Tuesday, February 14, 2006

KU plays down poll


— Kansas University's basketball players didn't celebrate Monday after learning they were ranked 22nd in the country in both polls.

It marked the first time this season the tradition-rich Jayhawks had cracked either Top 25.

"We didn't really talk about it," Brandon Rush said after the Jayhawks' 64-49 victory over the Cowboys on Monday night, hours after the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls were released.

"I do think we deserve to be ranked. We did a little better than I thought," added Rush, who figured KU would be tapped 24th or 25th.

"I didn't even know we were ranked, to be honest," Russell Robinson said. "It shows somebody is noticing how hard we've been working."

The Jayhawks didn't dwell on rankings in pregame meetings or the fact Oklahoma State would be without veteran coach Eddie Sutton, who Monday announced he had taken a leave of absence the rest of the season.

"Nah, we didn't talk about it. I saw on SportsCenter he took a leave of absence," Rush said. "We knew they'd play hard for their coach."

One other topic also failed to be addressed in the locker room: the fact KU coach Bill Self was trying to snare a win at his alma mater.

"He referred to what happened here before, two years ago," Julian Wright said of a 20-point KU loss. "We just wanted to win another big-league game."

"We wanted to win for Kansas," Rush said.

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