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Thursday, November 29, 2007

A good, strong start

Jackson propels Jayhawks

Kansas University's Darnell Jackson, second from left, draws a crowd of appreciative Jayhawk onlookers as he skies to block a shot from FAU's Carlos Monroe. Jackson started Wednesday's game and finished with 13 points and two blocks in the Jayhawks' 87-49 rout in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University's Darnell Jackson, second from left, draws a crowd of appreciative Jayhawk onlookers as he skies to block a shot from FAU's Carlos Monroe. Jackson started Wednesday's game and finished with 13 points and two blocks in the Jayhawks' 87-49 rout in Allen Fieldhouse.

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Hawks sweep Owls, 87-49

A warm reception from the crowd greeted former Jayhawk Rex Walters, now coaching the FAU Owls. The Jayhawk players, though, were less than friendly during the actual game.

Hawks face off against former KU sharpshooter's team

Tonight an old face enters Allen Fieldhouse wearing a new uniform. Former Kansas sharpshooter Rex Walters returns to the Phog as the head coach of the FAU Owls. Kevin Romary has more from the hardwood.

Useless trivia with DJ

Kevin Romary and DJ Whetter play useless fieldhouse trivia.

Audio clips

2007-08 Nov. 28 KU-FAU Basketball

An emotional guy, Darnell Jackson admits that being introduced as a starter at Allen Fieldhouse really gets his blood churning.

"When they call your name," said Jackson, who made his first start of the season and fifth of his four-year Kansas University basketball career Wednesday night, "and you run out there and everybody is yelling, it gives me a lot of energy. I was real comfortable starting the game."

The 6-foot-8, 250-pounder from Oklahoma City who opened in the place of fellow senior Sasha Kaun, scored four of KU's first 10 points en route to KU's 87-49 waxing of ex-Jayhawk Rex Walters' Florida Atlantic Owls.

Jackson finished with 13 points off 4-of-5 shooting and 4-of-4 free throwing. He also swished the second 3-pointer of his career and second this season.

"I wouldn't say I'm a 3-point shooter now," said Jackson, who has made two of four on the year. He also made two in three tries in an exhibition victory over Fort Hays State.

"I do have a lot of confidence in my shot. I used to shoot line drives. Coach (Bill) Self tells me to get some arc under it. I work on it a lot with coach (Danny) Manning. We run a drill where he stands there and we have to shoot over his arms."

Jackson - his 3-pointer off a feed from Jeremy Case gave KU a 62-28 second-half lead - said he may fire up an occasional trey this year to help open it up inside for KU's other big men.

"I think I can help 'Shady' out when we are in the game together," he said of Darrell Arthur, who had 12 points and two boards in 17 minutes. "Or I can help Sasha (seven points, seven boards, 16 minutes). If I can knock that shot down, it will help give them room to make a move in the post. If they (defenders) come out on me, I can throw high/low to one of my teammates."

KU coach Self, who often is amused by his players' postgame quotes, grinned when asked about that Jackson theory.

"I guarantee you he is not thinking when lining it up, 'I am doing this to open up the high/low.' The reason he likes shooting it is because he likes shooting it. It is better if guys can stretch the defense.

"I trust his shot," Self added. "Next to Wayne (Simien), he is probably the best big man shooter we've had, hands down."

Jackson - he said he learned at Tuesday's practice he'd get the starting nod - also offered a theory about the game-opening lineup.

"Coach wanted to try something new. He was going to rotate the big guys to see which guys start off better," Jackson said. "It's early. He'll see who is out there improving on the court, who will start and who will come off the bench. Either way doesn't matter to me at all. We have to be focused at all times, starting or coming off the bench."

Self said he mentioned the rotating of big men starters weeks ago, but noted, "I don't have that on my mind at all now."

What does he have in mind?

"I think he (Jackson) has earned that (starting slot). He's played well, and I think Sasha has labored," Self said. "Maybe that will get Sasha going a little bit. If we are going to experiment and do different things, it's best to do it early on. Now I'd say Darnell has earned that right to start."

Self said Jackson likely would start Sunday's 1 p.m. battle at Southern California.

"He did fine. Sasha played a lot better. He went after the ball hard. Shady didn't play as much. He had two quick fouls and tweaked his ankle early (but continued to play) He did fine as well as Darnell and Cole (Aldrich, four points, three steals, 15 minutes)."

It was a fine effort by the Jayhawks, who hit 56.9 percent of their shots compared to FAU's 31.4 mark. Brandon Rush continued to fare well, scoring 17 points for the second straight game, this time in 19 minutes. Mario Chalmers had 11 points and Conner Teahan nine, both cashing three 3-pointers.

Go figure

31.4

FAU's field-goal shooting percentage

56.9

Kansas' field-goal shooting percentage

8:19

Florida Atlantic's assist-to-turnover ratio

22:10

Kansas' assist-to-turnover ratio

45-10

KU's scoring advantage in bench points

18

Points by which Kansas outscored FAU from 3-point range

4-5, 4-4

Field-goal, free-throw shooting for Darnell Jackson in his first start

9, 8

FAU players who took the court, FAU players with at least 1 turnover

Comments

JNgohawks 6 years, 10 months ago

(6.778^3)/5.778=roderick +5x^8/3y + robinson

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John Strayer 6 years, 10 months ago

Is this the year of freak accidents? Arthur tweaking his ankle...he is extremely fortunate he didn't injure his knee...when Stewart hit the floor, he just rolled up Arthur's leg...on TV you could see Arthur's knee flex inward slightly. Looked like a very close call with a season ending injury.

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fundamental 6 years, 10 months ago

I could have sworn we had just witnessed a season-ending ACL injury when I saw that replay. Glad he got back out there and played pretty well. Still waiting for Arthur to find his version of "Beast Mode." It'll happen, though.

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Jonathan Andrews 6 years, 10 months ago

Go Self! I have been wishing for a long time now that Self would stop talking about "rebounding, defense, toughness", and start SHOWING it with the players he chooses to start. Rod and Darnell are the toughest customers on our team aside from RR, and they had been long overdue for the roles they now occupy.

No doubt, Rush will eventually earn his starting spot once he feels fully comfortable, and once Kaun realizes how to go full-bore all the time for rebounds, defense and running the floor, he'll likely unseat D-Jack. But by showcasing Jackson and Stewart, Self is sending a message to his "starters" that speak MUCH louder than words.

Again, GO SELF! GO KU!

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KGphoto 6 years, 10 months ago

Sasha Kaun hasn't improved one bit since arriving on campus. He can't shoot free throws, he can't shoot anything, and he doesn't play as hard as he used to. Darnell is our best free throw shooter and our best big man shooter. He plays hard ALL the time. He deserves the spot.

Self better get these boys to shoot free throws. If they don't make vast improvements in this area, we will lose lot's of close games this year.

I would have them all spend an ENTIRE day every week devoted to nothing but free throws. I said this before. 58% free throws will buy you 58% of SQUAT in the tourney.

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APDJayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Lebowski's pacifier obviously fell out and his mommy isn't around to put it back in....

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Mr_Sandman 6 years, 10 months ago

I like Darnell starting over Sasha at this point, I think he has shown a big improvement and I like the energy he brings. My starting five would be: C- Jackson PF- Arthur SF- Rush SG- Chalmers PG- Robinson

I think that Stewart is better served as an energy type of player coming off the bench. I would even like to see a lot of 3 guard once Collins is back, I don't think anyone in the country can match that lineups speed.

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Tony Peck 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree with Lebowski. Sasha has always worked hard. Miss a few free throws, they are ready to hang you. Last year KG probably wanted Self fired for loosing a couple games early. Sasha is fine.

However...I HATE watching us shoot free throws right now. We'll come around though.

Rock Chalk!

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rockchalkAZ 6 years, 10 months ago

sorry, i just can't resist on this one, because so many people get it wrong that it can't be just a simple typo. It is "losing a couple games", not "loosing a couple games."

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smitty33 6 years, 10 months ago

How many times have we seen Sasha drop the ball. He may have improved a bit over the years, but his ROCK HANDS have not. Jackson has MUCH more potential, especially if Self would give him more of Sasha's minutes. I said this all last year.... I'm tired of waiting for Sasha to improve!! Sasha is great against teams with no big studs. He has no offense against the big dogs.

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Tony Peck 6 years, 10 months ago

oops..thanks AZ

losing a couple games

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100 6 years, 10 months ago

My gosh if there's anyone who deserves to start every once in awhile it is Darnell Jackson. Nice job Coach Self. Unfortunately (though fortunately for his developing game) he's always been behind 1st round draft picks. Like many solid prospects who chose Kansas, this will only give him that much more of a shot to make the NBA. What a good role model to boot. Good job, Darnell.

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JayViking 6 years, 10 months ago

I know this isn't relevant but I'm so tired of the brandon rush hype.

He doesn't impress me anymore than roderick. Sure, his height gives him an advantage defensively, and he's a better three point shooter, but roderick does everything else as good or better and puts (what i see as) more heart on the floor. until rush consistently scores 20 pts a game (which is what he should be doing for as much f'n attention as he gets) then roderick is my starter (could base this soley on the intangibles and the freakin assists!).

also, sasha is showing improvement. he, of course, has his subtle strengths and glaring weaknesses. darnell has more basketball IQ and is better at positioning himself to make plays, but sasha does a good job at his role.

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bdku 6 years, 10 months ago

did anybody else notice brandon made sporscenter's top ten... he was number 2... getting rejected. kinda funny, but a little sad too.

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hail_2_old_KU 6 years, 10 months ago

Its about time D-Jackson started, Sasha has never been a consistent player and I believe that Darnell gives you a little more something special that Sasha can't.

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rockchalkAZ 6 years, 10 months ago

so JayViking, you say that rush doesn't impress you any more than rodrick. but your very next sentence states that his height gives him an advantage, and that he's a better shooter. so you're saying that offensively and defensively, rush is better. don't get me wrong, i love rodrick and he's a great player, but he's not better than rush (rod's not scoring 20 points a game either.) your logic seems a little off to me

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bmcmich1 6 years, 10 months ago

rockchalkAZ,

thanks for bringing up the 'losing vs. loosing' thing earlier. I like to think of myself as a pretty laid back person, but seeing people insert 'loose' and 'loosing' for 'lose' and 'losing' REALLY gets on my nerves. Thanks for saying something.

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rockchalkAZ 6 years, 10 months ago

very, very common error that is

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JayViking 6 years, 10 months ago

I meant that only those attributes were in Rush's favor...and considering the amount of hype he receives (his expectations are higher because he's supposed to be an NBA-caliber player) he therefore does not impress me anymore than Roderick. And to taking that a little further, I believe Roderick is more valuable to our team because of the intangibles he brings to the court not to mention all of the assists. Anyone else see some Langfordish slashing abilities in Roderick? He certainly takes the ball to the basket better than Rush. (OH YEAH, he can dribble with his left hand too.)

And I never made any assertions as to who was "better" at offense or defense. Rush is certainly a better defender against a perimeter shooter, but he gets smoked by a good ball handler (not the case with roderick).

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Drew Bender 6 years, 10 months ago

JayViking... are u off your f'n meds??? BRush is just coming off a very, very serious knee surgery and playing in games before he really should be ( he was scheduled to come back Dec. 1)... he is already playing at a higher level this year than in the previous two... and he certainly doesnt need to put up 20 pts. every night, especially when we are beating teams by 30 or more pts... Last year on the Florida Gators National Championship squad, the leading scorer was (I believe) Taurean Green who averaged about 14 per contest... a balanced scoring attack is all we need to win games... not a hot shot who drops 40 consistently... And five of those Gators, who only averaged 10-13 ppg are now in the NBA... those are just my two pennies... now i will step down off my soapbox

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Larry Smith 6 years, 10 months ago

Jayviking, I think you are mistaken. As long as Brandon has been on this team, he has been the defensive stopper. You have to be out of your mind to say that he gets "smoked" by good ballhandlers. He has been able to handle all defensive assignments.

As far as putting up 20 a night, in the last 20 years, only D Manning, Paul Pierce and Wayne have been able to do that, and I would say each one of them was relied upon much more than Brandon to score those points. This is a much more balanced team. I'm sure that if he wanted to get his 20 a night he could do it. However, that probably doesn't work into the coaches plan.

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JayViking 6 years, 10 months ago

I understand we don't need a hot shot scorer to win. Look at us now. We do just fine without one.

I'd be really interested to know, though, just how many games Rush has had where he has scored more than 20 pts. My guess is not many.

I just get tired of people talking up b-rush. It's nauseating to hear the big crowd response to him entering/leaving a ball game after he hit a couple threes (or even just entering a game without doing squat). big woop. Let's give other players the same response for big(ger) effort.

Rush has yet to perform like big time players in the past who have gotten this kind of recognition (Simien, Hinrich, Collison, etc) but he still gets all the hype. Yawn!

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JayViking 6 years, 10 months ago

The balanced team absolutely hurts his ability to get 20 pts. Truth is we don't need it, but he still sits back and shoots threes all day. JR Giddens, anyone?

His defense is generally pretty good, but I still don't buy into him being able to stop a good ball handler. I bet mario and russ dribble circles around him in practice.

I'm not trying to bash Rush as a player. He's good and I'm glad he's at KU. He's entertaining to watch, certainly! I'm just tired of the hype around him.

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JayViking 6 years, 10 months ago

First paragraph in the last post there was meant to be in agreement but I don't think I made that very clear :)

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rockchalkAZ 6 years, 10 months ago

well if you're tired of people talking about Rush and saying that he's a great player, then i suggest that you stop reading about KU baskeball, and stop reading these posts. because he IS a great player, and people are gonna talk about it

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kansaspike 6 years, 10 months ago

Bill Self to Oklahoma St.?? Anybody else get a rumbling of this? Souce says Boone Pickens is all worked up about it. This means serious $$

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Herb Derpson 6 years, 10 months ago

"Bill Self to Oklahoma St.?? "

Where do you people come up with this stuff? Why in the world would Self leave the greatest seat in college basketball for a program on the downslide right now?

Alum...no Cash...money is not everything....ever spent an extended amount of time in Stillwater?

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Larry Smith 6 years, 10 months ago

Jay, you obviously have issues with B-Rush. Who knows why. The thing you have to remember is that this is his 3rd year. The players that you mentioned above where hyped as well, especially going into their junior years. And they did not put up the stats that Brandon did in his first 2 years.

As far as 20 pt games, so far he has had 10

at this same time in their careers; Hinrich - 5 Simien - 4 Collison - 7

They all became better scorers as they matured as players and I am sure Brandon will do the same. Although I think Brandon could put up monster stats every night if he were in it only for himself.

As Freshmen Rush 13.8 ppg Hinrich 5.5 ppg Collison 10.5 ppg Simien 8.1 Pierce 11.9

As Sophs Rush 13.8 Hinrich 11.5 Collison 14 Simien 14.8 Pierce 16.3

So yes, Rush has performed as well as the (as you would say) the big time players who got a lot of hype.

Let the bias go man, Your argument just doesn't hold water.

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LugNut914 6 years, 10 months ago

I was very stoked to see Darnell start. He's a better defender, rebounder, post player, passer, shooter, more energy, etc, etc, than Kaun.

Forget the freethrows, my biggest gripe about Kaun is missed shots in the post. Missed 'easy' shots in the post. He is best when he has an opportunity to slam it home. He's not afraid. Issues arise when he tries to do basic post moves. He misses too many easy ones.

He needs to turn into the 'monster' off the bench.
Kaun needs to be a beast. Come in off the bench and be the intimidator!!!!

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kubbjunkie 6 years, 10 months ago

D. Jackson is one of the most emotional players and so much fun to watch. He gets pumped up and gets the crowd going! As a side note....from a woman's point of view....he's a pleasure to watch--easy on the eyes!

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ShockHawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Jackson is a very good player, and I'm happy for him that all his hard work has really started paying off. Same with Rod, I was excited when he transferred here, and then it seemed like he was performing like a freshman walk-on, getting in on the last 3 minutes in blowouts. But you should be able to see that they both have just needed time to grow and mature in Self's system. And don't get too down on Sasha; he only started playing a few years before coming to KU, and he's young. Anyone remember Eric Pauley?

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curlyqkm15 6 years, 10 months ago

Rodrick Stewart did a great job yesterday. The lob that he threw to Brandon Rushwas awesome! I am very glad that he is getting some deserved playing time this year. Darnell Jackson is one of my favorite players and I was glad to see him get to start and have a great game last night. He has a pure shot and I don't mind seeing him shoot it just inside the three point line. I hope Jackson continues to start because he is doing a great job this year. Whether or not he continues to start, I am confident that he will still continue to be a key player for KU. Also, Sasha Kaun seemed to play much better coming off of the bench. I am ready for KU to play USC on Sunday. I don't know how good they are this year but I hope that it is a little more challenging than our other game we have been put in. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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scootja32 6 years, 10 months ago

USC has to play us and then Memphis. GOOOOOD LUCK!!!

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JayViking 6 years, 10 months ago

My only comparison to Giddens is that Rush has a tendency to camp behind the 3 pt line.

I think if there's one thing to take from what I was trying to say it's this:

Let's give Rod and the boys as big of a hand (AT THE GAMES!!!) as we give Rush. Every game they play just as hard (and just as well IMO). That's all.

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