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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gary Bedore’s KU hoops notebook

From left, Kansas players Tyrel Reed, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris hold back tears in their towels in the Jayhawks' locker room following their 69-67 loss to Northern Iowa, Saturday, March 20, 2010 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

From left, Kansas players Tyrel Reed, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris hold back tears in their towels in the Jayhawks' locker room following their 69-67 loss to Northern Iowa, Saturday, March 20, 2010 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

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Kansas falls to Northern Iowa

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The Jayhawks lost to the Panthers Saturday in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Kansas ended its season 33-3.

Reader poll

Which NCAA Tournament loss in the last 20 years stung the most?

  • 1997 Arizona 23% 1698 votes
  • 1998 Rhode Island 4% 323 votes
  • 2005 Bucknell 14% 1041 votes
  • 2006 Bradley 2% 184 votes
  • 2010 Northern Iowa 54% 3978 votes
  • Other 1% 124 votes

7348 total votes.

Audio clips

2010 KU-Northern Iowa

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Staying or going?

Several Kansas University basketball players were asked about their futures after Saturday’s season-ending loss to Northern Iowa at Ford Center.

Junior Cole Aldrich and freshman Xavier Henry, who are expected to turn pro, both said they’d yet to make up their minds. Sophomores Tyshawn Taylor and Marcus Morris said they definitely would be back for another go-round at KU.

First up is Aldrich, who nearly turned pro after his sophomore season.

“I’ve got no idea right now,” Aldrich said after scoring 13 points off 6-of-8 shooting with 10 rebounds in 27 minutes.

Aldrich, who sprained an ankle, shrugged off that injury, but was not on the court at the end as KU tried to scramble back with a pressing lineup.

“Right now, there’s so many things coming through my mind, I’m just going to take a few days to rest my body and mind. I’m going to talk to the team and coaches and go from there,” Aldrich said.

Senior Sherron Collins said he felt Aldrich definitely would be leaving.

"Some people, this might be their last game,” Collins said. “I’m definitely for sure it’s Cole’s last game. I don’t know about Xavier yet, but I’m pretty sure (he’s leaving as well). You know, he can do some things.”

Expounding on buddy Aldrich, Collins added: “I’m pretty sure he’s done (with college career). It’s pretty evident. He’s been great at Kansas, given three great years.”

Henry, who entered KU as a likely one-and-done, said, “I’ve not even thought about it. Right now, I’m thinking about my team. I want to stay strong for my teammates and make sure everybody else stays strong.”

His dad, Carl, recently told the Journal-World that if Henry was a top NBA prospect, he “had to go.”

Meanwhile, sophomore Taylor, who had been subject of transfer rumors during the Big 12 season, said: “I’ll be back. I’m not going anywhere.”

And sophomore Morris, whose strong play this season had some thinking he might turn pro, said he’ll be back to KU.

“I know I’ll be back next year, and I’ll be a leader of this team next year. Summertime, I’ll work as hard as I’ve ever worked in my life and try to bring a national championship to KU before I go anywhere,” Morris said.

KU coach Bill Self said, “I’m not going to say anything about that,” when asked about futures of Aldrich and Henry.

No regrets

An emotional Aldrich gave Markieff Morris a long bear-hug before heading to the interview room with teammate Tyrel Reed.

Aldrich grew emotional when talking about Sherron Collins.

“You know, it’s tough for me. He and I have been through so much,” Aldrich said. “We made the hard decision to come back for another year, his senior year, my junior year. The main thing in coming back was trying to win a national title. Unfortunately it didn’t happen. I wouldn’t ever change my decision.”

Press talk

Collins doesn’t agree with those who thought the Jayhawks should have pressed earlier in the game.

“We had to press late. We needed to get steals,” Collins said. “We just missed some easy shots tonight.”

Taylor added: “The press worked. Honestly, I’m surprised it did. It brought us back and got us in the game. I just wish we started off better. I wish we never got down 10-2.”

Ali’s ace

Tyrel Reed on Ali Farokhmanesh’s three-pointer that upped a one-point lead to 66-62 with :37 left: “I mean, he just spotted up at the three-point line. I was kind of protecting the hole for a second. I really didn’t think he was going to shoot it. I thought he was going to try to run some time off the clock. He did and made a great shot.”

Reed on Collins’ last game

“Everyone is sad it happened, especially for Sherron because he’s the ultimate competitor. There’s nobody I wouldn’t go to war with, but Sherron. He’s the ultimate teammate, ultimate competitor. He’s been great for this program, and I wish we could have sent him out on a better note, but I’m proud of our guys, still. We had a good season. It just didn’t end the way we wanted it too.”

Overlooked?

Did KU overlook Northern Iowa?

“I don’t think we overlooked them at all,” Reed said. “We knew what they were capable of. They are just a great all-around team, play in a tough league and have great players around them.”

Self added: “When the brackets came out, the first team I looked at was Northern Iowa. A lot of people talked about Ohio State or Georgetown or Michigan State or whoever, Maryland in our bracket. The first team I looked at was Northern Iowa because I know how they play. In basketball the key to having a good team is getting easy baskets and not give up easy baskets. They’re a team that doesn’t give up easy baskets.”

Stats, facts

It marked the 14th time a No. 1 seed lost a second-round game, the first time since Kentucky fell to UAB and Stanford lost to Alabama back in 2004. ... KU is 24-8 as a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. ... KU is 1-1 against Northern Iowa and 53-13 against current membership of the Missouri Valley Conference. ... Self is 202-43 at KU and 15-6 in NCAA Tourney games. ... KU finished the season with 2,003 all-time wins against 796 losses. ... Collins ended his career with 1,888 points which ranks fifth on the all-time KU list. He also finished with 552 assists and joins only Darnell Valentine as the only two players in KU history to have more than 1,800 points and 550 assists. ... Aldrich blocked one shot to bring his school-record season total to 124 and his career total to 252. He ends the season six shy of the KU career record held by Greg Ostertag (258 from 1992-95). ... Aldrich moved up the KU all-time scoring list. His 1,038 points rank 46th. He passed Bill Bridges (1,028 from 1959-61) and Jerry Gardner (1,030 from 1960-62). ... Kansas’ nine assists were a team season low. The previous low was 10, done three times. ... Kansas used just eight players for the first time since the Texas game on Feb. 8.

Comments

fansincewilt 4 years, 4 months ago

I am beginning to dislike March Madness. It usually never crowns the best overall team as national champion. I don't think I like one and dones either. I hope someone other than Kentucky wins since they don't represent college basketball with this team. Northern Iowa should be congratulated. They have a good team with plenty of experience. I know they won't win but they sure had a good win yesterday. March Madness will not crown the best team in college basketball this year. That team is already done.

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halogenlamps 4 years, 4 months ago

What in the name of journalism are these dolts doing asking the players about their future NBA plans in the moments after the season ending loss? Not only is this inappropriate, but insensitive, as well. Reporters trying to get a steal of a story are robbing everyone of the newsworthy story -- the actual game. Please bring some integrity back to journalism.

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dhortens 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm as disappointed as anyone about the loss but it just goes to show the beauty of the tournament. No other sport decided their champion this way, one game, one shot, it's all decided on the court and not by a vote. College football would never have matched up the TCU's or Boise State's with a Florida or Texas. If this were a seven game series, KU wins 4-1 but it's what makes the tournament so special, the little guy has a shot and sometimes just makes something special happen. I'm heart broken about the loss and truly feel bad for the players but they'll move on to bigger and better things. I'm looking forward to next season, should have another strong team and another shot at cutting down the nets. What more could you ask for from our team, a chance to play for the championship almost every year. Rock Chalk!

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Lance Hobson 4 years, 4 months ago

See, would could have used all of our guys and pressed more. Using only eight didn't give us the spark we needed.

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KEITHMILES05 4 years, 4 months ago

The last numerous games this team came out sluggish and appeared non-interested in playing. Why? What happened? Were there issues amongst themselves? Sadly, they have only themselves to be upset with.

With all the high emotion displayed at the end of the game if they could have used that and channeled it at the beginning and not dug a hole for themselves the result would likely have been different. Just because they felt they were the better team didn't mean squat. This team was never sufficiently challenged when they needed to be.

Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned by them. Just because the front of the jersey says Kansas doesn't win games. Playing like you want to win does.

Sherron? You are such a big time gamer. You are da man. I love you like a son. You did KU proud.

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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pepper_bar 4 years, 4 months ago

KU was America Most Wanted's team. Let's not forget what happened before the season started.

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 4 months ago

pepper_bar -

Tell me you have lost your mind! Who would bring that up right now?

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tvnolan 4 years, 4 months ago

Memhawk: You can't be serious! Your post is downright xenophobic if not borderline racist. Who cares what names are on the back of the jersey? It's about the quality of their effort! Unless you are 100% Native American, you and I and everyone else posting here descended from immigrants. Don't take shots at people just because you struggle to pronounce their names. Keep that junk to yourself and think twice before you post.

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Robert Brock 4 years, 4 months ago

If KU wishes to be America's Team someone is going to have to teach them something about offense. The Hawks are running overly simplistic offense (packed with a lot of dribble rubbish) since Tim Jankovich left the KU bench. I am wondering how it is going to get any better.

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champs528808 4 years, 4 months ago

Brock: don't think it's the offense - it's the guys running it being offensive. Taylor going 0-5 from three?!? When was the last time he took 5 threes in a game? His return to the starting lineup killed whatever team chemistry we had. Brady's play diminished after going to the bench - check his stats.

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ObiWan 4 years, 4 months ago

Great comment from Marcus. If he stays hungry and focused he could be an All-American before his career ends. I think the guys coming back will have a chip on their shoulder and will be more mature from having their hearts broken this year.

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Chris Bruning 4 years, 4 months ago

fansincewilt.... couldn't agree more with you...obviouslly thats why they call it march madness i guess....your team has to go on a six game win streak to get what they deserve. and in our case this year a 5 game win streak against top notch quality.. have to give UNI credit and i cannot stand watching Kentucky.....im pretty sure they play cleaner street ball on the east side of compton than bledsoe and cousins do on an NCAA court. Hate Kentucky.......i'll take Bill Self over Calipari any day any dollar....We have the absolute best coach in america right here in lawrence kansas...

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 4 months ago

Since when are opinions not welcomed on this site?

Ninety percent of comments made here are opinions, not facts. If an opinion doesn't match with the journalistic attitudes of the staff of the LJW, how does it become non-compliant with the First Amendment? If expressing an opinion that I would rather have KU beaten by a team with players who have more contemporary names, albeit nicknames, than by a team where players have non-traditional, names offends and violates a journalistic code, then it's time to review the code.

If appropriate, I welcome a private email from the LJW explaining the removal of my comments. I challenge my rights to post opiniated, non-harmful comments that fall within the rules and regs. of this site.

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tvnolan 4 years, 4 months ago

Memhawk: For starters, you posted on LJW's property and they reserve the right to remove senseless rubbish like your earlier post. If you want to exercise your First Ammendment rights, you can do so by running your own blog. Before you do too much more spouting on the topic, I suggest you revisit your post and reconsider why it was yanked. You yearn to be beaten by a team of "Andersons" rather than "Farokhmanesh's"???? Who cares? The more you argue this point, the more your are embarassing yourself and Jayhawk fans. Button it.

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Martin Rosenblum 4 years, 4 months ago

tvnolan -

So the only place a person can have rights is on their own property?

I've obviously touched a nerve with you about liberty and freedom.

I'm not here to embarass anybody, you included.

We'll let the subject drop here and hope that we can agree on future topics of discussion.

RCJH

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VegasJhawk09 4 years, 4 months ago

The 2008 Jayhawks were the best overall team. The 2009 Tarheels were the best overall team. and if The Gators could pull off two in a row like they did. that tells me that they were also the best all around team those years too.

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JacquesMerde 4 years, 4 months ago

memhawk. Someone needs to tell the champions of freedom of the press that a free press means items will be printed that very few if any like or agree with. What is the point of a free press if all you can print is an opinion that the censors agree with and like? This censorship because of your bigotry is disgusting. BTW, I imagine this kid is the son of an emigre at the time the Shah was overthrown or soon after or during one of the current Iranian theocratic dictatorship's crackdowns.

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jhokfan 4 years, 4 months ago

fansincewilt:

Completely agree.

The fact that Ali F. took that shot is proof of what I have argued about the tournament all along. Most teams, including Northern Iowa are playing with house money. A contender would have never taken a 3 point shot with 30 seconds to go only up by 1. He had nothing to lose.

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