Entries from blogs tagged with “ku”

Josh Jackson set to decide early next week

According to multiple recent reports, highly coveted high school senior Josh Jackson, a 6-foot-7, 201-pound McDonald’s All-American wing ranked No. 1 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, will announce his college of choice next Monday or Wednesday.

This is in line with Jackson’s original timeline of sometime after the Nike Hoops Summit game, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday and will be shown on ESPN2.

Future Jayhawk big man Udoka Azubuike also will play in the Hoops Summit game on Saturday.

As for which day is most likely between the two, Eric Bossi, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, recently Tweeted that Jackson told him that Monday would be the day.

Kansas and head coach Bill Self remain in good position for Jackson’s services and the Jayhawks are competing with Michigan State and Arizona to land the standout perimeter player who has the total package and figures to make an immediate and profound impact wherever he plays his college ball.

Jackson, who earned co-MVP honors at the McDonald's game, has said throughout the process that he's looking for the best fit for him as a person and basketball player and often talked about how important the family feel would be for him in choosing a school.

West forward Josh Jackson, from Justin-Siena/Prolific Prep Academy in Napa, Calif., dunks against the East team during the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, in Chicago. The West beat the East 114-107. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

West forward Josh Jackson, from Justin-Siena/Prolific Prep Academy in Napa, Calif., dunks against the East team during the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, in Chicago. The West beat the East 114-107. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Here are a couple of recent good looks at Jackson from USA Today.

•Josh Jackson is two different people on and off the court

•How often is Josh Jackson asked about recruiting?

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Elite Eight chatter: Jayhawks and Wildcats look forward to regional final

The stage gets bigger every day for the top-seeded Kansas basketball team, as the Jayhawks make their NCAA Tournament run.

Friday was a day off from basketball for KU, which is one win away from a trip to Houston for the Final Four.

The Kansas players, coach Bill Self, as well as their counterparts at Villanova, and coach Jay Wright, stayed busy this afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, with media interviews previewing their Saturday night Elite Eight showdown at the KFC Yum! Center.

— Check out the highlights from the afternoon of interviews: Jayhawks and Wildcats preview Elite Eight matchup

Kansas guard Frank Mason III rests his elbows on the shoulders of teammates Wayne Selden Jr., left, and Devonte' Graham as the starting five make their way toward interviews with media members on Friday, March 25, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III rests his elbows on the shoulders of teammates Wayne Selden Jr., left, and Devonte' Graham as the starting five make their way toward interviews with media members on Friday, March 25, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. by Nick Krug

— AUDIO: Self, Ellis and Jayhawks talk tourney run, Villanova matchup




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Media Day recap — KU vs. Maryland at the Sweet 16

As the South region’s No. 1 seed, the Kansas Jayhawks, prepare to face 5th-seeded Maryland in Louisville, Kentucky, the players and coaches went through interviews with the media and an open practice Wednesday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center.

Get the highlights from the KUsports.com team at our live blog: Sweet 16 Media Day: Kansas vs. Maryland

AUDIO: Bill Self talks Mark Turgeon, one-and-dones and more

AUDIO: Mark Turgeon on facing his alma mater in Sweet 16

AUDIO: Jamari Traylor and Devonté Graham on KU's veteran approach

Kansas Jayhawks guard Frank Mason III (0) puts up a shot during practice on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kansas Jayhawks guard Frank Mason III (0) puts up a shot during practice on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. by Nick Krug




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Kansas vs. UConn: Media Day recap

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) jokes with student manager Chip Kueffer as Kueffer and other student managers are interviewed by media members, Friday, March 18, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) jokes with student manager Chip Kueffer as Kueffer and other student managers are interviewed by media members, Friday, March 18, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. by Nick Krug

Both the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks and No. 9-seed Connecticut Huskies had plenty of questions to answer and topics to cover Friday at Wells Fargo Arena, in Des Moines, Iowa.

KU and UConn face off Saturday night with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. Players and coaches from both schools spent a chunk of Friday afternoon sharing their thoughts on the matchup between two of the nation’s most prominent programs.

— Get the media day highlights from KUsports.com’s live coverage: Jayhawks and Huskies headed toward Saturday showdown

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Jayhawks meet the media, practice at Wells Fargo Arena before tourney opener

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) and the Jayhawks react after Traylor broke a fixture on the shot clock while  attempting a half-court shot during practice on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Jayhawks will take on the Governors Thursday.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) and the Jayhawks react after Traylor broke a fixture on the shot clock while attempting a half-court shot during practice on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Jayhawks will take on the Governors Thursday. by Nick Krug

3:23 p.m. Update:

Several KU players shared what past NCAA Tournaments taught them that they can use heading into this year's run.

2:55 p.m. update:

An open-to-the-public practice served as the last part of the Jayhawks' Wednesday obligations at Wells Fargo Arena. Here is a look at the highlights:

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2:10 p.m. update:

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1:50 p.m. update:

Kansas veterans Frank Mason III and Landen Lucas answered questions at a press conference early Wednesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

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1:30 p.m. update:

A handful of Austin Peay players give their first thoughts on what hearing the words "Kansas basketball" means to them.

When the 2016 NCAA Tournament bracket came out Sunday night, Austin Peay junior forward Kenny Jones says his eyes didn’t move too far from the No. 1 seed line.

The Governors knew they would be a 16 seed and they couldn’t wait to find out which national program they would play in the first round.

Believe it or not, most of the pre-Selection Show discussion in the AP locker room focused on whether the Governors would be in a play-in game, and they actually hoped that would be the case.

Jones says Austin Peay’s players are excited to face Kansas without the benefit of a play-in game, though. And he thinks playing in what should be a packed Wells Fargo Arena, with KU, Kentucky and Indians fans descending on Des Moines, Iowa, will be a special experience, too.

1 p.m. update:

Austin Peay senior guard Khalil Davis didn’t fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket, but he has seen on social media and through other avenues that some people have picked the 16th-seeded Governors to knock off No. 1 overall seed Kansas.

A No. 16 seed never has defeated a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

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This will serve as your landing spot today as the KUsports.com team covers the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks the day before their 2016 NCAA Tournament opener against Austin Peay.

— Check back throughout the day for updates.

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Jayhawks aim to ride momentum into NCAA Tournament

Kansas forward Perry Ellis talks with media members during a news conference following the NCAA Tournament selection show on CBS, Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. The Jayhawks were given the No. 1 seed in the South Regional and will play Austin Peay on Thursday in Des Moines.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis talks with media members during a news conference following the NCAA Tournament selection show on CBS, Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. The Jayhawks were given the No. 1 seed in the South Regional and will play Austin Peay on Thursday in Des Moines. by Nick Krug

Now that the brackets are out and the No. 1-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (30-4) know where they’re headed (Des Moines) and who they’ll play (Austin Peay), Kansas coach Bill Self reacted to Sunday’s NCAA Tournament news at a press conference.

— Get the Q&A highlights from KUsports.com's live coverage of the press conference: Self reacts to KU's draw, South region

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEWS:

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The nation speaks: Jayhawks the favorite to win it all

Results of an informal poll of college hoops fans in all 50 states from the guys at SportsBettingExperts.com.

Results of an informal poll of college hoops fans in all 50 states from the guys at SportsBettingExperts.com. by Matt Tait

Since 2016 is an election year — and since Bill Self, both before Kansas and with the Jayhawks has fared pretty well during election years in the past (Elite 8 in 2000 at Tulsa, Elite 8 in 2004 during first year at KU, national title in 2008, national runner-up in 2012 — why not put a little election-year spin on this year's NCAA Tournament?

That's sort of what the guys at SportsBettingExperts.com did recently by polling 100 college basketball fans in all 50 states and asking them for their pick to win this year's national championship.

Kansas, which enters this week's Big 12 championship in Kansas City, Mo., as the 12-time Big 12 champ and No. 1 ranked team in the nation, was the overwhelming pick by America's college hoops fans.

People in 18 different states gave Kansas the nod in the recent poll, with Villanova (7), Michigan State (5) and North Carolina (2) playing the Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich roles in the polls.

Here's a list of the states that KU claimed along with a map of how the entire country voted. It's kind of cool and completely understandable to see how the Utes claimed Utah, West Virginia went with the Mountaineers or Oklahoma went with the Sooners.

But there were a couple of strange selections, such as Villanova winning in Washington and Hawaii or Kansas claiming New Hampshire.

Either way, it was a pretty fun and clearly very unscientific way to break down what has become one of the most exciting events in today's sports landscape.

California
Nevada
Alaska
Idaho
Montana
Wyoming
Colorado
Kansas
New Mexico
Nebraska
South Dakota
Missouri
Arkansas
Louisiana
Alabama
Mississippi
Georgia
New Hampshire

Also, from betting site bovada.lv, listed below in the third column are the updated odds to win the national championship as of March 3. The second column is where the odds sat one month earlier.

As you can see, four Big 12 teams rank in the Top 20, including Kansas, which, at 5-1, is the co-favorite with Michigan State.

Kansas — 12/1 — 5/1
Michigan State — 12/1 — 5/1
North Carolina — 6/1 — 9/1
Kentucky — 20/1 — 10/1
Oklahoma — 15/2 — 12/1
Xavier — 20/1 — 12/1
Villanova — 16/1 — 14/1
Virginia — 25/1 — 14/1
Duke — 14/1 — 20/1
Maryland — 11/1 — 20/1
Iowa — 12/1 — 25/1
Wisconsin — 200/1 — 25/1
Miami FL — 28/1 — 28/1
Arizona — 33/1 — 33/1
California — 100/1 — 33/1
Indiana — 33/1 — 33/1
Iowa State — 25/1 — 33/1
Oregon — 40/1 — 33/1
West Virginia — 28/1 — 33/1
Wichita State — 25/1 — 33/1

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WATCHETOLOGY: With KU’s spot secure, 8-9 match-ups worth eyeing

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) tangles with Vanderbilt guard Nolan Cressler (24) and Vanderbilt forward Jeff Roberson (11) during the second half, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) tangles with Vanderbilt guard Nolan Cressler (24) and Vanderbilt forward Jeff Roberson (11) during the second half, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii. by Nick Krug

It does not appear that the powers that be in the Bracketology world are interested at all in moving Kansas off of the No. 1 seed line.

The Jayhawks, who have won 11 in a row and enter the postseason as hot as any team in the country, have a lot to do with that and, even if KU does not fare well in Kansas City this week, it seems like it will not have a negative affect on KU's seed.

The Jayhawks, barring something incredibly crazy, will be a No. 1 seed and as long as they win a game or two in KCMO, they likely will be the No. 1 overall seed.

With that in mind, it's time to start taking a closer look at which teams are on the 8-9 line. No disrespect to the 16 seeds, but since a No. 1 has never lost to No. 16, it doesn't seem like spending too much time studying who those teams might be is really worth it. Besides, would it even mean much to anyone if we started talking about Texas Southern, Wagner or Wright State?

With the possible exception of a first-round match-up between KU and Florida Gulf Coast — aka Bill Self against Joe Dooley — there's not a lot of intrigue in the 1-16 match-ups.

That second-round showdown could be something, though.

Right now, in his latest Bracketology update (March 8), ESPN's Joe Lunardi again has Wichita State in that 8-9 game in KU's region. That would set up a potential KU-WSU rematch from last season's tournament and, obviously, would bring a lot of buzz to the Sunflower State.

Looking beyond that, though, there are some teams on the 8-9 line that are pretty powerful.

South Carolina, under former K-State coach Frank Martin, has had a good year. St. Mary's is an underrated team on the rise. And Colorado, coached by former Jayhawk Tad Boyle, has a couple of signature victories over good teams.

While those are all interesting and potentially dangerous second-round teams, the one that jumped off the page at me is Vanderbilt. You'll remember Vandy from the title game in Maui, where the Commodores pushed the Jayhawks to the brink and had plenty of people leaving the islands thinking that Kevin Stallings' team was a potential Final Four ballclub. They still might be. Even though the Commodores fell on hard times during the middle of the season, they're playing much better of late and recently knocked off Kentucky at home.

I doubt that's a team Kansas would face in the second round, but, as you can tell from what's mentioned above, there are plenty of strong teams all over the bracket in the 7-10 range that easily could be waiting on the Jayhawks in Round 2.

Such is life in college basketball this season and it appears that the days of the 8-9 game being a battle of weaker teams are long gone.

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Bill Self discusses state of Jayhawks entering postseason

The No. 1-ranked Kansas Jayhawks went 27-4 in the regular season and their 15-3 mark in conference play secured the program’s 12th straight Big 12 regular-season championship. Now the real fun begins.

The postseason is here, and KU will get started Thursday at Sprint Center, in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. Kansas coach Bill Self discussed the K.C. showcase and the NCAAs Monday, before the Jayhawks embark on their March Madness journey.

— Read up on all the Q&A highlights from KUsports.com’s live coverage.

— AUDIO | Listen to the complete press conference: Bill Self looks ahead to Big 12 tourney and NCAAs

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WATCHETOLOGY: KU, Duke on Sweet 16 collision course?

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor gets up to block a shot by Duke forward Rodney Hood during the first half of the Champions Classic matchup on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor gets up to block a shot by Duke forward Rodney Hood during the first half of the Champions Classic matchup on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago. by Nick Krug

As suspected, Wichita State already has moved up a line or two from the last Watchetology update we did, taking them out of the 8-9 game in KU’s region.

Whether that’s good news for KU or not, it definitely qualifies as noteworthy.

With that in mind, Joe Lunardi’s most recent updated Bracketology (from March 2) still has KU as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest regional, with a second-round match-up against the winner of Colorado vs. Syracuse looming.

CU and the ‘Cuse both are teams with which KU has a significant amount of history and both would make for intriguing — but not necessarily difficult — second-round match-ups for the Jayhawks, who still appear to be Lunardi’s No. 1 overall seed.

KU’s updated regional includes the following teams: 2. Xavier, 3. Indiana, 4. Duke and 5. Iowa.

That potential Duke-Kansas Sweet 16 match-up is certainly interesting and easily the one thing from this updated version of the bracket that jumps off the page at me.

KU would likely be a substantial favorite in that match-up, but Duke, even with its non-existent bench, would be an incredibly tough third-round opponent, with Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram being two of the more talented offensive players in college basketball and Coach K being one of the all-time great coaches and tournament coaches. It’s a match-up I’m sure KU would rather not see that early.

Wichita State remains in the Midwest as the No. 7 seed and, the Big 12 kept its stranglehold on the top half of the bracket with all seven Big 12 teams in the tournament being on the 8 line or higher.

Here’s a look:

1. Kansas
2. Oklahoma
3. West Virginia
4. Iowa State
6. Baylor
6. Texas
8. Texas Tech

KU will wrap up the regular season with Senior Day against Iowa State at 3 p.m. on Saturday and then it will be on to the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, with just one week standing between the end of the regular season and Selction Sunday on March 13.

It’s almost time.

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Bill Self previews KU’s Senior Day, discusses ISU and more

Entering the final game of the regular season, No. 1-ranked Kansas already has wrapped up its 12th consecutive Big 12 championship ahead of Saturday’s Allen Fieldhouse finale, versus No. 21 Iowa State.

KU coach Bill Self discussed the Jayhawks’ Senior Day and much more at his weekly press conference on Thursday afternoon.

— Read the Q&A highlights from KUsports.com’s live coverage of the press conference: Jayhawks preparing for season finale

— AUDIO | Bill Self looks ahead to KU's Senior Day vs. ISU

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KU point guard Frank Mason lets Big 12 title do his talking

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) celebrates a basket with the KU bench in the background in a game against the Longhorns Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. .

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) celebrates a basket with the KU bench in the background in a game against the Longhorns Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. . by Mike Yoder

If you weren’t up late and on Twitter Monday night after KU’s 86-56 pounding of Texas in Austin, you might have missed a small dose of trash talk dished out by KU point guard Frank Mason.

But despite what you might be thinking, Mason was not jawing at the Longhorns. How could he? I mean, after what Kansas did to that team in its own building, talking trash would’ve just been too much.

But Mason had no problem sending some subtle words toward ESPN broadcaster Fran Fraschilla, who, a couple of weeks ago, sent out a Tweet ranking the Big 12 point guards and put Mason sixth on the list.

I doubt you would’ve found too many people who follow the conference closely who would’ve argued with the ranking at that point in time. Remember, Mason has only returned to his 2014-15 form during the past couple of weeks and was having an up-and-down season to that point.

In the past couple of weeks, however, Mason has been fantastic and has played a huge role in helping lead the Jayhawks to Big 12 title No. 12 in a row, something Mason wanted to make sure Fraschilla was aware of in an oh-so-subtle way.

Here’s a look at both Tweets, first the one from Fraschilla on Feb. 8 followed by Mason's Tweet late last night.

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A look back at the Big 12 title streak through jersey numbers

Everybody likes lists. And everybody likes photos, as well. So we figured, why not put together a blog entry that combines the two while also paying homage to the ridiculous streak of consecutive Big 12 regular season championships that the Kansas basketball team just added to over the weekend?

During the streak of 12 titles in a row, which dates back to the 2004-05 season — Bill Self’s second in town — dozens of entertaining and memorable players have slipped on a Kansas uniform and helped bring the title to Lawrence.

Whether that meant leading the team in scoring and earning all-conference honors or delivering a key moment in a single game or even just pushing the starting five in practice, the streak belongs to a bunch of current and former Jayhawks, most who will be remembered for ever and a few who might already have been forgotten.

The following list, which was tossed together by doing something as simple as looking back at the Jayhawks who wore jersey numbers 1-12 during the streak, includes players from both categories.

Not a single Jayhawk wore numbers 6 through 9 during the past 12 seasons, so we had to get a little creative on those numbers, using simple addition and subtraction to make it work.

It’s nothing profound and won’t give you any insight on how this team will do in March — which arrives tomorrow!!! — but, nonetheless, it’s a nice trip down Memory Lane.

Enjoy!

1 – Wayne Selden, 2013-Present

Junior guard who helped bring the three most recent titles to town, Selden is enjoying his best season as a Jayhawk and will be a huge part of whatever run KU makes or doesn't make this March.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) gets up to dunk against Kentucky forward Skal Labissiere (1) in overtime, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) gets up to dunk against Kentucky forward Skal Labissiere (1) in overtime, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

2 – Conner Teahan, 2008-12

Sharp-shooter on the 2012 national runner-up, Teahan was one of those players who got the absolute most out of his KU career.

Kansas guard Conner Teahan pulls up for a jumper over Texas A&M guard Dash Harris during the first half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Conner Teahan pulls up for a jumper over Texas A&M guard Dash Harris during the first half on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

3 – Russell Robinson – 2005-08

The glue guy on the 2008 national championship team, the New York native brought a brand of toughness and tenacity, especially on the defensive end, to a team will talent up and down the bench.

Russell Robinson thanks the fans as he exits the court for the final time in his KU career on Monday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Russell Robinson thanks the fans as he exits the court for the final time in his KU career on Monday at Allen Fieldhouse. by thad-allender

4 – Sherron Collins – 2007-10

Some call him one of the greatest players to ever play at KU. Collins was one of the best leaders during one of the best stretches of Kansas basketball and is still regarded as the toughest player to ever suit up for the Jayhawks.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins gets the Fieldhouse crowd on its feet after a put-back dunk by center Cole Aldrich during the second half.

Kansas guard Sherron Collins gets the Fieldhouse crowd on its feet after a put-back dunk by center Cole Aldrich during the second half. by Nick Krug

5 – Jeff Withey – 2010-13

Everyone remembers the Withey Block Party that accompanied the run to the national title game in 2012.

Kansas center Jeff Withey pumps his fist after a Jayhawk bucket to end the half against Ohio State during the first half on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Superdome.

Kansas center Jeff Withey pumps his fist after a Jayhawk bucket to end the half against Ohio State during the first half on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Superdome. by Nick Krug

6 – Devonte’ Graham (2014-Present) + Cliff Alexander (2014)

Graham has been a huge part of the past two teams and Alexander, though a disappointment overall, had his moments during his lone season with the Jayhawks.

4 + 2 = 6

4 + 2 = 6 by Matt Tait

7 – Justin Wesley (2011-14) + Andrew White III (2013-14)

Two role players who were around for some really good times. Wesley may most be remembered for being Keith Langford's little brother and Wilt Chamberlain in the movies, but he had game. And Andrew White was an incredibly talented shooter caught on the wrong team.

4 + 3 = 7

4 + 3 = 7 by Matt Tait

8 – Evan Manning (2013-Present) + Anrio Adams (2013) + Xavier Henry (2010)

Talk about slopping one together. Evan Manning is one of the nicest dudes to ever put on a KU uniform, Anrio Adams was one of the most over-hyped and Xavier Henry was a guy who left KU fans wanting more and left Lawrence in tears.

5 + 2 + 1 = 8

5 + 2 + 1 = 8 by Matt Tait

9 – Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (2014-present) — Naadir Tharpe (2012)

We had to do subtraction on this one (fitting seeing how it included Tharpe) and included one of the true X factors on this year's team and a point guard who was underrated throughout most of his career and left under less than stellar terms.

10 - 1 = 9

10 - 1 = 9 by Matt Tait

10 – Tyshawn Taylor – 2009-12

One of the most passionate competitors to ever suit up for Self, Jayhawk fans are still looking for a suitable replacement to what Taylor brought the team — on the floor — night in and night out.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pops his jersey as he leaves the court following the Jayhawks' 59-53 win over Kansas State on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pops his jersey as he leaves the court following the Jayhawks' 59-53 win over Kansas State on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

11 – Aaron Miles – 2002-05

One of the first KU guards to play for Self, Miles was one of the best passers in school and Big 12 history and is back with the team in a support staff role for this year's run.

KU guard Aaron Miles, who collected eight points and nine assists,
celebrates a second-half run.

KU guard Aaron Miles, who collected eight points and nine assists, celebrates a second-half run. by Scott McClurg/Journal-World Photo

12 – Brady Morningstar – 2007-11

The local kid with the sleeves, Morningstar was one of the first players who was so fundamentally sound and made things flow so smoothly that Self could not help but keep him on the floor.

Brady Morningstar (12) celebrates a three-point basket during the Kansas Jayhawks 64-51 win against Texas A&M Wednesday, March 2, 2011. It was the last home game for KU.

Brady Morningstar (12) celebrates a three-point basket during the Kansas Jayhawks 64-51 win against Texas A&M Wednesday, March 2, 2011. It was the last home game for KU. by Mike Yoder

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WATCHETOLOGY: KU still on top, but does a sexy second-round match-up loom?

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) shoots over Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet (23) in the Jayhawks' third-round NCAA Tournament game against Wichita State Sunday, March 22, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) shoots over Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet (23) in the Jayhawks' third-round NCAA Tournament game against Wichita State Sunday, March 22, 2015 at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb. by Mike Yoder

It’s been 10 days since our last “Watchetology” blog, and, unless you’ve been without electricity or on another planet, you know it’s been a very good 10 days for the Jayhawks.

Wins over Oklahoma State and at Kansas State and Baylor pushed KU’s winning streak to eight in a row and vaulted the Jayhawks into position to play for the No. 1 spot in the polls this weekend against Texas Tech on Saturday.

Knock off the Red Raiders at Allen Fieldhouse and it’s all but certain that KU will take over the top spot from Villanova, who lost to Xavier on Wednesday night, when the new polls come out on Monday, the final day of February.

The Jayhawks just might be the hottest team in college basketball right now and Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology update certainly reflects that.

Lunardi has KU as a 1 seed in the Midwest — first and second rounds in Des Moines, Iowa, and third and fourth rounds in Chicago — and it looks as if the Jayhawks are his No. 1 overall seed, based on Miami being the 2 seed in the Jayahwks’ regional.

Kentucky at No. 4, which would set up a very interesting potential rematch in the Sweet 16, and a good Iowa team in the 3 spot certainly make KU’s region anything but a cakewalk.

But by far the most interesting aspect of this latest version is what appears in the 8-9 game, where fellow Sunflower State power Wichita State sits in the 8 spot, setting up a potential rematch of last year’s second-round showdown won by No. 7 seed Wichita State over No. 2 seed Kansas in Omaha.

The likelihood of this happening seems like a stretch. For one, I think WSU will get a slightly higher seed and, for two, I’m not sure the odds would work that strongly against Kansas the way they have against Roy Williams, who has drawn the Jayhawks a few too many times in the tournament for his taste since leaving KU.

Time will tell.

Both KU and Wichita State are different teams than they were a year ago, but I’m not sure either program would be all that thrilled with seeing the other this early in the 2016 tournament.

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Bill Self: Jayhawks’ attitudes, toughness have them in position for 12th straight Big 12 title

Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks (22-4 overall, 12-3 Big 12) have a chance Saturday to clinch at least a share of the program’s 12th consecutive regular-season conference championship with a home victory against Texas Tech.

That topic and many more came up at Self’s weekly press conference on Thursday afternoon.

— Get the blow-by-blow highlights from the Q&A, from KUsports.com’s live coverage

— PRESS CONFERENCE AUDIO | Bill Self: Ku still has plenty of work to do in pursuit of Big 12 title

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Is Kansas the best team in the nation right now?

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

Currently ranked No. 2 in the nation in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls, an argument could be made that Kansas is the best team in the country — no offense, No. 1-ranked Villanova.

During Wednesday night’s ESPN broadcast of Duke-UNC, analyst Jay Bilas said he fought the Jayhawks deserved the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament if you compare teams’ résumés at this point of the season, with less than two weeks left in February.

To Bilas’ point, KU (22-4 overall, 10-3 Big 12) has rattled off six straight wins since losing at Iowa State on Jan. 25, with victories over Kentucky, West Virginia and Oklahoma headlining that stretch.

The Jayhawks’ play hasn’t been lost on Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn, either. In his latest College Hoops power rankings, Winn awarded Kansas the No. 1 spot.

Devonté Graham’s impressive afternoon at Oklahoma this past weekend propelled KU to the top, and Winn provides some statistical data on just how well Graham and the Jayhawks defended Buddy Hield in the road rematch.

— Check out Winn’s complete rankings here: Kansas rises to No. 1

Villanova, No. 2 in the power rankings and No. 1 in the polls, has a home game against Butler and a road trip to No. 8 Xavier on the horizon in the coming week.

The Jayhawks play at rival Kansas State — where they have lost two straight — on Saturday, then play at No. 25 Baylor on Tuesday.

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Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops holds key to stopping KU football coaching staff door from spinning

Kansas University defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux gets into a drill during a spring practice on Thursday March 26, 2015.

Kansas University defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux gets into a drill during a spring practice on Thursday March 26, 2015. by Richard Gwin

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops comes from the tree of Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, so Stoops knows how to keep a secret.

That makes it difficult to gauge what Stoops will do to hire a defensive line coach for the third time in less than 13 months.

The last thing Kansas coach David Beaty needs is for Stoops to raid his staff and hire former Sooner Calvin Thibodeaux, one of two candidates who seem to make the sense. The other is Thibodeaux’s former teammate C.J. Ah You. Thibodeaux and Ah You roomed together when they were Oklahoma’s starting defensive ends.

Stoops likes to hire his former players, and in Thibodeaux and Ah You he has a pair of impressive candidates from which to choose.

Ah You knows what it's like to play and coach for Stoops, who lost Diron Reynolds on Feb. 10, the one-year anniversary of losing Reynolds' predecessor, Jerry Montgomery. Reynolds returned to Stanford to reunite with his family, which never made the move with him to Oklahoma. Montgomery left OU to work for the Green Bay Packers. Ah You spent the past two seasons on Stoops’ staff as quality control coach for defense and special teams.

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason hired Ah You as his defensive line coach a few weeks before Reynolds left OU. Reynolds, who had worked with Mason as a defensive assistant with the Minnesota Vikings, recommended Ah You to Mason. So did Stoops, whose powerful backing of his former player is quoted in Ah You’s official bio on vucommodores.com.

“First and foremost,” Stoops said, “Vanderbilt is getting a great person in C.J. All of his former teammates and all of our current staff love and respect him. He was a great player for us and a valuable member of our staff.”

Stoops went on to say that Ah You “has tremendous knowledge of the game and relates so well with players. He’s got a bright future in the coaching world and I’m very happy for him.”

Ah You shapes up as KU’s best chance to avoid another hit to Beaty’s coaching staff.

Linebackers coach Kevin Kane left for a promotion to defensive coordinator at Northern Illinois. Recruiting coordinator/running backs coach Reggie Mitchell bolted over the weekend for Arkansas. Wide receivers coach Klint Kubiak left Tuesday for a job with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

Losing Kane, a KU alum with rich Kansas City recruiting ties, a great work ethic and a strong presence, hurt. Beaty hired former Southern Miss and Maryland defensive coordinator Todd Bradford, out of the game since 2012, to replace him. Finding someone with Mitchell’s natural recruiting instincts won’t be easy.

Beaty won’t need to hire a wide receivers coach because well before Kubiak left, Beaty already had recruited Jason Phillips to join Kubiak in coaching wide receivers. Phillips had worked at SMU (2012-14) under June Jones and for three different stints totaling eight seasons at Houston, including three years under Kevin Sumlin. A former NFL receiver, Phillips has experience as a recruiting coordinator, offensive coordinator and receivers coach. Beaty made room for Phillips on the staff by reassigning special teams coach Gary Hyman.

Beaty has flexibility in how to fill his two full-time coaching vacancies. For example, he could hire a running backs coach and a special teams coach and make one of them the recruiting coordinator or he could hire a second receivers coach and add recruiting coordinator to the duties of Phillips.

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Perry Ellis cracks 50 to watch in March list

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) gets in for a bucket past West Virginia forward Elijah Macon (45) and forward Esa Ahmad (23) during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) gets in for a bucket past West Virginia forward Elijah Macon (45) and forward Esa Ahmad (23) during the first half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Sports fans, myself included, absolutely love lists. They just can’t get enough of them.

From the Top 5 rivalries of all-time to the Top 10 power forwards in NBA history and Top 100 players of the century, the reason lists are so entertaining is because they spark immediate debate and also allow fans — or haters — to judge whether they deem the lists to be accurate or not.

Around here, few lists go over better than ones about Kansas basketball and, earlier today, I scrolled across a list at espn.com that I thought KU fans would love to hear about.

It’s in the Insider package so if you pay for such access, be sure to check it out here. If not, here’s all you need to know.

With March approaching (after today, there are just 12 days remaining in February) ESPN Insider’s John Gasaway put together a list of the 50 college basketball players who he believes could make “the most noise in March.”

Naturally curious, I clicked on it to see how many Jayhawks made the list. Somewhat surprisingly, there was just one, but that one came in at No. 3 on Gasaway’s list.

I’m sure by now you’ve already guessed who the one is, but I’ll go ahead and say I was a little surprised that at least one other Jayhawk did not make the cut, most likely Wayne Selden because of his great start to the season, big game against Kentucky and huge showing in Korea last summer.

After thinking about it, a Top 50 means that 18 teams that will make the field (many of which we don’t actually know yet) will not be represented on this list. And when you look at it that way, it’s hard to justify picking multiple players from too many teams. In fact, Gasaway did not double up on any teams, which may have been a rule he imposed to keep himself from loading up on the high-profile teams. If so, good for him. The list is full of lesser-known names and is definitely worth the read if you’re jonesing for an early start on your bracket.

As for the lone KU rep, here’s what Gasaway had to say about senior forward Perry Ellis:

“Ellis has been on a tear in Big 12 play, and the senior has been drawing more fouls this season than at any time in his career. For the better part of four seasons, Bill Self has been able to play the 6-foot-8 Ellis at power forward and get highly efficient scoring in an exceptionally low-foul, low-turnover and low-drama package.”

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A suggestion for reviving NBA All-Star Game

Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins (22) dunks on New Orleans Pelicans Omer Asik in the half of an NBA basketball game Monday, April 13, 2015, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins (22) dunks on New Orleans Pelicans Omer Asik in the half of an NBA basketball game Monday, April 13, 2015, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Don’t forget to include never having coached an NBA All-Star at Kansas on your list of reasons you are grateful Bill Self is your school’s basketball coach.

After all, if a Kansas player participated in the game you might be tempted to watch it and your eyes might never recover.

The NBA All-Star Game, once a worthwhile exhibition, has gone the way of the Pro Bowl and the NHL All-Star exhibition. In a word, unwatchable. The West defeated the East, 196-173, Sunday, but the real victim was not a team, rather an important facet of basketball, defense.

It’s just as well that none of Self’s Kansas players has played in All-Star Game because they play defense and they wouldn’t know what to do in a game where it’s not allowed.

In the next year or two or three, second-year pro Andrew Wiggins, averaging 20.8 points per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves, likely will make the West roster. By then, he might have reason to show off his defensive skills. By then, maybe someone with influence will convince the NBA it needs to go the way of Major League Baseball Midsummer Classic and incentivize winning, the only way to resurrect the integrity of the game.

Give the home-court advantage in the NBA Finals to the winner of the All-Star Game. Please!

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WATCHETOLOGY: KU a No. 1 seed in the Midwest in latest Bracketology update

The Jayhawks huddle up during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

The Jayhawks huddle up during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. by Nick Krug

Propped up by its big win at Oklahoma over the weekend, the Kansas University men’s basketball team jumped back onto the No. 1 seed line in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology update.

KU, a No. 1 seed in the Midwest, where it would play the first two rounds in Des Moines and then move to Chicago if it advanced, joins Villanova (East), Oklahoma (West) and North Carolina (South) as Lunardi’s current No. 1 seeds.

Four days ago, prior to the big win over OU, Lunardi had Kansas as a No. 1 but sent the Jayhawks to the west regional.

Three days before that, KU was a No. 2 seed in the west, with North Carolina as the No. 1 seed in that region. We’ve seen that before. 2012 ring a bell?

KU currently has more wins over the RPI Top 50 (9) than any other team in Lunardi’s projected field. And the Jayhawks also benefit from having just one loss (at Oklahoma State) come from outside of the RPI Top 16.

Thanks to KU’s huge week last week, when it went 2-0 with wins over West Virginia (a No. 3 seed in the East) and Oklahoma (No. 1 West), the Jayhawks have put themselves in position to control their own destiny the rest of way.

Not only does KU’s play from here on out determine whether Bill Self and company make it Big 12 title No. 12 in a row, it also will go a long way toward determining whether KU enters March Madness as a No. 1 seed once again.

Winning the Big 12 and taking care of business in the Big 12 Tournament — even with a loss in the championship game — might be good enough to deliver a No. 1 seed for the Jayhawks during a year when it looks like there are 6-10 teams worthy of being in that No. 1 seed conversation.

We’ll try to update this as regularly as Lunardi updates his field, so fasten your seat belts and get ready for a wild few weeks.

As if you weren’t already.

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