Saturday, March 29, 2008

Beyond sweet

Kansas among Elite Eight

Kansas' Darrell Arthur (00) dunks on Villanova's Scottie Reynolds (1) and Dante Cunningham in the Jayhawks' 72-57 victory. The outcome Friday in Detroit lifted KU into the Elite Eight.

Kansas' Darrell Arthur (00) dunks on Villanova's Scottie Reynolds (1) and Dante Cunningham in the Jayhawks' 72-57 victory. The outcome Friday in Detroit lifted KU into the Elite Eight.



2008 NCAA Tournament

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Full video coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2008 NCAA Tournament

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2007-08 March 28 KU-Nova Hoops

Reader poll

How many points will Davidson star Stephen Curry score against KU Sunday?

  • 0-10 2% 25 votes
  • 10-20 40% 352 votes
  • 20-30 49% 426 votes
  • 30-40 4% 35 votes
  • 40-plus 2% 22 votes

860 total votes.

Go figure

0Assists by Villanova's five starters combined

13Turnovers by the Wildcats' starting five

17.6Villanova's three-point shooting percentage (3-for-17)

42.1Kansas' three-point shooting percentage (8-for-19)

7-for-14KU's first-half three-point shooting

1-for-5Kansas' second-half three-point shooting

2Points by which KU outscored smaller 'Nova in the paint

57,028Attendance at cavernous Ford Field, a regional record

— Friday was one of the longest days of Russell Robinson's life.

Also one of the sweetest.

"I was getting a little sleepy on the bus ride over here," Robinson, Kansas University's senior point guard, said of a day that started with wake-up call at 10 a.m. at the Dearborn Hyatt Regency Hotel, nearly 12 hours before tipoff of the Jayhawks' Sweet 16 contest against Villanova at Ford Field.

"Getting over here and standing in front of our fans in the dome fired me up," Robinson added after emerging as KU's unofficial MVP of a 72-57 victory over the Wildcats - a victory that pushes the No. 1-seeded Jayhawks into Sunday's 4:05 p.m. CDT contest against No. 10 seed Davidson.

"It wasn't that bad. It definitely turned out well."

Breakfast at 11 a.m. and shootaround at 2 p.m., followed by lots of lounging back at the hotel, didn't affect Robinson's play early Friday.

He scored 13 points off 4-of-4 shooting (3-of-3 threes) and 2-of-2 free throwing, while Brandon Rush contributed seven points as the Jayhawks raced to a 26-10 lead just 8:32 into the game.

Robinson also made sure 'Nova standout guard Scottie Reynolds (11 points, 4-of-13 shooting) was no factor by hounding him on defense. Reynolds had just six points in 18 minutes the first half as KU blazed to a 41-22 lead.

"I didn't let him get going early," Robinson said. "I tried to take away his offense early."

Of his early shooting, Robinson, who finished with 15 points and five assists, said: "I hit some open shots. My teammates found me, and we built a nice lead."

KU's guards were mighty effective in breaking open the game.

Robinson (13), Rush (11) and Mario Chalmers (8) combined for 32 points the first half.

Even seldom-used guard Jeremy Case, who was playing at the end of the half to protect Chalmers, Rush and tonsillitis-ridden Sherron Collins, who had two fouls apiece, got into the act, hitting a three-pointer to close the first-half scoring.

Case had more points the first half than any of KU's big men. Darrell Arthur, Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson had two points apiece. Arthur played just nine minutes with his two fouls.

"Russell carried us the first half," said Collins, who missed the shootaround Friday afternoon as he stayed in bed battling the same symptoms that plagued Rodrick Stewart last week. He had four points and four assists in 21 minutes.

"He did the job on Scottie. Like coach (Bill Self) says, he's the heartbeat of our team. We respect him. He did a great job," Collins added of Robinson.

Noted Brandon Rush: "Russell was great defensively. He cut the head off and stopped Reynolds from getting started."

Self, who leads the Jayhawks into their third Elite Eight in his five years at the school, was most impressed with the senior leader.

"I was more impressed with him defensively than offensively. Russell is playing very well. Not too many guys can make three threes in a row then shoot two airballs," Self cracked. "He's been real focused. The key to the game was his defensive play on Scottie."

The second half was not a thing of beauty, though the Wildcats, who were down by as many as 21, never sliced the gap below 12.

KU was outscored, 35-31, in a half muddied partly because Rush and Chalmers picked up their third fouls early. Self turned to Case, who performed well, and made sure KU's 18-point lead when Rush and Chalmers left the game dipped just a couple of points by the time of their return.

"Jeremy played well. I'm really happy for him. He gave us a lift," Self said. "He waited five years for that one possession. It was a big shot. He gave us some great minutes."

Rush finished with 16 points, Robinson 15 and Chalmers 14 for KU. Reynolds' 11 led the Wildcats. KU improved to 34-3 heading into Sunday's game; Nova finished 22-13.


hotrodm 13 years ago

Don't get too confident Nutfish21. This Davidson team has played North Carolina, UCLA, and DUKE this year and won't be intimidated by the Jayhawks. This KU team can win it all, if their heads and hearts are in the right place. They have to want it bad and play with effort and intensity for 40 minutes each game. No time to let up now, no matter what the game score is. Kaun looked like a first round pick last night, and for the most part Arthur looked like he better return for his junior year.

KGphoto 13 years ago

Not only did they play N.C. Duke and UCLA, they played them tough. All were close games. This team scares me.

The way they handled Wisconsin? The boys better watch that game film all day today. Davidson is in your face for 40 minutes, and even though they aren't very big, they seem to thrive on physical play. They also do a lot of flopping, Shady.

Rush, Chalmers and Robinson, get in Curry's jock and shake him up. I've never seen a team rely on one guy, and have such success in the tourney.

Nutflush21 13 years ago

So exactly how much pressure is on Coach Self right now to get to the final four? I dont think this fan base could handle another tourney loss to a mid-major, especially in the elite eight.

However, I dont think there is any way we lose Sunday. I realize Davidson is solid, but Wisconsin was a great matchup for them since the Badgers dont have any athletes. We will kill them inside and out. Also, Im really looking forward to the Rush/Curry matchup.

NH_JHawk 13 years ago

Man, Collins cannot catch a break. Now tonsillitis type symptoms? Rest up Sherron and get well soon.

Yes Davidson played UNC, Duke, and @UCLA tough. They are for real and we need to respect them.

I think we matchup better vs. Davidson then Wisconsin and the tourney is all about matchups. Davidson likes to run and Wisconsin likes to walk. Obviously we can play both styles but we prefer to run!

So let's run right over them and get Coach Self to the Final Four.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

John Brown 13 years ago

Davidson has also played Wisconsin and Georgetown. However, after the Kansas game versus Texas, I have have to believe that if this team is firing on all cylinders that they are unstoppable. Augustin and Abrams were on fire but eventually they couldn't take anymore. Stephen Curry is a great player but we have faced Mayo, Beasley, Scotty Reynolds, Abrams and Augustin this season. I hope they play Davidson with the same fire as they did Texas A&M and Texas in the Big 12 tourney. This is not a Roy team and I think that this is the best all around team and funnest to watch team that I have ever seen play at Kansas. Go Jayhawks! Make us proud and Make Roy weep!

JJHawq 13 years ago

This team won't let down. (I hope).

Michael Leiker 13 years ago

Uh, seriously? People are concerned about Davidson...get real. Kansas just plays a whole different game of basketball.

This tourney has been a joke for KU. I just hope the Hawks aren't shell shocked by UNC/Ville next Saturday.

Seth Peattie 13 years ago

shut up, leikness. you shut your mouth.

Dirk Medema 13 years ago

Curry sort of reminds me of Abrams. How many pts did he have against us?

My guess is that Curry has more because he is better, but that he doesn't get 30, that Davidson doesn't get the 20+ fast-break pts, that Davidson's PG doesn't have 13 assists, and that it is still a double digit victory.

The seniors seem to have communicated the sense of urgency on their teammates. All of them realize that this could easily be the end for others as well. While they were young 2 and 3 years ago, the memories of the 2 flames are plenty vivid, as are this year's losses to KSU, TU, and OSU when they lacked intensity. They came back and avenged 2 of the 3 because of their intensity.

They also were able to watch the first game, so they had an idea what they were up against even before the end of Friday's game. My guess is that they went to bed with a scouting report, and will come to the court Sunday with more than scissors sharpened.

Who gets to defend Curry?

KUglow 13 years ago

I will guarantee you that intensity and playing hard will not be any problem at all for us. KU knows what it needs to do to win tomorrow. The Seniors will lead us.

Mike Johns 13 years ago

i agree with leikness... we will run all over davidson... did you see that davidson lost to mizzou this year?

Dan Harris 13 years ago

I'm not a Dr. but I didn't think tonsillitis was contagious . I sure hope that we don't have strep throat starting to be passed around, that would really suck! Get well Sherron we need your enegy

Robert Brock 13 years ago

If the Hawks turn the ball over as casually against Davidson they can kiss the season goodbye.

sevenyearhawk 13 years ago

Official CBS highlights courtesy of YouTube on:

Rockonku 13 years ago

The guys haven't taken any team for granted. They are focused and they are ready. As the sports commentators said in the first half... KU looked more like a professional team than a college team. Davidson may be tuff but in the end KU experience and front line will be too much for them. UNC will lose to Louisville UCLA's luck will run out And Memphis hasn't seen the likes of Texas yet!

Seth Peattie 13 years ago


Seth Peattie 13 years ago


Rockonku 13 years ago

As an appetizer!!!! Main course: championship game


Rodney Stice 13 years ago

KU vs Davidson matchup reminds me of the UNLV vs Loyola matchup in 90. It was a regional finals, but UNLV crushed them on their way to a National Championship. KU can do this, and they can win big. I beleive in them.


Rockonku 13 years ago

Now thats the kind of talk our Jayhawks need to hear!

sevenyearhawk 13 years ago

Do NOT take Davidson lightly ...

I don't think our team will, be we sure shouldn't either!

Lost at UNC by 4, 68-72 on Nov 14

Lost at Duke by 6, 73-79 on Dec 1

Lost at UCLA by 12, 63-75 on Dec 8

Lost at NC State by 1, 65-66 on Dec 21

That was their last loss, they have since won a couple dozen in a row ...

kujayhawk 13 years ago

Wake up call at 10 am? Ah, the good old days.

justanotherfan 13 years ago

Davidson's backcourt is playing better than any other backcourt in the country right now, including ours.

I was on some of the Wisconsin message boards on Thursday and yesterday, just seeing what their people were saying about Davidson's chances. Everybody seemed to think that Curry would be suffocated, that his second half torching of G'town (a very good defensive team) was just a fluke. Truth is, Davidson has just beaten two extremely good defensive teams in a row. We had better bring our A+ game tomorrow.

That said, we really only played about 13 minutes of really good ball yesterday (the first eight, then five minutes towards the end of the first half). Other than that, we didn't do too much. We have yet to play our "best game." I think that is a good sign, because we will play our "best game" at some point during this tournament. I think it is coming.

BTW, anyone else encouraged by the fact that Darrell seems to really be attacking the rim with a venegance? His monster dunk on the inbounds lob, and his dunk off the spin in the second half, we big time - BIG TIME - plays.

Rodney Stice 13 years ago

Davidson did not beat a quality team until the tournament. Their win streak was in conference play and conference tournament. Davidson also loss to: Western Michigan 83-76 Charlotte 75-68 These teams by far are not KU.

We should not give them too much respect. I have felt that Georgetown has been overrated all season and should not have been a 2 seed. Wisconsin does not have the quality of players that KU possess, they did a fine job in the big ten but this is not the big ten. It is the NCAA tournament.

We are bigger, stronger, and more hungry for a national championship then any other team.


milehighhawk 13 years ago

What a bunch of nervous Nellies in here!

I'm almost ashamed to be a Jayhawk!

Geez...enjoy the win. And could we please PRETEND to have confidence going into the next round? I know our team has its head on straight - wish I could say the same thing about all the Chicken Littles in here that are blown away by an unathletic Davidson team.

DerekR25 13 years ago


I hear ya with having Russell on Curry, but personally I'd rather have him on Richards. Richards seems to be what makes Davidson go with his penetration, and he always knows exactly where Curry is on the court. Russ is so good with his on ball defense, I think it'd make it very difficult for Richards to find Curry. Especially if Mario, and his ability to read passes and screens better, is on Curry. As good as Russell is, I think sometimes he gets caught on screens when he's trying to chase a guy around.

Either way, I hope our defense is able to absolutely smother Davidson into frustration.

Rock Chalk!

jayhawker_97 13 years ago

if RRob was able to contain a pro like DJ Augustin, i'm pretty sure he can do the same to Mr. Curry. plus with inside presence of our Bigs, there's no way he will get away with a basket through lay-ups or any acrobatic cuts or whatever. as long as he doesn't get open look on treys, he's not a real threat. what worries me is if they played pass on the inside with fake moves, hopefully our team will be wild awake. they're pretty good passing team as well. watch for Jason penetration and Lovedale explosion - our Bigs have a lot to do this time. we'll have a blocks and dunkin's donuts party again.!!

hawkitup 13 years ago

Is it just me, or does Brandon Rush seem to be playing a lot more aggressive lately? To me, it seems like he's not as hesitant to score like he use to be (this is a good thing). Has anybody else noticed this?

86finalfour 13 years ago

On a side note, I saw this on in an article about coach Williams and Pitino and their coaching success at a tradition rich program.

"Williams toyed with his alma mater in 2000 when Bill Guthridge left, but he stayed at Kansas. In 2003, when Williams was a bit miffed with KU's athletic director switch from Bob Frederick to Al Bohl, Williams left for UNC.

It was then the hardest decision of his life. He said that at the time; he still says that now.

At various points of his career, Williams has turned down the Lakers, the Celtics and the Heat, he said on Friday. But coming back to Carolina allowed him to spend time with his father and sister before each passed away recently.

"So for those family things it was really, really good for me, there's no question about that," Williams said. "

This really puts things in perspective for those Roy haters that don't respect nor understand his decision to leave. He gave 15 great years to KU and the guy not only wanted to return home but his family needed him. Many of you will ask why I'm even bringing this up -- it's old news. But I still know a lot of fans and close friends who still harbor bitter feelings toward Roy (you know who you are--some in the closet). Also, the probable match up of UNC vs. KU next Saturday will conjure up a lot of these old feelings so I want to get this out there now.

As a KU die-hard, I've always respected Roy for what he did for KU and his decision to leave. To those who are still bitter, stop playing the "ugly step-child." KU is just as good as UNC -- we're not inferior to them and that had nothing to do with Roy leaving.

So if KU plays UNC next weekend (and I really hope so!), before some of you start Roy bashing, think about Coach Williams being able to care for his sister and father before they passed. Most can relate to the importance of this, something much greater than the game of basketball, and yes, even the Kansas Jayhawks.

Dan Harris 13 years ago

I have a an autographed picture of Roy in my study and to this day it is one of my prized possessions. What Roy did for this program sometimes goes unappreciated by some of you because he never won the big one, or because he bolted for HIS Alma matter and to be closer to his family. This is now Self's team and if we don't some how chase him off , I think will win even more games then Roy did, including this years CHAMPIONSHIP! go hawks! Lets destroy Davidson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rodney Stice 13 years ago

Roy Williams is a proven winner. I love him for being a coach at KU. I hate him for leaving, and I respect him for being loyal to his family and UNC. I want KU to play UNC and beat them. I also want nothing but the best for Coach Roy Williams.

Bill Self is the coach of KU and he will bring us a national championship this year. Beat Davidson.


LAJayhawk 13 years ago


it isn't just you. Rush has been playing far more aggressive ever since tournament play started (including B12 tourny). Not just offensively (seeing him get close to 30 with this team makeup was remarkable), but on the boards, going after loose balls; he has been playing like a monster lately.

86finalfour, I respect your comments, and I think most people understand Roy's reasons for leaving (I repeat, most, because we clearly have a few idiots in the mix). There is a general respect, I think, that KU fans have for him having to do what he did for his family (in his words he "didn't want to be the kid who just sends checks home every month" for his ailing father). However, Kansas fans were hurt, not necessarily by the feeling that UNC was a higher level program, but by the fact that we felt abandoned. Even if that is not complete reality, that reaction is fair and understandable, especially considering him turning down the job originally - "I'm staying" - then with the quote to Erin Andrews following the Syracuse loss. Personally, I feel completely satisfied with the outcome because clearly (regardless of what ridiculousness soobawls spouts) we have one of the best coaches in the country. However, there will always be a level of hurt Kansas fans will hold with regards to Roy, even if we wish him the best. And, truly, that is okay. It goes with the territory of competition when we poor our hearts into a team.

Big game tomorrow, though. Bring it strong boys.

Rock Chalk.

BCRavenJHawkfan 13 years ago

hawkitup, I agree Rush has been more aggresive, proof is in the extra fouls he has been hit with (foul out against UNLV and 3 or 4 against Nova). If Collins and Stewart have had tonsillitis symptoms it sounds like a bacterial infection could be going around. Get everyone on some antibiotics. Been watching the Xavier/UCLA game. How does UCLA draw the luck of teams missing from point blank range. Xavier would be leading easily if they could hit their backsides with their own hands.

didjabuti 13 years ago

I know that Davidson is a really good team, and they just beat two quality defensive teams, but those teams lack something that KU has. An offense that can outscore them, and a defense that can actually run with them. Sure we could lose, but does anyone on here think we will? KU is a better team on both sides of the ball. Davidson can not WIN this game, as long as the Jayhawks don't LOSE it.

So get some rest boys, and ROCK CHALK!!

didjabuti 13 years ago

I also like Chalmers on Curry with Robinson on Richards. I think this plays to our strengths. Also I think our bigs are a little quicker and more athletic than Wisc. and G-town. They'll be able to help out more if the guards get caught up in the screens. Not that Curry won't get his looks (he doesn't need much time either), but we are better equiped than their last two opponents.

I also agree with those about Rush being more aggressive. He's having a great post-season and might be playing himself back into a first round draft pick. If he can carry this team to the Championship he might have an outside shot at a lottery pick. That might take Curry-like numbers though. I think he's finally feeling comfortable on that knee, and it shows.

Go get 'em boys!!

Rockonku 13 years ago

Rush is absolutely more aggressive and in only the past few weeks. He is only beginning to realize what is capable of. The whole team has worked hard to improve and become the force that every team dreads to deal with. I see how much they want to win the championship. Whatever happens I could not be more proud of this team. They have represented the University of Kansas well and they take a back seat to NO ONE!

Why on earth is Louisville trying to press these guys? They need to be getting their behinds back down the court.

Dan Harris 13 years ago

If we are fortunate enough to play NC we had better not try to run with them or we will get run out of the gym.

Dan Harris 13 years ago

This game is fricken incredible!!!!!!!!!!

Dan Harris 13 years ago

Man I didn't realize that Louiville was this good.

Dan Harris 13 years ago

OK the stage is set. Lets take care of our end tomorrow and let the fun begin against Roys boys!!!!!!RCJH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CaramelMacchMan 13 years ago

Dream Team is going to meet Dream Match up.

Rockonku 13 years ago

Louiville needed to keep going inside and drawing those fouls...

Dan Harris 13 years ago

Lets hope our dreams are sweet and not a nightmare!

Bob Houk 13 years ago

I respect what 86final4 and LA Jayhawk said about Roy, but there was a hurt that lasted a long time. I am over it now, and happen to think we came out with the best coach anyhow. UNC just won, so after we take care of business like we can, with Davidson tomorrow, we'll get a 1st hand look of how Coach Self matches up with Roy. The way I see it, Roy will lose just like he did when he was our coach. I think we have the best coach and TEAM in the nation! GO HAWKS 1988/2008. Sure glad we have Danny Manning on our bench, he was fantastic and took the team on his shoulders, any of our guys will do the same thing!

rawkhawk 13 years ago

I like the nervousness. First things first. Don't take Davidson for granted...they've already picked a few pockets this year. Play with intensity and concentrate on UNC after taking care of business tomorrow. I know it's unrealistic, but I'm hoping that the KU players didn't watch the games today. Call me nervous, but I think it could actually be the difference in us winning vs. overlooking a worthy opponent. Go Jayhawks!

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