is willing to do anything necessary to help his team win.

If that means he takes the shot, he'll take it. If that means passing the ball, playing D or finding a way to make a big steal, you can bet Mason is going to do whatever he can to get the job done. It doesn't mean he's always going to succeed, but few Jayhawks in recent memory have been as willing to get dirty and lay it on the line like Mason and that's what makes Tuesday's game winner such a big deal. Because of it, Mason is finally getting his due on the national scene.

Enough about all of that, though, let's get you to the awesome video of the big shot.

Special props to those of you who watch it enough times to catch a few glimpses of KUsports.com photographer Nick Krug right there in the thick of the celebration.

None by RM5Nike

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College basketball Twitterverse reacts to KU win — and a Blue Devil loses a bet

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) is hoisted up by teammate Josh Jackson as he is congratulated by center Udoka Azubuike and forward Dwight Coleby after Mason hit the game-winning shot to beat Duke 77-75 during the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) is hoisted up by teammate Josh Jackson as he is congratulated by center Udoka Azubuike and forward Dwight Coleby after Mason hit the game-winning shot to beat Duke 77-75 during the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York. by Nick Krug

When a team such as Duke squares off with a team the likes of Kansas, the entire college basketball universe tunes in to see what happens.

Such was the case Tuesday night, when Bill Self’s No. 7-ranked Jayhawks battled Mike Krzyzewski’s No. 1 Blue Devils at the Champions Classic, inside Madison Square Garden.

KU’s victory over Duke, as you’d expect, set off a flurry of reaction all over social media — particularly from those with Kansas ties, after they watched Frank Mason hit a clutch, game-winning jumper.

From former Mason teammates singing his praises, to a former Duke star losing a bet, to media and analysts weighing in on the significance of the Kansas win, there was plenty to digest on Twitter.

Below are some of the many social media highlights that accompanied the memorable regular-season classic.

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By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Duke 75

By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Duke 75

— See what people were saying about KU's matchup against Duke during KUsports.com’s live coverage.


More news and notes from the win against Duke


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Devonte Graham credits coach Bill Self’s fiery halftime for turning tide vs. Duke

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets in for a bucket past Duke forward Amile Jefferson (21) during the second half of the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) gets in for a bucket past Duke forward Amile Jefferson (21) during the second half of the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York. by Nick Krug

Kansas opened the second half of Tuesday night's 77-75 victory against top-ranked Duke by going on a 17-5 tear. Junior guard Devonte Graham did not think the timing of the team's best stretch of the night was a coincidence. He sent credit the way of the coach.

"The halftime speech," Graham said of Kansas coming out of the locker room in such energetic fashion. "Coach was a little upset with us."

When an athlete shares that his coach was "a little upset," what he usually means is the coach was livid and didn't hold back.

"(We were) taking contested threes and we weren't making them," Graham said. "I think we were 1 of 12 at halftime, so he just got on us about our speed and quickness, (and said) just to get in the lane."

Self has a way of pumping up players' confidence when yelling at them by stressing what they do so well and blasting them for not doing it.

"He tells us nobody can guard us and stay in front of us," Graham said. "They have to put their hands on us or foul us. Either we're going to get in the lane and score or get fouled or drop off to a big man, so he got after us about driving the ball."

And after he did, the Jayhawks' perimeter players relentlessly drove to the hoop and turned a five-point halftime deficit into a 12-point lead with 8:03 remaining.

Self really does know how to get his players to respond to him, a gift partially responsible for Kansas defeating the No. 1 team in the nation, despite shooting .118 on three-pointers and .474 from the line.


By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Duke 75

By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Duke 75

— See what people were saying about KU's matchup against Duke during KUsports.com’s live coverage.


More news and notes from the win against Duke


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A look at why Duke is favored tonight against Kansas

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) shushes the crowd after hitting a three during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) shushes the crowd after hitting a three during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. by Nick Krug

Kansas made it to the Elite Eight in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, where eventual national-champion Villanova bounced the Jayhawks in a close game.

Duke exited the tournament in the Sweet 16 in a 14-point loss to Oregon.

Kansas has added the No. 1 recruit in the nation, according to Rivals rankings, and Duke's three highest-rated recruits, Nos. 2, 3 and 11, are expected to be sidelined tonight because of injuries.

Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden were not selected in the NBA draft. Duke's Brandon Ingram was the second overall selection.

So why is Duke favored by 2.5 points? Good question and one that is not without legitimate answers.

The experience factor — Duke has 7,779 minutes of Div. I play in its rotation, Kansas 7,449 — is virtually equal.

As for hot-shot recruits, Josh Jackson will start for Kansas and Harry Giles (knee), Jayson Tatum (foot) and Marques Bolden (lower leg) are sidelined. Even though he was ranked fourth among Duke's recruits, guard Frank Jackson was ranked 12th in the nation and is off to a great start (19.5 points per game) as sixth man.

Another key factor in why Duke is better than when it was bounced from the tourney: Post player Amile Jefferson, limited to nine games by injury last season, is back, giving Duke 4 of 5 double-figures scorers back from last season, compared to 2 of 4 for Kansas (Frank Mason and Devonte Graham), which lost its top two scorers, Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden.

Duke's current starting five combined last season for 57.1 points per game, led by leading national player of the year candidate Grayson Allen's 21.6 scoring average. The four returning players in KU's starting five last season averaged 39.2 points.

All of those numbers speak only to scoring. Kansas will need to play its signature tough man-to-man defense to make Duke take contested, hurried shots. It's a lot to ask this early in the season, but it can be done.

That's one key. The other is that someone other than Allen will need to be the best player in the game tonight, the way Graham was the best player in the game last February in Norman.

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Say something nice about Kansas football: Ke’aun Kinner finishing career in style

Kansas running back Ke'aun Kinner (22) evades Oklahoma State linebacker Devante Averette (40) during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Ke'aun Kinner (22) evades Oklahoma State linebacker Devante Averette (40) during the first quarter on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Senior running back Ke’aun Kinner is having a terrific senior year.

Kinner has had two huge games, rushing for 145 yards on 14 carries vs. Oklahoma State and 152 yards on 18 carries Saturday against Iowa State.

He’s averaging 5.8 yards per carry, up from 4.2 last season, and already has surpassed last season’s 566 rushing yards with 644, even though he has 23 fewer carries than in 2015. His season rushing total is the highest by a Kansas running back since James Sims rushed for 1,110 yards in 2013.

Kinner would need to rush for an average of 178 yards in his final two games to reach the 1,000-yard milestone. That's an impossibility, as good as he looked Saturday, but not likely either.

KU head coach David Beaty sounded as if he’l be looking to call Kinner’s name more often, provided he recovers sufficiently from a rib injury that limited him in the fourth quarter.

KU’s increased use of Michael Zunica as a blocking has brought out the best in Kinner and improving Taylor Martin, the fastest player on the roster.

Khalil Herbert, sidelined by a toe injury, is a good-looking back as well.

Barring a shocker against either Texas in Lawrence or Kansas State in Manhattan, Kinner will end his KU career with a 1-23 record, not at all an accurate reflection of the sort of career he's had for the Jayhawks.

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Gary Woodland second-round leader of OHL Classic

Former University of Kansas golfer Gary Woodland is the leader in the clubhouse after firing a 65 in Friday's second round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, to move to 13-under par.

Webb Simpson shot 65-65 to head into the third round in second place, one stroke behind Woodland.

Golf Channel announcers playing up Woodland's recent putting session with instructor Butch Harmon in Las Vegas seems to working for him.

Woodland tees off Saturday at 11:10 a.m. with Simpson and Scott Piercy, who is two strokes off the pace at 11-under.

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David Beaty: Iowa State ‘Best 1-8 team in the country’

Kansas head coach David Beaty runs off the field with his first win after beating Rhode Island 55-6 on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty runs off the field with his first win after beating Rhode Island 55-6 on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Computer rankings for any sport are inherently flawed, as is constantly proven with the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament selection committee’s overuse of the Ratings Percentage Index, more commonly known as RPI.

But as computer rankings go, the Jeff Sagarin Ratings, carried by USA Today, are better than most for both basketball and football.

Sagarin does not tell a pretty tale for Kansas football, which enters Saturday’s contest at Memorial Stadium 1-8 overall and 0-6 in the Big 12, same as Iowa State’s, but not the same when given a deeper look.

Iowa State’s average margin of defeat in Big 12 play is 11 points, compared to 30 points for Kansas.

“They are a lot better than 1-8,” Kansas coach David Beaty said. “They are the best 1-8 team in the country, maybe one of the best 1-8 teams you ever have seen.”

Sagarin lumps all 128 FBS schools with the lower-division 125 FCS schools and Kansas does not fare well.

Sagarin has Kansas ranked 140th, one spot ahead of Liberty University, coached by Turner Gill, formerly of KU.

In contrast, Iowa State is ranked 79th, one spot ahead of Army, one spot behind Colorado State.

KU’s ranking is the lowest among schools from power-five conferences. Big Ten member Purdue, ranked No. 112 by Sagarin, is the next-lowest.

To get a feel for what schools Sagarin’s computer formula considers to be of similar strength, consider that the 10 ranked ahead of Kansas, from 130 through 139: Idaho, Wofford, Cal Poly-SLO, North Texas, Nevada, North Dakota, Charleston Southern, San Jose State, Princeton, Massachusetts.

Beaty seeks his firs Big 12 win Saturday, which would tie him in that category with Gill, Charlie Weis and Clint Bowen, interim head coach for the final eight games of 2014.

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Ranking Reesing’s successors from No. 1 to No. 9

If Kansas head football coach David Beaty rides the wave Carter Stanely created with an encouraging second-half performance in Morgantown, W.V., and hands him the football Saturday for the 11 p.m. kickoff against Iowa State, Stanley will become the 10th quarterback to start a game for Kansas since Todd Reesing took his skills to the business world.

If Stanley can lead the Jayhawks to an upset of Iowa State, which opened as an 11.5-point favorite, he will move into a four-way tie for first in victories against Big 12 competition during the post-Mark Mangino years.

Here’s how I would rank the post-Reesing starting quarterbacks at Kansas, keeping in mind that the three statistical categories are numbers compiled in games played for the Jayhawks:

Blue Team starting quarterback Michael Cummings his helped off of the field by trainers during the Spring Game on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

Blue Team starting quarterback Michael Cummings his helped off of the field by trainers during the Spring Game on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

1 - Michael Cummings: Short and not a very fast runner, Cummings compensated for his shortcomings with smarts, toughness, decisiveness and leadership ability. In his first game in place of fired Charlie Weis, interim head coach Clint Bowen turned to Cummings at halftime in Morgantown, W.V., and kept him in place for the rest of the season. Cummings didn’t always make the right decision, but his lack of hesitation injected the offense with missing peppiness. He led KU to a 34-14 victory against Iowa State, throwing for 278 yards and a touchdown. His career ended in the spring exhibition of 2016 when in the heat of battle, a teammate tackled him, a no-no for a QB wearing a red jersey, and blew out his ACL. The one chance at a happy Kansas QB story for this decade ended sadly.
Yards per attempt: 6.5.
Touchdowns: 13.
Interceptions: 10.

Missouri's Kenji Jackson sacks Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb in the fourth quarter of the Border War on  Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Missouri's Kenji Jackson sacks Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb in the fourth quarter of the Border War on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium. by Kevin Anderson

2 - Jordan Webb: He wasn’t big or fast or exceptionally accurate, but he was extremely tough. Took so many punishing hits and kept getting back on his feet. Including 38 times in his one season at Colorado, Webb was sacked 90 times during his three seasons as a college quarterback.
Yards per attempt: 6.2.
Touchdowns: 20.
Interceptions: 20.

Kansas quarterback Quinn Mecham is driven to the turf on a sack by Oklahoma State defensive end Jamie Blatnick (50) during the third quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field. Also assisting on the stop is OSU safety Markelle Martin.

Kansas quarterback Quinn Mecham is driven to the turf on a sack by Oklahoma State defensive end Jamie Blatnick (50) during the third quarter, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 at Kivisto Field. Also assisting on the stop is OSU safety Markelle Martin. by Nick Krug

3 - Quinn Mecham: The most accurate passer on this list, but also had the weakest arm. It didn’t take defenses long to figure that out and once they did, he returned to the bench. Also lacked mobility. Still, he is only one of three post-Reesing field generals to lead Jayhawks to victory in a Big 12 game. Completed 23 of 28 passes for 252 yards in 52-45 comeback triumph vs. Colorado.
Yards per attempt: 5.6.
Touchdowns: 6.
Interceptions: 5.

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps is sacked by Oklahoma defenders Charles Tapper (91) and Geneo Grissom on the Jayhawks' last drive of the game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps is sacked by Oklahoma defenders Charles Tapper (91) and Geneo Grissom on the Jayhawks' last drive of the game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

4 - Jake Heaps: Bad fit. It got to where it almost appeared as if Heaps began ducking for cover the instant he finished the snap count. Performed so well in practice, but didn’t have the ability to make something out of nothing. Beat out at BYU, he transferred to Kansas. Beat out at Kansas, he transferred to Miami, where he was unable to secure the starting job.
Yards per attempt: 5.4.
Touchdowns: 8.
Interceptions: 10.

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart (2) is run out of bounds by Ohio linebacker Chad Moore (38) late in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart (2) is run out of bounds by Ohio linebacker Chad Moore (38) late in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

5 - Montell Cozart: Doesn’t have a natural feel for when to tuck it and run, which is a shame because he's so fast. Has a strong arm, but has struggled with accuracy throughout his career. His lone Big 12 victory, 31-19 against West Virginia came when he threw for 61 yards and rushed for 60 as a freshman.
Yards per attempt: 5.7.
Touchdowns: 14.
Interceptions: 19.

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis (13) throws his helmet in frustration after throwing his second interception of the game during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis (13) throws his helmet in frustration after throwing his second interception of the game during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas. by Nick Krug

6 - Ryan Willis: Too many sacks and too many turnovers in two weeks as starter earlier this season resulted in him bypassing second string on his way down.
Yards per attempt: 5.9.
Touchdowns: 12.
Interceptions: 17.

Dayne Crist (10) is sacked in the second half of KU's 30-23 loss to Northern Illinois Huskies Saturday, September 22, 2012, at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill. At top is left tackle Tanner Hawkinson.

Dayne Crist (10) is sacked in the second half of KU's 30-23 loss to Northern Illinois Huskies Saturday, September 22, 2012, at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill. At top is left tackle Tanner Hawkinson. by Mike Yoder

7 - Dayne Crist: Billed as the second coming by Charlie Weis, who had recruited him to Notre Dame, it turned out Crist couldn’t walk on water, or even pass on chalked grass very well.

Yards per attempt: 6.1.
Touchdowns: 4.
Interceptions: 9.

Kansas quarterback Kale Pick pulls back to pass as he is hit by North Dakota State defensive tackle Matthew Gratzek during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas quarterback Kale Pick pulls back to pass as he is hit by North Dakota State defensive tackle Matthew Gratzek during the fourth quarter, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010 at Kivisto Field. by Nick Krug

8 - Kale Pick: "I," as in incomplete, is the only fair grade to give him because he lost his starting job three quarters into the 2010 season-opener, a 6-3 loss to North Dakota State. But this isn’t a letter-grade, rather a number ranking. Had a solid career as a receiver and now is coaching quarterbacks at Fort Scott Community College.
Yards per attempt: 5.2.
Touchdowns: 0.
Interceptions: 1.

Kansas quarterback Deondre Ford (15) is chased by Rutgers linebacker Darnell Davis Jr. (59) during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Ford was the starting quarterback for the Jayhawks.

Kansas quarterback Deondre Ford (15) is chased by Rutgers linebacker Darnell Davis Jr. (59) during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Ford was the starting quarterback for the Jayhawks. by Nick Krug

9 - Deondre Ford: Pressed into starting duty at Rutgers in 2015, Ford was injured, missed the rest of the season, and has not reappeared in a game. He threw more picks than touchdowns at Dodge City Community College.
Yards per attempt: 5.7.
Touchdowns: 0.
Interceptions: 1.

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Say something nice about Kansas football: Carter Stanley makes it interesting

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley (9) heaves a pass around Baylor linebacker Raaquan Davis (19) during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley (9) heaves a pass around Baylor linebacker Raaquan Davis (19) during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas. by Nick Krug

Finally, a little intrigue spices the stagnant-so-long air hovering over another dismal Kansas football season.

Thank redshirt freshman quarterback Carter Stanley for supplying it by running the offense more sharply than any KU quarterback has in quite some time Saturday in a 48-21 loss at West Virginia in a game that Kansas trailed 31-0 at the half.

Beaty used Stanley as his second-string QB for the second consecutive week, a promotion from third-string status. Not all of Stanley’s work in Morgantown came against the second string. He entered in the third quarter after starter Montell Cozart was shaken up and according to head coach David Beaty showed some concussion symptoms.

Stanley’s statistics — he completed 9 of 11 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns with one interception — were impressive, but more than that, he looked like he knew what he was doing running the offense. He looked decisive, scanned the entire field looking for receivers, made the defense respect his running ability, and other than on an interception in the end zone on which his throw was wide left, to the side where the tightest coverage on LaQuvionte Gonzalez was located, he was pretty accurate.

Stanley’s threat as a runner made a defender freeze for a second, which enabled speedy running back Taylor Martin to run right past the defender to open space, where Stanley found Martin with a short pass that KU’s fastest runner turned into a 42-yard touchdown.

Less than half of one game does not a quarterback drought cure and questions remain about Stanley — arm strength, the swiftness of his release, two interceptions in 32 throws — but his encouraging performance at least gave KU football fans a reason to watch the Iowa State game Saturday. No point in not turning the offense over to Stanley for the final three weeks to see if he is a legitimate candidate to join a spring football competition that will include Tyriek Starks, a New Orleans high school recruit spending his first year at Kansas as a redshirt, plus in all likelihood a junior college or graduate transfer not yet in the Kansas program.

A forgotten man as recently as a few days ago, Stanley is back in the QB conversation. Even so, he has a long way to go before becoming as famous as a musician who entertained so many before his life came to a tragic end.

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Cubs curse dies the night K-State hex marches on

Kansas State president Kirk Schulz laughs after speaking to reporters after the Big 12 conference meeting Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Irving, Texas. Schulz will soon leave K-State to become president at Washington State University. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Kansas State president Kirk Schulz laughs after speaking to reporters after the Big 12 conference meeting Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Irving, Texas. Schulz will soon leave K-State to become president at Washington State University. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

One old sports curse finally perished Wednesday night, a few hours after a newer one mushroomed. First, a word on the curse that died a stormy death in Cleveland.

William "Billy Goat" Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, purchased two tickets to the 1945 World Series. His second ticket was for his billy goat, Murphy. The goat was denied admission and when Sianis pleaded with Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley for an explanation, Wrigley said, "Because the goat stinks." Legend has it that Sianis was so fumed at Wrigley that he put a curse on the Cubs and said they never would win a World Series so long as the goat was denied admission.

The curse finally died. Although extra innings and a rain delay extended it for a while, the Cubs finally won their first World Series since 1908.

Meanwhile, the Curse of the Kirky Gloat continued when Kansas defeated K-State in five sets. What, you never have heard of the Curse of the Kirky Gloat? That's because I just invented it, but it was inspired by an actual event and what has happened since is downright spooky.

Cue the scary recordings if you have any left over from Halloween.

Here's what happened: Kirk Schulz, president at Kansas State from 2009 to March, 2016, enjoyed sports and the spotlight, so when the Wildcats advanced to the 2011 Sweet 16 in the NCAA volleyball tournament, the prez could not resist gloating. He Tweeted a photograph of the Sweet 16 banner that was unfurled the following season and he typed a message along the lines of, "The only school in the state of Kansas that has one of these."

Mistake. Big, big mistake. Volleyball gods don't dig braggarts.

Since the Tweet that flew off the fingers of Schulz, now the head honcho at Washington State, Kansas has defeated Kansas State in all five trips to Manhattan and has enjoyed its most successful stretch ever. Since the Tweet created the Curse of the Kirky Gloat, Kansas has been to four NCAA tournaments, a Sweet 16 and a Final Four. Kansas State has made it to three NCAA tournaments without advancing past the first round.

It has to be the curse's fault because as was illustrated again Wednesday night inside Ahearn Field House, the Wildcats have outstanding fan support with students doing everything they can to distract the visitor without getting low-class about it. And the well-coached volleyball team is loaded with scrappy, smart, powerful players. Has to be the curse. What else could it be, but the Curse of the Kirky Gloat?

Interestingly, the urban dictionary defines the word, "kirky," as "god of lightweight."

Schulz, no doubt, accomplished many positive things during his tenure in Manhattan, but the Tweet that created the curse was a lightweight move all the way. Will it lead to a 108-year drought? Doubtful, but five years are down with only 103 to go.

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Washburn coach lauds former player Gary Woodland, current Jayhawks

Washburn coach Bob Chipman surveys the action on the floor during one of Washburn's recent trips to Allen Fieldhouse to take on the Jayhawks in exhibition play.

Washburn coach Bob Chipman surveys the action on the floor during one of Washburn's recent trips to Allen Fieldhouse to take on the Jayhawks in exhibition play. by Gene Cassell/Washburn sports information

Gary Woodland and wife, Gabby, had a front-row seat across the court from the Washburn bench upon which the PGA tour player once sat. Woodland scored three points in his freshman season in the exhibition against Kansas, before transferring to KU to play golf for Ross Randall.

"I made him dive on the floor once, I made him mad, I think he broke a finger. I'm still kind of regretting that one, but Gary could shoot it," Washburn coach Bob Chipman said. "I remember one game against Northwest (Missouri State), and Northwest is our big opponent, Gary had five threes the second half. He could shoot it. He was an all-state basketball player, great athlete."

Suggestion: Turn down the audio before watching the video of Woodland playing for Topeka Heights High or your ears might bleed to death.

Woodland finished 39th on the 2016 PGA Tour money list with $2,392,044.30 and finished 20th in the Fed Ex Cup standings to qualify for all the major tournaments for the 2017 season, which already has started.

Chipman said he will seek his former player's advice as to which golf clubs he should get to replace the ones Bill Self presented to him as a retirement gift. Chipman, retiring at the end of this, his 38th season as head coach of the Ichabods, ranks third on the Div. II all-time list with 788 victories.

In much the way someone wraps picture of a present that will be delivered in the future, Self threw some old golf clubs in a bag and made it clear they will be replaced by new ones.

"KU is so classy," Chipman said. "Bill is just incredible. I just really can't believe how fantastic they are in every way, such a class program. You watch, that team — it was the first game, both teams were pretty ragged, a lot of turnovers — but that KU team is going to be one of the, probably the most fun KU team to watch in recent history before Bill's done with them. They're going to be fantastic."

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Stronger Frank Mason gives credit to Andrea Hudy

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gets to the bucket against Washburn during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gets to the bucket against Washburn during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Frank Mason looked thicker, stronger during the Bill Self Basketball Camp games. In Tuesday night's exhibition opener against Washburn, Mason looked as if he might even have increased his already jaw-dropping vertical leap.

“I’m not sure, but I’ve been working hard with (strength and conditioning coach Andrea) Hudy all summer and all fall and she got my legs stronger, upper body stronger, everything," Mason said. "Just proud to have Hudy in my life and have her help me and I get the best instructions from her.”

Mason got way up for there for some of his 10 rebounds, nine at the defensive end. Backcourt mate Devonte Graham also soared high, ripping one of his four defensive rebounds from the air with one hand.

Mason, with 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, easily was KU's best player in the exhibition opener, although he had three turnovers. Graham (nine points, three assists) had a quieter night, but turned it over just once.

It's too early to say the Jayhawks have the best backcourt in the nation, but they definitely rank high in the conversation.

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Kansas open to recruiting another quarterback in this class

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart (2) passes against Oklahoma during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct.29, 2016.

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart (2) passes against Oklahoma during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct.29, 2016. by Alonzo Adams/The Associated Press

Kansas football coach David Beaty seems to remember everything he ever has heard from head coaches who have engineered successful rebuilding projects. He shared one of those pointers Tuesday.

"He talked a lot about how he wants to make each room a little bit better each year," Beaty said.

Even the quarterback room?

"We'll look at anything and everything to make our rooms better, including quarterback," Beaty said.

Beaty went into the season figuring that red-shirting quarterback Tyriek Starks was all the insurance the team needs at quarterback. Coaches always have to keep an open mind to recruiting needs changing and the quarterback spot again has left much lacking. There is no guarantee Starks will be ready to take over next fall and it's always wise to have insurance against injuries.

Cozart and Deondre Ford are juniors, Ryan Willis a sophomore, Carter Stanley a freshman.

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Linebacker Joe Dineen out for season

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) pressures Ohio quarterback Greg Windham (14) during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) pressures Ohio quarterback Greg Windham (14) during the third quarter on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen, out with a hamstring injury, will miss the remainder of the season, head coach David Beaty announced at his weekly Tuesday press conference.

Dineen suffered the injury in the Memphis game the third week of the season, which means that he is eligible for a medical redshirt, which will keep the junior in the program through the 2018 season.

“He’s been working feverishly to get back," Beaty said. "He cannot stand his life without football right now.”

Each time Dineen thought he made progress, he suffered a setback.

Beaty said that freshman running back Khalil Herbert (toe injury) is questionable and added that center Joe Gibson, who missed the Oklahoma game with a recurring neck injury, "is progressing pretty good."

Defensive end Dorance Armstrong, who missed fall camp after on the first day going down with an injury that Beaty called, "a partially torn ACL." Beaty said that Armstrong tells him he does not feel anything wrong with the knee now and the coach said he does not anticipate him needing offseason surgery.

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