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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

KU hoops notebook

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Senior speeches

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KU seniors Sasha Kaun, Russell Robinson, Rodrick Stewart, Jeremy Case and Darnell Jackson give their senior speeches after the Jayhawks' 109-51 victory over Texas Tech.

KU sends seniors, Red Raiders out with a bang

The KU men's basketball team may not have been able to script it's five seniors' last night in Allen Fieldhouse any better.

Fans will miss Jayhawk seniors

Monday night marked the final home game for five seniors on the Kansas men's basketball game.

Rush named 'Player of the Week'

For the first time this season, Kansas junior Brandon Rush is the Big 12 Player of the Week.

Useless Trivia

Useless trivia with Kevin and D.J.

Audio clips

2007-08 KU-Texas Tech Hoops

Swagger's back: Kansas University's basketball team seems to have bonded since a disappointing one-point loss Feb. 23 at Oklahoma State.

"We have a swagger again, not anything cocky," senior Darnell Jackson said after KU's third straight victory, a 109-51 dismantling Monday of Texas Tech.

"It happened at practice after we lost at OSU. A lot of guys realized, 'This is it. We can't keep losing. We can't go out in the first round.' We said, 'Everybody has to bring it every game the rest of the way.'"

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Long passes: Jackson had a pair of assists on three-quarter-court passes.

"If the NFL needs me to play quarterback in place of (Donovan) McNabb, I'm there," he said with a smile.

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Coach talk: KU coach Bill Self apologized to Tech coach Pat Knight in the handshake line after the game.

"He's great. He said, 'It's not your fault,''' Self said, "because we did play guys. They couldn't throw it in the ocean (18-of-62 shooting for 29 percent). I'm certainly glad we had a chance to play everybody, but nobody likes to win that way, by that margin. The Big 12 player of the week (Brandon Rush) plays 10 minutes tonight. How many times is that going to happen?"

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Rush lauded: Rush and Baylor's Kevin Rogers on Monday were named co-Big 12 Players of the Week.

Rush averaged 18.0 points in victories over Iowa State and Kansas State. Rogers averaged 18.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in victories over Colorado and Missouri.

It's the fourth career weekly honor for Rush, who was named rookie of the week three times his freshman season.

He's the second Jayhawk to earn the honor this season. Jackson was co-player of the week Jan. 25.

Kansas State's Michael Beasley was tapped rookie of the week Monday for the eighth time this season. He has been player of the week twice.

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Stats, facts: KU's nine threes in the second half tied a school record. In all, KU made a season-best 14 threes in 24 tries ... KU had a season-best 27 assists. ... Cole Aldrich had his first double-double (11 points, 11 boards). ... Brad Witherspoon hit two free throws for his first points of the season. ... Chase Buford, the only Jayhawk not to score, had the first block and steal of his career. ... KU went 20-0 at home this season and has won 24 straight home games. ... KU has scored 100 points six times under Self. ... KU outrebounded Tech, 54-24. The 54 boards were a season high. ... Six Jayhawks scored in double figures for the first time all year.

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KU deserves mention: Self on Monday said he hoped the Jayhawks' balanced scoring attack wouldn't cost the team in all-league voting.

"In my personal opinion, I'd be disappointed if we don't have at least a couple of guys on the first team, more than that on the first two teams, but it's up to the voters to decide," he said.

Self was asked by a reporter on the coaches' weekly teleconference if he could list his players in order of importance. The coach couldn't do that.

"Darrell Arthur is our leading scorer. Mario Chalmers was our best performer the first half of the season. Darnell Jackson is our most improved (player). Brandon Rush has been our best performer the second half of the season. If you ask me who our best player is I'd say, 'Wait until the game tonight.' I don't even know," Self said.

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NCAA Tourney talk: Self said he thought the Big 12 should have six teams in the upcoming NCAAs. His reasoning is the league has the second-best RPI in the country, based on strong performances in nonconference games.

"If RPI matters in looking at individual teams, it should matter for conferences," Self said. "The Big 12 was hurt the last couple of years in being fifth or sixth (in RPI). Now, being second should help us. There are a lot of .500 teams (in conference). That's because the league is so good. Six is very realistic."

Comments

d_prowess 13 years, 9 months ago

I know today is supposed to be a day when we all continue the celebration of the Senior Class, but I just have to ask when on earth will we ever be able to successfully execute a "last shot" offensive set!
Again last night we saw Mario drive the lane and get stuck in the air. I am tired of seeing that over and over again at the end of a game or half...

Bear86 13 years, 9 months ago

d_prowess nailed it! Coaching and Executing the "last second shot" has not been a bright spot for the Jayhawks. I do believe our best option is Sherron. My only concern is that he has not finishing plays as strong as he did last year. The rest of the team looks like scared puppies ready to pee down their legs at the end of the games. They have a "don't pass to me" look on their face. Hopefully coach Self practices this game situation a little (I mean alot) more heading into the post season tournament's were many games go down to the wire. Great win last night Hawks! If you play like that every game from here on out you won't need the last second shot.

actorman 13 years, 9 months ago

I agree that this team hasn't looked great at the ends of halves/games, but Bear you're going WAY overboard when you say that everyone except Sherron looks like "scared puppies." In fact I would venture to say that Mario is the best clutch player on the team. Have you forgotten the huge shot he hit from a mile away at USC? Or all the other big shots he's hit? I don't think you could say that Mario is a scared puppie.

LAJayhawk 13 years, 9 months ago

I'll give the quote again:

"It's my job to kick your a**, and it's your job to stop me." --Bob Knight

Don't feel bad about playing an outstanding game, coach.

Also, Mario's shot at the end of the USC game was extremely impressive. I was there and was taunted most of the game by 3 or 4 middle aged guys behind me. When he hit that shot I heard one of them say "that was a big time hit. That was pretty clutch." Mario clearly wants the ball at the end of a game. However, I will say that in the second half of the season, his desire hasn't quite matched his execution.

jaybate 13 years, 9 months ago

Here's the thing for everyone to remember: this senior class is Self's first. Good lord, imagine the kinds of teams he's going to recruit now that he's a proven quantity with a fabulous winning record at KU. The quality of the guys Roy started hauling in later in his KU career improved significantly. Its actually kind of scary to think about what Self may do with his next couple recruiting classes.

lance1jhawk 13 years, 9 months ago

Lebowski nailed it! Last second shot... Last second shot! No offense, but come on. I guess if you need to bitch then you can find almost anything.

LAJayhawk 13 years, 9 months ago

actually, I think I should switch those two in order for them to make sense: his execution hasn't quite matched his desire. But I'm guessing if anyone actually reads these posts, you probably figured that out already..............

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