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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Kansas basketball notebook

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Kansas University power forward Darnell Jackson was downright upset when his teammate and buddy, Jeff Hawkins, was flattened by Oklahoma State's David Monds on a layup try with 10:28 left.

Monds, who was called for an intentional foul, was shoved by Jackson.

Monds shoved back, and both were called for technicals.

"I shoved first," Jackson admitted, adding, "any big guy would do that for their point guard. I thought it was intentional. I saw 'Hawk' fall back on his neck. I rushed him (Monds) and told him what was on my mind."

Hawkins was appreciative of the support from Jackson.

"I told Darnell early in the season he could be that guy like Jeff Graves. If you mess with one of his teammates he'd go out and get ya," Hawkins said. "After I got up I told him, 'Thanks, man.'''

KU coach Bill Self said he expected his players to support each other.

"I'll be honest with you, that doesn't bother me. It was a hard foul," Self said. "Teammates should stand up for one another. You should never, ever, ever make body contact, but that doesn't bother me. Competitors are supposed to do that. OSU guys did it. We did it, and that was the end of it."

Surprise foe: Self on KU's surprise opponent, Nebraska, a 69-63 winner over Oklahoma in Friday's late quarterfinal:

"We played two of our best games of the year so far against them," Self said. The Jayhawks beat NU, 96-54, on Jan. 21 in Lawrence and 69-48, on Feb. 8, in Lincoln. "The first game we didn't play as well as the score indicated, but the second time we did play very well up there. You've got to contain (Wes) Wilkinson and (Jamel) White on the perimeter and keep (Aleks) Maric away from the glass. They are playing some great ball here in the tournament. They didn't play their best either time against us, so it'll be an interesting setup tomorrow."

Maric had 16 points and 11 boards in the second meeting versus KU, which has won five straight against NU and 13 of 14.

He's not hurt: Christian Moody didn't play Friday, Self shortening his rotation to eight players. "I'll be more rested for tomorrow," Moody said with a grin.

Facts: KU's senior class of Moody, Jeff Hawkins and Stephen Vinson earned its 100th victory. All of KU's senior classes since the 1986-87 season won 100 games. : KU is 10-0 in first-round tourney games. Brandon Rush, who had six points off 2-of-6 shooting, nonetheless moved into second place on the all-time freshman scoring list. He has 414 points, moving ahead of Kerry Boagni. All-time leader Danny Manning scored 496 points in 1985.

Miles, Langford on hand: Ex-Jayhawks Keith Langford and Aaron Miles attended. They are members of the Fort Worth Flyers of the National Basketball Developmental League.

"MVP. You're MVP," Miles told gritty Russell Robinson in the KU locker room.

To reporters, Miles said: "They (Jayhawks) play hard. They are tough-minded. I like the way they've got each others' backs," Miles said, impressed Jackson stood up for Hawkins. "Russell is so tough. He doesn't get as much credit as he deserves because he doesn't score as much. He is the heart and soul of the squad."

Wait your turn: There was a humorous moment when Miles hopped into a group of reporters to shake Self's hand outside the locker room.

"Good to see you, Aaron, but you are interrupting," Self said.

"OK, coach," Miles replied, waiting his turn then engaging his former coach in a long conversation.

Recruit in final: Darrell Arthur, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior forward from Dallas' South Oak Cliff High who scored 33 points in a 95-90 state semifinal victory over Angleton High, today will play in the state finals against Fort Worth Dunbar.

"Darrell had a breakaway dunk late in the game that really helped us to hang on," coach James Mays told Rivals.com.

Arthur is considering KU, Texas, SMU and Baylor, with Kansas the "slight leader," according to Mays.

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