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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

KU basketball’s Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford want bragging rights vs. UMKC

In this sequence of images, Kansas guard Travis Releford tosses an off-the-backboard pass to Elijah Johnson for the dunk against Miami (Ohio) University during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

In this sequence of images, Kansas guard Travis Releford tosses an off-the-backboard pass to Elijah Johnson for the dunk against Miami (Ohio) University during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Withey relishes chance to start

Bragging rights are at stake for Kansas University’s Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford tonight in Allen Fieldhouse.

Johnson’s first cousin, Jay Couisnard, and Releford’s best friend, Michael Gholston, play for UMKC — a Summit League school that will tangle with the Jayhawks in a 7 p.m. tip.

“It’s a big game for me. It’s the first time I get to play a family member since I’ve been in college,” said Johnson, who grew up in Gary, Ind., before moving to Las Vegas in high school.

“We talk all the time, have been around each other all our lives. He’s one of my favorite cousins, actually,” Johnson added of the 6-foot-6 senior from Houston who averages a team-leading 15.9 points per game for the Kangaroos (8-6).

“We talk about it all the time. We just talked about it before I came to practice,” Johnson said of tonight’s matchup. “It’s something my family is looking forward to.”

Johnson’s dad, Marcus, is here for the game.

“I don’t care if it’s just one play. I have to guard him. I have to,” Johnson said with a smile.

Releford’s buddy, Gholston, a 6-foot junior out of Raytown South High, averages 2.7 points a game.

“I’ve been playing ball and knowing him since the fourth grade,” Roeland Park Bishop Miege graduate Releford said. “We talk about ball and how things are going with school and life. It’d be fun for me to guard him and him to guard me. He’s real excited. It’s his first time in the fieldhouse and our first time playing against each other.”

Gholston and Releford have traded texts.

“He has not necessarily guaranteed a win. He’s talked a little trash about how they are going to guard me. I don’t pay any attention to it,” Releford said.

UMKC, which has lost at Wichita State (71-52) and Kansas State (80-64) this season, averages 68.6 points a game while allowing 71.4.

“They’re probably the best backdoor team we’ve played all year long,” KU coach Bill Self said, noting UMKC coach Matt Brown is a former assistant of Michigan coach John Beilein. KU (13-0) travels to Michigan on Sunday.

“If there is a good thing playing UMKC and Michigan, you might as well play them the same week. That way you prepare for not one, but both. They are good. It will be a big game for them (being from K.C.). They’ll be juiced. And it’s a big game for us,” Self added.

Small post man: KU sophomore guard Johnson joked about how he’d love to get some minutes in the post this season.

“Out of all the guards, I’m the one who wants to learn all the post moves and everything, all the positions for the post,” the 6-4 Johnson said with a smile. “I feel I’d get beat up down there, but it’d be real fun. Just to do something different. I’ve never been in the post my entire life. It just sounds fun.”

Recruiting: DeAndre Daniels, a 6-foot-8 senior from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is expected to choose between KU, Kentucky and Texas this week.

“Kansas, Kentucky and Texas are the schools in play, but it would be nothing less than shocking at this point if Daniels ends up anywhere else than Kansas,” wrote Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com.

This, that: New KU AD Sheahon Zenger is expected to attend tonight and speak to the fans. ... KU play-by-play man Bob Davis’ son, Steven, is play-by-play voice of UMKC. Steven is a former KU basketball manager. ... KU is 5-0 all-time versus UMKC. KU prevailed, 71-56, in the last meeting Nov. 16, 2008, in Allen. ... KU has won 67 straight games in Allen. ... KU leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+24.3), field goal percentage (53.5), three-point field goal percentage (40.0), three-point field goal percentage defense (26.4), assists (18.9) and blocked shots (5.6).

Comments

100 3 years, 6 months ago

Forget bragging rights!!!!!

It's time to bring our A game each & every game just like Travis Releford does every time he's out there!!!!

We are the deepest team in America!!!!

Pass the ball with a passion!!!

Lock.

Them.

Down!!!!!!!!!!!!

No more easy buckets!!!!!

Shoot for an hour before the games!!!!!

Get your shots smooth like silk!!!!!

All for one and one for all Jayhawks!!!!

It's time to bring our "A game" each & every time out!!!!!

Basketball is fun!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let the rattlesnake out of your chest, slap the floor, pass the ball, box someone out & own the stat sheet!!!!!

Five Jayhawks.....

One heartbeat!!!!!!!!

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Frankenhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

I like your style, but next time may I suggest decaf? jk jk

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Steve Gantz 3 years, 6 months ago

Man, you're writing like we're playing Duke or something. That would be one Non-Con game I'd get excited about.

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Kent Richardson 3 years, 6 months ago

Speaking of Duke or something, we have an away game at Michigan after this. They are 11 and 3. Lost by 3 to #9 Syracuse. Lost to UTEP (11 and 3) by 3 when they shot 30.1 from the floor. And lost at home to #12 Purdue by 23. UTEP was the fallout game after almost beating Syracuse. Glad to see we are getting tougher on the boards as we will probably need to be tough. I can see us losing there and at Iowa State.

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Steve Gantz 3 years, 6 months ago

As a life long Big 10 follower, Michigan sucks. Watch Wisconsin beat em by 25 tonight on the Big10 network. If we lose to Michigan, even if it's at their place it'll be a tough end to the season.

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BewareofthePhunk 3 years, 6 months ago

100 - sounds like Dr. Bronner's recipe for basketball wellness!!

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jaybate 3 years, 6 months ago

100,

Agreed.

Also, I heard a rumor that Self is going to start you at the post! :-)

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Alohahawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Hey, "100". On any given night, any team can score a hundred points. An "A" game in most people's books. What I'd like to see is five Jayhawks get double-doubles. Mk,Mc, and TRob each 10 pts and 10 rebounds. TT and Selby each 10 pts and 10 assists. No matter how unlikely, it is conceivable with this team. Set some goals to add some fun and take the edge off of how many points you can score. That would get the sports commentators and the competition talking. Might even make ESPN highlight of the week, (or month, or year!) Wonder what the record is for number of double-doubles by one team is for one game?

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Jacobpaul81 3 years, 6 months ago

Right. Rick Pitino is still pissed off about this 95 point effort his players put up in 1989. =)

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Brian Powell 3 years, 6 months ago

let's just get 10 players in double digits. There's your 100 :P

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jayhawkinATL 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh, I dread announcement day for any kids where we are the CLEAR favorite!!!

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KUFan90 3 years, 6 months ago

+1. Would be nice if at least in this case we are the clear favorite and the recruit ACTUALY PICKS US!

Are hats involved? If so, that will definitely be the kiss of death...

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 6 months ago

Know what you mean but would really dread the day we were not the clear favorite to beat the Kangaroos.

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Jonathan Allison 3 years, 6 months ago

if we don't get the top recruits there may come a day when we don't beat the Roo's

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Woody Cragg 3 years, 6 months ago

It's the last present for this Christmas men. After the Roos it's the "hard stick o' candy & the sack o' nuts" Santa give us all every year. Even though the Pac10 schools were not exactly cookies & milk, the Big 12 will be rough stuff for these guys if they don't go all ball$ from tip to horn. Even Colorado knocked them off 6 or 7 yars ago when they had a big ranking & a bigger head. If the sense of urgency isn't there each game you will go down. KSU, Texas-heaven forbid even Mizzery are locked & loaded for that target on your backs. Sometimes I wish we could see HCBS would make them work more on different types of zones & trapping D & presses in these type games instead of just letting them run & gun for the highlight reel (backboard dunks). They're going to see alot of stuff the next 3 mo they're not accustomed to playing against. He seems to have his depth chart set but the starting 5 may change often which is good for many reasons. Preparation by opponents, making the guys hungrier, etc. It's a big deal to some of them & not so to others. Anyway, time to drop the hammer on the Road to the Final Four men. RCJH!!!

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Steve Gantz 3 years, 6 months ago

Don't forget at Michigan Sunday, then the Big 12. You don't want to sleep on anyone, but Michigan shouldn't be a problem.

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Marc Frey 3 years, 6 months ago

Neither should have Tennesse last year with some of the starters not playing. Come out strong, take out the crowd, and put them away.

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Ken Sedgwick 3 years, 6 months ago

All ball$ tip 2 horn, I like that.

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Truthhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Just read the continuing Jaybate -- HEM debate on another thread.

I have an idea. Can we call a truce on this? I'm not normally a peacemaker but I like both of your posts and analysis, if that is possible. You two are the best two out here .. next to drgnslyer (IMO). You both bring different insights and many times say the same things, but different ways.

Truce? Agreed?

I'm going to post this on the other threads.

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jaybate 3 years, 6 months ago

Now, wait a minute, Truthhawk, I just reread your post.

Just because slayr played in Europe and knows what he's talking about from experience, by god that doesn't mean he knows diddledy squat about basketball.

Slayr, I'm calling you out, you big pussy of a former player.

Just because you've forgotten more than I'll ever know, that doesn't mean that yours slaps lower and louder on your things than mine!!!!

By god, I'll get down in muck and grind it out with you, too!!!!!

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, or the size of the fight in the dog, by god, its the amount of rabies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah, life, I love it so.

:-)

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Woody Cragg 3 years, 6 months ago

Is that like "driving a thumb tack with a sledgehammer?" WTH wants gangreen? Go NOW!!!

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jaybate 3 years, 6 months ago

Dear Editors,

Headline for tonight's game:

"KU Hops Over Kangaroos"

:-)

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lee3022 3 years, 6 months ago

Pull that one out of your pouch? :-)

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Brian Powell 3 years, 6 months ago

You sure have a lot of bounce in your step today..

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jaybate 3 years, 6 months ago

DeAndre Daniels Here's the manuals for playing UK ball.

They fit on a stamp And won't make you a champ So don't be a fool like Wall.

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 6 months ago

Nice..I think KU wins this one. How does DeAndre effect Ben's decision? Getting both would be really nice.

Wall didn't get a championship but he did get a shoe..and 25 million.

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Ben Kane 3 years, 6 months ago

i judge our A game by how many minutes our walk-ons get. :)

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lee3022 3 years, 6 months ago

Calipari? I am shocked! He would never do that! He always sends an expendable subordinate to take the hit if caught. Consistent M.O. Deniable position always. The school may suffer the shame but Cal will just move on.

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jhox 3 years, 6 months ago

p>isports.com is reporting Daniels will commit to KU tomorrow, and will attend classes for the spring semester, so he's ready to contribute next fall.

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jhox 3 years, 6 months ago

Though with Calipari involved, I suppose I'll believe it when I actually see that he's on campus and enrolled. I hope he's not using us a leverage to squeeze a few more $$$$ out of the slimy one. KU has had a history of kids playing cruel jokes on them, let's hope he's not the latest in a long line of them.

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 6 months ago

Yup..I'll believe it when I see it..But it looks promising.

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kushaw 3 years, 6 months ago

drgnslayr: That would be good and I'm up for that. It's pretty quiet on the DD front for the last day so if I had to make a guess I would suspect that DD is ironing out all the final logistics that a student would have to make in order to enroll at a school second semester. My other guess, would be that he will become a Kansas Jayhawk. I also thought Beal and Turner would be Jayhawks as well, but we all know how that went.

Good artcile about Releford in the KCStar.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/01/04/2561573/releford-becomes-kus-mr-post-man.html

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lee3022 3 years, 6 months ago

I am looking at UMKC as our final tune-up game before the stakes get much bigger. Yes, we should win with out third team playing the whole game. But of all the work added in December to polish the team now it should become evident.

What I hope to see is 40 minutes, not 20 of maximum effort; Reed's shot return; Josh's assist to turnover ratio at least 2:1. TT's re-integration with Josh and the team to become comfortable and efficient; foul shots made across the roster; rebounding dominance; below 38% opponent FG%; below 28% opponent 3FG%; solid minutes for Whithey and no one in foul trouble. Against UMKC all of the above are reasonably attainable. I am not as pumped as 100 but I do see this game as important in the development and momentum of the team.

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100 3 years, 6 months ago

Interesting how it's being reported by the Sporting News. They need to check their facts before posting the story. Kanter was paid close to $150,000 to play for this Turkish team. $33,000 was found to be above the necessary expenses.

This is no Cam Newton case. Cam didn't receive money from playing on a professional team & wasn't ruled permanently ineligible even once.

It's also not even close to what happened with Josh Selby. Selby received a few gifts during high school & even middle school from an old family friend who happened to be an agent. We're talking Xmas gifts on some of these items. Jeans. Shoes. The total ended up being over $4,000.

Josh has to pay back every cent & give to charity.

Kanter on the other hand received, from a professional team, while he played basketball on their team.... $150,000.

He's a pro player. And he's already been ruled permanently ineligible. He's a professional!!!!!

If somehow the decision is reversed on Kanter, we may as well sign on Paul Pierce into our 2011 recruiting class since he's a professional & still has a year of eligibility remaining at Kansas.

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kushaw 3 years, 6 months ago

Drgnslayer: I wonder if Calipari is "Stinging" a bit after the DD rumors considering he was watching P Ellis last night at a game.

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clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 6 months ago

I would like to hold the roos under 55 and out rebound them in the way we did sunday, I thought DD was a lock after some of the links that were posted yesterday, hopefully we get it in ink soon

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kushaw 3 years, 6 months ago

Nothing is a "Lock" in the recruiting game.

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RockChalk26 3 years, 6 months ago

My prediction: Elijah goes off for 15 points, 6 dimes, 1 turnover, 21 minutes on the floor!

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kushaw 3 years, 6 months ago

A couple of things:

1) What are you going to do after this season when Morningstar is gone?

2) I would love to see Morningstar back on the KU sidelines in about 15 years just to spite you. Nobody knows Okie ball better than Morningstar. Self disciple for sure.

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 6 months ago

And do you really think he wouldn't start for Nebraska?

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 6 months ago

If he couldn't start he could probably coach. I think he turns 25 this month. And he IS a smart kid/adult, regardless of what side of the argument you take.

Now, who will be next years target of discussion?

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jhox 3 years, 6 months ago

You're delusional if you think Elijah is better defensively than Brady, and there is nothing Bill Self loves more than defense. That's why he's been such a successful coach. Of course, for someone to make such a basketball uneducated comment tells me you're the kind of fan who only cares about scoring and how athletic someone looks. Brady is also the best guard we have at making entry passes to our bigs.

Don't judge a book by its cover. I like Elijah and Travis. They both have big upsides and are very entertaining to watch, but Brady is getting the minutes Brady has earned and deserves.

You Brady bashers need to look at more of what's happening on the court than just seeing who is putting the ball through the net.

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KUFan90 3 years, 6 months ago

Nice stats for KU to be leading the Big 12 in, but noticeably absent from that list is the stat Self cares most about : field goal percentage defense.

We normally are a national leader in that category...now we aren't even leading the Big 12. Need to shore up that D!

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bnet0000 3 years, 6 months ago

For the last time leave Brady alone. Don't forget about what he did for the Hawks after having lost all 5 starters!!! If it weren't for his troubles he'd be starting and leading this team to the winners circle every game.

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 6 months ago

Just slightly overboard with your praise..fortunately, I have a spare life jacket : )

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RockChalk26 3 years, 6 months ago

Why does every article turn into a discussion about Brady?

This article is about EJ and Travis. Discuss their play and leave Brady out of it.

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Woody Cragg 3 years, 6 months ago

Why can't we all just get along?

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Steve Brown 3 years, 6 months ago

I sat on front row watch Roger play, nice, but he wouldn't be able to cover Brady. Times have changed, game much faster.

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YuCoJayHawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Might you be that Cookie ? player from Nebraska. Couple years ago, you felt the need to try your mightily best (and failed) to wrestle the ball out of Mario's grip. Then you stood up like you were the Hulk (all 5'7" of you) and tried to incite the crowd with your bad bad Leroy Brown schtick. LOL Did Brady light you up for some 3's in that game? Now your ultimate revenge plan has gone into action. Impressive.

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bnet0000 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree, Releford is only a Sophomore and is improving with each minute he gets. It's obvious Ej wants to play, he gives 110% every time on the court. I wouldn't call him a dud, but we'll leave it at that...

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Theutus 3 years, 6 months ago

Wait.... Who is a dud? That last sentence comes out of left field and doesn't make any sense...

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bnet0000 3 years, 6 months ago

Noone is a Dud! I agree with RockChalk26, jayhawkinnebr was calling Brady a dud...

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Theutus 3 years, 6 months ago

Ah, much agreed man, much agreed... Sorry for the confusion.

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Kye Clark 3 years, 6 months ago

I always thought maybe Daniels was waiting for McLemore to decide what to do, so I find it somewhat ironic that Daniels appears to be on the verge of becoming a Jayhawk. Perhaps the situation was reversed, and that is why McLemore has been taking so much time to decide. We've always assumed it was his mom, and recent rumors are the AAU coach is funneling him to Misery, but maybe he had this in the back of his mind the whole time. If we bring in Daniels, what does that do to the odds of Ben signing?

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kushaw 3 years, 6 months ago

Very good observation. As fans an in the recruiting world we've been lead to believe that McLemore and Daniels play different positions, but Daniels is a "3" or "Rush spot". Self has every intention of using him like Brandon Rush. With that said, you knew Self would use Mclemore at the 2 and 3, but you do raise some good questions. I've been thinking like Icthhawk, I think if Daniels does become a Jayhawk, McLemore may be leaning elsewhere. I sure hope not, but it does seem like that is what McLemore's camp is waiting on.

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Steve Brown 3 years, 6 months ago

call me greedy I want them both.........

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Brian Powell 3 years, 6 months ago

That was the first thing I thought of when I read the delay yesterday.

Usually recruiting time frames depend on the domino effect a lot more than us outsiders realize..

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Theutus 3 years, 6 months ago

Think of him like a Brandon Rush... He's got a great shot, and really good ball handling skills for his height...

He can play above the rim, and he can rebound... Is he going to be split between those positions? Maybe... But if he packs on some weight courtesy of Hudy, he'd be really dangerous.

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Theutus 3 years, 6 months ago

I meant Shady, not Rush... Not sure why i put Rush.

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 6 months ago

Random thought that hit me last night looking at some NBA stats --

Is the best Selby comparison Dwayne Wade? Seems to me like the player with the most similar college game (recalling our final four thumping of the Warriors .. er .. Golden Eagles).

Theutus: The Daniels comparison to Arthur seems like a good one from the video. When I saw Rush, I was thinking "what have I missed?"

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Theutus 3 years, 6 months ago

lol. I was reading up on the pacers right before i flipped tabs to make that comment.. I guess I still had Rush on my mind... But I definitely was thinking Shady in comparison...

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Selbyville 3 years, 6 months ago

Selby reminds me most of a Monta Ellis, maybe a little Raymond Felton

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 6 months ago

Monta Ellis .. most obscure stud in the NBA. Probably a good comparison.

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waywardJay 3 years, 6 months ago

I also like the monta comparison. If Monta were on a good team, he would be ahousehold name. Too bad he's not on a good team.

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duanep5ku 3 years, 6 months ago

I hope Deandre Daniels choose to come to KU, Thursday because if his plan is to not play this year but to en-role for next semester that would be great news for Kansas. It would give him time with the current team and it should put him ahead of the learning curve on the other schools incoming freshman class. Oh,does KU have a scholarship left for him this year or would he have to get another players? I heard Mario's maybe or is their another one available to get? I don't see why if Deandre comes to Kansas that would affect Ben's decision because Deandre is listed as a small forward and Ben should be more of a shooting guard.

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Theutus 3 years, 6 months ago

I think Ben is a 2-3, and DD is a 3-4... Problem is, we are stacked at the 2 already... That means Ben would most likely see minutes at the 3, and DD is too scrawny to bang down low at this level (currently) to play a lot at the 4. I think that means both players are most likely to see the most minutes as freshman at the 3.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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duanep5ku 3 years, 6 months ago

Theutus the scouting reports currently compare Deandre to Terrence Jones but they say that he's a better scorer with range. So if he comes to Kansas you have to admit that would be some sweet karma if we get this forward over UK. I think the comparison to Arthur is a maybe a good one

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bnet0000 3 years, 6 months ago

It don't matter who KU gets, this is Kansas Basketball and Bill can make anyone a better player. I would not get tied up into all this espn top 100 player ranking crap. Last I heard Basketball is a TeAm sport.....

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kushaw 3 years, 6 months ago

I would say that Rashard Lewis is about on par with Daniels game. I'm not seeing the Arthur "Shady" comparison. Shady had excellent post moves and was much bulkier and was always a PF. Daniels can handle the ball somewhat and shoots it like Lewis. I think the Durant comparison is a big stretch at the moment as well.

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wrwlumpy 3 years, 6 months ago

Next 3 out of 4 games are on the road at tough venues. We'll know a lot more about the "Fun Bunch", when we get back from Waco.

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buchaba 3 years, 6 months ago

These two teams will give us some good preparation for MU down the road because I heard they are also a big time "backdoor" team...

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jayhawktalk 3 years, 6 months ago

While the possibility likely crosses both their minds, one has to consider Deandre and/or McLemore may not consider themselves OAD. When looking at a playing career that may span more than a few months, playing time conflicts with current players on the roster becomes much less of an issue. At the very least, at the end of next year, assuming no early departures, the Morris's & TT finish up their playing days at KU, and a possible Selby departure creates a lot of vacancies to be filled.

Not to mention, KU has a need for length and athleticism at the 2 & 3 spots, even when looking at our currently highly talented roster. If one, or especially both, Ben and Deandre choose to play at KU, we are easily title contenders. Having them on the court together would be ridiculous, and I'm only thinking here in terms of defense and rebounding, much less the match up problems for opposing defenses if they are slotted at 2 & 3 with TRob playing 4 to keep people honest! EJ or Naadir running the point... A healthy, more refined, more experienced, more confident, and stronger Withey at 5... Seriously freakish!

If any recruit plans on a multi-year stay, or at least considers it as a possibility, I would have to think KU's program becomes significantly more appealing when compared to either Texas or Kentucky. If a lifelong dream to play at KU, I would also think it a compelling draw to someone like Ben, who could otherwise be stuck at MU for a prolonged period while receiving 2/yr beat downs at the hands of the school, in his heart, for which he always wanted to play, and after having walked away from their scholarship offer... I mean, who would voluntarily choose to be stuck at MU for multiple yrs when other options are available? Seriously, who would do that!?!

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jhawk76 3 years, 6 months ago

Is there a streaming site for tonights game ?

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kerbyd 3 years, 6 months ago

I think our worries about our free throw shooting may have been unfounded.

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