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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kansas basketball team excited to play UCLA on Thursday

UCLA’s Malcolm Lee, right, takes a rebound away from Virginia Commonwealth’s D.J. Haley during UCLA’s loss Friday in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. UCLA will take on Kansas on Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse.

UCLA’s Malcolm Lee, right, takes a rebound away from Virginia Commonwealth’s D.J. Haley during UCLA’s loss Friday in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. UCLA will take on Kansas on Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse.

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Reader poll

Who has been KU's best defensive player so far this season?

  • Tyshawn Taylor 16% 225 votes
  • Brady Morningstar 33% 451 votes
  • Marcus Morris 8% 116 votes
  • Markieff Morris 5% 81 votes
  • Travis Releford 11% 153 votes
  • Jeff Withey 2% 39 votes
  • Thomas Robinson 18% 254 votes
  • Other 2% 40 votes

1359 total votes.

Tyshawn Taylor, who has been a part of Kansas University’s tradition-rich college basketball program the past three years, acknowledges another school with vast hoops history — UCLA.

“It’s a storied program,” Taylor, KU’s junior guard from Hoboken, N.J., said in advance of Thursday’s 8 p.m., home game against the Bruins, who have won a record 11 NCAA Div. I championships entering the 2010-11 season. KU has won three NCAA Div. I titles to go with a pair of Helms Foundation national crowns for five overall.

“It’s a great history. They’ve got a great coach. They’ve got good talent,” added Taylor, whose Jayhawks rank second in history with 2,009 victories, while UCLA is eighth at 1,689.

Bruins’ coach Ben Howland has led UCLA to three Final Fours (2006, ’07, ’08) in his first seven seasons in Westwood, Calif. That run included a spot in the ’06 NCAA title game.

UCLA followed the Final Four run with a 26-9 record and spot in the NCAA Round of 32 in 2008-09, then an un-Bruin-like 14-18 mark last season.

“They’ve probably been struggling for the past couple years. Some schools go through that,” Taylor said. “It’s schools like that where you know they’ve got good players, they’ve got big-name guys, they’ve got a real good coach and they come from a program that you know they’re going to work hard, the coach is going to demand the best out of them.

“Those are schools you kind of sleep on just because they haven’t been the UCLA that we know, and then they come in here and they can beat us because they’re still UCLA. We’ve got to be ready. We’ve got to be prepared, play them like they’re the best team.”

The unranked (3-2) Bruins opened the 2010-11 campaign with home wins over Cal State Northridge (83-50), Pepperdine (79-69) and Pacific (57-44) before dropping Preseason NIT games to Villanova (82-70) and Virginia Commonwealth (89-85) at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“I’m excited and our guys will be excited about playing arguably as storied of a program as there is in the country. I think our fans will be excited about that, too. The building should be jumping, without question,” KU coach Bill Self said.

The Bruins — who have reached 17 Final Fours to KU’s 13 — have been in a rebuilding mode of sorts since the falling apart of Rivals.com’s top-rated recruiting Class of 2008. That class consisted of No. 2-rated Jrue Holiday (left for NBA after one season), No. 25 J’Mison Morgan (dismissed from team, now at Baylor), No. 46 Drew Gordon (transferred to New Mexico seven games into last season) as well as No. 48 Malcolm Lee (current starter) and No. 37 Jerime Anderson (reserve).

KU’s recruiting Class of 2008 was ranked No. 2, right behind the Bruins. That class, which has helped the Jayhawks to a 66-11 record, consisted of the No. 77-rated Taylor, plus No. 29 Marcus Morris, No. 50 Markieff Morris, No. 70 Travis Releford and No. 150 Quintrell Thomas (transfer to UNLV). The large class also includes juco transfers Mario Little and Tyrone Appleton (left team after one year and never played again).

“Look at the players they’ve had,” Self gushed of UCLA under Howland. “Start with the (Aaron) Afflalos, the (Darren) Collisons, the (Russell) Westbrooks, the Kevin Loves. Now they’ve got Joshua Smith, a McDonald’s All-American, highly recruited, (Tyler) Honeycutt, another McDonald’s All-American playing the three. They’re good.”

Sophomore forward Reeves Nelson averages a team-leading 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Honeycutt averages 14.6 ppg and 8.0 rpg. Junior guard Lazeric Jones averages 12.6 ppg and junior guard Lee 11.5 ppg.

Self by the way, like combo guard Taylor, is well-versed in UCLA history. KU’s coach was a long-time admirer of the late John Wooden.

“Nobody in the 1960s, in the ’70s beat them. Very rarely did they ever lose, certainly not in the NCAA Tournament,” Self said, referring to a stretch from 1963-64 to 1974-75, in which Wooden’s Bruins won 10 national titles.

Comments

KANSTUCKY 3 years, 4 months ago

On a side note, AZ was handling Rice fairly easily at least early last night. The announcers were touting Williams as one of the top players in the country. (Rice played Texas close earlier this year) I'm not sure why they were playing in a high school gym...

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Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

When it comes to the ACC, DickieV doesnt even need Vaseline...

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dynamitehawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Here's what I like about this team:

We are probably going to lose some games.... stupid losses. Losses where we call for some of the guys to be benched. Those will probably amount to four or more, which means that we are also going to win some good games, too. We are really good. I think this team looks a hell of a lot like the '08 squad. Because I really believe they are hungry. As a team. This team has the Self business attitude. Last year we got caught up in the Sherron story. And Coach at times conceded the storyline to his favorite guard of all-time. I don't mind it one bit, because Sherron was great. He was the heartbeat. This team feels right... better. Because the heartbeat is not one individual, but the collective 'feel' of the team. If the beat is wrong, insert TRob. If the beat is slow, put in EJ. If the beat is fast, put in Brady and Tyrell. But make no mistake, as Sherron's heart beat, so went the rest of the team last year. Amazingly, our coach has done it again. I am just enjoying this remarkable coach and team. Lots of fun to be a Jayhawk.

Here's where I insert a silly comment like:

I heard that Josh Selby was bench pressing refrigerators in his spare time when his boys were in Las Vegas. He was seen in a psychology class pulling Jedi mind tricks on the professor - an entire 500 person class got A's on a mid-term.

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Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Its a reality, I guess...what Ben Howland needed was Self-type recruits...Self gets more out of his recruits, period. But Ben is not Bill. :-)

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Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Could it be that ucla is just uncool to prospective recruits with Ben Howland as coach? I mean, jeez--he had the #1 rated recruiting class in 2008.

I hope KU beats the livin' shiz out of U.C.L.A.! The game is in AFH, so I actually expect a better margin than we did against Arizona.

WildBill said all the nice stuff. But he is prepping our guys to disrupt like no other--make no mistake, "down year" or not for Howland's pretenders--they still have UCLA on their chest, and thats a big target. Who is soft. Our guys should be up for this one, and with playing so many players, being "up" is less of an issue like last 2 yrs. Self-solving problem with so many fresh legs. As in steamroller. As in Manhattan steamroller later this season. Lol!

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jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

~Now back to Ben: Howland is also not an ideal fit for UCLA. He isn't pretty. No matter how much his personal dressing consultant works with him, the suits and ties selected don't cover up that they are not his natural style. Howland just isn't that weird UCLA combination of smooth, principled, and polished veneer coupled to discreet, highly elastic ethics that the UCLA culture has embraced so enthusiastically traditionally.

Howland is in some what the same problem image wise that Mangino was at KU. He is neither slick enough, nor pretty enough for the culture to be energized about him. If he doesn't win every year, the energy quickly declines and in two sub par seasons he is a force-out waiting to happen, regardless of extenuating circumstances, or not.

~Next, everyone is back to recruiting the West Coast hard. For 15 years, UNC stayed home and, f the two, only KU raided Socal, as part of the Dean/Roy quid pro quo. But Coach Consonants was making hay out of that deal, so when Roy came to Baja KU in Chapel Hell, Roy deep sixed the live and let live doctrine between KU and Baja KU and kept recruiting Cali. At the same time, Bill Self jumped into California with his assistant, Mr Townsend. UCLA would be solid right now, had just Roy's Cali Twins and Jeff Withey stayed in Westwood. Plus add in the Dukie Californians and you've got a Final Four program every year. Even Calhoun at UConn raided some Socal talent, if I recall correctly.

~And with Cal, and Pitino, and Barnes and now Sean Miller at UA and basically everyone that can afford a regular private jet for recruiting wearing sun screen and Persols on western swings, well, some of the the shoe whores and their AAU johns would appear to have a lot of programs with which to stage the recruiting equivalent of EBay auctions.

~Like Norm Roberts at St. Johns, it seems possible that Howland has not been able to control the shoe whores and AAU johns in his area and so may have suffered some significant talent drain out of Socal, but who knows?

~Another UCLA strong hold, the Pacific Northwest, has seen, at least since Kevin Love, a lot of its best talent staying home or heading to Duke.

~It seems a recruiting hot war across the country. No more good old boy networks limiting competition for players. And the shoe whores and AAU johns appear fickle and willing to include anyone in what seems to amount to auction games.

(Note: all of the above are hypothetical explanations of UCLA's recent slump, not knowns. Maybe the basketball universe really is completely random...but I doubt it.)

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jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

~Self did not set out to fail to land the 5-star bigs, but by getting shut out on most, he has instead been fortunate to land some very good bigs that required more development, than say a Demarcus Cousins, to make the NBA GMs take them early. Self has, inspite of his best efforts to get some OAD bigs, backed into more stability in the paint which has translated into more stability in the W&L column. Something similar has gone on at Duke, where Coach Consonants has not landed a 5 star postman in such a long time that one wonders if he has simply chosen not to do so. Since the Elton Brand episode, Duke has been dominated by lots of lesser bigs and projects that for a time seemed to keep Duke from competing for all the marbles, but which has of late given Duke the stability in the paint year in and year out to let 5 start perimeter players and usually a 5-star power forward combine with XTReme Cheaps Shotting to take Duke back to the top in the age of XTReme Muscle, where fouls are not called.

~Digression: It seems worth noting at this point that Ratso Izzo, Bob Huggins, and Coach Consonants have all experienced a major resurgence in their winning ways during the latest tide of muscle ball and referees "letting'em play." They all also flourished during the previous tide of muscle ball that reached a previous zenith with the 2000 NCAA Butcher Ball Final between MSU and Wisconsin, before the new tide eclipsed even that previous pinnacle last year in Dukes XTReme Cheap Shotting victory over Butler's illegal hand checking defense. Make no mistake about it: Coach Consonants is as thug baller, as surely as Ratso and Huggo Muggo are. He would not be flourishing in the XTReme Muscle/XTReme Cheap Shot era, were he not.

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jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

"Wednesday Under the Blow Dryer Regarding UCLA"

~UCLA's has as much talent as UA, so KU needs to bring an A game.

~Question: Why did Howland and UCLA fall from the heights of 3 straight Final Fours to a rebuilding process, despite facts that Howland keeps pulling in 5 star players and Top Ten recruiting classes?

Answer: Its complicated. Let me unplug the dryer and go to the Avedos conditioner stage, redry and then I'll try to explain. What follows is hypothetical.

~Howland got successful with the hack'n'slap. We saw it first at Pitt, where he combined it with Big East bruisers, but he developed it in the bush leagues out west.

Everyone does the hack'n'slap now, so it is no longer an edge. UCLA's culture does not permit him to go out and recruit a bunch of thuggers. They are not really and willing for UCLA to look like Pitt. They are even a bit uneasy to see Howland play it even as rough as Self does. He is betwixt and between styles of play. UCLA wants him to play something short of thug ball with players who could possibly matriculate UCLA academically, but opponents playing thug ball and XTReme Muscle undercut the MUA of 5 stars he can recruit in threes each year because of location. He needs bruisers and hasn't had any of the new wide body, and/or super ripped out category that is coming to symbolize today's game.

Howland has countered by trying to land 5 star bigs. But he just can't keep a nucleus of such bigs that will stick around more than a year; this is a recipe for disaster. You have to have 3 D1 20-30 minute bigs and a 4th capable of 10 minutes, or you can't survive XTReme Muscle, whether you choose to play XTReme Muscle, or merely grind it out with XTReme Muscle, when you run into it. Howland can't keep a 4 big rotation at UCLA. He's been grabbing 5 star bigs that bail on him after a year. No continuity in the paint the last few years equals no continuity in the W&L statement.

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kushaw 3 years, 4 months ago

Something I was thinking about last night during the Mizzou game. Yes, I did want Mizzou to win and I thought it was terrible they (the Refs) allowed that 3 to count at the end of the first half.

Anyway, did anybody else catch the fact that Mizzou and Mike Anderson literally only practices about an hour a day? Now, this all great and dandy and probably reflects that Anderson is definitely a players a coach. I don't doubt that for one second. They also said that hour is intense and constantly running in order to build their endurance and keep them in game shape. I don't doubt that either. It does sound a like good formula for success.

With that all said though, most know that KU is in the running for 5 star prospect Ben McLemore. If I was as talented at McLemore or even for that fact just a simple 5 star prospect, why would you go to Mizzou? Yes, you're getting everything you want as a player (Or at least you think), but are you really developing the skills you need in order to get to the next level?

Is an hour of practice a day really developing your pick and roll game for the NBA?

Is an hour of practice really helping your turn and face game from the half block in order to compete in the NBA?

Is an hour of practice (40 minutes of hell and token press) really helping you be a lockdown defender and learn how to defend the pick and roll ala NBA style?

Is an hour of practice really going to help you understand truly "How to play a role" on a team once you step foot in the NBA?

An hour of practice going really hard sounds fantastic, but in the end, it will ruin any possibility of getting significant minutes on an NBA roster.

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ChicagoJHawk 3 years, 4 months ago

100,

It's called coach speak. Trust me, Self knows they were only good for that decade (and 3 final fours a few years ago). He and Tyshawn know we're going to win by 20-30, they're just being nice, by saying all the things they said.

Hawkaholic,

Dicky V did say we're a top 5 team and good enough to win the Big 12, IF Selby gets cleared. Please don't think I'm defending him because I can't stand the guy, but I'm just sayin'. Still though, I think he was way off by picking us to finish 5th in the Big 12, even without Selby.

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Chris Nieto 3 years, 4 months ago

SF Deandre Daniels the # 9 player in the class of 2011 according to Rivals.com is gonna be in the house for the UCLA game tomorrow. Be sure to chant his name because this kid can ball.

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Kyle Rohde 3 years, 4 months ago

I didn't realize KU had passed UNC in the all-time wins list - we're up by 1!

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 4 months ago

@ BlownJay--- I feel the same way you feel about Mizzou. Totally agree with you about Ben. I think too, Barnes would have been a better player at KU than what he is at Carolina right now. The fact is, Self is a better coach overall, than what Roy is.

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Ron Franklin 3 years, 4 months ago

I was really torn last night watching the game last night.

I wanted to see Missouri lose badly, but at the same time, I like for the Big XII to get these noncon wins, so our conference appears stronger, and when KU dominates MU it looks even better. But when it came down to it....I wanted them to lose.

I don't think Harrison made the wrong choice by going to UNC. Anywhere but Kansas....he obviously didn't want to buy into a team role, and wanted more PT at UNC. Just like Terrence Jones, Josiah Turner, & Doron Lamb all knew they would not see the court as much as they wanted to, right away.

After watching Missour (sic) BenMac should clearly see that place is nowhere to develop himself to his full potential. Although I respect Mike Anderson, he does not prepare players for the NBA as well as KU, nor is his playing style comparable to the NBA. He continues to send in waves and waves of subs and has the philosophy that if you play 35 minutes a game, you cannot play "hard" for those 35 minutes. He wants 10 guys with 20 minutes per contest.

Ben, you deserve much better than what Mizzou can offer you. Listen to your families input and advice and only take into consideration what is best for YOU in the long run.

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waywardJay 3 years, 4 months ago

On a different thread, I compared the Pac-10 Basketball conference to Battlefield Earth. I'm sticking with that comparison.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 4 months ago

Used to win Championships Lately just Awful.

Kansas 91 - UCLA 72

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newtown 3 years, 4 months ago

UCLA is a small step up from the Community Colleges that Ku likes to have on the schedule.

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Dickless Head 3 years, 4 months ago

This game reminds me of 1995 when UCLA came into Allen 2-2 on the year and had everyone expected us to handle them easily. We did win by 15...but only after the biggest comeback in KU hoops history.

41-22 UCLA late in the first half. We win 85-70.

Don't underestimate the Bruins.

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Greg Lux 3 years, 4 months ago

This is a great opportunity to continue to grow especially for Releford, T-Rob ,Kief and EJ. Actually the whole team but those 4 are the keys to our true chances in March. We are so close to having a great 9 man rotation that are interchangeable we just need to continue to improve. So I hope we come out ready to play and play hard. UCLA has had our number so many times I don't ever take them lightly.

Rock Chalk

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 4 months ago

Loved it last night that both Carolina and Missouri lost. Missouri plays dumb. They had the game won and let Georgetown back in it. I am not too worried about the Tigers. I also, caught a glimpse of #2 Ohio State, and while they are fairly decent, I think the Jayhawks can take the Buckeyes down. Duke plays Michigan State tonight---that will be an interesting game. Looking forward to the UCLA game because AFH will be rocking and it is being televised by ESPN. Maybe we'll continue get some love by the ESPN announcers, whoever they are. I know you all are disappointed that Greg Gurley and Dave Armstrong won't be doing the game---LOL! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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Viggo3003 3 years, 4 months ago

Could we get more comments with links to Christams gifts :)

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Martin Rosenblum 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow, the word "storied" is getting a lot of use in this article in quotes from both Tyshawn and HCBS! Were they both interviewed in the same place together and one heard the descriptive word from the other and thought it sounded like an impressive term? Or, are the Oklahoma and New Jersey dialects maybe being difficult to understand and this word was just journalisticly interjected in both of their comments?

I'm not calling shenanigans, just wondering, however.

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KSA_21_3503 3 years, 4 months ago

4 Pac-10 teams + Memphis & Michigan = a pretty impressive non-conference schedule, in my opinion. I also like the fact that KU isn't staying home until January like they have in the past. This should go along ways in preparing the guys for tournament time.

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Brianna Zaleski 3 years, 4 months ago

Playing teams like this always provide a handsome risk/ reward. It is always scary to play a team w/ UCLA on the front of their jersey. Even if they are not up to par, that name alone w/ bring out the best in players. And speaking of players it sounds as if they have at least 3-4 good to very good players (SI has Honeycutt rated as one of their best 15 college players). That being said, these types of scenarios are also supposed to bring out the best in YOUR players. If our team is up to snuff w/ who UCLA is as a program, then they should have no reason getting up for this game. And reading the comments from Taylor, it sounds as if they are. When Roy was our coach, I was always scared to death of games like these. It always seemed as tho our team would be the ones who were the intimidated ones, but now w/ Self at the helm, we seem to be the school that others programs are intimidated of. Even the other big name schools, such as UCLA. That's not to say they won't play well, but they will feel it before they play it to be sure. On a side note: it was nice to see UNC lose again last nite. They are not a very good team and I know their fans know it. Love it! Karma is a B****!

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ajhk 3 years, 4 months ago

Yeah they sucked last year too but they played us hard and it was way too close. Nelson seemed to outplay all of our post players last year and it's not because he's better. Hawks need to come ready to play, every game.

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Scott MacWilliams 3 years, 4 months ago

As a left Coast Jayhawk living in YouJean, home of the Dux, I wish UCLA would give the Hawks a run for the money. Maybe they will, but probably not.

The Dux are finishing a new Phil Knight-gifted arena, to the tune of $227 mil, and they're hoping that the hoops team will get a LOT better so's they can sell lots of high-priced tickets. Good luck on that one, Dana! No Pressure!!

As to the AZ game, I was glad to see the team have to figure out how to work it out with the twins on the bench. I thought it was a PERFECT setup to see just how much these buys have learned. I saw a lot of lapses, but not enough to worry about for this time of year. I'm encouraged by the talent and skill I saw at Vegas, and looks like we're in for a great ride.

ROCK CHALK!!

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Randy Maxwell 3 years, 4 months ago

I watched them in two games this year and they are horrible. KU will win by 25 to 30

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