Monday, December 19, 2011

KU, Travis Releford return to K.C.

Junior expects plenty of family, friends on hand for tonight’s clash

Kansas guard Travis Releford is fouled as he goes up for a reverse layup against Towson during the first half on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford is fouled as he goes up for a reverse layup against Towson during the first half on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


— Kansas University junior forward Travis Releford sat behind the University of Alabama basketball bench with his mother, Venita, and other relatives Saturday night in Sprint Center.

His mission was to cheer on brother Trevor, who scored 14 points, dished six assists against four turnovers and swiped three steals while playing 37 minutes in the Crimson Tide’s 71-58 loss to Kansas State.

“It was different,” Travis Releford said of his role as cheerleader. “I let my mom do all the screaming. I was laid-back watching the game.

“I was rooting for him. I think he played well,” Travis added of Trevor, a 6-foot-1 sophomore point guard who, like his older brother, attended Roeland Park’s Bishop Miege High. “Late in the second half, they couldn’t get anything going. K-State is a good defensive team. They work hard at that. It’s what their coach (Frank Martin) forces on them.”

Tonight, for the second time in three days, Travis Releford, Venita, and other members of the Releford family tree return to Sprint Center hoping for a better result.

KU (7-2) takes on Davidson (6-3) in an 8 p.m. nonconference clash billed as the M&I; Kansas City Shootout.

“It’s always fun to play back home because a lot of my family members don’t have a chance to come here (Allen Fieldhouse) and watch me play. There’s so many of ’em,” Travis said. “It’s only 10 minutes away (from his mom’s house). Everybody will be there. I’ll have my own little family section.”

Travis Releford has averaged 8.4 points a game off 52.6 percent shooting in KU’s nine games. The 6-6, 210-pounder has made six of 20 threes for 30 percent. Trevor averages 10.8 points, 3.3 assists and 2.0 turnovers for 8-3 Alabama. He has made just three of 17 threes.

“I am very proud of him. He’s playing well,” Travis said. “He played well last year, and it’s continued on this year. They’ve got a good team. Hopefully they’ll make the tournament.”

KU tonight meets a Davidson team that has been picked to win the Southern Conference. The Wildcats, who fell to KU, 59-57, in the 2008 Elite Eight in Detroit, have lost at Duke (82-69) and UNC Charlotte (84-61) and fell to Vanderbilt (87-83) at home. Wins have come against Guilford, Richmond, Presbyterian, UNC Wilmington, Wofford and Furman.

“They run motion and play fast,” KU coach Bill Self said of the Wildcats, who average 77.1 points a game to KU’s 75.3 ppg. “Motion is the hardest thing to guard if you know what you are doing, and certainly I think they know what they are doing. They are physical and play some 1-3-1 (defense), which we have not seen yet.”

Sophomore forward De’Mon Brooks averages a team-leading 16.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Junior guard JP Kuhlman averages 13.6 ppg, junior forward Jake Cohen 12.4 ppg and junior guard Nik Cochran 10.2 ppg.

Two local players are key Wildcat reserves. Clint Mann, a 6-7 junior from Overland Park’s St. Thomas Aquinas, and Tyler Kalinoski, 6-4 freshman out of Olathe East, average 5.3 and 4.0 points.

“That was one thing that may have been talked about,” Self said of Davidson wanting to play close to the hometowns of two players, “but ESPN thought it would be a good game as well. ESPN helped schedule the game.”

Of course, there will be references on ESPNU tonight about the ’08 thriller, which propelled KU to the Final Four, where the Jayhawks beat North Carolina and Memphis to claim the national title.

“Davidson in ’08 was the most physical team we played all year,” Self said.

The low-scoring game was not decided until Jason Richards — not phenom Stephen Curry — took and missed a three at the final horn.

“I am thinking of ‘wide left,’ because it looked like it was on line from where I was sitting,” Self recalled of the shot. “That was one of the toughest grind-it-out games we’ve had since we have been here. We were fortunate that it was a coin-flip game, and we were able to come away with the W. It’s a great memory, but it was definitely one where we had to sweat. Once you get in that NCAA Tournament, people don’t understand and even coaches do not understand because you kind of wish certain things happen. Maybe you think, ‘Well, that team is not as good; it’s not seeded as high,’ but in the tournament, it is all about match-ups, and the team that Davidson had that year could match up with anybody.”


bradynsdad 9 years, 10 months ago

I think Wichita could use a team like The Flint Tropics. I hope I get a couple of tickets to a game for Christmas.

Scott Oswalt 9 years, 10 months ago

I take it you're watching Semi-Pro too...

manginodrh00lz 9 years, 10 months ago

Dirty hippie moon shot - classic. Everybody love everybody!

BillSelf4Prez 9 years, 10 months ago

A girl in my grade, her older brother is a freshman on scholarship at Davidson and gets playing time

rockchalkchalkin23 9 years, 10 months ago


Use your court vision and be aggressive. With confidence, you could give the team 12 a night easy. Attack the paint and take 3's in the rhythm of the offense. Jay Bilas mentioned during the OSU game that Buford was underrated, which is true. He also mentioned how well you defended him. The way you played D on him shows how underrated your defense is. Keep up that D and be confident in your scoring ability. You will not have to worry about making an NBA roster.

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Recruiting imfo - J. Peters and T. Parker updates.

<p> has current story, titled "Heavyweight Battle", with stats. for T. Parker vs Gathers (a shorter, muscular TRob clone).

Plus recent game for KU commit, Peters, and his teammate, Randle.

And imfo. for other KU future possibles: 2014 #1 pg - Mudiay (sp), and sg - Mickey Jordan.

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

The Rivals article is on their BB recruiting page, and corrected title should read, "Heavyweight Bout".

kgreg01 9 years, 10 months ago

Hmmm so lets say we loss the Davidson in '08 and the following years results remained the same. I think we would have a little bit different viewpoint on our program and coaches if we experienced no NC and tourney upsets to Bucknell, Bradley, Davidson, Northern Iowa and VMU.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 months ago

Let's say we remember the National Championship game and leave it there. None of those other teams you named have ever won a NC. We, on the other hand, have how many titles? I rest my case.....

Chris Shaw 9 years, 10 months ago

There is always a flip side to that. Who's to say that KU and Self lose that game in 08 on a 27 footer and then KU comes back beause of that game with determination and wins back to back National Championships in 2010 and 2011 with easy wins against UNI and VCU. It's all relative!

Chris Shaw 9 years, 10 months ago

Oops, logged in to the wrong account. Switching is going to be harder than I thought.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 10 months ago

Hmmm....let's say that's one of the dumber things I've ever read here.

kgreg01 9 years, 10 months ago

The Davidson game in 08 went down to the last second. So I don't think its that stupid of a scenario to say "what if" given our tourney struggles with a list of mid majors over the last decade.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 10 months ago

Why do we always lump "Mid-Majors" into this category or view them as castoffs. People act like VCU, UNI, Bradley, and Bucknell were all exactly the same team or something with the exact same personnell.

I will say this though, the common similarities with all those teams and you can include UNLV, Southern Illinois, Davidson, North Dakota State, and Holy Cross (All Mid-Majors that we beat in the NCAA tourny but struggled with) is that they were experienced driven squads that had been through 3 and 4 years planning for that one opportunity for the Road to the Final 4.

Yes, schools like KU, UNC, Duke, Kentucky and etc are going to reload every year, but there is also something to be said about a smaller school who's battled and has planned for their senior year to make a run in the NCAA tournament.

There are some on this board that shove this aspect of the game out the window. All of those schools I mentioned above plan for these opportunities every 3 to 5 years and schools like Kansas plan for it every 1 to 3 years.

You have to understand the dynamics of the game and what is presented before you start lumping everybody in as a "Mid Major". Is this year's Murray State squad considered a different team as Davidson in 2008 or do they have the same players?

Steve Gantz 9 years, 10 months ago

What ifs of any sort are counterproductive. Murray State had a shot to beat us at the end of an early game in '88 too, but no one talks about that. We talk about winning it all.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 10 months ago

Coulda, shoulda, woulda... Need not apply.

If the queen had stones she'd be the king... If my aunt had them she'd bemy uncle... If the Jayhawks didn't win Memphis would have. If your smart you know things happened and nothing can change this now.

shinguard 9 years, 10 months ago

On a different topic.... I was watching the Marcus HS vs BBall game on ESPN the other night and they had showed Bill Self and Danny Manning watching. Marcus already has 2 people committed to OK State (Forte and Smart). I was not aware of any other recruits playing in that game. Anyone know why they were there? The game was in Lewisville TX - just outside Dallas.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 10 months ago

Zach Peters, Julius Randle, Mudiay, and another guy I can't recall the name. Zach is already a KU signee and Self was watching Julius Randle & the others.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 10 months ago

That Davidson game in '08----I remember former KU coach, Roy Williams, talking about Bill Self after that game----"That wasn't a game of celebration. That was a game of relief," referring to HCBS on his knees when the game ended.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Roy ought to understand that better than anyone.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

God, JB, I almost peed in my pants because that was so funny.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

I have put out an all points bulletin on the whereabouts of 100.

Having been through a life-threatening illness this year, I know that posting becomes secondary to survival.

I can only hope he is on some tropical island in the Fiji Isles, surrounded by topless native girls feeding him coconuts and albacore.

[PS I sure hope his posting I.D "100' wasn't his age!!]

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 10 months ago

Unfortunately, 100 is in jail. Jailbate. It appears jaybate may have an imposter when jailbate (100's new name) is released from county... Hey, at least he is not in prison. Not a fun way/place to spend Christmas though. Poor guy.

Nah, 100 is slang for 100% or completely honest. 100 in urban dictionary terms "to stay true, to be real; straight up... Ex. "Imma keep it 100 with u"... no doubt about it; cempletely; totally; for sure; of course; naturally; in an expected way or order can be ... Used sometimes when u say goodbye, as in A) (says) peace bro, B) (replies 100).

So to answer your question I doubt he was 100 years old.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

100% poor English.

Urban dictionary = make it up as you go along because you don't want to take the time to speak properly.

I liked it better when we thought he was 100 years old.

wfzman 9 years, 10 months ago

I hope that KU takes notes, because they will need to play like a Mid-Major to do anything this season. They have to take care of the ball and make sure it gets in the correct hands EVERY possession. It is boring, slow and methodical, but it is what it is. I hate the thought, but were they to play like the 2000-2001 Illinois team they might have a chance. By the way, that team was the reason I didn't want KU to hire Self. I have surrendered that disappointment, Coach Self seems to be a good guy and his teams have good GPAs.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 10 months ago

That game in 08 was easily the toughest game I've ever seen KU win. Every point seemed to be scored after excruciating effort. The refs as I recall had me frustrated as well, making me think that maybe they wanted some rinky dink little college to get to the final 4. Every other time KU has won to make the Final Four since 86 I've been elated. That day there was no jumping around, just relief.

lee3022 9 years, 10 months ago

Absolutely right - if only KU had hired William Wesley (John Calipari) we might have the top recruits in the country year after year until the NCAA caught up with us. Of course Worldwide Wes has Michael Jordan on speed dial so the recruits are suitably impressed with him.

Would you rather never get to the elite eight? This tournament is such a big money-maker because on any given day any team can beat any other. It is six runs with the dice and crapping out of the tournament if you get one bad throw.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Regarding that '08 game vs. North Carolina, the images that stick most for me are of Cole Aldrich matched up with Hansbrough...and of the press conference afterwards, with Cole getting so much attention and praise, to the startled amazement (amusement and disgust?) of Rush and D-Block. Bill Self worked some special magic in the second half of that contest. Another lasting memory, Self kneeling to the hardwood after the buzzer.
The first half, a classic example of one team's adrenalin continuing to soar vs. the other team's sustained impotent shock. However, per usual in the 40 minute length of competition between two goliaths, the tables turned, and Jayhawk players and fans faced a roaring locomotive before surviving and moving on to the Final. Roy handled the loss with grace, considering his lengthy bitter reaction from former Jayhawk supporters. Showing up wearing the Jayhawk decal in the championship game was a very classy act which did much to activate a healing proces with the Jayhawk Nation.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Travis will now probably get a bit more relief and rest, what with the emergence of Kevin Young as a more dependable sub at the 3 and 4 positions. Fresher legs and renewed focus for T-Rob and Travis.

lee3022 9 years, 10 months ago

Why assume any state is 'evil'? Kansas City continues to supply the bulk of KU's student body (counting suburbs) and remains 'owned' by KU in recruiting. I see no reason to cede territory to another school. Playing in the Sprint Center yearly helps when the NCAA and the Big XII locate tournaments there.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

Heading into tonight, I think it will be interesting to see who is first off the bench subbing for TRob/Withey ... Wesley or KY.

If KY is the first in, probably indicates a shift in Self's thinking there. If Wesley's first in, it just means the rotation hasn't changed much. Will also be interesting to see if KY gets minutes in any case.

And can we avoid the upset. Noticed that Davidson has been playing some 1-3-1. Kind of wish this game was on the road, as opposed to the Sprint Center. Coming off the long break, would make sure we were more focused. The quasi-home games are more dangerous.

BillSelf4Prez 9 years, 10 months ago

Ha,MU fans already think they are going to the final four! All I want for Christmas is a 20 point win on Miserys home court on College Gameday! Rock Chalk!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

The "not so " secret formula for beating Misery:

1] Stick to the three point shooters like glue: make them drive around you. 2] Pick them up early and a far from the basket; make them work the ball. 3] Pound the ball inside, crash the boards, TRob and Jeff may put in 50 between them 4] Tell Frank Haith that the NCAA wants to talk to him after the game. 5] If you are Kansas.....just show up.

Prediction: Sloppy game with lots of turnovers on both sides with many bad ref calls but KU's superior athleticism will wear down Davidson 72 - 60

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Oakville, last time I called up the league stats, Jayhawks were bottom of the league in guarding 3 pt. shots. We really have to get after that stat if we are to lock down #1 in your listing. Maybe that could become a major focus for Naadir to earn some minutes, becoming a superglue defender of the 3.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Agreed, the double down defense on the low post allows shooters to get open. Kind of a HCBS blind spot.

There's no way the guard/forward can get back quick enough against a quality, quick release shooter.

lee3022 9 years, 10 months ago

We have also played a vastly better schedule than anyone in the league. Pre-season stats are difficult to follow for this reason. The stats that count are league stats. After we have played everyone once the numbers begin to indicate the status.

We have held all but Kentucky to a low FG%. We still will get better. This next week is all practice with no classes and KU teams usually take a big leap forward now.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Jesse Newell had the time and inclination to work up all kinds of +/- statistics on all our top 8 or 9 players, checking the lineup against sundry team or league stats when they are in the lineup or on the bench? Would bury him in trivia, but make for endless suppositions and commentary among daily posters. For several weeks, I have wondered about the +/- stats on scoring offense and scoring defense when Kevin Young was on the floor. His insertions seem to inject a boost of energy during the halcyon stages of games. Of course, he bears the advantage of popping into the lineup with fresh legs and enthusiasm at a time when starters often have reached weariness or long stretches of static patterning. Also, there is ever so much more to the game than simply numbers on a scoreboard.

lee3022 9 years, 10 months ago

<p> has really good statistical analysis of all college teams (subscription required.) He does not do +/- but rebounding %, assist % etc are all calculated for each player. His overall analysis system allows match-ups to be considered for any team.

jumpinjayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Tehan is a worthless waste of a basketball player. Why does he even see any playing time at all? He is slow, cannot guard, cannot get open, and shoots a set shot when there is nothing on the line. Please Bill put in anyone else but him

kellerman411 9 years, 10 months ago

Tyshawn - turnover Tyshawn - turnover Tyshawn - turnover Tyshawn - turnover Tyshawn - retarded foul Tyshawn - retarded foul Tyshawn - turnover Tyshawn - Big 3-pointer (See!!! I told you guys he does good for us!)

My god people, I know he gives us a dynamic that we wouldn't have otherwise but, the kid doesn't take care of the ball and does not make good decisons. Ever.

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