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Friday, November 16, 2007

Keegan

Keegan: Destiny smiling on KU

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B-Rush is back

Five and a half months after surgery to repair a torn ACL, Jayhawk junior guard made his 2007 KU debut this evening against Washburn University.

Hawks face third Kansas opponent

The Hawks play yet another small Kansas school tonight at Allen Fieldhouse. Kevin Romary has more from the hardwood.

Useless trivia with DJ

Useless fieldhouse trivia with DJ Whetter and Kevin Romary.

Audio clips

2007-08 Nov. 15 KU-Washburn Basketball

During a timeout with 3:58 remaining in the second half of Kansas University's 92-60 basketball victory against Division II Washburn University on Thursday night, a second-quarter college football score flashed on the scoreboard: Arizona 17, Oregon 11. What was left of the crowd inside Allen Fieldhouse, which never looked close to full, erupted.

Shortly thereafter, word began to spread that Dennis Dixon, Oregon's quarterback and the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, was out because of a knee injury.

It was impossible for anyone not to think at that moment that maybe, just maybe, everything really is falling into place for Mark Mangino's football team and maybe, just maybe, a 14-0 national-title season actually could happen. Secondarily, depending on Dixon's future availability, the Heisman Trophy could look like less of a longshot for quarterback Todd Reesing.

Rodrick Stewart, a senior on the basketball team making his first start Thursday since he was a freshman at USC, heard the crowd but had no idea what had sparked the reaction.

"I was just trying to listen to coach (Bill) Self," Stewart said. "What was it?"

Told about the score, Stewart broke into a huge grin and said, "Oh, really? That's definitely great for us."

Scoreboards keep spreading good news in the two sports in which Kansas is ranked in the top four in the nation. A Saturday victory against Iowa State in Memorial Stadium coupled with a Thursday night loss by Oregon would mean that Kansas surely would emerge from the weekend ranked second in the BCS standings, which means defeating Missouri and then Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game would vault the Jayhawks into the national-title game.

As long as we're getting way ahead of ourselves, it's worth mentioning that the basketball team's national-title hopes look a great deal stronger as well with the return of Brandon Rush from knee surgery. Rush looked terrific, and so did Stewart, the slimmed-down leaper now filling in for Sherron Collins.

Stewart made two of the night's three spectacular plays, and Russell Robinson made the other.

Robinson soared to block a 3-point shot by Prince look-alike Angel Santiago, a former Chicago high school superstar who would be in his third year of Division I ball if he had a better transcript. Robinson ran the ball down and fired it ahead to Stewart, who got way up and threw down a tomahawk jam. Stewart also responded to a turnover of his by hustling from behind to block a shot off the backboard.

"That was an unbelievable block he had in transition," Self said. "That was a very, very athletic play. He's great at getting in the gaps and making plays for other people. He's going to be a good player for us this year."

Stewart said, "I definitely was nervous before the game. It was the first game in a long time I started."

The minutes Stewart plays while Rush builds his way back to full strength and Collins (foot surgery) is sidelined for an estimated six weeks will make him a more valuable reserve when the roster is back at full strength.

By then, the football season will be reaching a conclusion. Maybe, just maybe, it will be remembered as the most improbable season in the history of sports.

Comments

okjhok 13 years, 3 months ago

Seems to me that the "good fortune" Oregon supplied last night is just the type of thing that the football team is not looking for. Mangino has stated repeatedly that they work hard and are prepared to earn their way. Oregon would not have lost that game last night if Dixon didn't go down. I sure wouldn't want to benefit from an injury and I don't think the football team would either. In my mind it's a moot point, anyway, since, if we win out, we would leap-frog any one-loss team in front of us, barring maybe LSU. Botton line is this: We win out, we're in the championship. We don't, we're not. Last night's game had no impact on that. I suppose those that like to see KU move up in the polls had that to cheer for last night, but the polls mean jack.

jaybate 13 years, 3 months ago

Quick! Someone write a book. Call it: The Longest Preseason. Some of the recent games are official preseason games. Others masquerade as regular season games. Regardless, half the team may graduate before we get through the cup cakes this year.

And all of the top programs seem to be doing it, too. Repeat after me: cupcakes, conference, dance.

13 years, 3 months ago

okjhok, what Oregon's loss does is remove any doubt as to whether we would have leap-frogged them or not if we win out. That being said, I would hate for us to become complacent now having the way cleared for us - - ala K-State in 1998.

okjhok 13 years, 3 months ago

Yes it does, but my point is that that's not the way I'd like to move up, by way of injury. I know, it's part of the game, but there will always be those that say Oregon was the best team, when healthy. I hate that. Again, in my opinion, we win out, we had nothing to worry about in the first place. Still a long way to go.

Michael Foulston 13 years, 3 months ago

okjhok - Actually, the polls mean a lot more than jack. They account for 2/3 of the BCS ranking. While I get no joy from watching someone else fall due to injury, it's better than not having the opportunity at all. The focus must only be on Iowa State for the football team. We fans can keep dreaming...I can barely be rational about it...:)

okjhok 13 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, I know they do...I was hoping nobody called me on that

Michael Leiker 13 years, 3 months ago

I think the Oregon loss gives the team a definite reason to get hyped for Saturday. If they win, they know that they will continue to move up in the BCS Standings for the 5th straight week. Senior day, ISU coming off their senior day....KU covers the 26 by 7 plus. There is no doubt at all now what they are playing for, it is very clear, and i just don't see this team feeling any pressure because of it. When the goal is clear

Michael Leiker 13 years, 3 months ago

ok - it still doesn't change anything...they have to win out to get there....i posted on one of the other links the question that what if KU and OU are the only one loss teams left standing after the Big XII, then do we play again for the NC if LSU loses in the SEC Championship?

Jim Pendleton 13 years, 3 months ago

I don't know which I was more excited about last night -

1 - Hawks b-ball win 2 - Oregon losing to Arizona 3 - the announcement during the game that Saturday's football game is SOLD OUT!!

Maybe people around here are finally getting it. Let's take care of business Saturday. Come early, be loud, and support this great team.

kmarti49 13 years, 3 months ago

its great to see oregon lose. now the jayhawks need to take care of business on saturday.

i am nervous about one thing tho. if we win on saturday, we are guaranteed a number 2 spot. but number 2 has been cursed all season(usc, usf, etc..) maybe im just over analyzing everything

Marcia Parsons 13 years, 3 months ago

Meanwhile I'm trying to forget that the #2 position on the BCS poll has been the kiss of death. No doubt we'll beat Iowa St this week and move up to #2 just in time to play Missouri.

bmkjayhawk 13 years, 3 months ago

kmarti49, I was thinking the same thing last night. However, as they were showing the #2s who have gone down this year, each one of them has been to an unranked opponent, at least that's what they said. Though we may be in position to move into #2, we will still be #3 this weekend (luckily, I guess) and in all likelihood will not play another unranked opponent all season.

Craig Lang 13 years, 3 months ago

I agree with kmarti that the No. 2 spot is scary, which is why I'll be rooting for an LSU loss on Saturday, which will catapult KU to the No. 1 spot! Either way, I am still confident that this team will not take its No. 2 position for granted.

Let me just add one more observation: with Hawaii's basketball team already 0-1, Kansas is now the ONLY school in NCAA Div. I that is currently undefeated in both Football AND Mens' Basketball! Go Hawks!

Kevin Long 13 years, 3 months ago

We can't worry about the weeks to come. We just have to win against ISU and let the other things fall into place. WIN WIN WIN!

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 3 months ago

I hate to benefit from an injury but OU's loss makes the MU-KSU game a moot point. I am definitely rooting for K-State. I'd like to see LSU loose as well because the NC title game will be a home game for them. As far as the Heisman goes, unless Dixon is out for the season I think the injury proved to voters how valuable he is to the Ducks.

As for basketball, the injuries are giving me that same eerie feeling I got in 97.

troutsee 13 years, 3 months ago

The Oregan loss helped MU more than us. It gave them a chance to play for the national title by winning out. Something they would not have been able to do if Oregan and LSU had won out. It did not help us, as we need to win out either way to go to the BCS championship game. I hope KSU beats MU this weekend but think that is very unlikely. MU big. KU big.

jhawklifer 13 years, 3 months ago

No doubt, Oregon's loss is moot because we'd play for the NC if we win out regardless. I just can't imagine this team losing at home on senior day, but I can't help but get a little nervous. Doesn't matter though: Rock Chalk!!!

bmcmich1 13 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't quite say that Oregon's loss is moot. Although it would have been a screw job of monumental proportions, there still could have been a chance that we win out and still get denied the NC game. Now, with Oregon losing, it is absolutely, positively 100% guaranteed that if we win out we go to the NC game. Oregon's loss was not moot.

mr_lawrence 13 years, 3 months ago

I don't see why Chase Daniel gets so much hype and Reesing so little. Their numbers are pretty similar except for one glaring exception. Both have thrown for 26 td's, but Reesing only has 4 int's to Daniel's 9! That's a huge difference, I think - 5 possessions.

scootja32 13 years, 3 months ago

He had a hell of a lot more yards than Reesing. That's why

truefan 13 years, 3 months ago

true, scootja, but passing is their entire offense. reesing got his numbers in a balanced offense while daniel got his in the texas tech (we can't run the ball for jack) offense. daniel is a product of the system he is in and reesing may be as well, but at least we have over one-thousand yards rushing to go along with our pass first strategy.

scootja32 13 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sayin one is better than the other, just that it's the reason he's gettin exposure.

Bob Zielinski 13 years, 3 months ago

why start the comments by saying everyone in basketball follows the "cupcake, conference, dance" formula? doesn't KU play arizona, georgia tech, boston college etc. etc? college basketball is littered with great pre-conference match ups. that is just silly to say. also, if oregon crumbles to arizona because their qb goes out they weren't that good to begin with, were they? leaf had a good deal of experience over the last two seasons, it's not like he was an untested freshman.

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