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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

kerbyd 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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jhawk76 3 years, 3 months ago

Is there a streaming site for tonights game ?

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jayhawktalk 3 years, 3 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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buchaba 3 years, 3 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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wrwlumpy 3 years, 3 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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kushaw 3 years, 3 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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bnet0000 3 years, 3 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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duanep5ku 3 years, 3 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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duanep5ku 3 years, 3 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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Jack Wilson 3 years, 3 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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Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Uh, so Deandre Daniels would be "our" Harrison Barnes (small 4/tall 3)?

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Kye Clark 3 years, 3 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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bnet0000 3 years, 3 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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Lebowski 3 years, 3 months ago

Dude, you're already drunk at 11:45am? Awesome!

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, leave Brady out of it. Glue his butt to the bench, that will leave him out of it. Yea, give the mins. to Ej and Travis. Brady has troubles all right, he can't play. A 5 th year senior and what a dud. Players with less playing time are showing Brady up and their the ones who should be on the floor. I saw his dad play and Roger was a pretty good player but, Brady can't even come close to what his dad was.

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RockChalk26 3 years, 3 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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bnet0000 3 years, 3 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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KUFan90 3 years, 3 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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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Permanently bench Brady and give the mins to Elijah and Travis. That would be the best thing to this team. Both have done more in the mins that they get then Brady does in his. This then, wouldn't be a drag on the team. Both are better in all phases of the game and deserve to be on the floor. Brady, a 5th year senior is a dud. Doc here in Nebraska would have him on the bench, even with the mediocre team he has now.

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RockChalk26 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 3 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, 3 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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lee3022 3 years, 3 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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kushaw 3 years, 3 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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William Blake 3 years, 3 months ago

"“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."

I'd like to be sitting next door to DeAndre's house this week with a video camera to catch Calipari showing up with a bag of cash. Too bad I wasn't at Terrence Jone's house last year...

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Ben Kane 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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jaybate 3 years, 3 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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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Dear Editors,

Headline for tonight's game:

"KU Hops Over Kangaroos"

:-)

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Truthhawk 3 years, 3 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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Woody Cragg 3 years, 3 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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jayhawkinATL 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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Alohahawk 3 years, 3 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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100 3 years, 3 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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