Saturday, December 12, 2009

No new haircuts for La Salle game in K.C.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor extends to the bucket as he is fouled by Alcorn State guard Keith Searcy during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor extends to the bucket as he is fouled by Alcorn State guard Keith Searcy during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Morris twins facing familiar foe

The Morris twins considered signing with La Salle, KU's weekend opponent, before finally landing with the Jayhawks. The team will take on La Salle at the Sprint Center.

GameDay Cram Session: La Salle online editor Jesse Newell and Journal-World sports writer Matt Tait take a look at what to expect from the Kansas basketball team's matchup against La Salle.

— Tyshawn Taylor isn’t planning to reveal a stylish new haircut today in Sprint Center.

“I have no intentions of a Mohawk ... no,” Taylor, Kansas University’s sophomore combo guard, said with a smile.

He and senior Sherron Collins made a trip to Watson’s Barbershop last Dec. 12 — a day before the Jayhawks’ annual holiday game in K.C. Taylor’s cut was a simple Mohawk; Collins’ was a Mohawk as well as a star shaved into the side of his head.

The look didn’t scare Massachusetts’ Minutemen, who shocked the Jayhawks, 61-60, on Dec. 13 in Sprint Center.

“That was the Mohawk game,” Taylor said with a frown. “You’ll never see it again. You haven’t seen it since.”

Collins and Taylor, who returned to more traditional hairstyles for the Jayhawks’ ensuing game against Temple, today hope to clip another Atlantic-10 Conference team.

KU (8-0) will meet La Salle (6-2) at 1 p.m., back in the Power and Light District.

“We had some unique hairdos before that game. I don’t think we’ll have that this time,” KU coach Bill Self said. “There wasn’t an actual problem with the hairdos. They picked a time to do it where it definitely called attention to themselves as opposed to our team. I told them before the game, ‘This is fine, but you better play your butts off.’ When that didn’t occur, of course it was the hairdos’ fault. It couldn’t be anybody else’s fault. It had to be the hairdos’ fault,” Self joked.

“I’ll look forward to seeing how our guys are trimmed up. I think it’ll be pretty clean.”

Despite being pleased with Taylor’s six-assist, no-turnover outing Wednesday against Radford, Self has decided to use him off the bench for the second straight game. Freshman guard Elijah Johnson has earned his second straight start.

“Obviously, Ty’s going to play, but we’ll start Elijah. I don’t think you start a kid and have him play as well as he did and all of a sudden bench him, because, to be honest, he deserves it,” Self said of Johnson.

Taylor said he’ll be ready when called upon.

“I think coach is sending a message. I’m not performing like he wants me to. I’ve got to step it up,” Taylor said, adding, “I like starting, but if I have to come off the bench, I have no problem with it. If we’re winning and I’m helping my team, it doesn’t make any difference.”

Taylor is working on becoming a better defender.

“Coach says I get in trouble a lot when I lunge, so I have to stay down, play solid defense, pressure the ball,” Taylor said.

Self said he believes Taylor will earn his starting spot back.

“We want the best guys out there that give us the best chance. I do think Ty is that guy,” Self said. “I think he’s not played like he’s capable of playing.”

Johnson said he won’t be as jittery as he was in making his first start, even though La Salle boasts a standout point guard in senior Rodney Green (18.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.9 apg).

“I’m calm. I’m expecting it now,” Johnson said. “I’ll be ready from the top to help get the team focused and set a pace for the team.”

The Jayhawks, of course, are hoping to improve on last year’s 1-2 mark in Sprint Center. KU beat Washington and lost to Syracuse in the CBE Classic, then fell to UMass.

“Coach talked about it yesterday,” said Johnson, who a year ago was a senior at Las Vegas Cheyenne High. “There was a lack of focus. It was more so a show rather than being ready for business. We underestimated a small team, but the small team (UMass) came out on top. I think we’re much more focused this year.”

Indeed, Self addressed the team about the UMass defeat.

“We didn’t come to play, that was apparent,” Self said. “Sherron was sick. We didn’t play well enough to take him out of the game so he could rest. It was a bad game all around.”

Harbaugh talk

A TV reporter on Friday at Sprint Center asked Self about Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh possibly becoming the next KU football coach.

“Is that right? I haven’t heard that,” Self said. “I haven’t visited with Lew (Perkins, AD) about this of late, so you probably know more than I do. Whoever the new coach is ... I’d be happy to work alongside with. I don’t know who it is, but if it is the gentleman you mentioned ... I definitely know who he is and definitely was a fan. I’ve been to one game in Texas Stadium as a (Dallas) Cowboys fan ever. It happened to be when the Indianapolis Colts played there, and he upset Dallas at quarterback.”

Neutral court

La Salle’s Green says the Explorers are happy to be playing in Sprint Center instead of historic Allen Fieldhouse.

“Kansas City is more a neutral court,” Green said. “I like our chances better.”

The Explorers have lost to South Carolina (78-68) and Villanova (81-63) and beaten Hampton (83-80), Davidson (84-70), Tulane (61-59), Lafayette (79-67), Hartford (75-62) and Rider (69-60).

“I’ll try to treat it like another game, (but) it’s the No. 1 team in America,” Green said of the Jayhawks. “It’s a big game, a chance to show people we can play.”

Returning soon

This is the last game KU will play without guard Brady Morningstar and center Jeff Withey, who will be eligible for the Dec. 19 Michigan game.

“I never thought we’d play six perimeter players. The way it could play out, we could,” Self said, noting Morningstar likely would be added to the mix in large part because he is the squad’s second best player at feeding the post behind Collins. Also, C.J. Henry could be ticketed for minutes after playing well against Radford.

“We know Sherron will get his minutes. The other guys could play shorter minutes and create more pace definitely and help us play to our athletic ability,” Self said.

Of Henry, Self said: “We had not seen anything close to what C.J. did the other night in practice. In the game he was really good. Since the game he’s been really good in practice too. He deserves the opportunity.”

Morningstar, who had a screw inserted in his right foot last summer to repair a stress fracture, is still wearing a boot to protect the foot.

“I re-cracked the bone I had hurt from the summer,” Morningstar said, referring to an injury he suffered in one of KU’s first practices. “It wasn’t a big deal, just a healing process I had to go through. It healed pretty quick. I just wear the boot when I’m not practicing as a precaution.”


Chris Shaw 8 years, 5 months ago

Did anybody happen to catch the ESPN U High School basketball game last night between Ducanville, TX and Lincoln, TX?

A replay of the game will be Tuesday Dec. 15th at 5 pm est. Two KU 2011 recruits for Lincoln played in that game and my observations and notes are below.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 5 months ago

Well, the entire first half of this game was missed because of the UNC/Akron men's semifinal soccer match. With that said, I got see most of the second half. I had a Deja Vu moment because LeBryan Nash is considering KU, but there is another player on Nash's team that is also on KU's radar named Keaton Miles. He is 6'8 180 who also plays the "Rush Spot". What I didn't realize is that Lebryan Nash and Keaton Miles play on the same team? Who would have thought that? I thought Miles played for a different High School. Two very good players on the same team.

Perry Jones (Ducanville): Will Play at Baylor next year (Class of 2010) and definitely looks like the 3rd best player in this year's class, but he wasn't the best player on the court tonight. He is definitely the real deal, but his team wasn't very impressive. Jones doesn't have a "take it over" type attitude, but is still very impressive and will be a heck of a player. He needs to be more assertive, but that may come when Scott Drew gets a hold of him next year.

LeBryan Nash: Oh My!!!!!!!! I know ESPN U had him #10, but rivals has him #5 (Class of 2011). I thought he played a lot better than Perry Jones. He was unbelievable and I only got to see one half. He is more like 6'6 or 6'7 and is a "Rock" just like Xavier Henry. His body is very mature for only being a junior and he already weighs about 210 or 215. He has an awesome first step and great body control finishing at the rack. He is very unselfish as he was dishing left and right (A lot to Miles). He shoots the ball well and I was literally "Co Co for Co Co Puffs" with this kid. What I loved is how much this kid hustled. He really reminded me of a very young Ron Artest that is a little more athletic and with no attitude. All I have to say is WOW!

Keaton Miles: Miles is #41 ranked player by rivals in the class of 2011. Miles tries to play the same position as Nash, but isn't quite as athletic or as physically mature as Nash. Miles had a very good game, but physically he was awkward at times. It looks like he is still growing into his body at 6'7 or 6'8 and 180. He does want to play on the perimeter, but he got called for a couple of travels beyond the arc trying to take his guy off the dribble. Miles is also a great talent, but playing alongside Nash there is no comparison.

My Take: Nash is definitely the guy you would want to build your college team around. If you got Nash and Miles in a "Combo" situation that would be unbelievable. Miles would be a nice addition to any college roster, but I don't think he would be the type of talent to individually impact a college program right away. Miles also had a great game, but he still has another year to grow into his body. If you missed out on Nash and only got Miles you would be getting a very good basketball player that would help your college team.

Robert Brock 8 years, 5 months ago

Don't think KU is recruiting Nash or Miles.

Steve Brown 8 years, 5 months ago

KUShaw: THANK YOU - I'm full of hope. hope they don't wear magic #15 we got to keep from handing that jersey down the line. then EJ will lose his skills: 'kidding'

Is Whithey red shirt candidate - or must we add him to our mix of bigs for this year.

As time goes, it looks right for appleton transfer and Releford/Little to sit now in return for more time next year. Crazy depth, how in heck will HCBS sort out the limited minutes to all the studs. nice trouble to have.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 5 months ago

Brock: There is an article on ESPN that shows otherwise. The Shiver also has them on KU's radar so unless you're a neighbor that knows something differently than by all means go ahead and post something else.

The Shiver:

Matt Bowers 8 years, 5 months ago

jhwkfan, I couldn't agree more. It is disappointing that KU is not playing more difficult teams this season with the team that we have, although I'm sure this team wasn't assembled before the schedule. I am not a fan of CBS b/c I live in NC and would miss my beloved Jayhawks.

The players that I am paying the most attention to today are CJ Henry and TT. I am rooting for both to have big games and grab the majority of the headlines. I think that these players have great games and attitudes. It is going to be awesome to seet them break out and unleash on our opponets.

Am I the only one who feels that the right line ups still have not been figured out by the coaching staff? Does anyone believe that it is a good idea to play 11 players? Do we need to rely on only 9 players? When I watch our guys, it seems to me that they are not on the same page and as a result it is hurting every aspect of the game. I know that we are still in the first part of the season, but Dec. will be over soon. Thoughts?

Rock Chalk

Chris Shaw 8 years, 5 months ago

I say start a series with Purdue. Matt Painter is doing a great job with Purdue and somebody like him would love to have an annual series against KU. Who Knows, by playing KU every year Purdue just may become a "Big Name".

Memphis is another one I think KU should start playing every year.

Pac 10 is covered with every year with the Hardwood series

I like the idea of playing Bruce Pearl and Tennessee every year.

I also think this would be a good time to get Indiana on the schedule and start a series with them.

Finally, I think getting any ACC school not named UNC or Duke on the schedule would benefit KU greatly. I think a Clemson, Georgia Tech, or Maryland would be awesome.

KU does not need Kentucky, Duke, UNC or any of the Big East schools IMO.

I say, let's schedule some schools that are just on the fringe of becoming a "Power" in college basktball. All the names I mentioned above are "Up and Comers" that could do great things for KU's SOS, RPI, and overall perception of their schedule.

milehighhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

KUShaw - the schedule was made two years ago.

The up-and-comers at that time could have been considered Tennessee and Memphis, and you add in UCLA who just finished a Final Four.

I think they're on it.

Mike Kendall 8 years, 5 months ago

As far as, having depth, it is a nice problem to have. The more players BS can play in the lineup, the better prepared going into March. We can't start getting cocky like John Wall, though. I think that could sneak up and kill us in a loss.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 5 months ago

The whole problem with the mohawks is just that, the name MOhawks. It conjurs up that Mizzou abbreviation, MO. Plus, when we play in the Sprint Center, aren't we actually playing in Mizz? Double jeopardy!

I'd rather see shaved noggins like Danny has rather than any other departures. Then, HCBS could feel free to put all the speculation aside about his noggin. Address it by charging 100.00 for fans to run their fingers through his hair with the money going to his favorite charity. Only problem would be if the first one yanked off a large chunk that wasn't in by the roots! Then he could shave the rest off as a sign of solidarity with the bald team.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 5 months ago

I still say, No Mo MOhawks, in Kansas, MO. or anywhere!

(I do again want to acknowledge ralster's most recent avitar.)

Chris Shaw 8 years, 5 months ago

Hey those "MO" Hawks lost to Oral Roberts earlier in the week.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like a little lust in your heart for that pre-med co-ed. If your wife only knew that you've saved the photo, she'd never wear anything like that amyway!

See - no MOhawks and we came out big in the Sprint Center!

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