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Stories for November 1, 2008

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FINAL: Sharp's 4 TDs help KU to Sunflower blowout, 52-21

5:00 p.m. The audio interviews have been posted and can be found on the left side of this page. The most breaking news from KU coach Mark Mangino after the game was the announcement that linebacker Justin Springer is out for the year with the leg injury he suffered during the game.

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Appleton remains a mystery

Making the transition from junior-college basketball to high Div. I ball presents a challenge even without any setbacks. For 6-foot-2, 203-pound combination guard Tyrone Appleton, it grew tougher when he missed practice time while nursing a hip flexor.

Weight-room work has worked for Taylor

When freshman Tyshawn Taylor arrived at Kansas University from New Jersey this summer, he had no problem showcasing his outgoing personality to his teammates. Put Taylor in front of anybody and he could likely hold an hour-long conversation without hesitation or any awkward, long-lasting silence.

Argh!: Tech-Texas a 'big deal'

Red Raiders have chance to join national-title picture - if they beat Longhorns today

The eye patches will be out tonight in honor of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. And yet, his No. 6 Red Raiders have a chance to turn their eccentric offensive wizard into something more than a conversation piece who has a penchant for pirates and a law degree.

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Veteran Collins willing to speak up

Sophomore sixth man Sherron Collins didn't feel totally comfortable speaking up on the court and in the locker room last season. "We had guys older than me - juniors and seniors who were great players. It was not really my place," said Collins, who deferred to the likes of starters Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur.

Bedore: Several Jayhawks banner-worthy

There are oh, so many things to love about Allen Fieldhouse, home of Kansas University basketball the past 53 years.In no particular order, there's ...¢ The limestone facade.¢ The quaint windows.¢ The videoboard.

Morris twins virtually indistinguishable

There are a couple of good ways to pinpoint the difference between Kansas University freshmen twins Marcus and Markieff Morris. A handful of current Jayhawks have got it down. "Markieff's got a little lower voice," sophomore guard Tyrel Reed said. "So I try to key in on that."

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Releford in rush to deflect comparison

Travis Releford says he knows the comparisons to Brandon Rush are going to be there. He just doesn't agree with them. "We are two different players," the 6-foot-5 guard from Bishop Miege High School said. "He's more of a shooter, I'm more of a slasher. There's really no comparing."

Tigers focused on Baylor

Dreams of a national championship dashed by consecutive losses, the Missouri Tigers have narrowed their focus. While the Big 12 North title and a return to the league's championship game remain a very distinct possibility for the 14th-ranked Tigers, even that is more broad than coach Gary Pinkel wants his team to consider.

Aggies confident leading up to Buffs

The vibe has changed around Texas A&M. Players and coaches said the team bonded and had its best practice week of the season leading up to the Oct. 18 game against Texas Tech. A&M lost, 43-25, but the new sense of unity stayed intact.

Aldrich learned plenty as freshman

Soph not awed by surroundings

A year ago at this time, Cole Aldrich would look out on the court and discern little more than crimson-and-blue blurs. "When I got on campus, it was an eye-opener," said Aldrich, Kansas University's 6-foot-11, 245-pound sophomore from Bloomington, Minn. "I didn't know people could run that fast."

MU soccer flogs KU, 6-0

Missouri scored three goals in each half to hand Kansas University its worst loss since the 1999 season, a 6-0 Tigers victory Friday at Walton Soccer Field. The Tigers improved to 13-5 overall and 7-3 in the Big 12, while KU fell to 11-7-1 and 4-5-1.

Baker has opportunity to make 'statement' today

Is Baker University's football team a contender? Or are the Wildcats merely a pretender? The answer is only hours away. Perennial NAIA powerhouse Missouri Valley will be in Baldwin City today, and BU has an opportunity to make a statement.

Thomas disputes Darnell likeness

Freshman forward lauds Jackson, but wants to be himself

No less an authority than Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has compared KU newcomer Quintrell Thomas to one of the most beloved former Jayhawks in recent history. And as touched as Thomas is to be likened to Darnell Jackson, he isn't sure it's the compliment he'd hoped to hear coming off his coach's tongue.

Teahan vows not to be gun-shy

Sharpshooter: 'I've never had a problem with that my entire life'

Memo to Kansas University basketball fans: You need not yell "shoot" when Conner Teahan touches the basketball this season. Teahan - who has been given the green light to fire from beyond the three-point arc from coach Bill Self - plans on doing just that without any prodding from the stands in this, his sophomore campaign.

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Title repeat quite a feat

Lure of NBA makes consecutive titles difficult

Winning back-to-back NCAA basketball championships is highly unlikely in this day and age of parity and one-and-dones to the NBA. Yet recent history reminds all it's not unthinkable to clip the nets on college hoops' biggest stage two years in a row.

Commentary: Brown, Leach have opposite styles

One off-hand question this week illustrated the differences in coaching style and personality between Texas' Mack Brown and Mike Leach of Texas Tech. Just before his weekly news conference, Brown was asked if he had a backup long snapper to avoid a meltdown like that of the Pittsburgh Steelers against the New York Giants. Brown immediately identified Alex Zumberge.

Reed competitive on court, links

Sophomore working to improve defense, round out offense

There's no lack of competitive spark in Tyrel Reed, even off the basketball court. When he's not on the floor trying to improve his game, the Kansas University sophomore guard likes to hit the links. Golf is just another way for Reed to bond with his teammates.

Morningstar feeling paternal

Though just a sophomore, guard has experience on his side

He's only a sophomore, but Kansas University guard Brady Morningstar said he's adopted a new role on this year's basketball team. "I'm like a dad, I feel like," Morningstar said with a smile. "I've been here three years, and I'm 22 years old, almost 23. A lot of guys are 18, 19 years old. Any time they need advice or anything, I just tell them to come to me.

KU 24th in preseason poll

North Carolina No. 1 for second straight year

The Associated Press panel of media members ranked Kansas University's basketball team No. 24 in the country on Friday - a day after ESPN/USA Today's group of coaches tapped the Jayhawks one slot better at No. 23."I'm excited to be ranked. I'd rather be ranked than not ranked," KU coach Bill Self said after release of the AP poll that had North Carolina the first unanimous preseason No. 1 since the poll's inception in 1981-82.

Juco transfer Little has big expectations

The problem with being a Kansas University basketball player named Mario, especially in the wake of the events that transpired in last April's Final Four, is that you have to be specific. Oftentimes when Mario Little, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound transfer guard, introduces himself by first name only to someone in Lawrence, he'll get a funny look.

KU guard Appleton returns to practice after hip injury

Kansas University junior guard Tyrone Appleton, who has been nursing a hip-flexor injury since the end of basketball Boot Camp on Oct. 10, finally was cleared to practice full time on Thursday. "It was very tough sitting out, seeing my teammates go through the motions and not being able to do the stuff they do. Now that I'm back, it's good," Appleton, a 6-foot-2 transfer out of Midland (Texas) Community College, said Friday.