Entries from blogs tagged with “KU”

Postgame Pressers: KU 89, Stanford 74

Kansas players Devonte' Graham, Landen Lucas & Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk & Head Coach Bill Self

Stanford coach (and former Jayhawk) Jerod Haase

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Baseline View: Kansas takes over to bring down Stanford, 89-74

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KU football on hunt for ‘marquee’ recruits to bolster program’s rebuilding project

Kansas University football recruiting

Kansas University football recruiting

As Kansas football coach David Beaty and his staff keep persevering in their ongoing venture to reinvigorate a program that had been left to languish, the offseason months are just as critical as Saturdays in the fall.

The two most direct avenues for improvement — as Beaty referenced shortly after the conclusion of his second season at KU — are player development and recruiting. While the head coach thinks the Jayhawks already on campus are steadily getting bigger and better, Beaty knows that’s just one part of the process.

“And then I think the other thing is understanding we’ve gotta go out and continue to recruit and get some marquee players to help us,” Beaty said, “’cause every good coach I know has some really, really good ones. And we’ve got some good ones already, and we’ve gotta go get some really, really good ones from this point forward to be able to do what we want to do, which is win a lot and compete for championships.”

Just a week after those words left Beaty’s mouth, Kansas will welcome some highly sought after high school prospects to Lawrence. Adrian Ealy, a 6-foot-7 offensive tackle from Gonzales, La., will be in town this weekend to check out Anderson Family Football Complex and hear the KU staff’s recruiting pitch.

Running backs coach and Louisiana native Tony Hull, of course, deserves credit for getting Ealy — a four-star O-lineman who already has visited Oklahoma and has offers from Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Texas and many more — to give Kansas a look. A high school senior at East Ascension, Ealy is listed at 282 pounds. Rivals.com ranks him the 20th best prospect in the nation at his position.

None by Adrian Ealy

As reported by Jon Kirby of Jayhawk Slant, Ealy won’t be the only talented Louisiana recruit in town. Tevin Bush, a speedy 5-foot-5 athlete from New Orleans’ Landry Walker High (the same program that gave the Jayhawks starting safety Mike Lee), will visit Kansas this weekend, too.

A high school senior assessed three stars from Rivals, Bush already has verbally committed to West Virginia, but must be intrigued with Kansas as an option — thanks again to Hull — if he is making a visit. Bush also has picked up offers from Arkansas, Louisville, Texas Tech and others.

Although Ealy and Bush visiting campus obviously doesn’t guarantee anything for Kansas, it’s another indicator that Beaty seems to be steering the program in the right direction.

KU’s 2017 recruiting class already includes eight three-star prospects: former Washington State quarterback Peyton Bender, juco defensive back Hasan Defense, Texas prep linebacker Kyron Johnson, Louisiana prep receiver/athlete Travis Jordan, Derby standout receiver Kenyon Tabor, Garden City Community College defensive end Jamie Tago, Chicago high school defensive back Robert Topps and Texas prep running back Dominic Williams.

As Beaty suggested, Kansas needs a number of members in its latest recruiting class to come in and make a difference — just like Lee, defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., defensive tackle Daniel Wise and receiver Steven Sims Jr. did before them.

The more impactful recruits the staff lands, the quicker KU can escape the Big 12 cellar and start chasing Beaty’s hopeful longterm goals.

None by Zach Yenser

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David Beaty enters offseason optimistic about KU’s player development

Kansas head coach David Beaty looks up at the scoreboard during the third quarter, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty looks up at the scoreboard during the third quarter, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. by Nick Krug

David Beaty’s first fall as Kansas football coach went pretty miserably. Twelve games. Twelve losses. Minimal hope for the future for a frustrated fan base.

Only someone as positive as Beaty could come away from the 2015 campaign feeling optimistic, and, of course, he did.

So it came as no surprise this past weekend, upon the conclusion of Year 2 for Beaty, the man running the program sounded even more fired up entering the offseason. Asked to assess his second year compared to his first, Beaty didn’t reference the Jayhawks’ 2-10 overall record or 1-8 mark in the Big 12.

“One of the best things that we’ve done is I think we’ve developed the guys that we have in our program,” Beaty offered. “There’s two ways I think you get better: you recruit and you develop the one’s you’ve got. ’Cause you’re not gonna get any more — they’re not gonna give you any more. You have what you’ve got and then you get to go get 25 (in recruiting), is what you get to get.”

The progress Beaty alluded to showed up in 2016 thanks to freshmen and sophomores making significant on-field contributions.

Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) is brought down by Baylor safety Davion Hall (2) during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) is brought down by Baylor safety Davion Hall (2) during the third quarter on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas. by Nick Krug

A year ago, receiver Steven Sims Jr. caught 30 balls for 349 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman. His production leapt to 72 receptions, 859 yards and seven touchdowns — all team-highs — as a sophomore.

A true freshman who graduated a year early to join KU football ahead of schedule, safety Mike Lee tied senior safety Fish Smithson for the team lead with 70 solo tackles. Lee’s 77 total tackles trailed only Smithson (93) and he didn’t become a starter until October.

Defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., while expected to play a key role for Clint Bowen’s defense, turned into one of the Big 12’s most disruptive forces. Armstrong likely will finish the year as the league’s top tackler for loss. His 20 stops behind the line of scrimmage lead Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis’ 15 — though the Wildcats’ end still has a Saturday date at TCU to try and catch up. Plus, Armstrong finished his second season with 10.0 sacks, currently second in the Big 12 to Willis’ 10.5.

Mostly playing as a replacement starter for Marcquis Roberts, who missed five games, sophomore linebacker Keith Loneker Jr., in his first season of FBS football, finished sixth among KU defenders in tackles, with 43, while also breaking up four passes.

Second-year defensive tackle Daniel Wise, who looked the part of a future impact interior lineman as a freshman, fulfilled that promise. Wise came through with 10 tackles for loss and 38 total stops playing a spot where it’s difficult to produce many statistics.

Redshirt freshman Carter Stanley took over starting quarterback duties with three games left and Kansas experienced the best stretch of its season to close it. In his three starts, Stanley completed 71 of 124 passes (57.3 percent) for 693 yards, with three touchdowns and four interceptions.

Freshman defensive end Isaiah Bean, in limited playing time, finished with 3.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.

“And the thing that I’m very proud of our strength staff, our coaches, is they develop those guys,” Beaty said of the program’s youngest talents. “They’re a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger, a little bit faster. … They’re all very young, which they’re gettin' something we can’t give ’em, which is experience. Unfortunately sometimes it comes with growin’ pains when you’ve got a bunch of ’em out there at once. Maybe sometimes not so much when you’ve got one or two of ’em, but if you’ve got a bunch of ’em out there, there’s some growin' pains that come along with that.”

The hope for Kansas is less of those aches will show up in 2017, with Armstrong, Sims, Lee, Wise, Stanley and Loneker returning, with running backs Khalil Herbert and Taylor Martin, and offensive linemen Hakeem Adeniji, Mesa Ribordy and Larry Hughes among the promising underclassmen.

Plus, upperclassmen such as receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez, O-lineman Jayson Rhodes, defensive tackle DeeIsaac Davis, linebacker Joe Dineen, cornerback Derrick Neal and safety Tyrone Miller Jr. will continue to play big parts in the Jayhawks' plans.

“But, man, I think the thing that I’m most impressed with is the way that we’re developing ’em,” Beaty said. “I think if we can continue to do that we’ll have a chance to be a very competitive ball club here in the future.”

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What a difference a year makes? Student Senate leaders update progress on minority student “pipeline” program, other diversity goals

A year ago, KU’s Student Senate was embroiled in an impeachment attempt that threatened to kick out the 2015-16 executive officers, whom some accused of failing to do enough to support black and other marginalized students.

Those officers ultimately kept their jobs, and took some steps to increase diversity and inclusion in the Senate before their terms were up. The new Student Body President and Vice President, elected in April, made the issue one of the most important in their campaign platform.

On Wednesday, 2016-17 Student Body President Stephonn Alcorn, a senior from Gardner; Vice President Gabby Naylor, a senior from Providence, R.I.; and Senate director of diversity and inclusion Abdoulie Njai, a senior from Wichita, held a meeting to outline some of their new and working diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Overall, Alcorn said, Senate wants programming “to really make sure everyone has the same opportunity to be successful.” Here’s a rundown:

Summer Venture in Business: Alcorn described this as a pre-college summer “pipeline” program for minorities. High school students will stay on campus and participate in sessions to familiarize them with the college experience and business academic offerings. It’s set for June 4-6, and scholarships will pay the way for participants. The business venture is a pilot program hoped to soon expand to other schools, Alcorn said.

Equitable Student Elections Fund: This KU Endowment fund collects private donations to help students pay for campaigns to run for Senate seats. There’s a clause in the fund that states it only exists as long as Senate’s election spending cap stays at $1,000. (I wrote more about this back in September.)

Multicultural Board of Advisors: Chaired by Njai, this body advises the president and vice president on issues affecting the multicultural community and related Senate or KU policies. Members come from a variety of multicultural groups.

Religious minorities ad hoc committee: The group’s goal is to create a survey to see whether campus is accommodating students’ religious observations. (I also previously wrote about this.)

Gender in admissions information: Senate is working with Enrollment Management and IT to provide more options for gender identity in students’ KU portals, envisioned to help collect more information on gender identity, sexual orientation and preferred names.

Other efforts in progress include a women's leadership seminar, peer mentorship program for first-generation college students, increasing access to mental health services and a multicultural student leader retreat.

University of Kansas Student Body President Stephonn Alcorn (left), a senior from Gardner; Vice President Gabby Naylor, a senior from Providence, R.I.; and Student Senate director of diversity and inclusion Abdoulie Njai, speak about Student Senate's diversity efforts on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, at the Kansas Union.

University of Kansas Student Body President Stephonn Alcorn (left), a senior from Gardner; Vice President Gabby Naylor, a senior from Providence, R.I.; and Student Senate director of diversity and inclusion Abdoulie Njai, speak about Student Senate's diversity efforts on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, at the Kansas Union. by Sara Shepherd

Several students attending Wednesday's presentation commended Senate leaders for their efforts, but not everyone thinks Senate will be able to do enough. Also in attendance were leaders of the Multicultural Student Government student organization — including some who pushed to oust the Student Senate leaders last year — who are continuing to seek avenues to become their own separate student government.

In other matters, here are two KU items of note I spotted today in online news:

• Jayhawk with Supreme Court potential: USA Today included KU alumnus David Stras in a roundup of 21 possible U.S. Supreme Court nominees by President-elect Donald Trump. Stras, 42, graduated from the KU School of Law, is now an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court and previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, according to USA Today. His name was first reported as a potential nominee in May.

• Instagram hot spot: KU, once again, is the most-Instagrammed place in Kansas, based on geo-tagging, USA Today reports. KU’s famous Allen Fieldhouse is No. 4 on the list. (In case you were wondering, No. 2 is Kansas State University, No. 3 is Children’s Mercy Park, home of Sporting KC, and No. 5 is the Kansas Speedway.)


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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KU Crime Blotter: Week of Nov. 21-27

The following incidents were reported to the University of Kansas Office of Public Safety between Monday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 27. Incidents are listed by the dates they were reported.

Note that KU's Thanksgiving break was Nov. 23 through Nov. 27.

Nov. 22

• Police found a minor in possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, alcohol and a fake driver’s license about 6:30 p.m. Nov. 22 at GSP Hall.

Nov. 21

• Someone opened two vending machines and took money from inside between Nov. 5 and Nov. 21 at Strong Hall. Loss was valued at $150.

• Someone found “a baggie of green vegetation” and turned it in to KU police about 1 p.m. Nov. 21 on Jayhawk Boulevard.

• Someone carved/drew on a door between Nov. 18 and Nov. 21 at Ellsworth Hall. Damage was estimated at $100.

• Someone ripped down a bulletin board, damaging the wall, Nov. 21 at Ellsworth Hall. Damage was estimated at $200.

• Somebody took a bicycle and a lock from a bike rack between Nov. 18 and Nov. 21 at Budig Hall. Loss was valued at $160.

Source: crimereports.com, KU Office of Public Safety

KU Office of Public Safety patrol vehicle, pictured June 2016

KU Office of Public Safety patrol vehicle, pictured June 2016 by Sara Shepherd


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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KU Sports Extra: A Day at the Beach

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KU named bike-friendly campus; new text alert system warns drivers of lot closures

The University of Kansas is now an official Bicycle Friendly University (bronze level), an honor bestowed by the League of American Bicyclists.

That doesn’t mean friendly on your quads, as riders who pedal up the hill can no doubt attest.

It means KU is “raising the standard and being innovative in making bicycling a safe, convenient and enjoyable option for students, staff and visitors alike,” according to a news release from KU.

A major contributor to the designation is KU’s new Campus Bike Plan, available online at bike.ku.edu (pending final revisions expected next week), according to the university. The KU Bicycle Advisory Board, urban planning graduate students and the KU Center for Sustainability worked together to create the plan. It has a study of current biking conditions plus recommendations including new standards for bike parking, “end-of-trip facilities” (such as showers and locker rooms) in new and renovated buildings, signage and road markings for bike routes and hiring a campus bicycle coordinator.

"The KU Bicycle Advisory Committee and our campus partners have worked hard over the past few years to encourage students and employees to ride to campus, raise awareness about bicycle safety and promote new standards for bike infrastructure on campus," Center for Sustainability director Jeff Severin said. "Their efforts are helping build a stronger bike culture.”

A student bikes across the intersection at Engel Road and 15th Street en route to Daisy Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, on the campus of Kansas University. In the newly-released U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges list, KU is ranked 115th among national universities.

A student bikes across the intersection at Engel Road and 15th Street en route to Daisy Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, on the campus of Kansas University. In the newly-released U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges list, KU is ranked 115th among national universities. by Nick Krug

• Move it — KU Parking’s new text alert system notifies of lot closures: A basketball game here, a football game there, construction projects popping up, a country music star randomly performing in the lot where you usually park. If you don’t get the memo, you may find yourself hitching a ride to the tow yard, or at least paying a parking ticket.

In fairness, KU Parking and Transit has been notifying permit-holders of upcoming lot restrictions via its official KU email addresses and on Twitter, but director Donna Hultine said those often get glossed over. “It’s just really hard to get them to pay attention to, you know, another email from KU,” she said.

Enter KU Parking’s text alert system. The service, new this semester, sends text alerts to whichever parking permit holders will be affected by an upcoming closure. For example, those with permits to park in the yellow-zone lot east of the stadium got reminders telling them to make way for Brad Paisley, who performed in the lot Oct. 14.

More than 300 people had signed up to receive texts at that time, and it seemed to help, Hultine said. “There may have been two cars in the lot, and that was fantastic.”

Anyone with a KU Parking account can sign up to receive the text alerts through the parking page in the myKU portal, Hultine said.

None by KU Parking


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Bill Self disappointed with Kansas bigs in victory over Long Beach State

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) fights for position inside during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) fights for position inside during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The limited second-half contributions of Kansas post players Tuesday night against Long Beach State weren’t enough to restore head coach Bill Self’s trust in his team’s bigs.

After all, the Jayhawks already had put the 49ers away by halftime, long before starting center Udoka Azubuike or sophomore power forward Carlton Bragg put the basketball through the hoop in a 91-61 rout.

For years, Self’s teams have relied upon a low-post scoring threat to facilitate the offense — from Wayne Simien, to Thomas Robinson, to Joel Embiid. Seven games into this season, though, the coach doesn’t think that traditional approach will work for his Jayhawks (6-1).

“We scored 48 points the first half and our big guys combined for one,” Self marveled after the victory, referencing Udoka Azubuike’s single made foul shot during the first 20 minutes. “And we had to bank in that one from the free-throw line to get one. So obviously you’re not gonna win consistently against good teams relyin' on makin’ three-point shots all the time, because there’s gonna be times where you don’t make ’em.”

Self expected much more out of his big men against Long Beach State, but utilized a four-guard approach often on a night KU shot 14-for-26 from three-point range and frontcourt players accounted for just 18 of the team’s 91 points.

The coach conceded Long Beach State (1-8) played a “kind of funky” matchup zone that the Jayhawks didn’t prepare much for and that kept the offense out of rhythm. Self also said Landen Lucas (oblique strain) missing the game hampered the team’s inside play, as did Bragg picking up two fouls in the first half, when the sophomore got on the floor for all of one minute.

But when Self looked at the box score and saw the following numbers from his big men, it just translated into disappointment.

- Azubuike: 3-for-6 FGs, 2-for-6 FTs, 8 points, 7 rebounds, 0 blocks

- Bragg: 3-for-7 FGs, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers

- Dwight Coleby: 1-for-1 FGs, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block

Considering Azubuike had dunked his way to 17 points four days earlier against UNC Asheville, Self demanded more from the freshman 7-footer, calling him “no factor” against LBSU.

The coach proceeded to present his wish list for the Kansas bigs moving forward.

“At least a big can block a shot. We get no blocked shots tonight. I think the bigs can rebound better and I think that we can score with angles better, and certainly we can shoot our free throws better,” Self said. “But we’re not gonna be a team that scores 20 points out of the post this year. I don’t think that’s gonna be the case.”

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) and Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) battle for a rebound with Long Beach State forward Roschon Prince (23) during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) and Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) battle for a rebound with Long Beach State forward Roschon Prince (23) during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

KU veteran Devonté Graham understands his coach’s frustrations. But the junior guard said this Self team, even when it has four guards on the floor, won’t completely abandon its interior players as an offensive option.

“We still got that same mentality, though. Coach always tellin' us to play inside-out,” Graham said. “But I just think tonight we shot the ball real well, so we was just trying to be aggressive — kept attacking, kept shooting and making shots.”

Plus, Graham pointed out, LBSU set up its defense to pack in and try to take away points in the paint (though KU still scored 36 of those), almost inviting Kansas to shoot 3-pointers instead.

Obviously KU won’t see the same kind of defense every night if its guards keep burying open looks from downtown. And then the burden to score will increase for the team’s bigs. What’s more, Graham doesn’t think the Kansas post players will let their woes persist, even after a disappointing night.

“They’re doin’ real well with it,” Graham said. “They’ve been goin’ hard at each other in practice. So they’re gettin' better. They havin' that little slump, but I think definitely Carlton and Landen and ’Dok are doin’ a great job of gettin' through it.”

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Baseline View: Lagerald Vick goes off in KU’s 30-point win over Long Beach State

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Who’s the best 3-point shooter for Kansas this season?

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) puts up a three from the corner over Georgia forward Mike Edwards (32) 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) puts up a three from the corner over Georgia forward Mike Edwards (32) during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 during the championship game of the CBE Classic at Sprint Center. by Nick Krug

A little less than three weeks into the season, the No. 4-ranked Kansas basketball team has shot just 35.5% from 3-point range. Dozens of games remain to be played and it’s a small sample size, but that rate of success marks a noticeable dip from last year, when the Jayhawks had more shooting threats on the roster and hit 41.8% from downtown.

As many likely expected, three KU players have emerged as the top long-range shooters for the 2016-17 campaign: senior Frank Mason III and juniors Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk — the three top returning shooters for a program that lost Wayne Selden Jr., Perry Ellis and Brannen Greene as outside options.

So who will emerge as the top marksman on the Jayhawks’ perimeter? Depends on whom you ask.

“Obviously everybody can shoot,” Mykhailiuk responded. “You know, last game Frank was five-for-five from three, 100 percent. Every game’s a different game and different guys hit shots.”

As the wing from Ukraine referenced, Mason couldn’t miss in the rout of UNC Asheville on Friday, improving his accuracy from beyond the arc to 48% thus far.

So is Mason the Jayhawks’ top sharpshooter? That Bill Self character probably has an opinion on the matter.

“Yeah, Frank’s shooting it really well,” Self said. “But you guys get so hung up on what happens in one game against North Carolina Asheville. I mean, in the big scheme of things that really doesn’t matter. I’d rather see what happens consistently over a seven- or 10-day period. And certainly I think we’ve got multiple guys capable of having big nights like Frank did the other night.”

OK, the head coach doesn’t want to single one guy out. So what does surging sophomore guard Lagerald Vick think?

“Svi. Hands down,” Vick said without hesitation.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) puts up a three from the corner over Indiana forward OG Anunoby (3) during the second half of the Armed Forces Classic at Stan Sheriff Center, on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) puts up a three from the corner over Indiana forward OG Anunoby (3) during the second half of the Armed Forces Classic at Stan Sheriff Center, on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. by Nick Krug

Why Mykhailiuk?

“Even on bad days he still is a good shooter,” Vick replied. “Coach always get on him when he’s not jumpin’ on his shot. You know he can make shots. I watch him shoot a lot. I get techniques from him. He’s definitely the best shooter on the team.”

Mykhailiuk has knocked down 11 treys, one fewer than Mason’s team-best 12 to this point. But it’s hard to ignore Graham as a top option. Even though he’s off to a slow start (32.4% from deep), Graham led Kansas in 2015-16 with 75 3’s on the season while draining 44.1%.

As far as Self is concerned, any number of his players are capable of being considered the best 3-point shooter in crimson and blue.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) pulls up for a three before UAB guard Tyler Madison (22) and UAB forward William Lee (34) during the first half of the CBE Classic on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 at Sprint Center.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) pulls up for a three before UAB guard Tyler Madison (22) and UAB forward William Lee (34) during the first half of the CBE Classic on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 at Sprint Center. by Nick Krug

“I would say if we were having a HORSE contest, I’d say Svi. But depending on game situations and things like that, then Frank’s pretty good,” Self added. “But Devonté’s good, too. I won’t quite put Lagerald (Vick) and Josh (Jackson) in that group, but I think they could become, at any particular game, could be our best shooter in the game.”

Vick and Jackson have only made seven 3-pointers between them this year, so they definitely can’t lay a claim to KU’s unofficial shooting crown.

Still, Vick considers joining that conversation one of his goals. He noticed upon reviewing game footage earlier this season a tendency to fade backward some on his jumpers. So Vick has made a point since to stay straight up and down when he rises up for a release.

“I’ve been stayin’ in the gym, just workin' on my jumpshot, lookin’ at the film and stuff,” Vick said, “so that should help me catch up with those guys.”

Personally, I’d cast my vote for Mykhailiuk as the best Jayhawk from deep. He shoots with the form Vick is trying to mimic and has that feathery touch on his release that convinces you the ball will fall through the net each time it leaves his hands. Plus, at 6-foot-8, he doesn’t have to always put so much of his body into his longest attempts.

What’s more, Mykhailiuk, who shot 37-for-92 (40.2%) while playing just 12.8 minutes a game as a sophomore, said he feels good about his shot and thinks he’s better this year.

“I think I’m more confident,” he said, “and I get more open looks.”

— Below is a look at how each of KU’s rotation guards has shot from 3-point range through six games.

Mason: 12-for-25, 48%

  • 1-for-5 vs. Indiana

  • 0-for-1 vs. Duke

  • 1-for-4 vs. Siena

  • 3-for-6 vs. UAB

  • 2-for-4 vs. Georgia

  • 5-for-5 vs. UNC Asheville

Mykhailiuk 11-for-27, 40.7%

  • 2-for-5 vs. Indiana

  • 0-for-3 vs. Duke

  • 2-for-4 vs. Siena

  • 4-for-5 vs. UAB

  • 1-for-6 vs. Georgia

  • 2-for-4 vs. UNC Asheville

Graham 12-for-37, 32.4%

  • 2-for-6 vs. Indiana

-1-for-6 vs. Duke

  • 0-for-3 vs. Siena

  • 4-for-9 vs. UAB

  • 3-for-9 vs. Georgia

  • 2-for-4 vs. UNC Asheville

Jackson 3-for-12, 25%

  • 1-for-3 vs. Indiana

  • 1-for-2 vs. Duke

  • 0-for-0 vs. Siena

  • 1-for-4 vs. UAB

  • 0-for-0 vs. Georgia

  • 0-for-3 UNC Asheville

Vick 4-for-17, 23.5%

  • 1-for-3 vs. Indiana

  • 0-for-4 vs. Duke

  • 0-for-1 vs. Siena

  • 0-for-3 vs. UAB

  • 0-for-2 vs. Georgia

  • 3-for-4 vs. UNC Asheville

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Watch Wayne Selden Jr. sky for a savage D-League slam

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) puts down a slam dunk in the second-half against the Connecticut Huskies in a 73-61 win at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA. Saturday, March 19, 2016.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) puts down a slam dunk in the second-half against the Connecticut Huskies in a 73-61 win at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA. Saturday, March 19, 2016. by Mike Yoder

Since Wayne Selden Jr. left the University of Kansas a year early to enter the NBA Draft, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for the young shooting guard.

A meniscus tear in his right knee slowed Selden down leading up to the draft, which came and went without the 6-foot-4 prospect hearing his name called. And though Selden landed a preseason camp invite from Memphis, the Grizzlies parted ways with him before the regular season.

Though his basketball journey currently finds Selden in the NBA’s Developmental League, it doesn’t seem to have curbed his approach. Eight games into the season, he’s averaging 19.5 points to lead the Iowa Energy, the Grizzlies’ D-League affiliate.

Selden is hitting 2.3 3-pointers a game at a 35.3% clip and averaging 6.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals, too.

His overall 47.6% shooting from the floor, no doubt, has been helped by his tenacity in attacking the rim.

On Sunday, in a game against Fort Wayne, Selden drove to the paint and took off for a nasty one-handed throw-down over Rakeem Christmas as if to say, “Bah humbug!”

The 22-year-old Selden currently ranks 17th in the D-League in scoring. That won’t guarantee him an invite to an NBA roster by any means, but the more he keeps playing with confidence and aggression, the more Selden will get noticed by organization’s scouts and increase his odds of speeding up his track to The Association.

Selden’s knee doesn’t appear to be giving him any issues at this juncture, which is a good sign. His strength and athleticism are a big part of his game on both ends of the floor.

And, of course, the more he works on his 3-pointer the better. So far Selden has hit 18 of 51 from long range. If he can get his 3-point shooting at or above 40% he’ll look that much more enticing to NBA decision-makers.

Perhaps going undrafted has inspired Selden. His highlights make him look one of the better young players in the D-League.

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What percent of KU community members took important online ‘climate’ survey?

Of more than 37,000 University of Kansas community members invited to take an online survey for the KU Climate Study, more than 9,500 did, according to the university. That’s a participation rate of roughly 26 percent, by my calculations.

The survey was live from Sept. 13 to Oct. 14. KU announced the participant count this month, along with groups that had the highest participation rates (which, in reward, got cookie receptions, KU said). They are School of Music undergraduate students; School of Pharmacy graduate students; KU Libraries faculty; and — in a tie — professional and continuing education staff at the Edwards campus and the Office of Graduate Studies.

People on campus are eagerly awaiting the results of this confidential survey, including students I’ve heard express frustration about a lack of data on how many peers have been victims of sexual assault or how many feel “unsafe” because of their sexuality or the color of their skin. The survey asks demographic information such as gender, race and financial status, as well as whether participants find the campus welcoming, have seen racism or been the victim of unwanted sexual contact. 

Ultimately, KU says, study results will guide improvements to KU’s living, learning and working environment, which includes future diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

It will be months longer before results are publicly available.

“Data are being analyzed and reports will be drafted and shared with the entire KU community during spring 2017,” Nate Thomas, vice provost of diversity and equity, said in a statement from KU this month. “We appreciate the time people committed to completing the survey as well as all the individuals who helped spread the word and encouraged participation. Across the institution, we saw groups that really rallied together to make sure their classmates and colleagues took this momentous survey.”

A flier for the 2016 KU Climate Study

A flier for the 2016 KU Climate Study by Sara Shepherd

• Diversity and Equity Faculty Fellow ... and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research Collaboration/Lab?: KU is hiring a Diversity and Equity Faculty Fellow from among its Lawrence campus faculty ranks, according to a call for applications from the Office of the Provost. It says the two key goals of the program are: "To develop and implement strategies that improve the advancement and success of minoritized students, faculty, and staff across KU units and departments" and "To serve as a professional development opportunity for the Faculty Fellow."

The fellow will be expected to attend meetings of various KU groups working on diversity initiatives and to "develop and implement a project related to diversifying KU’s students, faculty, and staff," according to the KU Office for Diversity and Equity job description. The memo says that office is interested in pursuing development of a "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research Collaboration/Lab," such as the one at University of Wisconsin.

KU's Diversity and Equity Faculty Fellow will receive stipends totaling $11,500 for the 18-month term, plus $1,500 yearly for travel to diversity conferences, according to the job description. The description says time required will vary but is expected to average four hours a week this spring.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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More than 700 celebrity faces, autographs will have permanent home at KU library

Famous writers, musicians, actors, sports figures — University of Kansas associate professor of film and media studies John Tibbetts has interviewed and painted portraits of more than 700 such personalities. Those portraits, all signed by their subjects, will have a permanent home at KU’s Spencer Research Library.

KU Libraries announced this month that Tibbetts is gifting the portraits to the library through a multi-year series of donations.

Through his career as a TV and radio broadcast journalist and as a scholar at KU, Tibbetts gained interviews with hundreds of celebrities and public figures, according to KU Libraries. For more than 40 years, he created pen-and-ink and watercolor portraits of such personalities, then asked them to sign the portraits during his interviews.

John Tibbetts is pictured, along with some of the celebrity portraits he's painted and had autographed, in this 2004 Journal-World file photo. Tibbetts is an associate professor of film and media studies at the University of Kansas.

John Tibbetts is pictured, along with some of the celebrity portraits he's painted and had autographed, in this 2004 Journal-World file photo. Tibbetts is an associate professor of film and media studies at the University of Kansas. by Thad Allender/Journal-World Photo

The first installment given to the library will feature writers, musicians, broadcasters and sports figures — bandleader Cab Calloway, opera singers Kathleen Battle and Luciano Pavarotti, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and composer Philip Glass, among others, according to KU Libraries. Additional installments will feature film, television and theater performers.

Famous names from show business Tibbetts interviewed and painted through the years include Julie Andrews, Whoopie Goldberg, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Sean Connery, Spike Lee, Lauren Bacall and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A watercolor portrait of Sean Connery by John Tibbetts, associate professor of film and media studies at the University of Kansas.

A watercolor portrait of Sean Connery by John Tibbetts, associate professor of film and media studies at the University of Kansas.

Only one personage refused to sign his painting, Tibbetts told the Journal-World in a 2004 interview. That was Ralph Macchio — aka Daniel LaRusso of "Karate Kid." The 2004 Journal-World story also outlines how Tibbetts began painting the portraits in the first place:

Tibbetts first honed his skills rendering posters for the KU Film Society in the 1960s. It was during this stretch that he made his initial celebrity contact.

"I wanted to write Ray Bradbury for a long time, just to say thanks for all the wonderful stories I'd been reading as a kid," he recalls. "So I did a drawing of him (in 1966) and sent it to him with no expectation of what would happen. It came back to me, beautifully inscribed with a letter, which has initiated a correspondence which has lasted almost 40 years."

In the mid-1980s, the film critic began to spend weekends traveling to the coasts to gather in-person interviews for his various outlets. He started to explore the idea of painting stars and presenting them with the product.

"It was a way of connecting with people," he says. "It shows them that I am interested in them and put out something with my own energies to say 'thank you' or 'I'm interested to meet you.'"

Tibbetts’ paintings will join about 140 of his television interviews currently available online through KU ScholarWorks, kuscholarworks.ku.edu. Once catalogued, the paintings will be viewable by request in the Spencer Research Library reading room.

“They are a part of my life, almost my biography,” Tibbetts said, in the KU Libraries announcement, “and I hope others will enjoy the experience of the interviews, including the paintings and audio.”


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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KU Sports Extra: Guards Guide Kansas to CBE Title

Reaction from Tom Keegan and Matt Tait on KU's two victories in two days that led the Jayhawks to claim the CBE Hall of Fame Classic championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

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Baseline View: Kansas puts down Georgia in CBE title game

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KU Crime Blotter: Week of Nov. 14 through Nov. 20

The following incidents were reported to the University of Kansas Office of Public Safety between Monday, Nov. 14, and Sunday, Nov. 20. Incidents are listed by the dates they were reported.

Nov. 20

• Someone stole items from a vehicle Nov. 18 or Nov. 19 at Lot 111, 500 block of West 11th Street. Loss was valued at $1,040.

• Police found a person in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia about 1:45 p.m. Nov. 20 at Jayhawker Towers. The person was arrested.

• Someone took an unattended Xbox One and video games from a lobby Nov. 18 at Hashinger Hall. Loss was valued at $235.

Nov. 19

• Someone stole a person's phone while he was sleeping in the library, sometime between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Nov. 19 at Anschutz Library. Loss was valued at $250.

Nov. 18

• Someone wrote inside an elevator with a marker Nov. 16 or Nov. 17 at Malott Hall. Damage was valued at $150.

• Someone used red spray paint to graffiti the word ‘Rush’ on an air-conditioning unit Nov. 17 or Nov. 18 at KK Amini Scholarship Hall. Damage was estimated at $200.

Nov. 17

• Somebody pulled down a large illuminated exit sign Nov. 13 or Nov. 14 at GSP Hall. Loss was valued at $300.

Nov. 16

• Someone made fraudulent charges on a department credit card between Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 at Youngberg Hall. Loss was valued at $1,232.31.

Nov. 15

• An elevator was marred with graffiti Nov. 15 at Fraser Hall. The word ‘Rush’ was spray-painted inside. Damage was estimated at $400.

• During a routine traffic stop for a defective headlamp, police smelled marijuana and found a person in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia about 8:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in the 1500 block of Engel Road. The suspect was arrested.

• Police found multiple people in possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and fake driver’s licenses about 11:15 p.m. Nov. 15 in the 1800 block of Engel Road. One or more suspects was arrested.

Nov. 14

• Someone stole various gift cards and a bank card Nov. 14 at the Kansas Union. Loss was valued at $63.

Source: crimereports.com, KU Office of Public Safety

KU Office of Public Safety patrol vehicle, pictured June 2016

KU Office of Public Safety patrol vehicle, pictured June 2016 by Sara Shepherd


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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KU Sports Extra: Kansas is King in KC

Reaction from Matt Tait and Tom Keegan at Sprint Center, following the Jayhawks' 83-63 Monday victory over UAB in the CBE Classic.

• — For a preview of what to expect in tonight's match-up, join our Gameday Chat with Matt Tait to talk KU-Georgia. Submit questions early or join the live chat at 2 p.m. central time. — •

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Baseline View: Strong night for Josh Jackson against UAB

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KU notes recent deaths of retired English professors, African studies lecturer

This fall, the University of Kansas community is mourning the deaths of two retired English professors and an African and African-American studies lecturer known for teaching Kiswahili. The university this month shared statements remembering the three teachers.


George Worth, 87, was a professor emeritus of English who worked at KU for 40 years, including 15 years as English department chair. Worth specialized in Victorian literature, especially the works of Charles Dickens.

Worth was born in Vienna, and as a child left with his family during the Nazi occupation, emigrating first to London then to Chicago, according to his Journal-World obituary.

Dorice Elliott, an associate professor of English who joined KU to teach Victorian literature after Worth’s retirement, described him as “gracious, gentlemanly, intelligent and interesting.”

“I had heard much about George Worth before I came to KU because of his highly respected scholarship in Victorian studies, which gained him an international reputation,” Elliott said in a statement from KU. “He was as kind and helpful to me as anyone could be. He frequently visited my classes on Dickens to give guest lectures, and the students often reported that he was the highlight of the semester.”

Worth died Oct. 7 in Lawrence.


Stuart Levine, 84, was a professor emeritus of English who specialized in and wrote multiple books on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. According to KU, he also helped establish KU’s department of American Studies and founded the scholarly journal American Studies, which he edited for 30 years.

David Katzman, professor emeritus of American studies who worked as associate editor with Levine, said in a statement from KU, “He loved being editor of the journal and encouraging interdisciplinary scholarship in American studies in the Midwest.”

Levine also was a french horn player who played in the marching bands at Harvard and Brown universities and performed professionally as principal French horn for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, according to his obituary in the Journal-World. In Lawrence he played with the City Band, the Lawrence Woodwind Quintet and the CottonWood Winds.

Levine died Oct. 29 in Lawrence.


David Mburu, 51, taught many years in Kenya before joining KU, where as a full-time lecturer he taught courses in Kiswahili as well as popular culture in East Africa. His research centered on the Kiswahili language, popular culture in East Africa, gender issues in education, gender and education in Africa, curriculum and instruction and comparative education, according to KU.

“For the three and half years he had been with us he enabled our Kiswahili program to soar in curriculum, teaching resources and assessment,” Peter Ojiambo, associate professor and coordinator of African languages, said in a statement from KU. “He was a man of great character, a talented intellectual, a gifted and dedicated teacher and a wonderful colleague who brought enormous experience and excellence to our language program.”

Mburu died Oct. 30 at KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., according to his Journal-World obituary. His family planned a burial in Kenya.

Kansas University, seen from the air.

Kansas University, seen from the air. by Nick Krug


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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