Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook online editor Jesse Newell & Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan take a look at what to expect from the Jayhawk men's basketball team's home game against Tennessee.

Kansas vs. Tennessee


Chism ready

Tennessee forward Wayne Chism, who was taken off the court on a stretcher after banging his head and back on the court after going up for a blocked shot in the Volunteers’ last game, practiced Friday and is expected to play today.

“He’s a tough kid. He is,” said coach Bruce Pearl.

Streakin’ Jayhawks

The Jayhawks have won 31 straight games in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Not really,” KU’s Mario Little said, asked if the streak has been discussed. “It’s something we must do,” he added of winning.

“We’d like for it to continue. It’s not what we are thinking about,” guard Sherron Collins noted.

“Every year we talk about having a great record in Allen, but I won’t make a big deal about that,” coach Bill Self indicated, acknowledging it’s a big game for a different reason.

“We have had opportunities. Syracuse was an opportunity. Arizona was an opportunity. We came up short in those. This is certainly one of those resumé wins that we need,” Self said. “Tennessee already has a great resumé win beating Georgetown and Marquette (with losses to Temple and Gonzaga). They’ve got two terrific wins and we’ve got zero. This would be a nice feather in our cap.”

Will crowd be loud?

The Jayhawks hope the fans are at their best today at the fieldhouse.

“It should be the most intense game we’ve had in the fieldhouse this year,” Self said.

“It’s one of the signature games of the season,” soph center Cole Aldrich said. “The fieldhouse will be rocking. It’ll be a blast. It’d be a huge win for us if we could pull one off. Obviously they are a top-25 team. We know it’s going to be a tough game.”

Collins added: “It’s a big game. We need it. I think we’re ready. In the back of our heads we’ve got to prove something. Every name team we played so far we lost. We are trying to figure out, see if we can beat a household (name) team.”

UT pressure expected

Tennessee figures to press some today.

“They always are putting pressure on you to inbound the ball. That’s something coach Pearl’s teams take great pride in,” Self said.

“They are physical, strong, athletic as all get-out,” Aldrich said. “They run, jump, are long. They will run, pressure the ball everywhere.”

Of a pressing style of play, Pearl said: “We’re a little bigger, little longer so we’re not able to press quite as much (this year).”

This, That

The two teams have yet to meet in men’s hoops. ... KU has faced nine of 12 SEC teams and has a 28-29 record against the conference.


John Mueller 11 years, 4 months ago

Record vs. SEC is very surprising. That's lousy.I guess a bunch of those losses are against Kentucky?I still remember a Ted Owens team up like 8 with 50 seconds to play losing to UK. Not sure but I'm thinking Joe B. Hall and Kyle Macy. horrible loss.A focused effort today and a W would be a huge step in the right direction for this team!I will be shocked if Little can make a difference today. Need to come off an injury / long layoff against Emporia State, not the Vols.

Robert Brock 11 years, 4 months ago

The young Jayhawks will face an aggressive press and will have defenders in their grills all game. It will be interesting to see how they handle that. 50/50 game...

Ryan Gerstner 11 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, it's because KU has historically been pathetic against Kentucky. We got dominated pretty bad in the 70s. Fortunately, we've done pretty well against Kentucky this decade, but the series is still very lopsided against us.

Chicago_JHawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Our record against SEC teams not named Kentucky is 22-10.

Joe Joseph 11 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Bedore,What is the word on the recruiting front for next season? With Whithey transferring from Arizona, does that mean Bill Self has stopped pursuing John Wall, Lance Stephenson, et al? Thanks!

Tony Bandle 11 years, 4 months ago

stupidmichaelDude, I think you could have picked a better handle. Anyway, Right now we have a center {Withey], a power forward [Robinson] and a combo guard[ Johnson]. Wall is a point guard, Stephenson is a shooting guard. No gaurantees but if HCBS gets Wall, Johnson shifts to shooting guard. If HCBS gets Stephenson, Johnson shifts to point guard.The key factor and maybe the steal of this year's recruiting class is that Elijah Johnson has the potential to match up quality-wise in either position as the complimentary guard at a Top Twenty level. KU fans, you are going to love this kid. You think TTaylor is good...wait to you see EJ.

John Mueller 11 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the data Chicago!That would have been an insightful tidbit from the paid staff as well.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.