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Monday, February 16, 2009

Ready & willing

Appleton called on at KSU

Kansas University guard Tyrone Appleton, right, defends Washburn guard Mario Scott during in this file photo from Nov. 4, 2008.

Kansas University guard Tyrone Appleton, right, defends Washburn guard Mario Scott during in this file photo from Nov. 4, 2008.

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Kansas men get big comeback victory

Head coach Bill Self called KU's victory "As good a road win that we’ve had since I’ve been at Kansas, considering the circumstances, how young we are and the environment."

Kansas University junior guard Tyrone Appleton, who had played just 30 minutes all season, wasn’t surprised when Bill Self turned to him during the first half of Saturday’s KU-Kansas State game in Bramlage Coliseum.

“Like coach says, you never know when you are going to be called on, so be ready. He says at any time you can be in the game. It’s your responsibility to be ready,” Appleton said.

The 6-foot-2, 203 pounder out of Midland (Texas) College provided a much-needed surge of energy while guarding Denis Clemente during a four-minute first-half stint in KU’s 85-74, come-from-behind victory. Appleton also worked one minute the second half.

His five-minute outing was his longest since a five-minute stint against Coppin State way back on Nov. 28.

Did coach Self go with Appleton for defense?

“Yes,” Self said, “also to get another ballhandler in the game.”

Appleton, who says his struggles shooting the ball have hampered his bid for minutes, averaged 13.2 points off 46 percent shooting and 5.2 assists as a starter his sophomore season at Midland.

“At first, I was (frustrated with playing time here), then I knew what my problem was. I knew the reason I wasn’t playing. I got in the gym more to shoot the ball,” Appleton said.

“We’re winning, how can you be upset? Coach knows what he’s doing. He feels everything is working out well.

“As long as we’re winning, I’m happy. That’s always been my motto: If we win, I could have two points or no points. If we win, we win. That’s all that matters to me.”

The Gary, Ind., native said he’s committed to finishing his career at KU.

“I love KU. KU is a fun place,” said Appleton, who was willing to respond to whispers that he might want to transfer in search of more playing time.

“I go to the Internet. I read stuff,” he said. “I read a lot of things, but I’m going to stay here. I mean, it’s home now. I am a junior in college. I’ve got one year left. There’s no reason for me to leave.”

Known as a good defender, Appleton is committed to improving his work on the offensive end.

“Yes, I’m always first to practice to work on my shot. The coaches have noticed it, too,” Appleton said. “Before practice, after practice ... my shot is getting better, too.”

As one of KU’s elder statesmen, the 22-year-old Appleton tries to set a good example, cheering for those ahead of him in the rotation. He was thrilled by KU’s comeback victory Saturday, which upped KU’s record to 20-5 overall and 9-1 in the Big 12.

“I thought a lot of guys showed toughness. A lot of freshmen showed a lot of maturity, like they are growing up real fast,” Appleton said. “A lot of teams would have quit (after falling behind 30-14 on road). We kept fighting and came up with the victory.”

22-point comeback was bigger

It was announced after the game that KU’s come-from-behind win was the biggest in the Self era and tied for the second largest comeback in a victory since KU specialty records were kept in 1988-89.

KU, however, did erase a 22-point deficit in an 88-84 overtime victory over Texas in the 2007 Big 12 tournament title game in Oklahoma City. That’s the biggest comeback in KU history as well as the Self era.

Earlier that season, KU erased a 15-point deficit to beat the Longhorns in Lawrence. KU overcame a 19-point deficit to down UCLA, 85-70, on Jan. 2, 1995. KU dug out of a 16-point hole to top Texas Tech, 86-77, on Jan. 29, 1997 in Lubbock.

Chalmers back in town

Former KU guard Mario Chalmers, a first-year member of the Miami Heat, attended the KU-Oklahoma women’s game on Saturday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

“It’s my first time back (since season started). It’s good to come back and show support for the girls team. Our boys got a victory earlier,” Chalmers said.

Why didn’t he make the trip to Manhattan to watch KU beat K-State?

“I waited too long to ask coach Self for tickets. That was my fault,” Chalmers said with a laugh.

The second-round NBA Draft pick has thoroughly enjoyed his first season with the Heat.

“We’re trying to make a race for the playoffs, get a higher seed and go as far as we can,” Chalmers said.

“It’s a lot of fun playing at the next level, learning the game and playing with players like Dwyane Wade,” Chalmers said. “He (Wade) is a cool guy. He shows me the game. I can learn from him. He’s one of my good friends now.”

Of KU’s men’s team, Chalmers said: “They are pretty good. It’s like the team was my freshman year.”

Home sweet home

KU will meet Iowa State at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. After that, Nebraska invades for a 3 p.m. tipoff on Saturday. After this week, KU will have just two remaining home games — March 1 versus Missouri and March 7 against Texas.

Comments

Chris Shaw 11 years, 1 month ago

Way to go Appleton! It's good to see "Adversity" fuel a player. He's the first one on the court getting practice in on his shot. These are the stories I like. You have a kid that came in with great expectations and things have been a little "Slow" for his development. Who knows what the real reseasoning for that is? Instead of "Pouting" or taking the easy road (Transferring to another shcool); Appleton has accepted the responsibility of being "Adult". You can't always run from your "Misfortune" and it's great to see that Appleton acknowledges that he's a "Junior". Being a Junior is too late to be transferring, IMHO. Maybe Appleton see's the bigger picture after college. Either way, this kid's head is on straight. Great attitude, hard worker, team player, and most importantly says all the right things for us to be on his side. Keep working Tyrone!

Machawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Actually the comeback against UCLA at home was on a warm sunny afternoon on December 1, 1995. The noise level that afternoon was the loudest I can recall as KU came back from 15 points down at the half to win by 15.

cafranci 11 years, 1 month ago

I think it was Dec. 2, 1995, but in any case, it was definitely Dec. 1995 against the defending champions, not Jan. 1995. That's two days in a row the LJW has made the same mistake.

DCJayhawk0208 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm confused. How can it be tied for the second largest comeback when we were down 22 to Texas and 19 to UCLA?

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 1 month ago

"'i'm confused. How can it be tied for the second largest comeback when we were down 22 to Texas and 19 to UCLA?"

i am too. i guess the LJW is pointing out that whatever the press release from the school was wrong...and then they mix and match eras of comebacks.

yes, the UCLA game was in Dec. '95. UCLA was the defending natl' champions...and Jacque, Jerod and Scott Pollard were Juniors...a very good team.

i was at that game as well, and it was 15 at half, and i thought it was over. and then how quickly it turned...and it is also the loudest that i've ever heard at Allen. it was crazy.

going to this year and Saturday, a very good comeback indeed.....when you outscore an opponent, especially a rival 71-44, over 27 minutes on their floor...that's pretty darn good.

cklarock 11 years, 1 month ago

I was glad to see Tyrone get some minutes, and I thought he did well. Now I know why -- he's got an incredible attitude. Even though he may not be playing, he's still teaching those Freshmen every day through his example. Keep on with the shooting, Tyrone, I'd like to cheer for you draining a 3 at the fieldhouse!

BigTamale 11 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, the comeback stat doesn't make sense either. Perhaps, just perhaps the K-State win was the largest comeback on THE ROAD?

UCLA--at home Texas (2) --at home and on a neutral site

dylans 11 years, 1 month ago

2nd largest comeback in the Bill Self era

flsku 11 years, 1 month ago

We are so blessed to have a recruiter who can fill our bench with quality athletes.

The "line changes" in hostile environments are a nice commodity.

I think at this point, our best 5 are fairly clear; Sherron, Brady, Mario, Marcus, and Cole.

Mr. Kansas Basketball is a nice offensive threat off of the bench, but he cannot handle the ball, and his defense is atrocious.

Markieff is like Jeff Graves, he can't make it to the scorer's table w/o drawing a whistle.

Nice to see Releford get some minutes, but he shoots more than Billy Thomas.

I'd feel alot better, if 10 games into the conference season, we were down to a solid 7-8 man rotation - hopefully this is it.

JJHawq 11 years, 1 month ago

Hey "shaw". good use of "quotation marks" in your "posts".

Eliott Reeder 11 years, 1 month ago

I was gonna say the same thing about the excessive " " marks. Also, Releford is a player in the mold of Nick Bradford/Julian Wright. Always hold my breath when he has the ball. He will either do something fantastic or terrible with it. Rarely anything in between...

COJHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

that UCLA comeback was unreal. i was right under the basket when vaughn made his spin move around a defender for a lefty lay-up and the lead. i remember screaming as loud as i could and not being able to hear myself. still a great memory.

another funny memory from that game. lester earl was visiting as a high school senior that day. i remember saying to my buddy, 'if he goes somewhere else after today, they would have to cheat to get him'. funny then that he went to LSU when dale brown paid him, then he ultimately ended up (for better or worse) at KU and LSU ended up on probation.

hope there's no need for a comeback this week. go hawks...

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

"I" "agree" "with" "you" "fellas" (using my William Shatner voice)

Steve Gantz 11 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, these comments are not related to this article, I just need a place to vent.

I just watched last years championship DVD. I wanted to strangle Billy Packer, and CBS. First CBS.

In the first half KU had a couple of real nice alley oop plays. Showed a replay, nice. 2nd half, Memphis connects on one with Dorsey, they showed the replay 6 times. Packer's goin on and on about what a great play it was.

In the comeback, the steal, kick back out to Collins for the huge 3, the play of the game, no Chalmers miracle without it. No replay! None. What the heck?

Now Billy Packer, who I used to like before yesterday. (I guess I was too excited during the live game to notice these things.) Rush gets tripped bringing the ball up the court in the 2nd half, we lose the ball. No call. No comment from Packer. Fine.
A few minutes later, in a loose ball, a Memphis player ends up on the floor after a scramble. Packer "That should have been a foul on Kansas" Ugh

Analysis after regulation. "Memphis really lost this by not making their free throws." True enough, but Kansas made shots, FT's, and played great defense too.

Dorsey dunks the ball turns around and runs into Aldrich, I think, and shoves him out of his way. Packer "He's just into the game", no problem. Now I'm not sure he should have been T'd up for it, but a little objectivity please.

In the comeback, a Memphis player slams the ball on the court, bouncing it 20 feet high. Packer "great job by the ref". Again, I'm not positive it's a T, but it really could have been. Objectivity? Out the window.

I don't know why Packer wanted Memphis to win so badly, but it was so obvious from listening to this telecast.

I feel better now. Rock Chalk

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 1 month ago

All irritating, wissox, but for me the topper was him saying that Arthur's two pointer during the comeback was "the worst shot in basketball he could make at that time" when all he would have to have done was back up one foot and he'd have a three. If he knew anything about our team at all, he'd have known Arthur NEVER connected on his 3-point attempts. We got two points out of his shot. If he'd have tried a 3 we would have gotten none.

esteshawk 11 years, 1 month ago

I was at the UCLA game - it was the loudest I've ever heard the Fieldhouse. What a game. Like the way this young team looks. Think about it: they are four points away from being 23-2. The only game they weren't in was at MSU. Not too bad for a bunch of youngsters. They remind me of when Chalmers/Rush/et al were freshmen.

Michael Auchard 11 years, 1 month ago

flsku --

Man, I wish Markieff was MORE like Jeff "Gravytrain (or Big Papa, etc. (he had a lot of nicknames))" Graves. That man was the biggest, thoughest mother I've ever seen. You could see the fear in our opponents eyes when he would step on the court. I've never seen anyone fill the "enforcer" role like that guy. What a load!

Steve Gantz 11 years, 1 month ago

Old alum, that's one I would have mentioned had I thought of it. He was nothing but critical of KU. I wonder if he wanted to play at KU, but didn't get recruited so he holds a grudge?

AverageCitizen 11 years, 1 month ago

dosetime83 said "But I just have to say you gayhawkers are pretty immature".

Quick, give this guy a mirror! LMAO!

LAJayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

"Now Billy Packer, who I used to like before yesterday."

I guess you must have been too excited to notice every broadcast he's ever done..... ever.....

One of the best days in college basketball occurred post-national championship when CBS announced Packer would no longer be broadcasting the tournament. It's those little things in life that really make a man smile.........

B60 11 years, 1 month ago

Appleton needs to talk to Darnell Jackson about how a Senior can suddenly get minutes. Nice to see a good attitude.

Does anybody understand Mario Little's sporadic playing time? He barely played in the KSU game.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

B60,

My guess is Saturday Coach Self went for more ball handling and better match-up defense versus Clemente and Pullen (he said as much in playing Appleton).

Little is a significant scoring threat, but he is clearly still learning the offense. He still occasionally looks a little out of place at times. Plus as well as Marcus was playing, he wasn't going to pick up many minutes at the four in Manhattan.

I expect the line up to continue to shuffle around depending on who shows up each night. It seems Self has had to play "puppet master" to a much larger degree this year than any other year in his coaching career......

Rick Arnoldy 11 years, 1 month ago

billy pACCker has always been a biased, arrogant buffoon. Unfortunately, CBS chose Clark "talk a lot but don't say nothin'" Kellogg as his replacement. Still a step up, though.

BCRavenJHawkfan 11 years, 1 month ago

wissox & oldalum,

Billy fudgePacker has had a distain for KU for as long as I can remember. It could be due to KU repelling one of his beloved ACC teams on it's way to a national championship.

In '88 we upended the Pukies to go to the title game. In the title game against Oklahoma with the first half fast and furious he proclaimed that Kansas can't keep this pace up and hope to be in the game. Guess what, game tied at half 50 all. In the second half coach Brown has Manning bring the ball up court most times after made baskets due to Oklahoma pressure. Packer then proclaims that KU is asking for trouble as a big man is not a ball handler.

Against Syracuse, do you think he would question the phantom foul call against Langford? Not a chance.

In '08 it was North Carolina that was ousted. Before the game reached halftime you could tell the disapointment in his voice. Yes the Tarheels made a run but at the end he just could not give KU its due. Thank God for Jim Nance.

The good news is we don't have to put up with him any more.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Also, Kent was dominating Little on the inside box. Mario's height (Kent had a good 5 to 6 inches on him) was a big drawback; Kent is too good a player for us to try and match up with a rather small 4.

Derek Conway 11 years, 1 month ago

my guess is that Little didn't play much in the 2nd half because Marcus was having his best game as a Jayhawk and we needed to have three true ball handlers on the court at the same time. Also, like lajayahwk said, he wasn't able to stop kent all game. I think it was just a better matchup with 22 in the game.

jayhawker_97 11 years, 1 month ago

Tyrone, keep your head up, man. you won't regret your decision. we, KU fans, will always be there to support you. good attitude!! just keep working hard, and you will see the benefit soon. and, beef it up, man, go pump up some more muscle on your body, you look a little bit tiny! :)

Tuskin 11 years, 1 month ago

Good game, Tyrone, and good to hear from you in these pages.

But don't read these comments! Some folks here use their anonymity to take some pretty hard - and unfair - potshots. Don't let us get you down - you just listen to the coaches.

Best wishes!

Matt Bowers 11 years, 1 month ago

Jaybate, you okay? Haven't seen you around the site lately. I know that you wouldn't miss Kansas basketball, so your absence has got me thinking. Hope you are well blogger buddy.

Appleton, I am happy to call you a Jayhawk. You have character and that will get you further in life than anything else. It is refreshing to hear about a young person with such great work ethic. Don't think that the fans or the coaches will not take notice. Keep up the good work, keep your head up, and your time will come.

Good night Jayhawk nation!

Rock Chalk

100 11 years, 1 month ago

Appleton reminds me a lot of Russel Robinson. A hard worker who just wants the team to win, in a very Jayhawklik-Danny Manning-esque way. Classy student athlete at Kansas, like so many before him...

Appleton wreaks of Jayhawkdome.

Proud he's on the team.

100 11 years, 1 month ago

As for Chalmers, I hope for the sake of his friendship with Wade, that he doesn't remember Wade's last game in college. If he does, I hope he smiles proudly inside and keeps it to himself.

THAT was Jayhawk basketball. What a performance that night in 2003...

(if Wade doesn't like that memory, well, we did the same thing to Steve Nash, ending his NCAA career in embarrassing fashion, so hopefully Wade doesn't take it personally).

Brady Swenson 11 years, 1 month ago

Tyrone was the only player to play consistently good defense on Clemente. Clemente broke down Tyshawn effortlessly over and over... Brady guarded him better than Tyshawn but he got beat pretty badly several times that I can recall. Tyrone is quick and was able to keep up with Clemente's first step.

DSommersby 11 years, 1 month ago

I am really impressed with the team first attitude of Tyrone Appleton as well. He makes himself a better teammate with this perspective therefore he is helping the team. I'm sure he wants more minutes, but even at 23 you have to hand it to him for seeing the big picture. A lot of guys would pout and be a distraction but this guy sees being a part of a winning team as being bigger than himself. Pretty cool story. Keep working hard Tyrone.

I like how Coach Self is gradually getting him some minutes. He worked Appleton in for a few possessions against Okie State. You knew that game was going to be a track meet so why not get Sherron a little bit of a breather and keep him fresh for later on.

I think we need to do this when we can and Tyrone did a nice job holding the fort down when we were under attack in Manhattan. He helped us pull out of that tailspin. I've watched the foul call when his legs got tangled up with the K-Stater going for the loose rebound. Agreed with the announcers that Tyrone was an innocent party there.

Looking to see Tyrone continue to help out in his quality minutes. Rock Chalk!

mandomax 11 years, 1 month ago

KUshaw loves quotation marks, its a way to disguise his accent

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